Sunday, December 13, 2009

Grammie Notables from a Recent Conversation with Gamble

From Grammie,

"Talking to Gamble, he shocked us with the following:

"'Grammie you know I have a beard?'

"'Really, Gamble? When did this happen?'

"'Yesterday,' replied Gamble, 'I got it at the Dollar Store!'

"'Gamble, how is your baby sister?'

"Gamble asked, 'Which one?'

"'What? What do you mean, Gamble?'

"Oh, Grammie , you didn’t hear? Mommie has another baby!'

"'Really? When did this happen?'

"'About 2 ½ years ago.'

"'Really? What is her name?'

"'Oh, I don’t know, Random only told me that she has a twin, and she has been in "secret Disguise” all this time!'

"Unreal. He does this all the time, and Grandbear and I think maybe he is just gearing up to be a great fiction writer! He always giggles a little, as if to say, 'Ha! I put one over on the old gram again!'"

Breaking out into Song

Life with Random is like living in a musical. Now that she's seen The Little Mermaid a million times, she breaks into song at ... well, random moments.

Just the other night, we were talking with Gamble about school, and I think she was feeling a little ignored, as she broke out into song, singing "Youuuu..." (points at Daddie), "love..." (points at Mommie), "meeeeeeeee!" (points her finger at Gamble). She looked at us triumphantly, with a look of "Tada!" in her eyes and a huge smile on her face.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Both Numbers

Well, Random will be starting in her new day care when she gets home from Christmas break. She'll be almost three, so we're starting her in the threes room, and they have to be toilet trained, which she decidedly is not.

But her visit to her new school has her very excited, and we are using the school as an incentive for her to sit on the potty. Last week, she sat on the potty a whole bunch of times and has also been asking to go.

She went numbers two and one on consecutive days last week. Go, Random, go!



Well, Mommie is off with Random seeing a Barbie show, and Gamble and I are brewing our first ever batch of beer, so I thought I'd send out a few blogs while the wort is boiling.

From Mommie:

"I was holding my daughter's lunch hostage until she cleaned up all the toys she's scattered across the living room. She claimed that she was still playing, so I went upstairs to get some laundry folded and put away.

"All of a sudden, I hear her saying 'Thank You!" I didn't think much of it.

"After a time, I went downstairs to find that she had gotten her step stool, clambered up to get her lunch off the kitchen counter, and taken it to the table to eat.

"It made me laugh so hard, I had to let her keep eating. What independence these kids are showing!"

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Double Feature - Moving the Trilogies Forward

Last night, Gamble and I worked on earning his Trilogy badge. As everyone knows, all little boys are have required viewing, and much of that required viewing comes in the form of trilogies. Star Wars, Indiana Jones, Lord of the Rings, Godfather, etc.

We've been holding off on finishing the second of the two Star Wars trilogies for a while now, because Episode 3 is a little darker and scarier than the others. But it's been his whole life's focus to see this movie. He's played the Lego version of it, and even read a lot of the novelized version of it, so given that his peers (all 8 and in 2nd grade) have mostly been allowed to see it, we thought we could let him.

I promised him that if, while his Mommie was out of town, he made good decisions and helped me with Random, I'd let him stay up late and continue another Trilogy we started by watching Temple of Doom. Well, he was so good and so helpful that last night was the night. He'd been built up all day with talk of Indiana Jones, and I wasn't sure how the bait and switch would go over.

He lit up. He was glued to every word, every scene. Every once in a while, I paused to ask him questions to see whether he understood some of the finer points of how Revenge of the Sith tied the two trilogies together, and he was very articulate and mature about his explanations.

He did very well. After the movie ended, and Anakin had completed the descent to the dark side, black suit and all, Gamble started walking to the stairs.

"Where are you going?"

"Going to brush my teeth. Time for bed, after our movie, right?"

"I thought we were going to watch Temple of Doom"

I thought he was going to jump out of his skin with excitement. His eyes grew huge, and his smile was bigger than any I can remember. "Can we?!?"


And, as they say in the opening scene of Temple of Doom, anything goes. We watched the movie, which I hadn't seen in a very long time, with Gamble predicting the next events with uncanny detail, because he's been reading the book for a while.

But unlike with Revenge of the Sith, Gamble was full of questions, and I noticed a striking resemblance to Willie, the female lead in Temple of Doom. I never noticed exactly how relentless her annoying conversation could get in that movie, and his relentless questions provoked me into saying something.

"Gamble, you know you and Willie have in common. You both talk non-stop!"

"No, Daddie! I'm not a girl!"

Fair enough. He had me there, but that didn't stop him from pushing on.

"And I don't have cooties!"

Oh, ha. I see what he did there. She's a girl, so she has cooties. He's not a girl and therefore has no cooties. He pressed on.

"And I don't have boobs!"

That sudden feeling of a loss of cabin pressure. Hey, wait! Where'd he hear about boobs? I'm not sure I've mentioned those to him yet. Mental bookmark, but he pressed on.

"And," he finished, triumphant, "she doesn't wear glasses!"

There you have it. He's growing up, having earned both his Star Wars trilogy badges, and already well on his way to his Indy badge.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Showered with Love

Our baby girl is growing up before our eyes, and I bet Mommie's sorry she's missing this one.

Random begged and begged to be allowed to take a shower this evening. Gamble and I both figured she would hate it, as she hates to get water in her face, and we did our best to warn her against it.

But she's right now proving us wrong. She loves it. Beyond words. I am going to have to pry her out of there, but I wanted to tell everyone how much she loved it.

I can here her from here, "I'm in the shower! Honey!"

Home with the Kids

Tonight, a special treat. Gamble, Random, and I are home together, and Gamble and I are planning to stay up late.

Mommie had to make an emergency trip back to Ohio for the funeral of a dear family friend that passed on. Lew Snavely, former Maumee neighbor of Vince and Kathy Davis, passed away and the funeral is tomorrow. Our hearts are with his widow, Great Grandma Charlotte to the kids, through this tough time.

Friday, November 20, 2009

The Pickchoose

Every night at bathtime, Random plays with her toys in the tub. A few minutes from washing her up, I go in and tell her it's time, and she asks, "Pickchoose?"

If you'll recall, Gamble used to say something similar every time he wanted to communicate that he wanted to make a choice. He used to say, "Me pick, me choose!" Random has this down as pickchoose, and we only really do it one time of the day, during bathtime.

What I do is, I go to the closet where we keep all her jammies and pick two out that she can wear, based on weather. I try to cycle in her favorites first.

Then I stand by the bathroom door and say, "Ok, tonight you can choose either the long purple dress or the polka-dot footie pajamas."

Then she makes the pickchoose.

Dook of Earl

Ok, I don't know what it is.

Gamble, while capable of putting in an award-winning poster for the entire Kendall County, is wholly incapable of flushing the toilet.

I'm not kidding; there's not a day goes by when I don't open a bathroom door to find a toilet-dook shrouded in teepee and peepee, lying like a flounder at the bottom of the bowl.

That little stinkerbutt!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Everyone Considered Him the Commander of the County

Congratulations to Gamble for winning the 2nd grade Kendall County Foods from the Farm poster contest. We are so very proud of him! He won $25 in prize money, a book, a pencil, and he had his picture taken with his teacher for the newspaper (don't know which). Here's a picture of the winning poster, obscured somewhat by the winning check!

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Turkey Project

Gamble and I made a turkey. It was about a four hour creative project spread out over two days. It was my first crack at papier mache, and it came out really well. See a couple videos of it here and here.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Busting the Bear

From the Chief:

"Two nights ago I got busted by Gamble!

"Whenever Gamble asks me a question that he believes I should know, I grab the computer and quickly look it up. Well, we were talking about one of his favorites, Star Wars, and the question he posed was 'GrandBear, what was the title of Episode 3?'

"I did my best to stall while I fired up the Google browser and while it was loading, Gamble said: '...and GrandBear,
don't go looking it up on the computer.'

"The jig was up. I realized that he's on to me, and I was busted! I was caught off guard. I was amazed and impressed at the same time. Nice job Gamble! The bigger question is how long has he known that I was looking the details up on the computer and what prompted him this time to indirectly tell me he knew?"

(Daddie: Ed - I didn't give the bear away. I have no idea how Gamble would have twigged to the ruse.)

Saturday, October 24, 2009

On Testing

So we just found out Gamble is getting further testing for advanced placement in his class. He's doing very well in his studies, despite being two years younger than most of his peers, and they do something like a gifted program starting in third grade that they get standardized testing for in second grade.

Funny how this early life testing affects the entire arc of your life. According to some of the testing, he's 99th percentile in math, and 80th percentile in reading. He's got an incredible vocabulary, and can figure out most words, but just like me, comprehension is lacking.

I hear what you're saying... I just don't get it.

Smart Boy

From Grammie:

Last night in talking with Gamble on the phone (doing math facts), Gamble once again amazed us with his knowledge and speed at solving math problems.

Example: We asked him 3 x 5 plus 550, and he had the answer within seconds, and of course it was right!

We asked him who else knows how smart he is and he replied, ”Well, apparently Mommie and Daddie, Random, Grammie and GrandBear, and I guess probably Emma.”

He is something, and he loves the challenges, and he is able to explain how he arrives at the correct answers. It is amazing!

Gamble K. Davis

It's been long known that I always use my middle initial. I've been “Kevin P. Davis” since high school. Gamble's doing the same thing.

When he does his cub scout pledge, it's “I, Gamble K. Davis, promise to do my best to do my duty to God and my country.” I never expected it so soon. I wonder how long it will be before he starts going by gkd...

Mommie Not Impressed

So last night we got to go out to the Paramount Theater in Aurora to see the political humor stylings of the Capitol Steps. This time their show was “Obama Mia”. It's always good to get out, and any chance to go to the theater is good times for me.

Except babysitting has always been an issue for us. Kayla, our neighbor behind our house, is wonderful with the kids. She plays games with them, both fun and educational. She's very smart and good-hearted.

Last night, we got home at 11:30, and as Nicole pulled into the garage, she saw Kayla peek out and vanish. When she got in, Gamble and Kayla were in his room, and the kitchen table was covered with wrappers of candy, potato chips, soda. Looked like a kiddie jamboree had gone through.

Needless to say, Mommie was not impressed with the party. Some estimates put Gamble at having eight pieces of chocolate, a personal record. Kids will be kids, but man, that's a lot of Hershey...

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Something Alright

Tonight, Random took the Wiggles guitar away from him.

"Daddie! Show you. Something."

And she pressed a button and said, "Ike dis!"

Strumming the guitar, she smiled, so very pleased with herself. I'm so amazed at her verbal growth explosion. She sure showed me something alright.

Monday, October 12, 2009

The Cub

We've always called Gamble "the cub." Even after that moniker wore out its welcome with him, we still call him that.

And it's come full circle and is now appropriate again. Gamble has joined Scouts. As a second grader, he's starting as a Wolf Cub, but will work his way up. He has his first den meeting tonight.

When we get a picture of him in uniform or anything else, we'll send on an update. Also, they're doing the traditional cub scout popcorn sale, so if anyone out there wants to support Gamble's membership by ordering some popcorn, feel free to get in contact with me or Nicole.

I'm so proud of our little scout!

Ho Cake

For the longest time, we thought it was super cute when Random would talk about Strawberry Shortcake, since she called her "Bee-Bee Cake-Cake." It's changed. Now that she's hearing and talking more clearly, though, she's getting closer to "Shortcake."

Now whenever she refers to her, we often hear her yell, "Bee-Bee Hoooooo Cake!"

I think that's altogether a different series: B.B. Johnson and the Ho Cake.

Monday, September 21, 2009

The M Word

So we're all playing in the loft. I can't remember the circumstances, but Gamble said something like, “Uh oh, you better hope Daddie doesn't say the M word.”

What's the M word?”

Oh, you know... M?”

We looked at him quizzically.

M... Muh?”

Still drawing a blank.”

You know, what Daddie says. Muther...?”

We'd twigged, but too late. “Muther-fuh...?”

Enough!” We said in unison. Disaster and borderline venial sin averted.

Mommie Check

Those who are around us a lot know this, but those that don't see us often need to know.

Every fifteen minutes or so, Random needs to do a Mommie check.

That is, she needs reassurance about every fifteen minutes that Mommie is still there and loves her. If they're in separate rooms, you'll hear Random hollering, “Mommie! Ah yoo? Mommie! Ah yoo?

This can happen even if they're in the same room. She'll just go over, sigh “Mommie,” and hug Nicole's leg. Or she'll climb into Mommie's lap and hug her.

Mommie's girl, indeed.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Gamble's First Game

Gamble had his first soccer game today, and I couldn't have been more proud of him.

You know me. I'm not a sports guy. I never watch them on TV, and if I do go see a game, I'm not usually, you know, into it like that. I don't paint my face or my body, and I don't bet.

But someday, however, I may. Watching Gamble play his first game of soccer brought that out in me. He's had two practices, and I'm not even sure he knows all the rules, but yesterday he ran himself sweaty, up and down that field like everyone else.

He got some good kicks in, and he managed to get the ball down the field. A couple years younger than most of the kids on his team, he's the smallest, and he has to work harder to run the same distance, but he did so relentlessly and without complaint.

He even got to put on the goalie shirt and block a few goals. He didn't shy away from the ball as someone kicked it towards him, and maintained very good focus. Pretty awesome for a kid who only a few days prior was doing the soccer equivalent of sitting out in right field, facing the wrong way, eating dirt.

Gamble K. Davis, soccer player. Kevin P. Davis, proud soccer dad.

Coming Out of Her Shell

An update from the Mommie:

Yay! My baby has come so far and in such a short period of time.

For those that don't know, we were very concerned about R's development. So, around this time last year, the State's Early Intervention program came to evaluate her to see where she fit on their development curve. We were hesitant at first but with all of the brain development issues during pregnancy and then after, we finally came around to the idea that we needed to do this. Anyway, they came out and found that she qualified for services but just barely. In order to qualify, you have to have a 30% deficiency in three areas, and she barely met this requirement.

Anyway, they thought she needed four different services and based on her needs, they would come to the house for two hours a week of services. Well, the cost to do such a thing was prohibitive, so instead, we chose to put her in daycare 3 days a week, for 10 hours a day. She started on a Friday and started walking that weekend! At 19 months, she was more than behind but with one day of daycare, she was already spreading her wings. Wow! Who could have asked for better confirmation that we made the right choice than that?

We kept her in daycare until June and took her out for the summer so she could work on socialization and have a "break" with her brother. We had a fantastic summer, as you could probably tell from the pictures. As a follow-up though, the State came back this week to re-evaluate her and they were just floored with her progress. While she is still having problems with her feet, her other development is right on track if not a little ahead. Hooray! We kind of knew this but wanted to get their opinion, as sometimes parents can be biased and frankly, we are comparing her to where she was and don't really have a handle on what her peers are doing.

So, just this week, we have had several things change.
1) Random no longer says "help you", she says "help me", ahuge cognitive leap
2) She is also starting to say things like "I love you too" as opposed to "love you". She is now getting that construction of responses.
3) When she is pleased with something, she will say "perfect". While we think this is cute, it is so not in line with our Type A personalities, so it makes me laugh. :)
4) She has also started putting together puzzles. While not as good at them as Gamble, I am confident that she is ahead of the curve when it comes to her peers on this one. Here is what the puzzle(s) looks like, not easy. One is the alphabet and the other is numbers. I am using it for both teaching how to do puzzles but how to recognize her numbers and letters.
5) I am just so proud. I just sat down with her and started writing letters and numbers on her Doodle Pro ( and she did phenomenally. I mean, really. On the alphabet, she recognized about 10 of the 26 letters and we haven't really done that before. And with her numbers, she recognized almost all from 1-10 and therefore recognized the numbers themselves from 10-20 but was just introduced what it meant. She caught on pretty quickly but I suspect that, unlike Gamble, she will need to review it a couple more times before she gets it. We then worked on 20-30 and that was particularly helpful because she was confusing 2's for 5's. The number 25 was "perfect" for explaining that one. :)

Needless to say, Random is coming along better than we could have all imagined. She has known all of her body parts for about ten months now, including her heart and other things that aren't visible. She can almost count to 20 by herself, she knows and has known all of her colors (including black, brown, grey and white) and she knows most of her shapes. I would give her an A plus for knowing and doing all of this. Go baby!

Random is coming along in her speech very nicely. The clarity in her words is one of the areas that puts her ahead of the curve. She is very clear with most of what she says and is becoming very descriptive if we don't understand her right away. Occasionally, she will moan a little instead of talking but once reminded to use her words, she is eager to do so.

Random is still a people-pleaser. She is very eager and happy to do what is asked. Sometimes she doesn't go right away but if given the choice to do it herself, she is a happy camper. She is turning into a little Howard Hughes though. She loves to wash her hands in the bathroom and "Nannum do it." She loves to play with water but more importantly, she loves the independence to do it herself.

We are starting her in ballet next week. She just loves music and dancing and let me tell you, the girl has rhythm and she can shrug her shoulders to the music like I never could. I am excited to see how she does!

Most of all, Random is still very sweet, huggable and funny. She is still very much attached to me and will choose me over almost anything else. This frustrates the boys but I will enjoy it as long as I can. :) She starts school next week, so I am sure that her development will grow significantly more in the coming weeks and well, she will have her time away from Mommie.

Well, there is my update! Hope you have enjoyed!

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Gamble and Daddie v. the Wilderness

I took Gamble camping. We went to the Whiterock Conservancy in Coon Rapids, IA (about 6 hours away), and we stayed at their 805 River Cabin residence.

805 River is described as very basic. No running water. No electricity. No windows. It's a wooden cabin with a loft. Screened in windows and shutters to keep out the wood wasps. When it's quiet and still, and dawn is breaking, you can hear them chewing. The sound goes "Bzzzz... Scritch, scritch, scritch... bzzzz... scritch scritch scritch." I wouldn't have thought you could actually hear them chewing.

There is an outhouse. A cold water shower fed with a rainwater tank on top. A fire pit. Possibly our favorite, though, was a pond out back stocked with fish. It was Gamble at the most patient I've ever seen him. For two hours, Gamble fished. He caught three fish with no help whatsoever (other than to take the fish off the line). It was all he wanted to do.

We also got to attend a star party. It's so dark out there that the Conservancy has a star field, a field away from any lights from which you can see maximum stars. We got a lecture on astronomy, and I brought my green laser, with which you can point into the sky, and was able to point stuff out to Gamble. Some of the other stargazers helped us see binary stars, nebulae, globular clusters, and planets. We also saw shooting stars and satellites.

We got to cook dinner over a fire. We roasted corn, potatoes, sweet potatoes, and cooked baked beans in the can. Gamble really enjoyed putting the hot dogs on a fork and cooking his own over the fire. That, and s'mores.

Gamble and I played cards in the loft of the cabin until well after midnight. We even discovered a dead mouse in the cabin!

Oh the adventures we had! I recommend this cabin for anyone who wants to get away. Really, really far away. See us at our picture site for pics.

New Communication Patterns

So Random is really coming along. Her speech capabilities went from not great last year to off-the-charts this year.

So many little things have come and gone, most notably, "Hepyoo." Yesterday she called out "Hep! Me!" I was so surprised by this that it didn't really register. Nicole had to point it out to me.

So I wanted to capture some of these things before they were gone forever. Time has a way of moving fast and memory fades.

The thing we hear out of her most frequently is probably the most annoying. For some reason, she continually tells us, "I can't!" whenever we ask her to do something that she doesn't want to do. It can be quite maddening.

She cannot grasp "wait" just yet. But if you tell her "five more minutes," she'll be patient. In fact, she's been using it as a negotiating tactic, combined with her other new trick above.

"Random, it's time for bed."

"Noooo! I can't! I can't!"

"Random, it's really time to go."

"Fi mo mimits?" At least that's how she asks. Cutest thing evar. Except maybe the last thing.

Whenever she wants to do something again, she asks to do it "one more time." Except her clarity is not that good. It comes out "uh mo time?" She's just mostly happy and cute all the time.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Princess Does Camp

I never thought I'd be able to say it. We all went camping.

It all started because Mommie suggested a trip to Iowa to stay at a place called 805 River at the White Rock Conservancy. The accommodations there are extremely rustic. Bing it up on the Google and check it out.

They didn't have a vacancy that weekend, so Nicole started looking up a number of other places. We don't have a tent or a camper, so we thought we'd try someplace that had a cabin, and we hit on one. The Sunset Lakes Resort in western Illinois.

The Sunset Lakes resort has ten cabins, by which I mean a small trailer/mobile home that has sleeping accommodations for a whole family. The master bedroom has a double bed (and almost no room around it. The kids bedroom has a microbunk. The kichen table converts to a bed, and the futon sleeps more. It has a bathroom with a shower, toilet and a sink. Oh, and an air conditioner.

And at the campground, the paddleboats and canoes are free, and so is mini-golf, which Gamble and I love to play.

It's camping, all right. Luxury camping maybe, but it's still wildernessy.

And we had the grandest of plans. I had the guitar and a songbook. We bought firewood, all the makings for s'mores, and all the supplies we'd need for a weekend of family fun. And it was Christmas in July weekend that weekend. We went for the fish fry and then stayed to do colorful crafts and activities.

Around the middle of the movie "The Santa Clause," Nicole and Random headed back to the cabin. It was raining a little, so Gamble and I stayed behind to watch the movie. A few minutes later, we started noticing that other people were coming into the shelter soaking wet. It had started to pour outside. Cats and dogs pouring. Lightning everywhere. Harsh whipping winds.

Then the power went out. It came back on in the shelter, but a quick text message to Mommie revealed that the cabins were without power. We waited a few minutes, but because we knew that our girls were alone and in the dark, we wanted to go be with them and make sure they were okay.

So I grabbed Gamble's hand, and off we ran. Through the pouring, driving rain, and with frequent lightning flashes lighting our way, we splashed and spluttered all the way back to the cabin. We ran so fast that our hearts were pounding from the effort. We got to the cabin and lit our little home away from home with iPhones and our Nintendo DS game systems.

And Random had a flashlight that we brought to be safe.

And then the water went out. No fresh water for brushing teeth. No water for showers or baths, and no water to flush the toilets.

We made the best of things by playing guitar by iPhone light, and singing the best we could. Ultimately, we went to bed, Nicole cuddling up to keep Random calm, and Gamble and I sleeping out in the living room.

The next morning, we went to the shelter and asked whether the power and water would return. They said that the power would probably not be on before Tuesday, since we were at a campground, and the area workers had better things to do. The 75 mile an hour winds had blown a tree through a main power line for the campground. We ended up leaving the campground and heading out towards Iowa.

The entire area was without power. We couldn't even get gas, as the local gas pumps were not powered. We ended up driving to Iowa and staying in Davenport (one of the quad cities), eating at the Machine Shed (some of the best food I've ever had), and shimming in the hotel pool with the kids.

We even took a boat ride across the Mississippi to go to the John Deere Commons in Moline, IL. They've got some monster machines there!

That was just our first camping adventure. There are more scheduled for the summer, so stay tuned!

Monday, August 10, 2009

Papa Nazi

Random was watching her favorite show (now Blues Clues) tonight. I was taking lots of pictures, and at one point she seemed to get irritated by the flash.

"Light!" and pointed.

But I kept on at it. I never know when to quit. That's me, crossing every line I can draw.

She gave me a look, held out her hand, and shouted, "Nuff!"

No more pictures. Nothing to see here.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009


Random had a sticker on her shirt today, and I asked her, "Hey, who's on your shirt?"


"No, you mean Snoopy."

"Yeah! Poopy!"

I don't know if she's messing with us or what. She's perfectly capable of saying Gamble, but she still calls him "Bubbles." So now we call that dog Poopy.

Pinking You Up

Gamble likes his Monopoly. It's no secret that he asked for his room to be painted the exact shade of the Monopoly $20 bill (mint green, to Mommie's chagrin).

And he likes this money so much that when we play, he pays with every other kind of bills. First he gets rid of the pink fives, a process known as "pinking up". The conversation might run thus:

Daddie: Ok, Gamble, that'll be $26 for rent on Pacific Avenue.

Gamble: Sure. Five fives and a one.

Daddie: Just give me a $20, a five and a one.

Gamble: No, Daddie. I'm not giving up my greens. I'm pinking you up.

Daddie. Ok, then. I'm going to pink you up next time, then.

Gamble: NOOOooooo!

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Quickie Blogs

I can't believe how long the lag is between writing these now. It happens, I guess. We start up a project with the best of intentions and five years later (five years? Oh my!) things just peter out. Some things become more important, and other things just... slip.

There've been quite a few things that I made a note to write about. Maybe I have already. Maybe I haven't. I looked back a few months and didn't see any of these back there, so I thought I'd blast them out quickly.

Gamble's doing great with story problems. He does math on the phone with Nic's folks all the time. Things like ok, take five hundred minus twice thirty. He does it in his head, and he mostly gets it done right. It's pretty amazing, watching him work.

Gamble and I built a clock. A digital clock made from a kit, with something like 50 LEDs (the LEDs were blue, and too bright, but we're going to cover the clock with yellow construction paper, which both mutes the lights and turns them green.

Sometimes if we're cross with him, Gamble gets embarrassed and down on himself. He'll slink back in and say something like, "Sorry, Daddie." The other day, he came in and said, "Sorry I've been so S-H-I-T-Y." Ok, gold stars for using the word correctly in a sentence; demerits for spelling.

Also Pobbes pooped in the tub again. No more fun cleaning up a second time, that's for sure. Number two, #2, I say.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Family Trip

We are celebrating it as our first family vacation since we had Random.  Sure, we've been to visit family and friends as a family, but we've never gone *on vacation*.  

It was really a trip for me, since Cedar Point is about my favorite place on the whole planet, and this was the first time I've ever gone there for two days.  We stayed at the Breakers for the intervening night, which also increased the fun (you get to start riding an hour earlier than anyone else, and the entrance to the park is about 100 yards from the hotel).

Additionally, I've never gone to Soak City either.  While the experience was hampered somewhat by the bugs and the bird poo fairly prevalent throughout that park, the rides and attractions there are pretty fun, too, though maybe not for a whole day (I don't know how to go there and *not* get sunburned, for example).

One of the main attractions we planned to visit there was Camp Snoopy.  I'm not sure at what point Cedar Fair got in bed with the Peanuts Gang, but the Snoopy-themed attractions for younger kids were really well done, and kept both kids riding.  Gamble could ride almost all the Peanuts rides by himself, and Random was able to ride them with an adult rider.  

Random was particularly funny to watch.  She went from cautious, to scared, to cautious, to enthusiastic all in the course of a day.  She really liked the balloon ride that you could help spin (or help retard the spin).

They had the characters walking through the park, and Random was sure to give Snoopy lots of hugs, and she kept giving Lucy knuckles (or "the rock" in Ohio-an).  

Mommie also paid for her to pick a duck from the duck pond to win a prize.  Even the game operator was surprised when she pulled a duck for a large prize (there must be ver few).  She picked out a white doggie with purple markings.  When I asked her what the dog's name was, she told me, "Purple!"  She dragged it everwhere for the rest of the trip.  She's a very lucky little girl.

Gamble, however, was a real treat.  He seemed to be suffering an identity crisis.  On one hand, he seemed to really enjoy the rides he went on, but at the same time, he seemed to be frustrated about hanging around all the little rides in Snoopy land.  He was into Peanuts a couple years back, but seems to have moved on, and we think that maybe he felt a little too old for Snoopy.

At 46 inches, he wasn't able to ride many big-boy rides, but he was able to ride quite a bit with me, and there were even a couple rides he could get on that would be considered mainstream.  

It was with great pride that I put him in the front car of the Iron Dragon, a suspended coaster that was, to my knowledge, his first real roller coaster beyond the kiddie fairground fare.  He loved it.  So much so that we rode it seven times over both days.  He was also able to ride Disaster Transport.  If you haven't been on Disaster Transport lately, they've taken away all the lights.  It now rides completely pitch black.  He loved that one so much that he took his Mommie on it!

During one of the rides, it was evident that Gamble was pretty excited.  "Daddie?  I think I'm freaking out.  I'm so excited!"  And from then on, we said it everywhere we went, and on every ride.  Freaking out became the way that we enjoyed the rides, and the way that we celebrated.  While we were in the middle of the Iron Dragon: "Hey, Gamble, I think it was this part of the ride where you were freaking out."  "Stop it, Daddie!  I'm giggling!"

What a fun trip. Thanks to this Mommie for making it all happen!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009


Random's speech is really coming along nicely.  One of her favorite things to tell you is that she's hungry, thirsty, and what she wants you to do about it.

For example, she might say, "Nannum!  Hungie!" or "Sih-cess cup - appa juuuice" (princess cup, apple juice).

She can even tell you when she's finished.  She'll be chowing away at the table when you'll hear, "Done!  Eeeeeating!  Done!   Eeeeeating!"

All that's pretty expected, but what wasn't expected was what she keeps asking for.  The other night on the way home from day care, I hear a littel voice pipe up from the back seat and say, "Nannum!  Chee-bugger!  Nannum!  Chee-bugger!"

Yup, she always seems to want, and even request, cheeseburgers wherever we go.  In fact, sometimes she'll get so demanding that she'll say it over and over again:  "Chee-bugger, chee-bugger, chee-bugger."  

I'm hoping to teach her to say "No coke!  Pepsi!" next...

Monday, May 25, 2009


From Mommie: 

"Gamble is very much coming out of his shell too.  He has made many new friends in the neighborhood and is having the time of his life.  In fact, when there are no kids around, he gets bored and very sad.  

"After listening to him pout this afternoon, I finally told him to go knock on the neighbor's door to see if the little boy could play.  Eager to take my advice (this is something that I am well known for doing when I was a kid), he went down there.  

"After a few minutes, he comes back with a popsicle.  Confused, I asked him what happened.  He said that he ran into his dear friend Kayla and that she gave it to him.  Happy as a clam, he ate it outside, waiting for some kids to come out.  

"With the looming rain, it wasn't looking promising.  

"Then he proclaimed that Caden could play once he finished dinner and that he needed to finish his homework and dinner so he could go back and play.  Excited for him, I told him sure.  It wasn't until later that I learned that Gamble had Kayla go to Caden's house and ask if he could come and play with Gamble while Gamble waited on the sidewalk for an answer.  

"Five years old and already getting other people to do his dirty work.  Nice.  I guess that is why he came home later and tried to tell me what I should be doing.  Ummm, no.  Think again, kid."

Impressing the Big Kids

From Nicole: 

"Random is becoming such a big little girl.  The other day, she played outside all day with Gamble and his new friends, Cade and Cara.  

"Random kept up all day with them and even skipped her nap.  She loves to be outside and loves to play, as you well know.  Well, to keep them out longer, I would periodically throw snacks outside.  

"After 2 bowls of goldfish, I thought that it would be enough for awhile but then R came in to see what I was doing and found my stash.  She grabbed for it and immediately went running outside "Kids!  Kids!" as if to say "I got the loot, how cool am I?"

Thursday, May 14, 2009


Random is getting the hang of location.  She now calls out in a cute little voice when she's looking for someone.

"Bubbles!  Eye-oo?"  (trans: Gamble, Where are you?)

And if she finds him, she squeals and says, "Ay-Yiz!" (trans: There he is!)

Yes, she still calls him Bubbles...

One Tooth Less Boy

As you can see from the picture, Gamble has one tooth less.

He lost it in the shower.  Pabu was in the tub, and I heard Gamble yell out.  I went to see, and he was crying, and had his hand over his mouth.  

Looked like maybe he had some blood, too.

I ran and got him a salt water rinse, and helped him out of the shower.  Right then I snapped this pic - it was tough to get him to smile then.

He had to call Nic's folks right away, so he did, and while I was helping out the Pobbes, I heard him say, "Do you think I should tell Daddie?"

Yes.  Yes he should.

And he did.  When I asked, he said that he was wondering whether to tell me how he lost his tooth.  I hadn't even thought of that.  

He said that he wasn't able to open the shampoo bottle, so he tried to use his teeth.  He must have gotten it open, though, since he had shampoo in his hair when I found him.

Tooth fairy comes down the chimney tonight!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Doing the Right Thing

On our big day out the other day, we finished the day off at the DQ.  

We were halfway finished with our ice creams when I remembered something.

"Gamble, I got you a medium!  I don't know what I was thinking.  I always get you a kids cone."

He looked me square in the eyes and said calmly, "Daddie, you did the right thing."

He sure knows how to play me.

Celebration Day

In the car the other day.

Gamble: Daddie?

Me: Yeah?

Gamble: I want to be someone to make a special day.

Me: Make a special day?

Gamble: Yeah.  I want to make a day that everyone gets to celebrate.  I want to be the one to make that day.

Me: You want to create a holiday?

Gamble (excited): Yeah!  And we'll call it Celebration Day.  And everyone can come to my house and celebrate.

Me: You mean like your birthday?

Gamble: Not exactly.  Like a holiday.  And people will all come to my house and celebrate Celebration Day.

Me: I don't see why we can't do that.  We'll have to ask Mommie whether she'd be ok with sending out mid-summer Celebration Day holiday cards to your friends to come over, but there's no reason at all you can't invent any reason you want to have a party.

Gamble:  I have a good idea for another new holiday.  St. Daddie's Day!

Me: Sign me up.  I like that holiday.

Counting to Selen

Random's developing so quickly.  Day care has done wonders for her, and weekly - maybe even daily - I'm impressed with something new she's doing.  It's all happenening faster than I can blog it, so I'm going to hit the high points here.

She's counting clearly now.  She doesn't get everything pronounced just right.  For example, she says "seven" as either "selen" or "senen".  And sometimes she gets stuck.  Last week, she got stuck at selen.  She counted one-two-three-four-five-six-selen... six-selen... six-selen.  Basically stuck in a loop until I would say eight, at which point she'd say eight-nine-ten, Yayyyy!

This week, she seems to be trying to count to twenty, but gets stuck at fourteen like a verbal Pooh bear and we have to get behind her numbers and push.

The other thing that she's doing these days is being independent.  It's amazing.  She wants to dress herself, feed herself, dip her food into barbecue boss.  Try to do anything for her, and you'll be rebuked with a sharp "Nan-num turn!"

She also likes tea parties.  I thought that whole thing was a myth, but she'll pour me tea and I'll pretend to drink it all day.  I mean, really.  All day.  She loves it.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

A Tear to the Eye

Tonight, Gamble and I got home from a very busy day out.  Gamble looked at the bathroom counter in the kids' bathroom and exclaimed, "Daddie!  Where did this new SpongeBob soap come from?"

"Mommie got that for you.  She thought you might like it."

His face kinda screwed up and he looked suddenly sad.

"Gamble, what's wrong?"

"You know, Daddie, sometimes when people get so happy, they might look sad and have tears of joy.  I have tears right now."

Emotions coming in with his adult teeth.  Check.

Sunday, May 3, 2009


I don't believe it.  Not even six, and Gamble has his first loose tooth.

I'm at least a little creeped out that he's starting to lose body parts.  I'm starting to think of him as GambleFly or BrundleGamble.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Juicy Words

Gamble's been a real trip lately. It's actually very hard to remember he's five.

The other day he was telling us how fantastic things were, or how stupendous, or how beautiful Random is, or how gorgeous Mommie is.

It sounded so crazy coming from him, we asked him about it.

"In school, they keep telling us to use 'juicy' words."

Who's the Boss?

I remember it as if it were yesterday. Or more like it was a couple weeks back, which it almost surely was. The question took me by surprise, out of the blue.

"Daddie, who's the boss?"

I look around sheepishly. This is a trick question, depending on whether the Mommie is around and I know it.

Shoot. I can't see the Mommie anywhere, but we have a pretty open floor plan, so I hazard a guess.

"Mommie is the boss, right?"

"No. Try again."

"Uh, ok. Well, how about Daddie's the boss? That sounds cool, right?"

"Nope! Try again."

"Um, is it Tony Danza? Because if it is, you and I need to talk." I kind of spaced out wondering whether Tony Danza was the boss on that show. Or was it Angela? Or Mona?

He turns the bottle of barbecue sauce in front of him around triumphantly. What I read on the neck of the bottle is what he says with a flourish.

"The sauce is the boss!"

Oh. Of course. Sure enough, right there on the bottle of Sweet Baby Ray's (the only BBBQ sauce we'll buy), that's what it says. So for a long stretch there, he stopped calling it barbecue sauce, and just referred to it as the boss.

Last night, I was giving the kids dinner, and Random demanded to have barbecue sauce like her brother. Now, she's had it before, but it's not a frequent occurrence. I gave her a little squirt of it to dip her pizza in (like big brother). She ate it all up, and she started saying "Mo. Mo. Mo. Peezh!"

"Random, what do you want more of?"

Emphatically, she stabbed a finger downward toward the place where the sauce had been and said "Boss!" clear as day.

I didn't even know she'd been paying attention.

That was all well and good, but she didn't know her brother has moved on to calling it "50% more free!" (what it says on the neck of the latest bottle...)

Monday, April 6, 2009

In Soviet Russia Kid Messes with You

Two years old and she has quite the sense of humor.

It's happening frequently enough that it's not a coincidence. She knows her barnyard noises. For the longest time, I would have this conversation with her:

Me: What sound does a cow make?

Random: Mooooooo.

Me: What sound does a horse make?

Random: Nayyyyyy.

Me: What sound does a duck make?

Random: Kack kack kack.

Me: What sound does a frog make?

Random: Dibbit dibbit!

Me: What sound does a StormTrooper make?

Random: Pew pew pew!

And yes, I usually ask that one, and yes, she does know it. It wasn't on the See and Say when I was a kid, but I'm

thinking of petitioning George Lucas to team up with Mattel and have a barnyard See and Say that includes a

StormTrooper, just for kicks.

Where was I? Oh yes. Little Miss and her twisted barnyard humor.

So now that she knows we know that she knows her sounds, she's mixing it up. She won't tell us anymore what the sounds are.

Me: What sound does a cow make?

Random (grinning): Baa!

Me: Random! What sound does a cow make?

Random (louder): Baaaaaa!

Me: Random Jolie! You know what sound a cow makes! What sound does it make?

Random (giggling now): BAAAAA BAAAAA BAAAAA!

And at first we thought she just forgot, that maybe it was too far out of memory. I was ready to sit her down with a whole farmyard of toys to go through the. But then the following:

Me: What sound does a cow make?

Random: Mo... (pauses) Baaaaa!

Me: What sound does a frog make?

Random: Rib- (pauses, grins)

Me (giving up): Ok, Random, you win. What sound does a sheep make?

Random: Baaaaaaaa!

Me: Good girl!

Two and the False Choice

Random has figured out the fallacy of the false choice, and at only two years old.

See, a long time ago, Nicole warned me that I have to give kids choices, and let them take ownership of their decisions. I watched as she expertly gave them choices, and they picked and happily enjoyed them.

For Gamble, it still works.

For Random, it's already ceased. Given two choices that she doesn't like, say A) and B), she'll almost always choose "Noooooooooooo." Yes, it has that many O's in it.

For her, the answer is C) Noooooooooone of the above.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Daddie and the Forgotten Task

There's one thing to be busy to the point of distraction, but this was something else.

I'd been waiting for checks to show up to pay some medical bills, and they were overdue. They came Thursday and I was trying to write out bills while putting the kids through bedtime paces (I chose that over cleaning up the kitchen). When Random got out of the bathtub, I was concentrating on a bunch of different things at once.

It truly was a triumph of multitasking. I was writing bills, then I got her in her nightgown (she loves dresses at night), and I got hot, so I went into my room to change into shorts, and went into the bathroom to freshen up me and Random.

I sat back down to bills, and Random wandered downstairs. She wandered around for a while, and then went to give Mommie a hug.

So from the loft, I hear, "Oh, hi sweetie! You come to give Mommie a hug? How swee... AWW! What? Why are you wet?!?"

Right then I knew, but I shrunk back into my chair, trying to become invisible.

Mommie came up the stairs with her. "Honey?" she asked me. "Forget something?"

"Um. A diaper?"

"Guess who gets to give Random another bath!"

"Um. Me?"


Seriously, this is the first time I've ever messed up the diaper duty this badly. Not only did I get to give little girl a bath, but I stepped in the pee-puddle in the carpet downstairs and got to clean that up, too.

Not likely to forget again, me.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Notes from Heaven

Lately Gamble's been writing notes to us before bed.

I think it's been going on for a while, but the notes started out simply. "I love you, Daddie," or "Can you please get me fresh water?"

He would slide these notes out under his door so that we would see them when we went to check on him.

I think a couple things happened since then: his writing has gotten better, and he's gotten less patient. Nicole and I might be sitting on the couch watching an hour of American Idol. Two or three times in the course of the show, we'll hear a piece of paper fall down from the second floor to the first floor. Sometimes, they're still simple. Sometimes, they're a little more complicated.

"Daddie, I've been a relly good boy. Can you please lay out my close for me?" was one of the more recent ones.

"I relly like the smell of the new vix you got me Daddie."

He's claiming that he wants to start writing letters and mailing them. You never know; you may receive a handwritten note from him sometime in the near future.

Bag Lady

Here, there's really not much to say. Random is our little bag lady.

She wears any combination of clothes that strikes her fancy. Sometimes she'll be wearing her jammies, then demand that we put her jacket on, Gamble's pair of yellow rubber fireman boots, a tutu, and then she'll jam a purse on her head, the handles hanging down past her jawline.

So we've taken to calling her our little bag lady every time she dresses herself up funny.


The other day I came home to find Gamble outside in the backyard playing on his playset.

I went out on the postage-stamp of a deck and called out to him. He answered me, and started telling me about his day, when a flock of geese flew overhead.

He stopped talking abruptly and looked up at them, almost worried, and as they cleared his airspace and moved on, he yelled out, "Look, Dad! It's a pooping star!"

Oh, if I'd heard that when I was dealing with the geese of Fermilab...

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Mr. Weirdo

So Nic gets this email from her dad tonight:

Subject: Gamble just hung up on Grammie

1st line of the body: ....because he wanted her to call him Mr. Weirdo.

Really. You can't make this stuff up.

For Science

This from Mommie:

"Gamble to Mommie, 'Mommie, I asked Daddie something last night that you might be able to answer for me. How do phones connect?'

"In my hurried half-hearted response first thing in the morning, I responded with a quick answer, thinking that it would pacify him. 'Electricity,' I responded.

"Gamble retorted indignantly with, 'Well, that's not what Daddie said, and he is a scientist. You weren't, were you?'

"Nice, real nice."

She Count Three

Tonight, Nicole was putting Random to bed when I walked in.

"Check this out," she said.

She held up a flash card with a picture of three fish on it.

"Random, what's this?"

"Dis?" First, she almost always repeats the question. But in this case, she continued on.


"Good girl!" Exclaimed Mommie. I was amazed.

"Random, how many fish?" Mommie asked.

"Un, dooo, dree!"

Yup, counted to three. Right there in front of me. A very cute encounter with a very cute counter.

Sunday, February 22, 2009


So just a general observation. It's an observation I voiced to Nicole the other day, but I think it's amusing enough to share.

In any gathering where the kids outnumber the adults, I always feel overwhelmed. Like there's so much going on that I can't possibly catch it all. Look away for thirty seconds and Random has dipped a dinner roll in tartar sauce and has proceeded to turn herself into a mime trying to eat it. And I realized what it feels like.

It's like watching a tennis match, played on a hexagonal court, with flaming tennis balls, by six hungry wolverines on PCP.

Rock Show

I took Gamble and Random to see Justin Roberts yesterday. It's not the first time we've taken Random to the theater, but it was her first rock show.

It was the best show we've seen from him. Kids shows are notoriously short, and like any concert you go to where the artist has six albums full of great material, you never hear everything you want. Even when we were doing the post-concert wind-down with some CDs in the car, Gamble kept saying, "Hey! That's my favorite song, and he didn't play it!"

The show was chock full of references for the adults in the audience, or parts of the show that only adults would appreciate. As a ferinstance, during the last song, the second encore, a ten-minute extended dance remix of "Yellow Bus" that was simply a blast to be part of. Somewhere in the middle, Big Dave, a member of the "Not Ready for Naptime Players" went over to the drums and took over seamlessly from the regular drummer. It's something that the adults have seen at concerts for years, but the kids probably don't really appreciate.

There was also a freakout breakdown, an audience reponse section, references to other songs, talking parts, etc. If you've ever been to a Metallica show and seen the 20 minute "Seek and Destroy" section, you have an idea what it's like.

They also had a puppet named "Little Dave" that Big Dave voiced with a high-pitched falsetto. Liam Davis, another guitarist with the band that plays with Justin in more capacities than the NR4NP, in the middle of a song that seemed to be a stay at home dad, started rocking out with the opening riff from "Back in Black" by ACDC. Then out came little Dave to sing a high-pitched version of the song with lyrics about going to school, riding the bus, coming home, etc. It was hilarious for Gamble, who laughed so hard that he was rocking back and forth in his seat, and just cool to see for the adults.

Random was entranced. We listen to Justin Roberts in the car every day I take her to day care. Anytime she heard a song she knew, she'd stand up on her seat and watch carefully. As the concert rolled on, she did more and more of the hand motions, and by the time they did "Meltdown", she was standing up in her seat, flapping her arms and shaking her head side to side and screaming along with the other kids.

He's really come a long way from when we first saw him at the Wheeling 4th of July festival. The venue was the biggest one I've seen him in yet, and it was almost full. Kids... everywhere! He's also traveling more around the country, getting to all sorts of places, so if he gets close to where you live, check him out!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

The Farm in the Car and the Color Wheel

I was driving Random home in the car tonight from day care. She was being cute as always and singing along to the music.

I had kinda zoned out, watching the snow and keeping the car on the road, and wasn't really paying attention, just letting her enjoy her music (we were getting ready for the concert on Saturday). What breaks me out of my deep reverie is "Nay! Nay! Neigh-eigh-eigh!"

I checked my rear view for horses. Just Random.

I was about to say something when she moves on. Mooves on.

"Moo! Moo! Mooooooo!" she says.

I did say something to her. I don't remember what, but something along the lines of "great job!" And then, because it was snowing harder, I zoned back out, paying attention to the road. Again, another surprise, "Lyellow! Ylallow! Yellow!"

What an odd transition. At first I thought she was doing another animal sound, but that was soon followed up with "Bink! Bink! Pink!"

From the farmyard to the color wheel, she's one entertaining little chickie. Cluck!

Monday, February 16, 2009

A Fitting Question

From Mommie:

"Last week while I was gone, and I was talking to Gamble on the phone. He said to me, 'Mommie, you are so beautiful, and you always smell so good. Do you think that maybe you could wear a dress for me sometime?'

"What a little charmer.

"'Uh... Sure, Gamble. Why?'

"'Well, I just haven't seen you in a dress in a while, and I really think that it would make you look more beautiful. Maybe you could wear it Thursday, Friday, Saturday, or Sunday?'

"Oozing with charm. How could this Mommie refuse? 'Okay, Gamble. Mommie will see what she can do.'

"Then today.

"'Mommie, I am looking forward to getting married but I think that I am going to be embarassed to kiss the girl in front of people.'

"'Uh, Gamble, what brought this up?'

"'Well, I was just looking at the picture of you and Daddie and thinking about it.' (He was looking at our wedding picture.)

"'Oh, of course, Gamble. Well, you have time for that.'

"'Does that dress still fit you, Mommie?'

"'Why do you ask Gamble?

"'Well, I was thinking that I would really like to see you in it.'

"Wouldn't we all, Gamble. Wouldn't we all..."

Even if this Mommie doesn't now, she's still as beautiful as the day I met her.

Birthday Doctor Visit

From Mommie:

"For her birthday, Pobbes ended up at the doctors again. Not the fun birthday we'd wanted for her, but she wasn't feeling good, so I called the doctors from the portrait studio and he got her right in.

"Turns out that she had a sinus infection and 2 molars coming in. While in the appointment, the doctor was trying to figure out what had her screaming so much and so he decided to ask her directly.

"'Random? What hurts?'

"She answered right away, 'Mommie.'

"How right she was. I had a splitting headache from all of her screaming. The doc and I both got a good laugh from that one."

No No

From Mommie:

"So Pobbes is getting very demanding these days, and she is knows what she wants and expresses it, more clearly every day.

"The other night while I was 'ocking' her to sleep, I was so tired from my long weekend that I just closed my eyes and was trying to sing to her. After a few minutes, I hear her say, 'No, no.'

"Okay, Pobbes. Mommie will stop singing.

"So, I started to hum, which usually helps her fall asleep faster. As I close my eyes and lay back, I feel her head pop up again, and I hear her say 'No' again.

"I continue to hum, as if she is saying no to something else.

"All of a sudden, I feel her tiny hands grab my cheeks and hear her say 'Hey! No... No!' Well, okay, Pobbes. I hear you. No singing. No humming Got it."

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Establishing Lid Rules

From Nicole:

"So last night as I was coming down the stairs, I hear Gamble's little voice.

"'Mommie, we really need to talk'.

"What? A 5-year old needs to 'talk'? 'Yes, Gamble? About what?'

"'Mommie, we need to establish (yes, he said establish) a girls bathroom and a boys bathroom. I am getting really tired of having to lift the seat up all of the time. Tell you what, us boys can take the bathroom down here and you girls can have *both* bathrooms upstairs. How does that sound? Isn't that a good idea?'"

Seriously. Five years old, and already making sensible toilet seat arguments.

Everything Starts With E

One of Random's favorite Justin Roberts songs (we're going to see him this Saturday, yay!) is "Everything Else Starts With E".

I don't know if that accounts for the recent phenomenon. Everytime I'm playing with her, and she's got something that has a lot of large letters on it, she'll point at the letters and say "E. E. E." As if she's trying to spell out the words, but thinks either all letters are "E" or that she's trying to say different names like zee, pee, see, dee (I think it's the former).

And then there are the times where she just squeals, "Eeeeeeee!"


Gamble and Random sometimes takes baths together. They have a great time playing, and it gives us a couple minute break to take a breather.

Thing is, the water is always cooler than Gamble likes. He eventually gets cold and then he wants her out, so he can add hot water. He's even offered to get her washed up.

Last night, we let him take a shot at it. Five minutes later, we hear, "Mommie? I washed her all up. All except her wiener, nuts, and butt. I didn't realize that this was his generic term for private area, but apparently it is.

And then we hear, "Ok! I washed her fanny too!" And I don't know if this is American fanny or British fanny.

Saturday, February 7, 2009


Ok so I missed blogging her birthday, mostly because we were out of town and it was so hectic.

Happy second birthday, baby girl!

She's into Strawberry Shortcake in a big way, and it's what she always wants on TV, and what she always wants to wear.

This morning, g and r were eating triple berry cheerios. Gamble likes to eat the Os, and Random only likes the berries, so I watch on in delight as they barter and exchange. Problem is, there's not many berries in it, so Pabu kept calling out to me, "cake-cake"!

I didn't know what she meant. Silly daddie didn't realize that she thinks of shortcake whenever she wants strawberries...

Monday, January 19, 2009

Dinner and a Movie

Gamble and Emma went to McDonalds playland today. After they had lunch, went to the movies. We joked that grandbear is chaperoning his first date.



Tubes successfully installed.

Random is recovering very well. We thought she'd be wobbly, but quite the opposite.

Could be my imagination, but she's been jabbering all day. She's been communicating her desires clearly, saying her words more clearly.

Today she managed to communicate that I had to wear my glove on my right hand, and I could wear my left one, except when she wanted it, and then she had first dibbs.

Oh, and she kicked me off the TV because it's surgery day and she wanted to watch Strawberry Shortcake, which is now her favorite in the world. She doesn't watch it always, but if she sees it's not on, here she comes bup-bup-bup with the DVD in hand saying "cake-cake".

Oh and you wouldn't know she had surgery this morning for all the dancing she's doing. Dancing and now doing somersaults. Over and over. Grammie helped her do it once and she kept coming back saying "'gain!"

The Girls Have Landed

We want to welcome and wish happy birthday to our three new triplet nieces, Samantha, Abigail, and Lauren Metzger.

I don't have all the details, but it sounds like they're doing really well for being so preemie (28 weeks, I think).

Friday, January 16, 2009

More Baby Girl Notables.

In addition to walking more and talking more, here's a few more Random tidbits:

1) She's in a big girl bed now. About a week ago, she simply screamed at bedtime and refused to lie down in her crib. When offered the floor, she took the floor. We set up the day bed in her room, and she's doing very well.

2) She's quite the dancer. They were on a playdate the other day, and the little girl there takes all kinds of dance lessons. When Random was there, they put in one of the instructional tapes, and Random copied every move. I didn't see it myself, but Nicole said it was absolutely amazing.

3) She gets a lot of ear infections. Just like Gamble did. And Monday morning, our dear little princess goes in to get tubes installed in her ears. Please keep her in your thoughts and prayers. If it's anything like how his went, she'll be running, jumping, and talking a blue streak before you know it.

4) She pukes. Oh man, tonight did she ever. Luckily, she's still in a high chair and that contained most of the funchunks, but still. Yuck.


Gamble does some strange things. The other night at the dinner table, he starts clapping in some weird awkward rhythm.

He looks across the table at me and says, "Daddie? Do you recognize that song?"



"Um. No."

"C'mon, Daddie. It's from Star Wars. You must recognize it."

"Um... Hm. Duel of the Fates?"


"I give up."

"It's the Darth Vader music! Now... which episode?"

Ah. Star Wars trivia taken one step too far...

Nan-num and Bubbles

So we're getting a lot of interesting material from Pabu, and I've been very remiss in sharing. I thought I would take a couple minutes tonight to catch folks up.

Random has really started communicating. "Peezh" for please. "Mo" for more. The requisites, Mommie, Daddie, baby, etc. Sometimes she even gets out a few words in a row that communicate more meaning. "Nana, Mo!" for more banana. "Pappy Momma" for happy to see Mommie.

And her own name. She calls herself Nan-num. It's not a lazy "nannum" (all run together). There's a definite inflection, close to Nan-yum or Nan-ym. That's what she says when you ask her what her name is (if she doesn't just mimic you by saying "ame is."

In fact, she does that a lot. She'll take the last syllable or couple syllables of what you said and repeat them to you. Very cute.

And poor Gamble. He wants to love her so much, and she just shuts him down and turns him away. Worse still, she's taken to calling him Bubbles, her best interpretation of his name.