Nicolas Moves Upstairs

Last night marked a turning point in our youngest’s life. Nicolas finally moved out of the nursery, after almost 3 years in his crib. Truthfully, he’s been sleeping with the bar down in the crib for many months now, so perhaps it was more like a toddler bed, but nonetheless, he sensed the importance of his transition to a real bed, perhaps even more so because it means he now gets to share a room with his big brother.

IMG_5323_small.JPGJonathan was only too thrilled to make room for Nicolas, and both boys shouted and danced and basically carried on with much craziness last night as Jay assembled the bed frame, moved furniture around, etc.

Here is the result: two happy little boys ensconced on their matching beds, with many an admonition to wake up quietly in the morning, and sit in bed to read their books rather than arouse the other from his sleep.


They did very well for their first night together and it is fun to see them enjoying one another so much! And now our nursery is practically ready for its newest occupant, to hopefully take up residence in another few months.

A Berry Fun Day

This morning the children and I headed north on our very first berry-picking expedition to the little town of Sadler. We visited Bailey’s Berry Patch, a wonderful place that grows blueberries, blackberries, and muscadine grapes (grapes aren’t in season yet!). I didn’t know exactly how this little adventure would play out, given that two of my children don’t even care for blueberries!!

But, I needn’t have worried. The thrill of picking berries seems to have overshadowed their particular tastes, and all three worked very hard for two hours in the HOT HOT Texas sun, filling their little buckets with blueberries. We had a really fun time picking alongside our buddies and then took a break for lunch and a bit of a rest. After lunch, we determined we would attempt to finish filling our bucket (which, we’d learned, held 5 quarts of the tiny berries when filled to the brim). Jonathan was tired of picking berries by this time, but both Abigail and Nicolas attacked the bushes with renewed interest.

I’ve decided my two year old has an incredible work ethic for someone of his age. He was quite tenacious about his berry-picking, and I think viewed his contributions to the large family bucket I was holding as most important – which of course, they were! Some of the comments from him throughout the day were especially cute (esp to his Mommy!):

“Mom, I pick some berries for you. You like these?”

“Here are some more berries…see? I put them in your bucket.”

“You forgot to say thank you.”

“I’m not done yet, I’ll be done on Tuesday.”

We did indeed manage to fill our bucket, much to our delight, but Nicolas was undeterred from his mission to keep filling his tiny tin pail, and as we tried to get him to quit he exclaimed in frustration, “I not finished yet! My bucket is not full!”

After we managed to tear him away from the berry bushes, we all got to watch as the people who own the patch processed our little crop of berries for taking home. We also purchased some locally-grown tomatoes and cucumbers to enjoy.

This was a lovely way to spend the day, and after naps on the trip home, a big bathtub full of water, and lots of soap, my children were feeling quite themselves again. Here is a picture of them showing off the fruits of their labors: almost all five quarts (we snacked on them a bit!).

10th Anniversary Road Trip

To celebrate our 10th anniversary, we headed to San Antonio for 3 whole days and nights of relaxation and hanging about together. It was wonderful. We traded in some of Jay’s airline miles for a completely free hotel stay (if you don’t count the parking fees!) at the Marriott, which is probably one of the very best locations available on the RiverWalk. On top of the free lodging and breakfasts, they upgraded us to a riverview room so we had this great view from our balcony:


We could walk to pretty much everything we wanted to see within the downtown area, and so walk we did. We enjoyed the lovely paths along the riverwalk (can you find the bird in the picture?),


took in La Villita and some local art, the pretty homes in the King William Historic District, and the original Pioneer Flour Factory and Guenther House. We spent lots of time in old and new bookstores and came home with some lovely treasures for the kids, including 2 beautifully illustrated, like-new volumes of poetry I got for a song at a used bookstore (I’ve recently gotten into children’s poetry, more on that in another entry). Saw a movie, shopped together at our leisure, read a ton, ate whatever we wanted, slept late everyday, and just had a fantastic time.

One highlight of our trip that we have to share with you is our discovery of an amazing little Greek restaurant, Mina and Dimi’s. It has got to be one of the very coolest places we have ever eaten. To say it is unassuming from the outside is an understatement; indeed, we were hesitant to venture inside due to its location in a rather rundown-looking strip mall area.

But once inside, the atmosphere is just amazing and it gets 5 stars from us all around. We were immediately greeted by the sound of Mediterranean music, and the entertainment of a belly dancer. No joke. The waitstaff is among the most friendly we’ve encountered anywhere we’ve been, extremely attentive and helpful, and the food, while quite reasonably-priced, is absolutely divine. We enjoyed Flaming Saganaki, Dolmades, Kalamarakia, and shared the Rack of Lamb. We even sampled a new wine to us, Kouros Patras, which we enjoyed very much, and will try and find locally. If you ever find yourself in San Antonio, you MUST try this amazing little piece of Greece tucked into the northwest side of the city. Here we are enjoying ourselves there:


All in all, it was a great trip and we are so grateful we could enjoy a few days away. What a blessing to be able to celebrate 10 years of marriage together. Many, many thanks to our terrific, and very capable babysitters who cared lovingly for our sweet children while we were away.