Friday, October 17, 2008

Trying to Collect Rent (dedicated to Andrea J. Noorlander)

So we've driven to Baltimore in an attempt to collect the rent on our house that is two months overdue. Why did this necessitate our driving down here? Only because our tenant has canceled her home phone. And her cell phone. So now she is unreachable. And she's moving out in less than two weeks. 

I hate renting. 

On a lighter note, we are able to visit with the DeWaals, with whom we are staying overnight. Tyler and Dave Schorr are considering organizing a Helios sales team in the Baltimore-Washington area; they'd do a great job, and we'll discuss the possibility tomorrow.

Speaking of Helios, we are organizing what looks to become a 10-person sales team in PA-NJ, as well as a 5-person team in UT and a small team in WA. Sales reps' boots hit the ground on Wednesday. Keep your fingers crossed. Better yet, pray for us!

And now for all the tens of you who read this blog--a political aside. A third party vote is not a wasted vote. If you aren't satisfied with either of the two "major" candidates, vote third party. I personally will be voting for Chuck Baldwin of the Constitution Party. Let your voice be heard--and voting for "the lesser of two evils" is not being heard; it's just playing into a system that is offering you nothing "good" to vote for! Reject that system--that's what voting is all about!

Will update: Mark today in your journals as the day Will first asked me, "Dad, how do Moms and Dads make kids?" Call me if you want to know what I told him. Suffice it to say, I didn't give him "the talk" (don't worry, dad, I didn't pull out the old medical charts like you did--"this is the penis," said the dad with a straight face while ten-year-old Billy mustered all of his strength to suppress the overpowering laughter). But I did give him a decent prologue. Even Sarah approved.

Kasia update: This girl likes donuts. And she loves the DeWaals. I made the mistake of calling Megan and Mia "Megan and Mia." She immediately corrected me: "No daddy, it's Meggie Moo and Mia Pia."  My bad.

Thomas update: Did I mention this guy can drool? And his gas is seriously potent. Even as I type, Amy DeWaal is in the next room saying, "Oh, Tom, that is bad." That's my boy.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Perfect Fall Weather in Hershey (dedicated to Andrea J. Noorlander)

So the weather in Hershey has been fantastic. Perfect. You walk outside and just feel like pure, unadulterated energy is rolling through you, your cheeks and arms and legs massaged by the perfect balance of hot and cold. We've been on many walks, and spent all of yesterday afternoon at one of Hershey's many parks (the only ones there!) working on the laptop and reading and playing, all outside.

Will update: He told Sarah that the "builders" should have built the living room right by the tub so that he could watch TV while taking a tub. And the day before he told Sarah that he wanted to buy a scooter. "We should go to the scooter store to buy a scooter," he said. Sarah informed him that we didn't have the money. "Well," he said, "we should go to the money store and get some money, then go to the scooter store and buy a scooter." Why didn't I think of that? He's also becoming a great drawer, though he insists on coloring in completely all of the "ears" on his "people" so that they end up looking like sideburns. He won't change this.

Kasia update: She woke me up this morning by appearing like a fairy by my bedside. I opened my eyes and there she was, smiling at me from ear to ear, her chin resting on the mattress, her nose about an inch from my face. "Hi Daddy," she said softly...I love that girl. She loves oranges and insists on peeling them herself, and she only like old man cereals (like her dad) like Raisin Bran and Mini-Wheats. She loves to throw things away--I'll ask, "Who wants to throw this diaper away for me?" and she'll yell out, "ME!" Then she runs out and reappears a few moments later having "thrown it away." The trouble is, she doesn't know how to life the garbage can's lid. So hours later I'll be throwing something away myself and go to the garbage can only to find the items she's been throwing away during the day stacking neatly on top of the garbage. Did I mention I love that girl??

Thomas update: He's moved DOWN on the weight chart since his last doctor visit five weeks ago. He can say "Ma ma ma ma ma" and "Da da da da da" and "Na na na na na" which is the equivalent of several weeks of Tibetan language study. He hates sleeping. He has a horrible rash from excessive drooling. We have him in a bib all day, but it still soaks even the thickest of bibs and everything underneath. He smiles SO easily--even if he's crying and angry, if you smile at him, he'll smile back in mid-wail!

Andrea, I love you!

Thursday, October 9, 2008

A Day with the Kids (dedicated to Andrea J. Noorlander)

I've been away from the family for three-and-a-half weeks, and I can say with confidence that I won't be doing that again for a long, long time.

When I arrived at the airport (30 minutes early), I quickly got my bag and headed out to the curbside waiting area. A few minutes passed before a brown kid came running up to me. I did a double-take before recognizing my own birthright child, dressed in new, skin-tight dark brown pajamas. Behind him, in similarly fitted pee-jays (pink), ran Kasia, with longer hair than I remember, her arms out wide ready to give me a much-awaited hug. Man, I love those kids! The Sarah appeared, holding Tommy--who has grown a good deal in a month; he has more hair and is quite a bit more active and squirmy. People were staring as I hugged them all, but I was more proud than embarrassed.

On the way home, Kasia asked to listen to "Come on, come on, come on, come on," which, translated, means Track 3 on the new Def Leppard cd. Proud of my daughter's incredibly developed taste, I obliged, and we cruised home in the night to the melodic wailings of Joe Elliot & Co.

I spent the day with them, not doing much work (I figure I owe them that!). We watched cartoons, I threw them on the Lovesac and rolled them up in a blanket (this was a request: "Like a taco, dad!"). Will helped me unpack and arrange things, we all met Sarah at the hospital (where she interns as a social worker) to eat lunch on the lawn, and Tommy and I bonded, but not without a fair share of drool soaking my t-shirt.

I got into Penn State's grad program and start in January.

Helios kicks off its sales efforts next week.