April 19, 2017

Eleanor Turns FIVE!

Wow, this birthday was an emotional one for me. FIVE! Like she's little Miss Independent who will go to kindergarten in 6 months and never need me again. Tear, tear. But seriously, it's unbelievable that my first born is five and will be in school full time next year. Eleanor really embraced the birthday scene this year - the party, the presents, the cards in the mail almost daily for a week (she looooves getting mail). She so proud to be five... my big girl.

Fun memories from the past year:

: Eleanor continues to love all things arts and crafts. She can spend hours at her crafting table, whether it's cutting out hearts of every size, painting, making bookmarks to laminate, or designing necklaces. Her go to drawings are hearts, rainbows, flowers, and butterflies.

: Sister is obsessed with climbing EVERYTHING. Trees at the park, the boulders at Zilker Park, or rocks at the rock climbing gym. For a girl who isn't the most coordinated, she can really hold her own when climbing... hence the birthday party at the rock climbing gym.

: E also continues to work on her puzzles. She's up to about 250 pieces right now with very little help. It's pretty impressive and keeps her entertained.

: If we let Eleanor sleep outdoors with her "nature," she'd be a happy camper. Sister loves collecting bugs, rocks, flowers, etc.

: Eleanor is such a beautiful singer, but she's pretty shy and asks us to look away when she sings. She's starting to turn a corner on the shy factor. It's incredible that she can literally memorize lyrics after only listening to a song a few times.

: E started gymnastics this year. While I'm not sure it'll be a long term sport for her, she sure does have fun doing it.

: E is smart beyond my comprehension sometimes. Some questions I was ill prepared for this year: What is divorce? Do people come back after they die? Why is it the Easter Bunny... why not another animal to leave the eggs? Why put a hole in a Mommy's tummy for a baby to be born... the vagina is already a hole?

Overall, Eleanor's demeanor has not changed one bit in the last year. She continues to be a sweet, smart, thoughtful, nurturing little Type A girl. I can't wait to see what's in store for our daughter!

Developmental stats:

Height: 41.25 in (26%)
Weight: 33 lbs (9%)

Pink pancakes for this birthday girl. Or at least an attempt - we ran out of red food dye;(
FIVE! She's a whole hand!

New wheels for this girl

Birthday circle, Year 5

After school birthday gelato. Lemon sorbet was a winner for the birthday girl.

Family Day at school. First up, Eleanor showing me her jewelry work.

Up next, Russian nesting dolls

Drawing her specialty: hearts!

Mommy/Ellie tic-tac-toe match in the outdoor classroom.
Birthday party time at Austin Bouldering Project! This was one happy birthday girl.

Rock climbing birthday cake.

The grand finale of the party was the rope swing. Each guest had their turn - the birthday girl went first.
Bathing Beauty
Our little monkey climbing trees at the park.

Fisher Turns THREE!

It's so clique, but I cannot believe my baby boy is 3. Gone is my baby, and in his place is a silly, sweet, mischievous little BOY. 

Some fun memories/interests from this past year:

: Fish graduated to a big boy bed in August and immediately loved it (probably because he wanted to be just like sister). While I miss rocking him, I love being able to snuggle at bedtime.

: Brother became a champ at the balance bike, doing impressive tricks and riding at lightening fast speeds. He even started riding a two wheel pedal bike (no training wheels!) just after he turned three.

: Thrill seeking continues to be Fisher's number one priority. If something is not super fun, then he's not interested.

: He's taken to going on bike rides with Daddy (seat on the front of his bike) and listening to “monster music” aka heavy metal.

: While you Fish is ALL boy with the louder, faster, bigger mentality, he also has the sweetest disposition. He constantly tells me how much he loves me ("Mom, I love you SO big!") and asks to snuggle. There’s nothing better!

: Racecars continue to be one of the main interests. I think we’ve watched the Cars movies 300x by now. 

: Our son's love of food still amazes me. He literally eats ANYTHING (and frequently). Some of your favorites are soup and ramen, pickles, yogurt, corn on the cob, breakfast tacos, "dipper eggs" (eggs over easy, dipping toast in the yolk), and Gemelli’s chocolate gelato.
: Sports of any kind interest Fish – basketball, football, golf, baseball… as long as he can keep active, you’re a happy boy.

: I absolutely love how much Fisher adores his sister, constantly calling out, "Al-nore!" He genuinely looks up to her, and while he has his moments of struggle with Sister, most of the time they peacefully exist as siblings;)

From a development standpoint, here are Fisher's 3 year stats:

Height: 37.5" (48%)
Weight: 30 lbs (35%)

Birthday breakfast tradition. Colored pancakes, blue for Fish!

Race car birthday party, per Fisher's request. It was supposed to be at a nearby park to keep it "simple." Then it rained and I had to scramble to get our house prepared for 35 people (read: mayhem).

Race car photo booth built by the ever so crafty Kiki. Madeline and Eleanor were great driving buddies.

My favorite three-year-old

Daddy showing Buddy how the pedals work during Project Learn to Ride a Pedal Bike

And about 15 minutes later, he nailed it! Straight from a balance bike to a pedal bike (no training wheels for this dude) just a few days after he turned 3.

Family Day at school where the kids were the teachers and showed the parents how to do their "work." Since they're both in the same class, we had to take turns with Mommy. I asked Fisher what work he wanted to show me first, and he quickly exclaimed, "My food work!" Huh, what's that? "Snack time!" Hmmmmm, that's where all our tuition dollars go?!?
Next up, egg work.

Cutting work


Jammin' outside

Mr. Scott is amazing and has a full tool shed in their outdoor classroom... here is a manual/propelled-type screwdriver.
More cool tools.
Hanging with the big kids at the BMX course.

April 12, 2017

We're Baaaaack

Poof! And just like that, an entire season goes by. Actually, I got lazy, and the longer I waited to update the blog. the more time intensive and intimidating it became. So... here goes!

Our annual trip to NYC in January for Justin's sales meeting. It's always so great catching up with one of my oldest friends, Meredith.

Tired, puffy eyes for our first Central Park stroll.

This beats reheated coffee at home:)

We sent a video to the kids of us in the snow, and they were blown away. We have to get them to a true "winter" sometime soon. They're jaded southern kiddos.

Afternoon pub stop to watch the Hawks play... they didn't have the game on TV so...

This was our outlet.

Amazing ramen spot in NYC.
Gathering Spring Break supplies:)
E doing her best camouflage. 

Brother too.

My valentine from Eleanor.

Fisher learned "Take Me Out to the Ballgame" and asked what Cracker Jacks were, so we filled the void.

I'm still obsessed with taking pictures of my kids when they sleep! They're just so quiet and peaceful and innocent in these moments.

After hitting up the MoMa in NYC, we decided to instill some culture in the kids with a local Warhol exhibit.

We have, hands down, the best nanny that ever existed. Laura asked if she could have Eleanor over for a slumber party. On a Saturday. Without pay. Huh?!? She said she really missed her one-one-one time with her girl. After Eleanor promptly said yes to this proposal, I kept asking her, "Are you SURE you're OK with this??" Her reply, "Stop asking me, mom,. The only reason you keep asking is because you're going to miss me SO much!" Guilty as charged, Ellie.

Girlfriend facials

Dinner out. E insisted on sitting in Laura's lap the whole time.
Meanwhile, Fish got some QT with Mom and Dad doing some of his favorite things. First up: biking and eating!
Next, trying out "motorcycle boats" for the first time. It was a hit.

We've realized recently how important it is to split up and give the kids one-on-one time. Win-win for everyone.

Could she be any sweeter? Our little nurturer.

Only 4 and stealing my scarf.

Party with friends at Canopy.

Daddy/Ellie date. Biking, kiting, and popcicles.

Night swimming and silliness.

Bama and Papa come to visit. The Thomas men have an uncanny ability to sleep anywhere, anytime. Case in point here.

Racecars before the movie.

Roadtrip to see the Hawks dominate Baylor.

I did it! Ran the Austin Half Marathon. It was so rewarding to check off a long time goal of mine. This was mile 7. I wasn't so smiley at mile 12;)
Boy Mom.

Race cars make this kid tick. I've never seen anything like it.

While sister loves climbing.

And snails.
More Jayhawks! This time in Austin.

We had such success with our vegetable garden last year that we're giving it a whirl again this year. Hopefully we have a bounty of cucumbers and zucchini by next month.

SX San Jose for SXSW... perfect family friendly venue.

Thanks to Kiki and Nana, we also got an adult outing for SXSW!

And finally, nothing screams spring more than Texas bluebonnets.