Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Green Thumb??

In honor of Earth Day, I thought I would post some pictures to show our resolve to beautify our little plot of earth. Embarking on something new is always dangerous and this is especially true with regards to gardening for us because until now we could plead ignorance instead of lack of talent. We did a lot of yard work two weeks ago and the things we planted are surviving nicely- much to my excitement. Charlton said (and rightly so) that we should make sure that these do well before investing time and money in a whole new landscaping project (the flowers we planted last year died in less than 2 weeks). They look pretty good so far so maybe it's safe to continue??? I'll keep you updated on how the gardening is going. I always wanted to plant Caladiums when I had my own home-- I just love them I don't know why??? They seem like a very Southern kind of plant to have in your flowerbed.
(After- we planted the same thing on the other side of the sidewalk)

I'm also trying to find other ways to make us a little more environmentally conscious around here. Our neighborhood just started a recycling program which is great, and we already use energy efficient light bulbs. I just bought some of the Green Works cleaning products (made by Clorox); they are from plants and minerals instead of chemicals which will be nice with little kids around too. I'm interested to see if it cleans as well as the regular stuff-- has anyone tried it? I'm also planning on getting some cloth shopping bags (I think they're selling them at about every grocery store in Houston this month) to use instead of plastic ones. I'm not sure how practical it is to think that I'll actually remember to take them into the store with me but it's the effort that counts.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Week In Review

Unfortunately, Steven did end up getting strep. The initial test they did while we waited came back negative, but I didn't realize that the doctor had swabbed him twice. Apparently they do another test in 24 hours if the first one comes back negative. The second one came back positive for Steven, and a nurse called Tuesday morning to let me know. For those who are interested to know, they also do a 48 hour test if the first two come back negative. I guess they believe the test if all three say you're clear. In any case, this is what we did while we are all recovering this week.I don't know who was happier when Mimi dropped off Charlton's old legos...Steven or Charlton? Steven loves them and likes it even more when Charlton build him things to take apart. Here is a fine example of Dad's Legos skills...a robot. He has also built a school bus, many cars, and a jumbo jet this week for Steven. "improving" Daddy's designMy little musical prodigy- he practices several times a week
Steven inherited two brand new Elmo toys from a good friend. They dropped them off one day during Steven's nap; he was in a particularly grumpy mood when he woke up because he was still not feeling well. I had already forgotten that I left the chair in the middle of the living room for him to find, but he spotted it as soon as he walked in. His face was so funny...first he was confused...then he looked around like, "is it really for me," and then he was full of joy and a love for all things Elmo. I feel like we're running a Elmo factory around here but we were really happy to get them and they were especially a good pick-me-up in the middle of a sick week. (purposefully) falling out of the Elmo chair

Filling Daddy's big boots

Monday, April 07, 2008

New York, New York

I know that y'all have been dying for a recap of our trip to NYC. Unfortunately, Charlton and I came down with strep at the end of the week, so I haven't felt like posting until today. We are doing much better now that we've been on antibiotics for a few days. Thankfully, Steven dodged the bullet-- our pediatrician confirmed today that he's super healthy and that we should be past our contagious stage. Yea!

Charlton and I stole away the Friday after Easter for a long weekend without Steven. We have only ever been away from him for less than 24 hours since he was born. We were overdue for some alone time so we could focus on each other. We arrived Friday night without any problems and enjoyed dinner at Bobby Flay's Bar Americain which was only a few blocks from our hotel close to Rockerfeller Center. The food was excellent and it was fun to eat at a restaurant I had seen Bobby Flay demonstrate a few of dishes on the Food Network.

Our good friends, Jeff and Liz, were able to come up from PA and spent all of Saturday and part of Sunday enjoying the city with us. These first few pictures, we are in Central Park; thankfully, Liz had her camera because I found that without Steven as inspiration I was not as willing to be the photographer. Almost all our pictures are from Liz.

The weather turned out to be beautiful despite the predictions a week ahead of rain. It was in the mid 40's which is a little chilly for us Texans in the shade but we did quite well all bundled up in our coats- they haven't seen much action since our Philly days. Ironically, I spent a lot of time packing what to wear when really most of the time all that was showing was my coat, scarf, and gloves. We spent Saturday walking different areas of NYC. After walking through a very small part of Central Park, we walked through the NY public library which was just gorgeous. Can you imagine studying in there? I felt smarter just taking a break on this bench from all our walking. We kept wondering where all the books were and had to walk up to the third floor before finding this room. The hallways and stairways looked more like a museum than a library.

After the library we hopped on the subway to look around Soho which is where we found this well-named street. We tried lots of different kinds of Dim Sum for lunch at Chinatown Brasserie.

We then walked over to Greenwich Village. I had heard so much about Magnolia Bakery in magazines, etc. that I was dying to try one of their famous cupcakes. And it was only blocks from a cool tea shop that Liz had been told about. Perfect...until we found the bakery and there was a line out the door (with an employee to make sure no one cut in), around the corner, and down the street. Since we aren't in NYC very often we decided not to waste our limited time standing in line. Bummer-- those cupcakes must be good!
Charlton and I like a cup of tea, but Jeff and Liz are big tea drinkers. So, we headed for the McNulty's Tea and Coffee Co. and it was worth the walk. All the tea leaves are in separate glass canisters and they measure your choice out on this scale. I had Liz pick us out some green tea to try and it is so good! We've been drinking it a lot (especially with our sore throats); I should have bought more at the rate we've been going. I think you guys started something!
Saturday night we saw Mary Poppins on Broadway. The sets and performance were of course amazing and so much fun to watch! Sunday we attended Redeemer Presbyterian for worship, and heard a wonderful sermon from Tim Keller. He has a new book out called The Reason for God that has made it on the New York Best-Sellers list that we are excited to read soon. After lunch and telling Jeff and Liz good-bye, we enjoyed some shopping and walked down a few streets where the artists have their paintings out to sell.

Monday we got home around 5pm; I especially was very anxious to see Steven. He did wonderful with our parents- he had two days with each. He was excited to see us and wanted to be held for the first hour or two we were home which was fine with us. He recovered pretty quickly and ran off the play just remembering to come back every once in a while to make sure we were still there. Charlton was able to have Tuesday off to so that we could spend a little time convincing Steven that things were back to normal. Last but not least...a picture for Steven for obvious reasons. Evidence that he was still on our mind even though we were miles away. Jeff and Liz- We had so much fun seeing you guys after so long! We'll have to try the West Coast next time.

Thursday, April 03, 2008

Easter Day

Easter day we went to our church and then only had to go several blocks over to have lunch and spend the afternoon with Charlton's family (minus Jenn and Evan-- we missed you but know we have to share you sometimes). Mimi planned an Easter Egg Hunt in the backyard for the kids. After the previous day's experience, Steven knew that there was stuff inside the egg so he just took out the goodies for his basket and left the eggs on the ground. Pretty smart, if you ask me! Thankfully, he doesn't know or care what candy is yet, but he liked collecting it. This was the best picture we could get of the three of them on Easter. They were not up for another photoshoot...poor Meadow, she's such a trooper. After Steven's nap, he enjoyed playing on the Mimi and Popo's swingset:

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Easter Egg Hunt

Easter posts were interrupted by our get-away weekend in New York. With all the preparations, I just couldn't find time to post them all (there are quite a few). And I can't post NYC pictures without posting the Easter ones first-- a little OCD, I know, but I can't help it.
Our neighborhood hosted a Easter Egg Hunt for the kiddos on Saturday before Easter. We were having Easter with my family that day so they came along to witness Steven's first Easter Egg Hunt. It was insane! There were so many kids (and he was only with 0-2 yrs.) that they literally had the pink tape up to hold everyone back and then yelled "GO." This is Steven in action! He actually grabbed the first one he saw and then clutched Charlton's leg for fear of being trampled by a more ambitious hunter. This was the only way he would get close to the Easter Bunny, and even then he gave him the death stare.
Steven with his girlfriend (she's wearing the outfit we gave her for her birthday). As you might think, Steven is a little young to have a girlfriend; however, I can honestly say that neither Kim nor I forced this relationship on them. Steven has always liked Madi and has gone to great lengths to get her attention, give her kisses, and shoo other boys away from her if they are getting too chummy. You might think that I'm making it up but others have witnessed it too. I find it remarkable at his age that he is so taken with her...and a little scary. Stealing an Easter kiss from Madison(14 mos)... his good buddy, Jackson, gets a hug. =)