Thursday, December 6, 2012

Jack Alexander, Here's To You

I just have to take a moment to say how much I love my little boy. He's my best friend, my favorite snuggle buddy, the ultimate dance partner, the most handsome date, and all around, without a doubt, the most amazing human being I've ever met. I truly can't imagine there being anything else in life for me as meaningful as being his mother. I feel absolutely blessed beyond measure and hope one day he will know just how much I love him. And even when he's all grown up and no longer needs his mommy, I will love him just as much as I did the day I first got to hold his perfect little body in my arms.

Sometimes, I'm afraid that he doesn't know how much I love him. And I know he doesn't because he doesn't really understand love. But I just wish that I could let him know that when I say "Mommy loves you", I mean "Mommy's heart beats for you"; I mean "You are everything that's good in me"; I mean "There is no other living thing on this earth that is more precious to me than you." I wish he could understand that when Mommy says no, it is BECAUSE I love him unconditionally. Sometimes, when I look at him, I honestly feel like my heart is going to burst. How could I have been so blessed? How did God see fit to honor me with such an amazing life, that I get to care for this little boy?

There are times during the day when I think about being in court, in a dispute about whether or not I should be able to have my baby always, and I just want to sob: just lay my head down and cry until I can't cry anymore. Would the tears stop? The idea of any amount of time, 2 hours, 12 hours, a day, a week, where I'm FORCED to hand over my child is unbearable. We've been inseparable for almost two years, why should we have to start now? I'm thankful that God is my cornerstone, the shoulder for my weary head, the Savior of my weary heart. How I could get through this without His love and grace is unimaginable.

Whatever happens, he will always be my baby and I will always be his mommy. It's true what people say, having a child is like having your heart run around outside your body. It can be scary, but I will never experience a greater, more intense love than this. Jack Alexander, you are my treasure and I love you from the very tips of your curly, blond hair to the soles of your soft, ticklish feet.

Holding Jack (with assistance) right after my surgery.

Getting to really hold him for the first time, unassisted. 
My precious baby, brand new


Wednesday, November 21, 2012

The Day Approaches!

We've been in the holiday season for a while now (according to my calculations <2+2=4>, it starts right after Halloween) and tomorrow is the first big day. Presumably, everyone will sit down with loved ones to eat Thanksgiving dinner (which is an utterly inappropriate term since my "dinner" always starts somewhere around one. Let's be honest with each other, that's lunch time) and, after a long day of cooking (or food-ordering), enter into a time of genuine merriment and face-stuffing. The gorging will be followed by reclined chairs filled with people in unbuttoned pants succumbing to a tryptophan induced coma. Eventually, everyone will regain their liveliness and the festivities continue with dessert and more turkey munching. If you're like my family, you just graze for the rest of the day, lounge around, maybe watch some movies, and just spend some good time together. At some point we may clean up (or... we may not). 

What's the point of all this? Why do we eat until bursting to celebrate being Thankful? I honestly don't have any profound reason for this. Perhaps it's because we're enjoying the spoils of our hard work: hard work to make the money to buy ingredients and food, hard work to cook such a big dinner, hard work to be around family all day without mutiny, the hard work you'll be expected to do once you go back to work/school/SAHM/whatever you're expected to do daily... We're thankful for the people that provide the funds, the one who provide the delicious meal, the ones who provide sanity when you're about to stab a fork into your drunk uncle's hand (just to clarify, this does not apply to my uncle), and the ones who perform all the tasks that we have no desire to do.  Or maybe because we just like to eat. I think it's probably the latter. I mean, c'mon,  we're Americans (although, I am eating with a German couple and British couple tomorrow. My mom likes to invite anyone and everyone for Thanksgiving, something that I've always really loved about her). Whatever the reason for our feeding frenzy, we're thankful and tomorrow is the official day to express that thanks. 

All in all, go see your family. Love them. Hug them. Talk to them. Tell them you're thankful for them. And enjoy the turkey.


Here's your science word of the week (I know it WAS science word of the day, but since it's been a week since that day, we're just gonna adjust accordingly):

Trophic Cascade: an ecological phenomenon triggered by the addition or removal of top predators and involving reciprocal changes in the relative populations of predator and prey through a food chain, which often results in the dramatic changes in ecosystem and structure of nutrient cycling (Encyclopedia Britannica).

Basically, if you have an animal (A1) that eats an animal (A2) that eats a plant, then the more A1 eats A2, the less A2 in the ecosystem, so the less the plant is being eaten, which will increase the plant population. There can also be a bottom-up effect where the abundance of the plant can inhibit or aid in population growth of A1 and A2! I don't know about you, but I think this is really cool.


This is going to be the last topic of the day: Jack and I had our family pictures done the other day. This is something I've been wanting to do for a while and I'm glad to say they turned out beautifully (not that I expected any differently). So I'm going to do some shameless plugging: If you need any family photos done, my friend Julie Brock does absolutely amazing work. She did Jack's one-year old pictures and I didn't even look at other photographers when it came time for our family pictures. She is fun and will go to all sorts of lengths to make your child smile for the camera. She can do shoots in her in-home studio or an on-site shoot. Her prices are reasonable , her photos are beautiful, and she runs LOTS of specials. She is currently running a Black Friday special that can be found on her Facebook page ( I highly suggest her to EVERYONE. She is also thinking about doing wedding photography, so keep her in mind for that, too. And now, you can check out our family pictures :) Have a happy Thanksgiving everyone!

Wednesday, November 14, 2012


With a title like "Rebirth", one would expect this to be deep and empowering, insightful and thought provoking, even inspiring.

I don't think I'm going to go in that direction today. I've already changed a poopy diaper and said "nummy nummy" so my depth at this time is preeeeetty shallow. We're talking kiddie pool shallow. 

I'd like this blog to be kind a living being, transitioning every day (or week... or month... depends on how often I can sit down and write) into something different. Fluid. That's the right word. I want to get suggestions for topics from you guys: what do you want me to write about? Here are some suggestions for your suggestions (it's like incepgestions... is that joke overplayed? I guess I don't really care).

1. Products I like for certain things (perhaps baby needs)
2. Politics ( I HATE to put this on here, but I'm just trying to give you an idea of what I'm looking for and how broad this spectrum is)
3. Animal behavior (wink wink)
4. Sex
5. Jokes
6. Insights
7. Advice on any topic
8. My life (assuming that's interesting to you)
9. My research (once again, assuming that's interesting to you)
10. Insert YOUR suggestion here!

Just be creative so I can be creative. Email me (, text me, or shoot me your ideas on Facebook. Let's have fun with this!

Okay, so onto my own topic: Jack. Since this blog originally started as a tribute to my little then-embryo, I figure he's a good "first" topic.

Let's dive right in. I picked up more of Jack's artwork today from school. That kid is an artistic genius. I'm telling you... he put eyes on his ghost and they are lopsided. Lopsided! How does he get these ideas? Such insight and passion. I'm not sure if everyone saw "Farm Scene", but it was truly an inspiration! He's probably the most influential artist of his age. I'd start investing in that kid now, if I were you. Make all checks payable to Alex Conte.

But no, really. I was told by his teachers at school that I should be proud of Jack because (and I quote), "he eats his crayons less often than the other babies." I am one lucky Mama! Imagine that I gave birth to such a creature. Also, when he's done with his sippy cup during meals, he puts it back in the cup holder of his tray. I'm pretty sure that constitutes some kind of awesome-baby prize.  (Of course I'm poking fun, but for those skeptics out there, I really am enormously proud of my kid). 

Oh, you want me to tell you more reasons I think my kid rocks? Okay! 

1. He gives high fives
2. He picks of the phone and says "Hi"
3. He likes it when I hang him upside down
4. He'd rather eat fruits and vegetables than pretty much anything else (except for chocolate... a man after my own heart)
5. He thinks I'm the bee's knees
6. He loves to give hugs to his puppies
7. He loves to give hugs to everyone!
8. Has anyone seen him run? Only the cutest thing ever. 
9. He turns the pages of his books at story time
10. He is the most well adjusted baby I've ever met (seriously)

Okay, I guess I'll stop at ten. 

I guess the information I'm trying to relay here is that my child is amazing. He is intelligent, loving, curious, adorable, and a bucket full of other great things.

I think a fun thing to do with this blog is a science word of the day (or week... or month... whatever). We'll start today out with an easy one:

Apoptosis: a genetically determined process of cell self-destruction that is marked by the fragmentation of nuclear DNA, is activated either by the presence of a stimulus or by the removal of a stimulus or suppressing agent, is a normal physiological process eliminating DNA-damaged, superfluous, or unwanted cells (as immune cells targeted against the self in the development of self-tolerance or larval cells in amphibians undergoing metamorphosis), and when halted (as by genetic mutation) may result in uncontrolled cell growth and tumor formation—called also programmed cell death (Merriam-Webster Medical Dictionary)

Layman's terms? When a cell knows that it doesn't have the right stuff to work or is harmful and just self destructs! 

Now, I'll leave you with this song.

Why this song? I don't know. Maybe because I love Marisa Tomei and Rober Downey Jr. Or just because I love Robert Downey Jr.... Yum. 



Thursday, June 2, 2011

A Million Years

... That's how long I feel like it's been since I've updated this poor, neglected blog. I thought an update was WAY passed due.

The last thing everyone read about was how my little bundle of joy has an extra appendage, creating the conclusion that Goy is a boy. Goy has in fact been Jack for almost 2 months now. Incredible how time flies, really. Just wish it would fly a little faster because I am SO over Organic Chemistry and Genetics. I can't wait to go home and spend a full month doing NOTHING. My mom says she's not going to let me do nothing, but we'll see what happens.

As of yesterday, I hit 26 weeks pregnant. According to BabyGaga, THIS is the last week of my second trimester. According to BabyCenter, NEXT weeks (week 27) is the end of my second trimester. I'm more inclined to trust BabyCenter. Seems more... professional. Either way, I'm on the home stretch of my second trimester, ready to enter into the third and FINAL installment of my pregnancy! This one goes by the slowest, so I've heard. But, thankfully, with school keeping me busy, everything seems to go by pretty quickly. Don't think this will change just because the Time Fairy knows I'm entering my third trimester.

I'm not sure if I expressed on here the worry we (my family and I) were going through thinking about summer from a financial point of view. Summer financial aid is not typically given with awards and grants few and far between. With summer classes at about $1,500 and campus housing around $2,500, no financial aid was going to be a HUGE deal. But my mom said, "Don't worry about it. We will find a way to pay for everything. God will provide." And He certainly did.

Housing Miracle: I had recently reconnected with an old friend from Orlando when I found out she was at UF. We hadn't spent much time together when she asked me what my housing situation was for the summer. After telling her my arrangements, she asked me if I would like to use her apartment (about a ten minute walk from classes) for the summer for the cost of utilities and only utilities. I said hell yeah, pretty much.

Financial Aid Miracle: When I expressed my distress to Courtney, she told me that I still could apply for summer financial aid. So I checked the box that said, "Apply for Summer Financial Aid" and waited for a result. I got grants. Lots of grants. Over $2000 of grants. Go figure. Now I have enough to pay for my housing and my tuition all from grants. God's pretty cool, right?

Onto news about the baby.

My pregnancy has stayed very easy and simple with no complications. Jack is super healthy, a little on the big side (I knew BD [baby daddy] was going to have been a whale baby, making our baby a whale baby since I TOO was a whale baby), and already super fun :) I think he's doing some kind of dance in my womb, maybe it's the salsa, maybe it's the mamba. I can't decide. I know it's something zippy. I love going to my Doctor's appointments and getting to hear his incredible heart beat. I also know he's going to come out and Organic Chemistry and Genetics genius since it's what he gets to hear about ALL summer.

Today I had my first big scare. Well, it really started while I was sleeping. I woke up at around 3:30 am in horrible pain. It felt like what I would imagine to be a contraction. It didn't subside and then come back like they are supposed to; it was strong and steady for about 2 minutes until I finally decided to get out of bed. It stopped immediately. I didn't really think anything of it because I know that Braxton Hicks contractions are really common. However, I was informed the next day (today) that Braxton Hicks contractions aren't supposed to hurt. Then I got thinking about the fact that I hadn't felt Jack move for a while. I started paying close attention to my tummy while in class and afterwards, and still there was nothing. Normally he is practicing his dance routine while I'm in class (it's his only form of entertainment when I'm busy and can't talk to him, poke him, or prod him). I started to freak out and decided it was time to call the doctor. They transfered me over the Labor and Delivery in the hospital. The nurse I spoke with told me that I should come in to get monitored. So I found a ride to the hospital and got all hooked up to the monitor when the little trickster started moving around. Go figure. Turns out he is just as healthy now as he was before, and my "contraction" was probably caused by his body putting serious pressure on some nerves in my abdomen. Needless to say, I'm extremely relieved. I guess Jack just wanted some attention since all I've been doing lately is studying. "Mom... mom.... MOM! Okay, that's it... it's time to scare her into paying attention to me." Something like that, I would imagine.

In other news, my due date was changed to September 7th when I had my ultrasound. I was very happy about that because it gave me a a LITTLE more leeway with my summer classes-pregnancy debacle. My baby shower is still set for the 14th of August, and my registries are still at Babies'R'Us and Target listed under Alex Conte. There are a FEW things on an amazon registry, but mostly stuff that is on the other two, but at a lower price. OH! I bought Jack's crib :) Most of it was a gift (I was given a $100 check for the baby, the crib was on super sale for $150). I'm very excited about it. It's beautiful and a 4-in-1, so it should last Jack his entire life!

Just imagine it with blue bedding :) It's going to be spectacular. I'm super bummed that I have to wait so long to set it up ("we", mostly meaning my parents when I'm not visiting, are still living in the one bedroom duplex in the Island while our actual house is being rented out). But once August gets here, it's going up! I can't wait to get Jack's room put together. 

In other news, my family is starting to get excited about Jack's arrival. My mom is EXTREMELY excited. Whenever I meet someone new, she says, "This is my daughter, Alex; and this (pointing to my stomach) is my grandson, Jack!" It's really cute. My dad is also starting to get really psyched and he is very happy that there will be a guy to carry on the Conte name. My grandparents are definitely USED to the idea and they seem ready to meet the little guy. Overall, everyone is ready for him to get here! 

Well, I have to return to the droll life of studying. I hope I've talked about all the important stuff. Sorry it had been so long since I'd written! I'll try not to let it be so long until the next update :) Ciao! 

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Could I Be More Excited?

I absolutely cannot wait for it to be at LEAST August 5th (marking the end of the summer semester when I finally get to go home for five months). I will sufficiently giant by then, with all of the horrible companions of pregnancy. My friends will include back pain, extra swollen feet, constipation, heartburn, acid reflux, shortness of breath, hot flashes, moodiness, exhaustion, and plenty more, I'm sure.

The big news is that I've set my baby shower date. It is August 14th :) I'm registered at Babies"R"Us and Target! Both of them are listed under Alex Conte. So exciting! I'm so impatient to meet little Jack. I can only imagine how handsome he is going to be.

New development? I've become completely freaked out thinking about child birth. I can tell that when I realize I'm going into labor, I'm going to cry just THINKING about the events that are in my pathway. Of course, Jack as the end result  will make everything totally worth it, but I wish he would just diffuse out of my body.

Other big news? My best friend (you know, the one I've known since she was born only a few, short months after me?) is having her second child. She is due two weeks after me. We've always dreamt about having babies at the same time and now it is actually happening! I'm super happy about that :) If she is having a girl, we are going to have her marry Jack. Prearranged marriages still happen all the time! ... Don't look at me like that. Of course I'm joking, but it would be lovely if they fell in love and got married. But, that is way down the road.

I must go now and watch "Modern Family" with Courtney. I love this show! Au revoir!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

It's A....

BOY! If you didn't guess by the change of the blog name :) I'm so thrilled. Now that I know he's a boy, I think, deep down, I WANTED a boy.

It was incredible to see my baby up on the screen. It was surreal. I had to keep reminding myself that that was MY baby, that image up there was coming from INSIDE of me. It was the single most incredible thing I've ever seen. My mom was with me and my roommate, Courtney. The ultrasound tech checked all of his organs and we saw his little heart beating :) It was so cool. Jack's doing just fine, all snuggled up in there. I'm a week behind what I thought, so on Wednesday I'll be 19 weeks, instead of being 20 weeks today. My due date is now September 7th. I'm glad that it's a week later than I thought because that's not pushing it QUITE so close to the end of my summer classes. However, I am sad that it's not so close to my daddy's birthday. I was hoping Jack would have the same birthday. But, oh well!

So, here he is, little baby Jack!
I can't believe that precious thing is in my belly! I love him so much already. I can't wait to meet him.
Well, I need to get back to homework! Ciao! 

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Goy's Debut

Today is the last full day that this blog will be titled "Goy's Debut". At 1:30pm tomorrow, I have my very first ultrasound! After that, this will be either "Stella's Debut" or "Jack's Debut". How exciting :)

On Friday, I had a routine prenatal check up and I got a recording of the heartbeat. Those of you who are friends with me on Facebook have already heart it. But, for the rest of you, here it is!

Well, I will post tomorrow after the ultrasound. Today is the last day to vote on the sex, so, if you haven't done it, now is the time!