Kitty in a Haystack

Kitty in a Haystack, originally uploaded by melissa.coats.

We just returned from a trip to the grandparent's ranch in Athens, TX - about a four hour drive from Austin. They have 18 dogs on the ranch, and about as many cats and horses. You're not supposed to ask a rancher how many "head of cattle" they have, so I have no idea how many cows we saw. Kennedy loved all the kittens at the stables, and it was hard for all of us to resist the tempatation to take one home with us. Honestly, if we didn't have our two dogs in the car with us, we would have brought little Sunshine back with us. It was a fun weekend, but the first thing everyone wanted to do, and had to do, when we got home was take a bath. There's no place like home....


Happy Chanukah

Kennedy & Santa, 2005

We didn't celebrate any Jewish holidays when I was growing up -- my grandparents were Jewish, but it was almost an afterthought for them. Even though they skipped the traditions of their ancestors, it is important that I keep the heritage alive for my daughter. I consider her lucky that she gets to celebrate two winter holidays. (It's so cute to hear her sing the dreidle song!)

This year it has been difficult to prepare for Chanukah. Our menorah candles melted together in the garage, so I had to look high and low for more. I assumed that any grocery store, Hallmark store, Pier1 -someone- would have them. Nope. We had a ghetto candle lighting tonight with tea lights. Oh well, it's the thought that matters. On the flip side, my latkes turned out great this year! I used a recipe from a children's book (thanks Mandy!).


It skips a generation

My daughter, 3 and my mom, 6. The nuts don't fall far from the tree, do they?


Her Obsession is Now My Obsession

Calico Update: these critters are on sale 40% off! (here). Nifty!
This weekend Kennedy had an urge to go play with "the dollhouse with the bunnies and kitties and piano (?)" at our neighborhood toy store, Kaleidoscope. Sure enough the little piano was there in the display house, but I couldn't find it on the shelf in any of these intricate room sets. When I asked the woman who (presumably) owns the store, she said they don't make it any more, but that she would sell us the display model for five dollars. Now THAT is true holiday spirit.


School Picture 2008

School Picture 2008, originally uploaded by melissa.coats.

It was so hard to choose - the photographer was great this year. We picked two shots, but I didn't get a digital copy of the second. Ohs wells.


Stay Away!

Stay Away!, originally uploaded by melissa.coats.

One ornament down, 500 to go. I may be regretting putting the tree up so early this year....


Calico Crazy

Let the madness begin. These little collectable critters, and of course a home for them to live in, were at the top of Kennedy's Christmas list, second only to a Princess Bike. I just hope I can keep these little guys out of the Moose's mouth. They are outrageously overpriced for the 1" and 2" figures that they are, and if one gets eaten, it bye-bye bunny. They are pretty darn cute though....


Family Portrait

Kennedy drew this family portrait at school. I'm glad her teachers know her daddy's name lest they think Turner is mommy's new boyfriend or something. I think it's especially cute that she thought to include her doggies too.


We Call Her Moose

There's a really cute kids book, What Pete Ate from A-Z. This has been my life for the last four months. If it is within her jaw's reach, Jolie will eat it. More precisely, she will chew it and/or shred it to bits. I myself have lost some shoes and a bra. The house has lost some carpet and a baseboard. But the most common victims are Kennedy's toys. Small dolls, doll's clothes, shoes, crayons, marker caps, stuffed animals, tea sets. They must taste like child sugar to her or something. The worst part is, she is so stealth, and by the time I realize she has something, it's destroyed. I am constantly picking up things I think she'll find appealing-it's never ending. And of course she has a basket full of traditional, boring dog chew toys (she has one in the photo above, but chewed on that rug not long after the picture was taken). I'm at my wit's end with this dog. She's smart and loving and adorable, but I need some kind of Dog Whisperer intervention, quick. (Turner got some kind of bitter spray, but I can't very well spray down everything our daughter touches. Or can I?) Our other dog, Olive, never chewed a thing. She's looking at us now like "Ya'll deserve it, bringing this moose into my house."


Bubbly Toes

I used to frown upon children with painted nails. It conjured up images of bizarre pageant girls and eight-year-olds dragged to the nail salons, bored out of their minds. Then, during a quiet Sunday at home, I decided to give myself a pedicure. Kennedy wanted to help and when she realized this is what mommy does when she gets her toes painted, she got so excited and begged to have her toes painted too. We made a trip to the drug store to find a polish that was suitable for a three-year-old. She picked Polyester Pink Creme. In other words, bubblegum pink. Perfect.

The actual application went surprisingly well. She was so careful to wait for them to dry, that even a day later she is sill asking, "They're all dry?" Yes, honey, your very first coat of polish ever is all dry. No go run outside and play!


Never a Dull Moment

Austin is such a great city for kids. (And adults with kids.) Let’s take a moment to daydream about all the places we could be right now: A week ago we saw the Cinderella production at the Scottish Rite Children’s theatre downtown -- very cute. Kennedy broke the hush of the theatre by yelling out “It’s Lucifer! [the cat].” A few months ago it was Peter Pan at the same theatre. Come to think of it, she yelled out during the first few moments of that play too with, “They’re flying to Neverland!” This girl really gets into her fantasy worlds -- looks like we have an actress on our hands.
Other events we’ve recently gone to, as I think of them are:

Ice Cream Festival
Kite Festival
Art Festival
Splash Park
Austin Children’s Museum
Natural Gardener
Ruta Maya
Round Rock Express Baseball Game
Fourth of July Parade
Kiddie Acres
Little Buckaroo Ranch
Ready Set Play
And of course all the pools, parks, trails, wildflower fields and pumpkin patches.

Next I have to decide between Cirque, Very Hungry Caterpillar, and the lighting of the Macy’s Christmas tree at our new swanky outdoor mall. More than likely we’ll end up doing all three.



This is a very busy week - pumpkin carving, birthday, anniversary, wedding, trick-or-treating, work functions. I found some time tonight for myself in the guise of cleaning pumpkin seeds for roasting. It was a simple pleasure, like Amelie plunging her hand into a bag of dry beans. And I don't even eat pumpkin seeds....


Action | Reaction

This photo contest at aurora15 is a really neat idea: it's like a chain mail of photos, with one photograph being passed to another photographer, who in turn submits a similar one in theme or subject. Nice stuff. It reminds be of this cool photo blog I came across once, 3191 a year of mornings. Two friends, thousands of miles apart, taking pictures at the same time of day and comparing them. I'd love to try something like that. Any takers? Hello out there???


The Great Schlep - Oy!

See more Sarah Silverman videos at Funny or Die

If my Jewish grandparents were still alive, I would make the schlep to Florida!


Festivals Aplenty

We had a great time at our neighborhood fall festival: petting zoo (which K loved), bounce house (which K hated), Smokey Mo's BBQ (yum), police car and fire truck tours (eh), tattoos (temporary ones), and of course pumpkins. Counting the one we brought home tonight we now have five pumpkins in our house, just waiting for the weather to cool off so they can go outside. Where they belong.... More photos at my flickr site.


Three is a magic number

Kennedy is soon to be the last only child of all her three-year-old classmates. (Congratulations to the mommy-to-be, if she's reading!) The choice of whether or not to have another baby has been one of much discussion in our household. Just as a couple is never "ready" to have a first baby, the thought of a sibling is just as daunting, if not more so. We've been watching this Schoolhouse Rock video lately, and I've already decided: if Kennedy remains an only child, this will be our theme song. And if Turner and I ever make a decision, or find ourselves in a "Whoops!" situation, I'll be writing about it here, I'm sure.Link



I haven't watched The Daily Show in a while, but I'm sure Jon Stewart had a few jokes about this one.



Ever since Kennedy has started to “read,” or at least identify letters and their sounds, she has always associated the letter M with Mommy. And, even with her knack for brand identification (i.e. Disney, Macintosh, even the Texas Lottery logo), whenever she sees the golden arches of McDonalds, she always yells, “It’s an M for Mommy!” This excerpt from a new book brings to mind that sweet innocence:

The great majority of languages start the word for "mother" with an m sound. The word mammal comes from the mammary gland. Which comes from baby talk: mama. To sound like a grownup, we refine mama into mother; the Romans made it mater, from which: matter. And matrix. Our word for the kind of animal we are, and our word for the stuff that everything is made of, and our word for a big cult movie all derive from baby talk.

Go on, read more. It gets better.


In the 'hood

Our neighborhood has many out-of-state transplants. Tonight we went to a little gathering where no one was a native Texan. There were Canadians, Californians, Indianans (Indians?), and of course the Floridians. It was nice to hear everyone's stories about how long they have lived here and their complaints about the hot Texas summers. Fall is trying to knock on our doors though, and I can't wait for all the kiddos to come a-knockin' for trick-or-treat.