Archive for January, 2015

Saturday morning dyads

Saturday, January 24th, 2015

Our girls got some one-on-one dyad time today. Cate and Sam both slept well, and we woke to sun and a beautiful forecast. However, they woke with different ideas about how to spend the morning, so we split up.

Bill took Cate to the Houston Zoo, for some time with the big cats and a couple rides on the carousel. They had hotdogs and goldfish for lunch, and then came home.

At the same time, I drove Sam with her helmet and running-bici to Buffalo Bayou. She’s stronger and faster than ever, and I had to jog to keep up with her! Sadly, she lost control on the first downhill, drifted into a retaining wall, then tumbled ass-over-teakettle onto the path and scraped her lip. But after a good long hug and a short discussion of the importance of aiming for the middle of the path and how to use two feet as brakes, she was up and running her bike down the hill.

Every time I tried to suggest that we turn back, Sam insisted that we press on, until we looped both ped bridges — from Rosemont to Jackson Hill — and back. She only stopped to sit and rest on a bench when we came to the amazing new dog park. Once she caught her breath, Sam declared for going in to check it out and play with some pups. We even made friends with a young woman named Jamie and her little dog, Hank.

Eventually, I convinced Sam to head on up the final hill — jogging now, while I carried her bike — to the shiny letter people next to Montrose. Then across the Rosemont bridge and back to my van. A surprising 1.8 miles later, she was so tuckered out that when my car door didn’t open immediately, she plopped down on the grass to wait.

During the ride home, she devoured *two* cereal bars back to back, and once home, devoured the rest of her eggs from breakfast. Bill and Cate returned momentarily, and then both girls went down for good, long (3-hour) naps. Good Saturday!

Samanthaism #: Dusts

Sunday, January 18th, 2015

On becoming sneezy tonight, Sam offered this explanation:

“Rana put 15 of her dusts in my sneezers!”

Las Vegas: Hello, Mount Charleston!

Sunday, January 11th, 2015

We’ve made loose talk about traveling with the girls. But over three years, we only managed day trips to Galveston (Papa Chuck & Baba Jean), day trips to Conroe (Gram Nancy), and one lovely weekend in San Antonio (Ben & Rebecca). Many of our favorite people are too far away to drive to (at least with toddlers) and we’ve been daunted by the prospect of air travel (with toddlers).

January marked the annual return of the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) to Las Vegas. Bill still has a stake in SpectraCal, which makes CES a work-like trip. We both had the ability to take time away from work (Bill had vacation, and all time off from my new job is discretionary), so we screwed our courage to the sticking place and bought plane tickets to Las Vegas. Whee!

When we arrived on New Year’s Day, Cindy, Paul, and their girls met us at our hotel for a simple dinner and catching up in the room. As we were checking in, the hotel manager told us about the buffet breakfast, glanced at our friends, and assured us we could bring our “whole family.” So Friday morning, we all grazed through the breakfast fare and then set forth to Mount Charleston!

We followed the 4Runner west and UP into the mountains

The high desert terrain is unlike anything we see in Houston

As the road ascended higher into the mountains, we felt the pressure change in our ears. We encouraged the girls to drink some milk and try to yawn to equalize their ears.



As soon as we got above the snow line, the little mountain road was lined with parked cars, and most every snowy open area was covered with sledders. So Cindy led us into the McWilliams campgrounds. A waiver, an entry fee, and a cord of firewood later, we were in and found a site.

The very first slopes we saw were covered with sledders

Cate bundled in thermals, tee/leggings, fleece, coat, hat, mittens, and boots!

Cate and Sam promptly slid down the hill to the bathroom on their bottoms

Emma is six-and-a-half!

Sonnet, Cate, and Sam found “an Iceberg” and built it up further




Cate tried to climb the Iceberg

Iceberg: 1, Cate 0.

Sonnet is three-and-three-quarters


Camp McWilliams

Cate was the first to get cold enough to warm her body by the fire

Cindy, our hostess with the mostest, presented hot cocoa!

Paul and Sonnet blew together to cool her hot cocoa

Cindy getting some Bruno cuddles


Cate lay down on the snow, the better to eat it

Bill took Sam and Sonnet for a hike up the snowy hill


Sam fell asleep within minutes, as soon as we drove away from the campsite

Cate feigned sleep, but was overtired/wired through lunch

Even Emma was wiped out by lunchtime

Mount Charleston

Desert sun

I shot more than a hundred photos, during our Mount Charleston outing. I meant to post only 8-10, but this is a full third of them. I hope you enjoy them as much as I do!