Friday, July 31, 2009


Amanda watched Brenna yesterday afternoon while Tiffany got some work done. Overall, it went well. However, she and Lily have no progressed to actual roughhousing. Amanda wasn't so big on that, but fortunately no one got hurt. We'll see if Lily wants to roughhouse with Noah in a few years.

Noah and I went out to hunt and gather for food after dinner. The problem was that it kept storming and stopping. He and I seem to have a pattern developing with that. He isn't so keen on the rain, but he does like it when I run while pushing the shopping cart.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Back Home (Again)

We got back safely from the beach on Tuesday. It looks like Amanda and the kids are going to go back on Sunday and come back again the following Wednesday or Thursday. It's hard to pass up a place to stay at the beach after all. The only problem is that this makes for another whirlwind week for Amanda.

The kids had a lot of fun. Noah is becoming even more charming, but he's also becoming even more difficult. He is really hitting the twos with both barrels and is getting into everything he can. His attitude is not what it once was either. It makes for long days for Amanda.

We did have a surprise when we got home from the beach. Our neighbor Michael was standing on our porch crying. When I asked him what was wrong he told me that he saw a lizard and he thought it was a snake. That didn't really explain his hysteria to me, but I also wanted to get the car unloaded and turn him over to Amanda since he knows her better.

We had a message on our voicemail from his mom. It turns out that Michael didn't like something at home and decided that he wanted to live with another family. His mom called his bluff and let him go, but of course she kept an eye out and called around to his likely landing places. We feel a bit honored that he came to our house. I'm a little surprised that Lily hasn't tried that yet. Amanda has a good story of when she did that at 5.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

At the Beach

We're having a good time so far. Last night was a little rough as Noah woke up having a fit and wouldn't sleep for about 45 minutes. The good news is that Lily was so deeply asleep that she doesn't remember any of it. The tricky thing with these two is keeping them quiet when they get up first-thing in the morning. It's no small task, but we do have a nice balcony that seems to work. That's where we took our breakfast this morning and I suspect we will do the same tomorrow.

We spent the better part of the morning at the beach. Aunt Claudia got some chairs and umbrellas for us, so it was nice to hang out. Of course, with the kids there was little hanging out. Noah loved playing in the surf and recovered quite well emotionally when he got knocked down. Lily made some friends and had a wonderful time in the surf as well. She is becoming braver. In fact, she didn't even come crying when she got knocked over. He hair was wet, so she must have gone under for a second. Love those swim lessons!

Noah is napping right now. Amanda and Lily are at the pool. I'm getting ready to do some reading for school. All we need now is for Noah to sleep well tonight.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Last Day

We are off to the beach for three nights starting tomorrow, courtesy of Aunt Claudia. That means Amanda has really been scrambling. She cooked and baked up a storm yesterday and has more to do today. That way we will be able to make a good contribution at the beach with food.

I'm really looking forward to taking Lily and Noah back to the beach. They really enjoyed our brief trip to Wrightsville and I think that they will enjoy this one too. Hopefully the weather will settle down. There are some rip currents this morning, so that's not so good for little ones playing in the surf.

Hopefully I will be more regular about blogging from the beach than I was from Cleveland.

Thursday, July 23, 2009


Noah is getting there. Amanda went through his colors book with him yesterday. She had him pronounce the words after her and he did a pretty fair job. He really struggles with tomato (it comes out "nomado") and a couple of others, but overall he does well. Incidentally, I suggested to Amanda that since we're in the South we could have him pronounce it "mater," but she didn't like that idea.

He still babbles quite a bit when he has something on his mind, but I think that it is slowly coming together for him. He definitely has mastered the word "no." The twos are upon us.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Home Safe

We got back from our Ohio trip today. It was a good visit with both sides of my family. We spent the first three days at my mom's house and the second three days at my stepbrother's house. We enjoyed some good times visiting and some incredible weather. It was tough getting out of the van in North Carolina and getting hit with the humidity. The six-day respite from it was quite welcome, particularly in our morning runs.

It's back to some semblance of the routine for three days and then we're off to the beach Saturday morning for three nights there. Once this is all over we won't have anything else going on until our annual anniversary trip. For that we're camping for two nights near Brevard.

Lily and Noah did well on the trips. Noah had his fussy moments, but overall he was good. Lily watched a lot of videos today and that helped her to pass the time. I just feel exhausted now and in desperate need of a really good night's sleep in my own bed with no toddlers crying or little girls throwing up in the night (we experience both of these things while in Akron).

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Arrived Safely

We have made it to Cleveland safely. Last night was a little rough because Noah just would not go to sleep. We ended up having Lily sleep in our room because of it. Of course, he was up bright and early before 7:00 and ready to go.

We're looking forward to a visit with a college roommate of mine who lives nearby. The weather should be really nice today too. It's nice to see Ohio weather at its best instead of when we visit at Thanksgiving.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

On the Road

We're off in an hour or so. I hope to keep you posted while we're there.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Evening Trip

We took a rare family trip to the mall last night. Amanda wanted to take advantage of a sale at Eddie Bauer so she could use her birthday gift cards. She got all kinds of great clothes that she will be able to take on our upcoming trip to Cleveland.

Meanwhile, Lily, Noah, and I spent some time at the LEGO store. We also went up to the Apple store, but they didn't have any apps loaded on the iPod Touches. We also spent a few minutes at Gamestop, but nothing leaped out at us to buy. Then we rejoined Amanda and had a treat from Mrs. Fields.

It was a good trip. Noah really likes walking around the mall and looking at stuff. Fortunately it wasn't too crowded.

One more day and then we travel up to Cleveland. I hope to keep posting while we're up there. We are definitely looking forward to some cooler weather!

Monday, July 13, 2009

Two Busy Days

We leave for Cleveland on Wednesday, which means two very busy days for Amanda. Lily is going to want to follow the schedule that they agreed on, but Amanda is going to want to get things ready like laundry and packing. Meanwhile, Noah is going to want attention too.

Noah is definitely turning into a 2 year-old. Like a good set of firewall rules, his default answer is "no." We are finding that he doesn't always mean it, but that is what he likes to say as a first response. Fortunately, he can usually be convinced to do what we are asking him to do. It's hard to spank someone wearing a diaper, but I definitely see some hand-slaps and time-outs in his immediate future.

Speaking of diapers, he and I were outside yesterday and he let me know that he was poopy. This is a good first step toward potty training. Now that he is in size 5 diapers a big box only lasts a month or so. I will be really glad to get that $35/month back.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Happy Sunday

We had a nice time at the party last night. It ended up not being a pool party, but that was OK. The kids had fun, we had a nice meal, and we met some new people. However, it did lead to some very late bedtimes for the kids. Then again, even though Noah goes to bed at 7:00 he doesn't really get completely quiet and settled until after 8:30 most nights.

Today has started off well. Amanda and I both got up in time to get some exercise in. I made pancakes and bacon for the family. I trimmed some of our crazy bushes out front. I'm thinking of mowing the lawn as well now that it is after 9:00.

Amanda and Lily are likely going to go shopping for more headbands. She managed to lose the last set that we bought. She desperately needs them before our trip up north this week. I may take Noah to Sam's Club and the airport. He loves pointing out planes that fly overhead, so we'll see what he does with one taking off right in front of him. At least the weather is more favorable than it was last week.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Whiny Early

The experiment of a pool party at Noah's nap time didn't go so great. They all had fun at the pool, but Noah did not take much of a nap when they got home. Then he woke up really whiny again. By the time I got home it was not pretty. He was coping, but he had worn Amanda out.

We had quesadillas for dinner, but he wouldn't eat his. He didn't hate it like Lily hates them, but he was not motivated to eat. That earned him an early bedtime. He needed to go to bed anyway. Of course, he still kept himself up for a while singing. He's a little silly that way. Hopefully he won't do that so much when we are in Cleveland. If he does then Lily is going to end up needing some afternoon naps. We all might.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Two Swimmers

Lily got invited over to Courtney's house to swim yesterday around lunchtime. This was great timing because she finished her swim lessons yesterday. Amanda said that she is getting more confident. She can float on her back by herself and even do a little bit of a backstroke. She still needs to improve over the next year before she could take the next level of classes, but she is on the right track.

Amanda was amazed at Noah's fearlessness around the water. In fact, he probably needs to learn a little bit of respect for the water. He jumped right to Amanda in the pool and loved it. Amanda tried doing some stuff she saw in the beginner's class and he did great. He blew some bubbles and got his face dipped in the water. He really loves the water. Hopefully he can learn enough to remain confident in it and not go through the fear stage.

Amanda and the kids are going to another friend's house this afternoon for swimming. Then on Saturday evening we've been invited over to Courtney's house again for dinner after church and more swimming. When it rains it pours for us when it comes to social events. Amanda is happy because it is helping to fill out the days. Next Wednesday we leave for Ohio. Then the Saturday after we get back we go to the beach for 3 nights. It will be August before we know it!

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Tea Party

How many posts have you seen with that title by now? Lily had Nikki over for a tea party yesterday. Amanda made scones and cucumber sandwiches for the kids. The adults had a good approximation of the Chick-Fil-A berry salad. Everyone enjoyed the tea, including Noah.

It's starting to sink in with Lily that she is very blessed to have all these nice tea parties. We really do try to instill an attitude of thanksgiving into Lily. We remind her that all we have is a gift from God. I think it's starting to take effect.

Today is the last day of swim lessons. Amanda is glad just because of the difficulty in dealing with Noah. On Monday he tried to grab the pole that lifeguards use to fish people out of the pool. He also has made like he was going to jump into the pool several times. Yesterday he dug a swim diaper out of Amanda's bag and brought it to her. He's definitely thinking more than he is saying.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Heard Around the House

Noah is going through one of those stages of fast linguistic growth. At lunch yesterday he was begging for more cheese by saying, "More cheese. Peeze! More cheese!" Sometimes he will just go through a litany of the words he knows well. He looked at me yesterday and said, "Mama. Dada. Lily." He loves to say, "Where are you?" He also likes to look at stuff with the Indians' logo and say, "Wahoo!"

I counted his toes yesterday after his bath and he loved it. In fact, he loved it so much that I could hear him counting his toes in his crib at 9:30 last night when he was supposed to be asleep. He wasn't getting the words right, but he had the rhythm and tone of counting down pretty well.

I think we're slowly moving out of the place where everything is a ball. As with so many other things, Noah is just a couple of months late with this. Looking ahead, I'm glad that he was born in June so he can be 5 for a couple of months before starting kindergarten. Lily was ready at 4 1/2. I don't think Noah is going to be.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Rainy Day

The plans to BBQ got scrapped because the skies did not want to cooperate. However, I did finally get pushed over the edge to do something I've been putting off for about 2 years. As I looked around the basement during my workout I just couldn't take it anymore. I finally cleaned the basement. It now looks better than it has since we moved in.

Overall, the day was relatively uneventful. We had pancakes for breakfast and I made a few extra chocolate chip for Lily and Noah to have this week. I got the vehicle inspections done and the oil changed. I got a few miscellaneous groceries and even got rid of old running shoes in a recycle bin at the local triathlete store. I tried to get Lily to go out with me, but she was watching a video and could not be torn away. I remember when she used to jump at the idea of doggie daycamp, but not anymore.

Noah is really starting to become understandable. It delights him when we understand what he is trying to say. Unfortunately, he will often follow up something good with babble. He has started to get the hang of "please" (or "peeze," if you will) over the last few days. Now we can force him to use good manners. He's getting there...

Beyond the 4th

The 4th of July came and went without much fanfare here. Since we go to church on Saturday it was impossible to grill out, but I do plan on grilling today. Since we saw fireworks on Friday we avoided the crowds last night. Plus, Lily was obviously tired and it didn't make sense to keep her up late two nights in a row.

I took a test last Monday, so I was busy all last weekend with studying. It's nice to be able to plan on a few fun things today. Noah is showing some interest in airplanes. I think today may be the day to take him to the RDU observation park. I will of course report on how that goes.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Rise and Shine

I took Lily to the soccer game last night. We had a great time and Lily really enjoyed the fireworks. Of course, we got to bed a little bit late. Lily hit the sack around 10:00 and I did not fall asleep until nearly 11:00, which is late for me. I told Lily that she had to sleep in until 8:00.

Because of this I overslept until a little after 6:00. This threw off the running schedule a little bit as I did not hit the road until nearly 7:00 instead of 6:00 like I normally would. This was not a big problem since Lily was going to sleep in and Noah could sit in his crib for a little bit too.

As I got back Amanda reported that Noah was awake, but he wouldn't get up. He does this sometimes where he just wants to sit in his crib. Apparently he was waiting for me because he kept saying, "Daddy."

I got him up and then changed clothes since my running gear was pretty wet. As I was changing Noah cracked Lily's door open. In a strange role-reversal Noah actually got Lily up. She made a strange noise as she wondered why her door was opening. I was not happy with Noah for waking her, but she did OK today.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Big Friday

Lily has a big day lined up today. In fact, it's a really good thing that she is sleeping in. Around lunchtime she and Amanda are going to go swimming with Aunt Tiff and Brenna while Noah naps. Then this evening I am taking her to the soccer game. Our church has a group going. Plus, there will be fireworks.

The swim lessons continue to go well, though she is still very tentative when it comes to jumping into the pool. We're not sure what is holding her back other than a fear of "landing on her head." We're not sure how that would happen, but we're working on it. As of right now she is getting more comfortable with the backstroke and putting her head underwater. The jumping in can be a work in progress.

On a side note, Noah is becoming more loquacious. He's not quite ready to address the United Nations yet, but he is starting to put some intelligible phrases together. The cutest is when Lily leaves the room and he yells, "Yilley! Where are you?" When we put him down for the night he raises his right hand and says, "Bye." I had a phone conversation with him yesterday that included:

"Hi Daddy."
"Love you."

This is a big deal for the Pook!

Thursday, July 2, 2009


Lily hosted a friend for a sleepover last night. Courtney is a friend from kindergarten and she also goes to our church. Amanda and Lily went over to Courtney's on Tuesday to go swimming and then Courtney came over yesterday. She hung out all day and ended up staying for dinner and sleeping over.

Other than Lily's bossy attitude I think it has gone well. They got to sleep before 9:00, which feels like a big win. It's 7:00 now and all is quiet in their room. Amanda plans to make them scones for breakfast.

Swim lessons are going well, swimmingly for Lily. She is dunking her head completely underwater and staying down for longer than she was. She is learning the beginner's backstroke. She is still a little tentative at the start of each lesson, but she is doing better each time. Amanda is planning on taking the kids to Aunt Tiff & Uncle Bill's pool tomorrow, so that will be a good test for Lily.