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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.

Friday, July 30

11 weeks and counting

How your baby's growing: Your baby, just over 1 1/2 inches long and about the size of a fig, is now almost fully formed.
Her hands will soon open and close into fists, tiny tooth buds are beginning to appear under her gums, and some of her bones are beginning to harden.

She's already busy kicking and stretching, and her tiny movements are so effortless they look like water ballet. These movements will become more frequent as her body grows and becomes more developed and functional. You won't feel your baby's acrobatics for another month or two — nor will you notice the hiccupping that may be happening now that her diaphragm is forming.
How your life's changing: If you're like most women, you're feeling a bit more energetic now [definitely NOT yet!] and your nausea may be starting to wane [thankfully, yes!]. Unfortunately, you may also be suffering from constipation (caused by hormonal changes, which can slow digestion) and heartburn (hormones again, relaxing the valve between your stomach and esophagus). [neither yet, but I had both to some degree while pregnant with Finn...probably just a matter of time!] Just remember, all this discomfort is for a good cause.

Don't worry if nausea has made it impossible for you to eat a wide variety of healthy foods or if you haven't put on much weight yet (most women gain just 2 to 5 pounds during the first trimester). [as of today, I've gained 1/2 pound since I got pregnant] Your appetite will likely return soon, and you'll start to gain about a pound a week.

Non-pregnancy related: Finn and I went over to keep auntie Kristine company after her surgery yesterday. She seemed to be feeling fairly good and even got up for a little walk while we were there. Afterwards, we headed to Psycho Suzi's for happy hour for my friend Ryan's birthday. Leah, Doug and Mike were also there, and as always, fun was had by all. Finn made it to about 7pm and then it was time to go home to bed.

Today, Austin, Finn and I headed over to Elm Creek Park in Maple Grove and met the twins and their mom and sister Maia there. I, however, somehow failed to mention it was a BEACH, so they didn't have suits. But in true kid fashion, it didn't stop them for long. Oh, well. No harm. And I might feel a little guilty but all three of them (and my boys of course!) had the time of their lives. Risk vs. reward, I guess.
BTW, this is my new favorite place on earth (okay, other than Aruba, maybe!). It is a man-made lake with chorinated water! So basically a swimming pool with sand and that means no ear plugs for Finn. Yay! And the sand was the softest I've ever felt. We will for SURE be going back...wonder if they'd just let us move there?!?!

Thursday, July 29

Things could have been so much worse

I think about this often. So many prayers were answered when Finn was born (and waiting to be born) and even though our journey has had many ups and downs...we are honestly the luckiest and most blessed  people I know. Finn is healthy, happy, growing, developing, progressing and the love of our lives.

Today, I got some news that just made me truly realize how lucky we really are. People I know from back home had a baby girl last week who was born just after 26 weeks gestation and I received the devastating news today that she has developed a lung infection and is being taken off of life support. It is so beyond sad that words can't even begin to describe it. Just really makes you think and be thankful for what you have. Please say a prayer for them because no matter what we went through, I can't even begin to imagine what they are going through. Thank you, God, for Finnegan and please watch over Harley and her family.

Goals...check

I've been craving chicken enchilladas for a few days. So Auntie Kristine graciously came over last night for dinner to help Finn and me eat them (my recipes makes TWELVE!). I also made chipotle ranch past salad which was good, too. Dinner was super good, but I ate too much. Finn was a big pig. I couldn't believe it. He ate an entire enchillada, pasta salad and black beans. I think this was one of the first times that we ate together as a family (and he ate the same thing that we did) for dinner...and man, did he make a mess! I wonder if auntie is reconsidering the whole "having kids thing!" Good thing it was bath night.

Finn was amazing today at PT! He met all of his goals except bending his knees, crawling up and down steps and walking! He pulled up to a bench and cruised left and right, he pulled up to a flat wall and cruised, he transitioned down from both surfaces, stood with his back to the wall completely unassisted for at least THREE minutes, and he cruised from two surfaces with a space in between (so he had to let go)! We were both impressed and were not expecting all of that today! I've always said, when Finn "gets" it, he really gets it. She is having the "gate walker" sent back over to our location so Finn can try that. Hopefully it will be here by next week or the week after! He really is doing amazingly well. Good job, big guy!

Wednesday, July 28

He passed!

Finn and I went to his follow up audiology appointment for his hearing test this morning...and he passed! The audiologist said she has no concerns about his hearing at this point as he passed well within the normal hearing limits. Yay! While we suspected it was a flaw in the test and that Finn's hearing was actually fine, it is one less thing to have to worry about. We have a follow up appointment in October for Finn's tubes so we can discuss any concerns his surgeon has at that point.

We had a casualty in last night's storm...my tomato plant! It tipped it over and the remaining two (very green) tomatoes fell off (the first one that fell off was the smallest and fell off in a previous storm). I'm really bummed because I don't see any more growing which means I'm not going to get even ONE tomato from it. Boo, boo, boo! Thanks mom for trying to get me fresh tomatoes...guess I need to tie it to the deck next time so it doesn't blow over.

I went to bed last night with a headache, but didn't think much of it (when they aren't really bad, I can sometimes sleep them off). Well, it had developed into a full blown migraine by 4:30am, so I got up and took Tylenol (oh, big whoopee!) hoping it would go away by the time I had to get up. Nope, and I had to get up early for Finn's appointment. I decided I would have a can of coke and a Butterfinger for breakfast. Now, normally I would NEVER eat this way, especially when I'm pregnant, but I couldn't have any more Tylenol until 8:30 and I needed to be able to drive to Finn's appointment. I hoped the caffeine, sugar and chocolate would help...and it did! I still have a headache, but it is much better and manageable. I think when Finn lays down, I'm going to take some codeine and lay down, too. Oh, on days like this, I really miss having a regular job that I can go home early from and just sleep all day!

Tuesday, July 27

More travel?

So much for our break from Jim's traveling schedule. We thought last week was his final full week of traveling until he received a call yesterday morning telling him the team lead in Michigan quit. That means Jim gets to go back full time and find and train a new team lead (wait, what happened to the training team?!?! Hmmm...one wonders...). So now we are on week five of not sure how many weeks. Makes for a lonely daddy and a mommy who doesn't get much of a break. Oh, well. We will survive.

Last night, Finn and I went to watch daddy play basketball (in an un-airconditioned gym!). Finn has only been able to go a couple of times and he loved it. Well, the fact that Austin and auntie were there didn't hurt either! But Finn was very interested in what was going on and had a hard time taking his eyes off the court, even when Austin tried to get his attention.

With an expected heat index of 105 degrees, I think today might be a lazy day. I do need to get a few groceries, but we can maybe do that before it gets ridiculously hot (or wait until tomorrow). Thank God for central air :)

Monday, July 26

Hubba hubba

Finn's new thing as of this weekend is to say, "hubba hubba." I have no idea where he got it but it is the funniest thing ever (if not a little crude, but he is little and doesn't know what it means)! I'll have to make sure he doesn't insult any girls (ha, ha!).

We got Finn's Jumperoo back out at his PT's suggestion. Finn has some problems with bending his knees, so she thought jumping would help that. I'd thought Finn was too old for it and he never really loved being in it anyway, so it was brought downstairs. But he LOVES it!
He even asked to go in it this morning and was happy for maybe 20 minutes or more. Hey, with how mobile he is quickly becoming, it is kind of nice knowing he will be in the same spot when I come back! And he is jumping in it, so hopefully that helps with his legs.

EI PT came over for their last visit before fall this morning. I was so excited to show her Finn's new "trick" of pulling up to furniture. She was very impressed considering she was here last Wednesday and he was not doing it (he could do it, but not independently and consistently). Then at the end of the visit, I asked if we could work on stairs because he has still be struggling with them. Well, low and behold, here Finn is about 4 steps up the stairs:
We stopped at that height, so he wouldn't get scared when he turned around and looked down. He has no clue how to go down the stairs. We showed him how to do it with his legs and how to slide down on his tummy. Hopefully he'll learn one way because having the ability to only go up is NOT a good or safe thing! We really need to get a gate, but our stairs are not going to be easy to find one that fits. Argh.

Sunday, July 25

Pineapple bad?

I read in my Pregnancy Journal the other night that papaya, pineapple and bitter melon are not recommended during pregnancy because they can being on complications but it didn't say why or what complications (don't you just love partial information?!?!). Well, I don't eat papaya and don't know what bitter melon is but I do love pineapple so I thought I should look into it a little more. As it turns out, there is a little truth to it.

"Is pineapple safe during pregnancy? Maybe.

"Eating pineapple or drinking pineapple juice is said to be an old wive’s tale to bring on labor for woman past their due date. Large amounts of pineapple juice can in fact cause uterine contractions. It’s for this reason that in early pregnancy, it’s often suggested that you don’t drink pineapple juice in excess amounts.

"Why pineapple can cause contractions: Fresh pineapple contains Bromelain which can also soften the cervix but it is said that it takes large quantities to have any effect which can also result in diarrhea. Every pineapple has minute quantities of Bromelain therefore you would have to consume up to seven pineapples for a significant effect to be felt. Some women say that they’ve had zero problems having plenty of pineapple and pineapple juice during pregnancy and others claim it brought on labour. The verdict on pineapple during pregnancy? Some would say that you can eat it in moderation and watch for any signs of problems before your due date. If you’re at or past your due date, it might help you."

There you go. At least now I don't have to be terrified of eating SOME pineapple, but I also know not to over indulge (if for no other reason than to not get the runs!).

We had nothing to eat in our house yesterday, so when Finn got up, we decided to go out to breakfast...something we never do! I love going out for breakfast, but Jim likes staying in and making breakfast (cheaper and usually better!). Well, I got him to agree to go to Key's Cafe. It was super yummy and our waitress fell in love with Finn. It was really loud in there, so it didn't even matter than Finn was trying to out shout everybody else. We ordered him his own food, but he only wanted to eat what mom and dad were eating! Little stinker!

When we were done, we headed up to United Hospital in downtown St. Paul to visit NeNe. She had knee surgery on Friday, so we wanted to make sure she was still alive and doing well (which she was). Finn had fun figuring all the new things out in her room. Then we had to get home so Finn could nap. After his nap, we headed over to the Splash Pad (yup, the same place we were on Friday!) for Teddy's 2nd birthday party (Teddy is the son of college friends of Jim's). I know everybody is supposed to say their kid is the cutest ever, but I'd have a hard time saying Finn is cuter than Teddy (I could just put him in my pocket and take him home...but I won't!). Everybody had a blast and they served pie instead of cake and it was the best idea ever! So yummy. I wanted a second piece, but I'm glad I refrained (I might have exploded).

Saturday, July 24

Daddy's back

Okay, I read a poll yesterday that said 40 percent of pregnant women said they crave sweets, while 35 percent yearn for salty foods. My first thought was...where is the statistic for those of us that crave both?

Finn can independently and at will pull up to our couch (which is very tall for him) and get down by himself, too! This is a new development in the last few days. I feel like he is making progress and it is so good to see. So he is obviously getting transitions (what we've been working on what seems like forever!) so now we need to focus on cruising (furniture, not in a car!).

Finn, Austin and I met my friend Amanda and her two kids Taylor (6) and Gavin (3) and my friend Stacey and her son Dillon (6) at the Splash Pad in St. Louis Park yesterday. After some initial hesitation, they all had a blast. Finn was too little because he can't walk and there isn't any standing water...but he didn't seem to mind. When we arrived, there were a lot of big kids there (it was a field trip we think), which sucks because they over run the place and intimidate the littler kids. It really is geared more toward 2-8 year olds. After a while they left and everybody had a good time. Austin waited (patiently!) in line for a LONG time to get to play with the big water gun. I was/am very proud of him for waiting. So I had to take a picture when he FINALLY got to play with it:

Well, Jim is finally home from his 4 week travel schedule. He has to go back next week (and potentially several more partial weeks), but this should have been his last full week there (it has been Sunday through Friday every week so far!). It has taken a toll on our family, but we survived. We have a low key weekend "planned" this weekend, so hopefully we can get things back on track and feel "normal" again!

Friday, July 23

Ten weeks and counting

How your baby's growing: Though he's barely the size of a kumquat — a little over an inch or so long, crown to bottom — and weighs less than a quarter of an ounce, your baby has now completed the most critical portion of his development. This is the beginning of the so-called fetal period, a time when the tissues and organs in his body rapidly grow and mature.
He's swallowing fluid and kicking up a storm. Vital organs — including his kidneys, intestines, brain, and liver (now making red blood cells in place of the disappearing yolk sac) — are in place and starting to function, though they'll continue to develop throughout your pregnancy.

If you could take a peek inside your womb, you'd spot minute details, like tiny nails forming on fingers and toes (no more webbing) and peach-fuzz hair beginning to grow on tender skin.
In other developments: Your baby's limbs can bend now. His hands are flexed at the wrist and meet over his heart, and his feet may be long enough to meet in front of his body. The outline of his spine is clearly visible through translucent skin, and spinal nerves are beginning to stretch out from his spinal cord. Your baby's forehead temporarily bulges with his developing brain and sits very high on his head, which measures half the length of his body. From crown to rump, he's about 1 1/4 inches long. In the coming weeks, your baby will again double in size — to nearly 3 inches.

How your life's changing: Before you got pregnant, your uterus was the size of a small pear. By this week, it's as big as a grapefruit. You may or may not be ready for maternity wear now. Even if you're not there yet, your regular clothes are probably feeling uncomfortably tight and your blossoming breasts are straining the seams of your bra. The thickening in your midsection is most likely due to slight weight gain and bloating. [definite thickening in my midsection, but not showing and still fit into regular clothes...for now!] If you're between regular and maternity clothes, pants and skirts with forgiving elastic waistbands (or low-rise waistlines that sit below your belly) will provide some much-needed comfort.

Thursday, July 22

On bended knee

Here is Finn's "Will walk for food" sign. Too funny (because it is so true!).

We had PT this morning and Finn did a great job. He cruised the best I've seen him and didn't whine at all. We worked on getting him to bend his knees. He is a tough sell on bending his knees. I think I'm going to get his Jumperoo out again to see if he likes it. If so, the jumping will help with getting him to bend his knees more consistently. Now he locks his knees and digs his toes in for balance (until they turn white!). I told the PT that I'm expecting in February, and she said she doesn't see how/why Finn wouldn't be walking by then. I'm holding her to that!! I'd like a couple month cushion in case we go early, but I'll take what I can get :)

We are having a lot going on with our family right now. Jim's aunt is having major knee problems and Kristine is having gall bladder issues. Both looking to need surgery next week...Finn and I have signed up for nurse duty as needed, so I'm sure they'll keep us busy!

I hate to say it, but I think Finn's runny nose is allergies. He has no other symptoms and I heard that allergies are really bad right now (maybe it is a good thing that Jim is gone...because he gets TERRIBLE allergies). In the meantime, I just keep wiping/suckering as needed. Finn isn't complaining and likes the weird noises he can get his nose to make, so it could be worse!

Wednesday, July 21

Will walk for food

Finn and I journeyed to Costco yesterday. I've now learned that Finn has a definite time span that he will tolerate that place. It's like he just hits a wall and needs to be done. Poor guy. Doesn't help that I need to look at everything to make sure I'm getting all the good deals! Anyway, I picked up a crate of nectarines and had one when we got home. Hands down, it was the sweetest, best tasting nectarine I've ever had...and considering they are one of my top favorite fruits, that is saying something. I had to force myself to save a quarter of it for Finn! The sacrifices moms make for their kids ;)

This morning Finn's EI team came for their visit. It went well...nothing really too new. His teacher had me reevaluate how many words Finn is saying (it had been a few months since I had) and he can now say or sign 40 words! That is really good for his age. Like his PT said, "He isn't going to need speech therapy!" Finally, something we don't need. Ha, ha! They made a sign that says, "Will work (walk) for food!" Like a homeless sign! Because he will cruise for snacks! Too funny. His teacher took a picture and I'll see if she can email it to me.

Tuesday, July 20

Trucks everywhere

Finn woke up yesterday with a little runny nose. I don't think it is anything serious as he has no other symptoms and is in good spirits. Anyway, I decided to suction his nose to get as much out as I could (which wasn't a lot). In the past, this has been a difficult task. He would push my hands away, cry and turn his head. Keeping in mind that it has been a long time since he's needed it (thankfully!), this time, he LAUGHED! Kids are so unpredictable. Must have tickled his nose or something. All day, he would breath in and out from his nose and smile...because it sounded funny! Man, I love this kid. He keeps me laughing and on my toes all day.

Finn's new thing is TRUCKS! He LOVES trucks. He hasn't figured out subcategories yet, so anything that moves or looks like it could move is a truck (other than cars usually!). Because the Lowry bridge is closed, all the traffic now goes by our house, which include a lot of semis. His favorite thing to do is sit on the front steps and point to all the trucks and say, "Truck. Bye bye truck." So cute! If we are inside and he hears a truck go by, he will say "truck." Hey, it is better than "catch it?" all day like he used to do and sometimes still does! He got two trucks for his birthday, which are now his favorite toys. He is all boy for sure!

On a pregnancy note, I think my morning sickness is abating (knock on wood). Now that I say that, I will be sick all day again! I still gag when I brush my teeth, but it seems less severe during the day. But to balance that out, I feel a lot more tired. Luckily, I can rest or nap when Finn takes his afternoon nap, so I've been feeling pretty good. The scale says I haven't gained any weight, but man, my body is shifting and changing! I am for sure going to show earlier this time than I did with Finn.

Monday, July 19

Family fun

Finn and I went over to my aunt Karen's for a visit this morning. Okay very late morning, as Mr. Finnegan didn't get out of bed until 10:30! I'd told Karen we'd get there between 10:30 and 11...needless to say, we were a little late (how do you plan for THAT?!?!). Finn had a super time. My godson, John (14 years old) was home for a few weeks, which was the reason for our visit. Anthony (almost 9) and Rachel (6) kept Finn busy the whole time. I'm bummed I forgot to take any pictures! It was a really nice way to spend an afternoon. We headed out when Finn showed signs of bring tired. It was funny, like a switch was flipped and he was done. Thanks for the wonderful lunch, conversation and company!

Sunday, July 18

Momma's back

I had a wonderful weekend. I attended the 1st Annual Smith Lake Girls' Weekend with my friend Stacey (far right), her mom, Connie (in yellow) and her friend, Jackie (in black).
Seriously, I didn't realize how much I needed a weekend exactly like this! It was perfect. It was so relaxing that some of the details are a blur, but we got up to Connie's "camper" (near Alexandria, MN) Friday night and headed out to dinner. I say "camper" because it is more like a home, but I wasn't complaining! The restaurant (Weston Station, I think), was in an old railroad car! So cool. And had really good food and drink (I had Dr. Pepper...poor me because I needed something stronger after the afternoon I had!). Then we went back and had a wonderful bonfire until far too late into the night (or morning!).

Saturday, Connie made a ridiculously good breakfast which kept us full until late afternoon (preggers had to snack frequently to keep from getting nauseous, but that doesn't mean I was hungry!). Stacey and I headed into Osakis (rivals of mine in high school, so it was tough to like the town!) to the Meat Market (to get steak, not to check out the local hotties!). There were "Famish" people across the street. Famish means "fake Amish." They had a buggy pulled up and they were celling quilts and what not...with an SUV parked right next to it and no horse to pull the buggy. Hmmm... We think they probably have tattos, dance and watch TV! So scandalous.

Then we laid around in the sun and read smutty celebrity magazines, which are my favorite! I, of course, had to take a nap, but I guess everybody ended up taking one, too! The weather was unpredictable, so we didn't dare go out on the boat. Connie made an absolutely fabulous dinner! She made dates stuffed with Gruyere cheese and wrapped in bacon (so supper yummy!) for an appetizer, Stacey made caprese salad (one of my all time favs!) and Connie grilled twice baked potatoes and bacon wrapped filet mignon. Can you say, "Food comma?!?!" Like I said, the weather kept changing, so we stayed in and watched a girly movie (Sliding Doors with Gweneth Paltrow). It was good. And then we hit the hay "early" like around 11:30.

We got up this morning and went to the Corral for breakfast to get the full Douglas County experience. It was quite the experience, but had good food, too. There was an 8 year old (give or take) boy without shoes on in the restaurant running around! I seriously had never seen that before. It was even ruder when they got up to leave and then the kid put his shoes on. At least we had assumed before that he just didn't have any. Unbelievable. We went back to the camper and even though it was a little windy, went out for a boat ride. LOVE that. Then it was time to head home. It went so fast, but it was just wonderful. My battery is recharged and my cup is full.

Before I left on Friday, auntie NaeNae came over to cut Finn's hair, which I really appreciated. Hey, she got a huge Red Velvet Cake and a loaf of homemade bread for her troubles and some Finn/Austin time, so I don't think she minded too much. And Finn said "NaeNae" twice, not sure if she heard or not, though!

Becky graciously watched Finn today after Jim left for Michigan. I got there to pick him up around 5pm and after checking me out when I first walked in, Finn was like, "whatever!" and Austin wasn't even there! I'd forgotten he'd gotten a hair cut, so he of course looked so much older. He was talking a mile a minute, I'm sure telling me all about the fun he had with daddy and auntie Becca and Pete. I must seem so boring after all that fun.

I missed my boys, but the weekend was exactly what I needed. Now I'm just hoping I will be able to go to the 2nd Annual Smith Lake Girls' Weekend next year when I have a baby, too! Better get it on my calendar now :)

Thursday, July 15

Surprise!

What does Finn's shirt say? (kind of hard to read with his round belly!)

This confirms it, here we go again...

Wednesday, July 14

Well, er, sick child appt

On Monday, after going down for a nap at 8:30am and getting up at 2pm (seriously!), I decided Finn needed to get out of the house and we went to visit the twins. He didn't have any contagious symptoms, so neither I nor their mom was worried. Finn definitely perked up while we were there (even ate some snacks!) and crashed when we left. I think all the girls do him good!!

Finn still wasn't feeling 100% yesterday. His temp was up Monday night to the highest that I had recorded in the last few days (100.9 degrees) and he was on both Tylenol and Motrin at the time. Fortunately, we had his 18 month well-child appointment yesterday, so I knew I could at least talk to the doctor about it. After sleeping in until 11:30am (Finn always sleeps a lot, but this is getting ridiculous!), Finn ate a little breakfast and we headed to the doctor. As for his illness, she said it is going around and not to be concerned unless things worsen (he should have a wet diaper at least every 8 hours). He seemed a little better yesterday; his fever seemed lower and he was awake a little more than the last few days. He isn't up yet today, so not sure how he is feeling. Hopefully it is running its course.

Well, Finn is 28.5" long and weighs 21# 15oz. That puts him at <3% for height and 10% for weight (for actual age). I was disappointed with his height and had the nurse measure him twice...with the same result. I was just so sure he had grown more than one inch. Both his weight and height remain exactly on his own growth curve, which is what they are looking for. I wouldn't mind him "catching up" a bit though! Overall, his doctor is VERY impressed with him and says that he is graduating out of the "special needs" category! So good to hear. That being said, instead of waiting until the next well-child appointment (which would be 24 months), she wants to see him at 21 just for a weight check and a quick look over (which I appreciate since 24 months seems so long away!).

We talked about his milk intake, or the lack thereof. She said that a baby child his age could drink around 24 ounces a day. So I mentioned that he usually drinks between 8 and 12 ounces a day! She said to just keep offering him whole milk and he will drink what he drinks. I can start giving him low fat yogurt and cottage cheese instead of the full fat variety, as he doesn't need the extra fat (he needs whole milk for the vitamin D and protein). As far as him wanting to eat all day, she said just to keep regulating it. Nobody needs to eat constantly, but several small meals and healthy snacks a day is good. Honestly, he doesn't eat junk, so I feel like if I keep doing what I'm doing, he will be good.

I mentioned the PT's concerns about his hips and feet. She said that she wasn't concerned about his hips (or at least she didn't order an ultrasound for them) and that his PT would know more about his feet issues than she would. She also mentioned appointing a specialist who is a doctor who specializes in physical therapy patients to over see Finn's progress. That way one medical expert will know what is going on and can make appropriate recommendations. Not sure what the next step for that will be.

After one vaccine and one blood draw, we were finally done (the appointment lasted almost an hour and a half!). We headed over to aunt Angie's so mommy could get her hair did! Finn LOVES Erica (and as it turns out, Gavin, too!), so after letting him snooze a little in the car, since he fell asleep on the way over there, he woke up, went to Erica and I was chopped liver. Thank you so much for watching him. I REALLY needed to get my hair colored and cut. Glad to know he likes being with you guys so much! Erica said that Finn should just stay with them! So cute. I think I would miss him and changing all those diapers might get a little boring after a while!

Tuesday, July 13

Walsh family pics

Must be Jessica Hislop week here in blog land! Upon my mom's request, my sisters and I did a secret photo shoot with Jess in June with our whole family (12 people total..Jess's biggest group shoot to date!). We told mom about it this weekend on her birthday, so it isn't a secret any more. The shoot went really well. We weren't exactly sure what mom wanted other than a full group shot, so we did sisters, grandkids, individual grandkids and family "pods." They turned out really well (as usual per Jess, duh!). Here is the link if you'd like to take a look at the Walsh family!

http://www.jessicahislop.com/clients/Walsh

Don't make fun of me for the one where I'm terrified...we were jumping off a high table and I don't like heights! Also check out Jess's blog if you are interested in family pictures. She does these little "mini session" packages in the fall that work great for Christmas cards! Something to keep in mind (she fills up fast, so don't wait too long!).

Monday, July 12

Proceed with caution!

Finn's 18 month pictures are ready for viewing! This set of pictures is so different from the previous ones because 1. they are outside, which I LOVE and 2. Finn is just so much bigger and can stand and looks like a little boy (instead of a baby)!

To take a peek, all you have to do is go to www.jessicahislop.com/clients/Finn. The password for proofing is: 18months. Proceed with caution as you may not be able to stop looking at them (if you're like me, that is!).

Jess said it best, "Your little baby is growing up." As always, my little plug for Jess, keep her in mind for any of your photo needs; including babies, kids, families, seniors and events! She is just the best.

Whirlwind weekend

Well, our extended weekend was fabulous. I don't really get the chance to spend time like that at my mom's very often, so it was a nice treat. Finn was terrible on the drive out there and eventually just screamed about the last 20 minutes of the trip. I'm so sad because he used to be such a wonderful traveler. I need to "rent" Austin for long car rides to keep Finn busy, I guess! We got to mom's, I handed Finn over (which of course he was fine them because Austin was there!) and I headed to dinner with two of my high school girl friends. We hadn't done this since, well, probably high school, so it was great to catch up. I told mom I'd probably be home around 8:30 and I think we finally closed down the patio around 10 or a little after. Oops!

Friday was a great, relaxing day. It seemed that Finn and Austin didn't get to see each other because as one was going down for a nap, the other would get up and vice versa (Austin had two naps/rests so he could stay up late for the bonfire!). In the afternoon the three of us walked over to my dad's. Austin had a blast climbing on the huge dirt piles. My dad hadn't seen Finn in a really long time, so he kept saying how big he was! Later, after Finn went to bed, we went to the "neighbors up north" (that is what Austin told me!) for a bonfire. It wasn't windy, which was nice for the smoke factor, but not so nice for the buggy factor.

Saturday morning, Austin, Finn, Becky, Grandma, me and Grandma's neighbor Pat, who is a local fire fighter took a trip over to the Murdock fire station. The boys loved it (although I don't know how much Finn really understood). He loved the flashing lights of course. Jim got to town around Noon and we headed over to Benson for the Smith family reunion (my mom's dad's family). There wasn't nearly as many people there this year as there have been in the past, but I guess it was a different weekend than normal or something. My grandpa is one of 12 kids and his offspring made up the biggest presense for sure. We came back to mom's when it was over and then took mom out to dinner for her birthday (which was on Sunday...Happy Birthday, Mom!). People from the reunion were going to gather back there in the evening for a huge bonfire and I toyed with the idea of going (plus, Becky, Pete and Austin were tenting there and it would have been nice to spend some time with them). Well, as it turned out, that was NOT in the cards. Just as we got home from dinner, the skies opened and the storm of all storms rained down on us. The wind was so loud, it sounded like constant thunder. Mom said they got 2.5 inches in a matter of an hour or a little more. Crazy. Thanksfully, no storm damage, though. Needless to say, we didn't head back over to Benson for any bonfires! And Becky, Pete and Austin survived (Austin has been obessed with tornadoes, so he was very concerned about one!).

Sunday, we got up intending to go to church with my grandma (and the WHOLE gang), but little Mr. Finnegan was hot to the touch (I didn't have a baby thermometer to check his temp for sure), whiney and clingy. He got up at 8:45, ate some yogurt and baby cereal, then Finn went back to bed at 9:30 and slept until 11:45...don't get me wrong, he likes to sleep, but that is a bit much even for him. Since we would have had to leave at 9:30 for church, Jim and I stayed back and waited for Finn to wake up. After church all of my cousins, aunts and uncles went over to my grandma's house (mom's mom) to celebrate her 80th birthday party. We managed to get there, just a little late. All of my mom's eight siblings were there and all but three or so cousins were there (which is really good considering there is 20 of us, I think). Then you add on great grand children and spouses and there was an entire backyard full of people. So good to see everybody, even if Finn was crabby, whiney and clingy the whole time.

We headed out a little early to get Finn home and so we could have some family time at home before Jim has to head back to Michigan (two weeks down, hopefully only two more to go!).

Pictures to come, I didn't take a ton with my camera, so I'm going to have to get them from Becky and mom. Thanks for the hospitality, mom!

Thursday, July 8

Aren't walkers for old people?

I normally would wait until tomorrow to post about Finn's PT this morning, but since we won't have access, I just wanted to share this quickly. Finn used a walker today in PT! It was so cute and he looked SO big. They often use different kinds of walkers to help kids with delays in walking, which Finn obviously has. He didn't really "get" it, but Kristine (PT) said that is very common the first time they try. She also said that the plan will be to use one kind or another at each visit going forward to see if he takes to one (they have the walk behind push toys to try, too). Yay...anything to help little Mr. Finnegan to walk...I'm game! And of course I didn't bring my camera today to take a picture. Oh, well. There's always next time.

We're outta here. Have a fabulous weekend, everybody!

Bottles are for the weak

Yesterday, Finn's EI team came for their visit. I talked to Finn's teacher about his emotional attachments. After seeing other kids interact with their parents last Saturday, I was having some concerns about Finn. He just doesn't show affection like they did and doesn't really seem to get comfort from Jim or me. His teacher said she has ZERO concerns about Finn emotionally or with his attachments. She said that he has an independent personality (something we have nurtured since he came home from the hospital...our blessing and our curse, I guess!) and clearly has a normal, healthy attachment to us (she said when it isn't normal, it is VERY obvious). Well, I guess feel better! Better to ask the question than to wonder.

We are bottle free! With the except of one night last week, Finn has not had a bottle in at least a month! I still have them out on the counter, waiting to be used, but we haven't needed them. It is SO nice not having to wash them all the time (of course it didn't help that I only had three!). With sippy cups, I can just use them and then throw them in the dishwasher. Love it. I'm surprised I'm not sad about being done with the bottles, but I guess it was time. Now if only Finn would drink more milk from a cup, things would be wonderful!

We are off to Grandma's house this afternoon (i.e. get to see Austin!) for a long weekend without access to the internet (I know, can you believe some people still don't have internet at their home...ha, ha!). I'm having dinner with some girlfriends from high school tonight, we're hopefully seeing Grandpa "Egg" (my dad...Greg) tomorrow at some point, a neighborhood bonfire in the evening, family reunion on Saturday and my Grandma's 80th birthday party on Sunday. Whew. Hope we survive! Jim is meeting us in Murdock either late Friday night after his flight gets in or Saturday some time.

Wednesday, July 7

18 already?!?!

I meant to post yesterday because our pumpkin pie "turned" 18 months old! Where does the time go?



On the left is 7/6/09 and the right is 7/7/10 (forgot to take this comparison shot yesterday...oops!). My, how much difference a year makes. This time last year, he was losing weight and couldn't lift his head (partly due to his major torticollis). Now he is sitting, crawling, pulling up to stand and obviously loving his snacks (no more weight concerns...thankfully)!

Yesterday Finn and I didn't have anything planned (a rare day for us). But when I woke up, I remembered that my aunt Angie is on "break" from work and called to see if they had plans. Low and behold, they didn't! So Finn and I went over to play and to go to lunch with Angie and Erica (at the Sunshine Factory...Yumm-O!). It was confirmed that I'm not a member of the Perfect Mom's Club when I gave Finn rice that was too hot and burned his mouth. I, seriously, was more tramatized that Finn was. What kind of a mother does that?!?! He recovered quickly and Finn just LOVED Erica. I think I have a found babysitter! We came home, Finn napped and then auntie Becca invited us over for dinner (she needed my recipe for Thai peanut chicken...her and my favorite!). So we went over there! Note: Finn was NOT happy when he realized Austin was not there (Austin is at my mom's for the week). For not having anything planned, we sure had a fun day!

Today, Finn wants to wish auntie NaeNae a very happy birthday! He can't wait to see you on Sunday to sing Happy Birthday to you. I better start working on that! Ha, ha. Hope you have a fabulous day, sista! We love you.

Monday, July 5

Ideals

You know how when you are pregnant with your first child, you dream about what kind of parent you are going to be, how you will do things differently (or the same!) as your parents and how you aren't going to do things just because it is the easy way, but you'll do it the RIGHT way?!?! No, just me? Well, I did. I like to consider myself a well-adjusted and educated woman and I was going to do things "by the book." I made my own baby food (except when we traveled), I read books to Finn every day (or as often as I remembered or he reminded me!) and I said, "No french fries for my kid!" I had read some where that for American children, french fries were their favorite "vegetable" and that disgusted me (and still does!). And I held out for a long time (mainly because he wouldn't self feed, probably!).

Well, on the way home today from dropping daddy off at the airport, I had to stop and get gas and an Arby's hot ham and cheese sandwich was calling my name. The kind of calling my name where the car had a mind of its own...it just drove itself into the drive through lane! So I obliged. I got it with curly fries (duh, who wouldn't?!?!) and while it wasn't the first time he'd had fries, Finn ate at least half of them on the way home. He would just stick his chubby arm out the side of his car seat and grunt to let me know he was ready for another one. So much for my ideals! I'm still set on not ORDERING him his own fries, like in a happy meal (now they have healthy alternatives), but we'll see how long that lasts! I guess I'm no longer a card carrying member of the Perfect Mom's Club (and Finn will probably thank me for it later!).

Saturday I made a red velvet cake (my specialty!) for Jim's friend, Mike's non-birthday, birthday party. However, this was my first time adding pecans...which was an interesting endeavor.And I got to use my new Tupperware cake taker (LOVED it by the way!). I also made "velvet" cupcakes for the kids (sans red food coloring!). The party was great, even if it was a touch warm. All the kids had a blast and Finn held out with only a nap until 9pm! And the little bugger didn't fall asleep the WHOLE way home! Hello...they live like 40 minutes from us! Sunday (Happy Fourth of July everyone!) was a quiet family day, which we needed. We got Finn's pool out and he got to swim and play with his water toys. At the end, I brought out the soap and he got his first outdoor bath (easier than bringing him in and filling another tub, right?). Like I said previously, now daddy is on his way back to Michigan for another week. One week down, three (or more) to go.

Friday, July 2

Not again!

Okay, I changed the blog again. I know, I know...enough already! There were just too many things about the last template that I needed to fix and didn't know how. I'm still hopeful that a friend can help me offline and then I would change it back. But in the meantime, this is it. Simple, but it works.

Ride 'em cowboy

Wednesday we had PT in the morning. Julie was very impressed with Finn's development and stability. She worked a ton with transitioning to standing and said that he is definitely "getting" it. So we are focusing on transitioning and cruising (which he can do, he just forgets that he is standing some times!).

In the afternoon, Memere, Finn and I headed to the park for our ECFE play date. Finn had a great time, as there is a pool. All the kids went swimming, so it was a little chaotic. We got some pictures, but they are on Memere's camera and I, of course, forgot to get them off!

Wednesday evening, we decided we deserved some Dairy Queen and "shared" a banana split. I stress share because Finn pretty much ate it all! He wouldn't let Memere have a bite inbetween his bites. I think she did manage to get a couple in, though. Finn needs to learn to share and patience! After three wonderful days, Memere left to go home Wednesday after Finn's bedtime. It was great having another pair of hands and help! She mowed the lawn for me, which made me feel guilty, but she offered...and it looks great.

Yesterday, Finn and I went over to the Twins' house! We hadn't seen them in over a month, which is terrible! In our defense, they DID move houses in that month and I'm sure a little busy. Finn loves their house because there are so many "new" toys to play with and girls everywhere! I love their new house because it is spacious and open (jealous much?!?!).I didn't know that Finn could "ride" one of these toys (his toes JUST barely reached the ground)! Shockers of all shockers, we actually don't have anything like it at our house (I thought we had EVERY toy imaginable!). Unless Austin does...maybe I should check the garage! Anyway, Finn loved it. I told him we wouldn't tell anybody that it was a pink horse, though, so shhhhhh! Oh, and Ms. Juliette is full on WALKING! I can't believe it (and I think Lily will be soon!). We left when the girls laid down for a nap...and I think Finn was sleeping before we got out of their development.

Last night before bath and bed, Finn and I Skyped with daddy. While Memere was here, I don't think Finn really noticed Jim was gone (or maybe noticed, but didn't seem to mind). Yesterday, however, I could tell Finn missed Jim because he kept saying, "dadda, dadda, dadda." Now that Finn is older, he seems much more aware of when things are different. This was the first time that Finn "got" that daddy was on the 'puter and LOVED it. He kept waving to him and smiling. But daddy comes home today (yay!) and got an earlier flight (double yay!), so Finn will get to see him this evening!

Thursday, July 1

Sneak peek

Jess is amazing. She already posted four pictures from Finn's photo shoot (okay, she did yesterday, but I didn't do a post!). They are on Facebook, so if you have access to Facebook, so to Jessica Hislop Photography & Design. If the link doesn't work, just type in the name at the top. Super cute pics, if I do say so myself! She is on vacation this week, so hopefully that tides you over until all of the pictures are ready. Thanks again, Jess.