Finn is truly a special boy and certainly very unique. It is true what they say that you can try and try to “make” your children what you think you want, but ultimately they will be their own person. This is a very candid and personal photo of our favorite little guy. This is him. The real deal. He loves grandma’s tank tops and shirts and tonight he found a bunch of jewelry and 2 large weeds that Dada had pulled out of the front yard that he had one in each hand (not pictured) and was waving them around, while covered in stickers, saying he was a “Volcano Boy”. I don’t know where he gets this stuff. I don’t know why he prefers our shirts to his. But I seriously just adore him just like he is. His individuality suits him just fine. He’s perfect!
Finn continues to be a little book worm. We read books before every nap and before bed every night. He still has old favorites like Brown Bear Brown Bear, The Lorax, Mouse Mess, and Ned’s Rainbow, but we’ve added a lot more. And now that we have started going to the library every week, we are finding more favorites that we want to add to our home collection. We’ve checked out a couple multiple times and are thinking about just buying them. We love reading to Finn. I love when he follows along and really studies the pictures. We ask him questions all the time about what’s happening in the story, what’s going to happen, who the characters are, where it takes place… sometimes he answers and sometimes he doesn’t. We’re okay with that. Mostly he just loves the pictures and he loves being read to. And I love sharing his favorite books here and looking back on them!
There are those moments where I feel like a total stand-in in my life, like I’m just playing a part. I have this a lot of times when I’m doing “mom things”. For some reason, I still view myself as the 22 year old who doesn’t have kids and so when I find myself doing these “mom things” I can’t help but think to myself, “Who are you fooling?” Half the time I feel like people look at my like I am Finn’s babysitter, not his mama. I don’t know why I feel like this. Sometimes I have to play back memories and remind myself, “Holy shit, you are a mom.” Sometimes the tune is more like, “You are that mom” when I am doing something I said I would never do or never let my kid do. Don’t get me wrong, I love being a mom. In fact, I love it more and more all the time, but it still feels unreal. It’s flown by so fast that sometimes I don’t have time to come to terms with not only whatever next stage my son is in, but with what stage I am in.
Today I felt like a legit mom. Like I was meant to be in this role and this day was mine. Ours. It was Finn and I’s day. And it was a great feeling. I went to school in the morning (was 4 minutes late and my professor wouldn’t let me take the quiz… which was a bummer but I got over it fast) and then rushed over to the rec center where my son takes a music class on Thursdays so that I could be there for the last 20 minutes of it. It’s a parent-tot class. I snuck a few pictures of him singing in Grandma’s lap and throwing scarves in the air before I went in and switched places with my mom. He was so glad to see me and gave me the biggest hug. He sat on my lap and we sang songs for the next 15 minutes until his class ended. I hate that I can’t be there for his preschool class Monday through Wednesday, but I am grateful that I get to at least make it to the end of his music class on Thursdays.
After class we played on the playground for a few minutes. He loves parks and playgrounds. And there’s one right outside the rec center, of course, which means that he doesn’t want to go to music class, and he can’t wait to get out, all because of that dang distraction going in! I usually have a hard time getting him to leave the playground; we leave kicking and screaming with him in my arms 1 out of 3 times. But today, I told him we were going to the “chefraunt” (his word for restaurant which I don’t correct because it’s adorable) for lunch. He happily walked to the car with me, thankfully, giving my back a break.
We went to this cute little taco place in our small downtown with some friends (old co-workers) of mine. Finn was awesome. He was perfect. Not a complaint out of him. He sat there the whole time happily eating his fruit, the orange slices that us girls gave him out of our tea, and coloring on the recycled kids menu (from the last kid which meant NO tic-tac-toe was happening), and of course didn’t eat a bite of his cheese crisp. He wanted to hold my hand the whole time and of course my friend reminded me to cherish this moment. He got his first (temporary) tattoo and was so proud of it. Both my friends loved him and couldn’t believe how well behaved he was. He may become a regular at our weekly lunch date!
That was a huge validation for me. That he behaves well in public and that I was recognized for it. For me, it means that I’m doing something right. My kid is really, really, awesome. He’s likable. I swear, getting a compliment on your child is huge. I spend so much time doubting and punishing myself over the littlest things when it comes to parenting, that a small compliment like, “your kid is awesome” goes such a long way. It’s also incredibly assuring that I’m not the only one who sees it. ;)
We both walked back to the car with our heads held high. So high, that I wanted to keep this momentum going. I think I have shared here before that I don’t take Finn alone to places a whole lot. I don’t think I took him alone anywhere until after he was 1. With my back and health, it just didn’t happen very often and because of that, I’m sort of stunted in that department. I get such anxiety about doing it. I think of all my mom friends as superheroes because they do it all the time – some with two kids, which is completely unfathomable to me. So, anytime I can do it, I feel accomplished.
We decided to go to the library and exchange our books (I will talk more about this later). Now, the last 2 times that we went to the library it did not end well. The first time was with Dan and the second was with my mom. Both times he had to be taken out kicking and screaming. So, I was really taking a chance with this. We got to the library and Finn got to feed the books to the return-machine which he thought was cool. We stopped at the giant dollhouse that he just loves to stare at. I was alone so I couldn’t leave him there while I went and looked at books, so after a few minutes I finally coaxed him to the children’s section where he could play with blocks and I could pick out our books. It went amazing. I got his favorite train book that he keeps wanting to check out and some favorites like Skippyjon Jones and How Do Dinosaurs _______, and many others that caught my eye. Finn happily played. We’re still trying to figure out how to get him interested in picking out his own books, but at this point, I’m just happy that he’s in a library. I packed up our books and then winced when I told him it was time to go, waiting for his reaction. Amazingly, he went. Just like that! We came up to the dollhouse again and I sort of panicked about how this would be the time I wouldn’t get him to leave. I left him to the dollhouse while I ran about 20 feet away to check out the books and when I got back I told him it was time to go and again, he went willingly. He really spoiled me today. He must have known I was alone and feeling anxiety and he wanted to help mama out.
It was overall a really wonderful day. I loved going around to all of the different places with him. I felt like a mom. A good mom. And we had a good day together and I’ll never forget it.
Finn wasn’t always a big fan of books. Or I should say, of reading books. He’s always been a fan of books, but for the first year of his life, eating them was his preferential activity. In the last 6-8 months, his love for books has just taken off. This kid has his pile of favorite books that we go through nightly and he would literally go through all of these if we’d let him but we usually limit him to 3-5 books each night. I’m perfectly fine with reading the same books over and over, too. I’ve always heard the stories of parents reading the same books and getting tired of them, but so far, that hasn’t happened. We literally read The Big Hungry Bear, How Do Dinosaurs Go to School, and Brown Bear, Brown Bear every. single. night. and I am perfectly okay with it because I love that Finn has memorized when certain parts happen and seeing his excitement. Here are Finn’s all-time and current favorites, combined:
What are some of YOUR favorite and unique children’s books?
Well I can’t believe it but Finn is now officially two (has been since March!) which means that we have officially been parents for two years. This time has really flown by and yet it’s almost stood still. We’ve now circled the sun together TWO times, but it is Finn who is the center of our universe. It is Finn who is our shining star. It is Finn who has given our lives more meaning and purpose than we could have ever thought imaginable. It is Finn who we get up for everyday and work hard for to make a better life for and want to make proud.
As I look back on the last two years and our lives with him, it’s not about the milestones he’s reached even though I’ve taken so much thought and care into documenting those. It’s about celebrating our lives together. I was really proud of every milestone he’s hit in the past two years, of course, but he’s supposed to his those milestones. And if he doesn’t, I’d imagine it would be more of a cause for worry. When he turned two, I was more proud of myself and Dan. We did it. With the help of lots of hands and hearts, we have survived this parenting thing for two whole years and managed to end up with this really great kid. I would say lucky us, but I don’t think it’s really luck. It was so much hard work and like I said, a lot of help – mostly from my mom who is pretty much Finn’s third parent. Where our luck comes in is that we’re lucky to have her. Not just that she’s there, but that’s she’s the best grandma any kid could have ended up with. Finn won the lottery in that department. But anyways, on to Finn!
Everyone says parenting is hard. I’ve definitely told quite a few people this, and I’m definitely speaking from my perspective, not Dan’s, as I don’t know if he feels exactly the same way. But it truly is. And as my mom says, “it doesn’t get harder, it just gets ‘different'”. But, for me, that’s an understatement. Finn’s birth was hard. Physically and mentally the hardest thing I’ve ever been through. I thought, man… if I can get through that, I can get through anything! Then he ended up with colic. And I thought the same thing, only worse. Colic was hard. Tenfold. For months. Then we got that under control. And we learned of all his allergies. And then he started crawling, and walking, and climbing, and just each stage that has progressed, has just got differently hard. Hardly different? Now looking back I think… colic? Psshhhh! Give me colic any day! But that’s because I’m in a totally and completely different stage in my life and I’ve been through it. Also, time heals. I’ve partially forgotten all those sleepless nights and sleep-deprived days.
We’ve made it through each stage (some are ongoing): putting things in the mouth, crawling, getting into everything, climbing on too high of places, pulling things down, climbing out of the crib, transitioning to the big boy bed, putting him back into bed several times a day/night, fighting over eating (or not eating), cranky-napless-toddler-fit-ridden-days, dragging him back onto the sidewalk from the street… and we’ve made it through them all, or are dealing with them all, at least. And we’re okay. Together. The three of us. For two whole years. So, I think we’re gonna be alright. Just the three of us. Because like I just got done explaining, parenting is hard, and I already made the perfect son. Why try to recreate perfection? ;)
Finn has taught me patience. I get told a lot that I’m a very patient mother. My patience definitely can wear thin at times, but I really try to be loving and patient to him at all times. It really takes a lot for him to push me over the edge (can’t say that same for others, unfortunately). I’m still working on being “present” at all times (damn phone). I do know that all these moments are passing by in a blur and are going to be *poof* gone in a flash and before I even know it he’s going to be working on studies that are too hard for me to help with or being tormented by some girl. I truly need to work on cherishing every moment I have with him because this size is such a short period of time in relation to the rest of his or my life. Maybe that’s why people have more than one kid – to hold on to these stages just a little bit longer.
Dan and I were briefly talking last night after a quote on a tv show came up where somebody said they never really gave much thought to having kids and they don’t really feel that there was any void missing in their life for not having them. We both understood that. If we had not had Finn, I could definitely imagine ourselves saying that (if that makes sense?). But having had Finn, boy has it changed our lives in such a different but absolutely good way and we’re glad for it. It’s so hard to explain to somebody that doesn’t have kids. I don’t think it is fair to say that it makes your lives better than somebody who doesn’t have kids (all too often I hear people with kids saying that – how could ANYBODY say that about another person’s life?), certainly not. It’s just a different kind of good. A good good. Finn is good. And my life is so insanely good with Finn in it.
At two years, Finn…
… weighs 28 pounds and is (I believe) 35 inches at the times of his two year appointment. I know both of these have changed since.
… is no longer allergic to most things! He drinks whole and 2% milk now. And was having nuts. Until he had a totally cute and caught on video overload of peanuts with his Unka Robert on our trip to Northern California last month which made his eczema go crazy and gave his stomach about 12 hours of horrible trauma. So, no peanuts for this guy, but everything else is A-OK!
… loves music. He sings along to the ABC’s, Twinkle Twinkle Little Star, Baa Baa Black Sheep, The Ants Go Marching, and will rock out to any song on the radio or on TV. He loves to dance, too. And he can get pretty emotional about music, even crying when he heard John Legend’s “All of Me” on the radio. No, seriously. And he will harmonize with anything – especially black R&B/soul singers. :)
… loves to color. And crayons. And he knows all his colors, which just sort of— happened. It’s not something that we pushed at all. We read a lot of “Brown Bear, Brown Bear” and other color books and it just stuck!
… has still never had a haircut. We’ve been talking about it for months and months and have just never gotten around to it. There are a couple long strands starting to get in his eyes though…
… is NOT interested in the potty at all. And we’re okay with that. When he’s ready, we’ll go there. Until then, size 5 diapers it is.
… has become a very picky eater much to our dismay. Sometimes it’s amazing that we get him to eat dinner at all. And those are the nights we know that he will be waking for milk at 3am.
… is saying more and more things. Most are just him repeating what we say (thankfully no f-bombs yet) or undecipherable things, but many words are intentional and with purpose. I’d say that he has a vocabulary of around 30-40 words and we are still working on 2 word sentences.
… loves Curious George and Daniel Tiger. But really likes Toy Story, Kung Fu Panda, Legos, blocks, his guitar, and his bike.
… has about 10 books or so that are his favorites. More on that later!
… is officially in the toddler bed and doing well. Nap times can be a struggle at times, but for the most part he does pretty okay! He takes one afternoon nap a day – no rhyme or reason to the time, just whenever he gets tired. Sometimes they can be real short (45 min) and sometimes they can be real long (4 hours!). And sometimes they don’t happen at all.
… being outside is his most favorite. So much that he has developed a farmer’s tan on his neck and arms. He loves riding his bike, scooter, playing with his water table, Uncle Jack’s garden, and his pool. Can’t wait for the big pool to finish warming up as we will be in it every. single. day.
… still loves nothing more than to carry around writing utensils in his hands. Crayons, pens, pencils, markers, you name it.
… is such a love and the most curious human being on the planet which we LOVE. We really try to encourage him and call out when he does things well by saying, “Good job!” (and never “Good boy” because that can be harmful to children since they are always good.) We’re doing our best. :)
This will be my last monthly update of Finn. I’ve stuck with it for 2 years and it’s run its course. I’ll check in on his important milestones periodically but now it’s time to retire these monthly suckers. I know nobody has enjoyed reading them as much as I will enjoy going back and reading them for years to come. To catch up from month one, just click on the tags below!
All of these photos were taken by the beautiful and incredibly talented, Tiffany Child Photography of Boca Raton, FL. She did such a beautiful job!
I know I need to update the kid’s actual 2 year post (!) but I wanted to drop in with a mini right now update on a few things that I never want to forget. His talking has really taken off and before he is super proficient and mastering all these words, I thought I’d write down all the wonderful, cute ways that he says them… and a few other things that warm my heart right now.
The way Finn says strawberry as “bur-bay”. And how much he loves them.
And milk as “noK” (enunciation on the “K”).
Or George as “Gorge”, as in Curious George.
Or the way he says rainbow as “bow bow” when he wants to read one of his two rainbow books that he loves so much. And yet, he still says rain any chance he gets when water splashes on him or when he turns the shower on accidentally in the bath.
Computer as “pater”.
“Conkles” are sprinkles or twinkle.
Outside is “diiie”, very dramatically when he wants to go outside.
Uncle Jack is “Jaa”, who he spends a lot of time with.
He learned to say Finnegan: “Tin-gen”.
I should post a video of that… see below!
Our dog Sadie is “Saa-ie!” with an exclamation point, every time.
Crayon is “gan”.
“Har” is for heart, which he can name when he sees one, his other favorite is a star which he’s been good at recognizing and naming for a couple months now. <3
That he knows most of his colors including black and white, except blues and greens as they confuse him (they’re too alike!). Purple and red are his favorites and most easily recognizable.
That he hums and sings along to Baa-Baa Black Sheep and Twinkle Twinkle Little Star with us or alone when it comes to him. :)
Drum is “daum” as he beats on our bongos and then claps and exclaims excitedly and waits for us to to the same.
Loves water. He grew out of saying “wa-wa” many months ago and I just love hearing him say water for most any liquid.
The way he says baby when he sees a picture of a baby, including himself! Please continue to see yourself that way, Finn… just as I do. :)
Anyways, that’s just a little snapshot of his words right now. At least the ones that I can think of and that really stick out at me that I truly want to bottle up and never forget.
***I know, 2 monthly Finn updates in a row… I promise more things are on the way, but I really try to keep these up to date for myself.
I am having a hard time thinking that in less than a month I will have been a parent for 2 years. My life has completely changed and for the absolute best, of course, but so much is different in our lives. Finn is such a spunky kid. A gymnast, for sure. We’re definitely thinking that he may benefit from some kind of gym class. He’s so BIG, too. I’m looking at him right now as I type this and I swear, I’m looking at a giant.
And so, at 23 months, Finn…
… weighs 26.6 pounds as of this past weekend. His appetite hasn’t been as healthy lately for some reason. But we did finally move him up to size 5 diapers this past week. He still fits size 4 and don’t notice any difference in the size 5 so we figured, why not? He wears size 7.5-8W in shoes – BIG feet!
… loves books. He has certainly made up for his non-interest in them (other than to eat them) in his first year. We read book after book after book. His favorites are, the Mother Goose Nursery Rhyme board book, How Do Dinosaurs Eat Their Food, How Do Dinosaurs Go to School, Curious George and the Bunny, Ned’s Rainbow, and pretty much any book that can be sung or has words that rhyme.
… is full of new words: no (a favorite), door, star, mine, why, purple… he recognizes stars in books, different toys in the shape of stars, and things that are purple. It’s really quite interesting to see the things he is picking up on sometimes.
… saw an allergist last month and the results were inconclusive, however the doctor and we feel that he may possibly be growing out of some or all of his allergies! He thinks that Finn may just have extremely sensitive skin. We still need to have bloodwork done on him (which we haven’t done yet), but we’ve actually been trying things here and there like cheese on his pizza and even, *gasp* a mini Snickers bar and he did okay!
… is now climbing out of his crib. What an acrobat! It was a sad day the day my mom went to get him out of his crib and she was greeted by him saying “door” while standing at the door. None of us were ready for him to move to a bed yet, so we took out the spring and put his mattress directly on the floor while still inside the frame of the crib and so far he has not been able to climb out! We’re hoping this buys us some more time in the crib.
… loves waffles, strawberries, and black beans. Not necessarily together, but those are his go-to’s. Oh, and ham. And CHIPS AND SALSA!
… can tell you what a cow says (“mooo” very quietly) and what a kitty says (“mow” so so sweetly).
… loves his crayons, rocks, and straws. These are his little collections of items that he will literally carry around in his hands from morning til night.
We love you, Finn. You’re the best thing that ever happened to us. And finally things are starting to turn around for us. :)
Wow (as Finn would say). My latest yet. Our last month has been so hectic and my most stressful ever that it was the first time I missed getting this out relatively close to “on time”. So, I’m determined to get this out before he turns 23 months. So, without further ado…
Finn at 22 months…
… still is hovering at around 27.5 lbs. I just went back to check and he’s gained about 5 lbs. and 5 inches this past year. We’re still rocking the 12 months infant sized shorts and pants (because that’s really all that fits him waist and leg-wise!).
… officially gave up his morning nap. :(
… still absolutely hates diaper changes.
… loves books and will go through quite a few every night before bed.
… has picked up quite the vocabulary. New words: red, nine, water, and more.
… loves being outside in Grandma and Grandpa’s backyard now that their pool fence is done! He rides his scooter and his trike around like he is the king of that porch.
… knows the difference between hot and cold and can say them.
… hates getting up at the crack of dawn to drive to Grandma’s house (even though he actually doesn’t have to anymore as I write this) and is not happy when I have to leave him to go to work but I’m told he forgets all about me very soon after I leave so I’m relieved about that. :)
… is getting SO good with his fork and spoon.
… loves to wear hats. And shoes.
… really got into the puzzles that he got for Christmas. And all his musical instruments.
Is. Amazing. And Sweet. And full of wonder. And nothing short of being the most interesting human being on the planet.
This is coming very late. With the holidays I knew it was going to go out late, but at least I’m getting it out. I can’t believe I’ve actually stuck with this. It’s the one thing I’ve actually stuck with on this entire blog and I’m so proud of it and myself because when I go back and read them all they fill me with such joy.
We’re having a bit of a reality check right now with Finn being just 3 very short months away from 2. I’m enjoying this last little bit of baby stage very much and don’t want to let go. I’m finding out that Finn sure is a different kind of kid and that’s okay. Does he listen to us all that great? No. Is he always getting into something he shouldn’t? Yes. Are we finding ourselves saying “no” more than we say “yes”? Yep. Do we love him all the same? Absolutely. We’re all working on this thing together. Some days are easier than others but all of them are wonderful. He’s the happiest little boy and we’re so lucky. We love him and that he’s ours and that we’re his. Happy 21 months to us all. :)
At 21 months Finn…
… is losing his baby fat. he’s getting longer and skinnier. Weighs 27.5 lbs. Still wears 18-24 month tops and 12-18 month bottoms. And looking more like a little boy everyday.
… still loves his fruits and vegetables.
… is perfecting his color recognition. Loves to point to a color and question us on what color it is but mostly insists that they are all red.
… loves BUBBLES in the bubble bath and usually yells it really loud about 5 or 6x during each bath.
… is VERY attached to mama. Like, don’t get in between he and I or you’re in for a wailing of a lifetime. And you may get your feelings hurt in the process.
… … has become very good at putting on and taking off his Croc shoes, or any pair of our shoes that we leave lying around and will have shoes on for the most part of any day. Which leads to quite a stink!
… is still rearfacing in his carseat. Something we are so proud of. Yay!
… loves going to the park, coloring, and music, music, music! In fact, he got a guitar, keyboard, AND boombox for Christmas.
… eats off a plate and with a spoon or fork. Most always in his highchair but every once in a while we sit with him in his booster seat at the table. That just usually means mealtime is not very long.
… is really smart. Like engineering smart. Wants to know how things work and won’t stop until he figures them out. He reminds us so much of his uncle Jack.
… gets frustrated EXTREMELY easily. Maybe that’s because he’s so smart? ;)
We usually get home around 6 or 6:30pm from picking Finn up from Grandma’s house. We make (or takeout as it seems to be recently) dinner and always sit at the table together, whether we’re eating when Finn is or not (sometimes we get something once he’s asleep because we just have no time to make anything getting home so late. Tuesdays and Thursdays Dan doesn’t usually even get to see Finn unless I happen to keep Finn up a little later because he’s in class til 6 and then takes the light-rail and won’t get home until after 8 – like tonight). It’s about 7 by this time, as we like to put him down between 7 and 8 every night, but closer to 7 since he has to wake up so early the next day. After dinner we clean Finn off and at least 3-4 times a week we will say, “Bubble bath?” and he squeals and says, “bu-bu-bu-bu-buba ba????” and runs to the stairs. Lately he’s been walking up the stairs like a big boy (not crawling) while one of us holds his hand for balance with the other on the handrail or wall. We take a bath and brush our teeth. Finn doesn’t like real long baths; after about 15 minutes he’s trying to crawl out of the tub. Then we dress him in jammies and let him run around upstairs for 5-10 minutes. We will sometimes read books together if Finn’s in a patient mood. Most of the time, we’re reading to eachother while he runs around the room trying to keep away from us. Otherwise, once it’s bedtime, we say, “Go night night, go sleeps?” and usually Dan will then feed him his last milk bottle in the glider and sing an assortment of songs that we’ve sung to him since he was born; “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star”, “Hush Little Baby”, “Rock-a-bye Baby”, “The Ants Go Marching”, and the newest we’ve added to our repertoire, the ABC’s. After we’ve sung most of those, some twice, it’s in the crib he goes. He lays on his back, we give him Froggie to squeeze, and then put a blanket over him and he usually stays like that for a while, I’m guessing until he actually starts trying to fall asleep and the tossing/turning begins. He’s usually out within 10 minutes. He’s very easy to go to bed or go down for a nap. I love that.
Anyways, that’s our bedtime routine and I just wanted to document it so I will always remember these sweet, but normal everyday moments. Time is fleeting and he’s getting bigger every day. I know our bedtime routine will change as Finn changes, but right now I love this one. :)
This is post #20 of NaBloPoMo.
National Blog Posting Month is an annual event that takes place each November where bloggers commit to writing everyday in November.