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Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Micah goes Mutton Bustin

A little over a year ago Micah had a classmate who came in one morning with a big shiny belt buckle that he had won when he participated in mutton bustin in the San Antonio Rodeo. That afternoon when I picked up Micah from preschool, he told me all about it and how he wanted to ride a sheep too! It was too late for the rodeo that year so I just let it drop and thought he'd forget about it. Come the following year, Micah again had another classmate participate (and by the time I thought about the rodeo coming up, sign ups had already passed as they are about 4 months before the rodeo!) and thus Micah was again wanting to try mutton bustin. 
Well only a couple months after the big San Antonio Rodeo is the Helotes Cornyval and PRCA rodeo… which turns out also has Mutton Bustin sign ups. So we went one morning and put his name in the bag for a chance to have a turn. And he got a spot! (Much to Daddy's dismay!) 

I had showed him via youtube what it was all about and prepped him as much as I could that he would in fact fall off the sheep and he just needed to hold on tight as he could. He was a little nervous but mostly just confused by the mouth guard in his mouth it seemed.  
 He was the last one to go - he tried to climb up the fencing to watch those who went before him but I'm not sure how much he could see. At this point my mommy anxiety is going up as kids are of course coming off the dirt crying (but quickly getting over it) and I'm rethinking my decision to let him participate even though he had talked about it for the past year.

 He was lifted up and over into the shoot with the sheep.
 And off they went…
 He tried to hang on but quickly slide back and off to the side of the sheep.

 And onto the ground.
 He like most of the others came out of the arena with a few tears because the helmet (which was a little big on his tiny head) bonked him in the back of the head when he fell. He was over it pretty quickly when he saw he got a trophy and a shirt in his goodie bag for participating.
Since it was a carnival and rodeo, we also took the time to indulge in some carnival food - especially a funnel cake. Then headed back into the rodeo to go watch some of the professional rodeo events. Micah was asking to go home and go to bed a little before his normal bedtime though so we didn't get to stay and watch the bull riding. Which was a bummer. 
Micah has already declared he never wants to do that again. Thank goodness. I'm glad though that I did give him the chance to try it since he had asked for so long to do it.  Next year we'll just go and watch the rodeo and maybe get to stay and watch the bull riding at the end too. 

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Monday, May 11, 2015


Many might shy away from a waterpark with little ones but as a water lover myself, my littles take after me and love the water. As a former lifeguard, I feel comfortable with my littles near water as I've done my best to teach them safety around the water and how to swim (or make sure they are wearing a puddle jumper when near the pool.)  Even without that Schlitterbahn has a fully trained staff of lifeguards on guard at all times just in case. Which is why I'm so excited Schlitterbahn has invited us to come back and play again this summer.

When I think about Schlitterbahn, most of my memories are of all the thrill rides I went down with my youth group on a retreat where we spent a day having fun. I was really pleasantly surprised to see how family friendly to the little guys Schlitterbahn really is.  In addition to the big slides there are many areas with shallow water and small slides perfect for the little ones. In fact Abby and Micah didn't want to leave these areas last time we were there! Their favorite was the pirate ship in Kinderhaven in Blastenhoff - which was perfect as they could play under grandparent supervision while Beau and I went to ride the Dragon Blaster! (That's another tip - bring extra adults so you can split up and ride the big rides that the little ones can't do while someone still has an eye on the little ones!) 

In addition to play areas for the little guys - the best thing that I think really makes Schlitterbahn family friendly? You can bring your own ice chest into the park - pack it full of belly filling, healthy (or unhealthy - your choice!) food so when that question "can I have a snack" comes along you don't have to worry about where you'll get food, how much it will cost but you have all your littles favorites right there waiting for you on a picnic table. I know my littles get super hungry playing in the water and having a cooler packed of food beats having to find some place to stand in line every time they get hungry!

Now I can't wait to go back and see if the big two are ready to venture out of the little areas and try some of the bigger slides with me this year! This is totally going on this year's summer bucket list! We've got a busy summer lined up with Micah doing swim team and baseball, Abby has gymnastics practice most days of the week and I think all of our weekends between now and August have something booked on them so I'm so thrilled we have Schlitterbahn in our backyard for a day trip to have some fun! 

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Lucy's Doggie Daycare

Life wasn't crazy enough with three littles that last summer we added not one but two puppies to the mix. Sadness over losing our elderly dog, missing having a furry member of the family - especially for the littles that hadn't ever known not having a dog as part of our family and the fact that my babies aren't babies anymore lead to planning for one dog and another joining our family by showing up pretty much on our doorstep. One small lap dog like I've always wanted and another big dog for my husband who much prefers the bigger breeds.
While there are days that I definitely wouldn't recommend getting two puppies at nearly the same time, they've been quite the pair and are starting to settle down a tad as they are one and almost 1. They are definitely spoiled and treasured members of our family. I have even started pondering and worrying about who is going to take care of them if we travel during the holidays months away! We don't have any summer plans that will take us away from them but I know if we did I'd be trying to set up plans for them with someone to watch them or a place for them to stay where they would be happy while we were away. 

Last week I was invited to take a tour of Lucy's Doggie Daycare and see what all they could offer the furry members of the family and bathe the pups in their tubs. Lucy's provides daycare as well as boarding and grooming. The pups have two playtime sessions with a nap in the middle during the day. They have an inside shaded area along with an outside area that includes a pool. During the summer there are also large fans going to cool them off.  The play area is divided so there is a section for large dogs and a smaller one for small dogs. Both areas have at least one attendant out there with the dogs keeping an eye on all the pups. If you are ever curious what your pup is up to - you can view them over the webcams they have set up. (There are a few blind spots - like most of the outside of the small dog section - so if you can't spot your baby check back again as they are probably just hiding) 
Inside is where all the dog runs are. Each dog has their picture and all important care information on a sheet on a clipboard outside their run. Inside there beds and blankets for them and you can bring their own bedding, blankets if they are more comfortable with those. For the pups that are nervous about the daycare area (or if they not fixed), there are several single outside dog runs that they take turns in so they get time to play as well. Everything was clean and all the pups looked happy.
For the pups who are at daycare or boarding, you can add a bath or groom on so they are all fresh and clean when you pick them up (they will be done with play time after that so they stay clean until they are picked up.)  

Or you can choose to use the self-serve dog washing tubs and wash your pups at Lucy's and leave the mess for the staff to clean up instead of having to clean it up in your own house. The tubs raise and lower with a remote so no heavy lifting or hurting your back and knees bending over the tub or putting a heavy pup in the tub. Everything is provided for you - shampoo, conditioner, towels, ear cleaner and brushes. Oh and treats to reward your pup for behaving! You can also choose to add on a nail trim while you are there - which was fabulous because my fur babies are the biggest wimps when it comes to nail clipping. Seriously Rhett will start crying before you even get near his nail when I do it at home. At Lucy's though, it was over and done with without any puppies crying - though Diesel did try to run away from them and hide behind me.  

During the summer I really don't mind washing the pups at home because I can wash them outside in a baby pool and there isn't too much mess to clean up after but during the winter it's too cold to bathe them outside so I might consider using the self-service washing at that point and leave the mess for some else to clean up - and take advantage of the nail trims at the same time. 
 The tubs are plenty big enough even for the biggest of pups. Diesel had plenty of growing room in the big tub and he's already over 100lbs!
It was so nice to come home with clean puppies! 

Either baths were exhausting or they got so bored because I wouldn't let them go play in the backyard and get muddy because both puppies were total bums the rest of the day! But hey they still smell nice and clean! 

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Friday, May 08, 2015

Spring Baseball

What a difference a year can make! Micah played t-ball both fall and spring of the previous year but we skipped playing fall baseball last fall because while he would start the game interested, by the time he wasn't first to get the ball a few times when it was their turn in the field, he would lose interest and start pouting.
Micah had a blast playing basketball over the winter but they don't do boys basketball in the spring (or fall) so his basketball coach invited us all to play on the baseball team  he was coaching (pitch and tee this time!) so Micah has 4 other players from his basketball team on his baseball team and the same coach. I love that he gets to build his friendships playing with the same teammates. Not that Micah is shy at all - and wouldn't have trouble making friends but it's also nice for me to get to know the parents of his friends and one sports season goes by in a flash.

I think it also helps that his coach really knows what he's doing (he just also happens to be the sports director for the Y) and is really great at rotating the kids in the batting order and in their positions in the field so it's not a free for all with the same kid in the same spot getting the ball each time. They still all get to go on the field but there are more defined positions to play and it's not a free for all for the pitcher spot that gets the ball most frequently.
The pitcher spot did happen to be where Micah got to play first in their very first game so he started the season on a major high with getting to field lots of balls in his first inning! 
Batting is a learning process. They each get 6 pitches and if they don't get a hit, they can choose the tee or the coach gives them a choice of one more pitch but if they miss they are out. Most usually choose the tee when it gets to that point. Micah's gotten a couple hits but usually uses the tee still. 

I have no idea where he picked this up but last game on his second at bat, he came out to the plate and did the double tap on the base before getting ready to hit. He did it for every pitch too and had the parents laughing!

And he scores! They are supposed to play by the rules of actually getting out but most of the other coaches are parents and all don't want to play by that and the kids are still learning as far as fielding the ball and throwing it to first so everyone usually scores. 
The winner of the game = the team that has more players. So we won the last game 22 to 11.

High five from dad for a hit and a run scored!
Of course Dad also had to teach him his own favorite part of baseball - sunflower seeds. Which Micah called Dad over for some between innings. 
I just love a dugout full of little baseball players. I hope Micah will continue to like baseball because I enjoy watching baseball a lot more than basketball. We are also trying out summer swim league this summer too. Micah hasn't decided what he likes best yet so we'll continue switching around until he settles on something he is passionate about like Abby who loves her gymnastics! 

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Friday, May 01, 2015

teacher appreciation: ideas for ALL of your kids teachers!

It's that time of year. At our school the note for teacher appreciation doesn't even go home until the Friday before the week leaving you only the weekend to get it together if you weren't paying attention that it was coming soon. Our note should come home today but since I didn't want to wait for the themes for each day I went ahead and decide what to do and how to put it together and miss out on weekend family time, I put a few quick, budget friendly things together yesterday afternoon. Or maybe your school doesn't have themed days all week for teacher appreciation (or like me you kind of groan and wonder where they can up with the idea for one particular day because it's kinda silly and you don't  know what to do for it.)

Teacher appreciation can be overwhelming - you want to show your child's teacher that you appreciate the work they do day in and day out but then you get to thinking about it and there is your child's teacher, then there are all the specials teachers - art, p.e., music, computer. Then if you have a second child add in another teacher - or a whole different set of staff if they go to a different school. It can quickly spiral out of a budget friendly zone even if you are only giving small gifts as they add up if you want to include everyone. For me especially it can add up quickly as my son's birthday, Mother's day and teacher appreciation all seem to fall on the SAME week more often than not. 

So let's start with your child's main teacher. I went with a movie night theme. I found this cute bucket in the Target dollar spot that she can use for storage later in her classroom if she wants and used it to hold all the goodies. Inside are some of her favorite drinks, some candy, a package of popcorn and a card with a redbox code for a movie night at home with her family (or alone if she'd rather watch something her family doesn't want to see!)
For the specials teachers - I didn't know all their favorite drinks - you might though. So I wrapped up the popcorn and redbox code for them. These will also be easy to throw in my daughter's backpack for her to pass out to her teachers. The red box codes can be purchased here  - I purchased a promo code bundle, sent it to my own email and then wrote the codes down for each teacher on the card I made but there is also a link with each code to print them individually. 

My daughter's school usually has a whole week of themed days for teacher appreciation. One of which has usually been school supplies for their classroom. So I included the specials teachers again and added a cute saying tied around a dry erase marker for each of them. 

For some of the helping staff at my son's preschool, I saw these darling measuring spoons at Micheal's - bonus that they are the colors for the school. Of course I can't give them without a corny saying "It's hard to measure how much I appreciate you." 
These were all quick and easy to put together and won't break your budget either. Not that a Starbucks card or Sonic gift card wouldn't also be much appreciated (I usually save that for end of the year when things are crazy anyway and a gift card is quick and easy to pick up!) so this is something a little different so I'm not giving them the same thing at Christmas, teacher appreciation and end of the year. 

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