Mama Miller Parenting

Passionate parenting and homemaking.

Happy Holidays!

A few fun nuggets from the past week…

E tripped (shocking right?) and got a big knot on her head. K overheard me telling Nana that she had a “goose egg”. When he woke up the next morning he told her to show Daddy her “goose brains”.

E has developed a massive love of rubbing Baby F’s head. She also wants to make him dance with her. He just gives her wide eyed stares of startled wonder.

K’s conversation with one of Nana’s coworkers today:
“Are you a good big brother?”

“Well, I don’t change diapers. Mommy and Daddy have to change those.”

“I bet you are still a good big brother. Do you show them the ropes?”

“Um, actually I don’t know how to jump rope very good yet.”

Anyway friends: Merry Christmas!

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The ‘Good’ Baby

It happens so often. In grocery stores and malls and parks everywhere. People asking the question that brings prickly stress and annoyance to my soul.

“Is he/she a good baby?”

What does that even mean?!

Please stop asking new moms this question. Just don’t.

Every baby is a good baby.

A baby who sleeps through the night from 4 weeks does not possess more ‘goodness’ than a baby with colic who barely sleeps for the first year.

They are babies. Innocent. Perfect. Beautiful.

There is no such thing as a bad baby.

Some babies are, however, easier than others. It doesn’t make them good.

Some are clingy or have high needs. Being difficult doesn’t make them bad.

Please, I beg you, don’t ask it. It is inappropriate and can make new moms feel awkward. A mom with a high needs baby already has seeds of insecurity about their abilities. Questions like this only help that insecurity grow.

Don’t ask if they’re sleeping through the night yet. Or if they are on an eating schedule.

Ask them how they’re doing.

Ask them if you can do anything to help them out.

Ask if you can pray for them or with them about anything.

Or just tell them what a great job they’re doing.

New moms are incredibly strong and incredibly fragile. They are precious like their sweet babes. Let’s build them up. Growing healthy moms benefits us all. Their weary, beautiful hands are shaping the next generation.

With love,
Mama Miller

P.S.  Baby F is doing well. He eats when he eats. He sleeps when he sleeps. He smiles and he cries. He gives great snuggles. He, like all babies, is a good baby.

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Always my mom

Nothing incredibly profound tonight. I don’t have enough neurons firing for that at the moment; I just had to share something.

I posted this on Facebook this morning:

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I had been up all night with Braxton Hicks and a sniffing toddler, but I had to get some things done today.

I got to church for a ladies’ function and my mom handed me this as I walk in the door:

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She’ll always be my mommy. ♥

Oh, and I am happy to report K and I seemed to be back on the same page this morning. He and sister are spending the night with my in-laws. I think a truce and a day apart should help us reset.

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A Quiet Love Story

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Ok Hollywood, you can keep your big flashy love stories.

I don’t need running through a crowded airport.

I don’t need kissing in the rain.

I don’t need a dramatic fight scene.

Or a love triangle.

You can keep it all.

I like my quiet love story.

Sometimes love just looks like a husband of six years hanging diapers out to sun so you can rest your pregnant feet.

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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.

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Juice Box Robots- A Guest Blog

I am super excited to be hosting my first guest blog! Ciara is a dear friend from college and couponing guru. I hope you enjoy her adorable Valentine creation!

*Juice Box Robots*

As the mom of a 5 year old boy, I am constantly looking for creative ways to show him that I care. Since his first Christmas at daycare, I have been making special gifts and goody bags for his classmates. I work full time and I go to college full time, so finding time to craft is a challenge. Many moms ask me why I put myself through the added work of making these things for his friends at school and my answer has always been “it’s worth it”.

This was solidified this past Christmas when I walked into the class with my normal box of party bags and a little girl in his class ran up to me and said “Miss Ciara, are those the bags like what you made us last year?” and when I said yes she began jumping up and down and squealing with delight. He starts school in the fall and everyone in his class will be at a different school, so I decided to make this Valentine’s Day special for them. Hence, Juice Box Robots. Below are the directions and a photo of the steps! I found this originally on Pinterest but without the foil. I decided the foil would make them look more like robots J.

What you will need for this project to make 20 robots (I list the brands because of the quantity they are sold in):

2 Minute Maid 10 packs of juice boxes

20 Musselman’s organic applesauce cups

3 bags of Sunmaid mini raisin boxes

1lb bag of smarties

Foil (I don’t know the exact amount, I have a giant roll of it, but I used a lot)

White paper

Red construction paper

Black marker

Scissors

Transparent tape

Kraft Permanent glue spots (or hot glue if you would prefer). I used the Kraft spots because although they are “permanent” they can easily be pulled apart. Doing so will rip the foil, but this way the food and drink are protected from damage. When they are pulled apart the packaging of the products will not be affected.

Step 1. Gather all of your products, and prepare your foil. I had to eyeball how much foil to use, I used about 10”-12” of foil to wrap each set of items.

Step 2. Wrap each item (I wrapped them in the foil like I do a present, with the seam on the back).

Step 3. Place the kraft spots (or hot glue) on the inside edge of the top of the raisin box, and put the juice box on. Next, put more kraft spots/glue on the top of the juice box and attach the applesauce cup. Press firmly (but not too hard) to secure the pieces. Tape the exposed end of the smarties to the sides of the juice box for the arms. Attach the heart with clever saying on the front using kraft spots/glue. Draw eyes on white paper with the black marker, draw a mouth, and tape them on. If you use the invisible tape you can just put it over the eyes and mouth and it won’t show.

Step 4. Enjoy your majestic creation! Also, take a nap, it’s exhausting 😉

So very cute!

So very cute!

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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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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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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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Snapshots of Thanksgiving- Days 18 & 19

E got sickly last night I ended up washing many loads of yucky laundry. She is stuffy but doing much better today. I’m catching up on my SOT posts.

Day 18:

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The pic isn’t that great but this is K and J chowing down on our church Thanksgiving meal. I seriously have the best church ever. I am so thankful that my kids are learning about and being shown love by a truly amazing group of individuals.

Day 19:

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On Friday we were getting things for our Family Night at church. I picked up a box of mini candy canes to go with our hot coco bar. At check-out K told me he wanted to share his candy canes. He gave out candy canes to all the cashiers.

I am so thankful for small kindnesses and humbled by my son’s thoughtfulness. I’ve read a few stories from friends about strangers paying for their groceries and other charitable acts. If everyone did at least one kind, unexpected act this holiday season it would be amazing.

I hope everyone participating in Black Friday shopping remembers to be kind. Retail workers are people. They have families and lives and feelings. Getting a good deal on “stuff” is not worth losing your temper or integrity over. A super deluxe iPad 5000 or Barbie Dream House with Jacuzzi aren’t worth being a jerk to other people. (People being the key word here.)

Be kind. Choose love.

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