Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Preschool 2010

I'm researching preschools for the 2010 class year. Yep, 2010. You can get on these lists when 'in utero' so we are behind. But we still have a decent chance of getting in if we sign up right now.

Will, Evan and Lily would be three, turning four a couple weeks into the 2010 school year. I'd like for them to have some exposure to a 'school setting' and all the learning activities prior to kindergarten. Many of these programs have toddler classes so Holden could attend a 'twos' class at the same time two days a week.

So far we are on two lists:

First United Methodist (FUMP)
M/W/F or T/Th 9 to 1pm
Our neighbor sent all three of her boys to this school and gave the school a strong recommendation. The school is downtown so David could help with drop off.

Covenant Presb.
T/W/Th 9 to 1pm
Small community atmosphere. It's close by and several kids from my neighborhood attend. They will have all new buildings and playarea by 2010. They require one day a month of volunteering per child three and over - grandparents can pitch in or we can pay extra. Otherwise I would be there almost every week.

I'm also interested in Good Shepherd Episcopal. I like that church and it is nearby in Terry Town but the waitlist fee is $125 per child. I'm going to check it out and be sure it is still top of my list before plunking down $600.

For you Austinite moms, here are other schools that have been recommended to me:
  • St Matthews Episcopal Day School
  • First Presbyterian Day School
  • Bethany United Methodist School
  • All Austin Cooperative Nursery
  • UT Lab (over 500 on waitlist)
  • Discovery
The number of choices and application fees are daunting. That's why I didn't make much progress before. But now time is of the essence. Need to get these kids in line for a school!


It poured on Sunday. Our backyard became a lake and we were trapped inside ALL day. David decided that it would be a good day for us to go to Costco and stock up. The big Costco carts have a seat in front for two children so we can easily take the whole family.

We try to make a trip at least once every other month to get cases of diapers, wipes, tons of fruit and of course wine. Our bill comes to somewhere between $600 and $1000 each trip. I wanted to take a photo of our full carts but as we were leaving I broke the eggs, the kids were getting restless and David was not appreciating my efforts as family historian.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

The Baby

We often call Holden simply 'the baby' as in 'would you hold the baby while I pour us another glass of wine?'. I need to start using his name more. I wrote a thank you note to David's company last week and said 'thank you for the gifts for Hunter'.

Note to self: Hunter is Lisa's baby, your baby's name is Holden. The office manager posted the note on their bulletin board, but she told me not to worry, she would white out the name and correct it. Priceless.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008


I've mentioned Will's intense love for machines including trucks, buses and airplanes.

In particular he has a penchant for tractors. Last week I took him on a special outing by himself to go visit a tractor and he went nuts. He said 'gac-or, gac-tor, gac-or!' then a slew of incomprensible things about the tractor. We left grandma G a message that I wish I could find a way to post (I have the mp3 file).

I thanked the shop owner and mentioned Will's love of tractors. He said 'Of course - machinery!'

Will said 'bye-bye gac-or' the whole way home.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Earth Day

A movement is taking hold to protect our Earth. It is now 'cool' to care. I like the direction we are headed. It is going to take time but it feels good to see the shift in perception.

Now that I'm a mom I've become more conscious about our waste and the example I set for our children. We are shamefully using disposable diapers and are working towards filling our own Team Freas landfill. From what I've read even cloth diapers are not a perfect solution because of all the washing that is required. We also waste a ton of food so I'm trying to get smarter about meal/grocery planning and am researching composting.

It's not just about reusing and recycling. This sea change in thought is also manifesting in a growing awareness about the chemicals in our environment and the impact of the pesticides and additives to our foods.

I'm sick about the new findings on BPAs. We used both Avent and Dr. Browns bottles for our triplets which are on the 'bad' list now. There have been rumblings about their safety but the latest research findings have raised a big red flag and these products have officially been declared 'concerning' particulary for the smallest of us, infants, and especially when heated. And to think we heated ALL of our bottles for our babies. Findings of premature development and cancer in animal studies are frightening. I hope we haven't harmed our children.

So last week after the latest report came out I bought new Born Free BPA free bottles. They are a nice bottle, good design and no leaking. The down side is that they are almost $10 each and have too many parts but no BPAs.

I try to limit the amounts additives like high fructose corn syrup and trans fats we ingest. I believe evidence will continue to mount that these substances are damaging to our health.

As far as organic foods go we buy organic milk and I tend to buy organic processed foods like ketchup and cereal because they use less modified ingredients. I'm also considering adding the top 12 foods that have the most pesticides to my organic grocery list.

I came across a handy article yesterday that outlined when it is worth it to go organic and when it is less important. I posted highlights below or go here for full article.

'When is it worth buying Organic?:

The top 12 foods that contain a lot of pesticides:
peaches, apples, sweet bell peppers, celery, nectarines, strawberries, cherries, pears, imported grapes, spinach, lettuce and potatoes.

Foods that you eat most frequently or in great quantities.

Foods eaten by pregnant women and children under age three:
During pregnancy and the first three years of life when the brain and organs are developing, kids are more susceptible to carcinogens, neurotoxins and hormonal disrupters.

It doesn't pay to buy organic when:

buying the 12 fruits and vegetables with fewest pesticide residues:
onions, avocados, frozen sweet corn, pineapples, mangos, asparagus, frozen sweet peas, kiwi, bananas, cabbage, broccoli and papaya.

It's a food you don't eat often.

Foods grown locally and consumed in season (peaches in summer, apples in the fall, for example) also tend to have fewer pesticides.

You're buying fish.There are currently no USDA standards for fish. So if a fish is labeled "organic" there's no guarantee that it actually is.'

So happy earth day to you. May your day be filled with less BPAs, additives and pesticides.


Did you see yesterday's Oprah? It seems like we've just scratched the surface of re-evaluating our foods and products. They brought up a whole new host of concerns about our toxins in our water and beauty products.

Good gosh. How did we get to this point? It really makes you want to get back to the basics. I think I'll whip up a batch of their recipie for home made veggie wash and window cleaner for my friends (in my spare time).

Friday, April 18, 2008

New Roof

The second story is completely framed and we have a roof. The will be finishing out the eves and adding the shingles over the next week.

I love this new larger dormer window overlooking the park. The window seat will be about nine feet long and over three feet deep and will be a great place to hang out. It looks like may have views of downtown and possibly the UT tower when we trim back our bamboo.

A view of the new roof line at the back of the house.


Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Welcome Hunter

I'm delighted to report that Lisa had a healthy beautiful baby boy last week. Isn't he adorable?

Monday, April 07, 2008

Early Summer

It feels like summer already. We inflated the baby pool and broke out the Otter Pops. We will be doing a lot of this in the coming months. Although we could use a larger baby pool. And maybe I should get some new swim diapers so that the boys don't have to wear Little Mermaid pants. Sorry about that guys, I really didn't realize I bought princess diapers.

While the kids play outside, Holden has been napping in the shade. He should enjoy camping in the great outdoors when he is older.

Also lounging in the shade is my friend Lisa, Lily's godmother. She is scheduled to deliver her baby boy tomorrow! Our boys will be less than three months apart. They will be chasing the big kids in no time.

Wednesday, April 02, 2008


Our contractor took advantage of a dry day to start the framing. Woo-hoo! Let's see how much they can get done before the big storms hit this Friday.

Good Tempered Chunk

It is hard to balance the camera and get Holden to smile at the same time but here is my attempt from this morning. He is really the sweetest, easiest baby. I have started to worry that maybe there is a problem because he does not cry. Is that possible?
He does require being held in the evening after the big kids go to bed, but other than that he is super low maintance.

At two and a half months he is wearing six month clothes and a size 3 diaper. We had two nights this week where he slept from 10:15 to 7am! This morning he slept until 5am, nursed and slept until 8am. I will be starting work soon so I'll need to feed him around 6am anyway so that I can get ready.