Friday, February 27, 2009

The great load

It is very easy to look at our life and see all the changes associated with a growing family-less room in the car, more suitcases when we travel, oodles of toys in EVERY room of the house and majority of our paychecks spent on people under 30 lbs... at lot has changed. Another major change is the amount of laundry that we now have to do- especially when one child thinks that clothes are really just glorified napkins. Alas, we have graduated from laundry baskets to a much better "basket". Folding party anyone?

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

These shoes were made for walking.

Today may have been one of my favorite Gabey days. It was a big day in the small world of our little man as it was today that we bought him his official first pair of shoes. Now. I know that there might be a few gasps from our readers out there that yes, my son is one and has never worn shoes. Technically, he has worn shoes. Twice. For about 5 minutes. You see Gabe descends from a family of Hobbits and we don't so much like shoes. But, now that he has a big new trick (we'll get to that later) it seemed only fitting to splurge a little and get him a pair of shoes that might actually last on his feet for more than two seconds.

It was time to shop.
Now I have a really hard time justifying paying a lot of money for little baby shoes. Call me unfashionable- it is true, perhaps I am a bit more than cheap. It is just that I know my children and I know how dirty they are. It is really hard to tell myself that it is a good idea to pay more than what I would pay for my own pair of shoes--- remember the Hobbit reference? Not a huge fan of shoes. But, this time was a little different. I needed to find shoes that felt like socks (so they would pass the Gabe test) but also had grippers on the bottom of them. All signs were pointing to Robeez. Now, Molly was gifted with these shoes when she was smaller and we LOVED them. Me being cheap tried to stock up on the target knock offs and found that this is one of the few moments that a Target purchase did not bring me sheer joy. Let's just say that my breath after eating garlic all night smelled prettier than those bad boys after a day of wear. A gift card to Gap did help me justify my purchase a little. And they are really cute.
So, now to the best part of the day. While we were shopping for shoes Molly kept showing Gabe each and every pair they had. He had little interest. Until... Molly held up one pair and asked him if he liked them. He responded with joy, "Yah!" I thought that was really cute but then thought nothing more of it. We bought them and then went out to the bench to put them on. The minute they were on his feet Gabriel starts laughing. I mean the rolling kind of laughter. He kicked his feet in the air laughing the entire way to the car. Molly and I could not contain our laughter too. It was SO funny. I know that Gabriel was finally thanking his stars that his cheap parents had finally come into the world of fashion a little.
Here he is modeling his new purchase.

Gabe has worn his shoes all night and not once attempted to take them off. The grippers are great, especially since he is a full fledged walker now...

It is like he turned one and decided he was so over being a baby.
* I know the video is a little long... he is just so funny to film that I was having some difficulty with the whole cropping thing. Oh well.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Puppy Party

Today was Gabriel's puppy party and it was SO much fun! We had a lot of great friends and family come to celebrate it with us...some even chose to stand outside and play (that is dedication to the party because it was chilly). Yesterday was Gabe's actual birthday and we had a nice little celebration. I was really excited about his "birthday cake" aka an ice cream sandwich with a candle stuck in it. Best of both worlds if you ask me! I'll walk you through the weekend...

First of all, the theme was a 'puppy party'. Molly decided this past Christmas that she would like a puppy. We reminded her that Gabe is very much like a puppy and that has seemed to suffice - for now. After all, he does have HUGE paws, cleans the food off the floor after meals and is notorious for carrying items around the house in his mouth (like shoes). Sounds very puppy like to me...and he is cuter than any puppy I know.

Here was the invitation. It was a postcard with a fun little message and the details on the back!

All the kids got to wear puppy ears on their head...well...Granny and I did too. Gabe is such a good sport!

What puppy party is complete without a "puppy bone cake?" (Thanks for the icing Amy and Amy's mom- it was GREAT!)

Unfortunately, Kelly's very lovely and shiny grill has still not been connected to the gas line. He had to revive the 'oldie but goodie'. It got the job done and Kelly still looks rather manly next to his smaller-not-so-shiny-grill...even if he can't see it.

Makenzie and the gang of kids were the perfect puppy guests! I am bummed that I didn't take any pictures of their painted frisbees they made. What a bunch of artists! I did paint puppy faces on the kids that were interested. I think that was only about two of them but oh well it was really fun!

That is until the eye patch gets rubbed by a sleepy Molly and she quickly started to look like orphan Oliver after a day of hanging with a pack of chimney sweeps.
Our little man loved him some party food. Puppy chow, hot dogs, bone cake... what could be better?

It seems at showers, birthdays and kid birthdays alike I have always held down the "hot seat" (the opener of presents in the center of the spotlight). I was very happy to pass that off to this unassuming character... he did handle it well especially when 9 kids stormed the area to "help".

As the party started to wind down I got some snuggle time with my little pup.

It was SUCH a great party to celebrate our little guy! Happy Birthday Gabriel!
For his birthday Kelly made Gabriel a toy box for his room. This picture totally doesn't do it justice! My mom is going to make a "Nonnie Pillow" on it to transform it into a love seat too which will be perfect for diaper changes after our big boy's baby dresser goes away down the road.

When I was taking pictures of Gabe's toy box I realized that I have never posted pictures of around our house. are a few and there will be more to come! This is Gabe's room. I didn't get a picture of his letters on his wall (they are dark green) but this is the room from the doorway. It is jungle themed. I love it! (we still need to recover the rocker)

Molly's room has also been remodeled. When we moved in it was the "office" -all brown wooden built in shelves and deep maroon walls. Took some time to transform it but it is now a perfect room for our little 'star'.
And finally... our newly decorated living room. This has been the latest project that I have referenced in previous posts! Kelly designed and made the shelves and I antiqued all the furniture. We are still waiting on our slip covers that will be here this next week (hopefully before I host book club! :)

This was originally just a plain brown table form Target it is a fun new table in 'Amalfi red' and yes, I did buy the color because it reminded me of my honeymoon... can you blame me?

SO all in all it has been a great weekend. The best part is that we are only halfway through it. With a super clean house already I know that I am in for a night of relaxing!
Thanks for all the Gabriel birthday wishes...he appreciated all your kind words (as translated through Gabe speak).
Happy weekend!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Gabriel Joseph

Tonight I took a little time to soak up the memories of our past year with Gabriel. And yes, I mean soak. My mom has always said that doing dishes is therapeutic for her. I always knew that in many ways dishwashing did fall in to one of my ‘thinking places’ (right along with the shower and the car) but by far not my favorite and definitely not a chore I would seek out just to have some quality processing time…I think a bubble bath is more of my style.

But tonight after a ‘multiple-dish-cooking-dinner-night’ it was time to scrub…and think.

One year ago today I was immersed in a world of heartburn and little elbows jabbing out of my abdomen at whim. I hugged my 18 month old with a nice long distance between our bodies. I would feel tiny hiccups within while working with patients and struggle to maintain composure. I carried around the excitement and anxiety about the great change in my life that was about to take place at any moment. My goodness was it great.

In a world of Sesame, the letter G will always be the greatness that Gabriel has brought to our lives. It seems like just yesterday I was being told by Kelly that we had a son. He was finally here. And now, my little baby is quickly becoming a little boy right before my eyes. Everyday, he is learning new things and mastering some new developmental milestone. I want to remember every moment. For as much as I have been relishing in the past joys this year has brought with Gabriel I find myself thinking ahead to all the amazing new ‘firsts’ in the year to come. By this time next year, I will have a running, talking, energetic boy on my hands so excited to celebrate his birthday with his little friends. It will be here so fast.

I am not one of these people that dreads birthdays. In fact, the minute I buy a calendar I always flip ahead to write it in. I love birthdays, half birthdays and un-birthdays and yet, I really don’t like cake at all. Go figure! Tomorrow, I am so excited to celebrate Gabe’s big day! Molly has worked out some sort of deal with Gabriel that she will open all his presents and ‘show’ them to him. I told her we would discuss her plan in the morning. I’ll let you know how it all pans out.

The dynamic that those two have is amazing…many days it is a headache but I will take all the challenging times for those special moments when I catch them hugging in the other room or when Molly will whisper some special (probably devious) secret in Gabe’s ear and he just laughs (I think because it tickles). For all the struggles a year can bring… the warmth of happy moments can fill the year with such light.

So this weekend will be spent celebrating our always hungry, medium chunky, messy, kissing, groovy little pacifist as he turns one!

Happy Birthday Gabriel! The world is a better place because you are here.

* There are a few volume glitches with the second song so you may need to crank it up! Also, be sure to pause my music on the side...enjoy!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

A "happy" hour...

Today was probably the most beautiful day in Dallas I have seen in FOREVER. The best thing for a day like today is to load up in the car, roll down the windows and head on over to our favorite kind of happy hour.

That's right. Sonic! In case you didn't know it every day (2-4 pm) and I think all day Tuesday is Happy Hour! Drinks are half price. So if you like sunshine and playing a little hooky- take a trip to Sonic...

While we were waiting in line, I noticed to my right was Gatorwash. And while yes, it just might be the shadiest car wash around it always takes me back to the days of little red. And if you knew me at that time then there is a good chance that you might have gone to good ole' Gatorwash with me. I will not lie...Gatorwash has seen some hard times and I don't think it can be blamed on the economy...amazingly. Waiting in line, I decided that this was the perfect time to tell Molly about my old little car that could. By the time I had finished talking about washing the car with the bubbles, etc. we had our drinks.

So there we were sitting in the Sonic parking lot, staring at a less than fantastic car wash when Molly asked:

"When you were little you laughed and laughed too?"

I told her I was a very silly little girl too.

She then looked at me and said: "I am just SO happy today"

That was definitely the perfect moment to an incredible day.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Dinner Date with Daddy...

This is what dinner looks like when Mommy is at work... really I have no words...


Monday, February 16, 2009

Our Native Speaker

...A little glimpse in to our home...

So tonight at dinner Molly looked over at Kelly and said, "Hola." (HOORAY DORA!)

Kelly responded with "Hola Amigo"...

Molly retorted with: "No...Hola Domingo..." that is just showing off.

As I write I hear Kelly trying to teach Molly more Spanish while he gives her a bath all the while Gabe is attempting to see how many bathtoys he can hold with his teeth...


Sunday, February 15, 2009


Our weekend was LOVE-ly! It is always so nice to have an another reason to give a little extra love to someone you care about . In honor of loving ourselves we abandoned our original weekend plans for a happy hour, day of remodeling and one fantastic date with my husband! Sometimes you need to just take a little time for yourself, no? We have no regrets!

We hope that you had a happy heart weekend...perhaps you too were able to play with your balloons in your PJs all morning?

I am amazed that my little baby's 1st birthday is less than a week away! We have so much to do! And as soon I stop antiquing my furniture like a crazy person I am going to work on a special Gabriel post! Get ready!!!
Hope you all have a great start to your week...

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Spring? Is it really you?

Today I was walking the kids to the park when I saw all the flowers coming to life. It isn't that TODAY was the day that they bloomed but rather the first time I have noticed them. It is 1000 times nicer to walk to the park past daffodils and crate myrtles in bloom than dead grass and piles of sticks.

I do not think that I have battled true seasonal depression- especially since I don't live in an area plagued by darkness for days on end. For some reason though this winter season has been a little tough to get through this year. I mostly attribute this to the roller coaster weather we have had here. I see a taste of spring and then it is 30 degrees the next day. I am hopeful that those unfortunate weather patterns are coming to an end.

Before you know it our yard will be so pretty and green! I can't wait. Hope you all get to enjoy some sunshine this Valentine's Weekend! I know we will!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Happy Birthday Jude!

Well sweet little Jude arrived this evening! I am so sad that I couldn't be there to see it all but Rikki (BFF) and Kelly (sister in law) did a great job of keeping me in the loop!

Here are the details that I know:

Jude Thaddeus was born around 6:30 pm! He weighed a healthy 6 lb 3 oz and came out with a full head of hair! From the picture I saw I can see a bit of resemblance to his daddy! He is healthy and getting some much needed snuggle time with his Mommy!

Baby Jude we love you so much and can't wait to meet you! As soon as I have pictures I will get them up...if Aunt Balissa says it is okay!

I am amazed by the fantastically strong mothers that I am blessed to have as my friends. Please keep Mel, Chris and Baby Jude in your prayers.

And if you have been following our friends the Bakers please continue to keep them in your prayers!!! Tonight we are sending our love in abundance to San Antonio, Texas and Jackson, Tennessee.

Aunt Balissa is in labor!!!


***Update: As of lunch time, Mel is dilated at about a 5, they have the pitocin going and she has had her epidural. She was asleep when I called her mom. Chris is still in Arizona :( but is going to get a play by play from the proud grandmas! Baby Jude will definitely make his big arrival today!

That's right! Baby Jude is on his way!!! In fact, there is a high probability that the world will get to meet baby Jude today! Mel went in to the hospital in the early hours of the morning and has been admitted! Think happy baby thoughts for our best friends!!!

I don't think I have ever wanted to live in San Antonio so badly!!!

I am also a little excited because I had bought Mel a little Pisces necklace with Jude's birthstone on it but now Jude is going to be an Aquarius! I now get to acquire the present I secretly also wanted for myself and can just replace Mel's with an Aquarius necklace! Everyone wins!

I'll post more as I receive updates!

Saturday, February 7, 2009


Without the uncertainty of a storm how would we ever come to know the brilliant splendor of a rainbow?

Grace Butler Baker was welcomed home on Friday, February 6, 2009. For further updates please visit

Even support from strangers can bring light in a time of sadness. Feel free to leave comments for the Baker family if your heart calls you to...

Friday, February 6, 2009


Rebekah is in active labor and is less than a couple hours away from delivering...keep praying...

Thursday, February 5, 2009

PRAY! it is not very often that you get a double header Julie post but here you is for a good cause...

Right now, stop what you are doing and say a prayer. Whoever that person is that you turn to for hope- turn to them now.

Tomorrow morning (well technically 8 hours from now) little Gracie will begin to make her big arrival. Please say a prayer for our sweet friends The Bakers as they deserve all the outpouring of love they can get. In a time of uncertainty it is my prayer that they will have at least a few peaceful moments with Gracie.

I'll keep you posted here but you can also check out their blog too:

A Whole New World

It really is amazing how fast we seem to be cruising through the developmental stages these days. I don't know that everyone shares my enthusiasm for Molly's ability to sort shapes or her ability to associate words (early forms of reading you know...) With a background in child development this is perhaps my most favorite part.

It seems that in just one week Molly has learned to see sing the words to all kinds of songs. It is SO much fun! We can now sing together while we ride in the car which just about makes my day entirely- the best in when Gabe decides to "hum" along too. Hopefully, the kids will inherit the Miller music genes...

I am going to be completely honest and say that this video is really not that exciting. Molly is in a stage where she has become camera shy and I am also forced to be plugged to the wall. She can sing every word to all her princess songs as this is the latest obsession. My favorite is that I often times will catch Kelly singing the little mermaid when he is off unloading the washer. Can't blame it on Molly when she is nowhere in the vicinity. I mean really who doesn't love Ariel.

Molly's personal favorite is Jasmine. She is just intrigued that she shows a little belly. Every time Molly is cold she will tell us that she is " Jasmine's belly." Hooray halter. Like I said, enjoy the boring video---we do! The live non-filmed version is about 18 times louder with many more dance breaks...

Gabe has some new tricks too... more to come!

Monday, February 2, 2009

There is a bear in my bed.

Now I ask you- what kind of acrobatics do you have to do in your sleep for your arm to completely come out of your jammies?

Look closely at the lifeless right arm...

need another look? I really posted both pictures because I know that you like to look at sleeping babies too.
We have decided that the only logical explanation is that a bear must live in Gabe's bed and he obviously wrestles with it each night before he tuckers out.
It is very often that we find him partially naked. Every nap he takes off his pants (not diaper) just the pants. Every.Single.Day. Last week he woke up with two perfectly symmetrical claw marks on his head. Hmm...
Our Gabe is a silly ole' bear.