Needing some fresh air today, Margot and I decided to help Finn get a tiny bit closer to his Illinois roots, visiting a little farm and getting (but not eating) some dirt under his fingernails. (We can't have him thinking that there's no more to farms than Fisher Price!)
Unfortunately the farm was closed on Mondays, but we had fun bombing around the grounds and looking at the animals through/over the fence. Weather has delayed my folks' visit, so maybe we can return with them for some more hands-on time with the sheep, cows, and other creatures. In the meantime, here's a little gallery (HTML) from today's adventure.
A couple of months ago, Finn got waaay into checking out light fixtures around the house. Each morning we'd reach for him in the crib, and his first move would be to look up, up, up at the bulbs in his room. After maybe a week of this, he lost interest.
Now, however, he's rekindled the crazy passion, in a huge sort of way. Not only does he start the day by looking and pointing at the lights; that's how he finishes, too. He's constantly begging to be lifted to check out the lights at closer range, and his little circuits of downstairs seem like luminary tours.
I've discovered that tapping the various fixtures produces all kinds of different tones, much like playing half-full wine glasses (who knew??), so Finn and I now like to tap them together. I was impressed that after I used a camera lens cap to do some tapping, he later reached for the same cap and gestured upwards.
Boy, as I write all this, I keep thinking, "Man have we turned into navel-gazing parents or what?? This must be the most boring topic ever!" Yet the whole thing really is kind of bizarrely fascinating. Check out this mini gallery (HTML) that Margot snapped today.
Merry Christmas, everybody! We had a really fun first Christmas with Finny today. He was the epitome of jolly--smiles and laughter all day long. I'm sure the avalanche of fun new toys had a little something to do with it, too . Finn's friends and relatives showered him with all kinds of great stuff--stacking toys, a new barnyard, books, blocks, and my personal favorite, a walk-along popper toy. If you were a toddler or a parent of one in the '70's, you know what I'm talking about--the little transparent bubble filled with plastic balls that hop and pop around as you push the toy around--what's more fun than that?
John will post Xmas day pics soon--he's been on his best "I'm on holiday" computer-free behavior today, and I'm not about to ask him to screw it up .
[Update: Okay, break time over! Here's the gallery (HTML)! --J.]
And to all a good night!
Finn is starting to turn a fun corner & is seeing little inanimate objects as creatures. Whether we're walking little Fisher Price characters into the awesome new bus from our friends Matthew & Lori, playing with Jacques the Monkey (with apologies to Peter Gabriel), or checking out lots of other characters, you can see Finno's little imagination starting to fire up.
On Sunday we took him to the mall (hey, it's San Jose--not many alternatives), and he took a *huge* shine to a little board book that features a built-in finger puppet. Each page has a hole in it where the puppy can come out and do some antics. Finn is just fascinated, and he keeps flipping the book over, trying to figure out the connection between finger & puppy. (His little paw is just too small to work the controls. )
Here's a video of the small guy enjoying a Mom-powered puppy show:
For the past several weeks, Finn has been less and less interested in, and more and more distracted while, nursing. It was starting to seem like he wasn't getting very much to drink, and I was concerned that in addition, my supply was starting to dwindle due to his reduced demand. I have also heard that pregnancy can affect the amount of milk your body can produce, and that it can also change the flavor, so your nursing baby may not like the taste anymore.
So, since Finny seemed to be starting the weaning process, I decided that we might as well go all the way, and transition him to formula for the few remaining months prior to his first birthday, when we'll transition him to plain ol' milk.
I was worried that the weaning process would be difficult, painful, and depressing. Thankfully it has not really been any of those things. We took it slow, over about 3 weeks. It went remarkably well for both Finny and me, and I have only had a couple painful episodes. Finn took a few days to warm up to formula, but now he's pretty darn excited when he sees the bottle coming his way. Oh, and neither of us seems very depressed at all .
In fact, I sort of feel emancipated, in a weird way. Being able to share bottle duty with John is great. Now I get to read the bedtime stories while John holds Finn and the bottle! Being able to wear whatever shirts I want, without having to consider how well they'll accommodate nursing, is also pretty terrific. It's also far less emotional to give Finn bottles (in a good way, as trying to nurse a distracted/uninterested baby was a total drag). I think my body will appreciate the break between babies, as I do plan to nurse #2 as long as possible when he or she arrives. Maybe now I'll have a little more horsepower to give to the bun in the oven!
I know we're kind of an easy crowd, but every day the Finnfatha blows us away with some new skill. His walking just gets more and more fluid. Milestones include no more goosestepping (okay, less goosestepping), pivoting at will, and now using a hand to steady himself while crossing obstacles (e.g. the 1" lip at the bottom of the baby gates).
Oh, and did I mention that he's saying "Da da da" like crazy?? I can't quite swear that he's referring to me, exactly, but as Margot will attest, I just beam when he goes off on these little spiels.
Check out this evening's festivities:
*See* Mom and Finn hide under a baby-blanket tent!
*Listen* as Finny chuckles when the tent is lifted!
*Remember* how much fun it was to be a little kid doing goofy stuff with your parents!
Our little cowpoke's spurs have been jinglin' and janglin'. This week has been all about walking, walking, and more walking. Carol (our nanny) and I have been doing Squirrel relays with Finn walking back and forth between us independently--up to 15 or 20 steps at a time!
He's also been pushing his little walking Radio Flyer wagon around the dining room and kitchen. He lapped the kitchen several times this afternoon while I made cookies and tried to avoid getting traumatic ankle injuries from the wagon. The wagon is great because it gives Finno something stable to hang onto, but enables him to walk around on his own--a real blessing to our lower backs. This means fewer wipeouts as Finn toddles around the house--always a good thing.
He'll be motoring around 100% independently any day now, so it's a good thing we've got all the baby gates up in advance!
[Click the image above for a larger version. --J. (the Photoshopper-in-Chief) ] Update: Thanks to Mark Beckelman for a little P-shop assist.
Grandma Nack let us open Finn's Christmas present early, and boy, is he enjoying it! Said gift is a "Thomas the Tank Engine" tunnel for him to crawl through. It's about five feet long, and he makes his way from end to end in no time! Here are a few pics (HTML) of our man "choo-choo"ing his way towards his dad.
Super mega ultra bonus: The tube navigator has been caught on video:
We finally got our act together and bought a new (used) car--one that will far more easily fit Finn, his car seat, all of our gear, and the new baby + car seat come summertime. Getting in and out of the VWs had turned into an exercise in contortion.
Finn got a new ride as well, since he is getting waaaaay too big for his "baby bucket". We got him a new, bigger-guy car seat which we have now dubbed Finn's Flying Houndstooth Throne (the new car goes very fast and is a very smooth ride!).
Check out Finn in his new throne (HTML), and the two of us enjoying *our* new wheels (to follow).
[The big appeal of the new ride is the cavernous back seat. It's not quite as big as this old Audi (!), but at least you don't have to fold up like a Picasso figure as we did getting into the back of the Jetta. --J.]
We never know what's really going to tickle Finn's funnybone. In this video, turns out that fake yawning and tugs-of-war over a plastic donut were just the ticket!
Thanks to the generosity of our pals Adolfo & Romina from Buenos Aires + a recent cold snap here, Finnegan is one guapo gaucho these days, cutting a rakish little figure in the handsome poncho Romina's mom knit for him. Tonight he posed for a few shots with Mom (HTML) before going on another walking spree. In some of the later shots I think he looks pretty serious, like some kind of Jedi knight (see side-by-side comparison) trying to use the Force on ol' Dad. ("Those *are* the Cheerios you're looking for...".)
If you click through to the end you'll get a preview of another hand-knit marvel--but that deserves an entry and gallery of its own.
We sure had a lot of fun this Thanksgiving weekend! My folks (the Jeeps L) were in town to pay a visit to our man Finny. As you can see in the accompanying photos (HTML), good times were had by all. Finn gave a hearty thumbs up to all the Thanksgiving fare--he's a big fan of the stuffing, mashed potatoes, turkey, and especially the pumpkin pie. He actually got a bit huffy when Grandpa or I was a little slow on delivering the spoonfuls of delicious pie to his mouth.
In addition to tons of smiles, laughs, and general good times, the Jeeps were lucky enough to witness Finny's first unassisted steps! On Saturday and Sunday he had a few short sprints of three to six steps all on his own. Very impressive, and he met our bet that he'd be walking by 9 months.
Finn's quite a charmer when it comes to his grandparents, and we can't wait for him to see his other set of Jeeps (the Nacks) when they come after Christmas.