Wednesday, October 24, 2012

October Life Lessons

At the risk of sounding like a broken record... October has flown by.  We have had some really special times with family though, and we are busy making memories with these two amazing boys.  Miles helped me set up the tripod for a fall family photo. I love this picture I snapped as he helped adjust the lens.

Here we are, "We're all together!"

Then we went for a little hike around our property.
That ended with a roll in the hickory leaves that just dropped from our tree last week.

Ruben was very focused as he examined the leaves, and he adored the sound of them crunching under him as he crawled.  He has abandoned his walrus crawl and moves like a big boy on hands and knees now... I kind of miss my little sea mammal - he is growing so fast!!

He also has three teeth on the bottom to meet the four on top.  He has begun pointing and waving and interacting with people.  He also loves music like his brother and his Papa!  He will dance to any tunes you play, all styles of music too!

Suddenly big brother Miles is an "almost" three year old, and he just seems to be such a boy not a baby anymore.  I think we have all grown leaps and bounds in this last year, but he especially seems so grown up.  He loves to play hide and go seek now... though he usually hides in his same favorite spot. 

We started the month with a pilgrimage to Robinette's for the traditional "apple picture."  Here is Mile's first fall picture there on the left (2010), and Ruben's on the right. 

Fall always feels like a time to "circle the wagons" to me.  Pull up the harvest, begin to gather indoors, spend more time baking, and taking stock of the growing season that just passed.  This Fall is not any different really, but the growing did not take place in the garden this year.  Instead our heads and hearts have shifted and changed with the new perspective brought on by many of the changes - planned and unplanned - that have taken place in our lives this year.

It seems like this season will not end without another major shift occurring in our lives.  As I write this my heart is heavy with the realization that our beloved GG has become gravely ill.

Right now it feels like October is telling us to slow down, take stock of the beautiful memories we have been blessed to form in this life, and give thanks for the beautiful matriarchs that grace our family.  As I reflect I have been flooded with all the wonderful memories that my grandmother and I have shared. I know it is only selfish that I wish she could stay here with us longer.  Instead I know it is time for her to go to where she belongs. Heaven is about to gain the most beautiful angel with crystal blue eyes and a southern accent... who adores cookies and snowmen! 

I always thought she was the truest sense of a "snow bird" because of the fact that she would fly to Michigan towards the snow, instead of away from it, every winter.   Now I am going to picture her rolling the white fluffy clouds into fields full of snowmen... while singing Christmas hymns.

Right now I pray for her peace and for her comfort.  I hope she feels the glow of all the love surrounding her right now as we elevate her life and her light to the next level.  We love you GG.  We will forever hold your smile in our hearts.

Monday, October 8, 2012

September's gone too...

I feel like September ended before it even had time to begin.  I don't mean to sound overly dramatic, but this month literally felt like it had plagues of biblical proportions.  We had our own versions of fire, locusts, and we ended the month with a flood... in the form of a major water pipe breaking.  But, I digress.   Let me start at the beginning before I go to then end.

There were many more dandelion hunting expeditions as fall fell upon us here in Michigan!  What a beautiful fall it has been, filled with blue skies, colorful trees, and visits from lots of animals to our new home!  We have a 'rafter' of turkeys (my new word for the month) that has been visiting us recently.  Miles loves to count all thirteen of them.  There used to be sixteen, and when he got to fifteen he would call it "five teen."

Not only have I been trying to teach him that for some reason fifteen follows fourteen, not "five teen" like you might think, but I have also tried to come up with an explanation for where the other three turkeys in our rafter have gone.  Sounds like the start to a good children's book doesn't it :-)

Miles loves to eat meals from his "big boy" trays that were hand-me-downs from Leo and Ava.  On this particular morning I even got him to try arugula because it was neatly arranged as part of his colorful lunch tray.

We knew Ruben was feeling better when he started giving "Rolly Cart Rides" to his big brother again.  Miles likes to stand on the back and Ruben literally pulls both their weight across the floor.  They laugh hysterically the whole time; my favorite background noise when I work in the kitchen!

Miles has also taken to rocking Ruben, an exercise that must certainly be chaperoned because they get a little rowdy!  I can only imagine what kind of wrestling matches are in my future!

Big news this month was that Ruben sat up front in the grocery cart with his brother for the first time!  They had a blast banging on the horn and telling me to "go go go!" through the store.  I learned quickly that you must steer this thing down the center of the aisle... much to the dismay of other shoppers, or little hands can reach everything on the shelves!

Ruben suddenly seems more than ready to give up his walrus crawl and start exploring another level of the world. He has begun to pull himself in earnest up onto anything and everything available.  He is also already wearing Miles' twelve-month footie pajamas.

I have managed a few hikes despite all the "plague" drama of the month.  Work and home have been especially busy, but I try to remind myself to take time to get outdoors no matter what!  Miles loves walking/ biking the trails. I have been able to carry Ruben in the backpack leaving hands free to collect rocks and pine cones with my toddler... I am in heaven!

In other big news Ruben's been getting tons of teeth - he has four on top and (almost) three on the bottom now.  This has changed his eating habits immensely!  He want to feed himself often now and he eats little chunks of food rather than having everything pureed.  He still loves a good bottle after his morning nap and before bedtime, but when he is not sipping his milk he is eying what is on everyone else's plate!  As sad as I am that my baby is growing so fast, I am looking forward to the time I can cook ONE meal for all of us to sit down to eat together!

One of the best things about September was that we had a beautiful visit from Aunt Jessica!!  Here she is sharing in the wonders of the walking stick that Miles captured on our back porch.  Our time was precious but all too short - only because weeks wouldn't be enough to enjoy all the time we wish we could share with her. 

Other firsts included Ruben learning to drink from a sippy cup.  Not his favorite thing, but he did not like the bottle at first either, so we will keep trying.

Both boys had their monthly photo taken while enjoying a pancake breakfast, one ritual that seems unfailing as everything else around us seems to be in chaos.

Ruben joined the pancake feast this month and has his first taste of blueberry buttermilk pancakes!

Here are my beautiful boys with Aunti Ei on one of our many trips to visit Yia Yia Liz recently.  Miles adores the cookies she shares with him when we visit.  In fact, one night when we returned home and were getting ready for bed he asked me for another cookie.  I explained that it was bedtime, and there were no cookies at our house anyway, so he was out of luck.  He was not happy and he replied with, "No Mama!! You need to call Yia Yia Liz - she will let me have a cookie!"  So true!  She always has the best cookies, and she always says yes.  Such a perfect Yia Yia memory that is obviously ingrained in his mind.

Ruben has also made yet another giant leap to being a big boy. On the last day of September I found him standing in his crib.  Miles immediately asked if he could join him!  I love this photo of the two of them just looking at each other in amazement.  Strange to realize that Ruben is so close to experiencing his world from the vertical perspective.  Miles kind of looks astounded too.  His "Baby Ruben" is growing fast, and what a first year he has lived through!