Big Thanks

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

So, I've taken a page from my friend Natalie's lovely blog and have decided to begin a "Weekly Gratitude" series here. Originally created by Love, Life, Lace, the idea is pretty simple: take a few moments at the end of each week and reflect on what you're most thankful for. Done and done.

This week, I am most grateful for...
  • Ryland's safe arrival to San Antonio. He'll be with us for the majority of the summer and we're all very excited. It will be challenging to juggle work, law and graduate school, a newborn and a five-year-old, but we're definitely up for it.
  • Carl being so thoughtful and making dinner (and lunch!) most days this week. And assembling and disassembling Ryland's loft bed. And helping to put together the bookshelf I picked out for the kid's room, and not laughing too hard when it turned out to be a quarter of the size I thought it would be. And the list goes on and on...
  • The new, much-needed dresser we bought for our bedroom.
  • My job, which is working with us to allow for maternity leave and my working from home, even though I haven't been employed at the museum for a year yet.
  • All of the Target giftcards we were given during our baby showers. They have certainly come in handy. Baby goodies galore in our place.

36 Weeks

Well, this is it. I'm officially nine months pregnant today and we're in the final stretch. At the end of the week, baby girl will be full-term and we're likely to welcome her anytime. I couldn't be more excited to meet our little daughter, who has already become such a presence in our lives.

It's been a busy, busy week for us, with Ryland arriving last Saturday, summer school for both Carl and me, and a massive loft bed mishap, which is why it's taking us a bit longer than we had originally anticipated to get the nursery in order. But we'll get through it together, just like we have this entire time. I absolutely believe that we will be ready when her time comes. Because really, there is no shortage of love, laughter or warmth in our home and I have a sneaking suspicion that we already have everything she needs.

Here's a little photo Carl snapped at the park this weekend. Hudson and I taking a breather while the boys play catch. Baby bump in all its glory!

We also fit in a game of minigolf, which I'll post pics of this evening. I hope you all enjoyed your long weekend! 

Beloved Name

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Since a few days after we discovered I was pregnant, Carl and I have been preparing for the weighty task of naming our baby. From the very beginning, we felt fairly certain that we were having a girl, and so although we didn't really know for months, we never gave much thought to boys' names.

For months, we compiled lists and mental notes of names we loved, liked and didn't like, and imagined what kind of girl she'd be as a Lylah. Or a Stella. Or a June. We took turns writing out each name and middle name combination, seeing how the letters came together and rolled off our tongues and we imagined who she'd be after we'd given her a title that would follow her through life.

I love this Victor Hugo poem that totally romanticizes the idea of a name, and thought I'd share:

Beloved Name

The lily's perfume pure, fame's crown of light,
The latest murmur of departing day,
Fond friendship's plaint, that melts at piteous sight,
The mystic farewell of each hour at flight,
The kiss which beauty grants with coy delay,--

The sevenfold scarf that parting storms bestow
As trophy to the proud, triumphant sun;
The thrilling accent of a voice we know,
The love-enthralled maiden's secret vow,
An infant's dream, ere life's first sands be run,--

The chant of distant choirs, the morning's sigh,
Which erst inspired the fabled Memnon's frame,--
The melodies that, hummed, so trembling die,--
The sweetest gems that 'mid thought's treasures lie,
Have naught of sweetness that can match HER NAME!

Low be its utterance, like a prayer divine,
Yet in each warbled song be heard the sound;
Be it the light in darksome fanes to shine,
The sacred word which at some hidden shrine,
The selfsame voice forever makes resound!

O friends! ere yet, in living strains of flame,
My muse, bewildered in her circlings wide,
With names the vaunting lips of pride proclaim,
Shall dare to blend the one, the purer name,
Which love a treasure in my breast doth hide,--

Must the wild lay my faithful harp can sing,
Be like the hymns which mortals, kneeling, hear;
To solemn harmonies attuned the string,
As, music show'ring from his viewless wing,
On heavenly airs some angel hovered near.

Nice, no? Our little muse.

So...about two months ago, we arrived at a decision: To be indecisive until the very end.

We've got just a few weeks to go until our little daughter arrives and we've come up with two names that we will decide between after we meet her. Surely her true identity will peek through her big baby eyes, and we'll know. So, without further adieu, we'll be choosing between:

These are choices that we have come to love and feel connected to and I'm very excited to see who she will be! Lily is a name that Carl has always loved, and Aviv is a Hebrew name that means Springtime, or Renewal, which I find very beautiful and significant of her arrival and coming into our lives, at this time in particular. Olive is a name we've both really taken to, that sounds so lovely and pure, and June, well, it'll be her birth month, and we find it mighty pretty.

35 Weeks

Monday, May 23, 2011

A very professional impromptu photo shoot in my work bathroom. I'm huge! I can't believe I'm already 35 weeks along. Obviously far too pregnant to deal with my hair.

Just two more to go and she'll be full-term. Hooray!

Project: Nursery

We were pretty productive around our home this past weekend. I am thrilled to share that Carl finished painting the nursery and it really looks fantastic (thank you, my love!!). The room (our former office) went from a warm, almost drab putty color to a fresh mint green that literally lights up the entire apartment.

There's still quite a bit of work that needs to be done, but I've started placing little things here and there and yesterday I spent a good six hours at the laundromat washing all of baby girl's clothing and linens so that everything is clean and ready when she makes her big debut.

In other big and exciting news, Carl's son, Ryland, flies into San Antonio this-coming weekend! He'll be with us the entire summer, so the nursery will not only house our baby girl, but her big brother as well. We're getting a loft bed for him this evening and have purchased a few goodies for his side of the room, as well. We're currently on the hunt for vintage superhero comics and posters to frame. Any suggestions, friends?

So, I may be getting a bit ahead of myself because there's still some work to be done, but I can't help but share a few photos of the nursery thus far. It's been such a fun process, and I've especially enjoyed the challenge of sticking to a small budget. The way things are looking, we may be able to have put together an entire shared nursery for less than $500. Not too shabby, eh?

I will certainly post more as things progress. Enjoy!

Dresser, bought off Craiglist. Refurbished by us! We gave her a new paint job, new knobs and pretty scented liner sheets. Curtains from Target's Room Essentials line, but we already had these in storage. Total cost, including dresser: $35.

Homemade shelf and various knick-knacks (thrifted). Total cost: $20.

Doorway to Carl's new office

An assortment of things to be hung, and Ryland's reading area rug. Total cost: $50.
Rug from Target, wall decor from Etsy, vintage and Target.


Thursday, May 19, 2011

Call me sentimental, but this e.e. cummings quote perfectly sums up my feelings for our little family. This is such a special time for us and I feel like I really couldn't ask for a better partner.

As I type this, Carl is at home painting our baby girl's nursery and this evening, we're going to look for a bed for Ryland's summer stay with us and my belly seems to grow bigger and more ripe by the second. I've never felt more peaceful or fulfilled.

Everything I do, everything I plan for and believe in, is with our family, and the people we love, in mind. It's the craziest time I've known, and it's the only time that life has ever felt so right.

A Week in iPhone Photos

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Hudson gets his weekly bath just before we board him for our trip

Carl's son, Ryland, with his lance and shield, Carl in his superhero cape and his nephew, Angelo, being a character.

My 3-month old nephew, Noah, and me.
Gah! Those little rolls!

My dad and baby Noah

Me at Marshall's, choosing a hat to wear for my mom's Tea Party shower.

Hudson back at home with us, lounging in his new bed.

Nursery painting begins!

Take My Hand

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Carl and his son, Ryland


Weekend Showers

Whew! What a weekend. Late last Wednesday, Carl and I flew to El Paso to see our family and friends once more before our daughter arrives. We were quite literally showered with love (three in total!) and we couldn't feel more blessed or grateful. Our little girl is coming into this world with so much love, support and warmth around her and because of her. Thank you to everyone who made it out to celebrate, and those who couldn't, but who were there in spirit.

Friday evening, my mom threw us a tea party-themed shower that was mostly attended by her girlfriends and clients. Hats required!

An assortment of sweet tea cups

Cupcake tree. They tasted and good as they looked.

 Handsome Daddy-to-be and his good friend, Turner

Carl takes a stab at guessing my belly size. He overestimated. Thanks, honey.

 Yay for adorable baby girl clothing!

A cute shot of the guests who stayed until the very end. Thank you all!

On Saturday evening, Carl's lovely mama threw us a shower and we were so lucky to have her whole family and Carl's good friends join us. So fun!

Veronica and Nate

My mama and me. Note my pretty pink corsage from Carl's Grandma Tela. It's a beautiful Mexican tradition for the daddy-to-be to pin one on the mommy-to-be.

Carl's cousin, Sabine, uncle Danny, mom and sister, Valarie. Sabine's expression was too funny not to share.

Carl and me.

The trip was incredibly fast-paced, and I tried to snap as many photos as I could, but I feel like I didn't quite capture everyone and everything I wanted to. Because there was a professional photographer at our third shower, I didn't bother to take my own, so unfortunately I don't have any from that day to share at the moment. The shower on Sunday was thrown by my dad's family and was really special and lovely, as well, and a great way to cap off our weekend. My beautiful sister did so much to make it all happen and I hope to have photos of the event soon!

Window Shopping

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Some lovely little things I've stumbled upon that would look just perfect in Baby Girl's nursery...

 top to bottom: stella lantern (luna bazaar); owl pillow, fabric banner, emroidery hoop (all etsy); moroccan pouf (john derian), multibird mobile, suzette the fox doll (both blabla); vintage bird blocks (etsy)  

Sigh. So pretty. A girl can get lost on Etsy for hours.

Well, we're off to El Paso (our hometown) this evening for family, friends and baby showers. I'm sure we'll have plenty of photos to share soon. Bye for now!


Demo Man

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Excuse me for gushing, but I really love our apartment. We live in a big, old house that's been subdivided into four small units and it's really perfect for us. It's in a quiet (almost quaint?) little neighborhood and it's surrounded by tall, tall trees that sprinkle acorns all around us. We're literally across the street from a park and a library and we have a pretty spacious porch where we grill three to four times a week.

We have hardwood floors and french doors and the whole place is pretty perfectly us. Over the past year, we've spent a lot of time on home repairs (accent walls, new light fixtures, etc.) and projects (a few bookshelves, an herb garden, an aquarium), and figuring out ways to fully utilize the small space we have.

Because, lovely as it is, it's cozy by most standards, with a bedroom, an office, a dining room and a living room, and the teeniest, tiniest kitchen and bathroom you've ever seen. And, up until this weekend, we had a small, unused sunroom that was, for all intents and purposes, a veritable chewtoy for Hudson. Yes, over months and months, Hudson managed to devour a good chunk of the wall. And door. And blinds. And since the tenants before us had chosen a wall color that I can only describe as putrid pumpkin, the small room had really become an eyesore that we shielded from visitors' prying eyes.

That is, until this weekend. Now that Baby Girl's arrival is imminent, we're moving Carl's office into the sunroom and transitioning the old office into her new nursery.

So, Carl, Renaissance man that he is, led this project and magically, in just two days, we've gone from this:

to this..

to this!

Vast improvement, no? 

Here are a few pics I snapped from last night...

the unassuming culprit

the hero

the paint

the process

the good stuff

I'll post pics of the completed room this evening. We've already painted the bench, so now we need to sweep and move the furniture in, and Carl's new office will be good to!

A Sneak Peek

Oh, happy day! Sara, our lovely maternity shoot photographer, emailed me this morning to let me know that she has posted a sneak peek of our session on her blog.

I am totally blown away by the images so far! I've never done anything like this, but I am so glad we did now. I think Sara really captured this special time in our lives and I am so thrilled by the result.

Random thoughts: I'm a little sad my blue linen dress wrinkled in the heat, and I never realized just how large and veiny my hands really are. Also, could Carl be any cuter? I think not.

Can't wait to see the rest. Thank you, Sara!

You can check out more photos from our maternity shoot here:


A Haiku for Baby Hiccups

Monday, May 9, 2011

To our darling baby girl-

hiccups from within 
my belly make my long days
a bit bubblier.

Your Anxiously Awaiting Mama

She's A Biggin'!

Sunday, May 8, 2011

A tiny foot.

Already quite the little lady. Ankles crossed, thank you very much.

It's still a girl!

What a fun few days we've had! We had a lot going on, so here's the quickest recap I can manage:

Friday- We had our 32 week Ob-Gyn appointment and received some big news: she's positioned head down (hooray!), and baby girl is already weighing in at 4 pounds, 15 ounces! This means she's measuring at 37 weeks, or five weeks bigger than she really is. The doctor is predicting she'll be about 8.5 pounds at delivery, should we make it to 40 weeks. Wow. I was only 5 pounds, 8 ounces when I was born, so this whole pregnancy I've been imagining she'd be petite, too. Not the case. Carl was around 8 pounds at birth so I'm chalking this, and my 30 pound weight gain, to him. Hehe. 

After the appointment, we grabbed Hudson and headed to celebrate Carl finishing his first year of law school at the Olmos Bharmacy, a cute diner in our neighborhood. It was a beautiful night out and the live band made it even more special. As usual, Hudson was quite the hit. 

Saturday- Our doula, Tina, came by for an early morning appointment. We had a long discussion about what to look for before heading to the hospital when I go into labor. Basically, we plan to labor at home for as long as possible. We figure this is the best way to stave off unwanted medical interventions. We are so fortunate to live just five minutes away from our hospital, so  as long as my contractions aren't coming closer than 2 minutes from one another, home is where we'll be.

Later that day, we had our long-awaited maternity photo shoot! We met Sara at Brackenridge Park, a vast park on the San Antonio River. Carl and I were both a little unsure going into the shoot, and didn't want anything to look too posed or too corny, but Sara was a total pro and put us (and Hudson) at ease. She said it's not her style to make the shots seem forced, so while we were aware of the camera, we had a blast cuddling and rolling around in the grass and picking bugs off of one another after said rolling. 

That evening, we were happily surprised when Carl's cousin, Sabine, and her boyfriend, Andre, let us know they would be in town for a few hours. Sabine is pregnant with her second (a boy!), so the four of us had a great time chatting about all things baby on the River Walk, over hot wings and curry fries. Mmm...

Sunday- This morning, Carl cooked up a sweet mama-to-be breakfast and we set off to Home Depot. Now that finals are over, we're starting to transition our office into the nursery and the sun room/Hudson's room into Carl's office. Hudson has been unkind to that little room, to say the least, so Carl spent most of the day patching things up. Next up...painting! We're headed to the park soon to grill some steaks and let Hudson get a bit of exercise. 

Sorry for the long post; it's been a very full, and very fun, weekend around here. Here's hoping you all enjoyed yours, too. 


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