Friday, July 30, 2010

Miss Manners

dinner conversation with Uncle Matthew
quick exchange with enchanting little 8 month old, "Eduard" next door
He looks like an Eduard, at least

Tonight we enjoyed dinner with my Uncle Matthew and Aunt Debbie. We went to an old stand-by, El Tiempo, where people get loud and men walk around strummin' guitars. It drowns out restless baby noises. Which is nice. No anxiety over whether Claudia is going to have a meltdown or act up, because (1) the place is filled with other babies, so no one can really point a finger and (2) even if she does start hollering, you can't hear it over the restaurant's hum. We are celebrating my Uncle Matthew's return to health following cancer treatment. It is cause to celebrate and be very thankful! Here are some cell phone pics from this evening.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Spoon Master

This move requires patience and precision.
Side profile.
That's black bean smeared on her face.

I get weekly updates on developmental milestones to look for & encourage from a website called It's a pretty useful website. This week it said to encourage the Bop to use utensils. So I did. This morning she handily flung yogurt all over the wall. Tonight she used her spoon as a bean launching device. When the beans ran out, the spoon was converted into a projectile. Claudia also showed me how good she is a gnawing on the spoon, hands free even! Simply put, I think she's got the utensil thing down pat!

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Just the Two of Us This Weekend

Lois is the most popular girl in Houston these days.
Zac is her horticulturist.
Isn't she pretty?
Russell... preparing to lay waste the children, er I mean, competition.
This guy lives downtown and I really enjoy him.
Show time!
We had great seats. I snapped this as the show started.
The best part of the weekend...
seeing this happy little girl.
Oh Claudia...

I'll start by saying "THANKS!" to Mom and Vernon for taking care of the Bop this weekend. It was really nice for Russell & I to have a weekend to do whatever we liked and know that Claudia was in good hands and having a blast in her own right. So what did Russell & I do you ask? What didn't we do?!

First on Saturday we lunched at Houston's BRC (Big Red Cock) where I enhaled the best (and only) snicker beignets I've ever had. We then proceeded to Houston Grand Prix where we dominated the go kart track. Those twerpy little ten year olds didn't have a chance. We ate them for breakfast! And (sadly) we have no shame about it. None.

Saturday night... dinner (at Voice ... mmm... ) and a show. Every year Houston's Alley Theater presents Summer Chills, always a thriller. This year it was Agatha Christie's The Mouse Trap. I highly recommend you catch it before the summer is over. We have a ticket discount code if you'd like it! As for Voice, it was also delish & they employ the sweetest pastry chef ever - Audrey. Check her work out as well! Late last night (about 11:30 pm), we attempted to visit Lois, the Corpse Flower, who is very rare and is in full bloom & stink at the Museum of Natural Sciences. The diva had a three hour wait time... that's right, they told us we'd have to wait until 2:15 AM to have 5 minutes with her. Ridiculous. We went home and checked her out on her webcam. FYI, she also has a website, facebook and twitter account. Diva! You can check out one of those if you have been under a rock and are unfamiliar with her peculiar allure. =)

On Sunday we went to a matinee - Inception. Two and a half hours later, I couldn't tell you what the movie was about, but I found it visually stimulating. The best part of the weekend, however, was when we picked up Claudia. She ran into my arms and gave me a bear hug around the neck. I melted. So, thanks again, Mom and Vernon, for taking such good care of our baby girl.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

So Fresh and So Clean

before the bath, Daddy & Claudia do funny faces in the mirror
then Claudia makes funny faces in the tub
she loves on her boats and ducks
... then loves on Mommy. I love you Bop.

Claudia plays super hard all day, gets real messy, and consequently, requires a thorough scrubbing before bed. We end the day by getting her all suds up. She plays with her favorite bath time friends, her three ducks and her three boats. She carefully lines up the three ducks on the edge of the tub, squawks "DUK! DUK!", and then flicks them back in the tub. We listen to the soundtrack from The Sound of Music... and Daddy sings all the hits. After bath time we chase the naked baby around the nursery until we can wrangle her into a diaper and jammies. The last ritual of the night is the bedtime story, always read by Daddy. Night night, Claudia!

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Back from the Beach

Out of my way.
I'm going to the beach.
Mommy & Bop
pulling Daddy out to the waves
going swimming
Chowing on some apple sauce, pool side
Daddy & Bop at Pointe West
Pointe West Beach House... really pretty place & awesome pool
... and then they had THIS posted on one of the doors.
Something about alligator mating season &
helpful hints on how to avoid the alligators that roam the grounds.
historic Galveston... very cute.
the old school ice cream parlour... beautiful
don't let this face fool you.
She loved the stuff.
the candy store in the parlour.
In my excitement, I sideswiped a display case and broke a lollipop.
poor Galveston was hard hit during Ike.
The subjects of my pic were pretty tired of my photo shoot by this point.
me and my Bop
new discovery... Bop LOVES watermelon
even the rind
Daddy flying the ladybug kite
Claudia having a blast at the aquarium. =)
Daddy hoisting the Bop for a view of the sharkies
Daddy and Bop
Daddy doing what it takes to make Claudia (& Mommy) smile. =)
I bought a grab bag of shells from Murdocks and hid them on the beach for Claudia to find.
Here she is hoarding one of her exquisite discoveries
This was a baby conch from Murdoch's shell grab bag.
the view from our balcony
that pesky garbage can wound up in the background of half of my beach pics.
Cursed receptacle.
Grandpa's kite. What a beaut!
Claudia trying her hand at kite flying .
(those are mosquito bites you see... they swarmed in the last day)
Claudia running the shore.
Sorry Gram, didn't mean to cut your head off. =)
It's just not a McLendon family photo if we're not all sweating buckets.
An attempt to get a pic with the Grands.
Claudia kept grabbing their hair,
so this is the best we got.
That's all folks!

Today we returned from the beach. This vacation ended like most, everyone feeling refreshed and thankful for the break, but ready to get back home. It doesn't matter where you go, nothing compares to sleeping in your own bed. We rented a lovely beach condo in Pointe West, which is about a half an hour west of Galveston. It's a secluded little beach community and we loved it! The short drive from Houston was definitely the key. You see, Claudia has carseatitis and its very painful for her and other passengers on long drives. =)

We had all sorts of adventures, including a trip to the historic area of Galveston, where we did some souvenir shopping and went to an old fashioned ice cream parlour and candy shop. It looked like something out of a Norman Rockwell painting and I could have stayed there all day. The place had the best central AC system ever. We even let Claudia have a little ice cream, which she loved. One day we meandered over to the Moody Gardens Aquarium. If you don't already know, Russell has a fondness for penguins. He and Claudia were bowled over by the penguin exhibit. I preferred the sharks and giant sea turtles.

The rest of the trip was spent playing in the sand, splashing in the waves and floating in the pool. Gram and Grandpa also came to visit and we all played with some beautiful kites. The kites were probably intended for Claudia's enjoyment, but the grownups involved probably had the most fun. In sum, it was a great vacation... but we are happy to be home!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

To the Beach!

beach babe
Daddy & Bop
beach combing
Paul the Octopus! hehe, get it? from the World Cup
Surprisingly, she keeps on the shades
making a run for the ocean
Claudia in her crab floatie
Jellyfish v. Meryl: 1 - 0...
now I watch my step

Greetings from the beach! Russell is watching the ESPYs (zzz - except for the Saints super bowl highlights), so I am blogging about the trip. We have thoroughly enjoyed introducing Claudia to the ocean... except for the jellyfish. Galveston is lousy with jellyfish. As soon as we step out on the pier, Claudia squirms out of my arms and takes off running to the beach. She loves to squish her hands in the wet sand and to knock down sand castles (mostly her own, rarely a stranger's). She likes to watch Russell & I run into the waves and she will even brave a small wave or two herself ... she maintains a death grip around our necks when a wave comes. =) The mornings are really windy, so we invested in a nice kite... a ladybug kite to be specific! Although the beaches are not sandy white and the water is clear as mud... at least there are no tar balls! More pics to come, these are all from my cell phone.

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