Monday, July 28, 2008

Some photos for your perusal

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Details, Details

My family will understand why this is newsworthy, but others may not. I spent an hour this morning vacuuming our cars. I would have washed them, but it looks like rain. I also checked the oil and the air in the tires.

It recently dawned on me that this isn't that hard to do as long as I put it in my planner. I probably will try to do this monthly. I don't know if I'll ever be fastidious about the condition of the cars, but it is definitely more pleasant to ride in a clean one. Besides, Lily is excited to get in on car washing. That is really what got me motivated.

It's shaping up to be a good weekend without too much going on. It's nice to have one of those from time to time.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Keeping Time

Today was the first day of using Lily's schedule, though a big block of it was unnecessary while Lily was in camp. It seemed to work out well. She appears to enjoy the structure, as we thought she would. Tomorrow will feature a visit from Brenna so she won't need quite as much structure.

Noah is a climbing machine now. He loves to pull himself up on things. I think we can expect the first few steps in a week or two at this rate. He hasn't quite started moving himself around while holding things yet. We're already starting to see how much higher we need to babyproof than we did before.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Doing Well

Amanda had her follow-up with the doctor today. She is doing well and the small incision is healing nicely. The lump they took out was benign, so this is all good news.

Lily managed to behave herself well today. Noah was good too. So other than it being really hot, it was a good day.

Lily and I have started playing Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic. At the rate we're going, it's going to take a long, long time. Lily likes the fact that we can play with a female character.

One other interesting Lily tidbit is that Amanda has made a schedule for the days when she doesn't have any planned activities. Lily seems to do better when she has some structure.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Never Easy

The day started off with a bang as Lily wanted to wear her new dress down for breakfast. Amanda told her not to and of course Lily did not like being crossed. There were a few episodes like that today. In fact, I came home to find Lily in time out for nearly dropping Noah's cup on his head.

The good news is that Lily has camp for the rest of the week. Amanda is definitely looking forward to that.

Our little "fang" is doing well. That boy can eat!

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Fighting the Empire

Lily couldn't get enough Star Wars today. We watched all of "Empire Strikes Back" and "Return of the Jedi." Amanda sat with her for most of Empire and I saw with her for most of Jedi. It was good to watch Jedi with her so we could talk about Luke and what happened when he faced Vader at the end. This seemed particularly appropriate for Lily since she is one to let her emotions get the better of her. We certainly aren't trying to raise an unfeeling Jedi, but it is good for her to see how anger can lead to the dark side. What's interesting is trying to explain "the force" to someone who only knows the world from a Christian context. I consider it a good problem to have!

Amanda is definitely on the mend. She isn't even taking Tylenol anymore. She's not back to 100% yet, but I feel good about leaving her with the kids tomorrow. Her follow-up appointment is early on Wednesday, but it's good because I can go with her and watch the kids while the doctor takes five minutes to say, "Yup, looks good. Thanks for the $30 copay."

Lily, Noah, and I went out to kill some time this afternoon. We went to Goodwill so Lily could buy herself a new dress after she ruined another one with nail polish. She picked out a pretty one, but it's a bit too frilly and Amanda said it's not really appropriate for school. The pickings were pretty slim today. We then went to Big Lots so Lily could have a treat. It's amazing how she is always thinking. At first she wanted to get a box of cookies instead of ice cream because she knew we had ice cream at home. However, I talked her into an oreo ice cream bar. We also had a landmark moment in that she took back the cookies while I waited in line. It took her a few minutes to find the place where they went, but she did it and found her way back to me.

Lily is definitely growing up. And, overall, her attitude is definitely improving. I think I may highlight the drama a bit too much sometimes. She really is starting to "get it."

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Healing Up

The kids and I are hanging in there today while Amanda continues to convalesce. I took them grocery shopping this morning and to the free zoo (PetSmart) this afternoon. As I type Lily is watching "Star Wars" and Noah is napping. It's going to be a busy evening as I am signed up for summer serve tonight at church. The kids and I will have to leave here around 5:20 and won't be home until after 7:00. The good news is that Noah will go right to bed and Lily will follow him shortly thereafter.

Amanda is definitely on the mend. She is just taking Tylenol today instead of the Percocet. At least now she can read and concentrate on things instead of being loopy.

Friday, July 18, 2008

With the Kids

Amanda is upstairs resting, Noah is napping, and Lily is playing LEGO Star Wars. Aunt Tiff reported that Lily and Noah behaved well, though Lily and Brenna were up kind of late last night and got up early this morning (around 6:00). Apparently Brenna really likes having Lily around as she likes talking to her. From my recollection that is what sleepovers are all about. Hopefully this means that Lily will get to bed in good order tonight. Noah did get put down for an early nap.

Thursday, July 17, 2008


Amanda and I enjoyed a date night tonight. We went to Great Grapes to check out what they were pouring tonight. We had some wonderful pizza at Z Pizza (with coupon, of course). And we finished with dessert at our favorite coffee place. (Laura: No time for Bed, Bath, and Beyond)

What made this so great is that we have no kids in the house tonight. Lily and Noah are spending the night at the McKenzies because Amanda has to be at the hospital very early tomorrow for a minor surgery. It's eerily quiet. You can almost feel the absence of the kids upstairs. It's nice for a night.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Home Safe

We just got back from our whirlwind trip in NE Ohio. Here was the itinerary:

Took approximately 10 hours to get to mom's, including a lunch stop. Mom and I went to the festival that a local church has each year to get dinner, which was tasty. Ernie and I went out to get some custard. We watched the Indians pound the Rays, which was fun. I was originally going to go to the game with Ernie, but decided it would be better to stay in.

We went downtown and took a cruise on the Goodtime III. We had to get lunch on the boat, but it was fun to discover that the young ladies working in the galley both graduated from the same high school I did. They did it 13 years later than I did...

I met some friends for dinner Friday evening and then attended the first night of the Setting Captives Free conference.

We got off to a fairly early start and I took the family down to Akron to see some of the other side of the family. The family had a fun day with my Dad and stepmom as well as Uncle Mark and Aunt Jen. I got home around 4:30 and was pretty tired, but we had a fun evening.

We had a fairly relaxing morning in anticipation of a big party. We had some of Uncle Mark's terrific BBQ, Bubbe's potato salad, and some other great food. Lily got to play with her twin cousins. She also got to boss around a 2 1/2 year-old boy, which is one of her favorite things to do.

We got home in good time. We left the house at around 7:45 and arrived just before 5:00 PM. That included a fairly long lunch stop too. It's so nice to leave from Mark and Jen's house because it cuts about 45 minutes off the trip. We're tired, but slowly readjusting to life back in Cary.

It's great to be home, but I do miss the dry air of Ohio. Then again, there is a reason why we don't go up for visits in February...

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Doing Better

Noah has been a lot more pleasant to be around today. Yesterday he needed almost constant attention and today he could play on his own. The bad news is that we are getting some work done on our house which may affect his nap time. I'm kind of counting on that time since Amanda is going to take Lily to dance class then.

He is starting to pull himself up. It is not uncommon to find him slowly trying to ascend the steps. Yesterday he pulled himself up to standing using the couch. Yes, there is trouble ahead for us now. It's especially tough with all of Lily's little toys hither and yon.

Monday, July 7, 2008

Baby Dracula

Noah has teeth coming in and he is grouchy about it. The problem is that it looks like the incisors on the sides are coming in, but the two front teeth will be a bit delayed. He's probably going to end up with fangs for a little while. I wonder if he'll still get so many comments at stores?

He's been wearing Amanda out a little bit, but nothing like big sister did.

Friday, July 4, 2008

Independence Day Adventure

We had an interesting time trying to see fireworks tonight. Lily was excited to get there, so we arrived at the park around 7:00. The problem was that we didn't have anything to do for the next two hours. Fortunately, we ran into some people we knew from church who invited us to their camp. They had been there since 2:00 with a bunch of friends they meet every year for the 4th. We were overwhelmed by their hospitality. Lily was overwhelmed by the boys squirting her with water guns. However, she did get over that and start playing.

Lily really had to go potty, but refused. I tried to take her, but some boys in the men's room scared her. I eventually had to give her the ultimatum that she either go potty or we go home. She ended up going with one of the people we just met that night. Strange that she wouldn't go with the woman she knew from church.

As I sat their chatting with my new friends I found myself enjoying a breeze that had picked up. I wondered if it was going to storm, but realized that there were no storm predictions in the forecast. The wind got more and more intense. Eventually some people started to scatter. Someone nearby showed us the weather radar. There was a huge red blob just west of where we were. We thanked everyone for their hospitality and started to move toward our car.

We walked through the leading edge of the storm, but got in our car before the skies really opened up. Just to give you a sense of perspective on this storm, it started about 90 minutes ago and hasn't lost any steam.

It all turned into a great adventure and Lily got to stay up until close to 10:00 PM. She wanted to see purple fireworks, which I couldn't promise. However, she did get to see some purple lightning. She had a good time even though she didn't see the fireworks. There will be other chances.

A New Sound

Noah had me a little bit scared this morning because I heard a faint crunching sound coming from his mouth. He had been on the floor and who knows what Lily may have left on it. I ran my finger through his mouth a couple of times, but didn't find anything.

It turns out that he is enjoying the feeling of rubbing his upper tooth against his lower teeth. The upper tooth is an incisor, but not one of the two front. It feels like some more may be coming in as well.

He is less crabby today, which is good.

Lily and I plan to do fireworks tonight. Stay tuned...

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Our Little Grouch

Noah has had a rough couple of days. It seems pretty certain that he has been cutting a tooth. He's got all the signs of it, including a pretty sour disposition. You know there is something wrong when he won't eat much. It's strange to have him generally grouchy.

Lily has been trying to tell us what she will and won't do. We've had to have some words about it. Hopefully she will start to get it soon. If it's not one thing with her it's another.

I'm going to offer to take Lily to see fireworks tomorrow. I don't know if she will go for it or not, but it's worth asking her. I think she'll be a combination of terrified and exhillirated if we go.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Mr. Mom

Amanda was laid up with something today, so I had to take the day off work. Most of the time with Lily was spent playing LEGO Star Wars 2. We actually have 100% of the game completed, which feels good in a way. It is also a little disheartening when I see that over 40 hours of my life have gone into that game. Still, Lily has really enjoyed it.

Noah has been kind of snotty today and we think that it may be tooth-related. He was pretty good when I took them out for some post-lunch errands. It sure is easier running errands on a Wednesday afternoon than a Saturday!

The good news is that Amanda seems to be on the mend. I should be able to get back to work tomorrow.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

A New Cheese

I actually got Lily to eat some colby jack today. I insisted that she try some of Noah's. The first tiny bit was done through clenched teeth and she nearly spit it out. Then as she finished the small bite she decided that she liked it. Lily is also eating my chickpea and black bean hummus now. We're making some progress, though there are still mealtime challenges. One thing is for sure -- that girl has a temper on her!