Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Remote Control

Ty got this cool new remote control car for xmas. Yesterday it was super warm (in the 70's) and we took the car out to the cul-de-sac at the end of the street. We had lots of room to maneuver and test our driving skill. We were eventually joined by some neighbors who also had an RC car. Their 2 year old was fascinated by the whole thing and was trying to imitate Ty. It was all very cute.

Wishing you a happy and healthy 2009 from our family to yours.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Mystery Photo #1

I got Ty a little camera that he could take on trips. It has very low resolution and he can snap away whenever he likes. It also has a slow shutter speed which makes for interesting results. When I downloaded some of his recent photos onto the computer I came across this one he apparently took somewhere in our house.

See if anyone can guess what this is. Feel free to post your guesses in the comment section. I will reveal the answer in a later post.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

San-Ty Claus

Happy Holidays to all our friends and family. With love from Ty and Kevin.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

All Decorated


The tree is up and Ty helped place the ornaments. Looking forward to see what Santa brings this year.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Trail of Lights

Ty and I went the other night down to Zilker Park to see the famous trail of lights. This was the warmest night of the last few weeks and it seems we were not the only people who thought of taking advantage of that. No joke, there were probably 25,000 people in the park that night.

By the time we made it through the whole display, we finally ended up at the tree where, as tradition dictates, we spun around under it while looking up at the lights. A very magical night that left both of us super tired, but only one of us was able to fall asleep in the car for the ride back home.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Everything Has Its Place

If a Montessori education teaches your child one thing, it is being precise and organized. I will often find Ty lining up a few action figures or creating some symmetrical LEGO design. This time he went all out.

I left the room for a few minutes and came back to discover he had taken most of his small toys (cars, action figures, animals) and placed them all over his train table. The result was this amazingly organized pattern of colors and shapes.

I tried to capture it on film, but the 3-D experience is what's needed to fully appreciate this. At the very least please click on the image to enlarge to see the details. Perhaps Uncle Casey would display this as post-modern art in his Chelsea gallery?

Monday, December 15, 2008

More Marble Madness


Highly sophisticated mechanical engineering was involved here in creating some workable marble creations. This set differed from the one we have back at our house. It was made of wood and the blocks have several options of how they will drop the marble. Dad mastered this quite well to the envy of his brother and G-pop.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Laughing and Crying

Ty and his cousin Swann don't get to see much of each other. Maybe once or twice a year. The excitement built up when Thanksgiving day finally arrived and the two finally got to play.

Let's preface this by saying that they are close to the same age and pretty much have run of the house when they are apart. The first hour was wonderful. They got along, were affectionate, cooperative and complimentary.

By the second or third hour, boundary lines were being drawn, sharing wasn't so easy, and giggles were becoming tears.

By the end of the evening, they needed to be separated. Those of you with multiple children probably see this dynamic a lot, or watch it develop over time. We got an encapsulated view of childhood emotions all very quickly. Very entertaining, and tiring at the same time.

Needless to say, they got to hang out again the next day and things were pretty much the same roller coaster. Can't wait to do it again next year.

Friday, December 05, 2008

Stew Leonard's


Anyone who has ever been to CT has probably heard of this place. Imagine crossing Disney with a supermarket and this is what you get. Follow this link here for some fun tunes sung by animatronic milk cartons.

Ty and I joined Gram the day before Thanksgiving to pick up some last minute items.
Ty also got a chance to model his new winter wear for the first time. (something we don't often need in Austin).

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Autumn in Connecticut

Here's Ty standing on the deck behind my parents' house. We liked to watch the ducks swim along the river each day. I can't explain the finger gestures here though.

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

38 Stories Up


Picture perfect day in the city. We can look across to Central Park from my parents' apartment. One day earlier and we could have watched the balloons bobbing along Central Park West headed downtown. (One year I saw that and it was really cool).

Ty enjoyed the view and pointed out several landmarks (the Empire State Building). He also liked the super fast elevator which brought us higher than just about any building in Austin would get us.

*** Editor's note: This is post #300 on the blog. Big milestone. Thanks to all our readers and family for making this fun to do.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Street Cuisine

We were in the city on Friday to see the Calder show at The Whitney Museum. Any of you who will be in the NYC area while it's up should check it out. It features his famous wire sculptures of circus performers as well as other pieces made during the era. Ty and his cousin Swann really enjoyed it.

After the museum we walked a few blocks and grabbed a hot pretzel from a street cart. Can't beat that.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Thanksgiving Flashback #2

Just got back tonight from our annual trip to NYC and CT to visit Gram and G-Pop. While Dad sorts through the new pictures, here's another one from the past.

This was one of Ty's first visits to the Big Apple back in 2005. We were down in Chelsea checking out my brother's gallery. That wind chill really can sting.

This should be interesting to compare with a shot I took in the city this year. Hope everyone had a great Turkey day with their families.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Star of Texas

Playing Austin tourists again last weekend, we headed downtown. First we had lunch at Katz's Deli then it was off to play at the Zilker playground. A little chill in the air finally hitting us here and Ty showed off his new sweatshirt.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Carnival Days #2


Another shot from the fair. Ty is holding the puppy dog that dad won by throwing a few balls into a bucket. It took a few tries, but there was no doubt he would go home with a prize.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Carnival Days #1


The Austin State Fair was in town recently and we went down to check it out. I got Ty the wristband that gave him unlimited rides and he certainly took advantage of that. About 4 times on the carousel seen here (one time he got off and told me he thought the ride was shorter than the other times and he was "gypped").

His favorite though was this mini roller coaster that went around a small track. By the 3rd time on that one he was almost riding with his hands in the air. Dad stood by and held our drinks and winnings (a stuffed dog) while he played. The price I really paid for the day was massive allergies the following week from being outside in the dust for a few hours.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Five for Five


Today was Ty's last soccer game of the season. Only 3 of the kids were there, so Ty played the entire game. Our little Pele managed to beat his previous record of two goals in a game, with a whopping five! Congrats to Ty and the Tigers for an awesome season. We are all so proud.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Ty-rannosaurus


We visited Dinoland on display at Zilker's Botanical Garden. Life size replicas of dinosaurs that roamed the earth in ancient Texas. Scattered about were also nests filled with eggs. What amazes me is how the names and theories have changed sinced I was in school. Who would have thought they were closely related to birds?

This was our second dino nature walk. Here's a link to an earlier post from our visit to an exhibit in Bastrop. What's funny is I got Ty to do the roaring pose before.

Sunday, November 09, 2008

Austin's Growing Too

A beautiful weekend afternoon spent along Town Lake in Austin. In the distance is the familiar site for the skyline of downtown: cranes. When dad first moved here almost 12 years ago, the skyline looked a lot different. Luckily the things that make Austin beautiful, like this hike and bike trail, still remain intact and preserved.

Sunday, November 02, 2008

I am Iron Man



As promised, here are some shots of Ty with and without his mask. We went around the block with a couple of kids that we know from school. Within about 40 minutes our candy bucket was full and we returned to the house to then greet the older kids who came after dark.

Friday, October 31, 2008

First Carving - Happy Halloween

Here's the results from the pumpkin we snagged at the patch as noted in the last post. Ty made some drawings on paper and dad did the carving. I showed him the magic of the illuminated pumpkin by holding a flashlight inside. It's not quite the special effects that Lucas can provide, but you should get the idea.

We are off tonight for our first trick-or-treating around the neighborhood. Ty will be dressed as Tony Stark's superhero identity. Pictures and story to follow soon.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Pumpkin Patch

Ty visited his first pumpkin patch. Well not exactly the true farm where they are grown, but a local church had a few hundred scattered about in their yard. We sorted through them and selected two. One big one for carving and a smaller one that got some stickers applied to it. It is hard to get in the fall mood here though when this past weekend it shot back up into the 80's.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Flying Saucer

Ty and I tried our hand at a game of Frisbee. He managed to throw it quite well. The most fun was had when we tossed it up into the wind and it came flying back at us. This cracked him up to no end.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Gooooal!

Two awesome victories yesterday in the world of sports. First up were the 5U Tigers led by our favorite blog star. Ty scored his first official goal of the season, and then followed that up shortly with another goal. Hooray! Much fist pumping and high fives followed.

Oh and later that evening a small college football program here in Austin managed to solidify their number one position with a near perfect game against an overrated opponent. Dad was on hand to witness that too.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Seeing Red


This post title may refer to all of our stock portfolios lately. Man I wish I were a five year old and didn't know what the Dow was or care about the economy. Ah, when life's decisions were so simple. Ty, you don't realize how lucky you are.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

BBQ with G-Pop


The world famous Salt Lick BBQ has come to Round Rock. We had to take my parents there on the final night of their visit. As you approach the restaurant you can smell the burning wood from the pit. Right at the front door you can see all the meats being cut. You sit family style at long picnic benches where you might be sharing your meal with a local or a tourist. It is quintessential Texas.

The fact that we dragged G-Pop there was a small miracle since he doesn't venture much from bland food. But Ty enjoyed some turkey and surprisingly the sausage too which he snagged from mine and Gram's plates. But here he is looking super happy with my Dad. We are glad they made the trip.

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Let's Go Camping

A brand new REI opened up here in Round Rock. We went on opening weekend to check it out. Upstairs they had this kids area for climbing and testing out some equipment. Underneath a "mountain" bridge was a tunnel that had a sleeping bag and other stuff. Ty was a little hesitant to go in there because it was dark. Once I crawled in first and showed him the hand crank lantern, I couldn't get him to leave. Looks like we will need to schedule a camping trip soon.

Sunday, October 05, 2008

Pottery Party

Ty held his birthday party at Ceramic Lodge. His friends all got a chance to paint their own little piece of pottery. Each child was given a beautiful selection of colored glazes as you can see on Ty's plate. Within minutes though, Ty along with others, had altered a principle of science that all colors combined would equal white. In this case it became a muddy brown. So several layers of brown coated his race car and he was pleased nonetheless. Dad added a number five on its hood at the end which made Ty very happy.

It's all about fun in the creative process and not what the end result looks like, right Moms and Dads?

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Long Distance

If you have the opportunity to view your kids talking to other kids on the phone, it is priceless. Not bound by the long twisty cords like when I was a kid to a phone that might pull off the desk, Ty has the freedom to wander the room on Gram's cell phone.

Who is on the other end of this call you ask? His cousin Swann who is just about 2 months younger than Ty. She called from NYC to wish a happy birthday. Ty had a grin on the whole time.

Thanks Swann. We'll see you soon at Thanksgiving.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Marble Madness


Time to show off some of Ty's gifts. Here is this awesome set where you construct a Rube Goldberg type contraption where the marble goes through several wacky twists and turns to reach the bottom. Ty's favorite part is where the marble can jump through the air. It took precise set up by Dad to pull that off. Now we have races with different colored marbles, but miraculously Ty always seems to win.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Happy Fifth Birthday

Ty turned five on Friday. His party was on Saturday. Gram and Gpop have been here all weekend and Dad is now just getting around to posting. More details on his party and their visit will be posted next time.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Babushka

Babushka (Russian: ба́бушка, Russian pronunciation: [ˈbabuʂkə] ) is a Russian word meaning "grandmother," or more generally (but quite informally) "old lady."

Monday, September 22, 2008

Aerodynamics


Soccer season is now in full swing. We had our 2nd game this past weekend. They finally came up with a name for the team, "Blue Tigers". Ty wasn't entirely happy with that choice as he had suggested "Blue Jays" which received the 2nd amount of votes. Either way, he got lots of playing time because only four boys showed up which meant he was in for 3/4th of the entire game. Poor pooped five year olds running around in 90 degree plus heat (and it's late September mind you).

Dad presents two views of this scene. Above you see the action with Ty in pursuit of the ball. But a careful zoom in below reveals his Jordan-like facial expression. We could only hope that is a sign of future sports greatness.


Monday, September 15, 2008

The Ty-mnator

Dad, my huge muscles are starting to make this car seat feel puny. I think it is time to change to a boosta seat.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Vancouver and Ike


Dad has not been able to blog much the past week. I was in Vancouver, via Seattle. The weather was picture postcard perfect up there. Yesterday was a super long travel day as I woke up early in Vancouver, drove down to Seattle and then flew back to Austin ahead of the storms. Lucky to report we have seen no effects of the storm here in central Texas. As report file in about the Gulf Coast, some may not have been as lucky. All our Saturday activities here (soccer game) were canceled in anticipation of the storm. Ty and I will probably spend the day quietly and maybe take some extra clothes over to one of the shelters where evacuees from the coast have come to Austin.

We will return to our normal blogging soon with some new photos of Ty.

Saturday, September 06, 2008

I Get A Kick Out of You


Get ready friends... Ty is starting a new sport this fall. Look for a series of posts chronicling his new sporting adventures in the Round Rock Soccer Association.

Monday, September 01, 2008

Last Days of Summer?

A hurricane rips through the Gulf today, but here in Central Texas it is still sunny and near 100 degrees. Still no relief in sight for what has been one of the hottest and driest summers here in recent memory. We enjoyed the late afternoon at a nearby park that has these awesome sprinklers to run through. The key to getting shots like these is keeping the camera dry.

Hope everyone enjoyed their long weekend and our best wishes go out to those who might have been affected by the storms
.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Back To School


Ty has begun the final year of the three year primary cycle at his Montessori school. His transition back into the routine has gone smoothly so far which is a great relief to his Dad. He is eating his lunch, remembering to change his shoes when he goes outside, and not coming home looking like Pig Pen.


A lot of his friends are back too and we face the difficult challenge of already having to decide who comes to his birthday party about a month from now. Instead of just blanket inviting his whole class, this year we are being a bit more selective. Dad has learned from past experience that managing more than a dozen 3-5 year olds can prove quite hectic. No need for added stress.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Snip Snip

Time to get that trim to be ready for school. There is a fun kids' haircut place near us called Snip-its and they take good care of Ty. His stylist was quite entertaining. She explained all the tattoos on her arm had been applied earlier in the day while she was bored waiting for her next appointment.

Ty's eyes are looking off to the side because he is watching a cartoon which keeps him nice and preoccupied so he doesn't squirm in the chair.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Happy Trails

Get along little doggy. Ty and I went to the local rodeo in Georgetown recently with some friends from his school. Not the fan fare and rides that we expected from something like the big Star of Texas rodeo in Austin, but it was still fun. Ty went for multiple pony rides and that seemed to be his favorite part of the night.

One of his friends did the mutton busting (as a Yankee I needed a crash course on just what that was) and held on to the sheep for the longest time of the night. Yippee Kay-yay!

Friday, August 08, 2008

Last Day in Orlando

This was taken in the morning on our last day of the trip. Ty was bummed we couldn't go to the pool, but I explained all our clothes were packed and I didn't want to travel with a wet bathing suit. Our compromise was a game of miniature golf.

I don't know if I can count the actual minutes in the car we spent before Ty asked when we would return to Florida to go to Disney again. Perhaps that was a hint that he had a good time.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

I do all my own stunts


In order to get Ty to do this ropes course, I had to take the lead. The fun part of this picture was that Dad was going backwards one foot at a time to keep an eye on nervous Ty across this netted bridge. But I think the effort produced a pretty cool shot.

Saturday, August 02, 2008

A Day at the Seuss

In real time it is August, but in blog land we are wrapping up the last full day of theme parks from our trip in June. We spent the day at Universal Studios' Islands of Adventure. If you want to pick one of their two parks and only have one day, pick this one. It is the most child friendly and the superheroes and Dr. Seuss sections make it a big winner.

I smartly read ahead and had Ty wear a bathing suit which worked out well as he ran around one of the attractions getting soaked and keeping cool. Dad didn't take his own advice and I ended up drenched later on Popeye's river ride and never quite dried off (thanks to Orlando's 95% humidity).

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Easy Rider



Cruising Downtown Disney we stopped at the Harley Davidson store. They had two cool bikes in the windows made for picture snapping. Ty can't quite reach the handlebars, but he already wants one. Yeah, we'll see about that.