Thursday, June 30, 2011

Drumlin Farm, Take Two

Hooray for our membership to the Mass Audobon and getting in free to Drumlin Farm! Finley's Grandpa and GG got us the membership when they visited last month and we went back today to enjoy the animals, the tractors, and the sunny, not-humid weather. To get Finley into his shoes quickly, I told him we were going to see animals and a tractor and after checking with me a few times, "a-mals?" yes! "tractor?"yes! we were on our way.

Finley eagerly got into his stroller and we rolled right through the entrance gate and down the hill to the farm. At the bird cages, he hooted at the owls and after a raven cawed, he cawed back. We rolled all around the farm looking at chickens, sheep, pigs, cows, and some adorable baby goats. Like this one:
He intently watched one cow lap up water right in front of us. "Moo!" and "water!" came out a bunch of times, but he wouldn't say "cow."
We could only watch the hayride go by so many times before hopping on!
We passed this big tractor along the way and Finley was certainly entranced by riding with a tractor while watching yet another one.
When we got back to the barn after the hayride, a third tractor was spotted. Finley was standing in front of it looking back at me and I grabbed my camera to snap a photo of something so HUGE (tractor) and something so small (guess who) but I wasn't fast enough and managed to get Finley running towards me instead.
What a happy accident, I love this photo!

We strolled over to the chicken coop and Finley was much more comfortable around all these feathered friends than last time. He watched them and smiled when they called out to each other. Before exiting the coop, Finley was able to get his hands on some wooden eggs and play around for a while.
We hadn't done this before and it was fun to watch him "play" with all the other kids. One boy, probably 8 or so, was very kind to Finley and kept handing him eggs that came out the chute down below so he wouldn't have to climb down himself. So sweet!

The big finale was the DIRT BOX :) I knew we should visit this last since Finley probably wouldn't want to leave.
Two shovels??? My goodness! Life just keeps getting better and better, doesn't it? After what felt like an eternity (to me, not to him), we washed our hands and got going. Just as he did with all the animals and tractors, Finley waved and said "buh-bye" to the dirt box and all those shovels.

Thanks, GG and Grandpa, we were thinking of you today at the farm and can't wait to go back!

A Boy After His Dee-Da's Heart

As I mentioned yesterday, my parents had a layover at our house on Monday night on their way home and it was great for Finley to get to see his grandparents twice in a just a week. My dad was thrilled to see our bucket of trains and tracks out in the playroom. After dinner, it was hard to tell who ran there faster after dinner, Finley or my dad! "Together" they built a pretty cool raised railway and tested it out.
Finley loves trains as much as trucks these days and without ever seeing a cartoon, he is beginning to learn the names of some of the Thomas crew. Currently, we have Thomas, Percy, Jack and Rocky. For some reason, Finley can only say Thomas like "mo-ma" much like when he says tennis like "nen-nis," I guess those T's are tough for him. My favorite is how he says Percy, which is hard to explain but it's adorable how he purses his lips and says is so lovingly with lots of inflection. I think the little green train is quite special to him.

The next morning, more transportation fun for Granddad and Finley.
The police car and the taxi were racing after breakfast until it was time for us to go to Beth's house and my parents were off to VA. Finley's been working on saying Granddad, but so far it's coming out like "Dee-Da" which sounds just fine to all of us and it will be great to spend the week with my folks next month at the lake. I mean trains, boats, cars--what more would we need??

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Sandbox: Episode 2

Yes, the sand is in! On Monday, three of Dan's frisbee proteges from Tufts came and helped pick up and unload eighteen 60 lb bags of playsand for us. Hooray! Monday night, my parents were here and my dad and Dan tore open 14 of those bags and dumped them into the sandbox.
Despite Dan's careful calculations, it seems that we had 4 bags too many. Oops, but $6 a bag, it was not worth lugging 240 lbs of sand back to Arlington Coal and Lumber, so we put it in the garage assuming we'll need a refill at some point.

After a busy Tuesday, I put off Finley's dinner so he could dive into the sandbox at long last. It was awesome! He was genuinely thrilled to see what seemed like miles and miles of personal digging sand. Check out his total glee, while lugging his rake and hoe :)
At first, he only wanted to stand outside and dig.
Finally, he stepped in and gave me a nice "cheese" before getting down to work.
(while sitting comfortably on the bench).
Silly me, I thought he would have just plopped down in the sand!
All the sand toys that we've been storing up have come in handy and I think he'll be even more excited when we roll a nice, hand-me-down dump truck out from the garage into his new play spot tomorrow.
I tried three or four times to get him on video digging, but our neighbors were having a party of some sort that involved a slip and slide and the noise was overpowering. Finley would echo back a scream whenever he heard one and while it was funny, it wasn't giving me the "toddler in sandbox" movie that I had planned on. Alas, here's the best I can offer to capture the overall moment of Finley's first time in his very own, built-by-daddy sandbox. Hooray for summer!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Truck Watch

At the break of dawn this morning, 6:40am to be specific, road construction started up the street from us on Appleton. While it did wake me up (after I had fallen back asleep after reading Tina Fey's Bossypants), thankfully it did not wake up Finley. I was NOT amused with the noise, but when Finley woke up on his own happy as a clam around 7:15, a little was forgiven. Then, when he heard the trucks loud and clear we rushed outside (PJs and all) to see what was going on. It was raining, so we took the stroller and a blanket and rolled down to the corner.
I can't tell you how excited Finley was when he saw all that was rolling by!
But this was the main attraction and Finley was really tuned in.
After that big machine passed us by, a little bobcat came rolling through cleaning up and smoothing things out. Finley has always had a soft spot for bobcats :)
Still not sure I approve of the early morning start time, but all is forgiven for today. Oh and our truck watching only got better as the day went on, check out what we saw in the supermarket parking lot!
Life is good if you're a truck-centric toddler (and a truck-centric toddler's mommy!)

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Daddy's Day 2011

Most of Father's Day was up in NH for us and it was a treat to have Finley be with his dad and me to get to be with mine. All we were missing was Grandpa Murray--maybe next year we can get the trifecta!

After a snoozing ride home, Finley extended his nap with another hour in his crib during which time Dan and I also passed out for a catnap in the living room. Once everyone was up, we gave Dan his gifts. Here's a shot of what Finley made for Dan at Beth's last week.

After running some errands, we played at the playground up the street. Love these shots of my boys.
Happy Father's Day, Dan!

ReMix 2011

We spent the weekend up on Squam Lake in NH with my side of the family and our extended relatives at a Mixter Reunion.
"ReMix" as my sister called it was great fun and a chance for us to get Finley into the real outdoors.
As predicted, he loved it! The rocks, the dirt, the water, the birds, the trees, and of course, the golfcarts :) For the staff to get around in and little boys to play on!
All in all, it was an excellent weekend. Finley was his pleasant, social, chatty self after adjusting to his surroundings. Aside from not eating much at mealtime and taking a while to fall asleep at night, we can't complain. I would have thought a dining hall full of delicious foods and smiling faces would have prompting some serious chowing down, but I was wrong. Finley survived on yogurt we brought from home and freshly made waffles. However, he seemed perfectly happy to sit and hang out at the table, which was certainly a bonus.
And who doesn't love salt and pepper mills? Thanks, Justin!
We knew he wasn't going to be eating much when he even turned down some homemade cookies and cream ice cream! While smiling, he said "no" after several offers. Crazy!

The camp, Rockywold Deephaven, was all set for kiddos Finley's age. A great indoor playroom with lots of trucks, ride on toys, balls, a kitchen, and even a little slide was right up his alley. Sadly, I have no pictures of all the fun Finley had in there with his 2nd cousins (I think) Ethan and Dylan or any while he and his Aunt Caitlin "crashed" their ride on cars into each other. But take my word for it, it was awesome! I do have some shots from the playground that they played on Sunday morning.
Finley had fun exploring, but always ended up back at the great big wheel. However, he eagerly took the opportunity to show his cousin Dylan how to toss a frisbee.
There will be some big group shots (all 60+ of us) to come in the future that we posed for right before a hailstorm passed through (marble sized hail no joke!), but here are some other assorted pictures from the weekend.

Finally, when you get up at 5:15am and breakfast isn't served until 8...there's a lot of time to kill. Luckily, we set up out on the porch of our cabin and shared a little pre-breakfast snack of grapes with a lake view.
He's saying "water!" and the hopped out to get a better view.
Not a bad way to kick off Father's Day, right? Read below to the next post to find out about Finley's hike up Rattlesnake Mountain!