Friday, June 30, 2006

Dental Patient

Finn told me he wants to be three still. Not four.

Four has been a little challenging so far, apparently, as the day after his birthday I took him to the pediatric dentist for his first check up and cleaning. The whole way there he whined from the back seat, like the Greek chorus of the operatic version of Marathon Man, Jr.: "I don't want to go to the dentist...I don't want to go to the dentist...I don't want to go to the dentist...."

I encouraged him to bring his best buddy, Puppy Baby: Soother of All Stressful Moments and Bedtime Angst, along to the appointment. I also had to carry him and Puppy Baby from the car to the office as his own feet refused to get out of the car. But things got better when Finney saw the dentist's super tricked-out lobby, which had Disney films playing, a video game station, and an assortment of toys to fiddle with as he quietly mustered up his resolve. (It also didn't hurt when he saw a completely unharmed--and dare I say chipper--young patient leaving the office who had just been given an enormous helium balloon AND a small toy.) Things were looking up.

I had to hold Finn's hand during most of the exam, and Puppy Baby dutifully never left his lap, but the little guy was extremely brave during the entire appointment and didn't flinch, writhe or squirm. The only moment I worried about any meltdown was when he firmly told the dental hygienist who was rinsing his teeth of the strawberry-flavored toothpaste she had applied during cleaning, "THAT'S ENOUGH." Twice.

But that's all it was and all it became. Like a big boy, he used his words, not his tears, to get his point across. Looks like four's getting easier every day.

Thursday, June 29, 2006

Sneak Preview

My little brother's getting married one month from today.

Here's a teaser of some of the heart-stopping cuteness that will be witnessed that day.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Four Faces Of Four

To see more of Finn's fourth birthday party pictures, click here.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Shake It, Baby

Babies have all the luck. Strangers and neighbors coo at their chubby cheeks and thighs, everyone makes a huge deal when they say just one silly little word, and they don't get scolded because they're just babies and they don't know any better yet.

Finney's had this harsh life lesson shoved in his face repeatedly over the course of the last year as Shea has taken half the spotlight he used to wholeheartedly hog. His cleverly crafted response to this, in a page out of Freud's Cliffs Notes, is to role play that HE's Baby Shea and SHE's Finnegan. After all, why not get where the gettin's good?

While playing "Baby Shea," Finn will occasionally don a bib and insist that I feed him in the high chair while he drones on in an alto Waaa! Waaa! that would make Sarah Bernhardt proud. He'll climb into her crib when she's not in it to read books and play. He'll also sit (and even nap!) in the little buzzy chair in front of the television that Shea still uses as a Barcalounger.

But the biggest surprise and funniest incarnation of the "I'm-A-Baby-So-Go-Ahead-And-Just-Start-Spoiling-Me-Now" fascination was when, for the first time, Finney came downstairs partially dressed as Baby Shea. Which means he took a pair of her 12-month sweatpants and a 9-month beanie cap out of the bag of clothes in their closet marked "too small" and slapped them both on over his Peter Pan jammies. (How he got them on I'm not sure, since he seems to lazily struggle with his own, properly fitting clothes every morning. Especially when we're late. But whatever.)

Things took a turn for the surreal when I grabbed my camera and he grabbed Shea's unicorn pogo stick and started dancing in what could
only be described as Finn as Baby Shea as Flag Girl Contestant #47 Who You Just Know Won't Be Picked For The Squad But Tried As If The Movie's Ending Depended On Her. It was one of those times I wish I had the video function turned on instead of the camera function.

Then, like most natural phenomenon, it ended as soon as it started, and we were back to full-force (nearly) four-year-old Finn, with his machine-gun questioning, I Can Do Its, How Do You Spells, and adorable hand gestures.

So, maybe he was right: Babies do have all the luck. But witty and imaginative (nearly) four year olds have all the style.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

BFF!!! KIT!!!

Last week, before I was stricken with a rogue case of strep throat that confined me to a horizontal position and forced me to pass horse pills down my impossibly swollen gullet, I took the kids to the beach.

We packed a picnic lunch, built tiny sandcastles, chased the waves, and got sand in all the wrong places. It was a classic beach day.

As it was also the last day of public school, the beach wasn't crowded yet as most of the schoolkids were busy in class signing each other's yearbooks with proclamations of undying love, inside jokes, and other insipid ramblings to last through the ages.

Which made me wonder what I'd write to Finn and Shea in their 2005/06 yearbooks:

Hey Finney ~

Good thing you're a fast runner 'cause the little girls are gonna want to kiss you soon! Ha! Ha!

Good luck learning how to swim like a mako shark this summer, dude. (They're the fastest ones, you know.)

Anyway, thanks for putting the cold compress on my head when I had a fever that one time.
Stay cool, bud. See ya at the beach!!

Love, Mama

Hey Shea, Whad'ya Say?

You've come a long way, baby! Now that you can walk, feed yourself, and hold your own juice bottle, this summer is SOOO going to rock over last summer.

Try not to eat too much sand, ok kiddo? Makes it a little sketchy during the escape route, if you get my drift... ; )

Love, Mama

Monday, June 19, 2006

The Signs Of Celebrity Are Already Showing

After being asked to show Mommy her makeshift bath basin in the backyard, Shea completely ignores the inane request and instead blows an impressive zerbit on Mommy's tummy, demands her to stop filming, then makes out with the camera. Totally punk rock.

Friday, June 16, 2006

Anyone Else?

Thanks for reminding me. When I said Finn was the only one in his family to have green eyes, I was just thinking of the four of us. The ones Finn sees every day.

But there are SOOOOOO many others of you out there sportin' the emerald beauties, lucky thangs!

Let's hear from you if you've been overlooked...this is for posterity, after all.
(P.S. If I haven't seen you in a while, I'll also need your photo.)

My grandmother had green eyes:

As did John's:

As does his mother:

As does his cousin:

As does my uncle:

Thursday, June 15, 2006


Sometimes we ask ourselves:
Who switched our baby with the kid with the long legs?

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Postage Not Necessary

And now, inspired by a funny post over at Amalah, it's time to catch up on my correspondence.


Dear unsociable neighbor who lives across the street:

You may think you're being really slick and hiding it successfully from everyone, including your wife because you turn your back to your house, but we can totally see you when you smoke your dope on the sidewalk.

Just so you know.



Dear Constant Clutter Around the House:

Go away.

I mean it.



Dear Hydrangeas in the backyard:

Damn, girls! You're looking FIIIIIIIIIIIIINNNNE!

Looks like all that chicken shit John added as a soil amendment really agrees with you.

Let your love lights shine.



Dear Shea:

I think it's totally adorable that you want to climb up on your brother's bed all the time and recline with your hands behind your head like a big girl.

But you've got to stop jumping on it because you're giving me heart failure.




Dear Finn:

I love how half the questions you ask me throughout the course of a day all begin the same way, with:

"Mama, how do you spell...."

Word dorks beget word dorks. Welcome to the club.




Dear Pacific Ocean:

Yesterday you were MAGNIFICENT.

Don't ever leave me.



Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Portraits Of The Artist As A Preschooler

Finn's last day of preschool is tomorrow so his teacher cleaned out his residual art folder and sent everything home with him last week. The images pasted below show just how much he's changed throughout the year.

In September, an expression of shock and awe.
(Like Mr. Potatohead doing an impression of Mr. Bill.)

In January, completely preoccupied with the fact that
he's the only one in our family to have green eyes.

And finally, in June, he's seems happier with his green eyes,
which have taken a lesser role in his overall image.
(Even his hair looks more relaxed.)

Monday, June 12, 2006

Semolina By Any Other Name Would Taste As Mealy

Dinner table, Sunday night:

Finn: "What is this stuff, Mom?"

Karin: "That's called couscous. Isn't that a funny name?"

Finn: "Yeah."

A few minutes later...

Finn: "What's this stuff called, again? Ka-ka?"

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Far From The Maddening Crowd

We were lucky enough to be invited to ride along on Finn's buddy Logan's grandfather's super cool antique fire engine in the Balboa Island parade last Sunday. It was a special year for the annual parade, as Newport Beach, the city in which Balboa Island is located, is celebrating its 100th anniversary this year. As such, the parade route--all two adorable little tree-lined blocks of it--was jammed full of excited parade gazers, each and every one of them looking directly at and into the soul of Finnegan.

Or at least that's what his expression seemed to convey after about a minute of being center stage on the bustling parade route.

After registering the sea of people looking exactly his way--With their eyes! Making eye contact! Every one of them!--as he rode atop the fire engine, our shy and publicly introverted little fellow turned his back to the throngs of revelers and just stared at the floor with a ghostly pallor on his face.

I suspected he was crashing face first into an existential snarl at that precise moment, questioning why so many people were looking at him, and then entertaining the off chance that this might mean he actually exists and then, if so, how the universe could continue to function in the face of such an overhwelming fact.

Although he never breathed a word about what was troubling him and didn't accept the lap seat I offered him as a comfort from his apparent angst, his mood soon passed and he somehow mustered up the wherewithal to turn around and face the crowd again. This time with a half smile.

You know, just in case someone was looking.