A Day in the Life [12-11-14]

What better way to fill you in on my life than a this-is-what-I-did-in-day-if-you-care-at-all post. Oh, and it never shows up in what we did today, but I’m pregnant and due June 4! Finley will have a little brother or sister who is almost two years younger than her.

5:50am: Finley is awake but it’s too early for everyone.

5:55am: I’ve successfully soothed her back to sleep.

6:20am: Now she’s awake for real.

6:25am: Diaper change

6:30am: Sesame Street in Mom and Dad’s bed

7:00am: Breakfast with The Today Show playing in the background

7:30am: Bake pumpkin muffins

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7:40am: Finley watches the rest of the Sesame Street episode.

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8:00am: Diaper change

8:05am: Play time with breaks to sample the muffins

9:30am: Drop off at gym’s daycare

9:35am: Kickboxing class for Mama

10:25am: Shower…alone with no toddler trying to open my hairspray or use Qtips

10:35am: Pick up Finley from daycare

11:00am: Home and diaper change

11:10am: Lunch

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11:35am: Play with Mom’s wallet and attempt to eat coins

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11:45am: Read books in Finley’s room

12:00pm: Diaper change

12:10am: Sing “Twinkle Twinkle” and put Finley in her crib

12:20pm: Finley is asleep.

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12:25pm: Make Starbucks hot chocolate

12:45pm: Address Christmas cards in the basement

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1:20pm: Work on this post

2:00pm: Odds and ends: make guac (avocados were on their last legs), fold laundry, brush teeth (whoops, hadn’t done that yet today), pick up a little, etc.

2:30pm: Relax on the couch, meal plan, and make grocery list

2:55pm: Finley is awake – quite a nap!

3:00pm: She has a kids Chobani tube and we watch Mickey’s Christmas Carol. *Normally we only watch an hour or less of tv a day (typically Sesame Street), but I saw this recorded and wanted to see it too.

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3:30pm: Finley eats peanut butter granola with milk, and I have crackers and cheese.

4:00pm: Walk the dogs – Finley cries for the last half of it while I try to keep her happy by singing “Itsy Bitsy Spider” and the ABCs.

4:30pm: Home and diaper change

4:40pm: Play and wait for Dad to come home (plus another diaper change at some point)

5:25pm: Brody is home, and I watch while he entertains Finley.

6:10pm: Dinner – we all fend for ourselves.

6:40pm: Finley gets a bath.

6:55pm: Brody and I read Finley holiday books.

7:10pm: Lights out for our little one

7:15pm: Couch, pineapple, tv (Blackhawks are playing), Facebook, blogs, Instagram, text with my sister, and this post

8:45pm: Get ready for bed

9:00pm: Lights out for the adults

A Weekend in DC

Good morning!

I’ve got some free time while all the kiddos (Finley plus the two I watch a couple days a week) sleep and wanted to share our weekend trip to DC.

We flew in late Thursday night, and Finley fell asleep sprawled out across our laps. She stayed asleep in our arms as we got off the plane and walked to get our bags.

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Erin and Dan have a one bedroom condo and were kind enough to give us their bedroom for the weekend. Erin’s friend loaned us all the baby gear we needed (pack n play, car seat, high chair, etc), and the pack n play was already set up in their bedroom.

Friday morning began around 7:15am (Finley slept in!!!). Erin and Dan both had to work, so the morning was ours. Brody, Finley and I walked to Starbucks and Target and then strolled around for a bit.

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Erin was able to come home early, so we went to lunch with her. We drove to Union Market.

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What a cool place! There were lots of food vendors and “stores” set up inside. Brody got a burger, Finley ordered a grilled cheese, and Erin and I had Korean tacos. Yum!

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We hung out at their condo for the rest of the day. We drank, relaxed on the couch, watched Finley chase Chester, and ate dinner on the back patio.

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Saturday morning, Finley woke us up before 7am, and to let Erin and Dan sleep a little more, we took a walk to Starbucks (basically the only coffee shop open before 8am – crazy!!!) and a bakery for croissants.

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After her (and my) morning nap, Finley took her first ever train ride.

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We took the train to a BBQ place. I had the BBQ Chef Salad because it had four kinds of meat on it – the perfect sampler!

Next up was the zoo. Unfortunately the rain cut our stay there short, but we still had fun seeing elephants, gorillas, and pandas. It was even one of the pandas first birthdays.

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We decided to walk back to the condo from the zoo even though it was still raining. Finley didn’t mind, and we were already wet from being at the zoo. At the condo, everyone napped. Yes, that means I took two naps on Saturday. Pretty amazing vacation, right?

Once again, we stayed at the condo for the rest of the day and had a delicious meal.

On Sunday our flight didn’t leave until 2pm, so we spent the morning being lazy and eating eggs and bacon.

The flight home went just fine. The problems arose once we got back to our car in Milwaukee. The battery was dead, and we couldn’t find the parking ticket. Yikes! My smart husband called the airport’s information desk, who sent out a guy with jumper cables. He was at our car in two minutes, and a few minutes later, the car was running. Phew! Then, while Brody packed the car, I searched by the driver’s seat for the ticket. And I found it! Phew again! Two potentially pricey mishaps avoided.

It was a fabulous trip and so good to spend time with Erin and Dan!

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My Unwarranted Advice for Soon-to-be Moms

A handful of my friends are pregnant right now. Some with their first, and some with their second. I love talking about all things pregnancy and baby related, and I realized I had never done a post like this before. While I am far from an expert, here are my two unwarranted cents.

1. Read The Happiest Baby on the Block before Baby is born. Read it again after Baby is born. A friend recommended this book to Brody, and I am SO thankful. It was an invaluable resource and helped prepare us for making Finley comfortable in her new, scary environment (aka the world and not the uterus). I suggest reading it after Baby’s birth because you’ll likely have missed or forgotten something, or it will just make more sense now with a tiny being in front of you.

2. Attend a mother baby hour from early on and as long as you can. When Finley was three weeks, I went to Meriter’s (my hospital) weekly meeting for first time mamas. There are three groups: 0-3, 3-6, and 6-9 months. I went almost every week and looked forward to each meeting. I found it to be a safe place to talk about my struggles and ask questions. So many moms were going through similar things, or had recently gone through it, and I learned a lot from them and the nurse who facilitated the meetings. A group of about twenty moms formed a Friday play group so that we could continue to get together past nine months, let our kids play, and be there for each other.

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Finley at one of her last Mother Baby Hours

3. This one is quite trivial but enjoy your thick, luscious hair during pregnancy and for the first few months post birth. Because it’s going to fall out. As someone with thin hair, I loved this part of pregnancy. Thanks to the extra estrogen in our bodies, the hair follicles hold on to the hair you’d normally lose. So when your hair starts coming out and clogging the shower drain, it’s releasing all the hair it’s been hanging on to for over a year. I’ve also been dealing with awkward re-growth of hair on the top of my scalp.

4. Don’t become obsessed with napping like I did. Looking back, I see how much energy I wasted regarding Finley’s napping. Finley was never a bad sleeper (although she had her rough patches like all babies). There’s so much I could say here, but I won’t. I only wish I would’ve been more “go with the flow” and not have been so much of a nap slave. (Do you feel the same way Jena?)

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Sleepy baby

5. You don’t need to change Baby’s diaper very often in the night. For the first few weeks of Finley’s life, I changed her diaper every time she got up in the middle of the night. This would often extend her time awake and make her upset (cold air, cold wipes, etc). I finally learned that unless the diaper is soiled or she’s had it on for a long time, it’s unnecessary to change it.

6. Leave Baby with your partner overnight as soon as you’re ready. Or maybe sooner. I went on a girls weekend trip for two nights to Lake Geneva (an hour and a half away) when Finley was four months old. Brody stayed home with Finley, and he did awesome. I appreciated and needed the break from my role as a mommy.

7. Consider joining Netflix. This was something Brody told a couple recently, so I’m stealing it for this list. Newborns sleep A LOT. I watched the first season of Orange is the New Black in a few days. This winter, we watched all seven seasons of The West Wing.

8. Make as many freezer meals as you can before Baby is born. Even though babies sleep a lot early on, you’ll often be so exhausted that cooking is not appealing. I spent Finley’s naps cleaning, napping myself, or *gasp* relaxing (reading or watching tv). Freezer meals that involve a slow cooker would be ideal. A simple search on online (or even my blog!) will provide lots of options.

9. Keep food and water next to the chair where you feed your baby. I was hungry and thirsty all the time when Finley was first born. Before Finley went to sleep, I’d put an extra water bottle and a small snack (trail mix, Larabar-like balls, etc) next to the rocker.

10. Find a babysitter you trust and use him/her to go on date nights with your partner. Or get a haircut by yourself. We left Finley with a babysitter for an afternoon when she was six weeks old. That may be earlier than some parents are ready for, but we felt confident in our sitter and weren’t going to be far from home. A former neighbor of ours recommended our sitter, who recently graduated from college, and her mom lived across the street from us. I know other moms have had luck with care.com and the UW Job Center website (if you love in the Madison area, but I bet other colleges have something similar). If you’re lucky enough to have family members in the area, take advantage of when they offer to watch your little one.

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Brody and I at a wedding sans baby

Questions:
What was some good or bad advice you were given about pregnancy or babies?
How have you helped a new mama out during those first few months?

High School Friends Reunion

When I left for college, I remember being told my life-long friends would be college friends, not those from high school. They were so wrong.

No matter how much time goes by, when I see my friends from high school, it’s like we were all together yesterday. *Luckily, this is also the case with my college friends.

On Friday night, I went over to Kelly’s apartment and spent a couple hours drinking wine with her and Ashley, who had driven in from the Chicago area.

By Saturday, everyone was in town and ready to get the weekend started. We met for lunch at The Free House in Middleton (which is only a couple miles from our temporary house). I brought Finley who was so well behaved; she ate a ton of food, didn’t need her paci once, and was happy being held by all my friends.

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Everyone shared the details about the big things going on in their lives:

Rena: Getting married in July!!!
Jeana: Pregnant with baby #2, who she announced is a boy!!!
Susan: Also pregnant with baby #2!!! She doesn’t know the sex yet.
Ashley: Recently moved into a new house!!! She stays busy with boys who are 14 month apart.
Bree: Her and the hubby have lots of home projects and have a wedding planning business. They’re so crafty!!!
Kelly: This ambitious friend of mine has her own dental practice!!!

Next up were mani/pedis. My feet needed some loving, so I was super excited for this part of the weekend. I made reservations for everyone at KLC Nail and Spa on Odana, and like the other time I went there, it was great. They even do a paraffin wax treatment on your feet.

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After the pampering, we went our separate ways to get ready for a night out. Susan was our DD for the night, so she picked me up, and we made our way downtown.

A visit to the Terrace was a must, and we all shared a pitcher of Spotted Cow. It was busy, but that’s to be expected for a Saturday night.

For dinner we had reservations at Eldorado Grill. I’ve been there a lot recently, but I’m not complaining. As always, I started out with a blackberry margarita. Mmmm… For dinner, and after LOTS of chips and salsa, I had fish tacos. They were very good. Oh, and I had a second margarita.

Bree swore Weary Traveler was only a couple blocks away, but it ended up being more of a walk. I didn’t mind, though; a walk after the big meal felt good. Once we got there, we saw Jolly Bob‘s across the street and decided that’d be a better spot. Ashley persuaded the bouncer to let us all in for $12 instead of $5/person.

Jolly Bob’s has a beautiful back patio, so we ordered drinks, a Painkiller for me, and found a table. Some guy ended up buying us a round of Lemon Drops. I hadn’t taken a shot in such a long time, and I’m not a huge fan, but this shot is actually a favorite.

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The last stop of the night was Weary Traveler across the street. I had my last drink of the night (some ginger concoction) and we played Cards Against Humanity, which is the best game ever.

We were out until 2am! Of course, Finley decided to start the day at 5:45am. My amazing husband got up with her and I slept in until 8:30am.

To finish out the weekend, Jeana had everyone (except Susan who went back to her dad’s in Oshkosh) over for brunch. Finley had fun playing with Avery, and us ladies chatted away.

I have awesome friends.

Pasta Cooking Class

Brody and I took a break from packing and stressing about our housing situation to make pasta. Finley stayed home with a babysitter, and we did some eating of gluten and drinking of booze. It was fun!

At a charity event for Make a Wish months ago, we went in with two other couples for a silent auction item: a pasta cooking class at A Pig in a Fur Coat. The class was for up to fifteen people, but we ended up having ten. Brody and I had eaten there once before and loved it, so we were excited to learn from a professional how to make a food we don’t eat anymore. Ha! But it’s not like we can’t and won’t eat pasta anymore; we just do in very sparingly.

A Pig in a Fur Coat recently finished the space behind the restaurant. We were technically their guinea pigs, as we were the first class they taught. Chef Dan shared a little about his background in the food business, and then we got going.

First we made the dough and let it rest for a bit. To make the pasta, we split into boys and girls. There was butternut squash ravioli, ricotta ravioli, and something similar to linguine.

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We watched Chef Dan cook our pasta, and he showed us the sauces each would be paired with. The pesto smelled incredible! We learned he doesn’t put pinenuts in his pesto. The brown butter sage sauce smelled heavenly, and it was so easy to make. The third, a simple tomato sauce, was very fresh.

A table in the actual restaurant was set up for us to eat the pasta we made. Chef Dan also brought out bread with chorizo and an heirloom tomato salad. It was a delicious mid-afternoon meal. Our babysitter had mentioned that she loved their fries (cooked in duck fat!), so I put in an order for those. Everything was so yummy! The three glasses of wine I drank while there weren’t too shabby either.

To continue the afternoon of fun, we moved the party to Old Sugar Distillery. We’ve been there a handful of times already, and they make a mean cocktail. They have outdoor seating as well. I ordered the Honey Cap – so good.

Brody and I got home at 6pm to a very happy Finley. She was in such a good mood! Although she was a little crabby after we left, she took a great nap for Emma and woke up smiling.

Finley went to sleep around 7pm, and Brody and I continued our gluttonous ways and ate Salvatore’s pizza for dinner.

It was a very nice day.

Eating Paleo/Primal

The first time I heard about Paleo was about four (or more?) years ago. Brody’s buddy from Chicago was visiting and had started doing this crazy workout called Crossfit and not eating grains. Say what? I recall being baffled by the “diet” and I likely told him I could never do that.

Then, just over a year ago, our friends, Mel and Tim (the couple I trained for the marathon with) started eating this way. I still could not see myself ever giving up bread (what would I have for breakfast?!?!), pasta, or pita chips.

This spring, a few things led to Brody and I overhauling our diet:

1) I became more knowledgeable about eating grains and gluten. I listen to the Balanced Bites podcast every week (often while I’m driving or working out), I read Eat the Yolks, and I subscribe to Mark’s Daily Apple.

2) Our friends Bridget and JP did a vegan cleanse in the late winter as part of Bridget’s yoga teacher training. This inspired Brody to do something similar.

3) This was a tough winter, and although I was able to get to the gym and do at-home workouts regularly, Brody struggled to find time to exercise. Finley goes to bed at 7pm, and Brody would go in to work by 6:45/7am most days so he could be home by 5:30pm to see Finley. Come spring, he wasn’t feeling healthy.

4) Brody went to Texas for the Final Four games. At this point, we had been tossing around the idea of going Paleo/Primal for a couple months. I had actually already begun to cut out a good amount of grains from my diet, but Brody had not. While he was gone, he asked me to purge our house.

I’ve learned that my body actually handles gluten quite well. While in Switzerland, I experienced almost no side effects of eating bread or pasta. Brody, on the other hand, definitely feels it. As I mentioned in one of the Switzerland recaps, he had horrible stomach cramps our fifth day there. They started the day after a big pasta dinner, and probably all of the bread finally caught up to him.

Because I believe my body does okay with grains (as far as I can tell), I follow more of an 80/20 approach. I may have a piece of sprouted toast for breakfast or some pasta salad at a friend’s happy hour. Also, Brody and I made the decision to eat dairy, so I guess some people may not consider our diet Paleo/Primal.

Here’s a typical day of eats:

6:30am: two eggs fried in bacon fat, a piece of GF banana bread, and a cup or so of fruit

10:00am: a quick snack, maybe some mixed nuts or a Fage yogurt

12:00pm: leftovers from last night’s dinner, so often meat and roasted veggies, sometimes half an avocado, and another serving of fruit

4:00pm: another small snack such as a few chunks of cheese

6:00pm: a meat (flank steak, roasted chicken) and a vegetable (roasted broccoli or asparagus, baked potato)

8:00pm: a few pieces of dark chocolate

Brody’s daily eats are a little different from mine because he’s at work and going out to lunch every day. For breakfast, he eats a Larabar, and apple, and a yogurt. He keeps pistachios, cheese, and beef jerky at work for snacks or lunch in a pinch. Most days he has a salad for lunch. He’s then home for dinner for whatever I prepare.

Finley also doesn’t eat too many grains since we don’t have much in the house. She eats meat, fruit, vegetables, eggs, and yogurt. We do give her plain Cheerios and occasionally some Annie’s cheddar bunnies. She also had Annie’s mac and cheese this week for the first time and loved it. I’d say she’s about 80/20 Paleo also.

I’m not a strict Paleo/Primal eater, but I’m feeling good about the food I’m putting into my body. Along with changing our diet, I’ve started buying better quality meat and eggs. When I can get to Whole Foods, I load up on meat and freeze it. Otherwise my grocery store carries Strauss meats (in the frozen section), so I’ve been using their ground pork and chicken for recipes. I now buy Phil’s eggs, and at $2.69 a dozen, it’s not too pricey. Buying organic produce (probably because eat so much of it, which would be an argument either way) is still a struggle for me, so as of now, we eat mostly conventional.

Speaking of money, I don’t follow a weekly or monthly food budget, so I can’t say for certain how much more we’re spending, but it doesn’t feel like much more. No longer do I buy three 12-packs of soda at a time, crackers, or bread. As someone told me when I started eating this way, “You can pay for it now, or you can pay for it later.”

It’s been a whole lot easier than I ever thought it would be, and I don’t see us ever going back to being a grain-eating family again. As Mel just told me at lunch today, “You can’t unknow what you know.”

June Freezer Meals

Although I have no photos, I’ve got some delicious freezer meal recipes to share.

I feel so blessed to have found (and been invited to) this group. Last month I bowed out as many of the recipes called for grains that Brody and I are avoiding. (Side note: We’re still going strong following a Paleo/Primal lifestyle. An update on this is long overdue, no?). But this month, all but one meal were basically meat, and we eat a lot of meat around here.

To the assembly night, we each brought four pounds of chicken (for two separate meals) and two 1-lb flank steaks. Otherwise, one woman bought everything else. We each owed her $46 and ended up with ten meals.

Turkey Picadillo
*Apparently this is quite good but spicy. My friend made it and served it over rice which cuts the heat a little.

Beef Enchiladas
*Because this has flour tortillas, I’m bringing it to a lunch play date at a friend’s house next week. Brody’s been much stricter while I strive for more of an 80/20 approach, so I’ll be chowing down on these.

Turkey Burgers
*This recipe was doubled, so I have eight burgers in my freezer.

Sweet Hawaiian Crockpot Chicken

Marinated Chicken
*I had four large chicken breasts in my gallon ziplock, which gives us two meals.

Marinated Flank Steak
*I bought a two pound steak and cut it in half. This will give us two meals. Also, I don’t have a recipe for this one – if I get it, I’ll post it next month.

Italian Beef

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*I’m not sure when or if I’ll make this one. Brody doesn’t care for slow cooked beef (texture issue), but it may be a perfect meal for a congrats-you-had-a-baby-and-don’t-have-time-to-shower-let-alone-cook situation.

Happy weekend folks!

Finley Update: 1 year

*I wrote most of this post yesterday but never got a chance to finish or add pictures.

One year ago, I was in the hospital in labor. My water had broken the night before, and I was on Pitocin. At 11:53pm on June 19, Finley was born.

I just reread my birth story, and it seems like yesterday but also like ten years ago. Funny how time can be like that.

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Sleeping:

Life is pretty darn awesome in this area. Finley takes two naps a day of about an hour and fifteen minutes each. Sometimes she wakes up after 45 minutes, but that’s only if she has a dirty diaper. Her first nap is around 9am, and her second starts around 1:30pm. Finley goes down for the night at 7pm and wakes up between 6am and 6:30am. Sometimes she wakes up in the middle of the night, but lately, if I hold and rock her for a minute and put her back down, she rolls on to her belly and falls back asleep.

Eating (solids):

Finley loves food (still). She eats three meals a day and a snack or two. Her favorite foods are meat, fruit, roasted broccoli, eggs, toast with butter, cheese, and yogurt.

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Eating (nursing):

Up until today, I had been nursing Finley four times a day. She nurses for the longest right away in the morning, but the other three sessions are quite short. Starting today I’m going to cut out the mid-morning one and replace it with food. Eventually we’ll probably get down to one or two feedings a day.

Social:

Summer makes everything SO much easier. Finley went swimming twice this week, went to a new play group sponsored by United Way, had a play date with her friend Braxton, and will “host” a play group at our house tomorrow.

I’ve started watching my two bonus babies again (25 months and 3 months), and Finley loves having kids around. She follows the oldest, Adalyn, around everywhere, and I bet she’ll walk (and maybe talk more) earlier because she wants to imitate and/or keep up with Ady.

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Physical:

Right before we went to Switzerland, it seemed like Finley’s mobility took off. Brody and I really saw it progress on vacation. She crawled (on her hands and knees) everywhere and pulled herself up on everything. Lately her balance is improving, and she often pulls her hands off and stands unassisted for many seconds at a time. She hasn’t taken any steps yet, but we’re okay with that.

Finley has eight teeth, but she may be currently teething. She’s been a little cranky for the last week, and she keeps putting her hand in her mouth. I’ve given her Tylenol and given her the paci.

A couple weeks ago, I weighed Finley on our scale, and she was almost 25 lbs. I’m not sure how long she is, and we don’t have her one year appointment until next month (I forgot to schedule it – whoops!). She’s a big (but proportionate) girl and wears lots of 12-18 and 18-24 month clothes. We’re still using size 3 diapers but will switch to size 4 once this pack runs out.

Likes:
-pulling books off shelves
-standing and cruising
-climbing the stairs
-drinking water
-taking baths and putting the toys in the mesh bag
-throwing the books she doesn’t want to read out of our hands

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Dislikes:
-diaper rash (but who does?)
-potatoes
-teething
-some books (see the last like)
-the sun in her eyes
-jetlag
-being hungry (just like her mama) or tired

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For her birthday, Brody came home from work early, and we opened presents. Finley got a couple dolls, a dump truck, a tricked out Radio Flyer, and a couple other small toys.

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Aunt Erin gave her three adorable outfits from Mini Boden, and Grandma Lee gave Fin a wooden matching game with pictures of animals and stackable blocks. Thanks for all the gifts!

We prepared what we thought was her favorite meal: veal, and had roasted sweet potatoes and roasted broccoli on the side.

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To our surprise, Finley was not interested in the veal…like, at all. Good thing I spent $30 on 1.5 lbs of veal from Whole Foods. One thing she did eat with gusto was a cupcake.

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The rest of the night was normal: bath, nursing, books, and bed. This birthday girl was asleep by 7pm.

I love you Finley Marie.

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Switzerland: Days 7-9 and the Flight Home

We’ve been home for a week now, and I’m happy to say that we’re all back on Central time and have been enjoying the start of summer in Wisconsin.

The last few days in Switzerland were similar to the others, with Finley controlling the schedule, a couple more hikes, and lots more food, wine, and chocolate.

Day 7 (Friday)

We didn’t go for a hike this day because Brody was still recovering from his stomach bug (or possible gluten overload…not really sure which). We kept it low key and took walks around the village and ran errands with my FIL and step-MIL after lunch.

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Finley playing with my step-MIL’s 50 year old doll

That night my step-MIL made one of my favorite meals: fish soup. I meant to snap a photo of the recipe or find it online before I left but I forgot.

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Mmmmm

Day 8 (Saturday)

With Brody feeling like himself again, we had a great hike this day further up the mountain along the Bisse (the stream that winds down along the mountain). There were lots of other people along this path, so it wasn’t very private, but Finley liked seeing all the people and even a few dogs.

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We stopped for a picnic lunch and took in the breathtaking views.

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Surprisingly, Finley did not fall asleep on this hike, so while she slept back at the apartment, Brody and his dad drove back up to Montana to have a beer. I relaxed and caught up on some blog reading.

We appeased Finley and had veal again for dinner. This time the veal cutlets were lightly breaded and pan-fried. Finley loved them. That girl.

Day 9 (Sunday)

Our last day in Switzerland was like most of the others and included walks in the village, naps, and a really lovely hike.

Post morning nap, we¬†loaded up and set off for a hike from the village. This was a new hike for Brody and I, and Brody’s dad hadn’t done it for years. Brody claimed this was his favorite one of the vacation, and I might have to agree. The scenery was interesting and diverse and the path was both challenging and easy.

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A cow says “Mooo”

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Finley chowing down on half a banana

For dinner we grilled out again, and you better believe Finley had some veal. She ate two veal sausages (4-5 inches in length each), an entire orange, and some other odds and ends. Her appetite is pretty incredible.

Flight Home

The day began early at 6:30am. Finley woke up on her own, which always makes me happy to not have to wake her, and we left for the Geneva airport at 7:45am. The drive is about an hour and 45 minutes, and Finley took a short 40 minute snooze on the way.

It kind of stunk that the longest leg of our flight was through the day, but Finley did well and took two naps throughout the 8.5 hours. We kept her entertained with books (the Llama Llama books got A LOT of use), playing with toys, watching Mickey Mouse Clubhouse (kind of), and eating. There was a two year old boy on the flight, and his dad brought him over a couple times so the two of them could stare at each other.

When we landed in Dulles, it was around 2:30pm, which felt like 9:30pm to us. Finley was happy, though, and had fun people watching while we went through customs and security again. On the flight, Finley took a brief nap in my arms.

Oh, O’Hare. You always cause problems. In Chicago, our gate was changed FIVE times before we finally took off…two hours late. There was bad weather earlier in the day, and it threw off all the later flights. At this point, Brody and I were both so tired; we had been awake for almost 24 hours. We’d pass Finley back and forth, trying to keep her entertained. She fell asleep in Brody’s arms around 9:30pm (which was 4:30am Switzerland time), and managed to stay asleep as he transferred her to me, as I boarded the plane, and through all but the last five minutes of the flight. At that point she woke up and was pissed. She’d nurse for a little, and then pull off and start wailing. I hope the people on the plane understood, but it was a small plane, and I know everyone could hear her loud and clear.

Madison has such a nice, small airport, and we were happy to see our bags were already on the belt by the time we got to the baggage area. We walked out to our neighbor waiting for us, loaded our bags, strapped Finley into the carseat for their son (front facing but at that point we weren’t about to be picky), and got home at 11:30pm.

It was a trip (literally and figuratively) and definitely a learning experience. There’s not a whole lot we would’ve done differently with traveling or while in Switzerland. Vacationing with a baby wasn’t like previous trips (duh!), but it was still relaxing and fun.

On a completely unrelated note, on this day two years ago, I ran a marathon. On this day one year ago, Finley was supposed to be born (she came nine days late). On this day today, I’m home with Finley; so far we played, went to a high school baseball game, and had lunch with an old coworker and her kids. We have a doctor’s appointment later and will take the dogs for a walk. To play off the theme of my friend’s recent post, June 10, 2014 wasn’t as “epic” as the last two, but I’m loving it all the same.

Switzerland: Days 4-6

Good morning!

Once again, Finley (and Brody, who has come down with a stomach bug) is asleep. Free time for this mama includes blog reading, showering, sweeping of the kitchen, and writing this.

I’ll spare you from all the minute details this time and tell you that our days are often as such: wake up, breakfast, play, walk, Finley naps, “adventure” and lunch, Finley naps, play, walk, dinner, Finley’s bedtime, wine and chocolate, and Treme.

Day 4 (Tuesday)

The big outing of the day was a trip to the grocery store in the town at the bottom of the mountain. Sounds like my life at home, right?

Another exciting moment was having a glass of wine down in The Cave (pronounced caahh-ve). Brody’s dad brought the wine cellar back to its true glory a couple years ago after it had been used as storage space for years. This was Finley’s first time in The Cave, and she got into the spirit of things by drinking (water) from a wine glass and ringing the cow bell.

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Day 5 (Wednesday)

After Finley’s morning nap, we packed up and my step-MIL dropped us off at a wine museum for the start of a hike. For the first part, it was more of a walk through villages along paved roads. Once we got to the vineyards, though, it was dirt paths and open fields of grapes.

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We stopped and had lunch in some shade: sandwiches for the adults and leftover veal for the baby.

My step-MIL then picked us up in the village where the hike officially ends, and we drove back home. Finley, surprisingly, did not fall asleep in the backpack or on the way home in the car.

For more dinners than not, Finley has been Miss Grumpy Pants. We can’t figure out why, and I realize it’s just a guessing game. She’s made dinners less than enjoyable, and this night was no exception. Dinner was creamy pasta with ham and peas, and I thought she’d like the pasta. But no. And we are out of veal.

Day 6 (Thursday)

Today we got another hike in, and this one was also one we’ve done years past. Brody’s dad drove us to the funicular (a rail car that goes up and down the mountain), which we took up to Montana. On the funicular were an adult goat and baby goat – so cute!

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Once in Montana, we walked around for a bit and grabbed sandwiches from a bakery.

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We ate at a picnic table and attempted to have a beer at Brody’s dad’s favorite spot (it was closed).

The hike back down to the car was over an hour, so we got started so that we could get home before Finley’s afternoon nap. Finley had other plans, though, and fell asleep in the backpack for the last thirty minutes of the hike. It began to rain as we walked, and then even turned into hail, all while Finley slept.

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Her brief early afternoon nap threw off the routine, so we played in the family room and watched Up and Mary Poppins. Fin was more interested in Mary Poppins than Up, and eventually fell asleep in my arms. This was a nice treat because it so rarely happens anymore.

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Unfortunately, Brody started to fell really awful this afternoon, and even stayed downstairs during dinner. Fin and I ate lamb chops, potatoes au gratin, and Lima beans with my in-laws. Not too surprisingly, Fin loved the lamb – she’s such a carnivore!

Three more days of vacation left and the trip home. It’s gone by slowly (in a very good way) and quickly at the same time. I’ve appreciated all the family time we’ve had, and also been so thankful that my in-laws are ridiculously accommodating (a full apartment, stocked with food, privacy, etc.) and understanding (planning everything around Finley’s sleeping schedule).