Saturday, May 29, 2010

Piano Lessons

Last Sunday (5/23) Miles had his first "piano lesson." Really, Michael sat with him and just waited to see what he would do when they were in front of the piano.

He just reached out and began to pat away at the keys. He would play, then look around and listen, and then play some more. It is really amazing to watch as each day he interacts more and more with the world. Many times before he has sat and watched Michael play the piano, but this time it was his turn. He also loves to watch his Papa play the guitar. In fact he will sit for long stretches just mesmerized as Michael plays for him.

Secretly I hope the awesome musical talent from his paternal side has been passed down to him. I have absolutely no skill when it comes to music, except for the appreciation of it. I always say there has to be a few people in the audience to enjoy the talented musicians... and I am one of them. I guess we will just have to wait and see which side of the stage he will take his place on. Until them I am so thankful that he will always be surrounded by the sounds of music. Should he decide to play an instrument when he gets older I know his father will be the most amazing teacher!

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Surprise Visits

Last week Wednesday when returning from our play date with the Bradley girls I was practically run down by a Cadillac I had never seen before! I wondered who was the crazy lady honking and madly thrashing about? Until I realized she was saying "SALLY! - It's me Abby!" and in fact it was my friend from high school and college, home from Denver for the weekend to check in on her folks (and driving their ride).

I cannot begin to tell you how cool it was to have her meet Miles. It was rather surreal to be standing on her front lawn, where I used to pick her up in my Paw Paw's pickup truck to go out for the night - with my son! Wow! We have come a looong way. We caught up as best we could sharing stories from the last few years on her back porch, but there was hardly enough time to distill everything into the brief visit. We must get out to CO, or she must return sooner rather than later, to hang with her newest little buddy!

Then on Sunday - SURPRISE - sweet Sarah Shelp showed up on our doorstep for a wonderful "popcorn" visit. She was fresh from the beach and kissed by the sun after spending the day at the lake. Unfortunately no pictures were snapped to capture the event, but she left a cheer in our heart for the days to come!

It is so wonderful to share my baby with my friends. I have never been so proud in all of my life. My greatest creation; my best art piece ever. If I must say so, I do think he looks marvelous in the arms of my friends!

Sunday, May 23, 2010


This is what "tummy time" looks like with four infants! Last Wednesday (5/19) we managed to have another impromptu Bradley reunion at baby Chloe's house.

My sweet boy spit up all over his shirt, so he was flexing his bare muscles with his little lady friends as they all tried to out-do each other and hold their heads up high.

When Miles was dressed again we lined the kids up for a "class photo." We are having way too much fun watching these babies grow! I know I will be forever grateful that I shared this new experience of parenting with the mothers of these beautiful babies! I am so grateful to have three women to immediately confer with when my baby confounds and astounds me.

First Road Trip

Miles went on his first official road trip to Ann Arbor last weekend (5/15). We met my dear friend Lisa and her husband Thom at the fantastic Kerrytown farmer's market. We wandered the stalls and gathered fresh spinach, asparagus, eggs, and maple syrup while we reconnected.

It was awesome to see a friend I have known since middle school holding my baby boy! Lisa held Miles while I chowed down on one of the BEST tamales I have eaten since I moved from New Mexico. Pilar's Tamales has a little stand at the market and the line was long but worth the wait! On our way out of town we made sure to stop at their restaurant and get six more tamales for dinner during the week. This food is a must try if you are in A2, and almost worth the road trip in itself!

For lunch we made sure to stop in at the notorious Zingerman's Deli and we enjoyed every bite. (Do you sense the theme of our travels? FOOD!)

We also made sure to visit the adorable children's store, Elephant Ears, where Lisa got the sprout hat and shirt for Miles. It was wonderful to spend time with them and share this special time in our lives together!

Back in G - RAP we made the most of the sunshine and planted some more seeds in our garden!

We can't wait to watch our garden, our baby, and our friendship with our friends in Ann Arbor


Tuesday, May 18, 2010

50% + 50% = 100%

Dear Miles ~ many many years ago these two teenagers fell in love. It was a long and arduous path but we persevered past heartbreak and through countless long distance phone calls...

... and look what we got! These days I tell you that you are in fact 50% Mommy & 50% Daddy, but you are definitely 100% YOU! We just adore getting to know you and we recognize that you are definitely your own being; we are just here to be your guides. I was reminded of this on Sunday when I went for a walk with my almost sister-in-law (your almost aunt) Sarah. I loaned her The Prophet by Kahlil Gibran because excerpts from it were read at our wedding. Directly after the writing On Marriage is the philosophy On Children. As I read it again I was reminded of the fact that although you were born of our love for each other, only you know who you will become. Just remember that we will always be here for you, our home will always be your home too, and as Nona Linda says, "Never forget where we hide the key."

On Children
Your children are not your children.
They are the sons and daughters of Life's longing for itself.
They come through you but not from you,
And thought they are with you yet they belong not to you.

You may give them your love but not your thoughts,
For they have their own thoughts.
You may house their bodies but not their souls,
For their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow, which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams.
You may strive to be like them, but seek not to make them like you.
For life goes not backward nor tarries with yesterday.

You are the bows from which your children as living arrows are sent forth.
The archer sees the mark upon the path of the infinite, and He bends you with His might that His arrows may go swift and far.
Let your bending in the archer's hand be for gladness;
For even as He loves the arrow that flies, so He loves the bow that is stable.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Mother's Day

Just a few pictures from my first official Mother's Day. The only pics of all four generations were a bit blurry, but you get the idea... lots of love for Moms. We gave Yia Yia Linda and Nona Linda little imprints of four and a half month footprints pressed in clay.... guess who's?

Here is a picture of Michael "helping" Miles press his foot into the clay. We only had to try about five times to get two good prints. It felt wonderful to have my hands back into the "mud" as we potters sometimes say. That life of studio art and ceramics feels so far away sometimes, but it felt good to use my skills to make keepsakes for the family!

Back at home we had a little impromptu mommy and baby photo session. I now have a new favorite holiday, and I thank my sweet husband for making me feel loved and cherished on this special day!

I am so thankful for all the mothers who came before me. I am truly thankful for the blessing of Miles in my life. My sweet son, you will always be the little boy that made me a mother... no matter how old you are.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Prayers for the Pelicans

In every lifetime there are historical events that occur and in some ways manage to shape your reality. These events are the kinds that you can recall almost the exact place you were standing, or the thoughts you were having a second before they occurred.

I remember filing into the school lunchroom as a child and waiting with anticipation for a teacher to launch into space. I dreamed of becoming an astronaut one day and I was especially excited for this historic event. Then suddenly the cheering was halted, the room filled with gasps, and as my teacher rushed to turn off the television the dreams of an entire nation evaporated into the Florida sky.

I remember the September morning that my father called me in Santa Fe. It was uncharacteristically early for my phone to ring and my heart pounded wondering why. My father said that he "knew I did not have a television, and he thought I should be aware of what was happening in the world." We cried as he explained the events that were unfolding in New York City. As I hung up I looked out over the most serene high desert landscape and I could not comprehend the terror that others were experiencing at that very moment; my heart ached for them.

I find myself wondering what these eyes will see in his lifetime. What events will occur that will shape his life and form memories that become part of his being? Already in the few months since he has been born there have been terrible earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, and most recently the disaster in the Gulf of Mexico. I know that he is too young to remember these things right now, so I will be responsible for telling him what the world was like before these historic events occurred.

I hope that I can find a way to explain to him why we humans have made such a mess of this planet. I will tell him that I remember running along the beach in Texas, chasing my brothers in and out of the waves, wearing our tennis shoes so we would not step on jellyfish. I hope that he will one-day be able to see the same ocean, without worrying that he will be covered in oily residue. I sincerely hope that there are jellyfish, and turtles, and dolphins still swimming there by the time we visit again.

Right now when I hold him close and describe all the things that are wonderful about this world, I make sure to mention the coast where I grew up. We talk about the precious estuaries that connect the rivers and the sea where the waters meet. We talk about the birds that use these nesting grounds as they travel across the globe. We make sure to send our love to all the people who are trying to fix this mess, and when we say our prayers we include all animals, but especially the Brown Pelicans.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Rolling Around

On Sunday (5/2) we had an exciting event take place at our house... OK exciting to me at least :-) Papou Jim was here and went out for a wonderful breakfast at Gaia in the morning. Then when we came home we had sort of an impromptu hang out session, in the stairwell/hallway of our house - of all places. I put Miles down on his belly, because he has been much more agreeable with this lately. Then Papou got down and laughed and "talked" with him. Then all of the sudden it happened! He rolled over!

My immediate reaction was to squeal with excitement... then suddenly Miles looked terribly frightened, and he burst into tears! Michael just happened to be standing by with the camera to capture the hysterical moment, although I am not sure Miles thought it was very funny at all.

I love this picture where you can see me sincerely overjoyed in the background and my sweet son just terrified by it all. What amazes me is that my reaction was entirely involuntary. I watched him accomplish this new feat and suddenly I was filled with this extreme sense of pride along with complete adoration and excitement. Before I knew it this scream of praise erupted from my mouth - I'll be honest it surprised me a bit too. I never understood mothers who ran down the sidelines cheering as their child raced to make a goal, or placed the spelling test with a big red letter A on their office door. I never thought I would be one of "those" mothers. But, Sunday I realized that once you become a mother you really have no choice. You are instantly madly in love and overflowing with pride with each small task your child accomplishes. All I can promise Miles is that hopefully by the time he learns to tie his shoes or brush his own teeth I will be a bit more composed with my enthusiasm. I'll try Miles, I truly will.

Papou Jim calmed him down, and they were back on the floor trying to recreate the event. In typical Miles fashion he refused to perform for the camera, but they had fun playing for awhile.

It was wonderful to see them hanging out, and really - as I stood on the landing and watched as Michael took these pictures, I wished I had grabbed another camera to capture the image of the three of them! I am so appreciative of this precious time in our lives when Miles gets to be surrounded by the love of his grandparents, (and even his great grandmothers too!) He has brought us all closer in a way I never imagined, simply by rolling around on the ground as we all stand back and watch in awe.