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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.

Sunday, February 28

Better watch your fingers

Finn got tooth #3 yesterday (top right if you are looking at him). It has been near the surface for a really long time...longer than #2 was, I think. I felt it yesterday and could actually feel the little sharp tooth! He is getting to be such a big boy. Now you have to be really careful when feeding him treats...or your fingers will be shark bait!

NeNe and Uncle Les graciously watched Finn last night so Jim and I could go to a friend's birthday party. We are so lucky to have such wonderful family that is so willing to watch Finn. He had a blast, I'm sure, chasing puppies and rolling all over the house. DeAnn said he even got up on his knees once and she thought he was going to crawl! Of course he would do that when we aren't there, right? Ha, ha.

Jim left this morning for California. It is going to be a long week. He gets back on Friday and may have to go back the following week. We were planning on going to both of parent's this weekend, but may have to postpone if Jim is going to be traveling back to back. We'll have to wait and see. Boo.

Finn's Birthday Wish List

Finn's Birthday Wish List:

Umbrella stroller (with hood/cover)
Baby gate for stairs
Wooden table/chairs set
wooden Xylophone
developmental/learning toys for 1-2 year old
small jungle gym (for climing and sliding)
plastic picnic table
work bench with hammer
footed sleepers size 12 month or 18 month
Robeez size 12-18 month
Duplo blocks
size 4 diapers
huggies wipes
Size 12 month or bigger clothes (he is ALMOST ready to switch into 12 month)
A donation to March of Dimes (or our walk) in Finn's name

Honestly, he has a ton of stuff already, so do not feel you need to get him much, or anything for that matter. Money for his savings account is always appreciate, too (but I know that isn't "fun" to give!).

Saturday, February 27

Big comfy couch

So much for a quiet Friday! Okay, during the day, it was quiet and relaxing. When Jim got home, I mentioned that Hom Furniture was having a 29% off sale on everything in the store, but it was just for Friday. If you have been to our house in the last year or so and sat on our couch, you will know and understand why we NEED a new couch. You pretty much sink to the floor on the one side of the couch. So, we packed Finn up, even though he really needed a nap, and headed over to Hom Furniture.

I had put some thought into what shape of couch would fit best in the room, but we weren't sure exactly what we wanted and we certainly hadn't looked at anything yet. We found three options that we really liked. Based on features, functionality and style, we narrowed it down to one that worked for us and the space. Jim gave up a recliner (they didn't have it in the one we liked best) and I gave in on the fabric, but we got the chaise we've been wanting forever. Yay for snuggling together while watching movies!

Finn lost it around 6:30 since he'd only had ONE nap all day and was hungry for dinner (apparently apple juice and crackers don't constitute dinner...hmmm). Not sure why I didn't bring a bottle and food along. Bad mommy. I had measured the room for the dimensions before we left, but not where the current furniture sits in the room, so we headed home to measure that, give Finn dinner and put him to bed. Jim headed back and now we have a new couch for our living room!
This is the only picture I could find online. The layout is backwards (the chaise is on the other end) and we have a little different seating layout. You can custom order it to fit exactly what you need, which is what we had to do given our long, narrow room. I don't love the fabric, but it only came in one fabric option but in three colors (this, dark brown and green). I think it is going to be really big, but my #1 concern was to have enough seating around the TV...I don't think that will be a problem any more! It is supposed to be delievered on Tuesday (when Jim is gone...of course!). We will move our current living room furniture into the basement (a broken couch is better than none down there, right?) and then we can set up the bedroom downstairs as a guest room with the futon. Yay! Things are coming together. Thank God for 0% financing and tax refunds :)

Friday, February 26

Selfish indulgence

A few weeks ago, Jess asked me which photo of Finn and me from all the photo sessions was my favorite. So, I forced myself (it was REALLY hard to do I'm sure!) to look through all of Finn's wonderful photos again and ended up finding one of the two of us from each session that I just loved. I thought I'd share them with you. Plus, it is fun to see the progression in our relationship - from him needing me for everything to him just needing a kiss!

It is probably obvious, but from left to right; 3 months, 6 months, 9 months, 1 year. We still haven't decided when we will do our next photo session. If Finn had been full term, we would do 18 months, but I'd like pictures of when he LOOKS like he is one...you know that wobbly "I can barely stand by myself" kind of picture. I'm thinking by the time he is 18 months, we won't be able to keep up with him!

Finn and I actually have a quiet day "planned" for today, which means nothing is planned! Doesn't happen too often. Kind of nice, though. I'm hoping to get outside and work on the ice on the sidewalk. We have one spot where the melting water doesn't have anywhere to go, so it just melts and freezes into an icy lake...makes it hard to walk to the car while carrying a baby in a car seat!

Jim is gone from Sunday to Friday next week. If anybody wants to do something (with Finn and me obviously) any of the week nights, let me know!

Oh and can I just say, the McDonald's Filet 'O Fish commercial is back and you either love it or hate it. I LOVE it AND the actual Filet 'O Fish sandwiches! I just had one for lunch today. "Give me back that Filet-O-Fish. Give me that fish." So catchy. I think it borders on the edge of complete annoyance, but doesn't quite cross it. You gotta love marketing people!

Thursday, February 25

Too much fun

Is there such a thing as having too much fun? I don't think so. Finn and I have been busy and having lots of fun. Yesterday, Austin came over and the three of us went over to the twins' house to play and have dinner. I picked up Thai on the way over...yummy! Lorry and Emma met us there, so the kids had a blast. Austin didn't know what to do with two of his friends at one place. "Auntie, I'm going to freak out," Austin said on the way over. Too cute.

Finn had troubles sleeping last night. Nothing major, but he kept waking up and just crying like he was in pain. Not sure what was going on...maybe teeth? Maybe ears? He seems better today, but I've kept him on a low dose of Motrin just to make sure.

Then today, Finn and I met Holly, my friend from high school, and her son Odin in St. Cloud for lunch! It was way over due and we had such a nice time. Odin is one month "younger" than Finn's actual age. He is walking and eating like a big boy. Oh and did I mention, way too cute? (this picture was taken at Target during our bathroom break!) The day went way too fast and it was time to go before we knew it. Hopefully we can do it again soon! I'd like Finn to have some "guy" friends, even if we have to drive to St. Cloud to see them ;)

Wednesday, February 24

Mary Mary

I forgot to mention yesterday that we FINALLY got to visit with Finn's primary NICU nurse Mary! We have tried several times to see her when we've been there, but she told us that she switched to Friday, Saturday and Sundays...which explains why she was never there when we were. She just happened to be working yesterday. She loved seeing Finn and had a million questions about his progress and how he is doing. Finn was tired and hungry and just wanted to eat some crackers. Oh, well. I wish I'd brought the camera! I kind of was hoping to see the new NICU, too. Maybe we'll have to schedule a visit/tour or something (who knows, maybe we won't need it a second time!). Hopefully we'll get to visit with nurse Lisa when she is in town and we'll have both primaries covered! Next time we are at Children's maybe we can try to see Finn's ICC nurses. It is so weird to think a year has gone by.

I've also slowly been transitioning Finn out of needing his evening nap. That being said, he needed one last night. It gets difficult when it is so close to bed, but it is too early for him to sleep through the night (or he doesn't nap and is a BEAR!). So, I'm trying to keep him up a little later for his morning nap (11-ish instead of 10-ish) so I can lay him down later in the afternoon. If he wakes up from his afternoon nap around 4:30, we are usually fine without another cat nap. It isn't anything I'm really actively doing, just trying to make a mental note of it. Plus, I think he is old enough not to NEED a third nap, so I feel that it is probably time. Our baby is growing up.

Tuesday, February 23

The good and not good news

We had Finn's follow up audiology appointment today. The good news is that it looks like his ear infection has cleared up. The not so good news (please notice I did not say "bad") is that he has mild hearing loss. But let me explain...

The three of us went to Children's today for Finn's audiology appointment. This was a follow up to his appointment in June. I mentioned to the audiologist my concerns that Finn may still have an ear infection in case it affected his results. She first tested his ear drum vibration and found moderate fluid in his right ear and full fluid in his left. Then we went in a special room and she tested his hearing. She would play a noise or say something on a speaker to either his left or right side. If he looked in that direction, she would light up a toy that moved (to motivate him to keep looking). This is the test that determined Finn has mild hearing loss. BUT she said it very well could be due to the fluid in his ears and not necessarily permanent loss.

SO, she is sending us to an ENT specialist to make sure Finn's ears heal properly. And she sent us over to the clinic to check whether he has an infection, too. We headed over there and were able to get in (not sure how, but I'm very thankful!). The nurse practitioner said that the infection was gone, but yes, he has fluid in both ears. We have a follow up appointment next week with Finn's regular doctor (she is out of the office this week...of course, right?), so we will be able to ask more questions and get a better exam. In the meantime, I am going to make the appointment with the ENT. The audiologist thought they were scheduling about two weeks out, so the timing should work out well. After Finn's ears heal and the fluid is gone, we will have another audiology appointment to see how he tests with healthy ears. So, we'll see (or hear as the case may be!).

Monday, February 22

#2

Okay, it isn't what you're thinking. I'm not talking about poop for once. I'm referring to the fact that Finn FINALLY got tooth #2 yesterday! It is on the bottom next to his other one. He has been working on that tooth forever and it finally popped through. He is still really sucking on his fingers and biting things, so either that tooth is still causing him discomfort for those top ones are coming in, too. We'll have to wait and see. For now, bring on the Orajel!

Saturday was great. Finn loved swim class and he was so comfortable in the water, he would put his legs in the air and grab his feet while floating on his back! After swimming, we dropped Finn off at Becky's where Mom was watching Austin and headed to When in Rome, a romantic comedy. It was a little weird, but overall a good, cute movie. More importantly, it just felt good to go out and do something "normal." After the movie, we headed home and then to dinner at El Loro for Nick's birthday (two "normal" things in one day?!?!). Yumm-o! We brought Finn with us and he was really good. He loves all the sounds and people and lights to look at. Then we came home, had cake (homemade chocolate cake with chocolate buttercream frosting and chocolate ice-cream...Nick likes chocolate!), hung out and played The Game of Things. OMG, so much fun. You HAVE to get this game! It is for 4 or more players and we were crying we were laughing so hard.

And, I finally bought a dressy winter coat. I've been wanting/needing one for maybe three years and just haven't done anything about it. Probably because I hate shopping and when you buy a coat, you need somebody else's opinion and I don't have a shopping partner too often (and Finn doesn't really express his opinion about coats very well!). But after the movie and before we picked Finn up, we stopped at Macy's (Becky lives about three blocks from Maplewood Mall). I found one I liked, but wanted a bigger size (I have strangely long arms and broad shoulders!). We reserved the correct size at Ridgedale and headed over there on Sunday to pick it up. It is a wool blend, knee length and cream! It is funny because I swore I wanted a chargoal gray one, but this one was so pretty and flattering...and I got the deal of the century! Now maybe Jim and I should go somewhere so I can wear it.

Saturday, February 20

Busy bees

We have a busy day today. We are going to swim class this morning. I'm sure Finn will be excited since he was just there. It will be nice to be in our regular class because there are only three other kids in it (much smaller than on Thursday night). Grace has a basketball tournament this morning which we have to miss. Boo. That is the hard part about swimming class on Saturdays...we are busy EVERY Saturday morning.

After swimming my mom offered to watch Finn for us (she is at Becky's watching Austin) so we could go to a movie! I'm really excited. Jim and I haven't been to a movie in...well...I don't know how long. We are going to head over there right after swimming and hopefully catch a 2pm movie. I don't even care that it is a matinee.

After the movie we'll pick Finn up, head home, I have to frost a cake and then get ready for dinner. We are going to El Loro for Nick's (Renae's boyfriend) birthday dinner. Yum, can't wait for that either (and to see them of course!). Then after that everybody is coming over to our house to hang out and have a fun evening.

Whew, I'm tired just writing all that! We don't have plans for tomorrow, so hopefully it will be relaxed.

Oh and Finn put something in his mouth! He never puts anything in his mouth except his fingers and very rarely a toy (like his rattle or something). So, I let him play with things that you normally wouldn't let a baby play with (like cardboard, paper and plastic...if I'm watching him closely). Well, those days are numbers or over (not sure which yet). I looked over yesterday and he was sucking on my return address labels! I tried to get a picture, but he dropped it before I could snap it. He looked at me (with the labels in his mouth) like, "What?"

Friday, February 19

Show me the money

I just got Finn's bill for last month's Synagis (his RSV prevention medication). The MONTHLY charge for Finn's dose of this medication is...$3,308.46! Yet another reason I am so glad we have insurance and that it covers this medication 100%. You have to show you are at "high risk" for RSV for your insurance to cover it and I guess I can't really blame them. If you'll remember, we had a huge fiasco last spring when Finn came home because the discharge nurse "forgot" to order the Synagis and when we realized it a few days later, it was April and insurance companies only cover them through March! Which is why we couldn't just do it anyway and pay for it out of pocket. Crazy.

Jim, Finn and I went to swim class last night. Since the pool was closed on Saturday, we were allowed to go to a make-up class. It was a different teacher and she loved Finn and was very impressed with his comfort level in the water. We worked on blowing bubbles, which he can't really do, but did put his mouth in the water to try (although he really just wanted to "get" the bubbles we were blowing!). We also worked on going under...and Finn does really well! He sputters and sometimes coughs a bit, but doesn't cry. His teacher liked that, too. The class was at 6:30pm, which is pretty late for Finn. He pretty much drank a bottle and conked out when we got home.

Thursday, February 18

Run baby run

Finn's Synagis was delivered on Tuesday and he got his shots. Poor guy. Big crocodile tears...for about 20 seconds! He recovers pretty quickly. I gave him Mortin but he probably didn't even need it. One more Synagis dose and he's done for this season! Yay.

Tuesday night, mommy got to get out of the house! I went to Kelsie's Pampered Chef party - I love their stuff. The cake stand that I really wanted doesn't come out until the March catalog, so...I was convinced to have my own party (in March!). The date is yet-to-be-determined, but probably the end of the month. So, if you'd like to be invited or want more information about ordering some stuff, let me know! I'll be sending invitations out once the date is set.

We got to see Austin two nights in a row! As always, Finn was super excited to see him. Jim watched both boys on Tuesday night because I was at the Pampered Chef party and Becky had a cleaning appointment. Then I have Austin every Wednesday afternoon until Becky is done cleaning either Kristine's house or mine! We switch every other Wednesday. I really miss having him during the week! He has so much darn energy.

We just got back from Finn's PT. He did really well this week, probably making up for last time when we had to quit during the appointment. We are working on developing his leg and butt muscles to support pulling himself up to standing and also getting him on his hands and knees and working on rocking. He is improving, which is great to see. One thing new we did this week was put Finn on the tread mill! Therapists use tread mill therapy to work with spinal injury patients to get their involuntary reflexes to move their legs forward. New research is suggesting it works with developmentally delayed infants, too! So Katie wanted to try it. Finn didn't really "get" it and we did it at the end so he was pretty tired. But it was good to see and Katie wants to keep trying it a little bit at each session. Hey, I'm all for it! I should video tape it, though, because it is so funny to see a little baby on a tread mill!

And I decided to give up chocolate for lent. I contemplated alcohol, but thought that chocolate is a more "every day" kind of thing where alcohol is less often (plus, I wanted to be able to do it and I probably couldn't do alcohol...I'm terrible, I know). I'm not a chocolate freak, but I love sweets and a lot of my favs have chocolate IN them. Example, I don't like Hershey kisses, but I love Snickers. I already "cheated" this morning, though! I wasn't thinking about it and grabbed a breakfast bar. I'd better put them away until after lent!

Tuesday, February 16

Shiny and new

Mommy got a "new" car yesterday! We've been looking for a car for about 2 months now and we finally found one that I LOVE and it fit into our price range and budget! First, I HATE car shopping, as you know since I've mentioned that a few times already! Second, bringing a baby along to a car dealer makes it a little more difficult, especially when it takes THREE HOURS to buy a darn car! I do have to say, Finn was really good until the very end when all he wanted to do was sleep but it was too bright, too loud and too much activity.

I/we got a 2007 Chrysler Pacifica Touring (this isn't my exact car, but it is the same):This is the first used car I've bought but it doesn't even feel "used." It is metallic green, but looks very silvery (not a word, but I don't care). I'm just glad it isn't silver. It is all wheel drive (yay!), leather heated seats, third row seating, second row captain chairs, power everything and just under 25,000 miles. My car was at 36,000 miles, so I for sure wanted something lower than that. The only thing it doesn't have is a remote start, so I'll see what I can do to get that! Ha, ha. Honestly, it has far more bells and whistles than I was looking for or needed, but like I said, it fit into our budget so why not get the one you love, right? It was the only car I test drove yesterday. Don't worry, I've probably test drove 15 other ones in the course of our search. I will miss the Galant. I loved that car and it was the first car I got because I loved it and not just because I could afford it, but it just wasn't right for our needs any more. I hope they find somebody to love it and treat it well.

I'm sure Finn and I need to run some "errands" today! His Synagis is supposed to be delivered today by 10:30am...yes it is already after that time. Argh. I hope they didn't forget to send it again. I'm supposed to call his home health nurse when it arrives and she is hopefully going to be able to squeeze us in around her other scheduled appointments today. Only two more doses and then RSV season will be over! Yay! As we near Finn's adjusted one year date, I'm starting to breathe just a little easier; or at least THINKING about breathing a little easier!

Monday, February 15

What can he do?

Finn is 10 months old (adjusted) today! Time really does fly by and it is so fun to see what Finn is able to each month and look forward to what he'll be doing next month. Again, I've put the list on what a typical 10 month old can do and commented on where Finn falls.

What to expect from a 10 Month Old:

Most babies should be able to . . .

Stand holding on to someone or something yes, a little bit
Walk holding onto furniture no
Pull up to standing position from sitting no, not even close
Wave goodbye yes, when prompted
Crawl well not at all
Use thumb and finger pincer grasp to pick things up yes

Some babies will probably be able to . . .
Say mama and dada to the right parents yes
Understand the word no but doesn’t always obey it yes and obeys often (so far anyway!)
Respond to own name yes
Indicate what he or she wants with gestures other than crying somewhat
Stand alone momentarily no

Some babies could possibly be able to . . .
Drink from a cup independently sippy cup, yes
Stand alone well no
Play ball and patty cake is learning, but loves both!
Walk for a step or two no
Say one word other than mama or dada hard to tell, but I believe so
Put toys or object into a container yes

Sunday, February 14

He's baaaack

Daddy got home last night a little before 8pm. Considering Finn didn't think he needed his usually evening snooze, I was not optimistic about being able to keep him up until daddy got home, but I did! Still not sure how. They got to play together for a few minutes and then off to bed. Finn started clapping his hands and was super excited when he saw Jim. So cute. I should have video taped it, but I didn't know it would be that cute.

Swim class was canceled yesterday! Apparently somebody puked in the pool. Gross! I'm just glad it didn't happen while we were IN the pool. Hopefully we can make the class up some time this week.

Today has been pretty low key, which is nice. Jim made me chocolate covered strawberries, one of my favorites, which is funny seeing how I don't really love strawberries or chocolate! I don't know, something about them together! Now if only we'd thought ahead and got some champagne to go with them. Can you believe we don't have champagne in our house on Valentine's Day?!?! We are slackers for sure. We decided no presents because there are so many things we NEED to spend our money on instead of cute sentimental things that we don't need. Jim is making walleye, crab legs, shrimp cocktail, cheesy potatoes and bread with compound butter for dinner (Yumm-O!). I made one of his favorites for dessert - Boston Cream Pie (ala Gram). Things were going well until I went to add the vanilla to the custard and it was empty! Who puts an empty vanilla bottle in the cupboard?!?! I was mad, but Jim said the custard still tasted good (he is probably lying, but I appreciate the lie nonetheless!). Happy Valentine's Day! I hope you are with the one(s) you love.

Jim set up real live internet today! No more stealing from our neighbors and getting spotty coverage. I didn't think it was necessary, but I do have to admit, it is nice!

Saturday, February 13

Where's daddy?

Well, after his flight being canceled, re-booking and THAT flight being canceled (after 2.5 hours on the tarmac!), Jim did NOT make it home last night. Boo! You know, you have to shut down the airport when they suggest the possibility of snow. The frustrating thing is he wasn't even supposed to be the one to go on this trip, but a coworker got stuck in the snow storm on the east coast earlier in the week and couldn't get out. Well, now Jim is stuck in SC and can't get home! Well, that isn't true. He is supposed to get back around 6pm tonight (not holding my breath!). Argh. I hate when Saturdays feel like any other day. Maybe Finn and I will drive around and drop off Valentine's for all of Finn's girlfriends! He's such a stud. We have swimming in two hours...my first time alone with Finn. I'm not concerned about the time in the water, but the extra help getting him ready before and after will be missed.

Finn is supposed to be sleeping for his pre-swim nap, but instead the little bugger is talking to his toys. I guess that's what we get for having toys in his crib, right? Hopefully he will at least get a little snooze before we have to leave!

Friday, February 12

Daddy on 'puter?

The web cam with Finn last night went well (we tried Skype upon Becky A's suggestion). I still don't know if he "got" it or not, but even though it was bed time and he was tired, he was entertained for at least 20 minutes and kept looking at the screen on the 'puter. It will be nice that Finn can "see" daddy when he is gone because I think he really does know he is gone and misses him. This morning we walked into my bedroom and he just stared at the bed and couldn't figure out why it was empty. Daddy is usually in it in the mornings and Finn usually gets a little snuggle!

Yesterday was a FUN day! We went over to Arks during the day. I seriously think they are super-twins or something. They are crawling all over, pulling themselves up and Lily let go of my hand for a second or two and was standing by herself! Hopefully Finn took it all in and learned a few tricks.

In the left pic, yes, Juliette is sucking on Finn's helmet. In the right pic, Juliette has Finn pinned. I guess we know who is boss. They played "together" really well and Finn just let them "walk" all over him...which I think is hilarious. If he doesn't like it, he needs to learn to express himself, right? These are skills he'd learn in daycare, so I like having him around other kids like this. It is so great to see all three developing and growing considering the long road they've had so far. I think Maia was excited to have visitors, too, even if Austin didn't come with us (I wasn't sure she'd let us in the door without him!).

Then in the evening, Lorry and Emma came over for a visit and dinner. We hadn't seen then in a while, so it was great to catch up. I think Finn was a little tuckered out from all his playing earlier in the day because he was a little crabby. Oh, well...that is how it goes with babies, right?

Daddy comes home today...well, actually late tonight. And the Olympics start tonight! I LOVE the Olympics. Oh, and the infamous car seat shipped yesterday so it should be here soon. Can't wait to check it out.

Thursday, February 11

Car seat madness

Stop the madness! First of all, thank you for everyone's wonderful feedback regarding car seats! I knew we had supportive friends and family, but that just proved it! Pretty much for the last two days, I've been in "car seat world." And finally last night, with my husband urging me on from the phone, I bought one! Yay. First, the long road to get to that point. Warning: to avoid boredom, skip to last paragraph ;)

Once I started getting feedback from people, a lot were saying the Britax Marathon. I had never heard of this brand before two days ago, but since so many people were mentioning it, I started looking around. I found a great deal on one online and just kept it up in a window. I looked into the other suggestions from people but kept going back to the Marathon. It is rated as one of the safest and is a really good quality car seat. A friend of a friend is a car seat expert and I was able to get a lot of information from her (thanks, Rebecca!). Her most helpful advice was to stay away from the 3-in-1 models, which a lot of car seats are! We'll just buy a booster when Finn is big enough (I won't stress as much about a booster purchase, I promise!). Then a few people suggested the Britax Boulevard, which - from what I could tell - is one step up from the Marathon. So, I started doing research on that model. The difference that I could tell is the Boulevard is side-impact tested, has better head rests and is slightly lighter, which will come in handy if switching between cars. And I found a good deal online. When I buy something online, I always do a search for coupons and I was able to get the Boulevard for $2 cheaper than the Marathon!

I got it at Baby Car Seats. And here it is:I know it is silly to get so excited about a car seat, but I can't help it. It IS a fairly big purchase afterall. It will arrive within two weeks (we won't need it for at least a month or two, though). I really went back and forth because we could have bought two car seats for the price of this one. But I KNOW it is super safe and should (God forbid!) something happen, Finn is as safe as he can be and I won't have to question myself (which we all know I probably will anyway, but you get my point!). So we decided to get just one for now and see how it goes. If we feel that our lives would be easier with two, we will cross that bridge when we get to it. Plus, this will let us try out the Boulevard and see how much we like it before committing to another. We'd probably have to go with a smaller model for Jim's car anyway since he has a smaller backseat...speaking of, I hope this one fits in his car! I guess that would make the decision to get another one easy.

Enough about car seats, I promise (I did warn you, though)! Becky and Austin stopped by last night for a visit and dinner (I made Thai peanut chicken...yum!). Finn, of course, couldn't have been happier to have his two favs over. Later in the evening Jim and I set up our web cam. He is hoping to be able to talk to Finn and me tonight on the computer. It seemed to work okay, but it wasn't very high res (I thought it was okay, but of course Jim needs it bigger and better...boys!!). He is going to see if he can find a better program to view through. Not sure how Finn will react or if he will "get" that it is daddy on the computer. Should be fun!

Wednesday, February 10

Uh oh, organic

I got some Stoneyfield plain whole milk yogurt today at Target and gave Finn some before his nap. He liked it. He didn't love it like he loved the flavored stuff, but he ate two big scoops, so that is something. It smelled really good when I opened it. You have to understand, I am not a fan of yogurt, as my mom can attest to. I just never really ate it growing up and never developed a taste for it. As an adult, I will eat it occasionally but only because I know it is so good for you. I'm glad Finn likes it. Oh, the stuff I got is organic. Shhhh, don't tell Jim! It was actually cheaper than the Old Home brand and the Old Home didn't specifically say "whole milk" and this did. So there.

Update on Finn. He is doing so much better. This is day 8 of the new antibiotic and he still pulls at his right ear on and off. Hopefully it is healing. We have a follow up with his doctor on March 2 to make sure it is healed this time. A slight runny nose is still there intermittently and man, does he hate it when I wipe his nose. I think he hates that more than when I suction it with the sucker! Both the dirrhea and diaper rash seem to have gone away! YAY! I don't know if that means it wasn't the antibiotic causing it or if his body adjusted to it. Regardless, both Finn and I are very happy about that!

Jim had to leave for an emergency work trip to South Carolina yesterday afternoon. He called me at 2pm on him way home to pick up some things and he was out the door and on his way to the airport before 3:30pm! He will be gone until Friday. Last night was the first time I've been alone in the house over night since Becky moved out. Kind of weird. I'm really good at freaking myself out, but luckily I was really tired and slept really well. I hate to say it, but I sleep so much better when there isn't a log being sawed next to me. Weird, huh?!?! But I do miss having the hubby next to me, though.

Tuesday, February 9

Car seat SOS!

A call for help and input! We are at the point where we know we need to switch Finn over from his infant car seat to a child car seat in the near future. We will still face it backward but we feel it is time for a "big boy" car seat. That being said, I honestly know nothing about car seats and what to look for! We've looked casually when we've been at Babies-R-Us and Target but there is such a large range in price. You could spend $60 or $350! If it is a matter of quality and safety, I would obviously go for the more expensive, but aren't they all regulated and have to be safe? What features and details should we look for? What things don't matter? It is very overwhelming, I just don't know where to start and it is very important to us because it is a matter of Finn's safety. For other baby items, I would just look at reviews and ratings and go with that based on what price point I wanted to pay. I feel I need a little more guidance with this. If you've recently bought a car seat or have any thoughts, suggestions or advice, please share it with us!

Finn loves to look outside and watch two things the most: 1. the snow falling and 2. cars driving by! Don't pets usually do that? At least he doesn't lay in the sunshine...yet! Ha, ha. He just loves it. The guy across the street was shoveling today, so there was even more activity to see (minus the huge aloe plant in his way!). This is the first time I put him in his Bumbo chair so he could see, but he is constantly trying to look out the window when he is eating. I just turned it to face the window when he was done and while I was cleaning up and doing dishes. Worked great.

Monday, February 8

Good for the tummy

Finn LOVES yogurt. Jim gave him some for the first time on Saturday and now it seems like Finn doesn't want to eat anything else! I got him the peach baby Gerber yogurt and he gobbles it down. I haven't given him prune juice or probiotics since he got dirrhea, so I feel better that he is eating the yogurt. I did a little research on yogurt today and I think I'm going to buy the plain whole milk yogurt for him (if I can find it at Cub!). The baby stuff usually has more sugar and this way, I can add fresh fruit if he needs extra sweetness. I spent five minutes in front of the yogurt case at Cub last week and couldn't find what I wanted (I got the Gerber stuff in the baby section). They must not carry the Yobaby kind. I considered making homemade yogurt, but even though "they" say it is easy, it intimidates me. Store bought is fine at least for now.

Jim has fallen in love with our basement! I guess basements usually are "man's domain" anyway, but he has grand plans for it and loves spending time down there. When he gets a work call now, he goes down there, which I think is funny. He set up a projector, his computer, cable and the speakers from MY computer so we could watch the super bowl down there last night. It was a pretty cool set up...other than that fact that the projector was placed precariously on three stacked kitchen stools! He is inventive, if nothing else. Once everybody left after the game (boo, Saints!), we watched our fav movie, Moulin Rouge, down there. It is pretty cool. And NO we are not setting it up like a theater now, contrary to Jim's wishes. We have too many bills and too many other things that we actually need! Poor Jim.

Sunday, February 7

Liar liar

Pants on fire. I was just telling my aunt Lisa yesterday at the bridal shower that I haven't found anything Finn won't eat. Well, as these things go, Finn had to make me a liar. I don't think he likes bananas! I'm so sad because I LOVE bananas. He hadn't had them before but when the diarrhea hit, I told Jim to load him up (help "stop" Finn up a bit). Jim pureed some and we tried the oatmeal with bananas that Nicki gave us and Finn won't really eat either! He would take a couple bites and be done. Now I know how Finn acts when he doesn't want to eat something and/or is full. He purses his lips together and just looks at you like, "You can make all the noises in the world and do crazy things with that spoon, but I am NOT opening my mouth." This is the banana oatmeal beard Jim put on him trying to get Finn to eat. Oh, well. I guess it is fine that he doesn't like one thing, but you better believe I'm going to keep trying since bananas are one of my favorites and I don't know if I can tolerate a child who doesn't like bananas! Ha, ha.

We finally got to see Austin (and auntie and Pete) yesterday! Becky came over to clean up the basement after moving out. I felt like it had been forever since I saw Austin. When he woke up from his nap, he cuddled with me and said he missed me. LOVED IT! Austin and Finn just played and played together. It was so great. We all even played football downstairs in the now empty basement. Every boy should have a huge open space to play in that you can't break anything!

Saturday, February 6

Finn's new game

Finn's new game:
Me: "ma, ma, ma"
Finn looks me straight in the eye and says: "da, da, da"
Repeat.

And of course he has a funny grin on his face while he is saying it. Little stinker...but I just love it (and him!).

For the first time in...well...forever it seems, Finn pooped out his diaper yesterday (and twice at that!). I think it has been since we switched to formula, so I haven't had to deal with a blow out since the beginning of October! I was a little rusty, but handled it with only two wipes and a burp cloth. I think it was a combination of his diarrhea and he was sitting in the Bumbo chair which kind of forces it up because there is nowhere else for it to go. Anyway, my new yet dusty BABY Oxi-clean finally got to be used. Oh, how I remember when this was a daily occurrence and thank my lucky stars that it no longer is! And now he has diaper rash, we think, from the antibiotic. Every time he poops he just screams and he screams when you wipe him, too (although today is a little better than yesterday). Luckily we are using the "magic" butt cream from Stacey, so hopefully that helps since he isn't scheduled to be done with this antibiotic until next Saturday! Poor guy.

It is a Daddy and Finn day today. They are skipping swim class since the idea of putting a baby with diaper rash in a chlorine pool seems just cruel. I am heading to my cousin's bride's wedding shower in Willmar with Kristine. Should be a fun day, just lots of driving. Hope Finn treats Jim well ;)

Friday, February 5

Go team Finn!

Finn had a tough day yesterday. He had a fever of 101.9, which for him is high (just like his momma, his normal body temperature is lower than normal). He slept all but 5 or 6 hours, had to be held when not sleeping (I didn't mind...cuddle time!) and had diarrhea. We watched him over night and he seems better today (still has a fever and a little diarrhea - TMI, I know). He played independently a little bit this morning before needing some cuddle time and now has been sleeping for 2.5 hours. He is on an antibiotic for his ears, so whatever it is must be viral or hopefully will get kicked by the medicine.

I haven't uploaded pictures in a few days, so I added some on our picture website (link on the left). Here are a couple extra cute ones...

The left is Finn playing with the mirror. He just loves that baby in the mirror...but I think the mirror baby got him this time! The middle one is of him standing! Yes, standing. He is still very wobbly and only does it for a couple seconds, but he can do it! The right is Finn and daddy playing catch. Finn loves it and it is good for him developmentally. He even "caught" it a couple times.

We have reached 50% of our donation goal for our March of Dimes walk! Thank you to everybody who has donated. I know times are tough right now and it really means a lot. People's generosity is astounding. We still have 50% to go! If you aren't able to donate, we completely understand and just ask to keep us (and all preemie babies) in your prayers the day of the walk. One day all babies will be born healthy and we need to walk to get there (from the March of Dimes). Leah said it best on the walk website, "Go team Finn!"

Thursday, February 4

Go back to bed

Some days, you just don't want to get out of bed, let alone be a parent and a stay-at-home one at that. Today was definitely one of those days. I woke up with a migraine, dizzy, nauseous, stuffy, mucuosy and just plain tired. BUT we had PT this morning, so I dragged myself out of bed and got ready. Then I woke Finn up (yes, apparently he was having the same kind of day I was!) and off to PT we went. Only to have Mr. Finnegan cry hysterically when Katie tried to work with him. So we just quit trying after a few minutes. Then we came home and both went back to bed. I really wish I would have just canceled. Oh, well. At least they were able to adjust his helmet or today would have been a complete bust.

So, when Finn is upset and crying, he doesn't calm down easily even when I or Jim pick him up. It is kind of frustrating and I was wondering if there was something wrong with me because I see other parents able to sooth their child just by picking them up or touching them...but not mine! Well today at PT, it worked. It would have made me feel good on another day in another setting. He was crying for Katie with huge crocodile tears and finally I just picked him up and he stopped almost immediately. So I thought, "okay he is comforted and fine." I put him down and he started crying again. Then we decided to stop PT for today, she left and he sat on my lap and started talking and playing with his rattle. Was he playing us? I'm thinking he just wasn't in the mood for PT today, which I understand since he was tired, has a cold and an ear infection. At least for today, I had the touch and he calmed down. Oh, and he was snoring by the time we hit the freeway, which is about a half mile from the office!

Wednesday, February 3

Hello, doctor!

We had an unexpected doctor visit today. Ever since Finn was done with his medication for an ear infection (two and a half weeks ago), he has continued to pull on that same ear. He had/has no other symptoms, though...like fever, troubles sleeping, loss of appetite, etc. Well, I've gone back and forth and back and forth and back again and finally just decided to call the nurses line this morning. She said it was probably nothing because he didn't have any other symptoms. But when I pushed back a little and said he didn't have any other symptoms in January when he did have an ear infection, she checked the doctor's schedule and they squeezed us in. My intuition was telling me we'd rather be safe than sorry.

Well...yet again, I need to trust my intuition (which I too often don't!). Finn has an ear infection in his right ear; the same ear as before. Because the drum is only partially infected (probably why he didn't have any other more severe symptoms) the doctor wasn't sure if it is the same infection that didn't go away or if it is a new infection (it COULD even be the same infection as NOVEMBER because we didn't have him checked after the meds!). So we switched medications and have a follow up appointment in four weeks to make sure it is healed.

Hopefully the new meds will kick it and we'll be done. If not, Finn will have to go to an ear specialist for two reasons. #1. ear problems are VERY common in preemies as their ear canal (or something like that) is/can be smaller than normal and it would need to be fixed. #2. Jim had MAJOR ear problems as a child and these things can be hereditary. Regardless, if it is a problem, I want to get it fixed now and not after a million doctor visits and infections. So, we'll see in four weeks!

Tuesday, February 2

One step closer

Finn is officially done with Neosure, his special preemie formula! We discussed it with his doctor at his one year well-child. Since his weight is on target (well, all things considered!), she said to move to regular formula. Yay! It is cheaper but you can also buy it in bigger containers. One Neosure didn't even last us a full week. We have been slowly transitioning away from Neosure, going to a 2-1 ratio with other formula, then 1-2 and now 0-2! We had several samples we've received, so we are using that now (I checked the expiration date on all of them before using!). Not sure what we will get when we buy his first one...there are tons to pick from. I vote for the cheapest and so far, he doesn't seem to mind what forumla he is eating (he has tried three or four different kinds...mixed with Neosure). He has to wait for milk until his adjusted one year birthday, so formula for a few more months. I happily see this as yet another step away from the label of him being a preemie (I know he will always be a "preemie," but I think you get what I mean). Our baby is growing up!

We have a "hick" house. When Austin was sick, he would always say he was "hick" so now that is what we call it. Weird how some things just stick. Anyway, both Austin and Finn had a cold late last week, I got it over the weekend and Jim got it yesterday. So, we are hick. Yuck. Of course, I still took care of Finn most of the day (Lynn and DeAnn's visits certainly helped!) and Jim stayed in bed or on the couch. Oh, well. He said that colds just affect him worse than they affect me. Hmmm...

It is still really weird having our house back to ourselves. I never realized how aware I was of their coming and going.

Oh, yeah, it is Groundhog's Day today. I haven't heard if Phil saw his shadow or not. Based on the amount of snow we've gotten in the last 24 hours, I'm thinking it is 6 more weeks of winter. Doesn't really matter either way, but it is still fun.

Monday, February 1

Empty nest

Well, we are roommate-less. The move went very smoothly on Saturday, other than Finn deciding he wanted to wake up at 5:30...which he NEVER does (four hours of sleep made for a very tired mommy). Becky had everything organized and ready to go. It kind of turned into an assembly line: 1. carry things upstairs 2. carry things out to the truck 3. organize and pack the truck. Since #1 required the least amount of outside time, I opped for that one! Then I was nominated to stay at our house so the boys could nap while they unloaded the truck at the apartment (oh, darn...I had the toughest job for sure!). We went over after the boys woke up so we could help and so I could see the new digs. I love it. Kind of makes me miss apartment living...there are a lot of things to be said for it. I just wish Maplewood were a little closer, but it really isn't THAT far. It is so weird that they are gone. It hasn't sunk in yet. When I think about it, I get sad.

Yesterday we spent some time with my mom in the morning. We took Finn to church with us, which is something I do not do. But Jim was tired and I figured we could handle it. As it turned out, church was not full, so we didn't have to worry about germs (other than mommy's because she has a cold!). Finn was a really good boy in church, even though he was super tired and of course, pooped! But it was toward the end, so I just left it. When we saw him later, Austin said, "Finn, Jesus doesn't want you to poop in church!" Then Memere and Grandpa came in the evening. Wow, Finn got to see three of four grandparents in one day! Lucky him...hope he isn't too spoiled.

Today we have EI and some more play time with Memere and Grandpa...and NeNe! No chance he won't be spoiled after today. Oh, well.