Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Finnegan: Nine Months

A few days late, but the stomach bug hit the Hogan household and knocked us out, so everything is running behind.

Our little guy spent almost exactly nine months in my belly and has spent nine months out! I can't believe it has only been nine months with Finny because it seems like he's been a part of our family forever (cheesy, I know).  We had a blast celebrating Finn's first Christmas and he had a ton of fun spending a few days with Nana and Grandpa without us. He survived the subzero temperatures in Vermont and has adjusted to life back in Groton seamlessly.  Happy nine months Finn!

Thirty nine weeks in and thirty nine weeks out!
Eating:  Finn still loves solids and has been trying all new kinds of foods.  We have been trying to give him more table food, so some of his favorites are oatmeal, avocado, and Nana's vegetable soup.   We have also started giving him the little baby Puffs so that he can practice picking up food and putting them in his mouth.  This is hysterical to watch because he will clench them with his fist and then shove his whole fist in his mouth. He eventually gets (most of) them in his mouth though and is a big fan.

Sleeping: Finn's biggest weakness is sleep, especially when travelling.  He does not travel well in terms of sleep.  When we were travelling over Christmas, he woke up at least three times a night, if not more.  Most nights, he would end up in our bed because he refused to sleep in his pack n play.  At home, he's definitely better, but still waking up twice in the middle of the night to feed.  He typically goes to sleep around seven and wakes up around 6:30.  I look forward to the day when I can say Finn is sleeping through the night, but that was not this month 😥  For naps, we have gotten down to a morning nap and an afternoon nap when we are home.  These naps are usually short (45 minutes), but occasionally we will get a long nap and everyone is happy!  At school, he only takes one nap and they can range anywhere from 1 hour to 2 and a half.

Noises: Finn is very vocal and makes himself known. Everything and anything is "dada," including Mike, myself, the tupperware container, and the table.  He squeals and grunts as he crawls around, especially if he is excited about something.  Sadly, my attempts to get him to say mama are just met with a smile and more "adadada."  Oh well! It's so cute to see his personality shine through with his sounds.

Milestones: I feel like he grew up so much this month and had so many milestones!  Good job Finny!!  He loves to wave at everyone as he leaves or enters a room and he figured out how to clap right before Christmas.  He even understands the word "clap!" and will (usually) do it on command, which is the cutest thing.  He sits up and plays and can pull himself up into sitting position.  Speaking of pulling up, he is pulling himself up on all sorts of things.  Our coffee table is a little too high for him to pull up onto his feet, but he definitely can get on his knees on all sorts of things. 

Likes and Dislikes: Besides riding in the car for extended periods of time or sleeping through the night, he pretty much likes everything.  His favorite toys are the cube with all sorts of wires and beads coming off of it (kind of like this) and his activity walker, although he can't walk with it yet.  He hasn't met a food he doesn't like, which is a huge improvement from a few months ago.

Nicknames: Finn, Finny, Bud, Buddy, Big Guy, Mr. Little Boy, Buddy Bear, Bubba

Clothing Size: 9-12 months/12 months

Diaper Size: Size threes during the day and size fours at night.  He probably could be in size fours all day, but the threes still fit and we have a ton, so threes it is!

Weight: still hovering around 18lbs.  The doctor said that was normal since he's started crawling and has had the stomach flu, so she wasn't concerned, but I would like to see him gain some more weight.

Height: 27.5 inches

Travel: Virginia and Vermont

This is one of my favorite pictures of our guy! 

Oh Finn! Your smile is infectious and your personality lights up a room.  We are so thankful we get to call you ours.  We love the way you squeal and get excited when we walk through the door.  You are a fan favorite at daycare and we understand why.  Your laid back personality makes me so happy and we have loved seeing you achieve different milestones as you grow and learn.  We love you, sweet boy!

Thursday, January 11, 2018

Christmas 2017

The best part about Mike still being in school is that he gets actual breaks, just like students at universities get.  He got two weeks (!!!) off for Christmas/New Years so we packed up our car and headed south to Virginia.  We left the Thursday before Christmas after Mike got done with work.  While this meant that we didn't get to Northern Virginia until midnight, it meant that Finn slept for almost all of the drive, which was well worth it. 

We spent two nights with Mike's mom, Jim and their dog Tucker.  Finn was very hesitant about Tucker at first and cried every time Tucker barked, but by the end of our stay, he was laughing every time Tucker went to lick his face.  It was the cutest thing!

Saturday morning, we bid farewell to them (including Tucker) and met Mike's dad and grandmother.  Mimi is an incredible woman who at 97, is sharp, sassy and quite the firecracker.  And, she loves Finn.  We went to her retirement home and the pictures of Mike and his dad (the only pictures in her room) had been replaced with six of Finn. 😀  We went to lunch with Mike's dad afterwards and exchanged Christmas gifts.  Finn (okay, really me) made photo calendars for all of his grandparents which were a huge hit and brought both of his grandmothers to tears.  Good job Finn!

I love this picture!! A week after we visited, Mimi fell and broke her femur.   She's a tough cookie though and pushed through surgery and is now in rehab.   What a woman!

Once Finn started showing signs of getting tired, we jumped in the car and headed south for Virginia Beach.  (You know you're a parent when you start timing your travel times around nap time).  The drive took wayyyyy too long and we were practically jumping out of the car by the time we pulled into my parents' driveway.  Luckily, we got there in time for Finn to say hello to his grandparents and great grandfather before he made his way to destroy the Christmas tree.  

"See Grandpa, you just move all of these gifts out of the way and then you'll be able to get to the tree."  -valuable advice on how to destroy a Christmas tree from Finn. 

My aunt hosted Christmas Eve dinner and it didn't disappoint.  Everyone, including Finn, enjoyed dinner (we all know how much Finn loves mashed potatoes!) and left feeling very full.  Finn and Mike headed home for bed time while the rest of us went to church.  Christmas Eve mass is my favorite church service of all year because you can feel the anticipation of what is coming the next day in the air.  It's exactly what Advent is all about.  

Finn woke us up early the next morning, clearly excited to open presents and see what Santa had left for him.  Santa actually already came to our house in Groton before we left, but he did make a little pit stop and managed to leave a rocking horse and some gifts for Mike and I and fill our stocking.  Funny how his taste is eerily similar to my mom's? 😉

We spent the day hanging around and opening presents.  Mike and I made the mistake of going to see Pitch Perfect 3 that night and we both walked away with the sentiment that it was aca-awful. 

The rest of the week was a lot of the same.  Mike went to Annapolis to watch Navy destroy UVA in the bowl game. I bought a new winter coat and caught up with my friend Rachel.  It was really nice to just relax and hang out with everyone and the perfect first half to our winter break. 

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

New York at Christmastime

One of my new year's resolutions is to be better about blogging, so I'm not posting about our trips a month after they happen.   Finger's crossed that actually happens!

There is something special about being in a city during the holidays. Whether it's the storefront displays filled with festive decorations, the wreaths on the lamp posts or the holiday cheer that seems to fill otherwise grumpy people I'll never know, but regardless of what it is, it works and makes New York City the perfect place to fill your heart with holiday cheer and get you in the mood for Christmas.

We took the train from New London into the city Saturday morning which was perfect because we didn't have to worry about parking the car and the train ride through New England was stunning.  It had snowed earlier in the week and everything still had a nice dusting.  Luckily, our hotel was only a couple of blocks from the train station.  Unfortunately, our room wasn't ready, so we dropped our stuff off, loaded Finn into the stroller, and headed out in search of some New York style pizza. Joe's Pizza was right around the corner and didn't disappoint.

Finn slept through our pizza experience, but woke up just in time to go to the Christmas market.  In case we were questioning his dislike for the cold, he reassured us that sentiment still rang true.  He began fussing within minutes of waking up and really didn't stop. Fortunately, the Christmas market was cute and we got two new ornaments for our tree.  Random coincidence, the people who were working in the shop were all Turkish! They loved the fact that we had lived in Izmir and that Mike could speak to them in Turkish!

After the Christmas market, we headed down to Rockefeller Center. We weren't the only ones who wanted to check out the gigantic tree and ice skating rink because we were quickly overwhelmed by the crowds.  I'm sure it's even crazier at night and both of us were glad that we had experienced it before and didn't need to hang around very long.  That being said, it is really spectacular and worth experiencing at least once.  The tree is beautiful, especially with the ice skaters around. 

We were there days before Matt Lauer got fired!

By this point, our hotel room was ready and we headed back to alleviate Finn from his screaming and let him crawl around a bit before dinner.  We had plans to meet up with one of Mike's friends Ramon and his girlfriend for dinner at a Korean restaurant.  As it turns out, one of Mike's really good friends Ben from DC (who introduced him to Ramon) came up and surprised him for the weekend. Such a fun surprise!  The food was delicious and the company heart warming.  

Finn slept through half of dinner and decided to wake up for the stroller ride home.  Along with waking up, he decided to scream for the entire 20 minute walk home.  Just lovely.  The funniest moment was when we were crossing the street.  Finn is screaming and there are people standing in little ramp that allows strollers and wheel chairs to easily access the side walk.  We are crossing the street and clearly coming for the ramp.  It's impossible to miss us since Finn is screaming, but the people weren't moving, so Mike, with little patience at this point, doesn't even stop the stroller and just says "Are you going to move?" to the people.  They scurried out of the way just in time for us to come through.  Normally, I would have felt kind of bad, but at this point, Finn was screaming and the people clearly saw us coming, so I just had to laugh and not look back.  

Once we got to the hotel, we put Finn down in his crib and he luckily settled down.  Mike was thinking about going back out to meet up with his friends, but was waiting to make sure that Finn actually went to sleep. When we are in hotels, we have to put Finn in the crib and then move out of sight so that he falls asleep.  Usually, we can go in the hallway, but that night, we chose to lay in bed with the lights off.   I'm sure you can guess what happened.  Spoiler alert: we both fell asleep at 8:45. I woke up around ten and was completely confused.  Mike did the same around midnight.  Needless to say, he did not meet up with his friends. 

We woke up the next morning feeling extremely refreshed after ten-ish hours of sleep! Mike hit the gym and Finn and I hit up the breakfast buffet.  We had plans to go for brunch, but when you wake up at 6:30, brunch at 11:00 is basically lunch, so breakfast is necessary.  After Mike finished at the gym and we finished breakfast, we all set out for Brooklyn! We quickly learned that all metro stations are not handicapped/stroller accessible and got an arm workout as we carried the stroller up many flights of stairs. 

We ended up at a Mexican restaurant for brunch which was delicious.  We felt the need to do some walking, much to Finn's chagrin and set out to explore Brooklyn by foot.  Finn fell asleep for a little while, which allowed us to all leisurely stroll through the neighborhood and take in the sights.

Finn woke up just in time to stop for a coffee/hot chocolate break. 

By this point, we had to say goodbye to our friends and head back to the train station.  We did grab dinner in the train station and Finn had his first encounter with a balloon, which was as exciting as you can imagine.   Otherwise, the rest of the evening and the end of our trip were uneventful.  We returned home late on Sunday and happy to have spent the weekend with friends and surrounded by Christmas cheer. 

After this trip, we decided that travelling with Finn will have to take a different approach.  There will be less sight seeing and more relaxing/playing.  Finn's dislike for the cold, as well as his desire to be out and crawling around made him pretty miserable this entire trip.   I guess I can't blame him. It looks like we'll be doing lots of beach vacations in our future!

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Army/Navy 2017

Finn started the week leading up to Army/Navy with a terrible case of bronchitis. Combine that with the weather reports that it was supposed to snow during the game and Anna and I were questioning our decision to bring the kids to Philadelphia, let alone the actual game.  Luckily, Finn's health improved enough that I didn't think we should stay in Connecticut, but I knew bringing him to the game was not a smart move. Anna agreed that the thought of standing out in the snow with three kids two and under didn't sound appealing, so we camped out in the hotel for the day. Our rooms shared a wall and I packed the baby monitor, so we just bopped back in forth between the rooms.

Mike's entire family came for the game, including his sister and brother-in-law from London, so we had a pretty big crowd.  Originally, we were going to drive to the game and tailgate with everyone before they went to the game.  When we looked at the weather report, though, we quickly changed our plan and decided to tailgate in the hotel parking lot.  Thank goodness we did this because Finn didn't even make it from the hotel door to the tailgate before deciding he was over the cold. He spent his five minutes at the tailgate screaming before I brought him (and a stiff drink) back inside. Emma, on the other hand, loved spending a few minutes out in the snow and even built a snowman!

The cutest little snowman with the cutest little girl!

Please note how everyone, even Emma, is smiling and Finn is having a meltdown.

Once the guys left, Anna and I spent the rest of the day in the hotel with the kids.  I think we were all going a little stir crazy by the end of the day, but we had fun!  Finn and Hudson just kind of stared at each other and Emma stared at all of us, but it was so entertaining to have all of them together.  I can't wait for more weekends like this as they get older and become best friends (they don't really have a choice).

Unfortunately, the game came down to a missed field goal and the second Navy loss in a row. The guys were not happy, especially since they were cold and wet.  Maybe next year?  We said goodbye to the Ficks the next morning before heading out with Mike's dad, sister and brother-in-law for Philly Cheesesteaks.  It wouldn't be a complete trip to Philadelphia without one!