Tuesday, December 30, 2008

The last time we did this....

Daniel and I are taking the older 2 kids to Disneyland etc for 10 days. We are leaving on Friday and we are all so excited. We took them just over a year ago, in October, for the first time, and since we are going again, I couldn't help but be reminded of something unusual that happened the last time we went, so I figured, "Hey, why not blog about it?"

So October of 2006 rolled around. We decided to take the kids to Disneyland as a surprise for Mason's 8th birthday. We had our airline tickets, the secret was still intact, and I was packing our suitcases to leave.

As a female, I am so lucky as to have to think, when packing, about what time of the month it is, and whether I will need certain female items while on said trip (there is a point to this, I'm not just throwing that wicked mental picture out there for my health). I got to thinking about it, trying to remember when the last one was.....hmmmmm...let's see, it was when my brother Paul and Kristin got married...that was.......calendar.....5 weeks ago. WHAT???? Wait a second. 5 weeks? For me, that's like 6 years. 5 weeks is unheard of. Hmmmm....for most people, that would be a pretty sure sign that something was up, right? But for me, not so much. Most people who know me know that Mason, Savannah, and Jaxon were all fertility babies. So wondering if I am pregnant was not something I had ever had to do. I know when I'm pregnant. It happens after a lot of doctor visits, a lot of pill taking, a lot of shots, a lot of worrying and hoping, a lot of disappointment and expense. What it doesn't do is just happen. Weird. Well, I knew I didnt want to take a trip to the coast, wondering what was going on. So I decided it would be best to buy a test. I didn't tell Dan anything about it. I knew from past experience that it would be a complete miracle if I was. I also knew that with Jaxon being only 9 months old, Daniel would be more than a bit freaked out. So there was no reason to worry him over nothing.

I went to the store and bought 2 tests. I took one the morning before we left. Negative, just like I thought. No reason to even mention that scare to Dan at all. I was strangely disappointed, but I wasn't sure why. I told myself I knew before I ever took the test that it would be negative. I can't tell you how many times in 10 years I had a negative pregnancy test. So I went ahead and packed my female items, and off we went on our trip.

The flight went rather smoothly. Except for one thing. For some reason, my stomach felt very unsettled. Flying doesn't usually affect me that way. But I was nauseated not only on the flight, but right after we landed as well. Reaaaaallly nauseated. Odd.

A couple of days into our vacation, we decided to go swimming. I put on my swimsuit and immediately started complaining to Daniel. "Look at me! I must be retaining 10 pounds of water! I know I haven't gained any weight but look at my stomach! It's huge!" Since I was over a week late, I figured I was just having major PMS. I didnt even want to go out in my swimsuit looking like that, but I bit the bullet and just hoped that extreme bloating would go away soon.

That night, as Daniel and I hopped into bed, I snuggled up close to him and he said, "What is wrong with you? Are you sick? You are burning up!!!" I felt fine, and told him he must just be cold. "No" he said, "You are hot to the touch. You must have a fever." Mason had been sick the day we arrived, and I could have caught that, but I didnt feel hot at all. I felt fine. Weird. Again.

The next night, the same thing happened. There are only 2 times when my body feels hot to the touch- when I have a fever, and the first 10 weeks-ish of a pregnancy. But I knew I wasn't pregnant since I had just taken that test. But here it was another 3 days or so after that and still no period.....And yet I was totally convinced I could chalk it all up to an extreme case of PMS. Dan made a joke with me, saying, "Maybe you're incubating HAHAHA" Big Joke. I decided to reassure him, and told him about the fact that I actually had thought I might be before we left, but he could rest easy, it was negative. His response, "You BETTER NOT BE PREGNANT!" I kept reassuring him that duh, it wasn't possible for me to be pregnant, chill out.

Throughout the rest of the trip, I continued to feel sick to my stomach from rides, food, the car etc. But not badly enough that it ruined any of my fun.

It was a short trip so 4 days or so later, we headed home. Daniel and I got in a silly argument over something ridiculous on the drive home from the airport so we weren't speaking when we arrived home. By this point, I was almost 2 weeks late and I did not feel right, so I decided to take the remaining test the next morning.

I shouldn't have been surprised. I mean, all the signs were there. But after 10 years, and never being able to get pregnant on our own, I was shocked. I kept going back in there and looking at the test again and again. The strangest part was that even though I had just had a baby, and even though this was in no way planned, I couldn't help but see the miracle in front of me and be grateful, and happy, about this incredible surprise.

Now for telling Dan :) We still weren't speaking, and I wasn't about to drop that on him when he was already pouting. So I sat on it for a few days until the right time seemed to present itself. Let's just say he was far more shocked than I was.

It's ony been 14 months but how life has changed since then! Jayden is the best surprise we have ever been given. He is an amazing addition to our family. He is the sweetest, snuggliest little guy. I can't imagine our family without him. I am so grateful for the blessing he is. It is such a neat experience for me to see the dynamic between him and Jaxon, being so close in age. My other children are all close to 4 years apart, and my boys are over 7 years apart. I am so excited to see how their relationship develops as they grow up.

As we head to Disneyland this time, we are leaving 2 babies home with family, instead of 1 like we did last time. And I expect my tummy will feel much better this time around. But I think every time we take a Disney vacation, I will recall the big surprise we got the first time around.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Monday, December 22, 2008

Trouble Turns Two

My sweet little guy turned two this past week! I know, you thought by his actions he was already 2 right? Naw, he's just ambitious :)

For Jaxon's birthday, we went to Grandma Miller's house, had cake and Ice Cream, and opened presents. He was so funny. He did help a little when it came to opening the presents, but when it was time to blow out the candles, he was so cute! We lit them, and then told him to blow them out (he does know how). He just stared at them, so Savannah showed him by blowing one out. He said, "Uh oh, Bi-yure! (fire)" And then pointed to the lighter because he wanted the candles lit. Thinking he wanted to blow them out himself, we relit them, but he just wanted to watch them burn. He did not want to blow them out, and didn't want anyone else to either. We finally had to blow them out for him.

My little birthday boy has been such a wonderful blessing to our family. Jaxon is the life of the Miller house. We refer to him as stealthy :) He doesnt SEEM like he's mischevious, he is so quiet, but turn your back for one second.... You will see from his pics that his usual demeanor is pretty somber. He keeps a straight face most of the time, as if he is always concentrating on something (I know those wheels are a turnin in there). But then, every so often, he breaks out into our little entertainer. He will do anything to get a laugh. He loves to be the center of attention. He love people to laugh at him. He has the sweetest smile I've ever seen. He actually talks up a storm, but only to people he knows. If strangers are here, he acts like he doesnt know how to talk yet, and acts like he doesnt understand what you are saying. Trust me, he does :)

Jaxon loves his brothers and sister. All day long, he takes inventory of where everyone is. It goes something like this, "Where Dada? Dada erkin? (working)", then "Where Bason (Mason)? Ooks (school)?" "Where Nanna (Savannah), ooks?" , "Where Deeden (Jayden), "seepin (sleeping)?"Sometimes we even get Grandma (Bumm-ah), Grandpa (Bumpa), and Danna (which he actually says right) in there as well. He loves kisses. He loves cars (which he calls Brrrrrrroooomies,while he makes the brrrrooom sound that imitates a car). He loves his blankey. He teases the cat ceaselessly and has scratched up hands to prove it (but he never flinches when the cat cratches the heck out of him, he just laughs and evil little belly laugh). He loves to watch Super Why over and over and over. He is quite a daddy's boy at times. He loves to take a bath (blapth) or a shower (show) every time I change his diaper. He even tries to mother Jayden. He hates nursery, or anything that takes him away from mom for even a minute or two. He loves climbing, messing, breaking, throwing and screaming :) And I love him!

So Happy Birthday my sweet little boy! I love you to pieces!
Oh and for the record, yes, he did do with his cake the same thing he did with Savannah's cake (turn it upside down and break it up into pieces all over the kitchen when Mom wasn't looking), so we had to throw it out also.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Taco TV Tuesday

WHAT? Yeah, that's what I'm going to explain.

First I want to thank my kids for being such a great example to me. They LOVE family time (I know, give it a few years) and because of that, they are always coming up with new, creative things we can do together as a family.

It all started a couple of months ago. We enjoy watching the Biggest Loser together (my kids are really into being healthy, don't know where they come by that.... ;) Anyway, we DVR it since we can't always watch it at that time. However, Dan had 2 of his own programs that he insisted we could not override. So we started recording Biggest Loser on the kids TVs. That meant when we wanted to watch them, we had to head into one of the kids bedrooms to do it.

It just so happened that the first week we were doing this, I made Taco Soup for dinner, and my kids love taco soup. We loaded up our taco soup and headed down to Mason's room on Tuesday night and watched Biggest Loser (I know I know, shouldn't we have been eating grilled chicken and steamed broccoli instead?). We had such a good time that Mason said, "Mom, we should do this every week!" And so a new tradition was born- Taco TV Tuesday (how's that for alliteration-who says a SAHM doesn't use her college education?).

Each week, the kids help (yes, they really do) me cook the taco soup. They now know how to brown hamburger and tell when it's done, how to cook onions etc.... and when it's all ready, our fun begins.

Now that Biggest Loser is over (and thankfully turned out the way I wanted it to), we get to pick a new show to watch on Tuesday nights (like I said, thanks to DVR, it doesnt actually have to be ON on Tuesday nights, so that opens it up a bit) that we all will enjoy.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Invisible Mother

My dear friend Carrie sent me this in an email, and I loved it so much I thought I better blog it to share it with all of you. Thanks Carrie!

It all began to make sense, the blank stares, the lack of response, the way one of the kids will walk into the room while I'm on the phone and ask to be taken to the store. Inside I'm thinking, 'Can't you see I'm on the phone?' Obviously, not.

No one can see if I'm on the phone, or cooking, or sweeping the floor, or even standing on my head in the corner, because no one can see me at all. I'm invisible. The invisible Mom.

Some days I am only a pair of hands, nothing more: Can you fix this? Can you tie this? Can you open this?

Some days I'm not a pair of hands; I'm not even a human being. I'm a clock to ask, 'What time is it?' I'm a satellite guide to answer, 'What number is the Disney Channel?' I'm a car to order, 'Right around 5:30, please.'

I was certain that these were the hands that once held books and the eyes that studied history and the mind that graduated sum a cum laude - but now they had disappeared into the peanut butter, never to be seen again. She's going; she's going; she is gone!

One night, a group of us were having dinner, celebrating the return of a friend from England .. Janice had just gotten back from a fabulous trip, and she was going on and on about the hotel she stayed in. I was sitting there, looking around at the others all put together so well. It was hard not to compare and feel sorry for myself. I was feeling pretty pathetic, when Janice turned to me with a beautifully wrapped package, and said, 'I brought you this.' It was a book on the great cathedrals of Europe .. I wasn't exactly sure why she'd given it to me until I read her inscription: 'To My Dear Friend, with admiration for the greatness of what you are building when no one sees.'

In the days ahead I would read - no, devour - the book. And I would discover what would become for me, four life-changing truths, after which I could pattern my work: No one can say who built the great cathedrals - we have no record of their names. These builders gave their whole lives for a work they would never see finished. They made great sacrifices and expected no credit. The passion of their building was fueled by their faith that the eyes of God saw everything. A legendary story in the book told of a rich man who came to visit the cathedral while it was being built, and he saw a workman carving a tiny bird on the inside of a beam. He was puzzled and asked the man, 'Why are you spending so much time carving that bird into a beam that will be covered by the roof? No one will ever see it.' And the workman replied, 'Because God sees' I closed the book, feeling the missing piece fall into place. It was almost as if I heard God whispering to me, 'I see you. I see the sacrifices you make every day, even when no one around you does. No act of kindness you've done, no sequin you've sewn on, no cupcake you've baked, is too small for me to notice and smile over. You are building a great cathedral, but you can't see right now what it will become.' At times, my invisibility feels like an affliction. But it is not a disease that is erasing my life.. It is the cure for the disease of my own self-centeredness. It is the antidote to my strong, stubborn pride.
I keep the right perspective when I see myself as a great builder. As one of the people who show up at a job that they will never see finished, to work on something that their name will never be on. The writer of the book went so far as to say that no cathedrals could ever be built in our lifetime because there are so few people willing to sacrifice to that degree.

When I really think about it, I don't want my son to tell the friend he's bringing home from college for Thanksgiving, 'My Mom gets up at 4 in the morning and bakes homemade pies, and then she hand bastes a turkey for three hours and presses all the linens for the table.' That would mean I'd built a shrine or a monument to myself. I just want him to want to come home. And then, if there is anything more to say to his friend, to add, 'you're going to love it there.'

As mothers, we are building great cathedrals. We cannot be seen if we're doing it right. And one day, it is very possible that the world will marvel, not only at what we have built, but at the beauty that has been added to the world by the sacrifices of invisible women.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Nothing Sweeter...

...to a mother, than when her baby looks up at her face, lights the room with his beautiful smile, and all is right with the world simply because she is there.

Monday, December 1, 2008

*shakes head*...oh Jaxon

You could have guessed that I was due for an installment of Jaxon's latest disaster right? The last couple of weeks have been filled with them, but they have been uncharacteristically mild. 5 or 6 boxes of cereal dumped all over the house, the boxes ripped to pieces (at once), French Vanilla hot chocolate dumped all over the place (the best kind to be dumped, since it's white, not brown), the usual emptying of drawers, spilling of food etc.... but nothing to write home about- these are just part of our daily routine. Until today....

Today started off REALLY well. In fact, I almost blogged about how some days just come together. I got up, got the kids off to school, got everyone dressed and ready, washed 3 loads of laundry, baked cookies, had the whole house clean at once *shock*, good mood....

There we are. I am feeling safe since Jaxon is in the same room with me, in fact, I am facing him. I am teaching piano lessons and he is hanging around our 72 gallon salt water fish tank. He loves to watch the "shishies" so that's normal for him. Sometimes he likes to sit on the bottom of the table that holds the fish tank, and that's what he was doing. A few minutes later, he had moved and I noticed, about 5 feet away or so, a small wet spot, that I was sure was a spilled bottled water (Im not dumb enough to keep anything other than milk or water readily available in this house. It would all be on the carpet in a nanosecond). So I wander around looking for the bottle and grab a towel to soak it up. I can't see a bottle anywhere, but as I look back at the fish tank, I notice it is about 1/3 empty now. I just did a water change 2 days ago so I know it was not low on water. So I start to investigate, and then I see what the problem is, and it's a big one!

Jaxon apparently decided to play around with the fish tank filter. I do not know what he did, but I know that it was now working as a vacuum and sucking the water out , into itsself, and spitting it all over the carpet. Since it was a 72 gallon tank, and is now 1/3 empty, you can guess just how much water was now on the carpet. Let's just say the carpet was now functioning as an overfilled sponge. That small spot I saw was just what he tracked. The majority of it was covering about 100 sq feet of carpet, including behind the table which holds the fish tank (and cannot be moved due to it's weight).

What to do, what to do. Thankfully, I long ago decided for my own peace of mind and sanity, I would purchase a carpet cleaner for these sort of occasions. I put it on "spill pick up" and after soaking up what I could with towels, started sucking up water. I filled that tank in just a few minutes. I wasn't cleaning the carpet so I wasnt putting any water into it, just pulling it out. I dumped out the water, and filled it up again, and again, and again. About 20 gallons later, it felt just wet, no longer underwater. It took me a good 30 minutes the first round to suck it up. I went back a half hour or so later and sucked up another tank of disgusting, gross, brown fish water.

What fun.

Another day in the life.....

The 2 silver linings to this story:

#1- No one ended up in the hospital on this one

#2- It happened before we put in the new carpet. Phew.

Of course Dan is out of town also, and I have no idea how to fix the filter so that it works as a filter and not a sprinkler system. It's such a good thing that Jaxon is the most charming, cutest, most loveable child alive because if he were not, things would be ugly around here ;) Even when he does crazy stuff like this (which is pretty much always), you can't help but want to squeeze those adorable chubby cheeks, and fall in love with his amazing smile. My older 2 kids think he is the most entertaining thing to ever grace the earth. My husband loves to come home and wrestle with his burly little boy. And truth be told, I think he's extremely smart and wonderful. I just know that mischeif is part of the package with Jax. Blame his Dad for that. Dan carries the mischief gene. I carry the boring gene.

Anyhoo, he's still alive, and as far as I can tell, so are the fish. The carpet, well, let's just say it's probably good that it's on it's way out some day soon. But for now, I think it's okay..

And in other Jaxon news, he has peed on the potty several times over the last few days. In fact, just a few minutes ago he went in all by himself and sat on the potty and peed, without me putting him there or asking him if he wanted to go. See, told you that kid is smart ;)

What will the next installment bring? Only Jaxon's diabolical mind knows....