Monday, July 31, 2006


A bad dream woke Noah up at 12:40 am this morning. No matter what I tried I couldn't get him back to sleep. He finally collapsed on the floor and fell asleep at 6 am. And then the neighbor's construction woke me up at 8:46 am. It sounded like they were tearing our house down. It's not been a good morning.

I have more to blog about, but no energy with which to do it. Noah just went down for a nap, and I've got the same agenda. More later.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Life and times

On the babysitting tip our Friday outing to the movies went swimmingly. Noah was SO excited to see Nana and Pop Pop that he didn’t care a lick that we left. It helped that we told him several times in the days leading up to their visit that he was going to spend special time with Nana and Pop Pop alone and that Mama and Daddy would be gone for a little bit but would be home in time for bed. He had a great time – and they even brought him a very cool Radio Flyer tricycle. The movie however stunk. Lady in the Water was seriously disappointing. It was overdone, unfocused and convoluted. I could go on, but I’ll spare you. Before Mark’s Dad and his wife went home she repeatedly told us how lucky we were that Noah was such a good boy. At one point I interjected that though we were indeed lucky that I thought we could take a little credit for his behavior. It was probably an unnecessary statement, but I was just feeling like “Hey, I work hard every day to make sure he’s a good boy.” Silly, I guess. But by saying how easy he was to deal with I felt like she was belittling my “job.”

Saturday morning we took Noah to the playground that sits underneath the Market Frankford subway El. From there you can watch the trains pass and thus it’s been dubbed the “choo choo park.” It was drizzling when we left the house, but we decided to go anyway because Noah needed to run off some energy. Needless to say we got stuck in major downpour and soaked to the bone. But Noah had the time of his life. Since we were already wet we let him splash around in all the puddles, at one point even sitting in one. He was lovin every second of it. I wish I could have recorded it. Afterwards we came home, showered up, had lunch and then put the boy down for a nap. I headed to Old Navy and discovered a massive sale – all the clearance stuff was an additional half off. We all scored some badly needed new duds.

We left for Seaside Park on Sunday morning. With no traffic it only took us an hour and half to get there. The weather was grey so we went straight to Mark’s Aunt Jean’s place to have lunch and see family before we checked into our Motel. Over the next two days we got to see and spend some time with 19 members of the extended McCormack clan. Since Mark’s mother Muriel passed away we don’t have a permanent connection to that side of the family, in part because of the distance. This yearly trek to Seaside is the only time of year we get to see some of these folk, and it’s important to us that Noah feel connected to his extended family. Everyone was blown away by how much he had grown. And all the compliments on his behavior and temperament really made me proud. My favorite comment was made by Aunt Maureen. We were watching Noah rejoicing in the sand and the surf, dancing on the edge of the waves with Mark when Maureen said “He sure is a happy soul, isn’t he?” He sure is.

Noah had a love-hate relationship with the ocean. On Sunday I nearly broke my neck preventing him from running directly into the choppy sea. I’d block him from going in too far and he’d run around me laughing manically. I felt like I was playing football – all that tackling and throwing myself sideways. Eventually he took a couple of headers into the water, coming up with a mouth full of water and sand, saying “all done, all done.” On Monday I was a bit sad but grateful that he was feeling less daring. He and the waves played a game of chase, he’d run in and get his feet wet and run back as the waves started to come in. And the sand, that boy loves the sand. He was so covered in it we could have easily lost him. I'd love to post pictures but though we took our digital camera along, we did not however take the damn battery.

So our trip was divine, if too short. Far too short. But certainly better than not having gone at all. It made me hunger for more sand, more surf, and more family time. And luckily August will be filled to the brim with it all.

Yesterday Noah and I went to visit Tripp’s new little brother Finn. Though Noah was excited to see the baby, he was seriously out of sorts during our visit. I blame part of it on the beach trip sleep deficit, and the other part on his clinginess. He really lost it when I held the baby. But I gather that’s a normal reaction. I asked Holly what it was like to have two. She said she’d been so worried about how much hard work a new baby was, but now she realized that having a toddler was FAR harder. Mark’s cousin Stephanie told me at the beach “The older one always demands the most attention.” And thinking of a few other mothers with two, I guess I’d have to agree. I hope to one day be able to decide for myself.

It’s been a busy morning of grocery shopping and Tot swim and I have a bunch of crap I need to cram into this quickly diminishing naptime. Wish me luck.

Oh, a quick Noah bit- Mark and I noticed the other day that he’s started contemplating questions, pausing and saying “Um…” It cracks me up. He also keeps calling Mark by his name, and saying it in the tone of voice I use when I’m calling to Mark from another part of the house. I’ve explained that Mama can call Daddy Mark but Noah calls Daddy Daddy. To which he just repeats “Daddy Daddy” right before pausing, giving a devilish grin and saying loudly “Mark…”

Friday, July 21, 2006

And now for some Noah bits

- Upon opening the car door on a sunny day I often exclaim “Wooo! Hot car!” I guess I do it frequently because not only does Noah now call our wagon the “hot car” he also uses the exclamation any time you exclaim “Wooo.” Which I guess I use frequently. You didn’t know I was a Wooo-er, did you?

- On a daily basis we play the sock game – wherein Noah rifles through his sock drawers to look for “matches.” He’s getting better at actually picking out matching socks, and much better at his colors. Once he has a match we have to put them on one of the stuff animals. I think “New-shee” (Snoopy) looks rather stunning in navy sneaker socks. The bad part of all this is now Noah is never satisfied with the pair of socks that I picked out for his outfit. And though he’s getting better at picking out two blue socks, he’s not so great at coordinating his socks with his outfit. Sigh.

- I have a picnic basket where I keep a stack of greeting cards. Noah has always loved to pull out the cards and the envelopes and run them around the house. Recently he grasped the idea that the cards are to give to someone on their birthday and he now refers to them, and any mail for that matter, as “Happy.” It’s super cute when he hands you a bill with a big smile and a “Happy, happy, Mama.”

- When Noah wants to answer your question in the affirmative he says “Esss.” In fact most often he says it twice – the first time a bit questioningly the second with conviction. “Noah, do you see the boat?” “Esssss? Esssss!” He also loves to play the reverse psychology game wherein I say “No,” he says “Essss,” I say “Yes,” and with a devilish grin he says “No.”

- Noah has always liked to look at books and has a few favorites. I’m certain that many of his favorites have become so because we like them and read them more emphatically. Recently Noah has started to quote some of his books to the point of developing his own little catch phrases. My favorites are “No more monkeys” from “Five Little Monkeys” and an emphatic and exasperated “Let me drive the bus!” from “Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus.”

- When Noah hears a child crying or sees a forlorn character in his books he’ll point and say “sad.” When you ask him why they’re sad he answers “Bappa” – which is Noah-speak for Boppy, and means the sad soul just wants to be nursed. It’s like a junkie pointing to forlorn folk and suggesting “heroin.” YES Noah’s still nursing about three times a day and shows no interest in letting up. I’d like it to come to a resolution naturally, and on his own time, but I really do hope we can be done breastfeeding by his second birthday. We shall see.

- Our house is a “doot doot” house. For those of you not in the know, “doot doot” is music. I guess not only is music hard to pronounce but I must often follow the word music by singing a little song (“doot doot dee dee doo”). Recent kid music additions are the Laurie Berkner DVD, Philadelphia Chickens and the Backyardigans soundtrack (though he doesn't watch the show.) I have to admit that I both enjoy Laurie Berkner AND have to kill her. The songs are just too catchy. They are ALWAYS in my head. Of course they’re also easy to learn which is why Noah already knows some words to his favorites. He often asks me to sing “Moon, Moon, Moon” and “The Goldfish.” Of course he also digs whatever music has Mama jamming. Which brings me to an issue I have – explicit lyrics. Mark bought me the new The Streets CD because I SO enjoyed the last one, but I’m feeling a bit sheepish about playing it due to the presence of some unsuitable toddler language. You think Noah will pick up on the F bomb in the middle of a song, even when it’s pronounced in a thick Brit accent? I mean… it sounds so charming when you say it like THAT.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Wait a minute... we're fish!

On Tuesday morning while “climbing Mama” Noah accidentally head-butted the bridge of my nose. And damn did it hurt. Still does. I have some slight bruising but luckily no apparent breakage and no black eyes. Shortly after the incident we set out of the house at 9am to beat the heat to the playground. Not possible. It was fine in the shade, but surprisingly enough I couldn’t keep the boy in the shade. He wanted to stand on the black top, soaking in the brain melting rays. To lure him back home I promised to finally take the plastic kiddie pool out of our basement and brave the mosquitoes on our concrete slab. Luckily said slab is in the shade of a neighbors giant weed tree prior to noon. Of course I couldn’t hold Noah off long enough to sweep all the plant detritus from the “yard” so when he got in and out of the pool he brought with him bits of leaf, pollen, and general mucky guckiness. Though he didn’t seem to care, I did, so after awhile I abandoned the pool and my constant attempts to filter it with a sand sifter, and left him to bathe in the watery leafy mess alone. Of course this left him at the mercy of the mosquitoes. My bug repellent plan had been to douse myself with poisonous Off wipes and stay close enough to Noah to transfer my bug repelling power. But after I fled the swampy pool he got a few bites. Despite those nasty blood sucking beasts, Noah had a great time and it was difficult to get him out for lunch. After lunch we both had long naps and then readied ourselves for a trek to West Philly to meet Mark at New Delhi for Indian buffet. YUM.

Wednesday we went to Tot Swim and I was god-fearin’ enough to wear my contact lenses and thus not cause a scene. Noah happily sang “swimming, swimming, swimming” as I floated him around the pool telling him to kick his feet. He really does love being in the water. He also enjoyed climbing up and down the ladder and jumping into my arms. I didn’t get to socialize with the other Moms much, but Noah and I had a lot of fun.

Today we took the wagon in for service. We went to Saturn of Trevose this time instead of Saturn of Jenkintown and I was thankful for the change. The drive was shorter, the staff was friendlier and less skeevy, and the kid area was cleaner and nicer. Of course we still came away poorer. Do you ever take your car in for a check-up and oil change and have them say “Absolutely nothing is wrong with your car. Go on your merry way!” Anyway… we needed it serviced both because it was overdue and because we’re driving to the beach on Sunday morning to see some of Mark’s mother’s family. We’ll spend Sunday and Monday swimming in the surf, playing in the sand, and eating at the insane buffets served up at Aunt Jean’s beach house. In the pre-Noah years we would just crash at their place, but it’s not polite to crash with a toddler so Mark reserved us a room for Sunday night in the same motel we stayed at last year. I’ve been looking forward to it for weeks.

While Noah and I were rough housing in the Saturn play area he tripped over me and fell nose first into the carpet. So now we’re both sporting slightly bruised noses. People might think Mark beats us.

Tomorrow Mark and I are going to THE MOVIES. It will be our first time in a theater in 2006! Mark’s Dad and his wife Sylvia are coming to our place to watch Noah while we go to see “Lady in the Water.” I PRAY I love it. I consider myself an M. Night fan because not only is he local but I loved “Sixth Sense” and “Unbreakable.” I even liked “Signs” up until I saw the alien. But I was VERY disappointed in The Village (I had very wrong notions about the nature of the plot) so I really hope that the new movie blows me (a lady) out of the water. (BAD - I know.)

OH! I just learned something online. Sometimes this internet thing is really useful. I had heard years ago that M. Night was going to direct a film version of one of my favorite books “Life of Pi” by Yann Martel. This was particularly exciting to me because M. Night’s family was from Pondicherry, India which is where the opening scenes of “Life of Pi” are set. Upon looking it up on IMDB just now I see that must have fallen through, which is disappointing. However it seems Jean-Pierre Jeunet (A Very Long Engagement, Amelie, The City of Lost Children) will be directing it – which is also a very cool choice and something to look forward to seeing.

This post is all over the place. I was going to end with some new Noah tidbits, but my mind is too addled. I’ll leave you all to go about the peace of your day.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Master Noah beating the heat in his backyard spa.  Posted by Picasa

Vroomy vroom vroom. Noah at the wheel.  Posted by Picasa

Monday, July 17, 2006

Mark asked Noah "What could be better than cookies and Neigh neighs?" and Noah answered "Mama!" I love him so much I could just burst. Posted by Picasa

At the track and in the heat

We had a super exciting Saturday. We cleaned. It was riveting. Mark went out that night for dinner and drinks with his friends Tim and Jenny. On Sunday we decided to have a picnic at Philadelphia Park Horse Track in Bensalem. We got hoagies from Slacks and sat at an umbrella’d picnic table while watching the horsies. Noah had a fantastic time watching them in the paddock and running the races. We blew some money on a few $2 bets without any big payouts, but we had a really nice day. I was amazed at how family friendly the track is. They have a huge picnic grove and a really nice playground. Plus it was Family Fun day so they also had free moon bounces and pony rides. There were tons of families arriving with full coolers of beer, soda and food. You can even bring your hibachi and grill there while the kids play ball in the grass. It was a really nice afternoon and it certainly won’t be our last visit.

It’s supposed to reach 100 degrees here today. For Philly that’s rare and sickeningly hot, especially when you factor in the thick ass humidity. So it’s a scorcher – the kind where you feel the UV rays burning you and the heat takes your breath away. Keep that in mind as I relay the following story.

This afternoon I took Noah to Ikea both to buy an extension pack for his wooden train set (Thanks Mom!) and to let him run around in a wide open space that was air conditioned. He had a great time and scored himself an art easel too. When we came out of the Ikea I decided we’d walk across the parking lot to Chikfila for lunch since Noah was remarking on the inflatable cow on it’s roof – and because as I’ve mentioned before it’s the most nutritious, cleanest, best tasting fast food place EVA. As we crossed the steaming hot lot, I heard yipping coming from one of the cars. I peeked inside and saw a very small pet carrier on the back seat of a grey Kia Lancer that had it’s windows ever so slightly cracked. I was so appalled I felt sick. HOW could someone leave their pet in the car in this heat? I considered going immediately into Ikea to have the person paged, but I hesitated and told myself that if the car was still there when we came out of Chikfila then I’d act. So after having a leisurely meal I headed back to our car while praying the Kia was gone. But I’m sorry to say that it wasn’t. I went into Ikea and reported the situation – giving them the license plate number and car details to announce over the loud speaker. While I was talking to one staff member another one went outside to get a look at the car. I considered staying to find out what happened but knew they’d probably just tell the person they’d have to move their car. When Noah and I went back out I noticed the car was gone. Then I saw the staff member that had gone out to take a look. I rolled down the window and told him the car had moved and then he said “That’s her over there” as he pointed to the Lancer in a loading spot. A late thirties woman and her eight year old daughter were loading stuff into the car as a very furry Golden Retriever puppy sniffed and circled around their legs. I was struck by how large the puppy was in comparison to the very small size of the carrier they had had him squeezed into and it made me even more mad. I pulled up next to her and had the following exchange:

“Excuse me Miss, but that’s illegal.”
“Leaving that puppy in your car for an hour in this kind of heat.”
“I wasn’t in there an hour.”
“YES you were. My son and I saw your car and then went and had lunch while you were in there. It was at least an hour. It’s animal cruelty and you’re lucky he’s not dead.”
“….Thanks” she grumbled before she just decided to ignore me. And then I drove away.

I feel kind of ridiculous yelling at a stranger like I’m there Mom, but I was so incredibly bothered by it I couldn’t help myself. What would you have done?

Saturday, July 15, 2006

Social Work

The responses to my less than complete satisfaction with Noah’s playgroup lead me to a topic I’ve been meaning to blog about for sometime – the work of Mommy socializing. As a SAHM I consider it part of my job to seek out and maintain friendships with other SAHM’s and their children, both for my benefit and Noah’s. I’m a fairly social lass and in contemplating staying home with kids I always feared I wouldn’t be able to do it because I’d be too lonely. When Mark worked from home I repeatedly said I’d never be able to do it because I NEED the social interaction of the regular workplace. And yet here I am “working” from home, and actually enjoying it more than I ever thought possible. But part of what keeps me sane is socializing with other mothers who are also at home with their kids every day. They are my “work” friends. In the workplace I’ve always become friendly with people who were different then me – they had different viewpoints, different interests, different ways of being than myself. But we had work as common ground – both the location and the ins and outs of the work we did and the people with whom we dealt. And it’s those people who always got me to work every day, who made the drudgery of my job fun. As a SAHM I can’t merely peer over my cubicle wall to meet a new friend, I have to seek them. And I won’t just run into them every day in the same office, I have to make play dates and arrange playgroups. And though some of the Moms I’ve become friendly with wouldn’t exactly fit in with my longstanding pre-Noah friends at a party, they are vital to my happiness.

And of course Noah’s need for socialization is also key. Sure he might sometimes be cautious, passive, sensitive and downright uncomfortable in social situations with kids his own age, but that is all the more reason I have to keep up with the play dates. It won’t ever become manageable for him if he never has to do it. However that being said I also want to say that I don’t believe the reason for Noah’s shyness is because he’s home with me – it seems obvious to me that it’s an inherent part of his personality. Despite seeing some kids regularly for almost a year he’s just warming up to them. Of course if Noah was regularly in a preschool situation he would have to adapt a way of dealing with his shyness or at the very least adapt to the specific children he encountered at school because he'd have no other option. But I don’t think school is a magic pill to cure his sensitivity, caution and passiveness. And thank God. Because though I feel for him when he’s obviously a bit scared in a new situation, I’m also proud of how observant, thoughtful and sensitive he is. I’m glad he’s the boy giving up his toy rather than the one grabbing it out of another child’s hand.

Part of the reason I feel that Noah will most likely remain a bit anxious socially is because that’s how Mark is. I have a perfect example. In two weeks Mark’s aunt and uncle are having a fiftieth wedding anniversary party. And because Noah isn’t permitted to attend and the driving distance and timing involved, Mark has to go to the party solo while I stay home with the boy. And while I’m disappointed I can’t attend, Mark is more so. He’s anxious about having to socialize at a party without me there to help him. And it’s his FAMILY! Of course he’ll go and he’ll have a good time chatting with his aunts, uncles and cousins, but that fear of not having me there to lean on is exactly what I believe Noah experiences. And Mark hasn’t overcome that after many, many years of schooling. He even interacts with people other than me EVERY DAY!

So an occasional bad playgroup session is nothing to sweat. It won’t have me packing my bags and locking myself and the boy back in the house for the day. And if a Mommy friend can be a bit overbearing on occasion, I try hard to overlook it. (As I hope they and you will do for me.) I need those "work" friends desperately, even when I'm annoyed. (That doesn’t however mean I won’t bitch about it sporadically.)

Friday, July 14, 2006

Time to sit back and unwind

I took Noah to tot swim at the Rec Center pool on Wednesday afternoon. Since then he’s repeatedly asked to go swimming. He LOVED it so much. I’m wary of taking him to all-swim because it’ll be more crowded and more rowdy - and thus less enjoyable for both him and me. Months ago we bought him a small plastic pool that I have yet to put in the “yard” and fill it with water because outside our house is like mosquito heaven. They are so bad out there that we’ve spent zero time going out back. I’m thinking the mosquito problem is created by the abandoned building next door to our home – the one with the caved in roof and the probable inches of standing water contained within. And not too much I can do about that. I have bug spray and Off coils, but I'm wary of using them with Noah because of the possible toxins. Am I being nuts? Are there more natural ways to shoo those pesky biting bugs?

Oh – I almost forgot about the scene I caused at the pool. Without thinking I wore my glasses and after Noah and I were in the water for about ten minutes a lifeguard told me I had to take them off. He didn’t elaborate on the reasons but I’m guessing that the possibility of broken glass in the water is a safety hazard and since it’s a small pool and can get crowded and quite rowdy with teens and whatnot they have a lot of seemingly silly and very restrictive rules. I apologized for having worn them and said I wouldn’t let it happen again but that I would prefer not having to take them off because I need them to see. And since there were only like five parents and their infants in the pool, and I obviously wasn’t going to put my head under water with Noah in my arms, could they let me go this time. Eventually, after talking to four different people they did. But first the 16 yo lifeguard said to me “Well I can’t see without my glasses but I’m not allowed to wear them either.” Ahem. Yes… the lifeguard can’t see. Certainly reassuring. And another employee yelled at me from the other side of the gate “Well YOU PEOPLE made the rules.” To which a father in the pool angrily shouted “YOU PEOPLE? Who is this YOU PEOPLE?” And then she muttered something about the neighbors. Ah… so much excitement when you use free city services.

Yesterday Noah and I drove out to Reading to spend some time with Ms. Janette and Baby Jules. We drove over 3 hours to be there for 2 and a half. I can’t stand her living so far away. It kills me that we’re both home alone all day, every week day with our kids and could use the company but we barely see each other. And it isn’t just the distance, it’s the damn traffic. The Schuylkill is ALWAYS a mess and a drive that should take an hour is at least an hour and a half on a GOOD day. But we had a nice afternoon of chatting, baby wrangling and Chinese food. If only there were more of them.

Today we went to our typical Friday morning playgroup. There were more mothers and kids there than usual and it was particularly hot and chaotic. Kids not sharing, peeing on the ground, screaming and crying. I left needing a nap. Though I look forward to seeing other moms and having Noah interact with the other kids, the group is getting almost too stressful. Some of the parental styles are starting to clash – as some Mom’s are very hands on (um… me) and some are completely hands off while their children run amok. And the personalities of some of the kids are borderline aggressive. I’m stuck monitoring other people’s kids and trying to encourage Noah to have fun without pushing him, while making sure that other kids don’t take every toy out of his hands or clobber him for no reason. This week Noah clung to me even more than usual and actually asked me several times to go home. I hope it was just an off week for us both.

We have a few recreational possibilities for this weekend but our humid heat wave might squash them all. Exciting outdoor activities in breezeless scorching misery are not so fun. I wish for you a lovely lazy weekend full of popsicles, water fun and cool breezes.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

After the banging

After Friday’s brief foray into the world of demolition, we here at the House of Eggerts are on the mend. Luckily the only repercussion, aside from the complete loss of the door to our office, seems to be Noah occasionally referencing his Mama’s “banging, banging, banging.” We’ve been over the story a hundred times already. “Why was Mama banging?” “Noah.” “Where was Noah?” “Office.” “Noah was locked in the office. Could he get out?” “No.” “So Mama broke the door to get him out of the office?” “Yes.” “Was it scary?” “Yes.” “Mama was scared too. But Noah is okay now?” “Yes.” He no longer seems distressed about the incident, but it certainly seems like a notable occurence. Thankfully I'm pretty resilient too.

Post office break-in, Noah had a long cuddle, a long nap and then we headed to the National Model Train Show at the Convention Center. My neighborhood friend Holly and her son Tripp were good enough to join us. Holly is due with her second child any minute, so she drove us rather than taking the El. Though Noah is still a bit cautious of the overly gregarious Tripp, the two now seem to be forming a good bond. Meanwhile Noah is downright infatuated with Holly. I can hardly blame him. I think she might be the most bubbly overly positive person I have met in my entire life. I don’t think she has complained once about her pregnancy despite being pregnant while chasing a rambunctious toddler – not even one little comment about being tired. When it comes down to the nitty gritty of common interests, Holly and I aren’t really a match – but she’s just so sweet and refreshing that I look forward to spending time with her. Anyway- TRAINS. Hundreds of tiny trains on tiny tracks, surrounded by tiny buildings. Noah was AMAZED. And they also had a play area with nine different wooden train tables set up on which the kids could play. He loved it.

To me, the most stunning thing at the train show was the LUG displays. What is a LUG you ask? It’s a LEGO Users Group. Yes- organizations of Lego devotees who design and build large scale LEGO worlds. At the show they had these enormous LEGO city and country scapes with LEGO trains running through them. The time, the money, the energy these people put into their hobby is just dumbfounding to me. And the patience! WHO is that patient? HOW?

On Saturday Noah, Mark and I went to the Northern Liberties Music Festival. We put down a blanket and some toys, bought some Yards beer and hung out for four hours watching the bands and the people. I was pleasantly surprised how long Noah could just sit and hang out with us. He really enjoyed listening to the music and watching the people perform. It was a really lovely afternoon.

Sunday we headed out to Qtown for a picnic at my Mom’s place. We were introduced to some family members of my Mom’s new beau. So far everyone seems very nice. Of course no one invites cousin Hitler to the first barbecue. My Mom has also been doing quite a bit of home improvement – painting, tile, and hardscaping, so it was cool to see the progress. Over the years that place has become unrecognizable as the place I lived in when I was going to high school. Have I ever mentioned to you that my former bedroom is now my Mom’s closet? It still kills me.

After the picnic we sent Mark home on the regional rail and Noah and I spent the night so we could spend Monday with my Mom. We drove out to New Hope where we rode an old steam engine, had lunch at Wildflowers, and did a bit of window shopping before heading back home. Of course Noah dug the train. Are you sensing this trend yet? Chugga chugga choo choo! I’m figuring that by my feeding his interest in trains he’ll either tire of them quickly or he’ll become some sort of a nut. What do you think is the likely outcome? Am I overdoing it?

Friday, July 07, 2006

Heeeeree's Mommy!

Holy crap. You won’t believe what just happened here. I don’t even know where to begin for dramatic effect. I guess I’ll cut right to it. I just had to bash a hole in our office door with a hammer. While Noah was shrieking in complete panic on the other side of the locked door. A door I didn’t even know locked. For which we have no key.

I had been sitting in the hallway playing with him when he went into the office and closed the door on me. And I guess the lock had been pushed at some point – though I’m not sure how. So then he was locked in the office – and I was locked out, and he couldn’t turn the knob. He started screaming in complete panic. I called Mark while starting to cry and freak out. He told me to take the door off – but there were no hinges or screws on my side. I hung up on him and called 911 and then went to the basement to grab a tool box. I tried to break the lock but it wasn’t happening. And I couldn’t exactly calmly contemplate the best strategy – so I told Noah repeatedly to go sit on the couch away from the door, and then I started bashing a hole in our thankfully cheap door with a hammer. This of course caused Noah more panic but I kept telling him it was only me trying to get the door open and to stay away from the door. Once I got the hammer completely through the door I reached my hand through and opened the lock. For like ten minutes Noah just clung to me sniffling. I told him it was okay, that I was sorry he was so scared, that I was scared too. And I explained to him what happened. Then we went downstairs to await the police arrival. The female officer said she was probably going to do the same thing to our door. She said has a two year old too. I was thankful she acted like it was par for the course and that I wasn’t a complete moron. That was very kind of her. Well – Noah is napping now and I have to clean up bits of splintered door from the floor. Bye.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

The Big Uh Oh

Two years ago my friend Tracey bought me a dress up George Bush magnet set for my birthday. In paper doll style you can dress Bush as Napolean, Chiquita Banana or a Rastafarian. And without the gear our fearless leader is wearing nothing but a strategically placed cutout of the Lone Star State. It’s lighthearted liberal fun at it’s best.

Noah has spent quite a bit of time moving fridge magnets around, but for the first time yesterday he really seemed to take note of President Bush. While sitting at the dinner table last night he pointed at the fridge and said “Uh Oh.” It took Mark and I a minute to realize he was concerned about George’s nudity. When Mark realized Noah was uh-ohing Bush he responded by saying “Yeah… George Bush, he’s a BIG Uh Oh.” And from thence on Noah chanted a repetitive mantra of “The man… George Bush… Big Uh Oh.”

And if that weren’t enough comic fodder to last you, it got better this afternoon. While the HVAC guy was here checking out the AC, Noah headed upstairs. I called up to him to persuade him to return to my line of sight. I asked him what he was doing. He came running out of his room with the Bush magnet in his hand saying “The man… diaper.” Yup – he took our president upstairs to diaper him. And then he put him on the potty, carried him around and read him a couple of books. Seems Noah has found a new best friend.

And what is with our AC you ask? Well, you want the good news or the bad ? The good news is that the water on the ground was condensation leaking out of our unit because there was a clog in the PVC condensate drainage line – and all that had to be done to alleviate the short term problem was to wash out the build up in the PVC tube with a hose in the back yard. And better news yet is that we didn’t pay a dime for it because luckily we realized yesterday afternoon that it should be covered by the maintenance plan Mark bought from PGW. The bad news however is that according to the HVAC guy there is a larger problem with our central air unit. Apparently it should have been installed on a slight pitch with the right side of the unit slightly elevated so that the water sitting in the condensation pan would be aided by gravity in draining out the PVC tube – and said tube should also be on a downward angle as to move water smoothly out of the unit. Unfortunately our unit was most likely installed half-ass by the do-it-yourselfer former owner of our home and as with many other things in our place, not done quite right. As a result water is sitting in the pan to long, causing rust, which is then catching in the tube. The big solution would be to have it ripped all apart and resituated by a proper installation expert. But you know what we’re gonna do? Since this is the first time we’ve had this issue in five years of owning this home we are gonna just monitor the drainage tube for blockage and hope the water doesn’t back up again. Oh yes, a lot of hoping. And now your HVAC lesson is complete.

Tomorrow afternoon I may take Noah to see the National Train Show at the Convention Center. I think he’ll really dig it if he can overcome his interest in touching all the model trains. We shall see. If we don’t go tomorrow we'll go on Saturday morning before the Northern Liberties Music Festival (if it’s not rained out for a third time.)

Oh. And I’ve been meaning to ask – WHAT are you guys watching on TV? If we’re lucky Mark and I get to watch a little less than two hours of drool inducing television each evening after Noah goes to bed. But there is next to NOTHING on. Summer TV sucks. I’ve been very grateful for the HBO shows (“Deadwood,” “Entourage” and “Lucky Louie”) and sort of enjoying “Treasure Hunters” - the poorly done “Amazing Race” ripoff, but I can only watch SO many episodes of “House Hunters” before I start insisting we buy a tacky condo in Fort Worth. Please HELP! What will get me through the next week until the new episodes of “Project Runway?”

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

His name is Noah

It seems overnight Noah has gone from never saying his own name to saying it constantly. Before when we were trying to prompt him to say his name and he’d just point. We knew he could say it, but he was just refusing. Now it’s always on the tip of his tongue. Especially when demanding that you give way to his newfound independence. How dare you think of assisting him. “Noah” he states to tell you who will be the master of this task.

Yesterday he ambled up into the desk chair and started pounding on the keyboard. “Choo choo!” he said as he moved the mouse. Mark came to his aid and said “You want to see the trains?” And the boy said “Noah,” before commencing banging on the keyboard. Then he looked at Mark with a confused look and said “Choo choo.” But once again rebuffed Mark’s assistance with “Noah.” He must have been thinking “I pushed these buttons and moved that thing around – why are there no choo choos?”

And this has been the way of the world here at our house. This morning after I got him some clementines off the counter he demanded he get his own. Then he wanted to pick out his clothes and put on his own socks. It’s all very cute and exciting but also aggravating as all get out.

The holiday weekend was festive, busy and fun – as you can gather from my little photo essay. I won't bother to repeat the goings on covered in the spread - so we'll spring to Monday. On Monday we decided to forego the “Fiesta on the Parkway” and instead have our own little adventure. We took the 57 bus down to South Street, went to Pad Thai for dinner and then walked over to the river, and along the Delaware from South to Market where we took the El back home. It was nice just to be out and about and Noah very much enjoyed the walk and taking various forms of mass transportation.

Unfortunately yesterday was not so pleasant. It began at 4 am when Noah awoke and could not be returned to sleep, despite being absolutely exhausted. I’m guessing (as always) that it’s those damned incisors. And it continued when we went down to the kitchen to find water all over the floor by the utility closet. It seems we have a water drainage leak in our air conditioner. So we’re currently without our central AC and need to call in an HVAC person to charge us an arm and a leg for a problem that seems rather small. That put quite a damper on our collective mood for the Fourth, that and our incredible sleepiness. We were able to rally enough to have a nice dinner, but were too beat to fulfill our original plans to watch the Art Museum fireworks from the 30th Street bridge. It’s a good thing too – they didn’t set them off until 11 pm, by which time I was already asleep on the sofa.

Today I planned to take Noah to the Tot Swim at the Rec Center, but it’s grey and rainy. Damnable weather. Not sure what the rest of the week holds in store for us, but I’m already looking forward to the weekend.

Monday, July 03, 2006

You oughta be in pictures

The following is a quick photo essay on our weekend thus far. Hope you are enjoying your holiday!

Pa Joe played host to a surly gang of his parents, 2 of his kids, 5 friends, 6 boys and Mark. We ate so much that food came out of our ears. While the afternoon was like a neverending water fight between the older boys, Noah very much enjoyed spending a great deal of time playing in the ice chest. Ah, the fun of water sports on a very hot day.  Posted by Picasa

Uncle Jim attempts to teach Noah the finer points of Super Mario Brothers. We wish a very happy 36th Birthday to Jim today!  Posted by Picasa

Noah's cousin Julius spent some time studying the chess board.  Posted by Picasa

Noah had such a fantastic time playing and watching the older boys on Sunday. He particularly loved playing with his cousin James.  Posted by Picasa

We had a babyrific crew at our house on Saturday night. After a few hours of eating and toddler rangling we headed to Penn Treaty Park to watch the fireworks over the Delaware.  Posted by Picasa

We went to Rittenhouse Square for "A Day at the Fair" on Friday. Noah rode on the carousel, blew bubbles and watched a souza band and some acrobats. It was some family friendly old fashioned fun. We followed it up with Indian buffet and sorbet for dessert. Good times.  Posted by Picasa

Though Noah looks a bit timid in this pic, he was really loving petting the goats at the Zoo on Thursday. Maaaaa.  Posted by Picasa