Saturday, December 19, 2009

Merry Christmas 2009

Here is a look back on 2009 for us. It was a year of a lot of firsts: first crawls, pulling up, walking, running, birthday, etc. We hope you and yours had as good and blessed year as we did. We hope you enjoy your holiday season. Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Late Thanksgiving Post

I know what I'm thankful for right now: being done with school! I finished up my semester last week and am also enjoying some days off from work. With the craziness of the end of the semester I really slacked off on posting the pictures from our trip to Alabama for Thanksgiving. It was a great weekend of relaxing and enjoying family time around an outstanding (as always) meal.

Cade decided he liked his cereal so much he wanted to wear the box as a hat.

Susie was able to reconnect with a friend from childhood, Brandi, and the rest of her family as they were passing through the area on their way from Michigan to Florida.
I was pretty impressed when I found out they had just driven about 12 hours with four kiddos under the age of six (the youngest two are nine-month-old twins). These four kids were very well mannered, but no matter how good all the kids were, it was pretty tough to get them all to sit still for a group picture. We have multiple shots of kids in various positions and degrees of escape, but this one turned out pretty well all things considered.
Cade in the tupperware palace with the light-up tambourine. Very suave.
VeeVee and Cade outside on the swing. The weather was great over the weekend.
Now that's a handsome family!

Since the semester's finish, I've been able to spend a lot more time with Cade, especially over the last couple days as Susie finishes up her grading and schoolwork. He continues to become more and more of a rough and tumble playmate. He's always throwing something, or running somewhere, or banging one toy with another (if we're lucky he's not banging something breakable around the house). He loves to climb. Just this afternoon I turned away for what seemed like two seconds and when I turned back he was up on a folding chair leaning way over onto a card table. Last night we lost track of him very briefly and the next thing we knew he was almost two flights up the stairs. No fear. He loves being thrown around and hanging and swinging upside-down; we know when he's up for that because he'll come up to us and says "Bat Baby."

Cade's language skills continue to grow and grow as well. It's a lot of fun to actually talk back and forth with him now. In some ways it's almost a little frustrating for all of us at times. Because we can understand so much of what he's saying it can become difficult when he repeats something over and over and we just can't figure out what he's trying to say. I think it's more frustrating now because we used to be able to just pass his talking off as baby talk and not really have to try and decipher it and now we sometimes can't tell if it's just baby ramblings or if there are words in there that we should be picking up. But overall he's getting better at enunciating words and we're getting better at understanding his "dialect" and helping him speak better.

I'm not sure how early is too early to start looking for his two-year molars, but Cade has been early with all his teeth and he's showing signs of teething again. He's not even 18 months old yet, so I'd be surprised if he's getting more, but he's had all his teeth including the first molars for a while now, so I don't know. He's been drooling like a shaken up soda can, he's pulling at his teeth a lot, his nose is running big time, he's got a congestion cough, he's not sleeping well, he doesn't want to eat much, opting instead for lots and lots of milk, and he's working on some pesky diaper rash. These are all things he dealt with when teething with his last molars, so it would appear that he's got some new ones on the way, but if so it's extremely early. We'll see; I got my wisdom teeth all the way in at 14, so maybe it's hereditary.

Other than the teething(?) thing, we really do have a lot to be thankful for, and it's hard to find reasons to complain. We are blessed with a healthy and vibrant son, and he continually finds ways to keep us entertained and on our toes. Thanks for checking in, and we hope the Chrismas season finds you as greatful and thankful as we feel.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Buying time....

We hope your Thanksgiving was as great and relaxing as ours was. We definitely have a lot to be thankful for. I don't think blogger would allow me enough space to list it all. God is good. I have a number of pictures from our Thanksgiving weekend in Alabama, but........I'm in Bloomington this week with Susie and Cade and the camera transfer cord is in Owensboro. The picture above was one of many taken by our friend Meagan. So I haven't been a total slacker lately. Ok, I have, but I have a good excuse. So here's my peace offering in the meantime: a completely dark video of Cade. Let me explain.

Tonight Susie, Cade, and I went out to eat with a couple of Susie's classmates. We went to a Tibetan restaurant, and it was outstanding. On the way there we drove around the square in downtown Bloomington. Bloomington is like a lot of towns in Kentucky and Indiana (and elsewhere, I'm sure), where the downtown area is built around a square with a government building like a courthouse in the middle. The square in Bloomington is full of all kinds of restaurants and stores and coffee shops. It's a lot of fun to walk around. And every Christmas they decorate the trees with lights and string lights from the buildings around the square to the courthouse in the middle.

Let me take a minute to tell you that Cade LOVES Christmas lights. Over the last week or so he's taken every opportunity to point out the Christmas lights when we've been out and about. It comes out like "pee-tee-dites." It didn't always sound like this. For a while it was just three unintelligible syllables that were shrieked at an excitable pitch. The syllables were constantly changing, but the excitement and finger pointing pretty much told the story. In the last couple days the excitable pitch has settled down (unless he sees an impressive display) and he's settled in on "pee-tee-dites." Close enough.

Quick aside: because it's now dark when we pick him up from the babysitter he's also been pointing out the moon and stars on the way home too. If you get a chance, ask him to say "moon." I don't know if "n" is a tough letter or not, but it comes out "moot" with heavy emphasis on the "t." Hilarious. It's so hard not to laugh at him because it's so stinkin' cute the way he says it. Each time I tell him, "That's right Cade, that's the moon," with heavy emphasis on the "n." I'm sure he'll catch on soon.

He's also getting pretty good at identifying buses and trucks, which he does in this video. Sorry there's no light, you'll just have to imagine how cute he is. I posted a picture at the start of this post in case you forgot what he looks like. We think he looks model-rific in this picture; does that make us conceited parents? I hope not. I kinda figure it makes us like about 99% of parents out there. Who doesn't think their baby is the cutest? :) Thanks for stopping by.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Halloween and fall fun

On Halloween Cade was a pumpkin for the second year in a row. We were fortunate that the costume my mom got him last year was good up through 24 months. He wasn't real keen on the hat, but he wore it long enough for us to go trick-or-treating at our friend Carla's house and long enough to get a couple of pictures.
Later that night we went out to a party on a farm across the river in Indiana. My friend Chris, who I used to work with in Rockport, invited us to a large family party complete with turtle soup and a real headless horseman. It was a great time. Cade wasn't the least bit spooked by the headless horseman; in fact, he loved getting to pet the horse on the nose.
This last weekend we had some beautiful weather in the 60s and 70s. We spent a lot of Saturday afternoon doing stuff out in the yard. A while back Chris also gave us a tricycle they had laying around. It's in great shape and we've been waiting for a chance to break it out. Cade's feet don't quite reach the pedals enough to pedal yet, but he definitely likes to be pushed around on it.
I think this shirt is another one that I wore as a little kid. Looks pretty good on Cade! I raked some leaves into a pile and he liked playing in the leaves with Chili.
While we were outside I took the opportunity with the great weather to wash and clean both of our automobiles. I was in the garage vacuuming out the truck and Cade came walking in and wanted to help. He did a very good job on the floor mats.

Saturday morning we had some family photos taken out at a park by a good friend Meagan. We look forward to sharing some of those photos with you all when we get them back. She's a very talented photographer, so we can't wait to see them. Thanks for stopping by! See you next time.

Monday, November 2, 2009

What I've learned from running

Here's part two of tonight's double feature:

Susie and I take a good hard look at our family budget at the end of each year as we look toward how we can best use our resources during the following year. At the start of 2009 we decided to quit our health club for a few reasons: we anticipated being out of town more in 2009 which rendered our membership useless, the club had gone severely downhill in maintenance and cleanliness, Cade presented the need for childcare if we were going to work out together, and we figured we could save a little money.

Without a designated place to exercise, I began to run. I have never liked running, but I figured it would be the easiest way to burn calories. Running is free, and I can run wherever I travel and in all seasons. Also, my health seems to go downhill easily when I carry a few extra pounds around. My nose was broken when I was in 6th grade (another story for another day) and I seem to be susceptible to upper respiratory problems if I’m not careful. But most importantly, I was feeling the need to set a good example for Cade in fitness and health. It’s amazing to see how much of our actions and words he’s already picking up on. My dad has been a picture of consistency in exercise for me, and I want to be that same picture for Cade.

Despite my loathing to run, I had found it to be the best way for me to lose unwanted pounds and stay in shape. The runs were purposely kept short at the outset, partially because it was still cold outside, and partially because we had started to train for a half marathon when we lived in Houston and my knees started breaking down due to overtraining. By very slowly ramping up my miles each week I could hopefully avoid injury.

Near the end of March I was sort of getting into a routine so I set my first goal. I was at 235 pounds and I wanted to get down to 210 by the time Cade turned one at the end of June. I don’t know why I picked 210, but I needed a hard number in front of me instead of a nebulous goal. To reach this goal I estimated that I needed to run at least 2 out of every 3 days. I made a spreadsheet to track my progress and Susie made fun of me because I’m a big dork.

I made my goal of 210 a couple weeks before Cade’s birthday and I found another goal. I let my buddy Jared talk me into doing a half marathon in October. Now I had a training schedule and a much bigger goal than merely weight. As I ran throughout the summer, something funny happened: I started leaving my iPod at home and started really enjoying my runs. If I missed a day I started missing it. As soon as my last run was done I’d start mentally preparing for the next one, especially if it was going to be a long one. As I mentioned in a previous post, the half marathon was a big success for me and so I wanted to write a post about what I learned while training for and competing in this race. Here we go:

· You can do a lot more than you initially think you can. I figured I could train up to running 13.1 miles, but it really was a daunting prospect. If my schedule called for a distance that I’d not previously run I’d have to mentally prepare to run it. So the first time I ran 8 miles, and then 9 miles, and so on was kind of intimidating because it was a step into the unknown. I ran 13 miles a few weeks before the race just so I had a mental edge of having done it before the race. But this goes far past running. It really applies to any aspect of life. We didn’t realize how little sleep we could actually function on until we were pressed to do it when Cade couldn’t go more than an hour or two without eating at the beginning. I didn’t realize how incredibly full of grace and love Susie was until I watched her interact with our son. Pushing boundaries is essential to becoming a better person.

· The things you appreciate the most don’t come overnight. 2009 has provided me with two opportunities to practice patience towards a goal. The first was losing weight and preparing for the race. I mentally had to expect to lose the weight over a period of time, not overnight. This long-term approach allowed me to trust my training and my eating habits and when it was all said and done I exceeded my goal. As I lost weight and gained conditioning, my pacing got incrementally faster, which encouraged me to stick with it even more. When your goals reference a point in the future you don’t get distraught over small temporary setbacks and you don’t get impatient with slower progress as long as it’s steady and marked. Secondly, I’d never read straight through the Bible. So Susie and I have been part of a Facebook group designed to get us through the Bible in a year. The Bible is a large book, but staying on pace with the group has kept us on track, and I believe we’ve become closer as a couple as we spend time in spiritual discussions that challenge our minds regarding what we’ve read. I’m not going read the Bible in one sitting, and I’m not going to lose 25 pounds overnight, but slow and steady progress makes the end result worthwhile, which brings me to my next point, which is:

· The end is not necessarily the end. I’ve referenced Don Miller in this blog before, and something he said in his talk a few weeks back has been working around in my mind. In his talk and his latest book, he uses the analogy of story for how to live fulfilling, meaningful lives. Every important aspect of story, such as a protagonist that desires something, conflict, and sacrifice all play a part in a compelling story. We would be wise to consider these elements and how they are involved in our lives. But there is one element of story that we are not meant to experience in this life, and that is the climax and the big finish. Companies sell us goods under the proposition that their good will lead to a fulfilled life. But what good ever has? Even Christian spiritualism has become consumer-centric, promising in many cases that Jesus will solve all your problems. This is not Biblical, but it’s preached ad nauseum. I don’t know anyone, Christian or not, that has reached the point in their lives where all conflict is gone. Even Paul in Romans 8 talks about how creation groans as in the pains of childbirth and how we eagerly await a future glory with hope despite our current sufferings. Not exactly a pitch you can use on a late night infomercial. This point was brought to mind as I watched "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition" yesterday. I’d never seen the show before, but we watched because it was the episode that was filmed in Owensboro back in September. Throughout the show I kept hearing lines like “Our troubles are over,” “We don’t have to worry about anything now,” and “This new house will fix our problems.” The show was sweet and sappy, but unlike a fictional movie where the credits roll and all is happily ever after, when the credits rolled on this show the dad in the family still had health issues and treatments and still couldn’t work. The mom still had to be the breadwinner and care for her husband. Not even a new house and car in place of their trailer and clunker could completely fix and fulfill their lives. Not to sound like a downer, but this is the world we live in. That’s why, in order to continue to live fulfilling lives we have to continually push ourselves with loftier and loftier goals and never rest on what we’ve accomplished. I’ll have to admit when I first signed up for the half I had these lofty visions of ripped abs and laurels and glory as I crossed the finish line. I still have love handles. I can still get faster. There were nearly 400 people that finished ahead of me (and this was a small race compared to other half marathons). After the high of finishing with a good time wore off I was mentally searching for the next thing, because there is never fulfillment (read Ecclesiastes for extra food for thought). So as I type I’m currently pondering my next race in order to push myself again and train to beat my time. And now we’ll head back to less of a philosophical realm:

· When you run you automatically have millions, and probably billions of partners out there. The camaraderie is great. I like waving to other runners as we pass on the street or trail. I like to see other runners running when I’m driving around doing errands. It makes me want to run. There have been a few times where my path will allow me to run for a few blocks or more with a complete stranger, but we always seem to have a good time talking until our paths separate. While training I often did my long weekend runs with Jared, Jason, and Robert. One time I ran with Susie. Last weekend I ran with my uncle. Sometimes my pace is pushed, sometimes it lags more than normal, but it doesn’t matter, because it’s time to spend together and talk and experience the run together.

· Running provides good views. A city looks completely different running than it does when you drive through it. The slower pace allows you to soak in the surroundings more. I like this, especially when traveling. One place in particular I recall was when I was up at Purdue University doing some recruiting for my company. I parked at a park in Lafayette and ran down to the river and across into West Lafayette. My run took me up into campus and I ran around for a while before heading back. I noticed houses and buildings and people that I’d have never appreciated if I had just driven over to campus the next day for the interviews. It even let me scout out some interesting looking places to eat.

· The right equipment makes all the difference. I used to make fun of people who wore running clothes when they ran. Then Susie got me a couple running shirts and some running shorts. Man, did I feel light as a feather. Then my parents took me to a running store to be custom fit for some shoes based on my foot and gait. I bet the right equipment shaved 10 seconds off my mile pace right there. Susie also got me a GPS watch for my birthday that allows me to regulate my pace and train more effectively. The right equipment makes all the difference.

· People are generally very polite. I’ve noticed this as I’ve run along streets and encountered cars. Despite running somewhere between 600 and 700 miles this year (most of them on roads/sidewalks), I can only think of one time where I feel like a driver intentionally cut me off. For the most part people are very eager to yield to a runner. It’s made me more conscious of runners when I am driving.

· You can generally tell whether the people in each house use the sidewalks or not. If the trees and limbs obstruct the sidewalk, there’s a good chance the people in the house don’t take walks or they’d realize how bad it is. On the other hand, you can tell when people do utilize the sidewalks because the sidewalks in front of their houses are well trimmed.

· You can’t judge a runner by what he or she looks like. This is probably a “duh” point, but as people we spend so much time sizing others up based on their appearance. There have been plenty of times I’ve been smoked by someone at a race that initially looked too short or too fat or too unathletic. You’d be amazed at how goofy some people look while they’re passing me. This is like that whole idiom about a book and something about its cover, but it’s true.

So that’s probably more than you were interested in, and major kudos for still reading. I figured I could sneak this in if it came as a double feature. Thanks for continuing to frequent this inconsistent blog about my son.

Minnesota Trip

Tonight is a double feature: Two posts at the same time! Here are a few pictures from our Minnesota trip:
Cade is still a great traveler. It was pretty cool to see him start to understand what was going on. He loved looking out the window, both on the ground and in the air. He quickly learned the word "airplane," and he enjoyed saying "bye" to planes as they took off. When we'd ask him where each plane was going he'd put his palms up to say "I don't know." We got to see my cousin (at some level, our dads are cousins, so you figure it out) Kyle, his wife Jenny, and their three-month-old daughter Kayla. Kayla was a cutie, she just wasn't up for a picture at this point. Kyle picked us up at the airport and they let us borrow a pack and play and a high chair for the weekend: very important items to not have to carry on board!
My Aunt Renee and Uncle Dave were so hospitable and opened their house to a whole crew of family. They have a bunny named Ginger, and I think Cade fell in love. He got to feed Ginger beans and got a kick out of how soft her fur was.
Susie and my parents took Cade to the Mall of America (I stayed home). :) Cade got to ride on the balloon ride and apparently giggled and laughed the entire time.

Cade spent some time outside in the leaves. He's not a big hat wearer, but he liked his little red cap we found for a buck at the recycled baby item store.

My cousin Julia got some big slippers at the mall and Cade got to try them on. Looks like they fit just right!

The reason we all went up to Minneapolis was to go to this church. It's now called Faith Free Lutheran Church, but it started as Rosedale Lutheran Church. We attended the 100th anniversary of the church. Why this church? My great grandfather was the pastor of this church for 49 years, from 1921 to 1970 when he died. Because I never got to meet him, it was very interesting for me to see his church and hear about him from some of the members. He was a very hard worker and cared for the people at his church. There were many pictures of him, and I found a couple record books where he kept church records with a fountain pen. When he started as pastor he made less than $1,000 each year. The parsonage connected to the rear of the church was where my dad lived the first year or so of his life. I know it was a big deal for my dad and his sisters to come back and see the church and the parsonage and relive old memories. It was kind of a chance for me to get to know him.

Here's a picture of me and Cade with my Aunt Joyce and my dad's Aunt Joyce.

Four generations!

After the service the current church members cooked a huge meal for everyone that came. Delicious!

Here's a picture of the whole Gronseth clan that attended. It was great to reconnect with family that we hadn't seen in quite some time.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Picture Update

Well, here's the photo update I promised a while back. The school work has calmed down (at least for a week or two) and Cade is down for the evening. Enjoy the pictures!

We start way back with our trip to Colorado at the start of September. Once again Cade was a great traveler (with a minor exception, which I'll describe right now). On the way out we had settled into our seats and the plane was just about to take off when Susie, who was holding Cade, looked at me with a look of trepidation and said those fateful words, "Cade's pooping." We asked the flight attendant if we could change him and were informed that everyone needed to remain in their seats or we'd lose our place in line for takeoff. Uh oh. As if it couldn't get worse, Susie looked at me again and said, "His diaper is leaking." We had some plastic that we put between Cade's booty and Susie's lap and held on hoping for the best. During takeoff Cade miraculously fell asleep so the diaper change was put off for another hour. (We aren't always super smart, but we have learned to not wake him up unless absolutely necessary.) When Cade woke up Daddy was spared by the fact that airplane bathrooms now measure approximately 18" x 20" including toilet, so Susie made the impossible possible and changed Cade at 30,000 feet. Just before landing Susie looked at me again and said, "I'd better go change him again." Wow. Some days we don't get one set of poopy pants and he just decided it would be fun to drop two deuces in one plane trip. I know he's more aware of what's going than we fully comprehend. But overall he really was an excellent plane rider, so we let him off easy. :)

Once we got to Colorado Springs we spent some time out at the park with some ducks and geese. It was pretty windy.We also stopped at Petsmart to see the rescue dogs and cats for adoption. It's so sad to see these animals that have been abused and abandoned. Just hearing their stories makes you want to take them all home. Cade loves to hang out with the animals. I hope he doesn't have a bad experience with a dog at some point because he just makes a beeline for any canine at every opportunity at this point. His love is usually returned many times over.

An interesting fact about our family: my mom and I share a birthday on September 11th and my dad's birthday is on September 12th. That was part of the reason we chose that weekend to visit. It was my 30th, so we had a good time celebrating birthdays. It's kind of like a mini-Christmas, but slightly better because we include an ice cream cake. The other reason we chose that weekend is because my mom and sister head up to the mountains to ride horses with some other ladies and Susie has been able to go with them a few times now. So she took off with the ladies and we had a guys' weekend back at the house in Monument. We got to watch football, play a lot, and do other things we won't tell the ladies about, right Cade? :) Here's a picture of Cade trying to contain his excitement right after Uncle Paul filled him in on just exactly what does happen on guys' weekends.
I found a pair of mittens that I wore when I was a little guy. Cade thought they were the coolest and wanted to wear them for a while.
My dad's glasses were just blowing Cade's mind. He would look at Grandpa straight in the eye and then would slide his head around to look at his eyes from the side view as seen in this picture. This entertained Cade (and us) for quite some time.
Here's part of the ladies' crew up at Lost Valley Ranch.

After the weekend we left Cade in Colorado with Nana and Grandpa for a week away. It was extremely helpful for us because that was the week Susie needed to use to prepare for her dossier review. So it was great for Cade, Nana, and Grandpa in Colorado, and it was time well utilized by Susie in preparation for that Friday. Susie did very well in her review, so it was worth the time away. We sure missed him though. It just felt weird not having him around with both of us together. Here's a picture of Cade after a bath. Nana has the coolest doggie towel that he gets wrapped up in after bath time. You can see his head goes in the dog head so the big black nose is on Cade's forehead and the big brown ears flop down the sides of his head. You can't tell by this picture, but the corners are four big paws that hug him to dry him.

As a doggie lover, Cade enjoyed getting to hang out with Maggie. He just can't hide his excitement at the opportunity to give Maggie a treat.

My Aunt Deb (my mom's sister) and Uncle Bill are building a house not far away from my parents' house. It will be great to have them around more often when we're in Colorado. Cade and Bill hit it off great.

Cade enjoyed playing out in the backyard with Nana and Grandpa. He really liked chilling in the hammock.

When my mom flew back with Cade she spent the day in Bloomington with us. Her flight went out of Indianapolis so we went up to the Indy Zoo. Cade absolutely loved seeing the different animals. The first thing we saw were sea lions and he immediately said "doggie!" which is understandable given their dog-like faces and his strong affinity for pooches. He correctly identified the bears as well. This zoo has an underwater dolphin viewing tank, and Cade got a kick out of watching the dolphins swim around us.
Susie and I went to see Ben Folds in at the IU Auditorium with one of her housemates, Craig. Ben Folds is one of the most talented musicians I've had the pleasure of seeing live and also one of the best showmen. We were fortunate enough to have third row seats! It was just him and his piano; it's just incredible how much sound he gets from one instrument. If you haven't seen him live and you enjoy his music, I'd recommend you take any opportunity you get to see him. This was my fourth time seeing him. Each time the arrangement has been different (we once saw him with the Louisville Orchestra) and each time has been unbelievable.
The weather has been great lately, so we've taken the chance to go to the park and play a number of times. Cade LOVES to swing, but that doesn't even compare to his love of sliding. Here are a couple pictures of pure joy.

Last week I had the opportunity to see one of my favorite authors, Don Miller, speak in Evansville. It was a great night listening to him as well as Susan Isaacs, and I even got to chat with him for a few minutes afterwards. If you haven't read anything by Don, I'd recommend picking up any of his books. They are all outstanding. He's very humble, is very wise, and is a master of conveying ideas and breaking theological ideas down into palatable information. He's one of those writers that makes you feel like you know them well after reading their work. His books have helped me make sense of some of the random thoughts about life floating around my head.

Last Saturday was the event that my friend Jared and I had been training for for quite a while. We ran a half marathon in Indianapolis; it was my first and Jared's second. I beat my goal time by about five minutes and Jared improved on the time from his last half marathon. The course went through a state park and the trees were beautiful in their fall colors. It was 34 degrees at the start, but once we got going the cool weather was energizing. It was a great experience for my first one. I'm looking forward to doing another one in the spring.

When I got back to Bloomington Cade wanted to wear my finisher's medal (Daddy's nowhere near fast enough to actually WIN a medal, but we won't tell Cade that yet). He looks very proud of himself.

Chili's really been coming around with Cade. He seems to really like him now, and doesn't mind Cade crawling all over him as much. Cade thinks Chili's soft fur is the coolest and loves to cuddle with him.

Do you think it might be time for another haircut?

As I write this I'm listening to the internet broadcast of the Broncos' Monday night matchup with the Chargers. The Broncos just scored to go up 27-23: great game so far; hope they can hold the lead! We don't have a TV up here in Bloomington, so I'm glad I can get the game on KOA's website. Cade wore a super stylish shirt today for game day. This is a shirt I had as a little guy. Amazing how some things just never go out of fashion.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009


I should be putting together a marketing plan for school, but this is a chance to procrastinate. I've been talking about Cade walking for a little while, and now I present proof to you. He's really become much more balanced, coordinated, and quick on his feet in the last few weeks. We now have to be much more wary of where he is and what he's getting into. Did I mention he keeps getting more and more fun?

So here's a short video I put together. I haven't tried my hand too much at video editing and was surprised how easy it was to string together clips and add a soundtrack in the background. Many thanks to my friends in WILCO for writing an appropriate song for the occasion. :)

Monday, October 5, 2009

I Can Has Dirty Diaper

Many props to Uncle Paul and his creation a la loldogs and lolcats. I've been dormant lately with excuses ranging from a trip to Colorado to school (big paper due this Monday!) to being away from home for a couple weeks without the cable thingy that goes from the camera to the computer. A new post is coming soon with lots of pictures from our Colorado trip and other fun things. And after that I'll try to finish up my first video ever created and edited on my own in tribute to Cade walking. That will be posted soon as well (I hope!).

Monday, September 7, 2009

Chili's starting to like this kid

Just a quick post to get this video up that I took this morning here in B-town. Apparently Chili was looking a little underfed.

Friday, August 28, 2009

I don't think I could do it (and other random heart-related thoughts)

Cade is sick. He's more sick than I remember ever seeing him, barring the initial hostipal treatments during his first few days of life. Two events in the last 24 hours have triggered a few deep thoughts in my head and strong feelings in my heart. The first happened last night when we discovered he wasn't feeling great. Susie and I were heading to bed around 10:30. Cade was in bed early because he was cutting a new molar and that had him feeling crummy all day. We heard him crying and decided to go check on him. Sometimes we'll let him cry and put himself back to sleep, but this time we investigated. When we walked in he was standing up and crying in his crib, squinting in the light, himself and his crib completely covered in the food he'd eaten yesterday. It was the most pitiful sight, and my heart broke for him. Susie took him right into the bath and I worked on his clothe, room, and bed. He ended up throwing up twice more throughout the night. Susie and her mom took Cade to the doctor this morning and we found out he has a virus. Really all we can do is try to make him comfortable and manage his fever until it passes. He's been in a poor state during the day and evening.

The second event was just earlier this evening. Susie and her mom went to a church function a while ago and Cade had finally gone to sleep right before they left. Only a few minutes after they had left I heard him crying. All day today it seemed like he just couldn't get comfortable enough to sleep well so he tossed and turned a lot. I went in and stood by his crib and rubbed his back, but when I thought he was asleep and turned to leave he would start crying right when I got out the door. This happened a few times so I ultimately took him and held him for about a half hour as he worked his way back to sleep on my chest. It was a sweet time to be with him and to just console him as he just kind of moaned and tried to get comfortable enough to sleep. Susie said earlier today that in some ways she doesn't mind him being sick because he's so dependent on her and just longs for her to hold him and it's a real feeling of connection. I can identify with that, but at the same time it just pains me to see him as uncomfortable as he is. I spent that time praying for him to feel better and for him in general. Finally he drifted off enough that I could put him back in his crib. So far so good (knock knock).

Those two images, of Cade standing and crying in his crib covered in vomit, and of his sick little face curled up on my chest contorting and straining against his virus in an effort to get some rest have burned themselves into my mind. I hate seeing him less than the vibrant, fun bundle of life we're used to. The thought that kept entering my mind as I rocked him back to sleep was, "Dear God, how did you ever allow your only son to be tortured and killed? I don't think I could do it. I don't have enough love and grace in me."

And see, there's the rub. As much as Susie or I love Cade, that love pales in comparison to God's love for me and for every person that's ever been conceived on this planet. He's the only one capable of that kind of love. I firmly believe the most unselfish thing a perfect being could do is to create other beings for the sole purpose of enjoying himself. And even more incredibly, He didn't force his love and any kind of obedience on us. Forced obedience creates a resentment or no feeling at all. So He allows us to make the choice to cut the ties and reject Him. And we do. Everyday. We're people that want to know how far we can stretch a rule. How fast can I go over the speed limit without getting a ticket (FYI: in Owensboro it's less than 6 over)? How much can I slack off before my A drops to a B or my B drops to a C? How mediocre can I allow my work to be before it gets noticed for the crap that it is? How little time can I spend with God and how little can I mention Him in conversation and how little can I care about the people around me without giving up my status as a "good Christian guy?" But it's not about rules. It's about our hearts.

I'd like to share a story I read a few days ago that I really liked. I've read it a few times since I first came across it. I love the ending. It's about a king that decided his people had been rebellious for too long. When he became king, he made it a priority to repair and re-consecrate the temple in Jerusalem and re-consecrate the priests of the land so they could worship the God that had delivered them over and over. He wanted to do it right. He wanted to celebrate the most important festival of thanks to God as a nation for the first time in a long time, but enough priests had not been consecrated and the people had not been assembled in time. The Passover was normally celebrated in the first month of the year, but instead they chose to celebrate it in the second month just this one time because it was a priority to return to their traditions of honoring God and remembering what he had done for them. Historically, this was a no-no. Additionally, many of the people who had come from a distance to celebrate had not ceremonially purified themselves so they were actually celebrating the festival in direct opposition to God's law. But here's what happened: "(The king) prayed for them, saying, 'May the Lord, who is good, pardon everyone who sets their heart on seeking God - the Lord, the God of their ancestors - even if they are not clean according to the rules of the sanctuary.' And the Lord heard (the king) and healed the people." (2 Chronicles 29-30)

I love that story. I love it because we get so wrapped up in focusing on the rules and the lists of things we can and cannot do. We hold so tighly to the taboos and boundaries we've set up in our minds, we don't take the time to examine our hearts, and our hearts go astray. But our hearts are what matter to God. My heart longs for my son to feel good and be happy. God's heart longs for me to be close to him and to care about others. He longs for my heart so much that he watched his son endure the worst pain any person has ever endured because without his blood my shortcomings would separate me from God. He allowed his son to be tortured and killed because he longs for the hearts of so many that choose to completely disregard him. Because His love and grace are enough to overcome anything I can do in rebellion to Him, I have the freedom to love my son. So I stand amazed at my God yet again and thank him for his limitless love, his unending forgiveness, and the grace to allow me to have a son if only for the ability to further appreciate the sacrifice he made in giving up his own for me.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

More Walking

Cade has been doing more and more walking. Just this evening he walked from the middle of a room at IU to the doorway. We were talking with some of Susie's classmates, so it kind of went unnoticed until we realized what he had just done.

My aunt Joyce sent Cade a shopping cart for his birthday. Her son David had one when he was a baby and apparently it was a big time favorite toy. Up until about a week ago Cade wasn't stable enough on his feet to really enjoy it, but now that he's more mobile he loves to push it around with his toys in it. So big thanks goes out to Joyce and her experience with little boys. :) Cade's putting a lot of miles on those shopping cart wheels. He's not very good at turning yet, so sometimes he'll get stuck when he runs into a wall or something else. We're looking forward to seeing Joyce and a lot of the extended Gronseth family in October.

I also got a video of Cade pushing another walker around. He still prefers crawling since it's faster, but he's sure coming along with the walking.

And here's the video of the shopping cart.

Cade's vocabulary is also growing pretty quickly. He's learned "hi" and "bye," which make any occasion more fun. And he's definitely partial to the letter "Z." We read him the Dr. Seuss ABC's book quite often (sometimes 5-10 times a day). He loves it. He'll pick it up and bring it to us and say, "B!" We think "B" either means "ABC" or "read," we're not sure yet. But when we get to the end we'll say the whole alphabet and he'll finish with an emphatic "Z!" It still kinda sounds like "TSE," but we're giving him the benefit of the doubt. It's his favorite letter. He even loves the rhyme that goes with Z in the book: "Big Z, little z, what begins with Z?" (Turn the page to a picture of a goofy Seussian fuzzy patchwork dragon.) "I do! I am a zizzer-zazzer-zuzz as you can plainly see!" Which is followed by Cade cackling and turning the book back to the beginning. Every time.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

First Haircut!

Cade is hilarious. Can I just say that before we get started today? He constantly comes up with new things that are at the same time funny and amazing because you can tell he's coming to grips with the world around him. Like the other night Susie was telling me about how when he was in the bath he was standing up and apparently nature was calling. So while standing there he just started peeing. She said he looked down at what was going on and just started cracking up at himself. You know he knows he eliminates waste because he gets cranky if his diaper isn't changed for a long time. So he knows occasionally it gets wet and/or lumpy in his diaper, but I wonder if he really puts it all together. I know when he does that will make potty training a lot easier. (Side note: last night I learned that Susie was trained at 15 months which blows my mind. That's exciting to me because it means we might be closer to no more diaper changes, but it kinda scares me too because it means we'll have to deal with the "accidents" that come with training. I'm sure they don't always happen at convenient times.) But back to the tub, I guess he just saw the play unfolding before him and decided that it was pretty funny.

Another funny/neuron-connection thing happened at bath time last night. Susie thought Cade's hair was very cute and wanted to take a few pictures. It was at that point we realized Cade can anticipate the camera's flash. Our camera does what a lot of cameras do now: it blinks an orange light a second or two before the picture is taken. Well, Cade's figured out the sequence and doesn't like the flash in his eyes. So the result is what you see below. There were many more "in betweeners" but I narrowed it down to the best three. He smiles for the picture, but then decides he wants to avoid the flash, but then at some point between those two decisions he decides that having a smile on really still is important. The third one is kind of blurry, but I believe that picture captures the exact moment of decision.

And here's a "nice" picture of smiley Cade.

But what I really wanted to tell you about was his haircut today. He was such a good boy! I was a little nervous about how it would go since he is SO wiggly. All the time. Everyday. But enough was enough: he was developing quite the mud flap in the back. I know we live in and Cade was born in Kentucky, but at some point you just have to take the appropriate stand against mullets. :)

So far so good. Sitting on the little booster seat very well!
At first he didn't quite like the cape. But when he got to play with a hair clip he was very compliant.
After a while the hair clip just wasn't fun enough anymore so we got a comb in his hands and he was happy again.
Overall he did wonderful! He sat very still for LaDonna and now looks quite dapper and trim. Thanks a bunch LaDonna for doing a great job!
Here's a quick video of Cade standing up by himself. He's getting a lot better at this now and takes a few steps by himself now.