Thursday, February 23, 2012

Superhero of organized hoarding

This is how we watch TV.

Yea people said once we had a baby there would be no chance of watching films anymore. Looks like we have a young film lover in our midst. Guess we'll have to wait until she goes to sleep before Law and Order: SVU DVR watching.

Once a child takes over your home, everything changes. Make no mistake it is now Manya's home, it's her world and I just happen to live in it. First it was the nursery which was formally known as the guest room/office and we lost control of that room months before she was born. Now the entire house is dominated by baby. Toys, mats, exersaucers, bouncy seats, car seats, blankets, diaper bags. The kitchen, bottles, pacifiers, brushes, rags, spoons. Even the shower sometimes has her baby bathtub hiding behind the curtain. The child can't move. At any given time she takes up at the most 2 square feet! Her presence takes over city blocks. She's like a superhero of organized hoarding.

Over Christmas break I brought Manya over to my parents house for the day to see Grandma. My brother comes up from his drawing/animation studio for a coffee only to find the house instantly baby-fied. Every chair, table and counter was taken up by a new baby gizmo (possibly for cleaning or feeding, possibly for world domination). His choices? Drink coffee in the bathroom or retreat to the basement. Ten minutes later I found him still standing in the kitchen paralyzed at the organized chaos in horror, cold coffee in hand.

The newborn has really affected my brother. The other day I found myself fielding calls from him regarding baby clothes.

He was dumbfounded by the sizes of baby clothes. What do these numbers and letters mean? What size is she and what size should I buy? I attempted to explain to him that it depends. Clothes are cut differently but for the most part she would be in the six month range because... wait for it.... she's around six months old. If the phone could give a blank look, this was the time. To be fair I don't buy the clothes, I just change them. The conversation ended with the general consensus that she would grow into larger clothes and infant sizes would be too small.

We now have several pieces of very cool clothing for when Manya turns eight years old.

I've been fielding all types of unusual calls nowadays. When my wife goes to TJ Maxx I normally receive calls about underwear preference which delves into minor arguments over the merits of well worn sentimental undergarments riddled with holes and semi-functional elastic over new, formfitting, fresh and overpriced ones. This particular Sunday Sarah called me midday asking my opinion regarding dolls. I was perplexed. Not only have I never owned a doll but I literally have no opinion on them whatsoever. I mean, do the faces below look like they have any comprehension about the virtues and distinctions of various dolls?

I obviously gave my expert opinion on dolls and she purchased the least touched toy in the nursery. Good times.

Too Cute.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Aching bones, tired with infant

I don't consider myself old. Sure I'm not 18 years old in High School running around like a chicken with my head cut off, but I'm no slouch either. I haven't had any surgeries, replaced knees or hips. I can up and down a field, hit the ground and pop right back up again without tears (most of the time). In fact, while running around playing a sport - I'm solid.

Give me a baby for an hour without a break... Totally Fucked.

Baby wise - I'm eternally out of shape and a broken body. I've mentioned that having a baby turns your adult body into a SoloFlex. You, the proud father of an incredible smelling, incredibly cute, soft as a cloud bundle of joy have just transitioned yourself into a walking talking total gym for your youngin'. You may have thought helping out during labor (by holding a leg) was tough? Between the carrying, rocking, wiping, jumping, feeding, pushing, lifting and cleaning I've discovered at least 600 muscles never used before in the history of man. And each one of them burns with hells fire and a nice phenol peel. Especially when I attempt to sleep.

Every year around Thanksgiving time there's an alumni soccer game at my High School. It's my yearly barometer. Every year the oldest alumni are two ancient gentlemen. One is short, slow, discombobulated, bald (although I'd wager he has been since the early 80s) and very nice. The other is tall, athletic, foolhardy and competitive. They're both the same age but only one of them has kids. No - its not the uncoordinated one - but the one in phenomenal shape. The man is the energizer bunny, he keeps going and going and going. So I asked him, "how are you able to run and run and run and run and run". His answer?

Amphetamines? Nope.

It actually was, "Oh I get in shape chasing my kids around."

Can you believe the nerve of this guy?

My kid is six months old. She can't move. She wiggles at an approximate speed of 16 feet and hour. There are over 30 species of tortoises faster than my child. She sleeps more than most pets and although she has the grip of Hercules and the lungs of Pavarotti, if I asked her to go play in the yard she'd give me a look, toot and smack a doll in the face. Point being, she doesn't move. And yet here I am sore from neck to toe.

And one day (soon) she'll be mobile. And I am supposed to suddenly gain the endurance and dexterity of a gazelle. Great. Maybe I should invest in an electric wheelchair or a slow moving Vespa.

At least its easy to child proof a house. [shaking head]

Tummy Time!

Tossing the OK sign

Upside down view

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Baby! Wait, what? Really?

Manya is five and a half months.

This is not supposed to happen yet. I'm not ready for this.


Friday, February 10, 2012


The Giants won the Superbowl!

(No this post is not really about sports so you can continue reading)

You of course know this unless you were living under a rock or lost in the jungle.

I'm a huge Giants fan and was overjoyed at the phenomenal job of playing in the face of pressure and adversity by the GMen over the last seven weeks. In the end Eli stood alone with the coveted Lombardi trophy while Tom Brady attempted to corral his feisty wife, Belichick hid in the locker room, and all of Boston drank themselves into a NY hating, self-pitying stupor. Good times.

This Superbowl was the 2nd Championship for the Giants in four years. Their 4th Super Bowl win all-time. It was also the most satisfying and incredible for me personally as those feelings transcended the game and glory.

Four years ago the Giants defeated the 18-0 New England Patriots ending their undefeated season and forever crushing the souls of New England fans by replacing 1918 with 18-1. I was unable to watch the game as my family and I were stranded on a tarmac in Ohare airport several miles outside Chicago watching ground crews defrosting the wings of our plane seven (7?!?!?!?, yes SEVEN) times. The game has gone down as one of the greatest football games of all time and despite missing the entire second half and the greatest comeback in football history, I wasn't entirely devastated.

The whole family flew out to Chicago in 2008 to visit my grandmother Mania Scharf for her 90th birthday. Our 'huge' family (maybe 10 people including all the cousins) met at my Aunt's house for a family picture where we all dressed in white shirts and black (like Hassidic Jews) which pulled all the color from our faces except for my five o'clock shaddow (or lack thereof) which popped in the sea of off-white and gave me a lovely white trash trailer moustache. Besides my tasteless humor we do have a number of great family pictures with the whole family which was very nice.

The following day we had an awesome birthday party for her at a restaurant nearby with family and friends. Good food, lots of laughs, amusing pictures and incredible looking senior guests. Parties with old people are the best because old people have the most amazing outfits. I think they know they have the freedom to wear whatever they want and just play games with the rest of the world. I swear there was an old dude at this party who was the Vampire Lestat's creator. The man's eyebrows peaked an inch and a half above his eyebrow and tappered off around his ear. Straight gangster. I was afraid... seriously.

The weekend was a lot of fun and it was during these festivities that I was taken aside and given my grandmother's wedding ring for my wedding. Towards the end of WWII, after escaping from Poland and Russia, my grandmother Mania and her husband (my namesake) used their remaining money to purchase their wedding rings in France before departing by boat to Peru. The rings represented not only their marriage but a new life on a new continent, and the beginning of a new family.

When my grandfather passed away before I was even born, my grandmother Mania had the two rings melted together to form one sole ring that she wore. For our wedding we separated the ring into two, to use as the rings for our wedding.

This trip for my grandmother's 90th birthday would be the last time I would see her as Mania Scharf passed away four months later in June of 2008. Missing the Giants 2008 Superbowl victory live was insignificant.

Four years later my wife and I still wear her separated ring on our hands and now we have a beautiful baby girl named after her. Manya named after Mania. New spelling, same name.

Four years later the Giants once again play the New England Patriots in the Superbowl and beat them in the last minute. This time I was able to watch the game. And this time I was able to watch it with Manya, my daughter.

Funny how things work sometimes.