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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.

Saturday, March 31

No stinkin' bottles for me

Korri is finished with bottles! She stopped without either Jim or I even really noticing (second child syndrome?!?!). One night last week, I said to Jim, "Hmm, I can't remember the last time I washed a bottle." And with that, we figured she is done. I have mixed emotions about it. The good is that I don't have to wash bottles and she doesn't need to get up for one any more. But the sad part is that she is growing up so quickly! It is a sign that she is a big girl and the fact that she did it pretty much all by herself is yet another sign of her independence and strong "opinion." Get them off our kitchen counter...I've packed them up and are passing them on to Zander (good thing Kristine is coming over this weekend...the "Zander" bag keeps getting fuller and fuller!).

We are off this evening to what is probably Finn's favorite place in the world...Chuck E Cheese's, for his friends Laena and Braeland's 3rd birthday party. I made the cake for this party which is actually cupcakes...something I've never done before. The theme is "golden" because it is their golden birthday, so the cupcakes are all "gold-ish" animal faces (lion, giraffe, tiger, monkey and bear). Pictures to come afterward (I don't want their mom to get a sneak peek!). I'm sure Finn (and Jim!) will have the time of his life (especially since he didn't have to meet his potty deal to go!).

Friday, March 30

Get your move on

I'm excited for two new activities coming up this spring. Upon the amazing comment/suggestion from my friend Becky, I signed Finn up for Tumbling class! It meets on Mondays at 4:30 at a neighborhood Rec Center and starts in two weeks (4/9...Austin's birthday). The description says he will learn basic tumbling skills like somersaults, headstands and bridges and the focus is on balance, coordination and body awareness. All things that will be good for Finn, even though I have low expectations for him actually DOING most of these things. It is a parent-participation class, so one of us will be "helping" him. Should be fun for all of us.

The second activity I signed Finn up is for T-Ball!! I'm really excited for this one. Austin did a similar class when he was three, so I can't wait for Finn to experience it as well. It is on Tuesdays at 5:30 at the field down the street but doesn't start until May 15 (Dillon's birthday!). It is also a parent-participation class. Jim said he couldn't find a glove that fit Finn last time they went shopping, so hopefully we can find something. At this age, they obviously don't play a game, but rather  focusing on fundamental skill development and learning to be part of a team.

On a side note, I think it is time to leave diapers behind for Finn and transition to pull-ups for nap and night. I didn't really "get" the point of pull-ups, but since he only needs them for sleeping, it would make it easier.

Thursday, March 29

Pretty flowers

We've been on two new adventures this week (thanks to our friends Sharon, Laena and Braeland). On Monday, we went to the Salvation Army that is considered the "underground Target." They have two levels: the top floor is a regular Salvation Army but the bottom floor is all brand new items from Target (and other stores). Target sends their items there after photo shoots and I also think clearance items, but I could be wrong. We went the day after a HUGE sale, so it was pretty picked over, but I still "managed" to find two bags of stuff for the kids. They get new things every day, so I'm sure we'll be back!
Here are the four kids sitting on a toddler bed waiting for us to pay and leave. The one down side: no restroom! Finn really had to go, so we had to go with plan C (plan B was to go next door, but they didn't have "public restrooms")...pee behind the car! I normally wouldn't condone it, but he really had to go. Problem solved. We went to lunch at Broadway Pizza afterward and has a big room to ourselves, so the kids could let off some steam. It worked out great and the kids loved the food (they have a buffet and Korri ate them out of peaches!).

Then on Tuesday, after a super fun play date at our other twin friends, Lily and Juliette's house, and of course nap, we met Sharon, Laena and Braeland at Macy's in downtown to go to the flower show! This is something I've never done before and never would have gone if Sharon hadn't mentioned it (I kind of invited us along!). It was super easy to find, park and get to Macy's. The kids had a much longer attention span and interest in the flowers than I thought they would (except Korri, but she IS one).

Finn LOVED the water features. I have to say, these flowers were amazingly colorful; so much so that they seemed fake. The show just opened this weekend, so I think it helps to go early on so they are still fresh. After viewing the flowers, we went downstairs and had dinner. Korri was a pill, but the kids did great again. All the way home and before bed, Finn kept saying he wanted to go back to Macy's. He must be his father's son ;) What a great way to spend a few days while Jim is gone (Thanks for babysitting us, Sharon!). Keeping busy doesn't make me feel like a single parent and the kids don't get quite as sick of me.

Wednesday, March 28


Korri has started blowing kisses and if I do so say myself, there isn't much cuter in life than a baby blowing a kiss! Jim was leaving last week for a work trip and we were on the porch waving goodbye and Finn and I were blowing kisses and she started doing it! I really need to get it on video. Now she does it most times when you say, "bye bye!"

Her hair is driving me nuts! Her bangs are so long and she doesn't really leave clips in unless I can distract her after I put it in so she forgets. A little front pony tail stays in, but she doesn't like to sit still long enough for me to get it in. Who?!?! Korri?!?! I really want to hold off and not cut her bangs, but we'll see. We see auntie NaeNae in two weeks and it probably won't take much convincing to get me to change my mind!

Oh and I just counted Korri's teeth (something I avoid these days to prevent finger amputation!) and she has 11 teeth! Her molars are through the gums, but still coming in. Her bottom second right (left if you are looking at her) tooth isn't in and doesn't really show signs of coming in. I'm sure it is fine, just weird that the matching one is in AND all four molars. Hmmm...

And since I don't like posts without a cute pic (who does?!?!), my wonderfully generous aunt Sandra sent Korri a summer froggy outfit including this beyond-cute summer hat!
She's worn it several times already and thanks to the strap under the chin, can't get it off! But honestly, once it is on, she leaves it alone. I foresee lots of summer fun in this hat! Thanks, Sandra :)

Oh, and happy belated birthday to Memere, who's (or is it whose?) birthday was yesterday!

Wednesday, March 21

Second language?

I know how crazy this sounds, but Finn knows and understands Pig Latin! Now, I realize it isn't technically a language, but he really knows it! About a year ago, Jim asked me if we could go for an "alk-way" and Finn responds, "Yes, can we go for a walk, mommy?" I just figured it was context and luck. Well, this past week, Jim was speaking it to me...and Finn understood what he was saying! So, Jim being Jim, he pushed it and within a few minutes, Finn told Jim what a "fish" was in Pig Latin without having ever heard it before. Needless to say, we were impressed. He also sings several songs in French, thanks to Memere and Jim. I'm going to go out on a limb and say that I think he has a propensity for language! I've encouraged it since he was born, knowing that the most language connections develop in the brain in the first three years. I guess we'll see, but it was pretty funny having a three year old speaking in Pig Latin (or at least responding to questions that were asked in Pig Latin).

Korri took an unassisted step this morning! In the past week or so, she has gotten a lot more stable on her feet, but still refusing to stand or take a step unless holding on to something. This morning she was standing next to the couch and wanted to get something on the table. She reached over, leaned forward, let go with her other hand and stepped closer! I just about died. She kind of did a mini-version of that in the kitchen again after lunch. Uh, oh! I hope she learns to walk before she runs or I'm going to lose my mind. I really think we're going to have to get one of those yard play pens so I can look away once in a while when we are outside. At least those are made for kids...I was thinking about getting a dog leash that she could run back and forth on!

And this was the site I got when I looked behind the couch:
Uh, oh! They got into the Apples to Apples and Cranium games. On the bright side, they were playing happily with each other :)

Saturday, March 17

Happy St. Patty's Day

My green kids:
Green as in Happy St. Patrick's Day, not green as in environmentally friendly or envious! Oh, and this is Korri's second green outfit of the day...she gets so dirty! It is also Korri's first time in pigtails and is beyond cute...if I do say so myself, which I do!! She looks like a little Irish pixie...which is what Korrigan stands for! Ironic, huh?!?!

Today was our first day of swim class for the spring session and Korri's first class ever!
She LOVED it, although I'm pretty sure she drank about half the pool! She kicked, splashed, went under and "jumped" in like a pro from the edge of the pool. The half hour session went very quickly with two kids. Today was Finn's first time being able to walk out of the pool (he had just learned to walk last winter when the session ended).
Technically, Finn should be in the next class up (Water Tots), but the parent isn't with him in that class and it has been so long since we've been to class. So, I figured this session they'd be in the same class, which makes it easy for us. Going forward, we might have to switch back and forth each session for who gets to have class.

Wednesday, March 14

B-E-A-U-tiful weather

Finn's chest congestion has spread to everybody in the house. None of us are deathly ill, but just have the crud. Yuck. Hope it doesn't last long. Finn sounds like he is going through funny! One of the best cures is fresh air and sunshine...and we've had plenty of that the last few days! So beautiful. We started by raking the leaves...yes, from last fall. Better late than never. Then I started de-thatching and Jim started edging. Finn said today, "Mommy's really doing a great job, huh?" LOL We probably have two days left on both projects, but it feels so good and rewarding. Korri loves to be outside (as long as she isn't too far from me!) and eats grass, leaves and dirt like its going out of season. Could it possibly taste good? Otherwise I just don't get it. I'm pretty sure the clothes she has worn this week are ruined or at least stained beyond recovery. Isn't the boy supposed to be the dirty one?!?!

Korri still isn't walking. She seems perfectly happy crawling around with one leg up (like she is half walking). I have to say, I'm kind of glad as my life will drastically change when she starts walking. I highly doubt we will be able to just let her play outside like we could with Finn. She climbs up the stairs all day long, unless the gate is up. She has only fallen once, so maybe I shouldn't care if she keeps going up. I just don't think she knows she has to turn around on her belly to come down feet first.

Finn's potty training is going fairly well. He rarely, if ever, has accidents while wearing underwear. He LOVES peeing standing up, even though he is too short to reach! I would say he poops in his potty chair about 50% of the time (the other 50% he saves for his diaper!). He is usually dry after naps, but soaked and/or poopy in the mornings. Hey, I'll take it. I think he is learning how to hold it so we don't have to drop everything immediately, which is helping a lot.

Monday, March 12

How many Walshes can you fit in one...

After our overly disappointing experience with ECFE on Thursday, I was a little apprehensive about our new Friday class. It is a very popular birth to 5 class, which means it is always full. But I needn't have worried. It is at the same location as Finn's previous semester class, and both kids liked that. The parent educator has a VERY different style then I'm used to, but I'm going in with an open mind. When the parents came back to the room at the end of class, the kids were marching in a line around the room and singing. I thought that was super cute.

After class, we packed up and headed to the Holiday Inn in Alexandria for the weekend. We had a mini family reunion for my Walsh family.Or not so mini...if I counted correctly, there was 37 people there! It was so great to see everybody. It is sad how little we see them the older we get and the busier we get with our own kids/lives. I wish we'd taken a picture of the whole group since it doesn't happen very often. Oh, and I finally got to meet Renae's new beau, Craig...I don't know how she keeps finding these cute, nice Catholic boys ;)

On a different note, the kids LOVED swimming, which is good since we start swim class this coming weekend.  However, we will NOT be taking them to a hotel any time soon. Korri was awful the first night and was better the second, but we didn't get much sleep. I guess she is just a home-body, which I can't blame her for, but seriously! If there had been any takers, she would have found herself part of a different was THAT bad. Finn woke up Sunday with a deep, hacking chest cough...not sure if it is from drinking too much pool water or a cold. Hopefully it isn't serious.

Friday, March 9

Who do you think you are?

We went to Finn's first "preschool" class yesterday. It is a class offered once a week through ECFE with a focus on Math and Science...I thought it would be right up Finn's alley. And it probably would be however the Child Educator was completely inappropriate. We've had her before in other classes and I was hoping, since this was a different age group, that she wouldn't be in that class. No such luck...but I really am/was open minded and figured I'd just deal with her. That didn't last long.

Finn is not interested in coloring, painting or crafts. I always encourage him to do these activities at class, but he wants to play with their toys or read books. Well, the CE came over and told me that Finn "had" to participate in at least two art table projects. I said he'd done one, I'd asked him repeatedly to do others and that he'd refused. I suggested she try if it were so important. To which she replied that perhaps he should move back down to the 2 year old class because he wasn't behaving appropriately for this age group! I couldn't believe it. He was doing nothing different than the other kids other than not coloring. I was so mad that I was seeing red, but again, I tried to give her the benefit of the doubt. Then, she came over later and told us moms that we needed to "play" with our kids by telling them that a bus was yellow and the cars go "in" the garage, etc. Seriously, lady?!?! I know my kid better than you do and Finn does NOT need me to explain these things considering he's known them for almost TWO YEARS. DON'T TELL ME HOW TO PLAY WITH MY KID!!!! And at circle time, she was practically yelling at the kids because they weren't doing things exactly how she was instructing them to. I really like the Parent Educator and I LOVE the location (it is the only one in NE MPLS and Finn could potentially go to kindergarten with some of these kids), but I don't think I can continue at this site with this child educator.

I called the main office and they suggested sending an email to the program director and also switching classes. There is another Math and Science class in North Mpls that has openings and I think I might switch to. We have regular ECFE class on Fridays, so we wouldn't NEED to have this second class, but since we aren't sending Finn to preschool, I thought it would be a nice compromise. Plus, Finn LOVES this location because they have a gymnasium and get to have play time in there every week (hello...bikes, balls, and other big toys...yes please!!) Argh! Why can't things just go as planned?!?! Sorry to vent, but it REALLY bothered me. Don't disturb momma bear or you'll see her wrath!

Wednesday, March 7

Holy Play Date Batman

We had our first ECFE play date gathering at our house this morning. There is a group of us that have been going to class together for two years, but have gotten switched around over the time. So, we have tried to keep in contact by having a monthly play date. This month, it was at our house. After a massive house de-cluttering and cleaning (mainly thanks to Jim!), we had five adults and seven kids over! The kids seemed to have a blast, even if our basement is pretty much toy overload (we almost need more space just to enjoy all the toys!). There was very little conflict or fighting over toys, so that was good. And the adults got some much needed "mom" time, which is always hard to come by but so appreciated. Since Jim's office is downstairs and the volume was turned up to an "11," he worked from our bedroom most of the morning. I love to watch Korri "play" with other kids...she really holds her own. I guess a benefit from being a second child. I think it is really good for Finn to have to share his own toys, which always seems harder to do than when you are playing with somebody else's toys. Can't wait for next month and I can't wait even more for when we can meet OUTSIDE at a park!! Shouldn't be too much longer.

Tuesday, March 6

Who's there?

I woke up this morning because I thought I heard something...maybe Finn's bedroom door? But there wasn't another sound, so I figured it was just a car door shutting outside. Then a few minutes later, I heard something else, probably Korri crying, so I got up...and there Finn was, coming UP the stairs with a basket full of toys he'd gotten downstairs! Sheesh. This was a first and it scared me. I'm sure that 99% of the time, he would be fine, but I'm not willing to gamble on the 1%. I told him how dangerous it was to go out of your room without mommy or daddy and how he could have fallen down the stairs and we wouldn't have known, etc. Up until now, he has done really well being in his big boy bed (he calls it "Austin's bed!). He got up and knocked on our door once about a week ago, but that was it. Hmmm... The balance of giving him his freedom and concern for his safety.

Monday, March 5


Yesterday, the four of us met NeNe and Uncle Les at Psycho Suzi's for brunch. The food was amazing, as always, and the kids did great (well, Korri would have liked the food to come a little faster!!). It was great to catch up and get out of the house. We walked there and back (since it is two blocks or so) and it was nice to get out in the sunshine and fresh air.

Last night, my friend, Becky, and I attended a workshop titled, "The Art of Photographing Children." It was really great...the workshop AND just getting out of the house! They served wine, cheese and chocolate, so we were set. I learned a lot about lighting and editing (I already had a good handle on composition) and I realized that I have a lot of interest in Macro Photography. One thing the speaker said that really stuck with me is to keep your camera out and handy so that #1 you take pictures and #2 when you take pictures, your kids don't freak out or act differently around it...and to let them PLAY with it. Yikes! But I didn't freak today when Korri was handling it...I was just very watchful and careful. Thanks for going with me, Bec! And thanks, Jim, for letting me get away for a bit!

And in the spirit of photography, here is the new addition to our family:
Jess, in all her infinite wisdom and creativity, took pictures from my maternity photo shoot and created what you see above! Yes, it was over a year in the making, but I was so excited to pick it up today, which is evidenced by us actually getting it up on the wall the same day! I LOVE LOVE LOVE it. I am so thankful to have a friend and photographer in our life that can create such magic. It is canvas, so that is why there isn't a frame around it. I freaked a little when I picked it up because I thought it was gigantic, but it really does work in the space. The photo lady LOVED it too and had others come over to see it before I took it! Now our next project is the kids' pictures on our living room wall.

Sunday, March 4

My princess turns eight

Yesterday, the four of us went to Emma's birthday party! I can't believe my little princess is EIGHT years old (her actual birthday was on Friday). Where has the time gone? She asked me to make her birthday cake (after seeing Finn's cake!) and the only direction I was given is that she wanted dolphins. So, here is what I came up with:

I was pleased with the results and more importantly, Emma seemed to LOVE it. I think she told me thank you five times. I did tried something new with this cake...molded chocolate candies. I was surprised at how easy they were and how pretty they turned out. They added a lot to the overall look of the cake. This was also the first time I incorporated cookies in the cake, but they added a lot. Although they were pretty heavy and before long, they fell and took the edges of the cake with them!

Finn and Korri had a blast at the party. Signs that things are better than they used to be...I only held Korri for maybe five minutes the whole time we were there...and she didn't know anybody! I love that she makes friends fairly easily now. She always needs to know where I am, but doesn't need me to hold her constantly. Finn found some cars and was in heaven. Korri liked the three puppies that were there, too!

Saturday, March 3

Lentils and wasabi

Two things I learned this week:

1. Lentil soup is really good and tastes like a hearty vegetable soup. Will be making it again for sure...maybe a vegetarian version since it is the Lenten season. My next food adventure will be Quinoa and possibly Kale. I'm so worldly ;)

2. Contrary to the opinion that Finn eats everything, he does NOT like wasabi! And based on his visceral reaction to tasting it yesterday, I will not be giving it to him again...EVER! And I gave him a drop the size of a pencil tip...seriously!

Finn's potty training is going okay. He does a good job of going potty on his potty chair and now he likes standing up to pee (I think because he can watch it!), but he is too short to do this by himself...and a stool makes him too tall. We'll figure it out. He does go poopy on the potty chair, but he tends to hold it and try not to go. I know this because he isn't going as often as he was before starting potty training AND when he has to go #2, he keeps saying he has to go every 5 minutes. Oh, well. Considering it has only been a month, I think he is doing really well...very few accidents, overall.

In the last couple of weeks, Korri has gone from napping three times a day to only once! This has both its pros and cons. First, it allows us more freedom to run errands and get out of the house in the morning (instead of always waiting for her to wake up!). Second, I think it also makes her fall asleep at bedtime better. Or at least she seems to be waking up a little less. However...she probably still needs sleep by around 11am or so, and it takes a lot of effort to keep her happy until nap time at 1pm. But if she naps at 11am, it screws up her whole schedule. I LOVE when they lay down at the same time and I get an hour or two all to myself!!