Wednesday, November 12, 2014

mission mini van

Does the van make me look like a real mom?

I try to keep tabs on virtually every momentous life event that goes on here at the Miller casa so you should probably know that we recently acquired a family friendly vehicle...a mini van!

The previous mode of transportation was a Honda Accord...wonderful car, but not wonderful for the upcoming third child's arrival AND the 99 tons of nonsense we always NEED to bring in the car, including but not limited to the blanket(s) of the hour and toy(s) of the minute and half the pantry for the famine that will surely hit three minutes into the drive. And then Rhett has to run back in for just one more thing eight more times.

So. We needed a car with space for dayzzz.

We put the little Honda up for sale as we were super super lucky to have crazy interest in it. Like 30 plus people texting and calling my phone. My chihuahua nature was in full swing trying to manage it all and thankfully (so thankfully!!) it sold to the first person who came to look at it. I had a full on Oprah moment when I had to let everyone else who wanted the car know it was sold. I just wanted to stand in our driveway and tell the masses "AND YOU GET A CAR! AND YOU GET A CAR! AND YES, YOU GET A CAR!!!!

The reality is that will only happen if I hand out Matchbox cars to kids. Thumbs up.

After we sold the car we went about a week being a one car family so, you know, an eternity. Finally we figured the details out and I (personally, without Jake) negotiated the deal on the new van. It was such a female power moment knowing that I had worked out a sweet deal and negotiated every last detail. Between Jake and I, I am definitely the more aggressive, don't-take-no-for-an-answer one. And considering that the 2 little people that I spend hours a day with never listen to me, it was a glory moment knowing that someone had listened and done what I wanted. Without a timeout. Sweet success!!

When we pulled up in the new car Rhett exclaimed that it was the car he had always wanted and he loved our new monster truck. We didn't correct him because we know to take our cool points while we can still get them.

So it a nutshell I'm smitten with this inanimate (technically sometimes animate) object. Every time we load up I have to confirm both boys are there before we hit the road, because the increase in space means I feel like I have gobs more personal space. I actually can't always hear the boys nonstop chatter. #praisethevan And the new car has turned Rhett into a gentleman and he is always sure to rush to open the sliding door for me as we approached the van in every parking lot stop. #praisethevanagain

PS. Nothing tops getting the title of suburban mom like turning the car on in the parking lot with all the doors open and have Let It Go blast from the most recent sing along.

PPS. The van is actually maroon not eggplant purple. I really wanted a black one so I could name it the "black momba" (like the black mamba...get it? Punny, I know) but it wasn't in the cards.

Welcome to the family van!    

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Monday, November 10, 2014


It's a picture heavy post so I'll keep it word light. 

We love the state park that's literally about 5 minutes from our house. Before Rad was born we engaged our inner nomad at least once a week. Then the hiking tappered of to once a month and then to a big fat zero.

But with the weather now being in the glorious 70s I am determined to fake our way into acting like we belong in a North Face commercial. 

Socks with sandal faux pas and all. 

1. Rhett nominated himself as chief commander of the hike and after thoroughly consulting the map, he promptly disregarded it and picked the trail that had a large stick in front of it.

2. Rad loved the free range running and kept trying to take the path less traveled into uncharted territory with possible harmful desert critters. Julia valiantly saved him while juggling the camera and very heavy backpack. (H2O is heavy.) 

3. Rhett was content to stay put, watch the chase, and guard the ever growing collection of sticks.

4.  Every hypothesis for how this dirt ledge was created included the use of poison snake and I'm sure the boys will be featured in National Geographic for some great discovery one day.

5. The park has a great learning center complete with gila monsters, multiple snakes, a tarantula (bleh) and lots of skulls for examining. There was a very passive aggressive rattle snake in one of the displays who's rattle went off anytime we got too close. My mom instinct was on high alert and I was really concerned about the strength of the plexi glass tank. Really that rattle sound is completely unnerving.

I'm such a pansy that even watching this gives me chills.

And wait there's more! We went again on Friday (one step closer to that North Face commercial...) with our friends Tyrell, Breckie and Everett.

6. We'd been on the trail for approximately four minutes and that was four minutes too long. 

7. This time around Rad had the misfortune, or learning opportunity depending on how you look at it, of getting to know a cactus. Thankfully, other than a little prick there was no harm, no foul.

8. Rad was not going to be left out of the obligatory hold the big sticks you found picture. Not that day. Not ever. 

9. Ignite the light and let it shine kids. 

10. Rhett took this picture of Ev which leads me to believe that I am one step closer to having my own paparazzi. Fist pump.

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Thursday, November 6, 2014

so much to say, so little time

Out of the blue:

Rhett: (sniffs me) Wow.
Julia: What?
Rhett: You smell like doughnuts and cereal.
Rhett: It's magical.

Sitting by the pile of shoes:

Rhett: There's something on my shoe.
Rhett: It smells fruit.
Rhett: It must be from an angel.
(It was chewed gum.) 

Said at least once a day:

Rhett: I have chest hair because I'm a person. (Self tattooed every time it washes off.)

Watching me clean the toilet:

Rhett: Holy cow!
Rhett: That's one fancy toilet your making!
Rhett: I never knew a toilet could be so fancy. 

Trying to teach him the name of our church:

Jake: It's the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. Can you say that?
Rhett: The Church of Jesus Christ of the Last Salmon. 
Rhett:'s no big deal dad. 

Same conversation about church stuff:

Jake: We have 12 apostles. 
Rhett: We have 12 a-possums. 
Jake: Apostles.
Rhett: A-possums.

Talking into my the baby:

Rhett: Hey you in there.
Rhett: This is Rhett.
Rhett: You better be a boy.  

After cleaning up a full box of fruit loops that was dumped on the floor and I was having a bit of a cow:

Rhett: You know what, Mom?
Julia: What?
Rhett: I think you're going to survive. 

Catching a wiff of a tell-tale sign that it might be time for a over due potty break: 

Julia: Rhett, do you need to use the bathroom?
Rhett: (matter-of-factly with a shrug) No, it's just gas.
Julia: OK.
Rhett: I'm sorry if it smells offensive.

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Tuesday, November 4, 2014

drops of edification

Two Friday's ago, we Miller's managed to get our ship together and sailing (very early in the morning no less) to the Phoenix LDS temple open house. 

It's not lost on me that it is a HUGE opportunity/blessing to have this be the second open house we've attended as a family in the past year. Jake and I try to give 100% in being good examples of righteous living to the boys...buuuttt... let's face it, it's a bit of a holy whomp whomp most days. So despite the hour and 20 minute drive (which is essentially the same as to infinity and beyond) we knew that taking the boys was one of the better parental choices we could make. 

The tour itself went really well. The boys we're cheerful little angels (bless them). When we walked into one of the rooms, the celestial room, and Rad let out an audible gasp, complete with dropped jaw and big eyes. My heart swelled a little because of the chance to be in the temple as a family.  I always enjoy going to the temple with Jake and by myself, even though we don’t seem to get there enough these days and our morning there felt extra special since we were in the temple, as a whole family.  

(Because we build our temples to be a literal house of God, only worthy members of our faith are able to attend the temple once it's been dedicated. When the boys turn 12 and if they are worthy they'll be able to enter part of the temple, but the open house is an amazing opportunity for us to be in it as a least for the next few years. So regardless of all our imperfections (but hey, show me a family that is perfect!) I feel so blessed to have such a loving family.)

When we finished with the tour and Jake went to grab the car. The plan was to have the boys get any extra energy out on the temple grounds before loading them into the car. Ha. Rhett's, (ok and my) predictable/reliable need to use the bathroom came so we went to find the facilities. Turns out the facilities were in a trailer which was fine, it was clean and smelled good. The trailer was set up on big wheels and the stairs to get in were super steep and narrow ie not kid friendly. Getting in the trailer wasn't an issue but once we were in...

- Rhett refused to lock the stall door so I had to hold it closed. 
- Rad took this as an opportunity to try and escape through the 2 different door options.
- While trying to catch escapee Rad, I accidentally let the stall door swing open leaving poor Rhett very exposed. 
- I had less than 10 seconds to use the facilities and get everyone's hands washed because a hoard of people was in line and we were holding up the line. 

I teetered down the trailer stairs in my highly inappropriate for the occasion wedges, and made the rookie mistake of helping Rad down the stairs first which meant he bolted while I helped Rhett get down. 


We're on temple grounds which meant everyone as a attitude of reverence to some extent and then there's us. Rad running away as fast as he could. Rhett's trying to catch and tackle Rad to fill his role as big helper. Julia's trying to whisper-yell, emphasis on the yell, and trying not to draw attention or break the reverent atmosphere and trip on her dang shoes. The boys were so poorly behaved that I broke out into an actual sweat while trying to wrestle them into submission. 

And then because I clearly was not solving any of the problems myself (Jake where are you...!!) the grounds security stepped in, corralled my beasts and helped me out to the parking lot. My forehead sheen was out of control my emotional state was boarder line out of control. 

Jake pulled the blessed car around and we got the heck out of dodge. 

In conclusion:

Kid's Post Temple Tour Behavior Grades

Julia: C- (slight freak out about the whereabouts of her children in a public place)
Rhett: D+ for his attempts to "help".
Rad: F...SO many F's.
(Graded on a curve because I'm in an oddly generous mood post event.)

^^^Oh and the boys were SO excited to see the Christus that they almost tackled Him with childlike love and high fives. I guess that's better than total indifference. 

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Monday, November 3, 2014

the possum and knight do Halloween

Halloween is my third favorite holiday. OK OK....what are there, really only four major holidays (?), so third place isn't really anything special. My reasoning is that clearly Halloween is not as good as Christmas or the 4th of July, but a little bit better than Thanksgiving. Thanksgiving is clearly the worst because turkey just isn't good (You disagree? Name one restaurant that serves turkey on a regular basis.) I enjoy Halloween because it’s funny. Everyone has a sense of humor on October 31st. Case in point: if you're an adult and DON'T dress up, you're the weirdo. 

Considering that Halloween is essentially a sugar Mecca and I have a sinful addiction to snack size candy, you'd think that it'd pull a higher rank. And I would totally bump Halloween up on the holiday list if the whole making the costumes thing came easier to me. 

Way back in September on the way to preschool Rhett announced that he wanted to be a possum for Halloween. My first thought wasn't "Hmmm that's a strange request." because Rhett is always pretending to be uncommon marsupials , but rather I thought "How in the big wide world can I make a possum??" 

After trying to read Rad's mind and one word sentences, I came to the conclusion that he had .0002 opinions on what he dress up as. However, I knew anything with a sword would be a big hit so we went with knight. Because I'm (not) craftay it only took a full 5 weeks to get the boys costumes assembled. A large part of that 5 weeks was spent researching possums, but either way it makes me feel justified in taking a parental tax of 40% on their candy stash. 

I'd say trick-or-treating was 65% successful. Of the 2 dozen houses we hit Rhett successfully convinced almost everyone that he was a possum and not a mouse. 

At the door:
Rhett: Trick-or-treat!!
Man at door: Oh look at the pirate (Rhett's friend) and the mouse!
Rhett: I'm not a mouse I'm a POSSUM. They like to play dead. Like this. (Demonstration.)

For some reason he was in a funk at the very beginning of trick or treating because he had it in his head that it wasn't "real trick or treating" but once the candy started dropping in the bucket he was a-ok. 

Rad's stranger danger combined with his wariness of blow up lawn decorations meant that the first 8ish houses were met with screaming and back arching. But then big brother Rhett stepped in and showed him the trick-or-treating ropes. Rad's understanding of the entire process eventually matured and he carried his bucket-o-treats to the stoop of each home, yelled hi, bye, thank you and please in whatever order pleased him. And he only tried to steal one lawn decoration, a gravestone that we caught him trying to shove into his treat bucket. Klepto.

Post trick or treating we sorted the loot and watched Hotel Transylvania. Rhett was moderately interested in eating his candy, but Rad was all about the 2 dum dums and mini crunch bar we let him eat. And clearly that was one dum dum too many because a sugar rush hit him like a ton of confectionary goodness and he was like a cat on catnip. Spinning, rolling, leg flailing, yes, yes and yes. A video of his high? Oh yes, of course we have that. 

I think documenting the boys Halloween earns me a mini Twix. :)

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