Tuesday, April 29, 2008

For those of you who think Berlin is mellow ...

think again! This is how she spends about 35% of her day. She hates being told no, not getting her way, having things taken from her, having me leave the room or her side, and sometimes it's just looking at her the wrong way. Needless to say, despite the fact that she is a sweet little girl, these little fits are happening more often than naught.

This is a fit that she threw after I closed the front screen & door. Apparently she still wanted it open??? I have no clue.

(note: it's a bit dark, sorry.)

Monday, April 28, 2008

Soccer Season

This year we signed Finley up for soccer in the 3 & 4 year old division. We knew that with the age group being so young (most leagues are 5+) it would be more for fun than anything else. Well last Monday we had our first meeting - meet the coach (our friend Kate) and to pick up the uniforms.

But tonight was their first game. Despite Finley having thrown a royal tempertantrum in getting ready for the game (his uniform top drowned him and he cried because it was too big and refused to wear it. Thank heavens for a sewing machine because only after I hemmed it 4 1/2 inches and took the sides in 3 inches, would he even consider putting it on), the end result was hilarious. There are 4 quarters of 7 minutes each. With a 2 minute break in-between with a 10 minute half-time. The first 10 minutes was supposed to be warm-up/practice for the kids. Well, for our team, it was more wake-up than warm-up as all the kids were laying on the ground, some even using the soccer balls as pillows. Apparently 6:30 is a bit late for kids who don't take naps anymore and thus fall asleep on the way over to the game. Oh well. Atleast we weren't the only parents dealing with that problem. Anyway, Ryan & I have decided to call Finn's team the Sleepy Dwarfs.

The above picture is of about 3/4th the team. Finn got to play the first 7 minutes of the game. However, this is how he spent most of it - except for the brief moment when he stood up and pulled his shirt and short up baring the belly and some super cute legs:

Then he chose to sit out on the side-lines with Berlin and I (he was grumpy dwarf for a bit). Once he shook off being grumpy he went back into the game, however, the first thing he did was find his friend Sophie (Kate's daughter) and hung out with her pretty much the rest of the game as these pictures depict:

Finley and Sophie as co-goalies in the 2nd quarter. Needless to say that the triple efforts of Ryan, Colin (Sophies dad) and myself failed as we stood behind the goal trying to get Finn and Sophie to turn around. Notice the very active game going on behind them - which they refused to turn around and watch. I think about 3 goals were scored while they were there not manning their post. Oh well. It was funny I must say.

This is Finley and Sophie chilling on field while the rest of their teammates made an effort to run the ball. Sophie was spitting water out of her mouth with Finley giggling at each squirt.

Then this is Finn & Sophie in the last quarter chilling out in the other corner. They were jumping and doing all sorts of samuri moves.

In all I think Finley actively ran for a total of 2 minutes and spent the rest of the time chilling with his buddies on the field or on the side-line with Ry and/or I. I was surprised a little bit because we've been practicing in the backyard with his little goal & soccer ball. And he did kick the ball once but then happily ran away from the action the rest of the game. I'm just happy that he seemed to have fun and that he enjoyed it. Our next game is this Saturday so we'll see what happens with an early game rather than a late one.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Finley's Robot Party

I had planned on doing a Pirate Party for Finley originally. However, knowing that this was his party, he asked (rather stated matter of factly) a few months back that his party be a Robot Party. Thus, plans changed. It was super fun to have all his friend bots join us for games, food, and lots of fun. Finley was supposed to help me make his invites, but he was a grump the day I did them, thus it ended up falling on my shoulders. In the end, I think they turned out super cute! We played musical robots, then Pin the Gauge on Rodney Robot (from the movie Robots), then we had Robot Races, a Robot Pinata, and finally wrapped it up with yummy robot cupcakes.
Finley was such a good help with all the preparations. He helped me cover lots of boxes in foil and glue on shapes that I had cut/punched out. I think we used about 200 feet of foil in the end for 1 pinata, 2 robot bodies, 1 full robot, and 8 robot goody bags. It kept us busy all week. Finley also demanded that he wear his robot pj bottoms despite having worn them to bed the past 2 nights. He's the birthday boy so who was I to object?
When I asked Finley the best part of the day was before going to bed he said playing with his friends. I'm so glad that Finley has such great little friends who play and get along so well. A big thanks to all of thm for making the party what it was.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Finley is 3 ...

and there was great cause for joy & celebration. This is a recap of his actual birthday. There will be another one of his party the day after - but not until tomorrow after I have had some much needed SLEEP!!!

Finley's birthday morning started when he opened and walked out of his bedroom door and to his surprise their were a couple little presents by his door and lots of streamers. He woke up before us (way to early in fact) and creeped upstairs, opened our door and whispered, "There's presents by my door daddy," and he proceeded to drag Ryan and I out of bed to check them out. I loved that he came and got us. I even had him re-enact coming out his door. First things first though - change of diaper (yes, we are still in diapers ... hopefully not for long). As he was getting his diaper changed he spied something in the corner of the room and he could barely contain his excitement. As soon as his pants were back on he bound giddily over to his new kitchen and market. He ended up playing with this ALL day long. And he played with it before waking us up this morning (for how long, who knows?). He played with it before, during, and after his friend party, and I'm sure he's dreaming about playing with it right now. He also had a couple presents to open after his breakfast (of which consisted a healthy dose of TRIX - his choice). After breakfast I got ready to go to the gym and got Berlin all dressed for the day. However, everytime I tried to drag him out of the house, he kept saying, "No mom. Not right now. I'm playing with my toys." So instead we stayed home and Finley whipped up some apple cookies and scrambled eggs for me on his new oven & stove. It was totally worth missing the gym!

So he played all day, stopping long enough to eat a meager lunch of herb & butter rice (again of his choosing). Then it was back to playing & sneaking treats from the goodie bags I had finished making that morning for his friend party. Ryan came home a little early so we could go to dinner together at Finley's favorite restaurant - the Spaghetti factory. But before we did that we took Finley to Toys R Us to spend his $3 gift card from Geoffry (the Toys R Us giraffe - sign your kids up for the bday club and they get one every year). He had SO much fun just walking around the store. He played with all the swords, balls, robots, light saber and whatever else could be played with. Then it was to Trolley Square for some dinner where my sister Valerie met up with us. Finley was so cute when we sang happy birthday to him while eating our ice-cream.

After dinner (and a little tempertantrum because he wanted to go to Aunt Valerie's gym with her) we headed back home to open the last of his presents. His birthday started off super modest. But the last month Ryan and I kept finding things to give him, and I'll admit, I have a super hard time passing up a sale. While wrapping everything the night before, Ryan and I realized that we had gone a little overboard on the amount of gifts. I think that Ryan felt more guilty about it than I did. When it comes down to it I figure that these are the only 2 kids I will have and it's my right to spoil them. And though I hate a mess (and who doesn't?), I think the toy mess at the end of the day is worth every penny because it means they did something other than sit in front of the TV. So here's to spoiling my kids for as long as they appreciate and use what we give them! Cheers! But I digress - back to presents: After presents Finley got to stay up SUPER late trying each gift out. It was fun, especially when he let me be his first patient ever! Then begrudgingly he went to bed, but only after repeated reminders that his party was in the morning.

Thus went Finley's 3rd birthday.

Finley, Then and Now

Finley is now three years old and with that we are gearing up for a fun Robot party with cousins & friends tomorrow afternoon. Needless to say Finley is SOOOO excited. Especially since he's been helping me make robots out of extra cardboards boxes from our many trips to Costco. Even a cute little pinata. I'll be sure to take lots of pics tomorrow and post them later. However, being that Finley was born 3 years and 2 hours ago, I wanted to share some of my observations of him as he's grown & changed over the past 12 months.

Last year his favorite stuffed animal was Footie (his Build-a-Bear bunny, built on his 2nd bday). He went everywhere with us for a really long time. This year it's Scruffy. A little dog that I got from the dollar bin at Target about 18 months ago. He could have cared less about the dog until I tried giving it to Berlin when she was a newbie. He quickly claimed and named him Scruffy. This is now his favorite stuffed animal. The best part, it's like 6 inches which means I'm happier to cart him around all over town.

Last year, Finley's hair FINALLY started to grow in - even if it was thin short wispy hair, it was hair. This year Finley's hair has like tripled in quantity. And I love his long shaggy locks - especially after he wakes up from a nap, and his curls are slightly damp with sweat. I know, sounds gross, but it's so cute!

Last year was all about plain skim milk in a sippy cup. This year it's all about the chocolate milk in a sippy cup. Thanks heavens for Nesquik powder. Though the poor kid doesn't even realize that he's being jipped the full 2 TBSP serving size of powder. He's lucky to get 1/4 tsp.

Last year at 2 was the year of Bob the Builder, Cars, Buzz Lightyear and the Leapfrog videos (letter factory etc). This year is the year of the Charlie and Lola. Those Brits must put something in their TV shows because it's his new daily fix. Lucky for me, I actually really really like the show too. And Berlin loves to bounce along to the opening & closing music (credits). Also Robots, Super Why, and Curious George movie.

Last year was all about Buzz lightyear (movie & toy). This year Finley is all about robots (has been since last Halloween), his sweet collection of die-cast cars from Cars the movie, his Spiderman & friends megablock sets, Little People town, his tools & tape measure, and Mr. Potato Head. He still loves Buzz (as proven by the fact that this is still one toy he doesn't like to share with Berlin), but his obsession has grown to include other toys. Finley loves putting together fun costumes for the plastic spud. This year Finley also loves to play kitchen. He used the fireplace hearth as his stove & oven, thus the reason for actually getting him a little kitchen for his bday. Now he can make me scrambled eggs and apple cookies all day long.
Last year, Finley was still taking a nap everyday. Life was SOOOOO stinkin good back then. This year, Finley only naps when I can no longer put up with his fits & tempertantrums (usually right about 3:30 in the afternoon) and I place him in his bed - crying of course until he falls asleep.

Last year, Finley was very cautious. He was very careful at playgrounds and just checked everything out around him. Ladders, poles, rungs? Never. Always the safe stairs with a handrail (I loved it actually when he was cautious). This year, Finley's taken to jumping right on in. He loves a little mischief and isn't as cautious as usual. He's more assertive in some things like climbing onto the counter and pouring his own bowl of cereal. Which he never would have attempted 12 months ago. But it's fun to see him coming out of his shell a little bit. And he loves to jump all over everything - bed and furniture especially.

Last year, Finley refused to help get himself dressed. He could care less about what he wore or ate and was more than happy to let me do all the choosing. This year, Finley not only has a definite opinion of what he wants to eat/wear/do, but will stand his ground til he gets what he wants. He is very good and picking things out and will often tell me, "No mom, not the green shirt. I want the blue one like Rodney the Robot. And I want my brown shorts, not pants (despite the fact that snow is falling outside and it's 50 degrees), with my robot shoes (this isn't any specific pair, it applies to all shoes except the ones I'm trying to get him to wear.)"

For anyone who knows Finley, you'll know that last year was all about his gray hoodie (hoodie ALWAYS being pulled up). You'll be glad to know that this year is also once again all about the gray hoodie. I honestly don't know what we'll do when it's 90 degrees outside and he insists on wearing it - hoodie up - wherever we go. Maybe I'll learn to appreciate sleeveless hoodies? Mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm ... NO!

Last year Finley was a sweet brother giving lots of kisses to his sweet baby sister whom he really wasn't so sure about. This year, Finley has grown into a full-fledged Mr. Mom. When he gets tired of sharing with Berlin he tells her to go find me or to go play with "names a specific toy." He's also very good at being bossy. When Berlin cries too loudly or throws a fit (which is a lot lately due to more teething) Finn will tell her "Enough Berlin," "Be Quiet Berlin," or whatever else he thinks will get her to zip it. The best part is that he says it ever so calmly. This year Finley has also learned what a great playmate and partner in crime Berlin truly is. She'll do anything he does and he KNOWS it! Much to my dismay they like to get into trouble together. But it's fun and I hope that it will always last - them being such sweet buddies, not the mischief. But he is so sweet to her and more often than not, they just sit and giggle together, sing together, and just play together. They like to butt each other with their heads and usually end up in a fit of giggles.

Last year I don't remember there being so many tempertantrums, stubborn behavior, and fits of anger. This year already they are aplenty.

Last year Finley hated nursery, or going anywhere new. This year Finley LOVES nursery and is such a big help (being the oldest kid in the class now). He's also great at making new friends everyday when we go to Kids Club (at the gym). The first few months of going I had to drag him away - he literally cried when it was time to go home. Now he comes after the first couple requests to get his shoes on.

Last year Finley was a shy little guy. He's never been this crazy outgoing kid. But this year already he's blossomed into a more social little boy who loves to be around people (especially kids his own age). And he often asks to play with his cousins and friends by name.

Last year Fingernail / Toenail trimming time was a nightmare. This year Finn is such a brave kid and will sit thru the ordeal without shedding a tear. Now that's what I call growing up :)

Last year, Finley loved to have books read to him. This year, he wants to do all the reading himself. Which, if you've ever hear 3 year olds recite stories from memory, it's a sweet treat.

Last year, Finn could have cared less about opening presents and Ryan and I did most of it for him. This year, it was all Finn and he loved it. He was so excited about every gift he opened tonight which made spoiling him all that much better.

Last year (and the year before) were all about his special blankie. This year that blanket began to fall apart (the fabric is so thin, holes are everywhere, stitcking has come undone, etc.). As a kid I was very attached to my Blue Blanket (my bu-bu- banky as I loving called it) and I knew that Finn wouldn't just give up his without possibly needing some counseling sessions down the road. So, to save me that guilt I hunted down a new one and lucky for me, Babystyle still had the exact one in stock (and on Clearance!!! - 3 years later none-the-less). Needless to say his new, much brighter replacement has arrived and is waiting for it's call to action.

I could go on and on as I'm sure all mothers can about their kids. But I just have to say that I'm so grateful that Finley arrived safely into this world at 10:17 pm 3 years ago. Looking back the 14 hours of labor was worth it, complications, lack of epidural and all. He is my little guy and I love him, giggles, snuggles, loves and all. I will post fun pics of all Finley's birthday celebrations sometime over the weekend.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Spring Fever

At this time of year I am just itching for Spring to get here and Winter to officially LEAVE! Spring Fever you might call it. Well this year is no exception, except that we literally have the Fever part. Finley came down with a fever of 101.1 last week and Berlin got it on Monday with a 102 temperature. But I can't complain because they weren't vomiting or anything like just - just a fever which meant the kiddos were ready and willing to sleep or watch a movie which gave me time to get some things done around the house. I was able to get a ton of cleaning done and finish Finn's bday invites. I still have lots of laundry and some sewing to do, but hey, I'm happy with what I've done.

The weather has been pretty great. We've had a couple days of 75 degrees (mixed in with 50 degrees + snow/hail). On the warmer days we've walked to Sugarhouse park, gone to the elementary school park down the street, gone to the zoo (we have LOTS of new baby animals to see!), played soccer out back, and whatever we could find to do outside - even weeding, planting flowers and spreading mulch on the beds. I am hoping that this weather will stick because we are all SOOOO much happier when it's sunny and warm outside.

I just uploaded a gazillion pics from my camera to the computer. Some are a couple weeks old, but they show some of the fun things we've been doing. We had a date with Grandma Lynne, Aunt Shannon and the kids at the Church History museum a few weeks back. The highlight for Finn was riding the TRAX train. He would have done it all day if I'd let him. We've also been going to the children's museum a lot - usually on the cooler days.