Baby Fingers

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

The other night, Carl held Lily on his lap as he played guitar, as he's done dozens of times before.

This time, Lily got in on the action and placed her teeny tiny fingers along the frets. Her papa continued to strum, and together, they made music.

It was lovely.


Danielle at Sometimes Sweet shared this fun little post yesterday, so I thought I'd take a page and do the same.

Obsessing over: School! I have a term paper due next Tuesday and I still have a ton of reading and researching to do. Carl's finals start on Thursday and last through the end of next week, so we're totally consumed with studying/reading/writing right now. Blah.

Working on: Work! I attended a marketing presentation for the City of San Antonio this morning and have a ton of projects/deadlines looming. On the home front, I still have unpacking and laundry to do, dishes to clean, groceries to buy, the list goes on and on...

Thinking about: Aside from work and school, I really want/plan to organize our cold weather clothes and sell/donate what we won't be wearing anymore. There's a Buffalo Exchange just minutes from our apartment that I desperately want to visit again. I also have a *ton* of baby stuff that Lily has outgrown that needs to be donated, too. Must reserve some time to thrift this weekend.

Anticipating: The end of the semester, which will bring a much needed respite for both Carl and me. I still have work, but the holidays are a quiet time around here, and we've got a big family trip I'm really looking forward to.

Listening to: According to my Pandora shuffle station, Possibility by Lykke Li.

Drinking: The one cup of coffee I allow myself each weekday: French vanilla with two Raw Sugars and cream.

Wishing: That I had more time in the day to devote to our little home, and tending to it. Also, that I could find my my iPhone charger that plugs into the wall...

How about you? What are you up to today?

Thanksgiving Recap

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Whew! After a blissful (super relaxing) five days in El Paso, full of family, friends and food, we are back in San Antonio--full of work, school, daycare and deadlines. Wah wah. Okay, it's not so's always good to come back to our cozy apartment and it feels nice to be productive again.

Per usual, I probably (definitely) didn't take as many photos as I should have (what with the all the lounging and the wine), but I did snap a few on my iPhone that capture our week pretty well. So, our vacay went a little something like this...

We arrived late Tuesday night and Lily woke up Wednesday morning feeling sick, sleepy and fussy.

She spent most of the day sleeping and nursing, though we did make it out to see my dad for a bit. He was thrilled to see her and couldn't believe how big and chubby she has gotten! hehe.

(poor sick babygirl looks none too pleased)

The next day was Thanksgiving. Lily wasn't quite 100%, but she was still feeling better than the day before and we ventured out to my girfriend Alex's childhood home. Her mama, Dorothea, is an incredible cook and hostess and whipped up yummy huevos rancheros, homeade chocolate cookies and Greek yogurt with fresh berries. Nom.

(yay for childhood besties & baby naps)

I love visiting her home. It's so beautiful and interesting and reminds me of the years spent in that kitchen with Alex and Dorothea, chatting&laughing about anything and everything over hot tea and later, red wine.

This time, we were joined by another friend, Mila, and Alanna, a mid-wife!

Since Alex lives in Mexico City, this was her first time meeting Lily.
It was wonderful.

Lily and her gorgeous "Tia" Alex

embarassing factoid:
alex & i were debutantes together.
the book in front of me is actually a scrapbook of our years as debs/
lots of photographic evidence of me as an awkward, chubby high schooler.

Next, we headed back to Carl's mom's house and ate our weight in turkey, et al.

our little turkey, still with her fussy pants on.

Lily and her big bro, Ryland

The next afternoon, Lily spent some quality time with my mom while Carl, his sister, Valarie, and I had a teeny tiny timeout.

my mom sent me this hilarious picture of lily in a bonnet that my mom's neighbor knitted. LOL!

There was more family, game nights, loving and laughing, which I regrettably didn't capture on film. I guess that's what happens when you're just enjoying it, huh?

One *big* event I did manage to photograph, though, was Lily's first meeting with Santa! She and Ryland posed with the big guy and although she didn't burst out in tears like some thought, we just couldn't get her to smile.

I think it still turned out pretty sweet.

 ryland noticed that santa seemed to have lost a bit of weight since last year.
we assured him that santa diets right before christmas, leaving plenty of room for all the cookies&milk.

beautiful christmas tree at carl's momma's

Checking In

Friday, November 25, 2011

We're in El Paso and will be here through the weekend, I'll be back to posting on Monday. Until then, I'll leave you with a pic of my little pinky...


Thursday, November 24, 2011

As I lie in bed, sandwiched between Carl and Lily, nursing her and finding the soles of Carl's feet with my own, I'm reminded why this is without a doubt my favorite holiday.

Though far from perfect, my life is filled with love, passion, commitment, and family and friends who make it all worthwhile.

Today I am grateful for all the blessings, both big and small, that have entered my life over the past year. I am so grateful to be celebrating this day with our families and friends, Ryland and our sweet Lily.

I feel blessed that Carl and I have come so far in these past twelve months and I am thankful for the quiet moments, a kiss that lasts just a few extra seconds, that one shared look during a busy day that seems to say, "Yep, I know. And I love you, too."

I am humbled each day when I look into my daughter's big brown eyes, so full of life and questions, and I think to myself, thank God for it all.

Happy Thanksgiving, friends. Thank you for reading and sharing a bit of your day with me.

Sick day

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Lily is feeling a bit under the weather at the moment (it's hard to be a teething baby), so she's resting up, storing her energy to partake in her very first Thanksgiving tomorrow. Just wanted to share this little pic of my sleeping beauty...

The good news is we're in El Paso and somehow being sick with grandma around always makes everything a little better.

Recharged: Weekend Recap

Monday, November 21, 2011

Happy Monday, friends! Yes, I said it, happy Monday. It's always nice to start the week off knowing it's only a half-week of work and the holidays are inching closer and closer. Even better when said holidays will be spent with a baby for the first time!

This past weekend, our little family enjoyed much-needed restful, yet fun time together. Friday night was pretty lowkey, as was our Saturday afternoon. We spent hours and hours and hours napping and movie-watching and it was glorious. Finally, when the evening rolled around, we went out to eat here. The weather was fantastic, so we sat outside and enjoyed live guitar with our steak fajitas and margaritas. Next, we defied Lily's usual 8 p.m. bedtime and ventured here, a cozy little cafe/coffeeshop/wine bar in our neighborhood to read and indulge in some German chocolate cake.

Sunday, we slept in a bit (sleeping til 9 is sleeping in in our place) and relaxed for much of the morning. Then we decided to pack a picnic and head to the park to grill some burgers and let Hudson play a little.

Sadly, after we arrived at the park and Carl loaded the grill with charcoal, we were alerted that there is a burn ban in effect. Boo.

(sad faces for the burn ban)
We stuck around for a bit and Carl took a spin around the park and Lily sat and looked cute.

Then we went to grab some BBQ. On the way home, we passed a driving range and Carl decided he wanted to hit some golf balls. So we did.

**interesting note: I had never been on a driving range, or even held a real golf club before last night! (Tennis was my fam's sport of choice growing up). So Carl taught me how--then knocked my flats off by flexing his impressive golf muscle. We've been together for years and I never knew he could hit a golf ball like he does! And he owns a golf glove? Who knew!

Quick Pic

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Checking in on this lovely lazy Sunday to share the cutest picture, like, ever.

holy cow, i love them. 

Casual Friday & Other Goodies

Friday, November 18, 2011

(shoes, vans | jeans, jbrand)

plus, weekend links!
happy weekend, ya'll!

An Open Letter to Lily

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Our Darling Lily,

Today you are 21 weeks old. Next Thursday, you will be 5 months old, and soon we will be celebrating your first Thanksgiving, Christmas, Hanukkah and New Years. This time last year, you were an itty bitty bean in my belly!

I think it's pretty evident that we are crazy about you. By we, I mean everyone who has come to know you. You are a shining star-- a sweet, joyful, vivacious little beacon of light who has added immeasurable amounts of hope and happiness to our small family.

Each morning, you wake up with the most genuine smile, and a glint in your eyes (which are the exact shade of brown as your daddy's) that leaves us breathless. Daddy covers your soft, fat cheeks with kisses and we know that in that moment, life is good.

Over the past few weeks, you've experienced several "firsts." You've had your first tastes of banana (yummy!), carrots (nom nom nom), squash (mmm. this was a favorite), sweet potato (you're not so keen on these) and strawberry puree (delish!). You rolled from your belly to your back all on your own, for the very first time, last Sunday, and have been rolling around ever since. We recently bought a doorway jumper and you love it; we stick you in and you happily bounce about, swatting the dangling toys and gnawing on the padded seat.

Papa also felt a tooth or two readying themselves to pop through your gums. He felt them with his finger, and I've felt them a few times...not on my finger. ;)

You and Hudson are beginning to notice one another. Until recently, the two of you had blissfully co-existed in our home, paying little mind to the other as he wags and lumbers and you are usually, well, wherever you want to be. Now, Hudson will playfully plant his head on our bed and you will perk up and smile, reaching for his wet snout. When you're relaxing in your vibrating seat, he'll peek in and you'll greet him with a hearty smile and a string of baby drool, as if to say, "Well, hello there, friend!"

Next week we'll experience our first Thanksgiving as a family and I couldn't be more excited, or more grateful for you, for your papa, and for our life together. It's not always perfect, but it's ours, and we have so much to be thankful for.

We adore you, foochie poochie. You are everything to us.

With endless love and kisses,
your mama.

From One Lover to Another, Uh-Huh.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

It's a rainy day in San Antonio, and this morning as I sat at my desk, pouring over emails and drinking my one cup of French vanilla, this song came on my Pandora shuffle.

I don't think I had ever heard this version before, and I was stricken by how lovely it was. Perfect for this weather, and of course, I immediately thought of Carl.

This one's for you, my handsome.

Weekend in Instagrams: Edition 2

Monday, November 14, 2011

This weekend was at once eventful and uneventful, productive and relaxing. Carl spent the majority of his time reading (finals are acomin'!), so Lily & I joined him on Saturday evening. I got (very little) reading done of my own, and Lily sported really cute leg warmers.

Afterward, we walked next door for some food on the patio and were happily surprised by a children's music school concert. We talked about our own dreams for Lily, and how we plan to encourage her to play an instrument, or two or three.

Sunday, there was more reading, some grocery shopping and some watching of celebrity roasts on Comedy Central. There was also some making of baby food and lots and lots of baby loving after she rolled over for the very first time!

All in all, it was a lovely weekend.

I hope yours was, too.

a tasty stuffed carrot | a lazy hudson
family studies at local coffee | wine, rattles and gordimer
baby leg warmers | tunes

chopped sweet potatoes ready for boiling | pureed sweet potato for my sweet potato |  sweet potato dreams

Pssst... Are you on Instagram? Me too (duh!). Follow me @babymakesfour :)  

I Have No Words.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Tonight, Lily rolled over for the first time.

Also tonight, this happened (see below).

I can't even describe how much happiness is going down in our place tonight. Love this baby so much.

Two Things

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Two things:

This is neat and THIS VIDEO is so stinking cute:

my favorite quotes:
"Oh good for you, now you're gonna probly get a belly ache"
"You coulda just ate all the bite size ones!"
(can't wait until lily is older so we "eat all her halloween candy," too!)

No Heat Curls: Take Two

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Let's take a momentary departure from our beautiful baby posts, shall we?

I almost always have my hair up. Be it in a bun, braid, ponytail or clip, it's likely up and out of my face. I wear it this way because (a) I don't have/make the patience/time to "do" it in the morning, (b) my hair is super-duper fine and doesn't hold a style anyway, and (c) Carl says he likes it this way (well, he says he likes it when I wear it down, too, because he's nice). As a matter of fact, I forgot my straightener either at my dad's or Carl's mom's house when we were in El Paso in MAY for our babyshowers, and haven't straightened it since then. (My hair is naturally kinda wavy so when I do wear it down, I just let it airdry).

So I was intrigued when I came across this fast,easy method of curling one's hair with no heat. I tried this the other day before I went to bed but my hair was already dry (I know, fail on my part!), so it didn't exactly work out. Today, my hair was still a little damp at work, so after lunch I gave it another try since I knew I'd be alone in my office and wouldn't have to venture out into the hall. After only a few hours, I grew impatient and took the headband out.

Result? Successful...ish?

I got curls, but they weren't very even and kinda drooped after a few minutes. But they were pretty while the lasted! Next time, I'll really follow the directions and will wear the headband all night long, with dampish hair.

(**i don't know why, but my hair appears to be highlighted here, even though i haven't so much as gotten a trim in over a year. oh well. i'll take it!)

Instagram Round-Up: Rushdie, Baby

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Holy moly, it's been busy around here. Between Lily's sick day, Carl's big test, and a big school event yesterday, I've hardly had time to get my thoughts together. So of course this means a quick recap via Instagrams.

Sir Salman Rushdie gave a lecture at Trinity University, which is, like, a block away from our apartment. I'm in a graduate English Literature and Language program at St. Mary's University and my class was excited to hear such an important author speak. Since our place is so close to the venue, Carl and I hosted a little pre-event reception for my class (my professor and classmates) at our home. We served Indian food (naturally) and everyone BYOB-ed. Fun all around.

Then, we all (Lily, too) headed to Trinity and scored second-row seats. Sir Rushdie spoke for about an hour mere steps from my baby, who made nary a peep the entire time (further evidence that our child is perfection).

We were asked not to take photos, so I sneakily snapped two with my iPhone.

Sunday Links, And Our Saturday Stinks

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Yesterday was rough.

Lily has been struggling with serious congestion since Friday night, so it was a long night, waking up every half hour or so to asperate her, make her more comfortable, console her. I hard trouble nursing her because she couldn't breathe well out of her nose, and everytime she'd latch for more than a few seconds, she'd pull off violently, gasping for air. So I'd use saline spray and an asperator, and she'd cry harder.

In the midst of it all, Carl took his Multistate Professional Responsibility Exam first thing Saturday morning. Like a rockstar, he woke up at 5:30 a.m. to prep and review, after having been up with us throughout the night. (So proud of you, love.)

Saturday was worse for Lily. She slept in until 11 (probably to make up for the little sleep she had the night before), but when she woke up, her skin was so hot to the touch, Carl asked me to check her temperature. She had a fever of 102. She was fussy and hot, cranky and uncomfortable. And I was scared. I gave her a lukewarm bath and called the doctor, who said not to worry unless her temperature reached 105. 105?! The whole ordeal made for very cranky parents. Lily was trying so hard to be her usual happy little self but I could see in her swollen, glazed eyes that she was just miserable.

Thankfully, her congestion subsided temporarily, but in its place was a runny nose. So she nursed and slept. All. day. long. I literally laid in bed with her the entire afternoon and evening, because she wasn't feeling well and would start to cry everytime we tried to put her down.

Then, like clockwork, the congestion returned once nighttime began. Again, we struggled for hours to make her comfortable. Help her to breathe.

This morning, though, things are looking better. Brighter. Less stuffy. Carl managed to extract a huge amount of mocos from Lily's little nose, the fever is gone and she's gleefully sucking on her fist as I type.

So let's give this weekend this another go.

A few links to share:
  •  A few weeks ago, I wrote this post on Lily's first "solids." Shame on me for not doing adequate research, but the cereal we gave her was not the best choice.  This article, and suggestions from our doula, other mommies, and even the caregiver at daycare, have reinforced the value of freshly made food and why we should not be feeding her cereal.
  • You've probably seen Simply Breakfast at one point in time, but I came across it again a few days ago and am smitten. Nom nom! 

  •  I can't wait to try out this super easy, super cute gift wrapping idea this season.
  • Are you on Pinterest? Me too!

Have a great Sunday, ya'll.

I leave you with a photo of my super smoochable little baby...

Chilly Weather = Turkey Chili

Thursday, November 3, 2011

It was ca-ca-coooold this morning in San Antonio and the temperature is forecasted to hover near 37degrees tonight. Which means one thing in our home: Turkey Chili. I found this recipe on this delightful website sometime last year and since then, it's served as a go-to when the weather drops.

I also recently purchased creme brulee-scented tea candles (call me crazy, but I never buy food-flavored candles unless the holidays are near), dug out our fleece robes and am wearing tights for the first time all season. Daylight savings time ends this weekend, so I suppose wintertime is really near! I have to say I'm pretty excited about this, seeing as we have a cute baby to celebrate for/with.

So, turkey chili it is tonight. Nom nom nom.

I amended the recipe on the website to suit our tastes. Here's our version...

Chilly Weather Turkey Chili
Adapted from Smitten Kitchen, who adapted from Real Simple Magazine

**This may seem an exorbitant amount of chili powder, but just trust us on this one.

2  pounds lean ground turkey
1/2 large onion, chopped
3 tsp minced garlic
1 cup boullion broth
1/3 cup chili powder
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa
1 14 1/2-ounce can diced tomatoes
2 15 1/2-ounce cans kidney beans, drained
1 tablespoon cider vinegar

To taste: Sea salt, Tabasco, 1/2 to 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper

Optional toppings and sides: grated Cheddar, sour cream, minced jalapeno, corn bread* (I've made Smitten Kitchen's corn bread and it was delish!)

Place a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the turkey and cook until browned, about 5 minutes. Add the onion, stirring well, and cook until translucent, 3 to 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook 1 minute more. Gradually add the broth, scraping up any browned bits from the bottom of the pot. Stir in the chili powder, cumin, cocoa and tomatoes. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and let simmer for 10 minutes. Add the beans, salt, and vinegar, stirring well. Simmer uncovered for 10 minutes more. Adjust flavor with your spices of choice.

Serve hot and enjoy!

So, tell me, what are your Fall food traditions?

**update: last night's turkey chili was a resounding success. i added a generous scoop of shredded cheddar and a dollop of low fat sour cream to each bowl, served with a side of toasted bolillos for dipping.

chili in progress. right before i added the beans. nom.

Halloween Recap

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Holy cow, it 's been busy round these parts. Quick recap...

Friday- I had an all-day work seminar, but got out a bit early. Spent the rest of the day with Lily and Carl, prepping for the weekend. We had pizza for dinner and Lily wore her pumpkin pjs.

Saturday- We spent most of the day getting ready for my mom's arrival that evening and celebrated her visit with an obligatory photo op. At the last minute, Carl and I decide that we did want to go out for Halloween, and popped into Walgreen's at 11 p.m. to scour their limited (and picked-over) costume selection. Our finds: a vampy vampira and a cunning convict. A bit of fake blood later, we hit the town!

Sunday- Puerto Rican food, a visit to the Shipwreck: Pirates & Treasure exhibit at the museum I work at, and plenty of studying for Carl & I while my mom watched Lily. That evening, I (semi-successfully) baked mummy cupcakes for the Halloween party at Lily's daycare the next day.

Monday- Happy Halloween! Decked out as a red hot chili pepper, Lily celebrated her very first Halloween while mommy worked, daddy schooled and grandma cleaned house. Later, reading, Scattegories, and barbeque sandwiches ensued.

All in all, it was a good (very busy) time and somehow, I was able to finish a HUGE presentation for my grad school class yesterday. It went...okay. I felt myself babbling and babbling and couldn't stop. Oh well.

I am SO grateful to both Carl and my mom for everything this weekend. They both did so much knowing that I was working toward my project. Next up: two big tests for Carl. It's my turn spoil him ;)

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