Mama Miller Parenting

Passionate parenting and homemaking.

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.

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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...

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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. 🙂

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Dream big… While napping.

My parents have one of my nieces for the night and asked if my son could tag along to give her a playmate. So I woke up this morning knowing I’d be down by one child. I was, however, happily surprised when my dad decided to take E as well. I think her charms won Papaw over. (She very sweetly requested her shoes.)

While I love my kids and will miss them by tomorrow, time alone has been rare since the move and my full-time transition to being a stay at home mom. My husband doesn’t leave for work until later this afternoon, so we are looking at several hours of no kids (besides Baby F the womb squatter).

“I can fold laundry without the kids unfolding it!”

“We can take a nap! Or go to the bathroom without anyone else in there.”

“Let’s have a 10th Kingdom marathon.”

Dream big people. Dream big.

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My plans for today...

Now what am I going to do with myself once my husband leaves for work? Probably eat oatmeal for supper (followed by ice cream), watch trash TV, fold laundry, and pass out on the couch by 9PM… And it sounds wonderful.

***After posting, we realized E left us a present. Her new favorite hobby is hiding dog food in the oven. Since it has happened a few times now, you’d think we’d check before turning the oven on… You’d be wrong. We forget about how much she enjoys toasting kibble for Miri… Until we turn the oven on to preheat and start getting weird aromas drifting our of the kitchen.

Thanks kid. Have fun with Nonna and Papaw. Please don’t put kibble in their oven!***

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Mmm, burned kibble and cinnamon rolls!

11 Comments »

Coming out of the darkness

It has been far too long. So much has happened. My new pregnancy is now in the third trimester and we are having a boy. We finally moved into the “old house”. K is now a 4 year old. E is a busy almost 2 year old. I am now a full-time stay at home/work at home mom.

All great things and beautiful things, but I have struggled with writing them down. I was diagnosed with postpartum anxiety and depression several months after E was born. When Baby F (his new distinction) was conceived, I had to get off the medication that had helped me battle the ‘stress in my shoulder blades’ and feelings of dread.

My anxiety is not completely out of control or severe in comparison with many, but it seems like this pregnancy has been very hard. Everything seems too loud and bright and I often feel grey in a world of Technicolor. I would begin to write and lose the words. I kept telling myself that I would write soon, but I looked up today and realized it had been almost 5 months. I’ve been too stressed to do one of the things that helped me deal with stress in the first place.

Well, I’m back. I found words again today. Hopefully that is a good sign that I am starting to get a grip on normal, or at least adjusting to my new normal. Everything is going well with Baby F. I am anemic and often tired, but healthy overall. My sweet husband has been an amazing help in all this. I have days where I question my ability to be a mom of three, but God has been reminding me that he brought me here, to this place in life, for a reason.

I’m hoping to begin reading my favorite blogs again soon too. I’ve missed your voices, ideas, and stories- but reading them reminded me of my failure to write.

Much Love,
Mama Miller

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Our old house.

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E and K on the 4th.

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Our new addition, Miri the big red dog.

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Baby Bump

6 Comments »

Valentine Play

The kids are finally asleep, Andy is still at work, and I’m force-feeding myself a few pretzels in hopes of lessening the nausea.

Because Andy had to work tonight, we did our date night yesterday. My in-laws graciously agreed to babysit and we got to enjoy amazing Thai food, a bubble tea slush, and adult conversation.

I wanted to make today special for the kids. When they were napping I whipped up some homemade Playdoh. (This is my favorite recipe.) I made blue for K and pink for E. I added a splash of vanilla to make it smell yummy. I set up their little table with small cups of glass stones and beads.

Here is E playing and squishing beads into her dough:

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Her “art”:

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K finally woke up and joined us:

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This entertained them for almost an hour and a half! They loved it. They squished in beads and dug them out. They filled E’s little tea cups with “dough tea” and K made “smoovies”. We rolled balls, made roads, and even mixed a little pink and blue together to make purple.

I also filled our cute little heart ice trays (Target $1) with water and added one drop of neon food coloring to each heart. I used blue, pink, and purple.

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For bath time I dumped all of our frozen hearts into a bin…

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I set the bin in the bath with them. They had fun dunking them in the water and watching them disappear and color the bath. We eventually had a purple bath. The ice hearts only lasted a few minutes but they really enjoyed it.

No pictures of my ice hearts in action. My kids splash and move too much for bath pictures.

We worked on E recognizing the color purple and the shape of a heart. K and I talked more about color mixing and the states of matter with our ice play.

5 Comments »

Oh the tears…

It is amazing how much you forget about being pregnant until you go through it again.

Sudden desire to sleep on back even though you aren’t supposed to when pregnant.

Lacking ability to hold in urine and sneeze at the same time.

Crying over everything.

Oh my, the crying. It shouldn’t surprise me by #3, but man it did. The lovely emotional roller coaster hit hard this morning.

Things that had me tearing up or crying today:
•A friend’s son had a seizure yesterday.
•I was up all night with K.
•The toilet paper roll was empty.
•We were out of Dr. Pepper.
•Thinking about how beautiful my kids are.
•E putting her hand in the toilet.
•K drinking out of my water.
•My mom bought me maternity jeans.
•I saw someone cry on a TV show.
•I couldn’t find my other shoe.
•I wanted cereal but all the bowls were in the running dishwasher.
•There was a picture of a kitty on FaceBook.
•I thought about Downton Abbey.
•I breathed.
•Sitting there.
•Having 5 minutes alone.
•My phone buzzing during my 5 minutes alone.
•Realizing it is ridiculous to cry over half the things that I cried about today.
•Making this list.

It has been a ridiculous day.

Don’t get me wrong, it really wasn’t a bad day. I just want to throw this out there for the pregnant moms.

Yes, crying over having to find tp is silly, but it is ok. Soldier on and don’t let it disparage you. Growing a human is hard, emotional work.

I absolutely love the pregnancy meltdown scene in What to Expect When You’re Expecting. It is so funny and true.

I also love how they refer to the perfect pregnant lady as a “magical pregnancy unicorn”. Don’t let the unicorn moms get you down. You are normal- cankles, hemorrhoids, and all.

10 Comments »

Those Pesky Storks

I have a confession: I am a snarky sarcastic person. I come by it naturally. My family is full of sarcastic southern women. In Texas “bless your heart” is the southern lady way of calling you dumb. The poor men in our lives never stood a chance.

My dad is notoriously bad about forgetting to signal and after being teased one day by my mom and little sister about this, he decided to announce that he had actually used his turn signal. Without skipping a beat my sister replied, “Do you want a sticker?”

In an effort to not be a jerk and live up to my goal of choosing love, I try to reign in my remarks. They still jump into my head but I really do try to use my filter on what escapes my lips…

Pregnancy hormones are not helping my desire to be a nice person. Pregnancy hormones and the fact that my jeans are already too tight to button are contributing to a fast growing hole in the filter between my brain and mouth.

We’ve had several (well-meaning perfectly nice) people tell us we need to “figure out what causes that” in reference to our third pregnancy. I know they think they are being sweet or funny but my snarky pregnant brain comes up with three possible responses:

We have this pesky stork infestation. I think we need to spray.

You know, we’ve been married for five years but I’m still fuzzy on the details. Could you explain it to me?

I’m told, barring turkey basters, medical intervention, or immaculate conception, that it is usually sex. Sexy baby making sex.

So far none of those responses have made it past my filter but it is becoming very tempting!

In other Miller news:
E has enough hair for tiny pigtails now!

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And my kids have discovered the joys of playing dress-up.

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K got his Captain America outfit for Christmas and has worn it so much that it is getting runs and holes. E got several dresses for Christmas as well. K has decided that she is “Princess Thor”.

10 Comments »

Miller Family 2013- Big News

I have missed blogging deeply over the past month. With all the holiday rush, (seemingly) endless colds/illness/pneumonia, working on the house remodel, and the general business of life, my me time has gotten pushed to the back burner.

When I did finally have time, I would stare at the blank screen and wonder how to begin. It would stretch before me full of unanswered questions- much like the new year.

What is in store for our family this year?

How will we grow and move forward?

What are our goals this year?

Early in the new year I decided that my personal mottos would be Choose Love and Choose Joy.

Love is not a feeling. It is not warm fuzzies and candy hearts. It is not lust or sex. It is not an instant thing.

Love is a choice. It is dirty diapers, chores, and family dinners that you are too tired to cook. It is staying together when you want to punch your spouse in the face. It is saying sorry. It is putting others first.

Joy is also a choice. Happiness comes from our circumstances. Joy comes from God.

I will choose love for myself, my family, and all around me. I will also choose joy, even on the days where happiness is no longer an option. I have many goals but these are the dearest to me.

This year has already brought some surprises…

I went to the doctor this week thinking I was ill. The doctor decided to run a few tests. A while later the nurse popped in and told me, “Well, you don’t have a UTI but you are pregnant! Congratulations! I just wanted to let that sink in before the doctor comes in.”

It was definitely a total shock! Nothing had prepared me for that. I had just finished (what I thought was) a cycle. I had been up on ladders painting the house. We really had no idea that it was even a possibility.

We’ve had a few days to adjust to the idea now.

So 2013 has already become a lot of things. We are moving into a house. Moving forward in our relationship with God. We will be celebrating K’s 4th Birthday in June, E’s 2nd in September, and the birth of Miller #3 later in September!

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***As an afterthought I decided that some background might be helpful. I only have one ovary. I lost one to a cystic tumor they found when I had K. I wondered if I would ever be able to conceive again without one of my ovaries. In 2011, we were blessed with E. She was planned and we definitely thought she would be our last natural birth! To go from learning about a condition that has left many women infertile to being pregnant with #3 is an amazing gift. I am definitely thankful to God- despite sometimes wondering about his timing!

8 Comments »

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