Category Archives: Family

A conversation with Olivia


During the school year, I drive Olivia to school each day. Our less than five-minute drive doesn’t allow much time for conversation, besides a review of her after school schedule or a short spelling word quiz.

For the past week, Olivia has been attending Camp Showbiz at the Magik Theatre, which is about 19 miles from home. The 30 minute drive into downtown San Antonio gives me time to have a full on conversation with my sweet, sensitive, and innocent seven year old. One day last week, when I hadn’t had enough coffee  and Olivia may have had chocolate chip cookies for breakfast, I finally had to tell her that we had already covered a variety of tricky, inappropriate, and complex topics and that we just needed to listen to the radio for the rest of the drive. So here’s what we talked about…

  • Becoming a billionaire. She confessed that she wants to be a billionaire when she grows up. (Which I think is fine as long as she takes good care of her parents. I worry about how she thinks she is going to become a billionaire , though I’m pretty sure it has something to do with acting on the Disney Channel. Or, marrying Daniel Radcliffe – see below…)
  • Her conversion to Methodism. As we passed the Methodist Heart Hospital, Olivia asked me if that was where she was born. I told her that she was born at Methodist hospital, but not that one. She insisted that since she was born at Methodist hospital, it would be okay for her to become a Methodist when she turned 18. (She has wanted to convert since early this summer when she spent a week at vacation bible school at the Methodist church.)
  • Daniel Radcliffe. She thinks he is totally hot and wants to know if he has a younger brother.
  • Radio Disney censorship rules. When the incredibly catchy song Price Tag played on the radio, Olivia wanted to know why they censored the word damn but not the word ho… (Good question! At least she didn’t ask me what “ho” means…)
  • Competing in beauty pageants. She announced that she wanted compete in  beauty pageants, and I was completely caught off guard. (I told her that  Toddlers and Tiaras is creepy and there is no way I am going to be on that show!)

And who says kids grow up too soon?

5 Funny Things I Heard on the Way Home From Vacation


So, after six days of being on vacation, we were all anxious to get home. But as usual, in a car for five hours with two little ones, there were some interesting things said during our trip back to home sweet home…Clearly, since these are not nearly as creative as the funny things I heard on our way TO our vacation destination, we were really tired on our way home!

1. “Can we stay at the  Sheraton again? I didn’t cry when we left the Great Wolf Lodge, but I’m crying when we leave the Sheraton.” – Olivia, who cries after she leaves EVERY hotel. I’m sure she is going to work for Fodor’s one day!

2. “Can we listen to Maroon 5?” – Olivia and me. Are you seeing a pattern here?

3. “How do you take the dog a bath?” – Evan. What?

4.  “More candy. More candy. More candy.” – Evan and Olivia. Oh, more sugar. Just what two kids trapped in a car for five hours need!

5. “I win, you lose. You have poop in your pants.” – Evan to Olivia (or, Evan’s Mickey Mouse stuffed animal to Olivia’s American Girl doll). Wow!

Candy rattle snake

Marvin joins the sugar high with a yummy gummy rattlesnake

Ahhh. The sound of silence!

5 Funny Things I Heard on the Roadtrip to Grapevine


It is a very looooong five hour ride from San Antonio to Grapevine in a mini van with three kids. And, the one kid who can usually sleep in the car for hours is the 17 year old.

The other two kids sit in the second row of the van, right next to each other. Naturally, there was a lot of bickering, a great deal of whining, endless demands for DS games, random dropped stuffed animals, and some really funny comments:

1. As usual, we stopped at the Czech Stop in West, TX. I was reading the sign on the building trying to get Olivia excited that it was a bakery, and she shouts out: “Mom, They have beer and wine here.”

2. “Give me a minute. You know I want to relax on this vacation. I didn’t come to be  your slave.” Directed by me to my two children, who 10 minutes away from home had demanded at least 20 things from me. Oh, and I was sending a work-related email.

3. “Do you want to see my bear do the chicken dance?” – Olivia (Not sure where to go on this one.)

4. Olivia: “I need to go to the restroom.” Evan: “No, you need to pee in your pants.” (Again, no comment.)

5. As the GPS was interrupting the music, Olivia says, “They shouldn’t chitter chatter during Maroon 5.” (Couldn’t agree more. That’s my girl!)

Home Sweet Home


Last Friday, the Ring family left on our mini summer vacation up North. That’s right, we traveled by mini van from San Antonio to Grapevine, Texas, where we  spent two nights at the Great Wolf Lodge. Then we drove on to Arlington, Texas, where we attended the annual Children’s Hemiplegia and Stroke Association (CHASA) retreat.

Life Gets In the Way

While I meant to write while we were gone, time got away from me. By the time we settled in each evening, I was exhausted and not creative. But, I did have six straight days of being a Mommy. Yes, I also checked my work email and participated as a board member at the retreat. I also slept in the bottom bunk of a bunk bed, survived three trips down the crazy water slide with Olivia, and lounged by the pool while my kids swam, splashed, and ate ice cream with their friends. But, after six days of being on the road and living out of a suitcase,  I was ready to come home.

So, why does it feel so good to be home after vacation?

Here’s what I think…

  • Sleep in my own bed
  • My dog, Lilly
  • Home cooked meals
  • Regular schedule for kids = less whining
  • Access to entire closet full of clothes
  • Ability to finally chill out and relax

Why do I over think everything…


I think part of a mother’s responsibility is to over think everything. Is it because with every decision, we’re afraid we are letting our children down? Is it because we want to provide what’s best for them?Is it because our children are so darn demanding?

I fully admit I over think too much, and I have the story to prove it…

We are getting ready to go on a family vacation to lovely and exotic Dallas, TX. Part of the time, we will be in a hotel where the little ones will have a “room” all to themselves, and part of the time, we’ll be in a room where I thought the kids would have fun sleeping in sleeping bags. Problem – my kids didn’t have sleeping bags yet. So, one day last week, I took a trip to Target to buy a sleeping bag for Olivia and one for Evan. The selection was overwhelming, and I realized I had to choose between regular sleeping bags and the “Princess” and “Cars” versions. After a little thought, I bought Olivia a blue bag and Evan a red bag, since those are their favorite colors.

As soon as I got back to my office, buyer’s remorse set in. Did I get the right ones? Are they going to like them? Where else can I find better sleeping bags? After virtual visits to Academy, Dicks Sporting Goods, and even Walmart, I decided to try out the options I bought.

So, did I over think the sleeping bags? You bet I did. Check out these photos…