Tuesday, January 29, 2013

true ragamuffin.

Metta really is so much fun.  and hard work.  I never forget how difficult newborns are- but I always forget about this phase.  The one after baby and before toddler.  I feel like Metta's life is hanging in the balance every moment of every day.  Is she going to gouge her eyes out with some random pair of scissors she found under the couch?  Is she going to choke on the nasty apple core she rummaged out of the garbage can and is now eating?!  Is she going to somehow get past the baby gate and tumble down the scary basement stairs to her death?!  AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH.  It really is a miracle to me that there aren't more tragic accidents with these rugrats.  We've had one experience this year with Metta where I am 100% positive she was being watched over/held back.

this picture KILLS me.
Kent tried to 'do' metta's hair for church this week and this is what it looked like by the end of morning.  We have yet to find a bow or barette that will stay put.  This was the aftermath of gel.  Her hair is too fluffy and straight.  Gel is a no go. Stretchy headbands are our safest bet- and we are lucky to get her to keep them on these days.  Here you can even see the mark left by her headband.  The hair all around the headband goes crazy, too.

 These next three pictures are pics that Zeb took.  I made sure the settings on my camera were right- and he took a bunch of shots :)  He thinks that pictures I take automatically appear on the blog.

This one is my very favorite.  Metta really does love to kiss me- and she's learning to close her mouth when she leans in for it.  Zeb got the timing just right!  I love the squished little nose and funny look she's giving me.
 Zeb is going to type in the descriptions for the next pictures!

metta   leisy   and   ike.
 leisy   is   crazy!  with   metta.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

I love when it snows.

Zeb's bus leaves at 7:30 in the morning so it tends to make for some chilly mornings.  Even though it's been TERRIBLY cold lately- I really enjoy our little walks to and from his stop on the corner.  Usually Metta is either still asleep or I can just chuck her into her crib for the five minutes I'm gone. Ike insists on making the trek with me- and then moans the entire time about how cold he is!  It's just now starting to be light again when we're out.  We always say our morning prayers on the walk.  Zeb and Ike close their eyes- and I take them each by one hand.  Ike has faceplanted it several times.  

This week we had a pretty decent storm that was forecasted to bring an inch.  We got six.  Weather people are not terribly accurate in Ohio.  They say we are supposed to get into the sixties on Tuesday but I'm hoping they are wrong. I want the snow to stick around!!

Friday- the majority of the snow fell while we were at the gym.  I got stuck in the gym parking lot and then couldn't even get a foot up our driveway!!  my beloved van is not so fabulous in the snow.
Ike and I spent quite awhile shoveling and messing around.   And Zeb took this picture for us-he's a budding photographer! He begs to use my camera whenever I get it out.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013


 This week has been so nice.  Last week was a not nice week. I'm allowed to have those once in awhile, right?

 This week (besides a large auto mechanic bill) has been fabulous.  Zeb ate fish and enjoyed it.  My kindle started working again.  Zeb had a day off of school and we did an afternoon read-a-thon together.   Metta started LOVING tv.  It's the little things, right?!

We were all sitting on the couch (Ike was at the counter working on letters) enjoying the terribly cold weather by cuddling up.  Zeb and I were reading.  Metta was watching Baby Einsteins with her cow.  She loves those silly little puppets on that show.  They make her laugh and laugh and laugh. And as terrible as the American Academy of Pediatrics says it is for a ten month old to watch tv- I DON'T CARE.  And neither does the in house pediatrician.

I LOVE that Zeb loves to read.  He'll get stacks of books- write a list of them- and then cross them off one by one as he finishes reading.  And I've gotten back into a reading groove. I go through phases where I read a book a day and I just can't find good ones fast enough- and I'm there now!  I absolutely LOVE reading books on my Kindle.  I never thought I would be a kindle lover- but I am.  I never buy the books- but our library has a pretty good selection of new titles! and I don't even have to leave my house!! AMAZING.

Any good book suggestions?!  I've just finished Secret Daughter and Left Neglected. Both wonderful.  I also read the much hyped 'Age of Miracles'. Didn't like it AT ALL.
 Bus stop duties are BRUTAL in these temps. Wind chill -15 when we dropped him off in the morning warmed up to -5 when we picked him up.  It's FREEZING.  and I LOVE it.  Now if we could just get some snow to match the temps!!
Ike was so bugged I was making him stop for a picture. It was freeze your nose hairs cold. literally.  

TV is such a wonderful thing for Metta right now because she's INSANE.  CRAZY.  and  a little vain.  She loves to look at herself and the oven door is one of her favorite spots.  She'll get all looney when she sees herself in it, though.  She'll jabber jabber jabber and then shriek and giggle.  Maybe she's not vain- maybe she thinks this image is her best friend.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

We are finally back into the swing of things after Christmas break! our schedules are back to normal and the kids are getting to bed (not necessarily asleep!) before 8 again.  Now that we are in school- long breaks are BRUTAL on routines!

I'm pretty lucky to have such a great life :)  As much as I complain about being 'stuck' with my kids all day- I really do have it good.  And I like my kids.  And they are growing up before my eyes. Hip-hip-hooray!

2013 is going to be a great year- I can already tell.

Ike turns FOUR in just a few weeks.  He is our turkey.  The crazy one.   You know- always giggling, making funny faces, laughing when he knows he's in trouble.
and then putting on that cutesy smile and talking in his sweet little voice  when he wants something.  Like more wii time.

He started Primary (little kids sunday school) this year at church and he really misses the 'snacks and toys' from nursery.   It may be a rough adjustment.  I told him I'd sneak fruit snacks and hot wheels into his pockets :)

My zebby is still my little zebby- but he's pretty wise.  Sometimes when I talk to him- I can't believe it.  He's so smart and old.  And kindergarten is teaching him a lot.  Academically I knew kindergarten would be review- but life skills and trying new things and learning to be a little leader.  I love it.
like today. It was WACKY wednesday.  He wore his shirt backwards- and his galoshes (which are so wacky because "it isn't even raining outside, mom!!") and some spikey hair.  We had a tad wackier outfit all picked out last night- but when he woke up he told me: "I'm not feeling THAT wacky this morning, mom".  

Miss Metta is OUTRAGEOUS.   I have people tell me all the time they just can't believe how happy she is.  I tell them it's because her middle name is 'Joy'.

She gets so excited when she sees people (at the grocery store, the gym, church-ANYwhere) that she shakes her body and balls up her little fists and lets out squeals of glee.   She LOVES people and she loves to be out and about.  And she's on the move CONSTANTLY.   
She walks all over furniture and with her little walker toy- and stands for long periods of time.  I'm sure independent steps are in the very near future.
Her hair is still rather unruly.  Especially when she wakes up in the mornings and after naps.  But she is so stinking funny.  And she loves me.  When I ask her to give me a kiss- she plants big open mouth slobber lips all over my face (it's disgusting).  She won't even give Kent a second glance when he asks.
Around the house she's a TERROR!!!  you know that phase where they pull EVERYTHING off EVERY shelf?!  we are in the thick of it.  Why do I even clean?!  we've at least replaced all the glass and heavy items with plastic ones.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

For Christmas- Zeb and Ike got Kent the COOLEST BOOK EVER. A Star Wars paper airplanes book.  It's full of speeders, death stars, starfighters, and the like.   The boys LOVE it.  I think Kent might love it even more.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

the end of the pictures....

kent got five glorious days off for Christmas Break this year and we somehow managed to get him to utah super early his first day- and home late his last day so it actually felt like we had him for almost five whole days. And lucky him- he had two DIRECT and PERFECT flights to and from Ohio :)  Remember my hell trip to Utah? going home was bad, too.  Our flights were cancelled.  We ended up getting home- just from different airports and seven hours later than anticipated.

We spent most of the nights while he was in town at his parent's place.  And it snowed like CRAZY. I am so incredibly happy that we had such a white christmas.  It's the top item on my Christmas list every year.  It snowed and snowed and snowed from the 24th to the 29th when we left!!  and we all enjoyed it!!

I brought all of the kids snow gear- we just forgot it at my parent's place :)

Best part about being at the Miller's place is the 4-wheelers! raining, snowing, hot- doesn't matter- they are always out!  In high school Kent even used to sneak them out and we'd ride around in rain storms :)
Here's Kent getting ready to hit them with a snowball!

Nice snowman, Kent.  I make my family pose for everything so I can figure out more camera settings!

ethan.  I love that Zeb and Ike have such great cousins their age to play with!!
the newest cousin- Ella.
hanna banana!  Hanna is one of my favorites because she's so spunky AND has red hair.

there are always some pretty awesome BINGO nights at grandma and grandpa Miller's house!!

the prizes are like Christmas all over again!!

Somehow I only got two pictures Christmas day.  Metta loved the wrapping paper this year. She ATE a ton of it.

Ike using somebody else's present :)
Here's Kent's sister, Michelle, and her family. They grow so fast!!! when I met Kent- Marissa was just a little girl!!
And Kristy's family!
M- I hope michelle got some pictures with you in them because somehow I did NOT!!

And the last picture of my favorite Zeb. Gma Pat got him this shirt that he LOVES.  "Cleverly disguised as a kid".  He thinks it's hilarious.

I'm so insanely happy that we got to go to Utah this year for Christmas and see EVERYBODY.  It was the most wonderful trip and I'd do it all again- even with all of my travel snafus!!

Thanks to all of our family for all of the gifts, help, borrowed cars, food, and love!! We miss you already!!!

Saturday, January 5, 2013

yikes. so many pictures.

I'm going to try and get all of my Christmas pictures done in two more posts. Which means there will be a slight picture overload.

We hadn't been 'home' to Utah for two years so we had a lot of catching up to do!!

Baby Metta had yet to meet many of her extended family members- but our trip for Christmas got her all caught up with cousins and aunts and uncles.

Here she is with my sister Metta's baby Charlotte.  They were pretty good pals- except when my Metta would try to climb on top of Charlotte or rip her bows off!  Baby Charlotte is six months.

Metta LOVED trying to find the elusive black cat- Spooky. And play with her mouse toys.  Gross.  She loves to carry things around in her mouth.
and Zeb got to play with his cousin Henry.  They were pretty good to each other most of the time :)
they look so grown up!!

We were there this year to take part in the big 'Howell Family Party'.  I grew up with a ton of cousins on both sides of my family- and they are all still great friends today.  we missed half of the families- but still got together with those who could make it!  I really do love living in Ohio so so much- but I will admit that being around all of these great people makes me realize just how much I'm missing!
Here's the immediate family.  We didn't get a single decent 'normal' picture- so this is our best family shot :)  But- we're weird like that so it works.  And I was told the party was 'ugly christmas sweater' style- thus the gingerbread sweater.  Apparently everybody else missed the memo. Besides baby Charlotte.  Her tutu and hairbow are pretty bad :)
The Mills.  My pseudo siblings. Janna just got home from her mission in London!!

and the Jayneses (minus several siblings and spouses).  They make the white elephant party the best.
here's the traditional ladies breakfast at mimis.  Tanner was our chauffeur so we let him come along.  Have I mentioned that I have THE best cousins and aunts?!

we did a lot of cousin time and eating out while we were there!  eating out is one of my favorite things in the entire world!!  thanks, mom and dad, for sponsoring our dining while we were there :)  My little sis Metta works at Harvest- a fancy restaurant at Thanksgiving Point- so we went there quite a few times and used her discount :)  And giggled a lot.  I'm sure we were so bothersome to the other fancy diners.

Here Daysa (my youngest sister) and I were trying to get out tongues stuck to ice sculptures at the restaurant.

We also were lucky enough to see Grandma and Grandpa Oswald while we were there!  My dad drove all the way up to Idaho to pick them up and bring them back so we could spend a morning with them.  It was lovely.  And I'm so blessed that my kiddos get to meet their great grandparents!

Plus- grandpa Oswald gave out old fancy real silver dollars while he was there!!  Grandma Oswald's sister is named Marietta- and that's where the original 'metta' started.  So there are three in our family right now- and to make matters more confusing- my great aunt metta is married to a Kent!

For Christmas Eve and Day we bounced back and forth between the Miller and Oswald houses.  It's nice to be able to see both families when we come home!  I can't imagine if our parents lived states away!

Christmas Eve was spent doing our traditional take out dinner. We had sushi, cafe rio, chinese, olive garden, fried pickles, texas roadhouse rolls, ribs, and more.  I LOVE it.  So does Kent.

We also did our much anticipated homemade Pixie Pal gift exchange.  Kent drew Laney's name this year (it's always top secret until that night) and was bound and determined to redeem himself  from his first pixie pal gift exchange ever.  He made the sad scary armless sock monkey from 2003 a new sock kitty friend.  With some new found skills taught by his mom- I'd say Kent has improved tenfold. Must be all the suturing at work and the project runway he's been watching with me :)

The gifts were pretty spectacular this year!  My bro-in-law Taylor had me and made me the COOLEST church 'quiet book/activity set' EVER.  I am so impressed!  It's going to get it's own blog post. and then I'll pin it. and I'll be the most popular pinterest pin for a week at least :)

Christmas morning was lovely.  Kent surprised me with a terribly expensive gift.  I returned everything else he got me (like ridiculous 9 dollar nail polish and hideous eyeshadow that he know I'd hate)- and then put all of our christmas money straight into our accounts (meaning it isn't for 'fun' stuff).  I love Kent.  He knows me perfectly.

Zeb got all he wanted.  A Power Rangers Samurai Megazord. It's hideous and I loathe power rangers.  But he is so happy.

Metta got one gift from Santa (Nannie Annie).  A stuffed cow. She LOVES it.

And she loved scavenging everybody's oranges from the bottom of their stockings.  She loves orange peels. Gross.

Ikey got some awesome star wars speeders and racers that zoom on the hard floors and a gazillion hot wheels.  Zeb picked out two awesome hot wheels cars for him at his 'Secret Santa Shop' at school and was so so excited to give them to Ike.   It was adorable.

I feel like this was sort of my last Christmas with a sister at home. Technically she lives away at college but was home for Christmas.  But by the next time we make it 'home' for Christmas who knows where she'll be.  Everybody is grown up! and it makes me feel like an adult.
Just some random shot of kiddos.

Milly is the cutest munchkin and I can't wait until metta can get pigtails like hers!!
Milly and her mommo.
Sister Metta and her family.
the BYU dinosaur museum.
And finally- I took some family pictures of Metta and her hubby Clair- and their baby Charlotte.  This one is my favorite because I LOVE baby Charlotte's crooked face smirk. It's her trademark for sure :)

Just one more long Christmas post and I'll move on :)