Friday, July 30, 2010

Art Camp

This was Week 1 of Alex's session at the Doughterty Arts School, a camp run by the City of Austin Parks and Rec. It started a bit auspiciously on Monday morning, as we approached the building that looks as if it were constructed in the late sixties.

Alex: "This doesn't look like a very fun camp... this looks like a camp for the old cowboys and Indians."

They don't apparently get much outside play time, other than at lunch. Still, he complained when I picked him up a bit early the other day, so I'm taking that as a good sign that he isn't missing non-stop physical activity. The theme for this session was "Knights, Fair Ladies, Legends and Lore," which I thought would be right up my little prince's alley.

Some of the art he came home with this week.

A shield he made out of construction paper.

A sandcastle, made from sand.

A crepe paper stained glass window.

A watercolor stained glass window.

A dragon, made with tape, paint and glitter.

And a viking helmet, made out of duct tape and snow cone cups.

Still not quite sure how the Vikings fit into the Knights and Fair Ladies theme, but its a pretty cool helmet.

Thursday, July 29, 2010


Driving past the Palmer Events Center this morning, and seeing the horrible sign, "TEXAS BAR EXAM: JULY 27, 28, 29," my PTSD set in, and I flash-backed to the horrificness that was my life twelve summers ago (and yes, I just made up that word). Back in May-July 1998, I studied night and day for months on end, only to be rewarded with a three day long exam that was such a nightmare that I will never leave the state of Texas, lest I ever have to take another bar exam.

And it got me thinking.

Things that make me happy, July 2010:

1. I will never have to take the Texas Bar Exam again.

2. Alex is "somewhat" happy with the Dougherty Arts Camp. When we drove up Monday morning, and he complained, "This doesn't look like a very fun camp," I was really afraid I might have blown $405 and be up a creek without a paddle for two weeks. But he's even decided he wants to do it for three weeks next summer, not just two. And this despite the fact that the only time he has played outside there was when they had a fire drill on Tuesday. Here's a "sand"castle he painted with actual sand and glue this week.

3. Mom's eye surgery went well, and she is on the way to recovery.

4. Both of my children are out of diapers, and I will never have to change one again. At least until I'm a grandmother.

5. Carl agreed to the new paint color, and to the new arrangement of the bedroom furniture.

6. My pool. Best money we ever spent, bar none.

7. Ryan is swimming, and I don't have to panic every single time we are working outside and take our eyes off them in the pool for ten seconds.

8. Alex is now building his own LEGOs. With any luck, I have so built my last LEGO.

9. The LEGO store is opening at Barton Creek in eight days.

10.  Edward Cullen. Eric Northman. And the casting of Daniel Craig in "Girl with a Dragon Tattoo." Here's hoping they find the need to add a blue swim trunks scene to the movie. Who cares if its set in Sweden, in the middle of winter?


Monday, July 26, 2010

Weekend Update, with Team Danger

Let's catch up with Team Danger's activities over the weekend.

Friday night, our swim team's pool was hosting a Splash Party movie night, showing "Monsters vs. Aliens" at the pool while we swam. Seemed like an excellent way to cap off Splash Camp. I met up with Elizabeth, and the boys played with Andy and CeCe in the pool. It was supposed to start at 8:30 p.m. (once its dark) but due to technical difficulties, it didn't start until 9:50 p.m. The kids didn't mind - the diving board and slides had short lines (unlike after swim practice) so they got to use them about 100 times each. But this was quickly turning into a late, LATE night, so about 10:15 p.m., I pulled two unhappy little boys out of the pool.

Monsters vs. Aliens

Saturday, we had a date at the Bob Bullock Texas History museum with our Cub Scout pack. I'm quickly learning more than I ever wanted to know about Scouts. We're in a den, of currently six boys, and Carl is the den leader. Our den is part of a pack, and the pack is all boys at Spicewood. The pack is part of a larger group as well. 

I'm not sure how much Texas history the boys learned. There was no organized tour, and no leader was doing much to explain the sights we were seeing. History major geek and control freak that I am,  I did my best to narrate what we were seeing and try to make it more interesting for the boys.

Alas, they seemed more interested in any kind of video they could watch.

Or any buttons they could push.

Especially when the buttons were combined with videos, as they were here at Mission Control.

Later, we celebrated Uncle Drew's birthday over at Grampapa's house. As always, cousin Connor was the highlight of the visit. And according to both boys, "Connor" was the favorite thing they did all weekend long.

Finally, on Sunday, after two plus years or "discussing" which color to paint our bedroom, Carl and I had reached a detente and painted the sucker. Team Danger was suprisingly unexcited about painting, so they spent most of the day watching Alvin and the Chipmunks, playing on the wii, and fighting over Star Wars toys. Good times.

These aren't the greatest photos of the walls, but we still haven't replaced our real camera. Lets hope those discussions go faster than our wall color  - our iPhones have acceptable cameras, but they are truly insufficient for the amount of photo taking I do.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Splash Camp

This week, Alex is attending Splash Camp.

Its at the Quarries, which is an amazing piece of property owned by Hyde Park Baptist Church. I wasn't so sure about having him attend a Baptist-run camp, but I'd heard good things about it from some other moms. And most importantly, his friend Carson was also attending.

They've played water balloon games and races, had a giant slide, a slip and slide, kickball with slip and slides, dunk tanks where they can dunk the counselors, dunk tanks where they can get dunked, and dunk tanks where they can dunk their friends, canoeing, fishing, swimming every day, and today, something I've never heard of before, sup boards. I googled it, and from what I can tell, they are Stand Up Paddle Boards. Looks pretty cool. I found a youtube video, but somehow, I doubt what Alex and Carson do will look much like this:

Alex is having a blast. When I asked him which camp he is liking best so far (in hopes of planning future summers more successfully), it was between Splash Camp and BB Gun Camp. "Its hard to say," he responded thoughtfully. "I need the whole week to decide. But if I had to pick now, I'd have to go with Splash Camp."

The place is absolutely breathtaking. Its a beautiful limestone, open building right alongside one of the Quarry Lakes in Northwest Austin, and is so hidden I got lost several times trying to find it Monday morning. The Hyde Park Baptist High School is located on the property as well. Carl and I were joking that the place is so beautiful, we're almost tempted to convert. But not quite. ;)

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Swim Team is Over!!!

I'm more than a little bit excited about the end of the Barracudas swimming season. As happy as I am that Alex and Ryan progressed into little fish who can swim actual strokes, the daily practices and the early Saturday meets were killing me.

The end of season banquet* was this week, and little boys AND parents celebrated its conclusion.

The boys received trophies at the banquet.*

And Mommy had some wine at home later.

* The use of the word "banquet" seems misleading to me, but that is what it was called. Sodas were served, and minuscule pieces of cake to the children. But otherwise, there was no food. And, sadly, no alcohol.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Screen Time

Yesterday, Alex misbehaved and as a consequence, lost all screen time. "Screen time" is defined in our household as tv, movies, computers, and any and all video games.

Alex came home from camp and REALLY wanted to play the Indiana Jones Lego video game on the PS3. But, Carl held firm to the punishment that had been handed out the day before.

So Alex disappeared to do art.

Thirty minutes later, he had created his own PS3 controller.

And drawn his own Indiana Jones Lego screen shot.

And he asked Carl if he played the drawn screen game with his drawn controller, if that counted as "screen time."

It was so clever I almost wanted to award him his much-desired screen time back.


Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Weekend with the Cantinacitas

Cantinacita Weekend, 2010: otherwise known as the tale of ten perfectly sane and intelligent women and one husband) take over the Far View Bed and Breakfast in Brenham, run by increasingly surly innkeepers. Surly innkeepers who the gall to claim they couldn't remember us from past years, even though Teri accidentally made off with their guest book during the annual book exchange last year. We decided to ramp up the havoc this year, including the rental of their new addition, the Casita.

But what happens in the Casita, stays in the Casita.

Carl, in the meantime, had the joy of waking the boys up at 5AM for their Divisionals Swim Meet. Apparently Team Danger could not quite believe they were up and dressed at 5:20 in the morning, so this picture was kindly texted to me with some loud beeps at that time.

Alex's relay team came in seventh place, which means he once again received an orange seventh place ribbon. Alex now has three orange ribbons, and Ryan has been DYING for an orange ribbon. I tried to explain to him that the blue and red ones are better, but there is little reasoning with a stubborn four year old. So with Alex's permission, we pretended Ryan won the orange ribbon when we picked them up on Monday. He was beyond ecstatic, and it took a place of high prominence on his ribbon boards.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Last Weekend

This past weekend, Alex and Ryan had their next-to-last swim meet. The last one that I'll be at, so it felt like the last one to me. They did well in their relay and individual freestyles, but both were disqualified for their butterfly and breast stroke. Fortunately, they don't really know what it means to get a DQ yet, so all was well. ;)

After the swim meet, Carl took Ryan to a birthday party for his friend Ryan. Ryan gets a big thrill out of the fact that he and Ryan have the same name, and enjoyed singing Happy Birthday to himself.

Alex's friend Gaelen came over for a play date. They swam, played on the wii, and played with every single toy in the house.

Later that night, we had our annual post 4th bash on the Cove with Jeff, Noel and Tatianna.

Sunday, we rested and watched the World Cup and rooted for Spain, sometimes a bit lethargically. Happily, they did not let us down.

And what would a weekend be without a visit to Target? I was intrigued by this copy of "Pride and Prejudice," clearly attempting to capitalize on the "Twilight" phenomenon.

I love the caption: "Darcy had never been so bewitched by any woman as he was by her." Sounds a bit more like Stephenie Meyer's writing style that Jane Austen to me. I personally don't think they need editions like this to woo over new readers to Jane. She can sell herself quite well, thank you very much.

Pride and Prejudice - The Special Edition (A&E, 1996)

With a little help from Colin Firth in a wet, white shirt.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Mommy Days

I stayed home yesterday with a sick Ryan. He has a sinus infection, so we have a new round of antibiotics. We finally have our first consult with a pediatric ENT later this week - it took ages to schedule - and it can't come soon enough for my perceptually sick little munchkin. When he was born with congenital pneumonia, the NICU docs had warned me that his immune system would always be weaker than other kids, and sadly, their prediction has come true. Hopefully getting his tonsils removed as his pediatrician recommends will make a difference, so that we can nip this before he actually starts kindergarten in 2011.

So I spent Monday building Legos. A lot of Legos. I'm beyond Lego-ed out. I re-built the 890 piece "Battle of Endor" set Ryan had received for his birthday, which I spent hours building back in February and which he promptly destroyed in mere seconds soon after I had finished. Its sat in a bowl ever since.

LEGO Star Wars The Battle of Endor (8038)

We are *SO* gluing this sucker.

Fortunately, Carl and I had the last few episodes of True Blood to watch last night after the kids were finally asleep. Nothing like a good dose of my second favorite vampire, Eric, to take my mind of Legos.


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