Monday, December 31, 2007

First New Year’s Eve

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.

Dear Eli,

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.


Your dad.

p.s. The next post won’t be so lame. You guys are jerks for reading that Eli message.

Saturday, December 29, 2007

First Crawl-ish

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

First Christmas

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

First Joke

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

Worst Dad In the World: Scissor Edition

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

The Littlest Old Timey Banker

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

Me Write Good

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

Waiting To Crawl

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

First Toof

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

Wiggle Butt

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

Frosty The Thumb

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

Hey Good Lookin’

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.