You know you’re a mommy when…

Filed under: — Aprille @ 8:39 am

All the sleep books say it’s really important to have a nighttime routine, so we’ve been doing that quite conscientiously (not that the sleep is going wonderfully, but for the time being, I’m blaming the teething).  Last night, Miles and I were doing our ritual of saying night-night to his animal pictures on his walls, when I caught my toe under his crib.

You know that horrible commercial where the evil foot fungus lifts up the guy’s toenail like the hood of a car?  It was sort of like that, except (thank all that is good and attached-toenaily) only about halfway up, not all the way.

Still, it was quite painful and, while not gushingly bloody, bloody enough that it made me feel kind of pukey when I looked at it.  BUT…

You know you’re a mommy when you hobble through the rest of the ritual, because you’ll be damned if you’re going to let that ruin what progress you’ve made on the whole night-night situation.  So we said goodnight to all the animals, y ahora [entonces] en español: buenas noches cerdo, ow ow ow, buenas noches caballito de mar, ow ow ow, buenas noches cebra, ow ow ow…


The Omnivore’s Hundred

Filed under: — Aprille @ 6:59 pm

This is a little game the food bloggers are playing.  What the heck.

As stolen from Chocolate and Zucchini:

The Omnivore’s Hundred is an eclectic and entirely subjective list of 100 items that Andrew Wheeler, co-author of the British food blog Very Good Taste, thinks every omnivore should try at least once in his life.

He offered this list as the starting point for a game, along the following rules:
1. Copy this list into your blog or journal, including these instructions.
2. Bold all the items you’ve eaten.
3. Cross out any items that you would never consider eating.
4. Optional extra: post a comment on Very Good Taste, linking to your results.”

1. Venison
2. Nettle tea
3. Huevos rancheros
4. Steak tartare (believe it or not, I never have.  I really oughtta.)
5. Crocodile (No, but yes to alligator)
6. Black pudding (gross, but just to say I’ve done it)
7. Cheese fondue
8. Carp
9. Borscht
10. Baba ghanoush
11. Calamari
12. Phở
13. PB&J sandwich
14. Aloo gobi
15. Hot dog from a street cart
16. Epoisses
17. Black truffle
18. Fruit wine made from something other than grapes (Ah, the horrid wines of the Amana colonies)
19. Steamed pork buns
20. Pistachio ice cream
21. Heirloom tomatoes
22. Fresh wild berries
23. Foie gras
24. Rice and beans
25. Brawn, or head cheese
26. Raw Scotch Bonnet pepper (I like hot things, but that’s just silly)
27. Dulce de leche
28. Oysters
29. Baklava
30. Bagna cauda
31. Wasabi peas
32. Clam chowder in a sourdough bowl (I’ve had them both independently but never together)
33. Salted lassi
34. Sauerkraut
35. Root beer float
36. Cognac with a fat cigar (I’ll pass on the cigar, thanks)
37. Clotted cream tea (we had this every day on our honeymoon)
38. Vodka jelly/Jell-O
39. Gumbo
40. Oxtail
41. Curried goat (I had goat in Portugal but it wasn’t curried)
42. Whole insects (Insect Horror Film Festival represent!)
43. Phaal
44. Goat’s milk (I’ve had plenty of goat cheese, but never a glass of goat’s milk)
45. Malt whisky from a bottle worth £60/€80/$120 or more
46. Fugu
47. Chicken tikka masala
48. Eel (the tastiest of the sushis)
49. Krispy Kreme original glazed doughnut
50. Sea urchin
51. Prickly pear
52. Umeboshi
53. Abalone
54. Paneer
55. McDonald’s Big Mac Meal (again:  believe it or not, I’ve never had it.)
56. Spaetzle
57. Dirty gin martini
58. Beer above 8% ABV (I don’t actually know.  I’m going to embolden because I’ve had lots of homebrew by people who probably want to sneak in extra alky)
59. Poutine (I wanted to try it in Montreal but never got around to it.)
60. Carob chips
61. S’mores
62. Sweetbreads (mmm…brains…)
63. Kaolin (this is not food, silly)
64. Currywurst
65. Durian (seen it, never tried it)
66. Frogs’ legs
67. Beignets, churros, elephant ears or funnel cake
68. Haggis
69. Fried plantain (mm…Puerto Rico…)
70. Chitterlings, or andouillette
71. Gazpacho
72. Caviar and blini
73. Louche absinthe (I don’t know what that is.  I mean I know what absinthe is, but I don’t know if Louche is a special kind or what.)
74. Gjetost, or brunost (just as gross as it looks)
75. Roadkill (Not food!  Seriously.)
76. Baijiu
77. Hostess Fruit Pie
78. Snail
79. Lapsang souchong
80. Bellini
81. Tom yum
82. Eggs Benedict
83. Pocky
84. Tasting menu at a three-Michelin-star restaurant (I don’t know for sure how many stars the Achatz-era Trio had or Berasategui, but I had tasting menus at both and I think they count.)
85. Kobe beef
86. Hare (Krishna?  I assume they mean rabbit.)
87. Goulash
88. Flowers
89. Horse
90. Criollo chocolate
91. Spam (I’ve bought it but never consumed it)
92. Soft shell crab
93. Rose harissa
94. Catfish
95. Mole poblano
96. Bagel and lox
97. Lobster Thermidor (no, but I seriously need to get myself some)
98. Polenta
99. Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee
100. Snake

It looks like I have 65 yes and 35 no.  That’s not bad.  I’m young yet.  I could still have stuffed intestines one day.



Filed under: — Aprille @ 9:14 pm

A wonderful/terrible thing has happened.

Miles has his first tooth.

Denny found it this morning, and he came to let me feel for myself.  It is definitely there—a pointy little sucker.  When I felt it, tears sprang to my eyes, and not because he bit me.  I told Denny it’s like a tiny little version of him going off to college.  I’m glad he has teeth and everything (because seriously, I’m not going to puree his food forever, especially after his very rude rejection of the garbanzo beans I worked so hard on), but I miss my gummy little baby.

He’s been handling it pretty well so far; in fact, he’s slept really well the last few nights.  Let’s hope that continues.  He was kind of fussy tonight, but we gave him some Tylenol, Hyland’s Teething Tablets, this crazy vibrating teething toy from Aunt Shannon, and some frozen apple chunks in his mesh chewy bag.  Among all those methods, he managed to stay more or less content.

I find myself feeling a little envious of the pregnant women I know (Angie, Kate, Melissa), because they’re going to have genuinely tiny little babies soon.  Then, on the other hand, I remember how I mentioned to Denny just this morning that a 7.5-month-old is a lot more fun to hang out with than a one-month-old.

I guess every stage has its ups and downs.  Teething is a down, but laughing at my jokes is an up.  My jokes are much less complex than they used to be—there are a lot of doofy noises involved—but it’s nice to have a receptive audience.


Rudimentary communication

Filed under: — Aprille @ 9:00 am

A conversation I had with Miles this morning:

Miles:  Butt.

Mommy:  Miles, did you say “but”?

Miles:  *fart*

Mommy:  Oooh, butt.


Miles Minute

Filed under: — Aprille @ 5:28 pm

Miles was being especially giggly this morning while he and Denny played.


He’s got it in the bag

Filed under: — Aprille @ 4:03 pm

I stepped out of the room for like one second, and when I came back, I found the following scene:

P.S. Ken tells me that all my videos autoplay when he loads the page and it frightens him. I, like Ken, use Firefox 3.x, and it doesn’t happen to me. I don’t see any way to set autoplay to false within the confines of these Quicktime tags for WordPress.  Is it some kind of browser setting?


I need to pay more attention

Filed under: — Aprille @ 5:09 pm

I had been vaguely aware of the cultural phenomenon “Phelps Phan,” but just enough to be disgusted with it.  That hatemonger Fred Phelps doesn’t need any more publicity.

Then I found out it’s some sports guy.

I’m Tivo-ing “women’s” gymnastics tonight—do they really count as women if they’re teenagers who’ve had their growth stunted and puberty delayed due to intense training?—so no spoilers, please.  Go Shawn Johnson!


Filed under: — Aprille @ 2:19 pm

I hope Miles has a love of reading.  I was a total bookworm as a kid, and though I don’t read as much now as I’d like to (or nearly as much as some people, and anybody who knows this person won’t even have to click the link to know whom I referring to), I still do really love books.  There’s something about an author who uses language really well that just makes looking at words a pleasure.  I find writing style to be a greater pull than plot, usually; this is the same reason I like Woody Allen movies.  I don’t care if nothing interesting happens as long as people say witty things along the way.

Anyway, it seems like Miles is showing an interest in books.  He’s kind of a little squirmy wormy most of the time; he’s not one to sit quietly in your lap unless he’s really tired.  He’d much rather be rolling around on the floor or bouncing around in one of his contraptions.  However, he’s really enjoyed being read to lately.  It’s the one time he will sit really quietly and listen and look, sometimes for multiple books in a row.

The one I’m reading to him in the photo below is called Tacky the Penguin, and it’s really good.  It was a gift from one of our baby showers, and I wish I remember who gave it to us, because it’s been a big hit around our house.  Another one we read a lot is If You Give a Mouse a Cookie, and I do know that that one was from Mark and Rebekah Ahrens.  Thanks, you guys.



Monthly Miles Memo #7

Filed under: — Aprille @ 10:35 pm

Dear Miles,

As Mubby pointed out, it’s your (sort of, not really) golden birthday.  If you didn’t know, your golden birthday is the birthday where you turn the number of years that is the day of the month on which you were born, e.g., your actual one will be when you turn seven.

Right this moment, you’re not acting very golden.  I can hear your dad singing “Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star” to you from the other room; he’s trying to get you back to sleep.  Your afternoon nap, which typically lasts at least an hour, was fifteen minutes today.  Sadly, that’s consistent with your recent habits.  This month has been a frustrating one in terms of sleep.  We tried doing the whole sleep training thing.  We tried letting you cry (I don’t want to talk about it; it was horrific).  We tried doing the thing where we put you down still awake and picked you up when you fussed.  We tried the technique of moving the chair a little farther away from your crib every night, except we never got past the position of directly next to the crib, since we couldn’t graduate beyond step 1 (apparently a soothing hand on your back is not an acceptable alternative to being trotted up and down the hallway).

We also had the bad luck to be in the middle of sleep training when two unusual events occurred:  we spent a week at Mubby and Skittergramps’s house, and you got your first cold.  Obviously the former is a lot better than the latter, but the combination of them, as well as subjecting you to the indignity of sleeping in a Pack-n-Play, pretty well thwarted our attempts.  For the time being, we’re back to the trot.

The cold was pretty miserable for both of us.  Your dad went back to Iowa City to work that week, which left me to be up pretty much all night with you.  It was so sad—you’d fall asleep after much cajoling, then after an hour you’d cough yourself awake.  You couldn’t nurse very well due to your plugged-up nose, and we were both exhausted.  Luckily for me, Mubby and Skittergramps were very generous in spending time with you during the day so I could nap.  Still, you weren’t your usual jolly self for the first part of the visit, which is too bad, since Uncle Tyler and Great-Aunt Suzy were there for the first few days and would have really enjoyed seeing your true personality.

But enough of the bad news.  You’re feeling much better now, and you’re doing all kinds of hilarious things these days.  You can roll like a little hedgehog.  On one of our last nights in Ames, you traveled a good twenty feet by doing consecutive rolls.  You’ve also gotten very good at Upsy Daisy, in which your dad holds your hands and you tense your little abdominal muscles to help pull yourself to a standing position.  Part II of that game is TIMBER, in which your dad lets you tip onto a pillow like a felled tree.

You’re growing very advanced at eating solid foods.  You’ve now had:

  • rice cereal (meh)
  • bananas (yum)
  • peas (acceptable)
  • green beans (surprisingly palatable)
  • applesauce (pretty good)
  • avocado (tasty but a bear to clean off your hands and face)
  • peaches (sour at first but good once you get used to them)
  • squash (fantastic)
  • Teddy Poofs—a kind of hippie organic cereal that we break into tiny bites for you (good for keeping you busy in restaurants), and
  • a few little nibbles of peeled grape (sample size too small to accurately gauge response).

You spent some fun time with Grandma Cheryl and Grandpa Denny out at their farm.  I was hoping to introduce you to some cows, but apparently they were off in some other place (the north field?), so you had to be content with meeting Uncle Michael’s gigantic dog.  And by “meeting” I mean “being held tightly to your mother’s torso and shielded at every turn from that beast, because even though by all accounts he’s very gentle, he still outweighs both your parents and slobbers more than a seven-month-old.”

Luckily, we spent most of the time inside, where Grandma Cheryl and Grandpa Denny snuggled you and gave you more books, toys, and outfits.  You’ve really been responding to books lately.  You’ll sit on our laps and listen to books (as long as I don’t use too many scary voices—sorry about that) without getting too antsy.  That, along with your apparent recognition of the phrase Upsy Daisy, leads me to believe that you’re developing rudimentary language skills.  We also discovered, in a fit of desperation on one of those nights when you would just not calm down that you enjoy Christmas carols.  I can now sing The Twelve Days of Christmas perfectly without peeking at the lyrics.  Here’s a hint:  twelve drummers drumming, ‘leven lords a-leaping, ten pipers piping, nine ladies dancing, and it’s easy from there on.  I’ve been trying to teach you mama, which you find hilarious.  Rather than actually study my mouth movements or make any noises, you just grin at me when I clearly enunciate the word.

It seems like you have an opinion about everything these days.  The word mama is funny, naps are boring, strangers are scary, the stroller is for suckers and the Baby Björn is much preferable, the baby in the mirror is fascinating, parental fingers are fun to chew, and nudity rules.  The only thing you really seem to feel neutral about is water.  Every time you take a bath (which is more often these days, due to the increasing amounts of green beans in your hair), I try to show you how to splash and play, but you just lie there tranquilly.  You never get upset, but you don’t really par-tay in the tub, either.  Mubby got you a wading pool and positioned it for an ideal sun:shade ratio, and we were so excited to put you in it.

You thought it was fine.

At one point you even slipped and dunked your head in the water, and you barely responded.  You didn’t laugh, you didn’t cry; you just blinked the water out of your eyes and continued on with your life.

You’re getting so strong, too.  You can sit up so well (pretty much without support), and you’re really, really close to crawling. The other day you were trying to get to your Winnie the Pooh bag, and you did a kind of quarter-roll move, alternating directions, until you got to it.  Actually, for the sake of full disclosure, I scootched it closer to you because I didn’t want you to get frustrated and give up on crawling.  You did legitimately move a few inches, though.

You don’t have any teeth yet that have cut through your gums, but I think you’re getting close, because you chew on anything you can find.  Recent examples include the clean diaper I was about to put on you (could have been worse, though it did elicit me to say “We do not eat diapers,” which goes on the list of things I never expected to come out of my mouth) and the disgusting safety strap on the child seat in a shopping cart.  In all likelihood, it was shenanigans like that that gave you the cold.  The good news is that once you’ve gotten over a virus, you’ll be immune to it.  Getting a cold now and then is a crucial part of building your little immune system.  The bad news is that there are like fourteen million strains of the cold virus.  I would appreciate it if you could hold off on sampling those for at least another couple of weeks.  We can start by keeping our mouths off filthy shopping cart parts.  I propose this deal:  you keep your chewing to our fingers, and we’ll do our best to partake in frequent handwashing.

This last trip to central Iowa was the longest you’d ever been away.  I was kind of afraid you’d forget about our home.  I didn’t worry about that on previous trips, because up until recently, you were pretty oblivious to your surroundings.  As long as you had arms to cuddle you and a couple of convenient milk sources, you were good.  But you’re much more picky these days.  You don’t like to be held by people you don’t know well (although I overheard your Grandpa Denny adorably bragging about the fact that you warmed up to him in two tries, while it took Grandma Cheryl three), and you’re generally becoming pickier about your daily goings-on.  This is a good sign, I think:  it shows that you’re gaining some perspective and interest in your environment.  Still, I was afraid you’d get all adjusted to life on the road and wouldn’t like it back home.

I needn’t have worried.  The ride home was a little rough—we had to make an emergency stop in Williamsburg to soothe your cries and find some shorts for your dad.  But when we got home, it was like we’d arrived at Disneyland.  I walked you through all the rooms of the house, showing you your play gym with Fran the dangly octopus, the baby in the bedroom mirror, and your animal art.  Each time we entered a new room, you looked around, your eyes wide, a huge smile on your face.  That recognition in your expression seemed to say, “Oh, I’m so glad to be home.”

It wouldn’t be home without you.



P.S. Your dad tells me you said Obama today.  Nice work.  At the very least, he swears it was multi-syllabic.  If you can say Obama, you can’t be far from mama.


Miles Minute and a Half

Filed under: — Aprille @ 4:33 pm

Here’s about 90 seconds of the fun Miles had recently with his Mubby, Skittergramps, and Uncle Tyler.

Oregon photos

Filed under: — Aprille @ 1:19 pm

I know, it’s been a million years, but I finally got my Oregon photos uploaded to this site.  I’m having an internal conflict about it; I always post to Flickr, but it’s nice to have things organized a bit more consistently on this site too.

Anyway, these are not new to those of you who visit my Flickr account, but if you’re interested, click the photo below.


A trip to central/southwest Iowa

Filed under: — Aprille @ 1:23 pm

We just got back from spending some time with our families in the general central Iowa vicinity.  Here’s some evidence:

A tiny kitten on the farm.

The view from the bedroom window.

Denny’s brother’s giant dog juxtaposed with some cats.

Ellie, Mrs. Hsu, and Miles hang out.
I have tons more of Miles (and, you know, our actual families), but the 7 month post is coming up and I’ll show off some of them then.

Powered by WordPress