A Corpus Christi Christmas

Had had a rare Christmas week off the year, something that will only happen once a decade or so. ¬†Since she could travel this year, we decided to head down to her parents’ house in¬†Corpus Christi for Christmas for a change. ¬†The girls will stay on in Corpus for a few more days of their winter break before heading back home to Austin next week.

In Corpus, we had Kit’s parents, Kit’s uncle Bob, and my parents. ¬†We had a great, slow Christmas day with the whole family. ¬†We stuffed ourselves on ham, green beans, salad, and pecan pie. ¬†We watched Home Alone and sat around chatting while the kids played. ¬†It was a good day. ¬†People were curious and excited about my new job at Whole Foods. ¬†We also headed down to Corpus Christi waterfront for a sunny¬†afternoon walk and to let Molly try her Plasma Car on a big, wide sidewalk.

We also got to visit our friends, the Carroll’s. ¬†The highlight of that visit was Claire and Ze doing a “science experiment” from one of their Christmas presents ¬†in the Carroll’s bathroom. ¬†They overdid an ingredient from the experiment and clogged the bathroom sink, left a mess on the hall carpet, and ruined some bathroom towels. ¬†We were concerned that the kids might have gotten some science goop in their eyes or mouths, but it turned out alright.


This year, with Kit working 70-hour weeks leading up to Christmas, and me starting my new job the week before Christmas, we were overwhelmed and frankly almost did not get all the presents we needed.  We just eeked it out this year!  Basically Kit and I need up with a two-hour window on the Sunday before Christmas to focus on shopping.  We had between 3:00, when Kit was done with her work, and 5:00, when the babysitter had to leave, to talk and shop.  This was not for lack of planning.  Kit and I had been trying to do this since Thanksgiving, but we barely had time to talk about it, much less actually shop, at least when Kit was in a state where she could spare the brain cycle for it.

Anyways, Santa managed to find Claire a remote controlled indoor/door min-drone. ¬†It is¬†a quadra-copter about the size of your palm, and with practice, you can fly it around the house. ¬†It was a tough start, getting hung up on the ceiling at first and later getting tangled up in Muffin’s tail hair. ¬†But Claire started to get a hang of it with practice. ¬†Santa gave Molly a Plasma Car, which is a 4-wheeled scooter you can ride around the house or a sidewalk. ¬†It was a perfect fit for Molly, and she spent most of Christmas day wheeling around the house.

The pile of presents from each other was huge and sweet. ¬†A highlight was a hand-made book telling the history of everyone in our family, both Purdy’s and McGonigle’s. ¬†It was meant for Claire and Molly to have and read decades from now, but we all got a copy of this amazing book. ¬†There were lots of other presents, everything from Playmobil sets to fitness bands to¬†the Claire & Molly annual art calendar that I normally make.

The morning after Christmas, the girls and Kit stayed back in Corpus while I headed home to my new job and to try to restore some sanity to the tornado scene that is our house.

Spring Break 2014

The girls got to visit Grammy and Grandaddy in Corpus Christi for the last few days of spring break. ¬†They visited the beach and parks, flew kites, and played with play-dough and Legos. ¬†Sounds like a great time! ¬†I mean, can you possibly top that? ¬†I’m attaching a couple pictures that Joyce texted to us.

Saying goodbye to Ross
   Saying goodbye to Ross


Fun at the "little beach"
Fun at the “little beach”

Kit had some time off for the first (and maybe last) time ever over spring break this year. ¬†Everyone she works with wants this week off for South By Southwest. ¬†This week is apparently in higher demand than Christmas. ¬†So we resolved to take advantage and see some of the music in town. ¬†We showed up a little late for a free showcase at the Four Seasons for the KUTX live broadcast starting at 7:00 am. ¬†Just in case we were in danger of resting up too much, the next morning we somehow showed up at 5:45 for a 6:00 am (“stupid early”) showcase at the W Hotel for KGSR. ¬†That night we saw Lucinda Williams at The Roost outside of town. ¬†Then we were done, wiped out. ¬†In all, we saw Lucius, Typhoon,¬†Rodney Crowell,¬†Ages and Ages,¬†Nicole Atkins,¬†Rhett Miller,¬†Jeremy Messersmith,¬†The Mowgli’s,¬†Robert Ellis,¬†G. Love,¬†Phantogram, and¬†The Hold Steady. ¬†We heard some amazing, almost free, music¬†and¬†discovered new bands. ¬†

Also, we got Kit a new car.

Claire turns 8!

Claire’s birthday fell on the day after Thanksgiving this year. ¬†For the first time in years, we went to Corpus Christi for Thanksgiving this year, and we all stayed and celebrated Claire’s¬†birthday down by the Bay. ¬†All four of Claire’s grandparents were there as well as (great) Uncle Bob.

As you see in the photos, Molly was crying for Claire’s official candle-blowing-out. ¬†She had been asked to vacate the seat at the head of the table to make room for Claire. ¬†Molly did not agree or consent to this plan and let us know. ¬†Later, Molly made up¬†a brief story, possibly as a sort of apology. ¬†She said the main character was Jonny Jakes. ¬†The story was called “Jonny Jakes, for Heaven’s Sakes!” ¬†In the brief story, Johnny Jakes messed up his big sister’s birthday party by making a scene. ¬†Everyone said, “Jonny Jakes, for Heaven’s Sakes!” and Jonny was sorry. ¬†The end.

Presents included two nearly identical My Little Pony Rainbow Dash dolls. ¬†It was a clear and obvious choice! ¬†We later exchanged one Rainbow Dash for Pinky Pie. ¬†Claire also got a big Playmobil Santa’s workshop. ¬†Uncle Tim mailed in a painting set with¬†dolphin scenes, thus combining the recommended topics of art and dolphins.

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