Friday, September 30, 2011

day off

I took today off from work.  Why?  1.  I have 16 15 vacation days to my credit.  2.  Today was a nice day. 3.  Yesterday had too much bad news at work.  a. Our funding agency is adding no new projects this year, and our project ends in April.  b.  The last proposal call we submitted to (rejected quickly) funded projects from defense contractors.  i.  I thought I had left that world behind after leaving the national labs.  ii.  Probably I don't have a good chance to win proposal contests when I compete alone against multi-national corporations.  A change of tactics is in order.

The day off helped.  See how I have a glow about me now?
 Our local school had an in-service day, so we agreed to hang out with our neighbors' kid.  We played and played at Meadowbrook Park.
 We had planned to walk the path and look at the sculptures but Clara refused to leave the playground.  So we played.
 Janny slept.  I think she sleeps about 11 hours per day lately.  I advise her to sleep more.
This afternoon, I dusted off the race bike and road for an hour.  I've been off and on sick with sinus/chest problems for a month.  Finally the end is in sight.  I rode moderately hard and felt great.

Finally, Jill was advised by a neighbor to not go outside after 8pm.  On a recent evening, a different neighbor was robbed in their driveway upon driving home.  Here's our view.  The opposite approach is better.  If more people are out and about, there is less chance of bad stuff.  Living in fear is just sad.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Janny faces

Hey, it's my birthday, so I'll post what I wanna.  We were enjoying the beautiful evening outside when Jill noticed that the lighting was lovely.  So we took some photos of Janny.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Two and a half

Since my last post, we reached a couple milestones.  First, Clara turned 2 years old!  Her favorite toys are blocks, balls, and trains.  I love when she plays 'catch' with me.  We throw, roll, and kick any number of her favorite balls back and forth.
We had extra visitors this week.  Jill picked up Josh, Ally, and their parents' car near Chicago, and they stayed with us for a week.  [I skipped that trip because I was feeling terrible.  I think a lack of sleep, a cold, and allergies conspired to nearly wipe me out for 2 weeks.]  We had a blast pretending to be a family of 6 wherever we went.  Let me tell you, adding two bigger kids that can do lots of things and have great attitudes is no problem.  Adding two more babies would hurt.
 Since they were here only Sun through Sat morning, I couldn't join any of the big events.  And since we have 2 little people, the big events were limited to Curtis Orchard, local parks, and 707 cafe.  Josh and Ally were very good sports!
 The second milestone was that Janny turned 1/2 last week.  We gave her some rice cereal to celebrate.  The spoon attracted more interest than the food, but she did eat some.  She can sit up pretty well by herself.  Any toy that she can pick up (and that isn't stolen by Clara) pleases her.  She plays seriously with her toys.  She seems to never sleep during the day (she does, but naps are fewer and longer).
On our way back from MI on Monday, we took our second stop along the Kankeekee River.  There was a path down the bank to a small 'beach'.  Jill fed the baby, and Clara and I threw sticks, rocks, and clam shells into the river.  The Kanky is an impressively attractive small river.

Finally, I should add that another person does in fact live in our house.  After a 2 year break from us, Fereshteh is back under our roof.  She's in the guest room, so now guests stay in Clara's room and the four of us all sleep in our room.

Monday, September 5, 2011

return to Kickapoo

Labor day weekend couldn't come soon enough this year.  Janny is starting to have demands beyond food and diapers.  Work is normal.  I was tired.  Not a sleepy tired, but more of a body, spirit, and soul tired.  So we did much resting (and I napped) on Sat and Sun.  By Mon, we felt ready for action, so we headed out to Kickapoo state park.

I dusted off the baby backpack and the bjorn and we drove off (in our car!).  Janny loved the first 15 minutes in the bjorn and then got angry.  When we decided that she wasn't going to sleep in the thing we took her out.  She was happy for 5 minutes.  So we walked back to the lake and gave her some milk.
 Do I look happy?  Dang, this thing plus Clara (20 lbs, still) felt heavy.
We walked the riverview trail until the first road crossing.  Not a bad first hike, babies!
 We had some lunch at the lake restaurant.  Three other families from TCBC were there with their big kids.  They had just hiked along the river and were about to canoe on the lake.  Clara and I spotted an albino trout [we learned from the canoe guy that the lake is stocked with these fish twice a year.  Opening day after stocking is apparently super crowded with fisherpersons.].

After lunch we headed down to the river to play in some water.  The summer has been very dry so the water level is low.  This was a great thing for us because we could walk into the stream bed and throw rocks.
 Who likes rocks and sticks and water more, Clara or daddy?  We both had a blast.  Some rocks were heavy for Clara!
Janny and Jill hung out by the shoreline and played with leaves.

Clara was so sad to leave at 2p.  She cried and cried before falling asleep on the ride home.

Final notes:  this was our first trip to Kickapoo since we moved back.  10 years ago (seriously?) we were going out there with Todd for mountain biking.

I sometimes wish that the U of I were located close to one of the handful of nice locations in the state.  But Jill points out that they'd be much more crowded.  So there's that.