Friday, August 31, 2007

Austin Day 3

I started the day off yesterday by taking Westley for a walk. Westley is Beth's dog. He is a cute, flop-eared, skittish fellow. He loves walks. Beth told me that walking Westley in the mornings would help her more than washing her baseboards, which was my original plan. So, Hope and I took Westley on a tour of the neighbourhood. The high humidity here means that a short walk is still a good workout because I sweat so much. When we were just about home I walked by the little park (Shipe Park in the Hyde Park area) that John and I took Emily to a lot two Christmases ago. It made me smile and think about my biggest girl. I really miss her. Hope had a ride on the swings while I commisserated with another mum about the weather and our frizzy hair.

Yesterday afternoon I traded flowers and a vase for my wallet. Yay again to Laura! She was super and I hope the flowers on her desk remind her of what a good person she is. We were then going to walk to Central Market in the late afternoon but Beth needed a rest. That was fine with me too since Hope has been sleeping badly (normally, really) and I was tired.

We had a great meal of fajitas last night. Austin fajitas rule. You actually buy the meat already marinated. The beef looks like crap raw - very grissely and fibrous but when it is barbecued it is lucious and tender and full of flavour. Add to that the freshly made tortilla shells that are sold at pretty much every corner store here. Just awesome.

Our nightly routine, after Hope is asleep, is to watch cool documentaries off the iMac. I tend to watch an episode of Planet Earth in the late afternoon and then we all watch something together after supper. Right now we're watching Seven Up. It is a British documentary that follows a group of children from all backgrounds and interviews them all every seven years starting at age 7. We're loving it so far but we all hate Suzie. She's nasty and racist and just evil.

Hope woke up around 10:00 last night crying and then again every 15 minutes. I reached my limit and told her I was just going to lay there in my bed while she figured it out. You know what? I think she got it because she didn't wake up again until 5:30. Oh sweet sleep, I've missed you so much. You know, when you haven't slept well in almost 4 months, you appreciate 7 uninterupted hours so much more when you finally get them. It's like tasting a fine wine that you might not have again for a long time and really relishing every sip.

This morning I walked to The Upper Crust, Beth and Graeme's favourite bakery to buy cinnamon buns for breakfast. Being that UT has just started up fall classes, they were sold out so I had to settle for pains au chocolats. Not exactly a hardship. Hope rode in the backpack. It is another wickedly humid day - 70%. I sweated on my walk. A LOT. At one point, I touched my arm and figured I had walked under a tree that had been dripping from last night's rainfall. Turns out it was a layer of sweat or moisture from the air or a mixture of both that was all over my skin. It is just so different from Ottawa humidity. I always thought Ottawa was pretty humid. It really doesn't compare to this. Texas is really quite tropical - there are palm trees and cactus growing in all the lawns and gardens. The rainstorms are downpours for 20 minutes. There are two colonies of parrots living here. It is so different and that makes it extra special. Also, it isn't Republican, which makes it extra extra special.

Hope is now sleeping as is Kate. Beth is working on her birth announcement and I'm going to tackle another job shortly. Later we'll walk to Central Market and maybe tonight we'll go see the Austin bats. I'm really looking forward to that.

Here is Kate in all her glory:

And Hope giving Beth a hand in changing Kate's diaper:


Shan said...

I'm melting just reading this. Yay for Hope getting some sleep and you too of course. Such a nice post, I can easily read how much you're enjoying your time with your sister and Baby Kate.

Anonymous said...

She's very cute, Karen. Oh, and Hope's curls are to die for! I mentioned them to John today on campus. Almost (I say with some hesitance) makes me want another.....


juls said...

Sounds like you are having a great time and that Beth is in great shape. I saw the 10 days post baby shot on her blog. She looks awesome!! I love th pic of Beth and Kate in the bath. What a great smile.