Coming and going

Filed under: — Aprille @ 7:11 pm

Last weekend we went to St. Louis for my cousin Laura’s wedding; it was very nice to witness the event (her new husband Joe is just a swell guy) and spend time with the family.  Tomorrow we’re off to Portland.

It’s my first time flying with a baby since my brother was three months old, and I wasn’t in charge then.  My only stand-out memory from that flight (it was to California) is that my mom thought she’d lost his baby booties, and she thought my dad had sabotaged them because he didn’t like them, but it turned out they were in some weird pocket of the baby bag.

I don’t think that will be an issue this time around.  It does serve as a good reminder to bring some booties and/or socks, though, because planes can be chilly.  My plan is to nurse him frequently in as upright a position as possible, and to request an aisle seat so we can walk him fairly easily.  We have our seat assignments, and for one leg we don’t have an aisle seat, but I’m going to ask if they can switch that.

Any other advice?  He’s flying as a “lap dog child.”  I know it’s not as safe as buying a seat, but we’re just taking our chances this time around.


I still like Elizabeth Edwards

Filed under: — Aprille @ 2:32 pm

Good old Elizabeth Edwards.  She’s so smart and dignified.

I was listening to NPR in the car yesterday (I don’t know which show, since I tuned in while it was already in progress), and the topic was illness.  One caller was talking about how she beat cancer and she just knows it was due to prayer.

Elizabeth Edwards, who was a guest on the show, articulated well how silly that is.  She said it in a very non-jerky way, as is her style, but the point she made is that prayer and positive thinking certainly aren’t going to hurt anything, but it’s important to remember that there are a whole lot of very strong, positive people who can’t beat cancer.  The whole attitude of crediting prayer and positive thinking for medical success 1) denigrates the lifework of medical professionals and researchers who have made great strides in cancer treatment, and 2) implies that those who die of cancer are somehow to blame for it, because they weren’t positive enough or didn’t pray hard enough.

My dad, who spends a lot more time around athletes than I do, gets annoyed for similar reasons when winners thank god for their success.  Nobody ever blames a deity for failures, though it only takes like six grams of thought to come to that conclusion.

AND ANOTHER THING!  There’s a billboard around here somewhere (on I-380, maybe?) that says “God Is Pro-Life.”  Do people seriously only think about these things until 50% of the way through the process, then quit?  If you believe that god creates life, how hard is it to come to the realization that he also creates death?  A billboard saying “God Is Pro-Death” would make just as much sense.

My personal belief system is irrelevant here.  I’m just talking internal consistency.

Also, Elizabeth Edwards is smart and dignified.


Up your nose

Filed under: — Aprille @ 9:30 am

This is what happens when Miles and I lounge around in bed in the morning.


Dangerous names

Filed under: — Aprille @ 9:47 am

One of Miles’s approximately four thousand nicknames is Sugar Booger.

I recently learned that booger sugar is a slang term for cocaine.  Maybe I need to cut that one from the list.  That will leave me with just:

  • Snuggle-butt
  • Scoop
  • Noosh-noosh
  • Budu
  • Miles-cachoot
  • Smiles
  • Grumplestiltzken
  • Stinker-bean (obviously some of these are contextually-based)
  • Puppy-kins
  • Butterbean
  • Lots of others that I can’t think of right now but occur to me when the situation arises.

Apparently he’s supposed to start recognizing his name in the next month or so, but I don’t think he has a prayer considering all the other things we call him.



Filed under: — Aprille @ 2:40 pm

It has obviously been way too long since I’ve caught up with Mark’s blog, because I didn’t catch his link to manbabies.com until just now.

I love Photoshop.  What a wonderful way to spend Miles’s naptime.


Rhubarb Barbs

Filed under: — Aprille @ 9:06 pm

The fam and I took a walk in the back yard tonight, and I found that the rhubarb is much bigger up close than it looks from the kitchen window. I really need to make some rhubarb barbs (aka rhubarb bars). I used to make these with my Grammy when she’d come to take care of me when my parents were busy. I like to use my site as a reference for recipes, so here it is for my future search purposes.

This isn’t exactly the recipe we used in the old days, but it’s close. I find my grown-up tastes prefer butter to shortening in the crust, and I skip the Jell-o from the original.

I could seriously eat a whole pan of these.

Rhubarb Barbs

Crust and topping:

  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1 1/2 cups old-fashioned or quick-cooking oats, divided
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 cup brown sugar


  • 1/4 cup water
  • 2 T cornstarch
  • 1 1/2 cup sugar (you may need a little more sugar if you don’t like tart-flavored things)
  • 4 cups rhubarb, chopped into about 1/2″ pieces
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  1. Preheat oven to 375F.
  2. Mix cornstarch and water. Add granulated sugar and rhubarb. Cook in a heavy saucepan over medium heat until thick. Cool slightly and add vanilla.
  3. In a food processor, pulse together flour, baking soda, brown sugar, salt, and 3/4 cup of the oats a few times to combine. Add butter and pulse until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
  4. Remove from food processor and stir in remaining 3/4 cup oats.
  5. Spray a 9×13 baking dish with nonstick spray. Pat 2/3 of the mixture into the dish and press down to form the crust. Spread cooled rhubarb mixture over crust. Sprinkle the remaining crumbs on top.
  6. Bake for 30-35 minutes until light golden brown.

The recent-past and proximate future

Filed under: — Aprille @ 9:32 am

I have been remiss in posting lately. Life has been busy.

Here’s a quick recap on recent and upcoming events:

Last weekend we went to my cousin Laura’s wedding shower. She and her fiance Joe are getting married in St. Louis in a couple of weeks, which will be our first significant trip with the kiddo. We’re excited about it, especially since their reception is at the St. Louis Zoo. I’ve never been there, but I’ve always wanted to, ever since my dad told me stories of Phil the Gorilla when I was a kid. Phil was a stuffed gorilla housed somewhere on the zoo property; I don’t even know if he’s still there, but I’m glad to have my childhood dreams fulfilled and see my beautiful cousin get married at the same time. Birds, stones, etc.  Edited to add:  Phil apparently only exists in bronze form nowadays.  Nonetheless, I hope to get a picture with him.

At the shower, Miles (and Denny and I) got to meet cousin Anna, my cousin Betsy’s little girl. Betsy and I are close in age and always had lots of fun together growing up, so I think it’s really cool that our kids are close together too. Anna was supposed to be older, but due to Miles’s surprise appearance and her reluctance to emerge, Miles ended up coming first. It was really fun to have two babies to play with.

My first Mothers Day was great, even though I was really tired because Miles pulled one of his bad nights that night. He only does it about once a week now; most nights he’s only up once, but that particular evening he woke me up four times. Happy Mothers Day indeed. However, it was nice to spend it with my family, including my own mother and one of my grandmothers. Denny got me some really thoughtful gifts, including a lovely bottle of wine and dinner at our favorite restaurant.

We went early, thinking that would be the best time in case Miles got squawky, and the staff there actually carried him around and played with him while Denny and I ate our food. Now that’s some serious service. On a related note, we were watching Little People, Big World the other night (a non-sleazy reality show about a family that includes some dwarfs), and part of it took place in Mount Vernon, where Amy had a speaking engagement. We asked the staff if she ate at the Lincoln Cafe, and apparently she did. Excellent choice, Mrs. Roloff.

Things aren’t going to slow down any time soon; this weekend we have a graduation reception for Denny’s cousin, then a reunion of our childbirth class (babies on the outside this time). After that is Laura’s wedding, then we’re going to Portland where Denny has a conference to attend and Miles and I will see the sights. June is full of more weddings, and at some point I hope to get together with my best girlfriends in Ames.

Perhaps when this is all over, I’ll report back with fascinating anecdotes. The prospect of flying on a plane with a four-month-old is a recipe for content, no?


Miles Minute (+40s)

Filed under: — Aprille @ 4:21 pm

Uncle Tyler invented a new game that Miles enjoyed today.  We call it “Got your ears.”


Monthly Miles Memo #4

Filed under: — Aprille @ 1:54 pm

Monthly Miles Memo #4

Dear Miles,

Today we celebrated your four-month birthday by…getting you shots. Sorry about that. You’re handling it remarkably well so far, though; after the requisite screaming immediately post-injection, you’ve been cheerful today. I’m going to be careful to keep up with your baby Tylenol dosing to try to stay ahead of any malaise; we got behind on the schedule last time and put ourselves (and, regretfully, you) in a world of hurt.

Yesterday morning I was all set to write a most triumphant memo to you. It would have said “MILES IS SLEEPING THROUGH THE NIGHT.” One thing you should know about me is that I really value accuracy. I hate it when people tell stories and get the details wrong. Therefore, what I will say instead is “MILES HAS SLEPT THROUGH THE NIGHT.”

As it happened, two nights ago we put you down after your 11:30 feeding, and you didn’t stir until 6 a.m. Even then, you didn’t fully wake up when I took you out of the co-sleeper and fed you; you drifted right back off and slept until 9. It was all quite grand, except for the fact that I woke up about five times to make sure you were still breathing. Luckily I have perfected the art of checking your respiration without waking you.

Your dad and I were optimistic that this was the start of a new trend. Last night, though, you decided to throw a party at 2:45 and invite the two of us. Usually you’re so good about going right back to sleep after a feeding, but I wrestled with you for about half an hour, until I couldn’t take it anymore and your dad walked you for another thirty or forty minutes until you finally fell asleep. You slept for another hour and a half, and then it was party time again.

Why, Miles? It’s nice to know you enjoy our company so much, and it’s hard to be grumpy with you when you give us those huge gummy smiles by the dim light of the lamp on its lowest setting, but we really need more nights like the one you gave us two nights ago. Now that you’ve done it, there’s hope. Right? Right? I just keep telling myself you’re not going to be the only kid late to his high school graduation because he woke his mommy and daddy up too many times in the night.

Still, you’ve done so many other things this month that make you such a delight to have around: you’re smiling every day and laughing more and more often. The previously dreaded tummy time is now practically recreation—yesterday you even managed to roll over from your tummy to your back. It was an accident, I’m pretty sure, and you seemed just as surprised by it as your dad and I were. You’re enjoying a stuffed toy that looks like a creature caught in between the larval and butterfly stages. We call him Bob, and you like to chew on his wings and antennae.

You seem to finally be catching on to peek-a-boo; you still lose interest and look elsewhere as soon as I cover my face, but when I reemerge you give me a big smile, like you’re genuinely happy to see me. You love to sit up like a big boy (though you still need a little support) and listen to your dad read to you.

Earlier this month, your dad had to go away for a few days for work, so we spent most of the week at Mubby and Skittergramps’s house. I know they wish we lived next door so they could see you every day, because they had so much fun with you while we were there. Skittergramps invented a game called Superbaby, originally intended as a tummy time alternative, and you both enjoyed it greatly. It’s a perilous game considering your penchant for spitting up, but Skittergramps considers you worth the risk. You also got to spend time with both your uncles this month, including meeting your Uncle Michael for the first time.

This already-verbose letter would go on longer and longer if I listed every cute thing you’ve done this month. It’s really a wonderful time to be your mommy. Last weekend we were invited to attend a prenatal class to share our experiences with giving birth and having a newborn, and the one thing I wanted most to emphasize to the parents-to-be is that it gets easier. Gone are the days when an hour without crying was considered a triumph. The rewards are so much more tangible now, and they come so much more often. I loved you from minute one, but every minute day I love you more (some minutes are better than others). I bet you’ll start sleeping in consistently long stretches soon, now that you have the other night under your belt.
On that glorious morning, I turned my well-rested head toward your dad and whispered, “He slept through the night.”

Your dad replied, “It’s a moment to stay.”

I said, “What?”

He repeated it: “It’s a moment to stay.”

“It’s a moment to stay?”

“No,” he said. “It’s a momentous day.”

It’s not my fault. Your dad is getting over a cold and it was hard to understand him through his stuffy head. He was right, though; it was a momentous day, and while I was truly thrilled about it (and still am, based on hope springing eternal), I was also about 15% sad. You were wearing this really cute t-shirt we bought for you in Montreal back when you were still a fetus. I got the six-month size, thinking that would be about right for you once the weather warmed up, but I really had no concept of how that kicky little alien in my innards could fit into such a giant garment.

Even though you’re not quite six months old yet, the t-shirt fits fine, and as you lay there sleeping in it, you looked ready for kindergarten (and, eventually, high school graduation). I felt 15% sad because that night you needed me a little bit less, but I still need you just as much.

But hey, I didn’t get into this parenting job because I thought you’d stay dependent forever, and that would probably get old after a decade or two anyway. Every new accomplishment is a reason to celebrate. Thanks for all the smiles.




Miles on the panel

Filed under: — Aprille @ 5:03 pm

Happy Monday, world.

The biggest event of the weekend occurred on Sunday, when Miles took part in his first panel discussion.  The woman who was our doula and the teacher of our childbirth education class invited us and other families with new babies to speak to the class she’s currently teaching.  We talked about how things went for our births, postpartum issues, and what it’s like to take care of a newborn.

Miles was very cute and well-behaved.  I’m not sure if he really knew what was going on, but it was fun to see my former classmates and their babies.  We have a brunch coming up in a couple of weeks, too.

It’s gotten really warm here.  Miles and I just got back from a walk, and I got kind of sweaty.  I stuck my armpit in his face to see if he thought I was too stinky, and he didn’t cry, so apparently I meet his standards.  Of course, he’s also happy to sit around in his own excrement, so there you go.


Miles Minute Volume 2: Miles Laughs

Filed under: — Aprille @ 2:27 pm

Approximately one minute of a baby, featuring laughter.


Hooray for the Beanie Baby

Filed under: — Aprille @ 8:13 am

Giant congratulations to Kaspar and Sabine (pictured here at their wedding in Norway in 2006) on the birth of their beautiful new daughter.



Here are some things I know

Filed under: — Aprille @ 10:41 am
  • Target brand diapers are fine for daytime but not so hot for overnight.  It’s worth it to spend extra on Pampers because it saves a lot of laundry.
  • gDiapers are better in theory than in practice, though we hope to get back to them at some point.
  • A laughing baby is the cutest thing in the whole world.
  • My wrist is much, much better.  It was interesting to hear how widespread de Quervain’s Syndrome is.
  • I’m back in my pre-pregnancy jeans!  I have a bit of muffin-top now, which is sort of horrifying, but I’ll keep working at it.  Fortunately I almost never wear midriff-revealing tops.
  • I dreamed last night that I was swimming in Great Salt Lake with people from high school, and it was really, really salty, and then afterwards everyone got a free snow-cone except me.  I blame the fact that I ate some salty chips before bed last night.
  • Miles likes to be in weird positions.

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