Thursday, April 29, 2010

Just Sayin'

Ok, so I understand that my baby is still little. And she also doesn't have a full head of silky flowing butt-length hair yet. Or really that much hair at all. Or earrings. Or bubble gum pink nail polish adorning her short cut nails. And, given those things, I also understand that it can sometimes be hard for strangers to recognize that my Peanut is indeed a little Princess...truly a blossoming little girl.

But, other times, it really shouldn't be that hard to tell. It should be blatantly obvious, in fact.

Such as the other day when I took Finnley out shopping with me. And, she was dressed in a hot pink sweatshirt. And had on light pink shoes. And had on a white stretchy hat that included a huge cream colored flower protruding right from the front. And she had on pink socks. And donned a white onesie with hot pink flowers all over it.

And, the lady who walked us to the dressing room asked how old "HE" was. And then said, "Oh, "it" is a "he", isn't "it"?" IT? HE??? Seriously??? In that outfit??? That outfit that couldn't have gotten more pink if an all pink-puking fairy princess came up and vomited right on Finnley's head.

And, I, in all of my 36 years on this planet, have never encountered a mother or father who has dressed their son head to toe in pink and flowers. NEVER. NOT. EVEN. ONCE! Not even for Halloween! Because that is just wrong. All sorts of crazy wrong. The kind of wrong that leads a boy to years of unhappiness followed by years of therapy.

So, in conclusion...some people are either blind or simply stupid. Or perhaps even both. But, this woman led me a very clear path to the dressing room while looking at and pointing things out along the way. So...she wasn't blind. And that folks leaves, well, simply stupid.

Just sayin'...

Finnley Crawling

Finnley has been mobile for well over a month now. However, she has always been fond of the belly drag or a variation on the army crawl. Just in the past week, she really has "mastered" the "big girl crawl". She picks that belly up and uses one arm and one leg at a time to move forward. Perfection!!! She is also still pulling herself up into a stand on I am very busy being a vigilant mommy and safeguarding against too big of a fall. Crazy times at the NJ Ritter household!

Monday, April 26, 2010

Fun on a Budget!

Well, we aren't even really on a harsh budget...but why buy toys when we know that Finnley prefers the "little things in life" to play with? Keeping with that theme, I gave Ms. Finn a sheet of bubble wrap to investigate this afternoon. To say she loved it would be an understatement for sure. It was fascinating for at least ten minutes, and in the world of a wee one...that is practically a lifetime! I am so thrilled that my babe is overly enthralled with all the things that seem to pop up in the small space around her. Life is sure to be more fun that way!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Awe and Wonder

Every day is an adventure. At least that is true for Finnley right now. She can hardly stand to sleep given that if she did rest her eyes, she might miss a minute of practicing her new found skills. Or she might miss an opportunity to learn or try something new. She is not going to allow that to happen. Not if she can help it!

I embrace every moment spent experiencing the newness that Finnley finds each and every day in her slowly expanding world. It is a special gift that a parent is given, the gift that allows them to live an altered version of life again through their growing child.

We are beyond blessed for that gift and for everything else that Finnley will continue to give to us over a lifetime of awe and wonder.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Window to the world...

...of a baby.

...of a dog.

Life sure looks sweet through these eyes.

My Little Stinker...

I put Finnley down for her first nap of the day. Or, so I thought I did! I couldn't see her on the video monitor, and then I started hearing creaking noises coming from upstairs. I quietly snuck up the stairs and opened the door to Finnley's room. When I peeked inside, I found her standing up, holding the railing, and bouncing. Apparently she was not ready for a nap, or if she was...she was going to fight it. Playing is so much more fun when you learn how to pull yourself into a standing position...little stinker!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Dog Drama

When we first brought Finnley home, Batman really didn't know what to think of her. He didn't know what a "her" even was. He certainly didn't know that Finnley was a person like his mommy and daddy. But, he was mindful of her. He was careful around her. He licked her face when we told him to give her "kisses", and then he got treats. All was well and fine and good.

And then Finnley got bigger. And then she began to move. And then she started to grab Batman's tail and his ears. She would pull on his fir to try to pull herself into a stand. She would touch his paws every chance she could get. She would stalk him and play in his bed. Batman started to realize that she WAS a person. And an annoying one at that. And, he didn't love her. Not at all. But, he did tolerate her.

And then Finnley started eating people food. Mushy, wet, slippery, flingy, wonderful people food. And, drops of this food would fall on the floor. And smears of it would be all over Finnley's hands and face. And bits of it would cling to the random parts of Finnley's high chair and tray. Batman found out that if he was patient, he could lick clean Finnley's hands and face. He could lick the high chair and clean up the messes on the floor. And, he was even more amazed when Finnley started eating Gerber puffs and yogurt melts...and she would hold her hand out for him to take them.

And she would smile.

And tolerance became less of a chore.

And Batman was in love. At least during mealtime, anyway!

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Phillies Game

Finnley got to venture out to her second ever Phillies game this past week. She picked out (yes, she is that talented) her own outfit for the occasion, and got all gussied up. She loved all of the noises, sights, and smells...but it did get to be too much eventually. How can anyone take a nap at a ballpark with lots of blaring sounds surrounding them? Well, apparently we need to ask Peanut, because she knows the secret! A great day at the park, and so much fun for our little one!

Sequences - climbing adventure!

Sequences - crawling adventure!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

In This Spot

I spent countless hours cradling you, rocking you, feeding you. During the mornings. During the afternoons. During the middles of the night. A newborn who needed so much.

I spent time reading to you. Board books. Classics. Anything we had in our reaches. You only wanted to eat the pretty pages or to tear them determinedly from their bindings.

I sat you up like a big girl and let you take in your room from a new perspective. You soaked it all in and propped yourself up so tall. Then you wanted to roll over and leap from the chair. Not big enough for that move yet.

I established a bedtime routine for a Peanut who really didn't need it. This time is for me, as you are one who doesn't have the need to cuddle in general. A time that allows for you to purposely get sleepy in my arms and actually be wholly content resting there as I give you your last bottle of the day.

I came to know you. To understand you a bit more. To cry from sleep deprivation. To bond with you. To stare at you with wonder and awe. To love you with every piece of my heart.

Right in this very spot.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

The Best

One of the absolute best parts of my day is when Finnley wakes up in the morning. You have never seen a bigger smile than the one she flashes as soon as she realizes you have stepped into her room to get her. Ear to ear. Continuous pearly whites showing (well, what she has of them, anyway). Sweet beautiful smiling baby girl.

Thank you for such a great start to every day, Peanut!

Friday, April 09, 2010

Just Sayin'

It is Friday morning. And Friday mornings always remind me of what is soon to come in the realm of weekendy-sorts of stuff. Like dinner out. And actually seeing my husband. And time outside as a family. And playtime with the dog. And movies.

Movies. Wonderful wonderful beautiful movies.

Up until last Friday night, though, my lovely and I had not seen a movie OUT... at the theater.... since forever ago. Mostly because we have "heard" that other people frown upon those who do choose to bring babies to the show. (Imagine that! I cannot fathom as to why!) So, anyway, since we do have a baby and all, and we don't often have a baby sitter, we generally do NOT "do" movies.

But, last Friday night was a rarity of sorts, and our niece came out from Villanova to spend some time with her baby cousin. And that meant that my lovely and I could do ANYTHING we wanted for a few hours! Anything!!! However, since we really can do most things with Peanut, we chose to do something that we cannot do with her. Alas, a movie it was. Grennberg, to be more specific. Well, to be absolutely and totally specific, I guess.

Greenberg. Quirky. Off beat. A display of classically endearing neuroticism. Simple. Fun. So many good things wrapped up in a not-the-usual-sort-of-movie for Ben Stiller. We loved it.

What we didn't love, though, was the oddball narcissist a few seats up and over who felt it was his duty to commentate on the movie as it played out. Not just commentate to himself quietly. Not just commentate to his friend who was with him (well, probably because he was alone). But, to blather about loudly and boisterously enough for all of us in "his" surroundings to hear. Commentary such as "Shut up!" And some other ridiculousness that had the word "fuck" in it...but at this point I guess I have tuned it out enough in my memory as to not recall specifically. Because, even though in his narcissistic little bubble everything he had to say was important, I guess I didn't feel the same.

So, what I am trying to get across here is...I know it is not ok to take my baby to a movie, so I don't. Others should be so courteous and know that there exists additional movie-going etiquette that should be considered and followed. Such as: do NOT leave your cell phone on. Seriously! Is this one so hard to understand? (There is always someone. Always.) Do NOT sit directly next to strangers unless there are absolutely no other seats available in the theater. And I mean NO OTHER SEATS! (maybe this one is just my rule?) Do NOT sit directly in front of someone who is much shorter than you are. Really, you should know better!

And...keep your narrow-minded-idiotic-self-indulgent-ignorance spewing commentary to YOURSELF!

Just sayin'...

Monday, April 05, 2010


Yep, mobility.

In the past few days, Finnley has perfected her variation on the Army crawl. It isn't a belly crawl. She actually has her full belly off of the floor. But, she still doesn't shimmy with one leg and one arm moving forward at a time. It is both arms. And both legs. In a full on pull. And? It works. Really well. Finnley can move herself all over the floor now. ALL. OVER.

And, with her newfound quicker mobility comes a bit of naughtiness. Ok, not really naughtiness, per se....but instead perfhaps a fully explorative baby that alone can yield all sorts of "trouble".

Today Finnley has followed the dog all over the lower level of the house. She will NOT leave him alone for anything. And when she finds him, she likes to crawl on him. And pull his fur. And grab his paws and legs. And Batman just sits there...waiting for me to tell him what a good boy he is and then for me to give him his due reward.

Finnley has also crawled into the kitchen. And gone under the counter. And played with the bar stool that is housed in that know...normally by itself.

And she has also crawled over to my book "bin" and removed a book. And after doing so she proceeded to pull her high chair tray down from that spot right on top of herself. But, she also managed to get her toys off of the tray, so she just laid there and played with them. With the tray on top of her still.

And? And?? And???? She can pull herself into a stand by holding onto something. Something like a stair. Or an object that isn't good for using to pull yourself up...such as a Fischer Price toy that has wheels...and can move. But, hey, whatever works. The important point being that she CAN PULL HERSELF INTO A STAND! Lord, help us!

In other milestones, Finnley likes to beg just like the dog. Well, mostly like the dog, but without the drool. She does like to find out what is in mommy's bowl, so today she tried blue cheese and (for the second time) ate diced ham. She liked them both. At least she liked them both well enough to not spit them out. And, in the world of actual Finnley food...she tried Gerber Yogurt Melts. And she ate them. Whole pieces of them!

What a big girl. What an inquisitive little mobile stinker of a big girl. No longer can she be left alone to her own devices...because she now has LOTS of devices.

And, I can't help but love her all the more for all of it.

Sunday, April 04, 2010


Beautiful day. Perfect Weather. Finnley blowing raspberries during church. Brunch. Heart-attack-worthy brunch. More perfect weather. A family walk. Lovely.

Thursday, April 01, 2010

Enough moments of perfection... be a nearly perfect day.

Seeing life through a new set of tiny eyes. Straining to turn the neck and head to take in the still naked trees as we pass them on our first ever hayride. Sitting and exploring a dried up leaf and stem and the freshly darkening blades of grass as the older kids hunt for Easter eggs hidden by Peter Rabbit. Investigating the strange and fascinating "fur" on the Easter bunny's arm and hand as we sit for a picture.

Lunch out. New foods. New textures. New tastes. New enjoyment of the world around us.

A napping baby. Mommy getting "me time" out on the patio. Reading a book, a stolen and rare pleasure. Drinking in each and every page, slowly sipping each luscious word as I might an aired out glass of my favorite red wine. Letting the sun hit me and not having to be responsible for anything but the present time.

Tennis ball. Squishy, wet, foamy, disgustingly wonderful tennis ball. Throwing it for my other baby. My first baby. Watching his joy. Watching him enjoy just being noticed and loved. Seeing the pleasure he draws from soaking in the sunshine after a long winter and a bout of cloudy and cool rainy days.

A sleep-freshened baby on a blanket in the yard. Sun hat on. Surrounded by toys, the dog, and her mommy. Loving more time in her environment and her ever-growing world.

A glass of red wine. A content mommy. A bottle. A happy scooting baby. Dinner. A sleepy dog. Smells of neighbors grilling wafting in the air and through our windows.


Longer days.


Indeed...enough moments of perfection to be a nearly perfect day...I can't ask for much more than that.