The Power of Advertising

Claire has suddenly developed an opinion on how we should do the online backups for our home computer. ¬†This morning, after watching TV with her breakfast, Claire approached me and said in a serious voice, “Dad, I think we should use carbonite.com. ¬†That way if you lose a file, you can, like, restore it.” ¬†(The way she said “restore”, you could tell this was a new word for her, or at least a new usage of that word.) ¬†Clearly, Claire was doing her utmost to be helpful. ¬†I said, “Thanks for the tip, Claire. ¬†I’ll keep that in mind. ¬†We already use something like that called Mozy.” ¬†Claire’s response was, “Okay. ¬†But maybe we should change to carbonite.com.” And then she wandered off to get dressed.

If you ever doubted the value of a TV advertisement, as I do from time to time, then let this be a lesson. ¬†It sure worked like a charm on Claire. ¬†I am not in a hurry to switch to carbonite.com, though, since it means weeks of uploading all our data to the new service, which means weeks of slow internet access. ¬†Trying to think how to frame that for Claire…How about, “That’s a nice idea, but it would mean¬†learning.com¬†and¬†starfall.com¬†would be really slow and annoying for a while.” ¬†That just might do the trick.

Firetruck!

A firetruck came to visit Molly’s school today. ¬†Here are some pictures.

By the way, Molly is not yet able to pronounce her “T” sound, ugh less “TR”, and she substitutes “F” instead. ¬†So when she told us about the firetruck, it sounded like a weird, nasty word at first.

Molly's class on the fire truck
Molly's class on the fire truck
Molly giving the fire truck a spin
Molly giving the fire truck a spin

Favorite Books #3

Here is the latest installment of the favorite books series…

Molly loves her Elmo sticker book. ¬†For a while, she refused to go anywhere without it. ¬†“I want my Elmo book”, was commonly heard, especially just before leaving the house. ¬†She would sit and study it in the car for long spells, such as the recent trip to Houston.

Elmo Book
The Elmo book
Molly Elmo Book
Molly engrossed in her Elmo book

Molly also spent quite a while absorbed in an issue of Austin Family magazine, which we happened to bring home from some restaurant or the like.  She would love to look over the pages for bedtime, labeling all the things in its pages, a mommy, some vegetables, a ball, swimming.  She really loved this magazine!

Austin Family magazine

At the moment, Molly’s favorite book is definitely the classic of classics,¬†The Cat in the Hat by Dr. Seuss. ¬†This is Kit’s and my favorite too. ¬†It is lots of fun to read, really an amazing book. ¬†This “Dr. Seuss” guy has a lot of promise! ¬†The Cat in the Hat¬† book takes a while to read, though, especially if you take the time necessary to read it in a fully fun and dramatic way. ¬†So we usually skip the¬†middle just to get Molly to bed in time!

Claire has been enjoying a variety of books, although no specific book has risen as the unchallenged leader  lately.  She has been somewhat into nonfiction, often inspired by a movie.  She has checked out school library nonfiction books on dolphins (thanks to the movie A Dolphin Tale), lions (thanks to The Lion King), and even a resurgence in books on ancient Egypt (thanks to A Night at the Museum 2).  The lion book was from National Geographic and was sufficiently realistic to be quite gruesome (but still fascinating).  Claire does not like lions as much since reading that book!  Dolphins are still sweet and cute, though.

    

Most importantly, Claire has also been reading to us more than ever! ¬†She brings home a folder of beginner books from school and takes great pride in reading them to us at bedtime. ¬†She is now reading more complex books with real stories, and not just the sample, repetitive books she started out with. ¬†She is pretty confident with her reading skills and keeps plugging away at tough words and sentences until she figures them out. ¬†And this late in her day when she is most tired. ¬†We’re so proud of her for sticking with it!

Capital 10k

As she had a few years ago for the Peachtree Road Race, Kit convinced me to go run in the Capital 10k fun run today. ¬†I only registered yesterday at the “last-minute” registration at the convention center. ¬†I was not really in shape to run the full 6 miles, and our morning was squeezed for time, so I decided to take advantage of the fact that our house was almost exactly along the half-way point of the course. ¬†The plan was for Kit and the girls to drop me off at the starting line, drive back to our house, and wait for me in the crowds along Enfield Road. ¬†I would run the first half of the race, bow out at our house, and get on with the day. ¬†This was a good plan. ¬†Only later would I find out that our house, besides being almost exactly half way through the course, was also located almost exactly at the highest point on the course. ¬†So I would be running mostly uphill for 3 miles. ¬†Believe me, that last stretch burned!

Cap 10k starting crowd
I waited at the starting line...
...while the girls waited with Kit back near our house.

Anyways, Kit and the girls were a welcome sight at that highest point.  Claire, as always, had made some friends, and the girls had managed to borrow some pom-poms from someone nearby.  I decided that I did, in fact, want to exit the race at our house and suggested maybe next year I could run the whole thing, when I was better prepared and we hopefully did not have haircuts and furniture shopping to deal with that same morning.

...And we made a sweaty race-side reunion.
I ran to the top of that bump between 4 and 5 km. I probably could have skate boarded to the end with one push.

What a dork!

When Kit got home today, she said Molly looked “really dorky” in her clothes. ¬†Hey, Kit picked out the rainbow shirt. ¬†I just added the purple pants, felt boots, and sloppy pig tails! ¬†She’s adorable! (In a dorky way)

Molly in her dorky outfit
Molly in her dorky outfit. The pom-poms were 100% her idea.

Spring Break in CC

After the fun weekend with the whole family in Houston, Claire turned right around and took off for some more spring break grandparent fun in Corpus Christi. ¬†I can’t tell you a whole lot about the trip. ¬†She was just whisked off by her grandparents.

We talked to Claire most nights on a cacophonous mobile phone on loud-speaker and were not able to make out a whole lot, other than Claire was having lots of fun around town and also relaxing at home with the grandparents.  I think she saw some dolphins.  I do have a couple of pictures, compliments of Grammy Joyce, of Claire on the way down to Corpus and on the drive back, all the while listening to Alice in Wonderland in the car.

Claire arrives in Corpus Christi
Claire arrives in Corpus Christi

 

Claire returning to Austin
Claire returning to Austin

Look, no diaper!

According to Molly’s daily note from school today, “Molly put a lot of urine in the toilet after nap — it surprised and scared her”, apparently including some crying. ¬†That must be a weird feeling the first time it happens!

Molly toilet
Molly enjoying her little toilet at home

This milestone comes after a few weeks of experimenting with the potty at school as well as the little plastic one at home, including looking at it, playing with it, pushing it around, sitting on it with a diaper on, sitting on it without a diaper, and occasionally proposing to use it as a container for her toys.

Molly's daily note
Molly's daily note

Claire’s picks

Including the “Tutty Bear” that she bought at the recent King Tut exhibit, so far Claire has spent every cent of her allowance on stuffed animals and stickers.  I was curious what Claire would buy for herself if she had free reign, and so far this seems about right. ūüôā

Off to see Tut (and the grandparents!)

King Tut is visiting Houston, and we made a special family trip to see him, and perhaps even better, see my parents.

Due to Spring Break traffic and a severe downpour, it took us seven hours to get the kids and make it to Houston.  Usually it’s about a three-hour trip, but we spend a few extra hours stuck in traffic in torrential rain on Highway 71 and Interstate 10.  We made it to Houston a couple of hours past the girls’ bedtime, but everyone was in good spirits and happy to see Noni and Grandpa Phil.

King Tut Entrance
King Tut's jackal. No pictures inside!

Ostensibly, we made the trip to see Tutankhamun: The Golden King and the Great Pharaohs at the Museum of Fine Arts.  When we got the tickets a few weeks ago, Claire’s interest in ancient Egypt was at its peak.  Since then, her interest has waned some, mostly in favor of dolphins and puppies.  When we pulled up to the museum on Saturday morning, Claire said, in a joking tone, “I don’t know why we have to go see this King Tut thing.  You thought I was interested to see it, but really it’s Dad who’s interested.  I mean what’s the big deal?  He’s dead.”  This really cracked me up.

Once inside, we waited in line for the big show.  There was a short introductory movie narrated by Harrison Ford, and then the exhibit doors magically swung open.  The crowds slowly entered and began to examine the ancient treasures with quiet awe.  Within the first minute after entry, Molly had broken the near silence with loud crying and yelling.  She really wanted the museum sticker on my shirt, but I could not let her have it since it served as my proof of admission.  She got frustrated and began screaming.  So I headed with her to the exit, which was all the way through the large exhibit.  By the time we got to the exit, Molly was calmed down, and we did the exhibit in reverse.  There were some really cool things.  Some of Claire’s favorites were the ancient toilet seat used by the pharos, and the ancient cat coffin.  She also liked King Tut’s bed, a colossal state of him, a small decorative coffin used to preserve his stomach, and an equally disgusting reproduction of the Tut’s remains.  I am happy to say that Claire was pretty engrossed after all.  We have no pictures of the exhibit since they were strictly forbidden.

Girls and grandparents
The girls and their Houston grandparents

The main attraction for this trip was really the grandparents.  It had been a longtime since we had been to Houston as a family.  We mostly stayed around the house to maximize face time between the girls and their Noni and Phil.  Claire had woken up very early Sunday morning and went down to get Noni.  She and Claire drifted in and out of sleep until 7:00 or so and then got up and hung out until the rest of us got up.  This is Claire in her element… hanging out on a lazy weekend morning with a grandma.  As interesting as King Tut was, this kind of morning was probably even more fun for Claire (not to mention Kit and I, who got to sleep in a little).  We got home on Sunday afternoon, where our tired Claire fell asleep on the couch watching Finding Nemo, thus accomplishing her first nap in years.