Sunday, July 31, 2011

GG and Gee-ka

Well, Finley continues on his vocabulary rampage and added two more names to his repertoire while we were down in NY visiting his grandparents and celebrating my birthday.

Grandma Gilda selected the most toddler-friendly moniker months back with GG and Finley now eagerly points to his GG and calls her by name. Grandpa Murray first planned on being GM (to kindly coordinate with his spouse's choice) but then moved to GP (Grand-Pa) but clearly wasn't pleased with that either and soon after settled on Grandpa (and now has a great hat with his title stitched right on). We talk about GG and Grandpa as well as look at pictures of them from time to time, so their names are familiar to their grandson. Plus, Grandpa got a book from us for Father's Day that he could record his voice reading and then send back to Finley, which has been a HUGE hit at our house and was quickly named, by Finley, as the Gee-ka book. Yep, Gee-ka. When we saw Grandpa on Friday night and re-introduced Finley to his Grandpa, he quickly exclaimed "Gee-ka!"

So there you have it, Finley's set of four amazing grandparents now have amazing toddler

Gee-ka and GG & Dee-Da and Rammy

Now, only to convince current and future cousins that these names should stick...

We didn't take too many photos since Dan and I were out and about most of the time (taking in a Yankees game and having dinner in Manhattan for my birthday), but here are the three Forseter men and some close ups of Finley and his beloved Gee-ka after lunch on Sunday.

Friday, July 29, 2011


Finley's love (obsession) with trucks continues, but a new aspect of this hobby is that he's beginning to act out what the big trucks he sees out in the world are doing at home.

After wandering around at a local toy store for a while, Finley zeroed in on some small realistic yellow construction vehicles and tried to hold several of them at once. A dump truck, an excavator, a cement mixer, and a few others. He soon decided that two was enough and put back everything but the excavator and the dump truck. The door to the store was open to let in the fresh air and Finley was ready for his trucks to hit the road, yikes! I chased after him and said he couldn't take them out of the store since they weren't ours. Surprisingly, he seemed to understand and came back on his own. Double checking the price tag on the bin of trucks ($4.50), I explained that he could have one truck and put the other one back. Finley looked longingly at both of his current possessions and after another prompting from me to choose one to put back and one to keep, he handed me the dump truck and said "back." Nice! The funniest part was he then put his excavator in the air and said, "Dirt!!" So I convinced him to take his prize over to the counter to pay and then we were off into the world. I strapped him into the stroller and as soon as we were on the sidewalk, he pointed across the park at the mulch and said, "Dirt!" again. We strolled over and he got out and put his new truck to the test.
He was very focused and busy for a few minutes until it was time to go home. He held onto his truck the whole way home and little to his knowledge, I've been hiding it from him since the day we got it (Wednesday) and it will reappear on our drive down to NY this afternoon. Can you imagine what a reunion that will be?

Oh and here are two pictures of what we did before going to the toy store that afternoon:
Yes...we sat and sat and watched the parking lot behind the post office. Mail trucks rolled in, mail trucks rolled out, and one large one even paused in front of us and the driver as if we'd like him to honk his horn. YES! He honked it twice and while Finley was surprised, he gave the driver a hearty "Bye-bye!" right after.

Trucks rule :)

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Finley's Top 10 from the Lake

We spent a wonderful week down in Palmyra, VA at my parents' lake house. They have a great spot right on Lake Monticello and while we had visited there last summer with Finley, he was barely sitting up and I was excited to see how he'd take it all in this time around. My parents took some pictures and I eventually cracked open our camera mid-week, but we still managed to end up with a zillion great photos! I tried interviewing Finley while flipping through the iphoto album of our visit to get some ideas of what to blog about, but he was just yelling our nouns...which wouldn't make much for a blog, but might do well for a David Letterman style Top Ten list.
Finley's Top 10 Reasons to Visit his Grandparents at Their Lake House

10. ICE!

Since it was in the upper 90s and even the low 100s during our entire visits, we indulged Finley's new love of ice. He mostly ate it, but did toss it in the baby pool, watched it melt, and even tried to put it through the slats in the deck. He knew there was tons of it in the cooler and it was hard to say no when he kept asking for more and more.
After picking up some fresh beans at the local Farmers' Market, Finley and his "rammy" (Grammy) were going to prep them for dinner.
Finley was adorably invested in this process and while he wasn't terribly helpful, his motives were genuine.
He wanted to show the beans to me and even shared one with his beloved penguin, Arty.
We did manage to squeeze in some "field trips" when we could pull ourselves away from lounging around. One morning, we went to the Charlottesville Childrens Museum and it was a great chance to run around and have fun in the very cool, AC-ed playspace.
As advertised, the bubble machine my mom had bought provided "billions" of bubbles. Finley had a blast walking through them and popping them while Dan and I were out on a hike.
6. HOE!
Yes, Finley is as articulate about garden tools as he is about trucks. Whether it's a rake, shovel, or hoe--he'll be sure to tell you which one he has or wants. Someday, Finley will be really useful in the yard and I'm glad we're getting him to practice now.
5. BOAT!
Finley liked riding on my dad's boat last summer and the same was true this year. He liked going fast, seeing the other boats, and getting to drive the boat and beep the horn on my dad's lap.
watching a neighbor's model train
checking out some ducks
Here's a fun pair of photos: one from this year and one from last year.
Okay, Letterman doesn't do "As" in his countdown, but one of the fun new words Finley learned on this trip was kayak and enjoyed yelling in out whenever he'd see my parents' boats on the lawn or if one would pass by on the water.
4. POP!
Again, the hot weather ended up working in Finley's favor since we did not hesitate to help him cool off with a popsicle whenever the opportunity presented itself. In fact, after have only one at least a day before if not longer, he woke up a bit crabby from his nap and rejected all my snack options. After a silent moment, he looked at me and said, "pop?" and pointed to the freezer. He's really picking up on words and ideas so much faster these days, borderline amazing!
Last time (maybe 3 weeks ago) when Finley hung out with my dad, he wasn't quite able to say Granddad but came up with his own version, Dee-da, and it's official now that my dad will be Dee-da since Finley probably called him that 400 times over the week we were there. It was adorable how he was always asking about him, looking for him, and wanting to be near him. He eagerly awaited my dad's arrival each morning, we'd watch for the boat to pull in and wait to hear all about how many fish he'd caught. However, Dee-da's great talent (in Finley's eyes) is playing the guitar. I missed the first performance since my dad babysat and put Fin to sleep while my mom, Dan, and I went to see HP7, but we were there for all the rest of the evening serenades. "Tar!" Finley would shout and then he'd pick a chair and settle in.
Well, it is the world's largest sandbox aka the beach. Finley's love of sand was perfect for outings to the lake's beach. We'd boat over there and spend a while. Finley walked around and dug from a squatting position at first, but eventually figured out that getting covered in sand is part of the fun.
"Dee-da, hole, peas" (My dad obliged after such a polite request.)
Wow, it's really deep!
Burying everyone's feet was fun!
While Finley's swim lessons were a success, he's not exactly a fish. However, he got more and more comfortable in the water as the week progressed and something tells me that by this time next year, we'll be dragging him out. He did seem to like that he could walk in and out of the water at the beach and he was even running into my arms for a big splash by our last day there.
Thanks to my dad for this great family shot!
We had a great week and miss Rammy and Dee-da terribly. Whenever Finley has cantelope and calls out "mayan" for melon, the next word is always "Rammy" and Dee-da always comes up if we are talking about or looking at boats, fish, or music. We love you!