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Archive for December, 2009

Claire, the Wii fiend.

December 29, 2009 By: nooccar Category: Claire, holidays, Parenthood, Pittsburgh

Last night my mother’s cousin and my father’s cousin both visited us and after spending some time in the kitchen around appetizers and drinks, we all moved into the living room where my sister turned on the Wii. My dad and his cousin played for awhile but then Claire wanted to play. They flipped from electronic darts to shuffleboard where you need to swing the remote to compete. Claire grabbed a remote and more or less challenged everyone in the room. She’d never played Wii before but quickly picked up the idea of how to play. Within an hour, she was beating everyone at Wii shuffle board and was ready to move onto Mario Kart.

0912_CMAWii_Xmas

The adventures of a Crackberry addict

December 27, 2009 By: nooccar Category: holidays, Pittsburgh, Technology, Travel

The other evening I was “hanging” with my family while Donna and Claire were off at her parent’s, and my father was having his annual Christmas dinner for the girls in his office. Partners are strictly forbidden unless you are a part-owner and because of his own self-imposed rule, his own son wasn’t permitted to attend. I was with my mother in South Side near the restaurant already due to shopping but I wasn’t allowed because then the girls would bitch about their boyfriend/best friend/father of their child who couldn’t come along. I told my mother it was all ok, and that I was going to walk the streets of South Side since it was my old stomping grounds. She gave me her bus pass and sent me on my way. If you know South Side this next part’ll make sense. If not, that’s why Google made Street View.

I walked from the Hot Metal Bridge area near Cheese Cake Factory down to Primanti’s at 19th Street. Primanti’s is a staple of Pittsburgh, and I got my favorite Pastrami no tomatoe add egg extra cheese and a Yeungling. Yum! I wolfed down the food, pulled my hat over my ears and kept going. It was dark out, and I had called my sister to meet me after work near the mall by my parent’s where the trolley terminated. At 14th street I walked into The Beehive where I use to spend almost every evening when I was in grad school and some years in high school; it’s changed a bit since then, but it always has memories for me. I got a coffee to warm up, shot some photos of my DSLR shoved in my coat, and walked outside. I stopped across the street where there use to be a bank that was now a bar. After 20 minutes of waiting and tweeting from my phone to record my journey, the bus came. I flashed my mum’s pass and road down towards Station Square.

After jumping from the bus, I ran across East Carson to the trolley. I shot some photos while waiting 10 minutes for the trolley to the Village. Then I went to send another message, but no phone. Uh oh. No PHONE! I checked my pockets. Got my iTouch, point&shoot, wallet, bus pass, Canon, scraps of paper, gloves, and hat. NO PHONE! Trolley came. I didn’t get on. I let it pass by me, and I retraced my steps back across the busy road, looking for a smashed BlackBerry in the road. Nothing. I looked at everyone on a phone and wonderered. Then I walked back up the trolley ramp. The next one came. I got on. I’d given up. I sat down and waited for my stop 20 minutes later.

I HOPE THIS DOESN'T MEAN THERE ARE NO MIRACLES LEFT... !

Across the aisle was a lady chatting away on the phone about only God knows what, and when she hanged up I asked if I could use her phone to call my ride. She agreed but then her stop came up as it rang. I handed it back, and thanked her. I sat there wondering if my sister, Meghan, would be there to pick me up in the cold winter night. I finally walked to the front of the train and asked a man if I could use his BlackBerry; he agreed.

I called Meghan, she answered, and immediately said “they found your phone!” My heart lept. I told her I was close and almost there. She said she’d been waiting. I jumped from the trolley after wondering if I had to shell out hundreds for a new phone and climbed into her car. She told me the bus driver had my phone and it’d be at the Collier Garage after midnight. I asked where the hell the Collier Garage was. Meghan said it was in Bridgeville, which wasn’t far from my parent’s new place. I texted my mum from Meghan’s phone and since she use to live in the area, said she’d drive me later.

At 11:40pm we left for Bridgeville and I walked into the Port Authority Transit dispatch at midnight with my ID card. As the man handed over my phone, he said no one usually picked up lost and found that quickly and he wished me a Merry Christmas.

Yes Virigina, There still are nice people in this world.

Uncle Jaime’s reindeer hoofs

December 27, 2009 By: nooccar Category: Adams, Claire, holidays, Parenthood

Since my parents bought a new house and had more room and since we’d not spent Christmas Eve night at my parent’s in years, it was time. Earlier in the day Donna and Claire met us there while I pretended to help my sister cook dinner. Later after dinner, Claire didn’t want to go to bed. She was waiting for Santa, and all I was waiting for her was for her to fall asleep sdo I can drag a crapload of presents out of my parent’s basement to put around the tree. This is the first year where I had to keep two things in mind. 1) Claire would recognize if grandparent and Santa gifts came in the same wrapping paper, and 2) we cannot put any presents under the tree before she goes to sleep on Christmas Eve.

As I always expect with Claire, she never wants to go to sleep. And since it was Christmas Eve, she was even more excited than usual. By 11:00pm everyone was way sick of waiting for her to go down by herself and something had to be done. Uncle Jaime, my brother, decided to climb into the attic and take matters into his own hands.

Over the couch, through the roof, suddenly Santa and his reindeer were loudly walking around on the roof, preparing to come down one of my parent’s chimneys. (Yes, I know she’s smart, so I kept one chimney/fireplace free from a fire that night incase she asked!) Claire, sitting on the couch full dressed, looked towards the ceiling, looked around at her people and bolted to the bedroom. Donna followed her into the bedroom, as Claire grabbed her PJs and threw herself onto the bed.

“Mama, help me get changed! I need to go to sleep now! Santa’s here!” She screamed as she stripped her clothes before throwing herself into bed.

Thank you, Uncle Jaime.

Claire’s igloo

December 22, 2009 By: nooccar Category: Claire, holidays, Parenthood, Pittsburgh

I always say my favorite part of the Christmas holiday is when the tires bounce down onto the Pittsburgh tarmac, and you know what? I didn’t even notice this time. No reason, really. It just wasn’t such a huge, relaxing deal. Maybe it’s because I have a million things on a list of things to do when I have time to do things. I don’t know.

Claire, after being shy girl lying on the airport floor, was glued to her Papa the first day in town, and we weren’t scheduled to see my family until Sunday. I told my mother to pick us up early so I could drop my MacBook Pro off at Apple for some minor repairs while I was on break and had access to other computers. She agreed and I went to bed Saturday evening in my brother-in-laws awesome Posture-pedic king size bed. Sunday morning came about 12 hours later as I really needed some sleep after last week.

Claire, her Uncle Danny and Papa were in the backyard in the 6+ inches of fresh powder, so I grabbed my camera, gloves, and ski pants before joining them for a short bit to shoot some photos before getting ready to see my family for the day.

Claire mentioned wanting an igloo, and I didn’t even know that she knew what an igloo was let alone that she wanted one. As I said, the snow was really powdery but anytime you tell Uncle Danny he can’t do something, he tries to do it. Especially when it involves jumping off cliffs and driving through rivers. This was no different. He wanted to build Claire an igloo so we go to work. We shoveled snow off the grass into a huge pile, scrapped it from the sidewalk, and filled recycle bins with snow from other parts of the yard to make it higher. Then Uncle Danny began to throw his weight against it while I suggested a watering can to make it wetter. We sprinkled water all over it, attached it like beached whales, and then began scooping it out. We got it to a point where Claire could get into it fully if she bent her legs, but of course she refused to do that. She did look up for a few photos, and then pulled herself from the igloo. She announced she was bored, hungry and cold. Papa immediately took her inside, while Uncle Danny and I admired our handiwork—two hours later and as my mother was scheduled to arrive.

Phx Zoo Lights

December 17, 2009 By: nooccar Category: Claire, Friends, holidays, Parenthood

Last night we took the kids to zoo lights but not before Claire was horsing around with Eli. I was sitting at the table waiting for Terrie to get ready when all of a sudden Eli shouts “Claire knocked my tooth out!” It was one of those moments were you freeze and wait for a giggling punch line and then there is none. I quickly began counting years on my fingers to see how old Eli was, and I realized I had no idea how old children are when they’re suppose to lose teeth. Suddenly the house erupted as his mothers became very excited about his losing his first tooth, and I as relieved that we were ok and not going to be thrown out of the house for destroying their son.

After the excitement of the tooth being yanked from his face, dropping it on the white tile, finding it, dropping it again, and finally putting it in a ziploc bag for the tooth fairy, we headed to the zoo. The Phoenix Zoo has “zoo lights” which is one of the largest outdoor light displays in our state.

2009Dec_ZooLights19

After Eli and Claire got out of their respective trucks, they took each other’s hand and Angelika and I rolled our eyes as they spent the next two hours inseparable, running through the zoo hand in hand, checking out all of the lights, looking for animals in the dark, and enjoying the evening.

2009Dec_ZooLights28


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