All Rowelled Up

All Rowelled Up
All Rowelled Up

Monday, July 3, 2017

Five

Happy 3rd of July to everyone!  No, I'm not a day early on celebrating America, I'm right on time to celebrate Evelyn's birthday.  FiVe YeArS oLd!!!! I keep looking at her while I write this and can't even believe that she is 5 and that she belongs to us.  We truly have been blessed with one amazing girl.  I know I say it all the time but sometimes she just leaves me speechless with her humor and wit and sweetness and calmness and just every little thing about her.  My sister tells me all the time that she is her favorite person.....like ever.  My family absolutely adores her and I am blessed that they have so much love for her and Oliver that they will make mid-week visits sometimes just to see them because they can't wait for the next weekend.  And I love the relationships she is building with them.  I love the little quirks and characteristics she is picking up from each one of us.

I kept asking her to smile and she would not break from this face.


Let's all flashback to last year when I completely missed her whole birthday party because I was suffering from a migraine and ended up in the ER.  Not fun and I have been battling them for the past year. Hoping to get some resolution soon.  This year made up for it!  She had a blast at her party and everything turned out perfect.

I was concerned about the weather since we rented a blow up waterslide.  The weather man kept calling for rain early in the week and I kept praying it away.  It worked.  I couldn't have paid for better weather.  Just nice enough not to sweat like crazy but warm enough that the kids weren't just shivering in the water.  Well, maybe they shivered a little towards the end of the night.


Found a couple of trolls in the house.


Best celebrity encounter I've ever had. She was nice enough to stop for a selfie.
#poppy



We didn't tell Evelyn we were getting it so she could be surprised and if the weather was bad I didn't want her to be disappointed.  As soon as she saw it she freaked out, immediately wanted to get her swimsuit on and get out there.  She told me while getting dressed that it was the best surprise present ever.  As soon as we got outside she only wanted to play in the bottom pool part and had nothing to do with the water slide.  Hmph.  Should've just bought a $20 blow up pool from Wal*Mart.  Oh well, she had a great time and that's all that matters.  

Evelyn pretty much had a weeklong birthday celebration and tonight on her actual birthday it's been very low key.  She thought she was getting another birthday party today because it was her birthday so I had to keep letting her down saying the party already happened and it was just our little family tonight hanging out at home.  We ate cookies and pretend they were the birthday cake.


Oliver had to get in on the action too!


We can't go far this time of year anyways because of the fireworks.  Our dog does not do well with them and she also had surgery on her back feet today so she is all wrapped up and supposed to remain calm.  So we will see how that goes.  Poor baby looks like she has 2 big casts on and is having trouble walking.  

We are pretty much staying home tomorrow and being lazy before we have to return to work, will play with the 1,000 new toys we have in the house and of course watch the hotdog eating contest where I'm hungry for a hotdog when it starts but not so much when it ends.

My girl.

My boy.


Happy and safe Fourth of July to everyone and Happy birthday to my three friends who share America's birthday.

And Happy Fifth birthday to my baby girl! You are one of a kind!

April


(This is now typing from Evelyn)
Evelyn

ffrggggttghhhhjjmmkkjhhhbbnhggvvffvxxzzsaaqwwdddgffvvddcvvvfffgbnnnbbmmkjhbbgfffggghhhg

We thought these giant silk flowers from Hobby Lobby were pretty cool.  And if I don't get one soon I might lose it! :)

Friday, May 5, 2017

The Fifth of May

Hello wonderful readers of mine!  Yes, I know, it’s been awhile AGAIN.  It’s been a bit of a struggle to get myself to the ol’ keyboard and fill you in on all the happenings of the Rowell house these days.  But let me just be honest with you,  I just don’t really have that much to say.  We live a pretty routine life and not much changes from week to week.  And let me just say that I like it this way.  I’m a routine kind of gal and it keeps things simple.  At this point in parenthood there is not a lot of free time to do craft projects or take vacations.  I don’t think my kids have traveled more than an hour away from the house.  And I don’t have anything fun to show you either.  Our weeks currently consist of school, work and home.  Every now and then something fun drops in that line-up but nothing that I have felt needs it’s very own blog post.  Trust me, I want to write.  I wish I could make a living writing.  It gives me comfort and relaxation.  But for now I will just squeeze it in when I can. So here’s just a little glimpse into what the Rowell’s have been up to lately…..

Pushing brother through Wal*Mart


Oliver

This boy!!! I can’t believe that he is almost a year and a half.  I look back on pictures from a year ago and it seems like FoReVeR ago.  We’ve had to lower the bed to its lowest position.  He was caught with his heel over the top trying to climb out :/  Too Big.  He’s not talking as much as Evelyn did at this age but he’s trying with all his babbling and he definelty understands us and does what we ask him to do.  I’m ready to hear that sweet voice of his use some real words. And I’m pretty sure he is just going to skip over momma and just call me mom.  :/ 
He is into EVERYTHING.  If he wants to get around the baby gate guess what, he just picks that sucker up and moves it to the side and continues on his way.  I am totally starting to understand this whole “all boy” thing.  Climbing on stuff and picking things up and being rough and tough and taking the hits and getting back up.  But when his sweet little side comes out it’s the best thing!  He’s giving kisses and hugs and hums to the music of his sound machine at night.  Heart melting!  And he’s also found some new friends that he’s become attached to.  Buzz and Woody!!! They did belong to Evelyn but she has so kindly let him play with them and sleep with them every night.  Such a good girl!

Early morning photo shoot


Evelyn

Well, we have just about made it through our first year of school.  I can’t believe it’s already time for me to start looking up “Teacher End of Year Gifts”.  It has been such a blessing that she LOVES school.  She has learned so much this year that I would never have time to sit down and teach her and her maturity has spiked and I know it has to happen but I’m watching her go from a babyish girl to a little school kid and it’s exciting but I can also see the countdown ahead of me and it makes me sad.  Every school year that goes by is a year closer to a tween then a teenager then a young adult then full grown adult having her own children.  Ugh! I gotta stop or I’m gonna burst into tears :|

Being her own stylist


Church

This has been on my mind for years now and honestly I’ve just been lazy about it.  I say I’m gonna visit a church and then Sunday comes around and I’m still in bed.  I want to find a church home for myself and for my family.  Evelyn is starting to ask questions about the devil and Jesus and I don’t have all the answers and don’t know how to tell her things in a way she will understand so I need her to start going to Sunday School so she can learn about the Lord and get involved and I want to be involved too.  A part of my problem is that I don’t know where to go.  Growing up I attended Baptist and non-denominational churches.  It doesn’t phase me to see someone speaking in tongues or raising their hands.  Zach would like to attend something a little more low key so I’m trying to see what is kind of there in the middle.  But I haven't come up with anything yet.

John Mayer

Can we just talk about his new album for a minute?  So good.  SO GOOD!!! I don't purchase an acutal CD anymore unless it's one of my peeps and this man is one of them.  Go get it if you haven't already.  The end.



That's about it for now.  Just sitting at home on a Friday night watching Peppa Pig and excited to curl up in bed and watch Friends at 10 while the rest of the town is probably gearing up for some Cinco de Mayo fun.  Bed time and Friends sounds so much better at this phase in life ;)

Have a great weekend and hope to catch up soon!

-April

Monday, January 2, 2017

Hello 2017!


Well, well, well. Another year is over and what a year it was.  If you know me then you know I am not good with change.  It takes me a few days to adjust and then I’m ready to go with the flow and all is well.  It’s those first few days that I struggle with.  Currently I am struggling with the fact that Christmas is over.  The holiday season of 2016 is just another one for the books.  I do this every year.  It’s like the tiniest drop of depression sits in on December 25th around 9:00 p.m.  Usually during the last scene of A Christmas Story when the mom and dad are sitting by the Christmas tree looking outside.  It’s such a joyful peaceful scene but it throws a lump in my throat every time.  Usually by New Year’s Eve I’m on the up and up and ready for the new year to begin and watch as Christmas begins to fade from the stores and Valentine’s Day takes its place.

2016 was a hard year but a great one.  That first year of life for a baby is so sweet and new and wonderful and short BUT oh so tiring and long and something changes every month right when you are used to the new way of life.  Oliver has been such a blessing to our lives and brings such joy and I’m so glad we decided to have just one more.  He absolutely adores his big sister and Evelyn has matured so much in the past year and she LOVES him so much.  We have some pretty amazing kids and not a day goes by that I don’t thank the Lord for our healthy happy good kids.

Here are a few highlights from this holiday season…..

Thanksgiving…..


Helping decorate the tree.

Celebrated our 9th wedding anniversary.....

Oliver’s birthday celebration…..



Evelyn's class Christmas party.....



Amber’s 39th birthday…..


Phoebe's 8th birthday.....



Christmas…..



New Year's Eve.....




So as I say good-bye to 2016 I just want it to know that it was a good year.  A year that brought us a new house, new jobs, lots of “babies firsts”, an introduction to public schools and memories that will always belong to 2016.  I wish everyone a blessed and happy new year.  Bring it on 2017!  I’ve got plans for you!

Happy New Year and may God bless you and guide you,

April



Sunday, October 16, 2016

Tulsa State Fair.....and some other stuff.

Well Hello readers!  Fall time has finally arrived on the calendar but I’m still waiting on that Fall weather to catch up with it.  Yes, it’s cooler in the mornings and yes, it’s not 100 degrees outside but I can’t really get excited about the Fall and holiday season until a jacket is needed for the whole day.  This in-between weather makes it hard to pick out work clothes and school clothes.  First I think I’m dressing Evelyn too cool then I think about her during the day and hope she isn’t sweating out on the playground.  I need some consistency mother nature!!

So, I think when we left off Evelyn was just getting ready to start school and I was the panicking mother holding back her tears.  Well, rest assured she is L.O.V.I.N.G school.  Like, can’t wait to get back to school and I am so unbelievably thankful for that.  What a relief to not have that strain and worry on my brain all day and not a day goes by that I don’t thank the Lord for this blessing. I would just be miserable all day if I thought she was having a hard time at school and there was nothing I could do to make it better.  These little blessings mean so much and I don’t want to take them for granted.  Another blessing I don’t want to take for granted…..a baby boy who sleeps through the night….I’m talking 12 hours of sleep.  
 #zzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

Time has gone by so fast with Oliver! He is 10 months old today AND he has already started walking and pretty much is running now.  He started almost a month ago and all he’s done is picked up some speed.  Evelyn didn’t walk until a week after her first birthday so now I feel like I’ve been robbed of his baby time.  I needed 3 more months of crawling and cuddles and him being a baby.  Now that he can just about keep up with sister that’s exactly what he wants to do.  He only wants me now when he’s getting sleepy and even then he most of the time gets too wiggly to rock him to sleep so I just put him in the crib and he puts himself to sleep.  Which by the way is the oddest thing I have ever seen.  He pretty much slams his face into his mattress and there is nothing I can do to stop it.  I asked the doctor about it and I googled it and what I have found out is that this is kind of a common thing, mostly in boys, that happens for self-soothing to go to sleep.  Weird right? I’m telling you, the first time I saw it on the monitor I didn’t know what to do cause he wasn’t awake and it freaked me out.  So now we just let it happen and are no longer puzzled as to why his nose is so red in the morning.

With Fall among us you know it’s time for the Tulsa State Fair.  We definitely don’t “Fair” the way we used to.  Instead of getting all cute for Saturday night and hoping you run into people you know and staying until it closed we were there on Saturday morning as soon as the gates opened and walked around the buildings looking at all the grown up stuff with 2 strollers leading the way.  And I wouldn’t change it for the world.  Getting to see Evelyn’s face as she rides the rides is priceless and I want to start building these kinds of memories in her head and giving her a childhood to look back on and remember it being awesome.


Sometimes you cry at the fair. 

One giant shoe please! 

My loves! 

Making daddy go through the fun house. 

Riding the bees! This little kid ride went way faster than I expected. My scared face is half real. 

My beautiful butterfly. 


Well, enjoy your week wherever you are and get out and make some memories!!

-April

Thursday, August 11, 2016

'Gotta go back, back, back to school again’…..
(and if you didn’t just sing that and know what movie it’s from I don’t think we can be friends anymore)

Holy Pre-K Batman! Well folks, it’s finally here.  The day my momma heart has been thinking about since the day my baby girl was born.  SCHOOL!!!! Oh yes, good ol’ public school is about to enter our lives.  I have to admit I’m not as nervous as I thought I would be with school being one week away.  (Ask me again next Thursday about 8:00 a.m.)  But I can’t say the same for Zach.  His daddy heart can’t even really talk about it.  I think he might be doing the crying next week instead of Evelyn or me.  



It has a cape.  A CAPE!


We’ve never left Evelyn with anyone she doesn’t know besides at dance class and that was for 1 hour a week and we were in the next room.  I have a lot of confidence that she is going to do great and really love school.  I think once we get past the first couple of days MY anxiety will be lowered and we can all get used to our new routine. I went ahead and took the first 2 days of school off because, you know, I won’t be able to focus on anything the whole day.  Not sure what our plans are because Zach is off too.  We might just sit and stare at each other waiting to go pick her up.   I wonder how long we can sit in the parking lot and watch the playground before they kick us out??  I kid, I kid…..

Honestly, I’m ready for this next chapter in our lives.  She can’t be a baby forever and I’m excited to see her mature and be in new environments.  It’ll be good for me too.  I want to be involved as much as I can.  I want Evelyn and Oliver to know that their parents were there and supportive.  Can’t believe I’m about to reference Brett Favre but in his Hall of Fame speech the other night he mentioned about how his parents were there for him and that’s what he remembers and I want my kids to grow up having that feeling knowing they are important.  Whatever they are involved in Zach and I will be there.  Even if it’s in 100 degree weather I will sit myself out in the sun with a big bottle of water and a BIG bottle of sunscreen with a big smile on my face and support them and be there.


From Brett Favre's Hall of Fame speech


Cheers to a new school year for everyone and hugs to all the momma's and daddy’s and anyone who has to let their child go just a little bit and start becoming their own person.  We can do it!!

What’s new with Oliver?  Well, he can no longer be left alone because this boy is a crawling machine. He was going backwards for about a week or so and then one day he just decided he was going to get it out of reverse.  And oh boy is he on the go!  He’s doing really good at balancing on his own for about 5-7 seconds.  I think he might be walking before his first birthday.  We even had to lower the crib because he started pulling himself up.  #babyproofitall

He LOVES his sister!

Sitting big in his highchair.

Just hanging with momma.

He’s not really saying any words yet, just a bunch of babble but in that babble we have heard a couple of “dadas” and “mommas” but nothing to write in the baby book about.  Soon though.  Oliver will be 8 months next week and I finally hung up the pumping gear.  This momma is FREE!!!!  I’m glad I did it and I said before if we had another baby I would do it all again but it’s a lot of work.  Like, a part time job work.  I have a deep freezer full of milk but I’m surprised at how fast I am going through it already.  I put in so many hours and lost sleep for that supply so I’m hoping it at least gets me through the next couple of months.  I did introduce him to formula last week because I know at some point I’m going to run out of milk before he’s one and he did very well with it.  Liked it and didn’t have any reactions. I was concerned.  And you know what?  That precious little boy slept for 12 hours 3 times last week.  I don’t know if it was because of the formula or if he is just getting better sleeping habits but I will take it.

Happy thought:  Fall is just around the corner!!!!

-April

Ps – It’s from Grease 2 – learn it, love it, sing it loud in your car!

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

It's My Daughter's Party and I'll Cry if I Want To


Happy day to you all, Happy Birthday America and a Happy 4th Birthday to my little best friend.  This past weekend was Evelyn’s 4th birthday!  It wasn’t a big party or anything.  Just a few pizzas and some cake and ice cream with some family.  Nothing like I’ve had in the past where I sent out homemade invitations, rented a room at the community center and made my own decorations and thoughtful homemade goody bags.  I’ve just kept it low key last year and this year.  I figure I can break out the big parties again when she gets in school and starts making friends.  Then momma will break out the big guns (Cricut machine) and do it up big.

For a while there she really wanted a Doc McStuffins party, which I thought was odd because she watches the show but really only when her favorites aren’t on.  Oh well, if that’s what she wanted then that’s what it was gonna be.  Then a couple of weeks later she decided she wanted a My Little Pony party.  Done.  I see those decorations all the time, no big deal.  THEN she made her final decision that she wanted a Barbie party.  Barbie party?  Okay!  And Barbie was high on her list of wants so I figured it would be no big deal tracking down some Barbie décor for the party.  Well, let me tell ya, besides the actual dolls themselves, it is next to impossible to find anything Barbie.  You can forget just running to Wal*Mart and picking up a shirt or pajamas or ANYTHING with Barbie on it.  Disney has a lockdown on all that sorts of stuff.  -Hey Mattel, where do you sell your junk??- So I tried Target and Party City and Toys ‘R’ Us.  Nothing.  I was lucky to find some actual Barbie party decorations at Party City.  The employee there told me they didn’t have any shirts with Barbie on it but I could buy a Halloween costume.  Stop it.  So I bought what decorations they had and made my way out of the store with $70 less in my pocket.  You would think Barbie is like an American staple and would be popping up in every store on every aisle.  No.  Not so much.

I really wanted to find her and I matching Barbie shirts so I got online (a little too late) and looked around.  There was some stuff but really not a lot to choose from especially since now I had waited too long.  Target.comdid have a nice bright pink shirt with the Barbie logo on it……….for a man.  Really???  I gave up and decided just to find us something pink and tell everyone to wear some pink too.  I ended up finding her a sweet little romper and a matching t-shirt for me.  Yay! We were gonna look sooooo cute!  I even tried to find Oliver something pink but had no luck. 

Now fast forward to day of the party.  I woke up with a little dull headache so I took some ibuprofen and went about my day.  Noon time rolls around and this headache is still hanging on.  Time for some more ibuprofen.  I went to Wal*Mart and picked up the cake and bought a few little extras and headed home. As soon as I got home the top of my head just started pounding and it hurt so bad!  I get headaches all the time but this one was rare because I usually don’t have the kind that press on the top of your head and smash in your forehead.  I laid down on the floor on a cornbag which usually helps me but this time it was giving me zero comfort.  I decided maybe I needed to eat something since the last thing I ate was a couple of peanut butter crackers around noon.  I got me a string cheese stick and some grapes, you know, trying to be healthy since pizza and cake were on the menu for that evening :) I took one bite of the grape and just broke down bawling.  It instantly made me sick to my stomach and I was so upset that I wasn’t feeling any better, that I was feeling worse, and I so didn’t want to miss Evelyn’s party.

Zach walked me to the bed and had me lay down and gave me some more medicine.  This was about 5:00ish.  So for the next 2 ½ to 3 hours I laid in bed crying from the pain, crying cause I was missing the party but I could hear it all and moving around like I was possessed because it was the only way to keep me from feeling nauseous.  It was a bad deal.  Zach asked me a couple of times if I wanted to go to the ER and I declined because I was A) trying to tough it out and B) I didn’t want to pay the hospital bill.  I finally caved around 7:30 or 8:00 because the pain was so bad I just couldn’t go on like that the rest of the night.  So my mom took me to the ER while Zach stayed and maintained the guests.  I was glad to get there before the idiots of the world started blowing their fingers off with fireworks.  I told them about my history of headaches/neckaches so they did a CT scan and everything came back normal.  Thankful for that.  And then they gave me an IV with lots of fun stuff in it that as soon as it hit my body I felt like I was floating.  It was nice.  About 40 minutes later I got to go home and had some pretty relaxing sleep.  Definitely the best since having a baby. 

I told Evelyn the next day I was so sorry I had to miss her party and she told me “Well, you didn’t miss the whole thing.  I still have some presents I didn’t open.  Well, I opened them but I didn’t take them out of the box yet.”  Such a thoughtful sweet FOUR year old we have :) My sister said she did take some presents and set them aside saying she was waiting on me to open them.  #precious

Long story short, I missed the party because I was in the ER with a terrible migraine but all is well now.  Evelyn had a great time and that is all that matters.  Thank you to everyone who checked on me, took care of Evelyn and Oliver, took pictures and made Evelyn feel special.



Big Girl Biking It!
                   

My little emoji baby!!
               



Oh, and by the way, the school supply aisles are up.  And another thing, I get to shop from them this year. Look out Pre-K, here we come!!!

-April

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

She's Dancing!

Look out dance moms of the world, here I come!  Dance season is finally over for Evelyn and I have to say I’m a little sad about it.  She had her recital last Friday and I was a little sad on the last group number they did. I didn’t get to see much of the show because I signed up to be a backstage volunteer.  Didn’t really have plans to do that but when I was told that once the kids go backstage you can’t see them again until the show is over I had no choice.  I didn’t really make friends with any of the other moms until, well, at the recital so I didn’t feel comfortable with Evelyn being gone from me that long without knowing what was going on and if she needed to go to the bathroom or if she was scared.  So I sucked it up and gave up my evenings on Thursday and Friday to make sure Evelyn had a great experience.  Let me tell ya, that backstage business ain’t no joke.  I was sweating so bad on Thursday at rehearsal and put some miles on these feet.  When signing up it was made clear that you are not to just help your child but every child.  In the back of my mind I thought I would just focus on my kid and that was that.  Oh no, when it came down to it I was busy changing the other girls and helping them to the bathroom and lining them up and helping them offstage and holding girls who were crying and missing their mommas.  I thought, if this were Evelyn scared and needing help I would want someone to give her 100% of attention and not leave her out.  I did, however, pretend to comb a girls hair because I just couldn’t share a brush with a child I had no idea who they were or where their hair has been.  When she politely asked me to brush it I combed the air around her hair, patted her on the head and told her she looked beautiful.  And it’s not like she needed it combed.  It looked pretty hairsprayed to death to me and her mom was just hanging out in the room so I don’t feel bad about what I did.  #nojudging



 

I tried to hang back a little and watch Evelyn as she used her social skills and not be a hovering mother that I know I am.  ( And I’m NOT sorry about it!)  It was cool to see her not afraid to interact with kids she didn’t know and to not be shy when one of the mothers was leading the kids in songs backstage.  She totally rocked her confidence and that is so important to me for my kids.  I want them to feel like they are the most important person in the room without acting like it.  I don’t want snotty stuck up kids but I want them to be the opposite of me growing up.  I would just freeze and be scared to do anything in case someone was looking and all of a sudden I became the center of attention.  Nope, nobody look at me!  And I want Evelyn and Oliver to ooze with confidence while being kind and a friend to kids like me.  She’s going to be starting school in August and I can’t stress  enough to her when she sees someone by themselves that she needs to go up to them and introduce herself and be a friend to them.  


We were totally surprised with this award.! Only girl from her class to get this. Super proud of her! 

 

I haven’t decided if we are going to return to dance next year.  As of right now she wants to but then she also wants to do soccer and gymnastics and I want her to try out some theater to see if that’s her thing.  It’s kind of putting a little bit of pressure on me.  I mean, what if she is destined to be the next best thing in the dancing world or the It girl actress.  It’s just a lot to think about when exposing her to these activities.  Maybe she won’t want to do any of these things? Maybe I just need to let her be little and worry about these things another day :) But I’m hanging on to all her dance stuff in case I need to put it in a museum some day ;)

 

Oh, and also….. Oliver is sitting up…..on his own!  Oh boy, that means crawling is just around the corner and then walking and then driving and then graduating high school and then….. I better stop! :)





Hope everyone is having a wonderful week!


-April