Monday, October 27, 2003

HAPPY BIRTHDAY PETER JAMES SHAW 10-23-2003

The Peejster was in fine form this weekend as he entered his fourth year and completed his third one, an accomplishment we here in the states call turning three. "I am free!" he would yell and hold up three fingers.

Of course Nina and Poppa flip were around all weekend. Also, Gagi and Poppa and Uncle Edward made it out as well on Sunday for the party proper. PJ got some great toys but for the most part was happy playing sonic on the dreamcast. Go figure. I'll try and get some photos up later today or this week. Remember, I've got this fancy new guestbook that might (gasp!) actually work and not lose the entries of people nice enought to sign it. ---pjs


Saturday, October 25, 2003

THREE PICTURES FROM CHUCK E CHEESE 10.25.2003

My mom and flip are visiting this weekend. Today we went to the pumpkin patch and took a hayride and drank apple cider and looked at pumpkins. All very fun. Kath was tired and hung out at home with Sam.

We found ourselves tired and with some time on out hands and went to that den of childish glee, the venerable Chuck E. Cheese, also known as Nolan Bushnell's other great idea. They had a machine there that would give you a custom computer generated charcoalized portrait for a single measly token. Here are the results of a few tokens.

First is Anna's, and I really like the way this turned out.


And ehre si Nina and Poppa Flip, looking carefree and happy.


Here's that goofy dad guy. Will he ever grow up?


RUN FOR THE BUS 0-25-2003

This Thursday Kath and Mom, and Flip and PJ and Sam were all at the outlet mall. As Kath was returning a shirt she happened to ask what time it was.

"2:25 PM" the clerk answered.

"2:25?" Kath said. Her blood ran cold with fear. The school bus was to drop Anna off at 2:40. Across town, a ten minute drive. And getting this crowd back in the vehicle was like herding kittens into a bathtub. Not to mention the fact that she was in the middle of exchanging a shirt with one of those time-lapse retail employees who seem to be able to spend their entire working day running at half speed.

"Could you please hurry please, my daughter is getting dropped off by the school bus in fifteen minutes?" Kathleen asked.

"I-'-M S-O-R-R-Y, I N-E-E-D T-O T-A-L-K T-O M-Y M-A-N-A-G-E-R T-O V-E-R-I-F-Y T-H-I-S P-R-I-C-I-N-G I-N-F-O-R-M-A-T-I-O-N." The clerk responded. Her words were thick and slow and sounded like molasses. Clearly she didn't understand the urgency of the situation.

Kathleen finally finished the transaction minutes that seemed like hours later. One more snag though: the "Dragon Stroller"

The Dragon Stroller is a cute little stroller you can rent at the Leesburg Premium Outlet mall to make your shopping experience more pleasurable. The children just love getting toted around in the stroller that looks like (this is the best part) a "dragon". Pretty, cool, eh! When rented, you leave a deposit and just need to go and return the stroller to --OH MY GOD! ANOTHER CLERK FROM HELL! WE ARE ALL DOOMED! DOOMED!

But luckily that part went fairly expeditiously. The Dragon Stroller was finally returned. 2:35. Kathleen leaves Mom and Flip by the curb (intentionally) and makes a dash out the car. Sam under one arm, PJ holding onto the other hand and furiously trying to keep up, his stubby little legs pistoning with effort.

Sam buckled in the car seat. Check. PJ Buckled in the car seat. Check. Get in the car. Burning rubber out of the parking lot, the minivan transmission groaning with effort. Wait, Mom and Flip. Oh--Sh**. Back to the curb. Get in! Get in!

Red Light taking forever. 2:37. I know from experience its can take as long as ten minutes from across town, which would leave Anna alone on the curb, with no one there for her. Poor little Anna, sitting there on the curb, Must not let that happen.

Weaving through traffic. Another red light. Why do these things take so blasted long? More traffic. Honk honk! Out of my way! Pulling of the bypass. Pulling into the neighborhood, the driveway. No one in sight. Is that a good thing? 2:48PM. The bus is late, just coming down the hill seconds after we arrive. Everyone goes to meet Anna and ask her how her day at school was.

Friday, October 24, 2003

THE NEW GUESTBOOK -- part two 10-24-2003

I was sorry to find out my previous guestbook provider was not actually saving guest entries but instead was sort of firing them off into oblivion. I have switched to a new provider, and hopefully this will work a little better.

As always, please please please sign my guestbook! I am up to about 200 hits a month now and would love to see comments from anyone who enjoys the site. This also gives me incentive to keep the content fresh. And as always, we thank you for your support.

Tuesday, October 21, 2003

NOPJ'S 10-21-2003

NOPJ'S 10-21-2003

Just saw this one tonight. Anna's is starting to write AND want her privacy.

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ANNAISMS - 10/21.2003

I got two Annaisms for ya.

The first one took place after a long day of work, I get off the bus and head to my car. I usually call home to find out if Kath needs anything from the grocery store I can pick up on my way home. Anna answers the phone.

"Hello?"

"Hello, Anna?"

"Yes. Who is this?" Kathleen has been teaching Anaa how to answer the phone lately.

"This is Rumpelstiltskin." I say. "May I speak to your mom?"

A big pause. "This isn't s-s-tiltskin. This is daddy!" She knows my tricks.

"That's right sweetie. Could you please ask mom if she needs anything from the store?"

Another pause. I here them talking but can't make it out. Anna picks up the phone.

"Dad, do you know that thing where you put a piece of paper on a thing and it spins around really fast and you have this paint in tubes and you put the paint on the paper and it makes these pictures that are really cool. Can you pick up one of those?"


The second Annaism was when Kathleen was driving aroung Leesburg the other day. Anaa has started spelling things. They drove by a bank."

"Mom, what does B-A-N-K spell?"

"Well, what does it sound like?"

Anna tried to sound it out. "B-A-N-K. bee ahhh ennnn kay. beeahhennkay. beankay. Bankay." Then, more confident. "Bankay!"

"Well, that was close sweetie, but its pronounced Bank."

Short pause, amd then the revovery. "Mom! I was just saying it in spanish!"

Wednesday, October 08, 2003

CAMPING AT GLASS HOUSE - 9/27/2002

I went camping with Anna and PJ this past weekend, along with Brad and 4 year old Ethan and Mike and his 3 year old daugter Michelle. Verrrrrry relaxing. We basically sat around and watched the big BBQ-Smoker Brad brought do its stuff. mmmmmm.... ribs.

This cabin rocked! One of the nicer of the PATC collection, it had running water and electricity. Hardly roughing it at all. We went on some nice long walks in the woods. Cooked some s'mores, at least until it started raining. The porch had an absolutely fantastic view of Fort valley. Here are some photos. An unqualified success!

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Tuesday, October 07, 2003

I remember when Anna was born, what a tough time we had. She had colic. What's more, we didn't know any better. Kath and I would take turns trying to get her to rest. On weekdays, my turn would be from the absolute second I entered the house until around 2 AM. Kathleen would be waiting for me to get home, her eyes bloodshot, teeth grinding, ready for the hand off.

[the proud big brother and sister]
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I subscribed to a lot of pay-TV movie channels; HBO, Cinemax, Sundance, The Movie channel. I don't know why I bothered. The whole time she was screaming at my head. I couldn't hear anything. I usually ended walking around the outside of the house a lot. That seemed to calm her. Patra thought it was great too. So there we were, Patra, Anna, and I walking laps around our little house in Falls Church, with the sound of an ambulance screaming down route 50 every 20 minutes or so. The thing of it was though, we didn't know any better. That was part of what made it so tolerable. We just thought that was what bringing a living being into this world entailed.

[PJ tentatively embracing his future play pal]
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Now when PJ was born, things had changed a bit. For one thing, we had moved out to Leesburg and had a little more space. For another thing, PJ was not colicky. It was a revelation. We kept wondering why he was so quiet and why he slept all of the time. He would sleep for seven or eight hours at a spell. It was incredible.

superhappybaby

Now finally we have had Sam, our third and hopefully final child. Sam is just off the chart happy. He is seven months now, and is just getting over a cold. He is gurgling in flem, and coughing. The cough is loud and scratchy. It sounds like it hurts. He is sitting up in his high chair. He sees me. That's all it takes, just a glimmer. A smile crosses his face and he is beaming at me. I smile back. He starts laughing at me. Then the cough cuts back in and he's a sick little baby again.


I've put Sam to bed before by just kind of tossing him in the crib. I had to put him down for a second to get the others kids to bed. When I look back on him a few minutes later, he is asleep. I've gone to get him in the morning only to see him awake in the crib, just lying there. He sees me and there is that moon-faced smile again. "Oh, its you, that guy who's not mom! So happy to see you! I was just laying thinking about how great it is to be a baby."

I tell him now every day "Sam, you don't have to get any older if you don't want to." He's the last one I think to myself. "You just stay as a seven month old baby just as long as you wish." His little arms are flopping up and down against me as I hold him. "It's okay little guy, I won't mind if you don't get any bigger." I hold him in the air and rub his stomach against the top of my head. I can feel him giggle.

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