Saturday, March 31, 2012

All By Self - excavated

The post below was written 2years 3 months ago. For some reason, I never published it.  I found it while combing through the saved drafts and was struck by how it still resonates today, only now it's Robin and not Erin.

The post:

Erin has made great strides in the independence department lately. Yesterday she insisted on:

* Putting on her socks and shoes
* "Reading" a comic book
* Pulling her training pants up/down and sitting on the potty
* Feeding the cats (she didn't spill any of the kibble!)
* Washing herself in the tub with her washcloth
* Pouring her own milk
* Going to sleep (OK, she still wanted me sitting next to her, but she didn't require any rocking/singing/patting etc.)

In agreement with the previous post, she is turning into a girl.


Good thing we're having a baby in 2 months!


And things Robin is currently doing "all by myself"

* Brushing teeth
* putting on shoes
* going poop in the potty
* reading (well, looking through books, but most of the time she wants to narrate the story)
* pouring milk/juice
* washing her hair
* pushing the little cart at the grocery store
* climbing and buckling into her car seat
* just about everything.

What is it about age 2 years 2 months that fosters such a strong sense of independence?

Friday, March 30, 2012

New Toy

The newest McMiller is not a person, but a very cool thing:

Our neck of the woods has very little light pollution.  No street lights.  Few neighbors.  No flood lights.  So, hopefully this summer will provide lots of night time stargazing opportunities.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

What does it mean?

Erin has entered a new phase of conversation, asking the definition of words she doesn't know.  She never when through a "why" phase, and I guess I just assumed she would pick up the definition of words through context.  Now when we're reading she'll stop me frequently to ask, "What does 'insignificant' mean?  What does 'gangster' mean? What does 'spectacles' mean?"  I asked her if the boys in her class play "cops and robbers" and was answered with a quizzical look, "Mom, what does 'cops' mean?"  Supposedly she's picking up an average of 6 words a day now.  Some days it feels like she's trying to learn the whole dictionary.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Toddler Jokes

Robin and I, in the car on the way home from dropping of Erin.

R: Know what's funny, Mom?

A: What, sweetie?

R: Daddy says, "Blah, blah, blah, blah."  Haaa haha aahahha!

A: That is pretty funny!

R: Know what's funny, mom?

A: What, Peetie?

R: Those cows up there go (in high pitched voice), "Oooo, we gotta get the grass and then get in the car."  Haaa haa haaaaa ha haaaa!

Monday, March 26, 2012

Oakland Running Festival

Pre-run nap on BART.

Riding to the start line in style.

Aaaaaaaaaannnnd.... they're off!


All the finishers!!!!

Kids ran their races, Brian SMOKED his.  No rain, saw some friends, ate a lot of snacks.  Thank you Oaktown, for putting on such a great race!

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Play Invitation

A tray full of shaving cream, with various small toys buried in it.  In the bath tub, to make it a Yes activity. 

Invitation accepted!  No clothes, yes diaper/undies for full play.


We went to the Steinhart Aquarium for the first time in some months.  Robin was fascinated with the large fish tank across from the elevators.  She spent about 15 minutes talking, pointing, making faces at all the fish.  There was one that was staring back at her for a good 5 minutes before moving on.  

One of the best things about having kids, one of about the 4,205,677,147 reasons why kids are cool, is they show you wonder you forgot about. 

Friday, March 23, 2012

Monkey Erin

A former monkey-bar junky, I'm so happy Erin can do this.  She's been able to go across for about 3 months now. She's starting to flip upside down and hang by her knees, which makes me happily nervous.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Kitchen remodel: Week 7

It's down to the nitty gritty.  The floors took a lot longer than expected.  The workers even came on Sunday, in hopes to have the project wrapped up by Tues or Wed.  No dice.  It took them until Tuesday to get all the flooring done.  Fridge is in, trim is done, still need some touch-up on painting. And the punch list.  The contractor's list was minor: change a shelf out here, fix a hole here.  Ours is about 1 1/2 pages and includes things like: dishwasher door only opens half-way, 1/8" fine dust coats everything, pocket door no longer closes, and exhaust fan does not work.  But, fingers crossed, it will be done tomorrow and we can move back in this weekend.

Pictures taken with iPhone!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Sweet ride

Just bought this.

And this.

Thanks to Amazon Prime, we'll be cruising' on Friday!  Awwwwwww yeah.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Welcome to the 21st century, Ashleigh

I got an iPhone!

On Friday, I took the kids with me, bought 10 minutes of their distraction with some doughnuts, and got an iPhone.  Brian got his for Christmas but I waited because (a) I wasn't entirely sure I wanted/needed it and (b) my upgrade didn't kick in until today.

As for (a), I've quickly come to wonder, "how on earth did I live with out this?"  I have the iPod touch, and the iPad, which others have said they couldn't live without.   I loved my iPod touch to no ends, and the iPad is useful but a little meh.

But the iPhone.

In all it's teeny electronic glory.

It feels like it's already permanently attached itself to my left hand.

As for (b), well, I've had the thing for nearly 3 days now and really can't understand what I did before I had it.  And I've only made 2 phone calls.

Sunday, March 18, 2012


Fenugreek people!  At the farmer's market!  Fresh!  I nearly bought it.  I have a habit of buying random veggies at the farmer's market in hopes of discovering wonderful, fresh, new flavors.  The farmer asked me if I knew what it was.  I said, "Nope.  No idea."  He told me fenugreek - that it had a sweet, licorice-y flavor.  I told him I was very familiar with the herb, having taken it to boost my milk supply when I was pumping milk for Erin.  He smiled, nodded, and said that is just what it is for.  I put it down, and said, thank you, but no thank you.  We're all done with that.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Sushi Date Night!

Grammy and Papa graciously came over to take the girls and Brian and I went out on a date!  Woot!  We went to a local sushi place, Blue Ginko, for some excellent raw treats.

Dinner was over very quickly.  Sushi doesn't take very long. My parents had taken the girls to Fentons, and we didn't want to get home before they did. So we went to Metro for a cocktail.  Then to Loard's for an ice cream cone.

Totally bursting at the seams, we went back home.  The girls were taking a bath, energetic and happy.  Very energetic.  Apparently Robin ate half her body weight in ice cream.  She was up until 10:45, long after we normally go to bed.  But she snuggled and watched my favorite show with me.

A great date night!

Friday, March 16, 2012

Intimate conversation

When getting this morning, I pull out some bras that went into hiding when I was pregnant with Robin.  I put on a beige T-shirt bra with some embroidered flowers.  Kinda plain, but a step up from my typical supportive tank or sports-type undergarments.

Erin looks up*.  Her eyes get wide.  She says, astonished, "Mom, you have FANCY breasts."

* note to non-parents: having a small child means nearly never getting dressed, showering, peeing, or eating without some little person either in your lap or in extreme proximity until they age to about 8ish.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Ask and ye shall receive

A few nights ago I asked for free online episodes of "How It's Made". must read McMillerPDX because lo and behold:

I have at least 50 episodes at my fingertips, all free*, and many more nerd shows at my disposal. Now, what should I ask the Intertube gods for next?

*with amazon prime yearly membership.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Kitchen Remodel Week 6

Yesterday morning, a truck pulled up with two slabs of granite.  I had no idea these things were so big and so heavy.  With all these 6 men, they could barely inch it onto the ground: 

They quickly set up shop in our driveway and made all the cuts on-site, measuring, trimming, polishing as they went.

This is the piece for the island.  It's nearly the entire slab, and actually we have a much shorter overhang on the breakfast bar because the stone was not as big as we thought. It took every ounce of strength these guys had to move it.


How it looks now:

Getting there.  We haven't really seen how the colors look yet because all the power tools the men used burnt out a circuit in our house.  The lights don't work in the kitchen, laundry, bathroom, and each bedroom.  But the plugs do so we still have some light.  That will be fixed tomorrow.

You  can note that the cooktop is in, as is the microwave, although the microwave must be chinched about 1/8 inch to the left as the right side cabinets cannot open without crashing into it.

Still left: a dab of painting, appliances, faucet, flooring, baseboard. They are hoping to be done on Friday, but we'll see.  It is close.

Monday, March 12, 2012

I miss TV.

Not really.

We had to pack up the TV and the Tivo for the kitchen.  Only now am I starting to really miss the ol' Boob Tube.  We watch plenty of shows on DVD, so it's not that we're depriving ourselves of much-needed screen time (so kidding).  And I broke down and bought a season of Sesame Street for the kids to watch on the computer or iPad.  But I just miss scanning through the 80ish hours of shows that we rarely actually watch.  Funny how I'm missing the TV/Tivo more than the oven.

Oh, and whatever happened to "How It's Made" from Discovery channel?  I miss that show.  If anyone can find full episodes, I'd be grateful.  I found snippets on the site, but they're partial segments peppered with lots of annoying advertising.  Because I REALLY need to know how that fiberglass hot tub is assembled.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

My Wild Saturday Night

Brian had a daddy-girl date night with some other dad/daughter friends, so I had the night to myself.  I had a sushi date with a friend but she called in sick earlier in the day, her voice at a whisper.  So I took myself out to sushi.  I took my current reading, a requirement to become an LLL Leader which I am in-process. And between bites of some meltingly amazing nigiri and sips of mediocre sake, I ended up bawling.  Why?  I read up on a section of initiating nursing after a difficult birth.  Really?  Really.  I'm going to cry over this? Guess it reenforced that I'm doing appropriate volunteer work with LaLeche.

I cleared the air by coming home and watching Caddyshack and Spies Like Us off Amazon prime (free baby!) I was kinda bored by the first but enjoyed the second so much I watched it half-way through again when Brian came home.

Saturday, March 10, 2012


Brian installed a swing in our front yard yesterday evening.  Erin woke up and was on it first thing this morning.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Robin loves drawing

Robin is constantly drawing. Most of the time she's drawing the letter "R" and singing the tune in The Letter Factory"  ("The A says Ah! The B says B-B-B-B!  The C says cuh!  And the D says duh!") I showed her how to write an "R" for Robin a while back - one big line, one circle, one little line - and it stuck.  This is a drawing of some letters and some people.  Only she knows which is which. But it's the family at the playground.  

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Kitchen Remodel: Week 5

This week: 
Cabinets installed (complete)
Kitchen painting (all but trim)
Crown moulding (complete)
Drawer hardware (in progress) 
Under-mount light and remaining electrical (complete)
Plywood subfloor (complete)
Family room primed and painted (complete)
Family room trim (in progress)
plywood for countertops (complete)

Man these guys move fast!

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Snuggly Reading Time

The rules: children must be in bed, in PJ's.  Milk must be consumed in sippy cups.  2 books: the first one together, the second one with each girl tucked in.

Yes, the girls like to wear matching PJ's.  Here, they are actually wearing night gowns, the first they've owned so far.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Heapin' dose of kitten cuteness

The tubby one on the left is Cody, the diminutive one on the right, grey and white with the cute nose dot, is Rose.  These are really sweet cats.  They will be a year old sometime around May, so technically they are still kittens.  However, Cody's girth has caused us to not only switch them from kitten food early, but also regulate their food to measured-portion mealtimes rather than at-will eating.  Cody is over 12#, Rose only 9.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

San Diego Day 2

Another fun day with the beach, sidewalk chalk, and the park.  We drive home tonight.  A quick trip, but packed with lots of fun.  Thanks for the great visit, S, M and M!

Saturday, March 3, 2012

San Diego!!!!!

We drove last night to San Diego to visit Matt, Sharon and Cousin Megan!  Wooooo.  The drive was smooth and the kids did well.  After LOTS of coffee and delicious eggs, we went to the San Diego Wild Animal Park.

Friday, March 2, 2012

Fashion Friday: Glasses

If she does end up with glasses, she will still be cute!

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Kitchen Remodel Week 4

This week:
sheetrock (complete)
Mud/texture (complete
Painting (primed so far)
Minor electrical (complete)
Cabinet install (ongoing and LOUD)
Plywood subfloor (ongoing and VERY LOUD)

The main mess is over.  And it's starting to look like a kitchen again!