We had lunch on Saturday with Granpa and Jacque to celebrate my upcoming birthday and their trip up North. They leave for 5 months this week. Abby is really going to miss them- we've seen them 3 times in the past month and she loves her Granpa and Jacque!
This is my first photo taken with my iPhone to blog. Not bad! I may not need to carry my camera around anymore! I love it!
Abby and Marcus do story time at the local library every Saturday morning. It is their thing and I use the time to work, craft, clean, etc. Abby's friend Eva (pictured below) and Madeline are there most Saturdays, too. It makes for a fun time for Abby and her friends.
Abby and Eva were in day care together as newborns. Another baby with them was Ka'lea. She was in daycare with Abby until last August when I started staying home with her. Ka'lea is Abby's bestest little friend and she has talked about her non-stop for the past few weeks. So, Marcus emailed with Ka'lea's Mom and she joined them at story time on Saturday. Abby was ecstatic!
Ka'lea, Abby and Eva, all about age 3. These girls have birthday from October to December, Abby is the youngest for a month or so.
I just love seeing her with her little friends! We have a Gabba episode about talent and about 6 months ago Abby asked us what her talent was. We told her it was making friends, since she isn't shy with new people and we had been working on sharing, proper introductions, etc. This past week she got in trouble at school for taking toys away from a little friend and for general bad behavior with her. When Marcus told her we would take her talent away, she was super upset. She has talked about keeping her talent and being a good friend all weekend. Let's hope it carries over to school this week!
Taking your 3 year old to the dentist is really all about you, the parent. If they are full of cavities, they don't know, care, or even feel shame. But, you, the Mom feel is all. Taking Abby to her first dentist appointment made me nervous- do I brush long enough? What about the couple of times we have forgotten? Did we use the "baby" toothpaste for too long? Does she eat too much candy?
She was happy and excited to be someplace new and I had built it up as so exciting for her- you get to stick your tongue out and he'll count your teeth!
She was happy and doing great until they put the "bib" on her. She didn't like it and we didn't recover. So, we did the appointment with her in my lap. It worked fine- I suppose it happens often. She loved pushing the button and making her chair go high and become a bed :)
Here is mine, I mean her, report card. No cavities. Healthy teeth. Good spacing. No real plaque. Hooray! We celebrated with chips and queso on a patio for lunch with Marcus. We gave high fives and then had ice cream. ha!
Marcus grew a beard this winter. It was part following trend, part thrilled about not shaving, and part a test to see if he could do it and what color is would be :)
Spring is here and Marcus was ready to drop the beard. Since his goatee was really grey, he decided to shave it too and hope that it comes back a little darker. Here is the last pictures with the full beard.
Then the fun began!
And, finally, clean shaven Marcus. He hasn't been this hairless since college. I like the goatee and he has complained about cold air on his chin all day, so it should be back in a few days.
Funny story, we did this while Abby was napping. We both thought she wouldn't notice and we were both dead wrong. She immediately saw him and looked at him oddly, then she said, "Daddy.... are you.... a different Daddy?" We died laughing! She wouldn't let him hug her until I did it first. Funny how her little mind tried to process the change!
Isn't Mr. Jenk a good sport! He is wearing his big green hat to story time today. The fact that Marcus takes Abby to storytime every week makes him wonderful... add in a silly costume and we are lucky, indeed!
After story time this morning, we are meeting for lunch and then picking up my early birthday gift- my very first iPhone! I have waited patiently and I'm ready for the toy all my friends have! ha!
The afternoon is lazy with basketball, playing and maybe a trip to the park!
Since soccer ended earlier this month, we took the opportunity to enroll Abby in Nitro Swim School. We have heard great things from our friends and seen the amazing little swimmers that have come out of there. As a three year old, she takes lessons without me in the pool. I wasn't thrilled about swimming every week so that was a plus.
But, I'll be honest with you, I was terrified of major melt downs, separation anxiety, and general non-compliance from Abby. I didn't even think she would wear her goggles. It is one thing to be in dance class and see me outside the room. In that setting, I can still have a chat with her about behavior and try to get things back on track. I can't jump in the pool with her and discuss things. I was ready to be humbled by kicking and screaming in this big open warehouse....
But, it didn't happen! Hallelujah! Abby introduced herself and went right into the water with her coach. She smiled and laughed the entire time, did everything they asked of her, and showed a good attitude. I have never been prouder of her. It was something totally new- she hasn't been in a pool in MONTHS and has never been here or seen these people before.
This place is pretty amazing- it is a giant warehouse with a small lesson pool for the little kids and then a big pool with lanes and hanging pennants and kids, parents and coaches all around! In the little pool where Abby is, there are 10 stations. Abby starts in station one and when she can complete the tasks lined out, she graduates to station #2 and so on.
A big part of #1 is comfort with the water. During her 30 minute lesson, Abby leaned side to side to get her hair and ears wet, practiced blowing bubbles in the water and then practiced holding her breath. She blew bubbles successfully a couple of time (which led to high praise from Coach Lauren) and learned how to hold her breath, but never did it in the water.
They also spent some time with little toys and making water splash around and shoot out. I assume it is all part of comfort with water.
We'll be swimming every Wednesday, so I'll keep you posted and as improves and graduates!
Abby and I went to the rodeo on Tuesday with a group of our church and dance friends. We had lots of kids in our crazy group and I don't recall any major drama, meltdowns or accidents. Winning!
After the duck scare the previous day I was afraid Abby would be scared of the animals, but she did awesome! She was petting and feeding everything! They had an open baby animal area for petting and then larger animals in an area where you could feed them. They were hungry and slobbery!
We also saw the pig races. They were a treat and Abby LOVED them! She would get so excited and clap and jump up and down with the cheering crowd. We had a front row seat!
Abby's shirt says "This Ain't My First Rodeo". ha! Irony!
After the pig races, we ate lunch among the finest fair food! Abby and I shared a corn dog and a cherry limeade. It was all yummy and I'm so glad Joy invited us!
Abby and I drove to New Braunfels on Monday morning to spend the day with my Mom, sister and Kyleigh and Cohen. We had lunch at Chick-fil-A and then went to their popular local park- Landa.
While the kids were on the playground- I caught up with a high school friend who happened to be at the park with her Mom and kids. Odd to run into someone I haven't seen in 10 plus years in a city neither of us live in! Abby had fun swinging and Cohen learned he isn't a baby anymore ;)
This park was pretty cool- the oldest tree in the area is here. We found a squirrel eating a marshmallow on the big trunk. Can you see him?
There are also paddle boats you can rent. Tiffany took the kids down to the water to see the ducks. I do not like ducks- they can be calm and then go crazy on you the next minute and bite at your feet. Abby learned that lesson- she tried to pet the duck and he bit at her foot!
The kids got hot so it was time to leave the park. But, not before a little tree hugging. We are from Austin, afterall.
Abby loved seeing her family, but might have loved seeing Gracie May the most! She loves that dog and GM is so much more patient with her than our cat. One day Abby!
Leander is a cross between a rural area and a suburb. Being so close to Cedar Park, we have lots of young families, new parks, and great schools. However, much of the country life still exists. For example, there are more feed stores and auto parts stores than restaurants in Leander. I am seriously not joking!
A new little bakery and coffee shop opened up in downtown Leander and it is precious! On the recommendation of a friend, Abby and I tried it out last week for lunch.
Don't let her "mad face" fool you, she loved her lunch and especially the giant sugar cookie that came with it!
The menu is salads, homemade soups, and grilled sandwiches. They also have a full espresso bar and a bakery of cakes, cookies, and even scones. I love scones! I had the southwestern turkey with pasta salad and iced tea.
This kid and her faces crack me up- who knows what face that is!
Just across the street in the old post office I saw a seen for Shea's Place. It looked like another restaurant- hooray!
Marcus and I have had date nights recently and had fun trying out new restaurants. We take Abby to church for Parent's Night Out monthly and then our local YMCA for free family Fridays monthly. It is wonderful to have child care and spend time together!
We did dinner at Blue Star Cafeteria last month for Valentine's Day. It was yummy, retro, classic food. Marcus had a meatloaf sandwich and I ate lasagna.
Marcus was excited to have chicken and stars soup for his appetizer. It was worth going back for. Oh, and the buttermilk pie was delish!
On Sunday night since my Mom was visiting, we had a date night and splurged by going downtown! We try to stay near NW Austin when Abby is in childcare in case something goes wrong.
We did dinner at Mellow Mushroom by campus. We had eaten there on vacation in South Carolina and had no idea Austin had one, too! Here is 1/2 of my ham and bell pepper calzone. So stinkin' good! The dough is almost sweet and the cheese is over-the-top gooey!
Marcus tried a funky pizza with mushrooms, pesto sauce, jalapenos, sausage and more. He liked it- it looked awful to me!
Tonight is our date night for the YMCA. Hooray for another night out with my cute husband!
When Abby names her family- she names her parents, grandparents, cousins and the Gumpl family. Mitch and Natalie and their kids are some of our dearest friends. You can imagine how excited Abby has been to meet the newest Gumpl- Caroline Grace. She has talked about this baby girls for weeks always asking if she was here yet. On Tuesday, she was finally here and on Wednesday, Abby got to meet her!
One of the sweet hospital visitors walked us from the entrance to the women's area and Abby told him all about Baby Caroline! He thought Abby was the big sister based upon her excitement. Natalie and I joke Abby and Michael will one day marry, so she could be her sister-in-law :)
Isn't she the cutest little chunker? Those cheeks keep her eyes closed! Abby was really sweet with her- she whispered, held her, and was so soft with her. It made her seem so big and compassionate in an instant. Normally, she seems so little and her compassion for others matches that of a normal 3 year old!
After our trip to the hospital we had lunch at Arby's. I love Arby's but there isn't one near us. It was yummy! Abby asked me to take her picture and named each emotion she wanted me to capture. This was mad, I think. I took about 10 different pictures of her silly faces during lunch.
Since we were in Round Rock, we ran into Gap Outlet. I have had great luck there recently and wanted to find a birthday dinner dress for our upcoming vacation to LA. I think I found a winner! It is cute, comfy and will travel well! While there, Abby tried on a straw hat. I love this kid in hats!
These are the days I love- seeing friends, lunch and shopping with my best little friend, and then while she napped, I did laundry, cooked dinner in the crockpot, and worked with the windows open and a candle burning. It was my kind of a perfect day!