Put a ring on it.

Filed under: — Aprille @ 8:31 pm

It has been a rough day.  This morning, we took Tobin for his 6-month doctor’s appointment.  He’s doing great developmentally, but the appointment also involved three shots and an oral vaccine.  I had to leave the examination room during the immunizations, because I have a passing-out problem (note to self:  maybe related to my lowish blood pressure?).  Denny stayed in the room to hold him during the shots.

After I heard the screams, I came back in to nurse and comfort him, but they shooed me away, saying, “That was just the oral vaccine.”  Oops.

Post-carnage, Tobes was doing okay, but he had a tough afternoon.  He spent most of the time crying inconsolably or sleeping fitfully in my arms.  That didn’t leave much time to interact meaningfully with Miles, and he responded by being especially whiny and defiant.

Luckily, Denny heard my unspoken plea and came home from work early.  Some freaking out continued, but eventually the boys settled down and we had a mostly nice evening.

A minute ago, Denny was trying to get Miles’s pajamas on.  I was nursing Tobin in the living room.  Tobin is currently in the irritatingly distractable stage, wherein any little stimulus will cause him to break his latch, turn his head toward the item of interest, and leave me dribbling.  While Denny struggled with Miles in his bedroom, Miles let out a loud howl.  Of course, Tobin jerked his head up to see what was going on.

“Don’t yell,” Denny said to Miles.  “Tobin’s eating.”

“No he’s not,” Miles replied.  “He’s sleeping.”

The ridiculousness of that statement made me laugh, which distracted Tobin again.  He looked up at me and started to laugh too.  I guess his legs are feeling better.

It continued.

“Look!” Miles announced, running out into the living room with a U-shaped travel pillow around his neck.  “I’m Saturn!”

These are the days of our lives.




The Tobin Times #6

Filed under: — Aprille @ 7:30 pm

My little Tobin,

You can roll.  You can hardly stop rolling.  You are rolling around on the floor right this minute, probably finding gross things and putting them in your mouth.  You like to roll yourself into a position from which you can kick a paper bag full of clothes that’s sitting on the playroom floor.  It makes a neat sound.

You too make neat sounds.  Your laugh has gotten especially funny lately.  It comes out in these explosive, raspy bursts, almost like Ernie from Sesame Street.   When I’m kissing your tummy or your brother is anywhere near you, I can see the laugh bubbles build up inside you.  First you smile silently, holding your breath.   Your shoulders tense up and your eyes narrow with excitement.  Then finally you can’t hold it in anymore, and a laugh blasts out of you.  It’s pretty awesome.

You had your first taste of solid food on your 6-month birthday.  You didn’t seem to like rice cereal very much, so after the 3-day allergy-test window has passed, I’m going to give you something with a little more flavor.  Your brother voted for applesauce, so it’ll probably be either that or squash.  You’ve been pooping a lot since your birthday.  Of course, you pooped a lot before that, too, so I can’t say for sure that it’s related.  I’ve also reintroduced dairy products to my diet, so it might be that too.  You haven’t been crabbier than usual (which is to say you’ve barely been crabby at all, because that’s your way).  You are still such a calm, sweet-natured little guy.  I never worry about taking you anywhere or how you’ll respond to situations, because as long as you’re fed, you pretty much just sit there and pleasantly observe whatever’s going on.

You still don’t like to nap much.  Now and then, like maybe once or twice a week, you’ll do me a solid and nap for an hour or longer, but most of your naps are in the 25-30 minute range.  You do tend to sleep better if someone is snuggled up next to you or holding you, but that’s not very practical on a day-to-day basis.  It happened a lot when we were all sick, but fortunately we’re all past that now.  I’ve been putting you in your crib for naps now that you’re such a good roller, because it doesn’t seem safe to leave you in a bed.  You do okay in the crib.  It’s not your favorite, but you’ll do 30 minutes in there most days.

You still sleep well at night, so I’m happy about that.  Now that you’re big and strong enough that you’re not in as much danger of accidental squishage, your dad has rejoined us in the master bedroom.   It’s nice to have him around, not that I really notice he’s there, because you keep me scootched all the way over to the side.  He has plenty of room, though.  Must be nice.

I’m actually not complaining.  I could put you in a crib to sleep at night, but I don’t want to.  I like having you close to me so I can respond to your needs quickly and without having to fully wake up.  I like that you know there’s someone right there who loves you and will help you.

I’ve been trying to catalogue all the words and phrases I’m sure you understand.  So far you’ve shown solid evidence of understanding:

  • Come see Mommy
  • Where’s Mommy/Daddy/Big Brother Miles?
  • Superbaby
  • Milk
  • Pacifier

You might also understand “nap,” though it might be a coincidence that you started crying when I said that the other day.  You definitely understand the nonverbal signal of me handing you to your dad at night.  Hoo boy, do you hate that.  It’s really nothing personal against your dad, because you love him a lot.  In fact, every night when he walks home from the bus stop, I hold you up to the front window.  When you see him, you smile and wiggle and bat at the glass.  You’re always happy to have him hold you in the morning.  But somehow, once it’s dark out, you know that going to Daddy means bedtime, and you hate it.  It always tears at me while I’m reading stories to Miles and I can hear you screaming through the vents.

It’s not fair to end this post with talk about your grumpiness, because it’s really not characteristic.  You are smiley and excited and love to jump up and down, whether in someone’s arms or in your Exersaucer.  Even though you’re not crazy about the rice cereal, you seem to like sitting up at the table with the family.  That’s when you’re always happiest—when you’re in the middle of the action.  You’re going to love applesauce and bananas, I just know it.  You will make amazing poops and you’ll be thrilled about those, too.

Happy half year, my sweet little chub.  Thanks for giving me so much tummy to kiss.




Mother hen

Filed under: — Aprille @ 1:14 pm

Miles was telling me about what all the different characters do in the game Angry Birds.

M:  When you touch the red one, he breaks things.  When you touch the blue one, he breaks into little birds.  When you touch the yellow one, he goes fast.  When you touch the white one, he—she—lays an egg and it blows up.


A noble spirit

Filed under: — Aprille @ 5:36 pm

Miles was playing a computer game and had accidentally zoomed in further than he meant to.

M:  Mommy, can you please…un…un…un…un-big it?


Monthly Miles Memo #49

Filed under: — Aprille @ 3:21 pm

My dear Miles,

Here we are, solidly into your fourth year.

You’ve been feeling frustrated by things a lot lately.  I can’t blame you—we’ve all been really sick, and your dad and I have it the worst of anyone, so you haven’t been getting as much fun time as you’re accustomed to getting.  You’ve been a trooper, though.  You’ve mostly been very well-behaved, at least since you got over your cold.  Even when you get grumpy, it’s cute.  Lately you’ve taken to saying, “Aw, MAAAAAN!”  You also cross your arms, furrow your brow, and stomp your foot.  I think I told you that foot-stomping is an acceptable outlet for frustration (as opposed to throwing things or hitting people), and you’ve dearly embraced it.

I’m so proud to say that you remain a wonderful big brother.  You love to snuggle and kiss Tobin, and when I ask you to watch him for a minute, you take the responsibility very seriously.  This morning, you had your face up against his head, and I asked you to take care of him while I went to the bathroom.  A couple of moments later, I heard you say to him, “Boy, Mommy’s sure taking a long time.”  When I came back, your face was still directly on his.  I told him that I appreciated how nicely you snuggled him, but you didn’t have to do it every single second.  You very assuredly told me that you did, in fact.

That’s probably why Tobin has a cold now too.  So it goes.

We’ve managed to get outside a little bit, mostly because you really wanted to use the snow dinosaur kit you got for your birthday.  You ended up with a pretty cool-looking snow creature.  A couple of days later the weather warmed up and reduced it to a pile of accessories (which are still sitting out in the yard, because neither your dad nor I can work up the energy to go get them).  This winter has been so mild you’ve hardly gotten any snow play at all.  In fact, it’s been so warm we’ve even had a chance to go out on some walking errands.  That’s nice to do, but it doesn’t really seem very wintery.

Another of your favorite things to do right now is play “Real Life Cyberchase.”  Cyberchase is a show on PBS with a corresponding website with lots of games.  Often when your dad gets home from work in the evening, after you’re d0ne hiding from him, you play elaborate games involving the characters from Cyberchase.  Sometimes you have to click on something to proceed.

You’ve also been doing a great job practicing your math and writing skills with your dad.  The other night I went to check on you guys, and on your white board in your room I saw a picture of a hill with some characters on it, and in your shaky handwriting, the words JACK, JILL, HILL, PAIL.  You’ve done similar experiments with Humpty Dumpty and WALL, FALL, HORSE, MEN.  You’re getting so good at sounding out words and writing your letters, and I also appreciate your imaginative depictions of Jack’s crown and Jill’s crazy hair.

At bedtime lately, you’ve been wanting me to tell the story of “Jack’s Doctor’s Appointment.”  The plot is pretty much identical to the events of your doctor’s appointment, but I think it’s interesting that you enjoy hearing the traumatic event rehashed.  Fortunately, Jack (and you) got to round out the day with not one but two helpings of Monster Mash ice cream at Heyn’s after the appointment.  Other stories you’ve requested are “Jack’s First School Day” and “Jack’s Three Halloweens.”  I think in that last one, Jack wore a bat costume and he could fly over all the other trick-or-treaters.  That was cool.

I’m proud of you every day, Miles, but as I watch you lately, I feel so happy that I get to watch you grow up.  I love seeing you learn to manage your emotions, how to keep trying when you don’t succeed immediately.  When you were writing JACK and JILL, you kept making the bottom swoop of the J go to the right instead of the left.  My inclination was to ignore it so you wouldn’t get discouraged, but your dad kept erasing it and telling you to make it go the other way (he said it nicely, of course).  I was probably remembering the Miles from six months ago, the one who would have thrown down the marker and not wanted to work on it anymore.  But you just listened and tried again, and soon you were doing your J perfectly.

You still get frustrated and upset, for sure.  In fact, I can hear you getting grumpy right now because your dad wants to you do something else for fifteen minutes before you start playing with his phone.  It sounds like you managed to rein it in, though, because I don’t hear any crying or yelling.  Nice work, Miles.

You’re really getting it together.





It’s all illusion anyway

Filed under: — Aprille @ 12:45 pm

I remember two of my dreams from last night.

1.  I was with my family in Vieques, Puerto Rico.  We were overlooking a beach framed by craggy rocks.  The water was clear, ringed by a reef, and perfect for snorkeling.  Just around the bend was a waterslide I knew Miles would love.  I was so excited to jump in.

2.  Miles, Denny and I were sitting in a triangle on the floor of Miles’s room, and Tobin was taking his first steps, walking around the triangle to each of us.  He was naked and chubby and laughing, so proud of himself, and we were all so proud of him.

Then I woke up and my right eye was crusted shut.  I had a headache, sinuses full of cement, a sore throat, and clogged ears.  I still have all of those things, except my eye is somewhat less gross after some washing.

My problems are small, I know.  My health issues are nothing compared with people who don’t get enough to eat every day, or who are fighting cancer or AIDS or other devastating diseases.

Still, either 1 or 2 would be just fine (though I would be very surprised if a 5-month-old could walk.  I guess I just want the feeling).  Woof.


The repetitive affection monster

Filed under: — Aprille @ 2:48 pm

We were getting ready to run an errand in the car.

A:  Okay, sweetie.

M:  Okay, honey.

A:  Oh, Miles, you’re cute.

M:  Oh, Mommy, you’re cute.



Filed under: — Aprille @ 2:47 pm

M:  Do you hear that noise?

A:  (straining to hear)  What noise?

M:  That yellow-sounding noise.

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