Saturday, April 30, 2011


For those that don't know, Finley's Grandpa Murray is a retail master. He's always up for a shopping excursion, whether we're looking for something specific or just something to do. He knows where to go and what to look for, not to mention he loves a bargain as much as a I do. One afternoon, we went to Christmas Tree Shops since Murray needed bird food and we needed an adventure. We hit the jackpot in the furniture section when we came up the most adorable toy box. Perfectly colored blue for Finley's room, slow closing lids for no finger pinches, and the right size for climbing up on and sitting. While these photos were taken at home after Dan assembled, I thought I'd include them amongst my White Plains posts.

Also, we ran a few errands the morning before we left since it was pouring outside and we knew we'd be stuck in the car later. Finley, as always, was an enthusiastic shopper.

First stop was a sporting goods store. We checked out the bikes, pool equipment, fishing poles, balls of all shapes and sizes, and all the mirrors in the clothing section. Why would anyone pay to go somewhere with their kids? This is perfect!
Our second no-entrance-fee stop, Toys R Us! We explored all the aisles and since Finley is still too young for the "gimmes," it's really fun to see what he's attracted to and wants to try out. We played with kitchens, cash registers, push cars, musical instruments, and finally--power wheels!
With his new Yankees hat on, he looked pretty grown up and ready to drive! There were lots of different big motorized vehicles to choose from, but my favorite was the pink, Barbie Smart Car. What will they think of next? After Finley's Grandpa purchased the above Yankees cap and some other NY sporting apparel for him, we headed out. All this shopping and playing must have worn Finley out since he was more than nap-ready once we hit the road for Boston.

Scarsdale Scenery

My sister, Caitlin, came out to White Plains on Thursday night and stayed over. She was eager to see Finley after over 3 months without a visit and while the weather was less than stellar, we decided to venture out. We scoured the internet to find something fun to do and while the zoo was going to packed and a neat local nature preserve was closed, we managed to find a cute, neighborhood playground in Scarsdale just a few miles away. Caitlin go to see Finley in his sandbox element and he was excited to include her in his play.
It can he hard to woo him away from the sand, but Caitlin went down the toddler slide and soon Finley was chasing her up the structure and she grabbed him for an adorable slide down together.
Soon, he was in full climbing and sliding mode!
We also discovered how much Finley likes bouncy bridges, which he hadn't ever shown much interest in at home.
All four of us had a grand old time checking out the playground and a few dogs even came by as the icing on the cake! One of our last stops was at the seesaw and this was just about the right size for Finley.
Both Caitlin and I videoed this as Dan bounced Finley up and down at the other end.
Thank you, Aunt Caitlin, for coming out to see us and for taking this great family photo!!

In the WP

It was nice to be away on vacation, but still feel like it was home. Finley had lots of people and toys to place with, rooms to explore, food to eat, and energy to burn. He loves being outside these days and it's amazing how his mood changes instantly once he is set free in the world.
He'd heard a bird and looked up to find it.
Not sure if he was pointing at another bird or the tree here, he loves both! I love the scale of this photo, a small boy in a big, big world. While we were running around the cul-de-sac, we practiced jumping. From our play at the gym, Finley has tried to figure out how to jump. He bends his legs and thrusts up, but doesn't quite leave the ground. It's so funny to watch and he seems to get a good amount of joy out of it despite the fact he isn't actually getting any air!

Grandpa Murray has quite a collection of bird feeders and bird baths in the backyard and Finley was in heaven watching the flocks of birds through the big windows. I wish we had a video of this since he was pointing and talking, pointing and laughing, and waving you over to come see all the birds.
Here he is trying one his fancy new penguin, swirly straw cup from his Aunt Caitlin. He loves it!
Dan likes the next picture since it really captures how we see Finley a lot these days as he asking "up up" to get picked up.
While this is probably a no-no to snap photos during Shabbat prayers, we wanted to capture how much Finley enjoys his GG singing and watching the candles before dinner.
On Thursday, we caught up with the Cohens. Leor and Dan were in school together and had their bar mitzvahs together. We went to Leor and Miri's wedding in Israel several years back and they were visiting with their two kiddos. Agam is about 4 and Yaad is 2. After some indoor playing, we took the bunch outside and while it was windy and chilly, we had fun.
Here are a couple shots from the morning that Aunt Caitlin was over.

As we prepared to go, Finley discovered that his Grandpa has an itouch just like I do and his Grandpa was more than impressed that Finley knew how to turn it on.
He can't do more with it yet, but I suspect we'll get there. It's just fun that he probably thinks everyone's itouch's have wallpaper with his picture on it, since both mine and his Grandpa's do!
Group photos are always tough with a toddler, but these two are surely keepers! Dan sacrificed himself by being the photographer and we thank him for that.

Other things to note from our trip:
1. Grandpa Murray's blog entry that sums up much of our own sentiments about the week:
2. Finley was great in the car and by that I mean he slept most of both rides. We timed them with his afternoon nap and that plan was executed quite well, go us!
3. Finley spent one afternoon without us while we hit the local outlets and he was a gem for his Grandparents and Aunt. He was such a daredevil on the playground structures, Murray remarked how opposite of the toddler Daniel that was.
4. Finley "played football" with Uncle Carl. He threw the ball well, though it was often more of a spike in the endzone type toss. Carl tried a simple quarterback handoff, but Finley fumbled :( Good thing he's got Frisbee in his future and not the NFL.
5. He fell back in love with eggs and had one almost every morning with his yogurt (in lieu of his typical not-kosher-for-passover multigrain waffle).
6. Using Dan and Ellie's old Care Bear kitchen, Finley cooked up a storm and offered his creations to just about everyone. Also, there was a pile of toy dinosaurs and much to our surprise, Finley took to them and had fun standing them all up on the couch together like a diorama. Hello Natural History Museum!

We love you GP and GG, thank you for a wonderful visit!

Chag Sameach, Finley

Last week, we were down in NY to visit with family and welcome Finley to the traditions of Passover. He was too tiny last year and not on solid foods, so the holiday basically passed him right by. This year he was able to enjoy many parts of it, but he mostly enjoyed trying matzo for the first time.
Almost sharing his crackers with Grandpa, but not quite!
While he went to bed before the seder actually started, he was able to mingle for a while with all our guests. Linda and Jacob, Jenny, Great Uncle Carl, Great Aunt Annette and Great Uncle Bernie, Aunt Ellie and Uncle Donny, and his grandparents were all happy to see a bigger, more coordinated, and talkative recently turned 17-month-old Finley.

We went to services at Temple Israel in the morning and Finley did just fine, waving and saying "hi" to anyone whose eye he'd catch. And not just once, but he'd say it over and over (therefore requiring me to apologize to everyone who was kind enough to keep waving back again and again).

For the second seder, we went over to Jacob and Linda's house. Linda was well prepared for Finley's arrival and he was soon trying out the toys she'd collected for him.

But Finley always seems to find other ways to entertain himself :)
The best entertainment by far was Oreo, Linda and Jacob's dog. Finley's love of canines (especially the small variety) was clear as he tried to get up close and personal with "e-o."
Oreo was very tolerant of Finley and seemed to enjoy having someone on the same level. Thank you, Linda, for all the pre-bedtime entertainment! And thanks to Aunt Ellie for this formal t-shirt, we found a great occasion to debut it.

Wonder what Finley will be up to next Passover. I doubt he'll be ready to ask the four questions (as the youngest person at the seder is supposed to do), but I bet he'll be a louder part of the evening for sure.

First Haircut

After months of dancing around the subject, we finally decided to get Finley a haircut. The timing was just perfect to do it down in NY and so Grandpa Murray made an appointment at Young and Classy with Rosie. Why a yankee haircut you ask? Well, Rosie just happens to be the same stylist who gave Dan his first haircut just about 30 years ago!! She cuts Murray's hair regularly and was honored to have the chance to cut Finley's.

I plopped him down on my lap after he gave kind greetings and smiles to everyone in the shop. I got a smock and so did Finley. With grandparents and his dad and I looking on, Finley submitted to this ritual without so much as a peep.
I won't go as far as to say that he enjoyed it, but he didn't cry and only wriggled around at the end. I think he was a bit petrified and therefore froze up a bit while it was happening. Dan and Murray snapped some good photos and we all weighed in on the final product.
He's smiling here if you can see and we agreed--it was a great cut!
A few final touches and Rosie finished up. She remarked over and over again how amazingly well behaved our guy was. Since his hair was still a bit damp when she was done, she asked if she could blow dry him a little. We all knew he would probably flip, but gave her the go ahead. We were right and he quickly let us know this wasn't cool.
Thankfully, he recovered quickly and enjoyed getting brushed off with the big brush.
Since our trio family pictures are few and far between, I thought we should grab one.
Well, we tried. At least you can see how nicely his hair was trimmed in the back. I think he hadn't quite forgiven us for the whole ordeal. But once he caught a glimpse of himself in the mirror and everyone smiling back at him, all was right with the world.
Good job, Finley, another milestone to check off the list and you clearly handled your first trim far better than your father back in February of 1980!