Thursday, August 26, 2010

Daddyboy & Bop











My heart is heavy. Russell is leaving on Saturday for Budapest and we miss him already. He will be gone for three weeks. It's times like these that I realize just how much I appreciate Russell. He is the procurer of our groceries, the reader of the bedtime stories, the preparer of (about half) of our dinners, the changer of all light bulbs, the banisher of all unwanted phone solicitors. I cringe at the thought of enduring these next weeks without him, but I know he will be working hard in Budapest and I am so proud of him. Just a few more weeks and we will all be together... in Budpest. Can't wait!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Messy Eaters

dinner time, ladies
menu: smashed strawberries, pulverized avocado,
fresh squeezed oranges and hand squished sandwiches
yum!
bath time!
splish splash!

Claudia is definitely getting the hang of feeding herself. If you cut the pieces small enough, she'll take care of the rest. It's not a pretty sight, but she gets the job done. Here are some dinner and cleanup pics from our play date with Audrey. After the girls rubbed their dinners all over their faces, we plunked them both in the tub to get cleaned up for bed. When we left, I noticed little Audrey stood in the window and watched us until we rolled out of the driveway. Claudia started crying when we got in the car. These little gals are definitely going to miss each other when we move. Good thing we'll be back to visit in December!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Weekend Pics

stretch!
so happy!
reading while driving
cousin Cesca with me & Bop
Bop with Grandpa
Gram reading Bop some Seuss
me, Gram & Bop

Here are some pics from our weekend. We accomplished a few things around the house (new flowers and plants in pots and window boxes), saw a movie (Eat Pray Love with the girls) & visited with the family (Gram, Grandpa & surprise guest, my cousin Cesca). Other than that, nothing too exciting to report. Oh, I forgot, we took some family pictures. Our talented friend Don took them and he reported that we took about 500 pics... so, law of averages with baby photography... we might get about 5 good ones. =) Claudia had her finger permanently wedged up her nose for most of them, so we'll just have to wait and see. Also, we had a playdate with Audrey Sunday evening. More pics to follow!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Chocolate Covered Cantelopes

reading a BOOK! BOOK! (Claudia's new favorite word)
Although she's read it a dozen times (today), the ending...
... is still a pleasant surprise! "oooh!" she says. =)
Me and Claudia with Rene and Kyle
These Hawaiians made us two look pretty pale tonight.
Russell was practically glowing when he stood next to them. =)
Me and Bop with cousin Michele.
We were getting pretty close to bedtime at this point.
Ok, Staci does the most creative desserts.
chocolate & peanut butter cupcakes, garnished with Reeces cups
So pretty! Well done, Staci!

Here are some pics from dinner this evening over at Aunt Debbie and Uncle Matthew's house. As we drove to their house, which is one block and one street over, I felt a little sad because in Budapest we won't have relatives living down the street. We'll have Hungarians living down the street and lots of them. Hopefully we make friends fast. So, while we still can, we enjoyed the company of Aunt Debbie, Uncle Matthew and my wonderful cousins, Kyle, Mandi, Michele & Staci and all their significant others.
Tonight was extra special because my dear cousin Kyle is visiting from Hawaii. He brought his longtime girlfriend Rene this time. Claudia made a new friend. =) Rene is very good with babies. It was past Claudia's bedtime and Rene managed to make her smile and laugh. Of course, it helped that she gave the Bop some chocolate cupcake. Claudia loves chocolate. Chocolate and cantelopes. That's what she had for dinner tonight. That's what she wanted and that's what we gave her. We'll eat extra nutriously tomorrow to compensate.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Best Grocery Cart Ever

the start... sitting quietly with Lamb Chop
stopping to say hello to the kind Kroger greeter
hands at 10 and 2. check.
observing the speed limit. check.
now. let's all go nuts!
Claudia enjoying a snack with Gram and Oatmeal

We had a relaxing weekend of shopping (grocery store & Doodles - act now, all smocked dresses are 50 - 75% off!) and visiting with Gram and Grandpa. I had to post some pics of this hilarious grocery cart Claudia rode around in. They have an entire fleet of them at the new Krogers in the Heights. Its a car attached to the front of the cart & you can program it to play one of three cartoons. It was awesome... until it wasn't. Claudia had a little meltdown about 5 items short of check out & we had to evacuate. It was certainly fun while it lasted though. So, if you are in the neighborhood, I highly recommend you take one for a test drive. Very nice.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

We're Moving... to Budapest!

This has been a long awaited blog post for me, as I've been sitting on this news for about a week. We've tried to tell everyone in person or over the phone, but if this is the first you've heard... SURPRISE!! We are moving to Budapest! In a few weeks! We're selling our house and cars & putting our stuff in storage and moving across the world! For the next couple of years!!

Exxon offered Russell an excellent expat assignment in Budapest and we just couldn't turn it down. Russell will be leaving the last week of August and Claudia and I will go mid September. We're nervous about the transition, but Exxon provides support for closing up shop here and setting up shop there, so I'm trying to take it one step at a time.

We are definitely going to miss everyone, painfully so, but I must emphasize that we will be back every 4 months to visit and the Bop & I will be staying 2 - 3 weeks at a time when we come back. Now, "what about this Budapest place?!" you ask. Let me tell you (because I didn't know much about it)... Budapest is one of the most beautiful and well preserved cities in Europe. Google it and see! I'll be posting with more updates as the moving process unfolds. Wish us luck!!

Audrey to Claudia: I'm going to miss you so much.

Claudia to Audrey: Miss me? What are you talking about?

Audrey to Claudia: You know, when you move. Didn't your Mommy & Daddy tell you?
Claudia to Mommy & Daddy: We're moving?!
Claudia to Audrey: Yes, I will miss you too, Audrey.
(this is my take on these funny little interactions)
Claudia loves her Audrey... good thing we'll be back to visit.
Audrey took the news very well...
Claudia was a little grumpy initially, but is very excited now. =)
Audrey gives a high five!
Don, always a favorite with the ladies
Hugs with friends on Saturday as we shared our news

Friday, August 6, 2010

Painting with a Twist

Ames & me
check out our work!
Carla, Amy & Meryl... roomies reunited!

Here are the pictures I pirated from my sweet Amy's facebook page. Claudia, these were mommy's dearest friends and roommates in college. We lived in a big old house on East Mississippi Street. Those were good times! Now we all have sweet little baby girls that occupy our time & attention, but it sure is nice to get together and visit the girls. I love them dearly.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

15 Month Checkup

after the tongue & throat inspection,
Claudia showed off her pincer grasping skills with the tongue depresser.
Ta da!
All smiles ... at least until it was time for shots.


...oops, we actually missed 15 months. I guess its the sign of a good pediatrician when you call for a "well appointment" and there's a six week wait. So it goes. We just took our nearly 16 month old baby in for her 15 month appointment and everything is looking great! Claudia weighs 23 lbs, 3 oz (50th percentile), is 31 1/2 inches tall (50 - 75th percentile) and has a head circumference of 19 inches (95th percentile!) For the past year, Claudia's beautiful bald head is consistently the biggest thing about her. It has to accomodate that growing brain! One downer about the appointment: Claudia really sounded off when she saw Dr. Ho. She remembers him now as the man who digs wax out of her ears to inspect them when they get infected... and this is simply unforgiveable. The 3 shots were also a sour note, but she rebounded beautifully and was running and laughing once we got home. Oh Claudia, you are getting so big!

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Quick Trip to the Port City

Memaw and Claudia playing with dominos
sweet cheeks
Bop telling Memaw about something v. important.
Just a small part of Memaw's front yard.
I have lawn envy. Our "backyard" is 10' x 10' on a good day.
watering the plants
I love you Bop... even watering plants is funny with you!
Daddy giving Claudia some kind of lecture.
We had a few "behavior issues" at Creme last Friday.
Apparently Claudia got a little bite happy.
So much for "Miss Manners" =)
Claudia telling Daddy her side & giving a lecture of her own, I suppose.

This weekend Russell and I made an all too quick trip to Shreveport to visit Memaw and my dearest old roomies, Amy and Carla, from Louisiana Tech. I met Amy and Carla up at Painting with a Twist ("PWAT")to do some painting and drinking... its painting with libations on the side... or the inverse... whatever your pleasure. PWAT is owned by Jean Beauclair, also a Phi Mu from La Tech. Business is doing great, so hats off to Jean! Of course I forgot to bring my camera to PWAT... and of course, I forgot my painting at Memaw's in Shreveport. I'm poatching Facebook & when my dear lil' sis Ames posts her pics, I shall pirate them & put them on my blog. Thanks in advance, Amy. =)


The trip was wonderful because we got to visit with Amy and Carla and I got to spend some QT with my Memaw. Claudia loves running around Memaw's house. Lots of open space, carpet and cushions. Her yard is also spacious and has lots of cushy grass. She also loves to bang around on Memaw's baby grand. None of these things exist at our house. =) Except the cushions. Oh how she loves cushion mountains. I'll save that topic for another blog entry.

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