Fridays with Finley {14th December 2012}

Dearest Family, 

As Christmas approaches the Catton household sure does get busy. Our tree is up and we are in the full swing of Christmas craft and baking. Finley loves the tree. It took his usually play spot on the carpet so he was skeptical at first but now he loves the lights and ornaments! It's beautiful introducing him to the joy of Christmas. We have had a busy few weeks in the lead up. Last week we attended Levi's marine industry Christmas party on a tall shop in Sydney Harbour which was a great night out and Courtney and I went to see Regina Spektor at the Opera House - just beautiful. Finley as always has been a little trouper through it all and has enjoyed some time with Grandma while we have been off enjoying ourselves. Thanks Grandma! 

Finley now has 6 teeth, with 4 coming through in the last few weeks. He is really starting to look different now, more and more like a little boy. We miss our tiny baby but get excited at all the new things he is doing. He has started to clap and wave which is just gorgeous. He isn't much of a mover yet, no crawling which I suppose I should be glad hasn't come too fast. I hear that life really changes once they get moving. 

I've attached some photos from our mothers group photo shoot - how cute hey! And pictures as promised from our Cairns trip. 

We hope you all get the chance to relax over the Christmas period and reflect on the reason for the season! 

Love to all, 

Fridays with Finley {30th November 2012}

Dearest Family, 
We have had an amazing few weeks together. Cairns really was incredible. In addition to witnessing the amazing solar eclipse, there was so much to see and do and thanks to the Ryan families ‘drive’ we managed to pack a lot in. We have some incredible forever memories like scuba diving on the Barrier Reef and swimming with a sea turtle, swimming through the icy cold Milla Milla waterfall, seeing a croc in the wild and doing the scenic Kurranda trip. It was wonderful to spend time together as a family and especially for the cousins to get to know each other. Finley was a little champion, considering how much we did he managed really well and had a few little adventures of his own. He went swimming for the first time in the pool which he really took to and swimming in the ocean on the reef with grandpa who stoically managed the aftermath – not a happy baby! He also saw amazing birds in an enclosure at Kurranda and experienced his first plane ride. 
As Christmas approaches Finley and I are keeping busy. My mothers group has organised a lot of baby related activities  We’ve made hand and foot print ornaments, Christmas babbles and we just had a Christmas photo shoot for the babies. I’ve also been busy sewing some Christmas outfits for Finley, a wreath for our door and Christmas gifts.
Tonight Finley will be baby sat by a sister in our ward. Levi and I are celebrating our anniversary by going to the drive in to the see the new bond movie – we have been looking forward to it for ages. We are up to the traditional gift ‘fruits and flowers’ –I gave Levi a macadamia cracking device and he got me my own dwarf avocado tree – very excited to watch it grow!
We are loving watching Finley grow. He has a top tooth coming through, is rolling this way and that, is almost sitting on his own and very excitingly has said mumma, bubba and Levi claims he has said dadda – but I haven’t heard it yet : ) We love him and I cherish each day I have to spend with him – it’s a true blessing.
Wishing you all a great week.

Fridays with Finley {8th November 2012}

Dearest Family, 

We have had a really busy two weeks full of fun. Last week Finley and I travelled by train to Sydney to attend Tate's storytelling event and spend some time with family and friends. I thoroughly enjoyed my night out at the event but unfortunately Finley didn't approve. My usual sleeping beauty just wouldn't settle for his babysitters which was a first for him - I felt terrible, but the family seemed fine about it thank goodness! We had a great visit in Sydney catching up with friends of mine and their babies as well as some girl time with mum and Courtney. Finley was great on the train and won over all of the other passengers though certainly was most thrilled to see Daddy as his came onto the train to greet us. 

This week we attended my mothers groups Melbourne Cup get together which was lots of fun. It was so cute to see all of the mums and babies dressed up. It was much more about the social aspect and food than the race, we actually almost missed it, so much for the race that stops the nation! 

Finley is a great travel companion and we are hoping that he will be as happy about our upcoming 3 hour flight to Cairns on Saturday. I'm sure the next edition of Fridays with Finley will be packed full of our Cairns adventures. Hope you are all doing well - I would love to hear some of your news. 

Fridays with Finley {26th October 2012}

Dearest Family, 

Well Finley has reached the halfway mark of his first year of life. We had a little 6 month party and no he did not eat the cake! The sweetest it gets for this boy is pear : ) He is loving his solids and steadily gaining weight, we've made our way through most vegetables and some fruits but pumpkin and pear are definitely his favourites. We've also been practicing sitting up these last few weeks and just this morning he got it. Very exciting! I could see Levi's concentration face right there on Finley as he balanced himself. Finley is a little Levi in many ways already and it's lovely for me to see his reflection in him. 

Probably the most lovely development has been Finley's kisses and cuddles. It's a variation on the tradition but Finley wraps his arms around my neck, pulls my hair towards him, opens his mouth really wide (as in picture two) and plants big, sloppy, kisses/bites on my check. It's perfect. 

I've tried my best to capture a toothy pic, he still only has the two but they are raised now, thankful he has stopped biting me, though he will munch down on anything else, including unsuspecting fingers! 

Levi and I are enjoying life, always busy entertaining at our place and trying to work on projects. Levi's only a few weeks away from having the catamaran sea worthy and I'm in health mode playing tennis, walking and turning our house into a bit of a health haven. We are looking forward to Cairns in just over two weeks and then Christmas - where has the year gone?

Lots of love, 

Fridays with Finley {12th October 2012}

Good morning all, 

We are having stunning weather here in Nelson Bay and loving life getting out and about. We've been very lucky this past two weeks to have lots of visitors. Edward, Mum and Courtney shared the long weekend with us, then Edward stayed through til the next weekend when we had an old school friend of mine, Ben and his girlfriend come and stay. Finley loved it. New people to play with and adore him and attention every waking moment, so that was great. We did some great things together, mum and I explored Corlette Point on a morning walk which was beautiful and we hiked up Tomaree Mountain with Ben and Dee which was amazing! Stunning 360 degree views of the Bay and ocean - well worth it. 

Finley has been wonderful. He did so well on the hike and had many an admirer along the way. Tomorrow he is 6 months old! He is such a happy baby, he wins hearts wherever he goes and loves the attention. We have been reading lots together, so far he prefers to try and eat the book rather than look at the pictures but he loves listening and goes very quiet once we start reading. It's unlikely he could grow up in this house without developing a love of books and he already has a beautiful little collection with some new additions all the way from Canada : )

On other news Levi traded in his NS14 Skiff for a 17ft Catamaran. 17ft feels massive and it is currently sitting on our lawn in all it's hugeness. We are excited to have a family friendly, non capsizing boat for the summer. 

We hope you are all well, 
Lots of love, 

Fridays with Finley {28th September 2012}

Dearest Family, 

The past fortnight has been all about food for Finley. He mastered the art of keeping puree in his mouth, rather than on his bib and has enjoyed tasting a few new foods. It is lots of fun watching him take that first mouthful tentatively, then squealing for more. Pear is his favourite so far but he has also enjoyed apple, sweet potato and carrot. It's hard to believe he is already eating food, soon enough our little baby will be all grown up. He's been a great traveller too. I think he has resigned himself to the fact that he will be in the car for long periods of time and does really well with it. We headed to Sydney last weekend for a branch temple trip and my 10 year High School reunion and he was great. We keep really busy and Finley seems to love it. 

The big news of the week is Levi's sailing fiasco. On Wednesday afternoon he went out for an afternoon sail, it was pretty windy and in addition to struggling to keep the boat up, part of the boat broke making it impossible for Levi to keep it up right. In the end he had to abandon ship and started to swim to shore but a dolphin watching cruise passed by and picked him up, towing his boat to a nearby mooring. Just before he was about to be served a delicious seafood meal, marine rescue took him off board and delivered him to a nearby marina! What luck!  The flip side of the story is that by chance I had gone down to the beach with Finley to watch him sail and saw it all happen. It was very rough conditions and passersby as well as me were panicked. I knew that Levi had a lifejacket on and would eventually abandon the boat and swim the distance to shore but I couldn't see that he was actually okay, so was running along the foreshore trying to get a better vantage point. Some people eventually told me they had seen him so I felt a little relieved but totally powerless to help. I raced Finley to a members place, got towels and water and tried to figure out where he would come in. It was a 2 hour debacle so you imagine that emotions were pretty high by this point. I suppose all is well that ends well, Levi took the day off work to recover his near sunken boat from the mooring, which only has minimal damage but we are considering selling the boat for a more family friendly version - watch this space. Finley was an absolute treasure, it seems funny to say but he was a real comfort to me, I'm sure his little spirit has great intuition. Levi is tired and sore but in high spirits considering. 

Never a dull moment at our place! We love and miss you all. We are excited to have Edward, Mum, Dad and Courtney coming for the long weekend. We look forward to more visitors as the weather warms up. 

Fridays with Finley {14th September 2012}

Dear Family, 

Our little boy is growing up far too fast! He turned 5 months yesterday and it became certain that he is teething with the advent of two little teeth popping up through his gums. Not much fun for Finley or mummy. I was secretly hoping he wouldn't get teeth until past a year so I wouldn't have to face being nipped by him, but alas it is not mean't to be! I've tried a few strategies to warn him off but he just looks at me and smiles! You certainly can't get too upset at him with that little face peering up at you. 

He also started to blow raspberries and has some very funny back and forth sessions of it with Daddy. He really loves when Levi comes home from work. His little face lights up and he knows he will have some little adventure, as Levi is always thinking of new ways to entertain him. 

We are also making the transition from the bassinet to the cot at the moment. Sometimes we rock Finley when he is unsettled so the slow process is more about us than it is about him, but he is almost the length of the bassinet so the time has come. He is also starting to fit into some cute nautical clothes we have for him. It's fun to see both Levi and Finley in boat related t-shirts! I love it. 

We hope that you are all doing well. We love you all and wish we could have you here with us.

Fridays with Finley {31st August 2012}

Dearest Family, 

We've had a busy few weeks with our little Fin Fin. He went to his first birthday party and had lots of fun staring at the birthday girl Maya and went to his first carnival where he patted a little horse. The carnival was great fun and we actually won first place in the apple pie competition! Really it was Levi's win as he put great effort into making and decorating the delicious pie, I can only claim having peeled the apples - an important and vital part of the pie I might add! 

Finley has found his feet and his voice this week. He has loved exploring his little feet and find great pleasure in kicking them about above his face. He is also making all sorts of interesting noises and a day in the Catton household is filled with back and forth sound making between mummy and Finley. 

We've also had a few challenges this week as we think Finley is starting to teethe. It's not great fun for him or us, he really struggled to sleep and had a high fever but seems to be okay now. I suppose we will experience the same thing on and off for the next year or so. As always though he is a little treasure and always ends up giving us a little smile no matter what is happening. 

We hope you are all doing well, we love each of you

Fridays with Finley {17th August 2012}

Welcome to Fridays with Finley! Seeing as you all don't get to see Finley on a regular basis I will be sending out a little update each week so that you can share in the joy our precious little boy brings us. 

This week has been a week of 1st's and some 2nd's...

We are trialing life as a one car family so Finley and I went on a bus adventure to suss out the public transport system in Nelson Bay. It was his 1st time on a bus and my 1st in many many years. We were very prepared, and a little nervous, we even ran to catch up with a bus that wasn't ours... and overall it was... just like catching a bus! lol.

Finley also had his 1st taste of real food this week, he enjoyed being in his high chair but wasn't fond of the mashed pear. He won't be going onto solids for a little while yet but it was fun to give him a taste. 

A few weeks ago Finley rolled over from tummy to back for the first time. He did it a couple of times that day but on subsequent days seemed to have forgotten he knew how. This week he remembered and we have had lots of fun watching him roll. 

He is an absolute delight.