The i Files

Up late, strolling through memory lane via my iPhone photos.  Looking back on the journey since returning to California – it’s been pretty on the NICE side.

Juicing with Mom. ❤


Chillaxin at the pool, eating farm fresh cherries.


Progress! Me at almost 7 months….this fella is gettin big!


The coolest chick under 3 feet (my niece). We kick it hard – me her and her teddy bear.


Bowling with the fam. Several people got whopped by a pregnant chick that night.


My sister tuned 30! She’s amazing!!


The garden at William Land Park…oddly named “The Rock Garden”. Meh.


“Hold my hat and necklace.” He said before taking off into a field of grass to do back flips.



A Mommy-to-Be Intro

Daddy and I. (photo credit: Anthony Ratcliff)

Kept seeing this intro thing go around on Tumblr and decided to fill mine out.  It kind of reminds me of those surveys that used to go around on Myspace…  It’s always fun to answer questions about yourself, right?

Well it is to me.  :p


Name: Ashley
Age: 28
Birth Date: May 17
Birth Place: Oakland, California
Height: 5’5″

How did you find out you were pregnant?: I kept peeing on myself a little.  My sister practically forced me to take a pregnancy test.
What kind of pregnancy test did you take?: My sister got one for me, I think it was EPT
How many?: One was quite enough
What were your first symptoms?: I think sore boobs.  It felt like they had mutated and turned against me.
Who did you tell first?: My sister, aside from the person who was in the room with me when I took the test.
Who was with you when you found out?: My husband Saalik.  I dragged him into the bathroom at 6 AM.
Was baby planned?: Yes indeedy
When was baby conceived?: Mid-December in Brooklyn, NY.
How far were you when you found out?: About 4 weeks

Due date: So far it’s September 7th (these things change)
Do you know the sex?:  Yep
If so, boy or girl?:  Boy!
Any names?: We have a name, but won’t be announcing it publicly.
Any ultrasounds?: I’ve had 4 or 5
Have you heard the heartbeat?: Yep – amazing each time.  Very strong.
Baby ethnicity?: Black on black.  😉
Who do you think baby will look like?: My husband and I both have such strong facial features.  I have NO IDEA.
Will baby have any siblings?: He has a very eager half brother.  That is all for a while.
Have you and dad felt baby move?: Every single day.  The highlight of our life at the moment.
Did you have morning sickness?: Oh boy did I!!  I had it on the subway in New York – even worse.
Did you have any cravings?: Lemonade, ice cold water, apples, ice cream, root beer, VERY spicy food and strangest of all….hot links.  I’m a vegetarian.
Did you have any mood swings?: Yes, but not terrible.  My husband may say different.
Are you a high risk pregnancy?:  Not at all.  A healthy lady of ideal child bearing age with a normal pre-pregnancy weight.
Any complications?: Two UTI’s and a small issue with drinking enough water in the beginning.  Its REALLY hard to down water when you’re nauseous.
Formula or breastfeeding?: Breastfeeding to the best of my abilities
Have you bought anything for baby yet?: Half a dozen or so outfits (couldn’t help it), a blanket and some shoes and booties.  Also received some gifts from friends and family.  But the baby shower isn’t for another few weeks.
When did you start to show?: Surprisingly early – around 10 or 11 weeks.  
How long could you wear your regular clothes?: For quite a while.  I don’t think I transitioned until around 15 weeks.  I just wore a lot of loose and stretchy clothes.
Are you excited?: <<< Probably the dumbest question I’ve ever heard.  Of course.
Who will help with baby after their born?: My mom plans on taking most of September off, and my sister will be around as well.  Daddy will be working but is willing to take the night shift.
What is your favorite thing about being pregnant?: All of it.  The kicks, the movements, the glow, the belly.  I love every minute of it.
What is the worst thing about being pregnant?: Nothing I can’t handle.  But there’s difficulty sleeping, muscle pain, Braxton Hicks contractions, skin stretching and itching, food aversions, less energy and of course…the waiting.  
What one thing do you miss doing since being pregnant?:  I miss having more comfortable sex.  Also wine and cheeba.  But nothing I can’t live without for a while.  
Any days you wish you weren’t pregnant?: Nope.  Not even the day I had to get off the subway to throw up, or the day I passed out on the 4 train.
Are you ready for baby?: I am ready for today.  Tomorrow I’ll be ready for tomorrow.
How many kids do you want?: I want as many as I can afford and handle and raise according to the lifestyle that I believe in. (aka – ONE most likely)
Do you talk to your baby?: Yes.  Always when I’m in the car alone.  I sing to him at night sometimes and I always apologize to him when I get upset at stuff.  I feel guilty because I know my mood affects him.
Do you like kids?: I love children – the idea of them and their innocence.  I tend to only LIKE children of close friends and close family.  I find that kids are a product of their parents and therefore can be awesome or quite the opposite.
How far along are you now?: 26 weeks and 5 days

Ups & Downs

Very few people in my life have ever surprised me.  Not that that’s always a bad thing – my mom is unarguably reliable and my sister will always laugh at my jokes.  I guess my dating years (and there were MANY) taught me that most guys are hardly ever going to amaze you once the so called “dye is cast”.

Welp….I guess I married a gem.

Looking up and realizing that I married a man who will always strive with me to be better people today than yesterday confirms that I made a pretty smart decision that fateful day last September.  No one is perfect.  But only the rare and beautiful accept that…and try anyway.



When once my little one would spend the majority of the day asleep deep inside of me – he now wiggles and jiggles most of the time.  I’ve gotten hip to his game though.  He’s trying to make Mommy look insane.  I sit in stillness and feel and see him kicking and moving around.  Like a VERY pleasant bug that somehow ended up in my guts and now has made it his home.  I decide to share, remove my hands and ask my mom or sister to have a feel.  They place their hands on my belly and wait patiently (for some reason when people do this it looks like their straining to hear a bird outside of the window).  And then…..NOTHING.  As if my guy is in there with his ears perked waiting for the moment of proof to pass – wide eyed, lips pursed and hands frozen in mid-fluid.  He thinks, “Those aren’t my Mom’s hands….I’m not moving.”  When he hears the hands remove themselves in defeat he then returns to his circus play, moving around and reveling in our little secret.  Meanwhile I look like a crazy person who just like her tummy to be touched.

I’ll get him back for this one day…

A Bit Flea Bitten

My cousin recently gifted me with a 50 mm lens for my Canon (EF 50mm f/1.8 II ) and I’ve been trying it out all over town.  Recently my sister and mom and I met up with one of my good friends Alannah to browse around the flea market.  Alannah was a little camera-shy, but my family is full of hams – so it wasn’t hard finding subjects to help play around with the new camera dud.

My sister Brittany has an infectious smile.

My mother “gracefully” attempting to fulfill a bet in which she remains on a skateboard for an entire minute. 

Thanks to some guys selling used boards – we had our challenge.

Despite failure – she posed victoriously.

My mother an I basking in the shade of her $5 “sumbrella” (rain or shine brella, if you will).

The produce market was alive and colorful.

Food bet:  the chili, cheese, churro chip with curly fry sprinkles.  She noshed in success.

…And Many More…

In honor of my 28th birthday I thought I’d share some of my favorite lessons learned this past year…











..and my favorite…

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