Filed under: — Aprille @ 8:31 am

One of those cute things I wanted to write down before I forget it:

Miles has a pop-up book version of Old MacDonald Had a Farm, and he’s been really into it lately.  He’ll bring it over to Denny or me and wave it in our faces until we read it to him.  He likes to sing along, except he can’t quite get “E-i-e-i-o” out of his mouth, so he just says “O-o-o-o-o,” not one long syllable like his wolf howl, but separate, discernible little words.

In other news, we’re going to have a change in our childcare situation.  Due to some personal/logistical issues, Jessa and Jonah are going to come to our house to play instead of Miles going over there.  As you may know if you are a regular reader here, it’s also likely that their family will be moving away this summer, so we’re also on the hunt for another childcare situation (ideally in-home; if you have any good leads, please comment!).

I was telling Denny about the proposed change to our house, and he said, “You should tell her she can come over here if she promises not to move away.”

“So you want me to tell her that she can care for our child in a way that is actually more convenient for us and also works for her, and she should also promise not to move away, which also benefits us?” I asked.

“Then you can say, ‘Don’t hate the player, hate the game.'”


Poetry for you

Filed under: — Aprille @ 9:23 am

My coffee is cold.

My arms are warm.

I credit the sweater.

Did you know that haiku need not follow the prescriptive 5-7-5 pattern?  I learned this in Translation Workshop from a guy who translated Japanese poetry.  I’m not sure how the 5-7-5 trope got so popular around here, but in Japanese haiku, it really just needs to be a very short poem that crystalizes a particular moment, feeling, or situation.

It’s still fun to write 5-7-5s sometimes, but it’s also nice to know that haiku can be other things.  Plus, words that end in u are fun to say.  I also enjoy ecru.


Happy birthday to me

Filed under: — Aprille @ 9:04 am

The morning started kind of grumpily.  Miles woke up crying and rude instead of his usual morning sunshine self, and the weather matched his mood.  It was a difficult drop-off at Jessa’s, and we also learned that things are looking bleak in terms of the likelihood that Jessa’s husband will find a local job.

I have a lead on a potential new childcare situation, but I’m afraid nothing will be as good as Jessa’s house.  Boo.

BUT!  BUT!  Things aren’t all bad.  Denny started my morning by giving me a birthday present (gorgeous new sheets), and he promises there are more to come.  We’re going out to dinner tonight, assuming Miles gets his act together.  A new person started at work today, so all of us overworked and underpaid schmucks are happy to have a new person on whom to offload. (This would not be a polite time to mention that I am blogging at work.)

Also, the new WordPress is pretty darn slick.

I was thinking about my griping, preemtively defensive in response to people who might say, “You hate it when people get all worked up about changes in Facebook.  ‘Life is change,’ you say.  ‘Deal with it.’  Where do you get off being ‘tudey about upgrading WordPress?”

Well, for one thing, it doesn’t cost me any actual time or effort to manage a Facebook upgrade.  All I need to do is blink a couple of times and I’m used to the new layout.  In fact, I hardly remember what the old Facebook looked like.  My personal history with WordPress upgrade generally involves me getting started, thinking I have it all under control, and then everything turns to crap and Denny has to fix it for me.

This is embarrassing, as I consider myself reasonably technically savvy, and I don’t like it when some guy has to come rescue me.  Admittedly, this guy is a bona fide computer scientist, so it’s not so bad, but still.  I like to do this stuff myself and it burns me up when I can’t.  Better to slog along with an old version than to fail at the new one.

This time, I didn’t even try.  I just let Denny do it and it worked fine.

And now we shall officially declare this subject off-topic.  No more talk of WordPress upgrades (until the next one, which I understand will be much easier and I will probably even do it myself).

Rumor has it there will be cake at my 10:00 meeting.  I bought ingredients to make cupcakes to bring to work, but when I mentioned that I got scolded and told that cake would be provided.  I like this.  I think with my cupcake ingredients I will make a batch to give to new parents Mark and Rebekah.


Filed under: — Aprille @ 7:18 am

Things are still a little screwy with WordPress, but in good news, it seems like I’m finding my way around. Old posts look kind of funny (some strange character substitutions, at least here on Firefox 3.0.7), but at least my embedded video is back, and I see Viper’s Video Quicktags are now working and offer a Flickr option.

So…tentative yay.

Thanks for your help, SuperMegaCrall.

I just invented that new nickname for Denny.


More fail.

Filed under: — Aprille @ 1:00 pm

Oh, fantastic.  I installed an updated version of Viper’s Video Quicktags, and I can’t activate them.  In my plugins control panel, I click the Activate link, and the returned message is “Plugin deactivated.”  Yep.  Too bad I want it to be activated.

The bad news is that I hosed my earlier, working version of Viper’s Video Quicktags, so now my previously embedded videos don’t work.  Gah.

I desperately need to update WordPress, but I keep putting it off because it always seems like there’s crying and serious downtime involved.  Denny claims he knows a way to make it go smoothly, but I am suspicious.

Testing embedded Flickr video

Filed under: — Aprille @ 8:40 am

I’m thinking about not posting Quicktime videos anymore, in part because it will make it easier for my non-Mac friends (the poor souls) to view them, plus for reasons unbeknownst to me the iPhone doesn’t seem to support Quicktime.  Go figure.

Anyway, whatever Flickr does to its Flash video in the conversion process does render it browser- and OS-agnostic, as well as mobile-friendly.  The only problem is that sometimes embedding things in WordPress turns into a giant mess.  Let’s try it, brave pioneers.

UPDATE:  embed attempts = FAIL.  I’ll have to look around for a WordPress plugin like I found for Quicktime.  Suggestions welcome.


Baby Hat

Filed under: — Aprille @ 5:05 pm

Apropos of not much, here is a game Miles enjoys (~30 seconds).


Reading on a jet plane

Filed under: — Aprille @ 8:39 am

When I am about to travel somewhere, I like to read a book set in that location so I can get a feel for it.  It’s also fun to do things and see places referenced in the book.  Right now I’m reading Hemingway’s Islands in the Stream, which takes place largely in the Bahamas (although I’m currently in the Cuba section).

It’s good insofar as I always enjoy Hemingway.  I like how he says what he means, and I think he really accurately captures the brutality of human interaction (in both good and bad ways).  I’m only about halfway through it, but thus far, the book is a bit of a downer.  Hemingway wrote it at the end of his life, around his suicide, so I guess that makes sense, but thus far the themes seem to be failure, desertion, disappointment, and death.

A Moveable Feast, which I read shortly before and during my trip to Paris, was a whole lot more upbeat.  The Sun Also Rises, which I think remains my all-time favorite book, takes place partly in San Sebastian.  I read that before I went there for the first time. It has its ups and downs.

Maybe I need to find a less-moody favorite author.


Monthly Miles Memo #14

Filed under: — Aprille @ 6:07 pm

Dear Miles,

This is coming a day late, I’m sorry to say.  Today is your dad’s birthday, and we did our family celebration yesterday, which took up all my free time.  Everything’s a little more complicated with you involved; I can’t just run out and shop for a present or groceries for his birthday dinner whenever I want anymore.  Don’t get me wrong—you’re a delight, and I love including you in the things I do, but it definitely takes more planning.

Your dad requested a carrot cake, which was the same kind you had for your birthday.  You were much more excited about it this time around.  There was none of the trepidation you had when we first offered it to you.  No, this time you dived right in and went for a second serving when you finished the first.  I don’t know if you actually remembered it, but it’s possible.  Your memory is getting a lot better.  You remember things I never expect you to recall, like where your choo-choo train is.  Jessa told me that she read you a book for the first time that had a song associated with it, and later she sang the song out of context.  You crawled straight over and found the book with no prompting from her.

You’re doing so well at Jessa’s house now.  After some rough times at first, this last week you seem to have settled into a good routine.  You seem to be handling interactions with Jonah better, not so intimidated and more willing to play with him.  We are really hoping they don’t move away.  Jonah’s dad got a job offer in Texas, and it would be hard to find such a good situation with anyone but Jessa.  We’ll find out in the next couple of months.

The last month had us spending more time apart than we ever had before, and it was really hard on me.  I was working on a film, doing costumes, and it involved a lot of time on-set.  Your dad sometimes brought you to see me, and the two of you spent a whole weekend at the Hawkeye Motel in Washington, Iowa with me.  That was great, but it was no substitute for actually having a lot of time with you.  You were very popular on set, though, and you made a lot of friends.  Still, I’m glad it’s over now and we can have our weekends together again.

We made plans this month for our vacation, which will be to the Bahamas in May.  I’ve got everything ready to submit for your passport, and I’m so excited for you to get it.  I hope you love to travel and love the ocean like I do.  It will be wonderful to share those things with you.

In the meantime, you are a walking maniac.  You started with hesitant toddles, walking up to a big box and knocking it over, then plopping down on your bottom.  Since then, you’ve gotten a lot more confident, and now your dad and I really understand the phrase “the pitter patter of little feet.”  We hear that slapping down the hall so much now, and it’s about the cutest sound in the world.  You still crawl, especially when you want to get somewhere fast, but it won’t be long before your bowlegged little steps turn into a full-on run.

I’ll catch you if I can.




Bite one’s tongue

Filed under: — Aprille @ 11:14 am

Whenever I read recipes that mention chopping something, I imagine chopping my own tongue on the cutting board.

That image never pops into my head when I’m actually cooking, just reading.

What’s wrong with my brain?


International Baby

Filed under: — Aprille @ 8:48 am

Filling out a passport application form for a baby is hilarious.

Height:  um…short?  I’ve never seen his height described in feet before, only inches.  I guess he’s about 2’6″ or something.  I’ll have to get out the measuring tape, because he’s probably grown since his last check-up.

Hair color:  mostly bald with evidence of brown?

Occupation:  clapping, howling like a wolf, knocking over boxes?  Or are those more like hobbies?


Bahama Mia

Filed under: — Aprille @ 7:45 pm

So, an update on that internal debate I was having a while back about vacation destinations:

We decided on the Bahamas, specifically Grand Bahama Island.  It’s not, like, undiscovered by any means, but it’s somewhat less frequented than New Providence (where Nassau and Paradise Island are), especially in the low/shoulder season.  It’s still easy to reach—just one connection in Atlanta—and we hope it will be a nice combination of exotic and not too challenging.

We’ll be renting a condo rather than staying at a hotel.  We’ve had good luck with this model in both Rome and Norway, so we’re hoping to go 3-for-3.  In our experience, renting a condo or apartment is cheaper and more spacious than a hotel room, plus there’s none of that awkward tipping expectation that you get in a resort.  Plus I think the money goes more directly into the local economy (thought that’s debatable in this case, since the condo we’re getting is owned by Californians).  At any rate, we’ll be buying groceries in local stores and stuff.  I get tired of eating out all the time on vacation, so it’ll be good to have some cereal and sandwich stuff to have around, then we can go out for dinners.

I’m psyched about the condo.  Check out the view from the living room:

More details on the condo.

In equally exciting news, I’m flying for free.  We picked Delta just because they could get us there with only one connection, which is good when there’s a little dude involved.  As it happens, they’re merging with Northwest, and it ended up being quick and painless to transfer my Northwest FF miles to Delta, and I had enough for a free ticket.  I think that earned me a lobster dinner, don’t you?


Not so restful

Filed under: — Aprille @ 8:56 am

Oh man.  After that fantastic Friday night, Saturday was merely decent, and last night was downright crappy.  Miles is stuffy-headed, which makes for poor sleep for everybody.  I had him in the recliner for a while early this morning, because he seemed to sleep better with his head elevated, but it wasn’t so restful for me.

In better news, it was great to have a weekend at home, finally.  One side effect of having been away so much over the last couple of months is that Miles has gotten really Mommy-centric.  This is slightly annoying when I’m ready to take a break and hand him to Denny and he (Miles) whines and stretches his arms out to me, but it’s also pretty heartwarming, considering how he’d been preferring Denny for a while there.

He still says Dada a lot more consistently than Mama, but that’s okay.  Maybe he’s saying dog or something anyway.



Filed under: — Aprille @ 9:41 am


The trend only has one data point.  Last night was back to the typical pattern (though better than earlier in the week, since I think his teething has settled down for the time being).

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