Monday, November 29, 2010

Trash Can Band

On Black Friday, the six Forseters (Dan, me, Finley, GP, GG and Ellie) ventured to HomeGoods/TJ Maxx. Thankfully, there were plenty of parking spaces and the store wasn't too packed. We all split up and Finley had his run of the place.
But we hit the fun jackpot when we cruised into the trash can aisle! Finley took a page out of his friend Henry's book and took more than a liking to these garbage receptacles.
He pushed this one up and down the aisle before looking for others to complete the set.
Time to rock!
And rock he did, the three of us spent quite a while in this aisle as Finley banged and clanged all the trash cans. At least I know what we can do on our next rainy day!

Another first, a second!

Finally, after a year of firsts, Finley experienced a second. It was his second Thanksgiving! Last year, he slept through at least 75% of it and did not get to taste the deliciousness of turkey with all the trimmings first hand. What a difference a year makes! This time around, he was in the thick of things. Running around with his big cousins (2nd cousins?), eating appetizers, chatting with everyone, sitting at the table (kind of), and enjoying all his GG's tasty dishes!

Dan's cousins' kids, Maggie and Harrison, really loved playing with Finley! He wasn't mobile last time they saw him, so he was much more entertaining during this visit.
Finley was lucky to have two of his three aunts with him at Thanksgiving. He even snuggled (backwards) with his Aunt Ellie!
At dinner, Finley tried a little bit of everything. He liked the asparagus soup and then dove into some turkey and mashed potatoes. We snuck in a few carrots and discovered that Finley LOVES stuffing!
This last picture really sums up our entire Thanksgiving 2010 experience! Finley was a great traveler in the car, slept well during naps and at night, played nicely with everyone, and we could not have been more pleased with behavior and mood overall. The bar has been set!!

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Cupcake Video (belated)

Meant to put this on the birthday post, but didn't get around to it.

Here's Finley enjoying his official birthday cupcake on November 16th.

Good thing it was bath time right after!

In Other Finley News

I feel like I've only been posting special updates about Finley-birthdays, trips, etc. but I haven't been posting much about the daily ups and downs of his life. I'll write a bunch, but probably won't have too many coordinating pictures...humor me! Let's see...

Finley is officially walking and not crawling too much anymore. He can stand himself up without having to pull up on any furniture or our legs and when he falls, he gets up pretty quickly. He can bend over and pick up things without toppling over, unless he's going for something like a giant board book. He seems to prefer walking on his own to having any help (hand holding) or resorting to crawling. He can walk laps around the house and if he's motivated enough, he can move fast though it certainly wouldn't qualify as running. Here's a short video from this morning, I just love footie PJs--even though they are hard to walk in on the hard wood floors we've got.
We don't have stairs at our house, except up from the basement, so Finley isn't too sure about scaling them. However, at Thanksgiving in New York, Finley fell in love with climbing the stairs at his grandparents' house. With a little spotting from Dan, he can go up with ease. His desire to go down head first is concerning, but for now we'll focus on going up and getting carried down.
While no official words have escaped his lips, Finley is talking more each week. He will talk back to you if you say or ask him something and he is trying to mimic the sounds we make. If I say "da da da" he'll return a "da" most often. He's also learned how to growl in the past month or so and it's pretty funny to hear him to do it in the midst of fits of laughter. We're certainly eager for his first word to appear and it seems like he's making progress towards it!

A great trick that Finley's learned is that he has found a way (without asking) to get us to read him a book. Just in the past week, he's been going over to his bookshelf, picking one of his favorite books (usually Hop on Pop), and then tossing onto my lap. I'll grab it and start reading it to him, which causes a HUGE smile to come across his face and if he's standing, he'll start jumping (without lifting his feet off the ground) with excitement. After I'm done, he'll either pick up the book and toss it at me again or go pick another one. It's very cute and makes me happy that he loves books so much! He's got a short list of favorite books that we're trying to lengthen, but the fact that he LOVES those five or six is pretty neat to see. Tumble Bumble and Hop on Pop are certainly his favorites, though The Very Hungry Caterpillar is getting more attention these days. He's gotten pretty good at turning pages while we read and opening the flaps of one book called Open the Barn Door. The flaps on that book are really getting a workout so it is probably time for another book with flaps, good thing Hanukkah is just around the corner!
Finley continues to be a strong napper, though every once and while he'll catch us off guard (i.e. laying around watching TV) and wake up after only 45 minutes. More impressively though, he's been sleeping much later the last few mornings. On Thursday (Thanksgiving), he woke up at 5:30 and nursed and then slept until 8:45!! We laughed that most mornings, by 8:45 he's already been up, had breakfast, played, and it sleeping for his morning nap! The next several mornings, he slept past 7 without being nursed! Unreal! We're glad he took advantage of the long weekend. It'll be interesting to see what happens tomorrow when it's back to school.

On the food front, Finley's continues to be a bit picky about vegetables, but has been trying other new foods left and right. He's been enjoying turkey and gravy at Wilson Farms (gotta love free samples!) and butternut squash, too. Against my better judgment, he's also had some fish sticks. This morning, Dan made him an egg and he ate the first eight to ten pieces before deciding he'd had enough. Pretty good for his first time! He still LOVES fruit, with mangoes and blueberries topping the list. His grandpa remarked this weekend that watching Finley inhale huge, whole blackberries might be one of the cutest things he does and we agree! He's had enough cake (and sugar) to last him until his next birthday, but we have been sharing our pumpkin bread and sweet potato muffins with him. Finley's quite good at not putting too much food in his mouth, but he does like to hold his next couple of bites in his fists while he waits. Next up, trying to drink from a straw and perhaps me getting creative in the kitchen to move past this finger food vegetable strike. Stay tuned!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Party Penguin!

On Sunday, Finley had his very first birthday party. I realized in the early stages of planning that this party was certainly more for us than him, but since this may be the last party where his opinions are 100% unclear, I needed to take advantage.
We invited a bunch of his friends, who are conveniently parented by our closest friends. We also invited his grandparents and a few cousins, along with some of our closest Tufts friends who have been kind enough to come along for Finley's first trip around the sun. Here's the birthday by in all his glory (thanks, Stacy, for the photo!).
I didn't plan much for everyone to do during the party, I mean getting a bunch of toddlers to do anything at the same time would be like trying to herd cats, right? We sat around and chatted, watched football, ate snacks, dumped all the toys all over the place, played in the basement, screamed, cried, laughed, and then it was time to sing Happy Birthday and eat cake. Finley was a champ through it all. He was a little clingy here and there, but in general enjoyed seeing all the people who love him come together to celebrate.
He LOVED eating more cake, even though he didn't get a piece of the penguin since it took a few minutes to cut and I was a little afraid of the icing that I'd dyed black (he has a tendency to wipe he hands all over his face and hair when he eats these days). So I handed him a cupcake and he enjoyed that big time!
The focal point of the party (besides our little man) was the homemade, 3D penguin cake that I made for Finley. His love of Arty and new love of a giant penguin he got from us on his birthday, inspired my cake design. I did a mock up (test run) last week of building the structure and then began the real cake Friday night and completed it Sunday after dying a whole bunch of white icing black. I was SO proud of the final product and while I knew Finley would not really be able to appreciate it, someday he'll see the pictures and see what a HUGE deal we made of his first birthday :)
Too bad one of its eyes began to slip down his face...minor setback in the grand scheme of this cake creation! It was a fun experiment and while next year I'll probably just order a sheet cake, at least I can say that one time I made his cake from scratch and impressed everyone with it!

Finley said his goodbyes and we thanked everyone for coming. We cleaned up a bit and since Finley was still full of energy (despite the 20 minute nap that he took before the party), he "helped" us open some of his gifts. Finley loved seeing what was inside all the boxes and bags, what thoughtful friends we have. However, this does mean I really have to put away some of his "baby" toys to make room for these new additions...well, maybe next month :)

Thank you to everyone who helped make this day so much fun! Happy Birthday, Finley!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

12 month stats

Quick doctor post. We took Finley to see the pediatrician on Friday for his one year check up.

He weighed in at 21 lbs 14 oz. Therefore he's tripled his birth weight (7 lbs 2oz) and then some, a goal I wasn't aware of! However, he's only in the 36% for weight. Seems awfully heavy to me these day, but perhaps I should be thankful he's on the slimmer side!

He is 31 inches tall (or perhaps 31 and 1/2, neither Dan or I could remember what the nurse said, eek!) but it put him in the 85% percentile.

My only picture, kinda lame, but Finley was pretty mobile and there was a lot going on!
We chatted with the doc for a while and got to talk about all the things Finley is doing (walking, a little bit of climbing, eating finger foods, sleeping a nice long stretch at night, making all sorts of sounds) and some that he's not (saying a real word, pointing, stacking two blocks, scribbling with a crayon). Our solace in those "nots" are that he hasn't had the chance to use a crayon yet and who wants to stack blocks when you can chew on them them or knock down other people's towers??

Time to buy a toddler sized crayon and only give Finley things he points to!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Birthday Boy! (belated blog post, oops!)

We celebrated Finley's 1st birthday on Tuesday. As I bided my time before waking him up to get ready to go to school, I looked through the two scrapbooks that I had put together for the first six months of Finley's life. What a trip! While it wasn't surprising that we all made it to his one year mark, it still felt like a big accomplishment :) I popped into Finley's room and despite raising the window shades, opening and closing drawers, and saying "Happy Birthday" a few times--Finley snoozed on. I began the birthday photo ops and continued the rest of the day...
I had originally considered taking Finley's birthday off from school, but Dan reminded me that in future years Finley will be able to vocalize his desires to have a special home or mommy day, but for now let's just keep his routine. Ah, logic. So I dropped him off at Beth's and headed off to school. At pick up, it was hard to tell who was happier to see who when I arrived. I do LOVE birthdays and it certainly felt like a special day for both of us.

We had opened one present the night before since it was a super-exciting gift from Finley's Aunt Caitlin, a year's membership to the Boston Children's Museum!!! Wow--for a whole year four people (any combination of kids and grown ups) can get in free!!! So off we went for our first of many, many visits.
So excited to go to the museum!

Each time we visit this museum, Finley does or tries something new and I think in a year's time, he'll have the run of the place (literally!). Thank you, Caitlin, for an amazing present!
Good thing we drove all the way downtown to push a wagon around...
Just prepping the Thanksgiving table.
Following my dad's construction footsteps...
We got home around the same time as Dan and after a quick dinner, it was time for Finley's official birthday celebration to get underway. We sang to him and let him eat (mangle) a cupcake. He loves being sung to and liked watching the candle, but when the cupcake was placed in front of him, we got the biggest smile of all. Most people call these "smash cakes" and, fittingly, Finley seemed aware of the deliciousness that was coming his way and after a close inspection, tore it apart.
Then, we opened a few presents that had arrived in the mail and a couple from Dan and I. Not surprisingly, Finley was unsure of the opening process. Plus, he was pretty tired and not terribly interested in the whole ordeal. Good thing all his gifts were in gift bags so the opening was fairly simple! From the pictures, he seems to be having more fun than I recall...
Finally, we headed down to the basement where a special box was waiting for Finley from his Grammy and Granddad. We opened it up to find an awesome tunnel and tent! Perfect for our emerging indoor playground!
Happy Birthday, Finley, we love you and we are so proud of you!