Thursday, December 26, 2013

Welcome Home Mom!

Today was a big day - Mom was finally coming home!

When we woke up, we all stared longingly at the gingerbread house that we made yesterday. We wanted to eat it, but we also wanted to wait and share it with Mom. Oh, it was so hard to wait.

We passed the time reading and cleaning up the house a little bit. After naptime, we went to the airport to pick up Mom.  Hooray!

She was really happy to see us and gave us lots of hugs. She also brought us a few presents - an Animal doll and some peanut butter balls. We sat down to dinner together for as a whole family for the first time in over a week, and when dinner was over, we finally, finally got to eat our gingerbread house. Yum - it was worth the wait!

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Home Sweet Home

What we did today
Dad had planned to take us to Enchanted Rock today to climb a mountain, but he got worried that it would be too cold. We were all a little disappointed, but we found plenty to do today.

We had a fun morning of Skyping with Bubbe and Facetiming with Mom. I don't know what kids did before all of this video conferencing technology. On Facetime, we got to see our new little cousin Annabelle and our Aunt Jen. Aunt Jen looked so happy. We know she's going to be a great mom. Turner was especially excited to see the baby and was sad when they had to go. After we hung up, we all agreed that we are excited to see Mom tomorrow.

Fun Fun Fun!
On Skype, I kept trying to change the computer settings. Dad is sometimes delighted, and sometimes annoyed at how into computers I am. During the call, Turner asked Bubbe to please come visit us. After we hung up I told Dad that I couldn't wait until we went to Disney World with Bubbe. Dad wonders why I don't say this stuff to people when I'm talking to them.

We made a bit of a mess
We read some stories and then Dad gave us made-to-order lunches before naptime. After nap, he had a surprise for us that really made up for missing Enchanted Rock - we were going to make a Gingerbread house!

We were super excited. At first we looked at the box to come up with ideas, but pretty soon, we had our own. Dad came up with the idea of using food coloring to make colored icing, and Hazel grabbed all kinds of sprinkles.

I read the instructions on the box. The first step was putting the house together using the icing and the gingerbread walls. We all took turns applying the icing, and Hazel and Turner helped hold the walls in place while the icing dried. Once it was finished, Dad made bowls of colored icing and handed them to use to use to decorate. Turner didn't quite understand though, and before any of us could stop him, he started eating the orange icing!

The finished product!
Dad had to throw that bowl away and explain to Turner that the icing was for decorating first, not for eating. He made a new bowl of orange icing and gave it back to Turner, who got it right the second time.

We had a great time decorating the house with icing, sprinkles and other candy. When we were done, we admired our great creation.  We really, really wanted to eat the house. But all of us kids decided together that we wanted Mom to see it and to share it with her, so we are going to wait until she gets home tomorrow before we eat it.

Dad made us dinner tonight. It was our last dinner before Mom gets back. We are so excited!

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

More Winter Playtime

Its hard to believe how much we've packed into Winter Break. Today was as busy as ever.

This morning we talked to Mom on facetime and told her all about our Winter Break so far. Then we headed back over to the Austin Children's Museum. It was only open for 3 hours today, so we tried to get there right when it opened.  What a difference from Sunday.  Today it was super crowded.  There was a line out the door.  Fortunately, we had a membership, and that line was a lot smaller.

Today we did different things at the museum than we did on Sunday. We brought our coats this time, so we could play on the giant outdoor playscape. It was three stories tall. Hazel went all the way to the top, while Turner and I stayed closer to the ground.

After we had had enough of the cold, we headed inside to the experiment area. Today the experiment was ice tunnels. They gave each of us a block of ice and some paint saturated with salt. We painted the ice and watched as the salt in the paint melted the ice, creating tunnels in the ice. Hazel and I thought it was amazing, but Turner wasn't as impressed.

When we finally had enough of that we headed over to the Moving Gym area. We went back and forth between that area and the grocery store area for a while. Turner managed to sneak away into the toddler area. Dad was impressed that Turner remember to take off his shoes before going in there, but a little frustrated that Turner kept running off.

Hazel and I asked Dad if we could go back to the experiment area to paint a bigger block of ice together. Dad said okay as long as we stayed together. We did, and we patiently and politely asked the museum staff for help getting our ice block set-up. Dad was impressed at how good we worked together. Meanwhile Dad took Turner to a reading area and they read books.
Hazel in the tunnel

We finished up in the water area which was just as fun as yesterday. We left as the were closing the museum. We came home, had lunch, and all took a well-deserved nap.

After nap, we had dinner and a game night at our synagogue. There were a bunch of other kids to play with. We played our pizza and cooties games, ate dinner and dessert, and then ran around until we were too tired to move. We put on our pajamas, climbed into the car, and headed back home, asleep before our heads hit the pillows.

Monday, December 23, 2013

Winter Ice Cream

Today Dad took us to a tour at the Blue Bell Ice Cream Factory in Brenham, Texas.

Before that, you may remember that I lost a tooth yesterday and asked the tooth fairy for $15.30. When I woke up this morning, I found this note.

I did not get $15.30, though the tooth fairy did leave me a dollar, a neat book that I wanted, and some instructions on how to (eventually) get 15 dollars.  Oh well.

After the tooth excitement, it was time to head down to the Blue Bell Ice Cream Factory.  We all did very well on the drive down there, listening to some songs Dad put together for the drive.

There were about 16 people in our tour group, but we liked the tour guide and always stayed at the front so we could see everything. I really liked watching the pipes on the factory floor, while Hazel liked looking at them putting all the ingredients in. Turner just wanted to eat the ice cream, which we all got to do at the end of the tour. Dad also brought lunch for us. Hazel thought it was hilarious that we got to eat our ice cream before our lunch.

Hazel and Turner fell asleep on the car ride home while I intently watching the road to make sure Dad and the GPS knew where we were going.

Tonight we had a nice dinner and then movie night.  Each of us got to pick out a short movie clip to watch. Turner picked out to Schoolhouse Rock, Hazel picked out a Huckle cat video, and I picked out a duckling story.

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Not a Lazy Sunday

Our busy day even included riding these pigs
Today was our busiest Winter Break Day yet!

My note for the tooth fairy!
It started with a bang.  I woke up early and was playing with my new loose tooth when it popped right out.  I was so excited I rushed to put it in my tooth pillow and write a note to the tooth fairy.  I told her exactly what I wanted in the note.  Dad is wondering how the tooth fairy is going to afford that.

Then we called Mom and talked to her on facetime. She was still in bed.

Dad made us an awesome breakfast and we headed over to the park. Hazel rode her bike, Turner rode his scooter, and Dad and I walked.  Unfortunately, a cold front came in yesterday, and even with all of our heavy winter coats on, we were ready to head back to the house almost as soon as we got to the park. The cold is one thing that we don't love about Winter Break!

I can do Dad'd job now
We had a yummy lunch and then it was naptime for Hazel and Turner.  While they were napping, Dad and I worked on some computer programming classes at I was able to get through an entire introductory class and even earned a certificate!  We emailed it to Mom so she could be proud of me.

Hazel in deep concentration, painting
While normally Dad likes to let Hazel and especially Turner take really long naps, we had more to do today, so we had to go in and wake them up. Hazel was pretty easy to wake up, but Turner is a very heavy sleeper. After a few gentle attempts to wake him, we finally just all yelled "Wake up" at the same time.  That did it.

We grabbed a quick snack of graham crackers and milk (Hazel said it was the best snack she ever had), and headed to our main destination for the day - the new Austin Children's Museum.

This was our first trip there, so we weren't sure what to expect.  Before going in, we found a row of pig statues. Dad thought it was pretty strange - there was no explanation for the pigs or anything, but Turner LOVED them.  We ran around climbing on all 11 of them before even going inside the museum.

I am an artist
The new museum is definitely a lot bigger than the old one. When we first walked in they had a big painting studio. Hazel ran right into it, and I followed. Dad helped us into paint aprons, and we painted and erased glass walls over and over. Turner didn't seem as exited about the painting and instead played with some peg walls.

From there we went to a room where we could make paper rockets and use an air cannon to shoot them into the sky. Hazel's rocket went all the way to the ceiling. It was the highest of any of the rockets we saw. We took her rocket home so she could color it some more before dinner.

Tuner did this while Hazel and I painted
The next room we went into had a bunch of colored pegs that you could plug into a light board. Once again, Turner was in heaven there. Dad, Hazel, and I had to drag him away. Fortunately, the next room we went into was just as fun - a giant indoor water play area. They had water drums you could play, and buckets where you could pour out water. It was fun. The three of us played there for 45 minutes before Dad finally said we needed to see the rest of the place.

Playing with peg lights
The next room we went into was a kitchen. I thought we might get to cook something, but instead they had a neat experiment we could conduct to test our five senses. The woman was just starting to explain it to us when the fire alarm went off. It was really loud.  So loud, Hazel started crying. We all had to evacuate the museum. As soon as we got out the door, they told us it was a false alarm (a little kid had pulled an alarm) and we could go back in.  We went right back to the kitchen to work on our five senses experiment. The women said that alarm was a loud way to understand our sense of hearing!
Getting wet at the children's museum

The experiment consisted of a plate of about 8 different food items from the kitchen.  Many of them were similar, so we had to use a lot of our different senses to figure out what they were. We touched them, smelled them, even tasted them. A few tasted awful - like the vinegar that looked like water, or the baking soda and salt that looked like sugar. The sugar sure tasted good though.

All three us playing at the grocery store
The last room we went in was a play grocery store in kitchen.  This is pretty standard in children's museums. However, this one had a twist - a real scale. Hazel loved piling fruit on and watching the needle move. I had a blast looking at the numbers and guessing how much fruit would add to the total. We spent 3 hours at the museum and could have spent even more. Its nice to see a better children's museum in Austin.

Two more peppers makes 4 pounds
When we got home, Dad made us a pizza dinner, gave us baths, and read us bed-time stories. He also promised that tomorrow would be even more fun. I can't imagine what he has in store. I went to bed with my tooth and note to the tooth fairy under my pillow...

Saturday, December 21, 2013

More lights

Today was another fun Winter Break day. I woke up early and let Dad sleep in. When Turner got up, I fed him a healthy breakfast of graham crackers. Mom called at 7am to get Dad out of bed. I answered the phone and talked to Mom for a while. I passed the phone to Hazel and Turner. We agreed that it was nice to talk to Mom.

After Dad got up and gave us breakfast, we got ready to go to the park. But it started to rain pretty hard, so we decided to stay in and read instead. Dad put on the Kentucky basketball game and we all watched it for a while. I kept everyone up-to-date on the score by telling everyone how much each team was ahead or behind. It was fun watching the game together. We ate lunch while watching the game. We didn't get to finish watching the game, though, because I had swim class.

Since it was just Dad, we all went to my swim class. I did really well. Turner sat on Dad's lap the whole time and watched me. He even clapped for me when I did well. Hazel said she was proud of how well I did. We were all very tired when we got home and all four of us took a nice long nap.

When we woke up, we helped Dad make a delicious and healthy dinner and headed out to look at more lights. This time we went to Austin's 37th street, which always has a bunch of nice house lights. Hazel and Turner liked the houses with Snowmen and Candy Canes.  We all agreed that the house with lots of sock monkeys was the best.

It was another late night for us, so we went to bed without much fuss. Dad says we are in for another fun day tomorrow.

Friday, December 20, 2013

Winter Break

School is out for the rest of the year,which means it is now Winter Break! Hazel and I have been talking about Winter Break all year, and its finally here. When I came home from school today, I told Dad "I can't believe its Winter Break" Mom and Dad asked me if I was going to miss school and I said "No - I'll be back in a couple of weeks"

This morning, Mom flew to Panama City, Florida to be with her sister and new niece Annabelle. That means Dad is going to get all of the Winter Break fun with us for the first week.

Tonight we drove to Marble Falls, TX to see the Walkway of Lights. They supposedly have 2 million lights there. I tried to count them, but stopped at around 10 or so.  It did seem like it was a lot of lights.

We all had a really good time, but were pretty tired for the drive home. Can't wait to see what Dad has in store for us tomorrow.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013


Okay, I know its been a while since I've posted. We've been really busy! I hope to get some posts up in the next few weeks (with some help from Mom and Dad) talking about all of the amazing things that have been happening the past few months.

In the meantime, I wanted to share some awesome family photos we had taken recently. Enjoy!