Saturday, September 10, 2011

Texas... the REST of the story.

Because we all know that I can't post in a timely manner... here's some more from our trip to Texas, which was... what... a month ago? Sigh. Anyway, Uncle Gary delayed his relocation to the DC area so we could overlap him for a few days and get some good ol' Uncle Gary time in. The kiddos loved having him there!

This was just cute, how much Maeve loved bouncing on this ball. Lots of laughs over that.
Sweeping the trampoline with Granny.
Awwwww... now isn't that such a sweet picture? Yeah, it is.
Granny and the girlies, before heading to church. Nuala's bigtime into "now a funny face picture!" Alas, often that's the picture that actually turns out best overall. This was the Sunday that Nuala fell asleep during Sacrament Meeting (the main worship service) and peed on the bench. Now if any of you reading this happen to be in Boerne Ward (1st or 2nd), don't worry, my mom cleaned it. If you are still worried, just avoid the 4th row.
Maeve trying on her super-cute, and actually really effective, little life jacket. It's a Puddle Jumper, and works really well. It kept her afloat kind of facing forward, and kept her little arms up on top of the water, obviously, so it was easy for her to just float on her tummy and kick herself around. She was a little small for it, actually, but not too much. We got her a cute yellow one, but it took forever to arrive in Bulgaria and we left before it got there. I love me some yellow, but this one's cute, too.
Grandad and Maeve.
Blowing bubbles... giant bubbles...
One of many, many, many peach stands we frequented. The best ones are the "not so pretty, but very sweet!" Yummmm.

We take the tykes to the Boerne Fire Department every trip back (well, okay, this is really just their 3rd time) to take a tour from my friend, Lyle, who started out as a volunteer while we were in high school. Another friend from church, my good friend Carolyn's brother, Martin, also is a firefighter there. They have a new station house, and, man, is it nice! When we moved to Virginia, way back when, the fire station was not far from our home. I seriously thought about applying there but we had just decided to start trying to get pregnant, and naively I thought it would happen soon and so I didn't bother going for such an active job with so much training that I'd have to leave in nine-ish months. Hahaha! Oh, Fiona. FOUR years later, the twins were born.
Here we have Gerard, then Lyle holding his little guy, Ryan, his wife, Natalie, who also was in our graduating class, me and Maeve. And Nuala and Bran. They're such nice, down-home firefighters. All "yes, Ma'am" etc. to my mom.
Nuala, with a jack up her nose.
Annnnd, the terrific two-some had their first dentist visit! They loved it and had a blast. Unfortunately for Nuala, a familiar theme is reappearing. She had a cavity and had to return the following day to get it filled. Bran, on the other hand, received a glowing report. Sigh. Nuala totally brushes better and more often than her less-hygienically-inclined-in-a-toothy-way brother. JUST like Zachariah and me. Well, he brushes fine and regularly, but flossing? Never! I am an every-other-day flosser, but I used to always need fillings, back in the early days of our marriage. Lately, no, thank goodness, but I see Nuala heading down my road. Also, she's apparently a tooth grinder and that's why her little front teeth are so cute and little. Huh.
It was hilarious being in with her while she was getting her filling. Z and I were both sitting there, and she was so weird! SO weird. You'd have thought the dentist gave her laughing gas or something, the things she was saying and the voices she was using. We were cracking up. She gets like that, our Nuala, in certain situations. It's quite entertaining, but oh-so-weird. The dentist and hygienist found it very humorous, too.
Feeding the ducks and geese at the river. Or rather, almost being mugged by the geese at the river.
Maeve playing in an outdoor bubble bath, courtesy of Granny.
Zac arrived! Yay! Here he is eating a delicious and healthy lunch on the back porch. Do you like how I censored little naked Maeve? I'm pretty impressed, actually...
The bat cave! To the bat cave! Really it's an old abandoned railway tunnel. To the bat tunnel! We like this place. It's a fun little evening jaunt to watch the Mexican free-tailed bats heading out for their night under the stars.
Everyone waiting for their emergence, listening to the lady tell us about them. The tunnel's opening is on the left, out of the picture, and they fly up from there.
Maeve looks like a little model here. The "lipstick" (it's just candy! come on, people. She has to be at LEAST three to wear lipstick...), the expression. She's pretty cute.
Everyone watching the bats, in awe. Except for Granny and Nuala, who decided to look at the camera. And me, who is looking at them through the camera.
And here are the bats. They're those grayish smudges... We couldn't get a single good pic of them in flight. Before we left I said to Z, "so, should we bring the good camera?" And both of us decided, quite intelligently, that it would be way too dark to even bother. Yeah, head-smack moment. Of course they don't come out at DARK. Oh well, they're really cool to see, and then I didn't have to waste more watching time trying to get a pic of them. There are about three million bats, and it takes about 15 or so minutes for them all to head off. There were some hawks enjoying the bat buffet, as well.
At the fence looking down at the tunnel mouth, after the bats left. Bran and Nuala really enjoyed it, and so did the rest of us. Maeve... eh. She mostly liked going up and down the stairs and eating candy.
Zachariah thinks I am so, so, so beautiful here. And he's right. Actually, he just didn't believe I'd put this pic in. Ha! Showed YOU, Zac! ...wait a minute...
My cute dad. And the lovely, but hot, hot, hot! Texas scenery.
We took Nuala and Bran to Schlitterbahn, something we've been doing for the past three years now. They love it. It's a big ol' waterpark, and it's fun. Way fun. Aislinn, Curtis, and their 6 kids were going to all come, too, but Aislinn's pregnant, and then pretty much their whole family got sick, so only Curtis and Patrick went. We had an awesome time! N&B love it. They're adventurous little tykes, and tall, and thoroughly enjoyed all the rides and stuff.
The BEFORE pic: Excited to head out. Maeve was upset to be left at home, but had a great time with Granny. And then Aislinn and her kiddos showed up, too.
Annnnnd, AFTER. Look pretty pooped, don't they?
Because they were.
The following day we headed down the road to Cibolo with Aislinn and her fam and Granny and Grandad. Free, close, and cool water. What more can ya ask for? And dinosaur footprints. The boys are standing in them.
I guess someone asked for a fort with a slide by the creek, because there's one there, now! And Grandad went down it, to the tremendous surprise of Granny. He didn't even break anything! (Himself or the slide!)
I love, love, love the trees at Cibolo. Many critters were caught. Crawdads, a tiny catfish, frogs...
We went to Target. A lot. I love Target, and I miss it greatly. Zac, for some reason, does not. Maeve is a new fan of Target, as well. She stood by these little Fur Real puppies forever, making them bark and move. The poor girl needs a dog.
My good friend Sarah and I at church. I love that so many of my friends settled back in Boerne. It's quite handy for me, because I love seeing them! Maeve is protesting the whole being-in-nursery thing. This was her third Sunday being left at nursery, and the first time she warily enjoyed it, just kinda looking around taking it all in. I peeked often. She was the littlest one there. Of course, because the babes start going to nursery when they turn 18 months old, and not only had she just barely (actually hadn't quite) turned 18 months on the first Sunday, but she's a tiny little thing anyway. She held her own. I watched her lug her little chair from music time over to the snack table. She's tough. Anyway, after that first Sunday, she protested being left... at Aislinn's ward, back in Boerne, in Seattle. She was always fine after I took off, though. No nursery in our branch here in Bulgaria. She just kinda hangs out with various nice ladies while I'm in the Primary.
Happier girl! I love navy blue on little blondies. Especially with the blue eyes.
Rowan, Bran, and Declan on their last evening together at Granny and Grandad's, playing with Transformers.
I love this picture! It looks so artsy, when really it's just my camera acting doofus-y.
Every morning Granny and Grandad would take Bran and Nuala on their morning walk. They'd take off usually before 7am, since that's the only time it was really cool enough to be pleasant out. Usually they'd walk to the church parking lot and play lots of ball. Bran and Nuala loved it! So did I :)
On the way to the airport to send us off to Seattle. Nuala was so sad. She cried a lot in the airport. A lot. She's very emotional, sometimes.
After going through security, we got to see Granny and Grandad one last time, through the glass. Nuala was still sad. Excited to see more family up in Seattle, but it's hard to leave people you love, even for more people you love. We had a great time, of COURSE.


Tara Milligan said...

Wow, even though I just saw you right before this, N & B both look so huge in these pictures! We loved the creative editing in that pic of Maeve and Zac, lol. And Grandad in shorts! I can't believe it happened and that you were allowed to document it.

David said...

We enjoyed all the pics and the captions ... I can see the bats quite well when I make the pic big. It was a hot and fun time ... luckily there's usually water around in some shape or form ... we miss you all... love, Mom (Dad too) xox

Bonnie said...

So, um, why exactly is Maeve naked all the time? I consider an undiapered baby to be a biohazard. For the carpet, especially.

Aislinn said...

May I just say, thank you for not including pictures of me in this one! I love how Nuala's "funny faces" are all the same...her sticking her tongue out to one side and making her eyes as huge as she can, LOL. And the pic of you at the bat cave, well, may I just say you look stunning! Or stunned...or like it's obvious where Nuala gets her funny face penchant from...;)Maeve's smile is adorable as usual, in all the pics, and I'll go ahead and point out that she's really only naked in a couple of pics and both were taken outside, so no carpet was in danger, LOL. ;)

fiona said...

haha, naked Maeve! Well, for some reason, if she's outside in her diaper she immediately wants to remove it. Probably because she's been conditioned to do that so she can play in water. I don't usually put her swimsuit on her unless we're someplace other than the backyard. So apparently the child equates going outside with getting naked. Hope she changes her tune by winter... And, yes, naked babies inside are a whole 'nother story!

Aislinn, so true abt N's funny face! It is THE funny face. I should see if she can change it up a little. Just for variety.

Rob and Erin Smith said...

What fun, what fun!!! So maNy super cute pics! Nothing like cousins to play with! I love the Sunday pic of Maeve, and Nuala and Mom, such beautiful women :) The Grandad and Maeve one is soooo cute! the artsy one too. and those peaches look so yummy!

Way to take advantage of your fire station connections. I can so picture Nuala's goof ball/gas attack dental routine, she's so cute! and Love Maeve's face in the bat take off shot.

Hahahah! Way to show Z, Fiona! Wow, Schlitterbahn wiped them out! Cibolo looks like a ton of fun! LOVe the picture of Dad and Mom at the fort, hahahahaha! So awesome, and Mom's swimsuit is Really pretty. I like it. Look at those boys! I bet they had so much fun together, look at them! Dec's hair looks really long.

Wow, there's so much stuff to say. Love Maeve's navy dress! So cute! and yay for friends in Boerne, Sarah looks great, where's her new baby? Poor Nuala saying goodbye... OH and Maeve with the doggies, so cute and sad, you should get her a puppy ;) Love you guys!