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Filed under: — Aprille @ 10:38 am
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Filed under: — Aprille @ 8:49 am

Miles has been practicing his s sounds and really improving on them.

M:  Ssssssss…nake.

A:  Great job, Miles!  Can you say Sssssssssskittergramps?

M:  Ssssssss…eyeball.


Miles, I am your sister (NOT REALLY)

Filed under: — Aprille @ 10:36 am

First, first, there is NOTHING hinty you should gather from this post. I am not pregnant, nor do I plan to be for a while. Miles has just been really interested in other kids lately, so we’ve been talking about families and kids of different ages.

A: Miles, if Daddy and I have another baby, should it be a boy or a girl?

M: Girl.

A: So would you like a sister or a brother?

M: Sister.

A: What should your sister’s name be?

M: Dah Bay-da.

A: [pause] … Darth Vader?

M: Yeah.

I told Denny about that conversation, and he asked where Miles had ever heard of Darth Vader. I told him about how last week or so, he kept putting this shiny black box on his head, and Skittergramps called him Darth Vader. So there we go.


Restaurant review: El Banditos

Filed under: — Aprille @ 9:53 am

A newish Mexican restaurant is in Iowa City, on Market Street across from the Bluebird where Motley Cow used to be.  I heard some anecdotal good things about it, so we gave it a try last night.

Atmosphere:  it was very pleasant, small and cozy.  A lot of the Mexican places in town are just too big and loud, and that was not the case here at all.  The decor was not too kitschy.  The bar is nice, made in part from a tree that the owner rescued post-tornado.  I would have passed on the TVs playing sports, but a lot of people seem to enjoy that sort of thing.  Rating:  4/5

Service:  Our waiter was chill and friendly without being obnoxious.  He was nice to Miles.  I like that in a waiter.  Rating:  4/5

Drinks:  The drinks were the highlight of the evening for me.  I had a margarita and Denny had sangría.  My margarita was great.  It was expensive-ish ($6), but the portion was generous (pint glass) and I could tell the ingredients were high-quality.  It was very tart with a strong fresh citrus flavor, and the waiter mentioned that it’s all homemade with actual fruit juice and simple syrup, none of that bottled stuff with high fructose corn syrup.  Denny’s sangría was sweet and tasty without that harsh liquor taste that sometimes comes through in sangría.  Rating:  5/5

Chips and salsa:  The chips were obviously freshly made, hot and crisp.  We ate two baskets of them.  Miles liked them a lot.  The regular tomato salsa was okay, nothing special.  When Denny asked if it was very hot (mostly asking for Miles, I think), the waiter offered to bring out some habañero salsa if we liked it hotter.  We did, so he did.  The habañero salsa was in a tomatillo base, and it was certainly hotter than the tomato salsa, but still not blistering.  I liked it.  Rating:  3.5/5

Entrees:  I got carnitas (marinated pork) served with tortillas, rice and whole beans.  The meat was served in large chunks that were nicely seared on the outside and falling-apart tender once you poked them.  The rice and beans were bland.  Denny got a steak fajita burrito, which I didn’t try, but he said he liked.  It was a generous portion, and he brought home half.  I finished mine, but I usually do.  Rating:  3/5

We didn’t try any appetizers or desserts.

I heard that they’re expanding into the place next door, which would be nice since the space is pretty limited right now.  It would be a really fun place for after-work drinks and snacks.  The entrees, in my opinion, weren’t any better (or worse) than the existing Mexican joints in town, but the atmosphere and drinks were deciding factors for the positive.

Overall rating:  4/5

You can see the full menu and more details on their website.


My triumphant return

Filed under: — Aprille @ 4:41 pm

Hey, if anybody still reads this blog besides my parents, who already know about it, come see me this weekend in All in the Timing.

It’s a collection of short plays by David Ives, most of them very funny and all of them very well-written.  It got a good review, and in particular the short play I’m in, “The Universal Language” was well-received by critic and non-critic alike.

See the ICCT website for details.


That’s where the Corn Chex grow

Filed under: — Aprille @ 8:14 am

The scene:  sitting at the table with Nana, who’s visiting.  Denny and Miles often eat their breakfast sitting on this foot locker/trunk thing we have in the dining room, though at this moment Miles was in his booster seat at the normal table.

D:  Miles, where do we usually eat our cereal?

M:  Iowa.

You can’t argue with the truth.


One more

Filed under: — Aprille @ 7:47 pm

After reading P.D. Eastman’s Are You My Mother, I was explaining to Miles that babies and mommies are typically of the same species.

A:  Just like I’m a person and you’re a person.

M:  No person.

A:  I’m not a person?

M:  No.

A:  What am I, then, if I’m not a person?

M:  Girl.

Oh dear.

This one goes to eleven.

Filed under: — Aprille @ 4:12 pm

Conversations between Miles and me.

1.  Early in the morning after having arrived the previous evening at Mubby and Skittergramps’ house.

A:  Miles, do you know where we are?

M:  (considering the situation) Bed.

2.  Same setting, different morning:

M:  Too loud.

A:  No, right now it’s quiet.


A:  Oh.  Yes, that was too loud.


Monthly Miles Memo #26

Filed under: — Aprille @ 10:17 am

Dear Miles,

Oh boy.  Was it just last month that I was saying the Terrible Twos seem not to be affecting you?  My, how things have changed.

That’s not quite fair—I wouldn’t say your behavior is terrible, overall.  You’re still a very sweet boy a lot of the time.  You’ve just gotten awfully opinionated.  I asked Mubby and Skittergramps for advice on how to manage these issues (and maybe that’s an indication that I’m in my Terrible Thirties—I’m asking my parents for advice and genuinely appreciating it).  Skittergramps said, “Make him think it’s his idea.”

That sometimes works, when the topic is innocuous, like getting you to take your vitamin.  If you refuse it, I can just leave it out and it’ll find its way into your mouth.  Unfortunately, Hy-Vee does not yet sell naps that taste like gummy bears, and lately, naptime has about a 90% correlation with tantrum time.

But let us not focus on the negative.  You are really great in a lot of ways.  You still love to read, and you’re beginning to understand the concept that letters work together to form words and phrases.  I got some video of you going through the letters that make up the title of one of your noisier books:  you touched each letter and said “S-N-A-P-P-Y  S-O-U-N-D-S…” then ran your finger across the words and announced the title:  “Loud book.”  You did the same thing with a sweatshirt I was wearing.  “A-R-I-Z-O-N-A:  Mommy.”

Arizona sounds pretty good these days, with all the snow we’ve had.  We’re planning our summer trip to California, which I know you’ll love due to the proximity of a swimming pool at Uncle Larry’s house.  In the meantime, though, we’ve been slogging through snow.  Skittergramps taught you how to shovel, and that’s kind of like taking Intro to Art Appreciation with Prof. Michelangelo.  He got you a pair of shoveling gloves and a bright yellow shovel, and the two of you did some good work on our sidewalks.

We are all excited about the end of winter.  The days have been getting warmer, and it won’t be long before the snow is gone and we can get outside to play more.  You’ve been celebrating the coming of spring with rampant nudity.  You love to be nude (or “newt,” as you say).  You have a little trouble differentiating between partial and complete nudity, though.  To you, any exposed skin makes a person nude, and it was a little embarrassing when we were at a restaurant the other night and you requested your book that has kids wearing swimsuits by yelling, “More nude girl!”

You also had fun this month at a birthday party for your Great-Great Uncle Joe.  Any excuse to see Nana, Uncle Mark, and Aunt Shannon is okay by you, and you had a really fun time playing with balloons (“balloo-noo-noos”) and puzzles and running around like a crazy man.  We went to an Academy Awards party last night, and on the way there, you said “Uncle Mark.  Nana.”  We had to explain to you that not every party has Uncle Mark and Nana at it.  It turned out okay because you got chocolate-covered strawberries and cake and got to climb up lots of stairs.

This morning we were reminiscing about the weekend’s activities, and we asked you what you had fun doing at the party last.  You agreed that the stairs and the food were fun and that it was cool to wear your sparkle vest and watch very big videos.  Then you mentioned what might have been the best part of the evening for you:  puddles.  You were very reluctant to leave the party last night, even though it was past your bedtime, so your dad and I tried to entertain you by doing a “one, two, three, WHEE” over puddles, and apparently it made an impression.

The best part of the month for you may have been your daddy’s birthday, which is technically today, but we did most of our celebrating over the weekend.  You like to sing “Happy Birthday” and fill in the blanks with the honored person’s name, you like helping to open presents, and you really like cake.  You firmly believe that cake is appropriate for every meal of the day, and also snacks.  You haven’t really caught onto pie yet.  We’ll see what happens later in the month, because Mommy’s birthday is next, and I think I’m getting pie.

Maybe you’ll eat pie if we make you think it’s your idea.



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