Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Green Days of Summer

This is definitely my new absolute favorite picture of the boys!!  Last weekend we took them biking again, and by the time we got to our destination we had two sleeping babies!  We quickly and quietly pulled up the cover so we could snap this photo.  Moments after Ruben woke up with a look that begged the question, "Where am I?" I must say that our little bike trips have become my favorite past time, and we are already scheming some big adventures for the future that involve camping, kids, and bikes.  It is fun to dream, but for now we have been staying pretty close to home.

Last week when we needed something new to do I put together a basket of tools and Miles and I went on a "bug safari."  We actually found quite a selection of bugs around the yard and Miles had fun looking, learning, and documenting everything in his little "bug journal."  My little scientist!

Later that evening as we relaxed on the deck he decided it needed mowing!  This is his favorite past time, that and finding a long stick that can suffice as a weed whipper. He can be found wandering the perimeter of the house making grunting and grinding noises as he aims his stick at the offending weeds.  Then he usually runs back telling me he needs more gasoline for the whipper and I get to pretend to fill it up for him.

I adore his little imagination right now!  Here he is with his "microphone" making music for me as I cook in the kitchen.  He also loves to ride his push cycle, which he often refers to as his motorcycle when we are on the trail.  He is so full of questions lately and he is often asking them in droves in the middle of everything else we are doing.  I really pride myself on trying to answer as many of them as I can with reasonable explanations... but I can only do so much.  The other night as I tried to get him ready for bed (and it was already way past bedtime) I finally had to give up.  As he struggled to put one leg into his pajamas while looking out the window and wondering out loud a stream of unending questions I broke down.  I told him, "the answer store closes promptly at nine o' clock, you can save up your questions and start asking again when they open tomorrow."  This did not even phase him!  He just climbed into bed, and as I shut the door I could hear him continue to ask questions of his favorite stuffed animals that he sleeps with.  I love this child, he is so precious!

The other really big news around here is that Ruben is starting solid foods and getting teeth!  You are not imagining the discontent look as I try to tempt him with freshly mashed food from the kitchen.  Just like many things we find ourselves saying around here, he is the exact opposite of Miles at this age.  Miles dove into eating food with the same zest I have for veggies harvested from the garden.  Ruben on the other hand has been rather hesitant.  I have to "trick" him into eating by fooling him into opening his mouth by dangling a bottle in front of him.  Then I sneak in a spoon of food, and quick put the bottle back before he screams.

That said - it does seem to be getting a little easier each time we try.  We are on the same seasonal schedule we were with Miles. I am so thankful because Ruben is starting fresh food right as it is pouring into the local markets.  Last week I went to the market with my mom and we bought tons of beautiful veggies!  I made carrot, asparagus, broccoli, and spinach baby food and froze it into cubes.  I have also started grinding brown rice and making Ru's cereal.  I loved making food for Miles and I truly think that his "fresh start" attributed to the fact he has a rather broad palette for a toddler.  We will have to wait to see what Ruben thinks about all this to see if my theory is correct. I love the picture above with his little spinach ring around his mouth.

Summer is already in full swing and we are loving every minute of it.  We spend lots of time on the porch, or relaxing under the shade of the trees.  This year I managed to keep the rabbits from the peonies long enough to gets some blooms. 

It is the time of year that you adore living in Michigan.  The landscape just screams green - in every shade - everywhere you look!  Summer evenings often end in showers breaking the heat of the day and rewarding us with rainbows.  This electric green is the thing that would almost overwhelm me when I would come back to visit when I was living surrounded by the subtle pastels of the desert southwest.  I love that my boys will have memories of summers dripping in green.  Even the turtle we found on the beach was a deep shade of green, what we could see of him as he scurried away! 

So that's where you'll find us lately... outside somewhere, enjoying the "greenness" of the day! 

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Mother's Day

My Mother's Day was perfect this year!  It was my first time celebrating with two babies. My boys made me breakfast, and then we went biking with the whole family.
I loved spending time outdoors and sharing my love of nature with my babies!  We saw tons of wildflowers blooming, and I spotted a Purple Martin along the trail.  

We got home and dressed up for dinner and I remembered the photo shoot I did with Miles on my first Mother's Day.  I decided to do the same with Ruben.  We sat in the rocking chair that my mother was rocked in, she rocked me in, and now I rock my babies in. 
 It is so hard to believe how fast these boys are growing!  I rarely get them to sit still for a picture together so I was glad to capture this moment.

Here are the images I took of Ruben in the rocking chair, and I have compared them with the similar images of Miles from his first Mother's Day.  On the left Ruben is five and a half months old.  On the right Miles is about five months old.

It was the perfect day full of special surprises and lots of love for these beautiful boys who have helped me find myself in my favorite role in my life ~ their mother!

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Happy New Year!

I am sorry to say it, but this year has really gotten off to a rocky start. Life has definitely been stormy and uncertain on many levels.  I feel like I have been wondering about everything, and finding a lot more questions than answers. 

That said, when I need to find solace ~ 
you can usually find me in my garden.

This past weekend, we decided to have some quality family time and start thinking about the potential of things to come. I know I am not the first person to think of the analogy between new beginnings and planting seeds, but right now it seems especially fitting. There is nothing like planting seeds to remind you that good things come to those who wait, work hard, and exercise some patience.   I simply adore the act of growing things, and I cherish each opportunity to share this passion with my boys.  I hope that the act of planting seeds and helping them grow will be something they say they learned from their mother... one day.

The empty garden beds are so full of promise and potential ~ in my opinion, they cannot help but be inspiring! While we were working in the garden I decided that I would like to "start over" this year.  Hit the refresh button if you will, and begin again.  Right now the garden represents the promise of a clean palette, a new beginning, a fresh start.  Because this is an annual event for our family each spring, I think I might declare this the start of our new year!  As we look to the future, we are planting the seeds of some pretty exciting hopes and dreams for our family.  I so look forward to beginning again and seeing what our hard work and patience can accomplish!

My garden helper liked to take a lot of "swing breaks."
This guy sat in the shade and supervised :-)

Another huge new beginning this week has been the fact that Ruben is starting solid foods!  Like his big brother, he let us know that he was tired of his all liquid diet, and really interested in eating.  We are off to a slow start, but all is going well! 

In the midst of all these challenges we are truly grateful for all the amazing friendships we have "cultivated" through the years. This weekend we got to spend some time with some of our favorites.

It was really nice to be there to help celebrate Kaci's fourth birthday, and Miles is still talking about all the fun he had!  The absolute best part was that he got to take his own gift home from the party!  Crazy, I know ~ but that is just how things go when you hang out with "Uncle Joel."

Thanks again for our hand me down! Miles is obsessed with his new truck and loves driving it around and filling it with gas!  He has such an amazing imagination and I adore watching him play and listen to him make up little scenarios of where he has been and where he is going.  Which reminds me, if I had a dollar for every time he asked to "go outside" these days, I would be rich!  From the moment he wakes up this kid wants to be out of doors. 

This weekend we also had another visit from baby Wynn!  He is about month and a half older than Ruben, and we have been able to get them together three times already in their little lives. 
Here is their first picture taken when Ruben was only six days old!

This picture was taken in February on Ruben's three month birthday.

Here they are this past weekend ~ as you can see Ruben woke up from his nap a little cranky. His tears alarmed Wynn as he wondered what was up with his screaming friend?  Personally, I was so thankful for this visit from my friend Lisa and her mother.  It is such a blessing to have friends that you have known for more than half your life! I am so thrilled that now we get to share the successes and challenges of parenting as part of our experience. It will be so much fun to continue watching these boys grow through the years.

So even though it is May, and this is not your typical salutation - from our family to yours, "We wish you a very happy New Year!" Be sure to enjoy each moment with friends, and (whether literally or figuratively) go plant something and help it grow!!