Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Bubbe's visit

Playing at the park with Bubbe
We just had a visitor from Atlanta -- Bubbe!

Mom picked me up from school Thursday in the car so we could head straight to the airport and pick up our guest. We were pretty excited and talked Bubbe's ear off the whole way home.

Once we got home, we hung out with Bubbe at our house until Dad came home.

Then we headed out to Lowes, where we had fun playing in the pretend kitchens, and dinner at a place we rarely go, Pluckers. Hazel learned she loves corn dogs and I learned I don't really like them. Mom, Dad and Bubbe shared lots of different types of sauce for chicken. It was a fun night out.

Lowe's is super fun!
When we got home, we showed Bubbe how we play hide-and-seek. Hazel was happy to have someone who hasn't seen all of her great hiding places yet. Once again, we all agreed that Hazel is the best hider we have ever sought.

I was super excited about waking Bubbe up in the morning. I told her I was going to wake her up at 6 a.m.  She said 7 a.m, so we compromised. Friday morning, I kept my promise and Hazel and I woke Bubbe up at 7 a.m.  Bubbe made us a yummy breakfast and took us to school, letting Mom and Dad sleep in a little bit. After school, Bubbe went along with us to our swim lesson.

Unfortunately, Turner wasn't feeling up to par so he didn't get to show off his moves in the pool, but Hazel and I had what our instructor called "our best lesson ever." He told Bubbe she should visit more often, we did so well.

Nothing beats Rita's
After a stop for frozen custard on the way home from swimming, we spent our afternoon in the kitchen with Bubbe, making hide-and-seek muffins. The muffins were called hide-and-seek because they have a strawberry or banana hidden in the middle. It was a lot of fun.

We had a homemade pizza party, then Bubbe put us to bed so Dad and Mom could hit the town. She read us lots of books before bed and made sure we brushed our teeth really well.

Mom and Dad seemed pretty happy to have a night out. I can't imagine why.
Playing at Tot Shabbat
Saturday morning, we headed out with Dad and Bubbe to Tot Shabbat.  Unfortunately, Turner still wasn't feeling well, so Mom took him to the doctor while we were having fun.  We got to show Bubbe how great we were at all of the Shabbat songs, and then Bubbe helped us color reusable shopping bags.  We told Bubbe that Austin has a bag ban, so you have to bring your own bags to the grocery store. Bubbe watched us play on the playground until we were pretty tired.  We went home, had lunch, and took a nice nap with Bubbe.

Meanwhile, Turner got diagnosed with a sinus infection - poor guy! Mom and Dad were relieved that it wasn't an ear infection and that his tubes were still in his ears.

Saturday afternoon was the main event!

We all went to celebrate Hazel's birthday party at Kiddie Acres. Dad and Bubbe had never been before, so we were excited to show off the place to them -- almost as excited as we were to ride all of the rides. We got there right on time, and some of the other kids got there on time too. While Mom was getting set up and getting the ride tickets for everyone, Dad had all of us kids do stretches and exercises. It was pretty funny.

I was excited to see so many of our friends there - Ryan and Megan, Clark, Benjamin, and Vishnu. We were sad that our friends Ethan and Travis couldn't make it because Ethan had strep throat. We brought them some cake later in the day to cheer him up.

The weather was perfect, and all of the kids stuck together. First we went on the train. Then we went on a horse ride (on a real pony!) After that, we went on boats, and airplanes, and a ferris wheel.  Then it was time to sing happy birthday and have cake and ice cream!  Yum!

We made sure to go on the carousel and cars before we left. Dad got dizzy on the carousel. Oh Dad! We all had such a great time, but the day wasn't even over yet.

When we got home, Hazel opened her presents, then we drove down to Shady Grove for dinner.  Turner was very happy to sit outside and watch the birds, and Hazel did a great job coloring her kids menu. Dad colored his too, but everyone agreed that Hazel's was better. Bubbe shared some of her nachos and french fries with us at dinner. We came home and went to sleep without much of a fight.

Sunday morning, Bubbe and Dad took us kids out to the park to play. We ran into one of my friends that will also start kindergarten class in the fall, Maury, and her dad. We had so much fun playing with her. We played tag, and hide-and-seek, and even ran over to the other playground. Mom came over and we took some pictures. Maury wanted to be in the pictures too, so Mom took some of her as well. Unfortunately, soon it was time to take Bubbe to the airport, so we had to go.

Dinner at Shady Grove
While Hazel and Turner napped, I helped Dad take Bubbe to the airport - I wanted to make sure Dad knew the best way to drive there (I'm still really good at giving driving directions). It was sad to say goodbye to Bubbe, but we'll see here again this summer.

When Dad and I got home, we woke Hazel up because it was time for another party! Clark had a birthday party at a gymnastics school nearby. Dad took Hazel and me while Mom stayed home with Turner. It was pretty fun. Hazel and I got to jump on a trampoline, walk across balance beams, jump off towers, and climb rock walls and ropes. They even had a big foam pit. I was a little hesitant to jump in when it was my turn, so Hazel ran up, grabbed my hand, and jumped in, pulling me in with her. Dad laughed a lot at that.

Happy Birthday Hazel
What a fun weekend.  Click here for fun photos of our weekend and Hazel's last 4th birthday celebration.

Friday, April 19, 2013

Happy birthday to Hazel!

Hazel is four!

Yesterday was her birthday, and we had a blast.

We started the day with a dance party. Mom played the Beatles "Birthday" and we all danced for a while and sang to Hazel.

When we headed downstairs for breakfast, Hazel was greeted by her first present -- her very own scooter! She has wanted one for a while and was pretty excited. When she got to the breakfast table, she found even more gifts -- birthday/summer shoes from Bubbe, art supplies from Oma, and star-shaped crayons from Aunt Lauren and Uncle Ryan. She put her shoes on right away and then spent the morning coloring.

Hazel gets serious about art,
even before the sun has a chance to come up
We had a fun afternoon too. Our friend Ethan came over for some coloring fun and cake. Mom made one of Grandma's famous chocolate cakes with Reese's Peanut Butter Cups inside and peanut butter icing on top. After he went home, we went outside so Hazel could test out her scooter while I rode my bike. Hazel made a new friend at the park, then we went to dinner at Fuddruckers.

Fuddruckers must have known it was Hazel's birthday because a balloon artist came around to our table. Hazel and I had her make balloon motorcycles for us and she made a tiger for Turner. While we were there Hazel opened more presents -- books from us and jewelry and a jewelry box from Aunt Susan, Uncle Stuart, Aunt Pat and Uncle Neal -- and we had more cake.

By the time we came home it was pretty late, and Hazel didn't have it in her to open any more presents, so we saved the rest for Friday morning.

Scooter drama!
As soon as she got up, she opened a write and draw kit for her Tag and rock-shaped crayons from Aunt Laurie and Uncle Jonathan and a bunch of fun workbooks from Bubbe. She also got a bunch more fun stuff from all of us here at home. It was a fun start to the day, and nice that she could spread out her birthday a little bit. Tonight she'll open the last of her loot -- her cards from everyone.

Thanks to everyone who helped make Hazel's day special!  XO

For pictures of Hazel's fourth birthday, click here.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Hazel's pre-birthday bash

Helping out
Hazel turned four years old Thursday. In order to fit in all our celebrations, we had to get an early start. Tuesday, we had a party for her at her school.

I wanted to go to the party, so Mom picked me up early from school so I could go along. I am glad I was able to make it! We took lots of yummy food because it was a pizza party.

Turner helped too
After singing a song that settled all the kids down and signaled that it was time to eat, we started out with pizza, apple sauce and juice boxes. The grand finale was cone cakes, cupcakes Mom baked inside ice cream cones, so it looked like ice cream, but really it was cake!

Hazel and I helped make the cone cakes Monday. Turner helped by stealing one after we made them. He was sweet about it -- he was happy to share with Hazel and me. And it helped Mom by letting her know they cooked properly, the whole way through.

Party time
Everyone liked the yummy cone cakes. Hazel liked that they were pink and had Hello Kitty on top. She really liked being the center of attention. Mom thought Hazel looked like she was radiating sunshine from her head because she was so happy, when the class sang happy birthday to her.

We had a great time. It was a simple but fun party, and a good way to kick off Hazel's fourth birthday.

For photos of our cone cake extravaganza, click here.

Friday, April 12, 2013

Our life in videos

Mom has been taking some fun videos of us lately.  Here they are!

First, Hazel and Turner find something fun to do with Dad.

Turner uses some one syllable words to tell us about life

The hat, the banjo.  Yup, we are raising a hipster.

Turner burns some energy by pushing around a toy

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Our wild San Antonio adventure

Hanging out at the Children's Museum
Dad went to Atlanta for a long weekend visit, so we hit the road to adventure. Really, we just went to San Antonio. But it was very fun.

We headed down bright and early Saturday morning. Our first stop was the Children's Museum. We are regulars there -- one of the staff members even recognized us. She seems to really enjoy Hazel.

Anyway, there was a special program this time. An architect talked to us in a special room. He talked about making cities prettier and more useful places, then we all worked with the architect's interns who helped us decorate cartons to look like buildings. Hazel and Turner worked with our intern, while I was stuck with Mom. Turner was happy to decorate the floor with Sharpies and glue foam pieces to a piece of paper. Hazel was excited to have any craft project on her hands. In the end, I snuck off to hold court with another couple of interns and the head of the museum's special programs. I told them all about where we live, our address and how to get there from San Antonio.

Our friend from the zoo
We enjoyed the rest of the museum as usual before heading off to a new destination -- a hotel! This was no ordinary trip; it was an overnight visit! We were excited because we knew our hotel had an indoor pool, so first thing after we checked in, we put on our swimsuits and headed back to the first floor. Unfortunately, even though it was inside, the pool was ice cold. So Mom got in the hot tub and let us put our toes in. We kept trying to sneak in until she told us we'd turn into kid soup if we got into the hot water.

After a nice bath, we headed out again, this time to another new destination, an awesome restaurant called Cerroni's Purple Garlic. It was an Italian place, and we were excited about pizza and eggplant parmesan. We were greeted at the door by a "kids eat free" sign and after ordering, headed outside for an even better surprise -- a HUGE sand pit loaded with other kids. Mom was happy we could run off and play while she enjoyed some nice jazz music and her food.

Zoo train
Our night at the hotel was uneventful. We had one king size bed and Turner had trouble settling down at first since he hasn't spent a whole night in a bed with the rest of us before. But after that we slept soundly until about 5:00 a.m., when Turner woke up with a cold.

About an hour later, we headed to HEB bright and early for some Tylenol for Turner, then wolfed down a big hotel breakfast before heading out to our next fun stop -- the zoo! We got there right when it opened so it wasn't crowded, we had a front row parking space, and the animals were all wide awake. I wanted to see the zebras, and at first they were in a pen. But then we saw a guy go in, open up their gate, and then the two zebras ran out full speed into their larger area to chase some antelope and some strange large birds. The guy also let a warthog into the large area, who also seemed happy to be free.

The car ride back to Austin
Hazel and Mom were excited to see the monkeys. We got there at the right time for that because they were eating their breakfast of lettuce, radishes and other veggies. They all seemed to really like carrots.

Two other things that were neat were the crocodiles and hippos. We watched one of the hippos go from the land into the water and blow a big underwater air bubble. The hippo lifted up its feet and floated, and we learned that a hippo going from one place to another is no small feat. Turner really liked the fish in the hippo tank.

Hazel made up a game called "Home Team"
We saw a baby dwarf croc go from swimming to land, and had a great view of a huge Nile croc who was underwater with only a tiny bit of its snout poking out of the water. It was really impressive.

Turner was really into all of it. Mom thinks he likes the zoo more than any of us. 

After the zoo, we took a train ride around the park before heading home. When we got in the car, we told Mom we had fun in San Antonio. The next time she looked back at us, we were all asleep, a sign Mom took to mean that the weekend was a success.

Turner was in charge
When we got home, it was a gorgeous afternoon so we enjoyed our backyard. It felt good to be back in Austin.

It was a great weekend adventure, and we were glad to see Dad when he came back Tuesday.

To see how much fun we had, click here.