Sunday, April 28, 2013

The Structure Surprise

Today was a great day in the history of the Forseters at 8 Old Village Road as today was the day that we surprised Finley with something amazing.  I hit the freecycle jackpot earlier in the week and for those of you unaware of the wonders of freecycle, google it and join in.  After several emails, picture transfers, and a drive by - we secured a barely used, 2009, totally awesome play structure for the backyard.  Free.  So Dan organized some manpower (Thank you, Tufts Emen) and another local Jumbo saved us from having to rent a truck since he drives a huge pick up and happened to have a flatbed trailer at home this weekend.  G-max, you rock!  In the end, all we paid for this structure was the lunch we bought for the 5 hungry college frisbee players.  The boys came over and we all had lunch together, keeping the reason for their visit top secret since Finley was dining with us and we wanted the swing set totally put together and secure before letting him see it.

After lunch, the guys took off for their secret mission and I put Dagny and Finley down for their naps in the hope that everything would be done in the backyard by the time everyone woke up.  Dan called to say they were headed home and I rushed outside to take a before picture and of the truck loaded up.
Then, it was time to unload and it was all pretty quick with so many guys on hand.
And soon, it was taking shape!
Not bad for free, right?
I brought out some popsicles for the guys and they helped Dan finish things up before they headed back to campus.  We promised to email them the video that we planned to take once Finley set his eyes on the new play structure! He will surely be forever in their debt for a long time to come.

While the kids continued to snooze away, Dan dug a seriously deep hole so we could attach the final piece of the structure--the monkey bars.
Dagny woke up just as we finished and then we eagerly waited for Finley to wake up so we could knock his socks off.  When he finally began to stir, Dan raced upstairs and I grabbed the camera and popped Dagny into the front pack.  We convinced him to go with us out the front door and I raced around back to catch his reaction on film. See for yourself...he was psyched!

More first time fun...
Funny how amidst all his excitement, he had to point out that we forgot to cover the sandbox earlier in the afternoon.  He is truly my son.  He enjoyed a snack at his table underneath before trying out the swings and trapeze for the first time.
Dagny's a bit too small to enjoy the climber for now, but we do plan to order her a baby swing attachment this week.  She did enjoy riding around in the push car, though, so we hope she didn't feel too slighted.
Here is the king in our new castle.
Anyone want to come over for a playdate?

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Finley Jams

Finley's musical inclinations continue and when he's not requesting songs at home or in the car, he's making his own.

His favorite non-kid tunes these days:
1. Bicycle Race by Queen
2. Hit the Road Jack by Ray Charles
3. Crocodile Rock by Elton John
4. We Will Rock You by Queen
5. any tune by Tom Petty

Saturday morning, Dagny, Finley and I were playing in the basement when the music show began.  Dagny and I were the audience (with out shakers in hand) and Finley got on the stage he'd built earlier in the week.  His favorite SteveSongs song, "Recess Rocks," was first on the set list.  I got him started with the lyrics, but then he finished the first verse quite nicely :)

Two other musical tidbits:

We are preparing to replace all our windows and a contractor who's already done some work at the house, Jack, may do the windows.  Finley was asking about the project the other day and when I said "Jack might do it," Finley quickly said, "He can fix windows and he can hit the road."  Ha!

A book we've been reading lately, Rock n Roll Mole, really seems to connect with our rockstar.  Mole says, "Let's Rock the House" a couple of times in the book so when we hopped in the car the other day, Finley corrected me when I turned on the radio and said "Let's rock the house!" by saying, "No, Mommy, let's rock the car!"

Keep rockin' little dude.

More Sibling Antics

Our two monkeys are interacting more and more and Dagny is certainly showing that she's no pushover, but rather a force to be reckoned with!

Finley continues to love riding his beloved rescue truck all around the house and Dagny is equally as mystified by it, so Finley has to always be on the lookout.  
The other day after naps, she cornered him.  He was laughing at first.
 But soon called for help since she wouldn't budge and he was literally trapped aboard his truck.
 Generally, they get along swimmingly and playing with their loveys in either one's bedroom is the top activity these days.
Yes, I stopped the video in time to catch her from falling...though it was close...

Unrelated photo of Dagny that I just had to put in, she's too cute!

Spring is on the Paper

Spring certainly wasn't in the air this weekend with temperatures hovering in the upper 40s and low 50s, but since Finley's been learning about spring at school--spring was alive and well inside.  We planted some kidney and lima bean seeds in pots inside and Finley did an AMAZING spring drawing while we were in the playroom this morning.  I'm thrilled that he's getting more into drawing and seems to have more confidence in his own abilities to draw the things he has in mind.

He was narrating to me what he was drawing and asked for some ideas of what else to add, but he drew everything without any physical assistance.
 Here he is explaining what he'd drawn.
So let me try to recall what he told me:
The green blobs are rocks and the green rectangle around them is the grass (since grass is flat and straight, Finley said).  The green polka-dots are mommy ladybugs and the red ones are their babies.  Then, there's the BEAUTIFUL sun with rays coming out and two clouds.  He also attempted a flower on the left side of the grass, but said it didn't look quite right.
Loving this new phase!

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Finley Goes to Kindergarten (sort of)

Finley's been very curious about what kindergarten is since I started my new job in December and since I had to go to an evening school event this week, I figured I'd bring him to show him around (and show him off!).

When we arrived, we took a quick school tour so Finley could see the cafeteria, library, music room, and most importantly--the boys bathroom!  I introduced him to some of my friends and he was very shy, as expected but they all said he was adorable and very grown up looking :)

It was Open House so I had lots of things set out on tables and when my children arrived, they showed off their room, cubby, work, and art projects to their families.  Finley LOVED looking around the room and trying all the different toys and stuff that was around.
 He did take a break at one point to eat his dinner at my desk, but then it was back to work (play!).
When he spotted a green marker, he asked for some paper and drew a nice squiggle.  Then, he said he wanted to draw daddy so I told him the steps (head, face, body, arms, legs, etc.) and he drew it all by himself!! I had never seen him draw something that actually looked like what he said it was (no offense, buddy), so this was AMAZING.  So kindergarten of him!!
Now looking at the photo, I suspect you are wondering about the crotch area--well, the leg he drew on the right wasn't connected to the body at first, so he connected it with the squiggle. Ha!  He was very proud to show this picture to Dan when we got home.

We started to clean up as the last students were leaving and then I asked Finley to help me set up some things for the children to do in the morning and he readily accepted.  Here he is putting our scissors for everyone.
 Finley said he was so excited that he will get to be in my kindergarten class someday and while I tried to explain to him that that wasn't going to happen, he was insistent and since it's over two years away, I just let it go :)  Especially when my main argument that kids aren't usually in their own parents' class was completely thrown out when Finley explained that Ms. Kristin is Evan's mom and he's in her class sometimes and Gianna's mom, Christine, is also a teacher at his school.  Oops--outmatched by a three year old's logic. Go figure!!

Dagny, 9 months and counting!

We finally had Dagny's 9 month check up after a couple rescheduling situations.  And due to having 17 million things to do the same afternoon, Dan came home early to help shuffle everyone around.

I left school early for an interview and Dan left work very early to get the kids and take them to the gym for Finley's 4pm class.  Then, we met up at the doctor's office for Dagny's appointment before Finley and I had to take off for my school's open house.  Phew.  We somehow managed to make it all happen!

Dagny was all smiles for the doctor and was extremely chatty during most of the appointment.  She's usually her most talkative first thing in the morning so I was taken aback how verbal she was and the doctor was impressed.  I suspect it had something to do with the fact that Finley was bopping around the exam room keeping her entertained and the to of them were trying to have a conversation!

Dagny weighed in at 20 lbs 4.6 oz and measured 28.25 in long.  That put her in the 70th percentile for both which was a change from 6 months when her weight was nearing the 90th!! All that crawling and moving has changed her profile quite a bit.  We told the doctor how Dagny started crawling and pulling up in the same week (about a month ago) and that she has even learned how to climb a few stairs already.  She can clap, pick up all sorts of food, drink from a sippy cup, and take a bath in the big tub now.  We explained how she loves to see herself in the mirror, read (and/or eat) books, and going in the baby swings at the playground.  Her verbal skills spoke for themselves and we also talked about how we have been successfully transitioning Dagny onto a formula and breastmilk combination. Sleeping news wasn't much to report aside from the fact that Dan has now put her to bed a couple of times and that her weekend naps are often EPIC.

Sadly, Dagny had yet another pair of ear infections so we back onto antibiotics she goes.  The bright spot being she couldn't have her shots due to the meds, lucky girl.  If her ears don't clear or get reinfected now that winter is over, we may have to talk about tubes...but the doctor didn't seem too worried.  We scheduled her one year check up for July and headed out: Dan to CVS to get the meds with Dagny and Finley and I off to my school.  What a day!

Wasn't able to snap any doctor's office photos, but here is the dynamic duo this week as we took a walk in their red wagon.  A little blurry, but two smiles is pretty good!

Friday, April 5, 2013

Spring has Swung

Yes, I daresay it's spring.  The snow is almost entirely gone around here :) the sun has been shining down and bringing with it some temperatures near 60.  Today we finally made it out to a playground and soaked up the fresh air and the kids had a blast.  Dagny rode around in the front pack while Finley bounded around, but before leaving I popped them both into the swings and it was hysterical to see them together.  They kept looking at each other giggling, and Finley seemed to really like having a buddy to swing with.
Dagny LOVED being in the swing and something tells me, there will be lots of swinging in the warm months ahead!
It was a tough multitasking situation as I tried to push Dagny, videotape her, and have a conversation with Finley (he proposes going out to brunch), but we made it work!

Passover 2013

We had a lovely time down in NY for Passover this year.  Having so much family around is always a treat and my sister even made the trek out to the WP for the Seder.  Thanks to Caitlin and Gilda for all the group shots!
Our little cousins, Maggie and Harrison, took the lead this year for Part One of the Seder and they did great!  Finley paid close attention since he'll be on the hot seat soon enough :)
Dagny is certainly attached to her mom, but she usually doesn't mind being passed around and that's a blessing.  Aunt Caitlin is one of her faves!
But soon it was time to put the littlest member of the Seder to bed.
We all went to temple the next morning and both kids were very well behaved and attracted lots of attention from the people seated near us :) But the service wore Dagny out!
We had another lovely Seder over at Linda and Jacob's house that night and while we put Dagny to sleep upstairs just a little past her bedtime, Finley was able to burn the midnight oil and stay up late with the grown ups.  The next morning, both kids were raring to go--Dagny even tried out Finley's beloved front loader!

We lounged around that morning and later, Dagny went down for a nap while GG, Grandpa and I did a little shopping.  In the car on the way home, GG asked if FInley liked popcorn and since I said that he  did--she pulled out her neat stovetop popcorn popper as soon as we arrived.  Finley was thrilled!  He helped pour in the kernels first.

Then, he helped GG turn the crank on the side to move the seeds and coconut oil around.
Dan stepped in to help do the crank, but Finley wanted to keep turning it as the kernels started to pop.
Soon the popcorn was all popped, GG poured it into a a big bowl and Finley couldn't wait to dive in.
After having our fill of popcorn and loading up our car with all our stuff (and a bag of leftovers), we said our goodbyes and drove back to Boston. It was a lovely break from reality and always a treat to spend another holiday down in NY :)