Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Quick Vid

Nothing earth-shattering here, but I took this with my Blackberry today. I thought it would be fun to put it up.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009


Noah is starting to get a sense for how to work someone for what he wants. I worked from home yesterday and he came downstairs hoping to play. He usually starts with, "I want..." and then declares his desire. Lately he has been exploring his options by saying, "How 'bout..." and then giving an alternative.

It was easy to underestimate his brain when he wasn't talking beyond grunts. Now in addition to improved speech he shows a thirst for knowledge that we didn't see with Lily. She was really good at picking up things as she observed them. Noah is interested in more formal learning. He loves going through shapes, colors, and numbers. He knows his numbers up to ten and is starting to try to go beyond. He still doesn't quite have the hang of counting, but he is getting there. All in all, he's doing really well.

In fact, he can almost say "basketball" smoothly now. You've come a long way, Pookie!

Monday, September 28, 2009


Lily is off of school today for a teacher workday. Brenna doesn't have preschool either, so the two of them have been playing. The weather is beautiful here today and I suggested that they play outside this morning. Lily captured a pretty decent-sized spider in her bug jar and brought it into the house so we could see it.

Everything was going great until, for some reason, Lily decided to put some water in her jar. The spider crawled out on to her hand. The only indication I had that something was going on was the two shrieks I heard from the bathroom as they both came running out. Lily got brave and we looked for the spider. We found it crawling on the floor and I tried to put it back in the jar so she could let it go outside. Sadly, in my attempt to capture it I ended up killing it.

All in all she was at least as brave as I would have been if not a bit more. I don't think she'll be eager to catch another spider though.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Being Sneaky

We've got Brenna here this weekend. It was cool and rainy last night, but I had planned to take Lily to a football game. She was ready to brave the elements, but Brenna was not interested. By the time we got home Brenna was all sprawled out on the bed and I had to move her so Lily could get in. That wasn't a problem.

Of course, they eventually started talking and Amanda put a stop to that. They seemed to go to sleep OK.

I'm on call for work and got paged last night. Consequently, I slept in until nearly 6:00. I thought I heard some voices, but I wasn't sure. As I opened our bedroom door I heard Lily say, "Oops!" and I saw two little people come running up the stairs. Amanda left the baby monitor in their room and I could hear them on it when I went down to the basement. I told them that they had to go to sleep and stay in the room until 7:30.

I don't think anyone would be surprised to read that I hear little noises on the monitor right now at 6:55. Today is going to be a long day. My plan is to wear them out and get them to sleep at a decent hour tonight. We'll see how that goes.

Friday, September 25, 2009

On and Off

Noah has been doing something kind of confusing at bedtime. We tend to have the ceiling fans on all summer to draw the cool air up through the house. Despite my general miserliness, we do keep the house relatively cool at night for sleeping, which is partly a product of the room I slept in growing up and the house Amanda grew up in. However, it's still warm enough that a ceiling fan makes sleeping a lot more comfortable.

Every night Noah wants the fan changed. If it is on, he asks to have it turned off. If it's off, he wants the fan turned on. I've started to convince him that it is just better to have the fan on. I think early on I was just glad that he could articulate a desire so well. Now I think he just wants to see me do something that he asks me to do. We leave the fan on now.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Style Points

Now that Lily is a bit more self-sufficient we've taken a different approach to dinner. When we think she won't like what we're eating becuase it's too spicy we give her an alternative. If she doesn't like the alternative she can make her own dinner. That usually means PB & J, which is what she made tonight.

She had gobs and gobs of jelly on her sandwich and as she was trying to spread it she tipped the plate over the edge of the table. She and Amanda managed to catch it, but some jelly ended up on Lily and on the floor. No use crying over spilled jelly, right?

We told Lily that she had to change her pants, and Amanda suggested a pair of denim capris. Lily protested because she said that it wouldn't be a matching outfit. We had to explain to her that it was OK for an hour around the house. She is becoming more and more conscious of such things.

Noah is really enamored of his Indians cap of late (thanks Grandpa E). He threw it in the surf during one of our trips to the beach, so now it has a nice weathered look to it. He insisted on wearing it tonight at bedtime. So there he was completely naked on the changing pad except for his Indians hat and looking as happy as could be.

Red Alert

Amanda got the kids some new toothbrushes a couple of weeks ago. She wanted to avoid a Barbie toothbrush for Lily, so she got her a 2-pack of these toothbrushes that have a red LED in them. You press down on the rubber end of the handle and they blink for the length of time you should brush your teeth. As you might imagine, Lily has really got into this.

The problem is that we have a fairly traditional toothbrush holder in the kids' bathroom. It is your standard little ceramic canister with 4 holes in it. The handle on the toothbrush is too big to go down into the hole. Lily compensated by sticking it in the hole as far as she could. It did stay and she had something of a bouquet of toothbrushes going.

However, this had an unforseen consequence. Now there are times when the toothbrush will just start to flash even though it sits on the counter. I don't know if it's the air conditioner blowing, a bug running over it, or maybe just the tiny shiftings of a house in the wind, but something gives the handle just enough of a nudge to make it start blinking. In fact, Lily got up shortly after being put to bed last night complaining of being scared from something flashing. Amanda saw it after we went to bed last night. It's a little disconcerting, to say the least.

We put the toothbrush in their drawer. This is one time when it is good to hide your light under a bushel, so to speak.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Birthday Pics

Here are a few photos from Lily's birthday celebration. There were others, but they need some red-eye touchups and I don't have time for that right now. There's also a free picture of Noah. Enjoy!

Monday, September 21, 2009

Cleanup, Cleanup

Yesterday ended up being a rather cleansing one. I vacuumed the basement and the cars. Amanda and Lily spent about 30 minutes picking up her room and you wouldn't know it's the same one she woke up in that morning. Although it's a challenge, we have Noah picking up all of his balls when it is time to stop playing. Unfortunately, he never thinks it's time to stop playing!

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Lunch Date

I met Lily for lunch on Friday. I had a chili dog and some slaw, while Lily had a plain hot dog with ketchup, a few baked fries, and a few bits of applesauce. I'm not quite sure how it happened, but Lily's friend Evelyn ended up eating with us too. There is a special table in the corner where kids can eat with their parents.

I found the cafeteria to be a bit overwhelming. The kids behaved just fine, but it was extremely loud. It was not quite as loud as a club, but you did have to raise your voice to be heard. I don't think I could handle that on a daily basis.

It was fun to see Lily in line. I got there as her class was marching to the cafeteria. Even when her teacher told her that she could walk with me she did not break rank. Nor did she talk. She collected the little compliment card that teachers give each other's classes when they behave because she was near the back of the line.

The class stops at the bathroom on the way back from lunch and that is when I took my leave of Lily. It was fun to see her in her element at school. It was also good to hear that Mrs. Turner thinks that Lily is a delight. She generally is, after all.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Aim High

The weather is getting nicer, so Amanda moved Noah's basketball hoop back out to the driveway. The boy loves to shoot baskets, but he's not quite satisfied with his Little Tikes hoop. Yesterday I had the kids outside while I put some fertilizer down in anticipation of the rain we got last night. By the time I put the spreader away I found Noah out in the cul-de-sac standing by the 10 foot hoop. He really wants to shoot a basket in the big hoop. He tries, but all he can do is get the ball maybe 6 feet in the air.

He'll be laying it in there before I know it and I'm in no particular rush. He, on the other hand, is ready to start knocking down 3s.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

The "Helper"

Amanda had a funny story about Lily tonight. When she did her prayer of confession tonight she mentioned how she didn't get all of her work done today. Amanda asked her why and Lily went on to tell quite a story.

It seems that she was unable to get all of her work done because she had to help the librarian. She called Lily's teacher and specifically requested her to help her find a book that some kid had lost. Apparently there was a bookmark involved in all of this too.

Amanda called Lily on this story and Lily admitted that she didn't get her work done because she wasn't paying attention when Mrs. Turner drew some shapes on the board. Obviously this lying has got to stop and we're working on it. However, we do give her credit for being incredibly creative, if not particularly credible.

The Duffer

You may recall that Noah used to wield Lily's princess wand as a club. He is still using it as a club, but in a different way. He likes to hit golf balls with it now. He proudly yells, "I'm golfing!" as he does this.

I cannot in good consicence pursue golf as a hobby right now. I barely have enough time to do the bare essentials, so I don't think spending a few hours a month chasing a ball around a golf course is the best use of my time. But if Noah gets into it...

What excites me is that we have not done that much to foster a love of sports in him. He certainly gets exposed to them, but he is the one who is into them. He is still obsessed with basketball. I hope for his sake that he got some of his Grandpa Jack's and his Great-Grandpa Chamberlain's genes if he is going to play basketball. It wouldn't hurt to have some of his Great-Grandpa Cole's athleticism too. We'll have to get Noah out on the horshoe pitch sometime when he is older to see what he's got.

Monday, September 14, 2009

An Accident

We had a little bit of a rough time with Lily yesterday afternoon. She was playing with Katie and Sarah in our backyard. Our backyard is pretty fun now that the Town of Cary cut down all the trees to make room for the sewer easement. However, it is also filled with weeds because I don't want to take the mower back there.

Amanda was surprised to find Katie on our deck with red arms. It seems that they found a bush with berries on it and were playing with them. Lily got some on her dress and declared it to be "an accident." That's her excuse for just about everything now. I have explained to her than accident would be walking along and falling into the bush. What she and her friends did was make a bad decision.

It's been kind of tough to explain this to her. We want her to know that there are consequences for poor decisions, but we also want her to be comfortable with owning up to her mistakes. Ultimately, I think society will be better off with someone who understands that there are consequences to poor decisions.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

The Commentator

We went over to the McKenzies last night for dinner and then I stayed around to watch the disappointing OSU game. When we got there the Notre Dame - Michigan game was still going on. Noah was not quite as mesmerized with football as he is with basketball, but he did still enjoy watching it. His favorite thing is to observe after nearly play, "He fall down!"

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Cranking Up

Amanda and Noah had a very productive day yesterday. Amanda took him out and they got a bunch of errands ran. Then they had a fairly quiet afternoon. It was a beautiful day too, so they enjoyed it.

We're getting ready for a busy day today. Lily's dance classes (ballet and tap now) are at 9:00 on Saturdays. I'm going to take her for that and try to get some homework done while she dances. Then this afternoon we have church. After that we are going to the McKenzies for some pre-game nachos and buckeyes. Then Bill and I are going somewhere to watch OSU play against USC.

It's times like these when I'm glad that Lily doesn't play a sport. Her life is busy enough as it is. Noah, however, will have to play a sport. I think there will come a time when he will go crazy if he learns that there are organized sports and we aren't letting him participate. The boy loves to play.

Friday, September 11, 2009

The Architect

Noah and I had a nice time taking Lily to the bus yesterday. We would have picked her up too, but the bus came a bit earlier than I expected and we met Lily and her friends walking down our street. Noah always insists on taking a ball with him. It was a soccer ball in the morning and a racquetball in the afternoon.

There is a place on the street that connects our street to the street Lily's bus comes on where the pavement is darker. It looks like there might have been a trench dug for something and then it was repaved. When Noah saw this yesterday he yelled out, "rectangle!" He also did this when we were at Lake Crabtree and he saw the faux lighthouse they have there. The boy likes his rectangles.

He is also getting pretty good with colors. He gets some confused, but the fact that he gets any right is pretty remarkable in our book.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Sick Day

I had an interesting evening when I got home from class last night. I got to bed around 9:45 and as I was trying to fall asleep I heard Lily coughing. This was not particularly unusual, but she just kept on doing it. I brought her a glass of water only to discover that she had thrown up in bed. She has had allergies lately and I think she gagged while coughing.

She stayed home from school today because she complained of a sore throat. In retrospect, she probably could have gone in as she was just stuffy. She says that she feels much better now. Meanwhile, all day I've felt like I've been around a cat.

As I was writing this Lily bumped into Noah and he fell down so hard he hit his head on the hardwood floor. Lily was very apologetic and Noah bounced back after maybe a minute of crying. He's a tough little Pook.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Sailor Girl

We had a big family picnic at Lake Crabtree yesterday. The Pierces are in town, so we met them, the McKenzies, and Natalie for a picnic and some fun on the water. I took Amanda sailing on Saturday, but it was pretty boring with almost no wind. Yesterday was a lot more dynamic as we had some rain coming in an a little wind ahead of the front.

I asked Lily if she was interested in sailing and she said she was. Brenna and Bill wanted to go too, but I was told that we could only have 2 people on the Sunfish. The McKenzies took out a canoe and I took Lily out on the boat.

She did fine at first. She was a little scared, but she enjoyed it. The problem was that it got kind of windy. When it gets windy on a little sailboat the boat leans toward the boom. There were a couple of times when we were leaning over pretty good and Lily thought she was going to fall out. She held on, I leaned out, and then I steered back into the wind so that we would slow down. We spent maybe 10 minutes out on the lake before getting back to the beach. I'm not sure that she is going to leap at the opportunity to sail again soon. It doesn't much matter because the boat rental is closed for the winter now.

I then took Amanda out and it was a lot more interesting than it was on Saturday. We had one time when we nearly went in, but Amanda leaned out enough to save us. I think that there is a happy medium between the winds of Saturday and what we had yesterday, but we still had a good time.

Finally, after lunch we took the kids out on a pedalboat. Lily particularly enjoyed that. Noah liked it too, but he did get a little squirmy. It was a beautiful day to be out on the water and I'm glad to say that no one got baptized. I look forward to next May when we can do this again.

Monday, September 7, 2009


Yesterday was a pretty big day. The morning wasn't so exciting, but things picked up around lunchtime. We went over to Aunt Nat and Uncle Eric's house to celebrate Natalie's birthday. Then we hurried over to the DBAP to take in a concert put on by our church's band. We hung out there for an hour and then the Bulls played a game. They had already clinched their division championship, so we didn't see their absolute best team. Nevertheless, they ended up coming back to tie the game at 2 in the 7th inning and then they won it with back-to-back grounders just inside the bag at first with 2 out in the 9th. It was a great way to finish the day.

The only negative was that Noah wouldn't eat at the game. I got a cheese pizza for them to split and he wouldn't have any of it. He was getting pretty fussy since he was running with almost no nap other than the 15 minutes he caught in the van on the way to the game. He did, however, drink almost a quart of lemonade single-handed.

Lily had a good time too. It was great to see a bunch of people from church. This was our last chance to do something together before we launch our new campus in Holly Springs and it was a really nice time.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Very Big Boy

Since we go to church on Saturdays, Friday has become kind of an assumed bath night. I gave Noah his bath last night and as he got out he kept grabbing himself. He's been doing that more lately as he kind of explores what's attached to him. However, this time it seemed like he had more purpose to it.

I asked him if he wanted to put pee-pee in the potty and he said "yes," so I thought we'd give it a try. I held him on so he didn't fall through. Sure enough, he put several squirts in the toilet. This morning as I was changing him he asked to put pee-pee in the potty. He put a few more squirts in.

I don't think that we are going to try to potty train him this weekend, but this is certainly encouraging. I was thinking that we'd have to wait until after Christmas, but maybe we can do it sooner since he seems interested. All I know is that I've about had it with buying diapers.

Friday, September 4, 2009


Amanda moved the Little Tykes basketball hoop into the basement a while ago. This is generally a good thing except when Noah goes crazy at my desk. Nevertheless, he loves playing with it. He likes to say, "I want shoots." That means that he wants to shoot baskets.

I took Lily to the bus this Tuesday when I was working from home. Noah declared his intention to come with us by saying "I want to take ball." He just assumed he was going. On the way back he saw the big basketball hoop and asked to do "shoots." I explained that it's too tall for him, but he wouldn't have it. The boy loves his sports!

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Getting Sorted

Noah is starting to look much smarter than he sounds. Actually, he is starting to sound a bit smarter too, but his long silence made it tough to gauge what was going on in his head. A long time ago we bought some developmental books from a college student who was going door-to-door. They really are very nice, colorful books. One of them has to do with shapes.

Noah can identify circle, square, triangle, rectangle, star, diamond, oval, and semicircle. When he says the words he does it with the gusto of an umpire yelling "strike one!" It's uncanny how well he can identify the shapes in the book and in the world. He is particularly fond of the rectangle. He also is starting to get a sense of color. He is good with red, but keeps getting green and blue confused. With him being a boy I'm slightly concerned, but I think it's a little too early to be seriously worried about color-blindness.