Monday, August 31, 2015


We had a pretty good weekend.   Friday night we just sort of chilled out, and watched the first half of Birdman:  The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance.  Amy made some really good brownies. Pretty good.
On Saturday I went to the grocery store.  In the afternoon I got together with Chad and Tommy.  I played guitar, Chad played mandolin, and Tommy played drums.  We drank a few beers and played all kinds of different music- from folk music to The Cars.  Satuday night Amy and I got some Thai takeout and watched the rest of Birdman.  I liked it.  It was different, and strange, and although it was most definitely about Hollywood and/vs. the theatrical world of Broadway, I thought that the themes were still somehwat universal.  Many of us have an internal battle in which we try to reconcile an imagined ideal career for ourselves with the reality of a more workaday world inn which we become more successful at doing something which we find less satisfying.  In Birdman the unsatisfying but lucrative profession that our protagonist finds himself happens to be that of a star in a successful superhero film franchise.  But even for movie stars, success can prove emotionally unfulfilling when it doesn't satisfy lifelong goals.
Anyway, the movieself consciously walks a tightrope between seeing successful, unfulfilled people as whiners and seeing them as individuals to be respected, tipping their hat to them for still yearning after the creation of true art despite having already achieved the trappings of success.
Birdman had a much better sense of humor than I expected, which, coupled with its almost Kafka-esque sense of the absurd, probably saved it from being too pretentious and laborious.
Anyhoo, I liked it.
On Sunday Amy made a really good breakfast with sausage, biscuits, eggs, and hasbrowns.  Yum!
Afterward I ran over to the gym for a quick workout.  
Then we took Raylan over to Garrison Park for his first ever trip to the pool!
After the pool Amy worked out and the we watched most of Big Hero 6 while Raylan napped.  Amy had rented it and watched the first part while exercising.  It was fun.  We enjoyed it.
It was fun.  He seemed a little unsure of himself at first, but he got used to the water and seemed to enjoy it after a little while.  We had a really good time with him.  The pool wasn't very crowded, and it wasn't too hot out.  Neat to see him experience the water that way for the first time.
Sunday evening I had Mono E practice with Jim, Frank, and Reed.  I thought we sounded pretty good.
And that was pretty much the weekend.
Mom and Dad have left for a two week vacation to Turkey and Greece.  We hope that they have a great time, of course, but it feels weird to have them gone.  We're used to having Mom watch Raylan at least one day a week, and, of course, we're used to being able to get in touch with them if something unexpected pops up.  But I hope they have a blast with the Andersons on their trip!  

Well, that's it!  Hope everyone's doing okay as we move back into the school year for many of you!

Raylan wants to know where Amy and I keep 
our adult-sized exersaucer

sometimes Raylan gets tired while taking
care of me

First trip to the pool!  In the sun we wear our 
pool hats, of course!

Monday, August 24, 2015


So things have been a little bumpy, but have been getting steadily better. Raylan had a cold last week. In turn, he gave Amy a cold. It turns out that the Nosefrida, a delightful tool for removing bebe's mucus by sucking it into a tube where a filter catches it, does little to protect the parent from the dangers of viral infection (I noticed, with a chuckle, that their web site proudly proclaims that the filter on the suction device can stop bacteria, but it somewhat disingenuously doesn't discuss the fact that viruses, which are much smaller- and which are the actual cause of the common cold- apparently pass right through into the mouth of the user).
Anyway, Raylan got sick, and then Amy got sick.  Amy rarely gets colds, but she got one this time.  She missed a day of work.  Sleep was disrupted a fair amount with all of the sickies in the house.
Still, things got better over the weekend.
Raylan stayed over with his grandma and grandpa on Saturday night while Amy and I slept.
We had a birthday celebration for my dad out in Steiner.  We ate barbecue, and Ryan, Jamie, and I went to their swimming pool while Amy slept.
The weekend also involved shopping at Costco, Target, HEB, and a trip or two to Randall's.  Amy and I had dinner at Kerbey Lane.  We watched The Americans.
I squeezed in a trip to the gym.
(well, Dad's not actually in this picture, but you're gonna have to trust me
when I say that everyone here is celebrating his birthday)

("No, no- seriously!  I just cry and people
do whatever I want!!")

("The weekend's over?  Are you sure?  Who
can I talk to about this?!?!")
So things are good. Hope everyone else is doing okay!
Happy birthday to Dad!!  We love you, Dad!  For your birthday you get to help me install new blinds in Raylan's room when you get back from your vacation!  ;-)
Everyone else- drop us a line!  We like to hear from yoooouuu!!!

Monday, August 17, 2015


Hey, guys!  I can't believe that we're more than halfway through August!  I hope everyone's been having a good summer, especially now that we're starting to head into it's waning days.  The heat will still be with us for a while, but as we move through the back-to-school season and into the days of football and stores full of Halloween decorations, I'll be a little sad to put summer behind us.  Even though it's hot, summer usually keeps me in a pretty good mood with all of the sunshine, swimming, and long days.
Our weekend was pretty good.  Friday night we didn't do too much.  We're still watching The Americans, so we watched a bit of that.
On Saturday I got up and got us some breakfast tacos.  Then I did some grocery shopping while Amy hung out with Raylan (maybe he got a bath?  I dunno.  He looked clean...)
After that I went car shopping with Dad.
I've been driving my little blue CRV for a long time.  For like 15 years.  It's been a great car.  Still runs well, and it's really only ever needed one repair (other than the two times I got hit by other drivers).  Anyway, getting a new car makes me nervous because I'm wary of a new vehicle that might prove less reliable, but: 1) my 15 year old car is gonna give out at some point, 2) my air conditioner doesn't work super great- which is sort of an issue when you've got an infant riding around with you, 3) I've been pining for a while for a vehicle that I fit in a little better, physically (obviously I can fit in my CRV, but it's always been a cozy fit), and 4) I've been wanting a car with a stereo that works better (the front speakers in my Honda don't even work, so I gotta rock out of the back speakers, creating Dance Club Ray Ray for the boy on our way to work/daycare in the mornings).
Anyway, I really love my old CRV (the first new car that I ever owned), but it's been feeling like time to let her go...

(I love you, Blue Bastard!  Whimper, whimper.  Sniff, sniff).
So this weekend I went to the Kia dealership up in Round Rock, and ended up getting a slightly used Sorento.  It's a 2016, and it's only about 4 months old, with a little over 10,000 miles on it.  I'm not really a "car guy", so mostly when I got to buy a car I'm not so much excited about the prospect of getting a new car as I am worried about getting a bad deal or buying a vehicle that will prove unreliable or flawed in some fundamental way that was not immediately apparent at the time of purchase. 
I like my Sorento pretty well so far, though.  If nothing else, it's nice to have a car that I physically fit in quite a bit better than I fit in my CRV.
Still, the new Sorento has a long way to go in terms of proving itself to be a worthy successor to my CRV.  That car kept me safe through two collisions and never stranded me due to a mechanical breakdown over 15 years of service.  Hopefully the Sorento will have a fairly similar performance for me and my family! 

Raylan takes in his new ride.

Saturday night I worked out, we ate dinner, and not a lot else. 

On Sunday morning our friends Adam and Katie stopped by with their 7 month old daughter, Ophelia.  It was good to see them!  We hadn't gotten together since before Raylan was born, so they got to meet Raylan, and he got to meet them.  They hung out for a little while, and we got a chance to chat with them a little bit and let the bebes play.

A Sunday visit from Baby Ophelia
After they left, Amy and I each took turns, separately, going to the Gold's Gym over by our house and swapping off on Raylan care.  Amy's joined Gold's now, so she'll be able to work out at lunchtime when she wants to, and on the weekends at the gym near our house.
Sunday evening I had band practice with Reed.  We played for about and hour and a half, and it felt good.
After practice I got home, and Amy had made a kind of ravioli/lasagna dinner.  It was good!
We had that and some salad. 

And that was pretty much the weekend.  It went by quickly, and we were pretty busy.
Feels weird to have a new car after all of these years.  I think I'll learn to like it.

And here are a few random Raylan pics from over the weekend.  Just because...

Four months?  Who's 4 months?

You know what's hilarious?  Squirming like heck while Dad tries to change
my diaper! 

Monday, August 10, 2015


So the weekend had a few highs and lows, but overall, it was pretty good. On Friday Raylan had his four month doctor's visit.  On the up side, Raylan is doing really well.  He's a happy, healthy kid, and it seems like he's doing all of the things that babies are supposed to do.  So that's great!  On the less fun side, Raylan had his 4 month vaccinations.  Vaccinations aren't a lot of fun.  First Raylan had to get stuck with several large needles- an experience which he most decidedly did not dig.  Second, Raylan got a low grade fever following his vaccinations and, apparently, just felt sort of crappy for about 24 hours after his shots.  It's not a fun experience, and as a parent, it's sort of disconcerting to watch your kid have to go through it.  As my ever-so-eloquent brother pointed out, vaccinations are something that almost no reasonable parent would ever want to out their kid through, actually, unless there happened to be a very good reason.  Some sort of reason like... avoiding polio.
So we took Raylan home, and gave him some Tylenol for infants, and he did okay.

(Raylan gets some late night Tylenol
from Nurse Amy)

On Saturday morning we got up and went out for breakfast.  We just went to Central Market, figuring we could just dash out the door if Raylan had a meltdown.  He did fine, though, and we had a nice time!
After breakfast I ran to the grocery store while Amy hung out with Raylan (maybe he got a bath?).  Afterward I went over to the gym. 
Oh yeah- I've joined Gold's Gym.  They have a location downtown where I can work out during lunch, and they also have a location very close to our house.  It works well.  Since I don't have as much time to work out after work these days, it really helps to be able to get some workouts in during my lunch hour so that I've already got it out of the way by the time that I get home.  Amy might join at some point.  I keep encouraging her, but she seems to be still happy getting her workouts in at home, so whatever floats her boat!
Anyway, after I got back from the gym, Amy went to get her hair done, and Ryan came over to hang out with Raylan and me. 
(What could be more fun than hanging out together
 for the afternoon?!)

Unfortunately, this was right around the time when apparently Raylan started feeling uncomfortable.
Raylan is, by and large, a pretty happy kid.  He is sometimes noisy, but mostly he makes happy noises, and sometimes he sort of gripes a little bit when he's bored or isn't happy with his current entertainment plan.  But you bring out a new toy, put him down for a nap, or give him a bottle, and he's usually good.  He rarely just cries or sobs.  Saturday afternoon, though, he just couldn't get comfortable, even with the Tylenol.  We tried sleeping, eating, playing, reading, and a bunch of other stuff, but there were times when he was inconsolable.  It made me feel anxious because he's normally not like that, and I knew he was feeling bad.  He did sleep a little bit, but mostly he just cried and looked sad for a few hours.
(No one told me there'd be days like this...)

Anyway, kudos to Uncle Ryan for sticking around to lend moral support.  We got to chat a little bit, but not as much as we'd planned on.  He helped entertain both Raylan and me.
By Saturday evening Raylan seemed to be calming down a little and getting some better rest.
Saturday night Amy made salmon and we watched The Americans.
Sunday morning I went to Dan's and got us some breakfast tacos before going to the gym again.
After I got back, Amy went swimming with her friends Emily and Shelly.
Raylan and I hung out again, but this time Raylan was feeling better, and things went much more smoothly.  We had a fun time hanging out!  We played, and I read to him, and there was a good nap in there somewhere, too.

(happy times are here again!)
After Amy got back from her Sunday Funday, I packed up my stuff and went to band practice.  We had a good practice.  Everyone was there but Eric.
And that was pretty much the weekend!

It feels like we're starting to get a handle on the whole experience as working parents (knock on wood).  It's still sort of new, but we're figuring out how to juggle the daycare and child care.  It's not always easy, but it's good.  Really good!  For the umpteenth time I feel lucky to be married to Amy.  She's a great mom.  We're both working hard as a team at the parenthood thing, and there's no one I'd rather be doing it with.

What else?  I'm looking forward to some cooler weather so it'll be easier to take Raylan on walks after work or to a park on weekends.

Well, that's about it!  Hope you guys are having a good August.
Enjoy the dog days!  (Woof!)

Monday, August 03, 2015


Hey! How's everyone doing?  Our weekend was pretty good.  Last week was Amy's last week of part timeness, so we were doing sort of a transition week with Raylan- taking him to a half day of daycare each day to get him used to the place and his teachers before he started full time.  On Thursday Mom came and took care of Raylan all day (yay for grandmas!).  Thursday night Ryan and Jamie stopped by to see Raylan and eat some pizza.  We all hung out and stared at baby.  Raylan actually managed to roll over a couple of times while he was on the floor.  This was a first for Amy and I, and it was met with much wild applause by the whole family.  Later that night I tried rolling around in bed to see if Amy would applaud, but no.  Baby bias!
Thanks to Ryan and Jamie for getting the pizza.  Next chow is on us!

(Ryan tries to get Raylan to do a trick by sheer force of will)

(Raylan and Cassidy checking in with one another
during playtime)
On Friday I took the day off.  We took Raylan to his daycare while we ran a couple of errands and did some shopping.  The theory was that he needed to go on Friday to it wouldn't be four days of no daycare before he started up full time the following week.  Unexpectedly, Mom and Dad were downtown on Monday and decided to stop in to check out Raylan's daycare, so they ended up hanging out with him for a while (which was cool).  So Raylan saw Mom and Dad on Friday, but I did not.
On Saturday I went to Costco and ran a few errands (Goodwill, Home Depot...) while Amy hung out with Raylan and did some house stuff.  Later on that day I went car shopping with my dad.  My trusty, beloved 2000 CRV is apparently going to have to be retired soon, after 15 years of faithful service.  It still runs okay, but the air conditioner doesn't blow as cold as it once did, and, of course, even though it still runs pretty well, it's not as reliable as a newer car (still, it's remarkable that I can only really remember one repair of  any significance during my tenure with that car).  Weak A/C and potential reliability weren't really major issues a year ago, but now that I frequently have a baby in the car...
Anyway, we kicked some tires and sat in a few vehicles.  I still haven't bought anything yet, but I'm getting closer.  Meanwhile, Mom hung out with Raylan and Amy while Amy cleaned up a bit and made a sundried tomato dip for her baby playdate get together on Sunday.
On Sunday some of Amy's friends/co-workers came over with their kiddos to hang out for a while.  Amy has three friends from work (Heather, Katarina, and Mary) who all had babies right around the same time (all first time parents, and all of the children boys).  The ages of the babies at our little get together were 7 months, 6 months, 5 months, and 4 months, respectively.  It's been a lot of fun having friends to bounce ideas, experiences, and opinions off while going through this baby adventure.  In addition to being fun, it's helped to relieve some anxiety.
We had a good  time getting the little guys together.  They played with toys, paid some attention to each other, and interacted with the parents.
Chad, Mary's husband, also came by, I got to hang out with him and drink a couple of beers.  Amy put out some cheese and crackers and veggies.  My parents stopped by after church to see all of the babies.  They got a kick out of it, I think.

(Heather, Katarina, Amy, and Mary with
Otto, Logan, Raylan, and Truett)

(Raylan explaining to Dad why the whole thing's hilarious)
After the baby meetup we hung out for a little while, and then I went over to Reed's house to play music with Frank and Reed.  We played some Decemberists', took a stab at some Phish, and just goofed around.  It was fun.
And that was pretty much the weekend!
It was good.  It went by quickly, but we enjoyed it!