Sunday, August 31, 2008

Avoiding Couples Counseling by Writing the Date on Some Damn Masking Tape

I've begun labeling things in the refrigerator.

I'm not obsessive, but Bump and I don't overlap much right now. Someone is up with the baby 24 hours, with each of us trying to get at least six hours of sleep. While that technically means we are both awake at the same time for 12 hours a day, those 12 hours seem lost in wrangling three kids and mediating disputes and feeding and cleaning up and baths and toys and laundry and bedtime. It might be 12 hours, but the topic of when I put those peaches in the fridge doesn't seem to come up.

So labeling things is one way to communicate information that would easily get lost in the shuffle.

I'm trying to prevent the scenario in which I stand in front of the fridge yelling "What the hell happened to those peaches I put in here yesterday?" only to have Bump reply that he thought they were two weeks old and threw them out.

Granted, losing leftover peaches is hardly a disaster. But lack of sleeps lends itself to me muttering about the wastefulness of throwing away half a can of perfectly good peaches and Bump thinking I'm a moron for complaining about 79 cents worth of fruit when he was up with the baby until 4am, goddammit, here's a dollar to shut the fuck up about it.

It's not much, but it makes me feel like a genius.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Tuesday, August 26, 2008


Whenever I'm asked "What would you like for [occasion]?" the first thing that pops into my head is "Time to myself."

Then I feel guilty about it.

But if by some act of charity, or stroke of luck, or multiple dollars paid to a babysitter I DO get some time for myself - away from the kids - the first thing I do is miss the little bastards.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Making Something Totally Not About Me a Little Bit About Me

I got a call from a friend last week, telling me his marriage was ending. I honestly thought when he got to the "I have news" part of the call, he was going to tell me he was going to be a father. I am shocked.

I am also unspeakably sad.

While emotions are still raw, there seems to be very little bitterness and not a lot of blame. I suppose if something is going to end, this is the best way.

At the root of my heartache is this: if you could earn happiness by delighting others, these two would always be smiling. Their words and actions make the lives of their friends and families richer. They are thoughtful, kind, big-hearted people who make rooms cheerier just by entering them. I am a better person for knowing them both.

I hope their sorrow is brief. I hope the joy they both so richly deserve will be theirs soon, and I'm sorry this relationship was not the one to bring it.

I want so badly for them both to be happy, and it seems that's what they want for each other. May you find what you seek, Dear Friends.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

The Photo is from Last Year

Instead of getting in the car and driving to the Outer Banks today, I woke up at 3:00am and 6:00am with a three-week-old (Bump took the early shift). Later we had waffles with Lumpyhead and Lula - the toaster kind of waffles, not the waffle-iron kind.

I'm a little sad we're not leaving for the beach today, but the thought of taking this show on the road - when I can barely keep it together at home - makes me really happy we're not leaving for the beach today.

Still, I hope the weather is crappy in Corolla all week. Because I'm a bitter, bitter woman.

Somebody come play drinking Chutes and Ladders with me.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Two Weeks

I keep thinking of that scene in Total Recall where the fat lady keeps repeating "Two weeks," while her face contorts into twisted expressions and she claws at her mouth. Her head corkscrews off to reveal the Governor of California, then explodes.

Except for the governor thing, that's a lot like how things are going around here.

It occurs to me that if Bump had an office job, a two-week paternity leave would be pretty generous and he would have gone back to work today.

(Keep bringing that up if you really want to make this fat lady's head explode.)

I suppose if that were the case, we would have the two other kids in daycare. I'm really enjoying being home, but must admit that sometimes "the other two kids in daycare" seems like the best idea anyone has ever had.

Mr. Dimples had his two-week appointment today; he's regained his birthweight plus a few ounces. Things are going well, but we will be much happier when his nighttime sleep sessions last longer than two hours.

The nurse practitioner was pleased with the baby's condition in general, but is deeply concerned that the child doesn't have a blog name yet.

Thursday, August 14, 2008


Guess who has a belly button? SeƱor Squishyface has a belly button!

I'll spare you the whole "sniff, sniff - this is the last time I'll pass the milestone of having a baby's umbilical stump fall off" because honestly? An umbilical stump is kind of gross.

(Also, WAAAH! My baby is all growns up and can have a tub bath already. WAAAAHHH!)

What he does not have, yet, is a blog name. I'm working on it.

Oh, I also have two other kids.

This seemed like a great idea to fill the time while Bump ran an errand. But the sprinkler is in the back yard and the faucet is in the front, and while I was turning off the water Lumpyhead and Lula found a mud puddle. Mayor McNewNavel chose that moment to wake up and wail pitifully. When I tried to get Lula out of the puddle, she screamed like I was yanking her fingernails out.

It was then that I realized I am really, really bad at this, and I should probably not be left alone with three children.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Book Review

I urged Bump to keep the instruction booklets for the new furniture, so the kids could color on them. He left them in a stack on the floor, where Lumpyhead found one.

Lumpyhead: "I will read this Chair Book."
"Two guys have a box."
". . . "
". . . "
[gets up, wanders off]

I think he found this title a tad disappointing.

I tried to tell him that he gave up before the story got really good. He missed the chapter where you realize you have to undo the previous four steps because you put one slat on backwards. Or the alternate ending where, in a fit of cursing, you realize you are one piece short and have to go back to Ikea for the missing parts.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Two Boxers

It was Bump's birthday on Sunday and I got him . . . absolutely nothing.

I didn't even bake him a cake. Anne came to visit, asked if she could bring anything, and I imposed upon her to pick up a cake at the store. So, if it weren't for the kindness of my friends, all Bump would have to show for his 37th year on the planet is an ice cream cake his mother bought before she left.

That and three children.

Anne even picked up some birthday candles, which was a good thing because 1) I'm not sure we had any and 2) if we did, I'm sure I wouldn't be able to find them.

Here's a new thing: we have reached the age where we need two boxes of candles.
(Bump's mom bought the three and the seven. Note the number of candles in one box. Doh!)

Speaking of boxers, Lumpyhead is finding this neighborhood to be a little tougher than our old one. At least his face is.

He tripped in the living room and landed on a toy, putting a dent in his cheek which turned into a pretty impressive shiner. At least his grandmother was watching him at the time.
Then she took him swimming in the backyard wading pool, and he got bitten by mosquitoes on his eyebrow and cheek, which turned into huge red welts.
Then Lumpyhead shoved Mr. Potato Head's nose up his own nose - giving himself a nosebleed. Oh, then he ran into a doorframe and put another bruise in the middle of his forehead, creating a backwards purple "j" on his face.

Maybe now he'll stop being such a smartass.

Monday, August 11, 2008


Do you remember how it was, after the first couple of times you played Tetris? It's the only thing you wanted to do, you had to start a new game immediately after losing, and you saw little falling blocks in your head before you fell asleep at night?

I've become addicted to the newborn. I can't get enough of his squishy old man face and the powdery smell of his head. If I haven't held him in awhile, I need to go pick him up to get my fix. He furrows his brow and twists his tiny mouth and smiles, showing off a dimple in each cheek.
I marvel at how small he is, at his miniature fingers. I am mindful that this is the last time I will have a four-day-old infant. A six-day-old. A one-week-old.

If Bump takes Lumpyhead and Lula out for a few hours in the morning, I nap with the little guy in our bed. But even when he's not beside me, it's his face I see before drifting off to sleep.

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Photo Poll

They look:
a) nothing alike,
b) like siblings,
c) that's three pictures of the same kid.

Sunday, August 03, 2008


Baby arrived this morning at 10:38 am, after two hours of labor, on the second push. Epidural took effect just in the knick of time.

Six pounds, thirteen ounces.

We keep going back and forth as to whether he looks exactly like his siblings, or a little different. In either case, it's pretty clear the same mix of DNA is at work.

Pictures to follow when we are discharged from the hospital. Also a name. Now, where's my percocet?

Friday, August 01, 2008

Getting There

The boxes are slowly turning into empty boxes; we're settling into the house. I have done a fat lot of nothing to get us to this point - Bump has done nearly all the work with some help from Nana. Bump's mother arrived yesterday and both mothers are eager to do whatever they can to help. The to-do list in my head is a billion things long but it's tough to think of tasks for others to perform that aren't "Unpack that box and put its contents in a logical place, meaning we won't be able to find it after you leave so we'll buy a replacement and will end up moving two copies of the damn thing next time."

My homesickness is abating, just like all of you said it would. Considering that 1) moving usually turns me into a basket case anyway, 2) the crazy pregnancy nesting instinct is frustrated by the contractions that start after I unpack one stinking box, and 3) I haven't been able to stress-drink my way through this ordeal; I think I am managing my hormone-addled state quite beautifully.

A few hiccups:
1) Our phone doesn't work. We were supposed to be able to transfer our number to the new house, and while service stopped at the condo, it never started at the new address. When I called to complain, customer service was terribly confused.
Customer Service: The phone number is [cell phone number]?
Me: No, the number is [inoperative home phone number].
Customer Service: Why aren't you calling from that number?
Me: Because that number doesn't work. Which is why I'm calling.
Customer Service: So you can't call us back from the number on the account?
Me: . . . No. I'd love to, but no.

The phone company said they would send someone out as soon as possible: which would be Monday. Sometime between the hours of 8am and 7pm.

What the hell did people do before cell phones?

2) The cable installer never showed up. I think that is shocking to exactly no one. The cable company said the order didn't go through, so on the way to get his mom from the airport Bump went to the office and picked up the boxes. We now have cable on one TV [yay], but because we have no phone line, still don't have Tivo service [boo].

Incidentally, why is everyone using those stupid voice response prompts now instead of touch-tones? It is damn near impossible to complete a call without one of the kids yelling about something, resulting in that annoying "I'm sorry, I didn't understand. Did you say [MAMA! BABY IS PUSHING ME!] [click] [pause] I'm sorry I didn't understand. Did you [baby squeals] [click] [pause] I'm sorry you're having trouble. Would you like to [AAAAHHHHH] [click] . . . "

3) I thought Lumpyhead broke his hand. He got away from Bump's mother's watchful eye long enough to do something - we're not sure what, exactly, but we think he fell off the bed - and then screamed and cried about hurting his hand. He spent the next whiny hour either using his injured hand normally or letting it dangle limply at the end of his wrist. Then he fell asleep. We decided that since his hand wasn't swollen and he was able to use it okay, he was probably fine. Then he woke up hysterical and complaining about his thumb, so I started mapping the route to the emergency room in my head again. He fell back asleep, only to wake up yelling about his index finger hurting, so I don't know what the hell to think. If he's still talking about it this morning (and the pain hasn't moved to yet a different finger) I'll probably take him to the pediatrician.

You know what? I think it's these little disasters that make a place feel like home.