Tag Archives: Elliott!

Resolving in 2014

17 Jan

This is my 4th year to resolve on the blog. I know I’m a little late this year, but I think that my tardiness makes these goals even more genuine. Stay with me here. Ok, I care enough about these goals that I will still try to keep them even though they aren’t necessarily starting on Jan 1. Anyone ever use that excuse not to keep/start a resolution? Show of hands? Just me? Whatever.

So on with the show! I have real clients to write for:) But I totally love you for reading!

1. Find a Work-Life-Baby-Husband-Friend Balance

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Milestone Alert: Look mom, I’m grasping. Totally exciting, no?

Major life upheavals sometimes come in cute little packages. With my sweet little upheaval, I’ve already quit my office job and gotten a work-from-home gig. Whew. That’s not to mention my full-time role of baby entertainer/protector/feeder AND my keep-the-house clean goals. Are you tired from reading all that? ME TOO!  All this “look how busy I am” listing (sorry!) brings me to my first resolution: find balance. And being me, I have a multi-step plan to face this one head on.

Learn to say no: That’s right. I love my friends, and I want to make an effort to still go to Bunko and girls nights and small group and Wednesday night church as often as possible. But if, every once in a while, I’m overwhelmed with baby, work, house etc, I need to be ok with missing a few gatherings here and there. I think this attitude will help me deal with the sting of regret when I really do need to be at home with my family instead of out.

Learn to deal with deadlines: I’m a stickler for deadlines. I never miss them. But they keep me in a constant state of tension. I need to remind myself that I WILL get the work done, and letting deadlines nag at my much-needed down time is against the rules. Don’t be weirded out, but I’m about to write a little message to myself. Alexis: deadlines are the nature of your work, embrace it!!

Build in Down Time: I love working from home. I can workout at 10:00, eat a non-PB&J lunch and hang out with other moms during the day. But there is a downside: there are no official hours. So the tendency is to work in some form or fashion around the clock. As I am adjusting to this new job, I need to build in a “no work zone.” Like a couple hours just hanging out with Ike when he gets home and times during the day for baby boy and I to play. Because in the end, me working from home is all about spending time with my boys.

2. Record the Moments

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Overalls for baby dedication? Why not.

I give credit to my friend Amber for this one. She told me about this app called Memento where she records just a little something her sweet baby boy does everyday. I’m trying to do this with Elliott. Even after 2 months, I’m struggling to remember when he did certain things. This is my electronic version of a baby book!

3. Dinner with Friends

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Trying to make tummy time less horrific, one mirror at a time.

This ties in with my first resolution. With a new baby, it is sometimes easier to have people over than be out and about in the evenings. Baby boy’s bedtime is around 8-9, and I still don’t like to mess with the nighttime schedule too much. I want sleep people! So sue me if I’d rather be home by 8-ish 99% of the time. So, if E’s schedule means I sometimes won’t be able to just jump and the car and do stuff, I have a plan for this too:

Have friends over for dinner on a regular basis. Not sure what my “assignment” will be yet, but I at least want to host a monthly dinner party of some sort.

4. Get Dressed

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He loves bath time?

Another one that ties into the first, sensing a trend here? My new coworkers and my long-distance editors don’t care what I wear. And somedays it is really indulgent to just stay in the yoga pants zone. But I really feel more focused and more like myself if I do get dressed, fix my hair and wear a touch of makeup, even if nothing is on the agenda. So yeah, at least 4 out of 5 days, I command that I GET DRESSED.

The Usual Suspects

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Super-cute, yes. But in all fairness, he started screaming moments after this photo was taken.

And here’s the perpetual spot for my lifetime goals, but they bear repeating:

1. Daily time with God: right now I’m doing a New Testament/Psalms reading plan. It is low-key but just what I need. I would, however like to spend a little more time meditating on what I’m reading. So yeah, I need to find a way to do that.

2. Workout regularly: Right now I’m on operation wear my pre-pregnancy-pants-again. To aid me on my journey, I’m doing Jillian Michaels’ 90-Day Revolution. I’m about to get to the point I had to stop b/c I was going to have you-know-who. So that’ exciting! Another something exciting? I wore my less-skinny skinny jeans this week! They were tight, but they zipped. VICTORY!

3. Keep up with the blog: Guys, this was seriously like a therapy session just now. Sorry about that. But I do enjoy writing for me and you. So I’ll stick with my once a week goal.

That’s it!! Gotta GO. Deadlines to keep! Until next week!

Elliott’s B-Day

13 Dec

I’m back! Will you excuse my month-long absence? I was busy birthing (gross verb, yes) a human. If you’re not into “birth stories” I welcome you to read some of your favorite posts from times past (hard to choose your fave, right??) or just come back next time when I do the actual 1 month report on Elliott Edward (spoiler alert: he’s pretty cute).

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Exhibit A: Adorable from hour #1. See? Not lying about the cuteness.

For those of you marching onward, I promise to keep words like placenta, tearing and after birth to a minimum. Sorry, that was just cruel. Zero gruesome details, I promise. And, no, there is NOT a video.

So rewind to the rainy morning of Monday, November 4th. If you recall, I was pretty bummed/nervous about Elliott’s lack of dropping and the dr’s concern about his size. After celebrating Ike’s b-day the day before (by making Pioneer Woman chicken fried steak and mashed potatoes, no less), I honestly expected a business-as-usual pregnant day.

Meeting cousin Jack and Pete!

Meeting cousin Moriah and Pete!

That was not Elliott’s plan.

I was greeted with (TMI alert) “bloody show” first thing in the morning. If you don’t know what that is, look it up or maintain your ignorance and move on. Just take the word of this pregnancy (Google) expert, it means baby is coming…at least within the next few days.

Even with that sign, Ike and I still took Buster on our ritual pre-appointment walk around the neighborhood, and I proceeded to get ready for work. That’s about when I started to feel contractions, or at least what I thought were contractions.

Uncle Jay!

Uncle Jay!

When you’ve never had a baby, things are really confusing. You don’t want to be the person who goes to Labor & Delivery with indigestion issues or an active imagination. So even though my contractions were about 4-7 minutes apart on the way to work, I was still in a “this isn’t going down today” mode.

We made it all the way to the Dillard’s parking lot before deciding that maybe we should stick around home until our appointment later that morning. This is the best decision I’ve ever made, because about 10 minutes after we got home, my water broke.

Confession time: I wish I could have  been cool as my friend Amber who finished her Cracker Barrel French toast after her water broke,  but I, instead, started bawling (hysterically). Case in point: Ike thought I was laughing until he saw my face.

Boy cousins!

Boy cousins!

I think it was my last bit of “labor totally freaks me out” fear oozing out. Plus, everything seemed to be happening so fast, becoming so real. Worrier that I am, I had prepared myself to wait until November 16th and a possible C-section. So a week-early baby was throwing me for a loop.

After stuffing some extra gear in my and Elliott’s bags, we went straight to the hospital. Of course we forgot the little guy’s bag, but (Santa) Pete came to the rescue and brought it later that day.

Fresh baby.

Fresh baby.

Other than that, we really lucked out on our timing:

A) I saw my dr. in the hall, she was on call all day!

B) We nabbed the last available room.

Then we entered the part usually not in movies…the waiting.

Aunt Katie!

Aunt Katie!

After I got the DRUGS (yes, I immediately decided I was over contractions), Ike and I settled in for a day-long TLC marathon: What Not to Wear, Say Yes to the Dress and The Duggers kept us company as Elliott made his slow descent into the world.

With my spinal fusion, I was able to get an epidural, but it took longer to work and I had a “hot spot” on my right side where I could still feel the worst part of each contraction. I’m not complaining, though, it was nice to take the edge off.

Ike was very supportive, even when I made him skip bathroom breaks and lunch to hold my hand during the worst parts. He even tried to only text concerned friends and family when I wasn’t looking so he’d always seem engaged and supportive (or maybe he was scared I’d rip the phone out of his hands?). Either way, he was great.

Aunt Tyler:)

Aunt Tyler:)

We kept it just Ike, me, the lovely anesthesiologist and super sweet nurse in the room. But I really appreciate Ike’s family waiting patiently in the waiting room and my mom and sister for dutifully jumping in the car and heading to LR from Houston.

By a little after lunch-ish time, the nurse told me I was “complete,” and congratulated me on “fast labors.” Yay, my body! She told me to let her know when I felt the urge to push, and then we entered a period of more waiting.

I guess I never knew what I was looking for, as far as the pushing urge, so when the dr. came to check on me around 4:00 we decided to try a few practice pushes.

Meeting cousin Molly.

Meeting cousin Molly.

As weird as it sounds, this was my favorite part. It relieved all contraction pain, and everyone was really encouraging. I was even more surprised when I heard myself saying “yes” to a mirror: labor is a strange time. All modesty and inhibitions are off. And it was so interesting, exciting, MIND-BLOWING to see that little bald head. Somehow that (cute) black and white skeleton I kept seeing in ultrasound form was a real, pink little person. Ike even got in on the action by holding one of my super numb legs.

After we really got started, little Elliott was introduced to the world in about 15 minutes (4:32 is his birth moment). And all the sudden, a 6 pound 13 ounce, 20 inch-long baby (with a perfectly-shaped head and adorable face), was here. The nurse said he was a good baby, only crying a little bit right after he was born and when she washed his feet.

Day old baby.

Day old baby.

All I could say for the next few minutes was “Don’t you just love him?” because I did. Of course, by the time Ike’s family wanted to come in to meet him and take pictures, I found the strength to say “How does my hair look”?

First Fam picture. How does my hair look?

First Fam picture. How does my hair look?

After we got a chance to get to know Elliott a little bit, we were moved into the recovery room where we’d spend the next two nights (and where we were greeted by my ultimate pregnancy food, Chick fil a, from my mom and sis).

The next 2 days are a blur of recovery, sweet visitors and NEW BABY (so, overwhelming, but worth it).

And that is where my narrative stops for now. Satisfied? If not, come back (hopefully) next week for a Baby Elliott rundown. And sorry for the details, I wanted to record as many of them as I could!

Tired hospital times.

Tired hospital times.

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Nursery Collaging (Halloween & More AWESOME Stuff you don’t wanna miss)

1 Nov

So here we are. (Nearly) 39 weeks and still pregnant. In fact, at our appointment it seemed like Elliott may have some Buster Bluth tendencies (who spent 11 months in the womb) with absolutely no dropping at all! Let’s hope he comes out on his own will (without any claw marks on my poor stretched out uterus). And yes, I’m sorry for saying the word uterus (and for saying it again, just then.)

Also, if you have a moment, think of us on Monday morning. The doc ordered a dating/sizing ultrasound. Seems like baby E is on the small side and she wants to make sure everything is a-ok. As a pre-parent, I’m a little nervous, but mostly thankful to have a doctor who is on top of our care and willing to put extra time into our (officially) little guy.

Ike and I used last weekend to put a fun finishing touch on the nursery…making the collage! Here are pictures of our process in case you, too, want to hang up frames in an artfully eclectic way (or at least I hope that’s how it came off).

Step 1: Get Framed

We ended up buying our frames at Hobby Lobby, where they are always 40% the marked price. We bought 6 for just under $40, not too shabby. Or if it is shabby, just don’t tell me, K??

Step 2: Plot Your Placement

We knew we wanted the collage over the dresser. So we arranged (and rearranged) the frames on the floor in front of the dresser. This was the final selection.

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Step 3: Cut it Out

It was my (brilliant) idea to cut out a piece of paper to represent each frame. That way we could tape (and rearrange if need be) the paper frames on the wall before getting out the hammer and nails.

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Step 4: Arrange, Step Back and Repeat

We translated our plotted placement from the floor to the space above the dresser. Once we put the lamp and changing table back on, we realized that we needed to move a few of our frames.

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Step 5: Stay Level Headed*

*Or in my case, make someone who is visually neat like Ike do the work! We just tackled hanging the frames one by one until…

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Step 6:  Be Happy! You’re Awesome Collage is Done!

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Step 7: Pick & Print

We are actually not done with this step. But we have plans to print out an engagement, wedding, maternity, newborn and new fam pic for the wall. Currently we also have my shower invite, ultrasound pic, custom Elliott art and EEP monogram already up. I’m really happy with how it turned out and I’m excited to finish the project!

Things to think about:

  • When hanging frames, you may need some cardboard to replace the back it came with.

  • Remember to have your level handy! We didn’t really measure, but having a level will keep things looking neat!

Halloween:

We celebrated our first Halloween as homeowners! The weather was perfect (and we may have forgotten to replace our porch light) so we sat out on the driveway and handed out candy. So fun!

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And finally, here I am 1 day shy of 39 weeks!

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Stay tuned for whatever Baby E has in store! You’ll either get pictures of a tiny baby next week OR a disgruntled pregnant lady:) Either way, see ya soon!

Possible project for this weekend: using our extra fabric to cover some canvases...We'll see!

Possible project for this weekend: using our extra fabric to cover some canvases…We’ll see!

Shameless Plug: The Coasts on Grimm (and other cool stuff of late, like our nearly-finished nursery)

25 Oct

I’ve never so related to Father of the Bride Part II as I do now. The scene where the daughter finds the word “Ouch!” in Scrabble (and George gets concerned before he understands) keeps repeating in my head whenever I need to catch my breath, turn over in bed or generally move. Ike’s go-to response — “Do we need to go to the hospital?” — is actually adorable, but my answer has always been no…so far.

So as I close in on week 38, I feel kind of like a ticking time bomb. Unfortunately, no one knows how long I have to go, other than a baby who doesn’t even know the world exists yet. Elliott, the ball is in your court!

Here’s another what’s-gone-down-lately update. Enjoy!

The Coasts on GrimmGrimm

What are you doing tonight? I’m sorry, but the ONLY correct answer is watching the season 3 premiere of Grimm. The Coasts (Ike’s band with the talented Eric Mount) scored another placement. If you haven’t heard of them, do you live under a rock?… I mean check out their bandcamp here (lowers glasses, arches eyebrows and waits).

I don’t know if I’m allowed to give details, so I’ll sum it up in as few words as possible: The Coasts song “Tonight” (buy it, so you’ll be cool and know all the words). Roadhouse. Zombies. One minute of TV magic.

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Enjoy your Grimm watching parties! I’m going to make a pumpkin cake for ours.

The Nearly-Finished Nursery

So, I can give you a bit more than teaser pictures this week.

Here’s some in-progress pics. We tried our best to keep Buster out, but to no avail! We finally caved when he had an accident on the blanket I put right outside the door for him to lay on. He’s our special little fur-brained fur ball. Yay!

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I finally got over my mental block and decided to wash some baby clothes. Maybe, somewhere deep down in my change-wary psyche, I thought “If I don’t wash these clothes, the tiny body that’s supposed to fit in said onesie may never appear.” Crazy, I know. For some reason, taking off those tags was another step in the acceptance process.

Yet, with the piles gone, and all baby clothes, gear, blankets and diapers stowed, I actually feel SO much better, and even ready.

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We are just waiting to put on some finishing touches. We still need to:

  • Make final decisions on where to hang stuff.
  • Buy some frames to create the newborn/maternity/wedding picture collage that currently only exists in my head.
  • Throw the pillows my mom made on the couch when she gets here.

Not too bad! I’d say overall, we achieved the “Happy Baby” theme I was going for. Right now, the room is very inviting and fun to hang out in.

Thanks to:

  • Erica and Amber for helping me better sort the piles.
  • Ike’s mom for the beautiful quilt.
  • Ike’s sister for the custom art.
  • My rents for the dresser, rug, wall art, throw, changing pad and forth-coming pillows & rocker.
  • I’m also very excited to use the book shelves, my Papa made them:)
  • To everyone for all the bath stuff, clothes, toys and more. We’ve really not had to spend very much of our own money (really, almost $0) to prepare for this boy. We are blessed!

Just Us Two

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Trying out Mugs Cafe. Yum.

The last couple weekends, Ike and I have been going on dates! I’m notoriously cheap, but as the end of the “Just us Two” era approaches I think we both feel the need to hang out and celebrate our relationship. I know we’ll always have each other, and we are both excited to meet our new addition, but after 5 years of just us (and the Bust) little E will bring a lot change to our world.

So as we wait for our new (much-anticipated and loved) family member to arrive, we’ve decided to keep going on dates and enjoying each other. Where should we go to breakfast on Saturday, LR people?

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We’ll soon be joined by a handsome little man wearing this.

Nursery Dreamin’

28 Jun

After the ultrasound tech said, “Yup, that’s a boy.” — and confirmed that little Elliott’s brain, spine and even lips were all on the path to healthy baby (yay!!) — my mind turned toward more pressing matters: nursery plans!

I’m not much into themes, but if I had to pick one, I’d go for Happy Baby! I want the colors to be bright, cheerful and hopefully not too difficult to transition to a “bigger boy” look.

We don’t have a lot yet, but here are the bare bones pieces.

Here’s the guest room as a guest room.

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Here’s the crib. Ike actually slept in there when he was a baby, isn’t that sweet?

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Current plans:

  • First step, turn the bed for a “day bed” look. I’ll find a coordinating blanket and bright pillows so it will go with the “Happy Baby” flow. I’m not ready to lose my guest room space. Elliott’s small so I doubt he’ll mind.

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    • May have to remove the big book shelf after we get the crib, dresser and a rocker in there. But don’t get the wrong idea, I want him to have tons of books!

    • I’ll be on the lookout for a dresser/changing table. Love the idea of a multi-tasking piece he can grow into. (Thanks to Amber for guidance on that one)

    • I want to paint the crib white. I think that will update the look and brighten the space in general. And by I, I mean, that’ll be a fun weekend project for Ike. 😉

    • I’d love for Kathy, Ike’s mom, to make a quilt for his bedding.

    • And with all my recent curtain success, I’m sure my mom and I will have good luck finding more curtain fabric out there.

    • I’ve commissioned Katie, Ike’s sister, to work on some custom art for the walls.

    • For now, I’m thinking I’ll keep things simple and leave the walls the color they are. With bright pillows and bedding I don’t think I’ll need bright walls as well.

    • Oh…and we need to clean out his closet.

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    And now, here’s what you actually want to see. Color palette inspiration. BIG surprise, I’m attracted to greens again. But in addition to white, I’m feeling the urge to add some orange in there.

     

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What’d you think?? Am I achieving happy baby here? (All courtesy of Houzz, best decor app EVER).

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Here’s me at 21 weeks. Can you see him now? Really it depends on what I wear, but as of yesterday, I have no pants I can zip all the way (TMI? idk). So with slightly over 10 pounds gained (ok, 10-12!), I definitely feel bigger.

As always, I DEMAND you have a delightful weekend! I’m walking a 5K on Saturday and going to a good old-fashioned church potluck (so a calorie wash) on Sunday, be jealous.

Until next time!

Havingababyit’sa…

7 Jun

You’re right. If you are lucky enough to be friends with my (adorably excited) husband, you already know. Baby Peters is a ……….

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Dramatic Pause for those of you who aren’t lucky enough to be on the Ike Peters train………

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We tried to “trick” people with pink icing, not sure if it worked, but it was fun to try!

Yes, those cookies do say boy.

I realize my makeshift cookie creation may not become a pinterest sensation, but they were made with love (blah, blah) AND they tasted delicious.

I admit I didn’t really understand gender reveal parties. Why have them? What are people supposed to say? Boooo, it’s a boy? Aren’t they supposed to be excited no matter what? Then why? Why do people have them? (short sample of my stream of consciousness about a week ago).

Tried to make the table fancy!

Tried to make the table fancy!

After hosting a low-key event of my own, I’ve decided that they are roughly equivalent to engagement parties. In other words, just a time to celebrate an exciting event in your friends’ lives. Without presents and with plenty of sweet treats. (aka, my kind of gathering!).

So no, I don’t love dramatic surprises or being the center of attention, but I did love celebrating my baby boy with my friends. I’d do it again with baby #2 (no, we’re not having twins).

I let Ike make the creamer labels, isn't he cute?

I let Ike make the creamer labels, isn’t he cute?

Here’s part 2 of my (stolen thunder, thanks again, Ike:) announcement. His name. After the doctor saw baby’s “3rd leg” (lol), Ike and I immediately started brainstorming. The name we had decided on pre-ultrasound? Finn.

Why? It sounded cool. I bounced it off some co-workers and one girl said, “Oh, like from Glee.” WAIT a minute! That gave both Ike and I pause. Sure, my name was inspired by Dynasty’s antagonist, so in 27 years no one would remember our kid was named after Glee.

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But it reminded both of us that maybe we hadn’t thought this through. Thus, back to the drawing board.

Our new criteria:

1. The name had to have meaning

2. The name couldn’t be on recent top 100 names lists

3. The name needed to sound good and not spell anything weird with the middle name Edward

After narrowing it down we finally found one that fit all 3. Ok, we’ll do a quick drumroll again…

Sigh, yes. The cookies say Elliott. Do you get the clue?*

Meaning

The meaning for this name is twofold for the the Peters family.

A) Growing up (and probably forever), Ike’s favorite movie was/is E.T. Like he has threatened to get an E.T./Elliott flying over the moon tattoo on his chest. That is devotion. As far as characters go, Elliott’s not so bad. Other than his love of Reese’s Pieces, he also thirsts for deeper relationships in the midst of growing up.

*Ding ding! That’s why I made these amazing double chocolate chunk Reese’s Pieces cookies.

Reeses Pieces Double Chocolate Chunk Cookies by Picky Palate

My first Picky Palate recipe, I was very impressed. If you love chocolate and peanut butter, this is a must-try!

B) This next discovery pushed this name from the maaaaaybe pile, into the it’s perfect pile instantly. Of Hebrew origin, Elliott means: Lord my God.

So, not only is Elliott inspired by my movie-loving husband’s all-time favorite movie, but it more importantly means all that we hope for the little guy. That he will grow up to know the Lord his God. Perfect? I think so.

Popularity

Although Elliott (2 t’s, sorry, little one, we’ve strapped you with saying that for the rest of your life), is climbing the name popularity charts, it has never cracked the top 100 in the last 200 years. He may meet an Elliott or 2 along the way, but I don’t think he’ll have one in his class every year. I hope.

General Flow

 And lastly, we wanted to honor our fathers with baby’s middle name. For a girl, we would/will go with Stacy for Ike’s dad (sorry, yes, we are girl-ifying it). So for a boy we are going with Edward for my dad, NOT from Twilight.

Elliott Edward seems to have a nice ring to us. If you don’t think so — keep it to yourself, we’re committed.

That is quite enough for this morning. I demand you have a wonderful weekend! See ya soon!