First Baby Of 2000 Showered With Gifts

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Marlee Jude, Payson's first baby born in the year 2000, is Tina and C.J. Bigsby's first daughter.

The couple have two other children, Trey, 4, and Mateo, 21 months.


Marlee Jude, who weighed in at 8 pounds, 2 ounces, was born at 1:34 p.m. New Year's Day. She was delivered at Payson Regional Medical Center by Dr. David Cluff, with nurse Bhavna Patel assisting.


Marlee's parents expected her to arrive three weeks earlier, but because she was late and Payson's first baby of the new year, her parents will take home a number of gifts from local merchants and businesses.


They'll receive a $175 gift certificate for Wal-Mart from Phil White Ford, a $35 Safeway gift certificate from First American Title, an electronic pocket data bank from Ace Hardware, a one-night getaway for two in a luxury room with a spa and fireplace from Majestic Mountain Inn, a CPR class for two people from the Payson Fire Department, a $50 gift certificate for house cleaning from The Cheaper Sweeper, a $200 savings bond from Chapman Auto Center, a $250 savings bond from Payson Concrete, a $25 gift certificate from the Black Bear Restaurant, another $15 gift certificate for the Black Bear from the Family Birthing Center and a $500 savings bond from Payson Regional Medical Center.


"We just wanted to take a baby home," C.J. said. "Now we have all this other stuff. We had planned to go to the Majestic Mountain Inn for our anniversary -- this is really neat."


His wife, Tina, 25, works for the school district and teaches swimming at Taylor Pool. A Payson native, Tina was valedictorian of her class at Payson High School in 1993. Marlee Jude and her two brothers have one set of grandparents living in Payson, Joe and Debbie Mendoza

Tina said she had expected the baby to be born Dec. 11, her birthday.


"We wanted it on her birthday, and then Christmas," C.J. said. "We had no idea we were going to go this far."


C.J. is 26 and a clerk in the smoke shop at the Tonto Apache Market. His mother lives in Wisconsin and his father lives in Georgia. Although Payson is home away from home for him, C.J. said he appreciates his adopted community.


"We both want to thank everyone who donated for this occasion," he said. "Everybody in this town is extremely generous."

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