Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Botanic Gardens

We are having beautiful weather here! So this Monday, our playgroup went to the Botanic Gardens for a little exploring and a fun picnic! We saw lots of plants and flowers, played lots of games of tag, saw lots of turtles (although Jillian just kept asking for ducks), and just had lots of fun with our friends.
We attempted a group picture but were pretty unsuccessful. For one, you can tell that because we have 3 - half sets of twins in this picture (how crazy is that!) And I think this might be the only one I have that Jillian is in and not running out of. Luckily, Meredith's doll Lindsay was listening and staying where she was told.
Just had to include this cute one of Miss Jilly Bean!

Fun at the Fall Carnival

For the past few years, we have gone with my mom to a fall carnival at a church in her neighborhood. We have always had a blast, so we were looking forward to it this year, for sure! We headed there after Neal and Meredith got back from their camping trip, so she had a very fun weekend!
Our first stop - the pony rides! Jillian was loving waving to Daddy and Gigi and petting the pony!
Meredith was of course loving the ponies too!
Next up - petting zoo! Jillian was insistent she pet this bunny but he was trying the best he could to stay far away!
"Ohhh"ing at the animals
And then telling them stories, I am sure.
Then the donkey started talking. Meredith thought it was funny, but a bit too loud. Jillian stayed close by, but was shaking a little bit at how loud he was!
Meredith couldn't wait to get some orange cotton candy
Looks like she enjoyed it!
Then Jillian decided to go on the slides on their playground over and over! She had a blast - look at that crazy smile!

Camping at Glen Rose

This weekend, Neal and Grandad took Meredith on a fun camping trip in the "Rolling House" to stay the night at Glen Rose. There was lots of rain early on Saturday, but luckily it cleared up in time for Neal and Meredith to hit the road to meet up with Grandad. They got there just in time for dinner - burgers on the grill!
Posin' with the Rolling House
Meredith and the grill master
Daddy and Meredith played for quite some time where she would pretend to drive the Rolling House to take Neal to school. Most of the time, she had a meeting and wouldn't be able to pick him up, so her friend would come get him after school.
After dinner, Meredith and Daddy went on a cow hunt. Here she is singing a song "We found the cow-eys!"

After a bit of a rough night getting Meredith to sleep, everyone headed to Fossil Rim to check out all the animals. I was really sad to miss this part of the trip, but I am so glad they had lots of fun!
Meredith and one of the many giraffes that ate out of our car. Neal said she would call out to them "Come here, Mister!" to get them to come to her side. They also saw and fed zebras, ostriches, a deer.
Glad Meredith wasn't freaked out by how close they got to her!
Pinkie, Meredith, and Grandad - too sweet.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Meredith's first soccer game

Last Saturday was Meredith's first soccer game. Very sadly, Neal and I were in San Francisco and missed it (believe me, the trip was planned LONG before we even signed up for soccer otherwise we would have been on the sidelines!) Luckily, Gigi and Papa were very happy to be her fans and they also appeased me by sending me text updates and pictures. Here are some pictures that my Dad took to share with us. Thanks Papa!
Meredith showing off her Ladybugs gear!

Here is my sweet girl waiting on the bench for her turn to play. Gigi said she thought she was the only one not playing but really Miss "Do What You Are Told" was just being very obedient and waiting her turn on the bench. Like most 4 year olds would, all the other girls who were waiting were off playing or sitting with their parents.
Meredith quickly got her turn to play. Gigi and Papa reported that she ran right along with the other girls and seemed to have a great time!

Meredith was very happy to tell us on the phone after the game that she got to throw in the ball "TWICE!!"

Now, I am looking forward to tomorrow where I get to see her in action for the first time...stay tuned, I will probably have more pictures to share!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Duck, duck, ducks

Today, after putting away the new bread Jillian and I just bought at the grocery store, I realized we had a pretty full loaf still waiting for us. I decided to take it out of the sandwich rotation but before tossing it out, I decided that it would be a perfect treat for the ducks. So, Jillian and I loaded up in the car with the bread and headed for a near-by park to see the ducks (or duck, duck, ducks as Jillian would say.)

The ducks were all napping when we arrived, but they were quite happy to see us coming and greeted us quickly! Jillian couldn't have been more thrilled!
To show her enthusiasm, she did lots of quaking and calling to them.
We both even talked one duck into getting pretty close to us. She decided this was a bad idea when Jillian went to go pet her like she was a dog, luckily, the duck isn't that trusting and was far enough away to run off.
She really liked trying to throw bread to the ducks, but...
...it was really more fun to eat it herself. (Again, the bread was still good. So I have made a mental note to always pack good bread to feed Jillian even if I take stale bread for the ducks!) She just kept asking for more to feed herself, while she encouraged me to throw the rest to the ducks. Really, a win-win for everyone involved.

This past weekend Neal and I took a long-awaited trip to San Francisco to see our good friends, Josh and Liz. We were excited for a little time to ourselves but it was by far the longest we have been away from Jillian and it had been quite awhile since we had been away from Meredith so long too. Luckily we had lots of family that took great care of them!

The first day we were there, Neal and I just played tourists while Josh and Liz worked. We reminisced about the days when we traveled like that all the time (read: pre-kids!) and had a blast. We hit up Fisherman's Wharf, shopped a bit in Chinatown, had lunch at In-n-Out Burger, and took a Bay Cruise. I was really excited to take the cruise and see Alcatraz and the Golden Gate Bridge. Unfortunately, it was so foggy we didn't see a TON. Actually we could only see the bridge when we were directly under it - which made it really kind of creepy! By the time we circled Alcatraz, the fog had lifted a bit, so we got a better view. But all-in-all, it was just great feeling the cool breeze and seeing the sights that we could see.

Look - it is me with the Golden Gate Bridge in the background. I promise.
Here is the best view of the bridge I saw while on the cruise.
Glasses were not a great option on the boat - that wasn't rain, just the build-up from the fog...
But look - now we can actually see Alcatraz!

We then took our very-tired feet back to Josh and Liz's apartment to get ready for dinner. They took us to a great place that overlooks the ocean in hopes of seeing the sunset. Because of the fog, we didn't get to experience that, but it was still a great view! And everyone humored me after dinner and let me run down on the beach for a few minutes before it got too cold.
My fun sandcastle shaped chocolate dessert! It was yummy and oh-so-rich!

Saturday we started off another fun day with Liz and Josh by having brunch at a place that Neal has told me about constantly since he went out to see Josh last, called Crepevine. He was sold on it when he got to have crepes and ice cream for breakfast. I tried out some amazing French Toast, which always means it is a great day, if you ask me!

Can you tell how excited he was to have his breakfast/ice cream?

The rest of the day we spent touring around some fun neighborhoods, seeing some museums, and just enjoying the sites. Then we made sure to be near a TV to watch the Longhorn game! Liz and I were pretty pleased with the outcome, since it allowed the guys to enjoy the rest of the evening much better!

On Sunday, we headed out to Sonoma to visit a few wineries. This was probably the part of the trip I was most looking forward to since I had never been to a winery! We first went to Iron Horse, which is one that Josh and Liz go to often and are members of. We tasted some pretty great wines and the view was magnificent!

Beautiful views. Great company. Delicious wine.
Our second winery stop - Joseph Swan.

We were definitely sad to leave, but when we got back and heard Meredith's excited squeals, we were glad to be home to her. Jillian was already in bed, but I snuck in and rocked her for a bit, under the ruse that she would want to know I was home!

Thanks for the great weekend Josh and Liz - we had a blast!

First Soccer Practice

Meredith has been super-excited to get to play soccer this year and we had our first practice with the Ladybugs last week. They worked very hard on learning not to touch the ball, how to dribble, and how to shoot. Meredith did really well so we are hoping she will have a great time this season!
All the girls trying to catch Coach Chris and the ball
Practicing dribbling
Her sweet team listening very closely to the coach
Look at those fast feet!

The highlight of the practice for the Meredith fans was when Coach Chris told the girls to kick their balls straight toward the goal. Meredith was kicking but the ball was going a bit off to the right. She suddenly stopped and left her ball. Neal and I were trying to get her to go back, but instead, she went to go find Coach Chris and said "I am supposed to go that way, but my ball is going THAT way!" Coach showed her that SHE controlled where the ball should go and she went back to get it toward the goal.

Brought to you by the letter M

Meredith was very excited to be the very first in her class to do show and tell! They each get a letter assigned to them and they get to bring up to 4 things with them in the "Timmy the Turtle Take Home" bag to show to the class. After much consideration, she chose: Mickey Mouse (who also happened to be a Magician with a Magic Wand), a Monkey, Meercat, and Mail (which was represented by a toy letter that goes with the Mailbox Meredith picked out to give Jillian when she was born.)

Let's Go to the Zoo!

On Labor Day, Neal, the girls and I decided to head out to the zoo. When Gigi and Papa heard about our trip, they decided to join us, too! It had been a long time since we had been and it was so much fun to see Jillian, especially check out all the animals!
Jillian loved seeing the animals from Papa's arms the best!
Meredith took a break from seeing animals to dance in the misters.
Jillian has always loved the lions and tigers...
...and this time she also loved waving and roaring to them.
Meredith made friends with this quail - she loved that he kept coming over to see her.
The girls were super excited to ride the carousel with Daddy.
Look at this happy girl!
...and another sitting next to her Daddy!