Tuesday, December 30, 2008

A Season of Firsts

Merry Christmas, Happy New Year, and many other belated greetings from the Miller home to yours. The month of December completely flew by, filled to the brim with many fun and some not-so-fun firsts for our little family. Our theme song for this season should have been "All I want for Christmas is my two front teeth." Shortly after we returned from our Thanksgiving ventures in VA, Jake began the arduous process of cutting his first two bottom teeth. Gnawing on fingers, a favorite pasttime of our sweet little (monster?), turned into a quest for relief from the pain by biting fingers and any other body part that we dared allow Jake to shove in his mouth. I know, he's trying to soothe an aching mouth, but it hurts!

The snow accumulation and winter storms we've had here in NY don't even begin to measure up to that experienced by friends and family on the West Coast, so I won't make the comparison. It was, however, the first time Jake saw, tasted, and felt snow. The flakes were gigantic the day we took him outside and it was coming down so heavily that you could hardly see the sky.

This was, of course, Baby's First Christmas. Being only 5 1/2 months old, the bigger people in the family most surely enjoyed the special first much more than the Baby did. The Grandparents on both sides expressed their spoiling rights/privileges, as said grandchild surely cleaned up in the toy/book/clothes department! Jacob was surrounded by both sets of doting grandparents on Christmas, as Nana and Papa (my parents) flew out from Washington to join us for a week and spend the holiday here in NY. We took the train into Manhattan to see the grandeur of the City Lights and the spectacular Christmas displays, and I think we were all tuckered out from the hustle and bustle of walking through New York City. We are so glad to have been surrounded by both our loving families and our friends this season and are grateful for the memories associated with the photographs that we're sharing from our Christmas Season in 2008.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Thanksgiving in Irvington

We spent our first Thanksgiving with baby in Irvington, VA with my grandparents, uncles, aunt, & cousins. It was wonderful to see loved ones that I don't see often enough, and to introduce everyone to the newest member of the family. As always, the vacation came to an end way too quickly.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008


Recession. Economic downturn. The current financial state of our country. There's no doubt that most everyone reading this is experiencing economic hardship in some form or another. My guess is that with such a rain cloud hanging over our heads, its easy to focus on the negative; it's what is right in the forefront. We can't do this...How are we going to afford that?... Somebody I know recently said that it's hard to be thankful when there's so much suffering in the world. I can understand the sentiment, but at the same time all I have to do is look around me to see how truly blessed I am. Thanksgiving is a reminder me to be grateful for my blessings, to "live in thanksgiving daily, for the many mercies and blessings which [God] doth bestow upon [me]."

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Photo Tag

So, I've been tagged by my sister-in-law Kate to post a random picture on my computer. I'm supposed to post the 4th picture in the 4th file on my computer. Hmmm....that was a bit challenging, considering I have so many files within files (so I like a little organization, so what?) What I finally decided upon as the photo is from graduation day at Idaho State University. Wahoo! The day of liberation from my masters program had finally arrived! (Okay, so it was more like an emotional dichotomy--leaving behind so many people, memories, and experiences, both good and bad, that had completely shaped me as a person and a counselor, and exhilaration at finishing two of the hardest years of my life.) So, from left to right, meet Steve, Cindy, Mark, Brandon, Brooks, Kate, Marlene, Tanja, Cathy, Lisa, Malya, & Wendy. Good times. Glad it's over.

So, now...are you ready to play...I tag Anna, Emily, Lindsay, Maria, Holly, and anyone else who reads this and wants to play. :)

Friday, November 21, 2008

Another Milestone

The notion of eating has expanded to include a whole new dimension, as Jake's first bite of solid food occurred this morning. Yummy rice cereal (smelled like Cream of Wheat to me). He made some classic funny faces (as in "What is this stuff and what am I supposed to do with it??") but overall did a good job with it.

Surfer Dude

Keeping a small baby entertained is no easy feat, especially one that wants to go and do so much beyond his capabilities. Our little monkey fits this definition perfectly. So, sometimes we have to be creative to entertain ourselves along with our son.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Rollin' Rollin' Rollin'

It's now official. Jake can roll over. We thought he did it about a month ago, but the doctor said it didn't count because his arm was stuck underneath him. So, last Saturday while Brian and I were eating dinner at the table, we looked over at our son who was playing on a blanket on the floor and there he was, on his tummy with both arms in front of him. He'd done it and we missed it! Oh well, Jake has made sure to impress us with his rolling abilities about 25 times a day since then. LOL :)It's crazy how fast he is developing and progressing, and how much life continues to change for us as he does so. So, check out little man Jake showing off his latest and greatest.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Happy Halloween!

We celebrated Jake's first Halloween in style! He was all decked-out as a giraffe and we took him out to the neighbors houses to trick-or-treat. Really, it was to show off our adorable baby and see what the neighbors were offering as treats for mom and dad to eat. :)

Belly Laugh

My little sister, Kristen, was here this last week for a visit. Though I am her only sister, I was told that I am now the #2 reason for coming to New York (I guess you lose status with the rest of the family when you have kids). We had a great time together, and as usual, the time went by way too quickly. I think Jake did a thorough job of giving her a taste of parenthood, and we were all too happy to let her experience it! I think she'll forgive him someday (though I won't forget!) for soiling her pants with his poopy diaper. LOL :)
Speaking of laughter, we never know what our son will think is funny and make him laugh. And though we try, he doesn't laugh at the same thing twice or long enough for us to go get the camera and catch it on film. Well, my sister worked her magic this week and had Jake laughing really hard. It was the funniest thing and we all were laughing right along with him. Check it out.

Pics from Kristen's Visit

Monday, October 20, 2008

A Busy Weekend

It was a busy weekend for the Miller family. We spent Sunday in Connecticut with Brian's family, celebrating his niece Rachel's eighth birthday and her baptism. It was nice to share Rachel's special day with her.
We also had a visit from Lisa's Aunt Frances and cousins Lee & William from Colorado. The weekend flew by too quickly, but it was fun to spend some time with them and for them to meet and play with their newest cousin Jake.

Have you ever seen a two-headed turtle??

Brian and I celebrated our second anniversary on the 14th and enjoyed a few days together (without any Verizon interruptions) at home. Besides the mandatory relaxation (can you ever really relax at home when there are so many projects to work on?) we went as a family to the Cold Spring Harbor Fish Hatchery & Aquarium. They have fish, frogs, ducks, and turtles. And I wasn't lying about the two-headed turtle--your proof lays in the picture. (Really, they're siamese twin turtles, but still really cool to see.) The funniest part of the outing was feeding the fish. The hatchery raises the trout to stock lakes and private ponds here on Long Island, and you'd think that these fish never eat by the way they respond to a little food thrown in the water. Check out the video to really see what I mean.
It's amazing to me that Brian and and I have hit the two year mark in our marriage. In some ways it seems like just yesterday we were tying the knot (let's go back to Maui!) and in others it feels like we've been a family for much longer than two years. I love you, Brian--and here's to many more years of love, laughter, and working for our marriage.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

A Trip Down Memory Lane

This sounded like a great idea, so I've decided to join in the fun.
1. Add a comment on this post of a memory that you and I had together. It doesn't matter if you know me briefly or we go way back, just remind me of something that sticks out for you.

2. Next, repost these instructions on your blog and see how many people leave a memory about you. It's pretty fun to see the responses. If you leave a memory about me, I'll assume you're playing the game and I'll come to your blog and leave a memory about you!

Thursday, October 2, 2008

It was a gorgeous fall day yesterday, and the Miller family went for a stroll at one of the many State Parks here. Nothing out of the ordinary, but it was nice to get out and enjoy the day. Here are a couple of pics of my boys from our walk.
On a completely different note, I have to admit that being a parent is so much more difficult than I ever imagined. You think you can anticipate what life will be like with a baby, but the degree to which life changes is completely unimaginable. And three months of compounded broken sleep really wreaks havoc on your physical and emotional state--which leaves you less than at your best to deal with the stresses and challenges of an infant. And then there's the little things that make you wonder how you ever felt so complete without baby. Like this afternoon, I was bouncing my son on my knee, trying to keep him entertained while helping my sweet neighbor with something, and Jake laughed. For the first time, he really laughed! And as I walked back home to put him to bed a little while later, I thought to myself, "Thank you, dear Lord, for reminding me of the joys, the little things, that help me find the courage to keep moving forward."

Wednesday, October 1, 2008


I have always loved singing. With a baby in the house, the amount of singing has probably increased though the genre of music has definitely changed. Brian and I are both having to relearn the lyrics to many different lullabies and silly kids songs. Jake really seems to like "I know an old lady who swallowed a fly" and "the ants go marching one by one"--especially when Daddy sings it to him. We're also noticing how much more vocal our boy is, though sometimes in surprising ways. The last couple of days, especially when he's in a calm state before putting him down for bed (though the two aren't always synonymous!), Jake appears to be singing a vocal duet with whichever parent is singing to him. It's adorable! Maybe the little tyke will be a music lover as well.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Play Date

Jake and I had our first official playdate with our friends Rebecca, Natalie, and Amelia. I think the playdate was more for my social benefit than for Jacob, but that's neither here nor there. We went to an animal preserve here on Long Island that houses everything from chickens to mountain lions (not in the same cage, of course) to alpaca and a woodchuck. I'm not sure where they got the wide array of animals, but I think some of them were illegal exotic pets or animals injured who can't be released into the wild. At any rate, I'm glad that someone is taking care of them and that I can bring my son to enjoy seeing them--at least he'll enjoy it when he's a little older. And its always fun to spend the afternoon with my favorite little 2-year-old Natalie (and her mom, of course). Here a couple of shots: Natalie and "baby Jabed" in front of the black bear, and one of Nattie comparing her wingspan to that of the eagle.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Time is flying

I have to say that despite the sleepless nights (yes, he's still waking us up), the poopy diapers, and the occasional nothing-makes-me-happy crying, after two full months Brian and I are enjoying this thing called parenthood. And Jake is getting to an age where he's more talkative and interactive with us, which makes it even more fun. We'll come in the room to get him up from a nap, and he greets us with a smile (unless, of course, he's starving), or when in the right mood, he'll coo and have a regular ol' conversation with us. It really does make you want to snuggle him and love him all the more. I was trying to get a picture of his happy little face the other day, to which he wouldn't look at the camera, so Brian came in to help. Little did we know that he would actually smile when being tickled!! And I love the picture of father and son having a grand ol' time together.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Good Night Sweetheart...

Jake turned 7 weeks old yesterday. Though the actual day itself didn't contain much out of the ordinary, Jake decided to start and finish it with a bang. The morning started off with a HUGE diaper containment breach (I'll spare you the gory details) and then our sweet little son puked down my back when I picked him up off the changing table. Lovely, eh? My mother did warn me about making sure to have a burb cloth on my shoulder. LOL. And the grand finisher was (drum roll please...) his first time ever sleeping through the night. He went 7 hours without getting us up to eat!! Good job Jake!! (Though I'll tell you, Brian and I didn't sleep the whole night--getting up to make sure the baby was still breathing. LOL. The joys and stresses of being first-time parents.) I'm not holding my breath that he'll consistently sleep through the night from here on out, but it does mean we're getting closer to that time.

Bouncin' Baby Boy

It's fun to watch as Jake is getting more and more active. Three weeks ago we had to bounce the chair with him in it, and now he moves himself and bats away at the toys.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

He's a growing boy!

Our little man is getting bigger day by day, it seems. He's going through another growth spurt, which means all he wants to do is eat(!!!). It's amazing to me to watch him fill out as he gains weight. He's no longer that long, lanky baby we brought home from the hospital, and it wasn't even 6 weeks ago. Our check up at the doctor's office this Friday will tell just how much he's gained...our guess is he weighs somewhere in the neighborhood of 10-11 lbs.

What a Cutie!!

Hanging out with Daddy

Don't you just want to kiss that belly??!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Baby Jake

Our precious Jacob Cole Miller was born on July 11, 2008 after 40+ hours of unsuccessful labor and ultimately a cesarean section. He weighed 7 lbs 11oz and measured 20 inches in length. One month later, he's growing like a weed and spending more and more time awake and alert...there's so much out there and he doesn't want to miss a moment! Sometimes we still feel as tired as we look in the delivery room pictures, though Jake does let Mom and Dad sleep for a couple of hours at a time during the night. We can't wait for the time when we can all sleep through the night.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Blogging, eh?

So, you want to know the latest and greatest at my house? You say you want updated pics of the baby (and maybe his parents, too)? Well, after some convincing from friends, I've decided to give this blogging thing a try. We can only hope that it will satisfy that "wanna know" itch and keep us all better connected. And it will make it easier for me to link to everyone else's blog so I can stay updated on the happenings with all of you.