Monday, September 17, 2012


fin's at an age where we can start doing crafts and such which i'm pumped about. she actually shows some interest in coloring or "daw" (draw) as she says. she spends a lot of the time taking the crayons out and putting them back in the box. although when we "daw" at the library she sits for awhile actually coloring. anyways, i've been trying to do a fun craft with her at least once a week. pinterest as a ton of great ideas for toddler crafts and most of them use things we already have around the house.

the first thing we made was a stained glass butterfly.

it was super easy and used cardstock, contact paper and construction paper. i had fin color the butterfly a little bit then she put the colorful pieces down. at first she placed them nicely then after a few she dumped the whole bucket of them. i love seeing it on our window.

then we made a necklace out of toilet paper rolls and ribbon.

i tried markers with her for this and it wasn't terrible! messy, sure, but she really likes using them. she also spend a lot of time putting crayons through the rolls. i had fin help me put them on the ribbon and voila!

and for fun last night i made bathtub paint.

super easy, all things we had in the house and it washed right off of her! at first fin wasn't too sure what to do with it and then it would drip on her and she'd say "uh-oh uh-oh." she got the hang of it though.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012


you know how every mom thinks their child is a genius? well, i'm no different. :) our sweet, smart girl knows her colors pretty consistently and even some letter! i made a differeny bucket for every color and was going to pull a new color out to practice every few days, but once we really started focusing on colors (just naming them as we went throughout the day) she got it. so now i just ask what color bucket she wants and we play with that one. if you ask her what color something is she'll most likely said "red" or "yenow," but if you don't ask her she'll tell you the right color. for instance a couple weeks ago when i changed my shirt she kept saying "pink pink" and i couldn't figure out why until i realized that my shirt was pink. then when i was changing her diaper she said "bak" and sure enough her diaper was black. she notices different color cars so yesterday in the parking lot she pointed out the red cars to me. also, if you ask her to get a certain color crayon she'll most likely give you the right color. now she helps with diaper laundry and towels giving me the colors i ask for. genius.

plus, a couple weeks ago i got her some alphabet flashcards. i've been going over the alphabet with her in some of her ABC books so i figured we could use these too if she wanted to. and she looooves them. she asks for them ("tapoo") and asks for more when we're done. she's pretty good at A,B,C,D,F,M,O, and P. M is her favorite and picks it out in other places too. i told you she was a genius. :)

Sunday, August 5, 2012

15 months.

the past few months fin has been learning all sorts of new things. at 15 months she

*knows where to find her belly button, belly, nose, eyes, head, hair, ears, toes, teeth, mouth
*talks nonstop. some of her newest words are daw (draw), elmo, bi bir (big bird), abby, eree (ernie), memew (tomato and potato), tutoo (turtle), puppy, doggy, kitty, tatoo (towel), bise (bath), dace (grace), dew (drew), minnie, mi-ee (mickey), daddy, toot, poop, bup (burp), head
*loves to play with her baby. takes her for rides in the stroller, feeds her and loves on her
*is obsessed with elmo and most other characters on sesame street
*takes one nap a day. 12-1/2. it's hit or miss.
* sleeps 7:30-7
*is getting to be not such a picky eater again. looooves tomatoes, raspberries, peas, cheese
*is starting to use "please" appropriately. this makes it harder to tell her no.
*still loves to read. loves books about animals and likes to find bears in them.
*knows several animal sounds. moo, quack, sssss, meow, raaar,
*tries to "count" things on a page. basically points to everything and says "two two two"
*loves her water abby, takes a bath with her and gives her a bath. washes abby's hair and cleans her with a wash cloth
*drinks only whole milk and water
*tells us when she toots, burps or poops. she's such a lady

Tuesday, July 10, 2012


holy smokes this girl loves to talk. it's like she doesn't even think about it, she just repeats it and it's in her skill set. some of her newest words:
ravioli is said strangely, but we definitely know what she's talking about
down (dow)
off/on (ow)
inside/outside (side)
abby (abdow, although she's saying abby more often now)
reas (ree)
ride has turned more into ride as opposed to ise

Wednesday, June 20, 2012


this little girl gets cuter and cuter every day. who knew that was even possible?? she's such a little person now. her personality comes out in everything she does. now she pretends to feed her bear and baby, either putting food up to their mouths or her big plastic fork. she also likes to cover up her stuffed animals and tell them nigh-nigh.

another one of her favorites to carry around my lunch bag and put things in it. now we know to look in that bag if we're missing something. like i found my phone in there amongst many other things. she'll grab a bad and say "bye-bye!" or grab my keys ("keys keys keys") and head for the door.

fin also likes to take her stuffed animals for rides on her little truck.

she now calls herself "nene." it's awesome. sometimes when she does something she's not supposed to she'll say "oh nene." she'll say it all exasperated like i would. so while i'd like to be mad she's nibbling on the coffee table, i have to laugh...for now. it's also funny when she throws food and says "oh geez." she's getting to the point where she copies just about everything i say. clearly i say "oh geez" quite a bit. she's gonna turn me in!


erin likes to make fun of my first time mom-ness every once and a while. i think she forgets she too was like this with grace and is a little more lax the second time around.  one of her favorite things to pick on me about is how i feed fin. i'm not SUPER strict with what i feed her, but i do try to only feed her food that actually benefits her, not just fills her up. however, b and i don't really eat like this so some nights fin eats something different than us. for instance, the other night we were going to be having meat lovers pizza (look, i hadn't been to the store in a while). i'm not totally opposed to fin having pizza, she's definitely had it before, but that night i gave her falafel balls and green beans. so after she had her chickpea balls and steamed green beans (which she loves, by the way), we pigged out on pizza....that definitely had bacon on it. sometimes i'm too tired to care and she'll eat whatever we're having. i just figure i might as well keep feeding her the good stuff while she still likes it. i'm afraid once she tries the "bad" stuff she wont go back to the healthy stuff. the only time she's really had sweets was on her birthday and ever since then we can't eat cupcakes in front of her b/c she definitely knows what they are now. i don't give her juice b/c well, she likes milk and water. i make her crackers (i like to know what's in them, but of course she's had store bought ones), she eats quinoa mac and cheese AND regular mac and cheese, she eats organic and non-organic fruits and veggies and she's only had whipped cream once b/c grandpa was trying to win her over. so it's not that much work to feed her well, i'm not crazy control freak about it and she doesn't know any different. :)

Tuesday, May 29, 2012


our girl is quite the chatty cathy. she tries to repeat just about everything she hears. i'm trying to remember everything she says, so here goes:

bye (sometimes bu-bye)
bubble (bu-bu)
llama (mama)
ride (ise) it's a strange word she says for ride, but we definitely know what she means
please (peas)
more (mu)
lamby (meme)
finley (nene)
ruby (be)
box (bo)
blow (bow)
water (wawa)
snack (na)
nigh night (night night)
teeth (tee, says the same for toothbrush)
mine (luckily she doesn't know what it means really)
banana (nana)
milk (milk)

geez. when i put it in a list like that it looks like a ton! she is a determined little booger when it comes to talking. she'll stare at my mouth and try to say it herself. there are some other things she says quite a bit that we can't quite figure out the meaning of. it's so fun hearing her little voice and actually understanding (a little) what she's trying to tell us! no we need to get them all on video.

Friday, May 11, 2012


i am determined to raise my kid(s) to be charitable, to think of others before themselves and to always give back. we're certainly not the richest people in the world (at least not monetarily), but we have everything we could possibly need/want. because of this it was important to me to make fin's birthday about giving. when i was thinking about how we were going to give i immediately thought of books. books are important for so many reasons and finley's already a bookworm so it made complete sense. as a teacher i saw kids that came from homes that didn't have books. homes where kids weren't read to. homes where books weren't important. it's a whole different world from what brandon and i are used to, but it exists.  i did some research and called the hospital where she was born. it was almost brand new when i had her there (they delivered their first baby there in feb) so i thought they might need some help building their library. when i called the woman in volunteer services was so grateful to be getting books. they have racks in the waiting rooms but no books. NONE. so while they don't have a children's hospital there, of course there are kids that come in with their families. hopefully the 61 books we donated will help keep kids entertained, happy, comforted, distracted, and maybe give them a little reading practice. you can take the girl out of teaching, but you can't take the teaching out of the girl. :)

we went last week to drop off the books and it was great. the woman met us downstairs and once again said how thankful she is. she took a few pictures and she should be e-mailing them to me. hopefully we can keep this going for birthdays. i know one day she's going to care about presents, i just hope she also cares giving back.

Monday, April 23, 2012


we had the best birthday celebration ever. for real. when fin was about 6 months old i saw a bunch of pictures of rainbow birthday parties and decided way back then that that is what i wanted to do. i collected ideas for a long time and then a few months ago i started working on making decorations and such. yes, a few months ago. look, i'm not a procrastinator. i don't like feeling rushed and i had a vision in my head that i wanted to execute. i'm proud to say all the food was homemade (with some help from erin!) and a lot of the decorations were homemade also. i made weekly trips to the dollar store and hobby lobby (luckily they're right next to each other) looking for sales and cheaper alternatives. i wanted her big day to be special, but definitely didn't want to break the bank. hence the homemade decorations. anyways, it turned out perfectly, not just because of the food and decor, but because we had all our family and good friends to celebrate with us.


over spring break mom, erin, grace and andrew visited for a few days! normally they only end up staying one night b/c andrew doesn't sleep so well here, but this time it wasn't a problem at all...thank goodness. we were extra prepared. we had the pack n' play and an air mattress set up in the extra room just in case erin had to sleep in there with him, but it never got used. so erin slept on the air mattress in the guest room and mom and grace slept in the real bed in the guest room. everyone slept well (at night) so we could be houston tourists during the day. we went to the children's museum one day and it. was. CROWDED. since it was spring break, going to the museum was not a unique a idea. i thought i was just going to have to wait outside with fin until we finally found the tot room for the babies. it was so nice up there and not nearly as crowded as downstairs. i think even grace had enough of all the people. sadly she wasn't allowed to play with the babies in the tot room b/c the cut off age is 3. she was pretty upset about it. in fact, when brandon got home from work that night the first thing grace told him was "i had a disaster at the museum. i was bawling." it was so sad. :(

the next day we went to the rodeo. brandon took the day off to come to fin's first rodeo. i was very thankful to have the help. it's a little different doing things with a baby than by yourself. we packed up like we were going to be gone for days and headed out. we've actually never been to the rodeo so we weren't sure what to expect, but it too was extremely crowded. besides that, it was a lot of fun. it'll be easier to take fin to these kinds of things when she can walk. hmmmm... as i'm typing that i'm thinking that might not be true. it's just hard with her now b/c she wants to get out and crawl around, but that wasn't exactly going to happen. we had some lunch there, but brought an avocado for fin to have since rodeo food isn't exactly the most healthy. good thing too since we tried giving her some turkey leg, but she wanted none of it. i'm not sure fin was all too impressed with the rodeo. i'm definitely looking forward to taking her again in the future!

we always have a great time when the shuley clan is here. it's especially fun now because the babies are getting older and actually interacting now.

Sunday, April 22, 2012


my sweet, sweet finley,

where has the time gone?? last year on the morning of the 16th i was telling our family not to drive all the way to houston. "i don't know if they're contractions, mom. they don't hurt THAT bad. i'm not like pulling my hair out like you see in the movies." i told coco. daddy was putting in your carseat just in case it was really go time. i didn't want to get everyone's hope up, including my own. we were so ready to meet you, but terrified at the same time. what the heck do you do with a baby?? i mean we had the swing set up, your room was perfection, the pack n' play all ready for you to sleep peacefully in. bags were packed, we'd read books and on paper we were "ready" but were we really?

i guess that's the beauty of this whole thing. you didn't have any expectations and neither did we. sure we expected you to cry all the time and never sleep, but you were the opposite. of course you cried and we had no idea why, but we learned how to calm you down. and sleep? we couldn't have asked for a better sleeper. now when you first get a baby home they sleep a lot. then after a couple weeks of sleeping a lot (and you, fin, were a champion sleeper), babies are up a bit more during the day. little by little there's more awake time. like you were breaking us in slowly. you gave us time to figure out what the heck to do with you. there were days when you wouldn't want to sleep, but luckily those were few and far between. at least i think. i don't think my mind is sugar coating it. don't get me wrong. there were days that i would call your daddy to make sure he was coming home at a decent time. i needed back up. and being the awesome daddy/husband he is, he would be home at a good time and step in. those first few weeks (heck, even months, ok, even now) we had no idea what we were doing. but at the end of the day if we were all alive and mostly happy, we called it a success. small steps for sure at the beginning.

it's weird how things just fell into place naturally. we all figured each other out, fell into a routine and the first year has gone amazingly smoothly. you got pink eye (twice, thanks dad!), a cold around 7 months and who knows what close to a year old. i think that's a pretty good track record for the first year. you hit every milestone you were "supposed" to and are certainly not so much a baby anymore. when i took you out i'd get comments about how calm i was. well what else are you supposed to do? i think part of the reason you're so easy going is b/c we are. it was a conscious decision when you were screaming you're head off that we would be calm/ i certainly think babies pick up on nerves and tension. no need to add to all that business. i figured we'd eventually get you calmed down. we still get comments about how "great" you are in public. this is all i know so i'm not sure how other babies are in stores, but i thank my lucky stars we got an easy going baby. not to say you don't have your moments, but we were definitely blessed with a laid back baby.

i learned a lot about myself too. NOTHING can compare to being a mom. nothing. no seriously, nothing. who knew you could love someone so much? who knew you could function and put on a happy face with such little sleep? who knew you could be so hard on yourself? i'm still mad at myself for not breastfeeding longer. that's probably my biggest/only regret thus far. clearly i need to let it go. you're happy, smart, healthy and beautiful. we must be doing something right! sometimes i still can't believe you're all ours. sometimes i miss being pregnant and having you all to myself. i miss being able to protect you from just about everything. but then i see you walking around, talking to your toys and i can't wait to see what you do next. you surprise us everyday.

so finley, thank you. thank you for teaching me so much. thank you for loving me just as i am. and thank you for picking me.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012


ahhhhhh! these last 12 months have literally flown by. never has a year gone by so quickly. while the first few months didn't exactly go so fast, now looking back they did. our little smarty pants is super fun. she:

*says "mik" for milk, "nanan" for banana, "hi", "bye", "baby", "bu-bu" for bubble, and "ba" for ball, calls llamas "mama", "nigh-nigh", calls her bow a "no no no" b/c that's what i tell her when she's trying to take it off
*calls brandon "da-da" and me "mom" or "mom-mom"
*knows the sounds for monkey, elephant, dog, opens and closes her mouth when she sees a fish, sticks her tongue out for lizard and frog
*brushes her hair if you give her her brush, therefore she also tries to brush her hair with a tooth brush
*loves playing music
*plays with ruby, we tell her to get mickey and she gets him and shoves it in ruby's face
*knows where her nose, eyes, hair, ears and belly are
*moved up to the bird class at little gym (10-19 month olds)
*is on whole milk in a sippy (no bottles at all for a few weeks now!)
*wakes up around 7 and goes to bed around 7:30 (asleep by 8)
*sleeps with baby and a blanket
*takes 2 naps a day (around 9 and 1:30)
*eats 3 meals and 2 snacks a day
*looooves fruits and veggies, not so much meat
*is still obsessed with books
*loves the look at pictures of herself
*has 6 teeth, 4 on top and 2 on bottom
*does laps around the house. grabs a toy when she's walking through the living room and says "bye!"

dr. eddings said she's perfect and more like a 15-18 month old! we're so proud of our girl. :)
weight: 20 lbs 6 oz  (42%)
height: 29 in. (59%)

waiting for the dr.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012


well this was a big weekend for our "baby." last week i noticed we were just about out of formula so i would either need to buy another can or dive into a bottle-less world. i decided it was time to move on from bottle and formula so i called dr. eddings and talked with the nurse about it. i remembered at fin's 9 month appt she said we could start whole milk anytime after 11 months, but i wanted to double check. the nurse said she was ready and to go cold turkey, which is what i wanted to do anyways so i'm glad we were on the same page. so friday night i gave fin her last bottle. i gave my baby her last bottle. i had to "fight" brandon for it, but i think he knew what a big deal it was for me so he caved pretty easily. it's bittersweet b/c i'm super glad to not be washing bottles and spending big bucks on formula, but that was a huge part of her first year. that was really the only time she'd let us snuggle her. that was when she was the calmest, getting ready for bed. that was calmest part of the night for everyone (usually). that was when i could just stare at her b/c she was completely still. so now i'll have to find another time to snuggle with her and stare at her.

saturday was the first day with no bottles and while it was a little rough, it certainly wasn't horrible. once again i'm amazed at what an easy going baby we have. she did pretty well throughout the day, but i was DREADING nighttime. while she stopped falling asleep with her nighttime bottle, it was certainly part of the bedtime routine. a huge part she came to expect. so after her bath and jammies i read "goodnight gorilla" (one of her favorites) and put her down. i didn't sit in the rocker to read to her b/c that's where she gets a bottle and i didn't want to tease her. it took her an hour to fall asleep, which is a long time for her. there was crying involved (only on her part. i sat outside), but she finally fell asleep. it made me so sad b/c i knew what she wanted and could fix it easily, but we had done such a good job all day and i certainly didn't want to backtrack. i just didn't want her thinking we forgot to give her bottle. of course b kept telling me she was ok, i KNEW that, i just didn't like hearing her so upset. once the first night was over with and she still slept till 7 i felt much better. she's been doing great since! she gets milk in her sippy at breakfast, lunch and dinner. if she didn't drink very much during her meals i offer it to her at snack times too to make sure she's still getting what she needs.

in case that wasn't enough she decided to say "baby." i was changing her diaper and b brought her baby to her and she grabbed it and said "baby." i guess we kinda thought it was a fluke, but it was so clear and then she just kept saying it all day and hasn't stopped since.

plus she's been a walking fool. i'd say she walk 40% of the time, which i think is a great start. when she falls she gets right back up (most of the time) and keeps trying. b and i get frustrated for her! she doesn't seem to mind though.

she's also quite the smarty pants. she handed me a book today to read and was pointing to her nose. i looked at the book and sure enough it was the nose book. she's so funny, and not such a baby anymore.

Monday, March 26, 2012


soooo i think we're going to have a walker on our hands pretty soon! a few people have said we can consider her a "walker" now, but i'm waiting just a bit for her to really master her skills before i call her that. she's been doing a great job walking to brandon and me, but she usually gets too excited and ends up diving for whoever she's going for. her little legs can't keep up with her top half. and of course she's terribly trusting and knows we'll catch her. so she normally takes about 4 steps and dives excitedly. we were happy with this though b/c she's still so tiny! however, yesterday we were doing some work in the front yard and brought the girls (fin and ruby) out there with us. finley looooves mulch. loves it. she does an ok job at not eating it and just playing with it. the problem with her playing outside is it's no fun to crawl on the concrete and she's not a huge fan of grass. sometimes we put pants on her (under her dress) so she wont skin her knees, it's just soooo flipping hot out already.

anyways we'd peek at her playing on our walkway ever couple minutes and one time we did and she was just walking along! her steps were so thought out, meticulous and you could just tell she was working so hard, her little face so concentrated. she would take a couple steps, stop and gather herself. her bottom never touched the ground. not sure what she was going after, but it got trickier when she reached the grass. then she turned around and came back! the coming back part was not quite as smooth, but she still did a great job. she kept it up the rest of the afternoon too. once we were inside we'd catch her letting go of the couch or coffee table and take some steps or just stand up in the kitchen and walk.

i can't believe our baby is just about walking. it *almost* makes me sad. i feel like this is the last BIG milestone for her to hit. i know she's going to learn so much still, but this seems like the last of the major ones. don't get me wrong, talking is huge also. i just see our tiny girl waddling around and i can't believe how much she's changed in the last 11ish months. maybe i'll call her a walker when she mostly chooses to walk over crawling.

Monday, March 19, 2012


this is such a fun age. everyday she pulls out a new trick. at 11 months she...

*takes a few steps on her own! only about 3-4, but it's a great start
*points to brandon and says "da da"
*crawls herself to the bathroom when she hears the bath water running
*will get her baby, dog, ball and book when you ask her to
*claps, waves, points, tries to brush her hair with her brush, plays peek a boo with just about anything
*tries to say "hot", "hat", "night night", "bye"
*tries to moo, hiss, baaa, bock
*stands everywhere
*loves her bath, but not getting her hair washed
*has kinda crazy hair in the back! not sure if its b/c it's getting "long", but it's a little curly back there!
*sleeps till about 7:30 now! thank you time change. that means she also stays up till about 7:30/8
*still hates her afternoon nap, but it's a tiny bit better since the time change
*now takes a nap around 10:30-12, and the afternoon is always a surprise
*eats everything we do. every.thing. looooves spaghetti, waffles, peas, mango, kiwi, and grapes-- although one night she had a few too many grapes and they revisited her in the middle of the night. :(
*is going through  a vegetarian stage. not too big on meat right now. well, unless it's in spaghetti. doesn't really like fish.
*has 3-4 bottles. recently just 3 around 7:30am, 3, and 7:45.
*puts herself to sleep at night. thankfully she's done that for a long time now.
*loves to snuggle! brandon always makes fun of me b/c ruby is such a snuggler and now finley is. he says i raise snugglers. i'm ok with that.
*is starting to play with her toys like they're supposed to be played with.
*loves little gym and storytime at the library
*loves to "kick" balls
*says "no no no" and wags her finger. "no" isn't exactly right, but you can tell what she's trying to say


to say finley is "obsessed" with books is and understatement. at least once a day we have to read all the board books that we keep in the living room. there are probably 15-20 of them. sometimes we finish a book and sometimes we just get through a couple pages and she's on to the next one. she loves to turn the page for us. we say "turn the page fin" or "can you turn the page?" and she does! as soon as the book is closed she either moves on to another book or instantly hands the same book back to us. she just honestly loves books. she does have a few favorites like brown bear brown bear, goodnight gorilla, and mr. brown can moo. sometimes she'll point to something on the page if we ask her to-- mostly ball or dog. i love that she's a dork already. she loves it so much she throws a little tantrum if she hands you a book and you don't start reading. can you teach patience to a baby? :)

Monday, February 20, 2012


she just wants to stand


she's such a sponge now!
*waves hi and bye
*plays peek
*takes 2 naps about an hour each
*fights her 2nd nap baaaaad
*loves to eat! eats whatever we're having. she loves pork chops, tacos, tomatoes, chicken, black beans, broccoli, yogurt, anything really
*goes to bed around 7. doesn't fall asleep with her bedtime bottle anymore. she seems pretty wide awake when we lay her down, but she puts herself to sleep quickly (and quietly!)
*loves to dance
*loves little gym and exploring all the equipment
*stands on her own for a few seconds
*wants to stand most of the time
*has to bottom teeth and 2 top teeth are coming through. she's been a trooper through teething. a little fussy, but not unbearable.
*loves to push things off the coffee table
*sleeps 11-12 hrs a night
*her hair's growing fast! still a light brownish color. looks a little red in the sun, looks dark brown other times.
*plays with her hair to fall asleep
*likes her big girl car seat better
*chews on EVERYTHING, including the coffee table and her crib.
*loves books, mirrors, her stuffed hippo, music
*doesn't really eat baby food anymore. if she's not in the mood to eat what we're having she'll eat her purees.
*mimics us
*might be trying to say "night night", it's hard to tell :)
*loves to walk with her walker
*loves ruby's ears
*shakes her head "no" and for "yes" too
*does not like the swings at the park, but likes to go and check things out

Sunday, February 12, 2012


fin's our little show monkey now. :) she can wave "hi" and "bye" (either if you're waving to her or just tell her to wave), shakes her head "no" and "yes" (she can't quite get the nodding thing down, but she tries), claps, gives kisses if you're lucky, plays peek-a-boo, dances and finds her baby, book and ball. she's pretty consistent with finding her baby when you ask her to and her ball and book depend on her mood. we're working on blowing kisses and signing "more", "all done", "mama", and "dada". we think she's getting "all done" but it's hard to tell. without further she is!


our neighborhood recently upgraded the park and it's awesome! there's a huge playground for the big kids and a cute one for the little kids. there's not much fin can do at the park yet, but she likes to play in the wood chips and check things out. she does not like to swing. it's strange. she used to at last swing for a few minutes, but the last few times we've gone she wants nothing to do with them. we can't even get near them. the wood chips are a different story. she looooves them. she does try to eat them, but she also just likes to dig around and hold them. it makes a mess, but she loves it so much we don't mind. fin also likes to just watch the other kids and she squeals with delight. we'll slide with her and let her try to climb the stairs.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012


she certainly keeps us on our toes now. :) she...

*pulls up on EVERYTHING
*usually lets her self down from pulling up gracefully
*says dadadada alllllll the time. she'll throw in a mama, baba, nana, gaga sometimes
*loves to read and turn the page for us
*climbs all over us or whatever is in the way
*does not love the car seat. we just installed the bigger one so hopefully that'll be better
*fights her afternoon nap hard. she'll play in there for an hour happy as a clam before she finally falls asleep
*takes 2 naps, 9ish and 1ish both exactly an hour
*goes to bed around 7, still gets a bottle right before bed but hasn't been falling asleep with it which is good since the bottle goes away in a few months
*wakes up around 6:30/7 (man i wish this was a bit later, but i can't complain about my good sleeper)
*mostly sleeps on her tummy (with her butt in the air), but sometimes on her side
*waves "hi" and "bye" (this is a new development so we'll start working on blowing kisses)
*goes to the little gym on fridays
*doesn't like to be too far from me and will come find me
*is getting braver trying to stand on her own, she'll let go for a little bit now
*eats pretty much everything, i usually share my lunch with her so i give her a try of whatever (veggie soup, lasagna, chicken korma, rotisserie chicken, whatever).
*so far hasn't been allergic to anything she's eaten
*loooooves kiwi (slippery little suckers, but she can pick them up)
*has eyes like a hawk, i swear she's going to be a surgeon. she sees the tiniest things on the floor and picks them up pretty easily
*studies things very closely

stats from her 9 month appt:
height-- 27.5 inch (45%)
weight-- 18 lbs 11 oz (60%)
head circumference-- 17 3/4 (83%)


fin's first christmas was definitely a success! a few months ago b and i were talking about what we wanted to to christmas break. did we want to stay in houston? did we want to go to austin? we thought about staying here and spending fin's first just the 3 of us, but after thinking about it we thought we'd just wish we were in austin with everyone. it's not like finley's going to remember so we decided to head to austin. we knew it was going to be a busy week, but man it flew by. we spent the first 2 nights at gigi and pop pop's, including christmas eve. christmas eve morning we went over to the shuley's house to do christmas with grandpa. we had a delicious brunch, opened some presents and the 3 kiddos played. then fin took a nap and it was time for church. she did a great job at church. after church we headed to p.f. changs for the traditional christmas eve chinese dinner. growing up we ALWAYS had chinese on christmas eve (still don't know why) and now we've expanded it to include everyone. this year i think there were 24 of us. yea, it's tons of fun. we weren't sure how andrew and finley would do since they are both set in their (very similar) schedule and this was going to be past bedtime, but they were awesome. it probably helped that they were entertained and everyone was willing to help out. we ate and ran to get fin home at a decent time to go to bed.

christmas morning we woke up and fin checked out the presents under the tree. she found one that interested her greatly-- her little einstein activity table-- and that kept her entertained for a while. she took a nap and then back to opening presents. she of course got spoiled terribly. she actually really liked to rip the paper off her presents. then we went to coco and mo's house for the afternoon.