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Archive for August, 2012

Knowing that this fall and a new sibling would bring many changes, I really wanted to make an effort to make this summer about hanging out with Rowan and Keaton and enjoying the relative get up and go freedom that comes with a 4.5 and 6.5 year old- something that we’ll be missing for the next couple of years as we start this whole parenting adventure over with our new little guy. Pregnancy in general, plus the anemia and fatigue I get along with it, sometimes made things tough but we accomplished a lot of what I wanted to do {water park!, beach! bike rides!} did more of some things than I thought possible {so. much. dance.} and had to skip a couple of bigger ideas {lake superior getaway} due to lack of time/funds. Overall? I think we did a pretty good job of soaking summer up…

Went for a firefly walk, Rowan even made friends with one.

Talked to a real pirate.

Made a pirate flag. That rainbow is really gonna strike fear into the hearts of other pirates, huh?

Made a butterfly ring.

Played on the sandbar on White Bear Lake that Mama grew up playing on.

Weaved on a loom.

Went to science camp.

Watched a ridiculous amount of swimming events during the Olympics. Here is Keaton “on the block”.

Splashed mighty splashes in puddles.

Not wanting to be left in his sister’s dust, learned to ride a two-wheel bike at 4.

Ate ridiculously bright-colored ice cream. I’m pretty sure I read somewhere that the brighter the hue the more natural and healthy it is…

Bounced!

Pretended to be cuddle fish at the beach.

Pretended to be lifeguards at the beach.

Took swimming lessons in a pool where we held our breath under water for many seconds and even really swam all on our own.

Refused to put our faces in the “yucky brown lake water” and also refused to swim without a life jacket at the lake which was the whole point of those lessons in the first place.

Hugged curious George at the Children’s Museum.

Planted peas and beans.

Went to Cascade Bay where we chilled on the lazy river and went down the big tube water slide.

Swam with flippers for the first time.

Rode bikes to the park.

Went swinging!

Went to a T-ball clinic with dad.

Went to a watercolor and acrylic class.

Picked carrots, peas and raspberries from our friends’ garden.

Shot a bow and arrow.

Ate Popsicles.

Had breakfast outside.

Told stories by candlelight during the power outage at Mallinger’s.

Went out for pizza with our cousins.

Slipped and slide-ed.

Visited Jorie’s work.

Went to Mama’s doctor appointment where we got to use a doplar on mom’s tummy and listen to our brother’s heartbeat.

Turned into Spiderman.

Turned into a butterfly.

Turned into a giant douchecanoe.

Hung out at the fire station.

Went to the N. St. Paul car show to see the cool cars and get ice cream.

Got into a water fight.

Watched the fireworks with our cousins. (Not Keaton, who went to grammy’s to watch Frosty the Snowman instead.)

Made marshmallow pops.

Turned 4 and a half!

Turned 7.

Got pet betta fish! Named them Harry Potter, Olympic Swimmer and Shimmer Dufenshmirtz Jr.

FINALLY gave up pull-ups at night so mom gets to enjoy approximately 3 whole months diaper free.

Went to the county fair and pet a fluffy bunny and went on rides.

Were ceremoniously introduced to daddy’s boyhood passion, TMNT.

Did not disappoint dad.

Had 3 friends over for a pajama-movie-night birthday party.

Went down the log chute and rode the big swings with daddy at Nickelodeon universe.

Had a fancy lunch at the American Girl Bistro.

Got Rebecca and Kanani’s hair done at the salon.

Had another birthday luau with Ellie!

Went to a summer ballet clinic.

Worked really hard at stretching and can almost do the splits.

Took first comp dance class.

Made the next line up in competition dance!

Got to be a flower girl.

Got to be a ring bearer.

Danced the night away at Auntie Susie’s wedding.

Finally decided it was safe to swim with heads underwater at the beach. Had a blast swimming around like fish, looking for shells and practicing underwater hand stands.

Finished my pre-k workbook and started working in my kindergarten workbook!

Passed the first two levels of Super Mario Bros for Wii.

Did the monkey bars all by ourselves.

Helped the neighbor girl with a lemonade stand to raise money for Tanzania.

Completed 20 hours of summer reading for the library’s Bookawocky program by devouring Cam Jansen, Disney Fairies and Rebecca and Kanani books.

Was brave enough to finally try the big scary silver slide.

Went for a sunset climb.

And? On Tuesday it will be on to new things…first grade, pre-k, new dance classes, new piano teacher and a very full schedule. After being so sick and apart from the kids all late winter and spring, I hope that what we did this summer made up for the time they spent watching me crawl from my crypt of a bedroom to the bathroom, only to miserably crawl right back in again. I know they won’t retain it all but hopefully the memories they do keep tucked away in the folds of their little brains will tide them over until their next adventure of becoming a big big sister and a big brother begins in October.

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Yesterday morning I was braiding Rowan’s hair before dance and I told her that this was her very last full day of being a six-year-old. She said, “I really want to stay just six… I want to stay with you forever and never get old and go to college”. After I died from The Cute and Precious words and then reanimated myself, I reminded her that she’ll probably feel differently in a few years. And I’m sure I will too but as of right now if I could bottle Six up and keep it close to me for all of time, I would. This year was complete and utter magic for Rowan. This was the age everything changed. You know how at every age people give you the “they’ll grow out of it” line?  And you wait and wait but sometimes they just don’t figure it out? Well Rowan worked out of so many of the things that were wearing her down and in turn grew into the amazing little thing she now is.

“Think of all the awesome things you learned this year!”

“Well…I learned how to read inside my head…and play Super Mario Brothers… and ride a two-wheeled bike… and do the monkey bars… and keep my legs straight when I do a cartwheel… and blow a bubble with my gum… and how to snap… and memorize and play my recital piece in piano… and was brave enough to get my ears pierced… I think the bubble thing was the bestest though.”

“And do you think you learned all of the things? Now there are no things left to learn?”

“Hmm… it was a lot but maybe not ALL of the things. I think I can still learn stuff when I’m seven. I still don’t know how to whistle. And I still haven’t lost a tooth.”

“Then I guess you have to get bigger, huh?”

“I guess.  I’ll probably find stuff to do.”

And I know she will, although seven terrifies me just a little bit. The age of magic is winding down and now dawns the age of logic. Where all the little white magical {LIES!} explanations I have provided for topics just too big and difficult for me to explain or for her to grasp are going to start cropping up again, only I’ll have to drop the “well, fairies did that, DUH” type answers.

It’s hard to imagine being a parent of a toddler and preschooler is easier but in the sense of the Big Wide World and all its complications, it really, REALLY is. Before this nearly anything and everything can be explained away as good or bad, black or white, and magical thinking can explain the rest. Now she understands that mamas aren’t always right. That daddies make mistakes. And that hugs and kisses can’t fix every problem. She still puts us up on a pedestal and relies on us to fix her problems but I think she’s starting to see that it’s good ol fashioned hard work and not fairy dust that makes these things happen. This makes me sad in a way. I mean, in order for her to become a functioning member of society this is a lesson she needs to learn but to see that we are on the far side of the magic years makes me think of all the growing up that’s going to take place in the next 3, 5, {and lord help me} 10 years. Before seeing her as a 10-year-old and beyond was absolutely impossible, but now I am beginning to be able to imagine 10-year-old Rowan, she doesn’t seem so far away now and WOW that scares the shit out of me.

I guess I don’t hold out too much hope that all the remaining years of Rowan’s childhood will be as spectacular or as easy as this last one but Six has shown me that this kid can always land on her feet. And that as a parent sometimes the pay-off doesn’t come until much later than expected, making the celebrations and triumphs that much more sweet.

Rowan J, you’ve taught us so much about love. So much about laughter. So much about struggle and so much about patience. You are such a hard kid to describe because you are just so many things, all at once… and I love them all.

Happy Seven, Little Miss.

Rowan Year of Six-Medium from Christy Gunter on Vimeo.

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So…yeah. I couldn’t even make it to the second week of my proclaimed pregnancy documentation, but in my defense we were a little preoccupied with this to think about anything else for a while there…

Bridesmaid, flower girl and ring-bearer duties kept us on our toes. I’d love to document my sister’s wedding but it’ll have to wait until after the kids go back to school because I don’t foresee myself with any free time until then.

With the wedding craziness behind us we have dived headfirst into Rowan’s birthday month, complete with planning our annual family luau for Ellie and Rowan, a day at the black hole that is the American Girl store and a teeny tiny friend party. I’m taking a break from creating food lists and slideshows for Rowan and the wedding to do a super quick check in with Sammy Davis Jr Jr.

Baby? What baby?

Oh THAT baby. This was taken at 28.5 weeks and we’re approaching the end of the miracle of the color black as pretty soon you will be able to spot my belly from the space station, possibly further.

Here I am at 29.5 weeks and sweet jesus I promise to attempt to get Bill to take the next picture as these awkward bathroom photos are one duckface away from true and total embarrassment.

First up: Things I have done to prepare for this baby…

*crickets*

Okay I’m exaggerating a little. I did sit on my ass one afternoon and buy up all the adorable baby boy burp cloths Etsy had to offer. “Why are you spending all your money on burp cloths?!”, one might ask {especially if “one” = “Bill Gunter”}. And I tell you after you have a child that spits up as much as Keaton did for 8 months straight, those things go from practical baby item to part of your daily fashion ensemble because the minute you don’t have one draped over your shoulder you get gooed with 5.5 out of the 6 ounces of milk you just painstakingly put into your baby. Plus, the way I see it you might as well have something awesomely adorable to look at as you wipe up baby puke.

Like you’re not jealous of my mustache and star wars burp cloths, SHUT UP, YOU TOTALLY ARE.

I also went ahead and purchased an obscenely expensive {for me} diaper bag {pictured above}. {Those of you used to spending big bucks on Coach purses and the like would probably not blink an eye at the price tag but for someone who has never paid more than $4o.00 for a purse? Well this was a big step.}  With Rowan I was young and poor and just registered for the cheap and cutesy winnie-the-pooh diaper bag at Target because I foolishly thought diaper bags were for babies and so should be babyish. WRONG. Babies do not care about what bag carries around the things they poop in but you might care because that thing is going everywhere with you for the next 18 plus months. With Keaton we used the bag that matched our BOB jogger which was a huge step up looks-wise but the bag sucked as far as being a practical diaper bag. So this time I went all out and bought a Juju-be bag which is a super-star in the looks and practicality departments and it better not suck because I can’t afford a different one.

I also stocked up on all the newborn and size one cloth diapers we’ll need…

So much hippie goodness.

We didn’t start cloth diapering with Keaton until he was over a year so the one size pocket diapers were definitely the way to go {which we’ll use when Sammy Davis Jr Jr is over 6 months or so}, but for little ones we knew we’d need to start small and so we decided to go full-out hippie and get prefolds. When the kit came in the mail I fully admit to panicking a little because the first couple of folding tutorials I found online made it seem a little too close to origami for my taste and I SUCK at origami. Then I found a SUPER helpful you-tube tutorial made for dummies like myself and now I’m extremely geeked to use these diapers.

All in all, this is what I have purchased for this baby. Bill is about as excited about it as you probably are.

The only major purchases we have left are an infant car seat, a crib and his layette. Here I thought we’d be in good shape because I saved a lot of Keaton’s cloths {and he was one well-dressed boy} but after I took out all the storage boxes, I wondered where the hell the majority of his 0-9 month outfits were. Then I remembered the aforementioned baby puke and realized that most of his infant stuff wasn’t reusable because of all the stains. {And lying liars who tell you breast milk doesn’t stain are SURPRISE! telling lies to you. Keaton didn’t have a grain of formula his whole damn life and his clothes were completely wrecked from all the spit up. Tthose same liars will also tell you that breastfed babies don’t spit up. Riiiiiight.} {I’m not bitter or anything.}

So! I guess we’re not looking too bad for 30 weeks. Next week {or more likely three more weeks from now} I’ll catch you up on my childbirth preparation where you’ll learn I’ve gone fully off the deep end and am now doing the Hypno-babies natural childbirth home study course because crazy pregnant lady is crazy. And delusional. So delusional…

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