Thursday, January 29, 2009


We moved Israel out of the crib into the toddler bed, and moved the crib into our room for Zion, since he kept bumping his head on the sides of the cradle and waking himself up. Israel had absolutely no problem switching - he crawled right into bed for the night and started sucking his finger. Naps are not quite so easy - it's hard to stay in bed when you can get back up so easily! :)
I have felt sooooo much more on top of things since last week. It is such a great feeling.

Zion has been falling asleep every night around 9 PM, sleeping about one hour, waking up at 10 PM and staying awake until 12 or 1 AM. TIREDNESS. LACK OF EVENINGNESS.

He has been very chew-y lately, and chews on his hands a lot. I don't remember the other boys doing that as much.

He has also gotten very grabby lately, and very interested in my food, which leads to almost pulling my suppers onto my lap. (He usually sits in my lap for meals if he is awake.)

He does not like to be carried on my hip, but only settles for the crook of my arm. Then he settles down happily for the oh-so-interesting ride.
(please enjoy this most-awesome-of-me-picture-ever. You're welcome.)

The other night we had one of those not-so-infrequent episodes where all of a sudden Israel is crying and Gabe has fled under the table or behind a chair, etc. When questioned about what happened, Gabe steadfastly denies any wrongdoing, as his gaze flits all over the place, and he looks really guilty when he looks in your eyes. Despite a 98% certainty that you are speaking with the guilty party, when you don't actually see what happened, and when you know that Israel sometimes will yell his head off when he is tired anyways, it's sometimes a little hard to know the best way to handle it. Gabe asked if he would be punished if he said that he had hurt Israel. I told him that he would be. So he was not interested in 'fessing up. On his way back to brush his teeth, I sat him down in the hall and had a very serious conversation with him about lying, and about how we often get a yucky feeling in our hearts after we do something bad like lie, and that is one way that God talks to us, and lets us know what we need to do, and how when we feel that yucky feeling, we can ask God to forgive us, and then we can go ask the person we lied to to forgive us too, even if it means we might get into trouble for it. I also talked to him about trust, and how if I know that he does not lie to me, then I know that I can trust him when he tells me something. He listened very seriously and closely.

I have heard elements of that conversation come out over the next several days. The next day, he told me that he was going to have to tell some people that he lied to them (although this hasn't happened yet :)) and asked if I would pray for him about it. He also admitted to being the culprit in another Israel crying bout the other day. About a week ago, I moved the "kid table" in his room out into the living room where I had had the Christmas tree. Two nights ago I was tucking him in bed and he got a very grouchy look on his face and said, "Mommy, when you took my table away, you got a yucky feeling in your heart!!" :) LOL. I said, "Gabe, you weren't even using your table in here! Now you are using it!" He said, still very grouchy "No! I was using it to do my work!"

Speaking of praying, Gabe has really talked about praying more the past few weeks. He informs me regularly that he prays in the bathroom that Jesus would help his pee come quickly. :)

Thursday, January 22, 2009


Kindness blew in my door the other day
bringing a chicken pot-pie and cookies
wrapping holding arms around the baby
washing my dishes
vacuuming my floors
whisking my children away for the afternoon/evening
peppering my house with happy conversation.

What friends have I found!!

Thank you, Donna
Thank you, Sydney
Thank you, Faith
Thank you, Dorothy

You made my day.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Little Sweet Man

Sleep tight my man, my little sweet man
Resting upon my arm
Head lolling back, eyes mostly closed
Oozing your babily charm

Nestle in close, my little sweet man
You are your mama's joy
Your squeezy legs, your chubby chin
Your soft skin, you sweet baby boy.

Now see here my man, my little sweet man
Mama loves you but God loves you more
He sent his Son, your Hope and your Light
Follow Him and make your way sure.

So rest now my man, my little sweet man
I'll sing you a sweet lullaby
Soon you will laugh, soon you will run
And far from these arms you will fly

Saturday, January 17, 2009

And then there was Christmas...

We had a great time over Christmas. Not that you could tell, since I haven't posted any pictures this many days later, but that's a whole project still patiently simmering on the long neglected back burner. Anywho, so yes, Christmas was great, but...since we've come back, I have felt like I have entered one of the most stressful phases of my life. I have had that stressed-out feeling in my stomach where it feels all knotted up and achy several times a day almost every day. It just feels impossible to catch up. It feels like the boys have been fighting one virus or another the entire time since we've been back, although that's probably not true. They are still recovering their original vastly-preferred-by-Mommy sleep schedules of sleeping all night without crying out (Israel) or coming to find me (Gabe). Zion is still having a hard time getting to sleep at night, and I usually end up taking him to bed with me to put him to sleep, since he somehow seems to think that he needs to stay up with Mommy and Daddy, literally erasing any semblance of a peaceful evening. The past week has held croupy coughs for both Gabe and Israel, leading to a horrible cold with the most terrible sounding cough and a runny nose. Then Israel perked back up, to promptly have a few more episodes of diarrhea...then Gabe was out of it for a day or two, and after getting me up about three or four times during the night aside from the three or so times I was up with Zion, and spent the following day not moving from his spot on the couch, but slumped against the pillows drifting in and out of sleep, and not eating or drinking hardly anything for two days, I took him to the doctor where he was diagnosed with his first ever ear infection. Then, that night, Zion started with the Cough of Horribleness, and then at 10:45 that night, he got croupy.

Croup has first hit both Gabe and Israel at this exact same age, and we have had to make trips to the ER with their first episode, and it is a very scary thing. This time, Mommy of the Croup Boys whipped out her handy dandy prednisolone, whirred into research dosage mode, and promptly dispensed an appropriate dose of corticosteroid. With the way he sounded, there was little doubt in my mind that unless it was treated, we would be heading to the ER that night, whereupon they would give him a steroid shot, give him a breathing treatment, and then send us home with the aforementioned prednisolone. Can you tell I've been through this before? :) And then we PRAYED. Croup scares Tim so much. He cannot handle it when they sound even mildly croupy. Our first episode with Israel I think has been the scariest for me, where I was literally afraid he was going to stop breathing. So I prayed that God would protect Zion, that we wouldn't even have to have an episode where we had to decide whether or not to take him in, and that the other boys would sleep through the night, and not wake him up while coming into our room to find me, since I have been up several times a night with Gabe and/or Israel since we came home from VA. I slept on our bed with him, and Tim slept in Israel's room. And what do you know.

Zion slept great, waking only once or twice to eat. He had a phlegmy cough, but no croup episodes at all. And for the first time since Christmas (as far as I can remember), Gabe and Israel slept all night and I did not have to tend to them. Thank You, Jesus!!! What an answer to prayer!! Zion woke cheery and grinny. Mommy was a bit more on the bleary-eyed side...but did not care, as long as Zion was fine!!

All of the above was written Saturday. Sunday I had a WONDERFULLY therapeutic day, with lots of social interaction, sympathetic ears, and people to help with the kids. Our church...I can not say enough good things about them. I love them so much. People are so supportive of our family and help so much with our children and that is such a huge burden lifted. It is SUCH a huge help. Then we went over to one of our friend's houses at night, and ate homemade doughnuts (and hey, how can anything seem bad after such a glorious thing as homemade doughnuts, for sure...), and I got to talk more girl talk...and by the end of the day, I felt like life was just so much better.

Today, was one of the first actual normalish feeling days since Christmas, even though I did have to take Zion to the doctor just to make sure his horrible cough was OK. Which it was. Tonight he fell asleep around 10 PM for about the first time since we came home from VA - and stayed sleeping. This was my number one prayer request I gave everyone who asked about us. Thank you friends. Thank you Jesus. Amen and amen and amen.

Sorry this was such a stressful post. :) I'll try to be done with such things soon. :) I hope.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Toast and Lellow Yips

Tonight I was taking a picture of Israel on the couch when Gabe, who was laying there beside him, asked "Mommy, do you have a little baby in your tummy?"

"What did you say?" I asked absent-mindedly.

"Do you have a baby in your tummy?"

I laughed out loud. "Why, does it look like I do?"

He squinted at me blearily, and sniffled his cold-sick nose. "Yeah. Do you?"

"No, I do not have a baby in my tummy," I said with amused certainty.

"Maybe if you go eat some toast you can get one in your tummy." Gabe suggested.

"I don't think it works quite that way," I said.

"But I want a sister!" he cried.

LOL. Give me a bit, child. Good gracious. I think I'm holding off on the toast for right now, thanks...


Tonight as I was tucking him into bed we had another wife conversation. It went like this:

"Mom, I don't want to die when I grow up."

"Gabe, everything dies. That's how God made it. Plants die, animals die - everything dies."

"Like my teeth would die."

"Yes, your teeth could die. That's why we brush them."

"Yeah, my teeth could de-cay and fall out."

"That's right."

"Hey Mom! I figured out my wife!"

"Oh you did, huh?"

"Yeah. It's going to have hair down." He touched his shoulder.

"Hair down, huh?"

"Yeah, and it's going to have yips (lips) - " he paused. "I didn't figure out her yips. I better figure it out." He thinks. "And she's going to be seven, eight, ten, seven pounds tall." He gazes up at me.

I fight to keep a smile off of my mouth. "Mmmm."

"Yeah, and all our kids are going to go to heaven with us."

I nod. "Yes, they will if they love Jesus."

He nods. "Yeah. And - oh - yeah - she's going to have lellow yips."

"Yellow lips?"

"Yes, and they're going to be really bwight lellow yips."

"Really bright, huh?"

He nods. It's time for his Daddy to come in, so I go off and have my grin.


For the Record

For the record, let it be known, that I am freakin' TIRED of phlegm. TIRED OF IT!!!! Tired of thick streams of snot running down a freshly wiped face, tired of dried snot on kid's noses, tired of loose, phlegmy coughs, tired of hacking, dry coughs, tired of coughs that make kids gag and vomit, tired of mucus in all forms, including drool. And while I'm at it...I'm tired of messy faces, I'm tired of silliness that I just want to send to his room, I'm tired of never feeling on top of anything, I'm tired of every single simple task having 4,000 interruptions. I'm tired of never getting to work on the massive pile of pictures on my computer. I'm tired of the baby being cranky cranky cranky and screaming his head off every single time I (gasp!! the nerve of me!!) sit him down to try to get something done, which I understand is a totally unreasonable luxury. I'm tired of him suddenly changing things, like not wanting his pacifier any more, and not wanting to be put to sleep in ways that used to work that included his pacifier. I'm so tired of him going to sleep at 9:30 PM and waking up at 10:30 PM to stay awake until 1 AM. I'm so tired of his crankiness and not being able to figure out what on earth caused it beside the known things that I DID NOT EAT. I miss caffeine. I miss black tea. I miss mint tea. I miss coffee. I miss having time in the evening that does not involve trying arduously to get the baby back to sleep.

Last night when Tim walked out the door at 7 PM to go to a meeting and Zion was screaming and Israel was flailing around with wailing and tears and snot of great proportions because Daddy was leaving, only stopping to hack sicklyish and Gabe was jumping hyperly around sans pants as is typical stopping only to hack sicklyish - I felt myself droop as it felt like 3/4 of my energy left with Tim. There is much to be said for moral support. So I called my friend Emily and let Zion bellow in her ear for a while. :) Heh heh heh heh.

I love my children. I love staying home with them. I would not trade it for anything. I don't think I have it any harder than any other mommy out there, and know I have it easier than some. This is just my written equivalent of screaming into my pillow.

Off to kiss a a soft baby head and stare mutely at the laundry pile...

Saturday, January 10, 2009

The Life and Times of the Millers

I've been "in absentia" due to the busy-ness of life, the presence of my photo-editing software in the same room Zion sleeps in, and the MASSIVE amounts of pictures I took over Christmas that I am wading ever so slowly through. Sigh upon sigh. But I have to put a few additions in my "digital scrapbook" quick while I'm remembering them.

Zion is such a "talkative" baby. From two months on, he has talked and talked and talked, for long minutes. More than my other kids were, for sure. "Geeee"'s and gurgles, and "guuuuuu"'s. From two months on, people have commented about how alert and responsive he is. He is very smiley, too, on interaction. The past week or two he has gotten pretty drooley and has been sucking on his hand a lot. Sigh. I could do with a good year or two without any drool or snot. Or poop that requires cleaning up, for that matter, while I'm living in Pretend Land.

Israel still doesn't talk a whole lot. Or rather, he talks in one word statements or extended noises that you can't understand a single word of, and you're not quite sure that he is actually saying anything, really, just imitating the sound of conversation around him. "Ca" is chocolate. (I hear a lot of this one! :)) "Ca-ca" is tractor. "Dooose!" is juice. "Nigh-ni" is nightey-night. "Don" is down or done. "NEOW!" is cat. "Woo!" is dog. I noticed he "talked" more than he usually does those few days in November when Tim and Gabe were gone. I think Gabe just talks enough that he doesn't really feel much of a need to. He is still napping, up to three hours in the afternoon. I usually wake him up early so that he can go to bed when I want him to.

He LOVES to mimic. He copies EVERYTHING Gabe does - sitting like Gabe does, scolding the dog like Gabe does, laughs when Gabe laughs, with great hilarity and animation. He is usually very cheerful and happy-go-lucky - except when the world goes wrong, and then he is down on the ground wailing his heart out. :) He gets a lot of colds. I'm currently on the search for how to boost his immunity.

Gabe is at a really fun age right now. He can articulate his thoughts, he can understand instruction, and is developing a sense of humor. He loves knock-knock jokes or puns. He also loves to laugh just to laugh, which honestly gets old after about 30 seconds of contrived laughter. :) He still is just crazy about Zion, yet could do without Israel a lot of the time. "DON'T TOUCH ME!! THIS IS MY SIDE!! YOU CAN'T HAVE THAT!!" Gabe is a good boy who wants to please, but gets a little squirrelly-distracted on his way to obey. :)

I feel really busy at this stage. Taking care of three baby-kids is a lot of work!! :) I literally feel like each baby ages me about three years more than I would be - because I'm often tired and have to keep going anyways! Zion is still mostly consta-need. Then, Israel still needs his Mommy sometimes and sometimes both of them are wailing and I just can't baby Israel like I wish I could because I have to tend to Zion. I'm trying to give Israel extra special time when I am able to. I really just have to make those times for him. Gabe and I have afternoons. I've been working with him to try to teach him to read using "How To Teach Your Child To Read In 100 Easy Lessons". It is actually SO rewarding for me to see him learn - a lot more rewarding than I thought. I REALLY want to impart my love of reading if I can at all.

Alrighty then. Digital scrapbook updated. Over and out for the Millers.

Monday, January 05, 2009

Winter 2008

A white moon suspended in the chill night air
The darkness is silent save for the wind
I lay in my bed on the warm side of the window
And stretch along the warmth of him

The house slumbers in peace around us
Our breaths mingle, toothpastey and sweet
I feel his heartbeat, I feel his living skin
Warm and elastic, stretched over his bones

My shoulders are smooth, my face barely lined
My children are four, two, and small
The days are full of raucous boyishness
The evenings are my respite

My senses take in my life days
Delight in knock-knocks, joy in the simple act of laughing, brother-loving
Mimic-ing cherub, tousle-headed squirt faces
Sweet soft baby head, ready smiles, roll-ey kicking legs and belly laughs
Barking dog, ringing doorbell
electric guitars and radio
Toy cars under my feet, legos in my bed
Smell of shampoo and lotion
Nuzzle of baby necks
Wails of distraught small child
taste of hurried suppers
chocolate smeared faces
a laughing kiss
a hug of rightness
my love is my husband

My face stretches into a yawn
Disrupted sleep and napless days are aging me
Into a grey haired mommy

Let me savor the goodness of these days
And use them for what they may be
foundations of truth, mortar of love

The night wind chills in an icy circle around my nest of sleeping family
I curl my back into his warmth
And sleep