Thursday, December 29, 2005

Mmmm. This is the tastiest gift yet.  Posted by Picasa

WOW! What a reveal! I couldn't be any more excited about Christmas.  Posted by Picasa

Grandma, that man in the red suit needs to lay off the egg nog.  Posted by Picasa

All bundled up at chillin at Longwood Gardens.  Posted by Picasa

Noah tries to remind Papa Joe how to smile for a photo.  Posted by Picasa

The in-laws have mixed feelings about my neglecting to wear red on Christmas Eve.  Posted by Picasa

One beefy post

So much ground to cover, much of it boring to relay. I’ll start with the timeless tale of the Christmas tenderloin. Sit back for this - it’s a long one. On Christmas Eve I volunteered to host a dinner for Mark’s 95 yo Grandma Laima, his Father Martin, Martin’s wife Sylvia and my Mom. As I have mentioned before on countless occasions, Martin is a picky eater – and since he doesn’t eat chicken, fish, seafood or pasta and his wife doesn’t eat pork, I have to make beef every time they come to visit. The thing is that I don’t often cook beef on any other occasion so I’m always testing out some new recipe on the fly, which is never a good idea. Mark would tell you everything always turns out okay, but that’s because Mark is a very kind man who is happy to have a wife that feeds him. When I got this month’s Family Circle (don’t laugh - I subscribe specifically for the recipes which are good without being too time consuming or using too many unusual ingredients that you don’t have around the house) I was pleased when they had a “holiday favorite” recipe for beef tenderloin in wine sauce that looked tasty and simple. So the day before Christmas Eve off I went to the store to buy the necessary ingredients for our holiday meal. I took Noah with me so that Mark could work on straightening the house while we were away. And as usual Noah was a big distraction so I was just trying to fly through the shopping and get out of there and get to the liquor store (a whole other story) before his patience wore out. That night I was discussing the menu with my mom on the phone. When I told her I was making beef tenderloin she said “A tenderloin is what they cut filet mignon from. That was an expensive piece of meat, wasn’t it?” Honestly, I had no idea what I paid for it. Not only had I looked at the label to make sure the cut was at about 2.5 pounds but neglected to note the price, I also had no idea what my total bill was at the grocery store because I was bagging and baby entertaining and just slipped my card through. In my mind’s eye I pictured opening up the fridge and being taken aback with shock while I looked at the label and realized I paid a whopping $25 for the tenderloin. But that wasn’t the case. The truth was I looked at the label and realized… I had paid FORTY FIVE FREAKING DOLLARS. I nearly had a heart attack. And now I was really sweating the fact that I had NEVER cooked this piece of meat before and I’ve NEVER been happy with the way beef has turned out when I cook it. And it was worse still on Christmas Eve day when I pulled out my meat thermometer and it wasn’t working. But it was a Christmas miracle when not only did it turn out perfectly, but my mom was able to fix the botched attempt I made at the gravy. Even the side dishes were good - sautéed potatoes, Szechwan green beans, and braised carrots. But I have to admit the citrus dressed salad was weak, but you can’t have it all. The thing is that I would have been in a complete panic in the grocery store if I had realized the tenderloin cost that much because that was the recipe I was banking on but I would have refused to pay that much – but I don’t regret it in the end because everyone really enjoyed it and not only was it one of the best pieces of meat I have ever eaten, it was without a doubt one of the best meals I have ever cooked.

And now on why I am a grinch. Mark and I didn’t buy Noah any gifts for Christmas. Not even a one. We’re watching our money, he just got a million things for his birthday and was bound to get a million more from family for Christmas, and he doesn’t yet have any understanding or expectations of Christmas so we decided he was getting squat. I felt pretty good about our decision until people would ask us what Santa brought Noah and I had to say “Ummmm….. nothing.” Oh well.

Mark and I set a $50 limit for buying each other a gift – and much to our surprise ended up exchanging watches. Funny thing is I’ve been asking Mark to buy me a watch for every gift-giving occasion for the last three years, and he always forgotten. This Christmas I asked for a locket to put Noah’s photo in, and Mark finally got me a watch. He said he forgot I asked for a locket. I know there is a lesson for me in there somewhere.

On Christmas Day we went to my Dad and Oma’s place for a few hours in the afternoon and then went to my Mom's to see my step-brother Brian's family and the have dinner with my Grammy. We spent the night there and on the 26th picked up my 10 yo sister Jessica so she could spend a few days with us. Though she is my half-sister from my paternal side of the family, my Mom’s family was incredibly welcoming of Jess when we brought her to our family gift exchange at my cousin Tammy’s place. On the 27th Mark, Jess, Noah and I went to breakfast at Morning Glory, played around the house in the afternoon and then went to Longwood Gardens in the evening to see the Christmas display. There’s a long story there too – but I’ll sum up by saying it took us an hour and forty five minutes to get there when it should have taken 40. Luckily we were able to shrug off our collective irritation to enjoy the Gardens. Yesterday Mark went back to work and I took Jessica shopping and in the evening I took her home after I put Noah to bed. Of course Murphy’s Law says that is the perfect time for Noah to wake up half an hour later and be really pissed off that I’m not there to put him back to sleep. Both Mark and he had a really rough hour but both survived. I even recovered from feeling like the worst wife and mother in the world. Well, a bit anyway.

So I think I caught you up. I still have a bunch of pictures and observations about the holidays – but this is hella long already. I’m amazed you got through it. Plus I gots to get something else done during Noah’s nap. Oh – did I mention he is a one nap man nowadays? Yup. The days of two naps seem to be long gone. Whoa is me. So nap time is of the essence, so I’m off.

Oh and the big Christmas surprise is that my sister Elisha is pregnant!

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Still kicking

There is still not a lot of time to give to blogging – but I wanted to whip up a quick post to let you know all is well. We had a very busy and lovely Christmas and all our santas were extremely good to us. We are a very lucky family. I’ll post some pictures once I figure out how to download them from our new camera.

I have many stories to tell but no time to invest in them. And odds are that by the time I have a chance to blog them they’ll be forgotten. My little sister Jessica has been visiting with us since Monday and goes home this evening so I have to go downstairs and entertain her while Master Noah naps. I've been enjoying all the time with family over the holidays but I'm also looking forward to the normalcy of life returning after January 3. Of course by January 5 I’ll feel bored and in a rut.

More later. Miss you all and promise to get caught up on reading and commenting very soon.

Sunday, December 25, 2005

Wishing you child-like wonder. Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

A turkey and some mistletoe

I’m back at my Mom’s house for today and tomorrow, after having been home Sunday, Monday and Tuesday night. We’ll be popping back and forth like this a lot for the next month or so. Mom is on personal leave from work until the last week of January so Noah and I will take advantage of the ability to visit her during the weekdays. This time off will give her a few weeks after the holidays to take care of some of the paperwork that needs to be done after your spouse dies. Or at least start the balls rolling. She met with a lawyer yesterday to find out how to set up trusts for Larry’s three sons and was told it would take an entire year before they could receive any money from his estate. I never realized just how much had to be done after someone passes. As if the grieving isn’t hard enough.

And now on to more lighthearted topics. Noah is growing like a weed and learning about his world at a rapid rate. Here are a few of the new developments:

He’s begun waving. ALL THE TIME. When someone leaves a room or puts on their coat. When he’s running away from you and when it’s time to go to bed. And at random strangers at the mall, the grocery store and on the street.

Pucker up! He’s laying open-mouth, swallow-you-whole kisses on Mom, Dad and Grandma. Not to mention our cats, Grandma’s dogs, stuffed animals, dog sculptures at the Burlington Coat Factory, and the kitties in the Cat Encylcopedia that’s become his favorite book.

He’s gotten whinier, more defiant and tantrumrific. When he wants to hold this or go that way that’s what he wants and heaven help the soul who tries to stop him. Who told these babies they had free will anyway? And he’s becoming quite the little devil. This morning after being told “NO” when he tried to play with the batteries and their charger he snuck back over to them when I was otherwise engaged and when I noticed him with a battery in his hand he made a sound and hand gesture as if that pesky battery had jumped into his hand of it’s own accord and bit him while he was innocently playing with his toys like a good boy.

Shopping carts are the best thing ever, unless of course you’re expected to sit in one. While I tried to tackle some Christmas shopping on Monday, Mark supervised Noah moving shopping carts around in three different stores. The craziest thing is that he was incredibly contemplative while doing it, as if he had some grand plan and supreme goal in mind. I believe if he’d have gotten those carts in perfect alignment for his supreme arrangement the fate of us all would have been irrevocably altered. I’m hoping for the better – he doesn’t seem the type to be planning the earth’s destruction. At least not that I know of.

Call rehab. Noah has developed a dependency on raisins. He can eat a whole box in one sitting. I think they may have beaten cheese as his favorite food, of course it’s hard to say since he can’t say “raisins” repeatedly like he does “cheese.” Maybe if we called them “reez.”

Crap. I know there was more stuff I wanted to share but I can’t recall it. I guess I’ll save it for later. My mind is totally scattered. Once again Christmas is going by in a frightful blur. I still haven’t mailed Christmas cards, baked cookies, wrapped gifts or completed shopping. We put our tree up on Monday night but were too tired to decorate it until last night. I went through the box of decorations and decided not to put up anything other than the tree stuff and the front door wreath. The house needs to be picked up and scoured in preparation of having my in-laws and my mom over for dinner on Christmas Eve – to eat a meal I haven’t yet planned. Goodness. I’m tired and stressed even thinking about it all. I hope by Saturday that some of the Christmasy spirit hits me. Like a truck.

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

You can't get better medicine than this.  Posted by Picasa

It was nice to see my cousin Jamie, my Uncle Ed, and his wife Stephanie - even if under these unfortunate circumstances. It was really great of them to drive in from Ohio, and I know they helped keep my Mom's spirits up.  Posted by Picasa

Ummmm.... I honestly have no idea how all this stuff got all over the floor. It must have been the cats.  Posted by Picasa

Monday, December 19, 2005

When is honest too honest?

The following post is very personal and very candid. I’ve been walking on emotional eggshells considering how to be honest about my feelings without saying anything that could be construed as disrespectful or adding to my mother’s grief. I hope this does an okay job.

My mom and I moved in with Larry when I was 11 years old. You’d expect that living with him for over 7 years and knowing him for over 20 that we’d have known each other well. Unfortunately that wasn’t the case. Larry and I hardly knew each other. We didn’t have a bad relationship, merely an absence of one.

Larry was handy with cars, motorcycles, the house, a pool cue, and a gun. As a contractor he did a lot of work for people in the area and people considered him hardworking, competent and trustworthy. He had a lot of buddies – from the gun club, hunting trips, on the job and back in the day. There were over 100 people at his memorial service. In essence what people loved and admired about Larry was that he was a real man’s man. In my opinion it was exactly this traditional masculinity that prevented us from ever really bonding. He had three sons and little knowledge of girly things and because he wasn’t very emotionally expressive or tolerant of the emotional dramatics of a preteen girl we had a difficult time communicating. He was conservative when it came to social and political issues and as I grew into adulthood we constantly butt heads. But I always felt that our biggest hurdle was that he thought of me as another man’s child. To put it positively I’d say that he never tried to replace my Dad, but over the years I’ve also been hurt that as I perceived it he didn’t try to be anything else to me either. I’d like to think that maybe he just didn’t know how.

At the heart I do think that Larry was a good man. Many people loved and admired him – and there were many reasons to do so. And in my heart of hearts I feel that my relationship with Larry would have grown and improved with time. I’m certain that he had many valuable things to teach Noah and in their bond we could have developed further appreciation of each other. Unfortunately those days aren’t to come. For Larry all things are resolved, so I am left to resolve my feelings alone. Over the last week I’ve cried for the anguish of my mother, the sadness of Larry’s son’s and the pain of watching someone succumb to a brutal illness and die. And I’ve also cried for the loss of what never was and can never be.

Saturday, December 17, 2005

Mom's speech

The following is the speech my mom gave at Larry's memorial service. Thought I'd share it.

I wasn’t sure if I'd be able to get up here and get through this but decided that I may have a chance if I keep it light. So, I'm going to talk about Larry’s 4 favorite expressions. They do a pretty good job of describing his outlook on life.

The first expression is “ No Problem.” Larry liked to think he coined this phrase in the early seventies and that everyone started using it after him. When we went to Jamaica he realized that there was at least one island full of folks who beat him to it. Larry’s “No Problem” attitude defined him well as he was the most patient, mellowed-out guy I ever met. How many wives could tell their husbands they were going to run into the BonTon for a few minutes, leave them in the car and come out 40 minutes later, and he would just be sitting there people-watching, and never say a word? Of course, the other side of that mellow coin is that in Larry’s eyes, nothing had to get done right away. In fact “Right Away” was probably Larry’s least favorite expression. As Alice and Elsie could attest, you might have to wait 6 years or so to get your kitchen wallpapered or that boulder he promised you for your garden.

The second expression is “I wonder how they make it so good, and sell it so cheap.” This expression typically referred to beer and was most often heard when he owned Tylersport Tavern, and for several years following when he was an avid supporter of the subsequent owners. In later years, his taste switched to an occasional vodka and tonic, and one night in Cab Frye’s after being charged 7.50 for his drink, the expression changed a bit to “I wonder how they make it so good – but it sure ain’t cheap”.

The third expression is “I wonder what the poor people are doing tonight?” This expression usually popped up when we were out with friends like Bob and Alice for a nice dinner, or taking trips out West with Harry and Claudia, or to the Caribbean with Kathy, Mike, Donna and John, or to Las Vegas – his favorite place in the world. The expression may sound a bit presumptuous to you, but this was Larry’s way of saying how grateful he was to be able to do these things. He often spoke of how he saw his parents struggle with money all their lives, and how going out to dinner for them was maybe a once a year thing, and a nice trip was once in a lifetime. He was truly thankful that he was able to experience the things that he did in his life.

The fourth expression was probably reserved mostly for me. He has always told me “Babe, they don’t make ‘em like me anymore”. I think sometimes I took for granted how Larry could do everything – except maybe work a DVD player. Larry built our house from the ground up, from setting grades and laying block to electrical and plumbing, and down to the painting and baseboard trim. Most of you know that recently we;ve been refurbishing the mobile home on the other end of our property. When he became too ill to finish the job I had to struggle with hiring people for the finishing touches. I told him that it was amazing how many different people we had to call in to get done what he would have done himself. Carpenter, Plumber, Electrician, Painter. This was the last time he reminded me “They just don’t make ‘em like me anymore”. He was right.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

R.I.P. Larry

One of the hardest things to endure in this life has to be losing the person with whom you share your life and having to learn how to go it alone. Yesterday my mother lost her husband. I’ve learned there are few things more heartbreaking to hear than the sound of your mother crying. The kind of deep down sobbing that makes your body shake. Noah and I will be at my mom’s for at least the next week, hoping to help in some way. Please excuse our absence. The following is Larry’s obituary.

Lawrence E. Wenger, Jr., 68, of West Rockhill Twp., passed away on Monday, December 12, 2005 at his residence.

He and his wife Carol L. Beyer Wenger celebrated their 18th wedding anniversary in March.

Born in Telford, he was a son of the late Viola (Willis) and Lawrence E. Wenger, Sr.

Mr. Wenger owned and operated Wenger Contracting for over 45 years. An avid hunter, he was a member of the Morwood Sportsman Club and the North Penn Gun Club. He enjoyed playing pool, collecting and restoring antique cars and in his early years racing motorcycles.

In addition to his wife, he is survived by three sons: Jeffrey Scott Wenger of Shinglehouse, Pa., Brian Keith Wenger and his wife JoAnn of Sellersville, Benjamin Wenger of Sumneytown; a stepdaughter, Nicole Eggerts and her husband Mark of Philadelphia; three grandchildren: Nathan Christopher and Ashley Nicole Wenger and Noah M. Eggerts; a sister, Loretta Church and her husband James of Telford; and a brother Barry Wenger of North Carolina.
Memorial services will be held on Friday, December 16, 2005 at 12:00 pm in the Sadler-Seuss Funeral Home, 33 N. Main St., Telford. Family will receive friends from 11:00 – 12:00 prior to the service. Internment will be private at the convenience of the family. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made in his memory to the Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation.

Friday, December 09, 2005

How sick is sick?

It was just two days ago I thought to myself “WOW. I can’t believe I never caught the cold Noah and Mark had. My immune system must be really strong. I bet it’s the vitamins I've been taking.” And of course yesterday I developed a sore throat and itchy ears, and today my throat is sorer and my ears itchier. Damn it. It better pass fast. We have some plans in the next couple of days and I don't want to be suffering through them.

Tuesday I took Noah to the pediatrician for his second flu shot. Since his runny nose was still hanging on after a week had passed I asked the nurse practitioner to check his lungs and ears just to be safe. She said they sounded and looked good and that a cold normally takes about 7-10 days so I shouldn’t worry. That was good to hear since I hadn’t brought him into the office when he got sick in the first place. I’m just not the doctor visiting sort. When I get sick I assume it’s just a little cold or bug and I’ll medicate the symptoms and get through. And I essentially feel the same about Noah, though for him I do call the ped’s office to validate my first inclination. I’m always baffled when I tell someone I’ve got a sore throat and they automatically say “You should go to the doctor.” I feel sheepish at the mere thought of dragging myself in for an appointment just so the doctor can tell me I’ve just got a cold. Like I’ve wasted their time and mine. And then there’s the whole question of antibiotics and whether they are overused or not. I had a former coworker who ran to the doctors every time he got a sniffle and was put on a round of antibiotics. What is your take on doctor visits and antibiotics?

Earlier this week we babysat Baby Francesca for a few hours. It was the first time that Noah REALLY tried to play with a child his own age. In fact he was showing off. He kept bringing Frannie toys and pointing at things to get her attention. He even tried to get her interested in a game of peekaboo. And when I told him not to touch the kitchen trashcan he reacted with a sound of indignation rather than the whine he usually uses. It was like he was giving me sass. I feel like his newfound interest in playing with another baby may be a developmental step, but I also think a couple of factors contributed to it. First, he was on his own turf and there were no strange adults here. And second, Francesca is an incredibly calm and quiet little girl who was mostly interested in crawling and putting things in her mouth. She wasn’t exactly an intimidating audience and it seemed quite natural for him to be a bit more dominant and spirited since she was so low key. I’m really interested to see how his future interactions with Francesca go, and particularly interested in seeing if he can now be more outgoing with our bubbly Baby Bella.

And for some odd reason today Noah decided that it would be really fun to pull out the bottom drawer in our plastic under desk organizer and sit in it. He's been climbing in and out of it all day. I'm sure the cats put him up to it.

Thursday, December 08, 2005

I wouldn't want to be Santa

Tick tick tick. Time is just ticking by and Christmas is getting closer and closer. I’ve done a bit of shopping on the world wide interweb, but I’ve barely put a dent in it. Every year Christmas makes me crazy. Or shall I say that I make myself crazy. I have this thing in me where I obsess about getting people the absolute perfect gift – something they need and want but didn’t even know they needed or wanted. Something so original and so thoughtful that the recipient instantly knows exactly how much I care for and think of them. In short, the impossible gift. Especially when you’re on a budget, which is every year, and even more so when you’re on a very strict, very small budget that allows only for family and children with most of them getting gifts that cost around $20. And I can assure you that gift nirvana is impossible for twenty bucks. I’d love to just make people things, but my craftiness is squat and my appreciation of anything I were able to make with my non-existent craftiness is even lower. So you see my plight. Normally I end up buying just anything at the last minute because there’s no time left to find what I was looking for. And after the gift is opened I start saying “Well, I was thinking of buying you THIS or THAT but then I thought you might have THIS and I couldn’t find THAT so I ended up getting you this DOODAD. Hope it’s okay.” They say the thought is what matters and I just really want to let people know that I not only thought about their gift but I AGONIZED over it – even if they ended up just getting a coffee mug.

Tuesday Noah and I went to Target to buy some baby proof Christmas ornaments. No glass balls on hooks for us this year. We’re going plastic on string. And I’ve decided to change our predominately green, red and gold tree with white lights into a rainbow of colors including royal blues and hot pinks. I must be off my rocker. I also found a very cute berried wreath to put on the front door, but when I got home I realized it cost me $29.99 and not the $9.99 that was on the label on the hook it was hanging. It certainly helped to explain why my bill was a lot bigger than I had anticipated. Needless to say the lovely thing is going back.

Yesterday we met my mom in Montgomeryville for some shopping. I asked for clothes this year because I’m tired of rocking the hobo look around the house. Problem is that I am a woman who tries on 30 things to find one things that fits, and therefore I’m not the easiest to shop for. And then there is my style pickiness – which I find pretty easy to describe. I wear casual, unornamented clothing in black, gray and earth shades of brown, orange, burgundy and green. Because of my bust line I look best in V necks and because of my ungirliness I feel most comfortable in pants. Simple right? Not always. So my mom, smart woman that she is suggested that she take me to pick out my own clothes and then wrap them so I could feign surprise on Christmas day. Problem with that is that I am a HORRIBLE person to shop with. For one, I like to shop alone, and two, when I try on clothes that don’t fit in front of mirrors that make me look pale, blotchy and shiny I get both sad and bitchy. So super-fun for Mom who deserved better. Especially since she had to have my Grammy come watch my terminally ill step-father so that she could leave the house. But I think chasing the cheerful and adventurous boy around the Old Navy and the mall helped to reclaim the afternoon. I don’t need to be told that he’s got remarkable spirit-healing effects.

Monday, December 05, 2005

Noah and his Aunt Jessica.  Posted by Picasa

What a pair of disco princesses. Posted by Picasa

Bells partied til she dropped.  Posted by Picasa

DUDE! Check out the bubble machine.  Posted by Picasa

Sisterly outings

It was a lovely weekend. Saturday I picked up Jessica and in the afternoon, she, Mark, Noah and I took the El downtown to see the Lord & Taylor Christmas light show. All bundled up we walked to More Than Just Ice Cream and had more than just ice cream – a very yummy dinner, followed naturally by ice cream. Then we rebundled and walked over to City Hall so Mark and Jessica could see the lighted façade. We got home, put the little tyke to bed and played Yahtzee while watching Mary Poppins. We were all too tuckered out after our big night out to make it to the end of the movie, so away to bed we went.

Sunday Sean and Ms. Bella joined our party and we bussed it over to Baby Disco. I was looking forward to Noah actually dancing at the Disco this month, but it was crowded and a little too overwhelming for his spinning, marching and bopping. Even Bella was feeling a bit cautious of the crowd. I had anticipated the turnout to be less than in October, but it was easily doubled. That may or may not have something to do with the KYW3 news camera crew there. I tried to get Jessica to boogie down, but she too was feeling a bit too timid. However we all seemed to enjoy the music, the balloons, the bubbles, the food, and most of all each others company. When we got home Bella took a nap while the rest of us had dinner and chatted at the kitchen table. After Bella woke and ate, Sean was kind enough to take Ms. Jessica back with him and drop her off on his way home. Noah went to bed shortly after and then the Mr. and I settled in for a night of DVR’d TV before an early bedtime.

I think Jessica had a good time. She really seemed to enjoy playing with Noah who obviously enjoyed her company. She never tired of chasing him around as he giggled with glee. And at the end of Baby Disco she held him and calmed him down when he started getting overtired and cranky. It was really sweet to watch them together and I look forward to her spending some more time with us after Christmas.

Friday, December 02, 2005

Of cats and sisters

After I had a helluva time getting Noah to bed last night, we had an EXCELLENT night of sleep. He woke up very briefly at 3 and 5 – and slept until 7. It was sweet. He’s still snotty and he’s coughing a bit, but I think he’s coming around the bend.

This morning our cat Parker jumped up on my lap while Noah and I were sitting at the table eating breakfast. I almost overdosed on cuteness when Noah very insistently tried to feed Parker some Cheerios. And he wasn’t taking no for an answer. He just kept shoving that Cheerio in Parkers face until Parker started batting at his hand with his paw. It was near disgustingly adorable. The boy really does love that cat and luckily Parker is very tolerant of his affections. After breakfast Noah kept following Parker around and literally throwing himself over the cat and hugging him. Parker would get a little irritated and scurry out of reach for a second before remembering that overwhelming attention was better than no attention at all.

Tomorrow morning I pick up my ten year old sister Jessica. For those of you not following my very disjointed family tree – Jess is the youngest child of my father, who has four kids with four different women. Unfortunately my Dad hasn’t seen Jessica in many years - it’s a far too complicated, sad and maddening story to relay so I’ll leave it at that. But in the past I’ve made an effort to see her regularly and be a constant part of her life in which there are few constants. Shamefully I haven’t seen her in six months. I can try and place the blame on the fact that it’s difficult to drive an hour away to pick her up and bring her back to Philly when you have a baby that doesn’t like being in the car, and on the fact that she’s moved (again) and she’s ten and has started having more of a social life, and on the fact that I’ve been seeing a lot more of my Dad lately which makes it more complicated for me to see Jessica. All of those things are the case, but none of them are a good excuse. I feel really awful about it, and I should. I just hope she doesn’t feel as awful about it and me as I do.

I think the boy’s snuffling has woken him up from his nap. I best go get him and ready us both for the adventure of a lifetime – the grocery store.

Thursday, December 01, 2005

Noah's never too sick for a good game of DOOR.  Posted by Picasa

I think he won again.  Posted by Picasa

It's Philadelphia's City Hall gone South Beach. Just in time for Christmas.  Posted by Picasa

Noah with our tree lighting dates - Julius, Francesca and Susan.  Posted by Picasa

We did it. We did it. We did it. Hooray!

The weather was in the 50s, we had a date with Susan and Francesca, and we needed the distraction so I decided to bundle up the boogery little bugger and hit the bricks. Though the actual lighting of the tree in Love Park was less than thrilling, it was very cool to see the new illumination effects on City Hall. Noah was a little trooper and seemed to enjoy gawking at all the people and being gawked at, despite his runny nose.

I knew last night was going to be a rough one, so I told Mark to sleep in the guest room since he had to sit through a conference all day today and he’s still recuperating from his own cold. While I put Noah to bed Mark went to the drug store and got every child cold remedy known to man. And when Noah was waking up every half hour due to breathing difficulties I slathered him in Baby Vicks and later gave him some Benadryl. He continued to wake up periodically until shortly before two am. I kept trying to put him down on his slanted crib mattress but he wasn’t having it, so I mostly slept with him next to me with his head in the crook of my arm. When he awoke at two he seemed to be breathing more clearly so I took the pillow out from under the mattress because he didn’t seem fond of sleeping on a slant and laid him back down on his crib. Luckily for us both he stayed put until 5:45 am. That is almost four full hours of interrupted sleep. Hallelujah.

This is the first time Noah has really been sick. He has threatened to get sick once or twice in the past but magically his symptoms always seemed to vanish before they got too serious. I credit his lack of illness to breastfeeding and being at home; I can’t however say it has anything to do with our home habits. In general we are pretty crap when it comes to the hand washing and germ sanitation. It’s one of the things I am often thinking about, but obviously not enough to cover us in antibacterial scrub. What I find most amazing about Noah’s cold is how incredibly chipper he’s been despite it all. Remarkably he’s been in really good spirits despite his dripping nose and problems sleeping. However if this goes on for a couple of days I don’t think that his playful mood is gonna hold up. I know mine isn’t.

Thanks for all your suggestions and support!

Wednesday, November 30, 2005

I don't normally talk of such things, but what else is there.

The House of Eggerts is covered in snot. Well, maybe not the ENTIRE house, but the boy and I to be sure. I’m not sick. YET. But covered in contaminated baby snot makes it a pretty sure thing. I’m like dead woman walking over here.

So last night was atrocious because of said snot. I finally gave up on trying toget Noah back to sleep at 3 am and took him downstairs. Not before shooting death rays at a peacefully sleeping Mark. Don’t get me wrong – I know he has to get some sleep because he has work in the morning and can’t join in on one of his bosses naps. But in the middle of the night I couldn’t quite get that reasoning to quell the thoughts of “Damn him for sleeping.” But Mark’s time was soon to come. At 3:45 am our power went out. And though I might take full responsibility for caring for an awake sickly baby in the middle of the night I wasn’t about to do it in the dark. So I woke him up so he could find the candles, lighters and flashlights. Fun stuff.

I called the pediatrician who after being told he was still eating and didn’t have a temperature told me to just let him drip it out. Well, my words – not hers, but you get the drift. My mom said to put some Vicks on the boy, but the pediatrician advised against it. She told me to just keep using the humidifier and put a pillow under his crib mattress so he’s on an incline. She said if he gets real bad I could give him some Benadryl.

I have plans to go downtown today in two hours to watch them light up the Christmas tree at City Hall. I can’t decide whether to abandon them or not. On one hand I don’t know if being outside will be detrimental to the boy, on the other he could use the distraction, as could I. He’s awfully sleepy though and is having napping problems because when I lay him down he can’t breath right. Maybe leaving the house with him would be a nightmare, or maybe he’d blissfully fall asleep upright in his stroller. What say you?

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Noah news, Bella praises and Nicole desperation

I haven’t been reporting too much Noah news so I must rectify that first thing. He’s started doing a couple of really sweet things that make me smile. We listen to music nonstop during the day and he’s always enjoyed it. When he’d like a particular song he’d bounce up and down a bit, but now he’s started dancing by spinning in circles. If a song comes on the stereo that he particularly enjoys he’ll go stand in front of it and start spinning. I have to say that he seems to favor The White Stripes, The Beatles and other rockin’ fare – though Mark thinks that Noah’s song choice is based on my reactions. He’s also starting to cuddle and kiss more – at the moment that’s still focused almost exclusively on me (though he loves to pat Mark on the back), but soon I’m sure he’ll branch out more. His version of kissing is still coming at me with a wide open mouth going “Ahhhh” as if he plans to swallow my head. Noah’s ongoing mouth fixation is still in full effect as one of the few words he says is “teeth.” He uses it interchangeably to refer to teeth and the toothbrushes he loves to carry around with him and chew on. In fact Mark and I keep losing our toothbrush because I tend to give Noah the one on the sink to occupy him while I’m trying to blow dry my hair in the morning. He’s also been enjoying throwing balls lately. He tosses them vehemently on the floor in front of him with a “Gah!” He’s also really digging the band in a box set I got him at Toys R Us. Last night after dinner the three of us spent a great deal of time sitting on the kitchen floor kicking out the jams on maracas, the tambourine and drums. And last but not least in our chain of Noah facts is that he’s been using his scrunched up, squinty, smiley face a lot more to express his excitement. I have to catch it on film so I can post it. It’s both super cute and odd.

What else to report? We’ve been busy, but oddly I can’t remember what blogworthy things I can share. Yesterday Noah and I went out to Ldale for a playdate with The Milliceccobachs. Patrice made us a lovely lunch of grilled cheese sandwiches, tomato soup and sugar cookies – and we went to a little playground right by their house. The kids really loved the slide and Noah spent some time just walking around the basketball court and playing with a found basketball (obviously infected with killer cooties) until he rolled over the ball and in some unimaginable way got a brush burn below his nose and nowhere else. Then we chilled in Bella’s playroom for awhile where unfathomably Noah began playing with one of the toys he has at home and never touches rather than the scores of things he’s never seen before. And I have to gush about Baby Bella. She is an adorably chatty little thing – SO advanced verbally that it’s amazing. She’s a sweet smiley ray of sunshine – and the best playdate goin’.

I keep listing things in my head that I haven’t gotten around to blogging about but now I’ve got nothing. In regards to comments on the last post – Missuz J gave the invaluable suggestion of taking Noah to the library to get out of the house when it is cold. Brilliant! Lonnna mentioned Mickey D’s – however the urban McDonalds tend to be a bit unclean and often house a cast of unsavory characters which is probably why most of them don’t have Playlands. I’ve also decided that the Ikea showroom would be a fun place to roam too. It’ll be like visiting other people’s homes but without the hosts.

Oh. I keep forgetting about my coffee shop encounter last week. Noah and I went to Canvas Coffee shop in Fishtown more for the out-of-houseness then the lovely cranberry muffin and Chai Latte we enjoyed. The only other customers there were a tall thin woman and her precociously cute blonde ringleted daughter who greeted us when we entered by exclaiming “Look! It’s a mama and a baby!” The little girl was ALL over Noah, completely enchanted with him and instantly in his face. To the point that Noah backed up and clung to my leg while she got nose to nose with him. She looked and sounded about six, but was in fact 4 and a half. The mom explained that her husband was French and they just moved to Fishtown from France (as you do…) and that they hadn’t really met many people yet which is why the little girl was SO desperate for attention. I talked a little bit about the neighborhood and the local parks and then gave her my email address and phone number should she be interested in going to the park or something. And after they left I realized that there is NO WAY to offer your contact information to a complete stranger on first meeting without seeming completely desperate. THIS is why I hated dating.

Sunday, November 27, 2005

Loosened belt

The holiday weekend was a whirlwind. Here’s a quick recap before I go downstairs to stare blankly at the TV for an hour before I go to bed. On Thanksgiving Day we spent the afternoon at my Dad and Oma’s place eating “nibbles” and a small and quick taste of their turkey, ham and fixings with my brother Jim’s family. Then we moved on to Mom’s place where we ate another gut busting meal with my stepfather, Aunt Jill and my in-laws. The food was fantastic at both venues and there was plenty of love and attention for the boy as he walked about in circles marveling at all the folks. The boy, the folks and the love – these are the things for which I am most thankful. Friday we hosted our second annual Black Friday Leftover Potluck – which was poorly attended but still a blast with the best and the brightest – by which I mean Ms. Bella. Again we stuffed ourselves silly. Saturday we took the boy to Lowes and a pet store for no other reason but to run down his energy. I imagine this to be what most of my winter days will consist of – finding someplace I can take Noah to let him run free for a bit. That evening Mark and I watched Palindromes, which was demented, sad and wrong – but brilliant. Todd Solondz is a sick weirdo and a genius. You can’t beat his depictions of the frail and the flawed. Today we had breakfast at Silk City diner, Mark cleaned out the car and turned Noah’s car seat forward facing, we went to the park to enjoy the warm spell and I finally finished the thank you notes for Noah’s birthday.

I hope everyone had a lovely holiday – feeling thankful to be spending their time with favorite people in favorite places eating favorite foods.

I have to add that as of late I am horribly, horribly behind in my email correspondence. If you’ve written me recently and I haven’t gotten back to you, please know that it’s weighing on me heavily and I will be in touch very soon. And with that I am off to do nothing for an hour because I NEED to.

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Ties that bind

I went to Quizzo last night. It was great being out with friends in an adult setting - well, as adult as these folks can be. Is it surprising the table containing the Quizzmaster's bedmate won? I think not. Alas when I returned home at 11:45 pm I was greeted by Mister Mark and Master Noah - who had already been up for a half hour. It was a rough night for all. And morning too. But I'll bore you with those details later. Maybe. Right now I only have a second to pop something on this page and not feel negligent in my duties one more day.

I wrote the following little article for our local neighborhood newsrag. Though it's typically delivered to our front door step, last week I never got a copy. Noah and I stopped by their office yesterday to pick it up and were flaberghasted to find our photo on the front cover as a teaser for the special section on "Family." We're STARS.

The Importance of Family
By Nicole Eggerts

Like so many others my age, I grew up in a disjointed family. My parents split when I was five, and with the divorce began a legacy of half-siblings, ex-step-parents and general confusion about how I was related to some of these folks. Family doesn’t exactly seem like the ties that bind when you grow up related to a vast assortment of people you never see, and I’ve often taken my family for granted. Last year that changed in a way I didn’t anticipate.

My husband Mark and I started our own family unit a year ago when our son Noah was born. His presence has changed our lives wholesale. Every day starts bright and early with his smiling toothy grin, and is measured in new learning, giggles and hugs. Now we consider his needs and well-being in every thing we do, and we try not only to shape him into a smart, loving adult but also to make his world a good place to grow up. When I started thinking about Noah’s future, the importance of family became clear. Mark and I benefit from each pair of helping hands, and Noah benefits immeasurably from the involvement of others.

The African proverb “It takes a village to raise a child” often is used to explain why community is an important resource for a child, and it applies equally to the importance of making the most of an extended family. Each loving, involved person in Noah’s life is a gift, a resource and a potential source of confidence. As a mother I feel it is my responsibility to populate Noah’s village by valuing and nurturing the relationships he has with our family members. I make an effort to have Noah spend time with any relative who shows an interest in being a part of his life. I involve our family in Noah’s world every day, providing access to pictures, stories and developmental updates via my website. And I let family members know that we value the impact they can have on Noah’s life, whether they are half-, step-, once removed or far away.

In some cases, this mission to restore and grow our family bonds required me to set aside old issues that caused rifts in my relationships; it also reminds me to ignore some of the formerly bothersome quirks each of us has and appreciate each family member as a valuable asset. The process has had a positive outcome for me as well. I’m learning to let old problems fade away and savor the positives in my past and in the people in my life. I believe that on Noah’s path he’ll gain different things from each caring person, things that Mark and I as parents may not be able to give him at any given moment—a different perspective, additional knowledge, a sympathetic ear, a helping hand.

Preserving family bonds is sometimes difficult, but the payoffs are huge for us and our children. So during the holidays if Grandma is being a bit of a pill but her love for your child is clear, the cousins are dying to see the kids but you don’t feel like trekking out to the hinterlands, or you’ve fallen out of touch with your brother because of distance or laziness—think about the impact on your village.

Monday, November 21, 2005

I like plain Rice Krispies with a little sugar on top and I don't drink the milk.

We saw THREE movies this weekend. Crazy! Yesterday we went to the THEATER to see Goblet of Fire. “It was Potterrific!” The otherworldly escapism was just what I needed. I’m amazed at the level of quality they’ve maintained for the series. I really think I like each one a little more than the last. The only weirdness is that steamy 17 yo Rupert Grint looks about as close to 14 as he does 50. What are they gonna do for the next three films? Friday and Saturday night we watched Netflix movies we’ve had lying around the house for nearly two months. I totally recommend the Italian film “I’m not scared” but wouldn’t say the same for “Bride and Predjudice” – visually stunning (not just Aishwarya Rai) and a cool idea to combine Bollywood and Pride and Prejudice but would’ve helped loads had they had a less crap Darcy.

Saturday we went to Franklin Fountain for Francesca’s birthday party. Noah, Mark and I shared a Mt. Vesuvius sundae – vanilla ice cream, hot fudge, brownies, whip cream and malted powder. YUM. Only problem – not enough fudge. Course I prefer more fudge than ice cream so I’m ALWAYS saying that. If I had known Franklin Fountain existed while I was pregnant I would have gained 90 pounds. It was a beautiful crispy sunshiney day and it was nice to get out of the house briefly. It should be no surprise that Noah spent the first half of the birthday party clinging and the second half running back and forth in the ice cream parlor. That afternoon I mopped the kitchen and Mark started on weatherizing our home. Unfortunately he did SUCH a good job putting that sealant tape around the door to keep out drafts that when he was finished we couldn’t get the door shut. Oops.

So now more on our trip to the movies. As I mentioned, I LOVED the movie, and once it started I was nowhere but Hogwarts. But on the way to the theater I was a horrible clenched up ball of anxiety and sadness. I said to Mark “WHAT is wrong with me that I’m so freaked out about leaving my son with my mother for three hours when I know she’s more than capable of caring for him and he’s probably going to have a great time?” Mark was nice enough to say there wasn’t anything WRONG with me, that I just was worried that Noah would get upset and I wouldn’t be there to comfort him. And Mark was dead right. The way I think of it is that as his mother and his primary caretaker it is my job to fulfill his needs, and in the instances when I can’t fill a particular need (like the need to eat a crayon or stick his finger in a socket) that I should at the very least be there to comfort him. He trusts me to do so and it’s of the utmost importance to me to preserve that trust. So when it’s time for me to be away from him during his waking hours I have this horrible fear that there will be a moment when he’ll really need me, really want me for comfort and I won’t be there – and he’ll feel abandoned, betrayed. And not only will our bond be weaker but his perception of his world will be altered. A little over the top, right? I KNOW. I’m just explaining my thought process which I think has some small truth to it, even if it’s a bit overinflated and overdramatic. I can go to the movies and leave the boy with his Grandma and he’ll have a wonderful time and all will be well. And is well. But this is where my head goes when I’m driving away. This same feeling is what prevents me from leaving Noah to cry it out. As it is now, Noah KNOWS I will be there for him because I ALWAYS am – and I’m not comfortable changing that quite yet. Sure, learning to self comfort is part of growing up, but I don’t think he’s ready for it quite yet. And I know I’m not. And of course I need to end by saying that all kids and parents are different – and there are just as many “RIGHT” ways to do things as there are flavors of breakfast cereal. You can share in my box and eat it as is, top it with bananas or go get your own. Thanks for your comments and support.

A true sign of impending holiday cheer - they were hanging the snowflakes on Market Street on Saturday afternoon.  Posted by Picasa

The Eggerts men man the door at the Franklin Fountain - a super cute ice cream parlor at 116 Market Street.  Posted by Picasa

What a bunch of soda jerks! Posted by Picasa

Friday, November 18, 2005

Not quite practically perfect in every way.

I have a million more important things I should be doing. But I can’t stand not blogging every weekday. It’s seriously causing me stress. Weird, right? While I have been a little more busy lately with some freelance work, errands and whatnot the real thing keeping me from blogging is Noah. There was a time, just a few short weeks ago, when he was content occasionally playing with something on the floor by my feet while I checked email or got some things done around the house. That time has passed. Now he doesn’t want to stay penned into the office with me, he wants to run around. And that constant activity requires near constant supervision which means I’m not getting crap done while he’s awake. And then when he finally naps I have things to do, which sometimes includes sleeping because his night sleep has been so patchy. So that is the story with my reduced blogging. Maybe once we fall into a new pattern I’ll get better. I hope. Honestly I’m feeling a bit rundown this week and in serious need of some ME time.

And because I need ME time, and I’m (as I’ve mentioned) a total dork – this past Monday I bought tickets to see Harry Potter on Sunday. The last movie Mark and I went to go see at the theater was Charlie & The Chocolate Factory – and maybe SOMEDAY I may have interest in going to see something slightly more adult. Which causes me to mention that today I bought Mary Poppins on DVD. I’ve been hungering for it as of late as a result of a recent blog conversation. We went to Toys R’ Us to exchange a couple of Noahs’ birthday gifts and rather than just spending our store credit I went a little nuts and picked up more than I needed. I’ll blame it on a customer service faux pas, my poor math and retail therapy. I hope Noah has some genuine interest in some of the toys we got – otherwise it’s just more clutter.

Tomorrow we go to Franklin Fountain (think Grandees) to celebrate Francesca’s first birthday with her family. I’ve been thinking about having a sundae all week. Yum… fudge. At least they better have fudge. I hate when a place only has chocolate syrup on their sundaes and not thick, warm, rich fudge. There should be some sort of law against that.

And now I have a little bit of a rant brought on in part by this article, and in part by some well meaning advice from my Mom. (Hi Mom! Love you.) I don’t like Ferberizing and I don’t like Cry-it-out. And that may make me a clingy, oversentimental mother who is depriving herself of sleep needlessly – but so be it. I’ve done MORE than enough reading and listening about parenting methods and everyone (including myself and Mark) is going to have to have faith that though I might not be doing what is considered by one or the majority to be “the best method,” I AM adhering to what is best for me, and what I think is best for Noah. At the moment I don’t have the heart to turn a deaf ear on the cries of my son. Some day in the not too distant future I may decide enough is enough and abandon the boy in his room to weep his head off, but it ain’t gonna be today. ‘Nuff said.

‘Kay. I best go do something useful for the four remaining minutes before Noah awakes. Have a good weekend y’all.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Noah's waiting patiently for me to stop putting on my damn lipstick and get on the road.  Posted by Picasa

That's where I'm a viking!

Last night was a bad night. Originally there had been plans for me to go out with some friends for Quizzo, but only one person remembered. When Brian called I decided it was probably best I not go out. Noah had been a bit cranky all day, drooling a lot and feeling a bit warm so I had the hunch that he might not go to bed on time for me to make it the bar. It was a good hunch. My plan for the evening after Quizzo fell through was to work on Thank You notes, watch Amazing Race and get to bed early. I started trying to put Noah to bed shortly before 8 pm, and finally completed the task at 10. Whenever it takes that long for me to get him to sleep I end up feeling totally frustrated and last night was certainly no exception. I was too tired to work on notes and I was REALLY pissed off when I realized Amazing Race wasn’t on because of the damned CMAs. (I could go off on a rant here about how much I HATE contemporary country music, big hats, Americana, trucks and macho men but I’ll spare you.) I putzed around for an hour and went to bed at 11. At 1 am Noah woke up crying. For an hour I tried to get him back to sleep, and for an hour he fussed. At 2 I decided we best leave the room so Mark could get some decent sleep. We went into Noah’s room and for the next two hours he pulled the entire contents of the room apart. He emptied nearly every drawer and every cabinet on to the floor and giddily spread it around while I sat half comatose on the floor trying to keep my eyes open. At 4 I was finally able to settle him down and get him to sleep in the guest bedroom so Mark wouldn’t wake us when he got up at 6:30 to get ready for work. When we woke up at 8:30 I was feeling pretty strung out. It was looking to be a long day. Surprisingly I’m not feeling quite as zombified as I had expected. It’ll probably hit me tomorrow morning.

As you know I had built up Francesca’s birthday luncheon as some sort of grand event. Those who know me will attest to the fact that I seldom wear makeup. I’m not skilled at applying it and I honestly don’t like the way it feels on my (bad) skin. Whenever I ‘ve tried to wear more makeup I’ve felt like a clown. Before Noah I’d wear a bit of powder to mask some of my shininess, an occasional coat of nude lipstick and when going out on the town some mascara. Since Noah was born I’ve probably put on mascara less than ten times, and I’m normally too busy running around the house getting a diaper bag ready for me to even find my powder. But TODAY I put on powder, lipstick AND mascara, so you can tell I was worried about making a good impression on the other moms. I carefully picked out my v-neck black sweater that is like 5 years old but still my favorite, a pair of black pants and my clunky loafers. (I decided after looking at photos from the party that my only new sweater was decidedly unflattering since it accentuated my lumpy midsection.) I even put on a necklace AND perfume - which I never wear because I’m worried it will bother Noah. Of course it was all a ridiculous waste of time. There were only two other moms there that I didn’t know and we were all so busy with our kids that I barely got to talk to them. Noah was the only walker in total takeoff exploration mode so I was alone in having to repeatedly chase my child all the way through the house to the kitchen. The other kids actually played together and with toys while Noah stared, pointed and then went on walkabout. Ho hum. Maybe I need to join some sort of Mommy and Me group to meet other moms – but honestly I don’t know if I care to wear lipstick that often.

It seems pretty obvious at this point that Noah is shy. In a new place with new people it takes him quite a bit of time for him to warm up. He spends a great deal of time clinging and watching. Mark worries about it – he doesn’t’ want his son to be as introverted and lonely as he felt as a child. He wants to know what we can do to prevent it. I told him I don’t think there’s much we can do. Sure, we can make sure to get Noah in social situations so that he’s not afraid of other kids and we can instill him with self confidence by lavishing him with love, but I still think his reserved manner in new situations is a part of his innate personality. I’m not at all worried about it. Once he opens up he’s a real charmer with a smile that melts hearts. And I always preferred the shy, smart boys anyhow.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Mailings, Mommy dates and Monsters

A tip for the wise: when preparing media kits to be sent to press make sure to check that the folders FIT in the mailing envelopes before you label them all. Duh. And that my friends is what makes me a professional. I’m happy to say however that the salon press kits are complete and will be off in the mail the moment the boy awakes from his nap. I’m not gonna post our work product, but you can check out an article on the salon here. Now I have a break on that front until after the holiday, when my follow-up calling will begin. I can finally get around to doing the thank you notes for Noah’s birthday gifts. And even more mailing fun will ensue! Christmas cards are already on my radar too. I have to get the ball rolling on an executable idea, design, order and mailing list or I’ll be mailing them in February.

Noah’s pal Francesca turns one next week. Her mom is holding a Mommy luncheon tomorrow at her home. Maybe I’ll meet someone interesting for future play dates. Someone cool, but not too cool to hang with me. Someone smart and interesting but not so smart and interesting they think I’m a dullard. Someone funny who needs someone to laugh at their jokes. Someone who lives nearby and is home with their one year old but doesn’t fit the quintessential SAHM mold. Maybe I’ll meet Mrs. Mommy Right. I’m such a DORK. I’m already stressed out about making a good impression and not having anything to wear. There isn’t much I can do on the wardrobe front anyway so I don’t know why I bother. I have to remind myself that one of hidden savings in staying home with Noah is clothes and I can’t really go out and buy a bunch of new outfits despite the fact that all I have now are old T shirts and holey stretched out sweaters. I’ll have to live by my cardinal rule: when in doubt wear black. Even if it’s just a stretched out long sleeved T. Still tres’ chic. Right?

Time for a Noah tale. One of the gifts Noah received for his birthday was a Hokey Pokey Elmo. And though my first inclination was to send it back to the shrieking pits of hell from whence it came, I figured the boy would probably like it. For some odd reason small children are inexplicably drawn to Elmo like Fishtown teens to Oxycontin. Noah certainly seemed to like the look of Elmo. He kept gesturing towards the box where it was perched on the steps to be taken up to his bedroom. So I activated the hokey pokey mode and kiddie Armageddon ensued. Though initially enchanted by the singing when Elmo MOVED Noah started squealing in abject horror. He turned beet red, screaming and crying – honesty afraid for his life. The only other time I saw this severe a reaction is when he put his hand in the Halloween candy bowl at Party City and the withered plastic corpse hand touched him. The cashier had to move the bowl under her register before I could get him to calm down enough so that we could finish our transaction. Needless to say we’ve put Hokey Pokey Elmo away for the time being.

Monday, November 14, 2005

This babies made for walkin'

The following are some action photos taken in the last week. Walking the dog. Walking in the park. Walking in the woods. As you can see Noah is ALL into this walking business. He wants to GO and GO. It makes me feel bad trapping him into smaller playzones with gates - especially after he spent his entire visits to both my Mom and Dad's place walking around their houses in circles.

This weekend we taught Noah how to go down steps backwards. I figured it was safer then just trying to prevent him from throwing himself head first down the four steps from the kitchen to the dining room. It only took a couple times walking him through it (get down on the floor, move your knees down, now your feet, now your hands) before he got it. I am constantly amazed by his capacity to learn and master new tasks. At what age do we lose that? I wish I could still learn as quickly as a one year old. Of course I'm potty trained - so I'm still a few steps ahead of him.

Noah hasn't been showing any interest in playing with toys, he'd rather run in circles and pull things out of cabinets. The only exception to this rule is THIS dog. He received it as a birthday gift from Carol who lives across the street. She stopped by with it after I merely mentioned that he was about to turn one - so sweet. She's a practicing Grandma who obviously knows her stuff because Poochie and Noah were in love at first sight. Patrice and I were in disbelief today when we realized that both Bella and Noah were in love with this same dog. Great minds think alike. Posted by Picasa

Time to take the pooch for a walk.  Posted by Picasa

Chillin' on the playground.  Posted by Picasa