Wednesday, June 30, 2010


Well, Finley made me eat my blogging words once again. I wrote the other day that his crawling efforts are somewhat futile since he seems unable and/or unaware that he needs to pick up his hands to move forward. Last night after our swim and before bed, Finley did some great, no-whining work on the rug in his room. In fact, he got up on all 4s a few times and lifted his left arm! He pulled it up and back (impressive balance skills revealed) and while he didn't throw it forward to get anywhere, I was thrilled with this new advancement. This afternoon before we met Dan at Costco for a fly-by lunch (odd, I know--long story), Finley was in another crawling mood so I captured a few action shots. Some of his facial expressions are priceless and quite telling of his intense efforts! And yes, his "motivational object" is his beloved bottle of saline nasal drops :)
As usual, Finley ended up going backwards and in a circular path (which was not anywhere near the saline bottle), so I rewarded him with it before it was time to leave the house. Good work, little buddy--you deserved it!
While his hand didn't help him today, I have a feeling we're headed in the right direction now that he has the awareness of his arms' role in this whole crawling endeavor...we'll keep you posted (literally!).

Finley's Waterworld

After much research and patience, Finley and I ventured to a local outdoor pool yesterday. After six straight days of upper 80s and 90 degree weather, it was time to cool off! I rousted Finley from a 2 hour plus afternoon nap so that we could get to the pool and it was quite a learning experience in terms of getting him ready. I managed to get him into the pull up swim diaper (with no velcro tabs, it looked more like very absorbent baby underwear), then into his slightly too big swim trunks, and his fancy SPF sun shirt. As someone with highly sun-fearing skin, I want to protect my delicate little flower (and avoid gobs of sunscreen). Finally, I put some sunscreen on his legs, lower arms, face, and neck. Phew. He wasn't terribly thrilled with me after all of this, but perked up once we were all set to go and hopped into the car.

We went to the free (yes, free!) state run pool in Cambridge, just about 10 minutes away. Sadly, as we pulled into the parking lot the recently unforgiving sun decided to hide behind the clouds and not come back out! Good news for Finley because that meant no hat :) Bad news for both of us because it meant a chillier experience. The pool was PACKED with kids and grown ups alike, but we managed to find a square of grass to put our stuff down on. Finley enjoyed looking around and trying to get at the grass under our towel. I realized that we wouldn't get any pictures of Finley in the water, so I better snap some before we went in.
He looks like he could be a little surfer dude! An uncooperative surfer dude though--he wouldn't look up at me and flash his gorgeous smile...arg! Despite the raucous behavior going on in the shallow end, it was our only way to enter the pool so off we went. Finley got splashed when a little girl did a cannonball near us, but he handled it well and the girl apologized as soon as she popped up--perhaps good manners aren't a lost art?!

We waded across the super shallow end, went under the rope, and made it into the less shallow part of the pool where there were fewer splashing kids. Finley held onto me with a vice grip with one hand around my neck and the other clenching my bathing suit strap. The water was certainly chilly and without the sun, we were both a little goosebumped. However, I really wanted Finley to hang out for a while so we bounced up and down, twirled around, sang some songs, and had a good time. He never really loosened his grip, but I was able to turn him around so that he was "sitting" in the water with his back to me and able to see all the goings on. I don't think I ever got him wet past his belly and when I tried to go a bit lower in the water, he pushed up on me with his feet (smart, eh?). After about twenty minutes, Finley started to get a little teary and it was time to make our way across the gauntlet of kids. We got out of the pool and boy was it cold! I rushed over to our spot and wrapped Finley up in his towel.
He enjoyed sitting on my lap, all wrapped up, and looking around. However, I was still pretty chilly so we packed up and headed to the car. I wasn't sure if I should change him in the car of let him ride home in his swim diaper...I chose the easy way out and didn't change him (bad mommy) since he had dried out fairly well. By the time we were out of the parking lot, my little water bug was in dreamland! In fact, he was so far gone that I was able to bring him upstairs when we got home, set him down in the hallway, take a shower, and change before he woke up!
I had heard from other moms I know that swimming really wears kids out, but since he wasn't really "swimming" or even floating around, I was surprised! Dan came home just as Fin was waking up and he helped me get him ready for a bath (I assumed I should bathe him to get the chlorine and sunscreen off, right?). He had fun splashing around and reaching for toys as usual...good to know he still loves water in baby-sized settings, now we'll just work to get up to the lap pool comfort level!

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Treasure Hunting

Finley is finally realizing that he doesn't have to wait for us to give him something to play with, he can find stuff on his own. A new favorite activity is to sit him near his toy bin and let him pull out something to play with. Most of the time, though, he doesn't end up playing with much, just working really hard to get something out, tossing it aside, and diving back in for something else. It's funny to watch his determined expression and then the relief that comes across his face when he frees something from the bin.
Finley's quite the baby cliche at times, as he prefers to play/eat the packaging that new toys come in much more than the toys themselves. Here he is enjoying the clear, plastic tote that a big fuzzy book came in that I didn't realize was on the floor or such a fun thing to play with!
Guess I will add it to our toy bin :)

Crawling is still out of his Finley's reach as he seems unable to lift a hand and move it forward, but hopefully he'll get there soon because the whining and level of frustration is quite unbearable at times!! He easily gets into a push up or all fours position, but those hands just don't leave the carpet. This morning was the first time I have ever seen him move his hand and it was sideways, which did get him to the desired toy...but not much farther. Sometimes I have to get creative to distract him from his failing efforts on the floor, here's an attempt that quite successful!
Forget soap box derbies, bring on the laundry basket relays!

Sunday, June 27, 2010

A Family and Frisbee Weekend

It was a hot one here in Boston over the weekend, but thankfully we survived with lots of sunscreen, fans, water, and window AC units! Dan's parents were here and Dan had a frisbee tournament about 45 minutes away. Finley's GG and GM (Grandpa Murray's newly self selected grandfather moniker) came out to the fields with us on Saturday and while we tried to stay in the shade, it was just too hot so we headed home in the early afternoon. Luckily, I got plenty of cute pictures before we left!

After watching the U.S. tank their soccer game, Dan came home and got cleaned up quickly since we were given the opportunity to go out while Finley's grandparents kept an ear out for him after he went to bed. Dan and I had some delicious Indian food and then caught Toy Story 3 at a local theater (I know, I know, we should have seen something more grown up...). What fun! We really enjoyed ourselves and decided to make more of an effort to have regular "date nights," even if that means paying a sitter to sit on our couch and watch TV while Finley sleeps. I recall getting paid to do that as a high schooler, so I guess what goes around comes around :) Thank you GG and GM for our night out!!

This morning Finley had a little more time with his grandparents before his morning nap. They sure know how to keep him happy--pay him LOTS of undivided attention!
After Finley napped, he said goodbye to GG and GM and they headed back to NY. We hopped in the car to go watch Dan for the second day of the tournament. Disappointingly, it was super hot again and we had to find ways to keep ourselves from overheating. Finley was a real champ! He sat up nicely and entertained himself, napped for over an hour in the Beco, enjoyed his stroller rides, and played with old friends and made some new ones.
Dan's team won the tournament (which was awesome, of course), but once that final goal was scored--Fin and I made a beeline for the car, jacked up the AC, and sped (not literally) home. Which meant no pictures of sweaty, victorious Daddy with sweaty, drooly Finley--my apologies. I got him (Finley, not Daddy) into a refreshing tub full of water as soon as we got home to get all that sweat and sunscreen off and then he had a tasty dinner of peas and carrots with applesauce for dessert. What a weekend! Tomorrow it's supposed to be in the 90s...can you say mall outing, Finley?

Friday, June 25, 2010

Adventures in Babysitting

Since I could never improve upon the prose of my father-in-law, I'll simply let you read his blog entry for yesterday.

Then, I'll show you two pictures that should have been posted along with Grandpa's blog (but he continues to resist adding photos to his posts!)
(above pict has poor photo quality, but excellent photo content!)
While Finley was a bit unsure of his Grandpa when he arrived on Wednesday night (I blame the beard), there's nothing but love between the two of them now and Finley always gives his Grandpa a huge smile when he sees him.

Thank you to Grandpa for coming all the way up to Boston to help me out the past couple days! More fun to come because tonight we'll go pick up Finley's GG at South Station so all of us can go and cheer on Dan at his local frisbee tournament. Adorable, sporty pictures to come!

Monday, June 21, 2010

A Weekend in 3 Acts

Act 1: Departure and Arrival

We packed up the family and headed to Logan Airport on Friday afternoon to fly down to Virginia for my cousin Will’s wedding. Our flight was a bit delayed, but Finley entertained himself (and us) rather easily. With Sophie to chew on, he enjoyed looking around and taking in all of the people, sights, and sounds.

With his new sitting skills in full effect, he checked out his daddy up close and we were reminded that at some point (soon) we’ll need to start staying “gentle, gentle” when he pokes, pulls, and pinches people on their faces.

We got on the plane and it was good to know that Finley could sit in a seat on his own if there was an empty one nearby…but no such luck!

He was kind enough to pass out on my shoulder waiting for everyone to board and did very well on the short flight to Virginia. Dan walked him around for a bit and I was able to enjoy an entire beverage AND snack with BOTH of my hands, it was awkward at first, but I figured it out :) Thank you, Dan and jetBlue!

My mom picked us up at the airport and soon we were able to join the rest of our family at the rehearsal dinner BBQ, which was conveniently in my parents’ backyard! Finley was super tired, but we just had to introduce him to all the people there—most of whom only know him through our blog!

He didn’t last long, so it was off to dreamland for him and then off to dinner and party time for us! Even when he’s upset, Finley still manages to be adorable and photogenic (in my opinion):

Act 2: Adela and the Wedding

I woke up with a pit in my stomach on Saturday morning and it didn’t take long for me to figure out why. In about 5 hours from that moment, we were going to leave Finley with a babysitter so that we could go to my cousin’s wedding. We have left Fin with friends or family before, but only for a couple hours and not recently. My mom found a nice lady from her church’s nursery program who sounded expertly qualified, but I was still very concerned that I would totally chicken out and want to stay home and skip the wedding. We went on with our usual morning routine, though it was much more fun to have a large audience to watch Finley work on his pre-crawling, breakfast eating, and assorted other baby skills. There have only been a few occasions when almost all of my mom’s side of the family have gotten together in my adult life, so it felt extra special for everyone to be together and get to see the next generation in action!

However, as the hours went by, the pit in my stomach continued to grow—especially when I realized that due to the time he’d woken up and how long he’s napped for, the babysitter would have to put Finley down for his afternoon nap since it wouldn’t be time for it before we needed to leave. Eek. Dan was very understanding, as was my mom, and I just hoped my initial response to the sitter would be positive and comforting. And it was! Adela came right on time and couldn’t wait to get her hands on Finley. We showed her around and explained napping and bottlefeeding. She seemed to soak it all in (plus, I wrote down everything which made her smile) and Finley was happy to play with her while we finished getting ready for the wedding. Hooray! Before I knew it, it was time to go so we hugged and kissed Finley goodbye and set off.

The wedding was simple, beautiful, and made for an all around enjoyable afternoon. I was so proud of myself because I wasn’t constantly checking my watch and despite having Adela’s cell phone number in Dan’s pocket, I never considered calling! Lots of family fun and some terrific pictures, we clean up well, don’t you think?

Congrats to my cousin, Will, and my new cousin, Jess!

We left a little early (no need to test my limits, right?) and the closer we got to the house, the more excited I got! I asked Dan if this is how he feels every time on his way home from work and he gave me a polite smile, but I had a sense it wasn’t quite the same….

We came in and Adela was playing with Finley in the sunroom and he looked happy as a clam. I was pleased to see most of the milk gone from his bottle and to hear that he napped for about two hours. I snatched up the little guy and he grabbed my neck, now I was happy as a clam! We thanked Adela for everything and had some time to play with Fin before everyone else got home from the wedding.

Act 3: Indoor Playground

Throughout the weekend, it was over 90 degrees outside and it was just too hot to take Finley outside for a walk or a trip to a park. Aside from first thing in the morning, it was just too steamy to leave the air conditioning…which caused cabin fever for us as well as for Finley. Luckily, my parents’ house is fully equipped to entertain a baby and it was basically an indoor playground for the little guy. Between fun toys, good books, baby apparatuses, and family members—Finley was always having fun with something or someone!

Sunday morning out on the deck:
Playing with a plane is way more fun than flying on one!
Who needs to go to a playground? I have my own right here!
This place is a zoo!
Cool Aunt Caitlin (aka CAC) is so much fun!

And my Granddad knows just what I like!

This picture (taken by my mom) takes the cake for the weekend. Finley, my sister, and I were laying on the floor and she snapped this beautiful shot of our boy holding his aunt's hand. I can't wait to make a print! Way to go, Grammy!

Despite it being Father’s Day, Dan had to say goodbye to us on Sunday afternoon so that he could go to work on Monday. Finley delivered his card and told his Daddy that his present was waiting at home for them to open on Monday.

Dan leaving a day early meant that on Monday I had to fly home with Finley on my own. Thankfully, my Aunt Marnie and pseudo-Uncle Michael (who live 20 min away) were on my plane so I knew I had back up if I needed it. Everything went smoothly and Finley was eager to hop on the plane as we waited at the gate.

Dan picked us up to conclude our long weekend adventure and soon it was Home Sweet Home (and I was able to put Finley down for a lovely 2 hour nap). Thank you to my mom, my Aunt Lois, and Aunt Marnie for sharing their photos with us to post. It was great to see everyone and I can’t wait for the next big event!