Weekly Recap

In an effort to put something family-focused on the blog with some degree of regularity, I’m going to start a new weekly feature here, a “weekly recap” post.

I’ll collect and connect some of the random Twitter messages and pictures along with some of the shorter, funnier anecdotes from the kiddies and try to develop a cohesive narrative.

Failing that I’ll just blockquote something from a song, add a wistful *sigh* and end with an iPhone picture of my backyard.


Here goes:

The big developments of the week were our trips (plural) to the dentist. I had to get some cavities (plural. again.) filled and Raelyn had her 6-month check-up.

Here’s the photographic evidence (non-gory) of my experience:

"The goggles do nothing!"
The goggles do nothing!
A god-damned sexual Tyrannosaurus
A god-damned sexual Tyrannosaurus

Jesse Ventura approves, by the way.

Raelyn’s visit featured a distinct lack of crying. No tears or complaints about x-rays, cleaning or fluoride. We’ve either turned a corner, dodged a bullet or turned a corner to dodge a bullet.

She did find out that two of her teeth were loose (how could she not know?) and saw the x-ray evidence of new teeth yearning to breath free. We had to make four separate phone calls to let grandparents and uncles share her surprise.

Here she is spreading the joy:

Raelyn on the phone

Then there’s Owen. This week, on the ride home from work, we did our best Bugs & Daffy impression while reading a book.

Owen: It’s a cow!
Me: It’s a sheep!
Owen: It’s a cow!
Me: It’s a sheep!
Owen: It’s a cow!
Me: It’s a cow!
Owen: It’s a sheep!

And of course the love of my life, Jenn, is doing well. She’s continually reminding me of all the reasons why I married her: her wit, her charm, her humor & love in the face of adversity. Oh, and her willingness to lounge on our back porch after work and drink a beer while the kids play.

Loving everyone (even you) this Friday. See you next week!

Pre-K Graduation

Today I took photos
Today I recorded video
Today I smiled
Today I cried

Tomorrow she’ll be in Summer Camp
This Fall she’ll be a Kindergartner
In my mind’s eye she graduated high school and college and got married all in the space of a song. (R. Kelly’s “The World’s Greatest” for those scoring at home.)

Plenty of other folks have better metaphors for this than I do.
I’m just a one-man wrecking machine of cliche and trite, banal, facile sentiment.
No one tells you it’s OK if it’s your kid, they just don’t understand (or maybe they do).

I don’t feel old, I still feel young, maybe still look young too. Maybe I still *AM* young, but that’s not where my mind and soul are at now.

I’m not me any longer.
I’m Raelyn’s dad. Part of me, anyhow.

A bigger part than I ever imagined.
A smaller part than I think I should be sometimes.
A part I know was sad and joyful to see that part of my heart which beats outside my body.

She’s the embodiment of her mother and I.
Our ambassador to all the friends and parents and lovers yet to come.
We’re reflections of one another.

We were all smiling today.

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.

Damning the Dentist

So yesterday Jenn & I left work early with the best of intentions: take Raelyn to her Dental check-up, do some grocery shopping and get home early enough to cook dinner, get the kids to bed and watch some teevee.

Best laid plans and all that.

To set the stage I must mention that six scant months ago – the very first time Raelyn ever visited a Dentist’s office – we were told she was the best behaved and most hygienic 4-year-old they’d ever seen. Hubris and dumb parental pride had us thinking lightning would strike twice.

Yesterday, however, was every parent’s (and child’s) nightmare.

It began in the lobby. Raelyn was drooling and stupefied watching Disney’s “Meet the Robinsons” on DVD while we (and about 12 other sets of kids & parents) waited nearly an hour past our appointment time to be seen.

I agreed with one gentleman who brought up the fact, loudly, that he’d confirmed his children’s appointments multiple times via phone and email but the dentist didn’t respect *his* time enough to call or email to let him know they were running late.

His righteous anger and tone were spot-on and contagious (who hasn’t been held captive in a waiting room?) until he spouted this whopper: “Do you have any idea what my hourly rate is?”

Me? I have no idea what my own hourly rate is or this douchebag’s is, but I immediately switched allegiances and felt for the poor staff-member listening to this guy’s abuse.

It’s one thing to be angry about being late waiting in line, it’s quite another to throw your class and paycheck in someone’s face/into the discussion. He knew what he was doing, though. I caught his smirk as she skulked off.

On to Raelyn. Our perfect daughter. Our angel baby. The dentist’s dream.

She took two x-rays like a walk in the park. Try to insert the bite-plate for side x-rays and she clammed right up.

I saw it happen and thought it odd, but the tech had her out of the chair and picking stickers before I’d realized that parental oversight and good behavior had lost out to dental expedience.

In the hygienist chair she got brushed and flossed relatively well but the prospect of fluoride, which the hygienist warned her against swallowing because it might cause a tummy ache, caused tears.

After 10 minutes of negotiation, hand-holding, light shaming and cajoling she was over and done with the crying and fluoriding in under a minute. Kids!

Just as we had promised – and she should have trusted – it was worse to overreact than to get it done in the first place.

So now we waited for the dentist. When she said Raelyn *needed* to have those previously-avoided x-rays taken there were new tears. And a new challenge.

Back to step one, with a new tech, we went through fake x-rays on Dad, the promise of twice the stickers as before and another 10 minutes of back-and-forth and still NO x-rays.

For her part, the dentist was quick in counting and examining Rae’s teeth. The good news: no cavities, good brushing and flossing technique and overall high marks. The bad (worst?) news: the dentist said Raelyn could take ALL of the balloons home with her (there were close to a dozen and we were the last folks in the office at this point).

Jenn & I stepped in and told Raelyn she could decide how many balloons to take, but that she’d behaved poorly so she didn’t deserve the whole lot.

3 balloons and 2 hours later we were off to Publix, home and our normal schedule. So much for the dentist.


Bonus Link: since there’s no new Lost tonight (my normal Thursday post) here’s some interesting info on the Time Loop Theory.

Oh, and I wrote my first Ficlet today. Have a go at it.