Monday, January 28, 2008

Lumpyhead's Poker Mnemonic

I realize there are things about your children you cannot control. You set the foundation for their lives, but some of their choices and certain aspects of their personalities are beyond your control.

There are a few things I want desperately for my children. Happy, healthy, blah blah self-esteem cakes, but there is one vital component of their brains I will not leave to chance: my children will know the hierarchy of poker hands.

To that end, I often sing Lumpyhead the following song:

One Pair, Two Pair, Three of a Kind
Then a Straight (five cards in a line)
Flush is next (all of the same suit)
Full House (trips and a pair to boot)
Four of the same number
Straight Flush (a wonder!)
Five of a Kind with wilds
a Royal by house rules.

(See, in our house a Royal Flush beats a Five of a Kind, but Five of a Kind beats any other straight flush.)

Lumpyhead calls it the "Pair Song." He has begun to sing along, although I don't think he can sing it by himself yet.

It's probably a good thing we don't send him to Sunday School; this would probably get him kicked out. Because the song is sung to the tune of Jesus Loves Me.

I'm sure Jesus loves you, too, but do me a favor and start singing this to your kid, okay? I mean, it doesn't do much good to yell "Shuffle up and deal!" if no one else at preschool can play with you.

Friday, January 25, 2008

An Announcement

Yes, I am a feeble idiot who is overwhelmed by the task of caring for two children for three days. (Three! Whole! Days!) (Alone!)

Here is my excuse for being such a big baby: I was also nauseous and exhausted the whole time.

It seems I have a uterine growth. It currently measures about 35 mm, but we expect its size will increase rapidly until August - at which time it will expel itself or be surgically removed.

We are excited.

Also terrified.

But mostly excited.

(Not really. We’re mostly terrified)

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Lula's Birthday Party

A note to party planners everywhere: If you offer people a pink party hat or a mustache, most people choose a mustache.

Then you feel bad for the people who chose party hat, so you have to give them a mustache, too.
So, make sure to buy plenty of mustaches.

Lula made a photo-appropriate mess with her cake.

Then Lumpyhead muttered something about you being a clock-clucker.
Or something like that, I didn't hear him clearly.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Last Year

She arrived at 12:21pm.

Aunt Bob and I started drinking almost immediately.

We will be engaging in similar activities this afternoon. (Minus the whole "giving birth" thing, thankfully.) If you can't join us, might I encourage you to open a festive beverage of your own?

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Damn Magnadoodle

A long time ago I told you about my failed attempt to draw Thomas for Lumpyhead. Apparently Lumpyhead does not learn from experience, because a few weeks ago he brought me his magnadoodle and asked me to draw a monkey.

A monkey.

I drew a mildly deformed baby.

Lumpyhead looked at it and asked where its ears were. I gave up and instructed Lumpyhead to ask his father to draw him a monkey. Bump quickly rendered a proper monkey, complete with ears and a tail.

Then Lumpyhead asked for an elephant. "Ha!" I thought, "Finally I won't be the only one who disappoints the boy."

Bump drew this.

My husband obviously missed his true calling. Is there much of a market for magnadoodle sketch artists?

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Breakfast Is Served

When I mentioned that Bump was out of town, I neglected to point out that he is the one who does all the cooking in our household. I don't hate to cook, I'm just not very good at it; so when I cook it means that we're stuck having to eat what I've prepared. And, well, nobody wants that.

I tried to make Lumpyhead a pop tart this morning. It did not go well.

Accompanied by a shining halo of light and the triumphant sound of angel voices, my colleague Linda came over this afternoon. She often babysits for us, and the tormentors both love her. While she was here, I was able to take a nap and a shower. (I also took Lumpyhead to the playground while Lula slept, but let's face it, the true luxury was in the nap and the shower.)

I love that she came, but nearly as valuable as her presence was the psychological lift I got from knowing she was on her way. Last night, after both kids were bathed and in bed and I was cleaning up the debris from dinner, I nearly cried. I would have just lied down on the dining room floor and sobbed, right alongside the slimy string cheese and crusty bits of rice, if not for the bright glimmer of hope in the mantra: "Linda comes tomorrow, Linda comes tomorrow. . ."

At that point, I had been on my own for a mere 24 hours.

But I had a big fat nap today. I don't smell funky anymore. We had chinese take-out for dinner. Bump comes home Monday morning.

We may just make it.

Friday, January 18, 2008


Late yesterday afternoon, Bump left for Vegas. He returns on Monday.

When he called this morning to check in, he asked about my plan for the day. “Survival,” I told him.

I was not kidding. Not even a little.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

TMX Lumpyhead

When you tickle your children, do you say anything? Like "tickle tickle" or "coochie coochie coo" or "shut yer hole, you furry red muppet"?

I'm not sure how this started, but when I tickle the tormentors, I say "Ouagadougou, Ouagadougou."

It makes them laugh, but . . . am I dooming my offspring to odd word associations? Will the capital of Burkina Faso always make them giggle?

I'm just saying, it might lead to some uncomfortable situations if they land jobs in West Africa someday.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Knowledge! In Three Easy Steps.

1. This is Harvey.
He loads cargo and helps other trains in trouble. He is a hard worker and a daring rescuer.

2. This is Harvey's side.
(Also a plastic corn stalk, but just ignore that.)

3. This is what your baby's head will look like several hours after she face-plants into Harvey's side.
So there you go.


Don't worry, I totally chewed off part of Harvey's paint job in retaliation.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

A Short Survey

Do you:

1. Unpack the minute you get home, or
2. Let the pile of clothes and random shit sit there until you use each item again and it cycles back into its regular place?

I'm a 2, even when I'm not barfing. Bump is a 1. Is this just a personality difference, or is it because I am a shitty housekeeper?

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

I Am

1. Home

As of Friday, which is quite awhile ago but it feels like a) I just got back and b) I was gone soooo long. Lumpyhead was happy to see me, but happier to see his sister. He and Lula giggled at each other all the way home from the airport. Then we got home and she started touching his stuff and Lumpyhead was all "Mama take baby away?"

2. Sick

Ugh. That's all I have to say about that.

3. Out of sorts

2008 has been very . . . weird thus far. It could be just the vomit talking, but I can't quite settle into a routine, I have a zillion things to do, and I can't seem to get started on any of them. For example, Lula's first birthday is in two weeks, and I haven't even begun planning for it. The celebration will probably be cupcakes and champagne at our place - you should consider yourself invited even though you may not receive an actual invitation. Poor, neglected second child.