Mama Miller Parenting

Passionate parenting and homemaking.

The Evolving Mom

I was sitting, watching my kids gleefully run off energy at the play area in our local mall. Earlier that morning we had reached the breaking point of cabin fever. I made the executive decision that getting everyone dressed and loaded in the car was a better option that watching K and E ping pong off all the walls of our house.

I sat and enjoyed the fact that the squishy floors and structures meant they could dive off everything in the enclosure without a trip to the ER. I then noticed a mom with her little boy. She struck up a conversation with me. E and her son are the same age. She held his hand as he climbed up the two steps to the top of the tiny slide. He landed at the bottom with a slight bump.

His mom quickly picked him up and exclaimed, “They really need to put something softer at the bottom!”

About that time E came shooting down the slide and skidded about 3 feet. She giggled, picked herself up, and ran off to explore the other things from which to hurl herself. The other mom looked on in horror and stopped talking to me.

I will not for a second claim that all first time moms are scared or this uppity- many many are not. However, I get the whole “wait until you have another” mantra by which moms of two or more swear.

I get it.

You just don’t fret the “padding” as much the second time around. You don’t have the time or energy. You no longer rush to sanitize everything that hits the ground. (She played in the toilet this morning- drinking out of a sippy cup that hit the freshly vacuumed floor can’t be that bad.)

It isn’t that moms with multiple children don’t care about their kids… They just choose their battles. When you have one, they become everything. You can really focus on all the tiny things. I did it with K too.

I don’t yet know how different three will be from two. I’ve been told that I will be outnumbered. I’ve been told that anything past two kiddos is more of the same. My older sister, a mom of four, said that some days she hits a point of not caring what her brood is up to, short of getting blood on the carpet or burning down the house.

Who knows. We are on an adventure. We will grow and evolve and see where this takes us.

I can hope that this adventure will eventually lead to more sleep, but I’m pretty sure that would be a pipe dream.

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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”.

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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!

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To Infinity and Beyond

I was cleaning the living room and suddenly I heard wailing from the kids bathroom. K runs out clearly distressed with wet hands.

Picture a sobbing 3 year old telling this story.

“I don’t ba-weeve it! I just don’t ba-weeve dis! Buzz is gone!”

“What happened?”

“Buzz flushed down the toilet!”

“Your little Buzz Lightyear?”

“Yes!! I don’t ba-weeve it. He’s goooooone!!!”

“Why was Buzz in the toilet?”

“He flew in there and I flushed it. I don’t ba-weeve it!”

“Why did you flush him?”

“Because I tried to catch him but he was goooone!”

“You flushed it and then tried to catch him? You stuck your hands in the potty?”

“Yes, but I missed him and he’s gone! I don’t ba-weeve it!”

We scrubbed down his hands and had a long conversation about what goes in the toilet and what doesn’t. Later I caught him talking to his toy…

“Hi Power Ranger Guy. I will play with you because you are a toy. I won’t flush you down the toilet because you aren’t pee. I promise.”

He cracks me up. It was heart breaking and hilarious at the same time. It was a very small action figure but I refused to flush that toilet again until Andy was home. I wasn’t taking any chances on Buzz bringing back unspeakable horrors from the beyond.

Thank you all for being patient with me this week. My grandma is in the hospital. E is teething. The internet is having issues. We have practices and family events out the wazoo. We are working on cabinets for the “Old House”. I’m also making almost all our gifts at home this year. I promise I’ll catch up on reading all your amazing blogs soon! Here are a few pictures from the past couple weeks…

E with seven bows on her head:

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K and E visiting the big man in red:

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My sweet niece’s birthday:

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The car show:

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Making cool crayons:

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Have a blessed holiday season! I’ll be on when possible. I love Christmas but I think I need a holiday from the holiday season.

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Making Peace and Preserving Your Heart

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I saw this quote the other day and fell in love with it.

I’m going to get real and personal. I believe in transparency. Our faults, pains, failures, triumphs, successes, and strengths make us who we are. If I only wrote about the good, happy, shiny moments, I would be short changing my readers and myself. Life is messy.

I am a child of divorce. Many of our friends and church family would not even realize this fact. I was lucky in many ways. I never saw my parents fight. I was an infant when things ended. My mom married my step dad when I was still young.

It is not easy to blend a family. I have two older brother’s and a sister from my step dad’s first marriage. When I was 8 my little sister came along. My mom has always said that being a step parent is a special calling.

I was blessed to have a step dad, grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins that have never treated me as step family. I was thoroughly loved.

Things with my biological father and grandmother have not been as easy. There were many years that we did not have contact. Many missed birthdays, school functions, and concerts. We reconnected when I was in college. He attended my college graduation. They even made it to my wedding, though my step dad gave me away and took the first father/daughter dance.

He earned it. He is the one who saw me every day and came to every half time show and band concert. He is the one my kids call Papaw.

Don’t get me wrong, I am not asking for pity and I do love my biological father. But I have mourned the loss of a real relationship many times over. We reach out but get excuses, unreturned phone calls, and a general lack of participation. I have fought my own pride, hurt, and sinful grudges time and time again. I know God forgives fully, but my human heart goes in stages.

I held the place in my heart for him for far too long. Every broken promise reopened old wounds. I had a dad, but I always longed for what could have been. My dad has never even met E.

I will not hold places for anyone in my children’s lives. They have two grandpas that do participate. The are happy. They are truly and fiercely loved. They are beautiful and amazing. I will not force anyone to be a part of their lives.

I felt compelled to share my story because I know that grieving someone who is still alive can be excruciating and difficult. Some people will stick like glue to us for the long haul but others will be transient. Some just don’t stay. Some will die, move away, or grow apart.

Don’t live with a hole in your heart for what may never come back. Live. Live fully. Choose love and love fully those who you have now. If you waste time with hate or anger, it will take away from your ability to love. Choose forgiveness.

Remember that family is not defined by biology. Your family will be what you make of it. We are born into a family and God sometimes places family in our path along the way. Treasure them all. Make an effort to stay.

With love,

Mama Miller

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Soap Snow and New Friends

Yesterday afternoon was gorgeous! We had to play outside. Texas is rarely in the 50s or 60s in the middle of the afternoon.

The kids ran and kicked a ball around in the field by our apartment. I went in and filled our red tub with toys, scoops, old jars, and two big soap clouds.

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Pretty soon our soap clouds had been pulverized to snow.

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E lost interest after a bit and went back to chasing her ball and rolling in the grass. K asked if we could invite the little boy from a couple houses down to play.

He always says hi to everyone, but this was the first time he has gotten to play with neighbor kids. I was excited for him to make a new friend. Pretty soon we had two new friends (both 5) playing with us. I had to make two more soap clouds and get more scoops.

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I promise I’m not a crazy hoarder, but I do tend to hang on to glass jars. K loves playing with them and filling them with things. The kids had the most fun scooping “snow” into jars.

I let each of our new friends take home a jar of snow. I wrote their mom’s a note explaining that it was Ivory soap and how to make it. I figured I would probably want an explanation if my kid went to play and came back with a jar of white powdery stuff!

Eventually the kids ran home. K, E, and all the tools/toys went into the bath. We sprinkled “snow” over them. They were extra clean. Their clothes and blanket washed fine, but I did set an extra rinse cycle.

It can easily be an inside play activity if you vacuum afterwards. It makes the house smell great!

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Mama’s Big Girl Panties

I’ve mentioned K’s bathroom hijinks and habits in previous posts. That kid is convinced that I don’t need to go to the bathroom by myself ever. We do have locks but they sometimes don’t work well.

Best case scenario is that the lock holds and I have a 3 year old and 1 year old banging drum solos, singing to me, and sticking their fingers under the door while I try to relieve myself.

It actually reminds me of almost every horror movie I’ve ever seen. Although, instead of a blood thirsty monster breaking in on a hapless heroine, it is milk thirsty little cookie monsters trying to reach their bedraggled mother with demands. K always decides that when mom goes potty is the exact moment he must have a drink. (Has someone been doing weird Pavlovian experiments on my son?!)

A few weeks ago I was trying to be productive catch my breath while the kids were napping. I went to the bathroom with the expectation of actually having five minutes to myself. (Oh hindsight…)

Did I mention K has ninja abilities?

“Mom, I’m firsty! Hey, are you wearing a diaper in your big girl panties? What is that? Did you poop yourself? That’s yucky!”

No words.

I’d like to say that I calmly explained some version of “the story” to my inquisitive ninja 3 year old. I’d love to tell you that I was mature and serene and intelligent. That I knew exactly what to say. I’d really like to, but I can’t…

“I will give you a piece of your Halloween candy and some juice when I get done if you will go to the living room and stay there.”

Someday mama will put on her big girl panties and explain lady things to her son. This was not that day. He knows babies grow in their mama’s tummies and that boys and girls have different parts. He knows what a bra is. But I’m not explaining mommy diapers for a while.

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Snapshots of Thanksgiving- Day 21

Day 21:

I know this is called Snapshots of Thanks, but trust me when I say, you do not want a picture of anything going on in my house today…

The stomach virus that E had Sunday night finally made its rounds to the rest of us. It hit K at 10pm last night and woke Andy up at 3am. Not much sleep over here.

My mother-in-law agreed to some quality time with E so I could take care of the guys. My father-in-law noticed that someone had stollen our license plates. I had to file a police report (in case our plates are used in a crime) and go to the courthouse to get news ones. We also went to Home Depot to get new screws…

Yes, they even stole the bleeping screws!

It was at Home Depot that the stomach bug finally caught up to me. Not pleasant.

For a while I felt sorry for myself and wondered what I had to be thankful for today. God gave me the answer… Everything!

We are ill on Thanksgiving but we have enough food (when we can eat it), two working bathrooms, AC, Sprite, saltine crackers, DVDs to keep the sick 3 year old entertained, family that cares about us, and a God who has promised to never leave us.

Yes, I would probably trade today for another, but I can’t truly complain. The new tags were only $7. E is spending the night with Nana and Poppy. K is sleeping peacefully. And I have kept a few crackers and a banana down for about an hour now. Woo!

I guess I will leave you with a picture my father-in-law just sent us to cheer us up:

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I miss her little face but I am glad she is healthy, safe, and not climbing on me tonight.

Travel safely and have a great holiday tomorrow!

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For the Moms and Dads

For all the moms and dads:

Go watch this. I laughed so so much.

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Snapshots of Thanksgiving- Day 20

Day 20:

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I am so thankful for my sweet nieces and nephews- both those from family and my friends’ kids that have become honoraries. My children are so blessed to have amazing aunts, uncles, and cousins! Blood ties aren’t the only things that make a family.

As a bonus, her are my nephew kitties:

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While I do think my little sister will make beautiful babies, I am glad she is going to school first. I am pretty fond of my rotten nephew kitties too!

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