Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Progress w/ Cereal

Grandma Laura and Auntie Haley are here for their visit and the grandkids are getting their Grandma time in. Auntie Haley was an all-star at keeping Lincoln busy on Tuesday... or was Lincoln keeping Auntie Haley busy... it was hard to tell.

Lydia began holding her own bottle this week!
She also showed some progress eating her rice cereal. The video would be easier to watch if Auntie Haley wasn't laughing so hard while she was filming!

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Now that's service!

Grandma Laura & Auntie Haley will be here later on today! Yea!

Jenn's birthday came and went and she received some very nice gifts from our parents. I was in Indianapolis two days before her birthday and brought back some Oliver wine as a surprise. Then last night we had a babysitter all lined up so we could go out with friends, but plans changed at the last minute, so we decided to go to the Melting Pot for a Big Night Out. It was fabulous.

Lincoln continues to amaze us. He's really been into Big Bird Discovers The Orchestra, and he even found a paper towel roll and an old Saran Wrap roll and put one inside the other so he could slide them and said, "Look! I'm playing the trombone!" He's also been brancing out from his John Deere movies to include the Life series. This started when we began calling them "Zoo Movies." So now he gets to learn about animals during lunch time. He loves it, and the stuff he remembers is crazy!

Lydia's a bit sick now. She's been running a fever off and on for the last several days, and been a bit more clingy than normal. She's sleeping well and eating well, so that's a good thing. She'll get past it soon.
We started her on rice cereal earlier in the week. She hasn't yet figured out how to move the cereal from the front of her mouth to the back... it mostly runs out the front. Once she starts getting it, I'll post some before-and-after video.

Did you see the story about the Super Moon about a week ago? I read about it after the moon had risen off the horizon, so I couldn't do much with taking pictures, but this is what I got. Looks like typical moon shots to me, but I wasn't on a beach like the author of the story linked above.

I mentioned going to Indianapolis earlier this week. I received an invitation from a practice manager (the one who recently wrote the book on using social media in veterinary medicine) at a very progressive veterinary clinic to attend a workshop of the Veterinary Management Association of Indiana, and because I needed some extra CE, I made the drive over. It was really neat to talk business with clinics outside of the northeast Ohio area, and it was really cool to tour Broad Ripple Animal Clinic. They're doing some very cool things there, and they've given me some good ideas for Cuyahoga Falls Veterinary Clinic. The medicine and surgery that we practice is exactly the same, but the logistical things that they have in place are pretty clever.

We're looking forward to hosting our guests from the west!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Flying Leap

Lincoln's prayer, 3/16/11
Dear God,
Thank you for this day, forgive us for our sins. Thank you for my warm, comfy bed. Thank you for my toys in the basement, for my blankets, and for my buddies. Thank you for Grandma, Lydia, Mommy and Daddy. In Jesus name, A.....men.

Lincoln has been much less hostile to Gretel since we got back from Tennessee. Not sure what the change was, but we're happy about it.

Over the last week, he's been coming up with some crazy lines and thoughts. He's using words that I'm not sure we taught him, but he's using them properly and with good grammar. Some of the synapses that his thoughts reveal make us laugh. For instance, "When I grow taller, I won't be a kid anymore, I'll be an adult." Grandma Paulette wrote down a number of funny things that he said on Monday and Tuesday, so I'll have to get them from her.
Lydia's been feeling a bit under the weather: some diarrhea and not sleeping past 40 minutes this afternoon. Not sure what that's all about. She's also been taking a while to go to sleep at night, complete with irrational freaking out. It seems we're in a phase.

Jenn's leading the devo tonight at Ladies Night. This is a first for her. Also, Men's Retreat is approaching, and I just heard from one of the newer guys to our ABF that he's coming. Last year we had 8, and this year there are 9 committed, with a couple on the fence. It ought to be a good time. I'm heading up the Friday evening discussion-time and I feel over-prepared at this point, but I guess that's better than feeling under-prepared. I guess I feel over-prepared because I've got pages of notes for my lesson, but I know that the best part of the evening will come from our group discussion time, so I don't want to limit that with my talking. It's all up to God, though, and I'm counting on Him to make it a great weekend.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Tennessee Trip

There's a lot of catching up to do since we last spoke.

Lincoln's prayer on Sunday night was as follows:
Dear Jesus, thank you for this day. Forgive us for our sins. Thank you for my warm, comfy bed, for my buddies, for my room, for my bunk beds, and for my warm house. In Jesus name, Amen.

We all had a fun, full weekend with the Hopwoods in Tennessee. Lincoln and Lydia travelled quite well. What used to take me 8 hours now takes us 10, but that's cool. Lincoln and I got to visit Lipscomb and spend a few minutes with my college advisor, Dr. Lowrance. Lipscomb is becoming a full-fledged research institution these days as far as the biology department is concerned. As far as the campus is concerned, it's expanding rapidly and there are some fantastic buildings that have gone up in the 10 years since I left.

We took a swing by the Nashville Zoo on Friday while the Hopwoods were at work and school.

(l) A cardinal landed in the tree right above me.
(r) The gibbons were only active for a short period of time, but when they were, they could be heard all over the zoo. Notice their swollen necks. That's how they make their loud noises.

We got to climb up in the tree house that Uncle Jeremy built. Holy cow! He did a great job and after Lincoln got past the initial scary part of climbing a ladder in a tunnel, he had fun haging out a few stories up in the tree with his cousins.

Because Lydia is much more easy-going about sleeping than Lincoln was at 5 months, we decided to take a trip to Chattanooga to see the Tennessee Aquarium and Children's Discovery Museum and we left on Friday evening at bedtime so we could maximize our time on Saturday. We're crazy! But it worked out great! Neither Lincoln nor Lydia have had a day in their life with more stimulation than they did on Saturday. Thankfully Lincoln was able to get a nap in at the hotel between all the fun stuff.
Even Lydia enjoyed what she saw.
The Tennessee Aquarium is really neat. They've done a great job putting exhibits together that are appealing to almost-three-year-olds as well as their parents. Lincoln really enjoyed Grace & Cole's company throughout the day, and the weekend. They each are very good with him and he likes the feeling of being a big boy playing with the big kids. They had a very neat butterfly exhibit, too.
The Children's Museum is a place where parents can sit off to the side and let the kids explore on their own.

We ate lunch at a place called The Mellow Mushroom. Looking at the kitchen staff, the place is appropriately named. They make a good pizza, though, and Lincoln enjoyed watching the pizza dough flipping and spinning through the air.

An interesting thing that happened on the way down illustrated to Jenn and me that kids absolutely do listen to the lyrics of the songs that are played around them and they internalize them.
These kids that say, "I don't listen to the lyrics, I just like the music!" are full of baloney! One of the songs on my iPod is Toby Mac's Lose My Soul, in which he and Kirk Franklin elaborate on the chorus, "I don't want to gain the whole world and lose my soul." About 20 minutes after that song had played and we were into other songs, Lincoln said from the back seat, "Excuse me. How do I lose my soul?" Jenn and I looked at each other. I started to say something like, "We lose our soul when we do bad things." But then Jenn pointed out that his little mind would conclude something like, "Oh, no! I just lost my soul three time today!" Wow! He asks some pointed questions!

As you may or may not know, I am observing Lent by fasting from sweets. Jenn was going to observe Lent by following the South Beach Diet. But after she felt quite crummy after 24 hours with any carbs, and then after she vomitted a couple of times in the morning of the second day, she decided to forgo the sickness and join me in abstaining from sweets. It was nice knowing you, SBD!

In the midst of all of the running around from here to there, we got to spend some slower moments with Jeremy and Emily. They certainly have a lot on their plate, and we were so thankful for their hospitality during the weekend. For more on what's going on with them, check out their blog. Em will have some neat photos up there that you won't find here. And I can't say it enough, Grace and Cole were fantastic cousins to Lincoln and Lydia over the weekend.
Lydia has showing great progress in the past week with her balance. She's still not able to sit up for very long by herself, but I suspect that we're not far off. There has been no interest on her part in rolling over (we're 0 for 2 with kids that like to roll over on time) but she does show interest in using her tummy muscles to sit up and stay up. She's not showing any interest in her feet, is just now becoming aware of her hands (more so than just as instruments to shove her bib in her mouth), and she's laughed a couple of times.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Lydia's First Photo Booth

Morning Moon
Lydia's photo booth:
Lydia is getting more and more into grabbing things. She doesn't have the best coordination yet, but it's on the way. She's also pretty reliable about "chatting" back with you if you talk to her directly.

Lincoln is getting even more into "organizing" his things: putting his coins in separate piles, lining up his cars, stacking his Lincoln Logs in matching piles, etc.

Finally, it's not often that I'm in front of the camera, but I've been experimenting with the self-portrait.