All posts filed under: Family

McKinney Falls State Park

Ever since we bought a State Parks Pass ($70 for an entire year), we have been trying to make the most of it to see the natural beauties in Texas. The closest to us in Austin is McKinney Falls State Park, a quick 20 minutes from downtown. I’ve been there a handful of times, but there was recent rain that made the waterfalls a little more exciting than our visit last year. We got there in the morning around 10 and brought lunch in a cooler. The kids were very excited about carrying trail maps, as if we were hunting for treasure. Our first stop was toward the Lower Falls. The last time we visited, we told the Big Kid about how he lost a shoe as a baby, and it bounced on the rocks and landed in the creek below. He found the same spot we pointed out to him of the lost shoe and gave us a pose – both shoes firmly on his feet. The Lower Falls don’t look like much when you first …

Moments of quiet

Life has felt very chaotic lately. Between juggling family’s schedules, my teaching schedule, my workout schedule, feeding my kids (they are always begging for food) and simultaneously avoiding news while getting sucked down a political rabbit hole, I have very few moments of quiet and solitude. If you saw my calendar, you’d feel overwhelmed with all the overlapping colors and little white space. Sometimes, I enjoy the chaos. I feel productive. Or at least busy. It makes the end of the day come faster, when I get to crash and the kids are in bed. I seem to always be reaching for more sleep. This week, I was feeling especially sore and tired. I overdid something that pulled at my hip flexors. My workout days were already off from when I needed gym space (vs. home space), so I gave myself room to embrace open pockets of time. Those open pockets would normally be filled immediately with a long list of errands and household chores, but I chose to let the laundry pile up and take …

Davis Mountains State Park

My husband and I have made a few trips out to West Texas before we had kids. We camped at Big Bend National Park and made stops in Alpine and Marfa. The terrain to the west with its deserts and mountains makes us feel like we’re in a completely different state compared to the mostly flat plains of North Texas and rolling hills of Central Texas. One place that had been on our bucket list was the McDonald Observatory near Ft. Davis. Over the holidays, we picked a free weekend in January and planned a drive out west. Unfortunately, the weather was really cloudy and threatening rain, so the Star Party became an indoor affair, which was still fascinating and educational. We did manage to see Venus through the clouds, which looks like a very bright star with the naked eye. Most evenings, I’m rushing from dinner to teaching yoga to running last-minute errands, and I rarely look beyond what’s directly in front of me. I miss the stars every night. I forget how vast and beautiful the …

Working mom dilemma: Nap time

Fell off the NaBloPoMo wagon. It’s Day 22, and reminiscent to Day 15, we’re still on this no-sleep train. Let’s talk about naps, shall we? The guilt of missing so many of my kids’ precious moments in their earlier years is a very real thing about being a working mom. I had many moments right after maternity leave, trying to process whether I was working to pay for daycare or if the cost of daycare was the only way to remain in the workforce. For many working moms, the cost of daycare nearly eclipses their take-home income, and it doesn’t make financial sense to stay in their jobs. When I transitioned out of my 9-to-5, we pulled Bear Shark out of full-time daycare to save money. He was also at a really great easy age, and being home with him felt like I was making up for all the lost time I didn’t get to have with the Big Kid. I treasure those early pre-walking/talking months. I was finally getting some one-on-one time with Bear Shark and really …

When they don’t sleep

I must’ve blocked the challenging parts of this 2-3 age with the Big Kid because I was so focused on Baby Bear Shark. We weren’t sleeping then anyway, but it’s different with a newborn who can be nursed back to sleep. These days, we’re dealing with negotiation, refusal, ignoring requests, being scared of the dark and working themselves into such a tizzy that they can’t catch their breath. The no sleep thing is amplified when both are fighting it. I have no control over how much sleep I get at night. That was a hard pill to swallow, entering into parenthood. I’ve crashed at 8 along with the kids, but sleep is too choppy to feel functional the next day. I’ve been on this up and down cycle of coffee and melatonin to survive. This can’t be healthy. We’ve moved their bedtime up to get ahead of the meltdown (and daylight savings has helped a little on the front end but not so much with staying asleep or sleeping past… gulp… 5:30), and we’ve gotten more rigid about bedtime …

Road Trip 2016: Albuquerque & White Sands

We had half a day in Albuquerque before heading south, so we wanted something a little less time-intensive. Since we have a Family Premier membership to the Thinkery in Austin, we could get in to reciprocal science museums for free, and we found the National Museum of Nuclear Science on the list. It wasn’t a very large museum, but the display of missiles, jets and bombers were pretty impressive to walk around. At the same time, it was awe-inspiring to see the range and devastating power contained in these missiles. The science side of my brain was like, “COOOL,” while the self-preservation side of my brain was like, “Oh, crap. That’s horrifying.” Inside were a number of hands-on exhibits. I think my husband and I were more interested in them than the kids. 😉 Since we got there right as the museum opened, we had plenty of time to explore and play without bumping into any crowds. Our final national parks stop on the trip was White Sands National Monument. We battled strong winds the full length of New …

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