Saturday, February 28, 2009

First Day

We're staying at a B&B in St. Augustine that offers free wireless internet, so I thought I'd better write a final dispatch before we take to the sea. We got off at 7:09 this morning. It's amazing how much faster you leave without kids. Noah wasn't happy when he put two and two together. Lily kept a stiff upper lip, but we could tell that she was not happy as she waved good-bye from the window. Hopefully things are going well for them there.

The trip down was wet, but mostly uneventful until we got to St. Augustine proper. I took a wrong turn which got us to the B&B a good 30-40 minutes later than we should have. Then when we arrived we found that our room had a full bed instead of the queen I was promised. I complained politely and now we're in a big room with a king.

We enjoyed a simple dinner at a combination Greek and Polish restaurant. I had kraut, potato and cheese, spinach, and meat pierogies. Amanda had a Greek salad and a spinach pie. We figured we'd better take it easy tonight considering what we have ahead of us this week.

We then walked around and did some shopping. The good news is that we're done buying gifts for the kids already. It was nice to get a little walk in after spending all day in the car.

We're looking forward to a nice breakfast tomorrow and getting to Ft. Lauderdale. I think I'm rubbing off on Amanda a little bit. I was planning on us having a leisurely morning so that we get to the pier at around 2:00 since boarding starts at 1:00 and the ship leaves at 5:00. She wants to leave right after breakfast to make sure that we get there. That's fine by me!

Unless some inspiration strikes tomorrow morning this will be the last post until 3/8 or 3/9.

Friday, February 27, 2009

Almost There

Jack and Melanie arrived yesterday. Today they get a chance to learn about the rhythm of the house on a school day. I suspect it will be interesting for them. Hopefully Lily won't try to take too much advantage of them. The good news is that they are on guard as they know how Lily operates. She isn't sneaky exactly, but she does try to manipulate.

It's a little early, but thanks to the baby monitor I can hear Lily and Noah playing. Melanie was concerned about making sure Lily gets up on time for school. We assured her that it is not a problem with Lily. Even when she stays out really late she is up around 7:00 every day. That's my girl!

Thursday, February 26, 2009

The Addict

I can't remember if I wrote about this before, but Noah is addicted to my plug-and-play Pac Man game. Every time we carry him past the TV he points at it and grunts. He beams every time I start a new game of it. He doesn't pay attention through the whole game, but he absolutely loves to have it on the TV.

Who would have thought that my boy would be so addicted to a video game?

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

The Countdown

Amanda and I are leaving for a vacation on Saturday morning. We're going on a cruise of the Eastern Caribbean from 3/1 - 3/8. It should be a great time. The problem is all the preparation that goes into such a vacation. I'm not asking for any sympathy. It just occurs to me that it is a little crazy that we need so much stress before being able to relax.

I'm not sure if Lily really understands what next week is all about. And I'm sure that Noah has no idea. Lily was roughly the same age Noah is now when we went to Italy. The morning we got back she came down the stairs, saw Amanda, and said, "Hey!" I wonder how Noah will react?

Incidentally, I don't plan on spending $2.50/minute for internet service on the boat. Therefore, expect radio silence while we're gone.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Shine On

Noah has his first good bruise. On Sunday he was playing on our bed and lunged for our alarm clock. He missed his mark and smacked the corner of his eye socket on the night stand. He has a scratch and a little bit of a shiner, though it already looks better. It's incredible how quickly they heal when they're little. What's interesting is that earlier in the day on Sunday he tripped near the computer and went forehead-first into one of my guitars. That didn't even elicit a whimper. I think bumps and bruises will be a little different with him than with Lily.

I am now officially into my "reading week" break. I was supposed to have class tonight, but my professor's father died unexpectedly last week and he had to cancel class tonight. That means no class until 3/9, which is just fine with me. It's nice to be able to catch my breath a little bit, though I would have liked to have had class tonight. I certainly was not wishing for these circumstances to cause a postponement.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Preferred Food

Lily was disappointed yesterday because we had a change of plans for dinner. I was going to make a chicken dish, but when Amanda was laid up I went the easy route and just made eggs. We all enjoyed our eggs, but I felt like we needed some fruit afterward. I asked Lily what she wanted for fruit and she said, "You know! ROASTED VEGETABLES!"

I get 5 lb bags of mixed "California Blend" frozen veggies at Sam's. The mix includes carrots, broccoli, and cauliflower. Amanda has started to toss them with Italian seasoning and then she roasts them in the oven. Lily and Noah cannot get enough of this stuff. It's one thing that we can be sure they will both eat. In fact, Amanda made it for them tonight and Lily made a point of insisting that she get a LOT of veggies.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Winter Jam

I took Lily to Winter Jam last night. This means that she was up waaaaay past her bedtime last night. In fact, so was I. We got out of the concert at around 9:45 and got home at around 11:00. Fortunately, she was asleep before we even got on the highway. I told her that she had to sleep until 8:00 today, but I think she was actually awake before then. It's looking like an early bedtime tonight.

She had a great time at the concert, though I think some of the show was a bit overwhelming to her. She really liked Toby Mac. I couldn't understand much of what they were singing, but the show was incredible. She nearly went over the edge when they started the confetti machine that blew a ton of it over the crowd. We were sitting in what would be the cheapest seats for a basketball game, so we had a good overhead view.

The cutest part of the night was when she was standing on her chair slowly twisting back and forth with her eyes closed singing the chorus of this song. If she got nothing else out of the event than remembering that verse I think I'll be happy. If more of us took that message to heart we likely wouldn't be in the economic pickle we are now, would we?

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Mommy's Little Boy

Amanda had a bath yesterday morning. As usual, Noah was hanging around because he likes to splash in the water. While she was getting ready she noticed that he walked out of the room. She thought that was a little strange, but was hardly concerned. She was happily surprised when he came back to the room with his towel. He knew that he needed one if he was going to get a bath with mommy, so he got what he needed.

He may not sound all that sharp, but he is learning how things work.

This morning it almost sounded like he was singing "The Star-Spangled Banner" in his crib. I don't think that was it, but the tune was close.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

My Compass

We got to enjoy dinner at another couple's house tonight. Lily knows their oldest daughter from dance class, they have another daughter who is 3, and they have a son who is just a few months younger than Noah. Plus, Scott is a graduate of Gordon-Conwell seminary, so we have plenty to talk about. It was a great time.

I came straight from work which means that we ended up with two cars there. Amanda took Noah home and about 10 minutes later I left with Lily. It was a good thing too, because when I got to the major road I wasn't sure which way to turn. Lily said right and I said left. I did the smart thing and listened to her. Of course, she was right.


Lily and I finished Sly Cooper 2 last night. It was a good story and a lot of fun. We certainly got hours of entertainment out of it. Lily was particularly wired last night at bedtime after we finished the story.

A couple that we know through Lily's dance class invited us over for dinner tonight. We're really looking forward to it for a variety of reasons.

I wish I could think of more to write, but that's about it. I really am committed to putting something up here every day, so this is what you get today.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Another Week in the Books

Amanda and the kids survived another week of classes. Monday wasn't so bad because I was around all day and took Lily to dance class. Tuesdays are always tough because I leave early for my small group and don't get home until around 9:00. Last night they killed time with a family bath. Then Lily wanted to play in our walk-in closet. She actually left things in pretty good shape. Sometimes the closet is really messed up after she finishes in there.

It's a gray and rainy morning today. Noah is just now waking up at 7:45. I got paged for work and am standing by for a call-back, so I actually got to eat breakfast with Amanda. It's times like this when being on-call is actually kind of nice. The pager going off at 2:00 AM offsets that though...

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Getting Bigger

I forgot to post some exciting news about Lily. She now tips the scale at 40.4 pounds. That means she can legally go without the 5-point harness in her car seat. However, we are going to have her use the harness for as long as she can since it will keep her safer. She isn't wild about that, but she does understand.

Noah had a rough day yesterday. He went down for an early nap, but woke up early. We let him scream for a while because that is what he sometimes does. Amanda felt badly when she found that he had somehow managed to get his blanket out of his crib, was poopy, and had only one sock. The poor guy was suffering a perfect storm. The good news is that he went to bed early and pretty much zonked out. In fact, I've only heard a few peeps from him in the early morning today. This is refreshing after the noise he made the past few mornings. Lily could use the extra sleep too, I think.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Cranky Kids

Last night was a bit rough. Noah was pretty noisy in the early morning, so Lily didn't get as much sleep as she needed. This was especially true because she was up late with grandma watching a movie. This led to a little bit of fussiness in the evening time. Both she and Noah went to bed at 7:00 last night, which was good.

Poor Noah wasn't right after he woke up from his nap. His cheeks were all rosy and he was hot. He was so out of sorts that he woudn't even walk past the driveway when we were outside. That's when you know that the Pook just isn't right. He had some Motrin before bed and that seemed to help. I think it will be good to get them back in their respective rooms tonight.

It's been a good visit with grandma. She took Lily to the bus this morning and they said their good-byes. Grandma leaves around lunchtime and then this evening will be the usual Monday with Hebrew class for me and dance class for everyone else. In the meantime, I do look forward to getting a little reading done today.

Sunday, February 15, 2009


We have an illegal basketball goal in our neighborhood. This is only a problem in Cary if people complain. Since no one has complained, I don't have a problem with it. In fact, our neighbor who put it up asked me if it was OK. It's in a pretty convenient place on our cul-de-sac, so I don't mind.

I had some fun with both Lily and Noah yesterday. Noah was "passing" the ball to me. Lily did the same thing. She is getting a bit more dextrous. She can dribble two or three times without stopping, which is a good start. She can usually catch soft passes too. She did miss with one and it bonked her on the nose. She wasn't too happy about that. Telling her that it is part of the game didn't do much to assuage the pain either.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Grandma is in the House

Grandma Judy arrived last night. We enjoyed a nice dinner and spent some time chatting last night. Today she and Lily are going to hit a couple of stores together and spend some time hanging out. Later on grandma is going to watch the kids so we can go out. We're very much looking forward to that. We did our nice Valentine's meal already, so tonight is likely just going to be Five Guys. It will just be good to get out for a while.

Friday, February 13, 2009

The Vocabulary Grows

I took Noah to Sam's Club with me before dinner yesterday. Lily didn't want to go because I told her she wouldn't get a cookie before dinner. Noah doesn't know any better yet, so he was just glad to spend some time with daddy.

I got the milk and cream I came for, but I also wanted to get some roses for Amanda. I looked in the normal flower area, but they were all out. I had resigned myself to stopping again today after work, but I saw too many people walking around with bouquets of roses to believe that they had all taken them from the normal flower area. I asked one of the demo ladies about it and she pointed me to the area where she knew there were flowers.

As I rounded the corner to the flowers I saw what I was looking for. Generally speaking, when I'm out with Noah I talk to him as much as possible. When I saw the flowers I said, "Ah-ha!" and Noah quickly parroted, "Ah-ha!"

Right now he's sitting in his crib babbling. He's not upset or anything, but he would like for someone to get him. I can't remember when Lily would yell into the baby monitor, "I'm ready to get up now," but I think she was around this age.

One other note about Noah and his crib. Sometimes I'll find him just sitting there holding his blanket. He will have his back against the back wall of the crib so he is looking out into the room. I ask him if he's ready to get up. He pauses, considers it, looks at his blanket, and then throws it next to him. We're starting to see more things like that from him where he is moving with purpose and thought. It would be great if he could articulate those thoughts, but we figure he'll get there eventually.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Catch and Early Release

Lily has an early release day today. This means that the teachers have some kind of compulsory event and they need to send the kids home for it. I don't remember ever having these, but it does seem like a good deal for the teachers. Teachers work hard enough that they don't need extra things to do on what should be their own time. Still, it's tough for the parents.

As I type this, I am effectively playing fetch with Noah. He keeps bringing me a juggling beanbag and I keep throwing it. He then finds it and brings it back to me. The key has been me making a "booooom" sound as I throw it.

Below you can find a short video that explains how Google Reader works. If you follow more blogs than this one I think you will enjoy using it. I resisted trying it for a long time, but now I can't live without it.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

More Singing

Amanda got a message from Ruby's dad through Facebook. He wanted to let her know about something Lily did while they drove to AWANA. It seems that they were listening to the soundtrack from "Mama Mia" and Lily did a great job of singing along with the title track.

Amanda is very proud, as you might imagine. Similarly, when we were playing "Rock Band 2" on Sunday Lily did a great job of singing the chorus to "Hungry Like the Wolf." Maybe she is destined to go to State?

Monday, February 9, 2009

The Drop-Off

I don't normally link to other blogs here, but I think many of this site's readers will appreciate this story. As a general rule, that blog is worth space in your RSS reader.

Revved Up

Lily had a lot of fun at AWANA last night. She may have had too much fun though because she was practically bouncing off the walls when they got back. I think we'll try to get her in AWANA next year, but it doesn't make a lot of sense this year. They will be finishing in the first Sunday in May and then not start back up until September. I'm glad that she is excited about it though.

It's back to the groove of the week. I'm working from home today. Amanda has a friend coming to visit at 10:00 today. Noah is whiny, but good.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

A Few Pics

Here are a few pics that have been in our camera for a while. Of course, when the camera takes a leave of absence for about 6 weeks some of the images get a bit stale. Enjoy!


Last night Lily and I read the story of Judas' betrayal of Jesus. Lily asked me a couple of questions about it. Then she said, "But money can't make you live."

In other words, she saw right through the folly of Judas' greed. She understands that Jesus is the only giver of life and that worshiping Him is a lot more important than getting money. That's a lesson that we grown-ups need to be reminded of sometimes, I think.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Busy Weekend Coming

I'm taking the day off today so I can get done some of the stuff I would normally do over the weekend. I'm going to a conference at a seminary in Wake Forest, so that will keep me busy this evening and all day tomorrow. Meanwhile, we have a birthday party for Uncle Eric on Sunday, though we may have to divide on that one so that Noah can get his nap in. It's not pretty when Noah doesn't nap.

The good news is that it is supposed to warm up to the mid-60s this weekend. We had a little bit of a cold snap (relatively speaking) the past couple of days, but it is sunny and getting warmer now. Hopefully Amanda will be able to take advantage of the nice weather tomorrow. Noah does so much better outside. The problem is that he is a handful to chase around.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

The Great Enigma

Last night in bed Amanda asked a great question. She wondered how a child could be so annoying and endearing at the same time. That's Lily for you though. When I came home from work last night Lily was playing some game where the house was all mud, but she was building some kind of island on the ottoman. She had stacked up as much stuff on there as she could. Amanda wasn't feeling very well, so I got dinner ready from what Amanda prepared (chicken with peanut sauce, yum!) and then took the kids out to Sam's Club for a few things after dinner.

The good news is that Lily cleaned up all the stuff before dinner, just like I told her to. She actually behaved quite well for me, which was nice. It's just that she can be a little much, especially when you're not very energetic.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

The Singer

As I write my entries for the day on this and my other blog, I can hear Noah on the baby monitor. At one point it sounded like he was singing "Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star." Of course, he also has been known to sing "Happy Birthday."

The poor little guy really needs some vocabulary. He is getting really frustrated by his inability to communicate with us. Unfortunately, pointing and going, "uh...huh" with a rising tone only does so much. He'll get there and then we probably won't be able to get him to shut up. I hear that's how it was with me. It's only been in the last 5 years or so that I've learned to be more quiet, so maybe we're looking at 30 years of straight talking?

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Winding Down

We're not quite sure what to do with Lily sometimes. I guess that's a common refrain in this blog, but specifically Amanda has noticed how hyper she gets after school, after dance class, and after playing with her friends. Some of it may have to do with her extroverted nature. She just gets so revved up that she gets a little out of control. It could be a lot worse, but it could be better too.

Lily is doing great in kindergarten, but she is having a problem that I can relate to. It seems that she is sometimes talking when she should be working. I'm going to talk to her about that and see what is going on. I don't know if she is bored or what the problem is, but we'd do well to nip it in the bud now. I'd hate for her to have her own seat apart from the class like I did so many times.

One other bit of news is that this week is bring a friend to AWANA week. Lily's friend Ruby has invited her to go this Sunday. Hopefully Lily will enjoy it. I think AWANA would be good for her on several levels. Obviously it would be good for her to start memorizing some Bible verses. It also would be good for her to have some structured competitions. I think this would be better for her than playing sports. We'll see how it goes.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Lazy Sunday

It was strange to have a lazy Sunday morning, but we enjoyed it. Amanda babysat for a friend Saturday night and was up until after midnight. I tried to let her sleep in, but it didn't help to have Lily at the top of the stairs calling for me. Then, as I was making breakfast, Noah found his way up there and was crying outside of her door. One minute he was playing with his books and the next minute I realized that he was being a pest.

I took the kids down to the basement for the bulk of the morning and played video games with Lily. After lunch I hunkered down and got some homework done. Amanda had a family bath with the kids and I got some work done on my paper as well. It was nice to make a little headway yesterday. Next weekend is going to be very busy, so I need to get ahead. I think I'm off to a good start though.

Now it's back to the weekly grind. I have class tonight and tomorrow. Lily has dance class tonight. Hopefully I'll get to work from home tomorrow, which always helps at least a little bit.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Ms. Saturday Night

Our church has major overcrowding problems on Sunday mornings, so they have encouraged as many people to come on Saturday night as possible. There is a service at 4:30, which works OK for us. It does make for a little rush after we get home, but it works as long as we don't have to cook anything. It is nice to have a more leisurely Sunday morning too.

However, Lily doesn't see it that way. She has grown quite fond of her Sunday morning teacher and she likes her group too. She really lost it when it was time to drop her off. Normally she practically sprints into the room on Sunday morning, but last night she had a tough time. We made a deal with her that we would come get her if she wasn't feeling better after they finished singing. By the time we got her she was back to her happy skipping self.

We think we have Lily on board now. Unlike many of her fits, this one was pretty legitimate, but I think she is now convinced. It helps too that she has some friends in the class that she knows. What she doesn't know is that in September our church is going to be multi-site and we will be going to a new place somewhere much closer to home. One thing at a time, I say...