December 13, 2015

Tis the Season

The Thomas Crew kicked off the holiday season with Halloween in Austin. Eleanor had a minor obsession with the Wizard of Oz earlier this year, so we took that theme and ran with it. Eleanor, of course, was Dorothy, Justin and Fisher Lollipop Guild Munchkins, and me as the Tin Man. We took the kids trick or treating to all of 3 friends' houses, at 10:00 am. We had a wedding the evening of Halloween, so we made the outing work for the adult social calendar... figured it's the last year we can get away with that.

We then had an epic night at Kelly and Dan's 80s themed wedding. Super fun evening, and thanks to Nana, we didn't have to wake up to two energetic children the following morning. With the Daylight Savings switch that night, I think Nana got the short end of the stick with Fisher waking up at 5:45 am.

Justin had knee surgery on November 19th and is recovering well. The first 10 days were a little rough, and thanks to Bama, we had an extra set of hands around the house for the first few days. Of course both kids caught colds right after surgery, so it was a bit of an infirmary for the first few days post-op. I liken the experience to having 2 toddlers and needy high schooler. Onward and upward to a full recovery for Daddy - we miss our family walks/runs/bike rides!

We had a very casual and quiet Thanksgiving. After hosting for the masses last year, we had a super small crew with us four, Nana, and Dede. Not knowing how Justin's recovery would go, I went for the chump route and ordered all food from the grocery store catering department. I will say, it was the best decision I've made in awhile. The day after Thanksgiving we ventured to Fredericksburg for the weekend with The Hacks. Our Austin neighbors own a vacation home there, so we thought we'd escape for the weekend. While it was nice to venture out for a change of scenery from the infirmary of our house, the weather limited our activities there. We strolled Main Street for a bit until our kids were frozen solid - wimpy Texas Kids!

Eleanor has fully embraced the holiday frenzy... Christmas lights, decorating, sugary treats. She still hasn't quite figured out the whole Santa thing because all she's asking for is a sleeping bag. We've managed to pack in the holiday cheer with many activities since Thanksgiving: decorating our house and tree, Gingerbread house decorating, ice skating, and a super cool Christmas light show (synchronized to holiday music) at Mozart's. Over the next couple of weeks, we have The Zilker Trail of Lights and visit to Santa, and The Nutcracker.

Some recent Eleanor tidbits:

: Eleanor continues to be an incredibly perceptive girl - literally NOTHING slips past her.

: She's also become quite the artist with some fairly elaborate drawings (for a 3 year old). She's counting to 50, and also writing/spelling her name like a champ. Eleanor's creativity and imagination is pretty impressive - she clearly doesn't get it from me:)

: I can't recall how it came up, but Eleanor mentioned that Nana and Kiki live in the same "village." After digging into her train of thought, we realized she thought apartment buildings/condos were villages.

: On the way to school one morning, Eleanor - out of nowhere - asks, "Mommy, how did I get in your tummy?" Half asleep and with no coffee in my system, I stumbled through a roundabout answer and tried to deflect the question. Hopefully I'm fully prepared next time she asks about the birds and the bees.

: We had Eleanor's school conference, and it went really well. The main takeaways from her teachers' assessment were:

... Eleanor is a cheerful, positive, resilient member of the Thunderbird (her classroom) community.
... has made many solid social connections with a wide variety of children.
... is very connected with all of her teachers, and generally seems to see adults as allies.
... loved to "do the right thing" and encourages her friends to do the same.
... is confident in her interactions with peers, and is comfortable standing up for herself, setting boundaries, and asking for what she needs.

Proud of our girl and still astounded that we have an almost 4-year-old;)

Some Fisher tidbits:

: We recently found out that Fisher was accepted into Eleanor school beginning this January. My first reaction was "Yes!!! He's emotionally/physically/mentally ready, and I'm going to have so much (more) time on my hands!" As that reaction faded, I started crying, realizing that my baby will be in SCHOOL. Eleanor witnessed this emotional unraveling, even though I tried to swallow my outburst. She looks over at my back facing her from two rooms away, and says, "Mommy, it looks like you might be crying... I think you need a hug." When I told her I was a little sad because Fisher would be starting school in January, she looks at me, bright eyed and exclaims, "Brother's going to be in my class!!!!" I had to let her know and let her know that he would be in a younger classroom... such a sweet big sister.

: Our son has sort of started potty training himself. A few weeks ago he insisted on sitting on the potty after watching sister on the toilet. And no joke, unprompted, he peed on his own accord everyday for 3+ weeks (and counting). School and a potentially diaper free house? How is this even possible?? We're gently encouraging Fisher, and I'm in no hurry to potty train, so we'll see if this streak continues...

: Fisher has become quite the independent little toddler. He's constantly say, "No-no-no-no-no-no-no!!!" - which means "I do it myself." Whether it's getting into his carseat, walking by himself, opening the toothpaste, etc - we don't DARE baby him.

Halloween 2015 - Dorothy, Tin Man, and The Lollipop Guild

Fisher with Gladiator Grant. Buds.

80s wedding was one for the books!

Blurry prom pic

The blushing (80s) bride.

Ellie with the best nanny of all time.

Pre pinata fest on the East Side.

Hide and Seek is one of Fish's faves. He thinks he's being really inconspicuous here.

Potty training brother.

Giant lite brite installation at The The Dell Children's Museum. 

Go big or go home! Dressed for Wurst Fest in New Braunfels. Justin/Sarah hats brought to you by Grandpa Thomas, the real (German) deal.

Two fisted festival boy.

Carouseling with dear friend, Hadley.

Continued Sunday Funday with the Chiefs/Broncos game.

Eleanor's clay creations from left to right: sun, snowman, frog, caterpillar, butterfly.

Bama to the rescue post op for Daddy.

We thought we'd bring the party to Daddy and help him recover. Movie night of Shrek for the first time... it was a hit!

Bama taking tickets from the train passengers.

Who's ready for Christmas!?!

Boxes are all the rage in our house. This Costco box turned into a boat when we turned our back for 15 seconds.

Making homemade whipped cream

My Two Dads in Fredericksburg.


Fisher decided he no longer sleeps in the pack and play, so we had a bedmate in Fredericksburg.

It was so cold and rainy during our stay that we had to get creative. Trip to Walmart! 

And extra screen time for good measure.

Dinner date with Madeline post swim class.

When does Santa Claus come???... says Ellie on a daily basis.

Dede the Dude post baths

The sticker infatuation has begun...

Passed out mid taking-the-boot-off

Who turned my baby into an almost 4 year old?!?

Mozarts' light show

Buddy loves his berry picking...

Fisher bids good morning to his favorite neighboring construction site...

Eleanor showing off her Spanish lessons from school.

Not sure if these elves were as helpful as we would have liked:)

October 28, 2015

October in Austin

After most of October being in the upper 90s, Fall (weather) has finally arrived in Austin, and it's amazing. The nights are cool in the 50s and days warm up to 70s/80s... so beautiful and reminds us of why we live here.

We've had a great October with ACL, pumpkin patching, cheering on the Royals during the playoffs and World Series, and lots of park/bike/outside time soaking in the weather. Justin and I celebrated our 5th Anniversary on 10/23 with dinner and My Morning Jacket concert. Super fun night celebrating with The Hacks!

I've recently realized how grown up Eleanor is. She's been very particular about her clothes (hates anything with sleeves/certain fabrics/designs/etc). So, I decided to take her shopping. To an actual store. I buy almost everything online, so this was a stretch for me. Anyway, she loved picking out clothes and trying them on in the dressing room. We then had a lunch date and had such mature conversations... where did my little girl go???

Eleanor has talked about certain boys at school having a crush on her, loves watching movies of all kinds, and can actually carry a pretty good tune. We're phasing out her marathon naps and only allowing her 1 hour of nap if she chooses or needs it. Otherwise, she has quiet time with us and then quiet time in her room by herself while Brother sleeps.

Fisher idolizes his sister and wants to do whatever she's doing. So, we constantly talk about how she has to set a good example for Fisher. Fisher has become Captain No. He literally says "no" about 314x/day. Buddy can't stand being indoors, and when he's outdoors, it's constant commentary - "Truck! Bike! Bus! Dog! Duck! Turtle! Baby!" And he won't stop shouting/pointing at the said person/object until you acknowledge that you see it too.

Here's a visual month in review:

We kicked off October with Austin City Limits. Erik Lund and Josh Ediger came in from KC to make the weekend a memorable one.
Phi Kappa Psi Boys
Parents Day out
We're not ashamed to have graduated to the chair/parent section
Eleanor and I escaped the frat house to have a coffee date. She exclaims, "Mommy, I really like our girl time!"

Cinnamon roll excitement
We went to Five Below, and I told Eleanor she could pick out one treat. This is what she chose (flossers) and shouts, "This is the most amazing thing I've ever seen!"
My handsome boys all dressed up for our family photo shoot

We left our bubble and trekked out to a pumpkin patch in Elgin. While we were less than impressed, the kids had a ball.

Train ride
The crew - Fisher, Eleanor, Grant and Landon. This is the best we could get of all four kiddos.
E's tree pose from yoga
Justin adding a level of PG-13 related material to our field trip.
Driving the tractor
Buds watching the animals at the petting zoo

Rubber ducky race
This mischievous boy on the prowl. I turned my back for about 30 seconds to find him operating the oven. 
One of our new favorite spots in Austin - the rooftop at Whole Foods provides the best view for Fisher's favorite construction site in Austin. He could sit here for HOURS yelling "Truck" "Whoa"
All because I wouldn't let him ride his bike in the street. This was minute ONE of a full blown tantrum that lasted THIRTY minutes.
Static slider
Gearing up for basketball season since we don't have much of a football team to cheer for.
No big deal, just lounging at the dentist. 
She chose scary teeth as one of her prizes from the dentist.
Lunch post dentist appointment.
This guy...
Buddy loves his bike rides with Daddy.

Sister works on her balance bike.
Real life bath time. 
Fish and Grant cheering on the Royals for Game 2 at music class.

You have to watch this a couple of times. Starts with Fisher hysterically giggling to him completely focused on a movie that Eleanor is watching.

New hand-me-down boots that were never worn. Fisher was trying to get the hang on walking in cowboy boots...

We love Andy's gelato!

There is a giant park behind these boys, and all they can focus on are the trash trucks circling the neighborhood.

Fisher not only jams to music, he now pretend lip syncs.

Eleanor is all about Annie (the movie) these days, and surprisingly enough, Fisher will sit still and watch movies with her.

Rain play in the alley during a weekend FULL of rain.