Saturday, July 14, 2018

Finnegan: 15 Months

Finny buddy!! Your eighth tooth broke through and you are back to being your normal, happy guy.  The clingy, fussy baby that was here last month is no more and we are loving you more and more each day.  Your 15th month brought lots of firsts, especially in the walking and talking department.  You talk A LOT.  We have no idea what you are saying, but you have made your voice heard in the past few weeks and it cracks me up.  Our days are spent with you pointing and "yelling" at me and me trying to figure out what the heck you are trying to say.  It cracks me up! You also took your first steps last week and Dad and I couldn't be more excited! I have no doubt that the 16th month update will be talking about how you are running around and we spend our days chasing you. We have had so much fun this month and I can't wait to see you grow even more.

Eating:  I've come to terms with the fact that you are a picky eater.  It makes me so sad because I think you would love fruits and vegetables, but you refuse most of them. I'm hoping daycare helps with that, but until then, we will just have to keep trying.  You love sweet potatoes, Mexican food, and edamame.  Oh and bananas and graham crackers.  I'm pretty sure if you could live on bananas, graham crackers and milk, you would.  Breakfast is your best meal by far and you usually eat more than I do.  You love your morning carbs. 

Sleeping: Can we skip this section? Unfortunately, nothing has really improved in the sleep department.  He will sleep through the night periodically.  Maybe once a week?  Other than that, he's still waking up at least once and the majority of the time I have to go in and calm him down.  Luckily, he is a good napper and on the days following a rough night, I snag a nap, too.  I'm hoping that daycare will exhaust him and he will start sleeping better starting Monday, but I don't hold my breath. He's still taking two naps, but it's ready to switch to one which is good because that's all they do at daycare.  

Don't worry all you mommy shamers, we fixed his head! The button popped out when his head fell back and we were quick to fix it.  I couldn't resist snapping a picture before we did though!

Noises: As I said before, Finn is quite the talker.  I have no idea what he is saying, but he does and he's saying it out loud. I love it! It cracks me up! He is also really good at communicating nonverbally.  He will wave his hands for all done, shake his cup when it's empty and point to his foot when his sock or shoe has fallen off.  I love seeing what he is thinking and I am so excited for him to start saying things I understand!

Xander was over one day and they were sitting next to each other, so Xander's mom whipped out her camera and we cracked up because Finn and Xander started posing! Finn leaned in here but then Xander put his hand on Finn's knee.  We have forced them to be best friends, but it looks like our plan is kind of working!

Milestones: Finn is walking!! He's got a step count of about 25 at this point, so he's basically ready to run the Boston Marathon! ha!  That is by far the biggest milestone.  He has also learned how to climb up onto things, such as the lawn chairs we have or Pokey the rocking horse!  He also finally mastered how to turn his walker and that makes my life a million times easier.

Likes and Dislikes: Finn has two favorite things and their names are Anchor and Beacon.  But seriously, he loves them.  He thinks it's HILARIOUS when they take anything out of his hand.  I was crying from laughing so hard the other day because he gave them a stick, thought it was hilarious and then kept trying to give them sticks.  By the time he was done, there were twenty sticks in front of them and they just looked him like "Dude, we're good." It was hilarious.  Other than the dogs, he loves to be outside and explore our yard.  He has finally gotten over his fear of grass and will spend all day outside getting dirty if I allow it.  He loves the slide, his swing, and playing with rocks.  He also loves the trash truck! It's a highlight every Wednesday.  The trash usually comes around lunch time so I just wheel his high chair over to our bay window and we both watch in amazement. 

Nicknames: Finn, Finny, Buddy Bear, Finny Bear, my little sweet potato (due to the amount of sweet potatoes consumed and how sweet he is!)

Clothing Size:  18 month for everything! I think the onesies and the tshirts are a little small, but the pants fit perfectly.

Diaper Size: 4 still.

Height: Probably 31ish inches since his pants seem to fit a little bit better.

Weight: A lot.  hahahaha.  I don't actually know but he's heavy!

Travel: None! We have been homebodies this month and stayed in Bremerton.

Teeth: Eight! That last one on the bottom finally broke through!

I went upstairs for literally two minutes and I come back to an entire welcoming crew.  Can't a girl get two minutes alone? The answer is apparently no. 

Probably yelling and trying to get me to do something.  The usual.

Finn was really enjoying England's success in the World Cup

 Providing moral support for Dad as he stained the deck!

 Oh Finny! I never quite understood the line in Where the Wild Things Are that says "we'll eat you up we love you so!" until you came along, but it's true.  I love you so much.  Sometimes it's like I can't hold you close enough I love you so much. You're joy is contagious and I love being around you. Sometimes I look at you and see my little baby, but sometimes I look at you and see a big kid.  It makes me catch my breath because you are growing up so quickly. I am going to miss you so much when you go to daycare this month, but I know how much fun you will have and how good it will be for both of us.  I love you sweet boy.  Love, Mom

Thursday, July 12, 2018

Hi Ho Hi Ho Back to Work We Go!!

I haven't been the best blogger because I have failed to post about what I'll be doing starting in August.  Oh well. Better late than never!

(drum roll please!)

You can now say you know the newest 4th grade teacher at Kitsap Lake Elementary!! Y'all this is like my dream job.  It's a small school, I get to teach older kids, and I am so freaking excited! I can't wait! As far as Finn goes, he starts daycare on Monday!! I wanted him to have a few weeks to get used to it before I had to send him all day. Plus, this allows me to have some time to set up my classroom, do some back to school shopping, and just all sorts of other non-baby friendly things.

That being said, I am so sad to think that the majority of my days will be without Finn.  I was talking to my friend who recently went back to work about all of the struggles of being a working (out of the home because stay at home moms DEFINITELY work) mom vs. a stay at home mom.

For me, I am a better mom when I am working. I am more engaged with Finn when we are together because I value my time with him since I know it is limited.  I am not good at organizing play groups (asking people to hang out is this introvert's worst nightmare!) or coming up with educational activities to do.  It's just not me.  I'm also not on my phone (judge me but we all do it) as much and I am more willing to do fun things since we were apart all day.  My patience is greater and my energy is higher because we spent time apart. The saying distance makes the heart grow fonder is true for me.  I am a better mom when I am not with Finn all day.

I am also a better spouse when I am working.  I don't sit at home all day waiting for Mike to get home.  There have been countless nights where I have a long list of things for Mike to do when he gets home and then get upset when he doesn't do them right away because he wants five minutes to relax after being at work all day.  I mean, how DARE he want to relax after working 12 hours? 😉  When I have worked, I come home and there are tons of things that need to be done around the house, but I'm more willing to let the chores slide because I haven't been sitting around all day thinking about them.

I also know there is the risk of missing all of Finn's firsts and I'm so lucky to have witnessed all of his first milestones thus far (he took his first steps last night!!), but in the grand scheme of things, it's a sacrifice that I'm willing to make and something that I think will not be as big of a deal as it is in the moment.  Sure, I might not hear his first word, but I'll probably hear his third or fourth and it will be equally as cute (does anyone else melt over toddler speech impediments?  I ADORE them!) and exciting. 

I also know that being a mom is only one part of who I am.  Another part is a teacher.  Another part is a wife. Another part is a reader.  Another part is a friend. I make time to be a (somewhat good) wife, to read, and to be a good friend, so I need to make time to be a teacher as well.  I think it is important for Finn to see me as a person with my own interests.  I want him to see me as someone who is independent, a go getter, a hard worker and someone other than Mom.  I don't feel like he has that opportunity when I am not working.

I also think daycare can be a positive experience for Finn.  He needs peer role models and social interactions with kids his age.  It's good for him.  When he was in daycare in Groton, he thrived.  He hit all of his milestones early and loved being surrounded by other kids.  Here in Washington, he has plateaued.  I can't say for sure that it's because he wasn't in daycare, but I'm sure that has a lot to do with it.   Some people ask me how I can be comfortable with other people raising my child and if I worry about him feeling neglected by his parents.  I don't see it that way at all.  I know Finn knows that Mike and I love him.  I see it in Finn's smile when Mike comes through the door after being gone all day or the speedy crawl that greeted me after being gone for a weekend.  Instead, I see daycare as an opportunity for more people to love on Finn and what parent wouldn't want their child to get more love?

And last, I value gender equality.  I don't think that it is my responsibility to cook dinner and clean the house because I am a woman. It is my responsibility to do these things most of the time because I get home first or because Mike is doing other things, but it is not because I am woman.  On days that Mike gets home before me (the VERY rare day!), I would expect him to take on these responsibilities as well. I want Finn to grow up seeing women and men doing things other things than what traditional gender stereotypes tell him. 

I also know that the working mom life isn't for everyone.  One of my best friends (her name may or may not be Anna...) is a stay at home mom and, y'all, she's amazing at it. She organizes playdates where they do educational activities and crafts, she has the patience of a saint and is just meant to be a stay at home mom. She finds ways to keep her identity while staying at home with the kids and surrounds them with lots of love.  She rocks the stay at home mom life.

I am so grateful that the teacher lifestyle allows me lots of time off with Finn.  I think the hardest job in the world is the job of a mom who works 9-5 (or more!) year round because you are filled with the responsibilities of the working world and the private world while never catching a break.  I definitely didn't mean for this blog post to become a huge debate about the stay at home vs. working mom lifestyle and I truly don't believe that there is a right answer.  There are some moms who would spend their whole day at work in tears, while others (like me) need to have something outside of the home.  Each woman is unique and there isn't a right or wrong answer.

Being a mom is tough.  It's the hardest thing I've ever done. It's also the best thing I've ever done. There is never a moment that I'm not grateful for the opportunity to be Finn's mom. It is, and always will be, my greatest joy.

Thursday, June 14, 2018

Finnegan: 14 Months

Finn, Finn, Finn! What a month it's been.  It definitely hasn't been an easy one, but we love you nonetheless! You have become very opinionated in your old age (cue the laughs) and very determined, which both are qualities that will get you far in life, but as a one year old, it makes for some frustrating moments.  You have also decided to wake up in the middle of the night and not fall back asleep until I come in and rub your back. You topped off this month with pooping in the tub during bath time a few times, which you didn't seem to mind but I did. Despite some frustration on both of our part, we had a lot of fun this month and I love watching you grow!

Eating: Not much has changed. Breakfast is definitely his best meal of the day.  He always has a banana along with some sort of carb (we rotate between oatmeal, pancakes or waffles) and/or some yogurt. Lunch usually is peanut butter and jelly, chicken nuggets, or leftovers.  I will usually cut up some sweet potatoes for him to have, along with a fruit/veggie pouch.  We made a quesadilla for him the other day and he loved it, so that will be added to the rotation for sure! Dinner is Finn's least favorite and any amount of food consumed is considered a success. We try really hard to give him what we are eating and have found that he loves things like edamame!!  How funny!  I am just crossing all of my fingers and toes that he isn't a picky eater!

Sleeping: Guys, am I ever going to consistently sleep through the night?  Really though.  I'm beginning to doubt it.  For  every night that we sleep through the night, we get at least one night of Finn waking up.  All it takes is for me to go in, rub his back and say I love you before he settles down and goes to sleep, but I just don't understand why it's happening. We are back to two naps after unsuccessfully trying to switch to one, which is fine with me.  It makes it a little difficult to do anything that lasts more than a couple of hours, but I like having a break in the morning and afternoon, so I'm not in a rush.

Noises: Lots of babbling and when you ask him to say things like "Dog" or "dada" he will say "dah" or "dada" but I'm not sure there is meaning behind it.

Milestones: I think the biggest milestone this month is that he is really understanding what we are saying.  For example, if he is missing his sock and you say to him "Your sock is missing!" he will usually point to the foot that is without a sock.  It's so fun to see him understanding, even though he can't respond back yet. 

Likes and Dislikes:  His biggest like this month is definitely the dogs.  God bless them because they have the patience of saints. He is constantly trying to pet them, play with their toys, and just generally doing anything that would involve the dogs. He also loves Wheels on the Bus, which is fun for both of us.  Dislikes include being told no,  the hours of 4:00pm-6:00pm, and having his diaper changed.   

Nicknames: Finn, Finny, Buddy Bear, Finny Bear, Pooper (due to the bath tub incidents)

Clothing Size:  18 month for everything! I think the onesies and the tshirts are a little small, but the pants fit perfectly.

Diaper Size: 4 still.

Height: Probably 31ish inches since his pants seem to fit a little bit better.

Weight: A lot.  hahahaha.  I don't actually know but he's heavy!

Travel: None! We have been homebodies this month and stayed in Bremerton.

Teeth: Still seven although I feel like there are a few just about to break through.

Oh Finn, you may drive me crazy some days, but you also make me happier than I ever thought possible.  Your laugh when I tickle you makes me smile, your love for other creatures (Especially Anchor and Beacon) makes my heart melt, and your smile when your dad or I walk in the room makes me fall in love with you even more. You are a special little guy, Finnegan, and I am so lucky to call you mine.

Monday, June 11, 2018

Our Family TWO!

Betcha thought I was pregnant, didn't you? Despite the fact that people are constantly asking us when baby #2 is coming, we are not pregnant and aren't planning on being pregnant for a while.  Instead, our family grew by two in the furry department!  We are now the proud owners of two almost one year old labradoodles, Anchor and Beacon!

Finn is absolutely obsessed with them and their patience with him constantly amazes me.  I am largely outnumbered by boys and if baby #2 ever does come, I am crossing all of my fingers and toes that it is a girl, but for now, we are all pretty smitten with these two furry guys.  Welcome to the chaos, Anchor and Beacon!

Sunday, June 10, 2018

Mother's Day Weekend in Portland

I thought that, since Father's Day is only a week away, it'd be fitting for me to post about our Mother's Day weekend in Portland. This weekend can also be known as "The Weekend We Decided to Take a Break from Traveling Thanks to Finn." 

Mike suggested Portland for Mother's Day since it's only a few hours away.  There isn't a ton to do in the city, but enough downtown and the surrounding area to make it worth a weekend trip, so I eagerly agreed. In the weeks leading up to our trip, I pictured a few different scenes.

1.  Us strolling down very hipster streets with our smiling one year old looking out from his stroller.

Reality: Mike and I walking down the street, Finn trying to escape from his stroller so he can crawl around and a homeless guy begging for money.

This is not a bad selfie. It's me taking a picture of  a man WITHOUT HIS PANTS ON.  Why?????

2.  Mike and I sleeping soundly in a king size bed as Finn slept soundly in his pack n play. 

Reality: Finn waking up multiple times throughout the night. I should have known that this would be the reality because he never sleeps well when we travel.  Actually, he never sleeps well, but that's 
another post. 

3.  All three of us enjoying a nice, leisurely Mother's Day brunch full of mimosas and savory breakfast foods.

Reality: Us waiting in line for 45 minutes to get in to a brunch place, which meant Finn had used up all of his patience before we even got seated, so Mike and I spent the entire brunch rotating walking around with Mike.  I did get a mimosa though. 

4.  We would arrive home and Finn would be happy to play with his toys and stretch his legs after a few hours in the car.

Reality: Finn screamed anytime I put him down or tried to let Mike (his father who he normally adores) hold him. 

My peaceful and relaxing weekend that I imagined never happened and I think we have both realized that traveling with a one year old is not relaxing.  There is a difference between a trip and a vacation and this was definitely a trip. That being said, it wasn't all chaos.  There were a few moments of fun and funny, which were much more appreciated after lots and lots of crazy.

It was colder than I expected and I had left Finn's jacket back in the hotel room.  I wrapped my sweater around him thinking he would last two seconds before he pulled it off.  Instead, he rode around like a little old lady with her sweater wrapped around her for about ten minutes before it fell off and I wrapped it around him again. Repeat. 

Mini Stonehenge

There were some pretty streets and the weather was gorgeous.

My best friend Karen's boyfriend (did you follow that?) recommended Powell's bookstore and it didn't disappoint.  It's a huge bookstore with shelves and shelves of books.  Mike was less than impressed and just kept saying "I've got my kindle," while I was restraining myself from buying every book in sight.  In hindsight, I should have told him I would just spend the rest of the weekend there.  Peace and quiet and books. What more could I want for Mother's Day?

We did buy Finn a few books, though.  One was used, one was on the banned book list (Moo Cluck Baa), and this one.  Guess who picked it out for Finn? :D 

Brian, Karen's boyfriend also recommended VooDoo Donuts, which has all sorts of donuts made fresh.  We went Saturday morning and were so hooked we returned for a second bite on Sunday!

We passed by Finnegan's Toy Store.  The toys were a little too old for Finn, but still exciting!

We went out to dinner one night and Finn spent the entire dinner staring at the baby girl at the table next to us.  It cracked us up!

We spent Saturday afternoon wine tasting which was as wonderful as it seems, especially since Finn napped through most of it!

And, despite his poor travel behavior, Finn had many moments that reminded us how much we love him and how lucky I am to be his mom.