all things lepard

July 27th, 2008 – Tom’s 1st Birthday

December 22nd, 2008 sally

After spending some time planning the menu for a birthday brunch, we suddenly remembered that the local bar, Nomads, had a Sunday brunch—and luckily, Tom’s 1st birthday fell on a Sunday.

We were joined by Katie, Dale, Larry, John, Julie, Judd, and Ellie for a Sunday morning drink. This was followed by brunch at Nomads and then birthday cake and champagne at home.  Tom was engulfed with attention and pressies. He  enjoyed being pulled around the yard in his new red wagon.

Here are some photos and a video:
Tom's cheeky monkey cakes it's my party and I'll sulk if I want to Read the rest of this entry »

Tommy mowing the lawn

June 25th, 2008 chris

Tom Swims, reads, and more

April 28th, 2008 chris

On Friday, Sally and I packed up the dogs, the cat, and Tom and headed for Houston for a weekend with Katie and Dale. Tom does good in the car, rarely cries or moans… we think so anyways, as we wouldn’t really know given the volume of the radio. We usually listen to podcast versions of This American Life, it makes the time fly.

In Houston, we enjoyed a lovely weekend of relaxation and laziness. Drinks by the pool, followed by a dip in the pool. Tom squealed with delight as I spun him round and round in the pool. On Saturday evening we went to the Grand Lux Cafe to celebrate Katie’s birthday. Katie and I kept Tom happy by feeding him star shaped baby cereal. Dinner was great. Sunday was much like Saturday, but with an inching conclusion that we would need to go home at some point.

On Saturday, I spent some time making another video… while Katie did some photography. Here’s some of our work:

Sally pulls a tommy face

April 20th, 2008 chris

Tonight, after hanging out with our family, Uncle Larry mentioned how sometimes Tom gives him a disdainful look that reminds him of the look Sally gives when she’s not amused. Katie and Dale sent us this photo and we think he may be right. 

Sally Partridge  

OK, OK, I’m a bad parent…

December 13th, 2007 sally

…not because I laughed at how loud Tom cried this morning after getting four shots, or because I added to the misery by banging his head on the car door as we were leaving the doctors, or even because I proceeded to drop him off at day care so I could go shopping in peace. No, I’m a bad parent because I have not updated this website in almost two months–and a lot has happened in two months. My grandma visited from England and my Aunty visited from New Zealand. We had a brilliant Thanksgiving here at the house with US and UK representation. Grandpa Larry stopped by for a short, but fun visit, and we’re about to embark on our holiday travels to see family and friends in Dallas and Oklahoma before heading home for Christmas Day.

The latest “Question of the Week” is ‘so, what’s Tom doing now?’ To which, the honest answer is ‘not a lot’. But, to new parents, every little thing is worthy of a News at Ten broadcast. We are lucky to have a son who sleeps from 8pm until we wake him up 7am. He entertains us around 6 am with a hearty round of cooing and babbling to himself before dozing off again. He goes to sleep smiling and wakes up grinning. This month he has started to laugh out loud and roll over. He’s soooo much more interesting than his first two months on earth.  During the day, he is looked after by Donna and Deanna at daycare. They spoil him but I’m also confident that they’ll take no messing if he was ever to be too naughty.

Here’s a collection of photos-I’ll get Chris to post more soon. Enjoy!


Here comes Halloween

October 28th, 2007 sally


A mini-cold front hit Austin last week. This meant we were able to get Tom dressed up in some warm clothes that we thought he would grow out of before having a chance to wear. He’s massive. Here he is ready for school:


Last Wednesday, Trish and Sandy hosted a neighborhood pumpkin party. The local firemen showed up to entertain the kids. Tom didn’t seem too bothered, but Michael, a friend from work, was pushing youngsters out of the way so that he could get inside the truck:


Tonight, Trish and Sandy came over and I carved my first pumpkin. We had visions of taking photos of Tom surrounded by all of our carving efforts, but he got bored and went to bed before we’d carved a single one. No worries. We had a couple of glasses of limoncello and set to work. Tomorrow, we’ll have a photo shoot, but for now, here’s my first attempt at pumpkin-carving:

Back to work

October 13th, 2007 sally

P1010430Trish took this photo of Tom–I think it is my new favourite.

This week was my first official week back at work. I had to attend a meeting in San Antonio. There was so much to catch up on and issues to gossip about and problems to solve that I was kept really busy-this helped with being away from Tom for the first time.

As soon as I got back to Austin, I picked him up from daycare and double-checked the squiggle I’d made on the small of his back with a magic marker–I’ve seen too many situation comedies where the goldfish (or the budgie, or the hamster) meets a tragic demise when the owner is out of town. To the amusement of the audience, the designated guardian frantically rushes around to find an exact copy before the owner’s return. Not that I don’t trust Chris or Uncle Larry or the Ginger Queen, but you can’t be too careful about these things.

We spent the afternoon hanging with Trish and Sandy on their back lawn before heading over to David and the Ginger Queen’s for a cook-out. As grandparents may be reading this entry, I won’t linger over the fact that Ollie, the French Bulldog, was desperate to get his jaws around Tom’s ears. Although I guess a one-eared baby would mean that I wouldn’t have to bother with the magic marker squiggle when I go to Corpus Christi next week. Surely there aren’t that many one-eared replacement babies available in Austin? Don’t worry grandparents! Ollie’s a fickle doggie and he soon got tired of sniffing around Tom and decided to get fresh with Chris Lepard’s hairy arm instead.

Big Spring

October 13th, 2007 sally

Tom getting into the cowboy spirit (Chris’ great-granddad is technically a cotton farmer, but he’s the nearest thing to a real Texan cowboy that I’ve ever met)

Tom and his Great-Granddad ponder the weather and annual amount of rainfall in Knott, Texas

Eric works with Tom on the angelic look he’ll need for church

Tom and Grandma cuddle
Grandma (?-I’m going with ‘Grandma’ as preferred grandmotherly terms have not officially been selected yet) getting in a bit of a cuddle

For those of you who are fed up with baby pictures and would much prefer to see a doggie.


This weekend, we took Tom to see his grandparents, uncle, and great-granddad in Big Spring. It’s a five hour drive, but Tom was a trooper and only whimpered a bit as we drove into town.

We had a very relaxing weekend and got to see most of the family in Knott, Texas.

Tom went to church for the first time and only got a bit agitated when we sung the hymns. I don’t blame him. What is it about singing in church that makes you attempt a pitch twice as high as you do when you’re rocking along to tunes on the radio? Plus, with a small-town church congregation of about 15 (most of them related), it’s not as if you can just mouth the words…every voice counts.

Tom also giggled for the first time—so now I’ve become one of those parents who tries to repeat exactly how Uncle Shawn was interacting with Tom to try and get it to happen again. No luck so far.

Great-Granddad Shaw spent most of his time sitting right next to Tom having lengthy conversations. I overheard a couple of snippets that included: “I reckon you’re not bad as a great-grandson”, “I’m not going to take a bite out of you” and “I’m thinking my cotton is taller than you”.

Tom was really well-behaved and people were asking whether he was a robot as he didn’t cry or fuss much. At first, I was all proud. But then that paranoia that seems to multiply the instant you become a parent set in. Later in the evening, I turned to Chris and asked him if he thought there was something wrong with Tom as he sleeps soundly and is easily soothed when he cries. Chris gave me a look as if it to say “Are you out of your bloody mind? Enjoy it while it lasts”. So I will.

It takes a village…

October 1st, 2007 sally

or at least a pride of lesbians


but too many women can often lead a man to tears (and booze)


Free Tom Lepard

October 1st, 2007 sally

I made it until 1:30 and then I drove the getaway car to the local Methodist Church and busted Tommy out of daycare.

I sort of wish I hadn’t bothered! When I get there he is as happy as Larry sitting in a swing being swooned over by a couple of chicks (in fact, they were literally drooling over him—nice). All four of the ladies in the room went on and on about what a good baby he was and how Tom was the perfect name for him. He’d played, slept, and ate without any bother and was a “great-natured little boy”.

Then I pick him up. And he starts to wail—a wail I’ve never heard before. A wail that pretty much says “put me bloody down, I like it here”. In some ways, that makes dropping him off tomorrow so much easier. I’ll just have to drown my sorrows in a box of wine from Target until I get over the fact that he’d rather hang with the Methodists than me.

30 minutes later: he’s a fickle little bugger. Now he won’t stop laughing. Unfortunately, he shakes his head when he laughs so this is the best I can do photowise: