Monday, October 17, 2016

apples and cabins and cows, oh my!

We had a wonderful weekend adventure with some of our favorite friends this 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 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 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.

Friday, August 26, 2016

life lately

Well, the Olympics have ended, and with it my reason for living. Or not, I guess, but it is really sad. But I do like going to bed at a decent hour and not having to wait until 11:48 p.m. to watch the ONE WOMEN'S GYMNASTICS EVENT THEY'VE BEEN TEASING ALL EVENING, so I'll focus on that. But seriously, NBC. That's frustrating. Do better in 2020.

I filled the Olympics-shaped void in my heart with Stranger Things last week. I highly recommend it. The first couple of episodes were super stressful to me, but I still loved it, and I think the ending was fantastic. And now I'm obsessed (and I don't use that word lightly) with Gaten Matarazzo, the kid that played Dustin. If you hear that I've been arrested and thrown into prison, you can 100% trust that it's because I tried to kidnap Gaten. I just can't help it. He is the funniest, most adorable non-Millie kid I've ever seen. He gives me hope for the future of our world. But the main thing you need to know is that he sang Bring Him Home from Les Mis (and P.S.- he used to BE in Les Mis on Broadway!!!) at a karaoke birthday party and it is the greatest video on the internet. So go watch it.

In less creepy news, Millie is as sassy and hilarious as ever.

She has buckets of opinions and personality and she keeps us in stitches most of the time. A few times recently, when I've gone into her room in the morning to wake/get her up, she jumps up in her crib and yells "I AWAKE!!!!!" as soon as I enter the room. And she has that same happy enthusiasm for pretty much all of life.

Well, except for the things that she doesn't like or doesn't want to do, including but not limited to: being offered a sippy cup that offends her. Being offered a different cup that is also terrible. Not being offered any more cups. Being thirsty, but not finding any acceptable drinking vessels in the whole world. Going outside (because of bees). Not going outside (want outside!!). Wanting milk, but only from Mommy's Yeti, which IS NEVER AN OPTION BUT IT IS THE ONLY THING IN THE WORLD THAT MIGHT MAKE HER HAPPY. And um...some more things. You know. It's tough being two.

If we can navigate those tricky scenarios properly, though, she really is just the happiest kid. And right now she LOVES her babies. She is quite a little mama, and it makes me so happy to see her model what I can only assume are the amazing parental models she sees at home. ;) Although I don't feel like Matt and I run over Millie with huge dump trucks quite as often as she seems to with her babies, but I'm sure she'll grow out of that some day.

I've been busy hitting up all of the local "fall" (hahaha lol Georgia) consignment sales lately, and I got this building set thing because it seemed STEM-y and smart and what-not. It was super fun and all but maybe I'm not quite ready for toys like this because a) I almost had a heart attack at all of the PIECES all over the floor, and b) I couldn't actually let Millie help or touch it because the whole thing was very fragile and everything had to be just so in order for it to stay together, and her bulldozer approach to life didn't really work with that. But she was nice enough to smile for a picture inside my finished product, moments before I put the whole thing away and said "maybe we can get it out again in five years."

She's doing really well with potty training. She's wearing pull-ups most of the time during the day at school and is successful on the potty probably 75% of the time, maybe? At home she mostly wears undies and I'd also say she's maybe 75% successful. I told her that when she doesn't wear any more diapers or pull-ups and wears her undies ALL of the time (well, not at night), she will be a Big Girl and she can get her ears pierced. This is a big deal- she LOVES my earrings and is always putting things on her ears, pretending she has earrings, so I figured it would be a good incentive. So far it is, because I hear "no dipe-dipe. EARRINGS!!" and "yay undies. EARRINGS!" many times a day. 

The swing set is still a big hit and also the biggest hurdle to potty-training, ha. Most of her accidents occur out there because she can't be bothered to go inside to take care of business. So I guess we need to get a porta-potty installed or something. Gotta set her up for a win so she can get those earrings, right??! (P.S. Browsing the toddler earrings on Amazon is way more fun than it should be. I'm as excited about this as she is! But I can't decide if we should get her ears done at like Claire's or at a tattoo/piercing place. Our peds office doesn't do them. I've heard good arguments for both options...any opinions or experience with that?)

We had a scary day last week- when Millie woke up on Wednesday morning, she couldn't walk. Like her right knee buckled out and she screamed in pain any time she tried to put weight on it. It was horrible. I have videos and they will make you cry. She was slithering on her belly to get around. I was scared to death because she was totally fine the day and night before, hadn't had any unusual falls or injuries- how on earth did she hurt herself badly enough to be unable to walk overnight??! We took her to the pediatrician, and he wasn't able to figure it out, so he sent us to an orthopedist. They did several knee, leg, and hip x-rays, but also couldn't find anything amiss. Through the course of the day, though, she'd gradually gotten better and was walking again- first with a severe limp, and later on with hardly a limp at all. By the next day, she wasn't even limping. It was the weirdest thing. We had a follow-up with the orthopedist two days later, and she was still completely fine. So he said it was probably toxic synovitis (scary name, not scary condition) or (my theory, which he said was also plausible) she may have slept with her leg caught in her crib slat and had a severe 'crick' in her hip or knee that took awhile to wear off. I don't know. But I sure am glad she recovered quickly, and I am so thankful for her good health in general. 

And that's all the news from here. I'm looking forward to the weekend and "moving in" to our new attic that Matt recently finished building- now all the junk important, save-worthy items taking up space in our closets and garage can be relocated to a toasty, out-of-the way location! High five for hoarding. And also- it is the last weekend before college football starts back!! Hoooorray!!