Thursday, August 31, 2017

Tchoussy Berlin!

We arrived back in Berlin from our week in paradise on Saturday and the movers were set to arrive on Monday for three days of packing and moving us out.  How many times do you think I've thought we're crazy? Probably too many to count at this point.

After a little bit of a mix up as to when the movers would come, we finally turned in the keys one week later and said goodbye to our wonderful apartment.  Both Mike and I were pretty sad to leave this house. I am always a little sentimental when we leave our homes, but this one was extra difficult.  I had visions of the countless nights I spent nursing Finn on our couch or how the first night at home, we had to bring the swing into our room because he wouldn't sleep in the bassinet.  Mike just kept thinking about the hours we spent on the floor with Finn on his playmat and how excited we were the first time he held his head up.  So many of our first memories with Finn were created in that apartment and it definitely made it harder to say farewell.

The Olmsted Foundation gave us a once in a lifetime opportunity to travel around Europe and spend our first two years as a couple together.  We spent our time wine tasting on Mt. Etna, exploring the souks in Morocco, skiing in the Alps and dogsledding in Lapland.  To say we are lucky and blessed is an understatement because we have memories that will last us a lifetime.

They say when one door closes, another one opens and that is definitely true for this experience.  Our two years abroad were life changing, but we are both excited  for what this next chapter will bring.  We both miss having a routine and the continuity that comes with a 9-5 (or 7-7) job.  Being close to family is something that I missed greatly and I am so happy to be back in the same time zone as all of our loved ones.  I know that this next tour will bring challenges such as deployments and long working hours, but we will have great memories of these past two years to carry us through.

Sunday, August 27, 2017

A Babymoon with Baby: Tenerife

Lots of people plan and take a "babymoon" when pregnant, especially with their first baby as one last chance to spend some time together as a couple.  Our life for the past two years has been a babymoon, so we didn't feel like we had to go out of our way to do this, but it did get us thinking.  Even though we didn't need to spend time together (we are ALWAYS together), we did think it would be a good idea to do some things that might be more difficult/less enjoyable with a baby.

Mike knew immediately that he wanted to do some serious diving on our babymoon and spending a few days at a pool or beach sounded like paradise to a pregnant me. After lots of research on Mike's part, we set our sights on Tenerife, part of the Canary Islands off the coast of Morocco.  We became extremely ambitious when planning and decided to book our flights for two days after our trip to Portugal, which was not that long after our trip to Spain (rough life, I know). Mike ended up getting mono towards the end of our trip in Portugal and was so sick by the time we came home that we knew there was no way we were going to boarding a flight for our diving and beach vacation two days later.

Luckily, we were able to reschedule our trip for the week following Kelly and Sean's wedding, but that meant that it would no longer be our babymoon.  Instead, we would have a three month old coming along for the ride.  Finn is cute, but he definitely changes the dynamic of our travel.  Sitting by the pool isn't quite as relaxing as it used to be.   He also decided to enter a major sleep regression that had Mike and I questioning our sanity.

While we weren't able to relax as much as we probably would have before Finn came along, we still had a great time.  Mike was still able to go diving and I got to enjoy some adult beverages by the pool, something that I wouldn't have been able to do in January.  We stayed at the Sheraton La Caleta, which may be one of the nicest hotels I've ever stayed at.  As much as I make fun of Mike for being a little obsessed with credit card points, it definitely paid off because we didn't pay a dime for our week stay.  So, next time he yells "Use the Chase!" or "We get five times points with the AmEx!" I guess I should refrain from rolling my eyes and just go with it.

The water was a leeeetle too chilly for Finny

One last Olmsted selfie

Lounging by the pool

When you only sleep one hour at a time, you take lots of naps throughout the day.  I did too.


Nomz nomz nomz

We loved our time at the Sheraton in Tenerife.  It was relaxing, the staff was friendly and the amenities were glamorous.  It was definitely an expensive and much more luxurious trip than our normal travels, but it was a great way to end our Olmsted travels and rest up for our move from Berlin.

Always review the emergency exit procedures before takeoff.

Sunday, August 20, 2017

Eat, Drink, And Be Mongan

One day, I'll get back to blogging regularly, but until then, I'll be playing catch up.   Who would have guessed that a transatlantic move with a 3 month old would be a little time consuming? :)

As you may remember, last August, Mike and I (and Finn, but no one except Mike and I knew!) traveled to London for Mike's sister, Kelly's wedding.  It was a small ceremony with just immediate family, so we weren't surprised that they wanted to have a bigger celebration this summer with friends and extended family.

We arrived in Reading on Wednesday evening and introduced Finn to Mike's dad.  It wasn't long before Mike's mom arrived on Thursday morning and she was able to meet Finn as well.  Both were head over heals from the first minute.

Since we had the day free on Thursday, Mike, Finn, myself and Mike's mom and Jim headed to Cambridge that afternoon.  The town and the university are beautiful and it was a great afternoon excursion.

 We even found the Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe door and lamp!

Friday was the first day of official wedding festivities.  The afternoon was kicked off with a boat ride down the Thames.  Luckily, we avoided the typical English weather (cold and rainy) and had a beautiful day of warmth and sunshine.  Finn slept through the entire boat ride, but still managed to win over the majority of ladies.  He is a cutie.

That evening, we went to a cute little restaurant for the rehearsal dinner.  Finn was not on his best behavior, so Mike and I ended up splitting our time outside while the other ate dinner, but from what I could tell, everyone else was having a great time.  

Wedding day came quickly and we were one of the first guests to arrive.  The ceremony and the reception were both at Shiplake College, where Sean went to high school.  The grounds were beautiful and it set the ambiance for a wonderful English garden wedding.   Finn ended up waking up and wanting to eat right as the ceremony started, so we missed the procession and Mike's reading (sorry Dad!!), but made it back in time to stand in the back for the vows and exchanging of the rings.  

It's a good thing he's cute!

Following the ceremony was cocktail hour where we took the opportunity to have a little family photo shoot :) 

The reception that followed was a blast and definitely incorporated lots of eating, drinking and being Mongan (whatever that means). 

 Finn fell asleep after lots of dancing, which allowed Mike and I to enjoy the last few hours with each other.  I'm not sure if Finn will be accompanying us to weddings any time soon, but we are so glad that we could all be there to celebrate Sean and Kelly and their (somewhat) new nuptials! Congratulations Mongans and thanks for a great wedding!

Monday, August 14, 2017

Finnegan: Four Months

One day, I'll get back to blogging regularly, but until then, I'll be playing catch up.   Who would have guessed that a transatlantic move with a 3 month old would be a little time consuming? :)

Ohhhh Finny!  It's been quite a month.  Finn attended his first wedding, went on vacation, moved out of Berlin and had his first transatlantic flight...all in one month!  We're all a little exhausted, but both Mike and I agree that this age is a ton of fun and we are having a blast with our little guy!

Big bed, little Finn

If I was writing this post at the beginning of the month, it would have been a very frustrated post because feeding Finn was a struggle about half of the time.  Arched back, screaming and overall disinterest was a common theme.  By the end of the month, though, we kind of figured it out.  Mainly, I realized that our little guy is not so little and doesn't need to eat every two hours on the dot.  Instead, he is now eating every two and a half to three hours and we are all veryyyyy happy!

Sleeping: Oh sleep, how I miss you. For the first time in my life, I muttered the words "Maybe I should drink coffee" multiple times. The four month sleep regression is a real thing and I was not prepared for it.  Finn went from sleeping five to six hours in a row at night to waking up every hour and refusing to sleep anywhere except in my arms.  He wouldn't sleep for Mike and the crib was a big no no.  There were multiple nights where I found myself sitting in a chair with Finn my arms.  It. Was. Rough. Luckily, we seem to have turned a corner with that, but we're still battling a six hour time change, so hopefully within the next week we will be back to normal.

Take a picture because sleeping outside of Mamma's arms won't last!

Noises: We have a little talker on our hands! The pediatrician asked if Finn was testing out his voice and both Mike and I nodded enthusiastically and boldly stated "YES!"  Finn has no problem babbling and it never ceases to make us smile.  Mike says he's heard Finn laugh twice (the two times I wasn't around!!), but I don't believe it.  We've got lots of gasping and coughing, which I think is his attempt at laughing, but I haven't heard a true laugh yet.  Fingers crossed it will happen!

Milestones:  We have a roller!! Finn is rolling from his back to his stomach and his stomach to his back without any issues.  He likes being on his stomach so that he can look around, but sometimes gets tired and hasn't quite figured out that he can solve that problem by rolling over on his back.  He is also sleeping on his stomach full time now.  Almost immediately after I place him in his crib, we will hear him roll over onto his stomach.  We thought he would be a thumb sucker, but that seemed to be more of a phase.  He still will suck his thumb occasionally, but not as a substitute for a pacifier.  Oh well.  His thumb is one of many things that go in his mouth right now.  In fact, it's a rare object that doesn't go in his mouth.   We keep feeling around for a tooth or two that might be poking through, but it's still pretty gummy. Last, Finn completed his second round of vaccines.  Luckily, he seemed to fare a lot better than the first round and they didn't have any lasting effects on him.

Finn's first few minutes on American soil!  
Likes and Dislikes: Finn went in the pool for the first time this month and seems to be tolerant of it.  I think he just isn't quite sure what is going on.  Our neighbors had an infant float and after a few minutes in that, he was looking around and moving a little bit, which gives me hope that we have a water babe on our hands!  He also has discovered the television and is definitely a fan, much to my dismay.  His attention span is about .2 seconds, so he doesn't stare at it for long, but will keep coming back to it if he is on the floor nearby.

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

Clothing size: We packed up the the 0-3 month clothes when we left Berlin and only brought 3-6 month things with us.  They're fitting perfectly right now, which is nice.  I hope we are slowing down our growing because, if he isn't, we're going to be in toddler clothes by Christmas!

Diaper Size: Size Three

Weight: As of August 3rd, he was 15lbs exactly

Height: On August 3rd, he was 25 inches long

Travel: The United States!! Hooray!! Our little guy traveled across the pond to the United States where he checked off both Virginia and North Carolina off his list of states.  He also went to the Canary Islands, which is a territory of Spain, so his country count is at ten.

Reading all about airline safety

Month four was rocky at times, but we are loving this age and all of the smiles and personality that is showing.  We are so proud of how Finn has handled all of the changes and has been, for the most part, a pretty easy going and happy baby.

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