Monday, December 31, 2007
Diana, Eli, Finn, Steve and I went to the big fancy Children’s museum in Rich Town USA. We met my friends Liz and Chuck, Diana’s friend Mindy, their offspring and about 100,000 other screaming kids for an afternoon New Year’s Eve party. There was music, face painting, balloons, confetti and lots of agitated parents. Needless to say, Eli freaked out.
And as I gazed across the germ factory, Elijah squirming in my arms, watching children fight and throw things and get scolded by their Yuppie parents, I thought, “This is the happiest I’ve been in my life.”
Maybe I’m feeling melodramatic, or maybe I’m trying to write an overblown blog entry because it’s the last one of 2007, but I feel like the luckiest man in the world. I have a great wife, a fantastic baby and at least four awesome friends. Including Grover.
So I wish all the HamannEggs readers a wonderful 2008. If 2007 is any indication, there’re gonna be a lot of hilarious things happening. Probably involving poop.
Now, this next part is to Elijah when he reads this in 2024. So if your name isn’t Elijah Steven Hamann, stop reading.
You are the greatest thing to happen to me. I’d walk over hot coals to see you smile. In 2008, I promise to do everything in my power to make sure you're happy. Even if it involves selling my soul to advertising. I also promise to protect you from monsters, scissors, colds and diaper rash. And we're going to have lots of adventures.
p.s. The next post won’t be so lame. You guys are jerks for reading that Eli message.
Saturday, December 29, 2007
I’ve been able to take the week off between Christmas and New Year’s to hang with the family, so I haven’t had a lot of time to blog. Mostly because I’ve been laying on the ground watching Elijah decide on his crawling method.
He is currently vacillating between “The Steamroller” and “Watch Out For Snipers.”
“The Steamroller” is, well, rolling to get from point A to Point B. It’s pretty effective, but pretty inaccurate. He spies something across the room, like, say a group of wires connecting expensive electronics to baby frying volts. And then he rolls. Because his head is so much bigger than the rest of him, he usually ends up off course and distracted by a big black dog or a big black dog’s slobbery toy.
“Watch Out For Snipers” is the old fashioned army crawl. I imagine him and his baby battalion pinned down by enemy fire and only my son is brave enough to crawl across the living room to unleash…uh…hugs and kisses and puppies.
We’re nearing the end of 2007. I’ll be collecting all of this year’s blogs and throwing them into book form shortly after Jan 1. That way fans like my mom and Juliet Greenberg can have a hardbound edition for their bookshelves.
Wednesday, December 26, 2007
I was going to write an entry in a “Twas The Night Before Christmas” theme featuring Elijah as the mouse. Or maybe an entry featuring me as Scrooge and Eli as Tiny Tim. But then I realized I was waaayy too lazy for that level of creativity. So I’ll commemorate Elijah’s first Christmas as I commemorate everything, by writing a bunch of lame jokes.
Christmas went off without a hitch. We loaded up our Subaru to the brim, Grover seated comfortably in shotgun and we pointed south to Central Illinois.
A note about space. There is not an SUV, Minivan, Tractor Trailer or Space Shuttle that can hold all of the crap we have to lug around. I said a little prayer every time we backed up because the late Ray Charles had a better chance of seeing out our back window.
But miraculously, Eli had no major issues driving down. This, from a child who would cry if someone two towns over mentioned the words “car seat.”
And Santa granted my secret wish that there be no family drama. My dad’s Christmas was lovely. Great food, plenty of people to hold Eli while I ate said food. Hilarious brothers. For any single women HamannEggers out there, my brother Luke is single and about to become a dentist (cha ching). My mom’s Christmas was equally lovely. Grover didn’t eat the appetizers. My mom made her bean casserole (the secret is cream of mushroom soup) and Eli got to absorb lots of germs from his cousins.
Eli got lots of cool stuff. Including a Train that poops colored balls. It’s as if the toy manufactures were reading my blog.
The only bummer is Elijah has seemed to forget everything he learned about sleeping. He woke up at 4 this morning and is currently into his 44th minute of freaking out in his crib.
I hope you had a great Christmas, Chanukah, or whatever Snake Handlers do in December. I don’t have any Christmas photos to post because I’ve been too busy playing with my new iphone to load new ones (Diana is the best wife ever).
Friday, December 21, 2007
Genetically speaking, Elijah has inherited some comedy chromosomes (2 “k” sounds, very funny). Diana happens to be one funny broad. Not in a mildly amusing Rita Rudner kind of way, but in an only-woman-in-the-world-who-can-make-me-laugh kind of way.
And me, well, how many people do you know who has written an award winning comedy Superbowl TV commercial? A TV commercial so funny that it caused the advertising client to fire the advertising agency. At least that’s how I remember it.
Needless to say, it’s not a matter of if Elijah will be funny, it’s a matter of when. Well, the child has made great strides in funny. With the invention of the face burp.
After every bottle, we burp Elijah. Because we don’t want him to pop. And usually, he discards his gaseous waste safely over my shoulder. But lately, right as the stinky, curdled milk bubble comes out he turns his face towards mine and launches it right into my nose.
This isn’t by accident. One time, yes. Twice is a coincidence. But now, he’s doing it just to see me gag. Diana seems to think I’m nuts, but I believe he’s invented his first joke.
Speaking of firsts, Marianna told me tonight that Elijah has almost figured out how to crawl. Expect a huge first blog soon.
Thursday, December 20, 2007
This morning I tried to build up some wife goodwill points by waking up with Elijah. My goodwill points are usually tapped out by the time Steve and Tom leave Friday night. Stinky boys.
So after changing his thoroughly soaked diaper (I don’t know how a child can produce double his body weight in pee over the course of a night) and replenishing his fluids with 7 ounces we went down to the bathroom.
The real bummer about me taking the morning shift during the week is I have to get ready for work. Which means I sit Elijah in a chair on our bathroom floor and attempt to shower and entertain an 8 month old at the same time. I usually sing him songs about soap or rubber duckies. I also assure him that with his mother’s genes he has a 50% chance of not being a hairy ape like his father.
This surprisingly keeps him occupied for the 10 minutes it takes for me to wash the stink of advertising off. Until this morning.
While I was washing my hair, my Spidey Sense starting tingling. I looked out of the shower and saw that Elijah had figured out how to open the drawers under the sink. I thought, “Well, there’s nothing in there that can possibly hurt him…”
He started extracting items to inspect: Toothpaste. Deodorant. Hair Conditioner. SCISSORS! BIG POINTY SCISSORS! BIG POINTY, BABY LOSE EYE SCISSORS! I leapt out of the shower and snatched the sharp evildoers out of his hands. Eli cared more about me soaking him than snatching the scissors.
My holiday break will now include baby proofing the house.
Wednesday, December 19, 2007
When you spend 28 hours a day with Eli as Diana does, you sometimes need to spice things up a bit to fend off boredom. For Diana, that means occasionally breaking out the hair gel and giving him a faux-mohawk. I voiced my displeasure at this loud and clear because I think it’s a form of abuse to purposely give your child a goofy hairdo. And faux-mohawks are so 2002.
But occasionally, Eli will give himself a goofy hairdo on his own, through the magic of bed head. Take this morning for instance. Elijah slept hard and woke up with a perfect part right down the middle of his head, giving him an Old Timey Banker hairdo. The only think he was missing was green visor. And the fact that his crib resembles a bank vault was icing on the cake.
While I was getting ready for work I kept asking him if he could convert my change into paper money. Diana was asking him if she could check her balance. Grover attempted to rob him, but his President Reagan mask fell off.
I got the impression that Elijah knew we were making fun of him. He kept scrunching up his nose and frowning when I asked for the key to the safe deposit box.
Tuesday, December 18, 2007
Every once and a while I look back at my old HamannEggs posts to marvel at my hilarious descriptions of Elijah’s hilarious antics.
Today I looked at the last couple months’ worth and…wow. I can’t spell my way out of a wet paper sack. On some posts it looks like I’ve simply mashed the keyboard and called it a day.
I guess that’s what happens when you use a three year old half Poodle, half Golden Retriever as a proofreader.
So to all the teachers who read the post and gnash their teeth at my awful, awful spelling, not to mention the atrocious grammar, me sorry.
I’ll try to have some real, non-awful spelling posts soon. Until then, enjoy a photo of our awesome little person. And our proofreader. And now that you mention it, that's our awesome car in the background. Now, where is Diana?
Saturday, December 15, 2007
Lots of HamannEggs readers have been asking for a Marianna babysitter update. She’s been Eli’s sole caregiver Wednesday and Friday afternoons and you poor readers have gotten no dirt on her. Sorry about that.
Let me take you through a typical Rick/Marianna encounter…
I burst through the front door unannounced at 7:31 on the dot. I usually scream, “Gotcha!” hoping to catch her in some kind of illegal act. She usually leaps up from quietly reading Food and Wine magazine (I’m convinced she’s only reading the wine articles).
We told her my twin brother Steve will sometimes come over if I’m working late. So she usually says, “Are you Steve?” And I’ll reply, “Maybe I am and maybe I’m not. I’ll ask the questions, lady.”
Then I’ll go immediately to my dvd collection and force her to wait while I count them just to make sure she hasn’t hidden one in her purse. Then I’ll randomly open closet doors looking for party guests, screaming, “Gotcha!” Marianna will beg me to be quiet, as she usually has just put Elijah to bed.
I’ll then ask her to complete a field sobriety test. Alphabet backwards, nose touching, Rumba. She does it without question and I’ll say, “You won this time, Marianna.” She’ll then ask me not to breathe my beer breath on her face.
Actually, The only part of this that’s true is the quietly reading part. She’s a lovely woman who Elijah loves and Grover adores. She usually gives me a five-minute recap of Elijah’s cuteness and then she’s off to church for the evening service.
Wednesday, December 12, 2007
Friends of ours from down the street came over last weekend with their baby Charlie, who is a month older than Elijah. Charlie is a really cute, cool, laid back kid who…drum roll…can crawl!
While I was playing with the now mobile Charlie, I looked over at Eli, who was sitting on the carpet bashing himself in the face with a block, I was overwhelmed with a completely foreign feeling: competitiveness.
Anyone who knows me knows I am the least competitive person on the planet. My brother and I used to play games of tennis that would last hours and hours because neither one of us wanted the other to lose.
But for some reason, that night I was trying to will Eli to crawl with my mind. “Come on, boy. Show this Charlie baby you can crawl. No, in fact, skip crawling. Start walking. Now. Do a summersault. Stand on your hands. DO A BACK FLIP! A BACK FLIP!”
I snapped out of it and thought, what the heck am I thinking? Babies crawl when they want to crawl. The fact that Eli hasn’t gotten mobile doesn’t mean he’s behind. Or, for that matter, we’re bad parents. I realized this is how parents who scream at their kids at soccer games are created.
Truth be told, babies don’t really start crawling until closer to 8 to 10 months and Charlie is an exception and Eli is going to catch him any day now and will probably walk before him because my son is a champ, a champ I tells you…I’m doing it again, aren’t I?
I have a feeling I’ll be punching out a soccer ref in the next few years.
Monday, December 10, 2007
Some of Elijah’s firsts are quick. Like first poop. Bam. Or first fever. Bam bam. First snow. Bam bam bam. But other firsts are more gradual. Much like the 15 pounds I’ve gained over the last month.
Like his first tooth. Well, he’s got one now. But it’s not like one morning he woke up and it was there. It took a while to show it’s little bony head. It was kind of not there, then kind of there, now it’s sort of a tooth but not really. More like a white, rough line on his gums. But it’s gradualness means when he’s older I won’t be able to say, “It was December 8th. A cold day. Cold and unforgiving like two-day-old McDonald’s…”
It’s a pretty cute tooth, though. I think I will call it “Jeff The Tooth.” Just think of how may pizzas Jeff will sink himself into. How many ice creams will make him hurt. How much delicious Crest will be spread across him. Will he get chipped? Will he get a cavity in him? Will he get punched out in a fight versus a bully? Or against his cousin Finn?
Come to think of it, he’s gonna fall out in a couple years and be replaced by a bigger better Jeff. I’m not going to get too close. I don’t want to get hurt.
I don’t have a photo of the tooth, er, Jeff. It’s too small. So enjoy this photo of Eli laughing like a lunatic.
Saturday, December 8, 2007
Because of my silly work schedule, Diana gets up with Elijah 6 days a week. So the least I can do is let her sleep one day, which is officially Saturday, which is today. The boy child is putting in some nice rack time, so I was pleasantly unsurprised when he starting calling out for some attention at 6:45 this morning.
Now, I’ve never claimed to know what I’m doing with Eli. Diana has been responsible for keeping both Eli and I alive these last seven months (we don’t count the ear surgery month that lives in infamy). But I know my way around a baby. It’s not like I accidentally leave him on our car hood Saturday mornings. I can make a bottle like a champ. And I can get him into a cute outfit, provided it’s a zipper outfit and doesn’t have anything weird like a hood.
But this morning, I could not put on his diaper. No I wasn’t too hung over (much). Nor did I hit my head. The boy had a serious case of the wiggles. I got him on his changing table, got the diaper off fine. But then he started squirreling around like a crazy baby. He’d flip over, exposing his dangerous rump. I’d flip him back (exposing his dangerous front) and he’d kick his legs and flail his arms and flip back over. All with a grin that can only be described as “devilish.” Grover didn’t help at all. He just sat there and look at me as if to say, “The lady would’ve had me outside emptying my bladder by now.”
I considered taking my chances and putting him in an outfit sans-diaper. But that ticking time bomb cannot be defused.
After about ten minutes I subdued him enough to get a very, saggy, off center diaper on him.
p.s. Apparently the stuffed lamb has officially been named "Lulu." I much preferred "Carlos."
Friday, December 7, 2007
Yeah yeah yeah, Elijah’s first snow was Thanksgiving. But that snow didn’t stick and it mostly just looked like white rain. White Rain? Isn’t that an affordable hair care product line featured at Target? Dear Target, please send my money in unmarked $100 bills.
Well, this week Evanston got pounded with snow. I think we are up to double digits of the white and fluffy. And as it turns out, Eli LOVES snow. Every time Di takes him out for a walk with Grover, he laughs hysterically. Like God made a huge funny by turning everything white. I don’t quite see the humor while I’m shoveling out, but Eli also thinks sweet potatoes are a riot.
The only rub is along with the snow, it’s freaking cold cold cold out there. We barely hit 20 all week. And cold plus babies equals DCFS lady knocking on our door. So we’ve tried all manner of bundling the baby. The thing that works best is his full body snowsuit. It is physically impossible for cold to penetrate its fluffy fluffiness. And the fact that it makes him look like Maggie Simpson from The Simpsons is a plus.
Rub number 2 is Eli refuses to keep his thumb inside the suit. There are these little slits in the hands, which serve no real purpose. But Eli always sticks his thumb out. As if it was his own personal thermometer. He often looks like a farmer testing wind direction.
Either that or The Fonz.
Monday, December 3, 2007
Very little drives Diana nuts about me. Which is good because it’s nice to be married. Some things that do drive her nuts about me include (in no particular order): Leaving things in the sink to rot. Leaving my clothes on the floor to rot. Not having my cell phone on me when she really needs to get a hold of me.
But the thing that drives her craziest is my inability to pass a mirror without looking at myself. I have never met a reflective surface I didn’t like. Diana will actually sit with her back away from windows at restaurants so I won’t spend the whole time smiling at myself in the reflection.
What’s the big deal? I mean, pride isn’t one of the Seven Deadly Sins or anything. What’s that? Huh? I can’t hear you. I’m trying to see my own reflection in my computer screen.
Anyhoo, it seems as though my son has inherited my love of mirrors. Elijah can be in the crabbiest mood in the world, but if you stick him in front of the bathroom mirror, he cracks up. His expression is that of, “Heeeeeyyy, where did this good looking baby come from? Hello, handsome…” If you position him in the right way, he can see himself in two, count ‘em, two mirrors at the same time. It’s like a good-looking baby party.
p.s. Our digital camera is on the fritz. So you’ll have to deal with this slightly out of date photo. I have a feeling Santa is dropping several hundred dollars while I write.
Tuesday, November 27, 2007
My dad was a notoriously picky eater when he was a child. There goes a Hamann folk story about the time he drove my kindly grandfather to near physical abuse by refusing to eat on an entire road trip out west.
Well, thankfully Elijah did not inherit that particular gene. Simply putting him in his high chair makes him wiggle his legs and open his mouth like a baby bird. And he eats everything. Peas, spinach, squash, mud (Can you pick out the joke food? Send your answer on a 3X5 card to “Easiest Contest Ever.”).
But he does have his limits. He can’t stand baby food pasta. I can understand. Who wants to eat room temperature, mushy starch? If you try to shove a spoonful into his mouth, he makes the most hilarious “What the *%%&^ is that?” face. Which, of course, is why I make him eat baby food pasta. Yeah, it’s cruel. But the faces are priceless. I’ll even do the applesauce sneak attack. He’ll be Da da da-ing with glee, enjoying mushed apples, and then I’ll sneak in a spoonful of gross pasta. Just to see the face.
But the rub is he will not swallow said pasta. He’ll just pack it in until his face reaches maximum capacity. At which point he’ll let it drop until his shirt, or if he really thinks you’re messing with him, he’ll spit it in your face.
Which is exactly what I deserve.
Monday, November 26, 2007
Aside from the head expanding purpose of marveling at my own baby-related witticisms every few days, I started Hamann Eggs so that Elijah will be able to look back years from now and see what he was like growing up. And to marvel at his father’s witticisms.
But, quite frankly, I’m not convinced the internet will survive for the next 18 or so years. I have a feeling some nerd is currently devising a way to erase everything on the worldwide web with a few greasy keystrokes. Or there will be some new thing that’s even more advanced than the internet that will render the current internet obsolete. I assume it will involve robots. Or as they will call them in 2024, “Droids.”
So, my plan all along was to convert Hamann Eggs into actual book form. Because nothing lasts longer than paper. There is this awesome website called Blurb.com that will make your hilarious to you and three other people blog into a real live hardback (Blurb, if you are reading this, that counts as an endorsement. Keep that in mind when you send me my bill).
The plan was to make a hardback version of the blog on every Elijah birthday. However, I started to do the math (actually, Diana did the math and explained it to me very slowly). A book every Elijah birthday means that I’ll have to do a separate blog for every child we have, and keep them up to date every couple of days and release a blog book for them on their birthdays and so on and so forth. Diana wants to have 15 children, so my blogging and book making will be a fulltime job. And given the fact that blogging pays nothing, that makes about as much sense as this paragraph.
Long story short, I will be making one big family blog book every Jan 1. The kids can fight over them when I die.
What does that mean for you? Well, nothing. Unless you are a superfan of Hamann Eggs. Which would make you one of Di or my parents. Then you can buy your own copy of the book through Blurb.com. I’ll send you details when the book is actually made.
Friday, November 23, 2007
Dada. My son says, “Dada.” Or better yet, “Dadadadadadadadaaaaaa.” So that counts as a first word, right? Right.
Well, if you want to get technical, most quote unquote experts will tell you it doesn’t count as a first word until they are referring to something specific. And it doesn’t usually happen for several months from now.
But, we’ve already established Elijah is a genius. He’s crying at a fifth-grade level. And when he says, “Dada,” I look around and see only one person with a badly out of date hairstyle, sweatpants and a permanent confused look on his face: Me. And I’m his dad. So case closed.
Hmm? What’s that you ask? Well, yes he does refer to Grover as “Dada.” And his mom. And his poo. And his uncle Steve. And the mailman. Wait a minute.
I gotta go get a DNA test.
Thursday, November 22, 2007
It’s particularly nice when you can knock out two, count ‘em, two firsts in one day.
On our way out the door for Elijah’s first Thanksgiving, he encountered his first snowfall. It’s moments like these that I try to imagine what it must be like for him. Here he was, in the nice, warm house where there are lots of blocks and that stick with the gradually smaller plastic rings and then he gets thrust into an environment that’s 40 degrees colder. AND ICE IS FALLING FROM THE SKY. I just got a panic attack. Well, in typical Eli fashion, he took note of the situation and then tried to eat his mom’s face.
He also performed admirably in his first Thanksgiving. Considering none of Thanksgiving is geared towards someone who has no teeth, can’t gossip about absent family members and didn’t have $50 on the Packer game. He got delightfully passed around to Grandma and Grandpa, which meant I could attempt to reach 5,000 calories. He took a power nap right when the turkey was served (I was born under a good sign today). Not to mention the friends of the family had all kinds of shiny expensive things he could look at, but not touch.
Eli got home, got stuffed into his pj’s and racked out hard.
So I hope everyone out there in HamannEgg land had an equally nice day.
p.s. My older brother Dave just started a blog for his awesomely named son, Fox Hamann. Anyone who wants to read well written entries that are kind of like mine, but much taller and better looking should check out his site:
p.s.s. And while I’m at it, if you want to see the hilarious blog that inspired me to start HamannEggs (i.e. the guy whose idea I ripped off), check out Max The Baby:
Wednesday, November 21, 2007
When I was a lad, I dragged around a filthy, soggy, beaten up Grover doll wherever I went. It had a string, that when pulled, would make Grover say something hilarious. After the first couple months of overuse it broke and the only sound that would come out was a frightening shriek. The Grover doll got puked on, peed on, Scarlet Fever-ed on. But I loved that filthy rag. Hold on a minute. Our dog is named Grover. Coincidence?
If you dug through our boxes in the basement, you’d find him waiting to be reunited with his true owner. The truth is Diana won’t allow his bacteria laden body within a country mile of our living space.
You know what? Grover shouldn’t be stuck in a box, waiting to get moldy. I’m gonna go dig him out and hide him in my bedside table. Let’s just hope Diana doesn’t read this blog.
Wow, this entry is taking a long time to get to Eli.
Well, it seems like Elijah has bonded with this little stuffed lamb we put in his crib. I don’t know if it has a name. Let’s say it’s “Carlos.” Well, Elijah loves Carlos. Most mornings before Eli shrieks to be changed and fed, he’ll lie in his crib, talking to Carlos. It’s terribly cute. And when he’s asleep, Eli will put a vice grip on Carlos so hard I can’t pry him loose. I can’t wait until the day Carlos is a filthy, Scarlet Fever-ed rag.
Grover (the dog, not my secret friend), who loves nothing better than tearing up stuffed things and eating their innards, constantly looks at Carlos and licks his lips. Which reminds me, I have to find a lock for my bedside table.
Monday, November 19, 2007
Elijah is currently trying to push a tooth out through his gums. Which isn’t as fun as you’d think. In fact, it makes him really pissed off. So we’re tying to find him some relief. If you’re thinking, “Rub some Whisky on his gums,” you were born in 1890. Maybe we should throw some leeches on him while we're at it.
We did buy some all natural hippie gum-reliever at the overpriced hippie grocery store. And, much like hippie toothpaste, it did nothing except make the recipient smell worse than before application.
Truth be told, the only thing that really works is having him shove things into his mouth. Teething rings, stuffed animals, big black dogs. When inserted, they make Eli feel better, or at least muffle his screams.
Elijah’s favorite teething technique? Biting his mom’s head. Diana will be holding him, cooing, and he’ll grab her by two fistfuls of hair and bite her head. Usually resulting in her head being completely covered in slime.
Which will instantly become un-cute when he does get a tooth.
Friday, November 16, 2007
The last time Diana took Elijah to the doctor, she said he might start getting scared of strangers. But like everything associated with kids, there’s a special rhyme for it, “Stranger Danger.”
Diana and I scoffed at the prediction. Stranger Danger? Our son? You mean the kid who’s been passed around more times than a joint at an Allman Brothers concert?
Hmm. Comparing my son to an illegal drug. I’m gonna say wildly inappropriate. My alternate was “passed around more times than my mom’s meat loaf.” Let’s go with that one.
Anyhoo, wouldn’t you know? Diana’s dad came by to baby-sit this week and Eli freaked out on him. Really? Di’s Dad? The first person on the planet to get Eli to laugh? Sheesh.
Last night I got trapped on an airplane in LA, so my brother Steve saved my bacon by babysitting when Diana had a wine thing. But Eli got scared of my own twin brother.
So Steve decided he’d try impersonating me. Which involved taking off his glasses, and repeating, “Duh…me like Porsches,” over and over.
It didn’t work. Thankfully, Steve’s general goofiness won Eli over and they had a grand old time. I managed to get home in time to put Eli to bed and put a six-pack in Steve’s hands.
Monday, November 12, 2007
My ideal weekend activity involves the awesome combination of wearing sweatpants and scratching myself through sweatpants.
In an attempt to prevent Eli from turning into a sweatpant scratcher, Diana suggested we actually get out of the house last weekend. Namely, the Chicago Shed Aquarium. I was instantly into it. No, not because I didn’t have a choice. But because Elijah had never seen a fish before and this would be a big first. Up until this point, Eli must have thought the only animals on the planet are big, clumsy dogs.
We brilliantly scheduled this family activity in the exact three hours between his naps, to prevent angry ear pulling. After driving in from Evanston (cue Beverly Hillbillies theme), we arrived at the Shed entrance and realized we shared our get out of the house idea with roughly 100,000 other families. The crush of humanity made me get a serious facial tick. But the Shed got us in super fast (they have a special line for strollers, but that meant we had to hang out with a billion pushy moms and two billion kids asking where Nemo was).
I gotta say, I thought Eli would poo poo the aquarium, but he was into it. He loved the fish and, um, other fish. But he mostly loved Diana and I saying, “Ohhh…fish” over and over. Truth be told, after a half hour he got bored and became very interested in my jacket zipper. But we definitely got our $32 worth.
Friday, November 9, 2007
There’s a story in the Hamann folklore that goes as follows:
When my twin and I were babies, my father was holding us in each arm while walking down the stairs. According to my dad, Steve and I decided simultaneously to grab giant fist fulls of his awesome 1970's chest hair and yank them out. Dad was paralyzed with pain and unable to do anything about it without dropping a baby.
That story is called “Foreshadowing.”
Anyhoo, I took the early shift with Elijah this morning. I scooped him up and sat on the couch for a game of “You’re Standing!” Which involves standing him on my knees and shouting, “You’re standing!”
Suddenly, Eli reaches down and grabs a huge handful of my chest hair and yanks. Hard (No, I wasn’t nude. I was wearing my old man robe. Get your head out of the gutters.). I squealed like a little girl. Which delighted my son to no end. He’d yank, I’d cry, he’d yank, I’d cry. Apparently it was a much better game than “You’re Standing.”
Eli also grabbed a fist full of Grover’s beard and yanked that too. Grover took it like a man. He just looked at me as if to say, “Don’t put this in your blog.”
Wednesday, November 7, 2007
Even with Elijah putting in huge hours of nonstop crib time, sleep is the most valuable commodity at the Hamann house. We view REM like freebase cocaine addicts. Some early mornings while Eli is howling, I’ll grab Diana by the shoulders and look at her with crazed, blood red eyes. “I need just a minute of sleep…Gimmie a minute of the big S…I’ll do anything…anything…”
Sleep is also the great motivator in our house. If I’m watching “Daily Show” reruns, Diana will come in and say, “If you rake the leaves, paint the house, shoot a live grizzly bear and build a ladder to the moon, I’ll wake up with Eli tomorrow and let you sleep.” I’ll be out the door with my rake/shotgun/paintbrush in an instant.
Well, last Saturday was Daylight Savings Time. We danced around the house all day, knowing that fall back meant an extra hour of sleep. We were giddier than Children on Christmas Eve. “What are you going to dream about with your extra hour?” I’d say. “A talking Grover, of course, “ Diana would reply.
Um, you know who doesn’t understand the concept of Daylight Savings Time? Babies.
Eli woke up at what he thought was 6am, but with Daylight Savings Time, it was 5 in the am. What a gyp. And to add insult to injury, he hasn’t caught onto Daylight Savings Time all week, so our family starts at 5am. Which means the value of sleep just skyrocketed.
I have a feeling I’ll be building an addition on the house to get a nap this weekend.
Monday, November 5, 2007
There’s good news in the Hamanneggs universe. Pam Hamann, Steve’s wife, is preggers. Great news. I can hear every Hamann wife across the country chanting, “Please be a girl, please be a girl, please be a girl…”
The only bummer is now that Pam is going to be lugging around her new little person, she won’t be able to be Elijah’s full time babysitter anymore. So that left us with the task of replacing someone who was bound by law to put up with our neurotic Elijah-isms. “Uh, we prefer that Elijah receive one spoonful of fruit for every three point five spoonfuls of vegetables. Oh, and he may listen to Wilco for ten minutes only after he’s listened to eight Beatles songs…”
After a short Craigslist search, we set up an interview with a Romanian woman named “Marianna.” I like to think of myself as a semi-enlightened person who rejects stereotypes. But all morning Saturday I had visions of a grey shawl wearing hunched woman, clutching a hunk of bread in one hand and a bag full of stolen babies in the other. She’d shuffle into our house and cry, “I sell baby for kerosene, yes?”
Well, surprise surprise, Marianna ended up being a lovely woman who speaks perfect English and was very sweet with Elijah. She knows CPR, has raised countless children, hers and other people’s. Her husband is a wealthy contractor (as evidenced by our googling her house) and she loves dogs. Especially big black spazzy ones named “Grover.”
The only hiccup was when she told us a story of how her last babysitee used to refer to her as “Mommy #1” and his real mother as “Mommy #2.” She saw Diana’s lip quiver and said that would never happen with Elijah.
So after trying every background check known to man (Homeland Security will no longer accept my calls), we decided to hire Marianna as Eli’s official nanny! So expect lots of Marianna stories involving spoonfuls of sugar making medicine do something.
Thursday, November 1, 2007
One of the greatest days of my life was when Elijah decided to laugh. The kid could poop gold and I’d still prefer to hear his goofy, squeaky chirps.
But here’s the rub. He thinks I’m mildly amusing, but he finds Diana freaking hilarious.
Now, I don’t want to split hairs but when Diana and I got married we decided that she was going to be the pretty one, the smart one and the charming one. But I got to be the funny one. And now in our son’s eyes she’s Red Buttons.
Last night, due to all the Halloween excitement and non-sleeping, Elijah got so worked up he puked in his crib. So Di had to change his sheets while I rocked the boy. Watching Di stretch cloth over a mattress caused Eli to double over in laughter. No, she wasn’t changing sheets in a clown nose, or in an “I’m with Stupid” t-shirt. But Eli was howling.
And this morning, while Diana tried to feed him, Eli was laughing so hard that food would not stay in his mouth.
I gotta step up my game. If I’m not the funny one, where does that leave me? The stinky one? No, that’s Grover.
In a cosmic event rarer than a solar eclipse, I was able to launch my escape pod from work and be home in time to see Elijah’s first Halloween. You can see from the blindingly cute photos that it was worth my while. We took no less than 100 photos last night. All in the hopes Eli would smile in his Tigger costume. I think we got 1.5. The fact that it was 1,000 degrees in the thing didn’t help.
Eli semi enjoyed the 14 Spiderman costumes that came to our door. By which I mean he didn’t freak out. And he was particularly interested in Skittles packaging. Little did he know the awesome artificial flavors hidden inside.
But in true Elijah fashion, as soon as the little hand hit six he came to the conclusion that Halloween was dumb and demanded bed.
And thus, revealed the flaw in our Halloween plans.
Uh, Eli’s bedroom is right over our front door. And in order for the next 14 children in Spiderman costumes to get at our bowl of candy, they had to ring our doorbell. Which caused Grover to bark his halfhearted attempt at protecting us. Which caused Elijah to wake up and scream his head off.
Thankfully, the chaos ended at 8pm, per order from Evanston’s mayor. And Di and I sat down to a blood red glass of Pino Noir. Boooo!
Monday, October 29, 2007
I got to spend a non-working weekend with the family and man, it was fu-un. Elijah still looks at Di and me like we’re the two greatest people on the face of the Earth and I’m not about to shatter his worldview just yet.
Lately, Eli’s favorite activity is flying. If you lift him over your head, he lets out cackles of joy. If you add airplane or Superman noises, forget about it. The only danger is the occasional string of drool. Until Saturday.
Like most men, I prefer to select one outfit and go with it all weekend. Blue jeans, blue John Belushi “College” sweatshirt, mismatched Vans tennis shoes, see you Monday morning. Shower? No thank you.
Di was trying to have a real conversation on the phone with a real adult Saturday. I tried to distract her by flying Eli all over the kitchen. Then I got the brilliant idea of adding twirling to the fun. Round and round. Can you see where this is going?
He may be a large for his age, but I had no idea his stomach could hold so much. Hair, Belushi sweatshirt, jeans, t-shirt, underwear. All covered.
But I still managed to make it through the weekend in the same clothes. Ask Diana. I’m a real prize.
p.s. We had to take poor Grover to the animal hospital over the weekend. He hurt his little paw-thumb and needed bandages. We tell people he’s going as Seabiscuit for Halloween.
Friday, October 26, 2007
Take a look at a few of the last posts on Hamanneggs. You know that green thing Elijah is sitting in for, oh I don’t know, 99.9% of the photos? It’s called a “Bumbo.” The Bumbo corporation just recalled all of their products because babies fall out and smash their skulls. Particularly when the baby is seated in a Bumbo on a table or a kitchen counter.
Take another look at those past posts. Most of the time, ahem, Eli is perched on top of our kitchen counter. Duh…me father. Me care for tiny human. Duh.
Diana actually did a test with Eli and the Bumbo. She let him squirm around in it (On the ground, DCFS speed dialers). And sure enough, he managed to flip out of it and into Diana’s arms.
On a completely unrelated head smasher note, Eli popped out of his bouncy seat yesterday. Thankfully, he was on the floor and didn’t fall far. And he landed on carpet, and not onto the hard floor. Or onto broken glass. Or onto thumbtacks. Or onto a pile of tarantulas.
From now on he will be strapped tightly into his high chair. Or tightly onto Grover.
Wednesday, October 24, 2007
Elijah is definitely trying to find his voice lately. He’ll go from little R2D2 beeps and burbs, all the way up to roaring like a tiny lion.
As he experiments, he’ll sometimes babble with a deep, scratchy voice that can only be described as that possessed kid from “The Shining.” I gotta tell you, it scares the crap out of me. And with the addition of babyfood into his repartee, the odds of projectile pea puke skyrocketed.
When he does the scary voice, I just chuckle and ask politely if it's only Elijah in there, all while examining his head for the sign of the beast. Thankfully, the only thing I find is the old remnants of his Cradle Cap. Ew.
In case you are wondering, we’re dressing Elijah up in a Tigger outfit for Halloween. Why? Because Diana made the grave mistake of sending me to Target to buy clothes for Elijah a few weeks ago. The manager couldn’t explain why Tigger costumes didn’t come in adult sizes, so I got one for the boy.
Expect cuter than cute photos soon.
Friday, October 19, 2007
Last evening I went out to dinner with my agency colleagues. All very nice people, but to put it delicately, they like to partake in adult beverages. To put it bluntly, they’re humungous drunks. I knew I was in trouble when they suggested “Going to a German bar so we can order those steins, that are like, huge…”
So, I may have had a thimble full past my limit.
I woke up this morning to the sound of chunks of my brain rubbing together in my head. Slowly.
As I made my secret oath never, ever to visit a German bar again Diana bopped in carrying Elijah. “I have to take Grover to the groomer. So…here.” And hoisted a very awake Elijah onto my belly.
I carried him downstairs and learned a great lesson of fatherhood: Babies do not care if you are hung over. I suggested several games:
“Watch Daddy Rub His Temples.”
“Sit Quietly And Watch SportsCenter.”
“Lay On The Cold Cold Floor.”
None of which Elijah was into. I had to step it up and act like a fully functioning dad. Luckily once I was up and running my hangover stopped trying to assassinate me.
However, I’m going to suggest the library for our next agency outing.
Wednesday, October 17, 2007
My dad called while I was walking Grover the other day. In the midst of our usual “Ain’t Elijah cute” banter he asked me if I felt like time was going fast.
And yeah, aside from the occasional 3-4am when time stands still, these last six months have flown by. Take today’s picture. Yeah, I know Eli is freakishly tall (mental note, install basketball hoop in living room) but he looks like a little boy already. I sometimes get a panicky feeling that his childhood is going to be over too fast. Like I’m going to look into his crib tonight and he’ll be shaving while reading Keats and drinking a martini.
If only there was some way of documenting every tiny detail of his life, complete with pictures. Possibly on the internet. And with a title that's a lame word play.
Monday, October 15, 2007
When I travel internationally, I’m always a bit concerned about offending the local customs. Like giving the “V” sign to a Brit means giving them the finger. And sticking your middle finger up at someone in Atlanta means giving them the finger.
And apparently babies have customs too. Like it’s customary for an infant to try to pee on you whenever possible. And when a father has an important client meeting, it’s customary for a baby to puke all over his freshly pressed shirt.
As you know, Elijah turned six months old yesterday. And I guess the custom is for the baby to give his parents a gift. Because he slept for 12 freaking hours last night. 6:30pm to 6:30am.
There was much dancing and celebrating and not rubbing of the eyes this morning. I even allowed Elijah to watch TV as a reward. We try to avoid letting him watch the boob tube because we don’t want him to have trouble concentrating like his dad.
What were we talking about?
Sunday, October 14, 2007
The little hand is on October and the big hand is on the 14th. Do you know what that means? It’s Elijah Steven Hamann’s six month birthday! Can you freaking believe it?
Six months is the perfect opportunity to do a clip show. It’ll give you new readers a chance to catch up. Cue the harp music…
Remember when we thought Eli was a girl? It was a lot harder to get used to a child with a wang than we thought.
Remember when Eli pooped so hard he hit the dresser 3 feet away? Which was the first of many many scatological entries on the blog.
Remember when he looked like George Bush? There wasn’t a plastic surgeon on the planet who would return our calls.
Remember when Eli had terrible eye boogers? Remember when Eli had terrible regular boogers?
Remember when Elijah decided he hated being outside of the womb? Remember when Eli had terrible acid stomach? In a related blog, remember when I chucked a bottle across the house out of frustration? That goes into my father of the year essay.
Remember when I hid Elijah’s belly button on Di’s computer? It still hasn’t turned up.
Remember when Eli barfed down my back and Grover ate it? They’ve been friends ever since.
Remember when Eli grew his Hamann belly? Grandpa Al is smiling down on us.
Remember when he screamed his way through the 4th of July?
Remember his disgusting cradle cap head? I just got the shivers.
Remember when he stared laughing? It was like discovering ice cream tastes good.
Remember when Grover knocked Eli over in his stroller? I’m gonna put that up as Worst Trip To Starbucks Ever.
Remember when Elijah got his first fever and we loaded him up with so much Tylenol he slept through the night?
Remember when Eli decided he was going to be a happy baby? In a related note, remember when the clouds parted and the sun came out?
Remember when Diana had terrible ear surgery and I had to assume the role of caretaker? Remember when everyone stepped up and protected Elijah from my role of caretaker?
Remember when he started rolling over? Remember when I worked so much that I didn’t get to see him roll over?
Remember when he turned six months old? Wait…
Thanks for hanging in there, guys. It’s been a pleasure taking you along for the ride.
Friday, October 12, 2007
Not those kind of melons, you sickos.
For the most part, Hamanneggs is an open book into the lives of me, Di, Elijah. And Grover. You know, poo, sleepless nights, poo. But there are a few things that I’ve kept out of the blog. Like that time I was exhausted and smashed Eli’s face on my shoulder when I lifted him out of the crib. Or a few other things that Diana threatened me with my life if I revealed.
One of the things I’ve kept out of print is Eli’s head. When he arrived on the earth, Eli’s head was a little misshapen. And always laying on his back made his head even more misshapen. So much so that he developed a condition that doctors call “Mushy Head Syndrome.” Ok, that’s not what it’s called but I can’t remember and I don’t feel like looking it up on the internet. You can reverse MHS by putting babies on their stomach or keeping them upright when they eat.
But in severe cases babies have to wear a helmet because they can have complications and in rare cases brain damage.
It’s a huge bummer because they have to wear a helmet. Not to mention the fact that they have to wear a helmet. For the last few months we’ve been taking Eli to a melon specialist who was leaning towards making my son look like a Chicago Bear. It’s no coincidence that the specialist also sells helmets.
Well, good news. Yesterday was our last consultation with our doctor and everyone decided Elijah did not, in fact, need a helmet. Whew.
Why did I keep it out of the blog? The jinx, man. The jinx.
p.s. Elijah is still in the 95 percentile in height. We’re going to have to move him to a toddler car seat. We’re also changing his name to Kareem Abdul Jabbar Hamann.
Wednesday, October 10, 2007
Before I had a son, one of my friends who was a father said, “Having a baby really makes you realize your capacity for love…” I nodded and slowly backed away, dialing the insane asylum on my cell phone. Yeah, I have the number for the insane asylum on my cell phone. You’ve met my brother Steve, haven’t you?
Back to me. I’ve found over the last six months that my friend was right. I simply love Elijah. I couldn’t imagine life without him spitting on me, screaming in my ear and poking my eyeballs. He can do no wrong in my eyes. Hmm. That feels like foreshadowing for something that will happen 5 years from now.
But you know what else? My capacity for love of Diana has skyrocketed now that she’s Eli’s mom. Yeah yeah yeah, I loved her before. I mean, I asked her to marry me. But now, when I catch her singing a ridiculous song while changing his diaper, I buckle over with love. And when she uses her silly Eli voice (which consists of lowering her voice an octave and saying “Tummy Time” repeatedly), I look over at Grover and say, “Can you believe I get to be married to this woman?”
And then Grover looks at me as if to say, “Wait a minute. I thought I was married to her…” And then Grover and I have a knife fight.
Sorry I haven’t posted in a while. My job keeps me at the office until ridiculous hours at night. The only thing that keeps me going is horribly embarrassing photos like today’s.
Speaking of night, we have a new nap schedule for the boy and its resulting in less all nighters. And even the occasional sleep past 5a.m.
But we still like to bring him in the bed for some “Boo” and spit time before I have to get up and at ‘em.
Elijah is still at that stage where he doesn’t really know a lot about what’s happening outside of his eye range. He’ll look over at me and give a big smile. Then Diana will say something and he’ll look over at her, with a look that says, “Well hello there. Aren’t you the lady I came out of?” Then he’ll look over at me with a look that says, “Oh, when did you come in? Aren’t you the guy with the hilarious Boo joke?” Then he’ll hear Di and start it all over again. “Nice of you to join us…” Meanwhile, Grover paces back and forth with a look that says, “Hello? Dog with a full bladder over here!”
Eli also adds a bit of eye hand coordination. He’ll grab my nose. Or Di’s nose, or pull the rare and awesome double nose grab. He also has, on occasion, grabbed my Adam’s Apple. Hard. Hard enough to close all the wind off except enough for me to whisper, “Don’t…kill…me…son.”
He’s surprisingly strong.
Thursday, October 4, 2007
The last HamannEggs post included the sentence “As soon as he realized they had X &Y chromosomes he turned on the charm.”
I received several emails and posts pointing out the fact that women have 2 X Chromosomes, not an X&Y. Fact checkers, thank you for the catch. The post has officially been revised.
Your reward is today’s hilarious Eli picture. While you’re checking, here are some other science facts I’m planning on using in future posts:
Thunder is bowling matches in Heaven.
Penguins live underground and speak Spanglish.
Uncle Dick Hamann was a Podiatrist.
Electricity was discovered by The Maytag Repair Man.
The Periodical symbol for Bacon is “Bn.”
Our universe could, like, totally be an atom in some giant’s fingernail.
Wednesday, October 3, 2007
I’ve noticed something over the last couple of weeks. Elijah likes him the ladies. I brought him to the office for a few hours last Friday for another lesson in "Never do what daddy does." And, as usual, my female co-workers were uncontrollably dragged over to the child by their uteruses.
As soon as he realized they had 2 X chromosomes he turned on the charm. Hard. He was Mr. Bat Of The Eye. Then he was Senior Coy Little Grin. At which point he turned into Monsieur Peek A Boo.
And when my Dad’s family showed up on Saturday? Eli was all about the women. Grandma? Bam. Brother's girlfriend? Pow. Sure, he’d throw the men an occasional smirk. Maybe a “Goo goo,” but he’s been girl crazy lately.
Look out, puberty.
Thursday, September 27, 2007
Elijah had another first yesterday. First bad cold. The studio audience goes, “Awwwww.”
I relieved Pam from her babysitting duties last night and opened a bottle of wine. Grover crept in and started whining. I’m not lying here, people. Grover cried and whined and walked over to the stairs. It could be coincidence, but Grover led me upstairs to our room, where Eli was hacking and wheezing and generally blowing snot all over his crib.
Not knowing what to do, I rolled him onto his back and went to my favorite baby reference book. Now, Diana and I differ on our baby books. She likes the old standard “What to Expect” books. My favorite book is by this New York doctor whose motto is “Laissez Faire.” Kid hits his head on the table? Kid learns not to walk by the table. Kid sticks his finger in a socket? Kid learns not to stick his finger in a socket. I exaggerate, but he’s kind of controversial.
So I look under the section, “Colds.” His recommendation? I kid you not, it’s “Ride it out.”
So I went back to my wine and TV. Content in my awesome fathering.
Diana arrived home several hours later and discovered our hacking baby. She was instantly concerned. I said, “Ride it out! Ride it out!” Grabbed the thermometer and I said, “Ride it out! Ride it out!” She inserted it (you know where), I cried, “Ride it out! Ride it out!” His fever was 101. Diana looked at me like I was an idiot. I whispered, “Ride it out?”
After a night of Tylenol and crying, Elijah seemed to improve this morning. But he’s still pretty sick. Elijah must be hoping to ride out my fathering for the next 18 years.
Wednesday, September 26, 2007
The boy is learning how to be a good sleeper. We toss him in the sack at 6 or 7 and he usually arrives at Dreamland in 15 minutes. I imagine Dreamland for Elijah to contain giant piles of dog hair he can cram into his mouth, huge vats of applesauce and many many rattles he can bash himself in the face with.
But here’s the rub: Eli can’t sleep past 5a.m. You mathematicians out there have probably calculated that he is still getting 11 hours of sleep. But I’m talking about my sleep here, not his. Every morning at the stroke of 5, he chirps, spits and howls until Di or I get him out of the crib. Di and I silently fight over who has to get him up. I usually lose because she has a lightening fast uppercut. And, well, she always takes the 1a.m. feeding.
So I’ll put him in our bed and play with him until my official wake up time of 6:30. And by “play with him” I mean sleep with my finger dangling over Eli so he can yank on it.
Well, a few days ago I caught Diana staring at Eli with a thoughtful look on her face. I imagined she was checking the air for poo evidence. She looked at me and said, “I wonder if he’s hungry at 5a.m. Do you want to try feeding him tomorrow morning?”
Sure enough, during the next morning’s chirp a thon, I gave him a bottle and he went right back to sleep. And continued to sleep until 7.
Monday, September 24, 2007
Although she wouldn’t be able to pass a field sobriety test, Diana recovered enough over the weekend for us to at least start looking like a family and not a sideshow. Diana was even able to stay upright long enough to take Elijah to his first trip to the beach.
Anyone who knows me knows my fathering technique is an constant internal battle between overprotection and underprotection. On the trip to the beach, overprotection won by a landslide. I forced Elijah to wear a hat three sizes too big and a ridiculous pair of sunglasses. Both of which he hated. However, his eye hand coordination hasn’t progressed to the point where he can snatch said items off his head and throw them into Lake Michigan. I even positioned myself between him and the sun, so as to throw a shadow over his baby skin. And make myself look like an idiot.
But the beach was a relative success. In other words, Eli didn’t scream. Imagine being a baby and seeing the surf for the first time. He must have thought mom and dad took him to Mars for the day. He did quite enjoy what he could see through his safety sunglasses.
Grover enjoyed the beach as he always does. Although I caught him debating whether or not to bury his human baby brother in the sand. He chose wisely.
Keep your fingers crossed, gang. I think Hamanneggs is gonna be back to normal very soon.
Saturday, September 22, 2007
My big time fancy job seems to now include flying to different countries every week and scratching my chin in conference rooms while saying smart sounding things. All while the song “Louie Louie” repeats in my head. This week’s country was Atlanta, Georgia. If you want to argue Atlanta is not a different country, I’d like to refer you to my voting record for the last 4 presidential elections.
The bummer is Diana still hasn’t recovered from her ear. So I had to ship her and Elijah off to the Jackliches again. Thankfully, the Jackliches like Eli and have no problem with Grover destroying their garden.
Anyhoo (Diana hates it when I write “anyhoo” on the blog, but she’s still too sick to notice this one), I picked wife and baby up this morning only to learn that my boy has grown several inches over the last week and has learned several new tricks.
Apparently, he can roll over at will. Front to back, back to front. Over and over. Which means I can no longer place him precariously on beds, couches and roof tops. He also managed to shove himself backwards several inches while on his stomach today. Which means I can no longer leave shards of glass on the floor.
He also has figured out his hands. Anything within baby distance is worthy of a grasp, then a shove into his mouth. His favorite thing to snag is giant handfuls of Grover’s fur. For a good ten minutes today, Grover lay on his back while Eli had two fist fulls of his fur. Grover was very patient (good boy), but I could see in his eyes he was remembering that time he knocked over Eli’s stroller a few months ago.
Fear not, Hamanneggs reader. Di may still be sick, but she is feeling lots better. I think by this time next week I’ll be able to go back to one notch below Eli on the helpless meter.
p.s. We haven’t been able to take a lot of pictures these last few weeks. So I drew today’s photo. It’s pretty accurate.
Wednesday, September 19, 2007
Until last week, Elijah slept in a co-sleeper, which is a mini crib tied up to our bed. It’s great because he can adjust to our sleeping schedule. Kind of. But it stinks because he’s right next to us all night, so every peep, poop and raspberry goes right into my ear.
So when I got back from Germany, we decided to move him into his crib. And his own room. He took to it alright. But, like every other father on the planet, I think he looks like he’s in jail whenever I throw him in there.
For instance the other night I checked on him and he was sitting there, playing his harmonica. He had a big pile of pacifiers next to him (pacifiers are the currency of the baby big house) and he was etching hash marks into the wall. Seriously, I do sometimes catch him grasping two bars in his sleep like James Gagney.
The one flaw in our plan is Eli’s bedroom isn’t air-conditioned (What can you expect from a house that costs 3,000% more than my first salary?). So last night it was a billion degrees in his room and the boy was not having it. Oh, and we left the co-sleeper at the in-laws. Because we’re morons.
We made an executive decision to put him in our air-conditioned room on our air-conditioned bed. Now, Diana flat out refuses to sleep in the same bed as Elijah for fear of smothering. So she slept downstairs. Yes, I know she’s sick and should have been in the bed, but I have to wake up with Eli. Stop yelling at me! To add insult to injury it was Di and my anniversary. Romance was in the air.
So it was me and Elijah all night. We both slept fine. But I woke up at 4a.m. this morning to find Elijah blowing spit bubbles and literally covering my face with his baby spit. And laughing like a child who covered his father’s face with spit.
I’m hoping for a cold front.
Sunday, September 16, 2007
While in the midst of emergency packing for my trip to Germany, I snapped a cell phone photo of Eli in his awesome Bears jersey.
Before I had a son, I believed dressing your child in sports team memorabilia was a form of abuse. I mean, how do parents know their kid actually likes Michigan, or Notre Dame or Gonzaga? But now that I am a father, I know deep in my soul that Elijah is a part of me. And that part needs the Bears to cover the spread every week.
Once on the ground in Stutgart, I realized how desperately I missed my son and I was so very thankful I had the above photograph.
I’d sit in a stuffy conference room, fighting off jet lag and listening to marketing people compete in how loudly they could talk, sometimes in German. I’d pretend to check my cell phone for messages and then flash the Eli Bears pic. It was awesome. I’d make him dance, we’d have adventures under the conference room table, I’d even let him peek at confidential documents. Occasionally, a marketing guy would break my trance by asking me something. I’d reply, “As long as it’s worthy of PORSCHE…” And I’d say “Porsche” with reverence. Everyone would nod solemnly.
On a happy note, Diana is feeling better. I think she’s up to 65%. Which is much better than last Sunday when she was -14%. I’d personally like to thank everyone who called and emailed and wrote comments on the blog.
For those who comment on the blog, I love it when I get feedback or get a note from a reader. Unfortunately, I have no idea how to reply to you personally. Because my technological ability starts and ends with snapping photos of my son on my cell phone.
Saturday, September 15, 2007
I’m back from Germany, gang! Which means the HamannEggs hiatus is over. I’m not going to waste valuable blog space talking about my business trip. If you want details, go to my other blog: “IShouldHaveBeenaMusicTeacher.blogspot.com.” I missed the family desperately while I was gone, and of course, a ton happened with good old Elijah while I was across the pond. I’ll get you up to speed:
Eli now has a mustache. I don’t approve, but he says all the other 5 month olds have them.
He can bench press 350 pounds.
He learned Latin, and French. Oh, and he can write Chinese, but isn’t comfortable speaking it.
Eli built a perpetual motion machine in the Jacklichs’ back yard. But Grover knocked it over.
He had a brief role on TV’s “Desperate Housewives.” We have them on tape. I hear it’s juicy.
He single handedly brought the “Cha Cha” back into vogue.
He ate an entire Buick Skylark.
Actually, he spent a nice week at his Grandparents, where Don and Sheila doted on him helped Diana heal. She’s at about 60%, which means she can finally hug her son without puking. The Evanston crew kept our place from burning to the ground while I was gone. However, there is not an ounce of alcohol left in the house.
Friday, September 7, 2007
Things have been pretty tough here at Hamanneggs. Diana’s situation has gotten unbelievably worse. They decided to add migraines to her list of ailments. So she has to stay in a darkened room, listening to her baby, who she can’t hold, cry two feet away. It’s like a bad movie of the week. I think a much thinner Valerie Bertinelli will play Diana. I, of course, will be played by the guy who was Arnold Horshack.
Thankfully, the Hamanneggs universe has stepped up big time. Diana’s dad was full time daddy for most of the week. And Kitty/Pam have assumed the roll of mommy. And I’ve actually begun enjoying the night shift. In the same way people enjoy pushing thumbtacks through their fingers.
On a hugely conflicted note, we won the Porsche business. Which means I have to fly to Germany on Sunday. Effectively abandoning the family unit for one week at the worst time in our family’s history. Diana assures me that she’s cool with it. But I imagine that’s the drugs talking. We’re moving the family unit to Diana’s folks so little Eli can get 24 hour grandparent time. I’ll be buying them the largest beer stein I can find.
Two quick stories:
When Diana’s dad, Don, showed up early Tuesday to watch Elijah, I had an obsessive list of instructions for Eli care. Again, completely forgetting the man raised 5 kids. I was writing out how to change a diaper when Di’s dad called me from the living room. “Hey Ricky, check this out!” I ran in to see Don had taught Elijah to feed himself with a bottle. “Look at him go!” I tore up my instructions.
Last night, Diana was in our darkened room, slowly moaning. I tip toed in and tried to comfort her. I gently kneeled by her and stroked her hair and whispered how much I loved her. She looked up with one, blood red eye and said, “Can…you…go…brush your teeth?” And promptly passed out.
Tuesday, September 4, 2007
So yesterday I spent the morning thumping around the house, in kind of a pissy mood. I was pissy that Diana’s surgery was having complications, pissy that she was laid up for 5 days straight, and quite frankly, pissy that I was lugging around Eli since 5 in the morning.
Yes. I somehow managed to make Diana’s severe nausea and vertigo about me. It’s a talent.
Diana puts down the phone and looks at me, ashen. She said, “That was the doctor.” I said something supportive like, “Did you tell him to bite it, from me?” She said, “We have to go meet him at the emergency room. Right now.”
In my self-centered stomping, I failed to notice that Diana had officially lost her hearing in her surgery ear. Now, throughout the weekend, the doctor (who was really cool and called on his time off to check on Di constantly) said all of her symptoms, while sucky, were ok as long as she didn’t lose her hearing. Well, the worst-case scenario was staring us in the face. Or the ear.
Let me take a minute here. Di and I have it very lucky in Evanston. We’re literally minutes away from my brother’s family, my partner’s family, Di’s extended family, and scads of friends. Like Kitty. Who rushed over to take Elijah duty while we scampered back downtown to Northwestern.
Long story short. Diana was leaking fluid in her inner ear (causing nerve damage) and her doctor had to operate on her to save any chance of her hearing again. To emphasize the severity of the situation, the doctor drove into Chicago, on his day off, and booked an O.R. before we really had a chance to enjoy the blood and guts of the emergency room.
Well, operation #2 was hitchless. Diana’s feeling half as bad as she did two days ago, which is like saying she’s experiencing half a punch in the face. We won’t know if she’ll be able to hear for a couple weeks. She’s stuck in the hospital for a few days for observation. I’m at home, away from the love of my life, taking care of the other love of my life. No, not Grover. Elijah. Sheesh.
p.s. Diana’s dad, Don took over dad duties today so I could be at the hospital with Di. He’ll be the official husband/dad until Di gets on her feet or I get fired.