Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Franken-Arm

Well, I am on the first roads to recovery after having surgery on my wrist last week. I finally had my uber-bulky cast taken off today, and I am now in a splint 24/7 until I have the sutures removed next week. Due to the fact that this cyst was the "largest ganglion cyst EVER" (scientifically diagnosed and so named by my hand surgeon), my incision was much larger than the last go-around. In order to "get a good look" and to be sure to remove all of the "goop" (verbatim, I swear), my doctor this time had to slice the entire width of the back of my wrist. Hence the bruising you see in the picture, and hence the extended time in a splint / bandage. "We" are hopeful that this will be my last surgery for this issue, as the doc mentioned that he "left a huge hole" in cutting everything out and that things "inside" were much "drier" this time. Ummm...ok! So, there you have it. Hoping to be back at typing more / doing more / taking pictures more / just more more more....SOON!

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Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Tantrums, Doctor's Appointments, and Earthquakes...OH MY!

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That would pretty much sum things up around here. I recall (very clearly now) how most of my friends with children had mentioned that sometime around the age of 2, a switch is flipped. Their once happy-go-lucky, quick to nap, easy to please little toddlers "all of a sudden" turned into Jekyll and Hyde. I "believed" them. You know...in regards to THEIR children. Of course, I secretly thought that things would become more "difficult", but that I wouldn't really notice the gradual change. Uh huh. Then Finnley turned 2. And then? Somebody flipped the damn switch.

It was within a few days of returning home from Chicago that my babe's all-of-a-sudden-multiple-personalities became very difficult to keep up with. She used to be clock work. Seriously easy nap time around 1pm. A nap for up to three hours. Bed time around 8pm. All easy-peasy-breezy. A happy routine. Now? Overnight (literally), that changed to...whatever goes for the day goes. Nap time now happens (with quite usual tantrums and almost always crying) around 2pm or 2:30pm, if at all. Nap time lasts up to 2 hours, max! When Finnley refuses to go down for a nap (which happens from time to time but not without a fight), the day is long and usually a bit painful toward the end. And regarding bedtime? She now goes down around 8pm or 8:30pm, and it is also somewhat of a struggle. She has cried it out (while standing up) anywhere from 5 minutes to a half hour before finally allowing herself to crash. Teeth brushing...well, that isn't simple anymore, either. It is more of a battle at times. And tantrums? Well, those puppies are guaranteed to rear their ugly head at random moments several times a day EVERY day. At our house. In the car. At the park. With friends. At a restaurant. You name it. Finnley is stubborn, fiercely independent, a bit naughty and defiant, and still the cutest little bugger you have ever seen. There is a reason for the cuteness. God wasn't stupid on that account. If children weren't so cute during these times, a lot of mad houses would probably be filled to capacity with toddler parents at their wit's end. So, my previous "optimistically named" post referring to the "terrific twos" was all bunk. The terrific part, at least.

Now, along with all of this craziness comes some awesomeness, too. Finnley's vocabulary is growing daily. She can string 4 or 5 words together, and you can usually understand what she is saying. You can "almost" have a conversation with her now. She answers questions. You know, with real answers. One day her daddy asked her what she was going to do today. Finnley replied "play with mommy". She, with her growing verbiage and wild independent streak, is truly a little person. Her capacity for imaginative play is growing by leaps and bounds. It is so endearing. I love it. I can't wait for more of all of it, regardless of the "terrible" that rides by its side.

Since our return to South Jersey, we have also spent a lot of time at doctors' offices. I have been dealing with my recurrent ganglion cyst (which I am having surgery on tomorrow...so pardon any upcoming short-term pause on the blog). I have also been trying to get to the bottom of a bothersome foot injury. X-rays and bone scans. Time consuming non-fun. Necessary, but not my idea of a good time. For Finnley, the doctor meant her 2 year well-child visit. The results? She is above-average in her communicative abilities and her gross motor skills. She grew 3.5 inches in 6 months, putting her at 35 inches tall (in the 79th percentile for height). She also finally hit the 25 lb. mark (plus 3 oz...which is the 30th percentile for weight). They now don't need to see Finnley for a year. A year? A whole year without time to time updates? Sigh. We'll have to muscle through (meaning, I will have to muscle through).

And, lastly...earthquakes? Here? In South Jersey? Now I have seen it all! The babysitter had just left after I had returned from the bone scan of my foot. Finnley, Batman, and I were just settling in and deciding what we were going to play next. A casual moment in the family room. Then I felt the house shake, and I heard a "noise". I immediately ran to the front door to check out what I thought for sure was a sudden burst of wind, roaring and causing things to shutter. I quickly realized, though, that the leaves on the trees were barely moving...but the house was still swaying beneath my feet. It was at that moment that the word "earthquake" came to mind. I then quickly grabbed the phone with my adrenaline pumping, and I called Matt at work. He was already standing outside of his office building with his co-workers, as they had all evacuated the building due to the quake. I told him that the pictures on the mantle had shifted, and I could still see the light fixtures rocking back and forth from their chains that connect them to the ceiling. Later on, after going on a brief inspection of the house, I realized that a crack had formed in the plaster wall of the guest bedroom from all the definite but brief movement. CNN confirmed what we all thought. Earthquake. Felt all the way here in South Jersey. Crazy.

So, I'm not sure what else we can do to top all the goings-on of late...but I am convinced that we will manage to come up with more excitement regardless. That is just how we do things around here. Big. And crazy. And simple. And sweet. And fun. We just can't help ourselves!

***update: figured out what we could do to try to top all of the latest happenings...throw a hurricane into the mix. come this weekend we will know better how that fits into the grand scheme of things. sheesh!***

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Bring on The Terrific Twos!

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A delayed and mostly less than horrible plane ride for Finnley and I, and a long-distance bonding excursion by automobile for Batman and Matt, found us all in "Chicago" to celebrate Finnley's second birthday with family and friends.  Surviving another year with a constantly changing mini-person and ringing in the start of the year of "terrific twos" is certainly cause for celebration, don't you think?

Living far from all family and friends really makes rare trips like this something in which to revel.  Finnley was surrounded by both sets of her grandparents, her youngest cousins, an aunt and uncle, great aunts and uncles, great-great aunts and uncles, a great grandmother, some second and maybe third cousins...and pretty much everyone in the surrounding area that is related to or loves her.  Not to mention there was cake, a variety of silly and simple balloons that floated in the air, and lots and lots of sparkly inviting presents.  (everyone knows that sparkly packaging is way more important than the loot inside...so, well done gift-givers.  well-done!)  Certainly not a bad way to launch yourself into the next year of a wondrous little life.  Finnley is one lucky little girl.

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Beyond the birthday festivities, Finnley was able to:   go out to eat on too-many-to-count occasions, go shopping with her grandma and GG (and even hold her GG's hand), spend quality time with her nanna and granddaddy, go to Brookfield zoo and a fair with her cousins and grandparents, have an Italian dinner outing with her aunt and mommy, and sooooo many other things.  It was practically a year's worth of special family adventures all in one week's span.  The girl knows how to take full advantage of her time, which is not the least bit surprising...she is 2 now, after all.

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The past year has been one of growth, smiles, change, tears, exploration, tantrums, and pure silliness.  I have expectations for much of the same for this coming year.  Each day that passes with our "baby" girl is an obvious blessing, considering the absolute everything and more we went through to bring her into our lives.  She never disappoints.  She continually gives back more than she takes.  This tiny girl has an expanding and exploding vocabulary, and she is nothing short of a parrot at all times.  She walks up stairs without holding a hand, and she is starting to become more confident when going down the stairs solo, too.  She can end a meltdown as fast as she can start one.  She sometimes potties on the big girl potty.  She pretends to read books, using real words mixed with delightful gibberish to tell her unfolding stories.  She has had under-table picnics.  She has been more places than most 4 year olds. (I think.)  She has pet pigs, cows, bunnies, goats, sheep, and chickens.  She has ridden a pony and experienced carnival rides with overflowing joy.  She loves her "babies" and her dog.  Her dexterity is becoming more skilled as she uses crayons, iPads, markers, chalk, iPhones, paint, and anything else she can put her hands on to create, play, and learn.  She impresses me and amazes me EVERY day.  That is not an embellishment, either.  She really does.  I look so forward to this next year with my terrific two year old.  I know it will go quickly, but I hope to relish every second, just as we have thus far journeying to the present day.

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So, without further adieu...Happy Birthday, beautiful Finnley! Your mommy loves you more than you could ever dream up in your most fantastical of fantastic dreams.  As you gleefully blew out the candle on your party cake, I want you to know that I made my own wish for you...to be the happiest you that you can be.  Today, tomorrow...always.

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A little tour

Running is good for more than just exercise.  It also gives you time to think, to relieve stress, to lose yourself in your surroundings.  I took the opportunity to do this on many occasions while traveling back "home" for Finnley's second birthday.  In just over a week I logged about 18 miles on foot.  That amount of miles provides a lot of thinking and perspective finding moments.  My favorite morning was bright and not overly hot.  In this particular light of the early day, everything just looked prettier in that sleepy little town where my parents reside.  Of course in situations like this when you really want to have your camera with you to capture reality at its finest...you don't have it.  So, I made the decision to run back home faster than I had planned (just barely under a 10 minute mile pace, thankyouverymuch!), load up my gorgeous PJ-wearing, bed-headed toddler, and snag my camera to head back out by car to freeze some beauty "on film".  Here is a bit of what we saw on our little tour of rural Illinois...

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Tuesday, August 09, 2011

Dog and Kid gone Wild!!!

To tide you over while waiting to hear about the Peanut turning TWO (gulp!)...here is a video of Finnley and Batman being "them". The two feed off of each other, and nothing makes Finn laugh more than this dog. Seriously, nothing. Just listen to her laugh, and you will surely agree. Promise!

 And, the updates on everything WILL be coming soon. Hopefully "tomorrow" soon, if I can help it!

And, here it is...

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