Saturday, October 29, 2005

Scenes From the Pumpkin Patch

We finally made it!

Critter & Daddy McA.

The Critter strikes a pose.

"The big ones are hard to move!"

Little Bit and Daddy

"I bet we could stack lots of them."

Say "HalloWEEEN"

"A 'stick gourd', kind of like a stick horse.....

Happy Saturday!

Friday, October 28, 2005

Stuff Portrait Friday: Boo, to You!

Friday, once again.
As always, we have another installment of Kristine's ingenious game where we run around snapping pics of the items on the task list for that week. Up this week, is "It's Spooky!", and she wants us to show her:

Our spooky decorations
Our costumes
Our spooky neighborhood

While I did the best I could, I must admit that I am in a very 'decorating so as to have it cover as many holidays/special occasions as possible without having to be re-done' kind of mood these days. Hey! I could give birth at any time, so quit your whining. Thus, we have "Fall" decorations that can (and will) be appropriate from September right up through the first week of December.

Our decorations...

The deck landing leading to.....
...our front door.
Yep. That's all folks. Just a some mums, corn and couple of gourds and pumpkins slung about haphazzardly.

Now onto the neighborhood.....
I have to admit that we live in the whitest-bread white people land on earth, so folks here haven't really gone all out on the "spooky" factor. Here are the highpoints of the neighborhood - or at least the ones I could find at 9:15 last night:
The family who lives here has been working on this display for over 2 weeks now, and it changes a little each day. They have 3 elementary age kids, and one middle schooler, and have had a great time working on it.

Mr. Bones

One of our neighbors has a 10 year old son, and he puts Mr. Bones out every year. Sorry for the blurry shot.

And finally, our costumes

Critter the Lion, 2003

Critter the Cow & Little Bit the Lion, 2004

Yes, these are old pictures and yes, the boys will wear them again! Because they still fit - just barely, but it works! (When I made the lion costume 3 years ago I deluded myself into thinking that I could do so for less money than if I bought something similar. After $42 for the ribbon alone, I figure by the time the Princess wears it for next Halloween I may have recouped my money.I won't even go into the manhours to glue all that pricey stuff on....) Also, if I was a good player I would have dressed them up just to take a current picture, but I learned my lesson about that a few weeks ago when we had toddler tantrum in stereo of epic proportions because I took the costumes off of them after the try-on session. This pregnancy hasn't damaged that many braincells. No, these costumes will live happily in my closet until Sunday afternoon.

As for me, I will go as a pregnant woman.....unless I get lucky in the next 4 days.

Did you play? Let me know so I can check out your spooky stuff.

Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Way Back Wednesday:All Hail All Hallows Eve!

It's Wednesday, and that means that it's time for Mama Duck's version of photographic "rear window". This week's theme (of course) is Halloweens of the past.

When I was little I dressed as a witch every.single.year. without fail. I attribute this to the ease of the costume, as well as a 'face your fear' kind of thing.
A little history.
When I was a child my doctor lived down the street from us. His house was this huge Spanish style manse set very far back on what seemed to be a massive amount of land to my childish eyes. Dr. Lancaster was a very friendly man who always seemed in a good mood. (Upon reflection I think he may have had a fondness for remedies of the ;)liquid variety ;)recalling his florid complexion.) I will never forget how he came to my aid by ripping into the incompetent intern in the ER after he set my broken wrist incorrectly. And I never held against him the fact that I had to go his office twice each week and be wrestled to the table for completely useless allergy shots. But I digress...

No, what intrigued me about Dr. Lancaster was his wife, and her obsession with Halloween. Now there was the perfect Halloween witch, which she played to the hilt. She had that long seventies one-length black hair, and a vaguely exotic look about her. This was a woman no one ever saw - except for Halloween. And she went all out: costume, decorations, soundtrack, props, and the best candy in town. It was the perfect house to make haunted, and it scared the hooey out of me - but I loved it, and looked forward to it every year.

Halloween 1973. I was 4, my brother was 6.
Happy Wednesday, everyone!

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Digital Photograpy is the Shiznit.....

.....EXCEPT when you delete an entire set of really great photos from a whole weekend.


We went to Daddy McAustin's company picnic on Saturday and had a fabulous time. It was held at Reunion Ranch, and was geared mainly toward families. The boys had a fantastic time, and if I hadn't deleted the set (as opposed to the one and only bad pic from the whole group that I had meant to delete.....) I would have shown you these:

-a really great shot of Daddy McA. with his two exceptionally happy little boys riding in the back of a covered wagon pulled by a tractor (according to the Critter and Little Bit, perfect bliss)

-lovely action shots from the bounce house

- Daddy McAustin giving his all in the tug-o-war and obstacle course events

- a funny picture of the "not-quite-certain-about-this" boys on a HUGE longhorn bull

...but they're gone.

Anyway, at the end of the day after many smiles, a bit of sweat, a couple of tears, a lot of dirt, and a tad of blood, we headed home.

I'll leave you with the boys 'spinning' in the office chair from yesterday.....

Happy Tuesday!

Friday, October 21, 2005

Stuff Portrait Friday

Welcome to Friday again, and as always we have an installment of the lovely Kristine's photographic scavenger hunt. Up today is "brushing our hair so as not to look tacky on vactation while receiving gifts from our kids".....or something like that.....

1. A tacky vacation picture

Hampton Court Palace, England; June 2000
We couldn't get the shot lined up correctly due to all the other weirdos doing the same....

Clos Pegasse Vineyard, August 2003

The Critter won't even look at the camera he's so embarrassed.....

Skiing in Santa Fe, December 2004
It would have been a great shot....if the Critter hadn't been having a complete and total meltdown....

And finally, a good one. I can't leave you with just the bad....

Harbor Springs, MI; July 2001

A beautiful day overlooking Lake Michigan

2. Something your kid (or pet) made

Valentine's Day pin, 2005
The Critter 'made' this in his Bible study class. Hey, he was just 2!

3. Your hairbrush/es

Complete with long strands still attached.....One for everyday, one for straightening on the single day of the year that it's not humid here in Austin.

That's all folks! Have a great Friday. Leave me a comment if you played so I can come peek in on your stuff, and then go check out Kristine's and let her know if you played.

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Critter's Saved too...

To honor requests for the Critter's pics.....

His shots are a bit better. To be fair, he wasn't running at breakneck speed EVERYWHERE at that point.


Little Bit was baptized waaaaaayyy back in January, but I just today got around to taking the pictures. I figured I should do it before the next one is born:), as well as while he can still wear the outfit!
Vote for your favorite.








Monday, October 17, 2005

(Supposed to be) Monday Meme

This was a fun one.
I stole this meme from Tee, who stole it from others. I meant to get it finished last night, but just couldn't make it happen, so today is it.

You have to use Google Images to search for:
*The name of the town I grew up in

Fort Stockton, Texas

*The name of the town I live in now

Austin, Texas

*My name

I have a unique first name, and someone has named their Great Pyrenees the same! Strange, since we have the same breed.

*My grandma's name


This is a picture I'd never before seen. It was taken at a family reunion for my grandfather's family in 1950. I blew up the portion of the shot that has my grandparents (chartreuse dress & grey suit), Mom (little blond girl), and Uncle (between the gp). It's a bit eerie, the only one still living from that first picture is the little boy in the striped shirt, and he's a great-grandfather now.

*My favorite food

seared sea scallops. Yum.

*My favorite drink

Yes, even after the unfortunate CHD Christmas Benefit incident, I still love champagne.

*My favorite song
That was too hard for my brain to wrap around, so I skipped this one.

*My favorite smell Lavender. (There are no Google images of the tops of my babies' heads;))

Try it, it's fun!

Saturday, October 15, 2005

The New Black

I read a statement somewhere a while back that said 'weekend blogging is the new black'. Of course, I must be fashionable, so I thought I would do a quick post for your viewing pleasure.
This week's Stuff Portrait Friday topics were all about favorite photographs, and I had a tough time narrowing my choices of my favorite ones from the trip through through our archives. So I thought I'd post some of the other all-time-greatest hits that I dug up.

"Dreams in Lights"; Marais District, Paris; July 2000

This was our last night in Paris, it was really late, and we had finished dinner, We decided to take a walk and it was like we had the city to ourselves. We found this really odd, since Paris is really the city that doesn't sleep - except in the morning. We did notice the few other people walking ahead of us were turning into this alley, so we followed. It was a magical sight: thousands of handmade votive candles wrapped in parchment with pindot phrases on them glowed from the street surface. It was an art institute project where you could choose a sentiment, write your wish on a card, and then put your candle out with the rest. The perfectly romantic way to end a visit to the most romantic city on earth.

Little Bit & the Chimp Statue; Dallas Zoo; June 2005

It was a really hot weekday, the zoo wasn't crowded, and the boys were having a fabulous time. Along the path to the primate area is a section of bronzes, and my kids went nuts for them. Hugs from Little Bit are always a full-contact event!

Have a fantastic Saturday

Friday, October 14, 2005

Stuff Portrait Friday: That's How I See It

It's Friday once again, and that means that I have blogging fodder that someone else has dreamed up - a real bonus since my pregnant brain is taxed enough as is. Today's theme is (as always) brought to us by the lovely and newly-betrothed Kristine at Random and Odd. She gives us a theme and we are to post pictures of our interpretation. This week's items:

1. The best picture you have ever taken of something/someone

2. The best picture of yourself & why you think it is.

3. A favorite picture that someone else took/painted/doodled

These were great topics, and I had a good time browsing through our archives, but hard time I didn't. Therefore, I have ties for each one.
And away we go...

1. The best picture you have ever taken of something/someone
I take tons of shots of my kids, so I have LOTS of favorites. I'm not sure about the 'best ever' part, but I really like the look both of these have.

This one is my current favorite. I took it about two weeks ago of the Critter and Little Bit in the tub giving big hugs.

And this one is a close second. We were staying at a hotel in the spring and it was really early. (And what's up with kids waking up so early when it's supposed to be vacation? Anyway....) I took this one morning just after we had gotten ready for the day, and were sitting around waiting for the rest of the world to awaken so we could go out. I love the early morning light streaming in and the sleepyish, relaxed look the boys have.

2. The best picture of yourself & why you think it is.

This was taken by Daddy McAustin 5 days after the Critter was born. Nana and Papa McAustin were visiting for the first time, and we were all about to go out. I was really happy that day. We had tried a long time to have a baby, and finally we had one. After several years of numerous incredibly sad and stressful events, this was an exceptionally happy time.
I love this picture so. Taken by Avec Brisance Photography. A day I will never forget, and always remember with a smile. Our wedding was not without its flaws:'catastrophes' at the time, but in retrospect part of what made it special and memorable.(The EMT people coming to attend to a guest during the reception, and the friends who locked their keys in the newly-purchased car in the one lane valet line are just two examples.) We held both the ceremony and reception at the The Dallas Arboretum, and decided to have the wedding party photos taken just prior to the actual wedding. That was one of the best decisions I made: it gave us a chance to be alone just before, and took away a great deal of jitters. We had a ton of fun taking those shots.

3. A favorite picture that someone else took/painted/doodled

Again, I have ties......This is the free-standing stained glass window that my mother designed and made for our wedding. It now sits in my living room in my front windows. Obviously not a doodle / drawing / photograph, but it started it's life that way....

A close second is a large painting (almost lifesize) that my mom did which hung in all of my childhood homes wherever we were. It is currently in storage (along with a ton of other favorite art) from when we moved. I keep meaning to get that stuff down, but never remember, so a description is all you get. It is of a young Jamaican boy rolling a hoop with a stick. The view is from the back and I always loved the carefree feeling it gave off.

And that's how I see it. Go to Kristine's to check out the other players, and leave me a comment if you already played so I can come check out your view. Have a wonderful Friday and weekend.

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Clan of the ....White People

Whew! What a whirlwind! The Children's Museum, The Oasis, Whole Foods Landmark store, Amy's Ice Cream, South Congress....we hit them all.
The rest of the McAustin clan has headed for their respective corners of the country, and we here in Austin are left to recuperate. No more company until after the Princess's debut.
In honor of the moon and all the stars coming into perfect alignment causing everyone to converge in one place for a few hours, we decided to honor the occasion with a photo. We went to the cheap photography place in the mall, and it worked out surprisingly well. Of course, getting 3 generations including 5 men, 3 women (1 very pregnant), 2 toddlers, and one infant to follow directions, sit still, smile, do it multiple times, and then actually agree on which photo the most people look decent in is no small task. But the end result was worth it.

Behold, the McAustin Clan:

a.k.a. The White Shirt Mafia

It was a great weekend, and (I think) a good time was had by all. Now back to our regularly scheduled program......let the birthing begin!