Wednesday, March 30, 2005

Anna's birthday

Just a quick post tonight, guys. Anna had a great birthday. She loved the cake (that character is Uniqua, her favorite from The Backyardigans). At her school there is a playscape that only children 4 and up can play on, and she got her first taste of it today. Apparently other children yelled at her about being only 3, but one of the teachers said, "Today Anna turned 4, she is invited to play on this playscape." She told me, "I liked the slide, Mommy, and the blue stairs, but I'm afraid of the monkey bars." I assured her that when she is ready, she'll be able to do the monkey bars, too.

I made her spaghetti and meatballs for dinner. She had requested it for a birthday meal a few days ago when I was going to the grocery store, but I guess today she had birthday remorse. As I was mixing the beef, breadcrumbs made from Lisa's yummy bread, dried oregano from Uncle Buck, and a homegrown egg, Anna said, "No Mommy! I want meatball soup!" Meaning the cheap kind in a can. I told her we didn't have any, so she went into the pantry and rustled up RAMEN NOODLES. "I don't want spaghetti, I want THESE kind of noodles! I want to make them NOW." Fortunately, I was able to stall her, and after a pre-dinner trip to the park, she was hungry enough for the homemade meal. She did enjoy it, and fortunately did not request the 10 cent noodles.

I can believe I birthed this baby 4 years ago. I keep having the ridiculous thought that someone could've gone through high school in that amount of time. Or vet school, for that matter. I told her this morning, "Happy birthday, Anna. I'm so glad you were born 4 years ago today." And she said, "Thank you, Mommy, I love you, too!"

Monday, March 28, 2005


YUMMY Easter Dinner

When we figured out that neither of us had any extended family plans for Easter, Lisa and I decided our families should do Easter dinner together. I asked Lisa if they liked lamb. "We do," she said, "but we hardly ever eat it." So that settled it - I bought half a leg o' lamb - the top, meatier half - I even palpated that smooth femoral head just to be sure. I also bought 2 bunches of asparagus (on sale for $0.99 a pound!). Lisa said she would bake bread and make dessert.

The lamb turned out so well! Even Ruby, who is a very picky eater, chowed down! And the bread, omigod! Its a recipe Lisa got from Perugia, and it has lots of cheese, butter, and eggs in it. The crust was so flaky and cheesey, we kept giving the middle part to Colin just so we could eat more crust! And dessert was this strawberry pudding - not like Jello pudding (blech), but like this light, sweet, souffle of strawberry essense. Oh yeah, and I roasted a medley of white, red, and purple potatoes (very Easter-y) and grilled the asparagus. And we had a salad from the lettuce grown in our own garden. Fresh greens taste amazing. Anthony was in charge of libations, and made us pre-dinner Cosmopolitans, then opened Columbia Crest Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon, and made wonderful decaf coffee for dessert. Needless to say, we all got stuffed and were very sorry when the evening was over.

Here's how I did the lamb:

3 1/2 lbs top end leg o' lamb, thick fat removed from outside. Slice ~3 garlic cloves lengthwise, and stuff into little slits all over meat. Rub meat with lemon juice, salt and pepper, minced rosemary, and olive oil. Sear outside on very hot grill, 3-4 minutes/side. Finish in 350 oven until reaching internal temp of 140. Let rest 5 minutes, then slice and devour.

Sure to bring out the carnivore in us all.

Sunday, March 27, 2005

Easter Eggs

Anna said, "Can we paint eggs today?" "Yes, honey," I said, "but you don't paint eggs, you dye them." Then I thought, well, why not. We had a little water paint set from Auntie Steph, and it actually worked extremely well - see for yourself!

We had to buy these white eggs - probably first I bought since last Easter. We actually have our own chickens, but they lay brown eggs. Also, they make terrible boiled eggs. Even if they've been in our fridge for a month. Apparently, fresh eggs don't peel well after they are boiled, so you're better off with grocery store eggs that have sat at room temperature for who knows how long.

Egg Hunt!

The good thing about living in the suburbs is things like the really great egg hunt that neighbors organize at the park steps away from our house. They put like a thousand eggs in our little park. Enough eggs that every dawdling toddler will still walk away with a HAUL of Easter loot. Observe all the eggs strewn about in the following photo:

I like the way Anna is RUNNING towards a new egg she had spied, running past at least 3 others. This photo was taken after they had been already hunting for at least 3 minutes.

We were so glad to have our friends, Lisa & Michael, Ruby & Lyra, join us. Here, best friends Anna & Ruby show off their bounty.

Look at those baskets! Lots of Easter loot for everyone. And, I appreciate that most eggs don't contain candy. We got lots of stickers, plastic animals, and stamps!

Here's a good action shot of Lyra.

Despite the plethora of eggs, the whole thing was over pretty quickly. Before we returned to our house for coffee on this cold, blustery day, Colin got a few moments in the swing. Check out the muddy shoes!

Friday, March 25, 2005

Fido 2

At work today, we had our monthly staff meeting, and part of the time we had a conference call from a scientist at a cloning company, Genetic Savings and Clone. This is the company who recently cloned a cat for $50,000. One of our staff had met someone at the company, who offered to just inform us of the technology. Before the call, most of our staff was pretty morally opposed to cloning pets when there are so many homeless animals euthanized daily.

The scientist was really interesting. He stated he was not out to change our minds to be for or against cloning, he just wanted us to be aware of the process. You see, a veterinarian has to get a skin biopsy from the pet in order to submit it for tissue culture to later be used for cloning. You can do this on a live dog or cat, or one that has been dead and refrigerated for 5 days or less.

Cats, like horses, cattle, and sheep, can be cloned with current technology, but dogs have proved more elusive. This is because dogs ovulate an immature ovum (egg) unlike the other species. The company gets ovaries from stray facility spay and neuter surgeries, and harvests the eggs and matures them, then injects the DNA from the tissue culture. The irony of them harvesting eggs from animals taken out of the reproductive pool to limit pet overpopulation was not lost on us.

He stated that the reason to clone a pet was to replace a lost companion. Most of the owners that submit biopsies do it out of abject grief at the loss of their pet. 2 weeks later, when the company calls to let them know if the cells grew, most clients have come to terms with their loss and state that they do not want to pursue the cloning any further. Cats can be cloned at this point, but for dogs they are simply preserving the cells for later cloning.

One of our staff asked about how much of the personality was transferred in clones. Although many people say the cloned pet will do things just like the original pet, other times completely opposite personality traits have been observed. Although the nuclear DNA is the same between the original pet and the clone, there is cytoplasmic DNA (mDNA) that is directly inherited from the mother's ovum. So although genetically the clone is a copy, it is not completely the same, since the ovum didn't come from that animal or its mother.

The scientist also said that he understood this was an extremely expensive process, and should only be undertaken if the clients knew to expect a replacement pet, not an exact replica. And, no one should mortgage their home to pay for it. He personally had all rescued animals for pets and would not do this for one of his pets. He talked about the pros and cons equally and even referred us to websites against pet cloning.

I guess in the end he achieved his objective, informing us about what his company does without persuasively swaying us one way or another. I'm sure he is working there because it is an exciting new field, not because he feels a calling to preserve other people's beloved pets. He also gets funding for his science. I guess if I had a client in the absolute nadir of despair over losing their pet, I could offer to take a biopsy. But in my heart, I would be hoping they could let go of their dream of reproducing this animal more than spend so much money for a fair likeness.

Wednesday, March 23, 2005

A sense of accomplishment

Yesterday was a little frustrating for me. (where are those margaritas?) I worked my ass off at work - as in 1 potty break all day, and no lunch. It was supposed to be my half day, but I didn't finish up until 3 pm. Then I came home and the house was a wreck - no clean areas to be seen anywhere! So I picked up until it was time to start cooking dinner, then we ate, bathtime, and whoosh, the day was over.

Today, though, I got stuff done. No, not all the laundry (kids' stuff mostly put away, but mine is still in the basket). I went through the toys - you know, the ones spontaneously increasing their numbers in the corner of the living room and in Anna's closet. I was ruthless - 3 bags of toys and books that no one ever plays with or will ever miss. Of course, if Anna sees them bagged up, ready to go to Goodwill, she will howl about how she needs them. If they mysteriously disappear, though...

I took 3 bags of toys, one bag of books, and 3 bags of my old clothes to Goodwill. Even I couldn't look at the contents when I handed them over. But now that they're gone - ahhh!- I feel so much lighter in spirit whenever I think of all that I got rid of. I know I do this at least twice a year. Where does all this stuff come from? How come I keep getting rid of the old stuff, but it never all seems to leave me?

Of course, I did this in preparation for the onslaught of birthday presents for Anna. So, be forewarned, all ye who are buying gifts: think quality, not quantity! Both kids already have more toys than they could possibly play with, and this house needs no more junk!

Basketball guy

Can you tell from his smug mug that I totally posed him for this picture? I was trying to get a picture of him with the very cute basketball shirt that my sister Steph sent him. He really was playing basketball at the time, for the umpteenth time that morning.

Here he is with old Montana, winking at you.

He shoots, he scores! Can you tell he actually stands a few feet away now and throws the ball into the hoop?

How you know its time for your son to take a nap

Whilst quickly checking the email, notice he's gone and quiet.

Find him squatting in front of the litter box, with about 10 toddler-sized handfuls of slightly used Fresh Step on the floor next to him.

Tuesday, March 22, 2005

Laundry Update

Remember the laundry I set out to do on Sunday? I finally finished it yesterday. Well, its still sitting folded in laundry baskets. Hasn't made it back into the drawers and closets.

I'm running a little low on laundry inertia.

FIGHT! on Ivy Drive

There is a couple on our street that doesn't like children. Why they moved to this neighborhood I don't understand. Its the suburbs, people! Next to a park! They have a dog which they walk right in front of our house every night at 5:30. We have dogs, and so I'd try to catch their eye and smile. I even called out, "Hi," a few times. They did not respond. Even if my dogs were standing next to me, I was still, in their eyes, a breeder.

The guy (apparently named Rance) has yelled loudly and obnoxiously at children who dared to walk across his yard. Another time he yelled at his next door neighbor for mowing part of his side yard. When our neighbor does that, we say thank you. Anyway, all the kids who play basketball up and down our little side street know to avoid his yard.

Except, apparently, the 2 year old across the street. The story is, he was poking a stick in the part of his yard between the sidewalk and the road, so his 10 year old brother was trying to move him. Rance came out and yelled, "Get out of my yard, you disrespectful morons!!!!" A dad of some of the other kids came and tried to talk to him, but there is no reasoning with this type of angry human being. More yelling, and cursing, ensued, the gist of it was that the kids were "always" in his yard. And, Kurt (the dad) mistakenly called the guy, "Lance," so he retorted, "Oh yeah, -- BURT -- I'll kick your ass!" The intellectual sparring was intense!

Then, the parents of the 2 year old and some other neighbors marched down there, and pretty soon the moms were calling Rance a fucking asshole, and everyone threatened to call the police but no one did.

Yesterday, when I ventured out with the kids to go to Party Pig for birthday party supplies, 3 of the neighborhood wives were across the street, hashing it out. I swear they looked like 3 puffed up hens clucking about someone who messed with their brood. They told me their version of the fight, complete with curse words, in front of their children and mine. I made commiserating noises but I don't think I got worked up enough to satisfy them. "Obviously that guy has issues," I said.

The thing is, obviously the guy is an inconsiderate asshole, who will never understand the vigor with which parents will attack him if they perceive he is threatening their children. And he has a right to ask the kids not to be in his yard. He probably is too damaged to ever approach them in an appropriate manner. But is the best way to show your kids how to handle the situation to march down there with your brawny husband and cuss him out? And then talk talk talk about it over and over with all the other neighbors?

Hopefully, Rance will be fed up enough and just move. And take his little dog, too.

Monday, March 21, 2005

Watch it wiggle, see it jiggle...

Last week was spring break, so no school for the kids even though we still had to work. (sigh, sometimes I miss being a student...) So, we had our wonderful babysitter, Jessica, fill in on Thursday and Friday. She always brings fun crafts for the kids to do. This week she brought jello and cookie cutters, which didn't quite work the way she thought it would. However, Anna managed to have some fun, anyway.

Apparently she demanded that Jessica take a photo of her, hard at work.

Jello hands.

Sunday, March 20, 2005

An early post

The past 3 days have been very hectic. "I feel like you've been gone on a business trip," Anthony says. I worked all day Thursday, and as soon as I got home (usually pretty close to 7 pm), Anth left for his monthly Parks & Rec meeting, and I had to get the kids into bed. Friday I worked all day. We were very busy in the morning, I didn't get to leave for lunch, and then I did a major dental surgery all afternoon. I left the clinic about 7 and I was wiped out. This was my Saturday to work, and after we were done, my boss asked me to lunch so he could ask my opinion about some things at the hospital. I was flattered, of course, and couldn't say no. There was tons to do when I got home, plus I really needed to exercise, and then we had to go to Chuy's last night (we are part of a mystery shopping service and had to eat a meal there last night and evaluate their service). But, it was Saturday and the end of SXSW (large music festival in Austin), so you can imagine the wait. After we got the sleepy kids in bed, I was exhausted again.

So I slept like a log, and this morning I wake up with Anthony all snuggled up to me. It feels great, except the sun is streaming in our windows and into my eyes, and my bladder is FULL, and I'm thinking about the list of things I gotta do today. And, as much as I want to be with my family, I can't believe how I am craving some alone time. Isn't this the great irony of having a family with small children? You want to spend quality time with them, but in order to be worthwhile to them, not a complaining, short-tempered hag, you need some personal space.

So, I sneak out of bed, get dressed and wash my face as quietly as I can, feed the cat, feed the dog, make some tea, sweep the floors (it hasn't been done in 4 days, ahhhhh!), and make my list. And have time to write on my blog! (happy sigh) Oh yeah, and admire my beautiful new fridge that my husband bought me while I was gone.

I say "bought me" not like a helpless dependent wife without an opinion of her own but like a grateful woman whose husband found the beautiful fridge, researched it, negotiated $110 off for the floor model, brought it home, installed it, and even put all the food from the old fridge into it!

Here's today's To-Do List:
Make the kids pancakes
Grocery Shopping
Long Bike Ride
Shoe shopping w/Anna
Finish Chuy's shop report
Cook dinner

Wish me luck. Here comes Anna, waking up giving me a big hug, and saying, "I love you, Mommy!" Right on time, I was starting to miss her!

Thursday, March 17, 2005

Toilet Paper Caper

As I took Colin's diaper off in preparation for the nightly bath, I realized he was saying something but I wasn't sure what. "I sit dere, I sit dere," he moaned, pointing to the potty. You might think this is a better sign than it is. We have been letting him sit on the toilet before the bath, just like his big sister, except he is a little mistaken about what its all about. "Paper...." he says, as he tears off a few sheets and stuffs them down between his legs. I guess that's all he can tell that Anna and I do on the pot, and now he figures he's got it down pat. Anthony says, "I guess I've got some things to show him..."

A few moments later, he goes into my closet and empties his bladder. At moments like these, I remind myself over and over, "Urine is sterile." Its my potty training mantra.

Anna says, "Why did Colin pee in the closet?" I say, "Because he's just a baby and he doesn't know yet to go in the potty. Don't worry, honey, when you were a baby, you did the same thing. You even pooped in my closet once!"

The Mommy Stands Alone

We had a really good playdate with a friend of Anna's from school. We're all off this week for spring break. When the mom offered to have us over I jumped at the chance - a childproof house full of new and unique toys, and adult conversation - we're there!

The kids played well together, and the conversation was great. Amy told me about this woman she works with who is an early childhood specialist. She has a theory about babies and the crazy way our society supports them. It goes like this: evolution wise, our species has been set for the past 1,000 years. At that time, people lived in groups of 40-50, with adults and children of different ages. So when a newborn arrives, it should be into this setting. If a new mother is at home alone with her baby all day, every day, isolated, she feels extreme stress because she doesn't have the support of this large group. This expert feels most mommy shock and post-partum depression is from the "fight or flight response" that so many women feel from being isolated with their babies. They can't rest, they can't eat, they can't sleep, because they feel physiologically threatened. 100 years ago, people at least lived in groups of 8-10, and even 50 years ago family units were larger. In the last 20 years, the family unit has been reduced to a single family, with the mommy responsible for making the family work and the daddy responsible for making the finances possible. And, as much as our society pays lip service to the value of raising a family, it doesn't really support women as they try to rear the next generation.

These thoughts certainly resonated with me, and reminded me of my sister's sentiments after she had twins. She'd call me on the phone and sigh, "I wish you just lived down the street. I just don't think we were meant to do this alone." Clearly not. I guess that's why so many of us are reaching our in this brave new world across the internet to find a friend with similar experiences and frustrations.

Monday, March 14, 2005

An Interesting Case

A few weeks ago a man brought a cat in to see me. The poor thing had been hit by a car 3 years ago, and broken his jaw in several places. The vet in Houston who tried to fix it hadn't done a very good job. The poor cat was left with a terrible malocclusion, with his lower canine teeth/fangs sitting completely lateral to his upper fangs. "That's the best the vet said he could do," the owner said, "He can still eat." Apparently -- the cat weighs 15 pounds.

He had developed a large swelling below his chin that was obviously infected. I put him on antibiotics and scheduled him to come back for anesthesia and Xrays. I wasn't sure what I'd find.

With one Xray, it was pretty obvious. This Xray shows the cat's lower jaw in profile, as if he is looking to your right. The previous vet had placed a cerclage wire around his mandible to stabilize a symphyseal fracture (on the midline of his jaw). That is a perfectly acceptable repair; I've done it myself. However, after about 6 weeks, you are supposed to remove the wire. Instead, after 3 years, the cat had made a HUGE granuloma around the wire, both losing bone next to the wire, and laying down new bone around the reactionary tissue. The twisted part of the wire originally would have been outside the skin at the bottom of the cat's chin, but now it was buried in tissue. The top part was above the gingiva in the oral cavity, wicking bacterial pathogens down into his jaw. I removed the wire and reduced the excessive tissue, to give him a more normal profile.

Unfortunately, there was also a fracture of the ramus of the mandible, the side of the jaw near the TMJ joint, that the previous vet ignored. That was the cause of the malocclusion. I called the local vet dentist and a surgeon, and both agreed that after 3 years of trying to heal this old fracture, a successful repair at this time was unlikely.

When I spoke to the owner, he said the previous vet never mentioned removing the cerclage wire. At least we have removed the offending object, and the cat can go back to his life of eating sideways. He must be good at it, at 15 pounds!

Sunday, March 13, 2005

Kite Festival

Today was a breezy warm spring day, the perfect day to go to a kite festival with friends. Here are Anthony and Anna flying her little ladybug kite. It actually flew very well, with little preschooler assistance. However, when I took the picture, it was actually on the ground.

We met our friends there, Lisa and Michael, who have 2 girls almost exactly the same age as our kids. Here they are with Ruby, sailing their ladybug kite. I swear, its like our families do almost everything simultaneously!

Sorry its such a long shot, you can't really see our lovely friends, but hopefully you can get a feel for how beautiful the day was, and how many Austinites were out flying kites.

Here's Colin surveying the scene with his dashing new haircut!

Saturday, March 12, 2005

BA ge BOLL GO! (colinspeak)

As many of you know, Colin is obsessed with basketball. The small basketball Anthony bought him on a whim at Home Depot has become his "lovey," meaning he carries it everywhere and sometimes even sleeps with it. When I get him from the nursery after my workouts at the rec center, we have to go in the gym and "shoot some hoops." He also loves to watch the big boys play across the street. This week Anthony got him his own mini BB goal at Walmart.

After Anthony brought it home, Colin put his basketball in the goal for AN HOUR. For a toddler with a 30 second attention span, this is an eternity. The goal is the perfect height - he has to stand on his tippy tippy toes and push the ball over the rim - not every try makes it, but enough do to make it really fun.

Oh No, Mommy, I missed one!

Here's Colin preparing for another shot while Anna bounces in the background.

Notice anything about Colin-O's hair?

That's right, Colin got a real hair cut today. I loved his long curls, but for the past 2 days its just been long and frizzy. And, he is so tender-headed as soon as you start spraying the detangling spray, he starts saying, "Ow, ow, owwww... hurt." So after we spent gobs of time outside today in the gorgeous spring weather, I finally turned Dora on, sat him in a chair, and cut it. Yes, I cut it myself, and I didn't even need a bowl! Both Anthony and I are thrilled with the results. Still long and curly, but so cute and no "owies" when I combed it out after bathtime!

Wednesday, March 09, 2005

It's thrush, you dunce

I took Colin to the pediatrician today, kind of half-heartedly. He's had some upper respiratory virus for 3 days, the main symptom of which is copious clear nasal discharge. But, Anthony thought he may have been tugging at his ears, and his mouth ulcers had really flared up. He's had a lot of oral ulcers, but I knew these were usually viral and self-limiting, so I didn't worry too much about them. With this recent virus, though, his poor lips and tongue were covered with sores. I figured I should take him in today, since I was already off.

We couldn't see his usual pediatrician, but I really like our 2nd choice pediatrician's nurse. "You think he has an ear infection?" she chirped as she gave Colin a cup of water to play with. "Yeah, maybe...." I hedged. "Has he been really grumpy, pulling at his ears?" she asked as she cajoled him into an axillary temperature. "Kind off..." I said. "He's got a lot of ulcers in his mouth." "Oh, poor baby," she said, "the doctor will be right in." Actually, it took a while, and I distracted him with the cup of water, raisins, and a bunch of "Round and round the garden, like a teddy bear..." (cute English tickling game).

The doctor said both ears had an early infection. Then she looked in his mouth. "That looks like thrush," she said, "See that white plaque? Has he had it before?" Thrush is a fungal/yeast infection that a lot of newborns get, but Colin had not been diagnosed before. He probably had it before, but I just thought it was a virus. Oops. "I'm going to give him an antibiotic for his ears, which alone would make his thrush worse, and then we're going to treat him with an antifungal for the thrush." "Well, that should make for some really great stools," I said.

Fortunately, the medicines taste really good, and Colin says (like Dora's backpack), "Num num num num num, delicioso." Except it sounds like "num num all-doe." Also ketchup, which sounds like "pickles" in Colin-speak, really burns those lesions, so no chance in using the dip-dip to get those veggies down.

Monday, March 07, 2005

The Cat's Name

Is Claudio.

Anna chose it from a short list of choices I gave her. As soon as she heard it, she said, "Claudio. I like Claudio. His name is Claudio." Anthony thinks his name should be Boots, a horribly generic name that everyone at my work scoffs at.

Anthony: His name should be Boots. He even answers to it.

Anna: Daddy, his name is Claudio.

Anthony: It doesn't matter, he's not our cat anyway.

Anna's face registers shock, then confusion, then surprise. Then, she leans in to me and whispers: "I'm gonna tell him his name is Claudio." Good choice, Anna!

This is what Colin says to the cat: "Diddy.....whey-ahh-yoo?" Then he chases him mercilessly. He also likes to put food in his bowl.

The Cowgirl Returns home!

Here is Anna, in her cowgirl finery, upon her arrival home.

We were so happy to see her! She did very well on her first big trip, though she did get a little homesick. Saturday night she spiked a fever, and that made her want her mommy, and daddy, and home. I think she would have been fine if it hadn't been for another vile virus. There's nothing like feeling cruddy to make you want your mommy and familiar surroundings.

Anthony and I both very much wanted to pick her up from the airport, but her arrival time was right smack in the middle of Colin's nap time. We tried calling 3 different babysitters, but no one could come last minute. Anthony graciously let me go get her. Her cheeks were bright with fever, but she was so happy to see me! As we walked around the airport, her all gussied up like a sweetheart of the rodeo, dragging her wheeled suitcase behind her, many heads turned, smiling at the little cowgirl. Several times I could hear her mumbling something under that 5-gallon hat. "What, baby?" I bent down to ask her. "I love you soooooo much, Mommy," she said. "Let's go home and see Daddy."

We snapped these photos, then let her change into something more comfortable. When Colin woke up, sad to say, he was more interested in the fact that Anna was watching "Dora the Explorer" than the fact that Anna was home. Oh well.

Happy trails.

I scream, you scream, we all scream...

While Anna was gone for the weekend, Anthony and I decided to capitalize on Colin's naptime. In the romantic tradition of married couples with children, we decided in advance that during Saturday's naptime to have some dessert.

But I worked all day Thursday and Friday, and Saturday morning, too. So by the time Saturday afternoon rolled around, I was a little tired.

"Let's just have vanilla ice cream," I said.

"Ohhhhhh!" Anthony groaned. "I was really hoping we could have banana splits."

"Anthony, I'm a little tired. I'm not saying let's not have dessert, I'm just saying let's just make it plain vanilla ice cream."

"But...." Anthony said, "I was really looking forward to a little something more."

"Remember Tuesday night?" I said, "When I made hot fudge sundaes? And that was all my idea. It was only 5 days ago."

"Okay..." Anthony said, disappointed.

"I can't believe you're complaining about vanilla ice cream. It's always good," I said.

"You're right," he said.

So, we had vanilla ice cream. And it was very, very good. Even Anthony said so.

Saturday, March 05, 2005

More pics of Anna in El Paso

Here is Anna at the Zoo. Please notice it is a beautiful day and she is wearing her new Pooh Bear Sunglasses!

As they were walking, Anna said, "Nana, look, its North America!" Anna's Montessori school is big on geography. Here she is showing off our continent.

Here she is with her Nana.

Couldn't end without this shot of her in the backyard/garden!

Anna's Big Adventure

On Thursday night, my sister Emily came into town, and on Friday morning she and Anna flew to El Paso to visit my parents. I honestly don't know who was more excited, Anna or my mom! It is Anna's first big trip without her parents. She is having a grand time. Yesterday, she met everyone at my mom's office, then they went to Peter Piper Pizza. Anna rode her first Merry-go-round, and you can see the joy on her face, above! Later, they went to buy a "cowgirl outfit" including boots and a hat.

Today they went to the zoo. My mom said at the sea lion show, the audience was told after the show was over, the trainers would come down for questions. Anna said, "I have a question!" She was the only child who did. She asked them, "Why do they eat fish?" with a disgusted look on her face (she does not care for sea food, despite eating Alaskan Snow Crab on her first birthday). The trainers explained to her that it is their favorite food.

It is so great to see Anna having fun new adventures with people she loves. Anthony and I feel it will increase her independence and natural curiosity. We are enjoying some solo time with Colin, and we can't wait to get her at the airport tomorrow!

Wednesday, March 02, 2005

What's wrong with this picture?

"Who wants a bath?" we ask every night after dinner. "ME!" shouts Colin, with both hands up in the air. Tonight, he sat down on the bath mat and started tugging at his socks. "Stuck!" he said. "Its okay, I'll help you," I said, as I put the ankle part over his heel so that he could remove them on his own. Then I turned my back to assist Anna. I guess socks were all Colin could take the time to remove, because in that moment he slithered into the tub. Anna jumped in, too, to be in the picture. Boy, oh boy! that boy is fast!

Pizza Face

Last night, Anthony and I got to go to the Sneak Preview Party of the new Flagship Whole Foods that is opening in Downtown Austin. We had a great time and ate way too much organic gourmet food! Our wonderful babysitter, Jessica, stayed with the kids and fed them a Tony's Frozen Pizza. Not so organic or gourmet, but they loved it and ate the entire thing! Just look at that happy pizza face! (photo by Jessica, who is 17 and has a better digital camera than we do.)

Tuesday, March 01, 2005