Counters

                                                           Lilypie Third Birthday tickers Lilypie Kids Birthday tickers Lilypie Kids Birthday tickers
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.

Monday, December 31

Best game of my life!

Sunday, we had to hurry up and head home from mom's because...I had tickets to the Vikings/Packers game! Jim had gotten me the tickets for Christmas and arranged to have Stacey come with as my date. Jim took the kids and Dillon over to NeNe's house for the game and dinner and I think Dillon even warmed to the idea of watching football (he said that Jim only swore four times the whole game...LOL!). I know his mom warmed to the idea of football, so we might convert them yet! Jim sent us this pic during the game:
Hmmm...

Stacey and I headed to downtown a little after 2pm. It was pretty cold, so after finding a friend in the tailgate lot, we headed into the Dome via the first door we found. Note to future self: to avoid rabid drunk fans from a border battle and possible mob trampling, go in the gate suggested on your ticket! After being almost squished to death (seriously!), we found our seats (upper deck), which were really good, just before kick off. Perfect! This was Stacey's first Vikings game AND she doesn't have a lot of knowledge of the details of the game, so she made me feel smart by answering her questions. However, if you go to a game or watch a game with me, do NOT talk about "when the Vikings win" during the game when it isn't a blow out game! LOL. I seriously, had the time of my life. It was by far, the best football game I've ever watched and to experience it with Stacey, was super special. However, now she is ruined for all other football games because they are normally not that good. Adrian Peterson missed the all-time season rushing record by 8 yards, but I'll take the win over the record every time! With that win, the Vikings made it into the playoffs (they were 3-13 last year!) and are headed, ironically, to Lambeau Field this coming weekend to play...yup, the Packers! I will gladly sit at home in my warm living room surrounded by anybody who wants to stay after Finn's birthday party and watch it on my comfy couch...Packer fans are crazy to be out in zero temps!



Thank you so much Jim for getting me the tickets. It was one of the best presents of my life. I am so thankful and lucky to have you for a husband and partner in life. And thank you for arranging for Stacey to go with and taking Dillon so she could. Also, thank you Stacey for sharing such a special event and day with me. My cup runneth over.

Sunday, December 30

Fourth times the charm

After a crazy week, Jim decided to gather some guys and go to Park Tavern to watch the Gophers play in their Bowl game (i.e. it wasn't on regular TV) Friday night. While it wasn't surprising that they lost, Jim said it was actually a really good game and he had a good time out with the boys. The best part I think...they had his favorite hard cider on tap! I was very impressed that Jim was even the one to plan it!

But Christmas craziness wasn't over yet...doesn't everybody have FOUR Christmas celebrations?!?! We got up Saturday morning and headed to Benson via Murdock. We were gathering at my aunt Lisa's for the Walsh Christmas in the evening, but thought it would be best to go earlier so the kids could play at mom's for a bit, since the Christmas celebration didn't start until so late. The kids had a blast at Mom's and while they had a complete meltdown on the way to Benson, they recovered and were very good at Christmas. Almost the entire family was there, which is very impressive with a family the size of ours. It was so good to see everybody. Thanks for hosting yet again, Lisa! I took pictures, but they are still on my memory card, which I don't have with me right now. Boo! I'll upload to our picture site, hopefully soon.

We decided to stay at mom's Saturday night because otherwise it would have been a LOT of driving for the kids for one day. And they don't get to have sleepovers there very often and enjoyed that. Even though we've been traveling a ton this past week, it was an nice trip. I just wish Finn would get out of this funk he is in. Growing pains? A whiny phase? A scream-at-the-top-of-my-lungs phase? I don't know, but I want my sweet buddy boy back!

Saturday, December 29

Truly a very merry Christmas!

After having a sleepover at Auntie NaeNae's, we packed our loot and headed to Oville bright and early Monday morning (Christmas Eve). Our auto nav had us going all over tarnation and the roads weren't very good (lots of blowing snow), but we finally made it to Oville just after 11am. We had the big Christmas dinner for the noon meal. We took lots of wonderful pictures with Granny, Jim's great grandma. Then we patiently waited while the kiddos napped (seems to be a theme with our celebrations!) and then SANTA CAME TO VISIT that evening! Oh, man...it made Finn's life. He just couldn't believe it. Korri was NOT happy to see Santa, but as long as I held her and stayed at least five feet away, she didn't cry much. Finn just couldn't believe it and he gave him a huge hug and climbed right on his lap for a picture. Santa never came to visit me as a child, so this was really special for me, too. Santa's payment was Dr. Pepper, so keep that in mind in case he comes to visit you!

We waited to open the presents until after Santa left...he had lots of other stops to make, obviously! Then as a group, we all opened presents. The kids had so much fun. The best for Finn was opening more cars that coordinate with the Cars race track he got from Gredzens (totally random, they had no idea each had gotten him the other!). Korri's favorite, I think, was the black sparkly boots from NeNe. She immediately insisted, "On, On!!" A girl after NeNe's heart...they will forever bond over shoes :) Everybody was so generous with the kids. After presents Korri napped for a while and then we went to church service at 10pm. Finn did okay, Korri was pretty tired, but who can blame her since we didn't get home until after 11pm. Routines and schedules are meant to be broken at Christmas, right? Note to future self: do NOT discuss gun control when with the Thomas' especially on a holiday!

Santa came a third time because our stockings were full again on Christmas morning. We must have been EXTRA nice this year (or maybe he didn't have time to check it twice?!?!). We again packed our goodies up and then headed to my grandma's in Benson for Christmas with my mom's extended family. We usually can't fit it into our traveling plans, so I was happy that we could this year. I hate that I don't get to see them more often, but I guess that is part of growing up. My godson, John, was home from school (he lives in Indiana), so it was really good to see him...and he has grown at least a foot since I saw him last! We left around nap time and got home in time to have some quiet (i.e. play with our new toys!) time before bed. Man, that was a lot of traveling, but it was a super-dooper Christmas! I loved every minute of it. Christmas is so much more special when you have children. I hope it is always this much fun and magical.
Granny with her great and great-great grandchildren!
Finn giving Granny a squeeze!

Sitting on Santa's lap.
  
Finn's wonder that Santa came to visit!
 
The Thomas gang at Christmas.

All ready for Christmas Eve church service.

Friday, December 28

Eve of Christmas Eve

Sunday morning, we got up, packed for all three days and were pulling out of our driveway on our way to Auntie NaeNae's at 10:30...which is exactly the time I wanted to leave! I'm impressed because there was a LOT of stuff to load into the van (especially thankful we have a van for days like this!!). Since we were the last ones there, I guess we should have left at 10...oops! This was Renae's first time hosting a family event like this...and she and Craig did an amazing job. It was also the first time we'd seen their new house, which is super cute and just perfect. Their neighborhood is so cute and quiet...I want to move in down the street!

As tradition dictates, we had homemade pizza for lunch (Renae, Jim and Becky all made their own variations) and of course, had lots of snacks and munchies. I brought my tripod, so after eating, we took a big family picture and then individual family pictures after that. I learned the hard way that from now on, if I'm taking "official" pictures, no other cameras will be present...so many pictures were ruined because people weren't looking at the camera! Argh. Then we decided it would be better to have the kiddos nap BEFORE presents so we didn't have complete meltdowns DURING presents. Grace did not like having to wait for them to wake up, but she managed!

As always with our family, present opening took forever (one present at at time!). While the kids were actually really patient, they got a little squirrelly toward the end. Zander made my Christmas...his look of complete and total joy when he opened up the bulldozer we got him totally warmed my heart (this was the present I mentioned a while ago that I was so happy to find at the first place I looked!). The kids got a ton of wonderful things and wanted to open and play with everything immediately. The Gredzens scored big with Finn by giving him a Cars race track. We didn't even have batteries, but it was played with straight until bedtime. Korri got lots of accessories, which she proudly wore until it was time for PJ's. She's my girlly girl! Below are some highlights of the day.
The whole "Walsh" clan; keeps getting bigger and bigger.

Jim getting Zander's bulldozer out of the packaging...much harder than was necessary!

Future Vikings! So cute.

Little Miss Accessories

Finn LOVES his new race track.


Thursday, December 27

Santa came early

We decided that the four of us would celebrate Christmas on Saturday. We would be traveling Sunday through Tuesday, so there really wasn't any other time to do it. So, we told the kids that Santa was coming during their nap. In hindsight, not sure if that was the BEST idea, as they didn't fall asleep very well, but they DID sleep, so that is all that matters, I guess. We left out cookies and milk for Santa and celery for the reindeer...we didn't have any carrots and I'm sure reindeer like celery, too!

They must have because Santa ate all the cookies, drank all the milk and the celery was all gone, too! Both kids were in awe. Santa brought stocking stuffers (we saved the presents from him for Christmas eve), which the kids loved. I think they honestly would have been fine and had a wonderful Christmas by just opening them up! Oh, how sweet the young mind is.

After that, Sam and Dillon stopped by to give the kids presents, so we gave Dillon his, too. They stayed for dinner and played and played. Then we kind of had to kick them out because we still wanted to open the presents to/from us before the kiddos went to bed (needless to say, they ended up going to bed very late...hey, its Christmas!).

Korri loved her vacuum and tea cart and Finn LOVED his FunTab (a kid's tablet) and knew immediately what it was (kids are so technically savvy now-a-days). Jim LOVED his new tablet (a Nexus 10) as well...like father like son. I loved my North Face fleece AND tickets to the Vikings/Packers game this weekend. I am so ridiculously excited. We let the kids stay up to play with their new treasures for a while but had to call it quits since our travels began at 10am Sunday morning. Below are some favorite pictures from Saturday.
Finn coming down after his nap to find Santa had been here.
Korri pointing to the presents in the stockings.

Trying on her new sparkly hat from Santa, which she LOVED.

I think he likes his new tablet.
Finn and daddy's new tablets.

Korri trying out her new vacuum.
There are TONS more on our picture website (link to the right of this page). I still have a few to upload from all of our Christmas celebrations, but got a big chunk uploaded! Enjoy!

Friday, December 21

What to do...

Well, not sure what time today it was supposed to happen, but so far, the world hasn't ended (and I would think the ancient Mayans would be in the Central time zone, no?). Good news...other than having to go in to work today ;) The other good news about today...it is winter solstice, which means starting tomorrow, the day light will only get longer! This year the dark mornings/evenings hasn't affected me negatively quite as much as in past years, but I think sitting facing a window at work helps...at least I get a glimpse of the sun, when it decides to shine...like it is right now :)

With the impending "Request Card" deadline for Finn's High-Five/Pre-K coming up in February for Minneapolis Public Schools (MSP), I've been thinking a LOT about schools and options and logistics and locations and test scores and...etc. Based on our "neighborhood schools" which means MPS would bus from our house, I/we have narrowed it down to two schools. I am planning on setting up a tour at each school but based on the research I've done and data I've found, I'm heavily leaning toward one more so than the other. But the other thing that keeps creeping into the back of my mind and just won't go away...is the option of home-school.

First of all, I do NOT think I have the discipline, organizational skills or structure to actually do it well. Second of all, while I am fairly intelligent, I wouldn't be comfortable doing it passed upper elementary or MAYBE middle school...do YOU remember things like common denominators? I didn't think so. Third, I am fairly confident that I will not be able to give Finn the enrichment that he will most likely need that an actual TEACHER (potentially in a special program) would be able to provide. Fourth, the more I truly think about school today and how different it is than when I went to school, it scares the living crap out of me. I don't want Finn to ever ride a school bus because kids are meaner today than they were and they were mean back then! I don't want him to be picked on or ganged up on or any of those other things that kids do. Not to mention recent national events, which wouldn't be a factor in our decision, but it does weigh on our minds. I was watching one of my shows (yes, I know TV isn't real!) and an 11 year old boy was singled out and ostracized and picked on for being different. It literally broke my heart. AND Finn is so sensitive that I don't want his tender heart to be broken or more importantly, his spirit to be broken.

This is just me thinking things through. In the end, I'm fairly certain we will chose public (or private, I guess) school in lieu of homeschooling but it IS something to think about. On the other hand, I feel like I was picked on a lot in school and it did make me a stronger person (but there are still scars that will never go away). I guess in the end, you just do what you can and be there for your kids when the world imparts its (sometimes evil) will on them. Stacey has always said that parenting the social aspect of/for your kids is the hardest part of parenting. Luckily, up to this point, is hasn't really come up...but it is looming on the horizon and I want to push it back as far and and long as I can. Yes, I admit, I am an ostrich with its head in the sand...and for now, I'm okay with that.

Thursday, December 20

Brand spankin' new roof

Holy moly...the roof is DONE (for the most part)! The shingles and dumpster arrived on Monday and they demolished and rebuilt the house AND garage roofs on Tuesday! They didn't leave until the evening, but they got it all done in ONE day. I am very impressed. They still need to fix something around the windows, but we think that had to be ordered and will be done later today. Jim said it was VERY loud all day (I can only imagine). I'm just glad I wasn't home with the kids trying to get them to nap :) We've never gone through this process before, but I had visions of it dragging on and on. So glad that isn't the case. We now have a new roof (which will sound great on a listing if/when we try to sell our house!).

We had the pleasure of having Stacey over Tuesday night to celebrate her new job. We are so excited for her and this new adventure. I'm most excited to be able to see her more since she will be working "normal" hours. Retail hours are for the birds (I think she would whole heartedly agree!). Jim cooked a great meal, as always, and even kept it healthy for the most part. Gotta love giving him a challenge :) Congratulations, Stacey. We are so proud of you :)

Jim and I have been working on wrapping presents after the kids go to bed. I wrap, he bedazzles (i.e. put ribbon, bows and name tags on!). We are a well-oiled machine. We have a few more stragglers and then we are done. Yay! Oh, and I'd better go through my list to make sure I didn't forget any presents...I have a history of doing that. I love having presents under the tree. The first morning after we started, Finn thought Santa had come! I wish I could have seen his reaction, but Jim said it was priceless.

Wednesday, December 19

Korri the baller?

Monday night was the last scheduled night of Basketball Camp (they scheduled a make-up session next Monday, but we'll be out of town for Christmas). Finn wasn't listening or paying attention and Jim and I were getting frustrated and then we realized that it wasn't up to us to make Finn listen. The coach does a good job of keeping the kids in line and letting them play/practice at their own pace. So, once we started ignoring Finn's behavior, we all had a better time. Man, Finn can dribble (helps being so close to the ground...lol!) and he is getting better at passing, too.
Jim better be careful because Korri is listening and she seems to really like basketball. This is her responding to the instruction "get into the defensive stance" AND SHE DID IT! Crazy. Coach D is also coaching Floor Hockey in January, so we are happy about that. Last night, he said he loves having us and Finn in his classes! Awe shucks ;)

I realized in talking to some people that I haven't been very good on updates (some via Facebook, but not on here). First, Finn and Korri have been sleeping in Korri's room for about a month. Jim moved Finn's bed over (Korri's crib doesn't fit through the door when it is assembled, so it was easier to move Finn!) and they have been sleeping happily ever since. We realized recently that they can NOT nap together, however. Two hours after laying them down, they are still playing, so now Finn naps in our bed on the weekends. I'm shocked that it works as well as it does. Finn even went to bed earlier than Korri one night this week and it wasn't a problem at all when she went to bed an hour later. Yay! Not sure how long this will last, but it works for now and we're stickin' to it.

Second, I have an update about my job: barring any unforeseen issues, I will be employed at Capella for at least another YEAR! I will be the Project Manager responsible for moving ALL courses over to a new platform by the end of next year. Yikes! It is very similar to the process of what I was doing previously but just on a MUCH larger scale (1,800 courses!) and with more wrenches that could get thrown in. I'm excited and grateful to still have a job and a little proud that I did a good enough job on the last project that they would trust me to work on this massive new assignment. I am also going to try to negotiate some "work at home time" so I don't feel like I miss so much of the kids stuff.

And finally, we are getting a new roof! This has been almost a two year long process, but State Farm finally approved the new roof (due to storm damage) for both the house and garage, we met with the construction company and the dumpster and shingles arrived Monday!
They should be demolishing today and rebuilding tomorrow. If all goes well, it should be finished by the end of the week! It is kind of sad how excited and happy this makes us but I guess you just realize you've matured in life :) This is step two in the plan to potentially put our house on the market. Yes, SELL OUR HOUSE! Step one was meeting with a realtor, which Jim did last month. He said we HAD to have a new roof in order to sell our house, so this was perfect timing. We like our house and neighborhood, but the closer Finn gets to school age, the more we are thinking about education. We just want to position our family in the "right" place for us. Not sure what the future holds, but we're open to and excited for whatever may come.

Tuesday, December 18

Santa dress

On Sunday, we got all dressed up (because what's the point of Christmas clothes if you only wear them once?) and went to Erica's church to see the Christmas pagent that SHE WROTE! Our kids behaved decently and Erica's play was amazing! I am so impressed and even more than that, she was super outgoing and bubbly. My shy, quiet little Erica is coming out of her shell! I could not have been more proud of her if she were my own child. I only hope that my kids can accomplish something so inspirational some day!

When we got home, since we were all dressed up, I decided I wanted to take a family picture. Jim found my tripod, we almost broke it getting the camera on it (um, use the release lever on the side, duh!) and Finn had a meltdown. I mean, I JUST WANT A NICE PICTURE! Jim threatened and possibly bribed Finn, I set the picture in the frame, used the timer and this is what we got:
Not bad, all things considered. Korri LOVES her dress and calls it her "Santa dress." And she had to tell anybody who would listen how she sat on Santa's lap, which she didn't...who is she trying to fool?!?! I'm glad the tripod worked so well, now maybe I'll use it a little more. I also love the feature on my camera that takes 10 consecutive pictures so you don't have to keep setting it back up if that ONE picture didn't turn out. We had to set it back up three times, in order to get this one, which isn't bad with two kiddos!

Then we got to spend the rest of the day with DILLON! Finn was so excited and would not leave his side the whole time Dillon was at our house (poor Dillon!). A while ago we asked Finn who he wanted to invite to his birthday and he said, "Austin and...Dillon!" I think he views both has the big brothers he doesn't have. I'm so glad he is close to both of them. Thanks for sharing your son with us, Stacey! Like I said, we'll take him any time :) NeNe and Uncle Les stopped over for a quick visit and Les shaved off his mustache! I couldn't believe it because he looks so different...good, though! Finn faked a nap yesterday (duh, Dillon was here, who has time to nap?!?!), so he was in bed sleeping before 7, I think! Jim and I had so much fun with Korri for that hour before she went to bed. Jim commented that when does she get time to just play by herself or have us to herself? Probably NEVER!

Monday, December 17

Fun with Auntie and Z

Even though I was coming down with a cold and just wanted to crawl up under a blanket, on Friday night, I got to see some friends from college! My very dear friend, Erin, who now lives in Seattle, was in town and there was a baby shower for her at Bar Lurcat in the Loring Park neighborhood. I'd never been there and parking was atrocious, but the place was very nice with really good food. Erin could not have been cuter with her very little pregnant belly. It was so fun to catch up with all of the girls, too. Makes me wish even more than Erin lived back here! And I didn't even think about it, but I'm not sure HOW she is going to get the very bulky present home that I gave her. Sorry! Gift card next time :) I got home WAY later than I'd planned, so it was straight to bed for me. Sleep is the best medicine, right?

While I was gone, Super Dad Jim took the kiddos bowling BY HIMSELF! They went to Italian Pie Shoppe first (attached to the bowling alley) and then bowled a game.  Jim said neither of them ate very well...hmmm...maybe they couldn't wait to go bowling?!?!
Don't you just LOVE the little bowling shoes? Korri beat Finn by one pin and Jim almost bowled the best game of his life (without using the bumpers, I'm told!). Wish I could have been there but glad they all had a great evening.

Saturday morning, we got up nice and early and met Auntie Kristine and Zander at Choo Choo Bob's. Auntie has better pictures, I'm sure (she used a real camera, these were from Jim's phone!):

Finn was so excited to go and could have stayed all day. Korri and Zander loved the little deck with ramp and kept going up and then down FOREVER! I was a little surprised that even with two birthday parties going on, it wasn't THAT crowded (I've never gone on a Saturday before). After almost two hours, we decided it was probably time to eat lunch and head home.

After a long nap, the kiddos headed over to Auntie Kristine's house for MORE time with them so Jim and I could go out on a date. THANK YOU so much, Kristine, for watching the kids. I'm glad they were good for you (or at least that you TOLD us they were good!). Kristine said Finn built these animals just by looking at a picture of them:
Hmmm...budding engineer much?!?! Now I need to find out what set they are so I can put them on his birthday list! The kids were so excited to go over to auntie's even though we'd spent all morning with them...that is a good sign, I think!

While the kids played at auntie's, Jim and I went to A Christmas Carol at the Guthrie Theater.
We both had been to the play in 11th grade, but it was at the old Guthrie location and it had obviously been...a "few" years! The sets were amazing, the actor who played Scrooge was spot-on and it kept me on the edge of my seat, even though I clearly already know the story! Well done, Guthrie. You never disappoint. I can't wait until we can go with the kids...in TEN YEARS probably! It was the best date and the best part: I didn't have to plan any of it! Awesome! Not sure how we'll top that, but maybe we don't have to. Thanks for planning everything, Jim, and coming up with such a great and memorable date night idea!

Sunday, December 16

No tears, no drama

Last Monday, basketball camp was canceled (as we were driving into the parking lot!) due to all the snow. We still went with the hope that we could run off some energy, but Finn and Jim are NOT compatible as coach and athlete (or at least they weren't that night). Holy moly. Instead we went home and watched a Christmas moving...good compromise, I think.

Tuesday, I braved the roads (can you believe how terrible they were TWO DAYS after the storm?!?!) and drove out to Plymouth for my Mom's Night Out. But, do to a scheduling conflict, Pam was NOT kid-less (poor Pam, fun for Sharon and I!). We went to Uchu (peruvian food) and the place was practically deserted, so Lilly and Levi got to run around and had a great time. The food was good but I don't know if I'd go back...although I might just to get Pam's dish (it looked kind of like paella, yum!). Sharon and I stayed later, since we didn't have to get kiddos home to bed and chatted. As always, so good to catch up with them. Since Jim was traveling, aunt Kelsie came over to watch the kiddos. I love that both kids were off and showing Kelsie everything and just gave me a quick wave when I left. No tears, no stress. I mean, who doesn't want to be missed, but I can do without all the leaving drama :) From what I hear, everybody had a blast. Thanks for helping out, Kels! I really appreciate it.

Monday, December 10

Winter Storm Caesar

We had a lazy weekend. I honestly don't remember the last time we had a weekend with NOTHING planned. In fact, the kids and I didn't even leave our house. It snowed a little bit on Saturday and was practically melted by that evening, which Finn was pretty upset about. However, he was thrilled to see the blanket of white stuff all over everything when he woke up on Sunday. And even happier to see it was still there when he woke up from nap in the afternoon! Apparently they name winter storms now and Winter Storm Caesar had a lot to say. We went outside after naps on Sunday and around 5pm, we had between 11 and 12" and it was still snowing heavily at that point. Not sure how much we ended up with, but I am no longer concerned about having a white Christmas! The kids LOVED being outside and watching daddy with the snow blower. Korri was hilarious because if she fell over, she couldn't get herself back up with all the layers she had on. She would say, "stuck!" We need to add ropes to their saucers so we can pull them around. Last night they were happy sitting on them and scooping up the snow to make "snow pies." Here are some pics (more on our pic website):
We were outside for an hour and a half, I think, and I had to bribe them with dinner in order to get them to come in. The fresh air and exercise must have tired them out because they were in bed, sleeping without having made a peep before 8! Hmmm...maybe I don't hate winter and snow as much as I thought I did...Thanks for blowing our massive sidewalks and driveway, Jim! I know it was tough, but it would have been tougher with a shovel. Side note: need to get kid shovels so they can "help."

Sunday, December 9

Pay attention, ignore your child

Thursday night, I had another run-in with the child educator as ECFE. I really have been trying to have a good attitude about her and even having some success. Well, last week, Jim was flying in from Michigan and didn't get to class until the parents separated from the kids; which means I had both kids by myself for Circle Time. Circle Time is supposed to be a fun time where parents and kids sing songs together, dance, play with a parachute, etc. That night they handed out rhythm sticks, which always makes me nervous (like giving a group of convicts billy clubs!). So I was paying attention to Finn and Korri so they wouldn't hit each other and I wasn't really paying attention to the song OR my ability to actually use the sticks. The educator felt the need to stop the whole group and explain that we (and yes, she specifically said ME!) weren't doing it right and had to keep the beat with the rhythm, not the beat of the words to the song. Okay, I'll try to focus on YOU and not my children so I can bang two sticks together in a way that YOU find appropriate.

Well, during the next song, Finn started acting up and I had to pull him aside and deal with his behavior, all the while having Korri on my lap, who was trying to sing and dance! Apparently, the educator stopped the class again and made some speech about listening and paying attention and specifically called ME out in front of the whole class. I'm sorry I didn't hear her because I was busy PARENTING! What the heck would she have me do? Let Finn act up and disrupt the whole freaking class? One of the moms mentioned it when we went to parent time and I was shaking and seeing red I was so mad. The parent educator did ask me about it after class and I told her what happened, but this is the 12,893 time there's been a problem with the child educator and NOTHING EVER CHANGES! We have three more classes and then sadly, because I really do like this group of parents/kids, we are switching locations to a morning class just to get away from her (hoping to at least...I registered this morning, but it is a lottery to get in). She has to be close to 119 years old, so somebody should let her know that I'll throw her a party if she'd just hurry up and retire!

Moving on...Friday, the four of us went to Rosedale to see Santa. Apparently Friday nights is the time to go as there was only ONE child in front of us in line. The experience was classic...Finn climbed right on and talked Santa's ear off about how he wanted a train table so Korri can have her own and won't play with his any more. Korri, however, was TERRIFIED! She was fine as long as I was holding her AND we were at least five feet away. We actually got her to stand next to Santa and I think the pic turned out pretty well, all things considered:
Of course, afterward, they got little elf hats and THEN Korri was all brave and talked about Santa and thought he was pretty cool. What a goof!

Friday, December 7

Father-Daughter dance

Monday we had Basketball Camp. It started really late, so I was irritated. But Finn seemed to have fun regardless and his friend from daycare, Christopher, was there. Christopher is a bit of a trouble-maker, so I wasn't extremely happy to see him there. But I'm viewing it as Christopher's behavior is teaching Finn how to make the right decisions. Korri was a pill. She kept taking her shoes and socks off and was climbing on everything and then I realized she must have been tired because near the end she laid down on Jim's coat and probably would have gone to sleep if we'd been there longer! Finn is getting so much better at shooting, so that is fun to see (still can't get it high enough for a basket, though!).

Winter registration started on Monday, so we signed Finn up for Floor Hockey in January (God, please do NOT let him love hockey. Thank you.) and tumbling in Feb/Mar. His friends Laena and Braeland are going to join him, so I know they will have a blast. It is stressful trying to figure all that stuff out.

Tuesday, Jim left for another trip to Michigan (boo, Michigan) and Stacey came over after work to baby-sit us. We had a great time with her there and she and I got some much needed catch-up time after the kids went to bed. Thank you for an absolutely wonderful evening, Stacey! I am lucky to have you in my life :) Side note: I stayed up too late and was SUPER tired the next day, but it was worth it!

Wednesday, we were going to go visit Santa, but Finn REALLY wanted to go home after daycare and I wasn't really on board to take them by myself, so I decided Santa could wait. We had a lazy evening, just the three of us, playing and watching "Mighty Machines" (one of Finn's favorite shows).

Because I hate having a post without at least one picture, last weekend, Korri had her first father-daughter dance!
If that doesn't melt your heart, you aren't human. She kept wanting to go back on his feet after they were done. Makes me nostalgic to think that some day, it will be for real (in the FAR FAR FAR FUTURE)! And because Finn can't possibly be left out of anything, he had to have a try, too!

Wednesday, December 5

Decorating, cookies and projects

Since I told Jim that Finn was asking about the tree, he HAD to put it up Thursday night right when he got home! But we waited to decorate until Friday night. Finn just wanted to watch "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer" on TV and didn't help much. Korri shimmied right up to Jim and "helped" with the ornaments. She thought the bulbs on the lights were really cool (colored LED) and kept trying to squeeze them. I'm pleasantly surprised that we've had no issues with the tree or the ornaments being bothered, knocked over or broken. Fingers are crossed...

Last week at ECFE, Korri actually played with other people during play time and did not cry at all (a little whining at her displeasure!) when we separated. I don't know if she is finally getting comfortable with the room, the people or just really wanted to eat the Teddy Grahams that were on the plate for snack time! My fingers are crossed it wasn't just a fluke.

Saturday, we dropped the kiddos off at NeNe's in the afternoon and we headed to Ryan and Leah's for our Annual Cookie Exchange. I made Chai Pumpkin Spice Blossoms and while they are a unique flavor, I think they turned out really well. Now everybody is asking for more and I'm having a hard time finding pumpkin spice kisses (they are seasonal)!
The party was so much fun and relaxing to be out with friends and not worry about the kids. I think we both had a bit too much to drink and there was a mountain of food, but isn't that what holiday parties are for? The kids had a blast at NeNe's as always. I hope they didn't wear her out too much. Thanks for hosting, Ryan and Leah!

Sunday, Kristine and Zander came over for the day. He is such a joy. It is fun to see his development and makes me realize the new things Korri is doing (otherwise, I don't have a point of reference and don't always pay attention!). Kristine and I worked on a special family project all day and finally at 11:15pm, I clicked the "order" button, which felt very rewarding. I still can't believe we did it all in one day, but man, we made a good team, even if we somewhat neglected our children...oops! I found out that Zander will love his Christmas present...LOL! We have the same thing and he didn't put it down all day except when Korri would take it from him. I was a little happy to see Zander hit Korri...not that hitting is okay, but just made me realize how normal it is...and gives her a dose of her own medicine :) I LOVE this picture...after his nap, Zander actually was cuddly. His momma didn't seem to mind!