Saturday, February 27, 2010


When you have established a routine within the household parenting can sometimes be rather monotonous save for those unexpected and wonderful moments where you get to see the world in a whole new way through the eyes of your child.

This past Friday we did the same thing we do almost every week. We went to the visitor center at the lake to visit with our friends the turtles and the fish. It was a cold day. I would venture to say that it was probably one of the coldest days that we have experienced this winter because the howling wind added some extra bite to the already frigid air. The car was nice and warm though so when I opened Rowan's door the cold air caught him by surprise and he gave a little shiver in acknowledgement. So we made sure that we wrapped up warmly - a nice thick jacket and hoody and we were set. Now this is where the "aah!" moment comes in: As Rowan got out of the car he looked up at the towering tree with it's very naked winter branches quivering in the wind and said with concern and amazement: "Wow! The tree's COLD!"

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Lucky Packet Surprise

When I was very young I used to accompany my Dad to the grocery store in the evenings a couple of times a week. I might as well confess right now, in case you didn't already know this about me, that I was a very spoilt little girl. Every time I went to the shop with my Dad I got some or other toy to take home with me. My absolute favourite was what we used to call a "Lucky Packet." I loved it because the packet concealed what was on the inside. Most of the time it would be a really silly little plastic toy but the best thing about it was the anticipation of finding out what the "lucky" surprise was. Why am I telling you this now? Well, because since Rowan has been going to school I have rediscovered this idea of the lucky packet. It's Rowan's school bag! Every day when he comes home, we get to open his bag and see what's inside. Sometimes there is art work; paper cuttings; stamp work and sometimes there is nothing at all.

Today was one of those "Jumbo Lucky Packet" days because I found something very unusual in his bag and when Rowan saw how excited I was, his face just beamed with pride. As it turns out they had a special science day at school where they learnt about our solar system. He also got to make his very own Moon Sand. Again the contents might not have been all that fantastic but the surprise of it all and the look on Rowan's face made this one of the best lucky dips ever.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

The Lyrics to Mr. Sun

Oh Mister Sun, Sun,
Mister Golden Sun,
Please shine down on me

Oh Mister Sun, Sun,
Mister Golden Sun,
Hiding behind a tree...

These little children
Are asking you
To please come out
So we can play with you

Oh Mister Sun, Sun,
Mister Golden Sun,
Please shine down on me!

Oh Mister Sun, Sun,
Mister Golden Sun,
Please shine down on me

Oh Mister Sun, Sun,
Mister Golden Sun,
Hiding behind a tree...

These little children
Are asking you
To please come out
So we can play with you

Oh Mister Sun, Sun,
Mister Golden Sun,
Please shine down on...
Please shine down on...
Please shine down on me!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Mr. Sun.

We were so very happy this morning when we realised that the bad weather was taking a break and letting us out on the roads again. Rowan eagerly geared up with his back pack and a warm jacket and went merrily on his way to school.

On the way back from school we listened to some children's music. One of the songs captured my attention and put me in the spirit for spring. "Mr. Sun, Sun. Mr. golden Sun. Please shine down on me..."

"Please, please, please Mr. Sun!" I begged as I cast my eyes to the sky filled with grey clouds and much to my surprise saw a tiny patch of blue. So I am hopeful that soon we will see our happy sunny skies again. Please.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Life Skills

As our snow days have been piling up one on top of another, so too have our household chores so today we decided to tackle a few from our very long list.

I enlisted Rowan to help clean all the little wooden ornaments that Richard has been making over the years. They are normally on display in our living room and we almost never get the chance to really appreciate the workmanship up close. Rowan loves containers of any kind and these have such interesting and varied shapes and sizes that it kept him busy for a very long time.

Some of them had pebbles and some had shells. Rowan made sure that he saved some time for play in between the cleaning.

The ornaments and bowls in the white area are still waiting to be cleaned. The ones on the carpet are shined and ready to go. It took Rowan only about 1 minute to clean them. He would pick one up, wave the wet rag over it and put it down on the rug. Just like I showed him...

After a while of playing on the rug he felt inspired to clean his kitchen and promptly went to fetch a wet sponge.

He also managed to practice some dusting. I think we can say that today was a very productive day. Rowan practiced some essential life skills and I finally managed to clean off about a month's worth of dust. It feels good.

Monday, February 15, 2010

The Pleasures of Winter

We spent President's Day playing around the house because we had an amazing amount of snow coming down all around us. Everywhere we looked was white. All the lines that normally mark the ground were blurred and undetectable. The entire landscape transformed. I think the snow will still be here for a long time to come and we will have many opportunities to explore and play as we did this weekend. Here are some photos of our walk in the woods on Sunday.

The above photograph shows the lake in winter - the same lake that we enjoy boating on.

The guys, forever tormenting me, moving closer and closer to the frozen water.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Happy Thursday Morning

I am sitting at the computer in our bedroom. Rowan has just awoken and I can hear him singing through the baby monitor: "A cat. U-huh! A house. U-huh! No no no no no. Mama. Daddy. Toast!"

Loving it!

If our day starts out lkle this I think it is going to be a good one.

Rowan has been asking to go shopping for the last 3 days now. It seems that the snow has mostly stopped and that we might actually be able to drive around and that is exactly what we are going to be doing.

Have a great day everyone! I know we will!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Play Room: Organised!

Over the weekend I took on a rather big project. Rowan's play room has steadily been filling to capacity. Too many toys and activities in one place can be overwhelming for children with the end result being that they play for only a very short minute or two with each toy. They end up drifting through the room moving from object to object without really engaging in any real kind of play. Well, that seems to be the case with Rowan. Perhaps other kids are different.

So I set out to remedy the situation by emptying the entire room and organizing all the toys by categories such as puzzles, shapes and colour recognition activities, word play, exploration, cars and trucks, tools etc. I then acquired 5 large storage tubs and divided the toys equally where each tub contains at least one toy or activity from each of the categories. The idea is to use the content of one tub per week in the playroom. After a week the tub will be exchanged with the next one. In this way Rowan will discover his toys anew every 5 weeks. The Montessori school uses containers and trays for the display of each activity. This gives each item it's own space and thus allows for more focused play or work. It also helps with the collection of objects after play.

Today was our first day of trying it out and I will admit that Rowan did get a little frustrated after a while, mumbling something about school. I guess it was set up a little too much like school. As the day progressed, however, I witnessed him engaging more and more with the few activities that he did like, such as lacing a shoe lace through a cardboard cut-out of a butterfly.

The same activities will be available to him tomorrow. Only time will tell whether this plan of mine will work. I really hope that it does.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

A Perfect Snow Day

It started snowing at around midnight last night and didn't stop until late this afternoon. Rowan and I spent the entire day at home while poor Richard had to brave the slippery roads to work.

Here are some photos of Rowan on the sled that Richard managed to put together with a used sign board and rope.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Rowan's World of Words

As Rowan's ability to communicate verbally steadily improves we find ourselves in a constant state of anticipation waiting for what he has to say next. Most of the time we are delighted by the sweet sounds coming from his mouth and at other times we think it might be best he didn't voice his opinion at all for instance when you are trying to buy the organic eggs and he insists at the top of his voice that we get the blue carton of eggs.

This morning as Richard and Rowan got near the school Rowan started asking: "School! Where are you? School!" - literally talking to the school. I find this to be adorable because it is Rowan's attempt at being silly or funny. If only you could see the expression on his face when he does this. Kind of hard to explain. Sorry about that.

Now that he is speaking a little more clearly we get to see how his mind works. Now we understand what he likes, dislikes and those things that he finds funny and why he thinks they are funny.

So, this afternoon as we arrived home and he saw the tracks that were made in the snow the day before by a makeshift sled he jumped for joy, laughed and excitedly shouted: "Daddy! Daddy! Snow!" The joy he felt in remembrance of the fun he had with his Dad on the sled was palpable and heart warming.

We also now know of an imaginary friend that Rowan seemed to have acquired. His name is "Dog" and he is a dog. He is a dog that likes to hide under the bed and run around corners. Apparently he gets into quite some mischief too because every now and again I will hear Rowan saying: "No! Dog! Go! Go!"

I am sure there are plenty more cute examples to tell you about but I recognize the fact that only Richard and I find all this to be super fun and fascinating. I am just happy to have the opportunity to share these joys of ours with you.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Friday, February 5, 2010

Cold and Snowy Day

Today we experienced the start of what people are calling a Winter storm. It was snowing quite a bit but not enough to call it a storm of any kind. So, I am not really sure whether it is actually still going to get worse. It does make me wonder when our friends are running around in the cold to collect and stack wood on their porch so that it would be at hand when they really need it. Then I think well, we have heating in the house and suddenly it dawns on me that a Winter storm could easily cause the electricity to fail and then we would be in a world of trouble. Now I am worried. I am going to check the weather forecast now and will leave you with this adorable photograph of Rowan watching his train going around and around the track.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

It has been quite a while since Rowan has attended school for 3 days in a row. I must say I really missed the little guy and we are looking forward to having some fun over the next 4 days. We'll keep you posted.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Oh Sh...

"Oh sh!" he says as the slippery bag falls from his busy little hands to the floor. As I cringe with the realisation that I might be responsible for the prolific use of this new exclamation, I can't help but giggle for the poor little kid, innocent as can be, has no idea that his shortened version of what most people consider to be a nasty old word, does not hide the fact that someone in this household has been saying things they shouldn't have been saying.

That someone is me because when I am stressed out and things go wrong I tend to loose it. I will add this though: the reason he only says sh and not the entire four letter word is because I usually catch myself in the middle of saying it and thus I stop at sh. So there you have it.

We thought a good remedy for this situation would be to get Rowan to say something else when things don't go his way. So the other day Winnie the Pooh gave us an adorable example of how to express yourself in the face of disappointment or frustration: "Oh bother!"

Great! It is the perfect word and Richard and I have been using it every time Rowan says "Oh sh!" So tonight we finally got him to repeat it when he spilled a whole cup of cold water over his lap and onto the floor. "Oh bother!" we said. "Oh bugger!" he said. Progress? Umm... no... probably not.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Dr. Rowan PhD is on the Case.

So, it's been a while since the last post and that is because I didn't think you would have been very interested in hearing all the details of the two week long sick period that we have been going through. I will say this, we are glad it is over and done with because it seemed like this relay race of ours was never going to end. Every time one of us passed the baton we returned to our starting positions for another leg all the while cheering the other members of team Jones on to finish strong. Phew! We did it! It's over and at the end of it all we walk away with a much bigger appreciation for good health and antibiotics. And in the spirit of keeping healthy we thought we would start training Rowan to be a clever and good little scientist so that one day perhaps he will find a way to eradicate all these nasty little viruses.

We found this really great science kit at a second hand store the other day. We only payed $5 for it and Rowan absolutely loves it. I am also quite amazed at how quickly he came to understand the idea behind using a microscope. He played with it for over an hour today, looking at all sorts of different fibres, animal hair and the wings of some or other bug. I am looking forward to seeing what this science play will eventually lead to. We will keep you posted.