Sunday, August 20, 2017

Eat, Drink, And Be Mongan

One day, I'll get back to blogging regularly, but until then, I'll be playing catch up.   Who would have guessed that a transatlantic move with a 3 month old would be a little time consuming? :)

As you may remember, last August, Mike and I (and Finn, but no one except Mike and I knew!) traveled to London for Mike's sister, Kelly's wedding.  It was a small ceremony with just immediate family, so we weren't surprised that they wanted to have a bigger celebration this summer with friends and extended family.

We arrived in Reading on Wednesday evening and introduced Finn to Mike's dad.  It wasn't long before Mike's mom arrived on Thursday morning and she was able to meet Finn as well.  Both were head over heals from the first minute.

Since we had the day free on Thursday, Mike, Finn, myself and Mike's mom and Jim headed to Cambridge that afternoon.  The town and the university are beautiful and it was a great afternoon excursion.


























 We even found the Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe door and lamp!



Friday was the first day of official wedding festivities.  The afternoon was kicked off with a boat ride down the Thames.  Luckily, we avoided the typical English weather (cold and rainy) and had a beautiful day of warmth and sunshine.  Finn slept through the entire boat ride, but still managed to win over the majority of ladies.  He is a cutie.

That evening, we went to a cute little restaurant for the rehearsal dinner.  Finn was not on his best behavior, so Mike and I ended up splitting our time outside while the other ate dinner, but from what I could tell, everyone else was having a great time.  

Wedding day came quickly and we were one of the first guests to arrive.  The ceremony and the reception were both at Shiplake College, where Sean went to high school.  The grounds were beautiful and it set the ambiance for a wonderful English garden wedding.   Finn ended up waking up and wanting to eat right as the ceremony started, so we missed the procession and Mike's reading (sorry Dad!!), but made it back in time to stand in the back for the vows and exchanging of the rings.  

It's a good thing he's cute!

Following the ceremony was cocktail hour where we took the opportunity to have a little family photo shoot :) 




The reception that followed was a blast and definitely incorporated lots of eating, drinking and being Mongan (whatever that means). 



 Finn fell asleep after lots of dancing, which allowed Mike and I to enjoy the last few hours with each other.  I'm not sure if Finn will be accompanying us to weddings any time soon, but we are so glad that we could all be there to celebrate Sean and Kelly and their (somewhat) new nuptials! Congratulations Mongans and thanks for a great wedding!

Monday, August 14, 2017

Finnegan: Four Months

One day, I'll get back to blogging regularly, but until then, I'll be playing catch up.   Who would have guessed that a transatlantic move with a 3 month old would be a little time consuming? :)


Ohhhh Finny!  It's been quite a month.  Finn attended his first wedding, went on vacation, moved out of Berlin and had his first transatlantic flight...all in one month!  We're all a little exhausted, but both Mike and I agree that this age is a ton of fun and we are having a blast with our little guy!







Big bed, little Finn

Eating: 
If I was writing this post at the beginning of the month, it would have been a very frustrated post because feeding Finn was a struggle about half of the time.  Arched back, screaming and overall disinterest was a common theme.  By the end of the month, though, we kind of figured it out.  Mainly, I realized that our little guy is not so little and doesn't need to eat every two hours on the dot.  Instead, he is now eating every two and a half to three hours and we are all veryyyyy happy!






Sleeping: Oh sleep, how I miss you. For the first time in my life, I muttered the words "Maybe I should drink coffee" multiple times. The four month sleep regression is a real thing and I was not prepared for it.  Finn went from sleeping five to six hours in a row at night to waking up every hour and refusing to sleep anywhere except in my arms.  He wouldn't sleep for Mike and the crib was a big no no.  There were multiple nights where I found myself sitting in a chair with Finn my arms.  It. Was. Rough. Luckily, we seem to have turned a corner with that, but we're still battling a six hour time change, so hopefully within the next week we will be back to normal.

Take a picture because sleeping outside of Mamma's arms won't last!

Noises: We have a little talker on our hands! The pediatrician asked if Finn was testing out his voice and both Mike and I nodded enthusiastically and boldly stated "YES!"  Finn has no problem babbling and it never ceases to make us smile.  Mike says he's heard Finn laugh twice (the two times I wasn't around!!), but I don't believe it.  We've got lots of gasping and coughing, which I think is his attempt at laughing, but I haven't heard a true laugh yet.  Fingers crossed it will happen!



Milestones:  We have a roller!! Finn is rolling from his back to his stomach and his stomach to his back without any issues.  He likes being on his stomach so that he can look around, but sometimes gets tired and hasn't quite figured out that he can solve that problem by rolling over on his back.  He is also sleeping on his stomach full time now.  Almost immediately after I place him in his crib, we will hear him roll over onto his stomach.  We thought he would be a thumb sucker, but that seemed to be more of a phase.  He still will suck his thumb occasionally, but not as a substitute for a pacifier.  Oh well.  His thumb is one of many things that go in his mouth right now.  In fact, it's a rare object that doesn't go in his mouth.   We keep feeling around for a tooth or two that might be poking through, but it's still pretty gummy. Last, Finn completed his second round of vaccines.  Luckily, he seemed to fare a lot better than the first round and they didn't have any lasting effects on him.


Finn's first few minutes on American soil!  
Likes and Dislikes: Finn went in the pool for the first time this month and seems to be tolerant of it.  I think he just isn't quite sure what is going on.  Our neighbors had an infant float and after a few minutes in that, he was looking around and moving a little bit, which gives me hope that we have a water babe on our hands!  He also has discovered the television and is definitely a fan, much to my dismay.  His attention span is about .2 seconds, so he doesn't stare at it for long, but will keep coming back to it if he is on the floor nearby.



Nicknames: Finn, Finny, Finster, Big Guy, Buddy, Buddy Bear

Clothing size: We packed up the the 0-3 month clothes when we left Berlin and only brought 3-6 month things with us.  They're fitting perfectly right now, which is nice.  I hope we are slowing down our growing because, if he isn't, we're going to be in toddler clothes by Christmas!

Diaper Size: Size Three

Weight: As of August 3rd, he was 15lbs exactly

Height: On August 3rd, he was 25 inches long

Travel: The United States!! Hooray!! Our little guy traveled across the pond to the United States where he checked off both Virginia and North Carolina off his list of states.  He also went to the Canary Islands, which is a territory of Spain, so his country count is at ten.

Reading all about airline safety

Month four was rocky at times, but we are loving this age and all of the smiles and personality that is showing.  We are so proud of how Finn has handled all of the changes and has been, for the most part, a pretty easy going and happy baby.




Image may contain: 1 person, standing


Thursday, August 3, 2017

Exploring the English Countryside

Note: I definitely did not mean to take a month off of blogging, but a move and a baby who suddenly won't sleep more than 3 hours at a time has me in survival mode.  

I think we might actually be crazy. Either that or we are just trying to make the most in to our last few weeks as Olmsted-ers.  Probably a little bit of both if we're being honest.  The reason I say this is because not even a week after we arrived back from our three week road trip in the Balkans, we packed our bags again and headed west this time to the United Kingdom.

Mike's sister Kelly was getting married outside of London the following weekend and (this is where our crazy comes in to play) we decided to make a week long trip out of the occasion. Never mind we have a huge transatlantic move pending.  Anyways, we arrived in London on Sunday morning and drove up to Bristol where we'd be staying until Wednesday.  Kelly met us around lunch time and spent the day with us doting on Finn walking around Bristol .  I was shocked at how calm Kelly seemed a few days before her wedding.  We had a great afternoon enjoying a huge Sunday roast and walking off said Sunday roast.  I surprisingly didn't take any pictures, but I think that kind of sums up our thoughts on Bristol.  Nothing fabulous, but nothing terrible.  Kelly headed back to London that evening and we said "See you at the wedding!" before calling it a night.

Monday morning, we loaded into the car and did a driving tour of the Cotswolds.  The Lonely Planet has a great driving tour of the area, which allows you to just drive through a bunch of the little towns and stop whenever you want.  The Cotswolds are swoon worthy.  I'm pretty sure I've added it to the "Places We're Going to Retire" list, which already has about 50 other locations on it. Each little town seems like such a perfect, quiet, little countryside town.





What a view.


After a day of exploring, Finn helped us break in the bed.
 

which proved to be exhausting.


Tuesday, we headed west to Cardiff, Wales for the day.  The main attraction in Cardiff was the Dr. Who museum, but Cardiff was actually a nice town, despite the rain. 



We weren't sure what to expect from the Dr. Who museum, but it actually was pretty impressive.  There is the largest collection of props used on the show in the museum, so there is lots to see.  I don't watch the show, but Mike does and thoroughly enjoyed it.  Even I could get into it because the costumes and props were so impressive. We definitely were some of the less enthusiastic guests because neither of us dressed up in costume, but we were okay with that. :D
















Wednesday, we checked out of the hotel and headed to Bath and Stonehenge before checking in to our hotel in Reading where all of the wedding guests were staying.  Bath was a beautiful city and the perfect place to spend the morning.  We've seen Roman baths and the line and the price were definitely a huge deterrent for seeing more, but the city of Bath was enjoyable. 







Fun fact: These telephone booths are becoming unnecessary now that everyone has cell phones, so they are trying to find new, creative ways to use them.  I think this one was still a phone booth, but we've seen ones that have wifi.





















After walking around Bath for a while, we had to make our way to Stonehenge where we had a 4:00 entrance time reservation.  I was pretty excited for Stonehenge, even though I heard it was pretty underwhelming. When you arrive, you have to park pretty far away from the actual monument and you have the option to walk through the fields or take the shuttle.  We got out and walked, which was a nice way to stretch our legs, but took the shuttle back.


Making the trek to Stonehenge



I know Stonehenge has the reputation of being pretty underwhelming, but both Mike and I thoroughly enjoyed it! I think walking through the fields to get there really gives the feel of being in the middle of nowhere, so we were even more impressed.













 I also expected it to be so crowded that we wouldn't be able to get pictures without a thousand people in them, but it wasn't! There were a lot of people there, but since they have roped it off , there is plenty of room for people to spread out around the monument to get pictures.  Way to go, tourism office!



After snapping pictures for proof that Finn was in fact there, we loaded back up in the car and made it to Reading for all of the wedding festivities! Both Mike and I agreed that it was a lot of fun to venture out of the city of London and explore the English countryside a bit.  More and more, we're realizing that our favorite experiences are the ones we least expect.  Go figure!