Grateful dead

Filed under: — Aprille @ 5:53 pm

Denny and I were getting Miles ready for bed when I noticed that the clock in his room was displaying the wrong time.

D:  I guess the battery died.

M:  How can it die?  It’s not flora or fauna.


Parent parrot

Filed under: — Aprille @ 5:03 pm

Tobin was fussing a little.

M: (in a sweet, gentle voice)  It’s okay.  I know it’s a little bit tough sometimes.

This is exactly what I say to him when he’s sad or frustrated.


Introducing Tobin Armstrong Crall

Filed under: — Aprille @ 6:54 pm

I interrupt this regularly scheduled week to bring you my new son, Tobin (aka Toby, aka T-Bone).

His middle name, Armstrong, is my Grammy’s maiden name.  I hope this helps her know how important she has been to me now and throughout my whole life.

Tobin arrived at 38.5 weeks’ gestation, with a longer and more difficult labor than I would have preferred, but overall I’m pleased with the results.


This moment

Filed under: — Aprille @ 3:07 pm

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


We’re not Becks and Posh

Filed under: — Aprille @ 9:37 pm

I was helping Miles with dinner while Denny sat in the living room, researching various potential baby names.

D:  (calling from the other room) Do you know what Simon means?

A:  No, I don’t think I do.

M:  I know what seven means.

A:  Oh yeah?  What does it mean?

M:  Like when you count to seven.

A:  Hey, I think you’re right.

M:  I don’t know why you didn’t know what seven means.


This moment

Filed under: — Aprille @ 9:54 am

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


Avoiding the question

Filed under: — Aprille @ 1:12 pm

Miles and Mubby were talking via iChat AV.  The topic of the conversation was opposites, and Mubby had been quizzing Miles on various words’ opposites.  After a while, Mubby had to go do some work, but Miles hates to say goodbye.  Sometimes he refuses to say bye and says hi just to be a stinker.

Mubby:  Bye bye, Miles.  I’ll talk to you tomorrow.

Miles:  Hi!

Mubby:  What’s the opposite of hi?

Miles:  (pause)  Low.


Monthly Miles Memo #43

Filed under: — Aprille @ 3:05 pm

Dear Miles,

For the time being, you’re still an only child.  For a while there we thought that was on its way to changing.  At right about the same gestational point at which you were born, I started having regular contractions, but fortunately they didn’t amount to anything.  Your dad and I spent a morning at the hospital where I got monitored and hydrated, and little 2-John decided to stay put for now.  We’re glad, not because we aren’t looking forward to you being a big brother, but because a fully-gestated one makes life better for everybody.

You keep asking when the baby is going to come out, and I wish I could tell you, but we’re just waiting at this point.  I’m approaching 37 weeks of gestation, which is technically full-term, so every day is a bonus now.  I just hope 2-John chooses to make his appearance at a time that works well in your school/life schedule.  There’s so much more to worry about now than when you were born.  Cousin Debi tells me the second one is easier, because the parents have already given up any illusions of having a life that’s anything but child-centered.  She’s probably right.  In any case, you seem excited.  We moved your carseat from the middle of the backseat to the side in order to make room for the infant seat.  Today, you told me you thought the baby’s seat ought to be in the center position, so he’ll be right next to you.  I don’t think there’s room in Daddy’s car to do it that way, but I appreciated the sentiment.

As usual, you’ve been enjoying cooking with me.  We made a special batch of cupcakes for Beanie’s birthday, because it was the day before she came over to play with you so your dad and I could go out for our anniversary.  You were so proud to share them with her, and you decorated the M&M ones yourself.  You do a good job assembling ingredients, pouring out pre-measured quantities, stirring, and of course testing the frosting and M&Ms to make sure they’re fit to eat.

You’ve had a lot of grandparent time lately, which of course you (and they) loved.  Mubby and Skittergramps came to town on the false-alarm day, and Nana and Papa and Uncle Michael came this weekend.  Nana got you a T-ball set, and you’re crazy about that thing.  Your technique could use a little honing, but you have the enthusiasm, and we’ve been in the back yard a lot ever since you got it.  Fortunately this week is supposed to be a little cooler.  The last few weeks have been just beastly hot (which is probably what led to the dehydration that gave me contractions), and you haven’t had as much outside time as you normally get.  You do play outside at school every day, so that makes me feel better about holing up in the house every afternoon, but I’m sure it’s tough on you.

School is going really well.  You have a good routine down, and you often tell me names of friends you’ve played worked with that day.  I don’t know who Clara is, but the last few times we’ve read We Share Everything, you’ve requested that I replace the character Amanda’s name with Clara.  Also, at Hy-Vee the other day, you saw a kid and announced, “Hey, that looks like Ren from my school!”  I don’t think it actually was, but it’s fun to see evidence that you have a life and friends and interests that go beyond our property line.  I still suspect you haven’t yet eaten a snack at school, and I wish you would, because you’re always so hungry at lunch time that things are sometimes unpleasant until you get a couple hundred calories in you.

Your mood has been challenging this month, Miles.  You sometimes freak out for no reason anyone can understand, and you’ve been much more whiny and grumpy than you used to be.  I understand the half-year stages are known to be tough.  Psychologists call them “periods of disequilibrium,” and I provide plenty of anecdotal evidence to support the theory.  One of your biggest issues is when things don’t go exactly—exactly—as you expect them to go.  For example, if we’re at the dinner table and you run out of milk, and I start to stand up to get you a refill, your dad often tells me to sit my giant, deformed shape down and he’ll get it (he doesn’t say it that way, which is why we are still having wedding anniversaries).  But you do not like that one bit.  If Mommy started the process of refilling the milk, Mommy is the only person allowed to complete the mission.

We try not to give in to this ridiculousness, though we often to find compromises.  Sometimes it’s okay if Daddy gets the milk out of the refrigerator and refills your cup as long as Mommy is the one to hand it to you.  Other times you won’t accept that sort of chicanery.  The other night you worked yourself into such a frenzy because Daddy helped you with the potty when you wanted me to do it that you threw up.

Luckily, you’re now old enough to use toothpaste with fluoride, so hopefully you won’t get bulimic-style rotten teeth from stomach acid.

I’m a little nervous about the days on the horizon when I truly won’t be able to help you whenever you want me to.  I won’t exactly be able to stop in the middle of a nursing session because you want to change Play-Doh colors.  Let’s hope you find some equilibrium soon.

And yet, sometimes you are so sweet and kind and loving that I never want to spend another minute away from you.  You sing the ABCs to my tummy, and you make beautiful art projects, and you play funny and creative games with your toys.  I worry about the couple of days I’ll spend in the hospital and how much I’m going to miss you.  We’ve never spent a night apart, and I know you’ll be fine (especially considering how much better you sleep in your new brown bed), but I haven’t gone more than 8 hours without sniffing you in over three and a half years.  You do sleep well in your bed, but usually once or twice a night you wake up and need a little reassurance.  I’d be getting up anyway to go to the bathroom, so  it doesn’t really put me out at all to go give you a snuggle, Besides, I like hanging out with you.  You probably knew that.

This is almost certainly the last Monthly Miles Memo before I have two little sons (unless things go really weird and I deliver more than a week past my due date).  Thank you for helping me to become the mommy I am, Little Scoop.  You have taught me so much, and the baby is lucky to have a big brother like you.







Language barrier

Filed under: — Aprille @ 8:30 am

M:  Do you know how to say hello in Spanish?

A:  Yes.  Hola.

M:  No, ni hao.


Best-selling flavor of all time

Filed under: — Aprille @ 3:15 pm

Miles was having a green popsicle.

M:  What flavor is this?

A:  I don’t know, maybe lime?

M:  Maybe…

A:  Maybe kiwi?

M:  Maybe…maybe salad?

1 part Iowan, 1 part control freak

Filed under: — Aprille @ 9:01 am

Around 4 a.m. today, Miles called out for me, sounding sad.  I went to his room to check on him.

M:  Mommy!

A:  I’m coming, honey.

M:  (whimpering)  I wanted you to eat corn.

A:  Okay, honey, I will.

And then he went peacefully back to sleep.


Think globally

Filed under: — Aprille @ 12:01 pm

Presented without context, because that’s just how it happened.

M:  Africa is a very, very long trip.  Even longer than Mubby and Skittergramps’s.

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