Sunday, October 01, 2017

Update- Boys' Weekend!

Hey!  How's it going?
Things are going pretty well over here.
The weather has been pretty nice, and we've been pretty busy.
Amy flew out for Arizona on Thursday to go visit her family.
Raylan stayed here with me.

We had a good time!
My parents were taking care of Raylan during the day on Thursday (including taking him to his swimming lesson), and they drove Amy to the airport.  Thanks, Mom and Dad!
Thursday night Raylan and I went out to dinner with Mom and Dad at La Posada.  We had a nice dinner.  Raylan was in a good mood, and I got a chance to talk to my dad a little bit about that Ken Burns documentary on the Vietnam War.
On Friday we did our usual routine, really.  Raylan went to school, and I went to work.  We played a little bit after work, ate dinner, took a shower, and then Raylan went to bed.
On Saturday morning we got up and went out for breakfast.  Raylan asked to play the claw machine.  I put a dollar in, and before I had even realized that the machine was on, Raylan started mashing buttons.  I was right in the middle of telling him that he was doing it wrong when the mechanical claw scooped up a stuffed crocodile and dumped it into the chute.  During various trips to La Posada we've played this machine probably a dozen times without winning anything, and usually I'm the one controlling the stupid claw.  Raylan basically won by himself on his first solo attempt.  There was a lady watching us who was dying with laughter at the whole thing.
I asked him what he wanted to name his new friend, and he went with "Mr. Crocodile".

Breakfast with Dad

"Dad, I do not understand why you have not gotten me a new
animal every time on the claw machine."
After breakfast we picked up Uncle Ryan and Aunt Jamie and headed to the zoo.
The weather was pretty nice, and we had a good time.  I think Ryan and Jamie gained a new understanding of what it means to go to a place like the zoo with a two year old.  On our previous trip to Portland we'd gone to the zoo with my folks, and at the Portland zoo there had been various speaker hidden throughout the zoo that were piping in music.  Raylan had been fascinated by them.
Well, Raylan dedicated most of his time during this trip to the Austin Zoo to looking for speakers.  There really aren't any music speakers at the Austin Zoo, so we sort of implied that the security cameras might be speakers.  He was sort of satisfied by looking for those "speakers", but he was a little confused as to why they weren't saying anything.  And he kept mentioning that they might be cameras.
He was also excited to see any and all air conditioning units and fans.
Anyway, he did manage to feed some sheep and goats.  He also roared at a lion (to show it who was in charge), and he covered his ears when the black bears started loudly growling while they were playing.
He had fun hanging out with Ryan and Jamie, particularly when we stopped to eat a snack, and in the car on the way home when he sorta tried to steal Jamie's Cubs hat.

"I'm a duck!  I'm a duck!"

Everyone comes to the zoo for different reasons. 

In his defense, Ryan did warn Raylan that he would steal his crackers
if Raylan wasn't careful.
After the zoo we dropped Ryan and Jamie off.  We went home and had lunch and took a nap.  I got to work out.  I also pulled a few of our Halloween decorations out of storage, in anticipation of October 1st (Sunday).
After nap we ran an errand or two and went for a short walk and tricycle ride.  Little by little, Raylan is learning to pedal.

Headed home.
Jean sent me this really great picture of Amy out hiking with her up in Munds Park.  Amy will be getting back tomorrow, but it sounds like she had a good trip.  Hope she had a nice visit with her family.
Meanwhile, in Arizona...
On Sunday we ate breakfast at home.  Afterward, I tried to see if Raylan wanted to go to the park or something, but he kept saying he just wanted to play in the yard.  We played in his sand box and with his Cozy Coupe and with his bubble wand and his lawn mower, and he watered plants with his watering can.

"And you know what we can do next...?"
Afterward we went to Target and did some shopping.  We got some groceries and household supplies. Raylan got a jack-o-lantern cup and some Hot Wheels trucks.
Then lunch and nap.
After that we got up and played some more in the yard.

Very excited about the implications of the Halloween cup

Got Boo, the ghost, and Dad's flip flops.  All set.
After nap we played some more.  We did some sidewalk chalk and played with some toys in the house.


Later, we met up with my folks at Waterloo Icehouse out on 360.  They have a playground and picnic tables, and the weather was beautiful.  We had a really nice time.  Raylan was happy to see them and had fun.
Raylan went home to spend the night with them afterward so I could straighten up the house a little.

And that's about it!
We've missed Amy a lot, but it's been a really good experience to hang out with Raylan for a few days.  He seems like he's been happy to hang out with me, too, and it's been a good bonding experience in both an emotional and practical sense (it's good for Raylan to be able to come to me and speak up when he needs something, and to realize that I will take care of things for him).
At the same time, hats off to the single parents out there who do this sort of thing on a solo basis all of the time.  Just these few day have been a little tiring, and it's hard to get stuff done when you have to constantly divide your attention between tasks and kids and plan things in a way that can accommodate your kiddo (there's really no such thing as a "quick trip to the store").
All of that being said, I really did value the time with Raylan.  When it's just the two of us, we have a slightly different dynamic, but he seems to be okay with it, which is reassuring as a dad.  It's nice to have him switch from constantly looking for or yelling for his mom, to instead, coming and taking my hand and asking for something when he needs it.
I'm excited for Amy to come back, and life feels weird without her.  I've also really enjoyed my time with Raylan, though.  It's been really good.

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