This weekend we went out to dinner (at El Real!) with Nora’s friend Billy and his people (Mom, Dad, and baby Greg). Billy (and his people) originally introduced us to El Real which, careful readers will note, is our favorite restaurant/Western-themed movie house in all of the vast sprawling metropolis of Houston. Here’s a shot of Billy and Nora. Note how cooly B balances being smooth with the ladies and reaching for a handful of rice.
Monthly archives for August, 2012
Nora’s been taking swimming lessons since October of last year. This past Friday she completed the requirements for Penguin 1 and has advanced to Penguin 2 (which, presumably, involves learning to catch herring and keep an egg warm through the frigid Antarctic winter). We’re exceedingly proud of our little swimmer. She’s advanced from the world’s premier rock impersonator to someone who could quite probably survive a pool party.
People know about Chicago-style pizza and New York style pizza –and rightly so. Sadly, far fewer people know about the amazingly delicious Detroit Style Pizza. Since moving to Houston we’ve learned to replicate Buddy’s pizza pretty accurately for ourselves (I can post the recipe if anyone is interested), but sometimes you don’t want to spend two days getting the crust and sauce ready. Sometimes you want to go, sit in an air conditioned restaurant, and let someone else do the work. Luckily, we’ve discovered Barry’s Pizza which, right down to the name, seems eerily similar to our favorite place back in the mitten. Barry’s isn’t the best pizza in town (that honor belongs to Collina’s Italian Café –we’re sure about this, we’ve tried everywhere), but it does have an amazing facsimile of a Buddy’s 8 piece square. Y’all should come down and try some.
p.s. there is no news about the baby.
We used these handy bum genius diapers with Nora and, apart from the velcro, we really loved them. This new model features brighter colors and replaces the velcro with snaps. So now we’re hoping that these diapers will be as good for number two as they were for number one (sorry, couldn’t resist). They arrived yesterday and Nora saved us a bit of effort by pulling all of the tags off and separating them into piles for pre-washing. What did we ever do without this incredibly useful housework aid?
Let me just say that this was really hard to photograph, okay? Even if my camera’s auto-exposure circuitry still worked, this would have been a rough shot. We picked up a fresh batch of cotton prefold diapers for Crumpet and, I don’t know what kind of experience you have with these, but they arrive roughly as soft and cuddly as pinecones & birch bark. Jen ran them through the washing machine half a dozen times to turn them into cloth and the way you test whether a diaper is ready is to pour a bunch of water into it and make sure it (the water) is quickly and completely absorbed by the diaper. These images are my attempt to capture Nora performing that test.
I had a simple goal: take a single, nice picture of Nora in the new white dress Granny sent her. After 5 or 6 tries, I finally got this:
En route to that picture, though, I got a whole lot of others that you will never see and these pictures that made the rubberducky editorial board/parenting team roll around on the floor laughing. Enjoy. :)
As I’ve mentioned before, Houston has a pretty good zoo. Better still, it’s just over a mile from our apartment (right across a couple of terrifying streets from my office). We don’t go every weekend, but we go pretty often. We’ve recently discovered that the secret is to go at 9:00am on a Sunday when the animals are all still awake and eating or playing, the heat isn’t too dreadful yet, and the park is pretty close to empty. The zoo isn’t huge, but it’s just large enough that you can go for an entire morning and only see a tiny part of it. We’ll focus on birds or primates or we’ll just spend a long time watching the red panda (which Nora has declared “the cutest animal on earth”). This past weekend we went to the animatronic dinosaur forest (Nora was terrified of all of the dinos, we both were terrified of the T-rex even though, with those ridiculous arms, he couldn’t even tie a bow tie or open a can of coke). From there we went to the reptile house and one of the bird areas to compare the living animals to the extinct models we’d seen and talk about whether dinosaurs were more like lizards or birds. Nora decided that dinosaurs were a lot like lizards but that they definitely had bird legs and maybe bird necks and bird heads.
After our trip to the splash park, we wound up our visit in the primates exhibit. Nora loves hearing about how we share a distant ancestor with the chimpanzees and an even more distant ancestor with the orangutan and a still more distant ancestor with the lemurs. We talk about how natural selection works and about how a tiny ability (to run a little bit faster, jump a little bit farther, hold your breath a little bit longer, or communicate a little bit more clearly) can, over time, translate into an enormous advantage and, ultimately, a new species. Here we are clowning around and trying to connect with our distant, distant primate cousins.
In an absolutely brilliant move, the Houston Zoo has installed a splash park right there in the middle of the zoo. Here are some shots of Nora enjoying it for the first time (taken from the comfort of a shaded bench which *I* was enjoying very much as well). The bean had gotten half of her 4 year old shots the day before and had been limping her pathetic way through the first half of our zoo trip but hallelujah! she was cured by the magical, chlorinated waters issuing forth from the 25 foot long sea monster fountain fixture.
It’s not easy to grill in Houston in the summer. On this particular day, it was so humid that our wet/dry blue kitchen matches wouldn’t light. We ended up having to light a birthday candle inside and carry that outside. On the bright side, genuine mesquite charcoal is ubiquitous. In fact, the main reason people lock their doors and put their cars in the garage here is because otherwise people will sneak up and fill your trunk or front hall with excess mesquite charcoal.