Sunday, March 10, 2019


Hey! How's it going?

Our weekend was a little bumpy once again, but better than the weekend before.
Amy was sort of struggling with a cold last week, and on Thursday her ear started bothering her.
Well, by Friday night she had blood coming out of it.  Of course, this all happened too late to go see a doctor, so she scheduled an appointment online for Saturday morning.
Raylan doesn't have a fever anymore, but he still has been coughing a lot at night, and his energy level is a little lower than usual.  My back is slowly getting better, but is still sore.
Anyway, there wasn't much sleep to be had at our house on Friday night.  On Saturday morning Amy went to the doctor and got antibiotics for her ear infection.
Saturday we went to Great Clips and got haircuts for Raylan, Bella, and me.  Raylan let them use clippers on his head, so that was a big deal.

Just make me look cool.

Raylan, trying to show off his haircut while chewing on a lollipop,
refusing to let go of his tablet, and staring into the sun.
After the haircuts we went to the park for about half an hour to enjoy a little sunshine.

We had been planned to go out to do a spring celebration of family birthdays at a nice dinner downtown with our family and the McBrides (which had involved quite a bit of babysitter juggling after our first sitter cancelled), but we ended up not going due to illness and lack of sleep on Friday night.
We were sorry to have missed it.  Hope the rest of the fam had fun!

Saturday night we were much more successful in getting some sleep.

Sunday morning we met up with Kit, Shelly, and Spencer for brunch at Kerbey Lane.
It was great to see them and get a chance to hang out.

Kiddo and Spencer entertain one another at the table

Kit helps Spencer get a better look around

After we went out to breakfast with Shelly and Kit and Spencer, we all went over to Half Price Books.  It was fun to goof around in there with the kids.  Raylan and Bella got some books (including Where the Sidewalk Ends, which Raylan seems to find both interesting and possibly a little alarming).

The rest of Sunday was mostly chores and errands and messing around the house.  I went and picked up our new laptop computer over at Barton Creek Mall.  Raylan took pretty big naps both Saturday and Sunday, which is unusual and probably another sign (in addition to nighttime coughing) that he's still not quite back to full speed.

Kiddo and Raylan on their fort

Amy and Raylan in a big red ball battle.
Guess who won?
Sunday evening I went to band practice.  Reed, Frank, Jim, and I were there.  We played a couple of new songs, and I thought we sounded pretty good.
And that was the weekend!

Tuesday, March 05, 2019


Hi!  Hope everyone is doing okay.

Well, it's been a sort of bumpy week here at our house.  Last Friday and into Saturday Amy had a cold.  On Monday Kiddo had a fever, so she stayed home from preschool with Amy, and I took her to the doctor when I got home.

She had an ear infection, so she got started on antibiotics.

Kiddo and I wait patiently to see the pediatrician.
So Amy was home on Monday and Tuesday with Kiddo.

On Wednesday, we got a call from Raylan's school saying Raylan had a fever, so we took him to the doctor to make sure he didn't have an ear infection.  The doctor said he probably had a cold with a fever (which is apparently a thing that happens to kids).

Stick out your tongue and say AHHHH!!!
So Thursday I took over kid duties.  Kiddo had come down with a fever again the evening before, so I kept he home with Raylan and me.  It was really cold outside, and we had a long sick day in the house.
Whatsa matter, Raylan?  Ya got no fight in ya after ya
caught a little fever?!?!

Kiddo was fever free again by mid-day on Thursday, so she went back to school on Friday.  Raylan stayed home with me.

By Friday night Kiddo had fever again, though, so on Saturday she went to the doctor again.  By now she had a double ear infection and the initial does of amoxicillin wasn't working, so they switched her to a different kind of antibiotic.

Kiddo's face is blurred out, so you're going to have to trust
me when I say that she screamed for over 30 minutes straight
while we waited to see the doctor.  She was not happy to be there
for the second time in a week.

Kiddo started improving pretty rapidly once they switched the antibiotic.
Saturday night, though, because we'd had such a boring week, Raylan decided to throw us a curveball by slipping in the bathtub and whacking his chin.  He knocked it right on the edge of the tub and split it open, soooo... he went back to the doctor.  Amy took him this time, and he got glue stitches.

On Sunday, Raylan actually asked to take a nap, an act which was an obvious sign of illness, given his usual fight-to-the-death stance against any sort of resting during the daytime.  When he got up from nap, we took his temperature, and he had a fever.
We all piled in the car together and took him to the doctor.  They ran a flu test, and... he had the flu.
The doctor thought that this was a separate illness from the original cold (since his temperature seemed to have gone up and down), but she wasn't exactly sure.

To add yet another layer of fun to the weekend, somehow I messed up my back (possibly at the gym on Saturday).  By Monday morning I could barely walk, and had to take myself to the doctor and miss work.

My mom, who celebrated her birthday Monday, got to celebrate it by taking care of Raylan and keeping him over night.
Oh well- she loves Raylan, and hopefully she and Dad had a good visit with him.
We love you, Mom!!!!

So, while not exactly tragic, it hasn't been one of our better weeks.

Kiddo and Amy try to catch a few winks while recovering from various things.

Hope the rest of this week is good for everyone!!

Monday, February 25, 2019


Hi!  We had a pretty good weekend, even if it was once again a bit low key.  Amy came down with a cold on Friday, so she was feeling a bit under the weather Friday night and for a good chunk of Saturday.

We had really nice weather this weekend, though.  On Saturday we mostly messed around at the house, and then in the afternoon, we went to a playdate over at Dorothy's house.  Dorothy is one of Raylan's best friends from school.  Her parents are Cesar and Sue.  Sam and Evie, two other good friends from school (twins!) were also there.  Their parents are Charlie and Claire.

Raylan and Evie play with a giant ball at Dorothy's place

The kids gather round the sandbox (Kiddo's head is poking up there
on the end)
Raylan kept winning races.  Because he didn't tell the other kids there
was a race until he was already running.
Saturday evening we stopped on the way home from the play date at La Posada.

Amy and Kiddo enjoy their dinner
On Sunday we mostly played around the house.  In the morning I went to visit my Uncle Donald, who is in the hospital.  He's not feeling very well, but it was good to see him.

Later, we just enjoyed the weather and played in the yard.
Raylan pushes Kiddo on her swing
Somewhere in there we ran some errands as well.

In the evening I went to band practice.  It ended up just being Reed and I.  Meredith came in and sang "Knockin' on Heaven's Door" with us.  She sounded good, and it was a cool moment.

Well, that's about it!

Have a good week!

Thursday, February 21, 2019


Well, we had a good President's Day weekend, even if it was pretty low key.
The weather was better than it was forecast to be, so we spent some time outside.
Mostly, it was a weekend of taking care of some chores and errands, coupled with playing with the kids.
Some of the time it was pretty cold, but we got some sunshine as well.

Amy helps Kiddo and Raylan with their Play-Doh creations
on Friday night 

Raylan practices riding his bike up at Joslin on Sunday

Amy flies a kite with some help from Raylan and Kiddo

Raylan helps Kiddo swing

On Monday we took Kiddo and Raylan to school for half a day.  We ran a couple of errands and went to see a movie (Isn't It Romantic?).  In the afternoon the kids were back and we played out in the yard some more.

That was the weekend.  It wasn't super exciting, but it was nice.

Sunday, February 10, 2019

Amy Birthday and Update

Hi! Happy birthday to Amy!  She just turned 32 on Thursday, and we had a fun weekend celebrating her big day!
On Thursday our family went to dinner at La Posada.  It was fun.  It was good to hang out with everyone, and the food was good.  Raylan won a new friend, a fox that he named Frank, from the claw machine.

anxiously waiting on Tex Mex

Ryan and Mom, plotting something

This is what you get when you try to snap
a pic of Ryan and Jamie without them noticing
On Friday my mom and dad picked up Raylan and Kiddo from school so Amy and I could go to see Neko Case perform at Bass Concert Hall.

Out on the town to see Neko for Amy's birthday!
The Neko Case show was really good.  Her band is super tight, and she's got great musicians playing with her.  She's got a great rhythm session, and a couple of great guitarists who are multi-instrumentalists and who handle everything from keyboards to banjo to pedal steel.
The musicians are all great, but the most fundamental element of Case's music is always the vocals.  Neko has a unique, powerful, melancholy sort of voice, and she has backing singers who layer harmonies within her songs that make them rich and, frequently, quite beautiful.
It was a good show.  We had a really nice time.  The music made it worth braving the damp, 30-something degree weather on a Friday night.  Thank goodness the show was in a nice, warm concert hall.
On Saturday my parents kept the kids so we could run some errands and have a day to do adult stuff.
Mom sent this picture of the four of them riding a train at the mall.  It doesn't look like the kids suffered too much in our absence...

Papa, give the man some extra money so we can
see how fast this thing can go!!!!
On Saturday afternoon we went shopping for a new chair for me.  As you can see in the picture below, shopping for furniture (or anything besides guitars, really), is not exactly one of my favorite activities...

I know that this isn't a chair, but I'm just resting here to regain my energy...
We did eventually find a chair.  I hope it fits into our house okay...

Saturday night we went out for dinner.  Thai food.  Yum!

Kind of weird lighting at the Thai place, but the birthday
girl still looks good!!
On Sunday morning we met up with my folks to pick up the kids.  They came home and played a bit before lunch and nap.  Then we played in the house a bit.

Raylan, designing block furniture for Frank, Bear, and Freddy.
Later we went to Hoppin' House to try to wear Raylan and Kiddo out a bit before dinner and bed time.

Hoppin' House action photo
We got home from Hoppin' House, and I gave the kids a bath before heading off to band practice.

Band practice was good.  We sounded good, and we had a good time.
Reed, Frank, Jim, and I were there.

And that was the weekend!  It was a little cold and wet this weekend, but we had a good time.
Happy birthday, Amy!  Love you!!!

Monday, February 04, 2019


Hi!  Happy February!
We had a pretty good weekend, given that the weather was sort of weird for a good part of it.
Friday night Amy ended up working sort of late, so I ended up unexpectedly grabbing dinner for the kids.  Which resulted in Popeyes Chicken.  Okay, so I might not win an award for nutritionist of the year, but they ate their food and seemed pretty happy!

On Saturday morning we went out for pancakes.  The kids wanted to play outside afterward, even though the weather was a little funky.

Clouds and light drizzle, and they still demand to be outside
In the afternoon we went over to Ruben and Miguel's house for Diego's first birthday party!
Carla, Afton, Dan, Vicki, and some other friends were there with their kids.
Raylan and Kiddo were both very excited to be at a party.
There was a monster made out of balloons, and Kiddo loved it.  She also loved petting Puck, Ruben and Miguel's dog.
There was a pinata to break, and Raylan was really excited about that.  He's seen pinatas on TV, so he understands the concept.  He saw the pinata sitting in the corner of the living room when we walked in, and he immediately ran over to me to ask if we were going to break it open.
He patiently stood in line to hit it, and when it was his turn, he got a few good whacks at it.  He may have even put some dents in it.  When an older kid actually busted it open, he was so shocked that he almost forgot to run in to grab candy.  
But then he remembered.  And he got candy.  
Oh so much candy.


There's nothing uglier than a post-pinata candy mob!!

Diego gets a monster smash cake from Miguel
Saturday night both kids were a little crazy from cupcakes and candy.

On Sunday morning I took Raylan and we went and bought bagels.  Then we installed some new lights on the front of our house.
Sunday afternoon we went to Joslin park to play for a while.

The sun finally came out!

snack break!
Sunday night the Superbowl was on.  I only watched enough of it to justify eating chips and queso in front of the TV.

And that was pretty much the weekend!

It went by really quickly.

Have a good week!

Monday, January 28, 2019


Howdy!  How are we doing as we get ready to wrap up our first month of 2019?
Things are going pretty well at our house.  Busy, but we're doing pretty well.

First, for no good reason, here's a random picture of Austin that I snapped from the window of my car while driving the kids to school last Thursday.  I took the unusual step of going downtown via I35.  First Raylan told me that I wasn't supposed to be taking them to school because the sun was setting (it was actually rising).  Then, because I was taking a different route than usual, he told me that I didn't know how to get him to school.
Everyone's a critic, I tell ya...

Morning commute in Austin
Here's another sort of random picture.  In this photo, Raylan is holding Freddy Frog and Bluejay the Jaguar.  I asked Raylan to pose for this picture because Freddy and Bluejay have become constant fixtures in our household these days.
Freddy and Bluejay both have cooler cars than Mom and Dad, live in cooler houses than we do, drive better and faster than Mom and Dad, run faster than Mom and Dad, and even eat better food than we do.
Freddy and Bluejay started out as prizes from the claw game machine at La Posada, and when we won each of them for a dollar, I had no idea that they would rise to power and take over the social hierarchy of our home.

The three amigos
In this last random photo, I snapped a picture of a rare, but exciting household event.  If you look closely at the photo below, you'll see Kiddo and Raylan quietly playing together and peacefully enjoying each other's company.  At first not sure of what I was seeing, I stealthily observed this phenomenon for several minutes.  To my amazement, they shared the pieces of the marble run and took turns without any shouting, taunting, shoving, or shrieking for almost five minutes!  Of course, the moment that I came out of hiding to snap a picture, Raylan began to holler that Kiddo was messing up his marble run, and Kiddo started to fling marble run pieces in my direction while emitting a high pitched wailing sound.  
But it was too late.  I had seen it.  I know they are capable of quietly entertaining one another!!

Dad, this isn't what it looks like!
On Thursday, Mom and Dad took the kids for over 24 hours because I had to go have a procedure done on Friday with a gastroenterologist (no, I'm not going to name the procedure on the blog- use your imagination).
So Friday I had the day off work, but I was pretty tired and wiped out.  I slept a lot.  Amy took the day off to drive me around and whatnot.  She was very nice, and I love her.

On Saturday Dad brought the kids back, and he helped me hang up a new ceiling fan that we got for our dining room/living room.  It wasn't a super complicated deal, but, as with many projects in our old house, it ended up being slightly more involved than we had anticipated.
Still, we got it done.  Amy helped out, too.  She has little, nimble fingers, and they came in handy.  We literally could not have done it without her.

Now that I'm in a management position at work,
I've come to realize that supervising your labor force
is probably the most important part of any job.

New fan!  Voila!!
Other from that, the kids got to play outside a bit on Saturday (great weather), and we had pizza for dinner.
On Sunday we played outside again quite a bit because it was such a nice day.

Raylan begins his training for the World Cup
On Sunday afternoon my mom came over to watch Kiddo, while Amy and I took Raylan to see a play/puppet show called The Very Hungry Caterpillar Show at the Paramount Theater.
It was a fun experience.  The theater was packed full of kids, and there were a lot of oohs and ahhs when the various colorful puppets were brought out.
The show contained adaptations of Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do you See? as well as 10 Little Rubber Ducks, and, of course, The Very Hungry Caterpillar.
Raylan seemed to enjoy it, although he did loudly ask "Why doesn't this building have any windows?" and "When will this play be over?" during the Rubber Ducks segment.  Despite a little minor annoyance with the pacing of that one portion, he seemed to really enjoy it.
Afterward we took him out for ice cream because he had been such a good audience member. 

They let us snap a few pics once the show had ended

At the Paramount with Mom and Dad!

And that was pretty much the weekend.
It was a good one.
Thanks to Amy, Mom, and Dad for all the help with the child care, the Steanso care, and the home improvement project over the weekend.
I love all of you guys!