Thursday, October 19, 2017

Finn and Sarah Visit Virginia

Ever since we returned to the East Coast, I have been trying to take advantage to being so close to home and our people.  We spent a good month in Virginia after coming back to the United States and it wasn't long after we moved into our house that I booked a flight home for Finn and I.  Add in the trip to Notre Dame and our plans for Christmas and we should be able to see people at least once a month!!!!

Finn and I left on Wednesday night for Virginia, arriving in Norfolk around 8:30.  One day, I'll do a blogpost on traveling solo with a baby, so I'll save all of my thoughts on that subject for that post, but just know that it's no easy task.   Finn was a gem and slept through the first flight.  He fought it hard on the second flight but eventually succumbed to the big bad bedtime.  He did wake up to say hello to Nana and Grandpa, but it was way past his bedtime, so we didn't hang out much. Plus, traveling with an infant is exhausting.

Thursday morning was pretty relaxed and Finn slept until 7:30 (!!!!  my pre-mom self is groaning because it's so early.  Now, I'm just happy if we make it to 6:30 so 7:30 is a treat!).  We stopped by my grandfather's apartment to say hi and then met my mom for lunch downtown. 

Lunch downtown.  Excuse Finn's "eclectic" outfit.  We had a little bit of a diaper explosion and this is what was in the diaper bag.  
Andrew came home on Thursday night and it was so good to see him.  He's such a cool guy with so many good thoughts on so many things. 

Friday, we took it easy again. It rained almost all weekend, so there wasn't a lot of incentive to do much except lounge around.  I got my haircut Friday afternoon, which was a treat as always and my aunt, uncle and grandfather came over for dinner.  Ben and his girlfriend Ange also arrived around dinner time for the weekend since they were on Fall Break.  I've yet to find an experience that is as heartwarming as being home with your people.  There is just something about sitting around the table, eating your favorite family recipe and chatting it up about anything and everything.  The only person we were missing was Mike and, man, did we miss him. 

The younger generations

Saturday was a big day because JMU was hosting College GameDay!  Finn's excitement must have affected his sleep because he was up every two hours that night.  I'm sure that was the reason.  We watched a little bit of College GameDay before my mom and I left for a horse show.  I don't know who was more and my mom for the horse show or Andrew and my dad who got to hang out with Finny. 

Saturday afternoon we all headed over to my aunt and uncle's to watch the JMU game.  Finn was a bit of a distraction throughout the game (it happens when you're cute!), but luckily, I was able to catch a bit of JMU's record setting 18th win in a row! Go Dukes!

Sunday morning came early and I guess Finn was just happy that the rain was supposed to subside.  At this point in my life, there are few gifts that I value more than someone hanging out with Finn early in the morning so I can sleep longer and my dad delivered that wonderful gift that morning.  I slept until EIGHT and woke up feeling like a whole new person.  We bid farewell to Ange and Ben who were going camping before heading to church.  Finn was a huge hit at church and had lots of babbling commentary during the Homily. Luckily, he's cute :) 

After lunch and a nap for Finn, we headed downtown to Norfolk to check out Waterside and walk along the water trying to soak up some much needed Vitamin D. It was a GORGEOUS day and it felt so good to get outside.  We picked up my grandfather on the way home and all headed back for good ole YNOT pizza. 

This is four generations of Tuckers!  

We bid farewell to Virginia and all of our people Monday evening and were so sad to say goodbye.  It's amazing how nice doing a lot of nothing with the people you love with can be.   

Finny and Uncle Andrew!

Saturday, October 14, 2017

Finnegan: Six Months

Well, well, well, look who is six months old!! This guy!!

Our little guy is a bundle of energy and always seems to be grabbing or scooting towards something.  He wants to crawl SO badly, but just hasn't quite figured it out.  I wouldn't be surprised if month seven is the month though! He loves to smile at people as he rides in the stroller and has had so much more success with solid food.  He was a huge help (note the sarcasm) in helping us unpack our furniture and is just as much of a help making dinner or lunch while sitting in his Bumbo.

Eating: We retried solid foods, starting with rice cereal and then moving on to sweet potatoes and apples, all of which has been met with much more enthusiasm than before.  Sweet potatoes, rice cereal and apples have all been a big hit!  Everyone is happy about that!! We are still breast feeding every three hours though, which is exciting.  My first breast feeding goal was to make it to six months and here we are! Our next goal is Christmas, so fingers crossed we can make it until then. 

Sleeping: We have good nights of sleep and bad nights of sleep.  The other night, he woke up every two hours and I was having flashbacks to our pre-sleep training days, but then last night he slept for seven hours straight.  Generally, he will wake up somewhere between 12:00-1:00 and then again between 4:00-5:00.  Not too bad! I'd like to eventually get down to one feeding a night, which I think will happen with more solid foods, but for now, we're waking up at least twice.  

Noises: Finn isn't the most talkative guy, but when he starts, he doesn't stop! He has also discovered how to blow raspberries/spit bubbles, which is just a whole new level of noise.  He had a week where he where he learned how to shriek and therefore did it all. the. time.  I did not enjoy that week.  Occasionally, we will get a laugh at something he finds really funny, but it's rare.  Usually, we are just greeted with a big smile!


Milestones:  Getting up on all fours is pretty common around here.  He will get up and then rock back and forth, but he's not quite strong enough to move forward.  His core strength isn't that strong and he's still not sitting up on his own, so I think that we have a month or so until he is crawling. The other major milestone is that Finn is grabbing EVERYTHING in sight.  It's a two step process.  Step one: grab object.  Step two: Put in mouth. He definitely has a sense of the world around him and it's fun to watch him learn.   

We love the bumbo!

I finally broke down and bought a cart cover so that he could ride in the shopping cart and we could buy more than five things at a time. 

Likes and Dislikes: Finn has decided that he will tolerate the car, on a few conditions.   He can't ride for more than like twenty minutes and heaven forbid he wake up from a nap in the car.  That is just unacceptable. But, he has gotten a LOT better at our trips around town.  He usually is pretty content just looking out the window or playing with a toy.  He loves his jumperoo and being able to move around.  He also likes to look around at what's going on, so he prefers to be on his stomach and will roll over almost immediately when we put him on his back.

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

Clothing Size: We packed up all of his six month clothes this week and are completely transitioning into nine month and 6-9 month clothes.

Diaper size: Three

Weight: 17.7 lbs

Height: 27 inches

Travel: Finn went to Cape Cod and Martha's Vineyard and then he and I traveled to Virginia for this weekend!  He also spent the day in Newport, RI

We're adding this to the wedding slideshow

So many new friends!

Finn and Xander are almost exactly a month apart and are quickly becoming best we think.

Sick babies are no fun, but snuggles make it better

Go Navy! Beat Chairforce!

Mike and I are happy to have a couch.  Finn's happy to have his hands.

We love you Finnegan Michael! You light up our life and we have had so much fun these past six months!

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Hanging with the Hogans: October 2017

Now that we have a more "normal" life and our day-to-day routine is not quite as exciting as our European lifestyle, I've noticed that I don't blog quite as much, even though small and important things are happening. I also tend to take pictures randomly and then they never get shared.  So, with that in mind, I'm going to periodically try and do a photo dump called Hanging with the Hogans so you can see some of the less exciting, yet still important parts of our life.

Without further ado, here is October's edition of Hanging with the Hogans!

Pumpkin spice ice cream!!

Alright so I always kind of judged moms who use the cart covers at the grocery store because I was always like "I survived and didn't have a cart cover when I was a baby."  But then I could only buy like five things at a time at the grocery store since Finn can't sit up on his own, which means no cart.  So, I found a cart cover that comes with a  little support cushion, so here I am being that mom with the cart cover.  Karma's a bitch.  

Finn living his best life and enjoying the 85 degree October weather. 

Hanging with his bestie Adaline while her mom's at the doctor.  They never got more than five feet apart.

We got our household goods finally!! Insert all the praise hand emojis!! I bought donuts for the movers as a bribe to PLEASE BE CAREFUL when unpacking our stuff.  I'll be doing this again in four months when we pack up our stuff because it is $15 well spent. 

Someone enjoyed sweet potatoes.

 One of the wives from Mike's class hosts circle time on Fridays for all of the little ones.  She has eight month old twins and then Xander is almost five months old, so Finn is right in the middle of all of them!

Xander's mom and I really want them to become best friends!

We went to Cape Cod for Columbus Day Weekend and stopped at winery as we were driving back to the hotel.  Best. Decision. Ever.

They also made their own rum, so I got a painkiller.  I have no regrets!

Poor Finn spent the weekend with a stomach bug.  While we felt SO bad for him, we definitely soaked up all of the snuggles from our normally not-so-snuggly guy!

Mike bought Finn some Navy gear and we broke it out for the Navy/Air Force game, which was a little too close for comfort, but Finn looked super cute.  I think Santa will be bringing him some purple and gold though ;)

We were all sitting on the couch (so thankful to finally have this back in our lives!), so I snapped a quick selfie.  This pretty much depicts our lives.  Mike and I smiling and paying attention and Finn just focused on his hands. 

As much as we miss our European travels, life in Groton, CT is not too shabby, especially now that we have a couch.

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Newport for the Day

One of the nice things about being in New England is that nothing is terribly far away.   There are lots of sights to see that are within a couple of hours of driving, Newport, Rhode Island being one of them.  Since we had a weekend without any plans and the weather was still warm, it was the perfect opportunity to drive over to Newport to check out the historic mansions and have some good seafood. 

Mike had been to Newport before, but it was my first time and I can see why Mike described it as "Annapolis on crack."  It's got that old, small town feel with lots of little shops and restaurants that you can pop in and out of and an amazing water view.  There is a 3.5 Cliff Walk along the water that is perfect for seeing all of the historic mansions on one side and having the waves crash on the other.  

We opted not to go inside any of the mansions, mainly because we didn't have a ton of time and didn't want to pay the entrance fee, but I've heard they're as beautiful on the inside as they are on the outside. I can't imagine living in one of these huge houses.  I would definitely get lost a time or two!

I wouldn't hate having this view as my backyard though!

There are the 40 Steps on the Cliff Walk which allows you to get lower down and a great view of the coast line.  We didn't walk down the 40 steps because that would have meant walking back up them (#lazy), but we took a picture of them from the top, so we can say we saw them ;)

After walking for a couple of hours, we were ready to stop for lunch.  We settled on Midtown Oyster Bar.  Neither of us ended up getting oysters, but my Crab Melt and Mike's Fish and Chips were well worth it.  We also split a cup of Rhode Island clam chowder and both agreed we prefer the New England style, even though this cup had us reaching for more.  Mike's dad later told us that we should have gone to the Black Pearl, but I can't imagine that we would have gotten a better meal to end our time in Newport.  We headed back to Groton with a full belly and a sleepy Finny, which made for a quiet car ride home.

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

A Day in the Life

I've seen these posts on other blogs and always enjoy getting a look into the everyday life of other people.  Plus, I'm always curious as to what people who don't work do all day and now I know! There's always stuff to get done around the house and I'm always surprised at how I can fill my day. So, without further ado, here is a day in the life of the Hogans!

Last night, Finn woke up at 11:00pm and then again at 4:00am to feed.  This seems to be pretty normal.  Sometimes he will sleep a little bit longer at the front end, not waking up until 1:00am or so, but he generally wakes up twice in the night to feed.

6:00am Mike's alarm goes off and he jumps in the shower and gets ready for the day.
6:35 Finn wakes up , Mike gets him out of his crib and brings him downstairs to hang out while Mike drinks his coffee and finishes getting ready for the day. I generally wake up too, but I don't head downstairs for another few minutes.
6:50 I wake up and head downstairs

7:05 Mike leaves
7:15 I get Finn dressed because of a minor diaper leak. Generally, we stay in our pajamas longer, but today that was a no go. Since we were already upstairs, we hung out in his room until it was time to eat. He loves to look out the window.
7:30-7:45 Finn eats and falls asleep. I don't like for him to fall asleep while feeding because I think that's a dangerous habit to create, but this happens about 50% of the time with this first morning feeding. While Finn is feeding, I empty the dishwasher and look up the Wonder Weeks chart. I realize we are approaching a "leap," which explains the fussiness of yesterday, so I check my bank account to see how many bottles of wine we can afford. I also research Finn's baptism, which is just getting more and more complicated.

A beautiful sight.

I see you looking at me!

8:25 Finn wakes up
8:28 Finn spits up on me as I get him out of crib
8:29 Finn spits up on himself as I'm cleaning myself up
8:30 we snuggle and I forgive him for spitting up on me.
8:40- 9:25 I fold laundry with lots of help from Finn, we spend some time looking at the baby in the mirror, we change another diaper and then I decide it's time to go for a walk.

Since we still don't have our furniture, our clothes have just been in piles on the floor.  This is somewhat organized, even though it looks like just a bunch of clothes on the floor.

My little helper!

Finn's best friend, the baby in the mirror and his mom!  Funny how similar they are to us!

No kids allowed on school grounds.  Ironic....

My view of our walk
9:25-10:05 Go for walk around our neighborhood and stop at the playground to go on the bucket swings, which are always a big hit with Finny!
10:05 Feeding time for Finn. Since he fell asleep before the first feeding, the time works out that he's tired when he feeds again and, subsequently, falls asleep while feeding again.
10:20 I transfer Finn to his crib and quickly workout and shower while he's napping.
11:05 I hear him starting to cry as soon as I get out of the shower, so I get dressed and grab him out of his crib. We head downstairs so that I can make and eat lunch. Finn hangs out on his playmat and in the Bumbo seat because he doesn't seem to want to be very far from me (it's endearing until it prevents me from eating my lunch....). While we're making and eating lunch, we get a get phone call from Mike, who is also on his lunch break.
12:10 I change Finn's diaper and we read a few books in his room.
12:45 I put Finn down for nap. It takes him about 10 minutes to stop crying and fall asleep, which is a little longer than normal for nap time, but he eventually falls asleep.
1:35-1:50 Finn wakes up and eats
2:20-3:30 We drop off Mike's uniforms to be dry cleaned and go to Target to return some things.
3:30 Arrive home to a poopy diaper explosion. It was bound to happen since we left the house. Never a better time! At least this time didn't require a bath to get him clean! :)
I let Finn play downstairs while I eat a snack
4:05 put Finn to sleep  
4:30 Mike comes home. We chat about our days.
4:43 Finn wakes up. Mike gets him. I feed him
5:00-6:00 run to grocery store for onion....get onion, blueberries and Reese's (this is why I try not to go more than once a week!). Cook dinner
6:00 Mike and I eat dinner while Finn hangs out in his high chair with some toys.

Peppers, potatoes, kielbasa and onions! Yuuuummmm!!
6:20 Finn gets fussy, so Mike takes Finn upstairs to get pajamas on and read a story. He ends up being so fussy, we skip the story and I feed him.
6:30 I wanted to feed Finn before bed because it had been an hour and a half and I wanted to make sure he wasn't going to wake up in an hour and want to eat. Plus, he felt a little warm and seemed really fussy, so I figured it would help calm him down.
6:45 I finish feeding and put Finn to bed while Mike cleans up the kitchen
7:00-8:00 clean up kitchen/hang out
8:00-8:30 Mike works out and I work on this blogpost.
8:10 Deebot goes (bonus points to the person who can figure out why Mike chose 8:10)
8:35-9:10 Finn wakes up and is crying. Mike and I go up at ten minute intervals to try and calm him.
9:10 Finn finally falls asleep
9:15-9:25 I pump
9:25 Peruse the internet/watch Parks and Rec/hang out
10:10 We head upstairs to bed to read and watch tv for a bit before falling asleep

That's a pretty normal day around here for now. On Mondays and Fridays, Finn and I go to a story time at the library or with some of the other moms. We usually see our friends Katy and her daughter Addie for some reason or another. And last but not least, usually Finn doesn't wake up until about 1am. Neither of us are sure why he woke up at 8:30pm, but he slept well after that little episode. Other than that, it was a pretty average day. It's amazing how much time everything takes when you have a 5 month old sidekick! It's also amazing how much fun you can have with someone who doesn't talk. That being said, we both get veryyyyyy excited when we see Mike walking up the sidewalk at the end of the day.

Hope you enjoyed a peak into a day in the life of the Hogans!