Cold Weather! Baby News! It’s All So Exciting!

Here’s hoping everyone is staying warm. Our own weather is a bit chilly [we started off the day with 8 degree wind chills, to the chagrin of every Southerner], and I know it’s only worse the further north and west you head. Brr.

Here’s to coffee! And tea! And hot chocolate!

Really, anything warm that you can think of that will feel cozy in your belly. You go for it.

We are more than surviving. The schools called a two-hour-delay. While I rolled my eyes a bit [because I’m all Midwestern-tough AND judgmental], it was nice to be able to sleep in. We made waffles & bacon, and leisurely got ready for school. I won’t complain about an extra two hours sleep. Never, ever.

I had an appointment with the midwife this week …

[Full stop: For those who don’t/didn’t know, we’re meeting with midwives again for our delivery. We did with the previous two when we lived in KCMO, and really loved our experience. The ones we’ve delivered with have full hospital privileges, and therefore deliver there, in this instance at MUSC. We like that they’re a bit more focused on the natural side of pregnancy & labor, but can also keep my thyroid issue in check, do routine lab work, and if there’s an emergency, can call an ob/gyn in to do their thing. Too each her own, though, too each her own.]

… everything looks peachy. If you missed our big announcement last week, we had our big deal, 20 week Anatomy Scan. She looks perfect, down to her Mighty Milner button nose. The tech said she looked as perfect can get, that I looked good, and if you missed the focus of female pronouns, we’re definitely having a girl.

Sophia, Dr. M, and I all thought ‘girl’ from the very beginning. We had zero science to back up our claim, and all three pregnancies have included copious amounts of morning sickness, so there was nothing to distinguish it. Still … we all thought it. And the tech confirmed it. I waited until I got home to find out with them. I totally wanted to cheat & sneak a peek.

But I’m a grown up, and I didn’t. We opened the envelope together, and saw the note “Girl!” Sophia was definitely thrilled, and wants to share a room with her as soon as possible [that may change, once she arrives – who knows what type of personality she’ll have]. Gabe still just jabbers, points at my stomach, and occasionally says “baby, baby, baby”, which is wickedly sweet in its own way.

This means we can officially deviate away from “It” and “Baby” and “Li’l Bean”, as we know a pronoun. And as long as her sex doesn’t change before delivery [and based on the photo, I’m pretty sure it won’t], her name will be Pearl Noelle. Pearl was my grandmother’s real first name, even as she went by Leavern for most of her life. This is a wonderful, bonus baby and Dr. M & I thought it appropriate to recognize & honor our grandparents who won’t have a chance to meet her. And to be quite honest, we just love the name Noelle. We realize it means ‘Christmas’ and she’ll be a May baby, but we’re really okay with all of that.

We’re just excited all around over here, even with the plummeting temperatures. And now, to go walk in those freezing temperatures to get our blood pumping. We’ll see how much Gabe loves the cold, given that he shivers at 45 degrees. He’s from hardy stock, though, I wouldn’t be a bit surprised if he ended up loving it. Because he is one cray, cray, dude, to be sure.


He better be glad he’s so cute

Sometimes [and it is only sometimes] my kiddos exasperate the hell out of me. I mean, we have a two-year-old. It comes with the territory, so I try not to let my ire rise too far out of control.

Right now, our battles over bedtime have hit a new crazy high. We combined the kiddos together in what was Sophia’s old room back in December. For a week, it was a novelty. Gabe thought it was awesome to share space with the big kid, because he after all is a big kid himself. He napped, he went to bed, they didn’t fight [too much] – Dr. M and I high-fived each other and walked away with a smidge of gloat on our shoulders.

Then, Week Two. Now the entity that is my bonkers son refuses to nap easily, sometimes skipping days and making our evenings hellish. The messes he/they made were ridiculous. The fights over the shared items in the room could be heard from the street.

And the nights – oh goodness, the nights. I’ll give them some leniency regarding their behavior this week, considering we’re adjusting from awesome-times-it-was-amazing-to-stay-up-late-every-night-during-vacation to boring, old school [in the words of Sophia]. Still, we’re leaning into the ridiculous over here. Last night, they pushed bedtime back to 9 o’clock, in the name of extra bathroom runs, request for milk, and [specifically from the toddler] loud spurts of crying for … well, anything. Mama, Dada, milk, water, crackers, more books. You get the picture.

We were at the end of our rope, not to mention it was my own dang bedtime. [Yes, pregnant women who have to get up at 5:30 go to bed at 9. No judging.] Finally, they were officially settled, they slept and I headed off to bed.

I went in this morning to get their day started, and this, sweet friends, is what I see. Oh goodness …


What you may not initially see is Sophia’s head at the top, mostly buried under her pillow. According to her, he snuck over there after she had gone to bed, curled up with the duck quilt, and put himself to bed. Whatever works, friend, what works.

Friday Reads: Outlander

School break begins in less than 2 hours, and I’m not sure who is more excited, Sophia or myself. Goodness, getting up early is the worst.

Not really. But give a pregnant girl some slack. Right now, in my narrow view, it’s the worst.

As of Saturday, I get to sleep in as long as Gabe cooperates and allows me to doze off on the couch. His internal alarm clock is set for 5:55 a.m. A bit early, but nothing Daniel Tiger can’t handle.

A break also means I can read without feeling guilty, and read I will. I’m wickedly late to this series. As in, I just heard about it two months ago and the first novel was published in 1991. I give myself some wicked grace here, though, as I was 6 years old. It’ll be fine.


Don't let this tame book cover fool you. You will not see the light of day until you've finished.

Don’t let this tame book cover fool you. You will not see the light of day until you’ve finished.

People, I just. I just can’t. It’s so good. I think I read the first one in a day. It’s a romance meets fantasy/time travel meets historical fiction. It’s amazing.

I easily have 10 or so novels checked out from the library. Forget it. All I’m reading is Outlander. And it’s subsequent seven following novels.

And there's a book nine! See, it's never too late to jump on a band wagon.

And there’s a book nine coming soon! See, it’s never too late to jump on a band wagon.

So far, I’ve finished Dragonfly in Amber, Voyager, & Drums of Autumn. I just began The Fiery Cross. In, like two weeks. It’s ridiculous. The housework & laundry have barely been attended to, but I have Jamie & Claire.

Also, there’s a show, that aired on Starz this fall. Heaven help me, I downed the eight episodes in less than 48 hours. I may have stayed up until 2 a.m. on a couple of occasions. Both my head cold and pregnancy did not appreciate it, but how do you put it down?

The short answer: you don’t.

What books have been keeping you up late? I would love to hear!

Some amazing [and utterly surprising] news!

The last time I checked in on this lovely site, the Mighty Milners, we were flying high. We had the school system down, I was knocking out school projects, dinner was made mostly on time. Things were looking good for the family, with the four [count ’em, FOUR] Milners currently inhabiting Charleston.

And then … it all somewhat dramatically, came crashing down. Cue the famous two blue lines on the famous white pee stick. You could also cue a panic attack, the huge feelings of being overwhelmed, and utter, utter surprise. To be quite honest, it was not one of my finer moments. And I’m okay with that – to reiterate, a third bundle of joy was not on my radar.

For as shocking as all of it was, I told a whole lot of no one. And that includes Ryan, for about three days. I did tell finally tell him, over a dinner of tacos. We view seafood tacos as a balm for our soul. The spicy bam sauce did put us in better spirits, and we were able to grin, in spite of the unexpected news.

We held onto that little nugget of news, though, for over a month. In retrospect, I’m not sure HOW great we were at keeping it a secret, but we made no loud pronouncement to anyone. It was easy to hide from the family, within reason, because they didn’t see my ever expanding belly. As for the folks in town, well, I did what I could with stretchy leggings and sweatshirts. I essentially went into hiding. It was all I could do to get up on time to get Sophia to school, with homework done & a lunch in hand. Most of the time, I just rolled out of bed, wore a ponytail, and called it good.

After our visit with the new midwife I had to find rather quickly, the heartbeat was confirmed, the due date set, and it really became real [though, the morning sickness definitely was proving its own point]. Once I had a sonogram in hand, I felt comfortable telling immediate family. No one believed us, not right away. It took the proof in hand to really make the point to our family that this was not an elaborate October prank where we were teasing everyone.

We’re really having a baby.

In May.

The same month as our other two.

[You do the math.]

And, now, here we are – I’m almost 16 weeks along, with a May 2015 due date and only getting more and more excited for what having 5 Mighty Milners can mean for the world. It’s going to be amazing!

Just finish the job already!

This project has been waiting in the wings for far too long. Like, since this spring. Painters tape probably shouldn’t remain on an object for too, too long. And yet. There it is.

Sorry bookcase.

What I mostly feel bad about is Sophia. Every night, she goes to bed, looking straight at that bookcase, painters tape and all. I’m really not sure how she endured. I know Dr. M could not have. I’m guessing she takes after me in her lack of fastidiousness.

So, in the midst of an overdue knitting project, three books I should have finished, a crazy school week, blah blah blah, I decided to knock out the infamous bookcase. Sophia’s room is like this close to being done.

And, then … Gabe happened.

So, this is the bookcase before the walking disaster that is me getting distracted & my creative son finding easy access to a brush and paint.


It is what is it … a bookcase that needed a second coat of paint and some edging. And then …


Totally not cool.

If you saw me on Facebook, you knew I was not a happy camper. Saturday was a crap start. This just added the final cherry on it.

So, a job that should have taken a handful of hours with some dry time will take even more time. Whatevs. As Dr. M said, it’s an old Target bookcase getting a facelift anyway. You can always count on him to see the sunny side. Maybe by next week, I’ll have it done? *snort* We’ll see, friends, we’ll see.

Any DIY jobs gone awry? I’d love to here your stories! Post ’em below and happy Monday!

#FridayReads & WIPs

It’s time for the weekly round up! I got a little flustered in my goals. But you know, what’s new? I do it to myself. I checked over two dozen books out at the library a few weeks ago. Go figure, I’m still in the midst of them. I’ve been doing my darndest to knock them out, but there aren’t enough hours in the day. I found out that three books couldn’t be renewed because others had placed holds on them. It set me up for utter failure. I have one I could finish tonight [i.e., The Book Thief], because it’s YA and I can just listen to the baseball game while Dr. M is out devouring yummy seafood. We’ll see – my bed also looks lonely and I might have to doze off in it.

The other two novels are not “cramming in” novels. They were both solid looking, and I didn’t want to short change the experience. So, I’ll return them and request them at another time.

Still, I finished a good deal. I’ve been working on The Warmth of Other Suns. Friends – there are no words. It’s amazing. Pick this up! A macro and micro look at The Great Migration, and an inspection on how the United States is still [STILL] wrestling with the aftermath of slavery. I’ll freely admit, I have to read it in small chunks because some of the brutality of Jim Crow is overwhelming. Still, a must read.

Sophia and I finished Little Farm in the Ozarks, the second of the historical fiction series of Rose Wilder. I read The Secret Keeper by Kate Morton, a mystery novel based in England but traverses all sorts of time and location. It was wonderful, and I read it in a day, it was that captivating. I also finished One Plus One by JoJo Meyes. This I picked up because I had read You Before Me; please know, you will bawl your eyes out on that one. One Plus One was good, too, just in a different way.

The other novel I stumbled upon this week was The Invention of Wings by Sue Monk Kidd. I grabbed it because it was the NYT Bestseller’s List, and thought, “Why not?”

Why not, indeed? It turns out that the heart of this novel is set in Charleston, SC. Ahh, caught your attention, didn’t I? It’s about the abolitionist & feminist Sarah Grimke, and a historical fiction read on her evolution of coming from the upper caste of Charleston society to a fuller understanding of how vile and obscene slavery was. She eventually turns Quaker, and is a speaker and writer against the institution of slavery. Of course, my interest is peaked – it’s set in a city I’m slowly beginning to call my own, wrestling with a topic that I don’t think even the city itself has come to terms with, and is highlighting an obscure figure in history, Denmark Vesey, who as a free man attempted a slave revolt and paid with his life. Handful “Hetty” Grimke’s parallel story as Sarah Grimke’s slave is riveting, surrounded by her mother, Vesey, and her sister, Sky. It can be a hard read at some points. Hmm, but that’s the point right there, isn’t it?

*Just a side note: A few of these following novels came from The Modern Mrs. Darcy, and her wonderful Summer Reading List; see here: . The amount of work this blogger has done to give her readers a wonderfully compact yet diverse list of reading material is incredible. Based on her recommendation alone, I added all of these to my own To-Read list and am slowly working through them. Trust me, there is something for everyone here!

Friends, all of this, thanks to the local library. Oh man, do I love our branch?!

All of this, thanks to the local library. Oh man, do I love CCPL!

As far as knitting goes, I’m honing in. I have a tendency to write and DO ALL THE THINGS! Sometimes, it pays off. Other times, it leaves me incredibly overwhelmed and feeling like I’m falling behind. This last week, I just focused on one major thing that seems to just take forever. It has an official end date, and has to be ready to be shipped out at a certain time, and I just need to focus. So, I’m doing that. I finished Dr. M’s other tie, and then said “No more!”

You know, until next week.

I’ve also been checking out the dish cloths on Knit Picks; they’ve been posting free knit patterns, and in the effort to learn new patterns, I’d been practicing on those. I finished the “Pip Stitch” one this week. I’ll have to say, this is my favorite one by far. It has grooves to actually clean, super cute, incredibly practical. I might just stop and make all my dish rags like this from now on.


What did you all read out there this week? Given my wait lists at the library and the ever changing NYT Bestseller’s List, I know there’s been some serious reading going on – let me know what it is!

The week, in recap

How is it that a short, holiday week can just seem even more busy? No worries now – it’s Friday, meaning pizza & drinks all around!


It was delightful. I’d kind of forgotten that I liked pepperoni pizza, what with us mostly making cheese & sausage. We’re liking the pizza crust more and more. There’s been a few times when it’s been too … doughy. Blech.

We’ve fixed that problem. It’s now crazy delicious.

Even with Gabe pulling all sorts of crazy hours, I did manage to get a few things done. I finished a knitting project. Dr. M was excited.


As soon as I was done with it, he threw it on, and then rocked it all day. A fellow friend requested one, which I feel like is high praise. And maybe he’ll get one, just for the compliment.

I’m in the midst of a couple different WIPs, including some gifts & dishcloths. I am not if anything but practical and pragmatic.

#FridayReads is happening, too. Look at me, being all on time and whatnot.


I decided a few months back I really could read 100 books this year. Maybe it’s crazy. Still, it’s beauty of the library & blogs with amazing suggestions. This week, I’m trying to finish up some oldies, but goodies, including The Problem of Pain, Notes from a Blue Bike, & Evensong. I read a wonderful memoir/cookbook, The Sweet Life in Paris, and another memoir, but with baseball (squeal!), Wait Till Next Year, by Doris Kearns Goodwin. It was delightful, and I bawled at the end. Combining the death of her mother & the Brooklyn Dodgers leaving for California was about the saddest thing I’ve read in awhile.

We’ll finish off the week with our standard Friday Night Movie Night – we’re in the midst of the Marvel series, with Iron Man 2 up for tonight. With that, I say adieu!