A day to remember

Posted in Family Fun on April 5th, 2012 by Mrs. Mills — Be the first to comment!

I don’t do things half way.

Today was an all the way day.

The whole family plus Grandma Mills set out to enjoy the day in Seattle.  Our day began on the 7:20 ferry.

While on the ferry I had the lovely chance to read to the kids from the book The Hidden Gallery by Maryrose Wood.  Helen, Teddy and I have been devouring the series.  If you are looking for a series of books to read your children ages 7 and 4 (or somewhat close) then Wood’s series about the Incorrigible Children of Ashton Place is well worth your time.

I’d double booked our morning so the boys dropped Helen, Grandma, Alice and I off near the Seattle Art Museum and they headed north to kill time before Teddy had an orthotics (his leg braces) fitting appointment.   While the girls relaxed in one of the billion local Starbucks, the boys popped into a Krispy Kreme for breakfast.  Teddy even got to wear a baker’s hat.

Helen was shaking with excitement at 10:00 when the doors to the Seattle Art Museum opened.  We were in line to see the visiting Gauguin exhibit.  Helen has been studying his work during her art classes and she was overjoyed to see some of his paintings in person.  She brought along her crayons and sketch kit so she could draw what his work inspired in her.  She said her favorite part of the tour was the audio tour that she got to hold and type numbers into.  Kids are so impressed with technology.

I, meanwhile, was overjoyed (yes, I’m overusing the word, but I don’t care) to try out the method of art appreciation that I’ve learned from Luc Travers through his book Touching the Art.  I bought his e-book last night and it was worth every penny of the $14.99.  I have never visited a fine art museum before, but I can hardly wait to go back or to visit some museums in other towns I visit.  If you like art, or more importantly if you don’t, trying out Mr. Travers’ method is worth it.  I promise.

Before we left Helen sketched her own version of Saint Irene Tending the Wounded Saint Sebastian. I promised her I would scan it in one of these days and post a comparison.

The museum stop ended and lunch began, a lovely lunch at an entirely empty pizza place under the Ship Canal Bridge.

From there we bolted over to the Pacific Science Center for a quick visit using our membership passes.  The visit wouldn’t be complete without a showing of Laser Michael Jackson.  In the past year plus that we have had a science center membership I have seen that laser show at least five times.  It gets old for me, but it never seems to dim in Teddy’s eyes.  He loves it!

The visit to the science center was complete with a trip through a tornado tunnel of 78 mile per hour winds clutching me two big kids.  They thought it was hilarious.  I didn’t mind it, but it did make a mess of my hair.

After a failed attempt to catch the ferry (chaotic Seattle traffic messed us up), we drove home and all children napped along the way.  That’s a great sign that they had a fabulous day.

Alice was a doll the whole day, sleeping through most of the museum and science center moments and waking at just the right times to add some giggles and smiles to the mix.  Helen was a doll, transformed into a true artist as she analyzed the paintings and marveled at the carvings.  Teddy was a champ, walking himself wherever he wanted to go, never really slowing down until he fell fast asleep in the van.

These are the days for a mom to treasure.  This is a day I’m always going to remember.  Now, off to pick up the house and try to get my kids who took late naps to actually go to bed.  Wish me luck.

Books 2011 and 2012

Posted in Books on January 2nd, 2012 by Mrs. Mills — Be the first to comment!

Each year I try to read 30 books.  Last year I fell short of my goal (if you don’t include children’s books). I only read 20 or so books.

In 2012, my resolution is to return to my 30 books or more pace of reading and to record the children’s books I read on top of that number.  If you’re reading to little children, I hope you’ll find the list of what the kids and I are reading interesting .

For example, one of the extra characters in the Mercy Watson series is a little girl named Stella.  I have a feeling my cousin, Athena, might like reading those books to her daughters, Elena and Stella.

Here’s to a book filled 2012!  Let the reading begin.

My love for a magazine

Posted in Books on November 14th, 2011 by Mrs. Mills — 1 Comment so far

I love Smithsonian magazine.  It feeds my Learner strength, providing me with details about a breadth of topics I would never find on my own.

I just finished reading the October 2011 edition and here are some of the tidbits I planned to capture for myself, so I might as well share them with you too.

  • In the article “What Became of the Taino?” by Robert M. Poole we are introduced to an illiterate Cuban named Francisco Ramirez who named his son Vladimir Lenin Ramirez.  Wow.
  • In the article “The Passion of Madame Curie’ by Julie Des Jardins, I found it fascinating how much the scientific community refused to acknowledge Marie’s genius in her work with her husband.  The Swedish Academy called her a helpmeet to her husband.  It wasn’t until after his untimely death (”Pierre, apparently lost in thought, walked into traffic on the rue Dauphine and was killed instantly by an onrushing carriage” in 1906) that she got her recognition as an independent mind.  I enjoyed this quote from her friend, British physicist Hertha Ayrton,

“Errors are notoriously hard to kill, but an error that ascribes to a man what was actually the work of a woman has more lives than a cat.”

  • The world record holder for growing the largest pumpkin lives in New Richmond, Wisconsin, just miles from where I grew up.  My dad says he knows the guy: Chris Stevens.
  • I’d never heard of the book Black Like Me by John Howard Griffin.  I think I’ll read it soon.

And my best find wasn’t in that issue at all, but rather came as a combination of watching the Wisconsin-Minnesota football game and flipping through my November issue.  Here’s a link to an article about Teddy Roosevelt and how football was almost banned forever.

Teddy Update

Posted in Teddy on August 2nd, 2011 by Mrs. Mills — 1 Comment so far

Today’s Teddy update:  Matt took him in for bladder tests and the results were fantastic. His bladder is now the shape of an acorn instead of an oak leaf (That’s awesome news!) and his kidneys seem well protected (YES!).  The doctor thinks his cath and medicine routine is really helping his bladder.  I’m overjoyed at the news.  He’ll see his own urologist in a few weeks and we’ll get some more information after that, but this is such good news for Teddy.  He’s doing so great with his mobility, so to know that his urology is going well too and his episodes are almost non-existent means these are very good days for him.

The fall is going to be more challenging with his hip surgery and all, but he’ll weather it well I’m sure.

I’m such a happy mom today, a very, very happy mom!


Posted in Silly Me on July 19th, 2011 by Mrs. Mills — Be the first to comment!

I think I shocked my doctor tonight.  I told him that I have Teddy’s hip surgery scheduled for September 28th.

Why did this shock him?

Because I’m due September 14th and my history is that I will make that date or go longer.  That means if I must have a C-section I will be barely recovered before Teddy’s surgery arrives.

Thankfully I have people willing to step up and help me.  It’s looking good that Grandpa Hammer will be out in time for Teddy’s surgery so that he can be Teddy’s helper while I can focus on the baby and healing myself.

Hopefully I won’t need a C-section and Miss or Mr. Wiggles in my tummy will joyfully arrive on their own, without the need for any surgical intervention.  A girl can dream, right?

There are only 7 more weeks (give or take a few) until the baby arrives.  There are still three more weeks until my girl, the adventurous Miss Helen, returns home.

There is much to be done.

I must stop typing and get back to planning.  Time is a wasting.


Posted in Silly Me on May 16th, 2011 by Mrs. Mills — 2 Comments

It must be the pregnancy, because I’m certainly nesting.

This weekend I went nuts with my sewing machine and made piles of changing pad cover/bib/burp cloth sets for all the babies that I haven’t sent presents to yet.  With some kids I’m at least a year behind (whoops!).  So, if you’ve been anticipating a baby gift from me, one of the sets may be on its way to you soon.

Here are the photos, meant to entertain my uber-capable sewing readers.


I enjoyed the footballs/basketballs set.  I made a footballs changing pad cover for Teddy too.


The woodland creatures/lizards pattern is just fun.  Either way you have to be happy looking at them.


These sets are for the older girls that I haven’t sent presents to yet.  They’ll look sophisticated and stylish at 1-year-old with the cool kittens or hyper flowers patterns.  Each bib and burp cloth is reversible.  Only the changing pad cover is one pattern or the other.


These are fun for the younger girls with a hip, old fashioned flair.  I know the little girls getting them will look super cute!

Now I’m off to bed.  This mother hen must rest after a long day of sitting on the nest.

Long day

Posted in caffeine pills on April 25th, 2011 by Mrs. Mills — Be the first to comment!

I haven’t actually blogged over here in a long time.  Every now and then I think I should, but I just can’t ever seem to find the time. This third pregnancy has really taken away a good chunk of my energy.  Thankfully, I’m starting to hit the middle of my pregnancy and my energy is starting to return, at least in part.

Since I haven’t posted a daily rundown in a while, I figured I would catch you up on all the stuff I got done today.

Woke up at 5:50, ten minutes before my alarm, to the smell of dog poo.  Vader is still struggling with the nighttime delays in letting him out.  Apparently he doesn’t whine loud enough to wake me or Matt up from our early morning slumber.  Sigh.  The smell certainly wakes us up though.  My first accomplishment this morning: cleaning up dog poo.  Huzzah!

Got ready for work.

Got Helen’s lunch ready and packed into her bag.  Got my lunch ready and remembered to grab something for my breakfast.

Helped Helen pick out her clothes then kissed her goodbye and headed out the door.

Got to work safe, without a trip and fall.  Last week I fell while walking into work and twisted my ankle.  Now I’m super careful to watch where each foot is landing.  I don’t want to go through the scraped hands and throbbing ankle again.

Worked a typical day, though I did get to spend a lot of it at my desk, a rare treat.  I got a lot done, but that stuff is boring to blog about.

Left work to head home to let the dog out before continuing on to get the kids at daycare.  On my way home I forgot to stop by the trophy shop to pick up some plaques for an awards ceremony tomorrow.  I’ll be rushing out to grab the plaques at 10 am tomorrow.  Sigh!  I need a better memory.

Talked to Mom on my way home.  Called to get a prescription for Teddy’s new braces after hanging up with Mom.  Finally let the dog out.  Felt bad thinking of putting him right back in his bathroom seclusion, so I decided to take him with me to get the kids at daycare.  That was a bad idea.

Drove to daycare with a puppy howling the whole way. He hasn’t adjusted to car movement yet.

Picked up Helen, let her run around with the dog while I got Teddy, then finally got everyone back into the car.

Considered going to the grocery store.  Decided against it.  Thought about going to the park with the kids.  Decided against that too.  Headed home with the dog howling half way home.  A few blocks from the house he finally settled down.

Made dinner while Teddy played inside and Helen and Vader played outside.  Later, Teddy played outside with Vader while Helen played inside.  Keeping track of two kids plus puppy plus dinner is more exhausting than I thought it could be.

Ate dinner.  Everyone ate well for a change.  That was good.  Cleaned up the table and moved the dishes to the sink (dishes are Matt’s job).

Sat down with Helen to have her read three books to me and do some subtraction flash cards.  Her reading is really taking off now that she is reading blended vowels.  It’s fun to watch her progress and her confidence grow.  Her math skills are coming along too.  We laughed about what could happen next in each book.  I treasure those moments of one-on-one time with her as she reads to me.

Got the kids settled in for the later evening so I could run to the store.  I still had the grocery shopping to do.

Went to the drug store to fill our multiple prescriptions and grab a few things off my grocery list.

Went to the grocery store (which also sells clothes).  Grabbed the groceries then scoured the store looking for a shirt with a pig on it for Piggy Shirt Day on Wednesday for Helen.  Finally, after finding nothing that would fit the bill, I grabbed a cute pink top that I can stick a pig picture on.  I’ve got to remember to do that tomorrow night.

Got back home about 9 pm.  Put away the groceries.  Gave the kids their medicines.  Made sure they said their prayers after Matt made sure they brushed their teeth.  They went to sleep surprisingly well.

Sorted laundry for the wash.

Ran a load of laundry.

Cleaned out my e-mail and blogged while I waited for the laundry to finish.

I can’t believe it is 10:49 already.  I need to get to bed.  I can’t remember the last time I stayed up this late without falling asleep. I  guess I can’t sleep and type at the same time.

Good night everyone.  Happy dreams!

Old photos

Posted in Family Fun on April 25th, 2011 by Mrs. Mills — 1 Comment so far

I haven’t posted any photos in a while.  Here are a few fun ones.

First, the most recent: Helen goofing off in her new hat yesterday.


Next, a cute photo of Teddy from early this month.


Now for an adorable photo of my little puppy, Vader.


And finally, a photo for Cousin Athena to enjoy: Helen on our sewing day back in January.


First Communion

Posted in Family Fun, Helen on April 25th, 2011 by Mrs. Mills — Be the first to comment!

Yesterday, on Easter Sunday, Helen had her first communion.  She took communion while Uncle Tracy’s song “He’s Alive” played over the church’s speakers.  Thank you to my mom and my Uncle Todd for sending me the CD of Tracy’s song.  After the service I had several people comment on how lovely the song was for the service.  The bulletin didn’t say that it was my uncle singing, but word spread through the congregation.  I’m hoping they’ll allow me to make it a tradition to play that song every year.

Here’s a photo of Helen after the service and one of our family Easter morning.



Great news…healthy baby

Posted in Faith, Let's celebrate! on March 29th, 2011 by Mrs. Mills — 1 Comment so far

Today I found out that our little 15 weeks along little one (sex unknown) passed the blood tests with flying colors.  That is such great news and a huge weight off my mind.  It was at this time in my pregnancy with Teddy, at the end of April 2007, that our family changed forever.  We went through such ups and downs, finding out Teddy’s diagnosis, and getting all the tests and information we could. There was so much unknown then.

There’s still a long way to go before this baby is here.  September 14 will be here before I know it, but a lot can happen before then.

Thank you to everyone who prayed for us.  I could feel you lifting us up to God.  You are all such a blessing in our lives.

I’m off to bed.  This momma needs her rest.  Good night!