Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Rylan's Baseball Birthday Party

Rylan turned FOUR in June, and it was only fitting to throw him a baseball-themed party. Our sweet little sports lover was so excited and couldn't stop talking about his "baseball birthday party" for months leading up to it.

Even though we knew it would likely be super hot outside, we reserved the baseball field at our neighborhood park and hoped for decent weather. Well...it was hot even in the morning, but at least there was some shade and no rain :).

In theory, park birthday parties are super low-key, but we all know I can't help myself when it comes to a theme. A baseball party my boy wants, a baseball party he will get...
The morning of the party, the birthday boy was so excited.

It was a mad dash to get everything set up that morning. Thanks to some easy and cheap decorations from Party City, Amazon, and the dollar store, we had plenty of baseball-themed items on hand.

[It was pretty windy, and my Type-A self had to just accept the fact that the banners wouldn't stay put.]

We clearly had to have popcorn, peanuts, and Cracker Jacks on hand. 

As well as hot dogs and nachos (with Matt's queso in lieu of regular nacho cheese).

And baseball cupcakes. (Rylan's favorite part.)

While we waited for everyone to arrive, the kids played a little baseball. 

We also had a "pin the ball on the bat" game up thanks to Josh's crafty skills. 

Once all the guests had arrived, we attempted to play a water ballon toss game. 

But I waaaaay overestimated the ability of four year olds to participate in the game, so it quickly evolved into just a water balloon fight.

I think the parents had just as much fun as the kids.

After the water balloon fight, we had a little food and gatorade break.

Then it was piƱata time!

It was such a fun morning celebrating our baseball-loving birthday boy.

Special shout-out to Bunny who was a tremendous help, including her assistance in heating up and putting together a bazillion hot dogs :).

Monday, September 3, 2018

Kindergarten Recap

Since the new school year has already started (and I am super behind on blogging), I thought it was about time to post a recap of Ava's Kindergarten year. 

I heard one mom refer to Kindergarten as a "magical year," and it truly is. It was a year that brought so many new adventures, educational experiences, and friendships. 

Since Ava has been in full-time "school" since she was three months old, the separation anxiety and long days weren't an issue for her (or us). But change is always hard, and the early morning wake-up time was definitely the most difficult adjustment for everyone. The other major change for Ava was going from full Spanish immersion to a dual-language program that is closer to 50/50 English and Spanish. But we all adjusted pretty quickly to the new routine. 

Just like Ava, I am grateful to have made such a wonderful group of new friends in the past year. The school parents are all so involved, both through volunteer opportunities and social events, and it was so fun getting to know more of the families in our neighborhood. I am especially thankful for those with older children who served as our "Kindergarten Mom Mentors" throughout the year. Hopefully I can pass along all this knowledge when Rylan starts Kinder in a couple years.

We are blessed to live in such a wonderful neighborhood and for our children to be able to attend such a great public elementary school. We also lucked out with an absolutely amazing Kindergarten teacher for Ava. Ms. Cantu was everything you could hope for in a Kinder teacher: easy-going, experienced, fun, engaging, and kind. The kids all adored her 

It's still hard to believe that Ava is now in first grade. But before moving on to our back-to-school post, here is a look back at her year in Kindergarten. [The scanned pages with pictures and art are from a book that Ms. Cantu gave us a the end of the year....it was ridiculously precious.]


On the first day of school, Ava was so excited. And just a little nervous. It really helped that she had several familiar faces from preschool in her class.

[Can you tell how tired we both were with the new wake-up time?!]


By September we had got in the grove of our morning routine, afternoon pick-up schedule, and overall Kindergarten craziness. 

Ava also started her first soccer season with the sweet (and spunky) Sparklers.


In October, Ava created a fairy vest for the alphabet parade, enjoyed her first elementary school carnival, and played Wonder Woman for Halloween.


November brought a sweet Veteran's Day performance, our first movie night to support the Garden, Grandparents' Day where Bunny bought Ava a bazillion books at the Book Fair, a Sparklers campout, and Thanksgiving celebrations.


December was filled with all sorts of holiday parties and festive school fun.


The first half of January was spent on winter break, and in the second half Ava learned all about Martin Luther King, made New Year's plans, and braved the cold. 


February was a month filled with love, a thoroughly decorated Valentine's box, Ava's first father-daughter dance, the 100th day of school, and Presidents' Day art. 


March not only brought a much-needed Spring Break, but also Ava's fashion show debut at Kinder Round-Up to show off their typical uniforms as well as the fun Kindergarten cowboy/cowgirl picnic.

[I surprised Ava as a volunteer for the Kinder cowboy/cowgirl picnic. When I asked what her favorite part was, I thought for sure she would say the s'mores, but she responded with "you." Melt my heart.]


In April, the Kindergarteners really got to work in the garden, and we also celebrated Earth Day walking to school with the neighbors.

[Don't they look thrilled to be up even earlier to walk to school ;). Also, please note the fact that we had crazy cold weather this April.]


The last month of school brought Ava's first Field Day; the Kindergarten picnic; and Space Week, which included the grade's final performance of the year. Ava was so happy to have Grampsie and Aunt Bee in the audience!

[The girls in her class dominated the tug-of-war.]

And finally, the last day of Kindergarten. 

This sweet comparison kills me. Her hair and her legs both grew about four inches.

Now it is time to move on to first grade adventures!

About Me

My name is Catherine, but most of my friends call me Cat. I was born and raised in Austin, went to TCU, and ended up in Dallas for law school (where Josh and I met). I decided that being an attorney was not my cup of tea and pursued a career in legal marketing. I am now a mother of two attempting to balance family with a full-time job, which is always an adventure. I love: my sweet babies, handsome husband, very large family, and fabulous friends; trying new restaurants; wine; TCU football; holidays; cooking; The Bar Method; pajamas; Topo Chico; reading; coffee; Central Market; carbs; the beach; mani/pedis; Anthropologie; binge-worthy TV shows and podcasts; trivia; French 75s; Pinterest; cheese boards; The Ticket; dancing; Sprinkles cupcakes; The Texas Rangers; fresh flowers; thunderstorms; naps; Tex-Mex; the Texas Hill Country; porch-sitting; ranch dressing; throwing parties; and my job. I hate: working-mom guilt; snakes; heights; waking up early; ignorant people; stomach bugs; paper cuts; green fruit; snoring; bad hair days; the sound of people eating (Misophonia); scary movies; bad drivers; pulpy OJ; trimming baby fingernails; and Miracle Whip. That pretty much sums it up.


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