Monday, January 28, 2013

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Kicking off the year with a trip to the circus

We’ve had a pretty busy start to 2013.

All three of us came home with glowing reports from our teachers from our first day back at school.

Before winter break, I was having a hard time focusing and listening to my teachers, so Mom and Dad were glad to see that I started the year off right with a smiley face from my teacher. I was very happy to see all my friends and teachers again.

Next, Mom and I went to pick up Turner, who spent the morning at Hazel’s school (in a younger classroom). Turner's teacher said she wishes she had 20 Turner clones. While he has been going through a little bit of a difficult phase at home lately, he does really well when he goes to school.

While Mom was talking to Turner’s teacher, two of the kids in Turner's class started mobbing me. They pulled at my coat while making squeaky noises and laughing their heads off. Mom thought it was hilarious and she had to push me out of the room to get them off me because the other kids were napping and she didn’t want to wake them up.

Hazel’s teacher sent her home with a note that said, “Her curiosity and enthusiasm for learning remind me why I love being a preschool teacher. She is such a kind girl and she looks after all of the other children when they’re hurt or sad.” Way to go, Hazel! We’re proud of you!

Hazel really made Mom laugh on her way in to school that morning, too. Hazel said, "Mom, will you babysit my chicks for me?" Mom said yes, and Hazel said, "Watch out. They bite." Mom asked her why they bite and Hazel said it's because they're babies. We think Turner might have something to do with that.

Aside from being back at school, the highlight of our month was my three-day weekend when I had off school for MLK day. We had over-the-top fun each of the three days.

Saturday, Dad, Mom, Turner and I headed to nearby Cedar Park for the Shriner’s Circus. Hazel stayed home with our neighbor. She didn’t want to go because she doesn’t like that much noise. It was the first circus for me, Turner, and Mom.  Dad is a circus freak.

We got there pretty early so we could check everything out, and the first thing we noticed when we got out of the car was the smell of the elephants. When we went inside, you could ride an elephant, pony or a camel, get a photo taken with a python, or jump in a bounce house. Mom and I bought tickets to ride the elephant and when we were next in line for our ride, they announced that we’d have to wait until halftime because they needed to get ready for the show.

We found our seats and watched a bunch of fun things including a guy with seven tigers who did tricks, women who danced while dangling from the ceiling by their hair, poodles and elephants that did tricks, trapeze artists, and stunt guys on motorcycles.

By far, our favorite part was riding the elephants. It was high up and bumpy. Overall, the circus was not what Mom expected and I thought it was pretty loud. Somehow, Turner slept through the first half and was wild after he woke up, and I had enough by halftime, so shortly after that we went home. It was nice spending time together and now Mom and I know what the circus is when I read about it in books like Curious George.

The next day Dad had to work so Mom took us kids to San Antonio. We got there before the Children’s Museum opened so we stopped at our other destination, Trader Joe’s, first. As always, we had a great time at the museum. We spent a lot of time in the grocery section and the ball section. We also really had a blast in the toddler section, where Hazel and I are not supposed to be since we are big kids, but we needed to give Turner a chance to run around there and Mom didn’t want to lose us. We really enjoyed it.

We needed to eat before heading back to Austin and Mom and I had scoped out fun restaurants Saturday. My #1 criteria was that the restaurant needed to have milkshakes, so we headed to a burger joint, Cheesy Jane’s, which also scored points because of its funny name. It was yummy and we all ate way too much except Turner, who slept through it. Mom drove back to Austin moaning that we need to eat healthier stuff from now on because her tummy hurt.

Monday was another fun day. I started the day with a little quality time with Mom. She needed to go to the doctor and couldn’t count on the little ones staying calm while we were there, so she dropped them off at school. Since I am better behaved in situations like that, she took me along. We also headed to the grocery store before picking them up. It was nice to spend a little time with each other, even though we didn’t do anything super exciting.

That afternoon was great too. We headed out for frozen yogurt and the bounce house place. Turner didn’t like it as much as we expected, but Hazel and I jumped, jumped, jumped. It was great!

The rest of the week it warmed up and we spent some quality time at the park, which was refreshing.

For photos of our January adventures, click here.

Monday, January 7, 2013

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Ready or not, here comes 2013!

Building Lego cars at the SACM
It was hard to compete with all the fun we had the first week of winter break, but our second week lived up to the challenge.

Last Saturday, we gave Dad a break so he could go watch basketball and football, and the rest of us headed to San Antonio.
We spent most of the day at the San Antonio Children’s Museum, one of our favorite places. We started out in the grocery section and stayed there for a while before moving on to the airplane and little house upstairs.

We then went to the ground floor for a while, where we spent a long time in the ball section. We all collected balls – even Turner helped -- and put them in tubes that carried the balls to a container at the ceiling that dumped them whenever it got full. Hazel and I loved standing under it. We yelled that it was raining balls whenever they dumped.
Here come the balls!

Turner watched the fish tanks while Hazel and I played in the bubble room, then we headed to a room full of different kinds of blocks, where I found a racetrack for Lego cars. Mom was pretty impressed because instead of just adding blocks to one Lego car, I connected two of the cars with some blocks. It was really cool. “Good thinking,” Mom said.

We ended with more time in the grocery section before leaving. On the way out of town, we hit some traffic, which we didn’t understand until we noticed tons of people walking around with burnt orange UT shirts on and realized they were walking to a football game. Hazel yelled, “Hook ‘em horns!” out the window and made the Longhorn sign with her hand. Mom was proud.

Our next stop was dinner at EZ’s, which Turner screamed through. Mom didn’t like her food either, so she was pretty grumpy by the end of that. We cheered her up by taking her across the street to Trader Joe’s, where she stocked up on great food.

Sunday and Monday, we all came down with a tummy bug and it was cold and rainy outside, so we hunkered down and got ready for New Year’s.
Happy New Year! from Hazel

On New Year’s Eve, we made blueberry muffins and braced ourselves for a visit from Irving and Muktuk, two muffin-loving polar bears who are no better than they should be, and definitely not to be trusted. 

We celebrated New Year’s Eve (a few hours early) with muffins, “Auld Lang Syne,” sparkling cranberry juice (which Turner definitely didn’t like), hats, masks, horns and clackers. Mom said it was one of her best New Year’s Eves ever. 
Men in hats

Sadly, New Year's Day was Dad's last day of vacation. He had to go back to work Wednesday, and we were sad to see him go.

Another highlight from the week was Thursday morning, when we went to Mayfield Park, home to a bunch of peafowl. I wanted to go because I had checked out a school library book about peafowl. Turner was kind of mesmerized by the birds.We liked how they jumped on top of their shed and in and out of the trees.
Happy New Year! from Mitch

When we first got there, one of the peacocks started following us around. It came really close to us, especially me. Mom took a quick photo, then said we needed to get away because he was coming close enough that it freaked her out. 

The peacock followed us until we walked past a building that’s close to the front of the park, and left us alone once we passed it. Mom said it must have been protecting something there, maybe a stash of blueberry muffins.

Happy New Year! from Turner
The rest of the week we kind of took it easy. A cool owl that lives in our neighbors' owl box has been keeping us company, and Mom had fun taking photos of it. 

We’re still playing with all our Hanukkah toys and games, and we cooked and baked a lot with Mom, including cut-out cookies we made with some Hello Kitty cookie cutters and stamps Hazel ordered from Amazon.We also had swimming Wednesday and Friday, and Friday Hazel and I both did especially great.

I wrapped up my toy room sleepover Friday night. I spent Saturday and Sunday night in my room to ease back into my regular routine, since I go back to school and normalcy Monday.

Mitch and his friend
I spent some time running errands with Mom Saturday and Sunday, which sounds boring, but we both enjoyed the one-on-one time together. Sunday evening while we were out, we ran into my teacher at the grocery. She said she’s excited for school to start again tomorrow. So am I!

For our first photos of the year, click here!