Wednesday, September 26, 2012

At 5

This is Finnan at 5.  Sure, he can be loud and wild, but mostly he is deliberate and focused.  Doing things correctly is very important to him.  Sometimes, too important.  He wants to draw the perfect 's,' hit all home runs, and hammer through wood just like Daddy.  I have loved watching this little boy grow over the last year.  A very happy (belated) birthday to my buddy.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Rory is 9 months

Rory had his 9-month check up at the doctor today.  As soon as the nurse saw his eyes, she whisked him up to show him off around the office.  His brief stint of separation anxiety last month is definitely over and he was happy to flash smiles around the office.  A few thought he should be a Gerber baby, but then they decided he wasn’t quite chubby enough.  The doctor came to the same conclusion in his visit.  At 16lbs 3oz, Rory has fallen below 0% on the standard US weight chart and came in at 3rd percentile on the WHO weight chart for breastfed babies.  Apparently, babies are determined underweight when in the 2nd percentile on that chart, so we dodged that label for now.  He measured 28 inches, which was in the 30th percentile.  His head circumference, however, was in the 90th percentile.  These number seem like the would make a strange combination, but Rory is pretty stinking cute.

I imagine one of the main reasons Rory is so tiny is that the child does not stop moving.  The first adjective that comes to mind when I think of him is “active.” He is a fast crawler, will climb the stairs again and again, pulls up, and is starting to cruise.  If he is held captive in his high chair or in your arms, his arms and legs will wave and kick until he is freed.  After the doctor’s visit today we went to the toy park.  In our 2 hours at the park, he learned how to walk with a push toy and clap his hands.  He also spent a good deal of time trying to figure out how to climb up the slide. 

I know I keep saying this month after month, but Rory’s other dominating personality trait is that he is happy.  Rory loves to laugh and continues to find joy throughout each day.  He still loves being in the playroom with his brothers, but his new favorite place is in the cloth tunnel in the boys’ room.  Rory loves surprising us with which side he will come out and loves playing with Jude in the tunnel.  The two of them will laugh and laugh while hidden away in the tunnel.   

Rory is eating three times a day and he is getting a mixture of pureed food and finger foods.  His favorite finger foods seem to be pizza crust and blueberries.  He also loves guacamole and has even tolerated it with jalapeno peppers (although there were some tears then as well). Rory has one tooth that is about a quarter of the way out.  Rory is still nursing about 5-6 times a day as well…including a nursing session in the middle of the night.  I am doing my best to put an end to this now.  I will not miss  waking at 3 every morning, but I will miss the way he relaxes during those times.  

Rory's first train ride 


And Rory walking with the push toy!



Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Labor Day Race

My children love to run.  As soon as I recovered from giving birth to Rory, Finnan and I started taking short jogs around the neighborhood.  We never turned these jogs into a routine, but they often helped him when he was feeling out of sorts.  One remedy for any tantrums last spring was to ask him, "Do you want to go for a run?"  The answer was always yes and he always felt better.  

This summer, the benefits of running extended to Jude.  In the late afternoons, when my energy level was low and the boys were bouncing around the house (or into each other), we started going outside for "World Championship Races" (their terminology).  Rory and I would wait at the bottom of the hill and the boys would line up at our house.  And they would race.  Again and again.  One day, I got a video of the race with an interview at the end.


With their enthusiasm for running and my dream to become enthusiastic about running, I signed us up for the Avondale Estates 1-mile fun run.  Finnan had been planning on running ever since I first brought it up to him.  One day when my mom asked us what we were doing for Labor Day, he told her that we were running a race.  (This was before I actually bit the bullet and signed up!)  When Jude heard that Finnan and I were doing the race, he wanted to sign up too.  I was hesitant, but did not want to underestimate him, so all three of us raced.

Finnan was very serious pre-race.  He couldn't stop asking me when it was time to line up and race.  Jude was being Jude...unfazed and goofy.  When the race did finally start, I was surprised how it played out.  Jude set off and ran pretty fast considering his little legs.  However, Finnan was set on a deliberate jog.  I tried to keep them both close and hung out between them.  During one big hill we stopped to walk and then continued on running the rest of the time.  Before the race, we warned them that it would be a long race and that they should not go too fast.  Finnan took that advice very seriously and was careful not to wear himself out.  Jude ended the race, sweaty, tired and excited.  Finnan was still pretty serious at the end.  He said he had fun and has asked me several times when we are going to do another race, but I don't think I ever saw him crack a smile.  Next time I will make sure he knows he can race a little more.

The Avondale race was the perfect event for them.  There were tons of kids.  It started and ended at an awesome park and we ran through neighborhood streets.  It was also pretty successful for me.  After the mile, I felt energized (something that I haven't felt after running for a while).  I can't say that I have started running regularly, but since then, I have gone once a week and have been enjoying it.  And, I swear that I will do a 5K this fall....and when I do, I will be sure to remember to take my time like the little boy who could exercise all day and picture the sweet gait and ending smile of the little boy I wasn't sure could run a whole mile.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

A trip to the mountains

I used to love hot weather.  Pregnancy seems to have permanently changed the shape of left foot and made me less tolerant of the heat.  Add in the mosquitos and I was not loving being outside this August.    When I started fantasizing about a trip to Maine, I decided we were overdue for a trip to the Georgia mountains.  This past weekend, we rented a house on Mountaintown Creek in Ellijay.  We went hiking, fishing, tubing, and apple picking. We built fires and played a lot of baseball in woods.   All of these activities were preschooler-sized, but because of that we were able to enjoy all of it.

We were a little surprised that the kids did not take to hiking initially, Finnan especially.  He always seemed ready to be done and moving on to the next activity, asking, "Are we done yet?" or "What are we doing next?"  After our first brief hike with those questions, we created little games for the hikes.  For one hike we created a small scavenger hunt and another we played the alphabet game during the hike.  The pictures are from a pit-stop on a hike in a park around Lake Carter.

Fishing did not present the same problem.  The boys hunted for worms and then caught (and released) several small fish from the sitting dock in front of the house.  The house also provided tubes, so the boys floated in the creek in front of the house.  Atticus stood in place and pushed the upstream and they floated back.

However, the biggest hit of the trip for Finnan and Jude were the fires.  One night we made s'mores on the fire and the next we roasted hot dogs and attempted a peach cobbler in a cast iron dutch oven.  Our fire pit has already been rescued from the shed and is now collecting firewood on the patio.  We are ready for a fall full of s'mores.  

We ended our trip with apple picking.  We were only about 15 minutes from our usual spot, B.J. Reece Apple House and had a great time as usual.  This year, we only brought two small bags out to pick and then sat in the shade of an apple tree and hung out and rested.  

 As you can probably tell by the apple picking pictures, we ended our trip very relaxed.  We also ended our trip with our 7-year anniversary.  We can't believe how lucky we are.  

Great Grandparents

Last month, my grandparents visited from Arizona.  Finnan and Jude are still talking about Grandma and Grandpa, wondering when we are going to visit their house (even though it is even farther than the River Farm).  They enjoyed many board games and books.  Grandma and Grandpa taught the boys how to jump rope and play the card game "War."  And, after a stack of books, it was time for a nap...a three hour nap...on the sofa.