First time getting chewed out by a toddler

Elise has been purging. She’s purging us of excessive red meat, processed foods and, for the most part, clutter and wasteful spending.

Earlier this week Elise threw away one of Maly’s yellow hair scrunchies. This scrunchie had seen it’s day, all tattered and frayed. It was tossed into the wicker waste basket in Maly’s bathroom.

On Wednesday night, Elise and I were standing and talking in the kitchen after dinner. Maly had gone into her bathroom, probably to blow her nose or wash her hands. After a few minutes of the house being quiet, Maly presented herself in the kitchen. Elise and I were standing before the sink. Maly stood firm next to the pantry, across the kitchen from us. Her presence was immediately felt by us both.

She made sure to look us both in the eyes individually. First her mom, then me.

“Mom. Dad. This does not go in the trash.”

That’s all she said. And then she walked off. I snickered under my breath, quiet enough so my daughter wouldn’t hear me and come back to discipline us again.

“Holy shit! We just got in trouble.”





We totally got in trouble by our toddler.

Tummy hurting and a lost ride through the pines

As I’m typing this I’m supposed to be en route to Bastrop for the “Ride through the Pines” bicycle ride tomorrow. I was also supposed to sleep in a tent tonight.

Elise signed us up for a camping trip tonight and a bicycle ride tomorrow morning. I’d been kind of dreading both when I was reminded of it on Wednesday evening (this week has been hell at work so I really just wanted to come home and get stuff done around the house and relax). We got into somewhat of a debate last night as to who was going to ride in the bike ride on Saturday morning. There was some debate about helmet safety and my bike riding shoes-of-choice being flip flops. If it’s a race, sure, I get it, gear up. If it’s a ride, I’m plugging in the iPod and just cruising. I’m a laid back kind of guy and if I have to go camping and ride in a bike ride that has rules, I’d rather just stay at home and live and ride on my own terms.

However, I dutifully sucked it up and went to work this morning, fully intent on leaving at 3:30 so I could get home and head back out with the family for our camping adventure. As it turned out, I couldn’t get out of the office until 6. Elise called and she asked if she and should wait on me or head out to Bastrop. Seeing how we’d have to take two cars anyway, I told her to head on out.

I got home at 6:30, ran into the house, loaded the iPhone with a couple gigs of new music and packed. Then I had to hook up the bike rack on the Jeep. Then I had to load up and strap down both bikes. Then I got hungry, so I had to make myself dinner. It was quarter to eight before I was finally heading out, somewhat excited because of the preparation I had to endure. Elise called as I was backing out of the driveway, asking where I was. I told her I was just heading out. She said to call her whenever I got to Bastrop and she’d tell me how to get to the park.

Five minutes later as I was getting on 71, Elise called again. Maly was apparently doubled over, complaining that her stomach was hurting. I held the phone to my ear, on standby, as Elise switched between assessing Maly’s condition and talking to our friends, who we’re supposed to be camping with this weekend. A couple minutes pass and Elise decides that Maly’s not in a condition to be camping tonight. I ask her if I should turn the Jeep around before I get too far from the house. A little more assessing while I’m on the phone. Elise decides that she and Maly are coming back home. I exit Monterrey Ranch Rd., hit MoPac south an head back to the house where I quickly unloaded the Jeep and the bikes.

I feel bad because I know Elise was excited about me getting to do this bike ride and go camping in Bastrop for a night. And I feel bad because Maly was excited about sleeping in a tent tonight. I need to figure out a way to make it up to them both.

We borrowed Rob and Julie’s tent for this trip and, since their out of town this weekend, I’m thinking I might setup the tent in our backyard tomorrow and we can camp out tomorrow night. That’ll probably get Maly excited. And in the morning, I might put on my Harley-Davidson boots, some bike shorts, a full-face motorcycle helmet and ride my bicycle up to HEB and buy some breakfast tacos.

Tupac beach towels

Travis, Michele, Taylor and I went to BD Riley’s for lunch this afternoon. Somehow, Taylor’s penchant for Jesus candles was rolled into the conversation…

Travis: “You mean like the Pancho Villa candles you can get at Fiesta?”

Taylor: “Yeah!”

(Note: Fiesta is a Houston-based grocery store that I remember as a kid as being the place where you would go to buy fancy/international items. It has since changed to be a lot more like flea market. At least the Austin location has.)

Josh: “I remember shortly after moving to Austin, I would drive all the way to the Fiesta on 35 to get lobsters”

Taylor: “Yeah, they had an awesome selection of fish”

Travis: “And Tupac beach towels!”

My retelling of the story doesn’t do it justice. You just had to have been there. I almost spit out my corned beef sandwich across the table because I was laughing so hard.


So an interesting thing happened last Friday morning. I was in the shower while Elise was drying her hair and putting on makeup. Maly casually strolled into the bathroom with a little green spray bottle filled with water. After approximately a minute, the TV turned itself on with the volume full blast. Curious George was the cartoon that was playing at the time, and it sounded like the man in the yellow hat was right there in the shower with me.

After a few seconds, Elise put down the hair drier to see what was going on with the TV.

“Uhhhmmm… there’s water dripping down the entire front side of the TV.”


“I think the TV is broken.”



“Okay. Bring it to me here in the shower and I’ll take a look at it.”


So after my shower I dried off, got dressed and assessed the bedroom TV situation. Sure enough, Maly had taken her little green spray bottle and decided to clean the TV. In doing so, she sent water into the TV by means of the power and channel buttons and got the logic board wet, causing the TV to turn itself on at full volume and shrink the picture to half size, portraying the picture in only black and white. It was actually quite an interesting scene.

While I was pulling the armoire out from the wall, Elise and I, while fighting back laughter, were trying to decide how were going to punish this crime.

“Maly, you broke the TV. This means you can no longer watch TV. Do you understand?”


“This means that when you get up in the morning and come crawl into Mommy and Daddy’s bed, there will be no more Elmo, no more Curious George, no more Super Why!”


“You do realize what this means, RIGHT? No more TV!”

“Sure do.”



And sure enough, tomorrow marks a week and Maly has not watched a single second of TV. And she hasn’t asked to watch TV.

Maly’s old ritual was to get up and come crawl into bed with us and watch PBS. She’s not the slightest bit phased by not doing this any more.

In the meantime, I took the back off of the TV last Friday morning and propped a fan up against its innards. By the time I got home that evening and put the TV back together, it works just like it did before the spray bottle incident!

Daddy and Daughter dance

This past weekend consisted of a lot of eating out. On Saturday we got a late start and didn’t get out of the house until lunch time. We decided to try the new Mighty Fine Burgers in Sunset Valley. And they were might fine burgers (of course, that would be expected from the same folks who brought us Rudy’s BBQ).

The highlight of the weekend, however, was the Father & Daughter dance Saturday night. My good friend, Matt invited Maly and me to the dance at his church. I was looking forward to my date with Maly all week. After we got home from running errands on Saturday afternoon, Elise gave Maly a bath, got her dressed in her pretty dress and did her hair. I put on some slacks and played Guitar Hero.

6 p.m. rolled around and Matt and Ryan showed up with their daughters, Susan Margaret and Emma. And off we went for a pre-dance dinner date at Flores. Maly was a spaz throughout dinner because she was excited to be with her friends. We all scarfed dinner, then loaded the kids up in our respective vehicles and drove over to the church around 7:15.

I was excited because I know Maly loves to dance. I think she was a little disappointed because it wasn’t the same kind of dance as Jeff & Heather’s wedding where she could dance with a bunch of girls. Maly and I did “dance”, which was more like holding hands and she flailed around and threw her feet out from underneath herself. And of course the chicken dance made for mild amusement.

I think Maly was just really tired and overstimulated by the lights, loud music and people. We collectively decided that the night was over at 8:30 and left the dance. Maly and I chatted on the short ride back home.

It wasn’t really the night that I had expected, but then again, I really didn’t know what to expect. I think it may have been a little early for a Daddy/Daughter dance with a 2.5-year-old. But I’m glad I did it. And I will dutifully do it as many times as she wants me to.

Photos can be seen here.