Monday, April 27, 2009


It is amazing that "da-da" has not become a bad word to Finnan.  With all of the construction around the house we have been continually telling Finnan, "No touch, that's Da-da's."  So, now, whenever Finnan sees something he knows he is not suppose to touch, he points at it and says "da-da-da-da-da."  Oh, more accurately, when we catch him holding or touching one of these forbidden items, he explains the infraction by acknowledging, "da-da-da-da-da."  Oh, I have the hammer (that has already left a permanent scar on my eyebrow)?  "Da-da-da-da-da."  The drill, computer, printer, fire grate, all are included in these category.  In the above picture, he is actually standing on a "da-da-da-da" (he has a few more manageable sized shovels) and is trying to enlist help to push the "da-da-da-da."

Luckily for me, the baking soda that gets sprinkled on the kitchen floor, or in the toilet (depending on how long he has been quiet) has not become a "ma-ma-ma-ma-ma."  

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

36 weeks

36 weeks...whew!  That's probably enough said.  This pregnancy has flown by.  It really took me off guard at the doctor's today when she said they would begin checking for dilation next week.  For those of you who have seen me or my house over the past couple of weeks, you'll know that we have been far from ready for the arrival of our new little cowboy.  But, as of Friday, I think we will be set.  We found all of our baby clothes and gear in the attic this weekend, got a new car seat base today (Finnan's had been damaged through air travel), a couch is being delivered tomorrow, and on Friday a friend is delivering her co-sleeper for me to borrow.  So, a safe ride home, a place to sit when we arrive, a bed to sleep in, and lots of cuddling in between, what more could a baby ask for?  Oh...I guess I better get some diapers as well!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Hard at work, hard at play

Currently, Finnan's two favorite activities are "playing" in the pile of sand that was once used to make concrete and "riding" his tricycle.  I think by the pictures you'll understand why I had to put both of those verbs in quotations.  The sand pile is very serious business for Finnan.  Sand needs to be loaded on dump trucks, brought to various pots in the yard, and inspected for worms, pine cones and other impurities.  Sometimes, it needs to be transported onto the dog's head or my shoe- these get a giggle out of Finnan, but otherwise, he works very diligently.  He works on his sand pile at least an hour a day, which makes this pregnant woman smile as I get to sit on the stairs or in the office and watch.

Luckily though, Finnan does have an outlet for all of his hard work.  He loves his tricycle.  He can't quite reach the pedals yet, so he straddles the tricycle and walks/runs with it through the yard.  He has become quite skilled with maneuvering the tricycle through obstacles.  It has become the tell-tale sign for a nap when he starts getting fussy while on his wheels.   

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

First Easter Egg Hunt

Finnan participated in his first Easter egg hunt this past weekend.  It was surprising to me that he seemed to understand the concept.  This Easter egg hunt is a Schuster tradition were all of the cousins under the age of 18 hunt for dyed hard-boiled eggs (there are 400-600 hidden, depending on the source).  Finnan was in the under-5 division (along with cousins Eric, Mary Pat, Rory, and Michael), which was given a 60-second head start on the rest of the cousins.  He found 6 eggs and won a dollar!  He might have done better, but caught sight of the dock and informed me, via sign language, that he wanted to "drive the boat more."  So, the egg hunt ended for Finnan with Paw Paw taking him for a kayak ride.   Apparently he hasn't yet developed his father's competitive drive.  

A week at the Eastern Shore

Atticus' Uncle Dan has an amazingly beautiful property on the Eastern Shore of Maryland.  Over the years we have been lucky enough to be able to enjoy it many times.  However, I think Finnan is going to enjoy spending time at the property even more than Atticus and I.  Not only are there acres and acres to run around, there is a beach, a fishing dock, boats, tractors, chickens, and, usually, tons of Atticus' cousins to play with.  I think any one of those things would make it a favorite spot for Finnan, but this place has it all.  

Thank you so much Uncle Dan, Honey (Pat) and Paw-Paw (Byron) for the great weekend!


Finnan's vocabulary stopped growing once he realized how fun 'uh-oh' is to say and under how many circumstances it can be used.  "Uh-oh" (I lost my shoe).  "Uh-oh" (I dumped the baking soda on the floor).  "Uh-oh" (The priest said 'Jesus died' in Easter Sunday mass).  "Uh-oh" (I learned how to get out of my pack-n-play).  To which Atticus and I echoed a simultaneous and emphatic "UH-OH"!  

We spent the last week on the Eastern Shore in Maryland, where Finnan shared a room with us and stayed in the pack-n-play.  Our first day there we all went down for a nap at the same time and a few minutes after Atticus put Finnan in the pack-n-play, I felt a little tug at my arm and had a very proud, smiling toddler looking up at me.  The rest of the week we had to sit by the pack-n-play whenever we put him down for a nap, although at night he didn't seem to have any desire to escape.  Luckily, he hasn't yet attempted to get out of the crib at home yet, I think it is a little higher, but now that he has the technique down, I am afraid it is only a matter of time, and I think we are going to try to transition him the a twin bed.  Good news is that now we have somewhere for the baby to sleep!

The picture above is actually of Finnan helping put his crib pack together in his new room two days before he learned to climb out.  He also helped take it apart- and successfully unscrewed some of the screws by this really a skill we should be teaching him?  Probably not... 

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Pregnant woman on Bourbon Street!

We saw teenagers, twenty-somethings, thirty-somethings, forty-somethings, and so on.  We saw older women with cardigans tied around their necks.  We even saw a babies in strollers after nightfall on Bourbon St.  But, I was the only pregnant woman that I saw wandering through Bourbon St. last weekend.  Now, to be fair, I did wimp out fairly early, so I may have missed some.  I had a great excuse though, my roommate for all 4 years in college, Linda, is getting married this May!  So Emily, Jackie and I helped her celebrate her last days of bachlorettehood in the French Quarter.

Our weekend was a cycle of eating and walking to try to make room for the next meal.  We hit Cafe du Monde, a crayfish boil, Commander's Palace, and Tujague's.  We had great food everywhere, but I had the best pancakes I have ever had at Commander's Palace.   One would think when going to a place like that one shouldn't order pancakes, but I really can't recommend them highly enough as they were perfectly infused with syrup and embedded with strawberries...yum!  And since being pregnant with Finnan, I have become quite the pancake expert.  In each of my pregnancies I have probably gone through about a box of Bisquick every week.  

The weekend was far to short.  It was great to see all of you and I miss you already!

Dancing hamburgers downtown

Life has been a little hectic recently.  We arrived back from New Orleans (will post later) to find our floors still 2 coats of polyurethane away from being finished.  So given the option between staying at a friends house, in one of Atticus' empty rental houses or a hotel, I quickly got online and booked a room at the Embassy Suites at Centennial Park.  Hey, we have more hotel points than we will be able use, so why not take a mini-vacation?

Despite the dreary weather, Finnan and I had a great time downtown.  Centennial Park has two great playgrounds, tons of running space, mulch to move from one area to another, and, of course, the olympic ring fountain.  We spent a lot of time enjoying the park.  Even in 50 degree weather, Finnan loved the fountain...and I am a sucker for him, so let him play in the water for a while before running him back to the hotel for a towel.  I doubt it helped his cold, but if you heard him laughing, there is no way you wouldn't let him run through the water as well.  Finnan and I also made a trip to the aquarium.  This time he loved the tropical fish section and spent 20 minutes in awe over the jellyfish tank.  Just picture little Finnan on his knees with his hands and face up against the bright blue tank with vibrant orange jellyfish.  Of course, when we got to the whale shark tank, which is the most impressive tank, he was more interested in the lights coming out of the stairs.  To his credit, the aquarium was more crowded than I have ever seen it and there was no more room right up against the tank.  

We also enjoyed a couple of lunch dates and then would meet Atticus for dinner.  I remember always wanting to go to Johnny Rockets as a kid, so we took Finnan there one night.  (It was also after 8 by the time we got to dinner, so figured a milkshake would be about the only thing that would keep him together).  Finnan enjoyed having his very own milkshake and hamburger, which he thought would be more fun to have dance around his plate than was pretty amusing...once again its hard to teach him not to play with his food when he is having so much fun (and we are cracking up)!

I never think of going downtown with Finnan, but I will definitely try to make it more of a habit from now on and would definitely recommend it to any other Atlantans.  It was nice to get home though and our floors were worth the wait!  Our house is very close to done, just some more painting and a little bit of carpentry.  Now we need to furnish the extra space, so if any of you have any suggestions for where to find reasonably priced sofas, please let me know- we have been striking out.

Sorry, I also took a mini-vacation from lugging my camera around, so don't have any pictures to post...