basket beds

There is a Miller Manor favorite that magically appears every single laundry day.

Basket Beds.

As I fold and empty laundry baskets that lay unoccupied on the floor of the living room, my little Millies find their way into them making up cozy little beds.  Each of the Millies have their own “mama boo’s” now.  (Mama boo’s are the cozy fleece blankets I love to snuggle under on the couch at any given time.  Except it’s hard for me now to find my “mama boos” since they are usually being snuggled with else-where by one of my little Millies… I finally got wise and got them their own “mama boo’s” to sleep with so mine could be freed up!)

Anyway, they place a couch pillow and a mama boo in the empty laundry basket and there they stay all cozy for hours.  The girls spent the whole afternoon cozied up in their basket beds yesterday and now as I sit writing this, Stella is cozied up in a basket bed right behind me.

It really is the simplest of things that brings joy and hours of entertainment.

 

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springtime

Watching my little Major discover his first Spring will go down as one of my favorite parts of our first year together.

Something in me lays dormant over the winter.  Don’t get me wrong, I love the holidays as much as anyone, and there is definitely something to be said about cozying up in side around a fire while it’s cold outside.  But I am a summer girl in my soul, and each Spring I feel like “ah, there you are.  I have been lost without you.”

This week I have kept the schedule as light as possible and have spent the majority of the time (not folding laundry) playing outside, swinging on the porch, bouncing on the trampoline, taking a few extra walks, going for drives with the windows down.  This is the mom I hope my kids remember the most – springtime mom.  Not ornery, cooped-up winter-mom that hangs around in January.

It’s 70 degrees outside and I feel like… myself.

God bless spring!

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from my kitchen office nook

Sometimes when I am in a rut (emotionally), I like to think of a time when I was completely happy and try to align my life now in the same way to bring the happiness about again.  This might mean a trip (I always find clarity at the ocean!), or a place of spiritual peace (like the temple), or even as quirky as recreating some old outfits.

I have been thinking of the time when I was a young mama to two little babies – a year and a half old Harlo, and a newborn baby Stella.  At that point, it was the happiest I had ever been in my whole life.  I was so fulfilled, so creative.  I learned to cook in that time.  I would pull recipes from Rachel Ray up on my computer in the kitchen and follow each step closely until my food started resembling some of the pictures.  I would craft at my little kitchen desk to make my girls bows and headbands, and embellish plain onesies, upcycle old clothes and fabrics.  I would write as quickly as thoughts came to my head about the season of life I was in.  I didn’t want a single detail about my girls and my early journey with motherhood to go undocumented.  I would take pictures, then sit for hours studying photoshop, composition, exposure to try to push myself to learn a new art form.  I would plunk Harlo in her high chair with some organic fruit, and organic whole-grain crackers just beside me, turn on Stella’s baby monitor and chug away at my little blog.

Some of the best days of my whole entire life.

Lately I have found myself in a bit of a creative rut.  I asked Mr. Miller to move my computer from our shared office to a little nook in the kitchen, just like I had when my girls were babies.  Just like I had in the early days of this blog.

 Sometimes we don’t need a complete overhaul.  Sometimes we just need a little tweak in the things we’re doing to get the flow moving again.

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Major Monthly – TEN

Major is just as sweet as they come.
Truly a little angel boy.
He is calm, mellow, completely laid back.
Wow, we really needed one like that in this family. ;)
He was nearly 22 lbs at his 9 month appointment, putting him just 2 lbs behind his big sister.
This boy is a little tank.  He is rolly and squishy and ever so delishy.
He has 6 teeth, and is working on 7 & 8 as we speak.  Poor guy got all 6 in the matter of about 2 weeks!
He loves to grind his top with his bottom and it sends a shiver down my soul every single time.
He is happy and goofy and always on the go.
He army crawls faster than anything you’ve ever seen.  A couple months ago we were at a friend’s who had been in the army.  They were so impressed with his form and speed. ha!
He can now crawl with his belly off the ground, but when he’s being quick he’ll resort to the army crawl, or “the slither” as I have named it.
I always love this age so much, their little personalities really start to blossom at this age.
Maj has turned into a little goof ball.  He loves anything silly.
He plays peek-a-boo with anything he can.
He waves on demand, melting the hearts of all the women in his life (sisters).
He says mama, dada, stella, hi, bye, uh-oh, mmmm, yeah, boo, baba.
He has started to mimick anything we do, and will try to say words we tell him to.
He is the latest of my early talkers, but it just fits right along with his laid back demeanor.
He growls and woofs like a little puppy.  He reminds me of a puppy in so many ways, we often call him “Pup”.
The other day I came around the kitchen island and he was right there and right when he saw me, he said “raw!” Definitely learned that from his sisters. ;)
He loves the school bus and waving his sisters off and home from school.
Major definitely loves his mama in a special way, but he honestly is a fan of our whole crew.
He plays with Grae, and pesters her like the little brother he is.
He takes to Harlo just like his second mama, and Stella is his favorite source of entertainment.
One thing that has been so fun for me to see, is the brother-sister dynamic come to life.  I have no brothers, so this is a very first for me.
I always say that Major is the little house boyfriend, and it’s so true.  He has us ladies completely smitten.  He can do no wrong (yet).
I can tell he and Brady have their own little guy-bond and my heart just about bursts right in two when I see them together.
My boys.  My goodness I’m glad we have a son.
Major is officially done nursing, as of 9 months.
Of course, that milestone has been a little bittersweet.
I wanted to chat about it more for my record so..
Struggling with milk supply is the name of the game for me.  I fight back hard, and have been able to make nursing work, which has been so wonderful.  Major is such an eater – he eats WAY more than my girls did.  When we started feeding him baby food, I realized this especially.  He was nursing non stop all day, and never seeming satisfied.  His sleeping at night was getting worse and worse.  He was up every two hours to eat, for sure.  I was making myself crazy taking supplements, counting calories (making sure I was getting enough), drinking water by the gallon and living on no sleep, I felt like my milk battle was winning me, not me winning it.
I also can’t pump after the first bit, because my milk wont let down with a pump.  This is all stuff I dealt with with my others too, but I still just pressed on.  Then when Major was about 7 months, I had a photo shoot take me away for longer than 2 hours, and as a desperate attempt, I had Brady go pick up a small can of formula at the store and see if he’d take it.  He gulped down a 6 ounce bottle then took a 3.5 hour nap.
And not that this was THE answer, and not that I couldn’t have still pushed on with nursing exclusively.. but I felt my heart change – how prayers are often answered for me.  I had been drowning and I couldn’t think of anything I could move from my plate to stay afloat, and on that day, I saw something that I could move off my plate.  I could have kept fighting, but I didn’t have to.  And it’s a lesson I hadn’t learned yet in mothering, and I’m grateful for.  We didn’t rush into anything, I kept nursing – and on days I felt nursing wasn’t enough, I’d feed him a bottle.  Then I started feeding him a bottle before bed, and that made all the difference in his sleeping.  We gradually, very slowly moved from nursing to bottles full time.  And instead of feeling terribly sad, or like defeat, I felt happier, and I could tell Major was happier.  I felt like I had done what was right for us, not what was right for me, or what I wanted to do the most, but what was right for us.  And that felt so good.
Major is happily taking 2-3 8 oz. bottles a day, sleeping through the night, and finally napping reguarly too.  It has also been such a sweet tender mercy to me because my oldest baby was a bottle-baby as well, and it’s brought back so many sweet memories from her babyhood.  It’s another testiment to there being a million ways to be a good mother, and no one way.  As a mama of four babies now, I haven’t found two that are exactly alike.  I have had to be four different mothers to my four different children.  And somehow, I am doing it, by the Grace (and loads of help) of God.
And that is the story of how Major went from a nursing baby, to a bottle-fed baby.  The end.
Major is truly the easiest.  We have schlepped that baby around on road trips, various adventures, camping, hotels, pack-n-plays in different places.  He sometimes has to take a carpool ride rather than take a nap, or not get to bed as early as he’d like because we’re still not through with dinner.  He is so go with the flow, and I am forever forever grateful he’s in our family.
Our happy little caboose.  What a dream.
He has shown me a whole new flavor of love.
I feel like the luckiest to get to be his mama.

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