Filed under: — Aprille @ 3:01 pm

Miles has been doing a lot of photography lately, and we were putting prints into his photo album.

A:  I like this picture of Tobin, Miles.  It has good focus.  It’s really sharp.

M:  Yeah, some pictures are furry and soft.


No rest for the weary

Filed under: — Aprille @ 9:48 am

Typically, we just put the computer in sleep mode, but last night Denny shut it down entirely.  When Miles tried to use it today, it didn’t respond how he expected.

M:  When I push a button, it doesn’t fall awake!


The Tobin Times #4

Filed under: — Aprille @ 1:39 pm

Oh, my Tobin, you are so sweet.

That’s the word that always comes to mind when I think about how to describe you:  you’re just plain sweet.  You’re many other things, too:  calm, good-natured, gluttonous, a pretty good sleeper, squishy, grabby, curious, and enamored of your brother.  The only times you get upset are when you have to be in the carseat for a long time and sometimes for a cranky few minutes at night.  Mostly, you are a delight.

I was just telling Mubby that there should always be a baby around, especially one as fun as you.  I’ve really been enjoying you lately.  Maybe it’s because, having been through this time with your brother, I know how fast it goes.  Maybe it’s because you’re just such a nice guy.

You’re getting close to rolling over.  You’re learning to grab toys and blankets and other objects.  You are determined to shove your entire fist into your mouth.  You spend more time in your bouncy seat than you’d probably like, because your brother and I are often busy doing some kind of art or cooking project, but you’re usually patient as long as you can watch what we’re doing.  I think you’ve been in a growth spurt lately, because you’ve been eating a lot and your sleep hasn’t been quite as good as usual (though you’re still pretty good at it).

This month, you got to enjoy your first Thanksgiving.  You didn’t do much, really, but your Uncle Tyler really enjoyed meeting you.  You also got to spend time with more family, including Mubby and Skittergramps, Nana and Papa, and Uncle Michael.  This time of year can be a little overwhelming for a baby, but you’re mostly handling it well.  You’re used to getting hauled around, and the kids at Miles’s preschool love to see you when we come to pick your brother up.  Miles is proud to show you off, too.  He likes to lean over your carseat and say, “Aw, he’s such a cute little fellow.”  It’s true, you are.  You have such a joyful smile, and your little button nose and bow-shaped lips and soft, squishy little cheeks are so sweet.  You’re in that pre-crawling chubby baby stage, and your dimpled little knees are so much fun to kiss.

Photo by Gary Clarke

At diaper change time, you like it when I wiggle your legs fast and say, “Doesn’t it feel good to be freeeee?”  You laugh when we kiss your neck and tickle your sides.  You still enjoy baths in your tummy tub, maybe because when you suck on your hands in the bathtub, they have a slightly different flavor.

You’re also getting to that distractable stage, which can be a challenge while you’re eating.  If we’re in a noisy room or you catch a glimpse of your brother, you’re likely to turn your head fast to figure out what’s going on.  That can leave a dribbly mess of milk.  Sometimes I don’t even know what triggers it.  You’ll just abruptly stop nursing and look up and smile at me.

Your smiles are really amazing.  They take over your whole face, and it’s impossible not to smile back.  I was telling your Skittergramps, it’s not even a challenge to take a smiling picture of you, because it’s practically your default facial expression.   People often comment on how serious-looking you are, though, which puzzles me because I see so many sweet sunshine smiles.  I think it’s because you like to furrow your brow.  When you’re not smiling, you do look very deep in thought.

You’re almost ready to roll over.  You’ve sort of done it, but I think that was more coincidental than purposeful.  It won’t be long, though, before you’re flipping like a little pancake.  Now that you’re getting more interested in toys, we’ll probably be able to place one just out of your reach, which you can then stretch and maybe roll in order to get.  Maybe next month’s update will include video footage of you rolling.

Happy four months to you, my little sugar booger.  I’m awfully glad you’re the baby we have around these days.




Love, love me do

Filed under: — Aprille @ 7:33 pm

We were being silly at the dinner table.

M:  I love Daddy this much (holding his hands about two inches apart).

D:  Well, I love Miles this much (holding his arms wide apart).

M:  I love Mommy this much (holding his hands about two inches apart again).

A:  How much do you love Mubby?

M:  This much (two inches again).

A:  How much do you love Tobin?

M:  This much (about six inches).  Actually I love Mommy this much (about twelve inches).

A:  Oh, that’s nice!

M:  (bursting into tears)  No!  I don’t love Mommy!

A:  Do you need a little love?

Still sobbing, Miles nodded, climbed into my lap, and received a thorough snuggling.  That showed me.


Monthly Miles Memo #47

Filed under: — Aprille @ 3:45 pm

My dear Miles,

Who knew you’d be a role model?

There’s someone in our house (hint:  it’s Tobin) who watches everything you do.  He looks around when he hears your voice.  He smiles when he sees you.  His eyes follow you where ever you go.  You’re a pretty interesting guy.

You remain an excellent big brother.  The other day, Tobin was in his swing, crying, and I didn’t get to him as quickly as I should have.  I heard you say, “What’s the matter, little guy?” in a very concerned voice.  You often comment on how cute Tobin is, but you are quite sure that he should stay little instead of growing up.  That’s how I feel about both of you.

Of course, it would be good if you grew up enough to understand that your outside time at school would be more fun if you wore heavy-duty gloves and snow-pants.  Today when I picked you up you were sad, and the chin area of your hooded coat was covered in a cold, slimy, snotty mess.  You said you were sad because your hands got cold, which led us into a conversation about wearing your heavier gloves instead of the light fleece mittens you prefer.  Even in the face of compelling evidence, you still didn’t seem very inclined to wear your gloves.  We’ll see if you can remember that come Monday.

One of the most exciting things you’ve picked up lately is photography.  Your dad got out his old digital Rebel.  He doesn’t use it anymore, though it’s arguably still a lot of camera for a three-year-old.  You do a really good job with it.  Your dad and Skittergramps have both taken you on photo walks, and I’ve led several photo expeditions around the house.  We got some of your best work printed, and you were so excited and proud to fill up your new photo album.  There are still some empty slots, though, so I’m glad you still seem interested in taking pictures.

We spent some time at Mubby and Skittergramps’s house in November when your dad went to San Francisco for a conference.  That was a lot of fun, a highlight of which was a trip you took with Mubby.  You went downtown to a special Christmas event, and you came back with some fancy Batman-style face paint.  That was on Saturday, and you didn’t want to wash it off that night or the next day.  In fact, you insisted on keeping it on until Monday, so you could show your friends at school.  By that time, it had worn off enough that it was pretty much just a big blue unibrow.  The Monday night bath did not go smoothly, but it ended with your face clean.

Photo by Gary Clarke

Thanksgiving has come and gone, and as usual we had a lot of fun.  You enjoyed seeing Nana and Papa as well as assorted other relatives on your dad’s side.  A highlight of the Beary Thanksgiving this year for you was playing Slapjack.  Aunt Jackie taught you how to play and gave you a couple of decks of cards.  You haven’t quite mastered the subtleties of it yet, but you can slap a jack with great enthusiasm.  Now we just need to get you to put your card down so your opponent can see it.  Your current strategy involves spending five or six seconds looking at the card before putting it down.  You do know the difference between clubs and spades, though, which I don’t think I figured out until I was about twelve.  Another big hit at Thanksgiving was seeing Uncle Tyler.  He never sticks around long, but he loves playing with you and your brother.  We’ve been reading stories every night out of the Curious George collection he gave you.

Photo by Gary Clarke

Your true love is playing computer games, but I try not to let you waste your youth entirely on them.  We’ve also had a lot of fun lately doing creative projects, like arranging paper scraps between sheets of waxed paper and fusing them together with the iron, and making mixed-media projects with various household items and a lot of Elmer’s glue.  A trip to JoAnn Fabrics is one of your favorite outings.  You still like to cook with me, and you’re especially excited to make cookies for Santa.  We were talking about the kind of cookies you might like to make, and you decided on Christmas trees and snowmen.  I told you I wasn’t sure we had a snowman cookie cutter, so we’d have to find one at the store.  You told me, “But we do have a rolling pin, so that’s good.”

For the first time, you have specific gifts you’ve requested from Santa.  Fortunately, Santa shops on Amazon.com, so it’s easy to verify ahead of time exactly which one you want.  This is also the first year you’re going to have a birthday party with friends, so we’ve been talking about plans for that.  That’s less than a month away.

There’s a big difference between three and four, isn’t there?  Three still seems like a toddler, and four is definitely a school-aged kid.  A year ago, I swore you were never going to be potty-trained, and we’d have to home-school you until you were 18 because you’d never pass the potty skills requirements at Willowwind.  But what a change you’ve made.  I’ll reflect on that more next month when you’re truly four.  For the time being, you’re still my little three-year-old.  You still want me to cuddle you at night, and you still run to my arms and ask for “a little love” whenever you’re scared or sad or hurt.  You still think the noodles I boil are the best thing ever (“The secret ingredient is salt!”), and you’re even pretty good about getting your teeth brushed and your accumulated boogers cleaned.

You are my special puppy, my little Scoop.  Let’s really rock this last month of three, okay?  We’ll make sure there are some cookies involved.




Lush life

Filed under: — Aprille @ 4:11 pm

In my imaginary world in which I throw glamorous holiday parties, I will serve this:

Rosemary Gin Fizz

In this same imaginary world, I always have a fully-stocked bar and herb garden.  You know, come to think of it, it would be pretty cool if I could put things like that on my wishlists.  I would need lots of different flavors of schnapps and brandy, your basics like vodka and gin and whiskey, and nice mixers like infused syrups, sodas, and fruit juices.  I always see commercials about giving fancy liquor as gifts (lately I’ve been seeing something about an engraved bottle.  What?), but it seems like it would be weird to actually receive such a thing at a family gathering.

Plus we barely drink, and when we do, it’s likely a bottle of wine (which we do happily get and give as gifts sometimes).

This is why it’s a fantasy, people.


Sneaky tree

Filed under: — Aprille @ 7:57 pm

On our way out to dinner, we passed a huge evergreen tree covered in lights.  Miles enjoyed looking at it, so on our way home, I pointed it out again.

A:  Miles, there’s that Christmas tree again, this time out your window.

M:  Did somebody move it?

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