Thursday, August 30, 2007

Go Panthers!

So, Lance and I are currently watching the Panthers-Steelers preseason game and hoping that they can only improve--right? It can't get any worse than the last game. Tonight at dinner we taught Rowan the touchdown cheer and she was quite excited. She kept raising her arms and waiting for us to yell "Touchdown"! She was also excitedly clapping along and we chanted "Let's Go, Panthers", which strangely is the one thing that always made her stop crying when she was little and we were in the car.

Yesterday Rowan and I went swimming at the Y in the morning. There weren't many people there and the few older kids there thought it was fun to play with a baby, so Rowan was thrilled. I also signed Rowan up for gymnastics which I think she'll love--any reason to run around is great to her! In the afternoon, we headed over to Stacy and Madison's for an impromptu playdate. Rowan and Madison are so similar and loved running all around. Lance had a dinner meeting, so he got home just as Rowan was getting ready for bed. It was a long day, but pretty fun. And, Lance brought me a yummy piece of cheesecake.

Today Rowan and I went to the Nature Museum with Trang and Nathan. We got to see lots of animals--frogs, turtles, doves, butterflies, insects. The kids loved crawling around in the tunnels and Rowan especially enjoyed trying to eat chalk. Another mom at the museum was wearing two babies (one on her front, one on her back) and carrying a toddler. You know what else she was wearing? A smile! She was loving it! So, it's nice to know there can be lots of sunny, happy times ahead!

After Rowan's nap, we ventured to Target for a few things and it was kind of nice to browse the aisles. Rowan was happy as long as I was continuously handing her snacks. I figure, while I can, I need to enjoy this time where Rowan doesn't know how to ask me to buy her things and I don't have another baby that I'm trying to tote around.

This is the last week Lance will be able to work long days and take a three-day weekend, so we're going to try to thoroughly enjoy our family time--especially since this weekend is a 4-day weekend. Had we thought ahead a bit, we might have tried to get away for the weekend. The coolness of the mountains would have been wonderful.

I think I may make some cookies now. I'm in the mood for something gooey and chocolatey...yum.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Finally feeling back to normal

After a very long travel day on Saturday, Rowan and I were both relieved to be home. Rowan, however, had a much harder time adjusting back to life in Charlotte. Sunday and Monday, Rowan spent a good amount of time whining, crying and wanting to be held--by me only. Monday I attmepted to go to the gym, but Rowan only lasted about 25 minutes in child watch. So instead we put on our suits and went swimming for a bit. Yesterday Rowan accompanied me to my 14-week prenatal appointment. We got to hear little Sprout's heartbeat and everything looked good. I wasn't too thrilled about the 6-pound weight gain since my last appointment. After the appointment, we played at the park, which was refreshingly rather secluded since school has started now.

Today we started the day swimming at the Y. I also signed Rowan up for a parent/child "gymnastics" class that will start next week. Since my little monkey is so active, I think this will be great for her. I was thinking of signing her up for kindermusik, but I'm not sure that will be quite as fitting for her as this. Our fall is starting to fill up--library on Monday, moms group at church on Tuesday, gymnastics on Thursday and playgroups most Fridays. Hopefully that will keep up both sufficiently busy and stimulated.

Here are some activities Rowan is currently enjoying: ring around the rosie, dancing, giving kisses, coloring (though eating the crayons is still an issue), playing with stickers, playing chase, collecting leaves, sticks and other assorted natural objects outside, running, climbing (onto anything and everything, stable or not). Some things Rowans enjoys eating: sun butter and fruit spread sandwiches, any snack (crackers, cheerios, etc.), raisins, most fruits, peas and carrots, macaroni and cheese, pasta with tomato sauce, whole wheat pancakes (sometimes), anything she can eat with her hands (it is no longer cool to be fed by mom).

Rowan wakes up happy and likes to be on the go all day. She's lot of fun and very energetic. I'm trying my best to be energetic with her!

Friday, August 24, 2007

Last Day in Michigan

Well, it was our last full day in Michigan today. Quite a long visit, but nice. I'm very ready to be home and miss Lance tremendously. Yesterday we played with Lily in the morning and went to the beach in the afternoon. It was a great day for everyone--especially after such rainy weather. Today Eric came to visit, so he had a great time with his niece and I lost in pinochle--twice. I'm trying very hard to fit everything into my suitcases, but to no avail. My mom will be stuck bringing a few bags of things with her to Hilton Head in October.

Here are some of the things I loved about being home: talking to my mom in person every day, playing games, having help with Rowan (taking daily showers and even occasionally going to the bathroom alone), home-cooked delicious meals every night (none of which I cooked), friends (thank you, Susan, for coming to hang out with us!), cooler weather and reading an entire book in the free time that doesn't exist at home

Here are some things I missed about Charlotte: talking to Lance in person every day, the excitement when Lance walks in the door after work, home, warmer weather (though I will never hope for those 100+ degree days), silence (rare, but wonderful during Rowan's naps), my sweet and lovable dogs, Harley and Sebastian.

Not looking forward to a very long day of travel tomorrow, but can't wait for the end result!

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Back From Girls' Weekend

Ah, so it's been a few days since returning from the wonderful CHILD-FREE Girls' Weekend. Rowan had a great time with Grandma and, I'm quite certain, didn't even notice my absence. She gave me a little smile when I got home, but didn't seem overly excited (like I was). I missed her just the right amount. It was so nice knowing she was having fun and didn't cry once. It made it much easier to enjoy Girls' Weekend without feeling the least bit guilty.

We had a wonderful time together. As usual, all 6 of us were there (for the record, Connie, Stephanie, Carrie, Heather, Andrea and myself), and, surprisingly, there were no children around. I was most impressed that Heather left her 4-month old son in Kentucky! The rest of us were at least within driving distance of our children, in case of some rare emergency.

On Friday we enjoyed manicures and pedicures and eating fabulous appetizers at Connie's house while standing and sitting around the kitchen island (see numbers list below). Saturday, we woke up early, but spent a little time being lazy before heading off to Holland and Saugatuck for some lakeshore shopping and a delicious lunch at Butch's. Then we made dinner at Connie's and talked and laughed hysterically. I was in tears with laughter when we realized some people thought (for a VERY brief moment) that Heather at one point dated Billy the Kim. Here I am laughing again. Hilarious. Sunday was a fabulous brunch at Charley's Crab where I ate way too much (of course).

Here is a list I stole from Stephanie's blog--I found it way to creative to not steal it! (Yes, I realize that #3 is exclusively Steph, but I'm leaving it anyway. For the record, I think I may have called my mom a few more than 3 times).

So here's the breakdown by the numbers:

0 - pictures taken. Inexcusable. Better next year, right, gang?
1 - confirmed pregnancy among us
2 - lovely restaurant meals we enjoyed without cutting food into tiny pieces for toddlers
3 - times I called Jason to check up on the family
4 - number of us who had to rev up the breast pump every few hours to keep the milk a-flowin'
5 - average hours of sleep per night
6 - pints of Ben & Jerry's out on the counter at midnight last night
7 - approximate hours spent standing around Connie's kitchen island, pretending we were going to stop eating any minute . . .
8 - more years until we're fairly confident that we'll all be done having children and can plan a 15th anniversary bash at a luxury spa in the desert
9 - children we left with others (for the record: Annie, Ben, Greta, Rowan, Amelia, Isaac, Jemma, Sam, and Wyatt)
10 - (at least) times the conversation came around to future baby names. Pathetic.

Now, we're back at my mom's. Yesterday we went to the Portage Public Library and Rowan played in the preschool room. She had quite a bit of fun with all of the toys. Yesterday evening Susan brought Lily and Ally over to play. They are both getting so big! Rowan didn't seem to be jealous when I held Ally, which I'd love to consider a great sign, but she still has 6 months to develop jealousy before the baby arrives. Today Susan and Lily came back to play for a bit. Rowan has decided to be extremely difficult with diaper changes. They have been very challenging for a while, but today included kicking, screaming, crying and a head-butt. Good times. But, for the most part, Rowan has been quite happy here and has been sleeping very well in a Pack-n-Play, so I can't complain.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Cooling off in Michigan

Wow, it's been quite a while since my last post. Rowan and I are now in Michigan staying with Grandma and Aunt Michelle. After 2 days of 104 degree heat, it's nice to be in a place with highs in the 80's. Rowan did surprisingly well in the airports and on the planes. It is pretty labor-intensive trying to occupy her, but people around me all commented on her great behavior, so I can't complain. Not sure where I would be without stickers...

Rowan is having fun here. She has decided she wants to only walk down the stairs (no longer feels the need to be carried), so we have been doing lots of going up and down stairs. I actually was able to get a quick hair trim for the first time in way too long and I went out and bought some maternity tops for my sister-in-law, Thy. Still hoping to buy some flip-flops before Girls' Weekend as I didn't bring any and am lost without them.

Rowan also seems to be making the decision to speak--at least a little. Now in her vocabulary is: mama, dada, no, baa baa, moo moo, woof woof, ball, neigh neigh, bird (at least an attempt of it), bubbles, book, milk (sort of), more, down and bye-bye. I may be missing one or two, but I'm encouraged that she seems to be learning! She is currently loving "Ring Around the Rosie" and being chased around the yard. She also loves to swing in her swing but only if I swing next to her and hold her hand, which, of course, I think is absolutely adorable. She also loves swimming and bike rides--and, of course, books--just like her mommy.

I am getting so excited for the annual Girls' Weekend which starts tomorrow. I'm feeling a bit nervous about leaving Rowan for the first time, but I know she'll have fun with my mom. I can't imagine having a weekend for yummy food, manicures and adult conversation. So, so excited...

Lance is working on some projects at home while I'm gone. For some reason, he decided to rid our room of the ugly popcorn ceiling, but it's not going so well. Hopefully he'll be able to work that out and actually get the room painted well before I get home. I've really been enjoying real meals (that I didn't have to cook) and a few moments to shower while Rowan plays with my mom. Thanks, mom!