Thursday, March 29, 2007

Great Grandma Ruth

People always ask who the baby looks like. Does she look like her mom? Her dad? Winston Churchill?

I don't know. I think she looks a little like Nicole, but certain faces she makes...

Sometimes she purses up her lips, squints her eyes, and gives a little head shake that makes her the spitting image of Nicole's grandmother Ruth, whom we miss very much. That she didn't get to meet either of our children still pains us to this day.

It's very good to have a reminder of her back in our lives, God rest her beautiful soul.

Water Jug Bwling

Nicole has been saving empty gallon-sized nursery water jugs for me for a project I've got going in the garage. She puts them near the kitchen garbage, where they have sat for weeks. Lazy ol' Daddie keeps forgetting to take them down to the garage.

Last night, as we were getting prepared for dinner, we hear Gamble picking them up. Holding them out to us, he asks, "Can I use these for bwling?" He had his green bouncy ball nearby, and said, "These can be my pins!"

Of course, we let him bowl. He used his typical sidearm-double-belly-twist technique to launch the ball sideways through the air at the empty jugs, making a heck of a racket. I think I'm going to have to take him bwling again soon.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Lost His Hug

I picked Gamble up from school today, and while he was saying goodbye to his friends, I went to get his blanket from the other room.

When I got back, a distraught friend of his, who typically requests and receives a goodbye hug from him, said to me, "Gamble lost his hug for me!"

Gamble came to his own defense. He was standing next to a different little lady that he had a playdate with his past weekend. "Yeah, I give my hugs to her now."

I bent down and gave his old main squeeze a hug, and he came running over: "Just kidding!" He gave her a hug.

Oh, dating issues at his age? We need to encourage him to play the field. Mommie thinks it's funny that all the girls take home mention his name to their parents. She hears all the time how they talk about him at home. He makes almost no mention of them, though.


Six Hours

Last night she slept for six hours in a row! Granted, it was from 6 p.m. to 12 a.m., but it still is a step in the right direction. Go, little angel, go!

Monday, March 26, 2007

Happy Anniversary

I just wanted to say happy anniversary to Nicole. She is the bestest wife, and certainly is on track for mother of the year. Not only is she managing to handle both children about 21 hours a day, she manages to do it while being back to work part time and supports me by letting me sleep during the darkest hours of the night. Words cannot express my love, my admiration, my sheer gratitude.

If there is anything to say, it's that I would never have time or energy to reach out in these blogs without her, and we all have her to thank for that. Having Random is much more exhausting and taxing than I ever thought it could be, though thankfully Random's not nearly having as tough a time as Gamble did. Nicole's on top of all the medical stuff, is able to handle this on little sleep, and she's a great mother. I get so excited when I see her bonding with Random in a way she was too ill to do with Gamble.

Happy anniversary, Miss Nikki! Six years, and I wouldn't trade a minute for the world.

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Competing for Food

From Mommie, a 7 a.m. episode:

"Mommie! Mommie! Random is crying!"

"Uh huh."

"Mommie! I think she is hungry!"

"Uh huh." She has been saying she's hungry all night.

"Mommie? I am even more hungry than she is!"

"Oh, boy..."

"Mommie? Mommie! Aren't you going to get up?"

"Can I bury my head?"

"No, Mommie. Random is 100 times hungry and I am a million times hungry so you have to get up. See? I am more hungry than she is."

Either way, Random is still louder. Oy! And so begins the day.

If It Looks Like a Duck

Gamble was having a conversation the other day with Nicole's mom.

"Grammie, don't call me a baby. Do I look like a baby?"


"Do I sound like a baby?"


"Okay, then. Don't call me 'baby'!"

What a little attitude!

What Is the Sound of One Hand Typing?


Click. Click.


Real slow.

Unless, of course, the word is "link" or "milkypill" or some other word that can by typed with just the right hand.

She's actually asleep in my left arm, and is half pinning me down. I'd lay her down, but the payoff matrix is such that if she wakes, I'll lose my one free hand. If she's mobile, I get my other hand back.

It's the probability of her waking that gets me, so I continue to type with one hand. But look at her in her car seat. Isn't she cute?

Saturday, March 24, 2007


Bowling's been on our mind a lot lately. First, we tried the bowling out on the Wii. Gamble was having a little trouble coordinating the buttons with the swinging, so I tabled it.

It was interesting to note, however, how he pronounced the word. When he says it, it sounds a little like "booling", but not exactly. It sounds like he's gotten rid of the "o" entirely, pronouncing it more like the oddity "cwm", which is an actual English word (see Wikipedia), for example. When he says it, I see it as "Bwling" in my mind.

Then his sports class had a week of bwling. He really had a good time with the little plastic ball and pins, though my knees were not thanking me for being the pin monkey. And he kept wanting to do it again on his last night of sports class (which was an open gym type thing).

Last night, however, Nicole was taking Random out to dinner with her and a friend, so I had time with Gamble. He really needed the attention, so I thought I'd try taking him to real bowling (keep it in the States. Never mention "real bowling" in the context of tenpin American bowling, or you'll get drawn into a discussion of how the rest of the world calls soccer "football", how American football is just pansified Rugby with breaks for adverts for a sugary watery substance that this country calls "beer", and the arrogance of having a "World Series" of baseball for teams within a single country. You've been warned). I mean bowling with big balls and ten wooden pins, painted white with red stripes.

I found an alley that had open bowling as well as gutter bumpers, which increase fun for the younger crowd, as well as come in handy for the occasional ricochet spare pickup.

Bottom line: Gamble had a blast, and so did I.

He got a regular-sized 6 pound ball and experimented with both the between the legs push and the "hammer throw" methods of ball delivery. They were both similarly successful, and neither delivered the power that would consistently carry all the way through the pins. It was really amusing to see the ball slowly knock down the two and the four pin, only to be stopped dead in its tracks by the seven pin.

Gamble's highest score for one ball for the night was eight pins, which is typical for me, so I expect he'll be beating me soon. His most interesting leave was the unlikely 8-9-10 split, which also led to his highest frame score of the night, as he picked up the 9-10 of this split, narrowly missing the 8.

We bowled three whole games, and at the end of it, he wanted to keep bowling. Me? My whole hand was sore and ready to blister. We should do this more often.

Afterwards, we went to McDonald's. The last time we'd been to the one across from the bowling alley, they'd taken out the playplace. When we got there, they had a brand new one. On telling him that they had a playplace, he started repeating "YES!" and asked, "Know why I'm yelling 'YES!'? Because I love the playplace.

He had a great night overall, and I can't wait to do it again with him.

Bad Robot

In the car on the way home the other night, I look in the rearview, which I keep aimed at Gamble. I see his arms set at right angles, and he's jerking them mechanically up and down.

"Gamble, what are you doing?"

"I. am. a. bad. wobot." I see the robot speech pack hasn't done anything to help him sophisticate his R's.

"I see. Ok, Gamble..."

"I. am. not. Gamble." the robot interrupted. "I. am. bad. wobot. Buzz. Lightyear. Are. you. a. wobot."

Ok, so I started playing along.

"I. am. a. bad robot. My. robot. callsign. is. KPD."

"Nice. to. meetyou. bad. wobot. K. P. D. I. am. Buzz. Lightyear. wobot. I. can. fly."

"No. you. can't. bad. robot. Buzz. Lightyear. You. can. only. fall. with. style. The. wind. blows. you. around."

"No. because. I. am. a. bad. wobot. made. out. of. bricks."

I didn't know how to respond, but we'd arrived home. One thing I noticed immediately (and maybe you other parents can back me up), was that once you've been talking like a robot for ten minutes or so, it's very difficult to stop.

He was talking like a robot from the minute we walked in, and Nicole asked me whether it wasn't the cutest thing. I had to agree, but the first few words I issued were very robotic.

We had to go out to sports class, his last one, but the robot fun continued. We started arguing again about whether he could fly. He had one cast-iron argument:

"I. can. fly. Ambivity. ambien!"


"Ambivity. ambien!!!"

"Don't. you. mean. 'To. infinity. and. beyond.'"

"Yes. Ambivity. ambien. I. am. a. big. wobot. I. am. a. million. big."

"Ok. I. am. a. billion. big."

His wobot CPU was pegged for a few seconds as he considered his next comment:

"I. am. bigger. I. am. Australian."

I assume he was trying to say 'a trillion', but it didn't come out that way. I never new that Australian was bigger than a billion.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Grunt Fart Splash

Well, I'm changing a reasonable amount of poopie diapers. I have just forgotten how it was to be holding someone who's throwing oatmeal out their backside.

She farts from time to time, but that's a pretty obvious one. She just farts. Or maybe grunts and farts.

But it's the grunt, followed by the fart, followed by the wet splashy impact in the diaper, that's the real indication of a special fwesh pwesent for Daddie (as Mommie calls them sometimes).

And after a couple of those grunt fart splashes that I get up to change her.

And is there anything more special in the world than picking up a freshly diapered baby, and holding the baby close, and having her grunt fart splash right then and there?

Sunday, March 18, 2007


Oh my, this new swing Nic got is a wonder. Random's been out for quite a while. The music and lights and mobile turn off after a short time, but the swing keeps going. She's got her pacifier in, and she's calmly swinging away!

Friday, March 16, 2007


I just thought that I've not been writing much, mostly due to schedule. Not for lack of material.

Gamble's been his usual self: chipper, perky, excitable, and defiant. With lots of little verbal learnings, and demonstrations of wit. He's started to mash words together in odd ways.

Random's doing well. She's cute as all get out, of course. She's sleeping in fits and starts, but her belly seems to be feeling better, and overally she's in a good mood. Most of the time, when I first go to see her after work, I get a fairly alert, fairly big smile.

Of course, these two are what keeps me going.

Nicole is the one that keeps me sane. She's absolutely the best Mommie. It's great to see her with Random, how much they play and sing and talk together. She missed all that time with Gamble, and now she's making up for it.

I forgot how hectic these early weeks can be, and how much needs to be let go. I miss reading, video games, and exercise, but I wouldn't miss my family for the world.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Heart Health Hooray

Today, the cardiologist, when commenting after listening to Random's heart and reading her chart, said, "If I didn't know why you had come in, and we hadn't talked about previous history, I'd look at you and ask, 'Why are you here talking to me?'"

She's been given basically a clean bill of health, from a heart standpoint. So here's a "hooray" picture of her!

Bad Words

Behind in the blogs:

The other night Nic mentioned that it was Grandma Pat's birthday and asked if he wanted to call her.

He's a little negotiator, and immediately replied with "Do I get a muffin?"

"Sure, Gamble. You can help her celebrate with a muffin for your snack but after you call her."

To which, I hear silence.

Then, "God damn it!" from the bath-tub.

Mommy responded with an alarmed and exasperated "Gamble!"

"Sorry, Mom."

Oh, the things he must say when we're not there...

Monday, March 12, 2007

The Flap

So Sunday, Gamble came out half dressed.

He'd found the flap on his underpants, and his wiener was hanging out.

"Look! My wiener's out!"

What exactly do you say to that? We just asked him to put it away.

Grand Ol' Flag

We were on our way home from day care today. Gamble was looking out the window, when he said, "Hey, Daddie! It's the grand ol' flag."

I looked up, and sure enough, there was the U.S. flag, flying near the pizza factory near his school.

I think it was Barney he learned that phrase from. Just an interesting note that he applied it correctly.

Thursday, March 8, 2007

Pick Up

Except he remembers a lot of things. Why, just the other day, Gamble said that he wanted me and Mommie to come pick him up at school.

Both of us.

Like we did "before."

We've only done this on a couple occasions. The most notable time was Christmastime this past year. The details he picks up and can describe back to us. He's our little recorder.


Gamble said the other day that his current teacher, Ms. Sylwia, is his favorite teacher.

His second favorite? Miss Lila, from his old school. He hasn't been there in over a year. How is it that he still remembers her?

Gamble and Random - First Bath Night

This photo was taken the first night Random had a real non-sponge bath. They're both awake and alert.

These kids are the coolest.

Family Pic

Just wanted to share a family picture with everyone. I love Gamble mugging!


A while back, Gamble was talking every day about he and Daddie were going to live to be a hundred, that he was going to be an astronaut and take me up to outer space on his rocket.

Daily, I remind him how important school is to being an astronaut. How he's going to have to study every day to reach his goals, but that if he really wants to be an astronaut, I'd help him plan his flight path.

Well, the other night he was on the phone with Nic's folks, and he was telling them all about how he wants to be an astronaut and that he'd have to go to college.

Then he asked what college was.

They tried to tell him that college was like school now, only harder.

His reply? "Oh, I love school! What else do I do in college?"

They told him he could have a girlfriend (only darnit I hope he gets the girls before that, except I've got this horrible double standard where Random's not dating until after her pension starts paying out).

He replied, "I don't want a girlfriend. Mommie is my girlfriend, because she is so beautiful."

Mommie? No two-timing with that astronaut. There's been enough astronaut scandals in the news.

Sunday, March 4, 2007

More Culinary Advice

Ok, so as I sit here, finishing the beef brownies off, I feel the need to tell you about another culinary masterpiece/abomination I was recently made aware of. No, I'm not talking about the fried chicken waffles that Uncle Johnnie introduced me to (faboo, even the eggo/boca chicken version).

No, I'm talking about the pankegg.

I made pankeggs for the family today for Sunday breakfast. They were a hit! They're not an original, mind. I saw them the other day on The Show with Ze Frank.

Take pancake mix (I do mine from scratch out of the Joy of Cooking - I like the way the melted butter works throughout the mix). Griddle the pancake on one side. Alongside the pancake, crack an egg. Then flip the uncooked side of the pancake on top of the egg. With a little practice, it will seal all the way around the yolk, and you can either have pankeggs over easy or over hard.

It comes off a little like french toast, and tastes great with syrup.

It's been a great week for cooking at the Davis household!

That baby

Nicole and I were watching TV with both kids, a new family mechanic that we're not really used to, since we typically don't watch much TV at all.

Well, Gamble wanted to play with Mommie, and she was holding Random. "Mommie? Can you had Daddie that baby so we can play?"

That baby. You know. That one.

Saturday, March 3, 2007

Booger Ettiquette

During the half minute or so that Gamble was holding Random, he asked me, "Does she pick her nose?"

I told him that she did not. As I was answering him, she put her hand on his face.

"Oh," I said, "It looks like she wants to pick your nose."

He found this uproariously funny.

And while he was laughing, I asked an ettiquette question. "Gamble? If she picks your nose, who eats the booger?"

"She does."

So now we know. Make a note.

Tagging G

Well, Random just puked on Gamble. He handled it well.

I had let him hold her. It took all of 30 seconds.

With all the times he puked on me, I just had to chuckle inwardly.

Putting Two and Two Together

From the bathtub, Gamble was trying to be subtle. We were in the living room when we heard:


"Yes, Gamble," Mommie hollered down the hallway.

"Um. Mommie? Do you remember that I like ice cream?"

"Yes, Gamble. I know you like ice cream."

We waited a couple moments, and then again from the bathtub.


"Yes, Gamble."

"Um. Mommie? Did you know that I wasn't feeling well?"

What a roundabout way to ask for ice cream, but it was an interesting example of how he tried to get us to put the two concepts together, instead of just asking for it.

Incidentally, he did not get ice cream. Instead, he had some Cheetos. He loves them. And the funny thing about Cheetos, is that they're about the same size as his finger.

Eat enough Cheetos, and your fingers are the same color as Cheetos.

And poor Gamble cried big tears last night at the table. He cried loud and long. All this after he bit down, apparently hard, on his little Cheeto-fingers. After five minutes of TLC, you could still see the teeth marks. It was a wonder he'd not broken the skin, the way he was carrying on.

Perhaps he'd like some goldfish crackers instead.

Mr. Sniffy

Gamble's keen sense of smell is well documented, but it still occasionally continues to surprise.

We changed Random's formula yet again. This time from soy to Similac Alimentum (you know, the stuff that makes gold look cheap. The stuff that Walgreen's feels the need to lock up, along with the condoms and razor blades. Snag all the 1 Gig SD cards you want off the front wall, but no way are you slipping out with anything that feeds, prevents, or shaves a baby).

She's doing okay on it, but it smells terrible. Nicole and I are of two minds on the smell, kind of like the brownies.

I, for one, thought that the smell of the new Alimentum was better than the smell of the soy. The soy stuff smells like potatoes, and everything started to smell like this after a couple of days. It was making me sick to even think of french fries. Trust me. A couple nights covered in potato-smelling vomit might put you off potatoes too.

Except this Alimentum smelled, I thought, like dog or cat food. Just disgusting, but at least I could eat again (Nicole thinks opposite. She right liked our little potato peach).

Gamble had his own opinion. He came up, took one sniff, and asked, "Daddie? Did Random eat goldfish?"

I wasn't sure what he was driving at. He gave me an impatient look. The one that hearkened back to the "Dopey Daddie" days. "You know, those goldfish crackers."

And with one sniff, I confirmed it. It smells exactly like chewed, partially digested, goldfish crackers.

And now, I'm not sure I'll ever eat them again.

Brownie Results

My take on the brownies:
They're sweet and meaty. Some of the best brownies I've ever had, actually. You'd never know it was ground beef. The weird thing, though, is when you burp it tastes like hamburger...

Nicole, however, pulls no punches:
The brownies smell like ass. Thank you for putting the smell in this house, where I have to smell it all day. I am sleep-deprived and crabby and now I smell like meat. So much for preventing Random from up-chucking!


I have burned the towel and the oven mit. The brownies are in the refrigerator to chill the smell.

Thursday, March 1, 2007

Baking Brownies

Ok, so Random decided that despite keeping her mother up for almost 24 hours, she was going to sleep for her dear ol' dad.

And what did I do with the time?

Why, I made some brownies, of course! I had a sweet jones on, and thought I should whip up some brownies from scratch.

The interesting part? The brownies are not only not vegan. They're not even entirely vegetarian.

Letting that sink in a bit for dramatic effect. I'll wait...

That's right. As part of a long-standing discussion I've had with many friends over the years, I've always contended that there must be some way to make a dessert that contained meat (and that tasted good as a dessert - I mean, I can make chorizo pudding, and it probably won't be great). And not some froofy meat like candied ham. I mean manly meat.

Hamburger. Ground beef. The recipe I used is here.

The suspense is killing me. They're baking right now. I think I'm going to take them to work tomorrow.

Pshew. And they say new parents lose their minds for a while. What a fine line between genius and insanity (or clever and stupid, if that's your fancypancy).