August 29, 2010

Enforced Green and Clean Living

Last time my Mom was here (for Simone's birthday), she was doing laundry and discovered that my dryer was no longer producing heat. Stepan thinks he can fix it or at least a co-worker was able to fix a similar problem with his own dryer. Of course it shouldn't surprise anybody to hear that before Stepan can even look at the dryer, I need to clean out the laundry room so he can actually get to the dryer! So no more excuses. I've been slowly cleaning out the clutter that has been collecting in the laundry room for the past 5 years. Of course since it is still taking me weeks to clear out everything and I have to do laundry in the meantime, I'm getting to hang wet clothes outside to dry. I must say there is something strangely satisfying and zen about hanging laundry outside to dry. While clothes look better if I hang them up damp from a hot dryer (as I usually do), they certainly smell great after drying outside for a couple of hours.

Posted by jfer at 7:05 PM | Comments (1)

July 5, 2009

Parades and Fireworks

This year the Riha family participated in TWO Fourth of July Parades. The first one was right outside our door in the park behind our house. Stepan pushed Simone in the jogging stroller and I walked beside Magda on her hastily decorated tricycle. We walked with about 75 of our neighbors in a quarter mile loop. Back at the starting point there was a 4- trombone band playing national favorites, prizes for best costumes and decorations (we didn't get any), and a couple of tables laid out with well decorated cupcakes. Everybody also got a door prize which included a reusable bag and a CFL lightbulb. Not bad for a first annual Fourth of July neighborhood celebration.

For the 2nd parade, we joined the O'Reillys in Wells Branch for a celebration they've been going to for years. This celebration was quite a bit bigger with a mile long parade route through the streets with police escort, homemade floats pulled by pickup trucks, a really cool tractor pulled train, community organizations selling food, free watermelon, and bouncy houses and slides. We actually took the dogs to this parade and our ride was the O'Reilly Radio Flyer Wagon. It was tons of fun and at a well shaded park so it wasn't unbearably hot.

For fireworks, we caught the show put on the COA from the Lamar pedestrian bridge. It's a perfect place for it - with the breeze from Lady Bird Lake to keep us cool and to help keep the bugs away. We had a great time admiring the kayaks and canoes on the lake as well as the bats that came out flew around as the sun was setting. Simone was tired (the fireworks start about 30 minutes after her regular bed time), but her fascination with the fireworks kept her up. Magda had no trouble staying up for the display, but completely zonked out in Simone's stroller during the walk back to the car.

All in all a wonderful Fourth of July weekend. I hope all my friends, family, and fans had an equally enjoyable and safe time.

Posted by jfer at 11:46 PM | Comments (1)

July 4, 2009

Balancing Act

Again pictures will hopefully be posted soon. Simone is cruising around like crazy. A couple of days ago, she used Rosie as a prop to push herself up and stood up unsupported without holding on to anything. Since then she does it several times a day. She finds it hugely fun to push herself up then fall forward for me to catch her. So adorable!

Posted by jfer at 12:03 AM | Comments (0)

July 3, 2009

Little Fish Little Fish

Magda has really taken off when it comes to swimming in recent weeks. Starting last Saturday at a friend's birthday party, she's finally taken to putting her face in the water to swim in a more horizontal position. When we go swimming at our neighborhood pool she is swimming with more and more confidence on her own. It's mucho fun to see her enjoy herself so thoroughly in the pool. Hopefully I'll have pictures soon - she's especially cute in her new pick swim cap and pink goggles.

Posted by jfer at 11:54 PM | Comments (1)

May 31, 2009

Weehawken Revisited

I know it sounds sexier to say we went to NYC but the truth is we stayed in Weehawken at my sister's place and though we did make it to the city every day, we never managed to leave Weehawken before 1pm. All in all we had a great trip and I'm looking forward to taking my girls back there sometime next year. I did take some pictures, but I probably won't get around to posting them any time soon. I'll let you know when I do.

We arrived on Wednesday after catching a flight from Austin at 6 am - that SIX O'CLOCK IN THE MORNING - which of course means we had to get up, dress, and be heading toward the airport by 4:45 AM. Aside from my staying up until 2am to get everything ready to go, the travel went extremely well. At the Newark airport, we hired a car to take us to Weehawken and were at Meredith's by 12:30pm or so. We chilled at the apartment, then went into the city at 5pm. Magda fell asleep on my lap in the Lincoln tunnel (big surprise) and was thrilled to get to ride in the stroller for the rest of the evening.

Thursday was Magda's first Broadway musical. We all went into the city together for dinner at Cafe Un Deux Trois. Afterwards, Mom took Simone home and Meredith, Magda, and I went to see The Little Mermaid which she loved. She was a little perturbed when I didn't get her the $40 Ariel barbie doll, but she ended up being quite pleased with her new dinglehopper. After the show we got autographs on her playbill from some of the cast. We diddled in the theatre too long to get Ariel's, Eric's, Triton's, or Ursula's. But we did get Flounder, a couple of sailors, the chef, and a couple of the sisters. Magda was particularly taken with the young boy who played Flounder.

Friday was Simone's first trip on the subway and the grandmama of all girlie shops: The American Girl Store. Three stories of American Girl dolls including matching outfits, fun accessories like horses, picnic tables, and bubble baths, a pierced ears kit, a doll hair salon, and a doll hospital, Just Like Me dolls, Historical dolls, Bitty Babies, and a cafe. After Magda picked out her baby, Cupcake or Flower Power (depending on what she's wearing), we had afternoon tea in the cafe which was too over the top girlie for words. The cafe provided little booster seats that attached to the table for the dolls as well as a little tea cup for her. The food was pretty good, though it put Magda on a sugar high that led to a spectacular crash on the way home.

Saturday we went to Central Park, did a carriage ride with John (our driver) and his horse, Bingo, in their canary yellow carriage. Then we hit the zoo where we saw a feeding of the sea lions. Meredith and Magda also had a great time petting and feeding the animals at the children's zoo. Saturday night, Meredith was left in charge of the children and Mom and I got to see Next to Normal with a late night dinner after the show at Joe Allen. The show was really very good but not really what Mom or I were in the mood for. The food at Joe Allens was great. I can see why Mom like's to make it a point to eat there every time she visits the city.

And now it's Sunday and we're back home for one night before going up to Wichita Falls for Roger Einhaus's funeral (more on that exceptional man in a future blog).

Posted by jfer at 11:08 PM | Comments (1)