Saturday, March 30, 2013

Bathing beauty

 Watch out, Esther Williams -- you have some serious competition!  After two weeks of ear infections and an $60+ antibiotic, we were able to attend our first Shrimp swimming lesson.  We cancelled our first two classes due to her double ear infections caused by her cutting five teeth at once.  I can't hate (but I definitely curses A LOT those two weeks), because damn if the girl isn't efficient and appears to like to go things on a grand scale.

Due to prior obligations, E wasn't able to attend our first swim in the pool.  So I was flying solo into uncharted chlorinated waters...  Our local YMCA has infant swimming "lessons" that last 7 weeks.  Finorah is in the Shrimp class as she isn't walking yet.  So last Thursday, I took our little Shrimp to the Y.

As I pulled into the parking lot with a screaming baby in the back (apparently, she didn't nap long enough when we got home), I wanted to bust out with some serious "Young Man....  There's no need to feel down..."  Finorah didn't find it amusing in the least and continued to scream.  (One day, she is going to realize how really cool her mother is...)  Luckily, once she was out of the car and snow started hitting her face, she stopped crying long enough to distract herself.

The first 30 minutes of the Shrimp class is held in the gym.  There we did some calisthenics, which Finn wasn't having.  She has recently realized her power and her height when she is standing and now wants to stand with support all the time.  I would have to pull her into a sitting position to do bicycle kicks.  And sit-ups were a serious challenge.  I gave up around the torso twists and she did the twists and arm stretches while standing and squealing to the entire group of three other babies about what a big girl she was.  It also made the somersaults a challenge, but by this time, I'm a professional baby wrangler, so it's all in a day's work.  The rest of the gym time was spent playing on foam structures.  Time ended with us still playing "hide 'n seek" in the small drawbridge-tunnel type structure.  When it was time to collect our babies to go to the pool, Finn refused to leave the tunnel.  I would go to one side to collect her and she would crawl to the other side to get away.  A small tantrum was involved in us leaving the gym.

We had 10 minutes to go to the locker room, change into our swimsuits, and head up to the pool.  The one thing that I did do right for our first lesson was I dressed us in our swimsuits prior to the class.  So once we got to the locker room, all I had to do was strip us down and head out to the pool (I wish the departing trip to the locker room was that easy).  We were the first to make to the pool.  It was nice because I was able to introduce Finorah to the 2.5ft heated pool without any other distractions.  Initially, she wasn't sure what to think.  The second that I slowly sunk into the water and it started going over her tummy, her grasp on my swimsuit tightened to a death grip.  But once we realized that the water wasn't going any higher than her chest and shoulders, she relaxed slightly.

Water time was structured, which I was thankful for.  It kept her entertained doing one thing to the next and she appeared to really like the water.  There was lots of "swimming" on their tummies and encouraging them to kick.  She was a natural.  We would have ended the class without a hitch, but...  There were balls involved.  Due to our ball-obsessed dogs, it has resulted in a ball-obsessed daughter.  We got a medium size rubber ball that we pushed around and "swam" after in the water.  She was giggling and smiling until...  We had to give the ball back and were given a bath turtle.  Finorah took one look at the bath turtle and immediately threw it away in the pool and started pointing to the ball we had just given back.  When she realized that she couldn't have that ball back, the head was flung and she refused to participate in any other swim activity.  No more kicking... No more bubbles...  No more back floating... Must keep eyes on the prize...  Only pointing and squawks of protest...  I did everything I could to distract her and not let her see the ball during the rest of the class.  But she was trained on that ball and there was nothing I was going to do to distract her.  UNTIL she realized that there was a long-haired cutie of a lifeguard on duty by our little baby pool.  Then she couldn't take her eyes off of him and girl was making it very obvious that she was staring at him.  I hope that she was just confused by seeing long hair on a boy.  Otherwise, I'm in for a LONG ROAD...

Class was over pretty quickly.  I was anxious to get out and get home.  I was tired from all the squatting that was required of me during the class.  But I would have sat in that pool until the sun came up if I had known the debacle that would take place in the locker room.

I don't know why I didn't even think beyond the class.  I didn't put together two wet swimsuits, baby wrangling, and a changing room the size of a postage stamp into the same sentence.  Ugh.  No, no -- double ugh.  I won't go into details of the whole debacle, but it did involve a lot of crying, me pulling off a wet swim diaper and putting on a new diaper while holding a baby off the groady carpet floor, her escaping on said groudy carpet floor from our postage stamp at the exact same moment that my wet swimsuit was around my ankles, and me saying too many curse words about how yoga pants are NOT even remotely easy to pull on if you are the slightest bit damp, let alone practically dripping with water while my baby is crawling across a previously mentioned I-don't-even-want-to-know-what-has-now-attached-itself-to-my-daughter's-hands-and-knees floor.  I am going to delude myself into thinking the wet on my face and armpits as we left the Y was still pool water and not sweat and that the wet wipe that I used to clean her hands was enough to keep all occupants of the Y's carpet safely discarded into the Y's waste basket.  Valuable lessons learned for our next solo trip...

Yesterday was our second swimming lesson.  E came with us and took control of the swimming lesson and got in the water with her.  The second lesson was more fun because I was able to take a TON of photos.  And I was only in charge of drying her off and not well.  SOOOOOOO much easier!

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Monday, March 25, 2013

A Week in the Life (v.8.4)

After having to brush out some serious tangles, I asked E to brush her bed-head in the mornings.  This is how beautiful she looks with brushed hair.

Eating dinner with Daddy and telling him how it is.


I went out to eat with a friend on Saturday evening and Daddy & Finorah went for a walk.  E said he wasn't sure if she enjoyed herself.  I think she might have just been cold -- and evil though it may be, I still LOVE this video.


We were able to find a drum set for her on Sunday from a thrift store.  HUGE hit (and we aren't annoying yet at her banging -- YET).
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Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Erin go Bragh!

In case you didn't realize with a name like Finorah Mary Margaret (insert really Irish last name here), our household really likes to celebrate our Irish heritage   And although St. Patrick's Day is not really celebrated in Ireland, we chose to really celebrate it because it's a celebration of E's family's homeland.  In our older and more responsible age, we didn't choose to celebrate by drinking copious amounts of green beer or drinking all day.  But we did Ireland right in the few ways that we know how and made it a three day event.  And one of those was putting Finn in at least three different green outfits.

Friday began the celebration by E putting the lady in her Irish Pimp outfit.  The shamrock turtleneck was a gift from some very close friends and their 10 month old son (her future husband).  The green corduroy pants and jacket were a funny story.  As I'm sure you are aware, we like to go thrift shopping (back before it was made popular by Macklemore).  I usually go hunting for baby clothes for her.  The Baby Gap green pants were found and put in the bottom of our cart.  Lady and I continued to shop and I found the cutest Baby Gap green jacket.  It was on a hanger, so it was hung along the side of the cart.  When we met up with E to show him our steals, only then did I realize that I had an Irish tuxedo in our cart.  By that time, it was too late.  E knew exactly what he was going to do with them once they were purchased.

The ladies at daycare were in love with her Irish outfit.  E had texted me a photo of her outfit and I will readily admit that it was way cuter in the flesh than it was in my head.  I told him that I was disappointed that I wasn't at home when he put her in that outfit, as by the time that I pick her up, she will be all dirty from eating.  And she obliged by not getting dirty that day and we had a photo shoot outside when we got home.

Saturday morning, she had on a Irish tutu complete with felt shamrocks embedded in the tulle.  We unfortunately got NO photos of that outfit.  But she did wear it all day.  E didn't want to take it off when we left the house and had to put her red coat on her.  So she looked a little Christmas for a portion of the day.  But she still rocked that tutu.  We went to eat at our local bar/restaurant (the same one that we went the night that she was born).  There I ate some traditional Irish food (corned beef and cabbage with potatoes & carrots) and we both drank Guinness.

That night, we were invited to an Irish party -- not the kind of parties that you are used to thinking of as St. Patrick's parties.  I had purchased a beautiful "Irish princess" dress.  I was so excited that we had a reason to put the dress on and leave the house.  We went to the party and had a great time.  We drank Smithwicks and Finn had the little living room enthralled with her beautiful self.

Sunday, she was dressed in yet another green outfit.  I have a couple photos of this outfit (edit: from my good camera -- there is a iPhone photo below of the Sunday outfit), but didn't include them here because I chose too many from the first two outfits.  But Sunday was an outfit from E's childhood friends.  It was a beautiful green plaid dress with a gray wool cardigan.  She truly looked like a little Irish schoolgirl.  And she was cute as a button, of course.  So we chose to celebrate this St. Patrick's Day by dressing her up in as many outfits as possible.  It was the best possible way to celebrate.  No hangovers and no regrets!  Except maybe not taking more photos...

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Monday, March 18, 2013

A Week in the Life (v.8.3)

 Finorah's first school photos

 Finorah's first school photos

 Finorah's first school photos

 With her photos, we also got a bag with her picture on the side and the bag says "I'm a star at daycare!"  I'll be stylin' supporting this bag!

 Daddy loves to put on her shades -- she is too cool for school.

 Playing with Munk in the morning

 Daddy was trying to take a photo of her chipmunk cheeks (full of animal crackers) and she got mad.

Chipmunk cheeks!

The minute she hears music and I'm holding her her right arm goes out and starting bouncing up and down because she wants to dance.  She LOVES dancing!

Putting on jewelery.

Daddy dressed her like an Irish Pimp on Friday for daycare.  She was a big hit (even without her hair being brushed)!

Lovin' on the kitty in the morning.


Our pretty little Irish Princess

I bought this beautiful green dress for St. Patrick's Day.  Unfortunately, the temps were not the same as last years (80+ degrees).  We were sitting at about 30 degrees and couldn't wear our dress out without a sweater.

We did get to go to a St. Patrick's Day party where the little lady was a show stopper.

Showing off her beautiful dress.

Being that we love St. Patrick's Day, we also dressed fabulously for the day (though the weather was too cold for the parade).

We spent St. Patrick's Day rocking away on our princess pony!

Pretty lashes while napping.

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Sunday, March 17, 2013

Happy St. Patrick's Day!!!!

Happy St. Patrick's Day from our little leprechaun!!
Hope you find your own pot of gold today!!!

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Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Little Miss Independent

This past weekend, we were given some spring weather.  It was wonderful to be able to go outside without having to bundle everyone up.  With the forecast telling us the warmer weather was fleeting (and it is currently 30 degrees outside, so for once, they were correct), we decided to take advantage and go for a walk around the block.  But it was no ordinary stroller walk around the block -- we got out her little red convertible and pushed her around the block.  To say that she was in heaven would be an understatement.

And while I'm sad that we have left her infancy behind (boo to no more newborn squishy snuggles), I am beginning to see how much fun have a toddler is.  She is developing her likes and her dislikes.  She is becoming more independent and wanting to do things for herself.  And she is starting to be able to communicate her wants and needs to us.  I'm trying to work on independent play with her.  Currently, she still feel the need to be with me every single second that I'm home.  Trust me, I do love it, I love the fact that she needs me and she has to have me next to her.  But if I'm really being honest with myself, I'm doing her a disservice by only thinking of how I feel.  I want her to be curious and creative and self-reliant.  I want her to be able to entertain herself.  I want her to develop into a strong, independent woman.  I'm reasonable in my expectations right now.  I am still on the floor with her while she plays, but I try to sit across the room and I disengage in what she is doing, giving her the opportunity to explore her toys by herself.  Most times, she does well for about 5 minutes, sometimes stretches into 10.  Then she comes crawling over to me and we play.  The length of time will stretch and I'm hopeful that she will develop a wild imagination.

But she is developing strong appreciations for things as well as aversions to others.  Her taste is developing.  I only offer her what we are eating for dinner.  She doesn't get her own meal.  But there are things that she refuses to eat right now.  I'll continue to give her the opportunity to try these things, hopeful that eventually she will develop a taste for them.  She doesn't like beef at all.  Chicken is iffy.  But the girl does love her pork -- you give her a breakfast sausage and she would eat two of them if you let her.  She doesn't like eggs anymore or green beans.  But she loves all kinds of cheese and blueberries.  Give the girl a blueberry bitten in half and she is a happy camper.

She also doesn't enjoy having anything in her hair.  She pulls out her bows in an instant.  The only way there is photographic proof of bows or headbands is if I can distract her long enough to forget that I put something on her head.

She is in love with Porkchop, her snuggle buddy.  We have four of them (one at daycare, one in the diaper bag, one upstairs and one downstairs.  But it still feels like we don't have enough.  Because they are white and we have too many pets, I am constantly washing them.  But Porkchop is a must during nap time or bedtime.  She likes to rub his satin belly-underside between her fingers while she falls asleep.

She has also developed an independent streak.  She has to do it by herself.  If I pick up her cup for her, she will push it away.  I place the cup on the floor or table and then she will pick it up.  If I put one of her toys in something, a sound of protest will arise and I will pull the toy out.  She has to put it in herself.  Her newest cry of independence is feeding herself with a spoon.  She will still take food off of a spoon that I offer her, but she MUST have her own spoon, so she can feed herself at will.  She also decides when she is done.  If I ask her to stand, she always lets her knees go weak so she slumps to the floor.  Sometimes, she is in the mood for play, but when she is over the game, you know it.

One of her best developments yet is her communication with us.  We now have the primitive point.  She will point to something she wants.  It's quite handy.  Especially when we are standing at the counter and she sees something up there that she wants,  a drink or her bink.  She also points at things that she wants us to notice, like another kid or dog walking across the street or a light in the ceiling at a restaurant.  It has helped with a ton of tantrums that can be appeased by handing her some cheese that I'm eating or a toy that is on the floor if you are holding her.  It's wonderful that she is being to tell us what she wants.

As she grows, it amazes me how quickly she is growing into her own little person.  Soon she will be walking and talking and giving sass.  The days seem to be flying...  Every day, I say to myself "Where did the time go?"

My absolute favorite photo of the day -- a motion shot!
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