Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Spring break - day 4

Woodlands Children's Museum day!!

Today we spent most of the morning at the Children's Museum, complete with a clown magic show the kids loved (and attended twice). 

Afterwards, we had a lovely lunch at Crust, with its cozy patio and little wooded area where the kids could collect sticks and drum on trees to their hearts' content. 

Spring break - day 3

After the busy weekend, Monday was a no-plans kind of a day, starting with a breakfast of champions at Shipley. 

We made a very important morning stop to pick up our repaired iPads, which we did not get to use all weekend long. Next stop was at the car dealership, to fix the headrest DVD players in the car - Em will happily tell you that they don't work because she dropped money into both of them. The iPads were essential for the hour-long wait. So were the chocolate chip cookies offered by the dealership!

In the afternoon we visited Daddy's office with a late lunch and of course also fed the turtles next door (the fish food dispenser was broken but fortunately we brought the stale naan from lunch). 

Then dinner with Gran and Uncle Gokul at Buca di Beppo followed by a good night's sleep. More adventures on Tuesday!

Spring break 2016 - day 2

Still in Houston for day 2, we took a very short drive to the zoo. We were delighted to discover that our darling cousins were there as well, and E and Em got to play with Sophie and Piper at the children's zoo. 

We love the zoo. Not infrequently, when I ask E what he dreamed about the night before, his answer is animals at the zoo. The kids' current favorites are the monkeys and the sea lions, and one of their favorite spots is the tunnel through the piranha tank. 

After the zoo, we headed back to the 'holiday house' and chilled, then walked over to the fountains on the corner and had a picnic of the weekend's leftovers. Then dad and the kids drove home to The Woodlands and I stayed overnight to complete my call weekend (which was very pleasant - answered a few phone calls but never needed to go in to the hospital). Monday morning, call weekend ended and the real spring break began!

Climbing the orangutan. 

Ethan and Sophie exchanging stories about their respective boo boos. Em did not at this moment have any boo boos. 

Carousel ride - all 4 cousins can be seen if you squint. For some reason E always chooses the bench. 

I love this close-up of Em admiring her cousin Piper. 

They don't always want to ride in the wagon. 

Piranha tank!

Sea lion!

Spring break 2016 - day 1

We started off spring break with a call weekend for mom, followed by a week of vacation for mom, E, and Em. Since I was on call for a hospital in the Med center, a friend graciously offered us her home for the weekend. We were close enough to walk to the hospital and also to walk to Rice U, the village, several local parks... so many opportunities for adventure! Plus, my friend has a bunny!! Toddler heaven! 

We took E and Em to mom's alma mater for the first time on a lovely Saturday morning, after brunch in the village. It was delightful to watch the kids running around Rice campus!

Climbing the vertigo-inducing spiral staircase to the rooftop parking was a highlight for the kids. 
E took this photo all on his own!
Em on the outer loop, after a colossal tantrum because E ran ahead of her. 
Maybe the first of many jogs on the outer loop?
Even the leaves are bigger in Texas. 
The kids really wanted photos with their leaves...
Dinner at Local Food then dessert at Sprinkles. Sprinkle cupcakes of course. 
A bite for daddy. 
Feeding a carrot to Bunny (aka Scarlet)
Em loved visiting Bunny. 


Some cute E and Em -isms. 

Both kids ask Siri to open apps for them. From listening to us, E has learned that you need to greet Siri. So his exchange with Siri is generally:
E: Siri, open a-- Hi, Siri. Open angry birds. 
Siri: I'm sorry, I didn't get that. 
E: Hi, Siri. Open angry birds please. 
Siri: I'm sorry, what did you say?
Mom: Open angry birds. 

Siri doesn't understand Em either. They're so cute when they try though. 

Thanks to our nanny, they have and love abcmouse, which E always calls abcmouse dot com. He chats with the mouse avatar while he plays. 

E asked for a new backpack, which he really does need. He told me he would buy it and when I told him I could buy it he cried until I agreed to let him pay - he ran to his room and brought back the handfuls of change he has saved. $2.53, to be exact. When I asked what he wanted in his backpack, he replied, hesitantly, 'dolphins?' So now I am on the search for a dolphin backpack. 

We (Sherri) are weaning Em from the binky this weekend. I was showing Em a photo of Sherri's new grandbaby Brooke and told her she could give her binkies to Brookie. She hasn't stopped talking about it since - she met Brooke and gave yet the binkies today...


In the car on the way home from a birthday party, E is messing with Em a little, pushing his balloon over to her side. Em is grumpy and says, 'I fustuwaded. I fustuwaded.' What, Em, what is it? E: 'Emily is frustrated.' Aha. 

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

My sweet boy

Yesterday we went to Sam Moon and E and Em both picked out new backpacks. Actually, Em chose a backpack for E, which he insisted was the one he wanted. It's a frog backpack. His broken backpack was a frog backpack. This one's bigger, at least. And Em then picked out about 20 backpacks for her. After much cajoling, she decided on a black Avengers hologram backpack - she say it's a boy backpack but it's the one she wants. Fine with me, since it was on clearance...

E was sure to confirm with me that he was paying for the backpack with the money he had saved ($2.53, but who's counting?) and checked all the tags for the prices. We may have gone a leeeetle over budget but he doesn't need to know that.

And today, I got this text from Sherri:

'E was so sweet... we were reading and he says... I think I'm gonna go to bed now... maybe when I wake up I can hide from mommy... I said why do you hide from her... he says cause I like to be found by her!'

Sweet boy.

Sunday, January 3, 2016

Piggy cake

The kids' primary contribution was the decoration - sprinkles and chocolate chips. Moments after the photo, the eyeballs were enucleated and digested by my assistants. 

I baked an almond cake and 3 cupcakes last night after E went to bed. Today, before we decorated, he went to the little kitchen and baked a pretend cake in his pretend oven, while barking out orders to his sous, Em. We decorated and ate a real, rather tasty almond cake with a very simple buttercream (butter, powdered sugar, milk, vanilla, red food coloring).

Peachy pops

E's first recipe. Blend peaches, yogurt, and honey, freeze, roll in sugar sprinkles. The recipe photo included a gumball garnish which, to E, was the most important piece of the process. 

We already had Dixie cups and Popsicle sticks. We shopped for ingredients, including gumballs. I warned E that we would have to wait for the mixture to freeze. He was incredibly patient. He went to bed knowing the pops would've ready in the morning, and he woke up asking about them. He ran to the fridge, pulled out a pop, and brought it to me (still in bed). He happily rolled them in sprinkles, plated them with gumballs, then dove in. 

He loved preparing then eating his snack. And it's slightly healthier than the cookies and brownies we've been making nightly, at his request. 

Recipe #2 (piggy cake) was not even a little healthy, though. I'm trying to convince him to look beyond the snacks and desserts in his recipe box... 

Adventures in toddler cooking

...cooking with toddlers, not cannibalism...

E loves all things kitchen. In his play kitchen, he prepares elaborate meals with unusual menu items like lettuce soup. At the children's museum he loves the laminated recipe cards and shops for all the ingredients on every card. 

For Christmas I bought him a recipe box with kids' recipes, and he has selected a couple that we've made together. He helps shop, prep, and garnish. 

Of course, Em helps. She is often his sous in the imaginary kitchen adventures and usually looks on during our cooking sessions. She is an eager taste tester as well.