Monday, May 24, 2010

T is for the T in Tufts...

We had quite a Tufts-filled weekend. I'm realizing now I didn't take enough (or any!) pictures of those involved, but we saw lots of our Tufts buddies that live near and far. On Saturday, we picked up Eric (01) at the T and brought him back to our place for an overnight visit. Eric's currently living in Austin and hadn't seen Finley since he was just a week or so old. He quickly learned about Finley's favorites and got to see just how much Finley loves the book Moo, Baa, La La La.
Davey (01), Gabi, and adorable Charlotte (future grad) came over to see Eric (and us, too). Soon after, Mike Z. (02), Mike Bright (02), and Tali (02) came over to hang out and when Dan got home we walked up the street to play croquet in the park. Finley got to ride in a bucket swing and hang out in the grass while the course was being set up.
Sadly, Finley got his first bug bite :( His dad was just a second too late at swatting the mosquito away (which I yelled at him for, of course). You probably can't see the little red bite on his arm, but I thought I'd try to take a picture of it.
Clearly, Finley's skin doesn't react the way mine does to an innocent bug bite. See below!
Eric had to catch an early flight on Sunday morning, but luckily the Tufts party continued when we met up with Tex (01)and his wife Sarah for lunch at Tavern on the Water. They were in town from Anchorage for a wedding in Cambridge. I can't believe I didn't take a picture of our lunch guests, but I was quite distracted with Finley who is still learning how to enjoy being at a restaurant. My new strategy of bringing him some food (bananas and oatmeal) worked well, but once his meal was over he was ready to be walked around until it was time to go. He's a fidgeter--like his father and his grandfather :)

He's really into eating now--he actually leans forward, opens his mouth, and even pouts if we aren't fast enough with the next spoonful. However, he sometimes clamps down on the spoon and it is hard to get it back out!
"Sometimes you eat the bar, and sometimes, well, he eats you" seems like a fitting quotation.
We ended the weekend by going to a 2010 Tufts graduation BBQ for the frisbee kids Dan coaches. I don't think we could have squeezed in anymore college friends or experiences this weekend if we tried! Finley, can you say "legacy"?

Saturday, May 22, 2010

An Afternoon in Boca?

Ha ha ha, NO we didn't really jet down to Boca Raton for the afternoon---but when I looked at these pictures from a local park we visited on Friday, I realized that Finley looks like he's already lived a lifetime and retired down to Florida. Nice bucket hat, old man!!
I also experimented with how hip Finley can dress--should he pop his collar...
...or not?

What do you think?

Handyman Daddy

For those that haven't had the privilege of visiting our home, we are the proud owners of a classic 1950s pepto-bismol pink bathroom. When we moved in there was pink tile surrounding the pink bathtub/shower, pink tile halfway up the other walls, pink tile floor, pink toilet, pink pedestal sink, and pink sponge painted walls. Eek. Over the past five years, we've slowly de-pinked the room without demolishing the whole thing since it is our only full bath in the house. The tub has been reglazed while, the toilet and vanity/sink swapped for modern white pieces, and the walls were painted a subtle peach tone. The last piece of the renovation puzzle (since the pink tile is super-girly but in excellent shape and not worth tearing out) was the medicine cabinet. The all-in-one mirror, cabinet, light, and two-pronged outlet fixture was quite awful as seen below.
So after getting a pricey estimate, Dan decided he could most likely do the work himself. So to make a long, loud, dusty story short: he took out the old cabinet, reframed the wall to fit the new one, put in new drywall and taped, split the electrical power to go to a new light fixture and to a new outlet receptacle with a switch for the light. Then, I painted the bathroom a classic white color before Dan hung the new light fixture and together we put in the new cabinet. All in a week's work!! Needless to say, our evenings weren't for blogging and catching up on our TiVo, but rather working in the bathroom (without making too much noise to wake a sleeping Finley). See some progress and final product picts below!
Not too shabby, eh? All that time spent on construction sites and hours of watching Trading Spaces really paid off! I'm so proud!!

Finley was a good sport while all this work was being done during his awake hours. He spent some time chilling out in his jumper or exersaucer if both of us were needed in the bathroom, but he also showed some interest in helping his dad. The last picture proves that he's not quite ready for that though :)

Monday, May 17, 2010

Weights and Measures

In honor of his 6 month birthday, Finley earned a trip to the pediatrician for a check up. No presents and an appointment to get poked and prodded...maybe being a baby isn't such a sweet deal...

Finley had a good night's sleep and was more than willing to skimp on his morning nap in order to make it to the doctor's office for his appointment. The nurse called us in and asked me to lay him down to mark his height (shouldn't this still be referred to as length??). Then, I stripped him down to his diaper so he could be weighed on the scale. As I laid him down on the cold metal scale, I begged him to NOT pee when I removed his diaper (as he did last time). Thankfully, he followed my instructions and managed to hold in any pee until I re-diapered him back in the exam room. Phew!

The results are in....
Weight: 17 lbs 10 oz (54th percentile)
Height: 27 in (72nd percentile)

I was impressed with the height, but shocked at the weight since I really felt like he had gained a lot (aka felt heavier in my arms when I lift him from the crib). He was 15 lbs 9 oz in mid-March so he's gained just about 2 lbs since, he's certainly no heavyweight! Ah well, maybe he'll last in his 3-6 month clothes for a while longer :)

After all the measuring, we waited for the doctor and played around on the table.
I had to remember which direction to lay him down since he can only roll one way and I'd rather that way be towards the wall and not off table!
Good thing, huh? What a little acrobat! All was good with the rest of our appointment and I even dared to ask about night weaning...gulp...the doc gave me some advice and told me that Finley's certainly old enough for us to start working towards it but that we didn't need to rush.
I asked a few other nerdy questions (that I won't embarrass myself with sharing) and then we were on our way. Oh wait--I forgot--Finley got 3 more shots...nothing noteworthy to report except that seeing your child cry in pain is still one of the hardest things I've experiences on this motherhood journey but thankfully he's recovered quickly with a big hug and some cuddling time.

On our way, bumped into Amy and little Owen in the waiting room and it was so funny to see Owen in an outfit that Finley once had but is now far too big for. Owen is a couple months behind Finley--one of the few 2010 babies we know (most of our playmates are 09-ers). This time next year, these two boys will be hard to keep up with :) What a great thought!

Fin's now sound asleep and hopefully will be happy as a clam when he wakes up since it's a beautiful day and I can't wait to get outside!

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Happy Half-Year Birthday Finley!

Yes, it's true--our (not so) little bundle of joy is exactly half a year old today!! It is hard to believe that this time last year we were still waiting to share our exciting pregnancy news with the world and now here we are with a 6 month old rolly-polly baby boy! His little personality continues to develop more and more each day and we continue to love him more and more along the way--which is saying a lot since we loved him more than life the day we laid eyes on him 6 months ago! Here are some assorted photos from the last week that seem appropriate to post on a day such as this :) I can't believe how "grown up" he seems in some of these!
He really loves flying through the air in a bucket swing and thankfully there are two playgrounds within short walking distance from our house that have these great baby swings.

Finley's favorite way to hang out if Dan or I can't be holding or playing with him is in his Jumperoo. I promise to get a video soon of his hysterical jumping routine, meanwhile you can see how happy the little fellow is when dropped into it.
We went to an indoor playground type place on Friday with Henry and Eliot. Henry was far too mobile for a photo, but Eliot and Finley were more on the same page in terms of motion.
This might be one of my most favorite pictures of Finley this month so far. He looks SO happy!! My only concern is that he instantly lights up like a diva when the camera comes out and he hears the focusing "beep" sound...we may have created a digital monster!

Happy 6 month birthday, buddy, we can't wait to see what you do next :)

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Feeding Time at the Zoo #2

It's been a while since I updated on Finley's food story, so here goes...

After the thumbs up from the doctor to try rice cereal again, we waited for the boil water alert to be lifted last week and then dove back into the culinary world of a nearly 6 month old. We did a few days of watery rice cereal and while he would occasionally lick what was on the spoon, he didn't seem interested in opening his mouth for a whole mouthful. I tried to make it fun (singing, funny faces, and sound effects), but when he'd had it, we cleaned up and moved on. We also tried some oatmeal which seems only slightly less gross than the rice. On Monday, I boiled and mashed a sweet potato for the little monster. As my friend Mary would say, "it went over like a lead balloon." We tried it straight and mixed with some oatmeal, but his lips stayed pursed. Finley's got willpower, I'll give him that. In fact, it was clear that he preferred to eat his own hands than any more of my sweet potato concoction.
Moving on...we did straight oatmeal for a few days, extra watery. Not sure who I was punishing for the sweet potato refusal, me or Fin! Yesterday after a little reading on the subject, I mushed up some banana and let him lick it off my finger. He seemed to like it (another words, he didn't spit all of it out) and so we alternated between banana on finger and oatmeal on spoon. I was shocked that he began to actually open his mouth when my finger AND the spoon were approaching. Hooray!

Some might tell you that bananas are too sweet and babies will develop a sweet tooth and reject less tasty foods, but we ran into my friend Gretchen (mom of 2 and pediatrician-in-training) at the supermarket who said that bananas are a great first baby food. Phew! As soon as we got home, I mixed and warmed the oatmeal while Finley played in his high chair. Then, I peeled 1/4 of a banana and mushed in our food mill (what a great thing!).
Again, I fed him some banana on my finger and he was quite interested in it. I then stuck to only using a spoon while I alternated between straight banana, straight oatmeal, and a mixture. Geez, how high maintenance. It sure was great to see him enjoy the big boy eating experience!

Here he is warming up his chops with his play spoon.
I didn't have the heart to tell him he had it backwards.
The first couple spoonfuls weren't raging successes since his lips weren't really open.
But soon we both got the hang of it!
We ended our "meal" with Finley's favorite part: a drink of water! Much like in the bathtub, Finley looks for any opportunity to snag a drink of H20. I first showed him this Nuby sippy cup last week and I was surprised that he knew just what to do with it. Not only did he know what to do, but once the cup is in sight--that's all he wants. I now keep it out of sight until the end of the eating process and he reaches his arms out as soon as it comes into view.
And if I try to take it before he's had his fill...
Okay, okay, just a little bit more is fine! We'll keep plugging away on the food front, but at least the kid will be well hydrated as the warm summer months are approaching :)

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

And away he goes!

So now that Mr. Fancy Pants can roll over, he doesn't want to be still. He's surprisingly happier on his tummy that his back now, which I think is due to the fact that he can push himself up on his hands and scoot backwards. Despite the fact that he scoots the opposite direction of the toy or parent he has his eye on, he seems to enjoy the whole moving experience. He can squirm in all sort of directions, which is most inconvenient for those responsible for changing his diaper.
Much to his dad's enjoyment, Finley can now reach for and grab his own toes. Dan's been patiently waiting for Finley to be able to get into this bear-like pose and now he's there! Well, to be more precise--he's there AND I finally got around to photographing it.
For weeks now, Finley has enjoyed chatting to himself in bed at night. He often talks himself to sleep when I put him down and it's adorable to listen to. I do wonder who or what he's talking to, but all that bedtime linguistic practice has certainly paid off during the daylight hours as he's quite the chatterbox these days. Since he used to sleep in a sleep positioner, Finley's newest form of crib entertainment is to move all over the place. My newest form of entertainment is taking the camera in when it is time to get him out and snap a photo of where he ended up. The picture below is from yesterday when he was laid down 90 degrees from where he finished his snooze. Hm...time to install those breathable crib bumpers!
The next photo is from this afternoon's nap. After 1 hr and 45 minutes, I heard him talking to himself which is pretty normal. By the 2 hr mark (I get him at 2 hrs if I hear him stirring), he wasn't crying but grunting and so I popped in to get him up and ta-da:
He sure looks like he was caught in the act, wouldn't you say? This rolling over accomplishment could be troubling come the nighttime hours...let's hope he's not feeling so adventurous!

Monday, May 10, 2010

Right Before Your Very Eyes

Finley's camera shyness continues, so I plopped the video camera down where he couldn't see it in order to capture his new baby trick. He's been working really hard the past couple weeks to accomplish this--all the grunting and complaining aside, it's been pretty cool to watch.
I apologize for the fact that you don't really get to see all of his adorable face, but this was for business--not pleasure! Hopefully now that he's done it a few times (this morning), he won't mind me video taping it in the future and I will get a better one for you all to see. Stay tuned for more rolling from back to front news!

I can't leave this post without pasting in another fun picture since the video didn't capture all of the Finleyness that's available! We took this last week in an effort to show the friends who gave Fin his namesake pillow how much he likes it.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Finley's Baby Bucket List

On Friday afternoon, Dan was able to come home much earlier than usual and we knew we had to take advantage of such an occasion! We hopped in the car in search of a new and different place to walk that also had a playground. We settled on Menotomy Rocks Park which was only ten minutes from us. Dan pushed Finley in his Bumbleride all over the pinecone covered paths and we loved how quiet and serene it was in the woods. The stroller handled the terrain wonderfully and Finley was soon fast asleep! We parked at the playground that we found for a while, hoping Finley would wake up once he stopped rolling...but alas, he snoozed for another twenty minutes. We walked him around the nearby pond and when he finally woke up, we headed straight back to the playground since I was on a mission! One of the items on Finley's Baby Bucket list is to ride in a bucket swing (how poignant, eh?) so here was our chance. Much like the highchair experiment from earlier in the week, I knew Finley was a still a bit small, but I was dying to see if he'd like it in the swing. Dan and I took turns taking photos and pushing, maybe this experience was on my bucket list, not Finley's since I had SO much fun.
Clearly, he wasn't sold on the idea at first!
But he enjoyed the wind in his hair
and getting to come flying in to his parents' smiling faces!
Well, hold this swinging thing really that great?
Yes, it is!!
I apologize for the blurriness of these photos, but I wanted to capture how small Finley looked in the swing from this perspective. And how happy! I can't wait to find another playground next week. The best part, though, was that Dan got to do this with us!! Hooray for Dad!!