Sunday, August 29, 2010

Home on the Range

This past week was my last official full week in stay-at-home-mom mode. Yes, this upcoming week I begin the gradual transition into a new work schedule. I keep meaning to post a text-only blog about my new job and our plans for Finley's childcare...but for some strange reason I am not getting around to it. I think it's subconscious denial...anyways, I will be teaching in a small, private preschool ( this year and Finley will go to Judy's house (family daycare) around the corner from my school. My hours are much less each day and the school year is shorter (than public school) with a few extra holidays here and there. I plan to be dropping Finley off around 7:30 or 7:45 and picking him up no later than 2pm most days. Not bad, right? While being home for the last (almost) 10 months has had its ups and downs, it has certainly been the most amazing ride. It will be really hard to transition into a new routine and leave Finley with someone else, but I think it'll be good for both of us to expand our horizons and do new things :) Fingers crossed that I'm the only one who cries...

Anyways, I have an assortment of random photos from the past week that I thought I'd share.
What a neat new trick, huh? Good thing he learned how to get down on his own a few days later!
Not quite ready for this trick! Maybe in a few more days.
We really need to find some better "toys" for Finley to pour all over the kitchen floor and chase around.
I just love this shirt, can't recall who handed it down to us, but isn't it hysterical?
Breakfast with Finley is more and more fun as he tries to feed himself more and more. Most of the banana didn't end up in his tummy, but oh well!
Who knew that pulling up on the coffee table would be this much fun?? Seriously, every time he gets up and sees one of us across the table, he lights up with such pride! I feel like he's saying, "Look at me, I am so big and totally awesome!" This happens at least ten times a day with the same reaction, I just can't get enough :) and either can Finley, apparently.

I'm assuming my blogging frequency will change when I go back to work, but rest assured that we'll keep you in the Finley Forseter loop as much as possible! Oh man, I'm tearing up a bit here...this doesn't bode well for later in the week...happy thoughts, happy thoughts :)

Friday, August 27, 2010

Fish or Foe?

In an attempt to cross one more item off of our baby bucket list, Finley and I went to the New England Aquarium downtown. Dan's company did some work on the aquarium last year (built a new marine mammal center and continued the Harbor Walk along the waterfront) and a co-worker kindly gave us a free pass to use for a visit. I love aquariums, but free aquariums are even better! Last summer we when to see the new exhibit space open when I was pregnant so it was fun to go back with Finley this summer.

I checked the stroller in the main lobby and off we went! The Amazing Jellies jellyfish exhibit is pretty neat, so we walked down the stairs to see it. The halls are dark and the tank are lit up, so I thought Finley would enjoy the whole scene, but I was wrong! We got close to one tank and he tightened his grasp on me and let out a little yelp. I backed up and continued to walk through the hall and stopped at another tank. I turned so Finley could see the moon jellies and again he got nervous and this time he screamed!! Talk about natural instinct, right?

I whisked him upstairs to the giant tank in the main area of the museum and thankfully, he was much more relaxed about the fish, sting rays, turtles, etc. He down right enjoyed it! The giant ocean tank has lots of little portals to hang out in and Finley could stand or sit right up next to the tank. He watched as things swam by and even tried to reach out and grab a few! We followed the tank all the way up to the top and then began our way back down, stopping to look in the portals when something interesting appeared--like the giant turtle, an eel, and a shark!

There are some smaller tanks there, too, and some were at a perfect level for a boy Finley's size. Not surprisingly, Finley was often more interested in the other aquarium patrons than any of the fish.
Sadly, I didn't think the "touch tank" was ready for us (maybe next year!) so we wandered outside to the marine mammal pool to see some seals and sea lions. Back inside, the penguins were fun to watch, especially when they raced past us underwater.
We stopped to have lunch before we left and while Finley was very hungry, he was tough to feed since he preferred to check out all the people coming and going in the cafeteria.
Before it was time to go, we went back to the jellyfish because I was curious if Finley would freak out again or if he'd be okay with them now. Well, Finley's clearly afraid of jellyfish because he reacted the same way as before. How odd! We got our stroller and rolled over to the seal tank out front. All of the seals were racing around upside down in the water, I'd never seen anything like it! Finley was quite happy chewing on his stroller ring, but when one of the bigger seals swam by he certainly sat up and took notice!
It was such a great day out (all the more lovely after 3 rainy days), we had to check out the Greenway and Fanueil Hall. The big fountain was in full effect so we sat and watched for a while. Finley was intrigued and while I wasn't quite ready for both of us to get soaked, next summer we'll be all over it!
Finley fell asleep on the stroller ride back to the car, but chatted away in the car as we headed home. Definitely one of our best summer adventures, thank you Turner for the free ticket and thank you weather gods for the gorgeous day!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Maine or bust!

My parents continued up the east coast with us to Bath, Maine, this weekend. We had a Tufts friend's wedding and they kindly agreed to babysit Finley at the hotel. We got two rooms near one another and after checking in, we went to have lunch at a waterside tavern.
Then we rushed back the hotel to get ready for the wedding and get Finley set up for an afternoon nap. I know, I know--you're assuming me put him in the closet, right? WRONG! Finley was upgraded (or maybe downgraded) to a bathroom suite!
More spacious than the closet, but the proximity to the toilet is certainly suspect...but Finley napped like a champ for my parents in there and then they went off to explore the area around the hotel.
My mom reported that Finley wasn't too interested in his bottle when he woke up from his nap, but when they got back from their walk--he basically grabbed it and drank it all by himself. Ha!
When we got back from the wedding, Finley crawled right over to me with a HUGE smile on his face. What more could I want besides a good report and a happy baby?? Well, this picture might be the icing on the cake!
We all slept well, thankfully we had access to the bathroom in my parents' room down the hall, and we said goodbye (and THANK YOU) to Finley's grandparents before driving over for the wedding brunch. The brunch was on the same property as the wedding, simply a beautiful spot! Finley enjoyed sitting in the grass and watching all the action (mainly, the groom's two young nephews eating leftover wedding cupcakes). Dan gave him his first taste of cantaloupe and he loved it!
Four more weddings (with and without Finley) on the horizon this fall, hopefully we'll get it down to a science and have some fun! Thank you to my parents for all their help, it was super easy with 4 pairs of hands!!

Grammy and Granddad are so fun!

My parents were up last week for a visit and to do some babysitting (lucky us!). One afternoon we explored a local toy store. Hard to tell who is enjoying the train table more, isn't it?
The funniest part of this visit was watching Finley crawl around and get foiled by toys that were in hard plastic packaging...they look like you can reach out and touch them, but alas--you can't! Reminds me of the dangers of glass/screen doors....

We somehow managed to leave the store without buying anything (can you say self-control?) because Grammy and Granddad had brought Finley a special toy from their church thrift store. It is awesome! The people/animals are all interchangeable and they spin around when you "drive" the truck around. So cool (and delicious, apparently)! What a great find!
My dad also played his guitar for us, which Finley couldn't get enough of. Not only did he enjoy listening, but he wanted to play along!
He reached a little too far and took a bit of a tumble, but came up smiling!
Perhaps we have a little Jimmy Page in our future? Thanks for hanging out, Grammy and Granddad!!

Monday, August 23, 2010

9 Month Check Up

One week after his 9 month birthday, Finley visited the doctor to get poked and prodded, weighed and measured. Waiting for the doctor and watching him crawl all around and pull up on all the chairs, made me smile as I thought about the huge changes he's gone through since our last visit at 6 months. He wasn't even sitting up then and while he was rolling, he certainly wasn't purposely mobile. This time around, the only pictures I managed to take of him were as he attempted to escape the exam room!
Finley weighs a whopping 19 lbs 13 oz and is 29 1/2 inches long. This puts him in the 36th percentile for weight and 85th for height, a long and lean guy! Not much else to report as he was just "perfect" according to the doc. We know he tells everyone this as we have friends with the same doctor, but it's still nice to hear :)

Finley passed his check-up with flying colors...except for one part, the blood draw. Apparently, Finley wasn't quite hydrated enough for his blood to be taken. It wasn't for lack of trying as I loaded him up on milk and water before we left--we even put a heating pack on the inside of his elbow to help his vein...but no dice. The nurse was very sweet and said it's pretty common to not be able to get any, so we should come back after he's had both breakfast and lunch as well as plenty of liquid. The blood is needed to get a base iron level (watching out for anemia) and lead level (in case he starts licking walls or windowsills). So we'll try again later in the week and if we strike out again, we can wait until 12 months.

We got home from the appointment and Finley was eager to get down to his usual morning business (pulling up on everything and throwing his toys all around). I guess the attempted blood drawing only upset me!

Sunday, August 22, 2010

When mom is away...

...the boys will barely avoid disaster. Well, I was only away for about 15 minutes...but it's amazing what can happen! Thankfully no babies were harmed in the making of this video.

I knew it would be in Dan's hands to toughen Finley up, mission accomplished...but that was a quite a tumble!

Monday, August 16, 2010

9 Months Today

Yep. Our little "baby" boy is now 9 months old. Amazing. 3/4 of a year. Basically he's been on the outside as long as he was on the inside. Hopefully he's enjoying himself out here because we are certainly having a ball with him.

The past month has been quite an eventful one for Finley since he added crawling to his repertoire. He can also pull up rather easily on many things (couch, coffee table, etc.) and has recently learned to "cruise," which in baby terminology means pulling yourself along the edge of something (precursor to walking we're told). Hopefully we'll have a video of that soon.

Finley's continued to be a good food experimenter, he'll eat just about anything and has enjoyed our foray into pureed turkey and chicken (sounds worse than it tastes, trust me). He's also finally come around to eating my homemade baby food instead of snubbing it for his beloved jarred concoctions. He loves my Potato, Leek, and Pea Puree--who knew babies could eat leeks? Also, his pincer grasp is much improved (thanks to cheerio boot camp) and he enjoys feeding himself all sorts of bite sized foods. It's so fun to take him out to breakfast or lunch now!

Finley's emotional development seems to also be moving along as he has recently been showing more signs of separation anxiety when I leave him with someone else and walk away. Sometimes he's okay, but sometimes he just loses it. He pitched quite a fit this past weekend when I handed him to my sister to change his clothes while I got ready. Arg. I guess we shouldn't be surprised since he is so rarely without me, but I think I need to make a more concerted effort to let him "practice" playing with other adults. My parents are coming Wednesday, perfect!

By this time next month, I'll be back at work (new job, blog entry to follow) and Finley will be at Judy's house (in home daycare). Many big changes to come, but something tells me that Finley will handle them just fine and hopefully I will be able to do the same.

Happy Birthday, Finboy! We love you!

P.S. Finley's 9 month check up is next week, so we'll send out his stats then. Anyone out there want to guess his weight (he was 17 lbs 10 oz in mid-May)? A prize will go the closest guess (without going over--the price is right style).

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Secrets Revealed!

Well, my 30th birthday is now complete and it finished up on a really high note! My sister, Caitlin, secretly planned a secret birthday surprise for me this past weekend in NYC so Finley and I headed down on Friday with great curiosity. We arrived just before dinner and successfully found and parked at the Hilton on the Avenue of the Americas, phew! Caitlin worked hard to find a hotel that had a suite available so Finley would have his own space and we wouldn't have to keep the lights off and tiptoe around after 7pm. She was told that our "executive" suite would have a king sized bed and a partition separating the two rooms...well, the king sized bed was there, but that was it! Yikes! My anxiety level went up quickly knowing how poorly both Finley and I slept in Prague having to share a room...but thankfully I realized that the closet was quite spacious :)
The travel crib fit like a puzzle piece in there and while I did feel awkward at first about having my son sleep in a closet, it worked perfectly. There wasn't any ventilation in there, so we did have to leave the door cracked just a little--that made me feel less like a bad mommy :)

The rest of the room was lovely and the view was spectacular. Yes, that's Central Park you can see!
Finley enjoyed crawling around the room, but not as much as he enjoyed our executive breakfast up on the 44th floor both mornings. He's quite a champ at sitting in a high chair and while he was always more interested in watching all the other hotel guests than eating, at least Caitlin and I were able to enjoy our meals at the same time!
I got a good laugh out of this sign at the breakfast buffet. Something tells me it was inspired by a lawsuit...
We brought some toys and books from home and it never ceases to amaze me how much Finley loves his favorite books, he'll just sit and listen, look at all the pictures, and smile.
Oh...the surprise!! After getting Finley to sleep on Friday night, we left him in the charge of Dan's sister, Ellie, and walked over to Radio City Music Hall for the Barenaked Ladies concert!!
They are one of my most favorite bands and I haven't seen them in years, what a treat! I've only been to Radio City once before and it was a gorgeous place to see a show. Don't I have the best sister in the world??? BNL released a kids CD called Snacktime a couple years ago and I was so hoping (but not expecting) that they'd play a tune from it and guess what? They played my favorite song off the record!! EEEEEEEEraser :)
I will admit that I did have a bit of a mommy moment though---when the band came out and struck their first chord, my immediate reaction was, "SHHHH!" How pathetic is that? I guess I'm just a little too used to trying to keep things calm and at a low volume these days....