Sunday, July 29, 2012
Monday, September 13, 2010
There would be Chloe rushing to the doorway’s edge, wagging her nump and running into me with excitement. Miles would be running around the circle – the 15 foot circumference that went through the living room, kitchen, dining room and entry way – yelling gibberish at Chloe. Mana would be in the kitchen in the midst of cooking dinner. It always smelled amazing and it was always all within my view from the entry way.
It was utter chaos and it was beautiful. But instead, this home once bursting at the seams with life and love greeted me with complete emptiness, minus a couple leftover boxes of stuff.
Reality of the fact this commonplace scene will never be lived again finally hit me and I immediately broke down.
As I lifted my arm to wipe away tears, I was brought back with the realization I was still holding my lunch; quesadillas from the Taco Taxi, and I was damn hungry. Shock gave way to a more urgent human need.
I had been meaning to eat at this restaurant for at least two years, but, for one reason or another, never stopped by. Now, I stood devouring some of the best Mexican food I’ve eaten in at least two years cursing myself for not enjoying more of the foods up and down Lake Street when I had the chance.
After lunch, I made another tour of the house to take stock of what yet needed to be done. But, all that was really left was just more surreal reality. Even the gunk in the bathroom sink suddenly went from gross to touching remnants of a life now past.
It’s not that I wasn’t excited to get out of a house that was no longer fit for our growing family, but permanent goodbyes are hard.
I grabbed what was left and headed out to what is home for now: my father-in-law’s house in Minnetonka.
When I got there, I was greeted by Chloe running recklessly toward the car. After she finally let me open the car door, I made my way to the house as she circled my legs. I opened the door to find Miles running through the entry way, yelling gibberish at all the dogs.. Mana was in the kitchen making dinner. It smelled amazing.
My heavy heart lifted immediately.
Later that evening as we were pulling away from the final family tour of the old place, Miles said it best, “bye, bye house.”
Friday, July 2, 2010
Sometimes successfully, but usually not, I’ve been trying to get Miles to hold my hand when we’re walking places like a restaurant, or a store, or down the middle of the street. This walk was no exception. My efforts were met with an immediate tantrum and screaming.
Then, Grandpa Mike quickly grabbed his other hand and starting counting, “one, two, three!" And, we lifted Miles up in a swinging motion to his laughter. Crisis averted. Whew.
But wait, there’s more. After a few rounds of this, to our surprise, Miles started to count along. We’d start with, “one,” and he’d finish with, “two, free (three)!”
This proud Da-Da was beaming. But I’d soon find out, that was nothing.
When I got home from work on Monday, an excited Ma-Na reported that Miles can count to 10. She explained that as she was preparing dinner, she was counting to 10 and encouraging Miles to join. During one round as she got to eight, Miles quickly finished with, “nine, 10!”
This went on in a back-in-forth of Ma-Na starting with, “one,” and Miles chiming in with, “two,” all the way up to ten.
Since then, “counting” has become one of Miles new favorite things. Lately, six is coming after one, but we’re working on it.
Thursday, April 1, 2010
The statement is just one shining example of how much Miles has evolved in the past few weeks. “Row Your Boat,” is currently his favorite song, with many others as a close number two. As of recently (past couple weeks or so...) he can now request it verbally. And, for better or worse, this request is almost always met on demand. File under: too cute to turn down.
Unfortunately, this request was being made at 4:00 a.m. Sorry bud, even cute has its limitations.
His request was followed by more chatter, which, as it tends to, grew into louder chatter and eventually full blown wailing. Shit.
My quick snooze dream he had fallen back asleep was shattered. He was awake. And now, so was I.
It doesn’t help that he’s currently sleeping in the same room as us. With our house on the market, rooms need to be staged in a matter of minutes and it just makes sense for him to be in our room. Adding to this, life’s been crazy lately and it seems the changes and variances from day-to-day are even catching up with Miles. He’s been waking up (way too) early a lot these days.
I crawled out of bed, stumbled over Chloe and made my way to his crib. As I picked up Mr. Bright Eyes, he was already engaging in his current favorite pastime – pointing at things and saying what sounds like, “what this?”
“It’s your crib, Miles,” I said.
“Wha’,” he said as he pointed at it again.
“Door,” I repeat, as I often have to over, and over and…
I carried him downstairs and we went through our routine, which involves filling a bottle, and lately, giving him a shot of medicine, usually in the dark while holding him. Some attempts are better than others. Mostly at this stage, I’m on automatic pilot.
We sat downstairs so ‘Ma-Na’ could get some more sleep.
I flipped on the tube and zoned out to some infomercial with Miles resting between my legs, enjoying his ‘Ba-Ba.’
Finished, he tossed it to the side without care. Always makes me think of Dennis Leary’s fantasy of arrogantly tossing styrofoam cheeseburger containers out his car window….
As I sat there half-awake, tired, grumpy and a bit overwhelmed by my day ahead, Miles turned to me and said, “row, row, bot.”
I sang, we mimicked rowing and he ‘screamed’ on cue during the crocodile verse. He even put his hands to his cheeks right on time. I finished to his roaring applause. It's confirmed, Miles is the best, completely unpredictable, alarm clock ever.
Tuesday, February 23, 2010
Wednesday, February 10, 2010
It’s February 2010, and this only our second post since 2009. And that post was well before Christmas.
Its times like these I’m glad I don’t have to answer to a higher blog authority, especially if the authority was Mrs. Leidman, my 8th grade English teacher. She may have only been five-feet tall and 120 pounds, but she was tough and feisty. If she was in charge, I’d now be typing blog updates every day after school until well into 2011, and just happy to be alive.
But I digress, much like I blog.
Since our last post in 2009 a few things have happened. Let’s begin with Christmas and start with the annual Riddle caroling party.
For all intents and purposes it was Miles’ first appearance at this long-standing tradition. Last year at this time he was only a couple months old and spent the evening sleeping or snuggling on his Mana. This year he stayed up well past his bedtime enjoying Grandpa Mike’s guitar playing, the Christmas lights and the chorus of voices that, as a whole, are always more joyful than in-tune. I accept my part for both adding joy and subtracting tune.
For a better part of the night the party was minus Sarah and Jeremy. They were busy preparing for a little trip that would take them half way around the world to be with their kids and add to their, and our, family.
That leads me to Christmas Eve. The first time we hosted a Christmas gathering.
As it turned out, it was the first time ever we weren’t expected to be anywhere on Christmas Eve. A first, and unique enough that we were happy to be where we were.
With an open docket, we decided to do church and dinner with Sarah and Jeremy, joining them for the First Universalist Christmas Eve children’s service. Although the journey only took us to Uptown, a few miles from home, it was still an adventure. It was snowing and raining (seriously, raining in Minnesota on Christmas Eve?) as generously as the season is holly. It was a short, traditional service that featured a number of performances from children’s choir. After each reading and song Miles felt the need to either applaud or respond loudly verbally. We laughed in the comfort of all the other parents attempting to “wrangle” their wee ones doing the same thing. Whew. Actually, it seemed the few of us who made it were just happy to be in each other’s company on such a winter’s day…
Service was followed by dinner at our house. We chose a traditional meal: Carnita Tacos. It was a memorable dinner for many reasons. The gathering ended early as both couples still had lots to do. Us with Christmas, them with Christmas and that little trip…
Christmas Eve…. full of last minute to-dos… Katy was busy getting everything that needed to get done, done; I was busy trying to stay awake and baking goods in the spare time. Eventually, the night wrapped up with both of us passing out in the living room.
This led to Christmas morning. It marked our first Christmas morning at our house with our first baby boy. Obviously, this was more significant to Katy and I than Miles (marked by me tearing up as I wrote this), but he had a great time too. Gifts were unwrapped and good times were had. He was more interested in the wrapping and bows than the gifts… we should hope to only be so lucky for the years to come…
This was followed by Christmas Day at Grandma Becky’s and Grandpa Mike’s then onto Great Grandma’s for a full family celebration and dinner. On all accounts, it was a wonderful Christmas full of unwrapping gifts for Miles, who continued to show that sometimes the best gift is the wrapping and the box it comes in.. Had it been a few degrees cooler, it may never have happened this way as it continued to rain all day. The oddest Christmas weather we can ever remember.
Christmas with my family got a bit disjointed. The weather led to undesirable traveling conditions, so we had Christmas in mid-January at my sister’s house in Brainerd. Actually, it was kind of nice to extend the holiday.
Miles had a great time with his older cousin, James. They both got sleds from Grandma and Grandpa Tepley and Miles enjoyed his first sledding outing.
What seemed to be a never-ending trip eventually came to a fantastic finish. Sarah and Jeremy returned from Ethiopia with their children Hirut, Helen, and Binyam at the end of January. Since we spent the better part of January waiting with baited breath for updates on their travels and adoption process, to finally have the family home was a true splendor.
All in all, we’re all happy and making our way through another Minnesota winter. Here’s to more consistent, less weighty blog updates. Pictures and video to come. Hopefully yet this year…
Tuesday, February 2, 2010
“Oh, it’s like a date,” Katy said after the attendant told us it would be about a half-hour wait.
Surprised by the thought, I gave her a puzzled look. After all, it was Sunday afternoon and we were at Bobby & Steve’s getting a slow-leaking tire fixed. On the surface, nothing at all like a date really.
“They have coffee, and a café; and look, they’re showing a movie,” she continued in defense of her statement. “Or, we could actually just sit and talk.”
As luck would have it, a malfunctioning tire was pointed out by my parents who were following us on the freeway earlier in the day. Our original plan to meet for breakfast turned into more of an adventure after Katy offered to take my mom to Kitchen Window to look for a lefse roller she’d been searching for.
After breakfast at Emma’s (Miles recommends the blueberry pancakes, of course) we caravanned up 169, planning to meet back our house. The peaceful drive was quickly interrupted when I noticed my folks blazing up to us in the left lane.
With a look of concern, my mom yelled, “pull over!” Never good. Indeed, one of our back tires was nearly flat.
Thankfully, we were able to drive to a service station just up the road. After some commotion that involved the discovery of a nearly worthless car jack and a screaming baby, the tire seemed to be holding air okay, so we decided to get back home to take care of the problem.
When we got home, Grandma and Grandpa were more than happy to look after Miles, giving Katy and me some freedom to take care of the car.
So there we were at Bobby & Steve’s, alone for the first time in long time, on like a date.
p.s. - BIG thanks to Grandma & Grandpa Tepley for all the help and for what turned out to be a great day.
Wednesday, December 9, 2009
Surprisingly, it was not so terrible on a Monday afternoon and the butterfly tent was spectacular. Plenty of room to crawl around (for Miles), many colorful butterflies to chase, and other kids to watch.
In fact, it was so much fun that we returned this past Monday - and we brought friends.
Unfortunately*, we missed the attempted assault with a tomato... From the great distance we were required to keep without recently purchased book in hand and a VERY, VERY long wait in line, the best photo I was able to pull off is this fuzzy one below...
After visiting the butterflies, we made our way to Legoland, where Miles and friend built a couple of impressive structures.
*We do not wish harm on anyone, but I imagine it would have been quite a scene to witness...
Sunday, November 22, 2009
While waiting for his dinner, I grabbed a frozen pea out of the bowl of goods waiting to be heated up and handed it to him to see what he'd do with it.
Without even minor hesitation he promptly put it in his mouth. I anxiously awaited to see his surprise, or even disgust; but instead he eagerly chomped it down and ate it. Then, he immediately turned to me and said, "mar!"
He ate 10 frozen peas before dinner. I'm convinced, he's not a baby boy. He's a pea monster.
Saturday, November 14, 2009
Miles is hanging with Ma-Ma in the bedroom.
The usual morning interaction is taking place and I mostly just hear random, sporadic gibberish; until Ma-Ma says, "Miles, what can you say? Can you say Da-Da?"
Miles responds, "Da-d.."
"Can you say 'more'?"
"Can you say 'clock'?" (the kid is fascinated with the alarm clock and most things with red lights)
"Good job. Can you say Ba-Ba?*" (*bottle in the Team Tepley language)
"Very good. How 'bout Ma-Ma"
"Can you say 'Chloe'?"
Guess I can't argue with the logic, Chloe is pretty crazy.
Friday, November 13, 2009
I'm happy to report we made it through the weekend with Miles' health and well-being still intact.
When I got home from work the following Monday, I asked Katy how the day went, to which she responded, "fine.. did you scream a lot in the car over the weekend?"
I could tell there was a motive here, but what?... "You mean like, yell at other drivers?"
"No; like scream, scream."
Hmm.. my quick jog through my poor excuse for short-term memory turned up no recollection of random screaming in the car... "No, why?"
"Miles did a lot of random screaming everytime we were in the car. I thought maybe you guys were playing a game."
Right at that moment, as if on cue, Miles looked up from his Cheerios and blurted, "baah! ya! ya! ya!," in a loud sort of happy scream.
And, without even thinking I responded with, "blah! blah! blaaaah!"
What can I say, it's a groovy kind of love.
Wednesday, November 4, 2009
I know we haven't been as diligent at updating the blog as we should be. It's sometimes hard after our full days to sit down and write... even if it is just to recount the day. Today, though, I wanted to reflect.
This morning, I had coffee with a new friend. It was so wonderful to sit down with another mother, with a child, right around Miles age, talking about our lives. I didn't realize how much I missed that. I think a lot of new parents feel like I do. Like we have to re-establish who we are - re-invent ourselves to "fit" into our new roles as parents. We adjust, but often, I think that we neglect the experiences that shape us as individuals, not recognizing or nurturing the reality that we all play many roles (parent, spouse, professional, child, sibling, etc...)
It was amazing to me how my coffee partner and I followed similar paths in some ways and made very different choices in others. It's always a gift when someone shares their life stories with you - it made me realize how much of an impact that we all make on each other. Whether it is our friends or family, or a brief exchange with strangers, every interaction that we have the potential to make a difference in a person's life.
After coffee, I thought a lot about the effect of our choices when it comes to our kids - what an incredible responsibility it is to raise these little humans through childhood and into adulthood. Parents are so powerful, but I think that most of us are really quite uncertain, second guessing ourselves and worrying about little things (or everything).
At one point in our conversation, I admitted that I really didn't see the "grey" in life before Miles. Black, white, right and wrong always seemed obvious to me. But now, everything is "grey" different shades, mind you, but still grey.
This evening, when I picked Miles up from daycare, I looked at him and realized that he had grown... it seemed, since the morning (I had been suspecting that he was having a growth spurt - and this was my confirmation, he is getting so big, so fast!).
His teacher, Miss Amy shared the activities of the day, a picture that Miles had colored and the songs they sung in circle time. All of the sudden, Miles made a request "row, row row..." (They had sung Row, Row, Row your Boat" and he had taken a liking to the song.) Honoring his request, we sang it for him to his smile and when we finished he clapped.
After we got home - while dining on enchiladas, and through bed time, Miles repeated his request, "row, row, row..." his Da-da and I gladly performed (in a round, no less..)
It is so awesome to watch him grow and learn, to see the impact that we all have on his life and the awesome little person that is emerging.
Thank you Grandmas and Grandpas, Great-Grandmas and Great-Grandpa, Aunties and Uncles, new friends and old friends, Miss Amy and Miss Dee (and all of the teachers at Artisticrats) and especially, my dear, dear husband the most INCREDIBLE Da-da, for being a part of shaping who our little guy is and who I am too.
Just a little sample of his artistic point of view...
Thursday, October 29, 2009
Friday, October 23, 2009
Wednesday, October 21, 2009
One year ago, he was our revolution. Since then, we’ve had the privilege of witnessing all the revolutions he’s made through one year of life. Incredible and indescribable. Here and gone in an instant with another more advanced to take its place.
He’s gone from a squishy little guy who could hardly move to a busy boy who loves to crawl around the house in "hot pursuit" of Chloe. From making nothing but occasional gurgling noises to chanting “Da-Da! Da-Da! Da-Da!,” as I leave for work in the morning and return in the evening (the greatest goodbye and greeting, ever). This, of course, hardly scratches the surface.
The party was held at his Grandpa Mike’s and Grandma Becky’s house. All of his grandparents, aunts and uncles, only cousin in the states, and tons of additional family and friends were able to make it. It was a grand celebration of his life to date on all accounts.
The pinnacle moment was everyone gathering to sing “Yellow Submarine” to him. It's been his favorite ever since Grandpa Mike sang it to him on one his first days of life. A mainstay throughout all three hundred and … days of his so far revolution filled life.
Happy First Birthday, Buddy.
(Note: meltdown at end is a Miles' classic. He doesn't like sudden load noises.. makes it hard for Da-Da to be a Vikings' fan..)
Monday, September 28, 2009
Katy and I got the whole collection of original stories in one book for a shower gift. Since Miles was born, I’ve had the privilege of reading this collection to him. Kind of a nice first to share together.
Honestly, my fondness for the author and story started pretty lukewarm. After reading the first chapter my initial thought was: ‘Hallo! Hate to bother! But who let this pass without hiring an editor to help you express a concise thought every once in awhile? Geesh.’
Upon reflection, I think most of my frustration stemmed from not reading a book out loud since story time in Mr. Beck’s 6th grade class.
It was harder than I remembered; especially when captain run-on hits you with a five line sentence full of Old English phrases and made up words. I’m no grammar Nazi, but on a couple occasions I was so out of breath I started to see spots.
However, after I stumbled through the first couple of chapters, it got better. Much better actually.
I became fond of the phrases, Pooh’s poems and the characters’ come-as-you-are eccentricities. I actually took pride in being able to rattle off paragraphs (written as single sentences) full of confusing statements, purposeful misspellings and round-about logic.
Mostly I fell in love with getting swept away in the naivety, innocence and wonderment of youth captured so well by the author, told through stories of a little boy and his motley crew of stuffed animal friends.
But just when I couldn’t wait for another ridiculous adventure to unfold the final chapter hit me like a ton of bricks. Funny now to look back at how naïve of me it was to think that a little boy could lead a crew consisting of an Owl, Piglet, Tigger, Bear of Little Brain,…, on “expeditions” forever.
As the last chapter went on, it finally dawned on me Little Christopher Robin was growing up and putting away his stuffed animals for good. And, as I looked down at my soon to be one-year-old son, the story of this little boy growing just a little bit older became very hard for me to read out loud again.
Thanks Pooh. While reality can sometimes be a bother, I know I’ll cherish sharing the stories more and more every time through.
Thursday, July 9, 2009
Wednesday, June 24, 2009
Saturday, June 20, 2009
Thursday, June 18, 2009
Wednesday, June 17, 2009
The Tepley family has been enjoying the warmer days of June, working on lots of projects around the house and enjoying many new firsts for Mr. Miles.
His list of warm weather favorites are as follows:
1. He loves to be outside - Miles has been dining "al fresco" with Mama and Papa on the deck. Some of his new favorites are: sweet corn; peas; carrots; whole bananas; cantaloupe; berries; lentils; parsnips; alphabet pasta.
2. Long walks around the lake or the falls. Well, he rolls; we walk. But, we're enjoying the exercise as much as he's enjoying the new sights. He loves watching airplanes, birds, dogs, cars and other people - especially other babies. Other babies make him laugh and giggle. All this excitement usually leads to another favorite passtime, napping in the stroller outside in the shade.
3. Miles votes for playgrounds on every block. He's a big fan of swings and slides. To date, his favorite slide buddies are Mama, Papa and his older cousin, James. Also, Miles seems pretty sure the only thing cooler than running his fingers through grass, is running his fingers through sand.
4. Helping in the yard. Miles likes to pick flowers and grass. Watching Chloe chase the birds and bunnies makes him giggle wildly!
All in all, this family is incredibly happy to bust out of the house after a long cold winter and spend more time exploring our neighborhood and city with a new perspective - through Miles' eyes.
There is lots to do and see and it is a blast to watch Miles experience everything for the first time.
It has also been a busy several weeks professionally for Papa with the PGA drawing near and Wolfgang in town... Miles decided to check it out for himself:
Monday, June 15, 2009
You see, as we're discovering, growing into parenthood is a wonderfully overwhelming experience.
As any parent will tell you, parenting truly runs the gamut of emotions, experiences and responsibilities. All of which normally leaves me speechless* by the time Miles goes to bed each night. (*And, by speechless, I mean totally mentally spent.)
Furthering my bout with speechlessness, I can't seem to find the words that would do justice in explaining what it's like to bear witness to growth of my Lil' Man.
To shed some light on how this currently tongue-tying journey makes me feel, last week marked a watershed week in my professional career. I lead a couple high-profile media days for the upcoming 2009 PGA Championship on Tuesday and for celebrity chef, Wolfgang Puck on Friday. Exciting and fun work that, when all said and done, will accumulate more than 5 million consumer impressions.
(Miles and Wolfgang Puck)Yet, the best impression of the week in the Tepley household, in our opinion, was still made by its smallest member. Miles finally cut his first little tooth this past Sunday. Quite the memorable moment.
Wednesday, May 6, 2009
Last Thursday night, that is...
It was about 10:30 p.m. when Miles woke up a very unhappy baby. And, anyone who knows Miles personally, knows "unhappy" is out of character. At 6.5 months old, teething was the first suspect, often the cause of tears. A little Tylenol, mommy's kisses and a good nurse later, our little man was not soothed...again, out of character.
He showed very little interest in the usual Miles tantrum tonics; nothing was working.
Three hours later, I realized that he was not getting better. Honestly, I started to worry long before - he wouldn't look at us or react to our voices. I started to think something was really wrong. My heart started beating hard and I tapped Troy on the shoulder and blurted, "Honey, something is wrong - I want to take him in."
I realized, as we were getting our very sad baby boy into his car seat, covering him with a blanket, that this is one of the things that we heard about from more experienced parents. The emergency room visit in the middle of the night is sort of a rite of passage for new parents, I think - but what I am speaking of is the fear, the worry.
It's amazing the places our mind goes when we are scared. I felt helpless that I couldn't make my little guy feel better, that I didn't even know what was wrong.
I started thinking about the what if's:
What if I waited too long?
What if I had reacted more quickly? Why didn't I react more quickly?
What if it is really serious?
What if he's not ok?
Fortunately, it was not serious. Miles had his first ear infection.
I think back and realize that it all seems a bit silly. I almost didn't write about it, but did, if for no other reason to have a record of the experience. I figure that that someone out there might be able to relate.
The Mighty Mighty Bosstones were in the air, and Harvest Vegetable Medley was dripping down his chin as he was madly gumming the spoon. He gave that special look of pure joy.
We danced, dined and talked gibberish.
Sunday morning with Miles is a good time.
Friday, April 17, 2009
Miles will be welcoming 3 (yes 3!) new cousins into our extended family in the very near future. My sister, Sarah and her husband, Jeremy, have been matched with a sibling group from Ethiopia.
Hirut is the oldest child and she is 8 and a half, followed by Helen, 5 and a half, and then Binyam 2 and a half. Two big sisters and a little boy...why does that seem familiar to me...?
We could not be more excited for our growing extended family! If you would like to check in on the process from now until they travel to Ethiopia to bring their kids home check out their blog.
Miles was so excited he wanted me to share the good news.
Thursday, April 16, 2009
Miles turned six months old on April 11. In honor of this occasion, here are the top-six things I’m going to miss about his first six months of life:
6.) Being able to lift him and hold him in the “flying position” with one hand as I take him flying around the house
5.) The not too stinky, stinky diapers
4.) Sticking his whole hand and arm up to his elbows in my mouth while saying, “Miles, you taste like chicken,” to his grins and laughter
2.) Dancing on the kitchen countertop (So far, I think his favorites are James Brown*, the Beatles* and the Beastie Boys*)
1.) The best damn toothless grin in the history of mankind*
*So says this bias daddy
Monday, March 23, 2009
Since I was in pajama pants and a t-shirt, it became painfully obvious she was referring to Miles.
Good to know my wife can find bald, diaper-wearing, toothless men in nightgowns handsome for my senior years....