Tuesday, 29 March 2011

Welcome Home

Mommy: (gets out of car after pulling in driveway from a long day at work) "Hi Buddy!  How was your day today?"

Rowan: "Glad to see you, Mommy!"

Mommy: (heart melting) "Glad to see you too, Rowan"

Saturday, 26 March 2011

Turning Two

Dearest Rowan,
I have been meaning to sit down to write this letter for some time now...2 1/2 months, to be exact!  A close friend of mine writes a "Birthday Letter" to her babes each year, so I've decided to start this tradition for you.  I'm hoping this will be an update on your developments, milestones, who you are, what you love, and other tidbits as a chance to keep some sort of history throughout all the cherished memories of your toddler years and youth.  So...here goes:
HAPPY (belated) BIRTHDAY, little man!  You are growing up so much of late, its hard to know where to start!

Your 2-year doctor's appointment was impeccable- no issues, progressing beyond well per your "normal" 2-year old level, 27.8lbs and 35" tall.  You didn't even flinch with your shots, and spent much of the appointment telling "Dr. Shreeve" about your trains.

Speaking of trains- your entire life seems to revolve around Thomas the Tank engine (and Friends)!  Your most prized possess- your train table- was your 2nd birthday present from Daddy and Mommy.  We go over to your friends' houses, and you rave about what engines you will get to play with at their place.  New friends?  You ask if they have trains and declare "Maybe Rowan will play with trains at [so-and-so's] house"!  Your exposure to Thomas has been mostly through books (at least 1 Thomas book in your evening 4-5 book bedtime routine), and your ever-expanding collection of Thomas engines and accessories (thanks, Daddy!).  TV time is an indulgence for you, and may include about 30 minutes of Thomas per week.  Tooth brushing involves reciting (over and over) "Clickety Clack, Clickety Clack.  Along came [insert Engine Name here] down the track!".  We could watch you for hours as you circle the trains around the track, spin Harold the Helicopter on the Helipad, run through the tunnels, put the engines to sleep in the roundhouse, and have races between Gordon, Henry and all their friends.  I love to "play trains" with you- and my personal favourite is when you hand me an engine, and say: "Here, Mommy.  Be Percy". So cute!

Your personality is blooming with each day, week and month that goes past as well.  You are now a confident toddler, and ready to take on the world.  I call you my "emotional" child, but I should probably use a word more like "empathetic", as you are typically strong-charactered, but you do have a soft spot for anyone being hurt.  You get upset when another child cries, or if one of your book characters get hurt (or even just looses their hat!).  You show genuine concern for those around you.  A few weeks ago, you had a playdate with one of your little girlfriends, and were chasing eachother around and around the main floor of our house.  At one point, Molly fell, and I turned and saw you trying, with all your might, to lift Molly back to her feet, while saying: "Help Molly up.  Help Molly up".  The best thing about that?  We didn't teach you that- that action, as pure and beautiful as it was- was ALL YOU. 

You are becoming more and more independant.  We regularly hear: "No, Rowan do it!" escape from your lips- be it to get you dressed to head outdoors for some play, putting your socks on as you get dressed in the morning, brushing your teeth, or placing a piece in a puzzle.  I am told this is a typical stage for a 2-year old, and I both love and loathe it at the same time.  Love it, as you are teaching yourself, learning, and fashioning new ways to do things that "work" in your little hands.  Although, I must admit, when it comes to the layers required for outdoor winter wear in Ontario- I could do with a little less independance and more let-Mommy-do-it to get you dressed quicker en route out the door. 

Food-wise, you are still a good eater, with your "favourites" including banana pancakes, broccoli, beef tortellini and yogurt.  Somewhere along the line, I think your little brain is in overdrive every meal time, as you tend to talk and do anything but actually eat what is in front of you.  Not for lack of being hungry, but likely moreso due to too much stimulation.  You also like to be involved in the baking and cooking of meals.  We push a stool up to the counter, and you hop up and down, getting ingredients for our baking concoctions, cracking eggs, stirring the batter, and being my #1 taste tester.  I love that this is something else we can do together.

Some new talents that have arisen from you of late: swimming has become a passion for you.  And finally!  Now that we have returned to taking swimming lessons in the warm pool in Stouffville, you are loving the water.  You kick like crazy, blow bubbles, and have no problems putting your face underwater.  Your latest trick is to "dive" for rings placed at the bottom on the kiddie pool- and will actually self-submerge your whole head as you bob down to the bottom to pick up the rings!   In addition to swimming, we introduced you to skating this past winter (on the Bob skates you got for Christmas), and you have progressed to sliding one foot infront of the other, and even holding a stick for some hockey passing on the ice.  Your Daddy couldn't be prouder!

There are regular "Rowan-isms" that escape from your mouth, that I haven't been diligent in writing down as often as I should.  Today was one of them- Daddy was leaving for the Toronto FC Soccer Club home opening game, and as you kissed and hugged him goodbye, your comment was: "Take Care, Daddy".  Out of the mouth of a 2-year old...

You have had your challenges of late- your sleep routine being one of those!  At 10 weeks old, you started sleeping through the night, and didn't look back until you were almost 22 months old (with some exceptions, of course!).  At 22 months, you decided you were no longer interested in falling asleep on your own, and your bedtime routine became a 2-hour session of book reading, singing, cuddling, back rubbing and countless patience-checks on my part to get through the difficulties you presented in falling asleep.  For awhile, it wasn't so bad, as once you got to sleep- you stayed that way for the next 11-12 hours.  However, the day you turned 2, you started night waking, in addition to the challenges of getting you off to dream land.  2, 3 and 4 times a night- your (very pregnant) Mommy would be in your room for anywhere from 15 minutes to 2 hours trying to get you back to sleep.  And, of course, Daddy didn't cut it in your mind- as much as tried to "fix" whatever was ailing you at 3am.  I'm not sure how we survived, but only recently have you gone back to a full night's sleep, and we've managed to rotate your evening rituals with both Mommy and Daddy cuddling you off to la-la-land on alternate nights.  And possibly just in time too, with your baby brother or sister due to arrive any day now. 

You love visits from anyone- friends, play dates, Oma & Pappy, Gran & Grandpa, the paper boy...you're running to the door, right alongside Gryphon, just waiting to greet whomever is on the other side.  You are a social butterfly- saying "hello" to most people you meet.  At times, your reserved, quiet and somewhat shy side comes out (namely when there are too many people around), but for the most part, you are our little Greeter.

Lastly, your latest achievement has been your graduation to your BIG BOY ROOM.  Daddy had an amazing idea that we brought to fruition since last November when we moved into our forever house.  Your Cat in the Hat room came alive, slowly but surely, and is now one of your prized possessions (can you call a bedroom a "possession"?).  You are the first person to ask if anyone new who comes by our house would like to see your bedroom, and you parade anyone upstairs and show off your room with pride.  As a fellow Dr. Seuss fan, I'm secretly jealous I don't get to cozy up at night under the multicoloured Cat in the Hat quilt that we bought you! 

Rowan- I am so proud to be your Mommy, and look forward to what life brings as you continue to wow us with your achievements.

Here's to you at 2!

Wednesday, 23 March 2011

37 weeks and counting...

Yup- I made it.  Well, WE made it.  And by "we", I do mean the collective "we" that currently makes up the Buchanan Clan.  37 weeks, and therefore officially "full term"- and my uterus has officially been given the green light to induce labour and evacuate this new little person that has been growing inside of me for the past 8 1/2 months.  Besides the obvious excitement that we have to meet him or her- I can speak on behalf of everyone that we're ready for Baby B's pending arrival, and would really hope he/she comes sooner than later...

Glen has been wonderful through this maternity.  I, however, have not been without a mouthful of daily pregger complaints- and he has been the rock that has endured much of the pain that goes with a wife who hasn't exactly had the easiest of all pregnancies.  From vericose and spider veins riddling one leg (1 leg?  bizarre, I know!  My right leg looks like I'm 80, and my left looks like I'm 18!), and reaching up into the "down there" area (painful?  in short- YES!).  Early pubic symphasis separation, pregnancy-induced sciatica, and the typical discomforts of later-term pregnancy...they've all been wreaking havoc on both Glen and I (yes- we're both in this together).  Like the icing on the cake, the topper was last week's placental abruption- a good scare tactic to make me slow down and start to appreciate the delicate nature of the little gaffer inside of me- and now the subsequent evaluations that are to ensue weekly until he or she decides to make his/her grand arrival.  Glen's been there through it all- my back rubber, my bean bag warmer-upper, and my sounding board for all the complaints I've logged over the growing course of this pregnancy.  Are we DONE after babe #2?  A resounding YES from both of us!

Rowan has also been inconvenienced through some of this pregnancy.  Albeit, I still jump when he whispers my name in the middle of the night to run to his needs- he will be the first to tell you that his book reading seat is quickly getting eaten up by Baby B expanding in my belly.  He's also getting the short end of my lack of patience of late, but I suppose this is all a bit of a warm-up for the inevitable realization that will hit once he realizes that "Baby Bia" (so he's coined his new brother or sister) is here to stay in a few weeks. But, we are still trying to do all the super-fun things with him in the days coming up to Baby's arrival...last week was Thomas Live on Stage- Rowan's first Adventure into the Big City, rode on a subway ("big, fast, fast, super-fast, super super fast Spencer Train!"), sat through the entire live performance, and then had train ride #2 en route back to our car to head home.  This weekend, we're off to Oma & Pappy's to (hopefully) see the horses, and get a ride on Pappy's tractor.  Always good times for a 2-year old!

Finally, Gryphon is likely one of the clan members most effected by Baby B's pending arrival.  With the long, cold, snowy winter we've had this year, his walks have diminished from 2-3 good, solid walks per day, down to one walk...and "good" might be a term I could use to describe these walks for my own 8.5-month pregger activity, but certainly not for an excitable lab.  He's also had the wrath of Rowan to endure- despite the fact Rowan loves him to pieces (see here:)
Gryphon is the unhappy recipient of Rowan's teasing, taunting, and running his dumptruck to either chase Gryphon around the house or plow into him when he least expects it.  Despite the fact it is exhausting, we do issue a time-out each and every occasion...which is typically between 3-10 times per day.  Ick.  I feel bad for Gryph, as he can't really fight back...but really?  At what point does he just clue in that he can run upstairs and find a good bedroom to sleep in for a few hours to get away from the badgering?  *sigh*.

And so we're still here...37 weeks and counting.  I'm off to Google the "29 ways to naturally induce labour", print it off, and post it on a checklist on the fridge.