Monday, April 25, 2011

One year old!

Our sweet Finnamon bun! Today you turned one year old. It has totally flown by. (Seriously. When I went back to work today, it felt like I'd maybe been gone a month.) But here you are, already a bright and charming little man that is an absolute pleasure to have in our lives.

Finn's first birthday! from Hood/Anderson on Vimeo.

We had a little party for you yesterday. We opened presents, played outside, had Easter supper, then birthday cake after. You got some puzzles from the Hurlburts, clothes and a big yellow loader from Nana, and we got you a water and sand farm table. (You ate the sand.) The cake part was a huge success. It's obvious from the pictures that you thought having this icing and sprinkle-laden cake with a little flame atop was pretty awesome. And then you devoured almost your whole carrot and raisin cupcake. I still can't believe you wore that hat for the entire time we took pictures...

At one year, you understand so much. When asked if you had a poopy bum and needed a diaper change, you crawled over to the diaper basket, got the wipes and a diaper. But when asked the next day if I could change you, you just shook your head, no. That happens a lot when we ask you stuff these days. You know what you don't want. Things you do want are grunted for.

You babble in sentences which is so sweet. Sometimes it comes out like sounding like real words...which I suppose is the point. You really only say Dada, rarely Mama anymore unless you really want me. You learned to climb out of bed. (We'll have to remember to shut the gate at the top of the stairs...) And of course, you walk. Some days more than others. It's still much quicker for you to power crawl. It's your power crawl, the way your hands slap the hardwood stairs, that alert me to you trying to escape. Always trying to escape. That or climbing into something. Yesterday it was the turkey roaster. Every other day, we find you in the warming drawer of the stove. It's your favourite place to be in the kitchen.

It's always something. Like climbing up onto the stool to see if there's water in the sink to splash around. (We have to get better at remembering to close the bathroom door.)

You still eat lots and lots. Blueberries are the best thing ever lately, though they really stain your hands for at least a day or more. Pancakes with blueberries are just as good and disappear from your high chair tray two or three pieces at a time, as do quesadillas. We lost your fork so we've been trying to make due with spoons. It's hard to eat anything except thick, mushy stuff like potatoes or sweet potatoes with a spoon. Sometimes porridge that's been sitting out a while. Not that you mind, but you like being able to bit things with all those teeth. You are currently working on tooth number 8, which made for a miserable sleep last night. Number 7 came in a couple weeks ago.

Here you are eating a whole tomato that I was going to cut up for lunch. It just looked so good, you had to have it.

You love it outside and try and open the back door by yourself. Once out, you crawl all over the patio from the shopping cart to the wagon to the toybox. You find the way the wind blows the balls around very, very fascinating. You like the trampoline, especially when Lily bounces you. (I like it because it's like one big play pen.) We finally put the baby swing up yesterday and you quite enjoyed it, mostly when I tickled you every time you swung forward. We go for walks, whether you are in the wrap, the stroller or the wagon with Lily, it's all good. A snack of cheddar bunnies and raisins makes for an especially nice ride.

I look forward to the summer with you guys and of course, to another wonderful year of changing and growing. Happy birthday, sweet pea!

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Happy Easter!

Big day. The Easter Bunny came last night! Lily got lots of hidden eggs and a little gift this morning, probably because she was so nice to make him cupcakes and leave him a carrot and a card.

Lily set this all up at the front door. I didn't even see it until after she went to bed.

In the afternoon, Nana came over with more Easter loot for the kids. Lily was more than excited with her gifts...

Some new sidewalk chalk also proved to be very popular.

Aside from having a huge Easter supper, we also had a little birthday party for a special someone who is turning one tomorrow... But I'll wait to share that until then. I should really find some clothes to wear to work tomorrow.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Our girl - What five and a half looks like

I feel I've been neglecting you – or at least neglecting writing about you. With Finn turning into a toddler at the speed of light, your changes are more subtle.

Sometimes when we are with other five year olds, I see how mature you are – or how young. I find myself saying to both myself and your dad, "She's only five." Other times we say, "You're five now. You need to be able to do this."

Speaking of things you need to be able to do, you've just completed your first Lily of the Valley sticker chart. (You named it that.) A month's worth of daily tasks that each receive one check mark for each accomplished item and a sticker when you get all your daily check marks. It took four months to get all the stickers. There were five things to do each day: brush teeth/hair, put away dishes, eat a vegetable, hang up coat/bookbag, and clean up your messes. For your reward, you chose to go to Plum Garden for the Chinese buffet. For the next sticker chart, we've upped the ante. Not only are there now ten things to accomplish each day, the reward will be Go Go My Walking Pup. (A useless toy by my standard, but the pinnacle of rewards for you.) The hardest point this time around? Eating five fruits and vegetables every day. Thank goodness we give you chances to earn stickers you've missed...

School. You love it so much. You were layed out sick on the couch all weekend, but when I said I'd probably have to keep you home from school on Monday, you immediately showed that you indeed could walk (instead of being carried) and wouldn't need to miss school "because there's gym on Monday."

A couple weeks ago, you got your second report card which was followed by the student-led conference at school. You were unusually nervous about bringing Mom and Dad to school and showing us what you do every day. It was a little rocky at first, but twenty minutes and a couple of stations in, you were feeling more comfortable. You showed us your portfolio, sang us songs from your song book, did the calendar and the weather, took us on a tour of the art you had hanging throughout the classroom, showed us your math skills and finally we settled at your favourite station for playtime - the art centre. You and Dad drew pictures for each other before our hour was up. We know how bright you are, how easily many things come for you. The fact that it was all "en fran├žais" made it that much more impressive.

Your French is very impressive indeed. You speak it every day. You point things out in French; at the library the other day you said "look (at the book covers) – les arbres, les fleurs." You even scold your brother in French."C'est ne pas!" And you always ask, "Do you know how to say ______ in French?" Then you immediately tell us. For right now, your Dad and I know the answer. Soon we probably won't...

The fact you can read as much as you can is so impressive. We were on our way to the Bulk Barn one evening to get our dose of oats, flour, raisins, etc. and you smelled something out the window. You said, "It must be from that pizza place. I can tell it says that because of all the zeds at the end." Then there's the grocery list. The other morning you asked, "Why did you do this (put it in a starburst) to the dill?" When asked how the heck you knew what it said, you told me that that's just the sound the letters made. Nice. (Oh, and I put the dill in a starburst as it's been on every grocery list for the last three times and Chris has missed it everytime. And every graphic designer knows that when someone wants something to really get noticed, they ask for a starburst. And it breaks our designer hearts...) You love spelling and constantly spell words for us or ask how to spell things so you can write us notes.

Those notes. They are all over the house. You produce upwards of twenty a day and for the most part, they are all the same right now. To Mom (or Dad or Finn). I *heart* U. From Lily. Something you get fancy and put them in envelopes, always with our name in big letters on the front and usually with an ink stamp in the top right corner. Your Dad insists on saving each and every one of them because they are so cute.

In other happenings, your tastes in clothing are changing. Fortunately we need to buy you new clothes anyway as you've grown two inches since November – three and a half inches since last May. Yikes. Anyway, you've recently picked up some swank gray cowboy boots for $6, plus a gray sundress and a black and white striped sundress. All the while, I am actually wearing less black... (for the first time since I've been buying my own clothes). You shun any pants that aren't leggings, preferably capri leggings despite there still being snow on the ground. You'll also wear the same clothes to school for three days in a row, especially since you got a few new and awesome t-shirts. I hear that's not taboo in France, wearing the same clothes, and your Dad and I do that all the time if we're not covered in snot or bananas... We really need to go to France. Really.

The biggest, most impressive thing about you these days? The fact that you are sleeping in your own room in your own bed until exactly 6 a.m. every day. We've tried moving you from our bed off and on for the past couple years, but you always found your way back. Guess you weren't entirely ready, but like everything else, you make it clear when you are.

Five and a half isn't lasting long. You've been making plans for your 6th birthday party for many months now. A planner! A girl after my own heart...

Sunday, April 17, 2011

One week...

In one week, I will be going back to work from this mostly blissful maternity leave. I neither dread it nor look forward to it. It just is. Perhaps I would dread it more if I realized all the things we should do to be ready, but Chris will be home the first week so we'll probably learn a few things before we go "live."

We found a daycare that we are actually very excited about. We think it will be really good for the kids, especially Lily as her friend (and our neighbour) Carly and her little brother Jack go there. Lily will get to ride the bus with all of her classmates. Finn will get to explore a little more than just our house and play with some other kids.

As I settled on a Monday/Wednesday/Friday schedule with work for the remainder of 2011, I will still get to be home on Tuesdays and Thursdays (and Saturdays and Sundays, of course). I will still get to take Lily to school, pick her up, make meals, lay down with Finn for naps. I will be home more days than I'll be at work and I'm really happy about that.

But I will miss doing all the things we've been doing those Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. Some of the kids at school might miss me, too. They run over from wherever they are on the playground to tell me about some great toy they have, soccer game they played or to say hi to little Finn. (They always say "Hi Lily's Mom" to me, which I find so funny.) Last week, Jake from Lily's class even ran up and hugged me twice as I was leaving in the morning.

A little awkward as he's so short he was just hugging my upper leg, but sweet all the same...

Saturday, April 09, 2011

He walks!

Finn learns to walk!!! from Hood/Anderson on Vimeo.

Finn officially walked for the first time this morning! He was playing at the top of the stairs with the baby gate, but it swung away and he found himself standing there with nothing to grab. So he took a step towards Lily who was right there, then three more right into her arms! Then he kissed her on the cheek!

We're soooooo proud!

Friday, April 08, 2011

Six second cousins and other family gatherings

We're very lucky that our cousins are having kids at the same time as us because our siblings sure aren't...won't be...some may not at all. When Kim called me up a couple Fridays ago and asked if we were around the following Monday and Tuesday, of course we were. (Ah, the joys of not being at work.) She had spring break from school and thought it'd be good to get away for a couple days, so she and her friend brought their kids to Regina for a little vacation.

We had supper at our house the first night. Invited Heather, Colin, Keira and Zander as Kim and Heather haven't seen each other in probably ten years. Having that many kids running around was both hilarious and crazy all at the same time. Oh, and adorable. Too adorable.

Anyway, the second day Kim and her crew came for lunch, Isabella and I picked Lily up from school and later on in the afternoon, we hit their hotel for waterslides and pizza (of which I have no photos of as my battery died at that exact moment). It was great fun, though Lily came close to drowning a couple times...

The following Saturday, Heather had us over for lunch and for a little visit with Warren and Jean who were in town for the weekend.

Then that afternoon, Auntie Norma and Nana came over to visit. She and Finn played garbage can, his fave activity these days.

Always fun when people come to visit!