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 another...it 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 cream...no, 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!
The following week, we came prepared:
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 fireworks...in 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.
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.
What are you looking at, Cadence and Kelly?
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!
...Wait, motorcycle riding?!
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.