Thursday, December 30, 2010

Asking the right questions....

Zachary has thrown himself against my parents front door, barricading it. Loudly. My sister and I look up from the couch where we're sitting.

Me: "Hey Z, what are you doing?"

Zachary: "I'm just hiding someone's body."

Oh. Right. Silly me.

It did make some sense. He and my father were playing a game with a doll whose head had fallen off. So Zachary hid the body, while my father ran around the house with the disembodied head trying to reunite himself.

Um... Right. Some sense. Sort of like "Baron Muchauson". But without Robin Williams.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

adventure boy

Ginni and Z climbing
Originally uploaded by m0nk3yphd

Zachary can now (with supervision and a little help) grab the rails under his bunk bed and flip all the way around. Once my back is better we're off to the rocks.

Oh! and he is now a Monkey (that's the daycare class he starts in the new year) rather than a Giraffe

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Best part about austin?

Originally uploaded by m0nk3yphd

That it is going to be 80 this week.

If you follow the link through you'll see we did some painting - primer for chalkboard paint that will convert our coffee table into chalk board fun. This was just Mark & Z mucking around on the porch swing the other day.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Z versus the ice cream cone

Originally uploaded by QueenTutt81

He won. It was hard going though. Several times we all held our breath waiting for him to fall asleep with his face on the cone. There are many cute ice cream eating pictures by this one. But the tired here was just... too wonderful to not share.

Seriously, Aunt Debbie

Zachary has requested that Mike & Debbie go to daycare with him this morning. Aunt Debbie has gone wearing her jammies the last few times. Zachary looked at her this morning and said "Aunt Debbie, you need to be wearing clothes."

The negotiating began. "Just pants?"

"No. Pants AND a wakeup shirt"

(Debbie, looking sad) "Fiiiiiiiiine"

Oh, how quickly the tables turn.

Monday, November 29, 2010

This is why we have uncles

Uncle Mike just taught Zachary how to give (and receive) wet willies.

That would be where you lick your finger and stick it into someone else's ear.

While shrieking hysterically with laughter. That part, it appears, is key.

Thanks Uncle Mike. You were right. It *is* the perfect bedtime game.

Luckily Mommy introduced the crucial rule "This is a special game JUST FOR UNCLES".

toddlerspeech is awesome

"something witty but problematic" A grown up

"no bigs" Sarah

"no littles" Zachary

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Thanksgiving Rocked.

Originally uploaded by QueenTutt81

There are lots of pictures here. Follow through to a zillion pictures. Lots of pictures. People in orange. Ice cream. Rolling down hills.

We're all very tired. More later ;>

Friday, November 12, 2010


The other day in the car coming home from daycare Granny Linda asked Z "which side is the pirate octopus going to be on?"

Sarah and Z have had all sorts of conversations and games surround this bizaire octosculpture that we pass everyday. Including how silly it is to be wearing a hat underwater; "wouldn't it just float away?"

Anyway, Z points to the drivers side, as Granny L says "ok, frist one to see it yells octopus" and of course she is looking out of the wrong side of the car mislead by an eagar winner of the silly game. "OCTOPUS" "OCTOPUS" "OCTOPUSSSSSSSSSSSSS"
It was the first time Z has actively lied, or at least falsified information. Naughty but adorable!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Bouncy slide

sliding for cady
Originally uploaded by m0nk3yphd

We did halloween in the UT basketball arena. Undergrads and various organizations come together, and organize games and candy and all sorts of fun. Zachary was initially hesitant about the bouncy castle. But after several hours of candy and overstimulation, as well as two runs on the bouncy slide, he was ready to take on the castle once again. By the end (right about when the halloween picture below was taken) he was willing to admit "I'm a little tired too".

Uh huh. He could barely stay upright. Fun was had by all.

Happy Election Day!

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Candy Dance

This is from a few days ago.

You can imagine how today went. But there will be pictures anyway.

the changing seasons

So for the first time, Z and I had to go to school/work in long sleeves this week. Of course by ten it was back up in the high 70s and 80s. Whooo got love that, after all it's almost November.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Texas insects

There are all sorts of interesting insects here. Today Z and I didn't realize we were standing on a fire ants nest until it was too late. Fortunately, I just picked him up and ran fifteen yards away to knock off the few that had made it onto our socks and shoes. Z got stung, but got off lightly judging by the link above.

At tot shabbat this morning we also saw many "leaf-footed" bugs, all hanging out in the sunshine on a plant.

I guess we're in Austin now...

Friday, October 22, 2010

At this moment

First, it is dark. Because it is still night.
No, really because the time hasn't changed yet. But still.

My son just walked outside wearing his bright green crocs, his orange windbreaker, and a diaper. To retrieve our garbage can, which we'd put outside to dry. Except its raining. But he really wanted to. Did I mention his little naked legs?

We should have cats and toddlers run the country. They're unstoppable before any normal force. Like sense.

Hm. Maybe we already have that.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Toddler fun

Me "so it's a race, you have to take a bath while, Mum has to drive to work and back".

Sarah "and fill the dewer"

Zachary "what are you taking about?"

(ps from sarah - toddler conversations on the drive home get increasingly funny. yesterday, since Z received "Sylvester and the Magic Pebble", we discussed how one could avoid being turned into a rock, and what a bummer it would be, and different strategies to avoid being eaten by a lion when one is in posession of a magic pebble.)

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Birthday party sucess

Green cupcakes, sandpit, chalkboard, baseball and friends for an outside October birthday, gotta love the weather here.

Arg! Birthday pirate

Originally uploaded by m0nk3yphd

It has been an exciting few birthday days. This is his new pirate towel, which warrants an Arg!! every evening.

The birthday party today was exciting, and will get its own update with appropriate pictures shortly. It suffices to say it was awesome. And green. Fun was had by all, cupcakes were consumed, and the book swap went off splendidly.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Happy 3!

Three years ago we were sitting in a hospital room on a saturday morning, too distracted to turn on cartoons, having checked in thursday night and now starting to believe that one could actually be pregnant forever. Time had stopped passing and I just figured someone would let me know when a baby was born. Or not. As long as I could take a nap afterwards.

I got to nuzzle Zachary many hours later, but the nap has never come. 50/50 isn't bad, for obstetric dreaming.

Now he's gone from a bundle of smiles to a bundle of smiles with legs. And words. And deeply complicated emotions. A person that we recognize as flashes of us mixed in with flashes of the world mixed with whatever it is that makes us all us - the part that is a bonus birthday gift from the universe and makes us individuals that even a mother doesn't get to know all the secrets of. I suppose that's fair. Otherwise, why would we keep feeding him? TO FIND OUT MORE SECRETS. One has to be motivated.

This morning he opened some presents, the first time he's really be interested in a birthday happening. And has already gotten to express his opinion on a variety of bugs, read a book about maps, pretend to be a fireman (thanks mom & dad), a longhorn (thanks HEB), a pirate (thanks judy & jack), and a balleri-nope (thanks lizzy. we'll explain later).

His smiles are real smiles, and definitely not bowel movements. His frowns are real frowns, and he can even tell us why. We can fix it less, a trend I suspect will continue with time. But he still likes to cuddle us, and kisses still fix boo-boos, so parental powers are still going strong.

His mind makes incredible connections, and he knows he's being a little bit naughty singing at the top of his lungs throughout the house, and knows it is the kind of naughty we'll never interfere with. Here's to many more birthdays, fancy hats, and jumping to breakfast.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Lizzy is here!

Originally uploaded by m0nk3yphd

Our houseguest party has started! Lizzy is visiting for a few days on her cross country adventure. We spent the better part of the mornternoon in the front yard. It was fantastic and restful. We are having incredible weather here in Austin. Cool breeze, yummy sunshine, and nothing to complain about. Our grass is soft and the air is clean. A wonder our lungs haven't seized up in fear ;)

Wednesday, September 29, 2010


Zachary has been very into letters. He points out his letter Z, mommy's letter S, Daddy's letter M.

And just now, he pointed to his shirt (which has an exclamation mark at the end) and says "It is a stopping letter!"

Um... Why yes. Yes, it is. How the hell do you know that??

Sunday, September 26, 2010

A great cycling treat

It turns out that some of the yummiest ice cream on the planet is made not two blocks from our house.

Fortunately Z thinks it's a ten block bicycle ride to get there and back. This way he gets to burn off some energy before eating the pure sugar. The guy even picked out a bunch of green M'n'Ms to make up for the fact that the only green ice cream these had that day was not pistachio or mint choc chip but an alcoholic one called "grasshopper". Best not cycle drunk toddler.

overall our four day weekend has been great.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

well meaning....

Today, Mark tried to teach Zachary that "Rain comes from the water cycle" (as opposed to clouds, which might have been an obvious starting point ;>).

They come home, and Mark goes "Zachary, where does rain come from?"


Mark mouths "Water Cycle"

Zachary grins.

"Rain comes from motorcycles!"

Monday, September 20, 2010

My mom made this

Originally uploaded by m0nk3yphd

We spent yesterday morning at daycare building a sukkah! It was pretty fun. You should look at the other pictures of all our hard work. Mark did an awesome job documenting. The weather was perfect, a little overcast so it wasn't beating down with sun. The design was pretty snazzy too, and it went up fast. It probably would have been about 30 minutes, but we had to have a few excursions to collect our last few bits.

You can see the kids know *exactly* what to do with it.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

eye to eye
Originally uploaded by m0nk3yphd

Operation: Baby Gecko Rescue

Some mornings...

Yesterday, Zachary found an old yarn label of mine that has a pirate flag on it. He grabbed it, and ran in circles through the house at 6:30 in the morning yelling "Up yonder pole!" over and over again. I mean, that earns his keep for at least several months.

This morning we had an adventure when we found what I think was a baby gecko in our shower. There was a gecko rescue and return to nature. I think Mark has pictures which should come later.

And we have couches! Or rather a couch and a loveseat! Or rather a loveseat we've put together and a couch-in-a-box!

But seriously. It is starting to feel like home. Geckos and all.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Sunday, September 5, 2010

kool aid playdough

Originally uploaded by m0nk3yphd

Serious business. Mark & Zachary made it yesterday morning, and this is Z today, using as many tools as possible to get the job done. And obviously, chocolate soy milk as fuel.

ps - landlords, if you're reading this, the country has been cleaned up. Promise ;)

Wednesday, August 25, 2010


One room done!

Originally uploaded by m0nk3yphd

That's right, Mr. Z's got his own room. AND IT IS GREEN. Shall miracles never cease? One hopes not. It isn't perfect, we need to figure out some bookshelf action but... It is a start. One room down. Ten thousand to go. More floor available all the time.....

GTT (Gone To Texas)

Originally uploaded by m0nk3yphd

Here we are, in THE TRUCK, the 26ft banana monster. But guess what? WE MADE IT! HOORAY! We got here saturday night, got all the boxes in sunday morning. Zachary started daycare and he is having a ton of fun. We didn't take many pictures (we figured keeping track of the food and diapers was more important than keeping track of the camera but)... we're here! We're moving in! The box count is dropping. HA. Boxes, I shall conquer you. More pictures, including a few of the (empty) new house on flickr. Give us a few more days and you'll get some real pictures.

We're so happy to be here.

PS - Zachary slept in his own green bedroom last night. It made his life.

And ours.

Monday, August 23, 2010

106F and a new daycare

what a busy day ... today Zachary was the coolest kid at school. He got dropped off in the GIANT yellow 26 ft truck. I even heard another kid say, "wow, he came in a TRUCK"
We introduce ourselves to Ms. Sarah and Ms. Sarah (his new teachers) and left him to play with the rest of the giraffe class. As we passed quickly by the window on the way out, we saw he was already playing contentedly with huge lego blocks.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Let's see if this works - Yesterday...

View Larger Map

From Texarkana

Half and half, Arkansas and Texas... I don't know which we're in, but Mark is voting Arkansas.. it smells like cows...

We're almost there! Ok, almost, six hours.. but we're going to make it tonight. Happy thoughts. A little more breakfast than back in the truck for the last leg.

Everyone is holding up. Even the cats (now in two separate carriers, thanks petsmart outside of bristol, virginia, where the nascar race was conveniently filling all the hotels)...

But, I disgress. Best moment of yesterday. When Zachary took his bouncy ball (acquired at a taco bell) and put his rubber band ring (long story - gas station) around the center and goes "Look Mom! Like saturn!"

Yeah, that's my kid.

In other news? Why is every store made to DESTROY FAMILIES?? Ugh. Gas stations, fast food restaurants, everything. Also, why are there NO playgrounds at rest areas?

Anyway, we've adjusted to the rhythm of the road. See you soon, from Austin!

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Thursday, August 12, 2010

better than in the bath I guess!

I walked into the bathroom. Sarah has the potty balanced on the edge of the bathtub. Zachary is standing ankle deep in water, hips thrust out, peeing. Now he really is a boy.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Low Tech Hi Tech

Nintendo GameBoy
Custom 8-bit 4.19 MHz CPU
8 kB internal RAM
160 × 144 black and white display

Apple iPad
Custom (64bit?) 1 GHz CPU
256MB internal RAM
1024 × 768 color

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Get up, Stand up

It's ten pm, he's still awake but he's sing "get up, stand up" to himself in a drunk half asleep and stuggling to stay awake kind of way.

New Skills

So Zachary and I went swimming in the Hudson river on Saturday, we played in the sand we swam, we watched the naughty jet skiers get told off by the NY police boat for getting to close to the swimmers. But I also cut my foot swimming (it's fine, no worries) to close to the rocks rescuing a tennis ball so that Z and I could dry off a little on the grass while playing baseball.

This is the first of his mad new skills. I purchased a wiffle bat and ball for a whole shiny dollar a week or so ago. We've played a bunch since. I quickly realized that the whole throwing and batting in 3D was a little hard, so we moved to kneeing and rolling, and in two days his vector mapping improved from a 8% to at least 80% batting average. He watches the ball rolling toward him and just swings that bat along the ground and boom, another home run.

Ok so back to the whole cut foot thing, and I decided on Monday that rather than struggle with him, stroller and a cane (I was just trying to keep the weight off it for a day or two). I'd let him ride his bike. He's done so every day this week, to and from Daycare and often to the park to ride in circles before dinner. He even gets fast enough now that the training wheels pop up now and again. Today as I rounded the corner to the long corridor, I saw him disappear at the other end toward the elevators. He can also figure eight around various set of pillars we've come across on our bike excursions.

A video is bound to follow eventually.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Mornings can be fun

With an early wake up from Z to empty his bladder into the potty. YAY! No cheating. i.e. none of his peeing in the diaper and then dripping just to get a chocolate chip treat. We got our morning grove on. We went to the baseball park with his new shiny "wiffle' bat and ball. In the 30 minutes we spent there his hit rate (hand, eye and ball vector mapping) increased drastically. Mainly because we switched from standing and throwing to kneeling and rolling. But now he is getting the timing to make some major home run hits. It was pretty cool to watch.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Two of a kind

Originally uploaded by m0nk3yphd

Yesterday we went to Brian & Tiffany's baby shower on the UES. They live in a lovely building (Rockafeller housing - Columbia, take note!) with an outside play area (including water) and an inside playroom. One corner is devoted to this climbing wall, so Mark & Zachary took a spin.

Zachary especially loved it once he realized he could climb up and fall down. He took particular glee in the falling down. Thank goodness for 6" mats.

Sunday, July 11, 2010


This morning, Zachary discovered somersaults.

He is doing them all over the living room.

It is ridiculous.

He does not, he'd like you to know, require any help. Thank you very much.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

sorry i'm the worst mommy blogger ever...

3 more days. Two, if you think today is almost over.

Zachary is tearing up language like it is tissue paper.

This is just a service announcement in case you get within 100 meters of him.

For a while, he would say "You, me, everbody!"

Now, instead of everybody, he says "every guys!". I can't decide if this is 1) stolen from some piece of popular culture we haven't found yet. or 2) some toddler mashup of "Everybody" and "You guys."

It is always so hard to know.

He and mark are trying to sample every playground in central park before we leave new york. Which for Z and I looks like it will be midaugust.

That's a month away.

I can't believe we're leaving New York.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Enjoying the waves

On sunday Z and I walked all the way to (and most of the way back from) the little beach on the Hudson. It was packed with families hangout for the macy's fourth of July fireworks and BBQing on the grass. Once Z got over the "ahh waves" and into the warm water of the hudson, he was all but ready to swim to NJ. He had a blast.

Monday we went on an all day trip to Hippo playground, Z loved it. I sat, he played and played, with the water (which was good 'cos it was freakishly hot), on the assorted climbing structures and slides, and in the sand pit with both older and younger kids alike.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Play me, I'm yours

60 street piano's have invaded New York and we stumbled across one at columbus circle. After listening to some frenetic classical by a teenager (no sheet music required!), and a Nora Jones easy listening jazz singer, Z got his go with Grandma Jackie.

Then we went to volcano park and he figured out a method for running through the water spray without getting his hair/face wet......


Thursday, June 24, 2010

intent on reading

We had a busy weekend, Z highlights:
1) Getting to fall asleep in the car on the way up to Massachusetts
2) Babysitting with cousins Danny and Rachel, which involved pizza, Juggling, baseball, football and futurama (sans Z,we had a great time at the wedding too)
3) New books from Grandma Cornwall, GG and Auntie Marilyn (thank you all)

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Neglectful bloggers, no biscuits


Sorry. It turns out PhDs are hard. Right? Who would have thought. Whatevs. We're counting in weeks, and that can only be good for everyone and future therapy bills.

Mark will be fantastic and upload pictures at some point. There has been fantastic water based frolicking as the weather has warmed up here. New York City parks do have incredible water features - sometimes as silly as a pipe, or a sprinkler, but frankly when it is 95 degrees, that'll do. With no yards for most folks, certainly in manhattan... it is absolutely necessary. And some are spectacular, like "Volcano Playground"... well, no point describing. You'll see it soon enough.

The big news is... Zachary is HYSTERICAL.

Oh, wait. That isn't news. But he has certainly got his sass on. And his vocabulary! He is just sucking in words like a crazy vacuum sponge baby. Or an alien who has landed and is trying to fit in. Yeah, we probably should have named him Ford Prefect. Hindsight is a bitch.

He and I have had some quality conceptual time lately. Working on ones dissertation turns one to the precision of language. Which is a super dangerous collision when your 2.5 year old has hit the WHY WHY WHY stage. And loves words.

This last week we've learned:

1) The difference between parallel and perpendicular (forking noodles)
2) The difference between major & minor axis on an ellipse (cutting chick'n nuggets)
3) 1, again, with stabbing nuggets (he's pretty good at it)... and he can say perpendicular. Which is damn cute. In case you were wondering.
4) What's magnetic?? SO MANY THINGS. And did you know? If the door frame is magnet at eye level? IT IS ALSO MAGNETIC AT THE FLOOR. And at the place you can reach with your tippytoes stretched dangerously from the stepstool.

Yup. Magnetism is kick ass. Which I think is a great weekend lesson.

oh! and books. Still a book fiend. He has now started bringing books to daycare to share. Every day he picks a book he wants to share at daycare.

And he hates sleep. Apparently he gets that from me, WHA?? Sorry, kid. Genes are tricksy. Ask your Grandpa Michael.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Get up, Stand up

Z has had a big crush on Bob since he got to dance while eating a takeout picnic on campus a few weeks back. He still remembers and recites that we danced on the grass while eating dinner, but also loves to rock out and just enjoys dancing.....

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Board books

Sarah just pointed out that Z's rediscovery of his board books is because he's starting to memorize them. And they sing the ABC's at daycare so this one goes done a treat.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Hippo Playground an other parks

into the mouth
Originally uploaded by m0nk3yphd

We finally made it to a riverside park playground at 91st that I have long wanted to visit but it is just so out of the way. As you can see the hollow hippos make for great toddler climbing frames. We went with Ronen, Navah and their parents, who were in the city for the weekend.

On Friday, we visited another new park, to celebrate Stephanie distributing her thesis. The outside bar on riverside at 107th-sh overlooked a HUGH sand box, or fake beach, with several volley ball courts and the BEST two swing-a-ring sets ever.

We had a bit of adventure to Brooklyn on sunday. The orginal plan got scraped and Z and I went to check out a nice playground in prospect park. Z as is his current trend headed straight to play in the sand and slipped right into playing with the only Hispanic kids there. And then when they had to go he lined up to have his feet buried by a group of other children who were growing themselves by planting and watering their feet. He sat down in line and turned to the oldest girl and said "bury my feet please" and then later "water my feet, please" totally adorable. Pictures next time.

Friday, May 21, 2010

cobblestones and stairs

can keep him occupied for quite a while. This is the first time I can remember that he just ran of to go climb stairs (on his own) normally a task he seems to loath with those short little toddler legs and such big steps, but the reward it seems was well worth it.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010


Originally uploaded by m0nk3yphd

Glitter. Feathers. Safety orange.

Enough said.

Tuesday. Adventures in the life.

1) Zachary suddenly decided that daycare was evil. This sucks. But! We figured it out. He misses Farren. Farren, wherever you are, we miss you. :) Bargains have been made. hopefully it will be ok.

2) Zachary can say his full name. It is the most adorable thing on the planet.

3) On saturday, we went to see Jen graduate (whoo, we heart PhDs!) and then reconvened (post Mark/Z having park time, and me having writing time) for chinese food on college walk. I suspect these are the bits we'll miss about here. The weather was delicious in a way it rarely is in NY (sunny enough to be nice, cool enough to be comfortable) and we ran around and played and threw balls and climbed bleachers.

As they were prepping for graduation and commencement and all forms of whatever celebration, they were trying out the speakers. They played a chunk of Bob Marley to which Z first sang along (oy yoy yoy, oy yoy yoy yoy...) and then followed the directions of (get up, stand up...)... The first time we were like "What are you doing?"... By the second time we figured it out ;)

Friday, May 14, 2010

Worst Parenting Ever

Today, I told Zachary that he was flirting with an elevator ban.

These are the conversations in public in which inevitably people are listening in. And all I can think is "Yes. Yes I AM THE WORST PARENT EVER. Thanks for playing."

Zachary has been having elevator-button pushing-related ABSOLUTE meltdowns the last few mornings. Maybe its because we've replaced his usual pretzels with ritz, because we've run out and we're waiting for fresh direct to fix it. Or maybe because the coffee bean he stuck up his nose hasn't worn off. Yesterday, our neighbor stepped out of her door and pushed the button as we walked out the door and he burst into hysteria. She looked *so appalled* and apologetic and it was like "Oh, no. Please. Do not feel sorry for his crazy. Please. If anything, we are sorry for the charming symphony of displeasure that will follow us ALL THE WAY DOWN."

Right. Today again. We will not even discuss the details.

Which found us standing outside of the elevator bank in our building lobby, my face right up near his using serious parent voice and saying the words "If you can not get a grip we will ban the use of the elevator and only take the stairs. Which will cripple your mother. Who can not bear to hear the shrieking before coffee anymore and is willing to make the trade."

Yeah. I'm adding it to his therapy book.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

"Fe Fi Fo" and "Me My Mo"

are currently default silliness that just pops out of his mouth.

Here is Z in his new Tee, purchased at the Worlds fair (Shanghai) and mailed from HongKong, as you can see he loves the worldy gift.