Thursday, September 30, 2010

back from the Pitts

I had my first business trip as a daddy this week. Umf, I felt gut pain the first couple nights from missing the kid.

I spent Sun through Wed near the confluence in Pittsburgh at a groundwater protection conference. The conference theme was the water-energy nexus. Did you know that electricity production uses about the same amount of water as agriculture in the US? Did you know that India uses 30% of its electricity generation to pump groundwater? The nexus is an HUGE story.

Bobby Kennedy Jr. was the keynote speaker. He walked within 1 foot of me, but I neither shook his hand or tripped him. He hates coal.

My birthday happened a week ago. We had caramel apples instead of cake. I hope to bake my cake tonight.
Here's some reasons that I missed Clara terribly. What a funny kid!
Clara is a huge star with Jill's students.

The conference was too busy for me to enjoy Pittsburgh. The one tourist thing I did was ride the incline. I would have loved to ride a bike there and climb some of the steepest streets in the country. Maybe next time.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010


Big news to report this week, but let's save it for the end.

Clara's big birthday celebration extended to essentially a full week. Jill's parents stayed with us a couple days and brought birthday presents. Clara is clearly impressed.
Quiet time is not overly common with the ever-active Clara, but grandma is able to get some reading time in.
One difficulty of marrying someone that grew up 2000+ miles away from home (and living near neither place) is that getting both sets of grandparents together is a rare event. We're pleased to report that for the 3rd time ever, both sets of parents were in Urbana albeit for a couple hours. Here's your proof.
Clara loved playing with Grandma's iphone, perhaps her favorite toy to date.
One of Jill's students is quite the photographer. My favorite subject:
Okay, the big news. First the smaller news: it looks like we'll be selling our townhouse in Los Alamos. We accepted an offer from a buyer, and if all goes well we'll close near the end of October. Hurray!

Finally, we're expecting another baby in March! My favorite name for the baby is Otis, but no one else likes it. But that's what we call the kid for now.

Monday, September 6, 2010

first birthday bash

Today actually isn't Clara's birthday, but it was a fine day to celebrate. Last year, in the evening on Labor day, Clara was born. Now she's a whirling dervish with a grand sense of adventure. As for us parent-folk, we're full of joy and gratitude to have her in our family. And sometimes, we're exhausted.

For lunch we went to Clara's favorite Mexican restaurant, where she is adored by the wait staff. First, they gave her a helium filled balloon. After she ate some frijoles and arroz, they put a sombrero on her head, sang a birthday song, and set out a plate with whipped cream and chocolate. All very good!
Now that she has some hair, that's another good place to put whipped cream.
After an afternoon nap, we were joined by some friends at the local park for a picnic and cupcakes. Thanks so much to all for celebrating with us! It has been a joy to have you in Clara's life during the last year.
Clara ate a bunch of sweet potatoes before starting on her cupcake, a white cake with lemon cream cheese frosting made by mommy and daddy. After dipping her hands in the frosting she put some in her mouth and ate with relish.
Will we pay for Clara's excessive eating of sweets eating today? Time will tell...

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Stocking up on the 80's

I'm no nostalgist. Though I enjoyed growing up in the 80's, I'm pretty happy with life right now. That said, I seem to be a huge sucker for bikes from the 80's, as evidenced by the photo below. Only one is not ours.
As Clara rapidly approaches her first birthday, moving everything to everywhere else is about the most fun to be had.
Clara needs lots of energy to accomplish her daily tasks. Starting with a jug of milk and a glass of oj gets her off on the right footing.
Jill (and I) survived her first week teaching a reading class at the IEI. Perhaps one reason for the job availability is fellow teacher's sabbatical to jolly old England for the semester. I think Clara will miss her.