Tuesday, April 28, 2015


Dean Haslam Eyre
24 April 2015
7 pounds 15 ounces
20 inches

We brought Dean home from the hospital on Sunday and Zara was sure excited to have her little brother here to show him the ropes. We love this little guy.  What a namesake he has on both sides of the family! He has an incredibly calm demeanor and just seems really happy. He has a nice set of lungs as well. Read on for the crazy awesome birth story, more on his name, and some more photos below.

the story:
Baby's due date came and went on the 21st. We enjoyed some some awesome days in the city with mom and dad while we waited for him to come. Julie started having some contractions about 5:30pm on Friday night, though we weren't sure if they were real. They started coming a little more regularly (4 to 5 minutes apart) so she called the midwife at 6:30. The midwife told her to sit down and monitor her contractions and call when she couldn't talk through them anymore. When it got to that point at around 7, she called the midwife again who told her it was time to come in. Julie said we would put Zara down for the night, but the midwife said there wasn't time for that and should be on our way.

Our neighbor came over to help put Zara down and we headed down the stairs and jumped in a cab (it was 7:15-7:20 at this point). We had to make a stop on Broadway to pick up out Doula on the way to the hospital. Unfortunately, we got the wussiest taxi driver of all time and he was super nervous about the fact that there was a woman in labor in his cab. I asked him if he'd ever driven a woman in labor before when we first got in and be kind of laughed and said no. When I told him I was serious he got quite nervous. He wouldn't drive aggressively at all. I was ready to kick him out of the taxi and drive the rest of the way. He was convinced Broadway would be faster than another street and of course we hit all kinds of Friday night traffic as we approached Lincoln Center. All the while, Julie's contractions were getting stronger and stronger and closer and closer together. Come on taxi driver and traffic! Finally after about 25 minutes of a ride that took me 7 minutes the next day when I took a different route back to the hospital from my apartment - we made it.

All four of us (me, Julie, Doula, and mom) raced into the hospital and up to the 12th floor. Julie had a big contraction right as we walked in the door and another in the elevator. On the way to the hospital, we learned that the room we were going to be in at the Birthing Center (one floor below Labor and Delivery) was still being cleaned so we would have to go to Triage on the Labor and Delivery floor first. So we headed there and met the midwife. She said she would need to monitor the heartbeat of the baby in Triage for about 20 minutes then we would head down to the Birthing Center on the floor below for delivery. I went into Triage with Julie while mom and our Doula waited in the waiting room. Here is where it got fun. This was about 7:50ish by this point. While in Triage (a room full of three to four areas that were separated by curtains with a gurney inside) you could hear one other lady in there in pretty serious labor (lots of screaming/moaning) so I tried to distract Julie from that. The midwife checked and Julie was at an 8. The midwife told me she was going to go put her scrubs on quickly (she came straight in from home to meet us at the hospital) after she got the heartbeat monitor on Julie for the baby. So, while she was gone - Julie's contractions started getting really big and at one point Julie said she felt like she needed to push! There was no one else in the room now and I was like "whoa, what in the world am I supposed to do"? I did my best to comfort Julie and talk her through the contractions - but on the inside I was thinking "Where in the world is the midwife? How long does it take to put on scrubs"?! When Julie said she wanted to push I kind of yelled out the midwife's name but nothing! After what seemed like forever (probably wasn't really that long) the midwife came back in. She checked Julie again and she was fully dilated! The midwife was checking on the availability of the room in the Birthing Center but finally just said "get me a room on this floor, this baby is coming...we don't have time".

So they wheeled her out of Triage and down the hall to a delivery room and transferred her onto the bed. I ran back to get Mom and the doula who were still waiting outside the Triage room. I told them we were having the baby here - no time to go down to the Birthing Center. They jumped up and came down and joined us in the delivery room! Baby was coming!!! The time was now 8:16. The midwife was awesome. She stayed so calm and helped Julie through everything so well. Our Doula was amazing too as she and I both tried our best to help Julie through big time contractions. The baby's heart rate was slowing a bit with each contraction, then it would go back up. But ultimately the midwife knew we needed to get the baby out soon. She really encouraged Julie to make it happen. Julie was totally amazing. She was in a lot of pain - I can't even imagine but she was just awesome. Before I knew it the baby's head started to crown. I will spare you all the details, but within a few minutes this little guy made his grand entrance into the world! Wow that was a crazy hour!! What was the gender!? While they were clipping the chord to get him over to the warming table, baby's legs were crossed and I couldn't see to announce the sex. Finally after about 10 seconds of angling for the best position to see - I looked at Julie and said - "it's a boy!" Some of the best words I ever said. At 8:27, 11 minutes after we got into the delivery room, and roughly 45 minutes after we got to the hospital and an hour and 15 minutes since we left our house...our little boy was born!! It was such an incredible rush of adrenaline, emotion, joy, craziness and such a spiritual experience all at the same time.

We now have two kids! Whoa! Both of them have pretty spectacular birth stories to say the least. I have no idea what to expect with our next baby. I am sure Julie has a lot to add to this but she is zonked out after a couple of long long nights at the hospital. We were supposed to be able to be in the birth center where we would have a nice big room with a queen sized bed, no rules about visiting hours and a super relaxed environment where we could go home the next day. But since we didn't make it down to the Birth Center due to the haste of this boy's arrival - Julie had to recover in a shared room with a roommate who had a little baby that was good at crying - and they wouldn't allow me to stay overnight. Lame. But in retrospect it was such an awesome New York experience: from the taxi ride through traffic, to the crazy birth experience, to the shared recovery room and all that went along with all of that. Not sure Julie can look back at it and feel that way quite yet, but she says she will...eventually when she is caught up on sleep in 6 months. It was amazing to look out the windows there on the labor and delivery floor and from the rooms to see the cityscape of New York. Dean is a city boy. I think he will love the city as much as I do. We love this little guy so much and can't wait for you to meet him. Thanks for all your love, support, and prayers. And oh yeah - Julie is totally amazing. She is now mama to two amazing kids and she got them both here safe and sound through some pretty tough birth experiences. You rock Jules.
what’s in the name?
Dean Eyre (Grandpa Dean) was my dad’s dad. Dean passed away at age 39 after a battle with cancer when my dad was just 15. Even though I never met Grandpa Dean, I have always felt a closeness to him. He was an incredible man who did so many amazing things during his life here on earth (more on him in a later post). Any time my dad tells a story about Grandpa Dean, there is a spark in his eye and an overwhelming feeling of love and admiration. I know how much my dad looked up to him and I know Dean was loved by all those around him. Our baby Dean is lucky to be named after such an incredible man. I think Grandpa Dean and Grandma Ruthy are smiling down on him and will probably pull a few strings up in heaven to make sure our Dean is watched over and happy during his life.

Haslam is Julie’s maiden name. There are so many incredible people in Julie’s immediate and extended family that carry the Haslam name. We are so grateful for the Haslams and that Dean gets to be a part of their great family.

Good name right?

Here are a few more photos from the hospital, Zara meeting her baby brother for the first time, some of the great visitors that came to the hospital, and Zara welcoming baby Dean home. I have to say that one of my favorite moments as a father to this point was bringing Zara into the hospital room to meet Dean for the first time. She was SO excited and SO happy first to just look at him for a few seconds, and then to hold him in her lap. She seriously love that. You can see the look on her face in the photos below. I am so lucky to be the dad of these two.

I'll finish with this one below from when we first brought Dean home. Zara is really good at kisses. I like the look on Dean's face. Insert caption here :)

Sunday, May 11, 2014

This mom rules.

For the last 485 days or so - Julie has been a mother. Wow is she ever good at it. And wow does her little girl love her mama. I am not sure there is anything in the world that makes me more happy than seeing these two together, smiling and laughing - or when Julie gets right down there with Zara and teaches her. Julie is so patient, so full of love, and all smiles (mostly all :) ) when it comes to Zara. She is pleasantly persistent - for example, she kept trying to teach Zara sign language for please and thank you and a few other things. Zara wasn't picking up on it, and several times I said something along the lines of "Julie, you should just give it up - not sure she is going to pick this up" - but as Julie kept mimicking these signs to Zara, and then boom, all of the sudden she is the master of signing please and thank you. She is also the master of throwing her arms up and making the "where did it go?" face and gesture (see photo above - thanks to our friend for taking these great shots at the Brooklyn Botanical Gardens a few days ago). Pretty sure Julie taught her that one as well.

I am so lucky that Zara gets to have Julie as her mom. I am so grateful that Julie is someone that every child seems to love - she just has this uncanny ability to connect with kids. She has brought light and happiness to hundreds of kids in her unit at the hospital who are going through some very rough times, she has spent countless hours watching nieces and nephews who love her so, and now she dedicates herself to Zara and becoming the best mother that she can be. I am lucky.

Today I am also so grateful for the mothers in my life. Especially for my mom, and for Julie's mom. Those are two incredible ladies right there. Happy Mother's Day!

Monday, December 30, 2013

She is one!!!

Holy Cow! How is today Zara's first birthday?!?! Somehow it has been a year since that amazing night of Zara's feet first miracle birth. What a year it has been. Our first year as parents has been, well, I am not sure I can even describe it. It is like this thing that you can't fully understand until you are a parent and you have your newborn in your arms and she looks deep into your soul - or the first time she smiles at you - or the first time you hear her giggle - or the way she kicks her feet with excitement and smiles at you when she knows you are coming to get her in the morning or after a nap. Being able to experience all of those things for the first time this year has been so special for me and Julie. It has been a huge adjustment, and a crazy change in our lives, but oh so worth it in every way. Then you add in seeing Julie as a mom every day, and it just make me that much more happy.

We've had a fun few days around here in DC. Zara loved her first Christmas, well - she had no idea what was going on for the most part, but she really liked the wrapping paper. I know I am probably just saying this because I am her dad, but look how cute this little girl is!

She got this awesome little walker from her Grammie and Grandfather and she squeals every time she sees it. She is going to be walking really soon I think.

Today for her birthday we played at our house, took a few photos, ran some errands, and capped off the day with a little birthday party that some of our friends joined us for.

^^^We've been taking monthly photos of Zara on the couch here throughout the year. She used to just sit there or lay there and look. Not any more. She is a serious mover! The only way we could get her to stay in one place long enough to take a photo was to trap her behind all the pillows. Luckily, she thought it was kind of funny too (for a few seconds at least).

For dinner, we had Zara's favorite: Chipotle. I don't know what it is, but she will wolf down rice and beans and guac like there is no tomorrow. That face she is doing is her "I know what that is, and I want it!" face.

She loved the sandwich kiss.

She loved the candle. I wish I had a photo of her eyes squinting at it trying to figure out what it was.

Mama helped her blow out the candle, then it was off to the exploration. I was hoping for a messy cupcake, but Julie, being the good mom that she is, baked some awesome banana muffins.

She couldn't figure out what it was for a bit. She turned it upside down, starting tearing it up, then I gave her a taste and she went to town. Basically downed the whole thing. 

Happy Birthday Zara! Pretty crazy to think that one year ago, you looked like this:

...and a year from now, you'll be walking, talking, and doing all kinds of awesome stuff. Can't wait to see what year two beholds!

Sunday, November 03, 2013

We pick the apple

We went apple picking a few weeks ago with friends. It was awesome. It was a little bit dreary, but that didn't stop us. Zara was excited about it for two reasons: she got to suck on apples, and she got to hang out with some of her best buddies. Oh, and she got to try a little taste of an apple fritter.

We really have some awesome friends. They just love Zara. It makes me so happy to see their excitement each time they see her. She adores them all and loves a little break from the old ball and chain (me and Julie). ^^Julie seems a little annoyed by how much Zara likes them (not really, just a great facial expression on her part for some reason).

Zara loved sucking on the apples.

The lighting was as bad as it gets, but I love this photo ^^. You can see what a joy Zara is in the lives of everyone who gets to see her.

^^ I love the expressions that always result from jumping photos. Check out Zara's face. Hunter looks pretty cool too...like a jumping bunny rabbit.

And last but not least, our best family photo to date. Julie was on my shoulders trying to grab some apples when it hit me that Zara could complete the tower. She wasn't much help grabbing apples, but it made for an awesome photo.

We went home and made all things apples. Nothing like a nice crisp apple on a fall day. It's always sad to see summer go, but the fall in DC is about as good as it gets. 

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Eli's Newest Work Recruit

If Zara could, she would work with Eli all day.  Electronics and driving the car are all up her alley. Typing on his computer is definitely on her top 5 favorite things to do.  Also included on that list would be trying to climb on the toilet (I know- yuck), chewing on any cord in sight, making copies on the copy machine, and of course playing on/in/around the dishwasher.

After discovering this passion of her's, we brought out our old dead computer. We are sure glad we kept this thing around because now Eli and Zara can do their work together.

Although sometimes, she still deems it necessary to help a friend out.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

The Sky

So far this fall, we have been provided with some amazing sunsets in DC. This one was so awesome I had to run up to the roof to take some photos. The sky was on fire 360 degrees. I love the the fact that there were others up there on the roof taking a break from life and just enjoying the sunset and looking in awe at God's beauty.

The Washington Monument is under repairs (it cracked and had some issues resulting from the earth quake a couple of years ago), but I think it actually looks pretty cool with all the scaffolding.

^^^This is looking down toward Alexandria with the Masonic Temple on the left. Every color of red, pink, and orange was in the sky that night.

^^^Looking across at Arlington.

I hope the people in that airplane taking off from Reagan were looking out the windows. Pretty amazing stuff right? It's nice to be able to take a break from the hustle of life and feel God giving you a big hug when you look at something like this. 

We went apple picking yesterday and enjoyed the crisp fall air. Zara liked trying to climb the trees, but most of all she just liked sucking on apples and being with our friends who make her feel very well loved. Photos coming soon. 

Saturday, October 12, 2013

A rainy morning inside

In a effort to stay better in touch with family and friends, Eli has suggested that I take on some of the blogging in our lives.  And although writing has not been my strong points in the past, here it goes.  

Here is a quick sense of what is going in my life right now.  I work one 7p-7a or 3-11pm shift a week. It is perfect for two reasons.  I totally miss Zara while I am gone and I appreciate my more full time job as a mom so much more.  And secondly, it has been so great for Zara and Eli's relationship (since he is the one to watch her).  I think they really enjoy that alone time.  Our summer has included lots of swimming (on the pool on our roof), park, splash park and other adventures in the DC area.

This week have been a little slow.  Because of the federal government shutdown, most of the museums near us are closed.  And I am pretty sure Zara is teething again. (I call her teething-whine-zilla.  Just kidding.  But really she just isn't quite herself with these first two teeth).  And in the last two days, there has been nonstop rain.  I used to like the occasional rainy day to curl up with a robe and a good book.  However, that gets old pretty fast when you have a Zara who is 10x happier when outside.  However, we are making the best of it and forging out of the house no matter what.  Especially since it looks like constant rain for the next two days.  And who am I kidding, might as well get used to it since winter is coming on.  Since summer was fairly nice this year, I am hoping the trend continues and fall lasts until December... :)

Here are a few things I am loving about being this girl's mom right now. 

I love waking up to this tiny bit of bed head each morning.  

She is constantly on her knees and I can't get enough of this view.
Baby feet can make one so happy.

Even if she is in the other room, I can open the dishwasher and Zara is there in a second.

The reflection of light in those blue eyes.

She is pulling herself up and walking along, but sometimes she gets stuck
and can't figure out how to get down.  She will put her hand out and make
noise until someone comes to help her. 

And this is just one of the many faces I think is to die for.

Happy Saturday!