Wednesday, May 27, 2015

the graduation





















My first born little turkey graduated preschool this month.

I don't want to talk about it. If we do you'll hear my voice catch and I'll probably quickly change the subject.

Friends, family, people ask me, like it's so run-of-the-mill, "So, is he going to kindergarten this year?" The look I return must be like they just kicked me in the stomach.  "What?!  He was just born, like yesterday!"  I promise I don't actually say that and I also promise that I won't be hiding in the playground bushes ready to jump like a crazed momma bear every Tuesday during recess. He will go to kindergarten in a few months and I know he will thrive, he's Rhett. He's always been a leader, a friend to everyone, confident, goofy and totally eager to discover.

But right now, even though I am not ready, he is and I'm totally shocked that he has the "look" of a kid who is ready. Isn't he a baby still? Aren't I still an absolute necessity in every waking moment of his life?

No? Oh.

Well, let's not cut that umbilical cord just yet, ok?

And indulge me for one paragraph more about his preschool teacher Miss Debbie. She's been his teacher for the past two years and I don't remember how exactly we found her but I'm SO glad we did.

I went to write her a thank you card and ended up with three drafts. Because I am too emotional about little things. But really it's not a little thing! How do you thank someone for something this big? How do you even put in words what this person has done for you by taking care of your child?

So Miss Debbie, thank you for loving my boy the past two years. Thank you for recognizing in Rhett the things that I love so much about him, for noticing the same things and celebrating his sweet spirit.

Thank you for being there in ways that I don't have the natural talents to be there for him. When Rhett showed me he could write his name I knew that he learned that from you and I'm so grateful for you for filling in where I lacked.

Thank you for being tender with him. For giving him a love of learning, for helping him thrive.

Thank you so much from the very bottom of my heart for pouring your heart and soul this year into a little person that means everything to me. You will always be part of Rhett's story.

We are forever and ever thankful Miss Debbie!

So...who's excited for my over-emotional-first-day-of-kindergarten-post...??

I'm sure Jake can hardly wait either.





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Wednesday, May 20, 2015

blame it on the cliche

Alternate title in the running was "how to kill a blog...and try to bring it back from the dead with one ramble of a post sprinkled with a family portrait."

Let's go.

I'm feeling a little rusty. And reckless...abandoning ship for a week? Who cares? I know, not a soul! (Hi mom...I'm not including you in that. :))

Anyway, the break was unintentional, but between another round of Rhett's asthma/bronchitis giving us a run for the sleep we are already craving we were living somewhere between super survival mode and gum-on-a-sidewalk mode.


^^^Crouching tiger parents...clearly. With our bottle happy two year old...^^^

So. What's been going on around here?

More of the same!

Sometimes I'm surprised at the level of cliche/suburban/parent/humans we are. Good grief we are SO cliche. But honestly I kind of love it. I can appreciate a good cliche even if it puts me in the tired mom/occasional nagging wife/yoga pant wearing category.

Examples...

I drive a minivan and I don't like it. I love it.

It's habitual for my 4pm face to look identical to my 7am face. Like absolute hell.

I don't say, "going to the bathroom" ever. It's an automatic, "going potty" every single time.

I probably say, "I'm just really tired" to whomever will listen 99 times a day.

As far as kids and their attire goes - I have a strict, "no stain - no change" policy that can last a scary number of consecutive day-night-day-night-day-night-I-can-keep-going-I-assure-you.

When the kids are awake the world is one mini tantrum away from crumbling into a million pieces and promptly ending. When the kids are asleep, yes of course this is the easiest job in the world.

I used a pumice stone to clean our toilet bowls a few weeks ago and have gone into the bathroom to admire my toil every single day since. Shoot it feels good to be an efficient homemaker.

Every morning I open a nice can of diet soda. And every night Jake finds it sitting on the counter with exactly two sips gone.

Sometimes I wear my yogas and a hoodie and a puffy face to buy groceries because who really cares? And sometimes I wear a painted face, an outfit that's trying far too hard, and Saturday night in college hair to buy groceries because I do.

I brown some meat, chop some tomatoes + avocados + onions, open a container of sour cream, a package of tortillas and a can of salsa and oh, look! It's gourmet taco Monday. Leftovers will follow for the next two nights if I can't stretch it to three (where we say hello to gourmet nachos).

Showers when I'm home alone with the kids: three minutes. Showers when Jake is home to watch the kids: twenty three minutes.

Good grief...so cliche. :)





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Monday, May 11, 2015

Surprised by Joy

I've only been riding the motherhood train for 4.9 years so about 5 years ago I was very pregnant with Rhett and totally pumped and ready to be the next Mother Teresa/Eve of the 21st century and give my acceptance speech at the annual gathering for the Order of Angelic Mothers. Ha.

Five years and three boys latter, I've learned that motherhood isn't meant to be easy and breezy and that it isn't some idyllic dream filled with hazy moments of happy and contented sighs. Most of the time it is draining and frustrating and interrupted only briefly by super fulfilling minutes that make up the hours that make up the days and years that I will eventually tell some young mother are "so short."


They say being a mother is the most important job in the world. It's such a cliché, right? But, for me, it's true. It wasn't until I became a mom that I felt like I'd hit my stride in life. That I'd found my purpose, that I was doing what I was meant to be doing. The feeling of knowing I'm on the right path that had eluded me for years was suddenly so all encompassing. Being a mom is the most important thing in the world to me. Every single day I feel so fortunate to be able to be what I am, and what I love to be: a mom.


I've learned how important it is to take a breath of fresh air and to be able to laugh at things that would normally make you cry when you are in the trenches of motherhood. Sometimes in the super fun moments like trying to get showered in the morning and having your two year old take off the clothes you just put on him and insist on climbing in the shower with you and then he uses all of the peach scented shaving cream you bought to offer to your legs as penance for their hairy, neglected state, to cover his armful of hot-wheel's cars he brought in the shower with him...in those moments you just have to laugh.

Motherhood is not for the meek, weak, selfish, tired, or unorganized and yet...here I am. It's a pungent, exhausting, and never ending privilege to spend my days with my kids - even when they drive me to exciting new levels of crazy.

But really truly, despite, and honestly maybe because of the crazy...being a mother has allowed a certain peace to come over my heart. I am exactly where and who I need to be. And each and every day teems with joy...certainly not every moment (think diarrhea in the bathtub)...but absolutely every day.

Motherhood is such a wonderful, strange, crazy, priceless thing.

PS. Full disclosure...I hope that my children will freaking know and will one day understand how hard this gig is...but mostly, I hope that they have really nice things to say about me at my funeral.


^^^because really....



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Tuesday, May 5, 2015

boxwood green dresser rehab

I'm celebrating being finished with the first 7 weeks of a big, fat, time consuming, and slightly stressful work of having a newborn at home (!!!!!!!!!! yay) with a little postpartum nesting in the garage with a paint brush.







I tried MMS tip of using Vaseline as a resist to get an extra chippy finish and it worked like a charm. I highly recommend it. :)

This dresser sold to a sweet bride who wanted to use it as a sign in table at her citrus colored themed wedding.

Cute right??












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Monday, May 4, 2015

Baby got Beck

Before we get too deep into life with a new baby aka normalus interruptus I wanted to get a few pictures of all the tininess that is Beck.

Here...hold the baby for a second.


Do you think I missed my calling as a newborn photographer?





Beck be like, "Take me back to the uterus. Now."

Stats for this little turkey:

Weight: 5 pounds 13 ounces (he was 4 lbs 8 ounce when he was born)
Height: 18.75 in (18in when he was born)
Drinking: Anywhere from 2 1/2 - 3 ounces per feeding every 3 hours

Beck is six weeks old and he's been home, sleeping the days and nights away in our fancy closet for three weeks. (Our musical bed situation is for another post...)  I know it's all in my doting mother head but he seems to have the sweetest disposition. Unless he's hungry - which is often. But those few minutes a day that he's awake and content and wrestling with the air...he seems like he'll be a nice little boy.

And possibly our most well adjusted child. Beck sleeps a lot day and night except when we wake him to eat. I don't want to type, "he's a dream sleeper" because that is the kiss of death for peaceful sleeping children but he's an incredible sleeper and I know it's temporary, but God bless a peaceful baby. And he sleeps most of the time in his crib, our first newborn child to do that. Maybe it's because we've learned a few tricks or maybe we shouldn't give ourselves too much credit.

One of Beckett's most adorable tiny talents is when he tries to lift his head during tummy time. The harder he tries to lift his head the higher his little legs go up. I need to get it on video but it's something like THIS. And the higher he tries to lift his head the higher my squeaky mom voice goes to sing his praises...which doesn't qualify as adorable or a talent.

Two more small newborn things that I don't want to forget, Beckett's signature expression is a furrowed brow. You can see it HERE when he was back in the NICU and in the past six weeks he hasn't outgrown it and it's my personal fave. And! Last one I promise...his signature weird newborn quirk is during his baths he loves to pretend to be a starfish and freakout until he manages to pee on his face, then he calms right down for the remainder of the bath session. Hopefully he outgrows that one sooner rather than later...

Beck you're a keeper. :)









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Friday, May 1, 2015

A progress report: 3 weeks in

Greetings from the land of many many revelations...

"Nope! Still can't feed the baby and change a toddler bomb at the same time."

"Four hours of prep work will get us out the door one hour after our desired exit time." 

"I should feel some small twinge of guilt over the kids requested breakfast o goldfish crackers, apple sauce, and Lucky Charms (no milk) but... none...nothing." 

and, "why yes I am standing outside on the front porch in my penguin pajamas hissing at the big boys (one not wearing pants of any variety) to stop bringing rocks inside so they can become part of the royal rock collection and oh...look. There walks our neighbor and her dog stroller...staring"

Greetings indeed.



Smize Beck, smize.

So postpartum living...

Lots of highs.

Lots of lows.


Around these parts, postpartum life involves rejoicing over the mighty victories of a made bed, my shower hastily completed by me and me alone,  and minimal crying (adult, boys and infant).  Bonus points are awarded for makeup applications (priorities), kids dressed in new clothing, laundry done, and any ventures outside the house.

We have managed to get ourselves dressed and looking almost presentable enough to go out into civilized society multiple days in a row because I am not a hermit-introvert-homebody and there are only so many millions of consecutive days of cabin fever I can handle. This social butterfly needs to fly.

To Target. For exactly two things. Dish soap and hand soap.

Our adventurous spirits know no bounds.

Everyone was relatively well behaved and as we were walking out (and followed by a car driven by an idiot to our parking spot in a relatively empty parking lot where said idiot waited and waited and waited and waited as I loaded and buckled every Miller child into their car/booster seats...hopefully the wait was worth it, bizarro) Rhett noted that, "everyone was SO good...I didn't cry and Rad didn't cry and Beck didn't cry and EVEN YOU MOM didn't cry!!!"


The new Cinderella movie's famous line...have courage and be kind? Exactly what I was thinking on our first trip out of the house. And also...I could really use a fairy godmother right now. 

And since the Target trip merited a B+ we ventured out a little farther. 

To a few parks...


 ^^^ You see this? Right after I snapped this masterpiece the world's biggest drama toddler fell off the slide and landed on his head. Surprisingly! he popped right up and Rhett gave his professional medical prognosis  "It's okay, he just fell a wittle bit."

And then we went to see...

DUCKS.


And the tiniest baby turtle that ever swam in a man made pond.


I'd heard that there were baby ducks at a local park and thought we could have a quasi little "welcome to spring/summer" ceremony and throw carbs at them. I honestly thought the kids would enjoy that but what I was not prepared for was hysteria the size of the Oscars...

Rhett: charged the fluffy floaters yelling "DUCKS!! DUCKS! DUCKS!"

Rad: Prancing behind Rhett yelling "GOOSE!"

Beck: Was like, "What the duck is going on?"



I don't know what it is about feeding ducklings that turns parents into phone camera wielding crazies wanting to get! a! million! photos! of! the! DUCKS!!!!!!!

Oh! 

And we've even braved Costco a few times. 

Game face on...we're coming for you big guy.


^^^PS there was another adult with us, my friend Tyrell...

Fist bumps, fist pumps, and all.

It was a mostly uneventful trip except for the mom that came over to tell me in a LOUD (close - toooooo close, sistermom) whisper lest the elderly couple 9 yards down would hear that, "they're giving out diaper samples - they might even give you two if you ask nicely" and then Beck went into a weird formula comatose state...


^^^The hight of the glamour of motherhood right there. 

I told you...glamorous. 





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Thursday, April 23, 2015

spirit fingers for Jake

I think Jake might be a future saint. The Saint of Fathers Who Have Crazy Wives and Posterity That Growls At Strangers.

Can you tell my knowledge of saints is negligible?

I promise to keep the public proclamations of cheese and gush to a minimum but after the past five weeks (really the past 6 years) I wanted to give a much deserved post dedication to Jake.

He deserves to be recognized for his great husband and father skills.  I wish I could say that it is not common for me to say something along these pleasant lines,


but sometimes I do and Jake just laughs and obliges because he is the best and I am the worst.

Here's the think about Jake...Jake takes care of everyone but no one really takes care of Jake. He is always there to make the sacrifice, go the extra mile, shoulder the burden and does it all with a smile and a little dose of loving sarcasm.

With Beck's arrival and my emotional state being a little wonky (round three of depression and anxiety...ready fight!) Jake has taken everything in stride and with his characteristic optimism.

In my most anxious, crazy-cake moments he is patient. He doesn't try to fix me. He just lets me cry all the tears. So many tears sometimes. Poor man. And he never gets annoyed when I ask him repeatedly to tell me everything is going to be OK.

As super dad he keeps the playground visits going, Costco braving, Julia "everything is fine" assuring, and house cleaning happening. When I was in the hospital I was positive he would need an occasional translator for Rad's multiple monosyllabic grunts that mean something specific and important and urgent but Jake did it all, no complaining.

When I put the kids to bed it is a big fat harried race to the finish but when Jake does it he takes the time to do it right. He lets the boys splash in the bath for as long as they want, reads them a book or books of their choosing, and he changes them out of their clothes and puts them into actual pajamas.

The boys love that he actually plays toys with them (not my best activity) and has incredible patience with teaching them baseball. He is also the gourmet chef of the family and because I am a picky eater he often caters to my cravings.

Jake loves his sleep more than anyone I've ever met, but never ever audibly grumbles about getting up with the kids in the middle of the night...even in the truly ugly and dark hours of the early morning. He often lets me sleep in and takes the boys down stairs to start the morning routine. He doesn't complain about the hours that he works to provide for the family nor does he complain about the fact that I complain about the hours that he works to provide for the family.

I think I've written before about how blown away I was by how nice Jake was when we first met and continues to be today. He is a genuinely kind guy and I can only hope that the boys inherit or at least emulate their father's nature.


We're very lucky to have him. :)

(Understatement of the year.)









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