Tuesday, November 1, 2016

the littlest fly-fly

Although this is technically Millie's third Halloween, this is the first time she really "got" it...and therefore, this has been the BEST ONE! (For those of you mourning that all of your baby's "first" holidays are done, rest assured that probably the second and third and fourth ones are going to be even better, even though there aren't t-shirts and bibs designed to specifically commemorate the occasion.) 

On Sunday night we did some costume roller skating with our church. Millie had two costumes this year, since the weather in Georgia is incredibly uncooperative/unpredictable. She has a warm furry monkey costume and a summer-weather ladybug costume. Since it's still in the 80s...she wore the monkey costume once, nearly sweated to death and was completely miserable, and has chosen the ladybug (or "fly-fly"...butterfly...) costume for all other events. Ha. Can't blame her, plus...WAY CUTE. So she was bribed to wear selected the fly-fly for Sunday night's event, and I decided to complete the outfit with her first time wearing makeup. Because real butterflys wear makeup, right?? Sorry, I just couldn't help myself.

I'm going to try to not turn into a pageant mom, but this didn't help. She was SO CUTE as I put on her lipstick!!!!

We had a blast at the party, although Mills wasn't so sure about the actual skating part. I was, though. I relived my childhood, only I'm like a hundred years older now and my whole body hurts. Ugh. Growing old is the worst.

So we spent Monday morning and early evening trying to prep Millie and explain what we were going to be doing when we went trick-or-treating. She was understandably mystified and was ONLY interested in the bowl of candy I prepared and set near the front door. "MY TWEAT!!! MY TAN-DY!!!!" she screamed as she fell out in hysterics over the injustice of seeing that bowl of candy up high out of her reach. I kept explaining that that was the candy for other children, and that we were going to put on her costume and go knock on our friends' doors and they would give US candy. She did. not. get. it.

Once I finally got her in her costume, she ran again to the bowl of candy and started begging for it.

"No, Millie, remember? We are going to go knock on our friends' doors and say "trick or treat!" and then they will give you candy! And you say thank you!"

She stares at me for two seconds and runs to the nearest door in our house, the laundry room door. She makes a fist and bangs the door a few times, then turns right back around and looks me in the eye.

"I knock. GIMME DAT!!"-- as she points to the bowl of candy.

So I think she got it. HAHAHA.

We finally set out to trick or treat, and she finally figured out what her life's purpose was. It took no time at all for her to figure out that we would find a house with a light on, then walk to the door, then knock, then she would sweetly say "trick or treat!" (or maybe, if she was already staring down the candy bowl, she'd just squeak out "TWEAT!"), then she would look the candy-giver in the eye and thank them. It was adorable. She was precious. And when we walked back to the wagon, she was SO excited each time. She would sit back down, ask for her "punkin" and talk to herself as we walked to the next house. "Happy! Tweat! Knock knock, tweat! Thank you! Happy!"

She also quickly caught on to the fact that we would only go to houses with lights. So she helpfully pointed out every light she saw. "Mama. MAMA!! Light!! Light! Tweat!"

"No, Mills...that's a street light. There's no house. We have to find a HOUSE with a light."

"Otay Mama. MAMA!! LIGHT!!"

"Millie, that's a car's headlights. Find a house..."

So, there's room for improvement on the specifics, but I'd say she gets an A for overall trick-or-treating skills.

Getting home and getting her into the bath and bed was not nearly as delightful as the rest of the night, but hopefully I'll forget that part soon and only remember the good times, ha!

And now I'll have a little sob-fest as I look at how much she's grown over her three Halloweens!!

But I can't sob for long, because it is NOVEMBER 1, which means I can safely start listening to Christmas music in my office all day!! So no time for tears...plus, now I can start thinking about how much fun Millie is going to be at Christmas, because I bet she will "get" that a lot more this year too, and oh, what fun awaits!!

Monday, October 17, 2016

apples and cabins and cows, oh my!

We had a wonderful weekend adventure with some of our favorite friends this weekend...so fun that it inspired me to blog, which is really saying something these days! You may recall that a few years ago Matt and I went to Mexico with our friends Adam and Jessie. It was glorious and relaxing and rejuvenating and people waited on us hand and foot and all we had to do was decide what angle to lay in the sun and what combination of blended alcohol and fruit to imbibe. Glorious. Well, this weekend was really similar because it was still me and Matt and Jessie and Adam...but also our five children (between the ages of 1-6), and instead of a luxury resort in Mexico, we went to a...ummm...rustic might be too generous...cabin in north Georgia. A cabin with two bedrooms and one bathroom. And there were no attentive staff waiting on us hand and foot...it was more like endless children crawling underfoot and demanding things. But otherwise is was basically exactly the same.

HAHAHA no it wasn't. But it was its own kind of wonderful, I promise.

Our primary goal was to go apple picking. Matt and I have never been, so obviously Millie hasn't either, and it was high time to cross that off our bucket list!! Millie, as expected, was REALLY EXCITED about the whole thing. 

Actually, she was really confused about why we were pooping on her eating-apples-off-the-ground party, but she caught on eventually. We had a lot of fun picking (and eating) apples, although I must admit that it was a much stinkier project than I'd imagined. Who woulda thought that thousands of apples rotting in the Georgia heat (the apples on the ground) (yes, it's still in the 80s here, even in the foothills of the mountains...gah...) could create such a delightful smell? Phew! Anyway, it was great even with that.

The apple orchard had the whole fall farm festival thing going on, so there were all kinds of other fun things to entertain the kids (and adults, let's be honest) for the rest of the day. We ate loads of fried garbage and drank tasty apple cider slushies...I hear people who live in places that get actual fall weather drink something called "hot cider," but cider slushies are way more my jam when I'm sweating buckets waiting in line for the ponies!

Millie had loads of fun doing anything that involved touching animals. That baby cow in the top right picture was her SOUL MATE. I swear they were communicating in a secret language or something and plotting to run off together. It was precious. My little cow whisperer. But then again, her expression while cuddling the kitten was basically perfection. True love.

On our way back home on Sunday, we stopped in an adorable small town (Ball Ground, GA, anyone?) and ate some incredibly tasty German food and played in a lovely (and very Stars Hollow-esque) gazebo- or "my house," as Millie quickly named-and-claimed it. 

Trying to wrangle the kids to stay still for pictures was nearly impossible, but the chaos nicely captured the essence of the weekend, haha. It wasn't exactly relaxing, but it was an awful lot of fun...which I also think sums up parenthood pretty nicely! Now we have a few weeks to recover and detox from apple-themed, sugar-filled fried everything...because we head back to the mountains with our family for another weekend soon! Yaaaaay for fall and fun, and we'll pray many prayers that the weather will cool the heck off so that we aren't forced to continue our summer wardrobes well into November. UGH. (We may LOOK semi-fallish in these pictures, but trust me, we were all sweating to death because the mamas were overly optimistic about "mountain weather" when packing...)

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

millie-isms: part IV

Let's pretend I didn't just go an entire month without blogging, okay? Thanks!

My girl is funnier, sassier, and more opinionated than ever these days! She is learning words and concepts so quickly, I can barely keep up. We already have to spell things (like "oh, Matt, I brought home some C-A-K-E that we can eat after M-I-L-L-I-E goes to B-E-D!"), lest we have to share our junk food with her. Here are some of my favorite recent Millie-isms.

1. I've been going to physical therapy for awhile now to help my neck and shoulder (diagnosis: carrying-a-heavy-toddler-itis). (P.S. Unrelated to Millie, but just so you know- I go twice a week for a little over an hour each time and for that whole hour I lay there and have my neck and shoulder rubbed and massaged. It's not the worst medical condition to have, haha! Can't say I'm really praying for a quick healing...hahahaha.) This week, things got real-er, though, and my PT sent me home with a stetchy band and some exercises to start practicing at home. Boooo. Anyway, so I've been doing the exercises in the bathroom while Millie takes her bath at night. I have to do 30 reps of 4 different exercises, and understandably, they get a little painful on my wonky shoulder. So it's possible that while I'm counting out my repetitions, I occasionally say "owwwwww" and make a grimacing face. And it didn't take Miss Observant long to figure that out, because about five minutes into my first "exercise" night, she started mimicking me from the bath. "two...five...nine...OWWWWW!!!!!" (devious giggles) "two...fiiiive...niiiiine...OWWWWW!!!!" (exaggerated pain on her face, lots of laughing)

It's the funniest thing ever. Nothing gets by her! Watching me do my exercises is now her most favorite thing to do, and if I don't say "owwww" often enough for her liking, she will remind me. "Mama, OWWWWW!!!"

2. Like most (all?) two-year-olds, she has strong opinions about things. Most of the time she will do as we ask, but sometimes she'll dig her heels in about our truly ridiculous demands, such as putting on clothes so that we can go outside. The other night, while trying to wrestle her into her shoes, I said "Millie! Who is the boss here??" and wasn't really expecting a response, because I'm sure she doesn't know what "boss" means. But don't don't worry, she still responded. "Me! ME BOSS!" and then Matt and I failed at parenting because we laughed hysterically and totally rewarded her incorrect response but who cares, it was hilarious. "No, Millie. MOMMY is the boss and DADDY is the boss." "NO. Mill-mill boss!! ME BOSS!!"

It's probably true, but don't tell her.

So last night, while she was just happy and playing and not being stubborn about anything at the moment, I asked again. "Millie, who is the boss?" "Mama boss!" "Oh! Yes, Mama is the boss. Thanks!"

Five minutes later, she sees the TV remote and decides she wants it (the TV isn't on). I put it up out of her reach, and she looks me dead in the eye and says. "NO. Mill-mill boss dat. Me boss TB [TV]!!!" 

So anyway, glad we've established who is the boss of what around the house.

3. Matt was super sick for a week and a half (flu and pneumonia). It was really hard on Millie because she loves her daddy and always wants to be around him, but she couldn't when he was sick. Also, there was some serious injustice going on in our house due to Daddy's sickness.

Millie and I were eating at the table one night and Matt came through with a bottle of Gatorade. 

Millie: "What dat?" 
Me: "That's Daddy's juice."
Millie: "Want juice!! My juice!"
Me: "No, Mills, you only get juice when you are sick. You can drink your milk or water, okay?"
Millie: [slumps over dramatically, fake coughs, and moans.] "*cough cough* I sicccckkk, Mama. Need juice. I sick. *cough cough*"

(She didn't get juice. I am still the boss of juice.)

Monday, September 12, 2016


If you're around Millie for more than about thirty seconds these days, you're bound to hear her proclaim "I HAPPY!!!!!" at the top of her lungs, accompanied by a huge grin that convinces you she is telling the truth.

Exhibit A: "I HAPPY, Mama!!" I believe this was in response to seeing Matt pull out the lawnmower. Don't nobody like tall grass, right?
I think it's adorable and brilliant that she's learning to label her feelings, and I'm glad that most of the time she chooses to be happy. Then again, I think the only other 'feelings' she really knows how to label are sad, sleepy ("seep-seep") and awake ("WAKE!"- can only be yelled). She definitely knows what sad is. Anytime we're looking at a book and she sees a character with tears on their face, she points to the tears and says in such a pathetic little voice "he sad, Mama. Awwwwww." and then she hugs the book. But my favorite-favorite happens maybe a few times a week...she has an eye that randomly tears up sometimes. I'm not sure why, but it's done it her whole life. It doesn't seem to bother her, and she never used to even notice, but now, anytime she feels that tear running down her face, she points to it and says "I SAD???!!!" in the most perplexed, confused, enthusiastic voice. It's beyond funny. Then I have to explain that sometimes we have tears because our eyes just make them, and we might not be sad at all. But she doesn't have time for that. "I sad. Awwww."

"Bikes, Mama? See cows? HAPPY!"
It's hard not to be happy when you're around her. She just radiates joy and excitement and it's truly contagious. Sure, she is a totally typical two-year-old and there are plenty of moments of sass and drama and disobedience, but she normally gets through those and back to "I HAPPY, Mama!" pretty quickly...so I just prefer to focus on the happy. 

Roasting marshmallows (or "beach balls," as she repeatedly called them (???)) blew her mind.
I'd kinda thought that by the time age two rolled around, most of her "firsts" would be done. And that's true, to some extent, but what I love is that really...they aren't. Almost every week I think of or realize something she hasn't done or seen yet- and not big giant "things," like traveling across the world, but small, everyday things- and I get so excited. Like roasting marshmallows. When I thought of it the other week, I realized that her mind would just be blown. I mean...a fire outside...she's never seen that. She got to help me gather sticks from the woods, which she thought was amazing. Then I pulled out the big ol' bag of marshmallows, and she basically lost her mind. I told her that we were going to put fire on the marshmallows to cook them before we ate them, and she had NO IDEA what was happening...but then when it happened...I mean. It was just the best. She's not one to shy away from trying new things, and for good reason: sometimes the new thing you try turns out to be a roasted marshmallow, and you are SO HAPPY, MAMA!!!

This is the best beach ball ever!
I just love thinking of fun things to show her and surprise her with. She literally shrieked with excitement the other day because I brought a popsicle outside for her to eat while she played. Like, shrieked. With excitement. She couldn't contain herself. 
A popsicle outside?!? WHAT IS THIS MAD, BEAUTIFUL WORLD??!
She gets excited for things other than food, too, for the record. When we finally (after she asked for two whole days!) got out the bikes to go ride over to visit the cows...there was shrieking. And jumping. Because COWS, MAMA!!!!!! I HAPPY!!!!

It's just fun having someone so easily impressed and excited to be around all the time, to be honest. She loves taking care of her babies, and she loves eating...well, on Saturday I used her kitchen and play food and pretended to feed the baby. MIND BLOWN. Can't stop feeding babies now! But also, she was getting irritated at the baby in the picture above. It's the kind whose eyes open/close when she is upright/laying down. Millie was extremely perturbed that the baby was "sleeping" while she was being fed. "WAKE, Baby! Open eyes! Eat eat!" As happy and excited as she is, Millie will never hesitate to let you know if you're not doing something right. Ha.

In conclusion...these are just days where it's really easy to be HAPPY. I am so thankful for that.

In post-conclusion, I would like to share two non-Millie toddler stories that are hilarious to me. You see, toddlers have the ability to tear you down just as easily as they can build you up. Let me 'splain.

Exhibit A: I am walking down the hallway to pick up Millie from her class. As I pass the doorway of an older classroom, a boy (maybe three-ish?) standing in the doorway looks at me, locks eyes with me, and loudly MOOOOOOs at me. You know, the cow sound. At me.

[commence me swearing I will start exercising and stop eating garbage all the time]


Exhibit B, a few weeks later: I am in line at Target. In front of me is another child from Millie's school and her mom. I know the child's name (let's call her Jane) and not the mom's name, as it usually goes, haha. But the mom and I chitchat while we wait to get rung up. After we've been chatting awhile, Jane stands up in the cart and her mom points to me and says "do you know who this is,  Jane?" Jane stares at me, wide eyed and silent for a minute. I know she recognizes me, because I talk to her on the playground almost every day, but I wait for a minute to see what she says. And boy am I glad I did.

In a voice of wonder, awe, and amazement, Jane stares at me and says "....Elsa?? ELSA?!!!!!"

Because if there's ANYONE I'm mistaken for, it's a blonde Disney ice princess (or whatever, still haven't seen Frozen, but I know an Ultimate Compliment from a Girl Toddler when I hear one). So you see: self-esteem restored. Thank you, toddler.