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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, September 28

No more tears

Last night at class, Korri made it the WHOLE time after we separated! I was a wreck, but she did it. Keep in mind she was crying hard when I left her BUT she stayed in the chair by her snack when I walked away (before she would run after me) and when I picked her up, she was snuggling with the teacher. Regardless, she did it! I'm hoping it will continue to get better and better and maybe some day, there will be no more tears.

On Wednesday night, we got to play with Baby Zander while his mommy and daddy went to Sample Room for a romantic anniversary dinner. He is such a good boy and SO close to walking. He was tired, but managed to eat dinner, play and play AND take a bath! He is welcome at our house absolutely ANY time!

Jim started his vacation early by taking today off. And because he is the best dad in the world, he decided to have a daddy/children day at the MOA (the kids COULD have gone to daycare). Finn picked Rainforest Cafe for lunch. Here are some pics Jim sent to me:
This might be my favorite picture of all time...Finn and Korri holding hands in the stroller! Melts my heart. I just love them so much.

Have I mentioned lately that we leave for Kauai in less than TWO days? Now I'm getting excited :)

Wednesday, September 26

Gophers and Vikings win!

I know it is Wednesday and I'm just getting to Saturday! Saturday, while daddy took Korri to swim class and Memere and Finn walked to the "Minnessippi" River, I got to go to Target all by myself! Unfortuantely, I had a massive sinus headache, so I didn't fully enjoy it. Later in the day, Auntie NaeNae and Craig came over. Memere left to go home and the six of us went to the Gopher vs. Syracuse football game! It was a little insane because that game didn't even start until 7pm, but the kids did amazingly well...probably even better than I did :) So glad Auntie NaeNae and Craig could join us AND the Gophers won!
Family picture.

Eating some cotton candy during pre-game.

Mommy's favorite part of Gopher football...the marching band making the "M".
Because on Sunday, Renae wasn't feeling well, so they had to leave before we even went to the Renaissance Festival! A huge thank you to uncle John for the tickets. Stacey and Dillon met us there and we all had a blast! The weather was perfect, the food was good and fattening and the kids were great, again.

It was a super busy weekend, but it was a perfect weekend, too (minus the fact that I missed what might be the best Vikings game of the last five years. Boo).

Tuesday, September 25

Arr, matey!

Korri had her follow up eye appointment for her glasses yesterday morning. While the appt went well overall, there was no improvement in her left she needs to wear an eye patch! She has to wear it on her left eye 5 days a week for one hour each day. I guess I was pretty caught off guard by this, since I didn't know we were necessarily looking for improvement, but her brain isn't recognizing her right eye like it should, hence the need for patching. She goes back in the beginning of January to see if the patching (hopefully!) helped. If not, I don't know what the next step would be...probably more patching for longer periods of time.

Thankfully, God is wise and puts the right people in our lives when we need them! Through our ECFE preemie class that we used to go to, Finn's friend Samuel had to patch for a considerable amount of time, so the first person I contacted...Lisa, Samuel's mom. She was so supportive and sent me a super detailed email (late last night after kiddos went to bed!) about what to think about, the best patches to get, the most effective ways to patch, etc. It is invaluable. Patching isn't something I've really even thought about before. I know it could always be worse (obviously!), but sometimes it just feels like "one more thing." I really hope patching is a magic "cure" and we get good news in January!

Korri patched last night for the first time, obviously since her appt was yesterday morning. And she did great! She reached up to touch it a few times, but left it alone for the most part. I think it helped that we were at Finn's tennis class, so there were a lot of distractions and lots to do to keep her busy (including a new trike to ride, courtesy for Mary Pat and Bennie...thank you, they both love it!!!).

Monday, September 24

Wonder Woman?

Korri did better at ECFE this week. She cried when I left her at snack time, but managed to stay for all but the last 15 minutes or so. Progress! During parent-time, we watched a video about the Kazdin Method for Parenting the Defiant Child. We, thankfully, don't have defiant children (or at least not yet!), but it was really interesting and we tested some of the techniques over the next couple of days and they seem to really work. Now, it is just a matter of remembering to use them consistently!

Friday after work, we picked up the kids from daycare and headed over to NeNe's house for a visit. She is doing AMAZING with her new knee and continues to improve. I think she might secretly be Wonder Woman, but it trying to hide it! The kids had a blast AND Memere met us there, so that was even better. Memere came home with us for a sleepover, which Finn was super excited for. She brought Jim's mouse costume that Nana made when he was little. We tried it on Finn and it fits...and is beyond adorable. Can't wait for Halloween :)

We had a crazy, busy weekend, but I'll save that for another day (maybe I'll actually get pictures uploaded!).

And congratulations to auntie Becca, who officially, as of this morning, made it longer in her current pregnancy than she did with Austin! Yay. Now let's hope she doesn't go over due :) Those Ross babies like to be big!

Thursday, September 20

Go back tomorrow?

The acupuncture place called isn't covered by my insurance. Oh, well. It was worth trying.

Tuesday night, Sharon, Laena and Braeland babysat us! Since Jim is traveling this week, they invited us over for dinner and to play. I think all three kiddos had a BLAST. On the way home, Finn said something about, "when we go to Laena and Braeland's house tomorrow night." Guess he wants to go back. Sharon completely outdid herself with dinner. It was chicken with peanut sauce (seriously, one of my favorite things on earth), pot stickers (another of my absolute favorite things), green beans cooked in a little sesame oil and brown rice. It was all really good and I think Finn ate all of the green beans, not just his...ALL of them :) They have a big train table in the basement where the tracks are glued down, so of course, Finn was in love with that. They also had an indoor slide that Korri just kept going up and down. It is nice to have an adult friend who has kids that play really well with your own. Thank you for a wonderful evening, friends! We'll gladly do it again when Jim is traveling, especially since Finn wanted to come back the next night.

Finn is super excited that it is Pajamma Day at daycare tomorrow! They did this one other time when we first started going there and Finn thought it was the coolest thing. How cute to have a bunch of preschoolers running around in their pj's! Now we just need to remember AND make sure the "cute" ones are clean :)

Last night, the three of us were running all over town, so I decided to treat them and get fast food for dinner. Finn picked Burger King and when we pulled in, he asked if we could eat inside (he saw they had a play area) and I thought, "why not?" They shared a plain cheeseburger, sweet potato fries (who knew BK has sweet potato fries? Not me!) and their own white milks. They ate really well, were in good moods and had a great time. This picture is Finn climbing in the tunnels (Korri was too small) and he went ALL THE WAY TO THE TOP, and it was HIGH!!!
Can you see him in there?  The netting blurred the picture. I didn't even know he could do it at all. He got "stuck" a few times, but I just talked him through it and he figured it out himself. When he was done, I saw that you are supposed to be 4 to play in it...oops! I think he was really proud of himself (as was his momma!).

Wednesday, September 19

Inner Health

On Monday night, I had my first acupuncture session. I've heard that it can help with migraines so when a Groupon came up for it, I thought I'd try it. Keep in mind, this was last MARCH! But anyway, since it was going to expire, I finally went. I was scheduled to get acupuncture when I was on hospital bedrest trying not to have Finn because of the intense joint pain I was experiencing. BUT, alas, Finn thought it would be a better idea to come into this world than let mommy get poked by a bunch of needles (maybe he was channeling daddy's fear of needles!).

Anyway, Monday night, Super Dad Jim picked the kids up from daycare, made a picnic dinner, brought them to the park for said picnic, went to sports class (the first one I've missed and it was!), played at the park after class, came home, gave baths and put the kids to bed by himself! I was impressed. I did get to help put Finn to bed for a minute or two.

My appt was at 6pm in Edina, so I didn't even go home after work. The session started out with a medical history and talking about my migraines. She explained acupuncture to me a little. Then I laid on the table and she put in about 15-20(?) needles and let me lay there for about half an hour. I have to say, maybe it is the power of positive thinking, but I had a headache when I got there and I did NOT when I left! However, because I was laying on my back, my sinuses filled up and I got stuffy (I think it is...allergies!). She is going to see if they are covered by our insurance, but I'm not holding my breath. I think I would like to try it for a while to see if it would help with my migraines (obviously, after one session, there isn't going to be lasting change)...but it is REALLY expensive if you have to pay out of pocket. So, we'll see. If nothing else, I got to try something new and have a half hour of complete silence and relaxation, or as relaxed as you can get with needles poking out of you!

Tuesday, September 18

Me, Koko.

On Sunday, we went over to Laura, Matt and Daphne's house to watch the Vikings and help celebrate Laura's birthday. They have a monster projection screen downstairs, which made watching the game even better (although, when they lost, it was that much harder to watch!). She totally outdid herself with the food and while I tried not to overdo it, Operation Get Skinny for Hawaii had a small set back! My job was to bring something for dessert. So after several emails asking for suggestions, I had her narrow it down and decided on a rhubarb cake! I had given them some rhubarb bread earlier this summer and apparently Daphne LOVED it, so I thought it was a good choice, although it was a new recipe, which always stresses me out. Yes, I know it was Laura's birthday but once we become parents, it is all about what the kids want, right? Daphne did an amazing job sharing her toys and the kids played and ate and had a great time. My kids didn't nap there because I just didn't know how well it would work. Of course, they both fell asleep on the short ride home and then would NOT sleep once we got home. Oh, well...the price we pay to watch the Vikings with friends :) The kids colored a "card" for "Daph-a-ne's mom" and we sang happy birthday, so I hope she had a nice birthday!

Oh, and Korri is now Koko. This weekend, she was sitting in her highchair and I thought she said, "koko." I wasn't sure, so I asked her what koko is. To which she replied, "Me, Koko." I said, "is your name Koko?" and she said, "yes." When daddy came down, I said, "Who is Koko?" and she pointed her to chest and said again, "me, Koko." I guess that settles that! I actually think it is really cute and Finn called himself "Gangan" for a long time when he couldn't say his full name. Finn thinks "Koko" is hilarious because there is a train on Chuggington called we had to watch an episode of Chuggington before bed that night! I just looked up the character Koko and she and Korri have very similar personalities:

Koko'll often challenge others to a race, Koko loves going flat out, whooshing ahead of the others, and has yet to learn that speed isn't everything. Koko is very confident and loves to explore and have adventures. Although mischievous, she is well meaning and gets upset if she causes her friends to get into trouble. Koko will always own up or apologize and try to put things right, once she has understood the full implications of her actions.

Fitting, I guess :)

Monday, September 17

Balance bike?

Friday, we went over for a short visit at NeNe's house. Korri was SO cute when I told her where we were going. She ran over to the front door and repeated "NeNe, NeNe!" over and over. I think she thought NeNe was coming to OUR house. And I have to say, I was pleasantly surprised to see that DeAnn looked amazingly well for being one week post-knee replacement! She even got up and walked around. The kids loved the visit, but I could tell it tired DeAnn out a bit to have the chaos of two kids running around and climbing (yes CLIMBING) on her. Korri just wanted to be by her and I was freaking out, but she left the knee area alone, thank GOD! Now DeAnn just needs to remember to take her pain meds and NOT over do it :)

Saturday, Jim and Finn went to the Gopher football game again (win #3), while mommy and Korri went to swim class and hung out together. Jim said that Finn warmed up a lot more this week and was yelling and cheering. He totally conked out when they got home and we had to wake him up at 5pm from his nap! Korri loved swim class, as usual. I checked and there are spots open for the Waterbabies classes this fall, so now we need to decide if we are going to just have Korri go again or if we are going to try to find a class somewhere else for Finn. I feel like I've looked everywhere and either they don't have the kind of class we are looking for OR their schedule is too early or late in the fall! Argh.

On the way home from swim class, we stopped and picked up a balance bike from a friend for Finn to try! Rebecca warned me that it might take a while for him to warm up to it and he might just walk with it and not even sit on it. So, my expectations were low. I wish Finn had been with so he could have seen Jaleah riding it...she was zipping around. After Finn's monster nap, we went out to the van to show him. He LOVED it immediately and couldn't wait to get on it. He sat right down on the seat and off he went. Last night we went for a "bike" ride and when he got on his bike, he said to me, "Mommy, now I'm just like the other kids with their bikes." It almost made me cry!

So, what is a balance bike and why use it instead of a trike or regular bike? I've known what they are but I've thought the same thing for almost two years. A balance bike is a bike without pedals (or pedals removed from a regular bike). Weird, I know. The rider first walks the bicycle while sitting on the seat. Eventually, the rider feels comfortable enough to run and "scoot" while riding the bicycle, then to lift both feet off the ground and cruise while balancing on the two wheels (there are spots for his feet to rest when he gets to this stage). The purpose is to learn to balance and steer first and THEN learn to pedal, with the hope/thought that you will transition to a regular bike with NO training wheels!

We are also going to borrow Finn's friend, Bennie's, trike, so this way Finn will have options. I'm just so pleased that he loves it so much. We have set the rules very clearly and last night before our "bike" ride (Finn is the only one with a bike and goes slower than walking speed!), I told Finn that we get off our bike and walk it across the street. The first intersection we got to, he was off and walking it before I even turned around. And then he had to explain to daddy that we don't ride our bikes across the street because we do safety first! Man, I love that kid. He also LOVES wearing the helmet and calls it his racing helmet (I think because there are flames on it). We mentioned putting the seat all the way down and letting Korri try, but Finn did NOT think that was a good idea. Poor guy, he has to share everything. I think we'll wait until it isn't so "new" to have Korri try (however, she was VERY interested in it, so we'll see)!

Friday, September 14

I can hear clearly now

Finally, an ENT appointment with good news and no need for follow up for a year! I honestly don't remember the last time that happened. Jim and I took Finn to the ENT for his post-op appt yesterday afternoon. Not only did the doctor say everything looks good and Finn doesn't need to be seen for up to a year...they also did a hearing test and for the first time...Finn passed with flying colors! He is well within normal ranges and absolutely NO hearing concerns. Seriously, it brings tears to my eyes. Now, if those darn tubes will just stay in (unlike his first set), we should be set for a LONG time, hopefully. I really like Dr. Soumekh, but I'll be happy if we don't need to see him again...ever!

Thank you to everybody for your feedback, suggestions and support about Finn's pedaling. We are borrowing a trike and a balance bike from friends (thanks, Mary Pat and Rebecca!), so we'll see what we can accomplish yet this fall. I have such wonderful memories of Austin riding back and forth and back and forth in front of our house and turning around at the corner and the alley. His darn big wheel was so loud, but I loved it. Now I'm just praying that Finn will have a good attitude about it...we all know he tends to be VERY "cautious" with new things.

We had our third ECFE class last night. I'm definitely warming up to the new location and my overall attitude is improving. Finn painted a picture last night...something he has NEVER done for me before. It was a red and yellow "road." I told him it looked like a bumpy road. I'll have to take a picture of it. I really like the mixture of parents and the feedback/discussion during parent time. However, the first night, Korri separated just fine. After an hour of playing and singing songs, the kids stay in the room for snack and more playing while the parents go across the hall. Last week and this week, Korri was so upset, she was almost hyperventilating. I was/am frustrated by this since she separates just fine every day from both Jim and I for daycare, but Jim wisely suggested that perhaps because she IS away from us all day, she doesn't want to be away from us even more. Hmmm...hadn't thought of that. So, Korri hangs out in the parent room with us and while she does behave really well, I'm hoping it gets better because I pay attention to the discussion a lot more when I'm kid-free.

Wednesday, September 12

To pedal or not to pedal

Finn doesn't know how to pedal, as far as I know. They have trikes at daycare and I think he rides them, but I'm pretty sure he doesn't actually pedal them. We do not have any pedal toys at our house except a bike that is far too big for him. Do most 3 1/2 year olds pedal? I miss Finn's PT appts when things like this come up. I've been thinking lately that we should get him something to pedal. I know, getting one in Sept in MN isn't exactly the best idea, as we MAY have a month to ride it outdoors. I think I would feel better if he demostrated that he COULD, then I'd probably just wait until the spring. And if we do get him something, should we go with a trike or a bike with trainers? If we do a trike, is it better/easier to pedal pushing forward or down (you can sit in different positions on different types)? I'm not OVERLY concerned about it, but while watching Teen Mom (yes, a guilty pleasure of mine!), the younger than 3 year old was riding a bike with trainers and I even think they were trying to teach him to ride WITHOUT trainers! It got me thinking that if there is something we can do to help Finn, I'd like to do it. Thoughts? Suggestions?

Mom, do you still have the bike from Lisa? Would Finn fit on it and does it have trainers?

Monday, September 10

Not Water Tot

I'm so frustrated! Today was the first day of fall registration for swim classes at the Courage Center, where we go. You have to go in person to register (which I think is beyond dumb) but since I work downtown and Jim is traveling, I knew we couldn't go in today. So I called this afternoon at 2pm just to find out what times Finn's Water Tots classes are offered and guess what? Yup, they were already full and one person was on the wait list, which I did add my name to! Seriously?!?! I asked if they are going to open up an additional class and was told no. Which is another thing I think that is dumb because these classes generate revenue at a rehabilitation facility where most of their programs don't. So now we need to figure out what to do. Do we sign Korri up for fall and hope winter will have more Water Tots openings (I'm not holding my breath) or do we try to find a class somewhere else? I looked at St. Anthony Village and Maple Grove, both of which looked like good options, except their start dates don't work with our vacation and you can't make up classes. The UofM - St. Paul has classes, but Finn would have to be in a parent/child class until he "passed" it, which is silly, but that is the rule. Argh!

So, keeping in mind that we are not members at the YMCA, where do you take your kids for swim classes/lessons? Have you heard of any places I should check out? A lot of the suburbs close to us only have outdoor pools, which, obviously, wouldn't work for fall/winter lessons.

Sunday, September 9

Ski-U-Mah, Skol!

Korri had her first and second time out today. I was just telling Kristine yesterday that I think 12-18ish months is the best as far as listening and cooperating. And then today, Korri has decided not to listen! Both time outs had to do with her taking her glasses off and throwing them. I'm so sad because we always PRAISED her for listening with the hope that she would continue to do so and we could avoid as much of the "terrible twos" as possible. I think we were living in a fantasy world. Oh, well. High frustration comes with high expectations.

Yesterday, Jim and Finn went to the Gopher football game while Korri and I went to swim class. Who got the short end of that stick? Auntie Kristine and Baby Zander met us there. She is thinking about taking Zander to lessons there and wanted to check it out. Korri did a great job. She LOVES jumping in from the side of the pool and would do it the whole time if she could. She is also really good at blowing bubbles, something Finn just learned to do this past spring! Fall registration begins tomorrow (Monday) and you have to register is person (which I think is dumb), so I'm hoping we can sign Finn up for Water Tots...a class designed for children who have completed Waterbabies, but are not quite ready for Level 1 Preschool Swim. Children will float, splash, increase comfort level in the water and play without their parents in the water. I'm really excited and will be sad if he doesn't get in for Fall session as they don't offer many Water Tot sessions AND they fill up fast.
Jim and Finn had fun at the game and the Gophers WON! They are now 2-0, which is a rarity in Gopher football. Jim said Finn wouldn't sit still and was all over the place, but they had fun. AND Finn got to see Goldy, so he was in heaven. Oh, and Zander got to stay and play while his mommy had other plans. He is so stinkin' cute and such a good boy. I wish he could give my kids a lesson or two!

Today was the Vikings' season opener, which is something I look forward to. Sharon, Laena and Braeland came over to watch the game with us (and play with toys!). Brae is a Bears fan, so it was tough for me to let him in the house, but he DID cheer when we got the first touchdown...after he told me the Bears had more touchdowns than the Vikings! What a good. The kids all played super well together and while I didn't get to watch the entire game, I did get to see the super exciting end of the 4th quarter and OT. Vikes won! I hope it is the beginning of good things to come.

Friday, September 7

Got my hairs did

Since my wonderfully talented sister graduated college and got a "big girl" job, my hair has been severely neglected. SO, I decided to treat myself to a Groupon for a cut and color. I played hooky a little on Wednesday (or rather took a VERY long lunch!) and got my hairs did. It was so nice to be pampered and the head/scalp massage is worth every stinkin' penny! I stuck with my normal color and she trimmed a little, layered a bit and thinned the heck out of it. So THIS is what normal thickness feels like! Then, she dried and straightened it. Seriously, there are few times a woman feels better about her self than when she walks out of the hair salon. You think everybody is looking at you and thinking, "Wow, what gorgeous hair she has!" Of course they aren't, but there is a bounce in your step that isn't otherwise there. And I found myself feeling sorry for the other women I saw because their hair wasn't NEARLY as pretty as mine! Now, if only I could do that every day! The stylist even said she doesn't blame me for not drying my hair in the morning because it would take so long. Ha, anyway, here is a pick I took at work when I got back (it is a self portrait, so not the best, but you get the idea!):

My hair looks good, but my eyes sure look tired! Yikes! I'll blame it on the lighting :) Nobody missed me at work during my THREE hour lunch. Hmmm...I wonder what would happen if I were to do that every day...

Thursday, September 6

Just hire a professional!

Korri had her first class of swim class for this session. We signed up late, so she will have five weeks of class before the next session starts, at which time Finn will take classes (by himself for the first time!!). I'd be remiss to not post a picture of the cute grill before her lesson:
Daddy took her by himself because Finn chose to stay home with mommy instead of going to watch (I was a little sad, but it wasn't a big deal). I will be taking her at least three of the week by myself because daddy has Gopher football at the same time. Finn is going with daddy to the football game this week, so I won't have to make alternate plans for him during swimming.

On Sunday, Grandpa Egg came for a visit. Our garage door has been in need of repair/replacement since we bought the house FIVE years ago and finally last winter, the door started pulling off the hinges, so it was time to do something about it. Commence with the biggest fiasco EVER! It started out fine...disconnected everything, took old doors off, put new doors on and then...started reconnecting and assembling and that is where all hell broke loose. The new doors were light weight aluminum where the old doors were very heavy wood/particle board that were builder grade so the equipment that was there was not assembled correctly and it wasn't the right stuff for the new doors. Long story short, dad and Jim spent ALL day Sunday and half of Monday and got it to function until it came off the chain on Tuesday and we gave in and had a garage door repairman come and fix it yesterday. It ended up costing twice what we thought and we wish we'd just had it professionally installed from the beginning, but I honestly didn't think it would cause this much of a problem. Anyway, the proper parts are installed and it works, so hopefully it continues to do so since Jim is traveling! Let's just say dad and Jim almost killed themselves Sunday night when the door came off the track and Jim sweat out EIGHT pounds of sweat between the two days. Yikes! It was nice to see dad and spend a little time with him. I'm just sad he spent the whole time out in the garage (wait, reminds me of my childhood!). Here are some pictures, but I don't have a final one yet.
Old one down, new one going up

Almost done? Nope!