26 June 2006

Big Gurl Wheels

We had a very pleasant dinner with some friends a few weeks back; their son has a clever little wooden scooter, and Trinhity took it for a spin. Despite both falling off and running over her toes a couple times, she took a shine to it.

Of course, we're way too cheap and practical to run right out and buy such a thing at retail prices. We are, you see, wholly immune to our daughter's charms.

Fortunately, in this case, we were rescued by Huong's cousin, Chi Ngan. She psychically managed to buy Trinhity precisely this right scooter as a birthday present!

Thanks, Chi Ngan!! And congrats on the new baby!

20 June 2006

Baby's First Flood

Many alert readers have kindly dropped us a line to see if we'd floated away in the rains that hit Houston yesterday. Thanks for the concern!

"Almost" is the official answer. This was taken from the middle of our driveway.

Truth told, this happens to our street 4-5 times per year during Houston's mini-monsoon season. Nobody's quite sure why our particular sewers back up; the rest of the subdivision drains just fine. Fortunately, the flooding has never reached anyone's house -- not even during Tropical Storm Allison.

Thus, since none of us are overly worried, a good flood becomes a block party of sorts -- something akin to a "snow day" in northern climes. All the adults stroll out in flipflops under umbrellas, and all the massively manly men congregate around the sewers and swap authoritative-sounding theories about why they aren't draining this time. If it hadn't been so early in the morning, we'd probably have thrown back a few pints of Guinness and talked about the World Cup, too -- oh wait, nobody in Texas either drinks stout or watches the World Cup, my bad.

Meanwhile, the kids had a fabulous time playing in the water...

We didn't exactly let her take a swim, but our kid *loved* the whole event...

You can't tell from the pictures, but it's actually still raining quite hard here. The umbrellas didn't do us much good -- we all got completely soaked. Which is a good thing, of course.

It's a fine excuse to stroll into work at 10AM, eh?

Random Recent Shots

Here are a few recent shots that didn't quite fit into a series but seemed worth sharing anyway.

First we have Trinh's minor tribute to the World Cup...

This one is just plain goofy...

...and this was her Father's Day outfit.

Of course, she didn't wear the balloon *all* day.

18 June 2006

Summer Adventure Series: The Petting Zoo

Last week Mommy took me to a petting zoo. I wasn't quite sure about the whole thing at first...

Some of these animals are really friendly!

...but not all of them ran away from me!

12 June 2006

Trinhity's First Birthday Bash

Many thanks for the kind birthday wishes that Trinhity has received from many of you!

The big day was Monday, 5th June 2006, and we had just a small family shin-dig on Sunday night at Grandma & Grandpa's place. We raided Party City for balloons and a few decorations...

...and Huong made a gorgeous ice cream cake from scratch. How amazing is that?

Trinh wasn't very fond of her Happy Birthday tiara, but she was otherwise quite festive...

We didn't waste much time before digging into that yummy ice cream cake...

While she's not a big fan of ice cream (or anything sweet, really -- wonder how long that'll last?), Trinhity did actually use a spoon for some of her cake...as opposed to her own fingers (or someone else's).

After the cake, we sat down to blow up the fancy new inflatible pool that from Ông Bà Ngoài.

Nothing like kicking back in your comfy new digs with the remote, eh?

10 June 2006

Colorado IV: The T-Lish Montage

Well, we don't usually do this, but I'm going to interrupt our usual programming. Please give a warm welcome to a very special guest: enter Trevor Clark, Trinhity's now graduated Colorado cousin.

Sorry, Jeff...we started this blog after you graduated; we'll work you in when you get done at Mines. Rachel...watch out, dear. ;-)

Just before we left, Trevor graciously let me swipe a bunch of pictures of Trinhity from his harddrive -- no doubt for the last time -- and I couldn't resist grabbing a few of these gems. I'm sure you'll agree.

Congratulations, brah.
And I hate to say it...but I think we're gonna need a montage...


Colorado III: The Zoo

Still on the Great Outdoors theme, we took in one of the best things that Colorado Springs has to offer: The Cheyenne Mountain Zoo. Perhaps you've heard of Cheyenne Mountain, or maybe NORAD?

For those alert readers too young to remember the Cold War, the strategic aerospace command center for the US Military is located under Cheyenne Mountain. On springs. Seriously. Check this out.

Anyway, above ground but built into the steep sides of the mountain you'll find a zoo. A great zoo, actually. In my humble opinion, it's about the coolest zoo on the planet. It's clean, the animals seem to be treated well, the views of the city are spectacular, and it requires some fairly strenous walking. Don't miss it.

Digression: the old-school sci-fi movie freaks among you will surely (and fondly) remember War Games. I mention that because you're just the sorta folks who might appreciate the faint sense of irony that I enjoyed during the Cold War: specifically, the knowledge that had Russia initiated a nuclear strike, the first creatures to go would have been the giraffes.


Trinh doesn't know who Timon is yet. We saw Pumbaa too, but he didn't pose very nicely. And the movie was right: warthogs stink. Nevertheless...hakuna matata, baby.

Trevor got this nice shot of a male peacock strutting his stuff...

We don't look so happy here, but we are. Really. You see, the giraffes are still there....

Colorado II: The Great Outdoors

As mentioned in the previous posting, Scott's family lives on a ranch east of Colorado Springs. Suffice to say, the scenery and amenities are subtly different from suburban Houston, and Trinhity devoured it. She woke up very early every morning, fought sleep every night, and implored someone, anyone to take her outside in between.

The following shot was taken one of those early morning jaunts around the prairie where she & Daddy chased cows across the pasture (in part because we had no luck whatsoever keeping up with the antelope and jack rabbits) and generally explored the place.

It took awhile, but Trinh finally got over some of her shyness with the dogs. She didn't quite hug any of them, but she certainly looked forward to not quite touching them.

At the graduation picnic, she got up-close and personal with a slightly smaller and considerably less hairy friend: a ladybug.

She also posed for a few precious shots...

Now, for some memories close to Daddy's heart: her first trout stream.

Colorado I: The House

As some of you know, we recently flew up to Colorado for the high school graduation of Trevor, one of Trinhity's cousins on the Clark side. Scott, Brian's brother, & his family live on a 50-acre ranch on the plains just east of Colorado Springs.

They seriously rolled out the hospitality wagon for us: loaned us some serious wheels, gave us a private apartment (of sorts) all to ourselves, fed us like royalty, and took us to go swimming in an ice cold lake...more on that in a later post.

They also entertained our child. Or perhaps she entertained them. All of us were entertained, that's the point. Trinhity loved the whole experience, but we'll start with some shots from The House.

First, the Princess had a pint-sized rocker all to herself...

We played with bubbles...

Great toys they had for us, too. For instance, we played in a box...

Then we put the baby into the box with...well, the baby.

All that was great fun. But what's a party without beer?

That's good beer too, I might add -- it's Colorado-brewed Fat Tire Amber Ale. Note to CPS: don't worry, the bottle is empty by this point. Good thing too, because you see where this is headed...right? Oh yes.

Methinks we should quit there. Next series: The Great Outdoors. Stay tuned.