Friday, October 31, 2008

Happy Halloween!

Tonight we went trick-or-treating with our two little monkeys around our neighborhood. They were too adorable with their monkey suits and banana bags (yes, I actually made them!) Rowan had so much fun saying "trick or treat" and "thank you" and, of course, getting candy. Even more fun for her, however, was handing out the candy to the other trick-or-treaters. She would stand at the door, candy in hand, saying "Here come some more kids! Here they come!" and then would "toss" the candy into the bags. Rowan is still scared of masked people and today the costume that scared her the most was Hillary Clinton. Tate barely napped at all today, which is not like him at all, and he fell asleep during the trick-or-treating experience.

The rest of the week has been both busy and lazy. We didn't leave the house much for most of the week for two reasons: 1. Rowan is potty training and I didn't want to take too many chances with long outings. 2. We've had some work done at our house and I needed to be here for some of the workers.

Potty-training is going surprisingly well. The first few days Rowan had several accidents, then had a few days with no accidents (however, there was still a terrible nap-time poop painting incident) and then today she had one accident. Needless to say, I think it's going pretty well. We went to Target today and Rowan picked out some new Elmo big-girl underwear.

As for the work on our house, we now have a larger, nicer deck with stairs to get to the back yard, so we no longer have to let the dogs out into our yard through the basement windows. We also have a nice playset for Rowan complete with swings, a playhouse, a picnic table and a little rock wall. She loves it. With this strange 64 degree weather today, we spent most of the afternoon outside playing. Tate loved the swing and Rowan loved everything. I'm so excited for the great weather forecasted for the next few days.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Potty-Training the Pellow Way

I have no idea what I am doing. I have decided to potty train Rowan. I just decided "This is it. This is the week. Something has to be done about this silver belt issue and I guess this has to be the start." So, here we are. We had no plans for the week, the weather was supposed to be cold and yucky, Lance was going to be out of town. Let's just go for it. Of course, I had no idea how to start. I read a few books and decided I'm not totally on-board with any of the experts. The "wait until your child tells you they're ready" approach is probably not going to work unless I want to wait a long time. The "have a potty party and train your child in one day" also seems a bit insane. Lots of decorations, preparation and the potential that, after all of that, I will have an untrained child. So, I just kind of read a few ideas and am randomly choosing some things to do.

Sunday morning, we woke up, told Rowan she doesn't need diapers anymore and put all of her diapers in our closet--for naps and night only. We then let her run around with only a shirt on and encouraged her to go to the bathroom anytime she needed to. I think she peed on the floor 4 times. About the same yesterday. Though we did venture out of the house for a very fun pumpkin decorating time at the library where she wore "big-girl underwear" and even went potty in a public place. Today, instead of cleaning up the floor, I just told Rowan to go potty every 60-90 minutes or so and there were no accidents. But, again, I have no clue what I'm doing. I think we'll just kind of keep going at it for a while, staying home a lot this week and then venturing out for short trips in places with nearby public restrooms. I guess we'll just see how it all goes. Literally.

This weekend was tons of fun. We had our Halloween party on Saturday--lots of kids, lots of friends we hadn't seen in a while. Lots of food. Rowan and Tate were dressed in their monkey costumes (though in the photo, Tate is still wearing his funny spider shirt). I meant to make banana treat bags for them, but never got around to it, so Rowan carried her Diego Easter basket from this past year. A few more days until Halloween. I really need to get on those treat bags.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Gymnastics Routine

On Thursday evenings, Lance takes Rowan to gymnastics. Rowan gets some daddy-daughter time and Tate and I get a little time to ourselves. It's great for all of us. However, Rowan has, once again, decided not to nap anymore. So, though she should be napping right now, this is what I'm listening to through her monitor "Good somersault, Rowan. Good tuck jump. Now let's do log rolls. Log roll, log roll, log roll. Do a tuck jump, somersault. Bunny bunny bunny hops. Good girl, Rowan! Watch this tuck jump! Good job!" This will continue for a long time.

And, as she has proven several times over the course of a week or so, duct tape no longer works. So I have also had several surprises after rest time. So, even though I'm not entirely sure she's ready, I think I'm going to start potty training next week. We have virtually nothing on the agenda. We'll hang out in the house and work on it. Should be great fun!

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Make it Hot Pink, Please

Rowan's favorite color is hot pink. I'm not really sure when she decided hot pink was better than blue, but she did. So hot pink it is. When I ask her who her favorite character in a book is, she'll say "hot pink". When I ask her what flavor of ice cream she'd like, she'll say "hot pink". When I ask her what she wants to wear, of course it's "hot pink pants, hot pink shirt, hot pink socks..." And of course the hot pinks are all different shades. It's attractive.

So tonight I tried to make the hot pink work to get Rowan to eat her dinner. And it worked. I made a pineapple stir-fry with chicken and several colors of pepper, one of them being red (which in the right light can sort-of look like a shade of hot pink). She's never eaten a pepper before without spitting it out, but tonight, she went for it. She ate a whole bowl of the stir-fry. Even the chicken! I bought a pink banana squash at a veggie stand, so we'll see how that goes. I may not be above adding a drop of red food coloring to all meals so they look hot pink. I'm not big into the artificial colors, but maybe it's just what Rowan needs...

Friday we took Rowan and Tate downtown to a parade--I'm thinking it must have been for Byron Center homecoming. In any case, people threw candy at Rowan and she thought it was the best. Yesterday Lance and I enjoyed a much needed date night. Today we tried a new church--not one we'll be going back to. This whole idea of finding a church is no fun. Then we played outside and went to the park. A good weekend, but shorter than it should be. Tate is moving around quicker and is harder to keep up with! He eats more veggies than the rest of us combined and loves to be chased and tickled. He is such a giggler and it's so adorable. Now if he would just start sleeping through the night!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Back to Reality

So, I'm no longer 30. And I entered into this next year with a wonderful surprise weekend trip to Charlotte alone. Yep, just me and my breast pump for a nice 4-day excursion. No kids, no dogs, no responsibility whatsoever. Lots of food--Zink, Dean and Deluca, Brooklyn Pizza and, of course a Dutch Baby. Lots of activity--shopping, mani/pedi, dinner group, book club, a birthday bonfire at the lake and a hilarious David Sedaris show. Lots of friends--Trang, Mike, Nathan, Betsy, Jared, Jenni, Toni, Patricia, Molly, Karen, Susan, Scheili, Kristin, Rachel, Marsi, Mara, Jen and a quick visit to school to see Kay, Pat and Quyen. I was so busy and had such a great time.

Some of the highlights/funny moments: After the David Sedaris show, I needed to pump. But, we were on the way to a bonfire, so while Jared drove, I sat in the backseat and pumped the whole way. And, after the bonfire, at 2am, I did the same thing. Poor Jared--he's such a trooper. Molly decked out her house in Halloween decorations, we all put on Halloween tattoos and played Halloween games--something that would have made college Gina very happy--and was quite amusing. Susan got engaged--finally!--after dating Kris for 9 years. Marsi gave Tate the most adorable Harley Davidson jacket, I got to meet new babies Rylan and Charlotte. It was such a perfect trip. And Lance survived with both children.

I came back rejuvenated, missing Lance and the kids, ready to cuddle with Tate and give Rowan her presents. Though it was a late night, it was nice to be home. And then, the next day, it was all back to reality. Back to nap-skipping, tantrum-throwing, time-outs and teething. But also back to cuddling while reading books, coloring, making projects and leaf-collecting, cheering on Tate's crawling, playing pat-a-cake and splashing in the tub.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Tate's New Moves, Part II

It's official. As of a few days ago, the rocking became crawling. It's a nice, slow pace at this point, but Tate is definitely mobile. No more laying him down on the floor in the living room to play while I unload the dishwasher. He will most certainly not be there when I finish. No more plopping him in the playroom with the small choking hazards Rowan loves to play with. He will most certainly find them. And he's quite adorable, looking all determined, while he crawls around. I am excited for his milestone, but am realizing just how much my dogs shed as it all ends up on his clothes. Tate also now has his two front top teeth to go along with those bottom ones. My little guy is growing up! And, according to Rowan, Tate is her "BFF".

As a family, we have been busy lately. Zeeland Pumpkin Fest, Hope's Alumni soccer game, a trip to Grandma Jackie's for her birthday, a day at the zoo. We're doing our best to take advantage of the last little bit of decent weater before outdoor activities require many more layers.