Thursday, July 28, 2016

bon voyage

Or more like bon petite voyage a few miles down the road to our new house.


So I think last week and this week might just be one of those precious capsules of time that we just sort of lure into a dark and damp enclosure, quickly lock up and chuck the key forever. And ever. Everyone moves...we aren't special. I just never ever want to do it again. Or I might be tempted into looking into these magical creatures I've heard so much about...professional movers.


 ... many, many boxes. And many things unboxed.



I'll let you guess how many seconds it took for helper Rhett to push that appliance dolly down the ramp-o-fun and conveniently onto Rad (who was fine, just angry)...


Fine, I'll tell you: one.

Also, this was fun.


All of our refrigerator condiments (sizes: mostly Costco)  spilled all over the floors, walls and a rogue splash on the ceiling. Smell: Strong.

Story: About an exact .3 seconds before we closed the proverbial and literal door to the old house, the very last box, full of those pesky refrigerator condiments, had it's bottom and all of it's contents crash to the floor. It might have been a poor tape job (Julia) or the two full gallons of milk stacked on top of it before it was carried out (Jake) but either way the soy sauce it the fan. Thank the Lysol creators and give them all the gold stars because thankfully clean up wasn't awful and the soy/BBQ/ranch/hot sauce smell didn't linger.

So professional movers...give us a call in about 10 years. (We did have a wonderful turn out of friends to help us load up and unload the truck and we totally realized how unworthy we are of our awesome amigos.)

We've been in the new house about two weeks and ever SO slowly, things are coming back together.
Luckily, Rhett had families best interest at heart and got to work unpacking all of our Christmas decorations immediately. So, we're on the festive ball bright and early this year.

The inside of the new house is painted alllllll sorts of delightful colors (bright purple, beige, beige, SO MUCH BEIGE) and all other finishes in the house are more brown-ish beige because for the love of beige with pops of more beige.


In a month or so we'll start putting together the numbers for some of the projects we need to do (flooring, trim, paint, counters, miscellaneous electrical) but we are really looking forward to taking a year off and doing nothing major to the house. The benefit of moving into a home with gross-ish carpet and old, touched up paint is that I just really don't care how many kids come charging through. We welcome all dirty finger prints...now's the time to get it out of your systems guys.


In case any inquiring minds want to know why we moved, let me fill in the details. Rad thinks we moved because our old house ran out of batteries. He also exclusively calls the new house the "hotel."
Bullet points seem appropriate.

- We had a lot a lot of equity in our home. We also have a sizable amount of student loans/medical and some credit card debt which our equity will pay basically completely off.

- We needed a little more space. Our old house didn't have a good play space for the boys. We were using a bedroom but now we have a HUGE loft space. It's literally house hunters heaven.

- The street we lived on was...not a place where we wanted to long term raise the boys. Let's leave it at that.

We had the smallest area of where we would really even consider moving and it was anywhere within a block or two of our best family friends, the Berner's. And we got it! It's one reason we fought so hard for this house when we decided to go ahead and purchase it after our first offer fell through. So much paper work, so many hoops, SO MUCH STRESS. I lost 10 pounds, cringe. But now that we're here, the feeling of community and having the kids play all the time is so absolutely worth it. We really have felt like this home completes our family and we know we used a lot of our miracles up getting it. Also, our old house closes in a few days (!!!) so woot woots all around.

I'll do a full house tour soon-ish. Until then thanks for your patience and I hope you've enjoyed the breather & break from Julia & Co.

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Thursday, July 7, 2016

the 4th on the 8th


America....happy happy belated birthday.

I hope you enjoyed the boy's rounds of the Pledge of Allegiance and "Happy Birthday to You" after our intro to American history lesson over breakfast on your big day. We've discussed on many occasions that Captain America was not one of the Founding Father's but no one in our home under the age of 5 seems to believe us.


The festivities began on Saturday with the returning of our IKEA Malm dresser with the recall came out. I don't doubt that when properly anchored the dressers are totally safe. However. I also do not doubt my cherubic childrenz ability or desire to mess with the anchors so back to the motherland it went.

Here's a fun freedom influenced story for posterity. 

When we got to IKEA Jake waited in the return line with the dresser and I booked it to the best part of IKEA (in my opinion) the childcare. During the rules and regulation rundown, the IKEA employee reminded me that if my pager went off early that I should rush back IMMEDIATELY. There was an abundance of emphasis on the immediately portion. Noted. 

So about 10 minutes before our pick up time our pager started flashing and buzzing. Truthfully I assumed everything was totes OK and that an influx of kids meant our time had to be cut short. No biggie. So when we rounded the corner and heard shrieking and the word "naked" was getting thrown around I realized it probably wasn't looking to good for our "no biggie" hopes. 

We were greeted by 7 kids all hearded into the upper treehouse section of the play area. Their energy level was off the charts as their ring leader, a 8ish year old boy, kept screaming "He's butt naked! Naked! I CAN SEE HIS WEINER!! NAKED!!!" 

And then I saw naked Rad jump into the ball pit. And then I saw naked Rad do ninja tricks in front of the screaming children. And then go back to the ball bit. Still in his birthday suit.

Here's the thing about Rad...Rad and George Costanza share similar bathroom philosophies. Everything has to come off in order to do the business. The difference between them is that Rad still struggles to put everything back on. And in my rush to make sure they got a spot in the child care I didn't take them to the bathroom. Such a rookie mistake and my ears are still burning from it. 

Obviously the million, totally understandable, super strict rules about helping dress other people's naked kids meant that the IKEA employees were powerless to really do anything to remedy the situation. What I didn't expect when I showed up, was that they wouldn't even let me dress him till a manager showed up to hawk eye me corralling and remedying the nudist issues. So I just hung out in the office section till said manager made his appearance and watched my naked son let freedom ring while not making eye contact with any of the other parents giving me the well deserved side eye. There really are no words for moments like this.     

So we got ice cream. Because. IKEA will probably never let us back in. 

Moving on.

On the actual holiday we ate doughnuts. Rhett really likes to throw down some finger signs when we take pictures with food in them. See above and below. 


Jake took the boys to see Finding Dory. They weren't excited at all. Total party poopers. 


Beck was a party animal at the carwash with his dearest mother. 


Especially when he discovered the leftover snacks I was trying to vacuum up. The old graham crackers were the clear winner. What can I say? Only the best for the boys.


The rest of  evening went something like this.

- Beck refused to eat a celebratory cut up hot dog but preferred to sample the sidewalk chalk. Again. The Miller logic knows no bounds.

- The boys fought over the source of all backyard fun...the hose.



- Matching bodies. (Just kidding honey. ;)) 


- Oh look. I was there too. 


- I won't let my kids turn on the oven, but I will give them a sparkler and say, "Here, go wave this fire stick above your head for a while." Logic. 



- Jake was the master of ceremonies and graced the block with the Hamilton soundtrack (read: sing along). I thought it was pretty clever to use a lyric to caption this Instagram.





- Ben needed extensive words of affirmation and physical touch (his love languages) to recover from the fire work extravaganza. He wasn't feeling especially patriotic even with his red white and blue bandana that he refused to wear. It's OK Ben, there are 361 days to recover before next 4th of July.

Happy America day everyone. :)




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Thursday, June 30, 2016

tucson weekend

If you go back in the archives, you might remember that every summer Jake's company sends families on a weekend get away. It's usually relatively local (thank goodness, long car trips are not kind to my car seat hating squad) and this year was in Tucson.  

Tuscon. You desert flower you. Thanks for hosting our clan this past weekend, you were really the  hostess with the most-ess. 


Let me go ahead and bullet point our weekend for you because paragraphs sound like a lot of work right now and sometimes I regress into lazy toddler mode around 2:37PM.

+ Traveling with kids can be super stressful with sleep schedules thrown off (and I live and breathe by the children's sleep schedules ... roll those eyes!), new "strangers" (especially for our resident mean mugger Beck) in the mix, and forgotten stuffs (always) but I was oh so pleasantly surprised by this weekend. A new Miller frontier? Possibly. 


+ The two hour drive up wasn't terrible. The older boys watched an episode of My Little Ponies nine times in a row and slept for 18 minutes (!!!!!! call the miracle police because the last time they simultaneously slept in the car was 2014), Beck was a trooper because he doesn't care about screens like his brothers do and he only got really angry about being strapped in for multiple minutes a few times. Jake introduced me to the hit known has Hamilton and spent the two hours enlightening me on lots of Alexander trivia.


+ Our room had a balcony that caught the boy's fancy. One morning Rhett shared a balcony experience with us. 

Rhett: It's a glorious morning.
Rhett: When I woke up mom, I sang a good morning song in Spanish on the porch. 
Julia: Ooooh. 
Rhett: I wan't naked mom. I was in my underpants. 
Julia: Did anyone see you singing?
Rhett: Yep. I was polite and waved at them. 
Julia: Well I'm glad you were polite...

+ We always bring our own grocery store when we travel, always in the most classy way possible.


We also bring a fully stocked cooler so the boys don't have to suffer a lack of milk and go-gurht. When Rad opened the cooler the overwhelming ice cube situation lead to this thought "WOAH! Elsa was HERE!"

+ Curse hotel pools for making our rinky dink backyard pool look like a glorified puddle. You'd think we deprive them of pool time because it was like getting gum off the sidewalk trying to get them to l-e-a-v-e. It was a good problem but still...a problem.  Amphibians they are.  

+ Rhett just finished swimming lessons so he was pumped to show off his ice cream scoops and super man tricks. Most of the pool was about 3ft deep so he had a decent amount of freedom to roam. Multiple times I noticed he would chill at the swim up bar chatting with the pool staff and slightly inhebriated pool guests. We did let him order french fries and charge it too the room one day. Because cool-parents-R-us. Rad LOVED walking (not swimming) around the shallow end of the pool with his life jacket. He preformed lots of ninja tricks on the stairs and while his pool walk-about which leads me to believe he has a promising career in leading water aerobics. 

+ Beck was the recipient of an epic amount of suncrean. He has the conundrum of a very large head (finding a kids hat it impossible but and adult hat is ginorm) and almost no hair. Still. His brothers were uber intrigued by his floatation device and for about 3 minutes a congo line around the shallow end with a few random pool kids with Beck leading the pack happened. Beck actually smiled during it. 






God bless digital cameras...so many tries to get everyone looking at the camera.










 + I coordinated the after dinner kids activities for the 78 kids in attendance. Ha. The regional leaders were super grateful and offered several public thankings (which always make me feel and act super awkward...who do you look at??) and although it took some time so plan stuff for so many kids and such an age range the budget I had made it much easier. During the public displays of gratitude, I wanted to shout "No thanks necessary! I've planned kid's birthday parties for 20 kids with $80 bucks. This was nothin." We has several bounce house/activities, a face painter, photobooth and a game truck. Good times for everyone.









+ On the last night we get fancy and I make Jake take a lot of pictures of us. He's just glad it happens once a year.




And Jake got a production award! Go you honey boo.


And we're done. Weekend recaps can make for stale blog posts and this is probably one of the stalest (most stale?) so please accept my half-hearted apology for putting this on the internet. ;)

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