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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, August 31

Blurry pictures suck

I think we need a new camera. I'm bummed because I though the one we have was fine, until it started taking blurry pictures. Oh and of course once my friend Jess told me I need a better one to get good shots of Finn (she is a photographer!). So, the one she recommended and we want ranges between $600 up to over $1000. Yikes! I'm trying so hard to save money, but it seems like there is always "something." Plus, the one we have is almost three years old and in the technology world, that is ancient. I like that it is compact, but I would love better quality pictures (even Jim's mom's camera takes noticeably better pictures than ours). So, we'll see.

Memere and Grandpa came last night and stayed over night. Finn loves this as he never gets put down and all his wants and needs are taken care of before he can even think of them. I'm a little nervous for how spoiled he will be after we get back from Aruba, but I'm sure I'll deal. They watched the boys this morning while I ran an errand and started mowing the lawn, so that was very helpful.

Oh, and my mom came Friday after work and volunteered to watch Finn so Jim and I could go over to our friends' Stacey and Sam for dinner and a bonfire. It was a wonderful evening. I LOVE bonfires and we can't have a fire pit at our house (due to crazy city rules and regulations!). Jim had picked up his old Smurf toys when we were in Ortonville, so he gave them to Dillon to play with. I wonder how long they both would have played with them if it hadn't been bedtime for Dillon?!?! Now Jim wants to bring back his HeMan stuff. Hopefully Dillon will play with the stuff until Finn is old enough so we don't have to store it! And mom watched Finn again Saturday AM so I could go shopping with Kristine and Becky for wedding stuff. We'd probably never seen Finn if both of our moms lived closer!

Saturday, August 29

"Going" and nails

Pooping update (we can't go too long without one): Finn is going very regularly...usually three times a day (sometimes more!). Except for yesterday...maybe he went so much there wasn't anything left?!?! We cut back on the prune juice a little bit, but he loves it so much and makes medicine/vitamin time so much easier. I guess we can switch to apple juice or a combination of both. I know it is kind of weird, but I'm so happy when I get a poopy diaper. Never thought that would be the case! I hope this "going" trend continues.

I think I figured out how to cut Finn's nails. I was concerned about this because I always did it when he was nursing. But since he is only nursing once a day, he isn't nearly as restful while he is nursing. But two nights ago, I cut his nails while Jim fed him. It seemed to work. He wiggles a lot, which makes it harder, but at least my little boy won't have claws. Now I just need to do it before the bedtime bottle so I can have the light on (and I didn't even cut him with the light off...yeah me!).

Oh, and Finn has a baby! Jim let me get a mini baby boy for Finn when we were at Cornfest last weekend. He was hesitant, but finally agreed. I think it is so cute and the baby is so small, Finn can actually "play" with it a little bit. I have a picture of Finn with the baby, but you can't see the baby. I'll try to get a better one.

Friday, August 28

Right on track

Finn had his weekly physical therapy appointment yesterday with Katie. He was super tired (only napped for about 30 minutes...naughty boy!), but did okay considering. She said that he is pretty much right on track for his adjusted age! Yeah! I was so happy to hear that. There are things we are still working on (like his head tilt and him pushing up on him arms, etc), but I think it is more to keep him on track than anything. Good job, big boy!

Finn is laughing! He has been able to do it for a while, but would only do it for Jim and only a little bit at a time. Don't get me wrong, he gets the biggest smile ever and it looks like he is going to laugh, but he just settles for a huge smile...easier, me thinks?!?! Anyway, this week, he finally laughed for me. The sweetest sound in the world. He likes kisses on his cheeks and neck. Jim had him giggling nonstop for a little bit last night when we were at Target. Hopefully I can get it on camera on of these days, but I'd need another person (can't hold the camera and get him to laugh at the same time!).

Jim got this amazing picture of Finn while he was doing the Tonic Neck Reflex (when a baby's head is turned to one side, the arm on that side stretches out and the opposite arm bends up at the elbow). It is something Finn has done pretty regularly, but we hadn't got it on tape. It is also known as Fencer's Reflex or Position because it looks like the stance a fencer takes. The tonic neck reflex lasts about six to seven months and almost always disappears by the age of one. Just a little fun fact.

We, Jim, Finn, Austin and I, met our friends Meytal, Adam and Lyla at the river last night to watch the River Rats one last time. It was their last performance of the summer. It always amazes me how they can do some of the stuff...okay any of it because I don't know how to ski at all. My favorite is the jumping. I forgot my camera, so I'm at Meytal's mercy to send me her pictures. Austin said he is going to do it next year! Yikes...better not tell his mom that. Thanks for a lovely evening, guys!

Thursday, August 27

Vote for Finn!

Finnegan needs your vote! I just entered Finnegan in the Great American Photo Contest™. I've never done anything like this before, but thought it would be fun (I also sent an email to some of you). The photo with the most votes wins 2,500.00! Please do me a favor and click on this link to vote (http://gapc-vote.com/?p=1736062)! I really appreciate it and so does Finnegan! I'll let you know if he wins.

This is the photo I submitted:photo courtesy of Jessica Hislop http://www.jessicahislop.com

You have to register and fill out a survey to vote...just so you know!

Wednesday, August 26

Just another day

Finn had a fun day yesterday. He had a play date with his favorite twins, Lily and Juliette. Here they are all playing on the same play gym:They JUST fit...probably not much longer, though. Becky amazes me as how she handles juggling the needs of two babies at the same time and she doesn't seem to get flustered at all! Maybe that is why God didn't give me twins (thankfully!).

My cousin Erica stayed over night last night and is visiting for the day...maybe her last visit before school starts? Sad. This summer went by too quickly.

I'm going to try to go tanning today (or tomorrow). I need to get a base tan before we go to Aruba. It is so close to the equator that you burn very easily. It is a month away, so I guess I should get on that! More importantly, Jim needs to. He burns no matter what...poor guy. My memories of our honeymoon consist of Jim slathering sunscreen on whenever we went outside! And he still burned!

Tuesday, August 25

Probiotics seem to work

I think probiotics might have been the answer for Finn. He has been off Miralax for over a week and he is pooping consistently at least two times a day. He isn't uncomfortable and seems to be able to go easily. He still gets prune juice twice a day, but I don't have a problem with that. He only gets Gripe Water at bedtime, but I don't think he even needs that (for his gas). I barely have to give him Tylenol any more either. I hope it is the probiotics! Thanks for the suggestion, Nicki.

We had to move Finn's carseat straps up a notch. He is getting so big! I can't believe how fast he is growing now...he even has the beginnings of little fat rolls. I think he is chunky, but probably not to other "normal" baby standards. Oh, well...I still love it!

We have kind of a quiet week this week. Finn's bumbo seat arrived yesterday, so I'm looking forward to start putting him in it. What a big boy!

Monday, August 24

Click, click, click

Here are some pics from our weekend...

This is Finn holding his head up at Auntie Kristine's last night. He is doing it all by himself!
Below is the weird bottle/nipple we have to improve Finn's sucking ability. It creates a vacuum in the long part, which is how it works, I think. You just turn it left or right to make it harder or easier for him to suck.
Below is Finn in the bumbo seat at PT on Friday. He is too small for it so we tried to prop him up in it. Didn't work too well. Hopefully he gets a little bigger so he will fit in the one mommy got for him for at home!
More pictures from this weekend on our picture website...

Sunday, August 23

Busy as a bee

We've had a few very eventful days. We started Friday out with a PT appt. Finn had Katie again, his original physical therapist, so it was good to have her work with him again (it had been a month!). She was AMAZED by his progress and just couldn't get over it. She said it is very normal for babies to prefer one side when they start rolling over so we are just supposed to encourage Finn to roll to his right if he will. She said that she feels his torticollis is almost gone. He needs to develop some strength in his neck before it will be completely gone, but she isn't concerned about it any longer, which makes me so very happy. We also put him in a bumbo chair. I told her I got one on Ebay so she got theirs out to try. He is still too small for it and his head control is a little weak, but she said it won't be long (and we can prop him up it in, if need be). He looked like such a big boy in it, though (pictures to follow). He showed her how he can lift his head up while on his tummy, something he could not do without help at his last appt. We have a couple exercises to work on his arm strength so he is able to push his upper body up when on his tummy, and eventually work on getting him on his knees. I asked her about the fact that he isn't putting any weight on his legs and she said not to worry at this point, but it is something watch.

Jim had Friday off, so after the PT appt, we decided to head to Ortonville for Cornfest. We stopped in St. Cloud at Five Guys...a fabulous burger and fries joint. I thought I was going to burst, but it was SO yummy. Finn was okay for the four hour drive, but it is long for anybody. Once we got to Ortonville, we headed to the festivities and had a funnel cake, rootbeer float and cheese curds. I needed that like a need a hole in the head, but it was all so yummy. Friday night, daddy, DeAnn, Les, Grandpa Ron and I went up to the VFW to have a drink. This was a first for me and it was packed! I tuckered out before everybody else (I must be getting old). Then on Saturday, we went to the belgium waffle breakfast (so yummy...are you catching the theme from the weekend?) and then head back down to the lake to check out the vendors, games and of course the food! We decided to head back to the cities when Finn was ready for bed, which made for a late arrival time, but it was a peaceful car ride (other than Jim's car almost breaking down...seriously, can't he get a break in the car department?!?!).

Now today we ran some errands and are headed over to auntie Kristine's for some burgers. Should be fun. I can't remember when we had so much going on in one weekend. But it was so much fun and Finn had a great time at Memere and Grandpa's house. He didn't even have to think about a want before it was taken care of. He better not get used to that!!

I'll upload pictures from the weekend tomorrow. Off to Kristine's!

Friday, August 21

Ready or not

Aruba, here we come! I am really excited for Kristine and Alex's upcoming wedding in Aruba. That is where Jim and I had our honeymoon and we'll be there the week before our second anniversary, so it is obviously sentimental for us. I'm looking forward to all the festivities (it is so much easier and fun when it isn't YOUR wedding!). I have to say, while I'm super excited, I'm also a little anxious. This will be the first time I'll be away from Finn for more than a few hours and we will be gone for EIGHT days! I know I will be fine the first few days because of all the excitement surrounding the wedding preparations and celebration. But I don't know what it will be like for the rest of the week after others have gone home and we have lots of quiet relaxing time to think and reflect. I already told Jim that he has to let me cry if I feel the need. I'm hoping it won't be THAT bad, but we'll see! I bet Finn is going to seem HUGE when we get back and I'll probably not want to let him out of my sights for a while. Poor guy (mother smothering!).

I took the picture on the right yesterday because Finn hasn't been in his swing much and I thought it was cute. Here is a comparison to the first time he was in the swing on April 24:









I think it is fun to see how much he has grown. He actually fell asleep in it for a little while yesterday...something he hasn't done in ages.

We are off to Cornfest in Ortonville for the weekend. Should be fun and I know Jim is looking forward to "sharing" it with Finn. Hopefully the weather cooperates.

Thursday, August 20

Finn's first tornado

For those who are wondering or concerned, we survived the tornadoes yesterday. I was in Finn's room (with him) getting the next size of clothes organized (size 3 month...since he is 12 pounds, or almost) and I heard the tornado siren. It was weird because it was just raining and there didn't seem to be bad weather. But, since there is more than just my safety at stake, I picked Finn up and we headed downstairs with auntie Becky. We stayed down there for about half an hour (can I just say how glad I am...for many reasons...that our basement is finished and not a cement floor?!?!). The tornado alarm went off a little while later when I was feeding Finn, but I was listening to the radio and they didn't say anything about Hennepin County, so I figured we were safe. Oh, the joys of MN weather...actually, we can't really complain because we haven't had hardly any severe weather this year so far.

BUT, the bad weather put a major wrench in Jim's travel plans. He was supposed to take the 6pm flight back, but was able to switch to the 2:30 flight instead. However, after that, they shut down the Chicago Midway airport because of the weather, so he ended up getting home at 8pm...which is when he was SUPPOSED to get in! At least he is home. He even made it back in time to give Finn half of his num-nums (prune juice and medicine). Finn definitely missed Jim, as Finn just wanted Pete last night (some guy bonding time?!?!)...thank goodness Pete was here, willing and able to hold him!

I forgot to mention yesterday that I talked to Finn's doctor about his constipation. What is a blog entry without talking about Finn's poop?!?! He has been having lots of problems lately. He won't go for days and then when he does, it is only with "help" and it is pure liquid. He gets really crabby and his tummy gets distended. I was a little surprised at her lack of response, though. I mean, I was the one the suggested it could be from all the extra formula he is getting (it is fortified with iron) and suggested at least getting a multi-vitamin that doesn't have extra iron. She agreed...I mean it isn't much, but it is something. Anyway, I was a little frustrated. I've taken him off the Miralax, since that softens stools and he doesn't have problems in that area, obviously. He has been on probiotics for almost 2 weeks now, so maybe that will start working. Anyway, between getting home from the doctor and now, I think he has pooped at least 6 times without any help from me. So, maybe something came loose and he is better. I started keeping a poop journal, just so I don't have to try to remember the last time he went (and if we do have to go to a specialist, that information will be helpful). Oh, maybe some day I won't have to be so worried about Finn's pooping (or the last thereof!). Every time he goes, I make a big deal about what a good boy he is. Positive reinforcement!

Wednesday, August 19

Growing, growing, growing

We had Finn's weight check today. He weighs 11 lbs 15 oz!!! This is a great gain. Two weeks ago he was 11 lbs 1/2 oz...so he gained more than an ounce a day. I guess bottling agrees with him. I can just tell by looking at him that he is growing and filling out. This weigh gain puts him right around the 5th percentile for adjusted age...last time he was under the 3rd, if you remember. So again, great job little man. Because he is gaining so well, he doesn't have to go back in for a weight check for a month...which will also be his 9 month well child check! Can he really almost be 9 months?!?!

I also talked to a lactation consultant today about the bottle we have been using. Finn has improved his sucking strength to where they were hoping he would. So I was wondering how we transition him to a regular bottle and what kind we should use. She said this special nipple works with any standard bottle (because the bottle that came with it doesn't even hold 3 ounces), so I switched the bottle so Finn can get between 4 and 5 ounces a feeding instead (I'm hoping this helps with his evening crabbies, too!). But she said when/if we want to transition to a "regular" bottle, Playtex Vent Air slow flow is the way to go. I had already gotten some of these, but the fast flow and Finn seemed to really like them. It will be nice to have more than one bottle so I'm not constantly washing it (but it is still better than washing the pumping parts all the time!!). It is all in your perspective, I guess.

Overall, a good day!

Tuesday, August 18

Nope, no sleep

For the record, Finn did NOT go to sleep this afternoon after rolling onto his back. He played quietly in his crib for AN HOUR before wanting to get up and eat. Unbelievable!

Clean house

I walked into our house this afternoon and it sparkled! We just got a new cleaning lady (thanks, Kristine for referring her!). She is amazing. I feel like we have a new house. I know by tonight, you probably won't be able to tell, but for right now, I LOVE having a super clean house. I wish I were more motivated to clean more often...but I'm not and I've never been one to like cleaning. When Finn starts crawling and is more mobile, we'll have to clean more often or have the cleaning lady come sooner. We'll see. Oh happy day!

To get out of the cleaning lady's way, Finn and I headed to downtown St. Paul to have lunch with Ryan. We stopped at Gander Mountain to see Ryan's new work space (the marketing department is on a different floor now than when I worked there), so we got to see everybody. It was kind of weird, but nice, too. I think enough time has passed for it to not be weird for me (I would have had to quit anyway when all this happened with Finn, I'm sure). We had lunch outside at a place we used to go to all the time, so it was fun to be back on my old stomping grounds. Finn was a super good boy, even though he was tired. He even let me make a quick stop to look for sun dresses for Aruba (no luck!) and only got ticked towards the end when he realized he was hungry. Poor boy. Now he is playing in his crib, having rolled over after I put him on his tummy. I wonder if he will go to sleep that way?!?! He isn't mad, so I'm leaving him alone...for now!

Daddy's home tomorrow night! Yeah. His flight is supposed to get in around 8pm but the nice thing about Southwest is if you get there earlier and there is room, you just take the earlier flight.

Monday, August 17

3 month already?

Finn is already getting too big for 0-3 month clothes! Okay, that might seem a little weird because he is 7 months old, but if you remember, I just put away most of his newborn size clothes a little over a week ago. I think bottle feeding is agreeing with him (or his weight at least). That is bittersweet...he is obviously gaining weight on bottles, but I just wish I could have provided what he needed instead. Oh, well. Lessons learned for next time. Anyway, so he has only been wearing 0-3 month clothes for two weeks or so. I found the next tub of Austin's clothes, so I guess I'll have to switch clothes out again. I can't wait to see how much he weighs on Wednesday!

His nap "schedule" has changed recently, too. For a really long time, he would wake up, eat, go to sleep, wake up, eat, sleep, rinse and repeat. Now he is awake a lot more between naps and also naps for shorter periods at a time (which I attribute to him rolling over and getting mad that he can't be on his tummy to sleep!). While it was nice having him nap a lot to get stuff done around the house, I am actually having fun with him now. We work on tummy time and he can hold his head up with very limited help for prolonged periods of time...but he still gets mad after a bit. He loves his play gym and will play for a long time, even if he is crabby otherwise. Go figure (but I'll take it!). It also helps for getting out of the house because I always felt guilty going somewhere because Finn needed to sleep. Now I know he can go a couple hours without a nap and be fine. Yeah!

Sunday, August 16

Nursing, naps & nighttime

I made a decision last night, to be implemented starting today. Since Finn is getting so much fortified breast milk via bottle now and since he doesn't think he needs to nap longer than 30 minutes any more, I have decided I'm not going to wake him up to eat any more. When he wasn't gaining weight, I had to wake him every 2.5 hours so he could eat. Now, I'm not nursing during the day and since he isn't sleeping well, I decided it is better for him to sleep than be on such a regimented schedule. I guess we'll find out this week at weigh in if it is a good idea or not. But he looks so much healthier and chubbier than before, so I think we are on the right track.

Along with that, I decided that I'm not going to set my alarm at night to wake him up to eat either. He gets a bottle right before bed and if he is hungry, he can wake me up. I was waking him up at 3:30 to eat more to keep my milk supply strong than anything, so now I will just go with what he tells me. Yeah for longer than 4 hours of sleep at one time again!!!

On to the nursing, Finn is basically just nursing at the over night feeding. While I am very sad that he weaned so quickly (or is weaning so quickly), there are benefits to it too. Because I don't even try to nurse him during the day any more, there isn't frustration for either of us. And if I do try to nurse him (if I'm full or something), I really don't "care" if he eats or not...so no pressure. I already miss that cuddle time with him, but it is easier just knowing that he needs a bottle, so I plan accordingly. I still pump before I go to bed each night, but that is more for my comfort than anything. I have a feeling all will be done in the next week, if even that. Good bye good friend.

Bed time has slowly been moving earlier and earlier. When Finn first came home, bed time was 11 or 12! Then it was earlier until it was regularly between 9 and 9:30. Well, as of the last week or so, he is usually ready for bed by 8pm. Honestly, I didn't mind the late bed time because I'd rather stay up with him than get up early in the morning, but after his 6:30 or 7 am feeding, he goes right back to sleep. I guess I can't complain about that! Night time is still Finn's toughest and crabbiest time of the day, but it is "normal" crying and not colic any more, so we are SO thankful for that.

Jim is traveling today through Wednesday. Yuck. I hate that he has had to travel so much lately. I didn't mind nearly as much when it was "just me" to take care of and I probably mind less than I will in the future when Becky and Austin aren't here any more. It is what it is. But it just makes the days so long when there isn't a break or another parent to pass baby off to once in a while. Oh, well. Wednesday will be here before we know it, I'm sure.

Friday, August 14

I caught him

Finn's rolling over yesterday was NOT a fluke. He has done it pretty much every time he's been in the crib since. I guess once you figure something out, you just know how to do it. I tried to get it on camera yesterday, but was unsuccessful (he knew I was in the room). But today, this is what I got:
video

Sorry it is a little dark, but his light was obviously off in his room, since he was supposed to be napping! This minute of taping is after about five minutes of trying. He is persistent (or stubborn!) if nothing else. The bad thing about this new development is that Finn won't sleep! He rolls over and won't fall asleep on his back. It has been a little frustrating, but my joy at seeing him roll over completely unassisted today made up for any frustration. Now if he can master rolling back onto his tummy, naps will probably be a little longer!

Finn, Austin and I joined our friends Amanda, Taylor and Gavin at the Splash Pad today. While all the kids loved it, I was surprised they didn't want to play longer. I think part of it was the massive crowd of kids and people (the other part was they wanted a snack!). I guess that is what happens when you go to a free attraction on a really nice and hot day. But our kids got to play together and I think everybody had fun. Austin wants Gavin (just Gavin, keep in mind!) to come over and play. He is so funny some times.

Thursday, August 13

Watch Finn play

A short video of Finn playing with his play gym (battery ran out otherwise it would probably be a little longer):


video

I also uploaded a couple other videos, so take a look on our video website (link on the left).

Rolly polly

Finn rolled over today! Okay, I didn't see it, but I put him on his tummy for his nap and when I went in to get him afterwards, this is how I found him:What a big boy! I only wish I could have seen him do it. He has been SO close for a really long time, but just gets frustrated (and his darn head is so heavy!). Oh, and I laid him with his feet to the end of the bed...he never wakes up where I put him any more. Notice how he is staring at Goldie? He LOVES Goldie. So cute (and makes dad so proud!).

His head continues to get more stable and his neck stronger. PT was canceled today because the therapist was ill. I was going to try to reschedule, but I figured I can work with him this week and just go to our appointment next week. We are having poop (or the lack thereof) and also teething issues today. Poor guy. I just gave him some Tylenol, so hopefully that will help.

Wednesday, August 12

Friends and frustration

Our day started out well. Finn finally got to see his favorite twins again, Lily and Juliette. We had scheduled some play dates but then both girls had to go and get sick and rather be in the hospital than see Finn! But seriously, it was great to catch up with Becky (who is AMAZING...I complain with only one to take care of and she handles two with such grace) and to make sure the girls were okay with my very own eyes. They are little cuddlers, so I also loved that as Finn is quickly out growing that stage (boo, hoo).

The problem I had today was Finn wouldn't latch on all day (except the two feedings in the morning). I was very frustrated as there was no reason for him not to latch on and he was obviously hungry. By the dinner feeding, I was in tears and by the time bed time came around, I didn't even try to nurse, as I knew it would just end up in a pit of frustration. Maybe we are closer to weaning than I thought, but I was hoping to spread it out over a few weeks at least. Who knows. It will be easier in a way when we are completely bottling, but just for selfish reasons, I'm not quite ready. Tomorrow is a new day.

Jim was supposed to be back this evening from a one day trip to NY, but of course, his flight was delayed so much that he missed his connecting flight in Milwaukee, so he was rerouted to Atlanta (the worst airport in the country, in my opinion) and now is expected to arrive sometime around 2am.

Tuesday, August 11

Basilica, finally

I finally got to see inside the Basilica! Finn and I had a play date with Meytal and Lyla today and they live in that area. We were walking around and I realized it was about two blocks away and asked if she minded if we walked over there. Well, it was open, so we went in to look around. What a beautiful place. Meytal said the only place she has ever seen something like it was in the movies! I wish I would have brought my camera (I left it charging at home instead...darn it). I can't believe I've lived here for so long and never been to the Basilica...well, I guess now I have. I'd LOVE to go to mass there some time...but I have a feeling parking would be terrible. Finn got a little crabby when we were there and I think it was because it was a little dark and he thought he had to take a nap! Too funny.

Baby is sleeping and I think mommy needs a nap, too. Laundry first. Boo.

Monday, August 10

Blast off

I think it is safe to say that Finn exploded last night...literally. He hadn't gone poop in over two days, which is a REALLY long time for him. He usually goes at least twice a day. I haven't talked about poop in a while, so you should be expecting some poop talk. So, we gave him a bath, hoping it would relax him enough to go. After his bath, we decided to give him a suppository because we were getting worried (even though he wasn't exceptionally crabby or didn't seem to be in pain). Well, Jim gave it to him and had to fight to get it to stay in (TMI, I know!). All of a sudden, poop projectiled out of Finn and onto everything! He continued to poop for at least the next several minutes. It was all over...the wall, the changing table, the changing pad, the teddy bears, the carpet, the rug, Finn's baseball hats, Jim, me, Finn...everything.Can you see all the poop on the wall? Sorry, had to share! When he was finished going, Jim brought him straight into the bathroom for another bath and I got to clean up all the poop. I've said it before and I'll say it again...oh the joys of parenthood. At least he went and he was so happy afterwards! Poor boy.

We had a great Saturday. Aunt Kelsie, Memere and DeAnn came over for a little visit. Then our friends Stacey, Sam, Dillon and Connie came over for dinner (well, they brought the dinner!). Connie grew up in Louisiana and is an amazing cook. She made homemade gumbo for us since neither Jim nor I had had it before. OH MY GOSH! It was amazing. I might even like it more than jambalaya (another Cajun dish), which I didn't think was possible. The evening progressed to a great game of Trivial Pursuit (which the girls won by a land slide!) and lots of drinks and fun in the hot tub. We didn't go to bed until 5 or 6am...which is WAY too late for me. I'm too old for that. But it was a much needed fun night for me and I really had a great time. Maybe just a little less alcohol and more sleep next time! Needless to say, yesterday was a very quiet, sleepy day (neither Finn nor I got our of our PJs all day!). Oh, and Connie promised Bananas Foster next time (a dish invented in Louisiana with rum that you set on fire!), which I've never had but love the idea of them. Can't wait!!

Happy 30th birthday, Amanda! See you Friday at the Splash Pad (hopefully the temp is a little warmer than last time!).

Saturday, August 8

Crackin' up

For the last several days, I thought Finn was starting to laugh, but it was fleeting and only happened a couple times. Well, Finn for sure laughed for Jim yesterday morning (I'm sure it was because Finn was so happy daddy was home!). I hope we can get it on video, but it is very hard to catch. He is such a little peanut and such a joy!

Funny thing about nursing. Now that I've decided it's okay to slowly start weaning and the pressure if off...Finn is eating well (not great, but much better than he was). I'm still in the same mind set about weaning, but he has eaten at every feeding so far the last couple of days (albeit not a lot every time)! Little bugger. Just goes to show you who is really in charge (and that "somebody" puts a little too much pressure on herself sometimes)!

Oh and apparently Finn doesn't like thunder! Who knew?!?! I got up at 3:30am to feed Finn this morning only to find both my boys asleep in the chair in Finn's room! Jim said Finn kept waking up from all the noise (probably the lightening, too). Poor boys. I guess we'll have to remember to keep the radio on during thunderstorms in the future.

Friday, August 7

Little guy not so little

Finn was such a good boy at PT yesterday! Maybe he is starting to get over his fussy stage. I hope so. He was even tired and hungry at the appointment and did a great job. I talked with the PT lady and she said that even for his adjusted age, Finn is still delayed on his head control. I was thinking that same thing, so at least I'm on the same page as they are. She said it is closer to a 2 month old than a 3.5 month old. Not to worry, though, because he is making a lot of progress, which I obviously love to see. With limited help getting him into the position, he was holding his head up while on his tummy! That was huge for me to see because he hadn't done that before. She gave me a couple new exercises (I'll know the whole book by the time we're done!) to work on head control. I'm excited to do these because holding his head up is a huge milestone that will be fun to get to.

In honor of Finn's 7 month birthday, here is a little comparison on his size for some perspective:
Left is from 3/30 and right is from 8/5. I guess Finn IS getting bigger! I packed away all of his preemie and most of his newborn clothes last night. It was hard to look at all those clothes and know he will never wear them again. Maybe baby #2?

Happy 2 year Anniversary! For our house, not our marriage! We bought our house exactly two years ago today. My, how different your life can be in two short years...

Thursday, August 6

7-Eleven

Just kidding, I don't think we have any 7-Eleven convenient stores around here. Anyway, Finn is SEVEN months old today. Time really does fly by. I'm not feeling nearly as emotional about him being another month older as I was for the first six. Maybe that is a sign my baby is getting big :( But am kind of freaked out that he will be one year old in only five months! Crazy.

Finn weighed 11 pounds 1/2 ounce yesterday at the doctor appointment. I was hoping for 11 lbs 4 oz, but the doctor said now that he is older, we can't expect him to continue to gain an ounce a day and she said she was really happy with that number. The numbers keep him under the 3% for his chronological age (they don't chart lower than 3%) and around the 5% for adjusted. His growth curve remains fairly constant, so that is what we are supposed to focus on rather than the numbers. Just as a comparison, a "normal" 7 month old at the 50 percentile weighs 18.5 pounds! I wonder if Finn will make that weight by the time he is 1?!?! Maybe. Probably not!

I also talked to the doctor about nursing/weaning. She said it was fine to do it slowly and since my supply isn't huge to begin with, she said it might not take too long. We'll see. And we are supposed to keep Finn on the 24 calorie formula for now. She laughed when I asked if we have to worry about him eating too many calories! Duh, Stacy...I think we're a ways away from that worry!

My cousin Erica (11) and soon-to-be niece Grace (9.5) spent Monday through Wednesday with me this week. It was so nice having extra (and VERY willing) hands to hold Finn. Plus, it helped me not to notice that Jim was traveling this week (Mom, don't get mad I didn't tell you, I figured I would be fine this time!). He gets home tonight after going to New York, Boston and Chicago in three days! Poor guy. Hopefully he got some pizza in Chicago. That makes it all better (for Jim anyway!).

Oh, I forgot to mention that Finn had a bit of an accident while he was eating when we were visiting the lactation consultant. He not only pooped out of his diaper, it was up his back, all over the Boppy pillow, caked on his onsie, on his arm and on his head! Seriously, gross. Luckily the nice lady helped me clean everything up (and I'm so glad I had an extra outfit in the bag!). Oh, the wonderful joys of parenthood! You gotta love it (and I do!).

We have a PT appointment today, so I'm hoping he is just as good of a boy today as he was last week! Fingers are crossed (I seem to be crossing my fingers a lot lately).

Wednesday, August 5

To wean or not to wean

Finn and I met with the lactation consultant at North Memorial again yesterday. It was a good visit. Finn was his normal fussy eater self, so she gave me a few more tips. For the most part, we talked about continuing nursing and the options available if I wanted to start weaning. So that made me feel good. She said she was there to support whatever decision I made and didn't make me feel like I HAD to keep nursing if it wasn't what I thought was best for Finn and me. So, we have a doctor appointment today and I am going to talk to Finn's doctor a little bit more about it. I like to have all the information available before making a decision.

It still makes me sad to think about not nursing any longer, but it isn't like once I decide, I have to stop immediately. So I think I'll have a better handle on the situation after tomorrow. On the good side, I can now talk about stopping without bursting into tears, so I take that as a good sign. I must be grieving this loss, which is good so I can eventually move on. I am so thankful that Finn is healthy and able to eat well (overall). Things could be so much harder.

Oh, I forgot to mention that the lactation consultant put Finn on a special bottle at our visit last week. Finn's suck was too weak, which was part of his problem. Simply by turning the bottle in Finn's mouth, it adjusted the pressure needed to get milk out. It is ingenious but weird looking. I'll try to remember to take a picture of it. So last week we started out on the fastest flow and Finn was even struggling with that. By yesterday, he was consistently eating from the medium flow and even allowed me to move it a little closer to slow. The lactation consultant was VERY impressed with his improvement after only a week. She said improving his suck strength will help his physical development as well as making him able to eat solids better down the road! I'm happy with that, even if it is a struggle to get Finn to eat with this bottle. Most things worth doing aren't easy.

We have a weight check today, so my fingers and toes and anything else possible are crossed for a good number!

Tuesday, August 4

Splish splash part 2

Okay, my problem earlier...the file was too large! How am I supposed to know to read the fine print when uploading a video?!?! Anyway, here is the aforementioned bath video. Enjoy!

video

(I'm so happy I figured it out...after waiting since 10am this morning for the other one to load. Duh!)

Splish splashin' away

*I tried uploading this earlier, but I can't get the video to load on the blog. It just says it is uploading for hours, but never does. Darn it. So I'll keep trying, but here is my post and you can check out the bath video on our picture website*

I finally figured out how to upload video to our picture website (hopefully I can figure out how to upload to this blog, too!)! Okay, Erica helped me, but nonetheless, we figured it out. Keep in mind it only took me almost seven months, but whose counting? And the only help I needed from Jim was how to plug the camera into the computer (to my credit, you have to plug it in THREE places...come on people!). Here is the latest video of Finn taking a bath in the "big boy" way (without the infant hammock): http://picasaweb.google.com/JimandStacyT/Videos#5365928504515917858

The lactation consultant suggested doing it this way so he is more submerged in the water which allows him to relax a little more (since evenings continue to be Finn's "crabby" time). He LOVES it. This is actually the second time he's bathed this way. The first time, I was rolling on the floor laughing because he was kicking so hard everything including me was soaked. He eventually kicked so much he scared himself and we had to get out of the tub. What a goof ball. I'm so thankful that he likes bath time (as evidenced in this video!). Enjoy!

I'll be trying to upload older videos to the picture website as I have time. We'll see how that goes (I don't want to forget how, though!).

Monday, August 3

To heir is Finn

Jim and I made our official and legal "last will and testament" yesterday. It is something we've been meaning to do for several months now (well, since we got married, actually), but just never got around to it. We decided we needed to do it before we leave the country for my sister's wedding in Aruba at the end of September (probably a good idea!). So, it is done. We did it online and now just have to wait for the official papers to be sent to us (probably later this week). It was actually a lot easier than I thought it would be. One thing checked off our list.

Finn got a new toy:He doesn't have a lot of play time when he is laying down, so I got him a play gym. I've been wanting one for a while, so I picked it up last night when I was on a Target run (it also has a raised end, so we can use it for tummy time, too!). They have way fancier (and expensive) ones, but he LOVES it. He was crabby (because he was tired and wouldn't nap long enough!) last night and Jim put him under it and he just talked and looked at it and was happy. He even reached out and moved the toys a few times! Yay, I guess it is a keeper.

I think the "where's mommy" syndrome last week might have been due to Finn being so tired as he was fine this weekend. Lately he has been taking short cat naps and is tired all the time. Not sure how to convince him that he needs to sleep longer. I keep telling him that I know what is best, but he doesn't seem to care! Ha, ha. Hopefully we have a few month reprieve before he starts playing stranger to others.

Saturday, August 1

Where's mommy?

New development: Finn now has the need to keep me (or at least "somebody") in his eye sight at all times! While in a way, this is endearing, in another much bigger way, this is very annoying! I mean, when it is just the two of us and we're going to the grocery store (we took our first trip out alone yesterday...I figured Lunds couldn't be too bad), I can't be in the back seat with him and he can't face forward. Argh. I was pumping before we left and he was two feet from me, but the toy in his bouncy seat obstructed his view of me and you would have thought his leg fell off or something. I'm really hoping it was because he was tired and not a new phase. He has done well today. Auntie NaeNae and Nick watched him for a while and he was fine. I guess we'll see! Maybe he needs more daddy time in the evenings (I know mommy could use a break)!

He also has started watching us eat. We were told this is a sign that babies are getting ready to eat solids. Since most babies start solids at 4 months and Finn is 3 1/2 months adjusted, it might be right around the corner. Probably a good question to ask at his weight check this week. I don't know if I'm ready for solids for him, though! Ha, ha.

Oh and I think daddy must have the magical touch. He was able to get Finn to latch on to the dreaded left side during two feedings today! He's hired. Too bad the job doesn't pay well enough for him to do it full time!