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Sunday, September 25, 2011

Atlanta Baby Shower

I'm very behind on recapping our Atlanta Baby Shower...it was such a nice get together with all our friends here. Our good friends Mary, Bree and Lauren hosted at Mary and Jason's house on August 6.

There was a great spread of food. And the little candy boxes for favors were adorable. The glasses they stood on were lit from the inside.

 

There was also some baby food on another counter for people to try and guess what flavors they were. There weren't many people willing to participate haha, but of those who did, no one got all of them right.

Ryan snuck away while we were opening gifts to get his taste predictions in.
We all just hung out and chatted which was great because we had been very busy lately and hadn't seen everyone in a long while. Vicky, Philip's sister, came with our 3 nephews as well.

Philip with 2 of our nephews, Nate (left) and Troy.
While hanging out in the living room, there were blank white bibs and paint set out for people to create their own designs. We definitely do not have a shortage of bibs now! Some of the designs were super clever and cute.

Jason made the one on the left - Landon is their baby's name who is due 3 months after Ella. Allison, my friend from work made the one on the right.
Lauren made this bib - she's an accountant haha.
Also in the living room, there was a calendar made by Mary for everyone to guess Ella's birthday, whether it will be the AM or PM when she's born and how much she will weigh in pounds and ounces.


After a while, we got to opening presents. We were blown away by everyone's generosity...and their good taste in clothing!


Jen, who unfortunately couldn't make the shower, gave me her gift bag a couple days before at lunch to open with everyone - it was stock full of embroidered, monogrammed clothing: these bloomers, 3 sack dresses, a bib and a burp cloth. Plus, she got us a couple more pieces of clothing and the book "Go the F to Sleep" which I had been wanting - it's hilarious! 
Philip wanted hand puppets badly - he's very happy.
After presents, it was onto the beautiful cake! It was a delicious Publix cake, but Bree made the "Ella Pearl" sign - she's so talented - it really made it unique.



After all the official festivities were over, we relaxed and hung out with a few of our closest friends. We even had story time with our new book "Go the F to Sleep" with Philip and I taking turns reading aloud. It was a great laugh and great end to the shower. We're so fortunate to have so many friends who are just as excited for Ella's arrival as we are.

Philip, me and Mary - the hostess

Friday, September 16, 2011

38.5 Weeks

I've been making weekly doctor visits for the past month. The past two weeks I've been 1cm dilated. This week I'm 1.5cm, almost 2cm and Ella is properly positioning herself to come soon.

My due date is now back to September 25th. My doctor has "no idea" where she would have gotten the 29th from. This makes me feel as though she is extremely flaky, making these due date mistakes, telling us one thing and then another and then back again. There was no reassessment due to my physical condition. This simply was a mistake/miscommunication. I just can't figure out HOW that happens...she's so put together and professional otherwise. While an exact date is not a big deal because of course it's not an exact science, it does affect the decision of timing on the off chance we need to induce because she is not coming on her own.

My doctor seems very confident I will naturally go into labor and says I'm tracking well for my due date. We do need to be prepared, though, just in case, so Philip and I need to decide what the deadline is for waiting and the date we'd go to the hospital so I can be induced. While my doctor recommends only going a week past my due date, she seems flexible to allow for longer than that. October 9th is exactly 2 weeks past my due date and as far as any doctor would let me go. We haven't discussed the date yet and I feel we may end up with a compromise...not 2 weeks, but maybe a little over a week as I want to give Ella the time to come naturally.

I write this blog post at 4:30 in the morning, due to waking up at 3am for my nightly bathroom break. I'm always parched and drink some water before climbing back into bed and lightly falling back to sleep. But this time there was no water at my bedside and after going downstairs, dealing with a calf muscle cramp as I woke up and making sure the dogs were as quiet as possible, I'm awake after an hour of trying to sleep again.

Now at the end of my pregnancy, these types of occurrences are less and less rare. I wake up once in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom. I don't sleep well in the morning - it's light, dreaming, erratic sleep that does not leave me well-rested. Along with sleeping issues, my mobility is definitely limited - I think pretty hard whether I want to sit and slouch down on the couch because it's not the easiest task getting back up. I stopped wearing heels permanently mid-August; my feet were getting just too swollen by mid-day and who wants to see that anyway in a cute pair of heels? My Nike flip-flops with great cushioning have become my new favorite shoes and are definitely showing the wear of that. An itchy stomach (who knew that was a symptom?!), shortness of breath from lungs being crushed and a very achy neck, shoulders and back are a few of the other wonderful parts of being almost 9 months pregnant.

My entire pregnancy has been pretty smooth sailing, though. I suppose if I didn't have any discomfort, at least at the end, that would be very weird. My only worry is that when I finally can wear all my fabulous heels again and dress in my regular clothes, where am I going to go? The grocery store?

Monday, September 5, 2011

Stranger Love

I am 36.5 weeks pregnant. We officially have less than a month to go before Ella's due date. My belly is.....big.

It's funny walking around my office building, my client's office building and being out-and-about on the weekends running errands. I've never received so much attention from strangers before in my life - forget low cut tops in college, all you need is a big pregnant belly and all eyes are on you - men and women! It's like they can't help it. They don't try to hide it either - they deliberately look at my large stomach. It's as if they feel it's ok because it's not a permanent state that I am in like being morbidly obese or having a deformity - it's a special, temporary state, so, suddenly it's ok to stare.

People automatically smile at you when they notice your huge stomach, whether they're simply passing you while walking and see you coming for a while or if they suddenly look up in the store and you're near them - instant smile flash. I've wondered what exactly about my appearance makes this reaction so instantaneous, so genuine. I don't think it will be the same once we're actually carrying the baby in the outside world. It's as if there's this quick moment of reality that sets in of the grand sense of life..."That woman is going through months of carrying a small, new human inside of her body. She's procreating. She's what makes our race, the human race, keep going." That's how deep I feel these strangers' enthusiastic and penetrating reactions are to seeing me at this state in my pregnancy - it's constant. They really shouldn't because it inflates my ego. I am very, very important - I am carrying LIFE.

Not only do I receive countless, non-conversational smiles, but people feel compelled to talk to me about my pregnancy. Usually they simply ask when I'm due and/or what I'm having, a boy or a girl. Everyone is so curious and so interested in me. While I'm used to seeing myself everyday, I suppose I have to remember that the majority of the population does not see over 8 month pregnant women all the time. Most of the time women engage me - ones who appear older, who have all most definitely have had kids before themselves (trust me, you can tell by the knowing look they give you), but some men have engaged me as well. I feel very popular, like I have something great that other people don't have right now - but it's different than the stereotypical high school sense of popular. These people aren't jealous of me. It's popular in a nice, good way. People like me, even if for just the quick moment of communication we have. I believe they feel connected to me in some way - they're comfortable. I've gotten a random hug and belly rub from two separate strangers. I want to tell them "Why are you touching me?? I don't know you!" but they are just overly kind and I don't think they're thinking. You wouldn't normally go up to a stranger and hug them or touch their stomach, would you? No.

So I have many more encounters than in my pre and mid-pregnancy life with people I will never talk to or see again about this all-important impending event in Philip's and my life. It's as if I'm sharing this little piece of me over-and-over, telling the same information to different people. "I'm due end of September."; "I'm having a girl."; "Yes, I'm beginning to be ready for it to be over."

Should these people not be strangers or rather, should they be in my head, more meaningful and truthful conversation would entail...

"You know, I don't think about being pregnant every waking second of my life. I do feel like myself - it's still MY body. Sure I constantly recognize all the annoyances, but that's just my reality right now. I am simply someone who struggles to bend down towards the end of the day when I have less energy. I am someone who has to strategically think of the best way to take off my jeans and get into my very high bed at night. I am someone who struggles to shave my legs and thus, do it less often. My stomach is a source of inconvenience in my life right now. I know that, but I don't dwell on it. It just is. I don't know anything different right now. Will I be excited to lay on my stomach while sleeping and for massages again? Most definitely. Do I look forward to being able to breathe normally? Move normally? Look normal? Not have swollen feet? Yes, yes, yes and yes. But I have to wait...just like every other pregnant woman there ever was in the history of the earth. And I am ok with that."

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Orlando Baby Shower

My girlfriend Lauren and my mom threw a baby shower for us in Orlando on July 30.

It was our last trip to Orlando to visit my parents because they sold their house and were in the process of packing up to move here in Atlanta. Thankfully, it was perfect timing so we could still have the baby shower with furniture still in the house!

The house was wonderfully decorated...

   

My parents provided all the clothes that were used as decorations. My girlfriend Jess made the elephant diaper cake - it was so impressive! My mom put together two diaper basket centerpieces where all the food was laid out and made the cute watermelon carriage.

There was a book that all the guests signed with their best baby advice and after some eating, drinking and mingling, we all settled in the living room for Philip and I to read it aloud.




Everyone had such great and really funny things to say. It was so fun to read the excerpts out loud - we thought it could potentially be awkward, but it turned out great and everyone seemed to enjoy it. It really brought the room together and we have such a great keepsake for us and Ella.

We then opened the gifts and got some really cute things...


Philip was especially excited about these flower shoes.

We hung out a bit after all the presents were opened (some highlights: handmade sweater, beanie and blanket from my Grandma, hand-stiched and crocheted burp cloth, socks and washcloths from a family friend, a bouncer and tons of cute clothes and baby basics) and then ate red velvet cake.



We loved hanging out with all our Florida friends - it was fantastic getting everyone together to celebrate such a fun time in our lives.

Cara, Alex, Lauren, Philip, Kiana, Jess, Becca, John

We especially miss my best girlfriends a ton - they're all super special and we wish they lived near us.



My brother, Daniel, drove down from Tallahassee for one night (3.5 hours each way!) to be at the shower also - it was the first time (and probably only time) he got to see me pregnant. His initial reaction to seeing my enlarged stomach: "Whoa, you weren't kidding."


We ended the shower late and our closest friends left even later. We had a wonderful time just talking and catching up. The next time we see them all will hopefully be soon in Atlanta to meet Ella for the first time!

Thursday, August 4, 2011

September 29, 2011

At our last doctor's appointment, Ella's due date was mentioned by the doctor. Curiously, an unknown date was given to us: September 29th. When she said that date, I corrected her, "September 25th."

She gave me a confused look and grabbed my file as I added, "September 29th is my birthday."

While obviously confirming her thoughts, she told me, "I wouldn't have even known that's your birthday," indicating that information was not included in the file she has. Again, she said, "September 29th."

I looked to Philip. He's been in EVERY SINGLE appointment I've had. I'm not crazy, right? We've been going with September 25th as the due date for the ENTIRE pregnancy - he had heard that date as well in the very first appointment.

Instead of getting in a back-and-forth match with the doctor over something trivial like a 4 day difference, Philip smoothed over the conversation and transitioned back to whatever the due date was brought up for in the first place.

So, now Ella's due date is my birthday. I've even made it official by changing it on the side of this blog. Of course we know this date is likely not going to be her birth date as I'm not planning a cesarean, so she will come whenever she is ready (hopefully on her OWN day!)

Either way, since Philip's birthday is September 30, she will be arriving some time around those days and I don't think anyone will ever be able to get us better birthday gifts for the rest of our lives!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Our Beacon of Light: Baby Bargains

Furniture, cribs, changers, diapers, pak n plays, clothes, bottles, car seats, bumpers, gliders, breast pumps, pacifiers and carriers. The list goes on and on. Kiana and I were recommended a great book called Baby Bargains by our neighbor who had just had her second child a few months prior. We were out on one of our weekend shopping adventures when I told Kiana that we should stop at the book store and pick up a copy. We found it in Barnes and Noble and purchased it, along with a nice baby book for Ella. For the record, it's not a small book.



In short order, Kiana destroyed this thick beast of a consumer product baby bible. I was completely in awe. (Reading frightens me, let alone reading about millions of baby products) Kiana was reading reviews and digging for the best values like she was on a quest for the grail. This book actually became our most valuable resource, a beacon of light navigating us through the mystic black hole of baby products. And believe me, the closer you get to this black hole the larger it gets.

I'm confident that we have purchased the safest, most sensible for the money, products money can buy. All thanks to this book. I recommend all rookie parents pick it up prior to starting the product purchasing journey for your newborn. It was great peace of mind for us.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

27 & 28 Weeks

Written at 27 weeks and 4 days, a little over 12 weeks to go...

While all the pregnancy websites will tell you that your baby has by now fallen into a routine of sleep and being awake, I don't think Ella is trying to follow any rules.

She is completely random - sometimes she will be extremely active in the morning or the evening and sometimes I'll barely feel her except for a few pokes sporadically through the day. My coworker's wife told me that the motion of walking around lulls the baby to sleep, so when you finally rest (in bed, on the couch, sitting still for a while), she wakes and starts moving around. It made sense to me and I feel like that is the only semblance of a routine she has!

Today, I'm at 28 weeks and 4 days, a little over 11 weeks to go...

We went to the pool with my sister-in-law, Vicky and her 3 sons: Nate, 6, Troy, 3 and Achilles, 1 this past Sunday at the start of my 28th week. While swimming, jumping and swirling in the pool with Troy he told me numerous times that I was fat. He knows I'm pregnant and that his baby cousin is in my belly, but he thought it was funny to just call me fat. Unusually, I really do think he understands the difference, especially since his own mom has been pregnant around him before. He was on my hip in the pool and after some swirling around and simple conversation he said with a giggle, "And why are these so big?" pointing to my boob closest to him. This made it official that EVERYONE has noticed how large I've gotten. So I told him it's because they have milk for the baby and that seemed to be a satisfactory (almost true) answer.

We're also making progress on Ella's nursery. We've gotten the crib and glider (and the glider was 50% off, woohoo!) The dresser came in with the crib, but there was a gash in it so we had to reorder. It should be in this weekend and that should be it for the furniture except possibly a thin bookcase.


Not much to show yet, but we've gotten all the decorations, including curtains and are just waiting to paint first before putting everything up. We just narrowed down our paint options on Sunday and although I thought we'd go neutral, I think we'll end up with a soothing green color. It matches well with the decor and looks great against the dark wood.

We're making little updates to the guest bathroom as well which will technically be hers now. It's black and white and we'll be painting the walls gray - pictures to come of the hardware improvements.

Even though it still feels like we have so long to go, there's still a lot to do! (I suppose I'll probably feel that way until we're driving to the hospital to deliver.)

Friday, June 24, 2011

Classical Tunes

At 25 weeks they say babies have fully functioning auditory systems (aka they can hear). I was sitting in bed listening to my ipad when I read this. Kiana said that Ella was kicking (she always kicks around 11pm) so I decided to put this to the test. I dialed up some classical tunes and let Ella listen to some Beethoven and Mozart.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Worry #1: Will I be a Great Father?

I met Kiana a week after my 26th birthday, ironically it was also a week after HER birthday too. I thought it was crazy she was born on September 29th and me on the 30th. Actually, if I had come out an hour sooner we would have the exact same birthday. For years we've shared the birthday spotlight (for the record, Kiana doesn't like sharing the birthday spotlight), so imagine the shock of finding out Ella is due on September 25th! Amazing luck...an all September family, hopefully...

I always thought I would be a father earlier than at 30. I grew up in a big, multi-generational family. Upstairs lived my Mom, Dad, sister and myself. Downstairs lived my Grandma (Nana) and Great Grandma (Nannie). Breakfasts were big. Dinners were big. Holidays were huge. It was all family, all the time. No matter how hard I try, I can't remember a single negative memory all up until leaving for college. Not one bit of anger, resentment or disappointment. Just love, support, accomplishment and celebration. I think about my Dad growing up and I can't remember a single time being disappointed by him. I feel like I have tough shoes to fill. (For the record he wore size 15's)

Even though I WANTED to be a father earlier than 30, I know that I wasn't prepared to be the father I would have wanted to be, needed to be, had I become one earlier than now. I had a great dad and realize that being a great dad can't be easy. Knowing the things I worry about as the man of my house, as a husband, I can only imagine the things my dad must have worried about caring for the large family I was raised in while being a lifelong entrepreneur. This process can be very stressful. If men aren't talking about it, they are sure thinking about it. I believe all of us men must go through this mental stage upon finding out we are going to have a child.

At 25, 26 and 27 I was still figuring out what kind of man I was going to be. At 28, 29 and even still today, I'm trying to make sure I understand what kind of husband I want to be. I think I have it figured out, but I'm still making mistakes. I've spent most of 30 trying to figure out what kind of father I want to be, can be, will be. My time has come and I know I'm ready to step up and be a great dad. You see, I would have had to devote many of the aforementioned years to being a father-in-training, man-in-training and husband-in-training all at once had Ella decided to join us a few years ago. I think too few men understand the substantial responsibility they are going to inherit by bringing a child into the world.

Being a father is a great responsibility. I know that now. I have to be the protector and provider of another human life. It's not a "let's just wing it" process. Kiana has made me realize this more and and more everyday. She has instilled patience and preparation into my world. Given me awareness. None of which existed in my previous ready, fire, aim life prior to her. She has equipped me with a wide angle lens. Because of her I will be a better father to Ella. I always thought I would be a father earlier than at 30, but I'm sure glad it's happening now.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

A Look Back: Finding Out

As I look down at my stomach and realize that my belly button is almost completely flat now, it's hard to believe that I was once pregnant and still at my normal size and weight!

I am not usually one of those people who have great intuition about things, but all through January, I had a strong inkling that I would be missing my period that month. As the time drew near and a few days had past from its due date, I figured it was time to take a pregnancy test.

In the grocery store across from our house, I remember looking at my options...most will tell you if you're pregnant or not with lines and then a couple of brands offer the digital readout: "pregnant" or "not pregnant" (as Philip mentioned in the previous post). While there's much joking about how it's difficult to read the tests on tv and in the movies, I figured you really had to be an idiot if you couldn't tell by the lines. They were quite a few dollars cheaper, so I bought the non-digital test.

It's strange how when you do have a feeling of intuition, of already knowing something or what an outcome will be, how calm you feel. I felt secure in knowing that I would see a cross on the test (indicating I was pregnant), because I felt like I already knew anyway.

As Philip and his sister, Vicky, who was living with us at the time, made dinner in the kitchen downstairs, I slipped past them with my grocery bag and headed upstairs to the bathroom.

While the test's instructions tell you it can take a few minutes for it to produce the results, my pants were barely zipped back up when I saw the two lines intersecting. The horizontal intersecting line (the vertical is used as the control) was extremely faint, though. As I read the instructions thoroughly again, scanning for any mention of the light or darkness of the line, I knew in that moment that this is why women opt for the digital tests! I was officially one of the idiots.

Luckily, the instructions mention that the faintness of the line does not matter and I felt very confident the test was accurate, especially since I wasn't taking it for early detection.

I calmly waited through dinner and the rest of the evening to tell Philip. I had no idea what to say!

As I got into our bed for the night, I said, "I have something to show you. I don't really know how to do this, so, here," and handed him the test from behind my back.

Since Philip and I have talked about having children many times and even talked about the timing of having them, I knew he would be very excited and he was. I don't think he really knew how to react, though. He just smiled really big and he face turned a little red, but didn't even move to hug me! I told him that was probably the appropriate thing to do, so eventually he did.

Incredulity swept over - we were both so aware, yet so in disbelief that this little plastic thing was telling us our lives were about to change. I mentioned that the test was a 2-pack and he urged I take the 2nd test in the morning just to make sure. 


I was not surprised to see the same result in the morning. Plus sign = pregnant.

Philip, still in a state of happy shock, researched online and found out about the digital tests. I think he was intrigued at the fact that the stick would actually read the word "pregnant" on it. While running errands the following day, he insisted we buy one. I told him it would be a waste of money (they're not cheap!), but for some reason, seeing the word was apparently going to make him 100% believe it.

I took the test when we got home, my 3rd in 3 days. "Pregnant."

"Do you believe it now?!" I said, holding out the test for him to see. And so then it was true.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

A Father is Born

Hello to all the future fathers out there! This is my first post on EllaPearl.com. I will be writing every so often to bring you a male view of the journey through pregnancy and my road to becoming a father.

My wife, who will henceforth be known to the blogger/pregger/future mommy/daddy-sphere as Kiana, was secretly writing (for a week) about our pregnancy. How dare her, I know. Hold on, did I just say "our" pregnancy? Our pregnancy? I can say that right? It sounds weird because I'm not the one with the baby growing inside me, but it's true. As I've quickly learned over the last few months pregnancy is most definitely a WE thing, not a me and then you thing. Guys, take note.

My first impressions, as a typical male, on what it would be like to go through this process went wildly different than I first imagined. There are so many important decisions to make that require both husband and wife. When we were planning our wedding I could get away with leaving Kiana to pick out the table clothes, decor and photographer and not get put in the penalty box for my lack of involvement. I could make it up in other areas, like picking out the music or choosing the fine adult beverages we were going to offer our guests. You know, manly man stuff.

With a pregnancy you have to stay involved and stay supportive. There is no where to hide and no room to delegate. Thankfully I'm too excited to even think about anything else besides getting the chance to hold my daughter in my arms for the first time. We're pregnant. Ella is on her way. I couldn't be more happy about becoming a father.

I remember when Kiana told me she was pregnant. She comes out showing me this little plastic thingamabobber and says "look". It was a confusing blue line that indicated we were pregnant, I think. So I told her to do it again. Not because I wasn't excited, but because we were both confused. Trust and verify :) So the next day the confusing blue line showed up indicating we were pregnant, again. I was very excited, but in a I'm not sure if I'm buying what you're selling kind of way. Determined to get some real medical confirmation we head off to Target to get one of the tests that says, literally says, on the stick "pregnant" if you are pregnant. If this little stick, one I picked out for its obvious medical supremacy over the confusing blue line one, was going to tell me that we were pregnant then I was going to be sold.

A while later I was outside working around the house and out comes Kiana smiling. She hands me the stick and guess what? There it was in plain English spelled out for the simplest of simpletons, PREGNANT! Joy, love, happiness and excitement all wrapped into one giant feeling. I'm going to be a father. And so the journey begins.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

25 Weeks

I'm in the middle of week 25, on day 4.

I've been telling Philip to put his hands on my stomach and wait to feel Ella kick. He loses patience after about 90 seconds and she kicks right when he leaves. Of course.

Last night, he put his ear to my belly (even though he knows he won't hear anything yet!), said "Hello? Are you in there?" and she kicked. Hard. And he felt it...with his ear. So the first time Philip felt his daughter in his wife's belly was with his ear and not his hands. Classic.

He looked at me and said "That was hard!" before putting his ear back (still, instead of his hands - I guess stick with what you know). He felt her kick a few more times - it was around 10:30 p.m. and she's always awake and pretty active around 11 p.m. so it was perfect timing for him to feel.

Although Philip has seemed more excited to hear Ella with our prenatal listening set (which hasn't happened yet since she's still a little too small), he seemed pretty happy to feel her moving.

Some pregnancy notes:
  • Ella seems to have somewhat of a routine - she's always up, as I mentioned, around 11 p.m. I'm trying to figure out any other patterns throughout the day, but they seem random at this point.
  • She also doesn't seem to like it if I squish her while leaning forward and sitting. She starts punching/kicking so that I'll sit back, sometimes at a backwards incline and then calms down immediately. You'd figure she's not big enough to care yet!
  • My feet get swollen on and off - there's no rhyme or reason to it. I just dread the day they don't get un-swollen again which I'm sure is possible.
  • At 24 weeks the doctor measured the size of my stomach for the first time: 23 cm.
Here is Miss. Ella Pearl at our first doctor visit at 8 weeks:

We made copies of the print out the doctor gave us, taped them inside cards and told our good friends at a dinner at our house that we were pregnant.








And here she is at 18 weeks when we went in just for a gender ultrasound to find out if she was a little girl or boy:

In the left two photos, you can see her hand up at her forehead in a 'damsel in distress' position.

She grew so much in 10 weeks!

Monday, June 13, 2011

24 Weeks

It's been over a year since I last blogged. That post was a recap of my and Philip's 1st year anniversary. Now we've been married for a little over 2 years and are pregnant with our first child.

I'm 24 weeks pregnant, on day 6.

Our girl, Ella, weighed in at 1.3 lbs. at 22 weeks. These days she's roughly the size of a papaya. I've been feeling light kicks for about 5 or 6 weeks, but just this week those kicks (or punches?) have been getting a bit stronger. This gives me slight fear to how strong those kicks may be in the next coming months...

While I was not sick or nauseous during my 1st trimester, I was fatigued. Now, thankfully, my energy is back to normal and I'm experiencing the traditionally more easy-going 2nd trimester.

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I wrote the above a couple days ago before getting the blog completely set up. Today is actually 25 weeks, day 2.

I will write a separate 25 weeks post, but am glad I've gotten this blog up and running. You'll likely see some creative changes as I settle in and (to be truthful and set expectations) inconsistent posts. As I was pulled into the blog world during my wedding, I felt it was all-consuming. I've felt much freer and less attached to the computer (especially since I'm on one all day for work as well) in the last year, so I'd like to keep this blog fun and casual and truly for personal purposes.

Please come back and read up, though, as I chronicle this first pregnancy - I will also consider keeping it up after Ella is born...only time will tell...

Welcome!