which two things don’t go together?

In ALL, PHOTOGRAPHY by Stephanie Klein49 Comments

I went to the track this weekend (not to run, no).  To bet on horses.  I love gambling, but not the kind you do online.  I need to be there, in person.  I’m not one to bet on sporting events, unless I’m at the actual game (and even then, eh.)  I understand the idea that if you’ve got a little something riding on a game, it makes it all the more reason to get into it while watching it on TV, but I’d just as soon go cook or watch some chick flick in another room than partake in the festivities.  I know it’s kinda Sports Grinch of me, but I can’t help it.  The only reason I look forward to some "big game" is for an excuse to eat unhealthy food.  Wings.  Fries.  I guess some people do chili (not me, but some people).   Even now, when I go somewhere, as I did this weekend (at Azul in East Austin), and I get a great unexpected sandwich, I add between bites, "This would make a great appetizer when we have people over."  I am forever inventing menus for parties I’ll never throw.  A pork sandwich with cheve and crisp apples, bibb lettuce and a mustard vinegarette.  "You know, pressed and served as triangles when you’re watching some sport thing."
"Nah, too messy," Phil concludes.
"You’re wrong, actually," I say.  And he rolls his eyes, and I roll mine back, and that is how we do things. "Everyone loves mini-sandwiches.  Everyone.  Especially with cheese."  There’s really no arguing with me.  I wonder what food they’ll have at the track.    

My whole theory on gambling is you have to expect to lose.  That is, when gambling, I view it as a form of entertainment.  So, I’ll cap myself at $300 if I’m at a casino, seeing it as my entrance fee for the evening.  Once it’s gone, I’m done, but it’s the price of admission.    Roulette is my thing.  I get feelings about numbers.  I won’t bet, however, unless I’m "feelin’ it."  If I gamble with a few people, they’re usually down half their money before I even begin.  I like to take my time, people watch, and get a feel for things before I commit to a table.  I want to learn to play craps.

This weekend, it was all about the horse racing, and I’d refuse to place a bet until I saw each horse and accompanying jockey.  Of course I’d study the odds on paper, but mostly, I went with gut instinct.  I chose one horse to win because the jockey was the spitting image of Steve Buscemi as Crazy Eyes.   We bet on four races, and I won three of them.  Phil on the other hand…

Let’s just say, he was confident in his bet.  Surveyed the horses, took his time.  Then placed his bet on horse number 4.  "That jockey looks good to go," he said as he gripped his curled stats papers.  Yes sir!  He and Scott watched from the stands.  I got a spot up close to the action, leaning against a fence.  I won money on that race.  Two of the horses I’d predicted to claim first and second place (or Win and Place) came in.  But I didn’t know it yet.  At the time, I couldn’t stop looking up to Phil up in the stands.  It seems his jockey was indeed good to go.  On the floor.  The jockey had fallen off his mare, so number 4 was the only horse to race the track without a jockey.  "Figures," he mouthed to me.  And I punched my fists up in the air.  "Don’t worry baby.  I won enough for us both."  Enough being all of seventeen dollars on a two dollar bet. 

I love doing weird things like that, new things.  I learned this weekend there’s a rollerskating rink quite close to our house.  I’m going to have to brave it on Eighties Night.  And… drum roll please… I plan on doing a drunken BINGO night soon and hope those of you in Austin will join us.  Come alone, bring friends.  Whatever.  We’ll be going to an actual BINGO hall!  I don’t know about you, but it’s time to do my part in keeping Austin weird.

Speaking of… I’ve combined our latest photos… of the horses (Phil took those) and of the babies (I took those).  Thanks to Jaimee for the darling monogrammed club chairs from Pottery Barn.  Just too cute!


  1. Stephanie: I found your blog after watching that 20 20 show and having insomnia the same night. Just ironic, but that is why when up at 4 am AGAIN, I ended up remembering and looking up your blog. I am hooked. I graduated from the University of Texas and left Austin for Florida in 1999. Reading your website always makes me insightful and curious….this latest blog made me miss Austin so much! The pics from the racetrack are like a flashback to my childhood, where I now realize why everyone I knew thougth I rode horses to school….as someone from out of state, I see those guys in Wranglers with Stetson mustaches and think that is a totally different world! Also, I have to tell you that your beans are beautiful! Abigail has gorgeous eyelashes and Lucas looks like such a love! Anyway, LOVE to Austin from Tampa.

  2. God stephanie, everytime i see your babies, makes me wanna have one; but we're not ready(well i'm not ready). Lucas face is to die for, you're a lucky lade and im glad to see your babies are doing really good.

  3. So where are all the pictures of the mama to go with the beautiful babies? Your blog used to be full of pictures of you and your friends, so how about you and your new crowd?

    FROM STEPHANIE: You know how when you're heavy (for you) the last thing you want is your photo taken? Yeah, well, it's the same reason I keep buying clothes for our children… cause nothing fits, but damn if it doesn't feel great to buy sweet things for them. I'll see what I can do about some photos. Sigh.

  4. Funny. That guy reading the book with the cowboy hat on sure looks a lot like my future ex-husband. Yum!

    P.S. Speaking of absolutely delectable things, look at those munchkins. No Maury DNA test needed for those two –Phil & Stephanie, you ARE the mother and father. Gorgeous, gorgeous, gorgeous!

  5. I have always wanted to go to the Kentucky Derby. Not necessarily to watch the races, but instead to dress up, and wear a big fancy hat. I just loooove those hats!

    As for bingo night? Love it!

  6. Stephanie, I LOVE the new pictures of the beans! They look so healthy and happy, not to mention absolutely adorable! Another reminder of how strong your family is- such a far cry from the preemie days! Congratulations.

    And way to keep up the never having lost money on gambling (if I remember correctly). Guess you're lucky in more ways than one…

  7. Abigail and Lucas just keep getting cuter and cuter. I love the pictures where they're in the chair together, and she's sort of leaning on him. He looks like Mr. Protector, Dude. So sweet.

    And, man, I haven't seen Wranglers in a lifetime. And all those cowboy hats. There's no doubt you aren't in NYC anymore. Looks like fun, though. My friends and I went to the Roosevelt Racetrack when we were in high school a couple of times to do something different – I guess that was b/f it became the flea market – now it's townhouses – and it was fun betting on horses. You always manage to stir up old memories. Thanks.

  8. Yummy!!! Your babies that is. :) Great track pics too. Man, I remember when mine were that age. If you want a taste of things to come, check out the pics on my blog if you get a chance. Hehehe… life gets, ummm… interesting… :)

  9. Your babies are so freaking cute they're making my ovaries twitch, and I don't even want kids! I do love looking at pics of other people's babies. :) But seriously, they are just gorgeous with eyes that will break some hearts one day.

  10. I love going to the track. My family is big on gambling and over the summer (last year) I discovered the track. I won I think 12 bucks on a 2 dollar bet and it was a very happy moment for me! :)

    The babies are cute as can be!!

  11. I have to admit, Stephanie – when I saw that there were baby pictures, I didn't even read the blog entry, nor did I look at the horsy pictures. All I saw were babies, and oh my god, those babies. Lucas looks like the perfect little cuddlebug, and Abigal with those eyes… Sigh. (warm fuzzies) Thank you for being willing to share pictures. Their little faces make me happy. :) And I'll read the blog entry tomorrow.

  12. Aw, dear Miss Abigail, reason #471 you are blessed: you will never, ever need to apply fake lashes to look glam. You came into the world with your own beautiful set.

  13. I think maybe I can see how Austin is starting to make you giddy with possibilities of strange and new. And yet, you gotta love the Pottery Barn chairs. You're so good at what you do, Stephanie, and most of that is just being who you are. Honesty. The biggest lesson we all learn. But that eye roll thing, I mean, thank you! I can't tell you how much I relate. Nice job.

  14. AWESOME pics!!! The babies are getting really BIG and are just so precious!

  15. I was at some firm event at the racetrack here in Dallas. Someone from the track told us about a game for those of us loathe to actually risk much but still wanted to play the game: show parley. You place a bet on any horse to show–usually you'd do one of the favorites b/c the goal is, of course, to show. And then you "parley" your winnings into the next race. Rather than the individual race being the focus, your goal was to parley or show in every race. I've done all the races precisely once. And turned a $2 bet into about $150.

    Good fun.

    The babies are adorable.

  16. Those little beans get more gorgeous by the day! I would kill for Abigail's eyes, she's definitely going to be a heartbreaker someday!!

  17. Hi Stephanie, I've been away- yet again- (sorry to play catch up on all your entries lately so you may see some commenting coming from me) (!) but I had had had to tell you how adorable the babies are! Aren't these the 'my first chair' from p.b. kids? The ones that can move anywhere and be carried around? My friend got gift certificates for these for her shower. So adorable. Very very sweet!
    Lucas is such a sweetie and Abigail is an angel. They both look like the both of you and Phil. The warmest of wishes to you both!

    Now, to catch up on the rest of the blog….

  18. Stephanie,

    You sound so happy in this entry. It's great that you & Phil are getting out and having fun. I like to ride horses but I haven't bet on them. That could be a new & different experience for me to look forward too. The babies are just precious! Abigail reclining in her chair is so adorable! Thanks for the pictures.

  19. Stephanie – were you at the track in Manor? It looks like it from your photos but I wasn't sure.

  20. Are their personalities as evident in their faces as they appear?

    It seems that Lucas is starting to take himself less seriously and Abigail is absolutely drunk off life and love!

    I can't wait for you to be posting pictures of the twins upset because Abigail dressed up his G.I. Joes for a tea party AGAIN just to find out he used her teapot to make mudpie AGAIN.

  21. If you are ever in Lexington,KY in April or October, I recommend Keeneland. Beautiful place in the heart of horse country! And of course, there is always the Derby. You would love it!

  22. They are just adorbale! And getting so big!! :)

    Ha, look at all the men with their hats! LOL

    I wish I were closer for a drunken-Bingo-night! Sounds like a blast.

  23. Ahhh now these are the pictures I've been waiting for…the smiles, the inquisitive expressions as they watch you behind the camera wondering what the hell you're doing, just their little personalities coming out…

    Abby looks like you. You know this. Her ears are Phil's though. Lucas has Phil's eyes but your nose and chin.


    Pic 6386 of Lucas in the adorable gingham chair. Whatta pose.

    Pic 6356 of Abby and Lucas. You should keep taking pics of them sporadically as they grow, in that same chair, in the same position. My mom did this with me and my brother in our little rocking chairs.

    Pic 6278 of Abby's face (closeup). She has got those unusual blue grey eyes that most babies lose as they get older. I bet they'll change colors depending on what she's wearing as she gets older. My kid's eyes do and they're that same unusual color, but they always go back to blue grey. She's going to have some guy wrapped with those eyes.

    Pic 6249 of Abby smiling. I bet you were tickling her for this one. Very cute.

    Track pics – oh no you didnt!
    Well you're a true Texan now, I guess. :D

    Those chairs for Lucas and Abby are too damn cute.

    Thanks for sharing the pics.

  24. I remember when you had first came home from the hospital without your little beans. You were so understandably upset and forlorn. You sounded scared and uncertain about what the future held. I just wanted to take note that everything turned out great. You have your two BEAUTIFUL PRECIOUS babies home with you and they are growing and you are surviving. You did it. You are doing it and you will continue to do it. It is amazing to me how motherhood can seem so easy from the outside and it isn't. When you are thrown into it, you just adjust and of course you remember how things used to be, but it doesn't matter. I am happy for you. I am glad you are comfortable in you mom shoes.

  25. Stephanie – My question has nothing to do with your post, but . . have you ever given the MOH toast at a wedding? I'd love to read that post if you've ever blogged about it. If not, you should. I'm trying to write a toast of my own, and reading your stuff is always such an inspiration.

  26. When I was about 22 years old, I went to the track and bet a triactor. All 3 horses had names that were meaningful to me (as meaningful as things are when you are 22). I won $1,200 on a $6 bet. Can you say excited??? I didn't even know what I had won until I walked up to the ticket booth. The really great news was that it was the 10th race so I went home with the full amount in my wallet. Woohoo!! Good times!

  27. Both of the beans are adorable! Its just so funny to me how serious Lucas looks in almost all of your pictures. Ya think maybe he knows something we don't know?

    FROM STEPHANIE: Truth be told, Phil and I have been a little worried. Only mildly, not up to chat rooms or message boards worry, but I'd be lying if I said Phil didn't google it. Lucas doesn't smile yet. He doesn't make eye contact at all, and when we try, he looks away. Overstimulation cannot be the culprit because it's ALL THE TIME, not some of the time. We're trying not to compare him to his sister, and to instead focus on the milestones for his adjusted age. But everything is such gray area. I guess all we can do is wait. I suspect if he's anything like we are, he wants to do things on HIS TIME not OUR TIME, and I can't say I blame the kid.

  28. Stephanie, my daughter did not smile for the longest time. She was just snooty that way. She is still this way – just a serious kid. I would not stress, but if the lack of eye contact continues I would just talk to your ped. It is so much more likely a personality thing than anything else. Great photos.

  29. I'm dying for BINGO night! Hopefully you'll post where and when this could take place. That or going to see the Rollergirls!

    And I went for 35 cent oysters as well! YUM!

    Love your blog and your babies are adorable!

  30. Steph: Have Lucas checked. I'm not an MD but he may be showing early signs of infantile autism. He should be making eye contact with you, his mother, at least. It
    may not end up being a big deal but best to err on the conservative side and have a professional do an examination.

  31. The twins are so beautiful and lucky to have you as their mom. And it sounds like you and Phil had fun at the races, sounds just like an "I Love Lucy" episode I know :)

  32. Lovely babies! Funny all the cowboy hats, they evoke some memories for me of a ex. How funny that simple things like a hat can do that.

  33. i hate to rain on your parade but i too echo bobby dylan's concern to have little lucas checked out. i've been a pediatric nurse for years and i've heard the same kinds of things from various mom's whose children were later found to be autistic. if he's not, no biggie..right? they are both precious!!! really beautiful beans.

  34. You should definately have Lucas checked out. No eye contact is a big red flag. Don't Google it and drive yourself crazy – just talk to the doctor as a start. And don't ignore your hunch/gut feeling on it.

  35. When people have twins, I'm sure it's hard not to compare them. Babies have their own personalities, and they develop at their own pace. Boys do tend to develop slower than girls. However, I would definitely check w/ your pediatrician, even it's to put your minds at ease.

    I'm like Phil; I'm always looking things up and diagnosing my own kids. Then drs tell me I read too much. My mom always says "when you look for problems you find problems". Sometimes too much info is scary, especially when it's wrong, as it often is. So, stop googling and just talk to your ped. Granted, I can't see them in person, but they sure look perfect in the pictures. Enjoy them!

  36. I have indulged in drunken bingo on several occassions. I don't know how they work in your area, however, in South Florida when you leave the bingo hall, your body reeks of smoke – even if you sit in the non-smoking room. Other than that, we have a blast.

    Regarding the track, I have only ever been to greyhound racing. I walk a fine line between betting on the dog with the cutest handler or the one that poops before racing (I know, it's very scientific) versus feeling bad for animals that are forced to live the racing life.

    The babies are deliciously cute. Speaking of delicious, I still have an ornament I bought for your foodie tree. Unfortunately I didn't get it in the mail in time but I think it'd still be cute on your tree – it's two peas in a pod w/ little baby faces on the peas. I bought it when the peas were still in your pod. ;) Email me an address where I can send it – that way maybe I'll get it in the mail by December!

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