Counters

                                                           Lilypie Kids Birthday tickers Lilypie Kids Birthday tickers Lilypie Kids Birthday tickers
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.

Thursday, March 14

First Reconciliation

After being reschedule twice (darn winter!), Korri FINALLY had her First Reconciliation last night. We'd prepared for it all fall and winter with Faith Formation lessons and she was ready, but she was nervous. I mean, The original date was Feb 6!! So March 13, it was.

After school, the two of us sat down to discern her sins. This was new for her, obviously, but I've done it with Finn. It was good and she was honest about what sins she had committed. We wrote them down in list form because I've realized it is easier for kids to take a list in with them and then they aren't worried about remembering everything during the sacrament.

We arrived at church...and yes, Finn and Mac had to come with (Jim was traveling this week and after all the reschedules, how can you plan for it?!?!). I planned ahead and made sure their tablets were charged, so they would be quiet at the very least, which worked for the most part other than Mac being tired.

After a nice prayer service, Korri was the fourth to have her First Reconciliation. I was so proud of her:

She was so brave and honest, two things that I think are hard when you're 8 and doing something unfamiliar. The look on her face when she was done was worth it a thousand fold...smile from ear to year. While she was giving her confession, Finn and I prayed for her, which I think was a powerful moment for Finn and I. And then, of course, I cried when she got back. I was/am just so proud of her. She has a heart of gold and I think confession is such a good tool to keep you on track and to also keep track of your sins so you are aware and accountable. It was honestly a beautiful experience.


After she came back to her seat, two of her friends had their confessions and she and I prayed for them during theirs, which again, was so powerful!! I love God and the power of prayer and having faith.

After everybody was done, we finished the prayer service and had a little reception with cookies and juice. It was a really nice night. I told her that her soul was clean afterward and asked her if she knew the last time it was and she responded: at my baptism!!! Such a smart girl. Her love for life and God are huge and will take her places.

Finn loves going to Reconciliation because of the feeling afterward and I hope Korri has that same passion. Here's hoping!!!!

Monday, February 25

Korri's 8 year well child

On February 13, after reading to Korri's class for the Read-A-Thon, we left school a bit early and headed to her well child appointment. Since we had nothing major nor sensitive to discuss, it was just her and me. It was a good appointment. Here are her stats:

Height: 52.25" 80% (49.75" or 83% in 2018)
Weight: 89.4lbs 98% (72.6lbs or 97% in 2018)
B/P: 104/62
BMI: 23 or 98% (21 or 97% in 2018)

For those of you keeping track...Finn is still taller by 3/4"!!! Again, we explained to him how girls usually grow earlier but boys grow longer...so there's no reason to "care" if Korri is taller than him...but I think that time will be next year! They are both more concerned with getting to 57" so they can be done with a booster seat in the car ;)

I constantly "worry" about her weight because I constantly worry about MY weight. I just don't want her to feel about her body the way I feel about mine. So I was concerned going into this appointment because she seems to have gotten "thicker" this year, but it must be somewhat normal for this age because her BMI basically stayed the same. Dr. Bies is NOT concerned at all about her weight or her growth curve at this point because she knows Korri eats fairly healthily and is active. But she says it is good to be aware of it (which she knows I am!!). Poor Dr. Bies...I think she is really a part-time therapist for parents like me!!

Also, I found her height trend to be interesting. In 2017 she was 87%, in 2018 83% and this year 80%!! I guess she is averaging out, which is exactly what I did when I was young: super tall until about 4th grade, than everybody else caught up and passed me! I bet she's going to end up right around where I am which is 5' 5".

We discussed Korri dry skin, which again seems to bother me more than her! It is so bad she has scabs on her back and she says it doesn't hurt. Hmmm...I honestly think she just doesn't like putting lotion on it because it DOES hurt so I've started putting Vaseline instead. Hopefully that helps get some moisture into her poor skin.

Dr. Bies asked Korri a few questions about school and said she best Korri's teacher wishes she had a classroom full of Korri's! I said I thought that was probably pretty accurate. Korri is doing very well in school and is a leader in her class. At least she can hold it together at school (and then saves it all for me at home!).

Overall, Korri is doing very well. She still has some emotional outbursts, troubles with being respectful and I think some anxiety, but not a lot (she seems to be a worrier!). Hopefully we can give her tools to deal with that as she gets older. Korri has expressed to me unhappiness about the shape of her body, which breaks my heart. I told her that she is beautiful and exactly the way God wants her to be and that everybody has different shapes and looks. Fingers crossed that the message sinks in.

Because her birthday ended up being a snow day from school (which she thought was the best present EVER!), here's a picture of the moment she turned 8:

Korri is super kind hearted and helpful (when she wants to be!). I encourage her to act from a place of kindness whenever possible because she has so much kindness to offer. She really does have the biggest heart of anybody I know. She continues to be a lot like me and I hope that translate into a growing and wonderful relationship, especially when she is older. I need to remember patience when interacting with her and choose to lift her up instead of knock her down (easier said than done!). I want to be the best mom for HER that I can be. Here's to trying our best!


Sunday, February 17

How old are you?

Without using numbers, how old are you?


I'm pinning your pants old! That's pre-rolling your pants! Yikes.

How about you?


Monday, February 11

Twenty Questions - Korri 8

Twenty Questions - Korri 8

Starting at age three, I've asked Korri 20 questions around the time of her birthday. I chose NOT to direct or influence her initial answers (or try really hard not to). Here are her responses:

20 questions: answered by Korrigan on 1/30/2019

1. What is your favorite color? teal

2. What is your favorite toy? Barbie Dream House

3. What is your favorite fruit? watermelon

4. What is your favorite TV show or YouTube channel/movie? TV/YouTube: Soty Family Movie: Sixteen Wishes

5. What is your favorite thing to eat for lunch? Spam with honey BBQ sauce

6. What is your favorite outfit/thing to wear? Comfy clothes or Under Armour (with my suggestion)

7. What is your favorite game? Old Maid

8. What is your favorite snack? gum

9. What is your favorite animal? horses

10. What is your favorite song? We couldn’t think of the title of her favorite (I "think" it is Somebody's Watching Me by Kidz Bop) but then she said Fight Song by Kidz Bop

11. What is your favorite book? Red, Red, Red by Valeri Gorbachev

12. Who is your best friend? Hunter Olson (said Lilly Steen first, but then remembered Hunter)

13. What is your favorite cereal? Fruity Pebbles

14. What is your favorite thing to do outside? Gymnastics on the grass

15. What is your favorite drink? Pop, rootbeer

16. What is your favorite holiday? Christmas, to celebrate Jesus

17. What do you like to take to bed with you at night? blanket

18. What is your favorite thing to eat for breakfast? Toaster strudels

19. If you could pick anything, what you would eat for dinner on your birthday? Unhinged Pizza

20. What do you want to be when you grow up? A nice mom, and a horse riding competitor

Bonus Questions:

21. What is your favorite sport to play? Karate and gymnastics

22. What is your best/least favorite part of school? Best: art Least: math


She was fairly decisive this year. Here are some of my thoughts and comments about her responses:

3. ALL fruit, but she picked watermelon (randomly, I think!)

4. My kids don't watch TV shows, so I added "YouTube" this year and that helped a LOT. Sad.

5. Don't judge her (or me!). I love spam too!

9. Duh!

12. She said Lilly first because I think it is hard to think of a boy as being your best friend. So Lilly is her best GIRL friend and Hunter is her best BOY friend, I would say.

20. Clearly, she had to add "nice"...hmmm. Dig at me?!?! LOL

22. No truer words have been spoken on both accounts. But she is actually really good at math, so that makes me sad.

Here is the moment my Baby Grill turned 8:


She was at home at 10:39am on a Wednesday because school was cancelled due to the beyond cold temperatures! I thought she would be bummed, but she was happy to spend her birthday at home (with me?!?! Dare I hope?!?!)! What a great attitude. Side note: school was cancelled for my birthday in 4th grade and I was devastated (enough that I STILL remember it, obviously!). I guess she has better perspective in second grade than I did in fourth!

I am lucky to call this girl my daughter. She will take care of me when I'm old...provided we both survive each other that long! She challenges me a lot but that isn't necessarily a bad thing. Sometimes it is good to look at things in a different way. Even more than she is challenging, she is loving. Man, this girl has compassion and empathy and determination. She has so much kindness inside her that sometimes I don't think she knows what to do with it. She is fierce in all things she does.

But no matter what, she's mine and I'm hers. Always. God gave me a daughter just like me so things wouldn't be easy. But they are always worth it.

If you are curious as to what her responses were last year, click here to link to that post!

Monday, February 4

Finn's 10 year well child

On January 23, all five of us went to Finn's well child. Jim and I both wanted to be there, so the Littles came along. It was a very good appointment. Here are his stats:

Height: 53" 27% (51" or 26% in 2018)
Weight: 77lbs 69% (70lbs or 72% in 2018)
B/P: 92/56
BMI: 19 or 85% (19 or 87% in 2018)

As always, I hold my breath for his height percentage and nearly almost cry when it is above 25, which is was! I'll take 27% any day. He has come so far and he continues to (slowly) play "catch up" which is just icing on the cake. He was 26% last year and 25% in 2017! The big test will come when Korri has her well child...has she caught him yet? Bets?! (although I tell him it doesn't matter if/when Korri catches him because girls grow earlier and faster but boys grow for a longer stretch...usually!)

They did a hearing and vision test because usually the school doesn't do one in 4th grade and they said that was fine, which again, shocks me give the issues he had with ROP for the first year or so of his life. God is good!

Then we had the Littles watch YouTube Kids in the next room while we had a chat with Dr. Bies about Finn's behavior. This is something that causes a lot of stress, yelling, fighting, etc in our family life. We had a GREAT talk with Dr. Bies (have I mentioned yet how much I LOVE her!?!). She talked directly with Finn about some things and also with us as a group and then us as parents (while the three of us were all in the room). Basically, she is happy that Finn is seeing the Social Worker at school on a regular basis and while she wants to curb his "fits" and especially the self-hitting, she doesn't think this is going to be a long term issue since we are addressing it now. She is NOT concerned the self-hitting will progress to other self-harming behaviors, which was my biggest fear.

And I have seen Finn using some of the techniques Dr. Bies and Mrs. Addickes talked to him about, which is HUGE for him. He even told me one day (after the fact), "Mommy, Korri made me really mad and I took deep breathes instead of having a fit!" I was like, "Woah!" 1. for doing it. 2. for recognizing himself it was a helpful tool for him and 3. for being strong enough to communicate to me about it! These are all HUGE steps for him. Prayers that he/we continue on this path!

Dr. Bies confirmed (what I already knew but wasn't sure exactly on the height limit) that Finn has to stay in a booster car seat until he is 57" tall! The poor kid will be in one for at least two more years, but thankfully he doesn't really care that much.

I asked about sleep because Finn doesn't seem like he needs as much sleep. We talked about his pattern (goes to bed and falls asleep fairly quickly but claims he wakes often throughout the night and then is awake or waking up when I get the kiddos up for school) and she said that is very normal and that in a few years, he will need significantly less sleep and the pattern may change but we should definitely notice the difference when that happens!

While he doesn't need any shots/vaccines until next year (his 11 year well child), Dr. Bies offered to have him do a blood draw this year, so it was one less poke next year and he REFUSED! I pushed kind of hard, but Jim was like, "I'm with you Bud...do it all at once." So he gets vaccines AND a blood draw next year (which is going to be AWFUL...maybe they can sedate him?!?!). I mean, Korri's like, "Give it to me." No tears. Nothing. Finn freaks out before, during and after! Sheesh.

Here's his first picture on the morning of his TENTH birthday!

He is helpful, smart, considerate, thoughtful and he is quickly turning into a leader, which surprises us a little. He is off the charts in math (7th grade +) and very far ahead in reading (6th grade, 5th month). He is everybody's friend and includes people who don't have friends. He is a good boy and I love him so much I could just squeeze him...but I won't. The favorite part of my day is sitting down with him and reading (we just finished the Harry Potter series and started the Heroes of Olympus series by Rick Riordan) together. I know it won't be much longer that he'll do this, so I'm cherishing very single moment of it. My baby is growing up and he's becoming the kind of man that we wish for him to be! As a parent, that's about as much as you can hope for. Love you to Pluto and back, Finny!

Wednesday, January 30

Twenty Questions - Finn 10

Twenty Questions - Finn 10

Starting at age three, I've asked Finn 20 questions around the time of his birthday. I chose NOT to direct or influence his initial answers. Here are his responses:

20 questions: answered by Finnegan on 1/26/2019

1. What is your favorite color? Blue (and black is a close second)
2. What is your favorite toy? Minecraft Legos
3. What is your favorite fruit? Apples, no actually blackberries
4. What is your favorite TV show or You Tube channel/movie? Unspeakable Gaming / Karate Kid
5. What is your favorite thing to eat for lunch? Anything spicy
6. What is your favorite outfit/thing to wear? Under Armour stuff
7. What is your favorite game/video game? Monopoly Jr / Minecraft
8. What is your favorite snack? Nutella with pretzel sticks
9. What is your favorite animal? Cats and Gryffindor Lion (after the fact, he mentioned caterpillars, too)
10. What is your favorite song? Radioactive by Imagine Dragons
11. What is your favorite book? Harry Potter books
12. Who is your best friend? Paxten, Xavier and Justyn
13. What is your favorite cereal? I don't eat cereal
14. What is your favorite thing to do outside? Play football
15. What is your favorite drink? Root beer
16. What is your favorite holiday? Christmas, because we get to spend time with people
17. What do you like to take to bed with you at night? Kiki
18. What is your favorite thing to eat for breakfast? Belvita Chocolate breakfast sandwich bar
19. If you could pick anything, what you would eat for dinner on your birthday? Potstickers
20. What do you want to be when you grow up? I don't know yet, a gamer

Bonus Questions:
21. What is your favorite sport/activity to play? Football
22. What is your best/least favorite part of school? Best: gym Least: music

My two cents (for what they're worth, which isn't much! LOL):
3. He seemed not to know what fruit was a first...any berries are his favorite NOT apples.

4. I added "YouTube channel" to this question this year because he doesn't watch TV shows. Like ever.

7. I added "video game" to this question this year because board games and video games are very different and he likes playing both.

9. Not sure who's kid he is but he's definitely on a cat kick lately. And Gryffindor Lion is from Harry Potter.

10. He's liked Imagine Dragons for a long time now. He has good taste ;)

11. We finished the last book in the series on Friday, Jan 25 and were both a little sad to leave them behind. So much fun to read them with him. Next year is Korri's turn (she only half listened half the time!).

12. He really doesn't have a best friend, so I tried to push a little on which ONE was his best friend, but he couldn't answer. That's not a bad thing! He definitely is everybody's friend, just like his momma was (no best friend, but friendly to all).

14. The boys play football at recess...but he seems to love/hate it, but today, I guess he loved it! LOL

20. He really had a hard time coming up with anything for this answer. I think he's going to be an architect or engineer or something like that. I, however, do NOT think he'll be a professional gamer, but only time will tell, I guess. Dream big!

22. Could his answers be any more cliche?!?! LOL

If you are curious as to what his responses were last year, click here to link to that post!

Here is the last picture of my nine year old before he went to bed and turned 10:

For his birthday this year, he and Korri decided to do a joint friend party at Dojo Karate in Buffalo instead of getting to have one friend over ON their birthday. This was the first time we've done a friend party and it was very easy and the kids were great. ON his birthday, he "got" to go to church since it was a Sunday this year:

So stinkin' handsome, even with the long hair! Side note: he has agreed to cut it "short" for the summer, so I just have to hold out a few more months! For his cake this year, he picked BB8 from Star Wars.

And maybe one of the best birthday presents over...Sasha came for a visit!

Ten is going to be a great year, I can just feel it. We struggle a bit with Finn's strong emotions and reactions. But we are working together to find a solution that works for everybody and I see him maturing each and every day. He really is a sweet, smart and helpful boy. I need to remember that when times are tough. Time keeps on going and he just keep on getting older. Here's to an awesome year!