Saturday, September 24, 2005

A little anticlimactic...

Everybody's fine. There was some wind and rain, but Tom didn't lose power and Mom only did for a little while. No trees on the house or anything like that. We're feeling lucky.

As for Austin... well, we just got some wind. No rain, no clouds to speak of. It didn't even cool off that much, maybe from 101F on Friday to 98F today. The lawn's looking pretty crispy.

Friday, September 23, 2005

Hurricane Rita updates

Here in Austin we're quite safe from any serious hurricane problems--barring some unexpected directional shifts, we're expecting rain and wind. But Peggy (Julie's mom, for those of you without a scorecard and Dada's beloved Po Po)is hunkered down at her home in Houston, as is Tom (Dada's beloved uncle). If you've seen the news, you've gathered that evacuation was Not Going Well so they opted to stay. They've made all the recommended preparations and are well-situated to ride out the storm safely. Right now, Mom's baking cookies and filling up the trash barrel with water, having laid in all the essential supplies; Tom's got his trees trimmed and has rigged a battery-operated fan so he can keep cool when the power fails. Please keep them in your thoughts and prayers, because it all helps.

And watch here for updates, which will be posted as we hear from them. If you can't get through on the phone, that probably just means the circuits are busy, so we're hoping this blog will help keep friends and family informed without flooding the phone lines.

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Dada In The Pool

Originally uploaded by drmacro.
Here's Dada playing in her wading pool on a hot Austin afternoon. Dada loves to be outdoors in her pool on a hot day.

Friday, September 16, 2005

Cutest Child Ever

Originally uploaded by drmacro.
Title says it all.

Sheets/Perkins Reunion

Perkins Reunion 7-05 011
Originally uploaded by drmacro.
This July Julie's mother's family organized a family reunion for the Sheets and Perkins families. (Julie's maternal grandmother was a sheets and had 10 children. Her maiden name was Perkins.)

At the re-union, Julie's cousin Steve Golden took a bunch of great pictures, including a number of really cute pictures of Dada. I've taken the liberty of uploading all his pictures to Flickr. These are limited to "friends and family". You can view all the reunion pictures here:

This picture shows Dada and me sitting on the veranda of the building where we slept.

The event was held at an elaborate church camp in Ceta Glen, an arm of Palo Duro Canyon (the third largest canyon in the U.S.), south of Amarillo in the Texas panhandle (google maps. I think this is the right location).

We had a great time and it was a fun drive, if somewhat long coming home (it's a good 10 hours back to Austin). We took back roads on the way back and it was nice to see parts of Texas we'd never been through and to see the panhandle again (except for one trip to Amarillo for Julie's 20-year high-school reunion, I haven't been back since I graduated from Texas Tech in 1984).

Thursday, September 15, 2005

House Progress

Main view of house
Originally uploaded by drmacro.
Here are a few of the latest pictures of the house construction. Most of the exterior framing and siding work is done. They're starting on the exterior painting and the stone work for the street-side facade. They've just about got the of the screen porch roof underdecking up.

Inside they've made good progress on the HVAC ducting and water lines and have started putting in the PVC drain and vent plumbing.

The concrete stainers are scheduled to come out next monday to do test patches from which we'll choose the final colors for the interior and screen porch.




Screen porch. The picture's a bit dark but you can see that from this direction the underdecking is completely installed.


Detail of screen porch underdecking


Ground floor with ducting


Detail of caulking on exterior


View from garage (before painting started). The form in the foreground is for the concrete porch pillar, which will have a Y-shaped metal bracket from it to the front roof beam. These are the same shape, but larger, than the pillars for the carport.


Detail of the initial stone facade This is local central Texas sandstone. It will form the facade on the right side of the front (east) side of the house and on the north side between the east corner and the stairwell. Obviously they are just starting to work on putting the stone in place. The architects are very particular about the details of this stonework and will be supervising the work as it progresses. Essentially they want to ensure that the stones go from larger at the bottom to smaller at the top and form a very clean line on the right (north) side where they form a diagonal facade that juts out from the side of the house.

She Said "Daddy"

Originally uploaded by drmacro.
Today Dada said "daddy" quite clearly as two distinct sylables. I almost cried. We had just changed her diaper and gotten her dressed for the day and I had to leave for work. I said "I've got to go to work" and started walking out of her room. She ran after me and called out "da-ddy".

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Gratuitous Cute Picture

Originally uploaded by drmacro.
Here's a picture of Dada in her sunglasses, hanging out at the site.

What's new with Dada? She survived her second day at Mother's Day Out, although a horrid little boy threw a toy and hit her just about the left eye, leaving a nasty scrape. Gotta stay away from those boys.

We've learned some new signs: bird, moon, bat, fish, book.

She's demonstrated the ability to apply concepts like "water" to new situations.

She can connect the chest strap connector on her car seat (she can't open it as it takes too much hand strenght).

She seems to have completely given up the formula and rice cereal bottles for milk and solid food.

Friday, September 09, 2005

First Day of School

Yesterday was Dada's first day of Mother's Day Out day care. This is a two-day-a-week, 9:30 to 1:30 day day care at a church near our house.

It was, expectedly, a little stressful making our departure--Dada cried, but then she did OK. It was of course hard to leave but we had scheduled a meeting with the architects for 10:00, partly to give us something to focus on and partly to take advantage of the day care and have a meeting without Dada present.

Dada did very well (as did all the kids). We even have our first piece of Dada art on the fridge. Here's hoping that it will be a little easier to drop her off the next time.

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Dada And Hat

Originally uploaded by drmacro.
Here is Dada voguing in her little seersucker dress and hat. We were at Freddie's restaraunt where Uncle Jay and Aunt Kay had invited us to celebrate Julie's birthday.

It was a busy Labor Day weekend: we went out to lunch on Saturday, went swimming at Deep Eddie and went to Bat Fest with Sherry and Vanessa on Sunday. Monday we stayed mostly at home and smoked some meat (in the smoker) and played in the backyard pool.

Thursday, September 01, 2005

Buy it for me, daddy

Originally uploaded by drmacro.
Here's a picture of Dada playing in a chair at a store in the mall. We had gone to meet with the concrete stainer in far south Austin and were running Dada around at the Shining Mall on the Hill (otherwise known as Barton Creek Mall).

We didn't buy the chair.

The stained concrete floors are going to be pretty sweet, I think. Here's the website for the stainers: Jagger Stained and Scored Concrete.

When you say "stained concrete" I think people tend to think "oh, concrete with stains on it". But if you check the web site that's not it at all. What you get is a much more interesting effect. The stain can be in a variety of colors but it still reflects the variations in the concrete. They can also control the coloring and effects by overstaining, mixing colors, and what not. The end result can be highly polished or not. The surface is sealed and then waxed.

They can also score the concrete--we've asked to have the screen porch scored but not the main house--there's just won't be enough floor visible in the main house to make it worth the cost.

They can also do designs. We've put a compass rose in the proposal, which we plan to put in the little diagonal push-out. A little decorative accent in an otherwise simple floor treatment.