Monday, November 29, 2010

local events

On the weekend before Thanksgiving, we dropped Clara off at a friend's apartment and went to Jim's birthday party. Jim roasted a glam pig and invited co-workers (Jill is one), friends from church, and neighbors (he went door-to-door inviting them). Some 50 people came and ate and much was left over (12 baskets full?). I played some corn hole and lost to local champ Peter. Clara also had a good time.
On my way to work this morning, I was rudely and abruptly sent flying over the handlebars. Thankfully, I was only going about 10 mph at the time, so no injuries were sustained. As best I as I deduce, this is what happened. Coming out of a sharp turn on a dirt path, my foot pushed my fender onto the tire, which got stuck on the tire and crumpled. Nothing was jammed in the fender.

After gathering my wits, I de-jammed the fender and rode the rest of the way to work. Here's how it looks now.
Since I've been riding this setup for about 3 years, I'm going to assume this was a freak event. On the other hand, I might make a change or 2 (maybe switch from 177.5 to 172.5 cranks). Maybe I'll get a Boulder Bicycle (okay, not soon).

a happy thanksgiving

For thanksgiving, we joined the Smith family at Jill's parent's freshly moved-in-house in Nashville, TN. The 3+ of us drove down there and back without incident. Clara slept large chunks of the ride and managed to entertain herself with either food or toys for most of the remaining time.

Grandpa and grandpa hosted a good time for kids of all ages.
As a bonus, the cousins from MI drove down to join us. Clara loves to play with cousin Josh!
We have decided to name the next baby Janet, or Janny for short, after Jill's Aun Jan, shown managing the mayhem here.
Indeed there was much mayhem when the whole gang was in the house. Clara was in awe of the big kids. We decided to not put her on the top of the people stack.
Most of our time was spent hanging out with the family, but we also managed to watch the new Harry P. movie and visit JPP reservior and the Opreyland hotel.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

lull before the storm

Probably our readers don't expect to be overwhelmed by the excitement that is our lives, but I hope to bring more action to the blog soon. Recently, when we've not been organizing the house, we have been forgetting to bring the camera to mini-events (like going to a park, walking to the grocery store (we switched from Schnucks to County Market because it's a handy 6 minute walk away), and Thanksgiving dinner with the adopt-a-students at church).

Clara continues to improve her walking. I expected that we would point to a specific moment when she started walking, but it was quite gradual. She walked behind her push toys. She stood up on her own. She took steps, but was clearly falling. Now she's toddling all over, and it blows my mind.
Wood floors, baby, and a blanket means lots of fun. No one was hurt during this stunt. Or when I pulled her.
Occasionally, Clara can put food into her mouth with a spoon.
A final interesting Clara note. Very, very late last night, Jill sneaked a peak into Clara's room and saw her sitting up and playing with her bunny blanket. Jill was quiet as a mouse, so Clara didn't notice. Both gals went back to sleep without making a peep. We wonder if she does this often.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

getting settled

We're starting to feel settled in the new place, now that we've been here for nearly 2 weeks.

We had our first overnight visitors already. Mom and friend Monica were in the state to check out Chicago and took the train south to say hello. During their brief stay, they babysat Clara and unpacked and organized our kitchen. We vote that they come back any time!
On Sunday, we had our first Bible study group meeting in the conservatory. To mark the occasion, Maggie served tea (in the British manner). Yummy!
Clara couldn't be happier about the presence of the dishwasher. We're happy because more than 4 of our large plates fit on the bottom rack.
Today, our latest piece of furniture arrived: a very long used couch.
True, the rug doesn't match, so it will be swapped out soon. On the right side, you can see one of the chairs that we bought through craigslist. The seller turned out to be a fellow ISGS employee that I hadn't met. Next time I visit the big building, I'll say hello.

We've met a handful of our neighbors. The neighbors to our backyard called to fill in all the scoop about everyone else. She also mentioned that she can see inside our house quite easily. Noted! Our westerly neighbor is a toffee maker. I enjoyed many pieces today.

Finally, Clara is walking! I'd guess that she is crawling 2/3 of the time and walking 1/3 for now.