Monthly Archives: January 2013

Discovering Big Ive & Little E version 1.0

Yesterday I went shopping with my sister and the girls to a department store.  We were looking around at things, she was looking for a belt.  Little E was sitting in the single umbrella stroller while Big Ive was roaming free.  She was wandering about and I was trying to keep up with her to prevent any displays from toppling or other sort of mischief.  This meant a lot of “Big Ive, don’t do that.  Big Ive, where are you?  Big Ive, please stop touching that” was said.

Well, this older lady walks up to us — she must have been in her 60’s — and asks what Big Ive’s name is because she had overheard us while she was shopping.  I told her the name.  She stops, gets this misty look in her eyes and says, “My mother’s name was Big Ive.”  It was super sweet.  We chatted for a minute and then I introduced her to Little E, saying something like, “And this is Little E.”  Her jaw dropped and she put her hand on her heart.  She was completely dumbfounded hearing that name and told us her mother’s best friend for over 40 years was named Little E.  She was thrilled beyond belief to discover a new generation of best-friend sisters named Big Ive and Little E.  She couldn’t wait to tell her family about it.

It brightened her day and learning about that definitely brightened our day, too.

A little bit later in the same store after shopping a little bit more…

We were in the checkout line paying for our items when Big Ive mentioned the Cat In The Hat display with plush Cat toys.  She has lately begun to be very interested in the Cat In The Hat TV show on PBS.  She was so excited to see those and desperately wanted one.  Being the mean mother I am (just kidding…I’m actually a pretty good mom), I told her we couldn’t buy one today.  She was a little sad, but not heartbroken.  I rarely buy character merchandise for my kids and almost never buy plush toys (that’s another rant there…maybe sometime I’ll share that thought process). “Ich habe kein Geld.  Tut mir leid.”

Anyway, a gentleman in his 60’s was behind us in line.  He tried to use his discount coupon for our purchase but the cashier didn’t want to do that.  When he heard Big Ive asking for the toy he said, “I’ll get one for her.  If she wants it, I’ll buy it.”  I thanked him profusely and told him a number of times that it really wasn’t necessary and she really didn’t need to have it.  He said, “I never had a Cat In The Hat when I was a kid.  I want to get it for her.”  And after the cashier rang up his items he told her to put it on his bill.  Big Ive was handed Cat and she said a big thank you to the man.  She was thrilled beyond belief that she got the Cat In The Hat toy.

Oh, my, you should have seen that kid the rest of the afternoon and evening.  Everything she did had to involve Cat.  We walked across a parking lot and I told her to hold my hand.  “Cat In Hat hold Ive’s hand.”  So she had to walk holding my hand and Cat’s hand.  Cat had to sit with her in her car seat.  “Cat In Hat sit wif Ive.”  She even had to go to bed with him.  This might not be a big thing for some kids, but Big Ive has never been a kid to be attached to an object.  She didn’t have a specific blanket or toy or soothing thing (other than the binkie).

BI_CatHat_20130125A slightly sick little girl loving on her Cat In The Hat while watching cartoons.

I’m thankful for a heart-filling day.  I’m thankful for meeting sweet strangers.  I’m thankful for my children who provide wonderful opportunities to meet people I probably would never meet had they not been loving, curious children who like people.  I’m thankful for older, wiser people.  And I pray we instill in our children the gift of loving people of all ages and recognizing everyone’s importance.

Makes my heart smile.  : )

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Back in the Wild West

The girls and I made the epic trek from Germany to Phoenix on Saturday (15.12.2012).  We left Frankfurt at 10:30am Germany time and arrived in Phoenix at 3am Germany time.  It was over a 24 hour day for me from when I got up to when I finally got to bed at my parents house.

The flights were pretty good.  I feel like I’m a ‘yes mom’ when I’m in public with my kids.  To an extent, anyway.  Can I have another cookie?  Yeah, since you don’t want to eat anything else the flight has to offer.  Can I play puzzle?  You bet.  Can I have more juice?  Yep.  Can I walk up and down the isles for a while?  Sure, as long as you treat the other passengers with love and be respectful.  It’s hard to keep nap times and a normal schedule in such a confined place.  I don’t want to make my kids have a meltdown where they will pester other people so I try to loosen up on those kinds of things.

The flight attendant on the first flight tried to tell me I couldn’t place Little E’s car seat on the isle seat.  There was no other way the flight would have worked with our 3 seats in the middle section with the aisles on both sides if Big Ive had to be on one side of Little E and me on the other.  Thankfully she didn’t make me change it.

We had at least 4 hours left of the flight and I was down to pulling out one of my last tricks in my bag.  I thought for sure it was going to end terribly.  Big Ive was happy to chat with some German ladies sitting across the isle from us.  One was crocheting little flower looking things and gave one to Big Ive after I told her to ask, “Was machen Sie?”  Little E was pretty content to stay strapped in her car seat for the vast majority of the flight.  I was very thankful for that.

Big Ive fell asleep as we were landing into Dallas, TX.  Of course she would do that.  I know it was about 9 or 10pm to her so it was reasonable.  But then I had to wake a sleeping child to get off the plane, and then walk through passport control and customs, and baggage pick up and drop off, and then security again.

We had an extra hour layover in Dallas than was originally scheduled when we purchased the tickets.  This was a relief to me because I was afraid we wouldn’t have time to make it through passport control, customs, baggage, security and then do the bathroom/diaper change and grab something to eat before having to board our connecting flight.  We got to our gate and ate the wonderful (puke-tastic) McDonalds chicken nuggets and fries.  Big Ive was so tired she fell asleep sitting in Little E’s car seat on the floor.

There were just enough helping angels on this trip to get us on and off planes and through lines with little to no troubles.  It was me traveling with my 2 little toddlers (2.5 and almost 1.5 years), a double stroller, 1 giant car seat, backpack (with laptop, iPad, liquids bag, etc), kid backpack of toys, coats, blankie for Little E.  There is a system to how I pack the backpack diaper bag so I can get through security easy.  But there is just a lot of stuff and wrangling of children that makes it take so long.  I do have to say it is nice to travel with kids because you can get away with bringing larger amounts of liquid through security (which means I don’t have to buy them as much juice or food in the concourse).

Phoenix for a week, then Iowa for a week to spend Christmas with LOML’s family and then back to Phoenix for January.  It should be a good holiday for Haus Miller.

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