Thursday, April 19, 2012

Wildflowers, wildflowers, wildflowers

I promised the wildflower pictures in one of my previous posts, so here they are.  On our trip to San Antonio we were lucky to find some great patches of wildflowers.  The planets aligned...we had a happy toddler, beautiful weather and the lighting cooperated perfectly!  I've realized I could never be a photographer because I have such a hard time choosing my favorite photos.  You'll have to forgive me for the huge number of photos I'll post here.  From 170+ photos, I narrowed it down to my top 16.

...and with as many photos as we shot, there were bound to be a few funny outtakes

"But mommy, I have an itch"
"Super cheeeeese!"
"Ahhhh, a bug!"

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Easter Sunday

Madeline had a full day of Easter egg hunts, playing outside and enjoying the hot spring temperatures.  She was excited to find that the Easter Bunny had left her some yummy treats in her Easter basket. 
Such excitement!!
A special letter from the Easter Bunny telling her to find pink eggs in the backyard.

There was a very impressive egg hunt at Church and she had fun running through the playground and field with all the kiddos in search of eggs.

Once home, she got to further hone her egg hunting skills.  She did great finding the eggs in the backyard and required very few hints!

 Opening some gifts from Grandma and Grandpa Handl
I really wish we had a video of her when she opened this little bunny.  She exclaimed, "Ooohhhhh, a bunny, how nice!" in such a grown up little voice.  Brian and I were cracking up.
Super excited about her new book!
After nap, we finished the day with a nice dip in the pool.  It is still a bit chilly, but with our temps continuing to be in the high 80's it won't be long until we'll be spending the whole afternoon in the water.

It was a great Easter and Madeline had a blast.  She asked me this morning if she could go outside and find eggs.  She'll have to wait a long time until next Easter!

Sunday, April 8, 2012

San Antonio and SeaWorld

We had a great Easter weekend!  Madeline's daycare was closed on Friday, so Brian and I decided to take the day off as well and treat Madeline to a 'big sister' weekend in anticipation of her big upcoming change!

We left for San Antonio Friday morning.  We had told Madeline that we were going to go to San Antonio to visit Shamu at SeaWorld.  She was quite excited all week, although I'm sure she had no idea exactly what it all meant.  It was fun watching her anticipation.  "When we get to San Antonio will I sleep in a hotel?" "Can I pack my pink suitcase" And my favorite, "Mommy, is Shamu a boy or a girl?"

Waiting to see Shamu

 She loved watching Shamu, although we were very glad we weren't seated anywhere near the front row, as she got a bit scared when she how drenched those people got! 
Daddy and Madeline watching the penguins
Practicing the penguin walk
Silly sea lions
They had a great splashpad for the 3 and under audience.  Madeline had a great time, but we knew it was time to call it quits when her teeth were chattering and she exclaimed, "My teeth are hurting me!" (despite the 80 degree temps).

I love her, "Did you see that?" expression
This one is pretty cute, too.
All refreshed, she climbed to the top of the rope wall, with just a bit of assistance from daddy
Carefully making the descent

She really, really wanted to ride the Shamu roller coaster, but measured an inch too short.  Luckily the carousel was right there, strategically placed, I'm sure.  You'd never guess the disappointment based on this smile!

She got to pick one animal from the store to commemorate her trip.  We stopped at every giftshop on our way out in search of a pink Shamu that she had spotted being carried by a few of the parkgoers.  Finally the last store told us they needed to be won in the arcade.  We skipped that and she was more than happy with her traditional black and white new Shamu.
"I love him" (I guess she decided that Shamu was a boy)

She loves sleeping in hotels, so this was the perfect ending to a great day!
On the way back to Houston, we ventured to Palmetto State Park, where I had read on-line that the wildflowers were great.  When stopping at the entrance, the rangers told us that the park didn't have wildflowers since it was too shady.  We stopped at the playground for a quick swing and play session before getting back in the car. 

Our original plan was to head north to Brenham to see the bluebonnets, but we decided against it, as the extra hour plus in the car didn't sound too appealing on top of the three plus hour drive back to Houston.  Luckily we didn't have to venture too far outside of Palmetto State Park to find some good patches of wildflowers.  There weren't any bluebonnets to speak of, but we did find some nice picturesque settings and managed to get some great pictures of Madeline.  I took a ton of wildflower photos and haven't sorted through all of them yet, so you'll have to stay tuned for a separate wildflower post.  In the meantime, here are two sneak peeks...

Madeline was quite the trooper in the car, and did great singing and chattering in the back.  Of course, perfectly timed, only 20 miles from home, this is what happened!