Thursday, July 31, 2008

Cynicism Takes a Holiday

The minute you stop trying to be an uber hip advertising guy who looks down his nose at anything that hasn’t been rubber stamped by the skinny jeans wearing arbiters of cool (music critics), the Wisconsin Dells are pretty freakin awesome.

Di, Elijah and I saw a storybook theme park that had been repurposed as a zoo. Di got to ride a military vehicle slash tourist bus. I got to see the world’s largest water park and ride something called the “Black Anaconda” without even once making the obvious joke. We ate at a place called “Famous Daves” where the walls were covered with photos of famous people superimposed with the owner’s image. I got to get drunk with a Frenchman and a giant Atlantan.

As I was driving through Wisconsin to the “Christmas Mountain Village Resort,” with Diana and Eli sleeping in the back and a million bugs smashing the windshield, I was suddenly struck by the dadness of the whole thing. And I could actually feel my inner cynic pack his bags and hang a note on the door reading, “Be back to making fun of everything in a few days.”

There are lots of stories. One involving me and Eli spending the night in our car not ten feet from our cabin.

I’ll get to that in a day or so. Stay tuned.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Two and a Half Smoochy Stories

A couple quick smooches before we head off to Wisconsin.

First, I scampered home Friday night to see if I could catch Elijah before he went to bed. In fact, Marianna was just finishing him off for the night. When I got to the top of the stairs, he let out an angry roar like a lion. Marianna looked down at the flailing Eli and sheepishly said, “He…he no take nap today.” He no take nap today indeed. I let her off the hook and she happily left for the night.

As I was changing his diaper, I was determined to get a kiss from him before he went to the crib. I put my face directly in his and said, “Gimmie a kiss. Gimmie a kiss.” Eli tried to dodge me, but I wouldn’t let up. Gimmie a kiss. Gimmie a kiss.

Finally, Eli grabbed me by the back of my head and planted an aggressive, 1940’s movie style kiss right on me. As if to say, “Happy? You got your stupid kiss.” I flailed around, trying to get oxygen into my lungs. He went to bed happy. I felt weird.

Second, I took Eli all day yesterday so Diana could tend to the desert that was once our garden. After several hours of watching Sesame Street, I took him upstairs to listen to sports talk radio in his room. He was happily tossing a ball around, much to the agitation of Grover. I looked around his room and realized there was a whole team of stuffed animals perched around the room that got little or no attention. A bear. A bunny. A dinosaur. A dog. And some other randoms.

So I decided to create a stuffed animal avalanche on the boy. One minute he was minding his own business and the next he was buried in fur, buttons and stuffing. At first, he laughed hysterically. But then he started smooching them. All of them. He kissed everything in sight. No animal was left out.

I got a little creeped out and snatched him away. I took him to the library where he could entertain himself with books instead of kissing. As soon as we got there he made a b-line to the giant bear in the corner of the room and proceeded to make out with it.

Friday, July 25, 2008


I feel bad about the blog this week. Being out of town makes it hard to write hilarious things about Elijah because: a) Driving four hours a day to the middle of nowhere to shoot a secret sports car is bad for blogging. My co-workers don’t like me balancing my computer on the steering wheel. b) Whenever I asked Diana if something funny happened with Elijah, she always says, “He is perfect. I love him completely.” Yawn. There is only so many times a week I can write about how much Diana loves our son.

And now I’m going on vacation next week and won’t be taking my computer. So you HamannEggs fans will be blog-less for another week. That is not a good way to keep readership up.

Let’s see if I can think of anything to tide you over. Hmm. Eli can walk. That’s old news. What else? Eli still poops. Oh I got one!

Diana now keeps a list of Elijah’s vocabulary on our fancy new chalkboard fridge. But I think she’s doing it to show off the chalkboard. Let’s see if I can remember them.

1. Mama.
2. Dada.
3. Hot.
4. Bye bye.
5. Night night.
6. Gro (ver).
7. Hi.
8. Up.
9. Sit.
10. Uh-oh.

Now, I’m no vocabularist, but I don’t think he needs any other words. You can get by just fine with those ten. Let say someone asks you who is married to your dad. Or you shake hands with someone made out of fire. STOP THE PRESSES. I just talked to Diana. Apparently Eli added a new word today. Car! He says “car” now.

See? Today isn’t devoid of news after all.

I promise to blog lots after we get back from vaca. Oh, and I don’t have any new Eli photos. So I’ll have to dig back and get a classic Eli shot.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

A Word From the Dog

The Man and The Woman can have the human puppy. I gots myself a girlfriend now. I met her at doggy daycare and, as you can tell, she is F-I-N-E. So who needs humans?

Grover out. As in making out! Booyaaah!

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Tool Time

I’m in the Pacific Northwest making magic, gang. So I’m not up on all the Elijah-related hilarity. But this is a good opportunity to catch you up on an old Eli story that somehow didn’t make it into the blog.

I wasn’t in attendance for this event, but Diana bills it as her very own “Worst Parent In the World.” Come with me now as we return to the days before Elijah could walk. To the days of Speed Crawling. To the days of, well, a couple months ago.

So as she tells it, Elijah pulled one of his famous Houdini tricks where she turns her back for exactly two seconds and he crawls away at lightening speed. Thankfully, our house is tiny, so her search wasn’t long. He was, as usual, at the top of our stairs swinging on the baby gate.

Di scooped him up and probably told him he was the most handsome baby on the planet. As usual. But then she noticed the future Brad Pitt was chewing on something. Since he was way in between meals, she knew something was up.

Trying to wrestle something out of Eli’s mouth is like trying to pry open Grover’s jaws when he’s got a hold of a chicken bone. After wrenching his chompers open, Di extracted the offending item. And it was…drum roll please…

A screw. Yes. One of those things they invented screwdrivers for.

Where did the little Bob The Builder get a screw? I think we’ve established that ours is not a handyman household. And how can anyone think a sharp piece of stomach shredding metal is delicious? I mean, I’ve eaten my fair share of nails and staples. But screws?

And at the time, Diana somehow hoped the little incident wouldn't make it into the blog.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Eli the Actor

Anyone who can even get a passing grade in HamannEggs 101 knows that Diana, before she became the greatest mom in the history of Momdom, before she became the Wine Goddess, was an actor.

She brought the house down as Annie. She was in “Rudy” and had to fend off the advances of John Favreau. She starred in her dad’s production on “Love Song.” She even starred in a now famous (to us) Irish cheese commercial.

Well, it seems like the old acting bug runs in the family.

Since I’ve been up to my ears in Germans this week (as evidenced by my complete lack of keeping up with the blog), I offered to give Di a break and take Eli to the library today so Di could turn our fridge into a chalkboard (don’t ask).

So Elijah spent an hour throwing books at timid children and moms. And he tortured an extremely cute and awkwardly brace faced teen girl who dared to read atop Elijah’s favorite oversized bear. “Mithter. Isth it ok that he’sth crawling all over me?”

But then we saw the puppet theatre. There is a plywood box affixed with a shaggy curtain in the corner of the library. Behind rests a box filled with the ickiest puppets ever to find their way into a kid’s mouth.

A 10 year old kid was putting on a puppet show for his dad and Eli instantly ran over to the show. After clapping ecstatically for a few minutes, Eli ran round to the back and shoved the kid out of the way. I tried to intervene, but the kid’s dad thanked Elijah for discouraging his son from the arts.

I then watched as Elijah put on his own puppet show. Starring himself. His play was hard to follow, but I think it had something to do with Mamma, Dadda, Gro Gro and Night Night.

On a completely unrelated, but totally related note, my dad spent some time with Eli yesterday and remarked, “Is it ok to call a boy gorgeous? Because he’s gorgeous.”

I’m thinking about spending the next 22 years pressuring him into becoming a famous movie star. Because they’re all balanced.

There has been a real lack of Eli photos, so today is Grover. Good boy.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Walking Is For Suckers

After a massive leap in physical development, Elijah has decided he’d rather not walk anymore. Here he was Sunday, wobbling around, clearly getting the hang of being a biped and then, poof, he decides walking is dumb.

I could not, and cannot get him to walk anymore. This morning I’d lift him on his feet, get him in a standing position and then watch as he melted to the floor.

Diana said all day yesterday he’d stand in a pre-walk position and Diana would lure him towards her with $1,000. Eli would then get a poo-eating grin on his face and dive towards the floor to crawl over. The little stinker is clearly doing it to get under our skin.

But I am willing to look past this little mind game because I am fast moving to the top of Eli’s favorite things to smooch. He gives me kisses on demand. Granted, I usually grab him in a bear hug and bellow, “Kiss me!” in his face. And the only way I’ll let him down is if I get a little sugar. But then he’ll purse his lips and give me a peck. Which, as I’ve said before, is the cutest thing ever.

I did take demented comfort in the fact that our friend Kitty was over all day yesterday and couldn’t get one kiss.

p.s. Today’s photo is of my old partner Matt’s kid, Parker. Matt’s moving to Atlanta, leaving Eli Parker-less. We’ll miss ye, Spetts.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

First Steps

It’s official. Elijah walks now.

I was taking the Metra train towards Chicago this morning and my cell phone rang. I saw it was home, so I reluctantly answered (I hate phone use on the train. Rude.) knowing it must be important.

Di excitedly said, “You’ll never guess what Eli did.” The catalogue flipped through my head. Projectile pooped? Drank Grover water? Ordered a movie on Cable? She responded to my silence, “He walked 10 steps!”

At the point, if my life was a movie the camera would be above me while I shouted to the heavens, “Noooooooooooo!!!!!!” Not only did I miss one of the biggest milestones ever, it was on a day when I should have been home instead of going to the office to witness the terrible weekend attire of my co-workers (one should never have to see his employee’s calf muscles).

When I told this story to my boss, he said, “I’m sure your son’s first words will be, ‘I hate you.’” I couldn’t decide whether to laugh or bonk him on the head with something heavy and sharp.

Luckily, I got home tonight in plenty of time to see Eli’s tentative new skill. He stumbles drunkenly, grasping for mom or banister. But he laughs like a lunatic with every step. As if he is about to embark on a long two-footed quest for mischief.

I caught Grover looking at me like, “Really? It’s going to be like this now?”

p.s. I don’t have photographic evidence of the walking, so today’s pic is Di’s sister Julie and her cute French boys. All of who know how to walk.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

The Cad

I came home late last night and as Diana handed me my goblet of wine I said, “Did you read my hilarious HamannEggs entry today? Talk about funny…” Diana, the dutiful wife said in a robot voice, “Yes, honey. You are a very funny man.”

But then she reported some factual incorrectness in my once hilarious post. First off, the stuffed thing Elijah is in love with is a lion. Not a dog/cat/badger. OK, now that I look at it, I’ll concede the thing looks sorta lion-ish. Sorta. Also, it does have a name. Chester. My heart dropped. Chester? Really? As in, “The Molester?” As in, “Chester Cheetah?” I voiced my distaste for the name but Diana reminded me that my suggestion was “Ben.”

And at this point, she dropped a bomb on me. Elijah is two timing the lion! She said she caught him smooching Lulu the Lamb yesterday! He’s got an upstairs smooch partner and a downstairs smooch partner. I couldn’t decide whether to be proud or disgusted. It’s kind of brilliant. Because Lulu can’t physically leave the crib and Chester can’t climb stairs. As long as he doesn’t call one by the other’s name he’s golden. It’s like that Family Ties episode when Alex P. Keaton went to prom with two girls at once! Too obscure?

As I sat back and declared that you can’t go around looking like Elijah and not expect to have stuffed animals lining up for smooches, Diana told me that ELIJAH ALSO SMOOCHES HIS RUBBER DUCKIE!

Where does this kid get the energy?

Tuesday, July 8, 2008


I'm gonna go out on a limb and say Elijah is feeling better.

Makeout Artist

Diana bought Elijah a stuffed animal when he was sick. It’s kind of hard to describe. It’s like a big orange yarn ball with ears and a white face. It might be a dog. Or a cat. Or a badger. And, as with every stuffed animal we’ve bought him, he instantly discarded it for Grover to disembowel at his leisure.

Well, as of two days ago, Eli has taken a renewed interest in the dog/cat/badger. In the form of, well, making out with it.

Now, I’ve gone on record as saying things that Eli does is cute. Or cuter than cute. Or the cutest thing ever. But this stuffed animal smooching is freaking unbelievable. He’ll gently lift the dog/cat/badger to his face and look longingly into its dead eyes. Then he’ll gently, ever so gently, give it a kiss on its stitched lips.

He is clearly in love with this dog/cat/badger. And I support him 100%. If he wants me to march in the dog/cat/badger parade, I’ll be there. I’ll write my congressman to get dog/cat/badger marriage on the ballot. I'll have to get a “I love my dog/cat/badger loving son” bumper sticker for the Subaru.

I guess we’ll need to name this stuffed animal, since it’s part of the family now. I’m not sure how Lulu the stuffed Lamb is gonna take the news. My guess is she is gonna move out of the crib and start a torrid affair with Grover.

The great news is Eli is testing out his new kissing ability on Diana. Which she loves. Even if he’s secretly testing techniques to use on the dog/cat/badger.

I, as you can guess, have not been the recipient of the new Summer of Love. I tried to wrestle him into giving me a kiss today and the best I could muster was a brush of his lips on my shoulder. But I could tell he was thinking about the dog/cat/badger.

Monday, July 7, 2008

Elijah’s Least Favorite Holiday

You can flip through your official HamannEgg’s Volume One hardcover book to find last year’s July 4th post. Or you can use the navigation on the right if you want to be, um, smart.

As you can see, Eli was a mess last 4th. No nappy, stomach churning with acid. Zits. I distinctly remember standing in the sweltering heat, watching Eli thrash in my arms clad only in a diaper and thinking, “Whoever came up with the idea that a holiday should be celebrated with gunpowder and fire truck sirens should be punched in their red, white and blues.”

I didn’t have high hopes for this year’s celebration. Eli was still coming of his illness. Diana diagnosed it not as Toe Eyelash Bellybutton Disease, but something else that I can’t remember. Let’s call it “Whining Baby Syndrome.” I’m not joking when the book says one of the symptoms is “Increased neediness and irritability.” For the kid or the parents? Hey! I’m here all week.

Eli was better than last year, but still miserable. He needed to cling to Diana the whole time, which makes eating corn on the cob a challenge. But he still managed to croak out his “Mamma dada bye bye hi gro gro night night” vocabulary to the delight of everyone.

He was able to watch the entire Lisle “Eyes To The Sky” parade, though. Big step from last year. But we made the mistake of taking Grover, who was like a cartoon cat every time some Shriner’s gocart backfired. By the end he was leaping on me with a crazed look that said, “If this is the apocalypse, I’d prefer to ride it out under the porch.”

The best news is Eli is completely over his Whining Baby Syndrome this morning and was back to cackling at the antics of Elmo.

Friday, July 4, 2008

First Sentence. But Not Really.

So Elijah is on the mend. Quite frankly, I’m not sure anymore that he has Hoof, Eyeball and Nipple Disease. Our doctor never bothers with which virus he has. She just looks at his blood, announces, “It’s a virus. There’s nothing you can do.” And then sends us on our merry way. So that leaves us to self diagnose which fever-y, sore filled ailment he really has through the use of the always reliable interweb and even more reliable parenting books from the 1940’s.

His symptoms all pointed to Earlobe, Fingernail and Elbow Disease. But now he has a rash that covers his whole body, which, according to the book “Just Try Leeches. An Old Timey Parent’s Guide,” doesn’t add up to…uh, Pick Three Funny Body Parts Disease.

But whatever, he feels much better and doesn’t feel like communicating only through screams.

Di’s Frenchy Sister and her two cuter than cute Frenchy boys arrived in America just in time to celebrate July 4th, and remind themselves why they live in France. So Di took a still angry and sick Eli out to the ‘Laws yesterday.

Now, Grover and Di’s mom Sheila have an ongoing feud. She is a gardening ace and her backyard is always filled with various green things. It just so happens that Grover’s favorite place to lie down is in green things. So whenever he visits, he destroys most of Sheila’s garden.

Apparently, yesterday Grover was in the middle of crushing Sheila’s hobby when the entire family started yelling, “Grover! Down! Grover! Down!” I like to imagine Grover looking at them with his patented, “Me no speak human” look.

Suddenly, Eli looked up from his screaming and said, “Gro! Duh!”

First sentence? I guess you can’t technically call it a full fledged noun, verb combo because he was repeating.

But sheesh. That’s pretty good. Yelling at Grover is a pretty big step.

Oops, I hear Eli screaming in his crib. It may be a resurgence of Butt Butt and Butt disease.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Missing You Is Like A Mouth Full Of Sores

So it’s official. Elijah has “Hand, Foot and Mouth Disease.” Not to be confused with “Hoof and Mouth Disease.” When Diana told me yesterday, I thought, “Do we own a cow or pig? And has Eli been fraternizing with them?”

It’s a common misperception among idiots that Hand Foot and Mouth Disease is the same thing as Hoof and Mouth Disease.

After a quick internet search (did you know everything on the internet is true?), I found that the symptoms are fever, which explains the 109 from Sunday night, and blisters and sores in the mouth. Ew. Luckily, as of yesterday morning, Eli didn’t have mouth sores.

Unluckily, as of yesterday afternoon, Eli’s mouth was chock full of sores.

I tried to call home to get updates a few times, but Diana was drowned out by the screams of Old Soreface. I felt awful. Diana had not only been up all night, for two straight nights, but now couldn’t leave the baby alone or do anything about his intense uncomfort.

And to add insult to sore-filled mouth, I worked until 11pm last night. I arrived home just before midnight to a note that read, “Save yourself! Sleep on the couch.” I shoved Grover over and fell into a fitful sleep filled with dreams of pigs with zits.

When I awoke this morning I found Eli sleeping soundly on top of Diana. Which meant that he’d been up again last night. I silently crept out of the house feeling intensely powerless. Which is the psychological equivalent of a mouth full of sores.

When I arrived at work I demanded a bunch of work be completed immediately that didn’t really need to be finished until later. I felt much better.

Di has been too busy with Stingy Gums to send me a new photo. So enjoy this picture of Patrick Brennan after he caught a foul ball at the White Sox game. It practically landed in my seat while I was off getting beers. Which is the sports equivalent of a mouth full of sores.

I got a million of them.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

So Tired

Elijah’s virus has brought me back to the days of yesteryear when he couldn’t sleep more than two hours at a stretch. The poor little guy is miserable. And his misery results in no sleep for anyone. His cries are bad enough. But now he knows the word “Up.” So he spent the majority of the night crying, screaming and shouting, “Up! Up!” Which actually sounds more like a seal’s bark. Not conducive to counting sheep.

Diana and I took turns rocking him back to sleep. And by “took turns” I mean “Diana rocked him to sleep 10 times and I rocked him to sleep 0.5 times.”

‘Round about 3 in the morning I heard the seal barking and went into his room. He was burning hot and sick as a dog. So I rocked him in the rocking chair for a few minutes. Then I got a brilliant idea. Why not take him into bed with me and kill two sleep birds with one stone?

So I gently put him into bed and he instantly went to sleep. As I attempted to slip in beside him, I realized that Eli is definitely Diana’s son. He’s inherited her bed-hog-ness. He spread out to almost three times his normal size. Grover, always the opportunist, leapt onto the bed and filled in the rest of the space.

I was left with a tiny sliver of mattress. No covers. No pillow. I had three choices: 1) Make do. 2) Start drinking heavily. 3) Leap from our window.

I chose #1. But I am paying for it today. Luckily, I have a 7pm meeting that is billed as a classic college “all nighter.”

On a positive note, Eli felt good enough to watch Sesame Street this morning. But not until after barfing all over Diana.