Wednesday, May 30, 2007
I thought I had Eli pretty figured out. He was a classic fussy baby. Some babies are calm and do adorable things like shove their feet in their mouths. Others, like my son, prefer to choke and cry.
I still love him more than life itself. In fact, I think the fussiness is pretty hilarious. I kind of admired his unabashed rage. I liked to imagine I was living with a mini Incredible Hulk. Complete with the purple pants.
To top it off, I was planning on using his fussiness as ammunition later in life. When he’s graduating from Harvard I’d say, “Yeah, but you were a fussy baby.” When he gets married, I’d say, “Careful with this one. He was a fussy baby.”
Well, so what does he pull last night? The opposite of fussy. He slept record breaking 4 hour shifts without so much as a peep. And the reports from the home today are that he hasn’t so much as frowned. Diana is dancing around like someone who one the lottery.
I can’t figure him out. He must be messing with us on purpose. If he is messing with us on purpose, he’s the cleverest baby ever.
p.s. I do realize by talking about his non-fussiness, he’s going to be a nightmare tonight. Hulk Smash!
Tuesday, May 29, 2007
'Round about Sunday morning, Diana and I were congratulating ourselves over Eli’s dramatic shift from being a colicky, acidy screamer to a quiet, happy smiley baby. He slept for major streaks Saturday night and was in route to having a hap hap happy Sunday. If memory serves, he was making us omelets and changing his own diaper.
We sounded like Oscar winners. “Diana, you’re great.” “No, Rick. You’re great.” “I think the worst is over…”
It was the jinx heard ‘round the world. Poor little Eli’s stomach decided to wage a Tet Offensive. He hasn’t been able to sleep for more than an hour at a time and now more than an ounce of super expensive formula is too much for him.
Acid Stomach + No Sleep = Screamer.
We feel so bad for him. All red faced and squirmy. And I feel bad for Di, who’s tried everything short of doing summersaults while holding him. No…wait. I just got a call from Di. Summersaults don’t work.
Luckily, Eli’s gonna go to the pediatrician tomorrow so hopefully we’ll have some good, new expensive drugs for the little guy.
Monday, May 28, 2007
Eli is on the verge of becoming a smiley guy. But right now it’s kind of tough to get him to smile on demand. You have to be patient. And prepared to look and act like a complete moron. The more moronic you act, the better your chances he’ll bestow a smile on you. These are particularly rare on days like today when he’s all acidy and gassy. But it does happen.
However, it is nearly impossible to capture an Eli smile on camera. I find myself sounding a lot like a Big Foot kook. “’Twas early morn’ I tells ya. Fog was everywhere. But then, out of the bushes I saws it. The elusive Eli smile. I tried to snap a picture, but he was back to barfing formula all over me in the blink of an eye." Enjoy this almost Eli smile.
It was a gorgeous day in Evanston yesterday. So Diana decided to take the family to the garden store. She shared this idea with every old woman and gay man in the greater Chicagoland area. The place was overrun.
I found myself strolling up and down the allergy-punishing aisles with a surprisingly calm Eli. Every time I turned around, there was a long line of old ladies, wringing their hands. “Must…look…at baby.” I couldn’t shake them. His cuteness was a most potent old lady drug. I began to get a little scared because I thought they were trying to steal his essence.
I decided to put this to good use. Eli and I are offering our services as Old Lady Wranglers. For a nominal fee we’ll, hunt down and capture any lost old ladies using Eli’s special magnetic powers. We’re booked through 2009 at the Lincolnwood Mall.
Sunday, May 27, 2007
Poor Diana. After 6 weeks of, at max, 30 seconds of sleep any given night, she was regressing into some kind of prehistoric version of herself. She often times can communicate only with clicks and grunts. Luckily, I know two clicks means "More wine, please." I do enjoy the animal skin loincloth.
So rather than move into the lizard stage, we decided that I would assume the Eli night shift for one night. That way Diana could actually get some REM sleep and I'd have the long holiday weekend to complain about it.
I was a little more than apprehensive. My nighttime contribution to raising the boy until this point has included the rare pop into his room to see if they're doing ok. But mostly because it's on my way to the bathroom.
So Diana helped me by laying out all the necessary items for the long night. Bottles, thermos of hot water, formula, and for some reason a loaded shotgun. She explained it was zombie season.
Diana drifted off to sleep and I laid stiff as a board, staring at the ceiling. What happens if he won’t stop crying? What happens if he gets constipated? What happens if he gets the opposite of constipated?
Well, Eli decided last night was going to be a 3-4 hour sleep cycle, rather than his usual 2 hour. He ate, peed, pooped, slept. Very easy. I feel a little guilty that it wasn’t one of his nightmare nights. But I’m not complaining. Now, to go make my famous zombie soup.
Saturday, May 26, 2007
Remember Andrew Dice Clay? He was a leather-clad comic from the mid 1980's whose major claim to fame was being shockingly offensive. By today's standards he was pretty tame, but back in the go go 80's? Religious groups were calling for his head. His most famous bit was taking children's rhymes and twisting them to be filthy. Hickory Dickory. Little Boy Blue. Old Mother Hubbard. All got the Diceman's treatment.
Now, this was all very hilarious to a high school student such as myself. I memorized every filthy word. All of my friends had their own Andrew impersonation.
But now? When I'm trying to comfort my baby boy? I can't get these terrible rhymes out of my head. Imagine me at 3a.m. the other night. "Come on Eli. Hickory Dickory Dock...this chick...oh, Damn you Andrew Dice Clay!"
My other favorite? The Nightmare on Elm Street rhyme:
One two, Freddy's coming for you...three four better lock the door...
My kid's only 6 weeks old and he already needs therapy.
Thursday, May 24, 2007
Let me paint you a picture. This morning, I stepped out of the shower and heard my baby boy crying upstairs. Knowing that Diana had just put in a long night, I ran upstairs to give her a thirty second break. In my haste, I neglected to put on a towel. But, as I've said before we are clothing optional at casa Hamann.
So I jump upstairs and lift the sad boy out of his crib thing. I gave him exactly three pats on the back when he barfed out a gallon of formula. Down my naked back. This doesn't feel as great as you may expect. In fact it's totally gross. And causes the barf recipient to jump up and down like a moron.
To add insult to injury, Grover decided at this moment that regurgitated formula is delicious. Fill in the rest of the picture on your own.
Today's photo is of my partner, Matt Spett, who's having a baby in another month. I just think he looks silly.
p.s. My cousin Paul Hamann is on yesterday's comments section. Hello Paul.
Tuesday, May 22, 2007
On top of the rest of Eli’s woes, he has a raging case of zits. Which is hilarious combined with his newfound chubbiness. In the right light he looks like a computer hacker. All he needs is a few empty bags of Doritos and a couple Dungeons and Dragons figurines.
But fear not, little pizza face! I just talked with my friend Pat Hanna, and he agreed to let Eli take his daughter Noley to the 2024 prom. Take a look at that photo. Ha cha cha. You can thank me by not peeing on me tonight, son.
Here are the terms Pat Hanna and I agreed to for Prom 2024:
1) Eli will pay for all space limo rides.
2) Noley is responsible for her own space corsage.
3) If Prom is on Earth, Eli will pay for dinner. If it’s on Mars, they go Dutch.
4) There will be no space hanky panky. Any monkey business and both kids get space grounded.
5) No space beer, no space pot.
6) Oh, and I promised that Eli wouldn’t wear one of those t-shirts that look like a tuxedo. That’s just bad taste.
Whew. Thank goodness that’s taken care of.
Monday, May 21, 2007
Jamaica was awesome. But this is an Eli blog. If you want details, you'll have to visit Tom Warchol's blog, "Dargh.com."
I checked in semi regularly and came back early today to find some good news and some bad news. The bad news is Eli (the Jamaicans call him "Jah") has some acid belly. Lots of babies get it. But it hurts to eat. And when eating is your favorite thing to do (I'm looking at you, Wisconsin), having it burn stinks. So Eli's been pretty sad. Diana and Eli's doctor are trying different things to help. Today seems a little less acidy. I think the combo of super expensive formula plus Grover spit did the trick.
The good news is Eli learned a new trick. Remember that cool Play Dough thing that you shoved the dough through and it made long snakes in the shape of stars and stuff? Well, Eli did that with, um, poo today. Immediately after removing his diaper he did his trick into various wipes and onsies I could get my hands on. For, like 5 minutes. And every time I'd catch a poo snake, he's try to shoot me with pee pee.
He also got cuter and fatter. See above photo.
Thursday, May 17, 2007
Let's talk about sounds. Elijah makes some pretty interesting ones. Yeah, we have the full-blown cry. Just scroll through the last few blog entries to see my take on that.
But Eli also makes some pretty cool/disgusting sounds as well.
He has the "You have 30 seconds to heat up a bottle or I'll cry" chirp. Which sounds like a rabid squirrel.
He has the "Most pathetic boy in the world" whine. It usually happens when he's about ready to sleep or wake up. Who'd have thought that the son of a former actress would be soooo dramatic?
He has the "Deep sleep yelp." I have no idea what this is about. He'll be coma-asleep and let out a blood curdling scream. This usually causes Grover to place all four paws on the ceiling.
He has the "Hunger strike relapse grunt/vaguely sexual sigh." When he really goes after the bottle, he makes these little piggy grunts, which make my toes curl under. This, combined with semi inappropriate sighs. People only enjoy eating this much on the Food Network.
And last night he added a new one. The "Grass Whistle." He makes these high pitch sounds that can only be described as the noise that a piece of grass made when you used is as a whistle when you were 10. This is a new one, I can only assume it means he'll sleep through the night while I'm in Jamaica.
That's right folks. I'm gunning for Worst Dad In the World by abandoning the family and heading to Jamaica this weekend for Tom's wedding. Diana is totally cool about it. The trip was planned before we even had an inside-Diana Eli. But I still feel like a big jerkface. I'm sure the rum will taste like poison.
Wednesday, May 16, 2007
I kicked Diana out of the house last night. She needed some non Eli, adult woman friend time, so I left her in the capable hands of Kitty Vineyard. She pretended to go reluctantly, but I think she inhaled the hours out of the house like an addict.
My brother Steve and best friend Tom have this uncanny ability to sense when Diana is out of the house. And an even greater ability to sniff out when I have more than 2 beers in my fridge. So the minute Diana and Kitty shut the door and I sat on the couch, they burst through the door like Lenny and Squiggy. "Hello..."
They chose a great night to hang out because Eli was more alert and happy than ever. He sat in his vibrating chair, silently contemplating, kicking and punching like a tiny Chuck Norris. I took this opportunity to show off Eli's new skills. "Hey guys. Hey Guys. Look. Eli can follow this bear with his eyes! Hey guys. Hey Guys. Look. Eli looks like he's saying, 'No.' Isn't that hilarious? Guys, Eli just farted..."
Steve and Tom took it very well. They'd look over from the Bulls game and say encouraging things like, "Yep. He's a genius alright. Better save your money for Harvard." Steve (already a father) went so far as holding Eli when he had a 2 minute fussy spell. Tom prefers a good three feet safe distance zone.
Diana arrived home a little earlier than I thought. She missed her son. And by the look on his face when she spoke to him, the feeling was mutual.
p.s. Today's picture is the shape of puke Eli left on my favorite t-shirt yesterday.
Monday, May 14, 2007
On my way home from work today I realized that I really don’t speak to Eli very often. 18 hours a day in this first month, Eli’s been asleep. And let me tell you, I let sleeping dogs and babies lay. Most of the other five hours, he’s crying. Not just crying, but bloody murder style screaming. So my conversations with him are along the lines of, “Whatta matta, baby?” Or, “Dear Lord, please stop this infernal racket.” So that leaves fifteen minutes here and there where he’s awake and not crying. I’m usually so stunned by this that I forget to talk.
But I started to get nervous that he was missing some kind of developmental stepping stone by me not speaking to him. Like 20 years from now I’ll be reading the paper about a super criminal who’s only calling card is his excellent pantomime skills.
Well, when I got home from the office today I was determined to have a real conversation with the boy. He slept until 8:30pm. Then screamed bloody murder until I changed him. Our conversation was along the lines of, “How on Earth can such a small person poop this amount?” He ate and then went right back to sleep. Oh well. Diana assures me if I want some real Eli talk time, I should try their special 3am-7am acrobatics time. Pass.
p.s. I chose today’s photo because Eli looks like he’s taking his 8th grade photo. I only wish there was a double exposure.
Sunday, May 13, 2007
I just removed Diana's calculator from her desk (the umbilical chord is gone, I have no idea where she hid it, maybe in one of my socks). Let's see...Eli has been alive for 30 days. He eats every two hours, so that's roughly 360 times (or 720 boobs). Feeding him takes about 40 minutes. So...carry the 3...Diana has spent a billion and a half minutes feeding poor little Eli. And let me tell you, she's done it without once complaining. Middle of the night, middle of the day, middle of the mid morning. So let's hear it for mom. I'm not even going to get into the diapers.
I don't know if you could tell, but last week I was going on about 3 hours of sleep a night and spending 10 hours a day listening to idiots ask me way too personal questions. Really, does a creative director really need intimate details about my wife's breasts? My favorite question: "Did she poop on the delivery table?" Said person was very lucky I was too tired to throttle them. This, coupled with the fact that Elijah decided Friday was going to be the day he threw a 12 hour fit, had me running in the red most of the weekend. So, last night I felt that a great way to release all of this tension was to chuck Eli's empty bottle across the house. More of a Boone Logan curve ball than a Bobby Jenks fastball. But the minute it left my hand I realized I had made a giant mistake. Of which I have apologized profusely. Thankfully, Diana is a forgiving woman and all was forgotten when she saw the kick ass Mother's Day presents I had waiting for her this morning.
p.s. Eli took a shot at me this morning when Diana and I were giving him a bath. He missed me with his pee sniper fire by mere inches. Nice try, son.
p.s.s. My mother, former second grade teacher, called me last night to point out my spelling mistakes. Hopefully, they're fixed now.
Friday, May 11, 2007
Hey hey! We made it a month. And I have the picture documentation to prove it.
Man, he’s changed. Remember that scrunchy little George Bush man? Well, the George Bush looks have gone, but for some reason Eli is still hell bent on vetoing Iraqi legislation.
Overall, month number 1 has been pretty great. Yeah, I’ve had a couple 3a.m. discussions with Grover about the good old days. But I wouldn’t trade Eli for all the Star Wars action figures in the world. What? They’re still in the packaging? And you’re including 2 Boba Fetts? Hmm. Nope. I still go with Eli. He’s better than ten Boba Fetts.
I’m not exactly sure what Grover is doing to Eli in picture #2. I think he’s debating a little toe chewing. Don’t do it, Grover. Babies need all their toes. Yes, even the delicious, delicious pinky toe.
Wednesday, May 9, 2007
Going back to work has been pretty decent, but I gotta admit I'm entering some kind of alternate universe of sleeplessness. Our friend Kitty came by last night with some wine and I turned it down (no, you don't have to check, you're still reading Rick Hamann's blog) and hit the sack at 9pm.
I racked out pretty well until 4a.m. when I heard Eli and Diana having it out in the next room. Eli was one mad little monkey. I crawled into the room and saw that Diana had exhausted her tricks and had a look of desperation that only comes at 4a.m. So I volunteered to try a few of my tricks.
Little does Diana know, my one and only trick is to hold Eli and walk in a figure 8 in our living room. For some reason, this calms him 9 out of 10 times. I think watching his father look like a moron makes him supremely happy. Unfortunately, every time I tried to put him back in his crib, he wailed. As if to say, "Walk in a figure 8, old man!" So figure 8 I did.
He finally fell asleep at about 5a.m. Rather than risk waking up poor Diana again, I put him in his vibrating chair. Grover and I fought over the blanket on our couch and I drifted off at 5:30-ish. Now, at 5:31, the paper boy hit our front porch with the Tribune. I learned that a Tribune hitting our porch sounds exactly like a baby falling out of a vibrating chair. I lept up off the couch and clutched my heart. Grover looked at me and lifted his paw in a desperate attempt to give me the middle finger.
After giving myself CPR and changing my pants, I took Eli upstairs and went back to my own bed at bout 6:15. The alarm went off at 6:30.
Oh yeah, I forgot Eli pictures again today. So enjoy this photo of a bear on a computer.
Monday, May 7, 2007
OK. So I’m over my depression of being away from Elijah and Diana. I wonder if it’s because I got a report that Eli is crying constantly today.
But I realized that I forgot to report on a major milestone over the weekend. Eli’s first bath!
Let me tell you, the man was filthy. Three weeks is a long time without a real bath. I was beginning to think we were going to have to start putting car parts on our lawn and wearing trucker hats.
But, once the belly button came off we gave the little stinkpot a bath.
Ah, first time parents. It took us an hour to get prepared. We had the baby tub. We had two, count ‘em two, kinds of baby soap. We had two different pouring things. We had a complicated thermometer (hot water burn baby – Rainman).
And what does the little bundle of joy do as soon as he stick him in the tub? He immediately defecates and urinates. He was dirtier when we took him out.
p.s. I’m writing from work and don’t have access to the cute Eli bath pictures. So enjoy these iguanas.
Well, today is my first day of non-Diana/Elijah. It stinks. I much prefer the crying of my son to the crying of my co-workers.
Eli could sense I was going back to work, because he was pissed all night last night. Diana, in a supreme act of kindness, tried to keep him quiet by silently suffering on the rocking chair from 3am to 7am.
Diana and Eli are hanging out today. One of the two of them with searing gas pain. Can you guess which one?
Saturday, May 5, 2007
Eli's umbilical cord came off. I can't say exactly when, but when he got his morning feeding, poof. It was gone. I discovered it in the couch. Ew.
What the heck are you supossed to do with it? Diana rejected my thought of feeding it to the dog. She doesn't want him getting a taste for Eli. Or her for that matter. We thought about putting it in his baby book. But...I dunno. Isn't that a little gross? Won't it rot or something? I thought about making it into a necklace, but I think it would be too scratchy on my chest.
So for now it's sitting on Diana's desk. She's not aware of this. I'm hoping she'll absentmindedly reach for her water and accidentally touch it. Ew.
Friday, May 4, 2007
Here's how to experience the world as Eli: First, turn your TV and radio up to full blast. Then stick your head alternately into your freezer and your oven. After that, shine a flashlight into your eyes. Then, hire a giant to jostle you every couple minutes.
What I'm getting at is Elijah is past his sleepy stage and is feeling quite a bit overwhelmed. And the only way he can express himself is by screaming bloody murder. Which isn't as fun at 3am as you'd think. But Diana is being a trooper and I keep stepping out to run imaginary errands.
The harshest part is sometimes Eli just wants to cry. He screams and screams, gets it out of his system and then goes back to sleep and looking like an angel. To experience what it's like to last through a bought of "getting it out of his system," you're gonna need to go to the hardware store and pick up an ice pick and a ball peen hammer.
Thursday, May 3, 2007
Almost every day since Elijah was born I post a blog. And almost every day my twin Steve calls me to point out a mistake I've made in spelling on the blog. But...I have a silly photo of Steve.
Take that, Mr. Spellcheck!
p.s. Steve (and Tom) helped me move roughly 100 pounds of garbage to the street yesterday and halped (helped) me move a 200 pound air conditioner. So he gets to make fun of my spelling. For now.
Wednesday, May 2, 2007
I dunno if you non-parents out there realise, but the first couple of weeks a baby needs to eat every two hours. But get this. They need to eat two hours from the START of the last feeding. So let's say Eli needs to eat. Di feeds him for anywhere between a half our and an hour. Then he needs to get his diaper changed. That can take upwards of ten minutes, depending on if he tries to take you out, pee pee style. Then there's the rocking and consoling. That can be five minutes or 15 minutes depending on how angry he is.
So, let's do the math. That leaves Diana minus a half hour to sleep.
Oh, did I mention that Eli is currently in a growth spurt? He currently wants to eat every hour and a half.
Diana's only defense is dressing him in green striped socks, which makes him look ridiculous.
Tuesday, May 1, 2007
Two houses down there is an Indian Catholic Church. The priests who live there are totally cool and allow Grover to run in the yard and generally destroy the place. Apparently, being an Indian Catholic makes you tolerant of Grover holes in your lawn.
Anyhoo, I was running boy #1 in the yard and one of the cool priests came out. After a minute or two of chit chat I mentioned our new arrival. Well, being a cool priest he asked if he could come over and bless our son. Of course. I figured Elijah may as well get on the Big Guy's good side early.
So I ran ahead to make sure Eli wasn't covered in poop or Diana wasn't flaunting her wears (we're pro nudity in our house. Saves on laundry bills).
Diana was watching the movie "Boys On The Side." Now, I've never seen this Drew Barrymore vehicle, but apparently there's a sex scene, and it just so happened to be blaring at Diana-deaf volume. Luckily, the smut got turned off right as cool priest arrived.
Long story short, Eli got a blessing (he didn't cry, so he can't be an "Omen" baby). Which by my count erases the fact he was listening to that bootleg Wilco album yesterday. Yay Church!