Sunday, January 31

Why Naptime is a Little Harder...

Naptime is a different beast these days... Finley stood up, sat down and rolled around for 59 minutes before he surrendered to sweet slumber. Here is our guy in his natural habitat:

(Jailbird outfit is purely coincidental.)

We love our new Flip Camera--it was tiny enough to peek in the door unnoticed.

Friday, January 29

Inside Looking Out

What's that you say?

You're tired of me talking about how Finley can stand up now? So sorry, you are going to hear about at least one more time.

He has a whole new world now--approximately 18 more inches to explore. He loves looking out the window at the doggies, helping me with the dishwasher and crawling through the coffee table. (Yes, I know my window is DISGUSTING. The doggies love to paw at it. Germs are good for kids right?)

And while it's exciting for him to be standing and growing up, I'm even more excited that his clubfoot has healed so well. It was a little unnerving to worry about how his foot would develop and we praise God that it is going so well. He sleeps in his little splint every night and doesn't mind it at all. He is totally comfortable bearing weight on it now and we're hoping it doesn't delay his ability to walk.

PS. Speaking of walking... I mean running... I am running the Pittsburgh Marathon May 2, some marathon in the fall if I don't qualify in May (hopefully NYC!) and the Walt Disney World Marathon in January 2011. Busy busy. And then I better run Boston in April 2011 or 2012, dang it. Peace.

Wednesday, January 27

Chicken Noodle Soup with a Soda on the Side

I made Chicken Noodle Soup FROM SCRATCH.

The end.

Just kidding. But seriously, I am beyond proud of myself.

I bought a raw, yucky chicken to cook because I thought it was the easiest way to get some dark meat. My poor little boy needs to put on weight, and I thought some dark meat would give him a little more fat then the chicken breast he normally gets. (By the way, if you are making your own baby food, pureed chicken is GROSS.)

I was trying to decide how to cook this chicken when my pal Ree posted this recipe using a whole chicken. Problem solved. It's pretty much identical to my favorite meal my mom makes for me--she even recommends using Reames Egg Noodles, which I beg my mom for whenever I am home. The east coast does not sell Reames, so I was forced to make the egg noodles by hand, using these directions.

I've never liked projects with flour and moisture (they bring me back to the days at Westminster Woods... FLOUR AND WATER MAKE GLUE!!!!!!!!!), but I managed to make them without becoming adhesed to anything. And they were pretty good--softer the second day after they had hung out in the broth.

You must be proud of me after seeing those pictures, right? And I didn't even photograph the truly traumatic part where I had to dismember a raw chicken. Next time I'm getting a pre-cooked rotisserie one. Yuck.

You will be even prouder of me when you see what was happening at my feet while I cooked...

Doggies! Babies! Everyone needs to be in on the action! It's extreme cooking!

Monday, January 25

Busy Boy

This pulling up thing has really began to crowd Finley's schedule--there is just so much to do.

He has to make sure all of his toys are ok in their box, he has to knock everything off the coffee table and he has to crawl and stand up in our laps and generally be in the middle of anything that is going on.

I love it.

Sunday, January 24

Waiting for a baby to come out of the Woods

The title of this post is funny if you know my friend Carrie. Because she is like 48 weeks pregnant. And her last name is Woods. She has officially become the authority on pregnancy amongst my friends, because she has been pregnant longer than either Hillary or I.

We traveled out to Charlottesville to see the Woods family yesterday, and try to encourage their little one to be born by bringing his mommy a tasty treat.

If I were a baby, I would crawl out of the womb for some Carlos O'Kelly's queso. For real, I would, I love it. Carrie, please name your baby Carlos, after the best cheese dip and the best character in the Hangover.

Also, we are trying raise Finley as a cultured young man, so Sol practiced feeding Finley his puffs with chopsticks. A fun time was had by all.

Thursday, January 21

9 months

Finley is 9 months old today.

I feel like this is an extra significant milestone because he should be as comfy in the real world as he was in the womb, he has spent as much time out has he did in.

It's been a big month for the little guy. He still is a scooting maniac--I think he could crawl if he wanted to because gets on his hands and knees and crawls over stuff, but seems to prefer the scooting method. It works pretty well for him. He occasionally gets himself into sitting from his belly and is getting better and better at pulling up from his belly. Unfortunately, his favorite place to practice his pulling up skills is the bathtub, a very slippery, hard surface. He's got a taste for danger, I suppose.

He is great at feeding himself finger food--and had great dental hygiene. You can see him flossing in the pictures above. He loves loves the doggies and giggles whenever he sees them. He babbles and makes lots of charming sounds. He is getting pretty good at walking around the house holding onto our fingers--I'm a little nervous that the clubfoot will delay his development, so its good to see him enjoying practice. He's slowly figuring out how to walk with his lion walker, he stands and pushes it but doesn't get that he has to move his feet to catch up. He's learning though.

At his checkup, the doctor informed me he has 6 teeth (when is getting these???) which he has finally decided to use as a weapon. Yep, he bit me three times in a row a few nights ago. It's really really bad. Hopefully he's over it now. The doctor was a little concerned with his weight gain--he started in the 95th% and has drifted down to the 25th%. He really doesn't like to take a bottle during the day, but is doing a better job eating solid foods so we are trying to mix milk in with that to try to boost his weight. And feed him Swiss Cake Rolls (the official Grimmer family snack). He nurses all too well at night--sometimes waking up twice to eat in the night. It's glorious.

Stats (for my record keeping):

Height: 28.5 inches (70th %tile)
Weight: 18 lbs 14 oz (25th %tile)
Head: 16.3 inches (50th %tile)

He's so so fun. Everybody should have a baby. (And Hillary does! Yippee!)

Monday, January 18


I'm not sure how many of you know this... I'm kind of a nerd. In fact, I might actually be a geek. The highlight of my weekend? Finally getting my head wrapped around the html code of this blog. That pretty much qualifies me as a nerd, right?

I've taken two java programming classes, and I forgot how much fun it is until I started playing with html. I'm not great at java programming, but I can read it and can normally figure out what the program is supposed to do. I think I finally got there with html. If you click over to the blog, you'll see some subtle changes. I figured out how to underline the titles and change the font to a non-standard one. It took me a long time, but it was FUN.

I know... Rachel = NERD.

The biggest html miracle of all was worked at our design blog, RV Designs. It is still a work in progress, but it's pretty snazzy. I figured out all sorts of cool things--how to put links at the top of the posts and change all sorts of little details. Up until now, Victoria and I's blog design business has been based on our ability to use photoshop. But NOW, I feel like we are very legit. We can actually change things having to do with the code. I seriously was on a high for awhile because I was so excited about html. I know... I am not cool at all.

So, if you would, please go look at RV Designs? I promise, I won't ask you to go all the time. Just this once. Because I am so proud. So so proud. (Did I mention that I CAN WRITE HTML CODE KIND OF NOW???) Please go look. Please?

Also... we have paying customers! Victoria and I are actually making money, the kind that you can take to J. Crew and buy things! Eventually our business will be worth, like, a million doll hairs! (30 Rock, anyone?) But seriously, we are going to have some fun stuff posted periodically over there, so you might as well add us to your google reader.

Nerd out.

(Oh, and I'd like to thank everyone for being so supportive of my twittering. I AM HAVING FUN SO THERE.)

Friday, January 15

A New Venture

Whenever I talked to anyone about my secret desire to start using twitter, their response was similar to this:

"Finley, do you think I should use twitter?"

Yes, on just about all fronts, I was told NOT to twitter. I don't know why. It seems awesome because you can follow RYAN SEACREST. I really wanted to... and so I made an account. And have tweeted one thing. I'm kind of excited.

I think, for me, twitter is a sort of micro-blogging. Sometimes Finley does something cute, or my kids do something weird or my husband does something awesome, and I want to share it with the intently listening world--but it isn't enough to justify its very own blog post. Now I can barf all of my mini-little-thoughts into the sidebar of my blog and they will be recorded forever.

My fear with blogging and facebook and all the sites we create about ourselves is that people will begin to think that I think I am really awesome and worth listening to. Let's get one thing straight, I'm not awesome. I'm not very cool, and I know it. But sometimes I have cute/funny things to share and there are some people who like to hear about it. Like my mom.

So feel free to follow me (and Victoria since I can't do anything alone and bullied her into it), or tell me to follow you on twitter. Or you can read about the little things that happen in a day over in the sidebar.

Happy Friday!

Wednesday, January 13

Family Pictures

We had family pictures taken over Christmas Break. There were so many great ones and I had a hard time choosing a few to share. As I go through them, I might pick a few more to put up.

If you've known me for awhile, this picture may be shocking because my family has changed. Dan and Ben are HUGE high schoolers and there is a new baby, new boyfriend for Laura and the same husband for me.

And if you've known me for awhile, this picture will not be shocking because my family has NOT changed--we've always been a bit strange.

Can you tell which members of my family are not thrilled with the mandatory Snuggie picture? Our photographer thought we were crazy.

My wedding photographer somehow LOST all the pictures of my family from our wedding--so I think I'll just put the Snuggie picture in the old wedding album. I could be wearing a wedding dress under all the pink fleece.

Monday, January 11

A New Pose

Someone learned to pull to standing.

Also, we learned that Finley is not a "never-nude".

There was a split vote in the house as to whether this picture needed to be censored... click on the image if you need to see the unadulterated image. He's got pretty sweet cheeks.

Saturday, January 9

Why Blogging is Cool

So a couple days ago, I discovered this. Yep, it's my old xanga site, a precursor to my blogging career. I used it for about a year from November 2004 then November 2005... and it's kind of embarrassing. I'm not sure why I am choosing to humiliate myself in plain view of the internet.

The first thing I thought of when I re-found it was, I am a FREAK. What in the world was I doing?

My second thought was, Oh no... in a few years I am going to look back at this blog and say, "Man, I am a FREAK."

And then my third thought was, Why in the world did I stop? It was fun to read about when I first got that "facebook thing" and my love of Gilmore Girls. But I want to know more--what happened in December 2005? I wrote a few things about my first year of teaching, and I am really sad that all the precious details and memories from that year are pretty much lost to me.

And then my fourth thought was, well thank goodness for this blog. Some of the things I write that are important to me now would be lost without this record of them--and what a tragedy it would be to not remember how sweet it is to feel Finley's warm fingers on my face as he falls asleep. Or how excited we were when he first was able to grab a toy.

So even though every post may not be riveting, or filled with darling pictures, it's our story. And I'm so happy that I'll have this record of the beginning of our family.

Two Final Thoughts:
1. YOU should start a blog. You'll thank yourself later. Let me know if you need design help.
2. Sol got me a gift certificate here for Christmas, which makes the blog an even more tangible record of our lives. It's cool.

Bloggie love, Rachel.

Thursday, January 7

Rubberband Man

I don't blog much about my school. I guess its because compared to my Boston school, nothing notable really happens. Until Wednesday...

It was a quiet day at school. Students were back in their routines from the extra long winter break. I was teaching a group of 10 kids who are getting a little extra math to help prepare them for Algebra. This particular class has a few too many boys in it which means they are a little silly. Not bad, just silly. We've worked out a system where each students starts with 10 minutes of game time at the end of class, and they lose a minute every time I have to correct them. My buddy... let's call him Dizzle (as a tribute to "Modern Family"... don't talk black to me! ) had already burned through SEVEN of his minutes.

I was standing at the board, writing some important math, when I felt a little tap on my collar. And then I saw the rubberband on the floor and said, "I just got hit by a rubberband." I thought for a minute and realized in all my years in Boston, I had never been hit with anything (and those kids were exponentially more rambunctious). So I said to the darling kiddos, "I can't decide whether I think this is funny or if I should be mad..." And I thought some more, and decided that for the time being, it was pretty funny. Meanwhile, most of my class is sitting nicely while Dizzle is vehemently denying his involvement in the rubberband flinging. We went on with the lesson...

One of the fun fancy things at my school is a system that allows me to make up a multiple choice question, project it on the board and students can select an answer with a remote control. So I made a question saying, "Who shot Mrs. Scott with a rubber band?" with all of their names listed as possible answers.

I looked at them with my teacher face (it's frightening) and told them they had to answer one question before class was over, and they had to be absolutely silent. They sat quietly and clicked their answers in. After secretly viewing the results, I told them I knew the identity of the culprit, and that student needed to stay after and discuss their actions with me. (LIE. Dizzle was in the lead with 40% of the votes... but quite a few other kids got votes too. Inconclusive data. I'm so tricky.)

I waited as the kids filed out of the class, sure someone would own up to the crime. Sure enough, Dizzle, sadly, walked up to me and confessed. He swore he wasn't aiming for me, someone had just dared him to shoot the whiteboard. Punk. I told him that he wasn't in trouble because he stayed after and told the truth (and I was still highly entertained by the fact that I was shot by a rubberband). The poor kid is perpetually in trouble anyway. I'll get him for something else...

I love middle schoolers.

Wednesday, January 6

And they call it... Puppy Love

These pictures were taken 15 seconds a part. My dog is MOODY.

Tuesday, January 5

Terms of Endearment

An hour after he was born, we named him Finley. It took a while after he was birthed for us to actually commit to a name enough to finally tell people, but for most of his life, that is what we have called him. Finley.

Actually, that's not true. He doesn't get called Finley all that often, because of all the other silly, cutesy things that come out of our mouths.

Obviously we call him Finn. (With TWO n's.) Like the Goldfish mascot and star of Glee.

And when he's only kind of in trouble, I call him Finn Dave. (I'm reserving Finley David for when he wrecks my car and other serious offenses.)

And for some reason, Sol and I call each other Rachbert and Solbert. And before we ever had Copper, we pretended his name would be Bert. And then his name was Copper, and Copbert sounds weird. Using that excellent logic, we sometimes call him Finnbert.

And because Sol is sometimes a little on the ridiculous side, Finnbert evolved into Finnbretto. This is the name that is used when Finley is doing Italian things like making pizza and going to the opera.

Then that got shortened to Bretto.

And then evolved to SeƱor Bretto (in formal situations) and Little Bretto (because he's little).

...and there is a whole slew of other ones, for special situations.
Finn-bot 2000 and Late (for those times when Finley is both a robot and a member of the Black Eyed Peas)
Poopy Pants McGee (clearly, when he has poopy pants)
Kiddopopotamus (when Sol is feeling extra gangsta after watching this)
Bro-`son (when Sol is longing for a brother and a son)
Squirmy Wormy (when he's being... well, squirmy)
Scootaloo (courtesy of Victoria)
Cuddlebug (occasionally, he lets you cuddle him)
Little Mousey (because sometimes he squeaks like a mouse, I know, creative!!!)
Monster (for when he terrorizes villages)

And they get increasingly sillier. I don't think he will ever know his name. We've doomed him, he'll probably just answer to anything said in a baby voice. Oh well. We're trying. Actually, we're not.

Obligatory picture below. My mom won't read my blog unless there is a picture.

Friday, January 1

Pretty Luggage

When I arrived at my family's South Carolina house, Sol and I lumped all of our bags in a pile as we carried them in. Well, let's be honest. Sol carried them in. I can't be bothered to lift heavy things. But I did carry in the last bag, and I was a little embarrassed (but also a little proud) of the sight that greeted me.

And there are still Vera Bradley bags and umbrellas and stationery INSIDE those bags. That's not even all of it.

Is it possible to have too much Vera Bradley? I'm not sure if I'm there yet, but I think I am close.
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