Feb 3, 2010

Riding shotgun with Grampy

When I was a little kid I used to love riding along with my Grandpa Darrell, or Grampy, on his business trips to Chicago. He would pick me up at home and we’d drive north to several businesses in the suburbs and in the city. His business card claimed he worked for a printing company, but for a while I’d always imagined that he was a spy delivering secret documents to other undercover agents. Who would suspect a quiet-mannered Midwestern grandfather in a Ford Probe?

As I was driving to one of my assignments for work I realized I was slowly turning into Grampy. Not in a deeply profound way, just a “wow, this is a little weird” kind of thing.¬†Some of my earliest memories come from riding shotgun with Grampy, so it only makes sense that I see some of his patterns in my own daily routines.

Despite the fact that neither of our job descriptions include the words taxi driver or chauffeur, most of our time for work is spent on the road. We both put more miles on our cars in a year than most people do in three or four. Almost all of that time is spent listening to talk radio or the occasional ball game. My cupholder is always stocked with a fresh Diet Coke. My chap stick, change, gum and toothpicks are all in their own particular spots in my car. I keep a detailed log when I fill up my tank and track my mileage religiously. I know the best places to eat along almost any stretch of road in Illinois.

Of course a few things are a little different… I can make a phone call without having to pull over and stick the giant magnetic antenna from my bag phone on the roof of my car. Grampy’s music was a little more Southern Gospel and mine leans more toward alternative rock. His atlas is my GPS…

Some family members are the kind of people that tell hundreds of stories and try to load your head with advice on any subject under the sun. Maybe I wasn’t paying attention (which is a huge possibility), but I don’t remember Grampy as that kind of person. He was more of a “lead-by-example” kind of guy.

Hopefully I’m following along in those footsteps too. Even if he wasn’t a spy.

Jan 16, 2010

In the Computer?

Mal is away for the weekend on a business trip, but we’re using Skype so she can still see her boys. Ian seemed very confused about Mommy being in the computer, but he’s starting to get the hang of it now.

Hopefully it’s not something we have to use very often for us, but I’m hoping we can use it whenever we can so Ian can see grandparents, aunts, uncles, friends, mistresses, etc. The added bonus of using the computer? You can see the baby without fear of being spit-up on…

Actually, in the middle of writing this post Ian and I had a little video-chat with Nathan and Jaci up in the suburbs… here’s their dog, Chief, taking a closer look at the baby in the computer.

Are any of you already on Skype? Look us up… Mal’s screen name is malloryhaas, and I went out on a limb with stephenhaas. If you aren’t already on, it’s free… so you just need a webcam on your computer to chat. Hopefully we’ll be seeing some of you soon.

Jan 11, 2010

Laughing Like a Big Boy

Ian will turn six months later this week and he is growing up so fast on his way there… in the past couple of weeks he’s started sitting up on his own, drinking from a sippy-cup and now he’s started this big boy laughter. He giggled and smiled a lot, but never this kind of laughing. I honestly can’t stop watching it… even when the flu had me feeling miserable this clip would make me smile.

(I recommend clicking the little arrows and the HD symbol in the bottom right of the video above to watch it full screen.)

A few people have asked what made him laugh so hard… so here’s a little glimpse of his Daddy with a Diet Mt. Dew box on his head.

Apparently I’m pretty funny looking…

Dec 9, 2009

Ian’s First Tree

Sorry that I haven’t posted anything for more than four months… Ian keeps hogging the computer to check his Twitter feed.

Here’s a quick picture of the Haas men hunting for the perfect Christmas tree. I’m not sure if his method was spitting up on the ones he liked or didn’t like, so we just let Mal choose for us.

Jul 16, 2009

Ready to come home

Ian waits on a bed while dressed in his "going home" outfit Thursday, July 16, 2009, at Provena Covenant Medical Center in Urbana, Ill.