Monday, August 28, 2017

Update; Hurricane Harvey

Hi! So our week has been sort of weird.

Here's a picture of Raylan attacking the caterpillar version of his mother.  That's Raylan's caterpillar tunnel, and he was amused when Amy got in it, but he also clearly wanted his tunnel back.

"You're hilarious, Mom!
Now get out."
We also had a water pipe break under our street this week, which required a city repair crew to come out and fix the street.  Raylan went crazy when he saw a dump truck and a backhoe pull up in front of the house.  The kid is bonkers for construction vehicles.  He was out in the front yard, hanging on the fence and jumping up and down with excitement.
I asked the guys if we could take a closer look, and they actually let us climb up into the cab of the backhoe and honk the horn.
Our water repair line guys became celebrities that day.
Our water was turned off that night, but back on by morning.

Raylan was sort of overwhelmed when we actually got to climb up
into the backhoe.
Too real!!!
This weekend Hurricane Harvey blew into Texas.  What a disaster for all of the people on the Texas Gulf Coast.  Houston is still flooding as I write this, and Rockport and Port Aransas have suffered massive, massive damage.
Amy was actually supposed to fly out to visit her family in Arizona this weekend, but her flight was cancelled, and she had to re-book it.
The news reports were saying we could have wind gusts up to 60 or 70 miles per hour.  Fearing the likelihood of a power outage (our lines are on poles in a tree-filled neighborhood) and the possibility that we could have tree damage to our house, we packed up and went out to my parents' house (with fewer large trees and underground power lines).
The storm was pretty intense, even in Austin.  The wind was howling and whistling its way around my parents' house for at least two days, and the trees in the valley below their place were whipping back and forth in the wind.  The rainfall wasn't too bad.  It was fairly steady, and the wind had it blowing in sheets, but it wasn't heavy enough to accumulate in dangerous, floodish ways.
We spent a lot of time reading, watching TV, and playing with Raylan.  Mom made us some good food, and we all kept an eye on the weather, worrying about people that we know in Houston.

Amy got in some much appreciated stitching time.
Amy woke up not feeling very well at my parents' house on Sunday.  We decided to head home, but leave Raylan with Mom and Dad so we could get some errands done before they brought him back to our house.
By the time we got home, though, Amy was feeling even worse.  She took her temperature and it was 101.  I ran to the grocery store to pick up some food, and by the time I got back her fever had climbed to 103.
Our house seems like it fared okay, mostly.  We had a couple of sort of medium-small tree limbs on the roof, but, astonishingly, the power never even went out (our power regularly goes out in even small storms, so I was sort of amazed by this).

Mostly the grocery store was the same as usual, but there were a few things
people had been stocking up on for the storm.
Raylan stayed with Mom and Dad Sunday night.  He's still there today.
Amy is still sick, but went to the doctor this morning.  She woke up with a fever.  The practitioner thought she had the same infection that gave Raylan pneumonia, and he gave her antibiotics.

Raylan is still with my folks.
I'm not clear on exactly what they're up to, but they're sending us occasional photos...

"Grandma, we're on the Fun Train!!!"

So that's us, at the moment.
August has been sort of a weird month.  A dental surgery, two family members with pneumonia, a hurricane, a couple of water outages on our street, and a lot of busy-ness with foster care trainings.
It's just been a little wacky.
Life is good, and especially after watching coverage of all the Harvey damage, I certainly don't want to complain, but I wouldn't mind if things would slow down for a beat!

Hope everyone is doing okay.
Our thoughts are with those impacted by the storm.  Stay safe!

Sunday, August 20, 2017


Well, it's been kind of a crazy week at our house.  In my last post I mentioned that Raylan had developed a bit of a fever.  Welllll... it was really hard to get it to go away.
Amy and I took turns with him at home on Monday, and Amy took him to a nearby clinic in the afternoon.  They checked his ears and looked him over and decided that he probably had a virus, and it would just run its course within a day or two.  He wasn't acting super sick or anything (just a little coughing from time to time), so we weren't too worried.
By Wednesday his fever was pretty much unchanged, though, so I took him in to see his regular doctor, Dr. Grady.
Turns out he had pneumonia.
So he got put on antibiotics.
Anyway, he was away from preschool all week, with Amy, Mom, dad, and myself taking turns with him.
Most of the time he didn't act all that sick.  Maybe a little mellow, but, honestly, he's seemed worse before when he had a cold.  Weird.

"Sure, I've got pneumonia, and I've been putting this plastic doughnut in
my mouth.... but I don't see any reason why you wouldn't want
to play with it, too!"
Anyway, by Saturday he was doing better.  We took him to the library and played with him around the house.  We went to the grocery store and the book store.
In the evening we went to dinner at Abuelo's to celebrate my Dad's birthday (which is actually on Monday, the 21st- which happens to be a total eclipse day this year).
We had a nice dinner.  Jamie made a really good chocolate cake.  It was fun to hang out, and the food was good.

Happy birthday, Dad!

Sunday we took care of some chores and ran a few errands.

Cleaning off the sidewalk so we can make new drawings.
We also took Raylan to the Garrison Pool on Sunday.  It made him really happy.  He'd been sort of trapped in the house for the last week while he was sick, so he was really excited to go to the pool and splash around.

The endless fascination with drains and filters continues.
After the pool we stopped by Dairy Queen for some ice cream cones.  Other from that, I went and had band practice with Reed, but that was about it.  We had a good practice.
So that's all!
Raylan is back to school this week, and since the Child Development Center runs on the same schedule as the Austin Independent School District, he's got a "new" class as he falls into fall (although he has the same teacher and a few of the same classmates that he had this summer).

I can't believe we're headed into fall!

Hope everyone has a good week.

Monday, August 14, 2017


Hi!  Hope you're doing well.
Things have been a little busy/crazy at our house.  My Mom and Dad got back from their trip to Scandinavia, Russia, and Northern Europe this week.  They traveled with our family friends, Rick and Peggy Magsig.  It sounds like it was a really good trip.  They met up with some family members in Sweden who are cousins to my mom through my grandfather on her side of the family.  It sounds like they were nice people, and it was an interesting visit.  I still haven't seen pictures, but I'm looking forward to it.
My parents took Raylan to his swim lesson on Thursday.  He got some new goggles.


Friday night we went out to dinner at La Posada and watched TV.
Amy and I are in the process of trying to become foster parents, and on Saturday we went to a training for most of the day at Upbring (formerly Lutheran Social Services).  It was an informative training, and we met some good folks.
Raylan spent the night with Grandma and Papa, so on Saturday night we met some friends for dinner at The Beer Plant.  We had dinner with Emily and Joe and Kit and Shelly.  Both couples are expecting babies, so we jokingly had been referring to out meet up as "The Last Supper".  (In truth, we're hoping to meet up again once or twice before the kiddos arrive.)
Anyway, we had a really nice dinner.  Good food and a good time.  It was good to see the gang.
Raylan had woken up a few times the night before, though, so we hadn't gotten a lot of sleep Friday night.  After the training all day and the dinner (with a few beers) I was tired.
On Sunday we did some grocery shopping and errands before Raylan got home.

"Grandma tells me that all of the kids in Finland dress like this, Dad,
but I don't know..."
On Sunday evening I went to band practice.  I got a text from Amy that Raylan wasn't feeling very well and had a fever, so I came home a little early.

Raylan had a fever, and Amy and I ended up staying home with him the next day (I took the morning, and Amy took the afternoon).  Amy took him to the doctor, and the doctor suspected a virus.

Sick?  Who's sick?

And so that was the weekend, Raylan is still a little sick.  He seems to be in pretty good spirits, but he still has a bit of a fever.  Hopefully it goes away soon.

That's it!  Have a good week!!

Sunday, August 06, 2017


Hi!  Hope everyone had a good weekend.
Ours was pretty good.

On Wednesday we met up with Ryan and Jamie for dinner at Cherry Creek Catfish.  Raylan had never been before, but he seemed to really like it.  We had a good time!

Amy had some dental/periodontal surgery on Friday.  It's considered to be a pretty minor procedure from a medical standpoint, but it's been causing her a little bit of swelling and some discomfort, so we kind of tried to take it easy this weekend.  (personally, any time anyone someone was doing anything like that to my mouth or head, I wouldn't consider it minor)
I took Amy to her surgery on Friday morning, took her back to the house, and then went back to work for a few hours in the afternoon, picking up Raylan from his preschool on the way home.

On Saturday we got up and went out to breakfast in the morning at Kerbey Lane.

Afterwards I went grocery shopping while Amy played with Raylan at the house.
We mostly just hung out at the house and played with Raylan on Saturday morning.
Raylan asked me to read him one of his Halloween books, and when it was over, he asked me if he had a costume.  I considered trying to squeeze him into his dog costume from last year, and then remembered that Uncle Ryan and Aunt Jamie had bought him a Superman cape and mask (which I don't really get since Superman doesn't wear a mask) a while back.  I dug them out of the closet to see if he was interested.
The answer was a resounding yes.
We had tried to get him to wear the cape back when he had first received them, but he hadn't been interested at the time.  He's been reading some Superman books since then, though, and this time the whole thing clicked for him.

"Up, up, and away!!"


Still flying

"At first I was just excited to get the cape, but now
I realize that it comes with A LOT of responsibility...."

Raylan and Amy had lunch and napped.  I went to the gym (Amy wasn't allowed to exercise after her surgery).
After nap I took Raylan to one of his swim classes at Emler Swim School.  He likes some parts of swim class and is less excited about other parts.  Hopefully he's slowly becoming less likely to drown, though.
On Saturday night Amy and I watched The Expanse.  I'm still liking it.

On Sunday morning we got up and took Raylan up to the Austin Aquarium up at Anderson Lane and 183.  It was fun.
Raylan has been there with my parents before, and he obviously remembered some of it.  When we first walked in he wanted to run around really fast and name the different animals
He got excited about the stingrays.

Raylan reassures Amy that the stingrays are nice.

"I don't get it.  Why am I supposed to put my head through here?"

It was a nice morning.  Afterward we went to Phil's Icehouse for lunch.  Raylan got to play on the playground.  He had a good time until he started to get tired, fell, and bonked his head on a step. He was fine, but it caused a bit of a meltdown.  We took him home for nap time.

In the evening I headed over to band practice.  Jim couldn't make it, so I played bass guitar.  It was fun.  I hadn't played bass in quite a while.
It's a whole different dynamic when you're just playing bass.  It's much more of a support role (when you're not "out front", singing and playing the guitar part), but it sort of holds all of the other pieces together.  In Mono Ensemble, the bass can be a really important, because we have a bunch of talented musicians, but our music tends to involve a lot of improvisation and "jamming".  A good, solid bass part can really help hold the song down while the various instruments wander around and explore some musical territory.  That way we can get some really cool stuff going on, but still keep things cohesive.
Anyway, I enjoyed playing bass Sunday night.

And that's about it.  Sunday night, upon the recommendation of Frank, I watched the first episode of Ozark.  It was pretty good, but pretty dark (it's about a financial planner who ends up entangled with Mexican cartels and having to take his family from Chicago to the Lake of the Ozarks to participate in a money laundering scheme).  I'm definitely hooked and will keep watching to see where it's going.

And that was pretty much our weekend!

My mom and dad should be getting back on Monday from their cruise to Scandinavia and Russia.  Apparently they pulled off a planned meet up with some relatives from my mom's side of the family (related to her father), which sounds really interesting (I'm not sure my mom had ever met anyone from my grandfather's family before).  I look forward to hearing about that, as well as the rest of their trip.

That's it.  Have a good week!