Sunday, December 30, 2012

Short-Lived Adventure

We had some friends from our old church over yesterday. They have two sons, age 7 and 5. Noah played with them while Amanda had tea with their mom. I took Lilly out for dessert and chess since we haven't been able to have our normal Tuesday evening dates lately.

The boys had fun playing together. One of the great joys of Noah's room is the bunk bed. Anytime he has friends over we can expect stuff to migrate up to the top bunk. Yesterday was no exception. After playing in the top bunk with friends Noah made the declaration that he would like to try sleeping in the top bunk. This is something we proposed when Lily was sleeping in his room. We figured that if he slept in the top bunk then Oreo would sleep with Lily in the bottom bunk. However, Noah had a bad cough and we decided not to mess with it. He thought that last night was a good night to try.

I read him his Bible story in the top bunk and we prayed. I told him that if he decided he wanted to get down he should throw down Yoshi (his pillow pet), his pillow, and then climb down. He looked a little nervous when I tucked him in and turned out the light, but I thought he would give it a go.

When Amanda and I went to bed she peeked in on him and found that he was in the bottom bunk. This was hardly surprising. On one hand, it was disappointing because I had hoped he would make it, but on the other it wasn't because I really don't enjoy climbing in and out of the top bunk.

In the morning I asked him about it. He said, "I stayed in the top bunk for at least a second!" I guess it's hard to argue about that kind of dedication, based on how he said it.

We certainly aren't going to press the matter any more. We will see if he decides to go up there again, but I don't expect it to be any time soon.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

My Turn

This has been a rough week for health at the Chamberlain house. On Sunday Amanda had a bad head cold that kept her laid pretty low on Sunday and Monday. She felt a little better on Tuesday and Wednesday, but never great. She was finally back to herself on Thursday.

Meanwhile, I felt a little funny Wednesday night and suspected that I was coming down with something. Those fears were confirmed on Thursday. Fortunately, my manager let me go home early. I came home, took a little NyQuil, and then hit the hay. I took my temp around 7:00 and found it to be 102.4. I have a sell order in at 102.8.

I guess if you have to be sick it is better the week before Christmas than on Christmas proper. I'm really hoping that we all are in good health for the weekend and for Christmas.

80s Day

This is spirit week at Northwoods and the kids are in on the action. Noah wore his Ohio State football jersey on Monday and had words with a Michigan fan on the bus. I'm so proud. 

Yesterday was 80s day. Lily wore a side pony and lotsa layers. She also had kind of a sparkly skirt. I think the one thing she lacked was jelly bracelets. Anyhow, Amanda helped them get into the spirit, despite the fact that Amanda has not felt very good this week.

Note the Popped Collar

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

My Apprentices

We had a very nice day here on Saturday. It started off gray and cool, but it eventually got sunny. I ended up with a two-fer on the day. First, I got the cabinets in the half bathroom painted. Second, I fulfilled Noah's wish by taking him to the driving range. Here you can see the results of one of his better shots. He hit quite a few up in the air and straight. I think when he gets a little stronger he will be ready to play at Knights Play, which is pretty exciting.

This evening I took Lily for our regular date at Starbucks. We played chess with our usual time controls. She gets 1:20 and I get six minutes. I slowed her down a bit tonight and gave her some ideas. She actually would have had me if she didn't make some blunders at the end. She almost beat me on time, but I managed to finish it out. 

She is really excited about the idea of playing chess regularly. I think that it would be good for her so she can have something where she is competing. It certainly won't be sports. I may put her in one of the chess camps at Cary Academy. I am hopeful that this is something we can bond over. If nothing else, it's fun to split a brownie on Tuesday nights!

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Birthday Extravaganza

It has been a busy, but fun long weekend here. I took yesterday and today off to celebrate my birthday, but the fun began long before that. It started Friday evening. I got my free birthday sandwich from Carolina Cafe for Amanda and then I took the kids to Red Robin for me to eat my free burger. The kids and I finished the evening at Sweet Frog, since we were right there and all.

Saturday morning Noah and I went with another guy at church and his five-year old son to do some work at the senior pastor's house. Our pastor recently had some surgery which keeps him from being able to do any lifting. He had a lot of projects that were left undone, so we came over to haul rubbish, move mulch, move topsoil, clean gutters, etc. We had a great time with that. After I came home for a nap and a shower I got a few Lilly's Pizzas and had the Pierce family over for dinner and cake. A splendid time was had by all.

Sunday we had church in the morning then a family over for lunch in the afternoon (the same family we rode with on Saturday). After that we went to our home fellowship group for a potluck dinner and white elephant gift exchange. That was a lot of fun. That was our fourth time at the home fellowship and I think we are starting to be just members instead of visitors, which is great.

One negative is that I had a cold or allergy attack on Sunday and Monday to where my nose kept dripping. I slept in a little on Monday. I was going to paint in the morning and donate platelets in the afternoon, but I didn't like the idea of having both arms completely immobile while my nose dripped. Amanda and I went to Greek Fiesta for lunch where I got my free birthday meal and then did several errands. I also got a few things done around the house.

My day started with Amanda's homemade cinnamon rolls, which were outstanding. My morning was filled with my flight experience at Burlington Aviation. I got to control the plane on takeoff and did several turns. The real flight was over so quickly that I wish I had savored it more, but it was still a great time. If someone wants to give me about $25,000 I will happily pursue a license and keep up my hours. I'll even fly you around! Otherwise, it's something I can say I've done and I'm happy with that.

We're going to finish up the evening with leftover Lilly's Pizza and leftover birthday cake. I like Tuesday nights because I take Lily to ballet and then hang out in the library and read.

I look back on my 39th year with great fondness. It had its share of pain and tears too, but those have been for our benefit. I really couldn't be much happier than I am now. I certainly am doing much better than I deserve!

Thursday, December 6, 2012

The Big Carrot

We have found that one of the secrets of parenting is to figure out what motivates the children. Historically, Noah is more motivated by the carrot and Lily by the stick. In other words, Noah will behave with the promise of a reward and Lily will behave to avoid punishment. However, Lily surprised us last night.

We are in the process of painting our downstairs bathroom. For some reason, Lily is really into painting walls with a roller. She didn’t get to do it last week because her behavior sent her to her room on the nights I painted. But last night she was syrupy-sweet throughout dinnertime. In fact, I had to correct her on something and she didn’t flip out. That was a happy surprise indeed.

We painted and she actually did a pretty good job. She probably saved me a good 20-30 minutes of work. As a bonus, she was able to do the low stuff so I didn’t have to get down on the floor! The room looks pretty good, though I still need to paint the trim. I’m not very excited about that, but it needs to happen. She won’t be much help with painting trim, but I do think I will give her a job when it comes time to paint the cabinets. I think she will be able to paint the doors. 

It’s nice that she is a legitimate helper with a household task that I don’t hate, but I don’t particularly enjoy either. We will see how long this lasts as a good carrot for her.