Saturday, May 31, 2008

thank heavens for the church!

I was super worried about weekends without Kent. I thought for sure I'd be sitting at home wallowing in my solitude. Today was by far the busiest day of Kent's absence. I am so grateful that I have the church to keep me busy!

Zeb and I woke up early to go running and beat the heat- but unfortunately we caught the humidity at its worst. Sweat was dripping off my face. I loathe humidity. I feel like I'm not getting enough air into my lungs. Kent, on the other hand, loves humidity because it makes it easier for him to breathe.

After our run we went to a great primary activity. I really have come to love the little kidlets. Zeb loves playing in the nursery and interacting with everybody so he was in heaven.

After the primary activity I took Zeb home to sleep. The neighbors listened for/watched him while I went on to our YW hike (thank-you lindsay)! Zeb was in heaven at the neighbor's- he experienced his first entire self-fed popsicle and relished every last drop. I think molars are coming in because he refused anything but grapes, yogurt, and popsicles today.

We did the five-miler hike in preparation for camp. I'm super upset that I can't go to camp this year (we'll be in Utah). I love the YW age group. I think that it's my favorite age to work with. The hike was a blast! It wasn't so humid and most of the trails were shaded. We found some cool vines to swing off and had lots of great trail snacks.

Here are a few of us enjoying a little lunch break half way through the hike. If you enlarge the second picture you can EASILY tell who was enjoying themselves and who wasn't! Being around these girls really makes me miss teaching school.
This evening I fed the sisters dinner and then we attended a baptism of a new ward member! I love going to baptisms. Tonight's was a little more difficult because Zeb was tired and trying to run around- but it was great nonetheless.

I would surely go crazy with Kent gone if I didn't have so much to do and so many great people to keep me busy (and feed us dinner- thanks ellen and jill! and cyndi!). I LOVE the church and its programs. I am a little worried about going to church tomorrow though. Usually Kent and I take turns managing Z man- but tomorrow he's all mine.

I figure all of this is good practice for the many years ahead. Life is only going to get busier and more hectic with Kent in his rotations and residency!

Friday, May 30, 2008

UPDATED this morning

I talked to Kent again tonight. He says it's super hot. They have to stand at attention out in the hot sun and sweat pours down his face and over his glasses. They aren't allowed to wipe the sweat off. Today he was in class all day and said most of the it is pretty interesting. One of the first things they went over was POWs (prisoners of war). They were taught what to do if taken captive (I'm hoping they aren't teaching the information in order of relevance). They are to try everything in their ability to escape and help others escape. The only information they can ever give an enemy is name, SS #, and rank (or something like that). Pretty intense stuff it sounds like. Here's another excerpt of an e-mail.

We just got back from our first morning workout. We just did stretches together and then ran around a track for thirty minutes. It really wasn't bad ~ they spent more time marching us out. Marching is serious business - it's all about uniformity with everything here. I met a really nice Mormon - we laughed about the short shorts. I'm excited to go to church on Sunday and see all the members. I'm assuming there is quite a good number. Waking up at 4:30 and going to bed at 11:00 every night is going to kick my TRASH!! I am going to fall asleep in class today and get reprimanded I'm sure. There is another guy in my flight with a little girl turning one on June 13 - and there is a single mom with two kids in my flight ~ her kids are with her parents. It's hard to be away.

And here's his address so that you can all send him letters and packages :) They aren't allowed any treats yet. He says they will earn the privilege if his flight can average 95% on their test tomorrow. I know he'd love any form of mail.

Lt. Charles K. Miller
COT class 08/04

550 East Maxwell Blvd #9000

Maxwell AFB, Al 36112-5000

HERE's updated info from this morning!

Here are some pictures that Kent sent last night after I talked to him. Nobody smiles in pictures. It's all about looking tough apparently. The bottom picture shows his room. He has the bunkbed all to himself but still has a roommate on a single bed. We talked for awhile last night until there was an overhead page calling all "logistics officers to report immediately" somewhere. He's a logistics officer. I'm not exactly sure what that means. He says he's having more and more fun. This morning they have a big test so he's studying like crazy. I feel bad that he just has more test to take! I'm hoping that these won't be as hard as med school tests! Oh, and here's the cheer that his flight squadron has to yell when they are marching. They are the falcons. It's kinda creepy.

"Falcons hunt from on high, diving down from the sky, ripping flesh with our talons, drawing blood by the gallons! DEATH FROM ABOVE! MORS AB ALTO!"

Thursday, May 29, 2008

I was reading a book in the front room when I heard these little guys squealing from the back room. This is what I found. Zeb loves playing with other kids!! He is so much more content when he's got a friend around.

Lt. Miller

This is an e-mail that I got from kent today! He is super busy and sends me snippets of info whenever he can. The e-mail may seem a little disjointed - but I've sent him three e-mails and innumerable texts asking buckets of questions and demanding a photo. I've talked to him a few times- but everytime he calls he ends up having to go somewhere within a few minutes. I'll keep everybody posted as I hear things. He sounds really positive and I think he's having a good time so far. I'm jealous of the great opportunities- but so happy that I'm not in the heat and waking up at 4:00 AM!!

This lovely getup is what I will be wearing everyday. It is toasty hot here and outside is a steam room. The sleeves are closed tight and the uniform doesn't breath much. Today at lunch I got yelled at for saying "PLEASE be seated" instead of just 'be seated'. I was told there was no excuse for not knowing the proper procedures - today was my first 'normal' meal because I have been late for everything. The captain didn't like that answer and told me to read chapter four AGAIN!!! The boots are boots - we have to do this weird thing with our pants so the entire boot shows. It feels really funny. We got a little breather since we finished lunch before everyone else. They don't give you much time to eat. I have never had to eat faster in my entire life!! And drink three glasses of water while doing it. The camera hasn't been permitted outside of the room as of yet. I hope to get some pictures over the weekend. I hope they let me bring my camera to some of the cool activites but they are super anal about everything. Sorry about the crabby rabby - tell him I still love him. I can't look at the blog :( hopefully soon. Love you. There are plenty of really cool people. Everyone in the HPSP program seems really friendly and normal. a few odd ones but that is to be expected. Love you tons - going to class. This feels like the MTC to be honest.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Happy early Birthday.

Here's the Z man eating his birthday cake. We celebrated a tad bit early so that Kent could join in some of the festivities. Sorry about the battle wound on Zeb's nose. Kent was playing with him and he crawled right off the bed and got rug burn.
Zeb does not do sweets. He took this initial taste and then got upset. He must take after his dad because I have a SERIOUS sweet tooth. He tasted the cake- and at one point totally gagged on it. He never dove in to it or got a good bite and after thirty minutes we gave up and put him in the tub. Maybe we'll have to try a veggie cake or something. He loves mixed veggies covered in ketchup.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

до свидания

He's gone. It was an INSANE day and he actually almost didn't leave!
Kent got a confirmation e-mail about his flight a bit ago (I don't know exactly when) and I got online to check his flight status this morning. The Toledo Airport showed no flight with that number or destination! I checked Delta's website and the flight number corresponded with a flight headed to Florida from NYC. Kent quickly called the Toledo airport and was told that the flight did not, in fact, exist. He called Delta and the agent told him the flight had been cancelled TWO WEEKS AGO!! they also told him that they had informed his travel agency. He called the travel agency (the air force has this agency do all of their flights) and they told him they had no idea about the cancellation. It was a MESS. His only options were a flight out of Detroit in sixty minutes (impossible because it takes at least sixty minutes to get there) or a flight to Cincinnati to Atlanta then to Montgomery late this afternoon from toledo. He was supposed to be IN Alabama at four. He called Maxwell AFB and informed them that he'd be at least four hours late. They were not happy- and I'm sure he is going to get REAMED tonight. Right now he's boarding the plane to Montgomery (luckily he gains an hour to Alabama) and should get there by 8:20. The Delta agent printed out an "excuse note" for him. I'm sure the Air Force people will be very understanding and accept his tardy note (can you sense my sarcasm?!!?). Poor Kent! Good thing he's really excited and very humble :) Apparently the worst thing to say to screaming Air Force personnel is "sorry". I'm sure he'll have quite the story to tell.

The fiasco was stressful but it was really nice to get a few more hours with Kent today. Since he was leaving for military purposes the airport gave me a temporary "boarding pass" and I got to walk him to the gate and watch his plane leave. There was even a playplace for Zeb while we waited. I only had a few tears and so far it all seems surreal. From the airport I went straight to the park for a run- and then to the library to get some good DVDs and books to keep me busy. Tonight when I started the bathwater for Zeb, I asked him where dad was (Kent always bathes him) and he crawled around the house looking in each room saying "dad. dad. dad. dad.". We got some videos of Kent reading zeb's favorite books and singing his favorite songs. Hopefully that will appease the rugrat for awhile.

I miss Kent already.

I just keep telling myself that the Air Force has given us over 50,000 dollars already. I can give him away for four weeks for fifty thousand dollars.

I really should have taken a picture of Kent's haircut. He looked super official.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Happy M day

Here is how we spent our memorial day morning. Don't you think that this picture looks an awful lot like the first picture at the battle reenactment as well? This child has been such a whiner this weekend! The sirens terrified little Z. Good thing he's cute.

The Parade was buckets of fun. We sat with some friends and reveled in all of the free stuff. These small town parades (Maumee) are jackpots for freebies! We got balloons, American flags, and unrealistic amounts of candy. Kent was in charge of gathering our spoils while my job was ear plugging the Zebbster.

One of my little primary girls, Kaitlyn, was in the parade marching with her girl scout troop! She saved lots of candy just for us.

As a side note, has anyone noticed Zeb's left (your left) eye? It's always much squintier than the right one. I'm kinda paranoid about it- but kent says it's fine. He has no eyesight problems and has normal eye movement- it's just always closed more. Has anybody had this problem with their kids' eyes? or your own eyes?
I'll try to post some more pictures that exhibit the problem. Usually I don't post those ones.

check out the cutest baby in the world


We were busy all day on saturday! It was wonderful. We had a ward farewell party in the morning with breakfast. Zeb ate lots of sausage links and muffins. He loves to eat.

After the party we went to the Battle Reenactment of the "Fort Meigs battle of 1812". It was pretty fun- minus the fact that zeb freaked. He has been so sensitive to loud sounds lately. The cannon and musket firings about did him in. He enjoyed watching- until the action started. We found some ward friends there and watched with all of them.

I'm a little nervous about the Fourth of July. The fireworks may just send him over the edge. Last year at 4 weeks old he slept through all of them- I don't think we'll be so lucky this time around.

Ohio is so amazing right now. I LOVE the green. The weather has been wonderfully cool these past few weeks and we've had a delightful spring. It was perfect weather to be outside.

We got some great pictures with some of the American and British soldiers.
We later attended a birthday bbq. Zeb hated the noisemakers that all of the the little kids had. Kent and I have tried so hard to make sure he was accustomed to strange sounds and scary things- and now, out of nowhere, he's turned into a little wimplet!

Saturday, May 24, 2008

day one of fun- ZOO

Yesterday after classes we went to the zoo. We love the zoo! The hippo kept circling his pond and swimming right past us over and over. At one point he even pooed right in front of us. Hippos do strange stuff with their poo- they swirl it around with their tails and play with it.

Most of the other animals were out and about yesterday too and we finally made it to the primates. There is something so fascinating about watching hominids. We had a pretty strange experience with the chimps and their pee. The one chimp peed and the baby chimp drank it as it came out. I tried to get a good picture. Kent and I were laughing pretty hard.

We also got to hear a little "3 Doors Down" while we were wandering about. They had a concert at the amphitheater there at the zoo that night and were rehearsing.

Zeb went to bed early and Kent and I ordered pizza with a gift card I'd gotten for my birthday. It came from a new pizza place here called "Donatos". Five out of five stars for taste! Definitely the best place for takeout pizza here in Toledo. I absolutely LOVE pizza. I can't wait to get to Utah and try that new pizza place in orem- Pizzeria 712! I hear it's amazing. Only two more weeks!!!!

Friday, May 23, 2008

Congrats to the best husband EVER.

He did it!!! He finished his first year of medical school! I am insanely proud of Kent and so happy that the year has come to end. It really wasn't that hard, much easier than I had anticipated :) - especially considering I got to be home all day with the best baby ever and have lots of fun! Our opinions of first year may vary slightly. Kent was a bit more pre-occupied and under a tad more pressure than I was. I am so happy that he can finally relax for a little while.

We have the weekend to party like crazy before he heads out to Alabama! I may not have time to post because I intend on spending every waking moment having fun.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

If you couldn't tell, it's been one of those days. So boring in fact that I google imaged myself and came up with this beauty.

If only I could get this on a t-shirt. Too bad I've never heard of a growler because apparently I have one. I also didn't know what the word quaff meant- so I looked it up. "To drink a beverage heartily". I'm pretty sure that they are referring to alcoholic beverages and unfortunately the only beverages I drink heartily are good old H20 and crystal light.

I did some research and actually found out that Leisy Brewing Company was the oldest brewery in Cleveland and one of the longest surviving family-operated breweries in America when it closed. Their advertising slogan was "Go Leisy, Go Leisy,Go Leisy Light!" All rather fitting since I now live in Ohio and I'm a Miller. The fates really want me to be a beer drinker- too bad the smell of it makes me get the dry heaves.
Here's a really cool picture of the brewery in Cleveland. We'll definitely have to go one of these days and see if anything is still standing.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

all grown up

Check out Zeb's bewilderment. He was completely intrigued by his new world view. Welcome to the front facing car seat, little guy.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Lieutenant Miller

One week from today Kent will be active duty US Air Force in Montgomery, Alabama.

I made Kent take this picture- and I made him do the salute. I wanted to show off his snazzy "mess uniform". It's the formal tuxedo that he has to wear to Air Force Balls and other formal events. This dang suit cost SIX HUNDRED DOLLARS (and is required for officer training)!!!!

Kent has a friend who attended Officer training last summer and is letting him use his. He and his wife had us over for dinner last night to give Kent the low-down on what to expect. They had two little kids and a yorkie-chihuahua mix. Zeb was ecstatic about the dog. He chased it around the house and giggled and screamed like a baby banshee. I haven't heard him laugh that hard in awhile. He LOVES animals.

Back to the atrociously priced suit- we are so darn lucky to have friends willing to lend it out! The Air Force will pay us a monthly stipend to live off, they pay tuition, they pay for all of his books, and they even pay for him to fly to Alabama and back to Utah- but they won't pay for his uniforms?! does that seem crazy to anybody else? I am so glad we could borrow this blasted thing. He'll still have to pay a pretty penny to get his basic gear- but not this extra 600. It is pretty sharp though, huh?

As anxious as I am to have Kent gone for five weeks, I am SO excited for him. I know that he'll LOVE the training. Kent is definitely the type to be excited about four am runs and push up contests. He is going to be in HEAVEN amongst all the order and rules. He's already a pro at bed making (thanks to his great mom) but he's going to come home and be able to make quarters bounce off our sheets.

Monday, May 19, 2008

As of last week we are totally done with bottles! It was a far easier task then I had anticipated! He loves water and milk and is only mildly fond of juice. I think that I may have done him a disservice with the bottle though. I didn't let him hold it and feed himself because I didn't want him to be running/crawling around with bottle in tow (I think it would have made him much harder to wean) so I always held it when he ate. Now the poor kid is trying to learn how to tip the sippy cups by himself! He is starting to use his hands but check him out doing it hands free. When he does use his hands he still does the whole body motion. I actually think it's pretty cute.

I love that Zeb is understanding what I ask and tell him now! It is so fun to see him respond to tasks and do things. He's learning body parts right now- but has only had success with the nose (and only on other people's faces - not his own).

Sunday, May 18, 2008

please don't go to south bend, emilee!

This weekend has been a weekend of conquering (or at least attempting to) fears and trying new things. I don't know if I'll ever sing in sacrament meeting again (I was absolutely terrified) but this next new thing may be a keeper.

After the race on Saturday, Kent dropped me off at the church for a sewing activity -can you believe I signed up for it? a wonderfully talented and patient woman (thank-you thank-you thank-you emilee) gave up her day and taught us all to to make dresses and skirts. I only got a picture of the dresses- but some of the sisters wore their skirts to church today and looked fabulous. The pictures don't do justice to these amazing little peasant dresses. They are empire waisted- and are bunched at the neck and sleeves. I CANNOT believe that I made this dress from scratch- and I can't believe how cute they all turned out. So, now I don't want Emilee (the seamstress) to move to South Bend because I want to do a sewing saturday every month!

I couldn't help but dress up Zeb in it! Later in life he will KILL me for doing this (and Kent is already pretty irate) but I really wanted to see what the dress looked like on. Zeb was pretty unhappy- but we did get one good picture. He's a pretty cute little girl I'd have to say :)
Click on the picture to get a better look at the empire waist.

Leisy - wonder woman. Me - not so much

I married wonder woman. Leisy never ceases to amaze me! After a really long night with Zeb, we got up and prepared to go to church early. Why? Because Leisy had to set up for sharing time and practice for the musical number. That's not a misprint - practice for the musical number in sacrament meeting. This is huge. When Leisy knew me in highschool she refused to sing if I was sitting next to her in church. When we started dating and went to church together she would actually sing. She told me if I ever made a big deal about it she would stop. The quartet of sisters was really good - Leisy even had a duet during the song! Leisy taught primary, pulled off sharing time with smashing success and dealt with a really cranky Zeb. I had a less than successful Sunday. I forgot the rolls for Priesthood, struggled with the hymn in opening exercises and ignored Zeb while filling in for the missing primary pianist. How can Leisy do everything so well?? She is wonder woman - I don't have any other explanations.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

The dart frog dash!
Kent and I got up bright and early to run the zoo's annual 5k! It was great. My favorite parts were the bleating lambs and the fresh aroma of elephant dung. I loved running past all of the animals and through the zoo's gardens but I didn't love that the very end of the race was UPHILL. Who makes the end of a race UPHILL?!? thank heavens that it was followed by a downhill as well.

Zeb did wonderfully in his stroller- and both Kent and I made pretty good time. They gave free fruit and bagels at the end- and free massages! I couldn't believe how many people ran the race. It was INSANE. We saw a few ward friends- and met lots of other funny people. One man offered to run Zeb's stroller up the hill with me! Thankfully our regular running route involves hills and we were just fine.

Friday, May 16, 2008

This little guy turns ONE in two weeks! How was zeb suddenly here for a year?! ridiculous. sorry about the ghost pajamas. they were on clearance at meijer for two dollars.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

check this out

I heard about this site from a friend and I'm OBSESSED. I have an inordinate love of mail. Opening my mailbox and finding something (other than bills or credit card enrollments) brings me such joy. I get so excited when I hear our mail person open the mailboxes in our hallway! Sometimes I make myself wait an hour or so to get the mail just so the suspense can build.

This website is full of free samples that come via mail! I check it about twice a week because it changes regularly. I get free magazine trials (that DO NOT have to be canceled after the first few-it's just a sample), granola bars, detergent, tampons, and other great stuff! So- I just thought I'd let everybody know. Doesn't everybody love mail? happy sampling (just click on the image).

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

my day was so boring- oh, and do we have ghosts?

It was wet all day today. It felt like somebody was using a giant spray bottle throughout toledo. I love the gloom- but it was too wet to go running with my rugrat. We did a lot of reading and scampering around the house- and I got some really cute pictures. I have almost 2000 pictures of this kid. RIDICULOUS. Good thing for digital cameras and picture dvds. He will have a picture for every day of the first year of his life.
Zeb is such a camera pro. I don't even have to tell him to smile- as soon as he sees the camera he gives his obligatory smile until the flash goes off- and then goes right back to whatever he was doing. I love it.

Today while I was cleaning my room and making the bed I let Zeb crawl around the bed. I looked up and this is where he'd gotten himself-up on our headboard.
oh, and do we have ghosts? do you see the strange orb floating next to zeb's head in this picture below? If you look closely you can see a little face in it too. Pretty creepy, huh? On "Ghost Hunters" and other very reliable shows and sources (and websites)- I have learned that these "orbs are believed to be ghosts in the form of balls of light. They are life forms that travel in groups and are believed to be the human soul or life force of those that once inhabited a physical body here on earth". I so want the orbs to be ghosts. Maybe it's Zeb spirit guide (that's what Sylvia Browne would say anyway).

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

The other day at walking group I turned around and Zeb was at the top of this little playground thing. Watching him is getting to be more of a full-time job! This rugrat is fast and daring. I tried to get his climb on video today. I missed his first two steps up- but got the rest. I was pretty surprised that he was willing to go down the slide without any help. He did go headfirst over the side of the slide earlier in the morning but it was really graceful- no tears at all. I love that they have this "toddler" play area. Zeb is obsessed.
Here's my monkey trying to look at me (with the sun directly in his face).

Monday, May 12, 2008

The camera battery was charging and so I only got a camera phone shot of zeb at the zoo today. He refused to look at me. And I apologize about the nursing primate- strange choice for a bronze statue, huh? Zeb took four steps at the zoo today! He walks- and it's so funny to watch. He seems too little to be walking. We had a fabulous time at the zoo. Somehow Kent and I have missed the coolest parts of the zoo everytime we've gone! We always wondered why the primate section was so lame- now I realize we just never found it. I called Kent immediately and we are going sometime before his air force departure (which is getting scarily close).

This Saturday Kent and I (and Z) are running the Dart Frog Dash at the zoo. Zeb is stoked. He's been really good at just sleeping during our runs lately. People look at me like I'm abusing him but he really does like it-usually. I'm mostly excited for the t-shirt. That's why I run races anyway. We'll get some good pictures.

Here's another pic of zeb that a friend took!

Sunday, May 11, 2008

ode to mom. aka nannie annie.

Since the dinner conference call (amidst the discussion of steaks and laney's bladder labor) didn't seem to hit the spot I thought I'd make an ode to you on the blog wall of fame. I couldn't resist stealing this picture from aunt michelle's blog. The picture shows you- the best mom of all- and a few other fabulous moms. The green sweater is pretty hot too, mom! I think it would even be popular now :)
Thanks for being the most wonderful mom on the planet. Today in primary I had my kids draw pictures with them doing their favorite things with their moms- I drew you and me talking on the phone.
Growing up I remember calling you at work and tattling on Laney or reporting that my "toes" were on fire. In college I'd always call and tell you about classes or my job. On my mission I remember you leaving a message on my answering machine a week before you were supposed to call "just to make sure the number was right"- and then really getting to talk to you on Mother's Day. And still- here in Toledo even with the 24 hours and 2000 miles I can just call and talk. Thanks for letting me talk and thanks for listening. Thanks for sending my rugrat packages and being the most wonderful Nannie Annie. Thanks for making me a better wife and mother- I'm so lucky that I have you to look up to! I can't wait to see you in THIRTY DAYS! Zebby is excited too. Love you.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

toledo first ward rockin dance

The ward spring fling tonight was pretty dang cool. Above is a shot of the 7:15 crowd (it went from 7-9) but thankfully by 7:30ish we had quite the mob (and lots of delicious food). I love going to dances with Kent (even though neither of us can dance AT ALL). Zeb was kind of a terror. All of the kids in the nursery sort of freaked him out (this past week he has been terrified of loud noises)- so he danced with us much of the night. We have some pretty intense dancers in the ward and I was impressed by many of the flips and moves. We had a pretty good dancing circle going for awhile. Here are some shots of everybody's rugrats dancing too. They all stormed the floor near the end of the evening.

Zeb was SO tired by the end of the evening. When we got home we put him out on the front lawn and he rolled over to go to sleep.