Monday, August 31, 2015

a modern take on polka dots: a dresser reveal

As Rad would say "Wook!"

And as Rhett would tell you "Don't touch it!"

Check it. A new refinishing project.  

Sporadic is my middle name with refinishing. But with Rhett in kindergarten and Beck and Rad gifting me the glory of an overlapping nap if the afternoon, I have a little extra time a few days a week for projects. :)

I failed miserably at getting a before photo but it was a Pepto Bismol pink beauty complete with 1960 flower decals. All the thumbs up emojis for that.

But now! Now it's a crisp bright white beauty with a modern twist on traditional polka dots.  

Details? Say please. ;)

White paint: Sherwin Williams Pure White
Mint: Americana Acrylic paint in Sweet Mint
Glass blown knobs: Hobby Lobby
Wood decals: Hobby Lobby

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Friday, August 28, 2015

the good stuff

I know what you're thinking with that post title. A narrative about Oreo cream filling.

Winks. ;)

(Mentioning Oreos makes me go back to this yesteryear picture of Rad and an Oreo. Nom nom nom...nasty.)


Where am I going with this intro you can file under miscellaneous?

A conundrum for the masses I'm sure.

Lemme tell ya.

Diatribe time.

I always go back and forth and back again about how honest (or I believe the buzz word these days might be, "authentic") I want to be on the blog (or "this space" as some might say). I should probably rein it in but I'd hate to give you a watered down version of the fun around here. But! I have this fear that whenever the boys manage to learn to read and coordinate their phalanges enough to find this space...these boys that I love will only see that were very skilled at finding my last nerve standing and having a stomping contest all over it.

Which more often or not it true...but there is a lot, no, so much good that I want to pen a little post to that idea.

 - The other day Rhett spontaneously hugged me and declared "You (meaning me) are the greatest woman I've ever loved."

- Rad started play-school. Twice a week in the mornings. I should (of course) dedicate an entire post to this but here's a teaser...he loves it. I was talking about how great it was for him the other day when Jake interrupted to say that the person it was really great for was...Julia. And it's true - I can't deny that. And as much as I love dropping him off, I actually do love picking him up and ask him the cliche "What did you do today?" he actually responds (unlike grunting Rhett) with gems like "I eat popcorn!" "Pway toys!" "I fight!" < this one...we're working on the "hugs not thugs" way of childhood.

- Beck has started lifting his head during tummy time. He knows as the third in line to the throne he's got to keep up and he is pulling out all the stops. Next to grocery cart might be my favorite milestone. I love seeing that noggin bobbling up to greet the great and spacious rug.

- I sing to Rhett every night. If it seems out of character for me, it is. But I do. He sleeps on the top bunk (Rad has decided to shake up the ol' bedtime routine and go back to his beloved crib) and the ritual consists of standing by his pillow, hold his hand and watch him close his eyes. There is nothing both simultaneously sweeter and of higher creeper status then watching your child sleep. Last week, his eyes opened abruptly (creep factor X 100) and mumbled "When you sing to me I want to cry...because I'm so happy." Kid is killing it with the sweet talk lately.

- Rad requires very very little sleep lately and it mostly drives me a little bit crazy but he loves nothing more than to stay up late with Jake and I after Rhett and Beck have gone down. If he's in his crib he calls out "Honey...come down?" "Mama, snuggle?" If he's in his bed, we hear him galloping down the hall and like clockwork we see his head pop around the corner into our room. He gives us his best smirk, our hearts melt and then he climbs into our bed.  He's so happy to just puppy dog around and say 3-4 word phrases that I do not understand but pretend that I do. He's going through the "most exasperating but most endearing" child phase - also known as, "being two years old."

- Beck's standard for quality entertainment is pretty manifested by his love to sit in his bumbo and watch his brothers run back and forth in front of him. He giggles like a 5 month old every time and not much makes me happier then when the fellas aren't feuding.

^^^ I don't know where this body language ranks of the stages of sibling acceptance scale, but I imagine it's somewhere between "The Sniff Test" and "Diabolical Planning." Either way, it's my new favorite picture. Tears rolling every. time. I. see. it.    

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Tuesday, August 25, 2015

currently, conversations & confessions

Chugging right along here. Lest I forget the lifestyles of the rich and famous day to day scenarios we have the enjoyment of having...I'll pound it out here...annoying mom style. Toe touch.

The creative title of this post gives you the general direction of the post so let's start with currently.

Sinful, sinful weather.

My threshold for caring if complaining about the interminable heatwave is boring, annoying, cliche, annoying, eye rolly, or old news is at a big fat zero because this is beyond depressing.

I'm going to take a wild guess that Mother Nature must've never been cooped up in a cabin with a Rhett and a Rad because if she had she never ever would've punished us earth dwellers with a little bit of hell blazing in the backyard.

I've mentioned before that Rhett especially needs to get outside or he starts to go a little crazy (like most 5-year-old boys, I'd imagine) and projects his crazy onto everyone else, ahem Rad, and by 10:12 in the AM...welcome to the nuthouse.

Thankfully by 10:12 in the AM we are only 20 minutes out from leaving for kindergarten so Rhett can be with his people for the afternoon. But that leaves me, Beck and Rad to entertain ourselves.

The splash pad is an oasis for one of the musketeers.  For the one know as mom, she's a trooper and grinned and bore it while poor Beck was boiling in his own sweat. I think we lasted 34 minutes of periodically drenching Beck's head to keep his him cool and risking a meltdown by popping his feet in the fountains.

These were taken presplash pad...the gold old days for Beck's 3 minute memory span.

There is exactly 1 indoor play place near our house, and the parks aren't tiny human friendly when the sun is out, so we go to that one special place often. Very often. Rad has a little pre-waffle fry consuming ritual...he first ceremoniously counts them, then tenderly sings to them and lines them up. Mess with the ritual, mess with danger. You've been warned.

The land of the luxuriously large carts. Ahhh. 

With the heat, I've been stretching my errands out to have somewhere to go daily to at least get us out of the house. And I must say I make errand running pretty fun. Letting Rad push the Constatoga (Oregon Trail reference anyone?) is a favorite treat of his and that fancy head piece he's wearing....two produce bags knotted together to make a Ninja warrior headband to accompany his ninja kicks and sound effects. He requests one anytime there's produce in the vicinity.  

PS: One of Rad's hidden talents is sneaking things into the cart without my knowledge. He goes into stealth mode and takes full advantage of my OCD with getting everything onto the conveyor belt at checkout so that it all goes into the bag of the correct category (too much? never.) and quickly loads his secret loot between organizing sprees. Not this shopping trip but another...two cactus shaped shot glasses made their way to our home. They were returned. 

Badabing bada-big-baby. Rad found a head larger than his nogin. Cherish it he did. Sing to it...he also did.

Rhett comes home from kindergarten and of course we manage to fit in some real creative play...

^^^ He's an engineer. 

^^^Taking a selfie + a breather before we begin our sight word learning, homework doing, 15 minutes of reading time Ironman also known as kindergarten homework.

^^^ Rhett asked if we should make ducks faces to go along with our selfie celly shot. We did and you're welcome.

^^^ But let's talk about Beck and how at least he can say he comes by his resting grump face honestly because...Apple, meet your mother, Tree. 

We had promised the kids a "picnic party" (aka just a picnic to non-Miller children) once we got to the park the weather wasn't cooperating (see above) so we hit up the finest dining establishment with an indoor playground that we could find. (also...see above.)

^^^ Rad = straw ninja.

Part two: Conversations

On one bizarre night that I made a full blown meal and Jake was home:

Julia: Rhett please go upstairs and tell Dad dinner is ready.
Rhett: (not moving) JAKE!!!!!! Come get your food.

Losing our reign of power:

Rad: Dad!
Rad: Go room!
Rad: Now.


Rhett: (fake laughing) oh, RAD! Are you kidding me?!
Rhett: (still fake laughing) Are you? Are you kidding me, Rad?!
Rhett: (more fake laughing) Rad! Are you KIDDING ME?!
Rad: No!
Rhett: (done laughing) Okay.

And lastly confessions:

The mail? I love checking the mail. I'll check it eight seconds after the mailman has walked off the premises.

We have a nice community of mailboxes around the corner of our home for all the houses on our street and I always feel like I accomplish something mondo when I escape to get it. A brief power walk? Check. Fresh air for the baby? Check. (Beck's the only one I'm willing to share this particular ritual with. #favorite) Time for some deep, introspective thoughts? Check.

Beck and I starred our stroll and my deep thoughts wandered on to matters of children's clothing storage were abruptly interrupted by our very friendly hispanic neighbor who was also checking his mailbox as we were.

The pleasantries went as follows:

Neighbor: Holla!
Me: Ah! (Soooo lost in my thoughts and sooo very easily startled = bad combo)
Neighbor: Looks ever so slightly confused
Me: Oh!
Me: Yolo!!

Yolo? YOlo? Dude.

It doesn't even rhyme with holla.

Shame. So much shame. And to make it worse I just power walked away leaving it at that.

So in the off chance you're reading this neighbor of mine, my sincerest apologies.

I would judge me too.

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Wednesday, August 19, 2015

the talent show

Jake once told me that I can affectionately humiliate him in public, once a year. Would you believe that I actually almost never over the past 6 years have taken advantage of that? Well believe it because it's on the web now. (And because it's true. ;))

And he is always the nicer spouse of us two. Always. So when he dropped a tiny, almost under his breath hint that our ward (congregation) had a talent show coming up I think he knew our family's participation was a done deal. Cashing that affectionate humiliation card over here, stat.

Jake gave me a few guidelines (absolutely no way jose to costumes and singing) and then left the details to me. Sweet, trusting husband.

So our "talent" (sooo incredibly loosely used right there. In fact let's add a few more quotation marks to """talent""") was a dancecapade to Shut Up and Dance by Walk the Moon with some cardboard guitar solos from the boys.

And here's the proof.

I could be ashamed, but my amusement > shame, so that's a win. For someone. Somewhere.

(the video is also behind door number 2)

And yes that is indeed Jake on stage who was great and smiled the whole time while he danced -- man's got talent.

This is one of those things we did in the name of family, and despite Rhett's new trick of rolling his unimpressed eyes in our direction during our 78th rehearsal of the hour leading up to the grand performance, we had a fun time. As manifested in Rad's exuberant stage presence and refusal to leave said stage.

Ignite your light and let it shine boys.

Let it shine. ;)

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Monday, August 17, 2015


Where's my denture glue and my orthotic walking shoes and my little black book of clich├ęs? How do we have a five-year-old? Well, we do. And I'll spare you the old, "time flies ... I can't believe it" essay but it does and I can't. Five years of letting him play guinea pig as we fumble around the parenting sphere and try to figure everything all out while making zero mistakes. ;)

He pretty much outshines all of us in all important arenas of la vida including but not limited to: dancing, meticulous animal knowledge, cool tricks, brotherly wrestling, Asian documentary watching (Power Rangers), hug giving, confidence having, being kind to others and making friends with anything with a heartbeat.

What else can I gush about? Maybe 5 big accomplishments of Rhett's 4th year?

1. He started gymnastics/tumbling. He's always been athletic (read: bounces of walls) so tumbling seemed like a great fit. And so far it has been.

2. He loves to bear his testimony every first Sunday on the month. He still likes us to come up with him, but he comes up with what he says on his own. He really has a sweet spirit and love for Christ.

3. He has fully embraced his role as big brother with Beck's arrival. I don't know how birth order is assigned but Rhett was made to be a big brother. He dotes on Beck, helps bathe him, change his diaper (ie take his diaper off and walk away leaving Beck to his own bodily function devices), sings to him and makes him smile so big. (Really, watch this...Beck's face. Totes adorbs.) Rhett lets Rad be his shadow, always gives him a hug and kiss when he gets out of the van at Kindergarten drop off, and has been the biggest influence in helping Rad increase his vocabulary. At the kitchen table the other day I overheard Rhett sounding out "eraser" and Rad parroting him.

4. If every food came in the form of a french fry or if french fries were ultra fortified then Rhett would be set for life. Rhett has a rather high anxiety when it comes to trying new food and this year we have been working on just taking one bite of new options. It might seem small and silly but he has come so far with his eating habits.

5. And lastly, one of the most important life decisions, "who should you marry?" Rhett has already check off his list. He's firmly declared that this lovely lady is his future bride. Miss. Becky G. She sings this song which is Rhett's jam. As the future MIL I am very very excited about this. Very.  

And before we move onto the par-tay portion of the post, a little video tribute like we like to do. This time around we decided to do a montage of home video of Rhett's many moons.

(No one is even kind of expected to view except for the grands and great grands... )

(Click here if the clip above is dumb and malfunctiony)

On to the fiesta.

Birthday parties are not my forte and I have mad admiration for moms/dads/anyones that can throw down in the kid birthday department because...I am lacking. I honestly can't figure out how to decorate/feed/entertainment coordinate/photograph the whole sheebang on my own so as to quote Rhett's preschool teacher "You get what you get and you don't throw a fit."

Per request we hosted a Darth Vader Water Party.

^^^Invitation by Jake's mad skill set.


Well, fine.

Just don't all pin it at once.

^^^In case it's not clear, this is Han Solo frozen in Carbonite. (Not to be confused with kryptonite...ahem...Julia...)

He had a great day (I think...he didn't say otherwise and he asked if it could please be his birthday the next day too) and I know you're wanting a better glimpse into the appearance of Darth Vader.


If you think this was only a highlight for the 5 year old crowd, think again. Jake was in his fatherhood element and I'm super grateful he stepped in and it wasn't me. (I can hear your chortles through my screen at the mere thought.)

High fives to you Rhett...we sure do love you. :)

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