Saturday, May 31, 2008

Water Table Fun

Grandma and Grandpa H got Brenna a Dora and Diego water table. Here are a few pictures of her enjoying it out in the back yard this morning. Yes, it's still nice enough to be out there, at least until the sun comes over the house.



Brenna is happily pouring water on me here, I'm thrilled at that. I like the startlingly enormous gray hair poking out and saying hello in this picture.





Contemplating putting Dora in the boat (I was about to say contemplating the engine room, but that's a Mike Watt album).




Ah yes, she has learned well and much from the grizzled master.



Sandy boat inspection.



Here we are on the couch, I was about to say after our water table play, but I just noticed that I'm wearing a totally different shirt here. Hmm, well, it's a nice enough picture even if it has nothing to do with this storyline.



Beth's Pictures

Aunt Beth took some great pictures of our little girl during the trip to Albuquerque. Here are a few of them.

Here is Brenna entertaining herself by coloring on the table at a restaurant we went to.


Outside of the same place, on the patio.


Brenna and Rachel dancing on the same patio. Tyler is enthralled.


The whole gang posing for a picture in the square in Old Town Albuquerque.



Back home with another random picture of Brenna hanging out on her Dora sofa. She's sporting a neat pink shirt from Grandma and Grandpa H here.

Friday, May 30, 2008

It's A Put On

Earlier today I had this elaborate blog prepared for you, including the video below of Brenna reading with Emily, and a story about a man in New Zealand arrested for assaulting someone with a hedgehog, but this site went down and my post was lost forever.

I can but apologize as that brief moment of brilliance on my part is long since lost, probably never to be captured again.

Anyway, in this video you'll see me offering to read to Brenna, and then it cuts to Emily doing it. For starters, I did indeed read with her, but can't film and read at the same time. Brenna was getting antsy on the second read through, but it's still fun seeing her interact with the story.

If you're intrigued about the hedgehog assault, look it up on MSN.com, I'm sure it's still there in their archives, it was a fine read.

video

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Albuquerque - Part Four

Here's the home stretch post of our recent trip to New Mexico. On the way home on Monday we stopped off at El Morro National Monument, which is about 40 miles south of Gallup, out in the middle of nowhere.

In a nutshell, at the base of the huge rock formation you'll see in the pictures below, there resides a year round pool of water formed by snow runoff and sporadic rainfall. The base off this foundation is covered with petroglyphs, and inscriptions from Spanish explorers, US infantry, etc, passing through to other parts of the west.


Here's a view of the surrounding area from the top of the butte. If you look closely you can see the roof of the visitor center.



At the top there were a few pueblo ruins, I took a picture of the plaque at the top, for those of you interested in reading more about this area.



A kiva located at the same site where the ruins are.




Here are Emily and Brenna, both humoring me on this sidetrip.



Behind Brenna and Emily here is the aforementioned pool, which was at about eight feet deep, according to a measuring "stick" in the middle of it. Supposedly it can run as deep at twelve feet, depending on the time of year.



Here is a far away shot of Emily and Brenna at the same pool. You get a better sense of how sheltered that pool is and how it would have been a welcoming oasis for those passing through, especially in the hotter summer months (the park is located at slightly over 7000 feet in elevation).



This next shot is a sampling of some of the petroglyphs found at the base of the rock.


A shot of the oldest Spanish inscription found on the rock, from 1605, if memory serves. Amazing how well preserved a lot of these were. There were literally hundreds of similar messages spanning across hundreds of feet of this rock.


More recent inscriptions found in one area of the rock.


A more elaborate inscription of someone in the US military that headed up an expiriment involving using camels shipped from Egypt as an alternative to using horses or mules for moving heavy loads across the country. After this program was disbanded in the 1860s, apparently some of the camels escaped from wherever they were sold (circuses, etc), and their ancestors are still roaming free range from Arkansas to Mexico.

One more sample, another one from the 1600 or 1700s.


And finally, a couple of shots of the rock itself.





Back home, Brenna is playing with some discovery stacking blocks from the Visitors Center. While I was killing myself running up the rock to view the pueblo ruins, these blocks kept her occupied.
















Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Albuquerque - Part Three

In this installment, I've posted pictures of the three of us hanging out in Old Town Albuquerque.

This first shot is of an old church in the middle of the square. Two beautiful Queen Empress trees are in the front courtyard (not blooming, unfortunately).



The rest of these are of Brenna patiently waiting for the rest of our party to finish shopping. She's looking over this railing at a flower bed.


Trying on Emily's hat for size.



Peeping at the flowers.





Silly monkey getting thrown up in the trees by Daddy. Daredevil baby.


Albuquerque - Part Two

There's no telling how many parts there will be to this trip blog, twenty maybe, you just don't know, there are enough uploadable pictures.
Here is a shot of Brenna enjoying a lolli break at the hotel, sporting her Silly Monkey shirt from the Phoenix Zoo.

Brenna and Emily are seen here riding the train that runs folks from the Rio Grande Zoo to the Aquarium. Yes, Albuquerque has an Aquarium, I was amazed as you to hear and/or see that.


And here's the proof, Exhibit A, a shark in Albuquerque.


The rest of these are shots of Brenna patiently waiting for the train to take us back to the car.




Oh, the torture of waiting!
Stay tuned, Part Three to follow (really?).
Albuquerque - Part One

For someone who can't spell, this post may be a bear if I have to type Albuquerque too many times. I'll be sure to avoid that at all costs.
Well, we're back, and it's still under 90 degrees here, that was nice to come home to. It rained some more here evidently after we left on Friday afternoon, an inch and a half total, and the yard is growing out of control like it's March. That will soon end, as it's supposed to be 97 tomorrow, and over a 100 again very soon after that.

At any rate, Friday night we drove through some snow over 7000 feet to reach Holbrook. Here are a few shots of the rim, one taken by Emily from the car, and one by me while driving (oops).




One of our first stops once in New Mexico was the Rio Grande Zoo.
Here's a polar bear.



Here are Brenna and Emily in front of the polar bear exhibit, Rachel's off to the left there.


** Insert extremely random music reference here**
This shot reminds me of that Digital Underground song from the late 80's, affectionately known as the Humpty Dance.
Anyway, one of the lines in that song goes something like "I'm dancin' around like my leg was broken". You could also insert "You look like MC Hammer on crack, Humpty".
No slight to our daughter, mind you, that's what this reminded me of.



No one told Rachel about the laws of gravity. Brenna tried very hard to duplicate this feat, but to no avail. I believe this was an attempt at a no-handed cartwheel.

Brenna did very well on this trip, there was some carrying, some strollering, and some walking. Here is a Brenna walking shot, heading to the tiger exhibit. I'm crossing my fingers and toes that this shot will clear the Committee For Tasteful Grandma Pictures.

And here are said tigers.


I alerted zoo officials of the dead kangaroo in their exhibit. No, seriously, this one was sleeping, I made sure by throwing my shoe at it (this made walking back to the parking lot a difficult chore, but it was worth it).
No, I didn't throw my shoe at a kangaroo, that would be just silly, now wouldn't it.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Still Raining

It's been raining now for about eight hours straight, to varying degrees. More to come throughout the night and tomorrow. Here's an update on the valley totals for the past 24 hours. We're around an inch here at the house, I just went to the post office and back in a good downpour.

UPDATE: Rain finally tapered off around 11pm PT, although there is plenty left to come through. We're at 1.10 inches, the totals below in this screen shot are higher now.



BTW - We're heading to Holbrook tomorrow afternoon, passing through Show Low, here's what it looks like there today (from azcentral.com). Don't recall off hand their elevation, but it's high enough that it's snowed there, the caption on the picture indicated that this is the latest snow in May in 35 years.