update central

and we’re now into another week of Southern living. and yes, it’s totally just like the magazine. or, so I’m told.

R started working this week. oh wait – he’s been at work for the last two weeks, but now all that prep work has meant something and now classes have officially kicked off. it was certainly a busy week for all of us. it meant he was gone all day, and I was in full-swing ‘stay-at-home-mom’ mode. alluding to the previous prep-work comment, it also meant he had meetings, orientations, office hours, and had to bring work home in the evenings. there’s nothing like a new job to pile on the work and make you feel overwhelmed. but, give him a couple of weeks, he’ll find his feet, and be ahead of his work schedule. or not. because school semesters are intense and almost always mean 60+ hours of work.

S has been doing well. R took her back to the park a few days ago, with the purpose of practicing her tricycle. she struggles to get started, but if you give her some momentum, she takes it from there. she’s very impressed with herself, as the photos R has taken of her show. [I also no longer have to buy pull-ups; I’ll allow the parents to deduce why we had to buy pull-ups in the first place, and then why we no longer have to. btw, it’s awesome!] we also dropped by her school, to finish off paperwork and to find out specifics for class on Monday [eek!]. when I went by the first time, they weren’t sure who her teacher would be, so we took the opportunity to meet her. her name is Miss Cathy, and I think she’ll be great for S. she seemed a great balance of rules/structure and laid-back attitude. it’s only a class of 10, so she won’t be lost in a sea of faces. we shopped for her supplies, and she’s set to start Monday!

[just a side note … how in the world do I have a kid old enough to shop for school supplies? I was in Target, somewhat drowning in my emotions over it. there’s a certain tension [one that I’m sure will never go away]; you’re happy they’re advancing and growing, but so sad that they’re moving away from you. anyway … ]

G is a growing machine. I was skyping last night with M, M, & N, and they could not believe how big he was! granted, he is almost four months [and cue another … WHAT?!?] but he’s a solid, dense kid. perhaps it’s kind of a boy thing? S was never this dense; but there are, of course, plenty of skinny boys. whatever the reason, he’s getting to be a bit of a chunk. he’s almost exclusively on formula; as soon as I can start him on solids, I will. he is the happiest, cutest baby – unless he’s hungry. he’s only slept through the night a couple, few times. not anything back-t0-back, and not at all consistently. I won’t lie, it’s a bit disheartening. S was sleeping through the night at 7 weeks, with very few interruptions. I know his situation has been different from hers, namely in that she had her own room from the beginning and we were more than intentional with her schedule. he, on the other hand, had no walls for the first nine weeks, we then moved him, and now he shares a room with S. if he’s full, though, he goes down no problem. if he’s not, look out. any of you well seasoned moms out there, feel free to pass along any wisdom you may have!

I’m okay. I won’t lie, it’s been a huge adjustment these last few weeks. I feel like the true ramifications of the move are finally settling in. I miss everyone back home. last night, when skyping, N cried/screamed when we had to say good-bye. I felt like being that emotionally explosive, too. some of it just sucks. M is pregnant, so I’m missing out on that experience. I miss the day-to-day interaction of seeing folks. this reaction is a bit delayed, too, because for the longest time I was just surviving. we had moved, unpacked, and then we had to go to Kentucky for the death of my grandma. that was [is] emotionally loaded, as well. so, roll all of that into my tired-sleepless night -shell, and that’s what I’m like right now. not all the time; it comes in waves, for sure. and some are higher than others.

I’ll be excited to get into a church, partially for my own socially-selfish reasons. with all that has been going on, the move, the travel, and the settling-into-work phase, we haven’t made it. we have an awesome recommendation, so we’ll be following up on that one first. R suggested a book club, which wouldn’t be a half bad idea. I’ll be looking for a cool book shop that hosts one. I’m the hunt!

so that’s the Milners for this week. next week, I’ll be sure to include some photos. we’re going to a waterfront park tomorrow, and school starts Monday. I feel like that event alone will require photo documentation.



the weekly rundown

we’ve been in our new town for a couple of weeks now. fortunately, there was significantly less trauma in the past few days than our family had previously been experiencing. while I’m still processing and sad about my Grandma Dee’s passing, this past week has been quiet and calm.

it’s been nice.

R has gotten into a work flow, which he’s excited about. we always hit a time in the summer when we’re both ready for a schedule and typical rhythm, so the fact that school is starting so soon is nice. he has had “real-deal, professional” meetings with other professors, he’s in the midst of finalizing class details, and has his new faculty orientation next week.

yeah, he’s big stuff.

S is enjoying her new city. we signed her up for preschool, to which she is BEYOND excited about. I knew she’d love it, and prepped her before we interviewed there that we were not staying for the day; that I hadn’t officially signed her up, so we couldn’t stay with the teacher & kids; that we’d eventually come back.

let’s just say, it did no good.

she threw a bit of a fit on the way out, and pouted in the lobby while I talked with the director. she really lost it when she saw those same kids going outside to play on a bouncy castle, and run in the water.

she’s ready for some serious socialization, let me tell ya!

I’m excited for her to go. they have a math & reading curriculum that they work in daily; they play outside, offer dance & karate [among other things], go on field trips, feed her lunch, and send her home. it’ll be great for her.

shoot. it’ll be great for me, too, if we’re all being honest here.

baby G is doing awesome! this kid is stinkin’ adorable, let me tell you. now that we’re home, settled, in a routine, and figured out that he was basically starving for the first few weeks of his life, he’s good. I don’t think I wrote about this earlier, but two days before we were leaving for Charleston, I was beyond frustrated. he wasn’t sleeping well [still]; every time he finished nursing, he was still crying; you could barely interact with him because all he would do was cry & fuss. I was by myself with the two kids, and freaking out as to how I would travel with him when he was this upset.

after thinking/talking it through with some friends and R, I began to consider the idea that he was still hungry. apparently, all the time. I decided to give him a 2 oz bottle, thinking we’ll test this hypothesis.

I have never seen a baby eat that fast in all my life. ever.

ever since then, I’ve been nursing him first and then offering a bit of a bottle afterward. he takes a full feeding every time, and then some. so, long story short, he was fussy and mad and crying for all those weeks because he was a hungry baby. fortunately we figured it out soon enough, and there seems to be little to no damage done.


if this smile doesn’t convince you, I don’t know what will

he is killer now. he’s on an official three hour schedule, and as of last night, sleeping through the night. while that was exciting, we’ll give it a bit more time to see if it sticks. but given that for the last three months, I’ve never had more than 5 hours of sleep at a time, last night was awesome.

I took the kids to the pool a couple of days ago – S loved it. she’s got some arm floaties, so she was all bold and brave, headed out into deeper water than I was excited to let her into. mostly, it was because I was there with G by myself, and wasn’t sure how I would rescue her, if need be. all my worrying was for naught, though. she listened, helped me with G, and wanted to come back soon. she had a blast, as did he. they both seem to be li’l water babies. given their current geographic location, that would be a good thing.

we headed to the local county park yesterday. it, too, was incredible. they had an awesome playground area for the kids, and ton of walking/biking trails. we actually got a little lost and turned out when we needed to head back. it probably doesn’t help that both R or I are a little navigationally challenged, but in our defense – the trails go far back, there weren’t markers, and it was getting dark. we’re heading back there when we’ve got more light in the day. it’s also a camping site, so that’s something to consider for the future.

amazingly beautiful – Spanish moss & palm trees were everywhere


in other news, my mother-in-law is headed this way tomorrow! she typically vacations in Florida with some friends, and they’re taking a jaunt northward to see us here. S has NO idea she’s coming here – I’m thinking she’ll be pretty stoked about it. we’ll have some beach time, visit our favorite crab shack, and show off our new digs. we had other exciting news recently: my lovely sister, M, is pregnant! they’re expecting #2 in March, rather near R and my brother-in-laws shared birthday – can the Milner/English family go for a third on the 27th?! stay tuned! I’m building a photo gallery at the moment – it’s no where near done, but I did get some photos up today. I’m excited about where it’ll go. it’s nice, too, to be surrounded by family.

we’re enjoying our time here. I won’t lie; it doesn’t quite feel like home. it’s a nice city, we’re enjoying the weather and all it offers. but, Kansas City still has the hold of hometown. I’m sure as time goes on, it’ll feel more real and concrete that this is home. I’ll let that happen organically; in the meantime, I’m enjoying the summer with these three awesome people in my family, and going to soak up some more time at the beach!

Grandma Dee – a life lived well

my Grandma Dee passed away this last Tuesday. to say that our family is sad and heartbroken would be an understatement. she was an amazing women, who loved the Father with all her being. even as she struggled with difficult diseases over the past eleven years, had migraines consistently, and desired to travel and be with family & friends more often – but couldn’t – she handled it with grace and dignity that I admire and respect.

R, myself, and the kids all went to Kentucky to be with my mom, Grandpa, and family. it was a long three days, heightened by heavy emotions. we made it into town Wednesday in time for a church memorial service. she had requested a praise & worship service over the traditional funeral service. it was wonderful. my grandpa spoke beautifully about her. he gave the Lord praise for restoring her emotionally & spiritually, making her into the person I knew for the last twenty-seven odd years. the women who thought the best of everyone, even as she acknowledged they were human and needed the Father in their lives. the women who introduced me to skiing, to sewing, to cooking, and to coffee [to that, can I get an amen? amen!]

she was a fabulous women. she was beloved by all who knew her. I had countless friends of hers come up to me at the visitation, consistently saying how often she talked of her family. she was so eager to talk about her children, her grandchildren, her great-grandchildren. when I had walked into her home for the first time in a while, I was blown away at how many photos she had of all of us & our kids. she was in love with her family, making them the highest priority.

there’s really no other way to say it; she was wonderful. all of us grandkids eagerly looked forward to spending our weeks in the summer, going to Kings Island, to dollar movies with popcorn & candy we would sneak in, to her absolutely delicious food she’d prep when we were in town. the woman knew how to cook: chicken pot pie & oven burritos are among the first to mention. when we’d visit in Kentucky or go to Colorado to the cabin, we all knew we’d gain about 10 lbs. Christmas with her was fabulous.

nah, forget it – anytime with her was fabulous.

I will miss her greatly. she was a fountain of wisdom, had an excellent wit, and was a joy to be around. I do recognize, though, that she is truly in a better place. she is no longer in pain, and is loving it up with Jesus. I’m not so selfish as to deny her that. she endured this physical life for long enough with pain and trouble for three lifetimes; she deserves to be free of that discouragement and pain.

she was awesome. I will always love her, and look forward to passing on her recipes, her quilts, and her legacy to my own children. if I am half the woman she was, my life has been a success.

love you, Grandma Dee.