Party Animals.

Yesterday evening Rowan and I attended a birthday party for a little girl we know that is newly five years old.  It was a lovely party, with a castle jumpy, lots of toys, kids, and blue ice cream.  I don’t know what made it blue, but whatever it was, Rowan is now addicted to it.  It also kept him running in circles, and squealing, until 10:30 last night.  He’s still coming down this morning.

Birthday parties have evolved since I was a kid.  It’s been a long time since I’ve been to a five year old’s birthday, mind you, but still…

I remember being dropped off in my Sunday best, only to be picked up several hours later over-stimulated, full of sugar, with a goody bag in tow, and a mom wondering how to keep me out of her hair for the rest of the day. 

Now, it resembles more of a cocktail party, except there were no cocktails, and there was an inflatable castle.  (Though I’ve been to a few cocktail parties that would have been a whole lot more fun with an inflatable castle!)  And when did parties start happening at night, when they aren’t sleepovers?  This particular party started at 6pm.  I’m usually in my pj’s, reading to Rowan, and starting the half-hour battle of convincing him to brush his teeth at 6pm.  By 8:00, when we left the party, Rowan is usually asleep in bed, and I’m happily curled up on the couch, with a book or the computer on my lap.

Whole families attend children’s birthday parties now.  I think I would have been mortified to bring my folks to one of my friends birthday’s!  We knew the majority of people at this shin-dig, so it wasn’t terribly awkward or anything.  I can’t imagine celebrating with a large group of people I’ve never met, awkwardly trying to make small talk.  What happened to dropping your kid off and getting a few hours to yourself?  I imagine it has something to do with liability and someone probably sued someone because their kid stubbed his toe on the corner of the couch, and now that family has to have a sign in their living room that says, “CAUTION:  COUCH!”

In any case, it was refreshing to get out, and socialize with mature people. Rowan had a blast, and I felt oddly adult-like being out past 8pm.  I learned about the existence of blue ice cream and a princess named Tiana from a movie about a frog.  Or something….

I’m sure throwing parties for Rowan in the future is going to be something like this.  I should have taken notes, or pictures, or interviewed the birthday girl.  I’ll have to schedule a lunch meeting with her next year.  I hear turning three is the new 18, and I have to buy him a car.

A proverbial wedgie.

Life snuck up on me this week and totally yanked my underwear over my head.  In other words, I’ve been running around like mad, but it’s been sorta funny.  

Rowan turned two this week.  We  had a party on Saturday, with a few close friends. ( I want to do a post on the building of the cake alone, but that will have to wait.  It was kick-butt cake.)  The party itself was wonderful.  Relaxed, and small, and fun for Rowan.  I think I drove the “Never play with fire” lesson in a bit too hard, as he wouldn’t go anywhere near the candles to blow them out.  He kept telling me, “NO!  HOT!”  I couldn’t argue that point, even for a photo-op, and Nana and I blew out the candles for him.  He graciously offered to suck the icing off them.  He’s nice like that. 

Bad picture, cool cake.

On Tuesday, the actual day of his birth, we had a family party.  Bapa had built him a train table, and we all gave him various accessories for said train table.  My mom went overboard, as usual, and bought him about twenty-five trains, and wrapped each one individually.  Rowan takes his unwrapping responsibilities VERY seriously, so while he desperately wanted to play with the train table, there was no way he could leave all those brightly colored packages just lying there.  So an hour and a half later, he was finished, and had every one of those trains connected on the table.  I haven’t seen Rowan since… 


I came to the conclusion that kids are given toys at their birthday’s and Christmas, only so that they will be occupied the next day and the parents can rest.  While totally worth all the work to make it special for Rowan, I didn’t realize how tired I was until it was all over.  

Yesterday I had a job interview with WIC.  It was a job I very much wanted, and would be very good at.  I haven’t even been offered the job yet, but even if they do, I won’t be able to take it.  It would be 40 hours a week, and I just feel Rowan is too young to leave for that length of time.  I will never have this time in his life back, and who knows if I will ever be blessed with more children.  I don’t want to miss it, and I don’t want someone else to raise him.  If it means I don’t have a social life for another few years, and don’t have any extra money, but I get to help my son grow into an awesome kid, then I think it’s worth letting go.  Something else will come my way when the time is right. 

Somewhere in between that I fit in my cleaning jobs, and daily life maintenance.  This weekend is shaping up to be crazy, mostly because somewhere along the way I offered to clean my Grandmother’s carpets.  Yeeeaahhh…I’m a glutton for punishment. 

All this being said, I’ve had a good week, with several great surprises, and many moments of smiles and laughter.  So come Sunday afternoon, when all is said and done, and my son is in a permanent state of whiny-ness, because he doesn’t nap on Sundays because of church, I’ll straighten out my britches, pull myself up by the bootstraps, and get ready to do it again.

Dear Rowan,

Last photo bfore he turns TWO!!!!

This is your last picture as a little one year old baby.  I am going to miss that sweet baby.  I’m going to miss your “close your eyes, throw back your arms, and jump!” approach to life.  I’m going to miss your 100% dependence on me.  I don’t want you to be dependent on me for the rest of you life, I just appreciate the time in your life that you were.  I will miss your baby squeals, your ever-questioning look, and the way you hug taggie while snuggled up under my chin.  I will miss this phase of your life, that I will never get back.   

  Here is something I know without a doubt, YOUR TWO YEAR OLD SELF IS GOING TO BE AMAZING.  You are going to be strong and confident, and gentle and chivalrous.  

You are an amazing human being.  Mommy will also be here for those days and moments where you feel a little less than awesome.  We’ll get though them.  We always get through everything.

I”ll love you always.

Love, Mama

Rowan throws a party.

On Saturday, we had a little shin-dig for Rowan’s second birthday, which really isn’t until Tuesday.  It was small, and intimate, and perfect for a slightly shy little boy. 

I’m still recovering from said party, so instead of lots of pictures and captions, I threw together a little video of photos.  I blatantly stole the song from a  friend who did a video for her daughter’s first day of kindergarten.  What can I say?  My friends have awesome taste.


Feeding the birds

A couple of weeks ago Rowan found a do-it-yourself bird feeder in a box in the garage.  He was adamant that we fix it up and put it next to Grandma’s.  “Birds need yunch, Mama.  Is hungry!”  

So we spiffed it up, right pretty, and hung it up in the tree, right off the porch.  Here are some photos of his handiwork. 

The finished product. He's so proud!


Giving the birds "yunch."


Filled, and ready to hang!


There it is Mama!!




Every time we go outside he checks to see if there are any birds on his feeder, and he shows it off with pride when someone comes to visit.  

I’m going to have to get him some more kits like that one.  It was so neat to watch his creative side come out, and then have him see something he made be put to practical use.

A really pointless post

I got a new cell phone today.  One with lots of buttons, and a fancy ringtone.  I can text, with wild abandon, to the two people I know.  It’s lime green, and has a video camera.  A VIDEO CAMERA!  Yeah, I know, whatever…you’ve had a phone with a video camera for ages.  I, on the other hand, have had to struggle through life with a tracfone for the past year.  A phone that did nothing but call people.  I was the epitome of uncouth.

Now I have this phone, and I feel, I dunno….spoiled?  No, that’s not the right word.  It feels rather, opulent, I guess.  Opulent in the sense that I didn’t NEED to get the fancy phone.  I could have gone with the bottom-of-the-line-99-cent-ugly-as-sin-phone. (The same one my dad has.)  So why was I drawn to this marvelously cute piece of modern technology?

The answer is really quite simple: I’m a sucker.

I can tell myself that I’m going to go in a store, get the best deal I can, and walk out with only what was on my list.  Talk is cheap.  Unfortunately, that’s the only thing that is.  I pride myself on my ability to see the tricks advertisers use to pull us in, to grab our attention.  You know what I’m talking about-“YOU WILL BE IRRESISTIBLE IF YOU WEAR THIS MAKEUP!”  “YOU WILL HAVE MORE FRIENDS IF YOU BUY THESE CLOTHES!”  “YOU WILL LOOK TEN YEARS YOUNGER IF YOU INJECT A TOXIN UNDER YOUR SKIN!”  Seriously?  I’m not falling for it….

But I am.  I did.  I do.  I walked into that cell phone store, pretending to not be interested in buying, “No Sir, I’m just looking, thanks.”  In between restocking the shelves that my son so deftly cleared, and re-righting the giant sign promising the clearest signal this side of the Mississippi, I browsed phones of every type imaginable.  Ones that flip open, ones with touch screens, and ones that did your taxes while simultaneously folding the laundry and recording episodes of The Middle in every language.  And then I saw it.  It was one of those moments that in the movies would have had a breeze come out of nowhere, blowing my hair perfectly back.  My makeup would have suddenly become sultry and I’m pretty sure there would be harp music.  It wasn’t a movie though, and my hair, if I even did it that day, was askew, I don’t wear makeup, and the only music in the store was my son screeching at the top of his lungs because the STUPID PHONE WAS ATTACHED TO THE COUNTER!  Still, it was magical.

It was the second to last phone on the farthest counter from the door.  There was a short paragraph guaranteeing a clear conversation, fast messaging, and the ability to hold all your favorite songs.  But here’s where I threw away all common sence, and fell for the advertising.  The words “green” and “recyclable” and “planet” caught my eye.  I bought a phone based only on the facts that IT WAS CUTE and that the casing was recyclable and PVC free.  I had no prior knowledge of this phone.  I hadn’t heard any rumors…good or bad.  I didn’t even look at the price!

The point is, if you’re going to be suckered into buying something, you can justify it by telling yourself, and anyone that asks, that it’s BFR and PCV free with a housing that is 100% recyclable!  It’s GREEN! 

I’m single-handedly saving the planet one REALLY cute cell phone at a time.

Bellybuttons can be tricky

A pre-bath exchange with my son:

Mommy: Rowan, take off your shorts so you can get in the tub.

Rowan: …………

Mommy: Do you want me to help you?

Rowan: No.

Mommy: Okay, well, please take them off yourself then.

Rowan: Button in way.

Mommy: Your belly button is in the way?

Rowan: Yup

Mommy: So let me get this straight, you can’t take your shorts off, because your belly button is in the way?  Am I correct?

Rowan: Uh-huh

Mommy: Well, what how do you think we could fix this?

Rowan: Button OFF!

Mommy: It doesn’t come off.  It’s attached to your tummy.

Rowan: Little bit?

Mommy: Nope, not even a little bit.  How about this- if you push your belly button in, and I can get your shorts off?

Rowan: Otay.

So Rowan took his tiny index finger and pushed his belly button in as far as he could.  Fortunately it worked!  The bath proceeded normally from there.  With him in his bumblebee boots, and me trying to figure out a way to wash his feet without taking the boots off.

You never think about the kind of problems you’re going to encounter as a mother, until you’re in the thick of ’em…

Please, Mom?

Rowan’s first full sentence was, “Yes, please, Mom?”  He’s been saying it for months and months, and he says it well.  And often!  He says it when he wants something, when he doesn’t know what to say, and when there is nothing left to say.  He uses it to be cute, and to get what he wants.  He calls everyone Mom when he’s asking for something.  That’s okay.  He’s adorable, and he knows how to work it.  It charms the heck out of anybody that hears it, and I have yet to see someone turn down a request that was followed by, “Yes, please, Mom?”  Not to mention the flashing of those big baby blues, and that smile.  Oh, that smile..

A few weeks ago Rowan grabbed me by the hand, and pulled me up to the garage, where the riding mower is.  We’ve spent hours up there, talking about every part of that silly tractor.  He can’t get enough of it!  Anyway, here’s a short video that is mostly to illustrate the use of “Please, Mom” and how, if I ignore it, it can go on and on and on and on….