it's a dad bod world

The only "on the beach" photos I managed to take on our beach trip to Port Aransas this weekend...


60 percent chance

For Father's Day this year, the children and I made big plans of the good old-fashioned family fun variety. The Austin Symphony performs free outdoor concerts every Sunday night during the summer, so it was pretty much a no-brainer. I'm a sucker for a picnic dinner--picnic means wine and cheese--and free entertainment. When you can do these things wrapped up in a package of "look what big plans I made to celebrate Father's Day," it's a win-win(-win)!

Spoiler alert: mother nature wasn't down with the fathers this year. When we arrived at the Long Center around 7:15 yesterday evening, the skies were light (grey-ish, but light) and there was a feeling of lighthearted happiness in the air (or else that was the Pino Grigio talking from my Solo cup). Just minutes later, however, the skies turned dark and the spirited dancers on the plaza took cover. It wasn't until the birds went whacko that we decided it was time to pack it up (the birds always know). And also the members of the symphony called it an evening, so we would have been the crazy family stranded in a downpour if we hadn't huffed it to the car. At least there's always next week...if Austin returns to it's normal state of summer drought.


hard knot life

Yesterday we witnessed the culmination of five hardworking days for children ages 4 - 7 as Scout and her camp-mates presented their version of the musical Annie's "Hard Knock Life" (or "Hard Knot Life," as Scout sang). Prior to the grand finale there was some improv dog stuff going on--hence the animal ears sliding down over Scout's eyes--that I couldn't quite follow, but the song itself was a hit.

Scout was on the front line during the "demonstration," and I could feel the stage mom inside of me bubbling up; dying to gesture along as the performers tossed their rags and swung their legs out in a mock kick. Probably the only thing stopping me was that I didn't actually know the moves. I'm kidding, of course, but maybe not actually or just a little.

Up next on the Wheat family's slow summer agenda? A long weekend trip to Port Aransas with 10 other families from our Sunday school class. That's a total of 20 adults and 19 kids (not including the babies...and there are quite a few babies). Holy moly.


don't tell scout

This little rascal got her big brother (and me!) in trouble this afternoon when we picked Scout up from camp. This is how it all went down...

Scout is attending Broadway Kids "Annie" camp this week at the Zach Theatre. (Yes--the camp is exactly what you're imagining.) Catcher was excited to learn he would be "Scout free"'during the hours of 9am-4pm this week, but what he didn't realize was that I had chosen today as the day we would clean and de-clutter his room.

After spending a few good hours going through Catcher's things and re-arranging his massive book shelf, it was almost time to pick up Scout from camp. But first we had to swing by the Goodwill to dump all our junk. It just so happened there was an Amy's Ice Creams perched precariously across the street from Goodwill, and Catcher (old eagle eyes) spotted it immediately. He convinced me to go, and that's where the trouble started.

Catcher and Tillie scarfed down their strawberry cones in record time, and we left to fetch Scout. I told those two in the car to discreetly "not mention" the whole ice cream thing to Scout because there was no reason to upset her for no reason. I thought we were all on the same page until three seconds after we all climbed into the car post-pick-up Tillie looked at Scout and said "Scout, we went to Amy's Ice Creams." WHAT? I thought we talked about this; Catcher rolled his eyes moaning "Tillie. Why did you say that?"

The tears came out and we listened to Scout cry the whole way home.



someone will swim

In addition to this slow family living thing I'm testing out this summer, I've wholeheartedly declared that at least one--but preferably two--of our children will be swimming on his or her own by the end of the summer. We've been to the pool three of our five summer vacation afternoons so far, and I'm going to make the early prediction that our swimmer will be Scout.

Catcher has all the fundamentals down, but we call him lazy bones in the pool. He's more interested in clinging to the side than trying to swim ten feet on his own. Scout was the first to release her death grip from the side and swim out to me (of course the following afternoon she promptly forgot that she had actually been swimming on her own the day before).

Before we took off yesterday afternoon, I asked everyone to give me their "Yay! It's summer we can't wait to go swimming!" pose, and this is what I got:


banging on the ivories

Something interesting happened today--the first day of the first full week of summer vacation--Catcher and Scout got along! They're both enrolled in a piano music camp this week, and after their respective classes they came home and practiced together. It was so cute! Although they're both in beginner classes, Catcher's is a bit more beginner-advanced (as he informed me), so he taught Scout one of the songs he learned while her class was busy coloring pictures of Mozart Mouse and Beethoven Bear. I started them in piano at the same time because I figured a little sibling rivalry is always good for the soul, but I didn't realize there would be the added bonus of them working together. Bravo, kiddos!


putter's paradise

Scout found a new passion yesterday. Our first day of summer break was full of sunshine and a morning birthday party at Peter Pan miniature golf, where Scout discovered the game of putt putt. In the car on our way home, she informed me that she would like to get into golf "as soon as possible." I chuckled at first, but then I remembered an article I read a couple years ago stating women's golf is the number one underused Division I athletic scholarship...so she might be on to something there. Anyone know if they have a good golf program at Stanford (there's a wink there)?

Tillie, on the other hand, had trouble mastering her swing and spent most of her time trying to climb the structures. Catcher was his typical type A self trying to guide the group around the course in numerical order (hint: it didn't work).


y'all ready for this?

This morning things got a little goofy as we prepared to send Catcher off on his last day of first grade (last night's lost tooth helps with the goofiness factor as far as pictures are concerned). Tillie won the Best Morning Hair award, and before we knew it the day was over and we were off to a picnic dinner celebrating--is the end of the school year something parents should really be celebrating?--with friends. By this point in the day everyone was extremely goofy, so here you go:

P.S. It was also Scout's last day of preschool ever, but she's the middle child so you know how that goes.


two down...

True story: Alex told Catcher yesterday that his front tooth, which has been dangling precariously for weeks, had to come out before the last day of school. This was Catcher tonight. Tomorrow is the last day of first grade. Game, set, match.


let's get this summer started

Only three more days of school until every parent's worse nightmare begins--summer break. I'm kidding (but just a little). This summer I'm tackling the "slow parenting" movement that's getting a bunch of press lately. Instead of enrolling these little rugrats in camps for 12 weeks, we're going to explore the world together. (At least that's how I'm romanticizing it in my head right now.) We're hanging out in Austin for a couple of weeks, hitting the beach in Port Aransas with some friends for a long weekend, heading up north to Wisconsin for another couple of weeks, making the long drive back home to Austin... We'll see what shenanigans we can get ourselves into during all the in-betweens and long summer days.

Before the real summer party starts, however, we spent the last two afternoons at Scout's BFF's birthday party, giant blow-up waterslide included (see video). And yes, there was so much fun to be had the party was stretched out for two days (or else the company that supplied the giant blow-up waterslide failed to pick it up this afternoon and we just couldn't let another sunny Austin afternoon go to waste...not when there's a giant blow-up waterslide involved).