Wednesday, January 21, 2015

30 for 30

Being SUPER original here... like always.

Or self indulgent.
Or narcissistic.
Vapid? Likely.

Or maybe all of the above. But I thought I'd post a little "30 things about Julia!" on my 30th birthday at the beginning of the month, but that did not happen. So, I'm just a little tardy to the party with the list.

Your excitement is palpable, I can feel it.

These have probably all been revealed in one post or another or another at some point over the last few years, but I've never been known for my originality.

So, here you go.

And! Just in case you were wanting to feel better about your pre-pubescent years, in honor of my recent 30th birthday I present to you...clueless Julia at age 12.

The struggle was real.

Like very very real.

Oh how far you've come Julia.

Also, I can totally hear Steve Urkel saying, "those glasses are too big!!" and I just might agree.

Okay, let's go.

1. Ever since I read her book and started following her on Instagram, I've had regularly recurring dreams that I'm best friends forever with Mindy Kaling. She should be sufficiently creeped.
2. Celebrity crush...absolutely Jimmy Fallon.
3. When I was in middle school I was convinced I would be more popular if my wrists weren't so bony.
4. Watching YouTube videos of baby orangutans before bed is becoming a weird obsession.
5. Like...I am becoming absolutely desperate to hold one.
6. Some videos might make me teary. Like this one.
8. I get really scared when opening umbrellas. When they have the button that makes them pop open...anxiety to the max.
9. I hate milk and all forms of melted cheese.
10. My favorite book is Gone with the Wind. I've read it every year since 8th grade.
11. My favorite candy is (currently) Butterfingers
12. My favorite dessert is...really truly I don't love most desserts. Candy yes, but traditional desserts no.
13. My favorite meal is fajitas with a sinful amount of guacamole.
14. I'm almost always cold. Even in an AZ summer I will almost always be wearing jeans. Or a long sleeve shirt with shorts.
15. If I could change my name I would chose Kate.
16. Biggest social fear...random strangers not liking me. Including the driver behind me, the woman on aisle 5, and the mailman who I've met once for 2 seconds.
17. My high school choir teacher asked me once, dead serious, "Has anyone ever told you you're probably tone deaf?"
18. My biggest talent is getting a to-do list done. Watch out America's Got Talent. Coming atch-ya with my post-its.
19. My full name is Julia Barbara Holbein Miller. The SS office messed up when we got married and didn't drop Barbara. So now I sound like a pompous donkey.
20. I've never drank a drop of coffee but almost every job I had in high school was in a coffee shop.
21. The most random employment I've ever had is as a sports official for my college's intramural program. I was accidentally tackled during a men's flag football game.
22. Going with the college theme, I had 6 declared majors, broadcasting, horticulture/landscape design, social studies education, history and finally marriage and family therapy.
23. I love clogging.
24. And horse back ridding.
25. My dream job would be as a plastic surgeon.
26. I really really want a big ol' motorcycle.
27. I'm deathly afraid of haunted houses, mazes, movies, etc. I tried to watch "The Ring" once and spent the entire movie singing church hymns under a blanket. I would only come out when the sun was shining in the movie.
28. In terms of fight or flight I definitely choose hide. See the example above if you need proof.
29. In fact, I'm 99% positive there is literally no amount of money you could pay me to go through a haunted house. A billion dollars? Not even close to enough.
30. I have a semi-secret dream to be the Bachelorette. If I wasn't married and horribly giggly around attractive males.  

Toe touch to being 30. :)

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Friday, January 16, 2015

Rad refuses

To believe that this is actually his dear father. He stubbornly insists that he is either:

a) Mom or
b) Mommy or
c) Momma or
d) Mommommomom! or
e) MOMMY!! or
f)  Ma.

Jake has decided to be an adult, stop fighting the toddler, and just shoot a smile in the direction of his confusion instead.

Rad geniually seems to have no answer to the question "who's your daddy?"

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Wednesday, January 14, 2015

ode to the third baby (and the gender!)

Poor baby #3. Nary a bump picture save one and not even blog post sharing your cute little gender. Do you feel loved? I hope so, but I wouldn't blame you if we've already given you reasons to need therapy later on.

So let's remedy that! You, my sweet bambino are once again, a little boy! Bless you're little heart for listening to Rhett's demands and my secret hopes. We are so excited for you and heaven knows we need another player in the wrestle mania round here.

We took Rhett to the ultrasound and when the ultrasound tech dramatically revealed the little boy parts Rhett nonchalantly shruggled, "Oh yeah, I can definitely see that."

The baby is looking so good. All stats and measurements are falling in the normal ranges. And with everything we went through with Rad (1 and 2), this is the best part for my soul. I didn't let my über anxious self breath until I could see all the numbers on the charts after the ultrasound. But it is all so good. Baby definitely has a masculine profile (wink) and is growing like a weed.

Here is a fraction of the pictures we were given...stingy ultrasound tech. ;)

Now let's talk about me. Because I am the only important pregnant person. Kate Middleton who? Ha!

20 weeks

Currently I just really want to wear a shirt that explains that I'm pregnant and not just 10 pounds heavier from a new found sedentary lifestyle...although that's true too. Even Rhett has a lot of questions about the rate in which old Mom's body is expanding, "so ... when is MY stomach going to blow up like that?" and then he proceeds to move north and keep on asking and asking.

Anyway, a bump photo. Or "boop" as Rad says. 24.5 weeks (the .5 is very important!!!!!)...

24 (.5!) weeks

^^^Yes, I'm asleep. Laugh. 

^^^And I still hate my hair growing out-state, so I'll be cinnamon rolling the nappy locks for a few more months. Yum.

The biggest symptom of being 24 weeks pregnant is the alarming rate I shovel food into my mouth and it disappears. An hour after eating a solid meal, I am a ravenous beast. Unlike pre-pregnancy life, when hunger hit and I had time to decide what and when I wanted to eat. Now, if I fail to eat within three minutes, I risk throwing up. It’s a little like in a movie when the bomb is beeping and the countdown is getting closer to boom time. I shouldn’t even call it hunger. It’s more like trying to stop up an ever-expanding black hole. My snacks have become my security blanket and my lifeline.

Every night as we lay in bed watching Friends (Netflix you crazy cake!)  I usually start to get twitchy. All I want to do is lie there and enjoy Monica's early 90s lip liner action, but my body is telling me that I need to eat  my third dinner NOW and so  my saintly husband pauses the episode and puts our emergency food plan into action. He pulls me into the kitchen as though we were on an episode of Supermarket Sweep.

The life of pregnancy. It be oh so nutty.

I was going to talk about potential baby names here but I think I'll do a whole post on it because I love love love hashing out baby names. That girl in high school doodling potential future baby names in her notebook...that was me. And although I don't think we'd ever officially share the chosen name before the wee babe arrives, we definitely need suggestions.

Whew. OK little boy I hope this helps you feel more officially part of our love fest. :)

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Friday, January 9, 2015

honorable mentions for 2014

Sometimes things just don't get blogged for a multitude of reasons. Some posts shouldn't see the light of the net because they fall into the category of "really Julia - just shut up already" and some are more like "ummm who really cares?" Sometimes I type a post but then my gut tells me it's dumbest post in the history of my posts (which is saying A LOT because I've had some doozies) so I just never hit publish.

But with a new year already well under way I didn't want these blog crumbs to get swept under the proverbial rug and lost for all eternity. So a conglomeration of random 2014 bits. Sounds just as appetizing as mystery meat...

Meet Cactus the beta fish. (2 guesses to decide who named him.)

About a month ago Jake and I briefly pondered getting a pet. Emphasis on briefly. We were thinking the tradition either dog or cat route and after looking a dozen's of pictures of puppies and kittens, my hormones were at their breaking point. How many pictures of fuzzy baby animals can a pregnant girl look at?? 

Then sanity kicked in when Jake observed, "If the kids were pets, Rhett would be a uncontrollably exuberant puppy and Rad would be a very temperamental cat." 

Ha. Right on par with wisdom from the greats.

So we nixed the high maintenance pet idea and didn't think twice about it. Then at Jake's work Christmas party they had Beta fish in the center pieces and the hosts were very happy when we asked if could take on home with us. Good Samaritins-R-us.

Rhett and Rad love Cactus (named by Rhett...did you guess right?) and he entertains them daily. We let them each chose a decor item for Cactus and Rad selected Hulk and Rhett went with the rock with the neon plant life. Cactus is happy to retreat into the rock and nestle himself into one of the crevasses. My kind of pet. 

Cactus....don't die anytime soon. Please. 

Moving on. Last year I did a whole post dedicated to some of my favorite pictures of the year. This time around I figured a whole post was a little much.

If I had a penny for every time someone came into our home and asked "so is that the white wall you always use in your pictures?" ... I'd have enough for a can of my beloved cream soda.

So now I would like to plead my case about the white wall. Members of the jury, the white wall lets me just focus on the boys and things like "what is Rad thinking?" (conundrums for the masses) and to really appreciate Rhett's expression for 8 seconds.

I've done a decent job documenting our travels this year but have failed miserably at documenting when people come stay with us.

The boys love seeing their aunt, uncles and grandparents and our family was always so kind and generous and babysat the crew while we went out and about and dined on fancy things sushi and shaved ice. I want another shaved ice. Or three.

Uncle John (Knuckle John as Rhett affectionately called him for a long time) came and raised the bar for wrestling and lowered how awesome the boys think Jake and I are. He even deserves a medal of honor for not running to the airport after Rad puked all over him. 

My parents and sister came out a week ago for New Years. My parents had never been to Costco (how did they manage with 4 kids??) so instead of seeing AZs beauty we took them there. Obvis.

My dad taught Rhett the trick of poking sticks in animal holes. Because scorpions are very understanding creatures.

And Jane kept asking the boys who their favorite was, her or their uncle Andrew (her husband). The unanimous vote was always Andrew, but she worked her backside off to win the boys over and they finally gave her what she wanted...their vote for her as favorite. 

And that's a wrap 2014!

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Wednesday, January 7, 2015

So much to say, so little time

Trying to get ready in the morning

Julia: Rhett, please go get your socks.
Rhett: Mom. I'm not Rhett.
Rhett: I'm big white kitty.
Rhett: But not stand up tiger.
Rhett: Don't get it confused.

Lying on the floor doing the lazy mom version of wrestling

Rhett: Mom?
Rhett: Are you dead?
Rhett: Or just playing possum?

Entertaining the boys with Simon Says during an airport layover

Rhett: Simon says jump up and down!
Rhett: Simon says be a cheetah!
Rhett: Simon says touch a human!!

An impromptu display of affection
(Rhett comes over kisses my lips, cheek and pats me on the head.)
Rhett: (Walking away) And that's how you kiss a girl.
Julia: worryworryworryworryworry

Driving away after having lunch with Jake

Rhett: Where's dad going?
Julia: He's going back to work.
Rhett: Oh.
Rhett: I just love that man.

Opening a Christmas card/present with money in it from the great-grandparents

Rhett: Money for me?!
Rhett: Wait who's the old man on my money?
Jake: That's Andrew Jackson.
Rhett: Oh. Is he my uncle?

Picking up my tweezers

Rhett: What are these?
Julia: Tweezers. I use those to pluck my eyebrows so they don't get out of hand.
Rhett: Ohhh, I see I see.
Julia: Yeah
Rhett: So you don't look like a big gorilla anymore?

Walking into a public restroom

Rhett: Wow it smells like the airport in here!
Rhett: Airport smell might be my favorite.

After a quick lesson in being respectful from Jake

Jake: You need to be respectful to Mom. She's an important person.
Rhett: Dad...
Rhett: Mom's not a person. She's a woman.

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Monday, January 5, 2015

frenemies of the state

Oh this? This would be their version of harmony. 

Rhett and Rad are coming up on 2 years of being brothers. They are the very best of frenemies. Never were there such devoted frenemies. It's a love/hate/love/hate/waitlove/nowait...hate relationship. Yet they are a unified troublemaking front. Rhett's kind of trouble takes real finesse and Rad's kind of trouble requires a bulldozer.

They love a good brawl. 2 kids, 1 crib...TODDLER CAGE MATCHES! Pretty sure you could get pay per view on that...

Rad bites Rhett on occasion and sends him into a fit of tears and hysterics and dramatic declarations that "Rad is NOT my brother right NOW!!!" And Rhett has a knack for clothes lining Rad. Rad's response? A swift punch to Rhett's back.

There are times when the wrestling is just for fun and brotherly love. Rhett's new thing is to lay down next to Rad and get him to punch him in the bum over and over again. They both find it hilarious and Jake and I bond over our synchronized stares of, "they both crazy."

I'm hopping that as with all of the less pleasant stages of child rearing, that this WWF brawl stage is just that...a stage. But there's always an outlier right? I don't know 100% if Rhett and Rad are ever going to outgrow their fighting stage. Maybe it's an 18+ year stage...?

But!! I've noticed little things they say and do that have me and Jake looking at each other and saying the old cliché, "they're really growing up." 

Of course now that I'm sitting down I can't think of the best examples, but off the top of my head I remember Rhett hearing Rad wake up from his nap last week (dear brother Rad needs his marathon naps...or else) and he scrambled to get up from is toys and get two lions so that Rad could start playing right away. Maybe he was being nice or maybe he was just trying to pull the old distract and defend his toy set up. Let's go with nice. 

And whenever Rad falls down and starts crying Rhett drops what he's doing and starts making a big fuss over him, "Oh, Raddie! Is it SO bad?" 

One more. When we get Rad dressed in the morning he comes walking into our room and Rhett (usually, often) says "Wow Rad! You look so HANDSOME!" And Rad puffs his little chest up with pride and marches around showing off his usually wrinkled t-shirt. 

Rad my relationship works best when we aren't separated by more than 3 feet. He's at an impasse of emotions and just can't quite figure out if he's a happy camper or a gloomy Gus. He does have an unadulterated admiration of Rhett and loves to sneak Rhett's shirts from his dresser and try to put them on like pants.  For not having many words in his little vernacular he has an impressive manner skill set and promptly kisses Rhett immediately after punching him. And pretty much the only time he tries to utter more than one word sentences, they always have to do with Rhett. He says thank you Rhett "dan do Rah" and love you Rhett "ooov do Rah" and "Hi Rah!"  

We'll see how the dynamic changes once baby number 3 joins the fray...exciting stuff. 

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Tuesday, December 30, 2014

hold on to me as we go

Jake and I celebrated our six year anniversary on the 30th so hello! Welcome to gushfest may leave at any time. ;)

I think it's probably pretty common for married couples to come to know and not love a few things about their spouses as they get to know each other in the early years of marriage. Right...or is that just us...?

Jake has learned that when I say, "can you help me with something real fast" what I realllllly mean is, "I have 4 quick projects/to-do items that I want to check of the list. It will only take 2 hours" and that I make Everest's out of ant hills and that my definition of "the! worst! day! ever!" involves things that really aren't that bad in the grand scheme of things. But Jake let's me vent and pretend that my life really is hard.

But I'm not here to talk all about me (or the boys) - for once. No! I'm here to tell you six of the things I've come to learn and really appreciate about Jake since we've been married. Maybe this is more of a birthday type of post, but I have no marital wisdom to impart on you today and well...this is what it is.

Jake is

The nicest guy. Really. He loves meeting people and has a very easy going and approachable demeanor. He is respectful and it's not uncommon for him to call me on his way home and say he needs to stop by someone's house and drop something off because he knows they have some sort of need. I remember being taken aback by how nice and considerate he was when we first started dating and I probably should stop and appreciate this more because, like many things, I take it for granted far too often.

A good father. I'll just say that Jake has always wanted more kids, I was the one that thought 2 was enough. I give full credit and admiration to any man who is willing and excited to take on more responsibility for little barnacles. Throughout the day he often texts or mentions how much he'd like to be home, hanging out with us. Blows my little SAHM mind when often I'm borderline desperate for an escape.

Lighthearted. I have a really hard time stopping and enjoying life. I am a slave to my to-do list. Jake is so good about making sure we play as a family and as a couple. He works hard, and he plays hard. He has a great laugh and finds simple things funny.

Faithful. I don't mean this in the "thou shall not commit adultery" kind of way (but he is that too!), but in the faith in God kind of way. I will be the first to say that between the two of us, he is the more righteous one and I owe much of the religious upbringing in the boys (and me) to him. He is wonderful at taking on the great responsibility to raise kids to know and (hopefully!) love their faith. Rhett equates decent church behavior with candy so I'd say we're doing a great job in that respect thus far.

He's curious. Oh I love to make fun of his little random fact list loving heart, but he is quickly becoming a vast fund of general knowledge. It's not uncommon for me to be on the verge of sleep and and have Jake pop over to my side of the bed and share some random tidbit he just learned. I always find the most interesting Google searches and tabs open on his phone and he is the King of apps-that-tell-you-random-facts. (My favorite is his astronomy app that sends a picture and tidbit every day)

He is selfless. No matter how tired he is when he gets home he lets me escape for whatever time I need. He is quick to put his wants aside and does it cheerfully.

And I could go on and on but I have to save some juicy stuff for the written card. ;)

So! To wrap up this love fest, I just want to share some random thoughts.

Six years isn't a short amount of time. Looking back over the years can sometimes be occasions for sadness or disappointment by serving as a reminder of dashed hopes or unrealized dreams.  But as I look back, I feel like for us, the opposite is true. Thinking back over our years together makes me realize that things are exactly as I would have wanted them. Not because they have always been perfect, but because they have been shared with the perfect person.

The last six years with Rhett, Rad and a soon to be here little boy, 4 moves, starting a commission based career from scratch, no more dates (jk), holidays, surgeries, family trips and lack of sleep have certainly shaped us and changed us as a couple.

Yet, despite all these changes and experiences, in many ways we are still those same people and that same couple from 12/30/2008.  Jake still manages to wow me with his quick wit and quiet thoughtfulness.  He is still loyal to a fault and an awesome partner.

Happy Anniversary, Jake! And cheers to a few more...

PS Jake suggested the title "Sexy Sixer's" this post. That quick wit of his...
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