Tuesday, August 31, 2010


Don't worry. This is not turning into a food blog. With a toddler to chase around, I really don't have a ton of time to devote to cooking or baking, let alone the time to write about the process. But, I still love to do both when I get the chance.

Today, I simply put aside the time to bake, you know... while Finnley skittered about emptying my baking cupboard and depositing several random yet interesting items in the dog's water bowl for the umpteenth time this week.

My creation? Homemade layered tender white cake with homemade Reese's peanut butter cup buttercream frosting. How can you go wrong???

Just look at the results.



Can it lead to hair growth? More specifically, facial hair growth? It seems to have in Finnley's case...checkout her black goatee! She didn't have it when she went into the bathroom to read, but somehow she ended up this way. Ahhh...the mysteries of toddlerhood!

(click on the picture to enlarge it for a better look!)

Friday, August 27, 2010

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Parents of the Year

I know this award exists in some fashion or another somewhere in this country. I am not sure what the voting process is like or how to get nominated, but if anyone we know catches wind of exactly how to do that...I am sure that we will be put up on that mighty pedestal and given our due soon enough.

No one could overlook us given all that we do for our child. We sacrifice. We comfort. We love. We provide.

We are SO good at being parents that we provide Finnley with HAND MADE toys like Mr. PillamaHead. Who goes the extra distance like that? Just look at that quality craftsmanship! I dare you to find thems peoples that provide better than us. Go ahead and try!

So, what exactly is Mr. PillamaHead you ask? Well, it is the toy and device of distraction lovingly crafted from the dog's once llama-headed friend whose mouth has been stuffed with an old pill bottle that has been carefully filled with old inedible pistachios.

And, why exactly was Mr. PillamaHead brought into this world? Well, because Finnley is HORRIBLE during diaper changes. She needs something to keep her entertained, or she will roll and "run" without a diaper or pants on. And, she won't come back. And, she will laugh the whole way. And, the tubes of Butt Paste just weren't registering anymore on Finnley's entertainment and successful distraction spectrum.

And, she LOVED that once-was-a-dog-toy. And, she LOVED that pill bottle with those noise-making-happily-shaking pills inside. Together...it is perfection. Right?

And, because I am a GOOD MOTHER....I disposed of the highly dangerous narcotics that once resided in that pill bottle. I am just that good! Pat me on the back if you see me and feel the pressing urge to do so. And, go ahead and sign us up for that parents of the year award thingy while you are at it. We deserve it! Seriously.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Yogurt Tuesday

I guess the only proper way to follow Milk Monday is with Yogurt Tuesday. Finnley and Batman couldn't agree more!

Monday, August 16, 2010

Monday Milk

Finnley makes drinking milk look like the cutest thing that ever happened on a Monday.

Saturday, August 14, 2010


Our days are filled with them. Boring ones. Exciting ones. Silly ones. Sad ones. Big ones. Little ones. Wasted ones. Scary ones. Emotional ones. Useless ones. High ones. Low ones. Hysterical ones. Mundane ones.

Moments, moments, moments.

And, I try to embrace them all as the mom of a baby who seems to grow in each and every one of those fleeting and temporary instances. I keep all sorts of them tucked safely inside my pocket so that I might savor each tasty one throughout the days and weeks to come. Finnley is good at creating so many seemingly meaningful snippets in time that my little pockets are well beyond full.

Yesterday after my exercise class when the two of us were just hanging out in the grass chatting with another mom and baby...Finnley decided to play a hugging game with me. A HUGGING GAME! My non-clingy, non-needy, independent little charmer of a lady wanted to HUG ME! Over and over again. That little granule of loveliness was most delicious for me. Sweet sticky indulgent goodness. I still taste it today. Dessert for weeks, if you will.

I see her miniscule synapses firing on a regular basis now, and all sorts of realizations are starting to come together for my sweet little one. These "ah-hah" moments linger with me, too. I can now ask Finnley if she is ready for "nappy time" or for "night night time", and she will respond by making a noise and heading for the stairs. Then she will proceed to take HERSELF up the entire set of stairs and then head directly to her room. All by the mini-person of a self that she is. Because she GETS IT. And, she is ready to sleep. And, you need to go to your room to do that, of course. Amazing!

To think that this is only the start of my baby's second year. Only. the. START! I am not sure my heart and head are capable of handling and processing the immeasurable amount of "moments" that we are yet to share or that I am yet to witness. I am so proud and honored to be a spectator to the undoubtedly intriguing life of Finn.

Being a mom is pretty cool. Being HER mom is especially cool.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Odd Man Out

Not that that is any different than the norm for me. And, not that I really care. It just is what it is.

I follow a lot of blogs. I love parenting blogs, especially, because now that I am a parent...it is good to see how other people deal with life and go about raising their children. There is a lot of humor in parenthood. There are a lot of mistakes to be made. There are a lot of differences, and yet a lot of commonalities. Parents like to make constant comparisons, and they like to pick and choose those things that provide bragging material regarding their own wee one. I get most of it. I enjoy most of it. I relate. I do.

Lately, the blogs that I read, though, have been discussing how sad these particular parents feel about the transition from infancy to toddlerhood. I read all about how their babies are not babies anymore. How the next thing you know their child won't be romping about in diapers and giggling at nonsense and needing their parents for EVERYTHING, but rather will be out on their own and earning their college degrees. How their babies' worlds just won't revolve simply around them anymore.

As I said, I get it. I do. From their perspectives.

But me? I do not frown upon this transition at all. NOT. AT. ALL. I celebrate it. Openly. Loudly. Proudly. Daily. Hourly. Every single second. All of it!

I am actually thrilled that Finnley is now knocking on the door to toddlerdom. The look of wonder in her eyes grows bigger as her understanding of her world around her does. She is toddling. Walking. Babbling. Making gestures that we actually comprehend. She is a mini person now. Not a blob. Not a thing to just lug around in a carrier and plop next to you as you eat in a restaurant. We have an interactive little explorer, and I do not miss a bit what she "was" before.

Every parenting circumstance is varied. Our experience with infancy was varied by the fact that Finnley suffered from severe reflux. She was uncomfortable a lot. She vomited multiple times daily. Full size bath towels were our burp cloths. Going out was a scary thing that took grand amounts of thought and preparation. Perhaps THIS has something to do with me not missing the newborn days or the months of infancy. In addition, Finnley has never been a cuddly clingy baby. She has never preferred being rocked to sleep in her mother's arms to being put in her crib to self-soothe. So, where some parents might just now be adjusting to a baby who needs them less...I have been well-adjusted to that scenario the whole time. Don't get me wrong...Finnley needs me. She needs her daddy. But, she isn't needy. She has always been an independent little daredevil princess.

The doctor says this type of personality is a sign of intelligence. I will take her word for it. It helps me feel better in the moments where my daughter rejects my comforting hold and my soothing rubs. And, I take more joy in watching what a little firecracker she is as she engages in independent play.

I do not wish away these days. I have not wished away any of them (well, maybe some of the puking days). But, I LOOK FORWARD to each new phase with Finnley. I do not look back with regret that I won't have my "baby" anymore. I don't long for what yesterday held. Instead, I have such hope for each future phase. I cannot wait until Finnley can better communicate with us. Until Finnley can know what we are saying. Until Finnley can run and not just toddle. Until...ahhhh...until SOOO MUCH!

Maybe every parent has an "age" that they will love the most and will want to freeze that particular point in time and not move forward? I don't think I have experienced that age just yet, so I just wait for each new day and see what it brings. I love watching every moment that Finnley grows into the future her. She is brilliant and funny and beautiful and mobile and a big ball of mischief. I cannot wait to see what tomorrow brings...and the next day...and the next week, and month, and year, and years after that.

I think my favorite "age" is the age that Finnley is today and each current "today" hereafter.

Wednesday, August 04, 2010

Birthday Wishes

8:39am. August 1st, 2010.
One full year since our little miracle entered our lives. One full year since we celebrated an event that we truly felt might not ever be ours.

It is almost hard to believe she is here. That she has been with us already for 365 days. Especially since she had lived in our hearts and thoughts for so long before that. We are blessed for sure.

With celebrations of birthdays come the crafting of birthday wishes. Finnley isn't quite old enough to understand what it is to make a wish. Or what it is to yet hope for anything. So, this year, I will do the wishing for her...because everyone deserves some wishes and hopes and dreams.

My birthday wishes for Finnley:

  • to never go a day without realizing that she is loved
  • to never feel she is not good enough
  • to never know what it is to be hated
  • to fall in love
  • to gently break hearts if she has to do the breaking
  • to quickly recover if her heart is the one that is broken
  • to give with all that she has and is
  • to not be afraid to receive as well
  • to be affectionate
  • to know she is beautiful in every possible way
  • to not be afraid to laugh at herself
  • to appreciate the simple things
  • to work to figure out the complicated things
  • to get up when she falls
  • to learn from her mistakes and to proceed with grace
  • to take chances despite the risk of failure
  • to never feel she must compromise her beliefs to achieve something
  • to be whatever she aspires to be in life, regardless of how many times that may change
  • to find comfort in her parents' home always
  • to outlive her parents by years upon years upon years
  • to never stop knowing how much she was wanted
  • to never stop believing she is a miracle in her parents' eyes
  • to just be happy

  • Happy 1st Birthday, Finnley Piper Ritter.
    My Peanut. My Love. My Silly Heart. My Princess. My Sweet Baby Girl.
    May all of mommy's wishes for you on this day come true, and may all of your future wishes for yourself be delivered to you in time as well.