Saturday, February 28, 2009

As many of you have probably noticed over the last couple weeks, Rowan really needed a haircut. I have been planning on cutting his hair myself since we got back from our trip. I finally bought some scissors and a good comb this past week and have been trying to build up the courage to actually do it. So today, after a man at the hardware store asked if I would allow my daughter to have a sticker I quickly got my act together and decided to just do it. The first step was to find something that would keep Rowan's attention for long enough so that I would have enough time to complete the task. I knew just what we needed. Beans! Rowan loves playing with dried beans, pouring it from one pan to the next. Usually I mind the fact that the beans will eventually end up all over the floor but today I would make the exception. And it worked! Rowan sat down in one place for long enough that I could cut his hair and I must say, I think I did a pretty good job especially considering that this was my first time. I guess watching my Mom cut people's hair as I was growing up must really have payed off. What do you think?

Friday, February 27, 2009

It's Friday! Have a great weekend everybody!

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Need I Say More?

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Rowan and Elaine's Kentucky Adventure

Sounds exciting, doesn't it? I guess it was if you consider that at some point today we found ourselves standing just about 2 feet away from some man-eating sharks! Sharks in Kentucky? Well, yes. We went to the Newport Aquarium which is situated right across the Ohio river (the border between Ohio and Kentucky.)

Rowan absolutely loved it. He was in awe of all the colours, and different shapes and sizes of the fish. I let him guide us most of the way and it was really interesting to watch his reactions as he ran up to the various tanks in the exhibit. I could see the intense excitement in his eyes. Every now and again there would be a "wow" coming from his direction. It was a pleasant experience for both of us and we will definitely be going back there in the not too distant future.

An added bonus to this little excursion was the fact that we got to see a little bit of the city too. Rowan was impressed by the big bridges and buildings on our way to the aquarium, so we spent some time outside enjoying the view of Cincinnati across the river. The perfect end to fun day out.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

What do you get when Mom wants to draw and Boy wants to play with play dough? It's super-lumpy-psychedelic-moo-cow!

We stayed in today and had to get creative with our time.

The photos below are from yesterday. I thought I would include them with today's post because they are evidence for my case against going outside while it is cold and wet. Yes, we ventured out into the cold again yesterday but this time it was just a little muddier and colder than the last time and every time I urged Rowan to please come inside he would not move from that great big mound of mud. Since I was not prepared to go climbing in there myself we ended up staying out there for exactly as long as Rowan wanted to.

Monday, February 23, 2009

"Oh no! Is stuck!"

Rowan has learned to say, "Is stuck." The other night he had managed to wedge himself in between the couch cushions and boldly exclaimed "I stuck!" Now everything "is stuck" whether it really is stuck or perhaps just out of reach. I love this age. I love this stage, and I am totally stuck on you my boy!

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Winter can really drag on forever and this is coming from someone who was fortunate enough to have had a whole month of summer in January!

Our hearts yearn for spring to come. We have painted and drawn. We have played with trains, cars and airplanes. We have read some books, sung some songs and made plenty of phone calls. We have been to this museum and that indoor play area. We have run around the house and hid in every possible corner. We have done it all over and over again.

It snowed today and after a while of entertaining ourselves in the house we decided we just had to get out for some pancakes and ice-cream. What a great idea that was!

Definitely not the healthiest of choices but he sure enjoyed that ice cream!

Saturday, February 21, 2009

IKEA to the Rescue!

We have run into a slight problem concerning Rowan's toys - he has a lot of them and for a while now they have been put away in storage boxes with limited access. So some more practical storage was necessary and the obvious answer to this problem was IKEA. For those of you who don't live in North America or Europe, IKEA is a great big showroom/wharehouse that stocks just about anything you might ever need for your house or apartment. The best part is the fact that the products are all very contemporary in design and quite affordable.

We ended up getting a shelving system for Rowan's playroom and today was the day for assembly. Rowan helped his Dad of course while I packed away all of his toys neatly in containers ready to be places in the shelves.

After everything was neatly packed away, Rowan did what I guessed he might do but really hoped that he wouldn't...


Since I was in charge of relocating his toys I thought it a good idea to finally get rid of some of the toys that he no longer plays with - the toys that I have been hanging onto for sentimental reasons - the toys he played with as a baby. But how am I just supposed to let go? This is what I did. I thought to myself that the only reason for keeping a toy is to preserve a memory or feeling that I have attahed to the toy. Perhaps I didn't need the actual toy to take me back to that wonderful place, perhaps a photograph of that toy will do exactly the same. I think it will do just fine. So without further adu we say thank you and good bye.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Music class? What a great idea!

As we arrived at the music class for the first time I could already sense Rowan's objection to the whole affair. He would not part with his goldfish crackers, his shoes or his coat and this is usually not a good sign.

We introduced ourselves and everyone gathered round in a great big circle. The class was very well presented and everyone was in good humour - all except little Rowan. Rowan insisted that him and I just stand off to the side and watch the others for a while. This was fine but as soon as we moved closer he objected and we moved back to the safe zone again. I am not entirely sure why a formalised setting such as a group of people sitting in a circle offends him so much. He does very well when he has to socialise in informal settings regardless of how many strangers there might be. He also seemed to really not like the actual singing portions of the class. He loved the instrumental part when all the participants could pick percussion instruments to play along with the music and he did! Then the singing started again and it was time for us to leave the circle again.

Perhaps you people out there have some idea as to why he might react in this way. Is it that he is picking up on my anxiety? Is it because he was the only boy in a room full of girls? Is it because boys prefer bashing things to singing? Perhaps he is more of an independant kind of kid and doesn't like to follow the crowd dare I say he follows the beat of his own drum? :)

Whatever it is, I am going to see if it will get better with more exposure to the situation, so we will definitely be going back there. At least he gets excited by the idea of a drum.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

There are two things that I would like to share with you today. One is a funny little story about how mothers know everything and the other is just a little something about Rowan's general development.

Let's start with the funny. Rowan was sitting in his high chair playing with his play dough tools. It is basically a box filled with lots of small things that you can use to mold and cut etc. After playing for about 3o minutes or so he suddenly decided that he needed to get down from the chait immediately. I noticed two small discs in his hand. They were colourful and just about the right size to fit in his mouth... mothers know these things. I thought "Aha! I know what you are planning Mister. You are going to find a hiding place and when you think I am not looking you are going to snack on those little discs, aren't you?" I brought him down from the chair anyway because I wanted to test my theory and sure enough as soon as I put him down he crawled under the kitchen table. He realised that I was still watching him so the next thing I see is his little hand sticking out from under the table waving at me. Was I supposed to just wave goodbye and walk off? I guess so but I didn't. I stayed and waved back at him. He smiled a shy little smile and started raising himself off the ground slowly so that his head would get closer to the underside of the table making it impossible for me to see him while I am standing up. This was fun. I said: "Rowan, I know what you are doing and I am watching you!" as I bent further down. He didn't quite know what to do with himself and ended up turning his head away from me to put the little discs in his mouth. When he turned back and saw me looking at him he giggled and opened his mouth so that I could come in and extract the soggy wet discs from his smiling little face.

The next little bit is really just something new for Rowan. Over the past two years he has collected many many stuffed toy animals and he never really paid much attention to them. Today however he had lots of fun with them. The photos below show how he likes to cover himself with them. He also hugs them and then passes them on to me for even more hugging. Then of course he also likes to throw them around as boys tend to do. At one point he had them all lined up in a row where he lay down in front of them, looked them straight in the eyes and mumbled a long sentence. I would love to have understood that.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Today was an ordinary day. It was a nice day. A phonecall from a friend from far far away. News that my Mom is feeling much better. A lovely dinner. A great big hug and kiss from Rowan as I was about to leave for my pottery class. Some fun conversation while making things out of mud. A nice cup of coffee. And a beautiful song on the radio as I was heading home called "The Sweetest Gift" by Sade. I love the lyrics and always imagine myself singing it to Rowan.

The Sweetest Gift

Quietly while you were asleep
The moon and I were talking
I asked that she'd always keep you protected
She promised you her light
That you so gracefully carry
You bring your light and shine like morning
And then the wind pulls the clouds across the moon
Your light fills the darkest room
And I can see the miracle
That keeps us from falling
She promised all the sweetest gifts
That only the heaven's could bestow
You bring your light and shine like morning
And as you so gracefully give
Her light as long as you live
I'll always remember this moment

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Rowan and I were playing in his room today. I was sitting on the floor about a metre away from him. He was holding one of his small toy cars. I guess he suddenly thought that holding the car in such a tight grip for just one moment longer is asking way too much of him so he decided to fling it across to where I was sitting and hit me right in the face. It didn't really hurt but I thought it might hurt someone else if he were to do it again so I decided to pretend to be hurt so that he can witness the consequences of his actions. I covered my face with my hands and gave a few whimpers as I wondered what his reaction might be. To my surprise when I opened my eyes Rowan was almost standing right on top of me with those big blue eyes looking right through me with great concern. As we gazed into each others eyes he decided to give me a great big kiss! As if that weren't enough to make all my troubles disappear he leaned in and hugged me for what felt like eternity. What bliss!

The rest of my day was spent thinking about South Africa and the people that I miss so dearly. So in honour of my nostalgic and contemplative mood I will post some of my favourite photos from our most recent trip.

Please allow me to introduce my mom, Tess, my father, Floris and my sister, Yolande.

Here Rowan is seen with his gran, Denise and grandfather, Bob. And do you see what I see? Richard actually looks like he is enjoying the task of sorting the washing.

We miss you all and hope to see you soon.

Monday, February 16, 2009

If it weren't for the fact that we had guests coming over today I think Rowan might have slept the entire day. Luckily there was lots of play dough fun to be had. This time we made it ourselves. Yip, Elaine and Rowan both learned something new today. Thanks Anke, Mia and Ella!

Rowan must really have enjoyed our early morning creativity session because just before his midday nap he brought out his other tubs of play dough. I had fun making a pretty flower. Rowan seemed to really like it too as he got out of his chair and leaned forward to smell it. Next thing I knew, in true 2 year old boy fashion he was pulling it apart bit by bit. Flower "gone!"

The night before I was browsing through a wonderful little book called "The Toddler Busy Book" which is a great resource for fun toddler activities. One of the activities was to make a bed out of a cardboard box for a doll. Rowan has this lovely cloth boy doll that his Gran had bought him for Christmas. I have tried to get him to interact with it before but lets face it the cars and trucks are just a little bit more exciting. But putting the doll in a bed might just be the thing to get him to play with it. We fetched a cardboard box and some old cloth diapers. Together Rowan and I prepared the bed for Huckleberry. Rowan seemed to be quite interested and he humoured me. We finally tucked Huck into bed. Rowan followed my lead as I stroked Huck's hair and gently patted his belly telling him to have a good nap. He was quite amused by this and lay down on the floor next to Huck and pretended to fall asleep. Then he got up and ran off. He was done playing just as I was really getting into it. I had to get him back to playing with me and Huck and I knew just how to do it. We would put the bed into Rowan's cart and then he could pretend to take the baby for a stroll and that is exactly what he did. I just didn't expect him to go quite as far for the next thing I knew he was standing at our front door gesturing and mumbling for me to open the door so that he could take the baby for a stroll outside. What a clever little kid. He was quite serious about it too.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

As I was preparing our snack today I became aware of a silence. A silence that can basically be defined as the absence of giggles, screeching and the pitter-patter of toddler feet. Immediately I wondered what exactly this could mean. What is he up to now? I was sure I was going to find him sitting in the corner of his playroom eating the play dough or perhaps he is secretly unpacking the sewing box. With eyes wide open and ears attuned to every little sound I start walking to where I saw him last. Wait... what was that? A quiet mumbling coming from somewhere over there! "Where's Rowan?" I say out loud. There it is again. I can't make out the exact words but I know it came from my left. I turned to look and at first did not see that little boy but then... there they were... two short little legs sticking out from under the curtain. I remember thinking "Aah! How sweet!". This was the first time that Rowan actually initiated hide and go seek. I am so proud :)

We continued the game as parents and toddlers have always done. "Where's Rowan?" followed by the tiny voice giggling and eventually revealing a huge smile from behind the curtain. And so it went over and over again.

I don't think I will ever get tired of this game.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

* Hope you all had a wonderful Valentine's day! Mwha! *
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Friday, February 13, 2009

Angelic, right? Would you believe me if I told you that Rowan was indeed a real little angel today? I can hear his grandmothers saying "Of course he was!" and the rest of my Mom friends thinking "Yeah right!" Well much to my surprise, Rowan was indeed a very contented, sweet and loving little boy today. I loved it!

I woke up this morning determined for us to leave the house as soon as possible so that we could make a day out of going to the children's museum. Rowan on the other hand decided to sleep in and that was the start of a very peaceful day at home for the two of us. What a way to start the weekend!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

At last! Sunshine, blue sky and the promise of fun to be had in the beautiful outdoors. But first we had to wait for the rays of the winter sun to warm our little corner of the earth. A little bit of drawing, a bit of play dough creativity and some fun with Mia kept us busy in the morning.

A nice long nap and we were set to meet with our friends for what would proove to be quite an eventful afternoon. I will let the photos do most of the talking.

Nothing says "Hello, glad to see you!" like a good wrestling match.

Beautiful people.

What a lucky guy.

And then the real fun began!

As for Rowan climbing onto the big mound of mud and then sliding down on his belly I will have to admit, was not that much fun for me to watch. At least Anke got a kick out of the fact that I had to step outside of my comfort zone and just let the boy get really really dirty. Fun times!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Feeling much better today, Rowan was having fun with everything he could get his hands on. A treasure chest full of sea shells transported us (well... me) from the kitchen table right to the water's edge. Is that a seagull overhead? A gust of wind! Gasp! No really... the wind is extremely gusty today which is why the house had to be turned into an adventure playground. In fact it doesn't even resemble a house anymore :) Somebody is going to have to tidy it all up again...Sigh! However, watching Rowan move happily from one seemingly mundane activity to the next reminds me that every moment has the potential of becoming a moment of discovery and joy when we allow ourselves to encounter our environment with childlike wonderment and enthusiasm. Perhaps I'll keep that in mind tonight as I head up the rescue team that will tidy up the debris left behind by hurricane Rowan.
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Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Rowan was feeling a little under the weather today and the weather was, well, not that great either. Even though we decided to stay indoors Rowan kept fetching his snow shoes hoping to convince me that all that mud and cold wind would in fact not be so bad after all. I did not budge and had to try and think of a few little diversions to keep him entertained. The first of which was to place a call to his Ouma. He is quite the chatterbox these days.

He did however find that Paparazzi Mom can be a little annoying as she desperately tries to capture the moment.

The next distraction came in the form of "Rowan, where's Mia?". I knew quite well where she was and I think she would have preferred it if I had kept that little secret to myself.

From cozy cat to...

... disappearing act! Ha ha! Get it? ACT...CAT? No? Got it now?

Having a toddler around the house is a blessing for many reasons but today the constant reminder that you should really still try to have fun even when you are feeling blue is a lesson well taken.
Welcome to my Blog.

A friend of mine, Jaime, started writing a blog about their every day life so that friends and relatives from near and far could share in their experiences. Now that I have seen how simple and effective this method of communication is, I have decided to start one of my own called: Life with Rowan. The purpose will be to share something special from our day with all of you. I am going to try my very best to post something new every day, so please keep checking in.