The best part of visiting family

Filed under: — Aprille @ 12:39 pm

…except, of course, for the time with loved ones and the Miles-help, the best part of visiting my family is finding things from my and my brother’s childhoods.

One example:  this book, Beavis and Butt-head’s Huh-huh for Hollywood.  I have long thought Beavis and Butt-head were unjustly cast as juvenile fart-humor.  I think Mike Judge is one of the better comic minds of the late 20th century, and Beavis and Butt-head can really be quite hilarious.  Also, I sort of like fart jokes.

This book has a section called “Cool Actors” (juxtaposed with “Actors Who Suck”).  An excerpt:

Charleton Heston

This guy has kicked ass throughout the universe.  Like once, he landed on this planet that was ruled by chimps, and he kicked their monkey asses.  And then like this other time, he was on this planet with all these diseased zombies, and he kicked their undead asses.  And then he was on this planet where everybody was eating these little green snackcakes made out of people, and he kicked their cannibal asses.

Yeah, and remember, this other time, he was on this planet called Egypt, and he turns a whole river into blood, and he makes all these frogs to do his evil bidding, and he, like, talks to this bush that’s on fire.

You know what, Beavis.  I heard that movie was based on a book.

No way, Butt-Head.  No book would ever be that cool.

Sir Anthony Hopkins

He eats people, and he doesn’t wait for them to come out in snackcake form, either.  He says they’re delicious just the way they are.  Plus he bombed a bunch of people over in Vietland, like, when he was the president.  Now he’s like a knight so you have to like call him sir or he takes out his sword and cuts off your fava beans.


Something strange is afoot

Filed under: — Aprille @ 9:08 pm

I don’t know what’s wrong with the blog.  I’m tired.  Maybe upgrading my version of WordPress would help…except every time I do that, they promise it’s going to take like 5 minutes and be easy, and I end up crying and Denny fixes it for me.

I am a modern, reasonably tech-savvy woman.  I really don’t want to let it come to that.  Again.

UPDATE:  I figured out what the problem was (all by myself with no crying).  My spam-squashing plug-in was horking things.  I wonder if I should upgrade anyway, because I really can’t go without it, and a newer version might not be so hork-a-licious.

Also, it’s our anniversary.  Three years!


2 evidence units of why I am the worst mommy ever.

Filed under: — Aprille @ 3:13 pm

1.  Last night I was reading Miles a story, and I thought he would enjoy it if I got dramatic and did some wacky voices.  He got scared and cried.

2.  There was this booger right on the outskirts of his nostril, and in the process of trying to pick it out, I flicked it directly into his mouth.  He ate it.


Miles blows raspberries

Filed under: — Aprille @ 3:49 pm

Miles shows off his new trick.  I dig shooting little videos with the iSight/Photobooth; he really enjoys watching himself on-screen as it records.


A list of my current brain-items

Filed under: — Aprille @ 3:34 pm

I’ve really fallen out of the habit of posting.  Sorry about that.

Some exciting things of late:

1) We went to Book Babies at the library, which was fun.  There was much bouncing and singing and reading of books.

2) We’re working on active sleep training at the moment, which is not as much fun as Book Babies, let me tell you.  Miles is doing much better at sleeping; he hasn’t been waking up nearly as often in the night lately.  However, he’s still not very good at falling asleep on his own (i.e., without being nursed/walked/bounced).  I’m not really comfortable with the Ferber method, so we’ve been trying the method where you stay with him, touching him and making soothing noises.  That sort of works.  Sometimes he just gets so upset that his little body shakes with sobs, and it goes against every instinct I have to let him stay that worked up.

For his nap this afternoon, I picked him up and soothed him when he got upset, but put him down again before he was completely asleep.  It took a lot of up-and-down, but eventually he did fall asleep.  We’ll see.  It’s brain-poundingly frustrating.

3) I had a really good peach a few minutes ago.  It had a couple of bad spots, but once I cut those out, man-oh-man.

4) I finished a draft of novel #2.  This one is a young adult novel.  Now comes the delightful cycle of sending query letters and reading rejections.  I think I need to wait until this sleep training thing is better established before I start that.  There’s enough crying in the house right now.

(I’m actually exaggerating.  Rejection letters are just what happens in the publishing world.  I don’t take them personally, and the rare, precious acceptance letter makes the rest fade away.  However, I’ve only had one of those in my whole life, and another one would really be nice, you know?)


Miles half-minute

Filed under: — Aprille @ 4:15 pm

Miles’s feet were actually sort of stinky.  I’m not sure why.  He doesn’t wear shoes or socks.


Names are weird.

Filed under: — Aprille @ 3:51 pm

Here are some names which are perfectly normal for people my parents’ age, but kind of weird for people my age.  When I meet people my age with one of these names, I think there must be some kind of reason, like they’re named after someone or their parents are immigrants who wanted an anglicized name for the kid but weren’t quite on top of the trends.  Note:  I actually find this kind of adorable.  There was just such a Doris who lived in my dorm in college and I got a kick out of it.

  • Judy
  • Carol
  • Diane
  • Bob
  • Jan
  • Terry
  • Randy
  • Joyce

This has been on my mind lately.  I don’t know why.  Equally weird is the fact that in a generation or two, there are going to be wrinkly grandmas named Tiffani-Amber and Britney and Madison.

Also note, my more sensitive readers, that I am in no way insulting any of these names.  I just find their absence and presence among certain demographics interesting.


Monthly Miles Memo #6

Filed under: — Aprille @ 10:42 am

Holy crap, little boy, you’re point-five.

It’s a hot, sunny morning in July, very different from the horrible winter into which you were born.  You’re asleep, which is pretty great; everybody’s been sleeping better now that you’re in your crib.  The whole “through the night” thing is still iffy, but we’re working on it, and one of these nights you’re just going to have to cry for a while.

I’d prefer not to think about that.  It’s going to require some fortitude, possibly some sort of grain alcohol (for me, not you; what kind of mother do you think I am?), and maybe a set of earplugs.  Which I would wear in my sleeping bag.  In a tent in the backyard.  Someone else’s backyard, across town.  I’m sure your dad can handle any emergencies that might arise.  I just can’t stand the thought of my baby crying for me and denying him some Mommy Love.

Mommy Love is what we call it when you’re just plain sad about something and the only thing that will work is for me to pick you up and hold you on my shoulder.  You snuggle in for a bit, and when you start to feel better, you pick your head up and slowly acclimate to being a regular guy again.

One piece of bad news:  if regular guys crawl, you may never be regular.  We thought you were really making progress in that area; when we put you on your tummy, you’d wiggle and scootch and really try to move forward.  That is, until a few days ago, when you discovered the delight of rolling over.  I’m glad you’ve made it to that milestone, plus it’s really cute to see you flopping around like a little pink fish, but now it’s all you want to do as soon as you get onto your tummy.  Unless you learn to crawl on your back, which would be very weird and reminds me of that scene from the version of The Exorcist they re-released some years ago where Regan scrambles down the stairs in a crabwalk, you’re going to have to rediscover the love of the tummy.

Maybe you don’t like being on your tummy lately because it’s so full.  We started you on solids, and that’s been quite an adventure.  You’ve had rice cereal, peas, and bananas so far; I also picked up some organic, unsweetened applesauce, green beans, and a sweet potato for you to try down the road.  The biggest challenge there is keeping up with the dishes.  You seem to think that the spoon actually generates the food, because you grab it out of my hand, stuff it into your mouth, and won’t let go.  One time you shoved it in so far that you gagged yourself, which sent a giant cascade of milk and pea purée all over the place.  It reminded me of your Uncle Tyler’s childhood response to green beans.  Let’s hope you take those a little better.

You’ve been just plain fun to be around lately.  You laugh all the time, you don’t cry much, and you’re doing all kinds of hilarious things, most of which involve shoving stuff in your mouth.  We knew you were ready for food because you couldn’t keep you hands off our items at the table.  Sometimes we let you have sips of water out of our glasses, which you like, even when icy cold water splashes down your front.  This is the advantage to you reaching this age during warm weather:  there’s no big rush to get you changed.  You just happily bounce around until you dry out.

I would be remiss not to mention the Floods of ’08, which happened during your sixth month.  Iowa City and other parts of Iowa were severely damaged by rivers and reservoirs overflowing their banks.  We were lucky that our home and neighborhood weren’t affected, but many homes and businesses were destroyed.  We spent the worst of it in Ames at Mubby and Skittergramps’s house, mostly to not be a strain on the already taxed Iowa City resources.  Unfortunately, MSG were already scheduled to go on vacation that week, so we didn’t see them as much as we would have under other circumstances.  We still had fun, though, swinging in their hammock and playing in their cool back yard.

Yes, you are getting more advanced by the day.  Sometimes I look at you and I can see a glimpse of the kid you’re going to become.  We went to a Fourth of July party that had lots of kids running around, and it wasn’t too hard to imagine you being one of them in not too long.  You’ll have skinned knees and rumpled hair and your little cheeks will be sticky with s’more goop.  I’m excited to hear what you have to say about the world.

I do miss sleeping with you, though.  Yesterday morning you were getting ready for your nap, and instead of putting you in your crib, we went into the guest bedroom and I cuddled up next to you.  I thought we could have a mommy/Miles snooze, just like old times.  I lay on my left side and you were on your right side, facing me.  We both had our legs curled up, so you slipped right into the little pocket of my lap.  I wasn’t all that sleepy, so I just watched your eyeballs dart around in REM sleep and wondered what was going on in your dreams.

Then you kicked me in the stomach.  It was like being reverse-pregnant—so well I remember those same little feet and knees slamming around in my ribs and belly.  But unlike six months ago, this time I could kiss you, stand up, and let you nap on your own like a big boy.

Well, maybe like a very tiny big boy.




Facebook gives me a complex

Filed under: — Aprille @ 5:06 pm

Like many others, I am addicted to the “Compare People” app on Facebook (though I hate the stupid online dating aspect they’ve added to it—if you see an option who is clearly not one of your friends, don’t click him/her; it’s a trap).

However, I seem only to excel in the nerdy categories.  I am currently #1 for “More trustworthy,” “Studies harder,” and “Would make a better mother” (aww, I like that one).  Still, it’s the ones where I rank low that concern me.  My very lowest one is “Happier person.”  Do I come off as unhappy?  I’m pretty happy.  What gives?

I’m also suspiciously low in “Smells better.”  Maybe I stink and that makes people think I’m unhappy.  What, you’ve never heard the expression “Happier than a pig in excrement of its own emission”?


How it went: Night 1

Filed under: — Aprille @ 8:31 am

I am pleased to announce that Night 1 in the crib went pretty darn well.  He still woke up a fair amount of times, but less than he has every night over the last week or so, and I know I slept better in between awakenings.  We got up earlier than usual, but I felt better at 7 than I had at 8:30 in recent days.

My worst fear, which I guess I know was silly but I felt it anyway, was that he would somehow be really miserable and feel like we abandoned him.  I don’t know why I thought that—he does fine in the crib for his naps and has never given me any indication that he feels bad in there.

So, here’s what happened last night:

  • 9:00 p.m.:  last feed of the night.  I went to bed after that, but Denny said Miles went to sleep around 10.
  • 1:30 a.m.:  Miles woke up; I got up and fed him.  He went right back to sleep.
  • 2:00 a.m.:  …or did he?  Denny got up with him this time (which is awesome, because under the old system, I would have been the one to deal with him)
  • 4:30 a.m.:  Another feeding.  He ate well.
  • 6:30 a.m.:  He woke up again, and I think he was just ready to get up for the day.  I personally had fantasies of sleeping a little longer (when I say I went to bed at 9, I actually went to sleep around 11, because I was reading that baby sleep guide and fretting).  I tried feeding him but he didn’t really eat, so I think it was just awakitde and not hunger driving him at that point.  He did doze off again for a while, though.
  • 7:30 a.m.:  Up for real.

That probably sounds like a lot of waking up for anyone else, but compared to recent days at our house, it was pretty good.  We’ll continue to work on teaching him to put himself back to sleep after he wakes up in the night, but for now, it’s just nice to have our bed back.  I sleep so much better without a thrashy baby next to me, when I always have to be semi-aware of his presence so I don’t squish him.

I also think Debi had a good point in her comment yesterday about noises in the room. Someone in our household (I’m not naming names, but it’s not me, and it’s not the spider in the corner) is a bit of a snorer and maybe it was disturbing Miles.

I feel really good this morning.  When I went to get him to get up, he was all smiles, and I was happy to see him instead of feeling grumpy about my poor sleep the night before.  I think we’re on the right track here.


Okay, seriously?

Filed under: — Aprille @ 10:54 am

Miles was making so much progress in the sleep department.  He had slept through the night several times and usually only woke up once or twice.

Not lately.

Over the last week or so, he has been waking up every one to two hours every night.  I don’t know what the problem is.  He’s not hungry; he either nurses only a little bit or declines it entirely.  He just can’t seem to stay asleep.  It’s not too difficult to get him back to sleep, but it’s not exactly easy to function during the day when you never really get a full sleep cycle.

We’ve stopped swaddling him due to the heat; that might be part of the problem.  But seriously, we can’t swaddle him forever, and it seemed like a good time to quit.  My friend from playgroup yesterday, whose son is just a little older than Miles, said he went through the same thing right at this age for a couple of weeks.  I really hope it’s just a phase.

I’m thinking about sleeping in another room this weekend and letting Denny deal with him overnight.  Denny is a heavier sleeper than I am, so he might let him fuss more than I do.  I never really let him get to the point of crying; I wake up the second Miles starts thrashing and try to get him calmed down before it becomes a full-on scream-fest.  Maybe if I let him go for a while, he’d settle himself down.  I don’t know.  I’ve been so tired that I’ve been eating crappily and not exercising, which only makes me feel worse.

I got a couple of books from the library yesterday on the topic, but I’m not very far into them yet.  So far, the major focus seems to be getting a baby to sleep, which isn’t really a problem; he falls asleep with no big fuss.  It’s just staying asleep that’s a problem.
I get so annoyed with him, and then after some coffee and a few of his big, sunshiney smiles, I forgive him.

So it goes.

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