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:)