Saturday, May 28, 2011


This post is from me, the hubby. The dad.

Growing up there was a sacred tradition during Memorial Day weekend, The 4th of July, and flag day. That tradition was decorating the yard with small American Flags. Evenly placed down the sidewalk.

I can hear my dad now. "Let's go put the flags out!" Typically that phrase was belted out early in the morning because many know my father is not one to sleep in. This routine took place every year. We never missed a year. Ever.

Well, this weekend I brought that tradition to our home in Jersey; Albeit a little later than when I used to have to do it because it turns out my daughter does enjoy sleeping in. When we retuned from the farmer's market, I asked Finnley if she wanted to help daddy put the flags out. I was met with a sweet little "yes" from my girl.

So off we went with the flags. At first she wanted to pull them out of the yard. But then she quickly got the hang of it. She had more fun running the flags around and watching them blow in the wind, but I think she gets the idea.

So I have a couple of messages:

To Finnley: Squirt (as I affectionately call her), we will be doing this twice a year for the next bazillion years, or until you are married with a family of your own.

To Dad: Thanks for starting so many meaningful traditions when I was growing up. I love being able to carry them on with your granddaughter. That not only includes "putting the flags out" but also making her peanut butter/mayo/fried egg & cheese sandwiches for breakfast. And cheering for the Buckeyes. And skiing (staring in 2012). And believing in Santa.

Happy Memorial Day everyone!

Friday, May 27, 2011

Signs of Summer...

Well, the 90 degree temperatures and raging humidity are certainly subtle indicators that summer is right around the corner. Temperatures can be flukey, though, so you can't just rely solely on them to tell you what time of year it is. Pollen helps me to differentiate the spring from other seasons. As the worst of the tree pollen starts to slowly (OMG SO SLOWLY!) fade, I can tell that school is just about out and that lazy hazy days are soon to be upon us. Well, minus the lazy, anyway.

Other signs? Well, they exist, too.

They come in the form of the Radnor Hunt steeplechase races in Pennsylvania, which generally occur at the tail end of spring. Blue skies. Sunshine. Long grass. Muscular fancy racing horses. A husband assuming his coveted role of bookie for the day. A toddler without a nap due to the excitement and balloons. (Who can really nap when balloons are around, right?) Money lost. Laughs gained. Good times.


They also come in the form of hayrides and strawberry picking. Seriously, it is sometimes hard to tell that we live 15 minutes from center city Philadelphia. Head in just about any other direction, though, and you are bound to find solid evidence that we truly do live in the Garden State. With summer so near, the first batches of early varietal strawberries are at their peak. We took advantage of that fact, and we went a-picking out in the fields. And a-taste-testing out in those same fields.

(I did offer to pay for whatever Finnley might have consumed illegally, but they said since they didn't weigh her before heading out it was really hard to weigh her after to tell what was taken. Phew!).


And, there is no other stronger sign that warmer "life is a party" days are near than a kiddie pool in your backyard. We have one. We are official. I broke it out yesterday, and Finnley (and Batman) broke it in. They are both in awe and in love. Oh, what small amounts of bright blue molded PVC filled with air and water can do for the soul.


I have now seen a glimpse into what the next few months will entail. The good. The bad (well, Finnley is still heavily practicing "2", afterall...but we won't get into that right now). The amazing. The semi-permananent suntan lotion and citronella bug spray smells. The earlier mornings and later nights. Dirty feet.  Messy hair.  Grilled meals. all looks pretty good to me.

Bring on the sunshine, I say. Bring. It. On.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

She asks. I indulge.

Finnley is really starting to come into her own. She has opinions. She has preferences. And, she isn't afraid to voice them. I do not hesitate indulging her, either. (Well, as long as what she wants doesn't harm herself or others, that is.) So, on a rainy day, if my daughter wants to wear bright orange flower-adorned sandals over her white and pink short-cuffed socks, well...all righty then. If she chooses to use her fork to eat her milk-soaked cereal, so be it. If she wants to pose and say "cheese" with milk running down her chin and with a mouthful of breakfast, why not? If she later decides to dump her sandals and cautiously shuffle-parade around the house in her polka-dotted rain boots, who am I to stop her? Rainy days are meant for creativity, and little kids are designed to grow into bigger kids who think, choose, demand, and desire. On this rainy day, my daughter is doing all of that and more. On this rainy day, her mommy is indulgent. Happily. So be it.


Friday, May 13, 2011

What I see...

When I look at her, I no longer see a baby.  I now see a little girl standing where her baby self once crawled.  For some moms or parents, this might be bittersweet.  Not for me.  Not really.  Don't get me wrong...I do love how a baby looks, feels, and smells, and coos.  I do not love, however, how a baby might cry inconsolably and is mostly ineffectively communicative.  I would rather take a toddler tantrum over a colicky baby any day!  And that is saying something....a whole lot of something!  For this, and for a million and a half other reasons (if you read this blog, you know most of them already given our path to parenthood), Finnley will be an only child.  Maybe under those particular circumstances I should be more sad to see each stage pass...but I can't help it.  I'm not.

I enjoy each new day and each new opportunity for growth.  I am happy knowing that we will always outnumber her, and that when I am anywhere with her she gets all of me.  It makes me thrilled beyond words to know that my daughter is finding her own.  She communicates.  She thinks.  She makes so many connections.  She has a memory.  She has coordination.  She uses her imagination.  She independently plays.  She is engaging.  She sleeps.  She undoes and re-does a buckle on her booster seat ten times a day.  She picks out her own shoes.  She puts on her own sunglasses.  She has a favorite movie.  She has opinions about foods.  She is charming.  She says "please" cuter than anyone else on the planet.  Seriously...what is not to love?

So, as others move forward and add to their families while getting back those "baby days" that they miss...I will continue to drown in the everyday happiness of my burgeoning toddler without missing a beat.  I will take in those new baby looks, feels, smells, and coos in short random bursts while socializing with my friends and their growing families.  It works for me.  It works for our family.

More than anything, I like that Finnley will always be special.  I like that she will always be our favorite, and that we can mean it whenever we say it.  I like where we are right now, and I love imagining each new year and what Finnley will deliver to our doorstep during that time.  All as it should be for me.  All as it should be.

Speaking of special and all as it should be: