Thursday, December 27, 2012

Winter Break is Fun!

My new haircut
I was a little worried about school ending for winter break. I was sure I was going to miss my teachers and friends. And what would I do all day? Well, I shouldn't have worried. We have had an amazing break so far!

As school was ending, I was having a little trouble focusing and listening. So, Mom and Dad decided to help provide me with some positive incentives. They made star charts for Hazel and me, where we can earn stars for good things that we do, like being nice to each other and Mom and Dad, cleaning our toys, putting on our seat belts in the car without being asked, and even bonus categories. When we get enough stars, we get prizes. Hazel and I are really excited about the stars, and it has definitely encouraged us to behave better. 

Hazel said she has duck feet
Winter break started off with Mom taking me to get a hair cut. I look pretty sharp with my new 'do. More importantly, I was really good while I was getting my haircut (I earned a star for that). One funny thing that happened while I was getting my hair cut was the barber wished me a Merry Christmas. I said Happy Chanukah to him right back. Mom and Dad thought it was sweet and very funny.

We've had lots of time during winter break to play with all of our toys that we got during Chanukah. We've been playing the new board games we got a lot. Hello Kitty, Feed the Woozle, Sneaky, Snacky Squirrel, and Bunny Hop are pretty popular with us right now.

 On Christmas Eve, we went to our synagogue for a Chinese food and game night. Hazel, Turner, and I weren't crazy about the Chinese food, but Mom brought along all of our games, so we got to play them all night. That, plus delicious rice krispie treats, made it a really fun night.

Yup - 300 pieces
When I'm not playing games, I've been continuing to work on puzzles. I finished a 300 piece puzzle with Mom and Dad's help.

Dad and Hazel dress up for
the warm weather.  That's
a little ridiculous Dad!
We've also been enjoying Christmas lights. Last weekend, we went to 37th Street, which is the best street in Austin for Christmas lights. They even had a stuffed animal petting zoo. We loved looking at all of the pretty lights, but our favorite part was the house with the trampoline that we could jump on. Turner liked that a lot. Dad was pretty surprised that the neighbors were so nice to have a trampoline and light show at their house. Later, on Christmas night, we walked around our neighborhood to look at lights. A cold front had just come in, so we had to dress really warm. Mom thought Dad dressed a little too warmly!

One of the things I've been very helpful with is cleaning. That's nothing new - I've always been really into cleaning. But lately I've had a renewed interest in cooking. Hazel and I made lemon cookies with Mom the other day. It was really fun. Mom was impressed at how good I did at rolling out the dough and making cookies of different shapes. We had dinosaurs, bunnies, and sharks.

I also helped Mom make creme brulee french toast casserole and chicken black bean tacos.

Since I've been so into cooking, Mom gave me a kids cookbook for one of my star prizes. When she gave it to me, I grabbed it and immediately ran up to my room to read it. Mom thought that was pretty funny. Last night we made "hidden hotdogs" from one of the recipes. Mom called them cows in a blanket. They came out great and we all had them for dinner. I can't wait to cook more things from my new cook-book.

Raise your hand if you like ice cream!
Dad's been home a lot from work over winter break, and it's been really nice having him around. He's taken us to the park a bunch of times, where we've pretending to cook using our beach toys and the park's gravel. We are very good at pretending.

Yesterday, Dad had the day off work so we drove to Brenham, TX, to go on a tour of the Blue Bell Ice Cream Factory. Dad has been wanting to do this with us for a while, but they only do tours Monday through Friday, which is when Dad usually works. So, winter break gave us the chance to all go see how they make ice cream. We were pretty good on the hour and a half drive down there. I helped Dad with directions and the speed limit, while Hazel played games on her iPod. It was a rainy, drizzly day, so it was a great day for a road trip. Hazel said it was soggy.

We got to Brenham just around lunch time, but we were too excited to eat lunch, so we went straight into the Blue Bell factory for the tour. The tour was pretty fun. We got to see how they move all of the ingredients from boxes into the big mixing machines. The Blue Bell factory uses milk from 60,000 cows every single day! Then we got to watch them actually making the ice cream. It came out of big tubes into containers, and there were people loading up the containers so they could be sent on to grocery stores. We even got to see them adding the Oreos for cookies and cream ice cream.

Let's see if Hazel can figure out what
I want here...
We were all very patient through the tour, and were rewarding at the end with tons and tons of ice cream. They had 32 different flavors for us to try. Hazel and I started off with strawberry, finished that and got mint chocolate chip. We shared with each other, Turner, and Mom and Dad too.

Too full for more ice cream?
No way -   Pretty soon we were
ready for more.
After we finished, I felt pretty full. I told Mom I was all "ice creamed out." But before too long, Hazel and I were going back up to get more ice cream - samples this time. We ate way too much ice cream, but it sure was fun. Hazel said we should go on a tour of the ice cream factory every day.

Winter break has been awesome so far, and it should be even better next week. We can't wait to see what we're doing for New Years!

Here are pictures from our winter break so far.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Happy Chanukah from Bubbe

This weekend marked the start of Chanukah. To celebrate Bubbe came to town for the weekend to help us celebrate.

Bubbe got into town on Thursday. Dad took the day off from work and took Turner to swim class. It was the first time Dad has gone to Turner's swim class, and he was pretty impressed. Besides seeing how much Turner enjoys being in the pool, Dad thought that the warm water at the rehab pool was his kind of water temperature!

After Turner and Dad got back from swim class, Dad and I drove to the airport to pick up Bubbe. When we pulled up to the curb, Dad let me get out of the car and I ran full-speed to Bubbe and gave her a HUGE hug.  She was excited to see how happy I was to see her. I was also excited to see Bubbe's suitcase full of presents. We brought Bubbe back home where she got to see Mom, Hazel, and Turner.

Since Dad had the day off, we decided to show Bubbe how good we've gotten at riding our bikes, so we all went to the park.  Hazel and I rode our bikes and Turner rode in his little car.  At the park, Hazel and I pretended the playscape was a boat.  Turner went up and down the slides and rode on the swings.  Dad showed Bubbe how to make Turner laugh on the swings by pretending to get knocked over by Turner.  Bubbe took some fun videos.

Thursday night we went to one of my favorite restaurants - Bamboo Bistro.  It was Dad and Bubbe's first time there.  Turner really loved his noodles and had a lot of fun eating them.

Friday Dad had to go to work, so we got to spend some quality time with Bubbe. We showed Bubbe my classroom at school and after school we got to show her Hazel and my swim class.  Bubbe was impressed at how good we did swimming, even though we were trying to show off by not listening to our teacher as much as usual.

Bubbe realized she had forgotten her phone charger so we took her to the Apple Store Friday night. I was happy to show her all of the fun things they have to do there. Dad met us there after work and we all went to California Pizza Kitchen for dinner. When we got back, we celebrated our first night of Chanukah, a night early so we'd have an extra holiday night with Bubbe.  Mom had gotten us a super fun new menorah last year - it has fun animals on it riding in an ark.  Hazel picked out some candles for it and we said all of the prayers.  And then we got to open presents from Bubbe!

I opened mine first - it was a race track and some cars.  Hazel and I took it to the top of the stairs and let the cars race down the stairs on it.  It was super fun.  Hazel got a Hello Kitty alarm clock, a giant Hazel-sized Hello Kitty, and a Hello Kitty bed set.  She's pretty into Hello Kitty, so she was very excited.  I also got a stand for all of my cleaning supplies, which is awesome. I'm still really into cleaning - like mopping, sweeping, and vacuuming.
Turner opening presents
Hazel in Hello Kitty heaven

Hazel got an ambulance!
Hazel and Turner show off their presents

Cleaning up at Tot Shabbat
Saturday morning, Bubbe and Dad too all us kids to Tot Shabbat.  It was very crowded - there about three times the number of kids there that there normally are.  We sang all of our favorite songs, including some special Chanukah songs.  Bubbe helped us make our very own menorahs as part of the craft.  Then we all played on the playground for a while. Bubbe took some videos of Turner crawling around. Hazel and I swept the place up, played on the playscape, rode around on a tricycle, and generally just played.

We made these!
When we came home we had a quick lunch and then Bubbe and Mom helped us make cookies!  We made cookies shaped like dreidles, menorahs, chickens, dinosaurs, and even gingerbread men.  It reminded me of when we made gingerbread men at school last week, and the gingerbread men all ran away!  This time, they stayed put. We decorated our cookies with toppings and icing.  It was very fun and very delicious.

So many toys!
After filling up on cookies, we had nap/quiet time and then celebrated an early Chanukah.  This time it was my turn to pick out the candle colors.  After lighting the candles, we got more presents from Aunt Laurie and Uncle Jonathan.  I got a crane that I can put together and take apart myself.  I LOVE it!  Hazel and Turner love playing with it too, so its giving us lots of practice sharing.  Sometimes we do better than other times at sharing.

Mom making Latkes.  Yum!
Saturday night Mom made some really yummy and healthy latkes.  We ate them all in one meal, and then Bubbe, Dad, Hazel, and I played dreidle with Reese's Pieces.  Both Hazel and I declared that our favorite dreidle letter was gimel since that's the one that let us eat all of the Reese's Pieces.

Hazel and I painting
Usually in the mornings when I wake up I go play quietly by myself.  But Sunday morning I marched straight into Mom and Dad's room at 6 a.m., turned on the light, and started playing with my new crane.  I did it because I wanted Dad's help taking apart and putting together the crane.  Mom and Dad thought it was funny.  Fortunately, Bubbe was awake, so she played with me, Hazel, and Turner so Mom and Dad could sleep in a little bit. While they were sleeping, Bubbe helped us make sand sculptures.

After Mom and Dad finally got up, we all went to the running track at the nearby middle school so I could run with Mom.  I was only able to do a few laps, then Dad took Hazel and me up into the bleachers where we could cheer for Mom.  Turner found a ball to play with.  Hazel and I also did some short races on the track, and even did a full lap with Mom helping.  It was good to get some exercise, especially after all those cookies and latkes.

Hazel with her Hello Kitty car
When we got home, we did another early Chanukah while Bubbe was still in town. This time we opened our presents from Aunt Susan and Uncle Stuart, Aunt Pat and Uncle Neal.

Hazel got a remote control Hello Kitty scooter (we had to practice sharing again), and a Bunny Hop game that we all agreed was really fun.  I got a giant box of cars that I can race on my new racetrack.  Turner got a Thomas the Train that goes all by itself. We played with our toys for a little bit, then it was time for Bubbe to go back to Atlanta.

Turner, Dad, and I drove her to the airport, where I gave her another big hug and we said goodbye. We were sad to see Bubbe go, but at least she left behind so many fun presents for us to remember her by.

Sunday night we went to a Chanukah party at our synagogue. We got to eat latkes, play dreidle, sing songs. light the menorah, and run around a lot. It has been a really fun Chanukah so far and there are still five more nights to go!

Here are pictures from our fun weekend.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

December in Austin

Hazel's motorcycle - it was fun while it lasted.
We had a really fun weekend! We got back from Pennsylvania, where it was cold. Mom had packed away all of our summer clothes and we were getting used to wearing coats and gloves.  Surprise! It was in the eighties this weekend.  What a great excuse to spend a bunch of time outside!

Saturday we had a really neat day.  Saturday morning, Dad took us to the park.  I rode my bike there, Hazel rode her tricycle, and Dad walked.  We played at the park for about an hour before coming home for lunch and then we all napped, which was really nice.

After nap time, we went to the store and bought Hazel her very own bicycle!  She picked out one that looked just like a motorcycle.  It was pretty cool.  She even rode it out of the store.  When we got home, Dad took Hazel and I out on our bikes.  We rode around the neighborhood, showing off Hazel's new bike to all of our neighbors.

Saturday night, we drove to Marble Falls to see the Walkway of Lights.  Mom packed us a delicious and healthy dinner, which we ate right after our one hour drive.  The lights were very pretty.  We all loved it, but I think Turner loved it most of all.  Dad kept saying that there were two million lights there.  We all thought that was very impressive.  Before we left, Mom put us in our pajamas, thinking we'd be fast asleep by the time we got home.  But we were so excited that we stayed up singing the Star Spangled Banner and talking the whole way home.

Sunday, all of us kids got up and climbed into Mom and Dad's bed and just hung out for a relaxing morning.  Chanukah is coming up next week, so Mom pulled out our Chanukah box and we all went through it.  There were some toys, menorahs and driedels.  It was exciting to see all of it.  Then we realized we needed candles for our menorah.  So after breakfast we went to synagogue to pick up some Chanukah candles.  I don't think we had ever been there on a Sunday before.  We got to watch the kids in Sunday school, singing songs and playing.  It looked like fun.

Since the weather was so nice, and we were all ready to play, we went down the street to Central Market and played on the playground.  Hazel and I climbed all of the ladders and went down the slides.  Turner went with Mom to watch the ducks.  Hazel and I eventually joined them.

Soon, our cousins Chuck and Kim met us there for brunch.  It was great to see them again, and Hazel and I were both in a very chatty mood for brunch.  We told them all about the stuff going on in our lives and I sang them my theme song, the Star Spangled Banner.

After brunch, Chuck and Kim stuck around to watch us play on the playground a bit more until Turner and Hazel started getting tired.  There were a lot of birds in the area and as we were leaving we noticed that one of them pooped on poor Chuck's jacket.  We said goodbye to Chuck and Kim and headed for home.  All Hazel and I could talk about on the way home was the bird that pooped on Chuck's jacket.

After napping, Dad made us an orange sno-cone.  There's nothing Mom and Dad can't do with their Vitamix.  Refreshed from my delicious sno-cone, Mom and I headed out for a run.  We warmed up with a walk, then Mom said we could walk when I wanted, run when I wanted and stop when I wanted.  Mom was super impressed with how well I did. We stopped once I caught sight of the playground at the park.  We went almost a mile and a half.

Meanwhile, Dad took Hazel and Turner to the park; Hazel rode her new bike there.  We met up with them there and played for a while.  Mostly, we pretended we were on a farm.  Turner went up the stairs and down the little slide over and over again all by himself.

While we were at the park, Dad realized that Hazel's new bike was too small.  He and Mom were worried that Hazel was going to be really sad when they told her that they were going to need to swap it for a bigger bike, but she handled it like a champ.  Mom went to the store to exchange it Sunday night.

It was a fun weekend.  We'll update you on Hazel's new bike in a later post.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Goodbye Grandpa!

On our way out of town, when we left Pennsylvania Monday, we stopped by Grandpa's work to say goodbye to him.

It was so fun! We met his assistant, saw his office, then looked at all his cool trucks and propane tanks. I climbed in a backhoe (or something like that) and learned that some tires are taller than me!

Our trip home was pretty uneventful. When we got to the airport, we walked through the security machine ourselves while Mom and Dad took off their shoes. When we got on the plane, we waved to the pilots and looked out the window so we could see our luggage being loaded on board. 

There were 40 empty seats on our plane, so we had a whole row to ourselves. Not only did we each have our own seat, there was one to spare. I played with my iPod, sang the "Star Spangled Banner," and took a nap. Hazel tried out four different seats. Turner screamed and slept for about an hour.

When we got back to Austin, Hazel and I helped Mom take the luggage and our car seats out to the sidewalk while Dad and Turner went to get the car. 

Although we're having a hard time adjusting to our regular schedule, a few cool things have happened since we came home. Yesterday we went to Costco to fill our empty fridge up with lots of veggies and some soup that Hazel loves. While we were shopping, I was singing the national anthem at the top of my lungs and a lady told Mom she was really impressed that I know all the words.

Last night at dinner, Turner was screaming because he wanted something to eat other than what he already had. Mom and Dad couldn't figure out what it was that he wanted. Then he stopped screaming, pointed at Mom's plate and said, "Ball." That was how Mom learned he wanted her tomatoes.

After dinner, we went upstairs and Mom told Turner she'd read him his favorite book, "Teeth Are Not for Biting." I told her I wanted to read it to him. When we got upstairs, I climbed in Turner's chair with him and read him and Mom two other books too, "Calm Down Time" and "Sharing Time." By the end of it, Hazel was listening too, and I told Mom I was trying to help teach Hazel how to behave. Mom was really proud of my reading and the fact that I wanted to hang out with Turner. I am a great big brother.

Tonight Mom nursed Turner for the last time. She's kind of sad about it, but says she needs to take some cold medicine.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Thanksgiving and the Chocolate Factory

Hazel woke up bright and early on Thanksgiving morning and made sure to say, "Happy Thanksgiving!"

It was a super fun day.  We started the day by playing outside in the yard.  Grandma and Grandpa's yard is so big and there is lots of fun stuff to do.  Hazel and I rode on a swing and pretended that we were on an airplane going to Washington DC.  We also spent a lot of time in the sandbox.  Tuner joined us in there too.

Thanksgiving started at around noon.  Lots of people came over to help us celebrate.  Aunt Cindy and Uncle Larry, Uncle Ryan's sister, dad, and grandparents, Aunt Jane and Aunt Molly all came over for Thanksgiving lunch.  Pop and Mom-mom came too.

Turner and Hazel hanging with Grandpa and cousin Keegan
It was an amazing Thanksgiving feast.  Mom and Dad made us plates with a tiny bit of everything.  We had turkey, stuffing, corn, corn pie, creamed corn, broccoli casserole, mashed cauliflower, mashed potatoes.  Hazel tried each things and exclaimed "I love it!" after each one. It was very good. We couldn't even eat it all.

But the best was yet to come.  After we finished all of our food, we got to eat pie!  There was pecan pie, pumpkin pie, sweet potato pie, apple pie, and cherry pie.  But our favorite thing of all wasn't the pie, but the topping on the pie - the whipped cream!  Yum!  We couldn't get enough of it, especially Hazel. She said her favorite pie is pumpkin pie, but mostly she ate whipped cream. My favorite is cherry pie.

We had a good nap after our Thanksgiving feast.  When we woke up, we ate some more dinner, and then went outside to play a little more.  Uncle Ryan lit an even bigger fire in the firepit and we roasted marshmallows again.

Uncle Mike, Aunt Lana, Uncle Seth, and our cousins Keegan and Eve came over too.  Eve is two years old and she and Turner really hit it off.  They were laughing and playing with each other a lot. They played piano together, played with a stuffed bear in a toy high chair, and hugged and kissed each other goodbye. It will be neat to see them together in a few years. Eventually, we all wound down and went to sleep - what a great Thanksgiving feast!

Eating our chocolate bar creations
Friday, we had a special adventure.  Hazel and I read about Curious George and the Chocolate Factory.  So imagine our surprise when Mom and Dad told us that we were all going to a real chocolate factory with Uncle Daniel.

We went to Hershey's Chocolate World.  It was really fun.  First we went on a ride where they showed us how they make the chocolate candies.  We liked the singing cows and the chocolate smells.  They even gave us little chocolate candies at the end of the ride.

Next, we got to practice working in the chocolate factory.  We pushed a button that made Hershey's kisses come down a conveyor belt and we had to catch them in a box.  Then we shook up the box and put it on another conveyor belt.  It was just like in the Curious George book.

But the best part of the whole day was the "Create Your Own Candy Bar" tour. All of us got to wear hairnets and aprons, and go into a real chocolate factory.  Once we were in there, we got to design our own candy bar by picking out the types of chocolate, ingredients, and toppings, and then designing our own candy bar wrappers.  Once we picked everything, we got to watch it go along the conveyor belt, where each machine put our specific ingredients in our candy bars.  It was tons of fun to watch, and then afterwords we got to eat our candy bars.

After we were finished at Hershey's, it was time for some lunch.  We dropped Uncle Daniel off and went to Uncle Steve and Aunt Cindy's Celtic shop, Oxford Hall, to get some lunch.  They made us some delicious sandwiches, soup and salad.  We also got to see their dog Maggie, who we all liked a lot, even Hazel.

When we got back to Grandma and Grandpa's house, we did games and puzzles with Grandma.  Dad tried to finish our Star Wars puzzle, but even he had trouble.  It took him two days.

Saturday was a much more relaxed day.  In the morning, Dad made a pecan pie that was eaten within a few hours.  Turner and I played outside with Bruiser.  I chased Bruiser around a tree for a while, and when I got tired of that, I spent some time telling Bruiser about the traffic on the Gump. 

Making play-doh with Grandma and Grandpa
In the afternoon, Mom went out with some of her friends and Dad went to see a movie with Grandpa and Uncle Daniel while we stayed home with Grandma, Aunt Lauren and Uncle Ryan. I played outside with Grandma and Bruiser and Hazel stayed inside and watched football with Uncle Ryan.  Saturday night, she surprised Mom at bath time when she yelled "Touchdown!"  Uncle Ryan taught some things about football! 

Saturday and Sunday it was much colder than earlier in the week.  I got to wear some mittens, which I really liked.

Reading with Aunt Lauren and Uncle Ryan
Sunday, we stayed home again.  Grandma and Grandpa helped us make our own play-doh.  Hazel watched some more football with Grandpa.  Pop and Mom-mom came over - it was nice to see them again.  Sunday night we had Rocco's for dinner with Uncle Daniel, Uncle Ryan, Aunt Lauren, Aunt Amy and Mianna. I entertained everyone with a song I learned at school called "Joe Scruggs Turkey Song," which is about a kid who does not want his family to eat his pet turkey.

While we were at Grandma and Grandpa's, Hazel befriended their cat, Little One. Sunday afternoon, they took a nap together and Sunday night, Hazel was really excited to learn that Mianna knows how to move Little One around.

Grandpa, Turner and Pop
This reminded Hazel of one of our favorite books, "Olivia." In the book, Olivia spends some time each morning moving her cat. After this hilarious realization, Hazel renamed Little One. Her name is now Gwendolyn, like Olivia's black cat.

When we went to bed, we said goodbye to everyone because we had to leave on Monday.  We were sad to say goodbye, but hopefully we'll see everyone again soon.

For photos of our adventure, click here.

Monday, November 26, 2012

The Thanksgiving Gump

I really like this swing and playing in the sandbox outside.
We just came home from a really fantastic Thanksgiving trip.  For the past few weeks, we've been very excited about going to Pennsylvania to see Grandma and Grandpa and all of our other family there.  We could hardly sleep Tuesday night.  On Wednesday, we packed up all of our bags and headed to the airport.

Since it was just before Thanksgiving, the Austin airport was pretty crowded. Fortunately, Hazel and I were on our best behavior so we all got checked in and through security pretty easily. I was especially interested in some of the security people doing the extra security checks.  I even walked behind a security desk to see what they were doing. Fortunately, Dad grabbed me and pulled me away before anyone noticed where I had gone.  Our flight was delayed a little bit, but Mom packed lots of fun food and toys, so we had a good time at the airport, especially watching planes out the window.

When it was finally time to get on the airplane, we tried to get a whole row to ourselves. Turner took one window seat with Mom next to him; I took the other window seat, with Dad in the middle seat and Hazel on the aisle.  It was a really full flight though, so eventually someone sat in the aisle seat between Mom and Hazel.  After some shuffling around to make sure everyone had the right seats, the person who took the seat turned out to be a really nice, funny college student who was really interested in kids. He talked to Mom, Dad and Hazel the whole flight and turned out to be great company.

Hazel and I had a lot of fun on the plane. Takeoff was really cool. I really liked my window seat. It was fun looking out the window and seeing all of the clouds and little houses on the ground.  We spent a bunch of time on the plane playing with our iPods.  I got a new favorite app on my iPod that has various people singing one of my favorite songs -- the Star Spangled Banner -- and the song's lyrics and history. Even though I was wearing headphones, I sang the Star Spangled Banner at full volume on the plane. The flight attendant laughed and was impressed that I knew all of the words.

When we landed at the Washington DC airport, we walked a long way to get to our rental minivan.  It was a great car (a Chrysler Town and Country - Dad was pleasantly surprised).  After getting all of our car seats installed, our bags loaded, and everyone situated, we started the drive to Pennsylvania, roughly an hour after our flight landed.

We drove right past the Capitol building, the Washington Monument, and the Lincoln Memorial.  It was really pretty. Then we hit traffic -- a TON of traffic. We were on the George Washington Memorial Parkway.  There were lots of signs that abbreviated it GWMP.  I read all of the signs and kept laughing and telling Mom and Dad that the Gump was going to be closed for construction.  In fact, all week long I was sure to tell people how much traffic was on the Gump.  After another three hours, we finally got to Grandma and Grandpa's house.

Even though it was late, Grandma, Grandpa, Aunt Amy, Uncle Tate and our cousin, Mianna, were excited to see us. Grandma had loads of toys set up for us, had lots of fun clothes and pajamas ready for us to wear, and we got to see their giant dog Bruiser again. Turner and I think Bruiser is great. Hazel is a little scared of Bruiser. She's going through a phase right now where she's scared of a lot of things.

Anyway, Grandma had some snacks for us when we got to their house, and then we put on our fun new pajamas. Then Grandma showed us where we were sleeping.  Turner had his own room with lots of toys and a crib.  Hazel and I got to share a room. I had a giant bed. And Hazel was super excited - she got a race car bed, which she ran over to and jumped right in. She later asked how Grandma had been able to drive the race car bed into the house. We were also really excited to learn that Mianna was also spending the night at Grandma's.

Wednesday morning was really fun.  Hazel was the first one up.  She was the first one up every morning.  She came into Mom and Dad's room and announced that she was hungry.  Dad took her upstairs and got her some breakfast.  Pretty soon everyone else was up too.

There was so much fun stuff to do at Grandma and Grandpa's house.  We spent the morning outside exploring the yard with Grandma.  Bruiser came with us too.  There were bikes for me and Hazel, and a cart for Turner.  Turner loved pushing his cart, but Hazel and I weren't interested in the bikes - we had more fun running around the yard, swinging on the swings, and playing in the sandbox.  Then we all went to lunch at Rocco's.  We got some delicious pizza, and then went back to the house.

Hazel and Mianna played together a lot in the morning.  Mianna is really nice.  She played a lot of games with us.  She played Memory with Hazel.  And then they played a drawing game.  Hazel would say an  animal, and Mianna would draw the animal by tracing Hazel's hand.  She drew turkeys, alligators, and birds.  Hazel and Mianna also made pumpkin pies together.

Wednesday afternoon, Hazel went down for a nap and I helped Grandma make a pecan pie for Thanksgiving. Grandma was impressed at what a good kitchen helper I am. That's because Mom gives me lots of practice at home.

Wednesday night, Grandpa came home, and Uncle Ryan, Aunt Lauren, and Uncle Daniel also came over.  We all went to the Famous Hot Wiener for dinner.  It was great.  Mom, Hazel, and I all got delicious milkshakes, which Dad kept taking giant sips of.  Mianna also shared her fries with us, which was really nice.  We even saved our leftovers to give to Bruiser.  It was a really fun dinner.

When we got home, Uncle Daniel lit a fire in the firepit out in the yard and Hazel and I went out with Dad to roast marshmallows and make s'mores.  It was our first time roasting marshmallows, but we had read about it a lot in our Curious George goes camping book so we knew what was going on.  The marshmallows were delicious!  Hazel even roasted her own marshmallows.  It was surprising to Dad, but neither Hazel or I were crazy about the s'mores.  I think we just had enough sweets on the trip.

After we got our fill of roasted marshmallows, Aunt Lauren and Dad gave us a bath and we all went to bed without much fuss - we were pretty tired. And we knew that we had a pretty exciting Thanksgiving day in store for us the next day.  

Sunday, November 18, 2012

A fall visit from Oma

Oma and a farmer at the SA Children's Museum

Last week, Dad went to visit Bubbe and to California for work. So Oma came to town to keep us company!

We had a great time. To give Mom a break from the kitchen, Oma took us out to all our favorite restaurants – Fuddruckers, Freebirds (twice!), Bamboo Bistro (for my new favorite, teriyaki chicken) and Dimassi’s Mediterranean Buffet. Oma is good at making sure we don’t go hungry!

A couple of the highlights of our visit were short road trips to San Antonio and Elgin.

Saturday we headed to San Antonio for a visit to the Children’s Museum. It was pretty different from our previous trips there. 

Mitch on a horse

Turner was really into it, for the first time. From the minute we got there, he found things he really liked playing with. He liked the cows and chickens, and when we showed him the pretend grocery store and carts, he went crazy. He stole our cart and ran off with it, and Oma and Mom had to drag him out of there to see the rest of the museum. He also really liked the airplane, toy trains, watching the fish tanks and the toddler section.

Another first was all three of us were really interested in a ball exhibit they have at the museum entrance/exit. Usually we ignore it, but we played there almost as long as we played in the grocery. It was a blast. It was the last thing we hit, as we were leaving, and Mom and Oma had to cut us off because we’d been there almost four hours, longer than we’ve ever been there before.

Kiddie Acres
We next headed out to Oma’s favorite, the nearby military base, then had dinner at EZ’s before Mom and Hazel ran in to the new San Antonio Trader Joe’s. We all were pretty excited about the treats we brought home.

Sunday was our trip to Elgin for a Veteran’s Day celebration. First we watched a short parade, which Oma was happy about. Then we headed to the VFW, which was really entertaining. They fed us, then we looked at a helicopter and Mitch rode a huge horse! Mom was super excited to see Mitch in action. Afterward, Mitch told us you just have to hold on tight. He really liked it.

Mitch on a pony at Kiddie Acres
Another highlight of Oma’s visit was when we headed to Kiddie Acres, a favorite of ours. It’s a small amusement park near our house. Here’s an article about it. We rode all the rides and I rode a pony.

It was really a great visit with Oma, and we’re already looking forward to her next visit.

Click here for more photos from our week.