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Archive for December, 2007

Back to the Springs

December 30, 2007 By: nooccar Category: Adams, Claire, Leisure, Pittsburgh

Today we headed back to 7Springs, and Uncle Jaime skiied with Claire all morning. He’s a great uncle, and we all had an awesome time.

Pittsburgh Children’s Museum

December 29, 2007 By: nooccar Category: Claire, Pittsburgh, Travel

In freshman year of high school I went into the Pittsburgh Children’s Museum, mostly because I wanted to see a friend who was volunteering there. This was 1989. Now, today, we took Claire there for the first time. My father-in-law thought it was a horrid idea at first and wanted to go somewhere he knew, but he acquiesced and we were off. As soon as we got there she was off and running. She dragged us through Mister Roger’s Neighborhood and into the garage (which I recall as the old Buehl Planetarium) and then up to the Water Works and down to the toddler exploration. She went all over that place for about 4 hours. She barely wanted to stop moving, and I think it wore us out more than anyone. She ran from room to room, and had a ball on the 45degree angle room and the slides, the garage where she built walls with plastic boards and wingnuts, and also the water room where she could soak herself through the provided raincoats. This was cooler for her than the aviary! We took her to The Getty when she almost 1 year old, and she was relatively quiet (for a 1 year old), and she through the Pittsburgh Aviary was cool last year, but the Pittsburgh Children’s Museum took the cake!

Claire skis!

December 27, 2007 By: nooccar Category: Claire

When I was just over 2 years old my parents took me to SevenSprings ski resort outside of Champion, PA. I obviously don’t remember it at all, but from pictures and such I know I skiied down the little slopes between my dad’s legs. I’ve heard about it so much over the years I feel like I remember it. Now that Claire is 2 1/2 my parents immediately bought her her own skis, and my dad took us up to SevenSprings the morning after Christmas. In a new situation like this, we had no idea how it would go. Well… believe me, I sure feel bad for my dad. He had three kids to ski with. I had one!

Between my stuff and Claire’s stuff, it took over half an hour to get everyone ready. SHe kept running off and we chased her. I can’t believe how fast she can run in ski boots. Uncle Jaime took her down the first run and then I took her down another one. After that Claire called out "I have to poop!" My dad rolled his eyes and he and Jaime went to do a couple runs while Claire and I went inside. 45 minutes later Dad came in to find us. It was after 11AM and he wanted her to take a private lesson. I went downstairs to the ski school area and we registered her for a lesson with Miss Hilary. Her lesson ran for an hour, and we watched for afar. We took some pictures of her doing a very good job skiing. She hated wearing her gloves and hat, though. After her lessons, we took her inside to feed her pizza. She had a really great time skiing, and she was really funny. We’re going back later this weekend.

Thank you, Dad. I know what you went through all those years.

Ho ho ho

December 25, 2007 By: nooccar Category: holidays

Merry Christmas. Yeah! :) It was odd not going to Grandma’s house last night on Christmas Eve. I’ve never ever (except the year I wasn’t in PA) gone elsewhere than Grandma’s or Great Grandma’s house on Christmas Eve. Last night I went to my parent’s house. Dad wanted to cook, even though Aunt Gerry (Grandma’s sister) invited us over. Dad made Cornish hens, but didn’t know if you cook like 8 of them at a time, that they take 3-4 HOURS! And he went around the house asking who wanted Escargot appetizers before cooking them, and I said I wanted some. He made them, remembered that Donna wanted to try one and gave her one… then he proceeded to eat the rest of them. ALL the REST of THEM. Errr… Mom made the Babalky this year and they old had whole wheat bread, which she thought would be better for Claire. Such an odd taste. The whole dinner was an adventure to say the least, but next year I am off to Aunt Gerry’s. Last night was our annual Christmas party, and Tom had purchased a 50" Panasonic plasma screen. Woo-hoo! Watched some football and part of 300, which I still haven’t seen. We were there for about three hours and then drove back to my parent’s house. My family does Christmas morning way earlier than Donna’s so we always begin there.

Claire and I crashed around 12:15AM, and Donna and Jaime stayed up all the night (well Donna did crash two hours before Jaime woke up at the house at 7AM). Last year we couldn’t get Claire to open anything ever. She opening one thing and just didn’t understand there was more. This year she ran around for 2 days looking at all the present tags and shouted and pointed when she found ones with her name on them. Then at my parent’s house, she opened a baby doll and doll stroller, which she had to push all over the house. She also refused to open anything else because she was playing with her doll. Finally after about FOUR HOURS she had unwrapped her presents and there were rad. Skis, boots, dolls, clothes, cute stuff, and others…

Then we headed to Donna’s parent’s house. She crashed on the way there so we let her sleep awhile before waking her up to open presents. We started with her dad’s new chair and her mother’s wooden chest and hangy thingy for above it. Both items, along with pillows and a throw rug were for the new basement remodel. Very very nice items. Donna and Danny did well with the present from us kids. Claire proceeded to open more presents, and I need to remember to have the grandparents split toys from clothes, so Claire can do clothes first. By the final outfits she opened at Donna’s parent’s, she was tossing them over her shoulder and screaming "More presents!" which I immediately knew meant "More TOYS!". She’s funny and always a laugh. Including the time she paused to make Papa take her to the potty where she said proceeded to claim she needed lotion for her pee-pee! I was really confused, until she explained that she was a little red down there (girl held in the pee for 3 hours so she could open presents, of course she’d be red!). Mama put on diaper cream and we finished opening presents. Now we sit waiting for the ham dinner and maybe a movie later.

Our families are wonderful. Thank you all. Our friends are wonderful! We hope you all have a wonderful and restful holiday break!!!

Go Southwest!

December 23, 2007 By: nooccar Category: Travel

Wow. Yesterday was long. Ok so security finally opened we all made it down to the gate, and Southwest said there was fog in Chicago. The visibility would be low until afternoon, and the airlines were a little worried. I had just my carry-on bags and was flying alone, so I wasn’t too worried. Well, eventually we had an hour delay. Then a half an hour delay beyond that. Then they were talking about canceling our flight altogether. A lot of people were getting really worried and this caused more people to worry. Eventually we all thought we weren’t getting home for the holidays, and I got to know the other 5 people going to same place. We all had our reasons to hurry home for the holidays. I almost changed to a flight going through Orlando, or through Omaha, or through Columbus. But the Southwest people at my gate kept telling me to have faith, so I held tight. Finall the flight did take off, and my connection in Midway was delayed two hours. Depending on how fast my plane got to Midway, I may’ve made my flight. As we landed in Midway, Donna text messaged me that my connection was taking off in 5 minutes. Part of the message simply said "RUN!". Which we all did, and guess what? We made it! We ran down and onto the plane. We sat down and an hour later I was on the ground in my hometown! Southwest came through! I was so exhausted by last night after traveling for about 15 hours. Now I’m relaxing here. Happy Holidays.

Ungodly hours

December 22, 2007 By: nooccar Category: Travel

So I guess I’ve just never been at the airport this early before. I am sitting outside of security and there are huge metal gates. Very few people are lying around sleeping in odd contortions, and after awhile I realized there aren’t announcements going off every two seconds. I got a SuperShuttle call at 301AM saying he’d be there in 3 minutes, so I grabbed my stuff, locked up the house, and waited outside.17 minutes later I got another call saying he’d be there in 5 minutes. ?! After freezing my butt off for 20 minutes, my driver arrived. He was very congenial! A nice drive to the airport, and then I stood in line at Southwest Airlines (which wasn’t open at 3:30AM!) for about 4 minutes before realizing I wasn’t checking luggage and my boarding pass was in my hand! Doh! So my watch just dinged 4AM and the gates are still down. What’s this? Europe?!! Ok there’s the first intercom announcement. Hope they let me on with these two bags. I sure did stuff the larger of the two, but if I can gallivant all over Europe with this bag, they’d better let me fly domestic with it. See you on the East Coast!

Just stuff

December 20, 2007 By: nooccar Category: Leisure

Ok, I’ll admit it. When Donna said she was planning on leaving for her parent’s house a week before me, I wasn’t too despondent. I love my wife and adore my daughter, but everyone needs a little time every now and then. So here I sit. It’s been 4 days since they left town and I am BORED. Bored out of my MIND. I thought I’d see a movie or two, get some stuff done that isn’t doable with a 2 1/2 year old towing along, and finish out my semester. So I made list after list, I went to work as early as I wanted and I went to be whenever I wanted, and it’s Thursday. I don’t know if going to see I Am Legend Sunday threw me off, or maybe I am just going crazy, but I swear I now have a nervous tick. I also get bored listening to music in the car, listening to my iPod in the car, or even calling my family. Yesterday afternoon I spent in the car dealership getting my wife’s oil changed. Today I am right back in the same place. Same place. Almost the same table. Can you believe one person can swig so much coffee? We saw the Golden Compass last night, and I really enjoyed it. I never looked to see what time it was, I tried to analyze it as I watched it, and I, overall, enjoyed it. Now later I get to buy Claire ski socks for this weekend even though it may rain, and I get to clean the house. I may even go out to dinner with a friends family. Don’t know. We’ll see.

What Not To Do …

December 17, 2007 By: nooccar Category: Leisure

Never ever drop your wife & young daughter off to fly away before returning to a quiet house where it’s just you and the dog…. and stop to see I Am Legend on the way home where Will Smith puts his family on a heliocopter before returning home to be with his dog, all the while flesh eating zombie mutants are trying to kill him the entire time. Bad Idea.

Claire Graduates!

December 16, 2007 By: nooccar Category: Claire


Claire @ SwimKids, originally uploaded by nooccar.

Last June Donna asked that I begin doing things with Claire during the days in the summertime while I was off work, like taking classes and such. Because we live in a city with thousands of pools (millions?) and because Momma was a swimmer, we decided to go to swim class. We also signed up for gymnastics. Claire’s been attending almost every week now since June, and even though there have been some bumps along the way, we’ve been patiently waiting for her to graduate out of the beginning level of swim survival class. We went back and forth a bit and some weeks are better than others, but finally this weekend, Claire graduated!!!!

Amanda, her teacher, had been encouraged by Claire’s improvement for about a month now, and, even though the regular pool was out of commission and we were in a different pool, the pool manager evaluated Claire, and she did a wonderful job! This photo is from right after Claire passed her swim class. They announced it, everyone cheered, and then Claire’s picture was taken, she got a ribbon award, and they took a picture for the wall at SwimKids USA.

I am so proud of her, and I just am so impressed by how far she’s come since June in both swim and gym. She loves her teachers, and we love going there every week. Claire will stay with Miss Amanda for now since there are only two people in her class, but eventually she may need a different lesson time (hopefully keeping the same teacher). She’s had some great ones including Miss Amanda, Miss Alma, Miss Allison, Mr Matt, Mr Andreas (sub), and Miss Maribel (sub).

They sure do grow up quickly.

Just like daddy

December 10, 2007 By: nooccar Category: Claire

Tonight Claire wanted to get some stickers, so we told her to get stickers she had to poop. She gave me this look like, "Oh ok. I guess I will!" She ran right into that bathroom, and we pulled down her panties. She sat down and peed immediately. Then I heard her grunting and pushing, so I grabbed the Reader’s Digest to prepare for a wait. She immediately started yelling "GO AWAY!" and motioning me to leave the room. I barely made it out of the room before she slammed the door. Donna and I moved around the house preparing dinner, while we heard Claire in the bathroom. Eventually we slowly opened the door, only to find Claire sitting on the pot with a MACWORLD magazine across her lap with a pack of my post-its, which she was sticking all over one of the pages. My expensive post-its. All over My magazine. We rolled our eyes, and a few minutes late she showed us her poopies. Like Father, Like Daughter.


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