Sunday, August 30, 2015

An Urban Family Life

We had the most amazing, urban, Mahncke Park kind of weekend. It almost felt like a fall weekend...not with regards to the weather but with respect to my willingness to pretend it feels like fall and just get out with the kiddos.

Saturday morning, the kids and I (and a bit of Dad) ran to Commonwealth Coffeehouse (be jealous) to enjoyed very Mexican breakfast tacos with very French "pain au chocolat" and croissants. Delish. What do you like to do after a full fat breakfast? I recommend running 6.5 miles pushing a 60 - 70 pound stroller up and down the hills of Monte Vista. (Not really... but it's what we did.) The kids were great and we attempted to weave our way to Landa Library for the miracle movie we've been waiting not-so-patiently for all week: "Three Billy Goats Gruff". Yes, I could do a whole post on this little fairy tale, and I promise I will. The piece de resistance was finally here. It was the main reason my kids were up for such a long trek in the 90° morning weather. So, off to the library, then we swung back home with a detour to see a charter elementary I am considering, the zoo, a new egret habitat, and a playground. Really, I can't imagine having all of this at your fingertips anywhere else.

Sunday, we were no less adventurous. We started the morning with a walk for breakfast tacos, again. Don't judge. And a trip to FedEx office. Because who the heck needs a car when you have a double BOB??? (I should be honest, Sam made this trek with the kiddies while I slept in!!) After nap, we wanted to head to San Antonio's premier theatre, The Tobin, to celebrate their first birthday and visit the SA Symphony's Instrument Petting Zoo, hear the San Antonio Children's Chorus, and buy tickets to the gang's favorite shows coming up: some Sci-Fi production from the Tobin's EDGE series, and Wild Kratts Live. Not to brag, but because we live in the happiest place in the SATX, we were able to enjoy a wonderful bike ride to the Tobin and back. It was glorious (for me). It was a bit hot for Sam who's not from these parts and was pulling 70 pounds of kid in a trailer behind his bike, but overall we'll remember it as wonderful.

Either way, the weekend was peppered with runs, bike rides, urban gardening, tacos, tacos, tacos, and the Texas summer sun. I couldn't have asked for a better weekend.

Sunday, August 23, 2015

First Day of School 2015

I must say that back to school came off without a hitch. Fingers crossed that this whole year is as successful as our first day. (Or at least averages that way.) We've decided to keep both kids in three day-a-week programs. The truth is, it would be academically beneficial for Zayd to go five days but this is our last year left where we can spend two days a week just mommy and me (and sister) and I am not ready to give that up. Neither is he. He has at least 16 years of a full school week; lets just wait one more year to kick that off.

First, look at my lady. She has taken to calling me ma'am. And me calling her ma'am. All the time. It is adorable. This year she wants to learn about more Llama Llama books at school and when she grows up she wants to be a mommy. I pressed a little harder and she said she wanted to have a job where they pay her quarters so she can get lollipops for mommy, Rafael the Ninja turtle and Zaydie.

Zayd is just not the kid he was a year ago. I credit Montessori Schoolhouse, play therapy, and food therapy for helping him grow into quite a remarkable boy who has confidence, determination, and a soft, sweet spot for his family. He wants to learn about dinosaurs this year and be a Ninja Turtle (specifically Leonardo) when he grows up OR a paleontologist.

Zayd picked out both of their outfits for this special day. Go Texans! On day two they were excited to wear their Dolphin and Shark shirts that Nini and Uncle Jon bought for them on their recent cruise. I love everything about these next three pictures.

Z2: Are we done with this yet, Zayd? Z1: I don't know. (Sigh)

Saturday, August 8, 2015

Bethany Beach: 2 Babies, 2 Big Kids, 2 Mommies

Me, my chickadees and my momma headed up to Delaware last month to spend some time with our more northerly family at Bethany Beach. It was wonderous. My only complaint is that none of the daddies made it up with us. 

As an aside, though I am pretty sure I have covered this before, my kids will tell anyone who will listening that they have two mommies and two daddies. It can come as a shocker to the unsuspecting. It is also really hard when traveling with both mommies.
Some Z: Mommy...mommy...mommy
Me: Yes, dear.
Some Z: No, my other mommy.
Me: Good luck.

We spent the week in a permanent flip flop between having a couple of babies and a couple of capable kids on our hands. It is probably Zayd's last summer where I will feel like he is a munchkin. It might be hers too, at the rate she is maturing. Let's move on, you will see what I mean.

My kids and I took a few short runs through Sea Colony while I tried to get my post-Ramadan legs back in working order. I highly recommend a vacation to anyone who has just completed Ramadan. I do not recommend the rapid weight gain that will come from a quick transition from starving to gluttony.  

This first picture isn't an amazing, but there a 100 things I love about it.
  1. Yes, that is a swim cap. And yes it is amazing.
  2. The binky. She is still a baby
  3. The running shoes. She is about to venture out with Zayd and I. She is not a baby.
  4. The truth of what happened. We ran one mile with me carrying her the whole way. Baby.
  5. Look at how long her leg is! It looks so spindly and grown to me. Even her feet look huge!

And then this. Here is my son growing up before my eyes. He is smiling for goodness sakes.

We went out on a  boating adventure and the kids had a blast.  I took Zayd to pee of the back of the boat into the bay at one point and he couldn't get over how "cool" it was. "If someone looks over at us, they will just think, 'Oh, they are looking at the water!!' Ha ha!" What a big, kinda gross, boy. (Wonder where he gets that!?) 

About an hour in, Zahra pulled her binky from her binky coin purse (thanks Nini), curled up in my arms, and fell asleep. Typical Zahra. She gets her needs met. We snuggled her on a bench and let her be for the next 2 hours.

This young man, on the other hand, went tubing with me. We were being pulled by Uncle Adam in a speed boat and it was pretty terrifying but he loved it! What a big boy! Once back on board, I wrapped his shivering body in a towel and he fell asleep in about 4 minutes. Curled up in my arms. Like a baby.

Zahra finally found a tree her size, perfect for climbing.

We had tons of awesome laughs and shrieks of joy playing in the surf. Both Z's loved hanging out with their cousins and pretty much solidified that our July tradition includes requisite Bethany Beach time.

And we enjoyed some truly Bethany traditions: Candy Kitchen, Popcorn, Soft Serve on the boardwalk.

We spent our sunsets playing in the aftermath of other peoples' castles and leaping over holes. In Zahra's case, it was more leaping into the holes and scrambling out.

On our way out of town, we stopped back at the tiny Bethany Bakery and enjoyed Zahra's sunshiney attitude and sprinkle donuts.

So, based on this last picture on the way out of town, I am thinking we have one big kid, one transitioning two. (We wouldn't dare call her terrible!) Let's see what next year brings!

Friday, August 7, 2015

A Very Merry Eid

My lentils are starting to understand what Islam is, the "we" are Muslim, and some of what that entails. They recognize the Azaan but thinks it means it time to open fast, or specifically time to drink water. They can replicate prayers but only Zahra can stay engaged long enough to not wander off. We have read a couple of great books lately on the subject: Muslim Child, Eid ul-Fitr, and Golden Domes and Silver Lanterns.

Our version of Eid looks almost identical to the ones of my childhood: donuts, family parties, crowded prayers in downtown Houston. With my kids, they get gifts (wrapped in Christmas paper) from me instead of money, but otherwise we persist unchanged.

Zayd enjoying his first rasmalai #desiforlife

I have yet to take Zahra for mehndi after opening our last fast of Ramadan. It is a great way to kick off Eid immediately and fun to be surrounded by the smells of henna, the colors of the new Eid clothes and the commotion. I am certain that once I expose Zahra to the whole ritual, it will be her favorite part.