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Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Puttin' on the Ritz

Noah is into wearing accessories now. He loves to play with my hats. He also loves to play with shoes. The thing is that he will often only put on one shoe. That means that I sometimes need to search the basement before running so I can find the other shoe. It's not a big deal compared to some other things he could do.

One day he insisted that Amanda zip Lily's boots over his shoes. He loves to stomp around in shoes now. This is good because he is going to be wearing sandals for most of the summer and they have hard soles on them. I guess his little moccasins are going to be retired soon.

Amanda took him for a walk in the stroller yesterday. They walked on a long winding path that goes down and back up a hill. As Amanda got near the top of the hill she was going to go around the playground, but Noah pointed in its direction. He knew where it was and he had an opinion about visiting it. They ended up spending a few minutes there. Amanda says that he loves the slide and the swings. Now that my paper is done I hope for some good weather one weekend so I can take him there.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Breaking the Silence

I'm sorry not to have posted all weekend. It's been a little crazy here. Amanda and Tiffany did some freezer cooking on Saturday, which occupied the bulk of the day. I had the kids all day, including Brenna. We then took Brenna to church and stopped at Chick Fil-A for dinner. Amanda hung out with Tiffany that evening and I put the kids to bed.

Yesterday was busy with normal family stuff and homework. In fact, I've got enough to do that I'm taking today off work to catch up. I have a paper due tomorrow, but it is almost done. Plus, I still have a chapter of Hebrew exercises to complete before class tonight at 6:00.

So why am I blogging now? I'm waiting for the coffee to finish brewing. Nothing like freshly-roasted Sumatra decaf to get the juices flowing.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Changing Seats

Lily had a difficult confession yesterday at dinner. It seems that she got into trouble for talking to Carson at school. Either she or Carson had to get moved and Ms. Snoots gave them each a little talk. She likely is not going to get her 3 "yes" reports this week, but that's not the worst thing in the world.

Lily really was trying to be quiet, but Carson kept trying to get her to talk. He eventually engaged her on a matter of great importance. They were discussing the manufacture of chocolate milk. I'm not sure how Carson presented it, but Lily explained that they start with regular milk, add chocolate, and mix. I think she got it right, but it's a shame she got into trouble setting the boy straight.

We explained to her that she didn't have to talk to him just because he wanted her to talk. That's easy to discuss at the dinner table, but it's obviously tougher when they are in class. She's working on it.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Sentences

Noah is kind of speaking in sentences. Yesterday while reading Lilly's Chocolate Heart Noah anticipated the next line and said, "I know!" before they got to it. This morning Lily swears that Noah said, "I want a ball" when she first came into his room. It does sound like he is starting to say "I want..." for various things. The problem is that the object in the sentence is often unintelligible or just wrong (he calls all fruit "apple").

Noah and I watched highlights of the Cavs game last night and he loved it. He particularly likes the dunks and says, "ah-ball" when they happen. Everything is a ball with him.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

At the Dentist

Lily had a dentist appointment yesterday, which made for a little bit of a rough afternoon for Amanda. First, she had to get Noah up from his nap. He didn't like that very well. Then Amanda had to get Lily out of school early. That wasn't a huge deal, but it's not easy. Then came the trip to the dentist.

For some reason Lily didn't do so well this time. Amanda said that she was very whiny and complained about most of the visit. Lily's gag-reflex is pretty well-documented, so it's no surprise that she was uncomfortable. However, according to Amanda she was over the top. Add to this that she couldn't be in the room without Amanda and you have a tough time dealing with Lily's whininess and Noah's squirming. They did get through it in the end though.

The good news is that she doesn't have any cavities. She does need to brush a little bit better in the back though. Dr. Bailey thinks she will have loose teeth by the time she is 6.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Watching Ball

We have found that one of the best ways to placate Noah is to find some way for him to watch people playing ball. He loves to watch the neighbor boys shoot baskets. Amanda took him for a walk during Lily's dance class yesterday and he enjoyed seeing people play basketball. He and I watched a couple of minutes of one of the tournament games on Sunday and he was just mesmerized. I also watched some clips of Indians highlights from last season and he enjoyed that too.

I have to figure out a way to keep him interested in this stuff. Lily will watch sports for a few minutes, but is quickly bored. Noah seems to really like them. If "quality time" with Noah ends up watching a ball game I can live with that!

Monday, March 23, 2009

Dinner Guest

We had Lily's friend Michael over for dinner yesterday. I was commenting to Amanda that I like him a lot more than Cooper, but Amanda did point out that he is only 4. I think Lily likes to boss him around. He ate his corn dog nuggets quite happily, but not much else besides some grapes. I think our roasted veggies and the whole wheat couscous probably seemed a bit strange to him.

Yesterday was a beautiful day. Amanda and Lily went for a run/ride (Lily rides while Amanda tries to keep up) while Noah napped. Noah got to do some stomping around outside and got to play in the sandbox too. You just can't beat spring in North Carolina.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Big Girl

I'm not going to dig up the entries, but you may recall that Lily and I had a lot of fun with the two Lego Star Wars games. She has picked up the Original Trilogy again and has been playing one of the bonus levels. What she's decided is that she wants to redo the entire thing. The only difference is that she is now actively participating in the levels. We made it through two chapters last night. Two down, 16 to go... Oh, and then there's redoing them in free play mode while we get all the minikits. Then there are the bonus levels. And so on.

The point is that we're now doing it together instead of with her as just a spectator. This should be fun and it will save me from having to get any more games for a while too.

I forgot to mention something about Noah in my previous post. We now have a bedtime routine that goes like this:

  1. Change diaper and put on PJs
  2. Brush teeth
  3. Put on sleep slack (when appropriate for weather)
  4. Read Most of All, Jesus Loves You
  5. Say the "Now I lay me down to sleep..." prayer
When he doesn't fuss too much this is a nice time. Lately when we pray he has started to bow his head and fold his little hands inside of mine. This is now one of the highlights of my day.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Big Boy

I noticed a couple of small milestones for the Pook that I thought I'd pass along.

One is his hand-eye coordination. He ate some scrambled eggs today with a big-boy fork. It was still out of the suction cup bowl, but I think it was quite an achievement anyway. He only got a little smeared on his face.

The other is that he can now go up the last step in the front door without crawling. He holds on to the door frame and then just steps up like a big boy.

He's going to be shaving before we know it. Until then, I want to remember to savor these moments.

Ha-Ball

Noah has started to talk incessantly about balls. His babble is now either "ha-ball" or "ma-ma-ma-ma-ma-ma." It's tough because he clearly is trying to communicate, but we don't know what he is trying to say. It frustrates all of us.

But, as Homer Simpson said, the sooner kids start talking the sooner they start talking back. Still, it would be nice to understand what he wants. Then again, I do think it's as simple as constantly wanting to play ball in some form.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Little Hoopster

We had a beautiful day yesterday and Amanda took advantage of it by spending a lot of time outside with Noah. One of his favorite things is to pass the basketball to you and watch you shoot it. Of course, the basketball is about half as big as he is, so it's a tad unwieldy for him. Amanda also took him on a walk to Lake Crabtree. He fell asleep in the stroller, so that was his nap for the day.

I think there is a chance that the boy is going to like sports. He loves playing with just about any kind of ball. He likes the little plastic ones from his Christmas present. He likes bouncy rubber balls. He likes baseballs. He likes basketballs. He likes racquetballs. He likes tennis balls. I think you get the idea.

One of his favorites is pool. He keeps begging me to get the pool balls out and shoot pool. Hopefully we can do that this evening after dinner.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Who Will Stop the Rain?

I think the rain has finally abated here. Unfortunately, it's still kind of gray and foggy. We really miss the sun. This long stretch of rain reminds us of living near San Francisco in the rainy season. The difference is that we don't have rolling green hills as the reward here. We just have a lot of red mud.

Lily got a note in the mailbox yesterday. Cooper warned her that she had better wear green today or she is likely to get pinched. You may recall her former confusion about what March 17 is. I'm even wearing a green sweater today. I don't see any reason not to be in the spirit of the holiday. It's not as if I'll be downing quarts of green Guinness later.

Noah is getting a bit more cranky at mealtimes. We're having a tough time finding foods that he will consistently eat besides fruit. He just cannot get enough oranges (or "apple" as he calls them). He's also getting more cranky in general. I wonder if part of his frustration comes from his inability to effectively communicate what he wants. I know that would drive me crazy.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Still Going...

I feel like we've moved back to the Bay Area for winter. Today will be day 4 of gray and rainy. It makes you appreciate how sunny it usually is here. The good news is that it helps the kids sleep in a little bit, but the bad news is that it definitely sucks the life out of the house.

Lily had one of her early-evening nightmares last night. Fortunately, I had just gone to bed when she woke up screaming. It's a lot easier to deal with that kind of thing at 9:30 before we've all settled in than in the middle of the night. Noah, on the other hand, has now had two consecutive nights of waking up screaming around 12:30 or so. Amanda got up with him both nights. If it happens again tonight we may have to let him scream a while.

It's sometimes difficult to gauge where the "tough love" line should be drawn. Is he really upset or is he just training us to come running when he calls? It may be a mixture of both. We are certain that we don't want him routinely waking up every night with an expectation of some attention.

Bedtime is becoming more difficult with Noah. If you say "bedtime?" to him he will make a face and make a negative-sounding noise. He won't sit still for his book anymore because he knows what is happening next. And he keeps fidgeting when we pray because he knows that is the last step. We never had bedtime problems with Lily like that. She would pitch a fit after we turned out the lights, but never at bedtime proper.

Plus, we can count on a good 30-60 minutes of babbling from him after he is put to bed. It's not screaming, so we can live with it. I don't think we're going to make his bedtime any later though.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

The Talking Kids

The morning with the kids went well. Since we were on the east side of town we went to the Raleigh Sam's Club for something. I told Lily that we are going to be getting a new Sam's Club that will be like that. Later as we were driving to church she wanted to tell Amanda about it and she said, "You know our Sam's Club, the one that we like so well?"

What five year-old talks like that?

Noah's vocabulary is slowly growing:

b'loon = any round object. Specifically a balloon, but could work for ball sometimes too.
apple = any piece of fruit. Usually means "orange."
yeh = yes. This is better than his little laugh to indicate the affirmative
mama = anyone he wants to do something for him
da = daddy

One of Noah's favorite babble words is "goon-dah." One time I said back to him, "GOON-dah?" He responded quite emphatically, "goon-DAH"

It's apparently all about which syllable gets the emphasis.

He is getting good at identifying his parts. If you ask, "Where is Noah's nose?" he'll stick a finger in his nose. He knows eyes, ears, nose, mouth, feet, toes, chest, and we're working on chin.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Getting Needy

Noah seems ready for his terrible twos. He has been super-needy this week since we got back. I guess that's not a big surprise, but it's driving Amanda a little crazy. It's hard for her to get much done with him constantly pawing at her legs or screaming to be held.

I'm going to take the kids out to the Krispy Kreme this morning and hopefully find other ways to while away the morning. Then we have lunch, then naptime, then church, then dinner, then bed. We just have to get through the morning!

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Who's That Girl?

This is the third consecutive morning we've had to wake up Lily for school. We get her up around 7:15, which makes for a little bit of a hurried morning. However, she still had time to watch Jelly Telly today.

It was interesting to listen to Jelly Telly today in light of the fact that Lily has a field trip to the museum of natural sciences today. On Jelly Telly they were talking about spiders and anteaters and how they seem to be designed not only for a specific purpose, but also with the innate understanding of how to do what they were designed to do. As we walked to the bus stop I explained to Lily that not everyone believes that God made them. I also told her that some people think that we came from monkeys. She was so flabbergasted she didn't know what to make of it.

She wondered why some people didn't believe in God and I told her what I thought was the biblical answer. I told her that it was because they didn't want to think that God was in charge and they didn't want to have to answer to Him. Therefore, they chose not to believe in Him. I also told her that some people will get very upset when you tell them that you believe in God.

I'm not trying to make her into a street corner evangelist, but I also know where the schools want to take her. I figure it's better to make a pre-emptive strike.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

False Spring

We've been enjoying some beautiful weather here. In fact, I think it's warmer here than it was on our cruise. The great thing about this is that Amanda can take the kids outside in the afternoon. Noah absolutely loves being outside. There are few things he likes more than walking up the street and playing with the various things he finds on the ground. Plus, he rarely puts those things in his mouth anymore.

Of course, being outside also means other challenges. For example, yesterday Noah got into the ashes in the pan under the grill and made a big mess. It's hard to blame him since they look like sand and feel much softer. Still, it wasn't a lot of fun for Amanda to deal with.

Sadly, we're going to come back to normal by the end of the week. We'll enjoy this weather while it's here though!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

A Splash of Reality

We're back to real life now. I'm going to work today and Amanda is doing the Tuesday routine with the kids. Yesterday went well and I think that taking the day off was a good idea. I don't feel like I'm diving into the deep end with work now. I haven't caught up on my emails or anything, but I have caught up on my personal life enough that work should be tolerable today.

The good news is that we're enjoying some nice weather in the early part of this week, though I understand that we're back to late winter by the end of this week. Still, we'll take an 80 degree day when we can get one.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Cruise Photos

Amanda dove for this sand dollar in Grand Turk

This is a view of Grand Turk from the boat. Yes, the water really is that blue.

This is Coki Beach, the location of our best snorkeling. It is on the NE side of St. Thomas.

Amanda saw this house whilst walking in St. Thomas and thought it was funky.

Our ship docked in Grand Turk

Cruise Video

Here is a taste of what our stateroom was like. I'm going to post a few photos in another post.

video

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Back Home Safe

We've made it home safe from the cruise and had a great time. You can read my journal about it here.