Saturday, February 28, 2009

Today's News

I am officially certified as a La Leche League Leader. I think I get more letters after my name, too, but am too excited to look it up. At least I will take the title!!! Though I think I am going to start collecting letters.

I'm sure this will turn into a CLC, IBCLC, or IBCLE, or even a PC. Either way, more letters, more credentials, more fancy book learnin', and more BENJAMINS. But all in good time.... I need to finish up what I started first-- and then there is the business of locating, starting, and marketing a new group. It's still a lot ahead of me-- but I'm happiest with the validation of my hard work and time.

Go me. Two down and one to go. It's a big one that's left, but I'll get there!

This is a video of Finn mimicking mommy screaming and screeching with delight when she got the news. I think he was more excited than I was initially. Also, he didn't cry, which I did.

Friday, February 27, 2009

Polly wants a Cracker

Finn has started parroting (so watch your mouth!). This morning while watching word world, his face character Pig (who is a chef) kept eating all the pies he made. The characters would yell, 'SHARE the pies, don't EAT the pies!!!!' And all day long finn has been yelling Don't Eat the Pies! It was so funny, I even got him to yell it at Erin on the phone.

He also asks for his favorite shows by name now, and knows most barnyard animals and their sounds, as well as letters, numbers, and sometimes counting. It's awesome to watch him learn! It's SO FAST. I had no idea.

Daddy needs a new pair of shoes!

These are Finn's new shoes. First I bought them because I loved them. Now HE loves them. He wears them all day, and brings them to bed to sleep with, and tells you all day about his cars.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Some Growth

Now, this is a feeble attempt to get video of him SCREAMING the words he knows at the top of his lungs to prove to you amazingly his vocab has grown.... but it's really just a shot of him talking to himself, I think. Enjoy anyhow.

On another note, Finn has grown into his 2T's (though still too skinny and need the waist cincher kinds), and his shirts are a 3T.

He looks and acts and talks much more like a boy now, and I find myself mourning the loss of my little munchkin despite the many new glories ahead of me.

He also has racecar shoes now, which are the BEST.

The time truly does go too fast.

Behold, the Power of Cheese. I mean, Asparagus.

Something amazing happens when you give a boy a long shaped vegetable.

It becomes a sword.

In this case, an Asparagus sword.

This went on for SO MUCH longer than you think, and it was SO DAMNED FUNNY.
With Tom working so much, it's good to see them bonding when he gets home, but just to keep the dogs a little less pukey (ie Bromo, the fat one), I bought them some foam swords today from the dollar bin at Target.

Ironically, Finn has already taken a bite out of it.

Note: If you look closely, you can see Gram on kitchen table watching it all from her box.

The Beating of the Butt Asparagus is next.

And then the slow down from maniac mode.

Leading eventually into a fit of the sh-sh-sh-sh-sh!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009


This is the Boobah. It's a weird toy that has a TV show that I saw once (that looks like what tripping on Peyote must feel like), and The Kennedy's had a yellow one at their house that said 'Boooooobaaaaah' very cryptically.

It was a thrift store purchase made by Mev's mom, I think, and it cracked me up to no end. We don't get the boobah show (click link for the spooky intro), but I tell you, it's insane.

This is MY Boobah.

Finn really loves the color hot pink, and when I saw it at Once Upon a Child, it was a must have at $3.25. He loves it, though arguably not as much as I do. Please make sure you play video so you really get a taste of the toy and all it's uncircumcised weirdness. The best part is that it's horribly phallic, and it scares Tom to death.

So, naturally, I hid it for him to find. Which was awesome.

Until he did it back to me. I almost fell on the floor laughing.
This thing sat in the freezer all day until after 11pm when I found it.

It was all messed up and frozen and super funny.

I can't wait to get him back. I'll keep you posted.

A few words

This was a half wasted attempt to get Finn to tell me what he saw while watching Tarzan. He's gotten so many new words it's really exciting and will now tell you, 'I okay' when he falls down, and 'take off' when he's hot and needs his sweater taken off.

He's getting so smart, and it's so exciting to watch! Not to mention the relief we feel with how long it was taking him to move forward with his learning-- now it seems to non-stop (as predicted by Meva and Chuck alike).

The other day we counted the tree pigs (he doesn't ever say pig he SCREAMS pig) 1-2-3 and he yelled 4-5-6! He hasn't done it since, but it was exciting no less!

Wrestling Frogs & Baseball

This is an unfortunate demonstration of both his wrestling, throwing and hitting abilities.

We're working on the hitting/throwing thing, but it's a slow process so far!

Chris and Erin get Hammered

Ironically, and sadly, these were taken the night my Gram passed.

These were wonderful moments of stress release and emotional venting with her favorite great grandson. We are a ridiculous family, and I love that I have these on tape!

Finn in a Box

Ahh, the simple pleasures of a boy and his box.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Thoughts on Gram

My Gram. One word said it all; it was her title as much as it was her name. As if she always responded to Gram instead of Alice, Mom, Aunt, sister, or daughter. To us, she was grandma defined, and she was all we ever could have asked for.

She was a great caretaker, always bringing over buttermilk pancakes, dinner rolls, or eight different kinds of cookies. And she made the BEST cookies you EVER ate. She did the dishes religiously, even after we got a dishwasher, and there was no telling her not to. As she got older, her food gifts came from Walt’s, and were usually donut holes, butter pecan ice cream (which no one liked), and things like dish soap. Walt’s had become an icon of her later years, and each time I see one, I think of her, and all the bizarre but thoughtful gifts from there over the years. She started shopping at Walt’s because it was near Lucille’s house. Lucille was such a large figure in her life, who she took care of and revered with love and respect that was reserved for only her. Those two and their trips to Baker’s Square, and long visits were truly inseparable. I am so grateful that so many of their long years were spent together, and I don’t think either of them could have asked for a better companion than one another.

Her weekly trip with her sisters to get their hair done meant so much to her, and I think that time brought her so much joy—to be able to drive them all, and then visit Helen with their newly bouffant grayish-blue helmets. She was proud to be able to drive, and triumphantly drove herself until she was in her 90’s. Another favorite memory was when Jesse White, the secretary of state, sent her a form letter explaining that after a certain age she would now required to re-test for her license every year. She called my dad in tears, believing that Jesse White had taken time to personally write her this kind letter, and she was so touched. I remember when the passenger side of her car being named ‘Lucille’s side’ after the many trips they took down ‘layaway road’ to get to my parent’s house. And who could forget when they both lived at The Park, how the staff always knew to find her in Lucille’s room, and the few times she ‘tricked’ us into taking Lucille for a visit as well, making us accidentally ‘steal her’ from the facility, and how worried Betty and Jim were when they couldn’t find her! She was a great sister, and though none of them are left to attest to it, I’m sure they’re all blessing her in the great beyond.

She cried with joy in the garage the day Luanne flew in for her surprise 75th birthday party, and I think she felt so special—I don’t know if we ever could have told her all she meant to us, but I hope that moments in her life like this helped her to understand that she was an icon, a matriarch, and an unrelentingly loving person, whom we were all blessed to have known. She loved Luanne and the Sob clan so much. She was always telling us (over and over again) about her conversations with Luanne, and was always thrilled with the pictures and thoughtful little gifts Luanne sent her. I saw in them, a special mother-daughter relationship, and I know it brought her great joy. She also really enjoyed watching all of the various sports games Jason and Adam were in, and really loved her trips out to San Diego. I know it brought her comfort that they were there with her in her last days and moments, and I appreciate the courage and strength that it took to care for her in those difficult moments. I am grateful beyond words for the thoughtful care demonstrated by them for her, and am glad that if we couldn’t all have been there in her final days, at least she had her daughter, whom she prized so dearly.

I remember during the 80’s when big hair and colorful eye makeup were all the rage, she’d tell us, after hours of painstaking artistry, we looked like we put our finger in a light socket, or that our makeup made us look like a raccoon. This, of course, make everyone laugh except the person it was aimed at, but should have told us a little something about how stupid those fashion choices really were. Her wisdom never parted her lips with more befuddlement than when it came to our fashion choices-- and with good reason.

But Gram was great for more than just fashion advice, and good cookies. She was here when I was 10 and just out of the hospital every day for a week so mom could go on her years- planned trip to Ireland with her own mother and sisters. Then when dad broke his leg that same week, she did all of the cooking, cleaning, and loving that a woman could do for our family. And she did it all with a smile and a kiss, never once questioning where she belonged, or indulging a selfish moment. She came over on every sick day from school, and drove us to every orthodontist appointment—and those of you who saw what my teeth used to look like know there were many of them. She took care of me after many of my oral surgeries, bringing me Yoplait and ice cream, and scratching my back on the couch.

I remember waking, one balmy summer day, to Gram on the couch, and she told me my sister was born the night before. She sat with me in the excited anticipation of meeting this new little marvel who would now share our joys and our lives. This was the beginning of the matching dresses and shoes, and her adoration of us. In those days we would watch the Bold and the beautiful at lunch time with peanut butter and fluff on crackers, and hot tea with milk and sugar. She never missed a moment to spend with us, and I think she enjoyed them as much as we did.

These were also the days she called us all kittens, after calling out, “Jas-errr, Adam-err, Chris—err… what’s your name? Kittens….” And that even though we ALWAYS disobeyed when our parents went out, she NEVER told on us even once, knowing that kids will be kids, and loving us despite our rottenness. But it never stopped her from raising her finger in the air and saying, ‘report, report! I’m tellin!’

We tortured her with hours on end of hide and go seek, and Chutes and Ladders, and she always had the ball game on, or maybe Murder She Wrote. You never left her house without a pocket full of Werther’s Original, and a $20 bill that she stuffed in your pocket and told you not to tell anyone about, but you knew we all got just the same. Eventually, she even started giving Tom money, which was as sweet a gesture as anything she could have done—not because of the money, but because she always wanted us to feel special, and to give us a treat. It was so wonderful of her to include him, and a testament to her big heart—though she always told him to spend it on me.

She was thrilled to see me pregnant, though by then, her mind left her a little unsure of most things. But I was never as proud as the day I brought my son to her, and watched her face light up like never before, as she held her only great-grandchild. Tom kept telling her Finn was her great-grandson, but she was so distracted and enthralled with him, her response was always, ‘ yeah, he IS great’. We don’t know if she ever got the point, but all we really wanted out of that day was to see her joy, and her love for him. And she really couldn’t get enough.

Technology baffled her to no end, the poor thing. She never did master the ‘double click’ technique to open Lucille’s door for her with her new car’s remote entry. And she was always amusing us with her questions about ‘the minendo’, and other electronic toys. I recall once when Erin went to school near her apartment, and would stop there regularly between classes. She told the story one day of arriving to two police men at the door, and a very distressed Gram in her housecoat thinking that someone was harassing her. Turns out, someone’s fax machine had dialed her by mistake, and the persistent shrieking phone calls really threw her for a loop. And then there was the little blue radio, CD, and tape player, which Erin had painstakingly used masking tape and a pen with little arrows to try to describe how to work all the buttons (Shiny buttons work CDs… etc). She was so excited to have it, because it was just like Lucille’s, but she never did get the hang of it.

And though technology may have eluded her, her strength and courage never failed. At 88 years old, after being diagnosed with breast cancer, we were all horrified. But she was insistent that it didn’t hurt, and so nothing could really be that wrong with her. That kind of pragmatic attitude carried with her through the radiation treatments which rid her of the cancer but not her lovely bluish-silver hair, and all in all, didn’t take too much out of her. She was a tough woman with a gentle touch, and legendary resilience. I hope that some day, I can be half the woman she was.

I never knew her so devastated, as when she learned of my dad’s death, and I never saw pain so great or immeasurable as I saw in her eyes. As strong as she was, there are some things that no one should have to go through, and it brought me relief to hear that near the end, she was telling the nurses that she saw her son waiting for her in the closet. I’d like to believe he was there with her in her final days, and waiting to greet her with loving arms as she passed on to the other side. She was blessed with long life, and today I grieve my loss of such a wonderful woman, but I do not grieve for her, I grieve for me-- Because she lead a full, long, beautiful life that was blessed with many joys, one of the most important of which, was her family.

Friday, February 13, 2009

The Bink Stays

About 5-6 weeks ago we broke Finn of the bink. Every day I regret it.

Since then, he has started sleep walking, having night terrors, and sleeping terribly. He was always a good sleeper before that.

With Tom's 'new hours' he's nearly unmanageable, especially at night.

Last night (after hours of screaming and no rest) I gave his bink back. I don't regret it and I don't care. He will only get it when he's going to bed so it shouldn't interfere with speech development, and I really don't care if he uses it until he's 4!

It is a parenting tool, and it is very helpful and it makes him happy, which makes me happy.

Enough said. The bink stays!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Bye, Gram.

We'll miss you.

We'll carry you in our hearts and were blessed to have been in yours.


I'm super behind on pics-- I have a lot of great video with Erin and Chris, as well. Will get them up here as soon as I get a chance to breathe!

He's come around...

So, after all that scariness with Finn's language vacation, we seem to have turned a corner. Though he went a few months without learning more than a few words total, he's learned about 10-15 in the last week or two.

Chuck and Meva turned us on to some awesome videos for language development, and now he says letters, numbers, words, and even tries to count and sing the alphabet song! I also worked with him really hard to boost his motivation to learn more words and it really helped.

I took Finn to see Dr. Zooooooom, my OB and his ped. for a while, and ha all but laughed when I told him my concerns. Finn is NEVER quiet, ans was making sounds all through his visit. I guess pre-word sounds are a good marker of progress, and not just the words-- whcih is a huge relief. Finn is literally not quiet all day (much like I was), so that's really encouraging.

The doc says boys are slower than girls as a general rule, and that Finn was more than on target. He also rold me stay off the internet child development sites! While we were there, Finn even said a new word-- coat.

So, we're not too worried anymore, and if it wasn't so difficult to get him in to be screened, we'd do it anyhow just as a precaution. But my life is 10x crazy right now, and Tom's working 60 hours a week, so it's no dice. Maybe when things are little more manageable, we'll get him checked out, but it's likely by then, this will be a distant memory. :)