Tuesday, December 25, 2012


VIDEO0035 a video by m0nk3yphd on Flickr.
Yes, gigantic trampoline bouncing. To wear out the kids before christmas eve.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Pooping Penguin

Yup. It poops candy. It is a wind up toy that poops candy. A.. birthday gift? Christmas gift? from a classmate. Everyone got one! Different animals!

The poop is "cola flavored"... Although it tastes a bit more like.....

Monday, December 17, 2012


why was the toothpaste on the wall?
because it someone squirted it on the towel.

why couldn't the airplane couldn't fly?
because the spaceship was putting it down on the ground insted of up in the air.

they make no sense, don't worry. Apparently silly is a stage they go thru.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

I love to solder


Quick catch up. It is chanukah. Night five, to be precise. We've been doing some candle lighting. Some latke eating. The usual. Zachary has gotten some presents. It turns out the theme is probably survival of (fill-in-your-favorite-catastrophe) apocalypse, but that was totally unintentional (bow & arrows, walkie talkies, learn to solder kit)... He was *so* excited by the learn to solder kit (Sparkfun is amazing, and you can find the kit here).. It comes with tools! (which now all have is name on them) It makes hot! And light! Big hit. I know you're surprised.

We did some of the soldering this evening before dinner. We took turns holding the solder and the soldering iron. I'll take a picture when there is some blinky light action for everyone to see.

In other news? Z also attended my work holiday party with me, and managed to bring home a golden reindeer in a scarf. A glittery golden reindeer. There was a raffle (they were the table centerpieces) which we did NOT win. But he clutched this one like it had a place in his heart, and our friend Emily sent it home with him.

I tried to leave it on the porch for decoration "and protection". But he pointed out how foolish that was because "The cats can protect us fine, and IT CAN'T MOVE so it can't protect us."


Saturday, December 8, 2012

born archer

IMAG0365 by m0nk3yphd
IMAG0365, a photo by m0nk3yphd on Flickr.
learning important skills to be ready for the zombie apocalypse.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

All asleep

All asleep by m0nk3yphd
All asleep, a photo by m0nk3yphd on Flickr.

PIcture in your minds ear a slightly squeeky, wheezing murmur, that's a cross between a purr and a happy sigh. It's adorable. It's Z snoring.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Eddy the Pirate - kite

IMAG0348 by m0nk3yphd
IMAG0348, a photo by m0nk3yphd on Flickr.
Z had a world of fun flying his new kite (Thank you Lori) on a warm, breezy Saturday afternoon in Zilker park.

My House

My House by m0nk3yphd
My House, a photo by m0nk3yphd on Flickr.

What doesn't really come across in the picture is the amount of sparkle in the iridescent paint.

Friday, November 30, 2012

Monday, November 19, 2012

Body parts from school

Body parts from school by m0nk3yphd
Body parts from school, a photo by m0nk3yphd on Flickr.

One of my favourite things in Zachary's class room is when the kidlets draw, and then narrate to the teachers what it's all about, or what they've learnt during a particular session.

Friday, November 9, 2012

I want to be a paleontologist ..

is what Z declared half way through "Discover: T-Rex: "New Science, New Beast"

Also a few days ago, Zachary performed his first experiment! For his quiet bed time reading he chose "the knowhow book of experiments".  He found it very entertaining, and called me several times to explain (even without reading) the pictures and the experiments they showed.  The next morning, we picked one to try.  He gathered all the equipment he needed (a ruler, a rubber band and two pencils) and we made high and low notes by moving the pencils.  The teacher/scientist in me then drove home the idea by talking about his violin and the pencils are like the bridge and his fingers! It was eye openningly adorable!

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Happy 5th Birthday

Originally uploaded by Niais

It is practically impossible to imagine that five years have passed.

The birthday was a great success, thanks to Mark's culinary skills and mystery hunt. Everybody had a blast.

Saturday, October 6, 2012

distraction on the field

DSC_0023 by m0nk3yphd
DSC_0023, a photo by m0nk3yphd on Flickr.

That number is one THousand

That's right, Z and Sarah are reading about the Mars Rover and he pointed to a number on the screen and says "that number is one thousand" and he was right.  "it's because it has three zeros"

Monday, October 1, 2012

Master class violin

Irene Michell (Suzuki Strings of Dallas) came for a group master class. The kids all learned about Dy (back of hand to forehead) nah (hand swipe of no thanks) mix (mixing a bowl). Here are three videos of the boy playing his violin. The two groups are playing Twinkle and May Song, while one other kid plays Twinkle Harmony.  But all doing Dynamic echo's together... then it gets really complicated as she mixes them all up.

Old Video

Found these on my phone, and wanted to portray the Cra-Z-y, at his best.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Busy evening, remaining good

Z got through all of the Yom Kippur closing service yesterday. It was such a pleasure to see him sit mostly still and quiet, while listening to the melodies and standing up to see the ark open. Plus he got to blow our shofar at the end. He also enjoyed the break fast, and got lots of yummy things to eat. We then stopped by the austin urban beekeepers meetup and learned about honey extraction among other things. He was fascinated, by both the conversation and his richard scary book. He was so good that someone actually came up to say "what a well behaved son [I] had, and it was a pleasure to see him listening and reading". WOW that never happened before, win, I guess we're doing something right.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Zachary's fabric crayon colouring

Tonight he gets to use the pillow case for the first time! He had so much fun colouring it.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Who has the button

DSC_0037 by m0nk3yphd
DSC_0037, a photo by m0nk3yphd on Flickr.

Z has the button. Click. Click. Click .....

Who switched my child?

So Z and I talked over the weekend about having a quick and speed morning, with more of a schedule. I've been trying to get him into the idea of going to kindergarden at Maplewood school which starts at 7:45AM! Anyway we agreed to set the alarm clocks and when the morning came around I went to check on him and his alarm got louder and louder and he just didn't even move. Ok I turned it off gave him a cuddle and went to get on with my morning, he could have a bit more sleep and I'll give up the early plan. So just as I get out of the shower I hear, thunk. I check. His door is closed and the light is on, "don't come in daddy". OK I'll leave him be and while I'm getting dressed, I hear clink clank. "hhmmmm" I go to the kitchen. Z has got out the whetabix, milk and is now getting bowls, not only for himself but for me. Awwww. And he is fully dressed! Amazing, so I ask again who came in the night and switched my child?

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Game 1 - YMCA Longhorns vs SALL ninjas

DSC_0015 by m0nk3yphd
DSC_0015, a photo by m0nk3yphd on Flickr.

Great game, mostly chaos. All the kids are still learning how to play; battling and fielding. We went through two innings for each team, with everyone getting a turn. Z clouted it both times he was up to bat, and had fun chasing the ball. When he caught it with his glove he threw it to first. Current rules are no outs so it's more just about playing as a team and learning the skills. Fun was had, sportsmanship is adorable!

DSC_0043 by m0nk3yphd
DSC_0043, a photo by m0nk3yphd on Flickr.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

That's why I was being a jerk!

Zachary has been a little meshugah. He burst into tears in the car going to violin. At violin. He burst into tears when he took apart some of his legos. He clung to me in a weird crazy way.  I figured it was because I was an awful mother. Because I'm about to start travel shenanigans again. Because I've been working a lot.

Oh hey. Maybe it isn't all about me? I was about to go do an errand and Z started complaining and I said, in my least good parent flippant way "I am just about ready to give you COUGH SYRUP." And then I paused. And then I said, Zachary, do you have a fever?

Commence thermometering.

Fever confirmed. Tylenol dispensed.

After five years? Still a little slow out of the gate.

And his response, once I've taken his temperature. "That's why I was being a jerk!"

Me too, kiddo. Me too.

No training wheels !

No training wheels ! by m0nk3yphd
No training wheels !, a photo by m0nk3yphd on Flickr.

Yup he asked to try without. He doesn't quite have the balance down, but with his speed it is super close.

Friday, September 14, 2012

T-ball Fun!

Originally uploaded by Niais

T-ball starts next weekend! We went to the YMCA and picked up Z's jersey. It is reversible, grey and green, which seems wildly clever to me. Zachary is totally excited to play. We let him pick between soccer (which seems to be the predominate kid's sport of choice) and t-ball, but he's been set on playing baseball of some flavor for ages. I tried to talk Mark into coaching (they were a few coaches short) but apparently he thought he was unqualified. C'est la vie. We'll just shout wildly from the sidelines. "GOOD EYE, KID, GOOD EYE." (That's all I remember. Hints welcome).

Thursday, September 13, 2012

at the symphony

at the symphony by m0nk3yphd
at the symphony, a photo by m0nk3yphd on Flickr.

We went to see the Austin Philharmonic with Zachary's violin group. It was fun except it was late and he was tired.


" I want to wear my flame shoes to show Drake" "uh huh, you need sock first" "because I want him to see me run fast, faster than sonic"

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Growing up - independence

We've been encouraging Z to be more helpful and independent. He gets buttons, for good and helpful behavior. We're filling up a jar with marks for ice cream and higher up a movie.
Recently he has been ROCKING the being good, and wants to be indepent. He is occasionally getting his own juice and ice, or a cheese-stick from the fridge. Or getting n'ked for the bath, scrubbing, drying, and getting PJs! He was amazing this morning and tonight.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

He did this himself too

Originally uploaded by Niais

Please note the orange clog slippers. See? When mom goes to amsterdam, it *totally* pays off.

Independence Day

Originally uploaded by Niais

Zachary is suddenly doing things ALL BY HIMSELF. He's been able to *doooo* stuff, but now he's combining them together... It is a little bit like the songs he learns on violin. He can play little chunks of something, and remembers and forgets them. And then suddenly one day he's playing something all the way through, FWOOP, fluid, that we didn't even realize he knew.
LIke that. He runs into his room and tells us to look away and keep our eyes closed. And out he popped this morning fully dressed including shoes and rolled socks. Serious business. After this he ducked back in to get his glasses.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Helping the ball down the lane...

Originally uploaded by Niais

You have to stare it till it drops. That's the rule. (This is glow-bowling, in case anyone was wondering).

AirHockey Wizard...

Originally uploaded by Niais

Sing along time...

Monday, July 2, 2012

Dangerous Cliffs

DSC_0576 by m0nk3yphd
DSC_0576, a photo by m0nk3yphd on Flickr.

The weather here in cornwall is amazing, we have only seen sun twice in two weeks. Upcountry it was a tad warmer (see stonehenge pic), but we are reveling in not being in an Austin heatwave (109F/43C a few days back!).

Stonehenge 2012

DSC_0471 by m0nk3yphd
DSC_0471, a photo by m0nk3yphd on Flickr.

Watch Out for the Vampire Rabbits of Lands End

Hands up by m0nk3yphd
Hands up, a photo by m0nk3yphd on Flickr.

Shortly after a highly entertaining time with Grandma and Grandpa's friend Eddie the Priate. Zachary and I wandered over to the little petting farm next door. We saw all sorts of amazing chickens and some goats that looked like the were stuck on the side of a small cliff (but probably weren't) and then we went to feed the rabbits. DUHDUHDUH.....
Unfortunately the over enthuasastic beastie took a bite to hard and got Z's finger. Tears blood, and a short ride to the emergency room but all is well that ends well. Z has a awesome looking bandage and a new green teddy bear.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

austin drumline 2012 - battle

For Junetheen we went to the Alvin Patterson battle of the (marching) bands.
At the end it all went a wee bit free form and two of the drumlines, went face to face, just like in the movie.
Zachary, was on my shoulders drumming along and enjoying every minute, almost as much as his parents.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Saturday, June 9, 2012

every picture tells a story

IMAG0190 by m0nk3yphd
Kissing, a photo by m0nk3yphd on Flickr.
This is a picture Elizabeth drew for Zachary. It is a kissing picture. Zachary was quite matter of fact. She drew it because they're boyfriend and girlfriend. I asked what that meant? Apparently, it means they're getting married. I'll let you know when the registry is set up.  Zachary explained that little kids couldn't get married, that you had to be 7 or 8 or 9.  I told him I was pretty sure the rule in texas was 16 with parental consent. He sighed and said that would have to do.

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Swimming in the creek

IMAG0178 by m0nk3yphd
IMAG0178, a photo by m0nk3yphd on Flickr.

Now he's taking a nap before the baseball game tonight, go isotopes! Also I'm excited about theis creek, because you can also climb. Someone even top roped me on a 5.10 while Z sat on the bank eating a late lunch.

Pool noodle guitar

He even went to get a pick, to play with!

Upside down? weird, sorry

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

scoot biking

VIDEO0015 a video by m0nk3yphd on Flickr.

Zachary really wanted to scoot to daycare, so he could practice. Then he informed me "I can go riding and keep up with Oliver (who also has a scoot bike)"

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Bee watching

DSC_0075 by m0nk3yphd
DSC_0075, a photo by m0nk3yphd on Flickr.
The Texas sage is in bloom, and our new girls are all covered in pollen, and drinking up the nectar. We really couldn't have hoped for better timing. And with all the blossoms and buzzing, Zachary was transfixed.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Burr comb nectar

DSC_0049 by m0nk3yphd
DSC_0049, a photo by m0nk3yphd on Flickr.

Sarah and Z tasting nectar from some burr comb.  The link shows a great example of comb similar to what we saw yesterday. This was drawn off of the queen cage that was hanging in the hive (to give the bees a few days to acclimate to the queen and release her).  When we went to check she had been released, and you can see eggs in the burr comb. We didn't spot the queen, but hopefully this weekend we'll manage to catch a glimpse (she is larger and also has a red dot of paint on her back, so here's hoping).  It is important that she gets established quickly. The worker bees have about a six week lifetime, so there need to be new workers being reared to take over responsibilities. Since the workers shift jobs based on age, it is important to have continuity of generations, otherwise the hive gets out of whack.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Get 'im young....

Originally uploaded by m0nk3yphd

Well, at least someone here is ready for the bees coming on thursday....