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

Monday, November 30

Tree decorations

Austin, Finn and I spent a little time this afternoon putting "decorations" on the tree (that is what Austin calls cute).Finn's EI teacher, Deb and PT, Jane came for their visit today. Finn was not a good sport as he decided he didn't need to nap before they came. I keep telling him that I actually do know what is best, but he just doesn't listen ;) It was still a good visit and Finn did really well putting weight on his knees and practicing crawling. Part of me can't wait and the other (much larger) part is just so not ready for crawling, standing, walking (the list goes on and on). They both thought he had changed so much in the two weeks since they'd seen him. He is getting to be such a big boy.

Since we are trying to refinance our house, an adjustor stopped by today. Our fingers and toes, and anything else that can be, are crossed. If they appraise our house for a decent value, we could save as much as $300/month! Um, hello! Sign us up. Not sure how long the whole process takes, but I'm not holding my breath.

Jim's mom stayed over last night, which was nice since Jim had to fly out yesterday for work travel. I even got to run to Target! Finn was down to one container of baby food and I was also able to use Nikki's coupons to buy more formula! Hey, they are $5 off each container...every bit helps. Thanks, Nikki! Memere also helped keep Austin occupied while Finn had his EI visit this morning, which was super helpful. It isn't that Austin is bad when they are here; he is just 3 and wants some attention, too. I can't blame him for that.

Saturday, November 28

Lights, camera, Blu-ray

Black Friday was good to us. I got up and left the house by the crack of...noon. I just don't see the point in getting up at 4am and freezing outside in a long line forever. I'd rather be snuggled up in bed. But I met Kristine and Grace in Maple Grove and we did a little shopping...very fruitful shopping. I was able to get an awesome deal on a Blu-ray player for Jim...he was seriously like a kid in a candy store when I brought it home. He had to go out to get "something at the office" and maybe stop at Best Buy next door to get a Blu-ray DVD.

And, way more importantly, I got a new camera! I feel like I sold out because I ended up not getting an SLR (bye, bye Canon Rebel...tear). They are just so expensive and I think they do far more than I need a camera to do (Jess don't be disappointed in you said, I'm happy with my professional photographer!!). Maybe some day... Here is the first picture taken with it:You probably can't tell a huge difference online, but it is very noticeable in person. The two things that I hate about my current camera are 1. shutter speed; I miss too much of what Finn is doing and 2. all pictures seem to be washed out and/or blurry. These are two pretty important things when you are using a camera. So, we went to National Camera (again!) and explained what I wanted. It was between an Olympus (the brand I have now) and Nikon. The Nikon was more expensive, but he said it is basically the best camera before moving up to a bigger (can't just throw in your bag) sized camera. So I went with the Nikon Coolpix S630. It was between the blue and the "red" which was actually fuchsia and if I have any hope of Jim taking pictures, I decided to go with the blue! Merry Christmas to me!!!

Friday, November 27

Back to Thanksgiving

We had a great day yesterday. It started out with a lazy morning and then we started decorating for Christmas. We didn't get much more done than getting the Christmas tree up, but it is a start. Finn LOVES lights, so here is Finn's first glance of the lit tree:Then we decided to go over to Auntie Kristine's for the afternoon. It was really nice and relaxing and Alex smoked a chicken and a duck...yummy! Finn had his first taste of meat for dinner...turkey and sweet potatoes (baby food):

He loved it, but in all fairness, Jim and I tasted it and it just tasted like sweet potatoes! That was Finn's big Thanksgiving dinner. Finn decided that he didn't have to nap at Auntie's house, so we had to leave around 5pm...and I don't think he slept the whole way home either! Little bugger.

Once we got home, Jim put Finn by the tree to let him play and investigate.We might have a problem once he gets more mobile! He loved it and stayed under there for a long time. What's not to love; lights above you and sequence beneath you! He might have found heaven on earth. We hope your Thanksgiving was full of wonderful food, family and fun!

Thursday, November 26

Here comes Santa Claus

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

Now that Thanksgiving is here, we can move on to Christmas, right (Christmas songs nonstop until the afternoon of Christmas Day...yay!)? This is what we did yesterday afternoon:It doesn't get much cuter than that! Jim and I were toying with the idea of getting Finn's picture with Santa this year but kind of concerned about germs and long lines and all the kids. So, we ran some errands yesterday and stopped at Rosedale. We happened by the Santa area and there was NOBODY there! Um, hello. It was meant to be. Finn did okay. He was super tired and had one smile that she missed. He wasn't completely freaked out by Santa, but wasn't sure what was going on either. I don't care. I think Finn and the picture are both adorable.

We are going to work on having Christmas throw up at our house today. I'm not sure how much decorating we can get done in one day with a baby, but we'll try! I love Christmas. Have I mentioned that before? Now, where are my Christmas CDs?

Wednesday, November 25

May your stuffing be tasty

I just received this Thanksgiving wish from Stacey and wanted to pass along to all of you:

May your stuffing be tasty
May your turkey be plump,
May your potatoes and gravy
Have never a lump.
May your yams be delicious
And your pies take the prize,
And may your Thanksgiving dinner
Stay off your thighs!

Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!

On a very happy (and thankful) note, Finn just received his first dose of Synagis! It was two shots and he did well...cried for a few minutes. The nurse just left and he didn't have any allergic reactions (thankfully, since his old doctor didn't order epinephrine...have I meantioned lately how happy I am that we switched Finn's doctor?!?!). Yeah! Now hopefully each monthly shot will go smoothly...

Let's see what it is

Well, PT was interesting. We focused mainly on his head tilt and rotation. She was very reseptive to my thoughts and concerns (Finn's two regular PTs weren't in the office so I couldn't talk with them!). The flatness on the right side of the back of his head is mild but she brought their in house specialist to look at it and the bump on the back of his head. Given that the specialist has never seen a bump like that, she recommended we be seen by a specialist. They aren't concerned at this point, just being precautionary. Due to Finn's age, if they are going to do corrective measures, they'd need to be done immediately as he is on the edge of the age window where these measures will be most effective. When they are younger, the skull is still pliable to a greater extent than when they are older. So I called when we got home and the first opening that doctor had was in three and a half weeks. Then I called Finn's pediatrician and got the number for Children's Head Shaping clinic and was able to get an appt in two weeks. I was on the phone all day yesterday, but I think everything is in order.

FYI: got Finn's laundry done yesterday, but not put away but did get some of my laundry put away. Oh, well. You can't do it all!

“We tend to forget that happiness doesn't come as a result of getting something we don't have, but rather of recognizing and appreciating what we do have.” -Frederick Keonig

May you all have a wonderful, safe and happy Thanksgiving and spend a little time thinking about and appreciating what you have. I know I will :)

Tuesday, November 24

Words can't express

Grace, my step-niece, is spending the day with us today. It is nice to get some one-on-one time with her and this way she can have all the "Finn time" she can handle! Maybe I'll actually get some laundry done and put away...

Finn's eczema seems to be better. I've been using Cetaphil all over his body and Triple Paste, which according to the tub is premium therapy for severe dry skin and eczema, to treat the troublesome spots (got it at Target in the baby section and it is super thick). I need to get better about putting in on in the morning, too and not just after baths, but he is so darn hungry, that I don't want to make him wait forever. I can usually at least get his feet or legs. It is something!

We have PT this morning at 10:30. I was hoping to talk to his PT about his pediatrician's concerns and recommendations about Finn's torticollis and head shape, but we aren't going to either of our regular PTs today. Darn it. We've only seen this PT once before and I don't think she will be familiar enough with his treatment/history to warrant this discussion. Maybe I'll see if one of the other PTs are there and just have a quick chat. Or just wait two more weeks, but I'd rather not. Finn seems to be regressing a bit in the neck control/head tilt area. Hopefully we can work on a few things today, at least.

Oh and I actually have a confirmed appointment with the Home Care nurse to come on Wednesday to administer Finn's Synagis! Words can not express how happy and relived I am. FINALLY!!! And he is scheduled to get his second H1N1 vaccine next week. Then he will be all set and ready for flu/RSV season, with the exception of his monthly Synagis. Amazing how all this fell into place right after we switched doctors. Hmmm...

Monday, November 23

Happy delivery

Finn's Synagis (his RSV shot) is in our refrigerator! It was delivered on Friday. Oh happy day. And I actually talked to the home health care company this morning. She is having some difficulties communicating with our insurance (shocker!), but she is planning on coming out on Wednesday to give Finn his first shot (he gets them monthly until April). I am so happy. It "only" took 9 weeks to get it scheduled. Now, I'm realistic enough to "believe it when I see it" but it is progress in the right direction. Fingers (and toes) are crossed!

Finn didn't wet through this morning! It is the second time trying the Pampers Extra Protection Size 4 diapers (they are HUGE on him). The first time his skin was damp, but his PJs weren't soaked. And this morning, the diaper was full to the brim, but he wasn't wet at all! I really hope these will work. Thanks again for all the suggestions! We have so many varieties of diapers to use now. Oh, well. We should be good for a while.

We got Finn's blood work results back and his doctor said the labs looked good and his hemoglobin was normal. Yay!

We had Thanksgiving with Jim's family yesterday. We aren't able to go to Ortonville on Thursday, so they were able to come to our house for a "little" celebration. It was wonderful but too much food. It was very nice and relaxing (probably because I wasn't cooking the food!!). Jim deep fried one turkey and rotisseried the other. Finn got to try mashed potatoes with gravy (less than a spoonful) and three tiny bites of pumpkin pie. He LOVED the pumpkin pie, wasn't too sure about the potatoes! We veto-ed Grandpa's request to give him Coke :)

Saturday, November 21

Killer Kiki

Wow, try to follow that post! Thank you, Jim. You are a wonderful husband and father.

Things are really good. Becky, Maia, Lily and Juliette came over yesterday for a play date. I think it was their first play date with all of them and it went really well. I had Austin, so he was a perfect host and played/shared very well with Maia (Austin is 3.5 and Maia is 2). The twins even napped while they were here. Hopefully they can come and play again. Austin kept talking about his friend Maia after they left. So cute.

Finn loves his security blanket (Kiki, a small blanket with a stuffed pooh in the middle with a soft rattle in his head). We introduced a security blanket a while back for something to sleep with and give him comfort. I didn't have that as a child and I wanted to see if he would latch on to one item. Well, we weren't really sure how attached he was to it other than the fact that he would grab it and pull it over his face every night. So we brought it with to the pediatrician appt to ask her opinion on the "killer Kiki" as Jim put it. She said it was fine, as it is a breathable material and we pull it away from his face when he check on him. But, the interesting part is when I pulled it out of the diaper bag, Finn went crazy. He reached for it like it was his life boat, grabbed it and rubbed it on his face. I guess he is attached to it and loves it. It made my heart melt. Good thing I was able to find two more on Ebay so we have some back ups for when they need to be washed and if/when (God forbid) we lose one! Thank you Auntie Vicky for the "killer" Kiki. He also has another monkey Kiki from Auntie Kristine that he loves, but that strictly stays in the crib.

Finn learned how to clap and I got it on video yesterday! I'll have to try to post it as soon as I have time. He did it fleetingly for Jim Thursday night, but I missed it. Then he did it all day Friday along with saying, "Dada, dada, dada." He is learning so many things all at once, it is hard to keep up. He also "fake" laughs, which is adorable. And if you mimic him, he will keep doing it. I really hope I can catch that on video some time soon.

One thing of many that we got out of our pediatrician appt was that Finn can go out in public, still not crowds or groups, yet, though. So, we went to Target and Old Navy on Thursday. It is a pain to have to lug a heavy car seat and diaper bad in and out of the car, but it felt so good to be ABLE to run a few errands. I still have to be super careful about germs and people, but as long as I'm careful he is allowed to go out! He was a super good boy, even though he was tired. Next errand, mommy needs a new bra (TMI, I know!). Victoria's Secret, here we come;) Shamefully, I'm still wearing my nursing one.

Oh and our Christmas cards are done! Jessica is going to drop them off some time today. I'm so excited to see them. This is the first time Jim and I have sent out a Christmas card...I hope we don't forget anybody on the list! If we do, please let us know and we'll add you.

Thursday, November 19

A Year in the Life of a Blog

June 16, 2009 and from an airplane is the last time I posted an entry on our blog. However, I thought that this moment required me to return from my hiatus and to pen (or type as the case may be) a new entry for my adoring fans of whom I know there have to be at least a couple thous...alright a handful.

One year ago today my beautiful, intelligent and apparently clairvoyant (based upon what transpired shortly thereafter) wife decided that it was time for the Thomas family to have a blog. That's right, on November 19, 2008 Stacy published our first post which was titled "Your Pregnancy: 18 Weeks". It's a good thing we didn't wait much longer because she was only able to get six more weekly updates in before Finn said you're done with your pregnancy updates lady.

Stacy thought it would be a good idea to start a blog after we began telling people she was pregnant so we could share our journey through the pregnancy and ultimately starting our family. Who would have thought that just a little over a month later it would become such a powerful tool to keep people informed about Finn's impending early birth and later his progress and perhaps even more importantly such a source of support and inspiration as we navigated those trying waters.

Looking back at the older posts as I did today to craft this message is very emotional - the sadness of the uncertainty and fear contrasted with the joy of the love of family, friends and even strangers and eventually the birth of a son, his successful discharge from the hospital and ultimately his ongoing growth as an infant. With all that I'm glad this is electronic and not pen to paper or I might have been at risk of smudging the ink! The wonderful part is that we will be able to remember everything, good and bad, that transpired so much better because of this documentation.

Thank you so much to everyone who follows our story and has supported and been there for us over the course of the last year - I'm not sure anyone will ever truly know how important that has been to us and continues to be (i.e. Diaper Watch 2009 - people obviously still care!).

Stacy, thank you for starting Our So Called Blog and doing such an awesome job at keeping it updated and enjoyable. Lord knows what with all my travel I sometimes need it to know what the heck is going on at home myself! I love you and Finn so very much and am glad that our story will always be here so we will never forget any of it.

Wednesday, November 18

New doctor in the hiz-o!

Finn has a new doctor! We had the new patient visit at Children's Pediatric Clinic yesterday morning and LOVE the doctor we met with. She listened to and addressed all of our concerns (we had a whole list!) and because it was at Children's, she had all of his medical history at her finger tips. Second guessing yourself doesn't help anything, but man, I wish we'd made this switch months ago!

She was happy to note that Finn's chronic lung disease is no longer an issue, as we haven't had any problems with his lungs (other than a little apnea, of course) since we left the hospital and we would have, if it were still present. Yay! She is, however, concerned about Finn's torticollis. I thought we were somewhat past it, but she said it is still very noticeable and at his age, something more significant should probably be done. Not sure what that is, but she has referred us to Children's PT/Rehab/Head Shaping department. I think I will see what his PT at Gillette has to say before switching.

She ordered a blood draw to check his hemoglobin, which we have been asking to have happen for months. This is precautionary just because he had such low levels when he was younger. As you can tell, she is very proactive, which is what we were missing before. Finn was a super stud! He didn't even flinch when they pricked his finger. He kind of looked at the technician like, "is that all you got?" He even gave her a smile afterwards. He is such a flirt.

Oh, AND we were able to schedule his follow up H1N1 shot! His old doctor told me that they probably won't have any left by the time he needs his second one. Really?!?! The doctor and Children's Home Care are also working with our insurance to get Synagis (the RSV shot we've been waiting 8 weeks for)...hopefully administered yet this week! I was so happy, I almost started to cry right there in the room. Seriously, I'm in love with this doctor!

Finn weighed 16 pounds 14 ounces and was 26" long. Both of these are in the 10-25th percentile for his adjusted age. And his weight to height percentile continues to be at the 50th. (I didn't ask what his head circumference was) Good job, big guy!

Daddy got a new XBox.

Uncle John fed Finn baby food for dinner; a first for John. He had never fed a baby before...and Jim didn't take a picture or video :(

Yesterday was mommy's one year anniversary of getting laid off. So she went out for drinks to "celebrate!"

Finn has his last ECFE Incredible Infants class today at 1pm. I'm sad to done with the class, but so glad I was able to find a less crowded one that we could go to. Next spring, we'll be back!

Busy day.

Hiz-o = house for those of you not in the "know." ;)

Tuesday, November 17

Diaper Watch continues

Diaper Watch 2009 continues. I have tried everything. I honestly think I've tried every single suggestion people have so kindly given and Finn is STILL wetting through at night. First, we moved up from size 2 to 2-3 in Pampers Swaddlers. Then to size 3 in Pampers Baby Dry. Then I put the diaper on backwards to see if that would work. Then to Huggies Overnights. Then to Luvs (they say they have a leak shield which I was willing to at least try). Nothing. Poor baby wakes up every single morning soaked, usually from mid chest to his knees. I've contemplated putting two diapers on him, but haven't yet. Seems kind of weird and extreme. I can't really point "it" in any direction, as it pretty much points where it wants to. Argh. I feel like everybody else found a solution, why can't we?

Finn continues to have dry, red, irritated dry patches of skin. They don't seem to bother him, but nothing really bothers him, so how would I know? I recently tried Cetaphil lotion my friend Steph suggested. We are on day three of it, so hopefully it works. I SO wish he hadn't inherited dry skin from me. My "strong" chin, sure, but not my dry skin!

Oh and I FINALLY found Finn's Social Security card! I was so happy, I started dancing (Jim can attest to this). I lost his card months ago and hadn't written the number down anywhere, so we were pretty much stuck. Then I was going through the "to shred" pile in our office and I found Finn's SS card, the title to my car and one of Finn's birth certificates. Naturally. Isn't that where you keep these things? I've since written his number down in my "passwords" spreadsheet so at least I can find the number, if not the card, when needed. Now I just need to find the key to the safe so I can actually put them away. Oh, I wish I were better at getting and staying organized.

Monday, November 16

All I had to do

If I had known that all I had to do to get a new dishwasher was to have Jim do dishes twice in one weekend...I would have done it months ago! Our dishwasher isn't exactly broken, I mean, it does function, but it doesn't function well. We always have to rewash about half of the dishes and the top tray is broken and falls on you when you roll it out. So, Warners' Stellian was having a warehouse sale this weekend and we decided it was worth a gander (thanks, Pete, for watching Finn!). I had in my head to just get a "decent" one, but of course, once we started talking to the salesman, we ended up with the top of the line. But I am so freaking excited, you wouldn't believe it. It will be delivered and installed next Monday...this is going to be the longest week of my life (okay, not really...remember my hospital manditory bedrest stay; that was worse!). I guess I've waited this long, what is another week. I wonder if I can add the dishwasher owners manual to my online reading list...probably not. Oh, well, I still can't wait to read it!

Finn was a little stinker yesterday. Not sure what was wrong; probably his teeth. But he slept for a total of less than two hours all day! I couldn't believe it. Is this what other moms feel like every day? He went to bed early last night and talked for a while after I put him down (I thought he would just crash). Little bugger. Oh, well. He got to watch the Vikings over at Kathy's (Lorry's mom) house and meet Kathy (I can't believe this was their first meeting!). We drove separate and Jim brought Finn home at half time for his (short!) nap. Kathy's is where I could ALWAYS be found every Sunday watching the Vikings. It felt like the good ol' days.

Saturday, November 14

Too much at once

I put Finn in the excer-saucer Thursday night for the first time. He wasn't sure what was going on and about a minute later, got overwhelmed and lost it. Keep in mind the TV was on, I was trying to get his attention for a picture, Austin was next to him making normal kid sounds and the rattle drum on it is VERY loud. I think I'd be overwhelmed, too. But I tried again two or three times yesterday and he still isn't too sure about it, but tolerated it for periods of five to ten minutes at a time. Of course, I was sitting right next to him, but I want him to feel secure in it. I think he isn't too sure about having constant pressure on his feet either. He'll get the hang of it after a couple more times.

Daddy made it home last night and is at the Gopher football game (last home game of the season...yay!). Then we are having the Messicks over for dinner. Jim is making cornish game hen, which I love and haven't had in a long time. Yummy. Good food and good can't ask for more than that.

Friday, November 13

I did what?

Happy Friday the 13th! Jim's out of town so I won't be forced to watch any scary movies. Yay!

Finn had PT with Melissa yesterday. It went really well. We are now scheduled every two weeks instead of weekly and as we were walking in, Melissa said it felt like it had been a long time! She said he is doing really well. While she is no longer concerned about his torticollis, we have to still do some exercises to continue to strengthen his neck muscles. Since up to this point, the purpose of the PT was focused on his torticollis, she decided to do a development assessment of him to see what other areas he may need some help with. She was very happy with the results. He scored in the 25th - 50th percentile for his adjusted age and the 5th for his actual (which coincidentally are the same ranges as his weight!). We will continue working on tummy time, sitting and rolling but now she wants us to start working on having him put weight on his feet/legs. I brought in Austin's excer-saucer from the garage yesterday and cleaned it up. Melissa said it would be good for putting weight on his legs and getting used to standing. So, we'll see how he does! He tolerated it when he tried the twins', but you never know.

I think I gave Finn a rug burn! I noticed a mark on the back of his head when we got to PT. Melissa thought it was just a rash or something. But when I got home, I looked closer and it looks like a rug burn. I put a little neosporin on it because it is supposed to help things heal 7 days faster (or something like that). Hope you can use it on babies... Sometimes if he is too far from me, I will pull him a short distance by his legs to get him closer (like a foot). I think in doing so, I must have given him a little rug burn. If there is anyway to feel more guilty about something, I don't know how. It doesn't seem to bother him, but I feel terrible. I guess from now on I'll move my lazy butt to him instead.

Thursday, November 12

Incredible Infants

We had Finn's Incredible Infant's ECFE class yesterday. We weren't able to go last week because of our visit to Auntie NaeNae's. Here is his class: From left to right: Andrew, Elisa, Benny and Finn (and their moms, of course). Andrew and Benny just turned one and Elisa and Finn are fairly close to the same age (Finn's adjusted age). So the big boys literally run circles around the other two, but everybody has fun. It is nice that it is such a small class so I don't have to worry nearly as much about germs. Next week is our last class. Boo.

Wednesday, November 11

Simple, precious things

Shocker of all shockers...Finn got the H1N1 vaccine yesterday. Finally! His doctor called around 2:30pm and said that they had just received a very limited number of vaccines (the ones approved for babies) and if we could bring Finn in before 8pm yesterday, he would get it. So, I called Jim, I impatiently let Finn wake up from his nap, I brought him in and Jim met us there. I am so relieved to get one thing FINALLY taken care of. Well, he is supposed to get a follow up vaccine in four weeks, but they said they probably won't have any at that point. Argh. This doesn't change our desire to seek out a pediatrician for Finn, but does make me feel a little better about things. We did talk to his doctor about switching, so at least it is out in the open. One down, two to go (Synagis and home health care).

Finn kissed me yesterday! I kiss him pretty much none stop during the day. He loves it and what mom doesn't like to kiss their baby? When I kiss his mouth, he just opens wide and smiles (or laughs occasionally). Yesterday, I was kissing him, but my attention got distracted. He leaned forward and put him open mouth on my cheek and sucked a little! LOVED IT. Oh the simple, precious things babies do. Makes the world right.

We had a play date with our favorite twins yesterday. It was cleaning day, so Becky kindly took us in for the morning. Finn always has so much fun over there; probably because there is so much going on. But he does not sleep well; probably for the same reason. Oh, well. Just makes for a longer nap when we get home. Thanks for having us over, Becky. Next time maybe you can venture over to our house with all three girls?!?! Depends how brave you are (and if you have cabin fever like I do!).

Tuesday, November 10

New pediatrician?

We have an appt with a new pediatrician for next Tues! It is at Children's clinic and Jim was told that all the Drs there have experience with preemies. All of your recommendations for pediatricians is much appreciated. Thank you. It is much appreciated. I figure at this point, maybe Finn will actually get Synagis and H1N1 before next spring. I called the home health company that administers Synagis yesterday and had to leave a message. It has been 7 weeks since the paperwork was sent in by Finn's doctor. It is either unprofessionalism or negligence on both their parts. Ridiculous and shame on them.

We have been eating up this B-E-A-utiful weather! Sixty degrees in November?!?! Austin, Finn and I were even able to go to the park yesterday. I'm guessing it is probably our last trip this year (other than being bundled up and snow covering the ground!). Finn's teacher did say to be sure to take him outside during the winter and the fresh air will do him good. I'll have to remember that. Just the idea of getting us both bundled up and ready seems like a big feat for probably a short stay outside. But considering how much he loves being outside, I'm sure I can make the sacrifice.

Monday, November 9

Quiet weekend

We had a pretty quiet weekend. Mommy and Finn had Saturday all to ourselves. Becky and Austin spent the day at Auntie NaeNae's in Paynesville on Saturday and Daddy went to the Gopher game with Mike. Then on Sunday, we put away all the Halloween decorations and started going through the stuff in the garage with the hopes that eventually we can park a car in there! Felt good to do both of those things.

Memere came to visit Sunday night and watched Finn (we REALLY had to twist her arm!) so Jim and I could go to Target and out to dinner at El Loro. It was nice to get out. At one point at Target, I thought Finn was in the cart...I guess that's a sign that I'm with him ALL the time.

Today, Finn's EI teacher, Deb came to play and see how Finn is doing developmentally. She was sick last week and reschedule for today, which I thought was nice (considering she and Jane the PT will be coming next week as scheduled). She was impressed by how much Finn has changed developmentally in the three weeks since she saw him last. It was good to hear. I'll be curious what PT says this week since this is the first appointment since we started going every two weeks.

Still no news about the home health care, Synergis or H1N1 vaccine. Jim will be making a few calls today about finding a pediatrician for Finn. Not sure if that will help at all, but we feel it is time for a change. We probably should have found a pediatrician for Finn right away (as opposed to a general practitioner). Oh, how easy it is to second guess yourself as a parent. Where is the neon flashing red light that says, "Right decision this way?"

Saturday, November 7

Video star

I just updated a few videos of Finn. Sorry it has been so long, but it is a complicated process and takes a really long time, plus my internet needs to be working consistently and it has been spotty as of late. But I'm glad to share them when I have the time and resources. Here is the latest one of Finn on his 10 month birthday (the others can be found on our video website, link on the left):

Friday, November 6

Ten; can it be?

Finn is TEN months old today. This first year is just flying by. But at the same time, it seems like a life time ago when we were going to the hospital every day to see him, too. He is doing so well; we really couldn't ask for more. He did this for me this morning:And he can hold it for a few seconds all by himself. Then he usually pushes backwards so he can lay down. Lazy boy! But if I hold his arm or legs, he can sit for a while. And he is tolerating tummy time! I never thought we'd see the day. In fact, I looked in on him this morning and he was awake, playing, on his tummy, lifting his head. Hey, I'll take it. Today, he started making this twirling noise with his tongue. He thought it was pretty cool because he kept doing it. I just love all these little things they do. It is funny that something so small can bring so much joy to my heart. I can't even imagine what was important in my life before he was born. Hmmm...

Amanda, Taylor and Gavin came over today and brought Austin and I lunch! So sweet and I know Austin had a ball. He had to take a nap after they left and he told me he wanted to go to their house when he woke up! I love the things kids think up and say. It is nice to have a friend with kids around Austin's age (they keep each other busy). Thanks for the wonderful play date, Amanda! We'll have to schedule another one soon.

We had our last Preemie class yesterday afternoon. I'm sad because it is very nice to talk to other parents who have been through something similar, even though everybody's journey is a little different. They will have the class again in the spring, but due to germ issues in the winter, they don't schedule a class during that time. Along those same lines, I decided not to sign us up for winter ECFE. It is just not worth the risk. Boo...but we'll figure something else fun to do, I'm sure.

Thursday, November 5

Slumber party

We stayed over night at Auntie NaeNae's last night and got back this morning around 11am. It was so nice to spend the day with her, plus my mom came after work and stayed over, too. Finn got more than his fair share of attention, that is for sure. The apartment is really easy to get to and nice and big. Nick, Renae and I played Wii last night; Mario Racing, Price is Right and Carnival Games. Oh, my arm is sore today! It was a lot of fun, though. As long as the weather stays nice, I hope it is the first of many trips for us. Oh and I forgot my camera, so hopefully mom and Nick can email me their pictures.

Finn seems to be getting better. He still has a cough and sounds terrible (and he sticks his little tongue out when he coughs, which is adorable). But his congestion seems to be a little better. Here's hoping...

We are going to Preemie class this afternoon. I checked with the teacher and she said as long as Finn is on medication, he can come. Yeah. This is the last class until spring, so I'm glad we can make it.

Jim continues to be in DC. He flies back late Friday night, which means his flight will be delayed and he will fly back Saturday morning. They are doing construction at the MSP airport so flights get backed up. You'd think they'd be able to plan for that a little bit. Oh, well. I am going to the Wild game tonight with Ryan and Leah (Auntie Becky is watching Finn...thank you!). I think the last game I went to was almost a year ago when I met Leah! Wow, time flies by. Should be fun.

Wednesday, November 4

Momma can you hear me?

We discussed, argued, talked and disagreed about it. But I finally have to agree with Jim. Finn understands and says, "Mama and dada." I thought it was just random sounds for a long time, but Jim has been saying for about two weeks that Finn can say Momma. Then, one night when Finn was sick, he was out of sorting and whining a little. He was on my lap, but facing away from me and kept saying, "Mama, mama, mama." I finally turned him and said, "Finn, Momma's right here." He looked at me, turned away and started saying, "Dada, dada, dada." (Jim was in the other room) It was very purposeful. Yesterday morning, he was talking in his crib and while I was getting his bottle ready, he started to get mad. It completely sounded like he was yelling/crying for me ("Mama, mama, mama"). Crazy. Aside from instances likes these, I came around to Jim's way of thinking because Finn's PT yesterday said it is very normal for a 9 to 10 month old to say these two words (speech is considered a social skill and socially Finn CAN be doing things according his is actual age) and she experienced him saying them and completely agrees with Jim. So, I finally acquiesce and agree, too. Our little pumpkin is growing up so fast (they all do, I know, but I'm just not ready!).

Finn is still sick and slept ALL DAY yesterday (he was often awake, but did not want to get up). I guess he needed it since I think his congestion and coughing has been waking him up during his naps. Sleep heals, so have at it, Finn. I think he is on the mend, though. You know how colds always seem to have to get worse before they get better and he definitely sounds worse ;) Since this will be Finn's first major illness since coming home, if we can get through it without a trip to the ER/hospital, I will be SO happy! Fingers are crossed.

His diaper rash is almost completely gone (yeah!). As long as I get the poop off his skin as soon as possible, it seems to help it to not come back. Stacey also got us some "miracle" cream, and I used it yesterday for the first time (smells good!). Thanks, Stacey! Finn is still wetting through at night. I haven't tried Huggies Overnights (Thanks, Mindy for the suggestion) because I haven't been to the store yet. But they are on my list. Wearing the diaper backwards did not help at all. I haven't tried pointing "it" down yet, as I don't think it would really work...but I should try.

We are going to visit Auntie NaeNae today. Yay! I figured if Finn can handle a 7 hours car ride to and from Chicago, he can handle an hour and a half to Paynesville. Plus she always comes to see us, so I thought it would be nice to go visit her for a change. Can't wait to see the new place!

Tuesday, November 3

Ear infection? Maybe.

Well, Finn's cold continued to worsen and finally yesterday afternoon I felt that I had to call the doctor. Of course, she is out this week (seems like she is ALWAYS out when we need her). But I talked to the triage nurse and she said he needed to be seen and was able to get us in last night at 7:20. Both Jim and I were thinking RSV, but thankfully it was not that (at least at this point anyway). The doctor said his lungs sounded pretty clear, which is good, but his right ear was slightly pink. If Finn's health history and inability to go into the doctor were different, she probably wouldn't have treated him for anything. As it were, she treated him for an ear infection and gave him his second flu shot (yeah...two vaccines down, two to go!). Almost ten months before getting his first ear infection...I wonder how many Jim had by this point?!?! Hope our little boy gets better soon! Although, his voice sounds different and he loves trying to make noises with his hoarse voice. Too funny.

Yesterday, Finn had his Early Intervention appointment. His teacher Deb had a cold, so just his PT Jane came. He was a little tired, but lasted almost a whole hour. She thought he looked good in terms of rolling and showed me some things for sitting. She also showed me a trick to get him to put weight on his legs and help him balance and another trick to get him used to the crawling position. I'm not ready for him to start crawling or standing any time soon, though! Our baby is getting so big.

Speaking of getting big, Finn has gone through a MAJOR growth spur this last month. We weighed him last night at the doctor's office and he weighs 16 pounds 13 ounces! That means in 40 days, he gained TWO AND A HALF pounds (since his 9 month check in September). He has definitely gotten longer, too, as I notice it when I feed him in the rocking chair before bed and his legs stick out a lot more. His 3 month pants are the right length, another sign his little legs must have gotten longer, too. His clothes size is all over the map. He can wear 3 month sweat pants, his 6 month jeans are too tight and his 6-9 month undershirts seem a little small! Aye, aye, aye. He continues to LOVE pulling his socks off, or just trying to, anyway. He doesn't care if he gets them off or not, but when he does, he sucks on the sock. What a silly boy. He loves playing "high five." In reality, he just likes to slap his hand up and down, so we put our hand under his. It is a fun game we play.

We want to get Finn a toy box for Christmas. Any suggestions or ideas? It will be going in our living room, so we'd like something in a wood tone that could double as a bench with plenty of storage (have you seen all of Finn's stuff?). Not sure where to start.

Monday, November 2

Catching up from the weekend

Halloween was a lot of fun. Austin and Finn got dressed up; Austin as Diego (from Dora the Explorer) and Finn as Spock. All of us (Becky, Pete, Mike-Austin's dad, Kristine, Jim, Finn and me) went trick or treating with Austin. I don't think there has ever been such a big entourage for one kid to trick or treat. Finn loved it, as he got to go for a walk in his stroller. It was chilly, but the day turned out pretty darn nice for the end of October. Austin was so brave this year. Last year, he was a little too young to understand what he was doing. This year, he even went up to some of the houses by himself and remembered to say "Trick or Treat" and "Thank you." The funny thing was he couldn't tell which way the door was going to open, so he'd be standing on the wrong side some time. Too cute. He is growing up!

The party was a ton of fun. Finn ended up staying at our house. I was apprehensive, but it ended up being fine. He didn't make one peep all night. We had about the same number of people as last year, but this year people came and went so it never got too crowded. We brought Pete's ping pong table in from the garage (and moved the kitchen table into the living room) so we could play beer pong. SO much fun. I had never played before and lost mightily, but still had a blast. Last year we ran out of beer (though we did not have a keg) and this year we had about half a keg left. We'll have to find a happy medium next year. I didn't go to bed until 4:30am, I think. First, thank goodness I only drank beer all night which helped prevent a hangover the next day. Second, thank goodness for daylight savings and an extra hour of sleep. Third, thank goodness the Vikings played at 3 instead of Noon on Sunday! Katie and Quinn joined us for part of the Vikings game. It is fun to see Quinn with Finn and also to see what Finn will be like in a couple of years.

Sunday, November 1

Halloween recovery

We had a slow day today. I wasn't really hung over, just super tired and lazy. I'll do a more thorough update tomorrow, but here are some Halloween pictures as promised:

Captain Kirk, Crabby Spock and Uhura

Baby Spock

Diego (Austin) and Spock (Finn, duh!)

Spock going "trick or treating"

I'll upload more pictures on our picture website tomorrow. Off to bed for me! I hope you all had a fun Halloween.