Thursday, December 16, 2010

My trip to the dentist

Here's a video of my first trip to the dentist, from when I was in Atlanta. Everyone was pretty impressed with how well I did. Notice the nice watch I'm wearing, which Papa gave me.

I had a good week back at school. Sadly, I learned that my best buddy from my class was transferred to kindergarten. I am happy for him but keep asking my teachers and Mom about him. The best part of the week was Wednesday, when we had a party. We had lots of good snacks and a book swap. Today was the last day of school for a while. We gave my teachers presents and they sent some home with me. Now Mom is trying to figure out what we're all going to do the next few weeks.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Chanukah in Atlanta

Its been a crazy couple of weeks.  Right after getting back from Thanksgiving in Pennsylvania, we decided to go to Atlanta to spend Chanukah with Bubbe and Papa.  And to make it even more fun, we all drove there.  Hazel and I love a good road trip.

Last Thursday night, Mom and Dad put Hazel and I in our pajamas and we headed out of town.  We drove until Dad got tired and then we stayed at a hotel  Dad found a hotel in Kilgore, Texas, that had a huge suite with a king sized bed  Hazel and I were so excited about our new accommodations and that we all slept together in the bed.  Mom joked that all 5 of us were in the bed together.

The next morning we had a delicious breakfast and continued our road trip.  Hazel and I both did great.  We stopped to play and eat a few times, but overall Dad was pleased with the time we made.  We stopped for dinner at Dad's favorite restaurant, Krystals, and ended our day's drive in Birmingham at Aunt Susan and Uncle Stuart's house.  It was nice seeing them and Aunt Susan, Uncle Stuart, Aunt Pat and Uncle Neal gave us a great bath toy for Chanukah, which we got to use while we were there.  Saturday morning we drove to Atlanta to see Bubbe and Papa.

We stayed with Aunt Laurie and Uncle Jonathan, who have a great, big, fun house.  They were nice enough to spend some time before-hand making the place a little safer for me and Hazel.

I love Chanukah!  I kept getting all kinds of fun toys to play with.  Somehow, everyone knew how much I love letters. I got letter games, a letter robot and lots of other fun toys.  Papa gave me a watch and I love teling people what time it is.  Bubbe gave Hazel a sweater that she knitted herself.  I also liked all of the yummy food I got to eat at Bubbe and Papa's for dinner.

We did other fun things on the trip as well.  Bubbe took me to the dentist office where she works so I could get my teeth cleaned.  Mom and Dad weren't sure how well I would do at the dentist, but I did great.  I had fun telling the dentist how to spell molar and picking out my toothpaste flavors.  The dentist said my teeth looked very good -- the spacing between my teeth is great and my bite is good.  Hazel thought it looked like so much fun that she climbed into the chair and brushed her teeth too.

We went to Papa's favorite restaurant, The Varsity, and had a Frosted Orange milkshake and some onion rings.  We visited Great Grandma Millie and Great Aunt Sylvia, where I impressed them with my spelling and Hazel impressed them with her ability to find every glass and breakable item.  We also visited a fun park where we could climb around.

Mom and Dad insisted I tell one funny story from our trip. Dad was driving around and he had to jerk the car quickly to avoid hitting a curb.  Mom screamed but I liked it. I said from the back-seat, "It's like a Six Flags ride". Mom and Dad thought that was pretty funny. Mom said it may have been the funniest thing I have ever said.

Atlanta is a fun town, and we love Bubbe and Papa very much.  Here are some of the many pictures from our visit.  We have more pictures and videos that we'll be posting later, but Dad was pestering me to do a post now, so we'll put those up sometime in the future.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving

This week we traveled to Pennsylvania for Thanksgiving.

Before we left, we had a lot to accomplish. The highlight was I got a haircut! Mom and Dad said I look much older with my new 'do.

We were also really excited and had great weather, so we burned off lots of steam at local parks. We went to three playgrounds we don't go to that often: Central Market, a playground with dinosaurs, and a huge playground with a climbing structure that looks like waves.

Monday finally came and we got up very, very early to catch our airplane. We usually bring a stroller with us but this time we instead rolled Hazel around in one of our car seats we strapped to a suitcase. It was a pretty sweet ride. Then when we got on the plane, we were lucky enough to get four seats (we had only three tickets and though Hazel might have to ride on Mom's lap), so Hazel rode in the car seat the whole time. About halfway through the flight, she fell asleep. I did a great job on the plane too. Mom and Dad surprised me with an early Hanukkah present – a Scribble and Write toy that I used to practice writing letters. I love it so much that, along with some Oreos I talked Mom into sharing with me, it kept me busy all three hours.

Since we have been at Grandma and Grandpa's, we have had a great time. There is so much to keep us busy. Mom, Hazel, Gigi, Grandma and Aunt Lauren got haircuts. We have had tons of fun seeing lots of family. Mom-Mom, Pop and Aunt Jane visited with us; we spent lots of time with Gigi, Uncle Daniel, Aunt Lauren, Uncle Ryan and his dad, Jim; and we visited Aunt Cindy and Uncle Steve at their Irish shop. Tons of other people visited us on Thanksgiving too. It has been great!

Grandma and Grandpa's house is really fun. There are so many good things to play with, like wagons and a firetruck and doggy to ride on. Grandma and Grandpa's kitties are super fun to watch and pet, and we have had a blast running around in the huge backyard. Mom and Hazel even found a bird's nest that fell out of a tree and a bunny. After a few days, I figured out how to get into trouble with things like crawling under the baby gate to get up and down the stairs at will, turning on and off various lights, and going outside by myself to visit the outside kitties.

Also, we have eaten so much good food, it might be easier to roll back to Texas than fly. Grandma cooked tons and tons of delicious goodies for us, we had lots of Rocco's, Pop and Mom-Mom took Dad, Mom and Hazel to lunch at Cross Keys, and Grandma even showed me and Dad how to make pecan pie.

There were a few other highlights from our trip. Last Wednesday Hazel and I went out with Grandma to a recycling center and a hike in a park. Friday we hung out with Dad, Grandpa and Uncle Daniel while Mom and Grandma went wedding dress shopping with Aunt Lauren. It was a good day. They took us out to lunch, where Hazel and I decided to start eating as much ice cream as we could hold in our bellies on this trip. Strawberry is our favorite. Later, Hazel fell asleep on the couch with Dad while I took a tractor ride with Grandpa.

The next day we hung out with Mom and Aunt Lauren in the afternoon while Dad hung out with Uncle Ryan. When it was time for dinner, we headed to the Famous Hot Weiner with Grandma, Grandpa, Uncle Daniel, Aunt Lauren and Mom. It was very fun and another opportunity for strawberry milkshakes.

Monday we headed to Wolfgang candy factory for a tour and snacks with Grandma, Aunt Lauren, our cousin Mianna, Mom and Dad. We saw how they make chocolate covered almonds and pretzels and then we ate some! After lunch and a nap, we picked up Gigi, who took us to feed geese and ducks some corn. They were very loud and hungry! It was fun watching them. Hazel especially loved it -- she kept calling the geese "ducks" -- and it was nice spending a little extra time with Gigi.

Wednesday we head back to Austin. It is hard to leave all this behind, we have had so much fun, but we are looking forward to seeing Peepa and a visit from Bubbe and Papa this weekend.

Here are the pictures from our visit.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

And the tiebreaker is...

...we're having a boy!

For those of you who didn't know, we're getting a new baby and it turns out he'll be a little brother! Mom and Dad are hard at work trying to figure out his name.

When Mom and Dad told us the baby is a boy, I ran to Mom, jumped into her arms, and gave her a big hug. I was excited! When Hazel saw his sonogram photos, she started making monkey noises.

We think he's cute, especially his tiny feet. The doctor told us he is developing normally, weighs 14 ounces, and will double his size in the next month.

We can't wait to meet him! The due date is still April 4.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Brunch buffet

This morning, Hazel, Mom and I met up with Zhenya for a brunch buffet at Cannoli Joe's.

It was great! They had loads of Italian food, plus breakfast food and best of all, dessert.

Hazel and I ate so much a lady came up to our table and asked Mom if we ever stop eating. She said every time she looked over at us, we were shoveling it in!

Hazel especially liked the spaghetti and broccoli and I ate lots of fruit, tried some pasta and topped it off with apple crisp and ice cream.

While the food was awesome, the best part was catching up with Zhenya. I told her she is nice, which she proved by letting Hazel gum her up with her food encrusted hands. Zhenya took these fun pictures of us with her phone.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Trick or treat!

We've had a busy few weeks around here. After Grandma left, Mom's friend Sarah and her friend Jen came to visit. We had a great time catching up with them and eating at lots of fun restaurants around town -- Central Market, where we got to play on the playground, Huts, and Austin Java.

Then we all got sick. We had fevers and were just generally under the weather. Hazel and I bounced back pretty fast but Mom ended up with a nasty sinus infection. It all really messed our Halloween weekend up. We missed Dad's work party, my school party, and a trip to Six Flags last weekend. Luckily we still had a few chances to dress up. We donned our costumes twice for free food at one of Dad's favorite haunts, Freebirds.

Sunday I carved a new jack-o-lantern with Dad and we headed out for trick-or-treating. I dressed up as a duck and Hazel dressed up as a bunny. Before we left, Dad and Mom coached me about what to say when people answered their doors. I had it down and was getting really good at yelling, "Trick or treat!" But when we went to the first house, they asked me what to say and I yelled, "Candy!" Everyone laughed, but it got the job done. By the next house I remembered to say "Trick or treat," and Hazel was really great at it too. We LOVED eating the candy. My favorite part of trick or treating was running up to the house and ranging the doorbell.  At some houses, I rang the doorbell over and over again.  Fortunately, we have very understanding neighbors.

This past week was pretty mellow in comparison, and we spent most of our time trying to get back to normal since being sick. After missing three days when I was sick, I headed back to school Monday. I was very happy to see my friends and teachers. Hazel went back to her school Tuesday and they moved her up to a big girl classroom. She really loves it. They do a lot more there. She gets to go outside to play each time she goes and they do more crafts. She still goes about twice a week.

This weekend we made up for lost time and headed down to San Antonio for our postponed trip to Six Flags Fiesta Texas. It was great. I went on all my favorite rides: airplanes, fruit salad, a roller coaster, school bus, the big red cars, and a smaller car with a horn I liked to honk. Hazel came on some of the rides too and seemed to really enjoy them this time.  I climbed around on a pirate ship playscape and we watched a live Wiggles show. We all had a blast and are glad we didn't miss out on the chance to go since we missed it last weekend.

Click here for photos of our Halloween weekend, Six Flags, a trip to the park this week, and Hazel riding around in our laundry basket.

Friday, October 29, 2010

School photos

We got my school photos back this week. They are cute, but we think the ones with the leaves, beach and flag (which looks like it's missing some stars) are hilarious. Mom said they should have made a photo of me on the moon while they were at it.

Anyway, here they are for your viewing enjoyment.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

A day out at Crowe's Nest Farm

Today I went on my first school field trip. I went in to school at the normal time this morning, then Mom left to take Hazel to her school. About an hour later, I was surprised because Mom came back. The next thing we did was pretty exciting -- we got on a school bus with all the other pre-k classes! It was great. We sat in the back seat and we had seat belts but no one rode in car seats. It was loud. There was no air conditioner so all the windows were open, and the bus driver played the radio for us. It was fun looking out the window and it was a really bumpy ride! Every time we went around a corner or over a bump, all the kids yelled "whoa!" It was very fun, but I held on tight to Mom, especially at first.

After about a half hour, we arrived at our destination, Crowe's Nest Farm. Crowe's Nest Farm is an educational place for kids and a place that saves wildlife and animals that were once pets (but shouldn't have been) and now need a safe place to live.

When we first got there, we went into the barn, where we watched a video about the farm and one of the farmers told us all the rules, including the fact that we needed to stay on the trails so we wouldn't run into any black widow spiders or snakes in the grass or the woods.

Next we looked at turtles and lizards in pools in the barn. We weren't allowed to touch them because if they bite your finger they won't let go and they could have salmonella. Then we went to another barn, where we saw a real, live cow. The farmer told us all about cows before hooking the cow up to a machine and milking her.

Mitch & Linh at the pumpkin patch.
After the cow, we went for a hayride. We saw bison and ostriches. We learned that bison have to be two before they can have babies and the ones they had are only one. They really like to eat! When they saw us coming, they ran to the fence and when the farmer gave them food, they gobbled it down. The ostriches were funny looking! The farmer told us they run very fast, don't like playing with people, and have dinosaur feet with two toes. He also showed us one of their eggs. The egg was big!

We next headed back for a nice picnic lunch. I sat at a table with all my friends and had a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, an orange and some pretzel goldfish. It was great! Mom was glad lunch was in an open air, covered pavilion because it was starting to get hot outside.

After lunch, our class had time to tour the farm on our own. We saw many animals, including goats, a duck, a goose, many weird chickens, a porcupine, a coati, llamas, emus, ponies, many types of cows, and pot belly pigs, just to name a few. We wrapped up our fun day by picking a pumpkin for our class out of the farm's pumpkin patch, then headed back to school on the bus.

I was really wiped out by the end of the trip and made Mom carry me, but stayed awake to enjoy the (much quieter, since everybody was so tired out) bus ride home. It was really a great day and I can't wait to go on more field trips!

Check out our pictures here.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Grandma in town for Hazel's 18 month birthday

This has been a pretty exciting week for us because Grandma came to visit. Grandma came late Wednesday. We laid low and hung around the house Thursday, but Grandma thought taking me to school and meeting my teacher was fun. Friday we had lunch with our friend Zhenya and her parents, who came to visit all the way from Bulgaria. Hazel and I had a good time slurping up a smoothie Grandma ordered for lunch, then we went on to shopping at Borders, where I talked Grandma into picking up a fun game for me. After our nap, which I decided was optional, we headed to the playground, where Hazel showed Grandma how great she is at playing in mulch.

Saturday was another fun day. We headed to Terra Burger for lunch, where I played a little on the playscape and Hazel and I ignored our food but had fun in the water. After our rest, Grandma took a break from us while we went to a birthday party. We had some yummy fruit and cake and Hazel jumped in a bounce house with Mom.

Grandma brought tools to make jack-o-lanterns, so we made funny faces out of pumpkins Sunday morning. Hazel and I did not like touching the slimy insides, but Peepa had fun sleeping on top of them. We are really excited about the end product. Sunday afternoon we shared our full personalities with Grandma. We hadn't slept well and spazzed out. At the end of the day, Mom and Dad left us with her because they couldn't take anymore.

Today Hazel is 18 months old. To celebrate, she had a well visit at the doctor's office. The nurse was so surprised at how tall Hazel has grown, she measured her twice to be sure she measured right the first time. Hazel is now a whopping 31.25 inches tall (40th percentile)! She weighs 20 lbs 4 ounces and her head is 44.1cm around (both 4th percentile). You can click here for her latest growth chart or check out the chart of the right side of the blog.

Afterwards we headed to Costco for lunch and spent some time with Grandma in the morning while Mom and Dad went to a conference with my teacher and in the afternoon while they ran an errand. We had a great time -- Grandma took us to the playground again.

Dad and Mom said my parent-teacher conference went really well. My teacher said I am on track and am learning a lot.

For some pictures of our week, click here.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

An afternoon at the playground

The weather has been great here lately -- cooler but sunny -- so we headed to the playground yesterday afternoon. Check out our video (which shows why Mom thinks Hazel is headed to college on an athletic scholarship one day) and photos.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Life's a beach

We celebrated this weekend with another great road trip. This time we headed down to Corpus Christi for an overnight beach stay.

Saturday morning we packed up the car and headed out bright and early. The four-hour drive took us through San Antonio, so our first stop was, of course, Krystal. We were last there only six days ago on our way back from Six Flags last weekend, so we weren't expecting anything new, but when we got there, the place was completely closed down. The drive-in section was completely ripped out, the sign was removed, and the windows and doors were boarded up. It may have been the worst day of Dad's life. He kept screaming and taught us a new word that Hazel repeated a few times but Mom won't let me write here.

After that, Dad said we weren't stopping for anything so we powered through to our hotel, the Residence Inn. It was fantastic, starting with the cookies in the lobby, a fun elevator, and better yet, our suite. Hazel and I loved running around the room and dancing and making faces in front of a huge closet-sized mirror. I liked turning on and off all the lights and messing with the alarm clock. Hazel found a funny hiding spot only she was small enough to crawl into.

We didn't want to leave the room, but with promises of cookies and elevators, Dad and Mom eventually talked me into it. We headed out to a local pizzeria and finally, the beach! It was fantastic! It was like a giant sandbox but better because of the ocean. Dad took us out into the waves, but mostly we liked playing in the shallow part, digging in the sand, running around, and chasing seagulls. Hazel also liked chasing any dogs that walked by. I think she missed Peepa.

After a while, we were tired so we went back to the hotel room to clean up, then headed out again for dinner at a really great place called Snoopy's. Dad and Mom had fish, Hazel and I had burgers and grilled cheese, and we sat out on the deck over the water, where we could see lots of big fish swimming just underneath us, and watched the sun go down.

It was late when we got back to the hotel, so Mom and Dad thought we'd go right to sleep, but we had other plans. Before we went on this trip, Mom told me I could sleep in a nest on the floor. I was really excited about it. Hazel had a portable crib to sleep in. When we were supposed to go to bed though, all bets were off. Hazel screamed a lot and I kept running out of the room. Eventually, Hazel went to sleep in the crib for a few hours, then ended up in the nest, and I slept in a giant bed with Mom. Dad ultimately ended up on the couch.

Despite our twilight adventures, Hazel and I woke up at our usual bright and early hour Sunday morning. Mom took us downstairs to breakfast so Dad could get some more sleep. It was great -- they had a huge breakfast buffet with almost anything you can think of to eat in the morning. We ate a lot to make up for our lack of sleep.

After playing in our room for a little bit and heading back for a second breakfast once Dad woke up, we went swimming again, this time in the hotel's indoor pool. The pool was cold, so I didn't spend much time swimming, but Hazel floated around in an inflatable boat and I had fun putting bubbles from the hot tub in the pool and splashing with my feet. Dad relaxed in the hot tub while Mom pushed Hazel around in her boat and drug me into the pool with them when she could catch me.

Our ride back was pretty uneventful, since Hazel and I were so beat we slept the whole way. I hope we take another beach vacation soon.

Here are pictures from our trip, as well as a link to the video above.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

A day at Six Flags Fiesta Texas!

We had a really great weekend. Friday night my friends Clark and Benjamin came over with their parents for Shabbat dinner. Saturday Dad took us to Tot Shabbat in the morning, and then in the afternoon we went shoe shopping for Hazel, whose feet have grown a bunch since she started walking.

The best part of the weekend, though, was Sunday, when we went to Six Flags Fiesta Texas in San Antonio. Dad's company rented out the whole park for the day, so it wasn't crowded at all, and the weather was perfect. It wasn't too hot and it didn't rain on us.

When we first got there, we went to a picnic, where I met Scooby and Scrappy Doo. They were great! They danced with me, hugged me and gave me five. Make sure you look at our pictures; Dad took a great video of my fun with them that is now on the photo site.  Hazel went over to dance with Scrappy too, but she kept her distance; she wasn't too sure what to make of him.  We also had some yummy hamburgers at the picnic; it was an excellent start to the day.

Next we moved on to some rides. We started off on a train that took us all around the park.  I could see some of the rices that looked fun and I liked reading the name of the train - Miss Kitty.  Hazel wasn't as crazy about the train since it was pretty loud, but she did well.  Some of the other rides we went on were big red cars (I got to steer!), and a little roller coaster.  I wasn't crazy about the little roller coaster, but I did shout "Wheee" a few times.  I got to go on a Yummy Fruit Salad ride with Mom which went way up high and spun around at a moderate pace.  I really liked it.  After that, all of went on a School Bus ride where the school bus went into the air.  Unfortunately, Hazel and Mom didn't like that one as much, and that was the end of the rides for them.  Then Dad and I went on the tea cups, which I liked but they made Dad dizzy.  We also went on a ferris wheel that went up super high.  Mostly, I liked reading the warning signs inside the gondola.  Dad and I also went on a crazy water ride and we got soaked!

My favorite ride of all was the red airplanes. I got to push a button to make it go up and down while it went around in circles. I liked being high up and kept yelling higher. I also had a blast on the swings. While we were on the swings, I yelled, "Wheee!" (I was allowed to use my outside voice all day today!!!) and told Daddy I was happy.

Hazel was pretty scared of the few rides she went on, the train and the cars. We found a splash pad that she really loved and watched a show with the Wiggles. I have never seen them before, but I loved the show and Hazel liked dancing along to it too. The show had a pirate, dinosaur, octopus, and giant dog.  I told Mom and Dad how much I liked each of the characters.  I clapped and sang along during the show, and at the end, I high fived them all.

Throughout the day, I really liked hanging out with all the characters that walked around the park like Bugs Bunny and Tweety Bird. Hazel liked them better from afar. She liked looking at them but when they got too close or talked to her, she ran away from them.

On our way home, we stopped at Dad's favorite place for dinner.  Unfortunately by then, Hazel and I were fast asleep from our very fun and busy day.

Here is the link to the pictures and video. They are really cute.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Time out with Mom

Hi everyone, Hazel here.

Monday, Mom and I had some time to ourselves when Dad went to work and Mitch went to school. We needed some herbs and an outing, so we trekked down to Central Market. Central Market is a gourmet grocery with a great cafe and playground.

At the end of our trip, we went inside to get the stuff we needed and I got some great samples of tomatoes, guacamole and bread, but the best part was the playground.

I had a great time climbing on the little playscape and just walking around. I also made a friend. A little boy walked up to me and I grabbed him by the shirt. His dad hauled him away pretty quickly after that.

I moved on to chase a bird and tried,  unsuccessfully, to convince Mom to let me play on the big kid playscape. I really loved the slides and climbing on all the equipment. They had a cool ramp I enjoyed crawling up and a tunnel that was fun to hide in.

Speaking of hiding, I have found some good hiding places around our house lately. I like to go between the coffee table and couch when I find things to play with that Mom and Dad don't want me to have. I also like crawling behind a musical toy with a big mirror in Dad and Mom's room. Sometimes I read back there and other times I like to go back there, giggle, then poke my head out and yell, "Boo!"

I have also been talking a lot more lately. My latest word is "cracker," but I have been trying to say lots of animal names and making their sounds. This morning when Mom was reading to me, I said, "Duck! Quack, quack!" when I saw some ducks in a book. I am particularly excited about horses and bunnies lately.

Yesterday, Mom, Mitch and I went to the library. Mitch and I were each allowed to pick out a book. Mitch was really excited about his book and kept yelling its title, "Boo Boo!" Then I started shouting it too. It was a loud car ride home, especially once Mitch realized there is also a goat in the book and began yelling, "Goat! Goat!" but Mom thought it was all very funny. Dad did not know what to make of us when we came home to him this way.

For photos of my Central Market adventure, click here.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Rosh Hashanah Road Trip

Last night we began celebrating Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish new year, by eating some apples and honey. Mom tried to get me to smile for a photo, but instead I cracked her up with a series of hilarious funny faces. Then I tested out my new rain boots by going outside with Mom to play in a downpour, thanks to Hurricane Hermine. Here's to a sweet new year (and splashing in mud puddles)!

Today we celebrated the holiday in a less traditional way. Hazel and I are too young to sit through services at our synagogue and didn't want to go to babysitting, so we made it meaningful by packing it up and making it a nice family day. Our first family road trip!

We drove in the car for about an hour, then stopped at a place off I-35 called the Snake Farm. It was great. Hazel's been making lots of cool snake noises lately because we have lots of books with snakes in them, and today we got to see real, live snakes. We saw lots of other cool things too, like tarantulas, turtles, scorpions, a zebra, longhorn cattle, tons of chickens, a turkey, alligators, lemurs, a hyena and some hilarious monkeys.

The last thing we looked at while at the Snake Farm were some goats and a llama, which were in a section called the petting zoo. Hazel was terrified of them, so she and Mom watched from afar, but Dad had a bag of animal feed he gave them, while I jumped up and down, flapped my arms, and screamed, "Goats! Goats!" in an excited, high pitched voice. It was fantastic. It was especially  funny when the llama pushed the other animals aside and took the whole bag from Dad's hand. Throughout the rest of the day I randomly yelled, "Goats!" and laughed.

Next we went to Dad's favorite restaurant, Krystal's. Usually we aren't allowed to eat fast food, with the rare Chik-Fil-A exception when our grandparents come to town. Today though, we had cheeseburgers and french fries. Hazel and I weren't crazy about the burgers but liked the fries.  Dad liked it all.

Our next stop was San Antonio's Witte Museum. We saw a few cool things at the entrance to an exhibit about dinosaurs, which closed a few days ago, and lots more animals like a jackrabbit, some buffalo, coyote and skunks, that were part of an exhibit about Texas wildlife. Our favorite part was the HEB Science Treehouse. They had a computer for kids my age with a fun ABC game, so I spent a lot of time playing that while Hazel walked around, played with Duplos, read books and played on a board that played music and lit up when you walked on it. They also had a touch tank set up to show you what the bottom of a river looks like, which I really liked.  I splashed and played in the water.  Mom was glad she brought a change of clothes for me; she's always very prepared.

It was late in the day by the time we wrapped it up at the museum, so we headed home. Hazel and I napped in the car and we had a great dinner at Chuy's. Mom and Dad were a little nervous about how we'd do with all that time in the car and such a long day, but we were all pleasantly surprised with how well it went.It was a really great Rosh Hashanah.

Make sure you check out our great photos from our road trip, which includes pictures from Hazel's first trip to the playground (she LOVED playing in the mulch), where Dad and I wore matching University of Kentucky shirts (and I enjoyed looking at two Mitch's in Dad's sunglasses).

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

The best of times, the worst of times

We've had a crazy couple of weeks around here. There have been lots of changes.

First of all, Hazel's done with breastfeeding! Her last day was Saturday, August 21. It was probably sadder for Mom -- who is very proud of Hazel but thinks we are both growing up too fast -- than it was for Hazel, who is doing great without it. She looked around for it a few times the first day or so but otherwise doesn't seem to notice it's gone.

The other big change is our school situation. I am now going every day to a preschool program. It's still only three hours at a time, and I am loving it! My new teachers and friends are great and there are lots of activities and toys that have to do with my favorite thing -- the alphabet. I like it so much, I don't even look back to say bye when Mom drops me off and most days I don't want to come home at the end of the morning!

Another very cool thing about my new school is it's right up the street, so close we can walk in the mornings. Most mornings Mom takes me, but sometimes we all go. It's a fun walk. We like greeting the crossing guard and Hazel likes waving at everyone we pass. It's still too hot to walk home at the end of the morning, but twice it's been "cool" enough (or we have been crazy enough) to try it. We're ready for some cooler weather, which probably won't happen until October, so we can walk both ways every day.  I can't wait. I get mad when Mom shows up with the car.

Meanwhile, Hazel's taken my old spot at Leaps n Bounds twice a week. She isn't crazy about it and cries when Mom drops her off. She's too little still to appreciate how fun school is.

We had a rough weekend. With all our new school attendance, someone brought home a tummy bug. Hazel threw up all Friday night, and recovered almost immediately. Then it was my turn Sunday afternoon and Mom's turn Sunday night and Monday. It took me until Monday afternoon to return to normal and Mom is still sore and tired. Dad hasn't really come down with it yet, although he's been tired and achy, and we're still crossing our fingers it doesn't hit him. It was a rough few days.

Despite that, we made it to some fun birthday parties Saturday and the pool Sunday morning, when everyone was feeling okay or not known to be sick yet. It's hot and all the birthday parties were outside with splash pads. Click here to see pictures Elizabeth's daddy took at her fourth birthday party, which featured a pinata and, as you can probably tell, delicious cake.

Here are some funny pictures of our latest adventures at home with Hazel's new shoes, watermelon popsicles and a boo I got at school today.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Mitch is happy and Hazel has shoes

Last week, Hazel got her first pair of shoes. We can see her from miles away because they are bright pink. She really likes them. Here's hoping she walks all over in them. I lucked out and got a pair too -- blue Saucony sneakers. They passed my test. I can run fast and jump high in them.

I have a new phrase. I have been telling everyone, "Mitch is happy." Today Mom said she was making blueberry waffles, for instance, and I yelled, "Yay! Mitch is happy." The best thing about it is when I say this, it makes everyone else happy too.

Another good turn of events is, after months (and months and excruciating months) of HATING taking a bath, I suddenly can't get enough of it now. All week I've been asking to take a bath. I like it so much, I don't want to get out and today Hazel and I took two baths. I still don't love to sit in the tub but I am getting there. Mom and Dad are thrilled and Hazel's happy I am taking the time to play with her in the tub.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

I'm still growing!

Monday I got to go someplace all by myself with Mommy while Dad and Hazel stayed home together. It was pretty exciting. Unfortunately, I wasn't crazy about where we went -- to see the doctor.

The first thing they do when Hazel and I go to the doctor's office is measure our height and weight. I am now 37 1/2 inches tall (50th percentile) and weigh 32 1/2 pounds (60th percentile). I am big!

Next, they usually measure our heads. But I am old enough now that they don't do that anymore. Instead, they gave me an "arm hug" to take my blood pressure. I didn't really like their arm hug. I said I wanted to go home when the nurse did that.

When the doctor came in, she talked to Mommy about all the things I can do. She was very impressed with my pronunciation of "stethoscope" and "otoscope" and everyone is very excited about my reading and counting skills.

You can see my latest growth chart here, or click on the growth chart on the right side of the blog.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Party! Party!

I had a really exciting day at school. I didn't go on my usual day, Thursday. Instead, I went for a short day Friday, in honor of my friend Ethan's birthday. His mom arranged a firetruck that drove us around the school parking lot, pizza for lunch and ice cream cake for dessert. I was excited all morning about going. I kept yelling, "Party!" at Mom. When I got there, I wasn't happy about Mom leaving but after she snuck out, I had a blast. Here are some fun photos Ethan's mom took of me on the firetruck.

The other cool thing about Ethan's party was they sent a blue balloon home with me. I like saying "Mitch's baboon" and running around with it. Hazel likes it too.

This week I went to Borders bookstore to use a gift card I got for my birthday. Mom let me pick out any book I wanted, and I chose a Star Wars ABC book. I love it and read it every chance I get. My favorite characters are C3PO and Yoda. I have been running up to Mom at random times yelling random things like "Obi Wan Kenobi!" and running away. It really makes her laugh. Dad is super excited I am such a big Star Wars fan.

Hazel's been busy too.  She's really walking now. In just the past two days, she suddenly wants to walk whenever she can. It's really great and she's taking a few more steps each time. Today she walked almost the whole way across Mom and Dad's big bedroom before she fell over.

The other new thing is Hazel is using the word "no" with relish. It is funny to hear that she has so many opinions, but sometimes it's a lot to keep up with.

Here are some pictures from the past month, and here is a video of Hazel walking.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Cool at the pool

Mitch Fish
We live in Texas, where it is super hot in the summer. Because of this, we haven't been outside much lately, and Saturday, my friend Megan invited us to her neighborhood pool. The last time I went to a pool, I hated it and threw a fit the whole time, so we haven't gone much this summer, but we had a blast Saturday. Megan's pool is great. The baby pool is like a beach; it slopes down to the deepest part, which is about a foot or two deep, and there are a couple of little fountains in the shallowest part. Hazel really liked that pool best. They also had a big pool that I visited with Dad and a medium pool, which was fantastic! That pool had a waterfall that splashed onto a wall I could stand on and jump from, into Mom's arms. She was waiting to catch me in a section that was about 3 or 4 feet deep. Hazel and everyone else loved it too.

We had so much fun, in fact, we went swimming with Megan and her family again Monday. This time we had to go to their other neighborhood pool because the main one was closed for cleaning. The pool we went to Monday was just as good though. The baby pool was attached to the big pool, with a short wall separating the two. I liked jumping off the short wall into Mom's arms in the deep part, and Megan's dad put me underwater (he is a swim instructor and knows what he is doing). I didn't love that but I didn't cry either. Mostly it just surprised me and taught me to stay away from him. Megan's little brother, Ryan, loaned his little inflatable boat to Hazel. She liked floating around, and it freed up Mom's arms to catch me. We also invented a game we call "Mitch fish, Hazel fish, Mommy fish," which entails swimming around together.

Hazel Fish
All this has inspired a new trend. Yesterday afternoon we didn't know what to do with ourselves, so we headed to the pool at the J. Their baby pool is pretty standard, and the best part of that trip was there are pool toys everywhere for us to play with. Also, they have a shower room that is really cool. It's walled off so it's very private, but there's no ceiling! I can't stand taking a bath and throw a major fit every time Mom or Dad try to bathe me, but I really liked taking a shower at this place. We could look at the sky and watch grackles while getting cleaned up. Also, to turn the water on for 30 seconds at a time, you have to push a button. I am a button guy, so I loved that. Hazel didn't like it as much; she is more a bath girl. She liked being in the pool though.

Today we met up with a bunch of our friends. In the morning, we went to Barnes and Nobel, where Megan's grandpa tells stories to kids while playing his ukulele. Megan and Ryan were there with their dad, and Benjamin and his  mommy met up with us too. Hazel and I had so much fun, we both screamed when Mom said it was time to go. She had to haul us both out of the store. I was also mad that she wouldn't buy me all the books I liked.

After our nap, we headed to the J again to have a poolside picnic dinner with Clark. I ate a bean taco for dinner, jumped to Mom in the pool, swam around and then told Mom it was time for a shower. It was a great night.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Hug bugs

We have been taking it easy this week and Hazel and I have taken the opportunity to be really snuggly lately. We both have been giving Mom and Dad lots of snuggles, hugs and kisses. I have also been playing with my new birthday toys. I am especially loving my bingo game, a game called Cariboo Grandma and Grandpa sent me, a Very Hungry Caterpillar felt board Aunt Lauren sent me, and of course, snuggling (and jumping on) Big Duck.

One fun thing we did over the weekend was we all headed to South Austin to visit the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center. We looked at lots of fun sculptures, plants, fish, and turtles. They had story time and paper flower making for kids, but I wanted to run around outside instead. Here's a great photo of a moment when I tried to break some of the art at the center.

Today was not such a fun day for Hazel. She had to go to the doctor for a well visit. They found out that she is now 29 1/2 inches tall (20th percentile), weighs 18 pounds, 10 oz. (3rd percentile), and her head is 43.6 cm around (4th percentile).

The other big news is Hazel has molars! We didn't know it, but she has two just coming in on the bottom and one that has really come through on the top. The doctor was really impressed with how loud Hazel can scream. She really has a great set of lungs, which she put to work when the doctor tried to look at her.

Here's a link to Hazel's latest growth chart, also available by clicking the small chart on the right side of the blog.

Here are a few photos of me and Dad, mostly at the Wildflower Center, but also a few from around the house.