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

Wednesday, March 31

Out like a...

I guess March came in and went out like a lamb. That doesn't happen very often. I can't believe we didn't get ANY snow this entire month. It is usually one of the snowiest. I wish we had dug Finn's sled out of the snow bank sooner so he could have use it this year! Oh, well. Next year I probably won't be able to keep him out of the snow.

Monday, Finn and I met auntie Becca at Rosedale to help her shop for jeans. She had done most of the work by the time we got there, so I just had to give my opinion between two! Easy, shmeasy. I was ever so slightly ticked off when I realized (about two blocks from the mall) that I'd forgotten the stroller! Ugh! So I lugged in Finn and the diaper bag. He may only weight 20 pounds, but man, he gets heavy fast. Luckily, auntie Becca gladly stepped in (once she was done trying on jeans of course!) and literally took him off my hands for me! It was fun to get out and I even bought a birthday present. Yay, check that off my to do list.

Finn's favorite twins came over to play yesterday morning. They were kicked out of their house because of some painting being done. We were happy to have them. I am so not used to fully mobile kids yet, though! Well, I guess there were three to keep any eye on and we don't have nearly as much space to play as they do at their house. The girls eat so well...some day Finn will feed himself, too...right?!?! And crawl and stand and walk?!?! I think they close on their new house today! Congratulations, guys! Now if you can just get through the next month or so, you'll be all set. Can't wait to see it.

Now that the weather is so much nicer, I've been trying to get outside and go for a walk every day (momma needs the exercise!). Man, Finn LOVES being outside and going for walks. I use it as my last resort when he is crabby and nothing else works, too! We went for a big walk yesterday. I started out in a sweatshirt and quickly had to take it off to air out. Holy hot in the sun! I think Finn pinched himself with his sunglasses because all of a sudden he just started bawling. I stopped, picked him up and comforted him and then he was fine. His sunglasses are his favorite new toy. I keep telling him to be careful because they could pinch. I guess he learned that the hard way yesterday...probably won't be the last time either!

After our big walk, we headed over to NeNe's house for the last time to help her pack up the last of their stuff. I'm not sure how much help we actually were as Finn was crabby and didn't think he needed to nap. Luckily aunt Kelsie was there, so she was on Finn duty. While we waited for the final walk through to be done, we all went to dinner at Davanni's and then Finn and I headed home (while everybody else went back to do the rest of the heavy lifting...oops!). So weird to think we will never go to that house again. They are unloading at the new house today. Can't wait to see it, too and hear about all the wonderful plans they have for it.

Monday, March 29

Once he starts

Once Finn started talking, he just won't stop now! He pretty reliably says "hi" but it doesn't sound EXACTLY like hi (he still will only wave when he feels like it, though!). "Nigh night" is another one, which sounds pretty close to the actual words. He can say book, but it sounds like "gak." We know it is book, though because he is usually falling out of my arms trying to get to the books when he says it. Or like this morning, trying to roll off the changing table to get to the books...so I let him read a book while I changed him. Hey, it kept him from rolling all over!

Oh, that is the other update, he all of a sudden LOVES books. I have to admit, Jim and I were not super good about reading to him on a regular basis. His books weren't positioned in places that were convenient to just grab and it is hard to read to a baby who just wants to grab the book and throw it around. Recently, Finn started sitting nice for reading time and now he asks for it! I love it. When I tell him it is "nigh night time" he reaches toward his room (where half of his books are) and says, "gak?" And I say, "yes, we can read a book before bed." So funny. Is he already learning stalling strategy? Ha, ha. His favorite bedtime book is Pajama Time by Sandra Boynton. I think I can recite almost all of it by heart already! I love that he likes books.

Friday night, the three of us went over to auntie Becca's for dinner and to play. Becky made home made garlic cheese pizza, which was awesome and she got to her use new garlic roaster. There is nothing like the smell of roasted garlic. Yumm-O. Finn had a blast, as he always does at auntie's house. Saturday we had swimming, which was fun as usual. I had mentioned Finn's swim class at ECFE last week and one of the mom's joined our class this week and another one may switch her lesson time to our time. Fun to have people you know in class with you. After swimming Becky and Austin came over for brunch. I made waffles and Jim mades eggs, bacon, sausage and hashbrowns. Again, Yumm-O. Saturday brunch has kind of become a tradition after swim class.

After the boys took naps, auntie Kristine came over and we dyed Easter eggs!

Finn didn't really like dying eggs and decided he would rather take another nap. Hey, who I am to argue. This year was a lot different from last year: Finn had been home from the hospital for 12 days, was hooked up to his monitor and just slept in the crook of my arm the whole time! What a peanut he was!

Yesterday was pretty quiet. We brought Jim to the airport around 3pm, he will be in Chicago all week. Boo. We were thinking about going with him, but this week is Katie's, Finn's physical therapist, last week and I really didn't want to miss his appointment. Kind of lame, I know, but it is important to me to say good bye. She has been there since the very beginning and I feel we owe her a lot. So, we'll just keep ourselves busy the rest of the week instead.

Finn wanted to wish Memere a belated happy birthday. He wished her an early birthday last week in person, but didn't get to talk to her on her birthday, as he was already in bed when daddy called. Oh darn! Hope you had a nice relaxing day, Memere. It is a busy birthday week for us. So we'd also like to wish a happy birthday to Eric, auntie Vicky, uncle Bob, Sarah, Riley and our nephew Jordan!

Friday, March 26

Finn's Wish List

A couple of you were asking for a wish list for Finn's birthday party coming up. He already has a ton of stuff and just your coming and celebrating this monumental occasion with us is honestly gift enough. BUT, if you still feel the need to get him something, because I know how that is, I put together a quick wish list below for some ideas. I also added a link on the left of the page so you can find it quickly if the need so arises.

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 Pampers diapers
huggies wipes
Size 12 month or bigger clothes (he is ALMOST ready to switch into 12 month)
A donation to March of Dimes in Finn's name
Money for his savings account is always appreciate, too (but I know that isn't "fun" to give!).

I hope that helps! Don't forget to RSVP so we know how many to plan for! If you have any questions, please let me know.

Thursday, March 25

Mother duck said, "Quack, quack, quack."

Finn loves the song "Three little ducks." If you don't know it, the ducks go away and in each verse one doesn't come back. Eventually none come back until Mother duck quacks, then they all come home. Jim even got us little finger puppets for this song because Finn loves it so much. Anyway, yesterday at ECFE we sang the song, which is where we learned it. The teacher has little rubber duckies on sticks to go along with the words (it teaches object permanence). At the point where Mother duck quacks a lot, the teacher looked at Finn and said, "he is quacking!" Sure enough, Finn quacked at the right spots in the song! I'm not sure he understands WHY he did it, but he can quack like a duck! It helps that ducks are his absolutely favorite thing around. I wonder what else he can do that I haven't noticed?

Finn still has his darn respiratory cold. He is good most of the day, but in the morning, he just hacks and hacks and has a lot of junk in his nose. I know these things can take a while to go away but when we brought him in a week and a half ago, they said he should feel better by late last week. Maybe a call to the nurses' line would at least put my mind at ease.

Wednesday, March 24

So big

Memere stopped by for a surprise visit yesterday! What a treat. She was in town at the doctor's to get her port removed and the doctor said she is now CURED from her breast cancer! Hurray!!! Finn was napping when she got here, but woke up shortly after. Here Finn is telling Memere a story. She got to feed him lunch and play with him for a bit before she had to leave in order to beat rush hour traffic. Finn had a blast. He was laughing or smiling the whole time.

Jim and I started trying to teach Finn "so big" on Sunday. I think it is cute when kids can do that. Well, he already figured it out yesterday.
So big! While playing with Memere's phone and who said males can't multi-task?!?! He did it yesterday morning when playing in the office (I got it on video) and he was showing off to Memere today, too. Not sure if he will do it on command yet, but he can do it! My next "trick" I want to teach him is Me: Finn, how old are you? Finn: One (with his index finger pointed up)! Might be a little ambitious, but we'll see!

Tuesday, March 23

Parenting Lesson #1

Okay, it is probably more like lesson #553, but I feel like this is the first one for learning to discipline Finn. We have always taught him to be "gentle" around people and we tell him "stop" and redirect him if he is getting into things he shouldn't. Well, Finn has started slapping people when they hold him. He does it mainly to me (probably because I hold him the most). He isn't mad or angry (he often smiles when he is doing it!) and I don't think he is trying to hurt me, but he hits hard and he often won't stop. Jim hates it and tells him to stop hitting momma. Well, I mentioned it to Finn's development teacher, Deb, yesterday when she was here for the EI visit and she gave me a great suggestion. She said it doesn't matter WHY he is doing it (I was trying to explain his behavior) it just matters that he needs to stop. So, every time he does it, she said to put him down and not to pick him up until he has calmed down. She said he should learn quickly if we do it consistently; slapping=being put down. Yay! I hope it works. Now, if only she can get him to stop rolling over on his changing table when we are trying to change his diaper!

Jane, the PT, came with for the EI visit, too and Finn was majorly showing off for her. He got up on his hands and knees by himself and started rocking! Now, keep in mind it was only for a second or two, but he NEVER does that. He proceeded to "play" with her for over half an hour! He didn't get upset and frustrated like usual and he really worked hard. I said it is like "playing with lots of rules!" He was reaching over to the side when he was standing by himself next to the couch! Deb pointed out to me that he is making leaps and bounds at every visit. I need to remember that when I get frustrated that he isn't crawling yet. He IS progressing, which is what is important.

If you have noticed, our March for Babies link is broken, which means you can't make online donations right now to our walk. I have contact technical support and they are working on it. In the meantime, if you want to make a donation, just email me (stacy.thomas97@yahoo.com) and I can help you. Thank you for your patience. I'm hoping it will be back working in a day or two!

And a very special happy birthday to our favorites twins! Lily and Juliette are ONE today! I can't believe it has been a year already. I hope you get to eat some cake or do something fun today. We'll see you on Thursday to celebrate!

Monday, March 22

Heat again

We have heat again! Upon a recommendation from our friend Ben, we contacted a friend of theirs yesterday to come look at the furnace. He was able to come out yesterday afternoon, which was great. Only to find that it was the FILTER! Ugh! I usually do a good job of changing them, especially through the winter, but I used the last one the last time I changed it and kept forgetting to buy more. So it got plugged. Jim said he checked that on Saturday but what do we know about filters?!?! The good thing is that the furnace is fixed and he suggested a few things that will be helpful for the future. Lesson learned, I guess. And I got a clean oven out of the deal!

Saturday was our first swim class of the new session. Our last session only had four kids in it, so this class is double the size (not that 8 is big, just bigger than we're used to). Finn is working on blowing bubbles; he sometimes "gets" it and sometimes doesn't. He is getting really good at kicking and reaching and pulling. Saturday evening, we went over to Stacey and Sam's for dinner, drinks and games. It was a great evening. I don't know why we wait so long between visits. Okay, I do know why because life is busy when you have a family, but still! We better put the next one of the calendar now.

Yesterday we stayed pretty close to home and took a walk in the late afternoon. Finn just LOVES walks, so I'm really glad we are able to do it again now that the weather is getting nicer and it isn't dark at 4:30 any more. Plus, I love the family time. No interruptions. Just walking and talking.

Jim got me watching "16 and Pregnant" last night. It is a show on MTV that follows a teenage girl through her pregnancy and shortly thereafter. The show usually just makes me mad, but last night, one episode was so different from the others. Jim came in the house from starting the grill and I was bawling my eyes out. The girl chose adoption, which was wonderful and probably the right decision for the baby. But seeing her with the baby and handing him over to his new mom...I just couldn't take it. It was very powerful. And then when the episode was over, I couldn't believe a show on MTV made me cry that much!

Sunday, March 21

Burrrr, who turned the heat off?

We are cold at our house and not just because the temperatures decided to go back to normal for this time of year. Our furnace went out! Great timing, I know. I thought it was a little chillier than normal when I got up yesterday, but didn't think much of it (if you know me at all, I'm usually cold, so nothing out of the usual there). Before we left for swimming, I looked at the thermostat and it said 66 degrees. This is the temp we set it to at night, but it should have been 71 degrees by that time, which is what we set it to during the day. Jim looked at it and the fan wasn't turning on and when we turned it to "on" instead of "auto" it just blew cold air.

When we got back from swimming, Jim talked to his uncle, who happens to have worked in heating and cooling for a long time. He thinks it is the ignitor or something. Great, but now we have to find somebody who works on our brand of furnace. I think we are going to wait until Monday. Is that wrong? We don't want to pay exorbitted weekend rates for somebody to come out and fix it on a Sunday. Finn is fine. He has a thermostat controled portable heater in his room, so it is always 73 degrees. During the day, the sun is warm enough to somewhat warm the house and during the night, it is always warmer than we want it to be upstairs, so it is kind of refreshing. I have three layers on right now, however, so we'll see if I can last the day. I also took the opportunity to auto clean the oven today because that creates a ton of heat (it needed it and this way I'm killing two birds with one stone!).

Friday, March 19

Burrrr, who turned winter back on?

Wow! 65 degrees yesterday and 33 today! I know it is only March and I kept telling myself that when we stole those wonderfully sunny and beautiful days. But the warm reprieve sure makes 30 seem so much colder! We went for a walk today to check out the progress on the Lowry bridge; not much yet other than a massive hole on the corner where Super America used to be.I bundled Finn up and I'm very glad I did. His little nose was red when we got back. I think he looks so cute in his hat and he even kept the mittens on! Good boy.

Alex dropped Grace off yesterday afternoon so Grace got to spend the night and all day today with us. Kristine stopped by before her girls night. She wasn't feeling 100% so she kept her distance from Finn and he kept looking at her, trying to figure out why she wasn't holding him and playing with him! Next time, buddy! Grace likes to carry Finn when we run errands, which I'm very happy to let her do. By the end of the errands today, she'd had enough. I tried to tell her how heavy he and his car seat are!

Finn got his last dose of Synagis today for this RSV season. Some insurances allow for one in April, but given the fiasco last year after we brought Finn home, I think this was our last. It should get him through the middle of April and RSV season is technically over the end of March. Fingers are crossed! He did pretty good with the shots today. I think I mentioned before but the medicine is thick and syrupy so it is extra painful going in. He cried right away to let us know he was NOT happy, but he forgave us quickly. That's my guy! He even let the nurse hold him and cuddle afterwards, so he obviously doesn't hold a grudge! We are done with Synagis until next fall!

Thursday, March 18

Finnegans is good!

Becky, Pete, Austin, Jim, Finn and I went to Shaw's for dinner to celebrate St. Patrick's Day last night. We (the adults) all had Finnegans beer in honor of our little Irish boy. I don't know, might have to become a tradition! It is good beer, too. I had the corned beef and cabbage, a first for me. I can't believe I've never had it before, especially since I LIVED in Ireland! It was good, a little bland, but then again, most traditional Irish food is a little bland. I thought the cabbage could have use a splash of vinegar or something to brighten it up a little bit. I wish I had thought ahead and gotten little hats for Austin and Finn or something since we were out. Oh, well. There's always next year.

Today we had PT, which did NOT go well. Finn is getting over his respiratory problems but other than coughing and a snotty nose, he seemed to be happy, so I didn't reschedule. Probably a mistake. As soon as we got back there, he started crying and pretty much didn't stop until he was in the carseat and we were headed out to the car! I felt bad for him and Katie! She worked with him as much as she could. We tried these biker shorts-type things that make his legs stay together so he can't spread out like a frog like he normally does. He didn't like them, but I'd be interested to see if they would have a long term impact if we got him a pair. It helps develop his core muscles and makes him balance, since his legs aren't out there doing it for him. I actually remembered the video camera and taped him "walking" and crying on the treadmill. BUT I can't figure out how to download it from the camera and I don't think I have the software I need on this computer. Argh! I was hoping to post it today. Katie also told us she is moving to the St. Paul location. I'm bummed because we really like her and she has worked with Finn since day 1.

Wednesday, March 17

Happy St. Patty's Day!

Finnegan would like to wish all of you a very Happy St. Patrick's Day!This was our little peanut celebrating St. Patrick's Day last year. My how far we've come!

Finn's fourth tooth is FINALLY in! Oh, this one has been a doozy. It bulged the gums and caused lots of pain and problems. Jim said he pushed it through Monday night when he was watching Finn! Ouch! So, now Finn has his four front teeth! I don't really check the other ones, so not sure if they are coming in. I guess once you get the front ones, the others aren't as big of a deal! All four have come in very crooked, so I'm hoping that is just a baby teeth thing and they straighten out the more they come in. Oh, just think...some day in the very distant future, we'll be done with teething. What a wonderful thought! Just don't remind me that loose teeth won't be far behind...yuck!

Memere gave Finn a singing, hopping bunny when she was here this past weekend. At first Finn wasn't too sure about it because it is loud and jumps but now he loves it. He won't touch it except to play with the tag, but he wants to stand and dance when you turn it on. So cute. I really need to get a video, but I'm terrible at remembering to grab the camera! Thanks, Memere!

I rearranged Finn's room yesterday. For a while now, he has been rolling over and playing with the curtain and blinds when we change him on his changing table. I didn't overly mind (kept him busy) as long as I could still change his diaper, but Jim told him no, so I supported that. But it was really hard because Finn would look at you, then slowly reach for it like, "hmm, I wonder if she really means it?" So I had it yesterday and switched the chair and the dresser around (by myself! what was I thinking?!?!). I didn't notice how messy his room looks until I saw this picture. Oops! I like the layout a lot better now because the chair is over by the book shelf which makes sense. However, when I changed him after the rearranging, he just rolled over and played with the wall instead! Little bugger. Oh, well. I guess it is his job to keep us on our toes.

Finn playing in the sink at the doctor's office on Monday: What can you do? It made him happy, he wasn't able to turn the water on and he wasn't hurting anything.

Tuesday, March 16

Eleven. Exactly. One louder.

Finn seems to be doing better. His breathing is less labored and only sounds bad when he is breathing deeply, coughing or sneezing. He is happy and cheery, so I'll take it! Jim and I took turns getting up to check on him last night (upon the doctor's recommendation), but he was fine. He did wake up earlier than usual this morning, but nothing too bad. He is laying on the office floor right now reading "Pajama Time" by Sandra Boynton. He must be feeling somewhat okay!

I went out to dinner at Bennihana with Matt, Kelsie and John last night. So yummy, I think I'm still full, though! While I was gone, Jim said that Finn started inching forward! He said Finn went about a foot, which is HUGE! Maybe he is finally buying into the benefits of this whole crawling thing. I'll have to keep an eye on him over the next few days to see for myself.

In all the excitement yesterday, I didn't get to mention that Finn is now 11 months old adjusted! Here are the development milestones for 11 months and how Finn is doing on each point.

Most babies should be able to . . .
Say mama and dada to the right parents yes, but also says mama to other women and dada to other men
Wave goodbye yes, when he is in the mood
Clap hands yes and often claps for himself for no reason!
Understand the word no but doesn’t always obey it yes and often obeys, too (I'm sure that will change!)
Stand alone momentarily I suppose, but not well unsupported
Play ball and patty cake yes and can now even throw the ball!

Some babies will probably be able to . . .
Say one word other than mama or dada yes! Finn can say "Austin" and "up"
Drink from a cup independently yes, although we don't give him one very often
Indicate what he wants with gestures other than crying yes, he loves "directing" me by pointing his arm when I'm walking around and holding him
Imitate others yes, all the time!
Put toys or object into a container we are working on this, he likes to take them out, more than put them in

Some babies could possibly be able to . . .
Stand alone well nope
Babble that sounds like her or she is talking a foreign language yes, constantly
Say two or more words other than mama or dada Austin and up for sure, not sure about other words that it sounds like he is saying, but could just be mimicking us
Understand simple instructions yes, to some degree, but he is really stubborn
Walk well obviously, no

Monday, March 15

Not RSV! But what?

Just heard back from the doctor and Finn's RSV (Respiratory Syncytial Virus) test thankfully came back negative! Yay! But I'm getting ahead of myself.

We took Finn to the doctor today for his labored breathing. They said that usually if you have troubles breathing in, it is croup and troubles breathing out, it can be RSV. Well, he was doing both on and off at the appointment. The doctor really didn't know what to do with him but could tell something was wrong. He was breathing about twice as fast as he should be and it was pretty shallow breathing. They decided to use the nebulizer to see if that helped. Nope, not at all. So she decided to test him for RSV and give him a dose of steroids. Have you seen a child tested for RSV? Yuck. They poor saline into the nose and suck whatever is in there out! Gross. And of course, Finn hated it. But he was in one of those moods that he hated everything that involved a nurse or doctor. He loved looking outside, playing on daddy's lap and playing in the sink. Yup, kept him busy for a long time (Jim has pictures on his phone!). Well, like I said, the RSV test is negative. They send it in for a culture, but by the time that comes back, if it is RSV, he will be over it. The doctor said to just give him tylenol and/or mortin as needed and be watchful, especially through the night tonight. She is going to call back tomorrow to check up on him and discuss his symptoms. So, for now, I guess we'll just see.

Finn sounds absolutely terrible at times, depends how deeply he is breathing. But he is pretty happy and even played with his toys when we got home. Oh, the best part of the doctor visit (if there can be one, right?)...Finn fell asleep on my chest while we were waiting for the steroids to arrive from the pharmacy and be administered! He NEVER does that and I just soaked it in. It was a great "mom moment" for me.

Finn's photo contest

Thanks to everybody who voted for Finn in the Parent's photo contest. He finished in 88th place, which is a huge improvement from day 1 when he was in 851th place! It was fun, if nothing else!

What a weekend!

On Saturday we had our last swim class of this session. It went well and Finn actually blew some bubbles for the first time. We signed up for the next session, but it sounds like the other three boys will not be in our class. Oh, well. Finn will make some new friends.

Later on Saturday, we headed to Burnsville for a surprise birthday dinner for Jim's aunt DeAnn (aka NeNe) at El Loro. She was completely surprised, which is always fun. Finn was okay, but a little crabby. He got some of daddy's Chori Pollo (chorizo and chicken), which he loved (of course, right?). After dinner we went to DeAnn's for some pie and then John, Kelsie and Jim's cousin Matt came over to our house for drinks and to play games. We all had a lot of fun and a lot to drink. We went to bed at 2am, which was really 3am! Who does that! Made for a tired mommy and daddy on Sunday.

On Sunday Jim smoked some ribs for dinner and Finn "helped" him. I still can't believe how beautiful the weather was. Too bad we couldn't eat outside, too. Memere and Grandpa came in the afternoon and John, Kelsie and Matt came over later. Dinner was amazing. Smoked ribs, smoked baked beans and Famous Dave's cornbread muffins.

Finn was sounding a little congested in his chest yesterday and had a very slight runny nose, but I didn't think much of it. Well, he woke up a few times last night...but he wasn't really awake. I think he was having troubles breathing. By this morning, his breathing was so labored that we could hear it over the monitor. When he got up, he had a slight fever, so I called the nurses line. They want to listen to his chest, so we have a doctor in about an hour. Memere, Finn and I sat in the bathroom with the shower running, but the steam didn't really help (made for daddy to have a cold shower, though...oops!). He has obviously been sick but we haven't really had respiratory issues before, so I (and the nurse!) didn't want to take any chances. Based on what I told her and what she could hear on the phone, she is thinking it might be croup, which I know nothing about. Better go google it!

Sunday, March 14

Come to my Pampered Chef party!

MARK YOUR CALENDAR!

You're invited!


When: April 6th
Where: My house
15 22nd Ave NE Minneapolis, MN 55418
What time: 6:30pm

What's happening?
If you haven't been to a Pampered Chef party in a while, you'll be amazed at all their NEW ITEMS and RECIPES! We will prepare a yummy recipe using the tools as well as sharing fun tips along the way. We are all welcomed to "jump in" and help too!

And feel free to bring a friend...the more the merrier!!

Drop me an email or call me to let me know you are coming! 952-57-6641 or sjwalsh97@yahoo.com

Oh no! You can't join us??
That's too bad... but the good news is, you can still view the catalog and place an order for my party! Just follow these instructions...

1.) Go to My Consultant Cherie’s website: www.pamperedchef.biz/cheriemitchell
2.) Click on "Shop Online" in the top right
3.) Type in “Stacy Thomas” in the two boxes and click "Search for Host"
4.) When you see my name, click on it
5.) Click "Shop Catalog" to page through the virtual catalog OR Click by category.
6.) You can place your order and pay by credit/check card right there!

Any questions, please feel free to contact my consultant, Cherie, directly. She is more than happy to help! 763-670-7390 or mitc0439@metnet.edu

Hope you can come!!

Friday, March 12

Busy bees

Who has time for a job? We've been so busy, I haven't had time to blog. Shame on me, I know!

Wednesday afternoon we had our first ECFE class of the spring. There were 8 babies there, which is more than I'm used to. Jim joined us since he was heading out for a business trip right after. I kind of feel bad because the two main issues that the other moms brought up were sleeping and eating...two things we do NOT have problems with! We were supposed to go around, introduces ourselves and tell some recent challenges we've had. When it got to our turn, I said, " This is Finn and, um, we don't have any challenges right now!" Honestly, he is so good. I guess I could have said he isn't crawling...that is definitely a challenge. Oh, well. Looking forward to next week.

Then after class, Stacey and Dillon came over to drop off some fun toys that Dillon had outgrown. Score! Finn got a "Flintstones" type Fischer Price car where you use your legs to go forward, an art desk and a puppet show stand! I can't wait until he is old enough to use them. They stayed for a little while and, as always, it was great to catch up.

Thursday we had a play date with our favorite twins. As usual we had a great time. I love these pictures because they are like a flip book:

Finn with his bottle. Juliette grabbing it. Finn grabbing it back. And Juliette finally getting her turn! And they weren't even mad with each other. They just took turns taking it from each other! You gotta love that. This is one of the many reasons why I love going over there so Finn gets interactions with kids his own age. Hey, he needs to learn how to stick up for himself!

Then we got home, got ready and headed out again over to Auntie Becca's house for dinner! Like, I said, we've been super busy. Becky made a yummy dinner and Austin and Finn got lots of play time. It was very relaxing and both Finn and I had a great time. We didn't get home until around 8:30, well after Finn's bed time, but he was fine and I just changed him and put him to bed.

Today we went over to Jaleah's house. I met her mom, Rebecca, online because both Jaleah and Finn were preemies and born very close to each other (Project Mommyhood blog on our blog list). Jaleah has the bubbliest smile ever and just loved me the second I walked it (who could resist?!?!). Rebecca also watches a little boy, Blake, who is two weeks younger than Finn's adjusted age. Finn looks like he is being attacked in this picture. I love it. Finn was a little crabby, but other than that the play date was a huge success. It is nice to talk to other mom's of preemies. You have a common bond that others don't fully understand. Hope we can do it again soon!

Wednesday, March 10

Let it begin

Grilling season at the Thomas household, that is! Yes, Jim finally got his new grill. Finn and I picked him up at work yesterday and we headed over to Home Depot. He found exactly what he was looking for and we brought it home (good thing I have the new car so it fit!). Uncle John came over last night to help put it together and when I got home around 10:30, it was assembled with a three foot flame shooting out of it! So of course Jim had to grill a steak last night for dinner. I do have to admit, food cooked on a charcoal grill is just SO much better than on the stove! Maybe I'll pick up some brats today. Yum!

While Jim and John were assembling the grill, I got to go to the Wild game with Ryan and Leah! I had so much fun, although I have to admit not THAT much hockey was watched by me! The tickets were on the club level, which means it isn't crowded, no long lines and yummy food. Oh and of course...beers! The Wild lost in OT, but since I didn't have too much vested in the outcome, I wasn't heart broken (although don't you always want to see your home team win?). Thanks for inviting me, Ryan! I'll take your gimpy seat ticket any time, although Jim said its his turn next time ;)

Daddy made an executive decision last night and moved Finn from 9 months sleepers to 12 month ones! That's what I get for leaving them alone! Ha, ha. I know his 9 months ones were getting too small, but the 12 month ones just look so freaking huge. But it wasn't that big. I sadly switched out all the 9 month ones this morning for the 12 months ones. He is just on the cusp of needing to move into 12 month clothes (shirts and onsies for sure) soon. Probably a good thing since spring is on the way!

Tuesday, March 9

Big steps for a little guy

Yesterday the EI PT came for her every other week visit. Finn was a superstar! First, since my mom has hard wood floors, he figured out he can get down from sitting by leaning really far forward and just doing the splits until his legs are behind him. While I'm very happy he has figured out a way to get down (his problem solving skills are not delayed for sure!), this is NOT the way he is supposed to do it. So Jane worked with Finn on getting down sideways and he can do it (he did it independently a few times this weekend).

But he was a rockstar with crawling! Don't get me wrong, he is not crawling yet, but when she propped his knees beneath him, he stayed in the position and rocked back and forth! Before this, he would push his legs straight out and go down onto his tummy. He also impressed her with his ability to get to sitting from the crawling position...another thing that he hasn't shown us before. So, our munchkin is definitely progessing.

It was a good visit and it was good for mommy to see all that he is doing. I just feel like he hits plateaus some times and so when he takes off again, I get so happy. We talked about that and Jane said that where other babies just "get" these gross motor skills, we have to teach them to Finn, so of course it is going to take a little longer. On the other hand, he demonstrated a congitive skill for her today (without prompting) that is usually in the 16 to 18 month range! Not bad for a little 10 monther!! I'll take what I can get.

On a fun note, Finn's photo is currently in the running to become a weekly winner on Parents.com Photo Faves. You do not have to sign up for ads with this contest...just vote! No pressure, don't feel like you have to. The photo with the most votes will take home the honors. Click on the link to vote DAILY! Voting ends 03/14/2010.

http://photos.parents.com/category/vote/photo/159516

I know this is silly and with all the entries he probably won't win, but it is fun! Let's see how many votes he can get.

Monday, March 8

The best laid plans...

...go awry. Our weekend extravaganza didn't happen exactly as planned, much to my frustration. But things happen, plans change and you make adjustments. Lynn ended up being sick on Friday. So after spending all day Friday packing Finn and the car up, I had to decide if we were going to scratch the whole weekend or just the Ortonville leg. I called my mom and we decided that if the weather was good on Saturday (there was supposed to be some wintry mix out by them), we would still head to Murdock when we got up on Saturday.

It was probably a "good" thing that Jim didn't leave work early on Friday to head to Ortonville...since he was there until 9pm! Once he got home we watched a few episodes of Friday Night Lights (LOVE LOVE LOVE this show!) and called it a night. I got up Saturday morning to make Jim buttermilk waffles. We both love waffles and I had some extra buttermilk from another recipe, so I thought, "why not?" The texture was a little too soft, but the taste was good. We ended up heading out around 11am, which if you know Jim at all, is quite the feat to have him up, breakfast eaten and ready to go before Noon!

We had a great time at my mom's. It was kind of nice that it was just us because normally things can get a little crazy when everybody is there. My grandma and grandpa Smith came over Saturday afternoon, which was wonderful. Again, when we see them, there is usually 30 other people around (not that I don't love those 30 people!).

They each got tons of Finn time and of course, Finn loved the extra attention. I don't think they minded the attention from Finn, either! Then on Sunday, the four of us headed to church...and Finn was super tired. He was ready for a nap when we left, so church was a little difficult. But we managed by constantly shoving snacks in his mouth to keep him quiet (you do what you gotta do!). Afterwards, Renae and Nick joined us for brunch back at mom's until we left to head home.

We stopped at Emma's birthday party for a bit on our way home (I can't believe my little princess is SIX!!) and then crashed once we got home. It was a great weekend, but it seems when you are away from home, you need another weekend to relax when you get back!

So, even though the weekend wasn't how I planned it would be, it was a great weekend.

Friday, March 5

Grizzly Adams Pee boy

On an almost equally happy note as being done with his helmet, Finn hasn't wet through his night time diaper in several days! It has been a constant and consistent problem since forever, it seems. We stopped giving him the evening num nums (juice, vitamins, etc) a few weeks ago, which was about 2 ounces. Then it just hit me the other night, I could give him less water volume but not take his bedtime bottle away completely. So I put the same amount of formula in, but reduced the water (I had been watering it down a little anyway) by about three ounces. So far, it has worked! I really hope I'm not jinxing myself by saying anything, but as any of you who have cleaned up the insides of a diaper (you know, the sticky, jelly ball things that just won't come off), you'll understand my joy. Not to mention, I'll have to wash his sheets less often and you all know how much I HATE changing crib sheets!

Jim wants to get Finn's hair cut! I am not ready yet and really want to wait at least until after his adjusted one year birthday (6 weeks away!), but I really want to wait until after his next set of pictures. Well, now that the helmet is gone, his long hair is much more noticeable and I have a feeling that Jim won't be nearly as patient as he had been. Darn! It is just super long in front. The sides and back are a normal length still. I'm going to hold out as long as I can! Once you cut it, they never look like a baby again and I'm not ready for him to look like a toddler yet. My baby is growing up.

Something's missing!

Something is missing from this picture. Can you guess what it is? Yup, Finn's helmet! He is done wearing it FOREVER! I know, I'm just as surprised as you are (he was on his 9th week wearing it). We went to PT yesterday, which is when they do the helmet adjustments, and the guy examined him and said his head is well within "normal limits" and if I was okay with it, Finn didn't need it any more! Um, yeah! I wasn't prepare for it, but am so happy this whole experience went so smoothly and was so easy. If I had known it was going to be like this when we were agonizing over the decision, I wouldn't have worried so much. The next few days will be interesting when it comes to bonking his head. I'm sure we'll see a few extra tears as he gets used to not having the extra protection. Now I just have to remember he doesn't have it on when I'm carrying him ;)

We stopped at the car dealer yesterday after PT to get some dents and scratches removed from my car. It was our first outing without the helmet and a few of the ladies stopped by to talk/look at him while we waited. I felt NORMAL! Other than still having to say his adjusted age instead of his actual age, I felt like a normal mom with a normal baby. And from a germ point of view, I even let him sit on the floor and dig through the diaper bag (the carpet wasn't nasty and he wasn't really touching it anyway). That was a first for him AND me! I just had to stop for a second and take a big sigh. It was a nice feeling. Dare I say that the thick bubble surrounding him is getting thinner?

I watched Grace yesterday and today and she even stayed over night last night. It is nice to have her around because there is always something to do! Oh and Jim came home last night around 1am a day early. We are planning on making a "grandparents' voyage" this weekend starting tonight. Agenda: driving to Ortonville Fri PM, spending time with grandparents Thomas Saturday, driving to Murdock Sat PM, spending time with grandma Kathy Sunday, driving back to the Cities in time for Emma's birthday party at 4pm on Sunday. Crazy busy, I know. But we don't make it back very often and it just seemed to work this weekend. I know Finn will be on attention overload by Sunday night, but that is what grandparents are for, right?

Thursday, March 4

More more more

Finn can sign "more!" He has been doing it for a few days, but he doesn't do it every time yet. But when he does, he is so proud of himself and it is adorable. Like, "I just told Mom what I wanted!" (and now I better get more food!) I should get it on video before it becomes "old hat" to him. He can also wave hello and bye bye. He can give me kisses somewhat on demand, but I think he likes to pretend he doesn't know how sometimes because then he gets a reaction out of me ("You're so naughty, momma wants a kiss!"). We are just starting to work on having him blow kisses, which would be super cute. I think I've mentioned this before, but he understands but doesn't do the signs for milk (which is really for his bottle), all done (but he doesn't like that one for obvious reasons!), bath, ni-night (which is really the sign for sleep, I think or vise versa) and eat. Those are really the only ones we do regularly with him. We do "thank you" some times. I'd like to start doing that one more and also "please." We don't sign "momma" and "dadda" any more because he can say them, so we didn't really see the point.

We had a great afternoon and evening yesterday. Austin and auntie Becca came over...well need I say more? Finn loved it. I took the boys to Target for a while, and since Finn was refusing to take a nap (me thinks he wanted to play instead?!?), it was a good distraction and both boys were fantastic. Apparently the funniest thing in the world is when Austin "bangs" his head on something. Finn laughs hysterically and if you know how stingy Finn is with giggles, that is saying something. Austin also LOVES our basement because it is kind of a big play space perfect for a little boy. So we played "bomb each other with the nerf football over the couch and love seat." Man, he tired me out. Then Becky made a great chicken dinner and finally it was time for Finn's bed time and for them to go home. I'm so glad Austin (and Becky when she isn't cleaning!) comes over every Wednesday!

Wednesday, March 3

Who needs a wallet?

Finn's doctor appointment went well. She said his ears looked good, or as good as she could tell. He started crying as soon as she put the instrument in his ear. I don't know what that was about. And once you are crying, your ear drum turns red. Did you know that? I didn't. You learn something new every day. She wants to keep an eye on his ears, so he needs to be seen every 4 to 6 weeks to make sure all is well. Finn's 15-month well child check is in 5 weeks, so that works perfectly (how can we already be near 15 months?!?!). She said the ENT was a bit premature at this point (which is why I hadn't made an appointment yet) and she would recommend that after 5 ear infections.

I also took the opportunity to discuss Finn's weight and feeding schedule with her. I've been receiving feedback that he is too heavy and that he eats too much. I honestly don't think he is TOO heavy, just chunky, which is normal for pre-crawling/walking babies. And I feed him healthy things and I feel like if I fed him less, he would be starving all the time, which I'm not willing to do. She sat down and we went through everything, what he eats, his hungry/full cues, how often he eats, his weight/heigh ratio, etc. She said she is honestly not concerned AT ALL about his weight or what he is eating and that I shouldn't change a thing. I needed to hear that. I'm glad I asked. She said that we do need to keep an eye on his height because he is so short, but that would start being a concern closer to two than right now. He has stayed on the same height curve, but it is still around the 3rd percentile, I think.

And I decided it was such a nice day when we left for the appointment that I didn't grab my coat. Um, well, I keep my wallet in my coat! I realized it as I was waiting to check him in for his appointment. You have to have ID and your insurance cards every time. I explained what happened and she thankfully said that was fine (and asked me other questions to make sure I was me). Well, I didn't think about it again...until we got in the car to leave the parking ramp. Yes, parking ramp...that costs MONEY, that I didn't have! I was freaking out because I had NOTHING. I found some change in Finn's diaper bag and then decided to go back to the welcome desk to ask what I was supposed to do (Jim is out of town so it wasn't like he could just drop some money off for me). As we were walking back in, a doctor walked in behind us and I asked her if she had $2. She THANKFULLY did and we had just enough to pay to get out. I hope that never happens again. One of the worse feelings in the world. I think I will put $10 into Finn's diaper bag so I always have something for "just in case!" Lesson learned the hard way, I guess.

Then aunt Kelsie came and spent the afternoon and evening with us. Finn loved the extra attention and she even got to give him a bath. I appreciated the help and the companionship. Hopefully we can do it again soon!

Tuesday, March 2

Shaw's...yum!

With Jim being gone, I was a little worried that Finn and I wouldn't have much to do this week and I would get cabin fever and feel "stuck." Well...not to worry! Last night Finn and I met my aunt Angie and cousins Erica and Gavin at Shaws for Shaw Burgers! OMG. You have not had a burger until you've had THIS burger. So good and goopy (I think we made that word up!) and messy. They are so big the four of us shared two! It is a shame that I live less than a mile from Shaw's and it has probably been a year since I've been there for a Shaw Burger. The company and the food made my night!

Today we have Finn's follow up doctor appointment for his ears. I haven't made the appointment with the ENT yet. I'm just wondering if the fluid has cleared up, if it is really necessary. So, we'll see what the doctor says. Then Aunt Kelsie is coming over to play after the appointment! I know Finn will love that and I'll appreciate the company.

And the rest of the week is full, too! I like having things to do when Jim is gone. It just gets a little difficult for me when I'm home with Finn all day AND all night for SIX days in a row. Not that Finn is hard to take care of. I just need some kind of break from the monotony and routine. Speaking of, ECFE starts next week! Can't wait.

Monday, March 1

Who is it?

I was semi-woken up this morning by pounding on the front door at 7:55am. I usually wake up around 7:30, but lay around in bed and be lazy until 8 or so. I reluctantly got up. Surprise! They were here to deliver the couch! And, yes, I was in my pj's and robe. I said we were told it would be delivered tomorrow and I would receive a call before they came...but they were here, so other than that fact that I hadn't gotten anything ready, why not just let them bring it in. So I quickly threw on some clothes and started picking up and moving things and vacuuming (which of course woke Finn up who was then hysterical). You do NOT want to see what is under and behind a couch that hasn't been moved in over two years. Yuck. I did find the phone for one of Finn's favorite toys, though!

For a small "fee" they guys even brought the old couch and love seat downstairs for me. The last thing I wanted was for it to be sitting in my dining room until Jim gets home on Friday!

It looks great and fits perfectly in the space with plenty of seating. The left picture is the view from the kitchen and the right is the view from the front entryway. It is a little higher than I'm used to and the seats are a little deeper which means my feet don't really touch the floor when I'm sitting back...but that isn't a big deal for me. I like to curl up anyway. So glad we didn't get the dark brown! Jim was right, this is much lighter. Now I just have to figure out a way to move the rug over about 8 inches. Hmmm...

Finn's EI teacher came by today. He was crabby from being so rudely woken up by the vacuum, but eventually got over that. The next "skill" we are working on is having him drop toys into a container. He can do it but it usually seems more like an accident than intentional. So I brought a mixing bowl into the living room and we put some soft blocks in it. He thought it is a new toy and just swiped at the blocks until they were all out! We also "play" handing toys back and forth. He hands it to me. I say thank you and hand it back. The other "game" he loves is, "Mommy builds a "tower" and I knock it over." I usually only get two or three stacked before he grabs for it so "tower" might be an overstatement. Keeps him entertained for a long time.