You know, today’s morning commute was much like all the rest. Unremarkable except for a slightly less congested ride no doubt due to the gas shortage in the Metro Atlanta area.

And then this conversation started from the back seat.

Jenn: Neigh
Owen: [Unintelligible]
Jenn: Hey Seth, how do you neigh
Me: Excuse me?
Jenn: You know; how do you make a neighing sound, like a horse. (She was reading Owen a farm-animal-themed book and needed creative direction)
Me: RRRheeeeeeherrrrrrrr! Phffffffffffffff!!!!11!!!Eleven *Gums Flapping*
Jenn: Yeah, but that doesn’t sound like “Neigh”
Me: But neither does a whinny. I don’t think it’s an onomatopoeia like “quack” or “bark”
Jenn: And neither of those sound exactly like the noise.
Me: Like “meow”.
Jenn: Right.
Me: Right.
Jenn: So how do you neigh again?

Lather. Rinse. Repeat.

If only every morning were illuminated with the light of such discourse.


Owen Kenneth Miller: 11 Months

You know, aging is one of those topics you can reasonably ignore when you’re young.

You’ve got time.
It’s on your side.
The future is bright.
Your whole life stretching out before you.

Kids change that equation.

Where once you had wedding anniversaries (or friend’s weddings), football seasons or job-related deadlines, you end up tracking height, weight, teeth, crawling, walking, talking and a myriad of proto-school milestones.

Basically, you get to re-live your own youth, where all memories are firmly cemented to a grade or a memorable vacation. Only this time, it’s your daughter’s Pre-K graduation or Son’s birthday that help you remember the year.

So, it is with great pride and a more than a little “has it been *that* long” that I let you know that Owen Kenneth Miller is already 11 months old! Time flies.

He’s teething now (cutting 4 of his top, front teeth at once) near-walking (cruising, they call it) and adorable as the day is long.

I love you, O-wee-O!

Oh, and since I’ll be Lost-deprived for another 8 months or so, I should point out that what Neighborhoodies is trying to do here is what I did almost 3 years ago. It earned me C&D from Disney and about $300 bucks.

So I do measure the passage of time in other ways besides children. I measure it in Lost blogging. 😉

Lastly, I’m thinking of doing a parenting podcast. Would love to hear what folks think about hearing parenting “advice” from the likes of me.


Echo Chamber

Did you ever wish you could turn off the voices in your head and your heart? Maybe just quiet them down a bit or convince them to discuss another topic so you can get down to the business at hand?

Yeah, me too.

I’m struggling today with an internal monologue (dialogue?) that says I should give up.

Give in.

It’s a very seductive argument full of supporting documentation of past failures, tickling links back to my own weakened, bruised and self-defeating ego (if you can have an ego this deep down). It’s not eloquent or flowery or well-spoken, but it is loud and persistent and ceaseless and right.

To break the monotony of this pity soliloquy, I’ll share an example: Owen was baptized yesterday. Stood up with him and the whole family before a “contemporary” service of folks dressed in business-*very*-casual, held him over the font and promised to do things I’ll never do. And for what?

For the approval of my parents and in-laws?
To serve some nagging need to cover all my bases in afterlife bingo?
Because that’s what parents do?

I’m certainly not religious of, heaven help me (ha!), “spiritual” though I know I’ve tried. Raised Methodist but always questioning. Read the Bible, went to Sunday School and confirmation class and every church social, potluck dinner and lock-in this side of 10am.


Yet there I was yesterday sitting in a glorified gym on an uncomfortable chair listening to a preacher who was neither a particularly skilled orator or a convincing witness for the umpteenth time. But I didn’t leave or block him out, I tried to square the circle of my own knowledge, the world as I’d seen it, the words as I’d read them and the story as he spoke it, but I couldn’t.

If there was some message I was being given it was to actively *not* believe. I searched my heart and my head and even my hands but nothing happened. And by nothing I don’t mean crickets or silence, but I do mean that I wasn’t moved or spoken to in the affirmative but in the negative.

I’m being told not to believe. Actively told.

Is it me?
Is it God?
Is it Margaret?

And should I care one way or another? Should I differentiate?

All I know is that I don’t know anything. I just want to find a truly quiet place to consider and to silence and to shield and to escape.

I don’t want commiseration.
I don’t want consolation.
I don’t want comments or feedback or constructive criticism.

I want to truly hear what I’m being told, away from my own disdain and disbelief, apart from other appeasers.

I want to know what I’m being told, what I’m telling myself and if there’s a difference.

I want to get unstuck. I want to believe.

Owen Kenneth Miller: 9 month report

So today marks the childhood equinox for our second-born, our son, Owen Kenneth Miller. He’s officially been out of his mother for the exact length of time (9 months, more or less) that he was in there. Good on ya, Owen.

Here are some stats to keep in mind about young Owen:

  • Teeth: 2. Both front, center, lower.
  • Crawling? Yes, please!
  • Humming when he eats? Yep. Just like big sis *still* does
  • Demeanor: Serious as a heart attack

Owen is a very different child from his older sister Raelyn.

Where she’s very outgoing and boisterous, he’s thoughtful and reserved.

When she would explore it was never mischievous but very controlled, almost cautious. Not so with Owen who routinely goes after items that might cause him blunt trauma, scarification, choking or general malaise.

How they differ in almost every approach to the world we’ve made for them would fill 10 blogs.

They have the same smile though. Especially for one another.

Raelyn gives hers more freely (always has), and Owen has to warm up to you, but they really light up in each other’s presence. It’s fun to watch. Makes us all smile together.

Owen especially likes to dance.

Any time.
Any music.

Raelyn regularly launches into a Fitty-inspired “Go Owen! It’s Ya Bert-day!” that has him bobbing, weaving, shucking, jiving and gyrating as well as his chubbiness will allow.

He can cruise a little bit and has started (just this week) standing up in bed when he’s not ready for bed (night) or awake (morning).

Unfortunately for us, he’s also gotten very brave. And babies at this age don’t really have any differentiation between brave and stupid since they don’t know any better.

Anyhow, we bring him into our bed in the morning – around 6 am for those playing at home – for a bottle and a morning nap. I know, I know: we need to be training him to sleep later, but we’re lazy.

So today, on his 9-month birthday (3/4 anniversary?), the boy decided that he’d like to wake up while Mom was in the shower and Dad was getting dressed in the walk-in closet and CRAWL. OFF. THE. BED.


For those of you with kids (and concerned co-workers), you know things like this do happen on occassion. If you don’t, please feel your face (especially your chin) for any faint scars or marks.

I swear, we’re good parents.

Anyhow, little man was consoled and crawling again in no time, though I think we’re realizing we’ve gone from “a little bit late” to “woefully under-prepared” in the baby-proofing of the new house.

He has his Doctor’s appointment tomorrow afternoon where we’ll get all the stats and such, but thus far he’s been a great kid. A wonderful addition to our family. Someone new who forces us to look at ourselves differently, but also another Miller child to corrupt with tales of “barking spiders” and “baking a pineapple”.

Love ya, Kiddo!

Oh, and I’m inspired to dad-blogging by new dad Kottke (his son’s initials are O.K. just like Owen’s, and they were born on the same day) and Dooce.