Monday, March 31, 2008

Day 1

Today was day 1 of Lily's spring break. Technically, I think of it more like spring break for her teachers. I don't think that any of the parents consider it a break!

Lily had a friend over from preschool today, but Amanda describes them both as "alpha females". I guess Amanda was about ready for a striped shirt and a whistle.

Lily is back into Ghandi mode with her eating. She may be playing doggie lately, but she's eating more like a cat again. A tough peanut to crack, that's for sure.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

That Tramp

Lily's latest video craze is "Lady and the Tramp", courtesy of Grandma Judy and Grandpa E. She watches it every day when she can. I explained to her that the story does not mean that you can make a bad boy into a good one.

Saturday, March 29, 2008


Now that we're all feeling better we had some ethnic food for dinner tonight. Specifically, I made some doro wat. I need to practice a bit as mine came out too thin. However, the flavor was excellent and this may become a staple at our house.

We bought the injera bread from a grocery in Raleigh. I saw one couple where the mom was so covered that she only had her eyes showing. The cashier was a white woman, but she had her head covered too. I don't think she was too hip to the food she sold because she didn't really know what injera was for. She did give me the advice to eat it in a day though. The problem is that the pack we got had twelve pieces of bread that must have been 16 inches in diameter. Amanda and I each ate one slice with our food and we didn't even eat any that I served the food on. I split up the leftovers and froze it. We'll see how it freezes.

We're excited by the prospect of using this recipe to use up any meat leftovers we may end up with. It also can be done with lentils as well. Yummy!

If nothing else it's just fun to talk about wat. We're becoming a self-styled Abbott and Costello routine.

Friday, March 28, 2008

My Turn

The flu bug going around our house decided to pay me a visit as well. After throwing up in the middle of the night I spent most of the day in bed. Fortunately, I am starting to feel more or less normal again.

We had absolutely gorgeous weather today, but Lily was sad that she didn't have anyone with whom to share it. She is still a little afraid to ring doorbells, so she will just stand in the street in front of someone's house and look pathetic. Just before dinner Cooper and his sister were around to play, which worked out nicely for her.

So far Noah seems not to have been affected by this bug. I pray that would continue. Of course, it's hard to tell with him if he is throwing up or just spitting up. Either way, we really enjoyed laying on our bed with him today after Lily went down for the night. He just has such an engaging manner about him.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

The Sick House

We've had a wild and wooly past 25 hours here at the Chamberlain house. At around 3:00 yesterday Lily came in from playing with her friends. She had a bunch of chocolate on her shirt and she ran straight to the bathroom. She started throwing up then and kept dry heaving pretty regularly until around 7:00 at night. Around 10:00 Amanda started getting sick.

I made the mistake of going in to the office today, but was recalled. Amanda has pretty much laid low most of the day napping and reading in bed. Our weather is gorgeous, but I haven't been able to talk Lily out of the house yet. She did play outside for a little bit. I've been doing my email and blogging from the deck. I think I may take her and Noah to the airport after dinner.

The good news is that everyone seems to be on the mend. Hopefully this will not carry over to the weekend.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008


Our local soccer team had a scrimmage last night against a local college. Thanks to the magic of Google Reader I saw in the local paper that tickets were only $5. I figured this was a good chance to give Amanda an evening without Lily, so I took her to it. What's funny is that she wanted watch "Lady & the Tramp" for the umpteenth time and was angry when I told her not to watch it because we were going to do something else. When I told her that we were going to a soccer game she changed her tune and got excited.

We got there a little too early, which is no surprise to anyone who has ever attended a sporting event with me. The game was not on the stadium's main field, but it was on one of the smaller adjoining fields. Both teams were practicing on one field and we got to walk right up to the field to watch. Lily really enjoyed watching them practice. After the teams went back to the locker rooms for their pregame talks Lily and I walked around the pitch. She got it in her head that we should race to the flags. Our first race was maybe 15 yards. Our second race was another short one. Our final race went the whole length of the pitch. Lily actually ran from one end of a regulation soccer field to the other. She can now run faster than I can walk, but trotting behind her was not too hard. She was a little winded when we finished, but it was still impressive. I was glad for a little jog to warm up a little bit as the temperature got into the low 50s as the sun went down.

Carolina scored an early goal, but I don't think Lily really understood what was happening. Her favorite thing was to see the ball get kicked long and high. Precise passing and dribbling didn't excite her so much. At about the 35th minute she was getting bored and thirsty, so we went back up to the bathroom. I suggested we watch the game for just a few minutes more and that was when she saw Swoops.

You may recall from last year that Lily was terrified of the mascot. This year she got excited to see him. In fact, she even gave him a high-five. We hung out long enough for halftime and Lily got an autographed photo of him.

In the end, Lily's three favorite things seemed to be:

  • Seeing Swoops

  • Watching the ball boy (he was around 10)

  • Seeing the ball get kicked really high and far

A splendid time was had by all. And the bonus was that Noah was really sweet for Amanda.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Florida and Easter

The Teacher

A couple of weeks ago Lily was playing "school" with the neighborhood posse. She was honored as they nominated her to be the teacher as she is always thirsty for power. She even had a stake from a croquet set that she used as something of a ruling scepter. Little did she know that the big kids were setting her up.

No sooner did her reign as teacher start than some of the other kids started running away from her. This made her furious, but no amount of shouting or scepter-waving could stop them. It got to the point where the kids who didn't run away made a sign that read "Stop running away" and they taped it to the croquet stake. I don't know if that helped though.

This did explain why when I came home from work I saw "Stop Running Away" written in sidewalk chalk on our driveway.

Monday, March 24, 2008

A Happy Easter

We had a great Resurrection Day celebration yesterday. It started off well for me in that I actually got out of bed in time to go jogging, though I was surprised by the amount of traffic on the roads. Sunday is sort of my make-up day if I miss a day during the week. I was able to get a lot of my regular daily stuff done before anyone else got out of bed. That's always best.

We got to church in good order and everyone looked beautiful and pressed. I'll post a family photo once I have access to it (Tiffany had to take it with her camera because our battery died). The McKenzies joined us at church and we all enjoyed the music, the drama, and the message. The McKenzies discovered that their new house is only 9 minutes from the church, so that's good news.

Lily started trying to belt out "Build Me Up Buttercup" on the bus on the way back to get our car. Who knows how these things pop into her head at strange times like this? We all had to stay dressed up when we first got home because Noah had to nap and we wanted to get the family photo in. Lily decided to wear her new purple "high shoes" and go visit the neighborhood posse. She thought that Cooper would care about her dress. We tried to explain that 8 year-old boys don't care about pretty dresses. She seems undeterred.

We enjoyed a nice ham dinner with great sides. We used the lamb cake for Uncle Bill's birthday cake. Fortunately, I still had some coffee heath bar crunch in the freezer that I had made a while back.

Amanda and I kind of crashed after everyone left. Overall, it was a great day. I'm not sure why, but I was more into Easter this year than I have been recently. I think part of it is because Lily is starting to understand holidays more. Plus, if you ask her what Easter is all about she will say something like, "Jesis is alive!" That makes me very happy. I also think that I've been more excited about Easter this year because of the series I heard at Tupper Memorial Baptist Church on Wednesdays at lunchtime.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

A Bigger Boy

I took Noah to Sam's Club Friday evening. This was his first time to use the basket in the cart. We tried it once before, but he was on his side before we even made it from the parking lot to the store. He is getting much better at sitting up.

I think the look on his face and his hair are both priceless, don't you?

Friday, March 21, 2008

Our Big Boy

Well, he may not have the ears or the chin, but Noah seems to have some of my Grandpa Chamberlain in him. Of course, he also has some of his Grandpa Jack's genes in him too. The point is that the differences from Lily continue. Lily was always in one of the lowest percentiles for weight, but Noah is in the 75-90 percentile. He is pretty much average for height. I'm not sure about his noggin now, but I don't think it was a cause for concern.

Amanda asked Dr. Adams about crawing. He said that Noah seems OK developmentally in other respects, so we don't need to worry about it. Frankly, we weren't really too worried, but it was worth asking. One interesting point Dr. Adams made was that Noah might start testing us at night. He would start crying to see how we respond. It's ironic that he said that because Noah had a screaming fit from about 1:45 to 2:30 last night. Amanda tried nursing him, which seemed to help. Next time I don't think he is going to get what he is looking for as we're going to be a bit tougher. It is hard for Amanda to sleep through the sound of him crying though.

It's a beautiful day here in the Triangle and Lily is playing outside. Hopefully Amanda can have a peaceful afternoon.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008


I had a hilarious series of unfortunate events last night. As a bit of background, you need to know that my legs got sunburned at the baseball game on Monday. My feet are basically OK, but I didn't put sunscreen on my legs. The reason is that I put the sunscreen on before we went to the beach and I was so busy at the game that I never got around to putting it on. Big mistake.

I put some aloe on my legs last night before bed, but they were still pretty sore. It's tough to get comfortable when the sheet is rubbing against yuor legs. Amanda suggested some sort of analgesic and I decided to take some Alleve that we had in our bathroom. The problem was that I needed water to swallow the pills. I planned on using Lily's toothbrushing glass.

As I worked my way over to Lily's bathroom I tripped on the laundry basket that was in the hall. While recovering my balance I knocked a photo off the decorate shelf we have in the hall and the frame landed right on my left big toe. This hurt quite a bit. It didn't bruise quite like my right big toe, but it did hurt. I took the Alleve and went back to bed.

I of course couldn't sleep because I was in a lot of pain and I was also laughing about how ridiculous the whole thing had become. I was shaky from the shock of the pain of my toe, plus my legs still hurt from the sunburn. I went downstairs to get some ice, but the I was shivering like crazy. I think it was from the pain. I iced my toe for a few minutes and then went back to bed.

I ended up sleeping in this morning instead of running. Hopefully I can get out tomorrow.

Home Safe

We had a pretty good trip home. I'd estimate that Noah only was crying for 20-30 of the 600 miles of the trip. He slept for most of it and Lily watched videos almost the whole time. There was one point where we corrected her on something and she let out a shriek that Amanda thought sounded like one of the Nazgul. However, it was still a good trip overall. It was just very long. We left Grandma's house at about 8:30 and we got home around 7:45. Fortunately, it was uneventful.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Sunny Florida - Day 2

When you think of Florida you think of palm trees, sunshine, and balmy weather, right? You certainly get your share of balmy weather nine months or so out of the year and we are on the leading edge of it now. It's still pretty mild at night though. Of course, that means that pool water is still kind of cool.

One of the great joys of being in the Haight-Pierce compound is the pool at the Haights'. The water slide is probably the highlight of the pool as well. I had fond memories of the slide from my previous visit in 2002 and was afraid that I wouldn't get to use it this time.

It was fairly warm today (low 80s), but it was very pleasant in the shade. Nevertheless, I thought it was just warm enough that I could hop in the pool. This video is my second time going down the slide. Lily got a little too close to the action. She is starting to learn the rules of engagement when you're around the pool. Note the shrieks at the end of the video.

According to Uncle Art, Lily was "madder than a hornet" after she got splashed. I think this was a quick baptism by pool water on how things work around this house. You've got to be able to take a joke here. Lily needs to work on that skill.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Hello from Florida!

We've just finished our first day visiting here in the Sunshine State. It's been interesting so far. Lily was sick yesterday and was not happy in the car. She wasn't whiny or anything, but she was definitely not herself. She watched two videos and decided that she had enough. She ate her cheeseburger for breakfast, but wouldn't eat any dinner. She got sick after breakfast and lunch today, but was otherwise in great spirits. Can't figure that one out.

She participated in an Easter Egg hunt with a couple of other little girls today. One was Amanda's cousin's 2 year-old daughter and the other was a 15 month-old daughter of her cousin's friend. Follow that? :) Anyhow, it was unusual to see Lily as the oldest and most experienced Easter Egg hunter. Usually she is kind of overwhelmed by the experience.

Tonight was bath night. Some of you will appreciate this -- I used a flamingo cup to give Lily and Noah their baths. Amanda thought that was great. I needed a plastic cup and that was what was handy.

Noah had his first taste of ice cream tonight, courtesy of Uncle Art. He also gave Lily her first taste. Noah liked it better going down than coming back up. Amanda liked it better when it was going down than when it was coming up on her shirt.

Tomorrow is church and more family time. I'll keep everyone posted.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

A Good Wednesday

We are enjoying some signature Raleigh weather for early March. This was good because Amanda was able to let Lily play outside most of the day. I'm told that Noah was pretty good for her this evening as was Lily, though there is always some drama here and there.

We're getting ready for our Florida trip. We'll be in the Sunshine State visiting Amanda's grandmother from Friday through Tuesday. To me, the highlight is going to be the March 17 game in Clearwater when the Indians take on the Phillies. However, the ticket prices are crazy so it will just be Lily and me. Amanda will find something else to do with Noah during that time, I guess. Lily and I are going to sit out in the grass in the picnic area. I have a feeling she is going to want to walk around a lot. I saw a seating diagram of the stadium and I see that Hooters sponsors something on the third base side. Hopefully it's not too over the top.

Not much else to report, but I thought I would do a rare Wednesday blog.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008


Here are a few food-related photos that were on the camera. Look at Noah's teeth!

Monday, March 10, 2008

Another Rough One

I enjoyed driving home with the car windows down today as I enjoyed a very mild late-winter day here in North Carolina (not trying to rub it in to you back in the midwest). As I pulled into our street this evening I saw Lily out playing with her friends. That's always a great sight to see. As I walked in the door I smelled the wonderful aroma of carmelizing onions mixed with sun-dried tomatoes, garlic, and chicken. What a wonderful smell! My senses were alive with the joys of early spring.

Unfortunately, hearing didn't go so well. As I walked in the door I also got to hear Noah screaming his head off. Amanda was trying to juggle feeding him with getting dinner ready. We seem to have created a little monster who expects to eat as soon as he wakes from a nap. I think we may have to work on that one a little bit.

Lily and her friends had made a few messes and we had to address those. I called up to her friends' house and spoke to their dad. I explained that Lily had to come down, but that she needed help cleaning up a mess. They did a pretty good job with the mess on the deck, but neglected the mess I pointed out on the front porch. Lily was very upset when she had to clean it up by herself later. I explained that she needed to get her friends to help her when they were cleaning up the deck too.

Amanda desperately needed a break so I took the kids to Goodberry's for a concrete. Lily and I split a concrete with peppermint custard mixed with marshmallow creme and chocolate chip. Lily decided that she likes Goodberry's, but her mouth was "really really cold" at the end of eating it. I have a feeling that we'll go back this summer sometime...

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Luck O' The Irish

There is a young man in Lily's class who goes by Sean Patrick. According to Amanda, he has something of a crush on Lily. Apparently he is one of the nicer boys in class because Lily has mentioned him before too. She doesn't speak so well of some of the other boys.

It turns out that Lily thought that March 17 is "Sean Patrick's Day". I thought that she was saying "Saint Patrick's Day" a little funny, but I just wrote it off to her being four. Seems that she was a bit mixed up.

After the Storm

Yesterday ended up being another very blustery day. It started off rainy with a balmy 60 degrees around 6:00 AM when I went out to jog. I ended up getting soaked by the waves of rain that came and went.

I had planned to take Lily and Noah to the grocery before Noah's morning nap, but it didn't work out. I can't remember the specifics, but we were delayed by Lily's theatrics. It was a good thing because otherwise the three of us would have been caught in a nasty rain. I ended up putting Noah down and taking Lily out by myself. It was still pretty balmy so I wore long sleeves and shorts.

I took the kids out before Noah's nap so Amanda could have a little peace. What started off as an errand to do a little shopping ended up being a long time at Petsmart watching doggie day camp. I can't imagine being one of the workers for this thing. It's held in a large, triangle-shaped room with a floor that is tiled and has two drains in it. I think there must have been at least 20 dogs by the time they were done emptying the kennels. Lily, Noah, and I enjoyed watching it behind the big glass wall.

As we left there we were belted with some chilly wind. Noah handled it better than Lily did. By the time I got home I realized that shorts were not going to cut it anymore. I took the kids out after dinner to get Amanda some dessert (note: I recommend the It's a Grind cafe near Five Guys on High House). By that time I needed jeans and a fleece. It was quite blustery and starting to feel cold. Think San Francisco in August near the bay on a particularly foggy day.

By this morning it was 32 degrees. Oh, and our house is down one more shutter too. It seems like this is the time to paint a new color if we want to go down that road. The wasp nests in the corners probably were a factor in that they pushed the shutter far enough from the house that the wind could get behind them. Looks like I'll be spending some more time on an extension ladder. I need the practice...

Friday, March 7, 2008

A Rough Morning

My alarm went off at 4:45 as usual this morning and, as usual, I didn't jump right out of bed. Noah was making lots of noise and Amanda got him up to feed him. I didn't actually get out of bed until about 5:20 because that's how long it took for him to finish. Of course, he started crying as soon as Amanda put him down.

I tried to go through my normal morning routine, but he kept crying intermittently. I went in to comfort him and that seemed to help, but as soon as I put him back down he started crying again. I was all set to give him Motrin, but then he stopped crying. I thought maybe I was in the clear. I got all ready to work out, but then he started up again.

I resigned myself to the fact that he was not going to sleep. I got him up, changed him, and gave him some Motrin. I brought him down to sit with me while I started to work instead of work out. I figured I might as well try to redeem the time.

I was surprised at 6:40 when I heard Lily's hard and rapid footsteps up above me. She told me that she saw a bug in her room. Sure enough, there was a small roach on her wall. I tried to grab it, but it eluded me and ended up behind her dresser. I guess it's Talstar season again. The problem was that Lily was then up.

Lily tried to entertain Noah in the basement, but it was to no avail. At 7:00 we had breakfast. At 7:30 I woke up Amanda because I had to take the car back to the mechanic to get the brakes looked at. The rear brakes have been squealing since I got them inspected a few weeks ago. It's a great thing that I can work from home!

I hope that today improves for Amanda. At least she is going out with a friend tonight.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Feeling Better

It looks like the flu bug may have been a false alarm with Lily. It's either that or she got well very quickly. Either way, she is much better now. She was better through most of the day yesterday.

Noah has been kind of hot lately, but he has been in better spirits. He just has such an angelic look about him. Of course, we know better, but he really does have a sweet look most of the time. There is nothing quite like him giving you a bit gummy smile!

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Bitten by the Bug

It seems that the flu bug has decided to pay us a visit. Amanda apologized to Lily this morning about her punishment for throwing up. She threw up a lot of water this morning before she even had any breakfast.

Noah was in a much sunnier mood this morning, though his back was really hot. We’re enjoying some unseasonably warm weather this week. We had a nasty storm last night with lots of stuff blown around. The rain really pounded the windows at times. I was glad to have put some fertilizer down Monday evening!

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Revisiting the Past

We thought we were past this. I made a Crock-Pot rotisserie chicken tonight. Basically, I get a whole chicken, add some Italian dressing, and let the slow cooker do its magic. We eat chicken the first night and then use the leftovers for casseroles, quesadillas, pizzas, etc. I tend to eat a leg and I slice some white meat for Lily and Amanda. As sides I made some parmesan potatoes and green beans. Part of my motive was to have some green beans for Noah to eat after I pureed them.

Lily pitched a fit about eating chicken, despite the fact that she likes it. After a timeout in the basement she reconsidered. Everything was going great until the last green bean. She started to gag and then cough. Amanda told her, "Don't do it!" but she ended up with a ball of green beans and ranch dressing all over her hands anyway. This meant an immediate bedtime. She claims that she didn't do it on purpose, what she doesn't understand is that we consider not chewing the same thing as gagging on purpose. Hopefully she will understand soon.

Noah is definitely cutting another bottom tooth. He has napped for maybe a grand total of an hour today. I think it's going to be an early bedtime for Pookie.

Monday, March 3, 2008

Preschool Humor

Lily is starting to get into knock-knock jokes, but she isn't quite getting the hang of them yet. She laughs at them when we tell them, but she has to work on the delivery when she does it. She hasn't quite figured out puns yet. I'm sure that will come in time.

At the very least we have explained to her that talking about "poopy" isn't funny. Got to keep her away from those little boys...

I want to give an update on Noah and the spitting-up. It is better, but he still has a ways to go yet. He still spits up a lot more than we'd like, but not nearly as often as he once did. He has been kind of fussy lately, so he still gets a little Motrin before bed.

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Sunshiney Day

We had a beautiful day here today. It actually felt a lot like the SF Bay Area in that it was perfect in the sun and cool in the shade. We had Brenna for a good bit of the day while Bill and Tiffany continued their hunt for a house. She was good for us. However, Amanda has been doing a lot of babysitting lately. In fact, she has gone so far as to say that she feels like this is an area of ministry for her now. She has been great about being able to help some people who have really needed it.

We're glad to watch Brenna as she really is very good. Of course, she doesn't always bring out the best in Lily. Lily had some sharing issues today. We're working on it.

Noah has been a bit fussy lately. We're thinking it is another tooth. Maybe we should investigate more, but I think that just about every malady from 6-18 months has to do with teeth. What's incredible about Noah is his instant charm with strangers. It's great to carry him around in the Baby Bjorn because we get a lot of smiles our way. I should rent him out to my single friends at seminary.

Saturday, March 1, 2008

My Boy

Noah has been a bit fussy today and we think he may be teething again. He has a second tooth that wants to come out next to the first one. We were out of Motrin, so one of our errands today was to get more for him. He is napping much better now.

I took him out grocery shopping this morning. Normally he gets his nap around 10:00 AM, but I pushed it a little bit. He fell asleep as I drove to another store, but was OK when we went in. As I buckled him in he started trying to chew on the buckle on his car seat. Basically, if he sees something interesting it is going to get bitten, which includes knuckles, shoulders, fingers, etc. I figured he would gnaw on that for a while as he was making his little noises.

Upon our arrival at home I found him with his head slumped on his chest and his mouth still on the buckle. The way this kid can nap warms my heart. He is a chip off the old block!