Saturday, January 29, 2011

Camp Taylor

When Tyler was born I had a million questions. I wanted to talk to kids who grew up with his condition. I wanted to ask them what it was like, how I could best parents Tyler and learn from their perspective. Camp Taylor gave Danny and I that opportunity. We got to meet some incredible kids who are living life with Congenital Heart Disease at Camp Taylor. I could sense that these kids loved each other, had a bond that only they understood and cherished friendships they had with each other. They had a commonality that only a child with a CHD would understand. They were the counselors at a family camp for children with CHD.

My dad is part of a porsche club who did a raffle to support Camp Taylor and I had the privilege of listening to Taylor and his mom talk about Camp Taylor. Camp Taylor has impacted thousands of lives including mine. They have the vision of someday having their very own facility. Every year 40,000 kids in the United States are born with Congenital Heart Defects. The number of kids with CHD continually increases with advancements of medicine. This is one of the few camps that reaches out to these kids and provides the emotional and physical support they need at camp and for life!

If you or your business is ever in need of a charity to support, this is an incredible one!!


Scott and I were talking about orthodontics. I said that if a person has malocclusion, they can put on "frenos." Scott said, "Brakes?" Then we had a discussion that braces and brakes were the same word in Spanish. Yessss, the experiment is working!

Friday, January 28, 2011

Friday & Five Year Olds

What two 5 year olds will do with a kids tunnel. Gymboree here we come!

It was Scott's birthday today but we couldn't talk about it because Scott only wants it to be his birthday on the day that he has his party. I better get out the e-vites. For the first year we are doing a party with just his friends instead of the entire family. He wants to watch G-Force which are inspired by his guinea pigs. So today we celebrate 5 year old Boys.

Scott had a playdate at Peyton's house in the morning. Tyler had Mom's Day Out at a local church and told me he got along with all his friends. YEAH Tyler!! That means a good day for me and Tyler. Kira and I met up with friends who wanted to learn more about the Mormon Church.

Met Kris and Peyton at the park and ended up at our house because it was soo cold! Tyler takes naps in the afternoon so it is nice for Scott to have alone time or have a friend over. He and Peyton are such boys and have a lot of fun together. I can't believe they are in Kindergarten next year.


Tyler, Kate and Nora made their own marble tunnels. We talked about Rain and tied the path of their marble into the path of rain. The kids had fun and played for a really long time with this. It was fun.

Woke up at 7:20 which is usually time to get out the door for school at 9. Somehow I am always in a rush at the end no matter how much time I have. I need to work on time management. This morning, Kira had a blow out that was all over our bed. It happened when she was sleeping which is so weird. I gave her a bath and stripped the bed while making brownies for Scott to take to school for his birthday. I went into Tylers room and it smelled just like the mess I cleaned up with Kira and sure enough he was sleeping in a blow out. My kids don't go poop while sleeping and somehow both did and it went all over beds. It always happens that way, right? So got him bathed and dressed while getting the second batch of brownies in the oven. They finished just in time and we were out the door in time with hot brownies in hand to get back home by 9:15 to play with Tyler's joy school friends. I was impressed with myself and managed to stay relatively calm which is becoming harder and harder for me in the mornings.

I simply need to wake up 30 minutes earlier and make the most of each minute which never happens because all of my kids seem to be getting up several times at night and I am sleep deprived. So that is my goal starting tomorrow.

Scott had fun at school which makes me happy. Tyler had fun at Joy School. Except for about 30 minutes in the middle when he was cranky and mean. We learned about the letter R, made Rain Sticks and picked lemons and made lemonade. I really like teaching and getting to know other kids and moms. Joy school has been a really fun thing in our lives.

Tyler takes naps in the afternoon now which is fun to have time with just Scott. We colored and had a fun afternoon. He is becoming better at coloring in the lines which is mostly a patience thing. Before he would sit down and color as fast as he could to do the next thing. Now he actually tries to color the picture. How they grow up.

Went to work and then watched two of the young women who were in Mia Maids with me perform in a play. I am always so impressed with people who sing and act in front of large groups probably because I would hate it. They did a great job and it was a lot of fun watching them. My parents took the kids to Super Franks which they love and we all got home around 9. My parents like taking the kids on an excursion on Thursday nights while I am at work and Danny is teaching night clinic. Busy day!


PARK DAY which our family LOVES!!! We leisurely get out of the house, pack our lunch and ride our bikes to the chosen park or church gym (when it is too cold) to play with all our friends (both big and small). I love it! Have I mentioned how much I love my friends and their kids. It was a beautiful day and we rode bikes to Arbolado. Such a great ride along the canals with the ducks. We are usually the last ones left with whatever other family likes to hang out with us. The kids all had fun in the sun and I had fun talking to my friends.

We than rode bikes to the post office to send a dental book that Danny sold on Amazon. Yeah Danny! A nice lady watched my two youngest kids while they slept in the bike trailer and Scott and I became friends with the man in line. This nice old lady watching the kids used to be the lunch lady at Northgate and she talked and talked and talked and it was fun just sitting and listening to all her stories and rants about how they want healthy food in schools now. I really like old people. I love riding bikes. Not many people do it anymore and it is so fun and such a great time to talk with the kids and get excercise.

We than biked to the library and got books for the week. We needed joy school books since I was teaching. I love the library and so do my kids. It is a great little adventure of the week. We got back home around 3:30 and felt good that we spent the day with friends, our little family and out in the sun.

Relaxed in the afternoon and I went off to work.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011


How we roll...

Scott REALLY wanted a butterfly to land on his head like the girl in front of us, but the closest we got was seeing them land on these bushes. Better luck next time.
The boys play this game that they get to pretend to be scientists and catch bugs and other creatures.
The plaza!

7AM. Wake up too early.

8:30AM. Successfully left for the City. Got through the tunnel and it was BEAUTIFUL!!

9:30-2:00PM. Academy of Science Day! Met up with a genetic specialist student who has been assigned our family to shadow. Had a great time looking at the animals, fish, learning and playing. It is always a graet time and I love seeing my kids soak in everything there!

2:00-3:00PM. Played in the plaza. It was a beautiful day! Tyler played with a car, Scott played catch with me and played with sticks. Kira walked around the grass. I soaked in the sun. It was AWESOME!!! I felt I was in heaven to relax and have my kids independently play nicely by themselves. Rare hour spent in my life.

3:00-4:00. Drove home. Kids fell asleep.

4:00-5:00. Watched a movie. We were all half asleep.

5-7:00PM. Work.

7-8:00PM. Baths, Reading and Bedtime.

8-10PM. Wasted time. Danny got home from a VO class which he is enjoying. Went to bed!

A Monday in the Life of the McMillans

The class went well (for the most part). Notice Tyler in the last photo upset over something. He shrugs his shoulders like a little old man.

7:30AM. Wake up. Our kids haven't been sleeping well lately. One or more end up in our bed at night because I am too tired to hear them cry. I must break the cycle!

9AM. Scott has Pre-K. His friends were all excited to see him which made me happy.

9:30-11:30. Brady came to play so his mom could pack. We went to music time at the church which was so much fun! Tyler was typical Tyler with his ups and downs. Can't wait to make music time a regular event in my week.

12-1PM. Drop off Brady, pick up Scott and ate Lunch.

1-3PM. Nap for Tyler. Worked on telling time and colored on the lawn with Scott. Love the weather!! It makes me soo happy! Jumped on the trampoline.

3-4PM. Watched Beauty and Beast.

4-5:30PM. Danny got home early and we went to drive cars at Castle Rock. So grateful for Family Time!

5:45-6:45. Work for me. Dinner for the boys.

7PM. FHE. We had a great lesson on missionary work and the restoration. Scott actually really listened and had lot of questions which was awesome and rarely happens. I felt the Spirit!!

8PM. Bedtime for the kids and Bachelor for us. The one show we watch is a total waste of 2 hours of our lives and we love it.

10:30PM. Bedtime for us!

Monday, January 24, 2011


We are in the beginning stages of thinking about a mini-van again. Toyota Sienna vs. Honda Odyssey. As of now we are leaning toward the Sienna due to the 2005 and older Odysseys transmission failures. Any advice from experienced mini-van drivers??

Sunday, January 23, 2011


Last night was the babysitting co-op. We dropped off the kids and went to Chow in Lafayette with the Waltmans, Garners, and Judds.

The company: 5 stars
The food: 3.5 stars
The service: 1 star. We had to wait for an hour even though we had made a reservation. Still, a great night. Good old co-op.

I ordered Ahi Tuna. With more salt, it was pretty tasty.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

My dryer repair

This really should go on the Nitroblue-Investment blog, but Heidi wanted it on hers. Well, the dryer had been making a racket for a few weeks and Walt said that he was going to just call somebody and pay him to fix it. I volunteered to just do it myself, because hey, I'm freakin' Danny McMillan. I watched a few instructional youtube videos and completed the project in pretty good time. The problem was the drum roller--a bushing instead of a bearing--that had rusted and was causing way too much friction.

It took me only 5 minutes to get in. Skills.

A birds eye view with the drum removed. Lots of lint.

Drum roller with evidence of rust

Tons of debris on the shaft. Cleaned it with some WD-40, then re-oiled both sides with 80W90 gear oil. It was money. The best part? Free fifty free!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Rock star

Tyler is into the guitar. He calls it his rock star.

Tyler is also into the iPhone. He likes to play angry birds.

Hanging out in the car before picking up Scott from a birthday party

Scott showing off his newly patched jeans (I have mad sewing skills). Also notice the socks that don't match.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Lemons, part II

Today we squeezed some lemons to make lemonade. I had the boys sample my lemonade and compare it to Paul Newman's natural lemonade (high fructose corn syrup, laaaaaaame). Well, the boys preferred mine. It's quite tasty.

And and and, Amanda and Heidi hung out while Ryan and I went to choir practice. When I got home, Amanda said, "Can you prune my lemon tree?"

I was like, "Did Heidi tell you to tell me that?" Apparently, Amanda had seen the lemons we had picked yesterday and commented that they were gorgeous. Yeah. Tomorrow, we're going to go prune her lemon tree and make lemon bars.

Yeah, lemons!

Saturday, January 15, 2011

My lemon trees

I've been pruning these trees according to some pointers given by one of Walt's friends in the Porsche club. Neither tree never really produced fruit until this year, and after we took this picture, I picked 22 lemons that were super good!

Tree on the west side

The lemons weren't that big but they had a good ratio of fruit to rind. Those are gala apple seeds on the cutting board, which I later planted in the yard. People discouraged me from doing it, but how do you think Johnny Appleseed made his legend?

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Funny Things Kids Say

I really should write down the funny things the kids say each day. There isn't a day that goes by that they don't make me laugh with something they come up with and sadly it is forgotten the next day. It is such a short window. Here are a couple things from the last two days.

Scott's prayer included, "bless the owls that they will stay awake and the horses that they will sleep. Bless all the nocturnal animals to stay awake."

We read a book on War Admiral and Seabiscuit which most have inspired some random thoughts in his prayer. If I am wondering what is going on in my child's head I should make them pray and see what comes out.

Danny played the guitar last night with the boys while I was at work. Today Tyler pointed to the guitar case and said, "Daddy played music with me." I responded, "He played the guitar?" to which Tyler responded, "NO! We played rock band."

When I put the hymns on at bedtime Scott says, "I need ROCK music mommy. Not this music, I need Rock music."

Tyler sings throughout the day. He usually sings hymns. Sometimes he sings nursery rhymes. He loves to sing and the verse usually repeats itself 10 times until he is done singing for the moment. It makes me happy to hear Tyler sing.

Monday, January 10, 2011


A while ago I decided that I would blog my week in pictures. I brought my camera to one activity and forgot it to the rest. I wish I was better with taking pictures. I used to be and don't know why I can't remember to take pictures anymore. Oh well. I can still write so that when I look back in a year or two or five I will remember what it was like to be a mom to my three little kiddos. The simplicity of life without actual school and activities yet. It is a magical time of flexibility and freedom that you get to enjoy being a mom and spending the day with your kids. So this is how our day went today...


7:00-7:30AM Kira woke up first shortly followed by the boys. I so wanted more sleep. Kira still wakes up at night and Danny and I both help get her bottle, but it just isn't the same as a whole nights sleep.

7:30-9:00. Get the kids ready. I wish Scott would willingly get himself ready. Not quite there even though he is totally capable. He just wants mom to help and I guess that is alright. Everyone was ready, dressed, fed and we even had time for some marble towers. Couldn't find one of the 14 things due at the library and after 10 minutes of last minute stress, a couple quick trips through the house and quick prayer left with all library materials. It is always the last 5 minutes of leaving that are the worst.

9:05. Arrive at Pre-K. Only 5 minutes late which is pretty good for me. Scott starts with playtime outside which is soo nice for me because the kids kind of trickle in. He loves his little friends and I do to. Nothing compares to seeing your kid happy at school. Nothing hurts or worries you more than seeing your kid long to have a friend. Scott is so much like his dad in so many ways. Huge groups isn't his thing. He becomes a little shy, sometimes a little lost unless he has a friend. He found his friend at school. The sweetest, kindest little boy. Scott has a couple of friends but he and this little boy always play together and I am so grateful.

9-12. Tyler Time. Went to the church for music time, which didn't happen. Went to the library. Tyler's favorite part is picking out a movie. We went to the Academy of Science on Friday and the boys LOVED the aquarium. Tyler loved the sharks. After searching the movies, he didn't find his pick until he went to another section and found a book on sharks. I learned a lot about sharks today and Tyler loved it. My favorite part is learning all these things from their books. I guess we can actually learn from the movies now as well. I am in compassionate service so we spent the rest of the time visiting or attempting to visit people in the ward. Picked up Scott.

12-2. Went on a walk on Ally and Baby Tate. Visited more people on the walk which was fun but soo cold for Scott to ride his bike.

2-5.Came home and had a relaxing afternoon. Pre-K workbook, guinea pig time, a movie.

5-8. work, FHE and bedtime. Overall it was a good, productive day.

Monday, January 3, 2011


My entire life I liked to hold onto my stuff. Clothes in the closet that haven't been worn in a year, toys that are so high on shelves that nobody ever plays with them, so many socks that I can't even close the sock drawer. I have this fear that at some time I am going to want or use it.

A couple of months ago I realized it is really hard for me to give away things and realized I wanted to change. I wanted to be able to give of my material possessions and not have this hoarding mentality to hold onto them because they would make me happy, I needed them or because it increased the amount of "stuff" that I have.

So I started to consciously make a really huge effort to look and pray and seek opportunities to give and it was REALLY hard. I gave away all of my boy clothes to a friend which made me so happy, yet made me sad/anxiety for days. What if I have a boy again? What if I want something to remind me of Tyler and Scott? What if....

I told my friends how hard this was for me and they encouraged me. They told me I was normal. I recognized some people really struggle with this while others freely give and it makes them happy. One friend had a roommate who moved and a year later decided to toss a box full of her things without even looking inside realizing that if she didn't use it in a year she really didn't need it. Extreme point, but so true. Don't think I could do that.

I repeated this again and again over a couple month period and this past weekend I cleaned out the kids room. I filled about 4 giant boxes of some of their treasures. Things that they at one point loved or would love but have too many things.

I thought about selling the stuff, giving it to friends, sending it off to family and knew that ultimately I wanted to just fill the car and drop it off at DI (Salvation Army for the Church). We drove there and luckily found friends with keys who opened up the parking lot and the trailer to drop off our stuff.

I came home and felt soo happy!!! I did it and in the process an absolute miracle happened.

I started the process because I realized I needed to be more charitable. That holding onto my stuff and my possessions was not a great quality to have. The true miracle is that I don't need to hold onto anything anymore. I no longer debate in my head if I should keep something that has little use or brings little happiness, I just toss it. No questioning in my head if I will want it in a year from now. I totally recognize that a clutter free house is way more important, I can always get it if and when I need it and there are so many other people or kids that can and will use whatever we don't need.

It feels so good! It feels good that the boys have more room to play, that my clothes aren't cluttered and I can get rid of things. That I am happy to get rid of things. It now brings me happiness instead of anxiety and I LOVE THAT!! It is so liberating. It has truly increased my joy and a life lesson that I am so grateful I spent the time to work on and overcome. I would highly recommend doing this to anyone who might like holding on to things. Uncluttered homes are wonderful!!!