Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Dan's Birthday Weekend and Galveston

Dan turned 39 this year. Can you believe a man who thinks that a sock monkey with a precariously placed tail is worth taking a photo of can possibly be on the brink of turning 40?

Well, it's true. And I gathered all his friends to meet us downtown at our old stomping grounds for a surprise celebration. And he was indeed surprised. It was a wonderful time and I think he was touched with how many people came. People from different times of his life and people who traveled from other cities just to wish him well. It was really, really fun. And he really, really deserved a fun night to celebrate!

We had a great time. And Emi came in with a surprise for Sofia - Matthew! Sofia was so surprised that she was literally speechless. But they had a great time. Unfortunately, I somehow managed to not get a single photo of the two of them.

The next day, after everyone left, Dan spontaneously decided we should spend a night in Galveston. So we did. We stayed at the Harbor House right on the bay. It was so nice to be together, just the four of us.

We relaxed in the hotel room,

walked along the Strand,

and ate dinner outside right on the bay.

The next morning after getting ready

we walked to Sunflower Bakery for breakfast.

On the way we strolled down Postoffice Street,

and went right past the house where Dan and I lived for the first three years of our marriage. It brought back so many memories.

Here you can see our house with the ANICO building, where I worked so miserably, in the background.

We haven't really been back to Galveston since Hurricane Ike came through in 2008 and the most noticeable changes were how clean everything looked since being put back together and the lack of trees. We remembered Postoffice Street being lined with big, old trees. And now there are mostly small new trees or old stumps. It was still a beautiful walk. The old houses really look great for having survived so much over the past 100 plus years. I liked this one.

After breakfast we went back to the hotel, packed up

and headed to the beach. Luckily for me a storm was blowing in so the beach trip was short. Galveston beaches have not changed - they're still full of seaweed and brown water. But Sofia didn't care. She and Dad had fun playing in the sand.

And Ana enjoyed her first trip to the beach. I promised her we'd show her a better beach trip this summer.

It was a wonderful short trip to Galveston. It will be nice to go back again soon.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Lunch With a Three Year Old

I had lunch with Sofia today. Ana was at Grandma's house so Dan and I could get a much needed night of uninterrupted sleep. Of course, for Grandma she slept from 11:15 straight to 6:15 but whatever, I won't hold it against her!

Anyway, Sofia and I had an unusual moment alone and over pizza and bananas (and wearing pjs and a sun hat) she told me some interesting stories.

One about when she was cooking and her pot fell off the edge and broke on the floor into "a million pieces," and then she "never cooked again," but that was okay because she bought another one. She told that story with occasional glances over to the dutch oven that was sitting on our stove top.

Then she told me about how she was going to grow up and she'd be one, and two, and I'm already three, then four, then five, six, seven, eight, nine, ten, eweven, twelve, fourteen, sixteen, eighteen and twenty! (She has a penchant for leaving out the odd numbers.) I told her I couldn't believe it but that yes, one day she'd be 20 years old. And I told her that when she was 20 she'd be such a big girl that she'd probably live all by herself. And the sweet thing got a sad face and said in a scared voice, "But I might need your help!"

I promised her that one day I'd remind her of that and I vowed that Daddy and I would be there, always, to help her. It was so sweet how concerned she was. And I was reminded just how much she relies on us for her comfort and confidence. She's in that sweet stage where she randomly blurts out that she loves us and gives us kisses and hugs at the spur of the moment. She's so sweet and I love her so much. I don't ever want to forget these days!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

March 2011

The days fly by so fast lately. It's go, go, go around here. And boy do Dan and I wish it would be more like, sleep, sleep, go! We are loving our girls and when it's good, it's good. But it's also been quite an adjustment. Ana likes to be heard and Sofia like to play nonstop and that leaves little room for rest. But we are adjusting and I am so lucky to be able to stay home with them. I love them so much!

But life goes on, no matter how tired you are. And March was a lot of fun. Here are some of the things we were up to.

Crazy Shoe Day
Sofia had silly shoe day at her Mother's Day Out program. She thought it was so cool to wear mismatched shoes.

Seven Weeks Old
At 7 weeks old Ana and I had an impromptu photo shoot where she showed me some of her silly faces.

Then something wonderful happened - we had visitors! First Papi came and spent a few days with his girls,

and we took Sofia to see her first real ballet, Tchaikovsky's The Sleeping Beauty at the Houston Ballet. She did great at the show, and it was a long ballet - three acts - almost three hours. But the poor thing didn't quite understand that she wasn't going to get to dance! I had to explain to her it was like watching a movie but that if she liked it then we can sign her up for lessons. So ballet lessons are coming this summer - because she loved it!

Then finally Ana got to meet her boy cousins when Tio David and Aunt Julie came to town.

We were so happy to have them here, we had so much fun! It was a rainy day so we hung out with the kids at the Galleria where they acted like monkeys,

and palled around.

Sofia got to have Matthew sleep over one night and the next night she stayed at the hotel with them. She's such a big girl - it was her first "sleep over" but that kid would do anything to hang out with Matthew. She looks up to him so much - it's so sweet!

We had such a nice time! I love having family in town.

Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo
The month of March brings a Houston tradition - the Houston Livestock Show & Rodeo. It's like a rite of passage and since Sofia was old enough to enjoy the Carnival this year we spent a day doing just that.

And we learned something about our girl that day. She's more adventurous than we knew.

She wanted to ride the Dragon Roller Coaster so Dan took her

but as you can see by her face she was not happy to share a seat with him,

and she actually MADE him get off. Take a look how happy she is to be doing it "all by myself."

I was a nervous Mommy off to the side watching her on there all alone and I couldn't believe Dan let her ride alone but he said she insisted and he obliged. And to my surprise she LOVED it! She was putting her hands in the air, and you could hear her the whole way screaming, "Woo hoo!" It was hilarious!

It was such a fun day! She rode rides with Mom,

picked out a cowboy hat, pink of course,

rode a camel with her friend, Molly. I love the look on her face!

She ate her first turkey leg,

and quite enjoyed it!

Oh, and remember Ana? She was there too. In between naps she got a diaper change but she wasn't quite in the rodeo spirit even though I made sure she had a Cowboy Heart with a lasso on her shirt.

There was a really cool Agriculture exhibit,

where she petted a fake sheep

and looked at some real ones.

She milked a cow,

picked some peaches,

and drove a John Deere.

Then we headed inside to get out of the sun. It was a hot day! Sofia and I got in a barrel and pretended to be rodeo clowns,

and then Sofs hung out with Dad

and checked out actual Livestock.

We headed back out so Sofia could get a cupcake painted on her face,

play some games with Daddy,

and win herself a pink duck.

Ana took a nap.

And then we came across this monster of an obstacle course. There was no way I'd let her do it alone.

I just knew she'd panic up on that bridge and then surely she'd be too paralyzed with fear to make it down that long slide. So, again I told Dan he better go with her. And again, she refused to allow him. And there she went, as confident as could be. She completed the entire thing - without hesitation or reservation. And she did it fast.

Dan was proud! It was pretty cool. We are realizing what a big girl she has become. Even more so now that her sister is here.

Sofia ended her first Rodeo Carnival with a great big chocolate covered strawberry.

And Ana ended it with - you guessed it - a nap!

Something to be Happy About
Ana celebrated her second month on this planet with her first smile. A real one. She looked right at me and flashed me the biggest, goofiest grin! I love it and managed to get it on camera. So sweet!

A Day at the Park
March always promises some beautiful weather in Houston so we took advantage and went to our favorite park for dinner,


and some soccer. Dan and Sofia play together a lot and she's getting pretty good.

We also played at the playground and as I was snapping this picture of Sofia,

I was remembering vividly the day these were taken.

And I realize it's true what they say, it does go by fast.

A New Bike
We got a knock on the door one day and there was a bike for Sofia!

Our sweet neighbors, John and Manuel bought this bike for their niece to play with while she was in town. And since she lives far away and doesn't visit often they figured the best place for it to go was to Sofia. She loves it but still needs some practice with pedaling.

So to say thanks my little Cowgirl

painted a little thank you message for them. Now we just have to remember to walk over and give it to them!

Our Girls
I really love having this blog. It captures and narrates our family's special memories. Ones that may fade away because of the stress of every day life. If you were to ask me an hour ago how things are going I probably would have complained about how tired I am and how I can't keep up with housework or get to the gym. But after spending time poring over our family's photos and memories I'm reminded about how blessed Dan and I are to have each other, to have these girls and to have our friends and family who care enough about us to read about the adventures of the Coussirat Clan.

I love these kids!