Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Finnegan: Seven Months

Guys, we made it. This past month was a rough one for poor Finny health wise, but he also had some huge milestones, so we had fun in between being sick.  A chest cold turned into a fever and a cough that refused to leave which then turned into an ear infection plagued the majority of the month.  Despite all of these issues, Finn spent the majority of the month with a smile on his face as he started daycare and even managed to learned how to Army crawl!  Way to go, bud!

Eating: I would say he spent most of the month ambivalent to solid foods, but just in the past few days has turned a corner and seems to be enjoying the majority of what is given him.  His favorites are definitely the more bland foods, such as peas and green beans.  Currently, he's working on finishing a combination of spinach, peas and carrots, which he seems to enjoy. Mike and I, on the other hand look the other way because of the way they look and smell, but at least he's eating them, right?

Sleeping: Let's just sum up this whole section by saying I'm exhausted. When he was sick, he was waking up every two to three hours, so it was like being back to the newborn stage of life.  I think we've finally recovered from that, but we're still waking up at least twice at night, if not three times depending on what time he ate before going to bed.  I really thought by Christmas we would be sleeping through the night, but it doesn't seem like that is anywhere close to happening. Maybe I should start drinking coffee?

Bedtime stories with Dad
Sometimes you just need to suck your thumb in the tub, right?

Noises: If there is one thing Finn loves to do  in life, it's blow raspberries.  He has no problem blowing when everyone else is quiet or when you are trying to feed him, even if he likes the food. He will talk when he feels like it and usually talks a lot when he's talking.   Laughing is still a rarity, but he was cracking up at Mike making animal noises the other day which was maybe the cutest thing I've seen in a long time. 

Milestones: The biggest milestone is definitely learning to Army crawl.  He can pull himself forward to anything he wants, so nothing is safe anymore. He can also turn his body when he's on his stomach so he can literally go anywhere.  We quickly baby proofed the house once he figured out how to do all of this because he's quick and determined. That being said, it's so fun to watch him go.  You can see him become focused on something and then it's go time!  The other big milestone is that Finn started daycare!! Hooray!!! He seems to enjoy going and the transition has gone extremely smooth, despite being sick. We couldn't have asked for a better scenario!

First day of school 2017
Likes and Dislikes: He loves to be in the middle of whatever is going on.  He loves to sit in the kitchen with me when I'm making dinner and will sit in his high chair while we eat dinner, even if he's not eating anything.  Like I said before, he likes vegetables, but usually will eat fruit after eating vegetables.  He did NOT like amoxiccilin at first, but has grown to tolerate it.  Riding in the car is acceptable now, thank goodness.  Bath time is still a favorite and necessary every day after solid foods.

Hanging out in high chair
Just make yourself comfortable Finn. :)

Hey guys! I'm ready for mug night at Whitlow's!

Nicknames: Finn, Finny, Bud, Buddy, Big Guy, Buddy Bear

Clothing size: 6-9 month/9 month

Diaper size: three

Weight: 17.6 lbs (I think he lost a little bit of weight when he was sick because when we went to the doctor, it was the same weight as when he went for his six month checkup)

Height: 27 inches as of a week ago

Travel: Boston!

Oh Finny, we love you big guy!! Watching you grow and discover the world around you is the highlight of our day.  Your smile lights up the room and you have us all wrapped around your finger. As they say in Where the Wild Things Are, "I'll eat you up, I love you so!"

"Finn why'd you poop on the Naval Academy sheets? We only do that on West Point sheets!" -Mike instilling some early morning wisdom on Finn

Thursday, November 9, 2017

The Head of the Charles

Tap tap. Is this thing on?  I definitely didn't mean to take so much time off of blogging, but here we are and it's been over two weeks of silence on the old bloggeroo.  'Tis life I guess.

Anyways, we've been trying to take advantage of being in New England for the limited time that we are here and one thing on our bucketlist was to go to Head of the Charles in Boston.  Our friend Matt is a rower and we kind of thought he might be rowing this weekend.  He didn't end up participating, but Mike and I had already made hotel reservations and I never turn down an excuse to spend time in Bean Town, so we still went. 

Saturday, we met up with one of Mike's friends from Hawaii who is in business school in Boston and spent the afternoon in one of the tents along the water where there were TONS of people eating, drinking and "watching" the races.  I don't know how much watching actually happened, but it was cool to be in the middle of all of the action. 

Matt, Katy and Adaline met us for the day on Sunday and we watched a little bit of the races and walked around town for a while. We truly lucked out with the BEST weather possible the entire weekend.  It was sunny and warm, but not too hot. The perfect weather that makes you want to spend every moment outside.

Finn slept terribly in the hotel and we were all glad to return home to some normalcy in the sleep department, but other than that, it was a wonderful weekend.  Boston is a special place and I fall in love with it more and more with each visit.

The view from our hotel room! Not pictured but just to the left is the beloved Citgo sign and Fenway!

Not our best shot (my twitching eye, Finn's cutoff smile), but proof that we enjoyed the tentlife for Head of the Charles Day One)
And now commence tons of pictures of good old Bean Town.

We walked around Harvard and showed Finn his "backup school" (you know, in case he doesn't get into the Naval Academy or the Happiest Place on Earth aka James Madison University).   He was clearly impressed.

I've said it once and I'll say it a million times, I think Boston is one of the best cities in the world.  There is just a simplicity to it that makes it easy to enjoy without being overwhelming. There is so much history to see, good food to eat and endless opportunities to take advantage of.  It is a true New England gem. 

Monday, October 23, 2017

Finn Goes to Daycare

Let me just preface this by saying that there are lots of people with lots of opinions on the best childcare situation and the positives and negatives surrounding each option.  There are definitely benefits to each scenario and I truly believe that each parent weighs these options before making a decision about their child.  

I grew up with a working mom and have many fond memories of my time at daycare.  I still remember the day that they brought a live boa constrictor to the center and reminisce on our holiday concerts that we spent hours practicing for (God bless the teachers who organized that.  Patience is virtue).   While there were times where I would have rather stayed home and hung out with Mom (who was actually at work and not at home), overall, going to daycare was a positive experience for me.  I also spent the last year not working and learned quickly that the stay at home mom life is not a lifestyle for me.  In order for me to be the best mom I can be, I need to work, at least a few times a week.  A little time apart for me to use my brain in other ways is beneficial for everyone. 

Since we arrived after the school year started and are leaving before the school year ends, a full time teaching job wasn't really in the cards for this year, but it was the perfect opportunity to get my feet back in the teaching pool by substituting. Luckily, a childcare center in our neighborhood had openings part time in their infant room and we were happy with their philosophy, physical location and the staff, so we turned in the registration paper work and Finn went off for his first day of school last week.

Remember how I said going to work would be good for me?  While that is VERY true, that doesn't mean that I didn't have a hard time with leaving Finn.  In fact, quite the opposite.  I cried the day I found out I had been hired as a substitute because it meant leaving Finny.  The night before he started school was rough and I was a nervous wreck.  I've left Finn before, but it's always been for a couple of hours with my parents or Mike.  Never for an entire day and with people I didn't really know. Deep down, though, I knew it was right.  I signed up to substitute only in the afternoon of Finn's first day so that we wouldn't have to rush and I could focus on getting Finn ready for school in the morning and then come back and get myself ready.

I dropped Finn off at school around nine (about an hour later than I normally do).  Luckily, Finn doesn't seem to mind strangers and smiled as the teacher took him out of my arms.  I said my goodbyes and looked at the ground as I made my way out of the building.  I did make it to my car before I started to cry, but, man, was that hard. I came back to our house and wallowed for about an hour before I had to get ready myself.  I thought about calling to check and see how he was doing before I headed into school, but if he wasn't having a good day, I wouldn't have been able to do anything and would have just worried the entire afternoon.  If something were seriously wrong, I know they would have called me, so I just pushed through.

I was in a fourth grade classroom in the afternoon and it felt SO good to be back in the classroom.  My teacher voice made an appearance and I even got a few love notes! Fourth grade is such a fun age because they are still little and want to please, but are independent enough and can be a big help when you aren't sure of something.  The sweet spot! I even got to facilitate an activity that I had done with my students in the past and go over the answers, so it felt like more than just watching as they completed a worksheet, which is sometimes the most a sub gets to do. That being said, when all of the kids had been dismissed to their buses, I practically ran out of the school to get to Finn.

Turns out, all of that worrying was for nothing because he had a great day.  I can't say I'm surprised, but I was definitely relieved. He was so tired, though, that he couldn't even muster a smile when I walked in and was asleep by 6:00.  The teachers all loved him and kept remarking about how happy of a baby he is, which made me feel good about my decision to send him.  He clearly had a great day and enjoyed himself.  While it makes me sad that I don't get to be with him all of the time, I know it's good for him.  Plus, he now has even more people who love him, which can only be a good thing, right?

We both survived!

Unfortunately, we will only be here for a few more months before we have to start the childcare/job hunt all over again, but for now, I'm happy to say that we are both enjoying this new normal and are always happy to be reunited when 4:00 rolls around. 

What are your experiences with childcare? As a parent? As a child?  I love hearing people's perspectives and reasoning behind their decision.  This is what is working for us now, but I am keeping an open mind as the military moves us around and changes our lives.

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Finn and Sarah Visit Virginia

Ever since we returned to the East Coast, I have been trying to take advantage to being so close to home and our people.  We spent a good month in Virginia after coming back to the United States and it wasn't long after we moved into our house that I booked a flight home for Finn and I.  Add in the trip to Notre Dame and our plans for Christmas and we should be able to see people at least once a month!!!!

Finn and I left on Wednesday night for Virginia, arriving in Norfolk around 8:30.  One day, I'll do a blogpost on traveling solo with a baby, so I'll save all of my thoughts on that subject for that post, but just know that it's no easy task.   Finn was a gem and slept through the first flight.  He fought it hard on the second flight but eventually succumbed to the big bad bedtime.  He did wake up to say hello to Nana and Grandpa, but it was way past his bedtime, so we didn't hang out much. Plus, traveling with an infant is exhausting.

Thursday morning was pretty relaxed and Finn slept until 7:30 (!!!!  my pre-mom self is groaning because it's so early.  Now, I'm just happy if we make it to 6:30 so 7:30 is a treat!).  We stopped by my grandfather's apartment to say hi and then met my mom for lunch downtown. 

Lunch downtown.  Excuse Finn's "eclectic" outfit.  We had a little bit of a diaper explosion and this is what was in the diaper bag.  
Andrew came home on Thursday night and it was so good to see him.  He's such a cool guy with so many good thoughts on so many things. 

Friday, we took it easy again. It rained almost all weekend, so there wasn't a lot of incentive to do much except lounge around.  I got my haircut Friday afternoon, which was a treat as always and my aunt, uncle and grandfather came over for dinner.  Ben and his girlfriend Ange also arrived around dinner time for the weekend since they were on Fall Break.  I've yet to find an experience that is as heartwarming as being home with your people.  There is just something about sitting around the table, eating your favorite family recipe and chatting it up about anything and everything.  The only person we were missing was Mike and, man, did we miss him. 

The younger generations

Saturday was a big day because JMU was hosting College GameDay!  Finn's excitement must have affected his sleep because he was up every two hours that night.  I'm sure that was the reason.  We watched a little bit of College GameDay before my mom and I left for a horse show.  I don't know who was more excited...me and my mom for the horse show or Andrew and my dad who got to hang out with Finny. 

Saturday afternoon we all headed over to my aunt and uncle's to watch the JMU game.  Finn was a bit of a distraction throughout the game (it happens when you're cute!), but luckily, I was able to catch a bit of JMU's record setting 18th win in a row! Go Dukes!

Sunday morning came early and I guess Finn was just happy that the rain was supposed to subside.  At this point in my life, there are few gifts that I value more than someone hanging out with Finn early in the morning so I can sleep longer and my dad delivered that wonderful gift that morning.  I slept until EIGHT and woke up feeling like a whole new person.  We bid farewell to Ange and Ben who were going camping before heading to church.  Finn was a huge hit at church and had lots of babbling commentary during the Homily. Luckily, he's cute :) 

After lunch and a nap for Finn, we headed downtown to Norfolk to check out Waterside and walk along the water trying to soak up some much needed Vitamin D. It was a GORGEOUS day and it felt so good to get outside.  We picked up my grandfather on the way home and all headed back for good ole YNOT pizza. 

This is four generations of Tuckers!  

We bid farewell to Virginia and all of our people Monday evening and were so sad to say goodbye.  It's amazing how nice doing a lot of nothing with the people you love with can be.   

Finny and Uncle Andrew!

Saturday, October 14, 2017

Finnegan: Six Months

Well, well, well, look who is six months old!! This guy!!

Our little guy is a bundle of energy and always seems to be grabbing or scooting towards something.  He wants to crawl SO badly, but just hasn't quite figured it out.  I wouldn't be surprised if month seven is the month though! He loves to smile at people as he rides in the stroller and has had so much more success with solid food.  He was a huge help (note the sarcasm) in helping us unpack our furniture and is just as much of a help making dinner or lunch while sitting in his Bumbo.

Eating: We retried solid foods, starting with rice cereal and then moving on to sweet potatoes and apples, all of which has been met with much more enthusiasm than before.  Sweet potatoes, rice cereal and apples have all been a big hit!  Everyone is happy about that!! We are still breast feeding every three hours though, which is exciting.  My first breast feeding goal was to make it to six months and here we are! Our next goal is Christmas, so fingers crossed we can make it until then. 

Sleeping: We have good nights of sleep and bad nights of sleep.  The other night, he woke up every two hours and I was having flashbacks to our pre-sleep training days, but then last night he slept for seven hours straight.  Generally, he will wake up somewhere between 12:00-1:00 and then again between 4:00-5:00.  Not too bad! I'd like to eventually get down to one feeding a night, which I think will happen with more solid foods, but for now, we're waking up at least twice.  

Noises: Finn isn't the most talkative guy, but when he starts, he doesn't stop! He has also discovered how to blow raspberries/spit bubbles, which is just a whole new level of noise.  He had a week where he where he learned how to shriek and therefore did it all. the. time.  I did not enjoy that week.  Occasionally, we will get a laugh at something he finds really funny, but it's rare.  Usually, we are just greeted with a big smile!

Milestones:  Getting up on all fours is pretty common around here.  He will get up and then rock back and forth, but he's not quite strong enough to move forward.  His core strength isn't that strong and he's still not sitting up on his own, so I think that we have a month or so until he is crawling. The other major milestone is that Finn is grabbing EVERYTHING in sight.  It's a two step process.  Step one: grab object.  Step two: Put in mouth. He definitely has a sense of the world around him and it's fun to watch him learn.   

We love the bumbo!

I finally broke down and bought a cart cover so that he could ride in the shopping cart and we could buy more than five things at a time. 

Likes and Dislikes: Finn has decided that he will tolerate the car, on a few conditions.   He can't ride for more than like twenty minutes and heaven forbid he wake up from a nap in the car.  That is just unacceptable. But, he has gotten a LOT better at our trips around town.  He usually is pretty content just looking out the window or playing with a toy.  He loves his jumperoo and being able to move around.  He also likes to look around at what's going on, so he prefers to be on his stomach and will roll over almost immediately when we put him on his back.

Nicknames: Finn, Finny, Finnster, Finneman, Big Guy, Bud, Buddy Bear

Clothing Size: We packed up all of his six month clothes this week and are completely transitioning into nine month and 6-9 month clothes.

Diaper size: Three

Weight: 17.7 lbs

Height: 27 inches

Travel: Finn went to Cape Cod and Martha's Vineyard and then he and I traveled to Virginia for this weekend!  He also spent the day in Newport, RI

We're adding this to the wedding slideshow

So many new friends!

Finn and Xander are almost exactly a month apart and are quickly becoming best friends....so we think.

Sick babies are no fun, but snuggles make it better

Go Navy! Beat Chairforce!

Mike and I are happy to have a couch.  Finn's happy to have his hands.

We love you Finnegan Michael! You light up our life and we have had so much fun these past six months!