Wednesday, July 30, 2008

first bike crash

...In which the can of crushed tomatoes is crushed, but the eggs are fine.

The first casualty of our biking lifestyle.

After a quick trip to Kroger, James tried to sneak up on Cadence and I in the driveway by coming across the lawn and over the sloping brick wall on the opposite side of the driveway. He would have been successful in his trick if he'd been about a foot to his left, where the wall is only slightly higher than the pavement. Alas, the slope (which you can't see from the side he was approaching from) was greater than he'd expected, and instead of hoping over the jump, he flipped the bike, landing on his backpack fully of groceries.  As you can see, the tomatoes got it pretty hard.  Thankfully, James was shaken but not damaged.  And yes, somehow, the dozen eggs that were in the backpack were totally unscathed.

But really, given how much we've been biking lately, its almost surprising that something hasn't happened until now, and thank goodness it wasn't something worse.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Suburban Monster Baby

When we made the decision to leave the city, we knew that life would be vastly different for our little lady.  We figured she'd miss the hustle and bustle, she'd enjoy the ability to venture into the yard when we pleased, we might be able to swim now and again...we never could have imagined the transformation that has taken place.  Our East Harlem baby, our city dweller extraordinaire, has become a Suburban Monster baby.

We use the term monster only to explain how thoroughly she loves her new surroundings.  Where we thought she'd enjoy, she revels, where we thought she'd want, she NEEDS, where we thought there would be small differences that would fall into the category of an intellectual 'the-adults-can-rationalize-how-this-is-better-for-her', it's "um, DUH, mama and baba, this ROCKS!".

Take, for example, the kiddie pool.

This photo was taken in the first week we spent here in Kentucky.  (notice how she only has four teeth...she now has six, which makes for a big toothy grin.) I wasn't sure how she would take to the kiddie pool, since she couldn't 'swim' in it the way she did in the big pool at the 92 street Y.  I shouldn't have worried.  She doesn't just like it.  She. Must. Have. Pool. !  Every morning, we get up, and as I attempt to make breakfast, she's already attempting to escape into the back yard for a morning swim.  and then there is the late morning swim.  and the noon and early pm swims.  and the evening swim, which lasts until mama can't stand the bugs.  

Usually, we don't actually let her have ALL of those swimming excursions for one reason or usually gets too hot during the midday to deal with being outside, for instance, and being in so much direct sun could lead to crispy babies (and parents) which is no good, or the fact that we do actually have stuff to get done, so we can't spend the whole day climbing in and out of the pool...but boy will she fight to get them all.  Or to at LEAST be Out! Side! Please! AAAAHH!! [she's also developed a pretty strong affinity for playing basketball.]

Fortunately, there are some special things that help to make up for the fact that there must be life away from the pool.  On fridays during the summer, there are free concerts in the two town squares, Fountain Square Park and Circus Square, which are within walking distance of one another, so it ends up being quite a fest.  Local barbeque purveyors bring fresh wares, and local diary farms truck in house-made ice cream to accompany the sunset, a sprinkling of local artisans and politicians will have jewelry or buttons to sell or give away, and there are a plethora of inflatable adventures to keep the kids occupied.  But none of that holds much interest for our little bug, though she loves to dance and has developed a definite taste for chocolate ice, her favorite part of our friday evening adventures is the fountain in circus square.

My mom told us that there was a really neat fountain there that you could walk in, which we thought was cool, but we were still (foolishly!) unprepared for what that would mean for our little waterbug.  Glee!  Paradise!  Totally Soaking Wet!

Zooming from one lighted spout ...

to another, 

delighted to be able to splash and play to her heart's content.

The following week, we came prepared:

Hooray for bathing suits!

Look how tan that lady B is!  She definitely takes after her baba when it comes to skin tone and UV tolerance.  We try not to let her spend much time in the direct, harsh sunlight, and slather her in sunblock when we know she'll be exposed for any length of time, and yet, she makes me look pretty pasty.  And I actually have a tan, too.

We have had some pretty great excursions, I have to say.  Like this one, fairly early on, when we went to hear some fiddle players at Chaney's dairy barn.  In addition to the ice cream, they had a REALLY COOL SLIDE made out of some sort of tubing.  Thinking at first that it was too big for our ladyB, we took her to the kiddie area, but she saw the big kids on the big slide and kept dragging us back.  Eventually, I decided to take her down on my lap, and lo and behold, she loved it so much we spent the rest of our time there climbing the stairs and sliding down.  Here she is going down with Baba:

And this was another fun event, back on the 4th of July, when we went to see the the rain.  No wonder we cant keep her in the house even if there is a thunderstorm outside...twice now we've been out in the rain and the rain brings Fireworks!!!

And then there's this gem from an otherwise mundane trip to "the place" (the local apple retailer) Cadence is out shopping.  Anyone need Leopard?:

We don't always have to go out and about to have fun though.  There is plenty of thrilling stuff happening right here on the homestead!  Papa Scott won some huge Cadie smiles when he put up this very special tree swing in the backyard.

As a side note, we have so many great smiley windswept baby-in-the-swing photos that it took james and I three separate sessions to narrow down which ones to post.  

There have been lots of special events here, too.  There are an awful lot of July birthdays around here...Aunt Kelly has her birthday on the third, Cadie Ladie on the seventh, and Papa Scott on the 16th!  That makes for an awful lot of celebrating!  Some (totally unsurprising) discoveries:  cake is messy.  and babies will share with puppies.  and the easiest method of cleaning both is to simply break out the hose.

Hey, she's a water baby.  She loves it!!

There are plenty of puppies and kitties about to fill her days.  Sometime soon, hopefully, I'll do a critter post to help everyone keep track of the extended family, but for now here's a small sampling of the sort of antics stuff our lives full of happy.

A puppy just her size!!


What are you looking at, Cadence and Kelly?

Oh, why of course.  It's Jewels, way up in a tree.

Oh, and then there's stuff like this:

Yes, in case you are wondering, that is the front door to our little annex.  And yes, that is Lily.  climbing it.  She has done this several times.  I honestly didn't think it was possible to climb such a door; she repeatedly proves me wrong. 

And then there are more domestic adventures, like brushing teeth!

And Motorcycle riding!

...Wait, motorcycle riding?!

oh, well, at least she's got a helmet on.

And speaking of headgear: what a great hat!

So, all in all, Cadie Ladie has got all sorts of new, wonderful, uniquely suburban things to enjoy now, but of course, she hasn't lost the most important things from her city life:  Family.

Thus, at long last, we'll conclude this epic mess of an entry, and leave you with a little preview of a (hopefully more tame) future post: New Adventures in Growing Up.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Hello folks!
I'm so sorry it has been so long since our last post.  Our truck finally arrived after a full month, and dumped the contents of our old life squarely in the middle of our room.  It has been rather rough trying to unpack and sort as quickly as possible, but we are making some headway.  We can see the floor again, at least in our room, but we've lost the kitchen table in a stack of detritus waiting for a spot in the attic, which needs additional flooring before anything can actually happen in terms of clearing stuff out.  c'est la vie.

Otherwise, though, and in spite of the chaos, things have been going surprisingly well for all of us.  We all seem to be thriving in this more open environment, and the overall happiness rating has been steadily rising as each new days goes by.  Sure, we still have our bad moments and trying days, but the difference in how we are able to cope with such events is astonishing.

We'll be back soon to post more about the various adventures (outdoor concerts!  fountains to play in!  slides!  furniture! inspiration!) we've been facing soon...we've just gotta get the living room dug out first...

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Bloody, ah, tuesday.

Yesterday, in contrast with it's predecessor, was not so much sunshine and flowers as it was very very bloody. (Yes, be forewarned, this is a TMI post.)
The fact of Cadence's growing up was remarkably evident throughout everything that made yesterday so, ah, sangrious. The first part of it all was simply the fact that Cadie has been nursing less and less as she's been growing and expanding her palate, and has finally weaned to the point that my body has decided to prepare for the possibility of another child. My period returned (after an admittedly nice respite of nearly two years) poetically on Cadence's birthday, but was polite enough not to interrupt the festivities. Yesterday, however, the gloves came off and she said "hey, party's over, girl! all bets are off! CHARGE!"
Honestly, I have been remarkably amazed at how much of a throwback to adolescence this fact of growing up has been. Perhaps I'm just out of practice, or perhaps it was stronger due to the whole pregnancy-breastfeeding-hormones-go-crazy thing, but I've been feeling (and acting) like a teenager again...which I'm sure has been terribly bemusing to my poor parents, who welcomed us back home only for me to revert to being a moody, snappy teen just as my little sister celebrates her 15th birthday. The physical aspects of the whole thing I'll spare you, suffice it to say that this particular occurrence of the feminine cycle was not so much akin to the graceful experiences I've had with it as a (relatively) mature woman as it was to the crisis of a young woman just figuring all of this out. I guess this is one more pregnancy symptom they don't warn you about until after it's happened. We don't talk about such things in this society, which I think is a tragedy, because it leaves every woman (and man, too, frankly) who goes through these kinds of trying experiences (or watches a loved one do so) feel like they're a freak of nature, and extremely, crushingly, alone. Which, frankly, is why I've chosen to talk about this so publicly. I also find it somewhat amusing, having settled down a bit, to think back over the past week and think of the hissy fits I've thrown and how, understanding what's been going on with my body, they make at least a little bit of sense now. (When you're a depressed teen, everything that doesn't fit perfectly with how you would have said something is tragically and dramatically offensive. James, your entry wasn't actually devastating and I'm sorry.) (Also, Kelly, if you're reading this, I'm sorry I started screaming obscenities because I couldn't get out of the car when we went to the drive in to see Wall-E. Dad, and everyone, I'm sorry I was a raging ball of anger that whole night...I was way out of line. I apologize.) So basically, my body is wonderful, and can do amazing things (like, oh, creating the most amazing baby-lady ever) but a side effect is that hormones can suck and really put you through the ringer. A little known fact: it actually takes your body a full two years to recover from each pregnancy. So I guess it shouldn't be so surprising that I've felt like I've been on a ship in a storm lately, but I admit it definitely caught me off-guard.
Anyway, the second part of the Cadie's-growing-up-and-there-is-blood is less nature's design. We made it a full year with no major injuries, just a bump or bruise here, an itty-bitty scratch there, but last night Cadence came tooth-to-stair with the dangers of mobility. Thankfully it was not actually too bad, but it was still heart wrenching to see our little lady with blood dripping from her mouth and big girl tears rolling down her cheeks. She had been running gleefully when she tripped, banging her upper lip/teeth on the stair in the hallway. She was a very brave girl, though, she cried and held onto mommy for a few minutes, but with the help from Pepper who gave her some puppy kisses, Jewels who gave her some nudges and gentle pets, and and alarmingly toxic-looking green freeze-pop, the only sign of our little trooper's trials were the bloodstains on mommy's shirt. It was a hard first for all of us, but having come through it, we know more than ever that our little lady is growing up, she's going to make mistakes and get hurt, and sometimes its going to be really hard, but each bump in the road will have new wisdom to teach, and mama and baba will always be there to help, but when it comes down to it, our Lady-B, she's going to be just fine.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Better With Age

Today marked a momentous occasion in our household, a day so big and fun it can only be properly honored with a gesture as awesome as putting your foot on your head. Like it's no big deal. Heck, I can still bite my thumb as I do it. So what day is it?

Why, it's Cadence's very first birthday, of course!! Our little lady isn't a baby anymore, she's a full year old, all growed up, and we can hardly believe it. The past year has been nothing but a blessing, and we're so, infathomably grateful to have her in our lives. Cadence, thank you for coming into our lives, for choosing us as your parents, and the moment that you did to arrive. You are the best thing that could ever have happened to us, and we love you more than words could ever express. Happy happy happy Birthday, Cadie Ladie, and many happy returns of the day.

With that, on to what you are all waiting for...Pictures!
We actually started the celebration yesterday, with a trip to the Russell Sims Aquatic Center:

Which she loved. Immensely. In addition to the sun and waves, there was much to explore, such as this bridge:

(and yes I know I look incongruous in this pic; shut up. I care only enough to write this quip, but I'm clearly posting it anyway.)

The aquatic center may not have sand, but it does have a beach-like slope in the pool, which Cadence found pretty cool.

We started her official birthday with a trip to Cracker Barrel. They gave her her very own chair, and she ate at the table, with us, and then the wait staff came out with a giant fudge-and-ice-cream covered brownie and had the entire restaurant sing "happy birthday" to her! She was a bit confused, but not entirely unpleased.

Before and after our very big, very tasty breakfast, she explored the store and rode this super awesome rocking ...ah... caterpillar.

After a good morning adventure, she was glad to be home, and out of the (&@$#*) car. We spent quite a while just toolin' around our property, enjoying the outdoors.

I can't get over how grown up she looks in this shot. I know she's still just a little lady, but it was just last year that she appeared and seemed so small and vulnerable, my heart has barely had time to keep up with the fact that she's so strong and independent already.

My parents tell me this never stops.

After all that, it was nap time. Clearly.

She ran to the bed and ploughed onto it as soon as I put her down. Such a good silly lady!

After nap time, we had lunch and then made a trip to Kroger for dinner fixin's and balloons! hooray! Upon our return, Cadence helped us put away the groceries.

Such a good big girl!!

She even helped Papa Scott rearrange the fridge.

Limes, anyone?

After that, we put on some music and danced in the kitchen while Baba made Cadence a very special meal for her birthday dinner: Jiao Zi!

She loved them. She gobbled up two!

Balloon! Puppy! Empty Plate!

It must be time for Cake! We forgot to take still photos of the cake my mom made for Cadence, or the big 1-shaped candle on top of it, or Cadence's bemused expression as we all sang "happy birthday' again and cheered when James helped her blow it out, but we do have this post-cake-and-ice-cream, hollering-into-a-balloon pic which shows enough of the cute chaos to suffice.

After cake came the presents! oh, so many presents for such a little lady-b! She was very good though, and didn't melt down and even shared her new toys with friends and puppies alike. Again, we didn't do much still photography, but hey, this is all the cliche stuff anyhow, right?
Kelly did snap this one, which I thought was a pretty good representation of the overall event...except there needs to be a huge smile. (I think Cadie got distracted by the camera when this was taken):

She made out like a bandit: a whole bunch of nice clothes and some cash from her Nainai, a lantern, a rubber duck, a wooden dragony serpently cool creature thing, and elephant, an alphabet puzzle, a wooden scooter thing to ride on, a vibrating giggly cat ball, a Really! Big! Ball! a band in a drum, and a giraffe-motiffe tunnel to crawl through!! And I am almost definitely forgetting something (for which I apologize!!) but its late now, and it's been a big day. We'll leave you all with good wishes and love, and this photo of James and Cadence hanging out inside the tunnel (in this instance, worn vertically instead of actually crawling through it. Really, though, all that matters is that smile:)