Friday, January 27, 2012

Sick Day

Finley's cough had been increasing (in frequency and level of hacking) through the second half of the week and last night his runny nose and slight fever had us concerned.  He had an okay night's sleep but woke up with the fever still present and looking rather pathetic with flushed cheeks, a crusty nose, and teary eyes.  Dan was kind enough to take the morning shift and I went off to work leaving the two in our bed reading Richard Scarry's  Cars and Trucks and Things That Go (searching for the no longer elusive Goldbug).  I returned at noon so Dan could go off to the job site and it sounded like the morning was relaxed and while he hadn't eaten much, Finley was no worse for the wear.

I got him down for a nap, though it was less than stellar with the last part of it occuring on me in his rocking chair.  But perhaps it was better that I didn't have to wake up to make our 4pm doctor's appointment, after all.  Finley was a champ at the doctor, letting her poke and prod him with only a few murmurs of "mommy, mommy."  While Finley usually sees Dr. Pangburn, he seemed to process the idea that Dr. P had other kids to see and we'd be seeing Dr. McCarty the "lady doctor."  She found just a single ear infection and sent us off with a prescription.  Phew--I had been expecting a much worse diagnosis!

We got the medicine and Finley proudly carried out his freshly mixed bottle of amoxicillin from Walgreens and brought it all the way inside, upstairs, and put it in the fridge.  While he wasn't coughing or complaining, he was certainly tired from the minimalist nap and exhausting trip to the doctor.  On a whim, I looked through our DVD collection and selected Finding Nemo as Finley's first full length feature film (figured he wasn't ready for Lord of the Rings or Anchorman).  We sat and watched and despite answering, "Where's Nemo, Mommy?" a million times--it was quite fun.  He almost gave up on it towards the end, but enjoyed the exciting family reunion between Nemo and his dad, Marlin.  Dan had come down to enjoy the last third of the movie with us and we'd love catch each other watching Finley and his reactions (concern "Where's the fish daddy, mommy?", enthusiasm "There's Nemo, mommy!" and confusion, "Where's that turtle going, daddy?").

A bowl of rice, an attempt at eating a popsicle, another reading of Cars and Trucks and Things That Go, a crying medicine ingestion, and now the little guy is now sound asleep.

Finley's been a very healthy guy overall and it always takes us by surprise when he is truly under the weather, but it's nice to know that we can find ways to keep him comfy (tylenol, strawberries, garbage trucks on youtube, books, etc).  Hopefully he'll be back to himself soon and we can all get back to our usual who's going to break it to him that he can't go to his swim class tomorrow...

Saturday, January 21, 2012


After a pathetic winter season (i.e. the best winter in Boston, ever!), we got two small snowstorms this week. Overnight on Monday, we got a few inches and Finley was more than thrilled to help Dan clear the driveway before school/work on Tuesday morning.  With his birthday shovel from his BFF Charlotte, he was ready for action!
All that digging in the sandbox and backhoe watching over these past months really paid off, Finley was surprisingly effective!

Then, we woke up this morning (Saturday) to even more snow and after letting it accumulate a few inches, we got Finley into his snow pants and all his other snow gear.  Thank goodness he has finally embraced wearing his warm mittens!
He's not as effective here as he was at the top of the driveway, but the effort is certainly there!
Dan left small path of snow so we could let Finley sled--having a sloped driveway has to have at least one benefit, right?  He sure looked big in our infant/toddler sled, but thankfully he still fit!
His first words upon reaching the bottom? "Again!"
A few more runs before it was time to go inside and get ready for swim class.  Dan was a good snow soldier and took Finley back outside after swimming at the field nearby the pool.  Henry and his dad joined them and the four had a great time using the little sled and our bigger one that the dads could ride in, too.

The snow continued to pile up and after an enormous nap (3.5 hours!), we all went back out to shovel again and then took a stroll around the neighborhood looking for snow plows.  We saw lots of them, even one with two blades!  The highlight of the walk was just as we returned to our driveway our neighbor rolled up in his backhoe to plow his driveway--yes, we live next door to a general contractor of sorts who has all sorts of cool machines that occasionally make an appearance.  Finley was in awe so we watched for a while before coming inside to warm up.

Hello, Winter, it's actually been nice to see you after all!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

A Night on the Town, Sort of

Fair warning, this is a picture-less post, proceed with caution...

Dan's cousin, Jonathan, was in town for work from California and after a brief stop at home, we all headed to hip-happening Arlington Center for dinner.  We chose an italian place that we have often gotten take out from, but never eaten in at.  They expanded into a much bigger space last year and the few times we have picked up food since then, the place has seemed near vacant of customers---it was time for us to be more visible patrons!

Finley was excited to go out to dinner at a "rest-raunt" with everybody and was a perfectly lovely dinner companion.  We brought some pre-dinner snacks for him to devour while his pizza was in the oven, but he ended up waiting even more patiently than usual.  He was his extremely chatty self and Jonathan commented how much more talkative he had become just since we'd been out in California at Thanksgiving i.e. he did not stay silent for more than 30 seconds max at a time.   He was interested in all the goings on of the restaurant and anytime someone walked in, he seemed genuinely thrilled and then asked when more people would be coming.  He'd probably drum up a lot of business wearing a sandwich board out on the sidewalk!  He sat in a big boy chair and only almost fell out twice, not bad.  His pizza arrived but after the initial excitement of that wore off, he probably ate only one slice in its entirety (which is no where near his usual food intake level these days).  Instead, he spent the rest of the meal moving around in his seat with pizza in his hand or on his fork just singing away.  Raffi's "Baby Beluga," or "Googa" as Finley calls it, is surely one of his top five favorite tunes and he continued to sing the verses he knows and the chorus over and over while the rest of us ate.  It was adorable and totally hysterical.  He also pointed to the ceiling several times saying the whale was up there swimming around.  Okay, sure thing dude...but anyways, tonight was just an example of the little guy Finley is these days and how much we are enjoying this fleeting phase (everything's a phase I have been told, bummer).

Thanks, Cousin Jonathan, for the visit (and the Finley gifts that you brought despite my threats!!) and who knows what Finley will be doing the next time we see you!

Monday, January 16, 2012


With Dan off at work on his new job site, Finley and I had MLK day off just the two of us.  A few weeks back, we snagged some tickets to SteveSongs who was performing at our nearby temple's preschool as a fundraiser, and today was the show!  Steve is a local guy who also performs on PBS and has quite a reputation amongst kids and parents alike.  Over the weekend, I was telling Finley that we would be going to a concert soon and Steve would play his guitar for all the kids.  While he tends to live in a world of instant gratification, he seemed to be intrigued by this "Steve" and managed to wait for the show quite patiently.  

As it was a Pajama Party Concert, Finley's dream came true and he got to wear his PJs out of the house!  Since it was only 15 degrees out, though, I convinced him he could wear his firetruck pajama shirt with some black fleece pants.  But first things first, we stopped at the "donut shop" for a special pre-concert treat.  (Somehow we've gone back to the 50s where every restaurant/store is a "shop" and Finley is always on the look out for a donut or pizza shop.)  To my dismay, they were out of plain munchkins so Finley had to settled for a HUGE plain donut instead.  He quickly made friends with an older gentleman sitting behind us and they had a good laugh together.
Finley pointed out his donut's hole before completely devouring it.
 Then, it was off to the show!  We found a seat on the floor with some friends and waited for Steve to come out on stage.  Finley was instantly taken when the music began, but he wanted to stay seated in my lap for most of the performance clutching his glow necklace (Thanks, Mackensie!)
He snacked, wiggled, clapped, and bounced, but basically seemed content to sit and listen. Until, he finally took to his feet towards the end.
And cut loose!
Steve finished his set and we all clapped and began to make our way out, when suddenly he began playing one encore song.  I saw an empty chair near us and asked Finley if he wanted to watch Steve from the chair and he immediately climbed up on his own.  And look down below to see what happened next!
Aside from a little distraction here and there, Finley was really jamming to Steve's final tune while strumming his own air guitar.
We made our way out and Finley was still moving and grooving as we got into the car.  He even said, "me excited" as we drove away!

As soon as we got home, Finley tossed off his coat and shoes, looked for his guitar, hopped up onto his multi-functional stool and performed his own concert.
 I guess you can say our little musician was inspired!

Monday, January 9, 2012

Football's #1 Fan

Finley has become a HUGE Giants football fan.  So I ask you, is it nature or nurture?  Perhaps a combination of both, but the basic situation is that Finley loves tossing his football around, watching football on Sundays and celebrating Giants victories with his dad.  As you can imagine, this pleases Dan to no end!  The Giants snuck into the playoffs and the football season continued for the Forseters this weekend in the first round of the playoffs.  On Sunday morning, Dan asked that Finley wear his Eli Manning shirt and I happily obliged as I was getting the little pigskin fan dressed.  He ran into the kitchen to show his dad his shirt and was thrilled to see Dan wearing his blue Giants super bowl shirt.  Alas, I did not have mine on (more on that later).  I teased Finley that we should call him Eli and surprisingly, he was into it and requested this new name as we tossed the ball back and forth on the couch later.  "Finley's Eli" he said a few times!

To our joy, the game versus the Falcons was timed perfectly with Finley's nap, a 1pm game that would allow us both to watch and enjoy the game without having to entertain/supervise a toddler.  The game turned out to be quite excellent with a 24-2 victory for the G-men, but to his mild disappointment Finley woke up around 4pm with only a few minutes left in the game.  He crawled up onto the couch to watch the remaining minutes and was happy enough to see the end of the big win.    

However, after we ran some errands, we were back home and tempted to tune into the other playoff game (Denver vs Pittsburgh).  "Watch Giants football now, Daddy?" Finley asked.  We tried to explain that the Giants game was all done and it was a different game, but he didn't seem to care so we served him his dinner at a special spot in the living room.  This is what weekends are for, right?
He was tuned in and cheering for the exciting plays (he thought it was Eli instead of Tim Tebow throwing the ball, but who cares, right?)
 It was pretty funny to watch him intently eat and watch and then tune out, eat some more, then tune back in and so on and so on.  I asked him to show me a silly face and to my surprise (who knew he knew what silly meant?) he stuck his tongue out!
 So then I asked for a nice cheese smile--not bad little Eli, not bad at all!
The game next week is at 4pm, so Finley will probably be up and totally refreshed from his out Cheeseheads, Finley is out to get you!

Oh and as for the shirts, since Dan can be a bit superstitious--next week Dan and Finley will wear their same blue team shirts on Sunday and I won't be allowed to wear mine. Ug!

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Happy New Year, Finley!

With no babysitter in sight, we had resigned ourselves to having a quiet New Year's Eve at home this year.  However, while Finley was napping on Saturday afternoon we decided that perhaps we should venture downtown with the little guy to see all the free First Night attractions on the Common.  So when he woke up, we quickly got ourselves ready and headed to the subway station.  Finley was pumped to go on the train and we couldn't get there fast enough!  We got on the red line and we joked that we could just ride around on the subway and then go home and Finley would have thought that was an awesome way to ring in the new year.  
We happened to have chosen the car that the "conductor" was in and that thrilled our little train buff.  He liked seeing other trains fly by us and as we left each station on our way to Park Street, he would tell us that the train was "puffing away" (a phrase he no doubt picked up from watching Thomas).
Going above ground and over the Charles River was a highlight, too bad it was dark, but he got the idea.

We got to Park Street and hauled Finley (me) and his stroller (Dan) up some serious stairs.  As soon as we got outside, the New Year's Eve spirit was in full swing.  People everywhere, food carts, flashing 2012 glasses and sparklers!  We had debated whether or not to bring the stroller, but were very happy to have Finley safely strapped in as we navigated the mob scene.  We decided to walk around the park instead of through it to start, but that was after we made a pit stop to check out a couple of fire trucks that were parked nearby inspecting a building whose fire alarm was going off.  We could've gone home after that as far as Finley was concerned: train ride + flashing lights on two fire trucks = best night of his life.  But we pushed on...

After passing a few glowing stands, we decided to get Finley a special New Year's novelty and he was thrilled with his new "flashlight." 
He proudly waved it around saying "Happy New Year" as we strolled along.  
It kept him quite happy, especially when he discovered there was a button that he could push to turn it off and then back on again.  $5 well spent!

After walking for a while, we noticed that people were already lining up for the parade and large numbers of people at that.  We had never seen the parade in all our years in Boston and wondered if it was something worth waiting around for.  So we decided to claim a spot on the curb and wait for it.  
 Finley bounced from the curb with me to running around on the sidewalk with Dan, having snacks, and looking for more mounted police ("More horses now, Mommy?").  We probably hung out for thirty minutes or so and with just a few police cars coming past clearing the way, but when we could see lots of bright lights coming, Finley yelled, "I see it coming, Daddy!" Though we're pretty sure he didn't know what "it" was at that point.
Dan plopped Finley up on his shoulder for a great view and after the line of police motorcycles, Mayor Thomas Menino rolled by in a carriage!
The rest that followed was fairly typical, small town parade stuff: dancers, bands, kids in costumes, tricked out cars, emergency vehicles, etc. and Finley was totally into it.  We got tossed some beads from a FedEx Special Delivery truck and Finley wore his proudly.
In fact, we got lots of beads and Finley has been wearing his "neck-wiss" at home ever since.  He wears the blue one, I get to wear the purple one, and Dan gets the silver.  He even asked for his stuffed penguin, P, to wear a silver necklace, too. The celebration continues!

He liked hearing the drums in all the bands and seeing all sorts of different vehicles roll by.
 Dan's shoulders got a break towards the end of the parade and Finley got another glowing necklace!
 When it was over, we strapped Finley into the stroller with his necklaces and flashing flashlight and rolled behind the last few vehicles from the parade along with the rest of the crowd.  We somehow made it out and back towards the T station.  When we realized how late it had gotten, we figured we'd better eat downtown and then head back home.  Just as we were crossing the street to a popular burger joint, the city's fireworks began and we had a great view!  We were far enough away that you really couldn't hear the loud booms, but just enjoy the beautiful lights display--perfect for a toddler.

We shared some burgers and fries, but all in all Finley did not each that much as he was too busy watching all the other customers (including some policemen and even a "police-lady" that were picking up some burgers, too).
 A successful trip downtown to celebrate the arrival of 2012 was capped off with yet another train ride and Finley was in heaven as we headed home.
The evening turned out perfectly and while not finding a babysitter was disappointing at first, spending it as a family was just right. Happy New Year everyone!