Sunday, May 31, 2009

Mother's Day

For those who didn't get this on a card...

Everything that Rocks

We are going through one of the periods where the local Christian radio station doesn't come in very well. That is our standard station when in the car with the kids. Personally, I've grown a bit tired of it, but I'd rather they listen to that than some other stuff.

Lily really likes to have music in the car, so I scanned around a bit. One of my destinations is one of the local rock stations. I'd rather listen to that than some other things, but of course I need to be careful about the songs. For example, one time I went there I heard the beginnings of Dirty Deeds, Done Dirt Cheap, which I thought would take too much explaining. Later on, we heard the end of Dr. Feelgood. I figured that was innocuous enough. Turns out that Lily really likes Motley Crue. (sorry, I'm not sure how to include the vital umlauts in their name)

I don't mind if Lily likes rock music, I just hope that she doesn't end up liking rock musicians.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Running Amok

At my suggestion we took Kim to Goodberry's last night. The flavor of the day was pistachio. I had mine with wet walnuts and marshmallow, which was good. Amanda had her staple of peanut butter fudge and chocolate chip, Lily and Noah split a cup of chocolate, and Kim had the Hawaiian. It was a very nice evening to sit outside and eat custard, though of course I would consider a category 5 hurricane also to be a nice evening to sit outside and eat custard.

Noah had a blast. He loved running around the fountain. Being in Cary I didn't feel too self-conscious about all the little shrieks he let out. I'm pretty sure that most of the adults there had kids at some point in their lives. He certainly got a lot more smiles than frowns. He also did some stopping and staring at folks. He is so engaging that he begs conversations from people. He even had the girl working behind the counter talking to him and looking into his eyes.

The good news is also that all the running seemed to get most of the chocolate out of their systems. He and Lily went to bed in good order last night, though a tad late. Meanwhile, I was so exhausted that I went to sleep around 8:30. I was a bit restless through the night, but I think I probably logged a good 9 hours of sleep last night. I clearly needed it.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Sleeping Arrangements

Amanda's college roommate is visiting with us for a few days. Of course, this means that we had to free up Noah's room. The only logical place for Noah to sleep is Lily's room because he needs a door and quiet. However, that leads to the problem of what to do with Lily. We were keeping them together, but they tend to keep each other awake. This is a big problem on a school night.

We thought that maybe Lily could sleep in her tent in the basement. I wasn't wild about giving up the "man cave" for 3 nights, but it would be worth it for Lily to get a decent night's sleep. Lily misunderstood and thought that the tent would be set up in our bedroom. That wasn't going to happen. I gave her the choice between tent in the basement or sleeping in her bed with Noah in the room. She chose her bed.

The good news is that Noah got quiet pretty quickly last night. I haven't heard much from him this morning either. Plus, Lily can sleep through quite a bit once she is out. One time Noah dropped his blanket out of the pack 'n play and was screaming his head off. Lily didn't even wake up.

When I put Lily to bed last night Noah was standing up looking at the bedroom door. He put up his right hand and said, "Ba...Da." For those of you who don't hang around with Noah a lot, that was, "Bye, Daddy."

Thursday, May 28, 2009

A Parent Will Understand

Last night Lily was going through her nightly constitutional and started yelling for Amanda. We try to discourage her yelling once Noah goes to bed since that just wakes him up and then he stays awake for a long time thereafter. Yet it was clear that she had something important to tell us.

We asked her to come down and tell us what was going on. What was the big news? Turns out that she "pooped a turtle." Not an actual turtle, mind you, but a poop that looked like a turtle.

She came downstairs to say goodnight to Amanda before I came up to put her to bed. Amanda kissed her and said goodnight. Lily got a slightly wild look in her eyes and then asked, "Aren't you going to come upstairs and see my turtle poop?"

Amanda acquiesced. I didn't check, but Amanda said that there was a resemblance. At any rate, it was a funny time.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Notes from Yesterday

I don't have any great stories to tell, so let me give you a couple of highlights from the kids yesterday.

Amanda discovered a tiny frog (less than 1 inch long) on the greenway as we were walking. Lily actually picked it up and carried it for a while. It took some convincing for her to leave it on the greenway. Later in the day she told us that she had always wanted a frog as a pet. We don't recall ever having that conversation with her.

Noah continues to impress us with a combination of 2 year-old naughtiness and sweetness. He likes drinking water from cups, but will occasionally spit it out on the floor or just plain spill it. He spilled some yesterday on Lily's foot. We scolded him mildly about it, but left it at that. Then, without any provocation he got a towel and cleaned up his mess. I told him to put the towel in the laundry room and he did.

It seems like getting his attention is going to be the major challenge. So far, it looks like we won't have to fight quite as hard as we did with Lily. On the other hand, it may be more difficult to be as consistent since we won't continually have our guards up.

Hard to believe that the Pook is going to be 2 in less than a month!

Monday, May 25, 2009


As we looked forward to this weekend I tried to think of something fun we could do as a family. I thought about doing a picnic for breakfast, so that is what we did. I made some banana bread yesterday and Amanda made some lemon poppyseed muffins (really cupcakes). We loaded everything up and drove over to North Cary Park this morning.

Of course, just having breakfast in the park is not really that special, so we took a walk down to the creek. We found a relatively flat cleared spot and set up our blanket for a picnic. Lily, Noah, and Brenna had fun throwing rocks into the creek after they finished their breakfasts. Then we stretched out our legs with a walk down to Lake Crabtree.

We're all a little tired and hot now, but it was a good time. I suspect that everyone will take a good nap this afternoon. I guess we'll consider this a little throw-in to our babysitting offer. We'll give them a little free time this afternoon too!

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Sleepy Noah

I had to wake Noah before getting Lily at the bus on Friday. This is how I found him.

What you can't see is that he had his little ankles crossed underneath him too. He wasn't real sharp when I woke him, as you might imagine.

As I was looking through the folder where I keep these photos, I came across this blast from the past as well. Enjoy!

Another Milestone

Noah has officially ditched the high chair. He is sitting on a booster seat strapped to one of our kitchen chairs. This is generally a good thing as he likes to be in the action. However, we may have to separate him from Lily. He keeps trying to grab her milk. He also tried to take some of her green beans last night, not that she would have minded.

What's really great about this is that it is one less thing to clean up after a meal. There wasn't a good place for that big high chair tray and now it is no longer an issue. Once we get the pad washed the high chair can rest safely in the attic until the next baby in the family comes along. I can't say that we'll miss the high chair in the kitchen too much. Of course, I write that now...

Friday, May 22, 2009

The "Helper"

Noah is starting to become a lot more capable for both good and bad. He has a very small bubble machine that is really just a small battery-operated fan with bubble hoops in front of it. It came with a small container for holding bubble solution. You dip the hoops in the solution, hit a button, and get some bubbles.

There was some on the deck from when he and Amanda were playing with it yesterday. He brought it in the house and then dumped it on the freshly-mopped kitchen floor. Amanda was none too pleased as you might imagine and told him so. Without any instruction he went and got a towel to try to clean it up.

It seems like things will be easier with him than with Lily. However, I think he is going to be a lot more sneaky.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Heard Around the House

Noah continues to use "ball" as much as possible. In fact, sometimes he says it repeatedly, which makes Amanda and I both start singing this.

The other day Lily and I went into his room to get him up and he said, "Hi Leeley." It was very sweet. He also thanked me last night when I gave him his blanket. At least, I think that's what he was saying.

Lily's friend Carson proposed marriage yesterday. I asked her what she said and she didn't say anything to him. I told her that any boy she married needs to satisfy at least 2 criteria -- he needs to have a job and he needs to love Jesus. I explained that Carson won't have a job at 6, but if a boy at 26 doesn't have a job and wants to marry her then there is a problem. It's OK for Carson's mommy to tuck him in at night and make his bed in the morning.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

On a Mission

Noah's skills continue to grow. First, as I thought might happen he did try to walk down the main house steps yesterday. Amanda said that he got about halfway before taking a tumble. He just tried doing the same thing with the basement steps, but Amanda stopped him. I don't want him falling down those steps.

Noah has also demonstrated that he can open the front door when it's left unlocked. We've had to put a doorknob guard on it. I had a dream last night that Amanda was in bed and I was coming up from the basement to come to bed, but found the front door open. I knew Noah was out and was nervous because it was dark and it would be hard to find him. Fortunately, he was shooting baskets in the driveway. Amanda and I think that is probably what would happen in reality.

Noah is also very determined to get his blanket by hook or by crook. If it's in his crib he will get it. Now we have to put it up so he doesn't carry it around everywhere. In retrospect we were glad how we handled that with Lily and we're trying to do the same with him. He whines a lot when we take it away, but it's still easier than it was with Lily!

Monday, May 18, 2009

Biggier Kids

In honor of Nana calling Lilly a "Biggie Girl" a few years ago, I thought I'd write about a few developmental things we've noticed lately.

Lily can now prepare her favorite meal on her own. We put some of the plates and the kids' cups in the middle drawer of the kitchen. Lily can get a plate out, count out nuggets, and with a stool she can microwave them. This is very exciting to us, though we know that someday there will be a mess to clean up.

The other day she was telling a story at dinner. She started with a simple, "You know what?" but then moved on to, "Now this was very odd..." Fortunately, I think Lily has the moxie to pull off talking like that.

Noah can now walk down the stairs in front by himself. He hangs on to the bush. We spent a couple of weeks forcing him to go down them while holding someone's hand. Now he can do it on his own. I hope he doesn't try for the main house steps anytime soon though. Scooting on his bottom is fine for those.

Noah is also mastering up. He can climb onto my desk chair. He also can ascend to the couch and to the dining room chairs. Yesterday he went from the chair to the dining room table. Amanda wasn't real happy about that. I'm hoping he can change lightbulbs on the chandelier soon.

Noah has also decided that he can get his own drinks of water. He gets a cup out of the drawer and fills it with the water on the freezer door. He hasn't made a mess yet, but he also doesn't understand how the middle of the kitchen floor is an inappropriate place for a cup of water.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Shop Til You Drop

I was hoping to take Lily and/or Noah to Artsplosure today, but the weather did not permit that. In fact, it is now 8 degrees colder at 4:06 PM than it was at 6:00 AM today. It's a blustery rainy day.

In lieu of that I took her to the mall. We wanted to check out the new Lego store that just opened at Crabtree. The store is less than a week old and we had to wait in line to get in because of fire codes. They probably could do something similar at the Apple store, but they let that just get crazy-crowded.

Anyhow, Lily found a little kit that you can build into an airplane, space shuttle, or boat. It cost her $5.32 with tax, which was good because she only had $6 to spend. I think that was a better buy than the $8 flower hair clip that she saw at J. Crew.

To no one's surprise, Lily likes the mall quite a bit. I was also touched when she saw a display in a window and said, "She is not being modest" for a swimwear ad. I also pointed out to Lily that she is never going to wear shorts as short as some of the girls at the mall if I have anything to say about it.

She did get tired after a while though. I did give her a shoulder ride near the end. That's getting harder and harder to do, but I figure it's Dad's job to suck it up and deal with it.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Rashy Pook

Poor Noah had a rough day yesterday. He still wasn't quite himself and he continued to have the skitters. Consequently, he had a very rashy bottom. I really don't like the smell of diaper rash cream, but it's certainly necessary these days.

The good news is that he settled down pretty quickly last night and didn't wake us up with any screaming. Lily also got to bed in good order. Hopefully he has turned a corner with this latest stomach thing. Amanda thinks that it was a real flu rather than teething based on how he was acting. Moms tend to know these things.

Big day today for Lily as she has a birthday party for her friend Nikki and then church. The plan is that I will take Noah to the party, run some errands, and Amanda will pick her up. I think Amanda could use a little solitude after her whirlwind trip this week and Noah's sickness.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Pathetic Pook

I went to the Bulls game with Bill last night and came home to find Amanda sitting on the snuggler with Noah. It seems that the little guy had a case of the runs. He was pretty pathetic and just needed mommy for a while.

Fortunately, he seemed to settle down once we went to bed, although it was pretty late. I hope that he has a fairly mellow day today. I don't think Amanda can take a really active one.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Back Home

Amanda and Tiffany made it back home safely on Tuesday. Yesterday was a pretty good day here. Noah is still pretty whiny, but at least it was a nice day for he and Amanda to take a long walk. He enjoyed that, though he wanted "ball-ball" when they walked past the playground. That's kind of a refrain with him.

I did have quite the parental experience after dinner last night. Amanda though Noah was poopy, so I checked and sure enough he was. He had a big enough poop that I had to change his clothes. While I had him standing naked on the changing pad he decided to pee as well. So then I had to get the changing pad into the bathroom and rinse it off. I hope my shoes have dried as I'd like to wear them to work today.

I've been a parent long enough that I took the whole thing more or less in stride. It didn't stop me from exclaiming, "Oh, Noah!" when he decided to pee, but it's not like I was shocked either. Such is the life of the parent of a toddler.

It's hard to believe that potty training is coming up this summer. It would be nice if he could talk a little bit more before we get serious about the potty. At least now we can get him to say "yeah" for "yes." I'll try to get a video posted.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Chasing the Sun

Yesterday was a strangely gray and rainy one for mid-May in Raleigh. However, today is supposed to be incredibly nice. I'm looking forward to taking Noah to the playground this morning once the fog burns off. He doesn't know it yet or else he'd probably be looking forward to it too.

This afternoon should prove interesting. Lily has a dress rehearsal today for the recital in June. I had to repair the flowered barrette for her and I have to get her in her dress. Amanda already prepped April that the hair is not going to be quite in recital form nor will there be any makeup. I hope Lily doesn't get too upset about being a little less dressy than her peers. The important thing is to get the moves down.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Me and the Pook

Noah and I put Grandma Judy on an airplane this morning and then ran a couple of errands. First, we stopped at Dick's Sporting Goods just to kill a little time. That may have been a mistake as I had to tear Noah away from the plethora of basketballs they had there. He kept trying to shoot baskets, which they discouraged with the clear lids on the rims. It didn't matter since he can't get a ball more than about 4 feet off the ground anyway.

Then we went to Wal-Mart. He got a little antsy there. I find it fascinating that he is much more patient at Sam's Club than Wal-Mart. Maybe he just doesn't like the Wal-Mart vibe. Finally, we got some milk at Sam's.

He's napping now and I'm getting ready to get a few things done. It's nice to be off, but it's definitely a challenge to do much when he is awake. Who knew that he could be so whiny? I think I might know someone who is aware of that...

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Happy Mother's Day!

Happy Mother's Day to all the moms out there. Ours has been pretty uneventful. Amanda and Tiffany left early this morning for the funeral in Pennsylvania. We had a nice breakfast with a Panera Bread chocolate croissant for Amanda, an everything bagel for Grandma Judy, and doughnuts for the kids and me.

We did our usual Southern Season shopping trip and I got a few things that we needed and maybe or two we didn't. We had a nice lunch at Red Robin (grandma's suggestion), though Noah wouldn't eat his corn dog. Hopefully he does better with his fish sticks tonight.

I have a commencement to go to for my seminary tonight. That reminds me that I need to iron a shirt so I look decent in my suit. I'm excited to actually know some of the graduates this time.

There is one bit of calamity in our household though. Somehow our Lego Star Wars II save file got corrupted and we can't play it. I'm loathe to start the whole thing over again. We were at 60% done, so we're talking a good 20-30 hours of work that went into it. It might be for the best though. Lily was getting kind of addicted.

Friday, May 8, 2009


It's going to be a busy 5 days for us here. Grandma Judy is coming for a visit this weekend. That usually keeps us somewhat busy with various activities. Then on Sunday Amanda and Tiffany are driving up to Pennsylvania for a funeral. I'm watching the kids on Monday and Tuesday and then it's back to the grind on Wednesday.

The only wrinkle for me is that this upcoming week has the dress rehearsal for Lily's ballet recital. Other than that I'm looking forward to some time with nothing in particular to do. I may install Windows 7 on the PC since I don't have anything that is due anytime soon. I may paint the back door as well. I certainly will take Noah to Dick's Sporting Goods after we drop Grandma Judy off at the airport so he can look at the various balls that they sell.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

More Hoops

Here is a little video of Noah shooting baskets. Enjoy the play-by-play!

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

The Wind and the Sun

Lily got her dress for the ballet recital coming up in a few weeks. She is going to be part of the sun in their adaptation of one of Aesop's fables. It's sort of ironic because her nature is more to be like the wind, but hopefully there will be a good lesson to learn from this production. At the very least, she is going to look very, very cute.

Noah has been a little cantankerous lately. He's cutting a couple of teeth on the bottom. It's great that this will fill in his smile, but it hasn't helped his mood. Fortunately he was able to sleep without Motrin last night. Amanda got him a couple of new sippy cups with harder lids. He has pretty much chewed through the old rubbery ones. He wasn't happy with the new ones because of this. I guess a finger will have to do for now.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Running Errands

I don't remember if I took this Saturday or Sunday, but this was when we were getting ready to go somewhere. He had a great look on his face a few moments before, but he wouldn't smile the same way again. Either way this is a great look at Noah in his shades. He really likes wearing them when we drive around town.

Yesterday was a busy day for us. I vacuumed the cars and checked the air and oil. I also mowed and trimmed some bushes. Amanda went on a baking spree with various forms of muffins, bread, and pigs in a blanket. It was a productive day for sure.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Let Me Take You Down...

We spent Saturday morning at a strawberry patch. When all was done we picked roughly 7 pounds of berries. Lily had a lot of fun with it at first, but then I think she got bored. We had a good system for a while where she would do the bending and I held the containers.

This of course leads to the question of what to do with all the berries. I made some strawberry ice cream and some freezer jam today. Amanda is looking at recipes for strawberry bread. We had strawberries on our pancakes this morning too.

I suppose we'll get tired of strawberries one of these days, but it won't be today or tomorrow.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Spring Fling

Yesterday was the annual "Spring Fling" at Lily's school. It's kind of a mini-carnival near the end of every school year. We picked up some overpriced sandwiches at Jimmy Johns and headed over.

The temperature was great, but we had to keep dealing with rain. It would be nice, then it would sprinkle a little bit, then it would rain like crazy, and then it would be nice. Of course, the boys loved it. Noah wasn't clamoring to play in the rain, but he did keep trying to walk into the middle of some full-court basketball games. He wasn't happy when we wouldn't let him do it.

Lily had fun on the big inflatables. We were surprised that she did the obstacle course complete with big slide, but Jada went with her. They held hands as they slid down the slide. It was very sweet. She gets a lot braver when she has a friend.

She said that the best thing about Spring Fling was getting to eat a sno-cone. Funny, but when I first asked her about the best part of the airshow she said, "getting to eat lots of stuff." I think she had a good time overall though. She certainly bounced plenty!

Wham With the Right Hand

Noah got a Little Tikes basketball hoop from some friends and he just loves it. He stands a couple feet away and shoots on it. He makes more than you might think. He also will walk up to it and "dunk" with two hands.

Yesterday he had Lily's mini soccer ball. The ball is a bit deflated, so he can hold it in one hand. He even started holding it a little bit behind him. I don't think it's a coincidence that he had seen this highlight the same day. I guess there are worse role-models to have on the floor. I do think we'll teach Noah to be a bit more honorable in his dealings with the ladies though.

Will Noah be hearing calls like this one about him someday? For those of you who don't know, this last link is a bit of Cleveland sports culture. If you want more you can get a ton of them here.