Sunday, November 30, 2008

Food Review: TJ's Sea Salt Caramels

The good folks at Life at the Condo introduced Ms. A to the concept of salted caramels.  Seeing a box of these at Trader Joe's she decided to try some (note: the packaging is different this year, as is the price).  The dark chocolate exterior gave way to ooey gooey caramel in the center.  On top was a generous sprinkle of large-grain salt, apparently all the way from the dead sea.  They seemed quite tasty, although Ms. A is by no means a connoisseur of these things.  But for whatever it's worth, there are only two left.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Nighttime routine addition

Our pre-bedtime routine now includes reading.  Lots of reading. We must go through the entire stack of books. Luckily they're baby books and thus contain an average of 15 words/book.  And we don't typically make it all the way to the end of each story.  I'm just happy we have a reader. 
p.s. The cool thing Erin and Brian are sitting on is a blow-up sea turtle cushion from IKEA, one of the many items purchased during this trip.
p.p.s. Ms. A is participating in NaBloPoMo, hence the copious postings.  We will return to a more normal rate of a few posts a week in December.  I've made it this far - can't stop now!

Friday, November 28, 2008

Word of the Day

poopagenic (püp'-ə-je'-nik): adj.
1: Causing frequent stools. "Erin just at a bunch of raisins. We're going to have to watch out, because those things are, uh, poopagenic."

Adventures in eating

This year, Ms. A's dad decided to make Ma Stambergs Cranberry Relish for Thanksgiving. The results were interesting. Here are the reviews:

Brian: Outstanding
Grammy: Barf
Pop pop: 2.4
Heath: OK
Caroline: Tastes like coleslaw
Ms. A: *cough* *gasp* That's food?

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

My Amusing Child

Feeding time at the zoo

OK, OK, just one more video for today:


Monday, November 24, 2008

Monday Morning Paperwork

We no longer dread Monday mornings.

Expert videography by Brian.

Sunday, November 23, 2008


Auntie Tina observed on Friday that Erin is a fancy girl. Yes, she is. Not only does she enjoy purses, shoes and hats, she now knows all about jewelry.

Here she is modeling her beads and pearl bracelet. Yes, a real pearl bracelet. (Thank you, Laurel and family)

And here she is wearing her favorite piece, a plastic ring she slips on and off her wrist. She wore it tonight for 3 hours and protested when we tried to take it off.

She is her mother's Grammy's granddaughter for sure!

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Speaking of shoes

Babies love shoes. Erin has the shoe thing down pat. I took her to get her new shoes about a month ago and she knew exactly what to do. She still eagerly sticks out her foot every time she gets a glimpse of her shoes. Now it's expanded to nearly all shoes. Here she is trying on Mom's shoes:
And here she is last weekend. She wanted to put on her white patten leather shoes so much she couldn't wait for clothes. They are still a tad too big but she didn't mind:

Addendum: adults love shoes, too. 

Friday, November 21, 2008

Goodbye, Brave Soldier

A few weeks ago, we said goodbye to a close friend, Soap Bottle.

Not to get overly dramatic, but this single bottle of soap kept my child clean for one year. For an entire year, people.

This bottle cleaned all the curly red hair on Erin's head, even before it was curly. It cleaned all the gook around her neck. It cleaned her nearly spherical belly. It cleaned her teeny hands, her teeny feet, and her private bits.

Every night for a year.

Apparently that works out to 77/1000 of an ounce of soap per night. Hm. Well, either this is some sort of divine miracle, and we need to create a new holiday, or, more likely, maybe I didn't use quite enough soap.

Happy Friday!

Video of gratuitous cuteness. Highlighted here: an Erin-style conversation, careful dismount from toy box, finishing with camera-grabby hands (as usual).

Thursday, November 20, 2008


Well, it's Thursday, which of course is the day we read your letters! Let's go to the mailbox, shall we?

Dear Daniel Craig,

Lighten up!


Dear The Economist,

I already subscribe to your damned magazine. Please don't include the little subscription cards! They just end up falling in or near the toilet.


Dear Gwen Ifill,

You are totally awesome.


Mom 1: Stairs 0

McMillers were at IKEA this weekend, doing a little updating to Erin's play area.  Erin was chillin' in the Ergo, close to Mom, Brian was on the stairs below.  Mom's footing got loose, and in slow motion Erin and Mom started a tumble-trajectory down the stairs.  Some innate, primal survival mechanism kicked in and Mom hurled herself backwards, crumpling her body on the stairs, pulling Erin safely atop her belly. While minimal damage occured, both Erin and Mom were shaken and quiet for the next 20 minutes.  Three days later, just a few marks on Mom's leg linger to tell the tale. 

Human bodies are quite resilient. 

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Clear as a muddy cuppa joe

I can see why science, particularly biomedical research, can be confusing for most people.  Do I drink coffee because of this or do I not drink it because of this?

Here is a friendlier read. 

Monday, November 17, 2008

More high fashion

Erin chose her outfit yesterday morning, with interesting results.
She actually requested the hat.  This hat.  It's the only one she'll wear.  Two things make me happy. (1) There exists a hat she will wear (2) now that she's walking she can wear dresses again!

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Pumpkin mania continues.....

..... with Pumpkin Scones.
McMillers wandered up to a Stumptown Coffee this crisp morning to get some goodies.  The small scones there were $2.50 each.  I was amazed.  Ingredients for this batch cost about the same as one scone at Stumptown, but would be sold for $20.  Not a bad profit for 10 min of work.  

Recipe found here.  Supposedly these are akin to the Starbucks Pumpkin Scones.  I've never had one of those but these are pretty darned good.  

Filthy Phrases: Then and Now



The words still make me chuckle, just now in a G-rated way.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Like a champ, people!

Almost three weeks ago, Erin decided to walk.

So, finally, here we have video proof for you. It's so true that kids grow up quickly. I feel like she's trying to tell me each and every day: "I am not a baby! I am a short person!"

People who are not grandparents can feel free to call it quits after the first eight seconds. Of historical note: the rocking chair she so gracefully climbs into used to belong to me as a child.

Videography by Ms. A

Have you seen me?

Last weekend on one of our Portland Hill Walks, Lambie Lamberson, Erin's plush Taggies Baby's First Lamb was lost along the way. Lambie helps Erin nap every day. Here is Erin and Mom at the beginning of the walk, Lambie securely in arms:

If anyone knows where to get one of these, please let us know. Erin's naps have been sub-par all week.  I've looked online and all I saw was one e-bay auction, but it was already sold. Here is what Lambie looked like:

Friday, November 14, 2008

Happy Friday

And what better way to celebrate than by showing a gratuitous belly movie?  Complete with end-of-movie grab for the camera shot.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Chilling thoughts

He would have been so happy to see this.

The real question, though, is who was the lazy person who never cleaned out that freezer?

Primary article here.

Update: If you do not have access to, click here to see another summary of the story

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Hard on the eyes

Erin discovered catsup.  We were trying to show her how to dip her grilled cheese in it. She preferred to dip her hand in it, then lick her fingers.  But she was also tired, so she rubbed her eyes. It went downhill from there. 
The real reason kids need 2 parents is so one can grab the washcloth while the other gets the camera.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Sunday, November 9, 2008


Seen on Hawthorne:
Two women, each holding a sign.
First reads: Free
Second reads: Hugs

I took them up on the offer. Sometimes I love this neighborhood.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Friday, November 7, 2008

This Morning's Non Sequitur

Brian: "Hey Erin, you look like a booger Dracula!"
Ms. A: "?!?!"
Brian: "See, she's got nose fangs."

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Wednesday, November 5, 2008


A few days ago, Erin received a birthday present from some very thoughtful people.... a purple ruffly Dora the Explorer purse.  Erin knew exactly what to do with it, stretched out her arm and put it over her shoulder.  Then she walked over to the table and picked up the remote and started chatting, as if on a phone. Gotta start watching what we do around her!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Holy Shit

A view from the McMiller PDX Election 2008 Command Center.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Vintage modeling

"For the first of the Fall line, we have Erin showing a vintage shirt.  Originally made in the mid-1970's and worn by her mother, this white shirt with scalloped green trim is retro-hip for today's baby.  Matching coat (not shown) makes the ensemble this season's must-have for the fashionable baby of today." 

Sunday, November 2, 2008


Erin hates hats. Erin hates anything on her head.  When reading the books when she was new, they all said stroking your child's head will calm them, raise IQ points, etc.  For Erin this only agitated her, the opposite effect I was usually looking for.  

So while she has many adorable hats, this is what happens when we try to put them on:

Saturday, November 1, 2008

More yummy pumpkin treats!

They never seemed to set quite right in the water bath.  Maybe when they cool they'll set up.  Again, the kitchen smells scrumptious. 

Update: Ooooooh yeah.  They're good.

Happy Halloween! Arrrrr.

For her second Halloween, Erin was a pirate.

She wasn't pleased with the knock-on-strangers-doors-and-ask-for-candy thing.

But then her friend Anneke came along for Trick-or-Treating. It was more fun after that.

Erin did eat a few pieces along the way (much to her parent's dismay).  But the lil' Pirate had quite the delicious spoils by the end of the night.  Her parents will be sure to find a good home for the candy.