Monday, August 27, 2018


Hi!  We had a pretty good weekend.
On Friday night we just sort of crashed.  Last week was a busy week, so on Friday we ate leftovers and took it easy.
On Saturday we got up and went out to breakfast at Kerbey Lane.
I played with Raylan a bit afterward.  He's really into his Duplo Lego blocks right now, so we made some trucks and cars out of those.

"This is a flatbed truck, Dad!"
"That's not a flatbed."
"The bed isn't flat."
"This is my really cool truck, Dad!"
Later on Saturday we went over to Garrison Park pool to go swimming.  They changed the hours now that the kids are back in school, so we ended up getting there about an hour early.  We played on the playground for an hour, and then headed over to the pool.
We had a lot of fun swimming.  Raylan made friends with a little boy who was about a year older than him, and he had lots of fun swimming with him and doing "tricks".  Amy and I talked to the boy's mom (he also had an infant sister who was there), and she was really nice.
We got ice cream at Dairy Queen on the way home and Raylan ended up, predictably, covered in chocolate.

Saturday night we were going to go out for pizza at Pinthouse, but we ended up parking next door near Bombay Bistro.  I mentioned to Raylan that we were going to have to park near the Indian restaurant, and Raylan started shouting that he didn't want pizza- that he wanted Indian food, instead (he demanded samosas and naan, in particular).
So we took out weird little 3 year old for Indian food instead of pizza.
We had a nice dinner.  Raylan got his samosas and naan and ate aloo tikki for the first time (which he enjoyed).  His enjoyment of Indian food kind of blows my mind.  I don't think I ever even had Indian food until college or later.  Anyway, he's still pretty picky about a lot of foods, but he likes Indian.

Proof that Raylan loves samosas
On Sunday we got up and went grocery shopping at HEB.  Amy tells Raylan and I what sort of fruits and vegetables to get, and I let Raylan pick them out and put them in bags.  He gets very excited to do this, and he likes to loudly count them out as he drops them into the bags.
After the store we went home.  Amy went to the gym (I had gone when I first got up), and Raylan did some painting out on the back porch.

This started out as a car.  Then it got a little more abstract.

When you ask Raylan to describe his paintings, you really get
a sense of the emotional intensity that he brings to his art.
After the painting Raylan played in his pool for a while.  Amy came home and grilled eggplant while Raylan splashed.

Sunday afternoon Raylan took a nap while Amy and I got an hour or two to do some other stuff (I think I actually read a book for a few minutes).

Sunday evening I had Mono Ensemble practice.  We had an all acoustic practice (albeit amplified, with drums).  I thought it went fairly well.

And that was pretty much the weekend.

Mom and Dad are back from Europe this week.  Hopefully they had a good trip!

Monday, August 20, 2018


How is everyone?  Well, it's back to school time here in Austin, so even though it's still over 100 degrees, in some sense, fall has technically begun.
Last week my mom and dad left for a trip to Europe with our family friends, the Magsigs.  They're going on a riverboat cruise, and I'm sure they will have a nice time.
Meanwhile, back here things continue to chug along.
Raylan is transitioning to a new class at his preschool this week.  Last week he did half days in his new class, and this week he has completely moved up.  He's gone from being an Owl to being a Butterfly.
On Thursday night Raylan had a low fever and said that his ear hurt.  On Friday morning I took him to the doctor, and he had an ear infection.  We caught it pretty early, though, and he started antibiotics.  By Friday night he was already feeling better.
On Saturday Amy and I had a foster care training class to attend.  Mandy was nice enough to watch Raylan during the day on Saturday, and it sounds like he had a really fun time playing with her.

Steanso and Amy get a little silly after a few hours of sitting
through the same training for the second time in two years.

Lunch with Mandy!
We got out of our training on Saturday a little earlier than we expected (which was nice).

Saturday evening we met up with Ryan and Jamie at Mandola's for dinner.  It was good to see them. It seemed like it had been a while.  We had a nice meal, and then afterward we went out to the playground behind the restaurant.  Raylan got to burn off some energy and play with Uncle Ryan and Aunt Jamie a bit.

Raylan shows Uncle Ryan some climbing techniques

There were other kids at this playground, but somehow
not in these pictures...

Uncle Ryan is maybe going to throw Raylan back up the
slide once he reaches the bottom?

On Sunday we got up and went to Mt. Playmore.  Mt. Playmore is a giant indoor playground and sort of arcade/amusement park for little kids.  Raylan has been watching some Blippi on TV, so he's seen videos of Blippi at trampoline parks and indoor playgrounds (case ya don't know, Blippi is some sort of weird Millennial with a five o'clock shadow and colorful suspenders who makes internet videos for kids- screenings of Blippi videos at our house may not be the high point of my performance as a parent, but Raylan looooves them).  Anyway, Katerina, J.R., and Logan showed up to see us at Mt. Playmore, as well as Libby, Jordan, and Rowan.  We had a fun time!  Raylan played so hard on the playscape that he got all winded and sweaty.

Rowan and Raylan, junior fire fighters
Later on Sunday there was some playing and some cooking.

Raylan and the colorful lion

Making some blueberry crumble with Mom.
Upon looking at this picture, it occurs to me that putting your hand into
a food processor while you have a preschooler in easy reach of the
blending buttons is an act of faith...

Coverin' da blueberries wit da crummmble......
Later I went to band practice and played with Reed and Jim.  I played my 12 string acoustic, and Jim played his upright bass,  It was fun.

Today Raylan started in his new class, The Butterflies, at the UT Child Development Center.  His new teacher is named Ashley, just like his old teacher, so that should be easy to remember.  She seems really nice.  Going into his classroom this morning was interesting and fun.  Last year when he started a lot of the kids weren't even really talking much yet.  This year they aren't toddlers- they're little kids.  Two of his old buddies from last year's class were there, and they were already having a very classic little boy discussion about how "poop" is a hilarious word.  Other kids were discussing their snacks and talking about their toys.  I'm excited for this year.  ;-)

Raylan's shirt says "Call My Own Shots".  This includes picking his own
outfit and shoes for the beginning of the new year.  Hahaha!!
Well, that's about it.  Have a good week!!

Monday, August 13, 2018


Hi!  Well, both Amy and I had very busy weeks at work this past week, but our weekend was pretty slow and uneventful.  Amy had a cold or some kind of bug during the week, and then I woke up feeling sick on Saturday.
I had planned on joining some friends for the Pride parade downtown Austin on Saturday, but in the end I wasn't feeling up to it.
So our weekend was pretty uneventful.  Amy took Raylan to the park on Saturday, and in the evening we went to the grocery store.
The weather kept threatening to rain all weekend, and we got a few brief showers, but not much rain in the end.

Raylan builds some garages for his Transformers on Saturday with Amy
Sunday we went out to breakfast.  Raylan played outside a bit, and in the afternoon Amy took him over to Mary and Chad's house to play with Truett.
I went to band practice in the evening.  It was just Jim and Reed and I.  It was good to go and get out of the house for a bit, and our music actually sounded pretty solid.

pre-lunch Sunday chillaxing
And that was about it for the weekend.  Pretty uneventful.
My folks are leaving for a two week trip to Europe this week.  I hope they have a really good time!
That's about it.
Hope everyone has a good week.

Sunday, August 05, 2018


Hi there!
We had another busy week here at out house.
On Tuesday evening we met up with Jaci, Josh, and Ginny, friends of ours who are currently living over in Bangkok, Thailand, for a couple of years for to a work assignment.  They were in town so Jaci could do some training, and since they were last living in Washington, D.C., before being sent overseas (Amy and I visited them there before Raylan was born), it was an especially rare treat to have them in two so we could visit them here on our home turf.
Since the time we had seen them last, Jaci and Josh had welcomed Ginny to the family, adopting her right before heading off to Thailand.
It was great to see Jaci and Josh and awesome to meet Ginny.  She's an adorable kiddo with a really fun personality.

Ginny wants to share the tablet.  Raylan isn't sure about
sharing the tablet.
We went out to dinner at Cane Rosso.  We had pizza, a drink, and a chance to catch up a bit.

Rylan wants to share the french fries.  Ginny isn't sure about
sharing the french fries.

Jaci, Ginny, and Josh- back from Thailand to make America
great again!  (or to flee back to Thailand until things get better)

Turn the statue on, Dad!  Turn it on!!!
So it was great to see their family.  They're good friends.  Hopefully we get to see them again sooner than later!
On Thursday my mom and dad took Raylan for the day and he stayed with them for two nights.
While he was staying with them at their house it sounded like he had a good time.
They all met up with my mom's old friend, Delores, and her grandkids at the Austin Pizza Garden.

Pizza and a playground?  This place is nuts!!

Friday night we went out to dinner with Emily, Joe, Shelly, and Kit at True Food Kitchen.  It was down in the new(ish) Seaholm District, and we had a nice dinner.  It was good to get a chance to talk to everyone, and the food was pretty good.
Afterward we went to an escape room called Lockout Austin.  I had never done a panic/escape room, and I was a little skeptical, but it ended up being a lot of fun.
During dinner, Emily had taken a poll of who we thought would be the best puzzle solvers our group.  Taking the safe route, I picked the three women.
I think I was mostly right.
The guys weren't necessarily bad at solving puzzles, but the whole thing is on a time crunch, and the women were much faster (as well as being good at solving the puzzles).
We were teamed up with four people that we didn't know, but they were nice (and also smart), and they were fun to work with.

Our victorious picture after solving the murder at the asylum!
Anyway, fun night out.
On Saturday Mom and Dad brought Raylan home, and we took him to Garrison Pool.
We had a fun tome swimming, as always.

That's Raylan and me under that tree (during life guard break)
On Saturday night we walked down to Central Market.  There was a jazz band playing, so we got have dinner at the cafe and listen to some live music.  It was nice.

One more bite of food and then I get to pick, gelato, right?
When we got home Raylan did some chalk drawing.  I know I'm biased, but I think the boy has got some serious skills for a three year old!

Race car.  With motion lines.  So you know it's fast.

Self portrait.  With blue eyes.  And a smile.  Because he's happy.  Right now.
On Sunday we played with trains and went to the grocery store and tried to take a nap.  We played in the back yard and filled up our pool.

Come one step closer, Dad!
Sunday evening I had a band practice with Reed, Jim, and Frank.  I brought my new acoustic 12 strong and played on that.  It sounded pretty good, although I'm still fine tuning it in terms of amplifying it through my amp while avoiding feedback.  It was a fun practice.

And that's about it.
I hope you guys have a nice week!