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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, October 31

Go the F**k to Sleep

Seriously, I love my daughter. She is so darn cute and spunky and you just want to squeeze her and kiss her all the time (which I do, often!). However, lately, I've just wanted to knock her unconscious at bedtime! Have you seen/read the book "Go the F**k to Sleep?" It has become a mantra at our house...maybe we need to get a copy. If I'm being totally honest, which I usually am, not only have we historically been extremely lucky with bedtime at our house (both kids go right to sleep), but I've been a little smug about it. Like, "what are all of you doing wrong that we do right?" Well, I'm getting mine in spades!

All of a sudden last week, Korri started refusing to go to sleep at night. Before, I'd sing one song, lay her down, leave her room and she would softly cry for 30 seconds before falling asleep. NOT ANY MORE! The first night this happened last week, she screamed bloody murder for an hour! I kept thinking she'd fall asleep. Eventually, I had to go in there and rock her and cuddle her and basically trick her into falling asleep. Now, every night, we have to read a book, rock in her chair, sing songs AND pat her back until she actually goes to sleep. And after sneaking out of her room, she usually wakes up within 10 minutes screaming again, before falling asleep for the night. It is exhausting and frustrating. We just don't get what changed or what she needs. We pushed her bedtime back to 8 pm, thinking we were putting her down when she wasn't tired yet. Last night, we even put her in Finn's room because we wondered if she doesn't like being alone?!?! It isn't because of the dark, because she does a mild version of it for nap on the weekends. Having her in Finn's room actually kind of worked, or at least, it took less time for her to fall asleep (Finn told me he sang "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star" to her!). Man, we are great parents...pushing off our responsibilitiesonto our three year old son to handle! We are desperate. Monday night, she was up until after MIDNIGHT and eventually, I just told Jim to leave her crying because nothing was working anyway and we needed sleep ourselves! We had to turn the fan up so we couldn't hear her as clearly, or I never would have slept. Jim did look in her mouth and her eye teeth are all coming in, so maybe that is it?!?! I don't know, but something's gotta give!

Finn has an appointment with the endocrinologist this morning to look at his overall growth/stature. It will be interesting to see what we find out. Oh, and Happy Halloween! Can't wait for trick-or-treating tonight!

Tuesday, October 30

Carve it up

On Sunday, Jim, yet again, earned a nomination for the Best Husband/Dad of the Year award. He got up with the kids at 7:30am to let me sleep...which I did until 9am! Something I never do, especially when I know the kids are awake. Perhaps part of the reason was because I ended up having a migraine, boo! Not only did he get up with them, but by the time I got up, he had them fed and dressed for church. And then offered to take them to church without me, since I had a migraine! What?!?! I don't know what he's done with jim, but this guy can stick around :) I did go with and the kids weren't nearly as well behaved as they were last week. I honestly think it would be better if Jim took one and I took one and we sat in different pews. Sad! Alas, we won't do that, but we need to figure something out. AND Father Glen was back, so at least Jim and I got more out of service.

After church, as promised to Finn, we drove over the Lowry Bridge. Seriously, you'd think the bridge was made of candy or something for how much Finn loves it. I do have to admit that it is going to be SO much easier to get across the river AND now we have alterate routes to get to and from I94. We stopped at Cub to pick up pumpkins for Jim and me...and apparently groceries since we left over $100 there! After naps, NeNe came over to help carve pumpkins! I realize every year that I like the "idea" of carving pumpkins much more than actually carving pumpkins. They are messy and stink and it is hard to carve through an inch of pumpkin wall!

Thankfully, Jim pretty much took over. Finn picked a bat for his pumpkin and I wanted a cat (in honor of Korri's costume!). Considering years past, they were pretty simple, but I think they turned out pretty cute!

Monday, October 29

Pre-Halloween fun

Saturday morning was BUSY! We went to the West End Great Pumpkin Fest in St. Louis Park. We got there right away so it wasn't too busy, but man, was it cold! Finn didn't want to do anything, which was really frustrating. He did finally "warm" up a bit, though. We met Daphne the Monkey there (or Daph-a-nee, as Finn calls her!) and later on, Firefighters Laena and Braeland!
It was fun and I think we will do it again next year (but order warmer weather!). At least we dressed for the cold this weekend, unlike LAST weekend at Apple Jack! People kept thinking Finn was a bunny or an elephant and Korri was a skunk, but regardless, they thought the kids were cute AND their costumes kept them warm! The overall costume theme of the day certainly was animals and firefighters (and not just Laena and Braeland!). We only saw one Elmo, which surprised me.

We left a little early so we could go to the Lowry Bridge Grand Opening. The Lowry Bridge has consumed Finn's life for months. I am so happy it is open so I won't hear, "Is the Lowry Bridge open now?" all day, every day! We got there just in time for the air show and parade. We walked across and back, even though Finn wouldn't get out of the stroller (we told it is was the only time in his life to walk ON the bridge). Korri, did, though, of course. The people at the bridge ceremony thought the kids were super cute in their costumes!

By the time we got home around 1pm, we felt like we'd put in a full day already! How often are we up, dressed and on our way to an event before 10am on a Saturday? NEVER! We put the kids down for a nap and then Jim had to find the energy to go to the Gopher game! With all the time he had outside on Saturday, I think he needed a hot, steamy sauna to warm back up when he got home. The Gophers had a blow-out win, so morale was high in our house that evening :) The kids and I were going to go to another Halloween party in the afternoon, but we just wanted to play at home and stay warm!

It isn't even Halloween yet and this is, by far, the most fun I've had for Halloween. It is amazing how kids change your whole feeling about and experience of holidays and fun events. I'm already thinking about what we'll do next year!

Saturday, October 27

Cat & Mouse

Thursday night was Halloween night at ECFE. All the kids wore their Halloween costumes and it was SO cute, albeit a little crazy! On a very positive note, although she didn't want to, Korri stayed in the kid's room the entire time while we were separated! She was bawling her eyes out when we left, which, of course, just about killed me, but they said she calmed down very quickly. Yay! Progress.

Jim had been traveling all week and made it home before class. The kids were SO happy to see him and be able to play with him at class.

Thursday, October 25

How do you pay?

Craziest thing happened last night. The four of us went to Target (not so crazy, I know!). We NEEDED to get diapers for daycare, among some other things, I mean, who goes there when they don't NEED something, right? We did our shopping, took our time, let the kids peruse the toy isle (their favorite thing) and then went to check out. When we turned the corner to the registers, it was complete chaos! There were people with carts in massive lines and milling around everywhere! We asked a lady what was going on and apparently their REGISTERS WEREN'T WORKING!!! Um, isn't that sort of mission critical for any store? She said she had been waiting 30 minutes already! It was already getting late, we had to get home because it was bath night but we HAD to at least get the diapers. Target employees started handing out FOOD to people, because it had been so long, yes, FOOD!

Since I hadn't yet taken the time to look for a pair of pants for work, Jim stayed at the registers with the kids while I went looking. I found one pair of black pants (what has happened to Target's dressy clothes section?!?!), tried them on, they fit, I went back and Jim and the kids were gone. BUT it looked liked the registers had just started working again. I went back to the women's department, thinking they were done and looking for luck. Went back to the registers to find the three of them where I'd left them originally. What? Korri had been head-to-toe frosting from the cookie they gave her, so Jim had taken them to the bathroom to clean up! Oh! Because it was so late, we ate pizza and breadsticks at Target before heading home.

Anyway, it was the craziest trip to Target, I think I've ever had. It turned out fine (we went home with what we went there for!) and the kids (and Jim!) were really well behaved. I think they thought it was an adventure.

Advice to Target: get a back up server for your registers!! I wonder how much revenue they lost in abandoned carts/merchandise?!?! Oh and the total kicker of the deal? There were four registers working the entire time, but instead of having everybody line up in four lines, they didn't tell anybody and only checked out the people who were closest to those registers. What?!?! Me thinks a procedure manual needs to be updated!

AND...Korri went potty on the toilet last night for the first time! I set her on before bath (because she insisted) and I went to work picking up the dirty clothes and I heard her start going. I couldn't believe it and made a huge deal and daddy came in and she was so proud of herself. Of course, wiping is the best part of going potty. She got one Skittle as a reward (I figure we better keep it small!). Who knows...maybe it was a fluke, but we are SO proud of her. She is so independent and growing up way too fast.

Wednesday, October 24

Potty time?

There are many benefits of having an older child. One thing? The younger one picks up on things MUCH sooner than the first one did! Korri is already VERY interested in going potty on the big potty! She started several weeks ago, wanting to be in the bathroom and opening and shutting the lid, trying to climb ON the toilet, etc. Well, recently she started DEMANDING we take her to sit on the big potty before we can put her diaper on before bed! She will stand there and spank the front of her diaper while loudly saying, "Potty! Potty!" It is actually kind of funny. To my knowledge, she has not sat on the potty chair, but always wants to be on the big potty. Hey, I, personally, think she is too young to push it, but if she is interested, why not encourage it? She has yet to actually GO on the potty, but we'll say, "push the potties out." And she will make grunting noises before saying/signing "all done." It's a start!

On a similar note, Finn has had two dry pull-ups for nap in a row! We've had a standing deal with Finn that if he goes 24 hours without wetting his diaper/pull-up while sleeping, he can go to Chuck E Cheese. But then I realized that we hadn't mentioned it to daycare and how would we know if he had a dry pull-up? So, I talked to both preschool teachers last week and the plan is the if Finn IS dry, he is supposed to bring it to the teacher so they know and they will tell us when we pick him up. And low and behold, he is doing great! His teacher mentioned trying to switch to underwear to see what he'll do, but I really don't want to set him up for failure. So, yesterday, after two dry days, I told her that if he is dry for one week in a row, we'll try underwear. Makes sense to me! I'm okay with bedtime diapers for now (I mean, I wet the bed until, well, forever!) but giving up the nap pull-up would be AWESOME (one less thing to have to bring to daycare!).

Tuesday, October 23

Love Ben

Sunday, we went to church as a family! I don't remember the last time all four of us went to church together. And I have to say, the kids did really well. Jim even said that if they were that good every week, he might LIKE going to church! One can only hope.

After church we headed to St. Cloud because we invited ourselves over to Auntie Becca's. The kids had yet to meet Baby Benjamin and quite frankly, I needed some snuggle time, which I got in spades! Korri absolutely LOVED Ben and wanted to be by him all the time and kept "petting" him. Finn on the other hand, wanted to play with Austin's toys. But he did give Ben a kiss eventually. We were especially excited that Austin was there, since he came back a little early from his dad's house. Thanks for letting us crash the Vikings game at your house and sharing Ben with us/me! He is such a sweetheart. The four of us argued on the way home who loved Ben more (I think I won, for the record!).

When we got home, we HAD to take advantage of the beautiful weather. I mean, 70+ degress in MN in October?!?! And with all the pretty fall leaves, I had to get my camera out while the kiddos were riding their bikes.

Monday, October 22

Apple Jacks

Saturday, we (finally!) headed to the apple orchard. Our fall has been crazy busy so this was the first weekend we had available. It was SUPPOSED to be 60 and sunny, but it was 45 and cloudy! Boo. But, the kiddos didn't care, so I guess I should get over it :) We went to Apple Jack Orchard near Delano and all had a blast, despite the weather. They have TONS of stuff for the kids to do, which is always fun to watch them play. Auntie Kristine, uncle Alex, Zander, Grandma and Memere all came with us. A little later, Pam, Marty, Lilly (Finn's friend) and Levi joined us. Here are some of the highlights:
Korri petting the goat. Finn LOVED the animals.

Korri hanging out in the pumpkin patch.

Family picture with two un-cooperative kids!

Zander going down the slide.

Zander giving Finn a "ride" on the truck.

The best part: the Cow Train! Thanks, auntie, for making room for Korri in yours!
I think we will try to go a little earlier next year (so it isn't as cold and Alex can get more apples!), but I think we found our go-to orchard! Thanks everybody for joining us. It is always more fun with friends and family.

Sunday, October 21

Date night

We were lucky enough to receive a visit from Memere last week! She had a break due to MEA, so she came on Thursday in time to pick the kiddos up from daycare. I wish I could have seen their faces when they saw her. AND it was nice enough that she could walk over with the stroller, which both kids LOVE! Two treats at once. Then on Friday, she kept the kids home with her and they went to Choo Choo Bob's! Finn had been asking for a while, but it is tough for us to get over there now that I'm working full time. I warned her that it would be a zoo because of MEA, but she braved it anyway (and yes, she said it WAS a zoo!). Finn is already asking when he can go back.

Memere was kind enough to watch the kiddos so Jim and I could have a date night Friday night! Yes, I know we just got back from vacation, which was a massive "date night" but it is fun to go out at home. I decided to surprise Jim with the plans because he almost always does the planning and I thought it would be fun. My first idea fell through due to the short notice (I'm saving it for another time!) but I decided on a horse-drawn carriage ride around Nicollet Island, something neither of us had done before. It was a bit chilly, but it was SO fun and we had no idea that Nicollet Island was that big (and kind of want to drive around it during the day to see everything better!). The picture is kind of dark, but you get the idea.

After the carriage ride we went to Jax Cafe, an old-school steakhouse near our house. We had several drinks and really good food. Jim ordered lobster tail and it just confirmed that I really don't like lobster. I hoped it was that I'd never had good lobster, but the problem is the texture. I'll stick to snow crab, please! Overall, a very wonderful evening! Thanks for watching the kiddos, Memere!!

Thursday, October 18

Another card? Yes!

Per our friend Leah's testimonial, Jim and I recently signed up for the Target debit card (NOT the credit card). It took less than five minutes in the store and it is amazing. If you shop at Target, you absolutely should have one. It takes money directly from your checking account, just like the regular debit card you use, BUT you automatically get 5% off every purchase AND free shipping at Love it, use it every time we go to Target now.

Well, I bought something at on Tuesday and just received notification that it was delivered to our house this morning! That is a two day turn around time from clicking "order" and it is on my doorstep. And it was completely free! I'm really amazed. I NEVER buy from target online normally, because they don't have a site-to-store option like Wal-mart and I'd rather GO to the store than pay for shipping. Now I don't have to worry about it. This last purchase? I'd gone to Target looking for a white t-shirt...yes, clearly something that should NOT be hard to find. Nothing in the store, unless you want a pocket on your boob, which I don't. Looked online, found one for $10 (and a long sleeve one too!), bought both, done. Just wanted to share because rarely do I get worked up about GOOD experiences at stores :) Also, with holiday shopping coming up, the free shipping can/will come in VERY handy. I love online shopping because I'm lazy!

Wednesday, October 17

First hair cut!

No, no, no...Korri did NOT get her hair cut! And it isn't exactly a "first" hair cut, but Finn did go to a hair salon for a hair cut for the first time last night. I just couldn't deal with the hair over the ears any longer. We want to grow it out a bit (and it is MUCH longer than usual) but it needed a trim. I should have taken a "before" pic to show you! SO, after about three weeks of saying he needed a hair cut, I finally took him in last night. He was excited to go to the "hair salon." He kept referring to it that way, which sounded funny coming from him. I chose Kids Hair in Roseville. I figured, why not try to make it fun for him (and I don't think it was much more than a Great Clips-type place would have been). He said he would have a good attitude and I told him that if he had a good attitude, when he was done, we could play at a park we drove by on the way there (nothing like a little bribery!).

It did NOT start out well. They have toys in the lobby so he ran right in, but refused to leave that area. Until...he saw that Mickey Mouse Clubhouse was playing on a TV at the hair cutting station! So then he was all about it and only took his eyes off the TV when she told him to look down.

Honestly, he behaved amazing and only moved when I asked him questions. Note to parents: do NOT ask your child yes/no questions while getting a hair cut! She kept saying how good and still he was! All the ladies there LOVED Korri, but no, I am NOT ready for her first hair cut. I think Finn's turned out super cute and makes him look so much older! Not sure how long we will let it grow, but for now, I LOVE it!
So, after the hair cut (he got a sticker AND sucker, so he said he wanted to come back "next time"), we went to the park we'd driven by earlier. The kids had a BLAST and it was so nice to enjoy the beautiful fall weather. The park was for 5-12 year olds, but had a couple things that worked for my younger/smaller kids.

Then we grabbed nuggets at Burger King, headed home for bath and kiddos were in bed ON TIME! I was pretty impressed with myself. Unfortunately, Jim didn't get to participate in all of the fun because he HAD to go to Murray's for dinner for a work function. Poor, daddy! He managed somehow. 

Tuesday, October 16

Soccer player?

Last night was Finn's last day of sports class. I really liked the location and thought it was neat that they played tennis, in addition to football and soccer. We have a month break before his next class...which is basketball! Last night was soccer and toward the end, since it was the last day, the kids scrimmaged the parents. SO cute, wish I'd have had my camera (other than having to hold Korri so she wasn't trampled). And, this very proud momma needs to brag for a minute...Finn actually scored a goal! I mean, yes, a dad was goalie and let it go through his legs, but Finn dribbled it to the goal and kicked it between his legs. That's a goal in my book. Finn was so proud and the other kids high-fived him! I do not like watching soccer, but we may have a future soccer player on our hands. I guess it is better than hockey :)

And I was told yesterday that Korri is transitioning into the BIG toddler room! I'm really not ready for this, but I pushed back a bit and the teacher's reasons seemed sound. I guess the daycare as a whole has far more younger kids than older, so Korri wouldn't actually be a lot younger than everybody else in the new room, the one girl that IS older will be transitioning to the preschool room AND Finn's teacher had a baby, so they are a little short staffed overall (hmmm...not exactly a sudden event that you can't plan for). I also really like Korri's current teacher, but I'm sure I will get used to the new one, too. I knew this transition was coming, but thought we had until she was 22 months (which may be only a month and a half away, but still)! My baby is growing up.

Monday, October 15

Girls Night In

Saturday, I had SO much fun! Holly, Heidi and Laura, girlfriends from high school, came over to our house to hang out and "party." I, of course, drank a little too much wine, but when you are chatting and not paying attention, it is really easy to drink more than you thought you did. I don't think I was the only one! Ha. Great company and GREAT conversation (or what I remember of it!). I really hope we can do it again and not wait until our TWENTY year high school reunion to plan it! Thanks, ladies, for an amazing night!

While we were hanging out at the house, Jim took the kids to Chuck E Cheese's! He said they ate a ton of pizza and had a really good time. I can't even imagine how busy it must have been, but on the bright side, it is hard for somebody to kidnap your kid since they have a somewhat secure exit, so you can let them have at it. Now let's hope the toys they came home with "disappear" quickly!

Sunday morning I was tired, but thanks to Jim's wise suggestion of taking an Imitrex BEFORE I went to bed, I did not have a migraine! Holly stayed over and since we didn't make it to Psycho Suzi's Saturday night, we went there for brunch. The kids loved it (we were able to get a table off in the corner, so they didn't have to be quite as still/quiet as normal) and after a good meal, I felt a lot better. I'm so glad Holly stayed over and went with us. When she was leaving, Finn asked her when we could go to her house (her two boys are the same age as Finn and Korri), so I think we'll be making a trip up Brainerd to visit soon!

Kristine and Zander were in the neighborhood in the afternoon and stopped by for a quick visit. He is so darn cute and now is walking all over! NeNe and uncle Les came over later in the afternoon to watch the Vikings game. The game started out with promise, sucked in the middle and then had a glimmer of hope at the end, but too little, too late. Boo. Gophers AND Vikings lost..tough weekend for football at our house. NeNe is walking around like a champ after her knee-replacement surgery and isn't even using a walker or cane! She is amazing. She even was able to carry Korri around a bit and that can be quite the feat with two strong legs :)

My plan was to go to bed when the kiddos did last night so I could fully recover from the weekend...BUT...nope, I didn't go to bed until after MIDNIGHT! Sheesh. I was trying to get all the vacation pictures uploaded, which I did, but not sure why it HAD to be done last night. And I forgot until about 9pm that I promised to bake cookies for the bake sale at work today. Thankfully, it doesn't take THAT long to bake a couple dozen cookies and Jim was more than happy to sample them to make sure they were "bake sale" quality!

Friday, October 12

It's a BOY!

I FINALLY started uploading pictures from our trip last night. I have almost 100 added...AND we are only on day 2! Sheesh! And I only chose about 1 from every 10 pictures or so to upload. I guess there will be a lot of pictures, but everything was SO beautiful. The pics are in the "Oct '12" folder on our picture website (link on the right) with more to come.

When we got back on Monday, we picked up the kids from daycare and went right to sports class. It was really nice to see our friends but it was pretty chilly, especially after Kauai temps. They played soccer this a dirt field, SO Finn needed a bath when we got home. Korri, however, demanded to go "nigh night" instead of having a bath and who was I to argue when she was ASKING to go to bed? So, Finn and daddy got to take a bath together, something they love to do, but isn't room when Korri takes a bath, too.

Tuesday, we had to make a Costco run because we had NOTHING in the house to eat, well except the yogurt, cottage cheese and cheese sticks mom sent back with the kids. The kids were good, but I could tell they just wanted to have a night at home. Daddy even treated them to churros on the way out, which they obviously LOVED.

Wednesday, our nephew was born! Pete and Becky are the proud parents of (and Austin is the VERY proud big brother to) Benjamin David, born at 11:22 on 10/10 weighing 7lbs 14 oz and was 21 3/4" long. Becky wins the price for making it the longest so far in a pregnancy (I think she made it two days longer than I did with Korri!). I painfully waited until after work to pick Jim up and head to St. Cloud to meet Ben. Kelsie was SO kind to watch the kids for us since they both had colds and the last thing I'd want is for them to get a new baby sick (or auntie for that matter!). Thanks, Kels. He is beautiful and perfect in every way. You really forget how small they are and how soft their little baby cheeks are! And how quickly you forget the "tricks" like how to swaddle a baby...Pete, Jim and I figured it out, but not very well! Welcome to the family, little man!

Yesterday and today, Jim had to unexpectedly travel, so it was just the kids and I last night, which was fine except we had class! Poor kids have yet to have a nice, quiet evening at home with us! Korri was NOT herself last night (fighting a cold and was unusually tired), so I didn't even try to separate from her and just brought her with me to the parent room. Finn, too, cried when we separated, so I think they just need some mommy/daddy time to get back to "normal."

Tuesday, October 9


I guess I didn't find time to post while basking in the warm Hawaiian sun! We had an AMAZING trip to Kauai. Upon the excellent recommendation of my friend, Pam, we rented a car and got to see almost the entire island. So glad we did! I took far too many pictures and it is going to take me a while to upload them all. Everything is so beautiful, so it wasn't my fault it ALL needed to be captured by my camera!

From the reports we received, that kiddos had just as amazing of a time at grandma's house. It sounds like they were super busy, well behaved and slept well, too. Grandma said she survived and would love to do it again (yay!), but needs a couple months to recover :) I don't blame her. Simplying saying "Thank you" doesn't seem to encompass how thankful and grateful we are for you taking the kids for us, mom! But since there isn't room on this page to properly express our gratitude, I guess "Thank you" will have to do. It was so nice not having to worry at all about the kids and whether they were loved, well cared for and happy!

It was so fun picking the kids up from daycare yesterday. Finn jumped right into our arms and wanted kisses and had to show us that he can skip (he was actually galloping, but close enough) and show us his jacket (like we haven't seen it before!). Korri, on the other hand, was eating snack and wanted to finish before coming over for a hug! That girl likes her food! Then she wanted hugs and kisses and kept saying, "dadda! Dadda!" Always daddy's little girl. Finn was so excited to see all the presents we got, even if they weren't for him. On the way back home from daycare, he was guessing what we got him, "A car? A truck? A helicopter?" Nope, sorry buddy!

Of course, with the jetlag, neither Jim nor I could sleep last night and it felt awfully early when my alarm went off at 6:45 am (1:45 am Hawaiian time!). Hopefully that will help me sleep better tonight. Since all of my pictures are on my camera and I don't have it with me at work (shocking, I know), here are some pics that mom sent to us of the kids while we were gone:

Finn builts this all by himself and was very proud! Future engineer?

On the caboose in Benson. (I think Korri needs a bigger shirt!)

Bath at Grandma's is the best!