Friday, December 21, 2012

Dear Finn,

Finn (Finner, Finnercakes, Finny, Finnyface, Finnster, Finn baby Finn),

You're one year old today.  Where did it go?  12 months.  365 days.  I can't believe I've had you in my life and in our family for that long, and at the same time, you fit with us like you've always been with us.  It's been a busy year for our little clan.  We moved very soon after you were born and started over again in a new place.  It's been a difficult year at times, but Finn, you've been a trooper.  You've always been a good little baby.  You roll with the punches. You smile through the rough spots and don't stay mad or frustrated for very long.  You are my sunshine boy.  Through the last year there were times when I felt at the end of my rope and I'd look at your little face and you'd give me one of your beaming smiles that completely light up the room, and everything looked brighter and easier.  You are my little angel boy.

From the day you were born I just adored you.  You have the most adorable cheeks, chunky legs, and beautiful smile.  I'd sit in the hospital bed, knowing that I should put you down and get some rest, but I just didn't want to stop snuggling and staring at you and enjoying those few precious hours of you and me at the beginning of our adventure together.  We wanted you, Finn.  We wanted you so much.  What a beautiful little boy you are.  From the beginning you looked like your daddy and you do more every day, which, in my opinion, is a lucky thing cause he's a very handsome guy.  You have his eyes.  And I love your daddy's eyes.  They sparkle and absolutely light up when you smile, just like your daddy's do.  It's a beautiful thing to see.  I'm amazed at how easily you smile and let out your short, grunty giggle.  All people have to do is look at you and you'll gladly flash your biggest smile at them.  We make friends wherever we go because you, tiny little baby you, are already making friends.  Just like your Dad.

It's been interesting as a parent, having two boys in a row and realizing that, although you have the gender thing in common, you are very different.  Things that worked with Tate do not work with you so we've had to figure out what you need and how to give it to you.  You're not a snuggler like Tate is.  You like to be held and carried places, but you're always facing out, taking in your surroundings and figuring things out and as soon as we're done going where we're going, you dive our of our arms and want to be on the ground making your own way.  You don't like to lie on our shoulders.  You don't like to snuggle while I sing to you before bed.  One of the most difficult things as your mother, a snuggler myself, is not being able to snuggle and hug away your tears.  When you get sad or frustrated, holding you, singing to you, rocking you, has never made it better.  This is hard for me sometimes as a mommy because I feel like you're an extension of my heart.  I'm sad when you're sad and it's hard for me not to be able to fix it for you.  But luckily, you don't get upset very often, and it never lasts long when you do, so my inability to calm you isn't a disaster.  You may not be big into snuggling, but it's okay.  I just think you're independent.  Determined to figure it out on your own even though you're just a little guy.  And you know what, it makes every teensy lean or still moment, or momentary collapse into me while I'm holding you mean so much more because I know it's really for me.  To show me that you love me.

One thing you do have in common with your older brother and your dad, is your affinity for people.  You love being around people and don't often feel unsure or shy around anyone new.  If there's another baby crawling around in church, you have to be on the ground with them chattering, smiling, and following them around.  You can't stand to be left out of the fun at the park, or when Tate plays with toys.  You've always been big on being with others.  You're friendly and seem to light up when people are around.

You love you dad and your big brother.  You love me too, but not as dramatically.  Probably because I'm always around and I'm sort of a given.  But when Tate gives you a hug or a kiss or pats your head or wrestles with you a bit it's like he just turned on the sun for you.  You love when Dad comes home too.  No matter what's going on when that door opens and your Dad walks in, you are beyond happy.  You spend the next few minutes making sure you can see Dad and he can see you and beaming at him.  I can relate.  It's my favorite time of day too.

You are a tough little boy.  You are physically strong, and emotionally tough too.  From the beginning your little hands could grip amazingly tightly and your arms can pull so hard.  One of the things I remember most from your baby blessing is when your Dad mentioned that you are blessed with physical strength and it will serve you well in life.  You are one strong boy Finn, in every way.  You take falls and bonks in stride, you aren't easily thrown off you game by traveling or staying somewhere new.  You can also be so stubborn when you feel like it.  When you want something it's very hard to distract you from it.  Luckily, what you usually want when you get upset is just food or milk and that's easy to fix, but when it's something else, like wanting to empty the kitchen cupboards, and we won't let you, you let us know that you are upset and you don't give up easily.  Your toughness will serve you well, little Finn.  Some frightening things have happened in this first year of your life, and I, like any momma, worry for you.  But when I really think about you, the boy you are and the boy you will become, I worry less.  Because you are a strong boy.  You will stand up for yourself.  You will defend what you know is right.  And you will do it all while being the bubbly, kind, happy boy that you are and you will be fine.  You will win people over wherever you go just like you always have.

You are loved, baby.  Your Daddy adores you.  Your big brother adores you.  And I adore you too.  You have the best big brother a kid could ask for.  He is proud of you.  He calls you "my baby" and tells everyone who admires you that you are "his".  I'm glad that you have each other and you have your Dad.  He is an incredible Dad.  People used to ask me when I was pregnant with you if I was sad you weren't a girl.  I always thought that was so silly.  I LOVE my two little boys and I'm so incredibly glad that you and Tate have each other and that you'll grow up together sharing, playing, and helping each other.

Little Finn, I love you.  I'm so proud of you and am grateful every single day that I get to be your mom.  I can't wait to watch you grow.  To hear your first words.  To watch you walk, then run after you big brother. To understand and get to know you more as you learn to express yourself.  But I also ache for this year that I will never have again.  The sleepless nights where I held your tiny sweet baby body.  Just you and me, having some alone time in the silent house as Tate and Daddy slept.  The first time you turned your head at the sound of Tate's voice.  The first time you giggled at me when I tickled you on your changing table.  Watching you learn to crawl and chatter to yourself while you roll cars along the floor.  Watching you laugh at and try to copy Tate's lion Raaaaaarrrrrr.  I've loved this year with you and wish we could do it all a few more times just to make sure I don't forget any of those precious little things that have made raising baby you so wonderful.  

My Baby Finn, I can't believe that you're already one.  That soon you'll be walking and needing me less and less and less.  You are an incredible little boy.  I admire so many qualities that you possess and we'll do our best to help you grow into the incredible man I already see in little baby you.  You are going to do great things, my baby.

The world is yours, Finny.  Happy Birthday, my baby.

Love,
Mom

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Last Picture Wednesday

Today Finn baby is 52 weeks old.  His first birthday is on Friday.  Unbelievable.  He's so big.  So, so big.  I love it and really don't love it at the same time.  I have a big birthday letter to write to my little boy, but I think I'm gonna leave that for a couple more days.  So, for now, here's our very last picture Wednesday.  Little Finn at 52 weeks old today.
This morning we took Tate to his preschool Christmas program.  It was so fun.  Glenn even went in to work late so he could come and watch.  A few weeks ago Tate's preschool sang at Barnes and Noble for a little fund raiser and he was parked next to a darling little girl who sang very loudly.  Tate spent the entire "program" that night with his hands over his ears.  He didn't sing a single word, just stood there covering his ears.  So this time we talked about how we were excited to hear him sing the songs he's practiced and I hope he will not cover his ears this time.  He looked at me all concerned and said, "But mom, what if someone is singing really loudly?"  I told him, that would be just fine and he can sing loudly too.

This morning he was standing next to the same darling girl and he did great.  He was so excited to see Glenn and I.  He kept smiling at us, talking to us.  In between songs he played jingle bells on his imaginary trumpet until his teachers told him to be quiet.  It was awesome.  I didn't realize how fun these simple little things are for parents!  I loved every second.

We're busy getting ready for Christmas around here.  Lots of last minute cleaning, shopping and wrapping along with Christmas parties, treat delivering, and of course there's still Young Men's, piano lessons, and Lacrosse practice too.  But it's been a wonderful Christmas time so far.  A few days ago we decorated a gingerbread house and a gingerbread train.  Tate had fun sticking candy all over them and singing to himself.

 Our Christmas party season started with a trip to see the zoo lights at our zoo here.  All the special events at the zoo here are not included in our membership which is a total bummer, but lucky for us, our amazing realtor and his company threw a Christmas party at the zoo one night.  They had a ton of food and we got to roam around and see the zoo lights for free.  It was really pretty and really cold, but  Tate still had fun finding all of the zoo animals made of Christmas lights.
We had two Christmas parties with Newfield this year.  One for families at the aquarium where we had breakfast, met with Santa, and then toured the aquarium, always a favorite.  Tate had a nice chat with Santa and told him all about the "hot mobile" (hot wheels) track that he wants for Christmas.  
Finn wasn't sure how he felt about this guy with all the white fur but it wasn't traumatic, so we'll take it.
They do such a good job putting on these events for their employees.  They had a big treat bag filled with fish-themed goods for Tate, and breakfast was a yummy buffet complete with a pasta bar with candy, syrup, chocolate syrup and other goodies a la Elf.  It was hilarious.

Then last weekend we attended Newfield's big couple's Christmas party.  It was at a very nice hotel down town.  We dressed up all fancy and had a delicious dinner.  Every year they have a different theme for the party.  This year they did a murder mystery party.  It was interesting.  Glenn, of course, really got into it.   At one point a cop pulled him up out of the crowd (he'd been 'volunteered' by a lady in his office without him knowing), and made him sing Part of your World, in front of the whole party.  Then he re-enacted the murder that happened at the beginning of the party.  Basically, a lady came in screaming that she'd been stabbed, ran around the room screaming, then fell down in the middle of the dance floor...so Glenn enacted that for them.  Hilarious and very brave.  I sat there the whole night just praying that the detectives who were pulling people from the party, wouldn't pick me to make a fool of myself.  But Glenn didn't mind one bit.
Glenn spent the evening writing down all of the clues, explaining his reasoning to everyone at the table, and then at the end he turned in our idea of "who did it".  Unfortunately, we did not win, but it was a fun evening.  After the dinner was over there was dancing and a few songs in Glenn and a bunch of people from the office pulled this out.

Glenn was asked to participate a few days before and they'd been practicing at work every day.  Hilarious.
This time of year always goes so fast.  And with being away for a week for our Disneyland trip that I still need to write about, it seemed even faster this year.  We plan to squeeze every bit of Christmas-ing out of these last few days that we can!

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Heaven

Some mornings Tate is extra emotional before he gets breakfast in his tummy, and once he's full he (usually) miraculously become his sweet self again.  This morning the conversation at breakfast somehow got around to visiting Nana's house and how Tate wanted to see Cheyenne.  Cheyenne is Nana's kitty and she passed away a couple of months ago so we again discussed how she got sick and now she's living with Heavenly Father.   He immediately started crying and said,

T: "No.  I don't want her to be with Heavenly Father!  Did they bury her in the back yard?"
Me: "Yes, sweetie, they did."
T: "No!  The dogs are going to die and go to Heaven too, aren't they mom?"
Me: "Not yet, honey.  But you know what, we get to see Cheyenne again when we go to Heaven."
T: "No!  I don't want to go to Heaven!  No, please!  I don't want to die!"
Me: "Oh, Tate.  We're not going to die for a very long time.  Don't worry.  I just didn't want you to be sad because you will get to see Cheyenne again someday when we get to go to Heaven together."

Tate continued to be hysterical about dying so I quickly changed the subject and we talked about our Disneyland trip while I fixed breakfast.  A few minutes later I gave him his vitamins.  A few weeks ago he asked why we eat vitamins and I told him they help us not get sick.  So when I handed him his vitamin c he said:

"So Mom, vitamin C will keep us from going to Heaven."

Well, I guess you could look at it that way.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Picture Wednesdays

 We were out of town last week and I missed picture Wednesday again.  We took our boys to the Happiest Place on Earth with most, but sadly not all of my family and it was wonderful.  I have so much to write about that trip.  It will just have to be another time because little boy #1 is waking up from his nap.  So here we are, two Picture Wednesdays in a row again.
Here's little Finny last week.  Happy in his stroller at 50 weeks old
And here he is today at 51 weeks old
Little Finn is really happy lately.  I don't know why I said lately...he's just happy still.  He did have one ornery day this week as he cut another new tooth.  That makes 7 for the little almost one year old.  I can't believe he'll be one next week.  So I am choosing not to deal with it until next week.  I'll just enjoy my happy little baby for now.  
Last night little man decided he wanted to take a few first steps!  You might want to turn the volume down/off.  I'm rather loud in my enthusiasm.
He's still much faster at crawling and therefore finds little motivation to walk, but he's getting really good at this back and forth to mom and dad game.