Friday, January 26, 2007

It's an actual post

Somebody call in the cavalry! Noah Mac and myself are on our own for the next two days. I encouraged Mr. Mark to go to NYC tonight to go see his former band mate perform. (YES – I’m INSANE!) He’ll return tomorrow but probably not until after we leave to go to my cousin’s place for a family thing. And then by the time we get back home he’ll be partying it up at Sean’s 30th birthday shindig so we’ll likely not see him until Sunday morning. This’ll be the partyingest weekend he’s had in years, and for years. Wish him fun, but also moderation and safety. Because what could be more rockin’ than that! And may the bitter cold of this evening remind him of the desolate chill of the indifferent outside world while we his family keep the home fires burning. Ahem…

What have we been up to? We hung at Wendy’s on Monday – Noah and Victor have begun playing really well with each other. They seem to have very complimentary personalities and have begun actually working together. It warms my heart. On Tuesday we went to a Barnes & Noble in NJ to buy Noah some books to introduce the idea of the new baby – and we really dug the store. They have an awesome train table and a daily story time so I think that it’ll definitely be a new favorite haunt. I’ve started babysitting our 18 month old neighbor Ella for a few hours every Wednesday – it’s a couple of extra bucks and keeps Noah busy to boot, so win/win. And then of course playgroup yesterday and our neighbor’s normal Friday playdate today. Tonight I invited a couple of neighborhood friends over for an evening pizza playdate –since Mark’s not coming home it won’t seem like the night with no relief or adult company.

So I’ve a list of things I’ve been meaning to blog about but damned if I can find my list. Guess I’ll wing it.

Just recently when people started asking me if Noah was still nursing I started saying “Oh, no” before quickly changing the subject. And people say things like “OH! GOOD!” with a huge sigh of relief as if they had some vested interest and real concern for our wellbeing because we were still nursing. Like “Thank GOD! I knew if that kid nursed one more day he was totally going to turn into a brutal psycho murderer who had a penchant for dressing up like his Mama!” However I’m totally lying. Noah still nurses before his nap every day. The before bedtime nursing was dropped pretty painlessly before his second birthday, but the naptime one won’t die. Mostly because on the many occasions I have tried to put him down in his crib awake at naptime he has never slept. I’m guessing it’s the fact that it’s light out. In fact he’s spent over an hour on more than one occasion just hanging out in the crib without the slightest hint that he was going to nod off. And since I’m dead tired at naptime and need one myself I’ve not been willing to forego the nap. I do figure that a few napless days would wear him out enough for him to nod off one afternoon, but I’ve not felt energetic enough to attempt it. So, for now we still have that one measly nursing session. From what I understand it doesn’t pose any threat to the baby and I don’t mind it because I can see the end on the horizon.

Far more daunting to me is that in six months I will be nursing a newborn. GOD HELP ME! I’m scared. Now obviously I am a huge proponent and advocate for breastfeeding, and I totally intend on doing it as long as seems appropriate for the new baby and myself. BUT JEEZ – nursing an infant is a fulltime job. With Noah I didn’t think I would last to six months. It was painful and ALL THE TIME! My already too large breasts were astronomical. And I was leaking constantly. Plus I’m far too body conscious to whip out the girls in public places and as a result I felt confined to our home. And what the heck is Noah supposed to do while I’m nursing for an hour every three hours. I know I’ll make it through and it’s worth it and yadda, yadda, yadda… but GOD it’s not on my top ten favorite things to do.

And now things the boy has been up to:
- Reading. He likes to “read” some of his own books at bedtime and it’s about the most adorable thing going to listen to him recall some of the words and make up the stories as he goes along.
- Learning. He can identify all his capital letters and tell you what letters are in his name, though not in any particular order. We’re begun working on more number and lower case identification now.
- Sass. There is nothing Noah hates more than not being understood. And sometimes when I can’t make out a particular word he’s saying I’ll just sort of nod along and say “Oh” rather than have him clarify – and he always catches on and says “What I saying, Mama? What I saying?”
- Loving. He keeps excitedly saying things like “We’re having a baby, Mama!” and “I will play peekaboo and the baby will laugh.” He’s also tempered his fear of friend’s infants with obsession. After last week’s neighborhood playdate he began calling the long regarded Baby George by “Baby Ike” – the name of one of his playmate’s infant brother. Every time Mark and I would call the doll George he would correct us and say “Baby Ike!” It was quite a case of muddled identity. I did the only thing I could do to save us all – I bought another doll who was thus named Baby Ike so Baby George could have his moniker restored. Since all the new baby hubbub he’s been much more interested in the dolls. I decided on Sunday to buy him the doll bed I’d been considering buying from Ikea for some time. Before we got to the store I told him we were going to get George/Ike a bed – and he turned a corner in the Ikea showroom pointed to a well appointed Queen with three colorful comforters on it and said “Ike like that bed.”
- Eating. On Tuesday night we went out for Chinese food with our friends Jen & Mark. I guess we eat Chinese fairly frequently – it’s reasonably priced and delicious, and the restaurants are accustomed to catering to families. Plus Noah invariably asks to eat shrimp and dumplings when we go out. Recently we realized how often we eat Chinese when we were at a non-Chinese restaurant and when we told Noah we were getting the check he asked to eat the cookie. He also recently began pulling out the white Hershey flag from the chocolate Kisses and reading them as if they were fortunes. Oddly enough the fortune is always the same. It says “You are my baby sister.” You think it’s a premonition? Stay tuned til March 22 to find out – I’ve scheduled our ultrasound.

Friday, January 19, 2007

FAQs of Baby Eggerts deux

Thanks to everyone for their warm wishes and congratulations! It means so much to us. The following sums up some of what's going on with Project Baby.

How am I feeling?
In a word – exhausted. I take a nap almost every day while Noah gets his – it’s the main reason I’ve not been blogging or answering much email. I’m sleeping away my personal time and it’s worth it. As for sickness – I have a general green, queasy seasick feeling that comes and goes during the day but it’s not serious and thankfully I’ve not become physically ill. Am I hungry – hell yes. But not for anything I’m thinking about making myself. It must be presented to me without my involvement in preparation. Like when I was pregnant with Noah carbs and sugar are high on the palatable list – but so are fruit and vegetables and as of yet I don’t think I’m over indulging too much, at least so sayeth the scale. Time will tell.

Have we discussed the new baby with Noah?
Yes. He knows “WE” are having a baby and he’s both cautious and excited – while of course not being fully able to comprehend the change on the horizon. Generally he’s pretty put off by babies – they cry and are unpredictable, two things he doesn’t like about other children. And when I’ve held the babies of others he has hung his head, cried and hid. None of which is the best indicator of a smooth transition. However the boy is full of love – and in theory likes babies. He’s still carting Baby George around, feeding him, telling him he missed him while he was sleeping, telling him he loves him. When we went to the Please Touch Museum recently he found a baby doll in a crib and then proceeded to carry it around the rest of the museum – grocery shopping, to the barnyard, and on the bus. He put it in a high chair in the house and was agonized but passive when on two separate occasions other little boys came up and took the baby out of the chair, threw it on the floor and undressed it before leaving it behind. He waited until they left, dusted it off, hugged it and then continued to gently carry it around. He’s also started being more interested in real babies – commenting that friends infants are smiling at him or that they have little hands. And of course he’s interested in the birth process – wanting to see pictures of himself as a small baby, hiding under a blanket on my lap and pretending to be born while I say “WOW! He’s so big and SO alert,” and telling me “I have a baby in my beddy… and now he’s in my foot. He’s getting big!” At Christmas time a family member asked Noah where the baby was and he said “In August” and then “In Florida” – which was where his Aunt Lisey had her baby.

Have you been for a checkup?
Yes, but just one. I have an appointment next week. I’m really looking forward to it because we should be able to hear the heartbeat.

Are we going to find out the sex of the baby?
I sure as hell hope so. We found out with Noah and I really feel knowing he was a boy helped me to really connect with the realization that there was a real little person in there. But don’t I want to be surprised you may ask – NO. Babies are uncertainly after surprise after uncertainty. I think it’s nice to know something. My Doc said they will do an ultrasound at 20 weeks and I am counting down the days.

You want a boy or a girl?
Either. It’d be nice to have a girl so we can experience that, but also nice for Noah to have a brother. Not to mention we could use all the same clothes again.

Are you showing?
My pot belly is more pronounced – and depending on what I’m wearing you can or can’t tell.

How does it compare with your prior pregnancy?
I really don’t remember feeling this rundown during the first trimester. Of course then I sat at a desk all day rather than running after and carrying a two year old. But I also don’t remember feeling this… UGLY. Forget pregnant glow. My hair is lank and shaggy and my skin is horribly broken out and shiny. They say being pregnant with a girl sucks the life out of you, and if there is any truth to that then I’d guess we’re having a little miss.

Are you thinking about names yet?
Yes. I never stopped thinking about names. We’ve always had a girl’s name picked out – Muriel, the name of Mark’s late mother. I think it’s old and elegant – and it honors a woman that though I never had the chance to really meet – that I feel a kinship with and whom by all accounts was fun, ebullient and kind. Because of her reported love of the shore and the way she’s been described to me I always picture her as warm, sunny and treasured as the perfect beach day. And who wouldn't want to feel that way about their daughter? Boys names however are tough. I don’t have any true affinities for any particular names. With Noah we had a huge list of names we kept adding to and removing from – and we ended up with Noah because it was the only one we both consistently liked. I also liked that it meant calm or peace in Hebrew – when most boys names mean “warrior” or something equally confrontational. So what are we looking for in a boys name? Old, simple, short, and something slightly atypical without being too odd.

Any worries?
YES! Many. I’m worried about the baby’s health and birth a bit but my biggest worries are about Noah and I. Of course the main reason we wanted to have another child is that we wanted Noah to have a sibling – someone to share his entire life with. However I fully understand that the first year of adjustment is going to be really rough. Noah is SO sensitive and so attached to me that I know it’s going to be tough for him to share me and all the attention he is accustomed to. Yes- he’ll do it, but that doesn’t mean it’s gonna be easy. And what if it changes his sweet personality? And then there is me. I’ve learned that every Mom worries a bit that they won’t love the second one as much – or that they will have to love the first one less – and I’m no exception to that rule. I am SO in love with Noah, with being his Mom, with his personality, his intelligence and sensitivity – I honestly and sickly feel that he is the perfect child for me and in so many ways he makes it SO easy to be not only a full-time SAHM but for me to feel like a good mom. And I worry that this second child will shatter some of those illusions. As I’ve said – I’d clone Noah if I could – but this child isn’t going to be Noah. He or she is going to be their own person with their own strengths and foibles and I’m already worried I’ll feel like he or she won’t be measuring up – and neither will I. But I guess you have to worry about something. Last time I kept having dreams where I kept forgetting I had a baby and would accidentally leave him places.

Any more questions?

Tuesday, January 16, 2007


Prior to heading off on our honeymoon to Morocco Mark and I did a lot of research, not only on places to stay, to eat, to visit, but also the culture. One of the things we learned was the term “Insha’Allah” – an Arabic phrase meaning “if God wills” that is intended to be used after any proclamation of what is to happen in the future – even something as routine as discussing tomorrow’s weather. I was instantly taken with this idea. I’m not a conventionally religious person, but I do have a real feeling that there are higher powers – other wills at work in our lives besides our own. Saying “Insha’Allah” to me is a really graceful way of reminding myself that as strong as my will for a certain outcome may be, I’m never in complete control. I find that idea both humbling and also freeing.

Fertility issues are certainly an instance in which one is forced to recognize that control is not yours alone. As girls we grow up thinking we could get pregnant at any second, like our uteruses are ticking time bombs – and when we’re ready to have kids we think the only thing we need to make that happen is our decision to do so. And for some that is the case, but unfortunately not for all. Some fight quite a battle with biology and the fertility process, never to win in the conventional way – and some come out the other end with a truckload of heartbreak soon healed by a child that though not biologically their own they can appreciate much more than someone who didn’t have to think twice before they got pregnant. And well, some just give up because all the dead ends, powerlessness and pain is too all encompassing.

As most of you know Mark and I aren’t the most fertile people on the planet. It took us seven months of trying to get pregnant with Noah, and we’ve been trying to get pregnant with a second since he was 9 months old. After a year of trying we met with my OB who proclaimed us not infertile but “subfertile” – obviously we could get pregnant but for us it was more like gambling against the house. We saw a fertility specialist in September who noted that with Mark’s slightly less than perfect sperm count and my luteal phase defect (natural - not just from nursing) that we definitely had an uphill battle. She recommended I start on estrogen or Clomid – and possibly artificial insemination. Of course I was still nursing Noah once a day and therefore couldn’t start taking hormones so at that time we decided to keep giving it the old fashioned college try through the end of 2006 and think about starting hormone treatment in January. To some our consideration of aiding nature may have seemed extreme, but after a year plus of monthly disappointment and crying jags, it didn’t seem at all extreme – just scary.

On Thanksgiving morning I found out we had another thing we could be truly thankful for – I was four weeks pregnant. After sixteen months of trying and an alternate course planned, we could barely believe it was possible we had finally gotten lucky from just gettin’ lucky. So I’m overjoyed to announce that as of today I am twelve weeks pregnant – and we are due to have a second child on or around August 1st, Insha’Allah.

And now I’ve stopped worrying about getting pregnant and started worrying about staying pregnant, having a healthy child, and juggling the physical and emotional needs of two. Stay tuned for all that noise.

Friday, January 12, 2007

Of sisters, saturns and shopping

So Ms. Jess’s visit was a success – at least for Noah. He mostly followed her around saying how much he loved her and asking her to do everything with him. However we were all a bit under the weather and our energy level wasn’t one that allowed us to be quite as adventurous as we are when she normally visits. On Saturday we did make it out to catch a glimpse of those crazy Mummers before hoofing it to a late lunch at More Than Just Ice Cream, but on Sunday we did a lot of nothing. We merely took a walk to the park and then stopped at a coffee shop. Honestly I have no idea if Jess had fun while she was here. I mean she didn’t seem unhappy, but she didn’t seem particularly happy either. Is that her or 11 years old? She just isn’t very expressive. Isn’t 11 a bit young for the whole “whatever” attitude? Don’t get me wrong, she isn’t rude or uncooperative – she’s a sweet and good kid - just sort of not particularly bowled over by things. It's hard for me in a way because I want to see her happy, to do special things with her that she really enjoys - but she doesn't seem to be very effusive at the moment.

On Monday Noah and I had the privilege of spending four hours at the Saturn dealership having the car inspected. On the plus side they have a kids room with a TV, VCR and a bunch of toys – on the negative side it’s a very tiny room and the toys are all sad leftover like a basketball hoop with no balls. I put on 101 Dalmations and after 10 straight minutes of “Who’s that?” “What doggie doing?” “Who is talking?” I was glad he lost interest in the movie. For some reason the boy is not taken with animation. People, puppets, music, live action are all awesome – but cartoons are a yawn. Amazingly we kept busy with all sorts of pretend play instead. Four hours of it. Oh and snack. Lots of snacks. He dealt fine with being sealed in that box for 4 hours, much better than I did. Especially when the bill came.

On Tuesday I took Noah to the Please Touch Museum. We hadn’t been in some time despite having a membership, so it was all brand new and very exciting for the boy. He had a fantastic time grocery shopping, checking us out, and driving the bus, truck and trolley. We also went to two story times – both of which he really enjoyed. He really is an ideal audience member. He quietly hangs on every word – and then when he gets home he reenacts things. So cute. Mark reported to jury duty on Tuesday and was assigned to a case that started on Thursday – and has no end in sight. However I’m happy to report he’s getting home early each day and that makes us all pleased as punch. That night our Ms. Tracey took the bus into town for dinner and our lame company. It was so fantastic to have her visit – I have a special reason to make a nicer meal and Noah has a wacky playmate for a few hours. I was worried when she moved out of town we wouldn’t see her for quite some time, but my fears were unfounded.

Wednesday saw another trip to Ikea. I know - we go all the time. But the boy loves it and it’s such an easy activity to do on a less than ideal outside day. He spent the bulk of the time going from model kitchen to model bathrooms, sitting at the tables, pretending to eat and bathe. I’m sure someone on their security cameras has us red-flagged and the only thing that gets us from not being called into the office is that we always spend a couple bucks there before we leave.

On Thursday morning we finally went back to playgroup, for the first time in over a month. Noah was ecstatic to go and actually so was I. I really missed having core activities planned for half of my mornings. It was nice to get up and say “It’s playgroup day” and just hustle out the door to see our friends and sing songs. And to make the day even more exciting Janette and Jules came to visit in the afternoon.

Today we went to our neighbor’s informal playgroup for awhile but left earlier than usual to have Holly and Susan and the kids over for lunch. Again – we hadn’t seen any of them since before the holidays so it was really great to have some normalcy and have Noah get reacquainted with his little friends.

This weekend is chockablock as normal. Tomorrow we’re off to Old Bridge to celebrate Mark’s Grandmother’s 97th birthday and on Sunday we have a long overdue date with Ms. Patrice.

But of course this was just another weekly page from our calendar and shamefully I don’t have the time or frame of mind for much more. But a meatier post is coming, if anyone but me cares. Oh and how can I forget the most exciting news of the week – yesterday we booked a flight for my sister Elisha and her 5 month old son Hunter to come and visit us in about two and a half weeks. I can’t adequately express how much I’m looking forward to spending that time with them. Maybe because my sisters are each a decade and two decades younger than I, or maybe because I’m the overly maternal sort, I have a bond with them both that to me is also akin to being a parent as well as a sister. And maybe because we all have different moms and over the years I’ve had to make constant strides to be stay a part of their lives – my relationships with them are very important part of who I am. It’s so hard to have my Elisha living so far from me even though it’s been that way most of her life – and seeing her again well it’s about one of the best things that can happen. So yeah – things are good.

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Manly gifts

There is no more romantic gift to give your husband for Christmas than a backpack of plastic dinosaurs. But oh, how he loves them.

Chop Chop

I neglected to mention that Noah got his haircut last week. He was an angel in the chair and several stylists and salon patrons commented on how he was better than alot of adults. He really loved going to the salon and has several times pretended to be our stylist Heidi and cut my hair. Oh and of course the lollipop helped seal the love affair.

The eyes of a child

Can you tell Noah enjoyed the New Years Eve fireworks? Or maybe he's just high on being up til after midnight. Possibly he's drunk on power. Whatever it was, he was lovin' it.

Now it's a holly jolly mess

I just haven’t had the opportunity or the inclination lately to spend much time on the computer. I’m just feeling a bit exhausted and over extended after all the holiday hubbub. My house is in a complete shambles, it looks like Christmas threw up on it – with half opened gifts and partially put away decorations everywhere. It’s depressing me just thinking about it. In fact I should be tidying up right now, but somehow the blog got priority today.

So now that the ho-hums and blahs are out of the way – the holidays themself were really fantastic. Noah was in seventh heaven. Santa, Mama and Daddy were modest in their purchases, but he was delighted nonetheless. Among his stocking stuffers was an astronaut Spinbrush which is what he mentions when you ask what Santa brought him. The grandparents however were less modest in their purchases and he got a train table, a train set, and a rocking horse as his primary gifts. Luckily family members also heeded my cries and put money into his education savings accounts and stuck with small gifts like markers and Play-Doh. Noah’s primary play activities now are all sorts of imaginative play where he acts out everything from baking cookies, the Nutcracker/Mouse King battle, a doctor checkup (sometimes with his new doctor kit sometimes with the drill from his tool kit), being a cat locked in the basement all night, appearing in the circus and accidentally breaking a window. Next on the play agenda are all sorts of arts, building, puzzles and trains of all sorts. Oh and of course books. We read all the time.

And have I mentioned that he talks NON-STOP. Seriously. I hadn’t even realized how much chattering he does until I went out for a few hours the other afternoon and when I got back I thought “Holy crap. That boy doesn’t take a breath.” And he knows everything. His vocabulary is insane and his questions are unstoppable. This morning he asked me “What are fireworks?” which seemed an even harder question than last nights query about why his fingers get wrinkly in the bath.

What did the adults get for Christmas? Cash, thankfully. It’s just so nice to pay down that credit card bill. It’s not a fun gift to shop for but sometimes it’s what you really, really need. We also got some clothes, a DVD/VCR, a veggie chopper, some gift cards and a new set of knives. It’s all about necessity here at House of Eggerts. With the never-ending charity and understanding of our family members we are able to scrape by with me at home with Master Noah. And for that no amount of thank yous seem sufficient.

So what else has been up? Last week I took Noah to the Academy of Natural Sciences to see the dinosaurs and the butterflies. He absolutely adored it – especially the live animal show we saw in the auditorium. He keeps reenacting how the woman brought out an animal and then took guesses from the audience on what it eats and where it lives. Last night he was doing the animal show with Mark when he said that our cat Parker lived at home with his Mama. When Mark asked who was Parker’s Mama Noah initially said Spy, our other cat. When Mark laughed Noah corrected himself and said that he was indeed Parker’s Mama. Mark asked him what Mama’s do and Noah said they get lunch. He then insisted on getting Parker new food and water. The only downside of the Academy visit is that I think looking at the life-size dinosaur displays may have triggered Noah’s recent talk about a monster with black feet that is in our house. The fear hasn’t gotten too serious yet, but we have had to search the house twice to make sure he wasn’t here. We also went to meet Mark for lunch at work last Friday and have my “work luncheon.” We went to Lemongrass for fantastic Thai food and discussed my job efficiency and career goals. Not sure if Noah is my boss or my direct report though – I should probably ask for an employee flow chart.

Sadly our plans to see my sister Jessica last week were delayed by her being sick, but I’m happy to report she’ll be joining us this weekend. Noah is counting down the seconds until she gets here. I had hoped her being here last week would alleviate some of the post-Christmas mood crash since it was hard and disappointing to tell Noah that Christmas was indeed over. We even got rid of our tree early because it was hard to keep telling him Christmas was over but yet all the vestiges of it were here.

I’m VERY excited that it seems my sister Elisha and her son Hunter will be visiting us sometime in February. I’m just so excited I could burst. I don’t know how I’m going to let them go back to Florida though. Someone might have to forcibly hold me back.

On New Years Eve we attempted to take Noah to a Baby Disco celebration complete with music and a countdown to noon. I mistakenly thought since the venue was large that we didn’t need advance tickets. After we stood in line for a half hour we were told it was sold out. We were able to placate Noah’s “I want to go to party” by taking him to a delectable lunch at Honey’s, and then to the world series of toddler activities – the pet store and Ikea (where he played in the blueberry basket and was undoubtedly infected with the ick from which we are all now suffering.) After putting him down for a late nap we kept the boy up to midnight to walk over to the river and watch the fireworks. He LOVED them. The noise “(They go bang, bang, boom, boom!”) especially. It was indeed a magical way to welcome the New Year – and a reminder of all the exciting things that 2007 have in store for us – more time together appreciating our lives and each other. For me it really doesn’t get any better than that.

Oh and there are a million funny things and precious moments, but damned if I can remember them right now. Plus I better go put some stuff away. Or at least figure out a new way to post photos.