Archive for April, 2008

Happy Birthday, Babci Mary Buziak!

April 27, 2008 By: nooccar Category: Travel

Babci Mary Buziak, originally uploaded by nooccar.

Today was Babci’s 90th birthday party where her family and friends all gathered in Horsham, PA. The weather was cool and dry, and all of the great grandchildren ran around having a wonderful time as four generations of family and friends gathered. Afterward she came back to our rooms with us to look at old pictures and hang out for a few more hours. Tomorrow Donna, Claire and I head back to Arizona.

Help! Jailbreak ALAN LEVINE from the Brig of the Stinky Alltel Pirates

April 26, 2008 By: nooccar Category: Reviews

Alan Levine has been having terrible customer service with AllTell. Here’s a link to his original post, and he really hopes you forward this to everyone you know. This is not a joke.

Summer has not ended.

April 26, 2008 By: nooccar Category: Claire, Leisure, Parenthood

When I was young I remember spending long summer days at my cousin’s house. We’d run around out in the grass, sweating and playing, in and out of the house. The doors would be propped open and the parents would all be inside, or on the porch, just watching. The grandparents would be cooking, preparing food with one of their daughters, or just hanging out and smiling. Into the night we’d run around with baseball bats swatting lightning bugs and watching the stars high above our heads.

As we headed towards adult hood, I moved away to Arizona. Kimmy headed to California. Sean went to Ft Lauderdale. Meghan went west to Colorado. Brian got married and stayed put, while Jaime just stayed put.  The summer had ended.

Yesterday my wife and I took Claire over to Donna’s cousin’s house. We’d never been there. We shoved Claire out the back door into the fenced yard with play ground set, basketball hoop, and huge dirt pile with shovels, sifters, and buckets. She was joined by Mark & Sammie the 4 year old and 1 1/2 year old. Meredith, the almost 2 year old joined my just turned 2 year old. It was relatively warm, humid afternoon. Dziadziu Leo was cooking burgers and walking around, while Babci Marilyn sat inside or worked in the kitchen. Donna & I hung out, as did Markie and TJ when they came home.

And as the kids ran and played hard, and covered each other in dirt and sweat, I suddenly realized that summer wasn’t over. I just moved into fall as my own daughter entered her own summer.

Patios & Flying away

April 24, 2008 By: nooccar Category: Claire, House, Travel

We’d been trying to figure out who to use to buy a new patio roof since we had our old one torn down last fall, and we finally picked the company that we liked that didn’t want our first born to install the thing. We ordered it in February, and FINALLY they were going to install Tuesday. That was cutting it close since we had to leave town Wednesday. Of course Monday night they called and told us they had a situation with the last install and couldn’t come until Wednesday morning.  How do you tell some guy you don’t know that you’re leaving town and won’t be around without worrying about your house the entire time you’re gone? Donna was relatively diplomatic about it, and the guy told her it’d be a quick install. 14′ X 20′ straight off the facie, no problem. By this point we just rolled our eyes and went with it. I was not about to reschedule, since it’d taken 8 weeks to even get this installed and we’d already paid half up front!

Wayne & Gavin showed up and did a helluva job. Donna was home the whole time writing her paper, and by the time I came home and we prepared to leave for the airport, they were mostly done. Pictures and comments when we get back and see the final product.

The plane ride was ok. Claire’s three now, so she gets her own seat (i.e. I get to PAY out the wazoo for a third seat!). At least we didn’t have to carry her the whole time. The first hour Claire and I slept, and Donna wrote. Then Claire flipped out for awhile and kept wanting to kick the man in front of us. We eventually landed in Philly and I apologized to him. He said he works in LA 7 days a week with 3-6 year old kids, and Claire wasn’t a problem. Thank God.

Phx Zoo trip

April 20, 2008 By: nooccar Category: Claire, Parenthood

IMG_1721, originally uploaded by nooccar.

Before Dan and Madeline moved to Amsterdam in February, they gave us two free tickets to the Phoenix zoo that they had from their annual passes. They expired at the end of this month, so we headed over there today. I was looking forward to it since Donna and I had not been to a zoo with Claire together since summer of 2006. It was pretty cool, and we went to the children’s part of the zoo where I’d never been before.

The highlight of the day for me was the goat petting zoo.  There’re signs all around about watching the stuff in your pockets, leaving maps out in the cubbies, and not bringing in food. I guess I thought those things related to people who weren’t me, because of course I was good. Well, we went in and Claire ran around petting goats and I hung out with this really cool goat above who was named Jaime like my brother. A few minutes later I felt something tugging at my pocket, and then this cool looking little midget goat with this long beard was stealing the map from my pocket (thank God it was the map and not my wallet!). He got it and took off. Claire and another little kid ran after him and suddenly the zookeeper tore off after the goat, yanked the map from it’s mouth and walked off. Needless to say we left the petting area after that. I was a little embarrassed, but Donna kept bringing it up to Claire. I was annoyed at first, until I realized she was trying to teach Claire a lesson at my expense. I kept my mouth shut and walked through the zoo in the beating sun.

Now I am home and rubbed my head. OOoowww!!! Ok, so it’s summer now, and I’ve never spent a summer bald. Damnit. Now my dome’s cooked. Oh well. Still a rad morning with the fam.

Park Play

April 19, 2008 By: nooccar Category: Claire, Leisure, Parenthood

Claire Apr 18 08, originally uploaded by nooccar.

A few days ago Donna suggested I take Claire to our local park. Part of the suggestion was for us to do something together and the other part was for Donna to have some peace to work on her homework. We’ve been to Carriage Lane Park before and it’s cool since we can almost walk there. We headed over there with Claire’s new soccer ball one of my students bought her for her birthday.

The first day she didn’t really get the whole kicking the ball thing, but she loves the swings. The slides there are ok, but not as cool as Desert Breeze Park. We played around a bit, and she learned how to climb up this one ladder and slide down a pole like a fireman. We were there about an hour. The next day she asked Donna to take her there, so we three went. We stayed for quite sometime, and once it got dark we walked around the lake there looking for ducks. It was a pretty nice time, and the weather this time of the year is nice.

Tonight Claire immediately asked to go back to the park. Donna told her that we couldn’t go tonight. I piped up and agreed that I would take her. We grabbed her soccer ball and took off after dinner. As soon as she got to the grass, she began kicking it and chasing it. She ran and kicked and ran and kicked and giggled. She probably kicked that thing and chased it about 75 yards before stopping. I was so proud and was also trying to keep up.

After she was done with that we did the whole playground circuit. A little blond girl who must’ve been about a year older kept talking to us, but she was more interested in interacting with me than with Claire. Claire later played in the sand a but before we headed home. We will definitely get back there soon.

Claire and Eli

April 19, 2008 By: nooccar Category: Claire

2008 April Claire&Eli, originally uploaded by nooccar.

Claire loves going to Eli’s house, and typically the two of them get very dirty playing hard in his huge backyard. A couple times Eli’s parents have watched Claire in the evenings, and when we’ve picked her up she’s been bathed. Recently Angelika sent me this picture of the two of them.

Orlando, here we come!

April 18, 2008 By: nooccar Category: Adams, Claire, Travel

About a year and a half ago, we considered traveling this summer. We wanted to do a "family" trip somewhere in the US. My grandfather passed away pushing two years now, and my grandmother subsequently moved to Florida with my uncle and his family. My aunt and her family lives nearby, so we considered going there. But we also wanted to see our parents. Things didn’t work out quite as we wanted it, and grad school for Donna also threw a wrench into our plans. We then invited her parents out here (my dad would never fly here in the summer heat!). Somewhere along the line my parents suggested they’d meet us in Florida, but with Donna going back to her old job July 1st and grad school, she could not fly. But Claire and I are off, and if we’re not around, then it’s more school work time for her. Sure she will miss Claire if we went to Florida, but I’ve been there before. A week here, 2 weeks there.

Tax season ended this week, so my dad came out of his cave and called his travel agent who’s booking him tickets to Florida for the first week in June. I looked up tickets and came up with $800+!! Donna wasn’t too thrilled until she found tickets less than half that for me and Claire. And I am happy to say tonight we booked two tickets to Florida. We will see my family, and Dad even wants to take Claire and her cousin to Disney for the day. This summer is turning out pretty sweet. Donna goes back to the job she likes, we do some traveling, I see my grandmother who ain’t no spring chicken, Claire sees all of her grandparents, I travel to the AP Conference, and my in-laws fly out for a couple weeks to see us all.

Claire’s prom date

April 17, 2008 By: nooccar Category: College, Parenthood

Claire’s been spending a lot of time at Eli’s house lately. Like last week she was there two evenings in a row, and I have some really cute pictures of the two of them in the tub. Eli’s parents have a huge, beautiful backyard and the kids play hard. I had a crappy meeting at work today at 5pm, so I took her over there to play. Afterward I went to pick her up and they were so busy playing that I just hung out. I figured if we went home, we’d just be in the way of Donna’s homework. They were so funny together. Around Halloween and Thanksgiving, Claire was so unsure of herself climbing the rock wall to Eli’s tree house, but today she practically ran up and down it over and over (it’s 7 feet high!). Everything Eli (who is almost 5) did, Claire had to do. When I told her it was time to go home, Eli told her that he’d make her a sandwhich for dinner. I was a little curious, so I let them go. Well they found soybutter (like peanut butter, but  … different) and whole wheat hotdog buns. They were thicker than thieves trying to open the soybutter, and finally we did for them. Angelika helped make them both soybutter hotdog sandwhiches, and Claire gobble half of hers before saying goodbye. He told he’d miss her and to come back soon, before we headed home for a well-needed bath! Ah… young love.

Happy Birthday, Claire!

April 11, 2008 By: nooccar Category: Claire

Ok, yes yes I know I am a couple days late. Claire turned three this week! She was so cute. I woke her up and asked her how old she was and she flipped up two fingers "TWO" she called out. And I was so thrilled to correct her! It just meant so much to me since this is the first year when she really kind of understood what this all meant. She kept singing "Happy birthday, me!" She wore the same cake hat that she wore since each birthday since she was born. (No, she didn’t come out wearing it!)  We bought cupcakes for her friends at school.

She was asked to try the next level gymnastics course because she was doing better recently, and that appointment was the evening of her birthday. Donna met us there at the gym, and I was a little worried about how’d she’d do. But when we went, Allison would say "Claire, go over there and crabwalk" and Claire who has barely ever even tried to crabwalk with help, ran across the mat, dropped down, and did it! I was amazed. Shocked actually. Afterward Allison was eager to graduate her! Another girl from Claire’s other class was also graduated, and so we all took the two girls out to the front where they stood on the pedestal, got their medals, and then they took their pictures. It rocked.

Later we had cake and Skyped with the grandparents. All in all, a wonderful day for Claire!

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