Sunday, June 25, 2006

Sam gets the newspaper in his UNDERWEAR June 25, 2006


Sam gets the newspaper
Originally uploaded by peteshaw.
Fashionably equipped with his froggy umbrellla and his newly earned Scooby Doo underwear, Sam retrieves the Sunday Washington Post for us on a rainy Sunday morning.

Did we mention Sam is wearing *UNDERWEAR*? (Picture mom and dad dancing a happy dance of diaper free life.) This is huge, this is very huge.

Sunday, June 18, 2006

Weekend in Strasburg, PA June 18th 2006

we spent the past weekend in Strasburg, PA, camping with an old college buddy Rusty and his wife Cindy and their chilldren Abigail and Dustin.

We visited the Strasburg railroad, where they were giving rides on the Thomas the Train. It was great fun. Then later we went camping at a small campground in Strasburg.

Then we got a treat at the campground: An amish fellow and his two daughters came by on his buggy selling cookies, pies, and jam. We bought some Shoefly pie and some cookies, and he took the kids on a buggy ride through the campground. The kids loved it! The Shoefly wasn't that good though. Oh well. Live and learn.

Friday, June 16, 2006

The National Aquarium June 16th, 2006

I met Kathleen, Anna, PJ, and Sam downtown today.  Anna wanted to see the National Aquarium, although I think she may have really wanted to see this one instead.  I metroed downtown from work and met them in DC.

After a fun hour of navigating bottlenecked traffic, security roadblacks, and gridlocked traffic, I was picked up at the curb, and we stumbled on a metered spot.  We enjoyed a deluxe meal of half-smokes, hot dogs, chips, pretzels, and sodas courtesy of ye old corner vendor.   But it was all good.

I left the family to enjoy the national aquarium, which is located in a dimly lit corner of the basement of the Department of Commerce (yes, really), across the street from the Ronald Reagan building. 

PJ remarked later, "Wow!  That was TOTALLY not as big as I thought it would be."

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

The Hot Dog - 6.11.2006

Last Sunday we went to a church picnic after regular services.  It was a big crowded event, and one of the first things said was "Please! Do not let your children run around."  which to me sounded like only so much wishful thinking.  This is Loudoun county, and it seems like everyone has three, four, five, or more kids.  Thirty years from now they are going to find out that some secret government experiment was allowing fertility drugs to be leeched into the water supply.

But anyway, there we are in line for lunch.  Of course PJ and Anna ran off somewhere, so I am standing in line just hoping I can get a plate of food and choke it down before somebody breaks something.  I also get a plate of food for PJ.  I get him a hot dog on a bun with ketchup, one of his favorite foods.  I also get him some beans and macaroni, just to balance out the plate, since I know he won't eat it.  PJ is sort fo a food purist.  He will only eat white rice, noodles with no sauce, pizza with only cheese. 

I finally get to the end of the line and then make my way back to my table.  We all sit down.  I get up, and go track down PJ and Anna, who are running around along with virtually every other child in the room, in complete disregard for the earlier plea for peace.  But its okay, its sort of a controlled chaos, and everyone is having fun, or at least they are until I tell my two that they have to sit down and eat dinner.

We get back to our table, and PJ takes a look at his plate.  He pulls his feet up into his lap, and starts kicking the table, ignoring the food.  This goes on for many minutes.  Finally I ask, "PJ, aren't you going to eat your hot dog?"

"I don't want THIS one!"  PJ says, kicking the table.  Some lemonade splashes off my glass and falls on my glass.  I look over at a giant bin of hundreds of identical hot dogs.  "Well Okay PJ, but you need to go and stand in line to get another one.  PJ gets up, and walks over to the big bin full of hot dogs, and cuts into the middle of it.  I run over and grab him and bring him back to the table.

"PJ, what about this hot dog?" I ask.

"No, I don't want that one."  He starts to make these loud wining noises, and he gets up and runs off into the crowd again.

I catch up to him.  I tell him we will stand in line together.  By now, the line reaches into some other room, maybe into another church even.  We walk to the end of the line.  We wait and wait.  Finally we get to the front of the line.  By this time Kathleen and Anna and Sam have left to go outside to the playground.  PJ takes his hot dog and goes back to his table.  

I am eating a cookie.  I stare at him.  He has this empty look in his face.  He pulls his knees up and starts kicking the table again.

"PJ!" I say, the veins standing out on my forhead, "aren't you going to eat your hot dog?"

"No" He said and paused, his big eyes swivel around the room.  "I'm not hungry." He said, and kicked the table again. 

Monday, June 12, 2006

A Windshield Wiper 6.11.2006

After we got back from Church on Sunday I was busying myself doing some chores around the house.  The first one I was to put a bike rack onto the roof rack of my car.  Sam and Anna were out bugging me while I was putting the rack on.  Sam was holding parts for me for a while, and Anna kept asking me about setting up the inflatable pool Kathleen had bough on Saturday.  I finished putting the rack on the car, and headed in the house.

It was pretty cool for a June day, but I got a big drink for myself anyways.   I went into the backyard, and started to get the parts for the pool out.  I realized I would need to clean out some things from under the deck in order to make way for the lawn mower, which would have to be moved in turn to make way for the pool filter.  A lot of shuffling around.  Anna and PJ were playing around under the deck and sort of help me, and they were being rambunctious and just sort of playing around.  I brought a few things out from under the deck.  I wondered where Kathleen was.  I asked PJ where mom was.  He said that she was sleeping on the chair in the front room.

Kathleen was taking a nap in the front room.  Anna had put her bright blue princess sleeping bag over her like a blanket and she looked very comfortable.  I went back out the backyard.  I started to unroll the pool.  I asked Anna if she had seen Sam around, because I suddenly noticed I hadn't seen him in a while and Kathleen was sleeping.  This was all a little odd, because this time of day Kathleen is normally up and puttering around the kitchen or sitting on the deck, and she does things like yell out "hey!  is Sam out there?"  But I figured Sam must be in the basement, because that is where he goes this time of day.  But I made a mental note to check on where Sam was.

I then grabbed a few pieces of garbage that needed to go out to the garage.  I brought the stuff out to the garage, and as I went around the corner of the garage I saw one of the windshield wipers on my car, which was sitting out in the driveway, was propped up like post straight out from the windshield.  "That must have been Sam!" I thought to myself, and as I walked towards the car my heart lurched up into my throat when I  saw Sam climbing around in the back seat of my Saab.  His head was dripping in sweat and he was upset, although he wasn't crying.

I brought Sam inside and gave him some ice water and wiped off his head with a wet rag.  He didn't seem to be suffering from heatstroke.  I think he went back out into the front yard, and wanted to back into the car so he opened the door and climbed in.  Because I had been working on it, I had forgotten to lock it.  He had then shut himself into the back seat of the car and because both of the back seat doors had child locks he could not open them.  At first I had thought I had shut him in when I had gone inside from the car the first time, but I couldn't have done that because it wouldn't have explained the windshield wiper. 

The windshield wiper, which happened to be standing up like a flag to grab my attention, was the only thing had brought me over to the car close enough to see Sam.  In 75 degree weather, the temperature in a car reaches a hundred degrees in ten minutes. 

So, imagine Sam had not gotten sidetracked to play with the windshield in his little adventure, and instead headed straight for the car.  Ten minutes later, I drop off the garbage, and don't notice him there.  I go to the back yard.  Maybe I ask Anna to look for Sam.  Maybe she listens, or maybe I have to ask her again a few minutes later.  Finally I go inside, and wake up Kathleen and ask her if she has seen Sam.  I look in the basement.  The next place to look is all through the house, the backyard the neighborhood.  So instead we would have found him fifteen minutes later, after twenty five minutes of one hundred degree heat. 

Bu then I might have seen him, too.  Maybe I would have heard him cry when I took the garbage back.  Maybe, a few minutes later I would have found him in the car, just sweaty and hot and scared, just a few minutes later.  Maybe either way it would have worked out just fine.  Maybe it wouldn't gotten that hot and he could have been in the car for an hour without any ill effects, and we would have certainly found him by then.  But you don't know, you don't ever know these things, and its the weight of that "what if" that weighs down on you when you take the time to think of it.  When you think that he might have died out there locked in a car on a summer day.

Still, thank god I saw that wiper.

Thursday, June 08, 2006

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

PJ Breaks his wrist (again!) June 6th, 2006

This weekend we went fishing/boating on Saturday.  At one point PJ had been in the van doing something, and then all of a sudden he was running at me and crying, holding his arm.  We put some ice on it, and 45 minutes or so later he was fine.  tough little guy.  He went fishing with us, and *tubing* which entailed holding onto the handles very tightly, and didn't cry or complain.

On Monday Kathleen noticed him holding his hand.  Sam bumped into PJ's arm and he winced, and made an "ow" sound.  When touching his wrist, it was tender his wrist was swolen.

I got to bring to the ER Monday night after dinner.  Of course, there had been a bunch of car accidents a few minutes earlier and the ER was standing room only.  Eventually we got in.  PJ charmed everyone with his many humorous antics.  He sees an orthopod on Thursday, and we are hoping that he will be able to swim inn time for our vacation in July.

For those of you who don't remember, he broke his other wrist a couple of years ago, and there was of course the trip to the ER for quarter-eating.  Sam was the one who broke his collarbone last summer.  Anna has remained mysteriously uninjured.  She climbs, jumps, and lands on her feet like a cat.

Sunday, June 04, 2006

Sunday Morning, June 4th, 2006

Kathleen dissapeared for the weekend with her friend Karen for a girl's weekend.  They said they were going to Lancaster county in Pennsylvania, although who knows where they actually went.  Atlantic City?  Vegas?  Branson?

I went boating yesterday with the children out on a friend's boat.  They trailered down to Pohick bay.  It started out cloudy and got nicer as the day went on.  We went fishing, and then went tubing and took a boat ride.  it was a great day.  Then we went home and  I let the kids stay up late and watch a movie.

Sunday morning Sam was the first up, and he came and woke me up.  I started to put on a shirt.  "No, I want you to put on this shirt."

"But I already have this shirt right here."  I said.

"No, this shirt, asshole."  He said.

"What!"  I said, not believing my ears.

"This shirt HAS HOLE" he said carefully, pointing to a big one under the arm.