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

Saturday, October 31

Carving part 2

We carved our pumpkins last night. It was actually fun and Finn just sat in his high chair and watched.








Well, until the end and he decided he didn't want to sit there any more. I guess that was long enough! Mommy carved hers and daddy carved Finn's. I'm sure next year will be a lot more interesting since Finn will want to "help!"

Here are our pumpkins (I bet you can guess whose is whose!):We are in pretty good shape for the party tonight. We have decorating outside to do and finish decorating inside. I avoided putting up the cob webs because I HATE doing it. Maybe I can convince Becky to do it. Hee, hee.

We are taking Finn around in the stroller while Austin goes trick or treating. Austin is going as Diego (from Dora) this year...and Becky MADE his costume. Wait until you see it! My contribution to Finn's costume was sewing a chin strap on, so his hair and ears will stay on. Fits great. Pictures tomorrow (depending on how hung over I am!!).

Bring on the fun! Too bad the high today is 40 degrees. Burr. But no snow in the forecast. I'll take it. Finn's costume will go over his clothes, so he should be warm enough at least. Happy Halloween to everybody. Have a fun and safe time tonight.

Friday, October 30

Carving part 1

Jim and I decided we should get a start on pumpkin carving last night. We are going to carve pumpkins with Finn tonight (nothing like waiting until the last minute, right?) and Jim wisely suggested gutting and carving three pumpkins would take a while and we need to spend time tonight getting ready for the Halloween party tomorrow night. Anywho, Jim gutted and carved his. You'll have to wait for pictures to see what he carved! I gutted mine and Jim gutted Finn's. Tonight, we plan on carving them as a family and hopefully get a couple cute pictures. I also need to sew elastic on Finn's head piece for his costume so it will stay on. Waiting for him to wake up so I can "measure" it for the correct length.

Diapers: Still wetting through. Going to keep trying all the wonderful suggestions people have given us.

Sick: Finn is still sick and noticeably worse (coughing more and sounds terrible). But he is a little tough guy and doesn't complain at all. His temp has remained pretty steady between 100 and 101, so that is a relief. He cuddled all last night, so he definitely isn't feeling well.

Thursday, October 29

Diaper Watch 2009

Finn is still soaking through his diapers at night! The size 2-3 Pampers Swaddlers did not work. Becky and Pete graciously volunteered to watch Finn last night so I could run some errands for our Halloween party. While I was out, per Nicki's advice (which I very much appreciate), I grabbed a package for size 3 Pampers Baby Dry instead of Swaddlers. Nope, didn't work either. I just don't know what to do. The problem, I think, is that he sleeps on his tummy (nothing I can do about it...he rolls there instantly) and there is only so much soaking up ability in the front of the diaper. This morning, his whole front was soaked. I gave him a sponge bath with wipes! Hey, we were on a schedule with no time for a bath. Any other diaper suggestions?

Finn is sick. He slept from 3:30 until 6:30 last night and then woke up, took a bath, ate and went right back to bed. Should have been clue number one, right? Well, I had to wake him up this morning at 9:30 to go to his PT appointment. He was congested and had a running nose with lots of sneezes. Toward the end of PT, he just lost it. He slept for about an hour when we got back before waking up on his own. Great, I thought. I can feed him and we can go to ECFE. Nope. He started eating and after three or four bites, he just lost it again. So I decided eating cereal wasn't a priority and gave him a bottle. He ate that and snuggled for over half an hour (NOT like my little boy). I decided no ECFE for today (darn it, it was the Preemie class, too!). I just laid him down and he went down without a peep. He has a temp of 100.3, which isn't bad, but I'm keeping any eye on it. He is coughing a little, stuffy, sneezing and lethargic. I talked to his nurse and she said to watch for the normal symptoms. If he gets really congested, she suggested to turn the shower on hot and sit in the bathroom with the steam. We may have to do that. Seems like everybody is run down or has something right now. Yuck!

Melissa was very happy with Finn's progress today at PT. His neck is getting noticeably stronger. He can actually lift his head towards his right shoulder whereas before, he would just leave it straight with his body. Also, his sitting is much improved, which I also noticed in the last couple of days. He tolerates it a lot more and is able to keep his body from just leaning all the way forward and hurting his tummy. He still likes to push back so he can lay down, but we are getting there. Also, he is a roller. He has no problems going from front to back and back to front. The only thing PT wants us to work on with rolling is having him roll from his back towards his left side. That will also help with strengthening his neck. Overall, great appointment.

Progress on the home health care! Care Mark called today and insurance approved 100% through the end of March. Yeah! Now they are contacting a company that actually provide the home service (I guess Care Mark just provides the medication?!?! I'm not really sure). Hopefully we hear something in the next couple of days. This whole process has been nothing but aggravating and frustrating. I wish Children's had been able to provide the service like they did this spring. I just want Finn to get what he needs! I still don't know how/when he will get the second dose of the regular flu shot, because I don't know if Care Mark provides that, or the H1N1 vaccine. I guess one thing at a time (again, argh!).

Wednesday, October 28

Get ready, here I come

Thanks for all the suggestions about solid food and diapers. I really appreciate it because sometimes, you just don't know what to do and if you haven't been there before, it is nice to hear what others have done when they've gone through something similar. I was able to buy some 2-3 diapers yesterday. Jim watched Finn while he was packing for Chicago (yes, another Chicago trip, but since he is coming back tonight, Finn and I stayed home this time...too short a trip for such a long drive...Jim flew), I grabbed the opportunity to drop a bottle off at our friends (so they can try to have their twins start bottling once in a while...I hope these work!) and ran into Target. Not sure if they the bigger size worked yet, as Finn is still in bed. He is awake, just playing.

After four Advil cold & sinus, two Imitrex and a dose of Nyquil, I finally started feeling better last night about 9:30! Jim said that isn't feeling better, it is being high. Whatever, I felt better just in time to go to bed. I was sleeping by 10:30, I think, which doesn't usually happen. I was happy. And I slept in until 8:30. I'm hoping a good night's sleep will help kick whatever it was yesterday. So far today, I feel good. Better go take some cold medicine before anything comes back.

Finn has dry skin. I mean, I figured he was going to since I have such bad dry skin, but this was one thing I was praying Finn would NOT inherit from me. But he has patches of red, dry skin all over. I put lotion all over him after baths and I use Aquafor for the spots when they get bad. He doesn't complain, but I know how terrible dry skin can be. I might talk to his doctor to see if there is anything stronger I can use to heal it instead of just making it more comfortable.

Finn is so close to being mobile, it is scary. I put him down on his play gym the other night because he wanted some "leave me alone and let me play by myself" time. I was in the kitchen and Jim was in the living (his play gym is in between these two rooms). He was squealing and grunting like usual. After a bit I looked over and only his head was still on the play gym (how he did this, I have no idea). Then about five minutes later, he started crying. Jim and I went to check and he had gotten all the way over to the kitchen and had bonked his head on the kitchen floor (we think)! We need a time-lapse camera to see how he does these things! It won't be long before he is everywhere.

Also, my mom will soon be incarcerated in the March of Dimes Jail & Bail. A "warrant" for her arrest has been issued by the March of Dimes for aiding and abetting the fight against prematurity. The March of Dimes mission is to improve the health of babies by preventing birth defects, premature birth and infant mortality. This is obviously a cause that is very near and dear to our hearts. Organizations like this are why Finn is alive and healthy. If you feel so inclinded, her personal web page address for donations is ...
http://jailandbail.marchofdimes.com/KathrynWalsh

Tuesday, October 27

Peas and carrots

My head wants to explode! Owww. I need some pseudoephedrine...bad. Might have to run out and get it. Luckily, Finn is being an angel today (so far at least). Maybe I can lay down and take a nap...or just lay down because it takes a lot of effort to hold my head up. And I thought it was just a little cold. Boo.

Finn LOVES baby food. I started giving it to him straight instead of mixing it with his cereal. Peas were the first ones he had by themselves. At first, he didn't know what to think and made the funniest faces. But then he ate the whole container! This morning, he ate a whole container of carrots! He LOVED the carrots. Is one whole container too much to give him at one time? I just don't have a clue about this "solid food" thing.

His butt was raw again last night after pooping. He really doesn't complain, but it look so sore. After his bath last night, I put on a "moisure barrier" cream that is supposed to keep wettness from sitting next to his skin. This morning, his little butt looked 95% better. Now if I can just remember to put it on before naps. The problem is that since he naps so long, if he poops, it can be in there for a couple hours...depending on when during his nap he pooped. Also, he wets through his diapers almost every night, so even though the diaper is supposed to keep the wetness away from his skin, it can't do that when it is saturated. Any suggestions about wetting through at night? He is in size 2 and they don't seem small. I could try size 2-3 to see if that changes anything.

Monday, October 26

Home again, home again

Mommy and Finn at Navy Pier on Wednesday (you can see the lighthouse in the background if in the upper left corner):We made it home on Saturday around 7pm...all day in the car. We got up, packed, left, got home and put Finn to bed. Poor guy. He got to play a little with Auntie Kristine and have a bath, so it wasn't immediately to bed. Now that I know he can travel so well, I'm not as scared to take him to Paynesville to visit Auntie NaeNae! Too bad I never made it to her St. Cloud place. Oops! Congrats on the new place, Ernie.

Finn loves his rice cereal and veggies. Until today, he just had green beans. Tonight, I gave him the last of his green beans and he seemed like he was still starving. So I gave him peas. He loved them, too (mommy is so happy because they are her favorite). So far, I have been mixing the veggies with the cereal, but I might try to give them to him seperately. Not sure if there is a "right" way to do it or not. We didn't get much direction from Finn's doctor. It is probably one of those things that you just do what feels right. Any advice from you moms-of-young-ones out there?

Finn has his first diaper rash. I feel so bad for him, although you'd never guess anything is wrong by his actions. I think he must have a decently high pain threshold (probably from all the poking and prodding in the hospital?!?!). I'm not sure what caused the rash, but we deduced it to be either one or a combination of things: 1. he has a cold, and I think that can affect other areas, too. 2. we are using up some cheap wipes that I have to scrub to get anything off of him, so it probably irritates the area (I might just throw them out...gasp!). 3. his poop is much thicker now which is probably from the formula and/or the solid foods. 4. he has been sleeping longer lately (again, maybe because of the cold), so he stays dirty/wet longer than usual which could cause irritation. I do change him the second he wakes up, but I don't have the heart to wake him up just to change his diaper. Regardless, his tushy is red and was actually bleeding a little yesterday. I put ointment on it and it seems to clear right up (looked a million times better by bedtime last night).

Finn was pulling on his ear last night. Both Jim and I are fervently hoping it was a case of discovering his ear and not it hurting him. We are shocked and amazed that **KNOCK ON WOOD** he hasn't had any ear infections so far. Jim pretty much had a nonstop ear infection when he was a baby, so we are very thankful that isn't the case with Finn, so far at least. I don't think I ever had an ear infection (except maybe one time when I was much much older), so there is hope that this trend will continue.

Still no update on the home health nurse situation. Finn was supposed to have his follow up flu shot last Tuesday and needs the H1N1 and Synergist (RSV) shots as well (they told me Synergist isn't available until 11/1). Plus, Finn isn't allowed to go into his doctor's office except in dire circumstances, so it would be ressuring to have a nurse come to by check on him and discuss some things. Argh. I guess I'll call AGAIN tomorrow.

Saturday, October 24

What's up with rain boots?

Finn slept in until 1:15 yesterday afternoon! He woke up briefly around 8am. He chatted for a bit and then went back to sleep despite Jim and I talking, Jim getting ready for work and having the lamp next to his pack-n-play turned on. He woke again around 11:45, only to grunt a bit and go back to sleep. I guess putting him to bed late really affected him. I think he went to bed around 9:30 instead of 7:30. Oops! Better not do that again. I just hope it isn't because he is getting sick...he has been a little stuffy for a couple days now.

Finn's new thing...wrapping himself in a blanket. It is a riot to watch. He rolls to one side and grabs the blanket, then rolls all the way over to the other side, so it is wrapped around him. He LOVES it and squeals. I'm careful to make sure it isn't covering his face so he can breathe, but what a silly boy. I really hope I can get it on camera.

The formula is going well. Other than the fact that it stinks, he is spitting up more often, he has more gas and his poop is thicker (could be from cereal and veggies, too) and stinks to high heaven! Breast milk poop is so much better to change! But everything considered, I'm very happy that he made the transition to formula with only a small blip on the radar.

Mildly irritated. 1. why do no souvenir shops have infant sized clothes?!?! We ran into this problem in Aruba and now in Chicago. I HATE having something I want to buy and not being able to find it. I guess no Chicago hoodie for Finn. Boo. I think I'm going to open a chain of infant souvenir shops. 2. what is up with rain boots (see below)? All three of us went for a walk last night and EVERYBODY had rain boots on in every color/pattern imaginable. Are these supposed to be functional or fashionable? So weird. I've never seen so many in one place at one time.

We are heading home this morning after our little mini-vacation. Finn was super good the whole time. It amazes me how much stuff you have to bring with you for a baby his age. Hopefully it gets better/less as he gets older. While we love Chicago, I'm looking forward to Home Sweet Home. Not the drive, though. Yuck. Wake me up when we get there.

P.S. Finn's other new thing is to squeal as loud as he can (and if he is in a space that echos, like the hallway of a hotel, all the more reason to do it!). It is one of the best noises in the world because it makes him so happy. What a silly goose head.

Friday, October 23

Sleeping in

Yesterday Finn slept in until almost 9:30! I know he wasn't awake earlier playing like normal, because I was up, showered, dressed and reading a book by the time he woke up. Crazy little boy. He must like to sleep in while on vacation. I got him ready and we headed out to see my old dear friend Rebecca (by old I mean long time, not old as in age...ha, ha...she'll get a kick out of that!). Unfortunately, right before we got there, Rebecca called to say that Abigail, her almost three year old daughter, had a temperature of 101! Yikes. So we had to cancel our plans. I was really disappointed, but more importantly I hope Abigail is okay! For a second I considered going anyway, but that is the selfish part of me, not the responsible mom part!

Finn and I headed over to the Huntley Outlet Mall instead. We were already super close and Finn needed some long sleeve onsies and jeans. It is an outdoors mall and it was practically deserted, so I didn't feel bad taking him there (plus, he was in his car seat/stroller coocoon). I got some really cute stuff and showed restraint (I didn't even go to The Children's Place Outlet because I got what I needed at Carter and Osh Kosh Bgosh and knew I'd find something Finn "needed" if I went in). Then we headed over to Best Buy because the power cord to Jim's computer pooped out last night...I have the worst luck with electronics. If it can break, it will. Then we headed back. Finn was SUPER good all day considering he was in his car seat the entire time (because I just snap the car seat into the stroller for maximum coverage). When we got back, he was so happy just to lay and stretch and squeel...for like half an hour. I was worried we were going to get a "keep it down" phone call; that is how loud he was! Silly little goose head (my name for him whenever he is being silly).

We decided it would be easier to stay again tonight. Jim has to work until 5pm, so traffic would be horrible at that time. Also, since we'd have to be out of our room by Noon, Finn and I would be displaced all day today, which would be a little tough. Yay, one more day! Finn is still in bed (it is currently 9:30)...I guess we know which parent he takes after.

Thursday, October 22

Seventy and sunny?

So, Jim made me watch Star Trek the movie Tuesday night at the hotel before bed. It wasn't too bad, but confusing since I don't know all the "trekie" stuff. I kept asking Jim questions (which I HATE when other people do it to me), but since it was his third time watching it, he didn't have a problem answering them. Good visual effects, though. Anyway, I now know which character I am for Halloween...Nyota Uhura, the communications officer (I had to Google it to find this out!). Anyway, at least I'm not just eye candy in a short skirt! Ha, ha.

Finn and I went on a THREE hour walk yesterday! We started the day out kind of slow, but that is how our mornings are even when we are at home. Finn woke up around him usual time (7-ish), the difference is that when he is in the same room as we are, we can't just turn down the monitor and go back to sleep (he likes to talk and play by himself for a while...and sometimes snooze). But we left for our walk around Noon, which I didn't think was too bad. And it was 70 degrees with blue skies (of course today is 50 and raining)! I couldn't believe it. I accidentally put Finn in shorts (I didn't know the overalls I brought were shorts...but it turned out to be fine since it was so warm). But knowing me like you all do, I had socks on him and a blanket "just in case." Jim swears I'm going to kill him by overheating one of these days. Hey, if I'm cold, which I always am, he must be cold, too, right?!?! Ha, ha.

Anyway, our hotel was about 6 or 7 blocks from Navy Pier. I love Navy Pier. Most things were closed this time of year, but it wasn't crowded, so the claustrophobic in me was happy about that. I just love the breeze off the lake and watching the water and the boats and people-watching of course. I wanted to get Finn a "Chicago" hoodie, but nobody sells anything smaller than a 3T. Seriously people...haven't you ever heard of parents who like to get things for their small children?!?! We had a similar problem in Aruba. Then we headed over to Magnificent Mile. I was in search of a Subway for lunch. I know unadventurous, but I wanted Subway for some reason. We found one and then sat in a park to eat (I ate my sandwich than Finn had his bottle). It was lovely.

Finn had his last taste of breast milk this morning for breakfast. He had two other bottles today, both forumla obviously, and other than a little gagging and pushing it out of his mouth, he did well and finished them both (he had a third bottle for bed, but wasn't hungry). But, yuck! Formula stinks and his poop already smells worse, too. The other difference I noticed is that formula doesn't coat the bottle like breast milk does. He is doing really well with cereal, too (still eating green beans). He ate a TON for lunch and his poop was green this afternoon. I guess I should have expected that!

Finn had his first "big boy" bath last night. It was bath night, so we filled up the tub and threw him in, well not literally. He was slipping all over because not only can't he sit by himself, he also was a wet baby! So Jim fashioned a head rest out of a towel to support Finn. Finn LOVED it. I think he would have stayed in there all night. We took pictures, but I left my cord to upload at home. Darn me!

We've had pizza two nights in a row and I think Jim is thinking we're having it again tonight! Hopefully I can convince him otherwise. A girl can only take so much pizza (even if it is good pizza from Chicago)!

Wednesday, October 21

First road trip!

Jim, Finn and I are in Chicago until Friday night (or Saturday morning...haven't decided yet when we're coming home)! Jim found out yesterday morning that he had to be here for the rest of the week for work and asked if Finn and I wanted to come along. With a little finagling of our schedule (finding somebody to watch Austin on Friday, rescheduling a play date, letting teachers know we aren't going to either ECFE class and canceling PT for this week), we were able to go! So we packed up and left at 2:30 yesterday afternoon. SEVEN hours later, we arrived at our hotel. It takes a lot longer when you travel with a baby. But seriously, Finn did really well. He didn't like being in his car seat for so long and I think he "milked" his second bottle so he could stay out of it longer! He also slept on and off, which was nice. Jim bought some Clorox disinfectant wipes when we got here, so we went to work cleaning EVERY surface in the hotel room. Hopefully that will keep little man safe and healthy. I'm hoping to see some old Illinois friends while we are here (understanding there isn't too much I can do out in public with little man). I love being back. It has been too long.

We've been having problems setting up Finn's home health nursing visits and his RSV, H1N1 and second flu shots. I was getting the run around and finally his doctor's nurse took matters into her own hands yesterday and seemed to make a little more progress than I was able to. Finn was supposed to get his second flu shot yesterday, but our nurse reassured me that next week would be soon enough and the more important fact is that Finn already has his first shot, which should protect him for the time being. Now if we can just get everything worked out and set up. Argh! Sometimes these health things drive me nuts! Some day, I won't have so much to do...or maybe I'll get better at it! Who knows?!?!

After Finn's breakfast this morning, my breast milk will be completely gone:( I know that 9 and a half months is a long time and he got breast milk longer than most children do. And I know that he will be fine with formula (provided he will eat it...I guess we'll find out soon!). I just wish I'd been able to nurse longer, that I'd pumped more or longer, and that things had been different, but that are, what they are. Fingers are crossed that Finn isn't too particular about what is in his bottle.

Finn wanted to wish Grandpa Ron a belated happy birthday (he was sleeping yesterday when I posted, so it isn't his fault it is a day late!). We hope you had a wonderful day, Grandpa! We love you.

Tuesday, October 20

He likes the milk

Finn's Early Intervention teacher and PT came over yesterday. The PT was very happy with Finn's new high chair and that he was using it. She said that it supports his head better than the Bumbo (since he likes to push back until his head almost hits the table when he's in the Bumbo...naught boy!). I looked at it after she left and it kind of hugs him in a little bit, so he is very stable (in addition to the five-point harness, of course!). He continues to eat his green beans and love them. I'm wondering if I should be giving him more. I guess I'll play around with how much he wants as he ate three big helpings yesterday.

We are having a little struggle with milk. My frozen breast milk it almost gone (I have maybe 20 ounces left and not happy about it, but trying to be positive). So two nights ago I didn't have any thawed and decided to just give Finn formula...he wouldn't take it. I was NOT anticipating this problem since he has been on this formula since, well, forever! So, we started mixing half and half; half fortified breast milk and half regular formula. He did eat yesterday, but not like a champ. So, hopefully he figures this out before all the milk is gone.

He might have not eaten very well because he seemed to be a little under the weather yesterday. He had a melt down while his teacher and PT were here, which NEVER happens. He loves playing with them and it was in the morning. He seemed very sleepy and did take a couple good naps (thankfully!). Then last night around 6:30, it seemed like he was ready for bed, which is usually around 8. Jim took his temp and it was a little high. So I fed him some food, made his bottles, gave him Motrin and Jim put him to bed (Finn drank all but an ounce or so of his bottle). Then he woke up at 3:30 just screaming and inconsolable. Jim and I were up with him for over an hour before he would calm back down. And his temp was low (96 something). By the time he went back to bed, it was around 98 degrees. Poor guy. He is sleeping in today. Hopefully he is feeling better (and will eat his bottles today!).

Monday, October 19

Green beans and pumpkins

Finn started real baby food yesterday. Jim wanted to start out with what he thought would be the worst tasting one so we can work our way up to the good stuff (apparently!). So, Finn got green beans yesterday. The first time we tired, he was too hungry to eat food, so after two attempts at putting it in his mouth, only for it to fall back out, we decided to try later. So a little while later, Jim tried again...and Finn ate it all! We mixed it with cereal, I think we are supposed to do for a while. Finn's doctor didn't give us too much information on eating solids, so I might have to do a little research online. But so far, so good!

AND, Jim put Finn's high chair together yesterday (during the Vikings game)! And Finn can sit up by himself in it. He looks so cute. Now, in all honesty, he is buckled in with shoulder straps, so I'm not sure how he could fall over, but it is a start. Another milestone! Man, that high chair takes up a lot of room, though.

After the Vikings game, Becky, Pete, Austin, Jim, Finn and I went to an apple orchard to pick pumpkins! It was a little bit of a hike over there (it was in White Bear Lake), but we could not have asked for more beautiful weather and I had a great time. We didn't actually get a pumpkin, though because we weren't sure how we would carry it to the car, but it was still fun. Not only was this Finn's first time at a pumpkin patch, it was mine, too. Can you believe that? I hope it is something we do every year. Thanks for letting us tag along, Becky!

Sunday, October 18

Letting loose

Kristine and Alex's wedding reception was amazing. It wasn't even that cold, just being outside for that long makes you feel it a little more. Once the fires were lit, I was toasty as could be.

Finn stayed overnight at NeNe and Les's. We are so lucky and thankful to have them in our life. We dropped Finn off around 1:30pm and they brought him back around Noon today. Finn has a blast over there for many reasons, but one is they have two puppies. He loves watching them. No, we are not getting a puppy any time soon!

Then we headed over to Kristine's to help set up and get ready. In typical Kristine fashion, we were all ready with nothing to do about an hour before start time! I guess if you had to have it one way, you'd rather it be that way than running around with last minute stuff to do. The turn out was great and it was so nice to see family and friends I hadn't seen for a while (since Finn can't go to most family events because of the large number of people, we don't get to see my extended family as often as I would like). The beer was flowing, the food was amazing and fun was had by all, I'm pretty sure! We left around midnight and I know Kristine had just about reached her limit. So nice to see her have such a good time. We wish you both the very best and love you so much!

Saturday, October 17

Live long and prosper?

Seriously, Jim? Yes, my husband strong-armed me into matching Halloween costumes for our whole family. What are they you ask? STAR TREK! I think I better get the "Best Wife in the Universe" award for this one. Jim is Captain Kirk, I am a girl with a red short uniform (I don't know if I have a name or not) and Finn is Spock, complete with the pointy ears and everything. What do I get out of it? I get to pick any costume I want next year, regardless if it is a "couples costume" or not. What I do for love!! Pictures to follow for SURE!

I have wanted my own sewing machine for...well, ever since I moved out of my mom's house probably. I sewed in high school and like the feeling of accomplishment when you make or fix something. So a while ago, my mom found me an in-table sewing machine at an auction she was at for CHEAP. It is heavy and we didn't know if it worked, so as you can imagine, Jim was crabby about finding a spot for it in our house and it has been sitting there ever since. Well, my mom was visiting yesterday and she showed me how to use it (it is the same brand as hers, so she knew all the tricks) and I even sewed the waist band of Finn's pants! (she hemmed a pair of Jim's pants, so he should be happy now!). Guess what the first thing Jim asked me to make for him? A holder for his phaser for his Star Trek costume. Need I say more? Anyway, it feels good to know how to use it. Hopefully it will get used now and not just collect dust.

Jim and I were able to go for drinks to Tony Jaros last night with Ryan and Leah. My mom stayed home to "watch" Finn, even though he was already in bed sleeping. It was nice to go out and we always have a good time with them. But I said I couldn't drink very much and three purplies later, I'm not feeling so well this morning! One is my limit people. Oh, well.

What a beautiful day for a Wedding Celebration Party! Sunny and supposed to be in the upper 40's (hey, it's MN in Oct, we'll take what we can get!).

Friday, October 16

Imitating gestures

Incredible Infants ECFE class on Wednesday was good. There was only one other family there, so it was FAR less stressful (and germy) than the Monday class was. Finn even played without me while I worked on making a song book for him. Towards the end, he got tired and crabby, but he isn't used to being up for so long as one time. He actually didn't go to sleep until after we got home, which surprised me, but we live about 5 minutes from ECFE, so maybe he didn't have time!

I was supposed to watch Grace yesterday, but she ended up getting sick and having to come home early from school on Wednesday. Erica even came over to hang out with her, but she had to make do with Finn and me instead! At least she didn't have to share Finn with Grace.

One of the things on the development milestone list was "Imitate sounds and gestures that are heard around them" and I said Finn wasn't doing that yet. WELL...again, kids will always make a liar out of you, right? The other night, Becky was sitting across the table from us and patting the table with her hand. When she stopped, Finn reached out and did it, so she would keep doing it! I would say that is imitating gestures for sure. Then later than night, Jim and Finn were on the couch and Jim was mock waving to him and he started doing it back (more flopping his arm, but still!). I guess you don't notice some things until you say they can't do it! Good job, little man.

We had PT with Melissa yesterday (Katie is out of the office and we don't have an appointment with her until December, boo). But we really like Melissa. She said to keep working on him lifting his head when holding him at an angle. She gave another suggestion for sitting...to put a stool or raised surface in front of him so he can balance on it with his arms (which he did for 12 seconds at PT unassisted!!!). I tried the wooden stool we have, but it was too high (came to about his eye balls!). I'll look around to see what else we might have. It had been a while since we'd seen Melissa and she loved how big and round he's gotten.

We have Kristine and Alex's wedding celebration tomorrow afternoon/evening. Other than the cold temps, should be a blast. Bring on the fun. Actually, it is supposed to be sunny and 45 degrees, so I'll take that over the weather we have been having. Congratulations again, guys! We are so happy for you.

Thursday, October 15

6 month milestones

Finn is 6 months old today (adjusted)! What a big boy. Here is a list of developmental milestones and I marked where he is at with each of them.

The following skills are likely to emerge between 3 months and 6 months:

New Physical Abilities -- Gross Motor Skills
Sit up unassisted NO, but getting more stable
Hold the head steady while sitting upright YES
Completing a half push-up while lying on their tummy, by pushing up with their arms PARTIALLY
Roll over in both directions. YES (as of a few days ago, but not on demand!)

Language Skills
Imitate sounds and gestures that are heard around them I DON'T THINK SO
Turn towards the source of a sound or voice YES
Get attention by babbling and not relying solely on crying. YES

Fine Motor (Adaptive) Skills
Press down with the upper lip to draw food from a spoon NO, but he just started eating solids
Clear vision, including the ability to see the full spectrum of colors I BELIEVE SO
Accurately reach for objects nearby YES
Grasp a rattle. YES

Personal/Social Skills
Focus all of their attention on toys and other small objects YES
Spontaneously smile and laugh YES
Make different, more advanced sounds to communicate with the people around them. YES

I think Finn is right on track, as this is just a generalization and some babies are slower in certain areas than others. I was going to list the development milestones for 6-9 months to see where Finn is, but he hasn't reached any of them yet. Maybe in a month or so.

Wednesday, October 14

Containing output

We used the last of Finn's size 1-2 diapers last night so he is officially now wearing size 2. I wonder how many 6 month olds wear a size 2 diaper? Probably not too many. Oh, well. I had been putting him in size 2 at night for the extra coverage and didn't last night (he was too tired to change him so I just put him to bed with a 1-2 on). Big mistake. He woke up soaked through. Poor guy. Maybe the bigger size will contain his output a little better. Hopefully we don't have to worry about leaking any more...well until we need to transition to the next size, I guess!

Finn is currently in 3-6 month clothes, for the most part. He is able to still wear size 3 pants because he is short for his age and if I put the waist band under his big belly, his waist is actually small! I got 6-9 month long sleeve onsies for layering and they are none too big, though. I'm guessing I'm going to have to switch clothes out again soon (a never ending task, I guess!).

We are off shortly to Aunt Angie's so we can chat and Austin can play. Then Finn has Incredible Infant ECFE this afternoon. This is a different class that the one we tried earlier in the fall. There are only three or four families at this one, so I'm hoping we can do this with little risk to Finn's health. I know the teacher, so she said to just come and test it out. Then we'll see, I guess. If it doesn't work out, we still have three more sessions of the Preemie Class, so at least we can get out of the house for them!

Tuesday, October 13

Teething and bumpers

I mentioned Finn's teething the other day. It is in full force...poor guy. And we finally found something that works...Orajel Teething Swabs! Thank you to the people who suggested we try it (you know who you are!). After trying regular Orajel gel and it not working for Finn (it made him vomit), we were frustrated. We also use the Teething Tablets, which we think work, but since we dissolve them in his juice instead of dissolving in his mouth, I'm not sure how effective they are. Anyway, if you have a baby who is going to be teething or is teething...get the swabs! Easy to use, super effective.

Finn has started trying to roll over to his tummy at night. He usually gets about all but a quarter of the way over. Well, when he does this, for some reason, his leg ends up sticking out of the crib. We took his bumper out of the crib awhile ago (I think when he started rolling?!?!) because it is a suffocation hazard. I thought his leg sticking out was super cute until yesterday morning when I went to get him and he was stuck and in pain. Not so cute any more. I remembered that my friend Meytal had a breathable bumper for her daughter Lyla (no suffocation hazard and legs can't get caught in the spindles). I did a little research and they had them in stock at the Babies R Us by our house and my lovely husband picked it up yesterday afternoon. I had to wash it so I will put it on today after Finn's nap. Easy enough solution. Now hopefully no more limbs being caught in the crib!

Aunt Kelsie stopped by last night between class and lab. Since Jim had basketball, it was nice for the extra set of hands. Today, Finn and I were kicked out of the house while the cleaning lady was here (LOVE cleaning lady day!) so we headed over to the Twins' house. Becky's two year old Maia is home with her during the day now, too, so that was fun to get to know her a little bit. And the girls are getting so big (still smaller than Finn, but they are younger by a month and a half adjusted...I think). Finn doesn't nap well over there...too much to see, I think, so we had to head home a little early because he turned into the Crabby Monster...only to fall asleep before we even got to the freeway! Still boy.

Monday, October 12

Vikings, friends and pictures

We had a fabulous day yesterday. Besides the convincing Vikings win, our friends Steph, Steve and Carley were in town from Kansas. Steve is from MN so they came over to watch the Vikings game. Carley is a week and a half "older" than Finn's adjusted age, so it was really fun to see them together. I was surprised that Finn didn't seem to be too far behind her on most things (made me feel good). And she is so cute...her pictures don't even come close to doing her justice...and such a good baby. Maybe Finn and Carley would get married some day, if only they lived closer. We love spending time with them...sad to see them go, but so happy they could fit us into their plans. Next it will be our turn to go there...I think it is a 9 hour drive. Yikes.

We gave in and I finally turned the furnace on Saturday night. I was so cold after the Gopher game that I just couldn't warm up and the fact that our house was 66 degrees wasn't helping. We stuck it out as long as we could. Darn early cold weather. Seriously a winter weather advisory? Yuck. I don't complain about weather often, but I HATE being cold. And what about all the snow this morning? So much for a mild fall, I guess. I do have to admit that it is pretty, though.

Remember Finn's new favorite toy...his curtains? Well, now he has figured out how to put them in his mouth! He never ceases to amaze me and make me laugh. I wonder how long it will take for him to pull them out of the wall?

I almost forgot...Finn's pictures are ready! I seriously can't believe Jess. Not only did she just take them on Friday, but I happen to know she had photo sessions this weekend, too. They turned out the best so far...which is really saying something considering we absolutely ADORED the first two sets. Now we have to figure out what to order and how we want to do our Christmas card. Fun stuff.

Oh, you want to see them? Okay, just visit www.jessicahislop.com/clients/Thomas and you will be able to view a slide show of all the pictures. If you want to see photo ID's, pause the slide show, place an order, etc. just click on "proofing" and enter the password: skiumah (it may take a second to load all the pictures). Enjoy!

Sunday, October 11

Sneak peek

First, the Gopher game and stadium were awesome. I went with my friend Ryan and Jim, Mike and Scott tailgated with us. Don't get me wrong, the snow covering the ground and my car was definitely a turn off, but I had a blast tailgating (Jim made an awesome breakfast) and watching the game. If anybody cared, I would still vote for an indoor stadium, but I have to admit that it is very cool (pun completely intended!). And the Gophers beat Purdue, so that is always a good day at the ball game.

Katie (Mike's wife) watched Finn, along with their almost two year old daughter Quinn and Scott and Beth's one year old son Teddy. I don't know how she did it, but she made it sound like everybody even had fun! Finn decided to make a liar out of me yet again...when will I learn to stop telling people what he will do?!?! Instead of taking two really longs naps like I said he would...he took one nap for an hour. Oh, well. As long as he isn't crabby and was a good boy. And it was Poop Fest 2009. He went through THREE outfits and a bath and Katie was resourceful enough to find some baby clothes of Quinn's that weren't pink to put him in while his clothes were in the laundry. I don't know what got into him but it sure all came out! Ha, ha. He already exploded once this morning, too! Everything had to go in the wash (pj's, sheet, water proof sheet, changing pad cover...geez, Finn!). He is major teething, so I'm thinking that might be part of it.

Now, on to the sneak peek! Jess sent me two teaser pictures from Finn's photo shoot. She is amazing (link to her blog/website on the left!). Take a look for yourself:
I'm biased, but wow, so cute. More to come later...

Saturday, October 10

Pictures and Gophers

Pictures yesterday went super well. I was a little nervous given the experience with his 6 month pictures, but other than a little grumbling and general disapproval, Finn was happy and hammed it up for the camera. We managed to get all the shots just before he hit the wall and needed a nap (much better than the 5 hours it took last time!). I think they will turn out really well. We also did a few family pictures so we could do a Christmas card this year...our first one ever! I'm excited to see all the pics. And as always, I'll post the information on here, so you can take a peek, too, when they are ready. Jess thought it would be about a week or so. Drum, drum, drum...that is my fingers drumming on the table while I wait PATIENTLY! Hee, hee. Thanks again Jess for taking Finn's pictures and coming to our house. You are the best.

The shoot must have worn poor Finnegan out. He conched out as Jess was leaving our house, slept for 4 hours, got up to eat, I tried to keep him up for an hour, but couldn't, laid him down without a peep until 6pm, only to be on the way to bed at 7:30! Yikes. Katie is watching Finn today so mommy and daddy can go to the Gopher football game. If today is anything like yesterday, she won't even know he is there (hopefully!). Thanks, Katie! I might not be thanking you once we get back and I have to thaw out my digits and limbs and check for frost bite....burrrrrr. Snow? Seriously? Already? Yup...it is actually on the ground this morning. Who decided on an outside stadium?!?! Boo. Oh, well...Go Gophers!

Friday, October 9

Roly poly boy

This is how Jim found Finn last night (don't mind Goldie's butt in the way!):Nothing out of the ordinary, other than that fact that Jim laid him on his back at bed time! So now I have proof that he actually rolled from his back to his tummy (last time he rolled back before I could grab the camera). And this morning, after Jim rolled him over to his back again, I peeked in on him and he is laying on his side! I guess what they say is true, when they figure something out, it just clicks! I was so happy to see it, although I'm sure once he is rolling consistently, I'll wish for the pre-rolling days. We've been working on rolling, tummy time and sitting, so I guess it is paying off! What a big boy, Finn!

We had a full day yesterday! In addition to the rolling over from last night, Finn had PT in the AM and Preemie Class in the afternoon. PT went really well. Katie also did an assessment of his goals and objectives and was very pleased with how he is doing. She said he either met or showed signs of meeting all of them. The thing we have to work on now is holding his right shoulder down when he looks to his left. He cheats and instead of fully rotating his neck (like he does when he looks to the right), he rotates about half way and then lifts up his shoulder so his body rotates the rest of the way. Little cheater boy! One thing she tested that I didn't know he could do is when he attempts rolling from his back to tummy, he is lifting up his head...if you've seen how big his head is in comparison to his body, you'd understand! But no, that is a huge developmental step in the right direction and before, it would just flop over...if it even got that far. Another thing we have to work on is when he is at an angle (like when we are holding him), he should be lifting his head so it is up and down instead of in line with his body...he BARELY does that now. Nothing major, just things to work on and watch for. Katie will be gone for the rest of the month helping orphans in China...good for her, but we will miss her!

Preemie class was great! We were the only family there (Jim took a couple hours off and joined us, which made both Finn and me very happy!). The facilitators hadn't seen Finn since the beginning of June (when he still had his monitor...seems like a life time ago!), so they had a blast with him. We practiced rolling and since they have a mat, he could go wherever his body took him. He liked that. And there were new toys, which he loved (they sanitize everything before each class, so I can relax a little). One facilitator is an Occupational Therapist, so it is nice to get another's perspective on Finn's challenges and to ask questions to. She had a few suggestions about tummy time and sitting time that I think will help a lot (his big tummy gets in the way, so she suggested a few things to alleviate that problem). We don't have class next week because of MEA break, but I'm already looking forward to the following week. Hopefully some other families will join us, now that we got some undivided attention this week! Becky, you could bring the girls!!

Finn has his 9 month photo session today! We are also getting our family picture taken. I really hope Finn cooperates. I had a full day work out trying to get him to smile and be good at his 6 month pictures. Fingers are crossed...Jessica is amazing, though, so I know she will 'get the shot.'

Thursday, October 8

Open wide

Finn is doing really well with eating his rice cereal. At first he wasn't too sure and he is still figuring it out, but now I'm realized that as long as I get it IN his mouth, he will swallow it. He just figured out yesterday that it works so much better when he opens his mouth when the spoon is coming towards him. Before he figured this out, I was working on a technique where I push the bottom of the spoon on his bottom lip and slide the spoon into the small opening it creates. It worked about half the time, but hopefully isn't necessary any longer. I'll take it, since he has only been trying it for less than a week.

His new thing is to lift his butt when I'm changing him. I'm not sure if it is to help or to cause problems, but it is kind of funny. It makes getting the diaper in the right spot difficult, though. I just tell him that mommy doesn't really need his help. We'll see!

The Early Intervention teacher and PT came yesterday. It was a good visit and based on their 6 month assessment, Finn is doing really well. There was only one thing he wasn't doing and I think that was attempting to sit up. That will come. We made a new list of achievements for the next 6 months. Keep up the good work, little man. We have PT this morning and our first Preemie Class of the fall this afternoon. Busy day for little Finnegan. Hope he can manage a nap in there or we won't be able to stay very long at the class. At least I get out of the house today. Yay!

Wednesday, October 7

So far, so good

Finn seems to be fine and so far has avoided influenza. He is still on Tamiflu as a precaution, but so far, so good! I, however, am not feeling 100%, alittle stuffy, sneezing, coughing, hard time taking deep breaths...hopefully I'm just run down from traveling, having a sick husband and what not. Or it could be allergies, but seems like a weird time for that. Better take some extra vitamin C! Jim's cough is finally starting to go away. He hasn't kept me up at night for a couple of nights now (yeah!). The z-pack seemed to work for him, thank goodness!

We had a wonderful anniversary. Jim took the day off from work. I was able to run a few errands in the morning, which is always a good thing (plus, I had to get his present and a card...nothing like waiting until the last minute). I got him the new Need for Speed XBox game...it is a true gift because when Jim has a new XBox game, he gets sucked into it completely until he finishes it, which drives me nuts. He doesn't even come up for air! Oh, well. Whatever makes him happy. He got me my very first set of real pearls! They are so pretty and heavier than I was expecting. I felt like such a grown up when I wore them last night (see them in the picture?). The Chanhassen Dinner Theatre was amazing. The couple next to us was celebrating their 25th anniversary, so that was neat. Dinner was good, although the service was very slow. I ate a whole piece of turtle cake for dessert by myself...shhh, don't tell! Oklahoma was really good. I thought I had seen it in high school, but once it started last night, I couldn't remember the story line, so maybe not. I think I had it confused with Music Man. We didn't get home until after 11:30, so we are a little tired today (probably from the two bottles of wines we drank there, too...although we were there for five hours, so if you spread it out...).

I have officially joined the land of the texting. I did so kicking and screaming, but to no avail. Jim's company is changing their cell phone policy so instead of having a company phone, Jim now has a personal phone and will be reimbursed for it. Which means, he joined my account and we switched to a family plan...unlimited minutes and texting! I better figure out how it works because I think I can already hear my phone beeping! No forwards, though, please...Ernie!

Remember back a month or so ago when I submitted Finn's picture in a photo contest? Well, he ended up being a finalist. That doesn't mean anything, other than that he is cute! Just wanted to share. It was fun to do.

Tuesday, October 6

And 9, too!

I completely forgot this morning that it is Finn's 9 month birthday today! Can it really be? Only three more months until he is one? I just don't see how that is possible. He is doing so well and is very much on track for his adjusted age. He is a happy and healthy baby. We really can't ask for more than that. Happy birthday, Finn!!

Two years already?

It is Jim and my second wedding anniversary today! My how much your life can change in two short years. Since our trip to Aruba was kind of our anniversary present to ourselves, we are taking it kind of easy tonight. We are going to dinner and a play at the Chanhassen Dinner Theater where Oklahoma is playing. We both went there in high school, but I think that was the last time. It should be a very fun, relaxing night out. And thank you Kristine for coming over to watch Finn.

Last night, Jim and I went over to Laura and Matt's to "tailgate" and watch the Vikings' game. I was a little concerned because we were supposed to watch it outside, but since it has decided to be monsoon season here, they were able to move it into their garage. It was a great set up...I think Jim was a little (or a lot) jealous! The best news is that the Vikings won and beat the Packers (makes up for the Gophers losing to the Badgers...a little anyway). Thanks, Laura and Matt, for having us over and being gracious hosts! And thanks Becky for watching Finn (feels like all we do is pass our son off to people!).

Happy Anniversary, Jim. I hope you can "put up" with me for many more years to come and that each coming year is as wonderful as the last two have been! I love you.

Monday, October 5

Now the flu?

Well, if we were questioning whether or not Finn really has to be on lock down this flu/RSV season, we aren't any longer. Jim's mom unfortunately came down with the flu (regular influenza, not swine or H1N1) the day after watching Finn, which means we will be heading to the pharmacy shortly to get a precautionary prescription for Tamiflu. You just can't be careful enough with preemies and things like this happen even when you ARE careful. I hope that Jim's mom feels better soon and I really hope that Finn doesn't get it. No Target, no public settings, no groups, etc. I'm actually very bummed about going back on lock down (I can't run errands, I can't meet people, I can't go to lunch with anybody, I can't get out of the house other than for walks...which it will be too cold shortly for anyway...etc), but if I have a healthy baby, it is worth it. I just start to feel very claustrophobic and sometimes alone/lonely. Jim is great and takes my lists and gets what I need and on the weekend, pretty much pushes me out the door so I can get out. But it isn't the same. This too shall pass...

Get better, Lynn!

Sunday, October 4

New favorite "toy"

Finn has a new favorite toy......his curtains next to his changing table! I kid you not. He loves these things. Whenever we lay him down to change him, he reaches over, grabs them and pulls on them and swings them around; the whole time talking to and smiling at them. He loves it. Weird...but as long as they stay attached to the wall, I'm fine with it!

After a night of no sleep for all three of us (Jim moved to the guest room to sleep only to wake Finn up with his coughing, so then we switched and I slept in the guest room...ugh!), Jim finally went to Urgent Care today. He has bronchitis, which is kind of what we thought (I'm just glad it isn't the H1N1 flu!). They gave him an antibiotic and said to keep doing what he has been doing (which is Mucinex, NyQuil, Ibuprofen and cough drops). Hopefully he will start to feel better soon and more importantly stop hacking his lungs out!

Saturday, October 3

Eating like a big boy

It was so great to pick Finn up yesterday morning and give him kisses. Jim walked into his room first and then I did. He looked at both of us like, "what is going on?" We talked to him while we sanitized and then I picked him up (Jim is still sick and trying to keep his distance). It was almost like he didn't really believe we were back. He kept looking at us. Then while I was changing him, I think it sunk in and he started smiling. I just wanted to hold him all day...but I refrained as best I could.

We had PT yesterday afternoon. Austin ended up not going with us because we didn't have his car seat and Jim had stayed home from work. So Austin stayed home to nap and we headed out. It was a good appointment...except Finn flipped his Torticollis AGAIN! Katie walked in, looked at Finn and looked at me. I just said, "I know." So we are supposed to work on lots of tummy time and sitting up in order to strengthen his neck muscles and also to keep an eye on which direction he is favoring to make sure the muscles on both sides stay loose. He is doing much better in his Bumbo chair and tolerates it for more than a few seconds now, so I think that will help, too. I was starting to think he was delayed with sitting unsupported and talked to Katie about it. She said she works with a girl who was full term and perfectly healthy other than having Torticollis and she didn't sit until 7 months (something about when you don't see the world straight, it is harder to balance and lift your head). She said to give Finn at least 6 more weeks before I start worrying, which was good to hear (for some reason, I was thinking he would be sitting by 9 months...don't know why, though!).

Major Milestone:
Finn ate baby food for the first time yesterday! And he did really well. And daddy even fed him some of it (if you know Jim, you know how hard it is for anything to be messy...typical first born)! Finn kind of sucked it off the spoon, but he ate almost half of what we made, so we were happy with that. I have video, but will have to take the time to get it off the camera and upload. Towards the end, I think he was getting mad because he was hungry and it wasn't filling him up. We are going to try once or twice a day to begin with. His doctor said after two weeks or so we can add baby food to it. Right now we made it with fortified breast milk, which is what he gets in his bottle.

Jim is still sick and did not go to the doctor yesterday (argh...men!). Instead he is going to the Gopher game today with Mike. Yeah, that is a good idea when it is cold and rainy! Oh, well. I just wish this illness would go away already. Gophers play their arch rivals, Wisconsin today, so hopefully it is a good game and Jim doesn't get in any trouble. On days like today, I'm so thankful they don't serve alcohol in the new stadium. Go Gophers!

Friday, October 2

We made it

After almost 14 hours of travel, Jim and I arrived home last night at 2am. The traveling is the part I don't like about going to Aruba...a little too far south and no direct flights from MSP! But the trip was amazing and I'm sure we will go again in a couple of years. Now, my own shower is calling me! Yeah...can't wait. Nothing like getting home to your own bed and your own shower.

Today, I'm watching Austin (it is Friday after all). Hopefully it is a quiet day. With the weather this gloomy, I'm sure it will be. We have PT this afternoon and this is the first time Austin will be going with. At least it will be something to get out of the house. It is during his nap time, so we'll see how that works out!

I hear Finn coughing...maybe he is awake?!?! Ha, most days I sit here and wait until he gets crabby to get him up. This morning I've been awake since 7am just waiting for a sign of non-sleep! He looked HUGE when we looked at him last night. A week is a long time in the life of a baby. More later, lots to catch up on!