Thursday, June 30, 2011


Olive really does enjoy driving to music.  We sing all sorts of songs as we roll along.

One CD is a compilation of Sunday School songs.  They always make me smile.

Olive cheers at the end of Jesus Love Me and Jesus Loves the Little Children, but she doesn't really sing along to the songs on this disk ... with one (partial) exception.

When This Little Light of Mine begins, Olive perks up.  And, every time the singers belt out "hide it under a bushel ...," Olive shouts "No!"

It totally cracks me up.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011


I have come to the recent realization (unfortunately, much like hitting a brick wall) that our Little Olive is no longer an infant and is very close to being an honest-to-goodness little girl.  And I love that her little personality is blooming bigger.  And her vocabulary is growing.  And her sheer joy at discovering new things is bubbling over.

But I also loved cuddling and rocking with her in the small hours before bed.  And I will miss those quiet times.  I can feel them slipping away.  (To be traded for new and different wonderful things, for sure.)  So, when she wants a cuddle or a few minutes longer in the rocking chair, I indulge and sniff her hair and hold her tight, because I know that soon enough she won't fit in my lap.  And her fears and pains won't be soothed with a few minutes of quiet rocking.

As much as I look forward to many wonderful things to come with this wonderful little girl in our lives ... the realization that rocking will one day be a thing of our past makes me just a little teary.

Monday, June 27, 2011

"The Circle of Life" or "Gosh Darn Squirrels"

Earlier this year we planted rosemary, pumpkins (by accident), tomatillos, small tomatoes, regular tomatoes, jalapenos, bell peppers and mint in our back garden.

The rosemary likes it there, and the mint is flourishing.  The pumpkins seem to come and go, but haven't yet gotten past blossom to squash stage.  The tomatillo is a full fledged bush, and the peppers are steady producers.

But I am still disappointed.  I have yet to enjoy a tomato from any of the three tomato plants in the back garden.  They flower, and the green tomatoes appear ... and then they're gone.

Recently, I happened to be looking out our bedroom window and pondering our little veggie garden when a squirrel plucked a big (but still green) tomato from one of the plants.  Then he scurried to his friend who was clasping what I can only assume was another one of OUR green tomatoes in its furry little paws.

The thing is ... I know that they need their food.  And, strangely, I don't begrudge them a tomato here or there ... but I sure would like to enjoy at least one sun-warmed, red tomato from our little garden.  But, the prospects for such a feast - or even a little snack - do not look good.


Friday, June 24, 2011


At one point we were concerned about our baby and our puppy traveling in the back seat together, but after catching Miss Olive petting Miss Zoe gently we aren't worried anymore.  (At least for now...)

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Saturday Morning Silliness.

I pulled out my camera recently to bring to a baby shower.  But Olive decided she wanted a some snaps (and you know I can't resist taking a few).  It is hard to get her to sit still for long, because she hops down and wants to see the digital proofs of our labor.

She is awfully cute!

And, yes, I will sheepishly admit to having inflicted that haircut on her myself.  Her bangs just needed a trim.  I was quick, but not quick enough for my wiggle worm.  After a few days, it really isn't quite as bad as it appears here.  If I say it enough, maybe it will be true.


Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Dress Up.

We spent some time playing dress up this weekend.  

The fairy dress was only exciting for a few minutes.  But the shoes were a huge hit.  We let her cuddle them during her nap, and, when we went to get her up after the nap, they were wedged securely on her little feet.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

New Legs: Redux

For those of you who can't mentally assemble the base from the pieces strewn across the table, flip the shell over, and imagine the whole thing assembled: the chair on the right, will look alot like the finished product once I get some misc. hardware. But I am very excited to get it assembled and take the chair for its first test "drive".

Thank you, Heather, it was a fantastic present and I had a great father's day!

picture borrowed from - an awesome mid-century modern reproduction company out of CA.

New Legs.

Kyle received a project for Father's Day.  New legs for an old chair base.

It required assembly, but I swear, he loved it!!  Technically, the base of the chair isn't new to us (see the upsidedown cream shell on the left), just the legs (the whole mess of stuff on the table).  We're still missing a nut and a bolt (or two), but the chair is much closer to sit-able than it was a week ago!

Friday, June 17, 2011

Curtains for Curtains on Curtin - Part II

I have previously posted that we don't care for the curtains in our current home.  They're not our style, and (even if they were) not much can hold up to sun damage, etc. for nigh on 50 years.  (OK, maybe not 50 years, but maybe 50 years ... have you seen the curtains in question?)


We have taken the tortoise route in putting a little bit of HKO into our home (and taking out a little bit of Old Lady Curtains).  (Yup.  I said OLC.  Those curtains are definitely older than we are.  Not that being older than we are makes you an Old Lady ... by itself.)

A few months ago, we took down the formal living room (now dining room) and dining room (now office playroom) curtains in exchange for white sheers and white wooden blinds.

In the kitchen and laundry room, where mini blinds were living beneath curtains, we removed the curtains and embraced the mini-blind-ness of life.

But those curtains lingered in our living room and the bed rooms.  (And since we're turtles around here, they still linger in Olive's room and the guest room.  One step at a time folks.)

This week we replaced this:

With this:

And this:

With this:

The walls still need some touch up (and that paneling needs a nice coat of lightly colored paint), but we are very happily champions in this part of our continuing quest to rid our home of OLC.

(In a twist that not everyone may understand, many of these rooms may acquire curtains in the future, as we find and hang curtains that coordinate with and enhance our decor.  I know, not everything we do makes sense to everyone.  We've come to terms with that.)

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Bike Riding - Houston!

We recently purchased a bike seat for Olive at a church garage sale.  Unfortunately, what was priced at "too good to be true" in fact was.  Fundamental parts were missing.  Replacing them fell into the "more trouble than it was worth" category, and the short-lived (at least for us) seat headed to recycle heaven.

We took our garage sale experience as a lesson:  Garage sales are not the ideal place to purchase items with many, easily lost, integral pieces.  We picked up a nearly identical child seat, still in its original packaging, from Academy. 

[Even the unused model wasn't a bad price - $50 give or take - for a summer or two of fun.  It accommodates children up to 40 lbs.  If we take Olive out regularly, it will even out to great fun and exercise for Kyle and me without a hefty gym fee!]

We also picked up a bike helmet for Miss Olive.  It isn't nearly as cute as her cousin Sophia's, but it does the job.

(Hi! Sweet Sophia! We love your bunny hat.)

Now some kids (apparently Sophia and another cousin, Charlie - who wears his bike helmet at recess) like wearing their bike helmets.  Olive does not.  She eyes it suspiciously.  She gives us dirty looks (and sometimes cries) when we put it on her head.

(I assure you.  There were no pins or shards of glass inside that helmet ... and we know that it fits her well.  She did resign herself to the bike helmet wearing requirement.  She may or may not poke her lower lip waaay out while having it put on.)

Our first ride was very (very, very) short.  We were interrupted by rain and (hopeful that it would continue and soak our parched lawn) returned home not 5 minutes after leaving.  Unfortunately, the rain decided to find more favorable lawns to soak, leaving about 2 minutes after we returned home and put away bikes.

However, now, our Little Miss seems to enjoy her some bike riding.  This past weekend we enjoyed our second (much longer) ride.  After Olive's Sunday afternoon nap, we saddled up and went peddling around the neighborhood.  She giggled and smiled and kicked Kyle and swayed to some songs (and then we stopped singing).  Kyle is still adjusting to the extra and different weight on his bike, but we all had a great time.

Next time we may try a picnic!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011


Recently, my Dad suggested that we meet him one evening at his health club to eat dinner and take Olive swimming.  We jumped at the idea and went swimming with Dad and the Little Miss Monday night.
Growing up, Dad had a membership at the Houstonian.  There were two primary pools: a lap pool and the pool associated with the hotel.  They were great pools, and it was a nice facility.

However, in recent years, the club has grown and upgraded and the old facilities do not hold a candle to the new buildings and recently renovated pools the Houstonian now boasts.  We were very thankful for the invitation to enjoy the amenities!
The new lap pool looks cool (and I'm sure distance swimmers could tell you all about it).  The hotel pool is still lovely.  But the new 'resort' pool is just fabulous.
It includes a baby pool, a beach entry area with fountains, a hot tub, a deep area, large spaces of walkable (I'm not overly tall) water area, several areas with steps and low depth (that Olive enjoyed), and a super (but not too tall or scary) slide.

For Olive, the beach entry and the slide were clear hits.  She loved walking up the incline, out of the water and then back in ... over and over and over.

And the slide, whoa, the slide.  She just grinned and grinned and then stretched her arms toward it asking for more, more, more.

Oddly, one small girl thought it entertaining to drink pool water and spit it on Kyle (again and again).  Even more strangely, her on-looking mother said nothing.  I do not support spitting on strangers, but Kyle and I were both so surprised that we said nothing to the little spitter.  When Olive noticed, she walked over to Kyle and wiped off his arm.  Too cute!

Unfortunately, cameras and water do not mix, and I have no images to document the fun that was had.  Trust me.  It was wonderful.

Embracing the Pink.

Our house was built in the 60's and came to us in largely original condition.  We have aqua and pink vintage tile bathrooms to prove it.

Our pink bathroom is also our guest bathroom.  We racked our brains to find ways to "tone down" the pink.  And we probably could have gone for a chic pink and chocolate palette to accomplish the task.

But it just didn't fit.  We thought outside the box (a lot) and still nothing fit.

So, we decided to go with it ... to embrace our pink tile and decorate for a pink 'us' bathroom.  (If you know us, you know that starting with a blank slate, we are, um, ... unlikely ... to have chosen a pink tiled bathroom.  For many reasons.)

Then, on an outing for more hot glue supplies, I found THE fabric.

We immediately loved it.  And it coordinated beautifully with the pink of our tiles.  (Although, we decided that using the adorable animal print was a tad much.) 

Last weekend, adhering to my "straight line sewing rule", I put together a new shower curtain and a very simple window covering for our pink tile bathroom.  We love it.

(To be honest, I am becoming - even on straight line projects - good friends with my seam ripper.  As it turns out, I did not appropriately account for fabric shrinkage or fraying and the first 'finished' curtain was about 6" shy of standard length ... and we were hoping for slightly longer than that.  And, the little bit of ripple that I created in our window covering didn't float our boats, so a few more seams were ripped for a non-rippled covering  ... but .... ripping seams is fairly mindless and can be done even late at night cuddled with my Mr. in front of the TV.)

Now to finish the wallpaper removal!  (Yeah, I'll admit to picking at the wallpaper now and then.  It curls a little bit and then I can just hear it calling my name ... Kyle rolls his eyes a lot.)

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Good Clean Fun - Houston!

We did have a few spare moments in Houston during the month of May.  One afternoon, we took Olive to the Wabash Feed Store.  It was a great time!

They carry all sorts of wonderful things, including rabbits, puppies, chickens and roosters (and plants and fresh eggs and all sorts of cool doo-dads).  Olive had a blast exploring.

She and Kyle enjoyed some rabbits.

And Olive really loved the chickens (and chicks and roosters). 

When she turned the corner to find these chickens, she shouted, "CHICKENS!!!  CHICKENS!!!," with such excitement that Kyle and I almost died laughing.

It was great to find a free (!!) place, er, wonderland, to enjoy with our almost two-year old.  (By the by, I cannot believe that I just typed the phrase "almost two-year old".)

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Another wedding - Cancun!

After a few more work days, Kyle and I left Olive (yup, it wasn't the first time, but definitely the longest) and headed to Cancun, Mexico to celebrate the wedding of Keith Herman and Jamie Ross.

We stayed at a lovely resort outside of the city.

There were a ton of iguanas there!  We saw lots of them in the mornings sunning themselves (or darting back into the foliage after they'd been spotted).

Keith and Jamie were married on the beach.  It was a little warm, but the evening cooled off beautifully for the outdoor reception.

We had a wonderful, relaxing time.  We even enjoyed a lobster dinner outside!

We bucked convention and spent time in the shade whenever we could.  Unfortunately, we couldn't swim in the ocean (swift tides or some such).  But the pools were wonderful.  There was great company and very good food (and tasty frozen beverages).  It was wonderful! 

At the end of our time, we were more than ready to come home and hug our Olive.  I swear she grew three inches and gained a pound while we were gone!

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

A Wedding - Dallas/Fort Worth!

After KC and SA (and the workdays in between), we headed to Dallas to visit Chad, Emily and Kate ... and to celebrate the wedding in Fort Worth of my cousin Stephen and his new wife Calee.

It was a lovely wedding, and the reception was held outdoors with simple and classic decorations.  It was really beautiful and a really great time.

However, Olive was spinning.  Literally running around in circles - and straight lines - and climbing up and down.

Kyle and I spent the evening chasing her.  And catching very brief conversations with friends and family.  We enjoyed fajitas, yummy cupcakes and root beer floats.

The evening ended too soon for us, but Miss Olive needed time to recharge her batteries!

Monday, June 6, 2011

A Birthday Party - San Antonio!

First things first.

I have no idea what happened to May.  I am still shocked to look at the corner of my computer and see a six.

One of the things that made May speed by so quickly was our travel.  We were in Kansas City for the first weekend, San Antonio the second, Dallas/Fort Worth the third and Cancun, Mexico the fourth. 

I wrote about KC.  Let's pick up in San Antonio.

We drove to San Antonio for a birthday party.  Our friend Miles turned 1!  Kyle and Michelle (Miles' Mom) worked together in Connecticut with Cesar Pelli.

We stopped by Trinity University while we were there; so, the trip was a brief walk down memory lane for me too.

However, it was our first time in San Antonio with our little one - which always makes life a little more challenging.

First - we enjoyed lunch at EZ's in Alamo Heights.  The food isn't haute cuisine, but the pizza's are tasty, the burgers are stacked and the onion rings really satisfied.  We resisted the milkshakes which I remember being super tasty.  Oh well. Also, we sat out on the patio.  The whole restaurant was super kid friendly, and it ended up being a great choice because Miss Olive wanted to stretch her legs after 3+ hours in the car.

After lunch we went to the party.  It was fabulous!!  We shouldn't have eaten lunch because Michelle's family made tons of super-tasty Thai food.  They had a great spread set up in their back yard.  Along with the food, there were tons of kids and lots of great people to chat with.  Matt (Miles' dad) and Michelle are really creative people and pulled off a lovely celebration for their little one.

(Yeah, I pilfered that photo from Michelle's blog, First 4 Miles.  It was too cute to pass up.  Check out the other photos.  Like I said.  They are a really creative couple!)

We ended up with some souvenir photos of our own:

Olive wasn't terribly keen on taking photos.