Monday, April 16, 2012

White Family Visit: Part 1

When my parents and younger brother and sister were here, we packed so much into our days that I feel in need to split it up into several blog posts. Here is part 1!

Friday evening they arrived. My amazing parents drove from Utah to Houston (a 26 hour drive) without even stopping to sleep! We were thrilled to see them and once Wesley and Talmage warmed up to everyone, they were ecstatic. Sadly, Sam had a cancer research conference in Chicago he had to attend from Saturday-Wednesday and my family was here from Friday night-Thursday afternoon, so we didn't get to do much with him. It was nice to have some company while he was gone, although we certainly missed him during all of our festivities.

Saturday brought the fun of General Conference, which is always a party for my family. We stock up on yummy food and sit and watch the sessions while enjoying a feast! Talmage kept exclaiming, "Ooooohhhh, THANK you!" as he was presented with delicious snacks. Between that and his love of the General Authorities, Conference was wonderful for him! He loved telling us who was on the screen.

Saturday evening we drove up to my grandparents' apartment (they are serving a mission in Houston and live about half an hour away from me!) and my dad and my grandpa went to the Priesthood session of Conference while the rest of us chatted with my grandma. And Sunday was more of the same! My dad started pulling Wesley around in a box after Conference was over:



He loved it!

After General Conference, we drove up to the Houston temple to take a look. The gates were closed, so we just stood outside the gates, but it just so happened that while we were there a family that was in our ward when we lived in Katy also came with some friends to show them the temple. What a funny coincidence!

The next morning we hurriedly got ready and headed out to the Blue Bell Factory in Brenham, TX (about 2 hours away from our house). Love that ice cream! We gave Bronson this hat to add to his baseball hat collection for Christmas. This was the perfect opportunity for him to wear it.


Talmage was living the high life as we travelled all around the Houston area. My parents had the DVD player set up for the long drive, so armed with chocolate milk and animal crackers left over from Conference, Talmage got to enjoy movies and snacks just about every time we were in the car. He has never been more content to drive around!

Watching movies takes intense concentration.

Both boys were such troopers about missing naps, delaying meals, etc. Wesley did a fair amount of this while we were in the car.

We love Blue Bell! Not only is the tour a fun thing to go on, but it is a memory for my family as well. Avalon and Bronson weren't born yet when we lived in Katy (just outside of Houston), so they have heard about all of these places and finally got to experience them.


Possibly the best part of the tour is the free ice cream at the end.



After the Blue Bell factory, we went to eat lunch at Gringo's--a delicious Tex-Mex restaurant that is kind of a tradition for Pearland people. The original was started in Pearland, although they now have something like 9 franchises in the Houston area.

After our lunch, we drove around the area my family used to live, looked at our old house, drove to our old church, and just got a general overview of the neighborhood. Then we headed home. On our way past the Galleria we had to stop at Sprinkles cupcakes! It is a posh cupcake place celebrities frequent all the time and where they charge an exorbitant fee for their gourmet cupcakes. But my sister Breanne told me about it when she lived in Washington, D.C. (where they also have a Sprinkles shop), and she told me that if you "like" them on Facebook they release a secret word every day that you can go in and whisper to get a free cupcake if you're one of the first 50 people to do it. Obviously, you feel kind of like a dork going into a fancy store in a really ritzy area, approaching the counter and whispering, "monkey in the middle," "sweet spot," "wipeout," or some other such random phrase in response to the employee's friendly, "Can I help you?" But I coaxed my mom and my sister to do it with me, and we came out with cupcakes for everyone. Thanks, Breanne! :)

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Untitled

I always struggle with the title on these long posts of unrelated pictures. So I decided to call this post simply, "Untitled," which I realize is a paradox in and of itself. But thus it stands.

Lately one of Talmage's favorite tasks in the kitchen is helping me fill up the muffin tins...as long as he doesn't have to touch the batter. This is a boy who really doesn't like his hands to be sticky.

These pictures are from one Sunday afternoon. Pardon the disheveled appearance of the boys, but they are cute anyway.

They really are best friends. I'm glad I can say that after the first rough couple of months.

Talmage has a system for putting Wesley up on his lap. Wesley is extremely tolerant of it, as usual. Talmage grabs the back of his shirt and pulls...

...rolling him over and up...

...onto his lap.



I have finally started to be better about our little "school time." We have been having a unit on seasons and Talmage and I made this picture on one of the days we were talking about winter. We went to a nursery and walked around looking at and talking about the plants for our field trip during the week we were talking about spring. Now Talmage sees flowers anywhere and says that they're "blossoms." We'll have to work on differentiation. We're looking forward to our field trip this next week for our summer unit! We're going to a strawberry picking farm near where we live.

Pumpkin for my punkin!

We put Talmage's tent on the bunk bed one day.


Talmage loves his friends! Our weekly playgroup is a highlight for him. On this day we were watching his friend Sam.

1:00 Church is really hard on naptime. Talmage is usually incredibly hyper and short-tempered all through Sacrament Meeting, which is the last hour of the 3-hour block, and then often falls asleep on the way home from Church which interferes with his bedtime. On this day he was out so hard he stayed asleep when I brought him in and laid him on the couch.

Wiggly Wes had been laying on his blanket and I walked off for about 30 seconds and came back to this (I was in the middle of a diaper change, which is the reason his pants are off). He moves all over the place by rolling and rotating himself around and he is starting to crawl now, too! I guess he figures he has to keep up with Talmage. He is one of the squirmiest babies ever.

Last Sunday I walked out of the Primary room for a minute, leaving Wesley in his carseat but not buckled in. When I came back someone was holding him and she told me that a little girl had suddenly said, "That baby is going to get your bag!" He had squirmed his way out of his carseat and was on the floor, getting into her bag! He just does not like to hold still. :)

Talmage wanted to feed Wesley his mashed peas one day, so I let him. He was surprisingly good at it! It actually helped while I made dinner.

It was just slightly messier. :)

See how much Wesley adores Talmage?


The funniest thing about this picture is the fact that Talmage's arm is the same width from top to bottom. Except perhaps a bit wider at the elbow? We're still working on Operation Fatten Talmage Up.

This kid, on the other hand, LOVES food and goes after it like crazy. He eats bites of table food often, in addition to his own food.

 And lastly, we're enjoying the sunshine! The heat/humidity are starting to pick up, so I guess we need to enjoy the outdoors while they're still pleasant (i.e. in the 80s).

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Free Day at the Zoo

Last week we had the most spectacular time with my parents and two of my siblings! We crammed so many things into the relatively short time they were here. I have a huge number of pictures to post, but first I guess I'll get caught up with the pictures I had from before they came. So without further ado...

At the beginning of March I spontaneously decided one day to take the boys to the zoo for the free day. I called a friend, and that afternoon we were off!

The elephant exhibit was so cool. They were quite a few elephants in two huge areas.


And the monkey section was excellent! There were so many different kinds of monkeys to see. That was one of the most popular exhibits so there were a ton of people.

But Talmage managed to get a front row view. :)

These ones were some of my favorite to watch. They were jumping all over the place!

This little man was so, so happy. He just talked and squealed pretty much the entire time we walked around. We were well past his eating time (by about an hour and a half) and had missed his nap by the time we got to the car and he still wasn't complaining because he loved it so much. That is unheard of for him--he usually protests loudly if I try to delay his feedings even 5 minutes!


 My friend's sweet baby girl was darling in her zebra outfit. So festive!

Talmage kept asking to see a snake, so we made a visit to the reptile house.

Love my sweet boys!

 The definite highlight was this pen in the kids' area where they had a bunch of goats you could go in and play with.

Talmage had pretty much no inhibitions. He loved them!


Even Wesley got in on the fun.



They had little brushes you could brush their fur with.

I love this picture. Talmage is just sizing up that goat!

The goats were mostly very tolerant of little kids' curious fingers. One was kind of mean and kept head-butting kids, but other than that they were pretty mild-mannered!



I love how they're doing almost the exact same pose in this picture. And, the fact that Wesley is always flinging his feet around to find something to push against. He even falls asleep with his feet pressed up against the bars of his crib.

 All in all, these two had a fantastic time! We'll have to visit again soon.

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