Monday, August 30, 2010

Family Health Segment.... and now here's Healthy Mc Healtherson

Melana had her two month check up today and was found to be perfectly healthy. She even shared several smiles with the Dr. and nurses. She is now officially 11 pounds 8 ounces and 25 inches long!! Completely off the charts for height and in the 50th percentile for weight and head circumference. I even was able to make it out of there with only a small lecture from the doctor after I refused the scheduled vaccinations. I told her I wasn't comfortable consenting to the 3 shots and one oral vaccines that are given at two months until I have done more research. She gave me several pamphlets and told me to go to the CDC website. "It's the only website you should go to". I laughed and told her "yeah, cause I'm gonna trust the government". Funny, I don't think she thought I was serious. Ha!

We are waiting for news on my grandpa. My dad and aunt headed to Florida last night after receiving news that he had suffered some sort of stroke or something on Saturday night. He has been getting dialysis three times a week and his body is just giving out, I think. Now they don't know if he has had stroke or has some sort of infection that went to his brain. We are awaiting results of several tests. We will hopefully know more after they are able to speak to the doctor. At least he is conscious and knows who they are, even though he doesn't remember how he got there. We hope to have more answers tomorrow, so we'll keep praying.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

I'm So Lonesome I Could Cry

Today was a long, boring day. Darian was working up in MI and didn't get home till after 6pm. As soon as he was showered, I handed Melana over to him for her feeding and headed up to take my own shower. I don't think I've had a shower, where I wasn't listening for her cry or fussing, since she's been born. It was good to just soak in the hot water and relax. Afterwards I headed downstairs to see what Darian had planned for the evening. We're short on funds right now so I knew we couldn't "go out", but I thought maybe he would've thought up something creative, especially since my birthday was yesterday. No such luck. So we discussed it and decided to go to Barnes and Noble for a bit and then walk around the outdoor mall where B&N is located and maybe even splurge on some ice cream at Cold Stone Creamery. BUT..... Then we looked at the clock. Oops! It was already almost 8pm and that meant that Little Miss Cutie Pie was going to be eating again soon and going to bed. Big reality check! LOL. So our big, er, not so big weekend plans became even smaller and ended up being leftovers and an Everybody Loves Raymond marathon. Ah, good times.

Life wasn't all that exciting before Melana and it's gotten so much better since then, that I wouldn't trade it for everything, however, it would've been nice to get out of the house. Ah well.
I think I'm just ready for some adult interaction. Unfortunately, even before Melana was born my social life consisted of co-workers and our Bible study group who only meets every two weeks. Other than that, I don't ever see or talk to anyone except my mother, of course. I'm not a huge social bug and it's always been hard for me to make friends because I can be so shy. I know, totally unbelievable you say! But it's true. I hate crowds, I don't like new people and I have a pretty good case of social anxiety. Also, where do you find friends as an adult? It's not like when you're babies and your parents choose them for you, or when you're a kid and they are your schoolmates. It's a lot harder as an adult. My only close friends are those from my childhood or from high school or as in the case of my friend Kristie, from our jobs right after high school. Now one lives in Michigan, one lives in China, and one lives in Philly. Not very convenient when you need a shoulder to cry, a place to hang out or someone to bounce ideas off of. Sigh. I miss these girls. I feel at home with them. I'm comfortable, I can be myself and share my ideas and views without fear of judgment. Besides, I know they like me as well. I think. Well, they must if they've been my friends for this long! :) How I long to have them all living around me (or in the same country at least!). How I wish I could drive over to see them and pour myself a glass of iced tea and settle in for a nice long chat about old times or sit around doing crafts and scheming up new ideas. I guess maybe this is what they call growing up? If it is, I gotta say I'm not a fan.

Melana is Nine Weeks!!

I'm a little late in posting, so Melana is nine weeks and two days, but we snapped some cute pics this morning that I thought I'd share. Right now she is doing one of her favorite activities and that is swinging in her swing watching the fishies on her mobile. So cute. Every day she smiles more and more. She now likes to lay on the floor under her floor gym and play. She lays under there and kicks every time she hits the little octopus mirror and sea horse rattle. For some reason many of our baby items seem to be ocean/fish related. :)
I bought her Baby Einstein's Baby Mozart video and put her in her bouncy seat in front of the TV. That's right, I'm that awesome of a parent. :) I didn't know if she would be interested or even if she would be able to see it as the recommended age is 3+ months, but I got it anyway and and she LOVES it! She kicks and waves her little arms around and smiles and coos. Her big blue eyes got even bigger and she was staring at the TV. When the music hits a crescendo she gets really excited. We had a blast just watching her.

This past week has been great, sleep wise. She has been going to bed around 8:30-9:30pm and sleeping until 5am when Darian gets up for work. He feeds her before leaving then she usually goes back to sleep until 8-9am. It's awesome!! She has been a little fussy the last 3-4 days though, and seems to want to be held and snuggled. She's also been a little red around the eyes, so I was wondering if she was getting sick, but today she seems better. Her naps during the day seem to be getting shorter, except for her late afternoon one, but I don't mind since she is sleeping so great at night. She goes for her 2 month check up on Monday but when I was at work the other day for a meeting I took her with me so and weighed her on the baby scale. She was 11 lbs. 11 oz. and 24 inches long. Yep, she's a porky!! I'm still doing some research on which vaccines we do and don't want her to get. I'm hoping the doctor will respect our wishes and not give me too much trouble and the whole lecture that I'm sure she has stored away for such fanatics like ourselves. LOL.
In other news, I was supposed to start back to work this week, but was canceled both nights so I was able to get a little more snuggle time with my sweet Melana. Yesterday was my birthday but we didn't do anything special. After 30 does it really matter? lol I spent the day cleaning and cooking as it was our turn to host our Bible study group last night. It was fun to hang out with our great friends and their families.
We also had a court date this week in regards to the adoption. Everything went well, Melana's biological parents terminated their parental rights. So now we are just waiting on more paperwork to go between the two states and hopefully they will set another court date soon to make the adoption final. I'm hoping by Christmas or at least by New Years. I can't wait till she is fully and legally ours, but a nice tax exemption would be nice as well. LOL Just kidding we are just excited to make her "official".
We are also getting excited to hear the news of our new niece who is expected to make her arrival this week. My brother Jason and his wife, Rachael are having their third girl by c-section on Thursday. She will be joining our other two beautiful and sweet nieces, Jordyn, 7 and Jenna, 3. Wish we could be in Texas to greet her, but are still excited to hear the news.
I snapped a couple of pics of Melana to mark her two months. The first one is with a teddy bear that my dad bought her at the hospital when she was born. We had professional pics taken of her at 12 days old and have one of her and the teddy. The photographer suggested that we should take a pic of her and the teddy every month till she is a year just to see how big she is getting compared to the bear. It's an awesome concept, but I forgot to do it at her first month so I hope to starting now. ( if I remember)

I can't believe how big her grin is!

I like this one too and I'm going to try to keep up with the monthly pics. Can I also just say I LOVE this blanket? Thanks to Darian's Aunt Alma and Angie and Carla!

PS- I just wanted to give an update on the homemade cleaning solutions. I was able to make some dusting solution out of 1 cup of water and 1 TBS of fabric softner. I mixed it in a spray bottle and used it yesterday and it worked great!! Plus, my house smelled like lavender. I have to say it really left the surfaces shiny and clean looking and not at all greasy. I'm a fan.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Going Green and Saving Green

Since Melana has come along I've been very conscious of all the chemicals we use in and around the house. The week before last we started getting ants again. Well, instead of running right for the bug spray, I insisted that Darian wait until we were leaving for the weekend and to do it right before we left the house with windows cracked. Who knows if it saved us any unwanted chemical exposure, but at least it made me feel better. Now I'm not going to rant and rave about the harmful ingredients of cleaning solutions or household cleaners and I'm not going to get on a soapbox about how they are bad for the environment, because frankly I don't have the time or the facts. I am, however going to share my new plan for keeping our house a little safer from harmful chemicals and saving a little money along the way.
I've been reading up on recipes for making my own cleaners and have found quite a few ideas. It actually seems to come down to a few household products.

Baking soda, water and vinegar seem to be the mainstays in every recipe I've found. Other ingredients recommended are Borax, liquid castile soap such as Dr. Bronners, lemon juice, amonia and rubbing alcohol. One tip I found is using microfiber cloths for dusting and cleaning. I already use Swifter cloths to dust followed by dusting spray on a cloth. I'm going to try to find some microfiber cloths online or keep using my new favorite cleaning tool, the plain white cloth diaper/burp cloths. LOVE them. I'm pretty sure I'll be using these babies well after we have any burpable kids in this house. I found a tip that says to use 1 TBS liquid fabric softner diluted in water as a dusting solution that is even safe for the TV and doesn't leave streaks. I'm excited to use this idea and since I am expecting a houseful of guests for our Bible study group tonight, I will get to find out if it works. I'll let you know.
Here are a couple of websites I've used to do my research and get ideas.

Another thing I'm trying to do around here is continue to get organized. This is a feat I've been undertaking since we moved in and continue to improve on especially since sweet baby girl has arrived. I love my home and have worked endlessly to make it a stylish, homey retreat. While it is still a work in progress (as we continue to paint etc), I am very conscious to keep this a place where people of all ages are welcome to come in, relax and refresh and not a place that looks like it's been taken over by the baby. :) I don't want my living room looking like a day care center. And while the swing has it's own little corner in the living room and the bouncy seat has found a place in the dining room, the rest of baby's things are tucked away in cute little baskets until they are needed. Can I just say I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE the $1 aisle in Target?! I have found cute little colored baskets there for Melana's closet and for her little toys and blankets. I even am using one as a bath caddy on the counter as we are still using the kitchen sink to place her bathtub for bath time.

So that's a few of the projects I'm working on right now. Next on my list: I want to print up all my household cleaning recipes and tip along with my food recipes and place them in binders after they are laminated. Yes, I really am this anal retentive, uh, organized.

Anyone else have any helpful household hints to share? Please leave a comment.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Family and Feminists

We just got home from a busy weekend spent with our family in Plain City, Ohio. My mother-in-law is one of ten children and all but one live in Ohio. She decided to throw us a baby shower/meet Melana party for our family there. Darian, Wilma (my mom in law), Melana and I headed to Plain City on Friday night. We arrived late and stayed with Aunt Alma and Uncle Sherm. Thanks guys! Early Saturday we headed to Aunt Susan and Uncle Jim's house and were treated like royalty to a scrumptious breakfast with Susan, Jim, Alma and cousin Andreas. Then we headed over to a cabin that Wilma had rented for us to stay at and to host the baby shower. The place was way back in the woods and was a beautiful setting for our family get together. Darian's sister Sheryl and our niece Emilee and his brother Loren and his wife Trudy and their kids Taylor and Robbie arrived to share the cabin with us. A few hours later, aunts, uncles, cousins and second cousins started to arrive to meet Melana and share a great night of visiting, food and gift giving.
Darian and I were so excited just to see the family and catch up with everyone so the wonderful gifts they brought for Melana was just icing on the cake. We are so blessed to have such a large and wonderful family. We had a little over 70 people there to celebrate. Two of those people are just shy of two weeks younger than Melana, and were born to Darian's cousin Rod and wife Liz.

Here is a pic of Melana between twins Iain and Brendan. So cute!!!

and here Melana is showing off her self defense moves, apparently. Too funny.

We got home this evening and went right to work putting things away and getting our house in order. I hate to start the week with a messy house! Besides, we are also interviewing a nanny/housekeeper tomorrow so I really want to impress her with my mad cleaning skills. Ha! Just kidding. I am a bit nervous about this interview though as I've never interviewed help before and I want to be sure that Melana is left in the best of care. I'm supposed to be returning to work on Wednesday night and am already having anxiety about it. I don't want to leave her!! No one can care and love her like her mama, I'm sure, and I don't want her to think I'm abandoning her. :( I really resent the feminist movement right now. They didn't do us any favors by demanding a equal place in the work place. What was wrong with staying home? If their fight was truly about women's rights and choice why don't I have a choice right now? Maybe someday. Can't I just be a 1950s stay at home wife living with modern conveniences? Picture Doris Day in a minivan. Sweet!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Melana is Eight Weeks!!

First things first, I want to wish my brother, Jason, a very HAPPY BIRTHDAY today! Love you!

My sweet doll is eight weeks old today. She is developing more and more of a steady schedule and showing bits of her personality. She is definitely a morning girl and is quick to smile when you get her out of her crib, well as long as you have her bottle on hand, that is. :)
She is now smiling, cooing, and waving her little fists around trying to touch her toys and the dogs and my face. She loves to lay on her blankie on the ottoman and play with her favorite toys.

Yesterday Junie was standing over the ottoman trying to get my attention (of course) and Melana reached up and grabbed a chunk of Junie's fur and wouldn't let go. She just kept looking up at June with wide eyes and then started smiling. Her little grip is too weak and small for June to notice, but she was loving it and we thought it was hilarious.
We try to introduce different fabrics and textures to her and different sounds and sights. We are trying to stimulate and encourage the developmental skills that are expected of a baby her age and more. I never thought about this part of parenting when I was growing up. Then I became a nanny of twin boys when I was in college. Their mother was a psychologist and we did a lot of purposeful and developmental play. I learned so much from her. (Thanks Sue!) Since then I've been determined to be that kind of parent. Not pushing my babies/kids beyond their years or never allowing fun, but parenting them with the purpose of helping them to reach their highest potential.

In other news. Well, there really isn't any other news. It's been a pretty boring week here. Darian was out of town on Wednesday and Thursday for a farm show in Illinois. Melana and I hung out with the puppies and did really not much of anything. Tomorrow is pay day though, so look out. LOL. Gas, groceries and diaper shopping are on the oh so exciting list. :) And speaking of diapers, Melana finally fits her cute cloth ones from Fuzzi Bunz . They are a bit bulkier than the disposable but she seems comfortable. We will still use disposable when traveling etc., but are trying to stay a little green and save money by using these cute cloths. And now speaking of traveling, we are excited to be going to visit Darian's mother's family in Plain City, Ohio for the weekend. My oh so sweet Mother in law is throwing a baby shower for us out there and we can't wait to visit with and introduce Melana to the Hostetler family. Love them!!

Here a couple pics of Junie and Melana getting close during floor play time. I'm still picking dog hair off Melana's shirt. LOL

Monday, August 16, 2010

The Parties Continue For The Millers

Another busy weekend is over for the Miller family. We left Friday night and headed to MI to my parent's house where my sister Michele and her new husband Paul had just arrived for a visit on the last leg of their honeymoon. They've been to Jamaica and New York and were ending their trip at home because Michele's best friend Courtney got married on Saturday. Mom and Dad, Darian and I stayed busy Saturday and Sunday morning preparing for the hometown wedding reception that we held at my parent's house on Sunday evening for Michele and Paul.

We set up a large white tent with round tables and white linens with sunflower centerpieces and we used my grandmother's white milk glass serving ware. It was a beautiful setting and a beautiful, although windy, day on the lake. We had lots of food, WAY too many cupcakes (someone misjudged the count and I made three times as many as were needed), lots of visiting with friends and family and of course lots of loving on Melana. She was passed from grandma to grandma to aunts to friends and slept through it all. She looked so cute in her little sundress and bonnet and was the belle of the ball, well except the bride and groom. To me though, she is always the belle of the ball. :)

Melana snuggling with my Aunt Karen who she met for the first time.

Melana with Auntie Michele who wanted to smuggle her home in her suitcase. :)

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Melana is Seven Weeks!!

Miss Melana is SEVEN weeks today!

Isn't she stunning in her first pair of blue jeans? So sweet. She is getting so big everyday. I'm sure she's over 10 pounds now. I've even had to tearfully put away two newborn outfits that she can't fit into anymore. I'm sure there is more, but I'm not ready to try them on to find out.
Development wise she is looking around, following faces and toys with her face and eyes and SMILING!! She
started to give half a smile about two weeks ago so we started acting like idiots to get her to smile more. Picture two grown people standing over you making noises and sticking their tongues in and out trying to get just a hint of a smile and then going berserk when you do. Poor thing probably thinks she's in the nut house! She is now smiling when she wants to, like when you pick her up. She did it first to Darian on Sunday when he got her up to feed her. She just gave him a big ole toothless grin. It's the cutest thing ever. And if any of you other moms out there are reading this, you are wrong, MY baby is the cutest!! :) In other news she is lifting her head very well and even looks around during tummy time.

I'm telling you she is so smart!! The cure for cancer is on the way folks!! :)

In other news, I'm loving the look of my clothesline this year. All that pink!! Makes me happy.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Wanted: Good Friend, must love Chocolate, Coffee and Me!

Today I was able to have lunch with my friend Gina at Carlos O'Kelley's. Gina and I work together and I miss seeing her a couple times a week. I've enjoyed my time off with my sweet Melana and am not looking forward to going back to work, but being off has made me realize, more than ever, how lonely I really am. Since my best friend, Kristie, moved away, I have yet to find a very close friend. You know, the kind who just stops over for a cup of coffee or whatever at anytime and helps themselves 'cause they know you don't mind. Or the one who you know you can call anytime to cry or laugh with. I still do that with Kristie, but it's not the same when I can't just run over to her house with chocolate and we can drown our sorrows together. It may be healthier on the waist line, but not on the heart.
I'm very glad we left MI and settled in Fort Wayne, but sometimes I crave the more familiar. I miss the fact that friends could stop in any minute or call you up to go garage saleing or for ice cream. I miss the feeling of having a past with someone. Someone who knows you and your family and with whom you can share memories of years past. Someone who knew me before I was Mrs. Miller.
Most of the people who I am closest to here in town are coworkers and that's because that's the only people I spend most of my time with outside of Darian. I also have good friends in our Bible study group, but most have families of their own and are busy so I hate to bother them. I love my co workers and church friends and enjoy my time with them, but I know they have lives of their own and don't want me stalking them all the time.
So how do you ask someone to be your friend? How do you find a friend? I'm not an overly outgoing person, at least not until I get to know someone. I also suffer from a pretty moderate case of social anxiety, so I'm not likely to walk up to someone and ask them to hang out with me. I guess I need to find a place to make friends. But how? Maybe I need to find an adoption group or a craft group or a mommy and me group or a I-miss-my-bff-who-moved-away group. Maybe the yellow pages.....

Monday, August 9, 2010

Texas Wedding

Last weekend we went to Austin, Texas for my sister Michele's wedding. We left Friday morning early to drive to Midway airport in Chicago accompanied by my dad, my niece Emilee aka "the nanny", and our friends Tracey and Courtney along with Tracey's two nieces. Melana did awesome and slept the whole flights there and back. Amazing baby! When we landed we were greeted by my sister Michele aka "the bride" and my mom who had flown down the week before. It was Melana's first time meeting her Aunt Michele.

We quickly headed for the hotel to change and then to the rehearsal at the wedding site. This place is AMAZING!! It was so beautiful and a great setting for a wedding.

We then hurried to the rehearsal dinner at a country club with an amazing view. We had a great dinner, were able to catch up a little with Michele and her fiance Paul and meet his family and then were treated to the best cupcakes I've ever had made by a friend. They were Red Velvet Chocolate Chip cupcakes with a cream cheese frosting. Honestly, my diet has been blown and the workouts lacking since Melana was born, but that night I really didn't care. I'm pretty sure those little cupcakes are what heaven is made of. :) But I digress....

After the rehearsal dinner we all headed back to the hotel to change for our girl's night out for Michele's bachelorette party at a place called Rebels in downtown Austin. Michele, Tracey, Courtney and I were joined by our cousin Christy, another bridesmaid and Michele's old friends Jill and Stephanie who traveled from AZ and South Bend for the wedding. The dress was western, the music was country and the bull was bucking. That's right I said bull. I wanted to ride the mechanical bull so bad but Darian and my mom made me promise that I wouldn't ride. What?! It's not like I'm accident prone or anything.... Tracey and Michele braved the bull though and we all had a good time watching them and cheering them on. We also checked out the insane night life down on Austin's 6th St. Crazy!

Saturday we all slept in and then headed to a big western wear store while my parents and Michele had lunch with Paul and his parents. I finally found the cowboy boots I've been wanting at Cavender's. Yeehaw! Just wished I would've had those the night before. We headed back to the hotel when we heard that my brother Jason and his two girls Jordyn, 7 and Jenna, 3 had arrived from their home NW of Austin. It was so good to see them!! Later that night we joined other family and friends from out of town for a great BBQ dinner at the famous Saltlick. It was a great time and great dinner had by all and we almost had to be rolled out of there by the staff.

Sunday morning dawned and we headed to the ranch right away to help with some setup and then to the Spa for hair and makeup. Then back to the ranch to ready for the big moment.
The old church was decorated with burlap pew covers with sepia colored pics of Paul, Michele or both on them. An old rustic wooden cross was fastened over the alter and the initial "P" and "M" were fastened out of twigs and hung on the front door of the chapel.

The candles were glowing in the reception hall with beautiful flowers on the tables and personalized booklets at each seat telling Michele and Paul's story and explaining how family and Taiwanese traditions had been incorporated into the wedding.

Instead of cake, we dined on an amazing ice cream sundae bar and instead of alcohol we sipped Izze sparkling sodas with our toasts. Which there were many of. It was all beautiful and personal. Later, we slipped into our cowboy boots and boot scooted boogie on the porch of the reception hall followed by a rousing rendition of "Strawberry Wine" sung by Courtney and I to Michele. Years ago us three girls had recorded that song in a karaoke booth at Cedar Point. They gave a copy of the recording and it brought years of laughter and tears as we'd listen to how bad it was. Good times... Michele and Tracey quickly joined us in our embarrassing show of love for Michele.

After a fun filled day and night the newlyweds departed, by the light of sparklers and glow sticks, into the Texas night in a 1972 Texas orange Chevelle that Michele had booked as a surprise to Paul.

They are a beautiful couple and I wish them the best of God's blessings. Love you guys!!
Here are a few favorite pics from the weekend.

Darian, Melana and I at rehearsal dinner

Darian, Melana and my nieces Jordyn and Jenna

Michele, Courtney, Christy and I

My Family

Friday, August 6, 2010

6 weeks!

Melana turned six weeks yesterday! I can't believe how fast time has flown by. Sometimes I can't believe we have a baby but then other times it seems like she has been her forever 'cause she fits in so well. She is a beautiful baby and is growing by leaps and bounds.
At birth she weighed 6 pounds 9 ounces and was 20 1/2 inches long. At her one month check up she was 9 pounds 6 ounces and 23 inches long! She was so long and skinny at birth and still is, but now she has a little more meat on her spindly legs and arms and her little face is filling in nicely. I love her little face. She is taking about 4 ounces per feeding and has been following our Baby Wise schedule beautifully.
She now follows objects and faces with her eyes and by moving her head and turns when she hears mine or Darian's voice. She loves her swing and watches the little fish mobile on it go round and round. She just started smiling last week and has even started to coo when she smiles. I swear she is the cutest baby EVER!

Summer Update

Summer seems to have flown by! We have been way too busy!! Melana turned 6 weeks old yesterday and we have been home only one, count 'em, one weekend since her birth. The first couple of weeks were spent with family in MI for legal reasons and also for Fourth of July. The next weekend were spent at a family reunion, my cousin Kyle's graduation open house, our godson Gavin's birthday party and adoption party for our friends Bart and Angie's new 8 year old daughter, Jacie, who they've recently brought home from China.
The following week my best friend Kristie and her son Gavin stayed with us that week until Friday night when we returned to my hometown for a bridal shower and my baby shower that Kristie and my mom threw for me. Thanks guys!

Gavin playing with Melana

The next week and weekend we were actually home but busy looking for a new car and cleaning and doing laundry in preparation for our trip to Texas the following week. We also enjoyed a visit from my best friend from high school, Kristy Jo, and her husband Timothy and thier four adorable boys, Clay, Thadeus, Christopher and Ethan. They live in China now but were home for the summer and it was so great to catch up with them.
This last weekend we went to Texas for my sister's wedding which I will post about later. Darian has this weekend off and we are planning to spend it at home doing landscaping, gardening and between naps of course. *YAWN*

***By the way we did purchase a new vehicle. We got a 2005 Red Dodge Grand Caravan. I guess we really are in the dork, er, I mean, parent club now.