Friday, June 29, 2012

Friday Phone Dump

Y'all. It. Is. Hot. It hit 109 this week! Needless to say, we've been doing a lot of water activities. In fact, we went to multiple activities with our meetup group this week, one of which was a pool playdate at our group leader's house, complete with a dozen kiddos or so. Have I mentioned how blessed I feel to have found my meetup group? They're so active, and such a great group of ladies!!

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Diamonds Are A Girl's Best Friend.

Me: "Ava, you're such a big girl! Do you know what you get to wear now?"

Ava: "Diamonds!!!!!"

That's my girl.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Check Me Out...

...over here, today. Free Fun in Austin is by far my favorite site on all things to do in Austin, and who doesn't love free, especially when you are as busy as we are! Pay Heidi a visit today to check out my experience at the fabulous Children's Day Art Park in downtown Austin, and subscribe to her feed to ensure you don't miss a single (free) thing!

Giveaway: Nikon D3100 Camera! Ends Tonight!

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Friday, June 22, 2012

Friday Phone Dump.

Ava got to take a photo with some of the dancers from Ballet Folklorico at Children's Day Art Park - she was so excited!

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Sadie the Paper Crown Princess at Brilliant Sky Toys!

Have I mentioned how wonderful Austin is for children? Oh yes, that's right, just about every day this week. Seriously, though, there is a never-ending supply of things to do with kids, especially in the summer!

We spent this past Saturday at the oh-so-wonderful Brilliant Sky Toys and Books, where the lovely Amanda Evans was making an appearance to read her newly released book, Sadie the Paper Crown Princess!

We arrived just in time to join in the group circling her to hear the read-aloud, and I am so glad we made it (we are always cutting it close these days due to having to stop so Ava can go potty!) because she's always so wonderful! We have a copy of the book (as you should, too), so she was familiar with the story, but it's always a great experience to hear it read by the author, in the voice she wrote it in. We also had the opportunity to make our very own paper crown afterwards to take home, which was a great outlet for all the energy she saved up listening to the story! Such a fun time!

It's so important to me to encourage a love of learning and reading in Ava, and we've been so lucky so far that reading books is one of her absolute favorite activities - something I definitely want to take the time and effort to foster as she grows older!

We also managed to run into some friends there, so we headed to lunch afterwards at this newly opened (and thankfully, very shaded!) playground in Westlake at Hat Creek Burger Company. I highly recommend this place (this location in particular, given the shade and the play area for kiddos)!

 And naturally, all this play led to the return of the nap, a great bonus for mommy!!!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Things to Do in Austin: The Congress Bridge Bats.

I've mentioned before what a lovely city this is to be a parent. In fact, I was just telling someone the other day how Austin must be one of the few cities that is even more enjoyable as a mother than it was as a college student - and that's saying a lot, because I had FUN in college!

Anyhow, we try to full advantage of our summers (despite the increasingly intense heat!) and try to experience Austin to the fullest. A few weekends ago, staying nearer to downtown while watching the girls while their parents were out of town with Ava, that experience took the form of seeking out the bats under the Congress Avenue bridge.

For those who aren't locals, Austin is home to the largest bat colony in North America, all 1.5 million of whom come out at dusk to eat over 20,000 lbs. of mosquitoes per night (!!!!) (How there are any left to bite me is beyond me, but there certainly is!)! Though it may sound creepy initially, it's actually quite a spectacular sight to see, and a huge tourist attraction! Maybe that's why I felt my Austinite status was being jeopardized when I realized that, despite living here for over eleven years, I had not ever been witness to this sight, and wanted to rectify that immediately!

The day of, we were really excited, making a whole night of it by heading down early to do dinner beforehand. My first clue that the night might be going to take a downwards turn should have been then, when we got caught in some of the worst traffic downtown I've ever been in. I had completely forgotten that it was ROT (Republic of Texas) Rally weekend, and that all the streets would be closed at parts to display the motorcycles and prepare for the parade. Eesh. Naively, though, I thought that once we managed to get through traffic and find parking, the night would go smoothly. Ha!

Dinner was great. Or, as great as anything can be when you have three children and two adults, and the three children all have opinions about their food and/or why they shouldn't have to eat dinner. Thankfully, we were at a Mexican restaurant and not driving for hours, so a tasty Cantina Laredo margarita took the edge off :)

Afterwards, wanting to secure a decent spot for the main attraction ,we headed down towards Town Lake (I refuse to refer to it as "Lady Bird Lake" now that they've changed the name, no matter how lovely a lady she is!) to the Congress Avenue Bridge to stake out the best spot to watch. Having heard that the real experience would be best from a dock on the lake itself under the bridge, we hiked down towards the Town Lake hike and bike trails to find said dock, and set up shop to wait. And wait. AND WAIT.

Suffice it to say, three little girls aren't the best at waiting. By the time that people really started gathering at the bridge (we weren't sure how early we needed to be, so we got there ahead of schedule), we had been sitting there the better part of two hours (!!!), and tempers were being tested! It wasn't just us getting antsy either, as once 9:00 rolled around, the boats out on the lake were actually shining their lights up under the bridge in the hopes that they could scare them out!

We weren't sure how long to wait, so we stayed out there until nearly 9:45, but by that time, it was so far past all three girls' bedtimes, that we decided to go ahead and head home. Plus, the Four Seasons was directly near the dock we were at, and I knew that on weekends during the summer they did s'mores for kiddos on their back deck, and I had been promising the girls s'mores to placate them. Unfortunately, there was a wedding that night, so they weren't doing them.  FAIL NUMBER TWO. Luckily we had let the girls roll down the hill behind the hotel while we were waiting earlier in the night, so the Four Seasons wasn't all bad :)

Though the night was a bit disappointing, with neither of the awesome activities we had planned working out, we still had a great time together, and can't wait to try again later in the summer!

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Rock'N River Aquatic Center

The summer is getting more unbearably hot by the day, and while Austin has some amazing splash pads, we're definitely always in search of some new places to have fun in the sun while still staying cool. Luckily, we heard of this relatively new water park in Round Rock about fifteen to twenty minutes north of us, and we decided to check it out. Just to let you know how much fun we had, we have now been twice in six days!!

Here are some pictures of the water park:

On top of the amazing water slides both for adults/older kids and little kiddos and the zero entry beach area that was perfect for toddlers, they also had a lazy river that you could float through over and over. I have to admit that this was my favorite part :) I think it was Ava's favorite part, too!

Did I mention that we had all the girls this weekend while their parents were out of town?

Though Rock'N River was awesome itself, isn't the best part of the water park afterwards?!

If you're interested in paying your own visit to Rock'N River Aquatic Center, you can find location and schedule information here.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Phone Dump..Monday?

I've only just realized that I haven't been posting lately, as I've been so insanely busy. Between a job interview (it went wonderfully! fingers crossed!), four funerals in as many weeks, and being at an age where suddenly we're attending constant weddings, I'm meeting myself coming and going these days! Anyhow, I've managed to capture a few picture worthy moments lately, and wanted to share them while I had the chance!

My super sweet little ladies!

What? That's not what you usually wear to play outside?

Mess? What mess, mama?

Hugs :)

Painting in panties!

My little cowgirl!

What happens when you want to give up your nap before you're old enough...

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Ava Ballerina!

Ava recently had her first ballet class, and it went great. Well, technically it went great for 40 minutes and downhill after that, but seriously, who schedules toddlers for hour long classes?!?! Anyways, we've been prepping her for ballet class for weeks, talking it up and letting her know that she would be going in by herself and I would be watching her through the window. All our classes up until now have been mommy and me type classes where I attend with her, so this was a big step for us that we wanted her to be ready for. She did GREAT!

Getting ready to head to our first class!

 Waiting anxiously for the class before to get done so she could go into the studio!

They teach the little ones through a story & this was the beginning of the story that day!

Looking for "mommy alligator" (part of the story)

Stretching her sides!

Getting into position :)

OMG I die!!!!

Twirling! AWWWW!

She was the only one doing the backbend right :) That's my girl!!!

Unfortunately I didn't bring Ava's tap shoes to her first class (they do tap the last 15 minutes), so when the other kids put theirs on, Ava got upset and things started going downhill. It wasn't long before she wailed, "I want my mommmmmmmmmy!" in the saddest little voice, so I joined her inside for a few minutes. This may have something to do with why I got a call suggesting she join a class for younger kids, since the one we were in was for 3 and 4 year olds. We took them up on that offer just for the sake of less stress, so we'll be joining our new class this coming week. I can't wait to watch her some more!!!
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