Saturday, December 29, 2007

2007 - A Really Good Year


The clock is ticking down on 2007. It has been a busy and exciting one for us. We took 3 trips (Arizona, California and Connecticut), we won a T-Ball championship, and advanced to riding a bike with training wheels. We have taken you along for this ride with more than double the number of blog posts from the previous year.

Thanks to all our family and friends for your kind words, and all our new parent blogger friends from mybloglog, linkedin, facebook, flickr and technorati. We wish everyone a happy and healthy new year and look forward to sharing more adventures in 2008.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Merry Crash-mas

Ty got a plethora of new little die cast cars from his favorite animated movie. It seems the Disney/Pixar marketing machine really knows how to keep their brands alive for many years. With all these new race cars from the Dinoco 400, we needed someplace to race them. This simple little figure 8 track has provided hours of entertainment because it appeals to one of the most basic of all needs in a little (or big) boy: crashing things is cool!



video

Sunday, December 23, 2007

37th Street Lights - Keep Austin Weird



It's an Austin tradition. I am sure there are other famous streets in other cities around the country, but apparently the folks on 37th Street have built up a great reputation. It is not just having the most lights or covering every tree, it is all about uniqueness. This year we spotted a giant dinosaur, a tree made of old bicycles, and even a collection of Jack Daniels bottles cleverly hung across the front walk.

In one picture Ty stands on an Austin Monopoly board (see other photos I found) that covers the sidewalk with the names of local neighborhoods and funny anecdotes. And if you look behind him it looks like a giant lite-brite board with a clever version of "Noel". In the other photo, Ty bends down to inspect some of the rubber duckies lining the posts of one yard.

We may not get snow in Central Texas, and that may be the reason our town can be so creative during the holidays. Best wishes from Ty and myself to you and your families this season.

Friday, December 21, 2007

Pinball Wizard


Could I be the coolest Dad? I have a Simpsons pinball machine in my bedroom. Ty stands on a small stool to reach the flippers. Recently his constant flipper action has landed him some decent scores. His favorite part is the multi-ball experience. The game also has real character voices from the show with some hilarious sayings like Grandpa saying "Back in my day, we didn't have flippers".

Thursday, December 20, 2007

It's beginning to look a lot like...



We were crazy enough to go out on "Black Friday" and hit the Stamford Town Center. It was decorated for the season and smiling Ty posed for an almost xmas card shot in front of one of the trees.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Ants in Spongebob's Pants



Okay. How psyched can you be to flick a plastic ant into the pants of Spongebob? I give you exhibit A above. Go Ty!

Monday, December 17, 2007

Shhhh



It was a cute idea to get the 2 cousins cuddled up in bed for nap time on Thanksgiving day. Certainly made for a great photo op. However the actual amount of napping that occurred was zero.


Sunday, December 16, 2007

A Question about Toy Story

OK. I know the Pixar movie Toy Story is not a new one so my comments to follow may be ones that countless others noticed before, but I didn't feel like searching the web on this trivial matter.

Last night while we driving home from a friend's housewarming party, Ty was in the backseat watching the DVD of Toy Story. He has probably watched this movie 20 times and I have listened to the audio only of it almost that many times. During the first few scenes when Buzz Lightyear joins the other toys in Andy's room he is convinced he is the real Buzz (which is pretty much the plot line of the movie). Well if he thinks he is real, how is that he knows when Andy or any other real person comes close he has to freeze and become inanimate? I figured only the toys understood that. Or perhaps it is just programmed into him and he doesn't realize it?

You may be thinking that what does it matter because it is a fictional cartoon anyway and why should they follow common sense or logic? It never really bothered me the first 20 times I watched it, but somehow my mind wandered and just felt that it was "illogical". Your comments or links to this discussion elsewhere on the web are welcome. I will now resume your regularly schedule broadcast with more cute pictures of Ty.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

The Grip



This closeup from Ty with a crayon could say a lot of things depending on the context:
  • He is learning the correct way to hold the crayon for drawing, but prefers his own style
  • He is grabbing the crayon forcefully as if to indicate he will soon use it as a weapon
  • Or perhaps he is demonstrating how to work the handlebar on a motorcycle (sound effects included)

You decide. Other ideas may be left in the comment section as well.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Coloring Lesson



For the trip I bought Ty this book of mazes he could trace. He ended up cruising through them quite fast, but was anxious to show his cousin Swann how to maneuver some of them. She liked it so much that we got her a book as well for her birthday.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Fall Foliage



We really lucked out this year. Most years when we are in CT for Thanksgiving, the leaves have already fallen off the trees. This year apparently New England had a very late fall and the colors were looking beautiful during our stay. This was shot behind my parent's house.

Sunday, December 09, 2007

Where's The Fire?



Ty posing in front of a traditional New England fireplace at my parent's country club. He is smiling after having a grilled cheese and french fries, which is one of his favorite meals (mine too).


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Now playing: John Mellencamp - My Aeroplane
via FoxyTunes

Saturday, December 08, 2007

Tower of Power



Finally catching up to the shots we took in CT during Thanksgiving. Here Ty works on building something taller than he is while supervising engineer G-pop looks on.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Ty Knew Him When...

Wow. Who would have thought my son would be hanging with celebrities? For any of you who watch the awesome NBC show Friday Night Lights (permalink on my right side panel) you may have seen last week's episode when Smash visits a fictitious college on a recruiting trip. When he is at an evening pool party for one of the fraternities, a football player welcomes him and has a few other lines. This "actor" was none other than our own Austin Wranglers' football star Dane Krager.

Flashback to our post last March here and see Ty posing for the camera with Dane.

Note: Hollywood agents can direct their requests for Ty's future appearances through his Dad.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

School Pictures

Just got a few of Ty's pictures taken this fall at school by the professionals. I ordered the digital files so that I could share them with all of you. Here are 2 that I liked:



Saturday, December 01, 2007

World AIDS Day

We are Inspi (RED) today to remind everyone to think about ways we can help those in need


Thursday, November 29, 2007

Waiting on a Jet Plane

On the way to LGA and we are held up in IAH because of bad weather on the East Coast. It gave us time to grab some lunch, but as you can see from Ty's lack of smile, he was more than anxious to get on the next plane. We did get off alright and the flight wasn't too rough.

One note on airline preferences though: We usually fly American because Dad has elite status, but we picked Continental this time based on price and schedule. Well little did I know that their planes are configured 3/3 which means Dad had middle seats the whole way up and back. Ummm I think I'll go back to AA where I know they are 2/3 and I don't have to be squished or get stuck next to strangers.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

I'm Coming Up


The day before we left for NYC last week it was still in the 80's here in Texas. Then 24 hours later we were wrapped up in several layers and wearing heavy jackets. I think Ty enjoys having most of the year here where he can wear a t-shirt and shorts. He was remarking today to another family member how cold it was up at my parents' house.

"It was like the North Pole," he said. "I think Santa lived close by".


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Now playing: 10,000 Maniacs - What's The Matter Here ?
via FoxyTunes

Friday, November 23, 2007

Mobile Blogging from Dinner with Cousin Swann

This photo was shot from My Mom's camera phone at the table during my Dad's birthday dinner at a local restaurant. As you can see, Ty's cousin Swann loves him very much.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Props For Our Blog!

Since I am fairly new to the world of blogging and getting hip to all the fellow parent bloggers out there, it came as a pleasant surprise to discover that one of my peers mentioned us on her site. My friend Jennifer who writes The Life of a School Bus Driver gave us her BOTD (Blog of the Day) award yesterday. Here's the direct link with the associated bling.





So welcome to anyone who discovered us via that post and enjoy your visit. Feel free to add us to your favorites or keep up to date via the assortment of buttons found along my sidebar. Comments are always welcome too.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Thanksgiving Flashback


Ty and I will be headed up to CT soon to spend a week with my parents for Thanksgiving. There won't be any posts until after the holiday, so I thought I would take a look back at one of our first trips up North for the holidays. This is from 2004. Enjoy and we will catch up with you again soon.

Monday, November 12, 2007

We are fans of Being Five

Visit BEING FIVE Copyright by George Sfarnas. www.beingfive.blogspot.com


For all the parents out there, if you have not seen this web cartoon you need to check it out. I found today's really funny that I wanted to share it with our readers. Ty is now getting to his independent phase and wants to dress himself (no zippers or buttons though). His big problem seems to be putting his shoes on the wrong feet though.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Support the WGA



My cousin (Ty's 2nd cousin) is a TV writer in Hollywood (WGA award winner!). Also my uncle (his Dad) works in the television industry as well as a writer/producer. Ty and I support their rights to better royalties due to them because of the changes in media distribution. Join us in their support by following the link below to sign a petition.

In support of the WGA strike Petition

Friday, November 09, 2007

As High As the Sky

When I was growing up, one of my Grandmothers used to have this thing we said to each other. She said the first part of the sentence and then I said the rest.

Granny: How much do I love you?

Me: As high as the sky!




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Now playing: Ryan Shaw - We Got Love
via FoxyTunes

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Zee Plane!


Ty got this fun bungee plane from one of his classmates for his birthday. We took it out in the front yard to try it out. He doesn't quite have the coordination to get it spinning and keep it aloft very long so he decided to just watch me do it instead.

Note on the T-shirt he is wearing: This shirt belonged to me and I got it when I was about 9 years old at summer camp in NH after I had actually climbed up Mt. Washington. Amazingly I saved it all this time (that's 30 years for those keeping score at home). What I cannot believe is I remember the shirt being big on me when I was 9 so how does it fit snugly on a 4 year old? I guess there was some major cotton shrinkage over time.

Saturday, November 03, 2007

Champions!



Ty and his fellow Mudcats have just won the Round Rock Youth Baseball 4U T-ball fall championship. (Thats a mouthful). They played 2 games over 2 nights in a real tournament which they had never done before. At the end of the 2nd game they won by more than 5 runs and got their first place trophies in front of a big crowd of happy Moms and Dads.

To see more pictures of All-Star Ty, click on the photo above which will take you to my flickr page..

Friday, November 02, 2007

Oktoberfest

At first Ty wasn't sure what a large bear was doing showing up at our table. But then he welcomed "Pinty the Bear" over for a smiling photo during our lunch a few weeks ago at local brewery/restaurant North by Northwest. This costumed visit was in celebration of their annual Oktoberfest event which included authentic German oompah bands, the wait staff in costume and traditional German beergarden fare. We opted for the basic brunch inside, but then went out to jump on some inflatable toys and watch the wiener dog costume contest.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

The King


I don't really have a good caption for this one other than I wanted to post one shot of Ty in his birthday crown from the party.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

We are Here to Pump You Up!



How much fun can you have with a handful of kids who get a whole room full of giant inflatable play toys? Lots! And that is how Ty spent his birthday party this year with a bunch of family and school friends. Dad got in on the action too jumping and crawling around (it can be tiring). Luckily there were no injuries and everyone had a blast. Ty is already planning his next few birthday parties. It's funny that small children have no concept of time.


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Now playing: Bebel Gilberto - Um Segundo
via FoxyTunes

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Flaming Head


When I grew up there seemed to be less regard for safety. Helmets for bikes? Nah, not even if it was a motorcycle. If we crashed, we got banged up and picked ourselves right up again and rode home to get some peroxide and band aids. Or rode on the handlebars of one of our friend's bikes if ours got bent out of shape.

There's a great bit by a comedian I once heard on XM Comedy talking about how kids today maybe too "soft" because we over-protect them every time they go out of the house for some sort of activity. I used to laugh at that bit BEFORE I was a Dad. Now I am making sure those lap belts are secure in the car seat and his bike helmet (which has cool flames on it) is securely on his head before he pedals anywhere.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Ride the Dillo


Austin is so hip now. We managed to survive all of these years with cool local stores like Waterloo Records and Book People, but apparently the masses (really the new transplants) cried out for the stores they left behind in Chicago, LA and NYC. The answer from Simon (the largest mall and shopping developer in the country) was The Domain. So yes we have a Tiffany's, Barney's and a Neiman's now. I feel so complete. But when did this blog become a social commentary? I have no idea.

Here's Ty climbing on top of one of the armadillos at a children's play area inside The Domain.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Soft Corinthian Leather


Taking a short break during shopping with the grandparents. Ty and I camped out on the comfy chairs at the Ralph Lauren store.

Funny thing is when I decided to come up with the clever title of this post I Googled that phrase. Some of us remember when a certain actor ("Welcome to my Island") used this in a commercial. Turns out there is some very interesting facts behind the truth. Click here to read the article on Wikipedia.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

True Happiness

We had lunch at Fuddruckers today following our morning T-Ball game (Ty played 3rd base and got an out!) With his kids meal of a hot dog, fries and a vanilla milkshake he also gets a cookie. We took the sugar cookie to go and he ate it while sitting in his car seat in the back. Here is what he said to me at 1:12pm today while enjoying that cookie:

"Daddy. You make me get happy"


Thursday, October 11, 2007

Read to Me, Gram


A little grandson bonding session at the local Border's bookstore. Gram read from a Dora the Explorer book to Ty. Dad watched and tried to remember what that was like oh some 30+ years ago.


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Now playing: Steve Winwood - Back In The High Life
via FoxyTunes

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

New Bike!


Ty has a new bike. By the way think of this blog like live television. On TV there is about a 7 second delay, well my blog sometimes has a week or two delay. Ty's birthday was really back on 9/26 and my folks came up that weekend. Here's G-Pop standing with Ty just outside the bike shop where we picked out the bike. It was so much fun watching him ride the various bikes around the store. He seemed to have no problem making that transition from a tricycle to this bike with training wheels. I will post some more pictures from riding around the neighborhood which features his cool helmet as well.



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Now playing: Simon & Garfunkel - Still Crazy After All These Years
via FoxyTunes

Sunday, October 07, 2007

He "Chutes", He Scores


One of the things I love about Ty as he gets older is our ability to interact more all the time. It used to be conversations were one sided or playtime was me watching him, or vice versa. Now we can actually play board games. One of the two games he has recently acquired is the classic Chutes and Ladders (our collection can be seen behind him if you enlarge the photo). He loves to spin the wheel and he's also great at counting. As long as I don't win somehow, he's happy. (How long do Dad's have to let their kids win at stuff?)


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Now playing: Elton John - Goodbye Yellow Brick Road
via FoxyTunes

Friday, October 05, 2007

Hit & Run



Ty's batting average is currently 1.000. He has scored 2 runs in every game and has a few RBI's as well. If he keeps this up, he will be headed to the TBall HOF (if they have one?)


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Now playing: Joss Stone - L-O-V-E
via FoxyTunes

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Everything you'll say to your child in 24hrs

Slight diversion. Came across this today on the net. Very funny for all of us parents.

The lady behind this is Anita Renfroe. Here's a link to her site.

Hope you enjoy


Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Listen to the Coach

Before the game the kids get a pep talk from the coach. This usually entails the instructions of remember to be "baseball ready" out in the field and watch for coach's instructions on where to throw the ball. How about "just have fun"?


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Now playing: Chris Isaak - Forever Blue
via FoxyTunes

Monday, October 01, 2007

Ty is 4 and Here's The Proof


This is the number they gave him on his shirt. Wasn't planned just worked out kinda great.

Other famous athletes who also wore #4 (but were not also age 4 at the time):

Lou Gehrig
Bobby Orr
Brett Favre

And interesting facts about the number can be found here on Wikipedia.


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Now playing: Billy Squier - In The Dark
via FoxyTunes

Friday, September 28, 2007

Go Mudcats!


Not really sure why they ordered size small shirts for 3 and 4 year old kids, but they did. Superstar Ty shown here with his shirt tucked into his baseball pants so that at least part of logo shows.

The season has started and we have played a few games. Most end up as a tie of either 10-10 or 15-15 depending on if the kids get 2 or 3 innings in (there is a 5 run max per inning). But Ty is having a blast and has slugged the ball every time he's up.

More action shots coming soon. Big game tomorrow morning as Ty should have the largest cheering section ever in the history of 4U Tball.


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Now playing: Billy Joel - Everybody Loves You Now
via FoxyTunes

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Happy Birthday Ty!


Today is Ty's 4th birthday. We are celebrating this weekend with a big party for all his friends. Tomorrow my parents (Gram and Gpop) fly down to visit and celebrate too.

If you would like to leave a birthday greeting or wishes for Ty, please click on the comments box below and leave a note.



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Now playing: Alicia Keys - If I Aint Got You
via FoxyTunes

Monday, September 24, 2007

Tramp and the Sharks


Ty normally is camera shy (bet you couldn't tell that from the last 100+ posts) but yes it usually takes a little pleading and negotiating to get him to pose and look at the camera. To my surprise one evening we were playing in the living room before bed and Ty asked me to take his picture with one of his favorite stuffed animals "Tramp". Cute factor is HIGH.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Morning T-Ball Practice

Fall. The pennant races (Go Yankees!) and time for the little ones to start a new season of sports. This year I signed Ty up for the 4U t-ball league here in our town. I have lots to say about that in future posts, but it's a blast. One Sunday morning we headed up to the sport courts in our community to do our own practicing. Basically I roll grounders to him and he throws it back. Here is his "alligator" pose which is how the Coach described to them the way to snag the ball in their glove.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

TY on Flickr




Sort of a random entry here. I have started uploading some other pictures to my Flickr account. I was at the ACL festival this past weekend and posted some of the cool art guitars on display. I also created a set of photos of signs that I have been shooting for another project. During two recent trips to NYC I looked for signs that contained the letters "TY" in them. I then cropped the photos later on the computer and have uploaded the ones I have so far. The reason for this seems obvious in context here with my posts about my son. Eventually I hope to have a few dozen of these and make some sort of photo collage poster print to frame and put in his room. You will find a new Flickr badge along the side of this page which will take you over to see the other images.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Housekeeping

Hello fans of Ty and random blog wanderers. Dad here with just a quick update on some changes to the site. Longtime readers will notice a new look with a custom banner and some layout changes. Hope you like it because I think it makes things much easier to read.

I have also added some "blog flair" as it is known across the web. I have been out surfing myself and come across many other Dad's like myself who spend hours typing and uploading pictures of their kids. I have shared some links to a few that I have come across that I find funny or interesting. We all have a lot in common. I discovered some of these folks on some of the blogging portals including mybloglog, technorati, wink and facebook. I have placed my own links back to a few of those sites now too for anyone to cross-reference me.

For my family members who are not as technically savvy as others, rest assured that too much personal information is not being shared into cyberspace. As always comments are welcome and enjoy the photos and stories.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Dino Days



Only in America. Remember when Pee Wee is headed cross country in his "Big Adventure" and one of the stops is at this roadside park/motel that has a giant dinosaur? Well that was in California, but here in Texas we have something similar, however you need a GPS to find this place. Head South from Austin towards Bastrop on Highway 71 and hidden in the trees behind a trailer park is The Dinosaur Park!

Looking for something new and interesting for a Saturday, Ty and I drove down there to check it out. They had a little museum and gift shop and then a trail with about a dozen dinosaurs hidden among the trees. It was pretty cool and Ty had fun on the scavenger hunt they include while you are walking around. It was their 2nd anniversary party so they had some cookies for the kids and a real live giant tortoise was roaming around the grounds.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Rockin River

A beautiful hot summer day was recently spent out at Old Settler's Park here in Round Rock where the town built us our own little water park. They call it Rock'N River which is cool because there is a lazy river you can tube on along with several water slides and sprinklers for the kids. In the background you can see the two giant water slides which Ty is not ready for. However Dad decided to be cool and show off for Ty so I went down the one which is enclosed (imagine going down a 3 story slide with your eyes closed). When I emerged with a gasp and a smile for Ty I also realized I had gashed my elbow on the way down pretty badly. The price Dad's must pay sometimes for looking cool.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Stoned Cows


Another stop on the continuing saga of sharing those things uniquely Austin with our blog viewers... is a series of cow sculptures made of stone at the Arboretum. After years of weather and thousands of people climbing on them for play and for photos they are quite smooth (and slippery if you aren't careful). We scooted up the back of one and Ty happened to strike this classic pose on his own without any coaching from Dad.

Photo detail note: If you do happen to click on the image and it blows up to a large size you may see a tattoo on Ty's arm of Lightning McQueen. He got that after his first ever trip to the dentist a few days earlier.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Twin Palms

Here's Ty standing between 2 palm trees out next to the restaurant Hula Hut which is right on Lake Austin. If you ever have visited our city, this is a required stop for Tex Mex with a Hawaiian twist (see their website for what that could possibly mean). Of course Ty is too young to appreciate the many fruity beverages they serve, but he likes to watch the ducks and the boats.

Friday, September 07, 2007

Click! Take a Pic


"Hold still Dad. You are being clicked into Diego's animal rescue center." If you zoom in on the photo you will actually see Ty's eye through the opening in the camera (how cool is that?)

Trivia info: You ever what happened to Rosie Perez? Well she now does the voice of click the camera on Go Diego Go!