Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Long Trip

I was a little concerned that I didn't hear from Amanda on Sunday night.  She called me early yesterday at work. It seems that what should have been a 10 hour trip took about 14 hours (with stops).  There was a lot of traffic and several accidents along the way.  Fortunately, they're safe and sound.  She didn't call me because they got in after I had gone to bed.

The good news is that the kids slept well the first night.  Noah woke up screaming, but some cuddling with mommy helped.  Amanda said it was very hard to keep driving when Noah kept asking to snuggle with her.  He got a little tired of his seat.  Fortunately, he did watch DVDs.  Lily enjoyed watching movies on my old iPod as well.

I just hope that the trip back home goes more smoothly.  It just has to, right?

Monday, December 28, 2009

Two Christmas Pics

Here are a couple of photos from this past Christmas. Unfortunately, I didn't think to snag the photos off of the camera before Amanda left for Florida, so Christmas Day photos will have to wait.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

After Christmas

I apologize for not posting lately. Wednesday morning is my usual morning off because of my small group meeting early in the morning. The Pierces arrived on Wednesday and we've been pretty busy since then with all of the Christmas festivities.

Lily was very happy with her primary gifts. She got the Target version of an American Girl doll and loves it. She also got some faux Barbie dolls and is enjoying them. I got her a copy of LEGO Indiana Jones and we played that some yesterday. Overall, she's been very happy.

Noah's highlight has to be the hockey stick that Uncle Eric and Aunt Nat got him. The only problem is that the rubber blade is curved for a righty, so we've had to keep working with him on that. I figure that it's a new motion, so we can train him. He also loves the assortment of 3 mini NCAA balls (basketball, football, and soccer ball). He's a happy little guy.

I think it may be time to reinforce an important point to Lily. It's easy to get caught up in the new stuff and forget that we exchange gifts because Jesus was the best gift ever.

By the way, this blog is likely to be quiet this week as Amanda is taking the kids to Florida to stay with Grandpa and Nana for the week. They will see Amanda's grandmother and uncle and aunt as well. They also will see an uncle and aunt from Melanie's side. They will keep busy, but it is likely to be a long trip down I-95 today. I doubt I'll have much to report on, but I may upload some pics during the week.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Play Date

Lily had her friend Courtney over for a play date yesterday. As a bonus, her sister Megan came too (Noah calls her Mey-mey). Amanda did the ironman triathlon of play dates. They did a craft, they baked cookies, and they played games. As a bonus, they also had lunch. It was a pretty long day for Amanda, but Lily had a great time.

The good news is that it was a good time to get some teaching in with Lily. I think she is starting to understand that these play dates have some costs. She has a better idea now of how much work it is for Amanda to do this and is now a little more appreciative. One way we fostered that is by making her clean up her room last night. When we got ready for bed it looked like a princess bomb had gone off with all of the play clothes in piles. She actually did a pretty good job, though her closet is now booby-trapped.

Today should be a much more mellow day. Lily has offered to vacuum in anticipation of Grandpa and Nana's visit. They may make some fudge. I don't think that they are going to do cut-out sugar cookies again.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Biggie Girl

It's difficult to quantify this in a blog post, but I'm starting to notice that Lily is getting a bit more grown-up in how she talks. It's not just the vocabulary, though that is impressive. It is more in her mannerisms. She is starting to use her hands in more subtle ways when she talks. She is also becoming even more expressive with her eyes. It's really something to see.

She is also growing quite a bit physically. As you know, she got off to a very late start when it came to growing. Amanda keeps marks on the doorway to the kitchen and we've found that Lily has grown around 3/4 of an inch since October. Maybe she won't be so tiny after all. She's not even the shortest girl in ballet class anymore.

Sunday, December 20, 2009


This is the video of Lily's ballet dance yesterday. The teacher is the Snow Queen and each of the girls are snowflakes. It's pretty long, but you'll see Lily doing her thing. She's definitely getting more graceful than she once was!

Saturday, December 19, 2009


Lily had a mini-recital in dance class today. Here is a clip of them playing a tap dancing game. One person taps out a pattern and the class tries to repeat it. Lily is doing pretty well, though she does tend to favor her right foot just a bit.

The Big Snow

Lily's Christmas vacation started an hour early because of weather. We had a big cold front come through and it dumped upwards of 3-4 centimeters of snow on the region. The snow came down around lunchtime and it was in big, thick flakes. The highlight was Noah trying to catch them on his tongue. According to Amanda, he did manage to get a few.

We were all braced for a big ice storm, but so far it hasn't happened. It's not exactly nice outside, but it's a bit too warm for a good glazing. Now I feel silly for sleeping in instead of going running this morning. It just looked nasty when we went to bed last night and I figured we'd be iced in today. The good news is that we can now get out for Lily's mini-recital this morning!

Thursday, December 17, 2009


Amanda has not been feeling well the past two evenings, but I've had to make salsa for my Mina project. Therefore, I ended up taking the kids out with me. I bribed them with the promise of a milkshake on Tuesday night, which we got from Chick-fil-A (where else?). Last night we just hit one of the local Food Lions and the Dollar Store so I could get supplies for the latest batch.

Lily got very upset on Tuesday because Noah got to ride in the racecar cart at Harris Teeter and she didn't. I told her that she was too big for it. Then she started doing the math and realized that Noah ended up with more treats than her (down to holding the receipt at Sam's Club).

She proactively said something as we pulled into the Food Lion parking lot yesterday and spotted the car carts. I decided that I would go for equity and I put Noah in a regular cart, which upset him to no end. He whined and cried the whole time we were in Food Lion. I explained to Lily that this was because we couldn't use the car cart.

Looking back, I realize that this may have been a missed opportunity to teach Lily about a little charity. We'll work on it. I figure that the day is coming when we will have to count jellybeans in Easter baskets.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009


Lily came home from school with a surprise for us. She made a coupon book of services that she will do for us. For example, she has an offer for us to sleep in. She has another for breakfast in bed. Amanda and I are trying to figure out how she would pull that one off, but it's a sweet gesture.

She tried to get me to use one yesterday. I was changing the bag out of Noah's diaper champ. I would guess that the bag probably weighs around 20 pounds once it is full of wet and poopy diapers. They add up. She wanted to take it out for me. That was a sweet offer, but I couldn't see how she would get the bag downstairs, out to the trash can, get the lid of the can open, and then put the bag in. We'll find something for her to do.

The important thing is that her heart is in the right place with this.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Christmas Shot

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Get Tough

Lily is a girlie-girl through and through. This is great for the most part. However, when she has the slightest injury it can be a little annoying. And sometimes it is downright funny.

Last night at bedtime we read a children's paraphrase of this passage:

2 Corinthians 11:23-27
(23) Are they servants of Christ? I am a better one--I am talking like a madman--with far greater labors, far more imprisonments, with countless beatings, and often near death.
(24) Five times I received at the hands of the Jews the forty lashes less one.
(25) Three times I was beaten with rods. Once I was stoned. Three times I was shipwrecked; a night and a day I was adrift at sea;
(26) on frequent journeys, in danger from rivers, danger from robbers, danger from my own people, danger from Gentiles, danger in the city, danger in the wilderness, danger at sea, danger from false brothers;
(27) in toil and hardship, through many a sleepless night, in hunger and thirst, often without food, in cold and exposure.

This was Paul explaining to the Corinthians the hardships he has suffered for his faith. As we went through the list I talked to Lily about some of these things so she could understand what happened to him and why. I think she got the picture.

Then when it came time to pray she could barely let me hold her hand because she had a nick out of one of her nails and it hurt her. I know that it hurts when a nail is cut into the nail bed, but she made a very big deal out of it. I couldn't help but chuckle inside as I juxtaposed that with this passage that we read.

Saturday, December 12, 2009


As I wrote yesterday, we had Lilly's Pizza for dinner. Actually, Amanda and I had that and the kids had a cheese pizza from Little Caesar's (word to the wise: avoid Little Caesar's at 6:00 PM on a Friday). Lily of course finds it fascinating that the pizza place shares her name, but she doesn't like the spelling. I explained to her that it was named after the founder's dog. She wasn't quite sure what to make of that.

She decided that she wants to have her own place and spell Lily correctly. Or maybe it was that she wanted to buy Lilly's Pizza and change the name. Either way, she has an idea of how Lily should be spelled. The neat thing is that when we parked and walked back to the restaurant she was able to read the name on their window.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Free Day

I'm enjoying my birthday so far. Amanda prepared some pecan rolls that I baked this morning. She got me a lovely 36" raised fire pit, which is very exciting to me. I'm looking forward to having some free time to just sit and read for a little bit. It sounds a bit dorky, but I may also work on the take-home test that I need to get done by next Wednesday. Why would I do this on my birthday? I can't think of a much better present than to be completely done with the semester, which is what that would represent.

I'm looking forward to my free sub from Firehouse today. I'm also looking forward to some Lilly's Pizza and a gelato cake from Henry's Gelato. I've decided that it is good to formally take the day off. I need a little sabbath after finishing up the semester.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

They're Here!

They've been knocking on the door for a while now, but I think that the terrible twos have arrived at our house. Noah is still easier than Lily was, but his attitude has not been good lately. On Monday he threw two different breakfasts on the floor. The english muffin with peanut butter wasn't so bad, but I don't think Amanda appreciated the small bowl of cheerios.

The Pook is turning into a little person and he is "announcing his presence with authority," to borrow a term from Nuke LaLoosh. He likes to say "no" a lot now too. He is spending time-out time in his crib now. His little hand gets slapped from time to time as well. Amanda finds herself counting to 3 a lot.

We knew that this day would eventually arrive. We'll get through it, but it won't be a lot of fun. Fortunately, we're veterans. The other good thing is that he is still very sweet in general, but the sour times are just becoming more frequent than we'd like.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Little Commentator

This is one of Noah's favorite videos because it combines two of his great passions -- Elmo and basketball. I recommend watching this for a little context.

We have Noah's present from Grandpa E hanging on the closet door in our foyer. The rim is maybe 5 1/2 feet up from the floor, which of course is a bit high for Noah. We've been trying to get him to shoot from the step, but he apparently doesn't like the look from the baseline. His solution yesterday was to bring in the small stool from the bathroom.

Lily took advantage of this as well. She brought it up to the rim and then "dunked," which was really a dunk in the Manute Bol sense since she didn't really have to jump. She did this a couple of times and commented on her dunking prowess. Noah commented, "You got game!"

Monday, December 7, 2009

New Rack for the Pook

The sleeping situation will soon become untenable. While Noah has room to grow in his crib we don't want him in there forever. Plus, Amanda's youngest sister has a baby due in March and we would like to give them Noah's crib. After all, we don't need it anymore. We decided that the best way to go would be to put bunk beds in Noah's room and give Lily the queen-size bed.

To that end Amanda has been keeping an eye on Craigslist. Yesterday she found a beautiful wood set complete with mattresses for $200. What made it even better was that the mattresses were hardly used (they did a great job getting the stains out if they were used by bedwetters), the owners were only 2 minutes away from our house, he had a truck and was willing to bring it over, it was a perfect morning for moving furniture (sunny in the 40s), and they threw in bedding.

I'm not sure when it will happen, but we will soon be moving some furniture. The real adventure will start when Noah is sleeping in a bed instead of a crib. There is something comforting about knowing that he is caged.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Slam Dunk

Grandpa E got Noah a very nice over-the-door basketball hoop for Christmas. It's adjustable and we have it on the lowest setting for him now. It's not easy for him to make shots, but he did make a couple in the few minutes he had before bed last night. As I was putting him down he announced his desire to "play with my basketball." I told him that he could do that in the morning and he simply said, "OK."

The boy is pretty easy to please. You just have to be strategic about how you take basketball away from him.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Seen and Heard

I was playing a plug and play game on the TV today with Noah. Nothing particularly strange was happening, but Noah kept saying, "Oh my goodness, that's a big mess!"

I made the mistake of letting him take his basketball upstairs at naptime. He ended up taking it to bed with him. He wouldn't go to sleep though as he kept playing. Amanda went in and changed a poopy diaper, but didn't give him his ball back. He started yelling, "I need my ball!"

He still doesn't say a whole lot, but he is saying more than he did. And, for the most part, it's very cute.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Raleigh Weather

It may prove to be an interesting weekend. My mom is coming to town today and will be staying until Monday morning. However, in the meantime we're supposed to get a lot of rain on Saturday with lows in the high 20s. This is the formula for an old-fashioned Raleigh ice storm. Let's hope it doesn't come to that.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Heard at the Table

Lily needed a bath last night and we discussed that at dinner time. Bath time tends to interfere with daddy play time, but that's just a normal part of the week. Last night Lily was thinking though. Amanda was baking some cookies and Lily asked when they would be ready. Amanda explained that she would have to bake them, so it would be a while yet. Lily announced that she would, "take my bath in the meantime."

Noah was sitting in his booster as I prepared lunch today. He started singing, which is pretty normal. He usually sings the alphabet (which he sometimes tries to use as a prayer) or some other song. This time he was singing, "Da, da, da, da..." to the tune of Darth Vader's theme. I'm not sure what made him think of that as he was not around for any LEGO Star Wars yesterday, but it was pretty funny.