Thursday, December 20, 2012

it's in his genes

At this time of year, I think about my paternal grandparents - they were really the rock that held our side of the family together, particularly at the holidays. It makes sense that now that so many of us have started families of our own, we tend to spend Christmas closer to home, wherever that may be, but when my Grammie and Grampa were alive, you could count on the whole brood to get together in a raucus group centered around food, laughter, love, and spirit.
There are many different personalities in my family, and I won't pretend that we always get along, but I love them all and wish we could all gather like that again. I want my son to know his family, to know where he comes from. My grandparents are gone, so it is my responsibility to make sure the qualities they exemplified live on in my son - honor, respect, love, compassion, faith, trust. I can only hope that someday, I will look into Finn's eyes and see the very best of all of us.

Friday, December 14, 2012


i feel like everything has been said and yet there's still so much to say.
i'm reminded of this quote:

"Making the decision to have a child is momentous. It is to decide forever to have your heart go walking around outside your body".
-Elizabeth Stone

Every fiber of my being aches for those parents who lost their babies today, who will never, ever get over the senseless insanity.

Safety is an illusion. Every moment is precious.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

one of us

i've been a little obsessively concerned about finn's nutrition for a while now. mostly because my worst fear is a picky eater, but also because i loooove food so much and want finn to experience it in the way i do. it's such a part of me and i really want to share it with him - i love the idea of cooking together in the kitchen, taking him to get sushi for the first time, to having him introduce me to his favorite dishes or restaurants (you know, when he "grows up"). food enriches my life in a way that love and want to share.
i've had a hard time figuring out how to modify our regular menus to accommodate finn's abilities (with 8 teeth it's slightly hard to to chew, you know ;) i think i'm getting the hang of it now, though, but he's still not really eating all that well. i found myself running to the fridge in the midst of a hissy fit where forks and food is flying to grab the hummus and rice cakes on a regular basis.
finally, i came across a post somewhere suggesting a book called Child of Mine: Feeding with Love and Good Sense, by Ellyn Satter. this book is magic. it's straightforward and logical, but gives good guidelines and highlights the responsibilities of the parent (what she calls the "what" and "when" of feeding) and the child (what she calls the "whether" of feeding). it's completely transformed our eating experiences at the table and made them much more laid back and almost fun. finn is no longer the center of attention at every meal, he eats significantly more than he has been, and seems to be willing to experiment much more with what he's willing to put in his mouth.
so, phew. and thanks, ms. satter - your book has been a lifesaver!

Sunday, December 9, 2012

screen time

while we've been taking care of our little lead problem, we've been staying at a cottage that my family owns. we're very grateful to have this place to come to. even though i'm sure my dad and his wife would be happy having us stay with them for a few days, it's nice to have a two-bedroom space to ourselves where we can comfortably live for a few days while we get work done at home.

i must say, i really miss living in town. the cottage is right downtown, and it's so nice to be able to walk out the front door and be at the grocery store in two minutes.

the one thing i WON'T miss going home tomorrow, though, is the tv. we haven't had a tv since we came back to the states about two years ago, and it's been such a relief.

now, don't get me wrong. i'm not holier than though with the whole i-don't-watch-tv thing - i literally can't look away from it if it's on, even if there's NOTHING on. i've probably watched 10 hours of tv in the past three days and the only thing i can say was "worth" watching was about half an hour of harry potter (trumps anything, always) and pioneer woman's holiday special, and that's debatable (though i will definitely be trying her dutchess potato recipe!) i probably watched 6 solid episodes of "diners, drive-ins, and drives" (which i loathe) because nothing else was on.


sorry. it had to be said.

honestly, if i were at home, i'd probably be surfing from facebook to my email account to pinterest, rather than working on the multitude of christmas crafts i should be working on.

i wonder what i would accomplish if i could drag myself away from these screens every once in a while.

rhymes with "bread"


about a month ago, i got a postcard in the mail asking if i wanted a free lead test kit.
well, sure. i'm not about to look a gift horse in the mouth. i knew it was possible that our house had lead in it but we'd tested a few surfaces and felt secure that we were ok, at least in the immediate areas that we live.

oh, how wrong we were.

the test arrived and i dutifully followed all the directions (which were numerous, involved gloves, a square to tape to cordon off the test area, and plastic test tube like thingeemagigees). I tested the kitchen floor, a stair, and the windowsill in finn's bedroom.

fast forward a couple of weeks later and there's a message on the machine from a woman in the testing office who likes to call people who have high results.


my first instinct was the kitchen, but i was wrong. it was the stair. the seafoam green stairs that finn has been crawling up and down now for months came back with a level of 220 (in comparison, a "moderate" level would be 50). the suggested course of action was to paint the hell out of the stairs and get a runner.

so, this weekend, when we were supposed to get our tree, we're staying at a cottage in town owned by my family while we wait for the three coats of paint to dry on the stairs (oh, AND the built in bookshelf that ALL of finn's toys have been sitting on for the past several months? same color, probably same rating. suuuuuuuuuuper - so that's getting a wicked paint job, too).

we've got an appointment for finn to have his blood tested, but not until the beginning of january. will let you know when i know.

gotta love life's little surprises, huh?

Saturday, December 8, 2012


ok, so we just got this AWESOME news, and i just have to share...

right now, we have health insurance that we pay a very significant amount of money per month for. it's decent coverage, but we have an extremely high deductible, it doesn't cover maternity/delivery, and would increase in price per month when baby #2 arrives, becoming an even more significant amount.

this was stressing me out. maternity coverage was going to cost way more per month until delivery, and i didn't know if we could afford it.

i've looked into alternatives over the past year, hoping that there would be something of decent quality that we could reasonably afford, but i was unsuccessful and had come to the conclusion that we would be paying big bucks - somehow - to have this baby.

then, i had a conversation with a friend, who had just signed up for dirigo choice - self employment insurance provided to maine residents. she said she was getting an extremely reasonable rate for her insurance, and she had a deductible that was less than 1/5 of ours.

long story short, i applied for the same insurance and we found out two days ago that we qualify and that it will kick in on january 1st. it's a family plan, meaning our rates won't go up after the babe is born AND it covers maternity. PLUS we pay less per month. win, win, win!

man, it's tricky being an adult sometimes, but things work out every once in a while.

HUGE sigh of relief!

Thursday, December 6, 2012


This totally just happened.

Evidently, all I need to do is finally reach the end of my parental rope and freak out that Finn is deficient in some way and he'll pull a rabbit out of his hat.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012


So were you surprised by my little annoucement at the end of the last post?
Yeah, so was I. Surprised, I mean.

Let's rewind several weeks. I'm lying on an exam table, feet in stirrups, making casual conversation with my health care provider when she says, "Oh, oh no!".

Not exactly the sentiment you want exclaimed in proximity to your nether regions, I can assure you.

The exclamation, I came to find out, was caused by the fact that my IUD, which was inserted about a year ago, was pretty much falling out of my cervix and therefore ineffective.


I had gone in with the intention of having the IUD removed anyway, so it wasn't the end of the world by any means, but I certainly wouldn't have - er - imbibed quite as much as I did at the wedding I went to back home a few weeks previous had I been trying to get a bun in the oven.

I waited a week to see if Aunt Flo was going to make an appearance. When it didn't look likely, I asked my sister to import me a test from the mainland (didn't need anyone on island talking any sooner than they needed to be). Sure enough, before I even finished peeing, there it was, the + sign. Woah.

If I'd waited another week or so, it would have been undeniable as the morning sickness has really kicked in now...for some strange reason, Thousand Island Dressing makes most things more palatable, but I basically feel like tossing my cookies at any given moment. Though I guess I should be grateful that I'm not Kate Middleton, poor thing. Look on the bright side is what I say. Of course, my husband has been a ROCK STAR, taking care of Finn, walking the dog, making dinner, doing dishes (and a partridge in a pear tree). ROCK STAR, I say.

Oh, and the funny part? If we've calculated correctly, we conceived this little bugger on Halloween. Two years ago, I got pregnant with Finn on either October 30 or November 1. Finn's due date was July 23rd. If we're right, this one will be due on July 24th. (Insert the Twilight Zone theme song here).  Of course, we won't know any of the answers to those questions for sure until I get in to see the midwives - but that's another blog post. For now, suffice it to say, Finn's going to be a big brother. We're going to have TWO KIDS. We're thrilled.

Terrified, but thrilled.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012


I posted these photos on this blog post weeks ago when I purged my camera of all the new, cute photos of Finn. 
So this isn't exactly the most timely of posts. Nor does it really have anything to do with these photographs. 
But, boy, he's cute, isn't he?
Well, I guess this would sort of be relevant - here Finn is pulling himself to stand while throwing the ball for Nugget. This boy has himself an arm. Look out major leagues!

But I back to the standing. He's pulling himself up on everything he can get his grubby little paws on, walking with his walker, holding on to one finger and walking around with me...but not on his own. 

I know, I know!
Sarah, remember three months ago when we went through this with the crawling? Remember when you were all crazy about the fact that he wasn't getting his act in gear then? Right, so he's on his own schedule, he's doing things his own way. He's...
But do you know how many babies are walking by 17 months?
Do you know when the "cut-off" is for babies learning to walk?
18 months.
We're kind of on a tight time line here...cutting it down to the very last second. Gonna be a procrastinator like your Mama, eh?

Oh, and also? I'm pregnant.