Saturday, April 6, 2013

Like A Newborn, Only.....

No Diapers. Which is exactly what Gwen wondered about when the first 4 of the bum lambs arrived this week. A bum is a lamb that was either orphaned or that the ewe (aka mom) couldn't handle at birth due to having triplets. At only a day or two old, we feed them 5 times daily. And, because their arrival was slightly earlier than anticipated, they are in the shop's temporary housing until later today. Ari was reluctant to try her hand at bottling but is catching on. Oh yes...and they are named Nice-y. All of them. But be cautious not to infer that Gwen can't differentiate.

Friday, January 11, 2013

Fireside Chats: Garden 101

Gwen getting overrun on her garden show by the little sister. The little, one-track-minded, sister. Only one bandaid was harmed during this film production. Hi Chelsi! Hi Gracie! Hi Teagan!

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Fireside Chats with Gwen & Ari

Today's topic, as defined by Gwen & Ari. The first of many a video....

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving

 Happy Thanksgiving to All! Here is our early am & pm :) We had a lovely day with friends that have adopted us as family over the years.

We attempted to crop out tired looking parents but I had too much turkey *cough* I mean, cupcakes for my brain to work at solving the current photo dilemma. Let's pretend it's a game of "What's Missing?" (Have I mentioned that I am not a morning photo-op type person?) 
(And yes, that is a swimsuit on Ari...nevermind...BUT she didn't wear it to the party) 

Our little house, warm and cozy.
Many blessings to all of you and may the holidays begin!

Monday, November 19, 2012

S is for Sprinkles

It is Monday, the day of the week that finds Gwen in preschool for the morning and then off to dance class. 90 miles away, in Miles City (yes, we're crazy but her pliĆ©s look awesome and the grins are worth it). We trade with another family on which mom grabs the kids at school and takes them for the long drive. Meanwhile (regardless of whether we are heading to the "city" or home), Mondays are Ari Days. 

Today, she wanted to make a special treat for the members of the other family: HER Baby Teagan, HER almost-sister Gracie, and Gracie's Mom and Dad. As you can see, the little lady is kinda defensive that someone else might get between her 3 yr old self and HER babies.

Here's some of the Ari Day Action:

Double dancers for her big sister, Gwen

 The 'cakes for T, G, B & C

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Suppressed Genetics of the Lysol Variety

So people, its been awhile. Like a really long while. Sorry about that...a lot has happened in the past few months including a whirlwind trip to my folks' house in Idaho for the first visit back to the ranch in a full year. Due to our work/travel schedules, family vacations for House of Miller have been few and far between unless sandwiched between board meetings, steer weighings and tradeshows. But that's beside the point. We're home post vacation and walked into our beloved house with one stark realization....our house is ridiculously messy. Especially compared to my mom's style of clean (as in "if it falls on the floor, you've got well over the 30 second rule but don't tell her that you actually ate it"  kind of clean). And she is insanely organized in a beautiful way that allows you to actually set down a coffee mug without first cleaning Forbes magazines, kidlet toys and puzzle pieces off the sidetable first.

I've spent the last two straight days cleaning out every kitchen cupboard, reorganizing, adding to piles headed to whichever poor college student I can find first,devising the perfect spice cupboard and making lists of Organizational Tools. That's code for "things Type A people can't live without and make a small fortune selling to Type Bs". Alas, I've suppressed Martha Stewart genetics as long as possible. Even the Martha after the Slammer variety, which is much more practical.

Over the years, I've developed 4 highly evolved coping skills in dealing with sudden company and the chaos:

The Panic Method: Car breaks field of entry on the driveway, as chirped by The Reporter. I have approximately 5-7 minutes (7-10 if we're talking family with babies) to decide which is scarier, me with spinach in my teeth and lacking lip gloss, or the overwhelming pile of morning dishes in the sink. Or perhaps THE BATHROOM. Because out here, no matter how polite the visitor, even a Jehovah's Witness needs to go sometime. That's roughly 7 minutes to prioritize, apply lip gloss, grab the toilet brush, swab the sink and make sure the toddlers haven't had an owie-repair session and left bandaids on the floor. And then come to the door like a modern day Lucille Ball (still haven't decided if this is a good thing or not but will get back to you on that one.)

The Confession Method: Company arrives. Panic Method left more than a few things undone. I decide that it is impossible to ignore the major flood of paint in the living room that resembles a Jackson Pollock masterpiece. And also wearing hard on me is the fast that I didn't get the fuzz out from under the fridge and that at any moment a very furry peeper frog may make his presence known. And that my laundry pile is hard to hide across from the bathroom. I don't like those odds so am sure to clear the air of the paint, laundry and unplanned amphibian appearances. Jokingly of course, but the stunned silence that follows makes me think this one needs a little more work.

The Hide It Behind Something Method: I'm sorting laundry. In the living room, the biggest space I have. This includes underwear. Reporter announces incoming people.  Quickly, my Littles are pressed into making the most awesome fort ever...cleverly disguising our mass dry cleaning injustice with a sheet to become Mt. McKinnley, surrounded by base camp. Provided that the "flag" on the top is not a particular clothing item. This method is statistically least-successful.

The It's SO Nice Outside Method: Earlier tactics are deemed unusable, so I saunter out on the front porch to water my dead flowers and shake out the doormat. It is usually far less than 50 degrees by default and I have no jacket (it would look far worse to bundle in Mt. McKinnley ascension gear, right?)  Attempt making small talk in friendly fashion while working on the I'd-be-happy-to-let-you-use-the-bathroom-but-I'm-sure-you've-already-used-it-and-polite-people-don't-talk-about-such-delicate-subjects-to-anyone vibe.

And there you go. I'll pause a moment to let you collect your thoughts and decide never to visit me on whim.

While we wait, I'll list off the next few cleaning tasks this Memorial Day weekend that I still hope to survive:

1) Researching proper size and shape of spice jars, including active use of Pinterest and freely canvasing friends on Facebook for suggestions.

2) Buying larger sheets, Tibetan flags and Organizational Tools

3) Blogging about it.

Actually, I do plan to continue cleaning but prefer to go for the surprise effect with incoming visitors this coming week. Just give me a call first wouldya?

Friday, February 17, 2012

The Caffeine Experiementation

Recently, I had an interesting conversation with my Doctor. While discussing chest pain, our chat went something like this:

Anne: Could caffeine contribute to this a little? I know people that had to actually GIVE UP coffee....

Doc: Well, tell me much coffee do you drink in a normal day?

--patient shifts uncomfortably--

Anne: You don't really want to know that badly do you?

Doc: Actually, it would be useful to know.....

Anne: Um, about 6-8 cups, well sometimes. Depends on the day. Sometimes 8-10 I guess. Did I mention I work from home with a 2 & 3 yr old?

--stunned silence--

Doc: Well. That is a LOT especially for someone of your size and stature.

Anne: What about all YOUR Diet Coke..surely that is a lot of caffeine?

Doc: Actually, YOUR habit would equal about 14 Diet cokes a day

Anne: oh

The appointment continued and, during his brief departure while I changed again, I snagged a magazine off the shelf ripe with those self-issue articles that can actually make a person sick just by reading them. Aha! Success! An article about how memory IMPROVES with caffeine intake...documented proof. Such luck.

Doc returned and I happily pointed out the it-must-be-medically-published-somewhere snippet of text.

Anne: Hey, I was just casually reading this If-You-Think-You-Have-Problems-Look-At-These-People magazine you conveniently left me to read and found THIS It actually says caffeine is beneficial and boosts memory. 

Doc: Yes, but in small doses. SMALL DOSES.

Anne: Come to think of it, my memory is about that of a goldfish......

Doc: Look, you need to give up the coffee.

Anne: Okay, fine. Well, I can still have beverages like teas and hot chocolate. It won't be that bad.

Doc: Hot chocolate and some teas still have caffeine too.


Thankfully, we came to a gradual understanding. I step down the caffeine intake for two weeks and go from making a pot every morning and crying if the RO (Reverse Osmosis for those of you living in places the water is drinkable without socially unacceptable side effects) had an issue to sweetly and serenely making a SINGLE cup of coffee (or at least letting Eric have the rest). So far, so good. I can even remember where I parked the car....although when you live in Jordan, MT and park at the post office, you darn well better be able to find your car or there are bigger issues. And I'm only slightly cranky in the mornings. Only slightly.

Except I am almost out of Valentine's Day candy. Sees Chocolate to be more specific. And the local coffee shop is open all day tomorrow. ALL DAY. So if/when you see me in there enjoying a triple shot mocha sans children, let me live a little...or at least stall Doc for me until I can clear the evidence........