Monday, October 25, 2010

Weekend Wedding Warriors

Well, we've been Weekend Warriors before, but this weekend we were Weekend Wedding Warriors. After getting my sister to and from the Charles River (where her boat won their race at the Head of the Charles), we hopped in the car and drove down to White Plains. A close family friend's daughter was getting married and my sister was kind enough to come hang out in the WP to babysit Finley on Saturday night for the rehearsal dinner. Then, my good friend, Kate, and her husband, Mitch, came out on Sunday afternoon to babysit for the wedding. I failed to get photos with Finley and any of his wonderful bad.

We did, however, carefully document Finley's first bagel tasting. I figured his inaugural bagel should be an authentic NY style (boiled) bagel, so Dan and Finley went and picked up fresh bagels for everyone Saturday morning. First, I handed him the whole bagel. He turned it around in his hands a few times and tried to take a bite, but despite his five teeth - he couldn't break into it.
So I tore a big chunk off and then gave him the bigger half to see if he'd try to dive into it with the doughy center now revealed. Nah. More rotating and inspecting.
So then I dug out some dough and handed it to him, he snatched it up and shoved it in his mouth. A big smile and a hand out for more.
It was a hit! But we stuck with the doughy inside since the "skin" was pretty chewy and hard to breakdown. I'd say Bagel Power was a rousing success and lucky for Finley (and Dan), we brought all the extra bagels home to freeze.

On Sunday before the wedding, we spent some time outside in the lovely un-fall like weather. It was kind of humid and in the mid-60s. Finley was putting his shoes to the test by crawling around on the driveway and doing a little walking. He was quite distracted by all the delicious looking leaves and managed to get one or two in his mouth (bad daddy).
Crawling and walking may be fun, but being tossed in the air is by far one of Finley favorite activities!

The most adventurous part of the weekend, however, was our trip home. Kate and Mitch got Finley to sleep a little after seven (despite a diaper mishap that allowed Finley to prove he doesn't need PJs or a sleepsack to fall asleep) and we got back around 9 to put him into the car for the drive back to Boston. He was sound asleep, but woke up for the transfer. He chatted for about ten minutes and then snoozed for the entire three hour ride home, even staying asleep when we stopped for gas (unheard of!). We got home after midnight and tucked him into bed. He chatted for a little while and we were petrified he wouldn't go back to sleep, but he did and slept until just before 7am! WOW! Who knew he'd have such a great night's sleep with all those interruptions! Never underestimate a baby who loves catching z's :) Way to go, Finley!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

A Random Post

Well, I have an odd assortment of pictures to share. Some I just took this evening and some that have been hanging around on my computer's desktop for a while...enjoy!
Finley continually puts his dad's handiwork to the test by checking to see if those Finley-proofing locks still work. Unfortunately for him, they do!
More fun in the kitchen! We got this "fridge farm" from my mom's friend, Mary, a while back but waited to open it until now. After just one playing session, Finley was able to recall that to get the music to play he needed to touch the little chicken at the top. What a smart boy!
Not my most flattering photo, but a memorable one nonetheless. Finley isn't a snuggler by nature, but one afternoon after a particularly refreshing nap--he wanted to cuddle. Thank goodness Dan was home to capture this fleeting moment!
Silly Mommy, why is Bark-Bark in the bus?
I must save him from the perils of non-hybrid public transit!
Why is Finley in unzipped PJs you ask? Well, he would lay still just long enough for me to get his arms and legs in, but that was it! And no, I didn't part his just dried that way!
Here's Finley giving Arty a belly flop/face plant of love and then taking off. So much to do, so little time!
Nothing like a good soak after a long day :)

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Grammy Comes to Town

On Wednesday night, my mom arrived for a nice, long stay! Finley was fast asleep when she arrived, but then he had two days with her while I was at school. Grammy day care was a treat for both of them (and me!). On Friday, she brought Finley to meet the kids in my preschool class and read them a classic story, Corduroy. The kids loved seeing the not-so-baby Finley and finding out that I have a mom, too!! How crazy! My favorite comment was from one little girl who saw me walk with with Finley and asked, "Is that your little brother?" Hm--is that a compliment implying that I'm too young-looking to have a son? Well, I'm going to take it that way!

On Saturday, Dan went to practice and my mom and I took Finley out to lunch. His out-of-nowhere food pickiness is quite disappointing, but I was sure some homemade mac 'n cheese would be a hit. Nope. The kid may have to survive on strawberries, cantaloupe, and mango for now. Lunch was still fun and it was so nice to have a grown up to chat with! After three days with us, my mom was a Finley expert: knowing all his favorite toys, how to make him laugh/smile, how to keep him flat on the changing table, strapping him in/out of the car seat and stroller, etc. Those well-tested baby-instincts were kicking into gear!

Finley loves to crawl around looking for us these days and my mom got in on the fun. Peekaboo, Grammy!
My mom kindly took care of Finley Saturday night so Dan and I could attend yet another wedding. Some friends were tying the knot just fifteen minutes away and it was great to be able to get ready and leave without any Finley concerns. My mom took him through all his evening routines and got him to sleep safe and sound--we didn't see him until 6am the next morning!

Sunday was her last day here and we had fun going to both Trader Joe's and Whole Foods in search of new toddler finger foods for Finley. Basically, we've figured out that Finley no longer wants to be fed, but prefers to feed himself. His breakfast yogurt seems to be the one exception to this rule, thankfully, since yogurt dumped on a high chair tray would spell disaster! We found some good fresh and frozen options and when we got home, Finley got to try his very first chicken nugget. Out of habit, I cut it into pieces and when he looked at it and brushed it aside, I realized he doesn't want little "baby" pieces anymore. Oops. Good thing I'd made two nuggets and I was able to cut the other one into strips. I handed him one and he LOVED tearing off the bite-sized pieces himself. Cool!

We played for a while and then Finley's Grammy gave him a big hug since she would be gone when he woke up from his nap. I got him down and helped my mom pack up her car, it was sad to say goodbye since we won't see her for another month :( But it was a GREAT to have her and a much-needed boost for me since I was running on fumes! She was terrific with Finley, cooked for us, cleaned up, brought fun presents, and most importantly, reminded me that being a mom is hard and it's okay to feel overwhelmed sometimes. You just have to keep going and remember that you're doing your best! Thanks, mom! We love you!

11 months!!

Yesterday marked yet another birthday for Finley, but this one is his last "month" birthday that our little one will have acknowledged since it was number eleven and next month on the'll be his one year birthday (aka first actual birthday)!! Can you feel the excitement??

With the ever increasing hustle and bustle of our lives, I have failed to take any official 11 month birthday photos. But I can't tell if it's because the kid doesn't really sit still much anymore (unless strapped into the stroller, car seat, or highchair) or if I'm just totally out of it....possibly both! His great determination to walk occupies most of our time and since he's still pitching forward as he steps, it's tough to get any photos when you're trying to be his safety net. So the pictures we are sharing today come from two weeks ago when my friend from college, Neva, and her photobug boyfriend, Fredo, came over for dinner. Finley was fresh out of the bathtub and in his PJs for a little playtime before bed. Fredo took some gorgeous black and white photos that I was so impressed with!
I think these pictures more than capture Finley in all his 11 month glory, don't you? I'd post more of them, but I have to save some to be framed holiday gifts for the grandparents (shh, don't tell!).

Monday, October 11, 2010

Weekend Warriors

A three day weekend with lots of hustling and bustling is now behind us. Saturday and Sunday, Dan had his regionals frisbee tournament nearby so Finley and I made it out to the two most important games: semis and finals. Both were confident victories, so that made the outdoor adventure all worth it. Finley was pretty content in his BundleMe (aka baby snuggie) in the stroller, but when it was time to set him free--my work really began. Last time we were at a tournament, Finley was just learning to sit up unassisted and enjoyed lounging on our blanket checking out the scenery. This time, I was on grass and dirt patrol! Finley loves crawling around the fields, but stops often for what he clearly thinks is succulent grass and delectable dirt. Ew. Sometimes he would be more accommodating and head for an end zone-marking cone or a water bottle...but mostly it was grass. This was very tiring on my part, but pure heaven for Finley. No pictures of this (almost) grass feast since I didn't have a free hand :)
In general, it was a lovely weekend to be outdoors and I was impressed how much Finley actually watched the game in front of him. His head would follow the action and when everyone cheered, he didn't get upset as he once did. Phew, because as we plan a trip to Florida for Nationals--we hope there will be lots to cheer about! Go Ironside!
Sunday night, Finley was kind enough to try and enjoy another homemade recipe. Chicken casserole a la my toddler cookbook. I'd never cooked parsnips before (and frankly, didn't even know what one looked like), but I'm glad that I'm learning new ingredients and that Finley's such a good sport at the dinner table. Finley loved every spoonful. I couldn't shove it in his mouth fast enough. In fact, it was such a feeding frenzy that he ended up wearing a fair amount as he tried to grab the spoon and feed himself.
With both Dan and I off for Columbus Day, we went to a nearby Mexican restaurant for lunch on Monday. Finley hasn't been out to eat in a while, but we figured he's so good at feeding himself that it should be no problem to eat with him in the high chair. Well, that was partially true. It was indeed easy to go out with him to a restaurant, but he sure didn't each much.
He was too busy looking around (at the nearly empty dining area) and having fun flailing his arms around. I did manage to spoon feed him a little bit of squash, but all the delicious finger foods I'd cut up and brought had to be taken home again. Oh well, fun is fun!
After a long walk and some fun in the park up the street with Dan, we ended the long weekend with dinner and some walking practice. Dan managed to capture some on video, which is becoming increasingly difficult as Finley always stops whatever he was doing and to head straight for the person with the camera. Check out the following video, it's really funny how much this "practicing" making Finley laugh. He was literally laughing so hard, it was tough to get him balanced. We don't think these count as Finley's official first steps, but you be the judge...
Here's Finley, signing off :) Good night, everyone!

Saturday, October 9, 2010

The Chosen Ones

Now that Finley's closing in on being a toddler (yikes!), he's developed deep affections for two particular toys. One that he has been loving on for some time now and one that has only recently come into his good graces. We'll start with the former. Bark-Bark. Yep--against both Dan and I's joint disinterest in/dislike of dogs--Finley has taken to a canine. A small, plastic dog, mind you, but a dog no less. My parents gave Finley a truck full of animals and people months back and almost immediately he sought out the dog above the rest. We tried to push him towards the elephant (go Jumbos!), but the dog won out. So we named him Bark-Bark in a homage to Finley's Aunt Ellie's beloved Arf-Arf. Finley has stayed tight to Bark-Bark ever since. Each morning, I plop him down on the living floor and he makes a bee line for the truck and grabs Bark-Bark. Whether he is driving the truck or hanging out with the other misfits in the way back, Finley finds Bark-Bark with great ease. If, by chance, Bark-Bark wasn't put back into the truck the night before, Finley will scan the truck up and down and then let out a frustrated yelp. It's hysterical! I'll find the little red dog elsewhere and hold it out for Fin, who will come crawling over and snatch it.
Before he wakes up:
In action:
Oh, joy!
Bark-Bark is so loved, he even gets to come along to visit one of Finley's favorite non-toys--the DVD/VCR.
Finley's new love is a penguin and we couldn't be more thrilled with this selection since we decorated his room in a cold-weather animal theme (polar bears, seals, penguins, etc.). This penguin was a gift from a Tufts friend, Stampey, who works at the New England Aquarium. He gave it to Finley back in February, but it wasn't until recently that Finley decided it was worthy of his time and devotion. Arty (the Antarctic Penguin) is more fun to snuggle with than Bark-Bark and Finley will crawl over to Arty, then flop down on his stomach to nuzzle the little black and white creature. He squeaks and squeals whenever he sees him and we play peek-a-boo with Arty, which Finley thinks is hysterical. Arty's beak takes the brunt of Finley's love, so it is already pretty mangled (and usually wet), but hopefully it'll last!
And what could be better than having two favorite toys in your life? Holding both of them at the same time!!
Yes, life at the Forseters is pretty good these days.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Walking for a Cause

This morning, Finley and I were out the door just after 7am. We picked up my friend, Lisa, and headed to the T station to ride downtown.
We were headed down near the river to participate in the American Cancer Society's Making Strides for Breast Cancer walk. Lisa and I have done two 39.3 mile Avon Walks for Breast Cancer in the past, but this walk was a much more manageable 5.7 miles and it was stroller friendly. Also, Stacy and little Aliza joined for a the first mile or so before having to head home.
Finley was an absolute peach throughout our walk! He was awake for the first mile or so, then snoozed in his stroller for just under an hour, and then enjoyed the last 3 miles. It was a chilly morning, but Finley was all bundled up and surprisingly, he did not try and pull off his thumbless mittens off for the entire ride! After a pit stop near the end, I gave him some blueberries which seemed to help keep him all smiles for the finish line.
We posed for some pictures and then I bribed him with a rice cracker to get back into the stroller without a fight so we could head back to the T to get home. He took the bait and was happy as a clam crunching on his snack.
It was an excellent way to start our Sunday and it felt good to share my commitment to supporting breast cancer charities with Finley. We decided to do this walk just a few days ago but still managed to raise over $600, thanks to some very generous friends and family!
It's not too late to donate if you'd like!