Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Video News

Our blogging audience is always clamoring for more videos, so here are two from this afternoon. Finley's become a very vocal member of our household in the past couple of weeks and his personality seems to shine through more and more each day. He's babbling and laughing a lot these days, but he's also having fun banging on tables, clanging things together, knocking down towers of blocks, and trying to stand on his own.

I think these two videos capture a pretty typical 10 month old Finley. Make sure your volume is on!
I hope I can get a video of his solo standing soon, we still can't believe how grown up he looks up on two feet just babbling away in the middle of the living room. Watch out world!

Uncle Eric and the Maine Wedding

We had a special guest with us this past weekend, Finley's (un-official) Uncle Eric. Eric went to Tufts with Dan and me, but he and Dan have known each other since camp (age 11!). He was the best man in our wedding and is better known as Egon. We picked him up on Friday at the airport and he joined us on our trek north to Maine for a Tufts friend's wedding. Who doesn't love traveling with a baby on tow? The car ride up (and back) had its high and low points, but luckily the high ones were particularly adorable:
The awesome bed head post-car nap:
A happy go lucky Finley who was showing off his flexibility:
In Maine, we checked into our hotel and then headed off to the wedding. Since everyone we know in Maine (basically) was at this wedding, there were no available babysitters so Finley joined us. Lucky for him (and us) this was a very baby/kid friendly wedding (Thank you, Dylan and Tiffany!). It began around 3:30 and there were lots of things to keep little ones occupied.
Okay, this cat wasn't supposed to be for entertainment---but boy was Finley fascinated! Not to mention the fact that he tried to eat the cat's tail! If I hadn't been laughing so hard while Dan prevented this snacking, I would have snapped a picture.
When it was time for the ceremony, we walked down to the lake's edge and posed for some pictures. I took some and Eric took some.
We clean up pretty nice, huh? Finley was under dressed, as usual, but we knew no one would give him a hard time about the dress code (plus there were some people there wearing Crocs...). The ceremony was lovely and the reception was fun, too. After dinner and some speeches, it was time to make our departure. Finley had been so well-behaved, we figured we should leave before our luck turned! As soon as we got in the car and sped off, Finley was fast asleep. Here's what we saw when we opened the car door at the hotel.
It was heartbreaking to have to get him out of this position and into the hotel room, but it had to be done. He woke up, but didn't make a sound. We got him right to sleep and he slept soundly until 6am, at which point he was ready and raring to go! Good thing we planned to leave by 7 :) He entertained all the other early birds in the lobby before we headed back to Boston.
Dan went to practice when we got home and Finley got some extra time with his Uncle Eric. Eric is an experienced uncle of four nieces, so he was more than capable of entertaining Fin.
It was a great weekend with lots of friends. It was awesome to have such a go-with-the-flow baby to take with us!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

A Harvard Wannabe

On Tuesday after I picked up Finley from daycare, we headed over to Cambridge. We had a 4pm appointment for an infant study at Harvard. This study was about how gender preferences affect social preferences in 10 month old babies. The girl running the experiment was really nice and Finley smiled away at her as she explained the process. Then it was time to put him to work. Finley sat on my lap and watched a short video of a woman and then a man talking in baby friendly voices. Then, both the man and woman showed up on the screen at the same time holding identical stuffed toys. They held them out towards Finley and then the same toys were put up onto the table in front of us (as if the people of the video were handing them to him). The study was looking to see which toy he would choose or lean towards i.e. which gender does he want a toy from. He was quite attentive for the first two rounds of the video and chose one toy each time, but was not interested in the last two (he thought the mirror behind us was much more interesting). Ah well, he got to choose toy on the way out (rubber ducky with Harvard logo) and we headed out.

As luck would have it, Dan's new job site is next door to the building where they do the infant studies at Harvard! So we got a quick tour of his project before strolling through campus in the lovely summerish fall weather. We went through a farmer's market and then played in the grass for a while. It was absolutely perfect (aside from dodging falling acorns) and we got some terrific photos.
Yes, Finley and his teething hedgehog are fairly inseparable these days. Usually, we keep it in the diaper bag for those occasional cranky moments on the go (car, restaurants, waiting in line, etc.), but for some reason I give it him now whenever we're out and about since it just makes him so darn happy. Finley's smile is harder to see with Hedgie, but our attempt to take it away was met with a big frown...so we caved. I have a feeling this will happen more and more in our immediate future!

Dan had a frisbee commitment after work so Finley and I headed home to eat dinner and play before bedtime. I decided to put Finley in pajamas that night since it was a bit chilly and we are contemplating what to do once Finley outgrows his sleepsack (wearable blanket). Most nights he wears a long-sleeved onesie and his sack, but hopefully he'll move to just footie PJs in the future. I found a pair in our big tub of handmedowns and we tried them on for size. Finley looked SO cute, though the feet seemed to frustrate him as he tried to pull himself up and stay standing on the hardwood floor. He slipped several times before he figured it out.
Not sure if it improved his sleep habits, but the adorable factor was so high that we'll certainly try these again soon.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Sunday in Winchester

With Dan up in Maine playing frisbee on Sunday, Finley and I had a fun adventure to the neighboring town of Winchester. We started by visiting the Wright-Locke farm where we (I) got to pick fresh raspberries. While there were lots of bees flying around and ten-year old boys playing hide and seek everywhere, it was pretty fun.
Finley was in the Beco and it was tricky to reach some of the juiciest raspberries, it was worth it. We filled up our sand pail and took it back to get weighed. We picked 1.5 pints, paid up, and put them into the tupperware container we brought from home. See how delicious they look!
Then, we drove into Winchester center to crawl around the Book Nook. Finley quickly found the board books and had fun pulling himself up and pulling the books out.
Surprisingly, he didn't lick or chew on any of them! Perhaps he knew they weren't his to drool on...that was until he saw his "night-night book."
I had to swipe it away as it neared his mouth, but he took in in stride and moved on to other fine literary works. After we'd done enough damage without buying anything, we walked across the street to the toy store. Lucky for us, it was empty and we had the run of the place. Finley spent most of his time at the train table, but I also had fun sending a push car in different directions and watching Finley chase after it. Sadly, no video evidence of it, but you can imagine!
Just before we left, he pulled himself up on a table and reached for the puzzle pieces that were on top. Since he is, of course, a genius--Finley grabbed the F piece from the puzzle!
Sure it was the closet piece, but I feel like he knew it was the right piece. We ended the day with dinner at home and we both got to enjoy our freshly harvested raspberries :)

Friday, September 17, 2010

Mommy Goes Back to School

Yep--Finley and I both survived (and may have enjoyed) our first full week with him at daycare and me at work. Phew! It was a bit dicey since we switched Finley to a new family daycare on Monday (after being dissatisfied at our original spot), but all the stress was worth it: Beth's house is great! Finley's there roughly 7:3o to 2pm each day and he's been napping like a champ, eating everything in his lunchbox, and by day #3, he was gulping down the bottle of milk I'd packed as well. Hooray! Also, he's around kiddos his own size--learning the ins and outs of having to share toys and attention (reality check!). Apparently one boy, Carter, and Finley are often interested in the same toys/stuff and Finley will push/pull up on Carter to get somewhere or to something, but when Carter tries to use Finley similarly for leverage, Finley makes a sad face and sometimes cries...hopefully he'll realize the give and take involved in friendship soon.

The first day, Beth (and Finley) made this collage for us. Boy am I a sucker for my child's artwork! I wasn't expecting it this young, so it was a lovely surprise.
Here are a couple close ups:
He really does look happy here and I love that Hannah's got her arm around Finley's waist (an experienced big sister!). I know we'll have this piece hung up for a long time and then store it away to show Finley someday.

But...I won't lie, after 9 total days of daycare (4 at our old place and 5 at the new), it's still tearful for me at drop off. Finley's been teary himself a few times, but I'm pretty sure he hasn't totally figured out what's happening (which is probably better). On the flip side, it's always exciting to pick him up after school, I feel thought I literally jump out of the car and race in the side door of Beth's house--sometimes Finley's there playing and immediately crawls over happily squealing as he gets closer and other times he's still snoozing when I get there (which of course is a good thing, but means I have to wait even longer to get my hands on him!).

My new job has gotten off to a good start and I think it's a great fit for me at this point in my teaching and personal life. All the families are very kind and it's a wonderfully supportive community to be a part of. I'm sure the realities of being a part time teacher and full time mom (yes, those are the labels I've chosen for myself) haven't quite set in, I'm proud of how we've made it through this HUGE transition. While I have pretty good hours and get plenty of time with Finley in the afternoon, it's certainly been an adjustment to do try and do everything each day. Dan's been very supportive and while he's not exactly volunteering to cook more or take over the laundry situation, I think he would if I asked :) Okay...maybe that's a stretch, but a gal can dream, can't she?

Thanks to everyone who's been thinking of us as this changed approached and sent kind thoughts our way the past couple of weeks!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

10 Months Old, woo-hoo!

10 months ago this morning...yeah, yeah--you know the story so I'll cut to the chase, here's Finley at 10 months. I think he officially looks like a little boy and not a baby...sniff, sniff.
Finley's been keeping himself (and us) quite busy these past few weeks. He's a crawling machine and attempts to go up stairs whenever he comes across them (though that's not all too often). He can pull up on just about anything and "cruises" across our coffee table, entertainment center, and couch with ease. He's taken some good tumbles and gotten a few minor bruises, but he seems to be pretty resilient and determined. His current favorite activity is pulling himself up on one of us while we're sitting on the floor and then letting go so that he's standing on his own. We think 25 or 30 seconds is his record. I'm not sure whether he likes standing or falling onto us better, but it's fun all around. Here's what he looks like as he's about to do his favorite trick.
Now here's the trick on video. Usually he can stand for longer, but I think he anticipates the falling part with such joy that he wants to just do that. Make sure your volume is on because there are some adorable baby giggles!
I took this next video before dinner tonight and I think it's quite indicative of his skill set at 10 months: crawling, pulling up, exploring, laughing, babbling, smiling, and...maybe some things that aren't quite as impressive (but hysterical) like a foot fetish :)
Happy Double-Digit Birthday, Finley! We love you!

Monday, September 13, 2010

Happy 5771!

Yep! It's hard to believe, but 5770 is just a memory now and we are into the year 5771. It has a nice ring to it, huh? We traveled down to NY to be with Dan's parents and other family types for Rosh Hashanah last week. Two days of great food, lots of family time, and services at Temple Israel Center. Finley's been to temple before, both in Boston and in NY, but this might have been the first time he was awake and aware of his surroundings. He enjoyed listening to his Aunt Ellie sing and hearing the shofar being blown towards the end of the services. He also REALLY enjoyed checking out all the other babies that were around; he got to meet Henry, Isabell, and Jude (all 2009 babies of family friends). Finley's really become quite interested in his fellow tikes, making cute squeaky noises, cooing, and smiling at them. We also ran into some other babies that we didn't really know, but made friends with quickly. Including one little guy who was just a week younger than Fin and was wearing a suit! I kid you not, he had on a grey suit (with pink pinstripes), a button down pink shirt (tucked in), AND a gray patterned tie!! I think Finley looked a bit underdressed in comparison since I failed to pack shoes or socks and he was at temple barefoot, oops. Dan was proud that our boy was dressed much more laid back (collared short sleeve shirt and corduroys), but perhaps we should invest in a couple pieces for future formal occasions...

We had dinner at Dan's parents house the first night and at Finley's "Aunt" Linda's house the second night: both evenings he got to hang out during the appetizer portion and went to sleep before dinner started. The second night, we put him to sleep upstairs at Linda's, enjoyed our meal, and then got him back to sleep at Dan's parents house. We'd never done such a transfer and were pleased how easily it all went! Finley was clearly surprised to be up in the middle of the night, but not upset and went back to sleep quite peacefully 20 minutes later. Perhaps we can do this transfer more often and get to go to our friends' houses for dinner instead of always having them at our place. Sweet!

I failed to take any pictures until right before we got in the car to go home. Bad Mommy. The truth is, now that Finley's more mobile and keep us on our toes, I don't seem to ever have my camera at the ready (since I often need both hands free to catch our very brave, but not always coordinated son). Here are some photos from our photo shoot in Dan's parents' front yard:
Oh and two more pictures to share from the trip home. As we drove, we heard a slurping noise from the backseat and I peered over (with my well rested camera).
Yep--he was sucking on his big toe! Busted :) We caught him in the act! In the next picture, I feel like he was saying, "See how fun it is back here! We've got toys and toes to play with, come on back!"
Note to self: wash Finley's feet more often (and more thoroughly) and bring socks/shoes to all religious holidays.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Finley Plays 9 Holes

Okay, technically 8 since the cannon doesn't count...but Finley, Dan, some Tufts friends, and I played some frisbee golf over Labor Day weekend. It was a shout out to our college days when Dan used to play many, many rounds. We took Finley to share the fun! It was a GORGEOUS day and Finley got to wear one of the rarest things in his wardrobe, something his dad picked out and had to buy!
My boys are looking good! First, they had to ro-sham (rock paper scissors) to figure out the playing order.
Finley had fun crawling around in the grass while we moved from hole to hole. That is, he had fun after realizing that the grass was edible and everywhere! Yikes!
After completing the round, we went to have lunch. We had packed Finley some food and not only did he inhale it all, but he enjoyed just sitting in his highchair and hanging out. Hooray for grown ups getting to eat with two hands for the entire meal :)
These pictures show Finley with his beloved hedgehog teething toy. He LOVES this guy and it is our go-to toy in the car, at the doctor's office, etc. He will hold onto it throughout the entire supermarket trip if necessary, pretty impressive. After lunch, we went home for a nice nap (Dan and I napped, too!). Many more rounds of frolf are in Finley's future, so it's nice that he enjoyed it so much.

A few other random photos from the long weekend:
Finley helping Dan pick out a new pillow at Bed, Bath, and Beyond.
This turtle swam right over when Finley was near the glass!
Maybe next time, we'll skip the zoo and just go to the pet store...