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Nearly half a million babies (1 in 10) are born premature in the US each year which is higher than that of most other developed nations. This is the journeys of our first born son, Finnegan, who was born 14 weeks early and weighed only 1 pound 15 ounces at birth. Of our daugher, Korrigan, who was born a healthy 7 pounds, 7 ounces at 37 weeks. And of our second son, MacKeegan, who was also born at 37 weeks at a whopping 8 pounds, 13 ounces. Our continued adventures reminds us daily how good God is.

Monday, November 27

Student of the Month

We have another student of the month in our house! (Finn was SOM in Jan of Kindergarten). I write with great pride and joy that Korrigan was student of the month for November! Her teacher picked one student from her classroom. Here are the words she wrote for why Korri earned this honor:
Mrs. Erger is nominating Korrigan Thomas for student of the month in her first grade classroom. Korrigan is always listening when the teacher and other classmates are talking. She is respectful and shows that she cares about what others have to say. She also shows these great listening skills when she is in the audience at an assembly. She makes everyone feel welcome and always includes them in games and activities, which makes her a great friend. She has been a kind classmate to the new student in our classroom and is always willing to help. Keep being a great example to others, Korrigan!
I almost cried when Korri gave me the note last week. I mean, she doesn't have any major issues at school, but she does struggle (more with the social stuff than academic). She often doesn't want to go to school and says how "hard" it is and how she "h word" school. But this shows what I've thought all along...she is doing great and is probably focusing on a few small things that don't come super easy to her instead of all the good, easy things she does do! I mean, she was the "All Star" in her class last year, so she/we must be doing something right!!!

Wednesday, November 22

Uncharted waters

Finn and I embarked on a new adventure to anybody in the Thomas household...a visit to the Orthodontist! Neither Jim nor I had braces, so I don't really feel this is "fair" that we have to go at all! I mean, send somebody who caused all this fuss to THEIR parents!!

Needless to say, I was NOT looking forward to the visit today, but since Finn's birth, I was told it was coming. It was time. The reason really is to get a benchmark for the future and see where he's at right now (but I didn't know where he was "at right now"!).

The appointment could not have gone better. The orthodontist basically said the issues Finn has are minor and he'd like to see us back in about 6 months to see if there has been improvement or not. And the issues Finn has are from thumb sucking NOT his early birth! The orthodontist said those issues at birth seemed to have correct themselves (Finn had facial and mouth asymmetry and narrow/crowding). I felt a huge weight lifted from my shoulders that I didn't know was there.

Finn's issues are normal child issues and the orthodontist thinks they may correct themselves as his mouth grows, since he doesn't suck his thumb any more! Praise God! Now we'll just wait and see. And to make things better, Finn loved the office, people and the visit (no pain!!). So that helps for future visits.

Korri has the same issues as Finn (or so I was told by our dentist), so we'll be back there in a year or two for her. But I have a feeling hers are going to be more severe because she sucks her thumb for frequently and for longer duration than Finn has/did. Argh! Oh, well, could be worse. We'll deal with both when the time comes.

Wednesday, September 13

Dentist Fail

This morning was Mac's first dentist appointment! Yes, I know he should have had it in July when he turned three, but give me a break. However, in hindsight, I wish we had done it in July!

I was NOT looking forward to taking him, based on his behavior at his three year well child appointment at the doctor. I had my cleaning yesterday and the hygienist recommended I not over communicate with him about it. Kind of like, the less he knows, the less he will freak out. So I didn't. It also helped that Finn and Korri were going after school, so I just said they were doing it too.

My worry was all for naught. Like he did AMAZING! It helped that his hygienist was super good with him.

He got to pick strawberry toothpaste and after his cleaning, he noticed a silly tooth monster, whom he loved! He didn't love that the chair reclined, but I just had him sit up until it was down and then lean back.

I was so happy with how the appointment was going. Until the dentist came in. Mac had SIX teeth with cavities on them. Please keep in mind he only has TEN teeth!! I was shocked and honestly felt like the a terrible mom (I didn't feel like the worst mom until later). But I shouldn't have been. I mean, the kid eats sugary snacks All. Day. Long. And while we do a pretty good job brushing, the sugar still sit on his teeth all day. AND bad teeth can be genetic and Jim has really soft teeth and has had problems with them his whole life. So, we made an appointment for next week to try to get the fillings started. If it doesn't go well, the dentist will refer us to a pediatric dental facility that is capable of putting patients under. Fingers crossed.

Mac says he loves the dentist, so I'm glad for that. We'll see how he feels after the appt next week. Plus, he got to (finally!) pick out a toy from the toy basket, which  make anything better.

Fast forward to Finn and Korri's appointments. I picked them up a little early from school to be sure we got there on time. Neither kid was excited about the appointments but after some grumbling and "I'm not going in," they both got started. After walking back with Korri, I stayed in the waiting room with Mac. I was a little upset they didn't call me back when the dentist talked with them because well, I'm the mom. Oh, well.

They both did very well for their cleanings. However, the grand total of cavities between the three of them was FIFTEEN! Korri had 4 and Finn had 5. I mean, what?!?! This is where the feeling of being the worst mom rear their ugly head. They brush their teeth twice a day. They use Act mouthwash Every. Single. Day! Holy crap! I get a pit in my stomach just writing about it.

So, now over the next few months, we get to go back in for filling appointments. Argh!!

Oh, and Finn got a referral for an orthodontist. I mean, I'd been told since he was born that he had issues and he'd need either surgery or orthodontics, but it still hit me like a ton of bricks.

It was just too much all at one time. I couldn't even fully process all of it. So it wasn't so much a "dentist fail" as a "dental health fail."

Tuesday, September 12

A Last First

Today was a last first in the Thomas household: our last first day of preschool! Mac started preschool!

He was SO ready. He didn't know why he couldn't go last week with the Bigs. It is so hard to push them out of the nest but it makes it so much easier when you know they will fly. And he flew!!

Last night he picked out his own clothes (in Flat Me style):

He ended up going with shorts in the morning instead of the baseball pants, but still, quite the first day outfit!! I guess I should just be happy it wasn't a skirt. LOL

It just about killed me to have to wake him up (something Stay-at-home moms don't have to do very often!!).

He was a little grumpy but once he got ready and ate some mini-muffins, he was happy and ready to go.

Is it just me or does he look really old?

But you can tell he was ready. I even got all three in one picture!!

Here comes the bus and there goes my baby.

I did okay emotionally because he was SO excited. But in contrast to the pictures by the front door where he looked so old...he looks so small getting on that big huge bus!!! For the record, he sat with Finn on the first day and will sit with Korri on Thurs (that is the schedule the Bigs came up with!).

He was all smiles when he got home and was super amped up!

Mac picked pineapple to bring for his shared snack so I emailed his teacher to ask if I should send spoons and cups along with it. In her response back to me, she said, "Hope he enjoyed preschool his first day! He did a good job." Awww...good to hear because I was thinking about him the whole time: what's he doing, is he playing nice, is he listening, is he getting along with others, etc.

Wednesday, September 6

Patio furniture

Our deck was useless this summer. Our indecision about what to do to make it functional lead us to do nothing and therefore not use it at all. There is no shade. No block from the wind. It is barren.

But we are having a grilling party this weekend and I didn't think it would be hospitable nor comfortable to have our guest standing on the deck the whole time. So after the Bigs left for school yesterday, Mac and I went to Menards to see what patio furniture they had. My mindset was "anything is better than nothing." When I got there, I found some really cute sling back chairs that I liked, but that would be more for the fire pit area. I wanted more of a dining/lounge patio set for on the deck. And even with my "buy now, buy anything" mindset, there was NOTHING there. And not because they'd clearanced it out. It was either not what I was looking for or it was junk. Argh!!! This ALWAYS happens to me.

I sent a couple pictures to Jim, but I felt defeated. Then my wise and wonderful husband suggested all of us going to 2nd Shade in Minnetonka. I'd never heard of it but I've learned that when Jim has an idea, to go with it. We schlepped to Minnetonka and found the Mecca of patio furniture. I mean, the rooms and the patio sets just kept going and going. And the service was really spectacular.

I surprisingly wasn't overwhelmed, even though we were there for HOURS. After walking through the entire space, in my mind, I'd narrowed it down to two: one was used but the style we liked and the other was new and had a table that could be used as a dining table with little ottomans tucked underneath. Jim and I talked and we agreed that for only a little more money, the new one was exactly what we wanted. Jim also wanted an umbrella to help block the sun and we found exactly what we wanted (it is lighted!)!

So, when can we get it because, well, our party is in four days! Luckily the patio set was in stock and they could promise delivery by Saturday. The umbrella had to be ordered but that wasn't required for the party so that was fine. I was doubtful that'd actually deliver it on time (I feel like those places over promise and under deliver...pardon the pun) but low and behold, they delivered it this morning!!! Like less than 24 hours later!!

I'm so happy with it and can't wait to use it on Saturday. The kids LOVE it and we already ate dinner on it tonight. I guess the lesson is to just do something rather than nothing!! Come on over any time to check it out and have a drink with us on it!

MaryEllen even got in on the action!

I plan to go back to Menards tomorrow to get the sling back chairs I liked:

Now we'll be all set...for NEXT summer, hopefully. And for Saturday, of course.

Tuesday, September 5

Back to School!

Well, I had very mixed emotions about school starting. I mean, the Bigs had gotten to the point where just the sight of the other would cause WWIII. So they were ready. And I was looking forward to a little non-fighting hours in the day. BUT...I LIKE having them around. I like talking to them throughout the day. I like having their help with little projects and things.

And it didn't help my emotions that my "I love school and rules and friends and desks and backpacks and everything else that relates to school" girl was having some very strong feelings about NOT wanting to go to First Grade! What? I mean, this girl LOVES school. I knew it was just nerves and maybe her being a little upset that none of her best friends were in her class this year. But she's a social butterfly so I knew she'd be okay.

Open House went really well (other than running around like chickens with their heads cut off because we had THREE to go to!!) and both Finn (3rd grade; Mrs. Halverson) and Korri's (1st grade, Mrs. Erger) teachers seemed really NICE. There's a lot to be said for kindness in school. And both kids seemed to click with them. MUCH better than last year when I cried for two weeks after getting Korri's teacher assignment (which, in hindsight, was actually a great fit for her) but I digress!

Last night we did baths and set out clothes in "Flat Me" style:

Korri cried a bit at bedtime, but everybody went to sleep fairly quickly, which is always a blessing on the night before the first day of school.

All the worry was for naught. The Bigs jumped out of bed. Brushed their teeth. Got dressed. Ate breakfast and were ready in like 10 minutes! And now I've gotten first day pictures down to a science, so we were ready and waiting for the bus, which amazingly for the first day of school, was on time!

Perhaps my favorite part of the morning was looking back after taking the bus pictures and seeing this:

Mad did not understand why HE wasn't going with the kids on the bus! Poor guy. His first day isn't until NEXT Tuesday.

And the best part of the day was when they got off the bus and both had huge smiles on their faces:

Here's to an amazing year of learning and growing and happiness. I can't wait to see what they accomplish this year.