Tuesday, August 23, 2016


Not to be confused with the kid's magazine. 

Welllll...this is a little bit like blogging about Christmas right around Easter because time flies when you're having fun but it seems to fly when you're in a frenzy too. Summer break came to an end for us a few weeks ago and we moved (!!! house tour coming soon !!!) three days before school started. Most of the content in this post rolled through here over the break and the first few weeks of the school year, but I have an embarrassing number of photos from then that are just dying to see the light of not my phone camera roll. So, I'll keep this brief...ish. ;) 

Photo heavy and excitement central station around these parts.

^^^Sanctuary from the waves of heat. 

The boys didn't mount an effective coup operation over the summer and only once when we drove past the school and Rhett yelled "I miss you school!" did I think "I MISS YOU MORE!!" so I think this summer break was a big win. 

This year we did not hit the splash pad as often as previous summers. Mostly because Beck was a party pooper with a capital P. Usually Beck can be a little bit of a divo when it comes to which fun activities he tolerates, but after a child with a rogue water gun snuck into the pad and blasted poor Beck with it's water jets, I don't really fault him for having a little bit of s-pad PTSD.

Thankfully the times we did go were relatively not crowded and one time even had a Justice League/Avengers day going on which quite literally completed Rad and Rhett's life. 

Always wrestling - no matter how public or inappropriate the arena. C'est la wildest vie, I suppose.

Rhett did swimming lessons this summer and I thought it could either go (wait for it...) swimmingly (stop, Julia, stop) or disintegrate into a public fiesta of Rhett not wanting to learn anything other than cannon ball formations. But! Rhett excelled at his aquatic activities which has brought much peace of mind on the rare occasion that I take the boys to a real pool without Jake.

Baby Roxy was born (three months ago now...slow claps for finally get up here) and her pseudo brother's are always very eager to hold her.  

Or bop her on the head / pick her nose. They're just feeling their new friendship out. (Oh so punny Julia.)

Pause for a photo of Roxy having the first of many group pictures and a couple of middle children not able to hide their confusion and annoyance at the situation. 

And there's this budding relationship that's bloomed over the past weeks/months.

A magnet to call my very own.

This little piglet rarely leaves my side these days and is always physically attack anyone that tries to enter our cuddle bubble. Beck might be completely oblivious to the stiff competition that he'll share with his older brothers for the good cereal in a few years (most likely months) but he is not at all oblivious to the fact that as the youngest he often gets what he wants. Which right now is me.

Toward the end of the break Rhett fought with Rad over everything and Rad fought with Rhett over you name it - fight! fight! fight! My solution for a less violent home was to teach the boys the valuable skill of how to plan and host a party. Because logical parenting abounds in our casa.

Originally I threw the idea of the party at the boys because I wanted them to earn the good times with good behavior, but then it evolved into also teaching them to budget and plan food and games and make invitations etc etc. The planning it occupied several long afternoon hours when Beck was napping.

They planned two shindigs, a water and pie face party

and a movie night...not pictured, the actual watching of the movie.

mostly because there was very little moving watching after the kids ate this...

rookie fail.

I woke up the one morning with the blazing and terrifying realization that school was starting in 48 hours and we had not bought school clothes for our ragamuffins or any school supplies.

Which lead to this...

...which was not terrifying at all...c-r-i-n-g-e. And obviously not terrifying enough to keep Jake from getting his snap on.

And the Olympics might be over...but the athletic displays of grandeur are not.


OK fine, I'll stop there.

I hope you had a pleasant summer break...and if you didn't...I hear there's another one coming around the mountain in no time at all. ;)

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Saturday, August 13, 2016

let's get ready to party

Well, well, well...what have we here? 

Rhett felt that 6AM on his 6th birthday (August 2nd) seemed like the right time to start his celebrations and we obliged. Six is a great age because he still loves and is thrilled with our classic subpar (but heartfelt) birthday morning decor. 

Before Rhett left for school he opened his presents (walkie talkies, a kid go-pro camera, iron man gloves and a Zootopia playset/figures and checked if his 6 year old garbage disposal of a stomach could handle his desired maple doughnut and Doritos breakfast. It could. 

On the drive to school there was a full rainbow from some of the early morning monsoon rain that hit. I made a big ol honkin deal about it to Rhett...that not every kid gets a rainbow on their birthday and that it meant it would be a very special year. He ran with that thought and came to the conclusion that we were/are going to Legoland in 9 days. (We're not.) 

After I dropped him off at school I saw the rainbow on my way home and basically lost emotional function. I've blogged about it and am probably too open with the severe PPD I had for 6 months after Rhett (nutshell: I was suicidal, hospitalized twice for 3 weeks total, panic attacks multiple times a day that made me puke everything I ate up, black hole style depression, the whole hellish gamut.) I would drive to the Provo hospital daily and walk the perimeter and see the signs that it was a safe place to leave an infant and many days I came so close to dropping him off and running anywhere. Obviously that was the crazy talking and Jake and our families would have never let that happen, but it still haunts me at the mistake I could have made and what I could have lost. I was so convinced that I could not raise him. Truthfully, he's giving me a bigger run for my money now and I'm still not sure I can raise him right. But when the depression and anxiety finally cracked wide open, what was the scariest thing became the best thing a million times over. And this rainbow made me all mushy and nostalgic and I'm hating my subpar writing skills right now because I'm failing to really express how much this it meant to me. Hashtag long paragraph that only I understand. 

Moving on. 

Rhett's actual birthday was Tuesday, so we did his family party that night and his friend's party on Saturday.

But before Chick-fil-a happened, Rhett had to open this mega surprise gift.

Jake's mom flew in from Oregon to surprise the new 6 year old and it was a so much (and unexpectledly tear jerking...for me...) fun to see how Rhett's smile. And in true 6 year old fashion, the toy grandma brought quickly trumped her presence. Smooth Rhett.

After the mega surprise we headed out to do family partying. Since moving, Breckie and Everett basically have taken up residence at our new house so they came with for the family party. At Chick-fil-a because we try to make all the birthday child's wishes come true. 

On Saturday we borrowed a friends mini van and between our van and theirs, corralled all of these future leaders of America to the movies.

We like, we like to party.

Between Jake, myself and my mother in law who was visiting, the whole thing went actually really not disastrous. And not as overwhelming as it could have been. I will take this kind of kid's birthday party over having the house invaded and needing to plan games and elaborate decor/food. Lazy mom? Or smart mom? Maybe both. Either way, lots of popcorn was consumed and no one locked themselves in the bathroom during the group potty breaks. Wins all day.

After the movie we took the party animals to the splash pad.

Happy Birthday, Rhett! Now with the party under our belts, we're excited to embark on the year with you. It's going to be good. I know it. :)

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Tuesday, August 2, 2016

radical rad

The final installment/ SAHM trilogy of the boy's here and now posts.

(Beck's post is here and Rhett's is here.)

This one's for you Rad Aaron Miller...or as you call yourself, Raddie.

Rad has a new and sudden passion for dressing himself...

... even if his pants/shorts are on backwards...doesn't matter. Out in public he goes and refuses to turn his duds around. You do you, Rad.

At least 6 times a day I hear Rad tattle-hollering on Beck and/or Rhett. No one likes a tattle-tale but I happen to love them. Generally when Rad feels the need to shriek about his brother's shenanigans... it's for very good and horrifying reasons. And Rad hasn't learned to lie yet and usually has his "the whole truth and nothing but the truth" glasses on and can give an pretty accurate play by play. Where Rhett is our get as close to the line as possible/find the gray area kid, Rad is our black and white kiddo.

For example, whenever he wants something I'm eating:

Rad: please!! please!! please!! please!! please!! please!! please!! please!!
Julia: you only need to say please once
Rad: please once.

Rad is super athletic / spastic and watching him jump and around always is quality entertainment. He's uber devoted to working on his "ninja tricks" on the trampoline. His ninja tricks are always like well planned mini seizures where he clearly has a trick in his mind, but the execution of it eludes him. It's heartwarming.

Rad and Rhett are really into playing Frisbee with each other. Except Rad calls it, "Frow-dee" (rhymes with "grotty" - beats out all words for being the worst word ever) and I have to tell Rad to "throw harder" because he's lucky to get it one foot in front of his person and I have to tell Rhett to "throw softer and not aim for his face... " because he's one throw away from popping his eye right out of the sock.  So I guess you could say I'm really into it too. When do they start quietly playing Monopoly? When Rad turns four? Good.

Rad's speech has come sooooo far in the past 6-9 months. You can cary a conversation with him (conversation should be loosely interpreted here...he jumps from epic tangent to tangent like a flying squirrel.) but his pronunciation and clarity are sometimes lost in translation.

No matter how many times I correct him...

Julia: Have you seen my flip flops?
Rad: Hmmm nope! I not seen your clip clops.


Rad: I'm choking.
Julia: No, you're not.
Rad: Yes, I am. I'm choking. Why aren't you laughing?
Rad: Isn't it so funny?
Julia: Oh, joking? Yes, yes, hilarious.
Rad: I know. Choking is my favorite.

My Little Ponies, zoo animals, fort building and ninja battles are the biggest games of the moment. If we let him he would prefer to watch shows all day - this is an unfortunate not exaggeration.

Speaking of My Little Ponies, Rad often refers to himself as "Rainbow Dash" and he calls me "Twilight Sparkle." He really stays in character and demands that I do the same...including prancing in public, exuberantly yelling that stars and glitter are coming off our backsides and having friends and strangers also address us as Rainbow Dash and Twilight Sparkle. I swear this is in no way an exaggeration.

What else should be immortalized about Rad? He sneaks out to pee in the front yard, but then runs in and boldly shares his misdemeanor. He still loves to be naked and stashes his clothes in various hiding spots so that I can't make him put them back them on. After a bad experience with a super heated chicken nugget, he cautiously blows on all his food...popsicles included.

Don't ever change Rad. You make the family 100% funnier. :)

PS a quick video

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Monday, August 1, 2016

6 years of Rhett

Possibly a picture that will embarrass him in a few weeks/months/years. But I'm dreading the day when he's totally embarrassed of me so up it goes.

He's six. Today. 

Six is kinda where it's at. I've been noticing how loving and helpful Rhett has been lately. Way less explosive meltdowns, no pushing me to the edge of insanity in a bi-daily basis. Maybe it's all the space in the new house and the freedom and proximity to ride his bike and play with his friends every day. Or maybe it's just 6. He's a good boy. I'm so grateful he is the leader of my boy troop. What lucky little brothers.

Turning six brings two highly anticipated rights of passage in Rhett's eyes: eagerly awaiting the first loose tooth and the growing of a mustache. If anyone remember's how Rhett used to draw chest hair on himself then growing a mustache at age six seems like something right up his alley. When he sees men with actual mustaches, Rhett like's to talk shop with them about the ins and outs of life with a hairy upper lip. He even offers to let the strangers touch his "mustache" because generosity is his middle name. 

He takes his role of being the oldest very seriously. An often overheard request is when he commands his younger brothers to call him "Uncle Rhett." He totes Beck around and helps keep Rad in place by stealing Rad's "powers" when he does something Rhett doesn't denote as cool. Rad gets especially upset when Rhett steals his "blue power." Now that Rhett's in first grade and gone during the day, Rad sometimes walks around the house whispering "my blue power. all miiiiinnnneee!" Brotherly love at it's purest. 

He narrates everything, asks absolutely the most random questions (Mom? Does Jesus have boogers? Does he like that I don't eat my boogers? Why did God make all these boogers??) he hoards everything he find as his treasure, and is our budding little body builder who takes great pride in working out daily to Youtube Zumba and Richard Simons workout videos. This one is his favorite. He loves BBQ chips and asks us how to s-p-e-l-l every word under the s-u-n. He is a really into researching theme parks and will not rest until we agree to take him to heaven/Legoland. 

Happy Birthday Rhett!!

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In the highly unlikely event that one of the boys ever accuses me of not doing a stellar (or any) job of recording their interesting little lives and milestones via baby books or photos taken with anything other than a cellular device ... I'll always have painfully detailed posts like these to toss back in my defense. I'm still a novice but I know that as far as parenthood goes ... today's annoyances are tomorrow's funny and eventually forgotten memories. Wait! I'm not saying that the kids are annoying but maybe that quirky and consistent little 5:30 am wake up might not be met with the same starry-eyed laughter that the memory might evoke down the line. Way down, Rad Rooster Miller.

So let's document the blossoming little personalities. And to make it more momma bear mushy, each boy is going to get their own post. Vink. ;)


Oh, Beck. You're a mess.

You are. If I had the time (fine! I have that), the strength, and the energy to bathe you after every meal (5 or 6 daily) I really should because you strut away from that high chair wearing a whoooooole lot of leftovers.

You've became a bit of a terror. You introduced us to your hilarious ear ripping shrieking and you stomp around wailing and shaking your head furiously when you don't get to carry the Windex around the house. We can't take you outside unless we're in the mood to sprint because you would put your chin to your chest and take off down the street at an impressive pace for a boy with legs as bowlegged as a cowboy after 89 days on a horse. You're a runner and you make me look like a very negligent mother out in public.

Despite your reign of terror, you keep us on your toes with some super sweet moves. For example, I can count on one finger the number of times your older brothers have voluntarily given me a snuggle but you're a snuggler. Sometimes your hugs come complete with a little shoulder bite that draws blood but I'm sure you mean well. As I'm sure you also mean with your affectionate head butts, slobbery mauling kisses and flirty waves.

You can hold your own at home with the boys during the day but have yet to grow out of his stranger-danger fears and are a real delight to take out in public. Your mom magnet has an intense honing beacon and your mantra is the Gilmore Girls theme song.

"Where you lead, I will follow. 
Anywhere that you tell me to. 
If you need, you need me to be with you, 
I will follow where you lead."


And if you're not following me, you're following Ben. Truly we're unsure if Ben realizes you're not a fellow canine and for all the wrestling and growling you two exchange we think you might believe you're part puppy too. You sneak feed Ben your chicken nuggets that I slaved over by way of 34 seconds in front of the microwave or your graham crackers that I took the time to gingerly break into quarters. I don't mind. Much. Except for when I see how much you love to snack on dog food and wash it down with some healthy gulps of dog water. I know it really isn't any of my business and doesn't affect my life really, but I still think it's pretty gross. Nothing personal...and maybe one day you'll think it's a little gross too. Maybe.

When Jake is gone you're a big fan caring his shoes around and talking about, "dada"  and the same goes for "Ett" "Daaa" and "Ennn" (Rhett, Rad and Ben....we think...) but never ever a mention of, "mama" Hmpfh.  Oh well. We like to leave a little room for improvement in the Miller household.

Your favorite activity is scurrying off to a corner with your bottle, hold it upside down, and watch all the contents drip out. I like to think your intense eyebrow furrowing means you are already decoding the mysteries of gravity, but it's probably that your ears are perked for me to catch you in your favorite illegal act.

Aaaaand that's a wrap for you Beck-a-roo. We sure do love you.

Be back soon.
Like tomorrow.
I think.

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Thursday, July 28, 2016

bon voyage

Or more like bon petite voyage a few miles down the road to our new house.

So I think last week and this week might just be one of those precious capsules of time that we just sort of lure into a dark and damp enclosure, quickly lock up and chuck the key forever. And ever. Everyone moves...we aren't special. I just never ever want to do it again. Or I might be tempted into looking into these magical creatures I've heard so much about...professional movers.

 ... many, many boxes. And many things unboxed.

I'll let you guess how many seconds it took for helper Rhett to push that appliance dolly down the ramp-o-fun and conveniently onto Rad (who was fine, just angry)...

Fine, I'll tell you: one.

Also, this was fun.

All of our refrigerator condiments (sizes: mostly Costco)  spilled all over the floors, walls and a rogue splash on the ceiling. Smell: Strong.

Story: About an exact .3 seconds before we closed the proverbial and literal door to the old house, the very last box, full of those pesky refrigerator condiments, had it's bottom and all of it's contents crash to the floor. It might have been a poor tape job (Julia) or the two full gallons of milk stacked on top of it before it was carried out (Jake) but either way the soy sauce it the fan. Thank the Lysol creators and give them all the gold stars because thankfully clean up wasn't awful and the soy/BBQ/ranch/hot sauce smell didn't linger.

So professional movers...give us a call in about 10 years. (We did have a wonderful turn out of friends to help us load up and unload the truck and we totally realized how unworthy we are of our awesome amigos.)

We've been in the new house about two weeks and ever SO slowly, things are coming back together.
Luckily, Rhett had families best interest at heart and got to work unpacking all of our Christmas decorations immediately. So, we're on the festive ball bright and early this year.

The inside of the new house is painted alllllll sorts of delightful colors (bright purple, beige, beige, SO MUCH BEIGE) and all other finishes in the house are more brown-ish beige because for the love of beige with pops of more beige.

In a month or so we'll start putting together the numbers for some of the projects we need to do (flooring, trim, paint, counters, miscellaneous electrical) but we are really looking forward to taking a year off and doing nothing major to the house. The benefit of moving into a home with gross-ish carpet and old, touched up paint is that I just really don't care how many kids come charging through. We welcome all dirty finger prints...now's the time to get it out of your systems guys.

In case any inquiring minds want to know why we moved, let me fill in the details. Rad thinks we moved because our old house ran out of batteries. He also exclusively calls the new house the "hotel."
Bullet points seem appropriate.

- We had a lot a lot of equity in our home. We also have a sizable amount of student loans/medical and some credit card debt which our equity will pay basically completely off.

- We needed a little more space. Our old house didn't have a good play space for the boys. We were using a bedroom but now we have a HUGE loft space. It's literally house hunters heaven.

- The street we lived on was...not a place where we wanted to long term raise the boys. Let's leave it at that.

We had the smallest area of where we would really even consider moving and it was anywhere within a block or two of our best family friends, the Berner's. And we got it! It's one reason we fought so hard for this house when we decided to go ahead and purchase it after our first offer fell through. So much paper work, so many hoops, SO MUCH STRESS. I lost 10 pounds, cringe. But now that we're here, the feeling of community and having the kids play all the time is so absolutely worth it. We really have felt like this home completes our family and we know we used a lot of our miracles up getting it. Also, our old house closes in a few days (!!!) so woot woots all around.

I'll do a full house tour soon-ish. Until then thanks for your patience and I hope you've enjoyed the breather & break from Julia & Co.

platonic X and one-armed O. Pin It