Monday, May 31, 2010

Memorial Day Weekend

It's funny how toddlers can go from this...
... to this...
... and then this... all within 30 seconds.
Always good for a smile & giggle.
the snail who decided to take up residence in my herb garden.
haven't decided if he is a friend or foe to my herbs,
but we enjoyed taking a million pictures of the brave little dude.
hello dinner!
Audrey offering Claudia a sip as we set out on a wagon ride.
more mudbugs. delicious!
sweet Audrey Claire
everyone enjoying some bugs
Don, Tanney & Rusty
Now that its Memorial Day, I think I can officially say that summer is here. We had a busy, fun weekend with friends and family... too bad I can't take tomorrow off, because I'm completely wiped out. On Saturday morning, we went to Wabash Seed & Feed (post to follow, because that place is absolutely crazy) where I got stuff to make an herb garden. I'm pretty excited about this herb garden, so I'll post on that soon. Later that day, we headed over to the McGraw's house for a crawfish boil. It was our first crawfish all season so we were practically foaming at the mouth for those little guys. Needless to say, the mudbugs did not disappoint. We ate a ton. We're erring on the side of caution and keeping Claudia off bugs until she is three. Don't want to find out the hard way if she is allergic.
On Sunday afternoon Claudia had a playdate with her little boyfriend from Creme, Jacob... who is the sweetest little man I've ever encountered. He looks a little like Claudia... bald head, big eyes. They look pretty cute together & they place nice, so it was a fun afternoon. The only hitch is that Claudia gets a little territorial with her toys when her friends come over. We're working on that one. =)
On Monday we went to Gram & Grandpa's house where we had some awesome grilled burgers & brauts. Mom did a great job. My pics from today are still on the camera and I'm too lazy to hunt it down & load them. So, I promise to post those later too. Hopefully everyone had a safe and fun Memorial Day. I will sign off with a salute to all the American soldiers who lost their lives serving our country. God bless you all!

Thursday, May 27, 2010

We Miss You Already, Aunt T!

Aunt T giving Claudia some wagon wheel crackers
so happy...
even happier!
Gram, Bop, Aunt T & me
Here, Grandpa, let me fix your hair!

Today was a fun day, but also a sad day. My Aunt T, who lived in San Diego most of her life, but has lived in Louisiana for, oh, the past nine years, is moving back to San Diego. She is so very special to me and that is why it was a sad day. Tonight we had dinner at our place and tomorrow she will be on her way. I know she will be so excited & happy to be back in California, but I am going to miss her like crazy. Looks like we need to schedule the Bop's first trip to California!
Aunt T, we miss you already and send you lots of hugs & kisses!

Fresh Keds

Oh Claudia, I have a question...
Is there anything better than your brand, spanking new Keds?
... (besides the new Converse All Stars that don't fit yet) ...
They are great!
Bop playing in her new shoes
She likes to kick and stretch!
Claudia just got her first pair of Keds. I was definitely more excited about this than she was. Growing up, there was always something special about going back to school because I always got a new pair of Keds. I was more than trilled to give Claudia a fresh pair of Keds... although she seemed more skeptical of them than excited. Oh well, I'm sure she'll appreciate fresh Keds in a few years. =)

Monday, May 24, 2010

First Day in Toddler Club

But I don't want to go to the Toddler Room!
Good thing the uniform has built in bloomers.
This is what she came home in ....
after she went through all the uniforms we packed.
The artist & her artwork...
reflective of the themes of the day / week...
I asked her to autograph one of them,
but she gave it a hug instead. =)
Claudia and her crew in Pouponniere No. 2 just made the big move to the Toddler Club. She is no longer considered a baby ... at least at Creme ... as she is now in Toddler Club No. 3. She's all baby to me though. =) This morning we got her outfitted in her little uniform, packed her bag and gave her a little pep talk. Daddy did the drop off, which didn't go so hot... but once Jake, Alberto & Hailey made it to breakfast, the situation improved greatly. By the time I picked her up, she was happy, laughing and smiling. She ate 100% of her meals & snacks, napped on her mat (she graduated from the crib!) and made three "paintings." Her classes all went well ... although think its a little funny that 13 month old has a class schedule (Language Development, followed by Reading, then Math... snack ... playtime ... outside play ... lunch ... naptime ... snack ... Music, outside play ... Science, art, snack ... playtime, Puppets, Outside play ... snack). Buzy bee, huh?! Hopefully tomorrow will go just as smoothly!

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Happy Birthday to Kelly & Baby Swimming

Daddy trying to get Claudia to do "peace" ... or "two" ... or something...
Claudia doing "hook em horns" instead.
Wrong team C, but we love the effort!
my unsuccessful attempt to capture Audrey's awesome ruffled tierred swimsuit.
sassy. stylish. i love it.
Claudia making a new friend, Everett,
who also celebrated his birthday yesterday
a little apprehensive at first...
... but turned into a fish within moments.
strolling around the pool with Ruh.
the height differenc always makes me laugh.
Oh, Claudia... always on the wrong side of a door.
getting ready for the party... sippy cup in hand
the pies. so thoughtful & presented so well!
Kelly blowing out the candles on her pies.
Don & his pies. Good work, my friend.

It's safe to say that summer has arrived in Houston. It's hot, muggy & fabulous. Saturday morning I took Claudia to have breakfast with Aunt Ginger and Uncle Jimmy. Uncle Jimmy is doing great & we all enjoyed sitting outside & having some delicious chocolate croissants. The apple doesn't fall too far the tree... Claudia loves her some chocolate. Aunt Ginger is getting ready to head back to Memphis to help out Aunt Kristy & Uncle Adam ... who will be having a their sweet baby girl early July! We are pretty excited as Claudia will have a new cousin to play with!

Later that day we headed over to the McGraws to celebrate Kelly's birthday. I am never surprised, but assuredly charmed by Don Echols' attention to details. For Kelly's birthday, he grilled some delicious kababs and slow cooked some black beans with cilantro. It was absolutely delicious & I'm so glad to hear that the Echols have a love affair with their slow cooker like we McLendons do. Here's the cute part. Don baked three pies for Kelly & carved out her initials in the crust of the pies so that the pies spelled out "K" "F" "E"... it was delicious, thoughtful... and I would now like for Russell to spell out "MMM" in mashmellows on a tray of brownies. hint hint.

The McGraws were feeling extra hospitable and took in the Bop for the night so we could stay late and visit with everyone. She did great with her second slumber party with Audrey (see pics from first party). No tears this time. =) We came over Sunday morning and then had a little pool party. Claudia and Audrey enjoyed swimming ... especially the part about their diapers swelling up to the size of beach balls. We are thinking we will do some more swim lessons together this summer. We may even get those swim diapers, but I'm sure they wont provide nearly as much entertainment, but we'll see.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Chow Time

Claudia wielding her spoon
not quite getting the right end into her mouth...
... giving up & using spoon as belly scratcher

For a long time Claudia just refused to eat. Aside from cheese & yogurt, there wasn't much you could dangle in front of her to coax that little mouth open. Well, things have changed. Miss Jessica at Creme asked me one day... "Mommy, do you think you could pack more food for Claudia? She is getting really hungry, taking food from the other babies & eating Cheerios she finds on the floor."
As you can imagine, I was pretty horrified that my baby was starving & mortified because the other mommies there overheard this. Well, don't worry, she's not starving! We are packing the biggest lunches we can fit into the cute ballerina lunch bag Aunt Jerelyn gave us. Claudia is eating anything and everything... and.... she just started trying to use her little fork and spoons. Pretty impressive, huh? We thought so too. Good work, Claudia!

Sunday, May 16, 2010

The Butterfly Dome

CC gets a closeup of some butterflies
a closeup of Lionel, the butterfly
Daddy holding Bop
Claudia attempting to pet Lionel
meet Kevin, the tree frog

This weekend was pretty relaxed. On Saturday we visited with Aunt Ginger over breakfast at La Madeleine's. Claudia showed Aunt Ginger how great she is a toddling around. I think was Aunt Ginger was pretty impressed... even when Claudia toddled over to another customer & grabbed her toosh! Russell's Aunt Ginger & Uncle Jimmy have been in Houston for the past several months while Jimmy receives cancer treatments at M.D. Anderson. Uncle Jimmy has proved to his doctors and everyone around him that when you have faith & courage... anything is possible. I also think it helps that he has Ginger in his corner... she is an amazing source of hope, love and compassion. You can't help but smile when you are with her. =)

Today Gram & Grandpa stopped by for a visit and then we we went to the Cockrell Center at the Museum of Natural Sciences... aka ... the Butterfly Dome. Its a three story glass enclosure that is filled with the most beautiful butterflies. There are also some cool frogs & iguanas hanging around as well. Claudia enjoyed looking at all the critters. Russell and I also had fun. The Butterfly Dome has always been one of my favorite places in Houston. I was so excited to take Claudia for her first Dome visit. Here are some pictures from our day!

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Mother's Day Weekend

Celebrating Mother's Day with my Mother
... and my wonderful wonderful Memaw
... and Aunt Debbie (while Claudia continues to nibble on coasters)
Claudia spent Mother's Day telling me how much she loves me...
and eating the feathers off Chirpy Chick.
Aunt Staci & Aunt Mandi also love Chirpy Chick.
It is a good one!
Russell, Chris, Staci & Claudia hanging out at the cookout
Daddy taking C-bop to the cookout in her wagon.
CC in her new big girl seat. It's huge! Luckily, we can still do it rear facing.
Russell getting me and Memaw some cupcake from the roaming cupcake airstream.
Apparently you have to Twitter to find out its exact location.
We just happen to find it every now and then by chance.
Claudia giving Memaw her Mother's Day presents
Claudia and Gram sharing a laugh with Grandpa.
Claudia and her new lamb chop doll from Gram & Grandpa.

This weekend I celebrated my second Mother's Day with my favorite moms... my Mom, my Memaw and my Aunt Debbie. Memaw came to Houston on Friday and we kicked off the weekend by going to El Tiempo ... where a baby can be fussy & no one will mind because its so noisy & fun. Luckily, Claudia had a great time people watching and eating chicken enchiladas.
On Saturday we went on some wagon rides (Claudia's favorite activity), caught the end of the annual Houston Art Car parade downtown & caught What's Up Cupcake! at the corner of 14th & Shepherd. I love those cupcakes because I never know when I will get one... the airstream trailor from which they are sold is constantly hopping around the Heights ... so when I spotted it on Saturday, I screamed "PULL OVER!" Daddy was very obliging, in honor of Mother's Day, so Memaw & I got some delish cupcakes.
On Sunday we rolled over to Aunt Debbie & Uncle Matthew's for a Mother's Day cookout. We had a great time eating all the great food... Claudia ate about a 1/4 of a cheeseburger... mac&cheese & potato salad ... and then I caught Aunt Debbie, Memaw & Mom all giving her strawberry shortcake & red velvet bread pudding. Needless to say, she went to bed with a full belly. It was an excellent second mother's day and I am so thankful to have spent it with my favorite moms!

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