I thought I had Mommy and Daddy trained.  We were doing so well with feeding, diaper changes, and other issues, but then Week Seven came.  I guess if the seventh year of marriage is the toughest, then why should I be surprised that the seventh week of life is equally difficult?  Seriously, all forms of communication shut down this week.  I cried and cried and cried and they just didn’t seem to understand what I was saying.  So, in an effort to prevent this in the future, here are a few translations that might help.

This means I am hungry.

This means I have a dirty diaper.

This means I am mad at Daddy for changing the football game to iCarly.

This means you are not giving me enough attention.

And finally, this is what caused all the problems this week.  This means that my formula is causing me stomach pains.  You need to change it now if you want any hope of sanity in the house.

All this points to one thing: DJ Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince were right – parents just don’t understand.


I think one of the dogs is named Chester.  It seems pretty easy.  At least 90% of the time that Mommy or Daddy is talking to him, they say Chester.  My other dog, the poodle, is a different case.  I’m not sure if his name is Dahma or Domino.  He is constantly getting in trouble, so Daddy frequently screams, “Dahma No!”  At least, that’s what I think he is doing.  It could just be his name.  I say this because sometimes Mommy will scream, “Dahma No No!”  I doubt she is being redundant.  Usually, Momma is right (she was on March 22, 2010, it says so on a plaque in my room).  So, I think he is Domino.

I’m pretty sure my name is Bubba.  I have several nicknames as well.  Sometimes Mommy looks at me and says Puddin’ or Puddin’ Head.  Daddy once called me Mr. Bean (I think that was a womb thing), but Gran told him to stop – she hates that character.  Gran calls me Pumpkin.  Mom has also used Bubba Face.  In fact, I think Mom calls everyone in the house Bubba, the dogs included.  Daddy has a new one, Cuba.  He says it is because I am full of sugar, then he kisses all over my face.  He should really stop – men shouldn’t kiss each other.  The most frequent nicknames I hear include SamGuy, Samma-lamma, Samma-lamma-Ding Dong (I don’t like this one), Sammi, Samster, and Poop Monster.  I don’t think my name is Poop Monster, but it could be Samma-lamma.  Dad also has some special names for me at 2 AM, but he doesn’t use them any other time, so I think he only uses those when he is particularly happy to see me.  Those are my special nicknames.

Anyway, I still think my name is Bubba.  I would prefer something less country.  I might talk to Mommy and Daddy about this.  Maybe I could go by Oreo.  I know that name was saved for my pony, but it turned out to be a girl.  Yeah, I like Oreo.

I have two quick updates for the week that didn’t quite fit in the regular post.  Here they are.

Update #1: At the ripe young age of 5-and-a-half weeks I did my first volunteer work this morning.  Mom, Dad, and I went for a walk with Caritas in Motion.  This is a program that Mom helped create to give kids in the Binghampton area an opportunity to get fit in their own neighborhood.  We walked about a mile with 10 kids this morning.  It was nice to get out.  In fact, I got such a workout that I downed nearly 6 ounces of formula as soon as we got home.

Update #2: Apparently there was some excitement outside the Vance Estate last night.  When we got home from our walk, our neighbor told us that the police spotlighted a hooligan in our driveway last night.  The perp jumped his fence twice to get to the alley and made a clean getaway.  It’s weird because Dad said he heard weird noises outside when we were returning to bed after my early-morning snack.  He wrote it off to the Printer’s Alley crowd, but it seems like it was the police in reality.  Mr. Billy says there were at least seven cops at the house for an hour or so.  I wish I knew.  We would have caught the criminal for sure if they had just asked for my help.  I know I would have cornered him.

I was born with a lot of hair.  It didn’t really dawn on me just how much “a lot” was until I met my future classmates during my daycare visit.  I had more hair than the other four kids combined – one girl and three boys all at least a month older than me!  So, yes, I have a lot of hair, but no, Dad, I don’t need a haircut.  I’m not some 60’s hippie reincarnated or something.

Dad is also mistaken on two more points – I don’t have chops or a mullet.  Okay, I might have chops.  The truth is that I didn’t know what chops were until I Googled it earlier this morning.  These are chops.

Mine aren’t this pronounced, but I can see what Dad is thinking.  However, I do not have a mullet at all.  Again, Google helped me learn this point.  I am neither business in the front or party in the back as seen here.

I may have longer hair in the back, but it isn’t a mullet!  I can’t help it if I was blessed with long locks from birth.  But, do not suggest that I would have such a ‘do as this.

I’m not a little bit country, I am 100% rock & roll, so I decided to end all of this discussion by going punk!  I asked Dad for help and he introduced me to the mohawk.  Before I committed, I wanted to look into this some more.  unfortunately, all I could find was some Daniel Day Lewis movie in my Google search.

This wasn’t really want I needed.  How does a movie about Native Americans help me strengthen my rocker image?  Well, Mom explained that a Mohican is a Native American, but a mohawk is a punk hair style (like this).

Now, that is rockin’!  So, I asked Mom if I could go green as well.  She says when I’m older.  I’ll believe it when I see it.

So, without further adieu, some new hairstyles.

My ‘do is slammin’!


Mom’s, on the other hand, not so much.


Mommy graduated from Leadership Academy on Thursday and I got to be there.  I didn’t actually see it because I slept through the whole thing.  But, I slept because getting there was so traumatic.

You see, Mommy had to be there by 5:50 PM for a 6 PM graduation.  Leadership Academy is all about being prompt, a concept that is frequently lost on Mommy, but she was on her game this week.  She was nearly ready to go when Dad got home around 5:15.

Dad was sporting a very nice gray pinstripe suit and wearing his “Sam Tie” that I bought him for Father’s Day (even in the womb was I was considerate).  He looked good, but he was a little naive to wear a nice suit near me.  I had never done anything to question this behavior, but I am still technically a newborn.

Well, Dad took over feeding me so Mommy could finish.  I took about three more sips of formula before projectile vomit went everywhere.  I somehow missed Dad’s shirt and tie, but I nailed his suit and the recliner.  We were supposed to leave in five minutes and everyone was losing it!  Mommy wouldn’t take me.  If I hit her with any bodily fluids, she would never recover in time to make the graduation.  So, Dad did the best he could to clean me up and work on himself.

He changed suits quickly and we were out the door about 10 minutes behind schedule.  Mommy says he took the worst route downtown, straight down Union.  She complained about the red lights.  I know Dad was frustrated because he said nothing.  We came to a stop on Front Street and Mommy jumped out of the car, but Dad and I stayed.  I didn’t know what was happening.  I had never been this far away from Mommy.  What is going on?

Well, the car started moving again and Dad pulled a U-turn right in front of a police officer.  I heard him say one of the words I am not allowed to know.  He pulled quickly to the right to park at the old post office and avoid the officer.  The cop moved on, but we couldn’t park – the spots were reserved for law students.  Great!  We were never going to make it.

Dad pulled back out on Front Street and drove a block to park in a garage.  The nice lady gave us a close spot, so maybe we have a chance after all.  Dad and I ran two blocks in nice clothes with my carrier in 90 degree weather to make it on time.  When we got to the building the front door was locked.  We were just about to give up when the security guard showed.  We took the elevator to the fifth floor and arrived just in time to see the ceremony begin.

We made it!  And I promptly fell asleep.  That was exhausting!

As a special note, I turned one month old today.  To celebrate this occasion, I have filmed my first ever webisode.  Enjoy!

Domino was telling me yesterday that Dad has been on his case about getting a job.  Apparently, when Mom and Dad adopted the dogs, Dad stipulated that Domino and Chester had two years of free rent before they had to start doing something to ease the family burden.  They celebrated three years in the house just days before my birth and neither dog has found work.  Domino blames the economy; I blame it on their lack of opposable thumbs.

Well, this week I have been eavesdropping on Dad’s conversations with Domino about finding something he can do around the house to help.  It turns out Dad isn’t completely heartless.  He has given the dogs more time to find something special.  He wants them to find rewarding careers that fuel their passions.  Well, I’ve seen my dogs and the only thing they are passionate about is sleeping and treats (maybe Chester likes the backyard, also, but that’s it).  So, I don’t see them finding anything soon.

But, it’s clear to me that Dad doesn’t like a “double-negative”, a family member that earns no income yet spends lots of money.  That’s when I realized Dad was also talking about me.  As I listened closely, I heard my name several times along with the terms “8-years old” and “lawn-mowing.  Now, that doesn’t sound like anything I was eager to try; it wouldn’t really arouse my passion.

So, this week I exercised some initiative.  I found my first job.  You see, earlier in the week, Dad made a comment that keyed me into a need in the house.  He said, “Sam, if you wake me up an hour before the alarm rings one more time, I will be sure to pay you back for it someday!”  I’m all about getting paid, so I took him up on the offer.  I am the official Shipley Family Wake Up Call.  The hours are great, my shifts typically start just when my diaper gets wet and are quickly followed by meals.  I get to nap on the job and the only real pain is that Dad can be a real asshole at 2 AM.  I guess even a dream job has drawbacks.

But, what’s important is that I am learning a strong work ethic in Week Three of life.  Dad says I am real good at my job.  I appreciate the feedback, Dad, but I’m still waiting on my paycheck!

Week Three Pics

I spend a lot of time looking up these days.


Ah, my favorite meal…milk.


Sweet kicks!


Me with my Aunt Jessica just before she moves to Charlotte.  So glad you got to see me.


Mommy showing off one of my souvenirs from the Zoo.


Sam, just hanging out.  Wait, that’s not me!


Funny Dad.  Real funny.


There is one all-time greatest moment in the history of sports and it happened in the 1932 World Series. The story goes that in the bottom of the ninth inning with two outs, a full count, and the tying run on base, Babe Ruth raised his arm and pointed to the center field bleachers. No one believed it because nobody had ever done it before. But The Babe was calling his shot. On the next pitch, the Great Bambino hit a towering home run. And even though he had been a hero before that, that’s pretty much how he became a legend.

From the Sandlot

Seventy-eight years later, I would watch a movie about a neighborhood legend, Benjamin Franklin Rodriguez.  I would see him become a great friend to Smalls, I would learn a little baseball along the way, and I would see the story of the biggest pickle in the history of the silver screen.  It would become my most favoritest movie of all time and then I would get in the biggest pickle in the history of my life!

It started because I couldn’t sleep that night.  I kept thinking about The Beast and wondering if Chester or Domino would ever get that big.  I like my dogs, but I don’t want them stealing my baseballs!  Anyway, my dreams kept waking me up.  I was just in the middle of a scary dream about Chief of Police Squid-Man Paladoris, when a noise woke me.  I realized that I was wet and hungry, so I screamed.

Mom woke and took me to the Torture Table (changing station) to check my diaper.  I was wet, so she tried to change it.  But, it was cold in the house and I was warm.  Naturally, I did what any young man would do when exposed to extreme temperatures.  That’s right, I peed long and good!  I hit two walls in my room, my dad’s camera equipment (sorry), Mom’s shirt and hair, and at least one box of diapers.  I must have achieved six feet of air and 15 feet in distance.

But, then the unexpected occurred.  I must not have adjusted for changes in wind trajectory because suddenly I tasted something a little salty.  I had peed in my own mouth.  Oh no! Friendly fire!  It wasn’t meant for me, it should have gone everywhere else.  I couldn’t shake the taste; it was unbearable.  I was scheduled to have a bottle in 10 minutes and my only nourishment will now be tainted with the taste of urine.

Sure enough, Mom cleaned my mess (ha!) with a few choice words for me.  She shouldn’t fret, though, I was a casualty of war as well.  And now I was about to receive my only meal for the next few hours with a soured mouth.  The bottle came as expected.  It approached my lips and I braced for the inevitable.  I fought the nipple off once, twice, three times, but Mom wasn’t having it.  She mumbled something about not waking at 3 AM if I don’t want to eat, but I did want to eat when I woke!  She won, the bottle made its way to my mouth and the first wave of milk hit my tongue.

And it tasted great!  The pee was gone.  It was a miracle!  It never occurred to me that taste subside in time.  After all, I have lived on milk alone for two weeks.  At least the pickle was over.  No more pee for me.  I’ll just learn to have better aim.

Your turn, Dad!

You’re killing me, Smalls!


Mom looks CRAZY!


My cousin Kindale.  Isn’t she a doll?


Ready for work.