Monday, November 29

Christmas Card Rejects

Man, it's hard to get a good picture of our fam.  We're just pretty unattractive, I guess.  Our resident photographer, Victoria, took a few pictures for us this afternoon so I could put together our Christmas card.  We got a few great ones, but here are some that were not so great.

Obviously, Finley does not want to be part of our picture taking.

It looks like Finn really loves me here, but really he is using me as a means to escape.

Awww, this could be a winner!  But wait!  Where's our child?

This one alllmost made the cut--we just can't get Finley to look at the camera and make a sweet face.

After much deliberation and offers of free Christmas cards from several websites, Vic and I both decided to design our own and print them on our own and buy colored envelopes on our own.  NOT the economical way to do it.  But we are sure proud of what we did... stay tuned for the finished product!

Thursday, November 25

Embrace the Camera... on a Slide

We took a walk down to the park a few days ago and Finley loved going down the slide.  I'm lucky that my husband has such sweet photography skillz, I'll love this picture of the two of us for a long time.

Wednesday, November 24

We're having a...


Just what I always wanted.  Well, since I had Finley, anyway. How could you not want another one of these?

Sol was so excited he chanted, "BOYS! BOYS! BOYS! BOYS!" almost the whole way home, and is trying to teach Finley the chant as we speak.  He is excited about basketball and running around and all sorts of boy stuff.  Another Sol quote, "I always thought I would have one boy, and now I am going to have TWO."  I'm not sure Sol was this excited when we got married...

The ultrasound lady was sure my due date was wrong--the baby is measuring a week big.  They also were pretty confident there would be no clubfoot issues.  Just a big, wiggly boy.

Finley wanted no part in taking pictures.  But here's a shot of all my boys.

We are thankful for another healthy little boy.  Happy Thanksgiving.

Monday, November 22

19 Months

Little boys are silly, right?  Who's with me?  I'm so excited to find out whether our next kid is a boy or a girl--and I'm torn as to what I'm hoping for.  I wanted a girl the first time--but now I adore Finley so much that I'm not sure I know what I would do with a girl.  Paint her nails?  Sing her showtunes?  Teach her how to get voted biggest flirt in her senior class? I have no idea.  I guess we'll cross that bridge when we come to it.

As for our current boy, he is a hoot.  He's so loving--he makes his stuffed animals kiss each other all the time and loves to share his milk and snacks with them.  He loves to "read" books and get into all sorts of mischief.  He's constantly making us laugh and surprising us with how much he knows.  He mimics us when we cough or sneeze and babbles long stories to us.  He loves to point out body parts, people and clothes.  He's a very active boy--running around, dancing and learning all about how he works.  Sometimes he likes to lean against the wall or stomp around the house with his feet really far apart.  Like I said, silly.

Today, instead of taking a nap, he babbled in his crib for almost two hours.  When I walked in, he had thrown all of his stuffed animals out (somehow he had gotten SIX in his crib), untied parts of the crib bumper and thrown his socks out.  I wouldn't have wanted to sleep in that lonely crib either. Luckily he fell asleep in the stroller on our run--so my 3 mile run turned into 6 because I felt bad waking him up.  What a silly boy.

Saturday, November 20

Raking Leaves

Finley really likes to pretend to sweep and wipe off things and help around the house.  He also really likes to make messes--but organizing and cleaning are some of his favorites.  Naturally, helping his daddy rake leaves would also be highlights in his day.

Doesn't every mom want a picture of her kids sitting in a pile of leaves?  It's a fall classic.

In the spirit of posting pictures of family members from when they were Finley's age... here is my "little" brother Dan when he was a few months younger than Finn. My dad and I have similar photography styles.  Don't you love the sweet little blond boys?

Wednesday, November 17

Guess Who?

Does this little guy look familiar?

Those pouty cheeks?  That goofy face?  The impeccable fashion sense?  Finley is his father's son for sure.

Monday, November 15

Finley in the Fall

Finley loves to be outside--he loves to run in the backyard and pick up mulch and leaves and dirt.  (He's a boy.)

And I love taking pictures of him.  (And messing with them in Photoshop.)

And taking so many pictures that it ends in tears.  (Copper has been a little protective lately.)

We have lots of fun.  (And I'm not ready to cut his hair.  Sorry.)

Saturday, November 13

Week 17-18

My plan was to post every week the progress of my belly and the baby growing in there.  So we're just going to go with every other week--and I'm a few days later than that already.  Whatev.  Here's the belly progress:

(I couldn't find the white shirt. And we're struggling to keep the lighting consistent in the pictures, hence B&W.) Let's just be clear:  I don't like taking pictures of my belly. Clearly, I'm awkward. But I'm already disappointed I didn't start sooner, so I'm going to try to take them every Wednesday so I can see all the progress at the end, and have them in this record.

Exciting things... hmm.  Well I started feeling little baby pokes last week.  The baby is about 7 inches long.  And we find out whether or not its a Finley 2.0 or a not Finley on November 24.  You can place your bets below:  girl or boy?

Friday, November 12


The winner is.. newly confessed blog stalker JESSICA!

Jessica, send me your address and I will have your goodies shipped to you soon.  SO glad you came out of the dark to win this sweet prize.  Sorry to everyone else who took a second to enter and didn't win.  You were this close.

Last Chance

I'm going to pick a winner after school today (around 4pm EST) so you better enter the Earth's Best Giveaway before then.  Currently, the odds are in your favor of winning, meaning you should enter... but not tell your friends.  If you win, free treats will be shipped to your door!  Yippee!

My dad sent me this picture yesterday--when I was a few months older than Finley is now.  I guess that's where he gets his blond hair from. And ability to make silly faces.

Happy Friday and go enter!

Thursday, November 11

Embrace the Camera... with a Knife

***This is a great opportunity to remind all you fellow Embracers that you can go enter my giveaway for a few Earth's Best goodies until tomorrow... currently only 3 people have entered, so you'll probably win.  I'm a math teacher, so I know. Also, the stuff is free.  Did I mention that?***

Oh, life with an 18 month year old is nothing if not exciting.  Take this evening for example:  Finley wanted a fortune cookie after our smorgasbord of Pei Wei delights.  He accidentally dropped it and Belle swooped in to gobble it up (as she has been trained to do.)  Tantrum.  Unhinged.  The end of the world.  Until I picked him up and he was able to identify the only item on the table that would right the wrongs in his life.

The knife.

So being the loving mother I am, I let him hold it.  And Vic snapped this charming picture of the two of us.

Oh the child and his little quirks.  Everyday when I come home from school he runs to hug me and then whines and fusses and cries until we go out for a run (I'm not sure why my coming home distresses him so).  Then he only wants to play outside.  Inside, he wants to get the soy sauce out of the fridge.  Or hold the soap bottle.  Or get a wet paper towel and wipe everything off.  Or play with the nail clippers.  Or play with all the make-up and bottles in the bathroom. It's an endless list of strange things he wants to play with.

I love him.

Also... Happy Birthday Dad!  My original thought for this post was to find a picture of my dad and I from when I was Finley sized, but that proved to be too difficult, because it would involve emailing my mom and there is a good chance they aren't currently living at the house with the old pictures... so it's the thought that counts.  Happy Birthday!!!  I love you Dad!

Wednesday, November 10

Chris Mann times Two

After feverishly stalking Chris Mann at Blogher, I finally got the chance to see Chris sing and chat with him for a few minutes at his show in Vienna.  He was kind enough to pretend like he remembered who I was, which was sweet.

It was fun to listen to hear him sing a few songs--with this magic piano that somehow made funky beats while he played and looped his voice singing different things.  Really, I think it was magic.  Also, I thought he was wearing a tacky Christmas party shirt when I first saw him, but upon closer inspection, it was just a normal, plaid, hipster shirt.

Then, I got to go home and watch a very sweet episode of Glee, featuring Chris Mann as "Warbler #6." (Kurt breaks my heart over and over.) Check Chris out, he's in the back row on the right during "Teenage Dream."

But really, he's very very talented and it was really fun to get to see him.  Twice.  In one day.  You can go here to see if he's playing anywhere near you.  If he's not, then hopefully you can catch him again on Glee!

Tuesday, November 9

Earth's Best Giveaway

After my previous post, I got an exciting email from Earth's Best offering a few products as a GIVEAWAY!  (If this exciting blog opportunity did not come on the heels of me realizing I had even more fake blog hits coming in from me being dumb about where I put my Google Analytics code, I might start to think I was awesome.)

Here's what is being given away today! I'm not sure of the exact flavors or sizes of things, but I don't think you can say no to healthy free snacks, can you?  And free wipes?  Who doesn't love those?  (Probably people without children, that's who.  But pass this along to someone who does have kids!)

Click on each picture to go read about the product.

Here's how you can win:

1. Leave a comment.
2. Leave another comment telling me you now "like" Earth's Best on facebook.
3. Leave another comment telling me you now "like" RV Designs on facebook.  (I know, shameless self promoting.)
4. Promote this giveaway by tweeting, blogging, facebooking or writing a friend a letter/telegraph about it.  Be sure to include the URL!

I'll pick a winner Friday afternoon and will let you know you won then!  Make sure to check back, or to include your email in your comment so I can contact you.  Good luck!

Earth's Best

A few months back, Vic and I went to Blogher.  We came home with lots of silly trinkets and entered our names in a whole slew of drawings.  Somehow, we won none.

I came home a few weeks ago to a mystery box on our doorstep--our house is full of serious online shoppers, so it wasn't totally unexpected.  The box had three sizes of Earth's Best diapers and a box of oatmeal.  I wasn't sure who had sent it or why it showed up.  Eventually I got an email from Earth's Best--I had expressed interest at Blogher in being a preferred blogger (or something) and so they sent me some goodies to try out!

We have been using Earth's Best baby cereal for Finley since we started him on cereal.  He's now getting to the point where he wants to feed it to himself and doesn't want to eat it any other way.  (My favorite thing about the Earth's Best box is that it says something like: you wouldn't let your baby play in a field full of pesticides, so why would you let them eat it?  GUILT TRIP.)  Anyways, this cute Elmo Oatmeal is the grown up style oatmeal and Finley seems to like it a little better.  Also, it makes him smell like maple syrup all day.  We're still perfecting the milk to oatmeal ratio, but its thickness makes it a little easier for him to feed himself.

We primarily use cloth diapers, but totally appreciated a few extra disposable ones for when we are running around.  My favorite thing about them?  They are white and don't have gaudy prints on them.  I think after using solid color cloth diapers, I wasn't totally a fan of having characters all of over my kid's tush.  I don't really mind that much... but I really like the plain white ones!

Unfortunately, Earth's Best didn't have any goodies to giveaway with this product review, but if you come over, I'll let you taste the Oatmeal and you can use a diaper for your wee one.

Sunday, November 7

Running a Marathon while Pregnant

If you know me, you know I like to run.  You also know I'm an pretty enthusiastic marathon runner.  I've run 5 marathons and missed qualifying for Boston by 35 seconds in my last one.  I ran (and by "run" I mean I awkwardly trotted at a pace slower than most walkers) until I was 37 weeks pregnant with Finley and ran marathon #4 six months and four days after he was born.

I finally convinced my dad, sister and husband to run one with me--the Walt Disney World marathon in January. (Sol has actually run a marathon before, but I beat him by an hour, so he's looking to redeem himself.) Unfortunately, I will be 26 weeks pregnant on race day (ironic, right?) and running a marathon is not a recommended pregnant lady activity.  The race goes through Epcot and the Magic Kingdom first, so I'm planning on running the first 10 or 11 miles (recreationally), then stopping.

Could I run the whole thing?  Maybe.  Would I want to?  Heck no.  I get slower and slower as the baby gets bigger and bigger--running an entire marathon would take for-ev-er. For those of you who question my sanity with regards to running--don't worry, I'm not going to run the whole thing.  Even though the Mickey Mouse shaped medal is tempting...

So my plan is to keep running 4 days a week with a long run on the weekend.  I'm also "planning" on doing some sort of strength thing because my hips are weak and I seem to recall my stomach muscles being really weak after Finley came.

So if you see me, tell me to go lift some weights or do some crunches or something.  Not my favorite thing to do.

PS.  In other running news, Kara Goucher and Paula Radcliffe are Olympic marathoners who ran ridiculously fast through their pregnancies and recently delivered their babies days apart.  And if you google "pregnant marathon," you'll be surprised at the number of hits there are!  As marathons become more and more popular, more and more women are choosing to keep on running through it.

Thursday, November 4

Wildcats vs. Jayhawks

As you may be aware, my goal is to have Finley be famous on YouTube.  We saw a cute video the other day of a little girl making fun of the Jayhawks and I thought I'd try to get Finley to do the same.

We still have some practicing to do.

Video was taken on my very high tech Droid, so forgive the quality.  What do you think?  The next E-Trade baby?  Or is he too wiggly?

Tuesday, November 2

The Most Interesting Man in the World

I've always known that I'm married to the most interesting man in the world, but for Halloween he let his true colors show.

I was, like, and 80s Prom goer or something.  The best part of my dress is that it has tight black pants under a mullet type skirt--unfortunately you can't see it.  But you can let your imagination go wild.

And the most interesting man, with the most interesting baby.

Alright, here's the actual most interesting man in the world, in case you don't watch commercials or like Dos Equis.

And for posterity's sake... here is our giraffe in the neighborhood parade.  He really would have rather played in the leaves.

And our little guy in his natural habitat.

Monday, November 1

Fall Favorites

My favorite thing about fall is probably Halloween.  And cross country. And coats.  And little boys dressed up as giraffes, on their daddy's shoulders.

I think the main reason I love Halloween is because I really like orange--and because Old Navy sells Halloween PJ pants for really cheap.  You can accumulate a serious collection very easily.

And I love memories of running around my high school in the fall--and racing on Saturday mornings.  There's a certain smell that takes me back, um, several years to those good old days.  I love hearing the HS football team and band practice when I run, and I love the crispness in the air.

Oh!  And I LOVE coats and jackets. The beginning of Fall means the beginning of me getting to buy new coats.

Go share your favorite things about Fall at I Heart Faces.

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