Monday, June 29, 2009

The big 01

We had a Monkey theme:

We had two adorable cousins in attendance:

There was cake:

And candles to blow out:

Boy howdy were there presents for all the kids:

And a general abundance of delightful chaos:

Thank you to the whole family for helping with this party and for everyone who traveled to come and visit us. A special thank you to Michelle for carrot cupcakes so delicious that they were eaten to the last miniscule crumb. Thanks to our family and friends, Alice had a wonderful day.

Picture Perfect

This past Saturday marked Alice's first birthday. I have spent the last few weeks reflecting on the end of her babyhood and weeping copiously.

In an effort to derail my sad-sack nostalgia train I thought I would share some of my favorite Alice pictures taken during her first year:

Tuesday, June 23, 2009


My Mom is an architect and when she comes into town we tend to A) pick her brain for remodeling advice and B) use her big ole' work car to transport things that need transporting.

Which is why during these visits we tend to suggest family trips to troll the IKEA clearance section. This trip we found great deals on large doors for closet and kitchen pantry and Mom surprised us with a gift of a new kitchen island as an early anniversary present.

This would have been the perfect IKEA visit if this hadn't happened:

Did you see it? If not this video gives a better vantage point:

Even though all three of us were hovering over her, Alice still managed to slip and fall face-first into the wheel of our shopping cart. Tony and I were upset that Alice fell, but felt better once we ascertained that she wasn't seriously injured. Grammy however will never recover. My Mom's calls now start and end with worried questions about the status of Alice's sweet eye.

For all concerned parties please know that her eye is almost completely healed

Back to the IKEA-palloza. As we assembled the new kitchen island Mom was eyeballing our low kitchen ceiling (which Tony particularly doesn't enjoy) and she mused out loud that it might be possible to bump up the elevation slightly depending on what was hidden above the drywall.

Then she got that look in her eye that I remember from when I was a kid.
"You want to punch a hole through the ceiling, don't you?"
"Just enough to take a look! Do you think Tony would mind?"

When Tony came into the kitchen he heard about two seconds of Mom's proposal and to my surprise asked if we could take the whole ceiling down this weekend! With all parties consenting Mom sprung into action After cobbling a few cutting implements from the garage...

As it turns out we do have quite a bit of space above our kitchen and large beams that can be exposed and painted if we so choose. The only sticking point is the gas pipe and electrical cord you see in the picture. Though Mom had a few solutions for that, the easiest of which was just encasing it in a false beam. Well, in truth the easiest thing would be to leave it exposed "warehouse loft style", but the point is we have options.

Another revelation was that when we opened the ceiling tons of cooled air poured down on us. It turns out we are losing a lot of energy cooling the guts of the house due to leaky ducts. This is a pretty easy fix, and since we are tearing out the drywall anyway we can hit two birds with one remodeling project and save on our energy bills. Hooray!

Monday, June 22, 2009

All (Green) Thumbs

In a combined effort to tame the wilderness around our homestead Tony has taken to the trees and I have gone to ground.
The plot of crab grass in our front yard is beset by weeds almost year round and has been interfering with our neighbor's healthy grass. When my Mom came to visit she helped me get a jump on starting a front garden.

Since she left I have expanded the outline of the garden and removed the poison oak you see climbing the house. I added rosemary, flowering sage, whirling butterflies, and a smattering of other flowering plants. However the heat has been incredible the last few days and I am watering like a madwoman trying to keep these little plants moving in a non-dead direction.

I will post a picture of the thriving result when (if) it occurs.

Father's Day- Fountain Park

After sleeping in a few minuets and enjoying his breakfast frittata/coffee/crossword Tony decided that he wanted to spend Father's Day outside. Barton Springs was our first choice of destination but it was so packed that the police were directing traffic in the parking lot. So we headed over to Fountain Park and gave Alice her first taste of running through the sprinklers via a city water feature! She had a magnificent time as Daddy was providing shade from the 100 degree heat.

Tony's cell phone started to die as the afternoon wore on and I was able to capture these murky shots of our picnic in the park. The effect almost looks intentional.

P.S. Alice was wearing a hat the whole day, but not in these shots. So no burned baby head to speak of.
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