Friday, February 29, 2008

Sweet Memory

Lily and I have had a renaissance with playing Memory lately. I think that we are both 2-2-1 in the past five games. She won the first two, but I've been making a comeback. Last night she was just off her game for some reason. I think both of her wins were comebacks too. She would go on a run of about four matches in a row. You've got to watch out for her. I wonder if there is a place for hustling Memory like Washington Square Park is for chess?

My problem is that the games start to run together. I'll remember where the skateboard was last night and forget where it is the night I'm playing.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

More Photos

Here are a few shots I took one evening when we had a fire in the fireplace. Noah was fascinated by the fire, but he kept looking at the camera every time I tried to get a profile shot. Lily helped to get him looking at the fire for the one where he appears to be looking at the fire.

On a personal note, check out this story of my visit to a different style of church yesterday. It was pretty incredible.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Karaoke Queen

Forgive the distortion as I had to rotate this 90 degrees. I figure this is better than having to tilt your head to the left.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Noah's Nativity

Not much new to report from yesterday, so I thought I’d tell the story of Noah’s birthday for those who don’t know the details.

I can remember it pretty distinctly, as you would hope. It was a Thursday and I went out for lunch with a coworker. Amanda wasn’t due until mid to late July, so I didn’t think much of it when she called shortly after I got back to the office.

Amanda and Lily were visiting Amanda’s friend Jeanette and had just finished lunch. As Amanda loaded Lily into the car Lily announced that she really had to go potty. Amanda said that it seemed like Lily was very serious about it being urgent, so she was ready to have Lily go by some trees in their front yard. Lily wasn’t quite as adept with going potty in those days, so Amanda squatted down to help Lily with her panties.

It turns out that Lily didn’t have to go potty after all. In fact, it was Amanda who felt a trickle down her leg. Her water broke from squatting down to help Lily. She called me at work with the news, which took me by surprise. One of my coworkers (one without children) was kind of surprised that I was trying to restore a file for someone after I had heard this news. I tried to explain that I still had a lot of time before anything would happen.

We got to the hospital and Amanda fought getting the "pushing juice" as her doctor called it, but eventually we gave in to his Board-certified opinion. She fought having an epidural for a long time, but once she was confined to bed we realized it was the right thing to do. I learned that anesthesiologists have a pretty good gig when epidurals go well. The nurse had to do most of the prep and cleaning up work. The doctor spent maybe 10 minutes in the room. Then again, I suspect that he pays a pretty penny for malpractice insurance.

At that point things got pretty mellow. Eventually we got to the point where Amanda had to push. Noah was born healthy at 10:30 PM. The rest is history.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Larry, Curly, or Moe?

Lily has turned into a walking slapstick routine. Yesterday she must have had at least 6 times where she managed to hurt herself and she had to come running to us for comfort. This act is getting a bit old, let me tell you. On one hand, we don't want to minimize the fact that she is hurting, but it is an odd coincidence that she gets hurt whenever she wants attention.

Last night as we went to bed I told her the story of the boy who cried wolf. I hope that it starts to sink in.

A Busy Saturday

We are very excited because the McKenzies are trying to move to Cary. Their current house is under contract and they have begun actively looking for something new. Yesterday they put an offer on a house, so we'll see how it goes. Please do pray that all would go smoothly for them. As I was running yesterday I was thinking about how awful it is to be in that limbo between houses. Selling a house is brutal, but so is buying one. Moving is no picnic either. In fact, we have been doing a bit of organizing in our basement and garage and it has reminded me of how much I hate moving.

We volunteered to watch Brenna so that they could shop unencumbered. It really was not that big of a deal because Brenna is pretty good these days. She has a bit of an obstinate streak in her, but if you lean on her a little bit she will do what you ask her to do. The only problem is that I was planning on taking the kids away for some of the day so that Amanda could have a little peace. Let's hope that Amanda gets some peace today. I'll do what I can, but she is a sub for the children's ministry, which means that she will be at church for quite a while today.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Kindergarten Readiness

Lily had a doctor's appointment yesterday to get ready for Kindergarten. What she didn't know ahead of time was that there would be four booster shots involved. We debated about how much to tell her beforehand, and then finally decided that Amanda would give her the news just before the appointment. Lily has a way of ruminating on things and we didn't want to make this harder than it had to be.

Apparently she was quite brave and sat on the table like a little trooper. Apparently she screamed in agony with each shot, but she gutted through it. Amanda got her some McDonald's afterwards and Lily had her own chocolate shake. It seemed like a good way to cap off a fairly traumatic day.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

A New Culinary Hobby

Many of you know that I have taken up the hobby of making homemade ice cream. I have embarked on something new this year. I am now roasting coffee.

What is this all about you may ask? Grandma Judy was kind enough to babysit for us so that Amanda and I could go over to another couple's house for dinner. We enjoyed the company of four other grown-ups with no kids around. It was incredibly liberating not to have to either hold a child or wonder if Amanda was being burdened with one of our children.

At this party I learned about the art of coffee roasting. It seems that it is not as difficult as it may seem. All you need is a hot air popcorn popper. I ordered some beans online and picked up a popper at Wal-Mart today. I roasted my first two batches of beans tonight. I wimped out on the first and made a pretty light roast, but I think the second is going to be fantastic. We'll see in the morning.

What's great is that I'm roasting decaf so I don't have to worry about the chaff burning in my popper. Setting things on fire would be bad, right?

Noah seems to be better today. He's still a little warm and his appetite isn't at his normal voracious levels, but he seems pretty good.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

A Little Affirmation

Lily did a little writing tonight before dinner. She was trying to make some sevens and was repeating the little rhyme she learned in preschool, "across the sky and down from heaven, that's the way we make a seven". She did them backwards, but no matter.

She then drew a one next to one of the sevens and asked me if I knew what a one and a seven was. I told her seventeen. Lily responded by telling me, "Good observation, Daddy!"

It's nice to get a little affirmation for my number-identifying prowess.

Noah was a little better today, but he's still hot and snotty. His mood is improved though.

Monday, February 18, 2008

The First Tooth!

We can officially see a little tooth peeking out of Noah's bottom gum. It's just right of center as you look at him. The little bugger is sharp too! You also can see him looking pathetic a lot of the time.

We've been trying the time-honored cure for teething -- distilled corn juice. My parents used that with me and we are doing the Scottish variation of that for Noah. We had some in the back of the cabinet and it seems to be working. We just put a little on a finger and rub it on his gum. It seems to do well as a topical anaesthetic.

On a much funnier note, Lily was pretending that she was pregnant today. She had Raggedy Ann and said that she really had to go potty. However, apparently they were at North Cary Park. Lily squatted down to help Raggedy Ann and then she reported a trickle going down her leg. Next thing you know, she had her baby!

For those who don't know, this was based on what happened with Noah. If anyone wants the full story, please let me know. It's probably worthy of a whole blog entry. Perhaps I'll save it for a day when there isn't much else to write.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Cutting Some Teeth

Noah has not had a great weekend with Grandma Judy. She just happened to come down the weekend that his teeth are starting to bust out. He's been kind of feverish and congested these past couple of days. He hasn't been in the best of moods either. Consequently, we have Lily sleeping on the floor in our room so that Noah doesn't keep her awake all night or wake her up too early in the morning.

In fact, Noah's teeth have come out so far that he managed to break the skin on Amanda's finger when she let him bite on it. She thought he was just going to do his normal gumming thing, but it ended up being more severe. This means that he also has one coming from the top too. It's no wonder our normally mellow guy has been so out of sorts. How would you feel if you had at least three teeth coming in?

Friday, February 15, 2008

A Tough Night

I apologize for not posting on Wednesday or Thursday. We had a very rough night on Wednesday. Noah is officially teething. I think I've written that before, haven't I? Now even I can see the teeth coming in and I don't spend as much time looking at his gums as Amanda does.

He was not a happy camper Wednesday night. I think he first started screaming around 11:00. Amanda went in to comfort him and he was happy almost immediately upon being held. As soon as she put him down he started screaming. Being a mom, Amanda had a hard time listening to this. I kind of drifted in and out of sleep, but I couldn't get anything going. Amanda made another trip into his room with the same effect. I even made a trip, but that only helped temporarily. Eventually Amanda brought him into bed and I think she tried to nurse him too. He would be quiet for a few minutes then let out a little noise that made sure no one could sleep.

I'd say that lasted from about 11:00 until 2:00. It was a tough night. Fortunately, last night was a much better one and we're all much better rested today.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

I Get So Emotional

Take a look at the shots of Lily in Sunday's post. As Amanda looked at the extreme closeup shot of Lily she marveled that it could be the same girl who flips out so easily. Yesterday evening was a good example.

I got home late (around 6:00) because I had to do some research for a project with school. Amanda had dinner ready, which was quite remarkable because she was also trying to get Noah fed. She was nursing him when I came home, which means that she was able to simultaneously feed him his solid food and prepare dinner. Of course, through it all Lily had various maladies that caused screaming fits. She has a way of bumping something, stubbing something, smashing something, or pinching something anytime Amanda is alone with her and nursing Noah. Go figure.

Dinner went pretty well and Lily actually ate some of her noodles with meat sauce. She watched an episode of Harold, but was livid when she was not allowed to watch a second. The problem was that we were running up against bath and bed time. I gave Noah his bath, but through it I heard Lily screaming about watching another episode. Amanda eventually locked herself in the bedroom, which was fine with me. She had a hard evening and it was my turn to deal with the madness.

I told Lily that she had to put her sneakers away. She has an old dresser with the kind of drawers you pull from the bottom rather than with handles. Sometimes they stick together as they did last night. She was mad that she couldn't put her sneakers away, so her solution was to scream and throw them on the floor. She almost lost the privilege of reading "sections" (a chapter from her Bible), but we read them anyway because I hadn't specifically told her not to throw her shoes, only to stop crying. She later told me that she couldn't stop crying, so I suggested to her that it would be better if she just didn't start.

We eventually got everyone to bed, but it was tough. Amanda tells me that is a taste of what it is like when I'm in class. Learning Greek is a snap compared to this!

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Hungry Noah

You may remember the post about Noah's first solid food. Here is an example of Noah eating cereal today. Things have improved.

Even More Photos

Here are some photos of the fam for your enjoyment.

Look everyone! Noah is sitting up on his own. Of course, this was taken shortly before a topple, but he is getting there.

Nothing like the charming Lily, is there?

We're enjoying a warm and blustery day here. Right now it is 60 degrees in the shade, but it's supposed to be in the 20s tonight. It's only supposed to be in the low 40s tomorrow. No wonder my knees hurt so much today.

Friday, February 8, 2008

Unhappy Baby

I just got off the phone with Amanda. It was tough to talk through Noah's screaming. Amanda thinks she can see the impression of teeth starting to come up through his gums on the bottom.

Hard to believe that little cherub from yesterday's photos could cause such a ruckus, eh?

Meanwhile, Lily is newly-inspired to ride her bike some more because her friend Katie (who is a month younger than her) can ride hers without training wheels. Unfortunately, Katie has a little bit of the daredevil in her and had a pretty spectacular crash yesterday. Nevertheless, Lily wants to ride her bike around now, which is a good thing. The only problem is that Amanda doesn't feel comfortable with Lily riding her bike in the cul-de-sac by herself and she didn't want to sit out there with her. So she has Lily upset because she wants to ride her bike as well a screaming Noah to deal with.

The good news is that it is now nap time for Noah. Aren't naps wonderful for everyone?

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Noah on a Chair

Amanda puts Noah on the wing chair in our bedroom while she is getting ready to take Lily to preschool. I thought he looked so cute today that we had to take some photos. Enjoy!

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

New Foods

Lily has happily surprised us a little bit lately. She is actually eating some new foods. I make a dish with Italian sausage and tortellini. She has decided that she really likes Italian sausage. She has started to eat pizza with toppings. I already wrote about how she ate tuna chowder. Amanda said that Lily had some cream of chicken at lunch today.

What's really funny is that she watches a video called Harold and the Purple Crayon. One of the episodes is about how Harold didn't want to eat squash, but ended up liking it. Now Lily is begging Amanda to make squash for her. Ironically, I bought a squash for Amanda to make for Noah. Lily will get her wish tonight.

Our little Peanut is growing up. Times like these remind me of that.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Making Allowances

We have decided to start giving Lily an allowance. Mind you, it is not a very big one and it is still "fun money." I gave her $4 yesterday. We haven’t decided if it is going to be $4/week or $4/month. We may settle on something like $8/month. Either way, the idea is to start teaching her about money. She has two envelopes and a piggy bank right now. One envelope is labeled "GIVE" and that has 50 cents of her $4. She put $2 in her piggy bank. She has $1.75 left over in her "SPEND" envelope. What happened to the other quarter? We don’t know and neither does she.

I hope that this exercise will start to give her an idea of what it means to save money. Right now all she sees is that if we need or want something we just go to the store, select the item, scan a card, and take it home. We were at Toys R Us on Sunday and she had her eyes on the animatronic pony that reacts to your touch. That pony happens to cost about $240. She of course wanted us to buy it, but now I think I can give her some perspective. At her current rate of income with pocketing $2 of saving money each week, it will take approximately 120 weeks or a little more than 2 years for her to save enough money. It might give her some perspective to think that she would be 6 years old before she could buy it. We’ll keep you posted on how it goes.

Eventually, the goal is for her to learn how to manage her money more comprehensively. We may end up buying her a car, but it will be indirectly through her allowance. Someday she will be in charge of buying her school supplies, her clothes, her lunches, etc. Obviously this won’t happen anytime soon, but it is down the road. This way she can decide if she really wants one nice pair of new pants or 6 pairs that she can get at the thrift store, for example. We’ll see how it goes.

Noah has been really fussy the past couple of days. Amanda said that he was really biting on his spoon at lunchtime. I ended up taking Noah and Lily out for a ride after dinner just to get them out of the house. A half hour of solitude for Amanda is certainly worth a gallon of gas.

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Some Photos

Grandpa Gary made a request for more photos, so here are a few for your enjoyment, courtesy of Cija.

Saturday, February 2, 2008

Like Clockwork

Warning: If you're not a parent you might want to skip this post

One of the great joys about parenting Noah is his relative predictability. Sure, he has fussy times like we all do, but for the most part you know what you are going to get. Amanda has found a nice rhythm with him in the mornings. He will sit in his crib relatively quietly for just about as long as we need him to, within reason. For example, this morning I heard him stirring before 6:00, but he settled back down. We didn't get him up until 8:00.

I took Noah and Lily grocery shopping this morning so Amanda could have a little quiet time. As I went to change Noah I realized that his diaper was wet, but still pretty clean. That's when it all clicked. On school days Amanda gets Noah up sometime between 7:30 and 8:00, feeds him, nurses him, then puts him in his exersaucer. You can pretty much guarantee a poop within 5 minutes. He may have more later in the day, but at least you can get that one out of the way.

As you parents know, it's always better when you can predict the poops.

Friday, February 1, 2008

Tea Party

Amanda and Lily hosted Lily's friend Niki and her mom for a party today. From what I could hear downstairs, it sounded like a nice time. It wasn't really meant to be a tea party, per se, but of course there was tea served eventually. Amazingly enough, Lily ate some of the tuna chowder that Amanda made. It seems like context is everything for Lily.

It's times like this that I feel like I need to take Noah to a UFC event to compensate for this. It reminds me of Lily's fourth birthday party when Jack, Bill, and I took Noah to Beef O'Brady's to watch OSU roll over Northwestern.