School is starting in as few as 17 days, as many as 29 days for local students. It all depends on your school district.
It’s time to do some investigation of the calendar for the year so you don’t get caught off guard.
Take out the old calendar or your phone and mark off these days:
Meet the teacher for elementary school/orientation or book pickup days for middle school and high school. (It will vary by school; check your school’s website.)
First day of school (Don’t base it at all on last year. It’s a whole different ballgame this year.)
Last day of the six weeks or nine weeks. (Know these because usually a week or two before, your children might have major assignments due).
Exams and STAAR testing dates. Exams vary by district and even by school sometimes. The Texas Education Agency has the 2018 STAAR testing dates on its calendar at tea.texas.gov.
Back to School Night. (This varies by school or by grade, so check out your school’s website).
Major holidays that every one has off like Labor Day, Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Memorial Day.
At some districts holidays like Veteran’s Day, Columbus Day, President’s Day and Good Friday also are student holidays. There also might be other random student holidays.
Late start days or early release dates for high-schoolers.
Thanksgiving Break. (This year, Austin Independent School District is going to a full week of break. Is yours as well?)
Start and finish of winter break.
Bad weather makeup days. (These are set holidays that might be taken away if we have a day of ice or snow or flooding.)
Last day of classes. (Many schools do not go into June this year).
If the kids don’t have school, what is going to be your plan for them? Do you have a baby sitter/relative on hand? Call them now and secure their time. Will kids go to a one-day or week-long camp? Will you need to take off of work? Coordinate that with your boss now.
The University of Texas at Austin Dell Medical School and Seton Healthcare Family are working together to answer questions about how and why premature infants have trouble regulating breathing, heart beat and swallowing — all things that are controlled in the brain stem and are supposed to be automatic.
“It’s suggested that there are mechanisms that explain why premature infants have vulnerabilities to suddenly stop breathing, to have a drop in heart beat with seemingly little warning and to have have trouble coordinating swallowing while breathing and keeping the heart beating,” said Dr. David Paydarfar, chair of neurology at Dell Medical School at UT Austin, who is leading the study.
To do this, Seton has upgraded the monitors in the neonatal intensive care units in Seton Medical Center and Dell Children’s Medical Center of Central Texas. It’s also installing software to send all the data to Texas Advanced Computing Center for researchers to analyze. It expects to begin collecting data by the end of the summer.
All the babies already have had monitors that measure heart rate and breathing and oxygen levels, said Dr. Steve Abrams, chair of pediatrics at Dell Medical School, who is working with Paydarfar on this study. “It’s been hard to put that together,” he said of all the information those monitors collect. This study’s software will do that.
The hope is that researchers might begin to see patterns in what might cause some premature infants to be more vulnerable to these events, or, later in life, to sudden infant death syndrome or neurological problems, autism, cerebral palsy or a learning disabilities.
“To crack that mystery in the puzzle, we need information,” Paydarfar said.
The study will collect data for up to 80 premature infants at those two neonatal units initially, but could expand to other hospitals. The infants’ parents do have to consent to be part of the study, which will follow the infants while they are in the hospital, but also check on them in future years to see how the data collected during the time in the hospital might relate to later neurological symptoms.
“That’s what’s one of the unique things,” Paydarfar said. “We’re collecting enormous amounts of data for the couple of weeks or a couple of months that they are in the hospital, and then we’re tracking what happens one year later, two years later, three years later”
The information gathered could change the way that doctors in the hospital treat premature infants or help them develop new technologies. It could help them better predict when an infant is likely to stop breathing or decrease his heart rate.
These infants, Paydarfar said, are normal, but they come into the world early. We’ve invented a lot of things to help keep them alive, he said, without really knowing how their physiology works. One in 3 premature infants will have a neurological complication later, he said. “There’s something about that prolonged artificial care, if we really think about it,” he said.
The study will go on at least five years, but once in place, researchers could continue to collect data and share data with other researchers. The study is funded in part with grants from the National Institutes of Health and the National Science Foundation.
Austin is proving to be a great place to do research, said Paydarfar, who came from Harvard University and the University of Massachusetts last year. “A lot of people want to help us make discoveries,” he said. “There’s a cultural enthusiasm.”
Who is ready to see America’s favorite actress/author/girl nerd or the author of “The Young Elites” and “Legends” series? Mayim Bialik (which parents will remember from “Blossom” and kids know as Sheldon Cooper’s girlfriend in “The Big Bang Theory) will be at the Texas Teen Book Festival Oct. 7 talking about her book “Girling Up: How to be Strong, Smart and Spectacular.” Joining her is Marie Lu, who will present her new book “Warcross” and Jason Reynolds, who will talk about his new novel “Long Way Down.”
You can also see and get these authors to sign your books: Adam Silvera (“They Both Die at the End”)
Adi Alsaid (“North of Happy”)
Aditi Khorana (“Library of Fates”)
Amy Tintera (“Avenged”)
Andrew Shvarts (“Royal Bastards”)
Anna-Marie McLemore (“Wild Beauty”)
Ashley Poston (“Geekerella”)
Caleb Roehrig (“Last Seen Leaving”)
Cindy Pon (“Want”)
Cory Putman Oakes (“Witchtown”)
Corrie Wang (“The Takedown”)
David Bowles (“Feathered Serpent, Dark Heart of Sky— Barrio Writers Sponsorship”)
Diana Noble (“Evangelina Takes Flight”)
E. Lockhart (“Genuine Fraud”)
Erin Bowman (“Retribution Rails”)
Francisco X. Stork (“Disappeared”)
Jenna Evans Welch (“Love & Luck”)
Jennifer Mathieu (“Moxie”)
Jessica Taylor (“A Map for Wrecked Girls”)
Julie Buxbaum (“What to Say Next”)
Julie Murphy (“Ramona Blue”)
Kathryn Ormsbee (“Tash Hearts Tolstoy”)
Kerri Maniscalco (“Hunting Prince Dracula”)
Lisa Maxwell (“The Last Magician”)
Lizzie Velásquez (“Dare to Be Kind”)
Mackenzi Lee (“Gentleman’s Guide to Vice & Virtue”)
Mitali Perkins (“You Bring the Distant Near”)
Peter Bognanni (“Things I’m Seeing Without You”)
Renée Watson (“Piecing Me Together”)
Ryan Graudin (“Invictus”)
Sandhya Menon (“When Dimple Met Rishi”)
S.J. Kincaid (“The Empress”)
Stephanie Perkins (“There’s Someone Inside Your House”)
Tillie Walden (“Spinning”)
Zac Brewer (“Madness”)
The festival is 8:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. Oct. 7 at St. Edward’s University, 3001 S. Congress Ave., and is geared towards fans of young adult books, as well as encourage young readers to stay reading. Last year, 4,000 people attended this free event, which is a program of the Texas Book Festival, which collaborates with BookPeople, local librarians, and St. Edward’s University. It’s made possible in part by a grant from Humanities Texas, the state affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities.
If the words to “Hot Child in the City” are in appropriately running through your head, don’t worry; there’s a reason for it. It’s going to be 100+ all weekend. Grab some shade, find some indoor events or go early in the day.
Bring sunscreen, water and bug spray with you if you are headed outside, and enjoy these family events in and around Austin this weekend:
Wildflower Center.Sprouts. Hands-on preschool program. 10 a.m. Friday. Nature Play Hour. Play in the Family Garden. 11 a.m. Saturdays. Wildflower Center, 4801 La Crosse Ave. wildflower.org.
Blanton Museum. Deeper Dives. Ages 8-12. 10:30 a.m. and 1 p.m. Friday. Blanton Museum. 200 E. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. blantonmuseum.org.
Texas Museum of Science & Technology. Star Party. Look at the stars. 9 p.m. Fridays. Texas Museum of Science & Technology, 1220 Toro Grande Drive, Cedar Park. txmost.org.
Magician John O’Bryant. 2 p.m. Friday, Yarborough Branch.
Hill Country Science Mill.Shark Week. Special showings of Great White Shark 3-D, 2 p.m. Friday-Saturday. Dig for shark teeth at the Fossil Dig, separate fact from fiction with shark week factoids and more. Hill Country Science Mill, 101 S. Lady Bird Lane, Johnson City. sciencemill.org.
Woodland Faerie Trail. See fairy houses on this trail. Through Aug. 6. Free with admission. Zilker Botanical Garden, 2220 Barton Springs Road. zilkergarden.org.
“A Shoe Story: A Brand New Musical.” Summer Stock Austin presents this family theater show based on “The Elves and the Shoemaker.” It’s written by Allen Robertson and Damon Brown and directed by Allen Robertson. 11 a.m. Friday; 10 a.m. Saturday; 2 p.m. Sunday. Tickets $17 and up. Summer Stock Austin also has one-day camps that include a performance Aug. 3, 4 and 8. $50. The Long Center, 701 W. Riverside Drive. thelongcenter.org.
“The Wizard of Oz.” Zilker Summer Musical returns with adventure on the yellow brick road. 8:15 p.m. Thursdays-Sundays. Free, but donations welcome. Zilker Hillside Theatre, 2206 William Barton Drive. zilker.org.
Alamo Drafthouse Kids Camp. Movies for $1-3 donation. “Speed Racer.” 10 a.m. Friday-Sunday, Lakeline. “Jumanji.” 10 a.m. Friday-Sunday, Slaughter Lane. “The Secret Life of Pets,” 10 a.m. Friday-Sunday, Mueller. “Song of the Sea.” 10 a.m. Saturday and Sunday, Village. drafthouse.com.
Thinkery. Baby Bloomers. For infant to 3. Learn about summer all month long. 9 a.m. Saturday. Special guests throughout the month. $5. Thinkery, 1830 Simond Ave. thinkeryaustin.org.
Wildflower Center.Nature Play Hour. Play in the Family Garden. 11 a.m. Saturdays. Wildflower Center, 4801 La Crosse Ave. wildflower.org.
Toybrary Austin.Date night babysitting. For ages 1-5. $25 first child, $10 siblings. 5-8 p.m. Saturdays. Daddy & Me Drum Classes. 10:30 a.m. Saturday. $10. CToybrary Austin, 7817 Rockwood Lane, Suite 101. toybraryaustin.com.
Kristin Hensley and Jennifer Smedley are so tired. They have no idea which city they are in, when we talk to them on Tuesday morning. They think, perhaps, Atlanta. They do know it’s really hot there.
“We don’t even know what day it is,” Hensley says.
The women behind the Facebook page and video podcast #IMomSoHard are on a summer road trip with their families. Unlike your road trip, theirs involves a bus, four kids and two husbands, some sight-seeing, but mostly hanging out in hotel swimming pools or on the bus. At night the moms go on stage presenting the live version of their podcast. They arrive in Austin on Saturday for a show at Austin City Limits Live at the Moody Theater.
Their Facebook page now has more than 1 million likes. One of their recent videos, “I Swimsuit So Hard,” about why it’s so difficult to find a swimsuit has more than 18 million views.
They wanted to connect with their audience in ways only a live show could. Hensley says it wouldn’t make sense to have this following and not want to connect. “We wanted to see our moms,” she says. “We wanted to meet them. The moms have been incredible. We’re having such a good time.”
The live show is a little more late night than the video podcast. They talk about crushes and sex after marriage and their bodies.”It’s like sitting around the bar with your friends,” Hensley says. “We get a little loose.”
The two women are both from Nebraska and both moved to LosAngeles in their 20s. They were in the same comedy scene and actually lived a block apart for two years before they met. They were hanging out in a theater parking lot after a show, probably drinking a beer. They’ve been best friends after that.
The idea or #IMomSoHard came one night after Smedley came over to Hensley’s house. They had both had a particularly bad day. Smedley was “in the throws of nursing and my son was dropping F-bombs at preschool,” Hensley says. They had a minute to talk to an adult and were soon laughing so hard they were crying. They wondered why doesn’t anyone show what it really is to be a mother, not the fake stuff of poetic pictures on Instagram.
“We have such a fun chemistry,” Hensley says. “Our comic sensibility is really different. Whenever we perform, we make each other laugh.”
Now they film regular videos in Smedley’s playroom or kitchen. They write the episodes, but alot of what appears online is improvised.
“When we make the video, our goal is that the camera is our third friend,” Smedley says.
She edits the video (She learned how to watching YouTube) and then shows it to Hensley. Behind the scenes is a baby sitter who is feeding their children ages 6 to 2 pizza, and Smedley’s husband who direct them. Hensley’s husband organized the tour. Smedley also dresses them because Hensley would rather not go shopping.
By the time they filmed their third video, which was about hemorrhoids, they knew they were onto something. They saw a giant increase in Facebook likes as well as started getting phone calls from fans. Fans also send them things. Recently, a fan sent Hensley a certain yellow bowl that she had failed for years to return to Smedley until Smedley’s husband eventually took it back.
Fans have mostly been positive. They want to be their friends. Even when one says something unkind, other fans will call them out.
One thing they think cuts down on the cattiness toward thems is that they purposefully don’t give advice about parenting. “We’re putting ourselves out there,” Hensley says. “I am flawed. I mess up. I feel vulnerable. I feel weak. Most come in there and say, ‘You’re doing great!'”
“Every mom has felt the same,” Smedley says. They hear from moms, grandmoms and great-grandmoms.
“It’s the universal language of being a mom,” Hensley says. “We’ve all had those great days. ‘Man I’m crushing it today.'”
“I don’t have a lot of crushing it days,” Smedley says.
They wanted to be the alternative to the advice that is out there for moms, especially for moms in their first year, when they can’t ask anyone at 4 a.m. what to do, so they go online to ask the internet, because it’s the only one up at that hour. And the internet is all about being a perfect mom with perfect children.
“We’re like, ‘Let’s do the other side of the coin,'” Hensley says.
They really don’t have a line to cross when it comes to what they will talk about, but they don’t talk a lot about their kids.
“Moms don’t want to talk about their kids,” Hensley says. “They think about their kids 24-7.”
“If you get three minutes at the end of the day … it’s nice not to talk about it,” Smedley says. Instead, it’s nice to watch some fellow moms talking about their body issues or how they lie to their husbands or what crazy beauty regimen they are trying.
They have a television show in development. “The thing that makes it exciting is it’s a way to hit more of our moms,” Hensley says. “We’re going to continue to do the web series,” she assures us, and they plan on returning to the tour next summer. They also want to work on a philanthropy project.
“Give us several years,” Smedley reminds Hensley, knowing that they are first and foremost moms first.
#IMomSoHard Mom’s Night Out Summer Break Tour
When: 7 p.m. Saturday
Where: Austin City Limits Live at the Moody Theater, 310 W. Second St.
1. Celebrate Austin’s weird and wild. See 15,000 rubber duckies floating down the river at Austin Duck Derby to benefit Austin Boys & Girls Clubs Foundation. 11 a.m.-1 p.m. Aug. 5. Ann Richards Congress Avenue Bridge. austinduckderby.com
Or celebrate all things bat at Bat Fest, 4p.m.-midnight Aug. 19. $15 adults, free for children younger than 8. Austin American-Statesman, 305 S. Congress Ave. roadwayevents.com
Carver Museum offers its Super Science Saturdays. 1 p.m. Aug. 12. George Washington Carver Museum. 1165 Angelina St. Texas Museum of Science & Technology tells you all about the sun (right before the eclipse) during Science Saturday, Noon-4 p.m. Aug. 19. Texas Museum of Science & Technology, 1220 Toro Grande Drive, Cedar Park. txmost.org The museum also hosts Star Parties every Friday at 9 p.m. and Wee-Searchers for children 5 and younger, 9 a.m. Aug. 9 and 23.
Hill Country Science Mill is opening its exhibit the Incredible Ball Machine.Step inside a large ball track that you can control with levers and pulleys. 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Aug. 16. Hill Country Science Mill, 101 S. Lady Bird Lane, Johnson City. sciencemill.org
Dell Children’s Medical Center of Central Texas is teaming up with the Thinkery for Community Night Aug. 9.Bring your favorite stuffed animal and take him through different interactive stations. Free, but it’s first-come-first-served beginning at 4 p.m. Thinkery, 1830 Simond Ave. thinkeryaustin.org
At the library, make a pinhole projector during Solar Eclipse Afternoon, noon Aug. 21 at Howson Branch, tweens explore STEAM with LittleBits Theme Park, 3 p.m. Aug. 2, Spicewood Springs Branch.
If you love dinosaurs, you can see “Jurassic Park” and see fossils and other science materials from UT Dino Museum. 7 p.m. Aug. 19 and Aug. 26. $25 a car, plus admission for more than 2 people. Blue Starlight Mini Urban Drive-in. 12419 Lowden Lane. bluestarlitedrivein.com
3.Celebrate animals. The Austin Humane Society hosts events including story time, 2 p.m. Aug. 8, Humane Hero Hour with cats, 2 p.m. Aug. 1, the Austin Wildlife Rescue, 1 p.m. Aug. 5 and Teddy Bear Surgery, 1 p.m. Aug. 12. You have to register at austinhumanesociety.org. Humane Society, 124 W. Anderson Lane.
See all kinds of different animals at the Austin Pet Expo. It’s free and you can bringbring your pet. Palmer Event Center, 900 Barton Springs Road. 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Aug. 19, 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Aug. 20. austinpetexpo.com
Don’t forget the Austin area has two zoos, Austin Zoo and Capital of Texas Zoo, the Texas Reptile Zoo, the Austin Aquarium and not far away are Natural Bridge Wildlife Ranch and the Snake Farm.
4. Make art. This month at the Thinkery, the Kitchen Lab and Space 8 lab are all about art. Make Suminagashi Fabrics 11:15 a.m., 1:15 a.m. or 3:15 a.m. Aug. 5-6, Aug. 19-20. $8. Learn Printmaking Galore 11:15 a.m., 1:15 a.m. or 3:15 a.m. Aug. 12-13, Aug. 26-27, $8. Thinkery, 1830 Simond Ave. thinkeryaustin.org
Umlauf Sculpture Garden & Museum will host its free Family Day 10-4 p.m. Aug. 13. Umlauf Sculpture Garden & Museum, 605 Robert E. Lee Road. umlaufsculpture.org
The library also offers events for making art. This month, enjoy Crafternoon 3:30 p.m. Aug. 15 at Howson Branch; Family Craft Night, 6 p.m. Aug. 16 at Howson Branch; learn to sew at Sew Happy, 5 p.m. Aug. 1 at Manchaca Road Branch.
5. Enjoy theater. If you haven’t seen the Zilker Summer Musical yet, what are you waiting for? This year it’s “The Wizard of Oz” 8:15 p.m. Thursdays-Saturdays through Aug. 12. Free, but donations welcome. Zilker Hillside Theatre, 2206 William Barton Drive. zilker.org.
Summer Stock Austin is bring a new musical based on “The Elves and the Shoemaker” from Allen Robertson and Damon Brown. “A Shoe Story: A Brand New Musical”shows 11 a.m. Aug. 3-4, Aug. 8; 10 a.m. July 29, Aug. 5, Aug. 11-12; 2 p.m. July 30. Tickets $17 and up. Summer Stock Austin also has one-day camps that include a performance Aug. 3, 4 and 8. $50. The Long Center, 701 W. Riverside Drive. thelongcenter.org.
Austin Summer Musical for Children is presenting the “Jungle Book” 9:15 a.m. Aug. 12, 11 a.m. 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. Aug. 12, 19 and 26, 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. Aug. 13, 20 and 27. It’s free. Boyd Vance Theater at George Washington Carver Museum. 1165 Angelina St.
Literature Live! Presents: “The Fifolet” Louisiana pirate adventure, specifically for ages 8-12, 4 p.m. Aug. 1 at University Hills Branch; 6 p.m. Aug. 3 at Manchaca Road Branch; 3 p.m Aug. 4 at Little Walnut Creek Branch; 2 p.m. Aug. 6 at Faulk Central Library; 2 p.m. Aug. 7 at Windsor Park Branch; 3 p.m. Aug. 19 at Recycled Reads Bookstore.
6. See a movie for free or very little. The Alamo Drafthouse continues its Kids Club. In August, see “Speed Racer.” 10 a.m. Aug. 1, Aug. 3, Lakeline; “Jumanji,” 10 a.m. Aug. 1-3, Slaughter Lane, 10 a.m. Aug. 4-10, Lakeline, 10 a.m. Aug. 11, Village; “The Secret Life of Pets,” 10 a.m. Aug. 1-3, Mueller, 9:50 a.m. Aug. 4, 10 a.m. Aug. 5-10, Slaughter Lane, 10 a.m. Aug. 11-17, Lakeline; “Song of the Sea,” 10 a.m. Aug. 1-3, Village, 10 a.m. Aug. 4-10, Mueller, 10 a.m. Aug. 11-17, Slaughter Lane; “Speed Racer,” 10 a.m. Aug. 11-Aug. 17, Mueller. The movies are for a $1-$3 donation. drafthouse.com. You also can see PBS Kids at the Alamo. “Ready Jet Go! The Moon and More,” 11 a.m. Aug. 20, Lakeline.
Head to Sunday School with the Austin Film Society’s children’s program. See the Lily Tomlin classic, “The Incredible Shrinking Woman, ” 1 p.m. July 30 and 6 p.m. Aug. 1; and Francois Truffaut’s tale of raucous children, “Small Change,”11 a.m. Aug. 27 and 7 p.m. Aug. 30. $9. Austin Film Society Cinema, 6406 N. Interstate 35, Suite 3100. austinfilmsociety.org
And the library is a great place to see movies for free. In August, see “Beauty and the Beast” (2017), 2 p.m. Aug. 5 at Windsor Park Branch, 4 p.m. Aug. 16, Cepeda Branch; “Sing,” 6:30 p.m. Aug. 8 at Twin Oaks Branch; “Wizard of Oz.” 3:30 p.m. Aug. 18, Old Quarry Branch; “Secret Life of Pets,” 2 p.m. Aug. 10 at Old Quarry Branch.
7. Go outside. We know it’s hot. We get that. Head out in the early morning or at dusk for the least heat-exhaustion inducing experience. Explore new-to-you pools or water parks, try out a new playground from our list of top 25, plus some other great ones; go dinosaur digging at the Austin Nature & Science Center; check out the Wildflower Center and its Sprouts preschool program, 10 a.m. Wednesdays and Fridays, and Nature Play Hour in the Family Garden, 11 a.m. Saturdays. Wildflower Center, 4801 La Crosse Ave. wildflower.org
We know when you think of August in Austin, you think “Boy, it’s hot” and “Ugh, school is starting.” In between those two thoughts, have this one: Austin has a lot of fun things to do with families. Enjoy our list:
Woodland Faerie Trail. See fairy houses on this trail. Through Aug. 6 Free with admission. Zilker Botanical Garden, 2220 Barton Springs Road. zilkergarden.org.
Domain Northside Kids. Come to the lawn at the Domain Northside for activities for kids 18 months to 6 years old. Free. 10 a.m.-noon Aug. 2. Reservations required, domainnorthside.com.
Austin Humane Society kids events. Humane Hero Hour with cats. 2 p.m. Aug. 1. Austin Wildlife Rescue. 1 p.m. Aug. 5. Story time with cats and dogs. 2 p.m. Aug. 8. Teddy Bear Surgery. 1 p.m. Aug. 12. Register at austinhumanesociety.org. Humane Society, 124 W. Anderson Lane.
Back to School STEM Saturday.Free STEM activities for the whole family. 9:30 a.m.-noon Aug. 5. Free. Girlstart. 1400 W. Anderson Lane. girlstart.org
Bat Fest. Celebrate all things bat with music, children’s activities and more. 4 p.m.-midnight Aug. 19. $15 adults, free for children younger than 8. Austin American-Statesman, 305 S. Congress Ave. roadwayevents.com
7th Annual Austin Pet Expo. See all kinds of pets and things for your pet. Free. Bring your pet. Palmer Event Center, 900 Barton Springs Road. 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Aug. 19, 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Aug. 20. austinpetexpo.com
Back to School
AISD Back to School Bash. Get free backpacks and supplies, medical screenings and vaccinations with shot record. 9 a.m.-noon Aug. 12. Palmer Events Center, 900 Barton Springs Road. Buses leave from Guerrero Thompson and Summitt elementary schools; Bedichek, Martin, Mendez and Covington middle schools; and Lanier and Reagan high schools. austinisd.org/bash
Bastrop Back to School Bash. Receive free school supplies and more.8:30-10:30 a.m. Aug. 12 at the Bastrop ISD Memorial Stadium in Cedar Creek. bisdtx.org
Thinkery.Community Night with Dell Children’s Medical Center of Central Texas. Bring your favorite stuffed animal and take him through different interactive stations. Free. First-come-first-served beginning at 4 p.m. Aug. 9. Community Night Spotlight on LGBTQ Family Pride.Sew a pride flag, cook up a healthy snack and more. Free. First-come-first-served beginning at 4 p.m. Aug. 16. Baby Bloomers. Have an animal adventure. For infant to 3. Learn about the sea all month long. 9 a.m. Mondays and Saturdays. Special guests throughout the month. $5. Suminagashi Fabrics. Learn the ancient Japanese marbling technique. 11:15 a.m., 1:15 a.m. or 3:15 a.m. Aug. 5-6, Aug. 19-20. $8. Printmaking Galore. 11:15 a.m., 1:15 a.m. or 3:15 a.m. Aug. 12-13, Aug. 26-27, $8. Thinkery, 1830 Simond Ave. thinkeryaustin.org
Texas Museum of Science & Technology. Wee-Searchers for children 5 and younger. Learn about science through song, play and stories. 9 a.m. Aug. 9 and 23. Science Saturday: The Sun. Noon-4 p.m. Aug. 19. Star Party. Look at the stars. 9 p.m. Fridays. Texas Museum of Science & Technology, 1220 Toro Grande Drive, Cedar Park. txmost.org
Wildflower Center. Sprouts. Hands-on preschool program. 10 a.m. Wednesdays and Fridays. Nature Play Hour. Play in the Family Garden. 11 a.m. Saturdays. Wildflower Center, 4801 La Crosse Ave. wildflower.org
Toybrary Austin. Gardening Class. 10:45 a.m. Tuesdays. Free. Salt painting. 10:30 a.m. Aug. 2 $7. Date night babysitting. For ages 1-5. $25 first child, $10 siblings. 5-8 p.m. Saturdays.Pizza Party with Spunky Kids. 10:30 a.m. Aug. 10. $10 per child/adult pair. Africa Safari with Elizabeth Kahura. $10. 10:30 a.m. Aug. 11. Daddy & Me Drum Classes. 10:45 a.m. Aug. 15. $10. Clown Show with Silly Sparkles. 10:30 a.m. Aug. 24. $10. Toybrary Austin, 2001 Justin Lane. toybraryaustin.com
Alamo Kids Club. $1-$3 children’s movies, which support a local nonprofit. “Speed Racer.” 10 a.m. Aug. 1, Aug. 3, Lakeline. “Jumanji.” 10 a.m. Aug. 1-3, Slaughter Lane. 10 a.m. Aug. 4-10, Lakeline. 10 a.m. Aug. 11, Village. “The Secret Life of Pets.” 10 a.m. Aug. 1-3, Mueller. 9:50 a.m. Aug. 4, 10 a.m. Aug. 5-10, Slaughter Lane. 10 a.m. Aug. 11-17, Lakeline. “Song of the Sea.” 10 a.m. Aug. 1-3, Village. 10 a.m. Aug. 4-10, Mueller. 10 a.m. Aug. 11-17, Slaughter Lane. “Speed Racer.” 10 a.m. Aug. 11-Aug. 17, Mueller.
PBS Kids at the Alamo. “Ready Jet Go! The Moon and More.” 11 a.m. Aug. 20, Lakeline.
“A Shoe Story: A Brand New Musical.” Summer Stock Austin presents this family theater show based on “The Elves and the Shoemaker.” It’s written by Allen Robertson and Damon Brown and directed by Allen Robertson. 7:30 p.m. July 25; 11 a.m. July 28, Aug. 3-4, Aug. 8; 10 a.m. July 29, Aug. 5, Aug. 11-12; 2 p.m. July 30. Tickets $17 and up. Summer Stock Austin also has one-day camps that include a performance Aug. 3, 4 and 8. $50. The Long Center, 701 W. Riverside Drive. thelongcenter.org
“The Wizard of Oz.” Zilker Summer Musical returns with adventure on the yellow brick road. 8:15 p.m. Thursdays-Sundays through Aug. 12. Free, but donations welcome. Zilker Hillside Theatre, 2206 William Barton Drive. zilker.org.
Austin Summer Musical for Children: “Jungle Book.” 9:15 a.m. Aug. 12, 11 a.m. 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. Aug. 12, 19 and 26, 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. Aug. 13, 20 and 27. Free. Boyd Vance Theater at George Washington Carver Museum. 1165 Angelina St.
Austin Symphony Hartman Concerts in the Park. 7:30 p.m. Sundays through Aug. 27. Free. The Long Center, 701 W. Riverside Drive. thelongcenter.org
LBJ Presidential Library Summer Storytime. Austin Fire Department Chief Rhoda Mae Kerr will read a story followed by a visit from Austin Fire Department firefighters and a fire truck. 10 a.m. Aug. 11. LBJ Presidential Library and Museum, 2313 Red River St. www.lbjlibrary.org
BookPeople events.Chandler Baker reads “This is Not the End.” 6 p.m. Aug. 12. James Crowley reads “Monsterland.” 6 p.m. Aug. 19. Duncan Jones reads “The Zebra Just Couldn’t Decide.” 6 p.m. Aug. 22. Story times: Austin Summer Musical. 10:30 a.m. Aug. 1. Siblings Rock. 10:30 a.m. Aug. 2. Milly McSilly. 10:30 a.m. Aug. 8. Ms. Staci. 10:30 a.m. Aug. 9. Get Your Giggles. 11:30 a.m. Aug. 12. Armstrong Community Music School. 10:30 a.m. Aug. 15. Tiny Tails Petting Zoo. 10:30 a.m. Aug. 16. Back to School. 11:30 a.m. Aug. 19. Bilingual Boogie. 10:30 a.m. Aug. 22. Luchador Legends. 10:30 a.m. Aug. 23. Global Stories. 11:30 a.m. Aug. 26. Heartsong Music. 10:30 a.m. Aug. 29. Modern First Library. 10:30 a.m. Aug. 30.BookPeople, 603 N. Lamar Blvd. bookpeople.com.
Barnes & Noble Events: Lego Boost. 3 p.m. Aug. 5, Lakeline. 11 a.m. Saturday story time at all locations: “Peterrific” and “Aqualicious.” Aug. 5. “Goodnight Lab: A Scientific Parody.” Aug. 12. “Nothing Rhymes with Orange.” Aug. 19. “How to Get Your Teacher Ready.” 11 a.m. Saturday.
At the library
Literature Live! Presents: “The Fifolet.” For ages 8-12.4 p.m. Aug. 1, University Hills Branch; 6 p.m. Aug. 3, Manchaca Road Branch; 3 p.m Aug. 4, Little Walnut Creek Branch; 2 p.m. Aug. 6, Faulk Central Library; 2 p.m. Aug. 7, Windsor Park Branch; 3 p.m. Aug. 19, Recycled Reads Bookstore.
Sew Happy. 5 p.m. Aug. 1, Manchaca Road Branch.
Camp Bluebonnet: “Whoosh! Lonnie Johnson’s Super-soaking Stream of Inventions.” 2 p.m. Aug. 2, Howson Branch. “Ada’s Violin: The Story of the Recycled Orchestra of Paraguay.” 2 p.m. Aug. 7, Howson Branch. “The Storyteller.” 2 p.m. Aug. 9, Howson Branch. “Follow the Moon Home.” 2 p.m. Aug. 14, Howson Branch. “The Princess and the Warrior.” 2 p.m. Aug. 16, Howson Branch.
Storybook Dance Making. 2 p.m. Aug. 13, Recycled Reads Bookstore.
Teen Book Club: “The Impossible Knife of Memory.” 6:30 p.m. Aug. 15, Howson Branch. “A Monster Calls.” 6:30 p.m. Aug 17, Spicewood Springs Branch. “The Cats of Tanglewood Forest.” 6 p.m. Aug. 30, Spicewood Springs Branch.
Crafternoon. 3:30 p.m. Aug. 15, Howson Branch.
Family Craft Night. 6 p.m. Aug. 16, Howson Branch.
Mother-Daughter Book Club. “Smile.” 6 p.m. Aug. 16, Hampton Branch.
Family Movie Matinee. “Beauty and the Beast” (2017). 4 p.m. Aug. 16, Cepeda Branch.
Teen Book Club: “A Monster Calls.” 6:30 p.m. Aug. 17, Spicewood Springs Branch.
Family Movie Matinee: “Wizard of Oz.” 3:30 p.m. Aug. 18, Old Quarry Branch.
Back to School Book Sale. 10 a.m. Aug. 19, 2 p.m. Aug. 20, Yarborough Branch.
Fix It Clinic. Learn how to fix your broken stuff. Noon Aug. 19, Recycled Reads Book Store.
Solar Eclipse Afternoon: Make Pinhole Projectors. Noon Aug. 21, Howson Branch.
Night Builders Family Lego Lab. 7 p.m. Aug. 24, Hampton Branch.
A new study looked at the saliva of 2,420 children enrolled in the federally funded Fragile Families and Child Wellbeing Study. Researchers wondered: Would it matter if children did not have a father actively involved in their lives because of death, prison or divorce?
The 9-year-olds who were separated from their fathers had an average of 14 percent shorter telomeres — that’s the protective portion of the DNA at the ends of the chromosomes.
These telomeres naturally shorten with age. At some point, cell division stops when the telomeres are shortened enough. The concern is that having shorter telomeres might mean that your health or lifespan might be affected.
The biggest effect researchers saw was in the kids who had experienced a father’s death. Those kids had 16 percent shorter telomeres. Incarceration led to 10 percent shorter telomers and separation or divorce, 6 percent shorter. How short the telomeres were in the kids who had experience divorce or separation depended on the extent of income loss. The children whose fathers had died or been incarcerated didn’t vary by income loss.
What does all this mean? Children are affected by the loss of their fathers. They need you, Dad.
The Hodges can take a lesson from the Wilkinsons, Rachelle and Jayson, who had quintuplets Kyndall, Ryder, Rustin, Kaydence and Kassidy 10 years ago this month, joining siblings Riley and Kaiya, who were 7 and 4 at the time.
Get help. The Wilkinsons had a rotating group of people who came in that first year to feed, hold and diaper babies. They put the babies in the front room to allow for easy access for volunteers. The kitchen and living room were neutral areas and the upstairs were family-only areas.
Color code everything. Each kid had a color that has followed them throughout their lives. From bottles to clothing to backpack hooks, it just brought some order to the chaos. When a color wasn’t possible, they used a symbol like a sun or a heart.
Have bins for each kid to put their things heading in and out of the house, and for kids to put their school work, as well as place for Mom or Dad to sign papers for school.
Plan clothing for the week using over-the-door shoe holders for each kid.
Make lunches ahead of time and freeze them.
Give each kid a job on the chore board. The jobs rotate and Mom or Dad signs off on them to for the child to earn a reward ticket.
Organized toys by type into bins. Some bins went away for a while and then returned while other bins swapped out.
Find the restaurants that allow kids to eat for free. The Wilkinsons were fans of IKEA for that reason.
“I try so hard to be organized with these guys,” Rachelle Wilkinson told us in 2013. “But with so many kids, it’s chaos all the time.”