Posts Tagged ‘Finley Ray’

I know it’s really getting out of hand this week!!  I’ve been receiving, reveling in and sharing videos of my grand kids who seem to have a groovy dancing gene.  My daughter sent me this one of Finley doing her own version of what may become the Clark family song;  By that I mean, she tosses in a few great gymnastic moves and stays with the beat and rhythm the whole time.  That gets a little tricky here and there because she is upstaged by little Fletcher who wants only to dance like his sister.

Turns out Fletcher is a real scene stealer so as the camera follows him around the room, Finley quickly moves to stay in the lime light.  I love her sense of stage performance!!  The music makes you want to just get up, shake your shoulders and swivel those hips.  Chiara has always danced around with her girls but somehow these latest moves look suspiciously like an MJ knock-off.  When Uncle Justin visits I’m pretty sure he gives the girls private lessons on how to moon walk

So here is Finley Ray and Fletcher performing to the beat of Michael Jackson’s SMOOTH CRIMINAL.

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I really wish I could have been in Florida today, not because it’s cold here but because today was Grandparents Day at Finley’s school.  The kids dictated notes to their grandparents which were then typed by their teacher.   The letters were read aloud in class today. I am so, so, happy to have received this video today of all days! 

This is the BEST Valentine ever!  Finley Ray has my heart, there’s no denying it.  

Finley Ray

Finley Ray


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Finley Ray following closely in the footsteps of her athletic Mom is now playing soccer!  And she’s taking tennis lessons at age 5!?!?  I didn’t think there were racquets that small.

Oh Yeah!

Oh Yeah!

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"I love flamingos too"

“I love flamingos too”

It’s been quite a while since I posted a photo of my little Finny.  My daughter, Chiara, sent this to me today and of course it not only made me smile, it made me miss that little cutie even more.  Anyway, what is the significance of Finley and flamingos? Well if you recall a blog post way back when…in the category of Peter Coddles* then you know that I LOVE Flamingos. In fact I have a collection of flamingos and here is the link to the blog post I did featuring some of my collection:


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Yesterday Finley Ray arrived for the weekend and in less than 24 hours we already had a few adventures.  We went to a book fair and she was in her element for sure.  She just plopped down on the concrete floor and went through several books discarding those she decided were not worth taking home and choosing very carefully the keepers.   The Ladies auxiliary had set up a hot dog concession and the wafting odor of hot dogs was too irresistable for her, so one hot dog with ketchup was ordered.  Then it was off to the boardwalk where we didn’t go to the beach per se because rain was imminent but still we had time to take off our shoes and walk in the sand.

Picking Papa Pete up at the train station was going to be a treat in hopes that we would see the “big” train.  Alas he arrived before we did.  Still we had another stop, this time to the Laurie’s Vegetable & Fruit stand in Neptune.   Laurie  is so friendly and warm and since it had begun to rain and we were the only customers at the time, she invited Finley up onto the counter to have some fresh blueberries.  The fruit stand was originally a gas station in the 1930’s and there were still some remnants of its origins and don’t you know, little Miss Finny announced that this was a garage!  Yes,I have a genius granddaughter.  The rain was dripping heavily from the garage doors that were opened and Fin realized as every little child does that running back and forth in the rain can be so much fun.  First of all you get big drop marks on your clothes and your hair gets wet, water runs down your cheeks and soon you have water squishing between your toes in your sandals (hers were jelly thank goodness).

Dinner on a TV tray is fun too especially if you are getting to watch a movie at the same time!  I think Finley had her first corn on the cob Friday night because she didn’t seem too familiar with the concept.

Finley Ray, corn on the cob, Jersey corn
Jersey Corn Naturally

It was a no-nap day due some unforseen circumstances and the fact that Finley and I hit the road shortly after she arrived.  So by dinner time I could tell she was fading but she refused to cave in until after her two movies had been seen.  First a bath in Gigi’s blue drink bucket ( a cottage without a bathtub can be a real drawback when you have kids around), then the movies and we are off to bed.  A promise made to read two books seemed unlikely as I was pretty sure she wouldn’t insist.  Sure enough she was just about asleep by the time I finished one of the new books we had bought at the Book Sale.

She turned her head, closed her eyes and fell into a deep sleep.  So deep and so fast that I ran downstairs to get my camera to capture this photo.  Take heed Mommy, I used a flash! Well of  course it was PAST her regular bed time, lol. lol.

Nicky, Finley Ray Clark, La Vie en Rose,
And then there were TWO!

Not to be left out, while I was snapping this shot, another member of the family joined in to make it a menagerie a trois!

Nora, guest room at La Vien en Rose
And Then There Were Three!

Saturday morning , errr, rather early in  the morning, Finley was thoughtful enough to get out of bed and go downstairs and bring up two videos that she thought we all should watch together in bed.  So of course we did.

She was very busy around the house that morning, actually helping me clean.  She insisted on having a paper towel spritzed with Simple Green so she could wipe down tables, cabinets and anything else I pointed at.

We plopped her in the stroller and took off to the Book Fair again, this time so Peter could peruse the aisles in search of literary treasures.  Finley made off with 2 more books and surprise, surprise, one of them is Cinderella.  It was so bloody hot and I was hoping to get over to the North End beach to see the sand sculptures.  By the time we walked east to the boardwalk, and then to North Beach, I was already over it as far as viewing any sand castles.  Just as we approached the staircase to the beach, Finny announced that she had to pee.  Just GREAT-no bathrooms at this end of the boardwalk, the restaurant located there is closed and so I had to walk all the way back to the Pavillion and talk my way past the ticket taker to get her onto the beach where there were some bathrooms.  NOT pleasant restrooms at all,  and we had to cut the line as she was jumping up and down literally so who would make a little girl wait? Truth be told I don’t think I have ever been on a public beach with decent bathrooms. Sorry to say that the sculptures weren’t worth the hike, the sun and the hot sand 😦

We headed home by way of Day’s Ice Cream because having ice cream in the middle of the day is just the perfect pick-me-up on a blistering summer afternoon.  The girls in the ice cream shop tried to convince Finley that she wanted strawberry because it was pink or party cake and after she tasted each and turned up her nose, she ordered just exactly what she told me she wanted;  soft vanilla with sprinkles on top! 

Day's ice cream parlor, Ocean Grove, Finley Ray Clark
Ice Cream Makes Me Smile Too

Finally we made it to the beach.

At first she didn’t even want to get her feet wet and she raced back to the sand each time a wave lapped anywhere near where she was standing.  Peter finally got her into the water by splashing her and letting her splash him which brought forth shrieks and uncontrollable giggles.  Soon she was sitting down and letting the waves foam up around her knees.  And before long, she was in the water being held, swung and dipped while wave after wave crashed into her each one eliciting one of Finley’s ear-piercing shrieks and I just know how much the people who were in sand chairs down at the water reading, really and truly loved that sound!

Ocean Grove, Peter, Peter Press, Finley Ray Clark,
Look how wet I got Papa Pete

I wish I dared to get in the waves with the camera so I could have taken a photograph of her loving having the waves crash on her.  Finally, it was strongly suggested that she might want to make a sand castle…

Finley Ray, Ocean Grove
Sand Castles

After a bath to remove sand from places one would never expect sand to land, Fin was ready for bed.  Again,it was a one book night because this little water baby was very tired.

Sunday was tea party day for Finley Ray.  I was helping my friend, Jane who runs a Tea Room and so about lunch time, Peter brought Finny over to the Tea Room so she too could attend a Teddy Bear Tea as they are known when kids come to High Tea.

Teddy Bear Tea, Lilligaard Hotel, Ocean Grove
A Teddy Bear Tea

Believe it or not she ate EVERYTHING!  It was a blistering hot day so off to the beach we went and this time there was no hesitation.  Finley was shrieking through the waves as soon as she hit the shore line.  This time she was so sandy that only a shower would do to get her clean. 

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Sometimes you just can’t help yourself!  I HAVE to post these photos of my beautiful grandchildren and their beautiful mother (oak, acorn, apple, get it??).   The pictures were taken this week in Carl Shurtz Park. 

Emma Cleary, Frankie, Francesca, Carl Shurtz park

Francesca Tip-Toeing Thru The Tulips

photo by Emma Cleary

Carl Shurtz park, Finley Ray, Francesca, Frankie, Chiara berti clark

Oh So Pretty

Photo by Emma Cleary

Finny, Gigi's Finley Ray, Carl Shurtz park,


photo by Emma Cleary

Francesca, Frankie, pink tulips, Carl Shurtz park

Ooh the sidewalk is hot Mommy!

photo by Emma Cleary

arabesque, Finley Ray, Finny, Carl Shurtz park


photo by Emma Cleary

ice cream with sprinkles, Finny, Finley Ray

Just like Gigi, I love ice cream

photo by Emma Cleary

Finny, Chiara, Francesca

Looking at You, Baby

photo by Emma Cleary

Frankie, Francesca, Carl Shurtz park

This is NOT a bed of roses!

photo by Emma Cleary

Finley Ray, Finny, Carl Shurtz

Flower Power

photo by Emma Cleary

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Helen Uffner, Uffner Vintage clothing, Lori Press, Easter Parade 2011, fifth avenue

Helen and Lori

Here we are post-Parade and post-cocktails too!

Easter Parade, Fifth Avenue, Helen Uffner

Helen and her sunglasses!!!

Check out Helen’s saucy vintage hat!

Finley Ray, Easter parade 2011, Fifth Avenue, Easter hat, easter bonnet

Finley and Gigi on the Avenue

Peter Press, uffner vintage clothing, fifth avenue, Easter parade, new york easter 2011

Dapper Peter and Dazzling Jessica

uffner vintage clothing, Helen Uffner, Lori Press, Easter parade 2011, new york city easter, fifth aveneu

"Sorry about the hat" - The real Helen

I hope to have more photos soon!

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eFinley, Papa Pete, Finny

Finny and Papa Pete

The old glasses in the eye trick sent Finley into spasms of giggles.   The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree because her mother used to crack up every time Peter did this for her at the dinner table.  Generational fun.

Finley, making brownies with Gigi, licking the bowl

Scraping the bowl

One afternoon I had Finley over so we could make brownies together.  She really got into it;  she poured all of the dry ingredients, put the egg in and did some mixing too!

Finny, Finley Ray, licking the spoon, making brownies, Gigi

Licking the spoon

Looking at this photo brings back memories of my own childhood.  I remember getting to lick the spoon or beaters after my mother made cookies or a cake.  More generational fun!

Starbucks, blackberry, Finley Ray, Finny

"I have to take this call"

I took Finley to Starbucks and she took my blackberry.  We often go together to Starbucks where it’s chocolate milk for her and a grandé Americano for me.

Papa Pete,Finley ray, Finny, reading

Let's Pick Another One to Read

Finley loves her booksshe reads to herself, has her favorites and of course loves to be read to by Papa Pete.

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Last weekend, I was delighted to have Finley stay with us at the cottage.  Well the idea of having her here was exciting.  However, once the crib, the booster chair, the stroller, her suitcase,  the cats in their crates, the food, my bag, Peter’s bag, the other food bag, the blue bag (which carries so many things), the hanging clothes and the clean laundry and her car seat…WELL, really!!!!

Ok so I digress – we joined our friends, Susan & Jim and Joe & Michael for a “catch-up meet-up brunch” at Nagle’s.  We hadn’t seen each other in  a while due to who was sick, who was traveling and who hadn’t been in town.  And I wanted to see Michael before he left for California.  Peter’s birthday was at the end of February, Joe’s birthday had been in the week before AND moved into a new apartment. Michael left his job in CA and was going to be moving to NYC with Joe,and little Miss Fin was in town – so, Let’s Celebrate!

Jim got a large sheet cake with a  BIG RAINBOW on it-this is a running insider joke between them.  So I gave Joe a birthday card with a rainbow, a congratulations on your new home and new job card and Susan added Peter’s name to the birthday cake.

Happy Birthday, Joe Lugo, Peter, Nagle's, brunch
Happy Birthday Joe! and Peter too

photo by Lori

Joe Lugo, Peter Press, Nagle's, sunday brunch

Cutting the cake

photo by Lori

Joe Lugo, Finley Ray, Finny, Nagle's

Finley and Uncle Joe

photo by Lori

You can see where the first cut was made and if you look at the first picture, you can see that the rainbow is on the opposite side of the cake – Finny wanted a piece of cake with the blue rainbow. Even if we wanted to accomodate her request, it would have been hard to extricate one piece of cake out of the middle – Problem solved.  How about a piece of  cake and Gigi will cut a piece of the blue rainbow and put in it on your piece?  “OK” , she says.

Finley Ray Clark,Finny, blue rainbow, Nagle's

I Want the Blue Rainbow

photo by Lori

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Finley Ray Clark, Finny, Valentine's day,

Valentine #1 - Finley Ray

Francesca Lillian, red bow,

Valentine #2 - Francesca

I am blessed!

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