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...