Monday, March 28, 2011

Claire’s First Day in STL

Claire had a really busy day today.  It started off fairly normally – breakfast, shower, a little play time, a nap, lunch, a little shopping, a phone conversation with MiMi – and then things got a bit more exciting.

While typing my previous blog post, I noticed that Claire was just a little too quiet.  Our hotel room is nice-sized, but it’s still just one room and the bathroom.  How much trouble can one little girl get into?  Well, not too much; but enough that she found this quite fun.001

When she discovered I had the camera, she tried to rush back in and clean it up.002


Oh my!  First the crayon on the wall, now one and a half rolls of toilet paper unrolled.  What’s next?!  (I’m actually very excited to find out and am keeping the camera charged and at the ready.)

Since it actually gets cold in Memphis (unlike Houston), it has been some time since Claire has been swimming.  Fortunately our hotel has an indoor pool!  We are so excited to be able to swim again!

Claire in her new swimsuit.  (I must brag about my bargain.  I bought this at the end-of-season sale last year at Gymboree for $3.19!!!  What a steal!!!!)004

Daddy teaching Claire “the basics” – blowing bubbles, putting her face in the water, “monkey on the wall,” kicking, etc.006







My loves – both sleepy after a very busy day.023

Road Trip to St. Louis

We’re in St. Louis for the next two weeks while Steve attends Q school.  (The airline he works for flies two types of airplanes – the Saab 340 and the Q400.  Steve was hired on the Saab and is now learning to fly the Q.)  Claire and I decided to tag along rather than stay at home for two weeks sans Daddy.

St. Louis is a fairly short drive from Memphis, at least for most people.  Steve, however, prefers the scenic route.  It was quite the adventure getting here.

On Saturday, we drove from Memphis to Hayti, TN (just 90 miles away) in four short hours.  We decided rather than taking the highway, we would follow the Great River Road.  The Great River Road follows the Mississippi River from Canada to the Gulf, and spans 10 states.

From Memphis to Hayti, we saw little more than cotton fields, so we have no pictures of that.  And Hayti, well, let’s just say it’s not exactly photo-worthy.

On Sunday, we got back on the GRR and headed toward St. Louis.   The road less traveled…019

Our first stop – Reelfoot Lake.  We drove around and actually got out for a few pictures at Reelfoot Lake.  In the Visitor’s Center, they had this little screech owl who was recovering from being hit by a car.  (It’s tiny, but it is full-grown.)  Claire kept hooting at it.003

Close-up of the owl004

We also passed this great little local shop – Hillbilly Junction.  If they had been open, a certain sister-in-law would surely have received an AWESOME birthday present from this place.  It should be noted that they sell “Hillbilly Gags” and “Nite Shirts.”  Oh how I wish we could have shopped in this place!!006

We also passed this sign and couldn’t resist taking a picture.  Duck plucking!!!  Hilarious!014

My Girl028





We drove on.  Then we saw this on the side of the road.042

Need a close-up?048

Yep – bald eagles, with their babies, on the ground.046

Who knew that bald eagles live in Tennessee?  Surely not I, until now.

We continued our drive and reached Kentucky!055

And then we happened upon this road.057

Steve thought we should have proof that this bit of gravel, just wide enough for one vehicle, is an actual road.059

There really wasn’t anything too photo-worthy in Kentucky, so we continued on to Illinois.064


These signs were the highlight of the section of Illinois we drove through.  So we continued on to Missouri.  Here’s the bridge over the Mississippi River from Illinois to Missouri.069


Once we crossed over into Missouri, we decided to get on the highway and cruise on in to St. Louis.  The closer we got to St. Louis, the more snow we saw.  Here’s a picture of the landscape.075

At last, we arrived at our hotel where we shall stay for the next two weeks.  I’m sure there will be several posts in the next few days, as St. Louis has so much to do.

Saturday, March 26, 2011


As all of you should know by now, we are expecting baby number two – due in November!!  I have had many people ask me the same questions.  Here the questions and the answers:

What are we having?  We’re having a baby.  We won’t know if it’s a boy or a girl until I’m 20 weeks along, which won’t be until mid-June.  That being said, according to the Chinese Gender Chart, we’re having a girl!  According to Steve, the Chinese Gender Chart is good enough.

What does Claire think?  Claire is just as happy as she’s always been.  I look like I've always looked, so she doesn’t realize that we have a baby on the way.  However, Claire loves babies, especially her baby cousins, Allie and Kenley; so I’m sure she’s going to love being a big sister.

What are going to name the baby?  We have not yet chosen names for the baby.  We had Claire’s name picked out long before we found out we were expecting her, so it was easy to name her.  However, baby number two is going to be a challenge for us.  Aunt Lori has offered a suggestion of the name Hannah Grace if it’s girl.  Feel free to offer your suggestions as well, boy or girl.

How am I feeling?  I feel great!  I admit to taking a few naps with Claire these days.  And I’m eating Claussen pickles like they’re going out of style.  But I feel good and am excited about our new baby!

Just when I thought life was perfect, God went and made it even better!!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Our Artist





While we’re very proud of Claire’s artistic abilities, we prefer that she color on her coloring book pages and not the walls.

Here her daddy is explaining that she should not color on the walls.007

After explaining her naughtiness to her, her daddy handed her a Magic Eraser to wash the walls.013

I think she enjoyed cleaning it up as much as she enjoyed coloring it.014

Scrub!  Scrub!  Scrub!016

PopPop called to wish Claire a happy 22 months just as she was getting in trouble for her artwork.  He reminded me that she comes from a long line of artists who think the world is our canvas, as both PopPop and Mommy were known to color on walls.

Claire is 22-months-old today.  A few things you might not know about our beautiful girl – she can count to 10; she knows the names of most of the animals; she’s very affectionate and will often volunteer an “I lud you!” to her family; she loves to run; she’s started pronouncing the ends of words (i.e. previously she would say “cash” now she says “caTCH” with an emphasis on the end; previously “wa” now “waLK”, again with the emphasis on the end); she loves to sing and knows all of the words to the songs she hears most often; and she loves to dance.  We could not be prouder of her!  She is such a joy!

Happy 22 months to Our Little Artist!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Little Leprechaun


Complete with green toenails!015

Happy St. Patty’s!!

Saturday, March 12, 2011

“Croquet, Anyone?”

054 The weather was gorgeous today, so we met some friends at a park and played croquet.  The Memphis Croquet Club has two courts at the park, and we played on one while they played on the other.033


And, of course, no day at the park is complete without playing on the slide.062

And Daddy and Claire had fun playing airplane.011

It was a little windy today.  At one point, Claire’s ball blew off the back of the court, down the hill and across the pond.  Here are some pics of Steve retrieving it.  It was hilarious!  Every time Steve would get close to the ball, it would float just out of his reach.  These pictures are posted in sequential order.

The ball stayed in this position until just before Steve got close enough to pick it up.018

Just as he gets there (after running all the way around the pond), it moves out from the shoreline just a little… 020

Then a little more…022

Then downstream a little…023

Then closer to the shore…024

Then Steve found a stick!025

At last!027

Our hero!  (All of the other park patrons were cheering him on as well!)029

And, for your viewing pleasure, a few pics of Claire.047




We had a great time at the park today!  What a gorgeous day!

And for those of you who are not members of Facebook, perhaps you have not heard, but Claire went poo in the loo this morning!  What a big girl!

We decorated for Easter this morning.  When we got home from the park, Claire kept dancing with her bunny.  (Her bunny is flying an airplane.)  Here’s a video.  (And she thinks it’s sneezing, but it’s really saying “Whoo!” not “a-choo!”  Too cute!)  Enjoy!

And last night, my little cookie baked me a cake.  We let her stir up the batter.  She’s quite the messy cook!006


009Hope you’re having a great weekend!