card sharks

Today. Today we were prepared. All the warning signs were there--flash floods, severe thunderstorms. Today we went to the park early (before the afternoon severe weather arrived) and chose our park strategically based on where flash floods in Austin are most likely to occur. We had popcorn. We had DVDs. We planned a tournament of cards for goodness sake. I suppose I don't have to tell you what happened. Well...nothing happened. No flash floods. No severe thunderstorms. I hope this is a sign that the weather has turned back into the predictably unpredictable, where a 60% chance of rain is really more like a 20% chance. But better than the non-threatening weather today, if I can be a dorky reflective mom for a moment, was the time we spent together. I don't know if teaching the children to gamble is the best move parenting-wise, but the card games kept spirits high and scuffles low.

I also had a trip watching the kids' faces while they were strategizing against one another--they took War very seriously. And Tillie. She does not have a poker face, in case you're wondering. But the outfit she chose today suggests she would rather be performing in Vegas than playing cards there anyway...


tornado warning with wine

The funny thing about modern technology is that you may find yourself driving from Austin to the famed--it's not really that famed, unless you ask someone from the immediate area--Texas wine country along highway 290 when your phone alerts you to possible tornados in the area and advises you to "take shelter immediately." That's not frightening, right? Did I mention your three young children are in the car with you because it's Memorial Day and the day before your husband's 39th birthday? You're just out for some good old-fashioned family fun with mother nature pings you on your iPhone.

Obviously because I'm writing this things turned out okay, but the beautiful picnic we pictured for ourselves at the "wine factory," as Tillie called it, turned out to be an afternoon evading funnel clouds, power outages and flash floods. We were warned that more rain was headed our way prior to the outing on Monday, but in our defense let's remember that it had just rained something like 20 days in a row. And it never rains like that around here--the sky had to be tapped out (I thought). Furthermore a 50% chance of rain usually means it isn't going to rain. In fact, an 80% chance usually means it isn't going to rain. Lesson learned, I suppose.

On the bright side (not including the bright side of dodging disaster), the storm brought the silliness out of the children and Catcher entertained us with his whacky dance moves in between downpours.


it's raining dogs and cats!

Why yes, Tillie, it is raining "dogs and cats" as you say. By 4:00 this afternoon, I didn't really care that the children were running around the house, hopping on and off of furniture and swatting each other with blankets. This rainy weather is weird. And everyone is acting crazy. We aren't used to this weather around here. So go ahead, children--you have my blessing to continue this romper room business until the rain stops. (But don't tell them I said that in case I change my mind.)


the class of 2028

On the day we celebrated Catcher's "graduation" from preschool, it was a beautiful late May afternoon in Austin. We gathered on the Capitol grounds for a school picnic, and the little lads and lasses were treated to delicious sno-cones. There were races up and down and around the lawn and all the outdoor imagination fun a bunch of preschoolers can dream up.

Today was a different story. Today it was Scout's class's turn (the class of 2028, by the way) to celebrate the end of the year. It also happened to be the 19th day in a row that it has rained in this city (I'm not a meteorologist, but I'm pretty sure that's a record). So instead of sno-cones there was popcorn; instead of rolling down grassy knolls outdoors, these youngsters found themselves in the middle of a kiddie mosh pit in the basement of a church. There were bubbles, however, so I guess that made up for it.

Before we laid out blankets on classroom floors for an indoor picnic, and before we ventured into the basement for a kiddie concert, the graduating class performed for their parents in the chapel. They treated us to their own renditions of "Hallelujah, Praise Ye the Lord" and "Jesus Loves Me" complete with hand and body motions. Scout was pretty stoked.


on deck

With all the excitement of beach trips, Explore Arts performances and dance recitals, I almost kind of forgot that in the midst of all this we registered #2 for kindergarten. On a drizzly Thursday morning before we left for a weekend in Galveston, Scout and I attended Kinder Round Up at Lee Elementary. Naturally, Scout was dying to go since she already feels like a veteran of the school. And naturally she brought two of her favorite books along in case, you know, they didn't have any books at the school.


prima ballerina

It was a weekend of performances as Scout and her dance class took to the stage yesterday afternoon for their first recital. Not only did I paint Scout's nails for the occasion (it was a big deal), she also got to wear mascara and blush and lipgloss (an even bigger deal!). Although I've been known to kick it up on the dance floor after a couple cocktails at a wedding, I was never formally trained in dance as a child, so this scene was new to me. Yet it was everything I could have imagined as we entered the lobby of a monstrous Texas church--you know, the kind with stadium seating instead of pews and a movie screen on "stage"--where tens of tiny girls in all incarnations of dance apparel were running around like 2-5 year olds would in such a situation.

The performance itself, however, was a success. And I didn't even mind sitting through 18 other performances--they were only about 90 seconds each, so I'm sure that's what made them tolerable--to catch a glimpse of Scout onstage. When it was all said and done, our tiny dancer was greeted by quite the fan club as she exited the dim stage into the bright afternoon sunlight. Scout was showered with flowers, which may or may not have caused the younger sister to go berserk, running away with one bunch of roses in a hysterical rant. You decide.

[Note to future self: get a picture of your daughter all dolled up before she goes onstage. When I went to collect her in the holding room after all the performances were finished, I found a half-naked girl with mascara smeared under her eyes and hair half undone (it took me a long time to get that bun in her hair). It was all I could manage to crop her tennis shoes out of the photos and get her to look at me and smile without squinting.]