Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Don't wear it out.

Experimenting with different ways to post video. Let me know if you have a preference. Also - if you know how to flip a vertical video in Youtube.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Watch the hair, man.

Hope you enjoy our first video post. More of these to come, but hopefully not so many that you want to bludgeon yourself. And yes, I hate my voice. It and my own visage are what have barred me from taking constant video of my kids up to this point.

How about them Eagles?

We had folks over on Friday. Some with kids, some without. Any time I have a plan to mingle with the childless I remind myself that I can and WILL talk about other things – music, TV, news, entertainment gossip (Thanks, Tracey!), and even some politics. And yet after everyone left on Friday I was feeling like “Goddamn it! All I talked about was the kids. I suck.” In my defense I’ll say that people asked me questions about them – which is what you do when you are catching up with friends you don’t see enough. However I have a problem whereby I get on a roll and I can talk about them until the cows come home and your eyes sink back into your sockets. I really have to learn to stop myself and say something like “Are you by any chance watching Pushing Daisies/Project Runway/ Kid Nation?” Because nothing is more enthralling and fulfilling than talking about television.

And now back to your regularly scheduled program – Eggerts kids allatime! Noah is SO eager about Christmas. It started two weeks ago on the car ride home from my Mom’s wedding rehearsal dinner. A million questions about Santa. Most prominently “Why does Santa come at night when nobody can see him?” Ahem. I’ve since explained repeatedly that if he came when we were awake everyone would want to greet him and hang out and then he’d never get his job done. I’ve also explained that there are many Santas – the ones in the malls are direct reports to THE SANTA who comes out only on Christmas Eve. We are also in a flurry of “Can I have that?” especially since the toy catalogs have come in the mail. The ridiculous thing is that he keeps asking for things he already has, which clearly makes my point that he needs NOTHING. I’m having real difficulties coming up with answers for family members wanting to shop. I want to tell everyone to get him savings bonds or gift certificates to the art and bookstore but that stuff is not thrilling to see a kid open on Christmas day.

Ray had his first solid last night – the super savory and delicious rice cereal. Doesn’t every child enjoy the taste of paste? He seemed not all that interested or pleased with it last night. He mostly just shriveled up his face and let it dribble back out. He even gagged a few times. But he had another go this morning and was much more receptive – though still not eating with the vigor of Noah’s first meals. But the most exciting development of late is that Ray has come to appreciate Noah as the entertainment whirlwind he is. We’ve had a couple of instances lately where Noah is goofing around and Ray is laughing and squeaking hysterically. It would damn near make your heart explode to experience it. Last night Mark was trying to cheer up a grumpy Ray – he was singing and jumping. And Ray was like “SEEN IT! Next.” Then Noah got up from the dinner table to jump and Ray lost it. Mark was crestfallen. But he just can’t pit himself up against the master. Noah is clearly the David Hasselhof in our Germany.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Tis the season

We packed a whole lotta livin' in one Black Friday. We rode the Santa Express subway train to the Gallery, greeted Santa when he got off the train, paraded to the center of the Mall for the kickoff of the holiday season, raced over to see the Macy's light show, cut a line to see the wierd animatronic puppety Dickens Village, had a photo taken with Santa, and then hurried home to host our Black Friday Leftover Potluck. Noah was a party animal and stayed up for the duration. He went to bed at 11:30 pm. Needless to say he is a meltdown mess today - but it was totally worth it. The holidays have officially begun.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

It has nothing to do with Istanbul

Last Thanksgiving was the day we found out we would soon have one more thing for which to be thankful for – another baby. And this year as I cuddled Ray Konrad and watched Noah cavort joyfully for the sole purpose of making his baby brother laugh I was reminded once again this is what I should be thankful for, not only on Thanksgiving but every day. We have so much love in our lives – for each other, our families and friends – and I hope we have many, many more healthy years to enjoy and appreciate them.

Typically on Thanksgiving we stop in to see my Dad around noon and then head to my Mom’s place for dinner, where she also feeds my in-laws. It’s a nice plan to see everyone. This year however my Mom is honeymooning in Vegas and since my Dad is postponing Thanksgiving until next week when my sister Elisha is visiting from Florida with her husband and son – that left our plans in a shambles. So we invited my FIL and his wife to our place for dinner. And since I’m no saint or martyr I ordered the bulk of our meal pre-cooked from the grocery store. As pathetic as I feel for cheating – it made it a lot less stressful. It was hard enough managing the boys while getting the place a little cleaned up for company let alone figuring out how to cook the bird. Luckily Noah was kept busy this morning by an avid interest in the Thanksgiving Day Parade - unfortunately he was repeatedly asking to see bits from last years parade. Sheesh.

I’m very happy to report that both the boys got a clean bill of health at their pediatrician well visits (3 years for Noah, 4 months for Ray) this past week. Ray is 26.5 inches and 17 pounds and is in the 90 percentile for weight, height and head circumference – he’s one big boy. In comparison he is one inch longer and four pounds heavier than Noah was at four months old. Noah is now 39 inches and 32.5 pounds – which is 90 percent for height and 50 percent for weight for his age group. These numbers and percentages might bore you to tears but for some odd reason I totally look forward to finding them out at each visit. Both boys got shots – and Noah took his flu shot bravely and without one tear.

I am considering taking Noah on the Santa Express train to the Gallery mall tomorrow morning – but don’t intend on doing any door buster shopping. I haven’t even made out my Christmas shopping list yet. Years ago I would do all my shopping at the last minute because I would have to use the money from that very last pay period to buy gifts. This isn’t really the case any more but I still wait until the very last minute. I hope to change that for next year, but probably will say the same exact thing next year.

Tomorrow night we host our traditional Black Friday Potluck for a handful of friends. It’s been far too long since I’ve seen some of these folk – so I’m really looking forward to it. But of course weighing heavily (pun intended) on my mind is how I wish I were thinner and both I and the house were a bit more put together. But if I waited for that I’d never see people.

Monday, November 19, 2007

A sharp dressed man

Noah had a most excellent time at his Grandma's wedding. He was a dancing machine and the life of the party. I have no idea what they put in his punch.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Look at those lifted heads!

Soon they will be racing.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

He's a regular Isaac Mendez.

Noah is on an art rampage after a visit to the Art Museum on Sunday. He’d been asking to go for some time but since I only take him on Sundays so as not to pay full admission for an hour long visit, and since it seems every Sunday has been booked I’d been stalling him for what seemed like forever. We marched through modern art, the armor, asian art, the temples and the tea house. He wasn’t all too focused on any one thing but he was obviously impacted. He’s asked to paint every day this week. As Mark says, Noah’s likely to drown us in his art work. And he’s also started asking about writing letters. He wants me to help him write his name as well as other names and words. He can do a fairly decent job of writing his name – with me telling him how to draw each part of each letter. “Draw a straight line. Now draw a diagonal line from the top of that line to here. And now a straight line from the bottom of that line to here. Great N!”

His other new artistic outlet is photography. Per my suggestion, my in-laws bought Noah the Fisher Price Kid Touch Digital Camera for his birthday. He LOVED it instantly. To my chagrin however after a couple of days it stopped working. I changed the alkaline batteries and no go. I changed the button cell battery and still nothing. It was so frustrating because Noah took a bunch of photos that disappeared. I called Fisher Price and complained. They are sending me a label and would ship me a new one once they received my return. But get this – it would take 8-12 weeks! WHAT! And they call that customer service? Unfortunately I don’t have the receipt so I went to Toys R’ Us, bought another one and will swap them and return the broken one and get my money back. Take THAT system! Anywho I created a Flickr account for Noah and will post the link once he starts taking more photos with the new camera. That is if it continues to work.

Today Noah told me he was going to sing a song about “Gagama passing away.” He then sang really slowly and quietly “Friend. Don’t go away, friend. Friend, don’t go away.” And as he sang he laid down on the floor and shimmied underneath the coffee table. I was really touched and stunned. I merely said “That was a really beautiful song. It was sad.” And he said “Yup.” And then he leapt up. started vehemently shaking his maraca and bellowing “One, Two, Three – another rock and roll band!” The song stuff has been cracking me up lately. Now he’s pausing in between sections of his singing and instrument playing to say “This is the jazzy part,” “This is the breakdown part, and “This is the rockin’ part.” He also sings guitar parts which is SO fun.

Noah’s preschool is a city program run out of a very old school, blue collar, traditional and patriotic part of town. Hence my child singing “God Bless America” every night before bed and already practicing for a Christmas pageant. A couple of times of year one of the teachers who also had a Masters degree in photography takes pictures of the kids. They then sell those photos in packages with the money to benefit the preschool program. I take a bajillion photos and don’t really favor posed studio shots but plan on buying a few shots every time just to do my part. That said, I was not really looking forward to Noah having his “Angel” photo taken last week – angels aren’t really my thing and the idea seemed a bit babyish and silly to me. HOWEVER – I got the proofs of his photos today and MY GOD they are so cute they might induce vomiting. I guess it’s the lighting that made my boy look damn near luminescent. His eyes alone are stunning. Hey I’m not into angels but HELLS if I won’t show those pictures to everyone I know. I’ll scan and post when I get the prints.

My mammoth baby – big both in size and loveable-ness – continues to grow, flourish and teeth. At a mere four months old he needs to be moved to 6-9 month clothing. Of course all Noah’s hand-me-downs for that size are summery short sets. Dagnabit. I’ve had to go out and buy wintery fleece sleepers and such. And while purchasing said stuff I just keep thinking “I guess I have to have one more so at least I can use ONE of these sets of clothes again.” It’s merely a recycling THANG. (Inshallah, of course.)

It’s WEDDING WEEKEND! Mom ties the knot on Saturday night. Noah and I have the honor of walking her down the aisle. Bring on the tissues! I may look pouchy and harried in my dress – but that boy would make anyone look good. IN A TUXEDO, no less!

So here is my poll for this post. Mom invited me to go with her and her fiance’s daughters and granddaughters to get their nails painted tomorrow. I desperately wanted to BOND with everyone and wanted to be part of the wedding festivities however after much debate decided I could not in good conscience have a four month old in a nail shop for over an hour. Those acrylic fumes are just awful and they worry me too much. Mom said I was going “crunchy” on her. So be honest – think I’m being paranoid? Would you take your baby to the nail shop?

I had more. I know I did. But who can keep this stuff straight.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Party like a preschooler!

Noah celebrates the big three with his Arty Party - and Ray is intent on learning to walk at a mere 3 and a half months. (I swear that kid always seems ripe for becoming a LOLcat.)

The cast of characters

Ray – He’s rolling over. Grabbing things. Holding his head up high. Kicking his feet around, pissed off he can’t get anywhere. He’s still sleeping great at night. Unfortunately he has no day time schedule because his Mama and brother are just totin’ him all over town at all hours and he just dozes when he can. Sometimes he feels more like luggage than a baby. But he still prefers being out of the house, seeing the world. Oh and he is amazed by brother Noah. He just stares and smiles and stares some more. It’s true love.

Noah – He turned THREE on Sunday. All the growing child clichés are true – it’s going SO fast. I just keep tearing up when I think about how much he’s already learned and grown. And about how proud I am to be his mother – and incredibly thankful to spend all day, every day with him. He truly is a remarkable little man. He’s so smart, funny and imaginative – occasionally I feel a bit sad that because of his shyness so few people really get to see the true him. We had his kiddie birthday party on Sunday at the Fairmount Art Center. It was so much easier than cleaning my house from top to bottom and entertaining 13 three year olds. And I think all the kids really enjoyed it. Especially Noah. He loves doing art – wants to paint, draw and sticker every day. His favorite teacher at his school is Miss Laura – the art teacher. And he’s still a very musical boy – singing, dancing, playing instruments, composing songs. It may sound crazy but I hope to start him on Suzuki piano next year. But maybe someone will talk some sense into me before that happens.

Mark – He was swamped at work the last month, prepping for the Democratic debate at Drexel. It was so hard just to have him not come home at 5:30 on the dot every night. I don’t know how people do it when they get less help. I love my kids and love spending my days with them but by 5:30 I’m sincerely in need of some help. And he’s fine help indeed. The man does so much of the grunt work – and definitely does not get enough appreciation. Have I mentioned that he does almost all the dishes? And his own laundry, the trash, the recycling and cleans the bathrooms (when we get around to it)? That, my friends, is worth it’s weight in gold. And then to be a kick ass friend, husband and caring and involved father to boot! Thank you Mark! I don’t deserve you.

Me – This week I’m exhausted. Rundown. A bit lost. It’s been incredibly busy lately, and I prefer it that way but I feel like I’m also in the middle of a whirlwind. The boys are keeping me so busy that NOTHING else gets done. The house is in shambles and so am I. I’ m not the cleanest person in the world but I don’t like disorder and at the moment everything is everywhere. And on the rare occasion we get a moment to pick up – the next day it’s all destroyed again. Of course my weight is really bothering me but I don’t have the energy and willpower to even try to do something about it other than complain. I just cringe and whimper at almost every photo taken of me - which is great since I’m the Maid of Honor in my Mom’s wedding next weekend. I plan on just holding the kids in front of me at every opportunity. So that's the stuff that's eating away at me - but there is tons of amazing stuff too. I'm just tired and a bit overwhelmed at the moment. This too shall pass.

Parker – I had to take our cat Parker to the Pet Emergency room this morning. I was feeling really awful about it because when he started hobbling around last night I was certain I had caused it when I tossed him down the basement steps so that I could keep him from running out the front door during a delivery. It seemed he didn’t fall quite right when it happened and I immediately became convinced I injured him. But it turns out he had a urinary obstruction that was life threatening – but not related to the stairs incident – and easily removed in surgery ($555!!). He’s going to be at the vet for the next couple of days with a catheter for monitoring but then he should be home as good as new. That is if he doesn’t have some larger problem that caused the obstruction – like cancer.