Thursday, June 18, 2009

Symphonies and Sprinkler Play

Yesterday we went to the weekly Children's Day Art Park hosted by the Austin Symphony Orchestra. Each week is a different band/act/group performing for the kids amidst bubbles machines, clowns, storytellers, magicians and mimes, lots of balloons, and 10 cent lemonade. There's even an instrument petting zoo-the kids can try out any of the brass instruments that are hung by rope under a covered porch area. (alcohol wipes provided!)
This week was the group "Beto Y Los Fairlanes". I have no idea what that means, Beto and the .... something, I guess. But I was surprised to see a group of middle aged white men on stage! lol!

They were entertaining. One of them is a professor in music at UT. Maybe they all were?

Emma got some giggle time w/her bff.

Ally was a clingy whiny mess (because she woke up waaaay too early and would not go back to sleep!!) until she got this:

After the show we followed the lemonade trail down and around to the craft area. The girls waited in line for face painting then found some shade and some lemonade before heading home. There were other crafts and things to check out, but with this heat we were ready to go. Can't wait for next week! It's the Biscuit Brothers!

Face Painting:

Three Little Kittens...

Made in the shade.

Well, as you may have gathered from my title, I intended to include a couple of sprinkler play pics in this post. Seems none of them turned out. I only snapped few, don't know what I did wrong. Anyway, just so you're not completely disappointed (I know you were SO looking forward to these!), here's one I managed to pull off.

Even the dog got in on the action!

Oh-and today's free summer fun movie was Charlotte's Web! I didn't realize we'd never seen the new one-it was SO good!

Monday, June 15, 2009

Pool Time

More fun in the sun today. Another 3+ hours. I see LOTS of pool time this summer. I can't keep the girls out of the water! Today was another new pool. It only went to 3 feet, which was nice. Lots of sprinkler/sprayers, a little bitty slide, and wading area. But, what did the girls want to do the most??
Practice their swim lessons!
We went to the 3 foot area and I took turns letting each of the practice their "lessons". Emma mastered hers quickly (the back float), and now I need to call and see what her next station is before lessons on Friday.
Ally is still unsure about letting her feet off the bottom. She is supposed to do a "starfish float". Yes, in our day this was called the "dead man's float". :) Ally will put her arms out and put her face in the water, but unless I lift her she won't bring her feet off the bottom. Just not used to that yet. BUT, she never. stopped. trying!
She would come up gasping, almost panicked looking, and half a second later, say, "let me try that again!". I think she'll get it with her teacher by Friday.
I even got to SIT OUT AND WATCH for awhile. What?? It was very strange. This was a very small pool with lifeguards everywhere, and I could see the girls at any point in the pool, so when we were about 20 min. from leaving I decided to sit out and dry off before I called the girls out. They had so much fun! We didn't have any friends along today so they were left to play with each other, and it was neat for me to sit back and watch instead of being in the middle of it. We'll have to hit this pool again just for that reason. I think all of the other pool in the area would be too big for this. Not any deeper, just too much space between them and me. This one was just right.
Anyway, just a quick post while we have a movie on-I need to do dishes and laundry... Fun!

Sunday, June 14, 2009


I'm being overrun by the stuff! We're getting at LEAST one per day from the garden. Today two. Right now I have 6 on my counter that I need to use.
So, I have tried my first batch of zucchini bread. Looks yummy. I'll let you know how it turns out!
But, what prompted this post is a funny "article" I found on allrecipes. First of all, let me say that apparently it is very common among gardeners of this veggie to have their hands full with them! I saw several comments as I read the reviews about people having more than they knew what do to with. This took me down memory lane a bit...
I remember our garden in Utah as a kid. I was probably about 12? I guess my parents decided to plant anything and everything they thought they could fit in? We had zucc, yellow squash, watermelon, carrots, pumpkin, canteloupe, onion, tomatoes, and who knows what else. I remember having to push leaves and vines aside with my foot before each step to make sure it was safe and clear of veggies!
My mom made zucchini bread, zucchini muffins, zucchini brownies, zucchini pancakes...and I remember her sending my sisters and I around to the neighbors delivering these things!
Anyway, here's the article that made me laugh. Enjoy!

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Random (yes, I should be vaccuuming..) Thoughts.

**I love that the girls squeal and run to their rooms when I announce that I'm going to vacuum (hence, my title. hee!). This started years ago when Ally was genuinely scared of the vacuum cleaner. Not it's just habit. But they run to one bedroom or another, and stay in there playing for a good 30+ minutes before they realize I'm through! Funny, if I sent them to the bedrooms to play it would never last. This way they think it's their idea. :)

**I love our time in the kitchen. My table is NEVER clear-there is a constant mess of papers, markers, scissors, etc. If I'm stuck at the sink I get to witness their creations. I love the "stories" that come from Ally's drawings. One day she made a "juice machine". A huge web of lines, pipes, and who knows what else that somehow became a juice machine. She had it all planned out very well! Today we had the easels out and the girls were making chalk drawings. Ally drew a picture of me being chased by a wolf! The wolf bit my arm off...but don't worry-she fixed it with a band aid. (i'm laughing as I type this!)
Emma drew a picture of a "green" house-with a solar panel for energy. And labeled it "Environmental Saver Mama". Cute! Funny, she didn't know it, but while they were working I was washing dishes and took my dirty water out to the tree in the front yard. I made sure to tell afterwards that I had just re-used my dish water! She was very proud.
AND, all the while, we usually jam to BOB FM (from the huge antique stereo. Gmom-help me out, how old is it?). The only station in Austin where you can hear The Eagles, Vanilla Ice, and Avril Lavigne consecutively!

**Emma lost her 7th tooth today. I was watering the garden when it happened this morning. She didn't know I was out there and went roaming around the house looking for me, dribbling blood all over the place. Yuck!~

***The dog, now over 75 I think in dog years, still doesn't get that when I leave one room I'm usually coming right back. She still gets up and follows me, attempts to lay down and doesn't even get settled before I'm moving again, then she struggles (it's getting harder for her to get up) to get back up and follow me again. Sometimes if I tell her to stay she will, but I can tell she's very uneasy with that. She has always had some serious separation anxiety issues! As a younger dog, if we left her out back for too long, she would jump the fence (at the time a 4 foot chain link) and come sit on the front porch.

***I love my girls' love for music! Yesterday I overheard Emma singing along with the radio-just belting it out. It was priceless! made me wish I had a video camera that picked up sound....I digress.
And Ally has been making up songs lately. They all have the same sing song-y sort of rhythm, and the same choreography. :) Shakin' her little hips and her head, singing "I love you Ma-ma. Oh yes I do-o, yes I love you-oo!"

I could go on and on! I need to try and do this sort of post once a week or so just to catch little every day stuff.
Think it'll happen?? :)


I guess after almost a week of lots of (delicious!) grilled meals....I am really needing some light, cool, crispy sort of food. Don't get me wrong, the meat was awesome! But, just kind of heavy. Make sense?
Last night the girls and I had salad for dinner. I wasn't sure how this would go over...esp. with Miss A...but she did great! Of course, she had to have her ranch dressing...and she didn't eat all of it, but she ate a lot!
I had our salads piled with spinach leaf lettuce and purple leaf (or red leaf?) lettuce, then diced up tons of good stuff to mix in. From the garden we had zuccini, yellow squash, tomatoes and bell pepper. Then I added diced apples and pears, cucumber, chopped up a few deviled eggs, grated some cheese... and had red onion in mine. oh my goodness, I was in heaven! Neither girl liked the zuccini or squash. It's not great raw, but I tried. Next time I'll saute it just a bit to add some flavor.
We finished off with some yummy corn on the cob and a slice of cool lime pie. Delish!
Today we're just finishing a lunch of string cheese, cherries, baby carrots, tangerine and kiwi. refreshing! And so colorful! I love colorful meals.
OK. here's the good stuff. Enough of my boring menu ramble. :)
The pie I made took about 3 minutes to put together (actually the girls did it all, after I got the yolk ready), and 20 min. to cook. It is really good! Got the recipe from Jason's mom.
3 ingredients:

1 graham cracker pie crust
3 egg yolks (yolks only!)
1 can of Eagle Brand milk (I actually used store brand, this is just what I've always called this milk-the sweetened condensed milk.)
1/2 C. of lime juice

Mix with a whisk. You don't even need to beat it. Poor into pie crust and bake @ 350 for 20 min. Let cool and top with Cool Whip. Yum!

Friday, June 12, 2009

Nitro Intro

Today was our first lesson at Nitro Swim School. Both girls LOVED it! Ally was first, and she jumped out of the pool and made her way over to me-she was shivering and shaking and I thought she was mumbling something about having to go potty or wanting her towel. Nope! She wanted to "go again"! She had a BLAST!
She passed the first station in less than 15 minutes. She had to put her whole face under water for at least 5 seconds. That's a long time! At first she would just dip in really quickly and pop her head out sort of panicked. But she kept going and going and eventually got it! She was on to the next station which is the "starfish" float. I think this is arms straight out to the sides and legs out? I think. I know she had her arms out. I saw her floating with a noodle once, and I saw them trying to float on their back. I'll have to find out more so we can practice before next week.
Emma did awesome as well! She also ended on station 2, but it's different in her class. She has to be comfortable with floating on her back. I think they have to master doing a streamline (arms straight up behind ears and hands together at the top) swim halfway across the (short side) pool, then flip over to a back float. She tries to curl up and stand up insinctively instead of relaxing on her back. Just a little practice and she'll have it!
Both girls were ALL SMILES the WHOLE TIME! Ally, apparently does not ever stand still on land or in water. She was bouncing non stop. Both only had one other kid in their group. The other girl in Emma's group was also named Emma-this was a highlight for them!
A few pics I got. I tried to stay across the pool, so they're dark and maybe blurry, but still sweet!

Tuesday, June 9, 2009


We have hit the ground running this week! Seems crazy it's only the 2nd official day of summer break.
Yesterday we went to a super cool pool. We stayed for over 3 hours and only took one little 15 minute break! The girls would have stayed hours longer...and me too-I had so much fun! But, being the only grown-up among us, I had to make the responsible decision. Bummer being the mom sometimes. lol!
This place had a little lazy river, a wading area with two small slides, a small open area with sprayers or buckets, and a side spot with two bigger slides. The big slide and the lazy river were the hit for sure. I bet we were up and down the slide 50 times! Just one-Emma is tall enough for both big slides but would only go on the straight one because I could go with her. Ally is not tall enough for either but could go on the straight one IF I went with her. My little one is for SURE the adventurer/dare devil of the pair. Emma is very timid and anxious and takes the safer route. I'm so glad I could go with her on the straight slide, because she loved it-but still wouldn't go on her own, even after we did it over and over. Ally on the other hand-it was all I could do to get her to wait for me to sit down before she took off!
Both girls loved the lazy river. Emma would go round and round, swim/floating through. Before I remembered I had a ring floatie for Ally, I would carry her (against her will-she kept telling me to "let go"!) and she would watch Emma over my shoulder, cracking up the whole time at Emma bobbing up and down. I couldn't see what Emma was doing, but whatever it was made Ally laugh the whole way. It was cute.
Here are the few pics I got. Had a friend snap some from the slides. The ending one of Emma and me didn't come out, but just as well-she was panicked because we went under quite a bit. :)
Oh-and notice the different "hold" I have on each girl on the slide. I barely have ahold of Ally's shirt, and I only got away with that because she didn't know I was holding on. Emma's practically in a bear hug! But, we didn't do that again because I told her I think that's why we went under so much when we landed.
Anyway-tons of fun. We'll definitely go back!

Waiting patiently.

And, our outing today was the first free movie for the summer! We saw "Everyone's Hero". We saw it last year, but was so cute, we didn't mind seeing it again. We actually ran into several friends there. Looking forward to many more!

Saturday, June 6, 2009

For the Small Screen

Today the girls and I took part in a commercial shoot for my good friend, Jamie. Last year, this friend invented a super cool Childproof Straw! The straw will NOT come out of any juice box, fast food cup...she has used them for almost a year with her kids in yogurt cups..anything that has a foil lid or a straw hole. They are AMAZING!
Today she was shooting a "commercial" for a couple of things. I know one reason is to have an audition reel for a new show coming up on TLC hosted by Kelly Ripa, all about mom inventors. Also, there is a major drink company, I think, interested in putting the straw into production and they need more info. I think. There have been so many developments over the last year that I can't keep up. Anyway, the girls were very excited to be a part of this! Emma can't wait to be "on TV". I was reeled in to recite one of the many testimonials that Jamie has received via email or her website from straws she has sold on her own.
Both girls did sort of a "school lunch" scene. Emma did one shot with putting a straw through a drinkable yogurt-easy, no mess, no fuss. Then she did another shot showing her struggling to get the foil lid off (you'd be amazed how hard this is!) and actually spilling the yogurt in the process. Emma was oh-so-dramatic with this shot and REALLY got the point across-throwing yogurt all over the ground and herself!
Ally did a scene showing her using one of the straws in a milk box and they wanted her to actually pick up the box by the straw to demonstrate that the straw really will not come out. This was EXTREMELY hard for Ally! Her whole life she's been told, "don't take the straw out!" and especially don't pick up the juice box by the straw! lol! She eventually got it and gave her winning smile at the very end. So cute!
Here are some shots of my shining stars in action!

So excited!


SCHOOL'S OUT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Emma had her luau party on Friday for the last day of school. It was complete chaos. 20something loud, chanting, hula-hooping 7 yr. olds. Yikes!
It was fun, though. Emma was one of the winners for the hula hoop contest, she also won bingo, and gave a valiant effort at limbo.
Of course, on the day before the last day, I decided I wanted to make a stool for her teacher. I had been doing alot with Emma's class the last couple of weeks and on more than one occassion wished I had a stool at the front of the class!
So, we ran around Thursday and found a stool (not as easy as you would think) and found a paw print stamp to represent their mascot, the Lion. Emma had asked the all important "favorite color" question before we left so we got a few paints in just the right shades.
I thought I had some stencils left over from when I did my mom and dad's. I know I had a little heart, an apple...teacher-y stuff like that. Apparently not anymore. Must have tossed them.
So....this stool had lots of polkadots and stripes to fill in the gaps. Ha!
Emma's teacher LOVED it and called in other teachers to brag on it. (grins!)
Anyway-a fun day. And SO GLAD it's summer time! We already have pool playdate on Monday. yay!