Happy Christmas from the Pacific Northwest!



Waiting to open presents on Christmas morning.


Reading the book Grandma Rose wrote for Silvie about the Little Girl Who Loved Shoes.


Helping Papa build the IKEA play kitchen.


We had a mostly happy (except for a few toddler temper tantrums) and relaxing Christmas day at home this year.  Here are a few of our favorite photos but there are more on Flickr for the grandparents and the curious.

Love across the miles,

Deb, Nathan and Silvie


19 and 20 Months

Dear Silvie,

This may be my favorite age so far.  You are so delightfully funny and independent and stubborn.  And you love to snuggle up on the couch and read library books with me.  And you’re obsessed with your belly button and play with it all the time.  And you run in a sort of two-beat gallop that makes my heart skip a beat every time I see it.  You love “pump’n pie” and “appa juice”. One moment you’re curled up sucking your pacifier and cuddling with me, and the next moment you are tearing around the house on your “bike” in your red rubber rain boots.


On your 19 month “birthday” you walked into the bathroom and tugged at your pants and diaper until I obligingly took them off for you.  Then you popped yourself down on the little Ikea potty chair and peed in it like you’d been doing it that way for years.  No commentary, no prompting from mama, no praise needed.  You repeated this performance five or six times in the following week.  And then you stopped.  Apparently, you have proven to yourself that you know how to pee on a potty but see no practical application for this in your everyday life.  I hope you change your mind eventually, but for now I’m ok with you staying in diapers for a bit longer.  You’re growing out of all of your “baby-ness” so quickly.

At twenty months, you’ve started to put together phrases when motivated.  “Mo’ cookie mae-ee” (more cookie please) is a favorite.  “Papa home?” “Mae home, Cawa home!”  “No Aaaee” (No, Abraham!)  But will hold out 45 minutes in time out before saying “Sowwy” if you don’t want to apologize.

In fact, you can be downright stubborn.  The other day after work when I got to Miss Naomi’s to pick you up, you were sitting on her lap beside a pile of Cheerios on the floor. In the morning you had accidentally dumped your snack cup full of Cheerios on the floor.  That wouldn’t have been a big deal except that you refused to help pick them up.  You looked at them, got that determined little look on your face and refused to even acknowledge the existence of Cheerios.

Of course, this behavior got you sent immediately to a time out.  And then another one.  And another one.  And another one. You went the rest of the morning, skipped lunch, took your nap and were still refusing to pick up your Cheerios when I got there at 4:45.  I wasn’t about to let you get out of picking up your Cheerios either but we did need to get home so I ended up doing what we call a “hand over hand assist” in special education and gently forcing you to pick up a handful.  After one handful you did voluntarily pick up ONE Cheerio by yourself.  Yes, we do expect you to help pick up after yourself, and, yes, we do mean it, you stubborn little thing.

You have an interest in mechanical things that reminds me that your Miller genes are strong as well as those shared with your Grandpa Ben and Aunt Kris.  Any time Papa gets out tools to work on something, you are right there beside him “helping”.  Here you are with an Allen wrench working on one of the dining room chairs. IMG_8127_edited-1

Silvie, I love you from the top of your honey-haired head down to the bottom of your stubborn little boot-covered toes.

Your Mama

Thanksgiving Weekend

Here are a few photos from Thanksgiving break….



We had the traditional Thanksgiving feast with housemate Cara and little housemate, the Cub.  Then the toddlers napped.  After Silvie woke up from her nap we attempted our one and only Thanksgiving tradition, a quick hike up Mount Tabor.  To see past Thanksgivings look here and here and here (oh my goodness, look how little Silvie was last year!)  By the time Silvie had woken up from her nap, it was starting to get dark so it was a very quick dash up to  our favorite tree and an attempt to get a photo before it was too dark.  The dogs, the girl, the weather, all were not cooperating very well.  So this is the 2010 picture on our favorite tree.

On Sunday we went downtown to see the Christmas tree in Pioneer Square.   Silvie was more enchanted by all the stairs around the square and the MAX trains (“choo-choo”), than the tree.  Every time the MAX would stop, pick up passengers, and take off again, Silvie would let loose with a string of “bye-bye, choo-choo!  bye-bye, choo-choo!  bye-bye, choo-choo!”  I finally heard myself saying, “All right, that’s enough” after about the fiftieth utterance.IMG_8259_edited-1

After a chilly morning in Pioneer Square we had to go get some coffee.  Silvie bellied up to the bar for a croissant.  Although we’re pretty relaxed parents, let me reassure you that the espresso cup is actually empty and she’s just working on sucking down the frothed milk foam left over from Nate’s espresso.  Only a tiny bit of caffeine, I’m sure.  She’s a true Portlander, she is.

Shoe Girl

I’ve been trying to document Silvie’s shoe fascination.  Here are a few photos and there are more on Flickr.


18 Months

Dear Silvie,

September was a tough month. You shifted from taking two naps a day to one at the same time as the school year began. You were also pushing your two-year molars. That means that most evenings by the time we all made it home for dinner, you were already exhausted and sad and teary. It wasn’t very much fun. We let you watch a lot more Caillou and “Foo-Foo” (Choo-Choo– Thomas) than I ever thought I’d let a toddler watch , so that you could sit quietly and relax while we made dinner.

On the other hand, there have been fun moments too. It’s fun to watch you continue to develop your own personality. You LOVE shoes. You change shoes at least three times a day. Your red, rubber rainboots are the ones you can put on most easily so you can often be found clunking around the house in them. Your father brought back some cowboy boots from a business trip to Colorado for you so we’ve been having fun dressing you up in them. You also have other shoes in frequent rotation: little Keen sandals, black and white Converse all-stars, and some shiny hot pink high-tops to name a few.


This month you learned to kiss for real…not the open mouthed, slobbery baby kiss, but the pursed lip smacking sound kind of kiss.  Probably because you’ve felt so dreadful, you were really snuggly this month.  There was lots of hugging and kissing.

Well, I’d better get this post published because by the time I get it posted you’ll actually be 19 months old.


Your Mama (who can not keep up with you)

17 Months

Dear Silvie–

You are so busy these days. One minute you’re a little girl with ponytails and a mischievous grin, the next minute you’re a toddler throwing a fit that you didn’t get your way, and the third minute you are snuggled up next to me like a baby, albeit a long-legged baby.
You are working hard to establish your independence. You are so proud that you can use a spoon to feed yourself yogurt and I let you do it even though about 25% of the yogurt ends up covering your clothes and skin. You are perfecting the yogurt facial. Lately you’ve started pulling up a chair to “help” do the dishes, and you ARE actually helpful when feeding Abraham and Keegan.

I have thoroughly enjoyed being home with you more this summer. You charm me by singing wordless, tuneless songs as you ride in the Chariot during our long runs and bicycle rides. Sometimes you even shoot encouragingly “Go, Go, Go”. You crawl all over Abraham and Keegan who are surprisingly patient with you. Probably because you slip them all sorts of savory treats whenever I’m not looking. Today I caught you feeding Abe a spoonful of peanut butter from your high chair. He’s NOT supposed to eat from the table and YOU are NOT supposed to feed him but neither of you seemed to feel appropriately guilty when I caught you.
You have certain favorite people–Auntie Stacey, Cara, Mae, Tait, ‘Ta’Ta (Renatah), Addy–whose pictures you want to see pictures on my phone or on Facebook and you tell Papa in the evenings who you played with that day. You’ve also gotten good at saying “hi” and “bye bye” to people on the phone and last week you Skyped with Grandma Mary and you actually had a bit of a conversation and brought toys over to show her through the computer camera.

You are loved and chosen,

Your Mama

Silvie got the easy way up


Originally uploaded by ndmiller