Thursday, May 26, 2011

Party Like a Rock Star!

Well, our little man is two. He even told the Doctor on Monday "Iain is two!", so I guess that makes it official! We had a rockin' party on Sunday night, complete with family he loves (but not all of you!), yummy food, and lots of fun presents! Of course, it was also accompanied by plenty of sneezing, coughing, occasional meltdowns and crying fits, from a sick little boy. Thankfully, the Birthday Boy is finally on the mend after a rough few days! I kind of wish we could have a "party redo", as I think he'd enjoy himself even more now! Overall though, it went better than expected!

The Theme: Rock all the way, man! Iain has been crazy abut music since he was born. Guitars and drums are his current obsession. So we rocked it out in red, black and silver, with multicolored accents, lots of stars, a homemade drum set, oodles of instruments and all things rock-related.

The Food: Top-your-own pizzas and crazy bread with a side of Caesar salad, star-cookies in red and black, and AMAZING cupcakes with gum-paste drums, microphones, stars, and Iain's name, concocted of course by Auntie Ashlee!

The "Reveal": Neil kept Iain downstairs while we got everything set up and ready, and then brought him up to see. He was a little overwhelmed at first, but then very excited! He went straight to the "band in a bucket" and nabbed his guitar to start playing! He even got to wear a guitar shirt of the occasion, and Liam followed suit!

Dinner: We ate our food, donned our party hats, and had a great time laughing, reminiscing and talking. Although Iain was reluctant to put his hat on, the rest of us sure had fun with them. Best two bucks I've spent!

The Birthday Cake: Iain was very excited about his special guitar cupcake. He even knew how to blow out the candle! But what he really loved was everyone singing to him! We broke out the band instruments and did a rendition of Happy Birthday accompanied by drums, piano, maracas, tambourine, harmonica and train whistle (and a wrist rattle for Liam!). It wasn't too melodious, but in his mind, we were better than the Beatles! We got a great video, but sadly, not many pictures.

The Presents: Iain really loved everything he opened: An awesome homemade backpack and a fantastic "Memory" game (made with all his family's faces!) from Uncle Stu, Aunt Becky, Coco and Calvin, a "bag of fun" with super cute books, a badminton set, a horseshoe game, and a super-soaker from Uncle Graeme, Aunt Ashlee and Baby Pitman, NEW golf clubs (right handed ones!) from Grammie and Grampy, and a Dr. Suess birthday book and guitar from Mommy and Daddy. However, here's another area where my photo-taking fell off the radar. We actually had to coax him to open up his gifts (he was getting pretty cranky by this point!), and all he wanted to do once he did open them was play with them...Liam was overtired, crying and barfing was somewhat of a madhouse! I did however, break out the camera to capture his utter joy and exhilaration after opening his new guitar. I have never seen him so excited!

The "Try-Out": Then, of course, we had to proceed outside to try all his new gifts. He golfed, drumed, horse-shoed and badminton-ed until dark, and went to bed happy and exhausted!

We had a good day. Of course, I can look at all the things I wish had gone differently: I wish that all of his family could have been with us...but we did get to talk or skype with everyone, so that made it a bit better! I wish that he had been feeling better, and could have actually enjoyed himself as much as we'd hoped he would...but he had a pretty great time. I wish the weather would have cooperated, so we could have eaten on the patio....but the food still tasted good inside, and we didn't get the storms that were predicted, so we even got to go out and play. I wish I would have taken more pictures...but I was busy enjoying the moments. I wish I would have remembered to update the birthday sign...but....better late than never!

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Trial by Fire?

I guess Iain heard a rumor that his "Terrible Twos" officially began at midnight last night. Literally seconds after I published the last blog post, Mr. Iain woke up screaming and screaming and screaming. He was up off and on all night crying, screaming, coughing and sneezing. We're not sure if he's got an ear infection or something else giving him pain, if his cold was bothering him, of if he's just overtired and exhausted. Whatever the case...this morning, it's very easy to remember the mingled delight and exhaustion that accompanied the morning of his birth, two years ago!

He's up now though, loving his birthday balloons, drinking his birthday Ovaltine, and getting ready to eat some birthday sticky buns. Not sure how the rest of the day will go-he's still looking pretty rough, but I guess no matter what, he's doing better than he was two years ago!
Love you little boy! So glad you were born, two whole years ago, on that early Friday morning!

Saturday, May 21, 2011

How is it Possible?

We have a boy turning two tomorrow. Two?? Really? It's absolutely astounding to me that two years have already gone by! I am not going to get all nostalgic here and now...I'll save (most of) the reminiscences until our busy weekend is over and I actually have time to reflect. Besides, if I was reminiscing now about what I was doing two years ago, I'd be remembering still being in labor after about 40 hours, and really being no further ahead than when I'd started. I'd be recalling about a lot of worries and fears about Baby's ( strange that at that point, we didn't know he was Iain yet!) health and well being. I'd be remembering saying "Oh please, can I have more anesthesia?" and "Really? No progress? Yes, certainly, let's do the C-section", because it was almost at exactly this time of night, two years ago, that we decided this was the only way we were ever going to meet that kidd-o!

But. Five hours from now we were holding our firstborn son, healthy and screaming, against all odds. All the chaos of the previous two days completely faded away, and he was here! He was ours! Joyous news!

And now he's two. Is it possible? We've been looking forward to Iain's second birthday party almost as soon as we finished up with his first. It was such a great time, that we basically would have repeated it down the detail if we could. We would have liked to have repeated our trip to the zoo and our family BBQ, only exchanging the Lion on the cake for a Rock-Star theme (and skipping the part about announcing we were having another baby!) But, as with all best laid plans, it was not to be. With Iain's family scattered throughout three countries at the moment (not to mention the ones in the USA living in two distant states!) we knew it would be a smaller group, but we were still planning lots of fun. We didn't plan on rain. We didn't plan on a sick boy, who's been sleeping badly, as grouchy as all get-out. So we had to do some creative re-shuffling.

Because he's been so temperamental this week, we decided to split up the fun, and not overload him. Because it was raining, we skipped the zoo and stayed in town. Here's what we did today!

After "big breakfast" we went to the mall for some "rides"
(Iain only likes the rides if we don't put the money really rides...)
Then...we went on a bus.
That's right. A bus. A plain ol' city bus. For about a month now, Iain's constant refrain to himself has been "Someday you'll go on a bus!". We're not sure how he got it into his head that a bus ride would be the epitome of fun...but somehow he did. So today...he got to go on a bus. Congratulations little man and happy second's a ride on a bus. He actually loved it, (especially the lollipop the bus driver gave him) although in the pictures he seems less than thrilled. He was looking a little peaky at this point-pretty sure he felt awful.

We wrapped up with lunch at McDonald's Playplace, where Iain's "playing", much like his "rides" is slightly less than adventurous. It consists of sitting on the steps , climbing on the chairs, or running around on the ground. But he was happy, and Liam enjoyed himself too.

Finally, the highlight of his night. Grampy and Daddy took him to a hockey game! (Way to go Saints; Clark Cup Champions!!) We figured it was literally his last chance to get in for free, and he loved it! He did ask several times to "Go on the ice for a minute" and "Ride the zamboni please", but even without those thrills, he had a good time.
We'll see how tomorrow goes-we've got a bang-up Rock-star bash for eight planned (really wishing it was a party for sixteen...Pitmans and Pattersons'll be dreadfully missed), and we're hoping for a "big sleep" to wake our boy up revived and refreshed. We'll keep you posted on the details!

Oh boy. It's tomorrow. I's today! It's your birthday Iain-Man! Our boy is two. Happy birthday Iain James Pitman!

Friday, May 20, 2011

Oh the Places You'll Go...

What is it about a graduation that makes me all weepy?! I've never been able to make it through one dry-eyed yet, and tonight's was no exception. It's such a perfect balance of nostalgia and excitement over the future. Memories and goodbyes. One chapter closing and one chapter opening. An ending, and a true "commencement". Gets me every time.

This graduation though, seemed even "more so" than usual. I mean, don't get me wrong...I'm always a basket case! But tonight somehow, I fully got the "weight" of the graduation ceremony! Perhaps it had something to do with the fact that tonight's graduates were from the very first sixth grade class that I ever taught. Not my very first class mind you; those "kids" were my obnoxious and wonderful Junior High-ers, and they graduated a few years ago...and I missed it because I was busy having a baby, dangit...! But these kids were actually mine for a whole year of learning, laughing and frustrations. Fights on the playground, spelling bee championships, pranks and catastrophes, overnight camping trips, work days, car washes and hot lunches...funny how those memories from six whole years ago came back as clear as a bell tonight.

Maybe it's because some of these graduates have come to mean a lot to me as I've watched them grow (and grow up!), coached them on volleyball teams and directed them in plays, gone to church with them and become friends with them...! And maybe it's because these particular kids will not be "sticking around" next year, but will be traveling to another city, another state, or across the world! Or maybe it's because the beautiful and accomplished valedictorian made me bawl, especially when I reflected that I've known her since she was in third grade! It made me feel so very nostalgic. So very sad about the good-byes. So very excited about their futures!

But mostly, I was able to remember again, exactly why I loved (and love!) being a teacher! Why someday I will teach again, and will be grateful for the opportunity. I am so thankful and happy that I am able to stay home with my boys, and I actually wouldn't trade it for anything. I love being important in their lives, and I love what I do every day. But tonight was a good reminder that it's good to be important in these kids' lives too. Love you guys! Congratulations...I'm so proud of you all!!

The World Famous Vaughn Brothers! (Iain and Liam in 18 years?! Hope so!)

P.S. I miss these friends too.