Monday, July 23, 2012

Five alive!

My fifth birthday last Monday turned out to be a blast. I had a great morning – complete with cupcakes – at school.

In the afternoon, I opened presents from Mom, Dad, Turner and Hazel, and Oma and Opa. I asked for lots of books and puzzles, and that’s what I got. I also received some fun sand toys, an old school Kermit the Frog lunchbox and an addition machine. I was pretty happy with my haul.

After presents, we headed down to EZ’s, my destination of choice, for my birthday dinner. We had yummy food followed by cake. It was a great way to celebrate.

The birthday fun didn’t stop with my actual birthday though. We kept the party going Friday, when we picked up Uncle Daniel from the airport. After a nice lunch, which included a stop at the frozen banana stand, we went to Town Lake to try something new – kayaking! Well, it was new for Hazel and me at least. Mom used to have an awesome kayak, but someone stole it. Dad says we’ll never hear the end of it, and Mom says she is still not over it. Uncle Daniel uses Grandma’s kayak, so he’s done it before too.

Anyway, we loved it! We liked feeling the water with our hands as we moved through it. We saw turtles, fish and swans. We liked looking at all the seaweed and the other people out there on kayaks, canoes and standup paddleboards, especially the two ladies trying to do headstands on their paddleboards! Hazel and Mom cheered them on. Uncle Daniel took us for a quick swim in the middle of Town Lake before we decided it was too hot to be out there. We headed back in and went to the pool, where we ran into our friend Benjamin and his mom.

You may think that all sounds like a pretty full day, but it wasn’t full enough for us! We came home and I opened more presents, this time from Grandma and Grandpa and Aunt Lauren and Uncle Ryan. Again, I was super excited to have mostly more books and puzzles! Birthdays rock!

Next we ate a quick dinner, then headed up to Round Rock for a Round Rock Express baseball game. We ran into our friend Noble and his parents. Their seats were close enough to ours that we were able to sit with them. I liked the songs and the snacks – especially the giant pretzels and all sorts of goodies we brought along with us. At the end, we all really liked the fireworks. They put Turner to sleep. It was a really late night, but we all hung in there even though we didn’t have time for naps in the afternoon. Everyone was really impressed with our behavior. We had a great night.

Saturday morning, we headed out for my birthday party with some of our closest friends and my school friends at Quarry Splash Pad, one of our favorite places. We had an awesome lunch with pizza, veggies and fruit, and played in the water, which seemed like the only reasonable place to be since it’s been so hot all weekend. After eating the watermelon cake I picked out a few weeks ago, we played some more. I was so happy to see everyone and celebrate with my buddies.

We wrapped up the birthday celebration by opening presents from my friends who came to my party, Uncle Daniel and Cousin Mianna in the afternoon, and took it easy the rest of the day.

Sunday we showed Uncle Daniel around Austin a little more. We took him to the Mighty Cone food trailer for lunch. It was the hottest lunch ever, Mom said, because we ate al fresco. She, Hazel and Turner had to go sleep it off, so Dad and I took Uncle Daniel to Fry’s, a computer store, in the afternoon. Next we returned to South Austin for dinner with Zhenya at Shady Grove. Hazel and I found kids to run around with, and had a great time.

Monday, Uncle Daniel had to go home. We’re sorry to see him go, but I told him we’ll see him again soon, for Thanksgiving!

For photos of our shin dig, click here.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Blast from the past

Turner meant to post these photos from PA a long time ago, but he was distracted: Hey from PA

Monday, July 16, 2012

Birthday Week 1

Hazel and I play with one of my new birthday presents
I've decided that we are going to celebrate my birthday for two full weeks. Why not? Everyone loves parties.

To help me celebrate, Bubbe came to town!  We picked her up from the airport on Thursday, and I was excited to show her my new watch, our new dishwasher, and all of the new things I can do. Bubbe brought a bunch of presents with her as well, and we've kept very busy. All of us have had a really fun time with Bubbe this week.

Dinner at Galaxy Cafe
On Thursday night, we went to Galaxy Cafe for dinner.  Dad had never been there before.  They had lots of yummy and healthy things to eat.  Turner ate a bunch of fruit, I ate a burger, and Hazel had mac and cheese.  Hazel and I did a great job sharing food.  Hazel asked me for some of my burger, and I put a giant piece of bun in her mouth.  She happily shared her grub with me too. For dessert, we all shared a peanut butter chocolate chip cookie!  Afterwards, Dad took Hazel and I to a bar to hang out with a work friend he spotted from the street.  We told Dad we weren't old enough for bars yet, so we left.

Dinner at Shady Grove with topiary bear
Friday, we took Bubbe to story time at the library.  After the story was over, we all danced around.  Its not often you can dance in a library.  Then we went to Kerbey Lane for lunch.  It rained a lot that afternoon so we stayed inside and played.

Friday night, the weather cleared so we went to Shady Grove for dinner, where Hazel and I could run around. We ate al fresco, which Hazel, Turner, and I all really like. After dinner, Hazel and I played tag with a bunch of other kids and really wore ourselves out. 

On Saturday, Mom went to work, so we spent the whole day with Dad and Bubbe.  In the morning, we went shopping for groceries, especially fruit.  That's the best thing about summer - all of the delicious fruit.  Bubbe was surprised at how inexpensive the fruit is in Austin.  Hazel rode on Dad's shoulders during most of the grocery store trip so she could spot the best fruit.

Everyone at the pool
In the afternoon, Bubbe and Dad took us to the pool, where Hazel and I showed Bubbe what great swimmers we are. Hazel actually swam by herself on a floating barbell. I swam a little bit with Dad or Bubbe holding on to me. I also played with noodles a lot. Turner was in a little floaty, and spent a lot of time walking around in the shallow end, which he could do in his floaty. We were all having so much fun, we didn't want to leave. But eventually it started getting late, and headed home to meet up with Mom to go to dinner.

Birthday dinner at Ski Shores
We wanted to go someplace we haven't been before so Dad picked out a place called Ski Shores for a birthday dinner. Mom brought a birthday cake for me. It was chocolate and, as I specifically requested, had a chocolate flower on top.  Plus, Mom spelled out my initials in peanut butter M&Ms. The wait for a table was kinda long when we got there, so Mom let us eat our cake first. Dessert before dinner - ya gotta love birthdays! Everyone sang happy birthday to me, and we ate the cake and eventually dinner al fresco again. It was really fun, but a very late night.

Sunday morning, I opened some of my presents. They were great. I got so excited that Dad took me for a long walk to help me burn off some energy. After lunch and rest time, Bubbe and Dad took us kids to the Apple Store, where I showed Bubbe how to use an iPhone. We met up with Mom for dinner. After dinner, we were supposed to go to the Round Rock Express baseball game, but the game got rained out. So, instead Mom and Dad went out on a date, and we all played with Bubbe. It was a fun night.

Monday morning was my birthday! When I got up, everyone sang me Happy Birthday! Bubbe gave me a super fun birthday hat to wear and brought along a singing happy birthday bear that mesmerized Hazel, Turner and me. Hazel kept saying she couldn't believe I was five. I told mom it felt the same. After a birthday breakfast at home, we picked up some cupcakes for me to bring to school.

Unfortunately, this week marked the end of Bubbe's stay here in Austin. We were sad to see Bubbe go, but we'll see her again soon. Here are pictures from our week. Coming up for my next birthday weekend, Uncle Daniel is coming to visit and we're having a birthday party! So stay tuned!

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Pushing Five

I'm getting very close to being five years old!  Its hard for me to believe. It seems like just yesterday I was little like Hazel and even Turner. Anyway, when you get to be my age, its a good idea to go visit the doctor once a year, so I had my five year checkup a week early.

The good news is that I'm growing like crazy.  I'm already 42.75 inches -- really 3'7 --which means I am in the 50th pecentile!  My weight is also right on track at 41 lbs., also the 50th percentile. They also measured my blood pressure and it was fine.

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

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Time For a Boat Ride

I've always been able to really focus on certain things. Some may call it obsession.  For a while it was letters, then cleaning. Lately, I've really been into adding numbers and also time. I am always asking, "What time is it?" or "What time does Amy's Ice Cream open?" or "What time will we go to the library?"

Saturday I ran some errands with Mom and Turner and I asked Mom, "What time is it?" so many times, she finally said, "Time to get you a watch." So Sunday morning, Dad took me to the store so I could pick out my very own watch. It's a digital watch, since I don't know how to read watch hands yet. I was pretty excited.  I kept telling everyone all day what time it was.

Sunday afternoon we had a special treat.  Mom and Dad took Hazel and I for a boat ride on our friend Will's boat! (Turner stayed home with our friend Ella). You may remember that a few weeks ago Dad and Hazel went to go ride on Will's boat, but it was out of batteries. Well, they got a new battery, and Hazel was ready to go! I wasn't as sure about it. I'm still a bit nervous around the water, and always cautious to try new things. Mom got me a book called "Chico the Brave" to help me understand that I need to try new things. It helped.  I decided I would go on the boat.

By the time we got to the dock, I was getting pretty excited.  Mom let us put our feet in the water while we waited for Dad and Will's dad Bob to get the boat ready. At first I said I didn't want to go in the water, but about 5 seconds later, I was sitting in it while Hazel still only had her toes in. Once everything was set, we hopped on the boat and took off. Hazel sat in the front of the boat with Dad, and I sat in the back with Mom. Will, Bob, and and Will's mom sat in the middle. Mom and Dad weren't sure how we were going to do once the boat got moving fast, but we both loved it! We even loved it when the boat hit big waves and went up and down. I yelled, "Whee!"

We drove around for about 20 minutes (I could tell because I wore my watch!) until we got to a nice quiet cove. Then we anchored the boat and had a nice snack. After the snack, Mr. Bob jumped in the water, and Hazel wanted to go in to. So Dad jumped in the lake and Mom lowered Hazel into Dad's arms. Hazel loved swimming around in the lake. I watched for a little bit and decided I wanted to go in too. So Mom jumped in and I climbed in after her. Hazel and I swam around (we shared the water with some ducks!), played with noodles and a squirter and generally just had a great time. After a while, we got tired and climbed back in the boat. Hazel told Dad that we should get a boat.

We had another quick snack, and then Hazel and I decided we wanted to go in again! This time we went in with Mom and Mr. Bob while Dad took a couple of pictures. Mom and Dad were really proud of how well we did. It started to thunder and lightning in the distance, so we decided to head back after a few hours. What a great time! I hope we can go back soon. I agreed with Mom that's it great to try new things.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Happy Fourth of July!

We had a fantastic Fourth of July.  Mom and Dad had been talking up the holiday for weeks.  I'm really into my United States puzzle right now, and Hazel is always very excited about birthdays.  So when Dad told us that the Fourth of July was the birthday for the entire United States, we were pretty excited!

We started of the day by making sure everyone was dressed in red, white, and blue.  Even Dad got into the spirit.  After a delicious summer fruit breakfast, we joined in a neighborhood parade.  Turner and Hazel rode in the wagon, while Mom, Dad, and I took turns pulling the wagon.  It was a little hot outside, but we didn't complain because we were so excited.

Once we got to the start of the parade, we saw a firetruck, police car, and tons and tons of other kids, many of them on bikes, wagons, scooters, and all kinds of other vehicles.  Before the parade could start, a garbage truck showed up too!  I guess someone forgot to tell the garbage men about the parade.  All of the kids were just as excited to see the garbage truck as the fire truck and police car.  Once the garbage truck went by, it was time to start the parade.

We followed the firetruck and police car about half a mile to a nearby park.  On the way there, we ran into my friend Vishnu and his parents.  I was happy to see Vishnu.  Vishnu and I stopped to look at the police car.  The policeman asked us if we wanted to ride in the back of his car.  I looked in, but decided I didn't want to risk being taken to jail.  Then Vishnu climbed into the front of his car and got to sound his siren and horn.  It was neat, but scared Hazel a little bit.  After that we moved on to the firetruck.  Hazel and I liked looking at the firetruck, but decided it was a little too crazy to go in.

We only stayed at the park briefly before deciding it was too hot.  Vishnu's parents gave Mom a ride back to our house, and she drove the car back to pick us up and take us home.  We all napped pretty well.

After nap time was when the fireworks started - literally!  We went over to our friends' Luke and Noble's house for dinner, dessert, play, and fireworks.  On the way there, Dad took Hazel, Turner, and I to buy some fireworks while Mom finished getting all of the food ready.  Dad picked out sparklers, confetti poppers, and even something called a "Flying Pedro"

We met Mom at the party and had fun playing in their giant backyard --Turner tried crawling the whole way across -- while we waited for the sun to go down.  We ate a healthy dinner and some of Mom's wonderful banana bread and cake decorated with blueberries and strawberries so it looked like an American flag.

Once it started getting dark, Dad let Hazel and me (and the rest of the kids there) play with the sparklers.  All of the kids really liked them, especially Hazel.  She couldn't get enough!  Luke and Noble's dad, Mr. Phil, also had some fireworks.  He let Hazel shoot a roman candle (with a lot of help of course).  Dad and Mr. Phil were pretty surprised at how into fireworks Hazel was.

When it got really dark, all of the parents and kids sat down at one end of the yard while Dad and Mr. Phil shot off the big fireworks.  I said, "The fireworks shook up all the clouds!"  After each firework, all the kids laughed and screamed, "Do it again Mr Phil!"

We wound up staying up very late.  Mom and Dad said they paid for it the next day when all of us were a little grumpy, but they agreed it was totally worth it. It was such a fun Fourth of July!  We can't wait for next year.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

A change of pace

This post is a little late, because we were hoping to find some pictures from it. However, we've kinda given up on the pictures for this, so here goes.  Dad and Mom split us up for a little one-on-one time two weekends ago. Hazel went with Dad while Mom took Turner and me.

From Hazel:
Dad took me to go on Will's Dad's boat on Lake Travis. I was super excited about it. Will and his mom and Dad, and Avi and his mom and Dad were going to join us. Dad and I drove all the way out to the lake, and all of the kids played in the lake while we waited for the boat to get put in the water. Unfortunately, the boat's batteries were dead, so we couldn't go out on the lake after all. But we made the best of it. We went to Will's neighborhood pool and we all swam around a bunch. I got to show off some of my swimming skills that I've been learning.
After we were all tired from swimming, we went back to Will's house and ate pizza for dinner. Then we played in Will's yard. He has a really neat yard. They have a huge playscape. Everyone was impressed at how fearless I was on the big playscape, especially the way I climbed the walls and flew down the slide. Will and I had a fun time together too.  We picked up roly-polies and shared them. But the best part was Will's dune buggy. We drove it all over the yard. Will drove for a while, and I luaghed and laughed from the passenger seat. Then I drove for a while. Dad is glad that I won't be driving for real for another 13 years or so.
By the time we got back home, it was really late. What a fun day! Hopefully, we'll get to go out on Will's boat another time.

In their absence, Mom, Turner and I had a blast. We went to the shoe store to look for my new school shoes and hit my favorite frozen yogurt shop next door. Then we spent the afternoon at the Austin Children's Museum. Turner really had fun crawling around the spaces set aside for the museum's youngest visitors, while I played all over the museum. I especially enjoyed a pretend garden and the kitchen area, which has lots of pretend food.

We wrapped up our fun day with a stop at Taco Cabana, by my request. I told Mom, "I'm glad Hazel's not here. She bosses me around and doesn't let me do what I want to do. It frustrates me." Mom almost fell on the floor laughing, but said she enjoyed our time together too.

This past weekend, we had some time without Dad and Mom because they needed to go chill out with some friends at the Salt Lick, one of Austin's famous BBQ restaurants. Saturday Turner's teacher joined us in the late afternoon. She spent the evening with us and even gave us a bath and put us to bed. We had a nice time. Monday night Mom and Dad had to go out again, so Hazel's teacher watched us. We were happy to spend some time with her. She's very fun!