Friday, August 30, 2013

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Marvin's Marvelous Mechanical Museum

The morning we had planned on going to the Detroit Zoo, the rain was coming down and the radar didn't look good. Bobbie Jo convinced me to take an additional day off, which would let us hit the zoo the next day.
I stumbled onto a place called "Marvin's Marvelous Mechanical Museum" which looked to have a bunch of pinball and arcade games as well as one of the best collections of old fortune telling machines and other games of skill. After bribing Max and buying him earplugs, he and I hopped in the car to make the 30 minute drive to Farmington Hills. Bobbie Jo, Lily, and Gagi headed to Ikea and Trader Joes.

Max (and I) had a blast at Marvins. Even though I didn't get to play many games myself I did toss a few quarters into a brand new Wizard of Oz machine that I had only heard about.

Playing Pac-Man

Max's first pinball machine

The contents of my pockets

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Lily's Animal Sounds

I've been amazed at how much I just love watching Lily do stuff. She's so determined, and it's obvious she always has a plan. I've been trying to record as much as I can so we can look back on it.

Last night I was recording her reading a book and thought I'd ask her some animal sounds (knowing she doesn't really know any of them). The below video is worth watching just to see her responses. If you don't laugh out loud, I'll mail you a dollar*.

After I recorded this I wanted to check back and see Max's video of his animal sounds. Amazingly enough his was recorded on August 21, 2009, which is basically the exact same age (minus two days) that Lily is in this video. What a huge difference between the two.

*Offer only applies to people that I actually know in the real world. Facebook friends and random blog readers do not qualify.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013


Lily hasn't had that many blog posts about her. I guess it's probably because most of the stuff we are experiencing with her, we are experiencing for the second time. It doesn't mean we are less excited, it just falls between the cracks when it comes to blogging it.
Also, having two of them running around makes it hard to find time to sit down and blog.

Lily is a few days short of 18 months, and she's an absolute hoot! Did I just use that expression?

Here's a list of some of the more notable things that I want to get written down:

  • She has me wrapped around her finger. When I get angry at her she will bat her eyes at me. Where did she learn that? Is it natural?
  • She is not a cuddler. She will give us hugs when we ask for them (or when she knows something she doesn't like is about to happen). She gives us kisses the same way.
  • She's a nightmare to put to bed. We didn't do a very good job with this one. Her bedroom is downstairs next to the tv room. So, when she cries we can't watch tv. We generally go through the same routine every night; put her to bed at 9:30, get her out of bed at 9:45 to watch tv with us, put her back to bed between 10 and 11. She sleeps until 10 am though.
  • She eats ANYTHING! A few months ago Bobbie Jo was cutting up an onion and Lily was pointing at it like she wanted it. She was being very persistent, so Bobbie Jo thought she would teach Lily a lesson. Lily ate the entire slice of white onion, and wanted more. She's currently eating most of what we eat, or whatever else is in the house. Max, however, is still only eating Mac & Cheese, nuggets, and PB&J.
  • She loves going outside. When she wants to go outside she will bring us her shoes. When we bring her in, she screams.
  • She's calmer than Max ever was. She will sit on the floor and 'read' a book for 20 minutes. Max is just starting to be able to concentrate on something that long.
  • She's always running. Everywhere. Ever since she started walking, she's never walked. One of our friends referred to it as her 'hustle'.
  • She LOVES her big brother. I've never seen anything like the two of them together. They have their fights, but generally the two of them are as close as I could imagine. She worships him. She thinks he's funny. She tries to wrestle him. Max has generally been very good when Lily tries to play with the toys he had just spent 20 minutes arranging.
  • She still doesn't talk. She has gone through her phases, saying "dada", "mama', 'kitty'; but all that has stopped. It's weird having this little thing running around, understanding everything we say to her, yet all she does is point at things and say "tssth". We're confident that when she talks it won't be words, but sentences. And at that point she will never stop.
  • She likes to help. She helps us pick up things around the house. She will put the pieces of cat food back in the bowl, put some toys away, and help us arrange the couch pillows. She likes to clap when she's being helpful.
  • She's a clown. She likes to steal her jammies so we can't put them on her for bed. She will then run around in circles, daring us to catch her.
  • She loves having her books read to her. She will bring books over to anyone she can, and sit on any available lap for story time. When we read the books that we used to help her touch, she now takes our hand and helps us touch all of the same areas.
She's absolutely awesome! I can't imagine what our lives would be like without both her and Max in them. We are so lucky.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Max Helps

To keep her from crying, he gave her some of her friends.

Monday, August 12, 2013

So long Rizzo

Today Bobbie Jo's cat Rizzo (aka 'Fuzzy') left this world. She was a part of Bobbie Jo's life even before I was.
So long fuzzy. You were really dumb, but very loved. We'll miss you.

Saturday, August 10, 2013

He can read

For some strange reason Max has absolutely no interest in learning new things. That isn't to say that he doesn't like to learn, but rather he doesn't want to learn new skills.

He has been very vocal about not wanting to learn how; to tie his shoes, ride a two-wheel bike, or read. We know he's smart, and have thought that he might be able to read for a long time, it was well over a year ago that I wrote out three-letter words for him and he ready every one. We've never been able to get him to actually read something though.

Today, as we were signing a birthday card for a birthday party he was going to, he read the entire card out loud. There were a lot of words, and pretty long ones too. It was obvious he wasn't reading from memory based on how he had trouble with a few of the words and the mistakes he made.

I told him how proud I was of him and told him we could try to start reading some of his Early Reader Star Wars books. I think he was a little interested.

He then asked if he could have a 'surprise' since I was so proud of him.

"Making your dad proud should be reward enough", I said.

I don't think that's what he had in mind.

Max's first day of Kindergarten

Living in Grand Rapids, we don't exactly have the best options for public school. We have been applying to many charter schools and were accepted in to Ridge Park Academy, a school run by National Heritage Academies. NHA has a stellar reputation (and also happens to be a client of mine).

Ridge Park has a year round schedule, though still has a 180 day year. We will have longer breaks, a shorter summer, and started earlier than most kids on Wednesday, August 7th.

Our camera, and the pictures taken the morning of his first day, looking snappy in his new uniform, was unfortunately lost in the bottom of a river yesterday. I was able to take a few pictures on my phone at the end of the first day (luckily my phone keeps itself backed up as it is full of water and completely dead).

Look which lucky kid got to hold the teacher's hand!

He loved his first week and we think that this school is going to be a great fit. We're proud of our little kindergartner.

Saturday, August 3, 2013

The Orange "Eagles"

It isn't easy to take a decent picture of a t-ball team of 4 & 5 year olds looking towards the sun. Here they are after their last game of the season.