Thursday, June 30, 2016

tucson weekend

If you go back in the archives, you might remember that every summer Jake's company sends families on a weekend get away. It's usually relatively local (thank goodness, long car trips are not kind to my car seat hating squad) and this year was in Tucson.  

Tuscon. You desert flower you. Thanks for hosting our clan this past weekend, you were really the  hostess with the most-ess. 

Let me go ahead and bullet point our weekend for you because paragraphs sound like a lot of work right now and sometimes I regress into lazy toddler mode around 2:37PM.

+ Traveling with kids can be super stressful with sleep schedules thrown off (and I live and breathe by the children's sleep schedules ... roll those eyes!), new "strangers" (especially for our resident mean mugger Beck) in the mix, and forgotten stuffs (always) but I was oh so pleasantly surprised by this weekend. A new Miller frontier? Possibly. 

+ The two hour drive up wasn't terrible. The older boys watched an episode of My Little Ponies nine times in a row and slept for 18 minutes (!!!!!! call the miracle police because the last time they simultaneously slept in the car was 2014), Beck was a trooper because he doesn't care about screens like his brothers do and he only got really angry about being strapped in for multiple minutes a few times. Jake introduced me to the hit known has Hamilton and spent the two hours enlightening me on lots of Alexander trivia.

+ Our room had a balcony that caught the boy's fancy. One morning Rhett shared a balcony experience with us. 

Rhett: It's a glorious morning.
Rhett: When I woke up mom, I sang a good morning song in Spanish on the porch. 
Julia: Ooooh. 
Rhett: I wan't naked mom. I was in my underpants. 
Julia: Did anyone see you singing?
Rhett: Yep. I was polite and waved at them. 
Julia: Well I'm glad you were polite...

+ We always bring our own grocery store when we travel, always in the most classy way possible.

We also bring a fully stocked cooler so the boys don't have to suffer a lack of milk and go-gurht. When Rad opened the cooler the overwhelming ice cube situation lead to this thought "WOAH! Elsa was HERE!"

+ Curse hotel pools for making our rinky dink backyard pool look like a glorified puddle. You'd think we deprive them of pool time because it was like getting gum off the sidewalk trying to get them to l-e-a-v-e. It was a good problem but still...a problem.  Amphibians they are.  

+ Rhett just finished swimming lessons so he was pumped to show off his ice cream scoops and super man tricks. Most of the pool was about 3ft deep so he had a decent amount of freedom to roam. Multiple times I noticed he would chill at the swim up bar chatting with the pool staff and slightly inhebriated pool guests. We did let him order french fries and charge it too the room one day. Because cool-parents-R-us. Rad LOVED walking (not swimming) around the shallow end of the pool with his life jacket. He preformed lots of ninja tricks on the stairs and while his pool walk-about which leads me to believe he has a promising career in leading water aerobics. 

+ Beck was the recipient of an epic amount of suncrean. He has the conundrum of a very large head (finding a kids hat it impossible but and adult hat is ginorm) and almost no hair. Still. His brothers were uber intrigued by his floatation device and for about 3 minutes a congo line around the shallow end with a few random pool kids with Beck leading the pack happened. Beck actually smiled during it. 

God bless digital many tries to get everyone looking at the camera.

 + I coordinated the after dinner kids activities for the 78 kids in attendance. Ha. The regional leaders were super grateful and offered several public thankings (which always make me feel and act super awkward...who do you look at??) and although it took some time so plan stuff for so many kids and such an age range the budget I had made it much easier. During the public displays of gratitude, I wanted to shout "No thanks necessary! I've planned kid's birthday parties for 20 kids with $80 bucks. This was nothin." We has several bounce house/activities, a face painter, photobooth and a game truck. Good times for everyone.

+ On the last night we get fancy and I make Jake take a lot of pictures of us. He's just glad it happens once a year.

And Jake got a production award! Go you honey boo.

And we're done. Weekend recaps can make for stale blog posts and this is probably one of the stalest (most stale?) so please accept my half-hearted apology for putting this on the internet. ;)

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Monday, June 20, 2016

and then there was kindergarten graduation

Kindergarten graduate Rhett and his fan club. 

Beck and Rad where stoically proud of their biggest brother. Stoic.

What's this?? Our first born has conquered the academia of of kindergarten with flying colors? Consider us epically proud of our special snowflake. We fully understand that if it wasn't for amazing teachers and Rhett's ever expanding inquisitive nature, he wouldn't have learned half of what he did this past year. Jake and I are pretty decent parents on many levels, but I would pretty much never bet on us handling all of the boys education solo. 

And of course no school year would be complete without the fantastic tradition of kindergarten graduation. I know my kid was in it, but man it was adorable. 

All us proud families smooshed ourselves into the bleachers with the pint sized leg room (poor Jake!) and got to know each other reeeeal well for the ceremonies. Beck has an love of pulling arm/leg/head/eyebrow hair and the father sitting next to us who had plenty of hairs that he wanted to examine . I love when our first introductions to people start on such a personal note. "Hi...we're the Millers. Our youngest is a big fan of your leg hair(s). Big fan."

The newest graduates showed off their hard work and catchy songs. One number was America the Beautiful and Rhett assured us we would cry happy tears when we heard him sing it. Indeed, we found it very sweet. Rad and Breckie (Breckie is Rad's BFF and Everett's sister and Everett is Rhett's BF and also in his class) really enjoyed getting down to the kindergarten beats. And wait till the end...Rad as a special update for you.

If you don't speak Rad, he tells the camera that he "tooted" or in other words passed gas. I'm so glad that's in the records for all of time.

The kids all talked about what they wanted to be when they grew up. Rhett's planning on the lucrative career of a ninja and one of his classmates wants to be a dog. (Rhett wanted to be a cheetah a few moons ago so I feel like he and this boy are on the same vibe.)

Mrs. Burghart...the saint of all teachers. Rhett is in love with her and so are we.

Among other things learned this past school year, Rhett learned he has a definite type for his childhood crushes. Long dark hair being the leading attraction. The puppy love stats for the year include three girl friends, two engagements and countless conversations on his thoughts were on what love meant.

Rhett: I'm in love.
Rhett: Like grown up love.
Julia: Oh wow. What does it feel like to be in love?
Rhett: Like an avalanche where you have to run for your life.

Other favorite conversations: when he came home and asked for a Spider Man wallet and my wedding ring so he could get married (nope) and when he mentioned that girls like him because he let them give him hugs. The boundaries talk followed right after that statement, worry not.

I remember filling out a sheet asking what we hoped our kids would have learned by the end of the year and I wrote something lame and subpar like "that he can spell his name" and now Rhett can read and spell and write sentences and knows addition and subtraction, so God bless kindergarten forever and ever amen. (And at this rate he'll surpass my book learning by third grade. But really....fractions still aren't my strongest subject.)

Congrats Rhett!

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Tuesday, June 14, 2016

the millers go to a wedding

Two weekends ago (because blogging in real time is my specialty) William and Emily got married.

William is: my littlest brother, the uncle the boys reference daily, closet hipster ;), and now new husband (!) married the sweetest girl you'll ever meet (truly! she is).

Isn't Emily's dress gorgeous? She looked like a princess. The most gorgeous princess in all of the land.

As with all trips I like a good recap so let's bold and categorize the highlights and lowlights...

the flights: highlights 

 + weren't that bad! The kids bad mood blips were fortuitously timed as other passengers were boarding our flights and neither flight was full so-rows to ourselves!!! Halleluiah. The biggest hiccup came when Beck got in a mood about wanting to hit the man in the seat in front of us of the head repeatedly and wouldn't stop shrieking/body flinging for 25 minutes. Granted he was beyond over tired and a little hangry so all's forgive this time B. 

Rhett was probably the only person in the plane to actually read the safety instructions and raise his hand to ask a question, about the flight attendant lead safety demonstration. Rad just had a plethora of questions.

"What if the windows open?"
"Where's the kitchen?" 
"How many days till we land?"
"What happens if I'm thirsty?"
"Why are the clouds white?"
"How old is the man sitting next to you?" 


flight lowlights: 

^^^ anyone whose flow with kids or on a flight with kids knows this pose.

+ Ranking in order from most poorly behaved to the best behaved: Beck, Jake, Rad, Julia, and Rhett. Jake + airports have a complicated relationship. It's like we switch personalities and he goes from the most laid back human on the face of the planet to a Julia Miller (not laid back, never laid back, rarely fun). So he was a real treat when we missed our first flight (despite being at the airport a little over an hour early) and I could tell he was struggling not to give me a "I told you so..." look. 


The pre wedding festivities: Highlights

- showing the boys around my old stomping grounds. A "creek" runs through my old neighborhood and the boys cautiously examined the water bugs and all the allergies (allege) in the water. Every time we travel the boys are in total and complete awe of the jungle aka actual trees and grass, that grow in other parts of the US of A. Which makes Jake and I feel like we're depriving them of one of the basic rights of childhood. 

^^^Normally the boys love the swings so color me shocked when Beck's eyebrows frantically shot into "save me!" mode. But I still insisted he swing till I could take this commemorative picture.

+ the world series of Wiffle ball per tradition is always one of my personal favorites. Jake got his confidence boost for the year by hitting every ball at bat over the house. Rhett also gained a lot of confidence with some legit big hits of his own. 

+ Not pictured...but everyone's caloric needs were grossly over compensated for and my parents being hostesses with the mostestes preping meal after meal of the best food for the masses

- My first mani pedi combo ever. I went crazy and chose a vibrant gray after my first choice, white, was out. They call me Go Big or Go Home Miller.  

- The hotel pool. Considering AZ is the land of the backyard swim shesh you'd think a pool wouldn't be that much of a thrill for the boys but hotel pools have a extra magic. And eye burning chlorine.  

- Beck discovered his calling in life: very serious splashing with absolutely NO smiling. Even massive and accidental gulps of water that choked the professional splasher did not deter him from his task: splashing sans smile. (The stoic splasher kept with that theme the whole weekend and mean mugged everyone.)

- Rad also discovered his calling in life in the pool: motivational speaker. He chanted "Go Rad! Go Rad" Go Rad!" has he pulled himself along the pool wall perimeter. 

The kids also had the BEST time with their aunts and uncles, cousins, grandparents. 

The pre wedding festivities: Lowlights

Jane (my sister) and I had big plans for a cute cousin pic but Beck had a 1 picture limit.

We tried to push him...

And he pushed right back.

Rad literally could have cared less. 

Well, home slice cared about no one touching his newly beloved ribbon wand. Priorities are strong with this one.

The guess the highlight of the lowlight was now we have an epic picture for them to recreate when they get older. ;)

+ Short story. We were super lucky to have two adjoined hotel rooms which has anyone with little light sleepers knows is so helpful. The bog boys were going to have their own room and Jake and I were going to bunk with Beck but the big boys were a little nervous about sleeping in the big beds and Jake and I were nervous about them bursting into our room in them morning and waking up Beck. So the solution was me sleeping on the floor between their two beds. Hotel musical beds is our jam. Anyway. One deep slumber I felt a crushing weight smash down on me mid dream. Scared the freaking hootenany out of me. The culprit? Rad. Who remained totally asleep after he fell out of bed and landed on me. It was as terrifying and bruise producing as you might imagine. 

And lastly the wedding: Highlights

+ We cleaned up really well. #humblebrag If I was the Bachelorette (bahahahah!) I would give Jake all the roses. ;) And I wish I would've gotten a shot of the back of my hair - my mom treated all us to a real salon hair-do and they did a stellar job AND it didn't fall out during dancing.

+ There was dancing and Jake perfected the mocking of my full body tantrum dance and I got down to his cautious two step rhythm default.

+ Rhett mastered the YMCA and has continued to YMCA anytime the mood hits.

The wedding: Lowlights

+ Six minutes before we were supposed to leave for the reception I put on the dress (that I had ordered from online) for the first time because I have many genius moments. I quickly realized it was 1000% see through. Miss Miley would have loved it. While I was freaking out Jake decided we just needed to run to Target because being a few minutes late to the reception/ring ceremony was a lesser faux paux that showing up with all the little details showing. I thought Jake would run in to get the slip but he had no idea what a real slip was/is so I shimmied a t-shirt around my waist under my dress and flew through the store trying not to trip on my heels to get it. It was loads of F.U.N. 

+ At the very beginning of the reception festivities Rad absolutely had had had to use the bathroom and so he ran to the facilities sans help from a parental unit. After he has resolved the urgent issues he stepped out into the full swing of the reception with his dropped khakis and Superman unders barely pulled over the important parts. That was very very quickly resolved and honestly I was just thrilled that he wasn't distracted with all the reception fun to make it to the bathroom so we'll just sweep his stint as an exhibitionist under the rug.

+ Having Beck, the mean mugging, stranger hating child of mine, whisked out of my arms on the dance floor by a strange lady...when we eventually found the kidnapper and little B (screaming) the lady told me to 'bring him back when he calms down!!'


Congratulations Emily + William!!
Welcome to the married club - the best of all the rest. :)

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