We started off the month with Free Fishing Weekend here in Wisconsin. Every year, the DNR makes one weekend in June available for everyone to go fishing without a license. Since we don’t buy licenses that’s our big chance to do our level best to catch a fish. Every year so far we’ve successfully avoided catching any fish and this year was no exception. The big difference this year was that Garrison wanted to do some fishing. So we found some local ponds that are stocked with fish. Of course, because one person had to watch Dinah and the other person had to help Garrison neither Sarah or I did any fishing and Garrison did it all. He didn’t know how to cast and he wanted to use an open-faced reel so we did the casting for him while he reeled in the line.

It’s fortunate that no fish ever tried taking his bait because he didn’t have the slightest idea of how to set the hook and we weren’t telling him because we were worried about him ripping the hook backwards out of the water in his typical extremely enthusiastic way. Even though he didn’t catch any fish Garrison did catch some sticks, a couple of logs, and a cloth bag. So I guess we did our part to remove some trash from the ponds.

We did teach Garrison how to cast a line the next day with a closed-face reel and a weight at the end (no hook). He spent the morning casting the weight back and forth across the yard. A couple of times he got close to casting from our patio and over the fence into the neighbors yard. That’s a pretty good distance for the three year-old on his first day of casting.

Dinah now has two bottom teeth and her two top front teeth have cut through the gum though they haven’t completely emerged yet. She completely rejects being fed with a spoon so we’ve completely given up on buying or making baby food, which saves us plenty of money. Dinah is more than happy to feed herself fruits, veggies, carbs (rice, toast, cereals, noodles), and meat. In fact, she’s quite the little carnivore. She devours chicken, ground bison, ham, and just about every other meat we’ve put in front of her. In contrast to Garrison, who would occasionally take entire days off of eating, she’s hungry at every meal. In fact, we’ve often pondered where she puts all the food she eats.

Dalla, of course, loves the fact that Dinah now feeds herself. Babies aren’t the neatest of eaters and what falls out of Dinah’s hands usually goes directly into the dog’s belly. Dalla will be ten years old in September and her age is starting to show. Her muzzle is getting much whiter and she’s starting to get stiff in the shoulders, especially near the end of the day.

We visited Cleveland this month to see Sarah’s family. To break up the trip, we took the Lake Express ferry across Lake Michigan from Milwaukee to Muskegon, MI. That took Chicago out of the picture on the eastbound leg of the trip and also gave Dinah (who does not enjoy time in the car) a chance to get out of the car for three or four hours while we still moved closer to our goal. We spent a night in Ann Arbor, MI, before getting to Cleveland the next day. While there Garrison got to spend some time with his cousin Kyle, who is just a couple of months shy of two years old. It took them some time to get acquainted, but on the last night there the two of them were wrestling together like little boys do.

Garrison’s big news is that he’s now riding a bicycle with pedals and without training wheels. He’s been riding a balance bike (his “tippy bike” as he calls it) for a couple of months now and it had become obvious that he had balancing on a bike figured out when we’d see him on a downhill hold his legs behind him and just coast for long stretches. Saturday he and I bought a second-hand bike off craigslist in the late afternoon. We didn’t have much time to try it on Saturday so on Sunday we took it out to ride it on the sidewalk. I ran along with him for a couple of minutes until he was comfortable using the coaster brake; starting from a stop; and steering the heavier bike from a higher riding position. Then it was showtime as he showed us just how quickly he can pick up a new skill. He was soon zipping back and forth down the sidewalk saying things like, “This is a speed bike, Mommy!” and “See? I told you I don’t need training wheels!” Both Sarah and I were impressed with and proud of just how quickly he adapted to a real bike. Now he wants to ride the bike to day care and all over town.

Everything is really dry here since we’ve only had 0.20” of rain this month. Normally we have several inches of rain by this time in June so we’ve spent plenty of time outside holding a hose so far this month. Some of the landscaping we did last year in the wake of our addition/remodel project is definitely suffering due to immature and/or inadequate root systems for this kind of weather.

Finally, there are some pictures in the photo gallery.