Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Where to find us all summer long...

the sand table. Both kids can't get enough. So much fun! So much dirt! Maybe by the end of the summer I'll have the whole "cleaning the sand off the children before coming inside" routine down to a science. Maybe I'll figure out how to keep wet sand from staining clothes (really, I thought it would just rinse out. But, no! It stains!) Rowan loved the sand table last year and this year, Tate is clearly following in her footsteps. I think the pictures say it all.

A Beautiful Day

Prior to our three-day stretch in Canton, our whole family actually got to spend Friday evening and Saturday together. We got pizza and had a picnic at the park on Friday followed with a trip to Houseman's for ice cream. Gorgeous weather. Lots of fun. Hiking, swinging, much needed family time. Saturday it rained. A lot. Lots of playing inside, putting away winter clothing, bringing up summer clothing. Running errands. Going out to dinner. Just being a family. And loving every minute of it.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Three-Year Stats

So, I've been in a bit of a funk lately. I think this year has been particularly emotionally draining and when it comes down to writing about my daily activities, I am just out of energy. But I'm starting to realize that finding the good in each day is what I need (and now that spring is finally starting, I think it will be a bit easier). My children are wonderful. Rowan is extremely creative and funny, Tate is learning new words and doing new things every day. And I'm missing out on recording all of this. So, though I've said these words before, I really am going to try to be better about recording this journey.

Monday was Rowan's 3-year checkup at the doctor. A nice appointment--mainly becuase there are no shots. She was hilarious. Laughing every time the doctor touched her. Squirming around on the table, making funny faces, trying to take a deep breath. The whole time I was thinking "Oh, I wish I had brought the video camera." It was just hysterical. Dr. D was impressed with Rowan's intellect (spelling her name and some other words, counting to 100, reading a few short words phonetically), but a bit perplexed by her motor skills (climbed right up onto the table and can do a somersault, but is unable to pedal a bike, throw and catch a ball, eat well with utensils and draw a smiley face). So we are now in the process of making calls to have an OT/PT evaluation done. In the meantime, I suppose I should make more of an effort to make sure Rowan is working on these skills.

As for the stats, Rowan has grown a whopping 1.5 inches in a year. A whole year. 1.5 inches. In her defense, I think the 2-year measurement was probably not quite accurate as she was supposedly 34.5 inches and in the 75th %ile. She is now 36 inches and in the 25th %ile which is perfectly aligned with her weight of 28 pounds, also in the 25th %ile. Her head, of course, is considerably larger than average. Which, of course, is to make room for that big brain of hers. All in all, a pretty good appointment.

Rowan continues to love stories, but my creativity is begining to wane. I have taken this opportunity to teach Rowan what characters, setting and plot are and I ask her to tell me a little bit about each one prior to the story. "Rowan, what characters would you like in your story?" I say. "Me, Tate, you, Daddy, my friends, my cousins, Hot Pink Girl, her friends, her cousins, the Care Bears, the word friends, and all of their friends and cousins, Grandma Jackie, Aunt Michelle, Grandma Mary, Grandpa Carl..." I then generally tell her that three characters would be a good number and then randomly pick three. The setting is often Hot Pink Girl's house and the plot generally has something to do with going to Word World or eating cupcakes. She also loves any opportunity to go outside--sidewalk chalk, bubbles, swinging and attempting to bike (which inevitably ends in disaster as she cannot pedal, but she loves it anyway).

Tate is getting more and more adventurous. His favorite thing right now is to climb on something (preferably the piano or the train table), stand up and do a funny little dance/shuffle. I tried to get a video clip of it, but it didn't turn out so well, so I will try again. It's so funny. I can't even get mad at him for standing on the table because it's just so cute. He also loves racing up the stairs and hiding in Rowan's Rose Petal Cottage. As for eating, some days he eats well, other days he eats nothing, but he refuses to be fed. So, mealtime is a complete mess with Tate holding a spoon, but eating something like chili or oatmeal with his hands. Harley and Sebastian are loving it.

As for Mary, it's been a rough week. 5 days in the hospital, 1 day at home and back in the hospital. Lance went from Chicago to Canton to home where he's been working nonstop. We're hoping for a weekend where we can all be together--even if it's doing boring things like yardwork and laundry.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Tell Me a Story, Ma.

Rowan has a new obsession. Well, not new, exactly, as it's been going on for a few months now. I keep hoping maybe she'll grow out of it, but, alas, I think it is just a part of our lives now. This obsession is stories. Not books, necessarily, though she loves those and would read all day if I had the time to read to her. What she wants is stories. As in me, making up stories and telling them to her. Constantly. I am not exaggerating when I say she asks me to tell her a story over a hundred times a day. I haven't actually counted, but I really wouldn't be surprised if that number nears a thousand some days. It is just ridiculous.

Now, don't get me wrong, I like that she enjoys hearing stories, but I think maybe, oh, 3 or so a day should suffice, in addition to the many books we read. As soon as we're in the car or we're not playing anything requiring talking, she starts to ask for stories. The conversation goes something like this:

Rowan: Tell me a story, Ma.
Me: Well, maybe if you ask nicely.
Rowan: Mommy, tell me a story, Mommy, please.
Me: Who would you like to have in your story?
Rowan: (typically, though this occasionally changes) Me, Hot Pink Girl, Eloise, my friends, my cousins, the Word Friends (from Word World, which she has seen maybe three times), Mommy, Daddy and Tate
Me: What would you all like to be doing?

And on and on it goes until I weave some sort of story with way too many characters and a very limited plotline. And as soon as I am done, it begins again. When we were in Charlotte, Trang couldn't stop laughing as this is really what the conversation with Rowan was like all day.

Rowan has also taken to calling me "Ma", reminiscent of a girl from Jersey. I do not like it. So, every time she calls me "Ma", I say "My name is Mommy or Mama, not Ma." Where did she come up with this? She continues to call me "Ma" unless she is asking for something and then she will call me "Mommy".

Random side note. In the car tonight on the way home from a yummy dinner at Marie Catrib's, Rowan was talking about doctors. And Tate said "doctor", clear as day. Lance and I looked at each other and then, of course, tried to get him to say it again, but he wouldn't. Then right before bed, I asked him to say doctor and he did. Another word to add to the list, I guess. Maybe a future career choice?

Monday, April 6, 2009

Tate's Daily Schedule

Tate would like to report that today was like any other day for him. It started at 6:30 with lots of screaming in his crib until Mommy came in to get him. It continued with a firm refusal of breakfast and then lots of crawling up the stairs quickly, laughing and sitting on the landing waiting for me to catch him, tickle him and take him back down the stairs, only to continue this stair-chasing another 20 or so times. Then it's up to the bathroom to brush teeth where Tate refuses to allow me to brush his teeth. Then it's time to randomly pick up the step stools in the bathroom and walk around the room with them, then set them down and step up and down, up and down on them. Then pick the up again and walk around. Then it's time to get dressed which, of course, Tate refuses. This is when Mommy has to put Tate in a hold reminiscent of WWE wrestling in order to get him dressed. Then it's time to go downstairs and play with balls and chase the dogs until Rowan wakes up. Then there's lots of following Rowan around (he is now saying "Ro Ro") and repeating the morning activities.

Lots of movement, lots of action, lots of personality. Tate is a mover and a shaker, people. No reading books for him. No being strapped into a highchair (or, even worse, a carseat). Even with all of the action, Tate still loves to be held (when the time is right, of course) and is the sweetest little thing. He continues to be obsessed with Mommy, which is both sweet and irritating (mostly to Daddy) and wants to grow up to be just like his sister who, in his eyes, can do no wrong.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

What's Cookin'?

Yesterday was Rowan's 3rd birthday party--a cooking theme. Making chef hats, wearing aprons, making pizzas and fruit parfaits, cooking books, cooking songs and, of course, an apron cake. We kept it SMALL, as cooking with 2 and 3 year olds seemed a bit daunting and it was perfect. Rowan had a great time, I was never too overwhelmed (except when I attempted to write "Chef Rowan" on Rowan's cake and the frosting kept coming out of the tip. Hence the large "3" on her cake instead). Since Rowan's birthday isn't actually until the 10th, I feel no need to get all sappy about my little girl growing up--at least for a few more days.