Saturday, February 23, 2008

Happy Birthday, Tater Tot!

What a day! Lance and I are thrilled to announce the birth of our son, Tate Richard. He was born at 9:18am and weighed in at 8 pounds, 9 ounces. He is 20 inches long and is sweet and adorable (not that I am the least bit biased). It was a very long day, beginning right at midnight when my water broke. Strong contractions followed immediately and we anxiously awaited my mom's arrival so she could stay with Rowan while we went to the hospital. A much needed epidural came at 4:30 and I started pushing at 7:30. After about an hour of pushing, it was determined the baby's neck was twisted in a way that I couldn't get the baby out naturally, so we went in for a c-section. We're all tired and sore, but healthy, so it worked out fine.

Tate, I am so excited to have a little boy. I can't wait to play trucks and soccer with you and watch Rowan dress you up and make you play tea party at her pink table and chairs. You are everything we could have dreamed of and we already love you so much.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Happy Valentine's Day, R-O-W-A-N!

What a fun Valentine's Day! We started off the day helping a psychology class at Hope. Rowan and a few other kids went in and played while the class observed. Rowan was a little bit more reserved than usual, but it didn't stop her from sabatoging the teacher's "tests" for the kids. Any time the teacher would try to get another child to do a certain task (i.e. find the hidden toy), Rowan would run over and do it herself. No, this is not because she is more brilliant than the other children--the age range was from 7 weeks to 2 years. I'm holding out hope that she was really just trying to be helpful...

At Target we bought a few last-minute Valentine's things and I read a book to Rowan while we were browsing. She pointed to the word my and said "m-y" and I said "That's right. m-y spells my." She then said "R-o-w-a-n spells Rowee!" She kept repeating this. We've told her this before, but it must have just clicked for her. We came home and she got the r, o, w, a and n letters from the fridge and spelled her name. Just yesterday she actually said the whole alphabet from a to z without missing any letters. If only she could be as obsessed with good behavior as she currently is with letters!

When Lance got home we had lots of fun opening presents and eating yummy treats, though I spent a good part of the evening and night with a stomach-ache. Now that Lance has a work laptop he occasionally brings home, I may even try to download some pictures later tonight!

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

How Rowan Makes Me Laugh

I thought I'd share some funny things that Rowan does/says/did that never fail to make me laugh. Sometimes I wish I could just crawl into her little head and see things from her perspective. Here is a short list:

1. Books. Rowan loves to read. It is the only time she will sit still--and it's not really all that still. But, Rowan likes to occasionally finish the sentences of books she knows well. One such book is Madeline. There is a line in the book that goes "To the tiger in the zoo, Madeline just says pooh-pooh" but Rowan always says "To the tiger in the zoo, Madeline just says pee-pee". I guess the "potty training" vocabulary is sticking.

2. Potty Training. Well, we're not actually potty training, per se, but we do encourage Rowan to go on the potty anytime we're changing her diaper anyway. This requires lots of patience and energy. Rowan will often go on the potty (yes, I am 30 years old and call it a "potty". For the record, I also say "pee-pee" and "poo-poo"), but only if accompanied by several "friends"--stuffed animals, her blanket, bathtime toys, etc. Sometimes she wants them to "bite" her feet and lately she has been asking them to sing the ABCs.

3. "Night-night". Anytime Rowan sees someone with their eyes closed, she assumes they are sleeping and finds it hilarious. For example, today at the doctor, I was having an exam which was rather uncomfortable. I was wincing and Rowan was next to me, laughing and saying "Night-night, Mommy!" Of course then I start cracking up. She also thinks any character in a book with their eyes closed (or looking down) is sleeping and will go through and list the characters that are sleeping and those that are awake.

4. Animals. Rowan loves to hide and find her stuffed animals in her bed. When I get her in the morning and after her nap, she always spends several minutes hiding and finding her animals and then cracking up when she finds them as though they were being very silly for hiding. She says their names in this funny voice when she finds them and gets all giddy. For the record, the animals she currently sleeps with are: Harry, Pig, Neigh Neigh, Other Neigh Neigh, Blanket, Raffi and Dinosaur.

5. Letters. Rowan loves to play with her refrigerator letters. She gets all excited when she finds the M for Mommy, the D for Daddy, the R for Rowan, the H for Harley and the S for Sebby. She then likes to hand out the letters to each of us and will chase Harley and Sebby around the house trying to hand them their letters. She also likes to randomly say a letter and then name things she knows that start with that letter. For example today she got the "G" and said "G Grandma, Grover, grapes, grilled cheese". When I asked her what the letter was called, she repeated the entire sequence again. She also always calls the letter z "Sleepy Z".

6. Tickling. Rowan thinks it's great to be tickled. When you tickle her, she laughs and laughs and says "No, no, no!" Then when you stop, she grabs your hand and puts it up to her neck and says "Neck, neck".

7. Singing and Dancing. Lance has taken it upon himself to teach Rowan the song "Hangin' Tough" by none other than New Kids on the Block. He also makes up funny dances and teaches them to her. She always gets a kick out of this.

8. Matt. Ever since our Hilton Head vacation, Rowan has been obsessed with Matt. She really didn't spend a lot of time with him while we were there, but since getting back (in October!) she has been obsessed. She loves to have me draw family pictures on her magnetic board. These pictures always include Mommy, Daddy, Rowan and Matt. Every day when she gets up I tell her Daddy is at work and she says "Matt work, too."
I think Lance is getting a little jealous...

9. Meat. Rowan is our little vegetarian. Anytime even a miniscule piece of meat enters her mouth, she will fish it out, hand it to me and say "No meat! No meat, Mommy!" (I did, however, get her to eat some really yummy fish with us tonight--and she liked it!)

There are so many silly, random things that Rowan does. Some make me laugh, some make me want to pull my hair out, but it's always fun to see her reactions to new things and to try to imagine the world the way she sees it.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Mommy Elizabeth Pellow

The other day, I went to get Rowan in the morning and she pointed at herself and said "Rowee Elizabeth Pellow." I said "Yes, you are Rowan Elizabeth Pellow." She then pointed at me and said "Mommy Elizabeth Pellow." I wasn't sure at that point what to do. I really don't want my one-year old calling me by my first name. It was somewhat traumatizing when she went from "Mama" to "Mommy". "Gina" is just not an option at this point so I told her my name was "Mommy Alison Pellow". She now loves to call me and everyone else by their full names. Our dogs are now referred to as "Harley Anne Pellow" and "Sebastian Boy Pellow" (yes, somehow "Boy" actually became his middle name...) It's so funny to see what my little girl was thinking about when she woke up.

On another note, Baby Sprout's due date is just two weeks away. Two weeks! I never actually got to this point with Rowan since she was 3 and a half weeks early. I'm getting huge and quite uncomfortable, sleeping sporadically (if at all) and obsessing over my water breaking or going into labor in the middle of the night without anyone to watch Rowan. I care not to picture her in the delivery room with us. And, of course, we are no closer to choosing a name. Well, maybe we're closer, but we're not there yet.

Though I shouldn't even mention it, when I was listening to the radio at 10am, the windchill was -21 degrees. It's been in the 70s in Charlotte this week and everyone is letting their kids run wild at the park. We were here playing tea party again. However, we're also making some art projects and seeing some great friends--we ventured to Grand Rapids twice this week. Once to see Susan and the girls and once to see David, Andrea and Isaac. I think I'm going to make a bird feeder with Rowan tomorrow and try to pack in as much as possible in her last days as an only child. I ccan't even believe how soon this baby will be here!

Saturday, February 2, 2008

Mixed Feelings about Michigan

So, here I am VERY EARLY on a Saturday morning. I can't sleep. The baby is very active and I'm very hungry. So, a little recap of the week. Lance left early Monday morning for his conference. We ran a few errands, took a very long bath and tried to keep busy. Tuesday we spent the day in Grand Rapids--first at Susan's playing with Lily and Ally for a while and then at Connie's where we got to see Heather and meet Wyatt finally! We also got to see Steph, Andrea, Ben, Sam, Annie and Jemma. It was quite a time. Rowan was (surprisingly!) on her best behavior. We got home just in time for a few minutes of play before bedtime. Really, it was the perfect way to spend the day. The next day the weather was terrible. The windchill was -18 when I took the dogs out in the morning and everything in town was closed. So we were destined to a day inside. A very long day inside. I'm relatively certain I cannot play tea party for another minute...A doctor's appointment Thursday (no news, thankfully) and the aquatic center Friday (got there, got all ready, hauled our things out on deck just in time for child to poop in the pool. Lovely.) And today we'll head to Portage for Michelle's birthday.

I never knew just how much harder it would be to be a stay-at-home mom in Michigan. Though I wasn't exactly excited about our move, I figured that Lance is the one who goes to work every day and I supposed I could be a mom anywhere, so we'd just go ahead and do what he thinks is best for him. Well, that's not quite the case. In Charlotte, we went to the park almost daily and it wasn't rare for us to go twice in one day. It was easy to meet people since there were always people outside and Rowan was surrounded by kids. Had we stayed in Charlotte, I think I could have potentially had several relatively happy children while staying a relatively happy mom. I'm sure that will eventually happen here as well. I just need to begin an entirely new repetoire of things to do. Sadly, this means Rowan will need to as well. She begs daily to go outside. And prior to the move, I had this idyllic picture of us playing in the snow, sledding, making snowmen, etc. I forgot, however, that snow 2 feet deep doesn't really lend itself to a child not much taller than that to actually play in it. And I forgot about those negative degree days when even a short walk through a parking lot seems to leave my child's cheeks chapped and red.

On the other hand, I got to see some great friends this week and will get to drive just over an hour to see my mom and sister today. No more flying back to Michigan a good 5 times a year, hopefully getting to take real vacations occasionally instead of just coming here (though I have a feeling we'll now be flying to Charlotte to see our friends). And once summer comes, I'm sure we'll take full advantage of Michigan beaches, long walks, parks and, of course, Captain Sundae. Now let's just hope this new baby loves the Baby Bjorn...