Three large pieces of news. Well, maybe not to everyone. But enough to justify a new post.

First, C., after nearly a year of being close, decided she was ready to ride a bike without training wheels over the weekend. Twice last summer she was on the verge of staying on two wheels full-time, but each time she went back to her bike with training wheels.

She’s complained for some time about her training wheel bike. She hates the loud clatterings of the training wheels. Saturday she decided enough was enough. S. helped her cruise around for about five minutes and then turned her loose. She zipped along with no problem and never stopped over our gorgeous weekend.

She does struggle with stopping. Like many kids, she doesn’t quite grasp the concept of the coaster brake. Being C., she doesn’t even really try to slow down. She just puts her foot down and then leaps off before the bike crashes. I have a feeling this will be a problem at some point.

But the good news is she’s made a big leap in the transition from little girl to big girl. It’s fun to watch her and M. zipping around together.

L. got to move up to C.’s old bike, which made her happy. But I think she really wants to try going on two wheels too. I’m not quite ready to do that yet.

Next, M. began her kickball career last week. Her team played their sister team from St. P’s and got pounded. It’s damn near impossible to follow the score if you don’t have access to the scorebook, but the score was in the range of 45-20. Not the best start for her team, although I learned afterward that they were missing four or five girls who were either sick or had other activities that evening, and another girl had to leave early. Hopefully attendance will be better going forward.

M. had a solid day. She went to the plate four times and reached safely three times. She scored a run. She got forced at third once. And then she was standing on second when the final out of the game was recorded.

In the field she mostly chased the ball and then quickly threw it back to the infield. But she was paying attention the entire time, which was the important thing.

Game number two was scheduled for Monday night but postponed due to some Lenten church activities 1 and the rain and cold that was moving in.

Expect a post detailing all the highlights of a typical CYO kickball game in the near future.

Finally, not nearly as important in the grand scheme of things, but significant nonetheless, we’ve cut the cable cord. Kind of.

After hemming and hawing for over a year, we decided to slash our cable stream down to just the local channels in high definition. This seemed like the time to do it as A) summer entertainment expenses are coming up, B) college basketball is over and the need for multiple ESPN outlets is gone, C) our TV time will dwindle anyway as the weather gets warmer, and D) most of my TV time will revolve around MLB.TV, which streams through our Apple TV.

I’m sure others have made a similar investigation, but the cable companies and content providers, especially ESPN, really have customers over the barrel when you attempt to trim your costs. To go from the plan we were on down to the next lower plan, which still had lots of non-local content but cost us the ESPN and Kids tiers, would only save us about $15 a month. From there you have to go down to local channels only if you want to cut costs.

I figure we can do this until late November/early December and then reevaluate. Every Colts game will be on local TV. I can manage just watching whatever college football games the broadcast networks air. And there’s always the Watch ESPN app on the Apple TV, which I’m hoping will allow me to watch the World Cup and then the occasional ESPN game I’m missing. The girls still have plenty of choices on Netflix and the various Disney apps on Apple TV.

And even with boosting our broadband speed to allow for better streaming, we’ll be saving about $50 a month.

In general I’m a fan of the tiered cable service, as that allows for a lot of niche programming, especially networks aimed at kids, to get support that they would lack if cable was a la carte. As our girls get older, though, and we’re less in need of programming aimed at toddlers and preschoolers, I’m growing more fond of paying for only what you absolutely need.

Games are played in the school parking lot, which also serves as the church parking lot. ↩