The Unconventional Cassie

Like every new mom, I wanted to have a newborn photoshoot for my little one but Marco and I had to compromise because the photography rates here in the US can be ridiculously expensive, a sitting fee of a professional photographer could easily cost $150 and that’s without prints or digital copies of the images. We were so close to taking the photos ourselves and editing it (which was very doable for me) but I was still recovering from the delivery and his family flew in to Houston to see the baby so we didn’t have the time to do that. Well, we did find time after Cassie’s visit to her pediatrician but we didn’t have a photographer so we purchased the JC Penny deal on Groupon on the spot; without any ideas for the photoshoot or props we headed to the closest JC Penny, scheduled an appointment and came back that afternoon.

Now the quality of the photos were nothing like the ones of our wedding but for $30 JC Penny did pretty okay and Cherry of the Sugarland Branch was just amazing. It was feeding time when we went and Cassie was starving so she wasn’t sleeping, she was fussy, we had to take breaks just so I could feed her and to top it all she peed on Cherry, the photographer. I could post beautifully composed photos of my daughter in cute little poses with her floral head dress, wrapped in a rustic swaddle sleeping like an angel but at 8 days old she was already a character and I wanted to share that so here is my little one still a little bit jaundiced from the pregnancy, with her umbilical cord showing and a whole lot of attitude.

I am mommy’s mini-me

Showing of my large foot, one thing I got from daddy

I’m not liking this fully undressed business

Seriously mom, you put me in a basket with a bunch of apples?

Mommy: Cassie, stop making the “pogi ako” pose.

Just about to sneeze…Aaaahchooo!

~the new mommy, Rhea

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Meeting “Spriki”

Two days after celebrating our 2nd Civil Wedding Anniversary here in Houston (we actually thought the little one would come out on that day), our little Spriki decided that it was about time we meet her. My parents, the excited grandparents, have already posted a few dozen photos of her and probably me in my au naturale state on Facebook and I am beyond overwhelmed with all the wonderful comments from family, friends, mom’s friends, dad’s friends, my siblings’ friends, my mom and dad’s co-workers at Methodist Hospital Sugarland where I gave birth and even some people that Marco and I don’t know. Marco and I would like to thank each and every single one of all the well wishers, all those who came to visit us at the hospital and especially those who took care of us during the birthing process—Dr. Lauren Swords and the entire Methodist Sugarland Hospital Labor and Delivery team. To the birthing team,thank you for making our stay as comfortable as possible; to mom and pop’s Methodist hospital friends, thank you for spoiling us like we were checked in at a 5-star hotel, biggest suite and all.  We have indeed received immense love and support since the start of this pregnancy and I’m pretty sure that radiated to Spriki even while she was inside my womb, I can tell our baby girl that she’s been loved even before coming out into this world. Most importantly we are thankful to God for making the labor process uneventful and for giving us a healthy baby girl.

Waiting for Cassie to “come down”

Photo courtesy of my brother, Paul Ramas.

Managing a smile for my mom and dad, my support system, right before going to labor.

My mom called in that day just so she could be with me all throughout the birthing process and my dad, with the permission of his boss, would come and check up on me every “down time” he had.

Why hello there little Spriki.

The nurses cleaning up Spriki.

Our first family picture— The Ramas-Mendezonas

My husband Marco was present and he and my mom were asked by Dr. Swords to literally hep out in the birthing process.

Daddy’s first time changing Cassie’s diaper, he got to do it before I did.

World, meet our little Spriki. Maria Iliana Cassandra “Cassie” Ramas Mendezona born on October, 19 at 7lbs. 80.49 oz.

I’m officially a mommy now!!!!

~Rhea

A Milk and Cookies Baby Shower

I’ve always been fascinated with “Milk and Cookies” for a party theme, I mean who gets milk and cookies at a party unless its a pajama party, right? Now this theme is truly and wholly dedicated to that, its easy to execute and what’s not to love—-c’mon it’s milk and cookies we’re talking about.

The fascination became stronger when I came across this 6-pack set of milk bottles from 5 below, they were selling it for just $5. Hmmm..not bad at all.

A week after seeing those bottles at 5 below, I happened to be at a Target store and I always visit their dollar section at the entrance. They had a bunch of good finds especially for fall—burlap runners, burlap strings, halloween decorations, the usual socks, dollar treats and they had decorative steel buckets and steel milk canisters as well.

The milk canisters are similar to this photo and they were sold for only $3/each, at that time I knew I just had to get at least 2 of these canisters and I had to go back for those milk bottles at 5 below to keep for a future “Milk and Cookies” party I’d be throwing for Cassie if not for a baby shower with my friends. Marco and I finally had the time to pass by 5 below again I went in and was relieved to see a few more boxes of those milk bottles, I quickly grabbed 3, paid for it and was surprised when the cashier told me that I only had to pay close to $8 for all 3 boxes. Noticeably with a puzzled look on my face, he was nice enough to inform me that the milk bottles were actually on sale and were half off, he even grabbed 4 boxes for himself just the other day. I quickly thanked him and slowly walked towards the parking lot where Marco was waiting for me. I told him him about the sale and asked him if I should get more, he agreed and so I did. Another 6-pack of milk bottles for $2.50, not bad…not bad at all. Looks like we’re really pushing through with that baby shower.

And since we received a $20 gift card for TJ Maxx, we found a cute winter onesie set for Cassie that was on sale and we ended up using the rest to buy 2 big vintage glass milk bottles for $3.99/each (as seen below) and a vintage glass cookie jar for the party.

Our last purchase for the dessert table was the most expensive one at $12, it was an oval galvanized vintage bucket for drinks we found at Hobby Lobby and we wouldn’t have even purchased it if it weren’t for the 40% coupon that I had so we ended up getting it for around $7

Thanks to the gift card Marco and I only ended up spending around $23 for the 4 boxes of milk bottles, 2 galvanized milk canisters and the vintage bucket.

PRINTABLES:

Now I tend to go overboard with the printables, I like to see the variety of free printables the online world or “Google” has to offer. And if I see that they’re not up to par with what I’m looking for then I just make my own.

For the invitation I couldn’t find anything that was just simply black, white and red. Other than “milk and cookies” I wanted everything to be in those three colors; it’s plain, basic and simple. So I turned to ever reliable Microsoft Word (I’m pretty sure there’s an easier program out there and a better one at making simple invitations but MS Word works for me), googled “cow borders” and this one came up, I got it from Cliparthut.com . It had a watermark in the middle and soI worked around it by putting a big thick black border in the middle,I could’ve edited it out but it worked anyway. Next I googled “milk and cookies” illustration and found this one, credits go to Jomar Aplaon who made the illustration and who happens to be from the Philippines too. Then I pretty much just filled up the entire thing with the details of the party.

And since we decided on Tuesday to push through with this thing even if I’ve been feeling extra and heavy and sluggish the past few days, we sent the invitation through text, Viber and Facebook of course.

I also ended up making a cover photo for the event on Facebook. I just googled “Got Milk Logo” and pretty much added the “…and cookies?” part.

The template for the game word scramble I recycled from the baby shower in the Philippines. I just changed the color of the border line from pink to red and changed the actual borders from chevron to cow spots.

I made “Onesie Wishes” for the tea party baby shower in Manila and decided that this time it would be ice to have the titas and titos write wishes for Cassie on milk canister cut-outs.

Thanks to Simplybovine.com for this free cow spots banner printable. I actually found it a few minutes before the start of the party when I realized that the other table looked bare. There was no time to put these cut-outs on a string so I taped them directly to the white disposable table cover.

And since the prizes that were wrapped in clear plastic bags, tied around with white curling ribbons looked bare as well, I looked for printables that I could attach to it just to give it more character and found these cute chocolate chip cookies  by Glitterlambs.com .

The “thank you” tags were made with MS Word as well. I looked for blank tag outlines and pretty much embedded the Milk and Cookies illustration right in the middle and placed the following text as seen.

DIY-ing

THE PARTY:

Pre-party set up.

Note how the cake isn’t on the dessert table and the 2 vintage milk bottles are missing as well. Marco and I waited for the guests to come before putting those out.

The plastic jars were recycled, they were actually containers of the lychee coco jelly we get from the Asian store. I like how their covers are red but they were too big for us to fill-up so I ended up combing two kinds of cookies in one big jar. The other clear plastic containers were recycled from other parties, you can just get them from Dollar Tree or any dollar store and it’s intentionally plastic so when someone accidentally knocks it over, we won’t have to deal with any shattered glass problems. To provide levels on the dessert table, I wrapped old shoe boxes and made sure they were sturdy enough to hold whatever is on top of it.

Cocktail Punch—mixed fruit punch, orange juice, ginger ale and a few slices of lemon. Voila!

Didn’t get to take photos of the food but we had Cocktail Meatball in cranberry and barbecue sauce, Cocktail Smokies in grape jelly and barbecue sauce, Potato Salad, Domino’s Pizza and Marco’s family dip and chips for merienda. 

You did it sweetie, the dip was a hit.

The Dessert Table

This whole thing was literally a Marco and Rhea production, I love you Marc.

Not bad for a Target Cake. I’m actually impressed.

Cake slicing with this dork of mine.

Cassie will have a handful to read when she’s all grown up but she will feel loved.

Dirty Diaper Game—alright girls, keep sniffing

Tito Marco and Riley

The prizes—Krispy Kreme scented candles and Udderly Smooth Hand lotion.

Yes, the prizes were in theme

Clearly babbled by the word scramble

Riley’s matching mommy Jo now.

Ninong Paulo and Leia

Eat anything but Cassie sweetie..Haha

You’ll have crazy fun with Tita Roxi, Cassie…that’s for sure. Haha

Cassie’s Titas and Titos

Thanks Tita Jasna for this cute Diaper Cake! We love owls- Cassie

Okay we’ll admit it, we’ve never been so happy to see this much diapers and baby wipes.

 

Mason jars from Walmart filled with different flavors of cookie bites— Chips Ahoy, Oreo, Nutter Butter and Ritz Bits Cheese (technically biscuits but whatever). Take one for the road, hope you enjoyed guys and thanks for coming!

~Rhea and Marco