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...