Hearts, bubble wrap, and going ’round the bend

Vivian is convinced that we’re in the middle of an echo baby boom, since a countless number of our own friends seem to be popping out kids like we’re trying to repopulate a continent. Having received my own wonderful bundle of joy a few months ago, I have one bit of advice for all the other new parents out there — you have no excuse to become a hermit. Seriously. For the first year, at least, your kid is both immobilized and adorable, which means you can carry your tot almost anyplace and people will not only love cooing over your offspring, but said offspring will not be able to run away and stick a fork in an electric socket.

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As such, Vivian had something of a girls’ night out, playing cards with a few ladies from her Thursday night women’s bible study — Jenny, Lydia, and Tamra. I tagged along and played a hand of Hearts with them while tending to Hannah and nibbling on nachos. She was a good girl throughout most of the night, and I was able to make her laugh on cue by enthusiastically naming different Mexican foods.

On Saturday, a line of thunderstorms rolled across the Midwest, spawning some deadly tornadoes down in Oklahoma. Omaha was in the warning zone as well, but all we got up here was some brief, torrential rain. Our street turning into something of a mini-waterfall, with water shooting down the street at such a rapid clip that it created tiny “fountains” over small tar patches in the street. (Watch a video of the phenomenon here.)

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On Sunday, our church celebrated the 100-month birthday of Rose Johnson, which is apparently a Chinese tradition. The whole Johnson family treated the congregation to lunch and assortment of desserts in celebration of their daughter’s life, and then we all set off “fireworks” (as in bubble wrap) at one o’clock to finish off the celebration. It’s nice to be part of a church that does things like this so regularly with one another.

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Monday meant back to work for me, but I decided to take Vivian out on something of a “surprised date” that evening. I had a Living Social coupon for Round the Bend Steakhouse, a restaurant near Ashland that is likely known for one particularly delicacy: beef testicles. Yes, Vivian and I both had some as an appetizer, and then went on to have some rib-eye steaks. Hannah was there to witness the whole thing, of course, but she was content to play with the plastic rings in her car seat. Our waitress even mentioned to us that this was the time to enjoy eating out — when the kids are too young to run around and make a mess of a quiet, dinner date together.

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