Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Rock Star Baby

Miles has been having a couple of rough days dealing with teething pain. It seems especially difficult in the evening when he is getting tired. Luckily Michael figured out a long time ago that one of the easiest ways to soothe our boy is with music. When he began to play his frown was instantly transformed into a toothy grin.
This time Miles even tried to strum along.
Notice his "Rock Star Jammies" with the electric guitar - we think he wears them well!
He looked incredibly comfortable curled up in the guitar case... a natural born rock star? We will have to wait and see :-)

Friday, September 17, 2010

Belly and Baby

Needless to say I was hesitant to stick my ever enlarging belly out from behind a tree last November... but I must admit my sweet friend Sarah was right, having the photos to compare is priceless! Fun to see the seasons change, and look at what a difference nine months can make. The more recent photo was taken in August on another wonderful visit to their home, the last before their big move to Traverse City!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Standing Up

I am amazed at how quickly a (almost) nine month old builds confidence. Suddenly his wanderings have taken to a vertical nature and he has been fearlessly pulling himself UP! Wow. What really astounds me is that almost 18 months ago he was only two little cells that bumped into each other; now he is a little human learning to navigate and find his own way in the world. I just keep reeling at this miracle we have been blessed enough to witness!

Lately Miles has been crawling himself over to, and pulling himself up on, anything and everything he can get a hold of. But, the real change happened this weekend. He did not want to fall asleep in his crib during naptime. We could hear him talking and entertaining himself. Then suddenly the tone shifted, we could hear him squealing with glee. When we went to investigate what all of the raucous was about, we found a little boy who learned how to STAND UP in his crib!

He was truly proud of his new trick. I found myself wondering if he is going to be like his Theo Dan (a.k.a. Spiderman) and the next thing he will learn how to do is climb OUT! Yikes!

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Hand to mouth

Well the only thing Miles loves more than eating, is feeding himself. This past week he has perfected the art of picking up his Toasted O's and placing them in his mouth! A seemingly menial task, but at the beginning it was quite a chore. After one long day of "training" he managed to get all of the details of the move. He starts with the pincer grasp, then pulls the hand to mouth, places the food on the gums, and chomps vigorously.

Honestly, Michael and I could sit and watch him do this for hours on end. So precious!

Thursday, September 9, 2010


The recent dip in temperatures had me running to the closet to pull out all the warm clothes I could find. It is funny how sixty degrees on this side of summer can seem so cold. I'm not kidding, I actually pulled out the long underwear! I also made sure to take a tally of all our warm winter hats. We would not want little man to get cold as we head outdoors this winter.
This little red hat that was a hand-me-down from the Shelps seemed just the thing! I was especially attracted to the ties, as Miles has become a huge fan of pulling off anything placed on his head lately.
The ties did not stop him, but it did make it much harder for him to accomplish the intended task. With hats on we were ready to go outside and explore the fresh fall air and the brisk breeze.

The family that wears hats together - stays together!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Teeth vs Crawling

The big debate at our house has been trying to decide whether Miles will crawl first or if his teeth will come in. Well after much anticipation it seems to be a tie.
Two little white tooth buds have erupted from his bottom gums, much to his dismay. The pain seems to bother him more at night when he sucks on his fingers and rubs at his tired eyes. So far I feel blessed that we have has such a happy baby and the fussiness of teething has been relatively minor considering how much it must hurt to cut teeth.At the same time he has become more and more stable on all fours and has been using this new found freedom to explore this place we call home. This has made for a new phase in motherhood, as I had become accustomed to placing him on his play mat and going about my work. Suddenly all things are accessible! Never mind electrical outlets... when I heard him "strumming" away at Papa's guitar I went into high alert!

His curiosity astounds me and he seems to have a keen eye for all those things you don't want babies to play with: paperclips, lamp cords, stereo speakers, and precious guitars to name a few. Looks like my days of mothering are about to get much busier! It is all worth it though because it truly is amazing to watch as he grows and discovers the world.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Labor Day

This family loves to celebrate holidays by dining extravagantly, and Labor Day weekend was no exception! We started with a breakfast of peach pecan buttermilk and yoghurt pancakes. The good food energized us enough to go work in the garden and do some much needed "housecleaning." We gathered another huge harvest of heirloom tomatoes... and pulled out what was left of the fall beets because the rabbits have demolished them :-(

In keeping with what has become a Labor Day tradition I spent the morning canning tomatoes in various forms. My favorite of the day was the stewed tomatoes with basil, tarragon, onions, and roasted red peppers. Can't wait to use them in warming meals this winter.

It was a wonderful day cooking in the kitchen and I had lots of help! Because I spend so much time in this one room of the house this time of year, Miles has found a way to keep himself entertained! He loves to play "pots & pans" while mom works, and I love to listen to him giggle as he makes all kinds of noise!

I love that he is growing up surrounded by all the smells of the kitchen and learning about our love for food as he watches me preserve the harvest. Today he experienced one of my all time favorite scents as I roasted green chilis in the oven. In New Mexico in the fall the entire market smells like roasted green chilis. Farmers fill spinning baskets rigged over open flames to roast them by the bushel. Our operation was much smaller, but the smell was just as wonderful. The characteristic popping sound as the flesh bursts the browning skins makes my mouth just water imagining all the meals we will use these chilis in.

Later in the day we headed out to Nona and Paw Paw's house. The weather cleared and we were able to grill outside and enjoy even more delicious food! My mom made an amazing potato salad. She also treated us to some of her fried okra - picked fresh from the almost five foot tall plants in the garden - a southerner's delight! Dessert was hand pies filled with local peaches and apples.

We spent some much needed quality time catching up with Aunt Sarah and Uncle David. Before we left my dad and I went on a "tour" of the garden and woods. We picked the first blueberries from the small bushes he has planted, and harvested the very last of the elderberries that the birds have left behind. I look forward to the fact that Miles will grow up knowing this place and will become familiar with flora and fauna of his grandparent's backyard.
As the long weekend ended and everyone heads back to work and school I found myself slowly saying goodbye to summer. I will really try to savor the last rays of sunshine in the shortening days, and be sure to shove as much summer into canning jars as my kitchen will allow so we can taste the season all winter long.

Greg Brown, the well know singer and songwriter from Michigan, describes storing the harvest best in his song "Canned Goods" -

"When I go to see grandma I gain a lot a weight,
With her dear hands she gives me plate after plate.
She cans the pickles sweet and dill
and the songs of the whip-poor-will,
and the morning dew and the evening moon,
I really gotta go down and see her soon
'Cause the canned goods that you buy at the store
Ain't got the summer in 'em anymore.
You bet grandma as sure as your born,
I'll take some more potatoes and a thunderstorm."

(When I first heard this song years ago I found myself secretly hoping that this is how my grandchildren would describe me one day :-) I guess we will just have to wait and see...