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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.

Tuesday, August 31

Super extra good news

Think back to last October-ish time frame and the struggle we had with getting Finn's home health nurse set up to administer his Synegis. Well, this is what I was anticipating with getting my progesterone. However, exactly 24 hours after my appointment, everything is set up! I just got a call from the home health agency and they are over nighting my medicine to me today and one of their nurses will be calling me to administer the shot on Friday (when I am 16 weeks)! AND it is 100% covered by insurance which means no $20 copay every week! If you do the math, 40 weeks minus 16 weeks times $20 per week...that saves us almost $500! Sweet. If you can't tell, I'm very happy and excited.

After our appointment yesterday and after talking to the home health agency, I'm feeling VERY confident that we will be able to "cook" this baby much longer than we did with Finn. I just feel like we are taking measures to prevent it from happening and if something DOES happen, they are watching me so closely that at the very least, they'll be able to keep my water from breaking which means keeping that baby safer longer to keep growing. Maybe I'm just being overly optimistic, but I'm a worry wart by nature, so this feels good. Now that being said, all the prayers possible would still be much appreciated!

Daddy showing Finn pictures of his sibling:

I'll be posting the new ultrasound pictures on our picture website soon...hopefully later today!

Monday, August 30

And the verdict is...

...inconclusive! Sorry. We told the tech that we didn't want to know if she wasn't 100% sure and the baby was moving around so darn much, that she couldn't be sure. So, we wait two more weeks and find out then! Still earlier than when we found out with Finn.

Other than not finding out the sex, everything looks great. The baby is exactly the right size for how far along we are and my cervix looks fantastic! Yay. They initiated the paperwork for me to get weekly progesterone shots starting next week...and hopefully by a home health nurse. The agency already called me before I left the hospital grounds! Now I call that being on the ball (after the fiasco with Finn's Synergis, I was not holding my breath).

Oh and we scheduled our next next ultrasound (the one after the next one) for the day before we leave for Orlando. The doctor said that as long as things look good, there is no reason why I can't fly. He did ask how long we'll be gone for to make sure it wasn't too long! But I will only be 19 weeks, so there really isn't too much reason for concern at that point (hopefully at least!). Although, with my last pregnancy, I would have said that same thing about being 24 weeks, too!

Sunday, August 29

Wild weekend

Well, I decided I needed the most help with the guest room, so we worked on that Friday. Man, what would I do without my mom?!?! When she's on a mission, watch out! I went through all my clothes in that closet and got rid of at least two thirds of them (yay me!). Almost everything from the closet found a new home and there isn't much left in the room (well, except the bed and all the office/desk stuff). That will keep for another day! Now I just need to go through Finn's 12 month clothes, find Austin's 18 month clothes and go through and organize all my maternity clothes! Easy, right...

Auntie Kristine and Alex came over for dinner Friday night. I made spare ribs in the crock pot...a first for me. And man, were they good, if I do say so myself. I hate to say how easy they were to make, but they were! Jim had seconds, which is a huge compliment, even though he had his doubts if he would like them. I served them with rice and ceasar pasta salad. I think everybody liked it all, since there wasn't much left of anything (or I didn't make enough...ha,ha!).

Saturday Auntie Becca and Austin came over and we played outside a lot and mom trimmed our massive bush outside our dining room window and hauled away all the branches (with Austin's help of course!). I also made a birthday cake (lemon torte...also a first for me!) for aunt Kelsie and ran and picked up decorations for her birthday party, which was later that night. Grandma took Finn for the night and Jim and I headed over to the birthday party. Even though I couldn't drink (obviously) I had a great time, although we did stay a little too late for this ol' preggo lady! Apparently Jim and John are masters at beer pong...who knew?!?!

Today, Grandma, Finn and I went to church...only to find Auntie Becca and Austin there! What a nice surprise. Finn wasn't terrible, although when it is your kid making the noise, you always think it is worse. We came back and Jim and I made brunch, but Grandma had to leave before breakfast was ready. Thank you, thank you, thank you, mom, for all your help. It is TRULY appreciated. The rest of the day was kind of a lazy, nappy day. Finn has been usually crabby the last couple days...I'm thinking he is either going through a growth spurt (please God!) or he is teething. Bring on the drugs! Memere and Grandpa came for the evening and are spending part of the day tomorrow with us (and kindly watching Finn during our ultrasound!).

Oh, and I didn't mention a very big Happy birthday to aunt Kelsie, which was on Friday (because I had my pregnancy post!). It was the big 3 - 0! Sounds like you had  fabulous birthday weekend, which is all we could ask for. Love you lots and welcome to the thirties!

Friday, August 27

15 weeks

How your baby's growing: Your growing baby now measures about 4" long, crown to rump, and weighs in at about 2 1/2 oz. (about the size of an apple).
She's busy moving amniotic fluid through her nose and upper respiratory tract, which helps the primitive air sacs in her lungs begin to develop. Her legs are growing longer than her arms now, and she can move all of her joints and limbs. Although her eyelids are still fused shut, she can sense light. If you shine a flashlight at your tummy, for instance, she's likely to move away from the beam. There's not much for your baby to taste at this point, but she is forming taste buds. Finally, if you have an ultrasound this week, you may be able to find out whether your baby's a boy or a girl! (Don't be too disappointed if it remains a mystery, though. Nailing down your baby's sex depends on the clarity of the picture and on your baby's position. He or she may be modestly curled up or turned in such a way as to "hide the goods.") [we will hopefully find out on Monday...but I won't post it here until we've had the chance to tell our family!]

How your life's changing: You've probably gained about 5 pounds by now (a little more or less is fine, too) [as of this morning, I'm at 4 pounds] and are well into the swing of your pregnancy, but you may still be surprised by an unexpected symptom now and then. [I thought I was done with nausea, but this morning, I thought for sure I was going to hurl!] If your nose is stuffed up, for instance, you can probably chalk it up to the combined effect of hormonal changes and increased blood flow to your mucous membranes. This condition is so common, there's even a name for it: "rhinitis of pregnancy." Some pregnant women also suffer nosebleeds as a result of increased blood volume and blood vessel expansion in the nose. [nope, thankfully none of that...yet at least]

If you're having amniocentesis [nope], it'll most likely happen between now and 18 weeks. This test can identify hundreds of genetic and chromosomal disorders. If you're getting very anxious while waiting for the results, it may help to know that most women who undergo amniocentesis get good news about their babies — bringing welcome relief from their worries.

Don't be surprised if you and your partner are feeling a little stressed out these days. Many pregnant couples worry about their baby's health and how they'll handle the changes ahead. But with physical discomforts on the wane and energy on the rise, this is also a wonderful trimester for most women. [maybe headaches on the wane, too?!?! Fingers crossed!]

Thursday, August 26

No need for squatting

We had a fun play date at the park yesterday afternoon with our ECFE friends. Gavin pretty much played with Finn the whole time, so I got to chat with the moms...kind of nice. Finn and I are a little sad, though, because it was our last one of the summer! I can't believe fall ECFE starts next week because it is SEPTEMBER! Where did the summer go?!?! We are hoping to keep in touch with this group of moms and kids with monthly play dates, especially since it seems there aren't many in our fall class.

We had PT today and worked on squatting. Man, Finn just does NOT like that position. It almost seems like he doesn't know he can stop inbetween...he either has to be standing or sitting. I did notice today, though, that when he was walking with Melissa, he was bending his knees a lot! This is a new development and hopefully a sign of things to come. Better get out in the walker this afternoon to practice!

When we got home, Finn saw his KeeKee (blanket...not sure how to spell keekee...hmmm) and that is all he wanted. So I gave it to him, he put his thumb in his mouth and he was ready for a nap...even though it was only 11:30! Hey, who am I to argue?!? Now I just hope it doesn't throw his whole day off.

Grandma is coming tonight for a visit! We are so excited (although I haven't told Finn yet). I'm not sure if I need the most help with organizing Finn's clothes and transitioning to the next size or starting to organize the guest room in preparation for moving everything out of it for when #2 comes! Hmmm...hopefully I have energy tomorrow to work on at least one of these projects.

And Finn wants to wish Memere and Grandpa a very happy anniversary!

Wednesday, August 25

Another visitor

My cousin, Gavin (Erica's younger brother) didn't have daycare today, so Angie dropped him off last night and he is spending the day with Finn and me. Finn loves having him around, even if he keeps calling him Austin (or Erica!)! Ha, ha. Gavin is harder for him to say...kind of sounds like GaGa...but I'm sure with practice it will get better. We have a play date this afternoon at the park, so I think it will be good for both boys to get outside in this B-E-A-utiful weather and wear off some energy!

I found out yesterday that we got into our first choice for ECFE! I would have been happy with either our first or second choice...the main difference was time of day. Our class is at 11:15 and the other one is at 9:15. Since my little man likes to sleep in, I would have probably had to wake him up for the earlier class, which wouldn't have been the end of the world. I also like the location better for our class (a little closer and easier to find parking!). Classes start next Wednesday already. Crazy. I haven't heard about the preemie class yet, so I might have to call.

DOTD (Deal of the day!): I just got Finn an art easel from Amazon for less than $15 and free shipping! It was on clearance for 57% off...can't beat that. I thought it would make a nice Christmas present. It is half chalk and half dry erase board (and I figured we could probably clip paper to it for when he wants to draw). Hopefully we'll get a lot of use out of it!

Oh, I forgot to mention that we went to visit the twins yesterday. Finn slept in, of course, so we didn't get there until later than planned, but no big deal. We had time to enjoy the lovely weather and go for a short walk. Lily is ALMOST walking! It is so cute to see, since she is such a little peanut. Juliette is talking up a storm. Love to see their progress. On the "way" home, I stopped to pick up my prescription...and it wasn't ready! A day and a half after my appointment. Argh. So I called and it was ready last night instead. Still, making extra trips is not fun or practical!

Tuesday, August 24

You can't find me

Yesterday before Jim left town for the week (again!), we went to my OB appt. We dropped Finn off at Erica's (which conveniently happens to be about a mile from my Dr's office!) so he could play instead of get bored with us (and then she came back home with us for the day). I had a list of questions like usual, but all of the ones relating to progesterone will need to be directed to the perninatologist next week. Contrary to some comments I've received, there is NO risk to the baby for the extra ultrasounds we'll be having (no radiation, no heat, just sound waves). And Miralax is safe during pregnancy...yay! TMI, I know, but I'm pregnant and can't help it!

We talked about my constant headaches/migraines (this one is going on two weeks now!) and upped my meds to vicodin (from codeine). As long as I'm not taking several doses every day, it is safe during pregnancy and should be more effective for the pain. If not, I'll just go back to codeine. And of course my fingers are crossed that they get better on their own.

We opted against doing the blood test to check for Down Syndrome and Spina Bifida since, if the results come back as unfavorable, the next step would be a level two ultrasound, which we will be having on Monday anyway. She did check for the heartbeat and after literally almost TEN minutes (which she apologized for afterwards), she found it. I was fine for the first several minutes, but then I started to worry a little. The little peanut was hiding from us, way up on the right side of my uterus and kept moving around. The heartbeat was 147 bps which is right where they want it to be. Our next appointment will be in 4 weeks!

Monday, August 23

Cornfest 2010

Both boys did well on the way to Ortonville on Saturday AM. At one point, I wish I could have stopped and taken a picture...they were both sleeping with their heads tilted at the same angle and mouths hanging open. Like father like son, I guess! Finn had enough about two hours in and luckily we were planning on stopping in Benson, which is about two and a half hours, at my aunt Lisa's for a little visit and lunch. Worked perfectly. We got fed, got to catch up, her boys got to meet and play with Finn and Finn got a much needed break from the car (no pictures, darn it. I'm usually better about that...guess I needed a break, too!).

We made it to Oville around 3pm, rested for a while and then braved the hot, humid, no-breeze day to go down to the lake side where all the Cornfest vendors were. Even though they didn't have funnel cake this year (I know, crazy!), the cheese curds, mini donuts, smoothies and everything else were fantastic. After checking things out, we went up to visit Granny with NeNe and Uncle Les. Granny couldn't believe how much food Finn ate...he kyped NeNe and Granny's Indian taco...sorry! On Sunday, I even was able to find the same vendor that I got Finn's extra large receiving blanket from last year (I lost the sad!), but got one for baby #2! is hard to find them that size and it is perfect for so many things. Yellow with monkeys should work for boy or girl!

Sunday, Jim made a wonderfully huge breakfast and then we headed to the parade...Finn's first parade. After not being too sure at first what was going on and all the loud noises, he loved it. Thankfully, he was too small this year to want or get any candy, but I'm sure next year will be a different story! He did get a frisbee, so we left that at Memere and Grandpa's to add to their toy collection. We made it back last night JUST after kickoff of the Vikings game (would have made it if Finn hadn't had to eat...but people frown upon starving your child, so we stopped!). We were all exhausted after all the activites and heat, but glad we went!

Saturday, August 21

Last day

Jim's cousin, Ann, came over to watch Finn for us Thursday night so we could have a grown up "date night." It was awesome and much needed. We met John and Kelsie at Buca de Beppo's and had a great meal and conversation. Might need to do it regularly so I get out of the house (with Jim!) once in a while, but without Finn! Love him, but it was nice to actually enjoy my uninterupted meal. Thanks again, Ann, for watching Finn and thanks, John and Kelsie for the fun evening. Wish we would have had room for ice cream afterwards. Boo.

Yesterday was my last day of watching Austin. Sad :( Becky starts fall classes next week, so her school day care is open on Fridays...much easier to bring Austin there, then lug him all the way over to my house and come back to pick him up. I understand, but Finn and I are very sad. We'll have to make dinner or play dates so we still get to see him regularly. We've been spoiled! Since it was his last day, I let Austin pick what we did. He picked going to the pool...but we got rained out after an hour. Oh, well. We came home, had lunch and naps and then he got to show me how he rides his new big boy bike! So cute. Finn chased after him in his walker. I think he likes the freedom the walker gives him, even if he isn't very good at steering it (steering is not our concern right now...just taking the steps).

This morning we are off to Oville for the much anticipated Cornfest. There are different activities around town with a fair-like atmosphere and there will be ample opportunity for Lynn to show Finn off. Finn will also get to see his great great grandma, Granny. So far, Finn has gone each year...even when I was pregnant with him! Should be a fun weekend. The fact that Jim came to bed last night at 5am should make for an interesting ride there. Hope Finn (and Jim!) is good in the car!

Friday, August 20

Second Trimester - 14 weeks!

How your baby's growing: This week's big developments: Your baby can now squint, frown, grimace, pee, and possibly suck his thumb! Thanks to brain impulses, his facial muscles are getting a workout as his tiny features form one expression after another. His kidneys are producing urine, which he releases into the amniotic fluid around him — a process he'll keep up until birth. The amount of amniotic fluid that your baby is floating in increases dramatically this week, to about a quart. He can grasp, too, and if you're having an ultrasound now, you may even catch him sucking his thumb. [that would be awesome...maybe next week!]

In other news: Your baby's stretching out. From head to bottom, he measures 3 1/2 inches — about the size of a lemon — and he weighs 1 1/2 ounces.
His body's growing faster than his head, which now sits upon a more distinct neck. By the end of this week, his arms will have grown to a length that's in proportion to the rest of his body. (His legs still have some lengthening to do.) He's starting to develop an ultra-fine, downy covering of hair, called lanugo, all over his body. Your baby's liver starts making bile this week — a sign that it's doing its job right — and his spleen starts helping in the production of red blood cells. Though you can't feel his tiny punches and kicks yet, your little pugilist's hands and feet (which now measure about 1/2 inch long) are more flexible and active.
How your life's changing: Welcome to your second trimester! Your energy is likely returning [hopefully soon!], your breasts may be feeling less tender, and your queasiness may have completely abated by now [as long as I don't have an empty stomach]. If not, hang on — chances are good it will soon be behind you (although an unlucky few will still feel nauseated months from now).

The top of your uterus is a bit above your pubic bone, which may be enough to push your tummy out a tad. [I have to say, I think I am starting to "pop" and feel like I have a little tummy...much earlier than with Finn!] Starting to show can be quite a thrill, giving you and your partner visible evidence of the baby you've been waiting for. Take some time to plan, daydream, and enjoy this amazing time. It's normal to worry a bit now and then, but try to focus on taking care of yourself and your baby, and having faith that you're well equipped for what's ahead.

Should you find out the sex of your baby?
Boy, girl — or big surprise? Sixty-four percent of mothers-to-be said they wanted to find out the sex of their baby ahead of time, while the rest preferred to wait. [oh, we are finding out, but I thought this was interesting!]"We decided that the surprise of 'it's a boy!' or 'it's a girl!' is the same surprise at 5 months as it is at the birth," said Jessica. Michael disagreed: "I think the old-fashioned way is the best. Finding out before birth is like opening your Christmas presents before Christmas!" If you're still on the fence, here's a look at the pros and cons of each side.
Benefits of finding out:
• Many women say they feel a deeper bond with the baby once they know the sex and can picture a little boy or girl. [I needed this with Finn because I wanted a girl so badly, but it took all of one second to not care any more!]
• You can prepare an older sibling for the arrival of a new little brother or sister. [Finn's too young to know the difference between a brother or sister]
• You can narrow down your list of baby names. [this is a BIG one for us!]
• You can pick out a gender-specific nursery theme or baby clothes, if you want to. [this is big one, too, because what we do with the rooms will depend if we're having a boy or girl...moving Finn or not...and I don't want to be painting and decorating a room with a newborn and a toddler!]

Benefits of waiting:
• You, your partner, and your family will have a delightful surprise on the day you give birth. [that is why we want to keep the name a secret...still have a surprise for everybody...and incase we change our minds!]
• Your desire to know whether your baby is a boy or a girl might motivate you during the toughest parts of labor. [really?!?! If finding out if you're having a boy or girl is the only reason why you keep pushing...then have a C section! That's just silly.]
• You'll be following in the tradition of your parents, your parents' parents, and so on. [agreed, and this was something I had to come to terms with]
• There will be no mistakes — what you see is what you get! [there is a small concern about this, but with today's technology, the chances are so low that I have faith in what they determine...especially since we'll be having several ultrasounds so we can double and triple check!

Thursday, August 19

Smoochies and walking

Did I meantion that Finn now blows kisses? It is so cute and I'm not even really sure how he learned it. Jim would do it on and off with him, but not all the time. Well, Finn does it now and is so proud of himself when he does (I think he likes the reaction he gets from people)! It, of course, melts me heart.

We have a new member to our family...Finn's new walker! And I was able to get Finn's "walking" video from PT today (I hope it uploaded correctly).
He did great again today, although was a little more hesitant than last week. We were able to bring teh walker home with us today for at least two weeks. I hope he likes being in it as much as he does while at PT.

Finn loved having Erica here. She even changed two poopy diapers yesterday! Afterwhich she informed me that she is babysitter certified and they trained her how to change poopy diapers in her certification class. Well, who knew?!?! She is welcome to all the diaper changes she wants. I think she is coming back to visit next week, so Finn won't have to go too long without her. When I got him up this morning, he saw me and looked at the door, like "hey, where's Erica?" I said, "Erica is still here." And he (plain as day) says, "Erica?" No lisp, no Er-ka, no Ka-ka. I was impressed since it is a tough one to say!

Wednesday, August 18

Panera's Mac & Cheese

Well the verdict on the Target diapers? Begrudgingly, they aren't bad. I can't justify spending so much more on Pampers Cruisers. I compared yesterday and you get 20 less Pampers for $5 more per box! I guess I'm a convert, even if I am kicking and screaming (and pouting!).

I'm trying to create a family wall in our living room and I needed four frames to complete the look. So we headed to Walmart (they have cheap frames and usually a good selection). I didn't find the frames I wanted BUT we did get the deal of the day (we are big on deals of the day lately!). We got Finn a swim shirt and trunks for this winter for $4 total! The regular price was $14. I was proud of myself considering I've been looking at Target and they never have boys trunks on sale (and last time I looked I couldn't find any, even not on sale!). Finn should be set in the swimwear department at least until next spring! Now I'll just need to find a preggo suit for me for fall/winter swim classes...yuck.

Last night I made Panera's Mac & Cheese. Of course, this is no ordinary mac & cheese. I had to go to three stores to get all the "right" ingredients (Jim insisted on white American and white extra sharp cheddar...which is what the recipe calls for), but I have to say, it was so worth it! Definitely a keeper recipe. Finn did NOT like me cooking last night. I made it before Jim got home, and Finn just wanted me the whole time. Glad I don't have to cook every night! Even Jim said it was really good (consequently, he does love Panera's mac & cheese, which is why I tried this recipe). It will be on the recipe page shortly!

Er-ka (my cousin Erica) came last night to stay for a couple days. She is home alone all day, which is fine because she is old enough, but gets bored and lonely. Finn and I aren't a ball of laughs, but at least we are people to talk to and play with. Finn loves her, so that makes it fun to see them together. School starts in a few weeks, so we'll see how much time we get to spend with her in the meantime!

Tuesday, August 17

No more free money

Yesterday, Finn and I went over to our friend Jaleah's house. Finn had a blast...there were two other kids there his same age and they have a huge toy room! Jaleah is also a 25 week preemie who was born two months before Finn and Blake is a full term baby who was born in April (so the same age as Finn adjusted). I think Finn was a little tired because he was whiney, which he isn't usually when we go places. We had lunch there and then tried to go swimming in their kiddie pool...too cold for Finn! I guess he doesn't like cold water. He just splashed from the side. Finn took a two and a half hour nap on the way home and once we got home, so I think he was tired!

The last few days, we've been keeping the windows open! I love it. I don't get to do it often, as Jim hates being hot. But since the highs have been in the upper 70's and the lows in the 50's, it has worked perfectly. However, I now appreciate how sound proof our windows are! Man, we live in a busy neighborhood and it doesn't help that they are building a bridge two blocks away.

I found out today that my unemployement finally ran out. Boo. That was a big chunk of change every week that we are going to miss dearly. I guess all good things must come to an end, but it was a good run. If Jim didn't travel so much, I'd consider getting a part-time evening/weekend job, but I don't see that happening. If you know anybody who is looking for a marketing consultant or any job I can do from home, please let me know!

Monday, August 16


Finn's walking video was too big to email to me. SO, I'm going to hopefully remember my portable hard drive this week when we go to PT so she can just transfer it onto there.

Saturday night the three of us headed over to uncle John and aunt Kelsie's for dinner and to play. Kelsie was watching her three cousins (ages 5, 4 and 2!), so there was lots going on. While we were there, we watched the first half of the Vikings game. After demonstrating it to Finn only a couple times, he started putting his arms in the air and yelling "TOUCHDOWN!" in a high pitch cheering voice! That's my boy. Wish I had the video camera (but I did take a couple pics with Kelsie's camera). I'm sure we'll get it on video for the next game. Skol Vikings!

While we were there, Kelsie brought out some colored pencils and paper for the kids to draw on. This was a first for Finn and while he didn't really draw that much, he did love trying! So yesterday we picked up some jumbo crayons and drawing paper at Target so Finn has something to draw with. BTW: Jim got the deal of the day on the drawing paper...was supposed to be $3.99 per pack of 50 sheets, but it was marked at $.77 so we got it for that price! Sweet.
After Finn's nap, daddy got the supplies out and colored with Finn. As you can guess, the light dots are from Finn and the rest is from daddy, but Finn was very proud of his first picture. It is hanging on the wall in the kitchen. I know being able to draw a straight line is a big developmental milestone, so we figured, "why not let Finn try once in a while?" Plus, if Finn inherited any of daddy's drawing ability, I have a feeling we'll be investing a lot in drawing supplies!

Saturday, August 14

We have a walker

Finn walked at PT on Thursday! (waiting for PT to send the cute!)

Okay, he obviously had the assistance of a walker (hence the play on words with the title!), but he got it right away. His PT was expecting to have to push him around in it, but once we got out of the room and into the big room, away he went! We even had to put resistance on the wheels because he was cruising around too fast and crashing into things. He was SO proud of himself and it just made me want to cry. This walker supports him at his chest, so his legs still have to do all the work. There is a seat he can rest on when needed, but it isn't meant for him to sit while walking. Another PT needs to try it this week with her patient and then we get to take it home next week for two weeks! I really think it is going to make a difference. You go, Finn!

Our PT appt are usually in the morning, but Thursday it was at 2pm (prime nap time). So Finn fell asleep on the way home from PT (not used to using all those leg muscles!) just for long enough that he couldn't go back to sleep once we got home. Darn it! For the rest of the afternoon and evening, we "argued" about whether or not he needed to nap and he was a total bear. I even called Jim just so somebody else could listen to it for a while (poor, Jim!). Finally I gave Finn a bath (something that always calms him down) and put him to bed early. It was a tough night for both of us. He must have passed out because I didn't hear him once, even with all the storms Thursday night!

Yesterday, our beach plans were canceled due to the weather. Boo. But Austin, Finn and I headed over to Stacey and Dillon's anyway for a play date. All the boys had fun (Finn came home without any clothes on because his got soaked playing in puddles...hey, I pick my battles!) and it was time to leave before we knew it. But not before we got some homemade, freshly baked banana bread! Super yummy.

Friday, August 13

Lucky 13

Thirteen weeks on Friday the 13th. Must mean good luck, right?

How your baby's growing: Fingerprints have formed on your baby's tiny fingertips, her veins and organs are clearly visible through her still-thin skin, and her body is starting to catch up with her head — which makes up just a third of her body size now. Your baby is almost 3 inches long (the size of a medium shrimp) and weighs nearly an ounce.
Your baby is shorter than a finger, but her face is already showing individual features and characteristics! Her ears are now developed enough that she may be able to hear when you sing, hum, or talk love that!]. If you're having a girl, she now has more than 2 million eggs in her ovaries.
How your life's changing: This is the last week of your first trimester, and your risk of miscarriage is now much lower than earlier in pregnancy. Next week marks the beginning of your second trimester, a time of relative comfort for many women who see early pregnancy symptoms such as morning sickness and fatigue subside [I hope so...I'm tired of being tired!]. More good news: Many couples also notice a distinct libido lift around this time. [well, Jim will be!] Birth is still months away, but your breasts may have already started making colostrum, the nutrient-rich fluid that feeds your baby for the first few days after birth, before your milk starts to flow.

Thursday, August 12

To Do complete

I forgot to mention in all the excitement this week that Finn got a "new" play set for outside! My aunt Karen was done with theirs and asked if we wanted it. Um, yeah!
He is too small for it right now, but by next summer, it will be perfect. And I'm sure Austin will keep it in use in the meantime. I want to see if I can order a replacement part for one side of it, but if I can't, no big deal (it has a crack in it).

Finn can drink from a straw! I know this isn't a huge milestone, but it frees me up to not always have to bring a sippy cup along. If I forget, I know he can still drink something while we are at a restaurant or somebody else's house. He is still learning and makes a big mess, but he knows how! Yay. He did it at El Loro Sunday night and again last night at LeeAnn Chin. I think if he does it twice in a short time frame, it constitutes a learned skill.

I can't begin to thank Memere/Lynn for her visit this week. She was such a huge help (watching Finn for us several times) and completed my very long and difficult "to do" list. I don't know how or when any of it would have gotten done without her. You are amazing and I appreciate everything you did the last three days. Thank you so much! Finn misses you already :)

Wednesday, August 11

End in sight

I brought my car in for a service yesterday BY MYSELF! It was so nice, especially since it took an hour and a half. Memere stayed home with Finn, which is such a huge help. Now the car is all better (as it turns out, it just needed the 30,000 mile service). And the other nice thing was that I pulled into the center just as the torrential rain started and it had finished by the time my car was done. Good timing.

The bad thing was that I was fighting a migraine pretty much all day yesterday. It was "easier" because I had help with Finn, but it is so frustrating. I'm going to talk to my doctor about it at my next visit. I took two Tylenol 3's in the AM and it took almost 4 hrs before I started feeling any better at all (and that was after a coke and chocolate, too!). I think the people in the service lounge thought I was going to die or something. Oops! I still have a headache today, but so far, just a headache. Yay!

A big huge super congratulations to aunt Kelsie for finishing school yesterday! Now all she has to do is 6 months of clinicals and pass her boards and she will be gainfully employable! She told me what her title is, but it is long and medical sounding, so I don't remember. The bottom line is she does echocardiograms (ultrasounds) of the heart (correct me if I'm wrong, Kels!). She came over to celebrate with us yesterday and to hang out. NeNe also came over, so it was a party all day long! After work, Jim, Kelsie, John, Memere, Finn and I headed over to Psycho Suzi's...a first for Kelsie, John and Memere. How had they never been there before?!?! A very enjoyable evening. Congrats, Kels!

Jim is gone again...BUT...this is supposed to be his last week traveling to Michigan! I will believe it when I see it, but I do feel like there is a light at the end of the travel tunnel. However, there is a Board Meeting today and you never know how things could get shaken up after that. My fingers are crossed! Oh and we might get to take a family vacation to Orlando in September. Jim is going for work and Finn and I might tag along (Jim only has to work part of the week). We'll see!

Monday, August 9

Baby #2

First pictures of our baby!

 Profile with arm in picture:

Watch and see

Jim and I went to my perinatologist appointment this morning (Memere is visiting and graciously stayed home with Finn). Perinatologist is an OB subspecialist concerned with the care of the mother and baby at higher-than-normal risk for complications. They did an ultrasound that got detailed information on the baby and my cervix. Pictures to follow!

They could not tell the sex yet at this point, but maybe after our next one. We listened to the heartbeat for a second (Jim freaked out!) and it was strong and around 150 beats per second. Little peanut was a wiggle worm and was doing somersaults the entire time. My cervix looked good and now they have a baseline for future ultrasounds.

The verdict? They are going to be watching me closely. About 20% of women who have had preterm labor have it again (which is one in five). At 16 weeks, I will start going in for an ultrasound every two weeks and I will be getting progesterone shots every week (hopefully, we can set up a home health nurse to administer them so I don't have to go in!). Progesterone is naturally produced by the body when you are pregnant, but some studies have found that women who have preterm labor might not produce enough. The shots will elevate that level and if you get extra, it doesn't hurt you or the baby.

I'm sure there is more I'm forgetting (that's why I like Jim to do there recap posts!), but I'll add as I remember. I felt good when we left...optimistically cautious. The doctor made me feel like they will stay on top of anything that could or might happen and do everything they can to prevent preterm labor again. I said I just don't want my water to break so early! That is what did me in (and caused so much more concern for Finn while in utero). Of course I have other wants as well, but that is top on my list. My next appointment with my doctor is in two weeks and my next ultrasound is in three (going to be busy with all the appointments for baby #1 (Finn) and baby #2)!

Sunday, August 8

We're baaack...

...and still happily married! From my perspective, camping was wonderful. Finn was really good and overall, the weather cooperated. We got to Baker Park near Maple Plain, MN around 5pm. Kristine's and Becky's were already there. There was not one arguement when setting up our tent and it went up quickly and easily.
Thank you very much, Connie for the "indefinite" loan of your tent. It worked perfectly for us this weekend (although I think we might have steaked it a little tight because opening and closing it was NOT easy...oops!). Finn did not like sleeping in the tent on Thursday night...probably because it was a new place. But once he fell sleep, he did great. He didn't sleep in late like he does at home, but took a morning nap to make up for it.

It rained Friday morning, but was cleared up and nice by Noon. Thankfully, Kristine had a canopy tent that we could hang out in while it was raining. I played Farkel for the first time and really liked it (it is a dice game). When it cleared up, Finn went on his first boat ride!
He seemed to like it (although kept pulling at his life jacket). Towards the end, he was getting fidgety, Jim laid him in his arms and Finn fell asleep three seconds later and stayed asleep until we got back to our tent! If you know Finn, this has NEVER happened. So weird. Guess he was tired.

Saturday we were told we were in a tornado warning, but since we have modern technology, we checked our phones/internet and weren't too concerned about it hitting us (which it didn't). Just got a little rain this morning, which made packing up a little difficult.

Jim was a trooper about camping and didn't complain much. He headed home with Finn Saturday afternoon to give Finn a bath and treat Jim's bites (the camp ground was only 30 minutes from home). Between Finn and me, we maybe had five bites total. Jim had at least 50 and was swollen! Poor guy. Not sure I'll be able to convince Jim to go camping again, but I'm so glad we did this year (not to mention it will be that much more difficult with two!). Thanks Kristine and Becky for including us!

I have a lot more pictures and I'm sure I'm forgetting a million things, but I'm tired! Camping,  especially while pregnant, takes a lot out of you. Can't wait to sleep in my own bed tonight.

Friday, August 6

12 weeks and 19 months

How your baby's growing: The most dramatic development this week: reflexes. Your baby's fingers will soon begin to open and close, his toes will curl, his eye muscles will clench, and his mouth will make sucking movements. In fact, if you prod your abdomen, your baby will squirm in response, although you won't be able to feel it. His intestines, which have grown so fast that they protrude into the umbilical cord, will start to move into his abdominal cavity about now, and his kidneys will begin excreting urine into his bladder.
Meanwhile, nerve cells are multiplying rapidly, and in your baby's brain, synapses are forming furiously. His face looks unquestionably human: His eyes have moved from the sides to the front of his head, and his ears are right where they should be. From crown to rump, your baby-to-be is just over 2 inches long (about the size of a lime) and weighs half an ounce.

How your life's changing: Your uterus has grown to the point where your healthcare provider can now feel the top of it (the fundus) low in your abdomen, just above your pubic bone. It will increase in size by almost 1,000 times by the end of your pregnancy! [crazy!] It's now pushing into your abdomen, though not yet in any uncomfortable way. You may already be into maternity clothes, especially if this isn't your first pregnancy [not yet!]. If you're still fairly small and not yet ready for maternity clothes, you've no doubt noticed that your waist is thickening and that you're more comfortable in loose, less restrictive clothing. [for sure!]

This is about the time the muscles of your stomach slow down, making your stools harder and drier and making you gassier. [lovely!] Your heart rate may speed up because of the extra volume of blood in your body. Your hips are actually widening to make more room for your uterus to grow. [oh, they've been widening for weeks] With one week to go in your first trimester, you may feel more like your pregnancy is real. [almost the second trimester already? Where is the time going?] Take brisk walks, eat high-fiber foods, and drink plenty of water to keep your intestinal tract moving.

You may begin to feel heartburn (also called acid indigestion), a burning sensation that often extends from the bottom of your breastbone to your lower throat. [no heart burn yet, but I'm sure it will come, as it did a lot with Finn] Many women get heartburn for the first time during pregnancy, and those who've previously had bouts of heartburn may find that it gets worse. During pregnancy, the placenta produces a lot of the hormone progesterone, which relaxes the valve that separates the esophagus from the stomach. Particularly when you're lying down, gastric acid can seep back up the pipe, which causes the uncomfortable burning sensation. For many women the problem doesn't begin (or get worse) until later in pregnancy, when your growing uterus starts to push up on your stomach. The discomfort may range from mildly annoying to intense and distracting.

Finn is 19 months today, hence the title of this post. Time is just flying by! We are camping right now and hopefully having a great time (I scheduled this post before we left). You'll get a full report on Sunday, I'm sure.

Thursday, August 5

Here we go a campin'

I finally broke down and bought a package of Target brand diapers. I tried them when Finn was tiny and HATED them....Pampers Swaddlers all the way. Then I transitioned into Pampers Cruisers, which I LOVE. But I'd heard from a couple people that Target diapers aren't that bad for older kids. Hurmp. Fine, I'll be good and try to save money and give them a try. The verdict is still out, since Finn only used one today and it was barely wet at bed time. I have noticed that I hate the pattern on them because you can see it through their clothes! Whoever designed them was NOT thinking or very bright. Who needs a stupid polka dot pattern all over the diaper anyway?!?!

Finn and I went to his pediatric ophthalmology appointment this morning. We didn't have his regular doctor, which kind of annoyed me because Finn's eyes were supposed to be dilated to test his far-sightedness and this other person/doctor couldn't do it. Oh, well. From what he tested and looked at, he said Finn's eyes are doing well, still far sighted. I asked about Finn's droopy left eye and he said there isn't reason for concern unless it obstructs his pupil (which it doesn't) or if his pupils are different sizes (which I don't think his are). We will have a follow up in 6 months for his eyes to be dilated and tested.

Finn was a little "off" yesterday. He was fine until the afternoon and he just lost it and was inconsolable the rest of the day. He woke up around midnight (which he NEVER does) with a poopy diaper. So I changed him and Jim got him a juice bottle and Tylenol. I wonder if he was a little dehydrated. He had two somewhat loose diapers yesterday and didn't seem to want to drink a lot. He sucked that bottle down. Hopefully that's all it was. I just don't know what to do about this kid and drinking. It seems the only thing he'll drink consistently is straight juice (which I do NOT give him without watering it down). I don't think he had more than two drinks of milk all day. Argh. Maybe we'll go back to a bottle before bed to make sure he is getting at least some liquids.

Well, lots to do today before we leave to go camping. I haven't packed any of our clothes, but have started a pile of things as I think of them. Kristine emailed this very thorough list of things, so that will help when packing. We have PT at 10 and then I'd also like to mow the lawn before we go. Oh, so much to do. Good thing Jim is home today :) Can't wait for camping. Just hope it isn't unbearably hot (or bad weather!).

Wednesday, August 4

What to do?

Finn had a great evening last night. Auntie Becca surprised him by stopping by for a little bit. He was so surprised, he didn't know what to do. It was really funny. Do I give her a hug? Do I show her my toys? Should I say hi? Will she feed me? Will she play catch? Too many options!

After she left, my friend Jess came over and made dinner for Finn and me! How incredibly thoughtful. And it was super yummy (basil linguine and cheese bread!). Finn was kind of in a mood and a little fussy, but still managed to flirt with her all night! He really didn't want to go to bed because she was still here at bed time (can't miss any of the fun!). She stayed for the evening and we got a lot of over due girl chatting time. It was great. Thanks so much, Jess. You are an amazing friend :)

Just a cute picture. Finn was playing with daddy's tools yesterday and I grabbed the camera and he posed for this shot. What a ham!

Jim/daddy's flight gets in today at 2:30! And then he has tomorrow and Friday off, so we get him all to ourselves (well, I guess we'll have to share him with my sisters and their families, but we'll deal!!). So far for camping the weather looks HOT and only a chance of thunderstorms for Saturday and Sunday. Can't wait!!

Tuesday, August 3

Swing away

Holy bananas, it is hot and humid here! It was 85 degrees at 10am and only getting hotter. Yuck. I figured today would be good day to get errands ran earlier rather than later. So once Finn was up and fed, we headed to Costco. I wanted to get some stuff (paper plates, plasticware, snacks, cereal, etc.) for our upcoming camping trip. While Finn's attention span only lasts so long in this store, he LOVES all the samples they give you and wants it no matter what it is! He got spinach and cheese ravioli and peach yogurt today. We also stopped and got a berry smoothie to share on the way out...super yummy!

I've been needing to get my oil changed for, well, two months! The "perform service" light came on last week, so I figured I'd better do something about it. My wonderful husband used to just drop it off on his way to work and I didn't have to worry about it. But with all his traveling, that just wasn't possible. There is a neighborhood service station that I wanted to try simply for the fact that I could drop the car off, walk home and come back when it was done. I finally was able to reach them today and we got right in and it only took 20 minutes! Sweet. Now, hopefully that light won't still be on.

Now we are in for the day. I can't deal with heat like this, especially since it triggers my migraines and I can't take my migraine medicine while pregnant. My friend Jess is coming over for dinner later, which will be a nice break.

Finn's new thing (or the return of an old thing) is hitting me. He did it several months ago, but putting him down and ignoring him three times was all it took to correct it then. He doesn't usually do it to anybody else (and certainly not Jim!), but he gets frustrated or mad at me and swings away. I'm trying to put him down and walk away, but he is older now and seems to just figure out, "Fine, I'll just go play" or something like that. He always hits me when I clean him off after a meal. Today, I just left him in his highchair for several minutes and when I came back to finish wiping him off, he only brought his hand up, but did not hit me. Progress? I don't know. It is frustrating, though.

Monday, August 2

Turkey commercial

Last night, Jim made the best turkey commercial that I have ever eaten. I almost took a picture of it, it was THAT good. He also got some blueberry pie for dessert. Man, he treats me well (and feeds me well, too!). Oh, speaking of food, I added a link at the top called "recipes." I put a couple there that I use all the time and will add to it as I find good ones.

Today, after getting kind of a late start, Finn and I headed over to the twin's house for a little play date. We were there later than usual, so Finn even got both Becky and my attention to himself...that never happens! Finn had a blast (there is nothing like play with somebody else's toys!) and was sleeping before we were half way home (I tried to keep him such luck). No biggie...he fell back asleep right when we got home. And mommy even got a quick little snoozer, too (gotta love that!).

Jim left this AM for yet another trip to Michigan. The good thing about this week is that he is coming back Wed and has Thurs and Fri off!! We are going camping with my sisters and their families at Baker Park. I'm really excited for it. Lots to do before then, though. This will be Jim and my (and Finn!) first time camping together, so it might get interesting!

Sunday, August 1

We're gonna win Twins

After a long day of working on the yard yesterday (don't know whose bright idea it was to lower the mower deck when the grass was already three feet tall?!?! The mower over heated THREE TIMES!), we headed out to help celebrate Ryan's birthday at the St. Paul Saints game (our minor league team). We didn't actually GO to the game, just tailgated before and during. Finn lasted until a little after 7pm, which was good for him, and then we headed home. It was a lot of fun.

Today was a big family day for us. The three of us went to our very first Twins game in the new field! And this was Finn's first Twins game ever. The day started out rocky as Finn decided he didn't need to nap before we left.
This is crabby Finn right before we left. Oh, and as you can see, I found his Twins hat, but it was too small and left a big dent in his forehead. Oops! Our seats were right behind home plate in the upper deck and under the over hang! We didn't have to worry about rain (which it didn't do) or the sun! And the best thing about the day...maybe on the top five coolest things I've done in my life...we got to walk on the field (I even touched the grass)!
We got two tickets through March of Dimes for the walk we did last spring (and bought an extra one, even though Finn didn't technically need his own) and everybody associated with March of Dimes got to walk around the whole field before the game in a BIG group. It was amazing. Considering no nap, Finn was really good and lasted until the 8th inning! We were just hoping for at least the 2nd! Heck, I barely lasted that long. Keeping in mind, Target Field is MAYBE 10 minutes from our house, and this was Finn when we got home:
Do you think he was a little tired? All three of us were. He barely opened his eyes when I carried him into the house and to his bed. What an amazing family experience. Oh, and the Twins did win (4-0, I think) and they beat Seattle...Papa's team! Take that, Papa :)