Thursday, January 28, 2010

New Friends!

On Monday January 25th Miles got to meet his new friends! We went to two of the area hospitals and checked in on fellow Bradley classmates who both had babies on the 24th. It was so exciting to hear their birth stories and to share in the joy of their accomplishments. We agree that because we met under such interesting circumstances we will always have a unique relationship with everyone from class. Really, where else can you discuss bodily fluids, the merits of squatting, and then sit in a darkened room for deep relaxation with total strangers? Those strangers quickly became like family. Now I hope our babies will enjoy each other just as much as they grow together.
Here the proud papas display their most prized possessions!

Monica looks thrilled to finally have Sofia, her little miracle, in her arms.

Miles looks like a giant with his five weeks in advance "on the outside."

Next stop a visit to meet Chloe. (Both babies pretty much snoozed through their introductions.)

More papa pictures!

Looks like she has her mothers wonderful smile!

If there was one thing that we all agreed on it was that the process and the end product of pregnancy and childbirth are nothing short of a miracle. I am sure that soon we will hear news of the birth of the last baby from class and then we will have to schedule a "reunion" with kids!

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Bradley Update

Last September Michael and I went to our first Bradley Method class for natural childbirth and we met four fabulous couples who were on the same journey. We gathered every Monday night for twelve weeks and as we learned we laughed so hard sometimes I was not sure we'd make it out alive. Truly the greatest gift from this experience was the friendships we have gained and we are having so much fun watching and waiting for these babies to be born!
The Beautiful Ladies of Bradley!
We took this picture Week Eight and lined up in the order of our due dates. From right to left Sarah (Dec. 6th), Sally (Dec. 9th), Monica (Jan. 24th), Bethany (Feb. 1st), and Cassie (Feb. 10th).
As we have learned, your due date is simply a suggestion, and together Sarah and I watched our due dates pass by.

This picture was taken December 14th when Sarah and I went out to lunch at Marie Catrib's and we ate spicy potatoes with hot sauce hoping to induce labor! It did not happen right away but eventually the inevitable happened and Miles and Josie were born.

We got together again on January 8th as new mothers for our very first play date. It was a wonderful way to start the new year and amazing to see these two new people in the world. Everything feel NEW to me these days as I try to learn my role as mom and I am so grateful to have friends to share it with!

I love this series of pictures. It seems like Miles and Josie are having a conversation as they wave their arms and make great facial expressions.

After Miles and Josie were born Monica realized she was next in line. She came over January 5th to get in some "practice" and Miles loved being held all evening!

Then on the 22nd Sarah came over with Josie for play date number two. I took another series of photos of Miles and Josie "talking." At first they seemed a bit shy but they eventually warmed up to each other.

The proud parents posed their children as I snapped pictures!

Then we had a wonderful surprise visit as Cassie stopped by with her husband Paul. They were on their way home from a doctors visit and believed that the labor process had begun! Wow - Josie and Miles were ecstatic that soon they would have another friend to play with!
BIG ANNOUNCEMENT: As I write this I just received a message from Cassie that Chloe Amelia has been born... looks like this was one of the last few pictures of a beautifully pregnant Cassie. Can't wait for more news... and to find out who is next!

UPDATED UPDATE: Wow! I am not sure if it was the uncharacteristic January thunderstorms on Saturday night or just all the baby vibes that have been swirling about, but there is another baby girl in the world! We received word that Monica and Todd are the proud new parents of Sofia Nicole born on Sunday night (her due date!!). I can hardly believe that Chloe and Sofie will share the same birthday! I am also glad that Monica and Cassie were not sharing a midwife :-).

Miles officially has three new girlfriends. The last question is will Bethany have a boy or a girl?

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Tiny Feet

We had a little photo shoot because I wanted to try to capture how small Miles still is right now. (Even though he already weighs more than 10 lbs!) It is hard to believe we were ever this little and I am constantly amazed when I look at his tiny hands and feet. The images conjured up the lyrics to a song that is very special to me! Michael wrote In a Dream Last Night and it is on the most recent record he has been working on. Now our dream is a reality and we get to see Miles grow in front of our eyes each and every day.

In a Dream Last Night
What started off as just a dream
Turned into a reason to make life reality
Thinking of the way you might yet be
And how you’ll make me proud that I decided to believe

Is it hard to mention
Do I still feel so much shame?
Had to think things over before I walked away

Saw you in a dream last night
You were standing there
There’s a world outside waiting for you to live

With tiny hands and tiny feet
Child, you’ll grow into a person more than memory
I imagine you’ll be greater than I have been
Places that you’ll go and mountains you will leap

None of these things matter
They are small in the big game
Whatever you are is beautiful to me

I won’t pretend that
I won’t make mistakes
We’ll live and learn how
And teach each other faith

Saw you in dream last night
You were standing there
There’s a world outside
Waiting for you to live

And I hope I might
Get a chance to say
That you made proud
Every single day

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Recipe for parenting

I love to read recipes. I can devour a cookbook from cover to cover the same way people read science fiction novels. I think cooking a recipe for the first time is like getting to know a new friend. Then when I have plated and tasted the new food I like to write a little review in my cookbook alongside the recipe so I can remember the meal. I will also add any changes I made or suggestions for future attempts along with any personal annotation about the day. In this way I think the recipes become like old friends that come back to see us again and again.

Some of my many favorites include: the pumpkin pie with crumble topping I have been making ever since I worked at a little cafe on Canyon Road in Santa Fe, the tomato cream sauce I call "Catherine's Sauce" ( a delicious recipe I lifted from my roommate in Italy), and the sesame noodle salad I always made for my biology study group before exams. One day I would love to write my own cookbook filled with all of my "comfort foods." I say this because I not only find the food itself comforting, but also the process of making it. There is something inherently calming to me when you read and follow a recipe. A recipe is so confident and self assured. It already knows what it is and what it is going to be. The directions are all there and laid out perfectly for you to follow. When you do so correctly you are rewarded with something wonderful.

So - this morning I got up (actually I did not really sleep last night because someone else was wide awake) and I needed something comforting. I wandered in a daze to the kitchen and I pulled out the timeless classic Joy of Cooking. I did not know why I could not get my sweet son back to sleep last night, but I did know that if I followed the recipe I could salvage the morning with a great batch of buttermilk waffles!

Sure enough, there were smiles again as we settled in around the table and enjoyed a meal together. I realize that there may never be a recipe for parenting like one you find in a book, but in the middle of the night last night I was certainly trying to figure one out. It seems there must be a heaping dose of patience, an awful lot of faith, a certain amount of hope for the future, room for laughter and tears, a good sense of humor, and above all love for each other. All of which I believe we have... along with a really good recipe for waffles! I know that this "recipe for parenting" will be ever changing, and like my "comfort food cookbook" there will be constant amendments along the way. I also know that just like cooking it is the process along with the end product that reaps the rewards. I am looking forward to the adventure and all of the known and unknown aspects that we will meet along the way. I am also very certain that this will not be the last sleepless night that ends with a morning filled with waffles.

BUTTERMILK WAFFLES from Joy of Cooking

Sift before measuring:
2c. all purpose flour

Resift with:
1/4 tsp. baking soda
1-1/2 tsp double acting baking powder
1 Tbsp. sugar
1/2 tsp. salt

Beat in a separate bowl until light:
2 egg yolks

Add and beat:
1-3/4 cups buttermilk
6 Tbsp. melted butter

Combine the liquid and the dry ingredients and with a few swift strokes mix the batter.

Beat in a separate bowl until stiff but not dry:
2 egg whites
Fold them into the batter.

Cook the waffles according to the instructions for your waffle iron. Makes 6 waffles.

The inscription I wrote for this recipe in my cookbook was 1/14/2010 "Seeking comfort food after a sleepless night with Miles. Doubled the recipe and used 1 quart of buttermilk. Froze some waffles for later. Comforted, but very tired."

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Making faces

I took this series of photos over a matter of about 45 seconds. I love the variety of expressions on his little face. I also think he looks even more animated in contrast to the adorable monkey shirt. Thanks to the Masuga Family for their thoughtful gift of this outfit. We are learning his expressions and each day we see his personality emerge a little more.

Monday, January 11, 2010

A very full day

Sunday was a wonderful day full of lots of adventure, although not all of it was captured on "film" so you will have to use your imagination. We started our morning with a trip to the Gaia Cafe for a breakfast treat that we had been missing over the last few weeks as we have been in hibernation. It was so nice to get back out into the world and see how Miles reacts as we slowly integrate our old life into our new. He was fairly patient, although he does love to start to cry the moment mom puts a fork full of food into her mouth. When will he understand that I must eat in order for him to eat? I had a bit of nostalgia as I looked about this favorite restaurant that we have been coming to for countless years. Micheal and I went there on our first date when I asked him to go to the Valentine's Dance with me. The mismatched tables and chairs, the wooden floors that shine in the sunlight, the Gaia coffee blends, and the delicious food are imprinted deep in many of my memories. Now I am so happy to share them with my son as we make more memories eating good food together!
When we arrived home we anticipated the visit of our friend Di who I have landscaped with for years (off and on since college). We call her our stateside South African as she has lived here for many years and raised her family in Michigan, but she still loves to talk about her life in "JoBerg." Among her many gardening skills is the fact she makes the most amazing flower arrangements! She arrived with this beautiful bouquet for Miles! Thank you Di for sharing you passion for flowers with us. We can't wait to tour your garden this summer. The protea blooms were an extra special touch and they reminded me of our hike on Table Mountain. There were tons of different varieties of protea in bloom when we were there and I dawdled along the trail trying to photograph an image of each one. After about an hour of this our very patient guide Vanessa proclaimed "You know Sal, you can buy the book," referring to a protea field guide. So I stayed focused on the trail after that and eventually we made it to the summit. :-)

Later that day (after a quick nap) we had another group of visitors arrive from Ovid! The Shelp family finally got to meet Miles. Really there is not much I love more than when little kids hold babies... so here we have the pictures of Ava and Leo meeting their newest playmate. They were so sweet and caring as they caressed his little hands and feet. Leo kept saying "Mom, his hands are so tiny!" I can hardly believe how fast time flies because I remember meeting Leo as a baby and thinking the same thing. The Shelps brought us tons of wonderful gifts, hand me down clothes, food for lunch, and an absolutely divine beet and chocolate cake for dessert. Thanks for all the TLC sweet friends! Then, to top the day off everyone piled into their respective vehicles and we drove over to the Blandford Nature Center so Miles could finally get out on the trails! I wore Miles in a sling and we were cozy warm as we walked the Sugar Bush loop from the school where I student taught last year. It was such a joy to share this special place with our friends and to show Miles his first glimpse of winter's subtle beauty. The sun was beginning to set and the woods glowed with a sort of pale yellow soft light. There were tons of snowballs being thrown and the laughter of family and friends filled the crisp air. A very full day indeed and one to be thankful for!

Saturday, January 9, 2010

January 9, 2010 ~ Moments with Miles

This post is simply a collection of sweet photos that have been taken over the last few weeks. I can hardly believe that Miles is three weeks old today! Every week I have done "the countdown" starting on Thursday night, and then through Saturday morning.... and I still can't believe he took that long to arrive. Oh the things we do for love. Now I can hardly remember what we used to do around here without him.
I decided that I would keep all of the PG 13 rated pics of his first bath private so he will still speak to me when he is a teenager, but here is a nice after bath photo when he was wrapped in his "Safari towel" from Theo Tommy and Chelsea.

I love this picture of Miles and Paw Paw... they are just checking each other out.

This photo from the same day as the one above shows Miles with his two favorite Sally's. Both my Aunt Sally and I are named after my Great Grandmother Sally. It was such a treat to have Aunt Sally visiting from Texas over the holidays so she could meet Miles when he was in his first weeks.

Since you have seen his adorable side on the blog for the last few weeks, we have decided that you need to see his other half. This is Miles screaming full tilt for the camera. Wow - does he have lungs! We think he is training to sing back up vocals on Michael's next record. While it does have some entertaining qualities the screaming really does numb your brain around 3am.

This is where all that screaming leaves us. These two pictures were gathered from little cat naps he allowed us to take one morning last week. I must say that some of my favorite time spent right now is sleeping with him like this. I love to feel him breathing close to me as we slip off to sleep.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

January 7, 2010 ~ First Trip to the Grandparents Houses

"Over the river and through the woods, 
To grandmother's house we go;
The horse knows the way to carry the sleigh, 

Through the white and drifted snow!"

So we were not exactly in a sleigh, and the snow was not that deep, but we did go over the river and through the woods to the grandparent's house in Ada. It was a wonderful first visit for Miles to see the home his creative grandparents designed and built. His great grandmother Joye was still visiting from Texas and we took this picture of the FOUR generations! Isn't that truly amazing! I am so happy that he will be blessed to know my sweet grandmother, and she seems to be totally enamored with him.

The next day we put Miles back in his carseat (that I have taken to calling "The Tugboat") and visited Yia Yia Linda's house. We got to see Theo Tommy and Chelsea before they headed back to L.A. and Miles loves his new stocking that Yia Yia gave him. 

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

January 5, 2010 ~ Fashionista

Everyone who knows me knows that my fashion sense is slightly lacking. In fact in the past I have begged my friends to nominate me for the television show What Not To Wear just so I could get some professional help. I do not have a problem with the fact that I think that hiking boots are acceptable as evening wear (you never know when you might need to race out on the trails :-) and I own shirts in every shade of brown ever made. (In fact Michael has declared an moratorium on purchasing in brown!) So, needless to say Miles is glad that there are people other than me responsible for keeping him fashion savvy. Here are some of the utterly adorable clothing items he has been gifted in the past few weeks. Thanks to all who have contributed these and many more items filling our closet.

This sweet shirt from Aunt Jess and Uncle Matt says, "I will make a difference!" Already a favorite with the smart new pants Papa bought him.  This adorable ensemble came from Lisa and Thom and the Sprout theme fits perfectly with this garden happy family! Love the hat that came with it! Thanks!

The Shelps appealed to our rocker side and made Miles an outfit to wear on stage with Dad. Unfortunately his 9lb + frame was too big for this preemie onesie.  And my Aunt Sally knew that every Texan must have a pair of boots! We have not had them on yet but we will be sure to add a picture when we do! Thanks for making sure Miles can express his "Cowboy Side." There are so many more wonderful outfits that I am sure you will see as time goes by. I should also thank Mere and Anthony for his extremely fashionable Patagonia hoodie! This has already kept him warm on many an outing... thanks for splurging on our little man!