A Day in the Life…

Sometimes I wonder if this blog is going to get deactivated on the grounds of non-use. The problem is that my life has become so routine, that I don’t feel like there’s anything big to write about. Then it dawned on me: write about my routine! “That’s genius”, you say! Why thank you, thank you, yes it is. ūüėČ

Here’s what today mostly looked like (I forgot to get photos when we first got up, and of dinner. Trust me when I say you’re not missing much, though):

2:00 AM – My 94 year old grandmother gets up to go to the bathroom, but can’t remember where her bathroom is, so I get up, lead her to the bathroom, tuck her back in and go back to bed.

2:10 AM – I hear Gram through the monitor eating cheese doodles in her bed, I lie in my own bed staring at the wall, not able to sleep because of the crackling of the bag.

2:35(ish) AM – I finally fall back to sleep.

3:00 – Gram is up and fully dressed in the living room, thinking it’s morning. I gently try to coax her back to bed, but she says she’ll just rest in her chair, which she does for about 15 minutes, and then decides she’s more comfortable in bed. Thankfully she sleeps soundly for the rest of the night.

4:10 AM – Rowan crawls into my bed, steals my blankets, and goes back to sleep

4:30 AM-6:15 AM – Rowan repeatedly kicks me in the shins

6:15 AM – Both Rowan and I get up, I prepare coffee for myself and my grandmother, while Rowan listens to a book on CD while wrapped up in a blanket on the couch

6:30 AM – I make pancakes while Rowan plays with Legos

6:45 AM – We all eat breakfast together

7:15 AM – Gram sits in her chair doing crossword puzzles while I clean up from breakfast, and Rowan does his chores, which consist of emptying the dishwasher, taking out the recycling, feeding the hamsters, and folding the wash clothes and towels.

7:45 AM – Gram watches the news, and Rowan and I go get dressed, brush our teeth, and Rowan has a bath.

8:15 AM – Rowan plays while I prepare his lesson plans (we homeschool), and straighten up the house a little.

9:00 AM – I get Gram settled with crossword puzzles, books, and a drink. She is very content this morning, and is happy to spend some quiet time alone while Rowan and I get started with school.

9:05 AM – We pray, and start Rowan’s school day.

9:07 AM – Rowan uses the age old procrastination tactic of having to pee, needing a drink of water, and his t-shirt was too grey, so he had to change.

9:10 AM – We actually do start school.

We start the day with a calendar game that teaches him how to read a calendar, and lets him do a few simple activities such as filling in the missing day, adding any special events he wants to remember, and teaches him the months, seasons, and days of the week.

We start the day with a calendar game that teaches him how to read a calendar, and lets him do a few simple activities such as filling in the missing day, adding any special events he wants to remember, and teaches him the months, seasons, and days of the week.

Next up is language arts!

Next up is language arts!

He made a girl cutout to help him remember the "ir", "er", and "ur" sound, such as in the word "girl".

He made a girl cutout to help him remember the “ir”, “er”, and “ur” sound, such as in the word “girl”.

9:35 AM – WIGGLE BREAK! We put on a record(yes, an ACTUAL record!), and dance as silly as we can.

9:40 AM – We start his history lesson, which today consisted of drawing a map of Israel.

Locating Israel on the globe.

Locating Israel on the globe.

He really did an amazing job with this project.  I wish I had gotten an up close picture of his map.

He really did an amazing job with this project. I wish I had gotten an up close picture of his map.

10:00 AM – I read a few chapters of The Boxcar Children while we cuddle on the couch. Grandma also listens to the story.

10:30 AM – We start math, where he is learning to add double-digit numbers.

He's using unifix cubes as "counters".

He’s using unifix cubes as “counters”.

10:45 AM – We break for a snack of apples and peanut butter

10:55 AM – Gram gets picked up for lunch at the senior center, and Rowan and I go outside for some fresh air for a little more than an hour. This is what we did:

12:00 noon: Inside for lunch!

Rowan eats grilled cheese, carrots, blackberries, and milk while I read another chapter of our book to him.

Rowan eats grilled cheese, carrots, blackberries, and milk while I read another chapter of our book to him.

12:20 PM – Gram is dropped off from lunch, I get her settled, and then Rowan and I finish up his school for the day with a math game, and then I let him play a reading game on my computer.

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12:50 PM – Rowan and I drive Grandma to her friend’s house to play games for two hours, and run to the grocery store while we’re out.

1:15 PM – Rowan and I trash the kitchen making salt dough Christmas ornaments.


2:00 PM – Rowan watches an episode of “How it’s Made” while I clean up flour that is now settled in a thin coat all over the kitchen.

2:30 PM – SNACK TIME! We got candy apples yesterday, and he deserved a treat after a completely whine-free morning.

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3:00 PM – We pick up Gram from her friend’s, and while she goes to nap, Rowan plays quietly while I work on my homework.

4:30 PM – I start dinner and a load of laundry, clean up the house a little, and loose several games of Uno to Rowan. Gram gets up, I get her a drink, and she goes out to sit on the porch with her crossword puzzles.

4:32 PM – I find this on my screen:

*sniff* I love you too, Buddy.  *sniffsniff*

*sniff* I love you too, Buddy. *sniffsniff*

5:30 PM – I get everyone dinner, and we eat outside at the table. A bird poops in the vicinity of my plate. I leave the table.

6:00 PM – I get Gram settled in her chair to watch her shows, and Rowan and I go outside to play on the rope swing. Rowan comes close to hitting his head on the tree, so he does this:

"Now I can WHAM that tree, and I won't even feel it!"

“Now I can WHAM that tree, and I won’t even feel it!”

6:30 PM – We come inside and Rowan plays with his fire station and trucks while I finish dinner clean up, and switch the laundry over. I then get roped into being the injured person in Rowan’s game, and have to pretend to cry because I got my nose chopped off in a revolving door (WHAT??!!).

7:30 PM – I wake Gram up, who fell asleep in her chair, and help her get ready for bed, tell her goodnight, and pray that she sleeps through the night (Hey, a girl can dream…).

7:45 PM – Row goes to brush his teeth, and to watch a show on PBS. I fold the laundry.

8:20 PM – Rowan crawls into his bed and reads to himself for a bit while I look over tomorrow’s lesson plans in case something needs to be prepared in advance. Thankfully we’re good to go. I read Rowan a book, we pray together, I kiss him goodnight, and he asks me to cuddle for a bit. I snuggle up next to him, and promptly fall asleep.

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8:45 PM – Wake up, kiss a sleeping Rowan, peek my head in Gram’s room, confirm that she is indeed in bed and asleep, and shuffle through the house, picking up toys and tissues, hearing aid batteries, and one muddy boot. I look at the pile of stuff in my hands, realize that I’m too tired to actually put them where they go, and instead just dump them all on the coffee table. I’m pretty sure they’ll be waiting for me tomorrow morning. I’ll put(no I won’t) them away tomorrow(sometime this weekend).

9:00 PM – Finish this post, and realize that I have a lab report due tomorrow. Panic slightly, remember that I bought organic “Oreos”, relax, and eat three.

9:10 PM – Get to work on lab report. Notice that I never put away the folded laundry. Shrug, hear both Gram and Rowan snoring. Sigh contentedly.

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.

Culture Corner

Recently Rowan has begun memorizing, authoring, and reciting poetry. For as long as he allows me to, I will post them on this blog.

Here is tonight’s entry (unfortunately the beginning was cut off, and considering that he’s currently running a moderately high fever, I didn’t think it was fair to ask him to repeat himself.) :

“One day….”

A few days ago me and my little boy (who is becoming a man right before my eyes) had one of those days where you collapse into bed physically exhausted, but so mentally stimulated it’s impossible to let the day go and sleep. ¬†We didn’t do anything out of the ordinary, or spectacular. ¬†In fact, it was rather normal, really. ¬†At 8:30 that night I allowed my son to crawl into my big bed, where he curled his lanky body around mine, and started talking about every single thing. ¬†I let him go on like that for forty-five minutes. ¬†Forty-five minutes of precious time I could have used for sleep. ¬†Or homework. Or folding laundry. ¬†Forty-five minutes of precious time he could have had for an extra chapter of “The Secret Garden”, or an extra episode of “How it’s Made.” ¬†I asked him to tell me the story of his day, and it went something like this:

(I’m grateful for my obsession with documenting his life. ¬†It may drive people batty at times, but I don’t regret it…not for one second.)

(This is all dictated by Rowan, so don’t get after me for bad grammar!!)

“Once upon a time, there was a boy who didn’t want to do school, but he had to do it anyway, because Mommy said so. ¬†She says Rowan has to have a good attitude. (He’s usually pretty good about school, but lately he has perfected the exasperated sigh, and the annoyed eye roll. ¬†Heck no, boy. ¬†You don’t get to use those moves on me until you’re at least 10! ¬†We’re working on a little character training, so hopefully I can help him think of less rude way to deal with his displeasure. ¬†When he DOES have a peaceful heart, he can churn out papers like these:)

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After Rowan is done with school, he likes to play cowboy. ¬†The holster rubs on my hips, so I wear it without pants. ¬†Cowboys could run so much faster without pants on. ¬†Why didn’t they think of that?

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Then Mom says that we’re going to the doctor’s, so I have to wear clothes. ¬†She said if I went to the doctor’s naked, my buns would get chilly. ¬†So Rowan got dressed.

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Mom said Rowan could wear his cowboy gear when we went out, but he thought people might be scared that the cowboy would yell, “YEE-HAW!!!” really loudly, and I don’t think they all would bring headphones to block it out. ¬†Rowan thought he should leave his cowboy stuff at home, so he did.

Then they went to the doctors.  Rowan wore his doctor shirt so he could fool people.  They all thought he was a doctor and let him play with their equipment.  He also took all the candy and suckers they give to the good kids.  Doctors are allowed to do that, you know.

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So the doctors didn’t take as long as Mommy thought they would so she said we had time to go through the car wash. ¬†Did you know the car wash is really a secret cave filled with pink and yellow jewels? ¬†It really is!

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Okay, after the mom and the boy get their car clean, they go have lunch with Rowan’s best friend. ¬†His name is Avery, and he’s a little baby. ¬†I can hold his hand while he walks, and I can make him laugh really hard. ¬†I really love him.

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Then Avery and Rowan got in the car together and drove to the park.  Avery had never been to a park before, so Rowan had to teach him all about slides and swings.

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Avery got soooo tired from all his laughing, so he had to go home and take a nap. ¬†I was upset that he had to go home, but Mommy told me that we could play together again soon. ¬†I wasn’t so sad after I heard that.

Me and mommy went to do some Christmas shopping, and we had a snack. ¬†Then we went for a bike ride with my other best friend, Beth. ¬†Mommy and Beth can be friends too. ¬†We had to wait for Beth to come to the trail, so while we waited, Rowan showed his Mommy the trail map. ¬†She’s bad with directions (I really, really am), but I’m not.

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Beth finally came to the trail, and I rode on the bumpy trail for like, TEN MILES! (okay, it was probably a little over one, but for being such a sandy and rocky trail, I’m sure it felt like 10 miles to him.)

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At the very end the little boy got tired of pedaling, so his friend helped him push his bike to the car.

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The mom and the boy went home after that and ate a huge dinner.  The mom was exhausted, but the boy wanted to play some more!

The End.”

The Man with the Yellow Hat

Last night, of course, was trick-or-treating. ¬†I think Rowan is at the perfect age for this type of event. ¬†As Mike says, “Everything is so magical for him, and new and exciting.” ¬†He’s right too. ¬†The amount of energy that kid exudes is incredible. ¬†It’s impossible not to catch some of his excitement.

This was Rowan’s 6th Halloween, so let’s take a walk through the past, shall we?


This was Rowan’s first Halloween at 2 months old. ¬†We didn’t really go trick-or-treating this year, but we totally rocked the whole handing out of candy thing. ¬†(We even gave away the good¬†stuff!)


This is Rowan’s second Halloween costume at 14 months. ¬†I limited the trick-or-treating to my dad’s office and the nursing home, where he was a HUGE hit! ¬†Seriously, you want to make the elderly happy? Stick a baby in a costume in the middle of the room, and let him go nuts. ¬†They will be tickled pink!

Construction Worker

This was the year of the construction worker. ¬†Rowan had just turned two, and really had the concept of asking for candy down. ¬†He even said, “Please?” ¬†I think this was the costume that kept on giving too….he still uses that tool belt and all the tools. ¬†I knew investing in real tools instead of plastic ones was the way to go!


For a brief time Rowan wanted to be “the guy that drove the fire truck.” ¬†Shortly after this Halloween when he was three, he abandoned that idea to cultivate his dream of being the ice cream man. ¬†Wise choice, my boy. ¬†Wise choice.


This was last year’s costume, when he was four. ¬†He’s always loved to cook (he is going to make an awesome husband some day), and wanted to express that side of him through costume. ¬†He pulled it off beautifully, and still throws the jacket and hat on from time to time to subtly tell me that he wants to bake cupcakes.

Without further ado, I present to you, the 2013 homemade costume of awesomeness……..THE MAN WITH THE YELLOW HAT!!!!

Man with the yellow hat¬†OH….EM….GEE you guys…I know I’m biased, but holy cow did he look cute. ¬†Curious George has been his favorite series of books for a long time. ¬†Years even! ¬†Like three years! ¬†That’s a long time when you’re only five. ¬†We dyed the shirt and pants, cut the tie out of felt, and glued the black polka-dots onto it. ¬†The hat is an old straw hat we found at a thrift store, that we covered in yellow felt, with a wad of stuffing to shape the top of it. ¬†The boots are his rubber barn boots that he’s had for a year or so. ¬†The black belt we had, and the stuffed Curious George came from my Aunt Dorothy. ¬†The whole ensemble was a hit. ¬†Here a few photos from trick-or-treating in town:

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Good ol’ Mike, who so graciously pulled the wagon up and down all the hills and through the crowds of people in the dark. ¬†He’s a good guy. ūüôā

Anyway, a good time was had by all. ¬†It was a lovely time of socializing with the neighbors and getting to know them better. ¬†I think everyone needs to take advantage of the opportunity trick-or-treating gives us to reach out to the people we share our town with. ¬†I’m always shocked at how many wonderful people live near me that I never see or talk to. ¬†I have no one to blame for that except myself either. ¬†I’ve got my foot in the door now, and I hope that I don’t let another year go by without getting to know them better.


Yesterday was wet and blustery, cold and raw.  Naturally Rowan wanted to play outside.  Weirdo.

He circled the yard in his gator a few times, tied up a tree with bungee cords, and sat on his bike, cursing the rain. ¬†While he was doing all those activities, keeping his blood pumping and staying warm, I was doing this: Image Rowan had the brilliant idea to dig out the kite that is currently rigged with a coat hanger, heavy string, and a BBQ skewer. ¬†I tried to explain that it probably wouldn’t fly, as I didn’t want him to be disappointed when he couldn’t get it in the air. ¬†As is his way, he persevered, and for a half hour he and I ran around the yard trying to get that darn thing up. ¬†He eventually told me that I wasn’t doing it right and released me from my duties as string holder. ¬†I went back to reading my book on the porch, and not ten minutes later I looked up from “The Decameron”, and he had that dolphin kite soaring. photo 5 (1) photo 3 (2) photo 2 (3) photo (1)

As any parent (or anyone who has spent any time with little kids) knows, they are strikingly persistent, optimistic, positive, and have a way of showing you your own bad attitude. ¬†Time after time Rowan has proved me wrong. ¬†When I say that he won’t be able to do something, it only drives him that much harder to want to do it. ¬†Sometimes I love seeing that side of him, like when he flew the kite. ¬†Other times, that side of him gets him in trouble, like when I told him not to use an entire tube of toothpaste in one day, so he did. ¬†Stinker.

Anyway, I need to learn that just because I can’t figure something out, doesn’t mean HE can’t figure it out. ¬†With every passing year the lad grows smarter than me, and not for one second do I want to repress that part of him. ¬†If it means that I have to buy a few extra tubes of toothpaste, and clean a few messes, I think I can deal with that.

Your Little Bit of Culture for the Day

Rowan asked me if he could have a Facebook account, something I’m not ready to say yes to. I told him that if he had anything he wanted to tell people, or someone he wanted to send a message to, that I’d be more than happy to pass that along. Just out of curiosity, when would you allow your child to get a Facebook account?

Yesterday was a particularly challenging day, behavior wise. When he decided to pull this little gem out of his pocket, it was just the right amount of cute to help me shake that last little bit of frustration I was hanging on to. Some days are just so exceptionally galling. Yesterday was one of those days.

Rowan asked that I post this video of his poem/prayer, that frankly, I had no idea he knew. It’s from a story we read a few days ago. ONCE! A sponge, that one is.