Sunday, October 30, 2011

While Mom Was Out

I'm sure Mom and Turner had a great time in San Francisco, but there is no way they had as much fun as Hazel and I had with Dad while they were gone.  After we dropped Mom and Turner off at the airport on Friday night, Dad gave us our favorite kind of bath - a giant bubble bath.  In fact, we had bubble baths almost every night Mom was gone.  We also stayed up pretty late every night, because we were usually doing something pretty fun.

Saturday, Dad woke up early so he could shower before we got up.  We gave him a break by sleeping in a little bit too.  After breakfast, we went to Tot Shabbat.  It was so fun!  We sang songs, danced around, and even got to hold the Torah.  Then we made our own little toy Torahs and had some yummy snacks.  Then we played on the playground until we were super tired and hungry.  After a yummy lunch, Hazel took a nap and I had some quiet time.

Saturday night, we went over to our friend Will's house for dinner and a Halloween party.  Will's house was really fun!  They had a ball bath and lots of toys.  Will's Dad built a HUGE patio outside, and we played outside for a while.  I played with bubbles, while Hazel impressed everyone by hitting a baseball off a tee.  She hit it pretty solid and had great aim.  In addition to Will, Will's friend Oscar and his parents came over too.  Will's mom fed us a delicious dinner with grapes, strawberries, pizza, and Halloween cookies.  After we ate, we all got in our costumes and rode in wagons down to a Halloween party.  It was our own little Halloween parade.  My costume was a banana, and Hazel was a monkey.  We had a lot of fun being in our costumes and riding in the wagon.  When we got to the party, Hazel and I ran around yelling trick-or-treat, and getting lots of good candy.  I also won an award for "Most Original Costume"  When it started getting dark, we headed back to Will's house and played for a little longer.  Dad was pretty surprised how well we behaved even when were out so late.

Sunday we slept in again, probably because we were out so late.  We started off the morning by going to the park.  On the way to the park we go past the school, where there is a big map of the United States painted on the ground.  On Sunday, Dad showed up where Austin is on the map, and where San Francisco is.  We pretended to get on a plane and fly from Austin to San Francisco and back, walking across the map to each of the cities.  It was pretty fun.  We played in the park for a long time and came home pretty tired.  Hazel had a nap and I had some quiet time.

Sunday afternoon, we took Dad on some errands to Costco and HEB to buy some groceries.  Hazel kept pointing up at the sky every time she saw a plane and asking if Mom was on it.  I kept telling Hazel that Mom was not still on an airplane, that she was in San Francisco.  Hazel waved at the airplane anyway.  Dad made us a yummy dinner, including chicken nuggets and honey.  Mom didn't think it was the healthiest dinner, but she thinks its okay for Dad to give us a treat every once in a while.

Monday morning, I had school and Hazel went to Leaps N Bounds.  In the afternoon, we went back to the park.  I also cleaned my room up so Mom would be proud.

Tuesday was more of the same - school and Leaps N Bounds.  Then we went to pick Mom up from the airport.  We were so excited when she and Turner opened the car door.  We all just laughed and cried.  We were sure happy to see her, but we had a really fun week spending some extra special time with Dad.

Dad had his hands too full to take any pictures, but Will's Dad took some great pictures of at at the Halloween party - we'll post them when we get them.  In the meantime, here's a short video of Hazel making Turner laugh.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Hello San Francisco!

Last weekend Mom found a new travel buddy – Turner! Turner can’t type yet, so he told me what to write.

Friday night we went to Taco Cabana for a sendoff dinner, then drove Mom and Turner to the airport, where they got on a plane bound for San Francisco.

When they got to the airport, a nice man who had no luggage of his own helped them through the security line. Mom thought she used up all their good karma when they got on the plane and were seated next to a snarly looking guy, but then the flight attendant told them they were on the wrong side of the plane and had to move to a seat where no one was next to them. They slept almost the whole way there.

When they got to San Francisco, our friends Rachel and Tony picked them up. Before Mom and Turner left for the trip, Mom told me they are funny people and they make everyone laugh a lot. One day, I said something funny and Mom asked who would make her laugh while she was gone. I told her, “Tony.” Sure enough, Mom laughed more than she could remember the very first night she and Turner were there.

The next day, they all headed up to Hawk Hill for a view of the city, including the Golden Gate Bridge. It was beautiful, and a bunch of airplanes that were all together flew by.

Mom said anywhere you look in San Francisco, you can see something interesting, and that drive was no exception. The road was very curvy and on the side of a huge hill. There were many people cycling up too, which was really amazing.

After that, they headed to Sausalito for lunch at the Winship, followed by ice cream. Then they went to Muir Woods to look at the redwoods, the biggest trees Mom and Turner have ever seen. There were many people there, but it was still very peaceful and relaxing.

Turner was tired after a long night of traveling and at the end of the long day, so they headed home for some Thai takeout and an earlier night. One of the many things Mom liked there was all the nice food. She really liked the pumpkin curry from the Thai place.

Sunday everybody set out for a trip on BART, San Francisco’s subway, and lots of walking. They took the train to Westfield Centre, where they loaded up on lunch (including a soup bowl and the best crepe Mom’s ever had) before setting out for Chinatown and North Beach. There were people everywhere in Chinatown and lots of fun shops. Mom picked up some gifts for all of us and they saw a fortune cookie factory, which consisted of about four people packed into a tiny little space. North Beach is the city’s Italian section and there was awesome food everywhere. They ended up in Washington Square Park, where an old guy took a picture of Turner because he said Turner is the youngest person he’s seen in a long time.

After walking through all that, Mom and Rachel were tired and sore, so they took a bus back to BART. The bus was packed and people kept smiling at Turner. When they went back to Tony and Rachel’s house, Rachel made nice lamb meatballs and pizza for dinner. Everyone was exhausted so we had another early night.

Monday Mom set out with Rachel for some grocery shopping. But this was no trip to HEB. First they headed to a huge Asian grocery, where they had every type of fish and sea creature imaginable. They also had great candy and produce. Mom brought back some candy from the store that combined two of her favorite things – chocolate and mushrooms. They must have been delicious because they are gone and only Mom and Dad had some.

Next they stopped at an El Salvadorian bakery for some banana bread pudding. Mom liked it because no one there spoke English so Rachel had to order by pointing and holding up her hands. Everything there looked delicious.

They headed to a Mexican grocery with loads of great fruits and veggies and amazing looking tortillas before stopping off at a Chinese restaurant to pick up some lunch. Mom liked all the walking and that one neighborhood had so much diversity within walking distance.

After the delicious lunch, Tony, Mom and Turner gave Rachel a break and headed to Alcatraz. Mom thought the boat ride to and from the island was nice, but it made Turner cry both ways. He slept the whole time on the island, while Mom listened to an audio tour.

On the way back, Tony drove through lots of interesting neighborhoods, where Mom spotted lots of things she thinks she’ll never see anywhere else, including a medical cannabis collective and shops with names too interesting to mention on this blog in the Castro They picked up Indian takeout for dinner before their last night of lots of talking and laughs.

Early Tuesday morning, Rachel and Tony drove Mom and Turner back to the airport. Mom and Turner were very sad to say goodbye. They didn’t get very lucky with their seat partner on the flight back and Turner slept only about halfway home, so Mom was anxious to finish that leg of the trip.

When Mom opened the door to get in the car when we picked her up at the curb at the airport, Hazel and I were inside giggling and wiggling around maniacally. We were really happy to see her and Turner.  The first thing I said to her was, “Did Tony make you laugh?”

Turner is making the most of his two teeth – he is eating like crazy and bit Mom for the first time on this trip – and he was happy to be an only child for the long weekend. He had lots of time to snuggle Mom, especially since he rode in his carrier instead of a stroller. But we’re all glad to be back together again.

While Mom and Turner were gone, we had our own adventure with Dad. Tune in tomorrow to read about the fun we had.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011


Turner had a big day today.

We met up with our friend Megan at Einstine's Bagels for breakfast early this morning. While we were there, Turner grabbed Mom's hand and stuck her finger in his mouth. Although she's been looking for it every day, she was surprised to feel a tooth! She looked and, sure enough, one of his bottom middle teeth was peeking out at us!

Turner had been trying to grab Hazel's bagel the whole time we were there, and when Mom told us what she found, Hazel asked if we could give him a bagel now that he has teeth.

Turner's next big moment today was lunchtime, when Mom gave him his next new food -- applesauce! When she gave him his first bite, he looked disgusted and shocked. Then he immediately opened his mouth for more and gobbled up a big bowl of it. He is still really enjoying bananas too and has given up on avocados.

After a nice nap, this afternoon we headed out to the playground behind our house, where Mom stuck Turner in a little swing. He liked it for a while, then wanted to return to his usual spot on Mom's lap. When we came home, he jumped and jumped in my old Jumperoo.

When Turner went to bed tonight, he fell asleep right away. All his new experiences today were a lot for such a little guy.

Farm photos

Muddy Feet
To see the photos from our Columbus Day trip to Sweet Berry Farm, click here.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Rain + farm = mud

We had a long weekend jam packed with fun. Saturday was Yom Kippur, so we headed to our synagogue for services. Dad stayed there for the day, and the rest of us headed home so we could go to a birthday party for Benjamin, who lives across the street.

While we were eating birthday cupcakes, water started falling from the sky! Everyone was so happy and surprised, we all started laughing. This is the first time it's rained since we moved into our new house, so we ran home so we could see what it sounded like and where there are puddles. Hazel and Mom and I danced in it!

Mom had planned on taking us over to the park behind our house Saturday afternoon but we couldn’t go because of the rain. We tried to make the best of it by making pumpkin bread, playing in our toy rooms and reading books, but we all get kind of crazy when we’re inside too long. We did pretty well until 6:00. That’s usually pretty close to our bedtime but we had to wait it out so we could pick Dad up.

Anyway, at 6:00, Hazel fell and banged her forehead. About two minutes later, we were wrestling with each other over a toy and she got popped in the eye with it. Her eye started bleeding everywhere. She was fine within a minute, but it really scared Mom and now Hazel looks like she was in a brawl.

Saturday night we headed back to our synagogue to pick up Dad and eat dinner. He hadn't eaten all day so he was really hungry. He was surprised to see Hazel's scabby eye. Hazel and I had a great time running around with our friend Clark. All the old ladies befriended Turner.

Mom and Dad are in charge of teaching us about the world. Sometimes I wonder why. Sunday it was still rainy and we were in the car. I kept asking Mom and Dad what the black things on the windows were. They were trying to figure out what I was asking about. They kept asking if I meant the mirror. Duh. I started getting upset because they were being so dumb and finally I screamed, "The rain scoopers!!!" That was when they figured out I wanted to know what the windshield wipers were. Yeah, it's been that long since it's rained here. Anyway, Mom and Dad almost fell out of their seats laughing.

We couldn't hang out in our backyard or the park because of the rain, so we called my friend Vishnu and his parents -- he's from my class at school and he and his mom came over to our house one afternoon last week too -- and met them at the Austin Children's Museum. We played on the dinosaurs, watched the trains for a while (Vishnu and Hazel are REALLY into trains), played with some construction gear, and played with a light/peg board. It was great hanging out with my buddy.

When we woke up this morning, Mom said it was time to hit the road. Dad had to go to work but I had off school and we didn't want to be cooped up in the house all day. So Mom, Hazel, Turner and I headed to Sweet Berry Farm in Marble Falls.

You may remember Mom and I visited this place in 2008. Hazel came too, but she was in Mom's tummy so she doesn't remember much about it.

There were many different kinds of gourds and pumpkins at the entrance. There were about a million moms with cameras taking pictures of their kids everywhere.

After Mom gave up trying to get Hazel and me to look at her camera with nice looks on our faces at the same time, we had a picnic lunch and danced and ran around in a big field. We sat on hay bales on the back of a tractor, then looked at goats, horses, donkeys, a cat and some chickens. Next we took a hay ride around the farm. There were 72 scarecrows along the hayride path! We got our feet all muddy while cutting some zinnias to bring home, then tried a strawberry popsicle and some homemade pumpkin ice cream. When we got in the car to go home, it took me 30 seconds to fall asleep. Hazel lasted about two minutes. Turner slept the whole way home too. It was a great day!

For many pictures of our rainy, muddy adventures, check back tomorrow.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Hair it is!

We have a special guest today...and now, message from Hazel.

I don't like to sit still and lately my hair has been pretty long. The result of this combination is dreadlocks. Bob Marley, my favorite singer, likes them more than I do, so we decided this morning would be a good time for a trim.

First Mitch let Mom clean up his hair around his ears so I could see that it wasn't scary to get my hair cut. Then I sat in the chair and Mom cut about three or four inches off my hair. My hair has been sort of curling up at the ends lately, and we're hoping it'll stay that way now that we cut some of the ends off.

Mom thought it was hard to see the curls go, but we think I look pretty cute, don't you?

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Hello Houston

When Dad came home from work Friday night, we hopped in the car and headed for Houston.

One of Dad's college buddies, Mike, lives in Houston with his wife, Jess. They have a dog with the same name as our old dog, but spelled differently -- Pippa. They were nice enough to let us all crash at their place while we were in town.

After stopping mid-route for dinner at Denny's, we got to their house pretty late Friday night, so after a tour we went straight to bed. They have two guest rooms, so the girls and Turner stayed in one room and I bunked with Dad. Mom and Dad know better than to let Hazel and I sleep together alone in the same room - we'd keep each other up all night and wreck the joint.

We had a nice al fresco breakfast on Mike and Jess' patio, then headed to the Houston Children's Museum. They have signs posted all over the place saying it's the number one children's museum. Mom was skeptical but after visiting, we all believe it's true. It was fantastic! There were so many fun things to play with. Some of the highlights were different types of real vehicles (a Mustang, a VW bus, some kind of Asian bike/car); face painting; a city where you could go to work, get paid and go spend your paycheck; a playground; a sandbox; a water structure; baby chicks and fish; and a huge man made of old telephones. We were there for more than two hours but we are pretty sure we didn't even scratch the surface. We were all really sad to leave, but everyone was getting hungry.

We headed back to Mike and Jess' place for some lunch, then headed out to Amy's Ice Cream and Houston's Memorial Park for a quick walk with Mike, Jess, and Pippa. After dinner and a bath, we went to bed. We had a hard time falling asleep, then were surprised when a lady named Sandra came over and Mom, Dad, Mike and Jess left so they could have dinner at a nice restaurant. Hazel told Sandra she wanted to watch football and talked with her for a while (Hazel told Sandra Mommy loves her, which Mom liked) before falling asleep. I finally relaxed and fell asleep and Turner slept the whole time -- he never even knew they were gone!

Sunday was a pretty fun day. We did our best to turn Mike and Jess' house upside down while Mom packed to go home. Then we went to the zoo. We saw lots of great animals, including meerkats, bears, lions, tigers, elephants, giraffes, and rhinos. We also saw lots of monkeys eating bugs from their friends' fur. Tonight Mom noticed some stuff on Hazel's head and Hazel told her next time we go to the zoo, the monkeys can get it off.

We spent the afternoon driving back to Austin. We went out of our way to stop at Bruster's for more ice cream on the way home. At one point, Mom came back with us to try to feed Turner while Dad was driving. Hazel and I pointed out that it wasn't safe. Mom said she knew and it was a bad thing to do, but she wanted to take care of Turner. I held on to her arm and said, "I'll protect you, Mommy."

By the way, I am doing a great job of not using my pants as my potty. I went the whole weekend without an accident, although I have been dropping my drawers and going outside a lot, including once at Chuy's and once in the middle of the zoo. We're working on it.

We had a great trip and can't wait to go back sometime soon! Here are more photos from our fun weekend.