Saturday, April 26, 2008

A Word From The Dog

Hello humans! It’s me, your lovable pal Grover. I don’t know if you can smell me from your houses, put I am so excited. I made a major breakthrough with the human puppy. Can you see my tail wagging? Can you? I have officially decided not to eat him.

But I’m getting ahead of myself. Let’s back up.

Today started out like any other Saturday. The man brought the human puppy downstairs at 6am. The human puppy smelled like poop, which I love. The man smelled like 8 hour old beer, which I hate. While the man watched the giant noisy glowing box, the human puppy started in on the fur pulling.

But after the woman came down, the man left for a long time and when he came back, he transformed the backyard from mud, which I love, to grass, which I love more than mud. I don’t know how he did it. I can never understand human magic. Apparently it has to do with swearing.

The only bummer is the swearing man didn’t throw me the tennis ball. No matter how many times I dropped it at his feet. He just kept swearing. So I noticed the human puppy on the deck. He was chattering away like the hairless monkey he is.

So I thought, “What the hey?” I walked over and dropped the tennis ball at its chubby feet. And you know what? He threw it to me! Yeah yeah, his throw was a total of four inches, but when I brought it back, he threw it again. He seemed to like it because he shrieked every time I gave him the ball.

And the man and the woman got all agitated and surrounded me and the puppy and said over and over, “Good boy! Good boy!” I couldn’t tell if they were saying it to me or the puppy. I assume me because I was catching the tennis ball with my usual Grover-like grace.

It hit me like a ton of bricks. The man and the woman made the human puppy for me. As a ball thrower. I knew I was still #1. Thank you man and woman. Thank you.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Click Click Click

It seems like a lot of my posts a few months ago dealt with Elijah’s teeth. Getting them, crying about them, naming them, etc.

Well, I got another one. He’s clicking his teeth now. I can totally understand his fascination. There are freakin’ bones sticking out of his gums where they once were not. So when he’s bored or reading a book or waiting for a bottle, he’ll click his teeth together. And grind his teeth. And chomp them.

Let me try to explain the sound. Think of fingernails on the blackboard. Mix that with two pieces of Styrofoam rubbing together. Plus a fork scraping fine china. Plus a metal chair scraping across a wooden floor.

I’m convinced that the sound waves don’t actually enter my ear. I think they travel from his teeth and go through my eyeballs into my brain. Where they rattle around, destroying everything.

When Eli clicks, I’ll wince, fall to the ground and say, “Please baby. No teeth clicking. You’re killing daddy.” At which point he’ll cock his head and look at me curiously. And click his teeth.

I’ve taken to sticking my finger in his mouth to stop the clicking. A chewed off finger is pleasant compared to the clicking.

Diana and Eli and Grover went to the in-laws last night because there was a death in the family and we’re getting air conditioning put in, which apparently involves destroying the house. So I had the place to myself. It was horrible. I would have paid a million dollars to hear some teeth clicking.

Monday, April 21, 2008

First “Hi.”

I think Elijah says “Hi” now. But I’m not sure. A few days ago I miraculously came home before Eli went to sleep. I found him and Di playing with (tormenting) Grover upstairs. Eli looked up, bright eyed, and said, “Haaaaaahhhhhh.”

What you talkin’ ‘bout, Eli?

Kitty came over yesterday to help Diana drink Mimosas and get farmers’ tans. As soon as Eli saw her he said, “Haaaaaaaaahhhhhh.”

Say what, Eli?

This morning when I woke up he was standing in his crib. And I said, “Hi Eli!” He screamed. He was hungry.

I still can’t say this is an official first word. It’s more of a first vowel. But it sure is cute. Which is good because Eli is driving Diana up the wall. He’s obsessed with her. Aren’t we all? He will not allow her to put him down. Not even for a moment. Even if it’s to accomplish something with two hands, like, say juggle fire batons, he shrieks like a banshee. He needs his mama at all times.

I got home from Yoga yesterday (Yeah, I do Yoga. Wanna fight about it?) and Diana handed me the boy. She had had enough of his clinging. I said something lame like, “It’s just because he loves you SO much. At this moment Kitty arrived with Mimosas fixin’s. Eli said, “Haaaaaaahhhhhhh.”

I took Eli outside and let him watch me swear at the car seat while adjusting it to face forward. Then I took him upstairs and let him watch me swear while I re-installed his baby gate, which included accidentally drilling a hole in our bedroom door.

Luckily, Steve and Finn had arrived to watch me do said door drilling. Eli said, “Haaaaaahhhh.” Which I think was more “Ha” than “Hi.”

Sunday, April 20, 2008

The finger

Most of Elijah’s advances have been incredible, joyful experiences. Sitting up, crawling, standing. I’ve loved every minute. But for some reason, when Eli started pointing to things last week, I had a panic attack.

Something snapped. I suddenly didn’t want him to grow up. I wanted him to stay a baby forever. He’d point at Grover and say, “Et da?” I’d shout, “No! No more growing intellectually! Get dumber! Dumber!” He’s point at the TV and say, “Et da?” I’d grab him and beg, “Turn back into a baby, Eli. Let’s get you back into that womb.” At which point Diana would call from the other room, “Not in your life, mister.”

Maybe it’s because my mind has officially been blown by Sesame Street. Di’s brother Mike bought us the “Old School Sesame Street” 1970’s collection. Last Saturday morning I popped it in to distract Eli from my neglectful laying on the floor and rubbing of my temples.

But the minute that bouncy theme started, I got a shock in my frontal lobe. I leapt up, shoved Eli out of the way and pressed my nose to the TV. All my long lost friends were there. Bert, Ernie, Big Bird, Grover. Did I mention Grover? To my delight and Eli’s horror, I knew and could shout all the lyrics to every song. I knew every gag.

I kept trying to push Grover on him. “Eli, see him? He’s the mayor of Sesame Street. Grover saved all their lives in a fire once. Grover chooses not to know the alphabet” But no luck. He fell in love with Cookie Monster. Stupid, overeating, soon to be diabetic Cookie Monster.

He’s see him, point and say, “Et da?” And then I’d cry.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Who likes pictures?

4 things

So I’m sitting at the office kind of waiting for other people to do stuff and unable to either leave or make them do their stuff faster. I figure rather than catch up on my own stuff, I can detail a few Elijah things that have been happening lately that don’t really require a whole post.

Pacifiers are delicious

Eli isn’t too nuts about pacifiers. He doesn’t need one 24 hours a day, but he does like them in the crib. Occasionally, he’ll toss them out onto the floor. So when he’s crawling around playing he’ll occasionally stumble across one. He’ll pop it in and then, after a second, offer it to you to sample. If you chew on it for a few seconds he’ll yank it out of your mouth and return it to its rightful place.

Grover is patient

Eli loves Grover. He squeals with delight when he sees the giant fluff ball. The thing is, Eli’s way of demonstrating his love is to grab giant fist fulls of Grover’s fur. He’ll yank Grover’s eyebrows, tail, privates, mustache. And you know what Grover does? He licks Eli. I’d rather not have to send Grover to a farm for biting my son, so I praise Grover profusely.

Poo Barf

I forgot to tell the story of the poo/barf during my Mexico download. Di was taking a family bath with Eli when he was still suffering from his 100+ temperature. Not only did he massively poop in the tub (Rick: 0, Di: 0, Eli: 2), but a half hour later he barfed all over her. There were not enough two for one Margaritas on the planet for her.

Clap clap clap

Di bought Eli one of those Baby Einstein videos. It wasn’t Baby Einstein, it was slightly less dumb. It involves a baby who conducts an orchestra and a bunch of colors float across the screen in a baby acid trip. But whenever a song ends, animated animals clap. And Eli claps too. He’s gotten to the point that whenever he hears clapping, he claps along. On NPR the other day they had a Jerry Springer clip and during whatever fight broke out, Eli clapped.

That should get me through the evening.


Yay! Elijah turned one today! Can you guys believe it? It boggles the mind and fills the diapers. Rather than do a clip show detailing every cry, poo and spit up over the last twelve months, I’ll just clue you in on yesterday’s birthday celebration.

Eli woke up grouchy and pissy. Apparently he didn’t get the message that birthday boys are supposed to be cute and charming. But as the day wore on he got the idea. Mostly because we kept shouting, “It’s your birthday!” And then we’d do a little dance. And then Grover would get agitated and try to hump us. And then we’d yell at Grover not to hump us. At which point it was time to yell, “It’s your birthday!”

Actually, we spent most of the day playing his favorite songs on our stereo. I definitely got my limit of “Banana Phone.” But Eli has developed this awesome Eli dance that involves sitting up on his knees and bouncing and clapping.

I took him to the local toy store and led him around. He seemed particularly interested in a farmer’s tractor that makes animal noises. So, bam. Birthday Boy got one. I also laid out all the Sesame Street toys in front of him and he got to choose his favorite. I kept nudging the Grover to him and saying, “Ohh. Isn’t Grover neat? Don’t you want to have an unhealthy obsession with Grover?” He chose Bert. Di gave him some cool blocks and that, um, UV tent.

In some kind of bizarre Twin Mind Meld, my brother came over with Finn and gave Eli a farmer’s tractor that makes noise.

After his dinner we whipped out the chocolate cake. Di’s famous chocolate cake from a box. Like, most one-year-olds, this was his first refined sugar of his life. After a tentative taste, he began cramming it into his mouth by the fist full. Di, removed his shirt and allowed him to smear it all over his own stomach. I took the opportunity to eat some cake off his belly. Delicious Chocolate Baby.

After the tenth or eleventh fist full, he barfed.

He also bounced off the walls for the next three hours in a sugar mania. Di and I are very lucky people. Our son is an awesome, hilarious, cool little guy.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Mothers In Law

When I told my jaded co-workers that we were bringing Di’s mom, Sheila, along on our Mexico trip, they started in on bad Mother In Law comedy routines. I bet you didn’t know half of the creative department in any ad agency is frustrated would-be comedians.

Aside from the fact that Sheila is a saint, you know why we brought her? Four words: Two For One Margaritas.

At the strike of 4 every day the restaurant at the bottom of our condo would have their famous two for one margs. Now, I’m not usually one for the hard stuff. In fact, tequila is one of my least favorite things to drink. It may have been Mexico, or it may have been the fact that 4pm is the start of Elijah’s witching hour, but as soon as the clock struck quatro I’d leap from our balcony the six stories to the bar and rush back upstairs with margaritas stacked two by two.

That’s where Sheila came in. She’d politely sip her drink, but her main job was to watch Eli while his parents went out and acted like Spring Break MTV contestants. For two people who have been out of the house as husband and wife exactly three times in the last 365 days, it was amazing.

We actually had dinner together. We actually walked along the beach together. We actually got bombed without worrying about our son.

To pay her back, I sent Di and Sheila off for an official girls’ night where they got to act like Spring Breakers themselves. I’m not going to ask where the wet t-shirt trophy came from.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Que Bonito!

I’ve mentioned in past posts that when Elijah is out and about, the people comment on his good looks. Why? Because people have eyes. But Di and I found this phenomenon isn’t restricted to people within the four walls of Target. Apparently, Mexican people also have eyes.

When the sun reached its apex every day, we had to get Eli out of the sun so he didn’t burst into flames. That usually meant dumping him into his stroller and playing the game, “Let’s Find Some Shade.” But as soon as we exited our condo, people would flock to Eli.

Here’s a little test. See if you can tell what comments were made by Mexican people and which comments were made by fat Americans:

1. “Que Bonito!”
2. “Hey, lookee here! That kid’s eating his foot!”
3. “Ojos azules mas guapo.”
4. “What cha feed dat kid, he’s a chunk.”

At one point a street vendor who had been sampling a bit too much tequila stumbled over and began to manhandle Eli while slurring praise in Spanish. Apparently used to the sometimes outrageous antics of his fans, Eli simply reached his hand out gracefully and shoved the man aside. At which point security (me) whisked him away in his stroller.

For those of you who don’t have your official Eli Hamann calendar, Eli’s birthday is Monday. The big one! We’re not having a party. Because we’re lame. Also because we’re doing his Christening in May (finally) and we’d rather not force parents to come up twice in a matter of weeks.

So we’ll most likely celebrate the way we celebrate everything. By eating tacos and splitting a bottle of wine.

I do know that we (Diana) bought him some cool presents including a UV tent. I have no idea what it is. I think they made a movie out of it in 1976 starring John Travolta (Boy in the Plastic Bubble).

Tuesday, April 8, 2008


Sorry to interrupt my weeklong Mexico vacation blogging, but I finally finished the hardbound version of HamannEggs Vol 1. It took a lot longer to finish than I thought. Mostly because I’m a lazy sack.

I’ve attached the first HamannEggs cover Steve drew. The first one features a hilarious George Bush tribute. Remember when Eli looked like George Bush? I also thought it would be a nice reminder in the years to come of the year Elijah was born.

When we showed it to Diana, she took one look at it and said, “Um…no.”

Her point was she didn’t want Eli to look back on it years from now and be scarred by our hilarious connection of him to The Worst President Ever. I mentioned the sheer number of buttock photography would be plenty to scar him.

However, I decided to force Steve to draw a new, non-GB version. Mostly because I’m afraid George Bush will catch wind of it and put me on a secret list. Next thing you know my tax returns get mysteriously lost, every time I answer the phone I’ll hear a “click,” and there will be a white van permanently parked outside our house.

If you want to see the official cover, log onto www/ and go to the Blub bookstore. Type in “HamannEggs” in the search menu and marvel.

And now back to your regularly scheduled Mexico blogging.

p.s. I don’t get any money from sales of the book.

First Sun

Diana and her mom are sun people. They like nothing better than to spend a week basting under the blazing hot sun and turning a dark shade of maroon. I, on the other hand, fall more in the Mole People camp. I fear the sun. And once a year a team of dermatologists carve out huge chunks of sun damaged skin from my body, leaving me resembling a nice piece of swiss cheese.

Unfortunately, Elijah inherited my Mole Man genes.

Every time we took Eli out to our Mexican pool, he’d squint painfully at the giant fiery orb in the sky and recoil in terror. It makes sense. Most of his life, he’s experienced a grey, gloomy Evanston sky. Imagine your first true experience with a sunny day being practically on the surface of the sun. Yeah yeah, anyone with a calendar knows that Eli was born in April and did have an official summer, but those first couple months he was just trying to stay alive, not experience a Beach Boys song.

Here’s the thing. If avoiding the sun is your goal, Mexico is the last place on Earth you want to be. Even inside our nice, cool condo the sun beat down from every angle. Eli would restrict his playtime to the two inches of shade he was given.

Luckily, Diana came equipped with so much sun protection for him that he came home whiter than when he left. We had hats. We had UV protected shirts. We had SPF 50 covering his whole body.

Next year we’re going to vacation in an igloo.

Monday, April 7, 2008

First flight

We’re back from Mexico, gang! It was super fun and we had no casualties, except for the day when Diana got both pooped on and puked on by Elijah. But I’m getting ahead of myself.

Rather than drop a massive, all inclusive blog entry that would take all day to type and read and get us all fired, I’m going to break the finer points into easy to digest blocks.

For weeks prior to the trip, our biggest worry was Elijah on the airplane. My friend Matt once said the worst thing that can happen on a flight is your kid goes bonkers and disturbs everyone within scream distance. But they would all be people you’d never see again. But that only made Diana more nervous because she knew if Eli went nuts, it would be in her arms and me and her mom would pretend not to be related to the red faced lunatic. At most, we could be counted on to cluck, “Oh, that poor woman.”

To make matters worse, Eli was 24 hours away from having a 104 temperature.

As we settled into our cramped United Airlines seats, Eli was moaning like a cat in heat. The fat American in the row ahead of us began grousing about sitting in front of an infant and unsuccessfully tried to change seats. This, from a man who announced loudly that he just got back from the airport bar (it was 9:30am) and would need to use the “pisser” soon. I began to hope Eli would start screaming.

But, to our delight, he was great on both the flight there and back. He cried about 5% of the time. Unheard of for a kid whose temp was still above 100. On the way back, he discovered the two co-eds in the row behind us and spent four hours flirting. It wasn’t all perfect, he was a little wild from time to time and screeched like a monkey while crawling in and around our seats.

But compared to the two year old at the back of the plane who was screaming bloody murder and alienating people he’d never see again, Eli was an angel.

More Mexico to come.