Browsing Category: family

And then there were 4.

My friend Sanwaree came over and snapped some pictures of our family last Sunday afternoon and we are obsessed! She did such a great job capturing little snippets of our life and especially Nouri’s personality. Having this chronicle of an afternoon is such a gift.

n and n 1
Nouri is obsessed with her baby sister. In the mornings, she jumps into our bed to tickle her and pull on her ear. When I pick her up from daycare, she runs to Nia’s side of the car to say hello to her. If Nia is crying, Nouri runs and shows her a toy or book and if she keeps crying, Nouri starts to cry as well.
nia 1
Nia is at that great age when you can lay her on the couch and there is no fear of her rolling over or going anywhere! The second time around, you realize how fast that moment goes and how sweet and helpless they are.
nia 2
We love wrapping Nia up in my scarves and clothes. Having something I have worn helps her feel like I am holding her. She is wrapped in my nursing cover here. The rug is the same one my brother has. We saw it at his place and I was obsessed.
nia 3
Feraz is an expert at wrapping babies. At the hospital, the nurse commented on how well Nia was wrapped and couldn’t believe Feraz had done it.
nouri 1
We should probably get a runner for these stairs. Whenever it is time for bed, Nouri peeks through the bannister and says “Bye-bye! Dhafiz!” As soon as she hears Feraz running her bath upstairs, she starts excitedly climbing up.
nouri 2
Nouri loves being “outchide!”. She is always getting her shoes out and begging us to put them on so she can go play outside. She already knows the way to the park herself and will head in that direction as soon as we head out. There is our little blue Fit which we brought both the girls home in. It will be a little sad to see it go for… a minivan!
mom and babies 2
To get our outside time in before Papa comes home, I wear Nia and usually let Nouri walk along. We spend a lot of time on our cul de sac going round and round. Having two has felt so much more balanced for me.
nouri 3
Since we try to keep toys to a real minimum in our house, Nouri is constantly using whatever is around to play with. These cushions get a lot of use and Nouri loves climbing up on the sofas and jumping around.
nouri 4
Mealtime is a cornerstone of our day. I love Nouri’s highchair and all the memories that are associated with it. I still remember when she picked up her first foods and smashed them on her face because she wasn’t quite sure where her mouth was. This picture also does a great job of capturing her bowl haircut which I think is a right of passage for all children.
nouri 5
This is what happens when you try to get your kid to smile and say cheese. I take pictures of Nouri every day and I have to be careful that she doesn’t start to hate them! All of this is so fleeting and I hate the idea of not having these moments to look back on. It’s a fine balance between capturing the memories and being present for them as well.
nouri 6
Whenever people ask us why we have a disco ball in the living room, I answer because some blogger said it adds whimsy to your space. She was so right! I love it and hope we get around to hanging it up so it twirls and we can instantly transform our living room into a disco whenever we feel like it.
nouri 7
Life is a party. I think we spend over half our days at home on these sofas. Will be good to see how well they hold up after a year. So far we have had them for eight months. Because you know, the best time to buy nice new sofas is when you have young children.
nouri 8
Kids these days. Even without any screen time, she is picking up the ubiquity of phones and technology.
nouri 10
Nouri used to always watch me on the yoga ball when I was pregnant and now uses any round object as a ball herself. Here she is getting up from her disco ball chair.
nouri 11
Nouri playing with the new toy Dadi brought her. Nouri loves to ‘color’ and this should be a good way to keep crayons and markers at bay. At least for now.
nouri and mom 1
My baby and my baby’s baby. And a disco ball. See above.
nouri and papa 2
Nouri loves to swaddle her dolls. Paying close attention as she learns to use the miracle blanket from the master himself.
the scene

Nouri’s First Birthday


For Nouri’s first birthday, I wanted to plan a day that was low key and focused on celebrating our first year of parenthood.  We spent the night before Nouri’s birthday remembering how an year earlier we had no idea our little baby was coming that day. My lightening fast labor didn’t give us any time to reflect on the fact that we were about to become parents! Even as we drove to the hospital I was afraid to think it- that the next time I would be coming home, it would be as a mother. A mother!

Immediately after Nouri was born, I asked, “Is she ok? Is she healthy?” And asked again and again. I was so scared that something had gone wrong in that intense finale of my pregnancy. But there she was, our sweet little baby. Going through those memories with Feraz was so special. Talking about how much love we have for Nouri, remembering her different milestones and reflecting on how lucky we feel to be her parents may have been the best part of the celebration.


For Nouri’s actual birthday I wanted to keep decorations to a minimum so I simply ordered a bunch of prints of Nouri’s first year from Costco to put up around the house, ordered this honeycomb garland, picked up a bunch of balloons from the dollar store and called it a day. We ate yummy chicken biryani, saag, bindhi, raitha and samosas.

The night before Nouri’s birthday, we blew up balloons and put them all over the house as a nod to one our favorite nicknames for Nouri- Noonie Baloonie. I found this birthday girl balloon dress on Amazon and felt it was too pricey for something she would just be wearing for a few hours but managed to find it for $5 on Ebay! Yes! Especially good because I don’t think she found it particularly comfortable.


I had seen these awesome fruit cakes around and loved them as a slightly healthier option than a traditional smash cake. The cake was really, really easy to assemble and none of the mess that comes with a smash cake!


For the birthday cake for everyone else to eat, I used my cake making cheat. After years of making cakes, I’ve found that the cake portion doesn’t really taste much different whether I’m using a box mix or whether I’m making it from scratch so I just go for the super quick box mix. Frosting is a different story. I can definitely tell the difference between homemade and frosting from a can so I usually just whip that up with whatever 4 or 5 ingredients the recipe calls for. In this case, I made a vanilla cream cheese frosting, filled the cake with raspberry preserves and topped with sprinkles. Super easy and forgiving.


Probably the first and last time I will be able to blow out Nouri’s candle. Even here, she looks appalled that she isn’t doing it. I made Nouri the “one” crown using this picture as inspiration and using this and this tutorial for guidance. I think a crown is a better idea for an older kid because Nouri basically pulled it off after thirty seconds of wearing it. But we still got a few good shots with it during our family pictures so not a total wash!


I used the pictures I printed of Nouri to decorate around the house. I used them to spell out her name and to make a big number one. I selected the white border option when I printed the pictures to help them pop and used washi tape to stick them up so I wouldn’t damage the walls.


I loved the honeycomb garland. It’s so whimsical and adds some great pops of color. We are thinking of just leaving it up because it’s fun and reminds us that all of life is a party! (I’m aware that the cheese level getting dangerously high on this post.)


Not the greatest quality but I had to include one of the only family pictures from the day. Love my little family so much!


Family Pictures by Blue Lily



A long time ago I saw photos by Blue Lily on a blog I read and was obsessed. I loved the work this husband and wife duo puts out. When I saw that they were coming to Maryland close to Nouri’s birthday, I knew I had to book them.

We’ve been trying to get family photos done for ages but haven’t been able to get our act together. In this case, I didn’t find out Blue Lily would be in town until a few days before the shoot I was able to book. In an ideal world, I would have liked to have had a ton of time to plan things better, to have taken the day off work and to have maybe lost 40 pounds. But I had to work with what I had!


The day we took these pictures and even looking at them the first time, I felt disappointed- I wished that Feraz had shaved, that I had picked a different outfit to wear, that I had coordinated our colors better. I wish I hadn’t gone to a new place to get my hair blow dried so I would have liked how it turned out.


And that’s ok. Because I know that when I look at these pictures one, five, ten years from now- all I will see is my beautiful little family and how we took these photos to commemorate the first year of our sweet little Nouri’s life.



Her first year did have a moment when I found myself parked in a random neighborhood stress eating a bag full of McDonalds alone as I cried but I’m thankful that there were only a handful of moments like that. Mostly there were evenings of rushing home from work to cuddle my sweet baby, laying awake at night marveling at the little angel we had made, evenings eating together as a family, watching Nouri go from a little blob to a little firecracker who has more of my personality than I am probably ever going to be able to handle.


And so, so many laughs.