Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Like Father, Like Son

We all want our kids to just inherit our good qualities and habits, but undoubtedly some of the other ones will be absorbed as well.  While Finley has surely gotten my goofy sense of humor and love of music, he also needs to have things "just so" akin to my anal retentive nature.  His camp teacher, Paula, has remarked, "There's a right and wrong with him, huh?"  The other half of his DNA, of course, is Dan's and Dan has been loving how much Finley is imitating his behavior lately.

Race car driving
But funniest of all: Icing his achilles.  Dan mildly injured his achilles playing frisbee a few weeks back and Finley has been oddly fascinated by the nightly routine of Dan icing his leg with a bag of frozen peas (lima beans to be more specific).  This morning before camp, he got down on the floor and put a plastic bag (full of wooden food pieces) and said, "Look, I'm using frozen peas for my achilles like Daddy!" I snapped this phone photo and sent it off to Dan.

Tonight, both boys iced their achilles in the playroom.  Can you see how big Finley is smiling??  
Strange, yes. Endearing, for sure.
And what is Ms. Dagny up to during all of this?

Monday, July 30, 2012

Follow Up

Usually, I'm posting about catching up, but here's a follow up:

We went to the pediatric urologist/surgeon for Dagny's appointment on Thursday and got wonderful news, Dagny's on the road to normal in terms of her right kidney's measurements!  Hooray! The doctor was very optimistic that things would resolve on their own in time after viewing her scans and said we could take her off the antibiotics and come back in November for another renal ultrasound to check in on things.  Awesome, what a huge relief!

A special "thank you" to Grandpa Murray for coming up from NY to take care of Finley while we went to the appointment.  He picked up Finley from camp and took the little guy out for pizza at our favorite pizza shop.  The funniest moment of his visit by far was when Dan came home (about an hour after Murray arrived), Finley yelled to Dan, "Hi, Daddy! Your dad is here!"  He's got the family tree connection down! We hadn't even talked about the relationship between Dan and Murray recently.

Here's Grandpa working his baby whisperer magic:
 Here's Dagny this weekend "sitting" and showing off her chipmunk cheeks (better than a double chin, right?)
Thank you for all the supportive emails from our loyal blog followers after last week's post, Dagnys (and her family) is well loved!

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Catching Up

We're beginning to settle into our two kiddo reality here, but it is certainly a wild ride each and every day. The best part is that Finley and Dagny are officially a loving pair of siblings and we couldn't be more thrilled.  
Finley adores being a big brother and is very interested in where his baby sis is and what she is up to.  He shows her off at camp pick up and drop off, "Look, my baby is sleeping right there!"  We are trying to help him understand that there's no need to talk to her nose-to-nose, no matter how loud he is--she won't be talking back to him anytime soon :) But I do love his enthusiasm to include her and be with her.  When she cries (and she does plenty of that), he makes suggestions of what might be wrong: "Does she need more milk from your body?  Can we change her diaper? Maybe she wants to go in her swing?"  He also likes to entertain us with his guitar playing and singing skills. 
 Don't let her expression fool you, she's enjoying the show!
With the daily changes in weather around here (hot and humid one day, below 70 degrees the next), Dagny seems to wear all sorts of clothes and since babies require a handful of clothing changes a day...you never know what she might be wearing.
Last Friday, she got to wear just a diaper for an hour or so as she and I spent the afternoon at MGH for some tests.  While in the womb, Dagny's right kidney was seen to be developing a bit abnormally and so we are following up to see if it is on the road to correcting itself as they often do in such cases.  Technically, this is called "hydronephrosis" but I won't try to explain in--the basic situation is we want to assure that her kidney is draining properly to prevent a back up from the bladder.  First, she had a renal ultrasound and while it was hard to watch her squirm around on the table while the scan was taken--it was quite odd to watch someone her get an ultrasound outside of the womb after all the ones I had while she was on the inside!  
Second, she had a VCUG which was fairly complex and involved a catheter and some dye followed by a waiting period for her to pee three times while they took x-rays of her internal plumbing.  She did amazingly well and we left feeling very proud of ourselves: her for surviving a catheter and me for not crying while she survived the catheter :) We are scheduled to see one of the top pediatric kidney guys this week to go over the results of the scans.

In lighter news, Finley got a haircut this week in preparation for his Aunt Ellie's wedding at the end of August when he will be a ring bearer! We like his hair long-ish so we figured we'd get it cut short now and in 5 weeks, it will be a good medium length.  Since his very first haircut (18 months old or so), he's gotten his haircut at his family daycare but since he is all done there--we had to go to an actual salon, crazy!  He wasn't thrilled and told us that he did not want to hair dryer on him, so as soon as we met Nancy at her salon, he said, "No hair dryer, please."  She was great with him and while he was certainly nervous, he did a great job!
 Post haircut, he picked a baseball tattoo from Nancy's treasure box and then played at the toy kitchen and tool bench for a while.
 Don't worry, his haircut is better than this picture shows since it was still wet.  Honestly though, it wasn't the best cut he's gotten and we're hoping it evens out in the coming weeks...but the experience was very positive and I think that is more important in the long run!

Two more unrelated pictures:
Wearing my sunglasses in the car
 My two guys at the park after Finley, Dagny, and I had been playing there for a while when Dan arrived from work.
Someone told us 1+1 does not equal 2 but closer to 3 (when it comes to kids) was right, but I think we are getting a handle on it...sort of...for now...

Monday, July 16, 2012

Great Uncle Perry Pops By

Last week, I got a wonderfully unexpected phone call. My Uncle Perry called saying he would be near Boston the next day after a job interview and would love to come visit us before he had to head back to the airport.  Hooray! Finley and Dagny have gotten to see a lot of their extended family in recent days but Perry lives in the Carolinas, I certainly didn't think they'd get to see him for a while!

He arrived while Dagny was hanging out with us and Finley was still napping.  Perry is a father of two girls, so he knows what we are in for with Dagny (but thankfully he didn't tell us too much and frighten us!).  
When Finley woke up, he was a bit out of it and "desperately" needed a snack so we sat at the table with some watermelon and pretzel sticks.  Finley was interested to learn that Perry is Granddad's brother, who knew Granddads had brothers?!  Finley began to come out of his shell and then it was time to open presents! Finley's little buddy Darwin had dropped off some gifts for him and Dagny and the  excitement ensued when the bubbles came out of the gift bag!
Finley's still working on his bubble blowing skills, so after a few tries he asked me to do it.  
These were great bubbles and Perry encouraged Finley to try and catch them with his mouth--let's just say that Finley took that idea and ran with it!
There was a lot of laughter and plenty of bubble catching that followed!!  Finley also opened a neat monster truck from Perry and he has been playing with it ever since :) He likes that when it bumps into something (couch, fireplace, etc.) it goes up on its back wheels and even flips over sometimes.  Thanks, Great Uncle Perry!

*all photo credits to Perry!

Sunday, July 15, 2012

We Went to the Zoo, Zoo, Zoo

As it was Dan's last weekday of paternity leave, we had to do something special so despite the predicted high temperatures and the fact that Dagny was only ten days old...we packed up everyone and headed south to the Roger Williams Zoo which is in Providence.  We have closer zoos, but one is very small and the other isn't much to look at (literally) so I had always wanted to check out RWZ.  We listened to Raffi's version of "We're Going to the Zoo" and Finley sang along enthusiastically before taking a short cat nap.  We got there just as the zoo opened and put Dagny in my front pack and Finley in the stroller.

She slept for most of the zoo adventure and thanks to this lovely hat, didn't have to see/feel a bit of the hot sun.
Our first stop was the zebras and Finley, with zoo ticket in hand, was thrilled to spot them.
After about five seconds, he was quick to say "let's find some other animals."  This continued at exhibit after exhibit until we got to the area where the giraffes and elephants were and he finally showed some patience and fascination with the animals in front of him.
We watched the elephants for quite a while and then moved on to see some tortoises, seals, a moon bear, farm animals, a sleeping snow leopard, some bison, and a bald eagle.  
The next animal that really caught Finley's attention was a crowd-pleasing monkey who came right to one of the viewing windows and put on a show for all of us.
Finley couldn't resist climbing up on this dog statue and then once on top of it, pretending it was a horse saying "giddy up!"
 We went back to see the elephants again and this time, we got to see them getting hosed down for a bath and see the zookeepers feed them all sorts of fruits and vegetables.  Finley had to be torn away! Perhaps he'll be a Tufts Jumbo someday like his folks :)

We spent the last hour in the Big Backyard which was a kids' playspace that had water with boats and wooden fish, a giant treehouse, building materials, etc.  I went to find a cooler AC-ed space to feed Dagny while the boys played outside.  No photos, boo, but Dan reported that Finley had a blast checking everything out, especially the spot with tools and wood scraps and the treehouse, too.

All in all, we were there about three hours and assumed Finley would pass out in the car immediately between all the activity and heat, but to our surprise he only slept the last twenty minutes or so of our hour-plus ride home!  That worked perfectly to allow us to get him down for a real nap at home :)  Dagny was mostly sound asleep with minor bouts of crying, but after all she was only 10 days old, what more could we ask for? Never would we have taken newborn Finley on such an adventure, but perhaps it is representative of the excitement to come in Dagny's young life as the sidekick to an active toddler.

Bath Time!

Dagny met with her pediatrician on Thursday who gave her the once over (she gained 13 oz in 6 days!!) and said that now that her cord stub had fallen off (sorry if that was TMI), she could have a real bath.  We brought down our infant tub from the attic and asked Finley if he wanted to help give his sister a bath.  He eagerly accepted and helped us gather all the materials (towels, washcloths, soap, rinse cup, etc.) and we set everything up on the kitchen floor.  We warned Finley that Dagny might cry during her bath, but that it was just because she had never had one before.  Much to our surprise, our little girl was quite as mouse throughout the whole experience!  Finley was an excellent bath assistant and was very gentle as she helped us wash and rinse Dagny.
We used the cotton balls to wash her face and Finley did just as I did: dip the cottonball in the water, then rub gently on her cheeks, eyes, and nose.
We used the special brush from the hospital to to wash her hair and Dagny continued to remain silent, which was lovely because we were able to take our time and let Finley really be a part of it.
I certainly look forward to the day when the two kids will be able to take a bath together in the big tub, but this was a more than satisfactory experience!

Friday, July 13, 2012

Finley Has His Fun

With all the attention Dagny has brought to the house, have no fear--Finley is still getting lots of it for himself and seeming to enjoy it!

He loved playing guitar with my dad at least once a day (before he and my mom went home, sniff sniff).  Watching him strum and sing along was truly priceless.
When his friend, Charlotte, came over last week, Finley got Charlotte one of his spare guitars and they jammed right along with my dad.  Adorable!

Finley is singing his heart out here!
After all that music, Charlotte, Finley and Joey enjoyed a snack together.  It's pretty interesting that Finley struggles to share his toys these days but willing shares all food...I guess it's better than not wanting to share anything.

My dad loved building with Finley.  Here they are working on a highway.
And then adding a parking garage.
One of the biggest accomplishments was seeing Finley "let" my dad read him a book.  The kid seems to enjoy my rendition of his favorites above everyone else, so this was lovely to see.
Finley loved going outside with Dan and my mom after his nap and they played with sponges in the water table and spent what seemed like hours in the sandbox building and burying each other's feet.
Dan tried to get Finley excited about the little puppy sprinkler we had out in the backyard, but our little chicken wasn't so sure about it.
Finley always finds ways to make his own fun and climbing into the bassinet Dagny sleeps in was hysterical--especially since back in the day, Finley slept in it, too!
A rare shot of me and my boy having a good laugh.
Finley loves being with his sister and I cannot wait to watch their "play" in the coming months and years.