Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Mucho feliz Navidad

We celebrated Christmas with gusto in Warsaw, IN. Jill's bro + family from Nashville, Jill's bro's wife's sister + family from TX, and we hunkered down at mom and dad's. Maybe there were 12 of us? Plus 6 MI relatives came for a day visit. Spanish, English, laughter, and some tears filled the house.
All but one of us got into the Christmas Eve photo, so here she is below keeping an eye on los primos.
Only two of the four small persons were mobile, so chaos was limited. If we all get together next year, the kids might have to dress in bubble wrap.
A small amount of very dry snow was available for our snowball fights. On the bright side, very little pain resulted from a direct hit with a snowball.

Don't be fooled by the smiley faces. Snowball fire awaits!
Call us mean parents, but we didn't get Clara a single gift for Christmas. The rest of the relatives gave her many gifts.

Finally, I know you're asking, 'Gee, they were in Indiana, I wonder if they played basketball?' I joined dad and 8 other Hoosiers for the weekly 5:30-6:30 AM Tuesday pickup game at Grace College. True story.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Merry before Christmas

The first snow dusting of the year happened this week. Clara and I celebrated by playing outside in our jammies for 10 seconds. I had more fun, obviously.
After some consideration, I chose to not ride the studded tire bike to work, opting for my normal commuter bike with its better fenders and lights. I'll post a photo of the spikey bike when (if??) it really snows. The coldest temp so far on my way to work was 9 degrees F. By not wearing them, I learned that longjohns under the pants improves the sensation in the legs at this temp.

Some Christmas clothes were included in the great number of hand-me-downs that Clara got, and Jill has been quite happy to put Clara in them for this Christmas season.

Jill's deep thought of the day: babies grow so much faster than you'd (we'd?) think, and at no point in the future will the baby again be like she is now. Me: quick, let me hold her again!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Urbana people

We've put lots of pictures of family (and of course the baby) lately. Now seems appropriate to show off some of the good people that actually live in this town.

First, there's not-far-away-neighbor Nina, Jill's during the day hang out friend. Not only did she ably and willingly watch Clara during Jill's 2nd shift today, but she met us for lunch yesterday at TBMRWBTSFC (the best mexican restaurant we've been to so far in chambana), El Charro on Green St. Jill and I took a bite of cow tongue from Nina's burrito. Quite tender and mild in taste--not bad.
Our church, located next to campus, has many college students. So we volunteered to adopt-a-student-or-2. Eric and Steven are underclassmen that live in the same dorm. Happily, they have time to join us for dinner about once per month between studying and playing video games. We made fudge. Steven (middle) is very tall.
We also joined a small group at church. We love the wide variety of ages, jobs, etc in the group. Clara is the youngest member.
I can't go through a whole post without showing off the baby. She is just starting to get the idea of how useful hands and eyes in combination can be.

Monday, December 7, 2009

3 whole months

Another month surged past. Clara is 3 months old! Smiles are slightly more common and giggles happen occasionally, though we haven't caught those on film. We haven't seen any huge changes lately, not a bad thing. It's fun to hold her a lot and she can't escape.
Last night was the first accumulation of snow this year. I rode to work over a dusting of snow on the road. It was gone when I rode home.

Bike riding is different with Clara around, but happily I'm getting out there, despite cold temps. Mostly I take a 1 hour jaunt by myself. I did ride with the boys on black Friday (photographic evidence here) and have ridden with Tom a couple times on Sunday afternoons. On Sunday, we rode south into a 10 mph wind with 30ish degree temps, and I was happily comfortable. That is until Tom pipped me at the town limit sign. Curiously, I beat him up power climbs (term used loosely as these are not bigger than overpasses) and he beat me in the flat sprint. Psychoanalytical help for my lack of sprint is on the way.