Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Claire's First Day of First Grade

We have a first grader!




The night before, Claire had an unusually difficult time falling asleep, and I got to sing, rock, and lay down with her to try to help her relax for the first time in years.  While I was sorry that she was a little anxious, I enjoyed those sweet moments with her.  Despite the lack of sleep, she popped right out of bed and was ready to go.  Will spent the night with my parents, so we were able to totally focus on Claire and get some photos.

The first day this year was so easy - we knew where we were going and we saw lots of familiar faces.  We weren't able to go to Meet the Teacher night the week before since we were out of town, but we were familiar with her teacher (we got the one we wanted!), and Claire already knew where the first grade classes were located.

While Will and I miss having her with us during the day, she has had a wonderful week and is excited to go to school each day.  We're looking forward to a great year!

Second Annual Back to School Dinner

Last year we began a new family tradition of going out to dinner the night before school begins.  Like her mother, Claire appears to take tradition seriously, and she wanted to go to the same place (California Pizza Kitchen) and invited the same group (our immediate family, my parents, and my cousin Jonathan) as last year.

She even choose the same dessert - a chocolate souffle cake with ice cream (at least this year Will didn't cry while having to wait for me to take a picture).

We had a great time!




Thursday, July 31, 2014

July Randoms

A wrap up of our month:

July 2 - A playdate at the Bulverde park with Grace and Jacob.  The little splash pad was big fun!

The last swim lesson at Aqua Tots!  It was a lot of fun, but we decided to take a break for awhile.

July 4 - For our trip to Dallas, I got each kid a book (Frozen for Claire and a dragon guide to How to Train Your Dragon for Will) along with the Dragon movie.  Will immediately became obsessed with the book and can now recite the entire thing from memory - and it's a Level 2, so it's not short.

July 15 - We got a lot of rain today, and when I got home from picking up the kids from their summer fun program, I noticed that all 3 of our garbage cans had rolled down the hill.  Fortunately a service truck at the neighbor's house stopped them from going all the way down the street!

July 26 - We are getting ready to have the interior of our house repainted, so Claire and I found some bedding that we both liked before we repaint.  We are both excited to see the final result soon.

July 29 - This evening I let the kids play with their new water guns.  Will really liked spraying himself - silly kid!

July 30 - We went up to Bulverde this morning to drop off some meals for a fellow MOPS member who just had a baby, so it was a good chance for us to play at the splash pad at the local park.  Claire and Will had so much fun in the water - beautiful day!
Splash Pad


Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Bye Bye Baby Teeth!

Last summer Claire had her first lost tooth and lost another one shortly after, but she hadn't had any more loose teeth until last week.  Last Monday night (June 21st), she told me one was loose, so we'd started keeping an eye on it.  When I picked her up from summer program on Tuesday, she told me it was really loose.  I said "Do you want me to try to pull it for you?"  She said "I'll try it.  Oh!  There it is!"

The matching one on the other side came out a few days later.

Robert and I had been talking about setting up a consultation with another dentist to check her two front top teeth.  They've always been small, and since her bottom two permanent teeth came in last year, they'd really worn down the two top ones.  Then yesterday she got a funny look on her face and told me she had another loose tooth.  I checked, and both of her front teeth were wiggling.  Finally!

Today she couldn't stop wiggling one of them.  I checked this morning, and it wasn't budging easily, so I suggested leaving it alone for awhile.  That advice was ignored.  :)  The kids went over to my parents house for a couple of hours this afternoon while I took care of some volunteer stuff, and on our way home, she told me she was going to pull it.  I was driving and couldn't stop her - I heard "Ow! Ow! Ow!  There it is!"  She may be little, but she is tough and brave!

Three teeth gone in 8 days.  I love her little Jack O Lantern grin!

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Zoo Day and Milkshakes

It had been awhile since our last visit to the zoo, so Claire, Will and I headed down there on Friday.  I decided it would be a day of "Yes" - "Yes!" to the butterfly garden, "Yes!" to a ride on the carousel, "Yes!" to lunch at the Zoo Cafe, "Yes!" to a train ride, and finally, "Yes!" to milkshakes afterwards.  I think the only "No" was to toys at the gift shop.  :)

Zoo Day Butterflies



We had a really fun day with only one hiccup.  As we walked through Africa Live, Will climbed up on one of the planters (because he tried to climb up and jump off of everything in sight).  I asked him to please get down, and when he jumped off, he landed funny on a crack in the sidewalk and fell pretty hard on his knees.  When I picked him up, I realized one of his knees was cut and bleeding.  We were close to a small shop, so we walked over for some napkins.  They had some antiseptic wipes and Neosporin and called to have someone bring some Band Aids, so we got him fixed up pretty quickly and were on our way again.  Glad it was an easy fix!

Earlier in the summer when Claire and I were talking about fun things we should do this summer, one of the things that we agreed on was going to get milkshakes.  One of my favorite childhood memories from a vacation to San Antonio was getting milkshakes at the Olmos Pharmacy's old-fashioned lunch counter.  The Olmos Pharmacy is still around and is close to the zoo, but I was a little disappointed to see that while the building and the lunch counter were there, the actual pharmacy and store is gone.  Everything except the lunch counter has been stripped out, and the building is just used for food and live music.  The kids didn't know any different, though, and were still really excited to get to sit at the counter and watch the server make their chocolate milkshake.  It was delicious, and I was glad that I got to get them a special treat!
Zoo Day Milkshake

While I was gone...

After Robert and the kids dropped me off at the airport, they enjoyed a fun day together.  First stop was Krispy Kreme for donuts - Robert texted me this picture of Will's chocolate donut face.

Next they had a playdate in the park with Elliot and Jack - Courtney was hosting an essential oils class, so Josh and the boys were also looking to get out of the house.


Lunch, naps, and dinner at Nana and Granddaddy's house finished off their day.  I'm so glad they all had a good day while I was with my friends.

A&M Girls' Weekend

I have an amazing group of friends from my time at A&M, and I love when we can make time in our busy schedules to spend time together catching up and reconnecting.  In the days of social media, it's easier to know what each of our families have been up to, but it's nothing like seeing each other in person and getting to talk about how we are all actually doing.

These ladies have such a treasured place in my heart.  I've made a lot of good friends since my time at A&M, but there is something special about being with a group of women who knew me before I was a mother, before I was a wife, before I had a career...and no matter how much time has passed since we've last seen each other, we can pick up right where we left off.  I am so blessed!

Jill and Melissa arrived at Lindsay's house on Friday night, and I flew up on Saturday morning.  They picked me up from the airport, and we met Courtney at the nail salon for pedicures.  After some pampering, we treated ourselves to brunch at Breadwinners, another one of my favorite restaurants that I miss from our time in Dallas.  We all commented that it felt so strange to not be checking our watches to make sure we were adhering to a schedule!  Our day of leisure continued with some time at the mall and a movie (The Fault in Our Stars).  Courtney had to leave us, and Jill, Melissa, Lindsay and I ate dinner at Gloria's before driving back to Lindsay's to relax over s'mores, a glass of wine, and another fun movie (Pitch Perfect).

A&M Girls

Jill and I drove back to San Antonio on Sunday refreshed and ready to see our families.  It was a wonderful weekend with good friends, good conversation, and good food.  Hope we can do it again soon!!!

Summer at Sea World

We went to Sea World twice in July.  The first trip was just me and the kids.  I wanted to make a point to see more shows on these visits, so for the first time, we saw the "Pets Ahoy" show, and it was a huge hit with the kids, especially our animal lover, Will.  I particularly liked that it was air conditioned.  :)  It's a really cute show with dogs, cats, birds, pot belly pigs, and other animals, most of which are rescue animals.  We also saw "Azul" with beluga whales, dolphins, and lots of acrobatics.

A big portion of our morning was spent at the splash pad.  We don't get a lot of opportunities to play at splash pads, especially ones this big, so the kids always get excited to run around and get really wet.
SW Splash Pad


After I dried them off and got them some lunch, we had time for a ride on the Shamu Express.  On our last trip with Daddy, I checked and realized that Claire was tall enough to ride by herself, so I told them we could go on it if I could ride with Will and Claire rode in front of us.  She was SO excited to get to ride alone - she likes being a big girl.  :)


After the ride she told me that she smiled really big for the ride camera.  So cute!

We got to go back the next week, this time with our sweet McCormick friends.  We always love getting time with them.  We saw 3 shows ("Cannery Row Caper" with sea lions and a huge walrus, "Azul" again, and the Shamu show), played in the splash pad, saw lots of animals, and rode the Shamu coaster again.  I totally failed on the photo front - the only one I took was this one of Claire and Will (they wanted a picture with the seal).

Next time I'll get a photo of all four kids together!

A Morning at Morgan's Wonderland

One of the kids' Christmas presents was a 10 visit pass to Morgan's Wonderland (thank you Jonathan!), a special family park here in San Antonio.  Morgan's Wonderland was designed to be fully accessible to people of all abilities.  We love it there, and we were excited to finally have a chance to go for another visit.

We had a wonderful time.  One of the things I love about this park is that both kids can ride every ride and participate in every activity.  We got there when it opened, and the crowd was very light, so we had our choice of activities.  We saw and did almost everything, and even rode the carousel and the jeep rides twice each.
MW Carousel




On this visit, the big hit for Claire and Will was the Pirate Island Playground.  I think they would've stayed there the entire morning if I hadn't reminded them there were other things to see.  I loved watching them play together for so long, encouraging each other to climb the big rock, then running over the ramps to slide down together.

MW Climbing


In trying to take a picture of all 3 of us, I managed to get 3 very different photos of Will.  He loves hamming it up for selfies!
MW Will Selfies

Garden Adventures

Sunday morning we checked out of the hotel and drove back down to Dallas to spend the morning at the Dallas Arboretum's new Children's Adventure Garden.  It was HOT, but still worth the trip.  I knew there was going to be a lot to see, but I was still surprised and impressed with the size and number of interesting activities and exhibits that were available.




Claire loved climbing the nets suspended from the treehouse over the trails below.


While Claire was climbing, Will preferred to just take a rest in my lap.



Such a great place to run and explore - I'm looking forward to going back someday (in the spring or fall!).  For lunch we introduced the kids to one of our favorite places - Wild About Harry's.  Claire had been as a baby, but she was too young for the hot dogs and custard.  :)  This photo of Will after lunch doesn't fully capture the streaks of ketchup, Cheetos, and chocolate custard smeared over his face and shirt, and he was too hyped up to stand still to take another picture.  It's safe to say that his first visit was a big hit.

Full of hot dogs, chips, and custard, we drove to Arlington to visit with Ma & Bob for awhile before driving back to Dallas.  Claire wanted to play the CD of songs from Backyard Bible Club, and the kids put on quite a show for their great grandparents.

After dinner, we got the kids cleaned up and into pjs so that we could just carry them into their beds when we got home.  As usual, our weekend in Dallas was too short, but we had fun and made a lot of good memories on our mini-vacation.