Category — Finley
n. 1) Utopia 2) A place where unicorns exist and lakes are made of chocolate 3) An alternate universe in which your parents answer “yes” to requests for twizzlers 100% of the time.
Not surprisingly, Finley has been living in fantasy land. She has named it “Alavafama.” According to Finley, both Halloween AND Christmas are celebrated every single day in Alavafama. She has tons of cats and kittens there, even her most special one named Filipe, and she gets to eat candy pretty much constantly. But the best part is her very agreeable mom who lives there. We hear about Alavafama so often that the boys even talk about it with her. I think she’s honestly made them jealous that she gets to go there all the time (in her crazy little noggin).
November 3, 2011 3 Comments
Homeschooling is going really well, overall. I can’t believe how good we have it, actually. Our kids are thriving, their teacher is creative and proactive, and their classmates are such great little buddies for my kids. It’s been a hugely positive thing from a self-esteem angle, especially for Shane with regards to academics and Jack with regards to social stuff.
The 1st real trouble we’ve hit…drum roll please…would be with Finley. Big surprise. So she has a lying problem, who doesn’t. But the real trouble is her constant need to push the limits and test everyone’s reactions all the time. This morning started off badly when she walked into the kitchen and screamed at Travis: “Hurry up and make my breakfast, you RAT!” To her defense, I think she heard that line from a move, although I cannot recall which one (I just can’t imagine even her little devil mind came up with that on its own). Travis sat her down and gave her a SERIOUS talking to. He then ordered she NEVER talk that way again, especially to grown-ups like himself or me, then also named the nanny and the teacher.
After school today, the teacher asked for a moment to meet with Travis. She proceeded to tell him that Finley did something naughty and was put in timeout at school today. Finley then said “I’m not going to timeout, you idiot!” Our teacher was telling Travis this in shock, as if she expected Travis to be equally appalled and shocked (which he pretended to be, but secretly was not at all). Finely was then given a school timeout and brought upstairs to Deb (the nanny). As soon as Deb said something to Finley about being disappointed to hear she’d talked like that, Finley responded with “shut up Miss Deb!”
Holy fucking shit. Where the hell did my kid get a mouth like that?!! But seriously. I blame Disney movies for words like that. If it were the F bomb, I’d own it, but it’s way worse than that. I’m making light of this, but truly, we have a very large 27lb problem on our hands. It’s honestly like every now and then this adorable little sweetheart has this poltergeist moment when her head spins and she turns demonic.
I got home from work tonight and had heard all the drama, so I also sat her down for a good talking to. I held her in my arms and rocked her as I told her how much I hope she doesn’t get suspended from school. She is currently on probation and another offense will land her suspended for 1 day, and we’ll make sure that’s a fun field trip day. I don’t like playing Principal, but someone’s gotta do it.
And here she is in the picture below, making her big brother help her slip on her princess shoes.
October 25, 2011 11 Comments
Warning: it’s possible not everyone will share in this humor. It is also quite possible our families with be praying for us after they read this. Still, it’s too cute, too Finley, too hysterical not to write down so we can look back at this and laugh someday after she joins the convent.
Jackson has been asking a TON of stumper-type questions lately. I’ll recapture a few of our discussions to put Finley’s funny moment into context for you. The other day, Jack asked me “how did humans get on earth after dinosaurs disappeared?” After fumbling my way, quite awkwardly, through a lecture on evolution, I noticed a quizzical look in Jack’s eye. Like he sorta bought my bullshit for the time being, but he was mounting a response that would scatter my bullshit like rabbit feces. He was examining his body’s structure as he then asked “why do we have fingernails?” To which I answered something like “Weeeell. Ahem. Because, we used to be apes. Err. We used to have claws. Uh. We once hunted and gathered.” Then he asked me something I didn’t even have the energy to bullshit about, so I resorted to my lazy line: “because that’s how God made it.” If that line doesn’t always come back to bite me in the ass…
Jack then said “mom, who’s God? Where is he?” I sighed, realized I was digging myself a deeper and deeper pit, and said “He isn’t any of us; He is the creator of the whole universe.” Then Jack pointed out “but you taught me that anything I can’t see is make believe. So if I can’t see God, he’s not real.”
Call me ill-equip, but I didn’t realize I needed to be prepared to answer these types of esoteric questions when my oldest kid is 5.
Anyway, that was the backdrop of Finley’s shining moment, which occurred yesterday at the zoo. We were walking towards the elephant exhibit when she stopped dead in her tracks, pointed straight ahead, and yelled “LOOK!!! It’s GOD!” And behold, Finley’s interpretation:
The child was dead serious. And I nearly peed my pants.
September 19, 2011 14 Comments
These pictures are from a random “free zoo” behind a BP gas station on the way to Madison. It was one of the highlights of that day, especially when Griff and the pig made snorting noises back and forth at each other.
August 12, 2011 5 Comments
Some hysterical things are said around here on a daily basis, too funny to not write down. I’ll do a few cute comments by our little meathead, Finley, first.
Travis and the kids watched Bambi for the first time on one of my call nights recently. Shane grasped the sadness of Bambi’s mom’s death but still asked “where’s Bambi’s mom?” Finley responded: “oh, she’s probly at work.”
Fin: “look mom, there’s coffee beans in the middle of my apple!”
Fin, caught red-handed, drooling with a mouthful of Easter candy she wasn’t supposed to be eating: “it was an accident!!”
Finley to Griffin: “you silly baby! You can’t eat popcorn…you only eat boobs!”
Lately, she’s been talking about her imaginary family that lives far far away. She’s usually reminded of them when Travis tells her “no” to something like “can I have more juice?” She’ll launch into her other daddy who lives far far away and I’ll watch her push all of Travis’ buttons. It’s hysterical. After she did that the other day, he stood up and said “ok, I’m going to get all my kids a dessert. Hey Fin, who’s your daddy?” She held out her fist for a fist pound and said “YOU ARE!” Then they both giggled. Here she is rambling about her imaginary grandparents who live “fa fa away” and have a little doggie…sort of based on reality I guess!
Here’s some of Fin’s funky dancing she says she learned from her Gramma! If I were her Gramma, I don’t know if I’d take credit for these moves.
Then there’s Shanie, who is OBSESSED with the idea of getting a snake for his birthday this summer. Travis, of course, has been lobbying hard for a ball python, so now we’re on the hook to get Shane a snake. I cannot tell you how excited Shane is about this. Here’s the funny part – he has already named the ball python he plans to get for his 4th bday. It’s name? It’s a ball python named “BALLS!” So the kid runs around all day talking about “my balls” this, “my balls that. It goes right along with his other obsession – his Toy Story doll. He refers to that frequently too, with “my Woody” this, “my Woody” that. Niiiiiiiice.
Shane heard a naughty phrase in a kids’ movie and repeated it in an appropriate contexts. I almost peed my pants when I heard him yell “ahhh! INDIANS!” (what he really meant was, “ahh! IDIOTS!”).
Shane has become an AMAZING biker. His new thing is biking hilly dirt trails.
And a funny one by Jack…he has this busted up stuffed baby duck that he named “Pizza Pie.” He brings it everywhere. The other day, he set Pizza Pie on the floor facing the bathroom and announced “I’m going to do a big caca, and Pizza Pie’s gonna watch!” Mostly though, Jack just says freakishly intelligent things. Today he was coming up with original riddles for me to solve. He had some awesome ones, including “what has 4 legs that don’t move? A table.” I thought I had a good one for him with “what weighs tons, is old, and has a trunk that doesn’t move?” He thought it was lame, rolled his eyes, and just pointed next to himself at a large oak tree. Not much I can do since his IQ is nearly twice mine. His latest craze is geography – he’s obsessed. He knows North American geography very well, including the Caribbean and Central America. He learned most of it from “Stack the States” and “Stack the Countries” on his iPad, but he also studies maps. I don’t know if I’ve written this anywhere or not yet either, but Jack reads now (not just 3 letter words now). He’s truly amazing. I’ll never forget the text I got one day while I was at work, prob 4 months ago. It was from Travis and said “holy $hit, did you know our kid can read?!” So yeah, we didn’t teach him; he taught himself and surprised the crap out of us as usual.
Here’s his recent artwork, the 1st picture he drew on a Doodle Pro (essentially an etch-a-sketch with a pen), the 2nd picture he painted on a canvas all by himself:
Here’s a letter he wrote me that kinda broke my heart. It also inspired an “I’d never leave you” talk:
And as for Griffie – best baby ever. He’s getting really big, still breastfeeds (yay for pumping!), is starting to eat solids (so far just bananas), rolls all over the house, and loves to do tummy time. He’s such an easy going little guy. Here’s a video of him being himself – cute and smiley. You get a quick glimpse of his “holy shit” face too:
May 15, 2011 2 Comments
Just a quick kid update. Griff is rolling around and becoming slightly demanding between the hours of 8pm – 7am (but still the perfect baby during wakeful hours). He is still the happiest, most easy going little thing the rest of the time! It pretty much just means I don’t sleep, since even when I’m home and not on overnight call in the hospital, I’m still up all night rocking and nursing this little tank. But it’s worth it. I love this goofy baby.
These pictures will make Yiayia barf a little in her mouth!
The boy makes the funniest faces!
Finley is obsessed with princesses, dresses, the color purple, and all things hideously girly…but still not the least bit hesitant to wrestle, roll in dirt, or collect her roly poly pill bugs. Shane is fearless, he befriends spiders and names them all Rosey, loves to twirl his “pincess Finnie,” still sucks his binky at nap and bedtime, and is a super sweetheart. Jack is a walking talking brain who memorizes every single fact thrown his way and asks “what does that word mean” whenever he hears one that’s not yet part of his excessively large working vocabulary. He’s also an athlete and an amazingly loving child.
April 17, 2011 10 Comments
Update on Fin-Fineus: she responded to oral antibiotics! Thank God, no hospital admission, just a fun day off with my kids on Finley’s 3rd birthday. Thank you for all your prayers.
So, Travis taught Fin and Shane how to ride a 2 wheel bike a week or two ago! How cool is that?! Because they’d learned to ride balance bikes when they were so little, it was easy peasy to transition to the real deal – literally a few hours one afternoon and they can both ride “pedal bikes,” as my kids call them. Finley dreamed up the most ridiculous bike ever – she wanted it to be purple, have a white basket with flowers, and a purple bell. Voila, her wish is her daddy’s command. Finley got a purple pedal bike with a white flower basket and purple bell for her birthday!
Here’s Shane’s debut while Finley learns in the background:
Here’s Finley a few minutes later, getting the hang of it:
Here’s Finley getting her adorable, thoughtful birthday present from Aunt Heather:
March 25, 2011 4 Comments
I spent another day off at urgent care. Actually, we got a last minute walk-in appt with a pediatrician today. Finley has had this weird thing going on since the day after her birthday party. She woke up devastated, saying “ my party’s all done, Yiayia’s gone, I’m so sad it’s all over.” It was like the day after Christmas. But then she spiked a fever and the side of her face looked just the tiniest bit puffy. She started complaining of tooth / ear pain, and her cheek was incredibly tender. I was at work, but I told Travis to take her in, so he brought her to urgent care. Jack was so worried for her; he thought she’d have to get a shot. I think it was a combo of that fear and wanting to be tough in front of the doctor, so as soon as she got there, she toughened up, opened wide, let the doctor mash on her cheek, and said it didn’t hurt anymore. Finley has a bit of a history as a hypochondriac, so chalked it up to that (even considered the possibility that maybe she’d pinched her own cheek for attention) and all her symptoms seemed to subside the next day.
Then yesterday, she was running low-grade temps again, and when she awoke from nap, her face looked like a football. She literally has a golf-ball sized firmness at the angle of her jaw, and it’s exquisitely tender to touch. I took her in this morning, fearing she may have a stone obstructing a salivary gland duct (which apparently isn’t really seen in the peds population). You never want to be the interesting medical case, but today, we kind of were. We were seen by 2 different pediatricians and we decided in the end to treat her like an adenitis – either an infection of the submandibular gland, or a lymph node. We’re doing a trial of oral antibiotics and giving it until Friday morning. If no improvement by then, or if she worsens sooner, she’ll have to be admitted for IV antibiotics and there’s a change she’ll need surgical drainage as well (because it may be an abscess).
I guess “The Boy Who Cried Wolf” would have been an appropriate parable to share with her before now. I feel HORRIBLE that we discounted her symptoms just because she’s a little crazy, when clearly she’s been in pain. And today was just awful, poor little thing. She wanted so badly to be tough, so she let 2 different doctors mash on her face, open her mouth to look for pus inside as they squeezed the crap out of the mass from the outside. I finally just watched as she let her guard down and couldn’t do the tough face anymore. She melted and just let it all out. Then she was traumatized and it turned into “mom, get me out of here! Get me away from the doctors!” It was exactly what I was thinking.
So Friday is Finley’s true birthday, and the check-up when we’ll decide if she’s improved enough to continue treating as a non-surgical outpatient or not. I made a deal with another intern and got that day off even though that makes 2 days in the same week. Unfortunately, I’m on overnight call this Saturday (30hrs). So there’s a chance she’ll be admitted to the hospital on her birthday and I won’t even be able to be there with her (my hospital doesn’ t have pediatric specialists, which she’d need – ENT and surgery). HORRIBLE. Please pray it doesn’t come to hospitalization.
For now she gets all the ice cream she wants! Here’s her distorted football face from my iphone pic this morning:
March 22, 2011 10 Comments
We celebrated Finley’s 3rd bday a little early, since I had a day off on St. Patty’s Day, which is actually Travis’ birthday! My parents were in town on their way to a ski getaway, so we had Fin’s party while they were here. Poor Travis, he kinda got robbed out of celebrating his 32nd, but you know how he’s a sucker for pink princess stuff, so it was pretty much his party too:) Of all the choices we gave Finley (and we gave her a lot), she picked a balloon entertainer for her party. It worked out well and the balloons she made were incredible, especially the giant Ariel scene she presented to Fin at the end.
[Please pretend you don’t see my husband’s crack in the picture below – I’m too lazy to edit…serves him right for not reading my blog!]
Words can’t really do Finley’s outfit justice, so here are some pics. I don’t know how many times she slipped in her heels and/or tripped over her dress. But she insisted even on wearing them to nap that day.
Happy 32nd to my guy too. Next year I plan to celebrate it with him in Chicago, where they dye the river green on his special day!
Here’s me, Griff, and my dad:
My brother George, with a balloon alien holding some sort of laser gun on his head:
My sister Angela and her dragonfly:
My sister, Nastia, reading to Jack:
And the Party Princess eating lunch in her cupcake chair:
Finley with her Little Mermaid balloon creation:
We hung it from the banister – pretty amazing.
The birthday kids and their Rapunzel cake:
Travis in his birthday balloon hat, cutting the cake:
My dad and 2 good luck charms:
Our friends, Jerry & Rebecca (and their kiddos), who were visiting from New Mexico:
The pinata Fin picked:
Guess whose sweet tooth motivated him to collect the most candy…no surprise there!
Happy 3rd birthday to my little girl! I can’t believe she turns 3 in just a few days (the 25th). Can you believe at age 3 she weighs 24lbs? She’s quite the petite princess!
March 19, 2011 16 Comments
Here are a few tidbits about Fin, who goes by the alias “Dr. Goldberg”…read on for the explanation:)
Travis’ dad, Joe, had cataract surgery and was telling us about his ophthalmologist, Dr. Goldberg. For some odd reason, Finley is TOTALLY obsessed with medical issues and boo-boos. I had to remove Travis’ stitches recently from a little skin cancer (a basal cell) he had excised and she was all about being my “assistant.” Then, a few nights ago, Travis sliced the tip of his finger off with our awesome new Henckels knives and again Finley was all about studying the wound I could barely glance at without vasovagaling! NOTHING grosses her out and she loves to remind everyone how brave she is (“I’m so brave of daddy’s boo-boos”). Anyway, Dr. Goldberg has become her newest fascination. She asked a kazillion questions about him and Grandjoe’s cataract surgery, then asked that we call her “Dr. Goldberg.” She went by this pseudonym while playing “doctor,” and again on Christmas when she got a doctor’s kit under the tree! So here’s our littlest “Dr. Goldberg” examining her cataract patient, who she plans to perform surgery on:
Last night she used her doctor’s kit to examine Travis. Travis just recently had a TON of dental work done (root canal, several crowns, a filling, and a deep cleaning of his gums). Finley took one look in his mouth with her otoscope and said “yup, your teeth are broken.” A few other Finley funnies from the past few days…she was rubbing her little teapot telling us a “genius was going to pop out.” Too bad for her, the genius never showed.
And in case there was ever a question of Fin’s I.Q., we also caught her eating some of those silicone beads used to preserve new boxed items (board games, shoes, etc) the other morning. I had the pleasure of chatting with my old friends from Poison Control, wishing them a happy new year and promising them fewer phone calls this year, starting tomorrow! Turns out those beads are non-toxic, just choking hazards. So I think I might offer them up as a dessert reward if Fin eats all her dinner tonight;)
We’ll see what Griffin is like, but I’m afraid Travis + Laurie = Meathead. Or, as I told my sister, Meathead with verbal diarrhea. No one can take that away from Finley! I’m just kidding of course. She is a total riot, an absolute daredevil. A 2yo with more personality and enthusiasm in 1 tiny body than I’ve ever seen in any other human being. A kid with SO MUCH to say it’d make you pull your hair out (trust me, her dad, and/or her brothers). Jack begs me at least once a day to “please make Finley be quiet,” and Shane told me yesterday “Fin talk a LOT!” Travis and I laughed so hard today after she jabbered everyone’s ears off, ran up 3 steps to the bathroom still rambling, shut the door behind herself, and continued talking a mile a minute about God-knows-what.
Another Fin-ism that we’ve been hearing a LOT about and is making Travis question his belief that girl/boy differences are purely nurture, not nature, is her obsession with people falling in love and getting married. She tells people all the time that “mommy and daddy got married because they love each udder SOOOOOO much, and because mommy wanted a finger ring.” Then she adds “and when people get married, they kiss like this…” and does this VERY dramatic interpretation of a Disney prince / princess peck.
Finley, in 1 word, can only be described as PASSIONATE. Ok fine, I could think of a few other words to substitute in there, but we’ll go with that.
Finley still adores her little brother, “Gwiffie.” When I say adores, I mean she CANNOT get enough of him. She squeals every time she sees him and still begs to hold him whenever he’s awake. And we catch her waking him up, sneakily, just so she can ask to hold him. Poor Gwiffie is going to be one doted over little brother.
While my mom was taking care of the kids (when we were in the hospital), taught them to pray at mealtime & bedtime, something we haven’t been in the habit of doing with them. Finley’s favorite part is when everyone holds hands and the prayer ends, so she can say “AAAAA-MEANT!” My mom talks a lot about God, and since that this introduction has come to my kids around Christmas time, Finley now has this magical image of an all-powerful being crossed with Santa Claus. This has led her to attribute absolutely everything from her behavior (ie: “God made me do it”) and even her Christmas presents (ie: “God gave that game to me Shane”) to God.
January 3, 2011 7 Comments