Wednesday, November 12, 2008

One Year Later ... an Autumnal Diaper Monologue

Today is a very special day. It's the first anniversary of the day our wonderful son toddled into our lives ... wearing a little sweater, blue tights, and red shoes with yellow flowers on them.

Our apologies for the late blog update. We've had a very busy couple of months with family visiting, preschool, and all kinds of things. We have lots of stories to tell about the escapades of our now 2 year old son (when you ask Roman how old he is, he says "two" and holds up two fingers!)

Let's start with Roman's 2nd birthday, September 10. What we had originally planned as just a quiet get-together turned into an all day extravaganza ... involving 25 toddlers, 3 six-year olds (the triplets), and an eight-year old....our sociable little boy loved every minute of it!

Roman's day started out with a birthday breakfast for just the three of us, surrounded by balloons. He opened some of his cards, and especially loved the ones that played tunes.

We then went to Puget Ridge Tot Lot where Roman and his friend Garrett (who turned 2 on September 12) had a birthday playdate organized by the West Seattle Mom's of Tots group. A whole bunch of their toddler buddies showed up to play and eat healthy snacks and a decidedly unhealthy (but tasty) collection of birthday cupcakes. We decorated the park with balloons and a "Happy 2nd Birthday" sign. It was a beautiful sunny day, and the birthday boys had a ball!

Roman and Garrett enjoying cupcakes at the park.

Roman and one of his girlfriends (Marlies) at the birthday playdate.

We came home exhausted, and plopped Roman down for his nap (we had the whole day perfectly planned out). While he snoozed, we decorated for his Thomas the Tank Engine themed birthday party and got food and drinks ready (which included Helen's special recipe "toddler punch").

Carri and the triplets (Devlin, Kaysan, and Lauren) came a little early to help with the last minute preparation, and we put the triplets in charge of Roman. They promptly built a moat in our sandpit (much to Roman's delight) creating a mud bath a hippopotamus would be proud of.

Now, we had told everyone that we would have a paddling pool but we didn't tell them to prepare for mud. Much messiness ensued, but the mud bath was a big hit (with the kids).

Adie contemplates the mud bath.

The highlight of Roman's party were the fabulous birthday cakes made by Aunt Mari and Aunt JoAnn. There were three cakes altogether, two were surrounded by a train track with a little Thomas the Tank Engine going round, the other cake was decorated like a Russian flag. They were absolutely wonderful and tasted superb too.

All in all, it was a wonderful day. We kept the giant helium balloons of Thomas, James, and Percy in our living room for about a month!

Roman started cooperative preschool the week after his birthday ...he loves it! It's one morning a week and the parents go too. Usually Helen goes with him but Rich has been a couple of times too. Preschool has helped him get over his fear of teacher figures. He loves his teacher "Teacher Ingrid" and really enjoys playing with the other kids, and it helps that his friend Dawson is in the same class.

There are 13 girls and 5 boys in Roman's class. He has figured out that if you push the stroller, all 13 girls will follow you!

In the last six weeks we have had three sets of grandparents to stay. First to arrive were Grandpa Gene and Grandma Victoria from Atlanta. We had a great time visiting Pike Place Market and taking the ferry to Poulsbo.

Next to arrive, were Poppa Jerry and Nana Lois (Cookie Grandma) who drove all the way out from Wisconsin.

And a few days later, Helen's mum (British Grandma) flew out from the UK. British Grandma stayed for two weeks and taught Roman to say some British things like"Fish Fingers," (fish sticks), "pinny" (apron), and "oo er." She also joined us at Preschool and enjoyed singing "The Wheels on the Bus" and "The Popcorn Man."

On the weekend before Halloween we went to Remlinger Farms to pick our own pumpkins. Roman got extremely muddy in the pumpkin picking process ... he had a ball! We also went on a small steam engine, and Roman "drove" a school bus and an old car. He had his first pony ride (he loved it), and fed some farm animals.

We returned home with a thoroughly exhausted but happy little boy

It ain't's my pumpkin.

Our Halloween celebration started off with "Pumpkinpalooza," a Halloween party for the under 5's at our local community center.

Roman and his girlfriend Kennedy at Pumpkinpalooza (Kennedy is probably thinking "my boyfriend has odd socks...I'm so embarrassed).

Before setting out for some serious trick or treating, we went for a walk with Roman's friend Sebastian who was dressed as an orange kitty (and his mom Helena). Missy was quite offended that no one dressed as a basset hound.

As you can see, Helen, Roman, and British Grandma were looking quite ghoulish on Halloween (Roman loved his kitty costume so much he didn't want to take it off).

It was the first time Trick or Treating for all three of us. While it is quite popular in the UK now it just wasn't done in the '70s when Helen was a kid. Roman loved Trick or Treating although he did invite himself into a few people's houses! This was his first time eating candy ... he had a small Twix, a Tootsie Roll, and some M & M's, and then the candy mysteriously disappeared (mmmm wonder what happened to it....)

Rich stayed home to hand out candy to the local kids, and we decorated our house with spiders webs and skulls. Roman really loved the Halloween decorations, especially spiders. We're not sure what he's going to do without giant furry spiders around. We may have to get him a cuddly one he can have year round (I wonder if they make cuddly spiders, does anyone really want to cuddle a spider?)

Should I vote for Bob the Builder or Elmo?

British Grandma was excited to be here for the election results (we love election night in the UK!). The Green family is a politically divided household (you have to guess which of us is which). Needless to say, there have been many heated discussions in the last few months, and we have an agreement not to put any political stickers on the cars or signs in the yard.

We invited our neighbors over for a little get together to watch the election results. The plan was for them to sneak over after Roman had gone to bed. Although we tucked him into bed, it wasn't long before "mama...poop" could be heard coming from his room (the "poop" was an excuse to get up).

As soon as he walked into the room and saw his 9 year old buddy Dalton (who was getting to stay up late because it was a special occasion), not to mention his Aunt Mari, Aunt JoAnn, and a puppy called Sunshine...he got a huge grin on his face and became the life of the party (who cares what those boring people on tv are saying). So he ended up witnessing an historic election night.

In a few years time we can tell him that he was watching when the first African American was elected president, even though he was more interested in playing with his choo choos. The first election that his mama remembers was also an historic election ...when Margaret Thatcher was elected as the first female Prime Minister of Britain.

We'll sign off now with a few more pics of Tigger (our new nickname for Roman because he bounces everywhere).

Thank you all for your love and friendship.

We are looking forward to spending our first Thanksgiving and Christmas together as a family.

Helen, Rich, and Roman

"Missy A Portrait" by Roman

The first photo Roman ever took (not bad!). He loves to take photos with our rather expensive Nikon D50 (which now has sticky toddler finger prints on it).