Thursday, December 24, 2009

it really is a wonderful life...

I've been MIA...too busy enjoying my newborn daughter to blog! But I have to share this...

Merry Christmas, everyone!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Emma's Nursery

We have finally put the finishing touches on the baby's nursery, and I was able to take a few pictures tonight. The pictures are not great - dark and a little blurry - but I wanted to share anyway since I don't know when else I will get a chance to get better pictures. There are actually two details that we are missing:

1. The tree decal - we bought not one, but two, of these: neu tree decal (in gold). It was supposed to go on the wall behind the glider. The first one we bought ripped when we were trying to put it up. I sobbed hysterically and ordered a new one, which we received a few weeks later. Ultimately, we decided not to put it up. As much as the website advertises the decals as "removable" and "reusable," we had such a hard time putting the first one up that we could not fathom being able to remove it and relocate it in one piece. Since we are hoping and praying to buy a house in 2010, we chose to just save the 2nd decal so that when and if we move in the near future, we can put it in Emma's next bedroom.

2. Our birdie knobs - found on eBay and spray painted white. They came out adorable, and we were supposed to put them on her changer/dresser. However, we have tried three different screw sizes and none of them have worked - meaning that we need to customize some of the standard sized screws by sawing them down so that they will be the proper size and hold the knobs in place correctly. We haven't gotten around to that yet. The knobs that the dresser came with seriously bug me - they stick out like a sore thumb in her otherwise white-furnished room. I'm hoping we get the knobs figured out soon...

So without further ado, here are the pictures!

The closet with her name spelled out on top (hard to make out, I know):

Her first Ralph Lauren sweater :)

Handmade wall art from one of my best friends:

Her stuffed animals and polka dot nightlight:

View of the wall with her crib:

Detail of her birdie curtain rods:

Her crib:

Details from the beautiful bedding sewn by my mom :)


Bin full of shoes:

Framed baby shower invitation and piggy bank (her dad already threw in her first $5!):

More handmade wall art by my friend, and a keepsake box:

Her books & DVDs with her birdie bookends:

Beautiful handmade birdhouses:

Samantha doll:

Dresser/changing table:

Closeup of artwork over dresser:

Birdie lamp with pink polka dot shade:

Music box #1 - early Christmas present to Emma from Gaby & I:

Music box #2 - birthday gift from my parents...a jewelry box dedicated to Emma and I; plays "Thank Heaven For Little Girls" when you open it :)

Her glider with a personalized pillow (which Stella is blocking):


Emma's clothes (newborn and 0-3 month stuff):

Drawer full of bows, ribbons, socks, tights, and hats :)



Monday, November 30, 2009

my dogs

being all kinds of adorable:

For Once In My Life...

Oprah is currently playing an episode of live musical performances by famous artists of Christmas music. It made me think of my favorite live Oprah performance ever...Tony Bennett, Josh Groban, Carrie Underwood, and Michael Buble doing "For Once In My Life." Not a Christmas song, but it still makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside :)

Carrie sounds like an angel. I am not a country music fan, but if she were to do more jazzy stuff like this, I think I'd own every CD she ever put out. And Michael, despite looking bloated and somewhat sickly in this particular clip, still makes me swoon in all his Rat Pack-channeling glory.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Sunday, November 22, 2009

i can be a handful

And I feel guilty about that sometimes. Gaby puts up with a lot. I saw this Marilyn Monroe quote for the first time today and it was very affirming:

some recent favorites...

Just a few things from around the blogosphere that have inspired me in the last few weeks:

My dream home office desk. From My tiCKLed PiNk.

That dress + me = New Year's Eve 2010. Give me 13 months. From Coco+Kelley.

I need to stock up on pretty little accessories like this for when I'm too much of a mom to anything more with my hair than throw it into a messy bun. From A CUP OF JO.

Floral embroidered Mexican dresses like these might just become my Spring/Summer 2010 uniform. From Brown Button.

Caramel apple pie bars = deliciosity. From CakeSpy.

Ava's Rule

Sheye Rosemeyer, one of my favorite bloggers and one of the most talented photographers I've ever seen, tragically lost her daughter, Ava, a few years ago. She recently shared this postcard explaining "Ava's Rule" on her blog and asked for everyone to pass it along. Living in South Florida, where temperatures linger in the 80s and 90s on a regular basis, I can definitely appreciate the importance of being aware of this danger...

Friday, November 20, 2009

"Health to the Princess,

Wealth to the Princess
Long live the Princess Aurora!
Hail to the King,
Hail to the Queen,
Hail to the Princess Aurora!"

Disney's "The Sleeping Beauty" is one of my favorites, and when I was a little girl, I looooved the opening scene:

The song has been stuck in my head since yesterday. I still didn't have a coming-home outfit for Emma, and since we now know that she will be coming sooner rather than later (more on that in a second), my mother in law insisted on taking me yesterday to buy her outfit. The coming home outfit is a big tradition in our culture. I know a lot of people don't "get" it (including Gaby...when he saw the outfit, he couldn't get over how uncomfortable it looked), and think that it makes no sense to bring a baby home from the hospital in anything other than a comfy cotton sleeper. But I really like's something nice and special to commemorate a huge life milestone. Not to mention the fact that the outfit itself becomes an instant heirloom. Check out Emma's:

Fit for a princess, no?! I am half expecting for a procession of horses and knights in shining armor to greet us at the hospital entrance and follow us home, trailing behind the Volvo ;)

So, Emma is big. I had an ultrasound on Wednesday and they are estimating her at 7 lbs., 6 oz. Now, I know that those estimates can be off by a pound in either direction. But when you see her face, you'll see how chunky she looks. Gaby and I both weighed 9 lbs., 3 oz. at birth, so the fact that she could potentially be huge comes as no surprise. The tech kept saying that if I were to go to 40 weeks, she could easily weigh 9 lbs. The ob is concerned about her size. With my frame, they are not very optimistic about my ability to vaginally deliver such a big baby. So we're talking early induction. I go in on Tuesday, at which point I'll be 38 weeks and a few days, and at that point, if I've started to dilate, they'll consider induction either on Wednesday, the day before Thanksgiving, or Monday the 30th. So exciting! I was never a fan of the idea of early induction unless it's medically necessary, but my rationale behind that was wanting to avoid a c-section. From what the doctors are telling me, the longer I wait and the bigger she gets, the higher my risk gets for needing a section. So I'm just going to defer to my doctors, and if they tell me that I'm ready to go, I'll accept the induction.

I am so ready. I thought I'd feel anxious or apprehensive about her actually being born, but surprisingly, I'm not. I can't wait to hold her. We got some AMAZING 3D images of her face at the ultrasound, and I am utterly blown away by how gorgeous she is. It has just made me that much more excited to finally meet her. Check her out:

I am soooooooooo ready to nibble on those little cheeks and see those beautiful lips up close and personal.

Monday, November 16, 2009

The real home stretch...

Hi there! How ya been? I've been great, thanks for asking! Baby Emma is just three weeks away (!!!!!!!) and the months of September, October, and now almost November, seem to have whizzed by in a blur of work and nesting. I passed the bar (hell to the YES) and have since been busy keeping my wonderful employer happy by taking on as much work as I am physically able to before I give birth. He won't have the pleasure of my company again until after the 12 glorious weeks that I will spend with my baby girl, so I've really been trying hard to do everything I can for him considering my "condition."

Being this pregnant sucks. I really have had a wonderful Holy Grail of pregnancies compared to a lot of women I know, so I almost feel like I have no right to complain. The utter lack of morning sickness (except for the occasional nausea in the 1st trimester) alone should be enough to keep me from ever uttering a negative word about pregnancy being rough. But since complaining seems to be a right of passage amongst pregnant women, who am I to deny that to myself?! So here I go: I feel like a circus freak with how big my belly is. I KNOW I'M NOT THAT BIG compared to other people. I know I'm lucky enough to be almost "all belly." I know there are many, many women who grow much bigger and rounder and wider than I am today. But...I feel like a circus freak. Me. In my own skin...not comfy. There's so much belly. I don't waddle, and I don't have that "carrying a bowling ball with my Keigel muscles" feeling yet, but comfortable I am NOT. It's hard to get around and do simple things. Tying shoelace sneakers is a problem. I forgot what it was like to be able to put on pants while standing up. Bending over to pick something up off the ground, or standing up after I've been stupid enough to sit on the floor, is rough. And Gaby has to physically push me from behind so that I can get out of bed or out of a deep sofa.

I am tired...a lot. Physically tired and sleepy tired. The sleepy tired isn't quite as bad as it was in the 1st tri where I couldn't keep my eyes open if I hadn't had a nap in the last 4 or 5 hours, but I still feel exhausted all the time. And physically, my body just can't handle a lot of activity. Walking the mall for more than 45 minutes is enough to put me out of commission for the rest of the day.

Besides the physical discomfort and the tiredness, BACK PAIN and HEART BURN are my nemeses. My upper back seriously feels like it's going to snap in half (due in part, I'm sure, to the 34Gs I'm hauling around in my bra), and my lower back is just constantly sore. I'm a chiropractor's wet dream. The heart burn is ridiculous at this point, but honestly, nothing new. It's something I suffered from even pre-pregnancy...pregnancy just took me from the welterweight to the heavyweight division.

I am ready to have my body back. I realize that's kind of ironic considering how adamant I am about wanting to breastfeed, preferably for a year if I can. I know that doing so will make a huge physical demand on me, and that my body will never really be mine again until I wean her. But demanding as I know breast feeding can be, the thought of being un-pregnant is thrilling right now. I can't wait to have my center of gravity back. I can't wait to be able to see my toes again...hell, I can't wait to see my freaking crotch again. I haven't been able to look down and see whether I'm due for a bikini wax in several months. Thank God for mirrors and Gaby to keep me in check, thus avoiding the "Georgina" of the Jungle effect.

I have SO much I want to share and I really hope I find the time and energy to do so in the next few weeks before her birth. We have all our fabulous baby gear ready to go, and her nursery, which has been a work in progress for several months, is finally almost done, down to the last little detail. She has an AMAZING wardrobe that I can't wait to put her in. I had a FABULOUS baby shower and FABULOUS maternity pictures taken, which I will be sharing as soon as my FABULOUS photographer gets me my proofs. Our family and friends have been beyond generous in helping us prepare for Emma's arrival, and I just feel so blessed...blessed to have this life and everyone in it, and blessed to be lucky enough to have this little girl on her way, ready to make me a mommy.

I went in for my 36 week appointment last week and although I haven't started dilating, my cervix is soft, low, and short, and Emma is in perfect position, with her head way down low pushing on said cervix. I go in this Wednesday for a growth ultrasound to check her size and my amniotic fluid levels, and then straight to the ob's office for another internal check (internals are done every week in the final month). I'm hoping for a little bit of dilation, even though I know it means nothing. Some women don't dilate at all until the last minute and then manage to go from 0 to 10 in 24 hours or less, whereas other women dilate centimeter by centimeter in the weeks leading up to birth only to stall out when real labor kicks in. But still...even knowing that, hearing that you are actually progressing is a good feeling :)

I'm not going to keep apologizing for my lack of posting or promise that I will be posting more often, because honestly, how many times have I done that and not followed through? So like I said...I have a lot to share and I really hope to do so in the next few weeks. I hope that those of you who follow will keep checking in with me from time to time and not write me off completely (if you haven't done so already!).

Some pictures to leave you with:

Emma Alexis at 27 weeks gestation - being shy and burying her face into me and covering it with her fist

Emmie-boo's closed right eye and her nose, with her fist covering her chin

Me at 21 weeks & 5 days pregnant

Me at 35 weeks & 5 days pregnant...on my 26th birthday!

Saturday, September 5, 2009

oh, hi.

Goodbye, Summer of 2009. It's now September. How the HELL did that happen?!

Remember me? The person who apparently forgot she had a blog? Well, I'm back! I fell out of blogging (both posting and following) in the few weeks leading up to the bar, and after the bar, I just mentally disconnected from the blogging world all together. It's been just in the last week or so that I've made a conscious effort to start catching up with some of my favorites on Google Reader, and I'm happy to say that I am fully in love with the blogosphere again. Instead of looking at my "unread" count (which has been "1000+" for as long as I can remember) and cringing, I'm actually looking forward to new posts again. So now that the inspiration is back, I figure it's a perfect time to get back in the habit of posting.

So what's been going on with me? The bar is over, praise the Lord, except it's not really over because it will be another sixteen days until the results come out, and until I know once and for all whether I passed or not, it's still something that's hanging over my head. I hate to possibly jinx myself, but I think I passed. The test was hard, very hard, but it's about what I expected, and I have yet to talk to a fellow test taker who thought it was easy - a good sign since it's graded on a curve. It's entirely possible that I failed, but I really think I did enough to squeeze by. We'll see...please keep your fingers crossed for me. The notion of possibly having to take it again (while MOTHERING AN INFANT) is a nightmare way too horrid to even contemplate.

This pregnancy is in full swing. I just have to LAUGH when I look at the last thing I posted here, that pathetic excuse for a belly pic. Oh how naive I was, thinking that I was "showing." I've got a big, round, full-blown belly now. And - how ironic is this? - I have NOT been keeping up with weekly belly pictures. That's right...after religiously photographing myself every Wednesday for the first trimester and a half or so, when I had nothing to show for it, I completely abandoned the practice when I actually had changes going on that would have been super cool to capture on film. I have pictures that have been taken at various family events and with friends, but no honest-to-goodness, pose in front of the mirror, belly pic self photography. It's just something that fell by the wayside in the last manic weeks preparing for the bar, and I haven't picked it back up again. I also haven't written in my pregnancy journal since week 17 (BEFORE WE KNEW SHE WAS A GIRL! holy crap...). I'm a bad mom.

Where I've slacked in pregnancy documentation, I've more than made up for in mentally nesting. Emma Alexis's nursery is an obsession of mine. The topic deserves an entire post of it's own (which will be of epic proportion in length). As it stands, at six and a half months into the pregnancy, we have yet to purchase a single piece of furniture or any kind of decor for the room. Right now it's just an empty room that we painted light yellow...not as pale a shade of yellow as I wanted, and not as bold of a yellow as Gaby wanted. So it's a compromise. But I am happy with the results. It's cheery yet subtle. Between that, and our brand new Elfa closets (thanks, Mom!) in both the nursery and our bedroom, it's been just enough to make me feel like we've gotten a start on things, but not enough to make me feel like we've even started to make a dent in all that we need to do.

I am in a major holding pattern right now, anxious to see some progress, but also terrified to commit to anything. I've been dreaming of my first child's nursery for as long as I can remember, and I can't believe how little time I have left to actually make these decisions and start putting it all together. I have these grand visions in my mind and I'm really scared that I won't be able to live up to my own expectations for what I want her room to look like. But the clock is ticking, decisions must be made, and things must be definitely expect several posts on the topic in the coming weeks.

What else? Baby shower is coming up, October 17th, and my feelings on it are very similar to my feelings on the nursery...I know I need to get on the ball and start planning it but I am in this weird place where I keep telling myself that I have plenty of time before I need to make any real decisions when in reality I have not a lot of time at all.

My little Emma seems to be perfectly healthy so far, thank God, and she's a real fireball. I can't believe that just 2 months ago, I couldn't even feel her and she wasn't even big enough to make my stomach stick out. Now I feel her rolling around and jabbing me CONSTANTLY, and she's making me look like I'm smuggling a basketball under my shirt. We have an ultrasound this coming Wednesday, our first since the big ultrasound we had on July 7th, and I can't wait to see my little girl again. Gaby is doing great, just as much in nesting mode as I am, and desperately impatient to meet his little girl. My puppies (who I just realized I have barely posted enough about on this blog considering what a huge part of my life they are), are gorgeous and adorable as always...I can't believe Shula will be 3 in October and Stella will be 2 in November. They're still very young, but getting older every day, and yet they somehow haven't stopped being my "pups." I don't think I'll EVER see them as adult dogs.

My work situation is going really well so far...knock on wood. I am currently working part time and from home (a fabulous combination, I must say) and my boss and I will reassess the situation on September 21st when I get my bar results. There's a slight chance that I will start to go into the office full time, but more likely than not I will remain on a modified schedule, working 20-30 hours a week, primarily from home, until Emma is born. Not only because of my pregnancy and the toll it would take both mentally and physically to start a demanding full time job in the 3rd trimester, but also because of issues we are currently having with office space. My boss is looking to relocate, and until he does, there isn't really room in our current office for me to be there full time. The new office will likely be up and running early in 2010, meaning that my boss will be more than ready to welcome me as a full time associate in March, approximately 12 weeks after Emma's birth, which is the length of time I've decided to take off to be with her. The thought both terrifies me and excites me. I've been looking into daycares in the last month and I have so much to say on the whole topic of what we'll do with her when I go back to work that it's definitely going to need it's own post.

So there you have it. That's what I've been up to and what's on my mind. I don't think I have any readers that I'm not already close to because either a) you are my friend or b) you are a fellow poster on a message board I frequent. So chances are that most people reading this didn't really need that long, drawn-out update :) But it still made me feel better to share, and I think it's a great way to get the ball rolling again. Please feel free to call me out if I slack on the blogging again...I really want to stay current.