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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, May 15

A Fighting Chance for Every Baby

On Saturday, we participated in our eighth charity walk for healthier babies! And we could NOT have ordered nor wished for better weather.

L to R: Uncle Les, NeNe, Korri, Grandma, Zander, Kristine, Zachary, Stacy, Mac, Jim and Finn
A HUGE thank you to each and every one of our donors and supporters. With your combined totals, Team Early but Tough raised over $2000, which is a record high for us! Holy moly, what an accomplishment. We truly appreciate each and every one of your donations because together we can (and did!) make a difference. Also, Team Early but Tough was the highest fundraising team and had the honor or leading the entire walk on Saturday!

I can't wait to see what we can do together next year to help give all babies a healthy start! And finally, here's our real 25-weeker superhero (air cast and all!) and the reason why we walk:

If you wanted to donate but didn't, please do so now: Team Early but Tough (or copy and paste:

Sunday, May 14

He got the boot

This is NOT a text you want to receive from the person watching your children: "Finn jumped off a high thing at the park and hurt his left foot. I won't be able to get him home." Jim and I had been out running errands, so we rushed to the park and drove Finn home. We couldn't tell if it was really bad (i.e. possibly broken) or if Finn was being "Finn" and making a mountain out of a mole hill. But at the end of the day (and because we had our walk the next morning), we decided to take him to Urgent Care. I'd rather know one way or the other.

Who knew they have little mini wheelchairs! So cute.

So thankful mom was here to watch the Littles and also thankful that Buffalo Urgent Care was empty when we got there. I guess the time to go to Urgent Care is right before they close on a Friday night!

They were able to assess that Finn's pain was on top of his foot and decided to x-rays. And of course the x-rays were inconclusive. Argh. There were three spots in the same area that he had pain that COULD have been broken but the radiologist wasn't on call until the weekend. SO...they put him in an air cast and fitted him for crutches.

For the March for Babies walk, he fit in our double stroller, so we brought that and Jim pushed the boys in that. It actually worked really well and I'm so happy we still have it! (I think Korri wished we had a triple stroller!)

After the walk, the radiologist called and said it was NOT broken! Yeah! I'm so thankful for that. Now we just need to give it a little time to heal. School on Monday should be interesting!!

Wednesday, May 10

Mother's Day Movie

Google made me this Mother's Day movie! Sometimes, you gotta love technology. So sweet!

Monday, May 8

Bread of Life

Another new era in the Thomas household: Finnegan celebrated the sacrament of First Communion yesterday! He and I worked through many lessons at home and he went to several at church preparing for this momentous occasion. It was such a blessing spending that time with just him, teaching him about Jesus and learning more myself! He was such a sponge and just wanted to learn more and more. Each lesson featured a Eucharistic miracle, which Finn just ate up. He said that he really wants to experience a miracle himself! Don't we all, Buddy? Don't we all? I'd love to take him to some of the places they have occurred. Maybe a future family trip/pilgrimage?

I still can't believe he is old enough for his First Communion. After mass while we were waiting for pictures, I told him he is a "big kid" in the church now and gets to receive communion every week at mass. He looked at me and said, "Momma, I kind of wish I were still a little kid!" Oh, I get it Buddy. Growing up is hard to do.

I also ordered pictures from the photographer of the group, Finn with Father and Finn actually receiving his first Eucharist (hopefully will get those in a week or so).

Thank you for everybody who helped Finnegan celebrate his big day and for those who couldn't in person, but kept him in your prayers. The support and love were definitely felt. God is good all the time!

Monday, May 1

Wedding bells

Jim, Finn and Korri went to Jim's uncle Mark's wedding in California this weekend. Jim was the best man, Finn was the ring bearer and Korri was the flower girl. Mac and I stayed home to save a little money (and the hassle of traveling with a two and a half year old!) and grandma came to spend the weekend with us, too.

From the reports, they all had fun in the sun!

I feel like I missed out on a good time but Jim handled everything with amazing grace. He booked all the travel arrangements, figured out the wedding clothes (with a little help from me!), got them all packed and where they needed to be when they needed to be there. I guess he doesn't need me! LOL
Congratulations, Mark and Cindy!

The weekend with Mac and my mom was really nice, too.

Thursday, April 20

Different kid, different rules

Proof that there are different rules for different kids? Korri started piano lessons yesterday!! (A mere seven months after Finn started!). And I'll tell you why.

Growing up, my piano teacher (who was amazing!) always started student lessons in 2nd grade. So I had that in my head as a benchmark for when Finn would start. I talked to my music-teacher-friend Andrea and she said she tended to agree unless the lessons were shorter because they don't really have the attention span before that. AND piano lessons are EXPENSIVE!!! I looked through Community Ed and they were $18 per over $70 per month! Ouch! And that's for ONE student! Double ouch for two.

The choir director at our church offers piano lessons (for CHEAP!!) and she just happened to have a spot open for Finn at the start of this school year (God always provides!!). Perfect. Well, once Finn started, Korri really REALLY wanted to do it too. I kept brushing her off, saying she could in two years. But she was super interested and would sit at the piano and plunk away, not knowing what to do or how to play. The idea of starting her early stayed in the back of my mind.

Learning the parts of the piano.
I talked to Finn's teacher during the winter session and she said she would consider taking Korri early if she had the interest and ability to pay attention long enough but she didn't have any openings. Okay, it just wasn't the right time. Normally, she ends lessons in April for the year but decided to do a short spring session for a few of her students. So I reached out again and asked if she had an opening and if she thought now would be a good time for Korri to give it a try. And she did and she did!

Playing her first notes!
So, Korri had her first lesson last night. Just like Finn's first lesson, I went along. We had Finn go first so Korri could see what a lesson looked like. She was VERY interested in what he was doing. And when it was her turn, she sat down like she owned the place. She was a super good listener and I could tell she LOVED it. The second we got home, she asked if she could play her new song from her lesson book! Um, yes!

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And this morning she asked if she could play it more than once before her next lesson (bad habits from her older brother of not practicing?!?!). I chuckled and told her she could practice her song every day! Her huge smile told me how excited she was to get to play and that this was the right decision for her.

So, yes. There are rules and guidelines that should be followed for lots of reasons. But there are also times when you need to look at the circumstances and at your individual child's needs and make the decision to break or change a rule for them. Now I just need to trust them to sit quietly while the other is having their lesson!