I am pretty new to the blogging world, so please excuse my lack of organization while I learn to create a reader-friendly, visually interesting website. . .  I haven't had an active website since I was in high school, and I had a (surprisingly, popularly read) "livejournal."  Remember those?  I have no idea how to do HTML (is that what it is still called?) and I beg you... if you are reading this and can offer technical assistance, please... spare us all!!  Help a girl out!    

I also deeply apologize for long, rambling rants.  I am sleep deprived.  I am hormonal and cranky.  I invented the super-long, amazing tangent of a sentence.  Please try to keep up. (wink.wink.)

This is the story of us.

This wee little blog was once just an easy way for me to keep family and friends informed about my first pregnancy.  Now, we are an international sensation!  (Pardon my delusions of grandeur...)  My idea for starting a blog was to post weekly updates about my blooming belly and to teach myself about pregnancy, dive into that roller coaster of emotions that go along with it, and to explore what it means to me to be adopted and pregnant.  I also wanted to publicly shame myself into holding myself accountable for staying in shape (BIG SMILE!) and to motivate myself to finish the amazing DIY projects I have in little piles around the house!  I also wanted to use this blog as a sounding board of baby-related ideas, information and suggestions.  I also intended to superficially avoid being "one of those" new moms by posting a zillion photos of my previous new born and thus overloaded my Facebook...  Instead, I planned on just have a blog with said "zillion photos."  

AND THEN!! I ended up rushing to the hospital in the middle of the night only to be admitted with pre-eclampsia and HELLP syndrome, at 27 weeks pregnant....

I don't think too many friends and family members read my blog until Valentina was born.  But I have had such amazing, positive feedback about keeping everyone updated through this little bloggaroonie, that I feel now (June 2012), that I should clean up the blog a bit, organize it better, make it a bit more presentable, and stop slapping together entries, and make it a point to write something... more coherent... because so many people I know and care about are actively reading about me, my life, and my precious little petunia, constantly sending us love and prayers.      

 *grow. baby. grow.* is no longer just me blabbering about heartburn during pregnancy and photos of my fat belly...  it is in the process of becoming a real blog - hopefully worth reading! -  filled with daily updates and darling photos, as baby Valentina grow-grow-grows, and hopefully very soon, outgrows the NICU & gets ready to head home.  

I vow to post more often.
I vow to trick out this little blog and to organize it and make it super beautiful and user-friendly.   
I vow to post lots of photos (now that I have an iphone, it is ON!)
I vow to post DIY tutorials for the projects I have waiting to be completed....

I vow to go back and finally write The Story Of Us, the magical, amazing story of how Victor and I first met.  (It's epic.  And I'm not just saying this 'cos its about me and my hubby... I swear!)

I guess I am avoiding what I am trying to say... 

This blog is now the documentation of how Vic and I struggled the last 6 weeks.  This blog is about how I was dying.  This blog is about the miraculous strength our baby has.  This blog is about how Valentina is growing bigger and stronger every day.  This blog is about my eternal gratitude, to my family and friends... and to the friends of friends and friends of family who know our story...  who pray daily, send me messages of love and best wishes, good karma, good vibes, blessings from the universe, who say the rosary, who light mass candles, who just think about us... I can't respond to everyone's emails, messages, comments... mostly because I keep bustin' out into big crocodile tears of overwhelming thanks...  this blog is for you.

And for Valentina Lee Castro. Baby, you were born 13 weeks early, but you astound yr Mama & Papa every day, with your strength, perseverance, and small-but-mighty personality.  Please continue to grow strong, smart and beautiful!  I am already convinced you were born early, just to give the other kids a fighting chance at keeping up with you.

Thank you for reading.  I promise to cry less, write more and post more photos.  :D

Oh, so much more to come.


one of valentina's first photos...  making a squishy face.... may 9th 2012
valentina lee... what a ham!  june 20th, 2012


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