Thursday, June 30, 2005

See the tooth? See it? Posted by Hello

Jack the brat.

My new hand splint is seriously sexy. Black and strappy. I’m wearing it right now. It makes typing odd since I can’t move my left thumb. Aggravating. The appointment at the medical equipment supply office went pretty smoothly. I put Noah on a blanket on the floor of the reception area with some toys to keep him occupied while I filled out forms. He immediately made friends with an older woman waiting to get a new improved cane. She chatted with Noah as he constantly scanned the office, taking in every movement, every sound. “He don’t miss a trick,” she said. Soon she started talking fondly about her son’s infancy. She then revealed that he’s now 25. When she talked about her adult son she certainly wasn’t as taken with him. “I call him Jack the brat,” she said none too fondly. It made me sad. Of course Noah was busy charming another patron, the receptionist and even the doctor. Think they’ll find him as cute at 25?

Then we headed to Target. I bought a lightweight stroller and a few baby outfits on clearance. Oh – and Rollos. I ate an entire roll of Rollos in about two seconds flat. Yum. How’s that for lunch? I wasn’t 100 percent sure of my stroller purchase so in the evening we headed to our local Toys R Us/Babies R Us to see if they had my dream stroller. They didn’t. But we stopped at Rita’s water ice on the way home so the trip was well worthwhile.

I’m already annoyed with the splint. It's constantly in my way. Like gloves. I never wear gloves during the winter because they impair me and they’re too much of a hassle to put on and take off all the time. Annoying.

Made a few phone calls yesterday too. Ms. Janette and her almost one month old Jules are doing well. She seems to be enjoying mommy-hood even in the dreaded first three months. My Dad is planning a picnic on Sunday to celebrate the Fourth and my brother Jim’s birthday. And my Mom sounds awful – she’s horribly sick and sounds like a bullfrog with laryngitis. Hope you feel better Mom! Oh and got a great voice mail from the lovely Tracey who gave me a good lead on a kitchen table. I won’t reveal more until the deal is done. Ciao!

Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Noah's Independence Day

It’s going to be another brief post today. I have an appointment later this morning to be measured for a spica splint that should help with my tendonitis. And if Noah’s not too tired by the time that’s said and done then we might go look at strollers. Now that Noah is a sitting-up pro we need a lightweight stroller for easier navigation and portability – but something very sturdy with bigger wheels. And I’d like to have it by Friday because we have a big weekend planned – if we aren’t too daunted and bag it.

Independence Day weekend is always huge in Philly. Mark and I have always made it a point to enjoy some of the Welcome America activities in the city that occur in the week leading up to July 4th. This year it’s tougher of course. But on Friday we hope to attend the free concert on the river by the Philadelphia Orchestra – and navigating crowds will be a lot easier with a smaller stroller. Also we’re very excited for Live8. We can’t safely take Noah out in the huge throngs that will be there during the concert from noon to six, but we’re hoping to go to the Parkway around 8 am just to take a look around at the setup and catch some of the vibe so we can say we were there. We’ll have to break Noah’s no TV rule on Saturday because we’ll want to catch some of the coverage. Since it’s music and a historical event I think the rule can be broken. We’ll have to take a photo of him in front of the TV for the record books.

I love Philadelphia. To me the city is always exciting – brimming with so much to do and see. And a holiday weekend when the city is hosting an event that will be shown worldwide is exhilarating. I hope Philly looks good. And I hope we aren’t ever too cautious to take Noah out to experience some of the things that only our city has to offer.

My friend Patti came to visit for a few hours yesterday afternoon. She hadn’t seen Noah in months and could hardly believe what a sturdy fun little boy he had become. I met Patti during the one year I taught first grade in North Philly. She’s a fifth grade teacher now at a nearby middle school that has a reputation for being dangerous, but she really loves it. She lives a few blocks away and she’s off for the summer so hopefully she’ll be by to visit more often.

Noah keeps trying to pull himself up on anything he can get his hands on. And yesterday he was trying to pull open drawers – both on my desk and on his dresser. He is so active already, and SO determined. Let the fun begin.

Well - that wasn't too brief. Gotta go.

Be afraid! For I can stand. Be very, very afraid.  Posted by Hello

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

On cups and cribs

I’m expecting a visitor today, so this’ll be brief.

I finally have a nursing bra I’m happy with. And yes, I’m talking about my breasts again. As you may know I’m well endowed in the mammary area, too well endowed. I hate it. And it’s been worse while breastfeeding. I only went up one cup size from a DD to a DDD – but the problem hasn’t been so much the size as it is the components of a nursing bra. You see- while nursing your breast sizes changes over the course of a day and therefore nursing bras are made to be flexible – which is not overly supportive. The only nursing bras that I’ve seen that purport to be supportive are also riddled with weighty ugly seams that show through clothes and I don’t want any more attention drawn to my unwieldy bust line. But last week my mom got me two new nursing bras that are both supportive and seamless and I’m on cloud nine. The cup size is off by one because they don’t make DDD, but the little bit of run over I’m experiencing is worth ignoring for a little bit of lift. Hallelujah! I feel ALMOST normal. Of course it probably won’t be long until I shrink them so I better enjoy it while it lasts.

Things are still a bit sketchy with the crib. There is too much room in there for Noah’s tossing and turning and therefore he’s waking himself up more often. Last night he was up at 11 pm, 12:30 am, 2:30 am, and 5:00 am. Yawn. Hopefully it’s just going to be a few nights of transition and then he’ll go back to normal. PLEASE!

All right. I’ve got to go pick some things up off the floor so it’s not such a godforsaken mess around here.

Monday, June 27, 2005

Grandma's real impressed with Noah's sweet set of wheels. Posted by Hello

When it comes to her birthday party Tyria means business.  Posted by Hello

The heats got little Aelan out for blood.  Posted by Hello

You're crazy if you think Baby Evan's going to give you his ball.  Posted by Hello

Sleep? Say what?

This weekend was exhausting and sleep deprived for us all.

For some odd unexplainable reason Noah would not go to sleep on Friday night. He was exhausted which is what caused me to activate the bedtime sequence, but after I nursed him he just got restless and could not get comfortable. After 45 minutes I was so frustrated I gave up. I brought him down to Mark in the office and we played for almost an hour. I couldn’t stay grumpy because he was being giddy, chatty and brain-splittingly cute. Finally he was plum tuckered and he went to sleep without a lot of commotion.

As I mentioned Saturday we had plans to spend the afternoon in Green Lane Park with my Mom and her family. We had to leave our place a little before noon to get there on time – and since I wanted Noah to nap in the car we kept him up through his normal morning nap. He slept well during the hour drive but of course we got to the park at one and he was still a bit sleep deprived. He was smiling and chatty when we got him out of the car and was playing happily independently on a blanket for awhile but when my cousin Tammy’s 9 month old son Evan started to cry loudly Noah chimed in. From that moment on it was as if Noah was afraid of Evan. He’d start to cry a bit just to look at him. Noah doesn’t cry very often these days so I was a bit flustered about what to do. I got even more flustered when the baby sunscreen we used on him caused his eyes to get red and his nose to break out into a rash. Luckily this dissipated quickly and he cheered up. There was plenty of mesmerizing activity for him to watch, so much in fact that we couldn’t get him to nap despite the fact that he was obviously exhausted. The heat wasn’t too bad because we had shade and a nice breeze, but it was still really sticky and I don’t think that was of much help either. My Mom bounced him diligently for what seemed like an hour – but no nap was to be had. But overall he was a little trooper – relatively good natured for a trying but fun afternoon with family. Mark, Noah and I went back to my Mom’s place to wash up and then go out to dinner. Noah fell asleep in the car ride to Mom’s place so Mark drove in circles for a bit so he could get about twenty minutes of rest. It must have done the trick because he was a champ at Applebees of Qtown. When we left to drive home at 8pm I was certain he would conk right out. WRONG. Not only did he stay awake for the entire hour drive, it took an additional hour to get him to sleep once we got home. Once again the hour before bed he just laughed, babbled and rolled around. Until suddenly at 9:45 he just stopped giggling, closed his eyes and dozed off.

Yesterday Noah napped well and went to bed promptly – in his crib for the first time. We moved his crib from his nursery to our bedroom yesterday. Mark and I spent all morning looking for the assembly instructions and turned up squat. So we finally decided to wing it and just took it apart so we could move it upstairs. Luckily it wasn’t too difficult. Not as difficult as the war I’m waging against the ants. Yesterday morning I freaked out when there were ants all over the floor in Noah’s nursery. I soon realized it was I who put them there. Seems a bunch of the ants who’ve been taking over our living room had made their home in the diaper bag I left there the evening before, and when I moved it to the nursery they decided to all come out and explore the new terrain. We can’t really annihilate the damn things with bug spray because the chemicals and fumes aren’t good for Noah – so I’ve been vacuuming up ants as I see them. Of course they’re probably starting their new colony in the vacuum bag which I have yet to empty. And in the midst of my ant-fueled hysteria a giant gross thousand leggery thing came out from nowhere and scared the bejezus out of me. I started shrieking and I swooped down to rescue Noah from the floor. Mark killed it and scolded me for my over-the-top reaction, lest Noah freak out too. I knew exactly what he meant but it was an emotional reaction that I didn’t have time to think about or modify. Not sure I’ll be able to get a handle on that one. Especially if I ever see a roach. Nothing is more disgusting and horrifying to me.

Mark nudged me awake this morning and pointed at Noah lying awake in the crib. I thought he was doing one of those “look at our cute boy” things we do, until I looked at the clock and realized it was 1:20 AM. I guess when Noah started to shuffle about in anticipation of a feeding I didn’t wake up as I usually do because the crib, though right by the bed isn’t right next to the bed. So by the time I scooped him up he was completely awake – which doesn’t usually happen. It took me fifty minutes to feed him, get him back to sleep and put him back in the crib. I hope I quickly get better at hearing him start signaling for a feeding. I don’t want to have to get us both back to sleep every night - that’s one of the reasons we moved the crib.

So the newest super cute thing is that Noah is regularly asking for clarification. He’s constantly making this high pitched “Huh?” sound. Mark and I echo it so we sound like one very confused group of folk.

Friday, June 24, 2005

Noah has more hair than Grandpa Joe.  Posted by Hello

Food, folks and fun.

Yesterday I spent quite a bit of time rearranging our bedroom so that we can move Noah’s crib up there. As I mentioned a cajillion times I’m not ready to move Noah to his nursery because he still feeds at least once in the middle of the night and I don’t feel like hiking down the stairs and to the back of the house at 3 am. But we have to get him out the bassinet because he’s started trying to pull himself up. He’s such a big boy now – soon he’ll be the one moving the furniture around. Though decoratively I think I prefer the old setup, the new one makes the room a lot more spacious. So now that there is a designated space for the crib we have to take the thing apart to move it upstairs. I’m not looking forward to that. It was quite an ordeal assembling it to begin with. I hope we all survive.

Tomorrow we are going to Green Lane Park to spend the afternoon with my mom’s family – Mom, Grammy, Aunt Jill, Cousin Tammy and her husband Tom and two kids Aelan and Evan, and my Aunt Donna who is visiting from Ohio with my cousin Tracey’s daughter Tyria. It’s going to be a scorcher tomorrow. I might have to bring a water gun so I can shoot myself. But if we can find some shade it should be a lovely afternoon. We’re getting together for Donna’s visit and also to celebrate Tyria’s fifth birthday. We don’t get to see Tyria often because she lives in Ohio, but it seems that soon we’ll see her even less. My cousin Tracey, her mother, does not have custody and her father is in the military and about to be stationed in Texas. I keep wondering if Tyria will grow up continuing to know this part of her family. It’s a sad thought but one I have because I know from personal experience that with a disjointed family people move in and out of your life. A couple of years ago I was thrilled to spend time with my ex-stepsisters Barbara and Cathy –I hadn’t seen them for over ten years and was quite sad to lose touch with them when my Dad and their mother got divorced and they moved to Florida. But hopefully though we might not see Tyria consistently, she will come to know us some day.

Noah has got a toof! One of his front teeth has erupted from his gum and it’s quite sharp. I want to get a picture of it but it’s still pretty slight and Noah won’t keep his mouth open long enough for me to capture it on … well not film, I guess in megabytes? Today is grocery Friday and I plan to buy him some biting biscuits. If it occurs to him to put them in his own mouth he should enjoy them. Golly that boy can eat. Part of the reason I gained 75 pounds while pregnant with him was because my appetite was insatiable. In fact I felt sick only when I wasn’t eating. And I seriously believe that there is a correlation between my voracious pregnancy appetite and that little ravenous boy. I swear he would eat and nurse every hour on the hour if I would feed him. And he never thinks he’s full. He’ll just keep eating until he starts to spit it back up. Crazy little glutton. Well I better get in gear to finish my grocery list, select the appropriate coupons from my stash, and pack up a bag for any grocery/baby emergency that may occur.

Have a good weekend!

Thursday, June 23, 2005

Do the Swedes eat burritos?

News flash. You can go to Ikea and pick up a couple of random knick knacks between $.99 and $4.99 and not spend that much cash. However if you buy 21 things – it adds up. Master Noah and I learned this yesterday during our afternoon outing. We went to Ikea both to check out their kitchen tables and just to get out of the house. I mostly bought storage-y type things. Plastic bins for toys that are scattered all over the house. Laundry hampers. A trash can. Real exciting stuff. When the girl rang me up my mouth fell open. I mean I put back the fewer big ticket items I had considered buying because I didn’t want to spend very much. I didn’t break the bank or anything – I just hadn’t done the math in my head. However I must say it feels really satisfying to come home with some practical things that you have been intending to buy for a long while. And Ikea is always fun for eye candy. I found a kitchen table I liked well enough and I decided we need a white Billy book case for Noah’s room – now I just have to figure out how in hell we are going to get them back to our house. Mark may have to go by himself after removing the car seat from our mini-wagon. Oh – and did you know you can get a bacon, egg and potato breakfast every morning at Ikea for $.99! We were there at lunch and didn't taste test the goods but Mark and I might have to check it out some morning. If you can get out of there without buying anything it would be a killer deal.

Our trip to Ikea was also a trip down memory lane. Ikea was my first solo outing with Noah. He was less than three months old. He was very unhappy being strapped in his infant seat so I took him out and then I couldn’t steer the cart. He cried and we left without accomplishing anything. It went so badly that when I got back home I thought “How in the hell am I ever going to take this kid anywhere by myself?” In comparison yesterday’s trip was a cake walk. A joy in fact. He sat in the floppy seat happily and enjoyed the sights and sounds of Swedish furniture wonderland. The only issue was getting him and my bags to the car since you can’t take the damn cart into the parking lot. I had to leave some things unmanned sitting outside in the loading area and go back to get them. I’m not trusting enough to feel comfortable about that, but it went fine.

Yesterday evening I had a check-up with my GP. I stocked the stroller with Noah and necessities and took the subway to meet Mark at the station near my doctor’s office. He took Noah to Washington Square Park to play while I had my doctor’s visit. I'm happy to say my health is in good order. I got a referral for a wrist specialist and a prescription for a spica splint for my tendonitis – of course after she told me the best thing I could do for my wrist is not carry Noah around so much. To that I laugh. HA! The doctor even made me feel good about my weight – telling me that at 170 I was only 6 pounds over what they considered my regular weight. Sometimes I forget that for 10 years I weighed in the 160s before joining Weight Watchers. The lowest weight I’ve had as an adult was in the 140s but that was for such a brief period of time – yet I keep thinking that I weigh 30 pounds more than I should, when really my average adult weight is less than 10 pounds away. I won’t be a super model or anything but for a 5’ 9” woman with breasts that are too damn big, 170 is not as obese as I sometimes make myself feel. Sure, I’d feel better if I lost 15 pounds, but I need to be a little less harsh on myself for what I weigh right now. And to that end the boys and I followed up my check-up with burritos at El Fuego. Yum. Of course that certainly won’t help me with bathing suit season. One step forward, two steps back.

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

For the love of loving

Back home after a day spent in Qtown paying visits to both my Mom, and my Dad & Oma. Mom works at home on Tuesdays so we went to her place for lunch before picking up Dad from work and heading to Oma’s. It was a belated Father’s Day visit and also a chance to give Dad a few more computer pointers. We gave him “Internet for Dummies” and “The Beginners Guide to Computer Basics” for Father’s Day and hopefully they’ll be of some help. Dad is doing a really good job of just fooling around with the computer and not getting too discouraged.

When Noah and I were saying goodbye to both my Mom and Dad they both said “Thank you for bringing Noah to see me.” It really does touch me how much they both appreciate the chance to spend time with him. Not everybody loves babies, even those who have had kids – but when your parents actually enjoy getting down on the floor and playing with your infant it’s really moving. They both get SO excited to see all the new things he can do and hear about how he’s doing. We’re very lucky in that way. And seeing the way my parents are with Noah reminds me that it was their interest, involvement and love of me at all ages that made me who I am today. We’ve all got our issues with ourselves and the circumstances of our childhood, but I always felt very loved as a kid and I think that fact alone made me a relatively happy well-adjusted individual. So I have to remind myself that though Mark and I will make mistakes and not everything will go as we planned or even be perceived as we hope, if Noah feels, sees and knows how much he’s loved that it will have the greatest lasting impression on his personality.

Monday, June 20, 2005

GAH! Teething and crawling suck! Posted by Hello

Hola Padre!

Sunday was Mark’s very first Father’s Day. A holiday that never before applied to him and will now always pertain to him. Noah and I got him the new Spoon CD, “The Wasp Factory” - a book off his Amazon wishlist, “Kite Flyer” - a fictional novel set in contemporary Afghanistan, and The Beatles song book. He seemed pleased enough. We’re a book and CD giving sort. Then we went to breakfast at Silk City Diner. At 7 am. You heard me – 7 am. Since Silk City Diner is open 24 hours on weekends we have been there very early in the morning many times, but only after being out all night long. Silk is real busy til 4 am and again after 10 am – but at 7 it's pretty empty. We had a lovely meal and were home by 8. In the afternoon we headed to Central Jersey to spend time with Mark’s Grandmother, his Dad, and his Dad’s wife Sylvia. Once again Sylvia made about 20 different things to eat and I felt sick from overeating the whole rest of the afternoon. I feel compelled to take just a little of everything which results in eating an insane amount of food. Sylvia spent some time showing me a bunch of saris that her daughter had brought from Canada – Sylvia is half English and half Pakistani, raised in Pakistan but lived in Toronto for many years before moving to Jersey to live with Mark’s Dad. The detail work on many of the saris was incredibly beautiful. I wish I had a reason to wear one. Grandma Laima spent a great deal of time telling me how much it sucks to be 95 – everything hurts apparently. But she still has her wits and whip-smart attitude. We gave Mark’s Dad a lovely photo of Mark and Noah as well as a movie theater gift certificate so he can take poor Sylvia out of their apartment. They really need to get out more often. And of course Noah played contentedly and basked in the attention of the crowd.

I knew Mark was going to be an amazing father. He’s so thoughtful, sweet and caring. I knew he’d want to be an equal partner in raising a family and I knew he’d have so much he wanted to show and teach a child. What I had not anticipated was how silly he could be. Mark is funny – but it’s his intelligence, wit and sarcasm that make him so. So it’s a surprise to see him make Noah smile with goofy faces and funny dances. But it’s even more surprising and heartwarming when he’s not ashamed to do it in front of others.

Mark – it’s only been seven months but I’ve got to tell you that you’re already doing an exceptional job. I couldn’t have picked a better father for my children. Thank you for all that you do for us.

Noah got his Daddy a Beatles song book for Father's Day. So now Daddy can play some of the tunes that Mom likes to butcher with her really awful singing voice.  Posted by Hello

At 6:47 am I scratch my butt.

So this weekend my friends mocked my schedule. They were just joking around I’m sure, and certainly meant no offense but I have to say that I keep thinking about it. You see I take Noah’s schedule seriously because it really seems to work for both him and me and because the childcare books talk about how important it is that a child have a schedule, a routine. That isn’t to say that I don’t vary the schedule when I have things to do – like go visiting. And it doesn’t mean that Noah is a mess when I do vary the schedule, in fact I think he’s more flexible because of the calming effect that the normal predictability gives to him. What it does mean is that the schedule helps me anticipate his needs -he gets sleepy and hungry around the same time every day and takes pretty long consistent naps.

I’m certain not all babies like schedules – since you can’t make a generalization about baby preferences because their personalities are as different as adults. And not every family can maintain a schedule as easily as we can because I’m home. Even our weekends are highly variable because there are constantly things to do and people to see. And just having Mark in the mix all day changes things because he’s an extra set of hands and he can play with Noah while I take a longer shower etc. But Noah seems to do well with his schedule and I know I do. It alleviates some of the feelings of “What am I going to do with him next?” and gives me a framework for which I can try to get some things done. I’ve even been thinking of scheduling my free time while he’s napping so that I’ll try to read a book, do the laundry, straighten up on the same day of the week or at the same time. This sounds a bit crazy even to me because I’ve never been a very organized regimented person with my own time. But I think it might alleviate the feeling that I should always be doing something else but I’m not sure what. I’ll let you know if I end up doing that – and you can be sure to mock me on that too. Because even I think it sounds lame.

Anyway – here is Noah’s schedule. It’s not thrilling reading, but it’s helpful for me to jot it down. The one thing I could really use help with is Noah’s playtimes. I’m always trying to think of new and fun things to do with him, more for my need for variation than his own. If you have some ideas, I’d love to hear them.

5:30/6:30 am – Noah awakes – he’s changed and fed and the three of us play and talk in the bed until it’s time for Mark to get in the shower. I keep Noah occupied with toys and tickling until Mark gets out of the shower and then Noah just enjoys watching Mark get ready for work. He especially loves watching Mark put on his tie.
7:20 am – Mark leaves for work. I put Noah in the Hop n’ Pop while I shower. Then he plays on the bed while I dress. And then he sits in his old car seat while I dry my hair.
8:00 am – Breakfast. Noah and I head to the kitchen. He has either baby yogurt with cereal and apple puree or oatmeal with prunes. Then hr plays with toys or jumps in the jumperoo while I have coffee. If I’m super exhausted I skip the coffee so I can take the morning nap with him. After we have both had breakfast, I change Noah’s clothes and then we head to the office and play on the floor until he starts getting visibly tired.
9:00/9:30 am– Morning nap
10:30/11:00 am – Playtime. Either in the office or in the nursery. We read books. Pass a ball back and forth. Crash cars. Rattle things. Roll around on the floor. Sing. Dance. Jump. You get the idea.
12:00 pm – Lunch. Noah has a jar of vegetables and half a jar of fruit.
12:30 – 2:00 pm Free time. This is the most variable time of day. What we do depends on the weather, Noah’s mood, errands that might need to be done. Sometimes he’s just content to play independently so I’ll read email and blogs while he plays on the office floor – or we might go out, for a walk or just sit in the yard or on the front stoop.
2:00 pm – Afternoon nap
3:00/4:00 pm – More playtime. What else do you do with a baby? It’s not like I can send him to work at the mines.
5:00 pm – We go to the kitchen to get ready for dinner. Noah will Jumperoo or play in the Pack n’ Play while I make something to eat.
5:30 pm – Mark comes home. He feeds Noah a jar of meat and half a jar of fruit and we eat dinner.
6:30 pm – Noah has a bath if it’s a bath day. Then the three of us go to the nursery. Mark typically plays with Noah on the floor while I watch or get something done. He often plays guitar for him.
7:00/8:00 pm – Noah goes to bed. Mark and I have adult time – often TV or movie time until about 10:00/11:00 pm. Then we go to bed exhausted knowing we may well be up at 5:30 am.

Laugh if you must. But it really helps my madness to have some method.

Friday, June 17, 2005

The depilatory you use must be better.

Thankfully Patrice came home last night. YAY! I can’t wait to hear about her trip. It certainly will be more exciting than my post since I haven’t even left the state. Though we do have an exciting trip to Jersey planned for Sunday. Who can beat that with a stick?

We were lucky enough to have a visit from Sean and Baby Bella yesterday. They decided to make a rest stop at our house on the way to pick up Patrice from the airport – that way they could avoid some of the rush hour traffic. I’m sure you already know this but I have to say that Baby Bella is like liquid sunshine – so happy, so sweet, so good-natured. Noah stared at her most of the time she was here. Especially when they were trying to play with the same toy. It seems that they’re already at the stage where what someone else has often looks more exciting than what you’ve got – until you get it and think “this ain’t so great” and then you see them with something else that is OBVIOUSLY better. The squishy bath book is always greener in someone else’s hands apparently. Unfortunately that never changes – and it is one of life’s most important lessons in my opinion. I want to use my energy to enjoy the toy I got instead of focusing on what else I could have instead. It’s a constant struggle in a consumerist society that programs us to always want MORE. I know – off the soapbox. Anyway, the kids were super adorable.

As you know I cancelled my table and I also cancelled the shindig I was planning for tomorrow. Soo many people couldn’t come. It’s hard to schedule things during the summer months – and a lot of people were going away for Father’s Day and whatnot. I’m hoping to still have Patrice, Sean, Bella and a few folks over in the afternoon – mostly because I am lonely dammit. Noah is tired of being my main source of social interaction – and he can’t even talk to me about what a sham it was that Irene Cara won “Hit Me Baby One More Time.” He’s super cute and all, but his knowledge of pop culture stinks.

So now to more important topics – shaving my legs. I don’t have the time or energy most mornings. Noah will only hang out in the Hop n’ Pop while I shower for so long before he loses patience. I’m considering Nair. Anyone still use this stuff?

"What is his deal?"  Posted by Hello

Thursday, June 16, 2005

It could have been so beautiful.

Who waited six weeks to have their new damn kitchen table delivered and decided a week before the scheduled delivery date that they didn’t want it? Um… that would be the always brilliant me.

I don’t often have buyers remorse. I’m normally a make a decision and stick with it kind of girl – but this table has been bothering me since I ordered it. The day I picked out the table I went to four furniture stores to compare tables and prices. I was looking for a sturdy wood table that was large enough that it would’nt look preposterous in our large kitchen. Our cabinets are light wood, so though I personally prefer dark woods I was looking for something to match the cabinets. But I really fell in love with the table I ordered – it was a large square table with simple lines and not a lot of ornamentation, and at the sale price I couldn’t find anything comparable. But there were three problems with it. 1) It was ginger – and I wasn’t sure it was exactly the right color for the kitchen. However between the cabinets, baseboards, and back door there are three different colors of wood in our kitchen and the ginger did match with one of them so I decided to overlook this. 2) It was technically a dining room table. Of course I was having a hard time finding any tables designated as a “kitchen table.” Do people not eat in their kitchens any more? Or is any room you dine in a dining room? I decided to overlook this because I figured if I put it in the kitchen then it was a kitchen table. Nuff said. 3) The height. One of the things I loved about the table is that it was at “gathering” height. This means that the chairs and tables are at about counter top height. It looked really sharp and I figured it would be a great benefit to my lanky 6’ 4” husband who normally has to have his knees up around his shoulders. However a tall table doesn’t seem the best idea for a family. In fact for a couple with one infant and hopes to have at least one other child a tall table seems like an extraordinarily stupid idea. Not only would the kids have to be ten before they could get in and out of the seats themselves, if they fall its a longer drop. But I told myself that it wouldn’t be a problem because I really liked the taller height.

So I ordered the table and the saleswoman told me it would be on backorder for 3-4 weeks. Immediately after ordering it I began questioning my decision. It’s now six weeks later and I decided this morning to cancel. To me the long wait was an omen – the fates were trying to tell me that the table wasn’t right for us. Of course the long wait also shows that JC Penney sucks. I bought that table on the first day of their highly publicized Home Sale – so you would think they might have a few of them in stock and not have to have customers wait to have them shipped from China. Oh well. Now I’m feeling grumpy because we’ve been eating on TV tables in the middle of our kitchen for a month and a half and we’re back at square one. At least now I can try to get a more practical table that children can actually sit at. I’m such an idiot.

Crap. This is sort of a Noah free post – isn’t it? And this is the Noah blog. So hmmmm… Noah is anxiously awaiting future furniture shopping. Today when I was glancing at an Ikea catalog trying to convince myself that their tables weren’t SO rickety that a child could pull them on top of himself Noah started ripping the catalog to shreds. Is that an omen too?

This is the set - though not in the ginger. Lovely, isn't it? What could have been...  Posted by Hello

Parker is apparently so desperate for love that he's willing to have Noah gouge his eyes out.  Posted by Hello

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Milestones inches away.

Big things are happening at Casa de Eggerts. Noah’s first two teeth are eagerly anticipated and expected any day now. You can see his swollen red gums straining to keep the teeth in their midst – and you can feel the sharp pointy fangs with your fingers. We’ve had the poor boy dosed up on Ibuprofen because he’s obviously in pain. The Orajel and homeopathic teething tablets weren’t cutting it. Of course my breasts aren’t too eager to meet Noah’s teeth. I’m already doing research on how you can prevent an infant from biting you when nursing. Ouch! As soon as we can get this kid to drink from a bottle regularly I might have to start the weening process.

Locomotion also seems on Noah’s horizon. He has recently been getting into a crawling ready position. Any day the boy might take off. And no – we haven’t yet baby-proofed. We’re waiting for Noah’s first attempt to throw himself down the stairs. That will be an excellent sign that it is in fact time to get it done.

Mark is home this afternoon. He had a comp day coming for working graduation. Tonight he and his best friend Ed are attending a retirement dinner for their high school drama teacher. This means I'm seriously considering going to bed at 8 pm. Especially since I was up with Noah and his tooth pain from 3:30 to 5 am. Have I mentioned teething sucks? And this is only the first set!

On your mark, get set, STOP!!! Posted by Hello

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Straight from the Parisian Runway

Though yesterday was lovely, and we had a nice visit with Janette and baby Jules – the morning started poorly. We were up at 5:30 am and I was beat. Trying to get out the door was a comedy of errors. I kept running willy nilly around the house trying to pack diaper and toy bags, dress Noah and get us out the door. I couldn’t put Noah down because he was getting over-tired and ready for a nap – in preparation for the car ride. So I had him in one arm while trying to think of everything I needed and gather it all up. Of course this meant I went from the third floor to the first – then realized I needed something else on the third, then back on the first, then the third again, etc. I was in the home stretch when Noah reached for my coffee cup and to keep it out of his reach I dumped it on my jeans, the floor, his bed, and the outfit I was planning to dress him in. I was already running late so I merely dropped a towel on the floor and didn’t even consider changing my now soaked pants. I had a hard time trying to pick out a new outfit for Noah because of the heat, my needing to do laundry, and how he now fits best in a 3-6 month shirt and 6-9 month bottom. Finally he was dressed and I was stacking everything for the trip by the door. URP – Noah did his best Linda Blair and spit up everywhere. It splashed on the floor, my other pant leg, and my flip-flopped foot. Sheesh! When I finally got in the car and pulled away from the house I realized that not only were my jeans obviously stained with coffee but I also smelled distinctly of regurgitated yogurt. Thus is motherhood.

Is this like a chain letter?

I have been tagged by Rich Girl. Legend has it that I must now complete five of the following statements, and then tag three others to do the same:

If I could be a musician, If I could be a doctor, If I could be a painter, If I could be a gardener, If I could be a missionary, If I could be a chef, If I could be an architect, If I could be a linguist, If I could be a psychologist, If I could be a librarian, If I could be an athlete, If I could be a lawyer, If I could be an inn-keeper, If I could be a professor, If I could be a writer, If I could be a llama-rider, If I could be a bonnie pirate, If I could be an astronaut, If I could be a world famous blogger, If I could be a justice on any one court in the world, If I could be married to any current famous political figure

NOTE: The original phrasing is “If I could be a …” but I am changing it to “If I were a…” I’ve made this change because my mama always told me I could be whatever I wanted to be – so to me it’s not a question of could. I COULD be any of these things with determination - and the right schooling, talent, connections. Though it's very hard to get into a reputable pirate school these days. Here we go:

If I were a farmer…
I would be really proud of myself for working with my hands and the earth – for doing something tangible and real. I’d feed my family with the food I grew as well as many other families. And I’d definitely run a Community Supported Agriculture farm.

If I were an architect…
I’d design a building for Philadelphia that would become the hallmark of the city skyline. It would pay homage to Colonial Philadelphia while incorporating new style and technology. And I certainly would not design in concrete – I’m no fan of Louis Kahn.

If I were a writer…
I’d write novels that introduced my readers to different places and different times – gave them a bit of history and knowledge all the while telling memorable fictional accounts of the lives and relationships of believable and touching characters.

If I were a bonnie pirate…
Avast me hearties! I’d shiver me timbers searching the briny deep for doubloons.

If I married any current famous political figure…
It would be Barack Obama. He seems like the real deal and I hope someday our country is smart enough to elect him to our highest office. Not likely, but it's a lovely dream.

And now I have to pass this tag on. Hmmm… Who will be good humored enough to answer the questions? I’m looking at you – Jen, Katy, Kelly.

Monday, June 13, 2005

Noah's pal Jules catches a few winks on such a warm June day.  Posted by Hello

Mama Janette holds her sweet baby Jules. Posted by Hello

Meet Valentine's adorable baby Onata.  Posted by Hello


Noah has a few new tricks. Not only has he gotten better at sitting up for longer periods of time, but when he leans for something just out of his reach he puts one of his hands down to support himself. He still does flop onto the floor from a sitting position – but often it’s intentional as he likes to roll around grabbing at things. In fact he enjoys sitting on the floor surrounded by toys now more than he does being in the Exersaucer. The foam alphabet mats that I put down for extra padding when he played have become a toy unto themselves – he enjoys pulling them apart now. He’s gotten good at grasping the beach ball that I roll at him and he’s also learned how to get the multi-colored donut rings of their center post. It feels like each day is a new discovery – for us both.

My mother came to visit yesterday and it was like Christmas in June. Excited by how he now plays, she brought Noah an army of new toys. If this kid doesn’t know his alphabet by the time he’s two then Leap Frog has failed miserably.

The weekend flew by. Friday night Mark and I watched Finding Neverland. I really enjoyed it – and even teared up, not just for want of Johnny Depp. Saturday felt a bit grueling. Mark had to work half a day because he works for a local university and it was the day of commencement. I’m alone with Noah more mornings than not – but when the weekend comes and I have less time with Mark it makes an impact. I was feeling kind of low and tired. Of course Noah’s new 5:30 am wake time certainly contributed to that. He’s been waking up at precisely 5:30 for the last week and a half no matter what time we put him to bed the evening before. I never got the memo but he must have some early morning agenda. My lethargy was compounded by Noah’s plaintiveness – he seemed to whine all day long. Teething is a horrible ordeal. I’m not fond of the idea of sharp objects slowly pushing their way through my sensitive gum flesh. Though I had wanted to get some cleaning done once Mark came home, the three of us ended up taking a long nap and then skulking around the house until bedtime.

Yesterday Mom and I went to tea at the Bellevue – as a belated Mother’s Day celebration. Those of you who know me know that I developed an appreciation for having high tea when I studied abroad in London in 1994. As a result I really enjoy checking out different tea spots when I get the chance and I’ve never been to the Bellevue before. Inexplicably this was the first time I went to tea with my mom and I suggested it because not only is my mom impossible to shop for, but I thought she would enjoy the experience. I think she did. But how is tea at the Bellevue you ask? Though the Ethel Barrymore room is lovely and the tea sandwiches were the best selection I’ve had in Philly, the scones were tiny and the Devonshire cream wasn’t very thick. Overall I think I still prefer tea at the Four Seasons. The service is better and the harpist adds a nice touch.

Patrice’s flight left for Vegas last night. I had hoped I’d have a chance to call her yesterday afternoon before she left for the airport, but I was out with my mom. I’m sure she had a tearful goodbye with Sean and Bella at the airport and I suspect the next couple of days are going to be very difficult for her – but I do hope she is able to enjoy herself a bit. Today is her 31st birthday and it must kind of suck to celebrate it on her own, far from her family, but we’ll just have to send her our love telepathically.

Today Noah and I are off to Reading to visit Ms. Janette and Baby Jules. Pictures are sure to come.

Sunday, June 12, 2005

It's all about the O - and the O is all about the Noah.  Posted by Hello

Friday, June 10, 2005

Price check on aisle 5

The grocery store was a dream. Not exactly – but as good as it gets. From the moment we entered the store to the moment we exited it was an hour and ten minutes. That is a long time for a baby to stay patient. But he did it. I talked to him a lot while shopping – much to the amusement of other shoppers. I also gave him a few things to keep him occupied. When he’d get bored of something I’d switch it. He spent some time with a lemon in one of those cool crinkly plastic bags, a bag of beans, a package of Gerber baby spoons and a loudly rattling box of Mike & Ikes. In fact I accidentally bought the beans and Mike & Ikes though I meant to put them back. Of course I have already opened the Mike & Ikes and realized that I don’t really like them. They seem pretty damn bland to my taste. However I do favor the name Ike.

My biggest problem was the cart. You see since I only grocery shop every two weeks I buy A LOT of groceries. At the end of our excursion Noah was nearly surrounded by stuff. A passing woman actually said “Don’t lose him in there.” The problem only gets worse once everything is bagged. In order to get all the bags in the cart I have to take Noah out. This means I’m trying to carry him in one (tendonitis ridden) arm and steer a cart overflowing with bags and teetering under their weight with the other. Those carts aren’t exactly wieldy (is that a word?) – so it takes superhuman skill. Today I had no skill. After I got the cart out of the store I stopped the cart guy and asked him to please take it to the car.

Getting the groceries into the house takes planning too. I bring Noah in first and put him in the Exersaucer right by the glass screen door. This way he can see me at the car getting bags – so he isn’t freaked out when I go walking out of the house. Once I have everything in the front door I move Noah to the Jumperoo in the kitchen – and then move all the groceries to the kitchen and put all the cold items in the fridge and freezer. By then Noah is requiring my full-on attention so I wait to unpack everything else until he goes down for his nap. And that is my grocery store saga.

So get this – over seven months after Noah’s birth I received a bill from the hospital for his birth. Our hospital stay costs over $10,000 but Keystone settled it for just over $3000 – but there is a $300 adjustment fee with which they billed us. What kills me most about this is that I thought there would be a charge for Noah’s birth so I put money in a flexible health spending account last year. But after I set it up to withhold $600 from my pay last year a coworker informed me that she didn’t pay anything for the birth of her son – so last year I used the money for prescriptions, copays and glasses. NOW I get the $300 bill for Noah. Think they will try to repossess him if we don’t pay?

Popping with Pops

Often right before getting super sleepy Noah will go through a silly stage. He’ll chatter, smile and giggle more. And he thinks everything is just hysterical. Especially Mark. Yesterday at the Gallery I bought some bubbles and since our kitchen floor is in dire need of mopping already – I decided to bust them out and put them to use after dinner. Even though Mark reminded me that bubbles are for outdoors. I thought Noah would go insane for them – but instead he was more transfixed and dumbfounded. And then a bit peeved that he couldn’t catch one. Mark decided to up the ante by proclaiming “POP” very loudly when the bubbles started to burst. This apparently was a stroke of comic genius. Noah could not get enough. Every time Mark would say “POP” Noah would laugh uncontrollably. The other day Noah had the same reaction just when Mark would open his mouth really wide. Of course in the light of a new morning and a fully rested baby “Pop” gets a little smile but not the full-on laugh riot of the evening before.

After Noah wakes up from his morning nap we’re going grocery shopping. I go grocery shopping once every two weeks. The last trip I made was the first trip where I was accompanied by Noah only. I chucked him in the Floppy Seat in the front of the grocery cart and we rolled. He was great – just looking around at all the people and brightly colored packaging. I kept him occupied by letting him handle different safely packaged (of course) food products and at the end when he started getting punchy I placated him with some Gerber puffs. Thank the gods for those things. Let’s hope today’s grocery expedition goes as smoothly.

Thursday, June 09, 2005

I once promised JenO that I would post a sad Noah photo - to contrast with all those smiley picks. So Jen, this sad baby is for you.  Posted by Hello

Certainly not enough rambling

Yesterday Noah and I trekked out to Qtown to see my Dad and Oma. In the couple of hours I was there I spent the bulk of the time on the phone with Verizon and then Dell trying to hook up my father’s DSL. The Verizon helpdesk person was very helpful and quick to realize that the problem I was having was that the Norton Internet Security firewall was preventing proper installation .But we couldn’t figure out how to disable the damn thing – so I had to call Dell. Dell was not very helpful – after a very long wait and then making me poke around the computer aimlessly for twenty minutes before telling me I had to call Norton – I figured out the solution by my own damn self. Once the firewall was disabled it was a piece of cake. Oma kept Noah occupied most of the time and Dad made yummy burritos for lunch. Noah got a little edgy toward the afternoon – but only because he was overdue for his nap and I didn’t want him to nap until the drive home. I didn’t do much computer tutorial with Dad – he said he’ll just keep poking around on it a little each day until he figures how to use things. Trial and error. That’s how I learned the little I know and I think it’s the most effective way.

Dad has vacation from work this week so he came back to the city with Noah and I. Mark was kind enough to watch Noah so that Dad and I could go out to eat. We walked to The Standard Tap and had an excellent meal. Their burgers are to die for. They even make the heat of their lack of air conditioning bearable. I’m a bit puzzled about why they can’t even install a ceiling fan for better air circulation – but whatever. Dad had the soft crab sandwich. The guacamole and tomatillos looked really good – but I could never eat a whole crab – shell and all. Yick. Dad however enjoyed it.

We got back just in time for me to put Noah down for bed and then we watched National Treasure. We’re not big on action flicks but I’ll attempt to watch anything set in Philly and I saw them film some of National Treasure when I worked across the street from Independence Hall. It actually wasn’t bad. And it was the perfect movie to watch with my Dad who does enjoy action films and Nicholas Cage - so it was kismet that it arrived that day from Netflix.

Noah woke me up around 5 am again this morning. He was whimpering and crying in his sleep for a half hour. I guess he was having a nightmare. What do infants have nightmares about? Both Mark and I were wide awake trying to comfort him without waking him up. When he finally woke up he was in fine spirits despite his sleep crying moments prior. After Mark went to work Dad, Noah and I went for breakfast. We headed to Honey’s but it wasn’t open despite the hours on the door confirming that it should have been – so we went to Silk City Diner. I’ve been a regular at Silk City Diner since 1995 – but Mark, Noah and I haven’t gone together because the dining car size of the place indicated to me that they couldn’t possibly have highchairs. Lo and behold that though they don’t have high chairs they do have those chairs that hang off the table and over the bench seats. It was a perfect setup because Noah was at the table with us. Our breakfast was lovely and Noah got A LOT of attention from a doting waitress. She even sat down next to us and played with him for a minute. He’s such a hit with the ladies. Which brings me to something I’m always thinking about – strangers and babies. It is SO ackward for me when strangers interact with Noah – but not only do they not speak to me, they avoid even looking at me. This even happens with the Bjorn when Noah’s head is just inches beneath mine. What the heck am I supposed to do and where am I supposed to look when a stranger is chatting away with Noah? It’s SO weird.

Anyway – after breakfast we went to the Gallery and did some quick shopping and left a generous Dad to catch a train back to his neck of the woods. It was a nice visit. In recent years my Dad and I have been a little estranged and though some of the issues remain I decided when I was pregnant with Noah that I needed to put them aside. My Dad loves me and wants to be a part of my life – and certainly a part of Noah’s life – and there was no way I could deny Noah the love of his grandfather. And that decision has been a good one because I missed my Dad and it’s really rewarding to see how much he enjoys being with my son.

So was that a long enough sum up of my last two days? Should I have included more info on every meal we consumed and how many trips we all made to the bathroom? Sorry I was so succinct.

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

We're out and about today so I give you this photo in lieu of a post. Have a good one! Posted by Hello

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

The best laid plans

I had plans today but I cancelled them. I woke up this morning feeling less than lovely. Near dead in fact. I’ve got a remnant of that damn cold and a restless Noah kept me in and out of sleep from 4 am to 5:40 am, when he decided to fully awake. I felt like the couple of hours until his morning nap were endless – but we both caught an hour and a half of sleep and now I’m a new woman. Well, more refreshed anyway.

Yesterday morning Mark and I decided we wanted to go out for Indian food. In the afternoon Mark did research to find out which buffets were open on a Monday and then called to make sure they had a high chair. I picked Mark up and we went to Tandoor at 40th and Chestnut. When we got there and sat down we found out that their only two highchairs were being used by a woman who was there with two small children. As a result we couldn’t stay. Mark wondered if there was a way to reserve a highchair - but I suspect not. It sucked in a way – but we ended up going to Thai Singha up the street and having the Early Bird special. Mark and I had Thai iced coffees, soups, spring rolls and red chicken curry. Noah played with an empty water bottle and ate Gerber stars and oatmeal. It was just nice to be out to eat.

Tomorrow Noah and I are going to my Dad’s place. He bought a Dell computer last week and not only is it his first computer – he’s never really used any computer before. Needless to say he wants a little help and we’ll be starting from scratch. For me operating a computer is something I do without thinking but I’m not exactly sure how to explain it or even figure out what he needs to know and what he doesn’t. The scariest part is that neither my father nor myself are the most patient people in the world. I hope we can both remain calm.

After our computer lesson Dad is coming back to our place and spending the night. He has vacation this week and wants to spend some time with me and the monkey. Oh, Mark too. Not sure what we’re going to do on Thursday. I was considering the Zoo but it’s too damn hot – for us and the animals. I’ve also considered having him just play with Noah while I attempt to hang a bunch of things on the walls that have been set aside for hanging since I was pregnant. As you can tell I’m real motivated to get that done.

I bought a kitchen table from Penney’s over a month ago. And it still isn’t here. I’ve been told it’s being shipped from Asia. On an inflatable raft being navigated by panda bears apparently. I’m having people over on June 18 and there’s a distinct possibility it won’t be here yet. Which means I’ll be serving snacks on the TV tables Mark and I ‘ve been using as a kitchen table for the last month. If it were a dinner party I might make that my theme and serve Hungry Man dinners. Here’s to hoping those sailor pandas get their damn act together!

Monday, June 06, 2005

Can you see where Noah got his good looks?  Posted by Hello

Got a tip on black market prunes?

I have been on a mad hunt for Gerber prunes. There were no prunes stocked during my last two trips to the grocery store. And Noah has been having some unfortunate difficulties that may be alleviated by the digestion of said prunes. Poor little guy just strains and strains, his face turning purplish red and looking like it might explode. He’s putting in a lot of effort with very little pay off. So this weekend we checked three other stores for baby food prunes – and nada! It’s like the great prune conspiracy or something. So I called the Gerber Parent Resource Center and asked “Is there some sort of prune shortage?” And lo and behold there is. It seems that the meager prune growing season coupled with the overwhelming demand for Gerber’s new plastic two packs have made prunes very hard to come by. Her suggestion was to just keep checking the shelves. I wanted to convince her of the urgency of my situation - to urge her to ship me some on the sly. We needed to score and we needed it bad. But I just thanked her for the info. When I see those damn prunes in stock I’m buying every damn package they have.

Dehydration could be part of Noah’s issue so I wanted to give him a little apple juice diluted with water. Except I was still having the problem with him rejecting the damn bottle. Through much trial and error we discovered he will take a bottle – but only laying flat on his back. I guess he just hates the reclined sitting position that you typically use when bottle feeding. Who knew? Now that the bottle obstacle may be overcome I might have to run out and see if I can find some prune juice. Although apparently giving your kid juice is now a cardinal sin. At Noah's six month check-up the handout sheet the pediatrician gave us with age appropriate tips said don't feed your baby juice - it's empty calories and forms poor eating habits. But good lord - this kid needs to poop and I'm willing to help him by any means necessary. At this rate I'm near considering giving him some of my coffee since it's the only thing that keeps me regular. Think I should call the pediatrician and say "I know I'm not supposed to give him juice because of the sugar, but how about black coffee?"

I had been looking forward to Saturday – it was the Northern Liberties Music Festival at Liberty Lands Park. Mark and I have always enjoyed spending the day at the park, listening to music, drinking some beer and watching the hipsters with their dogs and the crunchy couples with their babies. At last years festival we wondered what it would be like to be there with our own baby. So it was anticipated for a whole year. However Saturday morning was so grey and sticky – I was hoping they would reschedule and when they didn’t I considered bagging it. But we decided to just go and if we were uncomfortable we could just come back home. Nothing ventured - nothing gained, right?

It was an excellent afternoon. We got there at 3 pm and staked out our shade tree despite the fact there was no sun. We hunkered down, set Noah up to play and opened a bottle of wine. The sun came out but the temperature remained pleasant and we stayed for five hours. Noah enjoyed watching the people as much as we did and he even took a short nap in the stroller. It was a great surprise to see our friends Jen & Mark – they just returned from Greece, lucky bastards. It was as wonderful a day as I could have imagined last year – and I’m so glad we didn’t talk ourselves out of going.

And thank the gods they didn’t have it yesterday. It was too hot, too sunny. We took a walk to the water ice stand in Fishtown that soon felt like a death march because on the return we were walking directly into the sun. I can’t believe it is this hot and only the first week in June. I turned the air on this morning because I’m unsure if Noah’s uncommon whininess was being caused by the heat, his cold, his constipation, or his teething – and I figured the least I could do was to eliminate one element of discomfort. The poor boy is falling apart. His warranty must be up.

Friday, June 03, 2005

Not a paid endorsement of Fisher Price products

Still trying to kick this illness thing. But my biggest concern is Noah. I don’t know how he could avoid getting my cold when his hands are always in my mouth. Let’s hope those breast milk antibodies are doing their damndest to keep him well. Cross your fingers for him.

I’m going to talk about balls now. Try to keep your mind out of the gutter. On Sunday while cleaning up I found a large super ball that the cats had been playing with. And I gave it to Noah. He loved it – the way it fit in his hands, the way it rolled, etc. I felt evil for having him kept him from the wonder of balls for so long. On Monday when Bella came to visit with her Fisher Price Ocean Wonders fishbowl with corresponding clear lucite fish balls – Noah was in love. So much so that I intended to buy him his very own fish balls on Tuesday. But our Toys R’ Us did not carry the fishbowl. However they did carry a few new Fisher Price toys that came with “Roll-a-Rounds” – which are clear Lucite balls with fun eye-catching accessories trapped inside. We got the Twirlin’ Whilrin’ Turtle. Noah loves it. We have practically worn the damn thing down in two days.

When I told my mom about how much Noah was enjoying putting the balls in and out of the turtle she said that babies go through a stage where they love to just put things in and take things out of containers. She said I could put just about anything in a plastic container and it would be instant entertainment for Noah. I decided to try it with those damn Fisher Price Peek-a-Blocks. A few words about Peek-a-Blocks – though they are cute, they are stupid for one main reason – not only do they not lock together when you stack them, but their rounded corners make stacking near impossible. What kind of blocks don’t stack? We have the Peek-a-Block Press & Go Train – but it always seemed a bit too advanced for Noah and since the blocks didn’t stack, the whole thing just sat in the toy box. But on mom’s advice I grabbed a plastic container and put 6 blocks in it. Noah now thinks I invented sliced bread. The crazy thing is that he isn’t so much for putting the blocks in and out of the container. I put the blocks in the container – and he picks it up and dumps them all out on the floor. Over and over and over again. I made sure to pick out blocks that made noise when you rattled them – because when Noah picks something up he almost always shakes it to see if it makes noise. He particularly loves the block with the ringing bell in it. So I guess the blocks aren’t altogether bad. The train however scares the bejezus out of him. That will have to wait for later. When he doesn’t think that plastic objects that move on their own are obviously possessed by the devil.

A new thing to file under genius. Remember me saying that our Evenflo car seat was defective and they sent us a new one? And remember I said that when Mark installed it he ripped off a clip that held on the seat pad? Remember when I said I had to call and see if they would send us a new seat pad? Remember that I am a complete and total moron? You should. Because it took me a good week to realize - "Hey - we still have the defective car seat and we could use the seat pad off of that one and ship the ripped seat pad back with the defective seat." Eureka! I sure hope Noah has more common sense.

Thursday, June 02, 2005

Truly Illin

Still sick. Still tired. I better get well soon. Damn it.

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

Hangin at the coffee house with my little man.  Posted by Hello

The Reading expedition

I learned a few lessons yesterday.

1. Make sure you understand the directions before leaving the house. The directions I got from the hospital told me from Philadelphia to get on the turnpike. So I went to mid-county to get on the turnpike. Then I looked at the directions and they said to get on west. Well there is no way to get on going west from Mid-county but I was already through the tolls so I went towards Lansale. Which was super wrong because it is a long drive until you can get off. I then called Mark and had him give me directions to Reading from Lansdale. We drove all over God’s green earth and it took us two hours to get to the hospital. And of course Noah didn’t sleep through much of it. He was pleasant for most of it thankfully but he also had some crying moments. It sucks to get totally turned around and drive far away. It double sucks when you have a carseat-hating infant with you.

2. When going to see a friend in the hospital call close to departure time to make sure they are still well enough to receive you. When we finally got there Janette was very tired and very sick. Poor thing. The drugs they gave her to alleviate the pain of the C section were not agreeing with her. She was doped up and not keeping anything down. When she drank some cranberry juice and it came back up she apologized to Noah. No need to apologize to the king of spit-up. Little Jules was swaddled and sleeping so I didn’t get to manhandle him too much – but he was breathtakingly small. Already I can’t imagine Noah was that small – but he was of course. Anyway we didn’t want to stay because Janette was in dire need of more rest. Noah and I left the happy parents and new arrival after only a half hour.

3. Bring the stroller. I didn’t want to put Noah right back into the car. Neither of us would have survived that. So we decided to take a walk in downtown Reading. I had the Bjorn, so it wasn’t that bad, but it was a long enough walk that the stroller would have been way better. We found a nearby coffee shop and made ourselves at home. They had a couch in the window so Noah and I just hung out there – people watching, squeaking, eating Gerber puffs and pureed bananas.

4. When things aren’t going perfectly take a step back and look at what went right. Noah really is such a good boy. I’m astounded by how good spirited he is and how much he just enjoys being out in the world. (With the exception of course of his car seat.) I had a lot of fun wasting time with him in that coffee shop – and it was something that could have been disastrous had he been less congenial. And since I didn’t put him back in the car until close to his bedtime he slept all the way home. Good stuff.

Janette will probably be in the hospital until Friday. In retrospect I should have gone today to visit and given her a day to recoop, but I was just SO excited to see Jules on the day he was born.

Little Jules Wolfgang Fertig on the day of his birth.  Posted by Hello