Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Tree Cutting

Miles went on his first adventure to a tree farm last week with Nonna and Paw Paw to help them find a tree for their home. We had a wonderful time! The weather was beautiful and actually quite warm. I think I had Miles in way too many layers, but I did not want him to get cold!

Paw Paw was looking for a "tall and skinny Fraser Fir" so the tractor took us to just the place! Not far from the road we found it! We thought it looked almost Dr. Seuss like with it's gaps between branches, but my dad said this would leave plenty of room for their (massive) ornament collection.

We rode back to the car feeling quite triumphant. It was a wonderful outing, the stuff that traditions are made of. Next we will have to take a picture of the little guy next to the tree when it is decorated!

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Oh, the Places You'll Go!

Miles has been wearing little shoes for awhile now and I think they are so precious. When I am putting them on sometimes I find myself reciting from one of my favorite book by Dr. Seuss. I tell him "Miles Alexander, You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose." He does seem to be full of his own intentions lately, and is often heading off in his own direction.

I must remember that although I can steer him along the path, this is his journey through the world. It seems fitting that this rhyme comes to mind. The book by Dr. Seuss was given to me upon my graduation from high school. I can only imagine what my parents felt like as they REALLY sent me out into the world to make decisions of my own. I hope when the time comes for Miles (I do not hyperventilate :-) and remember to share this book with him...

Congratulations! Today is your day.
You're off to great places! You're off on your way!

You have brains in your head.
You have feet in your shoes.
You can steer yourself any direction you choose.
You're on your own. And you know what you know.
And YOU are the guy who'll decide where to go.

You'll look up and down streets. Look 'em over with care.
About some you will say, "I don't choose to go there."
With your head full of brains and your shoes full of feet,
you're too smart to go down any not-so-good street.

And you may not find any you'll want to go down.
In that case, of course, you'll head straight out of town.
It's opener there in the wide open air.
Out there things can happen and frequently do
to people as brainy and footsy as you.

And when things start to happen, don't worry.
Don't stew. Just go right along. You'll start happening too.

Until that time comes I will enjoying sharing the road with him and try to make sure he can enjoy the view from the car seat!

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Little Helper

Miles loves to help you with whatever you are working on! He was watching Michael take apart some of his music equipment and he wanted to get right into the action. He is not content to "pretend" and work on something near you, or with tools that are not true to form (i.e. you can't trade out a block for a screwdriver - he wants the real deal). This particular morning he watched Micheal rather intently, then proceeded to take the screwdriver from his hand and get to work. It is fascinating to watch as he learns to mimic our actions and make them his own.

Helping papa!

At eleven months there are many things that have begun to mark his independence. Including his telling squeal that explains that he is asserting his own opinion! He also likes to hold his bottle, or his spoon or fork when eating at the table. Often he will extend his little arm to share a bite of whatever he is eating. The act is so charming I find myself nibbling on gooey rice crackers and mushy bananas all the time.

In the new house he is learning to navigate stairs. Going up was easy, and just recently he learned to cautiously travel down. He is also standing on his own for a few seconds at a time. I can see his comfort with this is growing exponentially and I can only imagine what is next. I have a feeling the "toddling" years were aptly named.

I think his favorite thing to "help" with right now is unpacking. He is really good at "unpacking" his bookshelf, his toy bin, the kitchen cabinets, and especially the basket of laundry you have just folded. Luckily he is simply adorable as he does it, so for the time being I have not minded following behind and "repacking" everything again. :-)

Friday, November 26, 2010

"Bye Bye"

The table was set beautifully, the food was delicious, the conversation with family was wonderful. It was a perfect first Thanksgiving for our little man, but the highlight of the evening was definitely at the very end!

As Miles watched Nonna & Paw Paw, Aunt Sarah & Uncle David gather their coats, their piles of leftovers, and head for the door he unquestionably waved and said "Bye Bye!" Although he has been prompted to say these words many times before, this was the first time the words were truly unsolicited. He came to his own conclusion that the people he had been playing with were leaving, therefore it was time to say goodbye. Oh - how can something so simple just make you swell with pride? Michael and I shared a glowing glance through the crowd as if to say "That's our boy." As we drove home we talked about what words will follow, and what it will be like when all of these sweet baby babblings are turned into words and he can share all of the thoughts he is having. We felt like for the first time we got a glimpse of what his voice will sound like when he speaks. Music to my ears :-)

The Thanksgiving holiday has evolved to be a wonderful time to express your gratitude, especially to family and friends. This year I am especially grateful to spend time with family - it seems that having a child of your own truly helps you realize the value of close family ties. I am also very thankful for my wonderful collection of friends, both new and old, who have shared this incredible year of change and watched/helped our family grow.

I was baking our pumpkin pies and listening to tunes on Thursday morning when a favorite song by Chris Smither came on to the shuffle mix. I think he says best how I feel about the "things" I most cherish in life...
"In the end no one will sell you what you need,
You can't buy it off the shelf,
You've got to grow it from the seed."

Sunday, November 21, 2010


This weekend as Miles napped I reopened the "Canning Factory" in our new kitchen and made him some applesauce! While cutting the (many many) apples I remembered how amazed I was as a child to find out that when you cut an apple it had a "star" inside. I found myself cutting each core looking for the star, and then I lined them up for a photo. Good kitchen art!

When Miles woke up he spent the rest of the time "helping" in his walker, and spending a lot of time right under my feet. When he was not rolling me over we giggled as he raced around. He gnawed on apple chunks with his teething gums. I think that it must have felt good because he just kept chewing, and eventually was covered in juice and mush! Luckily I took his eleven month picture before he was too messy!

Later that night the (day before) full moon rose and we were excited to watch it from the porch. The November full moon is known as the Full Beaver Moon and I am excited to report that I think I have identified the two swimming mammals in the pond as beavers... what a coincidence huh? I know - who is the science nerd here??? But, as I watched them swim and "slap" the water yesterday it occurred to me that they might be the reason that the Norway Maple in the backyard has the strange scars around the trunk that seem to be killing it.

We also managed to sneak in some playtime with baby Chloe and as always it was so wonderful to see the babies interact. Miles is so enthusiastic around his little friends, almost too much at times because his energetic squeals seemed to freak her out. I guess learning how to play well with others really is a lifelong pursuit!

Monday, November 15, 2010

Our New Neighbors

We are really enjoying being in our new space and making it feel like a home. Last week my sweet friend Angela came over and shared her organizational skills by helping me get the kitchen in order. It really is the heart of a home in my opinion, and I wanted to make sure that everything had a place. The jars filled with dry goods and the spice rack Michael built me are central to the kitchen. It is comforting when I look up and see the rice, flours, beans, spices, and grains that are all waiting to become part of a meal. In every home I have lived in these jars have organized the food that has nourished me. When Michael and I saw this place we both looked on top of the cabinets and said, "The jars can go there."

Part of the joy of moving it getting to develop a new sense of place along with finding a new place for all of your things. When I am not opening every drawer trying to remember which one I put the whatever it is I am looking for in, I am reveling in the opportunity to revamp and restyle our home. Miles seems to just like "taking the tour" as I call it. He often crawls from room to room as if to look at all of the old things in their very new places.

I find myself wondering what he thinks about all of this change that happened rather abruptly in his little life. I try to take time to ponder what it must look like through his eyes.

Each morning we look out the window over the water and think about our day ahead. Each day is a new opportunity for him (and all of us really) to learn and try new things. The seasons are changing, and we feel the effects of our own change, but we are beginning to settle in. We are starting to develop routines here. We have even found a wonderful place to walk in the woods! I look forward to learning the land here and watching it change through the seasons.

We walked the trails as the sun set and saw the waxing crescent moon hanging above us. The start of our first full lunar cycle in our new home.

There are so many geese preparing to migrate right now and flocks of them flew past as dusk settled over the land. As they struggled to reach formation their flapping wings and honking calls tied heaven to earth on this ethereal evening with "my boys."

The very next day we were greeted by our heron friend standing on the dock. Miles and I waved "hello" to our new neighbor, although he probably knows we are the new ones around here. I must say that each day truly feels like an adventure right now. We are enjoying meeting our new neighbors (both human and avian) and we are looking forward to growing into our new community.