Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Over the River and Through the Woods

To Grandma's house we go. Or, went, rather. I must say that our trip to VA was EXCELLENT. A wonderful surprise, that. We planned to leave on the evening of the 14th, and drive about 3 1/2 hours, stop to sleep, and drive another 3 1/2 hours in the morning, BUT...after a full day of packing - it sounds ridiculous, but it's true - it seriously took until 6 PM to get ready to leave - with the minivan all packed up and ready to go, we exhaustedly decided to wait until the morning. We got up at about 4:30 AM and got to VA at 12:30 PM, and both kids did so great. Israel slept most of the way, with cheeks bouncing gently, and Gabe slept some and watched his DVD player. It was accomplished with only a minimum of stress, thanks to answered prayers and God's sheer compassion on our busy little stressed out family.

Gabe immediately understood where we were going, as Tim carried him outside and told him we were going to Grandma's house. "Gamma's. house?", he said. "Emmy's. house?", he said. "Smokey's. house? ( :) ) See. Gandaddy?"

Since arriving at Gamma's and Gandaddy's beloved house, Sweet Child has hardly been able to sleep. I believe he has napped perhaps 1 or 2 times in about 5 days. He has so many plans. There are slides to climb up and go down on his belly (he can do this by himself), there are stairs to climb (he drops to his belly halfway down the hall and scoots backwards to go down backwards), there are Chloe's to swat at ("Gabriel, do not hit Chloe!"), there are Moxies (Mom and Dad's cat) to chase ("Gabe, leave the cat alone!"), Emmie's to hug; there are 'Gandaddy's' to help out in the shop, there are golf carts to ride, and porches to play on, and toyboxes to raid, and pantries to loot. The list simply goes on and on. Thankfully, he does a little better than he used to when he missed his nap. He tears around happily, for the most part, with pink circles under his eyes. He will be sad to leave.

And so will we. When normal life with two babies is comparable to swimming madly to keep your head above water, life with two extra people to help out is a steady, yet mostly refreshing swim with intermittent breaks to catch your breath and maybe get a bit of a tan. Once again, I do believe these Dawdy Hause people have something goin' there.

Israel has been doing pretty good himself. Last night, he slept from about 9:30 PM until about 6:10 AM. Wow. To the sixteenth degree. You must understand that Gabriel never slept longer than 4 hours until he was about 18 months. This seems a sheer miracle of God's gracious compassion. And. My beloved mother has convinced Fussy Child to take a pacifier. Unused baby carrier: $95. Ben-Gay and heating pads for sore, aching back and arm muscles to tote child around to keep him from crying: $20. (I don't actually use Ben-Gay, but I'm just making a point, here, people.) Life chained to a couch to feed baby 47 times a day to keep him happy: $56,789 in mental stress and things undone. Baby taking a pacifier and going to sleep: Priceless. Thank you, my mama.

In other random news, I have: completed all my Christmas shopping in two days, wrapped 21 presents, had one hugely enjoyable Mary Kay party (I put my aunts and cousins to good use and practiced on them,and they were so nice and cooperative. :) ), stayed up until ridiculous hours reading just because I can, and scored some Croc's for my impending birthday. This is very exciting. (Croc's, not birthday. Birthday signals one measly little year away from 30. How in the world did that happen?)

In child news, tonight Israel started staring at his little stuffed animals hanging on his carseat. To most people, this will be an intensely boring news item, but to me it is noteworthy. Also, at the beginning of last week, we went to the doctor, and he was 15 pounds and 24 inches long. He continues to enjoy riding on my shoulder, and tolerates stretches in his bouncer. Everyone loves his cooing and smiling sessions. Baths make him happy. In Gabriel news, we have figured out a way to win the toothbrush battle. He stands at a stool at the sink and brushes his teeth with the help of his mama. We had finally had ENOUGH of toothbrush battles, and after a short learning curve, he is now a good boy toothbrusher.

And now I'm done. MERRY CHRISTMAS EVERYONE!!!!!!

Friday, December 08, 2006

Scenes from a Busy Week

Sick boys. (Note to the germ conscious - Israel is not lying next to a nasty tissue. That is an Israel-drool tissue. Just for the record.)

Hasn't he changed so much! He is getting so big! By the way, for a truly delightful experience, kiss the area right where his cheek and neck meet his chest and shoulder. It is all softness and sweetness.

Below: Gabe reads himself a bedtime story.

Tim often holds Israel to sleep at night.

Chocolate smeared tub boy.

So that's us for the week.

1. Israel has been smiling and cooing responsively a lot this week. He is 7 weeks old this week.
2. Israel rolled from his side to his stomach at 6 weeks. I had laid him on his side facing one way and heard a lot of grunting, and when I checked on him he was on his stomach facing the other way, with both hands free. I was very surprised! :)
3. Gabe keeps saying more and more new words, and talks in short sentences. He always refers to himself in the third person. "Gab'wl get choc'late? Gab'wl take bath?" The other day I saw him laying on the rug, with a little taxi car in his one hand running it repeatedly up to his nose and saying "Car get nose. Car get nose. Car get nose. Car get nose. Car ouchie nose. Car ouchie nose. Car ouchie nose. Car ouchie nose." :) That's how he talks. He repeats everything about 7 times. He is big on the ouchie concept. "Gab'wl ouchie? Momma ouchie? Co'e (Chloe) ouchie? Schoolbus ouchie?" Ever since he got those vaccinations the other week, he is convinced that pants are ouchie.
4. Gabe does this cute little thing when he's asking for something that he wants that he's not sure we're going to let him have. He raises his eyebrows and makes his eyes big and sort of thrusts his head forward and hunches his shoulders, and then asks his question really hopefully. It makes you smile.

Monday, December 04, 2006


We are a motley bunch of aching, sneezing, snuffling, coughing, bleary-eyed Millers today. I sound like a Sudafed commercial. The cold season has struck, and we are flattened under the wheels. While the boys were sleeping today, I lay in bed with eyes half-closed, not sleeping, but simply aching more comfortably. Hopefully we can get this out of the way so as to experience Christmas more comfortably.

So today I took (I think) my first solo journey with both of the kiddos. Saturday night after a very stressful day and week of Momma-hold-me-at-all-times-or-I'll-cry, I decided that I was going to pay the bucks to find an infant carrier that works, and doesn't hurt my back. So I researched with utmost intent, and found a store in Lexington that carried just what I was looking for. Tim is swimming madly in schoolwork (which also made last week that much more stressful - the other pair of hands in the house were frantically typing on the computer keys), so he has been at school all day. So. It took us one hour to get ready, and that included Israel crying as I washed my face, Israel crying as I got dressed, Israel crying as I got Gabriel dressed, Israel nursing madly to comfort himself, Israel crying as I tried to find the phone number for the store, Israel stopping crying as I held him, and Israel wailing his way halfway down the road. He wailed away in the store, too, with several nursing madly sessions, and the lady there nodded sympathetically when I asked if she could tell why I was desperate for something that worked. Well. So then he slept all the rest of the afternoon after I had purchased my 2 snazzy carriers, and how did he like them when he woke up? Screamed bloody murder. And I do mean bloody murder. Hmm.

So, to comfort myself at the end of a LONG HARD DAY, I made myself TWO cups of rebel mint tea. And they were very. very. tasty. I also made myself some chocolate chip cookies, some cinnamon rolls, some triscuits with spreadable cheese, and some mixed nuts, and some cheesy garlic bread. Belch.

Sunday, December 03, 2006

New Skills

I have been honing some new skills over the past 7 weeks. These include:

1. Standing while eating while bouncing a fussy baby. (Somewhat similar to the old skill of patting your head while rubbing your stomach.)
2. Picking up a wide variety of items from the floor with my toes. The other day while holding Israel I picked up about 20 Tupperware lids off the kitchen floor after Gabe had whirled through with the use of my mighty piggies. Those babies can get things DONE around here!
3. Squatting repeatedly throughout the day to pick up items off the floor while balancing a 15 pound heavy weight champion against your shoulder. Good for the glutes.
4. Doing a multitude of activities one-armed. (ie. lifting Gabe in/out of crib while holding Israel, typing (slowly) with a finger while nursing Israel, putting laundry in the wash while holding Israel)

I gots mad skills, bro.

One thing I'm still trying to perfect is the skill of NOT MAKING PLANS. This is one of the hardest things for me to learn about having two small children. For instance, one would think, that when Baby 1 is asleep by 9 PM, and sleepy-eyed Baby 2 is in bed by 9:45 PM, one would have nice evening of whatever one wants to do stretching out ahead of them in long luxurious minutes. NOT SO. One should realize that approximately 30 seconds before placing Baby 2 in his crib, Baby 1 will wake up, and after having a little snack, will gaze up at you with bright little awake eyes. No sleep for him. So, you trudge back out with Baby 2 for the lengthy process of getting him back to sleep. Then, when Baby 2 enters dreamland, you realize that Baby 1 is still awake, and cranky talk is coming from his crib. It is now 10:45 PM. Precious evening is flying by. At 11:30 you give up and get Baby 1 out of his crib and sit him in front of the magically sleep-inducing Woo Woo Kie Kie Movie (otherwise known as Doggie Kitty Movie, otherwise known as Milo and Otis). (Note to the frowning concerned: I do not normally lull my child to sleep with television. But sometimes you just gotta do what works. He is sick and a little off his rocker.) Seriously. This has been one of the more frustrating aspects of having babies. Time to do your own thing is so scarce, and you sort of make plans for it, and then life happens. They just don't schedule their lives around my plans. :) Yet I keep forgetting this, for some reason...

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Carrie's New Business

Well. So my news is that I am now a Mary Kay Independent Beauty Consultant, and I am actually very excited about it. I had someone come to do a facial on me, and I absolutely loved the products she used, and since I wanted to earn some extra income, I decided to sell it too! So, if anybody is interested, they can see my website at: I'm still learning on the makeup side, but I LOVE the skin care products - I could see a difference in my skin immediately. If you are around me at any time and would like a facial, I would absolutely love to treat you to one.

Business Lady

Thursday, November 30, 2006


Gabriel is a very industrious little boy. He is busy from the time he gets up to the time he goes down protesting, with occasional blankie and paci' breaks in between. This morning, when I went in to lay Israel down, I found Gabriel in our room at the foot of the bed, where he had pulled mascara out of my drawer, taken the wand out, and painted himself and the foot of the bed. So, I took him out to the kitchen with me, where I was doing some dishes. I hear these little repetative thunking sounds and don't think much of it, until I turn to see him pulling grapes off the stem that I had on the table, and throwing them, grape by grape onto the floor. There were about 20 grapes on the floor by that point. Sigh. So I had him "help" me empty the dishwasher, which he likes to do, and he grabbed a handful of silverware and climbed up on a chair to put it into the silverware drawer...and then moved on to pulling any silverware that caught his eye out to place onto the countertop. That buddy.

The other night I saw his Tonka truck "parked" in the bathroom after he had careened in on full speed, driving my Tupperware lids around. I saw it after he had went to bed, while the house was peacefully quiet, and the little blond boy slept quietly in the next room, and it was such a cute reminder of him and his sweet little energetic self that I had to smile. So I took a picture. This is life for us right now. Full of busy-ness and trucks waiting for the morning and sweet sleeping boys.

Meditations of a Bored Breastfeeder

(Yawn.) Looks like the kid is almost asleep. (Gazing around the room) Wish I could watch TV, but the remote is over on top of the entertainment center. Huh. I guess I could lug both of us over there, but it sure sounds like a lot of work. (Pause) Kind of makes you wish you had the ability to levitate things by thinking at them hard enough. (Staring hard enough to make eyes cross) I wonder why, with all the cool things in the human body, God couldn’t have stuck that little ability in there too. (Reflection) I guess we’d all be lazy and really fat, if we never had to move to get anything done. Sure would be easy to clean the house, though. Wow, this kid eats a lot. (Staring bemusedly down at said kid) I wonder if it is healthy to feed him ALL THE TIME like he demands. (Lift hand to gently poke one plush cheek) Sure is cute. (Contortion to kiss said cheek. Exertive sigh.) I wonder if God designed the body to produce oxytocin during breastfeeding to relax you for the purpose that you don’t get antsy and quit feeding your kid before he’s done. (Yawn.) Makes me tired. (Sleepy blink.) I wish I had something to do, but I seem to lack the motivation to get it. I wonder if other moms get sort of bored like me if when you forgot to have something on hand before you sit down…but they probably don’t end up thinking about levitation. I’m probably just weird. Think I’m going to go lay this kid down now…

Wednesday, November 29, 2006


Hmmm. So. For my both-babies-sleeping-me-time today, I could:

1. Clean the house.
2. Wash the dishes.
3. Do laundry.
4. Decorate for Christmas.
5. Update waaaaayyyyy behind picture albums.
6. Have devotions.
7. Bring down 3-6 month clothes from attic and bring in new storage boxes still out in mini-van and get baby clothes switched out.
8. Clean out mini-van.
9. Plan a budget for the next two months.
10. Relax.

Hmm. My life is FULL of exciting choices.

Let me ask. Where, in fact, does the day go? It is amazing how little I can get accomplished in my waking hours besides holding the baby and feeding my family. I do a little cleaning, and by the end of day it's hard to see. It possibly has something to do with the following:

1. One pile of tupperware lids on the bathroom floor.
2. One unrolled toilet paper pile on the bathroom floor.
3. One shelf load of books "helpfully" emptied off the bookshelf to "read".

4. Two piles of cushions excitedly pulled off the the couch and chair to throw oneself on.
5. One drawer of said tupperware lids emptied over the kitchen floor while mom works.
6. Partial contents of toybox scattered over living room floor.

These facts don't help anything.

Here's another thing I am noticing. Gabe likes to do "bad" things (ie. open the X-box and play with the tray) while I am feeding Israel and am rather hindered. "No's" translate into bemused gazes during disobedience. Which translates into decisions - do I address this disobedience or wake my almost sleeping baby? So several times this morning, I had one temporarily room-bound screamer, whilst his baby brother is screaming wherever he was temporarily placed. A fine morning it was.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Get a Grip

Israel gets a grip. He loves to grip. It is pretty cute. When I'm feeding him he will grab my shirt and just pull himself in. We actually have been letting him sleep on his stomach, since he has excellent neck control, and he sleeps so much better, and I think a part of that is because he can hug into the mattress.

Here is Mommy and Gabriel in a sea of books. Some of Gabriel's favorite books right now are "No, David!", a few books by Kim Lewis that have adorable pictures and talk about tractors and chickens (a Christmas present from Grandma Carol), Construction Trucks (from Grandma Edith) - these Grandmas seem to hit it right on the money! I sound like quite an expert talking about payloaders, skidsteers, giant excavators, and the like. :)

So here is an Israel update. Israel is losing his black hair and getting medium brown hair in. I think his eyes might stay the dark blue that they are. He weighs approximately 57 pounds, at least, so says my arms and back. Tim and I are achy by the end of the day from carting him around. His rate of weight gain has exceeded my muscle gain. :) He is generally waking once a night. I will feed him around 10 PM, and then around 2:30 AM or so, and then about 7-ish in the morning. Unfortunately, he likes to remain awake at that 7 AM one, and it is with much yawning and bleariness that I comply. The problem here is that Israel's mommy likes to cram in some me-time after all the wee ones have settled down for the night, and then goes to bed late. He still also likes to be held about 99.8% of the time he is awake, and although we utilize the $5 Baby Bjorn that Mom found for us (is she a good Mennonite thrifty shopper or what?! $5!!!), sometimes it just doesn't cut it. Yesterday he fussed all day long, and sometimes the only thing that makes him quiet is to eat. Again. Seriously.

I just started reading a book called 1-2-3 Magic - Effective Discipline for Children 2-12, and I really like it. It talks about the misconception that a lot of parents have that if they can get their child to understand why they are telling them to do something, they will happily comply, when that it not the way kids are. Kids are not small reasonable adults. So the counting has started today. We shall see how this goes. You are supposed to count to three for bad behavior, leaving several seconds in between, and once they reach three, if they haven't stopped, they go to their room for one minute per year of age. You do not say anything between counts - no "That's one, you had better listen or you are going to your room! Do you hear me?" And then after they come back, you don't talk about what they did, you don't say "Are you going to be a good boy now?" You just let them out and count again if they need it. Apparently it is pretty effective. The thing Gabe mostly needs more help with not stopping bad behavior - he usually listens if we are firm - but starting things, like coming when you call. This book talks about that, too.

Off to make lunch now. Toodles.

Friday, November 24, 2006

Life at the Miller Household

Gabe the Munchkin vigorously downing a tasty bowl of sketti'.

He's smiling! :)

Round little squeezie-legs man.

Boys on the bed.

Oh, look. My child is the HUGEST EVER. 5 1/2 weeks old is he, and straining at the seams of his 3 month outfits.

Big eyes for a big boy. I love these big-eyed whirly-armed moods he gets into...

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

One of those days

It has been one of those days. Everything has been "off". The baby has been nonstop fussy/awake/holdme...and so the house remains a mess, which is stressful in and of itself. Poor Gabe had vaccinations yesterday, and both of his little thighs are swollen and very sore. He was so sore last night that you could hardly touch his leg without him crying out. We have felt so bad for him. He got his DPT shot in that leg. So he has been stiff-legging it around the house. He got good and babied last night to help make things better - and he actually needed it. He had a low-grade fever, but none today.

I tell you what. That kid is a cutie-pie. I would have a picture of him on, too, but apparently I am holding Israel ALL OF THE TIME and therefore can't take pictures of my other beloved child. He was looking at a book of farm animals with Tim tonight and talking about everything he saw, preceding every description with a "see a ___". See a knee. See a sunshine. See a bu'fwy (butterfly). See a piggie. With that little voice and his little blue hood over his head, I just couldn't help but want to just squeeze him.

But unfortunately, there could be no squeezing, due to the Mr. Cheeks I was holding. I fed Mr. Cheeks for about 68 years this evening TRYING VAINLY to get him to go to sleep...and his eyes just popped right open when I laid him down. Ah, man. There's something about how you have everything all planned that you are going to be doing when the baby goes to sleep, and then when the baby WON'T go to sleep...somehow it makes everything doubly frustrating. And then he would fall asleep with his pacifier and it would keep falling out and waking him up... (Raise hand and smack forehead in despair.)

This morning, however, when I had Israel up to my shoulder to burp him, my heart did a big smile at the soft little snuffly bundle tucked into the crook of my neck. And when he slept from 7-9 AM, when he often is bright-eyed and flailing, it smiled some more. :) Now, wouldn't it be nice if Israel would just sleep all night. That way I could start with a smile and end with a snore. That's the way to do it.

Monday, November 20, 2006


I love having my babies, and think they are TOTALLY worth all of the time, energy and effort, but every once in a while, I miss some freedoms. I was hurtling (safely) home from the mall the other night with a 4 week infant in the backseat screaming that "I-am-abandoned-and-despairing-of-life" cry that is designed to make you drop everything and attend to the poor child, and cast a wistful glance at the Panera bread cafe speeding past my dusty minivan window. I had a nostalgic "missing" of the days when one would have a leisurely shopping, clothes-trying-on experience with friends, and then stop to get something to eat, and linger over your food, and talk and laugh. No rush. Ain't happenin' these days with this one. Everything is more hurry-hurry-ain't-no-WAY-we're-stopping-somewhere-to-eat!!! I went to a baby shower the other night that Israel wailed his way through, and had a Mary Kay thingie 2 nights later during which he did the same thing. He does not particularly like Mommy to have a life, thanks. :) I'm going somewhere again tonight, without Tim and Gabriel...we shall see how things go...(spoken in ominous tones)

I also miss having days where I could stay in bed all day if I wanted and read. Some of these grey, cloudy days we have had recently, combined with my exhaustion and desire to simply mindlessly vegetate have brought this desire to the forefront of late. My husband informs me that this is not normal. On one of those grey days recently, I opened a Dove's candy chocolate wrapper that said "This is one of those bubble-bath days" or something like that, and everything within me yearned for such a a quiet house...with a thick, absorbing book...and no duties to perform... Oh well. I'd rather have the cushiest cheeks ever to kiss (Israel), and the softest belly ever to rub (Gabe). But you hear what I'm saying.

Speaking of having a life (refer to first paragraph), my calendar is filling up quickly for these next several weeks. I'm so excited. I so do like to have a life! :) Tim complains about having lots of plans, but I just rub my hands together busily and plot away. Not working over the holidays has left lots of room open for fun things that I usually miss.

In a totally separate subject, I gotta say - I am feeling the weight of being a parent. It is a mantle of responsibility that really starts to reveal itself especially as Gabriel is getting older. How do we provide the most appropriate discipline? What is the most appropriate discipline? Who are we shaping our child to become? What is his view of God? What of God's character can he see in us? Where are we missing the mark? I SO LONG for my children to love our God with all their heart, souls, and minds...and I just want to get our parts right. And of course all parents miss the mark on all sorts of things...I just want God to give us wisdom on the things we can't afford to miss the mark on. Gabe truly is such a sponge. He talks about kites, for instance, and we have no clue how he knows about kites. The other night he asked for a "God story"...when we often tell Jesus stories, so he must understand that they are connected - and he is only two!

And finally, here's a bad mommy confession. Playing two-year-old games makes me want to flee. Tim and I were talking the other day about things that we like about taking care of Gabriel, after he left me to play a football throwing game with Gabe that he had been playing to go take a shower. I can play those games for a few minutes, and then I get so incredibly antsy and want to do all of the other things around me that need to be done. Like dust. Or clean the bathroom. :) I have to consciously stay the course on those games. Tim loves playing games with Gabriel, but not reading to him. I, on the other hand, do like to read to him, and do the "taking care of" bits, and the cuddling. (Candice, Gabriel loves that Thai Hide-and-Seek book. That is a 5 times over book. I like how the rooster says "Eeechy eeechy egg! Eeechy eechy egg!", and the dog says "Hrou! Hrou!".") Gabe asks for more cuddling now than he used to. He likes to go get his blankies and pacifier and comes pouting out with some sort of pretend injury that requires lots of cuddles. :) I guess Tim and I balance each other out.

One more thing: today we were putting Gabe down for his nap, and I see this sippy cup come flying out of his room. Tim had found a "old milk" cup and threw it out so that Gabe wouldn't try to drink it. Then I see Gabe in the doorway a little later, with his blanky, looking down the hall. He looks at me and smacks his leg with his hands and says "Daddy smack leg. Daddy smack leg" I asked Tim if Gabe had done something wrong, and he said that no, he hadn't but he must have seen Daddy do a no-no, because he remembered that Gabe had whacked his (Tim's) leg, and hadn't thought anything of it but that he was playing. Then Tim remembered that he had thrown Gabe's sippy-cup, which is a Gabriel-no-no. :) So Daddy was apparently chastised. :) Gabriel will often smack his own leg if he does something he knows is wrong, ie. hit the lampshade with his drumstick. What a kid.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Neck folds!!!

Israel is really growing these days – as you can well see. Last night at the mall (he’s been introduced to shopping! :)), someone asked me if “she” was about 3 months old. I replied that, no, “he” is 5 weeks old. He will definitely not be in his 0-3 month clothes much longer. They fit now, but will be getting tight soon. He is also starting to smile at me when I smile at him – such a rewarding experience, having your baby smile back! :) He also is holding his head up more.

Gabe continues to be fascinated with him. I have to basically peel him away. “Baby kisses? Baby hugs? Baby’s eyes! (jab) Baby’s hair! (poke) Hold baby? Gab’rl hold baby?” He is also preoccupied with the subject of how the baby is doing. When the baby is crying, he says “Baby cwyin’! Baby alwite? Baby alwite?”

“Baby is fine”, we say.

“Baby fine,” he repeats. “Baby fine.” When I went shopping with Israel the other day, he said “Mama shoppin’.” And then, with nodding certainty, “Baby fine.”

Friday, November 17, 2006

Pudge and Such

Wow. Is my kid pudgy or what? This is him from the other day, vegging out on his pillow.

Gabe has adopted my Strawberry Shortcake doll, and likes to drive his "baby" around the house.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

One Month

Israel Caleb Miller is one month old today. I would post a picture, but Blogspot is being a dork. So, anyways, happy one month birthday, my dear son!!! We are so glad to have you around, and love to give you kisses!


Sigh of bliss. Sitting in a quiet house, with my chocolate and TIME. Both boys sleeping soundly. Ahhhh... Blessedness. :)

Here's some more nice things:
1. Israel is basically waking up only twice during the night, and the second time is when it is just starting to get light out, so it doesn't really count as night, even though it still feels that way to me. We feel MUCH more refreshed sleep-wise now.
2. Israel and Gabriel tend to (when things are going right), go down for a nap and bed at the same time. That is REALLY nice.
3. Israel is starting to be ok with being placed in various holding facilites (ie. car seat with pillow, or swing, or on the bed) for several minutes at a time without screaming bloody murder. This is very nice, and allows one to finish a cup of tea or other important things.
4. Israel is also taking a pacifier. Whooo-hooo!!! (Spoken by the Human Pacifier). My son was gaining approximately 2 chins per day from the "lets-use-mom-as-a-pacifier" theory.


Having a little baby and a sugar/snack happy two year old sort of puts me on an involuntary diet, I think. I start to make myself some tea for breakfast, and the baby cries, and I get distracted, and my tea gets cold, and the baby won't let me sit him down, which nullifies the whole concept of breakfast for me (I want to sit peacefully and sip my tea and eat at leisure and read my book...this type of breakfast seems to not be in the cards these days.) and then I have to get something on for lunch. Or, I want to have a snack, and little Mite-Sized Tummy boy "wants" too - which means that he won't hardly eat the next meal. So I only have 3 cream cheese crackers (mmmm...) and several pretzels dipped in cheese instead of a lot. See. And Israel wakes up right on the dot of sitting down for every single meal - I do not understand this phenomenon. So I feed him while I'm eating, and that is just distracting, so I eat slower, and then I'm full with less food.

I have, however, managed to consume an astonishing amount of candy since Israel was born. Rationale: I can eat extra calories since I am breastfeeding!! :) Seriously. LOTS of candy. Mary Janes and Dove chocolates and Hershey's kisses and Almond Joys and etc. I think it helps that I can sneak candy past Gabe...

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Apt Words and Tealessness

I found this article today on the Focus on the Family website, (during a glorious break while BOTH BOYS WERE SLEEPING AT ONCE!!! Praise the Lord hallelujah!!!) I thought somebody had just crawled inside my head. 'It seems like the crying, rocking, feeding, walking-the-floor insanity is going to last forever. “Baby Boot Camp” aptly describes life with a newborn. New moms are often flustered and bewildered during those early days with a baby. Besides having a body that’s getting back to normal, postpartum mothers must deal with fluctuating hormones, extreme fatigue and roller-coaster emotions. This wasn’t what you signed up for! When you bring your baby home from the hospital, however, the rigors of basic training begin.' Amen and amen. And amen. But the article informed me that it will not last. Once again, I say "Praise the Lord hallelujah".

On a separate, highly irritating note, I found out today that I cannot drink mint tea anymore, since it decreases milk in breastfeeding mothers. Now why is this the first I have heard of this? I have been guzzling mint tea right and left, like, 4 times a day. Especially because it seems like me drinking black tea makes Israel's stomach hurt. So now what I am I supposed to do? Drink water?! Man, life is hard. :)

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

The Truth of the Matter

So, how are things really? Weellllll....they're actually harder than I anticipated. :) How's that for a nice answer? In my memory, it seems like most people that I have talked to in the past have said that their second child was easier than their first. I may just not be remembering correctly, but I think that Israel is harder. He seems fussier than I remember Gabe being. Like, seriously, hours go by while I am holding him. He just simply likes to be held. If I set him down somewhere, he's ok for a few minutes, and then he starts to sputter and whimper and finally cries like his precious little heart is going to break, and I can't have that happening! :) And then it is a process getting him to sleep, and then he wakes up really easily - and we happen to have a chattering, banging two year old cohabiting the same house little Mr. Let's Wake Up is living in. Sigh. It's ok, though. But if Tim is having a busy day with school, I am about ready to have a cryfest at night - just because I am SO TIRED, and Israel seems SO NEEDY. I think a lot of my stress level really does come from sleep deprivation. Israel seems to have a hard time going back to sleep after he wakes up, and then he has an awake period around 6 AM, while I would absolutely LOVE to be dead asleep. I got 1/2 hour nap today before the phone rang and Israel woke up with a wet outfit. And I miss spending time with Gabe - here I thought I would have all this time to spend with him while I was home, but most of the time I spend trying to quiet his squalling little brother. Tonight, though, Gabe and I had some nice time on the chair in his room after he had went to bed, while I told him stories. He loves stories. They are the most boring stories ever, but they are about things he knows about. Chickens and pigs and grandparents and go-carts and airplanes. So we cuddled cheek to cheek and it was very nice.

But these are the things I like:
-Israel's velvety softest ever cheeks.
-Israel's warm little relaxed body when you are holding him and he is not currently crying. :)
-Gabriel's most precious ever little high, lisping voice. I just love his voice, although recently Tim is starting to be driven crazy from Gabe's continous conversations. :) He says that Gabe is his son, because he sure can talk. :)
-Gabe's ability to understand things and say new things.
-Israel's little "O" mouth that he makes when he is wide awake and watching the world. Or fan or lights, rather. :)
-Gabe's cutest ever little sturdy, plump little squeezable legs. They are ADORABLE!!!! I also love how Gabe's skin matches mine perfectly. I have more yellow-toned skin, and Tim is redder, and Gabe's skin is exactly like mine, and for some reason, I just love it!!
-Kissable neck folds, on both babies.
-Plump little squeezy cheeks, on both babies. I love to kiss my babies!!!

So if anyone wants to come and hold these babies, come on over. They are really precious. And if you look up and I'm not in the room anymore, I'll be in bed, sleeping, or perhaps on the rug in the hall....

Sunday, November 05, 2006

SOMEBODY found Mom's lipstick in a drawer.

Friday, November 03, 2006


Let me describe for you the term “frustrating”. “Frustration” is what you feel when you have been holding your 2 week-old infant son for two hours, and he will not be consoled for longer than 5 minutes at a time. You have laid down with him several times, nursed him several times, burped him repeatedly (with no results), tried pacifier time and time again (which works until it falls out, and then there is a lot of screaming and he will not hardly take it again), tried bouncing, tried laying him down on his back, changing his diaper and outfit when it was wet, yada yada yadayadayada ad infinitum. Whenever you lay him down in his cradle, he wakes up from his semi-slumber and cries and cries, so you finally have to lay down again with him in the bed, which is something you are trying not to do, because you don’t want to start it as a pattern, but eventually all you care about is that he just go to sleep. “Frustration” is what you feel at this point. And “frustrated” tears are what you cry. And finally he is asleep. That, my dears, is called “a sigh of relief”.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Little sweetum's.

Late night tummy-ache session...

Monday, October 30, 2006

The Hooded Pan Man

Gabriel busy at work in the kitchen.

Yesterday, Gabriel walked up to Tim and said "Choc'late? Mo' choc'late? (Pause) Ok. I go get some." And turned around and walked off busily. :) He didn't get any, then, because Tim said no, but it was pretty funny, nonetheless. He did the same thing with me later. "CD? Doggy CD? 'Kay. I go get." :)

I took Israel to the doctor this morning for his 2 week checkup. He weighed 9 lbs 13 oz, at 15 days old. He is in the 50th percentile for weight. They didn't measure him, but even at his birth length, 21 1/2 inches, he would be 75th percentile for length at this point. He definitely has grown.

Gabriel continues to be very affectionate with Israel. Life sure does feel busy with the two of them. Israel will be wailing while Gabe needs to be fed, changed, etc. Israel certainly does have that wailing part down. My goodness. He seems to "need" me more specifically than Gabe did. Probably because he eats more than Gabe did. He also has his fussy times in the evening, like Gabe did. And he needs to be held during them, basically from 8 PM until he goes to sleep, around 10:30 or 11:30 or so. Makes one a mite weary. But he sure is a sweetie, I tell you what!!! :) Well worth the extra work, both babies are.

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Vital Statistics

Things I want to note for the record:

1. Israel was 8 lbs 1 oz when he was born on 10/15. He was 7 lbs 11 oz (I think) when we left the hospital on Tuesday, 10/17. He was 8 lbs 4 oz when we went to the doctor on Thursday 10/19, and 8 lbs 4 on Friday 10/20, and 8 lbs .07 oz on Sunday 10/22.

2. Israel was jaundiced - breastfeeding jaundice. His bilirubin was 11 when we left the hospital on 10/17, 14.0 on 10/19, 15.9 on 10/20, and 14.0 on 10/22.

3. Israel lost his umbilical cord last night, 10/27, when he was 13 days old. He got his first water immersion bath today. He did that startle reflex thing when I put him in the water, with his arms going out, and started to fuss a little, but calmed down right away, and didn't seem to mind it at all. Here is a picture to document the proceedings. :) His mommy does lots of "documentation".

A before bath yaaaaaawwwwwwnnnnnnn!!!

Life in the water was just not so bad!! (Isn't he a sweetheart?!!)

Mom left today to go home. :( We will miss her very very much. Gabe has talked about "Gamma" several times today...Thanks for everything you did, Mom!!!

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Baths and Dawdy Houses and Such

Grandma Edith giving Israel his bath by the kitchen sink. Israel always gets all wide awake and fluffy-headed with his bath, and smells so kissable!!!

Tim and I have decided to build a Dawdy House in our backyard, so mom and dad can just move on in and help out. We think this is a great idea, and hope to see it implemented soon...if Dad can just move down here and start building it....

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Mommy's Bed

In the morning, Gabriel often asks to go to "Mommy's. Bed?" Now I have two little boys to cuddle in the morning. Groggily.

This is the silly kid. He eyed Israel's hat yesterday, and had to grab one of his own to wear to eat, along with his "cool" glasses. What a poser. He gets this "secretly pleased with myself" look on his face, and can't quite hide his grin.

Gives new meaning to "snug as a bug in a rug". This is Israel at 7 days old.

Israel in his cradle.

In other trivial news, this is Israel's due date today! Instead, we've enjoyed the pleasure of his company for a whole week now. Also, the nice thing is that my maternity leave does still not officially start for another week. Heh heh heh. I am workin' the system, folks, workin' the system... :)

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Israel Caleb Miller

Israel Caleb Miller was born on October 15, 2006 at 9:34 PM. He weighed 8 pounds, 1 ounce, and was 21 1/2 inches long.

He is now 4 days old, and is doing wonderfully. He has been a great eater - we went to the doctor today and he was 8 lbs 4 oz. She gave him a seal of approval - except for his bilirubin - he is somewhat jaundiced, and we get to go back in tomorrow morning to recheck his levels.

Gabe is doing great with him. He seems to like him, and wants to hold him sometimes, and often wants to give him "hugs and kisses". He also likes to rub his hair. Life is adjusting pretty well for him, despite a few bumps here and there. It's been sort of a wild ride of people for Gabe, when Grandma and Granddaddy Beery and Grandpa and Grandma Miller and Uncle Rusty and Aunt Lynette came to visit last weekend, and then Mommy and Daddy sort of disappeared for a few days, and then everybody went home, but Grandma was here, and then "the new new baby" was here, and Mommy and Daddy were back home.... Phew. But he loves having Grandma here, and the new baby is pretty good too. :)

I am feeling pretty good...and usually pretty tired. Israel wakes up about every 2-3 hours to eat at night, but THANKFULLY goes back to sleep afterwards. The worst part is the wrenching myself out of my nice warm bed to change his diaper. It's very nice to be able to lay flat again in bed, and to only look 4 months pregnant instead of 14 months pregnant. :) (The abs need some work, lets say...) I am SO INCREDIBLY GLAD that Mom is here to help - it is so wonderful to have somebody else feed me great food and help out everywhere - I am not sure what in the world we would do without her.

So that's the latest...I'll try to keep updating pictures!


Wednesday, October 11, 2006

"The Latest"

So here's "the latest" in baby news. Dilated 3 cm, 75% effaced (!!), baby is at station -2 (which means he is low). So folks, anytime, that's all I'm saying. I actually thought he was coming today, but apparently he is not, as I am still at home and it is 11:30 at night. :) Lots of irregular contractions today, though. And not the most comfy of ones, either. Will keep you posted....


Monday, October 09, 2006


Sometimes, One despairs a bit, because One doesn't seem to fit into any of One's clothes any longer. ("Buy the size you were before you were pregnant", the sage little labels advise. Hah. I'm not sure how that works out in the favor of anyone but the marketer.) So, sometimes, One wears rather odd conglomerations of clothes...say, for example, to go to Kroger's at 10:30 at night to buy some cider and grapefruit...and One simply just doesn't care how One looks. She just waddles happily away, filling her cravings, oblivious and unconcerned.


Praise the Lord, Hallelujah!!!!!! My 4 month work marathon is OVER!!!! Today was the last day I had to work to get all of my holidays off, and now I don't have to go back until the third or fourth week in January. Seriously, it is a HUGE feeling of relief!!! I am taking, like, four days in a row off now, to get all my OTHER stuff done that I have been itching to do and just whittling away on. And to spend time with my precious little son!!!!

No baby yet...just getting bigger and bigGER and BIGGER....

Thursday, October 05, 2006

My Shorn Son

SOMEBODY'S Daddy is just a little clipper-happy. That's all I'm saying. So AFTER the haircut he tells me "Well, I was missing the #2 guard." So he uses the very shortest one. I have a hard time keeping my son in hair.

So I went to the doctor again on Wednesday. Everything still looks good. She could tell by just feeling my stomach that he has a lot of amniotic fluid. She estimated him to be about 6 1/2 lbs when he is born, also, which is just what the other doctor said last week. Three more days to go, baby, and then you can come. I'm already past working Christmas. Now I'm just aiming at not working New Years. So far, so good. I think he has dropped some, though. And Mom said there is a full moon on Saturday, and that does have some effect on causing labor.... I am working Sunday, though, so labor won't suit me that day. :)

Now. To brag on my husband. My husband is such a good daddy. He does such a good job at taking care of Gabriel while I am working, and lately, when I've been absolutely exhausted when I get home, he uncomplainingly keeps going, and gives him a bath if I don't have energy, and does all the "getting" it takes to get Gabe to bed. (I'm serious. These days I feel like a huge ponderous dinosaur swinging his neck futiley, watching the zippy little rapscallions buzz around him...way too burdensome to give chase. Gabe is the zippiest little rapscallion ever after his bath. You have to chase him to get diapers on him, lotion on him, clothes on him, toothbrushed...) The other day, after Tim had been totally immersed in school stuff all day - schoolwork all morning, class all afternoon, we went out to Cici's Pizza for supper just for a fun family thing, and then stopped at the church to pick up Tim's car. Gabe thought we were there to let him play drums and he cried and cried as we drove home. Tim hunted down the church key, and drove him back, just so he could play a little while - just because he loves him. Now that is a loving daddy. He is very patient and lets Gabe play with his guitars, and takes him outside to play, even when he doesn't really want to...I married such a great guy.

In other news, my son is BIG into chocolate. BIG. Silence in the kitchen = Gabe in the candy drawer. He has this particular affinity for these dark Dove chocolates that Norm bought the other weekend when they were here, and comes out of the kitchen with chocolate dripping down his chin, and another chocolate clutched tightly in his sweaty palm. What a goof. He must be related to his mother.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

36 weeks 2 days

I went to the doctor again today, and he said that I am 1-2 centimeters dilated, and not very effaced. He said he thinks this will be a bigger baby than Gabriel was - I believe it!! He estimated 6 1/2 lbs, I think, when he comes. I asked if the fact that I'm not too dilated means I should make it through another 12 days without having it, and he said that he wouldn't bet a lot of money on it, but that I might. Huh.

So now I'm down to having appointments every week. Bleccchhh. Oh well. I'm grateful to God that everything has gone as it should so far in this pregnancy. I'm looking forward to seeing the new little sugarpie...

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Funder and Ditenin'

The other night we had a BIG storm here in KY. I think Louisville got 8-10" of rain, and about 4 people died in the Lexington area from flooding. The storm started right before Gabe's bedtime with random quietish thunder and occasional lightening. Gabe has this combined fascination with and fear of lightening and thunder. It is the only thing that he has been consistently worried about. We talked about the lightening and thunder during our bedtime routine, and he seemed ok, but when we went to put him to bed, he clung onto me, and did NOT want to go into bed all by himself with the unpredictable thunder and lightening outside. So Tim and I decided to go to bed early since we were both tired anyways, and took him over to our bed. It ended up being him still chattering away about the "funder and ditenin' " while we were both basically on the very edge of exhausted sleep. He fell asleep around 11:30, right before the real storm hit. The next morning, he woke up talking about the lightening and thunder too. I was glad he could fall asleep feeling safe and secure, instead of alone and worried in his crib.

In other Gabe news - man, that kid is growing! It always surprises me when his 18 month clothes don't really fit right. He is a "2T"-er. He weighs 26 pounds, and he really seems to have gotten taller. He is at such an adorable stage; I see why people like this 2 year bit, with his little words and baby face. He is such a parrot - he repeats everything you say. He likes to cuddle, and really is a good boy who listens. He now has a sense of things being "funny" or "silly". It surprised me the other day when he told me I was being silly when I was doing something.

The puppets that Grandma Carol and Aunt Lynette gave him continue to hold this fascination for him. We have been sort of surprised to see how he interacts with them, like they are people. Even when we are just using our own voices, his eyes sort of light up, and he gets this sort of shy delight on his face when they are "talking" to him, and he has these little conversations with them, and responds to them, and gives them things. It would be fun to take him to see a puppet show, if he likes things like that so much.

Sometimes when he is going to bed, he asks for me to sit in the chair beside his bed. Now, this might be ok if he was a child that fell asleep in 5 minutes, but it takes him a while to fall asleep usually anyways, and often if he has me sitting there, it is just fodder for delight and jumping around and talking. Plus...I get so INCREDIBLY ANTSY after I've been sitting there about 3 minutes, especially if I have been working all day. The nice thing is that when I tell him I'm going to go sit in the chair "out there" (office, living room), that still seems to pacify him. I guess he understands that I'm not far away. Tonight he wanted to go lay in "Mama's bed", but when I told him that he needed to sleep in his own bed, and that Mommy would be right outside the door and would come in if he needed her, he repeated that several times "outside door", and was fine when I left. I'm really glad that makes things ok for him, because it is a drag and a half to sit for an indefinite period in the room of a child who doesn't show any sign of going to sleep anytime soon.

We actually had to rearrange his bedtime routine in the past week, because he was having a lot of trouble going to sleep, and after I put him to bed one night around 10:15 and he stayed up until about 12:30 yelling and grouching, we decided things MUST CHANGE. Now, we do not let him watch TV or play football after his bath, but do quiet things like read books. Instead of leaving the hall light on, which he used to prefer, now I try to make it as dark and night-like back there in his corner of the house as I can. We also make sure he has a very good snack before bed - I think that was one reason he was having trouble before; even though he would have his before-bed milk, I think he needed something more. And bedtime has been SO MUCH BETTER that it is amazing. It is so much nicer when he goes to sleep ok, because it actually gives us an evening.

Belly Shelf

Today I felt rather bruised-tired when I woke up this morning. My eyes had these big dark circles under them, which has to do with a combination of 4 12-hour shifts in one week, 3 of those in a row ending yesterday, and forgetting to take my prenatal vitamins. (But I took them today, Mom.) I did get a very good nap in this afternoon, though, and currently feel much better.

I had a slight panic attack yesterday when I realized that I am now 36 weeks pregnant (you would think that I would be intelligent enough to realize that 36 weeks comes after 35 weeks), because that means I am one week away from being term, and I just don't feel quite ready!!!! There is stuff I still have to do with the house, there is money I still need to earn (that I will be just fine with if I don't have the baby for another week), and most importantly, there are holidays to be avoided. Seriously, this is sort of a moderate stressor for me right now for some reason. 14 more days. If I can not have this baby for another 14 days, I don't have to go back to work until Jan. 27 or so. Otherwise, it sort of throws everything else off, and I could end up with my first day back being Christmas or New Years. When you think about me, pray that I can make it that far. Life will still be fine if it happens otherwise, but boy, what a bummer. I'm probably going to work myself into going into labor by being so concerned about NOT going into labor. :) Knowing my luck.

Here's another example of my luck: This morning, for the first time, I wore this brand-new long sleeved shirt I got from Gap when I was pregnant last time, when I miscarried. I absolutely LOVE this shirt. It is really soft off-white cotton, with these little pearly beads around the neck. It is very "me". I would put a picture on, except that it is currently in the wash. Yes, indeed, read my lips. "IN THE WASH". Combine wonderful new WHITE shirt, with pregnant, nose-bleeding lady. Oh, yes, you heard me right. Of ALL the things to get on my new shirt, how about a nice spray of blood. Wonderous. Amazingly, though, I think it actually all came out, thanks to Mom and "Esther's Cookbook". And I had had such a good time parading around in my new shirt this morning... :)

That was kind of like my other beloved shirt that I got all sorts of compliments on - it is a really light cotton yellow with flowers and little sequiny things that just pushed all my happy buttons, that I was planning to handwash and lovingly gently lay down to dry...and then dear husband threw my fragile little shirt into the wash with all sorts of growly mean colors and textures...and it just hasn't been the same since. :(

Or my "perfect shade of blue" shirt that I ROUTINELY drop food on every single time I wear it. I never knew I was such a messy eater!!! My belly is this perfect little food-catching shelf. Speaking of belly shelf, check this out:

Last night I plopped down in the office with my new magazine and my little bowl of apples and automatically set my apples on top of my stomach for easy access - before I realized what I did. I thought it was pretty funny. I refer to my stomach as my "kitty shelf", after it served such a nice purpose when I was holding mom's new kitty a few weeks ago. :) Hey, doesn't my stomach look massive in this picture? Now can you understand my whining? :)

My goodness. Carrie has been such a chatterer this evening. At least it's been about such IMPORTANT life issues...I'm sure everyone feels challenged and inspired. I'd better go cook some macaroni and cheese now. From a box. Man, I'm a mom to admire.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

El Hugeo Pregnant Bellyo

In the above photo, let me show you the hugest belly in the world. I am so pregnant the skin on my stomach literally aches from being so stretched. I am WAY bigger than I ever was with Gabriel…which makes me a mite apprehensive as to exactly how big this child is going to be. Seeing as I’m the one who gets to deliver it, and all.

I get ALL SORTS of comments on my stomach all the time, ranging from one extreme to the other. I have people tell me I am SO LITTLE, and other people on the same day tell me that there is no way I am making it to my due date because I look too pregnant. I’ve had one woman ask me if I was anorexic (Sigh. No.), but after she saw me eat lunch she informed me that I eat more that she thought I would. Thanks for that. I had one guy the other day at church tell me that I looked more pudgy this time. :) Oh, man, thanks!! That is JUST what a woman wants to hear. :) I had somebody yesterday tell me I looked so great , but I had one nurse tell me the other week that “Not to be rude, but I was the weirdest looking pregnant person” that she had ever seen, since I was carrying low. Oh, that’s nice, too. :) SO many people inform me, after seeing me one time, that I have dropped. And I’m like – um, actually, no I haven’t, but I’ll just smile and accept your opinion. The hilarity of it all is that most of these people have either just met me, or I have seen only a few times. A pregnant belly is a hot topic of conversation.

Poor Gabe doesn’t remember he used to be able to fit in Mom’s lap, without all the squirming and readjusting to make himself comfortable.

As long as I can make it three more weeks from today, I don’t have to work any holidays. I’m sure I’ll make it, honestly. I’ll probably go over my due date. Even though I feel vastly huge, I will honestly be surprised if he comes early, just because most babies don’t.

Thirty-five weeks, three days, and counting...

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

We had a great weekend last week when Ama Carol and Papa Norm and Aunt Lynette and Uncle Rusty came to visit from IN and Chicago. We had a very good time just spending time together.

This was the first that Gabe had seen Lynette and Rusty since they left for Thailand last August (?) I believe. He loved having everybody there – he could hardly contain himself at times! Aunt Lynette and Ama Carol introduced him to the world of hand puppets – he now has a tiger one and a crazy red fuzzy bird one that squeaks and it’s tongue rolls out. Gabe was just not too sure about these new developments – they were a bit alarming. It took a while before he would come close to them.

He could also hardly go down for a nap. It took a soothing read by Uncle Rusty to put him fast asleep.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Birthday Party

Last night, we had Gabriel's birthday party with Tim's college friends. Gabe had a great time - he got to have PIZZA, and CHIPS, and POP, and STRAWBERRIES, and CAKE, with CANDLES to blow out (twice) and ICECREAM, and then there were presents just for him (he got two books from us, and we had already given him a football, and some bubbles that were really pretty nifty, he thought; and Tim's friends got him a remote-controlled little John Deer combine and some cute little Levi's), and there were boys to horse around with and swing him all around, and BALLOONS!!!!! The balloons, the combine, and the guests seemed to be his favorite experiences of the evening.

This was actually Gabriel's second birthday party; we went to VA for a few days over Labor Day for the first time this summer!! and had a little party for him with just us and Mom and Dad and his Uncle Quentin. He got to eat some rib-eye steaks and have some birthday cupcake. "Cuppa-Cake?", he says. And have wide-eyed delight at the sight of his new tricycle.

Then, Tim drove home to KY to start school, and I took Gabe up to Ohio for a chiropractic appointment by myself. I was kind of looking forward to spending the alone time with him - I have been working so much recently and I feel like I hardly get to see him anymore. I was looking forward to it being just Mommy and Gabriel having some bonding time. We had a good time...although I tell you what, I am so glad not to be a single parent!! Gabe is going through these stages of "now I am holding Mommy's hand and now I am letting my knees bend and am sagging to the floor to be dragged along the ground just because I think it would be fun". Or "now I am at Walmart and feel I must lay down on the tile floor". Or "this floor needs a good lick". We were in a public bathroom on the way home when Gabe decided, after getting his hands washed, that due to the lack of paper towels, the nice dry floor would be a good alternative drying method. Yes. Lovely. It's just hard to be 8 months pregnant, lugging a purse and a variety of baby items, and to be diving around after a curious child that is a whole lot closer to the floor than I. Makes me grateful that he has an agile, very non-pregnant Daddy. :)

While we were in Ohio we went to the Belmont County Fair, just for something fun to do. Gabe squeaked in under the admission price cutoff - you had to pay $7 for any child over 24 months, and he was 2 days shy of that! :) Whoo-hoo! That also meant that I got to go on rides with him for free - after buying a $5 ticket for him, of course. They like taking your money at a fair. But he had a GREAT time. He wanted to ride the little cars that go around in a circle, while the child wildly spins the steering wheel, and so I let him; I wasn't sure if he would get scared or not being by himself as the cars whizzed around, but every time he whirled past, he gave me this huge delighted grin. It was precious.

After that we went on the merry-go-round, and he thought that was pretty special, and then he wanted to go jump in one of those big inflatable jumpy things, and had a great time. He was so little in there with all these slightly larger kids that it made me cringe a little bit as everyone careened around, but he paid it no mind. Then we staggered off (the staggerer being myself carrying him and his stroller and my purse, as he associated going into the stroller with going home and wept desperate tears at the thought) to the livestock part to view the chickens (fascinating), the cows (absorbing), the "piggies" (which he had never seen before), the goats (pretty nifty), and best of all - the BUNNIES. Oh, the bunnies. Wonderful bunnies. He had to get out of the stroller that I had finally coaxed him into and walk all around and check out the cages again for himself, and talk about the empty cages, and pet the angora bunny that someone was holding. I mean, it was great to enter Bunny World. He would have gladly stayed at the fair for much longer than Mommy physically could. I was so TIRED after lugging him around and manuvering the stroller...but I was really glad we went! It made his evening.

One of his other trip highlights was the purchase of a football at Walmart. We had went in to get some necessities and he caught sight of a two big, inflatable footballs used for some promotional thing, and became mildly obsessed over them. Gabriel LOVES football. He loves to watch Tim's X-Box football game demo and hurl himself around the living room with any available ball. So, I couldn't resist - I bought him an early birthday present of a football. We went back to the toy section to get it, and once he had hold of it, he was NOT letting go. When we got up to the front of the store, and I tried to give it to the cashier to pay for it, he cried and cried and cried (after a one hour nap that day - that always makes things quite devastating), and so she came around to scan it. Poor boy!! :) So guess what we watched for three days in the hotel room - and it wouldn't be anything of my choosing. That's right. Football. Or tennis. Anything with a ball. It makes me curious if he will always like sports like he does now. He is a very physical little boy; he loves to crash into things, and bounce off your legs, and fall on the floor, and physically experience life.

So, anyways, that's a catch-up on Gabriel's life recently. Even though our little trip together was a mite arduous, it really helped me feel reconnected with him. Doing all the little, mundane tasks it takes to take care of him; changing diapers, baths, getting his meals and snacks - add up to an intimacy that makes me sad to have to miss again when I jump back into madly working to pay to afford to take time off of work when this next baby is born. I often come home too beat to muster up much of the energy it takes to chase him around doing the nighttime caretaking. Bath to bedtime is one of the most energetic times of the day, as he is not at all into the idea, generally. Tim has really appreciated getting to experience that part of life with him this summer though - there probably won't be another child that he is able to spend several months on end with like he has with Gabriel this summer. That day to day intimacy is a precious part of raising a child.

The last night we were in Ohio, he didn't want to go to sleep, so I lifted him into bed beside me, much to his delight, and he trilled away as he lay happily on the pillows next to his mommy, talking about the light on the smoke-detector, and wanting to sing "Mommy Loves Her Baby", and reminiscing on bunnies, chickens, and the like. He lay all tucked up against me, watching my face while I sang to him, and singing along...I'm serious, it was absolutely adorable. I finally lifted a limp, drowsy little boy back into his crib. That's the reward of all the other menial tasks it takes to keep a boy in action. What a sweetheart.

Friday, September 08, 2006

Happy Birthday, Gabriel!!!

My little buddy is two years old today!!! What a little man! He is growing and changing; right now he is really saying a lot. He got a new tricycle for his birthday from Grandma and Granddaddy Beery, and that is VERY special to him to have his own "back-ee" (bike). We are going to have a birthday party for him tommorrow with Tim's college friends.