Saturday, August 30, 2008

Life Updates

So. The main event of the past two weeks have been the aforementioned transition of Gabriel sleeping in Mommy and Daddy's walk-in closet, falling asleep either out by the computer on the floor or with Mommy laying down with him, to going to bed at the same time as Baby Israel, in Baby Israel's room, without Mommy laying down with him to put him to sleep. It took about 7-8 nights for the screeching to stop, and a lot of tears from Mommy, and figuring out what worked and what didn't, but now it is over and done and he is always asleep within 15 minutes after settling down. Israel, on the other hand, clatter-bangs around for a while before settling down. But the transition is complete, and we are ready for the new new baby to take up his new home in Mommy and Daddy's closet. Mommy and Daddy's closet is APPARENTLY a hoppin' joint.

He got a "robot dinosaur" as his requested reward for doing so well in the adjustment.

I decided it was time for boy updates, since I keep having new things to add.

Gabe -

Is now fully out of diapers. I had kept him in a diaper at night for a while after he was potty trained, because he would still pee during the night. But he has been in underwear for a few weeks now and we are saving even more diaper money! I still have not gotten over the marvel of him being potty-trained, even though he has been since March. I LOVE IT, and still tell him what a GOOD JOB!!!! he does going in the potty.

Today he used the word "slithered". We were at the Salisbury Zoo and he was talking about a snake. I was very impressed.

He still uses "y" sounds or "n" sounds for "l". Lips is "yips". Look is "yook". Like is "yike".

His lessons right now include not whining and asking nicely for things.

He really enjoys singing songs. I LOVE to hear his little voice piping out a ditty. :) It's just so cute.

He loves to listen to books and stories, or make up stories. He talks a lot about dinosaurs and lightening. He adores his dinosaur underwear.

He is still very social, and loves any event or occasion where he can see other children.

Israel -

Is using some sentences, but is generally hard to understand if you don't know him. His favorite words/phrases are: "Ahwandat!!" (I want that!!) "Ahwanchoos!!" (I want juice!!) "Ni-oh-no!" (I don't know!) This one is accompanied with shrugging shoulders and upraised hands.

He understands a lot of what you tell him, even though he can't communicate it all back.

He loves ducks and "KAK!!"'s very loudly and urgently whenever he sees a duckish object/picture until you acknowledge that, yes, there is a duck!! He is also the same with woo-woo's (dogs). Those are his two classifications of mammals - birds and animals, aside from the loud "NEOOOWW!!" he gives upon spotting a kitty-cat.

He has recently joined the tackle football games that Gabe plays, and can bring his older brother down, much to his older brother's delight.

Life is basically over and just a big, meaningless disaster every time I don't give him juice with chocolate syrup and/or strawberry syrup in it. He will lie on the ground and cry broken-heartedly each time. What on earth, child? I have, perhaps, once aquiesed and bemusedly put a drop of syrup in his diluted juice (blech!!), but have recently begun hiding the syrups and allowing one juice per day.

He still loves tromping around in shoes. He also enjoys hats. And rocking chairs and rocking horses.

He is a very happy-go-lucky boy who really enjoys doing anything and everything his brother is doing.

He is still so STURDY and can accidently deliver some serious wallops. The last time I laid down with him in his crib and he was agitating around, I felt like I was in there with a stampeding buffalo and was in real danger of being trampled upon and suffering serious injury. :)

His lessons currently include that "no!" means "no!"

Thursday, August 21, 2008


The other day I found Gabe up on a step stool that I had been using in our closet, riffling through my shirts. I told him to stop, because I didn't want him to pull them off the hangars, as he has been known to do. He turned and told me matter-of-factly, "I'm just looking through your shirts and checking for turds, but I didn't find any. Next I'm going to look through your skirts and check to make sure they don't have any turds, too."


Well, in that case...

Glad to know we now have a turd monitor in residence.

Speaking of turds...the boys have picked up some stomach something-or-other that entails diarrhea. LOTS of it. I've had to change Israel about 5 times a day for the past two days. Gabe went streaking to the bathroom yesterday and informed Tim that he "almost didn't make it." Today I found evidence on the deck that he in fact had NOT made it. Sigh. Today while I was at the library he didn't "make it" again, and Tim was left to clean up the bedroom floor, the bathroom floor, and the toilet. Man, was I ever bummed that I was gone for that fun job. I just know how to pick the right times to leave, it would appear. (Heh heh heh heh. :) :) )

In other happenings, for two days in a row, we have almost taken Israel to the Emergency Room. Yesterday he pinched his right forefinger in the pantry closet door that was swing backwards. It left a big dent and he was very fussy/crying for about 45 minutes afterwards, which is not normal for him. It was swollen somewhat, but he could bend it, but he seemed to favor that hand. I called the doctor's office, and while I was waiting for them to call back, I distracted him with Sesame Street, and gave him some Tylenol, and from then on he was fine.

Today (also while I was gone.. :)) he was walking along in our bedroom and randomly fell down and whacked the ridge above his eye on the knob on our armoire. It was a little swollen and left a gash and Tim was worried he cracked his skull. But the chocolate milk shake I had brought home from Dairy Queen did wonders.

Anywho. So basically, it's Hurt-Yourself-Days here in Poopville.

Monday, August 18, 2008

33 Weeks 4 days

Baby's HR - 125
My BP - 100/60
Baby's Measurements - 33 weeks 5 days, 4 lbs 14 oz
Weight gain - 22 pounds

Today we had an ultrasound. Baby BOY (again confirmed) :) was right on target, measuring one day ahead. He was squirmy, and didn't want his picture taken. So we have a a head, and ear, a cheek, and an arm.
Tim came with me, as today was his birthday and it was just what he wanted to do to sit in a doctor's office. Heh heh heh heh. :) We drove to Rehoboth Beach afterwards and ate at a Fish & Chips place that made him happy. We had a babysitter for the little squirrels that live at our house. One of which was up in the middle of the night. Again. Sigh.

Gabriel wakes up and has to pee and is so out of it that he doesn't know that he has to pee and his mommy is so out of it that she doesn't think about that he has to pee and it's just all quite a noisy mess. At 4 AM. Routinely. Pull hair out of head.

I've decided that we have to move him to another room as there will be a third little squirrel moving in in a few weeks whose sleep his mommy will feel VERY cranky about being interrupted. We also need to restrict his before bed fluids. So I'm planning for a bumpy transition week coming up. Pray for easy transition for us if you think about it, because I want to get this sleep thing settled before the baby comes. I'm planning to put him in Israel's room so we have a spare room. I like the idea of them bunking together, plus I think that Gabe would find it comforting. He really likes to have companionship while he's going to sleep. I just hope that Israel doesn't have to wake up in the middle of the night with Gabe, since he is currently such a GREAT sleeper.

In other pregnancy news, they recently increased my thyroid medication by 12 mcg, and I feel like an ENTIRELY. NEW. PERSON. I have SOOOO much more energy, and I am so happy about it I can't quite get over it. I have been the happiest little buzzy bee on the east coast. I hadn't realized exactly how tired I was until I suddenly WASN'T anymore. Praise you JESUS!!! Seriously. Energy for the mom of young children is a very valuable resource, and one for which I would pay dearly if I had to.

Happy 30th Birthday, Babe

The top 10 things I love about my freshly 30-year-ed old husband, Tim Miller. (In no particular order.)

1. He's hot. :)

2. He has one of my top four favorite singing voices, which also include the guy from Creed, the guy from Third Day, and Sting. :)

3. He genuinely seeks to actively love me, bear my burdens, listen when I need to talk, and will often be the first to apologize in an argument, not because he feels that he is "more" wrong than me, but to make his part of the relationship "right".

4. He makes me laugh until I cry.

5. He inspires me to know and follow Jesus, is great to process theological questions with, and actively seeks to allow Jesus to mold him into what He wants him to become. He also shows humility and character in his relationship with other people, where he actively listens to and considers the opinions of people who disagree with him, and is willing to change his stance if he is wrong.

6. He is a great Daddy who takes time to play with his boys, and to share the (at times) "burden" of taking care of young children, almost always giving them their bath in the evening.

7. When he gets in "Tim-Think-Land", his gaze goes all far away, and he starts pacing restlessly and swinging his arms and sort of waggling his fingers. It makes me laugh.

8. Tim is Tim is Tim. He is not someone of pretense, and is not a different person with different people.

9. He processes verbally. He can talk and I can listen, and I like it that way. It makes me feel connected to him. And he likes to hear what I have to say.

10. He rubs lotion on my feet almost every single night, per request of his dry-footed wifey. Now is that true love or what??

I love you so much, Tim Miller. You are one of the very best things of my life.

Monday, August 11, 2008

August Life

I have really been enjoying the weather of late - not so hot anymore right now. The other day the boys and I spent the morning at the park. The boys LOVED it. And I actually sort of enjoyed myself - especially after we ran back home for a blanket to sit on and a book. It was comfortable in the shade and really kind of peaceful to be so close to the water.
Cheesy boy.

The other night, for some reason, our electricity went off from about 8 PM-9:40 PM. Gabe has been talking about wanting to roast marshmallows, so I suggested we find something to burn in the backyard. Our large pile of cardboard boxes went up in hungry flames while Gabe raced in gleeful circles around them.
We tried roasting marshmallows...but they tasted awfully toxic. :) So we just ate some plain ones and watched the short-lived flames. The short break from electricity made me remember how much I appreciate it. I love my fan noises and my hot water. :)

Israel is back to his chipper, happy self. HUGE sigh of relief. He and Gabe enjoy each other so much - except for when they don't -you know how that goes. We were gone Wednesday and Thursday for supper invitations, Tim and I went out on Friday, then were gone for another supper invitation on Saturday, and finished up the week with a church supper picnic on Sunday. The boys crack me up in the back seat on the way home from all of those things. They laugh and laugh and giggle and are the biggest cheese balls ever.

Gabe is currently experimenting with "potty talk". As in "poo-poo head" (cackle of laughter), "pee pee butt" (wild giggles), "poopy bottom" (wiggle of glee). His daddy gets very stern with him, informing him that potty talk belongs in the bathroom. Israel chortles with joy because we're all having such a good time, and Mommy grins into her hand. She can't help it. She thinks it's funny. Snicker.

The other day I was instructing Gabe to "come here now" when he was outside, and he was being his normal self and being very dwaddle-y. He looked at me and said "Mommy, it's called patience!!" I hid a smile and told him that patience is very good indeed, but what he needed to practice at that point was obedience!! We were driving home the other night and attempting to distract Gabe from the thrill of "potty talk" by singing the ABC song, which thoroughly annoyed my son. He asked us to stop and then said "Daddy, it's called obedience!!!" :)


Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Ah HAH!!

Today, in sheer desperation, I marched mine youngest into the doctor's office. It turns out he has something called an "echo virus", which manifests itself with a fever (over and done with), a rash (now gone). diarrhea (still has), throat ulcerations (still has), and a headache. Ah HAH!!!! It should be resolved in a few days. I was so thankful to find that out. The nap has returned, but the fussiness has been almost unbearable.

I was just feeling like I was about to climb the walls around here. This morning Israel fussed constantly, as in angry screeching, or standing right in front of me to be lifted up, crying, or going limp and crying when I tried to set him down. And again with the angry screeching. If anything went wrong he was going into total meltdown mode. I was really starting to feel overwhelmed - like - is there something I'm doing wrong? Is this the Terrible Two's? Is this his personality? I CAN'T TAKE THIS!!!! It has been a very trying few days.

Now I feel much more sympathetic toward him. And the sigh of relief is HUGE knowing the happy little boy will like soon make his return. Wittle Buster. :)

Sunday, August 03, 2008


My head feels all jangled-ey when Israel doesn't nap normally. I have this little routine in my head. We eat lunch, tired yawning cranky baby goes down for his 3 hour nap, and wakes cheerfully. Mommy lays down for a little peace and quiet. Recently it's been going more like this - Mommy lays cranky baby down for some shut-eye, who jumps and yells and pulls the curtain blanket off his window and cranks and fusses and screeches. 45 minutes later she goes in and gets him back up. Repeat again. Jangle headedness ensues. It's entirely unrestful for a mommy. She feels very much at loose ends.

Someone suggested that he could be dropping his nap, to which I responded in sheer horror. I depend on that nap!! The child cannot be doing that. He can not go from 3+ hour naps to nada. But the future is looking a mite grim at this point, as it is 3:07 PM and he is currently up and playing happily after two botched nap attempts, and this has been the norm for the past several days.

I have talked to people whose 3 1/2 year old child still takes a 2 hour nap during the afternoon, and goes happily to sleep at 8 PM. I'm pretty sure these are the same people who had babies who slept all night from 2 weeks on. These are not mine offspring. Mine are way less restful.

I think one of my eyes is twirling around in little circles independent of the other. The left side of my head is standing upon frazzled ends. I'm developing a nervous tic in my right leg. Every now and then I emit a bark of loud, unamused laughter for no real reason at all. And I'm talking at length to all my invisible friends. They are very sympathetic.


Israel fell asleep after 4 PM and napped for 45 minutes or so.


Saturday, August 02, 2008


This morning I was walking through the house with a rather incredulous, you-just-gotta-smile-about-it grin on my face. Both of my boys were screaming bloody murder. Gabe was hanging halfway off the couch with his head resting on the floor bellowing tearfully because:
a. His bowl of strawberries was next to his bowl of eggs on the table, and I told him that I wasn't going to move them away, that he could do it himself, and
b. I would not agree to turn the air conditioner on, but was letting the nice morning breeze blow through the house.

Israel, on the other hand, was in the bathtub, where I hurriedly deposited him after finding him sitting on the floor with poop on his hand from his dirty diaper. He was thoroughly resistant to the idea of generalized cleanliness and wept great fat crocodile tears for many many minutes.

Oh the injustice!!!! Oh the pain of living!!!! If only they had a loving mommy!!!!

I was pretty sure that if any one came to the door at that moment, they would struggle with an involuntary thought that I really must be doing something not quite right for both boys to be so unhappy at the same time.

This afternoon I had another smile on my face. I was laying in our bed, at the end of my afternoon cat nap, with a little blond head resting on the pillow beside me. He was busy telling me a "tormado" story and talking about "the 'nightning (lightning), and the 'nightning, and the 'nightning', and the 'nightning'..." He repeated the 'nightning' phrase about 28 times, arms waving wildly and legs kicking up in illustration as he lay happily ensconced in his mommy's arms. His little head smelled faintly of boy sweat, and he was sweet. I sure do love my boys.

Israel's attention span for reading has increased of late to a much more tolerable length for his mommy. I got really tired of the whole "lets read a book for .02 seconds and then get down and find another repeat ad infinitum". His books of choice right now are any book with photos of babies/kids, truck books, textured animal books, and a book about a little boy and a tractor.

Gabe is in a new song era. I'm hearing lots of songs. "This Little Light of Mine", "The Eensy Weensy Spider", etc. He's just as cute as a lil' ol' button when he pipes them out.

Israel is full of "ooowwww"'s. I hear about 15 declarations of "oowwwww!!!" a day, like, say, after I hand him a faintly warm cookie. :) His little face just snoots all up and looks very injured. :) He needs many kisses and comforts to make life better.

Friday, August 01, 2008

The Duckling

Recently someone gave Gabe a copy of "The Ugly Duckling" that has really cute illustrations. We didn't have that story before that. When I sat down to read it to him yesterday, something in my spirit/gut was really actually bothered by the story and the morale it promoted. I felt really awkward repeatedly using the word "ugly" in regards to appearance. I don't know if Gabe had hardly heard that word before, and this book used it over and over - and then the end of the story is that the ugly duckling is FINALLY worth value when he is eventually beautiful. Blech. I don't really feel like enculturating that "appearance is your worth" value that is already an intrinsic and highly unhelpful part of American culture - and possibly human nature as a whole, from age 3 on up.

Tonight when he brought me that book to read, I decided to use it for my own ends. I referred to the bird as "the duckling" - entirely skipping the repeated "ugly" references, and occasionally substituting "funny-looking" - and after a scene where the barnyard animals make so much fun of the "funny-looking duckling" that he runs away, I stopped and we talked about how much it can hurt children when other children make fun of them, and how it can make people feel really lonely and sad, and how I hope that Gabriel always remembers to stand up for children that other children make fun of and that he can say nice things about them when other people are saying mean things. We also talked about how sometimes some people might look different or even be "funny-looking" on the outside, but how they can be beautiful on the inside, and how God looks at how we are on the inside, and how "funny-looking" people are just as valuable to God as everybody else, and how we should treat them just the same. The reality is that children will see differences - so I want to address the fact that some people do look different - but teach that it is irrelevant. I told Gabe that I want him to be a boy that always tries watch out for kids around him who might be sad or lonely because other kids are being mean to them, and to be their friend instead. Tonight when we prayed before bed, I prayed that God would give him eyes for those people, and that he would be a boy who takes care of those around him, including his brothers. I never quite realized how much I desire my sons to show that character to others until we met "The Ugly Duckling" - but it is a core desire of mine.

Gabriel listened very attentively, with a furrowed, thoughtful brow. This is such an "absorbent" time in his life. I definitely prefer him to absorb things that reflect God's character, instead of "ugly people are not worth anything. Bow before beauty." Blech again. Hans Christian Anderson, you little stinker.