This afternoon was a little dreary and I was tired from Tillie not sleeping well last night, so we were holed up in the apartment when I came up with the brilliant plan to host a photo shoot. Scout had just woken up from her nap--I figured catching her in a quasi-dreamlike state was my only opportunity to encourage cooperation. Catcher had no problem hamming it up, as usual, and I think Tillie was wondering where the stork had dropped her.
I have lived in Texas for more than six months now, and until this weekend I hadn't had a proper barbecue experience (Alex blamed himself). On Sunday afternoon we decided to go big or go home with a visit to the local, legendary joint The Salt Lick. I felt like a city girl visiting the country, but I couldn't resist taking a picture of the giant pit smothered in meat. Below is a close up shot of the smoking action:
The only way to go when you're eating on picnic tables under the glow of white Christmas lights is "family style," which includes all you can eat sausage, ribs and brisket. You'll also get pickles and white bread--I hear that's a Texas thing--along with baked beans, cole slaw and potato salad to round out your barbecue experience. Just remember to BYOB and hit up the ATM before driving out to Driftwood (cash only!).
Scout was a big fan of the lemonade and popcorn that we had as an "appetizer" before being seated.
Strollers (and babies) welcome.
Catcher skipped the meat course and saved room for dessert, which included peach and blackberry cobblers and a slice of pecan pie...all served with ice cream (duh).
Since it's been 80+ degrees in February and it will be 100+ degrees all summer, I figured we should spend our time this week doing the fun, summery, outdoor activities that we won't be able to enjoy during Austin's sweltering months. Our latest adventure was visiting the Mayfield Nature Preserve, where peacocks run wild.
Scout stops to strike a pose while chasing a peacock down the nature trail.
When do we get lunch?
You want me to stand by this red door?
Fine. Take my picture if you want to, but I'm not looking at the camera.
I feel like you never get to see this in real life. Awesome!
Yesterday the weather was perfection: 75 degrees and sunny with a mild, light wind. Such an amazing afternoon left no excuses for staying inside, so I took the three to the Zilker Botanical Garden. Our adventure begins...
Catcher consults the map (which is not to scale and a little confusing in my opinion) and sets his sights on the butterfly garden. Scout, in the meantime, climbs on rocks and grunts.
After a face-plant (by Catcher) while running down the stone path, I suggest that the two hold hands and walk slowly. They listened!
Of course they had to stop along the way when Scout discovered that climbing under the railing would be a quicker way to get to our destination. Cautious Catcher held her back and kept her on track.
Scout decides it's her turn to consult the map. She heard the word "dinosaur" as we approached the prehistoric garden, so she starts roaring and takes the map from Catcher.
Distracted by a dinosaur on an island, Scout gives up possession of the map. Catcher is still set on the butterfly garden and thinks he knows the way.
We have arrived: the butterfly garden! Unfortunately none of us spots an actual butterfly, but we pause for a family portrait (Tillie in the red stroller in the background) while Catcher and Scout vie for top position on a butterfly sculpture.
Catcher discovers he can have his own butterfly but asks me not to take a picture (sorry!).
Scout finds her own butterfly, too.
A quick stop at the children's garden on our way to the parking lot. Catcher has dirt in his shoes; Scout wants to eat them.
Catcher is tired and wants me to rub his feet. Scout is sick from eating Catcher's shoe. Joking!
I've been a little slack on the blogging since Tillie entered the picture, but we've managed to keep ourselves busy and (somewhat) sane despite the rainy weekends and toddler temper tantrums. Tillie was two weeks old yesterday, and here's a snapshot of her first seven days:
Time to go home after one last snooze in the hospital bassinet.
Catcher cam alert: Catcher has a recent fascination with taking pictures. Here's one that he took of me the day after we got home from the hospital. It's a good thing you can't see my face in this picture. Below is one he captured during an afternoon photo shoot with Tillie.
Above: the sleeping burrito. After three kids I finally got the hang of this swaddling thing and dethroned Alex as the swaddle king (sorry, babe).
My first outing alone with all three kids--I think this was day four for Tillie--was an afternoon trip to Amy's Ice Creams. The big kids were psyched about the treat. The little one slept (below).
The ladies' man: Catcher posing with his new sister.
Today Alex is in Queens, NY, and this is the view from his hotel room. I'm starting to think that maybe I should travel with him because I know there's good blogging material to be uncovered in places like Jamaica (Queens), Itta Bena, Mississippi and Norman, Oklahoma. We can even bring the kids along and maybe start a reality show of our own: Room for Five or something like that...
The mind of a three and half year-old is a remarkable thing. It wanders from here to there through non sequiturs and back to a (somewhat) comprehensive string of thoughts. Everyone keeps telling me that I have to write down the things that Catcher says, so in 21st-century style I'm going to try to dedicate a weekly blog to his -isms. I hope everyone finds it as amusing as I do, and p.s. none of this stuff is made up.
Why did video kill the radio star?
Tillie looks like a boy.
Maybe I can have cotton candy one day.
Boys know a lot of things about stuff.
What's a heavy walker?
Go back to sleep! You need to get your rest! [This was said to me after Catcher woke me up at 5:30am.]
When I'm Daddy's age I'm going to drive Scout to school.
Why does Tillie have feet if she can't walk yet?
Catcher: How do you get to college?
Me: You study really hard and make good grades.
Catcher: But do you drive there?
Me: You need to turn down your volume.
Catcher: I can't. I don't have a button for that.
I love Peeps!
I also love my husband who traveled this morning from Waco to Dallas to Chicago to South Bend, Indiana. As much as I wish he was here to celebrate this cheesiest of holidays with me, we had our own Valentine's Day on Sunday and ate an entire heart-shaped box of chocolates. Now that's love!
Alex and I received a little surprise in the mail on Saturday: a DVD copy of our episode of HGTV's My First Sale. So we now have proof that the video was actually made, and after watching it three times (Catcher made me do it!) I can honestly say that it's probably the worst episode of this show ever. Nothing really happens and nothing is resolved. My hair doesn't look as bad as I thought it would, but I kind of have a weird southern accent (do I actually talk like that?). I don't know if it ever actually aired, but enjoy this little snippet of the Wheat family in action.
Today is baby girl Wheat's official due date. But (thankfully!) today I am not pregnant, and we welcomed Tillie Alexander Wheat into the world on Monday, February 6th. Weighing in it 6lbs 10oz, she's a little thing who arrived with the best of my two previous deliveries--the pain-free aspect of Catcher's and the rapidness of Scout's. And also like the other two, it took us a while to settle on a name for her.
From the beginning we knew we weren't looking to literary inspiration for baby number three's name because, let's be honest, it could be considered gimmicky at this point. When we found out we were having a girl we settled on the middle name Alexander, but that's all we knew. In the end we drew her name out of a hat two minutes before Alex walked out of the hospital room to go home and pick up Catcher and take him to school. I scribbled down three names on a St. David's notepad that was in our room, told Alex to take off his hat and he picked the name. He later accused me of writing Tillie down on all three scraps of paper, but the other two that made it into the drawing were Romy and Zuzu. Before we got to that point, however, Alex and I couldn't come to an agreement as he lobbied for Sunny and I fought for Fritzie. Both of those names were thrown out of consideration along with Winter (Catcher's idea), Winnie (too reminiscent of Wonder Years) and Ottilie (no one would know how to pronounce it). Looking back it's a good thing we went with the hat method--the other names are silly to me now.
On Monday we're going to the hospital to have the baby, so this is the last weekend that Catcher and Scout will have with just the two of them. The whole induction thing is new to me and a little freaky when I think about knowing the exact date the baby will be born, but it's nice to know that Alex will be here for the birth (haha!) and it makes this weekend kind of special. We kicked off the celebration this afternoon by first taking turns chilling out in the baby's bouncy chair...
and then wrestling in the baby's bouncy chair:
Later we met a new friend at Freddie's Place for a pre-dinner snack of sweet potato fries and lemonade and terrorized the playscape out back.
I can never remember if Groundhog Day is one of those holidays that moves around on the calendar or if it's the same day every year. Either way, I'm happy to be living in Austin as the prediction of six more weeks of winter was today's verdict. Since December we've been enjoying unseasonably warm days with highs in the mid-70s. If that's winter, I'll take it!