Wednesday, March 31, 2010

A Couple of Pics

It's been a while since I posted any photos of the kids. First, we have Noah sitting in our pear tree.

And here we have a great view of Lily sans tooth.  The way the next one is growing in has me thinking ahead to braces, but we knew that was going to happen, right?

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Spring Break

Today is the first day of Spring Break.  Fortunately, the weather is supposed to be beautiful.  We had some rain yesterday, but the rest of the week should be sunny and not too hot.  Amanda's small group doesn't meet when Wake County Schools are off, but today they are going to have an informal get-together at the church's playground.

Lily is very excited about Spring Break, but I'm not sure why exactly.  She really enjoys school.  I think that she is already of the mindset that it is better not to have things you must do.  It's amazing how we all have instincts for that.  I maintain that no matter how much you enjoy your job it is always better to have a day off.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Dream Come True

I've always had a fascination with various games.  I remember one grandfather teaching me how to play card games and another grandfather playing checkers with me.  I grew to love chess around junior high.  I've enjoyed video games since I was 6 or 7 and my mom got my dad an Atari that I pretty much usurped.

However, I also grew up an only child which means that I rarely had someone my age to play with me.  The appeal of the endless games of cards in college was nearly irresistible and I spent many an hour playing Euchre, both standard and the double-deck bid variety.  

I've tried to encourage this with Lily, but she's not that into it.  She will play games, but she'd rather play an imaginary game with her LEGO people than to play a competitive game, which is fine.  I did try to get her into chess, but I think I started a bit too young and she doesn't have the right temperament for it either.  I had hoped that she would be the gaming companion I longed for.

Enter the Pook.  Anytime we have any kind of lull he asks, "Daddy, want to play game?"  It can be a game on the "iTod Pouch" (iPod Touch), a plug-n-play game on the TV like Pac Man, or a game on "the station" (PlayStation 2).  He is relentless in his asking.  I always thought that this would be a dream come true, but it's starting to get a bit annoying at times.  I now realize that I need to be careful what I wish for.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Late Evening/Early Bed

We took Brenna to church last night and then took her home.  Tiffany had dinner for us, which was nice.  Bill is out of town and we had a nice time visiting with her.  Lily was not happy about having to go home, but that paled in comparison to the news that she had to go to bed early.  She was very upset about that.

The good news is that she is having a good lie-in today, per our instructions.  Hopefully her mood will be sunnier than our weather.  It's supposed to be rainy all afternoon.  We may end up going up to Crabtree to hang out for a bit.  I haven't decided yet, but whatever we do today will have to be indoors.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Feel Like Dancing

I had class this morning from 7-9 for a directed study I'm doing with two other guys.  We meet at these weird times so as to inconvenience our families as little as possible.  Overall, that did the trick here too, though Amanda did have to deal with all 3 kids this morning before dance class.  Brenna ended up joining Lily in dance class and had a good time.  I walked around with the Pook.

After class we came back here for the girls to change clothes.  I consider it a big win that I got Noah to leave a deposit in the toilet.  We then went to the mall to return something to one of the stores and for the kids to ride the carousel.  Then we went to Barnes & Noble because Noah really wanted to play on a train table.  Finally, we came back home for lunch.

Overall, it has been a pretty good time with Brenna here.  Brenna has been fine.  Lily has been a little bossy with her from time to time.  Also, they were offered doughnuts this morning, but they couldn't stop talking in bed last night and blew it.  Lily was really unhappy about that.  We'll keep dangling the carrot until they both get it.

Friday, March 26, 2010


Yesterday evening was a little rough.  Lily freaked out because Amanda gave her two full graham crackers for an after-school snack and she wanted more.  That was of course ridiculous, so she spent some time in her room.  Noah wouldn't go to sleep and actually was so loud that he kept Lily awake.  Getting her up this morning was not easy.

Meanwhile, I had class.  It was what I considered to be a picture-perfect night.  There was a cold front coming in, so it was very breezy.  But it was kind of a balmy breeze to complement the temperature in the high 60s.  I enjoyed chatting with a classmate for a while in the parking lot and then decided to drive home the slightly longer way through town so I could drive with the window down.  I just enjoyed the pleasant evening.

Sadly, when I got home I discovered that my window was once again out of the track.  I'm glad to be working from home today so I could take the time to fix it.  I'm getting rather adept at taking the door panel off and putting it back on.  It was also fortunate that I ran into my millworker next-door neighbor who loaned me a can of silicon spray when I mentioned that I wanted to get some.

We should have some time with Brenna this weekend while Uncle Bill is out of town and Aunt Tiff has some work to get done.  I suspect that there will be a story before too long.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Big Accomplishments

We have enjoyed some beautiful weather this week.  Yesterday Amanda had the kids outside after Lily got home from school.  Of course Noah wanted to shoot baskets.  The problem is that he wanted to do it on the standard 10 foot rim that is installed in our cul-de-sac.  Amanda had him on her shoulders and he managed to nail one with his Gertie ball.  That was remarkable, but what was even more remarkable is that he made a shot while he was standing on the ground.  I don't think he could make two in a row, but making even one is quite an accomplishment for a little Pook.

Today was picture day at Lily's school.  She wore a very pretty purple dress and looked lovely.  Very shortly after the picture she finally lost her wiggly tooth.  It's really something to see her smile with a missing tooth.  I will post a photo soon.

Tonight the Tooth Fairy may resemble Sam Fisher.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Exciting News

I am glad to report that I now have a nephew.  He was born at around 9:10 yesterday morning.  He is doing well and mommy and daddy are adapting to their new sleep-deprived existence.

It was a particularly busy day for Noah.  He got to hang out at the hospital for a while.  Then he got to hang out with Uncle Bill, which was good except he put a huge load in his pants.  We were afraid that might happen, but Uncle Bill was a good sport about it.  The highlight of the day may have been getting to watch baseball with Uncle Bill.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Starting the Vigil

We got a call at around 5:10 this morning that our nephew is about to be born.  Amanda rushed off to the hospital.  I'm going to get Lily on the bus and then swap vehicles with her at the hospital.  Hopefully I'll get to meet him before I have to get to work.

This is big news in these parts, as you might imagine.  This is also good for the blog because I don't have much else to report.  I had a nice afternoon with Lily yesterday.  We had brunch in the morning with Jack and Melanie.  It turns out that their timing in coming up from Florida was excellent.

My brother-in-law is from Maine and is a big Red Sox fan.  It's time to start indoctrinating him with Red Sox lore.  He has to learn about guys like the Splendid Splinter, Johnny Pesky and his pole, the Yawkey family, and, of course, the Bambino.  He also has to be trained from day 1 to have the proper attitude toward the Yankees.  Maybe a Yankee-themed diaper would be appropriate for starters.

Sunday, March 21, 2010


We took advantage of yesterday's beautiful weather by going on a little picnic as a family.  We picked up nuggets for the kids and Amanda I both had cuban sandwiches.  Everyone enjoyed their meal as we sat by the lake at Bond Park.  We then had a nice walk on the greenway.  The highlight of the walk was seeing a tiny snake.

Lily is getting better with reading.  She noticed that someone was fishing almost on top of a sign that read "No Fishing."  She really wanted to talk to the guy about it, but she didn't.  The spirit of the sign is that you shouldn't fish near the boat launch for safety reasons, but since the boat launch was closed I guess it wasn't too big of a deal.  However, the pragmatist in Lily is great.

Speaking of which, she got dinged a little bit on a spelling assignment for being too literal.  There were a series of sentences that she had to copy, but the last two were imperative sentences like, "Write a sentence that is a question."  She dutifully wrote, "Write a sentence that is a question."

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Picture Perfect

We are currently enjoying the Raleigh spring.  As I write this, Noah and Lily are playing out in the sandbox and Amanda is sitting on the deck.  I don't know what we're going to do today, but hopefully it will involve being outside.  Last night was one of the best night's of sleep I have had in a long time.  I love it when we get to the weather where the windows can be open at night.

The kids are doing well.  Frankly, there isn't much to report.  I don't mind this from time to time!

Friday, March 19, 2010

Long March

We had some beautiful weather yesterday, but I had class.  Amanda decided to take the kids out for a little picnic.  They picked up some food and headed over to North Cary park.  They ate and played in the playground for a while.  As they normally do they headed down to the creek to throw rocks, climb around, etc.

Noah went potty in the bathrooms at the top of the hills.  Then he told Amanda that he had to go again, so he squatted down to pee by a rock.  No big deal.  Then he said he had to go again.  What he wasn't communicating was that he had to go poo-poo.  He ended up having a big accident in his pants.  Amanda then made a good decision not to give him a shoulder ride back up the hill.  As you might imagine, it was a very long walk back.

The good news is that he went to sleep pretty quickly last night.  I guess a play date in the morning and a long climb up a hill will do that for a little guy.  We may have to replicate that this spring, minus the accident.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

That's Your Opinion

Lily is turning into quite the little logician.  They've been talking about leprechauns at school with it being St. Patrick's Day and all.  Tonight she thanked God for making leprechauns and other fun things.

I had to tell her that leprechauns weren't real.  She told me that I wasn't sure and that it was just my opinion.  I guess it didn't help that I couldn't cover my smile and laughter at her insistence.  I guess she'll find out eventually. That or she'll capture one and we'll have our ticket to untold riches.  I'm betting on the former.

Two Sets

I think we're ready to take Noah's act out on the road.  He has enough music in him to stay awake until 10:00 PM singing in his bed.  He was up almost as long as we were last night.  Of course, he doesn't sing whole songs, but he has enough material to keep going for hours.

Amanda reports that he is soaking up books like a little sponge.  We have a little board book with the story of Noah and he has it memorized.  Amanda said that it is like he is reading the book out loud.  It's a little scary to see how he's doing this.

Of course, I will still always have Lily as my personal GPS.  Noah just seems more eager to learn than she was.  Preschool should be interesting.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

New Tactic

Noah is definitely a smart cookie.  In fact, I said that around him one time and he said, "smart cookie."  He has learned a really effective way to stave off sleep.  He will now lie in bed and yell that he has to go potty.  On top of that, he yells that he has to go poo-poo.  He knows that we need to respect that.

What he is learning is that false alarms about poo-poo earn him a spank on his bare bottom.  He doesn't like that very well, so I think that we will see an end to these false alarms.  Nevertheless, he is a wily one and we need to keep our eyes on him.  He's definitely more subtle than Lily ever was.

Monday, March 15, 2010

High Octane

Lily and I took Grandma Judy out yesterday after lunch.  We hit a Southern Season and then the mall.  Lily and I got some cookies and she played on the Thomas table at Barnes & Noble.  There was a boy there who wasn't sharing very well, but I took Lily aside and made sure that she played nicely with the other kids.  One of the moms who wasn't there when I talked to her came by me and told me what a sweet girl we have.  That was nice.  I made sure she found out too.  It's nice when we can make mention of the good behavior since it's easy to get stuck on the tantrums.

It was a beautiful day yesterday.  She went out and played with her friends for a little bit.  When she got back she was just nuts.  It's pretty common for her to yell and run back and forth from the half bathroom to the living room, but she was especially crazy yesterday.  I asked her what was going on and she said, "Sarah gave me some juice to drink.  It was purple and it had energy in it."  In other words, her friend Sarah gave her energy drink in the middle of the afternoon.

I don't know if that contributed to the nightmare she had shortly after going to bed, but it could not have helped.  Lily on energy drink is not a good combination.  It reminds me of why I don't drink coffee anymore.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Short Night

We had something of a short night last night because of the time change.  Noah was awake at 4:45 EDT and screaming because he really had to pee.  In fact, it was another firehose moment.  I put him in underpants and had both of them go back to sleep.  The good news is that their clock never got changed and they think it is still 6:25 right now.

Grandma Judy watched them while Amanda and I went to the spring banquet for the seminary.  The banquet was great.  As student council secretary the banquet was mine to do.  I had a fun time being the MC.  I got a few laughs, which was my goal.  We also enjoyed a really good meal and some nice fellowship.  Amanda had a good time, which was new for her at one of these events.  She knows some of the wives now and enjoyed chatting with some of the ladies.

The report was not as good here.  As grandma discovered, watching the kids requires a certain amount of energy and flexibility.  They weren't too bad for her, but they did wear her out a little bit.  We look forward to a fun day together today.  I just hope I can get a nap in at some point.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Sleeping in Harmony

Grandma Judy is visiting us this weekend.  Therefore, last night was Lily's first in the top bunk.  It didn't start so well as Noah was doing his usual song and dance routine.  I mean that quite literally.  We had Lily lay down in our bed until we came to bed.  We found her snoring.  It was very cute.

I found that I can put her on the top bunk if I stand her up and then grab her around her ribcage/shoulder area and lift her straight up.  I can get her into the top bunk as far as her waist and then she does the rest.  Everything was good until we heard her sobbing.  She has an earache and we had to give her some Motrin.

Meanwhile, Noah was very sweet.  When I brought Lily back to bed he was sitting up in his bunk with a concerned look.  He asked, "Did you give Sissy medicine, Daddy?  Does Sissy feel better?"

They eventually went to sleep.  The bad news is that Lily was up around 6:00 this morning with her ear hurting again.  It looks like we have a trip to the doctor's today to get some antibiotics.

Friday, March 12, 2010


Noah is still having some problems getting to sleep at night.  I got home from class at 9:15 last night and I could hear him calling, "Hello Daddy!"  It's nice to be welcomed, but we wish he would just sleep.

The amazing thing is that he didn't take a very good nap yesterday because of an extended session on the potty where he wouldn't go poo.  But, as with everything else, we're going to meet this challenge head-on.  At least he isn't trying to get out of his room like Lily did.  

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Our Regular Guy

I want to give a little update on the potty training.  He's now taken a day off, but Noah had gone poo-poo three days in a row.  The only problem is that it tends to happen after he gets put down for a nap or for bed.  That's a little inconvenient, but we'll take what we can get.

Lately he's been waking up at some point during the night with a potty need.  I know that many of his grandparents can relate, but we're not thrilled about this.  On one hand, it's great that he knows he needs to go.  On the other, it's not a lot of fun to get up with him at 1:00 AM like Amanda did last night.  I think he'll be ready to sleep in underpants after we finish this last box of diapers.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Admiral on the Bridge

Lily and I have started playing Battleship.  She got it for Christmas and we just got it out last night.  Last night she came within one boat of winning, but tonight she didn't do as well.  She had her whole fleet clumped together.  It was confusing for me, but it wasn't very effective.  She did trick me by not telling me when I sank one of her boats, but we're working on it.

On a more serious note, we had a good discussion at bedtime.  She said that if Satan had tempted her to eat the fruit she would have said, "No way Jose!"  But then I pointed out that Satan doesn't work the same way with her.  I gave her the example of how Satan tempts her to disobey when mommy or daddy tell her to wear a certain outfit.  That seemed to hit home.

These teachable moments are definitely precious.

Sunday, March 7, 2010


Lily and Amanda had a big day yesterday.  They went to the Carolina Ballet's performance of Cinderella.  It was something of a whirlwind day for Amanda because she had to take Lily to dance class, come by my school to swap cars and let me have Noah, and then go to the ballet with Lily.  They had a great time.  The worship leader from our church wrote the music for the ballet and performed at that show.  Fortunately we were able to see him after church last night and tell him how much Lily enjoyed it, but she was shy and wouldn't talk to him.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Academic Challenge

Lily had the first setback of her testing career this week.  It was the first time she did not get a perfect score on the Thursday spelling pre-test and had to take the real test on Friday.  She had trouble with the word "when."  She kept leaving out the h.  According to Amanda, she was not happy about this on Thursday.

The good news is that she got a perfect score yesterday, including the bonus word of "St. Patrick."  Before this week the only word she had ever missed was the bonus word "February."  That's pretty understandable.  The funny thing is that as we walked out to the bus on Friday I asked her to spell "February" and she got upset because it was not a word for this week.  I had to explain that the spelling words are meant for her to remember past just the test.

We're working on it.  Personally, I don't remember spelling tests in first grade, but I'm all for them.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Loosen Up

Lily got up very excited this morning.  I was finishing up my workout and she had to come down to tell me the news.  She has a loose tooth.  It's one of her lower incisors.  She's very excited about it.  In fact, she's so excited that she plans on using her "wiggly tooth" for show and tell.

On one hand, I'm very glad for her.  She is kind of outgrowing her baby teeth in the sense that they seem a little too small for her head.  On the other, I'm not sure that I'm quite ready for this.  But as with all things in parenting, ready or not, here it comes!

Thursday, March 4, 2010

El Gato

Noah is doing fairly well in his big-boy bed, but he is starting to push the boundaries more as I wrote in my previous entry.  It's not uncommon to find him playing in there when he should be sleeping.  For example, Amanda heard him screaming bloody murder for her yesterday shortly after she put him to bed.  She said it was his "A" cry, so she checked in on him.  It turns out he had started to climb his bunk bed and got himself stuck.  Amanda played the role of firefighter and got him down.

The only problem with the bunk bed is that the first step is a big one.  That's not so scary going up, but it is very scary for him going down.  It will be interesting to see how Lily does up there next week when Grandma Judy is visiting.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Psalm 1

No, I haven't mistakenly posted something meant for my other blog.  This is a story about Noah.  First, the Psalm:

Psalms 1:1-6
(1)  Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of scoffers;
(2)  but his delight is in the law of the LORD, and on his law he meditates day and night.
(3)  He is like a tree planted by streams of water that yields its fruit in its season, and its leaf does not wither. In all that he does, he prospers.
(4)  The wicked are not so, but are like chaff that the wind drives away.
(5)  Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous;
(6)  for the LORD knows the way of the righteous, but the way of the wicked will perish.

I put Noah to bed last night and then went into our room to change clothes.  It took me maybe 2 minutes to change.  As I came out I noticed light coming out from under Noah's door.  I found him sitting on his bed paging through his Bible.  I could hardly get upset about him doing that, but I still was not happy that he had turned on his light.  I just put out my hand and he closed the Bible and gave it to me.  I covered him back up and told him to go back to sleep.

I couldn't help but think that he is getting a head start on Psalm 1:2.  We just have to make sure that it happens when he is not supposed to be sleeping.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Jane Tripper

We figure that Lily must be having a growth spurt.  She has turned into a female version of Jack Tripper.  On Saturday I took her and Noah to the seminary library.  There was no one there, so she and Noah were running around the bookshelves.  That was all fine until she fell and hit her forehead on a bookshelf.  I couldn't find any ice, so I had to buy a Sprite from a vending machine and have her put that on her head as a cold compress.  She ended up with a lump, but it could have been worse.

On Sunday she was coming up the basement stairs and tripped.  She ended up with a big bruise on her shin and a little cut.  Then later she was running around in socks and fell on the floor in the dining room.  She's fallen before, but this time she led with her chin.  We got some ice on it so she didn't look too much like Popeye today.

As far as I know, today went without any major incidents.