Saturday, January 24, 2009

Hello, Paradise

Brian first introduced the concept of a family trip to Hawaii about four days after Finn was born. The logic was to take the trip at the end of my maternity leave and at the beginning of his parental leave, so we wouldn't have to use any vacation days, and we would get to visit our friend, the Sun. Honestly, I thought he was kidding, so I smiled and said "sure!"

Imagine my surprise when, a few days later, he started sending me listings off of He found a unit that had everything we thought we'd need - a floor unit with a kitchen, just a few steps from the beach. Oh, and wi fi. Can't live without the internets! Next thing I knew, we had a condo in Kaua'i for a week and airline tickets. Let the adventure begin!

I didn't travel much as a kid, and although I have since remedied that with a couple of jobs that had me traveling so much I got the fancy gold cards that helped me skip security lines, I had zero expeirence traveling with a child, let alone an infant. BW was no help in this arena either, however he is a much more relaxed traveler than I am, for which I am always grateful.

We are also really lucky that Finn is a super easy kid. Nevertheless, we had no idea what to expect when we hopped on our Hawaiian flight at 8am on Thursday morning.

The fates were smiling fondly on us that day. First of all, the plane was only about 2/3 full, so the very helpful agent put us in a three-seated row with an empty middle seat for Finn, which meant we could bring his car seat on the plane and not have to hold him for the entire 5 1/2 hr flight. Then Finn fell asleep right before we got on board, and stayed that way for the next 2 and a half hours. For a little while, it was BW watching a movie on his Zune and me reading People magazine - just like old times.

Finn was pretty much wonderful the whole flight. He got a couple of meals, and a couple of diaper changes (courtesy of Brian, although I would have loved a hidden camera in the tiny airplane bathroom to watch him working that one!) and mostly just hung out in his car seat with some toys and either played or slept.

We changed planes in Honolulu and boarded a 20 minute inter-island flight to Kaua'i. This time I had to hold him for the flight, but since it was lunchtime (again), that kept him very happy. We nabbed our rental car in time for his nap, and made our way to our little condo in paradise.

Today was our first full day of vacation, and was aptly filled with a whole lot of nothing. Just enjoying the scenery...

on a stroll down the beach...

looking back at our resort from the Sheraton next door

pina coladas at lunch

We also learned some things about Finn today.

1) He likes being warm because it means he can go without socks and shoes. And he loves his toes.

2) Although he's not a big fan of the wind in his face, he does enjoy it when it blows his toys about and he doesn't have to do anything to make them chime.

and perhaps most importantly...

3) He HATES wearing his hat :)


Needless to say, we revised our plan to just keep him out of the sun rather than have him screaming the entire time.

More pictures soon... Mahalo!


Sunday, January 11, 2009

Finn, Interrupted Week 11, Episode 2

This was actually suppossed to be the first installment of Finn, Interrupted but got delayed due to the size of the file and my impatience. This one features Finn, his friends Frog & Monkey and a cameo by Ollie. Enjoy!

Friday, January 9, 2009

The Envelope Please…

Brian will tell you that I am the first person to roll my eyes when someone comments on what a good dog Ollie is.  Now I agree he has improved leaps and bounds from the absolute craziness of his first year and a half or so that had us stating “good thing he’s cute” on a regular basis.  But despite the fact he’s made big inroads, especially since Finn arrived, there are a couple of areas where we still don’t really have full control. 

One is his jumping.  This one is our fault, as we do not discourage such behavior because we think it is cute and like being greeted at the door with a 20 pound fluff ball, balancing on his back legs while jumping up and down, growling a smile.  Lesson for guests:  don’t wear nylons or white pants to the Walker house.  The jumping thing is not likely to change anytime soon.

The other area where Ollie always seems to need vast improvement is his walking etiquette.  Most walks, especially ones where there are other dogs, squirrels, strollers, kids or trees where dogs may have peed in the last decade, involve a decent amount of leash pulling, Ollie admonishing and apologizing to other pet owners.

This is why I have been reluctant to take Ollie on walks with Finn around Greenlake.  We have a nice Mutsy stroller that, while very stable and comfy for Finn is quite heavy, a little unwieldy and tough for me to control with one hand.  How will I be able to handle a dog that is pulling me after every four legged creature we encounter while staying on the “feet” side of the lake path?

It isn’t often I am happy to be wrong.  But today I am pleased to announce that I had completely underestimated our little crazy white dog. 

We trotted off on our walk around the lake in the middle of the day to limit traffic, and Oliver was an absolute joy

There were a few moments of slight pulling, but all it took was a quick jerk of his leash to restore order.  Most of the nearly 3mi trip he just kept pace with the stroller, on the left side, leash slack.

Because of this incredible accomplishment, I am thrilled to present our little White Wonder with the “Best Dog in the World… Today” award.  Congratulations, Oliver!

IMG_2608Our big winner, looking quite pleased.

Finn from my iPhone

A short video mashing up some Finn pictures of his first couple months of life, as seen from the camera on my phone.



Thursday, January 8, 2009

Finn, Interrupted – Week 11, Episode 1

I stole this idea from another blog called a lifetime of worry belonging to an ex-Cranium co-worker of mine & his wife, who blog about their daughter Yuki. Now Philip is a copywriter and his wife works in theatre, so it is safe to say that their blog is far more witty, interesting and generally well written than ours. Which is why I am plagiarizing it.

Their segment is called “30 seconds with Yuki” and starts when Yuki is about 6 months old. The :30 spot is pretty much just Philip narrating the silence between Yuki and the camera. Fast forward about a year later, and you’ll find that same little girl running around the house, chasing the camera and squealing in delight.

What I saw (besides their adorable daughter) was a really fun video journal of her life, and how she’s changed. So every so often, we’ll plan on taking some clips of Finn, catching everyone up on his latest developments and letting him tell his story… in his own words.

Finn’s First Christmas

The holidays are always a busy time, teetering between the joy of friends, family and food and the complete exhaustion that comes from what seems like an endless month of group dinners, company parties, family get-togethers and shopping.

Brian & I have become tough to shop for this year… it sounds trite, but we truly have everything we’ve ever asked for in Finn.  Although he is a little young to fully appreciate the birth of Jesus, the idea of Santa Claus or the thrill of opening presents, he sure was fun to dress up and pass around.

We spent almost a week on the farm with Cindy’s parents & family for Christmas, beginning a tradition of spoiled excess for their sole grandchild no doubt.

IMG_0092 Fascinating.



Ollie was a good sport, despite the fact that most of the presents were not for him.



And all of Cindy’s cousins took their turn with Finn…


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And of course, lots of QT with Gigi & Papa









Finn’s first Christmas was a beautiful white one!


When we got home, we joined the Walker side of the family, including Louise’s sister Alice visiting from San Francisco, for Christmas Part 2 – more food, fun & gifts!

Finn knew exactly what to get his parents for Christmas… a full night sleep!  That’s right!  Christmas Eve marked his first 9 hour sleep night.  Although we reverted back to 6/7 hr increments for a little while, he’s now up to 11 & 12 hours at nighttime, which is a little slice of heaven.

Needless to say, after 10 days in holiday mode, our little guy was pretty exhausted… along with the rest of us.

All in all, a pretty wonderful Christmas with our most favorite gift of all.

Some fun family pictures

Some longtime friends of Brian (Chris & Carrie Dinsmore) gave us a very creative baby gift – an hour with a professional photographer!  We booked her for the weekend of Thanksgiving so we could get the pictures back in time for our Christmas card/Baby Announcement.  We used the “best of” collage on the card, but here were so many great photos I thought I’d post a few here as well. 

This was actually Katryna’s first newborn shoot, but she had done a bunch of research on some “typical” shots and was a lot of fun to work with.  We highly recommend checking out her site at Katryna Baker Photography.

























We are biased, but we think he’s just beautiful.

Happy Birthday to Our Boys

photo3Today is a big day in the Walker household!  Our little Oliver turns TWO years old!  We celebrated by letting him get really really snowy in the back yard, and with a new, bigger giraffe toy.  As you can see, he hates his new toy.









Not to be outdone, today our little Mr. Finn hits the two-month mark.  It is hard to believe how fast he’s growing.  He smiles and laughs a little in his own way (we’ve discovered he’s ticklish when he’s in a good mood).  He takes after his parents in that he already has a love of sleeping… yet he’s also in the best mood first thing in the morning, which is definitely NOT a Walker or Ryan trait.

Cindy enjoys dressing him in “miniature man” clothes vs. more baby-ish styles.  Here he is in one of those outfits, along with a closeup of his super cool Puma kicks. 

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