Archive for August, 2008

Gaga for Google Publication

August 29, 2008 By: nooccar Category: School, Technology, Work

Forgive the cross posting, but I am excited about the publication of my first real single author publication. Click here to read the post.

Move over Natalie Coughlin, here’s Claire!

August 26, 2008 By: nooccar Category: Claire, Parenthood

Claire’s been in swimming for almost a year and a half now, and she’s been doing  well especially since we began having Miss Maribel teach her. Maribel is the first swim teacher who she floated for when she was just a month or two into lessons, and toward the beginning of the summer she began working with Maribel full time. Claire’s at the second level of swim, and to pass onto the next level she is required to jump into the pool, flip over onto her back, float on her back across the pool, roll into a "supergirl" (meaning to put her arms above her head with her hands together), and kick into the opposite wall. She’s been practicing and listens very well to Maribel, but today she took it to another level. Maribel told Claire to jump in and flip into airplane (floating on her back) without help and Claire could have more fishy crackers. Claire immediately went over to the edge of the pool, tossed herself in, flipped over into an airplane, floated across the pool, rolled back into a supergirl and kicked into the steps!!!!

I grabbed her up and hugged her (forget the dry work clothes and her dripping torso). Her lesson was over shortly thereafter. I got her dressed as quickly as possible and called her Mama. I told Donna to meet us at Baskin Robbins to get Claire a "special treat". Claire was very excited and had a great time. Maribel said if she keeps doing this, she will graduate soon. Here comes the 2024 Olympics!


August 24, 2008 By: nooccar Category: Claire, Parenthood

We’ve begun to teach Claire more about security and being safe. She’s slowly learning her address, and with prompting she seems to remember a lot of it. We use to ask her where she lived and she said "Phoenix". Then she realized she lives in the "desert" . Now we’re trying to get her to know she lives in "Chandler". We’re also trying to make sure she knows her street number and address. The numbers are easier for her, and then she stumbles on the street name. We’re working on it. We also want to make sure she knows her phone number, but which phone number do we make her memorize? One of our cells? The home phone we rarely answer? Also, we need to update her security card with an older picture, and I’ve heard about people putting contact information in kid’s shoes but many of hers are sandals or crocs. I’m just glad we started her on this right path.

dizzy or doped

August 23, 2008 By: nooccar Category: health

Friday morning I took my meds. Cipro for my sinus infection and something called Meclizine for vertigo. It’s suppose to help me not feel dizzy until my "ear rocks" dissolve or whatever they’re gonna do (fall out my years?). I had a conference Friday all day where I was presenting with a good friend of mine in a relatively informal setting. A couple of hours in, I wasn’t feeling too hot. I felt really groggy and tired. I just thought it had to do with being sick and always tired. I drank more and more coffee, but nothing worked. By lunch I would barely stay awake. I suggested we cut out early, but the afternoon key note workshop was coming up soon. I stuck it out, and when they put us in groups and it was my turn to share, I couldn’t do it. I couldn’t open my mouth and talk. I just sat there like some idiot who had nothing to say. But inside I felt more like I was trapped and couldn’t talk.

As soon as he was done with the workshop, I grabbed my stuff and ran. All I could think about was my bed, but I had to drive 40 miles to pick up my daughter. I quickly got on the highway and realized that my mother had mentioned that Meclizine might make me drowsy. Drowsy?? I felt like I hadn’t slept for a year, I felt like if I was any worse I would sleep all the way down the high way. I knew I had to pick up Claire, but could I do it? I drove south to Basha and by this time, I knew it was the meds. I got there, put claire in the car, and called my mother. I told her to talk to me all the way home and keep me awake. She and my sister did just that. I made it the last 17 miles, hobbled into the house, tossed a DVD in the machine for Claire and fell into my bed for three hours. I woke up, ate, and went back to bed. This morning I stayed far away from the Meclinzine. I would rather be dizzy than doped.

Maybe it wasn’t their fault then…

August 22, 2008 By: nooccar Category: Adams, Claire, Technology, Travel

In June my family & I took Claire to Disneyworld in Orlando, FL. My sister had her Sony camera with her that my father gave her. After clicking the first photo of Claire with some random person dressed up like some random Disney character, Meghan dropped the camera to the asphalt. It immediately jammed and would not zoom. I understood the problem and explained to her that she was out of luck. Meghan was annoyed that her camera was destroyed, but I explained that we all had cameras and she’d still get photos. I also told her that I would send it away to fix it. I’d sent two other cameras in for repair over the years, and I had an idea how get the company to fix a digital camera.  She finally agreed.

I took the camera home and quickly forgot I had it for about a month. I then remembered it was there, called Sony, got a repair code, and mailed it in. At the time I was buying somethings online, so lots of stuff was coming in and going out. Consequentially, I forgot all about Meghan’s little Sony digital camera.

About five weeks later I was tucking Claire into bed and suddenly remembered the camera. I went out and asked Donna if she’d seen a box from Sony. Something sent back to us from the Laredo, TX repair center? She said she hadn’t. I was pretty worried about the $300+ camera, and I knew that Sony ships via UPS. Wanna know what I think of UPS? I can only say the company’s color is not a coincidence! The checked GMAIL and found an email from a month earlier from Sony saying it was being sent back. I get 100+ emails daily, so I just must’ve missed this one. I put the tracking number into the UPS site and it said it was delivered several weeks ago.  I went to bed that night unhappy and worried. I wanted to call Sony immediately but it was late. The next day I called UPS and they weren’t any help. They said it was Sony’s fault not there’s. This made no sense since Sony said they sent it, and they had a tracking number. UPS told me that Sony had to initiate any lost package claim. So I called Sony. Sony said they had no idea what I was talking about, and if it was anyone’s fault then it was the Laredo, TX repair center’s fault. The lady put me on hold and tried to call them. She quickly came back and told me they weren’t answering and I’d have to call them myself. I don’t even think she had time to dial a number in Texas.

I quickly thanked her, scribbled down the number, and thought about how I would nail them on the customer service survey. I didn’t care to talk to anymore Sony idiots today, so I shoved the number in my pocket and went about my job. Later that day, I pulled into our driveway and walked around the front sidewalk. I pushed back the edge of our bush next to the front door. Low and behold, a tattered, moist, dirty UPS box sat under the bush near the door. Oops.


August 21, 2008 By: nooccar Category: health

The last week or so I’ve been sick. Nothing too wild, but I’ve been dizzy for several days now, to the point where two nights this week I could not even stay awake. Originally I thought it was just innocuous but then I couldn’t even keep my eyes open. My mother-in-law was worried about my blood pressure, but my first thought was that I was too young. I’m only 33, but as a friend pointed out when she saw me hobbling around the room we’re not that young. We think we are, but we’re getting older. Yesterday the nurse at my doctor’s office said I better get in there today. After he took my blood pressure and checked me out, he told me I have Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo. Sounds scary eh?

This is what I thought I had before people began to scare me. It’s called "ear rocks"! Means I got rocks in my head! 🙂 No seriously, they’re lose calcium deposits that haven’t been dissolved back into my system. He gave me some meds and told me to hope it goes away within two weeks. If it doesn’t, I gotta go back. Just one more reminder that we’re all mortal.

Mama went out

August 17, 2008 By: nooccar Category: Claire, Donna, Parenthood

Friday night as I tried to pry my eyes open to read final drafts, Donna finished a 27 page paper for her graduate course. A weight had been lifted, and she decided she and Kacie were headed out Saturday night, which meant Daddy got to stay home with Claire. I originally thought that she and I would do something, go somewhere. Mini golfing? Dinner? But then I didn’t really care. She was fine with her markers, and I had a dog fur covered floor. I couldn’t watch any Olympics since Donna wasn’t there, so I worked on the computer a little. Then I noticed Mimi was online and if I could occupy Claire, I could clean and vacuum the living room. We rang her up on Skype (this is the first generation of who uses SKYPE as a verb!!!). Mimi, even on Skype, is a good babysitter. The three of us talked, played, and hung out on Skype for two hours I did get the room cleaned while talking, and Claire enjoyed seeing Mimi since everyone is in the east.

It was time for bed, and a little later than I am sure Mama wanted us awake (well, I mean Claire awake. Mama, I am sure, would’ve loved me to stay up to clean the bedroom and do all the dishes, too). As I said goodnight to Mimi, Claire grabbed the nail polish bag and begged me to do her nails. I told her to wait until tomorrow for Mama, but then I thought "what the hell!?". I told Claire to pick a color as my mother didn’t know what to make of what I was about to do. I’ve not painted anyone’s nails since I did my own years ago, before going to mother-in-law’s house (yeah, she didn’t like it! Did I mention I used black?). Anyway, so Claire picks "poppy", and I proceed to do her nails. I then did her toes, while Mimi tried to teach Claire what "manicure" and "pedicure" meant. I also learned that Claire got her thick cuticles from my great matriarchal grandmother. So we got the nails done, dried them, only freaked our once when Claire flipped her hands upside down on my dark carpet, said goodnight to Mimi and headed to bed.

A minute after we were in bed, Claire announced that her mother was home. I didn’t hear anything and told her to stay in bed, but suddenly the bedroom door opened. She was home and surprised Claire was up. She was relatively tickled pink….errrr poppy…. that Claire’s nails were done. The two of them headed out to the livingroom while I rolled into lala land.


August 07, 2008 By: nooccar Category: Claire

The other day Donna and I were trying to put Claire to sleep, but she kept rolling, kicking, wanting out. As parents have done for eons, we began to spell over Claire’s head because we needed to communicate without her knowing. I spelled one thing, Donna responded by spelling another. This went back and forth as we tried to hold our child in bed and get her to relax. Claire was getting madder and madder that we were "talking" over her head.

Finally, she screamed S! T! O! P! Spelled that right out. Little show off.

Happy Anniversary

August 06, 2008 By: nooccar Category: Donna

Fourteen years ago this summer Donna and I began dating, and after about 6 years of mostly on again with a little off again, we married on August 6, 2000. It was the day of the largest rain storm in over a century in Pittsburgh, and it was a fantastic day for us. So many highs. That was 8 years ago, and what I realized about the number was that it does in fact represent infinity. Foreverness. Couples have theirs ups and their downs, and some times are rockier than others, but if it’s meant to be then YOU both will make it be. Claire’s day care woman said her anniversary with her husband is next week. She said they’ve been married for FORTY years. FORTY! His comment was yes, some good, some bad. Yes, they are. This is life, and it happens. I like to think that the infinity symbol derived from the same early rudimentary symbols as the number 8 represent how long I plan to continue to make things work, because it’s worth it. All the downs have ups for us. They do, and when we married, we said I DO, and we still do.

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