Monday, March 31, 2008

Vacation: Day 0

Last night, Diana and I put Elijah down to bed and celebrated Vacation Eve in the traditional manner, by eating tacos and splitting a bottle of super expensive wine. Diana went to bed early, knowing full well getting the boy on an airplane was going to be a major challenge. I, on the other hand, decided that playing Guitar Hero in the basement was the best way to usher in our first vacation in two years.

Around 10pm, I heard Diana call for me. I thought I was in trouble for playing video games instead of getting the rest needed to survive O’Hare, so I ran upstairs wearing my “sorry” face.

I found Di rocking Eli, who was moaning creepily. I grabbed him and he was on fire. The thermometer hit 103.5 and rising before Eli kicked it out of his butt. We called our doctor, who said we had two choices: ER or first doctor appointment in the morning. Both choices involved missing our flight to Mexico, so we (Diana) decided to rock the crying guy all night at home instead of the scary ER.

After two hours at the doctor, which included Eli hyperventilating with rage at having a tongue depressor stuck down his throat, the doctor decided it was the Romanian Flu. The only way to catch it is from Romanian babysitters. Marianna!

The good news is the doc said he’s get over it in a couple days and he was cleared to fly to Mexico. So we’re going to try again tomorrow morning. Di’s mom was also given a clean bill of health and will join us in her original nanny status.

Which is good because I’m starting to feel like crap. Marianna!

p.s. Does it make me a bad person that I almost liked Eli being sick because he spent an hour hugging me this morning?

Friday, March 28, 2008


Elijah has discovered the power of the hug. He can melt iron simply by putting his arms around someone’s neck. And he gives out hugs like they are candy. He’ll stand up on his changing table and throw a hug (which is gross when he has a poopy diaper). He’ll pull himself up on your legs and reach up for the hug. He’ll wake you up with the early morning hug. All awesome.


Eli wouldn’t give me a hug if I were on fire. Wait. That doesn't make sense. Anyhoo, every time I try to get some baby huggery he squirms out of my arms like a wet seal.

Yeah yeah, Diana is the mommy and by law deserves the lion's share of hugs, but I should at least get a hug for waking up at 5:30 this morning.

I did get a head butt. Which I’ll take.

HamannEggs will be off the air next week. The family is headed to Mexico for a much needed break. Diana’s mom was sick this week and there’s only a 50/50 chance she’ll make it to Mexico with us. So use your good will powers to make sure she’s able to come with us, if only to watch Eli while I re-discover why I hate tequila.

I hope this photo of Eli’s butt will tide you over.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Mount Stairmore

Last Saturday morning, Elijah was particularly bored. Mostly because I had barricaded his access to the TV, stereo, dog dish, cords, knives and antique pistol collection. The only thing left open was his greatest baby challenge to date: the stairs. Mount Stairmore. Until this point, Eli hadn’t even made it to base camp before his little chubby legs got too tired or a responsible adult yanked him to safety.

But as I laid on the floor deciding which TiVo-ed Simpsons episode to watch, Eli made his preparations for the ascent. He had on his pajamas with the rubber footies. He had a full belly of milk and several Cheerios stuck in his hair. He had a giant furry black Sherpa.

He tentatively climbed the first stair and stood looking at me with his patented, “I’m doing something naughty. Pay attention to me” look. Instead of removing him, I positioned myself behind him and said, “Ok. Let’s see what you got.”

Slowly but surely he ascended to the first landing. Grover bounded up and down the stairs and I had to say loudly, “Yes, Grover. We see you. You’re very good at climbing stairs.” I actually got the impression that Eli was psyching himself up for the second half of the climb.

About halfway up the second half he toppled over backward into my arms. But we didn’t count that.

He pushed forward and made it to the top of Mount Stairmore! Because Diana was still sleeping, I whispered, “Yay! You made it! You’re the best baby ever!” Eli celebrated by slamming the baby gate in my face.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Naked Crazies

Getting your child to sleep on a regular basis is all about routine. 6pm: Snack. 6:30pm: bath. 7PM Naked Crazies. 7:15pm bottle. 7:30pm bed.

Easy as pie.

What’s that? Huh? You don’t know what Naked Crazies is? Come on, man. Get with the times. Actually, I had only heard rumors of Naked Crazies for weeks before seeing it with my own eyes.

Here’s how it goes. After Elijah takes his bath and gets semi clean, Diana will take him upstairs and place him on the bed, nude as the day he was born. And apply lotion to his scaly body. I don’t know if it’s the lotion, or if it’s the fact that he’s nude, or the fact that he’s a half hour from bed but he turns into a lunatic. In a good way, not in the “I’m teething and can’t be held by anyone but Diana” way.

He rolls around on the bed, howling with laughter. And if catches a view of himself in the mirror? His little gut busts. This of course makes Grover go cuckoo too and he jumps on the bed. Naked. And rolls around too.

Yesterday I tried it out myself. I got out of the family bath, jumped on the bed and rolled around with Eli. Um, it was ok. Every time I caught a view of myself in the mirror I cried. And Grover kept trying to jump out the window.

p.s. This is a photo of Eli in his fancy UV protection swim suit. I hope he doesn’t get beat up by other one year olds in Mexico.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Cheerios? Really?

When I was a non-father, I used to marvel at babies’ obsession with Cheerios. It seemed like every time I saw a person under two, they were covered in the bland little O’s. I remember thinking, “Why? There are, like, a billion cereals in any given grocery store. Why can’t the cereal of choice be Cap’n Crunch? Or Cookie Crisp? Those are cereals. Babies are dumb.”

Looking back on that dramatic interpretation of my thoughts, I was kind of a jerk.

Well, Elijah’s recent mastery of his opposable thumbs means he loves feeding himself. There is nothing within arm’s reach that he won’t try to wolf down. Grapes, Veggie Booty, Bananas, Avocado…

On a side note, our big orange shag rug in the living room sheds shag-shaped orange fuzz bits. I’m convinced Eli’s colon is packed to the gills with orange fuzz.

Where was I? Oh, Cheerios. Last Saturday, I spied a huge box of Cheerios in the pantry. I have no idea why we had a brand-named cereal. Diana prefers all natural hippie cereals like, “Sweetened Sticks and Bark.”

Eli was currently in his high chair cramming his face with bananas. I tentatively grabbed a handful of Cheerios and placed them on his tray. He stared at them. I said, “Don’t like them. Please don’t like them. Please.” He put one in his mouth and cooed.

It was all over. He loves Cheerios. Loves them. Can’t get enough.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Recipe For Disaster

Yesterday was cousin Finn’s big three birthday bash. Which meant family from the four corners of the HamannEggs universe converged on Merle’s BBQ restaurant. But as the time for ribs and Pixar related toys neared, I began to sweat. Vegas odds makers were predicting a major freak out from Elijah. Here’s what was stacked against us:

*Eli missed his nap.
*The party was smack dab in the middle of his witching hour.
*The party would be filled with tons of people who want to manhandle him.
*Diana’s Eli fit fighting magic was hampered by a massive flu bug.

We arrived at Merle’s and I started chanting, “If you’re calm, the baby’s calm, if you’re calm, the baby’s calm, if you’re calm the baby’s calm...”

But, aside from one minor skirmish at the very beginning, Eli was fantastic. He was held by Great Grandma June, my Mom, my Dad, my stepdad Mike, my stepmom Connie, Steve, Pam, Tom, Judy, Patrick, Leah, some weird kid I’ve never met before, Finn and practically everyone in downtown Evanston with the exception of that weird guy who stands in front of the gym and talks to the army doll.

He laughed, crawled, acted cute and ate macaroni and cheese off the floor. My blood pressure plummeted.

On a side note, based on the awesome toys Finn received, I cannot not wait until Eli turns 3.

On another side note, my Grandma June, Eli’s Great Grandma, made a point of buying Eli a Matchbox car. But before she could hand it to Eli, Finn ran over and said, “Oh cool…car” and snatched it. The hilariousness combined with the fact that Eli doesn’t know what a car is made the larceny just plain cute.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

When In Doubt, Honk

I’ve talked about the nose honk, right? If you’re new to the blog (Craig Likhite), you may not know every tiny detail about Elijah, so allow me to explain the honk.

Diana, to prove to me and everyone else that Eli is a brilliant baby, taught Eli this little trick: When she says, “Where’s mommy’s nose?” he, well, honks her nose. Or if she says, “Where’s daddy’s nose?” he honks my nose.

Come on. You gotta admit that’s pretty nifty for a kid who just eleven months ago didn’t know his nose from his umbilical chord.

But…here’s the thing. Of late, that seems to be his answer to every question. Eli, where’s mommy’s nose? Honk. Where’s mommy’s ear? Honk. Where’s Grover? Honk. Are you hungry? Honk. Do you have a wet diaper? Honk. What’s the capital of Venezuela? Honk. What’s the square root of 13.4? Honk. Can I give you $100 if you don’t honk my nose? Honk. Will you please stop honking? Honk.

I have a massive assignment for sportscars due on Monday. When my client asks me where their groundbreaking ideas are?


Friday, March 14, 2008

Best 9:21pm Ever

I had kind of late night late night in the advertising mines last night. The true bummer of the whole thing is working late nights doesn’t fill me with rage anymore. I’ve come to a resigned dullness. But last night I got a real treat, in the form of a crying baby.

I arrived to my house at 9 last night to find Diana and our friend Kitty making their way through a bottle of wine. They were discussing how they were going to teach Elijah about the birds and bees. I begged them to wait until he was at least two years old. And to keep me out of it.

Just as I poured myself a weighty glass of Portugal red wine, Eli started crying upstairs. Eli waking himself up and crying is a rare occurrence anymore. He’s usually good for 12 hours of snooze.

So I decided to check on him. When I hit the top of the stairs I found him rocking on his hands and knees* and wailing.

I scooped him up and realized he was half asleep but still pretty upset. I sat down on the rocking chair and held him. He hugged me and put his little head on my shoulder and let out a little sigh. After a few seconds he fell asleep.

Given the fact that Eli normally views hugging as torture, I was in heaven. I could hear Kitty and Diana downstairs having a grand time, but I was fine in the dark with my little guy.

*I’m a little disturbed by Eli’s rocking. I was a big time rocker when I was a baby. So much so that I used to bash my head on my crib and my parents had to pad the sides so I wouldn’t knock myself out. I’d rather Eli didn’t inherit whatever bad wiring that made me look like I should be a cast member of “One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest."

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Just you wait

Last Sunday I took Elijah to the pool for family swim. Only this time we went without my brother and Finn. The first thing Eli and I learned the minute we hit the water is the pool without Uncle Steve and Cousin Finn is b-o-r-i-n-g. I did my best to entertain, which meant talking in funny voices, tossing him in the air and pointing out kids who I thought were in the midst of peeing in the pool.

After about 40 minutes I ran out of material and Elijah had that look like his last granules of patience were hitting the bottom of the hourglass. I decided to hit the family locker room.

The family locker room always baffles me. They won’t allow kids in the regular locker rooms. It must be to protect babies from seeing fat, naked people. So they dump us all, men women and kids, into a tiny room in the basement that reeks of chlorine. They have little curtained off areas for changing, but that mostly for us adults not to reveal our bits and pieces. The kids are far less modest.

I was in the middle of removing Eli’s soaked swimming diaper when the German two year old at the locker next to us erupted into a tantrum to end all tantrums. He kicked, screamed German obscenities and generally made the lockers rattle. His overwhelmed mother gently spoke to him in German and tried not to make eye contact with me or Eli. Eli, on the other hand, was quite interested in the tantrum. He pulled himself up on the bench and inched himself over to the screaming toddler for a better look.

The mother turned to me and said, “Your boy, he is very good, yah?” I responded, way too loudly, “Yes! Me boy. Good. Good boy. Yes.” She said, “You just wait until they get into the angry stage.”

Angry stage? I looked down at Eli, who seemed to be taking notes.

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Land Of Dads

The weather this winter has been especially brutal. He mercury hasn’t climbed over 20 in, what seems like Elijah’s entire life. And he’s getting sick and tired of hanging out in the smallest living room on the planet. His only escape from boredom is getting into mischief. This morning it meant crawling all over our coffee tables, which resulted in him falling and bashing his head. It left a nifty DCFS style dent in his temple.

Diana declared that we had to get out of the house before we all went nuts. Grover practically held the door open. He needed some time without a baby using his tail as a swing set.

We decided to visit the Evanston Public Library. I was under the impression that the only purpose for the library was for homeless people to go BM (joke stolen from “Family Guy” –ed). But when we arrived, I suddenly understood where our $50,000 in property taxes go. The place was awesome. The nerds alone were enough to keep Eli and I occupied. But The EPL had a whole floor dedicated to kids. There was a puppet show, a giant bear, blocks and tons of books. I don’t know how many there were. At least seven.

In the middle of the place was the baby cell. It was a padded area filled with toys and books and all kinds of germy things to occupy the under one set. Eli loved it. While Di went off in search of baby nutrition books, we sat in the padded room and neither one of us dented our heads.

As we touched things covered with pink eye and flu, I started to notice the clientele: All dads. I was in the land of “Give Mommy Five Minutes To Herself.” I can’t think of a better to place to kill a little time with the kids. Besides Off Track Betting.

Pretty soon a guy crawled into the baby cell with his 1 year old, Spencer. I asked him what he was in for. “Wife at Yoga.” He asked me and I said my wife was in fact at the library. He looked at me as if I broke the rule of The Land of Dad. I felt instantly guilty. I assured him that next time I’d come alone.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Bye Bye Self

Elijah is pretty solid when it comes to the major consonants. He does the “Mama” and the “Dada.” As far as I’m concerned he doesn’t need to know anything else. All I need is the ego rub of being referred to as “Dada.” And no, I don’t care that he also refers to Grover as “Dada.”

But luckily for him, he’s continuing to develop beyond the big M and D. He’s recently discovered the B. Which is useful in requesting the ever important bottle. He also is learning to say “Bye bye.”

Most of his blinking, beeping toys will say “Bye bye” when Eli ignores them for more than a minute. Many times, Eli will respond with a “Bah Bah.” Which makes his blinking, beeping toys infinitely cuter.

Diana has also been training him to do “Bye bye” when I leave in the morning. She has also incorporated the hand wave. So, every morning I’ll stand at the top of the stairs, sweating in my ten layers of Evanston cold protection and Diana will say, “Wave bye bye to Daddy. Say bye bye. Say bye bye. Say bye bye. Say bye bye.” Grover will pace back and forth as if to say, “SAY BYE BYE ALREADY!”

Slowly, put surely, Eli will say, “Bah bah.” And incorporate the now famous hand wave. The greatest part is Eli waves by turning his hand towards himself and bends his fingers, essentially waving goodbye to himself. He also looks at his hand inquisitively as if to say, “Holy cow, someone is waving bye bye to me.”

I don’t have any new photos, so please enjoy another in my series, “Eli Wearing Underpants On His Head.”

Monday, March 3, 2008


I think I’ve mentioned this, but we’re planning our first big family trip to Mexico at the end of the month. Me, Di, Elijah and Di’s Mom (our official margarita tester) will be staying at a cool condo on the beach in Puerto Vallarta.

Now, the thing with overprotective upper middle class parents is we love to throw money at perceived problems. Take the sun. Our parents viewed a sunburn as a rite of summer passage. I once burned so badly that my father was convinced I’d lose my nose. Mental note, make dermatology appointment. Well, Di and I are deathly afraid that Eli will get sunburned in Mexico.

Yeah, the sun is much closer than the 1970’s and studies show baby skin is way more open to sunburn and blah blah blah, but we’ve been reduced to buying the boy a $40 UV protected swimsuit. I don’t know how I got conned into this, but I’m shelling out four Hamiltons for something he’ll wear for exactly three months before his giantness grows out of it.

I digress. The most hilarious thing we’ve bought him is a sun proof hat. Let me try to describe it. Imagine a mullet made out of brightly colored UV protected canvas. I guess it’s to protect his neck. But I think it’s to teach humility.

But here’s the rub. Eli hates to wear hats. Sox baseball hats, Stocking caps, Indian head-dresses. He’ll throw them off the second you place one on his head. So I imagine the purple mullet will be money well spent.

I did find that Eli will wear a pair of pajama bottoms on his head for several hours. Much to the dismay of his mother.

Saturday, March 1, 2008

First Teleconference

Up until today, Elijah’s interaction with computers has been pretty basic. Smashing the keyboard when his father is trying to blog. What can you expect? He’s ten months old. If he were to suddenly order something off, I’d be worried.

But today, he leapt into the 21st century by teleconferencing with my mom.

To understand what a feat this is, let me clue you in to my mom. If she had her way, we’d all still be watching black and white TV’s, listening to 8-tracks and driving 1973 station wagons. Come to think of it, that does sound pretty awesome.

But her husband Mike bought the family a modern, new fangled computer that happens to have a camera and teleconferencing capabilities. The Hamanns also blog on a state of the art computer. That’s covered with baby goo.

So after much phoning back and forth and a few swears, she was able to see Eli and talk with him and watch him do his newest trick: waving bye bye. It’ll never take the place of in person bye bye, but it will hold her off until they salt the roads.

If you are interested in a much more hilarious post than this, check out Fox Hamann’s latest. He dances.

p.s. Eli hasn't been kidnapped by a lumberjack. I haven't had a chance to shave. Plus, beards are awesome.