Here, there, and everywhere

Filed under: — Aprille @ 8:38 am

Our weekday mornings are always a little frantic.  Miles needs to get up, get dressed, have breakfast, brush his teeth, get his shoes and jacket on, and get out the door in time for his dad to take him to school and get back home in time to catch the bus.

Tobin almost always just chills out in his swing, quietly watching the action.

This morning, after Miles and Denny headed out to Willowwind, I said hi to Tobin and crouched in front of his swing.  He heard me before he saw me, and his eyes got wide.  Then he saw me, and he broke out in a smile so big his pacifier fell out.

It must be tough not to have object permanence yet.  Don’t worry, sweetheart.  Mommy exists.  I’m glad you’re happy to see me.  I’m happy to see you too.


States of fauna

Filed under: — Aprille @ 12:21 pm

Miles was drawing and made a roundish shape with lots of skinny protrusions coming out the bottom.

M:  See what I drew?

A:  Yeah, it looks like an octopus.

M:  No, it’s a relaxed giraffe.


The Tobin Times #2

Filed under: — Aprille @ 10:05 am

Dear Tobin,

It’s nice that so far, I don’t have to do any math to figure out how many months old you are.  You’re still my sweet little boy whose months are countable on one hand.

You’re doing the normal things babies do, which are wonderful:  cooing and gurgling, smiling at me and your dad and your brother, pooping and peeing a lot, and growing.  You weigh almost 12 pounds now, which seems gigantic to me, but it’s just 60th percentile.  You’re still a good sleeper, reliably giving me 3- and 4-hour stretches of sleep each night.  As I told your dad this evening as we tag-teamed walking around a restaurant with you while the other ate, I can forgive a lot because of that sleep you let me have.

You’re still a pretty sweet-natured guy.  You do have a grumpy period most evenings, which coincided with our dinner at Mekong tonight, but overall you’re full of sunshine.  Our mornings together are so nice.  You don’t mind diaper changes at all—in fact you seem to enjoy the fresh breezes.  In the morning, when your brother is at preschool, I often let you linger on the changing table while I hover over you, saying silly things and making silly faces.  You always blast me with smiles, and the other day I swear you mimicked me when I said, “I love you.”  It sounded like “I uh oo,” and I know I’m delusional, but I still liked it.

You’re starting to have favorites and express your preference for them.  You like this weird t-shirt your Uncle Tyler gave your daddy, which I wore the other day.  It’s black with a lot of white designs on it, and it really attracted your attention.  You’re also starting to enjoy the kid art on the nursery walls, and you still like to look at the grown-up art on the living room walls.  You’ve learned to sit up in the Bumbo chair for short times.

You really enjoy long walks in the stroller.  We’ve had a lovely fall, so you and I have walked a lot.  We often walk to pick up your brother at school, and people always remark on how calm and sweet you are.  I just smile and say, “Yes, he sure is.”

You do have your moments sometimes, mostly at night while your dad is trying desperately to keep you calm while I’m putting your brother to bed or getting some sleep myself.  Unfortunately, he doesn’t have the sure-fire Tobin-pleasers that I do (I store them in my shirt).  Sometimes Miles and I hear some pretty funny things up through the vents.  Your daddy sings some really crazy, loud songs.  His effort is truly impressive.

You like to be held, which probably all babies do, but I don’t have the kind of free time to just sit around cuddling you like you’d prefer.  Thus, you spend a lot of time in the Baby Bjorn, which works pretty well.  The other night, Miles got really excited about the University of Iowa Homecoming parade.  That’s not the kind of thing your dad or or I would typically have any desire to attend, but having kids means feigning interest in a lot of things (see also:  Spongebob Squarepants).  We decided to take the bus to avoid all the insane traffic and parking issues.  That was great in theory, but the bus was half an hour late, and everybody except you was getting antsy.  Finally it arrived, and we made our way downtown.  We stood around and watched enough of the parade that your brother was satisfied, then we got some dinner and took the bus back home.  You snuggled and snoozed in the Bjorn almost the whole time.  You only got cranky once, very briefly, and my magical calming powers settled you right down.

I would like to once again state how awesome breastfeeding is.  I understand that some women can’t make it work, mostly because of how unsupportive so many workplaces are, but man do I think it’s great.  I love the fact that I can make your trajectory go happy-happy-happy-grumpy-fed-happy-happy no matter where we are, without having to carry any supplies, heat anything up, or clean anything afterward.  The long-range benefits for both of us are important too, but right now, it’s the convenience that’s making me very happy.

You may have noticed that this is getting published 2 days late.  I’m afraid that’s going to happen more and more often as the months progress.  I just don’t have the time to sit down and write these things uninterrupted anymore, so I have to do them in several short bursts.  That might also take its toll on the narrative continuity.  If it makes you feel any better, I’m sure your brother’s memos will suffer the same fate.  My goal is blog every month for each of your first five years.  Then, once you and your brother are both in school, maybe I’ll have time and energy to think about some other things and perhaps even blog about them.

In the meantime, you’re pretty great subject matter.  Keep on learning and growing, little Tobin.  I can’t wait to find out how your story unfolds.




Monthly Miles Memo #45

Filed under: — Aprille @ 1:51 pm

My dear Miles,

We’ve found our routine.  Life isn’t too topsy-turvy anymore, and I think we’re all glad about it.  You’re a pro at preschool, you’re a great big brother, and you know how it all works.  Except for door locks.

One notable first happened this month.  You had your first professional haircut.  You’re not a very hairy guy, so we’d been coasting along so far with me just giving you trims, but the time had come that your hair had eclipsed my cutting ability.  There’s also the fact that you never wanted to sit still for my haircuts, so I had to do them in your sleep.  I’d trim one side, then roll you over and hope you wouldn’t wake up, then do the other side.  It wasn’t the best system.

So your dad decided to take you to a reasonably-priced hair salon in our neighborhood.  We all went together, and after promises that you’d get a treat from the Flavor Ice stand, you were ready to go.  You liked the animal-print cape the stylist put on you, and you really liked the lollipop at the end.  You did great, not shedding a single tear.

We’ve done some of our usual fall traditions, including a trip to the apple farm and working on your Halloween costume.  I’ll save details about the Halloween costume for next month’s memo when I can show pictures of you wearing the costume in its full glory.  For now, I’ll just say that you are a very good helper and quite adept at stuffing things with dryer lint.

The apple farm was fun as usual, though you spent more time this year chatting with a little girl than picking apples.  That’s pretty indicative of your development lately:  you’re much more comfortable with other kids and ready to talk and play with them.  Just yesterday at the playground, we could hardly drag you away from a little girl you were engaging in races down the slides.  A few months ago, you would have been clinging to my legs, but now you’re ready to jump right in and join the mix.

You’re starting to get strong opinions about your clothes, which adds yet another topic to the list of things about which you have strong opinions.  Your favorite things to wear right now are your spooky skeleton jammies, your Charlie Brown t-shirt, and your monkey sweatshirt.  We’ve been in a warm snap lately, but many times have I come to pick you up at school and seen you playing on the playground in 78-degree weather with your sweatshirt zipped up to your chin, hood over your head.  It seems common among kids your age.  A quick glance at the wardrobe choices of the 3-to-5-year-olds in your class tells me that you’re not the only one with some strong preferences.

We’ve had some sad news in our family this week.  After a long and slow decline, Pop-Pop died.  We’re all sad about it, but things have been hard for him for a long time.  We got to have some good time with him and Grammy recently, at Grammy’s birthday party and during visits we’ve made to their nursing home in Marion.  We visited Friday, the day before Pop-Pop died, and it really brightened both him and Grammy up to see you and Tobin.  Pop-Pop wasn’t very interactive, but he reached out and squeezed my hand, and I know that having you there helped make his last days a little sweeter.

We also had some fun time with Nana, Papa, and Uncle Michael over the weekend, but since I’m a little late in posting this, I’ll include a discussion of that and some photos in next month’s memo.

Technically, talk of door locks belongs in next month’s too, but that set of misadventures actually started a couple of weeks ago.  You, Tobin and I were out playing, and when we tried to get back in, I found that the door wouldn’t open.  What I think happened is that you were messing with the lock to the front door and it somehow engaged when we shut it.  That time, your dad was at work, so we were able to go to a neighbor’s house and call him.  He came home and let us in through the garage.  Yesterday, though, we were all together, and we had to call a locksmith.  I think our locks could use some lubrication or adjustment or something, because the locksmith wasn’t able to wiggle the front or side door lock loose.  He ended up opening my car door’s lock so we could use the garage door opener.  Skittergramps recommends spray graphite.  We’ll have to pick some of that up.  We’ve also had a stern discussion about how you don’t mess with the lock that locks the door from the inside.

You are, however, very good at using scissors.  You’re also really great at snuggling your little brother.  I’d say your pluses outweigh your minuses.

Heck, I’m sure of it.





QEPD Steve Jobs 1955-2011

Filed under: — Aprille @ 9:34 pm

There has never been, as far as I know, a CEO who affected every day of my life as much as Steve Jobs.  Thanks.


A little from column A, a little from column B

Filed under: — Aprille @ 6:50 pm

Miles was having his lunch while I fed Tobin in the other room.

M:  Mommy!

A:  Just a second, honey.  I’m feeding Tobin right now.

M:  Is he having lefty or righty?

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