Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Birthday photos

Click here to see photos from my birthday!

Birthday leftovers

Today Hazel and Turner had a fun playdate with some friends, and they enjoyed what was left of Turner's birthday.

They played with all his new toys and games, fought over his birthday balloons, and all did a yoga video together. They also broke out the pinata from the party. It may not have any candy left inside, but it's still fun to smack around.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Turner is three!

Last Friday was a big day. It was the day Turner turned three!

We couldn't wait to kick off the celebration, so at bedtime Thursday night, Turner opened his first gift. It was a Big Hugs Elmo, from Grandma and Grandpa. Turner was so excited, after playing with him for a while, he took Elmo to bed with him.

The next morning, Turner awoke to more birthday celebration. We all yelled "Happy Birthday" when we woke up, and he was greeted by three Elmo balloons and his gifts from Mom and Dad when he went downstairs. He found a high chair and stroller for his fish and other stuffed animals, along with lots of other goodies. He also opened an Elmo train set and a new bike helmet from Oma.

Turner spent the day playing with his new toys, doing a new yoga video (after announcing, "I need a yoga mat."), then Mom and Hazel took him out to lunch at P. Terry's.

After a failed attempt at a nap, we picked up a cake and Turner's weird birthday dinner request, "hot dogs at home." After dinner and cake (he blew all the candles out in one attempt), Turner opened more birthday gifts, this time from Bubbe, Aunt Laurie and Uncle Jonathan, Grandma and Grandpa, and Uncle Daniel. He now has a total of four Elmos, who he carries with him everywhere. They are all different shapes and have different skills. He's also pretty excited about all the new bath toys he has to play with, the building in his future with Duplos and Lincoln Logs, and all the yoga adventures he can now have. 

At the end of the day, Mom gave him an Elmo shirt to wear the next morning for his party. He insisted on putting it on immediately, then wouldn't take it off at bedtime.

Hazel with her fun "Elmo" cupcake.
Saturday was another great day because that was when we had Turner's big birthday party. We had lots of great breakfast food, and Mom put out stuff for us to do while the grownups talked: rainbow rice to play with, homemade sidewalk paint, frisbee golf, bubbles, and pin the nose on Elmo. We also had a great time smacking a pinata and decorating cupcakes to look (sort of) like Elmo. It was great spending the morning with all our good friends, and Turner opened even more presents after they left.

Sunday we took it easy, then Monday Turner wrapped up his birthday celebrations with a little muffin party at school. He liked celebrating with his friends and teacher there, and especially liked a crown Ms. Kate made him.

Today was the unfortunate part of any birthday, the well visit at the doctor. Turner didn't mind it that much. He really hammed it up, making lots of jokes with the nurse. She asked him if he is a girl or boy, and he kept cracking up while insisting he is a girl. He also liked Dr. Dan's hammer used to test his reflexes. After Dr. Dan checked Turner's knees with it, he gave Turner the hammer. Turner used it to check out Mom's knees. He said her reflexes are okay.

Turner with his teacher, Ms. June
Dr. Dan also told us Turner is a big guy. He now weighs 36 pounds (85th percentile!) and is 37 inches tall (75th percentile). You can see his latest growth chart on the right side of the blog or by clicking here.

At the end of the appointment, the nurse gave Turner one shot. He was playing with his LeapPad while she gave it to him and barely even looked up. He didn't cry at all, just asked if it was time to get a sticker yet. Mom was very proud of how well he did. He was in good spirits and wasn't scared the whole time.

Friday, March 7, 2014

States, Presidents, and a Texas Hoe Down

Mom and Dad are always impressed with my creativity, but I did something the other day that stood out even for them.

I've been spending a lot of time lately looking at maps and learning all of the states, countries, and capitals. So, Mom bought me a set of U.S. state cards.  Each card has a different state on it with information about that state like when it became a state, the state motto, the state flower, etc.

The other day Mom was working on something and I asked if I could use her computer to look up the geographic size of the states. After she said okay, I went into her office, went onto Wikipedia and found a list of state by size. I then sat down in the office and carefully laid out all of my state cards.  Next, I put them in order of their state size. Mom and Dad were pretty impressed with my creativity, resourcefulness and follow through.

This morning I surprised them again. We were reading a book about the Native American named Sitting Bull, which mentioned that his tribe lived in South Dakota before it was even a state. Dad asked me if I knew when South Dakota became a state, expecting me to maybe say the year. I surprised him and Mom by saying not only the year, but the exact day! Then Mom started asking me other random states' statehood date years and I knew them all.

Besides states, I'm also really into U.S. presidents right now. I have a book that lists all of the presidents, and
I like reading about what number president they were, when they served, and interesting facts about them. Dad and I also like to talk about which presidents were really good (George Washington and FDR) and which ones were really bad (James Buchanan, Andrew Johnson, and Ulysses S. Grant).  Our favorite president to talk about is the one with the funniest name -- James K. Polk. Mom likes to ask me which president has the funniest hat -- Abraham Lincoln.

The other night I called Grandma just to tell her a bunch of facts about all of the presidents. I could tell how interested she was because she kept asking me questions about them that I could look up in my book.

We had a busy weekend while Dad and Hazel were out of town. After dropping them off early Saturday morning at the airport, we headed across town to one of Mom's favorite Austin haunts, Mozart's. We had huge, delicious breakfast delicacies, which we ate outside while watching the ducks and fish. Another family gave us some bread to feed them. We loved it!

While we were at Mozart's, something big happened -- I lost another tooth.  I forgot to put my tooth under my pillow, but somehow the tooth fairy knew to come anyway. She left me a note telling me that she didn't like having to look all around my room to find my tooth. She wasn't that mad though - she still left me a dollar!

After that, we headed to the shoe store to get new shoes, and the rest of the weekend was taken up by swimming lessons, Sunday school and yucky weather. 

Yesterday, we celebrated Texas with a Kindergarten Hoe Down at school. Mom, Hazel and Turner showed up to watch me and all the other kindergarteners dance to fun western tunes while dressed like cowboys. It was great -- we even galloped in on horses. Turner especially liked it when they played one of the songs he often hears at school, and at the end my teacher danced with him and Hazel, who is very excited that she is now signed up to start kindergarten in the fall. We all had a blast!

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Daddy and Daughter Adventure

 Guest post from Hazel:

Hazel and her 4th cousin Dena, who have
the same great-great-great grandmother

Dad and I don't usually get to spend a lot of quality time together with just the two of us, so last weekend was especially exciting. Dad took me to Scottsdale Arizona for our cousin Amy's wedding. It was sad to leave Mom, Mitch, and especially Turner, but I was looking forward to the adventure. It was a really fun trip.

Dad and I left on Saturday and flew together on a plane. I did really well on the plane, coloring, reading, and watching my LeapPad. The plane trip went by really fast.

Once we landed, we went to get our rental car. Dad couldn't believe his eyes when he saw the car. It was a tiny, bright green Ford Fiesta! The rental guy apologized that our car wasn't ripe yet. I called it the frog car, a name that stuck the whole weekend.

After we got our car we went to our hotel, where we were staying with Bubbe. It was great to see her again. A few minutes later, our Aunt Susan, Uncle Stuart, and cousins Steve, Mindy, Ellie and Nathan from Arizona came by our room. I was so excited to see them I couldn't sit still. There were lots of presents for us to play with.

Before we could get too settled in, we left the hotel to go to the Butterfly Museum in Scottsdale.  It was really neat.  There was a 3D movie all about monarch butterflies. Ellie and I kept trying to reach out and grab the butterflies, but somehow they kept just escaping our reach.

After the 3D movie, we went into a giant area with tons and tons of butterflies. While we were watching them fly all around, one landed on Dad's shoulder! He sat really still while everyone took pictures. After a few minutes, he decided he'd had enough and started walking around.  To his and everyone else's surprise, the butterfly stayed on him. Dad found a new friend!

Ellie and I kept trying to get butterflies to land on us, but we weren't having much luck. One did land on my head but it quickly flew away. At one point there were three butterflies on Uncle Steve at the same time! We had a good time looking at all of the pretty butterflies.

The next room had a beehive that you could watch through glass. I even spotted the queen bee - it had a red belly. When we asked Dad how I knew it was the queen, he said it must be the one bossing all of the other bees around.

After the museum we headed back to the hotel to get ready for a fancy dinner - the rehearsal dinner.  I got to put on a fun purple dress I picked out myself before the trip. The dinner was at a super nice, big house, which I thought was a restaurant because it was so big. I met so many cousins that night I couldn't believe it. The food was also really good.

At one point during dinner, Dad met another 3rd cousin Ali. Ali's daughter Dena is just 9 days older than me. Ali and Dad figured out that Dena and I were 4th cousins. That means that we have the same great-great-great grandparents. Or put another way, our great-grandmothers were first cousins. Whew! Anyway, Dena and I really hit it off. Even though we had to leave, I was hoping that I would get to see her the next day.

The next morning we went to have brunch with more of my cousins.  This time it was with my cousins Jodi, Mike, Emily, Jessica, and Ryan. Ellie, Nathan, their parents and grandparents, Dad and Bubbe all came too. We had a lot of fun eating brunch, playing on their trampoline and running around their house. We were having so much fun that before I knew it, it was time to leave. I was sad to go since I wouldn't see Ellie, Nathan, Emily, Jessica, or Ryan again on this trip.

After we returned to the hotel, it was time to get dressed up again for another fancy dinner.  This time it was for the wedding. I got to wear a brand new pink and black dress that I picked out myself. Dad were a tuxedo!

The wedding was outside and it was really beautiful. I was very patient while we took pictures before the wedding. Dad was really impressed with how well I behaved on the whole trip.

Before the wedding started, Dad dropped me off with some other kids in childcare.  It was so fun, that when the wedding was over and Dad came to get me, I didn't want to leave. But Dad promised we had a lot more fun in store for us.

We went to an outside reception where I had two delicious things I had never tried before - lamb chops and Shirley Temples!  Yum!

After the outside reception we went to the party inside. When I first walked in, I was worried the music would be too loud, but I warmed up to the party pretty quickly, especially after seeing that I was sitting next to my new-found cousin Dena. We played together the whole night - we colored together, danced together, and ate treats together. It was so much fun. We danced pretty much the whole night. Dad said I was the life of the party. I even got to dance with the bride Amy for a little bit. My favorite part of the night was dancing the Hora with Bubbe and watching the Amy and Jeff, bride and groom, ride up high on chairs.

Dad couldn't believe how awake I was even as it got late. I hadn't napped in two days, but was still going strong. Then he realized why - I was waiting for dessert. There was an ice cream bar with all kinds of yummy toppings. After finally getting my dessert, I was suddenly very tired. Dena was tired too, and her parents were leaving as well. Dena and I said a tearful goodbye and we headed back to our hotel. I was asleep within 2 minutes of getting the car.

Dad woke me up at 4:30 in the morning to catch our flight the next day. Against all odds, I woke up in a great mood and was really well behaved on our flights home. Mom and Turner picked us up at the airport (Mitch was still in school). I was sooo excited to see them!  When we got home, Turner and I got right back to playing together.  And we were all really excited when Mitch came home from school.

It's good to be back, but it was a really fun trip.