Sunday, May 30, 2010
It’s been a tough week for Elijah. It looks like he caught a perfect storm of viruses. The poor little guy has had a 102 Temp forever. Thankfully, it hasn’t burned out his brain. Just the parts used for math, science and language skills. But he’s fine now, thank you very much. Back to his old self. Plus his body will be able to fight off the Super Virus of 2022, making him the leader of the free world. Or what’s left of it.
It’s hard to find the bright spot among all the trips to the hospital and IV’s and stuff inserted into his rectum. But, and I feel a little guilty saying this, I had a great time with Luca this week.
While Diana carted Eli back and forth to his medical team, I got put in charge of Boy 2. I even took a little time off work to attend to him.
Luca has two modes: Laughing hysterically and silent contemplation. And while I would pay a million dollars to see him laugh, I had no idea how much I missed silence. And I’m not even talking about Elijah’s constant din of “I want.” I’m in an industry that loves to hear itself talk. Blah blah blah market share Facebook overpaid creative director blah blah blah.
It was after about 20 minutes walking with Luca and Grover through the neighborhood that I realized no one was making noise. Grover never talks anyway. He prefers to let his pooping on the floor actions do his talking. But Luca, attached to my torso via Baby Bjorn, just quietly watched the world go by. Occasionally reaching his hand out to feel a bush.
I lost track of how long we were silent. It may have been only ten minutes or so, but it felt like hours. I was able to hear the inner workings of my head for once. It sounds like a rusted lawnmower motor.
Luca broke the silence by saying, “Guuh.”
I said, “Yeah. Guuh indeed.”
Diana managed to fit in a checkup for Luca while she lived at the Evanston Medical Center. He’s at the 90th percentile of height and weight. I have no idea how Diana and I could have produced two giant children. I imagine the two of them co-dominating a sporting event in the future. Probably involving an octagon.
You know what else? His doctor says Luca doesn’t have to wear a helmet after all. Now that’s something to squawk about.
Wednesday, May 26, 2010
Yesterday morning, Elijah shuffled downstairs and plopped on the couch. His eye was completely swollen shut. I felt his head and asked him which one of his stuffed animals clocked him in the middle of the night. He was a little warm but didn’t seem too sick. So like any terrible father, I left it up to Diana to handle after she woke up.
Later in the day, Di called with the diagnosis from our doctor. His eye was infected with…something medical sounding. Not a big deal as long as he took the prescribed antibiotics. But if he didn’t take them, things could go south.
Can you see where this is going?
Diana and Eli spent the entire day in fierce battle over the medicine. Grape flavored antibiotics? Spit in her face. Bubble gum flavored antibiotics? Impenetrable Eli mouth fortress.
Round about bath time, his fever spiked. 106. For those of you who haven’t seen hospital related television dramas, that’s high. The doctor said it’s hospital time. Just about that moment I entered the house from a delightful bike ride commute shouting, “Where’s my dinner, woman?”
For Eli, the hospital was the greatest and the worst in the world. He was able to drink all the apple juice he wanted. But he also had to have a nurse shove an IV into his arm. He got to make his automatic bed go up and down. But he had to have a nurse shove a Tylenol up his butt. He got a balloon for being a good boy. But the balloon had a Mini Mouse on it.
It broke my heart to see my little guy in that big bed. But he was 85% brave, which is 80% more than I’d be. And he charmed the staff over and over (“What do you want to be when you grow up, Eli?” “Bigger.”).
I went home to take over Luca duties from Kitty and Steve and Di stayed with Eli. The report this morning was all good. Eli’s back to normal temps and his eye no longer looks like the last five minutes of every Rocky movie.
The moral of this story? Keep your germy hands out of your eyeballs and take your medicine.
Monday, May 24, 2010
I was recently out of town in Germany looking at a kick ass sports car you won’t be able to see for two years. And will be able to afford never. So, as usual, Steve stepped in as fake dad. Quite frankly, I’m certain Luca can’t tell the difference.
Anyhoo, a series of events led Steve to take Eli to our friend Kitty’s house to walk their dogs. She lives a short distance, so Steve opted to take the boy on foot. Steve tried to explain they were going to take some dogs for a walk as they trotted down our front steps.
Elijah suddenly said, “What about our loveable pal Grover?”
Who says stuff like that? Yes, I call Grover our loveable pal when I impersonate him on the blog. But Eli doesn’t know about the blog. If he did, it would’ve been shut down around the fifth or sixth poop story. And he doesn’t even know how to read.
And despite every ounce of evidence to the contrary, I don’t refer to Grover as our “loveable pal” around the house. “Special Little Guy?” Yes. “My secret romance?” Yes. “Executer of my last will and testiment?” Yes. But not loveable pal.
So that can only lead me to one conclusion. Elijah is freaking hilarious.
Saturday, May 22, 2010
It was a dark day in HamannEggs land this morning. Literally. Luca woke up at 5am. No, not crying. It’s Luca we’re talking about. But he was flopping like a fish and yelling. Diana moaned, “Kill me.” Rather than smother my wife with a decorative pillow, I decided to take Luca downstairs.
Like most mornings when he wakes up at an hour when milkmen and roosters shout, “Go back to sleep, you lunatic!” I flipped on Sports Center and fed the boy. Then I reunited him with his best friend, the bouncy seat. And I fall into a half sleep zombie mode on the couch.
If you count up the hours, Luca spends more time with his bouncy seat than any human being, with the exception of his mother. And that’s just because he spent 9 months floating in her innards.
He loves it. It bounces. There are creepy plastic animals hanging just out of arm’s reach. It vibrates. If I had a man-sized one I’d never leave the house.
Wait. I should’ve said, “He LOVED it.” This morning after I put him in, Luca began shouting loudly. Not crying. It’s Luca we’re talking about. But he shouted extremely loud. Loud enough to wake me from my zombie mode.
I grabbed him out of the seat and he stopped shrieking and started giggling. Uh-oh. He lost that lovin’ feeling for the bouncy seat. I had to sit upright. And I had to entertain an infant. At 5am. That goes against our arrangement. He agrees to sit quietly in his bouncy seat and I agree to stay just awake enough to not put him in danger.
I sleepily played the superbaby game with Luca and tried not to offend him by yawning. At about 6, Elijah came down the stairs, breaking my other morning agreement. He agrees to sleep until 7 and I agree not to yell at him. I couldn’t really send him back to his room. It seemed a little jerky to say, “Um, no. Your tiny brother gets to hang out with me and watch TV. You must stare at your darkened jungle painting for another hour.”
I patted the couch and told him to join us. But I required him to participate in the non-bouncy chair entertainment. Eli tried to make Luca smile by getting in his face and shouting, “Hi lit-tle guy!”
After a while, I stumbled into the kitchen to make the strongest cup of coffee known to man. I said a little prayer that Grover hadn’t broken our morning arrangement about pooping in our basement. I didn’t like my odds.
Wednesday, May 19, 2010
Last weekend, Steve invited me and Elijah to watch his son Finn sing in a pre-school recital. I jumped at the chance. Who wouldn’t want to watch a sea of pre schoolers awkwardly pick their noses while shyly whispering every other word of old folk songs? Aside from giving Finn some much needed support, I thought it was an opportunity for Elijah to learn the art of spectatoring.
As we drove the ten blocks to Finn’s school, I set the ground rules. No yelling. No running around. No hitting. No jumping. No discussions about Curious George. No shooting other people with imaginary Star Wars weapons. No poking me or anyone else in the eye. No tantrums. No removal of one’s pants. Definitely no removal of one’s pants.
I looked in the rearview mirror and saw his expression. Resigned acceptance. Welcome to family recitals, buddy. Sit there and take it.
We took our seats next to the Family Steve. Surprisingly, Eli sat still and remained relatively quiet. He did shout, “There’s Finn!” when Finn took the stage. But compared to the din of parents trying to get their kid’s attention for photographs (“Ethan! Ethan! Look at daddy! ETHAN!”) you could hardly hear him.
After the third or fourth song (very loud teacher singing, very quiet children, very many noses picked), Eli noticed there was a little 4-ish girl staring at him from the seat directly in front of him. Once she caught his eye she said, “What your name?”
“I Eli. I’m three.”
She leaned over her chair and responded, “What your name?”
“I Eli. I’m three.”
“What your name?”
“I ELI! I’M THREE!”
She kept asking and he kept answering.
Eli got a little confused and a little exasperated. She again asked his name. Not knowing what else to do, Eli kissed her. That ought to shut her up.
I completely forgot “No kissing strange little girls” in my list of recital rules. The little girl reared back, flushed. It was clearly her first trip to first base. Here eyes bulged and she sank down low in her seat.
She then looked in between the seats and whispered, “What your name?”
Friday, May 14, 2010
Scroll back a year or two on HamannEggs and you’ll notice a lot of posts about me (or Diana) with Elijah in the tub. Despite my brother’s revulsion and the occasional “Caddy Shack” moment, bathing with the boy is usually hilarious and fun. Despite usually exiting the tub dirtier than going in.
So I was wondering how the old bath time would evolve now that we added Luca to the family. Namely, how would my rapidly fattening self would cram into a smaller than average tub plus a urinating three year old, plus a urinating 5 month old. Not to mention the now required 10 Star Wars guys, four sharks, three turtles, Dory and Nemo from “Finding Nemo” and other various plastic things in the process of getting covered in black mold.
It ain’t easy, but we can do it. It does, however, involve covering our bathroom floor with two inches of bath water. I usually lay Luca across my lap, which helps keep him from drowning. Plus it hides my genitals when Diana feels that it’s too cute a moment not to capture on our digital camera.
Luca, in particular, loves it. It’s the 20 minutes a day where he isn’t 99.9% encased in a onsie. He has yet to master the art of self depantsing like his brother. He kicks and laughs and splashes and makes those cuter than cute noises.
Eli, on the other hand, doesn’t care for the three man tub. Because it’s cramping his nightly Star Wars battle with me. It’s hard for him to fight me for the future of that galaxy far, far away when there is a chubby pink splash machine between you and your arch enemy.
I solved this problem by adding Luca into the Star Wars battle. We’ve created a game where the bad guys try to attack Luca from land, air and urine and it’s up to Eli to stop them. Luca is basically our WWII Great Brittan. Wait. I just mixed my tub metaphors.
Where was I? Oh, yeah. Eli stopping the bad guys. He does this by basically shouting, “Pew pew!” over and over. I then toss Eli’s victims across the tub and go, “Aeiiiiiiiiii.” Which Elijah considers the most hilarious joke in the history of man. And it never, ever gets old. Long after our tub has turned grey and ice cold Eli will beg, “One more, dad!”
On the rare occasion the bad guys actually make it to Luca, they essentially catch their breath on his fat stomach until Eli can pick them off with his lasers. It’s a terrible battle plan. Now I know why the Empire lost the war.
To save your eyeballs from burning out of their sockets, I’ve opted out of showing another me and the boys tub photo. Plus it’s too depressing for me to look at.
Wednesday, May 12, 2010
I’ve mentioned it before, but part of Diana’s Obsessive Compulsive Disorder involves a song that’s been stuck in her head for over 10 years. In a constant and insanity-inducing loop. I’ll tell you the song’s name, but even the mere mention of it makes Diana clutch her brain like Checkov in “Star Trek: Wrath of Khan” (sometimes my references are even too nerdy for me).
So, Diana…this is your last chance to stop reading. Five. Four. Three. Two. One.
It’s Sussudio by Phil Collins. Four minutes and twenty three seconds of gibberish and one of the greatest musical crimes of the 1980’s. Imagine it. “There's this girl that's been on my mind All the time, Sussudio.” Constantly. For a decade. There isn’t a jury in the world that would convict Diana if she beat Mr. Collins over the head with a boom box.
Why couldn’t she have something awesome stuck in her head? I, for instance, have Prince’s “Raspberry Beret” going in my head right now and I love it!
Elijah also has a bit of the musical loop happening in his head. But his song is the Beatles “Yellow Submarine.” How awesome is that? I mean, we dodged a bullet on that one. Imagine if he had the Barney theme in his head all the time? I shudder.
It all happened because Eli dragged my old copy of the “Yellow Submarine” DVD off the shelf one day and demanded to watch it. Remember that trippy movie? Blue Meanies? Pepperlanders? Enough LSD to drop a horse? After his fifth or sixth viewing, I got a little concerned that we were scrambling his brain. But the only lasting effect was the imprint of the title song on his subconscious.
It is the cutest thing in the world to hear him shout/sing “We all live in the yellow submarine. Yellow submarine. Yellow submarine.”
We also got a report from his school that he serenaded his entire class with the song. He definitely takes after his mother’s theatrical gene pool.
So take a moment today to honor Eli by playing “Yellow Submarine” on your itunes. And imagine a little blonde mop head dancing around wearing a Superman shirt and no pants.
p.s. I still don’t have any new kid photos. So enjoy this photo of me and Diana after we drunkenly climbed a lifeguard tower.
Monday, May 10, 2010
We made it back from Mexico rested, happy and near the top of the list for liver transplants.
On the flight home, I did wonder if Luca and Elijah acquired any grandparent-related bad habits while we were gone. You know, jelly bean addiction or an uncontrollable desire to wear pants.
But it seems they are the same two cuter than cute kids we left a week ago. With one notable exception: Luca wakes up at 6am now. Not just in a stumbling around the room, “Don’t talk to me before my first coffee” way. He wakes up ready to GO. When he flopped around like a fish this morning, I used all my mental powers to will him back to sleep. But my mental powers were destroyed by tequila.
I carted him downstairs and decided if we were up, we might as well get some exercise in. You see, there is still an outside chance we can avoid the dreaded flat-head helmet with Luca. His doctor said if he stays off his head during waking hours and gains enough strength in his neck, we can avoid any embarrassing headwear. Unless Diana gets into knitting.
His doctor gave us a list of baby neck bulging exercises. Like any advice from a medically trained professional, I immediately tossed them out. My mode for hugefying his neck is to lay on my back and place Luca on my legs in the classic “Superman” position. It’s great because: A) It does actually help his neck. B) It takes almost no effort from me. C) He laughs like a lunatic when I do it.
The only bummer is now that Luca’s first tooth is imminent, huge cascades of drool fall from his mouth while he laughs. Strafing the tiny inhabitants who live in my chest hair. I imagine him humming, “Ride of the Valkyries” as he lays waste to my torso with his milky goo. Usually, I can tip him up before his drool hits me and scoop the drool onto his own onsie. He doesn’t seem to mind. But sometimes I time it wrong and he turns my belly button into lake Michigan.
p.s. My dad sent me the following Eli story from last week:
“Connie and I have been having fun sharing Eli stories. I think my favorite is: Eli was supposed to be napping one day. Connie heard him roaming around upstairs. You probably are not even aware of a storage area behind Noah's bed; there is a small door which gets into it. Anyway, Eli had found a flash light and was exploring the storage area. Connie asked where he was, and Eli said, "nowhere." And to what it was he was doing, the answer was "nothing." That one just cracks me up!”
I think he should start a grandpa blog.
p.s.s. I don’t have any new Luca photos, so enjoy this pic of Rory, the cutest cousin ever.
Friday, May 7, 2010
I know I keep the authors of HamannEggs limited to just me and Grover, but my dad sent us this note yesterday while he was watching the kids. I think it sums Elijah and Luca up nicely. Take it away dad...
Some of my favorite things about your boys: Luca - when he smiles at me, that he is a good eater, how he gets his bouncy chair really going!, his chubby legs. That's about it, but hey, he's only 6 months!
Eli: How he says Grandma Connie, and Grandpa Ed, how happily he said Grandpa Ed when I came home for lunch today (but that excitement quickly ended when I had to tell him TV time was up!), the way he pronounces "yes" - just cracks me up, the way he runs on his tip toes, his inquisitiveness, that he is a good eater, that he goes potty on his own! - and is insistent on washing his hands after, how he laughs when I tickle him, that he is polite!
They are great and much fun. Connie had them mostly alone Wednesday and today since I was at work, but tomorrow is my turn! I'm confident things will run like a well-oiled machine. I hope you are having a wonderful time and geting relaxed!! Dad/Ed
Thanks, Dad and Connie. You've made our terrible, terrible sunburns all the more enjoyable.
Tuesday, May 4, 2010
Diana and I are off to Mexico for our first vacation without the kids. So I won't be posting this week. If you're really dying for HamannEggs, check out some of the old posts. I particularly recommend the ones that involve poop. Which are all of them. See you in a week.
Sunday, May 2, 2010
Luca is sick. He has a fever and a fairly strong case of malaise. But for Luca, that means occasionally sighing. Then quickly apologizing for being a bother. And then going to sleep for seven hours.
Sick babies need sleep. Which is difficult when your brother’s volume has two settings: scream and shriek.
So yesterday after Elijah woke Luca up for the umpteenth time, I suggested we take Grover to the church to throw the ball.
It was a gorgeous day. Sunny. Warm. The one of maybe 10 days in Evanston that remind you why you shovel 3.5 tons of snow every winter.
Rather than cause massive casualties on a nearby anthill as Elijah wanted, I suggested he try to outrun Grover as he chased the ball. It wasn’t a fair fight. Besides the fact that Grover had thousands of years of ball chasing genetics on his side, Eli’s running technique isn’t what you’d call ready for the Summer Olympics.
First off, he runs on his tiptoes. Unless Baryshnikov is waiting at the end of the stage to catch you, tiptoes aren’t the most efficient way to travel.
Then there are the arms. Splayed.
At the end of every run, Eli falls down. I think it’s the only way he can stop. Crashing to the ground in a heap. Laughing his head off.
I feverously took mental notes for the blog. “Oh, man,” I thought. Just the description of his floppy hairdo will have ‘em rolling in the aisles.”
“Wait a minute,” I thought. “You’re spending so much time thinking about how to make fun of your kid on the internet, you’re missing out on of the best moments of your life.”
So I put down my mental notebook and chased after him. On my tiptoes. With my arms splayed.
p.s. This is HamannEgg’s 500th post. Thanks for reading. I love writing this thing. In honor of this milestone, I am posting the most embarrassing photo of myself ever. Take particular note of my growing breasts. Diana is taking out later to buy my first training bra.