The Shapiro Files

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Trick or Treat (A Pictorial)

I love Halloween. Of course, who doesn't? When you're a kid, what can be better than dressing up in a costume and getting free candy from your neighbors? But even as an adult, there are costume parties, lots of people at work leaving piles of candy outside their cubes or offices for coworkers, and plenty of scary movies on TV. And now that I'm a parent, I get to reexperience what Halloween is like as a child all over again. Since Melody was only one-month-old last Halloween, this is the first time we've really been able to make an event of it. A couple of weeks ago, we took Melody to a nearby pumpkin patch and picked out several pumpkins for decorating and even found a tiny pumpkin she could call her own:

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As it turns out, Melody was immediately enamored by that little gourd and wouldn't put it down for nearly two days:

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As we closer to the big day, I carved a jack-o-lantern for the first time in several years:

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Finally, October 31 came and Melody was ready to show the world her costume:

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Prior to joining her cousins Kaylie and Jared in collecting candy around our neighborhood, our little bumblebee visited her Daddy at work:

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It's now the final hour of the day, Melody is fast asleep, and I'm already looking forward to celebrating next year's Halloween with two children. But until then, here's one last look at the sweet bee (posing with our beautiful flower):

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Thursday, October 19, 2006

Modest Fetus

Monday was the big level II ultrasound appointment. While the most important reason for the appointment was to be sure the little dude/dudette was doing OK, it was also supposed to be when we'd find out if Baby Shapiro #2 was going to be a girl or a boy. Well, the good news is that everything is looking fine and, of course, there's absolutely nothing more important than that.

However, as for the girl/boy question, it seems that our little munchkin-to-be chose that particular appointment to exhibit excessive modesty and kept his/her little legs pressed very closely together. As a result, the doctor couldn't tell us conclusively if Melody was going to gain a sister or a brother. He said that if he had to take a guess, he'd pick a girl, but only gave the odds at 60%. So ladies and gentleman, you'll all have to wait until next month when we have our next appointment. With any luck, little baby-in-the-making will be a little less shy!

Oh, and in the "Credit Where Credit is Due" department, Marcie reminds me that when cousin Brad announced his baby-to-be, he included a tongue-in-cheek FAQ at the end. So I guess I must have subconsciously channeled his cute idea into my previous post announcing baby #2. Sorry for the unintentional thievery, Brad! I guess a good idea just begs to be stolen by others!

Friday, October 06, 2006

Big News!

Yes, the rumors are true: We’re expecting yet another new addition to our family! Baby Shapiro #2 (”v2.0” to our Silicon Valley friends) is due in mid-March.

And now, here’s a quick FAQ to address some questions this announcement may generate:

Q: Boy or Girl?
A: We’re hoping to find out later this month (if Baby S. cooperates of course)

Q: Didn’t you just have a baby?
Time certainly does fly by when you’re having fun! But actually, Melody already turned 1 last month (September 12). She and her new sibling will be 18 months apart.

Q: Um, I don’t know how to ask this delicately, but...
A: Yes, this was intentional! We were hoping that Melody would have a sibling close in age and that such chronological closeness would also lead to a close relationship.

Q: Where is baby #2 going to sleep?
A: Although our new house is a little smaller than our last, Melody’s room is actually considerably larger than her previous one. So after the initial bassinet/sleeping-in-our-room phase, Baby Shapiro #2 will be sharing a room with his/her older sister. Additionally, our long-term goal is to expand our house and add a new room. So the kids will also have the option of getting their own rooms at that time if they desire it.

I’ll have more updates (including boy or girl news) soon. Keep checking back!

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

You Say It's Your Birthday? It's My Birthday Too, Yeah

Cousin Brad and I share the same birthday (October 4). So I invite everyone to take a trip to Brad’s blog and surprise him with some birthday greetings. Oh and while you’re there, check out the latest adorable photos of his and Jody’s beautiful new son Samuel!

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Tough Week

Prior to posting this entry, I had composed a couple of random rants (one about my AT&T DSL headaches and another about audience rudeness on “American Idol” clone shows), but then something truly bad happened that pretty much made those two topics pretty darn insignificant in comparison. I received a call last week from Chris, my father’s girlfriend (shouldn’t there be a better word when talking about such relationships among people older than 18?) that my father had suffered a “heart event” and that he was in the hospital. Now before I go any further, let me cut to the chase: He’s OK now. The bottom line is that he suffered a minor heart attack, with two blockages in the same artery for which he’d undergone angioplasty over a decade ago. He had two stents (amazing technological development since his last surgery) inserted in that troublesome artery and he seems to be essentially on the road to recovery now.

As anyone can imagine, it’s a terrible thing to receive such a phone call about a parent. Unfortunately, it’s also one that I can’t say any of us in our family were terribly surprised to receive. My father would be the first to admit that he doesn’t live an active lifestyle and he has struggled with weight-related issues for pretty much his entire life. Over the last 10-15 years, he’s seen both of his knees give out and his weight escalate higher than it had ever been before. This combined with a very high-stress work situation and less-than-ideal eating habits certainly doesn’t make for the most positive prognosis.

All these years now, we’ve all be encouraging him to be more careful with his diet and try to be more active. But he’s pretty set in his ways. However, this latest event seems to have shaken him up a bit. So maybe it’ll be a mixed blessing and encourage him to take steps toward improving his general health.

But in all events, we’re certainly all relieved that what could have been a truly horrific event ended up with about as positive a conclusion as such awful things can have. I’m also glad to say that my father never lost his sense of humor during this whole ordeal. For those of you who don’t know him, despite considerable embarrassment it created for my brother and I growing up (and now our younger brother Kenneth), my father’s humor tends to run considerably on the scatological side of things. So in his honor, if any of you feel like passing on any “blue” or otherwise flatulence-related humor that I can forward to him, I’m sure he’d enjoy it. Of course, since I do like to run a family-friendly site here, let’s try not to go too overboard!