Thursday, September 29, 2011

Touch-A-Truck aka Wait-In-Line

Last Sunday, we went to Newton South High School for a free family friendly event, Touch-a-Truck.  Not the best sounding name in my opinion, but I guess they can't call it Wait-in-Line or The Horn-Honking Festival.  Picture this: a huge parking lot full of all sorts of awesome vehicles, horns blaring, and people EVERYWHERE.  
We weren't sure where to begin, but I tried to encourage Finley to sit in vehicles that aren't readily available to him in his daily life (i.e. firetrucks, school buses) and so we found a huge crane and started there.  It was quite a climb into the cab, but we made it!
Then we were off to find all the other trucks and that meant standing in a lot of lines with other eager kids and patient parents.
Finley did well waiting for his turn, but the problem that we ran into a few times was that after waiting in line for five or ten minutes for one truck--his eye would have caught sight of a different truck he wanted to test drive.  Ug.  I was often successful at convincing him to wait for the truck we were already in line for, but occasionally we had to bail and wait elsewhere.  All in all, he was a trooper as it got warmer and more and more people were ahead of us.  He didn't mind the horn honking too much, except for when we were 2 people away from our turn in the garbage truck and a parent pulled that horn twice..."ALL DONE ALL DONE DARBAGE" (poor pronunciation, but I got the hint and we moved along).

Finley was an excellent Touch-a-Truck patron, in my unbiased opinion, since when it was finally his turn each time, he'd climb in, look around, move the controls, let me snap a photo, and then ask to get down and find another truck.  Other children were up there for what felt like an eternity and had to be forcibly removed...but maybe I'm biased after all :)
He sure seemed to like the view from up there!
We finally found a "truck" that didn't have a line, the brand new Prius.  Yes, not everything on the lot was a gas guzzling, air polluting vehicle--go Green!
All in all, it was well worth all the waiting in line and getting hot and sweaty.  Finley had so much fun and it was great to be outside on a beautiful day with a toddler who was truly in hog heaven.  I wasn't sure how to include this final picture, it came out so beautifully I had to put it here it is.
I feel like I should have been singing "I'm proud to be an American" while waiting under this huge flag and perhaps it was a fairly All-American day in the end :)

Tuesday, September 27, 2011


On Saturday afternoon with Dan away, I needed a far off destination: IKEA.  Finley awoke from his nap ready for action, so we hopped in the car and drove the 45 minutes south to IKEA.  Most of the ride down, Finley was perfecting his pronunciation of the gigantic store: Key-a, I-key, I-KEY-A!  He was pretty pumped to arrive, even though he had no idea what was inside.

Soon, he was off and running (literally) and around every turn he found something to play with.

We had an absolute ball and I was impressed that the little guy made it all the way through the store on his own two feet (I barely made it).  The final warehouse stretch we did in the shopping cart and amazingly, we only spent $7 on a collapsible mesh laundry basket to store Finley's ever expanding collection of stuffed animals.  I'll have to remember to take him again when the cabin fever of winter sets in!

Something for Everyone

As the son of a teacher, Finley gets to go to lots of fun places: my classroom/school, learning toy stores, the woods to dig for worms, but sadly the most frequented store is Staples.  Now don't get me wrong, he can entertain himself with the computers, trash cans, office chairs, and wide open-for-running aisles, but on Saturday morning he found somethings to do outside the store that were much more fun.
He made up this next game all on his own :)
Eventually we made it into the store (and I bathed him in wipes) and got our errand done.  After schlepping him around to a few more places, we came across a treasure at a local garage sale and took it home for a test drive.
Not a bad morning's work!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Summer Nap Pictures

Random, I know.  Belated, indeed.  Alas, I must post two of my most favorite pictures of Finley from recent memory that I never managed to get online until now.

These were taken post-a monster nap one afternoon.  He went through a month-long phase of not wanting to get out of his crib after waking up, but preferring to roll around and play.  The first is Finley (in his sleep sack, that I'm more attached to than him) with his loveys: Owly and Fanta.
The second is after he had requested some of his favorite stuffed animals to join him in the crib.
He looks truly happy and whenever I go into get him from his crib (in the morning or the afternoon), there's always a good chance he'll be looking just like this :)

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Fire Trucks!

While Finley does love construction vehicles and can name them all accurately, fire trucks are slowly working their way into the top slot of his transportation favorites.  We have talked about what fire trucks do and he seems to be able to recall that fire trucks:
1. say "wee-oo, wee-oo, wee-oo"
2. have ladders and lights
3. help people
4. shoot water
And lately, it seems like fire trucks have been everywhere!  You saw him in a fire truck at Town Day and just his luck, the new fire station near us just re-opened after a major renovation and was open for touring this weekend.  Dan took him over and they had a blast!
I thought it was impressive that Finley even let Dan close the door while he was sitting in the driver's seat, but at least the window was halfway open!
This next unintentionally artistic shot shows Finley testing out the two-way radio.
They walked around the firehouse and then whenever no one else was waiting, Finley hopped back into the truck.
All that pretend driving and life-saving was hard work, so Finley relaxed with a bottle of water on the front of the truck.  If the Arlington Advocate is looking for a front page photo this week, here you have it!
Dan's cousin from LA, Jon, was in town on Wednesday night and had dinner with us.  He'd ordered some gifts for Finley to arrive by that same evening, but alas the big box didn't come until the following day.  Finley loved what he found inside and Dan and I were so bummed Jon wasn't there in person to see the joy and excitement that ensued after the box was ripped open.  Here's a photo sequence of the big reveal!

Thanks, JON!!  These pictures don't do the event justice, Finley was truly grinning ear to ear and carefully checking out everything from top to bottom.  Finley really loves the fire truck (and the monster truck)--he gets out of his crib most days asking for one or the other.  Apparently not only does the fire truck make great sounds, but you can put water in the bottom and pump it out so it sprays out the hose!! I think for now we'll pretend we don't know about that feature...maybe next summer out on the deck, we'll show him :)