Friday, June 29, 2012

Long Lost Subway Entry

Just came across this draft of a post that I started back in April, but never did more than add pictures...odd! The three of us headed into the city via the subway and it was harder than we thought to get back above ground at Park Street with all the green line trains coming and going.
We finally got out at Park Street and ventured onto the common.
You may recognize the following playground if you read US Weekly since Tom Brady is often photographed there with his little guy.
After exploring the common, we walked over to South Station to catch some more trains in action.
It made for a lovely day and I'm glad I found this long overdue blog draft :)

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Beating the Heat

It was really hot last week and Finley enjoyed filling up his water table out on the driveway.  After splashing around and dumping water all over the place, he gave his police car a thorough cleaning.
Finley doesn't love getting splashed, but it was so refreshing on such a hot day he was surprisingly happy getting soaked and we had fun with buckets, spoons, and sponges.   We repeated this activity each afternoon after naptime and while I felt bad about all the water rushing down the driveway and into the street from an environmental perspective...I figured in extreme heat, exceptions could be made :)

Sweeping the Stones

My dad, Finley's beloved Granddad, is always primed to take care of his lawn and the surrounding areas of his house.  This includes sweeping the stones/gravel that often appear in front of their house where you turn from the main road onto their smaller street.  My mom jokes about him "sweeping the stones" and yesterday, Finley followed in his Granddad's footsteps when he came across some gravel on our street that he had never noticed before.  It began after we took a pedal in his cozy coupe police car down the street to see the bobcat and steamroller that were repairing a nearby driveway.  On our way back, Finley noticed a huge spread of rocks and sand (aka gravel) and he immediately hopped out and began filling the "trunk" of his police car with it and said he needed to take it to the rock crusher to make a new road. (Thank you, Richard Scarry)  He did this for a while and then got back in his car and cruised over to yet another pile before delivering his load to our driveway.  He grabbed his trusty snow shovel (Thank you, Charlotte!) and tried to remove the gravel from the car until he realized the size of the shovel outmatched the small trunk and he asked me to dump the car's load over into his shovel.  

Soon, he was ready to bring over more for his pile and spent some quality time going back and forth across the street carrying gravel, dumping it out, and going back for more.  

 He also tried tossing the gravel load ended up on his head and that was the end of that, but he took it in stride! I reminded him that is what worker's wear hard hats on the construction site :)
The video captures some of the action, as well as Finley's street safety skills and his dislike of my video-taping endeavors.  No paparazzi for Finley!

Aren't you proud, Granddad?

Musical Talents

Finley's always been a musical dude, but lately he's been just singing out randomly and doing quite a nice job with all the lyrics.  His favorites to belt out: ABCs, Twinkle Twinkle, Take Me Out to the Ballgame, Yellow Submarine, I've Been Working on the Railroad, and more recently: Old MacDonald.  The trick with Old MacDonald is that he often gets stuck on the refrain and forgets to move onto the animal sounds, but his efforts are quite adorable.  Yesterday, after splashing around in the water table and watering the plants, Finley chose to use his bucket and shovel as a drum set and started singing.  I asked if I could take a video of him (since he's quite particular about when he is camera ready) and he agreed.  Here are two videos of the same tune--these are the kind of videos that I know he will love looking back at years from now :)

Love the footwork, right? Keep on rockin', little man!

Wednesday, June 27, 2012


Finley has had a relatively stable course of life thus far. The one exception being that at ten months, I began my new preschool job and Finley began going to Beth's house (a family daycare).  He was crawling, eating almost-grown up people food, still nursing, not talking, but overall a pretty cool cucumber.  Here he is during his first day:
He made a very smooth transition to being surrounded by other little kids and coming to rely on other grown ups to take care of him.  Sniff, sniff.  He played well, ate well, napped well, etc. from nearly the very beginning and that made my job transition quite easy.  Here he is months later, still happy as a clam on Beth's 3-season porch.
Well, big changes have been in store for Finley and about 3 weeks ago (yes, yes, I'm behind here...), Finley had his last day at Beth's. Both Finley and another little girl were saying goodbye that day, so Beth and her lovely assistant (and Finley's fave), Susan, planned quite a fun celebration.  There were treats after lunch and special presents for all the kids to play with out on the driveway.
 This "big giant ball" that Finley showed me when I arrived at pick up (with his name written on it), has been a huge hit in our basement these days and I love that he always reminds me that Ga (aka Susan's grandmother moniker) gave it to him because she will miss him.  Beth put lots of photos, like those above and below, into a little photo book that Finley has loved looking at before bedtime.
Just like the police car we have at home, Finley loved going on patrol each day.
On Fridays at Beth's it was "only boys, no grills" as Finley would say.  Finley adored these guys, especially Carter (tall boy in tan shirt) and Zac (green shirt holding lovely).
Lots of hugs to go around as we said our final goodbye.  I was holding back tears while Finley happily waved, gave high fives, and yelled "BYE" to everyone.  One final picture shows Finley with Susan (on the left) and Bethy giving Finley a final goodbye hug.  
I thanked them both from the bottom of my heart and passed on Dan's appreciation as well.  Finley was truly family at Beth's house and having your child be loved like that by someone else is quite an amazing experience.  

So why did we say goodbye? Well, aside from the commuting inconvenience (Beth's is close to my school, not our house), Finley was signed up to start summer camp the following week!  We has enrolled him at a nearby (5 minutes!) preschool for the fall and signed him up to do camp there as a way to get to know the school, teachers, and etc.  Despite the fact that we are moving in August and he will go elsewhere for preschool, camp was still going to be great for him to make friends, meet new teachers, and have his own little world while adjusting to being a big brother.

Camp began last Monday and a quick visiting day the Friday before really helped get Finley psyched to start.  This first morning, I was a bundle of nerves as I got him all sunscreened up and packed his lunch (he helped me plan the menu--mini cinnamon raisin bagel, yogurt, and a peach). We met his teacher Paula, who was very nice, and Finley got right down to business making pancakes in the play kitchen in his room.  He was so busy in fact that after 10 or 15 minutes of chatting with Paula, I told him I was leaving and he ignored me completely.  Yes, my velcro baby/toddler, was blowing me off.  So I gave him a kiss and asked him to look at my face before saying goodbye to him again and he gave me a slight acknowledgement before I headed down the stairs.  I turned to check on him and he was watching me go, but no tears...except for mine, which I tried to brush away as I waved at the nice ladies in the office on my way out. Sigh.

I went back to pick him up (4 hours later) and he was thrilled to see me and threw his arms around my neck saying "mommy mommy mommy."  Paula said "He had a blast, what a great kid!"  According to her report, he enjoyed snack (cheerios and oranges---though he asked for help to get the peel off each slice) and cleaned it up himself, played well, made a picture with glue and paper scraps, and even sat like a big boy with the 4-year olds to hear a story at circle time, plus he ate ALL of his lunch! I couldn't be prouder!  He skipped and held my hand on the way to the car, only stopping to ask if he could carry his own lunch box by himself :) Once buckled in the car, he said, "I had a fun time at camp, Mommy."  And minutes later as we drove home, he said, "Oh--my pretend phone is ringing. Let me get it."  I asked "who is it?" and he said, "Paula"  How cute is that???

Each day is more or less the same routine, though now I get a hug and perhaps a "bye" or "see you after lunch, mommy."  Last Thursday, Paula gave us a terrific photo book she made of his first week of camp and Finley has loved "reading" it before bed most nights.  While he doesn't look terribly photogenic in all the photos, it's neat to get a peek at what he is up to during the camp day.
Looks like fun, huh? He can't seem to recall much of what happens at camp, but I can get little nuggets of information from what is says on the whiteboard outside his room (reading Rainbow Fish, making paper plate crabs, etc.) or talking to Paula ("Finley is so adaptable and sweet.")  Occasionally, I get information from the boy himself-->Last night before bed, he told me he likes the big sandbox at camp and I asked if he ever climbs the structure. He responded, "I go up there with Gideon, he's my friend, and he likes to go on the structure with me."  Aww. It does break my heart that he won't get to go to this wonderful school in the fall, but how wonderful to know that he'll surely make a smooth transition somewhere new when the time comes.

More changes ahead for Finley as my due date approaches (10 days!) and we pack up and move to our new home (early August).  He's been a trooper thus far with all the packing, cleaning, and camp adjustments, we couldn't ask for better!

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Happy Father's Day

We celebrated Father's Day this past Sunday.  Finley slept until a startling 7:35am...just to counter, Mother's Day began about 6:15amm but I digress...and we enjoyed breakfast together.  Finley's NY grandparents are kind enough to bring us a dozen bagels from their local bagel shop each visit and slowly but surely, Finley is coming around to the idea that even a month+ old, frozen and then defrosted NY bagel is still way better than anything Boston can offer in the bagel department.  Dan is always kind enough to tear off some of his freshly toasted everything bagel to share with his son and Father's Day was no different.  Then, Dan headed off to frisbee practice and Finley and I met up with Casey, Megan, and little Darwin at Wilson Farms for Strawberry Fest 2012.  Granted, the Forseters had been to Strawberry Fest the day before to partake in all the festivities, but Finley was game to go again and enjoy Darwin's first hayride with him. 

Finley gave them a big hello and showed us the way to the "big blue tractors" for his second hayride of the weekend.  Casey snapped a great photo of us - both boys smiling at the camera, awesome!  
Then, we were off! Finley was happy as a clam, but he seemed to enjoy the fact that Darwin was smiling and laughing as much as the sights of the farm.  He couldn't wait to tell Dan how much Darwin loved the ride. Afterwards, we went off in search of some free strawberry shortcake samples while Darwin and his folks did some herb shopping.  We ate our cake, visited the pigs, chickens, llama, and fish, and checked out the wide array of fun sprinklers and hoses in the garden shop (Finley can't seem to get enough of pretend watering plants these days) before going on our way.  We had to steer clear of the house for a couple more hours since we were having an open house at our place to Finley selected a playground nearby and then we went out for pizza and our favorite pizza shop.  Dan met us there after practice, just in time to eat two of the slices we had left on the tray.

Once back at home, Finley took a long nap, something he can nearly be counted on to do these days.  Dan was almost giddy to get him up and play, so it was with great self control we waited and waited...Despite the lateness of the hour when he finally awoke, we all changed and piled into the car to head to a nearby beach just to extend the Father's Day fun.

 We gave Dan a framed photo for his desk of him and Finley at the school fair from last weekend and opened cards that had arrived in the mail.  Finley and Dan enjoyed their usual book and bedtime routine and it was the perfect way to end such a special day.

Friday, June 15, 2012


Yep, it's official! Our house is on the market! We have packed stuff, moved stuff out, thrown lots away, recycled and freecycled plenty, and cleaned the place from top to bottom over the past ten days and now we are awaiting the future owners of our house to walk in and make us an offer.  This new arrangement means that we are at the mercy of the Coldwell Banker scheduling program person who sets up all the appointments when agents want to come by with their buyers.  We made some preferences known about the earliest and latest appointment times that would work for us as well as trying to avoid showings during Finley's nap, but the truth is that we are eager to sell the place and will do whatever we can to accommodate any and all showing requests.  Gulp.  Little did I know that this would start immediately after going online last night...there was a broker open house from 10:45 to 11:15 this morning, followed by a showing at 12:30 and I just got a call for another today at 4:30.  Not to mention our two open houses this weekend and another showing at 4:30 tomorrow.  Phew.  

Finley and I kept ourselves busy this morning with a trip to the post office and a visit to where he will start camp on Monday, followed by a trip to Stride Rite to return some sandals he did not need for camp after all.  It was the first of many schlepping excursions we will be taking in the days ahead...but there should be some perks to all of this craziness, right?

Right! We had lunch at Friendly's and after Finley struggled his way through some fries and chicken fingers (he was too busy dancing around singing "I've Been Working on the Railroad"), our kind waitress took his ice cream order: Vanilla with some M&M's on top :)
 He managed to pick and scoop out all the M&Ms first and then had about three bites of ice cream. Which was just fine with me since we did have to rush home for a nap before the 4:30 showing would have us back out in the world.
So, here I sit blogging while Finley snoozes and if he's not up by 4:10, I will have to wake him up and we will head over to Henry and Simon's house for some kiddy pool fun in the sun.  I suspect we will be cashing in lots of favors with friends in the coming days when we need a place to escape to, thank you Mary for being willing to host us first!

Down the Street

One of the things we will miss the most when we move is having playgrounds in all directions.  This one, down the street from us, has provided hours of fun for our family recently.  It has a playground full of sand, a structure, swings, etc, a basketball court, and a baseball field.  Last week, we took the opportunity to finally take Finley's birthday bike (from Aunt Caitlin) out on the road (as opposed to our basement).  A basketball court seemed like the perfect place for a test ride and thankfully, Finley remembered to bring his helmet (seriously, he asked Dan go back into the basement to get it just before we left the house!). Safety first!
 Dan got him moving and then let him go, but it's hard to know if Finley's got enough power in his legs to keep the momentum going while he pedals.
Good effort :)
After bike riding, Finley got out his bat, ball, and glove from the canvas bag of sports equipment that we never leave home without.  This video is taken from the catcher's perspective, but it is nonetheless awesome!
Finley adores playing baseball these days and never seems discouraged--which is impressive since for every hit he gets, he probably swings and misses a half dozen times at least.  I love his determination and love of the game!