Monday, December 28, 2009

Well there isn't a lot to report this week, but I can definitely say we did not let the kids eat all the candy and cookies they wanted this weekend!

I also did not go back on my word to take back the movies that the kids found by snooping in our room before Christmas. That's right I was not a push over and let them watch one of them last night......


Sunday, December 27, 2009

Christmas cookie baking time!!

Colton loved the creative freedom of 2 piles of dough and no retraint!

Even Marc got into the action!

Proud cookie bakers!!

The finished product!
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Monday, December 21, 2009

Funny enough I don't have anything I'm not supposed to share today! But I couldn't miss the chance at the link back to MckMama's awesome blog, which is particularly funny today.

Solstice and 1st day of winter break!

The kids woke up at 7, the parents at 8. It's really grey and overcast, so there was no seeing the sun.

There is a video game going on the TV and I'm sitting on the couch with my computer, cup o' coffee, and a yummy biscuit with apple-pear butter on it. Life is good!

One of Austin's friends will be over at 11 to play, and some other friends will be by after noon to hang for a bit. I have no other plans today, except to try to get some wrapping done, perhaps work on some laundry, and I need to find room in the refrigerator for the turkey so it can thaw.
We will probably make cookies at some point today. I have a committee meeting tonight, so I also need to type up an agenda for that.

Tomorrow we will be cleaning the carpets and getting the house ready for friends on Christmas Eve. More wrapping gifts, and probably a trip out to the store for stocking stuffers. It feels weird to have all my shopping done, and all my gifts mailed out! I am usually one of those who is rushing about the few days before Christmas trying to get it all in order.

I'm thinking ahead to some of the things I have planned for the next 2 weeks. Some of crafts, a few outings, and lots of playtime. Hopefully the kids will be able to get out to some friends' houses for play dates next week, so Marc and I can get some projects done around the house without having to play referee. There are a lot of little things that need to be done. And with the New Year looming I feel the need to clean, clear, cleanse, and clarify our lives.
To that end I want to bless my house again. I think it may help clear the mental clutter I feel from day to day. So out with the old in with the new, or in with nothing new materially and an abundance of new mentally. That's the hope anyway!

I hope everyone has an enjoyable holiday season, takes the time to look around and be thankful for the people in their lives that bring them joy, lets go of those that don't, and starts this new year with hope and light.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Food Gifts!

More from our Christmas goings on!

(if you're reading this on Facebook, go here to see the pictures!)

Teacher's Gifts!

Homemade Apple-Pear Butter
w/ Buttermilk Biscuit Mix

Wrapped up in a Tin, w/ a Tea Towel
all in a pretty bowl.

Hot Cocoa Mix for Marc's Boss
and a good friend.

Wrapped up with mini marshmallows
and Candy Canes.

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Monday, December 14, 2009

I did not bribe my kids with homemade cookies for their cooperation during our "do-it-ourselves" family photo shoot yesterday!

I also did not allow them each to have a cookie after breakfast this morning because I was soooo thrilled with how well the pictures turned out!

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Not Quite the 25 Days of Christmas .....

So I got a late start (big surprise) on our December activities, but I am making an extra effort to do some very special things this holiday season with the kids. So here are some of the things we've done so far:

Christmas Tree Decorating....

Funny Talking Hand Puppet Show:

Cupcake Decorating:

Coffee Filter Snowflakes:

And watched Charlie Brown Christmas together!

I've got a lot more planned for the month ahead including lots of baking/candy making, trips to go see the lights around the metro area, some charitable giving, and of course decorating our Yule log!

*for those reading this on Facebook, follow the link to the original post to see the pictures or go look in my December 2009 album!

Thursday, December 03, 2009

Lj posts continued...

Quick Kid Update

January 9,2006

Austin is hysterical. He asked about 20 questions in the span of two minutes when we told him we were moving. The first one was "back to Texas?" LOL, poor kiddo. I think he misses it just as much as we do. The next 15 centered around making sure all of his toys and our stuff would be going with us. Then he wanted to know how we would move it all since clearly our van is not big enough to fit our sofa inside! LOL, he kills me! Then he wanted to know if Lily would be moving too. Hehe! I think he is getting annoyed with her crabbiness too.

Speaking of Lily, she is now 19 lbx and very long. She has a head full of rich brown hair that has tinges of red and gold in it. Her eyes are still somewhere between green and brown, and she has two sweet little teeth on the bottom front. I am pretty sure her surly attitude is due to the top teeth working their way out, but with her one just can't be sure. She is trying to crawl, and has the rolling, scooting, commando style movement down. She would, however, prefer to pullup on furniture and walk her way around the room, or have you hold her hands and walk her through the house. She loves her brothers and finds them vastly amusing, but I swear if we aren't careful they will be the death of her! Today Colton dropped a metal truck about the size of a pack of cigarettes on her head. She has a bruise the size of a dime right in the middle of her forhead. Then latter this afternoon Austin was trying to sit her up and she reared back and smacked her cheek on the leg of the coffee table. Poor kid. This is when a parent starts to contemplate buying a helmet for the baby!

Colton is doing well. He is completely potty trained. He took to it so beautifully, and after all the struggles we had with Austin, I am thrilled. He has had a few accidents, but is even wearing underwear all night long and staying dry. I can't complain. I am not sure how the move with go for him. He really only remembers living in this apartment, and all the confusion could be hard for him. I am trying to thing of some ideas of special activities he can do while I am packing. Right now it seems like he really needs a lot of attention and playtime with mommy and daddy and over the next few weeks it is going to be hard to balance it all.
More from LJ

Twas the Night Before Christmas 2005

And we hope this finds you happy to be alive!
The Millers are writing this letter with care,
in hopes that Christmas joy soon will be there!

The children are healthy and happy as can be,
having added to their number now totaling 3.
and we bet you are all wondering how this came to be.

Nichol and Marc had settled down,
In the Pacific Northwest outside Portland town,
when fate would have it their family was too small,
and a little surprise would be given to all.

The joy of parenting two is for sure,
But what will come of adding one more?

Much to their happiness, surprise, and dismay,
a new baby would be coming and would arrive in late May.
At an ultrasound with Deni, papa and brothers present,
we new it was a girl in a quick instant!

More rapid that eagles Nichol’s belly grew,
and she wished and wished for the day she was due.

The boys were excited.
A Sister they exclaimed!
Then Austin and Colton suggested some names:
Now Rain, Now Dora, now Nemo, or Coral!
On summer, On spring, on winter and fall

From the front of list,
to the back of the book,
they liked them all!
What to choose?
What to call her?
Should we draw straws?

Like the days of summer when they fly by,
soon it was time for the baby to arrive.
So off to the birth center on May 27th we flew,
with Marc, and Austin, and Colton too!

Then in not quite a twinkling we heard with a sigh,
at 9:01pm a newborn’s cry
As Austin cut the cord amidst the midwives watchful eyes,
Colton looked on and proud parents cried.

She was perfect! Complete! From head to foot,
with the darkest of hair, the color of soot.
Born under water she was quiet and alert
and looked so wise when she opened her eyes.

Ah! Her eyes how they twinkled!
Her dimples, not many,
her checks were indeed like roses,
and her nose like a cherry.
Her sweet little mouth was tiny and wide
as she took a deep breath and let loose with a cry.

She had a sweet face and a round little belly,
ten fingers and toes we counted all twenty!
She was tiny and small, a wee little bit,
and her name was to be Lillian Elizabeth

At 7lbs ½ oz. and 20 inches long
She entered the world a voice like a song.
But in the beginning all was not right
And Lily was in the NICU for 4 nights.

Her parents were worried, her brothers confused,
yet in the end it was great news.
She was healthy and strong ready to go,
so we bundled her up and headed for home.

Our lives have changed much in the last 6 months,
and here is a run down of the most important stuff.

Marc is doing well at his job with KLA
He gets better and learns more with every day.
His boss was so happy with his devotion,
that this year brought a raise and promotion!

As a family this summer we looked for more
and sought adventure in the great outdoors!
With the Crokers we went camping on the shore.
It was so fun we wanted some more.

So up to the Cascade Mountains we did go,
with a tent, sleeping bags, and all three kids in tow.

The fall brought Austin to his first day of school.
He is learning fast and getting better at following rules.
He can spell and write his name just fine,
is learning Spanish and how to cut on a line.

Colton is enjoying the time with his mom
that he gets during the morning while brother is gone.
We play games, color, and play with play dough
and the boys are getting a long better than we could hope.

It’s amazing how fast a year can fly!
Especially while raising three kids under five!
But we relish the joy that they bring,
and while our hands are full,
that’s better than empty any day!

Now I hope you enjoyed my attempt at verse.
I’m sure you’ve read better,
and I hope you’ve read worse!
My aim was to bring a smile and a laugh,
while giving you an overview of the year past.

And now that I am done we wish you blessings so bright!
Merry Christmas to all and to all a Good Night!

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

More from Live Journal.....

Random thoughts of motherhood

September 15th, 2005

It is amazing what looking back through pictures can do to you. I went onto my shutterfly account looking for a picture of our tandem stroller since we were selling it to someone and spend nearly an hour looking at pictures of the boys, especially Austin, when they were babies.

It is hard to believe how quickly they grow up and away. I have been striving to spend a little one on one time each day with both of them. I feel like over the last year of pregnancy and newborn adjustment I have lost track of who they are. Austin has grown into such a strong independent little guy that I all to often forget how young he really is. I ask too much of him. I need to let him be little.

Colton is so exuberant and playful. His imagination is fun to watch. He adores his big brother and follows his every move. Points that both amuse and annoy. To night at dinner Marc was trying in vain to get Colton to take a bite of his sloppy-joe, when Austin says to him "go ahead Colty it is really tasty!" and Colton smiles at Austin and says "Ok Brother!". Marc and I just shook our heads in disbelief. The power of the big brother!

I don't remember much of Colton's babyness. I wonder why it isn't in my head. I keep thinking that I missed out. All the stress of Marc's job then, the lack of ability to deal, the postpartum hell. All of it was so much in my head that I forgot to enjoy my baby. That is sad. I am trying like hell to enjoy him now. I don't want to forget what he is like. I don't want to miss that.

I need to journal more. I need to write down all of the cute and annoying things that they do. I need to document it. So when they ask me "mommy what was I like as a child" I have so much to tell them they are able to relive it.

I am trying to savor Lily. To sip her gently like a hot perfectly brewed cup of Earl Grey. I want to examine her from nose to toes every day and note each subtle little change that occurs in my mind so I don't loose it later. I am 99% sure I won't have another child of my own. I hated most of my pregnancy with Lily, but I miss some things. I miss the knowlege of a being that is only mine. The movements, the heartbeat, the visions of what she will be like. I am already forgetting what that felt like. I miss the anticipation of labor and the strength of my body to birth a child. I feel so tired and weak now compared to how I felt then.

To be pregnant, even when you are sick with it, is to be fully alive and an active participant in the cycle of life. It is an amazing thing.

Now as I nurse Lily and wonder what it will be like in the years that follow when that connection with her is gone, I am reminded to cherish each moment she spends in my arms. I think back to what it was like to nurse the boys. To have them both in my arms being comforted by both my body and each other. It was a moment in time I never want to forget. It is hard to believe that less than a year ago Colton was still nursing. He weaned so easily when my body just couldn't handle the stress of pregnancy and breastfeeding. He was so gracious and caring.

Even now he is concerned about how I feel. He will come up pat my leg or arm and ask "mommy does that feel better?" When I am sad, down, hurting, sore, ill, or just out of sorts, he will notice and light up my world with his spectacular smile and run to give me the best of hugs.

Austin's intelligence and love of learning at such a young age is a wonder to me. I love to watch him discover his world and beg for more. It is gratifying to know that he truly wants more. I only wish I could give him the opportunity to go to school right now. But, there is a part of me that is secretly glad we can't afford it right now. I am not sure I am ready to share him yet. I want to keep those special "ah-ha" moments to myself right now.

I am so blessed. No matter what the fianances say, I am rich beyond measure. Each moment that brings new worry into my life my children are able to help me brush it off and say to myself "this too shall pass". And focus on what is really really important. Being a mother.
Just spend the last hour reading my old LiveJournal posts. It was started when we still lived in TX, and just before we moved up here to Portland.

I am so glad I recorded my thoughts. So much of what we went through, so many little joys, so many moments of sadness. All there for when my memory becomes dull. I enjoyed this trip down memory lane and I thought you guys might too, so the next few blog posts will actually be reposts from my Live Journal.

Here are a couple of my favorites:

life in the Miller Zoo

October 6th, 2004

Well today was your typical day in a monkey cage.

Except the monkeys are named Austin and Colton. I swear children must be preprogramed with a scream that is created for the sole purpose of driving their mothers insane. Fighting, pushing, crying, whining, and general chaos. ALL DAY. ARGH! And I am having another. I think I really am insane. Austin just doesn't get the idea of leaving his brother alone. And Colton goes up and whacks Austin for no apparent reason. I think it's payback for something Ausitn did and Colton just waits for the "right moment" to attack LOL.

It is days like today when I force myself to find the cute and the funny in my kids. One thing about Austin is that he is really helpful. Even though his helpfulness caused him to pull his little brother out of his high chair into a heap on the floor! I heard the scream and came running out of the bathroom (hence the reason Colton wasn't out of the chair yet) to see Colton on top of Austin crying his eyes out, and Austin crying louder!

Colton is sweet. He will come running to kiss you if you hurt yourself, and will try to comfort Austin if he is crying. He is also starting that wonderful independent streak that starts around 18 months! His favorite word is "no", which he usually is screaming at the top of his lungs at his brother. He likes to eat still, but is starting to be a little more picky (sigh) about what he will and won't eat.

At least I have a smart husband who made me take the heathens for a walk to the park when he got home today. The walk was fun and I got over my general irritation with them. On the way we saw two slugs **EeWWW***!!! that were very facinating to Austin and totally grossed me out. When we got there we met a little boy who was wearing the exact same shoes as Austin. Needless to say they were instant friends! I just hope we see him again next time we go. He and his sister were there with their nanny, and she said that they are usually there midweek at that time.

On the way back Austin got all worried about it raining on us, since the sun had gone behind some clouds, and I had chosen to leave the umbrellas at home. He is going to have to get over that! Getting rained on is part of life up here, or so I am told.

One good thing is that he is no longer worried about Mt. St. Helens. He understands that she is just "letting off steam" and we are safe. I am proud of my quick thinking and creative parenting on this one! I used my tea kettle to explain to him what was happening! Smart mama am I *grin*.

I have appointment number 2 with a 2nd midwife tomorrow. The first one went well and if I have to have another hospital birth I will go with that person. If however I can get our insurance to pick it up I really want to have this one at home. We shall see.

Ok off to bed to rest for tomorrow's events!

April, 21 2005
Lets see I am 34 wks 1 d if you go by the ultrasound. I measured just shy of 35 cm at my appointment on the 19th, and I have been so consistently measuring a week ahead it is hard for me to think I might actually go to my EDD. I hope not.
I am still a little worried about what to do with the boys when I go into labor. If it is during the day I think they will be ok at the birthcenter and my MW's assistant even said as long as I am not crowning she can help keep them entertained. And they just got a DVD player and said that we can bring movies for them to watch as well. If it is in the middle of the night I am worried about it. They may not go back to sleep once we get there, and I really feel like I need DH by my side as much as possible. I am really hoping labor and delivery will happen while my inlaws are here, but just in case got the number for the volunteer/student doula coordinator at Birthingway Midwifery College, so I can get set up to have a student doula for free. They can come in the middle of the night to the center and either be with me if DH is needed for the boys or be with the boys.
I am enjoying the movements and playing with little girl as she poke her feet out of my sides. She is so big already! Her feet are in my ribs and her head is definitely down on my cervix. She is also anterior with her back on my left side. Although she tends to spin around on her head like a top during the day.
The heartburn isn't nearly as bad now that I am taking papaya enzymes after each meal, and liquid calcium/magnesium every night before bed. I also switched prenatals to the RainbowLight brand and they are awesome! I have more energy and I don't burp them like other vits.
Ok off to go fold laundry again!

37 weeks and counting. . . . .

May 12th 2005

Well I can officially have the baby any day now and she will be ok. MW's were worried about my weight gain at my May 5th appointment as I had lost about 1/4 of a pound, but on the 10th I had gained 2 lbs so all is well.
I am anxious for her to arrive, and starting to get restless. I don't sleep so much as snooze off and on all night long. Due to my need to pee every hour and the contrax every 20mins! I hope things get going within the next week or so. My FIL will be here on the 20th so after that would be a good time so that the boys can be with Grandpa.

The boys are awesome even if they annoy me most of the time. I am thinking it is the pregnancy not the kids LOL. I was in such a foul mood yesturday that Marc kicked me out of the house right after dinner and told me not to come home until 10. So, I went to my knitting group, and then to Barnes and Noble. I felt a lot better when I got home!

Here's hoping today is a good day! We are supposed to have nice weather so I think I am going to pack up the boys and my kntting and head to the park.

MORE to come!!!!