Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Army/Navy 2017

Finn started the week leading up to Army/Navy with a terrible case of bronchitis. Combine that with the weather reports that it was supposed to snow during the game and Anna and I were questioning our decision to bring the kids to Philadelphia, let alone the actual game.  Luckily, Finn's health improved enough that I didn't think we should stay in Connecticut, but I knew bringing him to the game was not a smart move. Anna agreed that the thought of standing out in the snow with three kids two and under didn't sound appealing, so we camped out in the hotel for the day. Our rooms shared a wall and I packed the baby monitor, so we just bopped back in forth between the rooms.

Mike's entire family came for the game, including his sister and brother-in-law from London, so we had a pretty big crowd.  Originally, we were going to drive to the game and tailgate with everyone before they went to the game.  When we looked at the weather report, though, we quickly changed our plan and decided to tailgate in the hotel parking lot.  Thank goodness we did this because Finn didn't even make it from the hotel door to the tailgate before deciding he was over the cold. He spent his five minutes at the tailgate screaming before I brought him (and a stiff drink) back inside. Emma, on the other hand, loved spending a few minutes out in the snow and even built a snowman!

The cutest little snowman with the cutest little girl!

Please note how everyone, even Emma, is smiling and Finn is having a meltdown.

Once the guys left, Anna and I spent the rest of the day in the hotel with the kids.  I think we were all going a little stir crazy by the end of the day, but we had fun!  Finn and Hudson just kind of stared at each other and Emma stared at all of us, but it was so entertaining to have all of them together.  I can't wait for more weekends like this as they get older and become best friends (they don't really have a choice).

Unfortunately, the game came down to a missed field goal and the second Navy loss in a row. The guys were not happy, especially since they were cold and wet.  Maybe next year?  We said goodbye to the Ficks the next morning before heading out with Mike's dad, sister and brother-in-law for Philly Cheesesteaks.  It wouldn't be a complete trip to Philadelphia without one!

Thursday, December 21, 2017

Finnegan: Eight Months

Oh Finny!  What a guy! He fought off a nasty case of bronchitis, celebrated Thanksgiving, and met his buddies Emma and Hudson (and their parents) and decided that he was not a fan of cold weather all in one month! He is always on the move and his personality and opinions shine through every day. 

Eating: Finn loves solids! He finally realized that solid food is good and it has been so much fun.  I love all of the different combinations and Finn definitely has his favorites.  He is a big fan of anything carrot based, but enjoys anything with vegetables.  Fruits are still sometimes hit or miss, depending on his mood, but when he wants to eat fruit, he goes all in!  We gave him some mashed potatoes from our Thanksgiving leftovers and he couldn't eat enough!  He ate adult size portions each time we gave them to him and would have had more if we had let him!  We are still breast feeding and are still going strong (thanks Finn!) every three hours. If he has solid food, we can sometimes stretch it to four hours, but I try not to do more than that. When he goes to daycare, he's drinking 5oz of breast milk in a bottle.

Sleeping: We are still waking up in the middle of the night, but we are definitely getting better about sleep.   We wake up around 1:30am to eat and he is hungry! Usually, he is moving his mouth and ready to eat by the time I make it to his crib.  Then, he wakes up again around 5:00am to eat.  We have tried to get him to cry it out and fall back asleep, but I think he still needs that second feeding.

Noises: If you ask Mike, he will say that Finn called him "dada" this month.  If you ask me, I'll tell you he called Mike "dada," but he also called the hairbrush, the English muffin, and my shoe "dada," so it's really just babbling, but it's his first consonant sound and he says it frequently.  On top of that, he babbles and makes all sorts of other noises. 

Milestones: Finn's crawling has taken off and nothing is off limits. Luckily, the Christmas tree is kind of in a corner out of sight, but when he sees it, he wants nothing else. The other big milestone is that he is timidly sitting up! If you put him in a sitting position, he can usually sit there unassisted for a significant period of time.  I still don't feel comfortable leaving him because he sometimes topples over if he reaches too far for something, but he enjoys being upright and looking around, so hopefully he will only get stronger.  He also graduated out of the infant car seat into the big car seat, which was sad for me (I remember when he was almost too small for the infant car seat!!), but I think he likes it more because he can see.


Likes and Dislikes: He loves being able to move around and be near us, which is endearing most of the time (unless you are trying to make dinner or go to the bathroom). Solid food is usually a hit and riding in the car is tolerable, as long as it isn't for a long period of time.  He discovered that he doesn't like the cold and made that very well known when we were in Philadelphia.  He tolerated Santa, which was more than I expected, but wasn't quite sure why there was this big fluffy thing on his face.  Thankfully, he didn't try and grab it.

Nicknames:  Finn, Finny, Bud, Buddy, Buddy Bear, Big Guy, 

Clothing: 9 month clothes, but it is time to graduate to 12 month onesies and shirts.  The 9-12 month pants are a little long, but they fit in the waist and legs, especially with cotton pants. 

Diaper size: solid three

Weight: He fluctuated between 18lb and 18.5lbs because he was sick and had a decrease in appetite. Poor guy. He also is crawling a ton, so I think that has led to a little bit of weight loss, as well.

Height: 27.5 inches

Travel: Chicago and Philadelphia (although he really spent the weekend in the hotel)

God knew that mammas needed extra snuggles when their babies are sick.

Meeting his buddy Emma

Despite the distraction known as Emma, Finn loved meeting his Auntie Anna

My smiley guy!
 Oh Finny, sometimes I get giddy thinking about how much I love you.  You are constantly on the move when you're awake and I am always surprised at what you find. You inspire me not only to clean my floors better, but to also be amazed at the simple things in life, like how a door stop bounces back and forth or how a dog's fur feels. You make me happier than anything I've ever experienced and I love you for it.  Keep smiling, big guy!

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Poorna Comes to Visit!

Well I have no photo evidence that Poorna came to Connecticut, but I promise she did.  She was the photographer for this blogpost and the inspiration for all of our activities.  When I asked her what she wanted to do when she came, she said she'd be fine with just staring at Finn all weekend.  While I know that is entertaining, I figured she should see more than just our apartment. She also had a few errands she wanted to run since we have a Target (there are no Targets in Vermont!!!!) and an Ulta, so I promised we could squeeze them in.

She arrived around 9:30 on Friday night and we both stated that we stayed up way past our bedtime when we noticed the clock read midnight. There's something to be said about friends that you can talk for hours with, even after being apart for a significant amount of time. 

Saturday morning, we took our time and watched Finn do a little bit of this....
He's not as big of a fan of the jumperoo now that he can crawl

and a lot of this!

We finally made our way out the door to see the Nautilus, which is the world's first operational nuclear submarine.  Now, it's basically a museum, but you can go into parts of the submarine and it's definitely one of the major attractions of Groton, CT.   I always think it's fun for people to go on submarines and see how much is crammed into such a small space, but the first nuclear submarine was pretty cool in it's own way. We had been waiting for a guest to come so we could do it with them and this weekend was the perfect weekend for it!

That afternoon, Poorna, Finn and I ran some errands and came back to the house to hang out for an hour before it was time to see Santa!  Finn was not the happiest camper, but he rallied for Santa.  I don't think he quite knew what to make of the big guy with the huge beard, but at least he didn't scream.  The place that we went to see Santa was so cute.  It was a little coffee shop that basically shut down for the evening and had Santa come.  There was a line out the door to see him, but it moved quickly and each child got a gift (crayons and a coloring book) as they were leaving.  They even handed out cookies and brownies as you were waiting in line!  I ended up buying some hot chocolate that they were selling out back because it was such a nice event.  It definitely beat going to the mall and paying $25 for a photo package!

After seeing Santa, we had plans to meet up with Mike and our friend Matt for dinner at a local pizza restaurant called Pizzetta.  This evening was the perfect example of how a seven month old can dictate your life.  After seeing Santa, we put Finn in the car and headed downtown to Mystic, literally a five minute drive.  Finn proceeded to scream the whole way there.  He continued to scream when we put him in the stroller to walk to the restaurant and around downtown.  When I went into the restaurant to see if there was availability, I noticed that it was pretty quiet and immediately asked where to order take out.  We let Finn crawl around on a blanket on the ground because that was the only way he was going to be happy (#momoftheyear) while we waited for our order and then came back home and enjoyed the silence of a sleeping Finn.  

Sunday morning, we wanted to do brunch in Mystic and Mike found a cute restaurant right on the main street called Chapter One.  It turned out to be a delicious brunch and a great end to Poorna's trip!! We are going to visit Poorna in Burlington in a few weeks and I'm excited to see her new home and hopefully take some pictures of the two of us and not just Finn (although he is very photogenic!). 

Thursday, December 14, 2017

Twenty Nine.

It's my birthday! I love birthdays! I think they are such wonderful things.  I mean, it's a whole day to celebrate a person.  Everyone deserves to have one day being celebrated.  That being said, I much prefer to celebrate other people's birthday and let them be the center of attention, but I guess I can handle it for one day.  :)   My twenty ninth year was probably the most life changing thus far with the addition of Finn in our lives and a move back to the United States, but I wouldn't have it any other way.

The next year will include ANOTHER move, probably a deployment or two, and maybe another addition to our family (of the furry variety).  Regardless of what happens, I'm a pretty lucky girl who feels very loved, so really, what more could I ask for?

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Thanksgiving 2017

Mike and I both love to host Thanksgiving.  In 2015, we hosted for over 15 international students in Turkey.  In 2016, we had our best friends, Mike and Anna, in Berlin with us and this year, we celebrated with two families in Groton, CT.  Every year has been different and brought it's own set of challenges (ie trying to figure out where to get a turkey in Berlin, how to make a meal for almost 20 people with a tiny oven, and how to cook a meal and entertain a 7 month old), but they'll all been fun and extremely delicious!!

This year, we organized it as a potluck style.  There were two other families joining us, each of which brought a dessert and at least one side dish, while Mike and I prepared the turkey and a side. I loved doing it this way because it allows people to bring that one dish that signifies Thanksgiving to them.  For example, one of the men joining us always had this corn mash (it reminded me of mashed potatoes, but with corn) growing up and his wife has learned to make it.  They brought it to our Thanksgiving and it was a huge hit!! 

We had one toddler and three infants roaming the house, so it was not necessarily the calmest Thanksgiving, but it was a lot of fun and definitely one for the books.  And by the looks of Finn at the end of the night, he enjoyed it as well!  My only regret is that I didn't take more pictures!

Monday, November 27, 2017

Navy vs. Notre Dame

"I root for (insert opposite team) 364 days of the year. Today is not that day." -My dad and Mike on Navy Notre Dame game day

We have really been trying to take advantage of being on the East Coast for the short amount of time that we have and we knew that the Navy Notre Dame game was a must on our East Coast Bucket List.  Since we didn't know Mike's schedule when we booked the tickets, we had to book the late flight which got us in at 10:00pm Chicago time.

My mom and aunt volunteered to stay home with Finn while my dad, Mike, my aunt and I went to the game. I think they were as happy to stay with Finn as we were to go to the game, so it worked well for everyone.   The weather forecast was less than stellar for Saturday in South Bend, but we just said a little prayer and put on our rain gear in preparation.  The whole drive to South Bend was pretty rainy, but by the time we parked and got situated, the rain had let up.  

My dad's first stop before every game is to the Grotto, so we walked over while getting a tour of the campus from my dad and aunt. It's fun going to Notre Dame with my family, even if you aren't rooting for ND, because he gives a great tour. After walking around for a bit, Mike and I grabbed an Uber to meet up with a few of his Navy friends who are at the University of Chicago. 

Before we knew it, it was game time!  We headed to our seats in the warm suite (thanks Duke!) and enjoyed watching what looked like a very cold and wet game from inside. I wouldn't say either team played their best game and it was a lot closer than I think any ND fan would like to admit, but the Irish ultimately pulled off the win! Go Irish!

We returned home to a sleeping Finny and a very happy aunt, uncle and grandma.  

We purposefully booked our flight for later in the day so that Mike could see Chicago since he had never been.  There is a reason that most people don't go to Chicago in November, though.  It is cold.  Very cold.  We all headed to a German Christmas Market for lunch, which was the most authentic I've seen in the United States. We got bratwursts for lunch before Finn let us know that it was time to go inside out of the cold.   We went into the mall and saw a massive Christmas tree and walked over to see the Bean before it was time to say goodbye to my aunt and my parents who had an earlier flight.

Mike, Finn and my flight actually ended up being delayed, so we went for deep dish pizza with my aunt before heading to the airport and bidding her farewell.  We didn't get home until 2:00am, but the Monday exhaustion was well worth it for such a great weekend. 

Saturday, November 25, 2017

Substitute Adventures

Well I have traded in my passport for a substitute teacher badge and have just as many stories to tell!  Here are a few.  I'm sure you'll be entertained!

  • To get assigned a job, you log on to the sub website and you can see all of the jobs that are available.  It usually tells you the school, the teacher and the grade.  This job, though, only listed the teacher, but it was the only one available for that day, so I took it. When I showed up, they told me I would be in third grade in the morning and then doing In School Suspension with a first grader in the afternoon.  Not ideal, but okay.  The morning was fine and it came time for me to report to the ISS room.  When I arrived, there were four teachers huddled together and I asked what was going on.  They pointed to a shelf with cubbies and said "There he is." Sure enough, there were two little legs sticking out of the cubby.  One of the teachers told me they were letting him stay there because "at least he is safe" unlike when he decided to climb the shelves.  Three of the teachers had to leave so it was just me and another teacher who wasn't even in charge of ISS (it's in the same room as the academic interventions, so she has her desk in there). I sit down and a few minutes later, I see some movement.  All of a sudden, he comes out of the cubby, takes one look at me and realizes he doesn't know who I am and bolts out of the room.  The other teacher calls the office and I run after him.  Luckily, he only ran to his teacher, who instilled the fear of God in him.  He returned to our little room with some work to do and we actually had a great afternoon.  That being said, I don't think I'll be signing up for any jobs that don't list a grade level or are for In School Suspension. One time was enough.
  • I was subbing in a kindergarten class and had forgotten how tired the little ones get, especially at the beginning of the year. We were reading a story after lunch and I noticed that two little girls had fallen asleep and one boy was sucking his thumb.  The little ones may be a handful, but they are pretty freaking cute. 
  • In the same kindergarten class, I had them line up for art. Everyone was lined up and one little girl asked if she could hold my hand.  I told her no since I needed to be able to move around and make sure everyone was staying in line. She kept asking, even as we started moving, but I kept saying no. She refused to move and I told her that she was holding up the people behind her.   All of a sudden, she just yells at me "LEAVE ME ALONE!" and storms off to art.  I guess that's one way to solve the problem!
  • I'm in another kindergarten class on the first really cold day, so all of the kids have cold weather accessories such as hats, coats, gloves, etc. The direction was to put them in their cubby because they can't bring them to the carpet.  One girl put away her coat, but had her hat on.  The teacher (I'm one of the paraprofessionals assigned to one of the children) asked the little girl to put away her hat and the girl's response was "But I look so cute!"  

I'm sure there will be more as the year passes, but it's definitely been a fun start to substituting!

Wednesday, November 22, 2017


It's been a wild year with lots of travel, a baby and a transatlantic move, but there is no one I'd rather do life with.  Happy anniversary, Mike! I love you!

Monday, November 20, 2017

Greetings from Bedrock: Halloween 2017

Here we are almost at Thanksgiving and I'm posting about Halloween.  I guess that's life, am I right>?Yabba Dabba Doo was the theme for this year's Halloween and I can't think of a more fun family costume than the Flintstones.  We joined forces with Matt, Katy and Adaline so that we could cover all of the main characters and since Finn and Addie made the perfect Bam Bam and Pebbles, we assumed the roles of Betty and Barney, while Matt and Katy were Fred and Wilma.

I had heard that our neighborhood was the place to be for trick or treating, so everyone came over to our house for dinner and some trick or treating.  We also had one of Mike's classmates, her husband (who is also a submariner) and their 11 month old who went with a Star Wars theme.  The baby made the cutest R2D2 I've ever seen!

Dinner was a little chaotic with everyone trying to get ready, a toddler who was "all done" with Halloween the minute she walked in the door, and nonstop trick or treaters.  I now understand why people do pizza or chili since they are so easy. I think we'll be doing something along those lines in future years, especially once Finn starts to really get into trick or treating.  This year, our main goal was to go to at least one house and put our costumes to use.  We doubled our success rate and made it to two houses, so we were more than satisfied. 

Yabba Dabba Dooooooooo!!

Note to future Halloween costume seekers, I highly recommend this because all of the costumes were so comfortable and easy to make homemade. 

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Finnegan: Seven Months

Guys, we made it. This past month was a rough one for poor Finny health wise, but he also had some huge milestones, so we had fun in between being sick.  A chest cold turned into a fever and a cough that refused to leave which then turned into an ear infection plagued the majority of the month.  Despite all of these issues, Finn spent the majority of the month with a smile on his face as he started daycare and even managed to learned how to Army crawl!  Way to go, bud!

Eating: I would say he spent most of the month ambivalent to solid foods, but just in the past few days has turned a corner and seems to be enjoying the majority of what is given him.  His favorites are definitely the more bland foods, such as peas and green beans.  Currently, he's working on finishing a combination of spinach, peas and carrots, which he seems to enjoy. Mike and I, on the other hand look the other way because of the way they look and smell, but at least he's eating them, right?

Sleeping: Let's just sum up this whole section by saying I'm exhausted. When he was sick, he was waking up every two to three hours, so it was like being back to the newborn stage of life.  I think we've finally recovered from that, but we're still waking up at least twice at night, if not three times depending on what time he ate before going to bed.  I really thought by Christmas we would be sleeping through the night, but it doesn't seem like that is anywhere close to happening. Maybe I should start drinking coffee?

Bedtime stories with Dad
Sometimes you just need to suck your thumb in the tub, right?

Noises: If there is one thing Finn loves to do  in life, it's blow raspberries.  He has no problem blowing when everyone else is quiet or when you are trying to feed him, even if he likes the food. He will talk when he feels like it and usually talks a lot when he's talking.   Laughing is still a rarity, but he was cracking up at Mike making animal noises the other day which was maybe the cutest thing I've seen in a long time. 

Milestones: The biggest milestone is definitely learning to Army crawl.  He can pull himself forward to anything he wants, so nothing is safe anymore. He can also turn his body when he's on his stomach so he can literally go anywhere.  We quickly baby proofed the house once he figured out how to do all of this because he's quick and determined. That being said, it's so fun to watch him go.  You can see him become focused on something and then it's go time!  The other big milestone is that Finn started daycare!! Hooray!!! He seems to enjoy going and the transition has gone extremely smooth, despite being sick. We couldn't have asked for a better scenario!

First day of school 2017
Likes and Dislikes: He loves to be in the middle of whatever is going on.  He loves to sit in the kitchen with me when I'm making dinner and will sit in his high chair while we eat dinner, even if he's not eating anything.  Like I said before, he likes vegetables, but usually will eat fruit after eating vegetables.  He did NOT like amoxiccilin at first, but has grown to tolerate it.  Riding in the car is acceptable now, thank goodness.  Bath time is still a favorite and necessary every day after solid foods.

Hanging out in high chair
Just make yourself comfortable Finn. :)

Hey guys! I'm ready for mug night at Whitlow's!

Nicknames: Finn, Finny, Bud, Buddy, Big Guy, Buddy Bear

Clothing size: 6-9 month/9 month

Diaper size: three

Weight: 17.6 lbs (I think he lost a little bit of weight when he was sick because when we went to the doctor, it was the same weight as when he went for his six month checkup)

Height: 27 inches as of a week ago

Travel: Boston!

Oh Finny, we love you big guy!! Watching you grow and discover the world around you is the highlight of our day.  Your smile lights up the room and you have us all wrapped around your finger. As they say in Where the Wild Things Are, "I'll eat you up, I love you so!"

"Finn why'd you poop on the Naval Academy sheets? We only do that on West Point sheets!" -Mike instilling some early morning wisdom on Finn