When you can’t find a tasteful swim suit for you or your daughter, Hydrochic might be an answer

We have now reached the stage in our lives when both myself and my 12-year-old daughter hate trying on swimsuits. I’ve been there a long, long time, even before the two kids. Ava has most recently joined the ranks when she had to start shopping the women’s department instead of the girl’s department this year. We’ve had trouble finding suits that fit all areas correctly and that wouldn’t leave us looking like hoochie mamas. Many swimsuits also aren’t friendly to fairer-skinned women, like myself, who burn easily despite the layers of sunscreen applied religiously.

Hydrochic separates give you as much coverage as you want.
Hydrochic separates give you as much coverage as you want.
You don't have to be stuck with a skirt or skort. You can choose Hydrochic's pants, too.
You don’t have to be stuck with a skirt or skort. You can choose Hydrochic’s pants, too.

We were really excited this week when Miss Teen USA announced that it would no longer have the swimsuit category. Instead contestants would wear activewear.

I was also excited when I got an email in my inbox about Hydrochic. The swimsuit company offers suits designed to give you more coverage. It offers separates in anything from razorback sports bras to long-sleeve tops and swim skorts to pants bottoms. Hydrochic has items for girls ages 5-12, misses and plus sizes up to 4X. It also has fabric that has SPF 50 sun protection and chlorine resistance.

Prices range from $78 for a girls set to $29.50 to $95 for adult separates. Find Hydrochic online at www.hydrochic.com.

We’d love to see more designers like Hydrochic in stores alongside the string bikinis rather than just online. If Miss Teen USA can make the change, can’t retailers, too?

And if you’ve had luck finding more coverage swimsuits for yourself or your daughter, tell us where you found them.

Now even your breast pump can be smart with new Lansinoh SmartPump

The Lansinoh SmartPump is Bluetooth enabled to sync information to an app. Lansinoh
The Lansinoh SmartPump is Bluetooth enabled to sync information to an app. Lansinoh

When moms first come out of the hospital, they’re often asked to record each breast-feeding session and diaper change. There are apps for that now. And last month Lansinoh has introduced the first Bluetooth-enabled breast pump. The SmartPump records the date and time that you pump automatically and syncs it to the Lansinoh Baby app, which is available on iTunes and Google Play.

On the app, moms can add the volume of milk they pumped during that recorded sessions as well as diaper changes, (what type of diaper change it was and color and consistency of poop), breast-feeding and bottle-feeding sessions, and baby’s growth rate. In tracking breast-feeding sessions, you can track, which breast and start the clock when baby latches on and stop the clock when baby is done, so you know exactly how long baby fed. You can set alarms in the app to remind you to pump or nurse. There are also resources available in the app.

Here’s a video from Lanisoh that explains how the pump and app work together.

The pump is $199 at Babies R Us.

Perhaps if I had had apps and a Smart Pump when I was breast-feeding 15 and 12 years ago, I would have used the app and the Smart Pump, rather than ditching the recording sheet by Day 3 of my 15-year-old’s life and never having done it from Day 1, with my 12-year-old. The information might have been interesting to have… but it also might have made me a more neurotic parent, rather than just going with my gut if things weren’t right and drinking more water if I didn’t pump I normally did.

Is having this much information about your baby’s input and output too much? Would you use a SmartPump?

 

Want to find out the secret behind “The Secret Life of Pets”? I’ve got tickets to give away

In 'The Secret Life of Pets,' Max's life as a favorite pet is turned upside down when his owner brings home a mutt named Duke.
In ‘The Secret Life of Pets,’ Max’s life as a favorite pet is turned upside down when his owner brings home a mutt named Duke.

I’ve got 10 family four-packs to an advance screening of the new family movie “The Secret Life of Pets.” Want to win? Send an email to nvillalpando@statesman by Friday morning with the subject line “The Secret Life of Pets.”

Tell us what your family thinks your pet does all day long and send me your name and phone number as well.

I’ll draw entries out of hat on Friday morning and let the winners know that day. The screening is 7 p.m. Tuesday at Regal Metropolitan, but you have to be able to be there by 6:30 p.m.

For me, I’m pretty sure our dog and cats sleep all day when the cats aren’t tormenting the dog … it’s the chinchilla that I’m pretty sure is the secret agent.

Ava Villlalpando holds secret agent Muy. Photo by Nicole Villalpando
Ava Villlalpando holds secret agent Muy. Photo by Nicole Villalpando

Let your kids be architects and artists with draw-on Edo blocks

Edo blocks let your kids be creative because you can draw on them and create your own scenes.
Edo blocks let your kids be creative because you can draw on them and create your own scenes.

We love toys that really open up the imagination. That’s why we love blocks that are versatile  — becoming a castle one day, a spaceship another.

Edo offers recycled cardboard blocks that come in white, cardboard color or a mix of five bright colors. They are also blank, which means that your kids can take out their washable crayons and markers and draw their own scenes on them. Edo also has special pieces you can order like animal eyes.

Edo blocks remind us a lot of Austin-based company PopUp Play, which has color-your-own castles and forts. Both started with KickStarter campaigns. Edo’s began this week. Playsets start at $40 for 25 blocks. playedo.com

Author Elaine Rose Glickman writes hard truth in “Your Kid’s a Brat and It’s All Your Fault”

Elaine Rose Glickman is an author, teacher, rabbi and parent.
Elaine Rose Glickman is an author, teacher, rabbi and parent.

You have probably seen it. A young child at a restaurant is insisting that the whole family rearrange where they are sitting just so that child can sit where she wants. And then the family gets up and plays musical chairs. Or a young child is asking over and over again for a toy at the grocery store until eventually the parent gives in and puts the toy in the cart.

You’ve probably even been that parent, though you swore you would never be that parent because, after all, you don’t negotiate with terrorists.

Author and rabbi Elaine Rose Glickman saw it all too often as a middle school teacher and the chair of a preschool. The Houston native, who now lives in Florida, is the mother of three children ages 16, 14 and 12. The interactions she saw as a teacher and fellow parent caused her to put aside the scholarly book she was writing about the Jewish views of the messiah and turn to writing “Your Kid’s a Brat and It’s All Your Fault: Nip the Attitude in the Bud — From Toddler to Tween.” ($16, Tarcher Perigee)

BRAT front coverThe title came from a conversation between herself and her husband, and while she thought that she would never write this book, she kept it in the back of her mind.  Then she found herself beginning to write short essays about topics like your kid bites, your kid whines, your kid won’t share. The punch line of course was always “and it’s all your fault.”

“Huh, maybe these aren’t essays… maybe these are chapters,” she says.

Her advice is very simple and you probably know what to do, but as you read the book, you probably recognize yourself as that parent held hostage. And while, you probably would give another parent the same advice or similar advice that she gives, somehow, we all find ourselves not doing what we know we need to do.

Glickman purposefully wrote the book in short bites based on a topic, so that you could read the parts that apply to what’s happening in your life currently, then put it down and then pick it up again when something new happens.

Glickman won’t claim to have perfect children. No child is perfect even though a parent’s Facebook pages might seem like he might be. “Even the most wonderfully behaved, most charming, most delightful child in the world is going to sometimes display bratty behavior,” she says.

What separates the occasional bratty behavior from an all out brat is the relationship between the parent and child, she says. It’s how the parent responds to that child.

For example, if a child repeatedly asks for a cookie and the parent says, “no,” and then “stop whining,” and then “stop following me,” and then finally gives the kid the cookie, “They’re probably on track to being a brat,” she says. “The parent has taught them that whining works. Keep behaving badly and you’ll wear me down.”

Instead, there has to be a consequence to the whining. “Stop whining or go sit in your room with the door closed,” she suggests you tell the child. “Sometimes they stop. Sometimes they really want to whine and they go in their room and then come out.”

Parents know when things aren’t going right, Glickman says, but sometimes in this world of wanting our children to be seen as perfect and us as perfect parents, we push down those feelings that things aren’t right.

Instead, parents believe that being a good parent is making your child happy, she says. “Rather than being a parent and being a disciplinarian, they become the child’s concierge.”

Parents of brats are constantly dealing with short-term problems and offering short-term fixes rather than looking at the long-term. Sure the kids are happy for now, but they don’t have to help around the house, they are given everything they want without a sense of the financial implications, they can get into the car and put their earbuds in and not have to engage with the rest of the family.

“They might seem to be really happy, but deep inside they aren’t really happy,” she says. “They want someone to lovingly tell them what to do, to have expectations for them, to set boundaries for them.”

Glickman says the strength of her advice comes from a parent who has been there. You should absolutely read the advice of experts (like some of the ones we’ve featured in this column), but she says, “I’ve been at the playgroup, at the grocery store.” While the title is snarky, she says, “The advice is earnest. It’s not judging. I’ve been there and here are some things that work.”

Learn about asteroids on Friday at Texas Museum of Science & Technology

The new planetarium at the Texas Museum of Science & Technology will allow the museum to show different types of star shows as well as do star talks before.
The new planetarium at the Texas Museum of Science & Technology allows the museum to show different types of star shows as well as do star talks. Friday is Asteroid Day at the museum.

The Texas Museum of Science & Technology is holding a really cool event on Friday. From 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., the museum will host Asteroid Day, with hands-on activities such as build-your-own comet, a special planetarium show and a star party. Kids who come dressed as an asteroid or some other space object will receive a special prize.

Austin’s Richard Garriott will talk about his experience in space as well as be part of a panel to debunk some of the “science” seen in movies.

While you’re there, check out the Genesis exhibit, which is adding new dinosaurs and other fossils and casts all the time.

If you can’t make Friday’s star party, the museum has been holding one every Friday this summer. Participants learn how to read a star map and look through a telescope to find what’s in the night’s sky.

Texas Museum of Science & Technology Asteroid Day

Where: Texas Museum of Science and Technology, 1220 Toro Grande Drive

Hours: 9 a.m.-9 p.m. Friday

Tickets: $15 for adults, $13 for seniors students, and $11 for ages 3-17

Information: txmost.org

Looking for more things to do with kids this week or in July? Check out my weekly and monthly calendars. 

Planning ahead: What’s happening in July for families in Austin

Today, I’ve spent the day compiling my monthly list of events for families. There’s a lot, but I’m sure I’ve missed something. Have an event you’d like to get into our family calendars? Email me at nvillalpando@statesman.com.

Enjoy planning for a fun July!

Museums

Bullock Museum. Storytime Mondays: Making Music, 11 a.m. July 11. Tasty Tale, 11 a.m. July 18. Texas Riddles, 11 a.m. July 25. Wednesday Workshops: Create Food Art, 11 a.m. July 13. Bringing History to Life, 11 a.m. July 20. Screen Printing Texas Symbols. 11 a.m. July 27. Discovery Fridays: Cooking with the Whole Family. 11 a.m. July 1. Finding Fossils, 11 a.m. July 8. Playing with Food, 11 a.m. July 15. Exciting Artifacts, 11 a.m. July 22. The Butterfly Project. 11 a.m. July 29. Tasting Kitchen. Try different foods from local purveyors. Noon-2 p.m. July 2, 9 and 16. Music Under the Star. 6 p.m. Fridays. Summer Free Family Film Series: “Gay Purr-ee.” 2 p.m. July 9. “Ernest & Celestine,” 2 p.m. July 23. Bullock Museum, 1800 N. Congress Ave. thestoryoftexas.com.

Kids learn to do woodworking at The Thinkery. Photo by  Hunter Douglas
Kids learn to do woodworking at The Thinkery. Photo by Hunter Douglas

Thinkery. Fizz, Bang, Pop! Play with science and make noise. For ages 1-2, 9:45 a.m. July 2. For ages 2-3, 10:45 a.m. July 2. $20 child and adult. For ages 4-7, 11:15 a.m. or 1:15 p.m. July 2-3, 16-17, 30-31. $8 child, $8 adult. Exploring Explosions. For ages 8 and older. 3:15 p.m. July 2-3, 16, 30-31. $8 child, $8 adult. Virtual Views. Explore virtual reality and space. For ages 4-7. 12:15 p.m. July 9-10, 23-24. $8 child, $8 adult. Radical Realities! Make your own virtual reality mask for a smartphone. For Ages 8 and older. 2:15 or 4:15 p.m. July 9-10, 23-24. $8 child, $8 adult. Baby Bloomers for ages birth to 3. Independence Day Party. 9 a.m. July 2. Texas State Capitol. 9 a.m. July 9 with Small Wonders Puppet Theater, and 9 a.m. July 11, with Hey Lolly Band at 10:30 a.m. HOPE Outdoor Gallery, 9 a.m. July 16, with Small Wonders Puppet Theater, and 9 a.m. July 18 with music by Miss Ariel at 10:30 a.m. Lady Bird Lake, 9 a.m. July 23 with Small Wonders Puppet Theater  and 9 a.m. July 25 with Armstrong Community Music School at 10:30 a.m. Zilker Park, 9 a.m. July 30 with Hey Lolly Band. $4.50. Thinkery, 1830 Simond Ave. Thinkeryaustin.org.

Wildflower Center. Creek Critter Friday. Search for critters in Dino Creek. 7 p.m. July 8. $10 adult, $5 child ages 6-12. The Amazing Family Garden Race. Compete in an obstacle course as a family. 7 p.m. July 12. $10 adult, $5 child ages 6-12. Friday Flutters. Search for butterflies and get a behind-the-scenes tour of the insectary. 7 p.m. July 29. $10 adult, $5 children. Wildflower Center, 4801 La Crosse Ave.wildflower.org.

Jude Kozakiewicz, 3, paints a picture at the Blanton's WorkLab on in 2014. Art supplies are provided for children of all ages to create, paint, draw, design, and doodle.  Julia Robinson/ for American-Statesman
Jude Kozakiewicz, 3, paints a picture at the Blanton’s WorkLab on in 2014. Art supplies are provided for children of all ages to create, paint, draw, design, and doodle.
Julia Robinson/ for American-Statesman

Blanton Museum of Art. Deeper Dives for ages 8-12, 10:30 a.m. and 1 p.m. Fridays through July 22; or play in the WorkLab, 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Wednesdays through July 27. 200 E. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.blantonmuseum.org.

Umlauf Sculpture Garden. Kids Kraft program on Saturday afternoons for kids in kindergarten through second grade. Fiber Frenzy. 10 a.m. July 16. Mixed Up Media, 10 a.m. July 30. $15.umlaufsculpture.org.

Contemporary Austin’s Fresh Exchange: Teen Artists + Mentor Program exhibition. Noon to 5 p.m. Wednesdays and Saturdays. July 9 through August 13. Pump Project, 702 Shady Lane, . Laguna Gloria for Families Create! Explore Underwater Cities and learn how buildings are made. 11 a.m.-3 p.m. July 9. Laguna Gloria, 3809 W. 35th St. thecontemporaryaustin.org.

Texas Museum of Science & Technology. Star Party. Every Friday in July, look at the stars in the parking lot. 8-10 p.m. Fridays. Texas Museum of Science & Technology, 1220 Toro Grande Drive, Cedar Park. txmost.org.

Theater

"Tortoise and Hare" was Summer Stock Austin's family  show last year.
“Tortoise and Hare” was Summer Stock Austin’s family show last year.

Summer Stock Austin: “The Addams Family.” 7:30 p.m. July 22-24, July 27-Aug. 1, Aug. 5-6, 10, 12-13. 2 p.m. July 30, Aug. 7. $34 adults, $27 children and seniors. “The Steadfast Soldier.” A new musical from The Biscuit Brothers. 2 p.m. July 24, 31. 10 a.m July 26, 29-30, Aug. 5-6, Aug. 8-10, Aug. 12-13. $17 adults, $12 children and seniors. “Carnival.” 7:30 p.m. Aug. 3-4, 7, 9 and 11. 2 p.m. Aug. 6, 11-13. 34 adults, $27 children and seniors. Long Center, 701 W. Riverside Drive. thelongcenter.org.

“Trouble on the Double.” Pollyanna Theatre Company presents this story two twins who look alike but act very differently. For children ages 4-10. 2 p.m. July 9-10, 16-17, 4 p.m. July 9, 16. $13.50-$12, adults, $12-$10.50 children and seniors. Long Center, 701 W. Riverside Drive. pollyannatheatrecompany.org.

“Shrek The Musical.” Zilker Summer Musical is back. Free. 8:15 p.m. Thursdays-Sundays, July 8-Aug. 13. Zilker Hillside Theater, 2206 William Barton Drive. zilker.org

Movies

Paramount Theatre Classic Film Series. “The Sound of Music,” 3 p.m. July 9. “Grease” Sing-A-Long, 7 p.m. July 9. $10 adults, $5 kids. Paramount Theatre, 713 Congress Ave. austintheatre.org.

The Alamo Drafthouse Kids Camp. “Box Trolls,” 11 a.m. July 1-7, Lakeline; 11 a.m. July 8-14, Village. “The Muppet Movie,” 11 a.m. July 8-14, Lakeline. “The Neverending Story,” 10 a.m. July 1-7, Slaughter Lane; 11 a.m. July 15-16, July 18-20 and 9:40 a.m. July 17, Lakeline. “Horton Hears a Who,” 10 a.m. July 8-14, Slaughter Lane. “Babe,” 11 a.m. July 1-7, Village. Reserve tickets for $1-$3 donation online. drafthouse.com.

The Minions are back in the summer family film "Minions." Universal Pictures
The Minions are back in the summer family film “Minions.” Universal Pictures

Regal Summer Movie Express. 10 a.m. Tuesdays and Wednesdays at Westgate Stadium 11. “The Peanuts Movie” and Minions,” July 5-6; “Alvin & The Chipmunks: The Road Chip” and “Curios George” July 12-13; “The Book of Life” and “Hotel Transylvania 2,” July 19-20; “Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2,”and “Shaun the Sheep,” June 26-27. Tickets are $1. regmovies.com/movies/summer-movie-express.

Cinemark Summer Movie Clubhouse. Offers $1 movies Monday through Thursdays at Round Rock 8 and Cedar Park.“Home,” July 4-7; “The Box Trolls,” July 1-14; “The Sandlot,” July 18-21; “Norm of the North,” July 25-28. cinemark.com/summer-movie-clubhouse.

Flix Jr. Flix offers $2 children’s movies. 11 a.m. Wednesdays. “The Muppet Movie,” July 6; “Pokemon,” July 13; “The Rugrats Movie,” July 20; “Despicable Me,” July 27. flixbrewhouse.com.

Deep Eddy Splash Party. “Zootopia,” 8 p.m. July 23. $1-$3. Deep Eddy Pool, 401 Deep Eddy Ave.

Movies in the Park. “Spy Kids.” 8:15 July 14. Free. Dittmar Recreation Center, 1009 W. Dittmar Road.

Events

Bubblepalooza. Explore all things bubbles in this interactive event. 9 a.m.-1 p.m. July 16. The Long Center, Long Center, 701 W. Riverside Drive. thelongcenter.org.

Children’s Day Art Park. Hear local musicians: The Flying Balalaika Brothers, July 13, Mr. Will Music, July 10 and Staci Gray with a teddy bear picnic, July 27; and make art and try musical instruments. 9:30 a.m. Wednesdays, except July 6. 50 cents a kid. Symphony Square Amphitheatre, 1101 Red River St. www.austinsymphony.org.

Hartman Foundation Concerts in the Park. Hear the symphony sections play. 7:30 p.m. Sundays except July 3. Woodwinds, July 10, Strings, July 17, Brass, July 24 and Big Band, July 31. Long Center City Terrace, 701 W. Riverside Drive.www.austinsymphony.org.

H-E-B Austin Symphony July 4 Concert and Fireworks. 8:30 p.m. music, 9:30 p.m. fireworks. July 4. Free. Vic Mathias Shores, South First Street and Riverside Drive. www.austinsymphony.org.

Celebration. Free games, movies and “Minions” movie. 5:30 p.m. July 1. Metz Recreation Center, 2407 Canterbury St.

Books

BookPeople events: William Joyce reads and signs “Ollie’s Oddessey.” 6 p.m. July 6. Jonah Lisa Dyer and Stephen Dyer sign and release “The Season,” 7 p.m. July 14. “Harry Potter & the Cursed Child” Midnight Release Party. 10 a.m. July 30. BookPeople, 603 N. Lamar Blvd. bookpeople.com

Barnes & Noble Events: 11 a.m. Saturday story times at all locations: “Hello, My Name is Octicorn,” July 2. “Daisy-Head Mayzie,” July 9. “Are We There Yet?” July 16. “Too Many Moose!” July 23. Harry Potter Countdown to Midnight Party. 8 p.m. July 30, All locations. Other story times: “4th of July Mice,” 7 p.m. July 1, Round Rock; “Mousequerade Ball,” 11 a.m. July 5, Round Rock; “Messy Molly,” 11 a.m. July 12, Round Rock; “Good Night Owl,” 11 a.m. July 19, Round Rock: “Mike Mulligan and his Steam Shovel,” 7 p.m. July 22, Round Rock; “Hensel and Gretel: Ninja Chicks,” 11 a.m. July 26, Round Rock; and “The Moon’s Almost Here,” 7 p.m. July 29, Round Rock.

At the library

Music

Austin-based children's performer Ms. Staci Gray entertains at a room packed with kids and their parents as they try to burst bubbles during story time at Book People. RICARDO B. BRAZZIELL / AMERICAN-STATESMAN
Austin-based children’s performer Ms. Staci Gray entertains at a room packed with kids and their parents as they try to burst bubbles during story time at BookPeople. RICARDO B. BRAZZIELL / AMERICAN-STATESMAN

Staci Gray. 2 p.m. July 1, Howson Branch; 4 p.m. July 8, Twin Oaks Branch.

Positive RePrecussions: Family Rhythm Jam. 2 p.m. July 6, Ruiz Branch; 2 p.m. July 13, Little Walnut Creek Branch; 2 p.m. July 14, University Hills Branch; 4 p.m. July 18, Howson Branch; 2 p.m. July 27, Hampton Branch.

Echo and the Bats. 2 p.m. July 9, Yarborough Branch.

Terrence Taps. 2 p.m. July 11, Spicewood Springs Branch; 2 p.m. July 23, Yarborough Branch; 4 p.m. July 26, Twin Oaks Branch; 4 p.m. July 28, Milwood Branch.

Lucas Miller, The Singing Zoologist. 4 p.m. July 11, Howson Branch.

Que Pastas. 2 p.m. July 15, Carver Branch.

Joe McDermott. 2 p.m. July 18, Cepeda Branch; 2 p.m. July 22, Yarborough Branch; 2 p.m. July 25, Milwood Branch.

Music and Movement. 11 a.m. July 22, Howson Branch.

Will Dupuy. 2 p.m. July 29, University Hills Branch.

Movies

Summer Animation Double Feature: “The Box Trolls” “Green Lantern: First Flight,” 2:15 p.m. July 3, Yarborough Branch.
Family Movie Night: “Shaun the Sheep.” 5:30 p.m. July 12, Carver Branch; “Goosebumps,” 6:30 p.m. July 12, Twin Oaks Branch.

Saturday Movie Matinee: “Pan.” 2 p.m. July 16, University Hills Branch.

Movie Matinee: “Kung Fu Panda 3.” 4 p.m. July 27, Cepeda Branch.

Theater

Eulenspiegel Puppet Theatre “The Three Little Pigs – Texas Style.” 2 p.m. July 1, Terrazas Branch; 2 p.m. July 7, Pleasant Hill Branch; 4 p.m. July 12, Twin Oaks Branch; 2 p.m. July 18, Spicewood Springs Branch; 2 p.m. July 28, University Hills Branch.

Literature Live presents “Rumplestiltskin.” 4 p.m. July 5, Twin Oaks Branch; 4 p.m. July 6, North Village Branch; 2 p.m. July 11, Windsor Park Branch; 2 p.m. July 13, Ruiz Branch; 2 p.m. July 14, Carver Branch; 2 p.m. July 25, Spicewood Springs Branch; 4 p.m. July 27, Manchaca Road Branch; 2 p.m. July 29, Terrazas Branch.

Sandbank Shadow Factory Presents: “A Wild Goose Chase,” 2 p.m. July 6, Little Walnut Creek Branch; 2 p.m. July 25, Windsor Park Branch.

Magik Theatre presents: Goldilocks and the Three Bears,” 4 p.m. July 6, Manchaca Road Branch; 4 p.m. July 21, Milwood Branch; “The Three Little Pigs,” 2 p.m. July 7, University Hills Branch; 4 p.m. July 13, Manchaca Road Branch.

Hey Lollies present “Armadillo Alice.” 2 p.m. July 8, Terrazas Branch; 4 p.m. July 12, Old Quarry Branch; 2 p.m. July 21, University Hills Branch; 4 p.m. July 25, Howson Branch.

StoryBook Dance Making. 2 p.m. July 10, Recycled Reads Bookstore; 6 p.m. July 11, University Hills Branch.

Spotlight on Opera presents “The Hiding Tree.” 3 p.m. July 10, Manchaca Road Branch; 2 p.m. July 13, Hampton Branch.

Animals

There’s Something Fishy Going on in Texas. 2 p.m. July 5, Cepeda Branch; 4 p.m. July 14, Milwood Branch.

rbz-Crowes-Nest-Farms-08Crowe’s Nest Farm visits. 4 p.m. July 7, Milwood Branch; 2 p.m. July 14, Pleasant Hill Branch; 4 p.m. July 20, Manchaca Road; 2 p.m. July 22, Terrazas Branch; 2 p.m. July 30, Yarborough Branch.

Art

Sew Happy. 5 p.m. July 5, Manchaca Road Branch.

Art Smart. 6:30 p.m. Tuesdays, Willie Mae Kirk Branch.

Crafternoon. 2 p.m. July 11, Manchaca Road Branch; 2 p.m. July 14; Howson Branch; 2 p.m. July 18, Manchaca Road Branch; 2 p.m. July 18, Carver Branch; 3 p.m. July 20, Little Walnut Creek Branch; 2 p.m. July 25, Manchaca Road Branch; 2 p.m. July 25, Carver Branch.

You are the Artist! 2 p.m. July 12, Cepeda Branch; 4 p.m. July 19, Twin Oaks Branch.

You Make It! 4 p.m. July 13, North Village Branch.

Literature Live presents Brown Paper Puppet Lab. 2 p.m. July 20, Hampton Branch; 3 p.m. July 24, Manchaca Road Branch.

Other events

Time Capsule Day. Make your own time capsule. Noon, July 2, University Hills Branch.

You are the Force. 2 p.m. July 2, Yarborough Branch; 2 p.m. July 18, Windsor Park Branch.

You Crack Yourself Up! 4 p.m. July 5, Old Quarry Branch; 2 p.m. July 16, Yarborough Branch.

Gusto the Great. 2 p.m. July 6, Hampton Branch; 2 p.m. July 7, Carver Branch.

You Get the Crown! 2 p.m. July 15, Terrazas Branch.

Arcade Night. 6:30 p.m. July 22, University Hills Branch.

Love Child, new website for creative Austin moms

Love Child is the brain child of wardrobe stylist Cristina Facunda.
Love Child is the brain child of wardrobe stylist Cristina Facundo Bocanegra.
Cristina Facunda started lifestyle online magazine Love Child when she was pregnant with Bowie. It launched this month. Photo by Alysha Rainwaters
Cristina Facundo Boconegra started lifestyle online magazine Love Child when she was pregnant with Bowie. It launched this month.
Photo by Alysha Rainwaters

Austin wardrobe stylist Cristina Facundo Bocanegra, who became a mom last week to Bowie, was looking for a motherhood resource that fit her personality when she became pregnant. She says she was looking for information on taking care of herself, buying the right baby equipment, how she would keep her freelance job with baby in tow, how she could keep exercising while pregnant and more.

“What I kept finding was a ton of information, but none relevant to my particular lifestyle,” she says.

Facundo Bocanegra, who has done some freelance styling work for the Statesman, floated the idea of creating a centralized place for everything she was learning and began floating the idea to friends and family, especially friends who were becoming mothers and also in creative jobs.

“The more I talked to people about it, the more it grew into something much bigger,” she says.

This month, she launched Love Child, a full-service lifestyle website for creative moms like her. Before Bowie arrived on June 7, she got a lot of content ready and has been rolling it out while she negotiates motherhood for the first time.

She hopes to develop the project into one that can be monetized, but for now, “this is a passion project,” she says. Already, she’s been able to connect with the mom community in Austin and shared the resources she’s found while learning more.

One thing she does know about motherhood: “It sounds so cliche, and everyone says it, but I’ve never experienced love like this before. It’s so true.”

 

 

What’s natural about parenting? MommyCon event shows you

MommyCon is coming to Austin on June 25.
MommyCon is coming to Austin on June 25.

Chicago mom Xza Higgins is gathering 750 like-minded moms and dads at the Austin Convention Center on June 25. Her MommyCon convention has a natural parenting focus with topics such as Cloth Diapering 101, Preparing For and Processing Your Birth Experience, and Sex and the Breastfeeding Mom.

While the majority of the MommyCon audience follow natural parenting techniques such as attachment parenting, natural childbirth, breast-feeding, using cloth diapers and making baby food, at MommyCon conventions there are moms (and dads, too) who are formula feeding, putting their babies in Huggies and using jarred baby food, too.

Xza Higgins wears her baby. Credit: MommyCon
Xza Higgins wears her baby. Credit: MommyCon

Before she had her 4-year-old and 1-year-old, Higgins had a career in small business branding and development working on everything from a cupcake bakery to interior design firm. She left that corporate world behind to have her children.

“I felt pretty alone while I was pregnant,” she says. None of her friends were pregnant. She was looking for women going through similar experiences. “I thought, ‘why not start a blog, and get those people together offline.”

The blog, The Mommy Dialogues, was about her experience, but she turned the blog into meetup events. The first gathering had eight people. Now some 3,000 people can be at one of 10 large MommyCon events a year.

Austin has become one of MommyCon’s favorite places to go, Higgins says. “It’s one of the larger cities in Texas with a population that is rapidly expanding with tons of new families. They are progressive and ahead of the curve and interested in getting an education in parenting.”

MommyCon has become her full-time job with six people on the team now. A few babies also come to work, too.

Each MommyCon event is a little different, and Higgins reaches out to local speakers as well as a national crew. In Austin, local mom Chasity Boatman will talk about postpartum depression.

This MommyCon Higgins is excited for the sex and breast-feeding topic. “It’s always a topic people are scared to talk about, but if you have it on the schedule, it’s always a packed session,” she says.

For her MommyCon is about sharing stories, so she looks for presenters who have all the educational materials and can share a compelling story.

Photographer Jade Beall will talk about her project to help women embrace their postpartum body through photography.

There’s also a whole room dedicated to just babywearing and there will be product giveaway session.

This is a convention is not just for Mom and Dad, but also for babies and kids, too. Each session room has a play area at the back with toys that are sanitized. There’s a baby food court and an arts and crafts area, too. There’s also a nursing area with bottle warmers and places for breast milk storage.

“Every session is family friendly,” Higgins says. She will often hear parents apologizing for their crying babies or running around toddlers at the back of the room.

“Do not apologize,” Higgins says. “This is the one time in life you don’t need to apologize for being a mother.”

MommyCon works with local divisions of national organizations such as Babywearing International, Share the Love cloth diaper bank, WIC offices, La Leche League and Attachment Parenting International.

After the conference is over, many of the baby supplies and toys get donated to local organizations rather than packing them up and shipping them to the next event.

“We hope that we continue reaching more families and give them more resources they need to succeed as parents,” Higgins says. “We want to give them the educational tools to raise happy, healthy children.”

MommyCon

When: 9:30 a.m.-5:15 p.m. June 25

Where: Austin Convention Center, 500 E. Cesar Chavez St.

Tickets: $45.

Information: Mommy-con.com

Bubblepalooza is postponed … now what are you doing this weekend?

The Long Center has decided to postpone Bubblepalooza until July 16 because of expected bad weather this weekend. It was originally supposed to be Saturday.

On this first weekend of summer break, there are still many things for families to do. Many are indoors, but for the ones that are outdoors, check the website in advance to make sure it’s still happening if the rain does come.

Friday

Texas Museum of Science & Technology Star Party. Every Friday in June, look at the stars in the parking lot. 8-10 p.m. Friday. Texas Museum of Science & Technology, 1220 Toro Grande Drive, Cedar Park. txmost.org.

Friday-Sunday

Family programs at Zilker Botanical Garden include fairy landscaping and tea parties, learning about pioneer days and exploring plants. Credit: Zilker Botanical Garden
If the weather clears up sometime this weekend, head to the Woodland Faerie Trail at Zilker Botanical Garden.
Credit: Zilker Botanical Garden

The Alamo Drafthouse Kids Camp. “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory,” 11 a.m. Friday-Sunday, Lakeline; “Curious George,” 10 a.m. Friday-Sunday, Slaughter Lane; “Clash of the Titans,” 11 a.m. Saturday and noon Sunday, Ritz; “A League of their Own,” 10:30 a.m. Friday-Sunday, South Lamar. Reserve tickets for $1-$3 donation online.

Zilker Botanical Garden Woodland Faerie Trail. Open through June 24. Zilker Botanical Garden, 2220 Barton Spring Road. zilkergarden.org.

Saturday

RED Arena Round-Up. Family fun and an inclusive rodeo play day with a petting zoo, bounce houses and mini horses. 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturday. Free. Dripping Springs Ranch Park, 1042 Event Center Drive, Dripping Springs. redarena.org

Thinkery workshops: Early Learners Workshops: Things that Glow! For ages 1-2. 9:45 a.m. Saturday and for ages 2-3, 10:45 a.m. Saturday. $20 child and adult. Baby Bloomers for ages birth to 3, Famous Artists: Frida Kahlo. 9 a.m. Saturday. The Thinkery, 1830 Simond Ave. thinkeryaustin.org.

Umlauf Sculpture Garden. Kids Kraft program on Saturday afternoons for kids kindergarten through second grade. Blue-Prints, 10 a.m. Saturday. $15. umlaufsculpture.org.

Snorky’s Rhythm Tunes, 2 p.m. Saturday, Twin Oaks public library branch.

Barnes & Noble Events: Summer Reading Triathlon Opening Ceremony. 11 a.m. Saturday, all locations.

Tasting Kitchen. Try different foods from local purveyors. Noon-2 p.m. Saturday. Bullock Museum, 1800 N. Congress Ave. thestoryoftexas.com.

Saturday and Sunday

Random Acts of Harping. 1 p.m. Saturday and 1 p.m. Sunday with a harp petting zoo, Recycled Reads Bookstore.

Thinkery workshops: Instant Ice Cream. For kids 4-7. 11:15 a.m. and 1:15 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. $8 per person. Dry Ice Sorbet. For kids 8 and older. 3:15 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. $8 per person. The Thinkery, 1830 Simond Ave. thinkeryaustin.org.

Sunday

From top left, Jennifer and Kevin Miller react as their daughter, Laurel, 4, center, takes part in an inertia game at the Bullock Texas State History Museum. DEBORAH CANNON / AMERICAN-STATESMAN
From top left, Jennifer and Kevin Miller react as their daughter, Laurel, 4, center, takes part in an inertia game at the Bullock Texas State History Museum. DEBORAH CANNON / AMERICAN-STATESMAN

Bullock Museum. Free First Sunday. Celebrate the museum’s anniversary. Noon-5 p.m. Sunday. Bullock Museum, 1800 N. Congress Ave. thestoryoftexas.com.

Hartman Foundation Concerts in the Park. Hear the symphony sections play. This week, it’s strings. 7:30 p.m. Sunday. Long Center City Terrace, 701 W. Riverside Drive. austinsymphony.org.

Paramount Theatre Classic Film Series. “Space Jam,” 2 p.m. Sunday; “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II,” 3:45 p.m. Sunday. $10 adults, $5 kids. Paramount Theatre, 713 Congress Ave. austintheatre.org.

Echo and the Bats play. 2 p.m. Sunday, Faulk Central Library.