Archive for March, 2008

I go to the THREES!

March 28, 2008 By: nooccar Category: Claire

As you know at the end of the spring break Claire was graduated to the three year old room at day care. Before that, during the two weeks of Spring Break, I didn’t really write about the stormy moments. Claire would have these shifts where she’d suddenly just flip out. A few days this lasted for HOURS. HOURS. Let me rephrase… HOURS! And it was struggle for all three of us. And even though that struggle is ongoing, I would call my mother and she’d remind me of me at my daughter’s age. At times I would call her and apologize for my behavior 30 years ago, and she’d remind me that headstrong and opinionated are wonderful qualities for women… but she’s almost three. Err… And my mother-in-law would remind me of my brother-in-law who was a precocious child.

So then Claire goes back to school. She’d been talking about it (when not flipping out), and it was finally time.  She headed back to school Monday and I posted a few pictures on Flickr, and she LOVED IT! She’s totally into it, and we’re thrilled. She’s been bringing home worksheets where she counts and circle numbers, and where she writes her name (yes, her name). She drinks from a milk carton during snacks and lunch. She talks about her friends and her teachers. She runs around in the big kid playground with these kids who are a little older than her, with whom she use to be in class. She’s just loving life this week. The tantrums haven’t gone away (maybe a little less now that’s she way more challenged at school!) but we’re moving forward, and every single day Claire amazes us.

Things not to do

March 24, 2008 By: nooccar Category: Miscelany

Do not turn clippers wrong way while cutting hair so guard slips off, fall to floor and breaks.
Do not continue to cut hair.
Do not be surprised when wife laughs her butt off because you’re bald again.
Do not laugh when she takes pictures of giant chunk of missing hair down to your skull.
Do not wiggle while she fixes your mistake in bathroom.
Do not forget to lotion your bald head.

Claire begins three year room with a new sweatshirt

March 24, 2008 By: nooccar Category: Claire, Parenthood, School

We brought Claire home from day care at the beginning of spring break, and since she wasn’t returning to the two year old room they gave me all her stuff. When I got home and began doing laundry of clothes I forgot my kid owned because they were at day care for so long, I found an olive green very boy-looking sweat shirt. When the day care woman came to babysit over break, I asked her whose shirt she sent home. She matter-of-factly answered "Vinni’s". She’d sent home the sweatshirt of the little boy about whom my daughter could not stop talking. They were inseparable before Vinni moved into the three year room in January. I chuckled nervously and just tossed it on her floor.

Today Claire went to the three year old room officially as we returned from break (when I picked her up she and Vinni were sitting having a snack together), and tonight she jumped into her bed, grabbed Vinni’s sweatshirt off of her floor and cuddled up with it. She told me she didn’t need her regular blanket because she had his shirt. Hmmm…

Congrats Donna!

March 22, 2008 By: nooccar Category: School

Donna’s gone back to school. I know she won’t tell herself, but my wife has finally decided to pursue her master’s degree, and she’s been accepted into a program in Organizational Psychology. I’ve always been a workaholic (Thanks, Dad), and she’s warned me that now while she’s in school I need to spend a ton more time being the primary parent with Claire, our 2 1/2 year old. I’ve wholeheartedly agreed since I’ve had my Masters for almost a decade now and think everyone should continue their schooling. Now that she’s begun to work on classes (and school doesn’t even officially begin until March) I see the differences by what she means by primary parent and what I mean by that. She pretty much wants me to do a ton, and as Claire moves toward her third birthday in April she’s not getting any less two-ish. We decided that she may just be totally bored because she’s so damn smart. These gifted kids are bored at school and home because people do not challenge them, and we already know she’s gifted. (That’s got nothing to do with my 100+ post-grad credits in Gifted Education either!). So I am damn proud of my wife getting into grad school, and I now have to juggle being a workaholic with two jobs, a human being, and the father (primary parent) of a very precocious little girl.

Here comes the shed!

March 19, 2008 By: nooccar Category: House

2008_March_ShedBuilding19, originally uploaded by nooccar.

A lucky little leprechaun brought us a new shed on Monday! It was a trip watching these guys build our entire shed in our side yard. The paint matches the house, and it’s 8′ X 12′. In side you can see the vent, shelf, and peg board. The roof has two sky lights, which lets in a ton of light, too.

Later Monday evening we took most of our stuff we wanted to put into the shed, and we still have a ton of room! You want to see more of them building the shed? Click on the picture above and scroll through the other shed pictures.

Home home again

March 17, 2008 By: nooccar Category: Leisure, Los Angeles, Travel

Back home from Los Angeles now, after a relatively exciting weekend. Friday we toured Disney, and we get to hear about movies coming out in several more years. The newest, exciting movie is The Princess and The Frog, which will even introduce a brand new princess, Tiana! I respect that there are things I can be told and things I can’t, but it was cool going to Disney and being able to see the animators and artists drawing a movie coming out in summer 2009.

Img_0758While walking around Disney, my cousin asked if we wanted to see the wardrobe from The Lion, The Witch & The Wardrobe,
and we agreed. Donna’s never seen the movie even, but we thought it
would be cool. While in the mini-archives, across from the wardrobe was
the knob from Bedknobs and Broomsticks! I have always loved
this movie, and this was the most exciting thing all day. In the case
next to the knob was an Oscar statue! The closest I will probably ever
come, but the knob was coolest!

Over the last few years, mostly by accident, I’ve been visiting aquariums around the country. I took Claire to Monterey Bay Aquarium with MaryAnn & Donna last March, last April I toured the Denver aquarium, and the year before, while at a conference, I went with colleagues to the Baltimore Aquarium. So this weekend we headed down to Long Beach, CA to go to the Aquarium of the Pacific. I was pretty excited about this, but when we arrived (after a scrumptious lunch at Bubba Gump!), it looked relatively small. I figured it’d be bigger inside, but it really wasn’t. Claire quickly became a demon child from hell, and I think she threw the longest tantrum in history! We made our way through the aquarium, saw some cool fish, and hung out. It was very cramped and small, but we made it what we could.

Sunday we drove back across the desert to Arizona, and Claire kept asking when we would take her to see Sarah! We told her "next year" and I think hope she understands what that means.

David & Goliath

March 14, 2008 By: nooccar Category: Claire, Los Angeles, Travel

It’s amazing how large they get so fast. My mother use to tell me a story about how I was in line at a store with my grandmother and I was freaking out. Mum was back a few people, and I was about 2. A woman was complaining to those around her about the kid a few people up, and couldn’t that lady keep her kid quiet. I was such a large 2 year old that I looked 4, but people didn’t know that. I hear that story and chuckle, but isn’t karma a bite in the ass?? Claire will be 3 in three weeks. She’s 40" tall and 36 pounds. Some of her clothes are 5T, and she can pass for a 4 year old.

We just met Claire’s second cousin, Sarah, yesterday who is 7 months old. Wow. What a difference! We have this baby who is just getting ready to walk and doesn’t even come up to my knees, and then we have Claire. Moreover, the contrast between the two kids makes me realize how quickly they grow up. Claire speaks very well, and she’s brilliant. And she’s so attentive to Sarah. She’s so excited to be here, and she’s been asking for 4 months when she’d come see her cousin and the ocean.

Yesterday driving over here, we stopped at a rest area. The same rest area we always stop at on the way to Los Angeles, and Claire announces, as we pull in, "There’s no hand towels here! Only blowers." Of course she was correct, but the last time she was here was last summer. The time before that she was only a couple of months old.

They grow up so quickly don’t they?

Claire @ Michael’s Tiny Tots

March 12, 2008 By: nooccar Category: Claire, Leisure, Parenthood

IMG_0710.JPG, originally uploaded by nooccar.

Today Claire and I went to Michael’s for craft day where she made a Tinkerbell plaque.

Green sunshine on me

March 11, 2008 By: nooccar Category: Claire, House, Leisure, Work

I’m sitting here at my diningroom table, looking out through slotted blinds into my backyard. Yes, it’s still dirt and I can see my grill and Emma’s old red slide that Claire inherited, but I can also see the trees in the distance, the window framed by pear curtains, and in the center of it all beyond my mess is three bamboo plants Donna bought at MCC. She said she liked them there, and frankly they are the first plant-like thing neither of us killed in …. well…. ever. They make me feel like I have a real office where I can sit and work all day, where things are green and lush, and definitely not deserty.

Occasionally the landscapers walk by. Today they are leveling all the area left piled up by the fence guy, and they are also installing the dog run. Yeah! They are going being very careful with the dog run, and I think it looks great. They’ve been here since 7AM, but they’ve been working like dogs all day.

Here’s a shot of my work area as it stands right now. It mutates as Spring Break ’08 slowly slips away.


My baby graduated…

March 07, 2008 By: nooccar Category: Claire, Parenthood

Today Claire graduated from the 1-2 year old room! Over the last two months she’s been visiting the "Threes" as they are called, and even though her official third birthday isn’t for about 30.5 days she officially is in the Threes once we return from spring break. I took her in today and told the lady I would need to collect all of Claire’s belongings when I left today, and then I reiterated that I needed ALL of her belongings. I even took her backpack empty so she could help carry everything. When I picked her up, I had a large grocery bag of stuff I didn’t even know was still there! Clothes I bet she hasn’t fit into since last summer, and other crazy stuff. The ladies in there were great and we can still visit, but she’s officially down the hall (closer to my room!) with "Kenna" and "Kinnie" and "Vinni" etc… Ah, they grow up so fast.

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