Monday, April 20, 2009


Ta da! Here are some pictures from the kids' trip to Branson. Everyone has recovered from the flu and, so far, Finn and I have evaded it altogether. Here's keeping our fingers crossed . . . These pictures are from Jeff's sister, Michelle, and prominently feature her 7 month-old son, Bo. As you can tell, the kids couldn't get enough of him. Finn has even affectionately named his naked baby doll, "Bo" or at least that's what he calls it. I don't know if he's doing it to honor his little cousin or if he just thinks all bald boy babies are called a "Bo." Finn has developed a couple of other peculiar habits worth noting. I mention them only on the off-chance they are symptomatic of a raging but obscure mental illness that you can help me diagnose. I respect the power of collective knowledge!

Finn has a meltdown every time I remove a sweater, sweatshirt, or other second top layer. I first noticed this during our Dance Parties. During the second act (this week featuring Mika and the Killers) I usually get hot and try to take off whatever outer layer of clothing I happen to be sporting. He FREAKS! He becomes suddenly incensed and insists that I put it back on. I learned the hard way what will happen if I don't. At the hotel in Lincoln on Friday night, I was wearing a leopard-print (or maybe giraffe? --it's hard to tell) cardigan. I took it off to go to bed--but was still wearing a tank top. Finn went ballistic. He went to my suitcase and manually extracted it no fewer than three times in an attempt to get me to put it back on. When I resisted--he tried to escape the hotel room--frantically turning the deadbolt on the door and hanging on the doorknob. What the????

He does the same thing when I try to take off my Ugg slippers. My nannies got me a very nice pair of Ugg slippers for Christmas. I have worn them to a shred because my house is full of hardwood and granite floors and I hate letting my bare feet touch the floor (symptomatic of my own raging mental illness, I'm sure . . .). But, once again, Ugg slippers are not appropriate Dance Party footwear (one of our routines involves a full cross-the-room slide). If I try to take them off, he stops whatever he is doing and forcibly tries to return them to my feet. I don't understand why he takes such offense.

I don't think I'm THAT unattractive that my sleeveless arms or sock-covered feet or even my bare arms and bare feet would justify Finn's complete mortification. I dare say I look waaayyy better in a bikini than he does. I even asked Aubrey (who is sensitive not only to trends but to abnormal/embarrassing parental behavior) if she saw anything wrong with my arms or feet. She said "No" but the look on her face makes me think she might not have heard the question and that she maybe thinks I asked her to try some deep-fried octopus. Oh well. I guess I'll have to rely on my own judgment.

In the meantime, Finn has also taken offense at certain music selections. Usually, he is always game for a dance party. He is the first one on the floor shaking his little booty. But whenever he hears "White and Nerdy" by "Wierd Al" Yankovick or "Grace Kelly" by Mika he drops his toys and runs and jumps into my arms and buries his little face in my neck and refuses to look until the song is over. For some reason, those songs scare him. It cracks me up, but at the same time I feel sorry for him. Everyone should enjoy the singular pleasure of "White and Nerdy"-even Finn, poor baby!

Finally, he did one other thing recently that surprised me--but I know exactly why he did it and I approve of it wholeheartedly. A couple of nights ago I made Finn some popcorn. Usually, he picks it up piece by piece and feeds it to himself out of a bowl. However, this time, he brought the full bowl to his mouth and used his tongue to pick-up a piece (kind of like a frog or lizard catching a fly . . .) and ate half the bowl this way. Truth be known, that was Jeff's signature way of eating popcorn. Jeff used his tongue to eat popcorn twice as often as he used his hands. I doubt Finn remembers Jeff eating popcorn this way--just like I doubt Finn recalls Jeff using coasters or cleaning the kitchen--yet Finn has demonstrated these identical tendencies. Very neat to see.

Well, it's getting late and I have to prepare a presentation for work tomorrow (and I still have to clean the kitchen and switch-over the laundry and write some checks--a typical day in the life). So, until next time, enjoy the pictures and thanks again for checking in. (The pictures from top to bottom are (1) Aubrey and Regan teaching Bo how to play Nintendo DS; (2) Finn looking like Grandma's Little Angel; and (3) Jack slacking on the job--either that, or Bo's top half is considerably heavier than his bottom half).



Jackie said...

I feel better to read this! My 3 year old freaks out if I try to change out of my "soft and cozies" (translation: pajamas). He hates to get dressed and loathes the idea of anyone around him doing this dreaded task. I attribute it to the fact that kids do not like change in simple, regular routines. Maybe someone else will post and offer up some advice... or some therapy referrals. I'm open to anything!
Thank you for sharing your life and wonderful stories that come with it. After my husband was dianosed with stage IV metastatic malignant melanoma, I longed to read about families that have survived the beast. I check your blog daily and feel as though I know you (and the kids, too). Thanks again!
Jackie Bartak

mka said...

I think Finn is showing signs of obsessive-compulsive disorder. I found a really good web site on it through web md. It's on kids health .org. It explains a lot about it. It's an anxiety disorder and the kids who have it can't help the way they feel, from Finn being afraid of certain songs, you removing top layers of clothes or your slippers. Even his cleaning to calm himself is a part of the disorder. Read it and you'll see. There are things you can do to help. Just read the article. If you have trouble finding it, call me. Love, Mom

Jennifer said...

Look at that Mr Man! It looks like he is due for a haircut! I need to get back to work and pronto. Also, thats funny with him, but it is only with you. . .may not be OCD.

Terri said...

Maybe Finn thought your giraffe print cardigan was dirty due to the brown spots and freaked when you put it in your suitcase instead of the laundry machine.
I think that all of us have some type of disorder to a degree, as long as the disorder doesn't interfere with daily life you are ok. So, as long as Finn's fear of "Grace Kelly" doesn't interfere with his cleaning then he is fine. :D (ha,ha)
I sometimes think that I am a little OCD. Anyway, Finn is funny- the trying to escape from the hotel cracks me up, but I'm sure he is fine and kids are funny like that.

Katie Clancy said...

Hello, I have a question for Regan. How does that cute hairstyle work when taking care of a baby? I am thinking of gettingmy hair cut like that but everyone tells me not to!

The Parsons said...

Hi there,
I've been meaning to leave a comment for a while, but was worried about being perceived as stalker-ish (which I very well may be, and for that I apologize!). My husband is an ND alum and we live here in MKE; I'm graduating from the Medical College next month, and my husband is a soon-to-be 3L at Marquette Law. My husband met Jeff through a couple of ND Club events, and I can remember him commenting what a great guy he was. When we heard about the diagnosis, we started following the blog (and here's where I sound like a stalker). You're probably sick of hearing that you guys are an inspirational family, but I just wanted to say that from a stalker-esque point of view we really admire the strength, faith, and humor of your family. It's been a pleasure to laugh along with your funnier blogs (our son's just about a month younger than Finn so we can sympathize with MANY of those blogs), and we've cried ourselves during your more difficult times. So I guess I just wanted to say thanks for setting a good example for a young family, thanks for your humor, and thanks (in advance) for not calling the police on my stalker-like following of your blog :)