Sunday, June 29, 2008

Friend's B-day and Breaking in a NEW SKIRT

This weekend is the best! Ella's friend Tabitha just turned one year old so we got to party down with her and a few other little friends. The theme was puppy dogs and kitty cats, hence the kitty ears Ella is sporting in all the pics:

Enjoying a dip with the birthday girl and her older brother, Joshua:

Cooling off in the wacky sprinkler:

Chilling in mom's lap in the shade after a long morning of playing hard:

Ella received a package in the mail from her Great Grandma Rosie and Great Grandpa Steve this weekend, too. It was a belated birthday gift of her own. It contained some cute clothes. One of which is this skirt in which Ella is dancing a little jig:

Nana should be here anytime...let the fun continue!

Thursday, June 26, 2008


Tell me something...why do snow cone stands in Austin not open until noon? It is hot enough for one by 9:30 am.

Ok, I am just bitter because Charley, Ella and I were on the hunt for one at 11 am this morning after a *brisk walk on the Lady Bird Lake trail downtown and came up empty handed. We nearly died of a heat stroke AND our mouths were watering for one before we made it to a stand and found it to be CLOSED. I know there are bigger problems going on around here, but this one is climbing the charts for me, especially as we are rounding a record heat wave of 18 days over 100 degree temps within the month of June here in Austin. Argh! I might just write a letter....but to whom?

**Please note that Ella was riding coolly in her shaded stroller with a cup of water that she indulged in regularly to stay even cooler. No babies were harmed in our snow cone hunting efforts.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Thanks for your responses to my "call for help"

Emails, comments, talking with friends have all helped. I have come to the conclusion (a couple of days too late) that I could have left the turkey there (thanks Aunt Anna). That would have satisfied my non-confrontational style and I wouldn't have had to mutter a word (which is good because I was speechless), but still have gotten my point across. I'm not beating myself up about it anymore, but I do realize that I'm going to have to be a little quicker on my feet next time and stand up for what I know is right. I don't think it could have made me any more uncomfortable than I already was.

BTW: I know why I was embarrassed now. I think it was that the boy thought I looked like someone who would be okay with that nonsense. Well, I'M NOT!

Family Time

I've disappointed a few of Ella's fans and for that I am sorry. I am now making an attempt to mend the tattered bridge so that we can all be friends again. Here are some pics from Sunday's family canoe adventure:

This would be the captain of the vessel, A-town in the background.

Daddy, AKA Row Master, in the back of the boat.

Here I am. My list of canoe duties included: sunscreen application, picture taking, keeping the kid from jumping out of the boat, pointing out all wildlife, giving the cue to say hi to other canoes as they passed and trying not to move so that the canoe didn't flip!

Ella discovering:

If you are ever in Austin, we highly recommend this trip via canoe.

After the HOT adventure on the water, we decided to chill in the shade of the playground for a bit before heading home for a nap.

A note about this last picture: Ella and her dad play the "keep away" game and Ella loves it (obviously by the pic). I have noticed Ella attempting to play it with other children, but they don't like the game. When she is playing it, it looks like she is trying not to share and she gets totally confused by her little friends' lack of enthusiasm. I feel so bad because we taught her this game. I think it may be time for a new game...

Going back in time to our visit with MIMI

A couple of weeks ago we attended the graduation of my little bro, CONGRATS NICK! Since Zach had to travel for work the following Monday through Wednesday, Ella and I extended our time down with my family through Wednesday also. It was loads of fun. My mom took off work. My sister Hillary was out of school for the summer so she was our sidekick. One day we visited the Bayou Wildlife Park in Alvin. It was a blast!! I couldn't believe how accessible the animals were and everything would eat right out of your hands! Here is a pic of a very exotic and rare beast:

HA! GOT YOU! Here are a few more:

Aunt Hillary animal.

This one is so my fave: Mimi and Ella having fun together.

Here is an ostrich gobbling up the food we gave to him.

Let me give you a little background on Aunt Hillary. She doesn't want children (which is good because she is only 17). She doesn't like them so much. By the end of our stay here were the inseparable pair:

Of course, I don't have pics, but Ella would snuggle with her in the mornings to try and wake up Aunt Hillary (who is NOT a morning person and actually took over my position as the grumpy goose in the house during the A.M.).

I cannot end this post without this following pic of Ella rolling with her Great Grandma Dacey (GG):

The trip was great, the car rides were great and it was REALLY GREAT to see dad again!

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

I dig this. It packs a real one-two punch with the crispy outside and chewy middle. You may want to substitute real butter for the shortening. I didn't add the nuts to please everyone in the household, but I think I would love them in here:


• 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
• 1 teaspoon salt
• 1 teaspoon baking soda
• 1 cup shortening
• 3/4 cup brown sugar
• 3/4 cup granulated sugar
• 2 eggs
• 1 cup chopped walnuts or pecans
• 2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
• 2 cups uncooked rolled oats
• 1 teaspoon vanilla


Sift flour with salt and soda. Cream shortening and sugars; beat in eggs and vanilla until light and fluffy. Stir in sifted dry ingredients, chopped walnuts or pecans, rolled oats, and chocolate chips. Drop chocolate chip cookie batter by teaspoonfuls onto ungreased baking sheets. Bake chocolate chip cookies in a preheated 350° oven for about 10 to 12 minutes; cool on racks. Makes about 8 dozen chocolate chip cookies.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Stealing is why did I do it?

Ok, let me clarify this title. I was in Walmart today (don't tell my sister because she is TOTALLY anti-walmart and I get that, but if it allows me to buy more food for my family, I have to be for it...ugh)...back to my story...I was in Walmart today, this evening really, to pick up some chocolate chips to make oatmeal, chocolate chip cookies...YUM!..and I thought I'd pick up an extra package of shaved turkey meat for lunches this week. I am in the super-duper, lightening-fast express lane (ha! no, really it was 'cause I walked right up to check out) and the boy checker asked if I was making cookies. I said (waaaay too excitedly, cause I could already taste the warm cookies melting in my mouth..and the cookie dough, too) "YES!!!" He proceeded to scan and bag my 2 items, but wait..he only scanned the chocolate chips and not the turkey. I'm trying to ponder this in my mind when he says, completely nonchalantly, "I gave you some free ham." My initial reaction was total embarrassment. Don't ask my why 'cause I don't know! I paid the man, err, boy and thought I was totally going to be busted and even more embarrassed. I walked out the door just kicking myself, "what is the right thing to do here?" I sat in my car, "What is the right thing to do here? Stealing is wrong! What if I was recorded by that TV show to catch a thief or something?" I drove home, "I could have told customer service, but then the kid would likely get fired and I didn't want that to happen." The manager in me thought: "I should have told the boy that it is important to do his best at his job and if he wants a better one then he will need a good recommendation." Now (an hour later) I am thinking, "What if Ella was older and she had been there? I have to be a good example for her."

Help me out here people. I pose this question: What would you have done? I appreciate any feedback I get. This will weigh heavy on my mind for a while. I know myself too well. Over and Out.

Monday, June 2, 2008

Family Reunion

We had a terrific time this past weekend. It started a little early when Juanita, Andrew and baby John came to visit Austin and we headed over to Frank and Angies to share a couple pies:

Friday included more fun with the Thomas's when we met early at Barton Springs and ended the afternoon with crepes from Flip Happy Crepes. Juanita had seen it on the Food Network and was dying to go. We live here and had no idea this little nugget of goodness was in our backyard. The crepes were delicious and I'd recommend it to anyone. The Thomas clan headed back to Wimberley (the site of the reunion). Here is a great pic of John at the crepe joint:

After Zach got off work, we packed up the car and drove to the 7A Ranch. It was only an hour from our house, so that was convenient. The scenery couldn't have been better and we were only a stone's throw from the river. Ella had a blast with all her cousins:

I'm excited for Ella to get to know all her cousins and for her to look forward to seeing them, just like my sister and I used to do.

The weekend went well, but Ella is growing impatient with being little and starting to assert herself. I don't know if I am ready for this feisty little one, but ready or not, here she comes! Wish me luck and drop me some words of wisdom if you have some to share.