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Preview: Mama Drama

Mama Drama

Parenting is hard work, no matter how you slice it. Here we tackle issues as old as the ages: How do you get them to sleep? Will they ever clean their room? Is this normal? And we keep an eye out for news you can use in the never-ending quest to raise hap

Published: 2013-05-16T08:30:10-06:00


Mama Drama blog has new URL


Nothing is really changing, but if you have Mama Drama linked, you will now find it at

Happy reading.

Girls and poor body image has really hit home


My 9-year-old is — how should I say — chunking up. Suddenly things that fit last week are not fitting this week. And that swim suit from last year is not even close. I know she is about to start a growth spurt and she’ll shoot up, then thin out. I’ve seen it happening to almost every girl in our Girl Scout troop, but it’s hard to be patient when your daughter hates the way she looks.

This weekend, the troop is heading to Great Wolf Lodge and the Dallas Zoo. She worked hard for this trip. She’d been looking forward to it all year, until Sunday when she tried on swim suits and nothing looked good. She sat in the dressing room, staring in the mirror, seeing every flaw and cried.

I get not wanting to put on a swim suit in a post-babies, closing in on middle age body, but at 9? There’s no reassuring words I can give her that she will buy.

I talked with a mom whose daughter is also in our troop and has always been one of the larger girls. So I’ll head to Academy and get a sporty swim shirt and swim shorts and I’ll pack some other suits as well.

Hopefully, on Saturday, my daughter will suit up and run into the pool and not worry one bit about what she looks like. Fingers crossed.

A way for teens to get around this summer


As you’re planning summer vacation (only a few more weeks away, yay!), you might have a teen that needs to get to that summer job or summer school or wants to meet up with friends. You as the chauffeur, maybe, but Capital Metro also has a Haul Pass. For $45, students ages 6-18 can go where they want to go from June to August on CapMetro buses or trains.

Plus the pass also offers discounts at retailers like:

Alamo Drafthouse Cinema

Austin Canoe and Kayak

Ballet Austin

Book People

Conan's Pizza

DoubleDave's Pizzaworks

Hey Cupcake!

Kerbey Lane Café

Lick Ice Creams

Top Notch Burgers

Torchy's Tacos

And many more!

You can buy the pass at

A ton of stuff to do this weekend


Saturday, Pachanga Latin Music Festival will be in full gear at Fiesta Gardens, and the festival has a cool kids’ mini festival going on. From noon to 4 p.m. events will include a cupcake walk, song writing workshop, pinata party, as well as art projects and face painting. Kids get in free with an adult ticket.

Here’s the schedule:

CUPCAKE WALK - 12:15 - 12:45


PINATA PARTY - 1:15 - 1:45


CUPCAKE WALK - 2:15 - 2:30

PINATA PARTY - 2:30 - 3:00


PINATA PARTY - 3:30 - 4:00

Find out more online at

Here’s some other great events this weekend:

“Wake Up Your Weird.” The Abby Cadabby puppeteer presents her anti-bullying show. 11 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Scottish Rite Theater, 207 W. 18th St. $12.50. Read my preview of that show here:

“Little Mermaid.” A one-woman telling of the classic Hans Christian Andersen story. 11 a.m., 2 p.m. Saturday. Zach Theatre Whisenhunt Stage, 1510 Toomey Road. $14. 512-476-0541, Read a preview of that show, here.

Second Saturdays. AMOA-Arthouse offers hands-on family workshops. This month: Mighty Kites. 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday. $5 member families, $10 nonmember families. 3809 W. 35th St.

“Plus Meets Minus.” Pollyanna Theatre Company presents a tale of when Plus and Minus come together as two very different characters. 4 p.m. Saturday, 2 p.m. Sunday, 11 a.m., 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. May 18. $10.75 adults, $8.75 children 12 and younger, $9.75 seniors and students. Long Center, 701 W. Riverside Drive. 457-5100. I still have tickets to give away. Email me to get them.

Moms Nite Out, what?


I’ve been getting pitches all this week for Mom’s Nite Out, apparently a movement is afoot to give Mom a night off. It’s all supposed to go down Thursday.

I getting a night out on Thursday as I cover Austin Fashion Week… though that’s for work, so maybe not the same thing.

Have you heard of this Mom’s Nite Out? Are you planning something?

One of the pitches I’ve gotten is for Barton Creek Square, Lakeline Mall and The Arboretum. Each shopping center is having events and freebies from 5-8 p.m.

What are we doing for Mother's Day?


My husband asked me this question this morning? My gut response was pulling up the covers and going back to bed sounds great to me.

But with a mother-in-law in San Antonio, I’m sure we’ll spend it with her, as we should.

Virginia Woodruff, author of, has these suggestions of things you can do with your family, should you go that route, versus going back to bed and shouting “I want to be alone.”

Feed the turtles and the kids at County Line on the Lake restaurant, 5204 Ranch Road 2222

Dip into Gus Fruh swimming hole on the Barton Creek Greenbelt, 2642 Barton Hills Dr Austin, TX 78704

Lowe’s or Home Depot, where kids can ride the tractors and push the vacuums and help you pick out colorful duct tape. They can even make you duct tape art.

Daytime music shows at “Lounge Side” in Strange Brew Coffee Shop (on Monday May 12th: 11 AM Gospel Brunch; 3 p.m. Chop Shop; both are free) 5326 Manchaca Road.

K-1 Speed, indoor go-kart racing; both adults and kids can race (kids must be 4 four tall) 2500 McHale Ct. Austin, TX 78758

Milton Reimers Ranch Park (near Hamilton Pool) pebble beach by a swimming river, lots of hiking and biking opportunities on this 500-acre park (minimal shade by the river—bring sunscreen and a pop-up tent or umbrella) 24100 Hamilton Pool Road

The Dinosaur Park Walk a trail through the woods to find realistic replicas of dinosaurs. Also has a playground and toy shop. Union Chapel Rd, Cedar Creek

Austin Nature and Science Center See some live animal and old fossils, then cross the stream to the dinosaur bone digging pit. 301 Nature Center Drive

Jumpoline Park. huge Indoor trampoline center where both parents and kids can have fun jumping and get exercise. Two locations: South—6405 S I H 35 Austin; North—13801 N Mopac Expy #200 Austin

Austin Rock Gym- has an Kids Zone for kids who want to climb everything. Two locations: South—4401 Freidrich Lane Suite 300; North—8300 N. Lamar Blvd. Suite B102

Family shows ticket giveaways


I’ve got two sets of two tickets to giveaway to Pollyanna Theatre Company’s “Plus Meets Minus,” about when two very different characters come together. Email me to be entered to win the tickets.

The show runs 4 p.m. May 11, 2 p.m. May 12, 11 a.m., 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. May 18. $10.75 adults, $8.75 children 12 and younger, $9.75 seniors and students. Long Center, 701 W. Riverside Drive. 457-5100.

Here’s some more about the show from the press release:

This delightful new play is best suited for children ages 4-7. It explores important themes and life lessons such as dealing with those who have opposite opinions and beliefs. Through engaging dialogue, visually captivating sets, costumes and professional actors, children will see characters discover the value of compromise, learning how to respect others and their feelings.

Playwright Katherine Gee Perrone states, “Learning empathy and tolerance is one of the critical lessons of growing up. Intolerance is one of society’s great big character flaws. So imagine if children learned this important lesson by watching others, such as characters in a play, fumble through the same challenges they face in childhood. This is the magic of theatre.”

The cast includes professional actors and designers including Production Designer Ia Enstera, Lighting Designer Don W. Day, Sound Design and Composer Breton Christopherson. The cast includes Gricelda Silva, Aaron Alexander, Bethany Harbaugh and Toby Minor. The production is directed by Judy Matetzschk-Campbell. In PLUS MEETS MINUS, children will follow the story of character Addy Plus, who loves to put things together into groups. The concept of ‘more’ for Addy, is always better. They will also meet ‘Minus Takeaway’ who loves nothing more than quiet, stillness, and empty space. In Minus’ eyes, ‘zero’ is always best. Katherine Gee Perrone creates a world where these two very different characters collide. The action that naturally follows is an exploration of two very different ways of seeing the world and begs the question; how can these two very different people ever make peace? Ultimately, the play reveals much about math and human nature through the colorful world of counting.

The play was originally commissioned by Pollyanna Theatre Company. “I believe that the best theatre tells a story of characters in conflict. In this respect, theatre reflects life,” said Matetzschk-Campbell. “PLUS MEETS MINUS comes from two very different interests of mine. The first is putting characters on stage that have strong desires and strong impulses. The other is my desire to use theatre as a way to support the public school curriculum. PLUS MEETS MINUS is the result of these two personal interests coming together in the commissioning of one play.”

In addition to public performances, PLUS MEETS MINUS is also available for schools throughout Central Texas. As with all Pollyanna productions, accompanying multi-disciplinary curricula and professional development tools are also available free of charge for teachers and parents.

Is abnormal the new normal in kids?


I was at a Girl Scout event with my troop, talking to two other moms about their daughters. Between us, none of us had typical kids. One has anxiety, OCD and Tourettes; one had a head injury when she was little; Ava has juvenile arthritis and wasn’t even able to come to the event because of her pain level that morning.

I started thinking about the rest of my Girl Scout troop… who look pretty normal, but one is in speech, one struggles with weight issues, several are dyslexic, one is painfully shy. I couldn’t find one kid who didn’t have something going on with her.

It made me wonder: do all of our kids have something, something that makes them struggle? And has that always been or are we as parents more willing to diagnose what’s going on with our kids than our parents or more willing to talk about our kids’ troubles?

A summer camp for mom


MomCom is having it’s own adult one-day summer camp on June 29. It’s at the Oaks Event Center, 2008 Brandt Road. Registration is $109 through June 1. Sign up at Here’s the schedule: 9:30 — 10:30 Registration, breakfast, guided networking Exhibits Open 10:30 — 10:40 Opening remarks with emcees Claire and Lauren of Texas M.I.L.K. 10:40 — 11:20 What are You Waiting for? - Desiree Holt, Erotic Romance Author How many times have you wanted to do something, accept a challenge, take a right turn from your life? Realizing our dreams is the lost fulfilling thing we can do. There’s always a way and you’re never too old. You just have to take that first step. So what are you waiting for? 11:20 — 11:30 Social break Exhibits Open 11:30 — 12:10 Mothering as Political Action - Sera Bonds, Circle of Health International Our decisions to mother, how to mother, when to mother; all of these choices (and for some of us there are choices, for others they are not) are embedded in our values, and are indeed actions. In this workshop we will explore why we mother, why did we decide to do this incredibly hard job? How we do it , what are our internal and external motivators? What does this say about us as individuals, and what can we learn from this that we can take into our parenting to become more engaged, active, and politically minded? There will he group work, role plays, and journalling. As well as lots of laughing, deep consideration, and hopefully a few realizations! 12:10 — 1:20 Lunch, guided networking & goal setting Exhibits Open 1:20 — 2:00 Making your Dreams a Reality — Carey Youngblood, Founder, Heartsong Music Together Carey Youngblood, director, teacher, and owner of Heartsong Music, which teaches Music Together for young children and their caregivers, will tell her story of how she has been able to build a thriving music school over the past 8.5 years. It has been Carey’s passion to help families bring music making into their daily lives, and as of 2013, Heartsong has exceeded over 10,000 enrollments. Looking back, Carey now realizes that all of the teaching jobs she took to try to make ends meet benefited her by allowing her to form in her mind’s eye what an ideal work environment and music school could be. With Carey’s vision of an ideal music school, you will find out how she was able to make it a reality. 2:00 — 2:55 Google+ workshop with experts from Google 2:00 — 2:55 WORKSHOP: How Money Really Works Practical Financial Advice for Women -Christina Winch, Winch Financial Women control more than 80% of household spending, yet 60% of them rate their investing skills as below average. This presentation is designed to address this dangerous paradox. Christina Winch has been offering nationally recognized investment advice in 401(k) rollovers, college planning and wealth management for women since 1981. With a lifelong passion for education, Christina will explain the untold risks of annuities, pitfalls and successes of 401 (k) plans, the right way to execute a rollover, what hidden fees you’re paying, how to plan for college costs, and why you need to protect your business. Her lively presentations are designed to educate and empower. You’ll learn what a mutual fund is and how to invest in it, the difference between and IRA and a Roth and which retirement account is right for you. Bring your specific questions and bounce your ideas off a national expert. Believe it or not, financial presentations can be fun! 2:55 — 3:05 Social Break Exhibits Open 3:05 — 3:50 Amy’s Simmons’ Ice Cream History - Amy Simmons, Founder & CEO, Amy’s Ice Creams Since 1984 Amy Simmons has “made people’s day” with ho[...]

National Screen Free Week.... urgh


So, someone, not sure who, has dubbed this week the National Screen Free Week. They want kids around the country to unplug from their TVs, their computers, the portable game devices, etc. all week.

I wondered, is there any good screen time? For example, if your child enjoys history and watches a documentary on the History Channel, is that OK? Or, is watching an episode of ‘River Monsters’ on Animal Planet a bad thing for a budding marine biologist?

What about reading on an iPad or a Kindle, that can’t be all bad, right? Or using the computer to look up facts about things your kids are curious about?

I admit that I have kids glued to the screen, but an all-out ban wouldn’t work in my house. There would be a riot and a lot less learning going on.

So, we might try to play outside more, as we do when the weather’s nice, which will lessen our screen time.

What are your thoughts? How much screen time is too much?

Things to do this weekend


There’s a lot going on this weekend from the Moontower Comedy Festival (not kid appropriate) to the Austin Food and Wine Festival (not really for the under 21 crowd.)

Here’s what you can do with your family.

If you haven’t seen Zach Theatre’s ‘The Little Mermaid,’ yet, this would be a great Saturday event. I took my 9-year-old daughter last Saturday and it was magical. It’s a one-woman show and part of the fun is watching her transform into all the characters plus create a storm on stage. Warning: It’s not the Disney version, so make sure your kids know that they won’t be seeing Ariel. 11 a.m., 2 p.m. Saturdays through May 11. Zach Theatre Whisenhunt Stage, 1510 Toomey Road. $14. 512-476-0541,

“Giselle” family dance workshop. Try out choreography, recommended for children 3-12. 2:30-4 p.m. April 28. Full, but sign up for wait list. $10 per person. Ballet Austin, 501 W. Third Street. 512-476-2163,

And here’s something just for women of all ages: Also join me at Ignite Women’s Health’s dayof renewal, 1:30 to 4 p.m. Saturday at Seton Medical Center Williamson, 201 Seton Parkway, Round Rock. The day is free and will include cooking demonstrations, Zumba, yoga, fashion, meditation, personal organization and a fashion show. Find more information at

Multitasking at its worse


Sometimes as moms we find ourselves torn in several different directions only to find out that this doesn’t really work, right?

Yesterday was a classic example. At 2:30 p.m. I needed to get my daughter out of school in far South Austin to take her to her physical therapy appointment at Dell Children’s.

At 2 p.m. I had an interview with the voice behind Sesame Street’s Abby Cadabby, who is coming to Austin to do a show at Scottish Rite Theater on bullying called “Wake Up Your Weird.”

I had my plan. I left work at 1:30 p.m. Got to school at 1:50 p.m. Signed my daughter out of school at the front office. Drove around to her portable. Parked. And waited… and waited.

Eventually Leslie Carrara-Rudolph came on the phone and we had a delightful conversation, both while in the car, while walking to my daughter’s classroom and getting her out of class and while driving to Dell.

Not one of my better moments … either the driving or the interviewing.

So, why do we do it? Why do we pack our days so full? Why do we think it will all work, yet someone runs late and we’re discombobulated for the rest of the day? Why don’t we just say, “No, that time won’t work for me to talk to you.” “Sorry, I have to get my daughter out of class now and drive, so I can’t talk to you right now?”

What’s the most you’ve tried to juggle at once?

By the way: “Wake Up Your Weird,” is going to be a great show. I’m writing about it Saturday in Raising Austin.

Getting ready for the STAAR test


My daughter was on high alert last night and this morning. She wanted to make sure she had everything exactly as she needed for the third-grade test this morning.

Did she have a good lunch made? Check. And a water bottle? Check. What about gum? Nope, so we hit the convenience store this morning.

What was she going to eat for breakfast that had protein in it? Milk, a spoonful of peanut butter and Cinnamon Toast Crunch (her choice, not mine). Should she take her medicine, that can sometimes make her nauseated or could she wait until the afternoon? Better not to chance it and take it in the afternoon.

Did she have a good book to read after she’s done with the test? Nope, so we sent Dad at 9:30 p.m. to go get one.

Did she get to bed on time and get a good night sleep? Nope, but we really tried. She was so revved up that she went to bed later than normal and woke up earlier. Sigh.

My sixth-grade son had none of these worries. He said to us last night, “I think I have the STAAR test, too, tomorrow.” And then he went about his normal day.

Breakfast of STAAR champions


Got a kid taking STAAR test tomorrow and don’t know what to get them for breakfast? Local McDonald’s are giving kids in grades 3rd through 8th a free breakfast of either an Egg McMuffin or an oatmeal from 6:30 a.m. to 8:30 a.m. They’ll also get apple slices and milk or apple juice.

Some other ideas: boiled eggs made the night before. Peanut butter on toast. Yogurt with cereal sprinkled in. Let the kids choose what they want to eat and make it fun.

Sign up to relax, reinvigorate your life next weekend


Ignite Women’s Health is holding a day for women to be energized, enlightened and to enjoy next Saturday from 1:30 to 4 p.m. at Seton Medical Center Williamson, 201 Seton Parkway, Round Rock It’s all free and I’ll be the featured speaker.

I’ll be talking about when the wheels come off the cart, how to get you and your family back on track. (I might have some experience… the wheels haven’t seen the cart in recent months.)

Here’s what you’ll find at the expo:

See healthy cooking demonstrations
Indulge in spa treatments, Yoga and chair massages
Enjoy a fashion show of spring's hottest trends
Sample products from a wide array of exhibitors
Learn about the benefits of acupuncture
Participate in Zumba and self defense demonstrations
Discover the power of guided meditation
Enter to win door prizes, and much more!

Featured Guest Speakers

Registration is free, but encouraged. The first 200 online registrants will get a free gift from Ignite Women’s Health! Schedule of Activities

1:30 - Expo opens with more than 40 exhibitors 1:30 - Zumba demo led by Fuego Fitness 1:30 - Cooking demos begin led by Le Creuset and Natural Epicurean 2:00 - Spring Fasion Show presented by Round Rock Premium Outlets 2:30 - Featured Speaker Nicole Villalpando 3:00 - Yoga 3:00 - Self defense demo by Round Rock ATA 3:30 - Guided meditation 3:30 - Featured Speaker Angela Ploetz, owner of Posh Spaces and personal organizer 3:45 - Door prizes

Register here.

Things to do this weekend


Saturday, 25 young chefs will compete for Best Tasting Lemonade in a competition from 10 a.m. to noon at the Austin Children’s Museum, 201 Colorado St. Lemonade Day is May 5 and you can find information about setting up your own stand at

Mommy Film Society and Little Helping Hands are hosing a screening of Disney’s “Oceans” at 10:30 a.m. on Sunday at Alamo Drafthouse Slaughter Lane. There will be a short intro and some complimentary doughnut treats, the Alamo Drafthouse brunch & kids menus will be available as well. Kids and adults of all ages are invited to attend! Get tickets at

On Saturday, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., Austin families are invited to explore the transformation of Alley #111 at 912 Congress into an artist-driven playground for children and adults. 20ft Wide Alley Kids and Family Day will include activities such as origami and writing workshops, story time, musical performances, and hula hooping. Throughout the day, Colibri Cuisine and Coolhaus Ice Cream will be selling food and drinks. More information on the full lineup of activations for 20ft WIDE is available at

Plus two cool kids theater productions:

“Pippi Longstocking.” The precocious girl with the crazy braids comes to life. 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. Saturday and 12:30 and 2:30 p.m. Sunday. $10 adults, $8 kids 3-12. Scottish Rite Theater, 207 W. 18th St.

“Little Mermaid,” 11 a.m., 2 p.m. Saturday. Zach Theatre Whisenhunt Stage, 1510 Toomey Road. $14. 512-476-0541,

Things to do to celebrate Earth Day


Earth Day is Monday. Several groups offers ways to celebrate with your kids.

Mommy Film Society and Little Helping Hands are hosing a screening of Disney’s “Oceans” at 10:3 a.m. on Sunday at Alamo Drafthouse Slaughter Lane. There will be a short intro and some complimentary doughnut treats, the Alamo Drafthouse brunch & kids menus will be available as well. Kids and adults of all ages are invited to attend! Get tickets at

PBS Kids and Curious George offers Earth Day craft projects including making a bird feeder, taking a recycling challenge and making a pinwheel. Find activities at Search under Curious George and Activities.

Green Kid Crafts at also offers craft projects.

Love this book for a good laugh


“The Guide to Baby Sleep Positions, Survival Tips for Co-Sleeping Parents,” by Andy Herald and Charlie Capen is hysterical.

If you have a child who sometimes still crawls into bed with you at night, take a look. With illustrations that remind of a 1950s or ’60s health book, the book shows different positions of baby, dad and mom in the choas that can be co-sleeping. Each illustration has a deliciously clever name.

We especially love The Petting Zoo with Baby between Mom and Dad, and Cat taking over the pillow and Dog taking over the foot of the bed. The Booby Trap shows Baby completely taking over Dad’s side of the bed, Dad standing, surveying the situation and Mom on her side fast asleep. The Doghouse shows Mom and Baby cuddled together and Dad on the couch. The Family Meeting shows Mom, Dad, Baby in fetal positions and Sister and Brother piled on top.

So much fun, especially after a night where no one slept well except for Baby, or in our case, the 9-year-old.

Lots of great stuff going on this weekend


So much to choose from. Try these events.

Zoppe Family Circus. Literally a dog and pony show, but they perform, as well as the humans. 7 p.m. Friday; noon, 4 p.m. and 7 p.m. Saturday; and noon and 4 p.m. Sunday. $35. The Long Center, 701 W. Riverside Drive. 457-5100,

“Boats,” the story of two mariners, Nic and Jof, fleeing their past and embracing new adventures. The play features puppets, exhilarating acrobatics, singing, and sound effects created live on stage. 2 p.m and 4:30 p.m Saturday. $12. Stateside Theatre at the Paramount, 713 Congress Ave.

Art City Austin Festival with “Kid’s Block.” Make marble paintings, masks, face painting, explore the Austin Children’s Museum and make paper cranes. 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday. $8, free children younger than 12. The blocks around City Hall.

“Pippi Longstocking.” The precocious girl with the crazy braids comes to life. 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. Saturdays and 12:30 and 2:30 p.m. Sundays. $10 adults, $8 kids 3-12. Scottish Rite Theater, 207 W. 18th St.

The Wildflower Center celebrates Butterflies and Spring Plant Sale. There will be nearly 300 different types of native Texas plants offered, guided garden tours, butterflies in tabletop containers for viewing, storytime for kids and experts on hand. 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. $9 adults, $7 seniors and students, $4 UT faculty, staff or students with identification, $3 children 5 through 12, members and children younger than 5 free. Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center, 4801 La Crosse Ave.

Second Saturdays. AMOA-Arthouse offers hands-on family workshops. This month: Recycled Robots. 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday. $5 member families, $10 nonmember families. 3809 W. 35th St.

“Hans Christian Andersen’s The Little Mermaid.” $14. 11 a.m., 2 p.m. Saturday. Zach Theatre Whisenhunt Stage, 1510 Toomey Road. 512-476-0541,

Cyberbullying, the bullying that never goes way


Have you read Nuri Vallbona’s Raising Austin about cyberbullying that ran on Saturday? If not, read it here.

What is your school doing about cyberbullying and bullying?

This week my daughter’s school is marking No Place for Hate by asking the kids to wear something that distinguishes themselves on Friday. It could be just symbolic, but at least they are talking about it.

Vallbona points out that cyberbullying can be even harder for schools to crack down on because it doesn’t usually happen on school grounds. It happens when kids are at home on their laptops or smartphones and it isn’t easy to erase, because once something is posted online, it’s out there forever and often in very public ways.

Share your thoughts or tips.

Getting ready for prom?


Are you getting a child ready for prom … picking out the dress or tuxedo, scheduling hair appointments, making dinner reservations and after-prom entertainment?

I just got a press release that warmed my heart. For the fourth year in a row, Evelyn Jackson Salon plans to send eight to 10 girls from the Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired to the salon for makeup and hair as well as help them afford prom and a prom dress.

“It brings me to tears to witness their excitement and gratitude expressed through their warm, wonderful hugs and Grand Canyon sized smiles. I am extremely proud to be a part of a business that reaches out to the community like this, “says Kimber Breaux, marketing specialist. Hair Artist Mariela Gomez explains, “The girls we are sponsoring come from low-income families. Additionally, most of the girls’ families live out-of-state, so they do not have anyone around to help them with the prom experience. This is where we step in.”

The salon is accepting donations at

A lot of family-friendly events this weekend


There’s a lot going on this weekend. Me, I’ll be taking 11 Girl Scouts camping… I apologize in advance to our fellow campers for our loudness.

Here are some of the things I’ve found:

Zilker Garden Festival. Family-friendly festival with a Kids’ Corner in the Rose Garden for face painting, making dinosaur masks and butterfly wings, and building birdhouses. $7 adults. $3 children ages 5-12. $5 parking. 10 a.m.-5 p.m. April 6-7. Zilker Botanical Garden, 2220 Barton Springs Road. 512-477-8672.

TEXploration Family Story Time. A Texas-themed story. 2 p.m. and 2:30 p.m. April 6. $9 adults, $8 students, $7 seniors and military, $6 ages 4-17. Bullock Texas State History Museum, 1800 N. Congress Ave.

Kids Fest and Baby Expo. Baby races, face painting, kids cooking, pony rides, magic show, family yoga. 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. April 6. $5 adults. Free to kids. Palmer Events Center, 900 Barton Springs Road. 512-827-3378,

“Hans Christian Andersen’s The Little Mermaid” A darker version using old and new technology for kids 6 and up. 11 a.m., 2 p.m. Saturdays, April 6-May 11.$14. Zach Theatre Whisenhunt Stage, 1510 Toomey Road. 512-476-0541,

“Pippi Longstocking.” The precocious girl with the crazy braids comes to life. 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. Saturdays and 12:30 and 2:30 p.m. Sundays, April 7-22. $10 adults, $8 kids 3-12. Scottish Rite Theater, 207 W. 18th St.

Slow, minimalist parenting... not happening at my house


Today I’ll be writing about three new books about Slow Parenting or Minimalist Parenting — this idea of only doing activities that you and your family want to do and putting family time first.

It’s a great concept… I just wished that life wasn’t getting in the way.

Here’s how my morning has gone so far…

12:36 a.m. For some reason, my husband turned on the light in our room, waking me up.

12:45 a.m. “Mommy, I have to go to the bathroom.” This then followed by the sound of puking in the bathroom doorway. She didn’t quite get there.

1 a.m. Puke cleaned up. Daughter in the bathtub.

1:15 a.m. Daughter out of the bathtub, back in bed, watching TV.

2 a.m. Everyone in the house is finally asleep.

5 a.m. The alarm rings… all I can do is moan.

5:15 a.m. Son in shower. Bless him.

5:30 a.m. Son dressed, working on homework he didn’t finish the night before. Son’s lunch made by me…. husband groaning… daughter asleep. Dog being walked by me.

6 a.m. Son eating breakfast. I’m in the shower. Daughter asleep. Husband fumbling around the house.

6:30 a.m. Son and husband out of the house to get to school in time for a 7:15 a.m. start to a field trip. Daughter unwilling to wake up.

6:45 a.m. Daughter dressed while still asleep by me.

7 a.m. Daughter not moving. Lots of moaning.

7:15 a.m. The child is clearly not well today. Her chronic swelling of her joints is hitting her wrists, ankles and knees today. Her head also hurts, but her stomach is fine. (Oh, joy.)

7:30 a.m. It’s raining. She’s in pain. I’m calling in a sick day for her. She’s back in bed… I’m off to work.

8:15 a.m. Well, it rained. Austin freaked out. That was a horrible commute… and now I will start my day, which includes editing three stories, writing another and going to the doctor myself.

At what point can this slow, minimalist parenting thing happen?

UPDATE: There must be something telling me to slow down because that Slow/Minimalist parenting story now is running April 13, giving me a bit more breathing room… Everyone take a breath out there. It feels good.

Lice, lice, lice, lice, lice


I’ve heard from mom friends it’s going around again. Thankfully, we’re still clear, though I check for any signs in my daughter’s hair often.

I get lice products that come across my desk all the time. The latest is a nontoxic lice deterrent spray/detangler called MagicMint from FairyLice Mothers.

Apparently lice don’t like the smell of mint. An 8-ounce size is $9.99, a 4-ounce size is $5.99. You can find it at People’s Pharmacy or at http://shop.fairylicemothers.com

Fairy Lice Mothers also offers advice over the phone and lice removal service at your home. Call 866-561-0492 option 4.

Honestly, I don’t know if it works. At the height of our infestation we tried teatree oil preventative and it didn’t help one bit.

What really worked was daily lice checks, removing nits whenever we saw one and the over-the-counter shampoo and follow-up treatments.

You can read my lice guide that ran in September here.

STAAR tests coming your way this month


April is the month when many students will be spending a few days taking the standardized test known as STAAR. Last year felt like a bundle of nerves when I would walk into my child’s school. Maybe it was because the test was so unknown that first year. Even with a third-grader who will be taking her first standardized test this year, we’re not sweating it at my house.

Are you?

Last year I wrote about something I called the STAAR stomach, that disease that happens when kids think about taking the test and either feel like they are going to throw up or pass out or begin having a headache.

Read that story here.