Culture Corner plus BONUS STUFF!!

I thought that for sure that as soon as my semester ended, and I was able to let out the breath that I had been holding in since finals week started, that I’d be able to simply sit down and write. Foolish, I know. Plans usually have a way of staying just that-plans. Reality tends to sneak up on plans and knock them upside the head.

Intensity coupled with an overwhelming need to be perfect dominated my last two weeks of school. (I can hear all my psychologist friends, and my family therapist friends scrambling about for their notebooks, and a pen they can click incessantly as they ask things like, “Tell me about your childhood?” or “Why do you feel you have to be perfect?”) The truth is, I stress out really easily. The second I feel as if that rug is being pulled out from under my feet, I panic. I like knowing what to expect, so I can anticipate my next move. Things like not knowing what’s going to be on a test, or not understanding every aspect of a concept is enough to make me implode. I got through that difficult season, seven pounds lighter, with all A’s, and with a wee bit more confidence in myself.

Shortly after the chaos of a semester ending, we jumped right into the Christmas season.

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We did all the normal holiday stuff: We made cookies.

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We did arts and crafts.

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We participated in a Christmas Cantata again, where I was dubbed the “audio engineer” for being the AV nerd. (My dad had to complete how many years at MIT to be an engineer again….?)

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We performed the cantata at the nursing home my grandmother passed away at too. I literally cried on one of the resident’s (the lady in the front middle wearing blue) shoulders as we talked about my grammy. She was just so…wonderful.

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We chased cows out of the road.

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Rowan cut his foot and had to be bandaged up for a while.

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We played games, we shoveled snow, we built with Legos, and we shaved.

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A couple of days ago I went and picked up my niece so she could spend Christmas with us, something I’ve been doing for years now. In an effort to save time, here’s a photo recap of our visit so far…my children are delightfully crazy!

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Also, there’s this guy ❤ <3:

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November 15th, 2013

In the grand scheme of things learning to ride a two-wheeler isn’t that big of a deal.  There’s learning to drive, graduating from high school, getting married, or having your first baby.  Twenty years from now Rowan is barely going to remember this day, or the moments littered throughout it.  He won’t remember that for two hours he struggled up and down the hill in the parking lot, dirt and tears of frustration streaming down his face, but never once quitting.  He’s not going to remember how he felt when he screamed, “LET GO!” only to realize that I already had, and he had soared down that hill on his own.  He’s not going to remember how he fell, and scraped his knee.  He won’t recall how he sulked off to the side of the road, stomped his foot in indignation-sure that it was his bike that was at fault.  He won’t recall how his mom stifled a laugh when he beamed, “I did it!  I perseveranced and I did it!!  He won’t understand how his mom’s chest nearly burst with the amount of pride she felt at literally letting her son go and watching him hold himself up, all by himself.  He won’t know how tiny and how big she thought he looked at the same time.   He probably won’t remember any of these things…but I will.

In like a lion…

Oh my gosh you guys, it’s been an insane couple of weeks.  The biggest event was my grandma breaking her ankle.  It’s left her immobile and completely dependant on me.  I went from being able to leave her on her own for a few hours to having to get a babysitter to stay with her if I needed to go to the grocery store.  The stress of the whole thing sent her into a downward spiral mentally.  She was convinced she was in a nursing home, that people were constantly coming in and out to visit her, she was having conversations on the phone with no one on the other end, and for the most part, she didn’t know who I was.  She’s fairly stabilized now, but, WOW!

What did Rowan do during the whole time?  Ride his bike!  As long as I’m wasn’t forcing him to eat, sleep or bathe, he was on his bike.  If it was raining, he was riding in circles around the dining room table.  My son loves him some wheels.  He doesn’t know it, but he’s getting his very own two-wheeler for his birthday.  Actually, he’s getting it within the next month probably.  I want him to be able to have it for the summer, and not have to wait until the end of August.  Stature wise he still fits on his tricycle, but mentally he’s in the Tour de France.  He just can’t go fast enough on a three-wheeled baby bike. 

There isn’t much else to update on, except maybe that Rowan harvested the first ripe strawberry from our garden, and kept telling people that, “I grewed it myself!”  Despite the look on his face, he enjoyed the fruits of his labor.  🙂

Here’s what else you’ve missed:

February 23rd, 2011

This has got to be one of my favorite snippets from our daily life here.  I know, it’s another video, and I haven’t posted any real content in a while.  There is a lot happening here, and some big decisions to be made, and when I can let you know about them, I will. 

Anyway, here is the funny little man who I get to live with.  🙂

The Birds and the bees.

After witnessing my son get mad at CooCoo the Rocking Clown, and telling CooCoo that he needs to listen to him or get a time out (mirroring his own life much?), I teasingly asked Rowan, “Where did you come from?”

“God made me!”

“Yes, He did make you, and you grew in Mommy’s tummy.”

“See pictures, please?”

Recently Rowan has learned that he was once a baby, couldn’t walk or run, and spent most of his days sleeping.  It took him a while to come to grips with this reality, seeing as he never stops talking or running now, and sleeping has become a dirty word to him.  To help him better understand that being a baby wasn’t a bad thing, in fact he was cute and cuddly and really good, we’ve been looking at his baby pictures, and watching some home movies.

Exhibit A:

2 Month old Rowan

 

Exhibit B:

So after looking at these lovely examples of his awesome baby-ness, he wanted to see the photos of himself inside my belly.  He looked at the ultrasounds, and was adamant that was not him, but rather a “bug.”  Okay.

I pulled out the pregnancy photos, and he was just astounded.  He wanted to hear all about what he did in my tummy, how he got in, how he got out, and, “Please I go back in now?” 

“No Rowan.  You may not go back in.”

Is it a little early for him to be asking about this stuff?  I don’t know if it is, but I’m a firm believer in just stating the facts, using correct terms, not nick-naming body parts, or omitting facts.  I explained how he started out in as simple terms as I could, and he listened and accepted what he heard.  Mostly he wanted to get to the part where “Mom’s tummy blew up like a balloon!”

This is the last picture of Rowan in my tummy, other than ones of me actually giving birth.  He was born two days after this photo:

I cropped off my head, because I looked miserable. I don't want Rowan to think I wasn't happily anticipating his arrival.

Rowan’s favorite tummy picture though, is this one:

Rowan looked at this photo for several moments without saying anything.  He put his head on my shoulder, and sighed. 

“What are you thinking, Baby?”

“I think I was waving to the doggie.”

“You mean while you were in my belly?”

“Yes.  Kaia was arfing at me, so I waved.  Kaia looks at me growing.  She said grow big in Mamma’s tummy!  Come out now, Rowan!”

“And you did come out.  I’m glad you did.  You’re a lot more fun out here.”

“I can be more loud out here.  And I can laugh better.”

I grinned, kissed his temple, and he left.