Monday, September 1, 2014

last Friday night

After just over four years of parenting Jake and I have finalllllllly figured out that it's really best to get the kids out of the house to do something...ANYTHING during the day. Usually we just go on a walk or to get a treat but we upped our game big time on Friday night...

We went to the big bad mall.

Here's the thing...we live in a small small small pretty rural area of the valley so the mall is like going to the big city of lights (don't judge our small town, simple ways, too harshly). And the boys think it's better than Disneyland. And that's because they've never been so shhhh. 

We thought the boy would love a little escalator ride. WIN. They both have a slightly crazed look of euphoria in their baby blues because they is lovers of the 'lator.


Rhett attempting a confident dismount from the mall escalator and then decided...nope...but it was way too late. Apparently he didn't want the "monster mouth" to get his beloved batman sandals which meant some hysterical, p-e-t-r-i-f-i-e-d, panic on his part and a close call on some mother loving word choice on my part. Thankfully Jake had all his wits still in his back pocket and carried Mr. Fickle down the rest of the escalating stairs all while holding Rad's death grip because he suddenly also became p-e-t-r-i-f-i-e-d of riding escalators, following his brother's lead per normal.

In our wanderings of the past year or so we've deduced that Rad la-la-la-la-LOVES riding elevators. He welcomes the awkward quiet with strangers and flirts with pushing the alarm button but doesn't ever go so far as to push it (thus far!!). So this glass boxed beauty brought his usually loud shrieks to an epic pitch. 

Aaaaaaaand then the elavator doors slid open and the Miller's were off like a herd of bobcats because we were living the highest life and knew we couldn't resist the luxury of the Play Place.

^^^Spot the legs of the rebel passenger. 

Then the escapade got super glitzy with a razzel-dazzle River Dance performance at Barnes and Nobel.

Complete with stuffed animal twirling and a vocal performance about blue toothpaste made up on the spot.

Dancing, animal twirling, and killer vocals. Talk about a triple stop America's Got Talent.

^^^As we were leaving the mall, Rhett remarked we were on the biggest mountain in the world and all the cars below us were actually Transformers. Clearly we need to expand his limited horizons.

And if the big sparkly mall wasn't enough for one day we took them to the Mecca of sugar and every Pez dispenser your child heart could every want. 

And of course Rhett (and Rad) wanted to eat it all. 

Right then. 

Rhett: How about I have some candy for lunch?
Julia: How about no.
Rhett: How about I just told Santa to put you guys on the bad guy list?

Consider our boots shaken Rhett. 

^^^And these Happy Hippos are the reason I put on 38 pounds while I was in Germany. Yes really, 38 pounds. #hangryhangryhippos

Thxabunch big city for a wonderful night of painting the town red. Good times were had by all. 

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Friday, August 29, 2014

earning their keep

Next time the kids don't complete their usual chores to earn their keep (laundry folding, floor mopping, bathroom scrubbing, wall washing, and Saturday brunch making...BIG WINKS) in a timely and efficient manner I'm going to threaten them with, "You better get your acts together or I'm going to make you put on your bathing suits and wash the car with you're favorite bucket of water and hose."

It's bound to scare them into submission every time. 

We run a tight ship round the Miller house. 

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Wednesday, August 27, 2014

A SYTYCD audition tape with love, from Rad.

It's apparent I've been favoring Rhett lately in blog post content and other social media outlets and I am all about being an equal-opportunity mother so here are some clips of Rad doing what he does best... dance dance dance. The boy is still holding strong with his one word, "woof" but he cuts a mean wood floor...

Rad thinks any time the music is on it's time for a dance-off. I'd say he's always a winner...don't want to crush any self-esteems at such a tender age.

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Monday, August 25, 2014

once upon a new school year

Our summer started off cheerfully enough with journal entires such as "Day 1of Mom Summer Camp went unexpectedly well, we wrestled all day. ALL day son(s)."

The next few days went very well. Happy campers abounded.

Then day 10 came.

Day 10 found me screaming at the kids.

By day 11, I was no longer on speaking terms with my family.

I was terrified at what day 25 would bring. And to think about day 42 made me think the fetal position was the way to go. Possible journal entries might have been along the lines of "The kids might be out on the street with a sign reading, “Free to a good home."

Then, a few ago I contemplated writing this final blog post, thinking that I may not have much time left in this never -ending-circle-of-summer-vacation-with-daily-temperatures-averaging-110-degrees-life:

"I don’t have long now.  I am very weak. The outcome of summer vacation with my kids is unclear, but I want you to know I held out for as long as I could. I waited. Every day I waited, scanning the horizon looking for re-enforcements. But they never came. I’m determined to put up a valiant fight, but in the end I may not be strong enough."

(OK OK OK guilty person numero uno over here with the definitely overly dramatic recap of summer vacation. We really did have a lot of fun and I do love the time with the boys. But the last week-ish almost pushed me into PTSD mode with all the whining and "I'm board" chants.)

But then the heavens opened and it was the first day of preschool!! Halle-freaking-lujah.  Structured, fun, educational activities that wouldn't result in a time out for all those involved.

So yes, Rhett started preschool a week ago. He goes three afternoons a week and you've got to know I'm trying not to feel guilty about loving it.

The guilt is assuaged by the fact that he gives preschool 2 thumbs way way up and Rad is thrilled to pieces with the first moments of one-on-one time he's (sadly) really have had. And don't worry, the house isn't too quite. Rad is very happy to fill in as resident chatter box.

Rhett comes home and commands everyone (me and Rad) to stand and say the Pledge of Allegiance followed by a dramatic unveiling of whatever happens to be in his back pack. I'm sure the nominees for an Oscar feel a similar sense of anticipation akin to what Rhett wants us to feel when he pulls the construction paper art piece out of this bag. If you're looking for a killer art exhibit come check out our fridge. (Editor's note: the art exhibt lasts as few hours as possible and then gets put into storage or the recycling. Don't judge. At least I recycle them...right...?)

Following the Pledge of Allegiance and back pack ceremony, he usually tells us about teaching the chickens ninja moves and that he doesn't like that his friend Max called his Max Steele toy Batman (a conversation they had literally a year ago and just as literally get's brought up at least twice a week). Rhett then lays on the couch, stretches, and says he's "had a really big day."

A few more highlights...

- Rad has gone from talking in no word grunts ("dogh, dogh!!!") to talking in incomplete "sentences" of grunts with maybe a word thrown in ("mmmmmm, dada, all done! brrrrr. br. ba.") and should I give all the credit of that to Rhett's voice not echoing through the house all day? Of course not but it's a funny coincidence. At least once a day Jake or I say to the other, "he's actually kind of talking (that's a generous way of looking at it but...) it's crazy" because he was content to live in the shadow of Rhett's prattle for so long and we'd just gotten used to life with our strong and silent caveman.

- The first day I dropped him off and Jake had a free hour coinciding before Rad's nap. To kill time we popped down to DQ to enjoy a blizzard. And with only one kid in tow that pretty much qualifies as a hot date.

-We drive by Miss Debbie's neighborhood relatively often and almost every time Rhett chants out loud "the rules are, be nice, please listen, share, share, share and NO pooping in your pants!!" and I'm as good as sold.

Preschool forever and ever.

And a few pictures from our first day of school photo shoot. And per normal, in front of the lovely white wall.

^^^Best picture of them yet. If he becomes a preschool drop out there's always the option of being a mob boss.

^^^Faux first day of preschool for the lad in the diaper.

And just in case these lead anyone on to believe these pictures come easily...the outtakes.

^^^Please burn this one from your memory. Thank you. 

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