Owen Appleseed

My kids are not the best eaters. So when Owen asked for an apple, I more than obliged...I sat there and documented the wonderful moment too.
The TV was a good distraction. He just kept him chomping away.
What a goofball. This kid is definitely the silly one of the family.


Farmer's Market

The other week Katherine wanted to check out the local Thursday Farmer's market. So we packed our double-strollers, drove over to the park, and got ready to spend an hour perusing the local fare (secretly hoping I'd score some kettle corn).
As we pulled up, we both started laughing. There were literally 8 vendors. Eight. And some of them had only a table-full of 10 squashes. Well, we'd be done in about 5 minutes! (and there definitely wouldn't be any kettle corn). So we got the kids out and made the rounds.
Among the mini-market we found a few gems. Great Harvest bread! Mmmmm. They were out of White (bummer) so I went for Asiago Cheese.
In retrospect, however, I really should have bought a loaf of pumpkin bread. Oh, I've been itching to make pumpkin pie! The weather was in the low 70s today with a lovely breeze and I immediately got the Fall Fever.
As Katherine checked out some handmade soaps, I stopped by the honey booth. I wasn't planning on buying anything. But the 90-year-old woman that I chatted with was way too cute to resist. She talked about running the bee farm herself back in the day and about how she only has the energy now to bottle the honey and show up at markets to sell.
She showed me her Apricot Honey, made from dried apricots and similar to preserves. And I said yes.
10 minutes later, we were done with the market tour and headed to the park toys for the kids. These three are so cute together.
And baby Virginia is always a good sport, along for the ride and going with the flow.
Cute Virginia and Katherine:
When I got home, Casey laughed at my purchases and wondered why I spent $7 on a small jar of honey. I told him about the sweet 90 year old lady. He laughed at me again.
And for breakfast the next day, I spread it over cream cheese and a honey-wheat bagel and it was deeeelish!
The asiago wasn't quite as exciting, but it did make some yummy cheese bread.
Thanks little farmer's market for the lovely afternoon. We'll probably be back.


Abe, Frank, and George

Yesterday at the store Owen asked if he could have money. So I gave him my two pennies of change. He looked at the coin, smiled, and cheered, "Frankenstein!" I guess Abe always was an odd looking guy.

Then today he was wearing his President's Day shirt:
He looked down and said, "Mom! Curious George!"
American history, through Owen's eyes.


little bob

For the past two months, Lucy's hair has had two looks: one bun or two.
I grew tired of combing the tangles (and fighting her over it), the summer chlorine had done a number on the fine strands, and no matter how many times I explained that her hair was blond, she thought I was saying "long". She'd smile and continue to tell me that her hair was yellow just like Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty and Emily Elizabeth.

But we won't be having the blond/long conversation anymore because today she had an impromptu haircut! The days of combing tangles are in the past! (for a few months at least).

(she chose all these poses)
And then we cleaned up Owen's hair with the clippers.
I'm gonna miss her ponytails and buns but I always love her with a little bob. She really looks like a different kid.


New Friends

We moved to Texas a year ago and everyone here has been so welcoming and great. We've been invited to go to a girl's weekend at the lake, camping with friends in Round Rock, and we're going to Corpus Christi in a few weeks with a small group of families. We've been blessed.

But....in our particular town here there aren't a lot of young moms, or moms with young kids like ours. Most of my friends at church have kids who are 7 years-old and up. Lucy is the only child in her primary class and Owen is one of 5 kids in nursery. And I have missed dearly having that one friend you can call and say "you wanna go to the park?" or "just come over and chat while the kids run around." Someone I can relate to; who's in the same stage of life.
And then.....two months ago, a new family moved to town! A cute family of four with two little kids and so many similarities to us. The Winegars! I spotted them at church and couldn't wait to say hello. And we've hung out with them non-stop ever since then. We've had play dates, Katherine taught me how to can peaches, we've gone to the library, to the Rec Center, out to eat, to the park, and just had a ton of fun having new friends. They've been a total blessing.
And their daughter Savannah fits in so perfectly with Lucy and Owen. She's right in-between their ages and the three of them play so well together. Lucy loves having a little friend and Owen just follows Savannah around saying "Savannah! Savannah!" Lucy and Savannah are in the same preschool now too.
So thank you Winegars for moving to town! We've been waiting for you!


A really good day = Austin Kid's Museum and Burgers

We didn't get out of the house much this week. Our fun new friends were out of town (we've been hanging out with them non-stop for the past two weeks since they moved here. Love it). And then it rained NON-stop for two days. Holy Moly. So today I decided we were walking away from the cabin fever and the computer. Downtown Austin was the perfect medicine!
7 months ago we bought an annual pass to the Austin Children's Museum and it has been well-worth it. It's the perfect outing for me and the kids. We drive for 35 minutes, spend a couple hours at the museum, get lunch somewhere, and then the kids get to watch a short movie on the way home since we usually hit traffic. We have the routine down pretty well.

As we drive to the parking garage, Lucy looks for the green building (and I try to see what's in the Design within Reach windows. Sometimes they have their furniture set-up outside and the kids think it's hilarious. Why is there a couch on the sidewalk mom??!)

So today, Lucy danced her way to the museum. Owen refused to be in the picture and wanted to stand in the shade. Smart kid.
The museum is great. Not as vast as Kidspace in Pasadena but still fabulous. The traveling exhibits change every few months and we've loved each of them.
Our first stop is always the Kitchen. And this day in particular was luxurious because no one was there! Only about 8 families at any given time. Very, very nice. Usually, the kids are fighting for space behind that counter:
First the kids went into the "store" to buy fake fruits and vegetables. Then they stood behind the restaurant counter and prepared 10 million things for me to eat.
Like this monstrosity. Reminds me of a Bill Cosby hoagie.
Next up....Lucy pretended she was Alice in Wonderland, carrying around her cat Dina. The last time we came to the museum there was a random cat stuffed animal in the little kids area. She got really attached to it and carried it all around the museum. So of course when we came back today she immediately requested, "mom, let's find my Dina cat!" I highly doubted it would be there, and it wasn't, but strangely enough there was another stuffed cat sitting in a different room. Random and weird.

Anyway, here she is reenacting the first scene in Alice in Wonderland where Alice falls down the tunnel. Lucy went to the top of the slide, left Dina there with Owen,
and then "fell" down saying "goodbye Dina! Goodbye!" So silly and so funny. I love her imagination. She did this routine about 5 times.
After doing our normal stuff we checked out the current exhibit. It's all about games! There were tables set-up with normal board games for older kids to play. And then there were over-sized games everywhere.
I always get a kick out of these human-size Chess boards.
Largest Sudoku grid ever? (there's the Dina cat in Lucy's arms)
This one was my favorite. I've always loved Connect Four. I think my cousin Kam, my brother Eric, and I used to play it when we were kids for hours at a time.
The kids are too young to get the strategy aspect, so I just told them to fill it up and then we yanked the bottom out and watched them fall.
Life-size Jenga and min-bowling (I guess games that are typically large became smaller?)
And finally, have you ever seen such a cool train table??? The kids spend 30 minutes here every time we come (while I loaf around checking email on my iPhone. It's a nice tradeoff). Sometimes Lucy climbs into those middle holes to play.
After the train, we headed upstairs to the craft and engineering room. Owen has a thing for Ladybugs.
These two windows caught my eye last time we were here and I told myself to bring my camera the next time so I could capture their beauty!
They're covered in plastic bottle caps. How cool is that? They really look beautiful (kind of like the Beer House)
I guess I'll start saving my recycled bottle lids.
In this room there are all sorts of mechanical engineering lessons. Nothing intense, just simple stuff like these cool gears, some lego-ish type of building toys,
and this really cool pulley system . I showed Lucy how it worked a few times and then she wanted to do it all by herself, over and over and over again.
There's a vertical rope and an angled rope with a large clamp on it. You attach an animal with a parachute to the clamp and then use the pulley system to pull it up to the top.
When it gets there, the parachute falls off the clamp and the animal floats down. Simple fun.

And lastly there's a crazy fun craft/art room. It's usually filled with kids and looks a bit messy.
Man, if I wasn't watching kids, I'd totally be in there cutting and glueing away. Looks like creative mayhem.
And that was our trip to the museum! (after a quick stop at their store on the way out)
And then it was cheeseburgers and French fries from P. Terry's. I was looking back at my previous post about P. Terry's and oddly enough, the kids are wearing the same clothes. I guess they're our favorite"outing" outfits.
Thank you P. Terry's for the entertaining sandbox! My kids love it and I love my quiet yummy meal, while I watch them play.