Sunday, July 27, 2008

Rowan the Clown

Rowan is starting to realize that he can make people laugh. It's hilarious. He makes this face that cracks us all up. :) He somehow picked it up from us trying to empathize with him if he bumped his head or fell when he was trying to walk or something... One that means "Oh, poor baby, did that hurt?" A very perceptive little guy because it's not an easy face to make!

He started doing it only when we might have used it, but now since he's gotten such a good reaction from us, he does it when he wants something or when he wants some attention...or just at random! :) He came out of the womb making us laugh with his funny faces. I can't wait to hear what kinds of things he comes up with when he learns to carry on a conversation...especially with Ingrid as his big sister!!

Here's a short video of him tonight at the piano. He was playing nicely behind me while I was at the computer and I heard him playing the keys gently with his fingers (he's not tall enough to be able to bang on it from the floor...) and then some quiet time...and then some banging on the keys. I knew he was no longer on the floor... :) I looked back and he was standing on a box playing the piano with great fervor! He looked at me and gave me "the face" and I had to run to get my camera. He makes the face twice in the video (although not as well as most times...). You have to kind of watch him to catch it... I'll try to get some better snapshots and post them. Enjoy!

Andrew and I are in Little Women, the Musical this weekend and next! We open on Thursday and begin dress/tech tomorrow night. We are so excited about our little Theatre on the Lake and are just feeling honored to work with such talented people. It's so great to be performing again!!! In any case, we're excited about the show...It's going to be great. Hopefully, I'll get to take some pics at the dress rehearsals and I can post some soon! Keep watching...

Monday, July 7, 2008

Minnesota Nice

Well, we had a wonderful trip to Minnesota! I'm going to tell you all about it, but I'm going to let some pictures tell some of the story... The kids are both supposed to be asleep, however, I've got a little radio show coming from the monitor. While they are both happy at least, I'm going to try to blog! :) Here's how our trip went:

I wish I had some pictures of the kids on the airplane. I was worried at first about having 2 kids on an airplane, but it was absolutely fine. Ingrid was sooooo excited about it. She LOVED riding on the airplane! She was a little lady the whole time. Everyone around us was quite impressed with how quiet and still she was, while being polite and sweet. It helped too that Midwest Airlines served Sierra Mist and warm chocolate chip cookies! :) It was fine. Rowan was a bit squirmy on the part of the rides that he was awake for, but all in all he did fine too.

We got to Minnesota and stayed at Uncle Eric's and Aunt Colleen's on Wednesday the 25th. We met Pam and Jack in Forest Lake at their new office (beautiful place!) after taking Darrell back to his house (Darrell lent us the use of his car while we were there--sooooo nice!). Then we went to eat crab legs in Lindstrom! Gramma Camra (Pam) had a box of clothes for both kids and a backpack for Ingrid as well as a big box of diapers, formula, wipes, and a stroller for our trip! We were completely taken care of! Then, we had a great time lazing around on Thursday. Colleen was gone on a business trip and Eric went to work for most of the day that day. Finally vacation!

On Friday, went to Burnsville to stay with Andrew's friend Dave Mattson and his new wife Jess and visited the Minnesota Zoo! We saw the new Russian Grizzly Bear exhibit and if we had been about an hour earlier, we could have witnessed the birth of a new little monkey! Ingrid and Rowan loved watching the birds and the turtles. Rowan walked away with a toy turtle and Ingrid, a flamingo. Fun was had by all!!!
We went to Andrew's Uncle Greg's wedding to a wonderful woman, Jill, on Saturday night on the St. Croix river boat. It was a beautiful wedding, and Andrew and I were honored that they asked us to play guitar and sing during the ceremony. Unfortunately, the camera was left in the car... But we had a good time catching up with family, eating good food, and celebrating a new member of the Hawthorne clan! Congrats, Greg and Jill!

Sunday, after I (Elizabeth) recovered from what seemed to be an attack of vertigo that prevented us from going to Forest Hills Church and a lunch meeting with my good friend Lori (:( ), we proceeded up to Forest Lake for a Nelson family Birthday party! Andrew, Eric, and Grandpa Bud (Darrell's dad) were all June birthdays, so Grandpa Bud, Andrew's Aunts Katie and Trudy & their husbands, Andrew's sister Kara, and a few family friends met us and Eric and Colleen at Darrell and Mary Lee's for a birthday party! Ingrid fed the fish off of Grandpa Darrell's dock, rode in the pontoon, and ran with their dog, Maggie. Rowan sat with Aunt Katie a lot, but he did let Grandpa Darrell feed him! We took a picture of the four generations of Nelsons. What a cool day!

While we were still in Forest Lake, we left Darrell's to see the Novaks, Ruters, and Johnsons! Rowan had been reluctant to go to strangers but when he saw Steve Ruter, he instantly went to him. He has the same sort of countenance as my Dad (not to mention the white hair), so I think he might have thought he was Grandad. :) In any case, he loved Steve! We had a good time talking until late at night (2:30AM!) and Andrew left the next morning at 5:30am to fish with Benny. Sweet Susan got up to bake caramel rolls for him before he left! :) And then, Kristi, Ingrid, and I feasted on them a little (OK, a lot) later that morning before our day of shopping and visiting...

Monday was a day for Andrew to fish with Uncle Benny and the kids and Lizzie shopped with Vanessa and Kristi--and lunched with Kristi's boyfriend (nice guy!). Thanks to Pam's gift of Kohl's cash, I (lizzie) got a new bathing suit (one that was not a maternity suit!) and got Rowan a new hat that Vanessa found for him with a sweet turtle on the front! Then, it was back to the Novaks for a nap and then on to my friend Jill's new gymnastics gym. We had a fun time on the trampoline (not just the kids, all of us!) and then went out to eat for pizza nearby. Then on to Old Chicago for some bad karaoke and more talking. It was sooooo wonderful to see them all. They are definitely family to us... Badu-badu you all!

Tuesday, we went to the Minnesota Children's Museum where Ingrid and Rowan had a great time. Ingrid loved blowing big bubbles and crawling through the Earth World and Rowan loved the room for babies where he proceeded to crawl up and down the big stairs without fear! He's so funny going down steps head first...but he always seems to manage without banging his head or falling! Then it was on to a sushi dinner at Sakura in St. Paul with Uncle Eric and Aunt Colleen. YUM!
Wednesday, we left for Wisconsin and stayed at Gramma Camra's house for the 4th. Wednesday and Thursday were just relaxing days. Ingrid and Rowan played at the beach and Andrew fished. Eric and Colleen joined us there. I managed to read my first novel in several years during the trip! I read my book in the sun in my new bathing suit and managed to get a tan that day... My idea of a wonderful vacation!!! Gramma Camra was in her glory, too. She had thought of everything so we had anything we would need while we were there, complete with beach toys and an extra pack 'n' play for Rowan so he could be "penned in" while we were all outside enjoying the cool, sunny days!

On the 4th, the house was filled with Hawthornes and Sullivans. Ingrid played with Mitchell and Levi, had nice talks with Joe and Bridget, rode a kayak with Colleen, and reveled in the attention given to her by everyone!

Rowan even let several people hold him! :) By the end of the night, he and Gramma Camra had become very good friends he even pushed me away because he wanted to go see Uncle Eric! It was a fabulous time.

The night of the 4th, we left and went back to Uncle Eric's and stayed overnight until he took us to the airport where we flew to meet Aunt B in Pittsburgh! We had such a good time. Thanks for the wonderful trip, all our Minnesota family & friends. We can't wait for the next trip! We love you. I've included all of the pics on the blog and more on our slide show. Check it out at the bottom of the blog.
The night we got back (the 5th), we had my family all over to watch the fireworks that had been postponed here in McHenry because of rain! We didn't come back to a lonely house, we came back to a party! Fun! I didn't get the camera out for that, but it was so nice to have them here.

Unfortunately, we also came back to a house with no water. For some reason, our water had been turned off while we were away (not due to any fault of ours...we suspect they were turning off our neighbor's water and turned ours off instead...). We really wanted to sleep in our own beds, so we stayed the night at home and ended up at the farm the next night. But we called the maintenance man Monday morning and he had it turned off before Andrew could get back here to meet him. So, at least we have water now.
Now, it's full-force into our rehearsals for the play we're in! Fun! We're doing the musical Little Women. Andrew is playing Laurie's tutor, Mr. Brooks, and ends up proposing to me! I'm playing the oldest (and, according to the script--the most beautiful!) March sister. My sister Rebecca is playing Beth March, the sister who ends up dying... :) It's fun. Stay tuned for some pics of our cast and rehearsals!
Andrew leaves for Orlando tomorrow to present at a national autism conference. He's got some exciting prospects, as there's been a prominent publisher from the UK contact him about whether he has any ideas for books he'd like to publish! He's going to spend the two and a half days there greasing palms and networking... Wish him luck!
Well, I've gotta get ready for rehearsal. My mom and dad are here to take care of the kids--mine and Rebecca's--for the next 3 hours. Stay tuned for more and check out the slide show!