Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Long Night

We had a pretty rough one last night. It started at 9:45 when I got a page from work. Since I was not asleep that wasn't so bad, but it did keep me up a little bit later than I intended.

Then at around 1:00 or so we heard Noah crying. I ran to find him going to the bathroom to throw up. I got him cleaned up, calmed down, and back to bed. We heard him crying again around 2:30 and Amanda took that one. She brought him back to bed with us. Sleeping with him in the middle of the bed is not so great, but we managed. He woke up and threw up again around 5:00. Fortunately, he gave us some warning and I got him to the toilet. It breaks your heart when your little one asks, "Why can't I feel better?"

Noah is going to stay home from school today. I'm going to suggest bonus electronics to take his mind off his tummy. If that doesn't cheer him then he is really sick.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Raleigh Landmarks

Noah and I ran some errands after the ice melted. I wanted to check out a bookstore on Capital Blvd, so we went up that way and checked out that Sam's Club. It's always interesting to see a different Sam's and we enjoyed a few good samples.

After that we went to the Snoopy's Hot Dogs on Hillsborough St near downtown. When I saw that they were open until 3 AM on the weekends I realized that most folks get Snoopy's after a night on the town rather than as lunch with their 5 year-old son. Noah and I really enjoyed our dogs (brown, not red!) and sweet tea though.

I like taking Hillsborough St home and took the opportunity to check out the bowling alley across the street from NC State. They have managed to make retro very kitschy. The young man working at the counter told me that they like to tell people that they "get to keep score" rather than "have to keep score." I want to take Noah there one of these days so that he can see how it used to be. Plus, they have some good video games.

We hit the Indian grocery store to get some spices for a meal Amanda wants to make and then Aldi for our last stop. Being at the Indian grocery store is like stepping into another world for us. The music is in another language. I can't read some of the labels. Amanda sends me for a spice that I can say, but I have no idea what the packaging looks like. Last time I was proud of finding what we needed without having to ask, but I succumbed this week and asked a young man working the register. Visiting that store gets a little more expensive than it should be because I like to try stuff too. Noah got some date bars that were sort of like dry fig newtons, but with dates. Good stuff. I also like getting curried snacks.

As we were leaving Aldi I asked Noah if he wanted to take a nap when we came home. He said he didn't, but I said I did. It was a lot of stops, but it was also a lot of fun. I'm finding that Noah doesn't like to run errands anymore unless there is a treat involved. A few dogs and a cup of sweet tea is a small price to pay for his companionship.

Friday, January 25, 2013

Ice Storm

Unlike last week, we finally had a real winter weather event today. The kids went to bed on Thursday knowing that their school day would be 3 hours shorter, but they ended up getting dismissed 4 hours earlier than normal because the weather came in more quickly than expected. Basically, the county was trying to avoid what happened in 2005 when an inch of snow turned commutes across town into 8 hour drives.

I left the office at around 11:00 because we also were dismissed early. This was good because Amanda had lunch plans with a friend and I didn't want her to miss them. I waited in the freezing rain to pick the kids up at the bus stop, but by the time they arrived it had stopped. The kids and Oreo were glad for that. I got a fire going in the fireplace and got some work done while the kids hung our in their rooms.

The second wave hit around 2:00 with some legitimate ice. I had never seen a forecast for "ice pellets" until I moved to this area, but I certainly saw them. I salted the steps and driveway, but it was hard to stay on top of the ice because it came down so wet. As of right now we have about an 1/8 of an inch of ice on the driveway and on the road.

The only real negative to this is taking Oreo out. He doesn't mind the ice and in fact I think he kind of likes it. He keeps stopping because he wants to bite at frozen leaves, bits of dirt, and blades of grass. I'm not sure what we're going to do in the morning because walking on our road will be difficult with the ice. He may have to adapt to going in a different spot. The one thing for sure is that I am not going to have Lily walk the dog in the ice.

Noah's basketball has been canceled tomorrow. Unlike the locals, we did not manage to restock our milk before the storm hit, so we will have to improvise a bit at breakfast. If that last sentence doesn't make any sense then you've never lived in the South.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Basketball Jitters

Noah had his first game for Upward Basketball today. We had to be at the church by 7:30 for an 8:00 game, which was fine. It beats being in the huge line we saw waiting to get into the gym after us. Noah had a lot of fun in the room before the game chasing his friends around. They also gave them colored sweat bands. The idea is that you guard the guy on the other team who has the same color. It's a great idea, in theory.

They start off the game with player introductions. Noah's team was at home, so the visiting team got announced first. They ran out through an inflated tunnel. The other team loved it and everyone ran out. Obviously, they were giving the kids some sense of being a part of something like this:

I was hoping to hear, "At guard, from Northwoods, three-eight...number four...Noah....CHAMBERLAIN!" They didn't ham it up quite that much, but they did make sure that every kid got announced.

Noah didn't exactly revel in the moment. I took video, but I don't want to post it here. He slowly came out of the tunnel rubbing his eye. He didn't like the tunnel. He didn't like that he couldn't see me. He kind of hung out at the end of the tunnel while the next teammate was announced. Eventually he made it to his court and got in line. I had to go out and comfort him.

They split the game up into 6 6-minute periods. Of course, the clock is continuous. They do a brief devotional at halftime that everyone hears. Every child plays for half the game. Noah wasn't really into it. This is similar to what happened with soccer. He practices well, but when the game starts he has to take it all in. The only time he touched the ball was when he was supposed to receive an inbounds pass and the kid threw it off Noah's face. But then again, he wasn't in the mix much either.

It's just the first week and I'm sure he will improve over time. He's got the skills, he just needs to get comfortable in the game. I'm afraid he gets this from me.

Friday, January 18, 2013

The Great Blizzard of 2013

We had a winter weather event here in North Carolina last night. The day started with the temperature around 50 and rainy. It got colder and colder through the day so that by the time I took Oreo out after dinner it was in the low 40s and pouring (he worked fast). By the time Amanda and I went to bed it was sleeting pretty heavily.

We woke up this morning to...about an inch of snow on the grass and some ice on the deck. I don't think it ever got below freezing last night either. It was 33 at 5:00 AM, so I went out for a run. I hit a couple of patches of ice, but it was mostly just cool and wet.

Lily and Noah were excited because last night they called a 2-hour delay on Wake County Schools. It's easy to play the arrogant Yankee talking about how Southerners can't handle snow, but I think that was wise. I'm just glad that they didn't call school off completely because there is a Teachers' Workday scheduled for next Tuesday. The kids (and Amanda) don't really need a 5-day weekend.

They played out in the snow a little bit. Lily and Katie had a very small snowball fight. I was glad that today was my work from home day so I could be around for some of this. I put them on the bus around 10:20 (after Lily warmed her gloves in the dryer for a minute) and off they went to their very short day at school.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

A Good Report

King Solomon once wrote:

A good name is better than precious ointment,
and the day of death than the day of birth.
(Ecclesiastes 7:1 ESV)

According to this, it is good to have a good reputation. Of course, it is easy to get caught up in appearances and the Bible has a lot to say about that too. But I think what he is saying is that it is really good to be thought well of by others.

Amanda got this from Lily's teacher:

Lily is an absolute joy and pleasure to teach.  I love having her in class.  She is so so smart, but at the same time is very much still a precious little girl.  I love talking with her and hearing her stories. 

This warmed our hearts to read this. We want for her to be a blessing to others and it looks like she is for Ms. Dupree. I suspect that there are plenty of other kids who do not bless her, to say the least. So I'm taking this as an opportunity to brag on our little girl.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013


The bedtime routines have been a little messed-up lately with various changes. However, one thing that doesn't change is how cute the kids are.

Noah's Favorite Jammies
This morning I had a funny conversation with Lily as she was taking Oreo out for his morning walk. She has been a trooper in getting up early and doing this regularly.

Me: Good morning, Peanut! How are you?
Lily: Uhhh...I'm OK.
Me: What's the matter? Didn't you sleep well?
Lily: I slept fine. It's just annoying having to get out of bed.

I think we've seen a pretty clear expression of the Pierce genes here. She still went out and took care of Oreo's business, so I have to commend her for that.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Weekend Update

It was a busy weekend here for me. Amanda has had a persistent cough that started last Monday, so Friday afternoon I took her to the urgent care. The doctor prescribed some cough syrup with codeine and gave us a script for amoxycilin that we could fill if she didn't get better. She wasn't much better on Sunday, so I filled it and now she is on the mend.

I started Saturday with a treat. Noah and I went into Raleigh to get some of the new dark chocolate Krispy Kremes. Later, he and I ran some errands and then came home and played some basketball in the street. It's a shame that the goal in our neighborhood is at 10 feet because he desperately wants to shoot. Nevertheless, he enjoys dribbling, passing, and playing defense.

Sunday I took the kids to church and then out to lunch at Jersey Mike's. I probably wouldn't ever go to Jersey Mike's except that the Cary restaurants have free kids meals on Sundays with adult purchase. Of course, the kids had a great time and the highlight for Noah was seeing a basketball teammate and one of his coaches. We chilled out at home for a couple of hours and then went to our home fellowship.

Yesterday was fairly uneventful except that we are making a conscious decision to put Noah to bed early on Mondays. He gets to bed late on Sundays because of home fellowship and now is late on Tuesdays because of basketball. It isn't pretty in the morning when he doesn't get enough sleep. Lily worked on her probe, which is like a mini research paper. She does them in Microsoft Publisher rather than drawing and decorating pages in her notebook. Mom is very proud.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Hanging Out

Happy New Year! We had an extremely mellow New Year's Day. We had an egg casserole for breakfast, but besides that the morning was very quiet. Amanda and I read most of the morning and the kids did their things.

Around 1:00 I took both kids to Buffalo Wild Wings to watch some football. We ate wings and saw the first halves of the Capital One and Citrus Bowls. It is always weird to root for Michigan, but the game is kind of a win-win for me. If they win it looks good for the conference and if they lose then I get to see Michigan lose. The kids enjoyed the food, drinking sweet tea, and the attention our waiter gave them.

After that we tried to get gas at Sam's, but it was closed for New Year's Day. We finally did something I had wanted to do for a while - we checked out Gander Mountain. I've decided that Gander Mountain is like REI for Republicans. The kids were fascinated by all the pistols, rifles, and shotguns. Now Lily knows how bullets and shotgun shells work.

I dropped Noah off at home and Lily and I went out to get supplies for her desk. We bought her a pink desk lamp at Lowe's and then she spent her own money on a rolling chair from Target. I got it set up for her while dinner baked and she was very happy with the results. She is loving her little bedroom office now.

It was a nice start to the New Year. I'm sure it will be good since I got everyone to eat at least a mouthful of sauerkraut.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Play Dates

Yesterday was a busy end to 2012. For me it started with a run and then a visit from a friend to move some furniture. He took our old futon and we moved the couch from Lily's room down to the basement. Lily now has Amanda's old desk in her room and she is very excited about it. She is to the age where she wants her own workspace. She's still girly enough where she wants a pink desk lamp though.

After lunch Lily's friends Grace and Lauren came over for a playdate. Meanwhile, Noah went over to his friend Luka's house. Luka lives within walking distance, so it was pretty easy. (In case you're wondering, Luka's bedroom is indeed on the second floor.) He didn't stay there too long, but they did have some fun together. Apparently Luka has some toy that Noah decided to spend his allowance on. Amanda ordered it off of Amazon and now Noah is learning about anticipating a package.

Lily had a lot of fun with her friends. Amanda made them some tea, which they enjoyed with sugar cookies. The three of them are a great group and they actually all get along really well. They don't seem to run into the problems you can have with three people where two pair off.

I got some beef stroganoff going for dinner and then took Lily and Noah on a couple of errands. We went to Pet Supermarket to get two special treats for Oreo's birthday tomorrow. Then we went to Target and I got Lily a three-shelf bookcase so she can clean up her room a bit. When I said, "I haven't decided if I'm going to put this together tonight or tomorrow," Lily quickly responded, "Tonight." I put it together for her and she started moving her library on to it.

Luka and his family were going to the Raleigh acorn drop last night. Noah didn't understand why we weren't going. I suppose I will give in one of these years. Perhaps if we can find other people to go with. I am not wild about staying up until midnight anyway, but I'm really not excited about doing it with thousands of other people out in the cold.

It was a good way to end 2012. 2013 seems to be starting well, but it is not quite 8 hours old.