Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Big New Bike

Guess who got a new Bike for chanukah

New Bike by m0nk3yphd
New Bike, a photo by m0nk3yphd on Flickr.

We went out twice today. Once to the daycare parking lot and once with Tavi (and Erik) to Mueller park. He probably rode about 3 miles all in all.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Wind Sprints

Today was the daycare holiday party.

Why yes, a lot of sugar *was* consumed. How can you tell?

Oh. The four year old doing wind sprints with Mark minding the stop watch in the living room is a dead give away?

Don't worry. He's rolling on the floor now. All is returned to normal.

(5.5 seconds is his record. In case you were wondering. Probably beat some sort of land speed record...)

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Out to the movies

Zachary loved his first cinematic experience, The Muppets. He was such a good boy, he sat through the entire movie, and danced/wiggled to several of the big musical numbers. Afterward when asked he stated that the "best part was when the new muppet was on the electric fence" closely followed by the whistling act in the muppet show. He thought the screen that was so BIG his hands almost touched behind his bac, he enjoyed the huge bag of popcorn, and the only down side was the sound got a little load. Overall AWESOME movie and experience we're glad we waited until now.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

I know this has very little to do with Zachary...

Originally uploaded by Niais


And no, we don't know which one.

But Z and Mark went out to tuck them up for the night.. and there, in the nest box... WAS AN EGG. We're saving it up till we have three to eat together...

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Chicken on a what?

Zachary had his first violin recital today.  He played the old classic, "Chicken on a Fencepost". (No, I had never heard of it either :> ).  I'm obviously biased, but I think he *rocked* it. 

(and yes, he did pick out his fancy outfit, all by himself.)
(he's the short one.)

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Sarah to her Mom "Hey do you think you could grab some asprin while you're up?"

Zachary "What's Asprin?"

Me "Zachary, can you say salicylic acid? It come from willow bark, people used to chew ...."

Zachary "No, Asprin......I know Asprin"

"like that book ... the mouse ... and the boy... and the mouse finds an Asprin with the motercycle"

FYI we read the Mouse and the motercycle more than six months ago! And I think this proves elephantine memory is genetic!

Halloween Parade 2011

DSC_0517 by m0nk3yphd
DSC_0517, a photo by m0nk3yphd on Flickr.

Can you find the little A [to] Z man?

Friday, October 14, 2011

Planting a Pom

We just planted a pomegranate tree in the front yard (to follow on from last week's fig tree). Whoo! The pomegranate looks *so* cool. And it even has a few pomegranates!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

It will not be obvious to you...

Zachary has, lately, requested private space when brushing his teeth. He is very adamant. He can do it on his own, thank you very much. He's all full of being almost four, and stretching on his tiptoes, and stretching out, and being nimble and competent in funny ways. I watch him reach out to do things with one hand while doing something else with his brain and remember when, even using ALL of his brain power and focus he really could barely pick out which limb was doing what. But not now. Now he is serious business.

So he strolled out of the bathroom tonight after his ablutions and came up to stand next to me. "Mommy. It will not be obvious to you where my toothbrush is. But to me, it will be."


When I later went into the bathroom I had a bit of a look round.

He has gotten much trickier with age. It is tucked up on the rail behind our towels, on the opposite wall from the sink (where the rest of the toothbrushes are).  He was pleased that all our toothbrushes were in the same place for a while... a novelty, now that we're in one bathroom. But now? Now his toothbrush has struck out on its own.

Independence is a heady drug.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Terrible Bloggers. Terrible!

But we've moved! And we're surrounded by boxes. But don't worry!

We remembered to pack Zachary.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Bad Daddy

I would like to preview this with the obvious... Mark is a fantastic father.

 But now, Zachary can talk.

 It is Friday afternoon. We are all zonked. Zachary had a violin lesson this afternoon. We all had full days. By the time they came to pick me up at work, we are all goofy tired. I worked at a conference exhibition today (Go UT Astronomy) and picked up a few toys for Z from other tables. He (and we) were briefly enthralled.

 And then Mark started driving out of our loading dock.


 And then Mark stopped the car. And we all started laughing. We haven't stopped yet.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Ready for Whale watching

DSC_0164 by m0nk3yphd
DSC_0164, a photo by m0nk3yphd on Flickr.

we saw several blue whales, and hung with a feeding humpback for about two hours!

DSC_0255 by m0nk3yphd
DSC_0255, a photo by m0nk3yphd on Flickr.

Mordchai and Zachary

P1030117 by m0nk3yphd
P1030117, a photo by m0nk3yphd on Flickr.

at the Monterey Bay aquarium.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Knock Knock

Who's there?


picture who?

picture, I need to get on the fan and spin


Knock Knock

Who's there?


shampoo who?

I want to climb up a tree.

Just some examples, of Z trying out humour. I did teach him one real knock knock joke, and it surprised Sarah so much she cracked up!

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Safety First

Originally uploaded by Niais

Yes, this is the first lesson of science. In this case, the density of watermelon seeds! As you can see from the pictures below, we've been growing things! We don' t have much dirt (or direct sunlight for that matter) in our yard, but there is a brand new community garden just across the lot from Z's school. The first watermelon was... a slightly inadvertent harvest, but we've been eating it up and we figured - why not save the seeds if they're good? The viable seeds sink, the bad seeds float. Maybe this month's theme should have been "Child Labor"....


Originally uploaded by Niais

The first watermelon

Originally uploaded by Niais

Wednesday, July 20, 2011


Originally uploaded by Niais

Our new screen door. Real paint next weekend.

(what is the point of having children if you don't put them to use, yes?)

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Group Lesson!

Originally uploaded by Niais

If you follow this photo over you will see pictures not only of children with teeny tiny violins, but pictures of children with teeny tiny violins WITH MONKEYS HANGING OFF THEM. Yeah. I know. Can you believe it? This is them with their strong feet, practicing holding their violins correctly. The monkeys are for holding the violin under their chin correctly.

Zachary is absolutely loving it. He's gone from a box violin to a real violin (obviously) and now has started moving his practice to making actual music! It has been incredible to watch him really learn how to listen and hear notes and rhythm and repeat them.

Monday, July 18, 2011

50/50 Parenting

I have to write this down somewhere in case it stops happening, or if I forget, or if he grows out of it or...

Actually, it would be quite funny if he didn't.

First of all, he calls us interchangeaby Mommy & Daddy. Sometimes he corrects himself. Sometimes we correct him. He obviously knows our NAMES. (Which he can yell, sometimes with last names, depending on how riled up he is.) I feel confident he can identify us as different people. But obviously, for most of his needs anyway, we're pretty swap-out-able.

This has now extrapolated out to the obvious where he just yells. "SOMEONE COME NOW"

The all-call for any grown up attention within a ten mile radius. It could be because of the surgery, where he had an overnight babysitter, and then my mom was around for a while. And I didn't answer the hollering, which inevitably will break my heart a little forever. Or it could just be that seriously, why select for one when this way you have a much higher chance of success?





(see how it gets more explicit with time? In case we're ignoring him because we're confused, or lost in the house and unable to triangulate on the earth shattering shrieking. It is actually quite easy. Follow the direction the cats are tearassing away from.....)

Monday, July 11, 2011

Fourth of July

Originally uploaded by m0nk3yphd

We must be in the midwest! Since there is a crazy drought going on down here. (Crazy. There was a whole article in the NY Times today about how crazy it is) there were no fireworks nearby. We could have driven to some of the far away towns where they figured - why not endanger the populace (of which there isn't much) and lure all those people from the big city? But, you know, two weeks off the hip replacement, sunset at like 9pm... It just seemed like the wrong choice.

Luckily we live in the cutest "city" in the world. There was a neighborhood bike parade and carnival in a park down the street. The parade lined up (see? Z with his holiday cape and princess bike, Mark holding being one of the "line leaders")... and then that big firetruck? Yeah, it led them in a march around the park. Pretty much the cutest thing ever. Then all sorts of fun including a tunnel of wet & a giant water slide and a bounce house (bounce houses are.. insanely present here. I'm going to guess we missed the rise of the bounce house because we used to live somewhere with very little outside space? They are here EVERYWHERE, inside, outside.. it is a wonder there are not bounce houses made for the backs of peoples trucks... )... And a pinata! Oh man. Totally amazing to watch. Go look at the pictures. They fail to express the total melee it was. Children, limbs, candy. One kid was definitely crowd surfing at one point. It was quite desperate because no joke - that pinata pony was made of steel. There is some annoying car commercial with an impenetrable pinata. This was that pinata. Just when you thought it was going to go...They even broke one of the sticks on it. Finally, one of the dads just yelled "NOW!" and dropped it into the pit of seething children.

Which, maybe, is how all pinatas should end. Ok, it is a little lord of the flies, but you've got to get it out of your system somehow...

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Yup, we've been a little slow posting...

Originally uploaded by Niais

But honestly, we're just a little tuckered out.

Fourth of july photos coming soon. Z has taken to sleeping on his bottom bunk. You know, when he deigns that sleep is a possibility, which is to say hardly ever...

A Very, Very Long Time ago....

... that's how we call yesterday. Or this morning. Or sometimes last week.

Just in case you wondering how a three and pocket change feels the time pass. For us? I can't get the time to stretch wide enough to fit it in. But to him, every day is an eternity.

Which is probably why it takes him three hours to leave the house in the morning. Because he has nothing but time.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Charm School

Mark reached across to dip his challah in honey that Zachary was (very, very slowly) spooning onto his plate.
Zachary looked shocked.

"That is SO rude!!"

Mark's hand yanks back and he looks totally startled. "You're... right. It is very rude... I'll... work on that."


It was just a matter of time.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Zachary Edwards 3rd bday

DSC_0057 by m0nk3yphd
in the ball pit with Isa, a photo by m0nk3yphd on Flickr.

Z had a great time at ZE's bday. Checkout the zipline photos to see nervousness turn into "OH YEAH! I'm doing this"

trifecta of awesomeness

1) After his swim lesson, Zachary with "barbell" float, kicked/doggy paddled the full length, 25 yards, of the adult pool!
2) His first violin lesson was a success. So much so that he wanted to play "strong feet/bowing feet" and "bow hand/violin hand" over videochat.
3) He managed to zipline across the gym and drop into a ball pit at Zachary Edwards 3rd birthday.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Zachary has

"mommy loves me" on his hand. Why because I made a note on mine.

Monday, May 30, 2011

warm day - cool water

Originally uploaded by m0nk3yphd

Today was an awesome 95F (35C), so we went to the splash pad to cool off with Ethan and family. Only another 3 months of summer weather!

Friday, May 27, 2011

In other news...

Originally uploaded by Niais

Those who have very astute skills of observation might notice that not only are the chicks growing, but they appear to have gained a friend. The little puff ball in the back is a whole day old. Her name is Rosie. Mark meant for her to be Rose like Rosalin Franklin, but in my mind I'm calling her Rosie the Riveter. To each their own. She earned her spot on the team by both being adorable and by nominally (perhaps in many months) laying blue/green eggs. She's an Ameracauna, but the internet tells me she's really probably an "Easter Egger" as it is tricky to find Ameracaunas that are official enough to be in Chicken Shows. Luckily, we're in it for the cuddles and the eggs so that'll do for us.

ps - I'm going to the telescope next week, so hopefully Mark will blog lots so I know they haven't burned down the house.

Football Hooli...

Originally uploaded by Niais

I just wanted to share this ensemble of Z's from midweek. The wristband is from Auntie Debbie and a football team in.. Croatia? I've lost track, sorry Deb. The boots are his yellow rain boots. Anyone tracking the weather in Austin might notice that rain hasn't been anywhere on the radar much. In fact, we're pretty much clocking out at 95-100 every day. I think it is this way till September. It is surprisingly glorious.

The boots stayed on all day, even though we sent him with backup not-crazy-person shoes. Points for persistence in the face of sane. He must belong to us.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Welcome to the family!

Originally uploaded by m0nk3yphd

I just flew in from State College/New York and today was a blissful Austin day. Ok, it is crazy humid, no joke. But we got to do fun Austin outside wonderful things! We've been discussing getting chicks and today was the day. Zachary named them Petunia, Gaga, and Bessie. They're living in our back bathroom until their feathers fill out enough to go outside....

In case you track such things (you don't, but maybe this will make you google it), Bessie is a Black Australorp, Gaga is a Buff Orpington, and Petunia is a Dominique. We're building a portable home for them over the next few weeks. Fun for all!

We also just got lucky and got a community garden plot right across the parking lot from Zachary's daycare. Today we stirred up the dirt, and tomorrow we're going to go have a planting extravaganza of all the things that love heat... We'll let you know how that goes.. .I figure it is easy-ish to stop by on the way home and check things, give everything a drink for the evening, and take advantage of some raised beds we didn't have to make....

More from the farm later. We have New York pictures but they'll be a day or so. I mean, you guys were all there anyways.. :D

Bessie, Petunia, and Gaga

Originally uploaded by m0nk3yphd

Thursday, May 5, 2011

showing off

playdate with Lucy
Originally uploaded by m0nk3yphd

he had a ton of Fun last weekend with Lucy and her sister Alissa at central market playground. Of course she can do it too.

Thank you grandma J

Originally uploaded by m0nk3yphd

Thursday, April 21, 2011


Originally uploaded by Niais

Yeah, Zachary C. Bunny would like to wish everyone a happy spring, passover, and... EASTER. Yup. They made the tie dye shirts last week. Today? Egg hunt. Stickers and toys abound. The floppy bunny ears almost pushed me over the giggle edge...

Monday, April 4, 2011

A horn's double header

running the bases 5 (home strech)
Originally uploaded by m0nk3yphd

A 10-1 win from the Horns baseball team, and then over to the big stadium for a 24-7 "texas" vs "longhorns" open spring training game.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Madeline's Bouncehouse birthday

Zachary knew what to expect for a bounce house birthday party. As you can see below, he had reckless abandon on the bouncy castle, maze, pirate ship, and tipping cart (see below). He every managed a full over the head (OMG he's going to break his neck!) bounce down the slide but did look a little daze for thirty seconds until he was bouncing off again for another go.

red in the face and shvitsy, but oh so happy!

Sam and Z

Thursday, March 17, 2011

And so it begins

Zachary and I spent part of the evening sitting outside with our alley neighbors. They were playing guitar (blues, electric and acoustic) and have a bbq for St Patrick's day and who knows what else - to celebrate the beautiful weather. It is 9pm, and 77 degrees. The sky was clear with a bit of wind when we got home. Z wanted to bring over his fiddle - I told him we needed to practice a little then we could :> He was transfixed - two dogs, cookies, a bbq (FIRE!) and music. Did I mention the weather?

I'm re-stringing the violins as we speak.

I sorted through my old music to find a starting place. That's how we know how much time has passed, by the amount of things we have learned and forgotten. Electric blues is still drifting through the house. And a lot of fresh air. I saw something wandering around the internet, "Top 6 things you're doing to ruin your health" and one of them was "opening windows for fresh air". Better to run the a/c to filter out the dangers of the outside world. Fools. Give me an open window anyway. Air conditioners don't play guitar.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

while making pizza

or at least helping to make pizza chef collins declared "I want this piece of my half to have sauce and this one to have no sauce" and shortly after "mushrooms, I like mushrroms", gobbles up a mushroom slice and sprinkles many more on his half.

And then he ate raw broccoli while waiting for the pizza to cook.

Just an example of how he is growing up, and expanding his horizons daily.

Monday, March 14, 2011


Z gets up from the potty as Sarah goes into the bathroom to get him to take a bath and wash his hair before bed.

"Zachary, why is your poop that color?"

"Daddy gave me green eggs for breakfast"


Making groggers

Originally taken by jeffcam (Sams Dad)

Sam and Z shaking their noise markers (very loudly) at the TBI shabbat.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011


Zachary has sneaked (toddler-style) into our room after waking up and climbing down from his bunk, the for the last few days. He jumps into bed, cuddles for a minute before declaring "it's wake up time" and climbing out of bed to open the curtains and prove his case for morning.

Best alarm clock ever. snuggles and a gentle "GET UP"

Sunday, March 6, 2011


Sarah is away. After the usual nighttime routine, teeth brushing, PJs, and three books comes hugs for Mum and Dad. Zachary hugs his chest (hands on his heart) and kisses the air saying "hug and kiss for mommy, where ever she is" and then hugs me.


... in my neighborhood

Swinging with Ethan
Originally uploaded by m0nk3yphd

Tuesday, February 8, 2011


Zachary just learned how to snap. It was this awesome epiphany. He sort of pondered it, and we showed him a few times, and he sort of mushed his fingers together.

And then... SNAP. And we all look startled, and he cackled and clapped. And then did it again.

And again.

Sort of like magic.

[edit - to SNAP is to CLICK for our english readers]

Friday, February 4, 2011

Z is singing to himself

"Bugatti, Bugatti, Bugatti"

"which is the Bugatti?"

"this one"

that's right the Veryon

snow day

snow day
Originally uploaded by m0nk3yphd

Yup, he saw it, put his boots on and went outside. My coffee water hadn't even boiled.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011


Zachary was falling asleep tonight, and struggling to stay awake. He called me into his room.


(calm bedtime mom voice)

"Yes dear."

(tiny face pops up from pillow)


(Radiant grin followed by collapse onto pillow and snuggling down with comforter)

(and a snore)

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Yup, that's my boy

Two lovely girls over for a playdate, Lucy and Tessa!
And then he picks his nose in front of the camera!

exhausted Zachary interpretation

Tired from the playdate with Lucy and Tessa, and from running around food and climbing wall (parts) shopping.

While I was lugging the ply and 2x6s into the garden, Z picked up some chalk and started drawing on the blackboard we have out there. Once i was done I asked for a description what the swirly whirly mass of colors was.


"sorry, waht is it?"




"hhhhhmmmm, Dad's not understanding what your saying Z?"

"over reeeeeeeeeeeee"

"oh over tree"

"Yeah, over tree!"

"the top of a tree, with with leaves?"

"YES, look now I draw the trunk ..... and grass"

Were you wondering how a three year old blackmails?

With traffic cones, it turns out.

We know, we know. Pictures. Some coming shortly, from a fantastic play date this morning. Zachary was missing his friends from his old class, and two of them came over to play. Much fun was had.

Then we went to the hardware store to pick things up to make a climbing wall. Zachary is in love, Mark is feeling healthy enough to start exercising at the speed of a three year old, and the whole thing makes me smile. We're running through the aisles playing with.. whatever, and I grabbed a small orange cone because... They're awesome? It made a good hat? Zachary then wanted to return to the cones, inspect their quality and height for possible T-ball applications... and build a family?

That's right. He took off two big cones, a medium sized cone, a little cone and said... "Baby, Brother, Mommy, and Daddy!!" and then, looking very pleased with himself, went to get two more little cones. "AND THE CATS!!!"

Maybe we should tell him that once he learns to change diapers, we can have a talk.

Friday, January 28, 2011

"Watch and Learn"

Tonight as we were eating dinner, Zachary suddenly grasped his fork and gave it a flourish.


I tried not to react. This is the constant battle of parenting a 3 year old. Trying not to fall to the floor laughing. I made eye contact with Mark and mouthed "Did you hear that??"

Zachary watched sharply, cackled, and repeated "Watch and learn!"

He wildly stabbed his mac and cheese, wounding more than he caught and flew them towards his face with a force unknown in nature.

He then balanced it carefully on his closed mouth, smirked, and opened his mouth so slowly that the single pasta shell plummeted to the floor.

Definitely didn't see that coming.

Rinse and repeat. Eventually he managed a BITE FULL of pasta. Watch and learn indeed. The cackling spread. "you ate a bite! High five!"

I held up my hand.

He cheered and swung his fork, up until moments ago hidden under the table, aimed straight for the center of my palm.

They should use toddlers to train secret agents to have quick reflexes. Only the strong survive.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

first trip bouldering

gus fruh - bouldering
Originally uploaded by m0nk3yphd

One of the wonderful tings about Austin is the easy access to the outdoors. Maybe 10 minutes from our house, and within city limits are several great climbing areas. Our first bouldering trip was to Barton Creek, where there are several spots to climb and boulder on limestone cliffs.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Learning to read

So Z has been getting more wordy by the day. Last night I told him "your squinting in the photos" I was taking (see below). He turning to me said "I was squinting because I was concentrating" (because he was using the awesome straw).

Currently he is sitting on Sarahs lap learning to read. Having told us "I'm frustrated because I don't know the words".

glasses straw

glasses straw
Originally uploaded by m0nk3yphd

Monday, January 10, 2011

Party like its... 1999?

Originally uploaded by m0nk3yphd

Yeah, this was the new year's party at GiGi Evelyn's rehab center. Let us just say that with all the sparkly beads and the awesome crowns (not to mention those noisemakers. He melted through one of them) Zachary's new years was made. Ours too, for that matter.

PS - Aunt Debbie

Originally uploaded by m0nk3yphd

This one is for you.

Our awesome food choices

Originally uploaded by m0nk3yphd

Yes, he is licking cake batter off the mixer (new, fantastic, the coolest piece of kitchen technology EVER.). I just realized you can also see a pizza box behind it. At least there are raw veggies on top of it.

Zachary noticed me taking this picture and did not even slow down with the batter consumption.

Sorry, Mom. I warned him about the salmonella. But he looked so happy...