Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Weekend Update

Blake and Michelle had Friday off last week, so we decided to continue our Texas college visits. We headed to Rice University on Friday afternoon. On the way there, we met up with Ray and ate lunch at Ruggles. It was a fun area of town, so we walked around for awhile. We stopped into a Learning Express so Sam could play with some toys. She found this dollhouse on a table and pulled herself up for some fun.
Rice University was in a great part of town - medical center, zoo, museums. Blake's main focus is visting the bookstore to buy a t-shirt. If it wasn't so unbearably hot, I would insist on spending more time walking around the campus. But, the day is short and we skipped Sam's nap, so on to the next stop - University of Houston. This is Ray's alma mater, so he got a t-shirt too.

Saturday we celebrated Ray's birthday with dinner and a fight. He took us to Bellaire for Vietnamese food - he orderd us Beef 7 Ways. It was yummy and fun to eat. Sam was only interested in playing with the highchair, not actually sitting in it. She can almost say, 'buckle.' Blake has decided that I need to stop encouraging this word...

We then headed to University of Houston to watch a Mixed Martial Arts fight. Ray never wants to be in any of my pictures, especially a group photo...but Michelle is always up for a pose!

If I had it my way, I would have gotten a picture of Ray in his shiny (and I literally mean, SHINY) new 'Affliction' shirt getting this guy to autograph it for him. That was the plan...but instead, I ended up with this...

and this...
Then, snuck in this one...

and then this...Oops. I've offically gone too far.
At least Blake is smiling enough for both of them

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Ornery Etta

When me and my sisters were little, my mom had a nickname for us when we were fussing, nagging or just in a bad mood.
Today Samantha earned that name.

She did NOT take a nap today. When I finally gave up trying, she brought her pillow and blanket in the kitchen while I cooked dinner. She whined and moaned and cried...then all of the sudden, she went quiet. When I looked on the other side of the counter, this is what I found...
At first, she was laughing with me...but when the drink spilled all over her...her mood changed to this...
And then this...

Lucky for you, this was NOT caught on video.

Monday, July 21, 2008

A Day In Dallas

Blake, Sam and I are always up for a quick roadtrip to sites and cities around Texas. This past weekend, Ray had a work conference in Dallas, so we tagged along. We drove in late Friday night. Saturday while Ray was working, the rest of us headed downtown. First stop was the JFK assasination location. The shooter was in the top righthand corner window. On the street there are 2 'X's marking the spots where he was shot and then killed.
Downtown Dallas is great! On the weekends, there aren't very many people, so it was quiet and fun and didn't really feel like a downtown. We were trying to find something to eat, when we walked past this place...
A big guy came outside and highly recommended that we stop in and eat...'this place has great food and it's cheap!' We kept going to see the rest of the eating spots. A lot of places were closed, but we wandered into a few touristy shops and restaurants. We ended up coming back to this place only to find the same guy still in the cafe. We asked him what was good and he said, 'oh, I dunno...I always eat the same thing for breakfast.' Um...gee, thanks. Blake got a kick out of this place....what a dump! We had ham-egg-cheese sandwiches and they were excellent!

Next stop: Dallas Museum of Art. It was a long, hot walk...but well worth it! There is an outdoor sculpture park that has lots of trees and fountains, so we cooled off fast.
And played, and climbed through the sculptures. Ray misses out on all the fun!
Last stop was SMU campus. Blake is now on a mission to visit all Texas college campuses....well, at least the ones that we happen to be driving by. SMU is only minutes from downtown. The campus is beautiful! We all loved driving around the surrounding neighborhood and seeing the houses...they were amazing! We stopped into the bookstore so Blake could buy a t-shirt and Sam could read a quick book.
Then we picked up Ray and headed off to dinner. That night the girls went back to the hotel to watch a movie ('Made of Honor' - lame!), while Blake and Ray went to a sports bar to watch the fights. Great weekend! Next stop is Austin in August!

Friday, July 18, 2008

Grandma finds the best toys...

Every few weeks, Grandma will come over with 'something for Sammie.' Sam will sit down and open the bag and find a brand new toy or clothes or books! Sam has had a runny nose the last couple of days, and Grandma found a Make Me Better My Little Pony. Her name is Rarity and she says all kinds of cute things as you doctor her back to health.

There was a stethoscope that taught Sam how to listen to her heartbeat.
Grandma, listen!

We found the perfect doctor's bag....now, where did the thermometer and medicine spoon go? It was just here!

Ahh! "There it is!"

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Where did everybody go?

What's this? A fort? Maybe they are in here...
No mommies allowed!

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

From Jiber-Jaber Yabbering to Real Words!

Blake and I are officially giving Samantha credit for talking. Last night, when she was picking up her toys she was saying, 'clean up, clean up' over and over and over. That's when I pulled out the camera...

video

As of Sunday, she can say: church, Jesus, lunch, juice. The other 3 impressive phrases are: what's this, there it is, clean up. Wow! As excited as the words have been, I know I will miss the yabbering...

video

Monday, July 14, 2008

Still Pickin'

I am sure by now all are familiar with Samantha's obsession with stickers. It has not subsided in any way. Whenever and wherever she finds a sticker, she will pick it...and immediatly start looking for more. Quite frankly, there are no more in this house. anywhere.

So, I made Sam a sticker book. I used a 4x6 photo album that was laying around the house and stuck a bunch of free address labels on the pages.

So, Sam pulled up a chair and gave it a try...

"AEEEEHHHHHHHHH!" I got one!
Mom?...where should I put the stickers after I pick them off the pages?
Nevermind...I've got just the place!

Ahhhhh...entertained for hours!

Friday, July 11, 2008

Houston Symphony Presents...

About a week ago, Ray called and asked if Blake and I would be at all interested in going to see the Houston Symphony. We were a little surprised by this at first. It is definitely up our alley...but Ray? He mentioned that he insists on decent seats that would throw us back $80/person...cool, we are in.

As the date got closer and we started to plan for the day, I noticed how excited Ray got when we talked about it. "Man, this is gonna be great," he would say with a gigantic grin. "And by the way, the 'pre-concert festival' starts at 5:30pm." That's odd, I've never heard of a pre-event for a symphony...and so the suspicions began.

Finally, on Wednesday, I decided to just look on the Houston Symphony website and see what all the fuss was about. At first glance, I saw that the symphony would be featuring music from Pink Floyd this weekend. Wow! That sounds pretty cool! But, wait...we have tickets for Thursday, not Friday...As I pull up the calendar to Thursday, July 10th everything begins to make since.
Ray, the gamer. I should have known.

By the way, for all the gamers and non-gamers out there...this show is A-MAZING!!!!! 165 musicians are on stage (including the chorus) with a full movie screen behind them. The symphony would play the score from the video game while we watched visual clips that matched the music (and lights) perfectly. Video games have come a long way with their graphics...this show highlighted the oldies and the new. And yes, they paid appropriate tribute to Super Mario Bros, complete with special performance by YouTube star Martin playing blindfolded.

video

Notice Blake is not in any of the pictures. He is sick. Really sick. At $80/person, we had to at least try to sell the ticket on the street. Ray knew just who the kind of person to look for...male, Asian, alone and preferrably dressed in a costume. Not 3 minutes later, we found him (minus the costume) and sold him out ticket for $40...yeah! When we went to take out seats, he was already there with his own gigantic grin. We were only 11 rows back, dead center. He couldn't stop saying thank you. He even took our picture with his own camera...look at the size of this thing!

Afterwards, we walked down the street to eat at Cabo Bar & Grill (known for their margaritas, not their food). We sat out on the patio and watched the fireworks from the Astros game. Good times and a great way to experience downtown Houston.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Mickey Mouse Clubhouse

Samantha and I have quite a routine going for us in the morning. She typically wakes up around 9-9:30. First thing on the agenda is changing her gigantic diaper! We definitely need to start limiting her drinks at night, she is quite the pee-pee head. After we've sucessfully transferred her pillow, blanket, and 2 babies out of the crib, we begin wandering around the house. This originally was quite a lengthy activity...taking us through all the rooms of the house and typically ending up in the gameroom where Sam proceeds to turn the tv and dvd player on and off, over and over and over. I've since learned to focus her attention by simply saying, "Sammie, do you wanna eat breakfast?" Who'da thought, it totally works! I know, I'm genious. I should seriously write a book.


Breakfast is a hit or miss. She always climbs into her highchair and asks for her bib to be put on (which is rare for any other meal), but once the food comes it's a whole other story. Some days she eats, other days, not at all! Once that battle is over, I let her out with her juice (and usually a handful of food) and she runs to the tv and jumps on the couch. She is squealing something, but to this day I don't know what. I do know, she wants to turn on Mickey Mouse Clubhouse. Today, I got her on video. If it weren't for the pancake in her mouth, she would be singing and dancing along a lot more. Halfway through this video, Sam hollers, "wheeeeeee!" that is when Daisy Duck is sliding down the blue slide of the clubhouse. Sammie always yells, "wheeeee" on a slide....whether it is her or not.

video

Monday, July 7, 2008

Fourth of July

Last Year: Fireworks are fun AND I get to stay up late!This year: A little too loud and a little too tired.