Sunday, August 30

Goodbye Summer...

Tomorrow I go back to school.

I really like summer. A LOT. I like spending time with Finley and getting to run in the mornings and sleep in slightly later. I do NOT like the heat, but I do like summer.

So, summer's over. I have a week of meetings then real kids on Tuesday. This year, I'm teaching 3 sections of Algebra and 2 sections of an Algebra-prep course to get kids into Algebra who might not without the course. The year should be a bit simpler than last year--I'm not new anymore and I already have lessons for Algebra prepared. AND I get to teach in the same building as Victoria!

Sadly, Finley isn't old enough to go to 8th grade. So he's going to stay here and our friend Amy is going to come watch him. He's promised to be a good boy and we're in discussions on how to get him to stop eating at night and eat during the day instead. We can't wait for November--Amy will have a new little boy named Calvin for Finley to play with. I'm so grateful that Amy is willing to watch Finley here, it makes it quite a bit easier to leave him every day.

Please be good, Finley, and don't forget that we love you very much, even if we're not here all day.

Outer Banks

...Sorry if you got this post yesterday, I had a weird time uploading pictures. It works now!

My favorite part of looking at other peoples' blogs are all the pictures... so I hope you feel the same way, because I have a lot of pictures. I take so many pictures that I feel like my computer is literally going to overflow from all the files. I guess we will see.

So here we go.

First. I used to not like seafood. Then I decided I could eat shrimp. Then we moved to Boston and I couldn't say no to lobster... and now I will pretty much eat it all. It bothers me when sealife still looks like it did in the sea, but Sol and I are working out a system. He peels all my shrimp and pulls the meat out of my lobster. I'm ok with oysters and crab legs, because its only half a sea creature--it doesn't look like its going to rear its head and get me.

Seafood Math:
39 oysters + 8 crab legs + 1 pound of shrimp = 2 freaked out digestive systems

Second. We stayed in Kitty Hawk. North Carolina is all proud that they were the "First in Flight". I was not impressed--I lived in Dayton, Ohio for quite awhile, and any Ohioan will tell you that Ohio is actually the "Birthplace of Aviation". But, even though I think NC is trying to steal the thunder from OH, we went to the Wright Brothers Memorial. No one else was there and the sun was setting... we got some lovely pictures. Finley made good friends with Wilbur and demonstrated how he can fly too.

Third. The beach. Finley did NOT like the ocean, but he did like the pool. We're excited to get him swimming next year. Sol got a little burnt, I did not. Also, there was a lighthouse.

Fourth. Finley started trying to read a book (American Wife, very good!) and got to experience Duck's Donuts--you get to pick out your own toppings! It's like ice cream for the morning.

Fifth. He's just really cute.

Thursday, August 27

Something is changing...

Pictures from our vacation are forthcoming... but in the meantime there are some developments underfoot that I am a little concerned about.

1. Finley drools... a lot.
2. He is constantly lunging at his hands and furiously sucks on them.
3. Finley just realized that at the bottom of his legs are FEET and he thinks they are excellent toys.
4. The silly kid doesn't want to eat during the day anymore, only at night.

While all of these may seem harmless when viewed individually, I'm pretty sure they combine to something sinister.

Finley is turning into a VAMPIRE!

He drools when he sees people, tries to eat human flesh (on his hands), plays with his food (feet) and is becoming nocturnal. I am worried about teeth coming in (which the pediatrician said could be soon) because then he will begin to suck my blood.

I know these things, I read Twilight.


Or demon...

You decide.

Monday, August 24

A Vacation.... From Our PROBLEMS

Man, don't you love What About Bob? Good thing Dr. Leo Marvin sent Bob on that vacation to Lake Winnipesaukee, otherwise he never would have been cured with the death therapy.

Anyways, we are on a vacation. Not from our problems, but a vacation from the busy-ness of Northern Virginia. Let me tell you, Southern Virginia is a different world. People are much friendlier--everyone asks about his splint.

We spent yesterday in Williamsburg, and today we drove down to the Outer Banks. Here are my two favorite pictures so far--Sol and Finley in a teepee in the Williamsburg Indian re-creation thingy, and Finley and I at a winery. The kid is so refined already.

Finley has decided recently that he doesn't need to sleep through the night anymore. We used to get a solid six hours, and now he wakes up almost every hour for the first half of the night, and always wants to eat. I think its partly due to the fact that he is a really good roller now, we stopped swaddling him and he might be teething. I miss all that nice uninterrupted sleep--any pointers? I googled the heck out of and think it might be the "4 month sleep regression" but I don't know how to fix it... anyone reading this have a similar situation ever?

Friday, August 21

A Banner Day for Finley

I go back to school in 10 days.

Oh my goodness, that is soon! It's so sad.

Especially because my darling son decided not to take a bottle from anyone he is not directly related to. (Sol and I, Maya and my mom are all successful bottle givers.)

Until today!

Victoria has been diligently trying to give Finley a bottle for at least a week. Normally, he'll eat happily for about 30 seconds and then realize that his life is out order and proceed to have a meltdown. It's really bad.

Our smart friend Brytt recommended feeding him in his swing... and it worked!

I think it also helped that Belle and Copper were there to provide moral support.

Hopefully this will make his first days without me happier... no one likes a baby on a hunger strike.

You can see his little splint in the picture--he's doesn't seem to mind it. We're slowly breaking it in so it doesn't give him any blisters. I am not quite sure what part of the splint was going to be flames--there is a one inch section that turned out blue. I guess I should have gotten a cool pattern after all.

Wednesday, August 19

Sock Monkey Nursery

Hello fellow Sock Monkey adorers! Welcome to my tour of Finley's nursery. I'm no longer focusing my creative energies on decorating Finley's nursery--I do design blogs and sell cute stuff on etsy. You can buy our sock monkey prints here. Go take a look!

Interesting things about the nursery:
  • I made all the bedding and curtains and pretty much anything made of fabric. I found the cutest sock monkey fabric and ended up ordering it from several different websites. My crowning achievement was sewing piping on to the bumper. It took some skill. I made the mobile too--out of tiny little sock monkeys I ordered on Amazon.
  • When I was about 5 weeks pregnant, Courtney and I took two sock monkeys (Curt and Warner) to the park for a photo shoot. We were extremely embarrassed to be toting around sock monkeys but the pictures turned out so great! They are the cutest nursery decorations.
  • Victoria helped me paint the nursery white. Sol and 8 month pregnant Rachel painstakingly painted the straightest stripes you'll ever find on that wall. I love the paint colors!
  • We got the crib and changing table from craigslist (of course). They're originally from Pottery Barn, and the changing table is my favorite. I love the pictures and the strip running through the cutout.
  • Behind the red curtain on the left is our washer and dryer. Man, having it in Finley's room makes washing cloth diapers a breeze. Later on it may cause noise issues, but it sure is nice now.

**This post has been getting a lot of google hits from people searching for sock monkey nurseries. Please let me know if you need any pointers, or feel free to post a link to your sock monkey nursery below! I'd love to see it. **

Tuesday, August 18

Four Months.

Finley had his four month check up today. He was a super baby and tolerated the shots pretty well. Good news--he has grown.

Length: 26 inches, 90%
Weight: 16 lbs, 75%
Noggin: 16 inches

His percentile for length jumped up and for weight dropped a bit. I thought he looked like he'd thinned down a bit and I was correct. Can you imagine growing 5 inches in 4 months? Gaining 25% of your height? That's crazy. Babies, man, they are nuts.

At four months, he's an excellent roller. He can get from his back to his belly super quick, and prefers to be on his belly. He scoots in a little circle to get facing whatever he likes to look at. He likes the music in his crib and the little froggy song on his carseat. He quiets down whenever he hears it. He giggles and smiles and just about anything, it doesn't take much. If I'm not paying attention to him, he waits patiently until I turn to look at him and gives me a smile. He loves to stand up and will keep getting better after we get his splint tomorrow. He's so close to being able to sit on his own, but he's still a little too wobbly to keep himself upright.

Here are some pictures for your viewing pleasure.

My new lens is awesomely fun. I already have the bad habit of taking only extremely close pictures of Finley's face, and this lens does not help. I just think its lovely, and my subject is too cute to not photograph. My poor subsequent children, they are just going to feel unloved when they realize how many megabytes Finley already occupies.

Monday, August 17

Ten Things.

1. Sometimes Finley likes a pacifier, but he's not very skilled at keeping it in his mouth. Last night, he was falling asleep with it and I heard him spit it out. I walked in to put the pacifier back in his mouth and this is where it was.

2. Finley currently only takes a bottle from Sol and me. I was pleased when I though the was a skilled bottle taker and would be fine when I went back to school... but I am having a hard time getting him to take one from anyone else. Whoops.

3. Blogging is the new scrapbooking... but I'm trying to keep it old school. This has been a great way to keep track of Finn's milestones, but I am trying to make a scrapbook too. The last thing I scrapbooked was the middle of my wedding ceremony, so I've decided to skip the era of our lives between the wedding and the baby. Oh well.

4. I only have 2 more weeks of summer.

5. I ran 14 miles on Sunday and broke the ever elusive 10 min/mile barrier!!!! My sweet friend Kara ran with me, and had she not been there I would have been much slower. If only there was a special qualifying time for Boston if you've had a baby recently.

6. Finley's 4 month appointment is tomorrow! He's so old.

7. My BFFCWLD*, Victoria, got a job teaching... at my school! Our lifelong ambition to teach together will be fulfilled so soon.

8. I was disappointed by the Mad Men season premiere. Donald Draper, please be nice to your wife.

9. My baby brother Dan moved out yesterday. He's going to a special school for kids who love science and math. Watch out, ladies. This means my father and Benjamin are living in the Tulsa house all by themselves during the week. Yikes.

10. Sol bought me a new lens that will be here tomorrow. Let the lovely photography ensue.

*Best Friend From College Who Lives Downstairs

Sunday, August 16

Carter Party

We had our good friends, the Carters, over for a yummy dinner on Saturday night. We had been talking about cooking lobster for a long time, and Kelli and I finally decided to plan it. Unfortunately, we aren't very good emailers and planned it for different nights. But we ended up eating on Saturday, and it was so fun.

  • Steaming Lobster--and learning that Sol eats more parts of the lobster than any other human. I tried to tell him that some parts of the lobster weren't meant to be consumed and he did not listen. Gross.
  • Puppy Party--Copper, Scout (Carter's dog) and Belle (Vic's dog) romped in the backyard and formed some sort of gang. They were funny, they showed how fast they could run and how good they are at slobbering on each others' necks.
  • A Chemistry Lesson on Salt--Sol was trying to teach us about the saturation point of salt water... something about cooling down boiling salt water then adding more salt and it becoming solid. But instead he broke the salt grinder and spilled it all over.
  • Finley's New Pet--He loved the lobster like he loves Copper. And then the lobster was boiled alive. Poor little guy.

Tuesday, August 11

Three Ways

Victoria, Finley and I are having a great time spending time with my mom in Greenville, SC. We took some really cute pictures today in downtown by the river.

This was not one of them.

Don't get me wrong--Finley looks precious. But my hair is awfully whooshy and Victoria and my faces look slightly crazy.

I thought this would be an excellent picture to use to refine my photoshopping skills. Which are still pretty elementary at best.

We look so very dreamy in this one. Dreaming of apparently exciting crazy things.

The color just looks nicer on this one. I was not able to photoshop us into normal human beings.

This one reminds me of a newspaper clipping. I am not in any state of mind to come up with a clever caption. I tried though.

Why are we so crazy? Finley, I am so sorry that you have to hang out with two nuts all the time.

New Design


I spent approximately a million hours last night, sitting on on my mother's couch in South Carolina redesigning the blog. Good thing Victoria redesigned hers first and could teach me all the shortcuts, otherwise it would have been a billion hours. I have taken a couple java programming courses, so html code doesn't look all too foreign... but I still really don't know what I'm doing. I'm still trying to design things for the side bar, but I decided it was ready for public viewing.

It was SO fun.

I could have paid someone $35 to design it for me... but why do that when I could spend $7 to get the supplies and then the spend the whole evening using the teeny button mouse on my laptop and almost break my finger off?

So enjoy the new design. If you are reading this in blogger or google reader, pop over and check it out. I'm a little proud.

And if you aren't reading this in reader, you are making one of the biggest mistakes of your life. See my previous post on using reader, and delve into the world of blogging.

There's just so much to read out there.

Sunday, August 9

He can swim!

Good news... Finley is officially done with casts! Just in time to enjoy our rather chilly neighborhood pool. He did a really good job in the water, he was very content as long as he didn't get too cold.

Even better news, it looks his next step with the clubfoot correction is a splint that he'll wear all the time, instead of these sad little shoes that are connected by a bar. We got the mold for the splint made this week, so it should be ready soon. I had some really awesome options for the splint... flames, soccer balls, patriotic flags... but I opted for BLUE. We are so excited that he doesn't have to have the special shoes (sorry, Carrie), just a special splint.


So I've been extremely jealous of Victoria for the past couple weeks because she has photoshop and I don't. We have been pining over photos here. and all I want is to play with Finley's pictures in photoshop even though I have no idea how. So after emailing pics to Vic (ha!) for her to mess with, and researching how I can scrape up $600 for my own copy... I realized I have photoshop. It came on my school computer. I am a dummy.

I still have no idea how to use it, but its so fun to play with it! I will learn. In the meantime, here is Finley. He is ready to go. He rolls over so very quickly from his back to his belly and gets angry because he can't go anywhere after he flips over. He can scoot his way in a circle and he works really hard to get his little butt up in the air. We're trying to reason with him and let him know that crawling really isn't necessary for quite awhile. I can just bring him what he needs for now.

I'm off to run 13 miles. Yikes.

Friday, August 7

Ghost Readers and Lurkers

Here's what I think is funny.

I read lots of blogs. LOTS of them. I read my friends' blogs. I read blogs of my friends' friends. I read blogs about blogs. I read blogs about cupcakes. I like to read blogs. Sometimes I feel sneaky about what blogs I read, because they are blogs of people that I have never actually met.

And I know there are people who read this blog and I have noooo idea that they are there. They are ghost readers. And they are kind of lurky. And I am one of them. But not on this blog. I know I read this blog.

So, feel free to comment if you are reading this ever and you have something to say. I am going to get braver about commenting on the blogs I read, because its fun to get feedback on what you write. Even though I am slightly embarrassed about the sheer volume of blogs that I frequent.

As a side note, I just got back from the dentist and I'm loopy and numby on drugs. And its CRAZY. Sorry if it doesn't make sense, I'm druggy.

Tuesday, August 4

Done and Done.

I know I initially said that the thing to do when you have a baby is start a blog, but actually the thing to do is to cut off all your hair. Why, you ask? Let me tell you why. Because it falls out in droves, because the baby gets good at grabbing things and gets tangled in it, because it falls in your face when you try to change/feed/play with the baby, and because you don't really have time to do it anyway. So, I cut it all off. Or at least 80% of it.

There is a 12 inch ponytail ready to go to Locks of Love and another 2 inches on the floor of the salon. My hair has reverted to the college-Rachel hairstyles.

It was sad. I thought about leaving a rat tail sized portion just so I could have some proof of all the hard work that went into growing that mane. It was the longest it had ever been. I was so proud. But it was time to go, and to send my hair off to be a wig for a little girl somewhere. Enjoy my hair little girl, it gets frizzy in the rain.



The hairstyle is a blend of Kate Gosselin and maybe Posh Spice, but a little softer. Some might call it a reverse mullet, you might even group it with the emo hairstyles. But I'll have you know, I've been rocking a version of this hairstyle since 2000. And I cried about the first one in the Eastminster parking lot.

I've come a long way.

These are a harbinger of things to come...

Can you tell what the pictures all have in common?

Monday, August 3

What's between SC and VA?

My family is rarely in one state because of our ridiculous living arrangements. Laura is in med school in RI, my dad and brothers live in OK, my mom works/lives in SC and flies to OK on the weekends, and we live in lovely NOVA... got it? I'll try to draw a diagram for the next post.

So this is what happened.

Laura happened to have a week off from med school so she flew to Raleigh, NC.
My dad and the boys flew to Greenville, SC... then drove to Raleigh with my mom.
And Sol, Finley and I drove down to Raleigh.

Because that's how we roll--we meet in random states in order to see each other. North Carolina happens to be right between South Carolina and Virginia, so we met up and had a grand ol' time. Here's what we did.

We started off by terrorizing my child. (Daniel thought Finley would really like lots of finger snapping. He was wrong.)

Then we sailed/kayaked/rowed. ("I sailed on my first try! I just let the boat do the work.")

We visited UNC.

Then we did some bowling. (I got the lowest score, my husband got the highest. And we established that Finley weighs more than a bowling ball.)

We visited the Duke Gardens, and then Finn had a minor meltdown.

And Finley became a master of grabbing things.

The trip was approximately 26 hours long for us, but it was so fun. It's so fun to see Dan and Ben play with Finley and learn to be good uncles--both of them asked me if they could give him an M&M and I think they were serious. Finley was a great baby and did really well in the car. It's sad that most of my family won't see the little guy until Christmas, he'll be an entirely different baby by then. I think I'm ready for him to grow a little slower.
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