Monday, May 16, 2011


(I’m trying to catch up on blog postings, yet I cannot stay sequential and not share the following.)

Jasper did not nap on Friday, and Benjamin was a zombie at the dinner table.  Yet, by the time they went to bed at 8pm, they were in no way ready to actually go to sleep.  Drew and I both intervened to get them to settle down, but nothing was making any impact.  Around 8:45, just as Drew was about to head out to Home Depot, Jasper appeared at the entrance to the kitchen saying “Benjamin crawled out of his crib and fell.”  I didn’t hear him properly and stepped closer, saying “what?” only to see not only Jasper but Benjamin standing in the hallway.  Both wore a smile that rivaled any cat who had just swallowed a canary.  My eyes got huge, Jasper’s grin enlarged, and Benjamin beamed with pride.  In disbelief I turned to Drew and mouthed “oh my goodness!”  I then picked up the acrobat and – still in shock – walked back into their bedroom, directing Jasper back that way.  As I was holding Benjamin, singing another bedtime song, he turned to me and said, “Mom, I went ka-boom!” 

Oh my.

Friday, May 13, 2011

He’s a Natural

Benj has figured out that he LOVES playing with the garden hose.  He got his training from the master himself, Papa:


A little while after Papa and Nana had left Texas, the boys got hold of the hose and really went to town.  Benjamin’s natural affinity for using the hose came shining (and pouring) through.



But he has to take it if he’s going to dish it:



Of course, the best part of using the hose is to be able to make a mud puddle.  They are boys!



Surprise Taco

Tacos have really become a super favorite meal in the Gant household.  I’ve expanded the repetoire I knew as a child, and being that we live in Texas, our family now embraces black beans, guacamole (well, Drew does), corn & bell peppers.  We love this meal so much we had it for Christmas Eve.  Yum.  (Jasper loves tomatoes.  He rejects tomato sauce, but he’ll eat fresh cut tomatoes like their going out of style.  I currently have three tomato plants growing on the deck to feed this need he has.)

Recently Drew has started letting Jasper make him a surprise taco.  He’ll leave the room and let Jasper make up a taco of whatever he wants.  The last time he did this, Jasper added crushed tortilla chips to the taco.  It was a hit!  Drew is a super good sport about all things culinary, so he’ll eat without inhibition and make Jasper feel like he’s on the top of the world for creating such a wonderful taco.  I captured our latest surprise taco event in early April.


Jasper loved this so much he actually let Drew make him a surprise taco.  He loved it, until the last bite which included guacamole.  Jasper didn’t like that there was guac in the taco (Drew told him before his last bite), but nevertheless he ate it.  That is a major victory for this kid, and we were very proud of him.


Benj will decidedly eat taco seasoned-ground turkey, cous cous, black beans and corn until the cows come home.  Not much else is consumed, but every once in a while he’ll eat tomatoes. 

Papa and Nana come to Texas

March 11th brought Papa and Nana Jasper back to the lone star state.  We love having them come to visit.  They know enough about the area now that they can come and go as they please without needing directions.  They mostly stay though.  They like having time with some of their grandsons.  Before their arrival, Jasper came up with a list of things he’d like to do with his Papa and Nana:

  • train table
  • pick strawberries
  • play trucks
  • watch TV
  • play games (bingo)

I think we hit all the highlights.  And there was plenty of reading, too.


They were able to come with us to Preschool one day and meet Mrs. Kelly.  They came with us to church and ate with us at some of our favorite restaurants: Panera, Jason’s Deli, P.Terry’s, Mandolas and of course, Rudy’s. 

One day they ventured into the hill country alone and knocked around Fredericksburg.  Then on the following day, we all piled into the car (sans Drew – it was a Friday) and drove out to Marble Falls to pick strawberries.  What a delight!  This is not a good year for bluebonnets b/c we had such a cold (for Texas) winter and nary any rain.  But, we still saw small groves of bluebonnets and stopped along the way to photograph pretty ranch gates.  We drove into Marble Falls at noon and stopped at Storm’s to buy burgers.  We then drove to Sweetberry Farm and ate our burgers and the rest of our picnic lunch at the picnic tables on the farm.  It was a lovely March day.  Totally amazing.  The farm had only been open about a week, but even with that we picked such gorgeous strawberries we filled two big baskets without even making it down half a row.  The boys both enjoyed this trip to Sweetberry.  Jasper loved jumping over the plants from row to row and carrying my strawberries back to the box Nana was filling.  He also loved running up and down the rows to stretch his legs.  Both boys had fun picking and eating strawberries right off the vine.  Nothing can be finer!









We loaded into the car at naptime hoping to get some zzz’s out of the boys but instead just got rambunctious little ones strapped into car seats.  No sleeping happened between Marble Falls and the Johnson Ranch.  So we got out and toured the historic farm in the State Park portion of the Park.  Then we got in the car to do the driving tour of the National Park portion – the old Johnson property.  I was driving the Honda minivan, and I was just following the signs, and the route this year takes you up along the airstrip through the rolling property of LBJ and Lady Bird, then back down the other side of the airstrip to the hanger (which now holds an old Presidential airplane), and back out again.  My parents have been to the ranch MANY times, and this is the first time the driving tour has taken them along that route.  They LOVED it.  Cattle freely roam on the rolling hills of the property, and it was a beautiful prospect.  (I feel very Jane Austen in having just typed that.)  They were going to skip the Ranch this trip, but they were so glad we didn’t.  It was my first trip to the Ranch.  Perhaps when the boys can be trusted to walk through a historic home we’ll return.


This calf is only a few days old and was bleating for his mama.  The shingles in the garden are shading new transplants during the heat of the Texas afternoons. 



LBJ’s prospect of the rolling hill country, along the airstrip.


Of course the boys fell asleep on the ride back into Austin, but we hit southwest Austin at rush hour and decided to camp out in the Lakeway area for dinner.  Drew was able to meet us for dinner at Mandolas.  Initially Jasper was sooooo tired he whined and talked about not being able to stay awake through dinner.  However, once we told him he could have ice cream (gelato) if he cleaned his plate, his energy level peaked up.  I surveyed the gelato case before them and found that strawberry was next to hazelnut, vanilla was next to toasted almond and chocolate was next to another nut flavor.  ugh!  but nevertheless, we brought them to the case and suggested they could have one of those three flavors.  Jasper looked at the case and said “I want THIS one!”  He went rogue and picked straciatelli – which turns out is a sweet milk gelato with chocolate swirled in (sometimes made and described as a chocolate chip).  It was nut-free and thankfully not surrounded by any nut flavors.  So, they both happily got their gelato and headed back to our table.  They LOVED it.  Both cleaned their bowls and were not surprisingly wired for the 30 minute car ride home. :) 

While here, Papa and Nana also helped us knock out a few outdoor projects.  We were not nearly as organized as we would have liked to be to get much more done with them here, but that’s just the way things go with us.  But, Papa helped me dig out the front bed and clean it up to receive new plants and flower seeds.  Mom planted my tomato plants which we hope will yield a great crop. :)