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

Wednesday, June 29

NeNe times two

It was great having Erica here over night. Hopefully we can do it several times this summer. On Monday morning, we didn't have any plans, so we went over to auntie Kristine's to keep her company for a while. I know how boring bed rest is, but at least she is able to work from home some of the time, which has to help a lot. Hopefully the kids gave her a little distraction for a while. Finn keeps asking about her, so I think we'll be planning another trip over there soon!

Jim left yesterday for another work trip. Argh, these are getting old. NeNe came over after work and was a life saver. Apparently we have a few "Korri whisperers" in our family, and I'm very thankful for that. I also think she played baseball with Finn for what seemed like an hour. She has more energy than I do, that's for sure! Finn loved it, of course...until his ball got stuck under the couch and it was bed time.

Today we went to the monthly meeting of our Mom's Club. I like going to them because there is a big play area for the kids and I feel like such an adult (there is an agenda and everything). Pam and Lilly were there, so Finn got to play with Lilly (and all the other kids) and Pam held Korri. Perfect! We are going to the doctor this afternoon for weight checks for both kids. I'm SO thankful they were able to get them in for appointments back to back so we only have to make one trip. Since Jim is out of town, NeNe is so generously leaving work early to go with me. In my "fragile" mental state, the last thing I could deal with or process right now is information/news from the doctor, especially if it isn't good! Should be, though. I think both kids are doing well in the growing area. Maybe she'll come up with a magic solution for Korri's colic...one can only hope :)

Monday, June 27

Korri whisperer

On Sunday, we got home from Murdock around 2:30, which was nice, although our time at my mom's was pretty short. Jim and I FINALLY put up the fence for the backyard. What...I know June is almost over!
I'm excited to have the backyard fenced in. Now Finn can play outside without an adult constantly with him. He is a rule follower and I don't think he would have ran into the street anyway, but now there is a layer of protection between him and the street (even if it isn't much). Now he just has to get used to the idea of being outside by himself. I don't think it will take long.

Erica came over in the afternoon to spend some time with us until this afternoon. Yay. She ended up totally being the "Korri whisperer" as Korri loved sitting on her lap and playing with her phone. Maybe we should just have Korri text people all the time?!?!

Sunday, June 26

Oville and Murdock

Friday, we decided to head out for Oville early and Jim took his conference calls on the road (I drove, obviously). We were going for auntie Becca's wedding shower hosted by Pete's hometown church, which was a really good event. Our travel plan worked out well and we got to Murdock JUST in time for one of Jim's really important calls. I knew he was going to be on the phone for at least an hour and a half (ended up being on for 2 hours!), so I fed Korri and then the kids and I headed over to Grandpa Egg's (my dad), hoping he would be home. And he was! Finn even got to stand on his backhoe (Finn's favorite piece of construction equipment) and see grandpa's dump truck. Maybe Finn will even get a ride next time.

When Jim was done, we finished the drive to Oville. Uncle John had a baseball game, so we ate a quick dinner and went up to the game. They lost (boo!), but Finn had a BLAST. He and daddy got three foul balls and Finn made a new friend with the daughters of one of John's team mates.

Finn is sitting in the chair Memere got him...he LOVED it. His Northstar sweatshirt from aunt Kelsie was a little bit, but SUPER cute. It "matched" his Vikings pants and Twins hat! Memere and NeNe took care of Korri, so I got a much needed break. In the above picture, she FINALLY gave in and fell asleep for a little bit. Oh, and John broke his hand at the game! Crazy. It was the first time I'd seen a cast being administered, since I have yet to break a bone (knock on wood). He wasn't convinced to go in until Saturday and then Jim and I went with him tot he ER. I think he is really bummed that it was actually broken, but it was a small break and should heal quickly if he is a good patient! We're trying to convince him to come visit us this weekend since he can't play baseball for one weekend this summer!

Saturday, we went back to Murdock to spend some time with Grandma. We got a later start than I'd hoped for, but Korri was taking a monster nap and I wasn't excited to wake her up. This morning the kids and I got up and went to church with mom. I just love going to church in Murdock where I grew up. Feels like home. And Finn got an A+ for behavior...I think Jim even would have been proud.

Wednesday, June 22

Struggling

It is really hard for me to admit it, but I've been struggling lately. By the end of each day, I just don't have anything left to give to anybody, least of all Korri, who needs the most attention in the evenings. I thought I was handling it okay until Finn's EI teacher, Deb, came over on Tuesday and I just lost it. I couldn't stop crying and I finally admitted to her some thoughts I've been feeling that are anything but "good mommy" thoughts. She was terrific and asked me to call my OB about being seen for postpartum depression. I called right when she left and was able to get in that afternoon. Again, thank you to Becky for immediately agreeing to watch the kids for me (she always seems to save the day for me!).

The appointment went well. We discussed what I've been feeling and the issues surrounding taking care of Korri. She said what I'm experiencing is called "situational depression" and because it is within 12 months since I've had a baby, it is also labeled at postpartum depression. I love Korri so much, but she is a very high maintenance baby. And what makes it even harder, is when we are out, people comment on how good she is, which makes me feel like even more of a failure (or a liar!). So, the dr set four courses of action out for me.

1. Start taking Zolft, the most researched anti-depression medication for postpartum mothers. She gave me the prescription for it, but I haven't filled it. I think I need to find out more about it before I take that leap. If I start, I would have to stay on it for 6 to 12 months, which I don't know if I'm comfortable with.

2. Go see a counselor who specializes in postpartum depression. I got the numbers of two my OB clinic recommends this morning and called the one that is closest to my house. I am waiting to hear back.

3. She gave me a brochure for a postpartum depression support group. I don't know if I will go, but it is an option.

4. She gave me the number of the lactation consultants at Abbott. So much of my frustration and happiness surrounds Korri's feedings. When we have a bad feeding, my whole world falls apart and I immediately think she will never nurse again. My dr thought it might be nice to go in and either have them tell me everything is prefect or if it isn't, give me some suggestions to make it go better.

I feel like there are things I can do to make this situation better. I just feel so much pressure because Jim and Korri haven't really been able to bond, so I feel like I'm the only thing/person Korri has in the world and if I fall apart, she has nothing...which makes me feel even worse. The hard thing about how I feel, is that for most of the day, I feel fine, but when one thing goes wrong (or Korri is extra fussy), I just can't handle it. I feel like a terrible mom for admitting that and making the call to my OB was probably the hardest I've made. But at least I'm doing something for the better and not just wallowing in the bad. One day/evening at a time!

Mom's Club

I think I mentioned that we joined a Mom's group last December (for mom's who live in NE Mpls or St. Anthony), but with how hectic my winter/spring ended up being, we didn't participate other than the all-member meetings once a month. Our friends, Pam and Lilly from ECFE just joined, so I'm glad to know somebody to do activities with now. And I'm happy to report that on Monday, we went to our first play date! One of the members had people over for a craft play date...but of course, Finn wanted nothing to do with the craft part of it. He played with their tractors and trains the entire time. At one point all the kids (yes, every single one of them) except Finn went outside to play. I was feeding Korri in the living room where Finn was playing and after maybe 15 minutes, he looked up and asked, "where'd the kids go?" Ha! I guess he had fun regardless if it was the "planned" fun he was supposed to have!

Korri is "talking" up a storm lately. I love that she can be put down occasionally and she will just coo and play (when she is in the right mood, of course). She is still in size 3 months clothes, which frustrates me a little as feeding continues to be a little bit of an on-and-off challenge. But I optimistically think I could maybe switch her to 3-6 month any day! I am struggling with the decision of whether or not to switch to formula. I just don't know what would be best for her. We'll discuss with her pediatrician next week, I guess.

Finn has been his normal, happy self. He has figured out door knobs...but is thankfully too short to actually open the doors yet. Did I actually just say I was thankful he is short? Hmmm...never thought I'd say that! He can also open our screen door now, so I have to be really careful on the days I leave the front door open for ventilation, although he is such a rule follower, I don't think he would want to go outside without me!

We are off this morning for our second story time at the library. It is such a great thing to do on a rainy week day morning. Our friends, Pam and Lilly are going to meet us there, so Finn will have a friend to play with (although last time he got pretty sucked into the books and doesn't come up for air!).

Tuesday, June 21

Girls' weekend

Jim decided that he wanted to take the kids to Oville for the weekend since I was going to be gone for Saturday and Sunday. We all got up early (7:30-ish in case you're wondering) and got ready. NeNe came over and picked Korri up, so Jim would just have Finn and hopefully not have to stop so he could get to Oville in time for a golf tournament he was playing in with John. Jim dropped me off in Annandale at the cabin where all the festivities were to take place. I was very apprehensive about leaving Korri for the weekend. I knew she had taken a bottle in the past, but never as her sole source of nourishment. And I was not looking forward to pumping (let's be honest, nobody LIKES pumping). But I borrowed a pump from my friend, Becky, and it worked great.

I think everybody involved would say the weekend was a ton of fun. By Saturday afternoon, I kept catching myself listening for Korri...but she wasn't there to cry anyway! I didn't realize how much I needed to get away. And Korri did great with the bottle (they switched back and forth between formula and breast milk), so maybe now I'll feel better about getting away once in a while for more than an hour at a time.
Kristine was a good bed rest patient and stayed in her lounger chair for most of the time (and even shared the Cheetos with us!).

Becky dropped me off at my house (thank you so much!) before Jim got back with the kids, so I had a little down time, which was really nice. We had a quiet Father's Day, but I think Jim had a nice, relaxing time. The entire house took a nap in the afternoon...we must have all been tuckered out :)

Monday, June 20

Batting 1,000

Thursday, we had our weekly ECFE park play date at North Mississippi Regional park. Finn gets a little frustrated because he wants to play with the big kids and can't really maneuver that equipment yet. After the park, we went over to visit Stacey and Dillon. Finn had a blast. I love that he plays so well independently.

Thurs we found out that Kristine was/is having a little difficulty with her pregnancy (I hope you don't mind me sharing, Kristine!). After a precautionary doctor visit before leaving town for the weekend, they found out she was dilated to a 1, having occasional contractions and was put on modified bed rest. Yuck! Bed rest is pretty bad. So, she was able to move Becky's bachelorette party weekend closer to home so she could still go. My whole heart just hurts for her. I SO wanted her pregnancy to be different than both of mine were. She is 31 weeks and after a check today, hadn't progressed any, which is good news. She will stay on modified bed rest at least for 2 to 3 more weeks. Here's hoping for 34 weeks (and well beyond, if possible). So much for a history of pre-term labor NOT being hereditary. We are now 4 for 4 in our family (good for a sports record, bad for having early babies!). Boo!

Friday morning, Finn was thrilled when Austin got him up in the morning! Becky had an appt to practice for her wedding hair do, so we got to have Austin while she did that. And they were dressed like twins:
The boys ended up playing outside with the water hose...who knew something so simple could be so much fun. In the evening, we got all dressed up and went to the wedding reception of Jim's cousin, CJ.

Of course, there isn't a picture of me (I'm used to it by now). It was very near our house, but an area that we hadn't been in before. Very cute. Finn even got to "shake his booty" with NeNe before we left.

There is so much more to catch you up on about the rest of the weekend, but I'll blog about it tomorrow. Too much for one post!

Wednesday, June 15

Story time

Finn and Korri experienced a first today: a library! I feel a little bad that this was Finn's first time inside one, but hey, life is busy. I honestly have been wanting to go to story time since forever, but just never made it a point to find out when and where and then go. So, friends from ECFE told me about one that is kind of close to our house and geared specifically toward 2-3 year olds. We met Maia, Lily and Juliette (and their mom Becky, of course!) at the library on Lowry this morning. Finn was completely overwhelmed when we walked in and I had to drag him inside. But once we got to the children's area, he was like a kid in a candy shop. He wanted to read all the books. Finn did well during story time and paid attention. It was a good experience for him and something nice to do on a rainy Wednesday morning.

Monday, June 13

Happily playing

We had a good day today. Finn had fun rediscovering his toys. Funny how a week away makes your toys new again! This is what I saw coming into the kitchen:

And the below picture was later in the evening. He worked so hard to get daddy's sandals on and was proud of himself once he did. Took him a while to walk around in them since he kept taking little baby steps.

Aunt Kelsie came over after work for a visit today. It's always nice to have company! I made a loaf of carrot, pecan, chocolate chip bread before she came over. It sounds a little crazy, but it was really good. And the nice thing is that she can take it with her (no temptations here!).

Korri seems to be "talking" a lot more lately. She loves blowing bubbles but now when she tries to vocalize, something usually comes out. And she is rolling from tummy to back more consistently. Today, she was crying in her room and it took me a while to get up to her. When I went in her room, she was laying on her back happily playing with her crib toy! I wish I'd been able to take a video. She also seems to be eating a little better. Last week she decided she only wanted to nurse for 3 to 4 minutes at a time, which was beyond frustrating for me. Now she is eating better again and she also seems to be gaining a little weight (could be wishful thinking, but I'll keep wishing!) but I don't know for sure since I was forbidden by her pediatrician to weigh her any more. I might need to think about switching out her 3 months clothes pretty soon.

Sunday, June 12

He's baaaack!

From all the accounts I've been told, Finn had the time of his life last week. And was a super good boy. I don't think he had any home sickness other than asking where we were a lot...which he does every day when Jim is at work anyway. I did okay with him being gone until about Thursday. I really missed him Thursday afternoon and couldn't wait to give him a hug and kiss.

Korri and I had a good first half of the week and a terrible second half. She was happy and took good naps Monday and Tuesday, but Wednesday and Thursday, she just screamed all the time. It is so frustrating and tiring for me. We left before Noon on Friday for Oville, so at least I had help with Korri for part of Friday and over the weekend. That's what grandmas are for, right? Console screaming children when mom can't do it any more?!?!

We got to Oville just in time for patio time...or a little late, but still manage to relax a little. Lynn didn't tell Finn we were coming, so when he saw our car, he started freaking out and jumping around. He was so excited to see us, but had to show us everything and tell us who Nana and Papa were...like they are his people! So cute. Then on Saturday, Jim, John and Papa played golf while the kids, Lynn and I visited Granny. Oh, and our new double stroller arrived during the week, so we were finally able to use it for the first time on the way up to Granny's. LOVE it! Then we decided to go to uncle John's baseball game, even though it wasn't in Oville.


And upon Finn's incessant chanting...they won! It was a lot of fun for all of us. We were planning on leaving after the game, but both Jim and I were so tired, we decided to stay and leave this morning instead.

It was great to see Nana and Papa, even though it felt like we just got to see them for a minute. They got to meet Korri, which was great. Lynn obviously took about a million pictures, but I forgot my portable hard drive, so we'll have to wait until she comes here to get them. Darn!

Monday, June 6

Bye, bye, Finn

Mom and Jeff stayed at our house Saturday night (we came home to a picked-up house!) and mom went with the kids and me to church Sunday morning. Lynn was supposed to come here to pick Finn up for a week of frolicking in Oville on Monday, but my mom suggested taking Finn with her to Murdock on Sunday, then Lynn would only have to drive that far to get him today. SO, in less than 30 minutes, Jim talked to his parents to see if that would be okay, I packed everything I could think of for Finn, Jim got all the equipment packed in their car and we sent Finn on his way for his first "Big Boy Away From Home" trip. I was definitely a little sad to see him go. He asked Grandma where mommy was going to sit in their car! He didn't quite get it. He is in for the time of his life this week. And there are two things I already noticed today: 1. I can get a crap ton more stuff done with just having one child! 2. I have been able to "connect" with Korri in a way I haven't been able to do yet, and that is very special to me. I just have more time and patience with her because she is my only concern. She likes the attention, too!

Last night, the three of us went over to auntie Becca's for an early birthday dinner celebration. The point of celebrating on Sunday was so that Finn could come along, but I guess I ruined that plan. Sorry, auntie! I hope Korri was enough to keep you busy ;) I ended up getting a really bad migraine that lasted all night, so we didn't stay too late. I hate getting migraines when I'm pregnant or nursing because I can't take my normal medication and sometimes, a cocktail of caffeine, Tylenol and Advil just doesn't cut it! Maybe it is a blessing that Finn is gone today and I "only" have one child to take care of!

Go, go, go, go

My Saturday went from 7:30am to 12:15 am...that is a long day for me! And we never stopped once. We got up and went to the Children's Baby Steps 3K Walk and NICU Reunion. The walk was around the MN State Fairgrounds and we couldn't have asked for better weather.

Considerably better weather than the March of Dimes walk earlier this spring! The Reunion was immediately after the walk. We ran into one of Finn's roommates from the ICC that we'd lost contact with, which I am really excited about. I'd love to have a play date with all four boys! See how far they've come. When we do things like this, it really makes me stop and need to give Finn a kiss. I've said it a hundred times and I'll probably say it another hundred times, but we were so freakin' lucky with Finn. Thank you, God, for our beautiful, healthy boy!

We had to leave the reunion early to get back home and get ready for Jess's wedding in the afternoon...in the Brainerd area! We got ready and headed out around 1pm for the 2.5 hour drive. We got there just early enough for me to feed Korri and get to the wedding. Everything about the wedding was perfect and beautiful. You seriously can't order more perfect weather for a wedding. We were so honored to be included in the special day. For Jim's birthday, I got Jim and Finn matching ties:
I think they look freakin' adorable! And Finn looks so grown up (and cute!) with a tie on! Finn left it on and didn't mess with it, which surprised me. Other than Korri being her normal, crying self, dinner was fabulous. We didn't leave until just before 9pm, which was a lot later than I thought we would (a testament to how much fun we were having!). But that means we didn't get home until after 11pm and then there was stuff to do before bed. Sheesh. What a day :)

Sunday, June 5

New family member

We had Finn last ECFE class of the spring session on Thursday. This was a really good group of kids and moms, so it is hard to be finished. The nice thing is that we are still planning on getting together for a park play date during the summer each week when our class was scheduled. So, Finn will still get some interaction with his friends (and I will too!). I'm really bummed that we didn't take a group picture since I think all the kids were there.

Korri had another chiropractor appointment. She had one of her crying/screaming fits while we were there, so he had a better idea of what I'm talking about now. He adjusted her and we are going back next week. I'd like to say she is better, but it is hard to tell (Jim would say she is NOT better!).

On Friday, we finally decided it was time to buy a double stroller. We had a benefit walk scheduled for Saturday, so I think Jim was hoping to have it for that walk. Jim went to BRU to look at the stroller I LOVE  which is the Baby Jogger City Mini which is a side-by-side stroller. While there, he also found the double stroller that fits our infant car seat. It is a Chicco double, but a tandem set up. He really liked that one and it was cheaper. SO, we decided that the kids and I would meet him there after work to test them both out with the kids IN the strollers. We did and it was quite clear that while the infant compatibility was a nice feature of the Chicco, the City Mini was easier to maneuver, more functional for our family and clearly the better stroller (despite both kids crying while in it!). So, here is the new addition to our family:
I was able to find a brand new last year's model online for far cheaper than in the store. We ordered it Friday, it says it shipped yesterday and now we just have to wait for it to arrive!

Thursday, June 2

Mother's helper

I forgot to mention that poor baby girl got her 4 month vaccinations yesterday. She got one orally and two shots. She was a trooper. She cried so hard she stopped breathing right away, but as soon as daddy gave her the Soothie and mommy picked her up, she stopped crying. But then kept catching her breath for a while afterwards. I feel so bad when she gets them because she doesn't know what's coming until it hurts! Also, a HUGE thank you to Sasha and aunt Kelsie for watching Finn while we went to Korri's appt. He gets so darn bored, so it was nice knowing he was having a blast with you two instead!

Sasha left yesterday. We are all so sad. It was so great and effortless to have her here. Not to mention, I'm pretty sure I need a Mother's Helper! It was awesome to have another adult around to help with the child I wasn't attending to (okay, that mainly means, somebody to hold Korri!). Sasha was great with her, but I'd bet her left arm is going to be sore for a few days! Korri might not weigh a lot, but 12 lbs feels heavy when you're holding it for hours on end and aren't used to doing it every day! I know Finn will miss all the extra special attention, too. Thanks for the wonderful visit, Sasha. We all love you so much :)

Wednesday, June 1

Little peanut

Yesterday, Austin came over so he could play with Sasha...and Finn, too! I think he had fun; I know Finn did. All three of them ended up in the hot tub (cooled down, of course) and drinking fruit smoothies. Sounds like the perfect summer day to me!

Well, today we had Korri's 4 month well child appointment. It didn't go how I thought it would. First off, if she were gaining an ounce a day, she would be over 14 pounds. She weighs ELEVEN POUNDS TWELVE OUNCES (7th percentile)! I was surprised because I've been weighing her at home and knew she wasn't gaining as fast as she should be, but was hoping for at least 13 lbs today. We discussed it at length with her doctor and she is not overly concerned. If you look at Korri's height to weight ratio, she actually is a little over weight! Yikes. Which means, yes, Jim and I must produce short, chubby children! Korri was 22 1/3" long, which is the 1 percentile! The doctor really believes Korri is taking in enough calories/nutrients, but is just burning them all off with her incessant crying. So, we are going to keep doing what we've been doing with the exception of starting to give her a bottle as needed. This is for two reason; a. so she can get a few more calories every day and b. so I can get a break and be away from her for more than 2 hours at a time. The doctor suggested starting cereal to add some extra calories as well, but Korri shows NO interest in it yet, so she said to wait until she does.

Which brings me to our next point, her "crabbiness." The doctor really doesn't think there is an overlying problem that is causing Korri to be so fussy all the time. She just thinks she is a crabby baby with colic and unfortunately for us, it hasn't gone away yet even though Korri is older than 4 months. We are going to make a couple changes here, too, to hopefully improve all of our quality of lives! 1. I'm not to wake her up to eat when I go to bed.The thought behind the action is that if she gets longer bouts of sleep, maybe she'll feel better during the day. 2. start giving her prevacid. Now, we all know from her last appointment that our insurance doesn't cover it, so we are going to make our own medicine...she needs half a dose of regular OTC prevacid. Hey, I'll try it if it might work!

We also discussed Korri's dry, rashy skin and she said to do more of what we've already been doing. I just need to be better about putting it on her every day. So, overall not a terrible appointment. The doctor kept telling me that she does NOT have concerns about my supply, even though I mentioned it several times. She also said that because Korri is gaining and not losing weight, she isn't concerned right now, but does want to see her in a month for a weight check. Oh, and she also told me to stop weighing her at home! Ha. Oops...she said it just causes me more stress and doesn't really help anything.

I thought her little summer outfit today was cute:
When the a/c is actually off, I don't mind dressing her in summer outfits. Otherwise, she is in sleepers because they cover her whole body. It gets cold in our house (not according to Jim, though!).