Mama Miller Parenting

Passionate parenting and homemaking.

Wordless Wednesday- LOTR Style

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We decided to take advantage of National Cheesecake Day yesterday! Half priced cheesecake at the Cheesecake Factory.

This pleased E greatly. K was temporarily grumpy about the lack of crayons. Everyone knows kids’ menus should have mazes and not lamination. I was forced to lean over and whisper sweet nothings to him…

Mommy is hungry, this place is packed, and we are not going somewhere else so you can color. Sit up straight, stop whining, and I’ll let you play Angry Birds until the bread gets here.

Yep, I bribed my kid with Angry Birds…

We did find someone unexpected at The Cheesecake Factory:

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Sauron has his Eye on you...

My friend Mikel said it well, “One does not simply stop craving Oreo cheesecake.”

His wife is a lovely photographer. You can check out her work here.

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2 Comments »

What the Twit?

My tech support/editor/octopus.

My tech support/editor/octopus.

Inspired by a fellow blogger who makes me smile (How to Ruin a Toddler’s Day), I have decided to take the next step into the wide, scary world of blogging. I created a Twitter account for Mama Miller Parenting and a Facebook page! There are even nifty little widgets to the right of the screen.

E tried to aid my endeavor by using her octopus arms to reach around the laptop and furiously press buttons. It took a while… I am not as up to date and tech savvy as I once thought.

Please consider finding me on both! Once I get the hang of this and my octopus child editor is asleep, I plan on doing some shout outs to my favorite bloggers with pages. Thanks again!

4 Comments »

Sibling Love

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My sweet husband and I have a serious disadvantage in this whole parenting thing…

You see, he was an only child and, while I am one of five, my closest siblings are five years older and eight years younger than me respectively.

We knew we wanted children (as in plural) and wanted them to be closer in age, but neither of us had a clue as to what having close siblings would be like. K and E are 2 years and three months apart. So far we have concluded that having a close sibling means lots of tears over wanting the same toy at the same time.

K leaves a toy out and E picks it up. K throws a minor hissy fit and tries to swipe it back. E full on tackles K and proceeds to kiss/lick/bite him until she gets it back. We separate them and tell E ‘no biting’ for the five thousandth time. And we tell K that if he leaves a toy out instead of putting back in his room he has to share for the twelve thousandth time.

Every day. Many times a day.

Occasionally K gets his feelings hurt by things his sister has said…

E: Ha ha *gibberish* ball mouse bubba.
K: Sister said I’m a pink princess instead of a Jedi! *loud fake crying*

He must be fluent in toddlerese.

They do fight everyday (multiple times a day), but they also love each other deeply…

Last night sister was trying to step on terrorize brother. He was actually the innocent party this time. He had been quietly playing his game and she wanted to use him as a trampoline. Most people, especially 4 year olds, don’t appreciate feet on their faces.

I let K go back to the play room to watch a movie in peace and made E stay with me. She was not happy with this at all. I called Nonna and she proceeded to tattle on me to my mom.

E: Mama mean. Want bubba! My bubba!
Nonna: Really? Mama did that?
E: Uh huh… *sniffle* bubba…

I finally got her calmed down. After about 20 minutes of separation, K came back in the living room.

K: Mom, I think sister can play nice now.

He took her little hand and they went back to the play room together. I waited for yelling, but there was none. I did the stealthy mom and spied on them from the window between the kitchen and play room. They were sitting on their bean bag chairs next to each other, sharing a blanket, and watching Mulan.

My mommy heart melted.

They continued to play and watch the movie peacefully for well over an hour. It’s was past their bedtimes, but I just didn’t have the heart to break it up.

I have no doubt that in a couple of years, when Baby F is a toddler, I will be breaking up epic three way sibling smack downs- but I’ll also get to play mommy ninja and spy them loving each other.

Some Most days are tiring. Fights. Demands from small dictators. Acts of tiny terrorism. But, you have to keep looking for those special moments. They’re there. You may just be too busy catching your breath to notice.

24 Comments »

Liebster Award

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I am honored to have my first blogger award! I was skeptical of blogging awards when I first started, but I’ve found them to be a fun way to introduce people to exciting new blogs. It is an opportunity to pay it forward to other bloggers and give their words wings. Thank you so much Winding Road for the nomination!

You answer 11 questions from the blogger who nominated you:

1. What book are you currently reading? Any good?

Currently the only books I am reading are Star Wars ABCs and Goodnight Moon… every day. Several time a day. There are only so many times you can care that C is for C3PO. I did just finish the Beautiful Creatures series and it was pretty good. 🙂

2. What is your favorite chore? Obviously none are fun, but there is always one that gives great satisfaction.

Washing cloth diapers is a good one. I throw them in, lay them out to dry, and *tada!* I have instantly clean, usable diapers without venturing into the dreaded Walmart. Vacuuming is nice too. It means I have moved enough toys to see the floor again.

3. What song would be the soundtrack to your life?

Pressing On by Relient K. I feel like it sums up life well. You just have to keep moving on.

4. What is the first thing you do after you put your child(ren) to bed at night?

Breathe a deep sigh of relief and sit in the quiet for a few minutes. Sometimes it is followed by straightening the house. Sometimes it is followed by ice cream… because I’m pregnant and I can.

5. What is your sign and do you think it fits you?

I am a Cancer. It does fit me for the most part. I’m not crazy big on astrology though.

6. What is your favorite ice cream flavor?

Ha! Um, currently I have salted caramel in my freezer, but my all time favorite ice cream is the cake batter ice cream from Coldstone Creamery. It is the best ever. I just really like ice cream this pregnancy, and since I have been loosing weight instead of gaining, I don’t feel bad about indulging that craving.

7. Have you ever regifted a present and what was it?

Sadly, yes. I am super sensitive to most dyes and perfumes in lotions and body washes. So I tend to hoard gifted girly things to stick into gift baskets or as stocking stuffer fillers.

8. Can you hula hoop?

Ha ha ha… No. I’m almost 8 months pregnant and a “fluffy” mom. I could probably balance a kid sized hula hoop on my baby bump mountain…

9. Describe your last dream.

I had a dream the other day that my “Flash” (as in the super hero) t-shirt was converted into a nursing top. It made me laugh… and kind of wish that were possible. I think my body is gearing up for nursing.

10. What was your favorite thing to play as a kid?

I loved taking little bits of cloth, strings, and other random things and making them into doll clothes. Not sewing, just strategic tying and tucking. My love of ghetto rigging/MacGuyver-ing started early.

11. Have you ever milked a cow?

I have not, but I did bottle feed a calf at my grandparents’ farm.

11 Random facts about myself.

1. At one point I wanted to go into forensics… but you kind of need to be good at math and science-y things. I was ok at those, but not enough to want to take all the extra math courses. I ended up with a degree in Social Work and a minor in Criminal Justice.

2. My husband and I started dating two weeks into college and have been together ever since. It has been 10 years this August.

3. My best friend’s little girl shares a birthday with my E. So we have birthday buddies that are exactly one year apart.

4. I like reading young adult fiction/fantasy. (Harry Potter, Artemis Fowl, Percy Jackson, etc.)

5. Because of K, I have to pretend to be one or more character from Star Wars at least 5 times a day.

6. My first car was soccer mom station wagon. I was, in fact, the only kid at my school with a station wagon. Said station wagon got tagged “Shaggin’ Wagon” almost weekly. There was no “shaggin” going on the soccer mom wagon.

7. I am a band nerd for life. I started playing clarinet in the 6th grade and continued through college. Many of my closest friends and best memories come from band life. I am also an Alumni of Tau Beta Sigma (band sorority).

8. I live in black yoga pants or capris when I’m at home.

9. I like true crime shows. My husband often asks if we can watch something ‘happy’ instead.

10. I live in Texas, but I’ve never been to Mexico. I have, however, been to Canada twice.

11. When listing medical history, I get to put “ulna reduction” under my surgeries list. I broke my wrist as a child and it stunted the growth of my radius. I later had a piece taken out of my ulna to make my wrist and hand sit evenly.

11 Nominees for the Award: Some of my favorites, some close friends, and some newer ones I find interesting.

1. Fort Worth Belle
2. Motherhood is an Art
3. Mom Times 4
4. Atlanta Mom of Three
5. The Sadder but Wiser Girl
6. Shephardology
7. Raising 5 Kids with Disabilities and Staying Sane
8. littlepoppits
9. Live and Learn
10. A Homeschool Mom
11. generation(n)

11 Questions for My Nominees

1. What has been your favorite pet ever?

2. If you could sit down for coffee with one author (dead or alive) who would it be? (Why?)

3. What is your favorite guilty pleasure?

4. Where is the coolest place you’ve ever been?

5. If you had to make a mission statement for your life, what would it be?

6. Favorite pizza toppings?

7. What is your oddest talent?

8. How did you get into blogging?

9. Would you rather sky dive or eat a roach?

10. If you could “play God” and make a new creature, what would it be?

11. What is the top rule in your house?

Those of you I tagged now get to answer my questions, list your 11 random things, nominate 11 blogs, and make them questions! Don’t forget to put the picture a the the top! I’m excited to read your responses.

11 Comments »

My grandson, Llama.

We are having a slightly sickly/allergy stay home sort of day. I don’t have much of a voice, and no one got enough sleep last night. I was given a blogger award today and I plan to do my post on it later, but for now I just had to share a conversation I had with K this afternoon…

K: What is (Baby F) doing right now?

Me: He is saying hi and jumping on my bladder.

K: What is a bladder?

Me: It is the part of your body that holds your pee until it is full and you need to go potty. When mommies have a baby in their tummy, it makes them need to go potty more.

K: I don’t have a baby in my tummy. Only mommy girls can have babies in their tummies.

Me: That’s right. But maybe you’ll get married and be a daddy someday.

K: Yep, I’m gonna get married and my wife will have a boy baby and his name will be Llama. Llama is a way better name than (Baby F).

There you have it folks… In another 20 years I could have a grandson named Llama Miller.

6 Comments »

The Bundt Cake of Adversity

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Behold! The cake of adversity!

Bundt Cake of Adversity
(Banana Pecan Bread)

1 box yellow cake mix (Just the dry mix.)
2 tsp. cinnamon
5 mashed spotted bananas
1 bag (2 cups?) pecan pieces

Politely turn down dinner at your parents house because you already purchased a pizza on your dreaded trip to Walmart. Wait until the kids wake up from their naps and are in the full throws of post-nap brawling to put the pizza in the oven.

Now you are ready to prep your cake!

Mash the bananas in a bowl. (I used a potato masher.) Mix in cake mix, cinnamon, and pecans. Pour Glop into greased bundt pan.

Chase kids out of the kitchen.

Notice a funky bad stank coming from the oven. Check the oven for dog food. Find what looks like mouse droppings in the bottom of the oven. Get instant pregnant nausea and wonder if there is a dead mouse somewhere in the oven, most likely lured in by your toddler’s obsession with putting dog food in the oven.

Call your mom and take them up on dinner.

Leave the nasty burned mouse poop smelling pizza and wrestle a dog, preschooler, toddler, and covered cake pan through the rain to the car. Fight and kill the 4 mosquitos that followed you in the car while driving and scolding the dog when she tries to sniff the cake. Threaten to throw your son’s lightsaber out of the window if he pokes you with it one more time.

Arrive at mom’s. Eat dinner while the cake finally bakes. Bathe pasta covered kiddos.

Take the cake out, flip it onto a plate, and sprinkle with powdered sugar.

Enjoy your cake!

(Silently pray the toasted mouse poo smell has gone away.)

We live out in the country now and have had a lot of rain. We don’t usually have mice and I am praying I am wrong… But it definitely looked mouse poop-ish and it smelled bad.

I had a whole thing of bananas I forgot about when we went on our mini-cation that I wanted to use. The cake is really good. Strong banana flavor and moist.

Update: Husband cleaned out the oven this morning. He swears that it wasn’t mouse poop and found some extra crispy doggy kibble by the heating element. I’m still going to let it sit with oven cleaner overnight before I use it again… Yuck.

10 Comments »

What am I saying?!

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We tackled the dreaded Walmart this morning before my husband left for work. Going anywhere public with children is challenging. Going into a big, bright, crowded megastore with two kids while pregnant is exhausting.

Groceries are (mostly) put away. Husband left for work. My grumpy 4 year old finally grumped himself into a nap. I wrestled with my toddler (while desperately needing to pee as baby brother/womb squatter used my bladder as a trampoline) and carried her to bed.

I am now enjoying some victory trail mix in a Minnie Mouse bowl and revelling in blissful quietness.

I thought I’d take this time to share a few gems from the past 48 hours…

Yesterday:
My husband works as a supervisor at a baby store. We went in to say ‘hi’ to him and pick up a couple of things for Baby F. I had just checked out when Baby F decided he wanted to escape his 9 month womb stint through my bladder.

Me: Please hurry buddy. Mommy really needs to go potty. Don’t stop to look at stuff, just come.

K: (LOUDLY) Mommy, if you pee your underpants in this store, I will be very disappointed in you!

I rushed in with E and let him wait outside the stall door. While in the bathroom I heard him talking to one of my husband’s female coworkers.

K: My mommy is going poop with my sister. How many old are you? I’m 4.

Today:
At Walmart checking out, he noticed a container of flushable wipes.

K: Are those for me? To wipe my booty with? So I don’t get poop all over my underpants?

Me: Yes buddy…

K: Thanks mom! Now I won’t get poop all over me!

Our cashier was amused, as were the people behind us.

Some other fun family one-liners…

Stop spanking that pizza! -Hubby

If you lick me again, you’re going to bed! -Me

My heart is broken because you won’t get me juice. It’s broken forever… -K

Aw, love potty mommy. Love love. -E hugging my leg while I was on the toilet

What are some of your ‘did I just say that’ moments?

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E in the outfit she put together. Accessorized with a broom and a lightsaber.

6 Comments »

Modesty and Motherhood

Some personal history…

I had a very difficult delivery with my son. Nothing, and I mean nothing, went as planned. I was left feeling horribly broken. I was not allowed to nurse until about 10 hours post delivery. It was awful. Then in the hospital we had a barrage of well meaning visitors. I just couldn’t bring myself to nurse with my pastor or family in the room. I was uncomfortable and still wrapping my mind around how broken I felt. (It really is the only word I can bring to mind on it.)

I pumped, nursed around the clock, and tried teas and supplements. My supply was still gone by 6 weeks. Again, broken. I had a few unknowing moms ask me why I chose not to breastfeed. It was never my choice. My body was having a horrible time healing and just didn’t produce. It was heartbreaking. I felt like a failure.

When my daughter came along I vowed to make it work. I had a much easier delivery with E. I was nursing within the hour. I adopted a new policy of, ‘You may wait to come in or risk seeing a tiny bit of boob as I feed the baby’. I was still as discreet as possible and respectful of everyone, but I refused to sit awkwardly on the side of a bed in the other room or get uncomfortably engorged while waiting for others to leave.

I plan to nurse Baby F and I hope to nurse longer and without supplementing formula this time. I am staying home full time and I feel much more comfortable with my body this time around.

This brings me to a topic that has been on my mind frequently in the past few months- modesty.

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There is a lot of debate right now on nursing and how it effects modesty- especially in religious circles. Where is the line? It is immodest for a mom to nurse discreetly but uncovered in public? Are we ‘leading our brothers into temptation’?

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As a mom of a boy (with another on the way) and a girl, I often wonder how to parent to the idea of modesty. I’ve personally decided that, while I will teach my daughter modesty out of respect for her own body, my biggest duty is to teach my sons to respect women.

There are depraved individuals out there who will take advantage of women- modest or not, but I think the majority of men are capable of seeing a woman as a whole person and not just a bunch of parts. My sons will be bombarded with billboards, ads, and commercials that sexualize the female form. They will. It is everywhere. I’d much rather them see a mom in the act of feeding her child than shaking her goods in a bikini. I see far more exposed breasts at the pool than I ever have from a mom nursing uncovered in public.

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Yes, teaching modesty can cut down on sexual assaults, but so can teaching our sons not to rape and that “not a clear no” does not mean “yes”. Teaching the non sexual functions of our parts is important too. Plus seeing pregnant and nursing women can help young men and women make the connection between sex and reproduction. (Babies are often the result of sex… Just saying.)

I personally cover when nursing, but I understand why others don’t. Some babies are not comfortable eating with a drape over their head. And I find it deplorable to ask a mom to feed her child in a restroom. I invite anyone suggesting moms do this to eat there lunch on a public toilet today. Did you have fun with that? It would be disgusting for an adult, so why bring an infant and recovering mother into that situation?

If my son sees a mom nursing in public, we just say, “She is feeding her baby mommy’s milk. Some mommies feed their babies that way and some use a bottle. Isn’t that neat? Remember when mommy fed sister that way?” It really is a far less embarrassing thing to explain than, “Why is that lady on the sign in her underwear?”

I recently read this article on nursing and the Christian faith. It rocked my world and confirmed a lot of my own beliefs.

I will never get on a soap box about breast is best or make anyone feel bad about how you feed your baby, but I ask that, no matter you choice, you respect other moms and teach your children that feeding a baby mommy’s milk is normal. And for heaven’s sake do not ask a mom to go to the restroom! YUCK!

***Added note*** Please keep in mind that not all moms are able to nurse. It isn’t fair for moms to be put in a no win situation. Nursing in public is “gross”. Bottle feeding is “unnatural”. It isn’t fair to mothers or babies. Infants require food. Mothers provide it however they can. Circle of Life. End of story.

27 Comments »

A whirlwind staycation

My family really wanted a vacation this year, but Baby F surprised us. Being 7 months pregnant, having just moved, and transitioning to being a stay at home mom have all put a damper on any long, far, or expensive plans.

We opted for the next best thing- a staycation. We loaded up the kids, ourselves, and my in-laws and traveled a whopping 30 miles to the Gaylord Texan Resort. It was seriously the biggest hotel I’ve ever seen and definitely the biggest place I have stayed.

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Look at this place!

The entire middle of this thing is a giant atrium with several restaurants, bars, and lots of fun stuff to look at. It has an indoor pool, an outdoor pool, and a water park. Crazy!

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The kids and my mother-in-law walking in the atrium.

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My E. She is adorable, but I'm more than a little partial.

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This is my favorite picture ever.

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View from our room.

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The lazy river- my favorite part.

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Toddler grotto- complete with a gate to keep them in! (My hubby, MIL, K, and E.)

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My big pregnant belly and the kiddos.

Konner told me at the water park that Baby F wanted to “jump out of my mouth and go swimming”. Great imagery bud.

We had a great time. Although, it is a difficult conundrum to be very pregnant at a water park and having to pee frequently… “How do I do this without having to get a wet suit back over this belly?”

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E decided to make some cheese and cookie soup when we got home...

10 Comments »

If You Give a Mom Some Free Time

If you give a mom some free time, she’ll want to sit and rest.
While she is resting, she’ll notice the toys on the floor.
When picking up toys, it will occur to her that this a great time to check the mail.
In the mail she gets a new diaper. Now she has to prep it.
In the process of prepping she’ll wash all the diapers.
While in the laundry room she’ll notice the sun through the window and decide to to sun/line dry the diapers.
The hot sun will make her tired and she’ll lay on the couch and notice a funky smell.
She’ll, of course, have to clean the couch.
While cleaning the couch, she’ll notice her husband’s sweaty pillow on the floor and will need to wash it.
When going to wash it, she’ll notice it is raining and run to get the diapers.
She’ll wrestle with and yell at the toppled clothes line and drop half the diapers in the wet grass.
She needs to wash diapers again…

If you give a mom free time, she’ll wish for more free time… Or a nap.

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Diapers sunning inside because of the rain...

** Inspired by If You Give a Mouse a Cookie

** We made the switch to cloth diapering over this summer and plan to use cloth with Baby F when he arrives. So far it has been great. I enjoy saving the money and cutting down on trash. 🙂

3 Comments »

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