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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.

Thursday, September 30

One time pass

No rain today (chance of precip=0%)! Tropical Storm Nicole passed by Florida during the early hours this morning, bringing behind it dry, hot weather. Yay! However, I did notice this warning on weather.com:  THE POLLEN FORECAST FOR YOUR AREA IS VERY HIGH. That would explain why I've been sneezing all morning, I guess.

I finally got to sit in a lounge chair and soak in a little sun yesterday. After Finn's nap, the three of us headed to the pool and Jim went swimming with Finn while I sun bathed. It was so great and Finn had a blast "swimming" with dad. And no pictures until we get home...sorry! I put the cord in my suitcase, but there is magically an old flashlight in there instead...me thinks my lovely son (since my husband denied all involvement!) took out the cord and replaced it with the light. Oh, well. I just hope I can find it when we get home!

Jim has his heart set on taking Finn to Disney World. I have my heart set on NOT going to Disney World, so we'll see who wins out in the end. Since I told Jim I'd go once, I don't think he'd want to use his one time pass at a time when #2 isn't even born and #1 won't even remember it. I, however, did say he could take Finn by himself and I'd graciously find a spa to go to! Hmmm...

Wednesday, September 29

Lesson learned

One thing I've learned about vacationing (by yourself) with a toddler...it really isn't about you (and I'm shockingly okay with that)! While on vacation, I am a big believer in sitting by the pool/beach for 6 hours a day, reading, doing puzzles, having the occasional(adult) beverage and napping. Guess what? Didn't happen at all while in Orlando. Finn needs constant attention; well for one reason, so he doesn't drown, for a second reason, he is a kid and wants to play with you and a third reason, he can't walk, so he actually needs help with everything. I guess I will just have to adjust what I consider relaxing while vacationing for a few years until we have teenagers that don't want anything to do with us! Ha. The sad thing, I'm sure we'll be there in a blink of an eye.

Cloudy today and 85% chance of rain! Hoping to get out before it hits. Finn, of course, is still sleeping and it is 10am! Hey, I'd rather have this than a kid who gets up at 6am while on vacation. But I'm going to have to wake him shortly because they are coming to clean the room any second. I think Finn takes after Jim's sleeping habits for sure! Jim's done at Noon today and then he's all ours :)

Tuesday, September 28

Dark at 3:30pm?

So, apparently Tropical Depression 16 is rearing its ugly head. It started getting really dark here (had to turn lights on to see!) around 3pm and now is pouring harder than I've seen it in a long time! I'm not too worried. The TD is supposed to "hit" this area around 8am on Thursday morning, but is projected further east than Orlando. We should be good...just lots of wind and rain. At least Finn and I got to the pool this morning for a bit! I think these things come in "waves" so I'm sure we'll have some nice weather tomorrow, at least for a little while.

We are 0 for 3 on zero-degree ENTRY pools. I'm a little frustrated. I called and they specifically told me their kiddie pools were zero-degree entry pools. Um, not so far. We've been to three (I think there are three or four more) and none of them are. One had zero-degree areas, but they were in the middle of the pool...didn't work for Finn. He had fun today. I sat in the water on the steps of the big pool and held Finn so his feet didn't touch and then bounced him up and down. He loved that. He even went under a couple of times. I've taken a few pictures, but I'm not sure where my cord is for the computer. Probably in my suitcase...too much work right now!

Oh, and Finn's three scabs from his rug burn last Thursday fell off last night while he was sleeping. I SWEAR I didn't pick them off (although it was hard for me!). Daddy cleaned them really well during bath last night and I think between that and the water from the pool, they loosened up. So, Finn's nose looks a lot better now. It is amazing how quickly kids heal.

My shot went off without a hitch this afternoon. So easy! She came to the resort, right to our room, administered the shot and left. Jim has to work tomorrow, too, and then we get family time Thursday through Saturday. Not sure what we'll do, but looking forward to having some company and help with Finn!!

Sunday, September 26

Vacation, Anniversary and Engagement!

We made it safe and sound to Orlando this afternoon. Becky and Pete drove us to the airport this morning, for which we are very grateful. Finn decided not to sleep at all on the 3 hour flight, even though I had to wake him up before 5:30 to get ready to leave. After a fairly large debacle with installing the car seat in the rental car, we were on our way and to our resort by 1:30. Jim left for the conference and Finn and I hung out. We got a few essentials at the little "grocery" store on the grounds and tried to take a nap. Overall, Finn's schedule is just all mixed up. Jim loves the resort, which is really saying something considering he really liked the last one we stayed at in Orlando, too...so I'm glad we picked the one we did.

On more important note, happy first anniversary to auntie Kristine and uncle Alex! Wow, you made it one whole year...just kidding. You guys couldn't be more perfect for each other. While Orlando is a nice second, I'd much rather be back in Aruba!

Now, on to an even more exciting note: auntie Becca (and Austin) got engaged to (soon-to-be) uncle Pete last night! We could not be happier for them and as I'm sure you are all surprised, I can't wait to start helping them make wedding plans! (don't worry, I'll let them make a couple decisions...ha, ha!) Congratulations, you guys. This is going to be so much fun, and you guys are going to have a wonderful life together. We love you :)

Now tomorrow, Finn and I are hoping to find the kiddie pool and hang out by the pool while Jim is working. The weather is beautiful so far (but I heard rumblings of a potential hurricane coming close, which means that could change!). Loving vacation so far...but this preggo needs some sleep. Nighty night.

Saturday, September 25

Tough guy

Yesterday morning we had our level 2 ultrasound. They take a detailed look at the baby's anatomy from the top of the head/brain all the way to counting the toes. Still a girl ;) There was nothing to indicate any problems, so that was good to hear (a mother always worries!). She was being stubborn again for this visit. Last time she was facing my back so we couldn't get any profile pics and this time she was facing directly into my left hip...and you can't get an image through my bones...or it is very tough at least. They have the ability to do 3-D images and while we couldn't get her face (for above mentioned reason), we did get a profile:
A little hard to see, but she is facing to your left and her hand is over her mouth. The tech said they will try again next time to get a better shot. We got a million regular pictures this time. Poor Finn...he had one ultrasound with maybe 5 to 10 pictures. This girl already has around 30! I guess things are different for each kid ;)

Here is a picture of Finn's nose the day of the "fall":
Here it is the next day (looks worse, I think):
But honestly, Finn doesn't even know it is there. Well, except everybody keeps asking him about his boo-boo. Sheesh, you'd think he lost a leg or something! I think it just makes him look tough.

Kind of started packing yesterday, but have LOTS to do today. Planning on leaving at 5:30 AM for the airport tomorrow. Boo. It's going to be a long day. But the resort we FINALLY decided on staying at looks really nice; has 8 pools, mini golf and has a zero-degree entry pool for Finn (well, all kids, not just him)! In all honesty, that is why I picked the place...so I don't have to actually BE in the water the entire time Finn wants to swim (and because it is 3 miles from Jim's conference). Too bad I finished my book last night. Now, what to read while on vacation?

Friday, September 24

Your pregnancy: 19 weeks

How your baby's growing: Your baby's sensory development is exploding! Her brain is designating specialized areas for smell, taste, hearing, vision, and touch. Some research suggests that she may be able to hear your voice now, so don't be shy about reading aloud, talking to her, or singing a happy tune if the mood strikes you.

Your baby weighs about 8 1/2 ounces [she measured in at 9oz this morning] and measures 6 inches, head to bottom — about the size of a large heirloom tomato.
Her arms and legs are in the right proportions to each other and the rest of her body now. Her kidneys continue to make urine and the hair on her scalp is sprouting. A waxy protective coating called the vernix caseosa is forming on her skin to prevent it from pickling in the amniotic fluid.

How your life's changing: Think you're big now? [yes!] You'll start growing even faster in the weeks to come. [guess I'd better get those maternity clothes out!] As a result, you may notice some achiness in your lower abdomen or even an occasional brief, stabbing pain on one or both sides — especially when you shift position or at the end of an active day. Most likely, this is round ligament pain. The ligaments that support your uterus are stretching to accommodate its increasing weight. This is nothing to be alarmed about, but call your practitioner if the pain continues even when you're resting or becomes severe.

You may be noticing some skin changes, too. Are the palms of your hands red? [not that I've noticed] Nothing to worry about — it's from the extra estrogen. You may also have patches of darkened skin caused by a temporary increase in pigment. When these darker patches appear on your upper lip, cheeks, and forehead, they're called chloasma, or the "mask of pregnancy." You may also notice some darkening of your nipples, freckles, scars, underarms, inner thighs, and vulva. That darkened line running from your belly button to your pubic bone is called the linea nigra, or "dark line."

These darkened spots will probably fade shortly after delivery. In the meantime, protect yourself from the sun, which intensifies the pigment changes. Cover up, wear a brimmed hat, and use sunscreen when you're outdoors. [bring on the sunscreen while in FL next week!] And if you're self-conscious about your "mask," a little concealing makeup can work wonders.

My lovely friend Heartburn has reared its ugly head. With Finn, I had heartburn the whole pregnancy, so I was hoping I might be able to skip it this time since I hadn't had any...but no. It came on Wednesday and hasn't left. Rolaids help (and have calcium, too). I think it helps to eat small bites often instead of big meals. The heartburn is probably contributing to the nausea, too.

Thursday, September 23

Monsoon season?

Holy monsoon season! Who forgot to turn off the faucet? We drove up to St. Cloud today and it was torrential rains all the way there, while we were there and all the way home (well, it turned to normal rain about 10 minutes from home!). It is tough and tiring driving in that heavy of rain when you are dealing with lots of semis on the interstate. I normally love rainy days, but apparently not when it is that heavy and you have to drive. Oh, well.

Finn and I went to St. Cloud today to have lunch with Holly and Odin. Holly is 8 months pregnant and I must say...super adorable. Not everybody can pull off "pregnant" as well as she can. Odin is Finn's age and ALL BOY! Love it. Can't wait until Finn is able to do the things he can do...okay maybe I can wait! We had lunch at the Olive Garden, which was really good. Renae met us there after class, so we got to see her for a little bit, too! Bonus! After, we went over to the mall so the boys could play in the PLAY AREA!
A first for Finn. I view these things as a sess pool of germs, but the boys needed to "run" off some energy and they had a blast. Well, until Finn did a nose dive off one of the toys and did a complete face plant into the ground! Another first for him. He had a bloody area on and under his nose, but not an actual bloody nose (thank God!). Whose turn was it to be watching Finn?!?! You'd think with three adults there watching him, he would have been fine! Oh, well. These things happen. In all honesty, it was probably worse for me than him. Aunt NaeNae treated him to a ride in the toy helicopter to cheer him up, so all was well. It isn't a play date for the four of us until somebody gets a bloody nose.

Before we left for St. Cloud, we had Finn's PT appt and daddy even got to go with us. We gave them back his walker and got a new one...one without any support, much like an old person walker (but without the tennis balls, as Holly said!!). We talked about his torticollis and she said to work on tilting him to the side so he has to work on lifting his head, and in turn strengthening his muscles. She didn't feel that he was tight at all, though. Argh. We worked on squatting, which he did really well, and leaning unsupported with his back to the wall. He did that well, too, as long as he was distracted. Overall, a great appointment.

Wednesday, September 22

Twins win!

Yesterday morning, Finn's EI teacher and PT came for their visit. His teacher continues to be amazed at Finn's intellectual and verbal abilities. Of course, every mother thinks their child is a genius, it is just nice to hear a professional think so, too ;) Finn is making pretty big "strides" in the walking area, too. He walked just holding onto the hula hoop and did a pretty good job. I voiced concern about Finn's torticollis (per Jim's request) and Finn's PT said that she has the same concerns and has been watching it for the last couple of visits. She said to do a lot of massaging and stretching of his neck and hopefully that will help. Argh...I was hoping this was behind us by now!

After they left, Finn was pretty tuckered out, so he laid down for a nap while I got my weekly progesterone shot. I mentioned that we will be gone next week and apparently you can only get the shot one week and two days before or after your last one. Problem: we are in Florida from Sunday to Sunday. So she is going to see if she can come on Saturday (which is three days before the time frame) and if not, she will see if somebody in Orlando can administer it. But then I'll have to bring the medication and syringes and whatnot along. Argh! I canceled/rescheduled all of Finn's appointments, but of course, forgot to think about mine! Typical mother...always the child first.

NeNe came over after work yesterday to play with Finn and so Jim and I could go out! It was SO nice to go to dinner and a movie (sans Finn). Santa last year for Christmas gave us a gift card to the Cheesecake Factory, so we headed there. OMG...the food is so good. We both ate way too much (but on the bright side, I have left over Thai Chicken pasta for lunch today!). Then we went to the movie The Town. It is a movie about bank robberies with Ben Affleck in it (his debut as director, I believe). I was hesitant, but it was what Jim wanted to see. It was really good, though. Interesting ending...not exactly what I was expecting. AND movies are only $5 at Southdale! Holy cheap! Thank you, thank you, thank you, NeNe for watching Finn. It was some much needed alone time for us!

We are sending warm wishes and prayers to Papa. Sounds like his back surgery went well yesterday and he is on the mend. Wish we could be there to help with recovery. Miss and love you.

And I can't not mention that the Twins clinched the division last night! The sixth time in nine years. We won our game and then had to wait to see if the A's beat the White Sox...which they did just before midnight. And we of course had to stay up to see all the celebration. It was pretty cool. Maybe we should rethink this whole love of football thing...ha,ha!

Tuesday, September 21

Go, go, go

Yesterday morning I had to wake Finn up (you'll remember the late night we had the night before!) to go to Preemie class. This was our first one for the fall...and it is a totally different format than it has been in the past. Finn amazed me with his climbing skills. He climbed unassisted in and out of the ball pit and the crawl tubes...a first for him (that I've seen anyway!). For the first time at an ECFE class, they separated the parents from the kids. I wasn't sure how he would do, BUT they had the moms leave during snack time, so Finn was happily preoccupied with that. The aid said he was the last one still sitting at the snack table! I told her that I was NOT surprised! We have to miss class the next two weeks, but this is the first time this class goes all year long (due to flu/cold season, they used to cancel it during the winter) so we should be able to make plenty of classes.

Here is a snap shot of our weekly schedule:
Monday: Preemie class
Tuesday: weekly EI and PT appt and mom's progesterone shot
Wednesday: ECFE
Thursday: PT
Friday: Mom's bi-weekly ultrasound

Sheesh! How do I have time for another kid?!?! And Finn isn't even in sports yet!

And on that note (i.e. having time for all this stuff), I heard back about the job this morning. She said that I interviewed very well and probably would be able to transition into the position with little to no training, but because their busy season is Jan-March, they have to have somebody available during that time (and this year I obviously won't be!). I am glad I was upfront about being pregnant, even though it cost me the job (it is a contract position, so they CAN factor pregnancy into hiring). She will keep my resume should something open up in the future (everybody says that, but she sounded like she really would like to work with me if it were to work out AND she did take the time to call me to let me know). Overall, I'm glad I went on the interview and at least now, I don't have to figure out daycare for Finn and his little sister! AND I get to be home with him/them more this way. I knew God had a plan and I just trusted it would work out however it was supposed to.

We had our monthly OB appointment yesterday afternoon. Jim's weekly Monday afternoon call was canceled, so he was able to join me. AND my cousin Erica was home from school, so Finn got to go over there to play. He was chanting, "Erica, Erica, Erica" the whole way to her house! She is way cooler and more fun than mom and dad for sure. The OB appt was pretty standard. We talked about the level 2 ultrasound we are having on Friday. I got my seasonal flu shot (compared to the hormone shots, I didn't even feel it!). The baby's heart rate was good (around 141 bpm). She suggested ginger, vitamin B12 and benedryl for my nausea. Oh yeah, I'm having morning sickness (all day) again. I thought it was supposed to go away during the second trimester! We picked up some ginger ale on the way home and that seems to help a little. Next appointment is in 4 weeks, when I'll be 22 weeks along!

Monday, September 20

Gophers, Vikings and Vincent, oh my!

We had a wonderful experience at the Gopher game on Saturday. The weather was absolutely perfect for an outdoor football game.
Finn was overwhelmed when we first got there. He was taking it all in and was pretty quiet...the indicator that he didn't know what was going on because he usually always has something to say (hmmm...sounds like somebody else I know!). Finn quickly warmed up and by the second half, was yelling "touchdown" every few minutes with his arms in the air.
Jim taught him "fumble" and "Go Gophers", too. We tried "first down" but I think it was too close to touch down. Hey, we'll give him a little break, it was his first game after all! Overall, an absolutely perfect family outing that I know I'll remember for a long time (even if Finn won't!).

Sunday, we hung around home and watched the painful Vikings game. Seriously guys, what's going on?!? Mom and Jeff stopped by for a little bit to drop off an extra bed (yay, now we have a bed for guests instead of just a futon!). Then we went over to Mike and Katie's in the late afternoon so Jim could meet Vincent and to bring them a home cooked meal for dinner (my first attempt at pot roast and by the reviews, it turned out very well).
He is less than a week old here. Crazy! Jim said, "he is even cute!" Ha, Jim doesn't usually think babies are cute. And Vince is a really good baby, hardly cries and is easy to calm down when he does. Hope, for mom's sake, it stays that way! Daddy decided it was more important to play Tecmo Bowl with Mike than to get Finn ready for bed, so we left much later than we should have.

Saturday, September 18

Where dada?

Finn was described to me at different points this week as being laid back and easy going. Really? I never in a million years thought that a bi-product of Jim and me would produce something that was either of those adjectives. Maybe Finn has a chance of overcoming his parents' shortcomings after all. Ha, ha!

Finn and I were in the car yesterday morning:

Finn: Dada, dada.
Me: Finn, Finn. (a game he and Jim play often)
Finn: Where dada? (with his hands in the air)
Finn's response to his own question: I don't know.

So cute. He is getting so big!!! Jim surprised us by getting in about two hours early yesterday. Finn was very excited and had to show him all his new tricks (kicking the football back and forth and screaming "touchdown" with his hands over his head!). I can tell that Finn is now old enough to know and seems to understand that daddy is gone and truly misses him (as everybody knows that moms are not nearly as much fun as dads are!). It was a tough week for Finn. Hopefully Jim's travel schedule slows down a bit or at least no more full weeks at a time. Five days and four nights is a long time for a little kid (and probably for a daddy, too!).

After Finn's (and daddy's) nap, we headed out on what we thought would be a quick and painless trip to find Finn some Gopher attire for the game today. Not so much. We went to at least 7 or 8 places with NO LUCK! The closest we got was Walmart, but they only had it in size 3/6 month (thankfully, Finn does NOT fit in that size any more). At Dick's, the lady suggested Marshall's or TJMaxx...both of which I would not have thought of. We found THREE Gopher things at Marshall's, one of which was the right size and was a running jacket with pants. So we got it. Man, what a fiasco. We ended up not getting home until after 7 and Finn still needed dinner. He was a good sport, though (honestly, I think he was just happy to have daddy along!).

The game is at 2:30 this afternoon and I think we are heading out around 1pm. They are playing USC and I'm sure will get murdered, but it will be a fun family experience nonetheless...provided Jim can keep his temper in check! Go Gophers!

Friday, September 17

18 weeks

How your baby's growing: Head to rump, your baby is about 5 1/2 inches long (about the length of a bell pepper) and she weighs almost 7 ounces.
She's busy flexing her arms and legs — movements that you'll start noticing more and more in the weeks ahead. [definitely feeling something!] Her blood vessels are visible through her thin skin, and her ears are now in their final position, [I would beg to differ on "final resting place" because Finn's weren't in the "right" spot until weeks after he was born. I'm just sayin'] although they're still standing out from her head a bit. A protective covering of myelin is beginning to form around her nerves, a process that will continue for a year after she's born. If you're having a girl, [unless you live under a rock, you know that we ARE!!] her uterus and fallopian tubes are formed and in place.

How your life's changing: Hungry? An increase in appetite is pretty common about now. Make it count by choosing meals and snacks that are rich in nutrients instead of empty calories (chips, French fries, candy, and other sweets) [so you're telling me the Monster Cookies I made last night are out?!?!]. Bigger, more comfortable clothes are a must now as your appetite and waistline grow. [time to get the maternity clothes out, I guess. I've been living in four or five things. Oops!]

Your cardiovascular system is undergoing dramatic changes, and during this trimester your blood pressure will probably be lower than usual. [uh, oh, mine is already super lower...hope it doesn't stop all together...ha, ha!] Don't spring up too fast from a lying or sitting position or you might feel a little dizzy.

From now on, when you do lie down, it's best to lie on your side — or at least partly tilted to one side. (When you lie flat on your back, your uterus can compress a major vein, leading to decreased blood return to your heart.) Try placing a pillow behind you or under your hip or upper leg for comfort.

Thursday, September 16

Almost by myself

We had a smaller group at ECFE yesterday than normal...only 4 kids. But Finn loved it. He is usually pretty independent, but he was all over the room and talking and playing with everything (and showing off his superior verbal skills!). It was really nice to see him play like that. Of course, he had to "check in" with me about every 5 minutes, but that is very normal for this age. We started making a "parenting" book at class and the first thing we had to write down in it was your dreams and goals as a parent. Man, talk about making you really think hard! It was a good exercise, though, because how often do you REALLY think about those kinds of things?

Today we had PT and went over all his short term goals...which I think he met them all! Now our short term goals (over the next 2 months or so) are for him to stand independently for 5 seconds, be able to take a step or two between objects (like from the couch to the coffee table) and be able to walk confidently in the new unsupported walker. Here is a video of him using it for the first time today:
video
He just looks so big in it and is really fairly steady considering there are no harnesses or straps supporting him. Kristine (his PT) had to hold it back or he would have gone flying forward as this one doesn't have resistance levers like the one they gave us to take home. I think Finn likes the independent feeling it gives him when he is walking. That is a good thing...hopefully it helps him want to walk sooner! Finn has T minus 5 months to learn :)

Wednesday, September 15

To brace or not to brace

I got my second progesterone shot yesterday (in the right side this time). While the shot itself is very uncomfortable, I've felt no residual pain, which I'm very thankful for. The first in each side is supposed to be the most achy, so hopefully it is smooth sailing from here.

Finn had EI PT yesterday and while Jane, his EI PT, understands Gillette's reasons for not wanting to correct Finn's feet now, she doesn't agree. Argh...I hate when this happens. She is familiar with a product called Sure Step that is supposed to have amazing results with kids with low muscle tone...which Finn does! And it wouldn't negatively affect his ability to walk; if anything, it would help it because it gives him a stable base to stand on. So, now I don't know if I should just sit on this and wait until it is closer to his birthday to bring it back up to Gillette, or if I should push them on it. Jane said right now, Finn's feet are not a severe case (she has seen much worse), but in my mind, do we want to wait until they are severe? Argh. Parenting is tough. I'll discuss with Jim when he gets home. He almost always has an opinion about stuff like this!

Tuesday, September 14

We are having a...

Because he is traveling, I don't know if Jim told the people he was supposed to. If he didn't, sorry, but we can't let the masses wait any longer. It is official (well, as official as it can be without seeing the parts in person), we are having a...GIRL!!!
Yup, we couldn't be happier. The technician said that not only did she not see a penis, but she also saw the girl parts. That's pretty official in my book. I've always wanted a girl (or two or three!), so now I get my wish. Time to start thinking pink. I just hope Jim (or uncle John!) doesn't keep her locked in a closet until she is 30! Ha, ha! It doesn't seem real yet, but I'm sure it will sink in soon.

Just to be clear so people don't keep asking us...it is our plan that we are NOT going to share the name of the baby until she is here! We want something to be a surprise when she comes out (and knowing us, we could keep changing our minds until the very end). Now, there is a lot of time between now and then, but that is our wish. So feel free to ask us how our search is going and we love (well intentioned) suggestions, but don't think you're going to get a finalist list or the final choice from of us!

Also on the baby note, Mike (Jim's best friend) and Katie had their baby boy yesterday...6 days over due! Vincent Jay was born at 11:56 am, was 21" long (holy cow...no wonder he was kicking you so much Katie!) and 7 lbs 4 oz. His big sister Quinn came over for the day after my ultrasound, so we got to bring her to the hospital in the evening to meet her baby brother (whom she calls "sister!"). You really forget how small they are! And he is perfect and cute...and was already latching on and eating when we got there only 7 hours after birth! Congratulations, guys! We couldn't be happier for you. I asked Mike how we were going to keep the rhyming tradition: Quinn, Finn, Vin. Ha, ha. I'm going out on a limb and saying we might have to break it!

Monday, September 13

We know!

Finn now has 15 1/2 teeth! Three of his canine teeth came in within the last couple of days (Jim noticed them on Sunday morning) and the last one is pushing the gum, but hasn't popped through yet...ouch.
No wonder he hadn't been eating and had been so whiny! I looked it up and the four canines (pointed teeth) usually appear at around 16-20 months. I guess we should have been prepared. Now the only teeth he has left (well, until they start falling out...yuck!) are the back molars, which usually appear between 24 and 30 months.

I had an ultrasound this morning. I was bummed because Jim couldn't be there, but was very happy that Kristine was able to come along for support and to keep Finn busy. Kelsie was able to come for most of the appointment, too! The ultrasound technician told us what we're having and while they can't say they are 100% certain, she said she is highly confident with her prediction. We have a couple family members yet to tell, so I'll post it tomorrow! Sorry to make you wait.

Oh and the baby and cervix continue to look good. I've been feeling some mild cramping yesterday and this morning, but the doctor isn't concerned at this point. Hopefully just something I ate or ligaments stretching because my belly is getting huge (compared to pre-pregnancy anyway)! Our next ultrasound will be the comprehensive level 2 anatomy scan, so we should know a lot about the baby after that appointment, which is next Friday, Sept 24.

Sunday, September 12

A wiggle and a jiggle

It is so hard to tell at first, but I'm fairly positive I felt the baby move on Friday for the first time! It kind of feels like indigestion. I've felt the same kind of feeling a few time yesterday and today, too, so I'm thinking it is baby and not a tummy ache. Yay! You usually start feeling movement between 16 and 18 weeks, so that is pretty much right on track. If I remember correctly, Jim didn't get to feel Finn move until closer to 22 or 23 weeks, so that will still be a while.

Well, the Gophers home opener was far less than successful. Considering, Jim was actually in a pretty good mood when he got home. I think the three of us are going to go to the game next weekend...Finn's first Gopher football game. Should be fun!

Yesterday morning, Finn and I went over to auntie Kristine's to play for a while...she had Austin for the weekend. The boys had a good time trashing Grace's room! Oops, I should have offered to clean it up when we left, but I'm guessing Austin played with it some more. Austin just HAD to show Finn the lamas and donkeys at the neighbor's house. Finn thought they were cool, but wanted to get closer than we thought was safe. Didn't bring the camera, sorry!

Today, uncle John and aunt Kelsie came over for brunch and to watch a little football. Finn loved the extra attention and while he really likes Dixie (their black lab)...he doesn't want to get too close to her either. The face he makes when a toy gets too close is pretty funny.

Will baby #2 cooperate tomorrow so we can find out the sex? Only time will tell. Since Jim is traveling all week, thankfully, Kristine has agreed to miss part of a meeting in order to come with me. This is the first appt I'll have to bring Finn AND if we can find out the sex, I didn't want to be alone. Since aunt Kelsie is working at North Memorial (where the perinatologist offices are located), she might stop by if she has some free time.

Saturday, September 11

Never forget

I wasn't going to say anything until I heard back, but my big activity Thursday afternoon was...an interview! My first in over six years, I think. Thanks for the lead, Leah. It is for a part-time contract marketing position with Haagen Dazs located in downtown Minneapolis. The interview went very well and they said they would be making a decision next week. I don't know how I feel about going back to work, but the extra money would sure come in handy. I've started looking at different day care options and holy cows...it is expensive! If it is meant to be, it will all work out.

Finn can now climb down the stairs fairly well. He is much better at climbing up. He even knows to turn around and go down on his tummy (something that took him a while to figure out even after we kept showing him). I'm so glad we got the gate installed (piece of mind).

A sad day for mommy: yesterday, Finn decided he is too big to sit and eat in the high chair! Yikes! He hasn't been eating well all week (don't worry, I weighed him yesterday and he hasn't lost weight or anything) and has expressed interest in the big chairs. I think this comes from sitting in the mini chairs at ECFE for snack time and also sitting in a booster at auntie Becca's. Anyway, he practically refused to eat lunch yesterday, so I set him down in my chair while I was cleaning his tray off and he reached over and ate the entire bowl of cottage cheese and mixed veggies!
For snack, he had to sit in the chair, too. So when Jim got home from work yesterday, we took a trip to Target and got him a big boy booster seat.
He looks so freakin old sitting in it, but man, does he love it (even if it is still a little short for him). Here, I was hoping to have him in the high chair until baby #2 was old enough to need it. Guess not! He definitely has a mind of his own. Hmmm, wonder where he gets that from?

Daddy has his first home Gopher game today. Go Gophers! Should be perfect football weather...65 degrees and sunny.

As you go through your day today, take time to remember those lost on 9/11/01. We will never forget!

Friday, September 10

Your pregnancy: 17 weeks

How your baby's growing: Your baby's skeleton is changing from soft cartilage to bone, and the umbilical cord — her lifeline to the placenta — is growing stronger and thicker. Your baby weighs 5 ounces now (about as much as a turnip), and she's around 5 inches long from head to bottom. She can move her joints, and her sweat glands are starting to develop.
How your life's changing: Starting to feel a bit off balance? As your belly grows, your center of gravity changes, so you may begin to occasionally feel a little unsteady on your feet. Try to avoid situations with a high risk of falling. Wear low-heeled shoes to reduce your risk of taking a tumble; trauma to your abdomen could be dangerous for you and your baby. You'll also want to be sure to buckle up when you're in a car [does anybody NOT wear a seatbelt any more?!?!]— keep the lap portion of the seat belt under your belly, drawn snugly across your hips, and also use the shoulder harness, which should fit snugly between your breasts.
You may also notice your eyes becoming drier. Using over-the-counter lubricating drops may help. If your contact lenses become uncomfortable, try wearing them for shorter stretches of time. If you still have discomfort, switch to glasses until after you give birth [luckily don't have to worry about that!].

Thursday, September 9

Rock stars

Last night, Jim, Finn, me, Kristine and Alex all went over to Becky's for dinner for Pete's belated birthday. First of all, Becky made pot roast, which was amazing. Finn ate about 15 cooked baby carrots, which he has always refused to eat before (yay!). Second, after dinner we played Rock Band...a first for me. I played bass a few times, but we have quite a few good guitarists in our family! We finally left much later than planned, but all the fun was worth it.

This morning, Finn and I went to PT. She put him on the treadmill first suspended in a harness so he could "walk" on it unsupported. He really liked that, but seemed to just take baby steps instead of full steps. After that, she put him in a new kind of walker...it just supports him at the hips, so he has to do a lot more of the work. OMG...he LOVED it and was cruising all over their offices (of course no camera today!). You could tell he was very proud of himself and wanted to show off.

At the end of our session, I talked to her about Finn's feet. She examined them and said that they really don't like to do bracing or any corrective measures until they are closer to two years old and walking independently (so as not to interfere with him learning to walk). She mentioned that his arch is starting to develop (a previous concern we had), which is obviously good news. She also said that while there is some potential reason for concern, his range of motion is great and he doesn't seem to be tight...both good things. So for now, we are going to just keep an eye on his feet and revisit it as needed or in a few months.

I have a big afternoon ahead of me. I'll tell you more tomorrow...maybe!

Wednesday, September 8

Blue suede shoes

The Twins game last night was amazing (as was the company!). The weather ended up being beautiful, but I was thankful that I had my winter coat toward the end. We had amazing seats, behind home plate a little to the first base side, 16 rows up! And the food was great, too. I had a couple bites of a cuban sandwich, a couple cheese curds and loaded nachos. Stacey and her mom got the Vinncent burger, which is like a Juicy Lucy but with braised short ribs INSIDE the burger. They said it was amazing. Next time I might get that and some wild rice soup (don't know why I didn't this time...ha, ha!). Overall, a perfect evening. Oh, and the Twins beat the Royals, which is always nice :)

Progesterone shot update: other than my butt feeling a little tingly/numb later last night and having an upset stomach early this morning, I'm feeling fine today! I guess it wasn't nearly as bad as they were saying it would be...which I'm very thankful for.

DOTD: we bought Finn shoes (don't worry, not blue or suede!) for this fall/winter at Target for $3.75! I couldn't believe it. The rack said they were on sale for $7.50, which I thought was a good deal. I almost fainted when they rang them up and they were even less! We got size 5, which I think is too big for right now, so I'm planning on getting him another pair of shoes and/or a pair of robeez in a size 4...but for less than $4, we can afford two pairs!

We had our second ECFE class today and it went well. I still don't LOVE the teachers, but I like the other parents and I think it will be a good class for Finn. Now I just wish he would cooperate with his wake up/nap time on Wednesdays! Of course, he decides to wake up early today since we don't have time for a morning nap with class starting at 11:15. Oh, well. He was pretty tired by the end of class for sure.

Tuesday, September 7

Pain in my butt

Finn's EI teacher and PT came for their first fall visit today. Finn was showing off, so they loved that (Finn even tried to kiss his teacher when she was taking a picture of him!). She said to just ignore the "whining" and that it is just a phase. Easier said than done...but we'll give it a try. She said that because he is saying so many words, we don't have to keep track of which ones any longer (I told her I didn't even know I could make a list if she asked anyway!). Finn walked in his walker a little bit for Jane, his PT. She liked seeing that, but is concerned about his feet...which is a concern I've had for a while, but I'm always told it will correct itself. The problem is that his tendon at the back of his right foot is forming an "L" shape and it should be straight. I am going to bring it up again at PT on Thursday and push a little harder. If need be, I'll have Jane call Gillette and they can discuss together (since they are the experts). Overall, a great visit that went WAY too fast.

They always tire Finn out, so he laid down for a nap a little early. Which ended up being very nice because he slept through my entire progesterone shot appointment! The nurse was very nice. She gave me the shot before we filled out the mountain of paperwork in case I had an allergic reaction (no problems there!). We now have an EpiPen in the house, which is a good thing in case of an emergency. The shot itself took about 30 second to inject (which is a LONG time when you used to a little prick) in the Gluteus Maximus. She said that the first shot in each cheek is the most painful...causing discomfort for up to THREE days! But thereafter should not be nearly as painful. Overall, not as bad as I thought it would be (however, I may feel differently tomorrow!).

Tonight, momma is going to the Twins game with Stacey, her mom Connie and her friend Rachel. Other than worrying about freezing and my left butt cheek being too sore to sit, I'm super excited (too bad I can't have a beer to warm up!). Now I just hope Jim can get home in time for me to leave at a decent time. Cheer for the Minnesota Twins today!

Monday, September 6

Gateless no more

Finn's new "thing" is to constantly say "uh, uh, uh" all day long...well, except when he is happily playing or eating. It is driving us NUTS! We tell him "no whining," we say, "Stop uh, uh, uh," we do it back to him...nothing works. His Early Intervention teacher is coming tomorrow morning, so I can't wait to talk to her about it. She hasn't seen him since the middle of July, I think, so she is going to flip at how much he has changed.

He is now saying two (and sometimes three!) word sentences. It is usually to mimic us when we say it, but there are many that he says on his own...like "love you too" (which I of course love to hear!), "I get" (which he has said for a long time), "oh, wow!" "open book" and other things like that. His vocabulary is ridiculous...I don't even know if I could make a list of his words any more!

Remember how we put off getting a baby gate...well...forever? Since Finn can now fairly confidently crawl up the stairs, we figured we'd better break down and get one. We took measurements and headed to BRU this afternoon. And now it is well over two hours later and Jim is STILL trying to get it to fit our stairs...which is why I put off getting one to begin with! Argh. He has power tools out and scrap pieces of wood, so I have no doubt it will "fit" by the time he is done. One of the many things I love about him...Jim's ingenuity for sure! I would have given up by now and tried to find a custom one online!

Picture from dinner last night (too cute not to share!):
Taken with Renae's fabulous new camera which her wonderful sisters got her for her birthday! Due to a couple too many droppings...mainly courtesy of Finn...hers probably takes better pictures than mine and mine was WAY more expensive. Oh, well. Hope she loves it!

Sunday, September 5

Great visit, great food

Auntie NaeNae and Nick came by for a wonderful visit today. They got here just in time for a huge breakfast/brunch. Then she cut Jim's hair, colored then cut mine and cut Finn's when he woke up from his nap. I feel bad for making her "work" on her day off, but she said she didn't mind and she got a free dinner (and breakfast for that matter!) out of the deal. We really do appreciate it, though. Nick (and Jim!) LOVE El Loro, so we all went there for dinner tonight. It was a great visit, even if it was short. They are moving to a new apartment in St. Cloud at the beginning of the month, so we can't wait to come see it!

DOTD: Yesterday we stopped at Cub so Jim could get stuff for dinner. Since we were there, I thought of a couple things on my list at home that we needed. One of those things was vanilla. Jim has worn off on me and now I "need" to get the "pure" extract instead of the imitation. However, the pure stuff is expensive and I don't mind getting generic to help offset the extra cost. That being said, yesterday, we were able to get a 4 oz bottle (okay we got two...it won't be long before it is Christmas cookie baking season!) of McCormick for LESS than the 2 oz generic! What? We even had somebody check to make sure. It had to be marked wrong, but we'll take it! Glad I was paying attention because I initally grabbed the generic and almost didn't check.

Anyway, Jim made rotisserie chicken and mashed potatoes last night! OMG...so delicious. I ate WAY too much and couldn't comfortably move for a long time afterwards. That is one thing I've started noticing...I'm hungry more often, but I can eat less at each sitting. I'd better keep that in mind for future yummy meals! We also got caught up on Friday Night Lights (now I need to find out when the next season starts) and started catching up on Rescue Me. A certain preggo fell asleep though! Oh, well. A nice relaxing evening in.

Saturday, September 4

Great MN Get Together

Jim's trade-off for traveling this week was taking Friday off. So, after a morning of work calls (of course!), we headed to the Great MN Get Together, aka the State Fair...a first for Finn. And, man, was it cold. Two old ladies had to take it upon themselves to comment on how terrible it was that Finn didn't have socks on. Ummm...it was summer like three seconds ago and I'm sorry I don't keep extra socks in my car! Plus, as you all know, Finn is a heat pump and is never cold. So mind your own business, anyway, stupid ladies.

Other than overly nosey and rude ladies trying to ruin our experience, the fair was great. Finn LOVED it...from the car watching on the way to the fair, to the wonderful food, to all the horses and the people. I think he might have stayed all day. Unfortunately, daddy said mommy didn't need a coat and she was cold! It was 60 degrees, but man was it windy. Let's see...we had a pronto pup, pork chop on a stick, mini donuts, corn on the cob (for Finn and daddy), lemonade, cheese curds and deep fried oreos (for Finn and mommy). Oh and Finn LOVED the horse barn.
I wasn't sure he would like it, but once Jim took him out of the stroller, he wanted to be right next to them and keep looking at more. He kept saying that horses said, "moo" but horse isn't one we usually do. Better work on that! Overall, I think Finn's first experience with the fair was a good one. I'm sure next year will be far more challenging with a two year old and a baby! Maybe we'll take a year off...

Friday, September 3

Sweet 16

How your baby's growing: Get ready for a growth spurt. In the next few weeks, your baby will double his weight and add inches to his length. Right now, he's about the size of an avocado: 4 1/2 inches long (head to rump) and 3 1/2 ounces [the baby measured at 4 oz at our ultrasound].
His legs are much more developed, his head is more erect than it has been, and his eyes have moved closer to the front of his head. His ears are close to their final position, too. [we know from experience that this doesn't happen until after 26 weeks!] The patterning of his scalp has begun, though his locks aren't recognizable yet. He's even started growing toenails. And there's a lot happening inside as well. For example, his heart is now pumping about 25 quarts of blood each day, and this amount will continue to increase as your baby continues to develop.

How your life's changing: The top of your uterus is about halfway between your pubic bone and your navel, and the round ligaments that support it are thickening and stretching as it grows. You're probably feeling a whole lot better as you settle into pregnancy, too. Less nausea, fewer mood swings, and "glowing" skin contribute to an overall sense of well-being.

Soon you'll experience one of the most wonderful moments of pregnancy — feeling your baby move. While some women notice "quickening" as early as 16 weeks, many don't feel their baby move until about 18 weeks or more. [I can't wait!] The earliest movements may feel like little flutters, gas bubbles, or even like popcorn popping. Over the following weeks they'll grow stronger and you'll be able to feel them much more frequently.

I am set up to get my first progesterone shot on Tuesday at 12:30p. The medicine already arrived, so I just had to fit into the nurse's schedule. I'm glad to be starting this phase of preventative care and that it was so effortless to set up on my part! Now I'm just hoping the shot isn't quite as painful as they tell me it is (but I'll deal regardless).

Oh and I officially feel FAT...not pregnant, just fat. My regular clothes are tight but I'm not big enough for most maternity clothes yet. I've gained two and a half inches at my middle! And people who don't know I'm pregnant just look at me and think...what a tubby! I remember this stage being a tough time with Finn, too...I mean, just pop already!

Are you ready for some football?

There were only two other kids from our previous class in your ECFE class on Wednesday. I didn't really like the teachers as much as our last one, but I'm trying to keep an open mind...you can't really tell that much from just one class. It is sure different having a room of one year olds "running" around, though. I was impressed that I was able to get both Finn and me fed, bathed and dressed all before class...it was close, though!

Yesterday we picked Erica up on our way to PT. She only has a couple days until school starts! PT went well. We took the seat of Finn's walker off so he has to support all his weight while walking (he had adapted his walking technique so he didn't have to fully stand...too smart for his own good!). It was kind of tricky for him without the seat, but I'm willing to try this if it will help him walk. She also said that his balance has improved a lot...which means within the month, she thinks he will graduated to an "old person" type walker where you have to hold yourself up! This is really good news.

Yesterday, Erica helped me make a photo book (which is funny because she helped me with the one I made for Jim last year, too!). I received a code for a free one, but you had to order it within 24 hours...apparently I had missed the first email they sent to me. After having to reload the pictures and endlessly try to pare the pictures down (it was only 20 pages after all), I sent in the completed book last night just before midnight! Crazy, I know. It is titled, "Finnegan's First Year." Can't wait to get it...in THREE weeks.

The Gophers had their first football game last night, the Vikings had their last pre-season game, the Twins had a regular season game AND I had my fantasy football draft! Yikes...it was a busy night. Mike, Katie and Quinn came over...the boys left us to go watch the Gophers (it wasn't on regular TV). Finn was in bed before the draft started and we kind of forgot to keep an eye on Quinn during...but in our defense, the draft was very intense. When we finished, Quinn was naked and had three bibs on...hmmm. We figure it could have been much worse :) I'm fairly happy with my team, but you just never know until regular season starts...which is next Thursday. I don't know about you, but I'm sure ready for some football!!!

Wednesday, September 1

Melting Pot babysitter

Finn and I took a trip to Ikea yesterday. We are putting shelves up in Finn's room (so we can display all the wonderful things he has gotten) and Ikea had the kind I wanted...floating shelves so you can't see the brackets. The only problem is that in order to fit in the space, I had to get the 7' long ones (the shelves won't be that long, but the next size shorter were too short)! But I checked and they weighed less than Finn, so I was comfortable putting them in the cart and loading them into the car (thank GOD we have the Pacifica!). Uncle John unloaded them for me last night. And now we just have to wait for Sam to have some time to squeeze us in! So excited!

Last night I got to have a girl's night with aunt Kelsie while uncle John babysat! This was a first for Uncle John and from the report I got...everything went smoothly.
I think a lot of books were read and toys played with! Finn has been having troubles with us leaving him when it is at night, so he was crying when we left, so of course I was worried. But uncle John said they started playing with toys and then he was fine. Jim had to leave unexpectedly for work yesterday afternoon, so I'm very grateful John could come over so I didn't have to cancel my plans. Thank you thank you thank you, John!!!

Aunt Kelsie and I went to the Melting Pot in downtown. OMG! It is a fondue restaurant and it was fabulous. We started out with spinach and artichoke cheese fondue, moved on to steak, shrimp and chicken cooked in flavored vegetable broth and then finished with...flaming turtle fondue! It was seriously amazing. We are hoping to take the boys there next month (they have special "couples" nights where you buy one, get one...so it is more reasonably priced). Can't wait!!

Today is our first day of fall ECFE classes. I'm looking forward to it, even if our group from last spring got split up between two classes. I just hope Finn isn't too crabby. Of course, for the last week, he has been wanting to take naps between 11 and 12 instead of 1 and 2...and class starts at 11:15. Oh, well. We'll figure it out. And he needs a bath before class. I left Finn in his high chair with some blackberries last night while I was getting dressed...well, let's just say the blackberries won! I cleaned him as best I could before I left, but they were everywhere. For some reason, John didn't want to give Finn a bath...ha, ha. Baby steps for the rookie babysitter!

And who had the audacity to end summer? I can't believe it is Sept today. Crazy.