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

Friday, June 29

Daddy Day!

Jim took a few days off of work to use up some PTO and since Finn had an appointment this morning, Jim decided it would be a Daddy/Son Day! I dropped Korri off at daycare, but Finn and Jim are spending the whole day together…just the two of them. They went to the dentist this morning (more on that later), out to breakfast and then golfing! At this point, I’m hoping Finn is napping (who knows, Jim might be too!).

Jim said Finn’s dentist appointment went well. The good news is that the dentist believes Finn will outgrow his facial asymmetry and that it shouldn’t cause any problems now or in the future! Yay! The not so good news is that he far more concerned about the lack of room in Finn’s mouth. We will need to keep a close eye on it and most likely, he will need to have some type of corrective measures taken at some point. Boo! Kristine had to have her palate broken and expanded when we were young and even though it didn’t happen to me, I was traumatized by it. I really hope either a. Finn doesn’t need that or b. the methods have improved in 25 years! The dentist told Finn he needs to be better about brushing his teeth (um duh!), especially in the back and behind his lower front teeth. The problem is that Finn just brushes the front, easy to reach teeth and then has a complete FIT when Jim or I try to “check” them after he is done. Argh…tell me it gets better!

After the appointment, Jim promised Finn breakfast at McDonald’s (it has kind of become their thing because Jim actually likes to eat there for breakfast…can’t beat an Egg McMuffin!). Jim emailed me, “Know what goes good with pancakes?” (I answered “wipes!”)
Ketchup, duh! Yes, Finn is dipping his pancake in his ketchup. Hey, at least it is less sticky than syrup!

After breakfast, they must have gone golfing at Glen Lake (one of their favorite courses) because Jim sent me this:
He looks so grown up! I think after nap, Jim is taking to a friend’s house to swim in their in-ground pool. Sheesh, if only I had been this much fun when I stayed home with the kids (of course, I never got them one-on-one either!). Jim is considering taking Korri for a Daddy/Daughter Day Monday or Tuesday. Wonder what they will do!!

Last night we attempted to go see the River Rats Ski Show…but…it was canceled because the river is too high and fast. Darn it! Hopefully we can make it another week because it really is fun and I’m curious to see Finn’s reaction…and it really is a great family-friendly (free!) event that is ALMOST within walking distance from our house. You can’t beat that.

Thursday, June 28

Pile of mush

It was Finn’s turn to melt my heart this morning. Before I know it, my heart is going to be a pile of mush from all the love I get from my little bundles of love and joy. He was up early (for whatever reason) and was in bed with Jim when I came out of the bathroom from getting ready. He moves over and says, “Mommy, I made room for you.” Oh, buddy, how I wish I could crawl back into bed and cuddle with my favorite boys all morning. They always say it is the little moments that you should remember because they mean the most!

I “got” to drive the van to work today. Jim has the day off (he’s home AND not working?!?!) and he needs to take his car in for an oil change, which I tried to do for him last night but they didn’t have the correct filter on hand. In the early afternoon, he does have to work a little as he has a meeting in downtown, so he is taking me to lunch! What a treat. And I have to say, the van drives pretty smoothly. I need to figure out all the buttons and features, though! I could barely change the radio station ;)

Wednesday, June 27

Row, row, row

Korri melted my (and probably Jim’s) heart yesterday! We both went to pick the kids up from daycare and when we walked in, Korri saw Jim first. She jumped up came over to the gate and kept saying, “dada, dada, dada!” over and over. She eventually saw me, but wanted daddy, even after I went to get Finn and we were leaving! I love moments like that…daddy’s little girl.

Finn had t-ball last night. Jim packed a picnic for the kids so they could eat beforehand (it is now at 6pm instead of 5:30, which actually seems to work better). Before t-ball started, I told Finn that he needed to have a good attitude and LISTEN to coach. And while he is three and will always have a little attitude; Finn did much better this week. Finn was picked to lead the team during stretching AND was team captain. I think he liked the extra attention. Jim seemed to get only mildly frustrated with him instead of calling it quits like last week. Korri was content to sit on the blanket and eat goldfish…although she thought she should be able to join the kids a couple times!

Oh, and I’m wondering if they sang “Row, row, row your boat” at daycare this week, because during t-ball Korri kept singing, “row, row, row” while making rowing motions with her arms. It was beyond adorable. It IS transportation week at daycare, and technically a boat IS transportation, so it is possible that is actually what she was singing. I wish I would have thought to get my phone out and record it.

After the kids went to bed, I got to have a little “me” time by going out to dinner with Stacey at Psycho Suzi’s. She had never been (can you believe it!) and while the patio was too full (an hour and a half wait at 8pm on a Tuesday?!?!), the inside was nice and I think she liked it. We ordered a multitude of appetizers and also ordered Jim a pizza before we left. It was really nice to have some time with her without kids; which almost never happens.

I have yet to drive the new van! I left my driver’s license at home on Tuesday when we ran errands and when Jim isn’t traveling (like this week…yay!); I take his car to work so he has the car seats for the kiddos. Hmmm…I’m guessing I will have plenty of opportunity to drive it over the next several years.

Tuesday, June 26

I finally bit the bullet

I hate everything about car shopping. It stresses me out, I feel uncomfortable, I never know what to say or do and it takes FOREVER! While I’ve never had one, I think I’d rather get a root canal without pain killers! After being at the dealer for about two hours last Tuesday night and not coming home without a car, I mentioned to Becky on Sunday that I wished Jim would just take care of it and drive into the driveway with a new car (he likes car shopping). Um, well…that is what he did yesterday! He came home with a 2010 Chrysler Town & Country minivan last night!

I didn’t get to say goodbye, but I told Jim to tell the Pacifica that it wasn’t him, it was us (like, it’s not you, it’s me! LOL)! I have to say, I really dragged my feet about getting a minivan. There is such a stigma associated with minivans, I always wanted an SUV and I really liked our Pacifica…when we just had Finn. Having two car seats in the Pacifica and having other passengers just did not work. I slowly started realizing that a minivan was the vehicle that made the most sense. The funny thing is that Jim LIKES minivans…so it wasn’t hard convincing him (the funnier thing is that my YOUNGER sister really wants a minivan, too and she isn't even old yet!). We went with the Town & Country for many reasons, among them is that we like the Chrysler brand, you get a LOT for your money (almost everything comes standard) and it is supposed to be one of the safest ones (although now days, I’m sure they ALL are pretty safe). My favorite feature? The remote start, of course! The color was predetermined, as it usually is with used vehicles, but while I would never chose black, I think it will be fine and they were selling it below retail value, so we got a good deal and good financing (through our credit union). You can’t beat that! Plus, this way we didn’t have to spend money on the Pacifica fixing the motor mount or getting new tires!

Finn wasn’t too sure at first, but he LOVES being able to walk back behind his seat (when the car is stopped, of course!). And I love that he can go pick up whatever Korri happens to throw (like her shoes EVERY time we are in the car!). It has two DVD players with wireless headphones, which can have two different movies playing at the same time. I’m sure the kids will come to love them, but for now, we’d like to pretend they aren’t there (we sing and talk about our surroundings while in the car, which is invaluable family time).

Monday, June 25

Family, family and family

Oops, it's been a week since my last post. Guess we've been busy! Thursday night the three of us (Jim was traveling) went to my aunt Angie's house for dinner. Even though their trains are no longer there to play with (because they gave them all to us!), Finn loves playing there. Korri likes walking around, getting in Finn's way and looking for their cats. The time goes by too quickly since we can't get there until 5:30!

Friday, I left work early and we headed to Murdock. We were close to buying a "new" car but I didn't want to be rushed and they close at 6pm on Fridays. Maybe this week we'll bring home a...minivan! Finn cracked me up. We pulled into mom's driveway, Finn was unbuckled and was inside playing with toys before anybody else even on their way in! Korri went to sleep much better this time. She cried for 6 minutes vs. two+ hours last time.

On Saturday, we got to play at Grandma's for a while before heading to Benson for the Smith Family reunion. My grandpa is one of 12, I think. There was a good turn out, but Erica and I get gold stars for being the only grandchildren of Perry to make it! It kind of felt like we ate and ran, but introductions/updates took over an hour(!) and we had to be mindful of the kids' nap...both kids were sleeping before we got through DeGraff, which is EIGHT miles away! We stopped in Kerkhoven to pick up Austin for a sleepover (Yay! Finn has been asking and asking and asking!). The kids were so tired, they didn't wake up when we stopped, got Austin's stuff and went on our way again. When Finn woke up, he couldn't see Austin because of the carseat but I asked, "do you know who is behind you?" He smiled really big and said, "Austin!" Having Austin ride with us made me realize how much we need a minivan. I LOVE the Pacifica but it just doesn't work for our family right now.

We packed in a ton of fun while Austin was at our house. They played with the water hose, swam in the hottub (after it cooled off a bit), golfed in the yard (holy moly...Austin can HIT a golf ball!) and played a little NCAA football on Xbox. AND Austin requested Mac & Cheese for dinner, so of course he got what he wanted :) Austin slept in Finn's room and it actually went well. They stalled for about 45 minutes until I told them that if they weren't asleep in 10 minutes, Austin would have to go to sleep in our bed. Two minutes later, both were sound asleep! Guess I should have put the hammer down sooner. AND they were up knocking on our bedroom door at 6:27am, but I expected that.

On Sunday, Jim had a bad headache, which he never does, so I bravely took all three kids to church by myself. Father stopped and asked if it was just me with all those kids. I said yes and he said he would pray for me! Overall, they did pretty well because it was HOT (somebody passed out and they had to call an ambulance!). Austin is old enough that I don't really have to watch his behavior too much and he was able to help keep Finn and Korri busy. Don't get me wrong, I got very little out of service, but we were there and I prayed, so I figure it was a success!

After church, the kids took a short nap and we went to Cologne (about 45 minutes southwest) to watch Uncle John and the Rox play baseball! It ended up being a pretty nice afternoon and the field it set up nice for watching baseball. Becky and Pete met us there and watched the game with us. The Rox won, so they won third place in the tournament overall. Great job! Finn and Austin each got two foul balls which means they got $.50 each! Big money! Ron and Lynn came over after the game and are spending this morning with the kids before having to take them to daycare and head back home.

Wow, that was a lot and I feel like I missed a lot. It was a super busy weekend, but it didn't feel too rushed. Guess I'll add if I think of anything else!

Monday, June 18

Happy Father's Day, daddy!

Friday night, Dillon and Stacey came over. Finn LOVES playing with Dillon (he is 8), even if Finn can’t quite keep up. Dillon had the equivalent of a Fury (remember those?) growing on his head, so Jim gave him the ol’ reliable buzz cut. It started out as a reverse Mohawk, which Dillon modeled quite nicely. By the time Jim was done, there was what looked like a dead animal on our deck…that boy has a LOT of hair! Oh, and Jim had decided earlier that grabbing the motor of the lawn mower while using it was a good idea, so he has what HAS to be second degree burns on his fingers! Sheesh.

Saturday, I had the pleasure of driving my Aunt and Uncle from California and my grandparents to the Twins game! My grandpa is a HUGE fan and I think watches or listens to almost every game. It had been so long since he’d gone to a game, that they honestly couldn’t even give me a ball park (pun intended!) time estimate. I was able to drop them off about a half block from the front gates and pick them up there after the game as well. While the Twins lost (what’s new?), they had a blast and I’m glad I was able to see my aunt and uncle, if just for a few minutes. And…the weather cooperated. It was rainy and yucky all morning and then about an hour before game time, it cleared up and ended up being an absolutely beautiful day.

In the early evening, Finn’s friends Laena, Braeland and Lilly came over. Well, their moms and Lilly’s baby brother Levi came, too. All the kids had a blast and we ended up having a picnic for dinner. Pam brought a super yummy salad that she got out of her garden! I’m so jealous, but know myself well enough to know I don’t have time for a garden at this juncture in my life. Lots of food and spills later (but who cares because we were outside!), everybody was stuffed. The meal was complete with homemade ice-cream courtesy of Sharon. Yumm-O! Can’t wait until next time.

On Sunday morning, Jim went to church with us! It was a very nice surprise and both kids were okay…maybe a B+ for behavior, which I’ll take. Korri has just been so tired lately ALL the time. She almost fell asleep in my arms at church, she did fall asleep in the car while running some errands afterward and then slept from 1:30 to 4! This is the kid that naps for 30 minutes at daycare. After nap, Jim took Finn golfing with Mike and Quinn. They managed to get two holes in before the rain hit. Then both families went to Davanni’s for dinner, Jim’s one Father’s Day request. The day ended with the threat of severe weather. We must have just missed it both to the north and south because we never had to go in the basement and after some torrential rain and strong wind, all was well. Finn got scared from the thunder, so he got to come into bed with us for a while…something he NEVER does. I am very thankful for our NOAA weather radio! Everybody should have one.

For Father’s Day, Finn made Jim a paper weight from a rock that says, “Dad rocks” on it! Korri made a picture with her foot prints and a poem telling daddy to walk slowly because I’m following in your footsteps (makes me tear up…I’ll have to get it and post). The kids also gave Jim a “World’s Best Daddy” mug. Too bad he doesn’t have an office to show all these things off at. Oh, and I got each kid a t-shirt that says, “I love dad” on it, which they wore yesterday.

Friday, June 15

Brunch and garage sale

Yesterday was Father’s Day Brunch at daycare and since Jim was traveling, I went with the kiddos instead of him (the invite said moms were welcome). I have this weird sense of not wanting my kids to feel left out (if neither of us had gone). I don’t think I need to worry about that, right now at least. After eating two bites of his breakfast, Finn asked if he could go to daycare (brunch was in the community center attached to the daycare) and Korri ended up walking around exploring the room and trying to help in the kitchen. I don’t think they would have even noticed that some parents were there and some weren’t. Brunch was at 8:15 so I got to see a little of how things are during regular hours since I drop them off so early and pick them up so late (although it was a bit chaotic with the brunch going on).

After daycare, we headed out to Eden Prairie. Our friend, Sharon, was having a garage sale at her parent’s house and invited us to stop over (her cousin had a lot of girls clothes for me to look through). We got there later than I wanted but we had pizza and played. It was a really nice evening. Before we left, Korri was so tired; she just lay down in the middle of the living room and stuck in her thumb! At least she wasn’t crabbing. Thanks for the hospitality Sharon and Sharon’s mom.

I wondered if it would be tough getting the kids up and going this morning since they went to bed so late…but nope. They were both awake just before 7 when I went to get them up. That’s okay, though because I HATE having to wake up sleeping kids to take them to daycare. Korri was a little fussy, but she usually is in the morning until she has her breakfast (some people need a cup of coffee…Korri needs a Nutrigrain bar!). Again this morning, Korri walked right into daycare and started playing. I said goodbye and Korri peeked her head around the cabinet and blew me a kiss! A moment I hope I remember forever.

Thursday, June 14

Marilyn Monroe?

First, I have to say how much I LOVE the dress Korri has on in the picture below! She got it from my aunt Vicky and it is so feminine and cute...complete with crinoline underneath. Sadly, she probably won't be able to wear it much longer since it is size 12 month. Second, I also love this photo!
After mass this weekend, there was coffee and rolls to celebrate my grandparent's anniversary so the kids were walking around. Korri happened to walk over the A/C vent and this happened! She was surprised, but had to keep doing it. I couldn't help but share her "Marilyn Monroe" moment.

Wednesday, June 13

Better and worse

The last couple mornings, Korri hasn't cried when I dropped her off at daycare! I know she calms down right away after I leave, but it always makes me feel so helpless and sad. Since Friday, she hasn't objected to me leaving, and as long as the care giver was holding her, she just stuck in her thumb and was fine! And this morning, she walked in (I was signing them in), grabbed a book and waved bye-bye to me! I couldn't believe it. I'm so thankful. It makes leaving her there so much easier. And they tell me that she just LOVES the Young Toddler Room (I have to drop them off in the Infant Room because all the teachers aren't there that early).

However, it must come and go because last night was a different story. Since Jim is out of town, aunt Kelsie was going to come and help with t-ball, but she fell ill (hope you feel better, Kels!). Thankfully, Lorry and Emma weren't busy, so they came to help out. Unfortunately, Korri decided the only way she would stop screaming at the top of her lungs was if she were planted firmly in my lap! Both Lorry and Emma tried everything, but she just wanted me. Eventually, Emma was able to go and help Finn (I think we may have a future softball player on our hands!) so I could sit with Korri, but it was beyond frustrating (for all of us, I'm sure). I just don't get her sometimes. Anyway, I really do appreciate you ladies coming last night! At least I was able to help Finn for a little bit. Next week starts session 2 of t-ball and it is at 6pm instead of 5:30. I think that time will work better because then we can give the kids dinner before t-ball and go right to bed after.

Tuesday, June 12

Who needs keys?

Not me, apparently! Seriously, I win the “bone-head” of the year award for sure! In my infinite wisdom and planning-ahead-ness, I decided to run home after work before picking the kids up from daycare. We had a play date with some friends, and I wanted to get everything in the car, so we could go right there from daycare. My hands were full, I pulled the front door shut and oops…the car keys were still inside. Oh, and my car was locked, too, so I literally didn’t have ANYTHING on me except two tubs of clothes, my camera, one diaper, wipes, a blanket and half full carton of goldfish. No phone, no wallet, nothing! After figuring out that I am not capable of breaking a window (how do you even do that?!?!), I decided to walk to daycare (so thankful it is close!) to pick up the kids and call Jim from there. Oh, yeah…and Jim is out of town this week!

After many phone calls and a stress level of 10, I thought we’d figured out that the kids and I would meet a locksmith at our house in 20 minutes. So the three of us walked home…no stroller of course. After some whining (by Finn who wanted me to either hold his hand or CARRY him), we finally got home and the kids had a snack (apples from daycare and the goldfish I randomly had with me). I didn’t have a way of keeping track of the time, but I could tell it had been far longer than 20 minutes, so eventually, we walked over to our neighbor and asked to use her phone. Apparently there had been a miscommunication about WHERE the locksmith would meet us, so Jim called aunt Kelsie and she came to save the day with her spare key. After TWO HOURS, we finally could go inside, eat a quick dinner (picnic style while watching Cars…Finn deserved it for being so cooperative!) and go to bed. Needless to say, we missed our play date and it WAS super frustrating, but overall, the kids did great. And if I’m making lemonade out of lemons, it was really nice to spend time so focus on just the three of us. There were no distractions: no toys, no phone, no games, no TV, no computer…just us and a blanket and lots of dandelion buds to pick! Oh and LOTS of talking by Finn.

A huge thank you to Jim for helping even though he didn’t feel well and was in the middle of a work thing, aunt Kelsie for leaving her parent’s and coming to unlock our door, the ladies at daycare who let me use the internet to find locksmith phone numbers, the guy at the community center for using their phone, even though “he wasn’t supposed to” and our neighbor who let us call Jim to make a final plan. Sheesh, all because I was trying to get things done without the kids. So sad to have missed our play date with Laena, Braeland and Lilly, especially since we scheduled it just so we would have something to do while Jim was gone. I don’t know if you’ve ever done something like this (who hasn’t?), but last night and this morning, I was obsessively checking to make sure I had my keys! Lesson: having people with your spare key that live over an hour away isn’t helpful and we need to hide a key at our house! All’s well that ends well. Man, I was tired when the kids finally went to bed.

Monday, June 11

Wild weekend

We had a great weekend, albeit far too fleeting. Friday night, Emma came over for a sleep over. Finn was so excited because Emma got to sleep in his room. Emma wanted Korri so badly, but Korri being Korri, just wanted me. Both Emma and I were frustrated because I would have liked the break, too. Oh, well. Hopefully we can do it again.

Saturday, we headed to Murdock to Grandma's house. Finn has been asking for at least two (possibly more) months, "when can we go to Grandma's house?" I think part of it is that she has been coming to our house so much, that he wants to go there, too! We played with Grandma's toys (somebody else's toys are always better than your own), and then we went to Benson to have dinner with my grandparents and godparents! We went to the Mexican place in town and it was really good (Jim was even able to customize an order to have Chorri Pollo, his favorite at El Loro!). Korri was a bear, though, (she hit her forehead, nose and tongue on the cement before leaving for dinner) so makes it really hard for me to enjoy my meal and talk with other people. They have a real caboose parked across the street so we went over there and both kids thought it was pretty cool. Finn didn't really want to climb up onto it, but Korri, on the other hand, was up and over and I almost couldn't reach her! No fear, that kid. 
This is a four generation picture of the Smith family! We went back to grandma's for a little icecream and then headed home. Of course, Korri fell asleep on the way home so she cried until after 10pm, but I guess that was our fault for staying in Benson so late AND she didn't wake up after that until morning! A huge improvement from when we stayed at the hotel in March!

On Sunday, we went back to Benson for my other grandparent's 60 wedding anniversary! They renewed their vows during mass, which was unexpectedly very touching to me (Tears?!?! Really, Stacy?!?! It isn't even a "real" wedding!).

After mass, we all went to a restaurant for brunch. And by "we" I mean my extended family of about 35 people! I don't get to spend nearly enough time with my extended family, so it was nice. And the best part, we got back home around 4pm so we still had some time at home before bed (especially since Jim is traveling this week).

Thursday, June 7


Korri must be going through a growth spurt. She took that monster 2 ½ hour nap Sunday, she slept in until almost 9:00am on Monday and Monday for dinner, she ate: 3 pieces of pizza (albeit small pieces), black beans, strawberries, two helpings of blueberries, some yogurt AND a glass of milk…and I think she wanted more but we were afraid she was literally going to burst!!! After dinner, she kind of lumbered around and her belly was HUGE. I should have taken a picture. I hope she still fits in all the 18 month clothes that I JUST put in her drawers! She has also been more clingy and moody than usual.

Finn’s last tumbling class was on Monday. I think it was a good class for him to take but since Jim took him the last several times, I don’t know if he “improved” per se. Hopefully, if nothing else, it gave him a little more confidence in his ability to move around. Since Finn is “booked” thru the middle of August with sports, we won’t be taking this class again, at least until the fall. Tumbling might be a good option for the winter, though and I like that they don’t care if Korri comes along. At T-ball this week, Finn’s team “scrimmaged” the older team. It was so cute. At one point, Finn was laying on his back on the grass on the infield! So much for fielding! There is one kid on Finn’s team that can just smack the ball. I think he is a mini-Kirby Puckett in the making!

It was Austin's last day of kindergarten yesterday! I can't believe he is now a First Grader. Where does the time go?!?! I know I'm going to blink and Finn will be that old...makes me sad! Where is the pause button? We would like to wish auntie Becca a very happy birthday today! They (Becky, Austin, Pete and Pete's parents) are on their way driving to North Carolina to meet Austin new cousin. I hope the Preggo didn't make them stop every half hour to use the restroom!

Tuesday, June 5

Old becomes new

On Sunday, mom went with the kids and me to church. It is so much easier with two adults. We did not have a repeat of last week, but that lady was there…just further ahead of us, so we didn’t apparently bother her. Finn’s new thing is to “shush” us with his finger on his mouth…really loudly! Um, that kind of defeats the point, Finn.

The kids took awesome naps (Korri actually slept 2.5 hours, which for her, is unheard of!) and while they were doing that…we cleaned out the garage BIG time. Yes, this is the fourth or fifth time we’ve “cleaned it out” but hopefully it is the last for a while. It started out with me asking for help bringing the donation stuff to the curb (they are picking up today). And it turned into going through 95% of the boxes and getting rid of a ton more stuff. When Jim gets a bee in his bonnet, there is no stopping him! The dust got the better of me after a while, so I went in and started putting some of the stuff away in there (with Korri’s “help” of course). My mom helped a TON! I think she and Jim secretly like doing that kind of stuff. Me? I’d rather order a dumpster and throw everything in. Although, I do like the tax benefit of making large donations like that. But with that big project going on, the lawn didn’t get mowed yet again. Argh! We need to find a teenage neighbor boy to do it…

And it is amazing that when you have “new old” things, everybody wants to play with them. We brought this chair in from the garage, so of course, both kids wanted to (and often did!) sit on it at the same time…and we found two buses, which they both wanted the one the other had! Argh. Up until now, the “exchange” program worked with Korri (if Finn wanted what she had, he had to give her something else to play with)…but not anymore! Korri: Give it to me and give it to me now…or I’ll scream. Oh, the joys of parenting two young children.
Oh and if you were wondering how the bubble gum is going...Finn does NOT understand the concept at all. He thinks it is funny when he swallows it. Hmmm...I guess swallowing it is better than spitting it out!

Monday, June 4

So good, so full

What a great weekend! Saturday afternoon, our friends, Laura, Matt and Daphne, came over to play and for dinner. Daphne is two and a half months younger than Korri, so it is fun to see them together. D is on the verge of walking, so they were hoping Korri (now the walking expert!) could give her some pointers. I don’t know if Korri gave her pointers on walking, but she definitely gave her pointers on shoveling food into her mouth and making a huge mess! I opened a big package of guacamole and between the three kids; I think they ate all but a few bites of it. Hey, there’s much worse things to snack on than guacamole. I again attempted a Rhubarb/Berry pie and I was a little concerned because the crust was WAY wetter than it was the first time…however, the reviews said it turned out fine. Hmmm… I also made some rhubarb bread (a first for me), which was really good, too (although I didn’t have any until Sunday due to all the food on Saturday). Laura brought over a spinach salad that was TO DIE FOR! I need the recipe. She claims it is really easy, but it was REALLY good, too (especially after Jim and I figured out the white chunks were in fact Brie, not tofu). LOL Jim made chicken two ways (Beer butt and “blackened” rotisserie style), in addition to grilled asparagus, mashed potatoes, gravy, and asiago cheese bread. Super good but super full!!

Dinner was served a little later than we wanted so the kiddos were pretty tired. I think at one point, D might have been in a “I ate too much guacamole and its way past my bedtime” semi-coma. After dinner, we put PJ’s on the kiddos, our guests left and we went to bed…even me. I slept from 8:45pm until 7:30am! And I was just going to “lie down for a minute or two.” I didn’t even wake or move until 2:25 when Jim came to bed. Guess the walk, baking and having guests over tired me out.

I was promised pictures from the evening and access to their picture website, so I'm anxiously waiting with bated breath... (but also know how hard it is to get pictures actually off your camera and uploaded)

Saturday, June 2

Baby Steps

We could not have ordered more beautiful or perfect weather for today's Baby Steps 3K Walk and NICU Reunion! We headed over to the state fair grounds and get all set for the walk. Grandma, Auntie Kristine and Zander joined us.
It was so great having them walk with us and made this already very important event that much more special and memorable. We unbuckled Zander's shoulder straps, so he LOVED being able to sit up and see everything and bang on the tray on his stroller. Korri just kind of mellowed in the stroller for most of the walk. Finn was talkative and kind of wanted to walk, but mainly just wanted to be in the stroller (fine by me...might have taken us a couple hours if he had walked the whole thing!).

After the walk we went in to the reunion. Finn and I made a "quilt square" for the NICU Reunion quilt. I'd brought a picture along and we decorated it and taped it up on the "quilt" which was on the wall. We didn't do this last year because I forgot a picture (glad I remembered this year). I think they take the quilts and hang them in the NICU for staff to see how the graduates are doing. Pretty neat idea. We were one of the first...Finn's is on the left, second from the bottom (he picked a picture of him playing t-ball!).
Then we had lunch and headed home. We were all beat! Zander couldn't keep his eyes open, but he couldn't keep them shut either! Korri fell asleep on the way home (without her thumb) and with all four of us trying to keep her awake! Jim is now snoring on the couch!

Overall, what a great event and day. A super huge thank you to everybody who was able to make a donation to our walk. Our final total was $1385!!! Wow, what amazing support we have surrounding us. Also, thank you to all who supported us in other ways, such as sending positive thoughts and prayers our way. We are truly a very lucky and blessed family! My cup runneth over today.

Friday, June 1

Smack Shack

I had my first experience at a food truck today! I’ve seen these things around (there are a couple that actually “live” in our neighborhood during their off hours) and seen them on cooking shows and what not. They’ve intrigued me but also intimidated me. If you know me at all, you know I don’t like doing things I don’t know about (how it works, where you order, what’s on the menu, how to pay, etc). Lorry and I often go to the Farmer’s Market in downtown Mpls on Thursdays and see them parked on the other streets…but they are always super swamped.

Well, yesterday, Lorry and I made plans to have lunch today and I decided to do some research. There is a website that has the food trucks, trailers and carts listed and what their usual location is. I clicked around and found the Smack Shack! I knew immediately I needed to try this place. I’ve seen local TV shows rate this place’s Lobster Roll as the best thing there ever was. But they didn’t have their location listed. Well, Lorry being her wonderful, non-caring-what-other-people-think self, said, “Let’s go check it out.” We found it immediately and the line was super long…but so worth the wait. Food Truck Tip: if you want faster service, bring cash!

We both had the Lobster Roll (duh!) and while I was not overly impressed with the presentation (can you believe I didn’t take a picture?!?!), it might be the best thing I’ve ever eaten between two pieces of bread…and I normally don’t love lobster! It has HUGE pieces of lobster with a creamy dressing, green onions and chopped cucumbers. Their website’s description says, “Chilled Lobster with Cucumber, Tarragon, and Lemon Aioli on Griddled Milk Bread” I’ve never heard of “milk bread” before, but you better believe I’m going to find out what it is! It was a bit pricey for a week day lunch ($13 for sandwich, chips and a pickle) so I won’t get it every day but I will definitely have to splurge once in a while. Oh, and if that isn’t enough lobster for you, they also have the King Roll for twice as much lobster for only a few bucks more…I don’t know how you could eat that much in one sitting, honestly!

Smack Shack also has a Shrimp Po-boy on their menu and I LOVE me a good shrimp Po-boy! I might have to try that next time, although for them to beat Jim’s Po-boy, it is going to have to be coated in gold and served on a $100 bill ;) Review of shrimp Po-boy will be forthcoming!

Ears and eyes and...taxes!

Yesterday, Jim brought Finn to his ENT appointment. I was expecting an “all clear” but, of course that would be too easy. While the infection from last month looks like it cleared up, it was hard for the ENT to tell because of all the fluid, yet again, in Finn’s ears. So, he needs to be seen again in one month and we will discuss the possibilities of tubes (round 2) at that point. I REALLY don’t want to do tubes again. I know it is a common procedure, but I do worry about scarring when you start doing it repeatedly. In the meantime, we are supposed to try to teach Finn how to pop his ears. I guess that helps the fluid drain. Hmmm…so last night I went to Target to get bubble gum (sugarless…we don’t need him jumping off the walls, too!) and balloons. Hopefully one of these tricks will work and won’t result in gum all over the furniture (or Korri’s hair for that matter!)! The ENT decided not to test Finn’s hearing at this visit (even though our Ped requested it) since the fluid makes it hard to test accurately. So, we’ll see in one month…

And this morning, Jim took Finn to his eye doctor appt. He was supposed to be seen six months ago, but let’s just say that I dropped the ball. Overall, Jim said things went well. Finn needs to be seen again in 6 weeks to retest his left eye. Seriously, what does it take to just get a clean bill of health at these appts?!?! The Dr had minor concerns about Finn’s left eye potentially being lazy…but it could have just been that it was the second one they tested. Although, if I remember correctly, I feel this was a concern a while ago, too. If it is, in fact, lazy, he will just need to wear a patch on the strong eye once a day until it improves. Shouldn’t be a big deal either way, just need to know for sure.

And I’m very happy and relieved to report that I finally submitted our taxes last night. Yes, I said taxes! What…it was an hour before the month of June started! Why didn’t we do it sooner? I have no idea. Feels like a weight off my shoulders. Now, just waiting excitedly for the refund to arrive!