A Note From Lily

Saturday, December 31, 2011

Hello, friends! My mama asked me to write a quick note explaining why we've been MIA around here. Guess where we've been?? On a cruise, that's where!! We were all on a Christmas cruise to Mexico and I had the time of my life! I saw the beach for the first time, wore my very first swimsuit and even got to taste a real lime! Oh! And this time I'm cutting my first little toof... For real!

We're in El Paso for a few days now to ring in the New Year with the rest of our family, but we'll be back in San Antonio Monday and promise to share lots of fun stories and pictures very soon.

I hope you all have a very happy New Year! See y'all in 2012!


A Happy Half-Birthday!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Our Dearest Lily,

You are six months old today, sweet love! How did this happen? How has time flown by soo quickly?
These past six months have been the very happiest of our lives and I thank God each day for blessing us with such a happy and healthy baby. You really are as good as it gets.

In these past few weeks alone, you've hit so many milestones. I am so excited for what's next, but at the same time, I have to admit that I will miss your teeny tiny-ness as you grow. You had your six month doctor's appointment on Tuesday and you did so well. You weigh 18.5 pounds and are 25 inches long! You're our hearty little baby, at the 90th percentile for your weight. hehe. You also took your immunizations like a champ and only cried for a second (I cried with you!).

(here you are looking gorgeous on the examination table)

You're rolling around, talking up a storm, responding to your name and are already sitting up for moments at a time all on your own. In fact, just the other day, we went shopping for wrapping paper and you sat in the shopping cart like a big girl for the very first time!!

I spy a patch of white on your upper gums and I have a sneaking suspicion you'll be cutting your first toof very soon, and I recently caught you holding your bottle and feeding yourself all on your own. (I can't help but be a tiny bit sad about your newfound independence--but I am so proud!)

You love your jumper, when I sing camp songs (which is all the time), when Papa plays guitar, and lately, Hudson! Marcela at daycare tells me you dance in your little excersaucer when they turn music on. Let's just hope you got Papa's sense of rhythm and not mine.

The holidays are here and soon we will be going on a very special and exciting trip with your Saba (my dad) and his whole family, then we'll ring in the New Year back in El Paso, with all your family and cousins who miss you everyday.

 This was your half-birthday outfit, in honor of how much we miss your daddy (he comes home tomorrow!!). And of course, nothing says it's-my-birthday quite like a pair of sparkly kicks ;)

Happy six months, my little love. Watching you grow and explore, and experience so many firsts has brought us immeasurable joy. You are our special, special girl.

Endless love
and kisses..

Your Mama.

Wordless(ish) Wednesday

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

"Oh, hiiii, Mama! Yeah, I'm just laying here, holdin' my own teetee like a big girl, no biggie."

Birthday Recap

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

First of all, thank you all for your sweet birthday wishes. I had the very best day with my beautiful family and I can't but be so very excited for the coming year.

So, on Saturday morning, we all slept in a little (er, Carl & Lily slept while I Instagrammed and Pinterested in bed, obviously). After they woke up and we all cuddled for a bit longer, Carl got up and made his famous poached breggfast, birthday style for yours truly. Yummy.

When Carl asked me what I wanted to do on my special day, all I could think about was how very behind I was on Christmas cards! So off we went to Candlelight, a nearby coffeehouse and wine bar to sign Christmas cards and sip amaretto&coffee. More yumminess.

While we there, we ran into our beautiful neighbor, Mary, and her boyfriend Justin. (Mary had just turned 25 the day before! Hooray for bday buddies!)

Lily was happy as a clam for the first hour or so, then grew cranky (so I held her and wrote), then fell asleep and we were able to finish the cards pretty quickly. Of course, to Carl, "signing" Christmas cards means drawing a customized (slightly obscene) stick figure on each one. Ha!

 haha! this is when our sleepy baby began to get fussy...
(notice the oversized flower on her head is OFF)

*Note: My hair is kinda funky here because I was no-heat-curling-it for our dinner date later that evening :)

Next, we went home for a bit and while Lily & I relaxed, Carl did (all our tons of) laundry and dishes. It was awesome.

And finally, around 8 p.m., we dropped Lily off at the babysitter's house and went out to eat. Oysters, burgers and beer? Yes, please :) Carl gave me the sweetest birthday card in the whole world, and I cried like a big twenty-five year-old baby.

On our way back to the car, we ran into one of my grad school professors and her family. It was so nice to see her! The first words out of Dr. Langston's mouth were, "where's the baby!?" so Lily & I will have to schedule a special office hour visit soon.

After dinner, we stopped by a neighborhood bar for a quick round, took some goofy photos, talked about my 30 before 30 list, and headed back for our baby.

Yes, my fingers are really that long. It is not an optical illusion. My arms and fingers are really, really long and it's really weird.
(In my 7th grade science class, I remember doing a project where the whole class measured their arm span and height, which in all cases were equal. Mine wasn't. My armspan was significantly longer.)

The three of us were back in bed by midnight. The yummiest of all.

Of course, one can never have too long a birthday celebration. Hehe. Mary, Lily and I had a girl's day (afternoon) out on Sunday. Mary treated me to a (desperately needed) pedicure (THANK YOU, MARY!) and afterward, we splurged on some hot cocoa. That's right, yum.

Liebster Award

Monday, December 19, 2011

Sweet Eliza over at Baby Bound surprised me with a bloggy award last week: It's the Liebster Award and it's awarded to small, growing blogs with less than 200 followers. So fun, kind and unexpected!

Her blog is pretty great and it's been made *even better* because she and her husband recently found out that they're expecting! YAY!

Thank you, Eliza, for the nomination. I'm honored :)

My Instagram Account Runneth Over

Hi, my name is Cassie and I'm an Instagram-aholic.

I have taken so many Instragrams over the past few weeks! So since I've been pretty really scarce around here, I thought I'd share a little of what we've been up to (besides work!).

Not this past weekend but the one before, Carl's sister, nephew and best friend paid us a quick visit. We had so much fun, I pretty much forgot to take photos. 
But I did manage to take a few at the art museum we visited!
 me playing dress-up in the nightmare before christmas exhibit (the fact that my sweater goes along with the theme is total coincidence) | lily taking in the art | pretty tutu from the swan lake textile exhibit

Adorable santa booties I bought for Lily at the gift shop in the museum I work at.
 Little fatty

Naptime love

 Good morning sunshine, and a subsequent nap 
*note: lily had woken up with a little irritation on her sensitive babyskin forehead. it went away like 10 minutes later.

Lily loves her playmat. For months, we would lay her in it and she'd stare up at the little toys, studying them intently as they swayed. Now, she's all over them, batting them wildly, her mouth wide with happiness. I imagine it was quite satisfying for her to be able to grab 'em for the first time.

Mama's arm makes the best pillow.

Family sleep

Fun at daycare.


And finally, a notsohappy face.
Carl is in El Paso for a few days, visiting Ryland (yay), but this is the first time he's away from Lily for more than a few hours (boo). 
Needless to say, we're all pretty bummed about this time apart, however short it may be. 

PS. Do you Instagram? Follow us @babymakesfour.

Thirty Under Thirty

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Oh my gah.

A few minutes ago--at midnight-- I was awoken by Carl, who, in his cute and loving way (what? squishing and then tweaking me isn't cute and loving?!), alerted me that I am now TWENTY-FIVE YEARS OLD and it is now time to trade me in (this is a joke, OBVIOUSLY. psh!).

That's right, today is my birthday and I am TWENTY-FIVE! I can't believe it! When did this happen? When did I turn into a bonafide adult, with a man and a baby and a dog and a home and a job all of my own? I can remember turning 16 and driving away from my dad's driveway on my own for the first time, seeing my parents watching me from my rear view mirror, choking back tears as they waved me on. I can remember that like it was yesterday. Wild.

I have to say, though, I couldn't be happier at this point in my life. Turning 25 surrounded by love and light, a sea of cozy white bedding and my two favorite people (plus a hudson)? Doesn't get much better.  I'm a very, very, very lucky lady.

Because time seems to be passing by more quickly each year, I've decided to write a little list of goals for myself over the next five years. 30 under 30. Some I'll reach, some I may not, but I'd certainly like to try. Some are personal goals, but most are things I'd like to achieve/experience with Carl/my little family. Here goes:

  1. Get married. We've decided that 2012 is our year! To wed, that is. YAY. Details to come.
  2. Graduate from grad school. Here's hoping 2012 is the year for that, too.
  3. Travel to Hawaii.
  4. Travel to Greece.
  5. Start a PhD program.
  6. Keep a clean house, consistently.
  7. See Carl graduate from law school, and then pass the bar.
  8. See Carl in his first trial!
  9. Buy a home.
  10. Make another baby.
  11. Cook a Thanksgiving turkey.
  12. Host a holiday for our extended family.
  13. Travel to Israel. (i've been a few times because my dad is from there, but i really want to take carl & lily)
  14. Learn to sew.
  15. Learn to knit.
  16. Scuba dive (i have a scuba license and i've done this a few times before, but i'd really like carl to get certified and for us to do this together).
  17. Make an extended road trip in an RV.
  18. Open a teeny tiny little bistro/cafe in El Paso.
  19. Start a non-profit. Or a PR firm representing Non-Profits.
  20. Have Lily begin a Montessori education.
  21. Visit San Francisco (i've done this before as a young girl and don't really remember it. i'd like to visit again, as an adult).
  22. Gamble in Vegas.
  23. Learn to play piano.
  24. Get an DSLR camera and learn to really use it.
  25. Pay off my car.
  26. Travel to Paris (i've done this before, too, but i'd like to do it again as an adult, and with carl)
  27. Get in really good shape. (i'm not complaining about my weight or anything, but i don't work out (like, at all) and i'm not even sure i could run a full mile without dying or puking. i've never been in *really great* shape (ie. been really fit) and i'd like to know what it feels like to be at my physical prime just once!)
  28. Have a good and healthy relationship with my mom.
  29. Learn Photoshop really well.
  30. Learn a third language.


Friday, December 16, 2011

Hello, friends! I know I broke my promise to return the other day but it's been very, very busy around here and I felt too guilty blogging before I finished my many looming work projects. I still haven't finished them all, but it's Friday afternoon and I figure, I'll live on the edge just this once.

I just had to share these photos of my little family, that I am just crazy about. We went to my company's Christmas party last night and had a nice time. Free dinner, drinks and a pretty (sleepy) baby to show off.

Yay for the holidays!

this is funny because for the past few nights, lily has been a little night owl. as in, she refuses to go down at her bedtime (8p.m.). she's not fussy, she's just ready to play. for hours. of course, the one night we are out actually (kinda) partying, she's out. zzzz....

(on our way out, carl had me snap this one of him. he said, "i really felt like i captured his essence." ha!)


Monday, December 12, 2011

I have been such an absentee blogger this past week. I had a term paper due, and Carl had two weeks of finals, and then there was the glorious weekend, and a super fun visit from Carl's sister, her son and Carl's best friend. And now there's my birthday, and Christmas and Hannukah on deck but I promise, promise, promise I'll be back tomorrow. With a real post. And real pictures.

Hope you're having a good Monday :)

Radvent, Day 2

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Today's Radvent topic: Caring.

Be around other people today. Observe them. What are they taking care of?
Well, it's Sunday morning and I'm writing this from the comfort of our bed, so I'm going to comment on what people I have been around lately seem to be caring about. The people I've been around lately are work people, who care about work, and getting things done before the holidays. Also, the two women who run Lily's home daycare are really into the holidays, and making them special for the children there. In the past week alone, they've knitted three different (!) little hats for my baby girl. Simply put, they care about caring. 

What are two things you began caring about this year? What inspired that?
This year, I've become increasingly more conscious about my/our "footprint." With so much waste and excess all around us all the time, Carl and I have made a concerted effort to downsize/economize/reuse/recycle. We try very hard to eat/cook all of the food that we buy. We try very hard to give, donate or consign our old clothes, and I honestly can't remember the last time I bought a piece of clothing that wasn't thrifted.

I've also started caring a lot about the food we put in our bodies and the chemicals that we allow into our home. I would say 95% of what we eat at home is organic, natural and/or hormone free. We've also recently switched out all of our super chemical-y, environmentally un-friendly soaps, detergents and cleaners to natural, "green" products. And guess what? It wasn't that expensive and it all just smells so much better. Cleaner. Fresher.

I've also found that most of these "green" companies are doing their own part by donating a portion of their proceeds to worthy non-profits. Seventh Generation (most of our cleaning products are this brand) gives 10% of what they earn to "Healthy Communties," and that's awesome. 

As with most everything in my life, Lily inspired this positive change. We want only the best for our baby girl, and in our home, that means food that isn't genetically altered, meat that isn't laden with hormones and maybe even bleach that's chlorine free. It feels really good to cook for my family with food I know is good for them. And since I'm still nursing, what's good for mama is good for baby.

PS. Are you participating in Radvent? Let me know in the comments section. I'd love to read yours!

Love, in Photo Form

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Just checking in on this quiet Saturday evening to share a few little photos that have made me smile, lately.

a cutie pie | cheekies | a napping handsome | a grocery buddy

Radvent, Day 1

Friday, December 2, 2011

Last year, Princess Laserton started a tradition called Radvent, a holiday journaling challenge, and invited her readers and fellow bloggers to join in. So here I go. Each day, there will be a different topic to write about (throwback to my undergrad days in creative writing!) and the only parameters are to be honest and open, and to try to blog at least three times a week.

Today's Entry:

What is challenging you the most right now? And how can you be grateful for it?

Juggling my responsbilities after work has really been a challenge lately. Because I'm at work for most of my day, quality-time with Carl and Lily is so precious and consequently, household chores and reading for class have kind of fallen by the wayside...which is not good considering I'm in an English Lit grad program, which basically means, "you will spend your whole life reading."

I should be: coming home, cooking dinner, putting Lily down, doing dishes/laundry/sweeping dog hair, then settling in to read. 
Instead, I'm: coming home, cooking dinner, then putting Carl, Lily and myself down for the night, where the bed is warm and the cuddles are good.

Dirty clothes, dirty dishes, unopened books...they're starting to pile up.

I'm grateful to have this challenge at all. To have a job, to be in graduate school, and to have a man & baby that are so impossibly loveable is a great thing.

Reflect on one challenging thing in the past year that you kicked butt at. What would you have told yourself?

Not to sound all... conceited or whatever, but I kicked pregnancy's butt. Seriously. Delivery, too.

It's just Carl and I here in San Antonio. Our family lives 500 miles away, so when we discovered I was pregnant, we knew it would be a challenge. We live modestly, on student salaries, and though making a baby was a blessing, it was also a big surprise.

With Carl's love and support, I managed a full-time job, two evening graduate school classes, and my first pregnancy. We had a clear idea of the way we wanted the pregnancy and our birth to go, and worked hard to achieve it. I was at the office and went to school up until the day I went into labor. I endured a grueling 36-hour natural, completely unmedicated labor and gave birth to the most beautiful baby girl.

What would I tell myself? I guess if I did it then, I can do it again. Sure, having a baby (and not just a belly) is harder, but it's also infinitely better.

PS. If you're participating in Radvent, tell me about it in the comments. I'd love to read yours, too :)

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