Tuesday, June 19, 2012

beach, midwest style

On Saturday, we were out the door at 7:10 am for our trip to the beach.  Verily, a beach exists in central Illinois with sand (imported?), waves (from passing boats), and warm water (thanks to the nuclear power plant that uses Clinton Lake for cooling water).  
 Clara had a great time playing with the sand and water.  She eventually grew brave enough to run and splash in the lake like her big friend Cadence.  Then she fell, swallowed some water, and exited quickly.

Having grass and shade trees right next to the beach works out great on a hot day, especially for we of fairer complexions.
Clara and Janny are not always at peace with each other.  I worry a bit that more fighting is ahead.  On the bright side, they'll learn a lot about forgiveness from each other, right?
In the last 2 days, Clara has hit Janny's head with a push broom and a pair of plastic tubs.  She also throws sand and water on Janny when they are available and steals toys out of her hands.  We're working hard to put an end to this.

When her toys are stolen, Janny runs in a small circle while waving her arms and yelling/screaming.  It's rather amusing, especially when we're outside and the noise dissipates.

Finally, I kicked a baby bird on our walk to dinner tonight.  It then rolled a few times and squawked, which is what got my attention.  I didn't kick it a second time or let Janny pet it.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

looking up

We love summer.  We play, eat, and garden outside all that we can.  
 We set up the small pool for some splashing and foot cooling.
Clara is convinced that she can turn herself 3 years old so that she can go to school.
Janny is just so cute right now.  She can say all done, night-night, mama, and dada.
I heard what sounded like a hot air balloon recently while hanging out in the backyard.  And then there was a balloon directly over our house.
 Clara is quite the tricyclist now, and Janny is getting interested.  She still can't reach the pedals.
Somehow, I still can't make the time to update the blog enough.  Clearly, we're playing most of the time.

Some bigger events of the last week:
Our softball team is undefeated after 6 games.  On Monday, I botched a short liner that eventually allowed 3 runs in the first inning.  I was sprinting towards the ball when I got vertigo and tried to catch it with my shin.  Things improved from there.  I hit 2 home runs and threw out a runner trying to score from 2nd on a base hit.    We won 8-3.

Erik, friend and some-time co-worker at Syserco, is driving across the country with his dog (very Steinbeckian-- though I read recently that most of Travels with Charley is fiction.  I say, that was Steinbeck's loss more than ours.  Bunches of cyclists are riding across the country and meeting all manner of people, including us, sometimes).  I convinced him to take a short detour to stay with us on Monday.  We had a great time catching up (though I wish we could meet the rest of his family) and trying to talk Fereshteh into getting a job instead of getting a masters degree.

We were in town all weekend, and yet I didn't ride my bike out to the farmland.  Life is different now.  Going to the safety fair on Sat and our church picnic on Sunday was just about enough to wear me out.  That and the girls either not napping or not napping at the same time.

Saturday, June 2, 2012


Last week, I rode the Wed night ride/training race/drop-a-thon with the Wild Card gang after a nearly 2 year break.  I picked a good night, as few guys were feeling the need to go all out.  However, a few miles east of Urbana, in fact almost exactly the place I crashed 3 years ago, a somewhat near-miss happened again.  The guy in the lead slowed down slightly and veered to his right, where the rest of us were escheloned.  This caused a chain reaction of slowing and swerving, but no crashes despite the yelling.  I was largely unaffected (though I swerved more than I should have), mostly from having learned my lesson 3 years ago -- leave myself some space.

Last Saturday, Jill and I took my parents on a short bike ride to visit Fereshteh's lab.  We just started to ride to lunch when my mom crashed on a stretch of gravel road and broke her ankle.  I ride this stretch of road nearly every on my commute to and from work.  My mom probably had not ridden a bike for a couple of years.  Jill and I felt awful for not taking my mom on that stretch of road.

We just hate to be the cause of someone's suffering.  Not sure yet what practical changes will come about as  a result of this, but we're thinking about it.

Janny usually takes a single nap in the afternoon each day.  Having grandma and grandpa around for the last week has worn her out.  She fell asleep while drinking her post-breakfast milk.
 My mom and dad had planned to visit Uncle Ron and Aunt Cheryl in KY, but had to cancel due to the broken ankle.  Thankfully they drove up for a short visit.  Janny was initially terrified of Uncle Ron (or just his beard?), but warmed up to him.
 Ron and Cheryl gave the girls butterfly wings.  Jill and I also got to try them on (not shown!).
 Janny is quickly turning into a toddler.  She demands toys and food.  She bounds around the house in search of adventure.  And she is starting to mess with Clara a little bit.  For example, she steals one of Clara's toys and tries to keep it away from her.  I foresee some fights in the days to come.
 After a week, mom is feeling better.  Only 7 more weeks until she can put weight on her foot.

She has 2 plates and several screws holding all the pieces together.  She's using the walker or wheelchair for now to get around, but plans to use a scooter type crutch soon.