Saturday, December 31, 2011

Santa Came!

The girls wrote a note and left some treats:

Santa offerings 2011

In case you didn't notice, Erin likes to include belly button and nipples on her pictures. Also, Santa looks like he's been spending some time in Amish country:

Note to Santa 2011

And their efforts were rewarded!
Santa's work I

It didn't take long to open up all the loot:

Christmas morning Frenzy

And the "big" present will be enjoyed for awhile yet!

Santa brought a house!

Hope everyone had happy holidays and a wonderful end to 2011.

Friday, December 30, 2011

Why I rarely buy fancy toys....

They spent the last 20 minutes playing with 6 bricks and a few pieces of chalk.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Fashion Friday

Smocking just so right for Christmas!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Just some Robin cuteness

She sings, she twirls, she tries to eat a coffee bean off the floor, she makes jokes, she follows directions and tries out some potty humor.

Enjoy your day!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

I gotta say, today was a good day

We brought out the camera a bunch of times today, so thought it would be fun to give a few snapshots of our day today. 

Erin, 8:30 AM.  Dressed in a hand-smocked Nutcracker dress (thanks Grammie), with LOTS of Mardi Gras beads, playing air-drums along to her favorite holiday song, "Santa Baby".

Robin, 10:30 AM, after begging for stick-on-earrings, not quite sure about the whole thing.

Erin, Robin and Erin's classmates N and L, 2:15 PM playing "surfing" off of Brian and my bed.

Robin, 6:00 PM, finds something sharp and pointy on the stroller.  

Brian and Erin, 6:30 PM, making "Erin Soup" for dinner.  Good way to end the day.


Monday, November 28, 2011

It's gonna be a long week

 Brian left last night for a week long training in PDX. This is the longest he's been away since Robin has been born, and the second longest time he's been gone since Erin was born.

But.... he's thoughtfully set me up with so many playdates and outings at grandparents/cousins houses that we will be reeeeaaaaally busy.

Also he left this:

a present for each girl, for each day.  That's 12 presents people!

Brian is an awesome Dad.

And he also got a present for Mommy each day: 

I love this man. 

This week might go faster than I think. 

Sunday, November 27, 2011


When using a new set of sidewalk chalk, why stop at coloring the sidewalk?

Friday, November 25, 2011

And just like that. . .

. . . it's Christmas season!

Brian and Erin put up the outside lights:

And I and the girls trimmed the tree

We may have to rearrange some ornaments later after the kids are asleep ... there is a high density of decorations on the lower 2' of branches. 

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Thanks and Gratitude

So many reasons to be thankful.

Erin is 4
Just brushin'
Hooray for pumpkins!
Ferry home!

Happy Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Robin Update

After the scary incident a few weeks ago, Robin is totally fine.


We learned a lot about febrile seizures, lost a lot of sleep for about a week watching over her at night, got through a round of colds in the whole house, and she is fine. Robin did not do any extra tests, as the pediatrician determined it was a classic case of febrile seizure. I'm kind of relieved about that, knowing the tests would be pretty difficult for a little girl, and also really believing in my heart it was due to a fever rather than something else.

At any rate, the girl is a total ham.

Dress up

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Erin Loves Power Tools

I fondly remember doing projects with my dad when I was a little girl. I felt, even then, that he chose me, the one girl over the two boys, to join him on the handyman projects. He taught me how to change a p-trap, use a socket wrench, and mix cement.

Erin learns to Jigsaw

I love that now, Brian is doing the same with Erin. He and she have a special interaction as they work on tasks.  All he has to say is, "Erin, we have a project to do." and she immediately heads for the tape measure and goggles.

Successful Power Tool Experience

Love it.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Sunday, November 20, 2011

A Very Crafty Sunday

It's raining and chilly over at the Orinda branch of Casa de McMiller.  We decided to take a lazy Sunday and just relax a bit.

Relaxing here means doing projects, of course!  And thanks to my newest obsession, we had lots of half-finished projects on the docket.

A few things we did:

Autumn leaves from coffee filters and washable pens,

A height ruler from a 1"x8"x6' board, some stain and a sharpie,

An earring holder, and repurposed Balinese-sculpture-as-ring-holder, 

And with this morning's leftover oatmeal, a delicious oatmeal snack cake with broiled frosting.  It smells soooooo good, it's difficult to wait until it's cool enough to eat. 

Sigh.  What a relaxing day. 

Welcome, new Cousins!

There have been several additions to the extended McMiller family tree, and we will present them in inverse order.




and Graham and Evan

Cuties all of them!!

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Erin is 4 part II

In between crazy trips to the doctor and ER, we did have a girl who turned 4.


We celebrated with a bouncy-house, a trip to Disney on Ice (thanks Grandpa and Grandma), presents, cake, book exchange, and a new big-girl booster seat.

Erin's big girl seat

A 5-point-harness-up-to-80-lbs "booster" seat, just to be on the safe side.

Erin's 4th year was a busy one. Her sense of self really emerged, as did dancing, singing, language (lots of language), dexterity, fears, friendship, inquisitiveness, independence, fashion, empathy, courage, and love.

Erin is silly I

Happy (1 month late) 4th birthday, sweet one. Your sparkles make the whole world brighter.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Rough start to November

This morning, at about 6:30, I awoke to find Robin having a seizure next to me.  She had spent the night in our bed because she seemed to have a tummy-ache, or something, and was crying on and off all night.  

She was hot, hot, hot, and it only lasted maybe 1 or 2 minutes (though it seemed a LOT longer).  We tested out the Moraga-Orinda Fire District and they were here just a few minutes later.

She probably had a febrile seizure (see here or here), caused by fever.  Common in early childhood, and not linked to anything more serious, yet since no one actually verified that her temperature was high we will be doing a battery of neurological tests later this week.

Robin is running a low-grade fever today, and is napping, with me checking on her about every 5 minutes.

Poor kid.

The way this month is going, we'll have a LOT to be thankful for at the end.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Alfred J. Gardner

Brian's maternal grandfather, Alfred J. Gardner, passed away Friday at age 91.  To say that he lived a full life would be an understatement.  He graduated from West Point, was a Hump Pilot in WWII, earned two masters degrees, was involved in Project Gemini, and had a very successful career at Lockheed.

He raised two wonderful children, Carol (Brian's mom) and Al Jr.  I will always remember how he spoke of their births as a joyous miracle.

He was married to his childhood sweetheart, Florence.  He truly was blessed with spending his life with the woman he loved.

I feel so fortunate that the girls not only have had so many great-grandparents who could get to know them, but also that they actually are at the age when they can remember them.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Halloween warm up

We had an action-packed pre-Halloween kinda day.  The kids started out in costume set 1 for Erin's preschool party. 

Yes, that would be pirate and chicken.  Don't they go well together?  

The chicken knew how to scratch, peck and cluck.  Those trips to Little Farm must be paying off. 

The pirate knew how to properly say "Arrrrr" and insisted there was an invisible bird named Polly on her shoulder.  

Halloween festivities part II included a trick-or-treating outing at a local shopping area, courtesy of our local Mom's group. Erin was all business, identifying the stores displaying the pumpkin picture that indicates they can be hit-up for treats, charging in, filling her bag, then going onto the next establishment.  She came home with a nearly full bag of treats.  She asked to have one candy.  Then one more. Then one final one.  She was so polite and showed such self-restraint, I had no problem with it.  Bonus to me: turns out she doesn't like Snickers.  M&M's, yes, Snickers no.  We're gonna be a great trick-or-treating pair!

 Robin's bag came home empty

Robin appropriately trick-or-treated at all the establishments Erin visited.  Robin insisted on sampling each treat after leaving the store.  I have no idea how much candy she actually ingested, but she did eat her full dinner and go to bed pretty easily, so it's all even in my book. 

Friday, October 28, 2011

Sister Snuggles

Here's your RDA of cuteness.  

Thursday, October 27, 2011


So behind on blogging. . . .

Erin turned 4. 4 people! There were many festivities, and will update when we sort through the pictures. But the most exciting thing this week has been this:

The rules here are if you can write your name you can have a library card. 


Friday, October 14, 2011

Fashion Friday: Rah rah rah!


Brian, Erin, and Robin went to our nephew/cousin's football game last night. In honor of the outing, I thought Robin would look smashing in this mini-Bruins cheerleading uniform. She was energized, especially when she realized just how much fun pom-pons can be.

You will notice the worlds smallest pig tails on this child. No matter how frilly or girly the outfit she wears, she is always assumed to be a boy. Poor kid.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Future occupation # 32


Recent conversation with Ms. E

E: Mom when I grow up I want to be a teacher. Will that be O.K.?

Me: Absolutely honey.

E: I know I will be a good teacher because I am really good at pushing on the swings.

And no, this picture has nothing to do with that. I just love this shot.

And sorry, Dave B. This conversation sounds eerily close to something from Family Circle.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Future occupation #56


Erin was enamored with the front-do.  She said I was ready to sing Rock N'Roll.

The main "do".  Notice: the shiny silver is the shiny silver in my hair.

The final product.  Complete with 2 head-bands, 15 clips, LOTS of brushing and water spray.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Our family is growing by two. . .

. . . cats!

We got two new kittens. They're yet to be named.

Here is the girl kitty enjoying the clutches affections of their new kiddo friends:

Picture of the boy kitty coming soon.

Ever Industrial Erin

A little duct tape here, a little play dough there ....

... and voila!  A grid of roadway for her cars.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Erin gets a haircut

She got ribbons, sparkles, 

Stick-on earrings, a necklace, and a ring pop. 

Oh yeah.  Ms. Karen cut her hair too.