Monday, April 30, 2012

full circle.

before finn was born, my dad wrote the following article for our little weekly island publication, "the wind"...

The Observer
I’m practicing to be a grandfather.  My grandchild and her parents are going to be living right next door for the next year so it’s necessary that I be prepared to be grand-fatherly all the time, not just now and then when we or they, like, come to visit. Forgive me if now and then I use ‘like’ as a conjunctive adverb.  I figure if I’m going to be the grandfather of a 21st century child I should become, like, more contemporary.  My relationship with my grandchild will not be occasional.  They will be living only a short distance from our house.  It’s nine feet, ten inches, give or take a fraction, to their bathroom window, which is where I expect to take delivery of the child most often.  That makes sense because it will quickly become apparent to my daughter and her husband that handing the child through the win-dow means I won’t come in at the door and then linger, offering par-enting suggestions.   I might, after taking the baby in my arms, opt, weather permitting, to hover out-side the window and offer the same sage counsel but whichever of them has given me the child has only to offer an excuse and shut the window, much easier than trying to push me out the door.   If he is fussy I will walk her (I’m exper-imenting with pronouns) around the first floor of our house (seven-ty eight steps) singing Up a Lazy River and You Made Me Love You quietly in his ear just like I did with my daughter.  I’ve been practicing with the cat who (or is it that?) prefers Lazy River.   If she’s not being fussy though, I will play with him on a rug I’ve installed for that purpose in my office.  I’ve some toys, a doll house and a tool-box and am ready.        Phil Crossman

....and today, we took this photo.

all is right with the world.

Friday, April 27, 2012

{this moment}

cheating - there are 4 photos, but a single moment, and certainly one I want to pause, savor, and remember...

{this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

another meeting of the minds

last week, finn had another meeting with the class of 2029. you may remember the first meeting, when finn was only 9 days old. there have been two other meetings since then, but it was another experience all together this time. with two kiddos walking, one crawling, and two working on all of the above, this five-some was a sight to behold.

i'm so very grateful to be a part of this group of mamas who are doing such an incredible job with their kiddos. they're all so completely awesome in their own little ways and i can already see the ways they're learning from us and from one another.
we decided to have a picnic at lane's island, a nature preserve on the island that is covered with walking trails and has a beautiful view of the ocean. i'm sure we were quite a sight to behold - five moms, five kiddos, one dog, and a huge variety of food. the sun was shining, the birds were chirping, and we got to watch some forever friends being made.

what could be better?

well...margaritas, obviously.
we'll rectify that next time :)

Monday, April 23, 2012


Since I've become a mama, I've definitely become a bit more sentimental in the most unexpected ways.
I didn't have an inkling of remorse when I dropped Finn off at daycare for the first time. I wasn't sad about giving him solid food instead of being exclusively breastfed. I hand him over at almost every available opportunity to anyone who wants to hold him.
So WHY oh why do I get weepy about this first tooth?
This weekend, we were settling in to some pre-nap quiet time, and Finn was getting distracted from the task at hand (falling asleep), so we were playing in his room and he came in to bite my nose. This is a bit of a phase he went through, and he doesn't do it so often anymore, so I obliged and popped my nose in his mouth.
We had seen the beginnings of this tooth for a few days, but thought there would be a heck of a lot of trauma and carrying-on when it was actually about to pop through.
Apparently not. This kid just keeps surprising me.
So here are these little ridges, the top of a tooth poking through in his mouth. No big deal, right? I mean, lots of kids have teeth way before 9 and a half months. So WHY did I get all misty?
I think it's actually a commercial's fault. We don't even have a TV, but watch shows occasionally on Hulu, and there's this one commercial (I'm not even sure what it's for) that talks about there only being so many toothless smiles.
And that got to me...those toothless smiles are almost over.
I find myself wondering if I've basked enough in this baby stage - if I could have spent more time with him - REALLY with him, you know? Not worrying about doing something else or wishing I could go take a nap. But I guess this is the balancing act I'm going to be performing from here on out. My priorities have changed so drastically within the last year - it's kind of like whiplash.
I do look forward to the future - to when Finn can tell us what he's thinking, to when he can run around outside and entertain himself. If I'm honest, I look forward to that every day. But I am starting to understand the "it goes by so fast" message and trying to be present for him now, to remember the details of these days because - as is evidenced by the incoming tooth, things change...and they'll never be quite like this again.
I am very fortunate to spend my days with this boy, with this friendly disposition, babbling "da-da- da" in his sweet voice... even if the "toothless smile" phase is coming to an end.

Friday, April 20, 2012

{this moment}

{this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.

makin' strange vs social butterfly

have you ever heard of this saying? becoming a parent, i feel like i've entered this society that has it's own vocabulary, and i'm not sure if it's a maine thing or if this is something that everyone knows about.

assuming i'm not the ONLY person who doesn't know, "makin' strange" refers to the way some kids shy away from strangers and are very clingy to one or both parents (to the best of my knowledge - please correct me if i'm mistaken!).  basically, i love this turn of phrase and use it at every possible juncture. usually in the negative, because luckily, this is not a phenomenon that we're familiar with around here.
oh, no - quite the opposite. 

i bring this kid to day care and he cries when i pick him up. after all that attention, and all that stimulation, i'm SUPER boring.  so to stop his fussing, we go on a walk downstreet and stop in and visit the postmistress, get a few new books at the library, say hello to the ladies at the bank, pick up a few things at the grocery, and visit friends. he smiles, laughs, and is super charming. he gets passed from person to person, babbling, blowing raspberries, making his very cutest noises. we walk home, and as soon as we walk into the house, he's a basket case again.

what. the. heck. child.

we went to a benefit dinner last night for a local family, and finn spent the majority of the dinner sitting in another woman's lap charming the pants off a bunch of people at our table and others, many of whom he has either never met. this kid, who is very touch and go about what he'll eat, was shoveling food in with nary a protest (until he started blowing raspberries with a full mouth).

then we get home, and he's freaking delightful. we completely avoided his cranky hour and passed meltdown o'clock. it's half an hour past his bedtime, and he is having a blast in his bath, is completely agreeable when he's taken out (not usually the case, to say the least), and went off to bed without a hitch.

we are now accepting dinner invitations during the 6:00 hour for the forseeable future.

Friday, April 13, 2012

{this moment}

We've been through a lot over the last week or so - update coming the meantime, I bring you Finn.

{this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Friday, April 6, 2012

{this moment}

{this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012


I want to bring Finn (and any siblings who come along) up with a clearly defined sense of belonging in the world, and what it means to be a part of our family. I want them to have expectations and to have those expectations met, to create a sense of security and a solid foundation.

It is in this frame of mind that I think of beginning traditions in our little family unit. It's so funny - I feel like traditions are things that have just sort of happened in my life - and to an extent, I think that's true. But I also like to think that at some point along the line, some thought was put into how and why we do what we do - from the mundane everyday to international holidays.

In the class I've been taking, the module this week was about the family table - particularly the act of coming together around a table at the end of the day and making it important - showing gratitude for the food, slowing down, checking in, and enjoying time spent together. Now, I'm not naive enough to think that this will always happen, but I would like for it to be a cornerstone - something to which we can return and feel rejuvenated by the simple act of sitting around a table and sharing a meal.

I've got all sorts of ideas for birthdays - from filling bedrooms with balloons when the wee one wakes up in the morning to mad scavenger hunts all over the island as they grow, but I do want some thing to stay the same every year - soon I'll begin working on a bunting like this, to be displayed at every birthday. I'd also like to make felt crowns for the special girl or boy to wear on the day. My aunt and uncle have a great tradition of letting the celebrant choose a special meal, which I just love the idea of (I can get behind pretty much anything involving food). An annual interview, footprinting each year, maybe a photograph in the same place - the list goes on and on...I may have to rein myself in a bit :)

The traditions that I'm thinking the most about are the ones that teach a lesson, that instill values that I hope my kids will take with them - like what to do at Christmas, when the general rule is "more is better" and the message we all receive is "shop til you drop". I'd really like to be mindful this year as we begin this parenting journey to slow down, to acknowledge what I believe are the messages of the holiday season - gratitude, joy, and maybe a little magic. I've been toying with the idea of celebrating the Winter Solstice, the shortest day of the year. I've found a few good ideas here and there and am trying to figure out what makes sense for us.

This is tricky business - to not overdo it, not push it or make it seem false, but to come up with some general guidelines and see where they take us, and above all to make it our own.

I'm excited to see where it takes us, and would love to hear any ideas or guidance you may have out there!

 Oh, and here's a super cute photo of Finn - 9 months old!!!  :)

Monday, April 2, 2012


this week, finn...
::developed a bit of a tremolo as a part of his whine, resulting in what sounds like a bleating sheep, which is ever so very entertaining.
:: rolled off the ottoman for the first time. for the last 8 & 1/2 months, we've placed finn on the ottoman to change him out of his bunting and this morning, in the midst of epic breakfast preparations, ::he finally took a digger off of it. I guess it's time to lower the mattress in his crib.
:: has learned to clap (and maybe wave?).
:: discovered how to fill up and empty a cup in his bath, and that if it floats off to the foot of his tub, he can kick with his feet, and it will float back to him.

and oh yeah, i almost forgot...

(insert happy dance here)
he went down at 7:00 - his normal bedtime - and i headed up around 9. the next thing i knew, it was after 6am and i had just had 9 hours of uninterrupted sleep and WOKEN UP ON MY OWN for the first time since last summer.

the question now is:
why am i still yawning?