Sunday, September 30, 2012

God bless Texas!

Texas produces kids brave enough to do this...
Recently, some things have happened that finally made Mom and Dad realize they are raising a house full of Texans.

The other night, I told Mom and Dad, "I'm fixin' to eat dinner."

Mom almost passed out, and Dad started laughing. Obviously, this is not a saying I learned from them. My teacher at school says it, and I thought I'd try it on for size.

...and this.
The next day, Mom asked me if I like living in Texas. I told her I do.

Then she asked if I'd like to live in Pennsylvania or Atlanta one day, and I said no. Then she said, "What about California?" I told her no, because "California is expensive and crowded."

I know this is true because Dad just came from California and this is what he told me about it.

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Speaking of Turner

Aside from his doctor's appointment, Turner had a pretty big week.

Monday he dropped by Hazel's preschool for the morning. He goes there, usually a couple times a month, when Mom has to go someplace without us in tow.

Mom was in a for a surprise when she picked him up - he was in a new classroom! Since he turned 18 months old and is walking, he gets to move up a class, and will face some pretty big changes.

The first change Turner experienced is that his new class goes outside to play in the morning. His teachers said he really liked it, which we knew because he really likes going to the playground with us. His favorite thing to do is scoop rocks into his bucket with a shovel.

Turner wasn't there long enough Monday to experience it, but in his new classroom, kids sit at a little picnic table for lunch instead of high chairs. Also, when they take a nap, they nap on mats on the floor instead of little cribs. We think Turner's up for the challenge.

At home yesterday, Turner earned his first skinned knee when we were playing outside in our backyard. He handled it like a pro. Mom saw him trip but he got right up and kept on running, so she didn't even realize he'd skinned his knee until we came inside. Turner's tough!

Friday, September 28, 2012

Turner at 18 months

"You're kidding me with this, right?"
Turner woke up in a great mood this morning. Little did he know, he was headed to the doctor's office for his 18-month well visit.

The doctor was really happy with Turner's progress, and she said we have nothing to worry about. He's grown a lot since his last visit, which was six months ago. He is now 31 1/2 inches tall (25th percentile). At 26 pounds, 3 ounces, he is in the 50th percentile for weight. His head circumference is a whopping 46 1/2 centimeters, putting him at the 20th percentile.

Turner's appointment didn't turn out so well for him because he was on the receiving end of four shots. He cried for a minute but calmed down pretty quickly. Late in the day he seemed more tired than usual. 

Hazel went along to the appointment and had a pretty good conversation with our doctor about her diagram of the human ear and throat. The doctor told Mom she thinks Hazel will grow up to be a doctor because she was so interested in the pictures, wasn't freaked out by it and she's so smart.

When they left, Mom asked Hazel what she thinks about that. Hazel, who's been telling us for months that she wants to be a farmer so she can grow chocolate strawberries, said, "Mom. I don't want to be a doctor OR a nurse. I want to be a farmer."

On a related note, later today Mom asked Hazel if she could pronounce "cartilage." Hazel said, "No, I'm too tired."

You can see Turner's latest growth chart by clicking here or looking at the chart on the right side of the blog.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Beach babies!

Last weekend, we hit the road, destined for the beach!

Friday afternoon was pretty exciting because Dad returned from a work trip to California. We were all super happy to see him and his huge sack of delicious treats from Trader Joe's and a Japanese grocery.  Hazel was especially excited to see lots of Hello Kitty snacks.

Our beach trip started out a little rocky, thanks to iffy weather. It was pretty overcast on the five hour drive to Port Aransas, but shortly after we got there, we were happy to see the sky brighten up enough to be nice out. It was great -- it wasn't super hot and we didn't have to worry about getting sunburned.

When we arrived Saturday, we started out with lunch in the hotel breakfast room and used our awesome swimming skills when we took a dip in the pool while we waited to check into our room. Unfortunately, the elevator was broken, so we also had to wait for poor Dad to haul all our stuff up to our third floor room. After that, we hit the beach, which was a short walk from our hotel.

We spent that first afternoon warming up to the whole scene. We mostly played in the sand, venturing into the surf only with Dad or Mom.  Jumping over the waves with Dad was especially fun.

We really enjoyed playing with sand toys Turner and I got for our birthdays earlier this year -- a baking set, a cupcake making set, and a cookie making set. It was really great to be able to play with wet sand. It's much better for making shapes than the pea gravel we have at most of our playgrounds.

Dad dug a huge hole he formed into an easy chair. The hole was so big, it retained its shape the whole time we were in Port Aransas! He thought it was so comfy, he made a smaller kid-size hole/chair for us!

Turner really enjoyed the seagulls and sandpipers that were all around us. He is a bird lover, and that's one of the Port A's claims to fame. Unfortunately, he also discovered that he likes eating sand.

After a quick trip back to the hotel room to get cleaned up, we topped our first day off with a ferry ride on our way out to eat dinner. We drove the car onto a big ferry boat and it took us for a short ride across to Aransas Pass. It really was a quick ride, just long enough for us to get out of the car, look over the side for a minute, then get back into our seats. Mom thought she saw a dolphin, and we definitely saw lots of pelicans diving into the water after fish. They looked like cannonballs when they landed.  We went out for a delicious pizza dinner after the ferry ride.

Sleeping in a hotel room was exciting as always.  Hazel had a little more trouble falling asleep than the rest of us.

Sunday morning we wanted to check out the Leonabelle Turnbull Birding Center. It is known for its boardwalk out into the cattails and its two resident alligators. When we got there, we were attacked by millions of mosquitos, so we got back in the car to pick up some bug spray. Hazel was really tired since she didn't get much sleep, so Dad took her back to the hotel for a nap.

Meanwhile, Mom, Turner and I headed back out to get mosquito spray and make a second attempt at bird watching. We first tried a fun surf shop. They didn't have what we needed but they did have a funny little shark at the entrance. We ended up learning where the island's grocery store is and enjoyed the chance to check out the town a little before finally going back to look at birds.

The birding center was okay, but it was really geared more toward serious bird watchers. They mostly scowled at us while we were there. The boardwalk was neat. We think we heard the alligator under us, which made Mom scream. We climbed up onto a big perch, where they had a telescope I liked looking through at the far away birds. It was also an opportunity to learn that where there are lots of birds, there is lots of bird poop. Aside from the mosquitos, alligator scare, and poop dodging, it was a very peaceful place.    

Still trying to let Hazel and Dad rest, we next headed to the beach for a nice snack and walk. It was fun, but Turner and I wanted lunch and to get down and dirty in the sand. So we headed back to our hotel, woke everyone up and had lunch. Then Mom tried to get Turner and Hazel to nap, while Dad and I swam in the pool. Eventually, we headed to the beach again.

Sunday was our second day at the beach, and Hazel and I really warmed up to the water. We kept running to the ocean to fill our buckets ourselves, and Hazel sat on the shore, laughing when the waves came up to her. We even walked out far enough for the waves to knock us over!

We also got more adventurous with the sand. Dad buried Hazel and me up to our bellies, which we thought was hilarious.

After returning to the hotel to clean up, we headed out into a huge rainstorm for dinner. We ended up at a really great restaurant, Beaches Cafe and Bakery. We all really liked our food. Hazel, Turner and I cleaned our plates, Dad had a nice salad, and Mom had the best BBQ she's ever eaten. After dinner we celebrated Rosh Hashana, the Jewish New Year, by eating apples and honey.

Monday we had to leave, but we had half the day to enjoy ourselves first, so of course we hit the beach for the last time. We were at our bravest with the water. Even Turner tried to tackle it on his own, much to Mom's terror. We were all pretty sad to leave such a peaceful, fun, beautiful place. But there's no place like home and we were excited to return to Austin Monday night.

To see all our beach photos, click here

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Boy of Summer

Last weekend was my last weekend of summer, and Monday was my first day back to school.

We wanted to send summer out in style, and we had a lot of fun last weekend. Saturday we went to our friend Will's birthday party at the Big Bounce, a place full of bounce houses. We had a great time. They had bounce houses that were shaped like farms, houses, and even trains. Some of the bounce houses had giant slides. Hazel and I went on all of them - no slide was too big or scary for us.  We even talked Mom and Dad into bouncing around with us. Turner crawled around on a few of the bounce houses too. It was a great time and we all slept very soundly that night.

Sunday we headed out front for some driveway fun. Ordinarily we look for more exciting venues than our driveway, but Mom and Dad came prepared with bubbles, sidewalk chalk, and best of all, water balloons.

We put Dad to work filling up the balloons, and he was a good sport about it. Hazel and I chased Mom with the balloons and thought it was hilarious to throw them at the mailbox, while Turner launched them from his favorite perch, his little car. Our neighbors were washing their car while we were out, and Ella squirted us with her hose.  It was a great way to wrap up the weekend and the summer.

All last week I talked about how school was starting Monday, and I couldn't wait to go back and see my teachers and friends. The Friday before school started was "Meet the Teacher," when we went over to my classroom and said hi to my teachers and some of my friends from last year before rejoining them for this school year. It only made me more excited, and all weekend I talked about how I was starting up again Monday.

I am in the same classroom, with the same teachers as last year, but this year I start school two hours earlier. So early Monday morning, we all set off. We live right by my school, so we popped Turner into his little car and the rest of us set off on foot.  One great thing about the new schedule is that most days, Dad can walk with us to school before he heads off to work.

When we got there, I was excited to get started.  There were so many fun games and toys - Hazel sat right down and started playing. She has decided she wants to join my class. In fact, Mom and Dad have had a tough time getting her out of there every morning. Anyway, the next thing we knew, the "time for parents to leave" bell rang so I kicked them out.

When Mom picked me up after lunch, I was as excited as I was when she dropped me off. I jumped up and down for the rest of the day.

Every day when Mom, Hazel and Turner pick me up, Mom asks me how my day was and what we did. Monday, I said, "I have lots to tell you about, but I need to tell you later when I can look at my folder."

On our way to my first day of school.
My teachers send a list of what I do each day home to Dad and Mom, so every day we've been going over it together and I fill in the details. Mom and Dad really enjoy it.

The teachers have also been telling Mom about how I've been doing in class. I'm doing much better paying attention. They are also really impressed with the math skills I picked up over the summer. The other day they told me that we were doing something else in 25 minutes, and I told them that was 1,500 seconds. After they checked their calculators to see if I was right, they were pretty shocked.

At the end of the week, Mom asked what my favorite part of the week was, and I told her I liked working on handwriting best. I've been singing a lot of songs from school too.

We had a fun summer, but I am glad to be back!

For photos of our fun weekend and back to school, click here