Monday, March 29
Finley really enjoyed banging on the piano today--and I think this picture was darling.
A few of my mom's friends from the area brought their two little boys over and the three little boys composed a symphony. It was so fun to watch them sit together and bang on the keys.
Side note: I decided to shoot in RAW for the first time with these pictures and I think I butchered them. I need some advice--anyone shoot in RAW and have success? I used Photoshop to make the adjustments and think I overdid the exposure and white balance? Help please!
Saturday, March 27
Sol, his mama and Finley came and supported me at the half-marathon. (I'd say they watched me, but they actually didn't get to see me run due to a GPS/SOL malfunction.) We went to Eastern Market afterward and decided NOT to wait in a really long line for pancakes. I got a sugar waffle (much like the ones on the ski slopes, Marie and Dawn!) and it was delicious. We also picked up a few cute outfits for Finley because he has some big events coming up! One year photo shoot, birthday and baptism are all around the corner. It's going to be a busy April!
We also toured around Georgetown for a bit--we did some shopping and some eating. We had lunch at Farmers and Fishers and bought SEVEN cupcakes at Baked and Wired. They were delicious. It was such a lovely day to walk around the city.
It's always so nice to get to share Finley with family--and I can't wait for the day when he starts to recognize and remember people he doesn't see often. I'll be showing him the picture often so that he doesn't forget his doting grandparents!
**I recognize the need to shoot at a higher f-stop. I might try to do that. I feel like it would be nice for my subjects to have ALL of their faces in focus.
Thursday, March 25
At 11 months...
Finley walks around like crazy with his lion and cruises on the furniture. He hasn't really figured out how to bend his knees and his straightlegged little walk is precious. He has gotten crawling down pat--sometimes he crawls so fast he tips over. He's so cute, I like him so much. I don't think I've mentioned that before, have I?
He hasn't taken a bottle in a while but he likes to drink from his sippy cup. We're trying to get him to eat more finger foods on his own, but he does a good job with the mushed up stuff I make for him. Sleeping is still going well too--he went through a few days where he refused to take an afternoon nap, but he's back on track now.
Finley is a chatty kid. He loves to make new noises and practice using his voice. He babbles "mama", "dada", "baba" and a variety of other noises. And one time I think he said, "ROAR!" to his lion (he's holding it in the picture below). He loves to go for rides in the stroller, swing at the park and giggle at everything.
We love you Finley. You are the sweetest thing we could ever have.
Wednesday, March 24
So the race--I ran the Half faster than I've run any significant distance before. It was a GREAT race and Jenni was a great partner. Aside from making a rookie mistake of having Chipotle the day before and needing to take a "bathroom break" at mile 9, it was perfect. I ran somewhere in the 1:41 area (after I factor out my little break). This put me at 7:44 miles--way faster than the 8:23 miles I need to qualify for Boston! I'm cautiously optimistic...
I know I need to stop running marathons eventually--they take way too much time to train for and are not good for my body. After running this race, I decided I could maybe do halfs instead. Here are my thoughts:
1. Half marathons only take half as long.
2. You still get a medal and a t-shirt.
3. It's still a long enough distance that I have to train for it.
4. I still feel proud of myself after running one.
1. My pride is a little wounded that I'm only doing half--not a full.
2. They only burn half as many calories.
Looks like the pros outweigh the cons... as soon as I qualify for and run Boston, I'll be ready to trade my marathon shoes for half marathon shoes. Maybe. We'll see. I'm, like, addicted to running. It's strange.
I forgot to link to my mom's post on my sisters blog on Monday! Head over and say hi.
Monday, March 22
Remember, in my tournament, the losers advance. If you don't know what a loser is, here is a picture to help you understand.
Ok, back to TV.
Modern Family vs 30 Rock
Loser: 30 Rock
This definitely is like KU and No. Iowa. People are like, what's that No. Iowa team? I haven't heard of them. But I know KU. They are, like, the best. NOT! Modern Family is surprisingly quick and has fewer turnovers! Or something!
HIMYM vs Big Bang Theory
I just can't say goodbye to NPH. Or that silly Marshall. Even though BBT has some pretty colorful characters, I think they are a little easier to say goodbye to. And I got some wise counsel regarding TV watching during the summer hiatus from Mrs. B--BBT is an ideal candidate to watch later.
Mentalist vs LOST
Loser: The Mentalist
Glee vs American Idol
Loser: American Idol
I love you, Ryan Seacrest, but AI takes up soo maaany hooours, I can't handle it. I'm ready for some GLEE!
Brothers and Sisters vs Ugly Betty
Loser: Brothers and Sisters
So, this is Betty's last season and the CUTE senator from GG was on last week. I want to see how it all ends. I think Brothers and Sisters is perfect to catch up when all the other shows are done in the lonely summer months.
Gossip Girl vs Grey's Anatomy
Loser: Gossip Girl
Because I value my friendship with Courtney, Grey's is in it to win it for the time being. Those silly doctors have been my pals for a long time, and I'm not ready to say goodbye. Those UES kids though? We might be breaking up. Paige and Katie--they have one more week. Even though Little J is killing me, Chuck keeps me hanging around. I love the villain.
Community vs The Office
Loser: The Office
This one was kind of an upset. I think in basketball speak, Community may be a Cinderella team, or something? The Office grates on my nerves. And Community never fails to make me laugh. Sorry, Michael. Sorry, Dwight. You still have a chance in the next round--bring your A-game.
Psych vs Parenthood
Unbeknownst to me, Psych is actually done for the season. Kind of an unfair match-up. I think this is like what would happen of BYU had beat us and they had to play on a Sunday.
Friday, March 19
1. He really will do it on his own--but the camera is too fun and distracting. He gets close around 0:14.
2. He does not follow directions well. I ask very nicely for him to do his trick, and he declines. I hope this is not an indication of future parent/child conflicts.
3. He's real cute.
Wednesday, March 17
And because of this basketball thing that people keep filling out brackets for, I thought I would make a bracket to help me scale back my TV time. Because, let's face it, I watch enough TV to equal a part time job. And if TV watching was my part time job, I would get FIRED because I am so far behind.
I'm currently (and conveniently) watching 16 shows. If my poor heart can take it, I'm going to kick four shows out of my schedule. So instead of winners advancing like in that basketball thing, in my bracket the losers will advance.
On Friday, I'm going to review the shows throughout the week. And it's going to be sad. I'll keep you posted about who advances to their DEATH.
Here are the contenders:
Modern Family vs 30 Rock
These are both 30 minute comedies, and they both routinely make me laugh a lot. 30 Rock has Tina Fey, Alec Baldwin and Tracy Morgan and they are delightful. However, sometimes 30 Rock is a little tooo ridiculous. Modern Family has a whole slew of very, very funny people: Gloria and Phil are my favorites. And Manny. Oh, Manny.
HIMYM vs Big Bang Theory
Two more 30 minute comedies. I have a feeling that HIMYM is going to be the champion in this particular match-up. I just started watching Big Bang Theory and I really like it, but I'm not as committed to it as I am to HIMYM. However, BBT appeals to my inner-nerd and that makes me smile.
Mentalist vs LOST
This is a pretty unfair match-up. I love Simon Baker's hair, but I love every inch of LOST. How can you not?
Glee vs American Idol
I love singing and dancing. A lot. Lucky for Glee, I have been way waaay behind in my Idol viewing. And how can I not love a show who has characters named Finn and Rachel? But how can I turn away from Ryan Seacrest? And Ellen? What's a girl to do?
Brothers and Sisters vs Ugly Betty
I'm not sure how this one is going to turn out... It's Ugly Betty's last season and I'm a couple seasons behind in B&S. But I love them both--full of characters I love and much drama. And comedy.
Gossip Girl vs Grey's Anatomy
One might argue that these shows are essentially the same--only one is set in a Seattle hospital and the other in is a NYC prep school. They both are very intense drama and have a lot of... um, romance... and I probably only need one of them in my life. Grey's has been a part of my life for a long time, but I like to look at Blair's headbands. This one will be a nail biter.
Community vs The Office
Two more silly 30 minute comedies. The Office has been my old friend for so long, but I am so tired of Michael Scott's antics. And now that Jim and Pam are married I don't have much reason to keep watching. Community, however, is fresh and full of Joel McHale, and hilarious Troy and Abed.
Psych vs Parenthood
These shows are an unlikely pairing. Psych is ridiculous and Parenthood stresses me out with its family drama. And I adore/love/want to be best friends with Lauren Graham. But Psych is full of fun 80s pop culture references. Parenthood is new to the scene, but I think it might be able to pull off a win.
Stay tuned for my heartbreaking choices...
Tuesday, March 16
The car is the kind that runs on it's own after you scoot it back and forth, and even though Finn doesn't know how to make it go, he is delighted when Sol and I drive it back and forth by him. We spent quite awhile this evening playing with it--its so cute to watch him crawl around after it and play with it on the floor.
And a very special thank you to Andrew and Ashley, the gifters of the car. You guys know your baby toys.
Also, I can't get him to wear two socks at the same time. He really likes his toes to wiggle.
And you can almost see his baby mullet in these pictures.
That is all.
Sunday, March 14
I'm taking a short break from Pi Day festivities to share some fun π facts with you.
- Visit Google to see their Pi logo for the day.
- In 1897, Indiana almost passed a bill that made π = 3.2.
- A good estimate of π is 22/7.
- Middle school students are very impressed that I know this much of π: 3.1415926. And that is pretty lousy by math teacher standards.
- Alison likes to sing me a song about π. (Please post it in the comments, Al!)
- My favorite math fact is that e ^ (i*π) + 1 = 0. It's proof that God exists.
- Do you know what π is? It is the very special constant that occurs when you divide the circumference by the diameter of every circle.
- Mr. Boast, my high school math teacher, wore lots of π shirts... Pumpkin Pie, Pie in the Sky... and I thought they were cool.
- Akira Haraguchi took 16 hours to recite 100,000 digits of π. From memory.
(This post was posted as close to official Pi time as I could get... March 14 at 1:59 PM.
Saturday, March 13
1. Vicki is a Foreign Service Officer in Jamaica and she has a cool life.
2. We went to the Cheesecake Factory and I had the red velvet cheesecake. It has 0 calories and 0 grams of fat. It is delicious. Also I had 3 large diet cokes.
3. Finley is becoming pretty good at eating dinner out with us--he stayed up way past his bedtime and held himself together pretty well. He was quite charming and entertained the whole table. He only had to be plied with yogurt melts a little bit. (He had another rough night going to bed, but I am blaming this one on us.)
4. Finley was quite fond of Vicki--maybe it was her pretty, shiny hair or maybe it was because he remembered that Vicki gave him his FAVORITE stuffed animal. He loves, loves to cuddle with his monkey. (I was going to include a picture of him cuddling with the monkey, but he is currently refusing to nap, so no picture.)
5. Vicki is a frequent reader of both of our blogs--she called herself a "lurker"--it was funny to talk to her and have her already know some of the stories we were going to share. We love our lurkers. I am hoping that having a post about dear Vicki might give her the confidence to leave a comment. What do you think, Vicki? Don't be scared!
6. We are trying to convince Vicki to start a blog. (Not just because we would design it, obviously.) She is really funny and smart and has cool things that happen to her. And we are nosy and want to know about it. Start a blog, friend--all the cool kids (Victoria and I) are doing it!
7. We took these pictures--which is noteworthy because we used a FLASH. We tried to avoid shooting with a flash at all costs but it was pretty dark in the restaurant. Finley thought the flash was so cool. He looked at the camera and smiled... I now have to decide if its worth it to have nice lighting or a baby looking at the camera.
Also, Victoria, the second picture is out of focus. But I forgive you. I think the flash threw you off.
Thursday, March 11
Finley has decided that he doesn't need an afternoon nap this week. I disagree with him. He also decided he doesn't need to nurse before going to bed. Again, I disagree. And currently, because I am the world's biggest sucker, he is playing with us and watching Community, even though it is 2 hours past his bedtime. He just kept crying... and I am a wimp. And the saddest part? The only way to get him to stop crying was for Sol to hold him. As soon as I take him, he starts to wail again because I am the horrible woman who tries to feed him and make him sleep. I am so terrible.
I know I shouldn't have let him get up. But it was pathetic. Look at those sad tears and that drippy nose. Oh, I am a sucker.
Wednesday, March 10
Stage One - I was fearless. The fearlessness lasted almost all day. I was zipping down the road munching on my car food and enjoying my treasure chest of podcasts.
Stage Two – I was irrational. It was 6:30pm, it was dark and my gas tank was near empty I drove past two “scary” gas stations before choosing one that didn’t look “scary”. I considered driving to the hotel on fumes to avoid stopping at a scary gas station in the dark. My angst multiplied as I continued to dwell on all the scary things that could happen to me when I got out of the car.
Stage Three – I became rational. Really now... Is it riskier to fill up with gas at 6:30pm on a dark winter day versus 6:30pm on a sunny summer day? I doubt it. The same folks frequent the gas station at 6:30 whether it is daylight savings time or not. When I pulled into the gas station, I found myself surrounded by some very nice chatty gas impaired motorists - just like me. Moms with kids, people on their way home from work, silly teenagers….nothing to be fearful of.
Don’t get me wrong. Listening to the voice of caution in your brain is a good thing, but sometimes we need to invite logic to the conversation.
My actions were driven by the wrong fear. My great fear should have been running out of gas on a dark road – not being attacked at a well lit gas station.
Pictorial examples of irrational and rational fear (aka-shameless excuse to show cute pics of my babies)
Irrational fear: Heavy machinery rarely sneaks up on our kids and runs them over.
Rational fear: Children on the edge of a cliff should be holding someone’s hand.
Irrational fear can keep us from the joy of living life to its fullest. Life is risky – always will be. But, it is worth the risk.
The gas tank is now full and I am closer to home.
Monday, March 8
(And Mondays with Mom will resume sometime this week. My mom was having writers block. It happens.)
Friday, March 5
Before I had Finley, there was a lot I didn't know. For some reason, I didn't feel inclined to read up on how to have a baby or feed a baby or raise a baby or get them to sleep... I just assumed we'd figure it out. And for the most part, we have.
One area I had no idea I didn't know about was feeding a baby solids. Before I was faced with that decision, I guess I assumed that jarred baby food was the only thing you would feed a baby. Somehow, it didn't occur to me that I can mash up food just as well as Gerber... and it would be cheaper and healthier and fresher. And fill my garbage with fewer tiny glass jars.
Like most decisions I have made about raising Finley, I just did whatever I thought would be best for him and easiest for me. So for feeding him solids, I decided to go ahead and make my own food. The babies I knew who were slightly older than Finley were eating foods their moms made, so I assumed that was the easiest thing to do. And I really didn't want to carry grocery sacks full of baby food home from Safeway. Or feed him the horrible things I tasted at my baby shower.
So for those of you who didn't realize that you can make your own food (shocking!), here's a little bit about we do in our kitchen. It's surprisingly easy!
1. Go to the grocery store and buy delicious food. I'm trying to use mostly organic stuff for him... and it still ends up being cheaper than buying jarred stuff. Currently he eats lots and lots of produce, egg yolks, Yo-Baby yogurt and chicken and turkey... along with some other snack-y things.
2. Cook the food however its supposed to be cooked. Above is some broccoli I cooked that is all ready to be prepared.
3. Blend up the food to your babies level of smoothness. I've stopped using the food processor so much and have started using a potato masher. Finley has many teeth that he needs to sharpen... so I'm trying to make things a little chunkier.
4. Glob the mixture into an ice cube tray. Freeze.
5. Remove and put into gallon bags.
6. Take out a few cubes at a time for each meal!
It takes a little bit of time to cook the food--but once it's in the freezer, it's so convenient to grab a few cubes for mealtime. And having fresh produce around is helping Sol and I to eat a little better as well.
A note: Finley loves avocado which does NOT need to be cooked. I cut an avocado into quarters and just freeze the left over three sections. They keep pretty well in the freezer.
Another note: Pureed meat is repulsive.
Thursday, March 4
I kid. I'm trying not to be "that mom" her marries her kid off to other babies at a young age... but they already have the same last name. It's hard to resist.
Finley is lucky to already have so many
I LOVE being in the phase of life where there are always new babies to celebrate!
Tuesday, March 2
Finley was pretty good with Edmund... we're still working on not poking eyeballs. The boys got dressed in their matching outfits and seeing little little Edmund was a crazy reminder of how fast they grow. It is incredible. I don't even have words to describe what an honor it is to watch little babies grow up.
Carrie and I made up some slang names for our kids: Edmund is Ed$$ and Finley is /\ley. We tried to come up with one for Harper, but it was dumb. Sorry, Hill.
We strolled around the campus Cory teaches at and took some cute pictures of Finley on Sol's shoulders. Oh I love that boy.
I love it when my friends have babies for me to hold. It delays my need to replace this one with a newer model.