DC Taco Party

DC Taco Party

My first week of summer vacation with the girls this year was a trip to see Uncle Tim and Aunt Cindy in DC (okay, technically Arlington, Virginia).  The official reason/excuse for the visit was that Tim and Cindy were having a taco party.  So naturally, we were in!

As usual, I’m mostly going to slap some pictures in here as a reminder of the trip. ¬†But let me take quick note of a few funny or noteworthy things from the trip…

The taco party was catered by District Taco¬†ūüėč

Some other girls around Claire and Molly’s ages showed up too. ¬†The older girl, who was 213 like Claire, was a little snarky and didn’t want to talk to anyone. ¬†When leaving the party, her very polite mom said, “Remember to smile!” and the girl said, “I already did.” ūüėā

Claire and Molly got a little bored and headed upstairs to play Roblox for much of the party.

We spent most of one day at the National Museum of Natural History. ¬†I kept talking to the kids about how fascinating the stuff about evolution was and the fact that dinosaurs were real. ¬†I hope I didn’t overdo it. ūü§∑ūüŹĽ‚Äć‚ôāÔłŹ

We saw a movie there about evolution. ¬†It started out with a monkey looking through a scrap book of his “relatives” (other mammals) and planning for a “family reunion” with them. ¬†It made evolution look silly! ¬†But the film got better from there.

When Molly talked to her mom on the phone, her summary of the trip was “I spent $6 on candy, and I liked eating it.” ūüėÜ

Tim, Claire, Molly, and I made a massive Jenga tower at a food court after dinner. ¬†We just kept saying “this is the last move, you’re out of blocks!” and then someone made it work. ¬†It was crazy. ¬†See pic below.

We took Lyft all around town.

Claire had a running and completely made-up joke that our first Lyft driver was complaining that Molly fell asleep in the back set while he was driving. ¬†“She shouldn’t be doing that. ¬†That’s disrespectful.” Claire claims (falsely) that he said in a flat deadpan voice. ūüėā

I had a lot of fun conversations with the drivers, including an exceptionally nice and clean cut immigrant form Tajikistan.  I distinctly remember talking with another driver about history and us both noting that history was unfolding right now in DC (the Trump Russia scandal and possible impeachment).

Over and out.

dasd

Christmas 2018

Christmas 2018

We got to Houston for a couple of days this Christmas. ¬†My mom and I coordinated everyone between Austin and Houston, but we came up one stocking short, so we improvised and used a gift bag for Noni’s “stocking”. ¬†Molly wanted to make sure Santa Claus was clear on this, so she wrote him a super sweet note:

Dear, Santa.

The gift bag is for Noni.  We only had three stockings.

Btw: the cookies are stale, you do not have to eat them!

Have a merry Christmas.

From, Molly

 

Some pics from Christmas Eve dinner, which we got on the table hot and delicious ¬†despite being coordinated across me, None, and Noni’s helper, Patience.

 

We also saw an amazing and slightly scary performance of A Christmas Carol at the Alley Theater.

 

 

Summer 2018 Wrap

Summer 2018 Wrap

We did way too much this summer to capture in a bunch of posts. ¬†Realistically, I’m just not going to catch up on writing about it all.

But here are a bunch of pictures to remind us of all the fun things we did this summer.

Trip to Galveston

Swimming around town

Hanging with friends

Stuff around town

Stuff at home

Trip to Houston

Trip to San Antonio

Day trip to Wimberly

Eating

Aboard the Molly Claire

Aboard the Molly Claire

here are some pics from our¬†bi-annual trip to Anacortes, Washington to sail with Kit’s parents aboard the Molly Claire. ¬†This year they planned a special trip for us to Victoria, Canada, which was a fun and beautiful destination. ¬†This was both girls’ first international trip. ¬†The biggest perk of Candid? ¬†Kinder Surprise eggs are legally available unlike back home.

Fire and Ice in Houston

Fire and Ice in Houston

We made a quick trip to Houston this weekend to see my Dad for his birthday.  Kit stayed home to study for some big doctor test coming up in August.  We were in Houston for one full day and a morning.

Highlights included ice skating at¬†Memorial City Mall, Molly’s first time to skate. ¬†It took about 30 minutes for Molly to make¬†her¬†way around the edge of the skating rink while she¬†held to the side on for dear life. ¬†On Claire’s turn, she didn’t fare much better. ¬†Both girls really liked the American Girl store across the hall from the skating rink.

Also, there were hours of swimming in the townhouse pool, featuring the big deep end and lots of sunshine (and lots of sunscreen).

We had chocolate¬†pie and James Coney Island for my dad’s birthday. ¬†He and my mom went to the Astro’s game while the girls and¬†I headed back to Austin.

Before we left, I managed to do a quick baseball home run session¬†with Eric in the blazing sun at our¬†old junior high. ¬†Eric’s¬†five-year-old son, Luke, took a few solid swings but didn’t connect for a homer. ¬†When Eric and I were batting, Luke was in the dugout, safe from¬†the flying hardballs. ¬†But we did have¬†a couple of game delays when¬†Luke yelled “Firefly!” and ran out into the field to chase a firefly. ¬†What a great little kid moment, even if it was someone else’s little kid.

Fourth of Juliowa

Fourth of Juliowa

We made it up to Iowa for a Fourth Of July family reunion (Kit’s mom’s side) this year. ¬†This trip was Molly’s first to Iowa and her first time to meet most of the Iowa¬†side of the family.

The girls had a blast. ¬†They met their first-cousin-once-removed,¬†Jayvon, who was a boy but was close to Claire’s age and was lots of fun. ¬†He and Claire really hit it off and spent lots of time playing tennis, basketball, and just goofing off during the boring family farm meeting at the hotel. ¬†Molly tagged along some with them too. ¬†I keept an eye on them, but Claire didn’t want me to hover too close.

The whole family¬†got to ride in the (locally) famous Yale, Iowa 4th of July parade, which really was a heck of a parade for a tiny little farm town. ¬†We set off daytime fireworks on the family farm. ¬†We¬†spent hours in the hotel’s indoor pool. ¬†Molly was the lucky recipient of a swimming noodle with a head and tail. ¬†We named it Hydra, and she spent hours riding it around the pool. ¬†Hydra got silly and mad and tired. ¬†I spent 95% of my attention making sure Molly didn’t drown herself, so I didn’t get to play much with Claire in the pool. ¬†Luckily, Claire got to play with¬†Jayvon and his dad, Scott, who had some really good ways to splash and toss the kids.

Here are some photos of the fun and patriotic weekend.

Minka

Minka

Minka
Minka

Over dinner, when Kit is not yet home from the hospital, Claire and I often find ourselves playing different fictional characters that we just make up as we eat.  Molly does not really join in, but she does seem to enjoy the amateur performance.

Our¬†favorite characters recently are a father (me) with a heavy Russian accent. ¬†I am simply known as “Papa”. ¬†I speak of my time back in fatherland Russia, where “if you want to eat, you do not go to grocery store. ¬†No. ¬†You chase down dinner and eat it. ¬†Or maybe if you’re not so fast, it eat you.” ¬†I have no idea where this comes¬†from.

I tend to carry on about dinner. ¬†“I work and work and make good dinner, and you turn up nose!”

Cubbie
Cubbie

Claire is Minka.   Minka is my daughter, but she is not Russian.  By her accent, she seems to be from South America or maybe Southern Asia.  She grew up in America and is spoiled by things like grocery stores and chicken nuggets.  Something is not quite right with Minka, who is afraid of televisions, iPads, or really anything electronic.  And she gets confused by forks and spoons.

Minka loves her dog, Cubbie (Muffin).  I adopted Cubbie back in the fatherland, where she helped me survive on the tundra by hunting down dinner with me every night.  Cubbie joined me on my trek to America and is always kind and patient with Minka.

Molly is Minka’s little sister. ¬†We tried to include Molly in this story, but she does not want to join in. ¬†We tried to name her Pepe, but she insisted that she is Molly. ¬†Molly is “normal American kid who loves chicken nuggets and television”.

We’re not sure what happened to Minka’s mom. ¬†She may¬†be back in Russia fighting her way through the frozen tundra. ¬†Or maybe she’s stuck at the hospital. ¬†We’re not sure which is worse.