Monday, December 28, 2015

this actually isn't a Christmas recap!

So I fully intended to do a brief (hahaha) Christmas recap tonight. What I did not plan for was how long it's been since I've downloaded my photos from my phone to my computer. I suspect that I don't know the most efficient way to do this. You'd think I've been blogging long enough...but anyway. My current system is that all of the photos on my phone automatically sync with iCloud throughout the day. Then on a (theoretically) regular basis, I download all of the pictures from the cloud to my computer...because I don't trust clouds to keep pictures forever. Or something. And then when I blog, I upload the pictures from my hard drive to Blogger (or maybe make a collage in PicMonkey first, and then upload that). 

Am I missing something super obvious here? Why can't I just link up my Blogger account with my iCloud? Wouldn't that be easier? Ugh.

Anyway, since I haven't downloaded all of my pictures from iCloud lately, it turns out that I have about 400...and tons of them are videos...and it's taking forever. So I want to talk about Christmas, but so far I only have pictures up through my birthday (two weeks ago). And since I haven't talked about my birthday, then let's just do that, shall we? Because the pictures are ready. And some of them are even cute.

Exhibit A: The Greatest Picture Ever

I'll look at the camera and smile this sassy smile JUST THIS ONCE, since it's your birthday, Mommy!
 Trust me, that smile is better than any gift in the world. Any.

So we celebrated my birthday, which was conveniently on a Saturday, by visiting the Georgia Aquarium in Atlanta. (For the record, we also celebrated my birthday there in 2008, but those pictures are too hideous to actually share. I was in a pinning-back-my-bangs phase, and it wasn't good.) But before we embarked on our journey, Matt gave me a most awesome gift: that sweet Gilmore Girls t-shirt I'm wearing in all of the pictures. Subtle, isn't it?? AND YET AMAZING. Anyway, it was lucky that I had that shirt to wear...I had been planning to wear a new blanket know, since it's December and all. Then it ended up being 80 degrees outside (and about 2,000 degrees inside the aquarium, where apparently they didn't get the memo that it's FREAKING HOT AND PLEASE TURN ON THE A/C), and I would have died if I'd gone with wardrobe choice #1. So anyways. Gilmore Girls saved my life, in a way.

I'd suspected and hoped that Millie would be really excited about the aquarium.

I wasn't disappointed.

You see that sad face in the bottom left picture above? We only saw that face when we cruelly tried to get her to turn away from the fish and pose for a picture. That made for a saaaaad Millsie. But as long as she was looking and pointing and "WOW!!!"ing...she was a happy girl.

We walked to Der Biergarten for lunch and it was delicious! I wasn't sure how I felt about authentic(ish?) German food, but I was pretty sure I'd feel really great about German beer, so...we took a gamble. And then I played it really safe with the food (no to things involving veal or sausage...yes to the rotisserie chicken and cheesy pasta-ish stuff, ha) and it was a smashing success. Millie was just as impressed as we were!

We checked out all of the giant ornaments in Centennial Park before returning to the aquarium for the afternoon.

I'm CHECKING OUT ORNAMENTS, not posing for ridiculous selfies!! Sheesh. PARENTS.

All in all, we had a freaking fantastic day. Millie is such a joy to take places...she just gets so excited and is so inquisitive and happy. I want to show her the whole world. Even the places I've previously deemed boring (ahem, sorry, Yellowstone)...I'd go back, just because I think that SHE will enjoy it and therefore I probably will too. (Unless the geysers are still smelling disgusting. I just don't know if I'll ever enjoy that.)

It was a perfect way to celebrate turning 33. I am so thankful for my family and my life and I really don't need a spending the day experiencing something special like this was absolutely perfect. (Well, I guess I did kinda need that t-shirt. Because seriously. It's the best. Also, if you feel like you need one for yourself, be aware that they run big. Size down.)

And now, a treat (or two) for YOU! Due to popular demand (hahaha, and by that, I mean that maybe two people have like, the last month), I've uploaded a few videos of Millie. Enjoy watching her in all her 'live' glory...or feel free to skip if you think movies of babies doing basically nothing are boring. I get that, too. :)

First of all- Millie decided to start dancing (all by herself. In her nightgown.) to the sweet Christmas jams that were playing in the background on Christmas Eve. It was basically the greatest thing ever. She was soon joined by her cousin and uncle and my heart pretty much exploded, but we didn't get a video of that part. (Video is 12 seconds)

Secondly, you can have a taste of what it's like to take Millie out to eat. When there are TVs broadcasting bowling tournaments. Trust me- no one in the history of the world has ever been this excited about bowling! And then after the guy bowls, she realizes that...once again...there are some sweet tunes playing. So she dances. (22 seconds)

And that's basically it. The rest of my photos have finally finished downloading, so just hold your breath and maybe someday I'll recap Christmas. :)

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

twas the week before Christmas...

It's been a busy, happy week(s) before Christmas 'round these parts. Lots of work, lots of play. A bit of shopping (98% of it online), a lot of eating, and a lot of good time with our families. And a whole lot of random, not-necessarily-festive pictures.

Millie enjoys hiding these days. Her curtains are obvious favorites.

You'll never find me!

Sike! Here I am!!!

You'll REALLY never find me here, though!
 She was right on that one. I seriously did not anticipate her hiding behind an ironing board in the coat closet. Now I've learned my lesson and will keep that door shut...

Millie has a new BFF...the honey bear.

Sit right here while I eat, Honey Bear. 
 She insists on holding him/having him nearby during most of her meals.

MWAH. I love you, Honey Bear. 
 There's constant playing with her toys...and scattering them all over the house. Especially these blocks. They are like her life force or something. She lives for them...and for hiding them EVERYWHERE. Places you might find blocks in our house: the showers, the tubs, random tote bags/purses that are at Millie level, laundry baskets, trash cans, dog bowls, and pretty much anywhere you might accidentally step in the dark. I would be irritated except that I think it's adorable and I just LOVE seeing little reminders of my freaking precious child everywhere. No lie. 
P.S. Yes, she does indeed have a black eye in this picture. An important part of Millie's everyday schedule includes tripping and crashing into EVERYTHING IN THE WORLD. Oh, and also climbing up onto and jumping/falling off everything. Bruises, scratches, and black eyes are pretty par for the course lately.

She is occasionally interested in playing with dolls lately. Mostly she wants to stick her (Millie-sized, real) bottles/sippy cups and pacis into their mouths. Or hurl them around violently. Some of these things are cute. Some of these things are scary.

I can't dress myself yet, but I CAN point and grunt urgently towards the accessories I want to wear.
 There's a lot of cuddling going on. Always. Normally I like to be involved, but sometimes it's cute when it's just the kids.

They woke me up again, Nohnuh. I just want to sleep. Why can't I sleep? Only you can understand me, Nohnuh. Comfort me with your kisses.
P.S. In case you didn't catch that, she calls Lola "Nohnuh" and it is seriously adorable. Precious. Perfect. I can't even.

This week she's been going to my in-laws' house instead of school. Her cousins (and aunts and uncles) are in town, so they've been having lots of fun adventures (without me!! waaaaaah).

 They hung out at the mall yesterday (brave, for sure) and like...the girls walked around holding hands. Now I literally can't even.

All in all, it's been a wonderful December. I'm thrilled to have the rest of the week off to spend with my little family (and our bigger family, too). Millie's main Christmas present is already assembled (thank you, Matt...and four hours of free time) and safely tucked away in the garage under a tarp, and I am SO EXCITED for her to see it and start playing on Christmas morning!! I hope she is even a fraction as jazzed about it as I am, ha. I'm also still trying to decide on the perfect assemble-ahead-and-bake-the-morning-of breakfast casserole to have on Christmas morning, so ya know...a lot of grueling Pinterest in my future. Hashbrown casserole? Something sweet, like monkey bread? So many options, so little time. 

I hope you have a happy and non-stressful last few days before Christmas!

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

nope nope nope

We took Millie to visit Santa last night.

Remember how happy and peaceful that experience was last year, when she was a clueless newborn? be young and unaware.

This year? A little less young...a little more aware.

Ummm, Mommy? I don't think I like this.
I thought that the giant sprinkle cookie might help distract her from the strangely-clothed man. It didn't.

 And I'm not sure what's going on with the pointing finger in this next one, but it makes the whole thing just extra tragic...

I promise that the entire thing took less than thirty seconds. We didn't prolong her torture, just snapped a bunch of pictures really fast and then rescued her.

I was pretty pleased with how the whole thing turned out. Crying Santa pictures are a rite of passage, so I'm glad we got ours! And as soon as she was back in Mommy's arms, she was giggling and happy about the whole thing- and especially about the cookie. I asked her if she wanted to go see Santa again, and she nodded yes, soooo...I'm guessing she also thought it was worth it. Just kidding. We'll try again next year.

And just to balance things about another festive Christmas outfit, this time without the tears.

This is only the second smocked thing she's ever worn, but I just couldn't pass up the nativity + blue + bubble pants thing. It is too fabulous for words. And although when I bought it, I was thinking "what good is a short-sleeved lightweight romper going to do us at Christmas time?"...well, turns out a lot. Because it's like 75 degrees every day still. So this is actually perfect!

Hope your week has you looking more like Big Balls Millie and less like Santa Lap Millie!

Friday, December 11, 2015

a very nuggie christmas

I've always been a huge fan of the Christmas season, but "they" (whoever they are) are's even better with kids. I mean, I didn't really doubt that...but now I just have first-hand proof. Last year was great, but Millie was too young to really understand or notice anything.

This year? She notices. Not sure she understands, but there is some definite noticing going on!!

MOMMMMYYYY!!! I noticed these awesome antlers and I want to wear them all the time! I can match the kitty on my shirt!
 Please note that I have had those antlers since...I don't know, middle school? And now they (the headband part) are broken. Womp womp. Antlers in the Hand of an Enthusiastic Millie didn't stand a chance.

I put our big balls (heh) on a small tree in our front yard. THIS IS THE GREATEST THING THAT HAS EVER HAPPENED IN THE HISTORY OF THE WORLD in Millie's opinion. She lives for going out to touch the decorations. If she sees them through an open window- frantic pointing and grunting ensues. If she sees them when we're going to get in the car- forget it, we're making a trip over so that she can touch each one. It's funny/time consuming. BUT it does come in handy if she's pitching a fit...a visit to the Christmas balls results in instant happiness!!

They are magical.
 Our indoor decorations are met with her approval, but not nearly as much enthusiasm as those dang big balls outside. I have spent countless hours (okay, probably not. Countless minutes, maybe) trying to get a smiling, standing still picture in front of the Christmas tree. It's like she knows how bad I want it and she's just messing with me...

Oh but wait, there's that thing over there...

Sure, I'll play with beads and look cute...but I'll make this sick-looking face while I'm doing it!
 I gave up on the tree and decided to aim for a cute picture in front of the fireplace. I thought I'd have better luck here because lately she just LOVES sitting herself down on the hearth for no apparent reason at all (except that maybe it just looks like a Nuggie-sized seat?) surely she would go for this, right? Especially with her BFFs the nativity folks hanging out there!

Better snap pictures fast...I don't stay still for long, Mama!

...Cause I gotta give my BFF the pink wise man a hug.
I am obsessssssed (this word is way overused these days, but it applies here) with this nativity set. I saw it last year at a local boutique in downtown Athens, but it was a little pricey, so I decided I needed to think about it. By the time I thought about it and realized I really did want it, they were sold out. WOMP WOMP. So I spent the next...forever...trying to find it somewhere online, and I was totally unsuccessful. This thing has been my white whale, yo. For a WHOLE YEAR. So when I saw it reappear in the boutique's window display two weeks ago...I WAS ON IT. Whipped out my Amex so fast your head woulda spun. ;) Anyway, I'm glad Millie appreciates it as much as I do!

Although all characters are not appreciated equally. In the eyes of Millie, the nativity players are ranked like this:

Most Awesome- Camel, Donkey, and Sheep
Pretty Cool- The Three Wise Men...whom she seems to prefer in the order of how sparkly/ornate their accessories are...I wonder where she learned this??
Has Potential- Baby Jesus
Super Lame- Mary and Joseph

So anyway. Maybe on some level our nightly Advent readings will start sinking in and she'll start to value the nativity characters based more on, say, the content of their character...and less on the sparkliness of their clothes.

But I still greet Mary & Joseph when I wake up in the morning, so I'm not completely snobby...
Today was pretty exciting- Millie got a new hairdo! I decided to attempt low pigtails, and they mostly worked out! Pay no mind to the horrific part. It was my first try. I'll learn.

How can you even look at hair when there are ORNAMENTS ON THE TREE OUTSIDE?!?!
 I love the huge window in her room. She does, too. Her current favorite activity is to slide her blocks back and forth on the windowsill. You really just can't imagine how fun that is. Especially when you can glance up every few seconds and see an ornament-ified tree outside!


That face. She was clearly mid-babble. She has a LOT to say these days! I'm pretty sure it must be about how much fun life is and how great Christmas is. And how we better never, ever, ever take those big balls off the pear tree.

Thursday, December 3, 2015

sixteen months!

Well I never intended to go four months without a milestones-and-checklists-type update, but once I ran out of those monthly appears I lost all of my motivation to keep up. Or possibly it's that I'm just in denial that my baby is so old that she could practically write the stickers for herself. Just kidding. Obviously she can only properly write and spell her numbers up to 10 at this point. In twelve languages. But give her a few more weeks...

You don't even know what all I can do! Besides be sassy, that is.
Millsie Lou, you are (almost) (on Saturday!) SIXTEEN MONTHS OLD!!! Holy moly, where HAS the time gone?

I don't know, Mommy, but you should always make time to stop and smell the (dead) flowers.
Before we get started, we should probably take a quick look at what she looked like for her last monthly update- twelve months old.

Ahhhhh she was a baaaaaby!!! She didn't even have her ponytail yet!! Waaaaaah. Okay, but for real. She's pretty great now. But she does NOT sit like that in the chair anymore, ha!

Sit back and stay still? Uhhh no. How about scoot up to the edge and jump off, okay? WEEEEE!

I would also be open to standing up and pulling the lamp over. Your choice!
Aliases: Millie, Mills, Millsie, Millsie Lou, Nuggie, Snuggles, and (thanks to the influence of our niece over the last few months), I'd have to say we all call her Mill-mill probably 75% of the time now. Who woulda thunk. Wanna know what we almost never call her? Camilla. Ha. Oh well.

Stats: She's still in the 25 pound range. Over the last three weeks of many doctor visits, she's ranged from as high as 25 pounds 12 ounces to just under the 25 pound mark. At her 15-month checkup she inexplicably dipped down to 24 lb 2 oz (which was lower than her 12-month weight, ha), putting her at the 70th percentile for weight. Her height at 15 months was 31.75 inches (86%). She's definitely stretching out to be a lean, proportional toddler-ish baby. Hopefully her cheeks stay nice and plump for a long time, though. She's still in 18-month clothes and size 4 disposable diapers (although she's still wearing her cloth dipes all the time except for at night).

Her feet are still waaaay tinier than the rest of her! She's in size 4 shoes- if they have a generous width/height that can accommodate her fat little balls of feet. Moccasins still work best, but we've inherited/bought a nice little shoe wardrobe over the last few weeks. Mills LOVES shoes (hers, mine, everyone's!) and it's precious how excited she gets about them!

She has about 600 teeth. Just kidding. But it's a lot. The eight front teeth, two top molars, and I think 4 bottom molars (or 2 of those bottom 'molars' are possibly not actually molars, but some other kind of big teeth halfway between her molars and front teeth. I'm not really up on my teeth names). Her lip tie is still intact, but the gap between her front two teeth seems to be narrowing (in my opinion)'s still about the cutest thing I've ever seen, though!

Cutest thing she's ever seen, eh? I hear that phrase a lot.
Eating: She is still a fantastic eater. She weaned off formula right at her first birthday and has been on all table food and whole milk ever since. She eats whatever we eat and isn't picky at all. So far the only food I think I would say she does not like is grapefruit. It's the only thing I've seen her grimace and take back out of her mouth- ha. It was really funny. And she does it every time she tries it- but at least she keeps trying! Other than that, she eats pretty much everything we do (except we try to limit the junk food, obviously). Her favorite foods are pretty much any fruit, orange vegetables (sweet potatoes, butternut squash, carrots, etc.), beans of any kind, anything that involves marinara sauce, cheese, pancakes...okay, basically everything. She is totally self-sufficient with feeding but doesn't see much need for utensils. Her hands are the only tools she thinks she needs. She can use a spoon (like to feed herself yogurt), but she's impressively efficient (and not nearly as messy as you'd anticipate) with her hands, so we don't really make a big deal about it. In keeping with the philosophy of BLW (which we clearly LOVED doing and have been thrilled with both the process and the results), we want meal times to be happy, encouraging, and enjoyable for all of us, so we don't make her eat certain amounts or finish certain foods...she eats what she wants (out of what we're serving- I'm not a short order cook, nor do we offer her a bunch of alternate snacks or anything), as much as she wants, and as it turns out...she ends up wanting to eat a pretty reasonable, balanced diet (if you look at what she eats over the course of a day or two)! It's pretty great. Our main issue with meals right now is working on not throwing food on the floor- she does this when she a) sees Lola and thinks it's super fun to feed her, and b) if she's mad. Some meals are better than others. :)

She gets whole milk in the morning and at night (and I think with one or two of her meals/snacks at school) and other than that she just drinks water. We haven't done juice or anything else because she doesn't need to know that that exists. Ha. She's happy with a sippy cup, but she REALLY likes to drink out of our regular (open) cups. Sometimes that goes well...and sometimes we need a wardrobe change. We still give her her milk at morning and night in a bottle, though, because then she lets us hold her for the whole thing and it's divine. If she has her sippy cup, she's on the move. I just need my baby to snuggle sometimes, though...and a bottle buys me five minutes of it.

Communication: It's time for a new category, because this girl has got a lot of things that she likes to express! Watching (and helping!) her develop the ability to communicate has been SUCH a joy- I think she's doing a great job at it, and life is quite grand when she realizes that she can stop mid-scream and just say or sign what she wants- and then we can respond!

She has a handful of words that she can clearly say and understands who/what they mean: mama, daddy, Mill-mill ("muh-muh"), Lola ("no-nuh"), up ("uh!"), bye bye, banana ("nanuh"), uh oh!

She knows a few signs that she uses frequently and correctly: more, please, food/hungry, all done, waving hi (is that a sign? it's universally understood, so we'll give it to her)

We have a few signs/motions that I guess are 'family inventions' or something, ha. Not sure that they're anything official, but WE know what they mean, and SHE knows what they mean, and she can use them to communicate some pressing needs: paci, water/drink, sleepy, twinkle twinkle (as in...the song about the star. it soothes her.)

Most importantly, she understands yes and no. As in, I can ask her if she wants ____, and she can correctly communicate (via nodding/shaking her head) if she wants it or not. She also understands and utilizes pointing to things she wants. This combination has been the HUGEST development, because we can minimize frustrated fits of crying by reminding her to point to or show us what she wants. Most of the time (unless she's just WAY far gone) she can calm down and figure out a way to express her need: she'll go into the kitchen and point to her highchair and make the sign for food! She'll go to her room and point to the blankies that are stuck in the crib! We can meet her needs! It's amazing! Oh, and with the yes/no- it shows us how much language she truly understands. She doesn't just give us a yes or no indiscriminately- I can tell that when she doesn't understand what I'm asking ("do you want to study calculus?") she will just stare at me and not answer either way. If she understands ("do you want to read a book?"), she answers one way or another. She'll also hold out for a string of options..."do you want to read a book?" (No.) "Do you want to pet Lola?" (No.) "Do you want to ride in your car?" (Confident nod yes, runs to the garage door.)

Sorry, this is really long, but I am just obsessed with watching her learn- I know that one day I'll want to look back and remember this!

Likes: Playing outside. This is one outdoorsy gal! She doesn't care in the least if it's pouring rain or freezing cold...she just wants to be outside. I hate that it gets dark so early and we can't play outside once we get home from work/school, but I know that they play outside a LOT at her school, so that makes it a little better. We still go on walks sometimes, though, even if it's dark/cold!

I look like a jester!
She also loves reading. This is excellent, because due to her breathing treatments, we spend a lot of time reading. At her last well visit, the development checklist had some question like "will your baby pay attention to a book for two minutes?" or something like that, and Matt and I cracked up. Many days she spends at least an hour doing breathing treatments (IF she only has to have them in the morning/night)...and what does she do for the duration of every single treatment? Sit in our laps and read books. She LOVES books. She sits still and smiles and laughs and turns pages for probably 30 books a day, just at home...not counting whatever they do at school! One of the words she clearly understands is library, because we spend a lot of time picking out new books! And even when one of us isn't reading to her, she's dragging books around the house and reading them to herself!

This book is about food. I relate.
So yeah. The apple didn't fall far from the tree(s) here.

She's still a huge fan of making music- her instruments (both real and improvised from the recycling bin, ha!) are her constant companions. In fact, it's not unusual to see her sitting down, banging a tambourine while reading a book. She's all about the multitasking. 

She loves people and being around people. The apple fell a little bit far from the tree here, haha. She is super friendly and waves to everyone. She's always happy to see her teachers and classmates and rarely cries when I leave her. She lets familiar adults at church and in our families hold her. She's just generally very easygoing and happy, and it's a joy to watch. I love that she seems to feel confident and secure in almost any situation. I wish I felt more like that most of the time- I can learn a lot from this one!

She loves to give kisses. She has a couple of different kissing styles- sometimes she just plants a real one on ya, sometimes she blows a kiss, and sometimes she just makes her kissing sound, which is something like "mmmmBAHHHH!!!!" She will give a kiss if you request it (well, if she wants to), but sometimes she just gives them out spontaneously, which is obviously the best. She also kisses random objects and things that she feels deserve kisses- books, Lola, plants, stuffed animals, sippy cups, toys, etc. 

Exhibit A: a kiss on the cheek, complete with sound effects
She also gives big hugs. She wraps those little arms around your neck and then pats your back/neck for a few counts. It's the most precious thing ever.

I must note that the kisses and hugs are reserved for people she knows well (and inanimate objects). We don't let her just give kisses to every stranger she meets at the grocery store. Those people are limited to enthusiastic waves and applause. Sorry, strangers.

Dislikes: Being in the car without a paci. BEING HUNGRY. Hearing "no." Being in the kitchen while we're cooking if she doesn't have a snack. When Daddy tries to take out her ponytail. Taking medicine orally. Brushing her teeth. HUNGER. Waking up at night and not being able to find her paci. HUNGER. Family pictures.

In conclusion, I like basically everything UNLESS I AM HUNGRY.
I can't believe how long this has gotten! I guess this is just four months of catching up. Or something.

I still can't believe how lucky I am to be this girl's mama. Every day I am overwhelmed with gratitude. Millsie Lou, you've made all my dreams come true. I can't wait to see the person she grows up to week, next month, next year. I usually imagine that at some point it stops getting better and grade? I mean, are first graders really all that fun? What about middle school. Surely that isn't better than what we've got now, right? But then, I don't know. Just the other day, I ended up hanging out with a seventh grade girl for like an entire hour, and I'd expected it to be the most miserable experience of my whole existence (because truly, I'm not overly dramatic at all)...and it was actually pretty fun! She was much more interesting and fun than I'd anticipated, and the point of all of this is to say that it gave me hope that maybe it WILL keep getting better and better and better and even in MIDDLE SCHOOL, I will somehow think that it is the best yet. It's hard to imagine right now, because I think that kisses and "more, please" sign language is as good as it could possibly get, but...who knows. Anyway. 

Sixteen, how they fly. 

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

thanksgiving (according to the baby with all the opinions)

We had a wonderful Thanksgiving weekend. Well, wonderful interspersed with not-so-wonderful, actually...Millie and I traded off being sick and useless (me)/grumpy (her). Poor Matt. He's probably getting tired of being the only fully functional member of our household. I keep reminding him that this is just payback from the summer and his weeks of Man Mono (kind of like Man Flu, but times 3 billion because it was legitimately mono). Soon we will be even.

Anyway, enough about all that. All you (or I) really care about is Millie, so let's just get her perspective on how the holiday week went, shall we?

Things That Were To Millie's Liking:

1. Hanging out with her cousin who adores her and is borderline obsessed with her. Not even joking. Although Carley lives two hours away, her life (according to her parents and grandparents) revolves around Millie. Talking about "Mill-Mill" and looking at pictures and videos of Mill-Mill are basically her primary interests in life right now. In case you think I'm exaggerating or just overestimating how much she cares about Millie, I will tell you this true story that my SIL told me. One night last week, Carley woke up in the middle of the night crying hysterically. Emily rushed into her room and couldn't calm her down. "Do you want some water? Your lovey? Are you hungry? Do you want to come sleep with Mommy and Daddy?"...she listed everything she could think of, but Carley sadly and hysterically shook her head no to everything. Finally, after many minutes of sobbing, Carley calmed down enough to sputter out what she needed: want to watch Mill-mill movie on phone!!! at 3 in the morning, there they were...sitting in bed, watching iPhone videos of Millie.

OBSESSED!!!! (I love it.)

Anyway. Luckily, Millie enjoys being the center of all that love and attention. :)

Hopefully you're getting a sense of the cousin love these two share!! I just can't wait for Millie to get a little older and return the obsessive love (and with ALL of her cousins)!

2. Being a Farm Baby

As you may have observed, Carley has the excellent luck of living on a farm! This is just fine by Mill-Mill, because animals and being outside are 100% her favorite thing.

WOW, YOU ARE LIKE A REALLY BIG LOLA!!! I"ll just go ahead and give you some pat-pats and poke your eyes...

Ummm...isn't parenthood all about supporting your children, even when they make choices that you would never, ever, not in a million years make for yourself? Yeah, that's what I'm doing in the above picture. Go on and pet that chicken, Millie. Hope you don't catch bird flu! (Or more likely- get your eyes pecked out. Or get touched by one of its feet. AHHHHH!!!! A FATE WORSE THAN DEATH!!!)

But Mommy, if you let me get a chicken, I will gather all the eggs for you! You never even have to go in!

3. Family Wheelbarrow Rides

Well, to be honest, I don't know if Millie enjoyed these as much as I did. But I enjoyed them a lot, so we'll go ahead and count it.

Oh look, it's Lola! She still exists!
Things That Were Not Even Remotely Close To Millie's Liking:

1. Our attempts at taking family pictures. I just wanted ONE decent picture for a Christmas card. ONE!! Apparently that was too much to ask.

Ooh, a leaf! Cool!

 (We give up and decide to try again the next day. Surely it will go better!!)

(Twenty-four hours later...)


Hmm...I'm going to think about something sad, maybe.


I'm going to pretend I don't even know you. Let me down, lady! I want to go pet chickens!
So that was a smashing success, I'd say. Maybe I'll make a Christmas card of outtakes. Or draw a stick person on a post-it note and write MERRY FREAKING CHRISTMAS and call it a day.

(On the plus side, check out Millie and Matt's awesome prom hands pose in that last picture!)

All in all, it was a Thanksgiving to remember. Just not one to photograph and frame, apparently.

(Bonus points if you spotted my special "alteration" on my dress...ha! That dress really doesn't fit right, but I wanted to wear it for a picture, so I snagged this quick fix idea from the skinny girls on wedding dress shows on TV! Genius! Until they accidentally take a picture of you from the side, apparently.)