The only thing stopping us

Filed under: — Aprille @ 8:34 am

We were downtown enjoying the beautiful day, and the kids were asking to go to the Natural History Museum.  Unfortunately, it is closed on Mondays.

A:  Sorry, we can’t go to the museum.  It’s closed.

T:  Oh, darn it!  I forgot keys!


Don’t choke on your joke

Filed under: — Aprille @ 7:26 pm

Miles told us some jokes at dinner.

M:  Why did the chicken cross the road?

A:  Why?

M:  It didn’t.

M:  Why did the baby chicken cross the road?

A:  Why?

M:  It wanted to practice its walking skills.  It was actually a bridge, so it wasn’t as dangerous.

M:  How did the finger cross the road?

A:  How?

M:  The rest of it was invisible and all you could see was the finger.

Tobin told one too.

T:  Knock knock who’s there?

A:  Who’s there?

T:  How do you put a drum in a circle?

A:  How?

T:  Put a strawberry in a circle!


Jamal River, QEPD

Filed under: — Aprille @ 10:11 pm

I will miss Jamal for a thousand years.  I’ll reflect on all this later, but right now I’m just tired and sad.  Jamal was tired and sad and in pain for a long, long time.

I wish you peace, my old friend.


Lipid the dream

Filed under: — Aprille @ 6:04 pm

We were in the car coming home from school.

M:  Are people interested in butter?

A:  Butter?

M:  Yeah.

A:  Well…some people like it more than others, but I guess so, yes.

M:  No, are they interested in it?

A:  What do you mean?

M:  Like interested in if it freezes.

A: …

I still have no idea what he was getting at.


The Tobin Times #23

Filed under: — Aprille @ 2:24 pm

My little Tobin,

Here we are, in your last month of your second year.  Your dad and have been marveling about how fast it’s gone.  It seems like you were just a tiny newborn. When I carry you now, you usually wrap your legs around my waist, but sometimes you don’t, especially when you’re sleepy.  When I’m holding you that way, you take up so much of me:  your head is on my shoulder, your arms around my ribs, and your legs trailing down my legs.  Can you possibly be the baby I used to carry in one arm?

You’ve always been a sweetie, and you still mostly are, but you’re becoming more opinionated lately.  I think you’re realizing that not everything in the world is a foregone conclusion.  People make choices, and you’re a person, and you have preferences.  When the way things are doesn’t match up with the way you’d like things to be, you can express your frustration pretty noisily.  Often it’s genuine anger, but other times it seems like you’re practicing the expression more than feeling the true emotion.  You’ll stomp your foot and say, “I’m so mad!”  If you happen to be near a mirror (which is a lot of the time, since there’s a full-length mirror on your brother’s door, and his room is your favorite place in the house), you watch yourself make angry faces.

Not only is your brother’s room your favorite, anything he has or does is also your favorite.  Today you came around the corner wearing his sandals and his blue beaded necklace.  “These are my favorite shoes,” you said.

In Miles’s old Halloween costume

You’ve been working on some subtleties of language.  Beyond your usual verbosity, you’ve been noticeably turning sentences into questions, with an exaggerated upward lilt at the end.  You’ve been working the wordalsointo conversation.  When someone suggests something out of the ordinary, you say, “That could be funny” or “That could be silly.”  I appreciate your use of the conditional tense.

You’ve also been into substituting different words into “Elmo’s Song,” to suit whatever is on your mind at the moment.  Your current favorite toy is a John Deere bulldozer we serendipitously found in the back of a closet somewhere, and you’ve been cramming that whole phrase into the song.

La la la  (only you say it more like ya ya ya)
John Deere Bulldozer puzzle song!
He wrote music, he wrote words.
That John Deere bulldozer puzzle sooooooong!

You love to play outside, and the heat has abated enough in recent days that you’ve been able to again.  As soon as we get anywhere close to done with dinner, you start asking, “We play outside?  You done yet, Daddy?  We play outside now?” You love the water, too.  The downtown fountain is always a big hit, and when we went swimming with your cousins last week, you would have marched right into the deep end if we hadn’t stopped you.  You are sometimes too brave for your own good.  We wash our hands a lot around here, due largely to a gross habit you’ve developed that involves personal exploration of the excretory kind, and you love splashing around in the sink.  I turn on the water a tiny trickle (though you usually request “too much”) plug the sink, and let you fill cups and dribble water from your fingers.  It’s nice that you’re tall enough to reach the sink now, with the help of a stool.  It does make for a lot more wet towels on the floor in your wake, though.

Photo by Gary Clarke

You are crazy for Popsicles, sprinkle cheese, and garden carrots.  You think it’s the coolest thing ever to pull a carrot from the ground, wash it off with the hose, and eat it outside.  You enjoy broccoli, asparagus, raspberries (ideally from the garden, but from Hy-Vee is acceptable, too), and strawberries.  You love it when your brother tickles your legs with his face and hair, and when he does something strange, you frown and say, “Brother’s unusual.”

Nana and Papa got you an early birthday present of a Strider bike, which is a little bike with no pedals that you scoot around on with your feet.  The idea is that you get used to the feeling of balancing on the bike, and when it’s time to upgrade to a big one, you won’t need training wheels.  You’re still getting the hang of it, but you definitely think it’s cool to go out biking with Miles, especially since you get to wear a helmet just like him.

Photo by Gary Clarke

On some of the really hot days, we stayed inside and did craft activities.  You don’t always do things exactly the way we plan, but you have fun.  A hint to parents out there:  never have any art supplies in your home that are not washable.  Maintaining that rule has saved us a lot of stress, especially after you decided you needed red hair.

This morning you very proudly gave me a picture you’d drawn for me.  Whenever I tried to set it down, you pressed it back into my hands.  I may just have to find some place special for that one.

You can still be my baby for another month, right?

And probably a lot longer than that.






Filed under: — Aprille @ 3:31 pm

Tobin was watching a video about sheep getting sheared.

T:  Sheep nude!



Filed under: — Aprille @ 6:13 pm

T:  Look, my hair looks cool!

He had scribbled all over his head with a red dry-erase marker.



Water birth

Filed under: — Aprille @ 8:26 am

Miles and I were reading a story in which a king was wishing for grandchildren, which sparked a conversation about him having kids some day.

M:  But how do you choose when to have kids?

A:  Well, that’s something the parents decide together.

M:  I choose…the beach.

A:  The beach?

M:    Maybe that’s a bad idea.  People would think we’re crazy.


Monthly Miles Memo #66

Filed under: — Aprille @ 2:05 pm

My special Miles,

I think one of my favorite aspects of you is your love of learning.  The other day you showed me a game you’d been playing on the PBS website, and I think it was actually intended for kids a bit older than you.  It was a number line game, and your task was to place a number correctly on the line before your computer-opponent.  You were flying through that thing.  It wasn’t only small numbers, either.  It really impressed me how you were clearly visualizing the numbers, positioning them in relationship to each other, moving forward and backward with equal finesse.

You’ve also been reading a lot, mostly listening to stories that your dad or I read to you, but trying some on your own as well.  We signed up for the library’s summer reading program, which has been a great motivator for you.  You love filling in your reading chart with stickers and doing “shovel activities,” which are special tasks the library staff have suggested to supplement the reading time.  We’re going to the Natural History Museum today, which will fulfill a shovel activity, and with one more reading stint, you’ll be at Prize Level 2.

Prize Level 1, which you reached about three days after starting the program, was a huge incentive for you, because one of the prizes was a coupon for Noodles & Company.  You were so excited to have earned that, since it’s your favorite restaurant, and also because you worked for it.  We eat at Noodles & Company a lot, since it’s in the same building as your dad’s office, and it’s a guaranteed crowd-pleaser for you and your brother.  I have to admit, your dad and I get a bit tired of it, but it does have a decent variety of menu options.  We’re also not above getting take-out from there and letting you eat it while we get something a little more exciting.

The summer garden season might perk up your diet a bit.  The other night you scarfed down about a pint of raspberries from our bush, and as the carrots mature, I hope you’ll want to eat some of those, too.  You helped plant them, so hopefully that same sense of accomplishment that got you worked up about the Noodles & Company meal will translate into carrot-eating.

Summer school has been going well so far.  You finished your Get Ready for Kindergarten class with aplomb.  You worked a lot on writing letters and numbers, learning in a setting more structured than the laissez-faire world of Montessori preschool.  You ate snacks every day out of your lunch box, which gives me hope that you’ll be able to do the same at lunch time in kindergarten.  This week you started a 4-week drum class, which you seem to be enjoying so far.

Yesterday, we decided to go out for some frozen yogurt.  As usual, we arrived at our destination before the song we’d been listening to ended.  Our always-in-rotation playlist is the songs from Family Folk Machine, our choir (that has made for some really long drives).  As usual, you insisted that we stay and listen to the entire song.   We were close enough to the end that I conceded.  As we sat, listening to “The Iowa Waltz,” who should walk by but Jean, our choir director.  You were so excited and proud when I told her why we were just sitting in the car.  I think she got a kick out of how much you like choir.  We’ve signed up for next season already.  I think it’ll be nice for you to return to something familiar with old friends around the same time you start at your new school.

You got a new bike this month, and you’re getting pretty good at zipping around.  It has a hideous sumo wrestler horn, which of course you love, and of course you honk it to the point of poor cycling.  At least you wear a helmet.  The weather has been kind of horrible, either too hot or too rainy to do much outside, but I’m hopeful that you’ll have some good biking opportunities before the summer ends.

Summer is just the best, isn’t it?  The raspberry-picking from the other night turned into some impromptu gardening, which turned into digging up carrots, which turned into your brother wanting to eat them, which turned into cleaning them with the hose, which naturally turned into a spontaneous water fight.  You and Tobin and I were all in our regular clothes, with no towels or anything, and we all got soaked.  I think that’s the most fun afternoon I’ve had in a long time.

We have lots more fun ahead of us before the summer is out, including a trip to Chicago and swimming lessons.  I need to squeeze all the Miles time I can, because next month, you’ll start all-day school for the first time.  I can hardly believe that, but here we are.

Have a great rest of the summer, sweet Scoop.



Unholy unions

Filed under: — Aprille @ 12:36 pm

Tobin and I were in the living room while Miles finished up his lunch.

M:  Oops.

A:  What’s up?  Do you need help?

M:  My lemonade got in the syrup, so it’s pretty confusing.


Spider-Man Origin Story

Filed under: — Aprille @ 2:02 pm

Miles was goofing around with Photo Booth on his computer and he made this short film.  I added the subtitles because the audio isn’t the greatest.

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