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Saturday, June 28, 2008

Grandpa's Visit

Grandpa Gary arrived Thursday night. He had to come to the Raleigh area for a conference, so he stayed a little longer to hang out with us. He and I went to the Airborne and Special Operations Museum in Fayetteville yesterday. That was a good time.

Meanwhile, back at home Amanda had a tough time with Lily. For some reason Lily decided to spread toys all over the living room. Amanda told her that she had to clean up and she set a timer for 15 minutes. Lily doesn't react well to timers and she flipped out in a tantrum that included hitting, spitting, and name-calling. Apparently she managed to scream for an hour straight afterwards.

Of course, by the time we got home Lily was all sweetness and light. Lily does not like being told what to do. However, we believe that she had better get used to it.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Swimming

Lily made some progress today. She actually got her whole head under the water. This is a big deal for her. She also is learning what to do with her legs and with her arms. She's getting more comfortable in the water, which is exciting.

Noah had his one year appointment today. He is in the 75th percentile for height, but only the 25th for weight (around 21 pounds). He gets compared to Grandpa Jack a lot in his expressions, so perhaps he also got some tall genes. His doctor is not concerned about the lack of crawling on all fours. In fact, he thinks that Noah will go from his "soldier in the mud" creeping (my term for it) straight to walking.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Biggie Girl

We have a landmark for today. Lily gave herself a bath. I supervised and advised her on washing her hair so she got good coverage, but overall she did a good job. She rinsed her hair with the big cup and was OK with that. She even did all of this without having to wipe the water out of her eyes with the towel. After bathing her for 4 1/2 years I am very excited to see this. It won't be long before she will be bathing with the door closed.

Her swim lessons are going fairly well, though Amanda tells me that she is not quite as brave as the other two girls. She will stick her face in the water, but she won't dunk her whole head like the other kids do. Hopefully she will get there by the end of the week.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Birthday at the DBAP

We managed to get in part of a ballgame last night, despite some tough weather. The forecast was for scattered thunderstorms. As we drove toward the park we could see some pretty spectacular lightning strikes, which did not bode well. We got our tickets and found the elevator to get up to the main area. The skies opened up just as we got into the area with the elevator. The rain lasted a good 20 minutes (it came down in sheets), but the game did start eventually.

I put in for Noah's name to appear on the scoreboard (for a $10 donation to charity), but it wasn't going to show until the middle of the 6th inning. It started to mist in the top of the fifth, but we decided we were going to gut it out. They pulled the players off the field in the middle of the fifth and we ran for cover (we were packed up).

By this time it was pushing 8:00 PM, which is way past the kids' bedtimes. We figured that they would call the game, but they did eventually start play again and Noah's name did appear on the scoreboard. We just weren't there to see it. The game was eventually called, and the Bulls did win 6-0. You can read the recap here. The home run in the first was practically hit right at us


This one was taken in the yard in the afternoon.





It's hard to tell from here, but we were sitting on a hill out beyond the fence in right-center. My feet were keeping him from rolling down it. He didn't quite know what to do with his first handful of icing. We're working on it...

Sunday, June 22, 2008

The Birthday Boy

Noah turned 1 yesterday. We're having the big party at the ballpark today (weather permitting), but here are some photos and a short video. Enjoy!






video

Friday, June 20, 2008

Last Drink

Noah nursed for the last time this morning. Poor little guy is still pretty plugged up, but his overall attitude is fairly good. He is napping upstairs while Lily and Amanda go to Monkey Joe's for a play date. He had another first yesterday when we took the new Mazda to the dealer to get the front end aligned. I moved his carseat into the Civic and for the first time in his life he got to ride facing forward. He didn't seem overly delighted or anything, but he does like to look around. He and his sister both like to take in the world with those big eyes of theirs.

Hard to believe that he will turn 1 tomorrow. Hopefully we'll still get to do the ballgame. The good news is that the high is only supposed to be 81 on Sunday, but the bad news is that there is a 50% chance of thunderstorms. That would definitely stop our celebration at the Bulls' game.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Mouth Problems

Amanda has felt around and discovered that Noah is cutting a front tooth. He has been very cute with his two-tooth smile, but it is good that he is getting something on top so he can bite a little bit. Good thing that he will be weaned after tomorrow! Of course, the problem has been a runny nose and a generally cranky attitude. He has not been napping well either. It's one of those seasons.

Meanwhile, Lily is having some problems taming the tongue. Perhaps she should come and hear our pastor's messages on James 1? At any rate, now when she gets mad at Amanda she runs up to her room and screams that Amanda is a "stupid mother." I gave her a spanking for that yesterday.

It's tough because we understand that she is going to get mad sometimes. However, we don't think she is expressing it in a very suitable way. As with all things Lily, this is going to take some time and persistence. Hopefully we won't have a lot of this over the weekend while Aunt Claudia and Zach are visiting.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Change of Plans

Amanda thought that Lily had her swim lessons this week, but they are actually next week. That left her with Lily and Noah today and it wasn't pretty at times. Lily has decided that she doesn't like it when Amanda talks on the phone. She makes noise, gets in her face, pokes her, etc. This turned into some fireworks yesterday morning and had Amanda at the edge. It wasn't pretty.

It seems like every time it feels like we're through one of Lily's "phases" another one pops up. I guess that's what parenting is all about.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Moving Noah

I took a little video of Noah crawing. I was hoping to get a profile, but of course he was interested by the camera (specifically the wrist strap hanging from it). If nothing else, watching him stare and blink is worth watching the video.

video

Father's Day

Below you can see a photo of the leftovers from this morning's breakfast. Amanda and Lily worked hard on these last night and this was the end result -- some very decadent pecan sticky buns. The only thing we'd change is to have double the amount of filling rolled in the middle. They were still really, really, really good though.


The base dough is a brioche from Amanda's favorite bread cookbook. To give you an idea for the richness, the dough (which makes several batches) contains 8 eggs and 3 sticks of butter. As Ernie likes to say, "more is better."

We decided to freeze the leftovers. I know someone who will visit in a couple of weeks who may enjoy this...

Happy Father's Day to our dads and any other dad who is reading this.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Expanded Tastes

I took care of selling the Camry on Thursday which got me home really late. I picked up a celebratory dinner at the local Jamaican restaurant. I had escoveitch (sort of rhymes with "edelweiss", which is a song I sing for it) and Amanda had curry chicken. As with most Jamaican food, it's pretty spicy stuff, but we really like it. The good thing about it is that we always have leftovers.

I ate those leftovers for lunch today. I had a mixture of garlic potatoes, curry chicken, and a few pieces of escoveitch (spicy fried tilapia). Lily was very intrigued by what I was eating. She actually ate some of the garlic potatoes, the potatoes that were in the curry, the curry chicken, and the fish. She just countered the spice with sips of water.

She is something else. If eating something is her idea she is all over it. If it's our idea I think she might fight eating chocolate ice cream.

Friday, June 13, 2008

New Wheels

I apologize for another lengthy silence on the blog. I've been very busy this week with the acquisition of some new wheels for the family. Here is our new ride:



It's a 2006 Mazda MPV EX. Nothing too fancy, though I looked at a 2004 that was loaded. It was nice, but it had 53k miles on it. This one only has 19k, so we're still under Mazda's 5/50 warranty. According to the Mazda guy I spoke to, we're good until August of 2010 or 50k miles, whichever comes first.

I wasn't too emotional about getting rid of the Camry. The only thing I could think of was that we brought both kids home from the hospital in it. Other than that, it holds no special place in my heart.

I've turned into such a dad. If someone handed me $50k right now and told me that I had to spend it on a vehicle I would likely buy a 2009 Odyssey fully-loaded. However, since we don't have that kind of money to spend (nor would we want to), we settled for something a bit more realistic. Frankly, it is still a bit extravagant for our needs. We could probably live with another sedan. We will get a few less MPG with this vehicle than a sedan, but I have yet to talk to a minivan owner with a family who regrets his purchasing decision.

If we had more time with the Camry I would have held out to get a Mazda5. Amanda's lemon car sense told her that we didn't have much time to spare.

By the way, Lily has already announced how she likes riding up high.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Creepy

As you know, Noah has not been very interested in crawling. He is becoming more mobile now. If he really wants something he will get on his belly and kind of pull himself toward it.

Not sure if that is technically "creeping" or not, but at least he is moving a little bit.

Monday, June 9, 2008

Recital

There has been much demand for video of Lily's recital, so here you go. It may be a tad pixellated because I had to compress it to fit on the blog, but I think you will get the idea.




video

Friday, June 6, 2008

I got the fever for the flavor...

Overall, the crazy day yesterday went fairly well. However, things started to break down after the time at Nikki's pool. Amanda hit some very heavy traffic on US-1 on the way to Holly Springs. Lily fell asleep in the car. As you may know, Lily doesn't do so well after a nap and yesterday was no exception.

When they got there they were already really late. Amanda woke her up and told her to get undressed so they could get to the practice. Lily was slow to dress because she had some pringles that Nikki's mom gave her. Amanda finally got her undressed and got her feet in her leotard. She told Lily to finish dressing while she got Noah out of his seat and into the stroller. She finished with Noah and came around to find Lily standing there in her panties munching on pringles.

Amanda was very upset, as you might imagine. Lily then broke down too. Once that happened she wouldn't get in and practice with everyone. Amanda even tried bribing her with the promise of a chocolate shake (this works for shots at the doctor), but that didn't work either. Miss April (the teacher) tried talking to Lily, but that didn't help.

Fortunately, Lily has been a good student of the dance they are doing. I understand that it involves tea party accessories somehow too. I'm sure she will do fine on Saturday. I'll see if I can get some recorded and posted for the blog.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Summertime!

It looks like Grandma Judy got to enjoy the last of our nice weather until fall. I just got back from a jog (6:15 AM) and it is 77 degrees with 88% relative humidity. I think I'm starting to glisten a bit.

Days like this almost make me miss Ohio winters. I know that it can get like this in August sometimes, but it is rarely this sticky for long. I also don't remember air advisory warnings either. We're having one today.

Amanda has a very busy day ahead of her today. She has a meeting at church for her small group from 9:00 - 11:00. Then she is having lunch with Tiffany and Brenna to celebrate our niece's 3rd birthday. Then she is taking Lily to hang out with Nikki. Finally, Lily has the last dress rehearsal before the big recital on Saturday. It's a big day alright.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

The Show Must Go On

Lily is fascinated with what it takes to put on a show. Her recital for dance is this Saturday (also Amanda's birthday) and Lily has put more formality into her impromptu dances at home. Now she likes it if we take a blanket and make it into a curtain for her. We have to announce her and then move the curtain. Then she does her little song that she made up. The lyrics don't make much sense:

We are the landkids, yes we are
We are the landkids, yes we are
We are the landkids, yes we are
We are the landkids, yes we are

What are "landkids?" Good question.