Friday, November 21, 2008

First Steps, First Signs

We're here in Naperville, along with Lance's parents, visiting Monica, Robert, Hope and Grace. Both kids did great in the car and we're having a great time here. Lance, Rowan, Tate and I are all staying in the same room--Lance and I in a bed, Tate in a Pack-n-Play and Rowan in a sleeping bag in her princess tent (and feeling so grown-up about it). Tate woke up 3 times last night and, though he may have fallen back asleep on his own, I couldn't risk Rowan waking up, so I got up immediately and fed him. Just hoping this doesn't become a habit.

Yesteday Tate decided to surprise everyone and take a few steps on his own. He really doesn't even stand on his own for more than a few seconds, but he takes a few little wide-stanced sumo steps and then falls over. He's still a few days shy of 9 months and, though he's very proud of himself, I think he's growing up too fast!

A few days ago, I thought Tate might have been trying to sign "more". He would put his hands together and get all excited. I'm still not so sure he is really doing "more", but today he certainly started waving "hi". I'm going to try to get video of both milestones and post it soon!

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Tate's Little Scoot

One day last week, Tate did this funny little scoot. He did it just that day, not at all since, but I got a little video of it and I'm going to try to post it.
He is now just so active--crawling everywhere, pulling up onto everything (and often falling, resulting in lots of bumps and bruises) and even standing on his own for a few seconds. He loves eating, moving, and trying to play with Rowan. He hates his carseat, being away from mom and dad, and diaper changes.

The Season's First Snowman

Winter is officially here. To think a few weeks ago, I was playing with the kids at the beach. Yesterday we planned on hiking around the Outdoor Discovery Center. We got there, popped the kids into their backpacks, hiked for a little while, saw the birds of prey (yes, despite my unnatural fear of birds, we still went) and hiked back. Rowan was saying "It's so cold my face hurts" and Tate was burrowing his head into Lance's back.

This morning we woke up to snow all over the ground. Not a lot of it, but snow nonetheless. By the time we were home from church, the snow had melted off the ground, but it was still all over the deck. Lance took Rowan out and they made a cute little snowman who Rowan loves. She said "Snowman, if I put you in the microwave will you melt? Snowman, do you want to come inside and eat hummingfish with me (lots of reading The Lorax around here)? Snowman, do you like to eat raisins and carrots and snow?" Rowan loves to make snowmen, but what she loves even more about the snow is eating it. As soon as she gets outside, she grabs a handful and shoves it in her mouth. When she comes inside, she requests hot cider. Tate and I watched from the window. He laughed everytime Lance would throw a snowball at the window.

While Rowan is excited about the snow, I am not. Though I'll still try to get outside, at least briefly, each day, the days of spending 2 hours at the park are long gone, buried under the snow, only to emerge with the tulips and daffodils in the spring. In the meantime, we'll be doing lots of baking, art projects and dress-up, watching Tate reach lots of fun milestones, and hoping to get through this season with some sort of sanity.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Imaginary Friends

When I was little, I heard that it was very normal for children to have imaginary friends. Not wanting to be abnormal, I decided to make up my very own imaginary friend. His name was Cubby and he was a bear. Every once in a while I'd remember I was supposed to have this imaginary friend and I'd make it a point to have conversations with Cubby for my family to hear. In all reality, though, I didn't have an imaginary friend. I really couldn't fathom that kids actually have these imaginary friends. I tried, I really did, but it just wasn't my style.

Rowan, however, is one of these very "normal" children with imaginary friends. She has lots of them and they go everywhere with her. Her favorite is a little girl named Emma. Her next two favorites are Baby and Max. Today she busted out with Howie's #1 through 4 as well as "The 6-o'clock man". Every day Rowan wakes up and Emma is there. Emma gets dressed with Rowan, eats with Rowan, gets into trouble with Rowan. Any time Rowan does something deserving of a time-out, she immediately lets me know Emma did it. Jumping on the bed during nap? Emma. Pushing Tate over? Emma. Painting with poop? Emma. Emma also accompanies us everywhere we go. Emma needs to be strapped into a high chair, pushed in a swing, given bedtime kisses. I told Rowan she can do all of those things for Emma, but I am only worried about Rowan, since Rowan is my daughter. Rowan let me know that Emma is my daughter, too.

We went to visit Grandma Jackie for two days this week since Lance was out of town. It was so great to have Grandma play with Rowan while I played with Tate. I feel like it was one of the few times I've had to just play with Tate and not have hundreds of other things to do. Rowan was having a blast with Grandma, there was no dinner to be made, no laundry to do. Just Tate and me playing. He was so much fun. Pulling up on everything, letting go for a few seconds and standing on his own. Laughing, cuddling, just being such a sweet and happy little guy.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Another Beautiful Day Until...

We spent the morning at the park--over 2 hours of swinging, sliding, running and eating. Both kids were great. They napped at the same time and I called Heather. As we were talking, I heard Rowan playing in her room and then she finally fell asleep. When I finally went in to wake her up, she had once again escaped the silver belt. I think the pictures speak for themselves.

Last weekend Lance and I went to a martini party and a friend convinced me to take pictures the next time Rowan was up to her antics. So, here they are. Rowan painting on wall 1, a photo of wall 2 and a photo of one of the doors. When I took the picture of Rowan, she actually looked at me afterward, smiled and said "cheese". No remorse whatsoever. I didn't even bother taking pictures of the sheets, bedrails, stuffed animals and comforter cover, all of which were immediately thrown into the wash. One day, when she's a famous painter, I can show everyone how she got her start.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Because we could...

With weather like this, I had to just do things because we could. We spent some time this morning out on the new playset. Tate took a great morning nap, we played a bit and then we skipped Rowan's afternoon nap and headed to the beach. I think it got to 73 degrees today and I couldn't pass up the opportunity to go. We then stopped by Lance's work and ate at New Holland Brewery. Overall, a great day.

Monday, November 3, 2008

70. Sunny. November.

In stark contrast to last week, when we were holed up inside, this week we will be outside as much as possible. Potty-training is going well. No need to stay home. And the weather is absolutely perfect.

I am loving this weather. All morning was spent outside. During Tate's morning nap, Rowan and I played on her new playset in the backyard. We just got it installed on Thursday and it's already been worth it. After nap, we walked to the park. And I'm sure we'll be outside again when the kids get up from their afternoon naps. It's actually warmer here than in Charlotte and is supposed to be warm the next 2-3 days as well. I'm sort-of even contemplating a trip to the beach. Of course the water would be freezing, but Rowan kind of just likes to play in the sand, anyway. I'm guessing I'll be drinking in the sun as much as humanly possible before my deep winter depression sets in and I'm rarely seen out of my house. Hope you're all loving it as much as we are!

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Fall Crafts

Since we were stuck inside most of last week, Rowan and I made some fall crafts to pass the time. We made yummy applesauce, salt dough ghosts, a fall tree, lots of pumpkins and some leaf collages and animals. Rowan has names all 7 of her ghosts (Rowan, Tate, Lily, Baby Ally, Boo and 2 others whose names I can't remember) and likes to set them around the house--in Tate's exersaucer, in his high chair, on other chairs and I discover them when I sit on them or try to put Tate on top of them. She also often has little imaginary friends, lately Max and Emma have been making appearances (I think these may be characters on Dragon Tales which she watched for about 10 minutes one day last week while I was putting Tate down for a nap). When she woke up diaperless from her nap, she informed me that Emma took off her diaper. Though being covered in poop, she couldn't blame the fingerpainting on Emma.

Here are some pictures of a few of Rowan's crafts and a cute one of Tate for good measure.