Happy Halloween!

Love Mary Poppins, Bert & one of those cute dancing penguins :)


Daytrip: Waco, TX

 Friends forever!

Yesterday Winston & I grabbed Monica & Nathan and headed north to Waco, TX to meet up with our friend Aubrey and her kids, Colton & Lucy. They are currently living in Frisco, TX but will be moving to London for 8 mos. starting in November, so of course we wanted to meet up with them before they leave the country. Waco was about half way between us so we met up there, grabbed lunch and then wandered around the Cameron Park Zoo. Waco seems like a pretty random place to me, but if you ever happen to be killing some time there, go to the zoo. It was awesome and we basically had the zoo to ourselves, too.

It was W's first zoo trip and I'm not sure he totally understood that the animals he usually sees in books were real, but he still had fun looking at them and playing with Colton on the playground. The zoo had just about every animal you would want to see in a zoo and the animals were surprisingly close to us! Kind of scary, but cool. I think W's favorite was the leopard who was literally inches away from him and Colton staring through the glass. My favorite were the two bald eagles. I don't think I've ever seen one before and they really are magnificent! I really wanted W to see a lion because he loves growling like a lion and pointing to them in books, but it was the last exhibit we went to and W fell asleep in the stroller minutes before we got there. I would have woken him up, but the lions weren't even out, so next time.

I also loved getting to have several hours to chat with Aubrey and Monica. I miss being able to hang out with these girls (and a few others) all the time like we did freshman year. It's one of those groups of girls where I feel like everyone has grown up and experienced so many different things, but we're still the same old friends with so much to talk about. We can't wait to see Aubrey and her family again next summer when they come back!

 Group photo
Winston & Lucy passed out- the sign of a successful outing :)


Sunday Afternoons

Sunday afternoons are quickly becoming my favorite part of the week. Our ward meets at 9am, which means W gets home just in time for his nap at noon and usually sleeps for 2-3 hours. It is so nice to come home, relax and then go on a Sunday afternoon drive or spend some time in the backyard as a family. I'm still getting used to having Tyler around on Sundays, but I love it! Yesterday afternoon it was the most perfect weather, so we spent some time watching W run around the yard chasing balls and barking at the neighbors dog. Best ever!

Cutie little boy
 Two balls are always better than one... (this is W's barking face)
 He always crouches down and throws his arms back when he's getting ready to throw, or getting ready for someone else to throw :)
 Working on his soccer skills
Haha, I love this photo! Have you ever seen a more serious walk?

Sweetberry Farms

 I really don't want a picture in the pumpkin patch... please, can we stop taking pictures... here's my puka!

We drove out to Marble Falls, TX (where all the marble & granite quarries are) last week with our neighbors to go to Sweet Berry Farm. We played around the pumpkin patch, did a hay ride & a barrel-train ride, fed the goats, pet the horses, picked some flowers, and played on the moon bounce. I like being out in the country where pumpkin patches are legit in the fall.

 We LOVED the moon bounce!
 We did not love the goats...
 There were over 100 goats though and they were surprisingly clean.
 W's new buddy Grant who lives across the street from us. He is three months older than W, but W gets so excited to see him. Obviously, they were too busy chatting to look at the camera.
 Driving the tractor (Grant's older brother, Ford, is in the background)

The farm has huge strawberry fields you can come pick from in the spring, but right now they have these colorful flowers. You can pick and take home as many as you want for $3.

P.S. W does not have a bloody nose in these photos, just a beat up nose from a face plant on the asphalt a few days earlier.


15 mos

Winston hit the 15 mos mark last week and he has grown up quite a bit since the last time I did a post about him. Like I mentioned before, he is loving all the space we have here in Austin and I feel like he is running 90% of his day, which means awesome cheek jiggling :) He is still just as happy as can be and is in a very playful, giggly stage. We love him soooooo much!

Here are a few details:
  • Stats: 26 lbs., 32 1/2 inches- he is definitely tall for his age.
  • He climbs up and down the stairs by himself.
  • He has 10 teeth, including his top molars and one of his bottom molars starting cutting through this morning!
  • His favorite book is The Zoo I Drew by Todd H. Doodler.
  • He makes animal noises for dogs, sheep, cows, owls, lions, and ducks.
  • He always does a funny little squeak when talking to babies.
  • He can do all the slides at the park by himself and his favorite is the big, twisty slide.
  • Whenever he goes under something (even if it's much taller than him) he ducks his head and holds his arms straight out behind him, kind of like he's pretending to fly :)
  • He loves lasagna, fruit, shrimp chips, & pancakes.
  • He says mama, dada- finally, he called Tyler mama for a long time.
  • He says yes and no while shaking his head.
  • He says hot (tah, tah) whenever he is eating and then he blows on his food. He also understands the oven, stove & microwave are hot, the slides in the sun are hot, and he says it everytime we get into the car on a hot day :)
  • He waves hello and goodbye to everyone he sees.
  • He loves reading and is learning to color.
  • He eats most of his meals with a fork by himself and he's getting better with a spoon.
  • His eyes/eyebrows are very expressive- when he falls down and you tell him he's okay he furrows his brow and stares at you as if to say, "I'm definitely not okay."
  • When he's protesting something he glares at you and sits down where ever he is, and once in a while lays down flat with his arms and legs spread out. There isn't usually crying and never screaming involved. I think it's really cute & funny and it obviously beats the typical tantrum.
  • He still loves playing any kind of peek-a-boo game.
  • He sings in a high-pitched voice and does whenever he hears music come on, especially when the organ starts to play at church.
  • He loves to dance, mostly spinning in circles and bouncing.
  • When he is really excited or really angry he stomps his feet super fast.
  • He is OCD about cleaning :) Seriously, he is constantly cleaning the leaves/acorns off the driveway and Welcome mat. He also picks up rubbish at parks, the church, the market, or where ever and hands it to me to throw away. He wants me to immediately throw his dirty diapers away without being distracted for even a second. He vacuums with his toy vacuum very seriously, and when he's playing with something and it's time to go do something else, he always hands it to me and then hesitates, takes it back and puts it where it goes. Oh, and he puts our shoes and clothes back in our closet whenever he finds them elsewhere. 
  • He loves baths and like to wash his face by himself. He also likes to stick his face down in the water and try to blow bubbles.
  • He thinks it's funny when other people jump.
  • He is still obsessively attached to his swaddle.
  • He has amazing dexterity- He likes to hold small things just so and is definitely interested in detail. At the park he regularly sits on the playground and picks up wood chips and arranges them in his fingers so he very carefully slip them through the tiny holes in the playground floor.
  • He is down to one nap right in the middle of the day and is still sleeping 11.5 hours a night.
  • He gives everyone kisses, and always leans in for a hug and kiss after he does something he's not supposed to...
  • He talks a lot and it now sounds more like distinct sentences rather than random noises. You can also tell from the fluctuations in his voice whether he is saying something silly, important, or if he is upset.
  • He gives me the sweetest hugs, wrapping his chubby arms around my neck.
  • He likes to have his teeth brushed/gums massaged.
  • Every morning when he wakes up he says "mama" and then when I get him he immediately goes to the bedroom door and calls "dada".
  • He knows the pantry and refrigerator have food in them and when he's hungry he'll go to the door to ask for something.
  • He loves to throw all of his balls down the stairs. He also gets very excited when he sees a truck or a bus and points them all out to us. And he is starting to carry sticks and rocks around with him. He is a boy. (Side note: The other day as he was picking up sticks and leaves he ran over and handed me what I thought was a bunch of mulch, but it turned out to be a giant, buzzing cicada bug. Neither me or the bug really liked the transaction, but W thought it was pretty great :)
  • He loves dogs, but when they get really close he does a very high-pitched, nervous giggle.
  • Whenever he bonks his head, he puts his head down and walks over to me for a kiss better.
  • He is very shnuggly these days.
  • Whenever he gets a hold of a phone, or remote, or baby monitor he holds it flat under his chin and does a very fake laugh over and over again- I think he might be making fun of me...
  • He likes being tossed into the air.
  • When he's being silly he does things with his eyes closed, i.e. leaning in for a kiss, walking, trying to pick something up, etc.
  • He likes to hold your finger and point to things in his books
  • He does the cutest "Where is it?" face with eyes and mouth wide open and both arms outstretched with his palms up.
  • He signs please, thank you, "all pau" or finished, and sorry.
  • He can point to either his or my eyes, ears, nose, mouth, and puka (bellybutton).
  • Lately, with these molars growing in, he'll random start to whine a little and tug at his mouth. If I ask him if his teeth hurt he'll say yes and then open his mouth so I can see or massage his gums.
  • He has the best smile and dimples ever!
Tyler doesn't like it when I do his hair cause he looks like a little boy and not a baby :(
Our handsome boy


Discovering Austin

Over the weekend we decided to take a break from the house and check out some Austin sites. We took a tour of the state capitol Saturday afternoon and then went to see the bats on Congress Ave. Bridge Sunday evening.

The capitol tour was great. It was only about 30 minutes, so W held his own, but it was still pretty informative. It is the largest state capitol in the U.S. and all the detail was really pretty. In the 80's they re-did everything to look the way it did at the turn of the century, and most of the doors, windows, light fixtures, desks, etc. are original to the building. The grounds were also gorgeous- huge with lots of monuments and shaded, grassy spots for a picnic.

 Awesome hinges on most of the doors
  The rotunda- the star at the top is about 8.5 feet wide.
The Senate room with original desks sans ash trays and spittoons... fortunately.
The windows in the Senate. The capitol was literally plastered with stars from top to bottom.
 The House of Representatives (with original star lights)
The dome with the Goddess of Liberty on top. Those circles are the flags of every nation who has governed Texas: Spain, France, Mexico, Texas, the Confederacy, and the U.S.
Two handsome men :)

We were told the bats come out at sunset and it can take up to 45 minutes for them all to fly out. Because it's the very end of the summer before they disappear for the colder months, they came out later than we planned, but it was still pretty awesome. The river was gorgeous and W was perfectly happy to stay up an hour past his bedtime. We totally lucked into the perfect spot to watch them on top of the bridge. I guess they all head to the trestles under the bridge and then swoop out and we happened to be standing right on top of one. It was a little freaky when the first few came zipping out, but then you get used to it I guess. Except for those high fliers who come right past your face...

Waiting for the bats and enjoying the scenery
 Me and my sweet boy
View of downtown Austin and the capitol from the bridge

W was so happy sitting there watching cars, and especially buses, pass while we waited. Sometimes I wonder if our walks around the neighborhood are too boring for him considering he was so used to seeing buses, trucks, firetrucks & ambulances blaring their sirens, and lots of weird people on our walks in L.A.
Still waiting...
 Pretty view of the river- I liked watching the sunset reflected on that building.
The bats! It was pretty dark when they finally came, so this is the best photo I have. I guess you'll just have to come see them for yourself :)