Thursday, September 22, 2011

Arboretum at three

Wow. It has been a busy couple of weeks. So, now, I have a huge backlog of pictures to post. Most of them come from the Dallas Arboretum, which we went to with my parents.

This is a picture from the Arbordtum trip we made about three years ago:

This is her now. She has a lot more energy, so she doesn't accidentally fall asleep during the middle of a photo opportunity. In addition, she can now pick up (and drop) most of the pumpkins.

Every time we go, the arboretum does something a little bit different. This time, they had scenes from different fairy tails on display. Sara Beth went straight for the throne in the Little Mermaid castle.

Sara Beth wanted to go to all the fountains in the Arboretum. I explained how to use the map, pointing to where we were and the direction of the next set of fountains. She had the most fun at the frog fountain because she could splash around in the water.

We probably spent twenty or thirty minutes at the frog fountain.

Sara Beth demonstrated some of the moves she learned in gymnastics for us. At least, I think she learned this in gym.

Sara Beth discovered this little chair hidden down a little trail a bit off the main path.

One of the things Heather worked on with Sara Beth was a bit of biology. They discussed the different plants and animals that live near ponds. One of the things they talked about was lily pads, though Sara Beth had never seen them in real life. As we get up to this water feature, Sara Beth exclaims "Lily Pads!" and wants to show them off to every one as it is the first time she has seen them in person.

In this picture, she found some fish swimming in the water, but was a little apprehensive about them since they were rather large.

Once we got home, Sara Beth decided that the carpet was lava, so she needed a bridge to get from the chair to the couch without getting her feet burned.

Heather has been trying to make fall come sooner by baking some fall foods, like pumpkin cake. It appears that it works. she has cooked this pumpkin cake three times, and it has always been cooler outside the day after the day she bakes. Sara Beth, of course, likes to help.

I'm not sure I know her favorite reason for helping. It is either the fact that she is helping Heather, or that she gets to lick the utensils once they are done.

Heather and I went on a date! With my parents now back in town, it makes the whole process of finding a baby sitter infinitely easier. For dinner, they made octopus and seaweed (aka green noodles and hot dogs).

Heather and I were sitting in the living room talking one afternoon, when we realize it has been rather quiet in the back of the house. Naturally, we assume that Sara Beth must be getting into some sort of mischief, so I go investigate. It turns out she was just sitting and reading her Bible.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Growing quickly

Ok. I've heard people say "They grow up so quickly." I took their advice and made sure to spend as much time as reasonably possible with Sara Beth. And yet, she still seems to grow up too fast. This week, I got home from work. Instead of running up to give me a hug, Sara Beth was sitting in her bed room. I go in there to say hi and she says "Excuse me, Dad, but could you leave? I'm reading." Spoken like a teenager. Actually, it was probably a lot more civil than the typical teenager, but still, you get the idea.

Also, Heather snapped a picture of Sara Beth's block masterpiece. It doesn't seem that long ago that Sara Beth was knocking over towers that I made. Now she is building her own. It will actually be interesting to see how she responds in about a year once Hudson is old enough to crawl over and knock down Sara Beth's tower.

Fortunately, she has not grown up completely yet. Here she after getting dressed all by herself, wearing two different sets of pajamas simultaneously, and standing next to her pretty design she made with play dough. A little later we found about half of the play dough, half dissolved into a cup full of water. Sara Beth claimed that it needed to be washed.

Breakfasts these days consist of either a yogurt parfait (yogurt and granola) or dry cereal with a cup of milk on the side, along with whatever mommy was going to eat. Heather will often have to make a second breakfast for herself after Sara Beth eats Heather's original breakfast.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

New School Year

Last Thursday was the beginning of Sara Beth's new school year. Last year, she oozed excitement from every pore of her body about going to school. This year, there was less oozing. She was apprehensive about going to a new class; knowing that she wouldn't have the same teachers as last year. Fortunately, her friend Ashlyn goes to the same class as she does, so she already knows someone. Of course, a week later, the apprehension has worn off, she looks forward to going to school, and the teachers send home glowing reports praising her ability to follow directions and expressing surprise at how smart she is.

The weather this past week has been amazing. We were outside most of Labor Day playing volleyball with friends from church and replacing flowers in the front yard with some that have not been burned to a crisp. Heather and Sara Beth have a skin completion that lets them tan elegantly; my skin, however, does it best to look like a cooked lobster. Earlier that day, Sara Beth decided she was going to be an explorer and needed to create an appropriate outfit for the occasion.

Whenever we get a new stuffed animal for Sara Beth, she wants to preform surgery to cut the tags off, and then put band aids on the spot were the tags were located. Additional stuffed animals apparently have suffered massive trauma; the kind of trauma that only a band-aid can fix. After enough requests, we just gave her her own box of band-aids. Her sheep, Penelope, apparently walked across something and needed band-aids on all four of her feet.

Here we are performing routine house maintenance. The seat in the guest bathroom was getting old and needed to be swapped out. Sara Beth wanted to help. So when I went into the garage to grab the relevant tools for the job, she grabbed the measuring tape, claiming that it was necessary. So while I swapped out the lids, she went around measuring things. According to her measurements, Heather is taller than I am. I'm not so sure about that.

We have been working with Sara Beth to teach her that running around naked is not something that a big girl does. We have explained the concept of being modest, and Sara Beth has taken it to heart. This past week, when Heather changed her out of a wet bathing suit at the pool, Sara Beth exclaimed "Careful mommy. I don't want to show my modesty" when her belly was exposed.