Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Some Fall Festival Photos

Here are some photos from the Fall Festival at Hope. There are a couple of bonus photos of Noah as well. Enjoy!

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

First Fire

I apologize for the lack of updates over the weekend. We stayed really busy with some babysitting Friday night, a combined birthday party on Saturday, and the church's Fall Festival on Sunday. I actually went to bed a little after 8 on Sunday because I was starting to feel a bit sick. After a while I guess you just need to sleep.

We had our first fire of the season last night. Lily is really getting into it. She likes "building campfires" in the back yard. This means that she makes a pile of sticks. Now she gets to help do it for real in the fireplace. It's been getting down into the 30s at night, so it is starting to get a bit chilly. We still haven't turned the furnace on yet, but I suspect that day is coming.

Noah was really fussy yesterday. It seems like he is starting to go through a growth spurt. We'll keep you posted.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Tea Party!

Lily had a friend from preschool over for tea today. As usual, Amanda pulled out a lot of the stops. She baked bread in the heart and flower-shaped tubes. She made little sandwiches out of them with either strawberry jam and cream cheese or peanut butter and honey. They hung out for a couple of hours and then Amanda got things cleaned up. When I came up Lily was wearing her princess dress, so I know that she must have had some fun.

I'm not sure if I like our son being exposed to such things, but I hope he's too young for it to make too much of an impression. It's too bad the State Fair is done or I could take him to a tractor pull or demolition derby.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Four Months

Noah had his four month checkup today. Other than a yeasty diaper rash he is doing great. He weighs 15 pounds, which puts him right at the 50th percentile and his is 25 inches long, which puts him in the 70th. His head is still in the 10th percentile though.

Poor little guy got 4 shots and had to drink something for rotovirus. Not a fun day for Pookie, but he is doing well now.

Monday, October 22, 2007

The Happiest Boy

Noah is truly a delight these days. Sure, he still has his fussy times. We can count on a few sustained blocks of crying, gurgling, and general fussiness. However, the good times really leave those in the dust. It seems like every time I lay him down and look at him he has a little smile for me. He's starting to even do little laughs.

He was really happy tonight. I was responding to a blog about the Indians debacle over the past 4 nights and I heard the telltale sounds of a poop coming out. I didn't think too much of it, but I did when I picked him up and found out that it went all up his onesie. I had to carry him in front of me with my hands under his shoulders. He didn't like that too well and he didn't like my efforts to get his onesie off without laying him down in poop.

However, once I got him undressed and started to wipe him up he just became the happiest little guy. He lay there all naked, clean, and kicking. I got him ready for bed and he just kept on smiling. Amanda tells me that he didn't have a poop yesterday. I guess I'd be pretty happy if I were him too.

Lily's actually getting a bit better at listening when we tell her what to do. We still have to deal with some attitude, but I don't remember the last time we had to do a timeout in the basement. She seems to be learning that we're serious when we threaten. Consistency, consistency, consistency...

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Pullen Park

We had a picnic at Pullen Park yesterday. For those of you who aren't familiar with Raleigh, this park is one of the best government resources around for spending a nice day with family. We took a picnic and enjoyed it by the small lake. We took a paddle boat ride, though I'm still looking for a paddle boat with an adjustable seat so I can extend my legs all the way. Lily tried to act as our helmsman, but we found that she seemed to prefer being the captain.

I took Lily on the carousel, which was good except that when I was trying to go back to sleep this morning after being paged I could hear the music from the restored Wurlitzer organ. Unfortunately, they did not have the train operating.

All in all, it was a really fun day. We ended our day with some BBQd bratwurst out in the gazebo topped off with some of my homemade pumpkin ice cream. Noah was wonderful all day. Life is good.

Friday, October 19, 2007

A Fair Time

I took Lily to the State Fair this morning. The gates opened at 9, but the rides and games didn't start until 10. I figured it was important to get there early because the crowds would be thinner and it was not supposed to rain as much this morning. Unfortunately, it was drizzling off and on as we got there. I decided to eschew the umbrella because I thought we'd make it. Oops.

Once we got in we quickly found the barn for the FFA (Future Farmers of America). Lily enjoyed looking at the various animals, but seemed particularly fascinated by the crowing roosters. It was nice to go through before it got crowded.

I was then on the hunt for more livestock. We walked through the midway to get to the petting zoo. There were all kinds of interesting animals there. A llama came over to me looking for some food. They had porcupines in a pen in the middle of the barn (not for petting) as well as kangaroos. I don't think I had ever seen a yak before today. Lily wasn't interested in petting, which was just fine with me. We set off for the next livestock exhibit.

As I walked through the midway I heard the carnies talking about the day. I kept thinking of Austin Powers' one fear in life. I can't say that I felt real great around these folks either. Lily was blissfully ignorant.

We got to the main exhibition building and none too soon because the skies opened up. We went in to check out the animals. Lily got to see a cow getting milked by a machine. It really speaks to our suburbanity to say that I used Mommy's breast pump as a frame of reference for Lily. We got to see a cow leave some patties on the floor. I explained to Lily that you never want to walk behind a cow for two reasons:

  • Poop
  • You might get kicked
I shouldn't have told her that. We couldn't navigate through the exhibit hall because she was terrified of getting kicked even when we were well behind the cows. She was even worried of being kicked by cows that were laying down. It was also tough because Lily kept one hand pinching her nose to block out the smell. It seems that she doesn't like the smell of poopy straw. Even though I grew up in the 'burbs I associate it with visits to my grandparents' house in Hamilton where my dad grew up, so I kind of like it. Lily was not sold on, "it's not that bad". I don't think Lily is going to be a FFA.

It was still raining, so we found the main exhibition hall. We saw a pumpkin that weighs over 1100 pounds and I found out how they do it (genetic engineering and constant drip watering with fertilizer). We saw prize cucumbers and some bizarre looking veggies. I saw a sweet potato as big as my head. We spent some time chatting with the beekeepers and sampled some fresh honey. We learned that there is a woman who gets bees mailed to her weekly so they can sting her as the poison helps with arthritis. Lily wanted to go out into the rain more than being around the stinky animals (there were also animals in another part of the huge building).

I eventually relented, but fortunately the rain did too. We looked at some of the rides, but I could only sell her on the carousel. Maybe next year.

Lily and I had split an ear of corn at around 10:30 and then Lily had her first corn dog. She was tentative at first, but once she got going she wouldn't stop. Later on I had perhaps the best Italian sausage sandwich I've ever had in my life. We got a freshly-made cup of butter pecan ice cream for the way out and we also visited the grist mill reproduction and enjoyed a free hushpuppy (I had one bite and Lily ate the rest). On the way out I decided to pass on the free smokeless tobacco samples, despite the very attractive young lady they had trying to draw people in. As we walked by her I decided to instead look at Lily and ask her if she enjoyed the fair. I didn't get asked if I wanted to come into the tent.

It turns out that Lily did enjoy the fair. I got my hand stamped so I can go back later today, but I don't think that will happen no matter how much I want to try the fried oreos. I think I've had enough fair for a year, and hopefully Lily will be able to enjoy it even more next year. And hopefully she will grow another 2 inches so she can ride more rides if she is so-inclined.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

A Note from the Teacher

Amanda got this from Ms. Sandy, who is one of Lily's preschool teachers:

Amanda and Jason,
Just a note to let you know that Lily is really a great kid. We were playing color and shape Bingo in our room today. For some reason she had four or five spaces covered before anyone else at her table. Needless to say they were feeling not so good. However, Lily cheered them on. She started cheering every time they had one on their card. We very seldom ever get to witness such compassion from a four year old. She had such a great time and was laughing and playing the game with such enthusiasm.
You should be very proud of her and it speaks highly of you as parents. God Bless both of you, Ms Sandy

I'm not sure what we did to engender this behavior in her, but I'm glad for it!

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Evening Games

It turns out that it was good to have my Greek midterm tonight (it went well, BTW). It wasn't a very long test and I got out of class at around 7:00. That got me home at around 7:20, so I could do Lily's bedtime routine. The latest evening game here is hide and seek and we take turns hiding upstairs. She's getting better at it and almost never giggles when I'm getting close now. A year ago she would always come running out of hiding. Her seeking skills are also improving.

She prefers playing this game with her new walkie-talkies. According to her, when we play that the game is called "Walkie-talkie Hospital Ambulance". I'm not sure what that's all about.

On a side note, summer doesn't seem to want to quite let go. We have nice days with highs in the high 70s, but it isn't getting very cool in the evenings. We have the house open, but it's not particularly comfortable in here. If we can hold out to Saturday night we'll be OK.

Monday, October 15, 2007

It Doesn't Get Much Cuter

Amanda and Lily are upstairs napping. I'm working from home. Amanda dropped off Noah as he doesn't always sleep during this time of the day, but I can handle the crying.

I love the way he has his hands together in this one.

There really is very little to report these days. Things are going well. We're very blessed.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Roller Derby

Lily got some very cute roller skates for her birthday from her Aunt Nat and Uncle Eric. She likes to put them on and walk around the rug we have in the living room. Since the weather is so gorgeous today Amanda thought it would be fun if we went out skating together on a local greenway trail. Frankly, I was pretty skeptical about Lily on the skates, but I thought we should get out, so off we went.

We started off with Lily on a basketball court. She was excited to get her skates on, but once she stood up the fun ended. I tried holding her hands and gently leading her, but she wouldn't have it. We also tried it on the nearby double tennis and volleyball court, but she wouldn't have that either. Amanda got in a few minutes on her skates and I tooled around the courts for a few minutes to get my feet under me.

We ended up taking a mile walk on the greenway. Listening to Lily you'd think that we did a forced march through the snow. She kept complaining about how thirsty she was and how tired her legs got. Amanda decided to carry Lily on her shoulders for the last half-mile, which is reminiscent of this (look at about 1:40 in the video).

Now everyone is napping and I should be preparing for my Greek midterm on Wednesday.

Friday, October 12, 2007

More Planned Chaos

We're watching our niece Brenna today. OK, Amanda is actually watching her and I'm just around periodically. Nothing helps me stay downstairs and work like having an extra child in the house. Today they went to the park for a couple of hours. Lily pushed Brenna in the stroller as long as the path was not uphill. However, Amanda had to carry Noah in the Baby Bjorn. They were gone for about 2 hours and it sounds like it was a LOT of work.

We had lunch and then Amanda made tea for them. Not really chaotic so much as messy. There were plenty of sugary milky puddles to mop up when this tea party was done.

Everyone is napping now. I slept in this morning as I desperately needed to catch up. I suspect that the house will get moving again around 3:30 or 4:00, which will give Amanda another hour of chaos before we feed Lily and head over to the NC State Fair for the MercyMe concert.

I'm a little concerned about the overwhelming nature of the Fair. Tonight is the first night and it may be a little crazy. Plus, we need to walk completely across it to get from parking to the arena. It's going to be yet another level of chaos. I'm looking forward to eating some fried delicacies, though.

Tomorrow is a picnic and chapel service for my seminary. It's been nice to have the week off school. I haven't worked quite as furiously this week, which has been nice with mom's visit and the baseball playoffs going on.

In case anyone is wondering, Noah continues to do well. He is smiling and almost laughing now. He has a generally sweet disposition and we're very thankful for that!

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Breaker, breaker

Lily got some walkie-talkies for her birthday from Grandma Judy. She had wanted them for a while and we're having fun with them. One thing we've done is play hide-and-seek, but each person has one. We played outside the other night and I hid behind the house, which is somewhere Lily would never look. I was able to give her hints to find me.

Lily's hide-and-seek skills have improved considerably in the past year. I've even got her to hide in a room without turning the lights on. The problem is that I'm running out of good places to hide in the house. Our yard isn't very good either. However, I need to remember that kids like repetition, so even if I hide under her bed a dozen times she probably won't get tired of it.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007


I actually mowed the lawn today. I was a bit thrown off by how it looked. I'm used to a bunch of stiff bermuda grass with the occasional tuft of fescue. However, as a new lawn I have a fairly dense group of blades that lean over when mower wheels go over them. It kind of looked like what happens when you run your finger over a really soft plush toy.

I am told that mowing promotes horizontal growth. I sure hope so!

Friday, October 5, 2007

A Big Whoops

I had class yesterday during the Indians game, but did manage to get in the car before the pivotal fifth inning. Fortunately, you can get 1100 on the radio here once the sun goes down. Once I got home I got the Gameday Audio feed going as quickly as possible. I was too late to hear the Victor Martinez HR, but did get to hear the other damage the Indians did.

Amanda had quesadillas for dinner, and the salsa didn't agree with Noah. He was fussy and spitting up a lot, so of course I grabbed him to take him downstairs. I came up for a glass of water and decided to use my Indians mug instead of one of the A's mugs I have. As I was filling it at the tap on the fridge Noah started to spit up. I don't know what I was thinking, but I dropped the class to catch his spitup.

To make matter worse, I tried to catch the falling mug with my foot. So in the end I had a smashed big toe on my right foot which hurt so much I couldn't sleep well last night, a broken mug, and Noah with spitup on him anyway. The good news is that the Indians kept piling on runs.

I'm really not looking forward to limping around all weekend.

Thursday, October 4, 2007

A Big Weekend

We've got a lot going on this weekend. Grandma Judy arrives tomorrow and will be staying until Monday. The Indians are playing the Yankees in the ALDS, and we're going to want to catch those games. Hopefully the Indians will take care of business in 3 games, but stuff happens. Lily has a birthday party to attend on Saturday morning. Of course, there will be church on Sunday as well. Mix in a few activities with Grandma Judy and we've got ourselves a busy weekend!

The good news is that I have a week off from classes. It feels good to be able to catch my breath a little bit.

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Getting Braver

Lily had a watershed moment yesterday. We were out grocery shopping yesterday evening and she announced that she had to go potty. I asked her if she could hold it because of the bathroom situation. Lily has always been afraid of public toilets. She doesn't like how the seat is split in the middle and she doesn't like how loudly they flush. Don't get me started on port-a-potties.

She decided that she could hold it. I quickly got our last two items and then went to the self checkout. Lily likes to help and Food Lion has carts with one low basket, so she was helping unload that. The problem was that she was squatting while she did that. Suddenly she exclaimed that she really had to go potty and I smelled something foul. Something crept out a little bit. I asked her if she could make it back home or if she could go on the potty there. She decided to go for it there at the store.

It wasn't the worst grocery store bathroom I've seen, but it wasn't the nicest either. I put Noah down in his bucket on the floor of the handicapped stall and held Lily on the potty. She bravely sat on the edge and let out a very long poo. She took care of business and we were done.

This was a big moment for Lily. Hopefully we're getting past the bathroom phobias. Of course, desperate times call for desperate measures. Keep in mind that this is the girl who held her bladder from about 11 AM until about 7 PM the day we went to the air show.

Tuesday, October 2, 2007


Lily woke up in kind of a funk yesterday. We were afraid that she was getting sick because she was just acting strangely. I guess this is one of those things where parental instincts kick in and we know when something is amiss. She was also yawning quite a bit, which is unusual for her.

Amanda wanted to have a nap yesterday afternoon, which meant that Lily had to nap. Lily refused to go down for her nap and ended up getting spanked three times for leaving her room. In fact, Amanda had to lock the bedroom door so Lily wouldn't come in. Not good. One of her consequences was an early bedtime.

Through it all we ended up with the best of both worlds. Lily ended up having a very good and much-needed nap, plus I put her to bed around 7:00. She has gone to bed at around 8:00 lately, so this was a good thing for us. What's amazing is that she didn't fight it and she stayed in her room until 7:00 this morning.

Today seems to be going much better. However, Tuesdays are tough for Amanda with dropping Lily off at preschool, getting over to Hope for her small group, getting back to preschool to get Lily, eating lunch, then getting Lily to ballet class. Everyone is ready for a good nap on Tuesdays!

Monday, October 1, 2007

Back in the Groove

It's good to have Amanda home. Lily made it to preschool today and is talking about colors. Amanda and Noah enjoyed a walk in Bond Park and then Amanda did her Bible study lesson for tomorrow. I'm still stuck working from home every day. It is nice in many ways, but kind of a distraction in others.

It's good to have life as usual back.