Counters

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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.

Wednesday, September 30

Things I learned from Finn

I went parasailing and it was amazing (I didn't chicken out!). I will upload pictures when we get back. I didn't like when the wind blew me around...I liked it better when it was steady, but the view is amazing...and I even let go of my death grip on the straps for a bit! If only I had a waterproof camera and confidence that I wouldn't drop it in the water! Oh, well.

Jim is still sick. I called the local doctor yesterday and they make calls to the hotel if needed (for a fee of course!). We'll see how Jim is feeling today and then we can make the decision if it is necessary or not. Jim took some of Becky's Nyquil and my muscle relaxer last night and actually slept soundly until about 5:30 this morning. Hopefully that will help. Poor guy. Mom, Becky, Renae and Beth leave today. I think Jim and I are going to enjoy our last full day here by being lazy on the beach and maybe dinner with Kristine and Alex. Once we leave, they can actually enjoy their honeymoon! We will be traveling most of tomorrow as we have to be at the airport around 1pm and won't get back home until probably 1am or so! Yikes. Long day...but it will bring me back to my baby!

Update on Finn from Memere, Tuesday 9/29 Afternoon: "All is going well - no messy diaper so far today - perhaps after his nap? Organizing is going well - all Finn's stuff in his closet - will put away the stuff in the living room - there is room - Finn is sooooooooooooo cute! He is getting really strong too! His smiles melt the heart! He still has a tiny cough and he sounds a bit stuffy, but the eyes are looking good - Talk later - hope that Jim is feeling better and that you are both having an enjoyable and restful time! Love, Memere"

As you know, Jim's aunt DeAnn watched Finn for us for the first part of our vacation. Below is a list she made and said I could share with you (if I wasn't missing Finn before reading this, you can bet I was after). Thank you for sharing it with us, DeAnn. It is beautiful...

Things DeAnn learned from Finn:

1. Smile when you look at yourself in the mirror and squeal with delight at the site of yourself

2. Take a moment to enjoy watching the wind blowing through the trees-what a wonderful sight-he loves it

3. Greet others with a smile when they talk to you

4. Enjoy HOME-I was amazed how he knew that he was home-he talked forever to Goldie and his other toys-I guess it is just human nature to be happy at home in one's own bed. Thanks for giving him that HOME

5. A flashlight continues to be a girl's best friend-she can use it to find her way in the dark when going to the bathroom while camping, to assess hospital patients during the 11pm-7am shift without waking them; and check on a great nephew during the night just to be sure that things are fine-without waking him.

6. That there are a number of reasons why 54-year-old women are not having babies

7. That all that babysitting for 50 cents an hour does come in handy

8. That there is that feeling one gets when the first face you see in the AM is that beautiful smiling baby face-half awake and delighted to see you. That there is that feeling when certain things he does, or looks he has remind me so much of Jimmy; just that feeling when you look at the wonder of him and have no words--that feeling is love

9. How amazingly the human body grows and heals

10. TO BE GRATEFUL for family, the joy of new life, miracles, and for your trust in me to share in the life of your precious son.

Since I will never be a genetic grandmother in my lifetime, you will never know how much this time meant to me. Be proud of this beautiful child you have created. He is the very best of both of you. Here comes that feeling again.

Tuesday, September 29

Parasailing!

I am going parasailing today! For those of you who know me, you are probably saying, "You?!?! Seriously?" Jim thinks I'm going to chicken out once I get there (oh ye of little faith...now I'll do it just to spite Jim!!). Becky, our cousin Beth and I are going parasailing this morning, which is where you are harnessed to a parachute and you ride behind a boat, up in the sky. It is a little crazy for me, but I know Jim will never do it, so when Becky asked, I said yes! It was either that or kayaking and that sounded like work! Ha, ha.

Jim is still sick. I'm pretty sure he has something more serious than a cold. It just won't go away. Very frustrating for both of us. Every morning I hope that he is miraculously better, but not so far. His hacking also makes sleeping difficult for both of us. Oh, well. At least we are in Aruba!

Finn was handed off last night from NeNe to Memere and Grandpa.

Update from NeNe last night: So, I brought Finn home tonite and Ron and Lynn were delighted to see him. We went to the dentist today for my cleaning and he was an angel. I already miss him!! I don't know how you left him honestly. I gave Lynn the low down on the eye drops. (his eyes are looking much better)

I am glad we have something planned for today and since tomorrow is our last full day here, hopefully I can avoid thinking too much about Finn (Mom, Becky, Renae and Beth all leave tomorrow...we leave on Thursday). I have done pretty good so far...that being said, the poor guy is going to be woken up when we get home at 1 in the morning for a hug, kiss and snuggle. Sorry, Finn...mommy will need it!!! (unless I pass out from travel exhaustion!)

Monday, September 28

Finn good, Jim sick, Mom okay

Thank goodness for email. I've been able to get regular updates on Finn due to the wonderful invention of email/internet. Unfortunately, the internet was down for most of yesterday, so I felt very out of touch, but I knew he was fine as we didn't receive a phone call.

The wedding was absolutely beautiful. Kristine looked amazing and the ceremony was right on the beach. Everybody had a wonderful time. Pictures to come once we get home.

Messages/updates about Finn from DeAnn:

Friday 9/25 AM: Finn still a bit of a cough but eating well and happy. AND-don't get a puppy would be my advise until he is much older--VERY BUSY watching bodily functions between the 2 of them! (DeAnn and Les just got a new puppy a week before we left!) Finn pooped huge on his own-heard it over the monitor :) and pooped again-celebrate some more!!! God he is sweet and so good-stingy with the giggles though. (he is even for us...yeah for poop!)

Friday 9/25 PM: Finn is eating before bed and LOOKING LEFT at Uncle Les who he loves-we got a couple of giggles. He is fast asleep-a good day. We stuck to the schedule-no rocking to sleep and all!!! We did tummmy time; lots of looking left and the Bumbo chair. He is getting plenty of kisses from me for all of you. I am going to have a hard time giving him over. This beats working anyday!!

Saturday 9/26 PM: Finn's right eye looked a wee bit crusty on outer edge this am with some mucous-so we went up to your house and brought in the mail and I started eye drops again (I was afraid of that happening!). I bought more prune juice as we are runnning low. Still a rare, intermittent cough but otherwise Finn is great. I don't want to give him up as we have a great routine down.

Sunday 9/27 Afternoon: Finn is VERY happy today-looking left alot--eye looking better-coughed a bit last night but listened to chest with stethescope and all is clear-sound more like throat/sinus cough (esp with eye thing). Temp 98.4. (I gotta love that DeAnn is a nurse!) No poop for 2 days so tried a bit of Karo dark syrup--HUGE poop after that and life is good. Enjoy yourself-Finnegan is!!! (I'm trying!) Finn looks bigger each day just like Pepper (new puppy).

Sunday 9/27 PM Message from Finn: hey mom and dad --the vikes won BIG and I LOVE BRETT FAVRE--LOVE, FINN

No kidding Finn seems so much bigger. DeAnn has also been sending the occassional picture. This one is from last night and he looks HUGE! Have you been giving him Wheaties or something?!?!

I can't wait to hold him and give him kisses...but I'm also enjoying myself and spending lots of time on the beach. Today we are going to go downtown and do some shopping. Jim is really sick. We think he might have slight bronchitis or something. Hoping to get something for him at the pharmacy downtown today. He slept all day (literally) on Friday, got up just for the wedding and dinner on Saturday and was able to spend some time out on the beach yesterday. Poor guy. I'm very thankful my family is here to keep me company!

Friday, September 25

Safe and sound

We made it! After about 6 1/2 hours in the air, we are in Aruba. Jim and I had problems with our reservation, so we decided it was best to just stay at the Manchebo were everybody else is. The best decision we've made in a long time. This is where we stayed for our honeymoon, so we are loving it (everybody else likes it too...was a little worried in case others didn't like it as much as Jim and I do).

We had cocktails at the bar at the resort last night. Two for ones...uh, oh! We had a late breakfast today and spent the rest of the day on the beach and in the ocean. Wonderful! Later we are all going on a sunset cruise for the "rehearsal dinner" and then out for pizza later. Should be a fun night. Going to take a nap now. It is hard work sitting the this beautiful weather!

Hope all is well with everybody. Got an update on Finn...of course he hasn't pooped since we left. Little bugger. Luckily, he is in the best hands possible to take care of him and any issues that come up. Thanks, DeAnn!

Thursday, September 24

Leaving Finn

On our way to Aruba. Plane leaves at 7:10am and we get in at 2:30pm (I think). It was so hard putting Finn to bed last night. I just wanted to hold him all night. This time apart is going to be much harder on mom and than on Finn for sure. I bet he is going to look huge and seem really old when we get back.

I will probably not post all week. I'm sure I'll have a million things to write about when we get back, though, on Friday, Oct 2.

Congratulations to Mr. and Mrs. Gredzens! The ceremony was very cool at the court house in a court room. Now, off to paradise.

Wednesday, September 23

Finn's sleeping schedule

We also talked to Finn's doctor about his sleeping schedule at his appointment yesterday. Both Jim and I have been concerned with (please, don't kill me other moms out there) how much he sleeps. He has been sleeping through the night for a long time...that wasn't a concern (a blessing for sure!). But lately he has been taking what we thought were excessively long naps. Some days he will take a four hour plus nap plus two other short ones during the day, especially if he sleeps on his tummy. She said she wasn't concerned about it and I really feel like he NEEDS that much sleep. When he doesn't get it (if we have plans or something gets in the way of his nap), he is CRABBY. So, worry not, I guess.

He is super happy in the morning...I wonder if he really is Jim's child?!?! On a typical day, Finn wakes up around 7am and plays happily in his crib until 9 or some times later. He may snooze on and off, but I can usually hear him chattering away and playing with his toys. I was recently asked if I felt guilty for not playing with him while he was so happy. The question caught me off guard and then I started questioning myself. Am I a bad mom for not even thinking to be guilty? Should I get him up the first second I hear him? Am I a bad mom for staying in bed a little longer because he is playing so contently? But when I thought about it, if I were to go in there while he is playing (which I have done before), he sees me, gets really happy for a second...and then wants to eat RIGHT NOW and starts whining. So I change him, feed him and put him back to bed anyway. So, no, I don't feel guilty for letting him have some happy "Finn time." I don't know if it is usual or not, but Finn needs time to himself most days. If he gets crabby and I put him on the floor, he is happy. But I understand...there are days when I just want "Stacy time" too!

The other weird thing about his schedule is he still gets the crabbies between 6 and 8 most nights (no, thankfully not colic!). He usually needs to take a nap in the evening albeit a short one usually (sometimes only 20 minutes). Sometimes he takes a nap, wakes up and goes to bed less than an hour later. But if you miss that early evening nap, watch out! I think it is kind of funny. They definitely set their own schedule and have their own unique set of needs.

On a sad note, we had to say good bye to Lyla and Meytal yesterday. The moving truck comes on Thursday and Jim and I also leave for Aruba on Thursday. I hope your move goes smoothly, you arrive safely, your house hunting goes quickly and you find happiness in Indiana! You will be missed.

Tuesday, September 22

Mommy lied

I lied to Finn and I think I broke his heart. I told Finn there wouldn't be any shots at this doctor appointment and there was! He had to get the flu shot. Poor guy. I guess I won't say anything next time. At least mommy got it, too, so she could empathize with his pain (against his will, daddy has to get it too...hopefully he can stop at Target or something and get it easy enough). Finn did okay for the actual shot, but lost it afterwards. It didn't help that he was MAJOR tired and probably just wanted to go to sleep!

His doctor appointment went really well. He weighs 14 lbs 5 oz and is 24 1/2 inches long! That still puts him under the 3rd percentile for his actual age, but his curve went WAY up. If he had gained an ounce a day since his last weight check, he would have been just under 14 lbs. His weight for length percentile is 50th...so that means he weighs what he should for how long he is. I like that stat better because looking at him now, he looks chunky and it is hard to grasp that his percentile is still so low. She didn't give us his percentile for his adjusted age, but I looked online and I think it is right above the 10th percentile...which is also an increase from his last weight check. She was happy with everything she saw and said he is doing great!

BUT since we are in flu/RSV season, she is concerned about him coming into her office since he is so susceptible to illness/infection. She is going to talk to the home health nurses to see if they can come for monthly visits so that Finn doesn't have to go in unless absolutely necessary. They will also administer his Synergist, which is the RSV vaccine. Finn's doctor is waiting to hear more about the H1N1 vaccine, but she believes Finn will be on the "short" list to get it, meaning regardless of how many they make, he will get the shot (Jim and I would also be on the priority list to get it, but not as critical as Finn). Finn's doctor will keep us updated and the home nurse would administer that as well. Basically, we have to go back into lock down mode, which sucks...but obviously we will do whatever it takes to avoid the hospital and serious illness this winter. No more trips to Target. No gatherings of more than a few people. Obsessive hand washing. Avoiding anybody with even a small cold. Is it April yet?

Once we get back from Aruba, we can start solids! I have mixed feelings about this for two reasons. 1. it is so easy to just throw a bottle together and give it to him. 2. Jim is a FREAK about not making a mess that it will be like I'm dealing with two children (because guess what...it WILL be messy!). We start with the cereal for two weeks and if he tolerates it, move on to veggies. I am a little excited to do it...we'll see how it goes! He is getting to be such a big boy. What's next? Getting his driver's license?

Oh and Finn rolled from his back to his tummy for the first time yesterday! I guess that is what was next! I had him on the bed in the spare room playing while I was checking my email. He was grunting and making noise, but that is usual. Then I looked over my shoulder and he was rolling over. I ran downstairs to grab the camera, but of course, he got tired out and rolled back onto his back to rest before I came back. Darn you little magician! He rolled all the way over except his arm was in the way. I still count it! Good job buddy!

Aruba in one day! Kristine and Alex's civil ceremony tomorrow afternoon! So much exciting stuff going on.

Monday, September 21

Coughing and TMJ

Finn is good. His eyes are almost completely healed with just a little gunk every now and then. We will continue the drops for a couple more days. BUT, I don't know if it is the same cold or if he got another bug, but he has been coughing and sneezing and actually kept me up for over an hour last night with checking on him because of coughing. I'm hoping it was just a fluke and no big deal. I can't leave for a week and not know that he is fine!

As for me on the other hand, my jaw slipped last night (I've dealt with TMJ for ten to fifteen years now) and I was in MAJOR pain. I took some ibuprofen and took it easy and it felt better, but my teeth/bite was off. My right side teeth weren't coming together. Well, this morning it felt better until I went to eat my breakfast. Did I eat something hard to chew; you ask? Nope...oatmeal! So I knew I had to try to get in to see somebody today. After a million and a half phone calls, I was able to get into MN Head and Neck Pain Clinic in BURNSVILLE! Hey, they had an opening, so I took it. Kristine kindly came over to watch the boys (she has the week off and was going to pick Austin up anyway). I left the appointment with a prescription for a muscle relaxer, a review lesson on what TMJ is and how to prevent it and a "take it easy and ice it and it will heal." On the bright side, I do feel much better and my teeth seem to be coming together again. I just didn't want to be in pain for the whole Aruba trip and not be able to eat anything!

Finn's weight check/9 month well-child appointment is tomorrow! Hope it is all good news (he doesn't need shots this time, yeah!).

Saturday, September 19

I like it when he cries

Jim is going to kill me, but I have to share anyway. Jim thinks Finn likes me better than him, which is absurd, but he thinks so because when I come in a room, Finn always looks at me and responds to me, regardless of what he is doing or who is by him. First of all, Finn is with me far more than he is with Jim, so of course he is going to respond differently to me, than to Jim. Second, I believe that dads have a very different relationship and role with children than moms do. You can see it even in the difference in how we play with him and comfort him.

Anyway, Finn doesn't really play stranger yet and doesn't mind being left alone in a room, most of the time (our day is coming, I'm sure!). Tonight, Finn was tired and I had gone tanning. When I got back, Jim was playing with him and then left to do something in the kitchen. Finn started fussing until Jim came back. This happened a couple times to which Jim responds, "Is it wrong that I like it when he cries when I leave the room?"

So funny and such a different perspective than me. I'm happy when he DOESN'T cry when I leave a room momentarily! I guess it was an outward sign that Finn knows who his daddy is, loves him and wants to be by him. See, Finn likes us both as much, just differently!

Friday, September 18

One step back

So apparently the shape of Finn's head is not the only thing we need to focus on. They say two steps forward, one step back, right? We had Finn's regular PT yesterday. And...his torticolis is back, as strong as ever. Was that two steps forward? I don't know, but it feels like a step backwards. While I know, with determination and fortitude, this is something we can fix, it is disheartening and frustrating. We had already addressed this issue and were told it was behind us. When you deal with more than the average amount of things, once you get beyond something, you like it to stay there (like Finn's heart surgery or intestinal infection when he was in the hospital...fix it and move on!). Unfortunately, this kind of set back can happen with torticolis, especially since Finn kept switching his preferred rotation and tilt. I'm thankful we got help for this when Finn was so young because he has a much better chance of not having any long term effects. The older he gets, the less cooperative and the stronger he gets! Argh. One side note: when children are sick, they tend to revert back to what they know and is familiar...MAYBE that is part of it?!?!

Finn is still feeling under the weather. I'm hoping the eye drops worked their magic over night (he has now been on them for 24 hours). They both looked better this morning (crusty, but not gunky). I did notice today that his left eye is "gunky" now, too...but we put drops in both eyes because how can you tell an 8 month old not to touch his eyes! I also noticed that he was coughing and sneezing a little bit and slept more than usual yesterday and so far today...but nothing major. I'm hoping this little illness passes us by with just a blip on the "Finn's health" radar.

Happy New Year to Meytal and Lyla!

Thursday, September 17

Flat head

I forgot to mention Finn's new PT visit yesterday. Finn's Early Intervention teacher came yesterday and brought a physical therapist with her. Even though Finn already goes to PT, I thought it would be a good idea to have another set of eyes take a look at him. It was a good appointment and much more laid back than his other PT appointments (it also helped that it is at our house). She asked what we were already doing and made some suggestions, some of which were new to me and others were reminders. One really good piece of information that came out of the visit is that she said that with proper head placement and propping, there is no reason to think that Finn's head won't be round in the back (instead of somewhat flat on the one side like it is now). I didn't realize we could do anything about it (other than get him fitted for a helmet, which we didn't want to do), so she gave me some tips for working on that. Finn kind of had a meltdown by the end of the appointment, so we cut it short. We also changed the teacher's visits from monthly to every other week since so much can happen and change in a babies life in a month. Overall, a very good appointment.

Oh, and I made butternut squash yesterday. Seriously, so yummy. I'm going to have to go back to the Famer's Market to get another one. The good thing is that I don't think Jim likes it, so it is all for me (and Becky, if she wants some!). And it will make wonderful baby food when Finn is able to eat solids!!!

Wednesday, September 16

No more ECFE

Finn and I had a great time at his favorite twins' house yesterday. We were kicked out of our house while the cleaning lady was here, so we asked if we could bug them instead! Finn decided he didn't need to take a nap while we were there, but even considering that, he wasn't too bad. Of course, he pretty much passed out on the way home and slept the rest of the afternoon! He should really learn to just listen to mommy when she says he needs to do something like take a nap. I can't believe how good the twins can roll and push up while on their tummies. I asked J if she could teach Finn. We'll see if the lesson paid off or not!

I actually had a dinner date last night! My girl friend Stacey and I went to Sunsets in Wayzata, which is right on the lake. The weather could not have been more perfect (they have an outside patio area). Thank you for a perfectly lovely evening, Stacey! It was so nice to get out and have adult interaction with no kids. Jim stayed home with Finn, whose teeth started hurting after I left. Poor guy(s). I wish those darn teeth would just come in so he isn't in as much pain!

So yesterday, Finn's eye seemed to have a little extra discharge in it, but I didn't think too much of it because he always has "eye boogers" in his eyes. Well, Jim noticed last night, too and I said if it was still there this morning, I'd call the doctor. Well, his poor little eye was crusted over this morning and there was a spot of "gunk" on the bed sheet. I talked to our doctor's nurse and she said it is probably just an eye virus and the doctor would send over a prescription this afternoon. Hopefully that helps.

Which brings me to my next thought...I think we are going to cancel ECFE for the fall. I'm sure he got whatever this is from there and even if he didn't, there is just no way for me to control the germs. The risk of illness is still too high. I was hoping we'd be able to do it, but even with Jim there with me this week, I was overwhelmed. I'm sad because Finn liked watching all the kids, but he can't be in crowds and what is a crowd if not a group of twelve kids with their parents in a small confined area?!?! We are still going to the Preemie Class, which start while we are in Aruba...of course! Then maybe in the spring, we can try the Incredible Infants again. I'm also sad because I love doing things with Finn and having things planned so we get out of the house. But I have to put his well being ahead of my selfish wants and this is what my instincts are telling me is right. I've suppressed my instincts in the past and regretted it, so I'm listening this time!

Tuesday, September 15

Incredible Infants

We (Jim, Finn and I) had our first Incredible Infants ECFE class today. This spring, we all went to the Preemie ECFE class and Finn & I went to the Infant Massage class, but this was our first official ECFE registered (paying!) class. I need to warm up to it. I was used to MAYBE four kids in my other classes and there were TWELVE there today! It was chaos. Finn is the youngest (adjusted) so it is a little hard to see the other kids sitting and moving around and playing when Finn can't do any of it (not to mention, he can't play with the common toys because of risk of illness). Plus with so many people, there was very little time to share or ask questions and the kids were so loud, you couldn't hear the discussion most of the time anyway. Like I said, maybe I just need to go a few more times to get used to the new format. At least Meytal and Lyla were there, so we got to spend time with them! We have the Preemie class later this fall, but have to miss the first two sessions because we are in Aruba. Oh, well.

Oh and Finn took a four and a half hour nap yesterday. What is his deal?!?! It kind of ruined my plans for the day...who plans for that long of a nap? (moms of small children out there...don't hate me, please!) I'm thinking he must be going through a growth spurt or something. He took a really long nap yesterday afternoon and I finally had to wake him up just to give him a bath, feed him and put him back to bed!

Finn is 5 months adjusted today! Hard to believe what a big boy he is getting to be.

Monday, September 14

Clueless Moms #2

After some further reflecting and contributions from some faithful followers, I've come up with a new Clueless Moms list. Another "10 things I didn’t know before becoming a mommy":

-I didn't realize how helpless you feel when there is something wrong with your baby and there is nothing you can do.

-I didn't know that when babies cry in church, it isn't the fault of the parents and there isn't much they can do about it.

-I didn't know that acid reflux could cause something so little so much discomfort that it is impossible to make him comfortable.

-I didn't truly understand or appreciate how important "me" time is.

-I thought I was some what patient before, but I didn't really know to what extent you'd need the virtue of patience!

-I was surprised at how sleep deprived you really are the first few weeks and didn't know I could still function with so little sleep.

-I didn’t expect the intensity of love that hit me when I first saw my child. I thought I had loved intensely before but it was nothing like that.

-I didn’t realized my baby’s pain feels much worse to me than my own.

-I learned the hard way to buy things a size bigger than you think you need because as soon as you bring it home, they will go through a growth spurt and not fit into it any more.

-I didn't realize there are a million different ways to parent and ONE way is not the best. Instead you parent the best way for your baby.

Sunday, September 13

Sleep over

Momma survived. Finn had a blast. I didn't even call to check up on him...although I wanted to about every twenty minutes! Thank you NeNe for taking such wonderful care of my little boy!

Kristine's bachelorette party was a blast. Awfully tired today, though. Not used to going to bed after 2am! Now...Skol Vikings!

Saturday, September 12

Lots going on

Our family has a big day today. Jim (obviously) has the Gopher football home opener in the brand new stadium tonight. He is like a kid at Christmas. And they don't serve alcohol in the stadium, so I don't have to worry about him getting trashed and getting kicked out or in a fight (not that it has ever happened before!). Then he has our soon-to-be brother-in-law's bachelor party after the game.

Becky, Renae and I are getting my house ready for Kristine's bachelorette party tonight. The festivities start out at my house and then we are heading out to the local Northeast bars. They are in walking distance, so we don't have to worry about anybody driving! Lots to do between now and 6pm!

Finn gets his first over night slumber party away from home without mom or dad! He is going over to NeNe's (Jim's aunt DeAnn) house this afternoon until tomorrow morning (another nice thing about not nursing!). Jim is in charge of picking him up, so morning might be a stretch.

We are all going to need a vacation from the weekend...but everybody should have lots of fun.

Friday, September 11

Effects of prematurity

I was reading a website about prematurity the other day where they had posted information regarding a study of the effects of prematurity. It said that babies weighing between 500-900 grams (Finn was 880 grams at birth) had a 15% chance to survive to be "normal" (that is, "unimpaired" at 18-22 months). By gestational age: babies born at 25 weeks had about 15% (Finn was 25 weeks and 6 days). And when you combine both of these factors together, the percentage decreases.

At 18 to 22 months of age is much too early to determine some pretty significant outcomes of prematurity, so even these numbers may be overly optimistic. I wasn't sure how I felt about this. Could more things go wrong in the next several months that are related to Finn's birth weight and age? Are there undiscovered hidden physical, developmental or mental problems lurking just down the road? Are we still on the roller coaster ride, maybe just on a plateau, instead of at the end? Or is this reason for celebration? Did, by some miraculous grace of God, Finn fall into that small percentage of babies that start out with the cards stacked so greatly against them, only to survive and thrive as though they were born as a "normal" full term baby? Can I stop worrying about the unknown and just enjoy what we've been given? I don't know. I guess time will tell.

Perhaps on a day like today (9/11) when everything you took for granted was taken away on that morning eight years ago (can it really have been eight years ago already?), it is a time when you reflect on things a little more and hold your loved ones a little closer. This study just made me think and brought up some insecurities and doubts that I've tried hard to hide way deep down. It made me realize that I am thankful for what I have today, regardless of what tomorrow brings. Our baby is healthy, happy and well adjusted...I don't think we can ask for more than that!

Never forget
9/11/01

Thursday, September 10

Define "fine"

I talked to Finn's doctor yesterday. She said as long as he seems to be improving, we just need to watch for the "normal" symptoms and make sure he doesn't get worse. She did say that if we had talked to her on Sunday night instead of the on-call doctor, she would have had us bring him in to get checked out. In a way that made me feel better because both Jim and I were on the verge of bringing him in even though the doctor didn't think it was necessary. Other than being very tired, spitting up (which Finn never does any more) and moaning a lot, he seems to be fine (I guess that list doesn't make it sound like he is very "fine." Maybe "better" is the more appropriate word). I also have him drugged up on Tylenol and Ibuprofen (I didn't know we could give him that, but his doctor recommended it because you can alternate with Tylenol and keep him more comfortable).

Oh, I forgot to mention that we met one of our neighbors the other night! What, you say we've lived here for two years and are just now meeting our neighbors?!?! Yes, I know...shameful. Austin was out riding his Big Wheel and they heard him and came over. They live two houses down, have a 15 month old girl and the mom stays at home! I'm really excited to get to know them (especially since Meytal and Lyla are leaving us!). They've lived there for 6 years and seem to know the neighborhood and neighbors. She stopped by today for a quick chat...I still forgot to get her number and/or email address! I'm better at planning than just stopping by (you know me!). This is a fun new development in our lives.

We have a play date with Meytal and Lyla today...hoping to go to the Nicollet Mall Farmer's Market. Not that I need anything specific; I just love Farmer's Markets. Then in the afternoon we have PT. Hopefully Finn is up to all the activity since he has been extra tired the last few days!

Wednesday, September 9

Just come in already!

We think it is his teeth. Finn seemed to be better yesterday. He slept a lot, was lethargic and spit up a lot more than usual during the day. When I put him to bed for the night, he woke up about half and hour later just screaming even though I'd already preemptively given him Tylenol. Jim didn't want to give him any Orajel because he thinks that might have contributed to Finn's vomiting the previous night. There was no consoling him and eventually he cried himself to sleep. Poor guy. Teething (if that is what is wrong) SUCKS!! I am planning on giving Finn's doctor a call today, just to see what she says and if there is anything we can do (and to make sure she also thinks it is his teeth).

We met with his teacher from the Early Intervention program through the Minneapolis School District yesterday morning. It was a very good visit. She hadn't met with Finn since the beginning of June because she was off for the summer. Needless to say, he has changed a lot. She did a lot of playing with him and observing and asked me lots of questions. She said that he is doing every thing a 3-6 month baby would be doing, which is great. She is going to come next week and bring a physical therapist with her. I know Finn is already going to PT, but if I've learned anything so far in my parenting journey, is that a second opinion is ALWAYS a good idea!

Tuesday, September 8

Hybernating?

Not sure what was going on yesterday. Finn was really cuddly Sunday night, but I didn't think much of it because we were not at home and maybe he needed a little extra attention. No biggie. Then, he slept in until 10AM Monday morning...not even exaggerating. Hmmm, maybe he needed more sleep because he got woken up when we came home. Not a biggie, but something to notice. Then, he ate and went back to bed for FOUR hours! Seriously, this kid has NOT been taking long naps, so it is very unusual. Maybe it is a biggie. After the two hour mark, either Jim or I were running in there every 10 minutes to check on him.

When he finally woke up, he was very fussy and whining, which is not like him. Something was off. He was clingy all night and constantly making noises that lead us to believe he was uncomfortable in some way. We gave him EVERYTHING we had in the house and nothing really worked. A bath didn't even work...this was the first bath in his entire life during which he cried.

Finally, Jim let him suck/chew on his finger for a LONG time...maybe he is teething? Then I just held him and cuddled with him the rest of the evening. Then he puked...not baby spit up...but actual puke. This phlemmy, mucousy stuff. He seemed better after that, but was clammy to the touch. I brought him upstairs to give him his bedtime bottle and he fell asleep about three minutes later, having eaten less than an ounce. Around 11pm we had a little scare. Jim had fed him around 10:30pm and was checking on him because he was stirring. I went in and he started convulsing and vomitted...and couldn't breath and his temp was 96.3 degrees. I picked him up and he was better...then he did it all again. We got him up and Jim called the on call doctor. They said not to worry, but to keep an eye on him over night. Great...no sleep for watchful parents!

Jim and I finally went to bed around 1am. Finn slept fairly well through the night. I got up once to check on him, but he was fine (keep in mind both doors were open and the monitor was on!). He woke up at 7am. His temp was up to 97.3 (thanks to warm PJs from Auntie Kristine!) and he felt warmer to the touch, but still clammy. He ate and pooped and seemed more like himself. I burped him three time during his feeding, so hopefully that will help with not puking. I'll obviously watch him closely today and call our doctor if anything seems out of sorts or gets worse. He is laying in his crib talking to his toys and Goldie right now, so I guess that is a good sign!

I don't know. Hopefully it was just teething or tummy problems (he didn't poop all day yesterday) or maybe a growth spurt with some growing pains. This is the hardest part of being a parent...not knowing what is wrong and not being able to do anything to make it better.

Monday, September 7

Gophers and grilling

Happy Labor Day! We are taking it easy today and grilling some brats. Not much else on the agenda. Aren't you supposed to take a break from labor on Labor Day?!?! Wish every day could be like today!

Finn "watched" his first Gopher football game on Saturday! He already has team spirit (I think it is in his genes...poor guy):He wore his "Future Gopher" hat and a custom onsie with "Thomas 09" on the back. We got the onsie from our friends Jess and Andy and LOVE it. I only wish it could get bigger as he grows! So cute. Not sure how much Finn likes the Gophers, he fell asleep during the game and didn't wake up until it was over, even though they went into over time. Jim was sure to explain how to yell at the referees, to which Finn started talking to the TV! Uh, oh!

Our little guy turned 8 months old yesterday. Crazy. He is doing really well and on his way to 14 pounds (probably right around 13.5 now). Not sure how long he is, but we'll find out in two weeks at his next doctor visit. I can't believe that in four short months, he will be ONE YEAR OLD already. I know time goes faster the older they are, but seriously...wasn't he just born?!?! We are so grateful and thankful for Finn's health (and the continued support of you, our family and friends, and those we don't even know who follow this blog and prayer for us). We are very lucky and blessed people.

Our friends Laura and Matt had us over last night to grill and watch a movie on their outdoor projector screen. The food was amazing (steak, corn on the cob, veggies, bread and grilled ice cream sundaes!) and it was so much fun watching a movie outside (I've never been to a drive-in, but I'm thinking it would feel somewhat similar). They were the perfect hosts and we had a blast.

Sunday, September 6

Clueless Moms

Before Mister Man was born I thought I had a fairly good idea of what parenthood would be like. I mean, I've been around children my whole life, how different can having your own be?!?! Sadly, I’ve come to realize that I was pretty much clueless. So today, in honor of Clueless Moms everywhere I thought I’d post "10 things I didn’t know before becoming a mommy":

-I did know there were going to be hard days, but what I didn’t know was a good day would be one in which he had at least one poopy diaper but I didn't get pooped on.

-I didn't realize that whether or not he sucked his thumb or took a pacifier didn't matter...as long as he was soothed and pacified.

-I didn't realize that a daily shower is a privilege, not a guarantee.

-I didn't know it is okay to feed a baby whenever they cry and not worry about whether or not they are getting too much or that is hadn't been three hours yet.

-I didn't realize that control is just an illusion, and he tells/shows me how I need to parent.

-I didn’t realize that someone so small would require twice as much laundry as both of his parents combined.

-I didn’t know crib sheets are really hard to change.

-I didn’t know that a baby could make that much noise and move around that much and be sleeping.

-I didn't know that a baby laugh can erase everything else in the world and make it a good day.

-Lastly, I didn’t know that when he smiles at me I could forgive and forget anything and my day is filled with sunshine.

So today I’m asking that you share one, or more, of the things you thought you knew about parenthood but didn’t, or, if you’d like, something you learned since becoming one.

Saturday, September 5

Pay attention to me

Finn did the cutest thing the other day and then again today, which reminded me of it. Remember just the other day when Finn had a blow out and I was cleaning it up? Well, I had him strapped onto his changing table while I was changing the sheets, with my back to him. All of a sudden I heard a loud, distinct "Ahhh" come from Finn. I didn't think anything of it because Finn didn't sound mad, but he kept making the noise. I finally turned around and he was looking at me. He stopped the noise and started smiling when he saw me look at him. He did this two or three times. He was trying to get my attention! So cute. He did it again this afternoon with Pete. He was holding him, but paying attention to something that had just come on TV and Finn wanted Pete's full attention. At least he's found a constructive way to get his point across instead of just crying!

Finn MAY be starting to hold up his arms to be held, too. I noticed he did it for me the other day (but thought it was more reflex than anything) and today, Jim said he did it for him when he was changing his clothes. Who knows, it might be too early, but it is so cute!

I just love seeing all these changes and paying attention to all these "little" things. One of the many joys of being a parent, I guess. Our little boy is growing up. Speaking of, I need to take a naked/diaper picture of Finn... he actually looks chubby! LOVE IT!!!

Oh, and Finn gets to "watch" his first Gopher football game today. Daddy is very excited and had to pick out his outfit last night (he has three outfits and two hats to pick from...a sign of what Finn's life is going to be like...me thinks so!). Go Gophers!!

Friday, September 4

Officially weaned

It's not a good thing when you can smell it on your way up the stairs. Finn's poop that is. He was taking a nap yesterday afternoon and woke up just crying. There is usually a reason when this happens, so I headed upstairs only to be taken aback by the smell. Then I arrived in his room...yup, poop everywhere! On the one hand, I was by myself and it is difficult to get everything cleaned up, but on the other hand, he hadn't pooped in over a day, so I was happy. I got him cleaned up and changed the crib sheets (as you moms out there know, is not an easy task!)...and right after, Jim walked in the door. Good timing, dad! At least he could take Finn so I could take a trip down to do the laundry.

It is official. Finn is no longer a breastfeeding baby. He stopped about four or five days ago. As you know, this saddens me, but I'm in a much better state of mind about it now than I was in July. Plus, since we are going to Aruba in two and a half weeks, I guess it is good timing. Still, I'm mourning the loss, but I am thankful for being able to nurse at all (many preemies aren't able to figure it out). Because he gradually stopped nursing, I haven't had any pain with my milk stopping. Not sure how long it takes to completely go away, but I feel like there isn't much there, if any. I guess I won't fill out my bikini tops quite as well as I would have if I were still nursing! Oh, well.

Happy holiday weekend to you all. Be safe!

Thursday, September 3

Love of the outdoors

We weighed Finn before his bath last night. According to our bathroom scale, little man weighs 13 lbs 3 ounces! He was an ounce shy of 12 lbs at his last weigh in about two weeks ago, so he is still gaining a little over an ounce a day. You can tell by looking at him that he is gaining weight. His double chin is back and he is getting thunder thighs (if there ever were any doubt, now we know for sure he is a Walsh!!). It is so nice to see him look like a "normal" baby (although he is still under the 10th percentile for weight for his adjusted age). His next doctor visit is September 22.

Daddy had a first yesterday...tanning! Jim had never been tanning before and upon my urging so he doesn't burn so badly in Aruba this time, he went yesterday for the first time. He said it was hot...who knew?! Too funny. He was bright red this morning. The poor guy, he has such a hard time with his fair skin. I'm glad Finn has dark skin...hopefully he won't have problems with sun burns! I've gone twice and my skin is a little pinker today than it was last time. Maybe I'll take the weekend off.

I am so thankful that Finn LOVES being outside and he also LOVES his stroller. If he is crabby at all, I just have to grab a blanket and take him outside and he will lay and talk to the trees for a long time. And we go on long walks and he is happy the whole time. I've continued to tilt the sitting position up, so now he can see a little more (it was flat when he first came home). He will not fall asleep in his stroller most times, but that is okay. His love of the outdoors just tells me how important it will be to get a fence next year so little man can play all he wants outside.

Wednesday, September 2

Where are your stomping grounds?

We had a play date with Meytal and Lyla today and have some sad news to share. They are moving to Indiana in two weeks! I knew they were hoping to move there, but didn't think it would happen this soon. Both Finn and I are sad, but happy for them. Good luck with the move! It was a little bright for them! We walked around in my old stomping grounds in downtown Minneapolis today. Can you have more than one "stomping grounds" area? If not, then it isn't my stomping grounds...but I think you can for different stages in your life. Downtown Minneapolis was my stomping ground for my first job out of college. I LOVED working down there. There was so much to do. I'd forgotten about the big Farmer's Market on Nicollet Mall. We might go down tomorrow to check it out.

I finally went tanning! Things always take longer to get around to when you have a child (I meant to do it last week). Finn couldn't go in the room with me, which I didn't know, but they were slow (I was the only person there), so the employee said she would watch him. Normally, I probably wouldn't have agreed, but she seemed very responsible and I was only tanning for 6 minutes (and she just kept him in the carseat the whole time...but I did give her hand sanitizer just in case!). I did a stand up bed for the first time and LOVED it. I'm supposed to go every other day to establish my base tan. I don't want to get super tan or anything, just don't want to get third degree burns in Aruba (the sun is super strong there because it is close to the equator). I'm a little pink today in places the sun doesn't normally shine!

I experienced another first last night...my first live draft for fantasy football. I've been doing fantasy football for years, but we've always done the automatic draft where the computer picks your team for you based on a ranking you set up. The live draft was SO much fun. Becky, Kristine and I all did it from my house, which sucked because the internet would stop working intermittently. I definitely want to do it again next year, but maybe give a little more time for each pick (we only had 2 minutes which goes really fast when have the people are on auto and take one second!). I think I'm happy with my results. I'll do things a little different next year...like actually do some research and print out some lists (oops!). Finn was a really good boy during it and just as we were finishing, filled his pants. Wasn't that nice of him to wait?!?!

FYI: LOVE this weather! I wish it could be like this all year. I LOVE the fall!

Tuesday, September 1

Startled

Ever since Finn was small, he startled when he heard a loud noice (this is "normal" and we were happy to see it since there were concerns about his hearing). Anyway, starting about a week ago, he gets, what I only can assume to be, scared when he hears a loud, unexpected noise. And it happens most often when he is tired (probably a low threshold for anything at that point). But when he cries after being startled, it is the saddest cry ever...like his heart his broken. Luckily, it only usually lasts about a minute and he can be consoled (which is good!).