Author: Terri

Last week to VOTE for Working Moms Meet Up at SXSW 2018

As I’m getting last minute preparations ready to start the Big Kid in Kindergarten, I realized how my working mom role is about to change. Before this new phase of schooling, we could drop kids off whenever for daycare and plan vacations/doctor’s appointments around our convenience. Starting tomorrow, we’re going to have to be on the kid’s school schedule. On-time drop-offs. On-time pick-ups. Working around school holidays and packing any extra items for class activities. I don’t even want to think about what to do with my kid when he’s off next summer! I’ve survived so far raising my infants into toddlers, but K-12 schooling is a whole other level of parenting. And I need all the mamas in my life to provide guidance. I’ve always heard that as your kids get older, they are less physically demanding (nursing, feeding, playing toys with them) but become more mentally and emotionally demanding (talking them through social problems, homework, school/friend drama). As a working mom who can often feel depleted in all aspects, I’ll be looking to …

Road Trip 2017: Arkansas Day 3

They don’t call Scenic Byways “scenic” for no reason. From Hot Springs, the drive through Ouchita National Forest was spectacular. The road would wind around sharp turns or long swooping curves. We experienced some really steep inclines for miles at a time. Maybe it would’ve been more fun to drive in my old GTI, but my family-friendly Outback was still a smooth ride. We booked a night at the Lodge atop Mount Magazine. As we approached the state park, we could already see sweeping views of the Petit Jean Valley below. There are signs everywhere, warning about the high cliff drops. I’m not usually scared of heights, but I kept a safe distance from the edge. When you go to visit the highest point in a state, you are obligated to hike to that exact point. So we walked the moderate trail up Signal Hill to where they have the point marked. Along the way, we noted the tiny spring flowers that were blooming, interesting fungi growing on fallen logs and (ack!) tons of poison …

Road Trip 2017: Arkansas (Days 1 & 2)

Last year, we headed west to New Mexico and Colorado for our first family road trip. So this year, we decided to head northeast to Arkansas and see what The Natural State had to offer. Even though we didn’t have to drive through desolate parts of Texas to get there, it still took us quite a bit of time to get out of the state. The best laid plans can be foiled by Mother Nature. She dropped 8 inches of rainfall the night before our trip and continued to pour down as we left early in the morning. It was coming down so hard that part of I-35 was closed due to flooding. We sat in a parking lot trying to get out of Austin metro to wait for blinding rain to ease up before we even had the chance to sit in the massive backup from the flood. It took us over 5 hours to get up to Dallas, where the rain seemed to clear. Of course, the delay in getting out of Dallas …

Lost in Transition

I am struggling so hard with this parenting thing right now. Bear Shark is fully in his 3’s, and other parents who have gone through the 3’s know that every day is a battle that tries to destroy our will to live. We went through some tough 3’s with the Big Kid. The range of emotions that happens within a 2-minute time span is extreme. The highest of highs and the lowest of lows. I remember there being so many tears (mine out of exhaustion and frustration, his out of… I dunno… his sandwich was cut wrong???). But I also remember how my husband took on a bigger role in parenting because I was tending to Bear Shark as a baby. He took the hard blows while I cuddled and nursed. I was able to hide from the 3’s. There’s no hiding now. And Bear Shark is a completely different person than his brother in personality, energy level and demeanor. He is brash and explosive, expressive and experimental, loud and so very physical. He’s a …

Inks Lake State Park

We visited Inks Lake State Park at the peak of wildflower and bluebonnet season. With our State Parks Pass in hand, we wanted to find a park that was within a short drive (in case there was a freak-out moment)┬áso the boys could have┬átheir first camping experience. Inks Lake has waterfront cabins in addition to tent camping, and that worked out perfectly for our family. Heads up that Central Texas campsites at many state parks fill up FAST in the spring. We booked this trip a month ahead to get a Friday night spot. It only got more crowded by Saturday. Checking other parks’ availability nearby, many were booked up on weekends almost 2 months ahead. Besides our Parks Pass, the best investment we made was picking up a Chillax Hammock from Costco. They normally retail for $70, and Costco was selling them for $35. The Big Kid spent the entire afternoon and early evening, lounging in the hammock. If the night hadn’t gotten chilly, he probably would’ve slept in it too. Thankfully, my husband …

Pedernales Falls State Park

The last time my husband and I went out to Pedernales Falls State Park, we had our old dog Boo Boo with us. To get to the falls, you have to scale some pretty large boulders, and I kind of forgot how much effort it took, especially when you’re trying to get a 65-lb dog who isn’t a jumper up and over. Eight years later, no dog but two kids… same huge boulders. It took some effort between my husband and I to pass kids over crevices to make sure no one fell into holes or moving water. It also took quite a bit of effort to keep Bear Shark from trying to jump off of boulders that were taller than him! On our way to Twin Falls, we accidentally took a more scenic trail down the hill to the river that’s part of Trammell’s Crossing Trail. It was a fun little detour, climbing over rocks and following the natural “stairs” that led downhill, but it also meant we needed to make the hike back …

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