when I started this blog five years ago, I was a pet sitter and the name animal-crackers made sense. now I'm a stay-at-home-dad and freelance writer, but rather than confuse everyone by getting a different blog, it's just easier to keep posting things here.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Mayfield Park

We visited the Mayfield Park and Nature Preserve this morning. Lots of trails, peacocks and fun.

posted by todd at 12:07 PM 0 comments

Friday, July 16, 2010

Busy Daze

Mom and Dad left last week. The boys and I went with them on the first leg of their trip. That was a bit of an adventure.

We started at 1:45 p.m., later than we had planned, and headed west on 290. We changed to highway 105 in Brenham, and all was going well. Then in Cleveland, the road turned -- and we didn't.

Somehow we were stuck heading north on highway 59 for 20 miles before we realized our mistake. So we turned around and eventually found the right turn.

What we thought would be a 6 hour trip stretched to 8 hours. That's how it goes on back-country roads. We reached Sam Houston Jones State Park in Louisiana at 9:30 p.m.

And the gates were closed and locked.

About this time, a woman was trying to exit the park. Judging from what she said, this was the first time she had ever seen the gates locked. She called the park ranger to let her out, but we had had enough.

We went to the closest hotel and stayed the night. The boys finally got to bed around 10:45 p.m.

Friday morning, we said good-bye to Mom and Dad and headed home. This time we took Interstate 10 and highway 71. Much quicker. (Although Houston sucks.)

The weekend was filled with chores.

On Monday we saw Despicable Me. Josh loved it. Dylan doesn't like the ultra-loud theater sound, but still enjoyed it.

Tuesday involved a trip to the duck pond and library. Wednesday was a playdate with Adam et. al. to paint their mini-volcanoes. And yesterday, the volcanoes erupted.

Busy busy summer.
posted by todd at 10:40 AM 0 comments

Wednesday, July 07, 2010

Back again ... but for how long

(Wow, it's been almost a year. My lamenting my lameness is pointless, so let's just jump into it.)

Tomorrow, my parents are leaving. They moved to Austin in August 2008 and lived in our apartment for almost two years. It's been awesome having them here.

They've spent a lot of time with Josh and Dylan -- soccer games, movies, the zoo, the capitol, shopping, babysitting, school events. Also, my dad's been a HUGE help with fixing things.

And now their leaving. They bought an RV and plan to travel, first to North Carolina and then probably Pennsylvania and Florida.

Josh, Dylan and I are joining them on the first stage of their trip. We'll go as far as Lake Charles, La., and camp overnight. Then on Thursday, I'll drive back with the boys. I'm curious to see how that goes.

Josh loves traveling. Dylan, I'm not so sure. Maybe if they do well, I'll try a longer trip to visit my brother and his family in Arizona.

It's going to suck not having my parents around. Most everyone I've told has reacted the same:

"Your parents live with you? What horrible tragedy befell them? And how do you survive their incesent parenting?"

They weren't devastated by Wall Street or forced to live the hobo life. They chose to move here to be near Josh and Dylan while they were still little. And it's been fun! Besides being built-in babysitters, it's given the boys a strong sense of family -- that there are people (besides their parents) who love them.

And the boys have changed so much since Mom and Dad showed up. Two years ago, Dylan hardly talked. Now he won't shut up. It's hard to remember exactly how Josh was two years ago, but now he's a ginormous 8-year-old who reads at a fourth-grade level and loves to learn about chemistry and physics. (Go ahead, ask him about quark flavors and valence shells.)

I'm not sure when my parents will be back -- probably February. Maybe they'll take their shoes off and stay a little longer next time.
posted by todd at 8:47 AM 0 comments