Independence movement

Filed under: — Aprille @ 5:26 pm

Miles has really mastered his toilet skills.  This afternoon, he had a soup-to-nuts (ahem) independent trip to the potty.  Shortly thereafter, he realized he had more to deposit, and he did a great job with that challenge, too.  Upon returning from washing his hands:

M:  I’m a poop and pee maniac!


This moment

Filed under: — Aprille @ 7:55 am

{this moment (with special thanks to Darah)} – A Friday ritual (a bit late).   A single photo – no a few words – capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment.

The first day of preschool.  Photo by Denny.


Asian food = butt references

Filed under: — Aprille @ 6:35 pm

Tonight we were eating at one of our favorite local Thai restaurants. Miles was concerned when he saw that the vinyl on the booth seat was cracked.  We had to do some shuffling around to find a position he was satisfied with.

M:  I think it’s a buttcrack.  Because butts have cracks in them.  So it’s a buttcrack.


Just right

Filed under: — Aprille @ 6:59 pm

We were eating dinner at Blue Hawaii, a Chinese restaurant in Palmas del Mar, Puerto Rico.  I took Miles to the restroom, and it was a very small space.

A:  This is a little potty.

M:  That’s okay, I have a little butt.


Diminishing returns

Filed under: — Aprille @ 7:27 pm

After a long rainforest hike, we stopped by a kiosk for a batida, a milkshake kind of thing made with fresh fruit.  Mubby offered Miles a drink of hers.  He nearly drained it and handed it back to her with about a centimeter remaining.

M:  I don’t want it.


Stuff I eat and stuff I do

Filed under: — Aprille @ 7:00 am

I enjoy a good vacation for a lot of reasons, and I especially enjoy a Caribbean vacation because of how much I love ocean swimming.  I realize not everybody shared that joy.  In talking to others, it seems common for people to feel like the ocean is scary and overwhelming and unpredictable.  I can see that, I guess, but whenever I’m in there, I feel so calm and happy.  Darth Vader agrees, I think.  Every time we swim (which has been twice a day so far, since Miles sides with me on the ocean debate), the kicks and stretches in my belly stop.  I assume it’s because he’s lulled by the sounds and movement in the sea.  I imagine it’s a lot like an amplified version of the general in-utero environment.  The waves probably sound like my circulatory system, and the movements are a gentler version of the movements I make every day, minus the jarring lunges I sometimes make around Miles.

Heck, maybe that’s why I like ocean swimming so much.  It’s a primeval, fetal kind of experience.  The beach has been lovely in the mornings and early afternoons, though not so much in the evenings when the tide comes in and lots of seaweed globs around.  Maybe I could just pretend that’s a placenta or something.

Okay, I had planned this to be a food post, so here we go.  I don’t have much for still food photos, but I did get video of the most visually impressive meal to date, so I’ll update later with evidence.

The first night we got in, it was late and we were tired, so we stayed in Palmas for dinner.  Palmas del Mar is a strange beast.  It’s sometimes called a resort, but it’s not the all-inclusive hotel kind of resort.  It’s really more like a big complex with lots of condo buildings, each of which has its own name.  There are also golf courses and tennis courts, but that’s not really on our agenda this time around.  Palmas has a couple of commercial areas with restaurants, so we went to Blue Hawaii the first night and got some expensive but high-quality Chinese food.  That’s been our experience in Palmas–eating at the resort is expensive, but we haven’t had a bad meal yet.  That’s better than paying way too much for crappy food.

The second day we hit a Tex Mex place, where my dad and I had Puerto Rican tacos.  They were really interesting.  I don’t know what you call the shell part, but it was a hollow little bread thing made with coconut.  It was available with a variety of fillings.  My dad got octopus and chicken, and I got shrimp and pork.

We’ve also been doing a good amount of cooking and eating here at the condo, which is nice both for finances and for getting stuff to please Miles.  He’s done a good job so far—he likes rice a lot, and that’s pretty ubiquitous,  but it’s good for him to have some fruits and vegetables for snacking.  He’s also a convert to Bimbo cookies.

Our most exciting meal yet was at Casa Rustik, a pretty authentic-seeming little place where we were the only gringos.  We drove a ways down highway 3 and parked on a sidewalk, but it actually wasn’t too hard to find.  Denny, my mom and I all got mofongo, which was a big pile of mashed and seasoned plantains stuffed with meats.  They got pork and I got crab.  My dad got a very impressive whole fried fish (chillo, I think the waitress said) in ajillo sauce.  It was a lot of food and we all got very full.  Miles liked the bathroom because they had blue soap.

I’m not sure what’s on tap for the rest of the week, but I’ll re-update later.  There are many more photos on Flickr.

P.S. Denny is more of a pool guy.


Monthly Miles Memo #41

Filed under: — Aprille @ 3:39 pm

My dearest little Miles,

This month, out of nowhere, you started teaching yourself to read.

I think you may have gotten the idea from one of your PBSkids.org games.  You hold your hands apart, pronounce the sounds of a word (“P…i…ck”), then smash your hands together and say the whole word.  You also have a game that’s probably a little too advanced for you, but part of it involves choosing suspects out of a lineup based on reading a description of their hair color.  You do a really good job differentiating between the words brown, blond, black, and grey, even when the photos are ambiguous.  And the other day, you found the garlic powder for me in the pantry after I told you it began with g-a-r.

We’ve always been a reading-friendly family, and you’ve always been a curious kid, but I have to say I’m pretty impressed with how well you’ve picked this up with zero drilling or overt instruction.

You have a big month coming up.  We’re going on vacation later this week (“Poto WEEEEEEKO!”), and the Monday after we get back, you start preschool at Willowwind.  Yesterday I clarified for you that Mommy and Daddy wouldn’t be with you when you started going to school.  I wanted to make sure you understood that, because every time so far that we’ve visited Willowwind, we’ve stayed with you.  Your eyes filled up with tears and you said, “But I want Mommy to stay with me.  But I will miss you!”  Of course that made me cry too, but I tried to hide that from you, because I want you to maintain a positive attitude.  The first couple of days might be tough, but I think you’ll catch on quickly.

Photo by Gary Clarke

We had a really fun time last weekend at the Grammy and Pop-Pop party, a family reunion where you got to swim, hang out with your cousins, and even do the very first second-generation Cousins’ Play.  You, Maxwell, Meredith, and Anna performed a riveting version of The Three Billy Goats Gruff.  I was especially impressed with the tough voice you used in your role as the Biggest Billy Goat Gruff.  Your definition of butting the troll off the bridge involved waving your hand at him and yelling, “Butts!”  It was a little unorthodox, but it got the job done.

Photo by Denny Crall

I know it brought Grammy a lot of joy to see all you kids together.  Pop-Pop probably liked it too, but he’s harder to read.

Another big event this month was your move to your big bed.  I let you choose whichever sheets you wanted for it, and from all the beautiful designs and colors available on the Internet, you chose brown.  I thought it was a strange choice for a little kid, but you’ve been happy with it, and you’ve been sleeping better in your new brown bed than you ever did in your crib or toddler bed.  From the first night, you decided you were done coming into Mommy and Daddy’s room.  You do sometimes holler for me to come join you, but that’s generally zero or one time per night, and I can usually just give you some kisses and snuggles and go back to sleep in my own bed.

I did sleep with you all night a couple of days ago, because you weren’t feeling well and kept thrashing around and waking yourself up.  You’ve had a low fever and a runny nose and cough the last few days, but you got a good night’s sleep last night (and so did I, mercifully).  Your temperature was normal when I checked it this morning, and when I congratulated you on that fact, you said, “No, I still have a little fever.”   I think that was a ploy for more snuggles, which I was happy to provide.

This week marks your last Beanie and Daddy mornings, which made your dad sad when he realized it.  I reassured him that once you start going to school, you’ll probably get sick a lot and he and I will need to divide our time staying home with you.  I think Beanie’s sad too, though we plan to keep using her as a babysitter.  You’d miss her too much if you never got to play with her again.  Today, in fact, you’re wearing a really cool shirt the two of you designed together.  I think playing with Beanie really helped foster your love of art.

We went to Arts Fest last weekend, and your favorite part was painting the cardboard castle, even when a little girl made a quick turn and got a brush full of white paint in your hair.  You also enjoyed the fresh-squeezed lemonade.  I’m glad you like it too, because that’s one of my favorites, and it’s fun to share with you.  I thought you would like the dress-up area, but when I suggested it to you, you said, “Not at an arts festival.”  I think we need to help you broaden your definition of art.

I realize it’s a mommy cliché to marvel at how big you’ve gotten, but seriously, this has been a huge month.  Sleeping in your own bed all night long?  Getting ready to start preschool?  Reading?  Mastering the potty (I hadn’t mentioned that yet because you’re so good at it now that we barely think about it)?  Something tells me you’re ready to be a big brother.

You make me laugh every day.

Photo by Gary Clarke

I love you.


Honey bunches

Filed under: — Aprille @ 2:30 pm

A:  How are you doing, little honey?

M:  I’m fine.  How are you doing, big honey?

This one does not go to 11

Filed under: — Aprille @ 9:49 am

Miles was helping me make dinner, and I was trying to decide how much pasta to cook.

A:  Are you a little bit hungry or very hungry?

M:  (pausing to consider)  I’m six-and-a-half hungry.


It’ll buff out

Filed under: — Aprille @ 8:09 am

Miles woke up early this morning and was hanging out with me while I got ready for the day.  He saw me dot foundation makeup onto my face.

M:  Hey, you’re messy!



Filed under: — Aprille @ 7:18 pm

We were at the Hallmark store, and Miles found some interesting wrapping paper.

M:  Cool, Spiderman wrapping paper.

A:  Yeah, that’s nice.

M:  It has lots of Spider… (pausing to think) …men.  Men is two guys.  Man is one guy.

Cherry on top

Filed under: — Aprille @ 6:51 pm

I was getting Miles some ice cream with maraschino cherries, which he loves.

A:  Is four cherries okay?

M:  Yeah, really okay.


This moment

Filed under: — Aprille @ 7:58 am

{this moment (with special thanks to Darah)} – A Friday ritual (a bit late).   A single photo – no words – capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment.

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