Sunday, August 30, 2009

Busy Baby

Becky meeting Miles for the first time.

There's a little smile!

Miles and new friend, one week old Simon.

Playing on his monkey mat.

He loves to reach for the little monkey toys.

Yoga baby - Miles at his first yoga class.

Hangin' in the Baby Bjorn.

Miles and mommy at the State Fair.

Miles sitting on his little cousin.

Rachel's baby shower.

As written on Sunday night...
It was another busy week in the Gray household. Sarah loves being at home with Miles but goes a little stir crazy if she and Miles are at home all day, everyday. This week however we were so busy that we probably over did it and are all tired today as a result. Here's a rundown of our busy but fun week.

Monday - Sarah and Miles visited friend Becky who is home from a summer internship with Intel in Portland. We walked along Minnehaha Creek. Mike worked.

Tuesday - Sarah and Miles brought a meal and present over to friends who just had a baby. Sarah could not get over how big 6 week old Miles was compared to one week old Simon! It's also so amazing how much stronger and more alert Miles is compared to a newborn. Miles holds his head up on his own for long stretches and looks around. He kicks his arms and legs a lot and likes to wiggle. He can raise his head up when on his tummy, is starting to coo in conversation and gives us at least one smile a day. Mike worked.
Thursday - In the morning Sarah and Miles went to a BYOB (Bring Your Own Baby) yoga class at Blooma in Edina. There were 12 moms and babies in the class. The first part of class we helped our babies to move around and stretch their limbs. Then the moms did some yoga while the babies laid on blankets at the top of our mats. It was awesome! At certain times in the class all of the babies were fussing and at other times the babies were all quiet. Miles was one of the youngest in class and did a great job. That afternoon we met friends Jill and baby Nova at Centential Lakes Park. For those in MN we would highly recommend a visit to this park. There are beautiful walking paths around a lake. The park has croquet and a mini golf courses and they pipe in classical music so while you're enjoying the flowers and the lake you can listen to lovely, relaxing music! It was a fun visit. Mike worked.

Friday - Sarah, Miles, Sharon and Rachel headed to the great MN get-together, the State Fair. It was Miles' first fair and first time on a city bus. He was such a good boy as we pushed him in the stroller through the crowds of people. Sarah, Sharon and Rachel enjoyed the typical MN fair food (i.e. fried pickles, cheese curds, 1919 rootbeer and more) and checked out the creative arts buildings, the miracle of birth barn (there were a few baby animals just born) and enjoyed the people watching. Mike worked - poor guy - he's missing out on all of this fun. He will be taking a few days off in September so our little family can have some quality family time. Friday evening we had dinner at Rachel and Graham's as a bon voyage dinner for Sharon and Dave who leave Monday for a dream vacation to Europe. We are so excited for them but will miss them very much when they're gone!

Sunday - Sarah hosted a baby shower for sister, Rachel. It was a lovely day - we're so excited for Rachel and can't wait to hold our new nephew! Sarah could not have taken care of Miles and thrown this party alone - Mike and Sharon were huge helps in the kitchen and in prepping everything. Mike and Miles hung out with "the guys" during the shower and ate burgers and watched the Twins. Tonight our little family is exhausted and Miles is crying now for his after dinner snack. Good night!

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Bye-bye Grandma & Grandpa Gray

Teddy bear hat

Cruising in the Baby Bjorn

Story time

Napping buddies

Baby mohawk

Curly top


Quality grandma time

Miles is six weeks old already! This also marks the halfway point of Sarah's maternity leave. She is not very happy about this at all!

Miles was quite the ladies man this week at a play date with 3 other girl babies. He's not very social yet - but just wait! It was fun for Sarah to see other babies and talk with other moms experiencing the same things with their babies such as high velocity baby farts, infant hiccups and sleepless nights. Sarah signed the family up for Early Childhood Development classes that start Monday evenings in September, as well as baby story time at both the Chanhassen and Southdale libraries.

Today was hectic but fun. Miles attended his first church festival. It was the 76th annual St. Huberts harvest festival and Sarah and her mom once again co-chaired the farmers market at the event. It was an all day marathon of pricing and selling produce and home-baked goods. One unique item we sold was the lemon cucumber. (Sarah googled it and it is a baseball sized, bright yellow cucumber that is sweeter then normal cucumbers. We bought a few and can't wait to try them.) Miles is still eating about every 2 hours during the day so this meant that Mike was committed to shuttling Miles back and forth between home and the church so that Sarah could feed him. We will try to stay committed to breastfeeding Miles as long as possible since so far the benefits to him way outweigh any inconvenience to us. Our family enjoyed eating the traditional chicken dinner, playing a few games of bingo and wandering around the booths. The Teddy Bear Band played a set in the afternoon and we know it won't be long before Miles is bopping and dancing to the music and playing all of the kids games at the festival.

Mike's parents have stayed with us for almost a month and tomorrow they hit the road again to visit friends and relatives in Kansas City and Oklahoma before heading back to Arizona for the fall and winter. They've been a tremendous help with projects around the house, cooking dinners and helping to care for Miles. Miles will miss them! We're planning to fly down to spend New Year's with them as we do every year. This year Miles will add a whole new element to this trip - it will be his first plane ride!

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Miles' Big Day

Proud parents

Godfather Matt and Godmother Rachel

Grandpa and Grandma Nickolay

Grandma and Grandpa Gray

Getting baptized

Receiving a blessing

Four generations

Three generations

First time in a big boy outfit and looking darn cute!

Just relaxin'

Miles and Nova Joy. Miles' future girlfriend?

Today was a special day for Miles Bennett. He was baptized after 10:30 am mass at St. Hubert's Church - the same church where Sarah and Mike were married. Miles snoozed during mass (we think that all of the singing lulled him to sleep) and was awake during the baptism ceremony. He was such a good boy and didn't cry at all! The ceremony was beautiful - he received many blessings and was baptized at the fountain in the back of the church. As the deacon dried Miles' head after pouring the cold water on him he joked that he has never had as much hair as Miles in his life! Godparents Rachel and Matt, Sarah's siblings, stood by his side and all of his grandparents were present. Miles wore a baptismal gown that has been passed down on Sarah's mom's side of the family. It was a great celebration with thirty-five family members at the baptism and lunch at the house afterward. Thank you to everyone who joined us for this joyous occasion and a big thank you to our immediate families who helped make this day happen.

In other news this week Miles had two special visitors, Jill, Sarah's ex-coworker, and her 7 month old daughter, Nova. Nova is such a doll. It was great visiting with them. Miles continues to grow everyday. Sarah put him in his first pair of overalls and he looked like such a big boy. Sarah is still feeding Miles every 2-3 hours and Mike is giving Miles one bottle every night. It really hit us tonight when we went for a walk how much Miles has grown. He no longer looks like a tiny newborn sitting in his stroller. It's almost time to retire the newborn sized clothing!

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Twinkle In His Eyes

A twinkle in his eyes!

Cutie pie

Miles does tummy time everyday.

Miles' first play date with Daren and Sylvia.

Dining al fresco with Auntie Rachel.

We love snuggling

Look at that big belly after eating!

Comfy, cozy in his sleep sack

Tummy Time

Miles turned four weeks old this Saturday and we think that he is starting to smile at us. When he's awake he is so alert - he loves looking out the window and at the fan and a few times when he is looking right at us with those big, beautiful eyes and we're having a conversation together he'll give us a smile. As parents we firmly believe that it's because he loves us and that it is not because he has gas. He definitely has a twinkle in his eyes.

Miles had a few more visitors this week. Tuesday evening Sarah's friend Amy came over for a visit and kindly brought us a delicious dinner and the cutest argyle sweater vest for Miles. Wednesday afternoon Sarah's cousin Amy and two of her five kids stopped by. Amy's youngest, Daren, is almost nine months old and is such a big boy. Looking at him it is fun to think about what we have to look forward to!

This week we also received a call from the pediatrician's office that the state of Minnesota did not receive Miles' newborn screening test in time and the test would have to be redone. On Thursday, Sarah, Miles and Auntie Rachel trekked back to the hospital so the poor little guy could get his heal poked again. Luckily Auntie is a nurse and stayed by Miles' side while Sarah worried, near tears, in the waiting room. Mike says Sarah's mama bear insticts have kicked into high gear. During the poke Miles let everyone know he was not very happy about having to repeat this test but Sarah timed it right so that he could be fed right afterwards which always makes him a happy boy. After the traumatic (more so for Sarah then for Miles) trip to the hospital the three of us went to Lola's on Lake Waconia for lunch and Miles had his first outdoor dining experience with the girls. It was a gorgeous day out and Miles loves hanging out with the sisters. Soon enough it will be two sisters and two little boys going out to lunch together - we can't wait!

Friday both sets of grandparents and the Carlsons got together for an indoor bbq and we could really tell how much Miles is loved because even when he's getting his diaper changed he had an audience of adoring fans ohhing and ahhing over his every wiggle.

Saturday marked a big moment for Mike and Miles - daddy got to feed him his first bottle. Mike and Sarah were initially concerned that Miles might not like it but once we parents fumbled through the process of assembling the bottle and warming the milk (if Miles could talk he would cry "rookie parents!") Miles took to it immediately and it was gone in a flash. Mike will now give Miles a bottle every night which will allow Sarah time to be away from Miles for more then 1-2 hour stretches (not that she wants to be away because he's so loveable!).

Our little family is settling nicely into the realization that this new little human is here to stay and Mike and Sarah are loving and appreciating every moment.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Grandparents... Gotta Love 'Em!

Grandma Nickolay

Grandpa Nickolay

Grandma Gray

Grandpa Gray

Great-Grandpa Nickolay

Miles' first visit to Great-Grandpa's house in New Prague.

Snoozing next to the quilt Grandma Gray made with love.

We love bath time!

Trial run with the Baby Bjorn.

Miles is so lucky to have all four grandparents in his life as well as a great-grandpa. Unfortunately, Mike didn't know any of his grandparents but Sarah has known all four of her grandparents and three great-grandparents during her life.

This is the first grandchild for Grammy and Grampy Nickolay and they can't get enough of Miles. They were Miles' first visitors in the hospital and since we live in the same neighborhood they come over daily for their Miles fix. This gives Sarah a much needed break (especially after an all-night nursing marathon) to shower and get a few things done around the house.

Saturday afternoon Grandma and Grandpa Gray arrived from a two-month cross-country RV journey originating in Arizona, then trekking to Alaska and then down to Minnesota. They arrived with friends and quickly fell in love with little Miles. Needless to say Miles is getting lots of hugs and kisses and barely has slept in his crib because everyone wants to cuddle with him!

On Tuesday, Sarah and her dad took Miles to New Prague to meet his Great-Grandpa Nickolay. This grandpa has seven children, 17 grandchildren and 10 great-grandchildren... and counting. Miles also met his Great-Great-Aunt Lucille who lives next door. It was a beautiful day out so Grandpa Francis took us for a tour of his huge vegetable gardens. Miles will have to go back soon for another visit.

Thursday marked Miles' first time in a restaurant. Sarah braved the outing with Miles to have a much needed "girls day" with her mom and sister. We met Rachel and Sharon at Rachel's house and Sarah fed Miles. Then we went to Yum! in St. Louis Park for lunch. The girls ate a great meal and Miles slept through the whole experience. Next, it was back to Rachel's house so Miles could eat again and then Sarah and Rachel went for pedicures and sister bonding time. It was a great day.

Mike continues to work and misses Miles very much when he's away (Sarah and Miles miss him too). Now that Mike's parents are here for a couple of weeks Mike will take some more time off to bond with Miles and work with his dad on some house projects. There is no end to these home improvements - stay tuned for pictures!