Sunday, December 18, 2011

Christmas cheer

Recen weeks have been tough.  The girls both got colds a couple weeks ago and they have had a lingering cough since.  Clara decided to go on a near hunger strike (she weighed less at a doctor visit than she had a couple months ago, not that she was big to begin with), and Janny refuses to sleep through the night.  Last night we tried white noise (large fan) to no avail.

But you know what?  I'm happy.  During normal waking hours, the girls are super fun to play with. That takes some of the sting off middle of the night feedings.  I still have a job, and I have a wife that loves me.  And my health (except for a cold that won't go away because I don't get to sleep enough) is good.

Clara says funny (to me) things all the time, like 'Don't do that, baby [to Janny]', and 'Oh pretty', when she gets something she wants (like a chocolate).
 Janny is crawling around the house and now pulls herself to stand.  Clara is her hero.
 Clara loves to play with the nativity figures.  Here they are in a boat on a soapy lake.
 Did I mention that Janny is crawling everywhere?
 Another semester has blown by.  Our super thoughtful students gave us a hot water holder machine.  so come over for tea any time.
 We read Curious George rides a bike 5 times yesterday.  Clara cried the first time she saw George crash the bike.  Sweetheart!  I don't want to give too much away here, but Bob is able to true the wheel and fix the flat (things that Daddy can do also).
Speaking of biking, I'm riding just a little.  I rode in the grass and mud with Tom last Sunday.  Today, I took a short ride in the dark and saw another cyclist coming the other way.  In the dark in mid December, 2 riders were out there living the life.  The others all smartly rode in the morning.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

MI thanksgiving

Has it been a week already since Thanksgiving?  

Two things conspired to delay this post.  First, I took a work field trip to MO to visit a limestone mine and lime processing plant.  The mine was awesomely huge.  One of the 2 traffic lights in town is located in the mine.  The formation is 100 feet thick and has been mined for about 100 years.  Explosives are used to break up the rock.  Grinding happens inside the mine, and the small rocks are sent on conveyer belts to the kilns (ovens).  Lime processing involves cooking the rocks in 300 foot long, 11 ft diameter rotating kilns made of steel and ceramic tiles.

The second hiccup is that Janny is sick.  She has congestion and a runny nose.  She's also very tired, perhaps because she moaned from midnight to 3 am on Friday night.  In related news, Jill and I are also tired.

We got together with Jill's side of the family in Jackson, MI, for Thanksgiving.  
 The Smiths all drove up together from Nashville.  Clara really enjoyed playing with the big kids.
 Some of the northern Michiganders drove down for Thanksgiving day.  Here was the whole gang (minus photographer Jill) that was present for the meal.
 On Friday, we went to the childen's activity center/science museum in Albion.  Janny enjoyed the under 4 year old region.
 To no one's surprise, Clara enjoyed the mini-river.  Chad spent all morning here...
 ... and even allowed other kids to play as well.
 The artistic amongst us decorated cupcakes.  Jill worked hard on the simulated pie crusts.
 Not just for decoration, those cupcakes were super yummy.
Our Christmas tree is up.  It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas!