The Javinator

I don't think I can adequately describe Javi's unique, mature personality. He's part inquisitive teenager, part frat boy, part grimy kid, part cuddly baby.

I look at him these days and my breath catches in my throat. He's officially a boy rather than the baby I tend to see him as. He likes to burp and toot and watch sports. He wants to be in the business whenever adults are talking or hanging out. He reads everything he can get his hands on. He answers the phone and then tries to pinpoint who's on the other line without being told (yes, he insisted a telemarketer was Grandma).

Even with all these words, there's no way I can accurately do him justice. So here's a picture instead.

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Baby on the move

Bella Wayne* is 12 weeks old today! I'm not sure if you count this as her third month or if I have to wait until July 3. I guess I'll go by the date as I can't foresee myself remembering the 4-week increment forever.

Anyway - happy 12 weeks baby girl! Today we're going to WW, Belk (for a return - they're still dead to me), JC Penney and the grocery store. I have a freelance project that demands my attention but Aaron and Steph are coming up from Southern Pines, so I figure I'll give work my undivided attention ... starting tomorrow.

Yesterday Javi, Bella and I went to the library. Javi wanted to check out all these big kid books, which normally wouldn't be remarkable except that they were all about art. He wanted to "study about" the masters: Michelangelo, DaVinci, Monet. I was excited by two things: That the Sanford library had set up an art section in the kid's books area and that my 6-yr-old was so excited by that section. I told him that next time he could bring his pencil and sketchbook to "study."

I'm all about the videos these days so I thought I'd post this one of my dear motor-baby who never stays still. Enjoy!

*Now you know her middle name isn't Wayne! She's just such a mini-Miller I can't help myself.

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Lil Boy Blue

Ethan Beethan graduated from pre-school yesterday - and the child couldn't have been more proud of himself. He sang, he smiled, he conquered the room. I don't know if kindergarten is ready for him!

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Long time, no post

I could excuse my lack of posts over the past few weeks as the result of my super busy schedule, but I really don't have much excuse. We've had doctor appointments, end of school, start of summer at the Boys & Girl's Club, lots of time frolicking at the pool, part-time work projects and a baby who continues to sleep through the night - and smile in the morning!

I promise a real update on everything sometime this weekend, but we've got Ethan's pre-school graduation in about 45 minutes! Here's a video of Bella talking to her daddy to tide you over.

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Take Me Out To The Ball Game (that's sarcasm)

Erin & I braved the wilds of Durham last Friday to take the boys to see a Durham Bulls game. After collecting the kids from here and yonder, we wound our way down back roads and through rush hour traffic to arrive at the game about ten minutes before the starting parade.

We were supposed to be meeting Ashlee and Matthew's Boy Scouts (or Bean Scouts, as E calls them) pack at the gate as we had pre-paid for our tix and they were picking them up. Things didn't go as planned - surprise! Ashlee was there as promised, but after waiting a good 20 minutes for someone from the Scouts to bring us our tix, Erin convinced the ticket staff to let her go into the stadium to find the Scout leader.

Another 15 minutes later and she was back with our golden tix. The good news is the boys could care less how much of the game we'd missed or that the pack were completely and totally unconcerned with the fact that they screwed us. So, we spent another 10 minutes letting them run wild all over the souvenir shop and get their pictures taken with Wool E. Bully.

By the time we finally got up to our nosebleed seats (way back behind first base, by the lawn section), the game was already into the 3rd inning. At this point, no one in our group really cared much for what was happening on the field. Mat made a bee line for his Scouts friends, Javi and E were buzzing with excitement over their new ball (Javi) and bat (E). But, what they were really focused on was Wool E Bully (or Willy Dilly as E kept calling him). They wanted to know where he was at all times and seemed restless when they couldn't spot him in the crowd - which meant they took turns taking pictures.

The food situation was crazy as well. Who knew a park could sell out of veggie dogs? I mean, I know Durham is the new bastion of hippydippy liberalness and that it's right next door to Chapel Hill, but dude. It's a veggie dog. Only one vendor still had them and we had to stand in line for a good 10 minutes to get it - and then they just warmed it in the microwave. What was really great tho was the guy who sold it to us. He was one of those who looks perpetually surprised and is super hyper to boot. Ashlee does a great impression of him.

So, after a veggie dog, cheese pizza, a plate of nachos, chocolate Goodberry's and a lemonade, every one in our group was satisfied and the game was winding to a close. By the top of the ninth, the Bulls were tied with the other team (we don't even remember who was playing) and we were packing up our stuff to beat the crowds on the way out (did I mention the 30 minute parking ordeal?).

But, despite the chaos and heat of the night, Javi's spirits weren't dampened and he had no intention of leaving the stadium without scaling the rock wall. I plunked down the $5 for 2 climbs and the child scaled the wall twice in the time it took a much older kid to get just halfway up. It was hilarious mainly because (1) Javi often pulled himself up using his arms only with his monkey legs dangling uselessly and (2) when he got down he yelled "Ninja Warrior!" Yes, we watch a lot of G4.

I thought we'd be able to leave the ball park, but Javi had other plans. There was no way he was leaving without Wool E Bully's autograph. I took him around the concourse to find the bull - and there he was, standing on top of the Bulls' dugout pepping up the crowd. What does my kid do? He runs down the aisle to the dugout, climbs on top of it, runs over to Wool E and holds his ball up. Meanwhile, I'm yelling at him to get down and Wool E is motioning for him to get down. Javi just holds his ball higher until he is placed back down on the ground.

But guess what? The child got his ball autographed, jumped back up on the dugout and ran back to the steps where I was. He was completely nonplussed by the whole experience and let me know he was ready to go. We took the back way out of the park and let the kids watch the fireworks display from there.

All in all, it was a pretty fun night even though the adults were pissed off at the Bean Scouts and the kids couldn't have cared less about the game. In fact, Javi had so much fun he asked me this morning (before his last day of school) if we could go back tonight. No thanks, kid. I'm still recovering from last Friday!

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Counting Sheep

Believe it or not, folks, but Bella Wayne may just be sleeping through the night. Like, permanently. Every night we feed her between 10:30 and 11:30 pm and then put her to bed in the bassinet. And every morning she wakes up between 5:30 and 6:30 am. Billy and I are still holding our breath because it just seems too good to be true. In fact, now that I've talked about it out loud, she'll probably wake me up 10 times tonight.

We took the kids to the pool yesterday evening after the heat of the day had worn off. The water was still to cold to really get Bella wet, but we held her at the surface and she kicked a lot. Lucky for you we took some video. Unlucky for you we can't figure out how to the laptop to read the DVD-Rom. I'm going to try it on the Mac when I have time. So, check back later!

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Letter to Bella, month two

Dear Bella,

You are asleep now, rocking slowly side to side in the glider your grandma gifted us earlier this month. That glider has become my rock as you spend more and more time awake and alert and READY FOR ACTION.

The cliche "time flies" has yet to make its appearance in our house. I feel every moment of every hour of every day as you demand my attention. Though it can be draining after a while, I love your desparate need to stare at a familiar face. Not just any face will do. In order of desire, you want to see Daddy's face the most, then Javi's, then mine. The good news is, your smile is infectious and we all live for the moment you grace us with it.

I caught Daphne staring down at you while you were laying on the Hippo Gym pad. You squealed with delight, Daphne shook with fear and apprehension at the little humanoid with the busy hands and feet. When my face took the place of Daphne's you seemed almost disappointed and looked around wildly for another snout to observe. I knew then that your brain was absorbing and processing every new sight and sound - and I felt a flush of anticipation at what would come next.

I think the shiny newness has worn off for your big brother, though. He's no longer impressed by the simple fact that you exist. Rather, he wants you up and playing already! But this doesn't mean he doesn't take pride in a Job Well Done. Your brother holds you at least once a day, sits in front of you so you can stare and smile at him, and begs to feed you at least once. He's become a more disciplined kid in the past month as we all settle into a routine and he learns how to be The Oldest.

We've done at lot of traveling this month now that I'm not as worried about bringing you into contact with nasty germs. You are the one person everyone at my Weight Watchers meetings looks forward to seeing. We put in a special appearance at the Keith's annual Memorial Day pig picking and you stole the show in a pink patchwork dress and matching hat. We spent an evening watching a tap, jazz and hip hop dance recital.

Everywhere we go, people exclaim how beautiful you are. How handsome your brother is. How lucky your parents are to have such a gorgeous family. I promise them that we'd love you all anyway - and I mean it. Despite the fact that you routinely poop your diaper RIGHT AFTER I change you, despite your need to be entertained by someone (ANYONE) rather than stupid toys, and despite your intense dependence on the Soothie, I know your father, brother and I would be this in love with you regardless.

I've been a little insecure lately over "milestones." I know that I shouldn't care and that I should be comfortable with you developing at your own pace, but it's so hard when I have Javi's development to compare yours to. At three days, Javi could hold his head up. At four weeks, he slept through the night. At two months, he was grasping toys, kicking at his play gym, and trying to roll over. You aren't really showing much interest in toys, you don't seem to be regarding your hands or gaining any more control over your body.

However! I fed and burped you last night at 11:30, put you down in the bassinet for bedtime and we all went to sleep. Guess what time you woke me up this morning? 8:00 AM - yes, 8 in the MORNING. You slept through the night!!! Your dad was nonplussed by this fact but I wanted to get up a dance a jig. This is probably because I'm the one who gets up between 3 and 4 every morning to feed and change you. Dude. I can't explain to you the joy your smily, sleep-filled face filled me with this morning.

And I know that in your time (not mine or Javi's) you'll be interested in mobiles and toys, you'll reach out for something, you'll roll. Hell, you'll probably even crawl and walk one day. And it'll be on your terms, not mine or anyone else's. And you know what? Even if you don't. Even if it takes you years to learn that you have opposable thumbs and master the art of shaking a rattle - I'll love you like there's no tomorrow.

I have big plans for you, little girl. In the short term, those plans include wearing your new bikini at the pool, going to meet more of your extended family and getting your 2-month immunizations (where we think you'll weigh in at a healthy 11 pounds).

In the long term, those plans are full of laughter and love.


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You just gotta love the summer!

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