Friday, December 31, 2010
Oops. I know I promised the second half of the flight to Denver story today. But I realized that today is, in fact, New Years Eve. And as custom on HamannEggs, I write a little note to each of my sons, capping a year of adventures. If you’re used to HamannEggs being funny, this isn’t your entry. If you’re used to HamannEggs being not funny, you won’t be disappointed.
Okay, here goes.
Last night, I turned on the TV to occupy you because I was still horribly sick. I laid on our daybed and silently shivered, even though I was covered with two blankets. As I clenched my eyes to block out the light, I felt something. You had gone into your room and grabbed your little blanket and put it over my shoulders to keep me warm.
Why did you do this? How can your brain work like that? How can you, a three year old, be so incredibly kind?
When we took you out of school to move to Denver, your teachers were in tears because they couldn’t bear to see you go. “He’s so special,” they all said.
You are special. You are sweet and funny and beautiful. You make me so unbelievably happy, I find it hard to articulate in words.
I love you son. I will always love you.
Joy radiates around you. I have yet to see a person meet you who doesn’t explode into laughter at the sight of your glorious joy. You are joy incarnate.
I wish I could be more like you. I wish I had your disposition. I wish I had your curiosity and your sense of adventure. I wish I had your joy.
You won’t remember our lives before we moved to Denver. But I did it for you. I did it so you might be a few degrees happier. That’s how much I love you. I’d move across the country for you to be a few degrees happier. I’d move to another planet for you to be a few degrees happier.
Because every day you make me a few degrees happier than the last.
I love you son. I will always love you.
And now for a bonus letter.
I’ve never written you a New Year’s Eve letter on the blog. We usually exchange letters off line. But this year, things have been going so fast, our lives are changing so rapidly that I haven’t had the chance to tell you all the things I should tell you every day.
I think you are the most wonderful woman in the world. You are the one and only reason our family is together and happy and healthy and filled with laughter and love. Without you, we wouldn’t have made it out of the Evanston City Limits.
You are kind. You are lovely. You are funny. You are smart and cool. You are the best wife and mother three goofball boys could ever ask for. We secretly talk about how much we love you when we’re together. I hope you feel at least half as much for me as I do for you.
I love you, Diana. I will always love you.
Your Dad (Husband).
Thursday, December 30, 2010
Sorry about the lack of posts this week, gang. I came down with a terrible case of altitude flu. But I’m feeling slightly better. Slightly.
Now where was I? Oh, yeah. The trip.
After Luca, Elijah and I destroyed the Peoria International Airport’s security line, we made our way down to our gate. After thirty or forty trips to the bathroom for Eli, I heard the blessed words.
“We’re beginning advanced boarding for anyone with small children…”
I gleefully skipped up the ramp, pushing Luca in his car seat. But when we got to the jet bridge, I realized we were on the tiniest of puddle jumpers. There was no way I could fit Luca’s car seat down the aisle. I had to check it and carry him. But while I was unpacking Luca, Elijah decided once again to take off. This time, towards the plane’s entrance.
“Eli! Eli! Eli! Wait! You wait, mister!”
But he didn’t wait. He padded confidently into the hull. By the time I caught up with him, he was saying his magical words to the cute flight attendant, “Hi! I Eli! I’m cute and nice.”
She was his forever. The two of them made moony eyes at each other the whole flight. She’d wave from her little jump seat and he’d blush and wave back. Sheesh. She even got the pilot to say Eli’s name over the intercom pre-flight, but neither one of use heard it because we were too busy arguing over whether the FAA’s ban on electronics during taxi included his DVD player.
Luca, despite not having a car seat, did great. For some inexplicable reason, he was content to just sit in his massive plane seat. He looked like a miniature Russian banker. I kept expecting to turn and see him playing Sudoku.
Aside from the occasional whine about how quickly I was dolling out jellybeans and a bout of Luca wanting to crawl over his seat and into the lap of the Iranian gentleman behind him, Flight #1 went off without a hitch. There was a moment in the Chicago where Elijah decided to lay down on the jet bridge, causing a slight traffic jam.
But that was Flight #1. Flight #2 will be revealed soon.
p.s. I don’t have any recent photos. So enjoy this oldie and goodie.
Monday, December 27, 2010
As I descended into Peoria airspace a week ago, I heard it. Something popped inside the ear of a young kid at the front of the plane. He was shrieking, “OOOWWEEEEE! OOOWWEEEE! I want offfffffff the plaaaaaane!” The passengers looked at the boy with expressions that said, “Oh, that poor little boy.” The passengers also looked at the boy’s parents with expressions that said, “What kind of monster takes a small boy on an airplane?”
I was about to fly halfway across the country with two small boys. Two small boys I was technically incapable of taking care of on solid ground. I slowly rocked back and forth in my seat, grinding my fists into my eye sockets. Not only was I out of my league, I was playing the wrong sport.
I had less than 24 hours until go time. I needed a plan. And fast. After arriving at my dad’s I began to work on Public Enemy #1: Elijah. I needed him to behave on two flights and one layover. I needed help. So I began training him in airplane cuteness.
“Eli, what do you say when you meet a flight attendant on the plane?”
“Hi! I Eli! I’m cute and nice.”
Perfect. Next, I moved on to Luca. Before I could instruct him in airline cuteness, he grinned, pointed at my nose and said, “Beep.” He clearly needed no instruction. The kid could teach a graduate level course in cuteness.
I then looked at our luggage situation. We had too much of it. I began chucking everything that wasn’t essential. Books? Gone. Toys? See ya. Life saving medicine? Bye bye. I managed to get our carryon gear to Luca’s carseat, a sack of diapers and a sack of food. My thought was I could keep them from bawling if their faces were crammed with jelly beans.
My dad helped us get to the Peoria airport and got us as far as security. But they would let him go no further. As our gear crawled through the x-ray machine, Elijah took off running, shoeless. Luca’s shoes, on the other hand, seemed to be attached to his feet via Superglue. Taking them off seemed to give him great pain. Our food bag spilled, catching the attention of the security dudes, who felt the need to inspect every jar of baby food, every bean of jelly. I couldn’t seem convince the people behind us to leap over us in line. They were content to watch me die a slow death.
And that was just the security line.
Saturday, December 25, 2010
I have lots of stories about carting the boys to Denver. But why spoil a Christmas by describing my mental breakdown? I’ll get to all the juicy bits next week. I’d rather regale you with Baby’s First Colorado Christmas.
Our friends the Goodriches have impeccable timing. At the very moment Diana, Luca, Elijah and I were at each other’s throats, trying to unpack a life’s worth of knickknacks, they called to invite us to their Christmas Eve tradition.
We drove downtown to the Masonic temple. No, the Goodriches aren’t Masons. None of them know the secret symbols on the dollar bill. They’re members of an alternative Christian church that rents from the secret society.
As we sat down, a 30-Something dude wearing a cowboy shirt approached the audience.
“Uh, this is, like a kids’ Christmas service. So we encourage your kids to, like, yell and stuff.”
I realized this was the priest. He looked more like he should be starring in “Ski School 2: Electric Boogaloo” than leading a congregation.
He introduced a three piece rock band, who led us through all the Christian classics. Wait, are they playing with ironic detachment or enthusiasm? Only the screaming children knew for sure.
Luca took the priest’s instructions to heart. His howls of “Uppieeee Uppieeee” could be heard clearly over the Emo harmonies. But as I looked around the bearded, the tattooed and the completely normal, no one cared. And no one cared when Elijah and his new buddy, Davis Goodrich, re-interpreted the hymn’s lyrics to include the word “poopie.”
And this Christmas morning, as I held Luca and watched the sun rise over the Rocky Mountains (we don’t have mountain views, but allow me some creative license), I realized just how awesome this new adventure is going to be. And I was feeling actual enthusiasm, and not the ironic detachment I do often use at this time of year.
Happy Christmas, readers. I love my family.
Thursday, December 23, 2010
I'm finally in Denver with the boys. I'm too fried to write a proper post, so I'll let my stepmom, Connie, guest write today via an email she sent a couple days ago:
"Hope things are all falling into place and your are not completely overwhelmed or exhausted.
Things here are way good and just wanted to let you know that we haven't turned Eli's brain to mush with T.V. He has been delightful all day with helping me make best ever turkey sandwich for him and grandpa ed for lunch as well as chex mix for dad when he arrives. (Speaking of rick's arrival, here is the bittersweet -- When I told him Rick would be here for dinner he wanted to know if dana could come instead and then fox when he struck out with dana! He has also helped with laundry, making beds, etc. I am not sure what he does in the bathroom as he likes his privacy but do know it involves lots of singing.
Luca has been great as well and lots of "beeps" with noses and I'm pretty sure with as much as he has eaten today that ed couldn't have fed him yesterday!
All of that to say, we are soooooooo glad to have had these few days with them(and don't tell ed but glad I didn't even have to share them with him today)"
p.s. Thanks Connie.
Tuesday, December 21, 2010
We're in the middle of moving to Denver. So I don't have very good stories or internet access. Thankfully, my dad and stepmom are taking care of the boys. So I'm going to let my dad take over the blog today, in the form of an email to me earlier.
"The boys decided to awaken a bit early today; both by about 5:55. Luca has definite thoughts about what he wants to eat - this morning oatmeal not so much. A bit of it is still in his hair; maybe he will have it later. I probably exaggerated the 40% walking, but it has certainly increased. He was less interested in opening the double living room family room doors this morning and has been content being contained in the family room. When naps and bed time are right for him, it is so cool - 32 seconds of crying and then out!
Eli is watching LOTS of TV; sorry about that. But I regularly interupt him with attacks of the tickle monster, some playing with cars, and stories. He too has gone to bed so easily, and is a very good eater.
So, I hope they have been having fun; I know I have - but I'm sure ready for my bed at night and don't even cry for 32 seconds!
I hope all goes well today with the furniture drop off, and that your trip back tomorrow goes well too, Rick. I will be at Joy's tomorrow, but Connie will be home all day. Dad."
p.s. Luca walks now? It's a shocker to us.
p.s.s. Eli watches a ton of TV? It's not a shocker to us.
p.s.s.s I'll make up for lost time next week with lots of awesome blogs.
p.s.s.s.s. My dad is awesome.
Tuesday, December 14, 2010
Sorry for the lack of posts, gang. It’s kind of hard to write stuff about the kids when I’m, uh, nowhere near them. So I’m going to have to use my memory for HamannEggs hilariousness for the next week or so.
Until recently, Luca had two distinct types of poop. The first? “The Neat And Tidy.” That’s the poo I hope for whenever I remove his D. It’s, as the name suggests, self contained and pleasant. It doesn’t get all over Luca’s hands when he aggressively grabs his genitals and I can get through the process with little or no vomiting.
Then there’s the “The Poopsplosion.” That’s the bad one. I don’t like to talk about it. We keep a fire going in a barrel out back so I can throw clothes, diapers, beds, dishes and Goldendoodles into it in case of Poopsplosion.
Well, over the last week or so Luca has added a new kind of poo to his repertoire. “The Scat.” The Scat is when Luca poops a handful of little pellets, like a deer. At first, I put The Scat into the “Neat and Tidy” category. They’re usually fairly firm. They come in a little pile. And don’t stink like an oil refinery.
But after a few events, I’ve come to hate The Scat. Why? Because they roll. They roll everywhere.
Here are some non-joke places I’ve found Luca’s Scatt:
-In Luca’s Sleepsack.
-In Luca’s PJs.
-In Luca’s fists.
-On the floor under the changing table.
Here are some joke places I’ve found Luca’s Scatt:
-In my coffee.
-In my breast pocket.
-Between my toes.
-In Grover’s ear.
-In Elijah’s butt.
Well, I’m going to try to keep HamannEggs going while I’m in another state. But the boys will join me in just a week or so. The trip out here will be worth about thirty blog entries.
Friday, December 10, 2010
I love Luca. There. I said it. Now I can’t take it back. It’s in the internets forever. The kid is such an easygoing joy. It makes me want to give him everything he wants all the time. Luckily, all he wants is to eat, sleep, play and have the occasional clean diaper. Oh, and he wants to murder me.
Huh? Oh, the murder part. Yeah, I don’t think he is calculating in his murderous ways. But sometimes his version of playing results in some serious pain on my part.
For instance, he really loves jumping on my stomach. Which isn’t that terrible in and of itself. It’s a great ab workout. But occasionally, he’ll take a flying leap onto my stomach when I’m not looking and I’ll actually feel his knee connect with my spine.
And yesterday, we created the “Beep” game. The Beep game involves Luca touching my nose and saying, “Beep.” I then shout, “Beep!” which, to a one year old, is the funniest thing on the face of the Earth. We spent a good hour Beeping. Which I think says more about my ability to be entertained than his.
Where does the injury part come in on such an innocuous game? Talons. Luca has incredibly sharp fingernails. No matter how often we (Diana) clips them, in 3 hours they are so sharp they’d make Wolverine proud (Man, it’s been a while since I’ve made a serious nerd reference on the blog).
So, Luca would occasionally miss my nose when he Beeped. Which resulted in some serious lacerations. He all put lanced the little skin bump I have under my nose. The good news is he didn’t charge a deductable. He also jammed his finger into my nose so far, I forgot my address for half an hour. And I have yet to get used to the giant, floating crease in my eyesight.
Now, why would I continue a game that involved me bleeding from the ear? Because it made Luca laugh. Laugh real hard. And if I can make that kid happy with a small amount of pain, I’ll do it every day.
Wednesday, December 8, 2010
Luca is up to 6 official words: Up (“Uppie”) Bottle (“Baba”) Elijah (“Eee eye”) Baby (“Baby”) Bye (“Bye”) and Grover (“Grover”). Fairly good for a kid who is barely a year old. And whatever words he doesn’t command, he takes care of with pointing and grunting.
The other boy, on the other hand, seems to be headed in the other direction, communication-wise. Elijah has started making up his own language, “Elijish.”
Elijish is a fairly unique language. Because there is only one person in the world who understands it. And that person revises the rules of the language every time he speaks.
For example, Elijah will point to a fork and say, “Daddy, can I have a gleepglop?”
“Oh, this is a ‘Gleepglop’ in your language?”
“No, it’s a ‘Florblech.’”
“Wait, you just said it was a ‘Gleepglop.’ Now it’s a ” ‘Florblech.’?”
“No, daddy. It’s a ‘Blorgblorg.’”
At which point I stick my head in the oven. The other night, Elijah was speaking exclusively in Elijish. I decided to up the ante by speaking in Rickish.
So when he said, “Smorbutt gerflunkle boof,” I responded, “Blaffle herckle jerkle.”
Elijah laughed his head off and we began a mock argument in our respective languages. It sounded like a UN conference mixed with a taxicab ride.
Wednesday, December 1, 2010
Attention inventors. If you can create a machine that allows you to snap your fingers and move across the country, I will personally give you $100. But don’t spend it all in one place.
Man, this whole uprooting your family thing is stressful and complicated. Here is today’s version of the plan: This weekend Diana goes to Denver and finds a kick ass house for us to rent. The 13th, I fly to Denver to start my job. The 14th, I’m discovered as a fraud. The 18th, I fly home to do Christmas with my dad, Connie and brothers and wives and everybody. The 19th or 20th, Diana, Grover and I drive our car to Denver with a trailer holding all of my Star Wars guys. The 22rd, I fly back to Peoria to gather up the boys. The 23rd, I fly with the boys to Denver. Then we begin our lives. Whew.
Now, which do you think is the craziest part of this already crazy plan? Yep, the me flying across the country with Elijah and Luca part. We’ve done the math and it makes the slightly most sense. But my blood runs cold every time I think of it.
So I decided to do a trial run last weekend. I drove the three hours to my dad’s house, alone, with both boys. How did it go? Well, I am currently typing his entry with a pen clutched in my teeth. You see, the straight jacket isn’t very forgiving.
Let me back up. The beginning of the trip was fine. Elijah had his movies. Luca had his pacifier. I had a slight hangover. Everyone was having a great time. But around the time I actually entered the freeway (roughly 14 minutes into the trip), Eli got bored.
“Dad! I have ta pee!”
Elijah figured out that those 5 words would instantly trigger a mini adventure. An adventure including disgusting bathrooms, swearing dads and vigorous hand washing.
So he kept saying it, and saying it, and saying it. And we kept stopping and stopping and stopping.
Now, you may be asking yourself, “Why didn’t he put a diaper on Eli?” I. Have. No. Idea.
After 10 hours, we made it to the Chicago city limits. Of course, Eli shouted the 5 words. I pulled off, yelled, washed and got them back in their seats and attempted to get back on the highway.
“No! You just peed! We are NOT pulling over!”
“You didn’t put on my seatbelt.” I looked back and sure enough, he wasn’t belted in. Now, if this was 1970, that would be ok. But here in 2010, that’s an emergency. I shouted a swear, hit the gas and swung the car across traffic, desperately trying to find an off ramp.
Elijah shouted, “Dad! Mom said you have to drive slow. We’re precious cargo!”
I pulled over in a terrifically sketchy Chicago neighborhood and belted Eli. Of course, there was no way to get back on the highway. So I took my sons on a brief tour of “Places You Should Never Visit In Chicago.”
Eventually, we made it back onto the highway. I calculated that, at our current pace, we’d arrive at my dad’s in roughly 30 hours.
p.s. Diana gave Luca his first haircut yesterday. I can’t decide if he looks more like Jim Carrey in “Dumb and Dumber” or Moe from “The Three Stooges.” Either way, he looks awesome.