Thursday, September 27, 2012

Apples of my Eye

With the fall weather seemingly here to stay, it felt like it was time to go apple picking.  We talked about it yesterday at dinner and he seemed pretty excited, though I was worried about the height of the apples.  Blueberry picking was so fun and there were tons of berries right at his level, but I was foggy on how apple trees measured up...Fast forward a day and we arrived at Shelburne Farm which is very close to our new house (15 minutes or maybe less).  We bought a bag for our apples (10 lbs when full!) and then inquired about the hayrides.  As soon as he heard me ask about them, Finley's ears perked up and he said, "Where's the tractor for the hayride??"  They ran on the hour so at 3:40pm, we wouldn't have to wait too long and Finley had plenty of other farm vehicles to check out.  Lucky for us, the tractor driver found us and said he'd take us now since it was his last trip of the day.  Finley hopped aboard and Dagny in the front pack went along for the ride.  It was a pretty bumpy ride so Finley and I held onto each other and Dagny soon fell asleep.  There were apple trees in all directions and it was a lovely ride.  

Then, it was time to pick some apples.  We headed up the hill, past the horse barn, and into the orchard.  We settled on Empire apples since they are excellent "lunch box" apples and were closer than all the other varieties!  As soon as Finley spotted some apples at his level, he snapped into action.  He soon discovered that apples are a lot harder to pick than blueberries, he really had to put some muscle into it. Too bad apple picking pictures are tough when the apple picker is deep into the tree...
After tossing four or five apples, Finley picked up the bag to meet me a few trees over.
He barely made it over to me saying the bag was much too heavy and "you can carry it and I will put more apples in."  Deal.  He got ones from the low branches and I reached some higher ones and before I knew it, our bag was overflowing! 
Finley wanted to keep picking but I explained that once our bag was full, it was time to head back and eat some.  We began walking back despite being tempted to keep picking along the way.  About 3/4 of the way back, Finley stopped and asked, "Will someone please carry me?" Uh-oh.  I said I couldn't since I had Dagny and Daddy was at work, but maybe he could choose which apple he was going to eat first and carry that back to the picnic tables.  It worked! He selected an apple, asked to hold me hand, and we were on our way once again.

We both began eating our apples and he was sure to tell me he wouldn't eat the stem.  He inhaled his apple, I barely beat him out with mine and then we tossed the cores into the trash.
Then, we went to explore the pumpkins that were on display.  Finley did some pumpkin rearranging, telling anyone who would listen that he was, "the guy who puts the pumpkins out after the front loader tractor delivers them."
He asked for another apple and ate it while hanging out on top of a giant pumpkin.
The farm's cat, Blackie, hung out with us and Finley asked me if cats eat apples since "they are so juicy."
He finished his second apple and asked to go visit some of the animals.  We saw a llama, some goats, chickens, and two cute ponies and Finley tossed in some hay through the fence that he said "must have fallen out but now they can eat it."  So thoughtful, my future farmer. We walked back to the car and when he saw our bag of apples, he asked for yet another one! He gobbled it up on the way home and then asked for his fourth apple and I explained that too many apples might hurt his belly, so I offered him a graham cracker (who knew I'd prefer him to eat a graham cracker over a piece of fruit!).

A successful outing and one we will probably embark on at least one more time before apple season is over! A nice lady (with two kids of her own) said how lucky I was to have two beautiful kids to go apple picking with and that really made me smile :)

Something funny to add that ties into all the apples Finley ate today.  As dinner was winding down, Finley said, "Mommy, I finished my carrots.  Can I have a banana for dessert?" Gotta love his food preferences, right? We do let him partake in sweet desserts now and again but lately he seems to qualify anything extra after dinner as a "dessert" so if the kid requests pretzels or bananas for dessert--who are we to turn him down?

Monday, September 24, 2012

The Big Trucks Return

Just a year ago, Finley and I checked out a "Touch a Truck" event in Newton and while he was just beginning what is now a love/obsession of big vehicles, the morning was quite memorable.
 Yesterday, we went back again and it was a very different experience one year later since Finley is much more vocal, articulate, and opinionated plus I had Dagny strapped to my chest ;)  On our way to the event, Finley and I chatted about what we be going on and I reminded him about waiting in long lines to sit in the trucks and the possibility of some loud horns, sirens, and such.  He said he didn't want it to be noisy there (too bad) and that he could wait his turn (he did).

Turns out it was super loud near the police cars, but whenever we were in a line or a truck that wasn't near them, it wasn't bad at all.  The lines were awful but the most awful part was the seemingly clueless parents/grandparents that didn't realize that keeping their kids sitting in the trucks for over 5 minutes was the reason that the lines were all so long.  I kept an eye on my watch each time Finley finally made his way into a truck and we were in and out within two minutes--sometimes less if from the high vantage point, Finley would see another truck he wanted to check out!  Here are the first couple of trucks we checked out:

1. backhoe - can you sense the excitement???
2. front loader

Waiting in line was much easier with a snack in hand!

3. supermarket big rig (Finley was psyched it had a green cab, his favorite color).

4. dump truck

He looked so much bigger in the trucks than he did last year, but still pretty tiny in comparison to the scale of the vehicles.
5. crane
6. moving truck (using the free flashlight keychain like a key).  He said he was driving us to the "new yellow house" - so sweet.
The back of the moving truck had empty boxes that were a big hit.

We took an ice cream break (yes, there was an ice cream truck there! These touch-a-truck people aren't idiots) and then made our way over to the louder side of the parking lot to see the fire truck.  The lines were MEGA-long to sit into the truck, so we opted for the shorter line to sit on the fender and ring the bell.
Nearby was a flatbed trailer that Finley eagerly climbed aboard and had a dance party on.

Dagny woke up and made it known that she had had it, so I asked Finley if it was okay for us to head home and he kindly said, "How about one more truck, Mommy?" I couldn't turn down such a polite request and lucky for us, he spotted an ambulance and said that would be a good one.  To his surprise, the driver/paramedic was inside!  They chatted for a bit and then we were off.
There's another such event 5 minutes from our house next weekend, so we'll see if Aunt Caitlin wants to see this fun in person!  I assumed Finley would pass out on the 30 minute ride home, but he was too busy talking about all the trucks and snacking on some pretzels.  This made for an excellent afternoon nap later on :) Everyone wins!

Friday, September 21, 2012

Little Bits

Things are never dull around here, but I haven't taken many photos to document all the goings on.  We spent 3 days in NY for Rosh Hashanah and aside from the photo that Grandpa Murray snapped of Dagny sleeping on me while I slept on the banquette in the kitchen...I have no photo evidence that we were there.  We did have a nice visit, though, with lots of good food, friends, and family.  Finley loved riding on the toy tractor and playing with many of the trucks Dan had as a little kid.  Dagny was passed around and didn't seem to mind and she did her best to sleep in her bassinet at night which was lovely! Finley enjoyed temple, especially when the shofar was blown and seeing his Aunt Ellie sing up on the bimah.  He was also very attentive to the rabbis--when they said "be seated" or "please stand" he was on top of it, even telling me to keep up!

To make up for my lack of photos, here is a random assortment of phone and camera photos from the past couple of weeks.

Dagny is in the bear outfit Finley donned years back.
 Two kids on one lap plus a giant stuffed penguin, way to go Dad!
 Finley was lucky enough to get a "big brother" gift from Great Aunt Annette and Great Uncle Bernie while we were in NY and as soon as we got home he got to open it.  A huge tool set! He got right to work and has been loving it ever since.  So far, he's "built" a sandbox for Dagny and a birdhouse for our backyard.
 Plus, he does some repairs around the house!
Here's Dagny at the park yesterday, it was surprisingly chilly so I pulled out the Google hat that was given to Baby Finley and it fit her perfectly.  Here's Finley wearing it back in April 2010.
Finley saw it and said, "Hey--that's like what is on your computer when we open it!"  Nothing gets by this kid! Now, here's Dagny trying out the bumbo.
She's not sitting at all on her own, but did surprisingly well in this seat.

Finally, last Sunday we went to the Acton-Boxbourgh Farmer's Market and while we didn't need any fruits/veggies--I wanted to check it out.  Finley heard some music as soon as we arrived and we followed our ears to a tent with two dads playing guitars.  Kids were playing instruments and dancing around so we found seats and enjoyed the show.  Finley was entranced, as he always is by music, and it was hard to tear him away.  They even played "The Cat Came Back" which our family loves!
 There was also a tent explaining the new train station that is going to be built by 2013 in town and to attract families over, there was a spread of train tracks and Finley got down on the ground and started to build.
Hopefully both these tents will be there each week for the market or it will be hard to get Finley to return!

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Sudbury Sandbox Heaven

There is a great playground that is about 25 minutes from us (which is kind of far for a playground) so when we know Dan is going to be home later than his usual 6:30/6:45, we head out to this spot in Sudbury.  Finley LOVES this playground and when we pulled into the parking lot, he asked if he could go play while I got Dagny into the front pack.  Usually I would say "no way" to going solo into a large playground but we are working on his independence (i.e. being able to keep playing in the playroom and not needing to come into the bathroom with me--ug) so I am trying to encourage him to be "free" when I know he will be safe.  Off he ran! There's a big pretend fire truck as part of the structure and he told me that was where he wanted to go first.  Five minutes later when I tracked him down with Dagny in tow, he wasn't in the fire truck but here in sandbox/truck heaven.
And here he remained for upwards of two hours with only a couple short visits back to the fire truck and some slides on the structure.
He worked with some other kiddos to dig a huge hole.  He wasn't as productive a digger as the bigger kids he was working with, but they seemed cool with it.  
He called out to the two girls he was playing with to come help him get out of the hole that he was "stuck" in.
 When I finally convinced him that we needed to leave soon, he asked to go back on the fire truck then the swings and finally this awesome ladybug rocker.
Sure wish this playground was closer, but it does make for a special treat to go and some afternoons--we've got nothing by time on our hands!

Basement Fun

Quick disclaimer...No one is really sleeping here a chez Forseter.  After a good start to her crib snoozing, Dagny has changed her mind about that and is fighting us tooth and nail which keeps us up and sadly, wakes her brother up as well..."this too shall pass" is ringing in my ears, but I sure hope it passes sooner rather than later.  Anyways...

One of the best assets of our new house is our HUGE finished basement and Finley has been loving it down there.  Dagny is getting in on the fun, too.  Here they are doing some tummy time together.

 Finley likes showing his toys to his baby sister.
 Even showing her important things like where the cockpit is on this plane.
 After a while, Dagny decided she'd had enough tummy time and rolled over.
When Dagny is napping, we like to go down to the basement and create havoc.  A new favorite game is building towers with the cardboard bricks (anyone else have these as kids??) and then kicking the "big giant ball" into it.  For a while I was always the builder and Finley was the kicker, but yesterday he wanted to trade roles.  While his tower was only a few stories tall, the effort was lovely.  Here's a short video from this weekend.
 Finley is such a clown!
Can you see the vastness of our basement in this shot? I suspect this space will take on many different activities in the years to come, but a GIGANTIC playspace suits us just fine right now.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Dagny is 2 Months Old!

We are settling into our new life and routine here in Acton.  Dan's learning the ropes of his new, longer commute.  Finley's like one of the gang at his preschool.  I'm in school-withdrawl as everyone is going back for 2012-2013 except me. Amid everything, Dagny's been doing her thing and this week she had her 2 month check up.  I had to wake her to go to the doctor but she fell back asleep in the car and patiently waited in the waiting room in the adorable outfit from Aunt Caitlin.
 But woke up a bit peeved (ater waiting 20 minutes, she wasn't the only one).
 Finally, it was her turn and we went into the exam room for her to get weighed and measured.  While waiting for the nurse, Dagny caught a glimpse of herself in the small mirror on the wall and was fascinated.  I tried several times to get a picture of this "encounter" and here's my best one.
 She tipped the scales at 13 lbs 2 oz and a length of 23 1/4 inches long.  Yep--she's a tank :) The doctor was thrilled with her numbers and said we should be pleased :)  We discussed her sleeping and eating habits and then the doc did the physical exam.  Dagny smiled at her and cooed and the doctor commented how well she focused her eyes on her, what a model patient!  Last thing was the three shots she needed so I braced myself and held her hand, she cried and yelped until I was able to scoop her up.  
I took her home and she was pretty worn out from all the excitement/stress of the appointment, but perked up after a long afternoon snooze that she kindly took while Finley and I played in our basement playroom.

Here are some other recent Dagny photos from her 8th week on the planet.
A tummy-time pro!  She's already rolled from front to back several times, so we may be in trouble soon!
We are so proud of our not-so-little baby and can't wait to see what she will do next!