Free Willy

Filed under: — Aprille @ 1:31 pm

Miles was having a bowel movement.

M:  Some pee came out too.

A:  Yeah, usually some squeezes out, doesn’t it?

M:  Yeah.  It wants to be free.


The Tobin Times #3

Filed under: — Aprille @ 12:16 pm

Dear Tobin,

You have a lot of nicknames.  There are the obvious ones, like Toby and Tobester (Miles’s favorite).  Your daddy calls you Bubs, and I call you Meatball, and Skittergramps calls you Tobinio.  The one that I’ve been finding myself calling you the most lately, though, is Sunshine-Face.  You are just such a smiler.  You smile when you wake up in the morning, you smile when Skittergramps holds you up to play Superbaby, you even smile when you get your diaper changed.  You have such a sweet disposition, and you’re so easy-going.  You sleep well, you eat well, and you love to watch your big brother do whatever he’s doing.  There’s really just one thing you do that’s outrageous, which I’ll get to in a moment.

We’re looking forward to you getting to meet your Uncle Tyler this weekend, but since I’m a couple of days late on the Tobin Times already, I’ll save the details of that for next month.  One thing I can say with confidence:  you look like him and you poop like him.  When Uncle Tyler was a baby, he made his own family legend by

[Aside:  you are sitting on my lap right now, and you just pooped.  Seriously, you pooped while I was in the middle of writing a paragraph about your poop and your pooping role model’s poop. ]

pooping up his back in the finest restaurants of San Francisco.  I don’t know how you manage to do it, but you share that talent.  It’s outrageous.  Do you have some little funnel you keep back there to direct the spray straight up?  Fortunately, I’m pretty sure Uncle Tyler developed into an individual with normal poop trajectory, so I have hope that the same can happen for you.  Maybe you guys can compare this weekend.

You had your first Halloween this month, which of course wasn’t very interesting for you.  The rest of us got a kick out of it, though.  You wore your brother’s old lobster costume for one event, then later you wore a new dinosaur costume (really just jammies with a dinosaur-looking hood).  As usual, you were a good sport as we hauled you all around the neighborhood.  People thought you were very cute.  I agreed.

One cool trick you’ve learned is “Sooooo big.”  It’s probably a combination of physical and verbal cues, but when we hold your hands and say, “How big is Tobin?”, you do a little sit-up and straighten your legs as we help you into a standing position.  You love to do that, but I think it’s hard work for you, because you never smile while you’re doing it.  And yet, every time we prompt you, you go straight into it.  Sometimes you do it when we’re not ready.  You’re very strong.  We have to keep a tight grasp on you to keep you from tossing yourself hither and yon.

It’s hard to say yet whether those tendencies will continue throughout your life, but it seems quite possible that you’ll be a daring and enthusiastic little guy.  Second kids always like to do what their big siblings are doing,  so we’re probably going to have to ramp up our vigilance to make sure you don’t get in over your head at the playground.  It could have positives, too.  Maybe you’ll want to mimic your brother in every way and you’ll be reading and using the potty when you’re 18 months old.

Right now, though, you’re asleep on my lap.  I took a little break mid-composition to change your diaper, get your brother breakfast, take a shower, and get dressed, and now we’re just snuggling.  You just did that thing babies do where you startle in your sleep, throwing your arms out.  Your little blond hairs are so fluffy.  Your eyebrows and eyelashes are almost transparent.  Your neck smells good because you don’t puke very much.

You bring me such joy, little Toby.  I don’t know what I ever did without my little Sunshine-Face.

In closing, I submit this cartoon in memory of Bil Keane, who in general was not very funny but really hit it with this one:





Enough with the (posting about) pushups.

Filed under: — Aprille @ 7:20 pm

I think perhaps it is boring for me to update 3 days a week on the topic of pushups.

I’ll stop.  But I won’t stop doing pushups.  I did 50 today (in 5 sets).


Like a dream within a dream

Filed under: — Aprille @ 1:38 pm

Miles was playing with two action figures, and they were having a conversation.  Both voices came from Miles.

Action Figure 1:  I saw a big monster.

Action Figure 2:  But it was just in your imagination, right?

Action Figure 1:  Right.

100 Pushup Challenge: Week 1, Day 3

Filed under: — Aprille @ 1:37 pm

I completed the first week.  For day 3, I did a total of 45 pushups (over 5 sets).  I don’t know that it’s necessarily getting easier, but I seem to be able to do more, so that’s tangible progress.


100 Pushup Challenge, Week 1, Day 2

Filed under: — Aprille @ 4:47 pm

Completed.  I did a set of 6, a set of 8, two more sets of 6, and then 11.  That’s a total of 37 pushups.  I am the champions.  It was a little hard doing the “SOOOOOO BIG” game with Tobin afterwards, but overall it wasn’t too bad.


100 Pushup Challenge: Week 1, day 1

Filed under: — Aprille @ 7:21 pm

Complete.  I did 2 sets of 6, 2 sets of 4, and then 8 more.  It’s weird how I was able to do 8 on that last set (which wasn’t a specific number, just my max) when I could only manage 6 on the pretest.  I felt like it got easier as I got warmed up.  That’s 28 pushups.



100 Pushup Challenge: Initial test

Filed under: — Aprille @ 11:40 am

The 100 Pushup Challenge was popular among some friends of mine a while back, but I didn’t do it then because I was pregnant at the time.  If I tried to do a pushup, I wouldn’t have been able to bend my arms at all before I squashed the baby.  But now that the little dude is safely on the outside, I’m going to give it a try.

Today I did the Initial Test, which is pretty much just doing pushups until you can’t do any more with good form.  I used to be able to do a lot of pushups, back when I was a 30-Day Shred devotee, but I’ve fallen off the wagon pretty seriously.  This morning I did 10 pushups with good form (I think).  I probably could have squeezed out another one, but I figured starting small will help me achieve great gains.

That put me into training level 2.  If I were over 55, I bet I could have made it to level 3, but that’s the way it goes.

It’s a six week program.  Do you think I’ll actually be able to increase my pushup performance tenfold by Christmas?  Hm.


Monthly Miles Memo #46

Filed under: — Aprille @ 5:01 pm

My dear Miles,

Last night, as we were getting ready for bed, you said, “Mommy, I had a fun day.”  I love it when you say that, especially after days like yesterday.  It was nothing special, just a Sunday at home.  We had lunch at Hy-Vee (your favorite, orange chicken and steamed rice), did our grocery shopping, went to the park, and you helped your dad with some yard work.  Around this time of year, things start getting really busy.  Sometimes it seems like we hardly have any weekends that are just the four of us in our own house, in our own town.  I really love that kind of weekend, and I’m glad you do too.

This month, you participated in your very first school Halloween parade.  You fit right in with the other kids, and some of them had some pretty great costumes, but you were the only purple monster.  For some reason you have a mental block against eating at school, even when it’s something you like.  After the Halloween parade, you joined your classmates in making a treat with Oreo cookies and pretzels, two of your favorites.  But for some reason, you insisted you weren’t hungry, so we brought it home in a baggie.  You devoured it as soon as we got inside.

It makes me think of mythology.  There’s probably more than one myth that tells a similar story, but the one I’m thinking of is Persephone and the pomegranates.  If I recall correctly, Persephone ended up in Hades, and she was supposed to be released, but she got tricked into eating pomegranate seeds, which made her get stuck there.  It’s a myth that rings true to me, and since myths were created to describe the universal fears of the human condition, maybe it rings true to you too.  There’s something about engaging in metabolic activity in an unfamiliar place that just isn’t quite right.  When I’m stressed out I lose my appetite, and maybe you do too.

Of course, that could all be bunk, because I don’t think you’re too stressed out at school anymore.  We’ll learn more on Friday, when we have your very first parent-teacher conference.  Willowwind doesn’t host a book fair, unfortunately, because that was always my favorite part of parent-teacher conferences.  Maybe we should start our own tradition and get you a couple of new books to mark the occasion.  In any case, I’m expecting your teacher to say that you’ve made a lot of progress since you started last June.  She has mentioned that you really like routine and get upset when something disrupts the usual daily plan.  I can understand that too.

You can still be a stubborn little guy sometimes.  It was warm today, and you left your jacket inside when you had outside play time at school.  When I came to pick you up, you absolutely refused to take your jacket with you.  I tried to explain that I’d looked at the weather forecast and that it was going to be cold tomorrow, so you should take the jacket home so you have it tomorrow morning.  Logic had no impact.  You threw a screaming fit and tried several times to return to your classroom to hang your jacket back up on your hook.  The whole thing left me a bit flummoxed.  Should I “pick my battles” and let you return your jacket?  After all, you have another jacket that you could wear tomorrow, even though it might not be quite warm enough.  Maybe it would be a good teaching moment if you got cold because you didn’t have your warm coat available.

On the other hand, I didn’t want to send the message that ridiculous, illogical tantrums get results.  If you’d come up with even one sound argument for your case, you might have swayed me, but you couldn’t come up with anything more reasonable than”I just want to leave it here.”  In general, I’m not in favor of the “You do what I say because I’m the mom” school of thought.  You’re old enough now that you can make decisions based on evidence and logic, and I want to raise you to be someone who questions authority.  You (almost) never have to do something that seems wrong just because someone tells you that you have to.

But seriously, you’re going to have to do better than you did today.  In the end, I stood my ground and dragged you and your coat out to where we’d parked the stroller.  I produced a snack from my purse, and your tantrum was over before I even had Tobin secured in his seat.  I think your blood sugar was low.

Would you please just eat snack at school?

Anyway, I intended that anecdote to illustrate some of the challenges we’re facing in this, your third year.  Never fear, there are a lot of really great things going on too.  You remain an excellent big brother.  You love to give Tobin snuggles and you do a good job being gentle with him.  You’re patient when I’m feeding him or putting him down for a nap.  You know the names of about fifty different sea creatures.  You are funny and sweet and witty.  Almost every day, you bring home a new painting that you made at school.

You eat noodles 10 times a week.  Fortunately, you also eat a lot of fruit.

You are my special little boy, and the rough spots are worth it.




Multiple choice

Filed under: — Aprille @ 6:10 pm

Miles was doing something mildly naughty.

D:  Why are you doing that?  Are you thinking and using your brain or acting impulsively?

M:  Um…the first one?


The disappointments of life

Filed under: — Aprille @ 4:39 pm

A:  It was supposed to be sunny today, but I guess that didn’t happen.

M:  Yeah, our dream didn’t come true.


Mixed signals

Filed under: — Aprille @ 4:55 pm

Miles was getting ready to watch some videos on YouTube.

A:  Do you want Caillou?  Or Berenstain Bears?  Or Little Critter?

Miles shook his head no.

A:  Okay, no videos.

M:  I was just saying yes sideways!


Ancient history

Filed under: — Aprille @ 2:17 pm

Miles was doing a computer activity about ancient animals. He saw one of these:

A:  That looks like a carrot.

M:  No, Mom.  It’s a michelinoceras.



4 Halloweens

Filed under: — Aprille @ 6:30 pm

Miles does enjoy Halloween.  Here you can see his costumes at ages 10 months (almost), 1.8, 2.8 and 3.8.

Thanks to Gary Clarke for the Max and Purple Monster pics.

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