Sunday, October 31, 2010

Halloween Rabbit

We started out the week surrounded by boxes and Miles seemed a bit bewildered as the contents of his room were shoved into a pile. He stayed very nearby as we continued to pack the house. I guess he wanted to keep a close eye on his stuff and make sure it was safe. We tried to help the transition by painting his new room the same color as his old one. It was also the first room in the new house to get unpacked so he would feel right at home.
Though we are excited for this change in our lives we found ourselves a bit sentimental the last night. We watched the last sunset from our windows and thought of all the wonderful events that have happened in our lives while we lived here. Most notably this is the home that Miles was born in. It is a place that has sheltered us, but also comforted us, and given us a foundation as a family on which to build our dreams. It felt good stepping out into something new because we will always have the warmth of this home in our hearts.

The very next night we watched the sunset at our new home, again surrounded by boxes - this time in various states of being unpacked. We stood out on the porch together and talked about all the new memories we will make here and how happy we are to begin this chapter in our lives!

As you can see Miles loved his first breakfast here in the kiwi bib from Aunt Jessica and Uncle Matt. We unpacked all day and then got him dressed for the Halloween festivities. He wore the orange rabbit ears that my mother made. I wore them for Halloween when I was a little over a year old, so they fit him fairly well.
He also wore the little sweater that GG just made for him, and he really did not seem to mind the whole get up. He laughed and sat on the lawn with his carrot rattle. Later he entertained all the kids who came to the door to trick-or-treat.

So glad my mom saved the ears and we could recreate the Halloween Rabbit experience for little man. Maybe they will last another generation.

We are settling in to this new place filled with hopes and dreams and all kinds of exciting plans for the future. Stay tuned, that's all for now folks!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Walks with Papou

Well our favorite "Snowbird" has left us for warmer weather and although we all miss him I think it is safe to say Miles misses him the most! Each morning this summer Papou Jim would take Miles on his hour long walk through the neighborhood. Along the way I am sure Miles was learning about local architecture and relevant history, all the while meeting the locals. This when he was not busy "singing" along or sneaking in a nap.

Personally I love the fact that he was getting so much fresh air and watching the world around him change each day. I know Papou loved the exercise, but I also know that he too looked forward to their morning ritual. I have taken Miles on a few walks since Papou left, but I it just is not the same. We look forward to spring when you guys can walk again!

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Catching Up

Well - anyone who has ever kept a journal knows that you inevitably get behind... and that is where I find myself now. The last few weeks have been an incredible blur of going, and doing, and finding new things. Literally. So let me catch up,

In honor of our joint birthday celebration we stole away for a few days and went to visit one of our favorite parts of Michigan. We stayed at the Neahtawanta Inn Bed & Breakfast on Old Mission Peninsula and the much needed quiet time complete with yoga, piano playing, and good food was just the recharge we needed to fuel the busy weeks we had ahead of us!

Miles enjoyed a meal of blueberries with yoghurt while we stayed at the inn. We had the place to ourselves and we spent our time basking in sunshine and enjoying the fall colors.

This group travels with a cooler packed with the foods we love. We also picked up some more goodies at Oryana, our favorite Traverse City health food store. With our stash of fresh food we could stop and make a meal whenever the need arose. That meant that Miles was dining in some interesting places... including the back of papa's truck.

Once the food settled we went for a ride on the swings at this park overlooking the water.

Then we got to connect with the Shelp's who are the newest residents of Traverse City! They welcomed us with open arms and showed us some of their new favorite places. We walked on the shore as sunset after dining at a local pizza joint that Leo loves 110% - we agreed!

It was wonderful to catch up with our dear friends and watch as our children played together! Leo and Ava are so kind to Miles and they took such gentle care of him, it was endearing to watch. Our time was too short and we look forward to having an excuse to head up north and visit again soon.

Not long after we returned home Michael had a gig at the Twisted Rooster a (newer) venue that has been supporting local musicians. Michael and his bass player Joel played an opening set with songs from the new record. Then Michael sat in with Karisa Wilson while she played.

It was an extra special event because the music got started at a reasonable enough hour that Miles got to go to his first gig and watch papa play! He looked like a regular groupie with his high chair pulled up in the front row. I think my favorite part of the evening was the fact that he was so excited to see people clapping after each song. This led him to start clapping, something that was new at the time. Since then he has been clapping constantly, and gets so excited when we cheer for him, which only makes him clap more.

Miles and I shared a dance and then we had to leave before Karisa played because it was getting to be bedtime. Miles loves to watch people, he is at home at the grocery store, or waiting in line at the post office. That is what I think I will always remember about this night. The intense look on his face as he studied all of the faces watching his father play guitar and sing. He laughed and he smiled and he danced along, and I found myself getting a little choked up thinking about the fact that he is forming his earliest memories of his talented father sharing his gift with the world.

Next up - we had to participate in the traditional Fall trip to Robinette's Orchard that is "required" by every Grand Rapid's resident! That meant we had to take a photograph of Miles next to the big apple out front so we can watch him grow through the years! The place was packed and we stood in line for our hot cider and cake donuts before taking his ten month picture sitting in the bins full of pumpkins.

Then we put Miles to work cleaning out the community garden! He crawled through the soil as we pulled plants and prepped the beds for winter. Of course the inevitable happened and his curiosity got the best of him.

Ever wonder what a handful of mud would taste like? Well, Miles can tell you! As usual with babies it happened so quickly that Michael and I didn't even see it. When we looked over there was a long string of black drool coming from his lips. We dropped our shovels and dove to assess the situation... was there a rock in there? had he already swallowed? how much did he eat?

All the emergency scenarios ran through my head! Michael pried open his jaws and swiped a finger through his mouth. I tried to think quick - wondering what our next steps would be! It all happened so fast, then suddenly Miles flashed his wide eyed grin - quite proud of what he'd done. I realized that he was fine - just a harmless handful of dirt in the mouth. He seemed more startled by our reaction than the initial mouthful of grime. He looked at us as if to say - "Oh - you are such new parents! Every child eats dirt - it is all going to be fine." At this point Michael and I looked over his head and started to giggle, that stifled laugh that means you don't want to encourage your child to repeat the actions that lead you to laughing like this, but in the end it was pretty funny to see. Just one of the many joys of parenting!

Michael celebrated his first birthday as a father and Miles helped him blow out his candles. Yia Yia Linda had a wonderful dinner for us and we celebrated with Yia Yia Liz.

Then we went to Nonna Linda's and Paw Paw's for round two. We were treated to my mothers outrageously delicious chocolate cheesecake! YUM!

So - that gets me pretty much caught up for now! Except for the really big news - which is - that in the middle of all of this other excitement we have found a new house, and we are moving. We are moving just a short distance away and we will still be in Grand Rapids area. I will be sure to send out letters and e-mail with the new address to everyone soon! Just give me a few weeks because we are still in the beginning phases of the move.

We have tons of work to do and right now as I write Michael is packing boxes so I better go and help! We are so excited to start this new chapter of our lives and we look forward to sharing more with you soon.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Chard Harvest

Well after a long summer fighting with the rabbits we finally managed a great chard harvest! Perhaps the rabbits finally tired of this delectable leafy green. Or maybe they were just feeling generous and knew that an entire summer without chard would make us truly sad. Either way we are grateful. Miles helped with the harvest and you can see the size of some of the gigantic leaves compared to our (almost) ten month old! We chopped and froze almost 16 cups to add to soups and stews all winter, and there was plenty more to make baby food for Miles too! We are happy to say that thanks to our garden everyone in the Triant family will be eating their greens all winter long!

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Crane Viewing

The final chapter of my birthday weekend started when we went to visit "GG" (Miles' great grandmother) who was visiting from Texas this past week. Then we were off on another outdoor adventure.We piled into the car and headed to the Baker Bird Sanctuary near Battle Creek. The man made lake that became the Michigan Audubon Society's first sanctuary has served as a stopping point for migrating sandhill cranes for generations. Also home to the annual CraneFest Celebration every October, the local Kiwanis Club opens their land for public viewing. We arrived in early evening and we were welcomed by flurry of avid birders armed with binoculars, telescopes, and lots of field guides!
The land was draped in signs of fall and the seedpods of every species were bursting forth to assure next years growth. I love milkweed in all seasons, especially because of their symbiotic relationship with the monarch butterfly, but they were especially beautiful in the setting sun as they spewed their furry seeds. Miles loved it when I pulled a handful and sprayed them in the gentle wind and they flew like snowflakes all around!

Michael carried Miles as we walked to the lookout point and waited for the unmistakable sounds of the cranes flying overhead.

As the sun set they arrived, a handful at first. Then a few more. Eventually they were like flapping threads of string connecting the water to the sky as more and more birds came in to roost for the night. What a sight! I will not soon forget the sounds of the birds calling and their silky wings flapping, or the wide open look of Miles' eyes. He was definitely in awe at these prehistoric creatures and it was a amazing to see him bird watching for the first time.

I love the beauty of fall in the "Mitten State" - captured perfectly by this fallen Sassafras leaf!
Miles would follow my finger and look to the crane filled skies and just giggle as they flew by.
Then, like with every good adventure, we ended with a meal! Love the bib over the fleece look!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Baby Convention

My birthday weekend continued with another Bradley Reunion at our house. It was outrageous to watch our babies interact and play together! At one point they all crawled over to the walker and pulled themselves up. It looked like they were having some kind of baby convention!
That sent all the moms racing for their cameras to capture the moment! I decided that since we had the gang back together we should recreate the photo we took back in February... here they are "On Top of the World" seven months ago,
and here they are now. They insisted in sitting up like grown up babies!

My how they have grown!