Sunday, May 19, 2013

Mother's Day

Mom does so many amazing things for our family all the time. Hazel, Turner and I were pretty excited to hear about a day that is just for doing things for her.
Dad secretly told us that we had some special surprises for Mom for Mother's Day, but we didn't tell Mom.  She thought we were just going to be hanging out like any ordinary day. Hazel and I did a great job keeping everything a secret. Our only slip-up came Saturday night when Hazel told Mom we had a surprise for her. But Hazel didn't tell her what the surprise was, so our secret was still safe.

In the morning, Dad got up with all of us so Mom could sleep in. She thought that was the surprise, but that was just the beginning. We were downstairs making beautiful Mother's Day cards for her, and making her breakfast in bed. Hazel made jelly and apple butter toast, I made smoothies, and Dad cut up some fresh strawberries. Turner cheered us on since he's too little to cook.

Mom was super surprised to get a delicious breakfast in bed and all of our cards. Hazel stayed upstairs to eat with her and has decided that she loves breakfast in bed too.

Then we video-called Bubbe to wish her a happy Mother's Day too.

Later in the day we took Mom to Rita's for ice cream.  Yum!

After running a few errands, we took Mom to dinner at Bamboo Bistro. They have a neat outside area where we can run around and enjoy the great weather.  Mom picked up Freebird's for us to eat while Mom and Dad ate Chinese food.

The kids of the owner of Bamboo Bistro were also outside playing and they were close to the same age as Hazel and me. We had so much fun playing with them - chasing each other around, climbing on things, talking, kicking a soccer ball.  Their parents even let us come in the restaurant and get a full tour of the back rooms.  It started getting late, so Dad said we had to go. Our new little friend asked Dad if we could stay and play a little longer and he said it was getting too late for a school night but that we would come back soon.

It was a pretty busy day. Mom said she really loved her Mother's Day.

I had so much fun on Mother's Day that I declared Brother's Day one day last week, and this Saturday was Sister's Day. To celebrate Sister's Day, we made Hazel banana pancakes and mangoes for her own breakfast in bed, went to the frozen banana stand in South Austin for the first time this year (but definitely not the last!) and she chose to go back to Freebird's so we could play with our new friends some more.

Saturday, May 18, 2013

A nice, cool spring

We have had a beautiful, mild spring. It’s just now starting to get hot, and we’ve been spending lots of time outside. We have been playing at the park a lot and have been eating al fresco at our new picnic table in our back yard, under the shade of a large umbrella.

A couple of weekends ago, we hiked a trail in the nearby greenbelt in our neighborhood. It was very rocky and hilly, and was in a wooded area. We were with a group and hiked more than two miles. Hazel found some fossils, I climbed a big rock, and we looked at some cool crayfish the tour guide caught in a bucket. It was a nice way to spend a cool morning outside. Mom, Dad and I liked it the most, and we were all wiped out at the end.

That afternoon, while Turner and Hazel slept off the long walk, I went to a party with Dad at the Austin Children's Hospital to celebrate the opening of a new wing there.  We met up with Avi and his new brother Etain, and their parents.  There was music and ice cream there which was fun.  But then I saw the the most amazing thing - there was a man there 10 feet tall!

I ran over to him and started peppering him with questions: How tall was he?  How old was he?  Where did he live? How tall were the ceilings in his house?

He was juggling with another man, but stopped once he realized the extent of my questioning.  He patiently answered all of my questions. His name is Ben, his ceilings are only 8 feet tall, he is 38 (just like my Dad!). He told Dad I made his day. After that conversation, I went to play in the bounce house for a while.

When the party ended, we headed back to Avi's house and played at the park for a while with Avi and his dad.

Another day, we all went to a party in East Austin, where we saw one of our old favorite musicians, Matt the Electrician. We danced, ate, looked at Town Lake and had fun hitting a piƱata.

At the end of each school year, we have Field Day, a day when they have lots of outdoor things to do. This year it was pretty cold – cold enough I had to wear a coat to school -- so they had to cancel most of the water events, but it was fun anyway. 

We started by getting cool owl tattoos. Then we went to the gym, where we played with a rainbow ball and a rope. We had to kick the ball and swing back to our teacher. After that we went outside to some bounce houses. It was pretty fun. My favorite part was playing in the bounce houses, although I was kind of scared by the big slide.

One day a week, Hazel and Turner go to school for the day so Mom can get work and errands accomplished and she and I can spend some quality time together in the afternoon doing big kid things. So a few days after Field Day, after the weather warmed up again, Mom and I went kayaking. 

They gave us a kayak with a see-through bottom so we could see fish and plants as we went down the river. I paddled about four strokes before giving up, and I ate granola bars and stuck my hand in the water the rest of the ride. It was pretty fun and relaxing, until the end when we saw a water moccasin. Luckily, we were headed back to the rowing dock by then and just about to get out. We can’t wait to go kayaking again soon, and we’ll probably bring Hazel with us next time. Mom said I've never looked happier than I did out on the lake.

Another important event this month was Hazel had her four-year well visit at the doctor. It was a pretty major checkup, complete with vision and hearing tests, and at the end of the appointment, shots. Hazel was very brave about the shots, even though she didn’t like them very much and got pretty sick afterward.

Hazel and Turner are switching to the same preschool that I’ll go to two mornings each week during the summer, while my regular school is closed for summer vacation. I went there last year and it was great. Mom took Turner and Hazel there last week so they could see what it’ll be like. Hazel jumped right in and joined her class. She painted, played with flour and had a snack while she was there. Turner played with a doll and went out to the playground. They really liked it; Mom had to drag them out of there, literally kicking and screaming. Hazel said she can’t wait to start going there.

Later that day, Mom told me to tell Hazel what it's like at that school. I told Hazel it's lots of fun and the teachers there aren't as bossy as my teachers at our elementary school.

We are still plugging away at our swim lessons twice a week too, and we are really excited for summer so we can swim almost any day we want. We are getting really good at floating on our backs so we can breathe. We jump in, do three “big arms,” then roll over onto our backs. I can kick the whole way across the pool. We like jumping in at the end of our lessons.

Another cool thing about springtime is it’s baby deer season! We have tons of deer in our neighborhood and the other day, on the way home from the park, there was a mom and a newborn right outside our backyard. The mom ran away, leaving the baby, who could barely stand up. Just two days later we saw them again, and the baby was running next to its mom. It’s getting strong fast!

Click here for photos of our almost-summer fun!