Friday, January 29
On Wednesday we had a relaxed day, too. I like having things to do and places to go, but I also like having "do nothing" days, too. Stacey came over to hang out for a while. She looked great and had a lot of good things to say. I love spending time with her. Hopefully it will be regular now that she has a little extra free time during the day (or we can visit her, too!).
I can't remember if I mentioned this before, but Finn loves to SING! He will start doing it on his own and then if we mimic him or sing a tune back to him, he will copy us! It is so cute and I just love it. I sing all the time to him, so I really like hearing him sing back.
The big move day is tomorrow!
Wednesday, January 27
We had Finn's eye doctor appointment yesterday. The report is basically that all is well...for now. They did several tests and he did well on all of them. They didn't dilate his eyes so no update on the progress of his far-sightedness and due to the degree it was last time, he needs to be seen again in 6 months. If we notice him crossing his eyes TWICE during that time, we have to bring him in (so if you see him do it, let us know!). Crossing his eyes is a sign that it is getting worse and he is having a hard time focusing. Worse case scenario, I think, though, is that he will need glasses. We'll cross that bridge when/if we get to it. His far-sightedness could be from prematurity, the ROP and/or genetics (as his mother was also very far-sighted as a child).
Tuesday, January 26
website to join our team. Or if you are unable to join us, please take a few minutes and click on our website to make a donation. A donation of ANY size is greatly appreciated.
With your help, some day all babies will be born full term and healthy. That is my hope, anyway! We have been so blessed and it is because of donations and research from people in previous years. Please help to make other families have the same storybook ending that we have!
Monday, January 25
Then on Sunday we had Mike, Katie and Quinn over to watch THE GAME. Yet again, we were disappointed with a Vikings heartbreaking loss. But with five turn overs, they really didn't deserve to win. I just would LOVE to see my team in the Superbowl for once! Argh. There is always next year ;) Ha, ha. A phrase Vikings fans are very used to uttering!
Daddy switched out Finn's exer-saucer for his jumper. Finn would tolerate the exer-saucer but didn't LOVE it. So we thought we'd try the jumper. He seemed to really like it. It is still a little high for him (his feet BARELY touch the ground on the lowest setting). But there is lots to do and see while in it, so hopefully it will keep Finn occupied for a while. AND he did jump a little in it, something which he has not really don't up until now. Yay!
Saturday, January 23
Major life change: it is with mixed emotions that I announce as of next weekend, we will be roommate-less! Becky and Austin have found an apartment in Maplewood near her school and will be moving on 1/30! After almost two years of living together at our house (and a year together at Kristine's prior), it will be weird...for all of us, I think. On the one hand, it will be nice for each of our individual families to have our own space and lives but on the other hand, it was so nice having them around (and not being alone when Jim travels!). The saddest part for me is that Austin and Finn won't get to see each other every day. Austin is Finn's favorite person in the entire world (auntie probably comes in a close second!). I know they will still see each other, but due to the geographical separation, I will no longer be able to watch Austin during the week, either! Talk about quitting cold turkey! Congratulations, Becky. This is a huge step for you and I/we couldn't be prouder.
Off to swim class in a bit!
Friday, January 22
Finn is STANDING...without assistance! Okay, it is only for seconds at a time and he obviously can't get into the position by himself, but he is doing it consistently, and once he is propped he stays and he doesn't stick his butt way out any more! I can't believe it. Jim is so good at "making" him try new things and figure things out. I try to be, but the nurture takes over and I don't want him to struggle so much (probably residual feelings left over from the NICU days, I can't help it!). I am working with him regularly on crawling though and he is tolerating it much better. Progress, that is all we can ask for!
On a fun note, we are taking Finn to his first Timberwolves game tonight! I'm a little (okay, maybe a lot) apprehensive, but Jim really wanted to and we are pretty much experts on keeping germs away by now (we'll load up on Clorox wipes before we go!). Tip off (is that what you call the start of a basketball game?) is at 7pm, so we will stay as long as Finn tolerates it. Finn and I got 6 tickets when we were at Children's for his NICU follow up appointment (when we met Crunch and some players). We are going with Becky, Austin and Pete so it should be a fun, family night.
Thursday, January 21
As far as how Finn's solid eating is going...it is fabulous. He eats fruits, veggies and whole grain baby cereal (along with formula in a bottle) every day and other than a couple texture issues (which we just corrected with baby cereal), we haven't found any that he doesn't like! He even gobbled up lima beans this weekend! I am amazed at his appetite and palate. He still will not feed himself. He likes the puffs and the crunchies and will eat the biter biscuits when we bite pieces off for him. He will sit there and cry and open his mouth even when there are several snacks on the tray in front of him but will not even attempt to pick them up. Becky suggested the baby toast because it is bigger and might be easier for him to hold/pick up. Target didn't have any, but I will give them a try as soon as I find some. I'm sure in the near future I will be wishing for these non-feeding-self days, but it would be so much easier if he could do it himself.
The other thing that I find weird about Finn's eating habits is that he never stops eating or shows any signs of being full. Is it possible for a baby not to know when they are full? He has never stopped eating when I've fed him...ever. I keep giving him more until I can't imagine he has any room left in his little tummy. A couple times he has eaten so much that he puked a little afterward. I'm sure it is fine, I just wish he could give me some indication when he is full because I feel like I'm depriving him...but seriously kid, enough is enough :)
Wednesday, January 20
Thank you for all the very helpful feedback on yogurt and other breakfast foods yesterday. This parenting thing is so much easier when those of you who have gone through it before offer advice and suggestions! I did a little research as well because I like to know WHY you can or can't do something instead of just taking somebody's word for it. If you know me at all, I'm sure that shocks you ;)
According to several sources and specifically Babycenter, "you can introduce yogurt to most babies as early as 6 months. But if your baby shows signs of an allergy of any kind – hold off until you’ve checked with your baby's doctor. And if you notice that your child shows any signs of milk intolerance, check with his doctor.
If you're wondering why yogurt gets the okay sooner than milk – which you should hold off on introducing until your child is 12 months old – it's because the active bacterial cultures found in yogurt, break down the lactose and make it easier to digest. The process of making yogurt also modifies the milk proteins, making them easier to digest, which is also why cheeses are okay for babies."
Tuesday, January 19
At Finn's doctor appointment, his doctor said we could move up Finn's solid feedings from two a day to three a day. So, I've been thinking of possibly doing something like yogurt in the morning for him. I haven't done any research on this. Do you moms out there have any idea if this is something I can/should do? Finn's adjusted age is 9 months and he hasn't had any problems with any food he has tried. I know he can't have milk, but I think I've heard yogurt (especially the non sweetened kind) is allowed and good for them. Plus, if he eats yogurt regularly, I'm hoping we could stop using the probiotic because the same stuff is in yogurt (and probiotics for kids are EXPENSIVE!).
Monday, January 18
Saturday, January 16
Finn is scooting backwards all the time now! For a while, it was just on a smooth surface, but he was doing it in the office this morning. I think that is a precursor to crawling, so he is on the right track.
We are off to our second swim class this morning. We moved to the 11:30 class because there were almost 20 families in the 11:00 class, which is a LOT. This one should be less full...just hope Finn isn't too tired or hungry.
Friday, January 15
What to expect from your 9 Month Old:
Most babies should be able to . . .
Start crawling no
Sit without support yes, but can't get into or out of sitting position by self
Pass object from one hand to the other yes
Respond to own name yes
Mouth and chew on objects yes
Reach for spoon when being fed yes...so annoying ;)
Turn away when finished eating no, maybe I don't feed him enough...
Say mama and dada to both parents (usually isn’t specific) yes
Stand while holding on to something no
Look for dropped objects yes
Pull up to standing position from sitting no
Clap and bang objects together yes
Combine syllables into word like sounds yes
Separation and stranger anxiety may begin yes, just recently...was hoping to skip this step!
Some babies will probably be able to . . .
Use thumb and finger pincer grasp to pick things up no, but shows signs of starting
Walk holding onto furniture no
Stand alone momentarily no
Wave goodbye yes
Drop object and then looks for them yes, I don't know if he drops with purpose, though
Understand the word no (but usually doesn’t obey it) yes, we use "gentle" and are trying to reserve "no" for emergency/safety things
Begin to identify self in a mirror yes, loves to see himself in mirror
Some babies could possibly be able to . . .
Say mama and dada to the right parents yes, just recently he is doing it consistently
Play patty cake yes, if we are doing it with him
Play ball no
Drink from a cup independently yes
Stand alone well no
Say one word other than mama or dada he talks all the time, not sure how purposeful it is, though
Thursday, January 14
We had Finn's one year well child appointment yesterday. The doctor was/is VERY pleased with him and his progress. She said that an untrained and many trained eyes would not be able to point him out as a preemie (other than being obviously small for his age, obviously!). That made me feel good. He weighed 18 lbs 3 oz and was 26 inches long (they must have measured his height wrong last week). We stopped at visited with our Social Worker from the hospital, which was nice. Finn's primary at the NICU wasn't there (again!), so we couldn't see her. We didn't have time to stop by the ICC. I wanted to do something special like bring in cupcakes for Finn's birthday, but they are really strict about visitors in the NICU and I couldn't get a straight answer on whether or not we would be allowed entrance or not. Oh, well.
After the appointment, the three of us went over to Rosedale so I could get my hair cut! I grew it out for Kristine's wedding and since that was in September, I obviously really needed a cut (and a color, but Renae is going to do that!). She took a lot of the length off, layered it and thinned it. It JUST fits into a pony tail, which is what I wanted. I might go a little shorter next time, but this was good for now! Jim even said he liked it and said, "it isn't THAT short!" Too funny. Afterward we went to dinner at Red Lobster. I think it was our first time going out to dinner as a family (we went for drinks after Kristine's civil ceremony at Champps and Finn and I went to Santorini's for Kristine's birthday). Finn was tired by the end, but did a great job. Thank goodness for graham crackers. Now if he would just feed himself, we'd be all set!
Finn might not be crawling, but he is scooting backwards! I don't think I mentioned that yet. If he is on a smooth surface and on his tummy, he keeps pushing backward until he gets where he wants to go. It is really cute and he is so proud of himself for getting around. EI PT said that he is also trying to get up on his knees (which I think I did mention), but he just doesn't have the strength or will power to hold his upper body up at the same time. It will come.
Tuesday, January 12
Finn cut his first tooth this morning! He now joins the ranks of a chomper kid!If you are looking at him, it is the bottom right tooth. He has been cutting this tooth for a few days. It was different than the "normal" teething we have been experiencing for...oh, I don't know...NINE MONTHS! He had a fever and since he is on an antibiotic for his ear infection, we knew it wasn't due to an infection some where. Plus, he was grinding on his fingers and sucking constantly on his lower lip. One down...how many to go?!?!
Austin, Finn and I met Katie and Quinn at the Como Conservatory this morning. I wasn't sure how much there would be to keep Austin occupied, but he had a blast and was super good. Although, he said he did not like the monkeys (we ventured outside to see the monkey exhibit, which was indoors, but you had to go out to get there). Definitely a place worth going to again. Austin wants to go back when he can see the birds and butterflies. We were disappointed they don't have any on display this time of year.
Monday, January 11
The first picture is Finn all dressed for class. I LOVE the second picture. It was when we were done with class and walking into the locker rooms. Finn is so happy. Then only "problem" was the class had WAY too many people. There was between 15 and 20 families. They opened a class at 11:30, which we signed up for. Hopefully that will have fewer people.
Finn continues to eat the homemade baby food I make for him. He recently tried and loved mangoes (I had a hard time not eating them all myself!) and California blend (broccoli, carrots and cauliflower). It was the first time he tried cauliflower. He liked the blend, so I think that is good. The texture is a lot smoother than straight broccoli.
Jane, the EI PT, stopped by for a visit this morning. She was very impressed with Finn's progress and his NICU follow up assessment. She also pointed out how much he is getting on his knees when he is on his tummy...not his hands, just his knees. He is slowly getting there.
Saturday, January 9
After class we are going over to Kristine's to celebrate January birthdays. We have FOUR in the span on one week. Finn's (1 on 1/6), mine (31 on 1/9), Kristine's (33 on 1/10) and Grace's (10 on 1/14). Crazy. Should be a fun afternoon.
You can tell your priorities change in many different ways when you become a parent. One way I've realized is the fact that you are more excited for your babies first swim class than you are for your own birthday, which happen to fall on the same day!
Friday, January 8
1. no poking people in the eye (he poked Austin in the eye this morning and Austin was quite put out by it, "I'm going to go tell mommy and Pete what Finn did.")
2. no grabbing people's eye glasses (he does this constantly to daddy and it drives daddy nuts)
3. no breaking necklaces (he pulls on mine all the time, but is good about stopping when I say, "gentle" and touch his hand)
4. no pulling hair (unless you like a girl, then it is an acceptable way to let her know...when you are WAY WAY older, like 20!)
That's enough for one day. There was a #5 to the lesson, but I can't remember now. Not sure how much of the lesson sunk in, though, especially when the teacher (mommy) can't even remember all the points ;) There will be a test tomorrow! Better practice, buddy.
I got my first question about Finn's helmet today. We were at Target and the check-out lady asked if he'd had head surgery. I was caught off guard, especially since she didn't mention the helmet as the reason for her asking. He had his hood on, so I forgot that you could even see it. I didn't know what to say. I quickly recovered and just said it is to reshape his head. Weird, but I survived. The helmet, in general, isn't as bad as I was anticipating it would be. I'm just thankful that Finn likes wearing it.
Thursday, January 7
He was a good boy last night. We never know how he is going to be that time of night.
In the first picture, I think I snapped his chin when I put the hat on. Oops! Because he didn't mind having the hat on the rest of the night. The second picture is a close up of the birthday boy! Austin (and Auntie Becca!) got him the birthday balloon. He loved it, especially once he realized he can punch it around.
Auntie Kristine, Alex and Grace came over. We, including Auntie Becca, Pete and Austin, had Finn do cake, ice-cream and presents first just in case Finn got tired and didn't want to do it later.
He really wasn't too sure about the cake. I don't think he liked the texture on his fingers and he gagged on the cake when I put a small piece in his mouth. Now, when Jim gave him frosting, I think Finn found his great love, even though he just got a tiny taste. Too funny. I was hoping for a massive mess, but that didn't happen. I'm sure it will be different in April. He seemed to "get" opening presents more than two weeks ago probably because he got plenty of practice at Christmas.
I forgot to mention yesterday that our poor birthday boy has his second ear infection. I asked the doctor to look when we were at the NICU follow up clinic and sure enough, he had one. It is so hard because the ONLY symptom he had was once or twice a day, he would touch his right ear. I guess I shouldn't doubt myself, but it is so hard to know when you should go in. Anyway, he is on amoxicillin, so hopefully that clears it up.
We had PT today. In hind sight, we probably shouldn't have gone. I realized when I got up that it had snowed, so I planned accordingly. We left a little early, and with two small children, that isn't an easy feat. Well, we saw between 10 and 15 accidents just on our side of 94 and it was glare ice. I was going less than 20 mph at one point and people started breaking and it was impossible to stop. Austin kept asking me questions and finally I had to have a "no talking" rule in the car. Luckily, we made it there in one piece and only a couple minutes late. We talked a lot about the NICU follow up clinic assessment, but of course I forgot the results sheet at home. She keeps reassuring me that Finn is doing amazing and to look at what he IS doing instead of what he ISN'T. I get that, it is just hard when you've been going to PT for 6 months and your baby scores lowest on that one part you are supposed to be helping with. They also adjusted his helmet, so now it fits a little better.
Sorry, kind of a lame post, but in a hurry. Sam and Dillon are coming over for dinner tonight and Sam is going to fix our master bath toilet! Yay!
Wednesday, January 6
We ended up going to the NICU Follow Up Clinic yesterday. I called them back and asked if Jim had to be there and they said no. It was a great visit. Finn was a little tired because he decided he didn't need to nap yesterday (he maybe slept for an hour and a half ALL DAY!). They used the Bayley Scales of Infant Development to measure him on Cognitive, Language and Motor skills. He scored at the 9 month level (50th percentile for his adjusted age) for cognitive (how an infant perceives, thinks, and gains an understanding of the world).
He scored at 11 months and 10 months (84th percentile combined) for receptive and expressive communication, respectively. Receptive communication refers to the way a listener receives & understands a message from a communication partner. Expressive communication refers to how one conveys a message to a communication partner by gesturing, speaking, writing, or signing.
He scored at 8 months and 6 months (8th percentile combined) for fine and gross motor skills, respectively. Fine motor skills are small movements—such as grabbing something with your thumb and forefinger—that use the small muscles of the fingers, toes, wrists, lips, and tongue. Gross motor skills are the bigger movements—such as sitting and walking—that use the large muscles in the arms, legs, torso, and feet.
Overall, they were very pleased with his progress. I was kind of expecting these results. They have told us since the beginning that his social skills (cognition and communication) would be closer to his actual age than his physical. I was a little surprised at how far behind he is physically, but the doctor said it is probably due to his weak muscle tone. It isn't severe, but is very common in preemies as early as Finn was. I asked what we could do to improve, and he said we are doing it by going to PT. The Follow Up Clinic will ask Finn back in about a year. If they were overly concerned, they would ask him back in 6 months instead.
They also took his stats. He weighs 17 lbs 10 oz, which is the 11th percentile for his adjusted age. He was 25 5/8 inches, which is less than the 3rd percentile for his adjusted age. His head was 18" which is the 70th percentile for his adjusted age. So he is short and has a big head. Ha, ha!
Oh and Finn got to meet Crunch, the Timberwolves mascot, and two players yesterday on our way out of the clinic. They were there to see some kids and we were in the elevator with them. I wish I'd had my camera along. Oh, well.
Happy Birthday, buddy. You bring so much joy and laughter into our lives. I never knew how much fun having a child would be until you came along. You are a fighter and have defied all the odds to be a healthy, happy little man. I hope you continue to grow and develop and teach us how to be the best parents we can be. We love you more than anything. In hind sight even with the unexpected hardships, I wouldn't change anything from this past year (well, okay, maybe the whole breast feeding thing!). Thank you for being such a wonderful little boy.
Tuesday, January 5
In case you've been wondering why you haven't heard of a party or haven't been invited to one, we decided that we are going to celebrate Finn's birthday in April for his adjusted one year instead of now. It is the peak of flu and RSV season right now and it just isn't worth the risk (plus he is still getting over his cold). We are having a small cake tomorrow and I got him a little party hat (the one seen in his one year pics). If we run out today, I might stop and get a couple more decorations just to make it festive. It was a hard decision, but it is the right decision.
I can't believe what I bought yesterday for my little man...SIZE FIVE DIAPERS! Yes, they are for 27 pounds plus and he is less than 20 pounds. He has been consistently either wetting through his diapers at night again or his diapers have been exploding! Have you seen the little gel particles in a diaper when it comes apart? You don't want to. They are impossible to clean up. He is currently using size 4 Pampers Extra Protection night time diapers. I'm hoping size 5 will absorb a little more. I was hoping this was behind us because it is very frustrating. On the bright side, I think it bothers me more than him, as he doesn't seem to mind too much if he is wet or not!
Monday, January 4
We put Christmas away last night (except the garland on the banister...oops!). I guess it is true; kids love the boxes the most!I love this picture. It is really important to me to have Christmas stuff put away before Finn's birthday. Jim thinks I am over reacting because Finn is one and wouldn't know anyway, but I don't care. Now we have to find homes for all of our presents and reorganize the living room. I'm glad we got a toy box for Finn for Christmas. It will come in handy with all the stuff he got! He went from having two O-balls, a rattle and a move-and-crawl ball before Christmas to a room full of toys and books now! Too funny.
Today Finn's EI teacher came by. She was very impressed with his improvement with sitting and communicating. She thinks it is curious that he isn't putting food (or toys for that matter) in his mouth so we'll see what his doctor says on Wednesday. I'm sure it is nothing, but doesn't hurt to ask! She also suggested going to the Como Conservatory for a great winter day activity and I think it is a great idea. Anybody want to come along? We will probably go one day that I have Austin, so a Tuesday or Thursday, but not this week for sure! We have a crazy week ahead of us.
Monday: EI appt, ordering Finn's b-day cake and closing on our mortgage refinance
Yikes! I'm tired just from writing it. It brings me back to the days when Finn first came home from the hospital and we had tons of appts to go to. Anyway, we hope the new year is treating you well so far!
Saturday, January 2
Also, I promised a picture of Finn's helmet after Jim doctored it up. Here you go (I'm sure you're shocked at his choice of stickers!):
Friday, January 1
The Gophers played in the Insight Bowl yesterday. It was on the NFL network, so we had to go out to watch it because we don't get that channel. We were prepared to take Finn with us, but Auntie Becky volunteered to let him stay home with her instead, which made it much easier. Plus, do you know how freezing it was last night?!?! Yuck. Anyway, we watched the pathetic Gopher performance at Park Tavern with Mike, Katie, Sondra and Beth. Boo, Gophers. They lost to freaking Iowa State (sorry, Amanda, but the Gophers really should have won).
We headed home and hung out with Becky, Pete and Austin the rest of the night. I took the best video ever of Austin when we got home. I'll have to upload it soon. Austin got to stay up as long as he was listening and obeying. He was probably the best behaved I have ever seen him...and he even made it all the way to midnight. I don't think he stopped moving once after we got home...was probably scared he would crash! We woke Finn up right before midnight so all six of us brought in the new year together with a champagne toast (sparkling grape juice for Austin and watered-down apple juice for Finn). It was a very nice way to ring in the new year. Thank you to all of you who helped us get through 2009. It was far more challenging but also so much more rewarding than we thought it would be. Here's to seeing what 2010 has in store for us!