Happy Birthday Fincher Oliver! Today you turned 1!
Finn developments: Sweet angel Finn, you are such a blessing and a dream.
You aren’t walking on your own yet but you are are “cruising” around furniture at record speed and generally prefer to be on your feet whenever possible. You can stand in place on your own for up to 20 or 30 seconds before grabbing back onto something for support of going back to the ground again. You will walk around the house with me if I hold your hands up and support you but even after a few minutes of that you squirm out and opt to crawl or cruise. You did take your first step the a few days ago though – Daddy set you down on the floor in a standing position just out of reach of our bed and you took a step then immediately grabbed onto the bed. We repeated this a few times and you did it again but if we set you too far away (2 steps length) then you’d just drop to a crawl. It was almost like you would only take the step if you didn’t realize you were doing it and thought you could basically just reach out and grab the bed. Anyway, no rush to walk but I don’t think you’re too far from it now.
We haven’t baby-proofed our stairs and you love to charge up whenever you get bored. Since someone always chases you up the stairs (not old enough to do them unattended) you have learned to associate going up stairs with playing with someone / being chased so now, as soon as you decide to start heading towards the stairs you start giggling a big, loud giggle. This has helped us to always know when you’re on your way up and, as you hope, we always chase after you and only reinforce the fun. To go down you slide on your tummy but after you get down 1 step you stand up on your feet and climb back up again. I think you just get confused so we still have work to do to learn how to go down safely.
You’re not a huge talker but you do babble a bit. Most of your “words” fall into the “ba” and “da” category, including: Dada, baa (what does the sheep say?), buhbuh (bubbles), du (duck), ba (bath)… you get the idea. That being said you are getting better at imitating other sounds and we’re starting to hear more “ha”s and “la”s from you. Still waiting on that “Mama” sound, Mr. Fincher!
You can give a good, hard blink on command (so funny), put your hands on your head, clap, wave and you give the wettest open mouth kisses. You can sometimes point to your ears or your nose but definitely not batting 1000 for those. You love to take things off the shelves or out of containers but also like putting things back into them as well. You can stack 1 block on top of another but can knock down a whole tower. 😉 You’re good at following simple instructions, especially ones that we can demonstrate. You like bath time but always make me nervous since you are constantly trying to climb. It’s actually easiest when you take a bath with Colt since he helps keep you entertained without you slipping all over the place. You do NOT like getting your diaper changed and fuss the second I lay you on your back, however when I lay you on your back in your crib for bed you smile and start giggling almost every time.
You absolutely love music, singing and dancing. You will rock out and bounce around like crazy if there is good music going and you just love to watch other people dance. You giggle and sometimes spin in circles on your tush to try to participate in the fun.
You love playing with your brother Colt and, bless his heart, you ALWAYS want EXACTLY the toy that he’s playing with. We can get out 100 toys for you and surround you with them, make noises, etc. but whatever Colt picks up, that’s what you want to investigate. And even more-so if he builds something like a block tower or a train track or a lego creation. And man you just love to destroy them all. Colt is not so keen on this so while you guys actually do play really well together, we are still at an age spread that requires a good amount of parental management. I can leave you two to play together on your own for decent chunks of time though, especially in the basement or somewhere with lots of toy options and space. And when we’re playing together, Colt is really good about choosing to do things like play chase with you or set things out for you get (“treasure hunting”) or dancing and singing to you. Speaking of you & Colt – you two crack me up every day. He loves to “go check Finn” when you’re waking up from a nap which always involves him tossing random stuffed animals into your crib and running around your room. At any rate, Colt is a great friend and playmate for you – you really got lucky with that big brother of yours!
And no offense to Colt or to me but your absolute favorite person on planet Earth is Dada. You are obsessed with him. When he comes home from work you go bananas – you get a huge smile and then almost go into an all-out panic until he picks you up and you’ll cry if he puts you down too soon. Sometimes this is tricky since he often bikes to/from work so he’ll be pouring sweat and you just INSIST that he holds you! The other day Dad came home while you and Colt were eating. He sat down at the table and you just freaked out every time that he started talking to and looking at Colt and me. You wanted his full attention. It’s so funny!! You also give Dad the best “snuggles” where you put your head on his chest and hug him so tightly with both hands. But you have such a stud dad so I don’t blame you one bit.
Health: Praise God for your continued health and well being – you continue to grow so beautifully. We are due for your 1 year checkup but I think you’re around:
Weight: 22 lbs
Height: 30.5″ tall
Diapers: We’re finishing up our final pack of size 3 then moving up to 4s.
Clothes: 12 months
Teeth: 6! You have the front 4 + one more up & down on the left side.
You have the milkiest, creamiest skin on earth. I just want to pour you in my coffee and drink you up! Your eyes are such a clear, bright beautiful blue, and they are so freakin happy. You are SLOWLY growing some blonde hair but still have a long way to go on that front. Occasionally you’ll get tylenol if you’re teething and you’ve had a cold or two but otherwise nothing to report.
At birth you were diagnosed with an abdominal hemangioma. Based on a few factors, the doctors told us that it was unlikely that it would resolve itself and instead you would probably need surgery. We recently went in for a final follow up where it was established that God healed you and it’s now a total non-issue! Also, in one of the ultrasounds to investigate your hemangioma it was found that you had some dilation in one of your kidneys and we are thankful to report that this has also resolved on it’s own. Thank you, Lord.
Feeding: Finn, you are an awesome but kind of funny, slightly aggressive eater. What do I mean by that? Well, for starters, you’re just a great eater. You are not picky and are really good about eating whatever we’re eating whether that’s chicken, pasta, broccoli, mushrooms, chili, pancakes, eggs, turkey, sandwiches, spinach, cereal, etc. You like almost everything but have shown a few preferences / dislikes (no grapes or blueberries for you!). This is a HUGE breath of fresh air / relief since Colt is so picky, however I look back at Colt’s 1 year post and see that I was still “pretty much pureeing” most of his real meals at this point — what?!?! So, who knows the extent to which this influenced things but I do feel like the way we fed Colt made him generally more hesitant to try new flavors, textures, etc. and has generally made him picky. (I think my logic at the time was that since he was already picky, the easiest way to give him good nutrients was to puree it all together but looking back I think it was a little nuts!) Anyway, you have no problem trying new foods and in fact insist on trying whatever we are eating – and 95% of the time you like it! You don’t have a full set of teeth so of course I can’t give you many raw veggies and generally have to cut things into small pieces but otherwise you like being part of the action.
OK, now for the funny and aggressive parts. Funny: also very unlike your brother, you really like to feed yourself and when you’re able to (as in, when I judge that it won’t be too big of a mess and I let you do it) you get SO excited and giggle the entire time with your funny machine-gun laugh. At the same time, this desire to feed yourself often makes you a little aggressive. You will want to hold the bowl or fork or food so badly and you kind of turn into a screamer in the high chair. It’s so strange. You literally never behave this way but as soon as I stick you in your high chair, if you’re not immediately eating or if you’re trying to take control and grab things you just start screaming. And waving your hands around like a mad man, often knocking things out of my hands. And sometimes you get so worked up that you start flinging yourself around. It’s really weird. I do NOT like this but don’t really know what to do about it… It even gets on Colt’s nerves and he’ll be sitting in his seat trying to shush you throughout the meal. Anyway, here’s to hoping we outgrow this little nuance sooner than later…
You are still nursing and we just dropped from 4x/day to 3x. I am planning on weaning this month and I think you’ll be pretty ambivalent about it. You’re a good nurser but get distracted if there are other things going on. We’ve tested cows milk with you a few times and you like it just fine so I don’t think we’ll have the struggle that we had from your bro when we make the switch.
Sleeping: This is your superpower, Finn! Not because you sleep an abnormal amount but just because you are so easy and SO consistent. I think that since you were about 7 weeks old you have slept through the night (like, 10+ hours) and since then I bet I could count on 1 hand the number of times that I’ve had to get up to comfort you during the nights. You fall asleep for naps and nighttime without any problem and wake up slowly, giving me plenty of notice before you start fussing. Sometimes you’ll roll around and “wake-up” for 30 minutes before really asking to get up. (I appreciate this because I always knew the exact MOMENT that your brother woke up!) Occasionally when we travel you will take some time to adjust either to a time-change or a new environment but you always seem to work it out pretty quickly and adapt.
Your only sleep issue is that it’s getting harder for you to sleep in public. If I try to drag you in your carseat / stroller for a morning activity out with Colt, then it’s almost guaranteed that you won’t fall asleep until the car ride home. This would be fine if you could go with only 1 nap but you can’t. You still need a second one. So then you’re napping through dinner. So far it’s not a real problem since even if you wake up from your second nap at 6:30 you are still happy to go to bed at 8 and I’m hoping you can move to 1 nap soon (although it’s not looking like it’ll be too soon!).
The only other situation where this is a problem is when we’re traveling. On car trips you do fine – great actually – and if there is an open seat on a plane and we can bring your carseat on then we can block you off enough for you to fall asleep. However, on our last flight (your 22nd!!), there were no extra seats. When we boarded the plane you were already overdue for your nap and then we proceeded to get 4 hours of crying or either your dad or me walking you up and down the aisles. You were SO tired and I was sure that you wouldn’t be able to last through the whole flight but Fincher, you went the distance, crying all the way through the landing. Upon arrival we picked up your car seat and stroller at the gate-check and literally within seconds you were passed out.
You prefer to sleep in your crib in a sleep sack with a couple of blankies, blankets and pacis with your sound machine in the background.
Schedule: With an older brother who likes to be out & about it’s hard to keep to this too religiously, but your “ideal” schedule looks something like this:
7:50 am Wake up, first morning feed with Mom.
8:30 am Breakfast (usually a full banana then some yogurt)
9:45-12:00 pm Nap #1. It still shocks me every day that just 2 hours after waking up from sleeping for 12 hours you’re ready for this big nap!
12:00 pm Wake up and nurse #2 with Mom.
12:30 pm Lunch
3:00-4:45pm Nap #2
5:00 pm Nurse with #3 with Mom.
6:15 pm Dinner
7:50 pm Bedtime!
Mama’s thoughts: What a tremendous blessing of joy you are to our family. So much has happened in our lives in the past year and you’ve just been such a shining light through all of it.
On the day that you were born, the word God gave me for you was “wisdom” and the verse He gave me was Proverbs 1:7 (The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and instruction.). I know it might sound silly to say that I see and pray for wisdom in your life, you, a little baby just now 1 year old. But as God lets me cast a vision for your life, that is the cornerstone. Wisdom, as God defines it. Wisdom as fear of the Lord. Fear as worship, for the Almighty God, the only one who has the power to save us not just in this life but for eternity – the one who, upon seeing our sin, could have cast us out forever but instead ran towards us in compassionate mercy and does so every day again and again through the person of Jesus Christ. I pray that these things be the defining markers of your life, my precious Finn. God is giving me faith and a vision that they will.