Monday, May 28, 2012

Ice Cream Station 2012

For those devoted Finding Finley followers, you may recall a post from last August about Finley getting ice cream and watching trains.
Well, nearly ten months later, we returned to the scene of that crime.  What a difference a year makes, but Finley's love of trains was still there and while his ice cream habits have changed a bit (it was eerily similar to be there again so many months later).

I ordered him a soft serve vanilla cone in a kiddie size...but much to my surprise, this gigantic swirled tower appeared!!  I decided not to order myself anything and figured we'd share :)
Here are a serious of short videos that I shot as we waited for the train and then watched it come in:
Once the train was safely on its way, Finley pointed to a ramp across the way and asked if we could go up it.  With his now manageable cone (I knocked off 90% of the ice cream that was left) in hand, off we trotted.

Checking the train schedule on my phone, I knew we had at least twenty-five minutes until the next train and was curious if we would make it that long.  However, Finley kept himself occupied by finishing his ice cream, climbing the handrails, and following ants around on his hands and knees (saying, "Hi Ant! Where you going?").  When we had about five minutes left to wait, Finley said he wanted to go home.  I tried to explain the train was coming soon, but he said he was ready to go so we began to walk back down the ramp towards the car.  We did not get far because he came across the big parking "meter" box and had a ball pretending to put his money in and then use the stuffer "key" to shove it in.
 His pretend play was in full effect as he went from parking his car and paying for his space to taking the train to his office (where he would email and call Aunt Ellie and Uncle Donny) to being the engineer on the train and picking me up at the station. So entertaining to watch :)

Then, to his complete surprise (it appeared), the next commuter train pulled into the station!! He was thrilled and enjoyed waving to the engineer (who waved back) and all the conductors who were on the train.  Lots of commuters got off the train and then the conductors gave the signals to each other and the engineer to head out and Finley seemed to understand all of what was going on (we read enough train books after all!).  Of course, he asked to see one more train before we left but I knew we wouldn't be able to wait so I convinced him we needed to go home and he obliged.  Though he did ask for more ice cream as we passed the ice cream window en route back to the car...

Belated Mother's Day Weekend Update

Where does the time go?? Grandpa, GG, Aunt Ellie, and almost-Uncle Donny came up to Boston for Mother's Day weekend.  The weather was downright spectacular and we took advantage!  We drove to a HUGE garden store (5+ acres) in one of the towns we have been house hunting and Finley was pleasantly surprised to find that this garden store had more than just plants--after playing in the toy store part with all the trains and vehicles, he came across a koi pond with a neat little bridge over it.
He eagerly invited Grandpa over to check out the fish with him.
 Next stop was a HUGE playground that Finley adores.  After climbing all over the structures and in and out of the big fire truck, he hit the sandbox.
 After lunch out and a nice nap, Finley was excited to see Dan launch the old-school water rocketship that we picked up in a "Free" pile at a yard sale that morning.  Here's Finley carrying down the directions to Dan.
Then, he retreated up to the porch to watch from a safe distance.
(Finley has LOVED watching this short little video since he adores GG's laugh!)
Then, there was much discussion between the men about what went wrong.
 Second launch attempt:

On Saturday night, the younger adults went out to dinner in Cambridge while Finley got some QT with his grandparents who took him to a nearby playground, fed him dinner, and tucked him into bed for a good night's sleep.  Happy Mother's Day to me for all of that!!

On Sunday, Mother's Day, Aunt Ellie made some delicious challah french toast for all of us (no small task!) and then we headed off to Castle Island.  We walked around the little bay before taking a break in the sand.  Despite the recent warm weather, the warm was icy so only Finley, Dan and I dared put our toes in.  Finley had fun digging and watching all the airplanes coming into Logan.
We managed to take no mom's day photos with all the moms and kids all present, ug.  But fun was had by all!

Finley, Daddy, and the Big Trucks

Last weekend when I was off in NYC reliving some high school memories (seeing Newsies on Broadway with two girlfriends!!), Dan took Finley to see some big trucks.  While Finley was initially bummed that there was no garbage truck, he ended having a lot of fun exploring all the trucks from the inside out.
 After seeing all the trucks, Finley spotted a playground and enjoyed a snack and some playing around time before heading home for a nap.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Finley and Girls

So, being a boy himself, Finley seems to prefer boys over girls. Except in my case, which is just fine.  He helped to make a wonderful Mother's Day weekend for me and his GG.  Grandpa, GG, Aunt Ellie and Soon-to-be-offically Uncle Donny were all up from New York this past weekend and we had a lovely time together.  We checked out some yard sales, a HUGE garden center, a great playground, and ate lunch in one of the towns we are house hunting in on Saturday.  GG and Grandpa babysat Finley on Saturday night while the four younger  adults had a fun dinner out in Cambridge.  On Sunday, Ellie made a delicious french toast breakfast for everyone before we headed out to Castle Island where we walked, talked, and Finley got to dig in the sand and dip his feet in the icy bay.  The weather was spectacular and just being together as a big family was all a mother (or a grandmother) could ask for.  Though it was nice to get some cards and my own pair of lime green crocs, too :) Thanks, boys!

GG played football with Finley in the living room before bed on Saturday night and it was the first thing he asked about doing when he woke up on Sunday so while Finley can be boy-centric, he doesn't seem to know about the professional sporting limitations for women which is great!! We won't tell him that his mom, Grammy, or his GG will NEVER let him play football when he gets older...

I'm crushed that we didn't take any Mom's Day photos, but we were just on the move having fun that the moment never presented itself!

But continuing on with the girl subject matter...Finley has learned a lot about girls from the friends he has at daycare.  There are two girls his age and two girls who are nearing four, all of which seem to leave quite an impression on our little stud.  One morning at drop off, I knelt down and gave Finley a kiss on his cheek and Molly bounced over and promptly gave Finley a kiss on his other cheek.  Ha! Finley seemed flustered, saying "Mollllly..."  A week ago, we were in line somewhere and a little girl had a barbie-type doll that she was waving around.  Finley asked, "What's that toy, mommy?" and I responded, "I think it's a doll."  Quick as a whip, he shoots back, "No, I think it's a princess." He went on to tell me that Janie likes princesses and Hannah does, too.  In NH a couple weekends back, we were in the restaurant bathroom waiting our turn when a teenage girl came in.  She was clearly in her prom dress and Finley asked me, "Why that princess in the bathroom?" So funny!

We are trying to get Finley excited about the impending arrival of his new little sister and so far, he seems to be getting it.  A few times when people have asked him if it is a girl or a boy in mommy's belly, he has said it's a I'm not sure if that's just wishful thinking or what.  I took him to my 32 week check up this week and after listening to the baby's heartbeat, the doctor asked what he wanted to name the baby (we're up for any and all suggestions!), he hesitated and then said "sister."  Cuteness.

On a final girl note, Finley's new favorite dance-in-the-kitchen song is Cyndi Lauper's "Girls Just Wanna Have Fun"---totally awesome, right?  This dance party broke out in the middle of dinner tonight.  Listen right at the beginning as he sings along and don't mind Dan talking in the background (he wasn't in the kitchen and didn't know I was filming!).
Perhaps this song will be a good one to keep in mind as the number of girls in the house matches the boys this summer!

Saturday, May 12, 2012

T is for the T in Tufts!

Last weekend, Finley and I went up to NH and VT to be in the cheering section as Dan coached the Tufts frisbee guys in the regional championships.  The weather was wonderful and there's nothing that Finley loves more than being outside running around.  Running around with all his sports equipment that is...our "sports bag" carries a baseball bat (or two), a tennis racquet, his baseball glove, Dan's baseball glove, a football, a soccer ball, a plastic/beach ball, a couple of tennis balls, and a plastic softball.  Good thing most of those items don't weigh much :)

We set up our chairs and spent the day back in forth between watching the boys play, eating snacks, playing sports together, and letting Finley run onto the field with Dan after goals were scored.  While Finley enjoyed playing sports with me, he was also very interested in playing with Eli (3rd grader, son of another coach).  Eli was a great sport and was very patient "playing" baseball with our guy.  Finley even ran off at one point to join Eli who was playing soccer with Gavin, one of the Tufts players.
Getting to go onto the field with Dan was certainly a highlight, though, and Finley even got to go and shake hands with some of the opposing teams after games were over.
Thankfully, when I needed a break, we could go wander over to find Eliot whose mom was coaching the Tufts women's team.  Finley and Eliot get along quite wonderfully and they happily shared some snacks, did some push ups, and then the giggling really got going.

After Saturday's games, we went back to our hotel and then went out to dinner.  A delicious dinner that was followed by a visit to an ice cream stand in a Home Depot parking lot just down the road that Dan and I recalled visiting years back.  What more could a kid ask for??  
Yes, that was the "baby" sized serving that we had to scrape into a bowl to prevent a huge mess.  Thankfully, after licking his way through 1/2 a scoop or so--he asked Dan to get most of the ice cream off so he could bite the cone.  He also sampled my strawberry ice cream and Dan's mint chocolate chip soft serve.
We tucked him into his travel crib and crossed our fingers for a good night's sleep for everyone.  Turns out he slept like a champ (until a heavenly 7am!) but I was up at 5am listening to him breathe...and trying to avoid walking past him to the bathroom (which at 31 weeks pregnant was more than a challenge!).  We then had breakfast with all the other coaches and Finley's adopted big brother, Eli, before heading back to the fields.

The team played really well and despite some moments of pure exhaustion on Finley's part, we had another lovely day at the fields.  During the finals, both Eli and Finley had fun trying out a new cheering strategy on the sidelines. Check it out!
Tufts beat Dartmouth in an uneventful finals game, phew!, and earned a bid to Nationals! Woo-hoo!
Here's the team photo that Finley was invited to be in as we were packing up :)
It was after 4pm at this point so we piled into the car with two of Dan's co-coaches, Mike and Mike, and by the time we were out of the parking lot-->
Both the Tufts men and the Tufts women will be competing for a National title at the College Championships in Boulder, CO over Memorial Day weekend. Dan will be flying out there but his two trusty sidekicks will be staying here in Boston checking updates online and cheering from the East Coast :)

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Finley Rocks Out

Finley's been jamming for months with his guitars, drums sticks and just about anything else he can pretend is an instrument.  He has very particular musical tastes and has become accustomed to being the DJ in the car with me, making all the song requests.

His top five non-kid music choices these days:
1. Tom Petty's "Refugee"
2. Surivor's "Eye of the Tiger" (Rocky soundtrack)
3. Beatles' "Yellow Submarine"
4. Guster's "Ramona"
5. LMFAO's "Party Rock Anthem" aka Push it

Eclectic, no?

While we do love listening to music in our house, playing it is far more fun.  After baking some blueberry muffins and then tasting our hard work, it was time to rock out.  I put on the radio and Finley grabbed his drumsticks, flipped over the empty laundry basket and voila:

He often comes close to hitting himself in the head...maybe we need to bring his bike helmet upstairs...After drumming for a while on the basket, he moved on to air drumming and danced ALL around the living room and all I had to do was play the air guitar from a safe distance as he bounded around feeling the beat.

P.S. He LOVED watching this video of himself on my phone and couldn't wait to show Dan when he got home.  "Look at my with my drum, Daddy!"