Monday, August 27, 2007

Emmylou's new favorite spot: on top of Lola!

Actually, it's even better on top of Babo, on top of Lola.

Ahhh... just right!

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Since I haven't posted in a while, here's what we've been up to lately...

Last weekend we went to San Antonio to visit with lots of family who haven't seen Lulu in a couple of months. Here she is with Kirk, who was in town from Minneapolis, and playing with bubbles at Lynn's house with Lynn and Granny (and Mimi, regrettingly not pictured):

Emmylou also got to visit with Pawpaw and Nana, getting to ride around in some kind of crazy all-terrain vehicle (what was that?) to see their property and where they'll be building a new house. Emmylou loved it! I'm so mad I forgot to take pictures while we were there!

We stayed with Grammie, so of course Emmylou got to see her and do all of her favorite activities at her house like playing the piano, reading her "Hamilton Duck" book and trying on a variety of shoes.

This week we've been hanging around the house, going to the gym and Town Lake (oops, I mean Ladybird Lake) and trying to help Emily with her house renovation when we can. Here's a pic of Emmylou doing some clean-up work at Em's new house:

With my superb example of housekeeping, I'm not surprised at all that she already knows what to do with a broom (Gary, stop laugh-snorting, please).

...And, Gary and I want to say thanks to Em and our friend Leslie who babysat for us last night. It was the first date night Gary and I have had in a very long while. We got to go to Jeffrey's, one of our favorite restaurants (yes, we got the crispy oysters on yucca chips if you checked out the link- still YUM after all these years!) and went to the Alamo Drafthouse to see a movie. We saw "King of Kong" and we highly recommend it! In case you haven't heard of it, it's a documentary about two men competing to be the world champion at Donkey Kong, the classic video game. I laughed, I cried. Seriously, it was really great. Here's the trailer if you're interested:

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Dear Emmylou,

On Tuesday, you turned seventeen months old. I have to confess that I had to go back and count on my fingers to be sure just how old you were! That should tell you how big you're getting. In fact, that's what everyone says when they see you now-- how much you've grown and how you're not a baby anymore but a little girl. While I do miss that little baby, you sure make the transition easier for me by being so much fun to be around. Maybe I shouldn't tell you this, but I've never been much of a fan of toddlers. Listening to the whining, tantrums, and exhaustingly chasing around a 2 foot tall human tornado just never appealed much to me (maybe that's still coming?). So I guess that's what has been most surprising to me these days: that I actually LOVE to hang out with you! That you don't hamper the good times but actually make them better! I can't tell you how thankful I am that you were on your best behavior on our big trip. Actually, I don't think it was your best behavior, I think you were just being yourself. Anyway, I was worried for weeks that it was a mistake to try taking a one and a half year old to Europe, but I couldn't have been more wrong. I can honestly say it wouldn't have been nearly as much fun without you and your humor and enthusiasm. It's too bad you won't remember the trip, because believe me, you had a great time. Your favorite things on the ship were the bank of glass elevators (those never got old for you: "oooh, oooh, oooh!" [pointing/running/getting on the wrong elevator]), seeing the live music every night (especially the trombone and drums in the Big Band orchestra and going to the piano bar) and the never-ending pounds of blueberries and watermelon brought to you by the waiters. Out in the cities, your favorite things were seeing various European dogs ("woofs"), eating lemon granitas, and running your own cross-continent spaghetti/pasta taste test.

Now that we're home, you're back to your usual favorite antics: wearing whatever shoes are laying around the house (you've even figured out how to put flip flops between your toes the right way by yourself) and trying to call foreign countries on the phone when I'm not looking. I figure you might be bored without having a new European country to explore each day now, so I've been trying to take you out as much as possible. Yesterday Grammie came in and we took you to Barton Springs where we watched the swimmers, played on the playground and then shared snowballs on the train ride around the park. Before we went, we had lunch at Shady Grove where (I'm embarrassed to say) you sat on top of the table-- we tried a booster seat rather than a high chair but it wasn't so effective because you just climbed out-- but you impressed me as you dumped out all the sugar and Sweet 'N Low packets from their holder and then restocked them, sorted on your own by color. Where did you learn to do that? And a few days ago you matched animals in a book, sliding open a window to reveal an animal and then pointing to the same animal on the facing page. I'm just wondering-- are you like a genius or something? Anyway, I'm so proud of you and all of the new things you're learning.

What a fun month this past one has been. Maybe it's sweeter because I didn't expect it to be like this, but I simply couldn't ask for more. I love, love, love being your mom and I know getting to your eighteen month milestone will be a blast.

Love you,

Probably calling Azerbaijan...

Trying on a couple pairs of shoes...

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Okay, I finally decided to try to make a slideshow of our vacation photos to post here, but with the quality of YouTube, it didn't turn out so great. Here it is anyway, in case you still want to try to read the subtitles and make out the details in the pictures, but I'll try making an album on flickr or something in the next couple days so they're easier to see. Also, these are only my photos (which aren't so great because I was counting on just getting copies from a certain professional photographer who was on the trip with us) and I forgot my camera in Dubrovnik, Croatia so that part is missing.

Anyway, until I can do better, here's our trip in 5 minutes starting with Emmylou on the long flight over there:

[Ed. Note: That would be the Pantheon, not the Duomo, of course, and the one I didn't know is simply called the St. Mark's Clock Tower (thanks, Andrew!)]

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

While I'm waiting to gather photos from my mom, Emily and Lizzie from the trip so I can post the best ones here, we want to send our congratulations to Alison and Craig in Scotland. While we were away, little Isla was born! Isn't she absolutely adorable?!

On Monday night I put Emmylou in bed with us when she was having a hard time sleeping because of the jet lag and I woke up a couple hours later because she was kissing me! It was such a sweet moment and I can't wait to hear all about the wonderful times and experiences Alison will have with her own little girl. I know you'll enjoy every moment, Alison!

Monday, August 06, 2007

After two weeks of cavorting around Europe, we are finally back, happy, safe and sound, in Austin! Here is a picture I took of Emmylou the night before we left that I meant to post then, but couldn't quite find the time what with all the packing I had to do and my slow recovery from the concussion and staples in my head I got 3 days earlier. But we made it to Barcelona very smoothly and had an AMAZING time in every city we visited. Every day just got better and better, even when we didn't think it was possible! Emmylou (who did not actually have to travel in my suitcase but got her own seat on the plane) was more flexible and easy going than I could have ever imagined and became something of a legend and superstar on the cruise ship. I'll start posting some of the stories and photos of the vacation tomorrow, but for now I'm going to bed! As Emmylou would say, "night-night."