Saturday, December 30, 2006

More from Christmas Eve

Cooper & Daddy

Snacks before dinner

I love the look Papa & Katie share as Cooper & Jim open stocking gifts

Grandma with one of the kids' new bears

Steve opens a handsome new tie

Tired, wiggly kids

I think Cooper took this one

Cooper attacks Uncle Jim, who wisely removes his glasses

The end of a happy night

Thursday, December 28, 2006


Yesterday Mel & I took Cooper, Katie & Brooke (Molli was ill) to the Heard Science Museum to see the dinosaur exhibit and explore the rest of the museum. The weather was perfect -- cool, sunny, clear. We walked the half-mile dino hike, taking breaks to roar at dinosaurs, play in a log cabin and climb trees. We hope to return next month with Molli and Conor!

Mel took this photo of the 250-year-old bur oak on the museum grounds. We have the same tree in our front yard -- just a bit smaller and 245 or so years younger.

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Ready for bed

Christmas Eve at Grandma & Papa's house

Words they live by

I wrote the cover story for the DMN's Religion section last week. (It required more reporting than writing, actually.) I enjoyed speaking with so many religious leaders and discovering new verses of scripture. I received two anti-Muslim e-mails, questioning my scholarship and judgment in including comments from an imam. Bruce the Boss (Cooper's nickname for the Religion editor) has had some heated correspondence. You can read it here, on the Religion blog.

The Religion section, which is nationally recognized as one of the best and was my professional home for almost three years, is folding in a couple of weeks. Some of the content will find a new home in Metro, but it certainly won't be the same. I did learn this week that I can still contribute Web reviews and the weekly A-Z feature. (This week, Z is for zakat, one of the five pillars of Islam. I wonder if I'll get more hostile letters.)

Merry Christmas!

I would prefer to report on the week's events in one big entry, but I haven't found the time for that yet. So, I'll try to report bit by bit.

Here's Katie in the beautiful dress Jim & Betty bought for her. She wore it to church on Christmas Eve and to their house that night for dinner. Her Aunt Mel says it's definitely her color.

Friday, December 15, 2006

Some B old, Some B new

If you know Cooper well, you've met B. B was a hand-knit gift from Grandma five years ago, when Cooper was 6 months old. It was bright yellow, soft, fuzzy and cuddly. Steve & I called it Big Bird, because it reminded of us the Sesame Street character's feathers. Cooper quickly became attached and called it B. (Sometimes it's called BB.)

The blanket is now a calmer yellow, not as soft, not as fuzzy but sill cuddly. It's accompanied Cooper to four day-care centers and (smuggled in a backpack) to preschool. (It's never made it to kindergarten.) B has been to Sunday school and on our church altar for choir performances. It's been shopping and dining all over town.

It's been to Walt Disney World; Disneyland; Baltimore; Washington, D.C.; the Gulf Coast; the Atlantic Ocean; New York City; San Francisco; Philadelphia; Boston; and all over Texas. It's been lost a few times, but it always finds its way back into Cooper's expectant arms.

It's been washed maybe 300 times. There are a few holes forming and growing bigger. With this in mind, Grandma has given Cooper a new B (not to be confused with Blue B, another handmade blankie). The contrast is striking -- kind of like a makeover's "before" and "after." Cooper is now sleeping with all three, though he clutches old B most tightly.

"BB is my favorite blanket," says Cooper, who is sitting with me and approves this message.

The original B and the new B mingle.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Christmas card photo outtakes

I had forgotten that 17 months is not an easy age for capturing "perfect" photos. For about three weeks now, I've been trying to get a Christmas card photo of Cooper and Katie. Katie, though, is on the move and doesn't want to be held down. I think I've settled on one. The ones here are among the dozens that didn't make it.

Monday, December 11, 2006

Weekend roundup

Friday night:
  • Cooper watches three Christmas specials -- Rudolph and two Frostys. He watched downstairs, where there is no Tivo and seemed to enjoy the commercials as much as the shows.
  • Tyra shops for a new Christmasy outfit and makes a couple of ill-advised, hurried purchases.

  • Cooper's basketball team, the Bulldogs, loses to a more talented kindergarten team. Last week, the Bulldogs won 2-0 in the team's season opener. (The majority of the team wanted to be called the Mavericks, as did every other Frisco kindergarten team. The YMCA allowed one Mavericks, one Mighty Mavs and one Mavs. Cooper's suggestion was the Firebolts, a Harry Potter reference, apparently. I don't think anyone on the team knew what he was talking about. I certainly didn't, but I liked his suggestion.)
  • Tyra drags the whole family out for shopping, as Steve agrees that the previous night's purchases weren't very good. Success on this trip!
  • We all go to Andy-Julie-Adam's house for pizza, popcorn and a movie. Most of the moms gather outside the media room with babies and toddlers while the dads wrangle active older kids during the show.

  • Steve performs beautifully in two Lessons & Carols services at church.
  • Cooper makes a guest appearance at Jim & Betty's church as a shepherd in the Nativity play. Before the show, Katie has great fun poking around the manger and doting on the plastic lamb and cow.
  • The Dallas Damms and the Frisco Damms dine at Tupinamba.

(Photos maybe later.)

Monday, December 04, 2006

Scenes from New York

Outside St. Patrick's Cathedral

In the sculpture garden at MoMA. We love this Metropolitain sign, reminding of us of our Paris trip seven years ago.

Shopping in Chinatown

More photos from the trip are here.

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Weird labels

Because Stacey tagged me, here we go (though I prefer "unique" or "unusual" instead of "weird") ...

1. I've never been on a car trip that takes more than one day.
I've heard lots of great stories about cross-country road trips. I have none to share.

2. I saw the Future back to back to back.
It was on May 4, 1990 (I think that's correct). My employer, Walter Dewar, loved Back to the Future. When the third movie opened, the NorthPark movie theater (long since replaced) showed all three movies in a row. While on the clock, I stood in line for tickets and watched all three movies.

3. I still have three baby teeth.
They're tiny, and there are no adult teeth to take their place. I often worry that they'll fall out prematurely. I also never had wisdom teeth. And, so far, I've never had a cavity.

4. I attended five elementary schools for K-5.
Walnut Hill (Dallas), Cabell (Farmers Branch), Leon Heights (Belton), Cabell again for a week, Burnett (Dallas) and Gullet (Austin). When I moved to Leon Heights, it was in the middle of second grade. By the end of my first week in Belton, they moved me to third grade, and I finished the school year there. When I moved back to Dallas that summer, DISD said I needed to take third grade again. I stayed there for a week, until my dad threatened to beat up the principal if they didn't move me to fourth grade. I took a test, and they let me move on to fourth at Burnett.

5. I have never watched Star Trek or any of its franchises.
This makes me weird in at least one circle of friends (hello, Noel & Layne!).

6. I frequently work puzzles in my head.
It's usually one I invented in which I see if a word or phrase will fit in a "perfect" box. The rules and exceptions make sense to me but probably to no one else. I'd definitely have to draw you a picture.

Oh, gracious. I could just keep going! But I'll stick to six. Now, I tag someone else. So, Melane and Melissa, you both are it.

Friday, December 01, 2006

We love New York

Steve & I had a wonderful weekend getaway to New York a couple of weeks ago. (Thanks, Laura, for reminding me to post!)

Some of the highlights:
  • Quiet, peaceful hotel and room service
  • St. Patrick's Cathedral
  • Brice Marden exhibit at MoMA
  • Lunch at the Bar Room (the most amazing soup I've ever had -- wild mushroom with chorizo ravioli)
  • Exploring FAO Schwarz and Dean & Deluca
  • Dinner at Blue Hill (they ran out of the tasting menu just before we got there -- a mild disappointment)
  • Spanish painting exhibit at the Guggenheim
  • Shopping in Chinatown (Steve bought a "Rolex")
  • Being part of the masses at Times Square
  • Laughing at some of the street vendor signs (This season there are "cashmere" scarves for sell on just about every corner. Most were $10 or $8. One sign said, "$5. It's war!"
  • Counting Bugaboo stroller sightings

The weather was cool but not too cold -- perfect for walking, which, of course, we did a lot of. Some stores were decorated for Christmas, and the Rockefeller Center tree was being installed.

Mostly we just enjoyed time together, away from computers, pagers, everyday activities.

And then we came home, eager to see our little ones, who had a great time at Grandma & Papa's house.

(I'll post photos soon.)