Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Merry Christmas!

We're now officially in Michigan--kind of. We made the very long drive on December 21-22, stopping to sleep in Charleston, WV. Rowan decided to make this the trip that she will no longer sleep in the car. So, it was long. But, she did quite well considering she was in the car for 12 hours over the course of two days. We got to the Pellow's around 5 on the 22nd and had a good time relaxing, eating and opening presents. Then we made our way to my mom's house where we are now. Again, lots of eating and opening presents. It was fun for Rowan, but a bit overwhelming. In fact, Rowan still has some presents she hasn't opened. Her gifts, so far, include a great table and chairs, a Rose Petal Cottage, several outfits, boots, a tea set, an iron and ironing board, a backpack, books, a Little People nativity set, a sled, a sit and spin, a hula hoop, a little dog stuffed animal named "Harry", a bear named "Sam", some trucks, an Elmo doctor kit and I'm sure I'm forgetting many things. And, yes, there are still gifts to open. For the record, Lance and I aren't the ones who went overboard on the gifts. My mom was the biggest culprit, though everyone must have enjoyed shopping for her. Our gifts were a bit more practical--a new set of Calphalon pots and pans, an air purifier, hats, scarves and gloves and a toboggan. Okay, maybe the toboggan isn't exactly practical, but it fit with the whole "moving back to Michigan" theme and I'm hoping we'll be able to enjoy it a few times this winter.

We are now going to try to relax for one more day before heading to Holland to see our new house and try to get a little bit organized. Lance's parents are going to come in for the weekend and we may try to take advantage of the babysitting a bit to do exciting things like go to the grocery store and rid the house of small choking hazards. We may make also make our first attempt at putting Rowan in a "big girl bed" in the hopes that we won't have to purchase another crib.

Then on the first, Lance heads back to Charlotte. You see, the few days before the move, even more chaos happened. First, Lance was in a relatively minor car accident that somehow left the Volvo with more than minor damages. After considering our options, he decided it would be best to drive the car to Michigan and have it fixed here. However, when he went to his last day of work, the head of HR told him she had made a mistake. Though she initially told him his last day of work could be a vacation day, she was wrong. So, he has to take his vacation days now and then actually go back to work for 3 more days. So, Lance will fly back late on the first, work the second through the fourth and then drive all the way back by himself. During that time, I will probably stay at my mom's for part of the time and possibly visit my new nephew who is due the 31st.

I'm hoping that once Lance is back and we are officially living in Holland, things will begin to settle down. I'm certain I can't keep up this pace for long...

Despite the insanity we did, however, have a great Christmas and enjoyed time with our family and friends. The weather has been surprisingly mild which helped us ease our way into Michigan a little bit better. We're looking forward to settling in and figuring out what we'll be doing all day in our new house.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

And the Frantic Cleaning and Packing Begins...

It's official. We now have a place to live and a date to move. I guess it's been official for quite some time, but I'm just now realizing how much we really need to do before we move! We finally signed with a realtor today. He had done a walk-through of the house a while back and was excited that we took his advice and made a few changes to the house--new light fixtures and ceiling fans in the kitchen and a guest room. New curatins in the master bedroom and bathroom as well as the dining room. Fresh paint in the master bath and powder room, coloring the grout in the kitchen, getting rid of some furniture, etc. Lance and I really like the changes, too, and wish we had done them years ago. What we still need to do is pack, pack, pack and clean, clean, clean. And now that I did all of the grout in the kitchen, I really think I should do the grout in the mudroom and entry as well. I think I'm really going to miss our house! Now if only the housing market would turn around a bit...

Last week I had three going away parties and managed not to cry at any of them. We also had friends over for the Panther's game on Sunday and said goodbye without any meltdowns. And I wasn't even that upset leaving Miriam (the girl I tutor) after our last session this morning. I think knowing that we have to come back for all of our stuff makes it a bit easier. We both kind of feel like we're going to Michigan for Christmas. Once we're actually moved into a house that's not ours in Holland, are freezing and are paying rent plus a mortgage and bills for two houses, I think reality might set in. I'm also sure that I'll probably spend a good deal of time crying on the very long drive to Michigan. Lance will be glad we have to take seperate cars.

In the meantime, Rowan has been her typical self, but crankier than usual. I keep contemplating calling the doctor. She is not interested in eating, drinking or even taking baths. At the mere suggestion of taking a bath, she breaks down into tears. She's also sleeping restlessly and waking up crying instead of the usual chatter. Poor little girl. I hope she returns to her spunky self soon.

Tomorrow will be my last appointment with Dr. Meek before we move. So the next time I hear Sprout's little heartbeat will be with someone (yet to be determinted) in Holland. This baby will be here before we know it! We probably need to sit down and really discuss names at some point. Our lists are somewhat long and we're having some trouble agreeing on the perfect name for this little guy or girl. We're pretty sure we'll use a family name for the middle name, but, for the record, here is our list of names (no need to give opinions, but if you'd like to share your faves, feel free).

Boys: Abram (Abe), Baden, Christian, Elliot, Ezra, Dalton, Grant, Gus, Jack, Cade, London, Malachi, Nolan, Oliver, Sullivan, Tate and Brockton. Middle name options include: Henry, Richard, Talmage, Mark, Carl, Eric and Christopher (all family).

Girls: Adelaide (Addy or Delia), Ashlan, Avery, Charlotte (Charley), Clare, Lauren, London, Alden, Lydia and Sophie. Middle name options include: Hope, Grace, Kathleen, Michelle, Jacqueline, Joyce, Monica, Mary, Sonja, Kristen, Amanda and Rose (all family).

Keep in mind we came up with Rowan's name quite a bit after making the initial "list" so we very well may decide on a completely different name before Sprout's birth.

Well, I'm off to finish some laundry and start on the grout in the mudroom. I know you're jealous.

Monday, December 10, 2007

80 and Sunny

That was the weather today--and is the forecast for the next few days. So, before our return to winter, I'm thrilled to continue summer/fall here for a few more days. Rowan and I celebrated this by going to two parks--Sardis Park in the morning and Boyce Park in the afternoon. Lots of swinging, but Rowan has decided she's done with the slides, which just last week was her favorite park activity. She has developed a fear of grated floors and gets scared every time she climbs onto a play structure. Very odd. She climbs up, freaks out and then needs help moving from the top of the steps.

Yesterday was the first of a few going away parties. My dinner group friends threw us all a party over at Kelly and Ryan's. Rowan didn't nap before hand since we were at a Christmas party, but she was a trooper and we had a great time. Fortunately we have dinner group on Wednesday so I didn't start crying. I guess I'll save it for Wednesday.

We finally made a decision about a house today which is exciting. We'll be renting a furnished house for about 5 months while we decide where we want to live. It belongs to a professor who's on sabbatical and I think it will be great for us. I think I'm most looking forward to the teenage girl next door he said they frequently use as a babysitter. The fully stocked play room is also a bonus. Since the house is furnished, we've decided to leave our furniture and most of our things here and come back for them when our house sells. That takes off a bit of the pressure of packing everything. However, I now have to go back through the things we've packed and decide what I want to bring and what I want to leave here. So I kind of wonder why I started all of the packing to begin with.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

One day Rowan will be a teenager, too

I'm beginning to realize that a toddler's temper tantrum is much easier to deal with than an upset teenage girl. When kids are little, it's very uplifting to imagine the "easy" life you will have when they are older. They can feed themselves, dress themselves, go to the bathroom by themselves, communicate well and are generally relatively self-sufficient. The thing is, once they become teenagers, I think this all kind of regresses. Yes, they can feed and dress themselves, but often choose to do so in completely inappropriate ways. Sure, they can go to the bathroom by themselves, but often choose to do so with their friends in order to gossip. Sure, they can communicate well, but often choose not to communicate at all--especially with their parents. And the self-sufficiency kind of fades away...

Tonight Sophie is upset because she wanted to talk to her dad on the phone, but her dad was "mad" at Harry (something about college essays) so she didn't get undivided attention. Tears were shed, Harry tried to console her, I stealthily e-mailed her mom's Blackberry and asked her mom to call her dad. Her mom then called her. More sobbing. Sophie is now mad at me, her mom, her dad and her brother. And, really, I would consider Sophie one of the easiest teenagers I know. So I can't imagine what I'm in for in the future.

In the meantime, I will do my best to step over my screaming child when she throws herself on the kitchen floor and enjoy the times when she loves mommy and wants to "wrap up" and cuddle and read books and "play, play, play" (yes, she always says this one three times). For the record, some of her favorite things to play are: pretend with her Little People (she has named them Dora, Aunt Michelle, clown, Ed, and the others have names that change and have been known to be Dora (again), Uncle Eric and Ava), puzzles (she has always liked to take them apart and is just now able to put them back together), her Kangaroo Climber and anything outside--especially the swings or anything any other older child happens to be doing at the park.

Today we had a playdate with Nathan and tomorrow we will have one with Madison while Lance gets a dreaded root canal. Then Lance will watch Rowan while I have a routine dental appointment, then hopefully she will nap well and Lance and I will try to make a few important decisions about our move (when we'll move, where we'll go, etc.) And maybe I'll actually get a chance to call a few friends I haven't talked to in ages.

I'm off to attempt to console a crying teenage girl. Wish me luck. I'm sure there will be many more years of this to come.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Rowee Counts to Ten

Where is my baby girl going? Today she just decided to call herself "Rowee" instead of "Ro Ro". She has been "Ro Ro" for months and she is now "Rowee". I have no idea if this will last, but I was shocked (and a bit confused) when she decided to change vocabulary on me. I'm still getting used to her calling Lance and me "Daddy" and "Mommy" instead of "Dada" and "Mama" and now she has to go and switch her own name! All kidding aside, it's pretty cute (though rather random) that she is now "Rowee". She also started calling "mac mac" (macaroni and cheese), "mac mac cheese". And she counted to ten. She really counted to four and then I kept asking what number comes next and she got them all right all the way up to ten. When I asked her what was after ten, she said "eight"! But, I was pretty impressed nonetheless. So, it seemed to be a bit day for vocabulary development. Who know, though. We just may wake up to Ro Ro who can count to four and wants "mac mac" for lunch.

It's amazing to me how much kids can learn in such a short time. Just a few months ago, I could easily count the number of words Rowan could say. Now I have no idea. She says so much. Some new things she is saying are: Christmas tree, baby Jesus, baby in Mommy's belly (she thinks it's going to be a girl, or at least that's what she says), Michigan (though I'm certain no one but Lance and I could understand her), Madeline (a new favorite book) and "out, out, out, out" over and over every morning until I come get her out of her crib. We had a fun day today with our moms group in the morning and playing in the park and reading books all afternoon.

Last night, tonight and tomorrow night I'm staying with Sophie and Harry while Gale is out of town. It was actually kind of nice to watch The Hills with a middle schooler and talk to Harry about colleges (he finds out about Tufts in 12 days). I haven't stayed with them since Rowan was tiny, but I'll really miss them! Next week starts an array of going away parties and dinners and I'm sure I'll be a crying fool, so it's nice to have had a relatively normal, relaxing day today.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Lots of Chaos

It seems that the to-do list these days is growing considerably longer each day--even though we are checking things off. With every thing done to the house, it seems two things creep up that now need to be done. So far we have packed countless tubs full of things, replaced the chandelier in the kitchen and the ceiling fan in the room formerly known as "The Baseball Fan Room" (I'm now at a loss as to how to refer to this room), painted the upstairs bathroom cabinets (white), painted the upstairs master bathroom (toffee crunch), regrouted several areas of our tile countertops in the kitchen, recaulked some areas in the upstairs bathroom, ripped out a strip of t-moulding to replace it (only to find out they don't make that size anymore and we'll need to go to a lumber place to have one special ordered and then try to find a stain that will match perfectly). I say "we", though Lance has completed most of these tasks. I have helped with packing and throwing away a ton of stuff I'm sure we will end up buying again in Michigan. Today I will start touching up the grout in the kitchen and entry area--a relatively easy, though tedious process. I also have to meet a contractor who is going to give us some estimates on painting and fixing parts of our ceiling and a few other minor repairs that would take us way too long to do ourselves.

Amidst all of the chaos, we've been able to have a little fun with Rowan. This weekend we finally had to rake our yard. Since we have, literally, around 50 mature trees in our yard, you can imagine the huge piles of leaves for Rowan to play in. She liked them for about .2 seconds and then just wanted to rake with us. Still, it was quite fun and cute. She also got another haircut and is now sporting a very adorable little bob. We went out to lunch wiith Trang, Mike and Nathan. Yesterday I took her to the indoor waterpark at the Y. Today we had our moms group at church and we may go watch Lance's soccer game tonight depending on if I need to tutor or not.

Rowan's new obsessions: Last week we went on a very long "nature walk" with Stacy and Madison. Somehow the walk ended when Rowan sat in an extremely large anthill and was covered head-to-toe in ants within seconds. Stacy and I had to rip off her clothes (socks and shoes included) to get all the ants off of her. Somehow she ended up with only 4 ant bites. She now likes to point to the bites, say "ant bite" and hold her arm or leg up so I can give it a kiss. She is very into her ant bites. She also has a "booboo" on her knee that just won't heal. Every time it's close, she falls, scrapes it again and ends up bleeding everywhere. Anytime her knee is exposed she points, grabs, scratches and needlessly irritates her "booboo" all while saying "booboo" over and over. Rowan also continues to be obsessed with saying "Matt" and "baby" It's been a month since we've been back from Hilton Head, but she still talks about everyone who was there constantly. Often this is the conversation we have.

Rowan: "Matt, Baby, Aunt Michelle, Grandma, Susu, Lily, Deedee" (sorry Judy, I just don't think she got your name down)

Me: "Mmm hmmm"

Rowan: "Matt, Baby, Aunt Michelle, Grandma, Susu, Lily, Deedee"

Me: "Mmm hmmm"

And it continues...over and over and over. She is getting more vocal every day which is quite fun except when she repeats things I say (such as "diarrhea") over and over. Fortunately without reinforcement she tends to forget these words.

Well, I'm off to have a date with the kitchen floor.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving...Gobble, Gobble


Today was, I think, only the second Thanksgiving we have spent in Charlotte. Though we absolutely love being with our families on Thanksgiving, it was somewhat refreshing to stay home and not worry about rushing between Portage and Canton with Rowan, trying our best to see everyone we possibly can in just a few short days. Instead we woke to warm weather, played at home and then went to the Turkey Trot where Rowan completed her first marathon. All 26.2...yards. She was quite excited about the Tot Trot and wanted to continue running short distances between mommy and daddy. It was quite cute. She also enjoyed saying "Happy Thanksgiving. Gobble" I'm not sure anyone else had any idea what she was saying, but we, of course, thought it was darling. We were hoping after all that running she would take a longer nap than usual, but it was pretty typical.

During her nap, Lance painted the trim in the den and I fixed Thanksgiving dinner. Turkey, mashed potatoes (both compliments of Harris Teeter--I just couldn't bring myself to make a whole bird for the two of us), stuffing, corn casserole, cranberry sauce, broccoli and caulifower (the asparagus I bought just last night looked a bit wilted this morning, so I opted to throw it away), sweet potatoes (with marshmallows, of course) and pumpkin pie. Of these things Lance does not eat sweet potatoes, cranberry sauce or pumpkin pie, so I'm thankful Rowan is excited about the first two (she hasn't had the pie yet). After our huge dinner, we took a nice walk. I imagine it may be the last Thanksgiving that I will be taking a walk in a tank top.

All in all, it was a really nice day. We were reminded all day of so many things we are thankful for--a beautiful, healthy little girl, a baby on the way, wonderful family and friends here and in Michigan, a great marriage and so much more. Happy Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

75 and Sunny

This is the weather today--and yesterday and tomorrow, presumably. I'm just loving it. Both yesterday and today Rowan and I spent all morning playing at the park. Yesterday we went with some mom friends of mine and today we went with some moms from church. I noticed something while I was there that made me just a bit envious. The other moms (with kids the same age as Rowan) can somehow stand around and talk while their kids play. Now, depending on Rowan's mood, she may or may not play by herself. But, I can guarantee I could not just let her play while I talked. Rowan is a bit of a daredevil. I must be within an arms length of her. She is fast and has no fear. She will climb on anything and slide down anything regardless of her ability (or lack thereof) to actually complete the task she started. Even with my obsessive parenting, we managed to make it to the end of the playdate with a scraped nose and bloody knee (and I purposely made her wear long pants to avoid this). She also had ingested a few goldfish crackers she found on the ground and probably several other equally germ-free snacks. But, I enjoy Rowan's spunk and am glad she's not scared of much (except, of course, large characters).

We made a quick trip to Trader Joe's (one of the many stores I am really going to miss) to stock up on yummy food and then headed home where Rowan ate lunch and took an hour to get to sleep. While in her crib, she was repeating things over and over again. First it was "baby bear, baby bear", then "mommy, daddy, mommy, daddy", then "no mail, no mail". And on it went. But, she finally is sleeping and I'm (obviously) accomplishing nothing. So, I guess I'm off to get a few things done before running all over town tonight in an attempt to help Lance out a bit with his event.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Already getting a reputation...

Today I picked Rowan up from nursery and noticed something was missing. I dressed her in the morning in her tights, skirt and shirt, but when I went to get her, the skirt was no longer there. The nursery worker had to explain to me that they had a bit of an incident when changing Rowan's diaper. She is quite a wild one and Lance and I have to use quite a bit of force to actually get her diaper changed. I can only imagine what the scene was when the cute, gentle older woman tried to handle my maniac. Last time she was in nursery, the worker told me "Wow, she sure is a little ringleader, isn't she?" I wasn't sure what to take of that, so I asked if something happened. She said "Nothing in particular. She just has a way of getting the other kids to do exactly what she wants them to." Great.

Maybe I should write an apology letter. Or, better yet, just type one up, keep several in the bag, and hand them out as needed. An example letter could read

"Dear _________________ (fill in the blank with the name of babysitter, nursery worker, pediatrician or small child),

I apologize for my behavior today. I know you are just here to help me or play with me. But, I don't like diaper changes, being poked and prodded or any sort of restraint. For my friends, I would really rather if you just play with toys I'm not interested in. And really, if you are eating or drinking in a room full of other kids, you need to expect to share. And if I happened to hit, kick, headbutt or bite you, I'm sorry it hurt. You see, I am not bothered when those things happen to me, so it's hard for me to understand why anyone else would care. I actually really like a good headbutt.

You see, I really am a fun little girl, I just have an overabundance of energy and a considerable amount of persistence. I know that I shouldn't hit, kick, bite, scream, roll off the table or have temper tantrums, but I will do anything to get my way. If things aren't going my way, I will try pretty much anything to turn that around. My mom has tried an abundance of disciplinary techniques, none of which have worked. I didn't like time-outs the first time I had one, but then I got over it. Really, it's a small price to pay for playing in the dog water. Spanking doesn't work either. My mom and dad tried it (gasp) when all else failed, but I think it's pretty fun. After my mom spanked my hand, I decided I would just spank it myself. It's pretty funny. It makes a fun sound and makes a stinging sensation that I really like. You should try it sometime.

Anyway, I'm sorry that the day didn't go as you expected. But I thought it was just great. I loved walking around in my tights and shirt while people pointed and said "Look at little Rowan!" People often tell my mom that kids like me might be tough as children, but we often grow up to be CEO's and poiliticians. So, at least you'll be able to say "Hey, I knew the President of the United States when she was a little girl." And for my mom's sake, I hope you don't have a scar to prove it.

Better Luck Next Time,

Rowan Elizabeth Pellow"

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Goin' to Carolina in My Mind

So, it seems as though anytime I have actually done something worth writing about, I have no time to actually write. So, I'm taking a quick break to attempt to catch up on documenting our lives.

On Tuesday of this week, Lance got a job offer from Hope College. A few days of working out the details and he officially accepted the position on Thursday. So, since the official acceptance on Thursday, life has been relatively insane. We have a lot to do and not much time. Packing and putting our house on the market will, I'm sure, be the two most time consuming tasks at hand. Telling our friends here in Charlotte that we are leaving is already proving to be the most difficult task at hand. After Nathan and Rowan's playdate in the park, I told Trang the news and we both had quite a good cry in the parking lot of Carmel Park. Telling Christina wasn't too bad since she already moved to Greenville and I don't see her much now. Yesterday I met Karen, Julie and Patricia at Starbuck's and, of course, cried again. And I have dinner group on Sunday and a playdate with the moms group on Tuesday, both of which will inevitably make me cry. So, I am a perpetual fountain and am stressed out on top of that.

Not only do we have to get our house on the market (which involves much cleaning, painting and general work around the house), pack everything (which involves, well, packing everything), tell our friends we are leaving, but we also have to attempt to find a place to live in Michigan for a few months, find a doctor, figure out where to deliver the baby, decide when is best for Lance will tell his job he's leaving, hire movers (not a do-it-yourself kind of task when you're 7 months pregnant), buy Christmas gifts, and the list goes on and on.

Of course there are a lot of reasons we're excited about the move, but it's really hard to focus on those when we're so caught up with everything here. Especially since we will really, really miss it here. I'm not sure if Rowan is sensing the change already, but she decided last night would be a good night to keep up company from 1 until 4:30. I have no idea what was wrong, but we are all exhausted today. And, Mr. Woodpecker woke us for good around 6:30.

So, in thinking about the past 2 years of life, I've decided that enough life changes have occurred to last a really, really long time. Within 2 years, we will have dealt with the death of my dad, the birth of Rowan, my leaving a job I love, Lance starting a new job, moving to Michigan and the birth of Sprout. I told Lance that once the baby is born, there will be no talk of having more kids for a long, long time. We need to find a house, get settled and have a little time without major life changes. He said "Is two weeks long enough?"

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Let's Go, Bobcats

Today was our moms group luncheon at church. This is exciting for two reasons:
1. food--lots and lots of delicious, homemade food. I, instead, took the easy road and signed up for drinks and cups. But, I was still able to enjoy quiche, cheesecake and a multitude of other wonderful foods.
2. extended child care--Instead of leaving at noon, Rowan got to stay in her class until 1, which meant I got to hang out and socialize with adults. Rowan did a good job in class but, of course, stole food from the other kids. I went to pick her up and the teacher said "She did great. We went outside, had two singing times and two story times. She ate her lunch, but she also ate Min Su's apples." I said "Rowan, what did you do today?" She said "play, eat, eat". I said "Did you steal Min Su's apples?" She said "Yeah". Well, there you go, I guess she's willing to admit it.

This afternoon, Kelly called and invited me to the Bobcats game tonight. I called Lance at work and begged him to skip his soccer game so I could have time out with a friend. Of course he skipped his game. Then I called Miriam to see if I could skip a day of tutoring. She was not as receptive as Lance and convinced me to bring Rowan along, have her mom watch Rowan, and have me work with her before the game. So, that's what I did. However, Rowan fell and split her lip on the table and the tutoring session was pretty much over after that.

After the less than successful tutoring session, Kelly came and picked me up in her very un-mom-like convertible and we were on our way. The drive didn't start out great as we saw a really bad accident and had to call 911. Scary. But we decided the people must be okay, we did what we could and we were on our way to see the Bobcats take on the Miami Heat. We had a great time talking and watching our team actually win against the insanely huge Shaq. We were 10 rows back and couldn't get over just how large he actually is. It was really nice to get away, do something fun and feel a bit like an adult. Plus it was really warm outside and fun to walk around uptown and remember that I actually live in a big city with skyscrapers, a stadium and a great arena--and things to do other than clean, go grocery shopping, play at the park and tutor. So, Kelly, thanks for the night out.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Official Member of the Minivan Mafia

Well, it's official. Though we actually purchased our minivan almost a month ago, I found anytime I went anywhere without Rowan, I was driving my beloved SUV. But, the day had to come when we actually sold the XTerra and I learned to embrace the minivan. And, it turns out, that day was today. We sold the car and now I'm left with two equally exciting choices--a Honda Odyssey and a Volvo wagon. Though neither car screams "cool", I am actually loving the minivan--especially the DVD package.

Though Rowan is not allowed to watch TV at home (and hasn't wanted to the few times I tried), she's all about the DVDs in the car. As soon as we get into the car, she yells "DVD" and I have to convince her that on this particular very short trip, we won't be watching the DVD. Which means that I'll be singing songs. The whole time. Even a short trip can seem long while singing "The Wheels on the Bus" and "Baa Baa, Black Sheep", her two currrent favorites. Though Rowan is loving the DVDs, we really don't have many and the choices she has are all "Baby Einstein" or "Baby Genius". I'm really thinking the marketing ploys for these DVDs must be amazing because I personally just don't get it. Yes, Rowan likes to watch the rain fall on the flowers and the kids play Ring Around the Rosie. And she even seems to enjoy the classical music playing in the background. But I'm wondering why there is no language whatsoever on these things. I mean, wouldn't she learn more if she were told what she was looking at? I guess this is why such videos are made for parents to watch with children. So I can explain what's going on. Unfortunately that doesn't work when the screen is behind me and I need to focus on the road.

On another topic, Rowan and I both have colds. Nothing huge, but running after a toddler to wipe her nose every few seconds just doesn't go over so well. Especially when I am trying to blow my own nose. So, we're both hoping to get better soon. In spite of the colds we watched Grady all day for Sarah. He was amazingly good and pretty laid back. But I was reminded of a bad habit that I'm quite glad Rowan hasn't started yet--throwing. Grady throws anything and everything and the kid has quite an arm! I think we were able to get through the day without Rowan catching on (or at least not finding it funny enough to copy).

After watching Grady and selling the car, Lance and I were excited to go to Beantown Tavern for a very yummy dinner. I got the crab cakes (as always) and was delightfully satisfied but, of course, still ready for some hot cocoa at home. Once we got home (just a few minutes ago), we put Rowan to bed and settled down to relax in front of the television. I'm not sure what it is, but Lance seems to have a really hard time settling on something to watch. First he was watching a movie that was clearly already well into the plotline. Then it was some odd sci-fi dinosaur movie and then something about cat acupuncture. I couldn't handle it, so here I am, blogging. I must admit it's much more satisfying that seeing a pet therapist poke needles into a very cranky cat.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Where can I buy a BB gun?

Ah, the peace and quiet of a sleeping child...I have finished my most recent book (Nickel and Dimed, a recommendation from Steph) and am ready to start the next one (Small Wonder, also recommended by Steph). I decided to do a quick e-mail check before ignoring today's laundry and curling in bed with a book. Then I hear it. The tap-tap-tapping of Mr. Woodpecker outside my bedroom wall. We have had quite a relationship with Mr. Woodpecker since moving in. I'm not sure how many times we have had to have wood replaced due to woodpecker holes, but the most recent time was just last month when we had a ton of work done to the house including replacing lots of wood and painting the whole house. It seems as soon as the paint was dry, Mr. Woodpecker was at it again. Initally, Lance and I could bang on our wall and were guaranteed at least a few moments of respite from the bird, but now the banging does nothing. The only thing that will scare the bird away (temporarily at that) is walking downstairs, walking outside and walking over to the side of the house. He will then fly away (always before I can hit him with the shoe I bring along). Sometimes said woodpecker will begin his little tap-tapping as early as 5 or 6am, sometimes during the day, but almost always during Rowan's nap. So, I am comtemplating a BB gun.

Now, I say contemplating, but actually I really have no idea where to purchase a BB gun (though I'm guessing a friendly Wal-Mart associate could help me) nor do I even know how to shoot a BB gun (though I would imagine a somewhat well-educated adult could figure it out--or rent A Christmas Story for tips). Even if I did own a BB gun, I wonder if I could actually bring myself to pull the trigger. I have always had a strange fear of both birds and dead things, so a dead bird would probably be more than I could handle. I would surely have to leave it in the yard for Lance to dispose of later, which is what I do anytime Sebastian makes a kill (and, for the record, this has included birds, mice, opposums, squirrels, turtles and even a hawk). Plus, really, what would the neighbors think? A somewhat respectable mom who is always outside playing with her toddler is now a gun-wielding maniac? And, lastly, I think the woodpecker is on the endangered species list, and though I personally don't think eradicating such a pest would be so bad, I think killing one would be an actual crime. So, I guess I'm not actually comtemplating purchasing a gun, shooting the bird or living out this dream at all. But, really Mr. Woodpecker, I'd appreciate an afternoon of quiet laziness. Because of you, I'm off to do laundry.

Monday, November 5, 2007

What would I do without gymnastics?

Today Rowan made up a gymnastics class that she missed while we were on vacation. Where we would be without this class I am not sure. She just loves it. We walk in, take off socks and shoes and she takes off running and doesn't stop until circle time 45 minutes later. She's actually getting pretty good at sitting on my lap during circle time, too, as she can't wait to get the stamp on her hand at the end. I am so glad I signed her up for this and will definitely sign her up every session from here on out. Today she was very into playing with and rolling the hula hoops and the huge ball and she also seems to be getting over her fear of the foam pit.

After gymnastics we went to play with Trang and Nathan and then came home where Rowan (finally and thankfully) took a nice, long nap. I had time to assemble dinner, pick up a bit and read. When Rowan woke up, I didn't have to run around getting dinner ready and, even though she wasn't in quite as good of a mood as the morning, the afternoon/evening was actually somewhat enjoyable.

Now I have showered and am sitting on the couch relaxing and looking forward to sipping hot cocoa and possibly indulging in staying up until (gasp) 10:30 to watch The Hills (one of my terrible pop culture indulgences).

Sunday, November 4, 2007

There goes the weekend

So it seems that each weekend goes by quicker than the one before. Is it really almost Monday again? We had a fun, but busy, weekend. After going through a ridiculous amount of "stuff" I was ready for a Goodwill run. But, Lance wanted a yard sale. The event planner in him just loves this kind of thing. The sleep in as long as possible person in me just hates this kind of thing. But, we had one anyway, got rid of tons of stuff and took the rest to Goodwill. Rowan loved running around outside in her footie pajamas watching all of the people come and go. We also got a chance to go out to dinner and watch a movie (though I didn't make it through the whole thing).

Today it was cool enough for Rowan to wear the most darling tights to church today. Why I am still so excited about this I have no idea. She just looked like such a little girl. And, after church, we went to Trader Joe's which is my fave grocery store and I splurged on some fun junkfood treats (never mind the next weigh-in at the doctor's. It's not until after Thanksgiving anyway, which will surely ruin any chances I have at getting on track). Lance won his first playoff soccer game, which is both good and bad. Good because he is happy. Bad because he will be gone another Sunday all afternoon to play while I watch Rowan. Yes, there is a touch of resentment here. Especially because Rowan is in a bit of a challenging phase at the moment and afternoons are nearly impossible.

But, Rowan is now sleeping and Lance and I are watching The Amazing Race and Extreme Home Makeover and enjoying yummy Creme Brulee hot chocolate. I'm dreading the early evenings that come with "Daylight Savings Time" as it will be too dark to take evening walks after dinner, so I'll have to come up with some creative ways to spend extra time inside.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Zazza and Hardu


Lately Rowan has been talking about Zazza and Hardu. Now many of her words are quite understandable at this point, but these are two I couldn't figure out for a bit. I have now realized that Zazza is Sebastian and Hardu is Harley. Rowan ran around trying to kiss her Zazza and Hardu tonight. I think she enjoyed it a bit more than they did, but I sure loved it.

We also (finally) decorated a pumpkin. Fortunately Rowan has no idea that this is normally done before Halloween. Lance bought a Mr. potato Head pumpkin kit so we could just stick the lips, eyes, ears, etc. onto the pumpkin. It turned out cute, Rowan thought it was funny and there was no mess involved whatsoever.

It was a gorgeous day today. Rowan and I went to gymnastics which is probably Rowan's favorite activity. Then we played at the park for an hour or so before heading home for lunch and a nap. Randomly I had to tutor early today and Miriam's mom watched Rowan for me while I tutored Miriam. It actually worked relatively well and I was able to eat dinner without rushing.

Tomorrow we're excited to go out to lunch with Lance and then have a nice weekend. I would say a relaxing weekend, but Lance has decided to have a yard sale, so I can only imagine the chaos of Friday night and Saturday morning...

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Happy Halloween, Little Princess!



Today Rowan and Nathan went to a little pumpkin party where they jumped in a bounce house, went on a hayride and played a few games. I'm not sure they recognized each other as Nathan was bundled in a dragon suit and Rowan was in her Piglet costume. It seemed a bit chilly when we set out in the morning, but once we got there, we were all hot. So, after a while, the kids were stripped of their costumes and enjoyed the festivities in their play clothes. Rowan saw Ray, the sun character of the Parks and Rec. dept. and freaked out, so we did our best to avoid him.

After the party, Rowan accompanied me to my doctor's appointment. I've gained a bit too much weight and am measuring 1 cm. too big. Hmmm, maybe this will inspire me to go to the gym, swim and make sure I'm keeping myself healthy! Also at the doctor, Rowan cracked up when they listened to the baby's heartbeat with the little monitor. Not sure what was so funny, but she really liked it.

Tonight was Rowan's first experience trick or treating. She was the sweetest little princess ever. She was so excited to wear her little crown and carry her wand and her basket. She loved her purple sparkly shoes from Grandma Rowe. Most of our neighbors weren't home when we started out so it took us a while to actually find a house that was ready for us! Rowan had worked very hard at saying "trick or treat" but once we were out there, she became a very shy and silent Rowan--a side of her she reserves for strangers only. She also was very scared of any and all inflatable characters--including Pooh and Tigger. When we would get near them, she would cuddle in with Lance and say "no, no"! But, overall she was quite proud of herself and very excited about candy. She even seemed to know what it was as she pretended to lick a lollipop. She then handed Lance and I each one piece of candy at a time and threw her basket out of the wagon. She must know the candy is forbidden. Our little family had so much fun tonight.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Just the Two of Us

Today Rowan and I went to a Halloween party. Since it was an outdoor party and it was, surprisingly, chilly, Rowan wore her Piglet costume, the warmer of her two. She was quite adorable running around and playing with her big costume on. The party didn't last too long and then we were at home, playing with Little People and walking around looking at leaves and putting sticks in a large pile. She likes to call the larger leaves and sticks "mommy" and the small ones "baby".

Lately I've been thinking about all of the time Rowan and I spend together, just the two of us. And when I feel the little flutters in my tummy I realize our "just the two of us" time is almost over. I can't wait to meet little Sprout and I can't wait for Rowan to be a big sister, but I think we will both miss our one-on-one time. The last time I went to Dr, Meek, she said "The spacing between your kids will be great. Rowan won't even remember being an only child." Of course she said this so that I would feel good, but it made me really sad to think that Rowan won't remember all of the things about life "just the two of us". Our long walks, our cuddly time in bed, me chasing Rowan all over the house, playing with stickers, swimming, gymnastics class. These are all things I will remember forever and Rowan will remember for a few weeks or so. So, Rowan, I hope we will make many amazingly wonderful memories with your new baby brother or sister and even though you might not remember the time it was just the two of us, I want you to know that I do remember it and I will cherish it forever.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Back to Reality

Well, we're finally back from two full weeks in Hilton Head. I'm still shocked at the warm sunny weather we were blessed with most of the time. On Friday it was chilly and rainy so we spent the morning at The Ssandbox, a children's museum. The girls had lots of fun and were kept busy a good amount of time. We also played games, played with stickers and play-dough and Rowan and Lily both got temporary tattoos of butterflies on their hands. We also all started the packing frenzy. Once the kids were in bed, we played an everlasting game of Phase 10 (Susan finally won). Saturday morning we packed the cars and then headed to the mall so the girls could run around a little bit and eat before we all left for long trips home.

On the way home, Rowan was a trooper. She slept for almost 2 hours and then watched a little bit of a DVD on the way home. We sang lots of songs and there was a little whining, but, really, I was quite impressed. Susan had it a bit rougher flying with 2 babies. On flight #2 the girls had a crying competition and Susan was thrilled to finally be home last night at 8. My mom and the rest of the ladies just got home at 8 tonight. They had a long drive which lasted a few hours longer than the way down, though no one really knows why.

Here's a fun list of things from our vacation:

10. Number of full days Rowan and I were at the beach without Lance.
9. Number of women staying in the condo in week #2. Yes, three were babies, but it was still pretty crowded considering we all tried our best to be quiet while the kids were napping.
8. Average time the girls went to bed, leaving us plenty of "adult time". However, in an effort to keep the noise down, instead of chatting and playing games, we checked our e-mail, blogged, listed to a very quite TV and, in week #2 Mom and Donna listened to two books on CD. Susan and I really appreciate our two-story homes and may try to look for a 2-story condo if we decide to do another trip with kids anytime soon.
7. Number of people plagued with a nasty, but relatively short-lived stomach virus (for the record, in order, Matt, Lily, Ally, Susan, Judy, Mom, Michelle).
6. Number of baths Rowan and Lily took together. The two were just so cute splashing, talking and playing.
5. Number of books I brought along, sincerely planning on getting in some great reading. In actuality, I probably read about 100 pages of one book total.
4. Number of times Rowan somehow played in the toilet--such a disgusting habit I hope does not continue at home.
3. Number of full days all three of us (Lance, Rowan and myself) got to spend at the beach together. Also, number of decades I've been alive!
2. Number of rainy days we had (not bad at all!!!)
1. One wonderful vacation and a perfect way to celebrate my thirtieth birthday!

Also some fun tidbits from our vacation: Rowan now likes to wear a ponytail in her hair, thanks to Susan. She looks like such a big girl! Rowan went pee-pee on the potty three times today, thanks to wanting to be just like Lily. Rowan also started saying a lot more words including Susu, Lily, Matt, beach, dig, beach bag, Deedee, Aunt and the list could go on and on. She even said "Love you, Daddy" on Susan's camcorder and said "No thank you, mommy" to me. She is to the point of repeating virtually anything you ask her to repeat.

Today we slept in a bit and spent the afternoon watching Lance's outdoor soccer game. It felt like fall and Rowan loved playing with soccer balls on the sidelines, cheering for daddy ("Go, red", "Go, Daddy" and, randomly "Go, Roger"). She also loved that Roger's kids came for the second half so she played with Hannah and Matthew. The whole way home, Rowan said "Hannah, Hannah". We had a quick and easy sweet and sour chicken for dinner and are now enjoying Rowan's peaceful sleep while I blog and Lance takes a test for the job at Hope.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Just About Ready to Go Home!

Well, with only one day left of vacation, I can say that I'm getting ready to go home. Rowan is cranky and needing her schedule. Today was rainy and buggy. We tried to go to the beach, but the bugs were biting. We tried to take pictures, but the girls weren't cooperating. When Lance called, I was literally two minutes into the conversaion and three adults were "watching" Rowan, but I had to cut the call short as Rowan was playing in the toilet. Lovely.

On another note, Lance is back in Charlotte. The interview went well. He has had as busy of a week as I have. Everyone here is finally healthy.

It's supposed to rain tomorrow, so I think we're going to head to the children's museum in the morning and maybe to a Halloween fest at The Salty Dog in the evening. Then the chaos of packing and leaving on Saturday.

These past few days of not-so-nice weather have made me really appreciate the gorgeous weather we had the majority of this vacation. I have no idea what we would have done inside with two toddlers and a baby this whole time!

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Another One (or two) Bites the Dust

This stomach flu is just making it's way through the vacationers. Last night I had trouble sleeping. There was a loud and bright lightning storm, Rowan was tossing and turning and then my mom woke up very sick and spent the rest of the night in the bathroom. Today she and Michelle slept and rested most of the day. My mom was really sick. Michelle may have been sick, but I think it was more in her head than anything else.

This morning we got the kids suited up for the beach and brought out our video cameras to capture a few fun beach moments on film. Alas, the one day we are prepared it starts to rain. So the girls got a few moments of fun beach time before being hauled inside to avoid the thunder and lightning. We decided to stay away from the sick germs and take the kids to lunch. After driving around to look for Atlanta Bread, we ended up at McDonald's. I got Rowan a cheeseburger and took the meat off as Rowan has entered a self-proclaimed vegetarian diet phase. She liked that okay. I gave her a few fries which she was completely uninterested in--until I dipped one in ketchup. She looked at me with absolute glee, ate the fry and couldn't wait for more. It was so adorable watching her excitement over the ketchup!

Today was Lance's interview at Hope. It was a really long day, but he felt the interview went well. He's now on his way to the airport to head back to Charlotte. He did get to spend some time with his family tonight before leaving, which is nice. Rowan called him tonight and said "Night night, Daddy. Love you, Daddy."

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Repeating Myself

I feel like I'm writing the same thing every day. Once again, we spent a lot of time at the beach today. Rowan woke up relatively early, we hung around for a bit and then we decided to head to the beach around 8:30 or 9. It was gorgeous as always and Rowan had so much fun playing in the sand, chasing seagulls and walking on "the beam" (a washed up log) with Lily. A little time in the pool and we came in around 11 for some downtime before lunch and naps. The ladies all did some shopping and went out to lunch during naps and Susan and I talked and played with Ally.

After naps and a little playtime, I just had to take Rowan to the beach again. She just loved every minute of it. She ran right into the water and laid down while the waves splashed in her face. Everyone kept stopping to say how fearless Rowan is. Yes, I know. It's what keeps me up at nights--or at least it will once she's a bit older.

The rest of the house seems to be feeling all better. Rowan took a huge spill this morning and got a bit of a bruise on her head, but she seems fine now.

Lance is presently on a flight to Detroit for a big interview tomorrow at Hope. We're anxious to hear that he got in okay and he's ready for his big day. He has a three-hour interview from 9-12 and has a long drive in the morning, so he'll have to leave his parents house at around 5. What a long day! Hopefully he'll at least be able to have a nice dinner with his parents and Monica, Hope and Grace who happen to be visiting. Then tomorrow evening he heads back to Charlotte. What a busy week!

Monday, October 22, 2007

Please, Mr. Officer...

Today started out with Judy, Susan and Ally all under the weather. So, the rest of us packed up and headed to Beaufort. On the way I got pulled over. I was speeding, however, I was also being passed by people and was going at or under the flow of traffic. When even my mom and Donna feel I was wronged, I'm pretty sure I was. But, I got a ticket nonetheless. Though it was somewhat tempting to beg and cry, I instead tried to seem like a sane adult and just take the ticket. Of course I was in a rather sour mood for the rest of our little road trip. Beaufort was a cute enough town, I suppose, but we went on a 2-hour walking tour which may have been asking a bit much of Rowan. She was amazingly well behaved as long as I continually produced snacks for her to eat. We saw lots of old mansions and heard about the history of the town. We stopped at a couple of shops, let the kids play for a bit at the playground and headed back. It was a long morning, but it was good for all of us to be out of the house so the sick ones could get a little rest--and we could stay away from the germs for a while.

Once home, the girls took naps and then we took Rowan to the beach. She, of course, had a blast as usual, and I'm dreading the return home even more than I was before! Today she was following two teenage boys around. They sat on the sand, tossing handfuls of sand at their feet and she stood next to them picking up sand and throwing it...always a good beach activity. Then some sort of exercise class made it's way down the beach and stopped near us to do some exercises. Rowan stood near their group doing a little dance. My mom and I got such a kick out of her. She also thought it would be fun to slither like a snake through the sand and then lay down on her back and bury her belly with sand. Where does she come up with this?

I do think, from now on, our perfect vacation will be a beach vacation. And I'm so glad I insisted on having an ocean front place with a pool. We could easily never leave our complex. If we ever have an extremely warm weekend in the forecast, we should just pack up and head to the beach. Rowan is completely in her element and we are loving every minute of this! With the exception, of course, of that ticket...

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Grandma Relief Squad

Yesterday morning Matt left to head back to Grand Rapids and "Team Grandma" (plus Aunt Michelle) arrived in Hilton Head. Matt left early in the morning after a night of being very sick. Susan and I cleaned up a bit, did a huge amount of laundry and got the girls down for their naps. Judy, Donna, Jackie and Michelle got in around 2. We got somewhat organized and then the girls woke up and my mom and I took Rowan down to the beach to play. Of course my mom is amazed at how much Rowan is saying and doing. They had so much fun playing all day.

This morning Rowan woke up and I put her in bed with me and my mom. She didn't notice my mom at first and, when she did, she got quite upset. I think she was expecting Lance and was rather confused when my mom rolled over to say hi. Her little face was priceless. My mom, Michelle, Susan and I were able to get out and do a little shopping while the girls were sleeping. Judy and Donna were nice enough to stay home with them.

Then this evening, a bit more beach time and a yummy dinner. Lance sent a box of yummy chocolate covered fruit yesterday and we finished it up today. A nice, delicious way to end the day.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Fire Ants

This morning we woke up to cloudy skies and the threat of rain so we all stayed inside and played for a while before heading to the mall playland. Lily and Rowan had a great time running around for a while. After Rowan's nap I decided to ignore the ominous dark clouds and suit up for some beach time. There were a few short minutes of undetectable sprinkles, but Rowan and I had fun digging in the sand and splashing in the waves nonetheless. We took a shower when we got inside and then Rowan started having a major meltdown. Despite her bad mood, we decided to head out for some quick Mexican food and Rowan ate so quickly. I'm assuming now her previous meltdown had much to do with hunger.

On another note, I noticed Rowan had many blistery looking bites on her foot and leg and realized she must have stood in a fire ant nest, possibly when we were out taking pictures. They look very painful and, I must say, this is one time I'm pretty glad that Rowan is so busy she doesn't seem to notice the obvious.

Tomorrow morning Matt leaves (early) and the grandmas and Aunt Michelle arrive (late). Not sure what we'll do during the day, but I'm excited for a little relief!

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

More of the same...

So, it seems as though this week will consist of rather identical blogs. Again, gorgeous weather. Lots of playing at the beach and in the pool. Attempts at photos. Did I mention Matt cooks dinner almost nightly? I even took a short nap with Rowan today. Even with Rowan's rather challenging morning (a nice, deep cut on her thumb resulting in quite a bit of blood and even more tears), the day turned out quite nice. It makes me think living on the beach would make life much easier as a stay-at-home mom. However, if I lived here I would have much more housework, would still be responsible for cooking and would have a mortgage I care not to consider. So, I will enjoy this each day for the two weeks I am here.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

"Go Beach"

This is what Rowan said to me after breakfast this morning. So, who was I to say no? First we had Susan take some family pictures at the beach in hopes of possibly getting a photo for our Christmas cards. It was quite bright out so I was squinting and Rowan, as usual, did not want to look at the camera. But, I do think we got one shot where we were all at least looking in the same direction. Unfortunately pictures make my whole pregnancy weight gain quite obvious. After the photos we got ready and spent the rest of the morning at the beach playing in the waves and the sand. Then we ran around the pool deck for a while before heading in for lunch. Rowan was quite a stinker this morning, ignoring virutally every request made of her. I think she was making sure Lance would be okay leaving her for a week and a half.

After lunch, Lance had to head back to Charlotte. He has such a busy week getting ready for Monday's golf tournament and I know he's headed back to long work days. So, he'll miss us while we're playing on the beach and we'll miss him, too!

Rowan woke up from her nap in a much better mood. She had a great snack, played well with Lily and Ally and was even a bit cuddly before bed tonight. Tomorrow is supposed to be 85 and sunny again, so at the beach we will be!

Sunday, October 14, 2007

A Night Out Alone

Tonight Matt and Susan watched Rowan for us and Lance and I actually had a night out alone. We went to a great restaurant called The Old Fort Pub. We had a perfect table overlooking the intracoastal waterway. I loved my fennel puree soup, crab cakes and key lime tart--all things Lance would never touch so I could never make at home unless I would eat it all by myself. After dinner, we walked along a walkway and enjoyed the gorgeous nature before heading home to see the girls. According to Matt and Susan, the night wasn't a disaster. Rowan didn't even cry and we were able to get out for a few hours alone. It really was quite a lovely evening. Thanks, Matt and Susan for watching our wild child.

Big 3-0


So I am no longer in my 20's. Yesterday was the big 3-0! It was a fun, relatively relaxing day. We got into Hilton Head late Friday night and woke up to a gorgeous day on Saturday. Lance, Rowan and I walked along the beach for a bit and enjoyed the beautiful weather and sunshine. Matt, Susan, Lily and Ally's flight got in around 1, so we picked them up, headed back to the condo and put the girls down for naps. The boys went grocery shopping and Susan and I got to sit around and talk. She gave me a book with memories from friends and family which is adorable and so funny. After their long naps we went for a nice walk and brought home some really yummy pizza.

Today we spent some time at the beach and then the pool. Lily and Rowan had so much fun playing in the sand and the water. It is so warm and sunny and the weather is supposed to stay nice for at least a few more days. I imagine lots of days spent playing on the beach. Lance and I may try to go out to dinner tonight, however Rowan is currently refusing to take her nap and I'd hate to leave Matt and Susan with a very fussy little girl.

I can already imagine how sad Rowan is going to be to go back home where the is no beach, no pool and no friends living with her. I would imagine that will be a rough week.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Moo Moo, Baa Baa

This morning Rowan and I were very busy. Rowan decided to wake up nice and early at around 6:15. We had time to play at home for a bit and then went to Rowan's doctor's appointment. The big 18-month checkup. For some reason I thought that there were no vaccinations at this appointment, but I was wrong. Rowan was all smiles for Dr. Samarel. She pulled all of the books out of the basket and climbed in herself. She was as giggly as could be, running all around the room. She was even a trooper for the shots. A few tears, but then it was over and she was better.

After the appointment, we bought the Little People Sweet Sounds dollhouse which I think Rowan will love. Then we were off to the farm and pumpkin patch with the girls from my mom's group at church. Rowan had a great time running around and picking up all of the pumpkins. She wasn't so impressed with the hayride, but liked seeing the cows, petting the rabbit and feeding the sheep and goats. She fed a few sheep quite fearlessly, but was a little more nervous with the goats. She would run up with her little cup of food, squeal and laugh, say "no" and run back. She had a great time. We all stayed and had a little picnic and ate cupcakes for my birthday. Rowan was exhausted when we got home and is now sleeping.

We leave tomorrow for Hilton Head Island for two weeks. I'm sure tonight I will be busy packing OUR NEW MINIVAN for the trip. Yes, the decision has finally been made and Lance is picking up the minivan today. I can't wait for the space! I never thought I would be this excited to get a minivan! What a total mom I am.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Happy 18 Month Birthday, Rowan!

Today my little baby is 18 months old. I can't believe how fast she is growing up. Sure there are days that seem very long, but the past year and a half seems like a blink of an eye!

Today we celebrated the day by going to gymnastics, which is always a bit hit. Then we had a lunch/playdate with Nathan and Trang, also a big hit. Rowan and Nathan are very cute together, especially the goodbye hug and kiss. Today Nathan knocked Rowan over with such a big hug and, of course, they must kiss right on the lips. I really must videotape this. After nap, we went to the park, which is also a bit hit. So, we had a busy, fun day. Rowan had macaroni and cheese for lunch and pizza for dinner. Unhealthy, but Rowan loves it. So, it was a fun day that we ended by dancing to the Dixie Chicks in the kitchen. Of course Harley and Sebastian may not have been quite as thrilled as Rowan and myself when I made them do Ring Around the Rosie with us.

Rowan, you are becoming such a little girl. You still love running, climbing and dirt. But today when Nathan was over, you decided you wanted to wear 4 hairbows and were very excited to show Trang your dress-up clothes--especially the pink frilly skirt. You like to pick out your own clothes, shoes and bow. Today you wore a pink shirt with an orange bow. I'm sure you would have picked out some interesting shoes, but I grabbed your white Crocs before you had a chance to pick any out. I can already picture the outfits you will be picking out. You like to take my eyelash curler and pretend you are curling your lashes. You always try to get into my makeup. Soon enough I will be painting your toe nails and maybe you will even allow me to put your hair in pigtails one of these days.

You are becoming much more vocal. I should try to list all of your words, but I know I would miss so many. Here is a very incomplete list, starting with animals and animal sounds: grrr, buk buk, duck, woof woof, pig, ah ah ah (for monkey), neigh neigh, me (meow), moo moo, hi, eek eek, bird, hoo hoo, hop hop, baa baa, fish, juice, more, please, eat, mommy, daddy, mama, dada, baby, Ro Ro, book, beep beep, no, whee, up, down, mac mac (for macaroni), bow, mirror (sounds more like "more"), rock, stick, ball, bug, Ed (the man who painted our house), Thy, Na (for Nathan) bath, toot toot, knee, wowee, shoe, butt butt (oops, we shouldn't have taught you that). You can also repeat most of the letters of the alphabet when we say them and when we get to "r", you say "Ro ro!"

For all the climbing you love to do, you still love to be carried down the stairs--even though you are very capable of walking down them all by yourself. You are a true mommy's girl. You want to be near me or carried by me constantly. Sometimes it's cute, sometimes it's overwhelming. But, I love that you love me. I'm sure when you're 15 (or younger), I'll have to beg you to spend time with me. So, I'll try to enjoy every minute of your clinginess, even when it means you are hanging on my leg.

You are such a blessing and a gift to our family. Your daddy and I love you more than you can imagine. Happy 1.5 birthday, Rowan!

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Minivan Madness

With our Hilton Head trip approaching, we are on a frantic search for a minivan. It seems we've been looking forever and I really wish we had just bought the first one that had the features we wanted--just to have it all over. Way too much free time has been spent looking for cars. If everything works out, though, I think we'll buy one tomorrow. Key words being "If everything works out". It just seems as though, in the past, not everything has worked out. So, we will see.

Speaking of cars, as I get even nearer to my 30th birthday, I realized that I needed to renew my driver's license. So, Rowan and I got to spend a little time at the DMV today. Fortunately the line wasn't as bad as it could've been and I passed the test quickly and easily. But I really should have thought about the fact that the DMV doesn't take debit or credit cards. So, after all that, I had to leave, find an ATM and head back. Thankfully I didn't have to wait in line again. But I did get an extreme close-up for a driver's license picture! And my Bell's Palsey crooked smile was quite evident.

More exciting than the prospect of potentially becoming a minivan owner is that tomorrow is also Rowan's 18-month birthday. I can't believe my little girl will be one and a half! She is getting so big and is so much fun. Tomorrow is also Isaac's first birthday and Wyatt will be 6 months old. Quite interesting that my college roommates and I all had babies 6 months apart from each other. Rowan was born April 10, 2006; Isaac was born October 10, 2006; Wyatt was born April 10, 2007. God was helping me out by making these things so easy to remember.

Also newsworthy for our family is Lance's upcoming job interview. After a long phone interview, Lance got a call that Hope College would like to interview him further. So, while I am in Hilton Head with all of the girls, Lance will fly up to Michigan for a day and have a 3 hour interview--including 45 minutes with the Hope president. He'll also get to quickly see his parents and also his sister and Hope and Grace, who will be visiting at the same time.

Rowan seems to be on the mend. I was able to spend some time with my friend Stacy and get my haircut yesterday and went to the moms group at church today. Just as things are getting back to normal, I'll be leaving for 2 weeks. Hopefully Rowan will transition into "vacation mode" as quickly as I!

I'm sure the next few days will be a frantic packing extravaganza...

Saturday, October 6, 2007

This Week Stinks--Literally!

So, I haven't blogged since Tuesday. Mainly because the rest of my week consisted of cleaning up poop. I'm quite certain Rowan has rotavirus which is basically vomiting for several days followed by up to 8 days of extreme, terribly smelly diarrhea. So, I guess we're on day 5 and still going strong. I could go on and on about the amount of cleaning I have done or the number of outfits Rowan had to be changed into that day, but that's pretty much the extent what we have accomplished this week. I am praying Rowan will get better soon as we hope to leave for Hilton Head next Friday night!

Today I needed a break so I went to a friend's house and learned how to make bows for Rowan's hair. I'm not sure if it's a southern thing or not, but it seems all little girls here love to wear hairbows. So, I learned to make my own. Rowan likes the idea of bows, but rarely will leave one in. When I got back from the "bow party" Rowan tried on each bow and immediately pulled them out of her hair. There were a few days she seemed pretty into them, but I'm now thinking she was just too sick to put up a fight. In any case, much to Lance's chagrin, I may just have to go out and buy a glue gun and some supplies to make darling bows--whether she wears them or not!

Since Rowan was up at (gasp) 5:30 this morning, Lance and I are going to settle in for a little junk food and some TV before an early bedtime.

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

A Girly Girl--sort of

I wasn't planning on blogging today as most of the day was spent with sick little Roway laying on my chest--not that I minded a bit. We missed the luncheon with the moms group at church because Rowan woke up, once again, covered in vomit. After a forced bath, Rowan wanted nothing more than to be held. Since she's not usually a cuddler, I tried to soak up as much of it as I could. I set up a doctor's appointment for 2:40 and then we cuddled the rest of the day. Since we were a bit early for the appointment, we headed to Pier 1 Kids where I bought Rowan a pair of butterfly wings and a ballet skirt for dress up clothes. Then, off to the doctor. On the way there, Rowan had a severe episode of diarrhea which was leaking through her shirt by the time we got in the door. Though this wasn't a good thing, they were able to get a stool sample without any anal probing, which I consider quite miraculous. When I finally cleaned poop up off of Rowan and the nurse changed the paper on the examination table, Rowan proceeded to pee all over herself--twice. I felt quite unprepared as I had to get some wipes from the nurse to clean it all up. So, in a few days, I can look forward to the stool sample results.

Rowan fell asleep on the way home, so that was her big 10-minute power nap for the day. Once we were home, she ate an entire yogurt which is more than she's eaten in days, but then she managed to have major diarrhea which soaked through 2 more outfits. By the time Lance got home, she was just in a onesie as I figured it was pretty pointless to continue putting on matching outfits at this point. She did, however, make sure that she had a bow in her hair and then she wanted to wear some very boyish light-up Sesame Street shoes (compliments of Grandma Rowe). And, for a finishing touch, the new purple butterfly wings. What a goofball. I love that, despite being sick, she was still able to have a little fun today.

Monday, October 1, 2007

Happy October!

I guess now that it's October, I'm getting that much closer to turning 30. Does this somehow make me much more feeble? It must as I was up no less than 8 times in the middle of the night throwing up. And, again, Rowan threw up in her crib and slept in it. I heard Lance get up with her this morning and the water started running almost immediately. I knew a bath first thing in the morning meant one of two things--neither of which suggest a healthy, happy child. So, I was very sick, Rowan was very sick and, come to find out, Lance was sick, too. What a pathetic bunch we were today. Rowan is such a trooper. She is somehow able to be quite sick but still have an unlimited amount of energy. Though this is a good thing, it made it really hard to keep up with her when we were both sick. We did our best, got through the day and are hoping tomorrow brings us a much brighter outlook...

Sunday, September 30, 2007

Let's Go, Panthers!

Though they may have lost 20-0 today, the Carolina Panthers are still our families favorite team to cheer on. Lance and I became fans almost immediately upon moving to Charlotte since World T.E.A.M. Sports had season tickets and we were able to get to some games. We were somewhat happy to leave the Detroit Lions behind us. When Rowan was little, she cried a lot--and I mean a lot--especially in the car. The only thing that seemed to lessen these cries were when Lance and I chanted "Let's Go, Panthers" and clapped. How we realized this worked, I have no idea. So, fittingly, Rowan got her first Panthers jersey this weekend and proudly wore it around the house and neighborhood today. She was very excited about the panthers on the sleeves and the little patch in the front. When Lance changed Rowan into her pajamas tonight, she grabbed the jersey and tried to put it on. So, she is sleeping in her Panthers jersey tonight.

Rowan also got some new bows this weekend. Since she normally hates to have anything in her hair, I didn't (and still don't) have high hopes for these bows. But, when we put the bow in her hair, she said "bow, mirror" and had to see herself in the mirror. We would take her to the mirror where she would do a very cheesy smile. She would then point around the house to other mirrors where she wanted, again, to see herself with the bow in. It was quite darling, but the bows still lasted only about 5 minutes before she ripped them from her head.

The weather was gorgeous all weekend. We enjoyed lots of outside time, wagon rides and a nice bike ride through the greenway and around the lake today. Rowan, again, loved looking at her shadow. We did some shadow dancing and went to swing on Mr. White's fun hammock swing while he watered his azaleas. Then we went to Miss Louise's house to see Murphy, the small cocker spaniel. Really, just a nice weekend.

A nice weekend with the exception of the stomach bug that seems to have hit. On Friday night, Rowan cried for a little while after we put her to bed. This isn't very common, but not unheard of, either. After about ten minutes of crying, Rowan fell asleep and slept great all night long. When we went to get her in the morning, though, we saw that she had thrown up everywhere in her crib and slept in it all night. I felt like such a guilty mom all day. Saturday she was doing lots better, though. Then today while we were outside playing, I started to feel pretty sick. I had to have Lance take over all parental duties while I ran upstairs and got sick--several times. I am really hoping it's all done and I can rest and sleep the rest of the night. Not quite sure how I will possibly take care of Rowan tomorrow if I'm still feeling like this!

Friday, September 28, 2007

Giving Into TV?

So, as Rowan is getting older, sleeping less (though is still a great sleeper) and becoming more efficient at eating, I am finding that I am not equipped to come up with fun ideas to keep her entertained all day. This morning, Rowan was up at 7:30. We ate breakfast, kept busy reading and playing with toys until 9:30 and then had a playgroup for 2 hours. All was quite fun. Then, it was lunch and a nice nap.

At about 3:15, Rowan woke up from her nap ready to go. We first played with "peanut butter" playdough made with sunflower seed butter. This was, really, more of a snack than anything. After terorizing Harley for a few minutes, we played with toys for about 5 minutes. Then, I was at a loss. We had played with so many things in the morning that Rowan didn't seem interested this afternoon. And, though totally unlike Rowan, she did not want to go outside. This may have been due to the fact that, with the work we are having done, it is quite loud out there. I finally convinced her that going outside was a good idea, so we were able to stay busy the whole day. However, once we came inside and I was trying to play with Rowan, make mashed potatoes and cut up chicken at the same time, I found myself quite challenged. How in the world I will accomplish anything with two, I have no idea.

When Lance got home, Rowan went into full "Mommy" mode. She hung on my leg, cried for me anytime I was out of sight and wanted me to hold her anytime daddy picked her up. Though it may sound endearing, it's really not. Instead of becoming more independent, she just wants me with her all the time. I love spending time with her, but it makes it really hard to leave and do other things. And again, how I will do this with two, I don't know. So, I think I'm on the hunt for some decent educational programming that might possibly keep Rowan's interest for up to 5 minutes or so. I can't imagine she'll ever sit and watch a whole movie like Lily, but I'll take any amount of calm I can get!

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Sprout's Second Appearance

As the title suggests, we got to see little Sprout for the second time today! Forutnately my friend Beth was able to watch Rowan for us as we spent over 2 hours at the doctor! But, it was all worth it for the wonderful pictures we got of little Sprout! Everything is looking normal and healthy, so we were so happy about that! We don't want to find out what the gender is, which is a good thing because the ultrasound tech couldn't tell. Sprout was in the breech position and was turned in a way that it wasn't possible to know the gender.

This morning Rowan and I signed up for a library class for next month and then we went to Monkey Joe's to play for a while. Rowan wasn't as thrilled as she was the last time we went--probably because she was the only one there. But, she still bounced around a bit, played with the drinking fountains and climbed on the tables and chairs. And, she got to play with Frannie over at Beth's house today which she loved.

Rowan continues to give me a run for my money every day. Playtime is great, but mealtime, diaper changing time and car time are full of kicking, screaming and stiffening up so she cannot be put into any sort of restraint such as a carseat or a highchair. I hate using so much force, but I haven't really found any other way to get her to comply. Lance said "They don't call it the terrible two's for nothing." I reminded him that Rowan is not even one and a half--I can't even imagine the terrible twos!

Monday, September 24, 2007

I Don't Want My Lunch, but This Sand is Delicious!

As today's title indicates, Rowan is still not eating much at lunchtime. Today was better than yesterday as she had a piece of Havarti cheese (so yummy) and some macaroni and cheese ("mac mac"). However, no fruits or veggies. I'm sure, however, that the sand she ate at the playground had some good natural vitamins and minerals!

This morning we spent some time at the library. Rowan loved running around and "playing" with her little friends. As soon as the librarian stood up, Rowan would run to the front and climb into her chair. The other moms were shocked that Rowan could get right up into the chair by herself. They clearly haven't been around when she climbs up onto the table here at home.

After Rowan's nap, we spent some time playing at home and then we decided to go the park. It was around 90 outside again today, so I thought just a little outside time would be great. When we first got to the park, the playground was overrun with teenagers, pushing each other on the toddler swings, smoking. Lovely. Fortunately a dad who had his daughters with him finally asked them to move, so we were all able to play. Rowan had lots of fun on the swings and slides. Then she wanted to run down the hill to the sand/dirt baseball diamond. She found a rock which she carried around until I grabbed it right as she was putting it in her mouth. After that close call, Rowan decided she would lay right on the ground, open her mouth and eat a large mouthful of sand. I tried to wipe it out of her mouth, but she was quite delighted and enjoying loudly crunching the sand. That was my cue that it was time to go home.

After a rushed spaghetti dinner (which Rowan actually ate), I went to tutor and am now home, eating the most delicious brownies ever with Lance. I easily could've eaten the whole pan. Poor Sprout is going to have quite a sweet tooth. I finished my book, Ella Minnow Pea, which was a pretty fun read. Now I'm off to decide on my next one.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Still a Little Off...

Rowan is just not herself yet. She had such a hard time getting to sleep for her nap and for bed tonight. She got sick again yesterday, but it was not nearly the upsetting experience of Thursday. We spent yesterday and this morning trying to relax a bit, but decided to go to the park to run around for a bit this afternoon. Rowan had fun collecting pinecones and rocks, having a snack, then swinging and sliding. She refers to both a swing and a slide as "whee" which I find quite adorable. It was a really nice afternoon.

Rowan's eating habits have, of late, left much to be desired. My child, who once ate anything given to her, is now eating very little of anything at all. Tonight for dinner, she refused peas, carrots, sunbutter and jam sandwich, chili and applesauce. She ended up eating a piece of white bread for dinner. White bread. Full of vitamins and minerals. (Can you sense the sarcasm?) We only have white bread in the house because of the digestive issues of the past few weeks. Whatever will she eat when it's gone?

Today we also bought Rowan a Piglet costume for Halloween. Of course I already have a princess dress for her, but one can never have too many costumes, right? Rowan saw the Piglet costume hanging in our bedroom and seems quite excited. It's a bit big on her and may be a little too warm to actually wear on Halloween, but I'm pretty sure it will provide lots of fun dressing up over the next year or so. One of Rowan's favorite "games" is finding Piglet in the morning. (He is always in a canister or container sitting on the table at her place). She sees the container, gets very excited, looks at me and says "Pig?" and then opens the container and yells "Pig!" She then enjoys putting Pig in the container and pulling him out.

After bath tonight, Rowan went pee-pee in the potty again. I still laugh that I call it "pee-pee" and "potty". I feel I'm probably losing all capability of conversing with adults that don't have children. I found a quite funny blog (quotation-marks.blogspot.com) that is devoted to the ridiculous improper use of quotation marks. I think I should really start my own grammar blog devoted to the lack of use of adverbs. I'm sure I could find countless examples of seemingly intelligent people who have, somehow, never learned the importance of the adverb in the English language. Poor Lance had to learn quite quickly about adverbs when we were dating and I corrected his grammar constantly. Why did he deal with me? I guess that's love for you!

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Sweet, Sick Little Girl

Poor, poor little Rowan. She just can't catch a break. The past few weeks have been pretty rough and today was no exception. Rowan was up quite a bit last night--kind of whining for a bit and then falling back asleep. She then woke up earlier than usual this morning. I was pretty sure she was teething, so we packed up and went to the park to keep her mind off of it. After lots of running around, playing with trucks in the sand and climbing, we headed off to gymnastics--typically one of the highlights of Rowan's week. But today, she was much more interested in being held and whining. She did jump on the trampoline and have some fun, but she was not usual wild self at all. On the way home she fell asleep in the car--completely unheard of. Then, we went home where she took a 15-minute nap.

After the nap, I had to get out of the house with Rowan since she was so, so pathetic. So we did a little Target run and then did some grocery shopping. When we got home, I tried to give Rowan a snack which she was not interested in. So, I gave her a cup of milk and read her books, hoping she'd be up for a little nap. Near the end of the cup, though, she threw up. And I mean, she really threw up. It was everywhere. All over me, all over her, all over the carpet, all over her chair. It was even coming out her nose. She was so hysterical she wouldn't let me put her down. So, after holding her for a while, I had to attempt to clean us off. I stripped us both down and we hopped in the tub. She was shivering from her fever and screaming her little head off. So, we got out, wrapped in a towel and laid in bed together. I called Lance crying and asked him to come home. I just didn't know what to do with the amount of vomit that was everywhere. I have never seen Rowan so upset. We took her temp. tonight--103--and we kind of forced her to take a bath. Then, we put her right to bed.

I'm not looking forward to tonight--I'm afraid none of us will be sleeping much. I am exhausted after spending the day worrying. And I had to cancel our huge playdate that we were hosting tomorrow. My poor little girl.

I can't wait until Rowan is back to normal. I really miss all of her smiles and giggles and silly quirks.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Discovering Her Shadow

This is what Rowan did this morning. I guess living in our very shady, wooded area, Rowan hasn't had a chance to really see her shadow before. We were outside playing and doing the usual--picking up sticks and leaves--when Rowan ventured into the neighbor's driveway. Their driveway is black asphalt and the sun was peeking through the trees at the perfect angle to make nice, big shadows. I showed Rowan how the shadow moved when she moved. She wiggled her little arms and danced and watched her shadow and my shadow. She would point to hers and say "Ro Ro" and point to mine and say "mama". I'm sure any neighbors who were home got a kick or our shadow dancing in the neighbors driveway. Rowan, of course, loved her shadow and had to kiss it twice.

Rowan also discovered the translucent curtains in her playroom. She pulled one out and put it over her face and noticed that she could see through it. Then I would kiss her through the curtain, which, in Rowan's world, was the funniest thing ever. She hasn't laughed like that in a while.

Other than those two new discoveries, Rowan has been a bit moody this week. She threw a complete temper tantrum when I dropped her off for Bible study yesterday. I'm sure running errands this afternoon will prove to be quite difficult. I'm pretty sure I can see little white spots on the top gums where the eye teeth will be coming in. So, I guess I'm going to try to plan a lot of things to keep her busy so she's not thinking about her teeth all the time.

I, personally, am looking very forward to dinner with the girls tonight at Ri-Ra. I haven't had any just girl time since Girls' Weekend and need an hour or so of adult conversation. It will be a quick dinner since some of the girls are heading to the Dave Matthews concert afterward and I am heading to tutor. I think Rowan will be happy to get some much needed Dada time and, hopefully, we'll both be ready for a new day tomorrow.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

How Lucky I Am

It's 2:00 on a Sunday and I am sitting outside in a hammock, playing on my computer. After going to church and then Trader Joe's, we came home, ate lunch, put Rowan to bed and watched a great Panthers touchdown before Lance headed off to his soccer game and I headed to the hammock. Sounds quite dreamy, doesn't it? After this post, I will delve into my book and enjoy until Rowan wakes up. Then, I will probably attempt to have her join me, but I don't imagine a sedentary afternoon in the hammock is really what will be on her agenda.

I often find myself envious of friends' big houses, expensive cars and funds for babysitters and date nights several times a week. But, really, I am so fortunate to have everything that I do. I have a house (albeit one that, I'm afraid, might have some serious foundation issues), a wonderful husband, a hilariously fun little girl, a baby on the way and I'm able to be a stay-at-home mom--at least for the time being. Today in church, one of our pastors reminded us that many children in Asia, Africa and South America have to work for pennies a day to help support their families. It makes me hurt so much for those parents who aren't able to be with their children, to watch them run and play and to send them to school. So, even though I don't have all of the things I might wish I had, I have everything I need and more.

So, teenage Rowan and Sprout, when I won't buy you the designer jeans you're begging for, it's not that I don't understand (in fact, I probably want them, too) or that I don't love you (you'll never know how much I do). But, remember, you have so much more than most kids in the world. We are all so blessed that God has given us so much.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Oh No, It's Monkey Joe!

What a nice day! I am loving the cooler temperatures--high around 80, cooler in the mornings and evenings. Rowan and I went for a nice, long walk this morning while Lance tried to fix the weed wacker and was able to get a little yard work done. We then all played outside, swinging, sliding and kicking a soccer ball. Harley even played a little fetch. Rowan has been saying "beta" (bay-TAH) lately. Neither of us have a clue what that means. While Rowan took a nap, we were able to get a little laundry done and I went to a consignment sale, but didn't find anything too exciting.

After Rowan's nap, we went to the Charlotte Mommies birthday party. There were a few Gymboree toys there to play on. Rowan climbed up and went down the slide once. The bounce houses that were advertised didn't seem to be there. We did get some yummy food. And we found out that Rowan is extremely scared of large characters. Monkey Joe was there. I took Rowan to see Monkey Joe, thinking she would find him funny. He is a large purple character of some kind. You would think he would be a monkey, but I'm not so sure. Anyway, we walked over to say hi and I could feel Rowan shaking in my arms. She then let out the loudest scream and started crying. My little daredevil has never really been scared before. I was shocked! Poor little thing. After that, she didn't want to stray too far from mommy or daddy. When Rowan was a few months old, she was sitting next to Harley, looked over and saw Harley and did the same thing. But, she got used to Harley, so maybe she'll get used to large characters as well. If not, I would imagine Disney World would be like a haunted house to Rowan.

After the party, a little more outside time, a nice snack, and then it was time for bed. Lance is out buying milk, juice, ice cream and muffins (you know, the essentials) while I do today's blog. Then we'll probably enjoy a bit of TV or a movie before I finish the night by reading a little more of Harry Potter 7. I just want to know how it all ends! I'm such a nerdy bookworm. Off to enjoy a few pages before Lance gets home...

Friday, September 14, 2007

Happy Friday

What a nice day! The weather is finally out of the 90's and we had plenty (but not too much) to do. We started out the morning at a fun playdate at Stacy and Madison's house. Lots of food, lots of fun, lots of running around. Rowan had a wonderful time. Out of the 16 babies, there were 15 girls and one boy. Where are all of the boys? I don't even want to imagine high school for Rowan if there are a hundred girls fighting over 6 boys! So, high school Rowan, it's not worth it! You'll find someone wonderful when the time is right. In the meantime, have fun and know that I love you more than you can imagine.

After the playdate, Rowan took a nice long nap and then we just played together--reading books, singing songs and dancing. Lance came home early today! Yeah! I think he was home just after 5:00. I had planned on making salmon crepes for dinner, but we decided instead to go to Greg's for the yummiest BBQ. After getting home, we had a little playtime, a nice long bath and then Rowan went pee-pee in the potty. (I can't believe I say "pee-pee in the potty" now...) Good job, Rowan. She went poo-poo (yes, poo-poo) twice in one day about 2 months ago, but hasn't been interested since. I think the pee-pee was really a fluke, but I'm happy about it nonetheless.

After putting Rowan to bed, Lance and I assumed our usual positions in front of the TV, Lance with the remote, me with the laptop. Today I'm enjoying Harley's head in my lap. Seb is also lounging on the couch with me. I love these sweet pups--even when they bark and wake Rowan up from her naps. We are so fortunate to have two great pets and an amazing, wonderful little girl.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Two Long, But Fun Days

It seems that Lance's busy season has officially started. It's great that things are going well at work, but we are seeing less of him here at home. Yesterday he had a dinner meeting and got home around 8:00, today it was around 7:00. I can tell that Rowan misses her daddy and I really miss having a little downtime in the evenings when we can tag-team a little bit--or when we can do some fun things all together.

Yesterday since Lance was working late, I took Rowan to the park around 5:30. It was nice outside--not too hot, and we were the only people there. We spent about an hour running around, collecting many sticks, leaves and rocks, swinging, climbing and sliding. Rowan just loves to be active. In the morning, we went to the mall play area with Trang and Nathan. The kids had so much fun running and playing and trying to escape. Many parents made comments about Rowan's fearlessness. She saw a bigger girl fall off a climbing toy and thought that looked like a lot of fun, so she did it, too. She was laying on the ground, laughing and laughing. What a little goof. It gave all of the parents quite a laugh.

Today Rowan had gymnastics again. She just loves it. Today she enjoyed walking on the balance beam and holding herself up on the bar. I was pretty impressed that she could hold onto the bar and lift her little legs up. Tonight we took a nice, long walk around the neighborhood. It's finally cooling off enough in the evenings to enjoy some good, quality outside time.

We're looking forward to a playdate tomorrow and, hopefully, a very relaxing weekend.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

We Remember...

On this September 11, we remember how fortunate we are to have simple freedoms, to have friends and family and to live in a country that is full of people who support other people. Of course, things aren't always this way and there are many things I would change about our country, but we are very blessed for everything we have.

We were able to wake up today, go to moms group at church, relax at home and play at Satacy and Madison's house. Rowan's diaper rash seems to be clearing up and she seems to be on the upswing of this yucky stomach bug. We really are a very fortunate family.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Teeny, Tiny Kicks

I've been thinking for a few days now that I'm feeling some movement from little Sprout. I'm pretty sure, in fact, that I am. Since I haven't really felt pregnant up until this point, it's kind of a nice litte reminder that little Sprout is there and will be a part of our family in just over 5 months (or, if he/she has Rowan's timing, just under 5 months). It's making me realize that I need to get moving on getting Rowan's big girl room ready and, really, I feel I have a lot to do before this baby comes!

I did order Rowan's duvet cover from Pottery Barn. Stripes on one side, Hawaiian floral on the other. Girly, but not too babyish, so she shouldn't outgrow it anytime soon. I bought an extra cover to make (hopefully with the help of my mom) Rowan's shams and a window treatment of some sort. When I opened the package, I showed it to Rowan and she seemed rather excited, even though I know she had no idea what it was. I can't imagine my little peanut in a big bed. And, I'll admit, we've allowed her to play and jump on our bed which makes me quite certain that it will take quite a while for her to realize her bed is for sleeping--not playing. I have a feeling Sprout will be sleeping in our room for quite some time while we try to transition Rowan into her big girl bed.

After Rowan woke up with an absolutely disgusting diaper that had, of course, leaked all over her sheet, I talked to the nurse at Dr. Samarel's office. She said these stomach viruses can last up to two weeks. I have to feed Rowan bananas and white bread for the rest of the week and see if things start to improve. And only soy milk. So, after a trip to the dreaded Walmart, Rowan tried soy milk. I was rather nervous that she'd have nothing to do with it, but she loves the stuff! So, I'm quite excited that she should at least be able to get through the week without starving. We also got the go-ahead to go to the first moms group at church tomorrow. Rowan also has a bleeding diaper rash from all of the nasty diarrhea. So, we're having lots of diaper free time and loading up on diaper cream. Poor little thing.

Of course, the upside to this whole thing is that the doctor recommended frequent baking soda baths, so bath-crazy Rowan got to take two baths today and spent a lot of time running around naked. She was loving it. Of course, she will not allow me to change her diaper without essentially pinning her down. Fortunately, through all of this, she is still her wild, happy self and generally quite a bit of fun.

Saturday, September 8, 2007

Rowan's Adorable Obsessions

Let me just say that Rowan has two relatively new obsessions, both which make me laugh. The first is kissing. Now, she'll kiss me if I ask her to, but she just loves, lately, to kiss any and all characters in her books. She kisses them and makes the "mwah" sound. Pooh and Piglet? Mwah. A large, hairy pop-out spider? Mwah. Books take at least twice as long to read, which is okay with me since reading is about the only thing she will sit on my lap for. The other obsession is during bathtime. She loves to fill her cup with water, dump it over her head and yell "Whee"! She must have done this at least 50 times in the tub tonight. She especially likes to fill the cup up under the spout--it is not the same to just dip it in the water. When she initially started this, she would try to grab water with her hands out of the flow from the faucet and place it in the cup. I'm not sure what led her to realize this was not the most efficient way to fill the cup, but she has made the leap to putting the cup, instead of her hands, under the faucet.

Rowan has also decided lately that it's very fun to give her snack and drink to her little stuffed Piglet. She holds a piece of food or a cup up to Piglet's mouth and makes a smacking noise. It's just so cute. I think I'll need to splurge and get a little table and chairs and a teaset so we can have fun tea parties soon.

We went to look at a van again today. It was pretty far from our house, so after looking we took Rowan to a mall out that way with a great play area. She was squealing and running all around. She had such a great time. After a very long nap, we attempted to take her to the Greek Festival which we have enjoyed several times since moving here. It started out well. Rowan was happy hanging out in the backpack. We looked around a bit and ordered some yummy lamb, grape leaves, spanikopita, Greek meatballs and a yummy, but strangely sweet noodle and meat dish. Also a yummy Greek salad. This is when things started getting a little crazy. We finally found a place to sit among the thousands (literally) of other people. Lance and I quickly realized that there was no way we could eat at the same time as Rowan just wanted to run around once she found freedom outside of the backpack. About half way through dinner, we decided to cut the festival short and head home. Next year, I think we'll order food and bring it home. In any case, we had lots of yummy food and I think Rowan enjoyed people watching and seeing a bit of Greek dancing before we headed out.

Rowan's diaper rash is getting worse. We gave her some diaper free time after her bath. Of course, she managed to pee all over Lance and the glider in her room. 5 dirty diapers today. I'm pretty sure we'll be making a trip to see Dr. Samarel on Monday.