Friday, September 29, 2006

As a bee

It’s a busy, busy day and a busy, busy weekend. This morning we went to our Friday morning neighborhood kid coffee klatch. It was indoors because it was a bit too dewy to frolic in the great outdoors – and as a result it was a bit too chaotic and a bit too noisy and therefore Noah was too clingy. Early on one boy pushed another boy and crying commenced and after that Noah wouldn’t take more than one step away from me. One of the boys was so desperate to play and share with Noah that he was trying to force cars into his hands, but Noah wouldn’t take them. I kept saying “He’s sharing with you Noah, isn’t that nice?” and Noah said “Yes. It nice.” But still he wouldn’t play. Then we headed out on the El to West Philly to have Indian buffet with Mark as well as Julie, HPR and Schmoo. It was SO cool to meet a blog friend in person. And it’s crazy how much we all have in common – well except that they camp and are far more earthy and spiritual than we are. I mean they were in the Peace Corps! How cool is that? And the Schmoo is a bundle of cute toddlery goodness – and only four days younger than Noah. I look forward to hanging with them all again. That is if we didn’t scare them away.

Tonight I’m actually going OUT! With friends!! For drinks!!!! And extra exclamation points… I’ve run out. And the excitement doesn’t end there. Tomorrow we head out to Collegeville to celebrate my cousin’s son’s second birthday and on Sunday we hope to go to the Fall Festival at the Morris Arboretum with my father-in-law and his wife (weather permitting.) It’s all action all the time at the Eggerts house. Of course the action I should be taking as I type is cleaning up this damn sty before there are witnesses. I best get on that.

Oh – I really like THIS question and the responses it’s gotten. Maybe you will enjoy it too. Have an enchanting weekend.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Have I mentioned that I worry?

I’m trying to line up my winter plan as the cold weather is just over the horizon of the beautifully breathtaking climate we are currently experiencing. Yesterday Noah ran free at the zoo for nearly three hours and then ran around the park for over an hour after dinner – and as we were walking back to the house I realized that in the dead of winter he’ll be lucky to have that much outdoor physical activity time in an entire week. Sure I plan to bundle him up and run him around frequently but in the cold I might only get a half hour of running around in before I need to return to the warmth of the indoors.

So the plan was just to get some core activities nailed down. The weekly playgroup on Monday mornings is a great place to start. Activities, socialization and getting us both out of the house on a regular basis - we need more of that stuff. So today we went to an open house session at Little People Music. Unfortunately the woman I spoke to forgot to tell me that the 11 am session was geared towards babies – but Noah had a good time anyway. The instructor was great and he assured me that the toddler classes are far more active. Good stuff. I’m signing Noah up for a ten week session of music classes that start next week. That takes care of a midweek activity. I’m not sure if the informal neighborhood playgroup we were going to on Fridays is going to continue in the inclement weather as the woman who hosted it did so in her garden space – but I hope so. But now that I have a couple of concrete things to do with the boy I feel a hell of a lot better.

I’ve also been thinking that maybe I should build more structure into our time at home. Like maybe I should have activity blocks for art, reading, free play, etc. Does that seem nuts? I think it might benefit me in the way that then I’d have some guidance for what to do with him at any given moment. Anyone do this? Anyone have toddler activity books they can recommend? Or am I being insane?

Noah wanted to be photographed with the zebras. This is the best I could do. See those stripey things on the right in the distance - those are zebras. Posted by Picasa

Ms. Janette and baby Jules joined us at the zoo yesterday afternoon.  Posted by Picasa

Here is a photo of Mama and Noah wandering around the beautiful Lauxmont Farms on Saturday. Unfortunately we didn't take many pictures because our camera battery was dying. Of course I had bought Noah the most adorable grey cord blazer and grey-blue knit hat to wear to the wedding but it was far too warm for all that. I must photograph him in that outfit. Posted by Picasa

Monday, September 25, 2006

A wedding to remember

On Saturday our friends Jen and Mark were wed in a lovely ceremony at Lauxmont Farms in Wrightsville, Pa. Since it was nearly a two hour drive there and we would have therefore been away from Noah a minimum of ten hours had we left him with a sitter, and because a horse farm sounded like a child-friendly wedding site we decided to bring him. Mark wasn’t quite as sold on the idea as I was, mostly he was worried that we would be the only one there with our kid. And he wasn’t too far off – all the other kids there were family. But I really wanted Noah with me (as always because I’m a freak) and part of the reason is that he is both a social aide and a buffer. I have to follow him around as a result I’m not forced to stand around and mingle uncomfortably – and if someone wants to talk to me they merely have to remark on the boy. “So Nicole, what have you been up to?” “You’re lookin’ at him.” Noah had an awesome time – running and going and going and running. He saw cows, horses, got on a school bus, danced, rolled around in the grass, touched bugs and immensely enjoyed the great outdoors and the attention of many smiling folks. But in the back of my head I still worried that maybe it wasn’t the best decision to bring him – it would have been nice to be able to sit down and talk with a few folks, and at the same time as my husband too, and maybe since all the other friends had the good sense to leave their kids at home we had made a faux pas. But on our way out of the wedding the groom said to me “People tell me your wedding day goes by so fast and all you remember is a few snapshots of the day. And I know one of the things I will definitely remember is watching you play with Noah in the grass. Thank you for bringing him.” And I teared up - for the third time that day - first seeing the bridely Jen and hearing her sisters speech already made me emotional. So anyway – it was a lovely day. On Sunday I asked Noah if he had a good time at the wedding and he summed it up like this: “YES! Big party! Jen and Mark! Music. Dancing. Outside.”

Sunday was a pretty yicky day- it was rainy and sticky and it had none of the excitement that Saturday did. We did a lot of lazing around, some light cleaning and I took Noah to the park in the rain until he was too soaked to continue running around.

Today I took Noah to a playgroup that restarted in Fishtown. It’s a funded program so there is no fee – which is really nice. There were a whopping 25 kids there ranging in age from infants to four. They had free play time, circle time with songs and a story, a feeling exercise with different tactile objects, an art project and then a snack. For the most part Noah stuck by my side and played by himself, he didn’t even sing the words to the songs he knew because he was too busy watching all the other kids sing - however he wasn’t scared or upset at how many kids there were either. He was interested but just observant and I see that as reassuring. It also helped that he had met a couple of the kids before. I was pleasantly surprised that I actually knew six of the other mothers. I felt so freakin’ social. Anyway, I look forward to taking Noah every Monday morning. It should be a really good thing for him. And me too.

And now for a quick Noah bit:
My favorite Noah interaction at the moment occurs when he’s getting a little tired and a lot cuddly. He’ll climb up for hugs and kisses and say “What doing, Mama?” And I’ll say “I’m loving you, Noah.” And he’ll say “YES! It fun.”

Friday, September 22, 2006

I've been so very lucky.

We had our fertility doc appointment today. And it was off to a great start when I got there and they didn’t have my referral paperwork and were not going to see me until they had it in hand. Several weeks ago my OB told me to make an appointment at this practice and told me he’d give me a referral if my health insurance would cover it yet when I called the referral line at his office they told me they only handled the referrals of pregnant women. I called my insurance company and was told that my OB could give me the referral so I left a very long and informative message on the referral line explaining it all and telling them where to send the referral and to call me if there were any issues. I meant to follow-up the day before my appointment but forgot. So of course no referral. I then spent the next half hour on my cell with both my OB and my primary care physician until they EACH sent over a referral and I could be seen. Insanity.

So the bottom line is that we aren’t really infertile but sub-fertile. Neither of us are the most fertile people on the planet and the result of that is conceiving a child is a little more like winning the lottery to us – with Noah a major jackpot. We can keep slogging along waiting to strike gold again the natural way or we can start aiding Mother Nature. I think we’ll probably try it the old fashion way for a bit longer and then ready to bring out the big guns in the New Year if need be. Maybe. I don't know.

I’m a little cautious about how to progress. The week Noah was conceived we went to Atlantic City for the day. I have always had a reasonable amount of luck in gambling endeavors – nothing extreme but just a little bump to the luckier side. In my head before the trip I remember bargaining with the Gods that I didn’t want to waste any luck on the slots or the tables – that I only wanted to cash in on my luck by getting pregnant. And I’m pretty sure I threw in a “just this once.” I’m not a religious person and I’m not VERY spiritual but I do feel we share this world with otherworldly powers that occasionally throw some assistance or a wrench our way. And I really do feel that my bargain paid off – and that maybe I’m going back on that if I forget about the possible “just this once.” Maybe it sounds silly to you, but the thought keeps lingering with me.

But the bottom line is that I desperately want to have another child. At least one, actually. More for Noah than for myself. I SO desperately want him to have siblings with whom to share his life – now and all of his years. I was a pretty lonely kid growing up an only child and I really value my half-siblings though they came later and never lived with me. The question I guess is - is it wrong to go to more advanced measures to conceive – or should we just be happy with the lovely, incredible and blessed boy we have already received and keep our damn mouths shut?

Thursday, September 21, 2006

I don't want to do things SELF.

How could I have forgotten? On Saturday night Noah had two death defying stunts that nearly killed me. First he stood on our rocking chair, facing backwards to yell “Hi Mama!” to me across the room. The chair then took a dive backwards and scared the bejezus out of us all. Noah had his hand stuck under it after the fall but luckily after a little red and puffiness in his fingers they got back to normal and the heart-skipping incident was merely a passing moment without repercussions. Except for the crying. He cried and clinged for awhile afterwards and as a result didn’t want to be put in his booster seat for dinner. I sat him in my lap and instead of eating from his own plate of toddler bite-sized food, he took a whole Brussels sprout off my plate and shoved it in his mouth. And then he choked on it. It took a lot of upside down back thumping to dislodge it and I was a second away from doing the finger sweep before he spit it on the floor. I love back to back drama.

Tuesday at Dad’s was a little trying. Noah was overtired and overambitious. He wanted to do everything “self.” When we were leaving to drive to Qtown Noah asked me for help getting into his car seat though he typically demands to climb into it himself. I gave him a boost up before buckling him in and he lost his mind. For fifteen minutes of the ride he complained about wanting to do it himself. I tried to explain to him that I only helped because he asked me to do so, but that was apparently no damn excuse. The drama continued when we had to walk alongside the highway to go from Dad’s to Applebees for dinner (I had a Tyler Florence burger) and then across 309 to go to Kohls. He didn’t understand why he couldn’t walk by himself along a major highway. I was obviously torturing him by taking away his independence for no foreseeable reason. Evil woman. But despite the off and on squawking of “Self!” we had a nice dinner and a nice visit. Afterwards my Oma told me that I had a beautiful boy and that with as smart and sweet as he is that you can tell I'm doing a good job. It made me tear up.

Yesterday we went to the choo choo park in the morning and the tree park in the afternoon. The weather was amazingly perfect and I wanted to spend all day outside. There were a bunch of vibrant, overdramatic older girls playing in the park and the typically shy Noah just wanted to follow them around pretending to be driving a helicopter to the zoo to swim with the hippos and flying in a plane with a swimming pool. He looked at me really seriously at one point and said “It super fun.” Mark met us at the tree park (Liberty Lands) after work and we made stops at the Farmers Market, the local carpeting place (still no decision there) and the liquor store on the walk home. I have abandoned my carb free diet for a more sane wine saturated one.

Today Noah and I walked to Franklin Square with Holly, Tripp and Finn. I got some exercise with the 45 minute walk there and then 45 minutes back but laid it all to waste when I ate a soft pretzel. This evening I’m finally to be shorn. I haven’t had my hair cut since February and it’s looking like a lank style-less mess. I think I’ll keep it on the longer side for awhile. That is until I tire of it and demand to have it all cut off. I think Mark will be meeting Noah and I at the park near my stylists so they can play while I get glamorized. And then we shall celebrate all my glamour with the eating of burritos. Ole!

Oh and I’ve been waiting a week and a half on Moxie. I sent her an email requesting the perfect solution to our nursing/sleeping issue but I guess my answer is backlogged in her queue. Ho hum. Still waiting for brilliance to shine down and bestow us with a child who peacefully soothes himself to sleep without any major trauma getting there. Guess I can wait a bit longer.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

I swear I didn't intentionally match his shorts to those pumpkins.  Posted by Picasa

He spent about 40 minutes devouring this entire apple. I had to pry it away from him to scrape out the little bit of core he had not yet eaten before giving it back to him to continue the slaughter,  Posted by Picasa

A love as sweet as a crisp fall Yellow Delicious.  Posted by Picasa

Goings on and moronic behavior

What have we been up to lately? Well on Friday Susan and Frannie came over for lunch, Janette and Jules came over for dinner, and Mark went out with his friend Jenny to the new music venue at Johnny Brendas. On Saturday we went to Tripp’s second birthday party. As per usual Holly went above and beyond – she rented a hot dog machine, a popcorn machine, a cotton candy machine and an ice cream machine. There were activity tables for the kids – play doh, paints, and masks. There would have been a clown too put the idiot cancelled on her. It was a lot of fun and though I don’t intend on doing anything that elaborate for Noah’s party I do find myself trying to think up any excuse to rent an ice cream machine and make sundaes. Like maybe because it’s Tuesday. On Sunday we drove out to Sellersville to meet my Mom at a fair event that was to be held at Lake Lenape Park. At the last moment they decided the park was too muddy and relocated the event to my former junior high school. And God was it weird walking around that place. Especially since I was really overtired and pissy that day. Noah danced a bit to the old-timey folk band that was playing until he tripped over a crack in the sidewalk and led the charge down to the ground with his face. He’s sporting a lovely brushburn goatee as well as a matching set on his knee and elbow.

Yesterday myself and neighborhood friends Holly, Susan and Morgan gathered up our toddler tots Noah, Tripp, Frannie and Stella as well as infant Finn and headed to Linvilla Orchards to pick apples. It was a nice little field trip for us all. We won’t win any apple picking prizes since most of the time we were too busy chasing toddlers through aisles of trees to pick anything, but the kids really enjoyed the idea of eating apples right off the trees. In fact I swear half the apples we picked didn’t make it to the checkout process. We also picked out pumpkins and had a nice picnic lunch under a shady tree. I really enjoyed the precursor to Fall and also the feeling that we’ve formed our own little happy clique of Moms and kids. I really value that sense of community.

So two major idiotic things happened this week. The first is that at Tripp’s party Susan’s husband gave me an envelope containing a check for $150 for some freelancing we did, a key to our house and the directions for how to feed our cats and deactivate our alarm system. Obviously there was some great concern when we realized we came home without it. And even more concern when we called Holly the day after and she hadn’t seen it when she cleaned up. We were feeling like grade A feck-ups. Luckily however Holly soon found the envelope wedged between the cushions of the sofa we were sitting on. Hooray. The second involved our carpeting estimates. We were blown away when I called Lowes for their estimate and found out it was $1200 less than the neighborhood flooring place we had hoped to use. However last night we went to Lowes to get a print out of the estimate and found out that the quote they gave me over the phone did not include the actual carpeting! Yup – they gave me the price of installation, cushioning, etc but hadn’t added the carpet we picked out. DUH! Talk about service. It’s still a better deal at Lowes but now only infinitesimally so. Now we have to decide to go with the neighborhood place (Buy local!) that has far superior customer service and more accountability or Lowes who has the better price and actually the better looking carpet for our buck.

We’re off to my Dad’s this afternoon.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Uninspired mish mash

I haven’t been feeling bloggy lately. Like I don’t have much to say or the time to waste on it. Like I don’t want to bore anyone with the mundane details of our daily living. I hope that feeling passes soon. Here are some nuts and bolts that I have been thinking about blogging about but haven’t yet.

- We’re loving Franklin Square. A park that for years was used by few other than junkies and homeless because it was cut off from the surrounding areas by highway on ramps is now a lovely green space with a carousel, a golf course and a state of the art fenced in play area. It’s a shame it’s a bit of a hike for us – a forty minute walk – but probably for the best because if Noah lived closer to those neigh neighs we’d go broke paying for them.

- Oh how I’m missing the Philadelphia Fringe festival. Gone are the days of seeing ten performances and here are the days of seeing none. Ho hum. But Monday night Noah and I went to see my friend Janette perform because I knew she wouldn’t be mad at me if Noah got to rowdy and had to be rushed out. I’m happy to report however that Noah was an angel. He listened to his Mama about “watching and listening” and he peacefully observed and ate through a granola bar and a fruit leather during the show. There were only a couple of times I had to remind him to stay quiet when he began asking for music – I had told him there would be dancing and music in the show and he wanted MORE of both.

- Have you seen “Jack’s Big Music Show” on Noggin, the Nickelodeon preschooler channel? Noah LOVES it. I’m so surprised there isn’t any CDs, DVDs or merchandising for the show yet but I guess with the second season soon starting that it’s on the horizon. If you have cable and kids check it out. It’s cute, fun and the music is well done and infectious.

- Noah and I went to the zoo for a few hours on Tuesday afternoon to take advantage of the lovely weather and our membership which expires at the end of the month. It’s been amazing to see how his experience at the zoo has changed over the course of the year. He spent this visit telling all the animals to “Come out” and telling me he wanted to “Hold it.” Of course this meant he was very excited to interact with the goats at the petting zoo. He not only pet and brushed them but also began hugging and kissing them. I didn’t want to deter his affection but tried to gently caution him from kissing goats.

- Oh how I am dreading the cold weather. We’ve been spending a lot of time at the various parks and playgrounds in the area trying to take full advantage of the nice weather and the stress free activities. I know I’ll miss just chasing him around when I’m trying to keep him busy trapped in the house day after day after day.

- I ‘ve been feeling a bit exhausted lately. I’m worried that I should be doing more teaching and activities with Noah during the day and that I’m becoming a bit too tired and short tempered with his constant toddler testing. I feel like I could really use a Mommy break but not sure what would fit the bill. I went to yoga last night but all I could think about during the restorative class was things I need to do or fix. It was hardly relaxing.

- I’ve been contemplating taking a class. I want to learn something new. Something new and cheap. I was fairly serious about taking an adult education sewing class being given at a local charter school until I realized that not only would I have to buy and bring my own sewing machine to the class but also that once I had attained some sewing skills that I would have no time to use them.

- Any TV Mark and I watch is DVR’d – so we only watch what we intend to watch. This is great for the most part however it means I never just catch something new. Someone has to tell me to watch something so I can set it up to tape. And now that I’m out of saved episodes of "30 Days," "Always Sunny in Philadelphia," "Lucky Louie" and "Design Star" – my cupboard is nearly bear. So my question is what new shows are supposed to be worth watching this Fall? What are you looking forward to seeing?

Friday, September 08, 2006

From the ground up

This week flew by and for the life of me I can’t even figure out what we have been up to, so I may have to make some crap up.

Today we had reps from Bell Floor Covering and Lowes come by our place to measure our second floor for carpeting estimates. We hate our despicably heinous carpet and have hesitated replacing it because we can’t really afford to do so. And we still can’t – but we also can’t live like this either. When we moved into our house our carpet was cheap, too light in color, stained and installed poorly. And because we had no regard for it over the years it has gotten progressively worse through a series of house parties, spills, vomiting cats, and Noah’s infancy. My mom gave us a carpet cleaner a couple of years ago and I was so frustrated with how little it actually cleaned of our horrible carpet that I put it in the basement to save it for a carpet that was worth shampooing. We just gave up on this sad carpet to the point that it has become most foul. And now it is time to bid it farewell and to start over with a new carpet that we intend to maintain. We picked out very cheap speckled Berbers and now we have to find out exactly what it’s going to cost to put down about 1000 square feet of it. Pray to the flooring gods for us.

On the baby front we still aren’t pregnant. But I’m very happy to report that we finally have some idea as to why we’re not getting pregnant and we’re on the path to finding out what we can do about it. I won’t go into the intimate details of our situation because that’s a bit too much for me to share on the blog at the moment, but I will say it’s really nice to have some answers finally and not have to listen to people insinuate that either we aren’t doing it right or we’re just over-thinking it.

I have to start dieting again since most of the weight I lost in July came back in August. Blasted! I can blame some of it on my vacation eating and some on the fact that on both of our trips I was not as active as I normally am with Noah at home. What I hate most about gaining weight is that the first place you can see it is in my quickly expanding face and jowls. Nature is cruel. So tomorrow I go back to strictly monitoring all I consume as well as attempting to get some additional exercise. I’ve got a wedding to attend in two weeks and I don’t want to look like a heifer. Of course tonight we BINGE.

Noah is currently at his most cutest and most frustrating. The joy, the words, the learning make being with him so incredibly fulfilling. The cuteness comes out of his mouth at an alarming rate. And the hugging, the kissing, the cuddling – he’s just so affectionate and I’m loving every minute of it. However the battles over nearly every choice made can be so tiring. He wants to do everything his “SELF!” He never wants to stop what he’s doing to do the next thing because he didn’t make that decision on his own. And sometimes he starts crying because he’s asking for two opposing options but doesn’t really want either of them. This afternoon he was “all done!” with his lunch and wanted “down down!” but when I tried to take his tray away so he could get out of his seat he wanted “tray!” and wanted “up!” It kills me. I just felt defeated and whimpered “I can’t play this game with you right now – WHAT do you want?” When he gets upset he often puts his hands over his eyes, puts his head down on the floor and in a forlorn voice says “sad, sad.” It breaks my heart and he knows it. He’s becoming manipulative – on more than one occasion I’ve said “You’re not sad” and he’s picked his head up and smiled at me. Little devil. But oh, the cuteness redeems him every time.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

See the greyness? Feel the dampness? This was our beach week.  Posted by Picasa

Any words might spoil the cuteness.  Posted by Picasa

Like a kid at a candy store or like Noah on a neigh neigh.  Posted by Picasa

Is that state of the art hole craftmanship or what?  Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Grey and sandy - with a spattering of smiles

Our Ocean City beach week was sadly lacking a few things necessary for complete enjoyment – the sun being the most obvious. We didn’t have even a flash of sunlight all week long. We made the most of the non-rainy but still overcast days and tried to keep our hopes up that the sun was on its way. We were forsaken. I could detail for you our disappointments, but that doesn’t help you or me. Instead I’d rather dwell on the things that made me happy. Here are some of those.
- Watching Noah cavort in the ocean could raise the spirits of some of the saddest souls. He dances and giggles, running in and out of the water, singing “Ocean! Ocean! Ocean!” He jumps up and down in the waves gleefully exclaiming “It’s a big one!” He runs in circles, prances around the beach flags and throws himself into the sand. It’s a scene of pure joy.
- Mark was out of work for 10 days! TEN glorious days of uninterrupted husband and father. I felt really sad this morning when he went back to work. Unfortunately two stay at home parents certainly doesn’t pay the bills.
- My Mom is happier than I’ve ever seen her. Her new boyfriend is a really nice guy and he’s treats her with the kind of love and respect that she deserves. It’s a really nice change.
- Mark’s Dad and his wife Sylvia came to the beach house for two nights. I’m not saying it’s completely comfortable, because it certainly isn’t, but I do enjoy when our families merge. And I really liked watching Noah run on the boardwalk holding hands with his Grandma and his Nana.
- Of course we enjoyed the choo choos and the neigh neighs – and lots of them. We fed Noah’s fixation heartily. But most exciting is that during the course of the week Noah went from requiring me to sit on the carousel horse with him to riding all by himself.
- Mark and I saw a movie! Hooray. We saw Dead Man’s Chest and really enjoyed it. It’s a beach week movie if I ever saw one. Silly, unadulterated fun.
- Last year at the beach Noah spent a good portion of the week being afraid of Bella. This year they were good pals – sharing toys and running around in circles. SO CUTE. It made me tear up. It was also great to chat with Sean and spend time with Trent.
- I read a book! Sure it was just a book of short stories and I had to finish it when we got home, but I still READ. And I pretended I was hanging out in Hong Kong.
- On Thursday I dug a hole. I got a shovel and set to digging a hole in the sand. No purpose really, and it didn’t accomplish anything either. But I have to say it’s one of the high points of my week. I dug digging that hole.

Well everything is a mess here and I'm behind on everything. It's going to take quite awhile to get things back in order, most especially me. Hope all are well.