Hooray, It’s Finally Fall!

This week ushered in the first official day of fall. Fall is my one of my favorite times of year (I can’t forget Christmas time). I love the colors, the decorations, and the fact that the temperature (usually) starts to dip down a teeny bit. We kept ourselves quite busy this week.

Paul was working, obviously, but he also squeezed in time to finish putting together and installing the new little free library at the park. The old one had gotten worn down over time, so Paul started gathering supplies (a cabinet was donated by someone in the neighborhood and then he used bits of the old library and some other scrap pieces of wood…plus paint and varnish) and got a new one built. He did have a bit of help with some of the assembly as well as the installation, which was greatly appreciated.

Joseph and Abigail were busy at school. Joseph is enjoying GT and was excited to get to visit the Book Fair with his class. Abigail was just excited to go to school, period. We did have a little bit of a hiccup towards the end of the week (Thursday) when she developed a low-grade fever and some congestion. I discovered it in time to keep her home from school, but that meant that I needed to make her a doctor’s appointment (Friday) so that she could get a note and a covid test. Thankfully, the results were negative and her fever was gone the next day. She’s still a bit congested, but she’s getting better and she’s already acting normally again. She’ll be excited to be able to go back to school on Monday.

I’ve really enjoyed walking during this slightly cooler weather. It’s also nice to see the beautiful sunrises. What we’ve been doing is walking Joseph to school and then going on a longer walk with just me and Abigail. A few times, I even went on a second walk by myself after I walk Abigail to school (she starts in the late morning/early afternoon and then gets picked up at the same time as Joseph). It really is my favorite time of year!

We discovered this cool guy when we got home from one of our early morning walks.
One of my friends told me it’s called a calleta silk moth. It was just sitting there, slowly flapping its wings. I think it might have just left its cocoon and was trying to let its wings dry, still.
Cool sunrise.
She loves gathering leaves and flowers on our walks. My only rule is that they need to be on the ground (no picking).
The clouds and sun were so cool!
The toads found a cool place to stay…in my flowerpot, haha.
Pretty sunrise along with bumpy clouds. It was really breezy, which felt wonderful!
I’m a sucker for a beautiful sunrise!
I just couldn’t get over how cool the clouds looked.
Fall evenings are so beautiful. There’s something kind of magical about that early evening sunshine peeking through the green leaves.
Thursday morning was chilly enough to warrant wearing warmer clothes.
For nine years, we’ve just stacked the bathtub toys along the ledge…and it was never a problem until I had one kid showering and one kid bathing. It’s inevitable during Thing One’s shower that at least one toy (and often more, in a domino-esque way) comes tumbling down. So I started my search for tub toy storage. I didn’t want one that had to be affixed to the tub surround in any way (suction cups, adhesive, etc.) because, well, I was worried about weight (imagining it waiting until the middle of the night to fall and make an atrocious noise) and residue. I also didn’t want one that didn’t drain on its own because I knew I would never remember to drain it…and what I would consequently eventually find doesn’t leave pleasant thoughts in my head, either. Then I stumbled onto this one. The mesh is made of PVC, so it’s less likely to mold/mildew, it simply snaps onto the side bar of the tub, and it even has a zipper along the bottom so that toys can be quickly dumped into the tub. I also like the two snaps that kind of keep the top stabilized so that it stays pretty balanced.
Abigail noticed this guy sitting on the screen door. He was huge! Hopefully he moved along without munching on my plants first.
The new post for the new little free library.
The little free library.
Stocked with some books (we rely on donations from the neighborhood for that).
Paul even put on a light so that it’s easy to see at night (it’s motion-sensing and solar powered).
I love Halloween in San Antonio. I have always loved Dia de Los Muertos. I love the vibrant colors, the symbolism, the focus on family bonds…it’s just wonderful. This was set up on an end cap at our local grocery store and I couldn’t help but snap a quick picture. It’s just a perfect representation of a San Antonio Halloween.
Abigail fell in love with this little skeleton dog at the store. She even named it Zero. 😁 I’m such a sucker for Halloween that it came home with us.
I found this cute bandana pumpkin (with a burlap stem) at the store and it ended up in my cart. It’s the perfect mix of “fall” and “Texas”. 😂
I also found a little light-up Sally pumpkin for Abigail. She was pretty excited and had to go find her Sally doll so they could be together. I also got Joseph a light-up pumpkin (it looks like the poison-covered pumpkin from Disney’s Descendants), but he has it squirreled away in his room already.
The annual cheesecake. I normally make it for Paul’s birthday, but we decided to wait a week and have it as dessert for our game night with friends.
 

Another Birthday, Yummy Food, A Lost Tooth, Sunsets Galore, and a Fun-Filled Day

This past week held some fun and eventful events. We celebrated Paul’s birthday, Abigail lost another tooth, and I was able to take the kids out for a fun outing to the Kiddie Park and the zoo while Paul did some things around the house. I took a billion pictures of different sunsets I saw on my walks, and experimented with some new recipes with delicious results.

Food experiment #1: I used my roll dough recipe as the base for breakfast pockets. I put some cheese, scrambled eggs, and pre-cooked sausage in the center of some dough that I rolled out…
…pulled the dough up over the filling, sealing it really well…
…put it on a sheet pan…
…and baked them.
They turned out really good!
When we discovered this loose tooth, it reminded her of her first loose tooth, which got knocked out when she bonked her tooth against her cup. She then told me that she needed to go find something to bonk this loose tooth out, too. I told her it would be a better idea to just wiggle it…which she did pretty much non-stop until it fell out the next day. 😀
Sunset #1: I love the contrast between the sky and the clouds!
My walk was hot (I forgot my hat…boo), but at least the sky was pretty!
Food experiment #2: I made cheesy cornbread muffins to go along with some scrambled eggs. They were pretty tasty!
Sunset #2: I loved the way these clouds were so swirly!
Sunset #3: I wish this captured just how golden the clouds were…
Sunset #4: Can you spot the airplane? I’m pretty sure it was military, since it was all gray. Probably getting in some hours of flight practice.
Sunset #5: I love when it takes up all of the sky. 🙂
Daddy requested pie for his birthday. Marie Callander’s to the rescue! We got him a stand for his rifle and a Bowie knife. 🙂
This is what made me decide to take the kids out while Paul worked. She was ALL ready to help Dad. 😉
At the Kiddie Park. It’s a very small amusement park (I think there’s less than 15 rides). It first opened in the 1920s and still has all original rides. It’s geared towards smaller kids, so they can go on all the rides by themselves. Joseph was such a good sport…even though he’s a bit old for it (this will be the last time I have him come along), he put on a good face.
Abigail had a ball, though. 😉
The spaceship ride is a favorite.
Joseph probably rode it three times (it was the one that was the best fit for a kid his age).
The boats are always fun.
The airplanes were a hit for Abigail, too.
I had a hard time finding her in the bus…she’s up towards the front, so you can only see part of her face.
A kid-sized Ferris wheel!
She kept yelling, “Hi, Mom!”
I was just glad it was fully enclosed. We went on the Ferris wheel at Knott’s Berry Farm a couple years ago and she kept trying to get out…mid-air. :/ This was much better!
The carousel!
Scrunchy nose!
There’s the smile!
Joseph opted to sit in a bench.
I had to get a picture of this part of the carousel. It really is from 1918, so it’s a few years older than the Kiddie Park itself.
The sign for the Kiddie Park. I love the lettering (I’m pretty sure it’s also original).
We were surprised to see Halloween stuff already out at the zoo.
The jelly fish! They have different black lights that shine in there so the jelly fish “change” color.
More Halloween decor!
The hippos were napping.
Cuddled up on the train.
This is a bridge that goes over the San Antonio river, which is right next to the zoo. I love the architecture!
 

Dragons, Wildlife, and Walks Galore

We started off the week with a holiday, which was nice. Monday was Labor Day, so we decided to go to the zoo and then also go to a special exhibit the zoo has right now that’s all about dragons. It’s only here until the end of October (and only open on weekends at that). We were a bit bummed that they didn’t have any of the activities going on or booths open, but it was still fun seeing all the dragons. Another drawback was that it was HOT. Another parent walking through told us that the port-a-potties were actually air conditioned (they were the type that had stairs up to them and a couple of stalls in them)…so we spent a few minutes in there, haha.

I’ve been trying to get more active, so I’ve started walking twice a day. Ideally, I walk in the early morning and the early evening, but on some days, I needed to switch one of my walks to the early afternoon (due to appointments and activities). I really like it! It’s really peaceful and a nice way to reconnect with myself and my thoughts. Abigail joins me when I walk in the morning (since she’s not in school yet) and she’s really good at keeping up (and not complaining). We make it fun: she’s the gingerbread man and I’m the sly fox…she’s a little piggie and I’m the big, bad wolf…”race you to the next tree”…stuff like that.

Joseph had quite the week. Not only did he have his six month dental exam (no cavities), but he also had his annual physical. I hadn’t originally planned it that way, but they had to move his dental exam due to a scheduling issue on their part and I confirmed the new appointment before realizing his doctor’s appointment was the same week. Whoops! Well, I guess that’s all done with now.

Paul has been quite busy with work and HOA business. He’s also squeezed in some work around the house as well. I’m so grateful for him!

Abigail has been really funny about school this week. She’ll tell me that she’s nervous about leaving home and leaving me, but as soon as we get to school and she sees her friends, she’s off and running, calling out, “Bye, Mom!” over her shoulder. She’s always really happy to see me at the end of the day, though. One funny story: she was skipping out of the restroom at school, slipped, and bumped her head on the doorknob of the restroom (that’s not the funny part). When she went to the nurse’s office, the nurse gave her an ice pack and called me (as per requirements whenever there is a head-bonk). She had me on speaker so that Abigail could talk to me. Abigail said that she was skipping and then the door bonked her head (THAT’S the funny part). That made both me and the nurse laugh. She’s fine, though…no bumps or bruising or anything like that. Good thing our kids are hard-headed. 😉

Riding the Komodo dragon.
Obligatory butterfly photo.
She wanted to climb on the hippos but noticed ants on them. After that, it was no dice. I can’t say that I blame her, though…every any we’ve come across in Texas bites.
Elephants!
Okapis!
Dragon number one.
They really liked this chicken dragon. I know it doesn’t look like they’re very happy here, but this was about the moment where they were starting to get really hot.
This photo makes me laugh every time I see it. I can’t help it…poor Joseph’s face.
This dragon had a speaker that played a recording, so it looked like the dragon was telling a story.
Abigail kept jumping up and down, saying hello to it. I think she thought it could hear her.
Abigail really liked this one.
Joseph jokingly told me that this arctic dragon must have gotten lost…and must have been really mad that it was so hot here. 😀
It’s not officially fall yet, but I went ahead and decorated anyway.
I’ve always wanted something to put in the scarecrow’s basket, so this year I picked up these little velvet pumpkins. Unsurprisingly, Abigail loves them. I also got this fun silver pumpkin. I’m pretty sure it’s plaster because it’s rather light and when you tap it, it doesn’t really ring, but I love the fact that it looks like galvanized metal.
I love this little corner!
This is a portion of a quote from Emily Bronte. The entire quote is, “Every leaf speaks bliss to me, fluttering from the autumn tree.” I just didn’t have enough letters for the entire thing, so I only put up the first half.
These are also new this year. Abigail loves that the acorns are bells (I think it’s supposed to be a doorknob decoration). I love the gingham!
I think it’s the perfect thing for this corner!
My walking buddy. She was giving me a double thumbs-up.
On one of my evening walks, I heard a bit of rustling and looked over just in time to spot this sweet thing.
I was in this outfit a lot this week. I love that the leggings have pockets that are deep enough for me to put my phone in on one side and my keys in the other pocket.
Peek-a-boo sunset…
Sunsets are kind of my favorite.
I love this kid.
Abigail found one of my childhood favorites on Amazon: The Secret of Nimh.
I was about to tell her to get down, but then I stopped, listening to the little song she was singing to herself as she very carefully played with the blinds. She’s only going to be this little right now…and she got down on her own accord a few minutes later anyway.
Afternoon walks mean that my hat is a must-have.
When the ballast went out in our kitchen light, Paul asked if I wanted him to replace the ballast or upgrade the light. I voted for upgrading the light to something that matched our dining room chandelier. I love it!
More wildlife!
This is probably the biggest praying mantis I’ve seen.
Last night, Joseph pointed this little guy out…
…a cute little gecko that was feasting on the bugs that were congregating because they were drawn to the light.