Thursday, April 30, 2009

This Mom was in need of some quiet time today and Rowan respectfully obliged. My question is: "How did he know?"I bet children know a lot more than we can ever imagine. They are so in tune with what's going on around them. It is such an honour to bare witness to this phenomenon at first hand.

A little smile, a kiss and even the headbutt that I occasionally receive from Rowan was all I needed to get me through this day. I love my little guy.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Dandelion Day

This morning we met with our friends at our local gym/community center. When the indoor activities had lost their appeal we naturally made our way outside toward the playground. Along the way Rowan's little buddy, Mia, spotted some dandelions. She promptly picked one and gently blew the plumes right off the stem and into the breeze. Rowan caught on immediately and started doing the same. Children just have this wonderful way of engaging with the world. That which most of us perceive as ordinary becomes extraordinary when viewed from a child's perspective and all of a sudden we see the beauty of the world anew.

Isn't it amazing that this pretty yellow flower transforms itself into this?

Our back yard is covered with dandelions. Many people obsess about getting rid of this weed, but I, amongst many others, love it.

Lately our evenings are spent tending to the garden in some form or another. Rowan takes a lot of pride in watering the peas that he planted with his Dad. Every day they grow a little bigger and soon there will be a surprise waiting inside a pod for Rowan to discover.

After the hard work we get to blow and chase some bubbles. How he loves that!

In conclusion, an excerpt from a poem called "Little Dandelion" by Helen Barron Bostwick.
Pale little Dandelion,
In her white shroud,
Heareth the angel-breeze
Call from the cloud;
Tiny plumes fluttering
Make no delay;
Little winged Dandelion
Soareth away.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Richard has been working on a little surprise for Rowan and this morning was the big reveal. He has many shape and colour sorting puzzles scattered across the house but this puzzle is his first size sorting puzzle. I really like it and Rowan seemed pleased with it too. He gave a squeal of satisfaction as he completed putting all the pegs back into their respective holes. Later during the day the little pegs became small bottles which he pretended to drink from. Of course his Mom also had to try some of the delicious liquid.

A second after I took this photo Rowan decided to smell the block and lick it after which he exclaimed: "Nnyumm!" Not too sure what that was all about. Perhaps Richard could tell us more about what exactly he used to finish this puzzle with. If Rowan's reaction is anything to go by one might think it was dipped in honey or perhaps it would just reinforce the fact that children have wonderful imaginations.

Monday, April 27, 2009

This evening was just perfect for spending time outdoors. We were busy but we had fun.

As most of you know our yard is quite big - big enough for us to use a ride-on lawnmower and today was my turn to take it for a spin. It's loud and very bouncy. I enjoy mowing the lawn because for one the freshly cut grass smells great. Secondly it brings back some fond memories of when my Mom and Aunts were here for a visit one Summer not too long ago and thirdly because of the look on Rowan's face when he saw me on the big machine. He seemed a little bit surprised but also intrigued. He kept running back to come and check on me and every time I looked up at him he smiled and waved at me and I at him. So nice.

We also received a surprise visit from our neighbours. Their son is only a month older than Rowan. They stayed for a little while and the boys got to know each other better by running up and down the driveway together. I was very pleased to see the interaction between the two little guys and am hoping that they will get to play together more often from now on.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Going to the zoo on one of the first beautiful Spring Saturdays of the year is absolute madness. The queue to get in was very long and after quite a long drive, sitting in the car was not something any of us wanted to do so we found ourselves a new destination and what a nice idea that was! We headed down to the river where we would have an interesting view of the city on the opposite bank while enjoying a long walk past some river boats. This was a first for us since we have been here and I must say that I really welcomed the change of scenery. Next time I think we might take a ride on the river though. That must be pretty awesome too. Rowan enjoyed the walk so much that he wanted to keep walking and when we decided to turn back he let us know in no uncertain terms that he was in fact not happy with this idea. I do appreciate his enthusiasm though and am looking forward to many long walks when he is a little older.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Rowan and I decided to kidnap Richard from the office today. We took him to secluded spot and forced him to have fun with us.... Well we didn't have to force him to do anything really. On a day like today he couldn't resist.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Shorts, t-shirts and sandals meant one thing for us today: a great day for site seeing! Today's pick was the perfect spot for our little guy. One of the nurseries in our area has all kinds of farm animals in enclosures. Much to Rowan's surprise and delight they also had some wonderful play structures for children one of which was a train! Then they also had a boat, a fire-engine and a lighthouse. All beautifully and thoughtfully designed and crafted by the Amish. The setting was quaint and picturesque and inspired the photographer in me to take many many photographs. I wish I could share them all with you but hopefully these will give you a good idea of our fun filled morning.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

The playground we visited today is set in a beautiful park. We had a lovely time playing around the play structures and going on a little walk to take in the beautiful scenery. Here are a few pictures from our day. See if you can spot the friendly squirrel that came to greet us.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Snack Time

Since Rowan has been enjoying baking so much lately, I thought it a good idea to involve him in making some healthy smoothies for our snack time.

We set up the chair at the counter for him to stand on. I grabbed all the necessary ingredients, plates, bowls, utensils and blender. He seemed very excited at first but when he realized that we would be cutting some fruit and not scooping flour and such he got quite annoyed at the whole thing. I did manage to convince him to help me place some fruit in the blender. He liked pouring the juice from the bottle into the blender too. This cool Mom even let him press the pulse button and voila! A healthy and delicious Apple, Banana, Spinach and Orange Smoothie. Doesn't it look good? It tastes great too!
I guess I should admit that Rowan wouldn't go anywhere near it and so he settled for some cheese and crackers instead. Oh yes! And one of his little friends joined us too.

Monday, April 20, 2009

We have been allowing and encouraging Rowan for a long time now to help out around the house by copying what we do. When we sweep, he sweeps. When we pack his toys away, he does the same. Wiping up a spill is also quickly accomplished with the help of two extra little hands.

The one thing that Rowan has not been doing is unpacking the dishwasher - not for a lack of enthusiasm but for the dangers surrounding sharps knives. Today however, I turned my back for a second to make a phone call and Rowan took charge of the task of packing away the cutlery. Luckily I had already removed the sharp knives and could let him carry on. He did a great job by collecting the different types of cutlery and placing them in the correct spots in the drawer. I was so proud of him for taking the initiative and for showing me that this tedious task is not so bad after all.

After we packed away the dishes Rowan walked over to the dining area and grabbed a chair. He pulled it to the kitchen and it took me a while to fully comprehend what he was trying to do. He very casually pulled the chair next to the counter and climbed on it. This was when it hit me. This little guy wants to do some baking! So, towering over the counter he gently placed both hands on the counter and pushed all the clutter away clearing some space for the baking preparation. He opened the drawer and took out a teaspoon and a couple of measuring cups. He then motioned toward the pantry for me to retrieve whatever we might need. So I grabbed some wholewheat flour, corn starch, baking powder and sugar. Now remember, I don't know a thing about baking. Richard thinks my choice of corn starch was interesting :) I also grabbed some pureed carrots, butter and Cinnamon. I let Rowan dip into each of the containers and add all the ingredients to a mixing bowl. The amounts I kind of judged by eye. The dough didn't look too bad and we decided to put it in the oven. I must say that I was pleasantly surprised at the outcome. OK, it didn't taste great or anything but you could take one or two bites. Not bad for our first time without a recipe.
In the end it didn't really matter what the doughy treats tasted like because we enjoyed making them. The anticipation of the final outcome was worth much more than the final product. And the smell... was "M-mm!" good to little Rowan. Maybe I will try some real baking one of these days :)

Sunday, April 19, 2009

There is only one thing better than taking a break from my parental responsibilities for an entire day and that is coming home to two smiling faces greeting me with much enthusiasm and a great big hug at the door. Joy! I shall have to do it again some time. ;)

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Pretty in Pink

Pink is one of those colours that you don't get to see much of around our house which is why it was such a pleasure to see two beautiful little girls walking up to our door dressed in the brightest of pink for our Spring BBQ party. Don't they look adorable?

Here they are standing on our makeshift stairs to our back door. We have been putting a lot of work into our entertainment area but there is still a lot more to do. We will get there eventually, but for now these stairs will do just fine. Below is a photo showing Rowan's reaction as Richard hoisted the umbrella over his new sandbox. He does get a little overly excited some times. It's fun to watch though.

Doesn't that look like fun? Almost like being on the beach. I think Rowan and I will be spending a lot of time in and around the sandbox this Summer.

After lots of playing, an Easter egg hunt for kids and adults, plenty of good food and some good company this Mom was tickled pink. :)