Sunday, February 24, 2013

A Visit from NY

GG and Grandpa came up this weekend for a winter visit.  We had a lovely Shabbat dinner on Friday night and then a relaxing morning on Saturday until we went off to explore Concord Center nearby.  Concord is a neighboring town with lots of cute shops on its main drag so we parked and went to have lunch at Helen's.  The place was PACKED but after waiting a while for our table, we managed to have a delicious and very filling meal.  Dagny loves eating out at restaurants and happily ate her jar o' yum and some puffs while watching all the action around her.  She also tried some french fries! GG even took a turning feeding our little bottomless pit :)
We went into some shops and Finley showed his grandparents his favorite toy store.  We took the kids home for a nap while GG and Grandpa explored a bit more.  After a restful nap, Dagny was ready for more playing and she had a ball on her Grandpa's lap.
After an even longer nap, Finley woke up and was excited that it was time to head to temple for the Purim service.  He happily donned the pirate costume he'd gotten from Grammy and Granddad on his birthday. Yo ho ho!
Both kids were awesome during the reading of the Megillah and we enjoyed some treats afterwards before heading home for a late bedtime.  

GG and Grandpa played with us all morning on Sunday before heading home ahead of a snow storm.  We'll see them again for Passover at the end of March and Finley is already wondering how long till we get to go!

Big Brother to the Rescue

Since the day we brought Dagny home from the hospital, Finley has been a terrific big brother.  I mean it.  He's never shown any resentment towards her and while he sometimes has a hard time sharing our attention, he doesn't blame her for having to wait for us to help him out.  The older she's gotten, the more Finley has wanted to interact with her and since she actually responds these days with a smile, a laugh, or a babble--he knows how much she loves him back.  There are countless examples of when Finley comes to the aid of his sister like when she can't reach a toy, wants a cheerio, or her hat has fallen over her eyes.  The other day, we were at Gymboree looking for something and I plopped Dagny down on the floor for a while while I combed through the racks, but after about five minutes she started to get fussy and Finley (from about 10 feet away) immediately rushed over and got down on his knees to cheer her up (without a word from me!).

I wish I had taken a video, but I was just scrambling to capture the moment and got some average quality photos.  He tapped her feet and made silly, googly noises at her until she started laughing and smiling.  It was priceless!
When they are killing one another fighting for the bathroom before heading off to high school years from now, I will surely want to remember these moments :)  Finley, you're an amazing brother to a very lucky baby sister!

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Carousel Ride

On Presidents' Day, we were feeling a little cabin fever and it was too cold to play outside so we ventured to one of the malls that could be "our mall" since relocating to Acton.  After exploring the play area and some of the stores, we went to the food court for some pizza and got a table right near the huge carousel.  We watched lots of kids and parents ride around and Finley had fun waving to them and pointing out the different horses.  Finley, Dagny and I had been there once before and Finley didn't ask to go on the carousel (since he's a bit of a chicken), but he surprised Dan and I by asking to go on it after he finished his pizza.  Dan was a good sport and agreed to take Finley aboard.  $2 later, they walked around to pick a horse.
Even before the carousel started to move, Finley was SUPER excited.  Can you tell?
The operator went around and made sure everyone was strapped in safely and off they went!
According to Dan, Finley called out "Ride 'em, cowboy!" over and over as they went round and round.  He seemed to be in heaven each time he came around and smiled at me and Dagny.  I have to admit, his joy even made me a bit giddy.  There's nothing like seeing your kid be amazingly happy.
 We mentioned his carousel ride to Dan's parents that evening and they were impressed since apparently Dan was even more of a wuss than Finley and would have NEVER gone on such a ride at this age.  I guess Finley's scaredy-cat nature may be genetic and there's hope he will grow out of it at some point :)

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Our Two Funny Valentines

Anyone that knows me, knows that I'm a sucker for a Hallmark holiday and Valentine's Day is no exception.  This year, I channeled my inner-stay-at-home-mom and with a little help from Finley, we made some awesome valentines to mail to our friends and family.  Finley kindly let me paint his feet to use his footprints and then I added some details with markers.
One design was a race car (built for 2):
 The second was a dump truck full of heart stickers that Finley stuck on.
I addressed all the cards and after school one day, we went to the post office to mail them.  Finley loves going to the post office though after one ridiculously long lined visit, he always asks me if it will be too crowded when we go.  He carefully dropped in all the cards and then asked to be lifted up so he could look in and make sure his cards landed in the basket (which they did).
Now my lifelong love of sending and receiving mail may be a tough one to pass on to our techno-modern-aged children, but I'm going to try!  Finley asked why we were sending cards and so I said it would make our friends/family happy on Valentine's Day, but it did occur to me that he might want to experience some of that same mailbox joy so I emailed some of the people we sent cards to see if they could send our little mailman some valentines.  Asked and received! Our mailbox was overflowing by the 14th and Finley had fun opening cards from his huge stack of mail.  Among many, he got a great Cars card from GG, a 3-d penguin card from Aunt Caitlin, a sports card from Grammy ("look mommy, a hockey ball!" aka a puck), and even a homemade one from Aunt Ellie and Uncle Donny. Check it out!!
Our local friends also heeded the call and Finley was excited to get cards from Charlotte, Aliza&Levi, Nola, and Darwin. With all those cards to read and look at plus the cards he got from his friends at school, our kitchen table was covered in paper, hearts, and love :) Thanks, everyone!

Along with their sweet cards, my parents sent each of the kids a Valentine's shirt.  Finley proudly wore his "drums and heart" shirt and then we put on a heart tattoo on his arm.  
Dagny needed long sleeves that morning since she can't wear a sweatshirt over her shirt (not good for fear of suffocation) to school yet like Finley, so we will save her adorable, sparkly heart onesie for later.  We did have some pants with little hearts on them, though, so we made it work.  Here she is dressed for the day with her bunny lovey, Hops.

 Our two lovebugs on Valentine's Day :)
 Dan brought home some lovely roses and we're going out to dinner Saturday night when we were able to secure a sitter.  A real date! Thank you, Hallmark, for all that you do to further February 14th as a fun day to show everyone how much you love them :)

Tuesday, February 12, 2013


After dinner tonight, Dan and Finley put on their snow gear for a little before-bed-snow-play. First, Dan taught Finley how to make a snowball and how to throw it.  Then, the main event: building a snowman. Finley used his shovel to help Dan pile up the snow and then Dan shaped it into a decent looking snow person.  Dan commented it has been quite some time since he built a snowman and it wasn't as easy as he had expected :)

There was a knock on the back door and the boys requested a carrot nose and some things for eyes and a mouth.  All we had were baby carrots in the fridge, but I found the longest baby carrot in the bag and then looked for other facial accessories.  As much as I knew Dan wouldn't be thrilled, I put some of his beloved chocolate almonds (from costco) in a bowl and carried them outside with the not-so-baby baby carrot and Baby Dagny.

The carrot went in without too much trouble and so did the eyes, but the mouth was another story.  We asked Finley if his snowman needed a mouth and he said, "yes!!" but after one more failed effort--I persuaded him to just ask Dan to put on some buttons.  A successful compromise.  While Dan was putting on the chocolate almond buttons, Finley said he wanted to name his snowman, Fluffy.  Good choice!

Dan took some photos before we all headed in.
Here's how Fluffy looked the next morning in the light of day.
Now that afternoon when we got home from school, the eyes and carrot were gone and we suspected a squirrel had eaten them so Finley was crushed.  But to his joy, they had just fallen out as the snow melted a bit and we replaced them.  It will be 50 degrees Fluffy may not be long for this world...
I know Finley will be thrilled to see Fluffy each time we drive in and out of the house!

Monday, February 11, 2013

Blizzard of 2013

Long story, short - we got 22 inches of snow Friday into Saturday this past weekend.  It looked beautiful as it came down...but when it stopped, the amount of snow was just shocking. 
Even out screened in porch took a beating.
Finley again donned his snow gear to go outside and while he didn't last very long out there, it was a strong effort.
Sorry, Dagny, it was too chilly and windy to take you out this time.
 And just for those of you who are curious, Dan spent over 3 hours outside snowblowing our driveway and walkway.  What a guy!

Snowy Day

Finley loves the idea of playing in the snow and getting all his gear on.
We really hope this love of shoveling continues as he gets older and then he could actually be of some use to us...

To the Moon!

On a very chilly February Saturday, we ventured out and Dagny got to have her first baby swing ride.  Finley loved seeing her in a "rocketship" and while he was bummed since he had to wait his turn, it made Dan and I realize that he might just be too big for the baby swing now...
 Clearly, the swing was a big hit for the little girl!

Party time!

A few weeks ago, we went to Finley's buddy, Charlotte's, birthday party at Planet Gymnastics (the party that inspired Finley's enrollment in a gym class).  Finley was excited for a Gym Party and Dagny got all dressed up for the occasion.
Finley jumped right in once we got to the gym, literally.  The giant foam pit was his favorite and he totally wore himself out jumping in, sliding in, and crawling back out.

Occasionally, he would come out of the pit to try the other equipment.
 Or dance around on the gym floor.
 All the kids got together to play with the parachute and Finley had a blast raising it up and down.
And he loved crawling on in with the birthday girl.
 Soon it was time for cake and the anticipation nearly killed him!
He sang loudly and enjoyed the chocolate cake.
Friends, fun, and cake - what more could a kid ask for?

Doin' the Dagny

Still working on compiling those blizzard photos...but we were cooped up for a few days while mother nature had her way outside.  Dagny is much more cooperative with posing for photos than her big brother these days, so I snapped a bunch. 

Here she is playing around with Finley's beloved Agent P...while Finley wasn't around, of course, he can be very territorial.
 Playing with her Gloworm Seahorse from Aunt Caitlin.
I played with the flip button on my iphone's camera for this next one.  Color's a little off, but we look cute :)
When the driving ban was lifted, we headed out for dinner and Dagny enjoyed her first time in a restaurant high chair :)