Archive for January, 2014


Monday, January 20th, 2014

So, we’re right in the middle of a wonderful span of gorgeous spring weather. It’s clear and dry, with overnight lows in the 40s, and daytime highs around 65. I just *love* the Texas Gulf Coast in January!

Today was the holiday honoring Martin Luther King, Jr. I had the day off, but Bill had to work. So, Nané and I took the girls to Galveston to visit Baba Jean and Papa Chuck.

We stopped at Super Slidey Park to run around, climb the bleachers, attempt to hit a tee ball, and run into Sebastian and his babushka. We hit Whole Foods to potty, ride on carts, snack on pears and thumbprint cookies, and collect various prep salads for lunch. We stopped for gas, and then we headed south. Sam fell asleep almost immediately, but Cate resisted for half an hour. With a little bit of circling, both girls got some naptime.

When we got to Dansby, both Crystal and Minga were there for visiting, too. I love that both girls conversed with Minga en español as easily as in English. After lunch, Baba Jean and I had the same idea: beach.

Last week, Mom told me that when she was getting ready to retire, her coworkers asked her what she planned to do. She declared for walking on the beach everyday, but in the seven months since, she hadn’t been yet.

Likewise, the girls enjoy a little book called “Blue takes a dip” in which the puppy goes to the beach. But until today, they’d never been on the sand.

So we drove to the newly-reconstructed end of the Seawall (it had been washed out by Ike), parked, and went walking. We saw seagulls and a lovely, yellow-footed snowy egret. But it was no surprise that Sam immediately wanted to go in the water.

Initially, we pulled off shoes and hiked up pants. But before long, Cate declared that her clothes were too wet and asked for help to get them off. Once naked, she charged back into the waves. As soon as Cate was half undressed, Sam followed suit. They raced in and out of the water cackling gleefully, over and over and over. Occasionally they would pause, to contemplate the sensation of the sand slipping out from under their feet, or to look for shells, but then they would go splash some more.

I could not have told you that we would spend 20 minutes splashing in the surf today — I don’t remember the last time I went in the water in Galveston — but there we were. At ~64 degrees, the water was cold, and it reminded me of the very first time I splashed in the Gulf, in February 1985, when Dad brought us all to see the place we would soon move to.

Afterward, we rinsed off, bundled girls, and returned to Dansby to tell Papa Chuck all about our adventure. He agreed that the beach is fun this time of year and allowed that he might join us next time. I hope that he will!

Catherineism #18: Mama, don’t!

Monday, January 13th, 2014

My friend Hillary is someone that I admire a great deal. She’s always kind and relentlessly upbeat, despite facing a few of life’s toughest challenges.

Shortly after New Year’s, Hillary mentioned that she’s in the midst of a “95-squat” challenge. The challenge is structured to require varying repetitions each day as you work up to 95 reps.

When one friend observed that it sounded “hard” and another called it “scary,” Hillary explained that it might be, but she tried not to think about it too much. What’s important is to get busy trying to do it. Good point!

Since then, I’m trying to challenge myself to do more. I’ve gone on two bike rides, I’ve done some stretching and strengthening with the girls, and today I pushed the stroller to Super Slidey Park.

I’ve even tried some squats here and there. I’m ginger about it, since I’m unsure whether my back will let me down, but I’ve done enough squats that I can feel them working my quads.

This morning at the park, Sam and Cate spent some time hanging from the monkey bars. My gosh, they’re getting strong! When Sam went on to the next thing, Cate shifted over to the orange steel safety railing. She’s now tall enough to reach the top bar, and she inserted her feet between the uprights and walked along the bottom bar.

Standing next to her, I decided to use the railing like a ballet bar and do a few squats. Catie immediately climbed down and turned to watch me, with an expression of growing concern. As I came up and then began to squat again, Cate exclaimed, “Mama?!? Don’t! Don’t poo in your undies!!!”

Samanthaism #18: want more chard leaf, please!

Sunday, January 5th, 2014

I know that I’ve mentioned chard before, but I’ll mention it again. Bill sauteed a big batch of red chard with red chiles (bell peppers) and pine nuts, in some balsamic reduction. He chopped up the stems and sauteed them until they were nearly tender, and finished them with the rough-chopped greens.

I hear that some toddlers don’t like veggies, but our girls like ’em. Very yummy. In fact, I wasn’t dispersing it fast enough this afternoon and Sam called to me, “want more chard leaf, please!”

Yay! My parenting rationalization of the day is that I hope this makes up for at least one of the times that we’ve made their lunch or dinner out of franchise chicken “nuggets” while out in the van.