Friday, July 29, 2005

It's a bird. It's a plane. It's a cheeky monkey.  Posted by Picasa

So THIS is what cornflower blue tastes like.  Posted by Picasa

This is your baby on marshmallow. Posted by Picasa


Prior to Noah’s mobilization I didn’t have to say “No.” Now I say it a lot – to keep him away from wires, electronics, stairways and cabinets. And when I say it Noah stops, looks at me curiously and then very, very slowly goes back to what he was doing. Until I say no again and then we repeat. It’s a bit draining but in a way it’s interesting watching him test the boundaries of his world. Mark and I are trying to be very deliberate with our “No” because I’m worried he’ll get his name confused with it. So I’m trying not to use his name as a warning and also to shake my head and make a sign with my hand every time I say No.” I hope it works.

I was reading a (gasp) parenting book last night and came across this:

Teaching Baby to Be Calm
If you get upset of angry when things don’t go your way, your baby may do the same. He’s like a little sponge that absorbs everything around him, including what you do. Be a good role model. If you do the right thing, your child will model that behavior. When he spills juice, clean it up calmly. You’ll teach him about dealing with problems in a mature way. If you yell, you teach him to get angry and upset when things go wrong.

Boy did this hit home. You see I’ve got a bit of a temper. Maybe you haven’t seen it, maybe you have. It was a lot worse when I was younger but I began thinking in the last couple of years that I had outgrown it a bit. But when I got pregnant it returned and it was hot. I had assumed it was the hormones. Postpartum I still have it though not quite as bad, but I’m still nursing so maybe I can still blame it on the hormones. I hope. Anyway – my temper flares up easily these days when I’m frustrated with something I’m doing or I’m late. I don’t scream - I slam inanimate objects to the ground and stomp about in frustration. This happens for a second until I go straight to “Screw this, I just can’t do it. It’s impossible” and sit down. Not really mature, I know. And not anything I want Noah to do or remember me by. So I really need to reign it in. For all of our sakes – hormonal or no Maybe I need to do some sort of breathing exercise or have some sort of mantra I can say to myself when I start to get stressed out by a task. Any suggestions?

Thursday, July 28, 2005

If you sit still long enough I WILL climb you.  Posted by Picasa

Now how do I get back down from here? Posted by Picasa

Grrrrrrrrr! Posted by Picasa

I am totally innocent. In fact I don't even understand the question. Posted by Picasa

Spills and thrills

These days a few daily crying jags are to be expected. What with all the crawling to off-limits places, trying to get into forbidden drawers and cabinets, pulling up on unstable objects, and falling as the primary way to set oneself down. There will be tears, bumps and bruises aplenty in our household – and not just for Noah. Short of padding everything and following around the boy with a stash of pillows – it’s unavoidable. I guess all we can do is minimize the damage to us all and have open arms ready for comforting and reassuring hugs.

So as you may recall I had a blind play date in the park last Friday with a neighborhood mother I met on a bulletin board. Her name is Susan and her daughter Francesca is just about Noah’s age. Though she wasn’t exactly my clone, or even Patrice’s clone for that matter – she was very nice and very friendly. She didn’t seem too judgmental and she seemed just as eager as I to have another mommy to hang out with. Conversation was easy and the time flew by. Francesca is sweet, good natured and doughy - and Noah and her got on well. We saw them at the pool yesterday afternoon but didn’t get to form a plan for our next play date because I left hastily as Noah was unhappy with the scorching sun beating down on his head. The pool rules won’t allow you to wear a hat or sunglasses in the water – which makes sense when you’re dealing with 30 tweens and teens, but not for a tot swim. I look forward to getting to spend more time with Susan and Francesca and maybe as a foursome we can approach some of the other neighborhood mothers.

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Down into the murky depths he goes. Posted by Picasa

Brrrr.  Posted by Picasa

Ready for some rad waves Posted by Picasa

Wish you were here

I’m fresh from a few days of sun, surf and sand. It was a nice little getaway but far too brief. I’ve considered giving a detailed itinerary of everything we did and the lovely people we saw – but that might get a bit boring. Especially since the major happenings on the agenda were family chats, books and leisurely strolls. So let’s try to keep it short and simple and hit the main topics of interest.

The young man and the sea
Noah seemed to enjoy the ocean. I sat down on the sand and held him while the tide lapped up to us and deposited mounds of sand in my bathing suit. Exhilarating. Noah studiously observed the waves, the birds and the people. He giggled, smiled and played – doing an excellent job of both entertaining and charming everyone he met. He seems to have my skin tone – which does get a bit golden after a spell in the sun, whereas Mark just gets red before returning to a lovely shade of alabaster. If Noah’s first experience at the shore is any indication he’ll definitely be a beach baby – which makes perfect sense because it’s in his blood. I’ve heard many lovely tales of how much Noah’s Grandma Muriel loved the beach and though she can’t be there to share it with him, we hope to impart her love of the shore to Noah.

The McCormack Clan
We saw a few of Mark’s aunts (Jean, Charity), uncles (Jack, Gene), cousins (Mary, Pam, Kate, Kevin, Pat, Nancy) and second cousins (Narissa, Connor, Gehrett, Kailyn, Kristen, McKenna, Alex, Erica). I think they’re second cousins but I’m confused. Are your cousin’s kids your second cousins or your cousins once removed? Anyway. We missed a few faces that we’d been hoping we might see (Frank & Maureen, Mari & Eric, Butch & Eileen, Bob & Charlie, Phil & Marilyn) but you can’t catch everyone.

It was really lovely seeing people and hard to say goodbye thinking it may be a whole year before we see everyone again. As an adult a year doesn’t seem like that much but in a year a child becomes an entirely different person. Next time they see Noah he will be SO different and people will have missed so much. He probably won’t even be recognizable. It’s sad for me to think about.

The vacation shift
A beach vacation is always about relaxing, but the beach was a bit different this time around. We went out for breakfast at 8 am, read out on the hotel deck while listening to Noah nap on the monitor, waited to hit the beach until early in the evening to spare him from the harsh rays, stayed briefly so as not to over extend his cheerful demeanor and saw the boardwalk only during the daylight hours. We got Noah down to sleep at 9 pm both nights and headed back out to the hotel deck with books, the monitor and a bottle of wine in hand so we could hang out a bit before hitting the sack ourselves. It was far from a party – but really wonderful in a whole new way. I really look forward to going to Ocean City, NJ with my mom and the Milliceccobachs at the end of August.

Hogwarts Beach
After finishing Harry Potter this morning it's time to get back to reality. Laundry. Dishes. And a house covered in misplaced objects. I wish I had a house elf.

Saturday, July 23, 2005

We'll be havin' some fun.

Today is a busy day of preparing, packing and planning. Tomorrow morning we head to Seaside Park for three days.

Mark’s mother Muriel was the second youngest of the twelve McCormack children. She passed away a few years back after a long and very sad battle with early onset Alzheimer’s Disease and Breast Cancer. We don’t often see members of her family as a result of both her passing and distance - just at weddings, funerals and the beach. Mark’s Aunt Jean, her husband Jack and their daughter Mary come to visit family in New Jersey from their home in Gulf Coast Florida every summer. And because the beaches of Florida are not nearly the same as the New Jersey shore they grew up with – they rent a house in Seaside Park for a week. Other aunts, uncles and cousins buzz in and out of the beach house for a sort of sandy, sunny family reunion. I have adored this tradition since the first time Mark told me about it and I look forward to going every year. In the past we’ve just crashed at the house when and where there was extra room, but it’s hard to “crash” anywhere with an infant. So this year we booked two nights at the Charlroy Motel. It’ll be the first time some of the McCormack clan meets Noah McCormack Eggerts, and his first time meeting Mother Ocean.

We’ll be back late on Tuesday night with some color, some stories, and maybe a photo or two. Blog at ya later.

Friday, July 22, 2005

Meet Noah's new pal Francesca.  Posted by Picasa

We all scream for ice cream.

Because Noah’s being raised by cats it seems he’s become a bit cautious around other babies. During our visit with Bella and her folks yesterday Noah had a few crying jags. The two kids would be playing on the floor, Noah smiling, having a grand old time and then Bella would shriek with happiness and excitement. And Noah would react as if she were being butchered alive. I’d calm him down, he’d get back to normal and go back to playing. Then another happy baby Bella scream followed by Noah bawling and shaking in fear. It was just so weird. He was terrified. Sean and Patrice kept apologizing for Bella being so loud but there was absolutely nothing to apologize for – Bella was being her normal darling self. Sean said “I guess we Milligans are loud” to which I responded “And I guess we Eggerts are anxious.” So for the moment we can add Bella’s squeals to the list of things Noah is afraid of – the vacuum cleaner and the coffee grinder. Hopefully this is just a temporary phase that he will quickly outgrow. More time with other babies will help and to get him more accustomed to loud noises I’ve decided I should just scream more around the house.

Thanks Milligans. It was kind of you to entertain us. You even COOKED! Posted by Picasa

It's bathin' baby time.  Posted by Picasa

Noah is experiencing some sort of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. Posted by Picasa

Thursday, July 21, 2005

Who needs toys when you have TRASH!  Posted by Picasa

Please won't you be my neighbor.

I was excited yesterday when Fedex delivered my second attempt at swimsuit shopping before it was time for us to go to the pool. I was ecstatic when both of the suits fit and therefore I didn’t have to go to the pool worrying about a wardrobe malfunction. Hooray! I wish the retail luck had continued later in the day. Old Navy was awful. I spent over an hour there and couldn’t find a thing. The racks were sparse and my size was non-existent. And as always half of the stock was on hangers that didn’t note the actual clothing size and the other half was on the floor. The store looked like a bomb hit it. I was so frustrated I didn't even feel like waiting in line to buy the outfits I picked out for Noah. Woe is me.

Noah enjoyed the pool a lot more yesterday. He was chattering, smiling, and splashing. He’s still not thrilled with getting water on his face, but maybe he’ll improve with every trip. When we got home I left my suit on and got in the tub with Noah. This was the first time he bathed in the regular tub and not in the infant tub over the sink. He loved it. More than the pool even.

I met a few other mothers at the Rec Center yesterday. Of course by meet I mean exchanged names, baby names and ages with them. It’s so hard to get past the cursory details when conversing with a stranger. I would really like to make some neighborhood mom friends – but so far it’s pretty slow going. I guess that’s to be expected. If I met someone for the first time and they came on too strong I’d figure they were a complete and total desperate weirdo. I do have a play date tomorrow with a stranger – a neighborhood woman named Susan with an eight month old girl named Francesca. I encountered her on a neighborhood bulletin board trying to obtain information on parent groups in the area. I told her that though there is reportedly a mommy group meeting at a local coffee shop on Friday afternoons that I had been hesitating going because everyone else knew each other and the idea of walking in alone gave me ninth grade lunch room flashbacks. She said she felt the same so we made a plan to get together tomorrow afternoon in the park. I hope she and Francesca are fun.

Today we have a play date with Sean and Baby Bella in Lansdale. Noah’s dying to check out Bella’s baby pool. And it’s been far too long since I’ve seen the Milliceccobachs. Bella is probably enrolled in a doctorate program already.

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

If I had a peanut I'd give you the shell

I took a day off from blogging yesterday. I started a post but never finished it. The in-laws came to visit in the afternoon so once again it was a mad dash to do some cursory cleaning. We went out to dinner – Noah’s third night in a restaurant in a row. He might grow accustomed to this. Martin and Sylvia brought me some samosas, a lovely bouquet of flowers and a gift from Laima, Mark’s 95 year old Grandmother. Laima called me on Monday to wish me a Happy Birthday and it was a phone call that blew me away. She told me she loved me. For the first time! That is huge.

My family has always been very forthcoming with the “love yous.” I use it to end every phone call with my parents, as well as a few other family members. It’s just something I was brought up to do. But Mark’s father’s family is a little more reserved. And I’m certain that Laima doesn’t just throw it around. In fact she followed it up with “I really do” to make sure I understood. It really touched me. It’s hard work just making sure your in-laws know you and LIKE you – and love is more than I even hoped for.

This afternoon Noah and I head back to the swimming hole. I still don't have a bathing suit that fits properly. I hope I don't give the other tots a free show. At any moment my breast might pop out. I hope one of the two other suits shipping to me fits. Tonight I’m trekking to the Old Navy to spend some birthday cash on some clearance summer clothing. We’re going to the beach Sunday through Tuesday to see Mark’s mother’s family and again at the end of August with my mom and I only have one pair of shorts to my name.

Monday, July 18, 2005

Gifts that keep giving

They say it’s my birthday. On Friday my BFF Patrice surprised me with a microwave veggie steamer set. This sort of practical gift is my absolute favorite kind. Some girls might prefer diamonds and perfume – but I’m a sucker for a veggie steamer and a Dustbuster. Mark laments “But that’s for the house,” but getting things for the house makes me happy. Mark and Noah gave me CDs (The Killers, Hot Hot Heat, and more Bollywood Favorites) and two nights next weekend at a Seaside beach motel. Music and memories – divine. And I got some overly generous cash donations from Mom, Mark’s Dad & Sylvia, and Mark’s Grandmother. I can’t wait to buy myself some clothes – these plastic trash sacks are getting a bit tired. And the best birthday gifts are all the warm wishes from friends and family members. I am one very lucky 31 year old to have so many loving people in my life.

Saturday we trucked to Qtown so that we could go out to dinner and leave Mr. Noah with my Mom. Once again she gave us a lovely gift certificate for dinner at the Washington House. The meal was good and so was the company – thank you Mr. Mark. Luckily we survived braving the Hawaiian shirt and lei bedecked crowds attending the Jimmy Buffet inspired Parrot Beach show next door at Sellersville Theater. Good Lord. Sunday we left the monkey with his Grandma again so we could go see Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. The original is one of my favorite movies and though I don’t think the remake necessarily stood up, it was enjoyable and visually stunning. Depp of course was oddly darling. My one big complaint is that the Oompa Loompa songs were dreadful. There were a ton of kids in the theater – many belonging to the family in front of us, who had 7! The 3 year old boy directly in front of us got quite bored after awhile and began entertaining himself by growling, running up and down the row, and throwing a shawl up into the air. Sort of aggravating in a way, but I couldn’t help laughing. In fact he made the movie more enjoyable. All the popcorn, soda and candy we ate held us over until my Dad treated Noah, Mark and I to dinner at Bubba’s Pot Belly Stove. Our meal was good and ENORMOUS – especially after sucking down that piece of delicious Key Lime Pie. Mark looked like he might burst afterwards. Thank God I didn’t get to eat much of my salad – Noah knocked it on the floor with his foot while I handed him over the table to Mark so I could retrieve Noah’s pacifier from under the foot of another restaurant patron. Luckily the restaurant was busy and a bit loud – so people weren’t disturbed by Noah’s loud squeals of excitement at dinner. My Dad said that people don’t mind loud, happy babies – as long as Noah wasn’t crying that he was a model restaurant patron.

It was a fun and filling weekend. Tonight we’ll celebrate the actual day of my birth with a trip to Babies R Us to price gates. Of course much of the weekend was spent marveling at Noah’s crawling. That boy gets around. It’s insane how much has changed in one week. Last Monday – no crawling. This Monday – all crawling, all the time. It’s a whole new world. It is this sort of exciting change that makes the passing of another year feel triumphant rather than sad. In the past year my life has changed drastically, I've learned volumes and received the one thing I've wanted more than anything else in the world - to be a mom. It is a very Happy Birthday indeed. Love to you all.

Friday, July 15, 2005

You really shouldn't have

Let the birthday celebration begin. I turn 31 on Monday, July 18 and I got my first gift today. Mother Nature has decided to return my womanly flow to me after a year and a half of respite. Sly biatch.

Thursday, July 14, 2005

He's more of a social eater

Today I took the car to the Saturn dealer to be serviced for regular maintenance. Noah and I waited in the play area. I couldn’t help compare the Noah of today with the little baby I brought with me to the Saturn dealership in February. In February he couldn’t even sit up. While we waited I dangled toys in front of him in his infant carrier and then bounced him around the showroom a bit. Today Noah stared at the other children that were there, played with the bead sorter I sat him in front of, crawled over to a Barbie jet and tried to pull himself inside of it, crawled over to the lego table and pulled himself up on it, and then sat himself back down and started flinging things into the bead sorter. He’s this little playing, traveling man now. It’s insane.

Also insane is the fact that this little man is still reluctant to feed himself. Every day I try new ways to try to entice him to put Gerber Puffs in his own mouth. And occasionally he gets one in there and I celebrate like he parted the Red Sea. But more often he plays with the Puffs for awhile and then drops them, and when I retrieve them he opens his mouth wide to be fed. Tricky bugger. I tried modeling self feeding by feeding myself Puffs very deliberately. I even ate Puffs from his hands so he could see how it was done. He found this hysterical – smiling and laughing. In fact he enjoyed it so much that now when he picks up Puffs he holds them out to me as an offering. Maybe he thinks that it’s much cooler to be fed and therefore I can feed him and he can feed me. And the whole world should just convert to this new more social form of eating. Because if you just feed yourself who will wipe your mouth with your bib and tell you that you’re “all done.”

Some people aren’t into babies. They prefer dogs. I totally get that. Though I find puppies to be super cute I’m not really a dog person. I always figured if I wanted something that dependant on me then I’d have a baby. And so I did. The “Red” leader of the maintenance team at the dealership is obviously a dog person – not really into the whole baby thing. When I was sitting at his desk for ten minutes checking in the car his only response to Noah was to tell me he wanted to buy his dog a pacifier. Which totally amused me. But it gets better. Noah and I were sharing the play area with a woman with a 3 year old girl and 19 month old boy. The mom needed to take her daughter to the bathroom and since we had already been talking she felt comfortable leaving her son with me. Once her son realized his mom had left he headed for the door – so I had to leave Noah playing on the floor in the far corner of the room to sit in the seat blocking the exit. At this moment the “Red” leader came to tell me my car was ready. He then looked at this 19 month old boy and addressed him as if he were my son. I nearly peed myself. Apparently Noah had aged over ten months in 40 minutes. But I have no doubt that guy would have recognized my dog.

And I can't believe Baby Bella is barking already!!! AMAZING.

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

I will touch EVERYTHING. Posted by Picasa

Splish Splash

Noah can swim! Well, not exactly. Or more exactly, not hardly. In actuality Noah didn’t scream in the pool, and he didn’t cry in the pool, but he wasn’t exactly a natural water baby doing laps either. When we first got in the water he was stunned and cold. He was wide eyed and clinging to me for dear life. When I tried to remove him from my bosom he looked panic stricken. We were the first people in the pool, but soon a few other mothers and infants joined us. And once Noah saw them he loosened up. I was then able to bounce, swish and splash him with the occasional smile in response. Most of the time he had his tongue sticking out between his lips and his eyes squinting – but he remained calm. Another mother described him as “peaceful.” In spurts he would get a little excited and start flailing his arms and unfailingly splash himself in the face. This stunned him, made him commence with more squinting and put a damper on the flailing for a couple of minutes. I’m thinking some sort of water goggles might help. All in all I think he enjoyed himself enough to do it again next week.

When we got home we both reeked of chlorine - so we jumped in the shower. Noah's first. He seemed relatively fine while the shower head was mounted, but he kept turning away so as not to get water in his eyes. I detached the shower head so I could better rinse him off - and he was not impressed. He started whining and trying to squirm away from it. For a second I thought maybe it was too hot, but when I turned up the cold he still wanted no parts of it.

It was a wet, watery and eventful afternoon.

A stone to mark the mile?

I hate baby books. They make baby milestones frustrating. Next to “First Tooth” they leave a space for a date. Seems simple, right? Wrong. We felt Noah’s first tooth for two weeks before we could really see it. And once we could see the tiny white glimmer it wasn’t like he had sprouted a full-on tooth. So on what date did he get his “First Tooth?” Beats the hell out of me. And now it’s crawling. Noah has been bobbing back and forth on his hands and knees for weeks. He fully extends himself and shuffles a bit before setting himself down. He even manages to get from one side of the room to the other – in a series of subtle butt shifting movements. But we kept wondering “Is this considered crawling yet?” So Mark and I decided that in order to call it crawling he would have to move his right knee/hand, then left knee/hand, and then right again and then left again. He would have to make repetitive movements and travel a distance. And last night he did it. So I believe my boy is now crawling. That isn’t saying that he took off down the hallway at a full clip or anything – but he’s well on his way to getting the basics down and he’ll use them if he’s feeling energetic and there’s something he really wants out of his reach. As for the teeth – he now has two clearly visible front teeth.

Noah has broken out a few new moves during playtime too. One of his new favorite toys is a kitchen pot I gave him to play with one night while I was making dinner. He loves the weight of it – and just enjoys dragging it back and forth on the floor by the handle. Or turning it upside down and listening to the ear shattering noise it makes as the rough metal edge scrapes against the tile floor. But my favorite is when he uses the pot to launch Roll-Arounds across the room. He’s also recently began handing me things and putting things inside of others. And he loves to try to pull himself up on everything – especially things that can’t hold his weight and are destined to tip over, knocking him in the head.

Today we go to the pool for the first time. The Northern Liberties Recreation Center has a “Tot Swim” from noon to 12:50 on Wednesdays, and we’re going to go check it out. That is if the weather clears up. I’m excited to put him in his little Swimmies diaper and take him in the water. I hope he likes it as much as the tub. And that I don't drop him in the water causing him to drown. No worries here. Of course this will be my first time in a public pool since I went to the Holiday House in high school. And the bathing suit I’m wearing is unbearably ill-fitting - which caused me to place an order for two new suits online in anticipation to our two trips to the shore this summer. The suits I ordered will probably fit poorly when they get here. I bought them because they were on clearance and not because they are the Miracle Suit – but I tried. And when it comes to swimsuits that is all I can do.

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

U R What U Eat

Grocery shopping. I’ve become obsessed with grocery shopping. Not just with the actual purchasing of food – but with list making and meal planning. I have long considered trying to put together a spread sheet of most oft purchased items so that I could use the computer to generate my grocery lists – listing items in the order in which they appear in the aisles. I know – CRAZY. And the weird thing is that I am not a natural list maker. Once upon a time I went to the store and shopped willy nilly. And then Mark and I moved in together and every time I said “We have to go grocery shopping” he would respond “Do you have a list?” And that is how he turned me into a planning, list-making maniac. I also think a lot about how other people grocery shop. How often do they go? What do they buy? How do they shop? What do they eat every day? So – it is because of my odd obsession with not only the very personal details of others grocery purchasing habits, but also interest in what people eat that has me proposing the following. If you are reading this and have a blog, I want to see your grocery list. I want to know when you go shopping, where you go shopping and how you go shopping. Just the food stuffs are important. So Patrice, Jen, Theresa, Missuz J, Katy, Amanda, Mary, Kellie – if you would humor me by blogging your inner most grocery and meal planning secrets I would ever be indebted to you. Consider it a meme.

And here is my part:
I shop every other week at Super Fresh. It isn’t the closest store to me, but I find the produce and meat there to be more fresh (hence the name) there than at other local stores. We RARELY ever eat out anymore so what I buy at the store is for the most part what we eat for two weeks. I try to keep a running list of necessary occasional purchases on the wipe board in the kitchen. When I make my list I look at both old grocery lists and old register tapes to put together a list of the things I ALWAYS buy – and then add the things on the wipe board. I use coupons – but I try to only clip coupons for things I already purchase. I don’t look at my list while shopping, not until the end when I just run through it to make sure I have everything. I don’t do as much menu planning and recipe using as I think I should. I have in the past done more – but since Noah was born I’ve made boring meals of meat, starch and veggie – with the occasional pasta night.

So here is a combination of this weeks grocery list as well as a few things I added because I normally buy them but we still had them this week:

Fresh Green beans
Romaine Hearts
Baby Carrots

Salmon Fillets
Boneless Pork Chops
Frozen Hamburgers
Chicken Breasts
Dietz & Watson Black Peppered Turkey Lunchmeat

Bleu Cheese Dressing
Vinegarette Dressing
Dijon Mustard
Jif Reduced Fat Peanut Butter
Lawrys Marinade
Newmans Marinara

Chips Ahoy 100 Calorie Pack
Whole Almonds
Nature Valley Granola Bars – Salty/Sweet Peanut
Wheat Thins
Nutrigrain Breakfast Bars – Apple
Snyders Pretzels
Fig Newtons
Peanut Butter Cracker Lunch Packs

Side Dishes
Yellow Saffron Rice Mix
Zatarains Rice Mix
Wheat Pasta
Egg Noodles

Green Beans
White Shoepeg Corn
Chick Peas
Progresso Soup

Bacardi Mixers Margarita Mix
Morning Star Parmasean Ranch Chix Patties
Skinny Cow Ice Cream Sandwiches
Frozen Personal Pizzas
Edys Whole Fruit Popsicles

Tropicana OJ with Calcium, No Pulp
Gallon 2% Milk
Tonic Water
Bottled Water
Whole Bean Coffee
Cranberry Ginger Ale

Arnold Health Nut Bread
Arnold Multigrain Kaiser Rolls
English Muffins

String Cheese
American Cheese sliced

Now see if you can make your list just as thrilling.

Monday, July 11, 2005

Another weekend blew by

Friday I started writing a long post about grocery shopping. I’ll post it soon. It’s thrilling. And you can’t wait to read it. I swear. I’ll give you a hint – have your register tapes at the ready. PLEASE.

Friday night we visited Casa de Oliver for Pop Culture Trivial Pursuit. It was a long overdue visit to their new pad. Jen was incredibly thoughtful and serenaded Patrice and I with cupcakes alight. And all the kids were incredibly fun and well behaved. Even Jon Oliver. In some sort of miracle that I can only refer to as Mark – our breeder team was victorious. I knew there was a reason we were populating the planet with our progeny.

Saturday was a wash. We didn’t go anywhere or do anything. ‘Cept of course parent our monkey.

Sunday morning Mark scolded me for not taking better care of myself. Despite feeling completely exhausted in the morning and Mark’s offer to take Noah away so I could return to dreamland – I got out of bed. And for a portion of the morning I was a zombie – coming out of my haze merely to be bitchy. Mark had a long talk with me about how if I wasn’t in tip top form that we all suffered and requested that I get better at asking for what I need from him. He’s a smart man.

In the midst of my grouchiness we scanned every room in our house and made lists of all the safety and baby-proofing concerns. The expense and the impossibility of it is what really got me miserable. With all the outlet covers, cabinet locks, furniture anchors, drawer locks, knob locks, faucet restraints and gates we’re expecting to spend about $500. INSANE. Right? And that isn’t even taking into consideration the fact that in order to properly gate our first floor steps we need a carpenter to install a banister. I’m certain that putting Noah in a cushiony hamster ball is a far better solution. More economical, easier to install, and obviously more fun. But what kills me about this baby-proofing stuff is that I can’t imagine I’ll let Noah out of my sight for long enough to even warrant most of it – but I’m paranoid that the one thing we won’t do will result in tragedy.

In the afternoon we visited with Noah’s new pal Ezra and his parents. Ezra is five months older than Noah and lives on the next block. And they both have four letter biblical names so they HAVE to be buddies. It’s written in one of those Testaments – the popular culture edition, I believe. His parents make me feel shameful. They’re former Peace Corp. members who are also artsy political activists and organic-eating, composting urban gardeners. I really admire when people put that sort of idealism into practice – but at the same time they make me feel SO inadequate because I’m obviously too clueless and lazy to be so hip and righteous. Maybe Noah can learn better values from them, especially since they’re Quakers too.

Sunday, July 10, 2005

You will OBEY my command.  Posted by Picasa

Thursday, July 07, 2005

Calling London

I love London. More than any other place I've ever been. The history. The culture. The global mix of people. I lived there for several months in the Spring of 94 and was heartbroken to have to return home. The last time Mark and I visited we stayed at the Tavistock Hotel in the financial district - which is where todays bombings were centralized. My heart goes out to the victims, their families and to the people of London who have to endure the fear of just taking the tube. Again.

Two men are better than one

If you don’t know that my charming angel of a son is a hellion when strapped in a car seat then you’ve never read this blog before. Or spoken to me. Or tapped my phone. We planned a trip to Reading to see Mistress Janette and Master Jules this afternoon. With no traffic the trip can take just a bit over an hour. We left at 10:15 am – Noah fell asleep right away because he was overdue for his nap. I got on the Schuylkill Expressway and it was at a crawl. Then a stop. Then a crawl. At 10:45 Noah awoke and after ten minutes of looking around started squawking and straining to get out of the car seat. By 11:15 when the crying started we were still only 15 minutes from our house. And the combination of a tractor trailor accident and construction still had traffic at a standstill for many miles ahead of us. So I called Janette and said we weren’t gonna make it. I got off the Expressway and came back home. Still trying to get over my disappointment and pissiness. Please note that when dealing with a distressed traffic and baby-harried wife – sarcasm is not the best approach.

So now we’re in for a slow day around the house. It’s probably good in a way since the last couple of days have seemed busy. Tuesday morning Mark accompanied Noah and I to Pennsylvania Hospital so I could get my wrist x-rayed. Needlessly. I had an appointment with a specialist on Wednesday for my tendonitis but for some inexplicable reason they required me to get an x-ray for the specialist to see me. Even though tendons don’t show up on x-rays. Anyway, I couldn’t really take Noah into the x-ray room nor pass him off to a receptionist so we had to get it done before Mark went to work. Since Mark’s tyrant boss is out on vacation this week Mark and his predominantly female office were kind enough to babysit Noah on their lunch hour during my specialist appointment yesterday. After freaking out both about any possible implication to nursing and my fear of needles, I got a shot of a low level steroid directly into my wrist to alleviate the pain and inflammation. It has really worked wonders. I’m almost as good as new. And Noah's growing a beard.

Last night I was thrilled to hang out with my friend Gehrett who’s visiting from out of town, as well as the world renowned Olivers. We had pizza and gin & tonics at the house and then went out for a beer. Of course Murphy’s Law states that the enchanting and giggly Noah didn’t want to go to bed at his normal time so that I could leave Mark with a pleasantly snoozing baby. Nope – Noah wanted to hang out with the company some more. “Hey guys! Where we goin’ now?” Alas he stayed home with Dad who despite his occasional inappropriate use of sarcasm is an amazing spouse and father. Since I normally nurse Noah to sleep and obviously Mark doesn’t have that in his bag of tricks, it took him a little while and a few tears shed for him to get the bedbug to zonk out. But I sure did appreciate the hour and a half I had out of the house. Almost as much as I appreciate the two lovely boys I get to come home to.

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

Hello Lovey!

Noah needs a new lovey. Not familiar with the term? You obviously haven’t been reading all the parenting books and magazines I pay far too much attention to. A lovey is an attachment object that a child uses for comfort – ie. a Linus’ blanket, Knuffle Bunny, or Missuz J’s silky nightgowns. Noah’s lovey is my mouth. Scratch that – any mouth, because he’d probably stick his hands in YOUR mouth. When he’s feeling sleepy or frazzled he sticks his hand in my mouth. He pulls on my lips and scratches at my gums. In fact I’m not sure he could fall asleep without being able to put his hands in my mouth. And when he’s tired but restless at night and it takes awhile to put him to bed he can paw at my mouth for a good half hour – to the point that my lips are sore. This certainly can’t go on forever. So I need to transition him to something else he can pet. I bought this navy blue weird looking rabbit/dog crossbreed at Ikea a few weeks ago and I desperately want Noah to fall in love with it. So far he won’t even court the damn thing. Maybe I need to get him something with a big mouth.

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

I like this picture Mark took of my Oma and my brother Jim. Happy Birthday Jim! Posted by Picasa

Long weekend = long post

The weekend went by in a blur.

On Friday our plans to see the Orchestra were rained out. Though a thunderstorm hit early and ended long before the scheduled free performance on the Festival Pier, when we arrived we found out that the show was cancelled because the stage had suffered some storm damage. I suggested we stroll down Delaware Avenue so we could take a walk by the river. We started walking, and walking, and walking, and walking. And while Martin, Sylvia, Mark and Noah seemed to be enjoying themselves I was getting more and more frustrated. I hadn’t realized how far a walk it was between the Festival Pier and Penn’s Landing, and the farther we got from home the more I worried that the long walk back was going to make Noah upset. (Who the hell decided it was a good idea to block off access to the river instead of utilizing it as an attraction? City planning morons.) Also the humidity that had briefly dissipated as a result of the storm came rushing back in. So I was getting hotter and hotter, and frizzier and frizzier. When we got to Penn’s Landing we still couldn’t gain access to the river promenade. The storm had caused some flooding and damage there as well and access was gated off. I got more frustrated. Then I suggested we walk back through Old City, but we couldn’t figure out a way to get over to the other side of Delaware Avenue without scaling a bunch of steps with the stroller. (So the city planners decided to screw the handicapped too. Have I mentioned they’re morons?) Finally we just carried the stroller up the stairs which wasn’t too bad with our new lightweight stroller – just a pain really. By this time sweaty, frizzy me had acid reflux, a huge blister and a hell of an attitude. I don’t know if it was hormones or what – but I was stewing for no good reason. Normally I would shrug off the change of plans and enjoy the walk, but for some reason I was disappointed and pissy while everyone else, including Noah, was pleasant. We ended up walking all over town – with a break for me to nurse Noah in a church courtyard. All in all we walked around for two hours. I wish I would have just chilled out and enjoyed it more.

Saturday morning I was in much better spirits. We got up and out of the house for our Live8 excursion. We got the 15 bus down Girard at 8 am and got off at 24th. We walked to the Art Museum and along the Parkway to City Hall. It was nice to see the Live8 setup in person and feel the excitement of the crowd even if we couldn’t stay for the show. Everyone seemed in good spirits, excited for a historical day. As we walked away from the stage the constant flow of people walking the opposite direction was remarkable. We got on the subway and were home by 9:45am. We started watching the Live8 coverage on MTV – and couldn’t believe how miserable it was. They’d show half of a song and then interview Jimmy Fallon. Show half of another song by another act and then show MTV “personalities” talking about how cool it was to be there. All between about a billion commercials. It was SO frustrating. Luckily Janette called and said she was watching the show on AOLmusic and said the coverage was uninterrupted live feeds. So we headed to the office where we watched the rest of the show on the computer. Not only were there no commercials and no annoying hosts, but you could switch between the different cities to check out the other locations. The added bonus was that for some reason while it’s hard to tear Noah’s attention away from the TV – he pays no mind to the computer monitor. It was a nice afternoon. I was a bit scared there would be some sort of incident that would make the city and the event look bad – but all went well and I’m really proud of Philly for the excellent turn out and the positivity

In the evening we headed to Penn Treaty Park to watch the Two Cities fireworks display over the Ben Franklin Bridge. We kept Noah up way past his typical 7:30 pm bedtime to see the fireworks at 9:30 pm. I was worried that an overtired Noah would be scared by the noise – but once again I worried for naught. (I guess this would be the theme of my blog. Every day.) We were far enough up the river that the sound wasn’t overwhelming, and we couldn’t even get Noah to take much notice of the fireworks despite having a great view. He was too captivated by all the families, turning his head to see adults oohing and children bouncing around in excitement.

Sunday we hit the road at 9:30 am for a quick visit with my mom and then an all day picnic at my Oma and Dad’s place. My brother Jim’s kids kept us all entertained while my Dad barbecued burgers and hot dogs for lunch and pork chops and London broil for dinner. I had anticipated the surprise 35th birthday celebration for Jim, but hadn’t expected Jim’s family to give me two beautiful huge house plants as an early birthday gift. I remain 30 for two more weeks so it was really thoughtful and a nice surprise.

It was a fun afternoon – with highlights courtesy of the four year old twins James and Julius. Jim left the picnic for half an hour to take his daughters back to their mom’s place and because he knew he’d be right back he didn’t say goodbye to the boys. When he returned Julius scolded him. “What if when I got growed up I just left without saying goodbye? How would YOU feel?” But even funnier was when Julius had a bit of a meltdown because he couldn’t get his birthday cake to stand up. Ofelia explained to me that Julius wanted his cake to stand up so that he could put his fork down through it and get some icing and cake in every bite – but because the icing made the cake top-heavy it was laying on it’s side. As a result he was really distressed and refused to eat it. Ofelia was incredible at acknowledging his distress but not over indulging him. Julius is a bit sensitive and overly chatty while James is the king of the pratfall – purposefully tripping over things and throwing himself down on the ground. They’re both endlessly entertaining.

After three crazy busy days, yesterday we rested. Thank goodness. Our 4th celebration consisted of burgers on the grill and a pitcher of Margaritas. Oh- we finally watched Vera Drake after having it from Netflix for a month. I really loved it and totally recommend it. If you aren't good with heavy English accents I suggest watching it with subtitles. And don't forget to put the kettle on.

Sunday, July 03, 2005

Noah rocked the house at Live8.  Posted by Picasa

By 9:00 am the crowd was pretty thick - and the show didn't start for three hours.  Posted by Picasa

As we left, the people kept coming, and coming, and coming.  Posted by Picasa

Friday, July 01, 2005

WHAT is that THING?

Holy crap! When Noah and I went downstairs for breakfast this morning we were shocked and taken aback. There’s a large thing monopolizing a large amount of space in the kitchen – the likes of which we’ve never seen in our house. Oh wait… it’s just a proper kitchen table. Hoorah! Our pal Tracey left us a voicemail on Wednesday saying she saw them loading a nice large pine table with six chairs into Uhuru, the used furniture store by her apartment. She then found the listing for the table on Craigs List and sent it our way. It was large, light wood, not overly embellished, in good shape, and selling for less than half what we were originally going to shell out. Bingo! It’s an Ikea set that sold for $800 originally but was selling for $250 – and the money goes to the African Peoples Education and Defense Fund. I called, bought it, and had it delivered last night. And with that the kitchen table saga has ended. So, have I mentioned I need a new coffee table? Ha! Well the one we have has nine bazillion pointy corners and a glass top. Not exactly baby proof. So here’s the dream table – dark brown wood, rectangle, rounded corners, sturdy, less than $100. Tracey – get on that.

So the big holiday weekend is upon us. Mark’s Dad and his wife are coming today at 4pm. Our plans are to go to Silk City Diner for dinner and then over to the Festival Pier at 7pm to see the free Philadelphia Orchestra concert. Of course it’s a scorcher again today and the Festival Pier is all black top. Not sure how that’s going to work out – but we’ll see. Tomorrow AM we plan to see the Live8 site before it gets crazy and then later in the evening see the fireworks over the Delaware from Penn Treaty Park. Sunday is a picnic at my Dad’s place. And I’m not sure if we’ll do a single thing on Monday. Other than drink beer. And celebrate Noah’s 8 month-aversary.

Happy Independence Day to you all! Light a sparkler for us.

Voila! What do you think? Posted by Picasa

We can sit at it and eat.  Posted by Picasa

It's got the Noah stamp of approval. Posted by Picasa

Parker tests out the chairs. Posted by Picasa