Friday, December 11, 2009

Friday, October 16, 2009

Sisters

Danielle hugging on Madeleine in the media room.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Stuff my Dad says

If my Dad had made it to 73, I'll bet he would have sounded a lot like this.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Zeo Sleep Thingy



I don't know what this is, exactly, but I'm pretty sure that I need one.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

First meeting of AFSDC!

Preparing for the first meeting of the Appetite for Success Dinner Club tomorrow ( http://appetiteforsuccess.ning.com/) at Chuck's Deli in south Austin. Should be a lot of fun!

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Mondays

It's Birthday Monday for Curtis. Born in 1967, the Summer of Love (all of you under 35, look it up).

Middle-aged now. Wow. In my seemingly endless pursuit of career nirvana, it's easy to miss the moments in between. But in between may be the most important moments of all. Philosopher/theologian Martin Buber suggested that God is found between people. In other words, “When people relate to each other authentically and humanly, God is the electricity that surges between them.”

Loving, understanding, patient wife, two healthy gorgeous kids, nice house, strong career(s), good friends. Life is good. Heck, life is great!

Gotta take time to remember that.


Friday, August 21, 2009

Two years

This August was the two year anniversary of Dad's passing. Still hard to believe.

I miss him so much.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Milestone!


Danielle made her first deposit into her potty tonight. Well, actually, she peed into it two nights ago, so that was probably the first milestone; this is the second. And it was just an ink drop-sized pooplet. Whatever. I like the trendline.

As you can see, Danielle is a sophisticated young lady now.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Now how smart do you feel?

Smart Car before:


Smart Car after:

This is tragic and scary.

It's the trade-off that American car buyers face: safety versus economy. The short-sighted strategy of Amercian auto makers to focus on SUVs has had another side-effect, besides running an inconic U.S. industry into the ground. Flooding the market with monsterously large vehicles in suburban areas (what was wrong with station wagons?) has made car buyers feel that they need to go equally big to be safe.

I know this was a strong concern when my folks bought a car for Lizzy, my 16-year old sister. "Just wait until you have a kid, and you'll understand," said my Mom India. She was right! Now, with two girls, I totally understand wanting them to be safe, which is why we used Informed for Life to check the safety of several models, and settled on a 2005 Honda Odyssey to transport by girls around.

Until the current crop of SUVs ages into the junkyard and Detroit starts producing, and Americans start buying, smaller vehicles, early adopters of light, "smart" cars will continue to feel very vulnerable in urban traffic. If they're lucky enough to feel anything at all.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Welcome, Madeleine!

Mostly we post family news and updates over on Facebook, because, well... it's the law. Actually, FB kind of annoys me, but it's also kind of handy, so whatcha gonna do?

For those of you who are not yet on Facebook (Nancy, I'm looking at you!), here are a couple of photos of our new baby Madeleine Marie, born Sunday, July 19, 2009, at 4:30 p.m. Both her and Mom are doing great!

Mary and I are truly blessed with two beautiful, and above all, healthy girls, and with the wonderful help and support we've had from family, friends, and neighbors. Stepmom India (Grandma Cita) came to our house on a moment's notice (after a 5:30 a.m. wakeup call from us!) to babysit Danielle when Mary went into labor. Mary's mother, Grandma Janie drove up from Wharton, and took over later that day, then stayed with us for two weeks (!), to help with the baby, and let Daddy get some rest and go back to work. Grandma Baba (as Danielle calls her) and her friend Peggy, plus my sister Lizzy, came to visit the grils. Aunt Diana (Nonny) came over lots of times, bearing gifts, and to play with Danielle, and help out Mary. Our neighbors the Serios have pitched in, even bringing Danielle some toys from Cassidy's old stash (which she loved!). And the kind folks at the TWIA office (like Eduaro and Gloria Mena) bought some lovely baby gifts for both Madeleine and Danielle, as did our friends Joe and Tracy (and, of course, all the Grandmas!). We and the girls are so blessed to have so many people who love and care about us. Life is good.

Gotta go get some sleep. Y'all come back now, y'hear?

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Cute bunny

Mary snapped a great photo of Danielle in our front yard.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Mother of mauled toddler indicted

I really don't know how many more times we need to see stories like this before people understand.

I do not know what the stats are on how many maulings are pit bulls versus Rottweilers, Dobermans, Collies, or other breeds. But it is shocking how much anecdotal evidence I find that pit bulls are the worst offenders.

We used to have a pit bull mutt, when I was six years old, waaaaaaay before they got the type of publicity they get now. Tiger (his name) was playful, and never hurt us; but I did see him turn on a dime once. The neighbors brought over a 4-foot tall Great Dane with an attitude. Tiger was happy to meet him, wanted to play. The Dane barked and tried to back Tiger down. Tiger immediately went nuts, and would have ripped the other dog's throat out, had there not been a chain link fence separating them. Not too long after that, we left the gate open, and Tiger ran away, never to be heard from again. In retrospect, much as I liked Tiger, I consider us lucky never to have been a victim of Pit Bull Schizophrenia (PBS), where they go from trusted companion to chewing your face off.

To be fair, the number of fatal dog attacks in the U.S. is pretty low. But even non-fatal attacks can be traumatic and life-altering. Children, especially, can suffer both physical and emotional scarring from facial wounds inflicted in such attacks. I'm not saying that having a dog guarantees an attack; I'm just saying that it's a risk you have to consider, like driving without a seat belt.

I wonder if the "security" of having an attack dog to ward off burglars offers any comfort when your best friend swallows your nose? Personally, I'd rather the crooks steal my TV, and keep my face, and my child.

There are common-sense things that parents and dog owners can do to help prevent such incidents, but the most important one is to recognize that certain breeds, and pit bulls in particular, are not suited for domestic life.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Danielle's Easter 2009



Danielle had a wonderful time with the Chumney clan, India's family. Her cousins Josie and Aubrey took great care of her, and helped her color Easter eggs the old fashioned way, then bury them in Jeff and Elizabeth's yard. Danielle missed her nap both days we were there, but she didn't get fussy at all- she just powered right through, then dropped like a brick when she hit the pillow.

We stopped by Dad's grave site on the way out of town, so Danielle could wish him a Happy Easter, too (which she did, on the video). I always miss him most at times like this. But he brought India, Lizzy, William, and all of the Chumney folks into our lives, so that's one more gift Dad has given us, that will live on as long as we do- more great family.

Happy Easter, Papa Ron.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Where did we go?

Facebook.

It's not really my first choice, but it's just easier. Facebook has a lot of useful tools, and lots of storage space, and it's fairly easy to search and connect with folks.

Of course, the new iLife '09 (a program for Apple Macs) has lots of great features, and easy integration with Apple's Mobile Me service, so maybe we'll end up there, later on. If you're jonesin' for some Danielle pics, I'm slowly migrating our whole family catalog there. Check it out.

So, if you want to catch up with us, friend me up on Facebook. I'll have photos posted there, and they should sync with our Mobile Me collection.

I will leave this blog up, though... just in case.

Monday, January 19, 2009

More Danielle pics!

OK, I've got some really cute Danielle pictures coming up(which is the only reason you read this blog, I know), but I'm waiting for Aunt Lizzie to get me a CD of the shots.

ZZ babysat last night, so that Mary and I, Diana, and Matt could all go to the One World Theater last night, courtesy of a radio contest that Mary won. Great venue, good (free) food, and "limo" ride.

And upon our return, Daddy got to watch the Steeler game on DVR. Love that modern technology.

Car carsh



And this is why I play tennis.

Poor Willis McGahee's spinal column looks like one of the crash test dummies in this video. I hope the guy is okay. I'm glad the Steelers won, but you hate to see anybody get seriously damaged while playing a game.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Nacho's back!


My good friend Michael Godeck (aka "Nacho"), has returned from an amazing family adventure in South America. Read about it, and see some great photos on his travel blog.

Now that you've seen the world, Nacho, please return to your gray, fabric-covered box (aka, "the code hole").

:-)

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Bountiful harvest


Danielle had a Christmas blast at Cita's house. Watching her surrounded by gifts and wrapping paper reminded us just how much our cups runneth over: we are all together (save one), healthy, happy, and, obviously, not suffering financially, due to the economy.

Willie joined us a bit after these photos were taken. We were grateful to be spending the holiday as a family. Cita's house is always cozy and welcoming for us, and Big D really enjoyed herself. She spent the most time playing with the small stocking-stuffer gifts that Cita bought, which TOTALLY justifies my philosophy that our kids get just two presents: an empty box for Christmas, and a stick for their birthdays. Hasbro, Mattel, and Playskool combined are no match for a child's imagination.  :-)

Willie and his girlfriend Katherine found a perfect memorial for Dad: an inscribed paver stone that will be part of the Dallas Cowboy's new football stadium. Perfect!

Cita's sister Elizabeth and her kids Aubrey and Josie took Danielle under their wing, and even babysat her (along with Lizzie) for a morning, giving Mommy and me a much-welcomed little break.

Lizze promises to send us a CD of the photos and videos that we shot on her cool digital camera, so I'll post more of those when they come in. Here's a few in the meantime.

Happy Holidays!