Saturday, March 22, 2014

Sir Duncan Moose Milam of Biggs


Your father made a comment a few nights ago that made me think - "Duncan is such an awesome dog...".  Which - he is! That's nothing new.  But I couldn't help but think over and over again how I hope you know how truly awesome he is.  See, Duncan is 4.5 years old now, and I'm not sure at what age you truly appreciate a pet. (Not to be Debbie Downer but boxers usually only live until the age of 10 - I hope the measures we have taken to keep Duncan healthy allow him to be with us longer than that. But also being realistic).  So I wanted to share a brief background on the awesomeness that is your puppy, Duncan.

Before we ever got Duncan, I had a love for boxers.  Your great grandparents (Grammie and pop pop) had bred boxers from before I was born until I was probably 12 or so.  So oftentimes when I wernt to their house, there would be a litter of puppies.  And boxer litters tend to be big - 8 to 10 puppies per litter.  I would love playing with them and getting into the middle of the whelping box at night (that's how I came to fall in love with my first boxer - Maxine.  I quietly got into the box one night while they were all sleeping and max woke up, walked over to me, got in my lap and fell back asleep. (D'AWWWWw).  There are even pictures of me as an infant laying next to a boxer (boxers are notoriously good with kids), but needless to say I've always been around boxers. 

So when mommy and daddy finally decided to get a dog, I of course leaned towards boxer.  Your father had only had a pug his whole life (pooby), but wanting a larger dog for security was leaning towards lab.  I don't recall how we came to this but we compromised deciding that I picked the breed, but daddy picked the pup.  Maybe it had to do with Grammie and pop pop offering to buy us our first dog (if it was a boxer).  

We decided to start looking for a dog, the same day we learned of Duncan.  Your father and I were at Grammie and pop pops house when they got a call from a neighbor who was commenting how their children just bought a boxer puppy and that there was one other male left in the litter.  We weren't actively looking for a dog yet, but over hearing the conversation- we asked for the breeders information so we could find out more about this puppy.  We quickly (like within hours) got in touch with Kim and Ken Thorpe and received an email of the only male left in their litter.  This was one of a few pictures that I first saw (of and when I fell in love with) the dog they named Moose.


Seriously...

How cute is he?! I am a firm believer that boxers are the cutest puppies out there.  But we fell in love and quickly decided that we were ready for a dog.  We arranged for a meeting a week or two after seeing this first picture.  We drove up to a little town in Pennsylvania and met the Thorpe family (Ken & Kim). We walked in and Ken brought Duncan (then called Moose) upstairs to meet us. Due to the long drive, your father immediately went to use the restroom. I sat in the living room and played with a toy rope with Duncan and knew immediately he was our dog. Your father came out of the bathroom and said "we are taking him home, aren't we?" I smiled in confirmation.  And he told Ken only after a few minutes "well, I'm not going to waste any more of your time - we want the dog." We ran to the ATM and (eventually) got the cash out, came back, filled out some papers and were on our way. Daddy drove while I held Duncan in the passenger seat. Duncan fell asleep with his head in daddy's hand... Daddy's boy from the start.

Let's see ... What else can I tell you about Duncan... 

He LoVES peanut butter. And watermelon. But especially peanut butter... We keep our close to empty jars for him to lick clean :

He wears an orange hoodie sweatshirt when it's cold out. His fur is short so e can get cold easily.  It's a hoodie because that's what we love to wear, and orange because that's our favorite color.  I had to buy him an extra large so it would fit his chest but then hem it so he wouldn't pee on it.. We have better pictures somewhere of it- but this is the best one on my phone:

Poor dog...

What else... There is a lazy boy recliner in our living room that has become known as Duncan's chair . It's next to a window that overlooks the street and driveway so he can watch over the neighborhood and see when someone comes home. 

His birthday is July 18- which was your original due date. We joke about how we couldn't have two kids with the same birthday. 

Most importantly, you should know that Duncan looooves you. He is always so interested in you and likes to lay near where you are- make sure you're safe. Although he licks you more than id like- he is extremely good with you.





Well this post got a little photo happy. So I'm going to close. Duncan is an awesome awesome dog - and I hope you get many years of him in your life.

Monday, March 17, 2014

The First Time He Said "I love you"

I was thinking this morning about the very first time your father told me that he loved  me.  How special and profound of a moment that was in our lives.  I'm sure that this will be a story I tell you over and over until you're sick of it - but just in case something was to happen to me, I wanted you to know it.

We were laying in bed in our old apartment (well it was my apartment... Your father just kept staying the night more and more and showing up with stuff until I asked if he wanted to start paying rent).  I was laying with my head on his chest and his left arm around my body.  We were supposed to be trying to fall asleep, but we'd rather spend the time talking to each other.  Anyways, we were at a break in the conversation and we were both quiet.  I assumed he was getting ready to fall asleep.  Until I could hear his heart start to race and his breathing deepen.  I could tell he was stressed and felt like he was about to say something important (either an 'I love you' or 'let's break up'). After some more silence, your father quietly stated "I love you". ::heart melt:: I smiled (which he couldn't see since it was dark, and told him that I loved him. It was a feeling that I too knew to be true, but hasn't vervalized yet. With a deep sigh of relief from your father, he then repeated "I love you,  I love you, I love you, I love you..." and gave me a squeeze. It just felt so good to finally get out that it deemed repeating. 

So, I love you... I love you... I love you... I love you.

And Happy First Saint Patricks day!

Friday, February 28, 2014

Your Grandfather

 Your grandfather passed away today.  Your fathers father- Wayne Milam.  He passed out while driving with your aunt Chrissie, and crashed into a fence.  The accident itself did them no harm, but apparently his heart was so damaged he could not be kept alive.

I've been trying to decide on what I would write in this post, summarizing a life in a few paragraphs, and I realize how little I knew about him. So I apologize if the brevity of this post doesn't do him justice.  And if some of the points are construed as negative, I'm just sharing the whole story with you and trying to show his "quirks".

Your grandfather served in the army and did a tour in Korea around the time your aunt Chrissie was born.  He actually didn't meet Chrissie until she was about 9 months old.  While in the military he worked as an MP (military police) and worked with the K-9 unit.  This is where he says he became a dog person and became a (self proclaimed) expert trainer.

He was a part of paternal twins.  His twin brother was Paul who passed away about 3 years ago. He and his brother were VERY close and lived together for many years.  Paul is a whole other story to be told another day... He also had two sisters. 

But your grandfather believed that twins skip a generation and he believed (so badly wanted) that you could be twins.  Obviously, that didn't happen.  He also was certain that you were a boy, and he admitted to wanting you to be a boy.  (Wrong again). Don't get me wrong, He was thrilled to have you here, and loved that you were a girl, but I don't believe it was but a few weeks after your birth and he was asking about "when we were going to start trying for a boy".

Your grandfather was stubborn. If he believed something to be true, no one else could tell him otherwise or even think  something differently.  He got snippy with your aunt Chrissie in regards to a bundt cake- telling her that "bundt" was in fact the flavor of the cake, not the shape in which it's baked.  Of course, your aunt is an avid baker like myself and knows that to be hogwash (although I think you don't even have to be a big baker to know that...) 

He was also convinced that other than myself and your father, that he was the next closest in DNA to you.  Science would prove the correct answer to this to be your aunt Chrissie.

He was a real homer when it came to sports. Loved the Ravens and Orioles.  He would often times come to our house to watch games.

When he would describe a food, often times speaking of what he'd bring to our house as contribution towards dinner or our cookout, he'd be very descriptive.  Chicken breast was "fresh plump grade a breast".  Fish was "thick wild Alaskan tuna steaks".  Humorous trait, almost as if he was reading it from the store ad.

He loved fishing and often spoke of how anxious he was to teach you in the future. I don't know the last time he wet fishing with his hips (had them replaced). 

One thing he wanted more than anything was a normal home life. He wanted the wife who would make dinner for the family, and sit around together at the table and eat.  With your grandmother, when he was married to her, she rarely cooked.  Instead every night she took the brood over to mamaw and papaws house for dinner (that mamaw made) and ate with a huge group of people.  Your grandfather wanted nothing more then to sit at his table with his family and just be normal.  That's one reason why he was so fond of me- I am giving your father the life he wanted.  Homemade dinners, I bake, we eat together... Etc.

I have very few pictures of him where he is smiling.  We joke saying that it's the Milam face to look so serious, but he often times was uncomfortable due to his  hips.  I truly don't know if I have any picture of you and him together, which upsets me.  But here is a photo from our wedding, the only one he smiled in and one of my favorites ever of him:


One thing is for sure- he loved you.  He thought you were just the most amazing thing to have happened since your daddy and aunt Chrissie were born.  He loved your smile, he would exclaim how advanced you were, how beautiful you are, and was convinced that you were showing signs of being left handed. 

Rest in peace, dad.

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Peek-a-boo

Yesterday while I was out working, you were playing peek-a-boo with daddy.  And while this may not seem like a big deal- as you often play and love peek-a-boo, this one is worth noting as you were the instigator.  You were the one taking a blanket, lifting it over your face, and then lowering it quickly looking for someone to notice. By the third time you lowered the blanket, your daddy was on the other side making funny faces.  You squealed and giggled, and kept playing 10 more times or so... So cute.  Wish I could have seen it.

But I do get moments like this, so I think it's fair:

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Food

We started introducing solid food to you when you were 5 1/2 months old.  Your very first food was avocado which you ate reluctantly and gave a lot of faces too but I think it was just because of the texture and being something new. 

(you eating avocado I think you wore more than you ate - who knew that bibs were thing?)

 Since then you've tried numerous foods - most of which you've loved.



I've been making all of your food at home, which makes me feel better as I can examine the quality of the food before cooking it, as well as truly know what is going into your mouth.  So far, you've had:

Avocado 
butternut squash 
Sweet potato 
green beans 
bananas* 
apples 
pears 
plums 
cereal

The only food that you have hated and refused to eat no matter what I tried to mix with it was green beans. 

But bananas ?? you love bananas... You were iffy on plums- but add in banana? Awesome.  Give me more.  Bananas by themself? Awesome.  Bananas mixed with anything? Awesome. I'd give you bananas daily if they didn't constipate you ... Hence why we've introduced the plums to flush you out.  Seems to be working thus far. 

This mornings breakfast :
You have the prettiest eyes...

Bon appetite ! 

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Your first birthday party

You turned six months old earlier this week and I can't help but think how close we are to you turning one.  I don't want to rush things, but I occasionally stop and think about your first birthday party.  I'm very anxious to throw it- as it's a celebration of you!  I often wonder what the theme may be, and I assume by then you'll show some preferences in toys / things to base the party on.  But if I had to plan the party today based on things you express an interest in, the theme may be:

- curtains
- watermelon
- boobies
- purple telephones
- rainbows
- Duncan
- bananas
- the light fixture in our dining room
- mirrors

So... I could build a party on a few of those ideas... Rainbows. Watermelon... But hopefully you show a theme friendly preferred toy sometime in the next few months.  Even though your dad thinks a boobies themed party catered by Hooters would be hysterical 

Friday, January 17, 2014

To the mom of a newborn

I often think about when I will eventually show this blog to you.  I want to be old enough to appreciate the nostalgia, but not so old that I won't remember anything if you ask me a question about something you read.  Maybe it will be when you turn 21 ... maybe it will be when you get pregnant with your first child ( if you so choose to have children). Whenever it is I hope it is before you have your first child so you too can read and appreciate this blog entry I found yesterday.  I found it purely on circumstance - not a blog I typically follow.  But it's so perfectly describes how I have been feeling these first few months of motherhood.  I read this entry and damn near cried- it felt like someone finally understood and could put pen to paper (or fingers to keys) as to what I was feeling.  Motherhood is like this exclusive club that you never fully understand until you're in it.  But once you are in you gain the whole new level of appreciation for all the other mothers out there especially yours. I hope that you get out of this what I did - it's okay to  not be superwoman.  Whatever you are doing is probably great and probably exactly what your baby needs.

Enjoy


___________________

To the mom of a newborn

I am freeing you today.

I am freeing you from everything that you think you need to be doing.

I am freeing you from needing to have your house spotless, meals prepared, perfectly done hair, and a to-do list with everything checked off. (Oh yes, by the way, that to-do list will never ever happen so just prepare yourself for that.)

I am freeing you from scrolling through pinterest or facebook or looking through those glossy colored magazines and you deciding that the only way to be a good mom is to have all of that stuff done.

I am freeing you from looking at the mom with many kids and wondering why she seems to have it together and you’re struggling to just get the dishes in the dishwasher.

I am freeing you.


You, right now, do not need to worry about any of the should have’s, the could have’s, the need to do’s, the stuff that we all think motherhood is about. You don’t need to sit in your living room wondering why taking care of this creature that you waited for what feels like forever feels so ridiculously hard.

Instead, listen. Listen, you have a newborn.

You have a newborn.

A wake up whenever they want to, cry without you knowing what they want, eat all the time, poop all the time, spit up, change their clothes what feels like a million times, rock in the rocking chair, pace the living room dancing, burping, little creature that needs you all the time.

Do not worry about the other stuff right now. I know, I know, it feels like a fog – it feels like you’re underwater swimming and needed all the time – and the truth is? That is exactly what it is. I’m not going to sugar coat it. Don’t feel guilt about not savoring every single moment, but because, really, you just need to get through every single moment. This is a time in your life when you will be pushed to your limits mentally and physically. You’ll want sleep more than anything and will dream about just getting a fifteen minute catnap. You’ll eat in spurts and will have laundry behind and well, you’ll give and give and give.

Don’t compare.

Do. not. compare.

Don’t look at the mom with many kids and wonder how in the world she has it all together when you feel like you can barely roll out of your bed in the morning. Do you know why? Because it doesn’t matter. It doesn’t matter, honestly, if you feel like she has it all together. Do you know what matters?

What you’re doing right now.

It’s a season. A very short season that when you’re in the middle feels like it will take forever to get through. It’s a time in life where the days are blurred together and yet passing by. And you will get through.  You will simply get through. That newborn will grow, will start smiling, will start sleeping through the night (can we just all stand up collectively and cheer?), will start becoming more independent, and you will grow with them. Don’t forget that. You are learning to mother, you are learning about your sweet child and their nuances, and you are growing stronger.

Some day, sweet mother with the newborn, you will be in the spot where I am remembering these days. I look at my life and think about how it’s been four years (look at those pics of my Samuel) since I’ve had a newborn in my house, and yet, oh my goodness, I can still remember how exhausting it truly was during those days.  And you will know, you will remember, and you will tell that mom with the newborn the same thing. You will tell her how important it is to accept help, to sleep, to not care about minutia, to overpack the diaper bag,  and to learn to trust herself.

No one can teach another how to mother – it is simply something learned – it’s an ebb and flow, trial and error, pick up and do it again, and most beautiful thing. Don’t forget that. Even though it may just feel like what you’re doing doesn’t really matter or that you’re out of breath or that you just wish sometimes for a moment to have a break or that you’re not doing a great job or that all you want is sleep – it all matters.

So, from me to you, I stand up and tell you that you are doing an amazing thing right now in the very normal giving of self. Yes, you right now, in a home that feels that it might have turned just a bit upside down.

You’ll find your new routine. You’ll get sleep. Well, maybe.

You are mother.

Now, onward, sweet mom with the newborn.

You are amazing.

And one day, one day you’ll wake up not so tired, you’ll look at that baby that’s grown, that baby that you rocked and rocked and sang to you, and you’ll think I did it. Because you will do this.

__________________