Friday, June 29, 2012

Hospital Trip

Wow - this year has been a memorable one!  I think we have used up a years worth of drama in the first six months... so I am hoping we can be free of hospital visits and intense experiences for the rest of the year.

Well. I will try to make this post drama free and to the point.  Mostly I am adding it to the blog because I feel that this is such a great chronicle of our life for the boys to look back on one day, and I feel that Miles' first visit to the E.R. deserves documenting.

On what was already a memorable weekend, we woke up on Sunday to Miles incredibly ill.  Once stabilized at the hospital we determined it was a bad case of a summer flu causing him to be extremely dehydrated.  After an IV and an X-ray of his stomach we determined that he just needed some fluids and some rest.  Which he did right there in the room... while watching an amazing array of cartoons available on demand.  We're pretty sure he thought he was in a toddler spa, except for the fact he was feeling so bad.  I am not sure he has ever seen that many consecutive hours of television before.

I will not go into how hard it was to watch him get and IV in his arm, and how proud I was because he was so incredibly brave.  In hindsight he seems none the wiser and simply refers to the event by saying, "I went to the doctor and he made me better."  It was a challenging day for all involved, and again I am so thankful to have family nearby because they were here to help in an instant.  

Relief finally came when they gave him a graham cracker to eat and he was able to keep it down, and they let us go home.  Not an incident I care to repeat.

Now lets get on to the next chapter of this year and leave the drama and hospital trips behind!  I would say we've had more than our share.  Sincerely though, it gave me a true appreciation of some of the things that families who care for sick children are dealing with and my heart goes out to them.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Time Outdoors

This family loves a good hike, bike, walk, run, trek, adventure, ramble, whatever you may call it - time outdoors!  Miles literally asks to go "outside" from dawn until dusk anytime he is trapped within the confines of anything with walls.  Part of me knows this is because he is my child. Another part of me wonders what kind of explorations he will find himself on in his lifetime because of this deep desire for wide open spaces. Michael predicts he will become a professional surfer - something that will match both his daring side and his need for nature. I am hoping maybe he could lean towards something less life threatening, like becoming an ornithologist... but where's the adrenaline rush in that?  Unless spotting THREE Pileated Woodpeckers at one time (like I did this morning) gets you amped up like you had a good shot of espresso! But, I know not everyone gets that excited about birds.

Anyway... we are blessed to have some great places to stretch our legs very nearby.  Miles especially loves to ride his push cycle at a local biking park.  Other bikers are literally amazed when they cruise by and see him with his helmet on, working his way through the trails!  In typical Miles fashion he loves to exclaim, "I am riding my bicycle." as they fly by on theirs.  The pictures above show us coming and going (at about the same point) after an almost 1.5 mile ride/walk... pretty exceptional for a two year old in my opinion!!

Another favorite outdoor past time for Miles is still going on a "Bug Safari."  We have enjoyed watching some Monarch caterpillars munch on milkweed on our beach this spring/summer.  We have literally watched them grow from tiny little worms to big hungry caterpillars.
Miles loves the book The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle and I think he has especially enjoyed finding caterpillars in his own backyard!
He likes to tell me that he knows that "Monarchs like Milkweed"... and I think it is really cool that my two-year old can even identify Milkweed.
Then I remind myself that "you are a product of your own environment," and the fact that he can also identify the call of a Baltimore Oriole or a Morning Dove is something that he might also have learned from his mother :-)
Another way we have celebrated the arrival of summer is by making popsicles.  Miles loves to cool off in the evening with his strawberry smoothie popsicles that he helped make!

We have also enjoyed our back deck by dining outdoors with family and friends.  Michael got a new grill for himself as his Father's Day gift, and he has been putting it to good use! 

We served up some BBQ chicken, burgers, and oatmeal walnut burgers for Brian, Diana, Aunti Ei, Thea Annie, and "the Yia Yia's." It was great to catch up and celebrate with family!

Another way we celebrated Father's Day was with a backyard camp out.  We even managed to convince our friends it would be a great idea to come share the experience.

Ruben enjoyed playing with his girlfriend Emma!

We had a big dinner while it stormed outside, and then the weather cleared up just in time for our campfire.
Michael shared his first Father's Day with Ruben.

I shared a tent with Miles.  He woke up with S'more stickiness still smeared all over his face and a beautiful case of bedhead!
He was a little bit dazed, but he was excited that he slept outside. 

This was the only portrait I was able to capture of him once he woke up a little more... he is in a new phase where he does not want his photo taken, which is devastating for this photo happy mom.  On the another hand, he has shown interest in getting behind the camera... something I love to encourage.  So we are slowly compiling a portfolio of his images for his first gallery show! 

Miles captured these two images while we were having breakfast.  

So if you are looking for the Triant Family, we may not be off on some great adventure out of state, or even out of town this summer, but you will most certainly find us outside and learning about flora and fauna of our own backyard!

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Visits with Family & Friends

Ruben's monthly photo shows him with his head held high.  You can usually find him trying to sit himself up and participate with anything and everything his older brother is doing these days.  I am having so much fun watching them really start to play together.  Miles' favorite thing to do lately is search for bugs anywhere and everywhere; so it seems fitting that his monthly photo shows him with his magnifying lens!

Miles loves to help me water the garden, and often he pulls a radish to taste while we are working.  He will take a bite and then say, "It's so spicy!!"

Ruben has been enjoying the small piano that was Miles' absolute favorite toy at this age.  We have been enjoying the lazy days of summer.  One of my absolute favorite things about summer is travel, and since we have not been doing much of that on our own lately, I am loving all the friends and family that have been coming to visit.

We were especially thankful for a recent visit from my Aunt Sally!  She got to meet Ruben which was a really special moment.  She quickly became one of his favorite people when she fed him before nap time.
My brother Matt is also in town for work - and play - and his nephews have adored playing with him! We got to go spend some quality time at the lake; another first for Ruben.  I love this picture of Matt and Miles wading into the water.  It was so calm and peaceful that morning, the perfect weather to play!

This is as close as Ruben got to the water... it seemed a touch to cool for his first dip, so we will have to go back this summer and let him swim.

Another highlight was building a huge "drippy" castle with Miles.  It reminded me of my childhood visits to Galveston and I love that Miles is making similar memories.

Another way we love to celebrate this time if year is by putting it in jars.  As a friend recently said to me, "Canning season has begun."  We started with strawberry jam!  My brothers came over to visit for the afternoon and entertained my boys while I turned this flat of berries...

into two dozen half pints of jam!

Last weekend we decided to beat the heat playing in the sprinkler.  Our dear friends brought their girls over and joined us.
Miles and Sofia took turns spraying each other with water.

Ruben supervised from the shade.
It was a perfect summer day. The kind when you put all the lists of things you should do or could do aside, and instead crack open a beer, sit back, and watch your kids play!
And finally!  I managed to get a picture of Ruben's teeth!  His new toothy grin just melts my heart. 

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Venus Transit

Eight years ago I was living in the high desert managing the gardens at the Children's Museum.  I remember how excited we were to watch the Venus transit because it was one of those events that would happen once in a lifetime.  We set up telescopes and because the sky was almost always clear, we were assured an exceptional show!  During the transit there was a seed art program going on and I made this picture with kids to commemorate the event.

Fast forward EIGHT years!  This last week the second of the two transits that we will see in this lifetime occurred.  Like bookends I looked back and reminisced over the eight years that have been capped by these events.  (I'm like that with astrological events and rare occurrences :-) I am amazed at all that has happened, and now I have my own kids to play with.  That said - the scientist in me was super excited to share this event with my boys.  Needless to say I hyped it up all day.  Miles and I talked about planets, and the sun, and our place in the universe.  You know, you're usual topics of conversation with two year olds.

So when the time arrived we went outside with my welding glasses and...
...Michigan delivered with some of your typical lake effect cloudy skies! 
I guess that's ok though, because we did not have a telescope, and the glasses probably weren't the best eye protection.  So - we just had to imagine we were witnessing a historic event.  Instead the highlight of the evening was a visit from Papou.  He had been biking and showed Miles how his bike rack held his bicycle on the back of his car.  This proved to be infinitely more interesting to my mechanically minded two year old than some planet crossing the sun!
Here's to three generations experiencing a beautiful evening outdoors.  I wonder what generation will be around to view the next transit?

(And thanks to technology we sat down and watched this unbelievably beautiful video from NASA and we got to see it for ourselves!)