Monday, January 28, 2019


Howdy!  How are we doing as we get ready to wrap up our first month of 2019?
Things are going pretty well at our house.  Busy, but we're doing pretty well.

First, for no good reason, here's a random picture of Austin that I snapped from the window of my car while driving the kids to school last Thursday.  I took the unusual step of going downtown via I35.  First Raylan told me that I wasn't supposed to be taking them to school because the sun was setting (it was actually rising).  Then, because I was taking a different route than usual, he told me that I didn't know how to get him to school.
Everyone's a critic, I tell ya...

Morning commute in Austin
Here's another sort of random picture.  In this photo, Raylan is holding Freddy Frog and Bluejay the Jaguar.  I asked Raylan to pose for this picture because Freddy and Bluejay have become constant fixtures in our household these days.
Freddy and Bluejay both have cooler cars than Mom and Dad, live in cooler houses than we do, drive better and faster than Mom and Dad, run faster than Mom and Dad, and even eat better food than we do.
Freddy and Bluejay started out as prizes from the claw game machine at La Posada, and when we won each of them for a dollar, I had no idea that they would rise to power and take over the social hierarchy of our home.

The three amigos
In this last random photo, I snapped a picture of a rare, but exciting household event.  If you look closely at the photo below, you'll see Kiddo and Raylan quietly playing together and peacefully enjoying each other's company.  At first not sure of what I was seeing, I stealthily observed this phenomenon for several minutes.  To my amazement, they shared the pieces of the marble run and took turns without any shouting, taunting, shoving, or shrieking for almost five minutes!  Of course, the moment that I came out of hiding to snap a picture, Raylan began to holler that Kiddo was messing up his marble run, and Kiddo started to fling marble run pieces in my direction while emitting a high pitched wailing sound.  
But it was too late.  I had seen it.  I know they are capable of quietly entertaining one another!!

Dad, this isn't what it looks like!
On Thursday, Mom and Dad took the kids for over 24 hours because I had to go have a procedure done on Friday with a gastroenterologist (no, I'm not going to name the procedure on the blog- use your imagination).
So Friday I had the day off work, but I was pretty tired and wiped out.  I slept a lot.  Amy took the day off to drive me around and whatnot.  She was very nice, and I love her.

On Saturday Dad brought the kids back, and he helped me hang up a new ceiling fan that we got for our dining room/living room.  It wasn't a super complicated deal, but, as with many projects in our old house, it ended up being slightly more involved than we had anticipated.
Still, we got it done.  Amy helped out, too.  She has little, nimble fingers, and they came in handy.  We literally could not have done it without her.

Now that I'm in a management position at work,
I've come to realize that supervising your labor force
is probably the most important part of any job.

New fan!  Voila!!
Other from that, the kids got to play outside a bit on Saturday (great weather), and we had pizza for dinner.
On Sunday we played outside again quite a bit because it was such a nice day.

Raylan begins his training for the World Cup
On Sunday afternoon my mom came over to watch Kiddo, while Amy and I took Raylan to see a play/puppet show called The Very Hungry Caterpillar Show at the Paramount Theater.
It was a fun experience.  The theater was packed full of kids, and there were a lot of oohs and ahhs when the various colorful puppets were brought out.
The show contained adaptations of Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do you See? as well as 10 Little Rubber Ducks, and, of course, The Very Hungry Caterpillar.
Raylan seemed to enjoy it, although he did loudly ask "Why doesn't this building have any windows?" and "When will this play be over?" during the Rubber Ducks segment.  Despite a little minor annoyance with the pacing of that one portion, he seemed to really enjoy it.
Afterward we took him out for ice cream because he had been such a good audience member. 

They let us snap a few pics once the show had ended

At the Paramount with Mom and Dad!

And that was pretty much the weekend.
It was a good one.
Thanks to Amy, Mom, and Dad for all the help with the child care, the Steanso care, and the home improvement project over the weekend.
I love all of you guys!

Monday, January 21, 2019



Hopefully everyone had a good MLK Day Weekend.
We had a really nice one.

On Thursday, as usual, my folks had Raylan for the day.  This time they took him to see a play for really young kids.  It was called Wake Up, Brother Bear!  It was put on my Zach Theatre, and by all accounts, Raylan really liked it.

My mom sent me this picture after the play.  I'm assuming that these people
are actually bears, and not just tremendous fans... 

In Friday Greg, Jean, and Scott arrived in town for a visit with us.  It was Greg's 60th birthday weekend, and Scott had MLK Day off from school, so it was a fun chance for him to come and hang out with us. 
On Friday, after they got here, we all went to La Posada for some Mexican food.  It was fun.
Scott got to sleep over for a couple of nights in Raylan's room, and it seems like they had a really good time.

On Saturday morning it was pretty cold, so we all drive up to Mt. Playmore so the kids could play on the indoor playground and play some arcade games.

water cannon zombie shootin' game

Some people think they're paying for their kids to play games at Mt. Playmore.
Amy knows that we're really paying for a chance to peacefully sit in these chairs for
a few minutes.

On Saturday night my parents came down to our house and did some babysitting.  Amy and I took Jean and Greg to Jack Allen's kitchen for a birthday dinner for Greg.
We had a really nice time!  Good food and good conversation.  It was really nice to go out for an adult dinner with the 4 of us and get a chance to talk.

Birthday treat!

Davis birthday celebration!!
On Sunday, greg's actual birthday, we drove out to Steiner Ranch for brunch at Steiner Ranch Steakhouse.
It was nice!  We met up with my mom and dad and Ryan and Jamie.  The steakhouse is a nice place, the weather was nice, and there was good conversation to be had.  It was a good time.

Raylan, Ryan, Jean, Kiddo, and Amy talk about movies and/or podcasts
while I snap a photo

Scott celebrates his chance to have chocolate milk and ice cream-
all before noon!

Dad, Mom, Jamie, Ryan, Scott, Kiddo, Me, Amy, Greg, and Jean
(Raylan really dug in his heels, refusing to be in the picture- he's about
5 feet out of frame)

A photo to prove that Raylan was outside with us when we
were taking pictures

Family photo with Raylan and kiddo
After brunch we went back to Mom and Dad's house where Kiddo took a nap, and the boys played with toys and games for a while.  We had a nice time.  Thanks for everything, Mom and Dad!

Sunday night Amy made a spaghetti dinner for us at our house and served up a German chocolate cake that she got at Russell's Bakery.

Birthday cake!!
Sunday night was the night of the super blood wolf moon.  The lunar eclipse was close to Earth, had a red tinge, and occurred in January.  Greg and I watched it begin before they got tired and headed back to their hotel.  I checked it a few more times before I went to bed.  It was kind of a crazy thing to observe.  My crappy cell phone pic of it definitely doesn't do it justice.

On Monday, MLK Day, we saw Amy's family one more time before they headed out for the airport.
We had a really nice visit with them.  I think Raylan and Scott, in particular, had some really fun cousin time together.
The rest of the Sunday mostly just involved having around the house.  Our garage door got messed up again, so the guy had to come back out and fix it (which was a much quicker process this time, and which he didn't charge me for).

Raylan and Kiddo having picnic lunch in the backyard on Monday

Monday I went over to Reed's house and played music with him.  Reed's birthday had also been on Sunday, so I missed that, but at least we got to hang out and play on Monday night.

And that was the weekend!  Fun, but busy!

Now we can all go back to work and get some rest!  ;-)

Monday, January 14, 2019


What's up?  How's 2019?  So far, so good?
Ours has been pretty good so far.

Our weekend felt like it went by quickly.
On Friday night we stopped off at an Indian restaurant, Bombay Bistro, on our way home from work/school.  Both kids are pretty good about eating Indian food, and Amy and I both like it.

Saturday morning I went to the gym, and Amy took Raylan to ride his bike over at Burger Center.  He apparently did really well.  Amy shot some video, and I got to see him zipping around the big parking lot like it was no big deal.
Later Amy went for a run, and I played with Raylan and Kiddo at the house.
In the afternoon, after naps, we went to The Arboretum to look at ceiling fans.  We didn't find one to take home, but we did order one.
We wandered around a bit while we were there, and Raylan got to play on the stone cows.  When I was in junior high and high school (back when The Arboretum was a newer place), I remember getting ice cream at Amy's and sitting on those cows.  Glad Raylan seemed to get a kick out of them.

Raylan kept insisting that this was the fastest cow.
Even though it is sitting down.
After The Arboretum we went over to Shelly, Kit, and Spencer's house.
We walked in the door, and Raylan asked where the cats were.  I told him not to mess with the cats or they might scratch him in the face.  Ten minutes later he was crying because one of the cats scratched him in the face.
Critical.  Life.  Lesson.
He got over the brutal kitty attack fairly quickly.
Raylan, Spencer, and Kiddo had a fun time playing.  Kit and Shelly have a little, portable ball pit, and they had a lot of fun with that.

Spencer, jumping on his chopper so he can look
cool in front of Raylan and Kiddo

Ralyan:  So I'm NOT supposed to jump on Kiddo in the ball pit?!
After hanging out at Kit and Shelly's for a bit, we went over to Phil's Ice House for dinner.  We ate burgers and the kids played on the playground.
It was nice!!

Chillin' at Phil's
On the way home, Raylanb asked for ice cream with sprinkles.  Rainbow sprinkles.  Chocolate sprinkles if no one had rainbow sprinkles.
So we went to a frozen yogurt place by our house.  Apparently Dairy Queen does not have sprinkles.

Midwinter froyo feast
Sunday was colder, but still sunny.  In the morning Amy went for a jog while pushing Kiddo in a stroller.  Raylan and I walked over to a neighborhood candidate forum for people who are running for office in our neighborhood association.  Raylan got a cookie and got to pet some dogs while I talked to a few neighbors.
Afterward, Raylan and I walked to Central Market to buy some fruit and some other odds and ends.  I let Raylan pick out our fruit.  He also got to pick some flowers for his mom (red tulips, if you must know).
Later, we mostly hung out outside and played.  Amy made some kid of carrot curry soup.

Swangin' with Kiddo and Raylan

In the evening I went to band practice.  Reed, Frank, Jim, and me.  I played my 12 string acoustic guitar.  It was fun.

And that was the weekend!
It went by way too fast.

Monday, January 07, 2019

New Year's and Update

Hi!  Hope 2019 is off to a good start for everyone!
We've been busy, but things are going well. 
I worked on New Year's Eve during the day.  Amy was at home with Kiddo and Raylan.  I'm pretty sure Amy worked harder than I did that day.  ;-)
When I got home I took Raylan and Kiddo over to Mandy's house for a New Year's Eve party.  Kim and Miles were there, along with Spencer, Kellie, TJ, Jojo, Goldie, Justin, Charissa, Lucas, and Leah.  So it was basically Mandy's family, plus Kim and Miles.
After single parenting for a full day, Amy wanted a break.  She went to go work out and then crashed at home with a book.
Anyway, the kids had a blast playing with the other kids.  They had hot dogs and French fries and got to do some sparklers.

Raylan gazes into the light of the sparkler while
plotting world domination in 2019

Kiddo gets some fashion tips from Jojo

Mandy, Kim, Me, Raylan and Miles.
Raylan and Miles were super excited to stop playing so they could
take a picture with the grownups
After the party we went home and went to bed pretty early.  I think we were lights out by 10:00 or so.  We didn't come anywhere close to seeing the ball drop.
I really don't remember what we did on New Year's Day.  I know we took down Christmas decorations, and Amy and I both exercised.  That night the Longhorns played against 5th ranked Georgia in the Sugar Bowl.  And we won!  UT came out strong right from the beginning and fight hard throughout the whole game.  We looked really good.
I really had no idea what to expect going into that game.  I feel like the sports media always hype teams from the SEC, basically implying (if not overtly stating) that the SEC teams are much better than most of the teams in the rest of the country.  In truth, most Big 12 teams rarely play SEC teams, so it's hard to get a good idea of how teams will match up against one another in cross-conference games.
Well, UT matched up pretty darn well against Georgia.  Hopefully we can carry this momentum into next season.  I've had my moments of doubt about Herman, but he's done a good job of building a strong team over the course of this year.  The players have become much more confident and mature, as well.  I hope the success continues!
So the UT Sugar Bowl win was a nice way to start off the new year.

We were back to work on Wednesday, with Mom and Dad taking care of the kids.

On Friday I went out to lunch with Ruben and Afton at a sort of bizarre sushi restaurant (Kula) where all the food comes to you by way of conveyor belts.  Some of it just drifts by and you grab what you want.  Other things can be ordered and conveyor belts shoot the food to your table.
It was like having lunch on a space station.

Afton realizes that it's hard to have a conversation at a place where
you have to keep an eye on a conveyor belt so you don't miss anything good.
On Saturday morning Ryan and Jamie came over and did some babysitting for about an hour while Amy and I went to the gym.  Raylan seemed to have a blast, and we go to exercise.  I think ryan and Jamie had a pretty good time.  Hopefully it was a win/win/win.  Anyway, we definitely appreciated the help, and Raylan was happy to spend time with his aunt and uncle.
Later I took Raylan for a bike ride.  We pedaled around the neighborhood, and he had a good time.  He seemed to be stopping and starting a lot, though, which was set of a new behavior for him on his bike.  This made me want to take his training wheels off before he became too reliant on them.

The rest of Saturday involved running some errands, and playing with the kids in the yard.  (It was beautiful outside on Saturday).  Amy made her tortilla soup for dinner, and life was good.

On Sunday we got up, and I took the training wheels off of Raylan's bike.  We took him over to the Burger Center parking lot near our house.  It's a giant, empty lot on weekends.
He did a really good job, and really did ride independently for some decent stretches without falling down (some 50-75 yard bits, I'd say).  He was a little wary of falling, so I lowered his seat a bit, so it was easier for him to put his feet down if he felt like he was losing his balance.
It was a great start, though!
Amy got a bit of workout in, running beside him while I stood around holding Kiddo and yelling for Raylan to keep pedaling forward.

Cleared for takeoff!!!
Afterwards, we went to Michael's and did some shopping.

The weather turned sunny and nice in the afternoon, and we spent some time outside.

Kiddo and Amy, doing some hardcore hammocking.
In the evening I went to band practice.  All five of us were there, and it sounded pretty good.

And that's about it.  Onward into 2019!!!