Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Vacation

So we went to the beach last weekend!  Mom and Dad took the whole family (big thanks to them for the trip!), including Raylan, Amy, me, Ryan, and Jamie.  We stayed at Port Royal in Port Aransas, and we had three separate condos- including one for Amy, Raylan, and myself.  We didn't spend a ton of time in the actual ocean, but we spent a LOT of time in the very nice pools at the resort and on their splash pad with Raylan.  We also walked along the beach. 
Travelling with a toddler is definitely a different ball of wax (given schedules, meals, etc.) than our vacation experiences from our pre-parenting days, of course, but we had a good time!  It was nice to get away and spend some time away from Austin with everyone. 
I like this picture, but it was taken by some very friendly guy who was, like,
really into taking our picture with my phone.  So if you look closely, you
might be able to tell that I'm trying to smile while worrying that the dude might be about to run away
 with my iPhone.  Being a prosecutor has ruined me.



Splash pad!

The ever-popular game of "what's on my head?"

Summer fashion
"I think I'll wander over here and see if I can find something
more dangerous to get into..."


On the way home we stopped off at a restaurant that Amy had heard about through one of her cases from work.  The place makes really good grilled/barbecued chicken, and it's apparently a San Antonio neighborhood favorite, but they're having some issues with the smoke from their chicken grills.  It's proving to be a problem to the neighbors.  Hopefully it can all be worked out because the food is tasty.
Anyway, it was a fun, family place with really good chicken, rice, beans, and tortillas.  Even Raylan seemed to enjoy the chicken.
I'm glad Amy came up with the idea.


"I fell asleep in the car and woke up in happy, magical food place!"
Yum!


Note the smoke stacks from the grill...


 That was our weekend!  Hope you guys had a good weekend, too!


 

Monday, June 20, 2016

Father's Day Weekend 2016

Hey! Hope everyone had a good weekend! We had fun.  On Friday night we had a pretty good chicken dinner from Central Market and just sorta went to bed early.  I don't really remember anything other than going to Central Market to get food and then eating it later.
On Saturday morning I got up and fed Raylan some breakfast while trying to let Amy sleep in a few extra minutes. 
 
(Father-Son breakfast.  As usual, Raylan seems extremely amused by my
efforts at solo parenting)

After breakfast I took Raylan to his Little Gym class while Amy ran an errand or two.  It was fun!  This was Raylan's third gym class, and he seems to really be enjoying it.  He already has a surprising amount of confidence while crawling about on the mats and equipment, and he sort of/kind of interacts with the other kids a bit (or at least watches what they're up to).  He does some rolls and basic tumbling, and they sing little songs and stuff.  It's fun.
 

("My actual grandma isn't here, lady, but you'll do.
Check out my climbing moves...")



("If I've ever seemed standoffish during gym class, please forgive me.
You had me at 'bubbles'".)
Saturday afternoon Amy made a key lime pie (yeah!), and I played with Raylan.  I ran an errand, and we both worked out. 
My parents came over Saturday afternoon and picked up Raylan to take him to their house for the night.  He gets excited to see them, so it makes it easier to let him go to Grandma and Grandpa's house for the evening.
Amy and I went out to dinner with our friends Shelly and Kit at Din Ho.  Really good Chinese food.  Probably some of the best that I've had in Austin, for sure.  Afterward we went to play trivia at the Opal Divine's up north.  We met up with Kellie and Tommy for that.  It was fun!
So we had a good night out and went home and crashed into bed about 4 hours later than usual, for us.
The next morning we went out for breakfast and went grocery shopping.
Afterwards we both worked out, and then we went out to my parents' house.
It was a really nice afternoon!
We took Raylan to the pool.  Then Mom and Dad picked Raylan up and Amy and I got to hang out by the pool for a while, sans toddler.
We went back to their house to shower and change clothes and had a BBQ dinner from Rudy's.
For dessert we ate Amy's key lime pie, which was excellent.



("Dad, first Grandma and Grandpa picked me up, and then
we went to the pool, and then I we played with toys,
and then I read a book, and then I ate some food, and then-"

(Dad, Raylan, and I in a quick, pre-swimming
snapshot) 

Then we went home that evening, put Raylan to bed, and watched Game of Thrones


We got up this morning, and I took Raylan to daycare and dropped him off.  He seemed happy to be back at school and playing with his friends.


 


 


 


 Hope everyone had a good weekend!


 


 


Monday, June 13, 2016

Update

Hey!  Sure was hot and muggy in Austin this weekend.  We had a pretty good weekend, but I'm not sure where it went.
Friday night Amy made a pineapple-soy sauce chicken dish.  Pretty tasty.
Saturday we got up and I went to the store while Amy took Raylan to his class at The Little Gym.  Sounds like they had fun.  Amy and I both worked out.
In the afternoon we took Raylan to Petsmart.  It was pretty fun.  He got to see birds and rodents and lizards and fish.  He really liked the fish.


Saturday night we got Torchy's for dinner, and passed out early.
Raylan's had sort of an upset stomach lately, so he hasn't been sleeping super well.  So we've all been a little tired.

On Sunday we got up and walked down to Central Market for breakfast.
Afterward we did some shopping and wandered around the store.
In the afternoon and evening we went to Steiner to visit my parents and have dinner.  It was nice and relaxing.
Ryan is in Ireland for a work conference. We wish him safe travels.
Also, on Sunday we learned about the mass shooting in Orlando with 50 dead.  It's horrible.  Something has to be done to curb the gun violence.  It's just too easy for people to get their hands on powerful weapons.  And I have a hard time feeling like we're living in a civilized society when the only response to madmen with guns is to tell other people that they're responsible for carrying guns themselves.  Is the theory that we'd all be safer if everyone was always ready for a firefight?  Something has to change.

That's it.  Hope everyone had a good weekend (national news notwithstanding).


 

Monday, June 06, 2016

Update

Hello! Hope everyone is having a good time sliding into summer!  We had a nice weekend.  Fairly low key, but it was good.  We finally got some sunshine on Sunday, and it was awesome.


On Friday we didn't do much.  I ended up working sort of late, and my mom took care of Raylan during the day because he seemed to have a bit of a cold or something.
Thanks, Grandma!
Amy made some really good Mexican style stuffed peppers for dinner!  Yum!
On Saturday we took Raylan to a class at The Little Gym first thing in the morning.  He was sort of freaked out and a little shy at first, but eventually he warmed up to the whole experience and had a good time.  He was in a class with just two other little boys and their parents.  He did a little tumbling, walked on a balance beam, played with balls, and just sort of got used to some of the other gym equipment (i.e., bars, rings, etc.).  He seemed to have fun, and Amy and I both enjoyed ourselves.
After the gym we hit a neighborhood yard sale and got some Raylan stuff (tiny table!).
Amy and I both worked out and Raylan napped.
I got a haircut and ran some errands.



"Naw, I don't need to ask for directions!  I only missed one turn. 
Let me just hook a little U-turn here..."


We learned on Saturday that Muhammad Ali had passed away on Friday night.  I own a copy of When We Were Kings, a documentary about the 1974 "rumble in the jungle",  world championship bout between Foreman and Ali.  It's a great film (won an Oscar), and it does a good job of portraying the larger-than-life figure of Muhammad Ali.  While I know that the man was controversial, I've always been impressed by the fact that, to me, it seemed like Muhammad Ali was determined to use his influence in ways that would make positive changes in the world.  You can quibble about whether he was correct about details or specific points of view, but, on the whole, Ali took a stand for improvements in the life of African Americans (and all Americans and people around the world), was an outspoken advocate for peace, and a staunch humanitarian.  He stood by his principles even when they put his career at risk.
Now that we live in an era when so many celebrities seem to measure their influence through the size of their mansions and yachts, it's good to be reminded of a figure who measured his success by way of the amount of positive change that he could bring about in the world.
At any rate, When We Were Kings is a really good documentary.  Even if you're not a boxing fan, it's a fascinating story.  Highly recommend.

On Sunday morning we went out for breakfast at Kerbey Lane.  Although I fed him when he got up (waffle, yogurt, fruit), Raylan happily scarfed down a second breakfast of eggs, biscuit, potatoes, and milk.  There were lots of dogs and babies on the patio, so Raylan was entertained.

"When, oh when, will my second breakfast arrive?!?!"

As we were leaving Kerbey, a guy walked up to me and introduced himself.  His name was Dan, and he had been a friend of a friend some 15 years back.  Anyway, I only vaguely remembered him, but at some point, back when I was a defense attorney, I had helped out his sister with some sort of minor misdemeanor case.  We had gotten her into a program where she did some counseling and/or classes, and eventually her case got dismissed.  So he came up to me just to say that his sister was now doing well, and had sort of gotten her life back on track and gone to college after that incident.
It was nice to be thanked, of course, and I told him that it's always good to hear that sometimes the system works.
As we were leaving afterward, I couldn't help by think about the fact that I'm now a prosecutor, but I was a defense attorney at the time.  Did I help people more as a defense attorney than I do now?
I hope I'm not rationalizing in order to justify my current existence, but I don't think so.
Defense attorneys have one-on-one, direct interaction with clients, so they get the personal gratitude and the warm, fuzzy moments, but, honestly, the job of a defense attorney is simply to beat the case.  Defense attorneys aren't tasked with making sure that the defendant actually learns anything or changing their life as a result of their experience in the justice system.  The job of a prosecutor is a little more complicated, and a lot more thankless.
If a defense attorney can beat a drug possession case in a way that allows their client to go free without dealing having their client deal with their addiction or chemical dependence issue or whatever, a defense attorney is obligated to seek that result, if that is what their client wants.  The attorney might be afraid for their client's wellbeing, but, ethically, their job is to advocate for the "best result" for their client, which typically means the result that their client to achieve (and criminal defendants are notoriously short-term thinkers).
In Dan's sister's case, it was actually the willingness of the prosecutor to allow her to take a track that allowed her to get her case dismissed, but while still insisting that she remain in  a program that required some level of culpability that probably brought about real change (if Dan was correct, and the case had proven to be an actual turning point for his sister).
Anyway, the gratitude just made me think.  I do miss those moments of client interaction sometimes.  It's harder to see the impact that you have on people when you're a prosecutor, and few defendants are going to heap thanks upon the person who made them do counseling and/or think about changing their life.  But if I didn't think it was important, I wouldn't be doing it.

Anyway, after breakfast I went to the grocery store.
In the afternoon we tried to go to Garrison Park Pool, but it was closed.  We ended up at a splash pad over in Bouldin.  It was nice!!  Raylan seemed to really enjoy it.  That boy loves him some water. 
There was a nearby playground, as well.


Moms, swapping notes.  Kids being kids.



Afterward we headed home.  Once we were dried off, Uncle Ryan stopped by for a few minutes and we read some books.  It was good to see him.  He's heading off to Ireland for a conference next week.


After dinner we watched Game of Thrones.
And that was it!  Nice weekend!
Hope everyone has a good week!