Tuesday, January 31, 2012

January Wrap-Up

The first month of 2012 is over. Time truly flies when you are measuring it watching two boys grow. Ruben is really beginning to participate in his world which is fun to watch. He weighed thirteen pounds and eight ounces at his two month check up, and he is already wearing three month-olds clothes.
Here he is hanging out in the little play gym that was a hand-me-down, and also a favorite of Miles' when he was small. He will sit and bat at the assorted hanging objects for awhile, but truthfully he would rather be held! This little man loves to cuddle in your arms - something I am trying to savor because I know how fast he'll grow!
Here he is packed into his car seat with the amazing cover that "Tia Mo" had made for us. This is his little window to the world when we are off on an adventure!

I have always loved the pictures I took of Miles' hands and feet. I wanted to capture similar images with Ruben so I would have them to compare - and cherish - because I know the time will come that they will be wearing shoes bigger than mine!
I love this picture where I even got Miles to place his hand in the photo! Mama with her boys. Miles is two years old and Ruben is two months old.

Then I managed to snap some images of Papa holding Ruben's little feet.

Last weekend we had some visitors! Michael's Nouna came over bearing thoughtful gifts for the boys. It was fun to see her playing with our babies. Sarah brought Alex, who is growing so fast and already on the move! I can't even imagine Ruben crawling around and pulling himself up on tables and chairs. Michelle is pregnant, and we are all excited to find out if there will be another boy in the mix - or if she will deliver the long awaited girl :-)
I just adore the fact that our kids will grow up playing together, just like their fathers did. Although I still cannot imagine what it was like at an Abraham/Triant gathering when there were nine boys running around!

Another exciting part of the weekend was when Papa and Miles attached a peg to his guitar so he could use a strap. At first he was not so sure about using the drill on his beloved instrument, but once he realized what the strap did he was ecstatic! He literally spun around and played and sang for us - just precious!

Here he is glancing over to see what his little brother thinks about his performance.

Ruben was enthralled and he kicked his legs and danced along. (And yes that is a little bit of his perpetual spit-up on his shirt. I think we go through at least six wardrobe changes a day around here.)Finally - we ended January with a long awaited snow fall, and some packing snow worthy of a snowman! Miles was thrilled when Papa helped him create this character on the back porch. He told me he needed a hat and a "string" for his neck (translation scarf.)
Amazingly, by the next day around the same time the poor thing was melted and scattered on the ground. The weather we are having this winter is totally bizarre!
Miles ended the day by helping Papa take loads of the wood we just had delivered down to the wood pile. I wish I had snapped a picture of the two of them with their wheelbarrows walking up and down the hill. Then when it was time for bed Miles asked to read The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats. A book that has been on his bookshelf for a long time, and that we have read from time to time when it snows.

In the story the little boy tries to keep a snowball in his pocket and save it for later. As you can imagine it melts when he goes inside to his warm house after playing in the snow all day. What I love is that Miles made the connection between the melting snow and the fate of his poor snowman.

We are all waiting to see what kind of weather the rest of this winter will bring. This time last year we were literally covered in four feet of snow! It is crazy to look back at this post and realize that Miles was just learning to walk. And as we celebrated the first batch of Bradley Babies, we still had no idea that we would soon find out that we were all having second babies within the year. Wow - what an amazing year it has been!

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Finally! Winter is here.

Snow has finally arrived and it feels like winter! We took Miles on a mini sledding adventure in our backyard while Ruben napped last weekend.

It was so much fun to see him all suited up in his gear. He really got into the action, and did not want to stop even when we were getting cold. I guess he is in his element since he is a winter baby.

Since the snow was not good for packing we could not make the snowman he has been begging for. So, instead we carved out a snow bird on the front lawn. Michael and I had fun creating the sculpture. Miles ended up mostly sitting on top of it while we worked. That is, when he was not tossing his tiny spoonfuls of snow in our face and laughing hysterically about it!
Then we went for one last run down the hill before we headed inside to get warm. I loved this moment when I captured next spring's lilac blossoms in contrast to my boys coming back up the hill.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Making Faces (Again)

Here is a series of Ruben's very animated faces... all in great contrast to the monkey shirt. They are especially fun to compare with the faces Miles made in this post in the same shirt! Miles was about a month old in his photos, and Ruben is almost two in his series. (And that seems to be about the norm, I am a month behind with everything now that I am a mom of two.)

And yes, I even managed to capture a sneeze in the few minutes that this series of pictures spans.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Loving My Boys

Ruben is growing so very fast!! Just seven weeks ago he woke up in this world, and now he is beginning to truly participate in it. He has been holding his head up high. He has been beginning to "talk" to us. Miles loves this, and as he listens to the babbling he will say "He talking to you Mama." He is talking, and he has been smiling too!

The first time I saw this my heart melted and I fell in love all over again!

As if it wasn't enough that I found the love of my life at the age of seventeen and (eventually) got to marry him. Now I can hardly believe how much I continue to love him more each day. No one tells you that when you have children you will fall in love with your soul mate over and over again every time your babies smile at you! I am so blessed to have all of these boys to love now!

Here are some pictures of the brothers hanging out in the morning. Miles was sitting next to Ruben and I went to get the camera. Suddenly Ruben began to cry (not sure of Miles instigated it or not?) But, then Miles decided Ruben needed a kiss to make him feel better.

Which reminds me of another favorite moment that took place in the last week. The weather here has been unseasonably warm and sunny. It has actually been lovely to be able to get outside and take walks with the boys, something I did not anticipate I would be able to do for Ruben's first winter here. So - Miles and I decided to sit on the back deck to watch the full moon rise on Monday. It is still new for him to be outdoors when it was dark, and he stuck pretty close to me. We sat on the bench and just stared up at the stars. We pointed to Taurus and Orion, and we talked about constellations like the ones on his favorite pajamas from Yia Yia. (You should hear him say constellation - so precious.) Then we heard "Baby Ruben" fussing inside and giving Papa a hard time. Suddenly Miles said "Goodbye moon. Mama, we go inside make Baby Ruben feel better." So we went in and gave him a kiss.

Papa and Miles got to spend some time outside riding the tricycle... I mean really - it is January!! Where is the snow - we should be sledding.

The other really wonderful news this week is that the last of the "Bradley Babies" (at least from this round :-) has made their way into the world! On Tuesday we got the news we had been anxiously waiting for and Cassie finally went into labor! I lit a candle and said a prayer for safe passage into the world.

I also sent Cassie a picture of one of my favorite birth flags, that Vanessa made me, for inspiration. I am happy to report that she had a beautiful birth and that there is another baby boy in the world now!

So that makes it official - Round one - four girls, one boy. Round two - four boys, one girl. Three couples had a girl, then a boy. One had two girls. And you know we had two boys!

I am so thankful each day for the amazing friends I met in our birthing class of all places! It has been such a joy to share our pregnancies and all of the new experiences that come with being a mom. I so look forward to the adventures that the rest of this journey will bring.

Monday, January 2, 2012

I Will Make a Difference

What a difference two years makes!! A little over two years ago Michael and I were simply waiting to become parents and our New Year's resolutions were based solely on our own desires. Then along came Miles ~ and our perspective was radically changed! Suddenly our hope for the world to be a better place was grounded in the life of our new child. Now we have TWO OF THEM!

Everyone who knows me, knows that I have always been a sucker for a good ritual or tradition. I adore the opportunity to mark a special event in my life (and now my families) with some kind of recognition. For that reason I love a good New Year's resolution. But, that said, I have been so busy being a new parent the last few years I have not had it in me to make a mindful attempt at such a thing.

So, when we woke up on New Year's Eve I put Ruben in a hand-me-down shirt that was given to Miles by his Aunt Jessica & Uncle Matt. As I took some pictures to compare the brothers in their shirts it occurred to me that this simple phrase would make a good resolution ~ today and every day!

Here is a picture of Miles in his shirt (he was 8 days old) and a picture of Ruben wearing his hand-me-down shirt (5 1/2 weeks old).

I think this year I will continue to pledge to "make a difference" in the world, and in the lives of my sons - so they can go on to do the same one day. I want to continue my focus in working to make my family as happy and healthy as we can be. That way we are able to give our best to the world. As a new year dawns I am also immeasurably thankful for the larger family that surrounds my growing one! To all our dear friends and family, I so appreciate your presence in our lives. You give us strength and perspective, and create a foundation for us to grow on! Do you have a resolution, a promise, or a hope for 2012? I would love to hear what you want to see happen this year, and I hope this is an exceptional year for everyone!