Filed under: — Aprille @ 3:26 pm

A fantastic thing happened last night.

Miles slept from 8:30-10:30, then a brief wakeup, then straight through until 5:30 a.m.

After that he woke again briefly, then slept till 9.

This is a record, people.  I was basically ready to get up at 5:30 because I felt so good after 7 sweet, sweet consecutive hours of sleep.  I honestly don’t remember the last time I slept 7 hours in a row.

Denny and I are wondering if he’s sick, though he seems fine otherwise.  He’s cheerful, eating well, and not sneezing or feverish or anything.  We really hope this is the start of a trend.


La Reyna: a review

Filed under: — Aprille @ 8:50 am

Oh my lordy, I’ve been terrible about posting lately.  In my defense, work has been busy, personal life has been busy.

Here we go, though.

There is a (relatively) new Mexican restaurant in town called La Reyna, and I’d heard really good things about it from friends, so the gang and I checked it out last night.

1.  Ambience:  pretty typical Mexican, a notch above “hole in the wall” but not luxurious by any means.  I wasn’t crazy about the clear vinyl table covers.  When you go in, the restaurant is to the left and the bodega (shop) is to the right.  There was no one stationed at the entryway, but they weren’t busy, and someone acknowledged us quickly and seated us.

Ambience score:  3/5

2.  Chips/salsa:  we received them quickly.  The salsa was very good—strong fire-roasted and tomatillo notes.  It was definitely spicier than an average salsa (in Iowa anyway).  Denny thought it was a little too spicy.  I disagree, except that we didn’t get any water right away, so it was a little hot without any liquid balance.

The chips were nothing special.  They were a little on the hard and greasy side, like maybe the oil wasn’t quite hot enough, but they were edible.

Chips/salsa score:  3.5/5

3.  Drinks:  we both got water and I got a margarita, which was only available on the rocks.  It was really bad.  I mean, seriously crappy.  It was too sweet, extremely artificial-tasting like Kool-Aid, with no discernible real lime or tequila flavor.  I did get a slight buzz, so I’m pretty sure it contained alcohol, but I wouldn’t put money on it being anything better than grain alcohol. On the wall by our table they advertised their margaritas and strawberry daiquiris, featuring photos of the pre-made mixes the use.  Um…?  I don’t harbor delusions that most casual Mexican restaurants have people in the back muddling limes or anything, but at least their mixes are reasonably tasty.
The water tasted like water.

Drinks score:  1/5

4.  Entrees:  Denny got enchiladas and I got mole poblano.  I didn’t try his enchiladas, but they looked pretty good and he seemed to enjoy them.  They came with rice, beans, and some lettuce/tomato/sour cream toppings.

My mole was a mixed bag.  The sauce was very good—it hit me first with the sweet and chocolatey notes, and it lingered nicely with more complex chile and spice flavors.  It wasn’t very spicy-hot at all.  The chicken was in large chunks.  It was all white meat, and the chunks were a little dry and tough on the interior.  It would have been better if the chunks had been chicken thighs, which would have stayed moister, or if the meat had been shredded so the sauce had covered it better.

It was served with flour tortillas.  I don’t actually know whether flour or corn tortillas are traditional with mole, but my impression is that corn are the default for most of the less-Americanized dishes.  Other items on the menu indicated that the diner could choose between corn and flour, but the waiter didn’t ask my preference.  Maybe flour is what’s supposed to go with mole.  Anyway, the tortillas were good, warm and freshly (what’s the word I want?  I want to say a la plancha.  Like…toasted on a griddle).  There was also rice in the center of the chicken/sauce situation.

The waiter warned us before we ordered that there were no tamales, which disappointed me because I love tamales.

I sopped up all the mole sauce with my tortillas.  It was good stuff.  We were too full for dessert.

Entrees score:  4/5

5.  Service

The place wasn’t busy, which was good because there seemed to be one owner/manager type person and just one server.  The server did a good job, though.  He checked on us several times and brought the bill promptly.  He flirted with Miles nicely.

My only criticisms of the service were that it would have been nice to have water immediately and place settings already at the table when we sat down.  I brought some fruit for Miles that I needed to cut up, and it was a fair amount of time before I got silverware with which to do it.

Service score:  4/5

Overall, it was good, but not exceptional.  It hasn’t replaced Iguana’s in Hills as my favorite Mexican place in the area.

Overall score:  3.5/5 


Cupcake art

Filed under: — Aprille @ 10:28 am

Check out this super-cool Presidents Day cupcake mosaic.

The blog whence that link came, Cake Wrecks, is really great.  It’s one of the few that gives me legitimately out-loud LOLs.  The post above is more cool than funny, but you should read the other posts.

I should probably just post this to Facebook.  Blogs are out.


The magical future

Filed under: — Aprille @ 1:33 pm

I am posting this from the nursery of a church in Albia,Iowa, which has no signal for AT&T but miraculously has wireless. Miles is napping in the crib. We were attending the funeral of an extended relative of Denny’s. I didn’t see much of the service since I was on M-duty, but I did catch two vocal performances by Nick, Denny’s cousin and grandson of the deceased. He did a lovely rendition of Lou Reed’s “Perfect Day.”. Cool.


One more thing to Tivo

Filed under: — Aprille @ 10:02 am

This just in:

Shawn Johnson and Steve Wozniak are going to be on the next season of Dancing with the Stars.  This is not a show I normally watch, except sometimes with my mom, but I may just have to tune in for these two.


Monthly Miles Memo #13

Filed under: — Aprille @ 7:59 pm

Dear Miles,

I wasn’t sure I was going to keep doing these after month 12, but so much has happened this month that it seems a shame not to write about it.  Besides, you’re still my favorite guy, so why should I stop acknowledging your monthly milestones?

This month marked some really important things for you.  You started going to Jessa’s house three mornings a week, which was hard at first but is getting better every time.  I think you’re beginning to see Jessa as one of your trusted big people, and you and Jonah are pretty hilarious together.  You don’t really play together, per se, but it’s cool to watch you manage a world in which you’re not the only little dude.

I’ve been working on a film this month that’s been taking a lot of time away from you, and I miss you so much I can hardly stand it.  I am really looking forward to it being done so we can have quiet weekends together again, with walks around the neighborhood and trips to the library and leisurely lunches. It will be over before your 14-month birthday, I promise.

The separation anxiety (for both of us) has been a kind of hard, though it’s getting a lot better at Jessa’s.  Yesterday, however, daddy’s cousin Katie came over to babysit you for a couple of hours, and it didn’t take you long to figure out that I was leaving without you.  It still chokes me up a little to think about the way you stood with your face pressed into my knees, crying so loudly that I could still hear you after I went out the front door.  It was bad timing—you were ready for a nap.  Sadly, Katie said you cried for forty minutes until you finally fell asleep.  When you woke up your dad was home, and he assured me that you felt much better.

Grandma Cheryl came to visit today, and when she first arrived, I guess you thought she was another babysitter.  It didn’t take you long to realize we weren’t leaving, though, and that Grandma Cheryl is lots of fun.

You took your first significant steps this month too.  As I mentioned in the video we took of the event, I had always envisioned you taking your first steps into your dad’s or my outstretched arms, but instead you found a big box you wanted to knock over.  You’d stand up, walk to the box, push it down, laugh, and repeat.  You’re still nervous about walking very far, but your confidence is growing every day, and soon you’ll be all over the place, I’m sure.

Your sleeping habits have much improved in recent weeks.  You’re happier to sleep in your crib for longer stretches, though you still spend most of the night with us.  But your dad and I have been able to catch up on some TV shows and have a little time together in the evenings, which makes everybody happy.

I went back to work half-time, and while I don’t regret for a moment the year I spent at home with you, it’s kind of nice to be back in the grownup world.  I do miss you, though.  Your dad and I have been staying for a few minutes to play when we drop you off at Jessa’s, and I always want to just stay there and watch you and Jonah yank on the cat and knock over blocks and bang the xylophone.

One cute thing that you’ve been doing is trying to imitate your dad and me when we snap our fingers.  You haven’t figured out how to make any noise, but you move your fingers and smile excitedly. You’re just so ready and enthusiastic about participating in the grown-up world.  You want bites of my cereal instead of your Elmo-O’s.  You never want to be left out of anything.

Today your dad installed your big-boy carseat, a front-facing model that lets you see outside.  You seemed a little confused at first.  You looked around and said “Da-da,” maybe surprised that you could see him.

Welcome to the big-kid world, Miles.  It’s all forward-facing from here.


Three Miles Movies

Filed under: — Aprille @ 9:16 pm

I’m posting the most recent one first, because it’s the most exciting and important.  My baby can walk, if you define walk rather loosely.  All three are around a minute.

Some window time, then more with the box.  Includes great baby toddler laughter.

Playing games with Mubby and Skittergramps; also some vocal stylings.


Filed under: — Aprille @ 11:08 am

Getting molars sucks.  I remember when my wisdom teeth grew in.  I was lucky to have non-impacted wisdom teeth—that is, they just grew in like regular teeth.  That made their eventual extraction easier, but at the time they were cutting through my gums, it was quite painful.

Poor Miles is getting molars now, and it’s been rough on him.  Last night he woke up twice screaming.  Note:  it is not unusual for him to wake up twice or more in a night, but normally it’s fast and easy to get him back to sleep.  Last night, though, it was hard to get him calmed down.  Denny ended up sleeping in the recliner for a good chunk of the night with Miles on his chest, which is the only way the poor little guy seemed to get any rest.  I tried letting him sleep on me in bed, which he seemed to like okay, but it wasn’t very sustainable because he kept scootching up until his head was on my throat and I couldn’t breathe.

In better news, Miles is getting a lot more comfortable at Jessa’s.  This morning when I dropped him off, he cried as I kissed him goodbye, but then Jessa took him onto her lap and played with him facing the other direction.  He had stopped crying by the time I was out the door, and when I called to check in later, she said he was fine after that.  I did hear him being a little owly in the background when I called, but I think that was because he was getting tired after his difficult night.

Really, though, I feel better now than I did 24 hours ago.  I’ve been spending almost my whole weekends working on this film, and even though I bail out earlier than most of the cast/crew in order to be home to put Miles to bed, it’s still exhausting, especially with a job and family.  In casual conversations with other crew members, I’ve found that very few of them have kids.  I guess it’s just inconsistent with the filmmaking life.

I don’t plan to be involved with any more films until my youngest (future, currently nonexistent) child is at least 7 or 8.  It’s just too much.  I guess it’s good that Denny and Miles have been having so much daddy/son time, but I miss them both terribly while I’m on set, and I feel like when I get home I’m so tired I can’t be the mommy I want to be.  At least I have weekday afternoons with him, Monday through Thursday anyway (Fridays are shooting days).  It’ll all be over by the end of the month.

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