Tuesday, July 31, 2012

The Fruits of our Labor

Yesterday (July 30, 2012) was our 7th wedding anniversary.  Seven years of marriage and what do we have to show for it . . . only the sweetest little blokes a mom could ask for.  I don't get mushy on this blog very often, but I am so thankful for my marriage, for my boys and for Michael.  He is a wonderful father, a very patient husband and he single handedly takes care of my "load dropping" cat.  Anyone who knows Michael knows that he works very hard at his job and is punctual as they come - clearly this last sentence is a joke:) 

To celebrate on our actual anniversary Michael and I met for lunch downtown at Amerigos.  It was closing in on 2:00 when we got there so the place was practically empty.  We had a groupon gift card so we went all out - meaning, I ordered the catch of the day and an appetizer.

When we got home Michael and Finn started emptying the kiddie pool.  After a three hundred dollar water bill two years ago, we do not waste water.  Michael uses the water from the pool to water the plants and trees.  Finn believes this to be great fun.  I gave him a little bucket and he spent the evening filling his little bucket and dumping it out onto the plants.  He was completely soaked. 

Later Sam and I came out to watch.  I let Sam sit on the grass for the first time.  He was a little disturbed by the feel of the grass.  He would get real tense and furrow his brow and try to lift his legs.

I call this one " adjusting to the grass."

As with everything he adjusted quickly and started feeling it with his fingers. He looked so cute sitting there that I had to run in and get my camera.

Next Michael and Finn went to SteinMart to exchange a shirt.  Finn came back with a milkshake and a dinosaur puzzle.  The deal was that if Finn stayed in his bed all night he could play with the puzzle when he woke up.  Finn regularly gets up a couple of time every night just to be walked straight back to his bed.  I am happy to report that the puzzle worked.  He only woke up once and that was to go to the bathroom.

In other news about Finn: Finn has developed a bit of a stutter.  It showed up out of the blue a few weeks ago but it has really gotten bad this week. We are not overly concerned, but we are keeping tabs on it.  Now when he gets really tied up we tell him to take a deep breath, think about what he wants to say and then say it.   It is still pretty early, but it appears to be helping.  Thank you Gran for the advise.  Today when I picked Finn up from JTs he was pretty excited to tell me about his day and started stuttering.  He stopped himself and said "deep breath."  He took a deep breath and then started back up.  He did the same thing before bed.  It is neat that he can catch himself so quickly.

I get so tickled when we leave JTs in the afternoon.  JT will sit on the front porch and watch Finn leave.  Finn will wave and yell out the window "bye JT - see you tomorrow."  JT will yell back accordingly.  It is so cute to hear two friends yell at each other through the car window.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Daddy Daycare

So I stayed home with the fellas on my "day off" today.  It was actually a fairly easy day.  Not so much the night before, as our power went out and about burned us out of our beds.  Finn of course came in our room scared of the thunder.  After the power came back on at midnight, I went to bed.  We pretty much immediately went to the store and Sonic when I got up because I wanted to get out and back before Sam got hungry.  The store was normal except for the basic theme of the day, which was people being way too nice to me I guess because of the Dad flying solo with the little ones sympathy.  Finn got his usual cookie/sucker circuit in before we left.

I think I fed Sam the oats with milk mixed in once we got home then put him in the swing.  He slept just long enough for me to get my workout in...thankfully Friday is short.  After he woke up we all hung out until lunch time.  We had talked about hitting McDonalds because of the "Ice Age" toys.  We all saddled up and headed that way only to find out the promotion had ended yesterday.  The lady at the counter then told me that they might have some in the back.  We got Finn's Happy meal and sat down.  The lady soon came by with a bag full of the entire Ice Age collection.  She said they donate most of them but had plenty left.  Obviously, this made it a good visit.  Sam was cool and chilled in his seat the whole time.  Once we got home, Finn took his nap and Sam and I hung out for the most part, though he also took a short nap toward the end.  We had a couple of bottles during the day too, but that was about it.  We played with Finn's new toys once he got up, and eventually Erin was already back home.  

As a quick word to my boys, since I'm sure you will read this someday and think your pops doesn't love you as much as your mom because I don't do the blogging.  I'm proud of both of you and am very thankful for the chance to grow up with you guys.  I look forward to sharing so many cool memories with you guys in the coming years. 

This pic is Finn creating his own "Great Valley" with all of the weeds I pulled near the patio.  Every time I pulled one he would either give me props "Good job dad" or thank me for tossing it on his pile. 

Sam doing his usual chill face.  I also learned that he has a ticklish spot under his chin near his ear if you get up under there with your face.

For Shame

Finn hates to hear Sam cry.  He has quickly learned that feeding Sam is the best way to make him stop crying.  As a mother who rarely relies on formula, it is not always possible to feed Sam whenever Finn finds it necessary.  The other day Finn asked me to feed Sam and I responded, "I can't feed him right now."  Finn decided to take matters into his own hands. 

Yes . . . much to my chagrin this is a picture of Finn trying to pump a bottle for Sam.

That same day Finn and JT played with hats and paper cars from Steak-n-Shake. Finn brought his home to model.


These pictures are lifted from Victoria's blog.  JT and Finn - future employees!  We are so blessed to have such good friends. 

Later that night Finn and Gran went to see "Ice Age: Continental Drift" at the big movie theater.  They ate popcorn, drank Coke and had a good ol' time. 

Monday, July 23, 2012


Today I met Mom and the boys at Cheekwood to play on the treehouse exhibit.  The boys loved it!  Finn had so much fun climbing and playing.  Oh wait . . . . no he didn't because Cheekwood was closed.  As it turns out Cheekwood is closed every Monday.  It was a bummer, but we most certainly turned lemons into lemonade.

It all started on Saturday; Mom picked the boys up after their naps and took them back to Manchester for the weekend.  Michael and I took full advantage of the free time and went to see Batman (which was so good) and then went to eat at Cheddars.   On Sunday we relaxed and watched the Bachelorette season finale.

On Monday Mom brought the boys to Nashville.  We made plans to meet at Cheekwood and then go to Opry Mills to eat at the Rain Forrest Cafe.   While Cheekwood was a bust, the Rain Forrest Cafe was a huge hit.  We were seated next to the elephants.  The elephants were impressive, but for a boy of almost three (3), the tigers were the best.  Every time the tigers would start moving, Finn would say, "they are roaring!"  He would immediately jump out of his seat and we would run over to see them. 

Even though Finn wanted to see the Tigers he wanted me to hold him when we got close.  He would run up to them and then throw those arms up for me to pick him up.  He is so much braver when I am holding him.  Goodness, its nice to be a mom.

Sam seemed to like the restaurant too.  When we first sat down he looked around and smiled a lot. 

After we ordered we took the boys all around the restaurant and looked at all the animals. Then we sat down to eat.  Finn shoveled in macaroni and cheese and though he hadn't eaten in a week.

After eating Nana and Finn picked out an alligator in the gift shop.  Finn likes the ugliest, meanest, hardest feeling toys.  He grabbed a snake, but I put my foot down. 

Next we went to the Disney Store.  Of course Finn loved it.  On our way in Finn asked if I would get him a green dinosaur.  Thinking that there would not be a green dinosaur in the Disney Store I said sure.  I really need to brush up on my Disney movies because Finn found a green dinosaur - Rex from "Toy Story."   I was able to distract him enough from Rex with Disney overload - there was a stuffed Bruce, Nemo and  Bolt.  I ended up buying Finn a nine piece "Nemo" figurine set.  It had a "Bruce" in the set so Finn was pretty happy.  I had so much fun with Finn at the Disney Store.  He would go from rack to rack saying "LOOK MOM!"

Next Finn rode the Merry-go-round with Nana.  The first time they rode the tea cups.  Finn laughed the entire time.  His little face was priceless.   The second time Finn rode the horse. This time his face was very serious as he tugged on the reigns. On the way out the operator asked Finn if he wanted a stamp for his hand.  After getting his hand stamped I said to Finn, "what do you say?"  He responded, by raising his other hand and asking for another stamp.  He made sure to say thank you after securing the second stamp.  Sam spent the day snuggled up next to me in the baby carrier.  He was so good and so sweet.  He did manage to wake up to see Finn on the Merry-go-round.

Next we went to the Aquarium restaurant so that Finn could see the fish.  Finn saw a sting ray, a scuba diver, and a real shark.  He was completely in awe and so was I.  I couldn't believe how many big, beautiful fish were in that massive tank.

On our way out we stopped at Dairy Queen.  By this time Sam was crying and ready to leave so we packed up and headed back to the house. 

On the way home I asked Finn what he liked the best.  His options were the fish, the Disney Store, the Rain Forrest and the Merry-go-round.  He said, "I liked the tigers very much."

When we got home Finn ran in the front door and said, "I like my beautiful house mom."  Sounds like Finn might just grow up to a homebody.  The rest of the night Finn spent playing with his alligator, the Gill figurine and the Bruce figurine.  He had a lot of fun. 

Even though the day didn't start as we had hoped, I think that it turned out perfect.  Finn had a great day and so did I.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Making Progress

Both of my boys have made tremendous progress over the past week.  It is still too early to call, but I think that Finn finally has the hang of the toilet.  He tells me almost every time he needs to go now.  On Thursday morning while I was upstairs getting ready, Finn took his pull-up off, got on the potty and "put a BIGGG poo-poo in the potty" (Finn's words, not mine) all by himself.  He was excited to come upstairs and get me.  He led me downstairs and insisted that I look.  I was so proud of him.  Michael and I decided that this feat deserved a "long neck."

Finn has been asking insistently and often for a "long neck."  Ever since watching "The Land Before Time" he has thought of nothing but getting a "long neck."  Last Saturday he woke me from a nap asking if we could go to the store to buy a "long neck."  The next day he walked to back of the yard, asked Michael to turn off the lawn mower and very seriously discussed his need for a "long neck."  Call me a sucker, but I thought this would be the perfect time to get Finn a "long neck."   Michael stopped at Wal-Mart on the way home from work to pick up, not one, but two "long necks."  At a dollar a piece you can see that we Begleys are pretty flamboyant.

Finn was so excited when Michael got home with his long necks.  He immediately got the rest of his dinosaurs out and started playing.  At this rate, we may be having a dinosaur themed third birthday party.

Sam is making great progress too.  He can now sit up on his own . . . for a little while.  He is very wobbly, but can catch himself much of the time.  He still loses his balance and falls head first into whatever happens to be near him, but he handles it well.

 Such a good night at home with the boys.

Sam is also moving around the room.  He isn't crawling, but somehow he can get where he needs to go. He can get his on his hands a knees and pick his stomach off the ground, but he falls back down almost instantly.  He has become very interested in his toys and there isn't a span that he won't slink across to reach them.  The only downside is that now we have to start really paying attention to choking hazards.  Finn may come home to find that some of his "less played with/more dangerous toys" to be gone.

Sam also has a talent for backing himself into corners and underneath pieces of furniture. Michael jokes that Sam could find a corner in a round room.  One day last week I walked in to find Sam halfway under the TV cabinet.

Sam also has a new pediatrician.  Our pediatrician (that I loved) retired in June so we opted to leave the practice for a place closer to home.  Our new pediatrician is Dr. Johnson and he is wonderful.  I decided to get a boy doctor just in case either boy turns out to be modest.  Finn has just gotten the hang of Dr. Thompson so we'll see how he handles meeting his new doctor.  When I mentioned taking Sam to the doctor, Finn said in passing, "Dr. Johnson will help him."  If nothing else, Finn has learned his name.

At his six month check up Sam weight in at 20 lbs, 8 oz. and 28 in. long.  He is in the 98th percentile across the board.  Dr. Johnson was impressed with how proportionate Sam is.  He also told me that he projects Sam to be about 6"2 at full height.  I guess we'll see.

Gran's Big 5-0

On Tuesday we celebrated Gran's birthday at our house.  Michael picked the boys up from Victoria's house so that I could spend some additional time preparing.  Finn was quite helpful.  He didn't necessarily help me clean up, but he did manage to not pull out every toy in the house.

Gran, Chelsea and Sharon arrived around 6:00.  It was a very low-key event - except for the fact that I was able to use my china.  I was so excited to us it that I have been drinking out of my china tea cup all week.

Finn was excited for the party.  He was more excited when he learned we were having cupcakes (Gigi's to be exact).   Finn and I split a chocolate with cream cheese icing.  Next he attempted to eat Gran's cupcake too.

Sam was his usual charming self.  He laid on his belly in the kitchen while ate.  Later Gran held him while we chatted in the living room.  It was a nice, relaxing evening.

Gran also got the pleasure of hearing Finn's new word - "what."  It is so simple, but so funny.  If Finn doesn't understand or hear what someone has just said to him he will whip around and say "what?"  He said is so fast and so staccato and with such force that I can't help but laugh every time.  I will try my best to video and post it.

Afterwards I took some time to cuddle with Sam, a.k.a. the best cuddler in the world.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Sunday Night Blues

Well, we left the beach on Thursday around 7:00 in the morning.  Sam and I were up by 4:30.  Sam apparently had a bad case of gas and was pretty miserable. The boys generally did pretty good on the drive home.  Finn watched "The Land Before Time" at least three times (prompting him to ask for a "long neck") and Sam slept at least half of the trip home.  About ten minutes into our drive Finn said "Dad, are we almost home?"  Michael told him no.  Without missing a beat he said, "Mom, are we almost home?"  This same conversation happened at least a hundred times before we pulled into our driveway ten hours later.

Our first stop was breakfast at Hardee's in Troy.  Our second stop was at Chic-Fil-A in Fultondale.  Finn played in the play area with a little boy named Charlie.  Finn was a little nervous around him at first (go figure), but warmed up enough to him to let Charlie lead him to the top of the play area and into the airplane.  I know it sounds silly but I was so proud of Finn for playing with Charlie.  He had a lot of fun once he got over his nerves.  I think the reason he liked Charlie was because he was six years old.  Finn seems to like older kids.  Finn wouldn't have anything to do with Charlie's younger brother.

When we got back into the car Sam began to fuss.  Finn looked at him and said "what's wrong little buddy."  It was the sweetest, cutest thing.  Finn was so sincere and concerned about Sam.  His tone was precious.

It started to rain around the Tennessee line.  We got to Nashville right at rush hour, but despite the rain, we made it through fairly quickly.

When we got home Finn pulled out every toy in the house.  I suppose he missed them. 

Finn has been doing pretty good with going to the bathroom.  Even though we were in the car for most of the day Finn kept a dry pull-up and then informed me of his need to poop.  To reward Finn we finally gave him the garbage truck that we have been promising him for three months.  He was so excited when we gave it to him.  His face was so happy and excited that I almost cried.  Finn really loves that garbage truck - I think because he really had to work to earn it. 

After a long night of finding trash for Finn's garbage truck we put both boys to bed at 8:00 and crashed shortly thereafter. At around 6:00 I woke to see Finn lay face down, spread eagle on the floor next to our bed.  I don't know how long he laid there but I pretended not to see him and went back to sleep.  A little while later Finn crawled in bed with me and we snuggled and slept until 9:30.  This is completely unheard of in our house.  Both Finn and Sam slept in - it was wonderful; short lived, but wonderful.

When we got up I made Finn pancakes.  He ate three huge ones and didn't eat anything else the rest of the day.  It was a dark and rainy day, perfect for doing nothing which is exactly what I did.  I sat and held Sam and watched Finn play with his toys.  Finn and Sam also played together as well.

Finn's idea of playing with Sam.  I walked into the den from cleaning the kitchen and found Sam just like this.  Heaven knows how long he was under that blanket.

Saturday was much like Friday - overcast and dreary - just the way I like it. Again, we had a pretty lazy day.  Around midday Finn and I snuggled on the couch and watched "Tangled." Yes, it is a Disney princess movie but he loves it. Don't worry, it has guy stuff in it too.  He calls the "hair" movie.  I love watching movies with Finn because I can see how spot on Finn is with his emotional responses.  When the music gets sad or the characters have a sad moment Finn will snuggle up next to me and tell me he loves me. 

 According to Finn, this is the life.  Eating dry cereal in the glider and watching the "hair" movie.

Sam watched pretty intently too.

Sunday was more of the same.  After church we lounged around.  I watched some of the marathon of Game of Thrones.  Finn likes the theme music for Game of Thrones so we watched the title sequence at least six times in a row, at Finn's request.  Midway through he looked over at me and said, "this is beautiful music mom."  Poor child is just like me.

 Sam is so close to crawling.  He can scoot himself backwards and rock on his knees. I guess it could be any day now.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

PCB Day 5

On our last full day at the beach Finn and I went to play in the ocean.  The water was absolutely beautiful - no sea weed at all.  Finn and I played in the water for a long time and I have the burn to prove it.    Now that Finn is older he has developed a healthy fear of the ocean. Finn was pretty brave today while in the ocean as long as I was holding him.   He wanted me to go far out into the ocean.  He loved playing 123 jump. 

 After playing in the water Finn told me that he wanted to play in the sand.  The two of us made a sand hill which turned into a sand mountain which Finn's shark promptly destroyed.

I have been pretty busy keeping Sam from getting a sunburn so I haven't spent a lot time with Finn at the beach.  Well today was my day.  I enjoyed every minute I spent with Finn.  Every so often he would look over and tell me he loved me and that he was having a good time with me.  Next we went to the pool for a few minutes.  Finn played in the water with Grandad while I laid out in the sun.

Michael and Sam stayed in the room.   Michael read and Sam napped.

When Finn and I got back Michael, Finn, Sam and I took a Begley trip to the Firehouse down the road.  Finn fell asleep on the two minute trip over and would not wake up.  He slept on me until I offered him a bite of brownie and he hopped right up.

 Sam at the Firehouse.

It was kind of rainy when we got back so we decided to spend the rest of the day lounging in the room.  Sam napped on Gigi, I packed, and Zac and Emily made hamburgers.  The rest of the evening was very relaxing and really fun. 

Thank you Dad and Gina for a wonderful trip. This enabled us to do something with the boys that we couldn't have done on our own.  Thank you.

Putting up the Christmas Tree with Buck Denver

On November 12th we started the process of putting up the Christmas tree.  It is now December 4th and I have still not completed the pr...