Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Bring on the Fourth!

peek-a-boo!
make that peek-a-boo-boo... note major knot on her sweet head
you can't hear it...
but she's signing the Star Spangled Banner to you!
.... in "ughs", "oohs" and "weees!"
door art

Tonight I'm busy taking pics of Claudia's latest art from Creme. This art is all dedicated to the Fourth of July. I've decided that instead of trying to save all the art Claudia creates (aside from the really special pieces worth saving and sharing with others, i.e., Gram), I'm going to take pics of the art and save it that way. So, here we are, some art for the Fourth! Hope everyone is as excited as we are! I'll probably take the art off the door though... Hurricane Alex on his way. Boo!

Monday, June 28, 2010

Summer Stuff

someone has been climbing the walls of our house...
... in an attempt to go outside & play...
So we headed over to Gram & Grandpa's to play
(note the ear tugging... ear infection #4?)
some of us rode bikes
That's my husband on my mother's Schwinn
while I put my peaches to good use!
With Russell's help of course!we put them on my LeCreuset grill pan
and then dunked them in vanilla ice cream
& covered with a brown sugar / butter / cinnamon glaze.
delicious!
These are just some of the beautiful flowers at G&G's house.
Grandpa is responsible for making their gardens grow!
hello, happy sunflower!
three pretty pink ladies in a row
can't beat a beautiful rose
love orange. love it.

I'm going to let the pictures speak for themselves here. Summer has kicked into high gear here in Houston. In other words, it feels like its hotter than the center of the sun down here & I'm melting. We braved the heat for an outdoor lunch on Saturday at Little Bigs in Montrose for sliders & shakes... mmmm. Surprisingly, Claudia would not eat the sliders, despite her love of hamburgers. Odd. But she loved the fries! Later I went to the Houston Garden Center to acquire our new plants for the backyard. The new patio furniture arrived and Russell assembled it. Phase I of my backyard project is complete. No pictures until we are done!

On Sunday we went to Gram & Grandpa's where we played indoors and out. Claudia played with her new Olivia doll, jumped on the floor pillows and inspected the flowers. By the end of the day she was not doing so hot... teething pains and what we suspect is another ear infection. She stayed home today with Gram and is already feeling better. Hopefully its just teething pain. Aside from that, it was another fun summer weekend!

Friday, June 25, 2010

St. Arnold, Patron Saint of Brewers

running around the house... with an infant CPR manual
the brewery... they give you free tastes of their entire line
the giant vats of brew - all of which have fun names like
"St Elvis" and "St. Wenceslas"
this is only about half of the vats
tthe St. Arnold's bug. who doesn't LOVE bugs?!
sweet ride Its a Rolls, baby. A tie-dyed Rolls.
me with the owner of St. Arnold's. he was hilarious
Today I found myself wandering around the St. Arnold's brewery here in Houston in connection with a function we did for our summer law clerks. They were more than happy to leave the office at 2:30 to go taste test beers and I was content to join them. St. Arnold's is a great local beer outfit that has a wide range of funky (good funky) beers... Summer Pils is my favorite, but I'm also a fan of Lawnmower, Spring Bock & Elissa IPA. The brewery gives tours Monday through Saturday and man, that place is hoppin'. We toured the facilities, which was formerly owned by Houston Independent School District... they stored all their frozen foods there. The owner told us that when he first visited the place he decided his daughters would forever carry sack lunches. It was a great field trip and taste testing all the St. Arnold's beers was EXACTLY how I wanted to spend my afternoon (after my horrible Thursday I won't speak of).
In baby news, CC has really stepped up her vocab. This week she has said the following new ones: "donkey", "thanks", "done", "car keys"... the list goes on. We are very impressed. Aren't you?!

Monday, June 21, 2010

Tour of North Louisiana

the McLendons at the Harp Family Reunion
Sorry if I look a little rough... it was 98 degrees &
I was baking from the inside out.
Claudia and Cassidy
Cassidy thinking hard about that last bite of breadstick
...until these came out. "H" for Harp... very cute
Daddy & his Bop
going on a walk through the park where the Reunion was held
Russell & Dan with their little ladies, Claudia & Cassidy
Aunt Daina & Claudia
Bop! Claudia gives Greatgrandpa his sign "#1 Dad"!
a Ruston peach... does it get any sweeter?
one minor setback... Mitchams was closed...
...but there was no one around for as far as the eye could see... ... and Claudia was snoozing...
so, yes, I helped myself to a few peaches
meanwhile, back at Memaw's in Shreveport
and later in Mer Rouge...a remote control helicopter for Grandaddy
make that remote control helicopters for everybody!
Happy father's day!
especially to this guy!

This past weekend we took a little road trip across North Louisiana. Here is a rundown of where we went, what we did, & who we saw:

First Stop Shreveport...

As always, we stayed with my Memaw in Shreveport. With Memaw, you can always count on good food and a few good laughs. In exchange for two delicious meals at Memaw's, Russell taught Memaw how to Skype. We even tested her last night when we got back to Houston and what do you know?... a successful Skype communication. I think I love this Skype thing & can't wait to do it more.

Next, we headed to Bastrop...

Here we attended the Harp Family Reunion. By way of background, Russell's mother was Linda Harp McLendon & there are a whole slew of Harps ... so this is quite a shindig. My little family has never had a family reunion, so I'm always impressed by the Harp get togethers. Russell was excited to see his cousin Dan Miller, who is a little older than Russell and has a beautiful family which includes his wife Maggie & their beautiful girl Cassidy, who is a few months older than Claudia. Dan has a pretty great blog as well! Here it is http://millerclimb.blogspot.com/

Then on to Oak Ridge... (and Monroe for a bit)

After the reunion, we spent the day with the McLendon family in Oak Ridge. We enjoyed being lazy at the McLendon house & then we went to dinner with Russell's grandfather, grandmother & Aunt Jerelyn in Monroe. We gave Russell's grandfather his father's day presents, which included an original Claudia masterpiece. He was very excited. =)

Oh yes, and then there was Mer Rouge...

We stayed at Russell's boyhood home in Mer Rouge where we visited with Grandaddy and Mama Kate. I love staying at their house because it is situated on a beautiful pecan orchard. It is absolutely beautiful. I want to live there. It would, unfortuantely, take 16 hours to commute to and from work everyday.
Next stop Ruston

Now, my apologies for what comes next... We got to Ruston and I wanted some peaches. Mitcham's was closed... so I proceeded to the peach orchard and helped myself. I did not come all that way not to get some peaches. I have already sent a fiver to Mitcham's, so hold off the dogs. =)

Finally, home.

Finally on Sunday evening we rolled into Houston. We were exhausted, which is probably how you feel if you actually read all this. That's all folks! Happy father's day!

Happy Second Daddy's Day, Russell!

Daddy reading to Claudia (June 2009)
Daddy admiring newborn Claudia (April 2009)
Daddy & Claudia giving Eskimo kisses (January 2010)
Daddy giving Claudia a bottle (Easter 2010)
Happy Father's Day, Russell! First, let me start by saying that I wouldn't be able to do anything I do without you. You are the best husband and I appreciate you more than I tell you... so... THANK YOU! Second, you are an amazing daddy & have taken to this fatherhood thing like a fish to water. In this past year you have learned how to change diapers like a pro, make Claudia laugh when she is grumpy, coax Claudia to eat even while she was on hunger strikes, change the diaper genie in a minute flat, administer baby tylenol to a tight-lipped Claudia, make Oatmeal the Bear come to life when Claudia is fussy... the list goes on.... Claudia and I love you so very much. Thank you and happy second father's day!
Xoxo,
Mommy & Claudia

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Houston Children's Museum

Daddy & C in front of the Children's Museum
spinning daisies
helping Daddy cross a bridge
who is that I see?!
It's Alberto!! Claudia nearly had a fit when she saw him. =)
Mila & I getting the babies situated for a photo op
the ball pit... fyi... she had a meltdown when we took her out.
what a good climber!

On Sunday we went to the Houston Children's Museum. This place is aaamazing. I believe it has about 3 or 4 levels, one of which is devoted solely to the under 3 crowd. The babies run free and wild. The adults learn to pretty much stay out of their way. Its about 80% padded so its pretty safe. They have little mazes, plush stairs & slides, little houses, halls of mirrors, little cars, ball pits... I could go on, but I won't. Claudia had a great time, so I'll let the pictures speak for themselves. One thing I will share... they have an entire floor called "Kidtropolis." Its a little city for kids and it has it all... grocery store, bank, hospital, jail house, stock market, car dealership,

court house, tv station... everything. The kids can dress up like doctors, traders, judges, grocery store clerk, you name it. Amazing. They did NOT have stuff like this when I was a kid. Maybe that's why I had lofty aspirations to become a clown. Seriously. Glad I grew out of that. =)
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