Sunday, May 31, 2009

"World Famous" Specht's!

Our friends Ashley and Chris were here for a couple of days this weekend for a visit. Ashley is one of Robert's oldest friends, and she and Chris live in New York. We don't get to see them very often, so we were glad that they were able to come stay with us for a couple of days. Robert was able to take Friday off and take them to some of the missions, the Riverwalk, and the Japanese Sunken Garden (while I was in a training class for audits of 401k plans - jealous?).

On Friday night, we decided to eat at a place that promised to have a real Hill Country feel - Specht's Country Store. We'd heard about it from some friends and thought this was a good opportunity to check it out. The building is really small, but they have a covered patio with live music on Friday and Saturday nights. It was really laid back, and we all enjoyed the food and the atmosphere - Claire really liked the live music. We also found out when we got there that they are "World Famous"!

Saturday we all drove to Austin and had lunch on the pier at Hula Hut before heading over to visit some of the shops on South Congress. Ashley's family met up with us and we handed our friends over to their family for an event that evening. We had a really nice time and hope we're all able to get together again soon!

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Memorial Day Weekend 2009

We had a great Memorial Day weekend this year. Robert and I were hoping to get some projects and cleaning done around the house, so Mom and Dad came to visit and help with Claire. They arrived on Thursday and kept her at home with them on Friday. On Saturday, we started the day with a delicious breakfast at Gunther House. Claire has really gotten interested in table food, and we were amazed at how much our tiny girl was able to put away - eggs and sausage from Robert's breakfast tacos, some biscuit with gravy from Granddaddy's plate, and some of my pancake and fruit plate.

While most of the weekend was full of projects, Robert and I were able to go to a movie on Sunday - a rare event for us! We saw "Star Trek," and we both really enjoyed it. I already want to see it again - it's a perfect summer movie.

One of the things that Robert and my dad accomplished was installing the baby gate at the bottom of our stairs. Our staircase is too wide to use some of the standard gates and has molding at the bottom that was making it difficult to get something that would fit. Robert and Dad made it work though. While they were working on it, we had to close off the hallway, and Claire was trying so hard to get back there. She could hear her Daddy but not see him, so she would press her ear against the door and try to peak through the crack - so cute!

After they got it installed, she immediately crawled over to it. I think she thought it was a new toy, but she eventually lost interest in hanging on it like a little monkey.

We were so glad they were able to come and spend some time with us! We were pretty bad about taking pictures over the weekend, but we got a few in the backyard before they left Monday morning.

To celebrate Memorial Day, we had our friends Shad, Andi, and their daughter Abbie over for lunch. Abbie is 5 months old, and Claire was really interested in watching her. We had a great time at lunch, and it was a relaxing way to end a long weekend.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Natural Bridge Caverns

Robert's parents live in Venezuela so we aren't able to see them as much as we'd like, but they were able to come to the States for vacation and spend the weekend with us. On Sunday we decided to go to Natural Bridge Caverns, which is right outside of San Antonio. The caverns were much warmer than we expected (the year around temperature is around 70 but the 99% humidity makes it feel more like 80 or 85), but we enjoyed seeing all of the formations. It's always so interesting to visit caves and see these amazing formations under the earth - and think about the people who discovered them.

Claire decided she was more interested in napping for a good portion of the tour.

But she woke up at the end for some pictures and to play on the dinosaurs outside!

Nancy and Martin, thanks for coming to see us!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

A Few Random Pictures

I was going through some pictures this weekend and found some cute ones from last month that I never posted. Enjoy!

Playing piano

A little unsure about the big chair at the Reata

Playing in Pierce Henry's ball pit (she got one a few days ago!)

And a few from our pro session with Tip Toe Photography

Cake smash!

Friday, May 15, 2009

My Little Reader

I LOVE to read, and I have since I was a child. Growing up, the vast majority of my allowance went to books. Besides the books I bought and read multiple times, I usually had a stack checked out from the library, and it was rare to find me without my nose in a book. Before Claire was born, I was really looking forward to reading to her, but for her first year she wasn't that into it. She'd squirm on my lap, grab at the pages, try to eat the book, etc. We still read to her some, but it wasn't going as I envisioned.

That all changed one day last week. Claire and I were playing on the floor before dinner, and I picked up one of her new Sandra Boynton books to read to her while she played. As soon as I started reading, she crawled over and knelt beside me to look at the pages, then pulled up to look over my shoulder before manuevering herself into my lap. I wasn't sure what warmed my heart more - having my baby crawl into my lap by herself for the first time or seeing her so interested in a book. We read two books two times each and one more before she was ready to move onto something else. Since then she has been so interested in being read to and loves playing with her books - she'll sit on the floor and turn the pages by herself for several minutes. I'm so happy to see this development and hope that someday she finds the same pleasure in reading that I've experienced during my life.

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

What a week!

A recap of our week...
  • Every year Robert rides in the MS150 from Dallas to Fort Worth to raise money for the MS Society (for those of you who don't know, we lost Robert's dad last year after his long battle against MS). The ride was this past weekend.
  • On Thursday we found out that Tarrant County (Fort Worth) was cancelling all public events due to overreaction from the swine flu, which meant that the second day of the ride had to be re-routed. The finish line in Sundance Square is one of our favorite parts, so we were disappointed, but mostly just feeling sorry for the organizers.
  • We left Friday morning for Dallas/Frisco. Before we left, I noticed some weird gunk in Claire's eye, but it didn't seem to be bothering her.
  • As we're almost to Austin, I notice more gunk in Claire's eye. We decided to call the our pediatrician's nurse advice line after lunch (at Hula Hut - yum!). Nurse thinks we should start prescription eye drops to help with possible infection and offers to call in a prescription for us. Since we're on the road, we decided to just have them call it in to a Walgreens in SA and then have it transferred to another store along the way. My mom got us the number of a store in Waco. It was a fiasco trying to get everything worked out, but finally we got her drops and were on our way again.
  • That evening we got to have a short visit with our friends Sarah & Randall and their precious daughter Izzie. It was so great to see them!
  • Afterwards we walked over to the mall to grab a quick dinner, and Claire got to ride her first merry-go-round. She LOVED it! She would get so excited every time we came around and she could see her Daddy - lots of waving and laughing.

  • On Saturday Claire and I saw Robert off on the ride at 7 am, got ready, had breakfast, went to Ikea, and met up with some of the A&M girls & kiddos (Lindsay & AJC, Courtney & PHP, and Melissa, who is "the pregnant one" this year - yay!). It was so wonderful to catch up with them - love you Girls, and miss you lots!
  • After lunch we headed towards Texas Motor Speedway (the overnight location) to meet up with Robert. As I was driving the sky just kept getting darker and darker, and a few minutes after we parked it just started pouring. Robert and his friends Whit & Jon jumped in the car with us until everyone was picked up. Claire wasn't so sure about the strange man sitting next to her - fortunately Daddy was on the other side keeping her happy while we waited!
  • That evening we went to dinner with Jon and his wife Stephanie - Claire enjoyed cuddling with her - and found out that Day Two was cancelled due to the weather.
  • On Sunday morning we got ready to head home and met up with Whit and his family for breakfast before we left. We had a great time visiting with them and marveling over how much all of the kids had grown (they have 3) since we last saw each other.
  • As we drove home, I realized that the minor sore throat I woke up with on Saturday was turning into something more.
  • On Monday I went to the doctor and found out that I had a run of the mill respiratory infection - and was contagious - so I stayed home from work sick on Monday and part of Tuesday.
  • Tuesday Claire decided to push her wake up time back another hour. A couple of weeks ago she'd moved from consistently waking up around 7 to getting up at 6. Last couple of days - around 5. Any tips for getting her to sleep later? She's exhausted when she goes to bed at 7:30, so we can't move her bedtime back.
  • Today I realized that I caught Claire's eye gunk. Glad we still have some eye drops.
  • Is it Friday yet? Please?