Monday, February 19, 2018

Finnegan: Ten Months

Happy Valentine's Day to one of my favorite valentines! He may not understand what Valentine's Day is all about, but I hope he knows how loved he is.  Mike and I are pretty crazy about this little guy and I am so lucky to call him mine.

Finn spent the whole month pulling himself up into standing position.  We moved the coffee table out of our family room area because he kept pulling himself up on it and grabbing anything and everything that was on it.  He had a visit from his Aunt Kelly which was fun, as well as a visit from the stomach flu and RSV, which was not. His laid back and happy demeanor made these illnesses bearable and we couldn't love our Finny more!

Eating: Watching Finn eat is one of my favorite things to do (you know you're a mom when watching your kid eat is something you enjoy).  He puts his whole fist in his mouth and only manages to get food in there about half the time.  It's actually impressive. He has completely transitioned to table food and is eating everything and anything we eat.  In fact, he gets kind of mad when you don't give him a taste and doesn't understand that he can't have things like sushi or nachos. Sorry, bud.  They started calling him Mr. Bougie at daycare because he refuses to eat baby food now and it cracks me up.  He definitely prefers table food over baby food, which is fine by me!







Sleeping: Ohhhh sleeping.  Finn spent most of the month waking up around 5:00am, which was not good for anyone.  Mike and I were not happy and Finn was exhausted. I think part of the problem is that he is kind of transitioning to waking up once to feed during the night (finally!), but that means that he is hungry and ready to eat again around five and won't go back to sleep.  He does seem to do better if he eats a big dinner, so we feed him a ton at dinner and just hope and pray it will hold him over.  I think the day that he sleeps through the night, I'll cry tears of joy.   He has started taking longer naps which is a reason for celebration!! His morning nap is almost always his better nap and is usually at least an hour long, but usually closer to an hour and a half. His afternoon nap is still between 45 minutes to an hour, but it's still longer than his naps used to be. 


Noises: Adadadadada is all we hear around here these days.  Finn loves to babble and everything is adadada.  Occasionally, we will get a "buh buh buh" but there's no sign of "mamamama"  yet.  He still loves to squeal when he gets excited which is so cute and is just one of the many ways his personality shines through.  



Milestones:  The biggest milestone is definitely pulling himself up to standing, which he is a pro at now.  He hasn't quite figured out how to move once he's up, but he likes being up.  He's definitely become more attached to me, which is endearing, but also a little frustrating at times.  He understands the word "No" which is used quite frequently now since he seems to get into everything and anything, including our electrical cords, cleaning supplies and the toilet.  He also is crawling on all fours and is moving everywhere quickly.   We also introduced the sippy cup this month, which is a huge hit, although I'm not sure how much actually makes it in his mouth and stays in there. We mainly use it for water, but he takes milk in it at daycare.  He can only get about half of it out, though, so we've got a ways to go, but he likes it!

Notice how he has the P for Patriots in his mouth.  He's definitely his father's son!

Likes and Dislikes: Like I said before, he loves real people food.  He'll tolerate the fruit purees from me every once and a while, but definitely prefers to feed himself. He loves to be held by me and is a little needy at times.  He has started whining, which is not so fun, but it's usually when he's pulled himself up onto something and then can't get down.  He loves to play in the bathroom and will come crawling from across the room if he sees the dishwasher or the refrigerator open.  Diaper changing has become a wrestling match, which is especially frustrating/disgusting when there is more to the diaper than just pee.  He still isn't a huge fan of the car, either, which makes me dread our cross-country trip, but he does pretty well around town or when there is someone sitting next to him, so there's hope!





Nicknames: Finn, Finny, Bud, Buddy Bear, Mr. Little Boy, Mr. Bougie

Clothing Size:  9-12 months, although his little belly sticks out of some of his sweaters so it might be time to upgrade 

Diaper Size: Size four

Weight: 19.5 lbs! He's put on a little winter weight 😀

Height: 27.5 inches

Travel: None!



Oh Finnegan, I look at you sometimes and see a budding little boy.  I love seeing your personality shine through and learning who you are becoming.  I miss the days of babyhood, but watching you grow is my greatest joy and there is nothing more that I could want than to be your mom.  I love you, sweet valentine!


Tuesday, February 13, 2018

This Week I'm...

It's been pretty quiet around here since we're in "get ready for the move" mode, but I figured I'd post SOMETHING and it's been a while since I did one of these kinds of posts.  I always like reading them on other people's blogs, so I hope this serves as a little entertainment for you guys.

reading The Rooster Bar and honestly I just can't get into it.  It was one that was recommended to me by multiple people and multiple blogs/lists, but I find it slow.  Hopefully that will change.

listening to Luke Bryan's song "Most People are Good."  Guys, this song is everything I believe. 

I believe most people are good
And most Mama's oughta qualify for sainthood
I believe most Friday nights look better under neon or stadium lights
I believe you love who you love
Ain't nothing you should ever be ashamed of
I believe this world ain't half as bad as it looks
I believe most people are good


YESSSS! This.  Every single word. 

planning anything and everything related to our big cross country move. Mainly how we are all not going to go crazy in the car if Finn decides to scream the whole way. We will take any and all suggestions! Also, any good podcasts or audiobooks we should listen to?

teaching I have my last substitute job scheduled for next Thursday at my favorite school.  This is the part of moving I'm most sad about I think.  I have LOVED substituting and it's been so refreshing to use my brain and have something to call my own. 

eating all of the food in our refrigerator. As part of the move preparation, we are trying to clean out our pantry.  That has both its benefits and drawbacks.  For example, I'm going to make banana bread with the frozen bananas, but it also means that we might be eating ribs for the rest of our time in Groton. 

doing I'm really trying to work out regularly, which means twice during the week and once on the weekend.  I really enjoy the 21 Day Fix from Beach Body and it's the perfect amount of time for a naptime workout. 


Finn and I are heading home to Virginia this weekend while Mike goes to Washington to scope out our new crib!! We can't wait to see it in person (or on video chat for me) and for Mike to explore our new neighborhood.  I think we are both getting excited for our move out there.  It's funny.  Neither of us were too excited about Bangor when we got the initial orders, but it's really grown on us and I think we're both going to enjoy it. 

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Hanging with the Hogans: January 2018

In order to catch up on the blog, I figured I'd just do a little photo dump and catch you up on all of the little things we've been up to. 

 We started out the month with a visit to Burlington, VT to visit Poorna.  The plan was for Mike to go skiing, but the warmest day was 20 degrees and the coldest was -9 degrees, so the incentive was slim to none.  Instead, we spent lots of days like this....

Finn spent most of the day pulling the DVDs off of Poorna's shelf and teaching himself how to pull up on the TV stand.  He hasn't stopped since. 

Meanwhile, the adults did multiple runs to Trader Joe's and ate way too much junk food.  

On January 12th, Finn turned 39 weeks.  This meant that he had spent just as much time outside of me as in!!



We went to the basketball hall of fame in Massachussetts, where we measured Finn's wing span and tried to be as tall as Stephen Curry.  I think Curry has a few inches on them.


Finn graduated from the infant car seat to the big kid car seat.  He still hates the car, but every once in a while will realize how great it is to be able to look out the window.  


We bought a house (!!!) and celebrated the Eagles going to the Superbowl all in one night!


Finn started eating finger foods and they quickly became his favorites.  He definitely prefers it to the purees!


We battled and survived the stomach flu also known as Finn-bola.  We managed to infect five people from Mike's class, as well as spouses and friends. Somehow Mike managed to escape unscathed, but we are not ruling out the possibility that he is patient zero. 

Stomach flu 2018 survivors.
January was an eventful month around here.  After travelling for two weeks straight, we returned to Groton and really hunkered down.  It wasn't our strongest month as we (mainly poor Finny) have been battling illness after illness, but we've had a lot of great moments as well.  February is our last month here in Groton before our cross country move.  Hopefully our immune systems stay strong and we can truly enjoy our last few weeks in New England!

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Parents Only Trip to Nashville

Back in September, Mike was looking at Jimmy Buffet's tour schedule and saw that he was going to play a concert in Nashville for New Year's Eve.  He mentioned how cool it would be to go and before we knew it, we had my parents booked to babysit and our hotel room reserved for three nights and four days for NYE! 

I may have teared up when I said goodbye to Finn, but then I had a mimosa at the airport and had an uninterrupted adult conversation with Mike, so we were off to a good start! Nashville here we come!

One of Mike's good friends from high school is as much of a Parrothead as Mike is, so he and his wife joined us.  They arrived the day before us and left the day before us, so we all enjoyed some time together as well as some time to ourselves.  We met Ryan and Katherine at Nudie's (yup, you read that right! That's the name of one of the bars! And no, there were no nude people there) for Happy Hour shortly after landing. 

We hung out there for a little while before eating dinner at their hotel.  I knew going into this trip that my health was going to be sacrificed due to the amount of fried and good southern food (and alcohol) I was going to consume this weekend and I have no regrets.  I started off the trip with a pulled pork grilled cheese and it was as delicious as it sounds. 

After dinner, we had tickets to the Grand Ole Opry!!  I think I was equally excited about this as I was about Jimmy, but don't tell Mike that.  :)  The highlight of that concert was definitely Old Crow Medicine Show.  They were so great (as were all of the other performers) and it was such a "Nashville" experience.



After the concert, we all went out for a drink and Mike and I lasted about 2.5 seconds before it was our bedtime.  These old parents weren't used to being out until midnight!! Ryan and Katherine on the other hand stayed out and enjoyed the night scene.  




Can you tell we are enjoying our vacation?

The next day, we slept in.  Guys, this needs to be documented because it was a true highlight of our trip. We woke up naturally and stayed in bed until we wanted to get out of bed.  It was amazing.  In fact, we woke up, went to breakfast and then came back and went back to sleep.  It. Was.  Incredible.  We finally woke up and made our way out for lunch at Martin's for barbecue and it was worth getting out of bed for. This platter was for 2-3 people but Mike and I had no problem finishing it off.  Mike said the pulled pork was the best he'd ever had (it was reallyyyy good!) and I thought the ribs were incredible. 





After lunch, we spent the afternoon bopping around.  The best part about Nashville in my opinion is all of the bars with live music. Broadway Street is lined with them and we just wandered in and out of places for the rest of the afternoon.  Normally, bars will open their front windows and you can hear their music from streets, but seeing as it was FREEZING, there was no incentive to walk around outside and listen to music or open any windows.  We still had fun and the music was great!

We met up with Ryan and Katherine for dinner at the Tap Room before the Jimmy Buffet concert. It was nice to have a good meal that wasn't too fancy, but still felt like a celebration before the concert.  The concert didn't start until nine so we had plenty of time.  We got to the concert right at Huey Lewis and the News were beginning their opening act. I didn't know a lot of their music, but he was great!   So personable and really got the crowd excited!!

Jimmy came on around 10:30 and the crowd was pumped!!  If you ever get the chance to Jimmy Buffet in concert, you definitely should go.  He's a great performer and his concerts are a TON of fun!  This one didn't disappoint.  Throughout the concert, he had a countdown going in the background and at 11:59, we began the countdown.  Balloons dropped at midnight and the crowd celebrated!  Jimmy played for another half an hour before the concert ended. 

Mike and Ryan spent the whole concert hoping there would be a surprise guest and I think were pretty disappointed that there wasn't, but other than that, we all agreed that it was a great way to ring in the new year. I'm not a huge fan of New Years' and usually find myself feeling pressured to do something extravagant when all I want to do is watch the ball drop on my couch with a few friends or family.  This was the perfect compromise and it was a blast! 




Mike and I bid farewell to Katherine and Ryan after the concert since their flight was early the next morning.  We headed back to our hotel where we slept well and late.  I can't think of a better way to ring in 2018!! Mike and I got up and (very slowly) made our way to the gym.  It's really hard to work out with Finn and we have to take turns, so it turns into an all morning event.  It was nice to work out together and have it be an hour of our morning.  We spent the rest of the day watching college football and hanging out.  Like I said, it was FREEZING outside so our desire to walk around was slim to none.  Settling in at a bar and watching football was the perfect solution.  

Our last day looked very similar to the day before.  We had a late flight, so we took our time getting up, made our way to the gym and finally made our way out to town.  We ended our trip right where it began, at Nudie's (it's the best bar in town!) and bid farewell to Nashville with a happy heart and a little bit higher cholesterol. 




I was a little hesitant to leave Finn for three nights, but it couldn't have come at a better time.  He was eight and a half months old and getting into everything.  We are constantly pulling him off of things and moving things out of his way.  As much as we love him, traveling with him has become less enjoyable.  This trip gave us a chance to really enjoy Nashville in all of it's glory, but also enjoy time together without Finn, which I think is extremely important.  We both walked away from this trip so happy that we went. 

This trip wouldn't have been possible without my parents.  I wish I had the text message from when I asked them if they would watch him because their excitement was through the roof.  They never even hesitated and I'm pretty sure they had as much fun as we did.  They sent us constant updates and pictures of our guy and I know Finn was pleased as punch to have their attention for a few days.  Thanks Mom and Dad! We couldn't have done it without you. 




*For those of you who have been following along with my breastfeeding journey, I brought my pump with me for this weekend so that supply didn't drop.  I usually pumped every four-ish hours and right before bed.  Two of the nights we were there, I woke up once in the middle of the night to pump, but then on New Year's Eve, I let myself sleep the entire night.  

Sunday, January 21, 2018

The Hogans are on the Move...Again!

I keep forgetting that I haven't posted about our life post-SOAC (the school Mike's in).  Things can change so quickly and often that I've been holding out, but now that we are nearing the end and making more permanent decisions.  So, big news!

We are moving to BANGOR, WASHINGTON!!

We actually found this news out back in September, but have been kind of quiet (we told our family and close friends) about it because we were told that orders change multiple times during SOAC and rarely do people end up with the same orders they receive at the beginning.  Well, it's five months later and we still have the same orders, so here I am sharing the news!! 

Shortly after we arrived, we received news that Mike would be reporting to the USS Henry M Jackson (HMJ) once he finished school at the end of February as the Engineering Department Head.  This is the job that Mike wanted, so he's thrilled about that, but we were somewhat disappointed to learn that the HMJ is based out of Bangor, WA. We were hoping to stay on the East Coast after being so far away for two years, but alas, the Navy had other plans!  We will be an hour west of Seattle (yes, that's possible!), so the thought of being in the PacNorWest is growing on us.  Coffee, beer and wine lovers welcome!

Mike was somewhat disappointed to learn that the HMJ is a boomer submarine instead of a fast attack, which is what he was on when he lived in Hawaii.  The fast attacks are the submarines that go on the top secret missions, which, for a guy like Mike, is super cool and the dream!  Boomers like the HMJ serve the purpose of nuclear deterrence.  Their main "mission" is to remain undetected, unlike the fast attacks which go after other vessels.  They also carry the nuclear weapons.  So, definitely cool stuff, but not as exciting on a daily basis.  

After a few months of letting it sit, we have become pretty excited! We're still disappointed that we aren't on the East Coast and Mike is still wishing he were going to a fast attack, but everyone we know who has been stationed there absolutely loves it, so we are extremely optimistic!  

Around Christmas, Mike's mom connected us with a real estate agent in Bangor who could help us buy a house.  We didn't want to buy anything, but the market out there basically promotes home ownership, so we knew pretty early on that we would be buying.   Mike planned to go out to Bangor for Presidents' Day Weekend to house hunt, but we started receiving listings so that we could see what kind of houses were available in our budget.  

So, for two months or so, we have been looking at listings and seeing houses that we liked.  There were tons of houses within our budget, all of which we liked and would have worked, but it seemed too early to do anything, especially since we weren't out there to go look at them in person. We were pretty set on waiting until Presidents' Day (at least) to make any serious decisions.

Until this house popped up.  


From the moment I saw the listing, I loved it.  Mike felt the same way and we just kept saying "should we do it?"  We debated this for a few days and finally asked the realtor to go  take a tour of the house and video chat us in.  I was secretly kind of hoping I would notice something extremely wrong with it so I would have to wrestle with the decision of buying a house sight unseen. Is that bad?  Well, of course that didn't happen and we loved the house just as much as when we looked at the listing.  We hung up the phone and didn't even have to say anything.  We knew we wanted it.  We weren't going to make an offer that day and let it sit for 24 hours, but then we got a call that there were two other offers on the house, so we needed to act quickly!

We put in an offer and I wrote a nice letter hoping to appeal to their emotions (who doesn't love a picture of Finny?!?!) and went to bed crossing all of our fingers and toes.  We woke up Sunday morning hating that there was a three hour time difference.  We told ourselves we would wait until 5pm our time to call our realtor, but at 4:30, we got the call that our offer had been accepted and we were going to be first time home owners!! 


It's been a wild weekend with a huge life decision, but I am so excited for us and can't wait to see our new house!! We expect visitors and will have lots of room, so start looking at your calendar and let us know when you're coming!

A major shoutout to Mike for dealing with the logistics and nitty gritty of this house buying process.  He has shown once again that there's no one I'd rather do this crazy thing called life with :)



Also, I have no doubt that because I am sharing all of this, we will get new orders tomorrow, but what can you do?

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Finnegan: Nine Months

A few days late, but the stomach bug hit the Hogan household and knocked us out, so everything is running behind.

Our little guy spent almost exactly nine months in my belly and has spent nine months out! I can't believe it has only been nine months with Finny because it seems like he's been a part of our family forever (cheesy, I know).  We had a blast celebrating Finn's first Christmas and he had a ton of fun spending a few days with Nana and Grandpa without us. He survived the subzero temperatures in Vermont and has adjusted to life back in Groton seamlessly.  Happy nine months Finn!


Thirty nine weeks in and thirty nine weeks out!
Eating:  Finn still loves solids and has been trying all new kinds of foods.  We have been trying to give him more table food, so some of his favorites are oatmeal, avocado, and Nana's vegetable soup.   We have also started giving him the little baby Puffs so that he can practice picking up food and putting them in his mouth.  This is hysterical to watch because he will clench them with his fist and then shove his whole fist in his mouth. He eventually gets (most of) them in his mouth though and is a big fan.

Sleeping: Finn's biggest weakness is sleep, especially when travelling.  He does not travel well in terms of sleep.  When we were travelling over Christmas, he woke up at least three times a night, if not more.  Most nights, he would end up in our bed because he refused to sleep in his pack n play.  At home, he's definitely better, but still waking up twice in the middle of the night to feed.  He typically goes to sleep around seven and wakes up around 6:30.  I look forward to the day when I can say Finn is sleeping through the night, but that was not this month 😥  For naps, we have gotten down to a morning nap and an afternoon nap when we are home.  These naps are usually short (45 minutes), but occasionally we will get a long nap and everyone is happy!  At school, he only takes one nap and they can range anywhere from 1 hour to 2 and a half.





Noises: Finn is very vocal and makes himself known. Everything and anything is "dada," including Mike, myself, the tupperware container, and the table.  He squeals and grunts as he crawls around, especially if he is excited about something.  Sadly, my attempts to get him to say mama are just met with a smile and more "adadada."  Oh well! It's so cute to see his personality shine through with his sounds.






Milestones: I feel like he grew up so much this month and had so many milestones!  Good job Finny!!  He loves to wave at everyone as he leaves or enters a room and he figured out how to clap right before Christmas.  He even understands the word "clap!" and will (usually) do it on command, which is the cutest thing.  He sits up and plays and can pull himself up into sitting position.  Speaking of pulling up, he is pulling himself up on all sorts of things.  Our coffee table is a little too high for him to pull up onto his feet, but he definitely can get on his knees on all sorts of things. 






Likes and Dislikes: Besides riding in the car for extended periods of time or sleeping through the night, he pretty much likes everything.  His favorite toys are the cube with all sorts of wires and beads coming off of it (kind of like this) and his activity walker, although he can't walk with it yet.  He hasn't met a food he doesn't like, which is a huge improvement from a few months ago.








Nicknames: Finn, Finny, Bud, Buddy, Big Guy, Mr. Little Boy, Buddy Bear, Bubba

Clothing Size: 9-12 months/12 months

Diaper Size: Size threes during the day and size fours at night.  He probably could be in size fours all day, but the threes still fit and we have a ton, so threes it is!

Weight: still hovering around 18lbs.  The doctor said that was normal since he's started crawling and has had the stomach flu, so she wasn't concerned, but I would like to see him gain some more weight.

Height: 27.5 inches

Travel: Virginia and Vermont




This is one of my favorite pictures of our guy! 

Oh Finn! Your smile is infectious and your personality lights up a room.  We are so thankful we get to call you ours.  We love the way you squeal and get excited when we walk through the door.  You are a fan favorite at daycare and we understand why.  Your laid back personality makes me so happy and we have loved seeing you achieve different milestones as you grow and learn.  We love you, sweet boy!