Saturday, April 17, 2010

Zombies & Toyotas

It's so good to be home! I got stuck at the Atlanta airport last night on my way back into town from Charleston. It was initially a big bummer, but I was able to stay with my high school buddy Matt and spend some time catching up with him. He was gracious enough to pick me up at the MARTA station and offer me his guest room for the short night. I think the trouble and unfriendly employees were Delta's ways of getting back at me for taking this shot via Twitter on Tuesday about how much it sucks flying through the delay-plagued Atlanta airport. No worries now, though. I'm home and with my family.

The weather has been beautiful these last couple weeks. During one of those nice days we were outside working on the yard. Susie gave Cade a grape popsicle since it was pretty warm out. I was bent over a garden working and I heard Cade come walking over and then fall down in the garden near me. As I looked up I saw what looked like a dirty bloody little zombie (opinion probably influenced by my recent viewing of "Zombieland"). So here are a couple pictures of our little living dead (another one here). The pictures definitely don't do the makeup trailer any justice.

This afternoon we went down to a small carnival that had set up at Kentucky Wesleyan College. We took Cade on the carousel. He's been on carousels before, so he was pretty excited to ride it as you can tell in this picture.

After Susie rode with him it was my turn. As we walked on the ride I asked Cade which one he wanted to ride on. He looked at me and said, "Ride on rooster!" I had no idea he even knew that word. About halfway through the ride he wanted to switch over to the "piggie." I told him no due to the piggie's sharp teeth. He seemed ok with that answer and agreed that pigs with sharp teeth should be avoided. (Somehow four-foot-tall roosters aren't cause for any concern though...)

We picked up a pizza on the way home and Cade got to play the car racing game at the restaurant. If you've seen other posts, you know that he loves racing car games, so we're not covering any new ground here. The only reason I'm posting this picture is because I let Cade pick out our vehicle. Notice he picked out the Toyota truck. Now that's a kid with great taste. The game turned out to be kind of a dud. We didn't have any sticky accelerator issues. Rather, the shift knob in my right hand didn't exactly work, and it's hard to win any races when you're stuck in first gear. Cade asked me why the transmission was faulty. He said he was confused because he hadn't chosen the Dodge. ;) I just told him it was an unrealistic simulation.

Thanks for reading. We hope you are enjoying spring as much as we are!

Sunday, April 11, 2010

I love you little buddy

Here are a few reasons why I love you Cade:
* I love the way you say "Good Moming Daddy!"
* I love the way you are always looking to make a joke. Like this morning, when you usually say "Good Moming Daddy." Over and over I said "Good Morning Cade," and over and over you looked at me with a glimmer in your eyes and said with a half straight face: "Good Moming Mommy!"
* I love how you want to dance with your daddy. I especially love it how sometimes when you dance with daddy you fall asleep on his chest.
* I love how you love your mommy.
* I love how even at a young age you are showing a love for Jesus. You always want us to pause to say "blessing" before every meal and you love saying "Amen!" at the end of any prayer. And every night you ask us to sing "Jesus" as you fall asleep. These are very simple things, but they indicate a beginning knowledge and love.
* I love how you are curious and love to explore the world around you. Sometimes this results in "bo-bo's," but that doesn't slow you down, and that brings me to my next one:
* I love how you know where to come for comfort from bo-bo's, hurting gums, and other problems. Please know that you can always come to Mommy and Daddy when things don't seem right.
* I love how your interests are seemingly broad. You love to watch and play basketball as well as all kinds of other games with balls and bats. You love to listen to and play music. You love to play with Chili. You love to read books. I don't know where your interests will take you and what you will eventually gravitate towards as you grow, but I can't wait to watch.
* I love how you are outgoing and friendly. You haven't met anyone you don't like; you'll go up to anyone and say "Hi!," which reminds me a lot of my Grandpa. You would have loved him.
* I love your assertiveness. You know what you want. Even though it creates tension at times, and probably will continue to create tension in the future, I believe this quality will serve you well as you grow up.
* I love how much you look like your mommy.
* I love how much you look like me.

This list could go on and on. Notice that nowhere on this list do I tell you that I love you because of anything that you can or cannot do. I think that you're handsome and you're smart and you're fun to be around, but these aren't the reasons I love you. My love for you is not based on any condition or any expectation we have of you. No matter what you do and no matter who you choose to become your mommy and I will always love you because of the most important reason on this list:
* You are our son and you are a gift from God.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Happy Easter!

Happy Easter everyone! We hope you were able to spend Easter with people that are important to you and that your day gave you time to reflect on the importance of Jesus' resurrection. We weren't able to spend this Easter with any of our biological family, but that doesn't mean we didn't have a great weekend.

Yesterday one of Cade's buddies from church, Elizabeth, came over to help decorate eggs and do an egg hunt. As I mentioned in the last post, Cade loves stickers so I think his favorite part of decorating was putting stickers on the eggs after they were colored.

I got to hide eggs for the first time ever, so that was kind of fun. It was a little different being on this side of the game, and it was so fun to see Cade getting a kick out of looking for the eggs. I wondered if he would get into it, but once he figured out the idea of the game he was like a little blond-headed bloodhound out there. If you can remember, next time you see me ask me about a story from my childhood involving an Easter egg hunt, my cousins, and some doggie dookie.

I'm going to just take this platform and say that our friends Jeff and Denise are outstanding people. They invited us and another couple our age from our church over for an Easter meal today. They knew we didn't have any family in the area so they filled in just great! They are a selfless couple that have sacrificed for us before and love playing with Cade. They have a grandson a little older than Cade so they had tons of cool toys for Cade to play with.

When I was a kid I always wanted a Power Wheels but never got one. Well, Jeff and Denise had one and Cade wasn't so sure what to do at first. He's a big fan of the racing games at the arcade. Also, whenever we get home from going somewhere he likes to climb into my lap before I get out of the car and pretend like he is driving. This truck was a little big for him; he had to stretch to reach the gas pedal. I don't know if giving a one-year-old control of a motorized vehicle is really that prudent, but the look on his face when he realized what he had in his hands was sooooo worth it. This picture is as close as we came to capturing that look. We showed him the pedal and demonstrated it for him and then kind of let him sit in it. After a while he figured it out and his expression was a combination of a big smile, complete wonder, total surprise, and anticipation.

Another cool toy Jeff brought out was a kite. Again, not sure how he'd react, but he ended up loving it. I love this picture. That kid is smiling with his whole face.

We had round two of the egg hunt. I think Cade is telling us that he sees an airplane and where it is located in case we also wanted to view the airplane.

Out back they had a trampoline. Cade had never been on one before and it shouldn't be any surprise that he loved it. I bounced him all over and he was pretty bummed out when it was time to get off and do something else. I don't know if I'll ever be able to convince Susie to get one of these if we ever have a yard with a place for one. (Another toy I wanted as a kid but never got. Looking back on today I may have had more fun than Cade.)

Here's a video of Cade in the truck. He's not doing too bad considering he still has over 14 years to go before he can legally operate a vehicle. Shortly after this take he ran into a tree, so maybe it's a good thing he has over 14 years...
Sorry if you see multiple typos or grammar errors. I just learned Wilco was on Austin City Limits last night so I'm skipping proofreading and heading over to the PBS website to watch the show. Have a great night!

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Let's have a spelling contest!

My favorite movie ever made through all these years remains Tombstone. Nothing made since then has come close to unseating it in my mind. And one of the best lines in that movie is when Doc Holliday was taking Ike Clanton's money at the poker table. Ike clearly insinuates Doc's cheating, to which Doc replies: "Maybe poker's just not your game, Ike. I know, let's have a spelling contest!"

This small piece of Daddy Gronseth trivia happens to be a perfect segway into the video you're about to see. Cade's been learning all kinds of things lately. Just last week we were in the car and he started spouting out months that he'd been learning at his babysitter (she does a great job of not only watching the boys, but having a school time everyday, which we appreciate a TON). He named most of them very well and in order and November (No-muh-muh-muh) came out sounding a lot like his version of cucumber (cu-muh-muh-muh). I mean, they kind of rhyme in real life, so I don't see a problem with them rhyming in Cade dialect. Well, tonight when Cade and Susie pulled in from Bloomington they hit me with this jewel. I had to get it on video (more than once, of course). His time at a major university must be rubbing off. Doc would be proud:

For the last few years Susie has been faithfully driving her 1995 Camry up to Bloomington and back. It has been a great car, and it was something she'd been driving since 1998 when she bought it with just under 40K miles on it. Now it has over 231K. We'd had a couple repairs over the last year that had made me more leery of her driving long distances with it, especially with Cade and especially since they were traveling some more or less deserted state roads between Owensboro and B-town. If we just were just using it around town I'd keep it until it ran into the ground; that thing still has a number of years of local driving left in it. But the travel Susie was doing with it (and me too, for business occasionally) got us thinking about something new. And since Toyota had a 0% incentive going on, we finally took the plunge. (I'm a pretty firm believer in paying for something instead of going into debt, but when someone offers you 0% financing anyone who's had any economics course that covers the time-value of money will tell you to take it. Just to cover my bases I called my good buddy Matt who has worked for Crown Financial Ministries for the last 9ish years and whose financial advice I greatly admire. He confirmed my thoughts so off we went!) We're sad to see "Tinkerbell" go, but Susie is definitely excited about her Rav4. We haven't lost faith in Toyota. Here she is, ready to drive off the lot.

If you give Cade a sticker he'll be your buddy forever (or at least until the sticky wears off). So last week when we got a new bunch of bananas he just HAD to get those stickers. He loves putting them on everything, including his own face.

My mom sent Cade a new treat: applesauce in a pouch. Well, it wasn't really applesauce, it was kind of like this apple and grape mush, which I guess is kind of like applesauce. It had a cool little spout like a straw and he downed it in no time. The only downfall was that it wasn't bigger. Cade is a big fan of apples (applesauce, apple pie, apple juice, apple slushies, etc.), so this was a good gift. I can't get over how big and tall he's getting and how much he looks like a boy instead of a baby. I guess this is good since baby to boy pretty much the natural progression for male humans (growing into a goat instead of a boy would raise some concern). He almost weighs 28 pounds now, which I think is right about the middle of the percentile range. We know this because he wanted to stand on the scale all by himself the other day. What a big boy!

Oh, and I almost forgot the story I promised in the last post. Like I mentioned, we're starting to try a little bit of low-pressure encouragement to go in the toilet. The genesis of that was noticing how much he would crack up at peeing in the bath. Right when he'd get in the bath, probably encouraged by the warm water, he'd start and stop his stream and just laugh at it the whole time saying, "pee-pee!" He was completely enamored at the discovery of his own personal little water gun. So we reasoned that if he's used to going at bathtime (one time he peed on the floor while we were filling the tub), we'd try and see if he'd pee in the toilet. So for about a week instead of going right to the tub we'd get him up on a stool in front of the toilet to see if he'd go. I know he wanted to. He'd stand there and say, "Pee-pee in the toilet!" and you could see him flexing his lower abdomen, but it never happened. We even tried having Daddy demonstrate (sorry if that was TMI), but no luck. The last couple times we tried, we'd wait for a while and then put him in the tub. However, he would be so frustrated that he'd just scream instead of enjoying bath time like normal. I'm pretty sure he understood the concept but just couldn't figure out how to make it happen. He was so focused on using the toilet and so frustrated that he couldn't do it that it would completely ruin the rest of the evening. So.... we put that idea back on the shelf. Maybe we'll come back to it, maybe not. I'm positive he's not ready, but we thought we'd give it a shot.

In slightly related news, he has figured out how to FLUSH the toilet, so I'm curious how much our water bill will go up.