Friday, July 31, 2009

So you might wonder what caused this expression on Rowan's face. Here is a clue: it had something to do with the fact that he got pulled out of bed this evening to witness something rather spectacular right here in our back yard. We couldn't believe our eyes.

A hot air balloon landed in our neighbour's yard! Wow! And we got to watch them move it to the road where it was deflated and put into the hot air balloon recovery vehicle. It looks like this weekend promises to be an exciting one!

Thursday, July 30, 2009


Jubilant delight - glee. That's the only word that came to mind as I watched Rowan in my rear view mirror every time we drove past a construction site today. He loves to point out the earth moving and construction vehicles with big bright eyes, a smile and today with some giggling too. "Car!" he shouts! "Yes! That's a front end loader!" I say. Most of the time I don't really know what these things are really called so I just go along with "car." Luckily I know I am not the only one. My friend's son is also into his earth moving equipment and she too admitted not to know what each one is called. Perhaps we'll have to get together for some research and studying... we'll just get together for some coffee and leave the naming of vehicles to the boys. What do you say, Jaime?

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Potty Training Breakthrough

Rowan's Gran started Rowan on potty training while I was away in South Africa and we have really been treating it all very informally ever since. Well, I guess you can say we are not forcing the issue at all. All I do every now and again when Rowan gets that certain look of intense concentration on his face is to gently remind him that he can always go and use the potty.

So today, when I urged him to use the potty he kicked up a great big fuss and I really got very very worried that this little one is just not going to give in easily. So I just let him be. A little while later, he came up to me and gestured that I help him with his pants. I obliged and off he went to his potty. He looked at me as if to ask: "Is it OK if I sit here?" and I opened the lid and said: "Sure Rowan! Take your time." As soon as he sat down he made it very clear hat he needed some privacy by pointing at the door and saying: "Go!" I just giggled quietly inside and said: "OK, just call me if you need me!"

After a minute or so he came out of the room applauding and feeling so obviously proud of himself. I knew he must have succeeded in his mission. Naturally I congratulated him and affirmed that he has indeed become a very big boy.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Story Time Surprise

While Rowan and I were browsing around our local bookstore we happened upon a gathering of kids waiting for story time to begin. We have tried to participate in story time a few times before but Rowan never really liked the idea. He has grown and developed since our last attempt and with school starting in a few months time I thought we should give it another try. So we did and I was amazed. He sat through the reading of one whole story. It was a very short story about a cat trying to catch a bird but only ending up with a mouth full of feathers. Rowan was also paying attention to the children and what they were doing. He was absolutely delighted when they started laughing and decided to join in. As soon as the story teller closed the book, Rowan ran off to play with some stuffed animals and that was it for story time. I think perhaps, given Rowan's fascination with cars, trucks and tractors, if the story was about a vehicle of some sort, that Rowan would have sat for a little while longer.

Monday, July 27, 2009

This morning as Rowan and I were strolling through the garden, I spotted something we have all been waiting for for quite some time now... a ripe red tomato! Rowan was so excited that he through his hands up into the air and started talking (babbling) at the top of his voice with a big and excited smile on his face. The tomato was hidden away behind all the other tomato plants and it was kind of hard to spot, but Rowan took it upon himself to see if he could spot it from all directions. This was a fun game and every time he saw it he said: "There it is!"

So this evening when Richard came home, Rowan got to show him what we have found. I was really hoping that he would show the same amount of excitement and by the look of these photographs he sure did.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

A beautiful day,a kite, ample space and an enthusiastic father. What more could a boy ask for?

Saturday, July 25, 2009

After our 20 kilometre bus trip from Cairo we arrived at Giza where our camel was ready and waiting to take us on a tour around the Great Pyramid. Rowan was very excited about his very first camel ride and we just couldn't wait to get a closer look at the pyramids.

Well, perhaps one day this will be a real introduction to an actual event, but for now I will admit that we did not really go to Giza but made our way to the Center of Science and Industry (COSI) in Columbus where their exhibition included "The Lost City of Egypt."

As usual, Rowan had a great time playing with all the interactive displays. Richard and I were impressed with just how much Rowan has developed socially. Before he used to shy away from crowds and other kids, but today he got rather distressed when we went into areas where there weren't any people around. It was also good to see how polite and considerate he was towards other children sharing the same space. He really is a good little boy.

Friday, July 24, 2009

On this Friday evening I would just like to urge you all to take a cue from Rowan - sit back, relax and enjoy your weekend.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Day of Snots

This morning Rowan awoke with a sneeze, later the sneezing developed into a case of the runny snots. So, I'm sure you're glad there's no photos to document this day.
But Rowan handled it very well considering it all, and after a day of calmness inside he's now asleep and I hope he makes it through the night.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Soaking rain all day long so we spent most of the day keeping ourselves entertained inside the house. We built some fantastic buildings for Rowan's cars. We played with his trains. We did some gymnastics in the living room and in the train room. We played hide and seek. We chased the cat. I chased Rowan and at some stage the cat must have chased me. We went up and down the staircase and in and out of all the bedrooms. Rowan put some puzzles together and stacked some tins from the pantry on his truck and scooted it across the floor as fast as he could. Every now and again Rowan sat down to watch some television.

One of his favourite shows is "Finding Nemo" and when he wants to watch it he says: "Fishies." So we watched about five minutes of it when I realised that I could just take him to the pet store to go see some real fish. So off we went.

The pet store happens to be right next to another store that I needed to go to so after Rowan said goodbye to all the fish, dogs, cats, birds, snakes and mice we went shopping. Rowan likes to browse up and down the toy aisles. I don't mind at this stage because for now he is quite content to just look at a toy for a few seconds and then put it back on the shelf. Perfect.

On our way out I was surprised to find Rowan pointing at Starbucks saying "Juice. Juice." Then I remembered Richard telling me about the time they went to get some drinks after their shopping experience. The amazing thing however is that this was at a completely different location with a completely different layout, yet he knew. It just goes to show, perhaps, how effective branding really is. Anyway, how could I refuse an invitation from my son to join him for some juice? So we walked over to the counter and while I was still deciding what to get, Rowan grabbed an organic vanilla milkshake and handed it to me. After we payed he casually walked over to the tables, pulled out a chair and sat there calmly waiting for an astonished mother to join him.

Later this afternoon, I tried to get Rowan to respond to the question: "How old are you?" and I am pleased to say that after a little coaxing and practice he got it right: "Tsoo!"

Rain and all we had a really great day together.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Today marks the end of a challenging yet amazing chapter in our lives. Rowan's Gran who came many miles across the ocean to support our family during the time of my mother's illness, passing and the aftermath of this tragedy, had to leave today. It is a sad occasion for all of us but we remind ourselves how blessed we were to have shared so many wonderful moments. We have all grown over the last couple of months - not just within ourselves but indeed we have also grown closer to each other and now we are ready to embrace a new chapter. We don't know what the future holds but we will greet every new day with joy, love and appreciation.

Now for some photos from this morning:

Rowan and Gran got to spend some quality time outside this morning before our trip to the airport. Here he is sporting his new carpenters outfit. Colourful, right?

This photo makes me smile... and giggle :)

We will miss you dearly Gran. Thank you for all the love, care and kindness.

Monday, July 20, 2009

The County Fair

As I browse through my photos in preparation for today's blog, I realise that I didn't take a single photo of Rowan at the County Fair. It is a pity because this boy was all smiles as we walked through the huge barns housing all kinds of farm animals. He was pointing at them all asking "what's that?" and making other remarks that were hard to discern between all the loud animal sounds. He also latched onto our friend, Anke, in a big way - grabbing her by the hand to go and see the animals. Thanks for the guided tour Anke!

It was an experience rich with all sorts of colours, textures, species, sounds and smells. Rowan loved it. I think Gran enjoyed attending this cultural event and especially liked seeing Rowan's reaction to the animals. I, on the other hand, can only handle little bits of farm at any given time so we didn't stay too long.

Below are a couple of photos of some of the cutest animals we saw today. Aren't they precious?

Sunday, July 19, 2009

We were all exhausted today and cancelled our planned trip to the Dayton Airshow. We still had some shopping to do before Gran could start packing her bags for her big trip home in a couple of days.

While Rowan and his Dad went to have some fun running around one of their favourite hardware stores, Gran and I were doing some looking around in every shop but the hardware store.

When we finally joined the guys back at the hardware store I was surprised to find Rowan calmly sitting in the shopping cart. Usually he would be running up and down the aisles looking at everything. He must have been very tired indeed.

I was getting a little bored and started looking around the store and spotted something that only a girl would spot in a store full of tools, machinery and equipment - the cutest little carpenter outfit made especially for kids - complete with belt, hat, suspenders and all kinds of tools. We just HAD to have it and Rowan's Gran decided to buy it for him.

This evening when Richard went outside to build some shelves a handy and well equipped Rowan joined him. Unfortunately I didn't get any photos to share with you, but I am sure I will be able to snap a few shots of our dashing little carpenter tomorrow.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Hot Air Balloon Festival

Today we got to attend yet another one of our favourite festivals. Rowan's Gran has been looking forward to this day for quite some time now. We were all very excited. We had to get up really early to see the first balloons come in. It was great. When we left the house, the sun was just starting to peak over the horizon.
The photograph above shows the particularly cute way that Rowan pulls his mouth when he witnesses something new and impressive. These photos are of all of us looking at the approaching balloons.

There was a lot of pointing, smiling, excited squeals and even clapping coming from Rowan as he witnessed these big and colourful flying objects passing over our heads.

After the first session we went back home to rest so that we could return again later in the evening to witness a skydiving team fly in with the biggest American flag I have ever seen.

The absolute highlight of the day, however, was the balloon glow. Here we are all sitting quite patiently waiting for the show. It was quite a long wait and it was already past Rowan's bed time but it was definitely worth the effort. We had a great time.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Lately we have noticed that Rowan has been getting very good at recognising places and even roads. When we turn onto our favourite country road Rowan immediately starts pointing us in the right direction to one of his favourite play grounds saying: "There! There!" When he spots his destination he excitedly points saying "there" again. When we turn and move toward it he happily exclaims: "Yay!"

So today, we had to go clothes shopping and just happened to drive past the hardware store. Now, I didn't realise that this little boy had already developed such a strong liking for this particular hardware store, but soon found out. As we turned towards the shopping complex he spotted the hardware store and started pointing at it saying a bunch of unrecognisable words with a "there" somewhere in between. We didn't have time for a visit and headed toward the clothing store and oh my was this boy disappointed! He got over it quite quickly and off we went shopping for some clothes. On our way back from the store we had to pass the hardware store again and when Rowan noticed it he looked up and quite seriously said: "Now go."

I was surprised at all the verbal communication of today and also impressed by our son's keen sense of direction and sharp observation skills. Everyday brings something new and I am looking forward to seeing what he comes up with next.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

When Rowan finds himself alone in a room for just a little while too long, he starts shouting: "Where are you? Where are you?" until someone answers back. Today it was my turn. Rowan and his Gran just disappeared from sight. They were supposed to be playing outside but when I went out to join them I couldn't find them anywhere. I thought that, perhaps, they decided to go back inside and I just didn't notice but things were too quiet around the house for that to be the case. So my heart started to beat a little faster and my mind was reeling. Where could they be? Then I remembered that we have a petting zoo just down the road from us and the tension eased somewhat. I decided to have a look and saw a small white speck walking across the horizon. Can you see the tiny white dot at the base of the trees in the distance?

Apparently Rowan packed up his little truck and started dragging it along the road. With Rowan being super strong, fast and rather heavy these days Gran just had to let him carry on walking after he threw one of those tantrums that turns our sweet two year old boy into a shining example of what can be expected of the "terrible twos."

It was quite a long walk and it was hot and humid outside. Gran and Rowan came back feeling a little exhausted and made themselves comfortable in our living room while I just had to take some more photos of my adorable little guy.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Everything's Peachy

After another pleasant walk in another beautiful park we just couldn't resist the succulent peaches that we had bought at the fruit farm yesterday.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Our Beautiful Day in Pictures

When you wake up to this in the morning you just know that it is going to be a wonderful day.

When I looked outside my front door I was in awe of the big blue sky with the feathery clouds and a moon so clear you felt you could reach up and touch it.

I was planning on doing some housework today but when I breathed in that clean fresh morning air I decided that today will be another one of those days where we all get to have some fun outside. So we spent most of the morning playing around the yard, adoring the big expansive sky and running from tree to tree, touching them gently and encouraging them to grow quickly.

At noon we headed out to a local fruit farm to meet Richard for lunch.

Gran enjoyed listening to all the sounds on the farm and watching her two favourite boys taking a stroll from one animal enclosure to the next. Rowan got to see his first real pig today. He wasn't really all that impressed. I guess they weren't too impressed with us either ;)