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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.

Thursday, January 31

Birthday fun

Well, it sure seems that Korri had a wonderful birthday. This was my bright eyed, "happy" birthday girl when I went to get her up.

We started the day out with a slow start (something the kids always love) and then, due to a change in plans, headed over to Rosedale to meet our friend Vinnie from ECFE to play in their play area.
We spent about an hour there and Korri loved climbing up the little bridge and sliding down...and no, not always feet first or on her butt! We ate lunch at the food court and the kids picked...pizza, of course. Then it was time to get back to daycare before nap time...and of course, Korri fell asleep on the way to daycare! But it must not have been much because her note said she slept for an hour and a half at daycare! Awesome. They made her a birthday crown to wear at daycare and I guess it was a big hit because all the kids wanted to wear it. Korri brought mini cookies for a special birthday treat, which went over really well, too. I let Korri pick, but I liked her choice since the cupcakes would have been a mess!

After daycare, we decided to go out for Korri's birthday dinner to El Loro (or LoLo as Korri calls it!) with NeNe and uncle Les. Korri freaked out and crawled around the house like a dog when they arrived at our house. Korri insisted on wearing her crown at the restaurant, which I think it really cute. She didn't eat very well unless you consider chips and cheese dip a good, balanced dinner! Oh, well, it was her birthday. They even sang to her and brought some sopapilla, a crispy bread/chips covered in cinnamon, sugar, honey and chocolate. Yummm-O!
We got home and sang to her, had some cake (a jumbo cupcake from Target...perfect size!) and then opened presents. She did a great job blowing out her candles...all four of them (don't ask!). She loved the rain boots and sparkly shoes from NeNe and had to put them on right away of course. She also loved her new princess potty chair that sings when you go potty! She sat on it for quite a while last night, but no luck! I think once she actually does it a couple times, she will be potty trained because she will want to do it more and more. She also got the cutest pink cowgirl boots...that have squeakers in them! Oops. She HAD to wear them today and once she realized they squeaked, she stomped around constantly. I apologized to daycare when we dropped her off because she wouldn't take them off! I honestly didn't know they were going to be that annoying, but hopefully it just becomes white noise...or the squeakers break. LOL. I should have gotten a size bigger than I did, so on the bright side, she won't be able to wear them forever.

Happy birthday, Koko! We love you so much. She will tell anybody who asks that she is, "TWO!"

Wednesday, January 30

Happy birthday, Koko!

Holy cow...what did we do before you came along? Seriously, you bring so much light, sass and love into our lives that we would be empty without it and you. You cause us to learn and stretch as parents almost every single day...which is a good thing, right? You know what you think, feel and want at all times. That will get you far in life. The last two years have literally gone by in a flash. I love everything about you and you leave an impression on everybody you come in contact with. People stop us almost every single time we go out to comment on how cute you are, which I love! My wish for you is that your light continues to shine as bright as it does right now, that you continue to be as happy or happier than you are almost all of the time and that you continue to be a snuggle-bug and express your love in the millon ways you do every day.
Korri, just hours after birth
Most recent pic of just Koko (pics from this morning are still on my camera, boo!)
You bring so much love and joy into our lives, Baby Grill. I can't wait to see what life has in store for you.

Monday, January 28

Swim swimin' all day

Saturday was a day of swimming! We had our third swim class and for whatever reason, Finn was fine! Maybe he'd become familiar with the pool and surroundings, or maybe it was because I was watching him instead of being in the water with Korri or maybe he just had a good attitude that morning. Who knows?!?! But regardless, both Finn and Korri had a great time at swim class. I was super happy that Jim felt well enough to go in with Korri because, well, I hate getting wet and the chlorine dries my skin out terribly, but also because I was excited to be able to watch Finn. It is so much fun watching him interact in a group setting when I'm not part of it. Funny how when Finn was in parent/child swim class, Jim and I both went in the water with him every week. Now, I'm so happy to switch back and forth with Jim and am counting the sessions before Korri can do a class by herself, too! Perspective, I guess (or getting lazy in my old age?!?!).


After swim class, Finn was not happy that daddy had to go meet with his business partner (because Jim had been gone all week for work) so we decided that after nap, we would meet Jim there and go swimming. We all had a blast, even though the pool area was particularly small at this hotel. And I was happy to discover that even the "big" pool wasn't THAT cold. Yay! FYI: I need to get a smaller suit. Between Korri grabbing me, Finn jumping on me and general activities one does in a pool, I'm pretty sure I was flashing everybody and/or losing my bottoms the whole time! LOL. Guess it is a good "problem" to have. The kids were so good all day. Maybe we are on the up-swing of getting out of the constant bad attitudes?!?!

Sunday, Korri and I went to church by ourselves since Jim wasn't feeling well and Finn chose to stay home. OMG...if church weren't a family activity, I would suggestion always taking them separately! Korri was a complete angel, even though she needs to learn not to talk constantly (hmmm...takes after somebody we know?!?!). We brought one book and her care bear and she played (for the most part) quietly and read the hymnals and sang along with the songs and shouted "Amen!" whenever she heard others say it. The family two rows behind us were in love with her, I think! Who can blame them? I took a quick pic of her reading:

After church, we went to aunt Janice's house to try on and pick up Korri's party dress for her birthday that Janice made specially for her. I'm saving pics until her party, but let's just say it goes along with the theme of her party and it turned out even better than I hoped! Janice, you are amazing, as always. Thank you!! We got home just in time as the freezing rain turned to snow. Then, we hunkered down for the rest of the day, said goodbye to Ty (his flight was only delayed an hour due to the weather!) and had family time (Finn got LOTS of daddy time on Sunday). Perfect weekend, if you ask me!

Sunday, January 27

Take a peek!

They are done! If you'd like to see Korri and Zander's pictures (2 year and 18 month respectively), visit

www.jessicahislop.com/kz

password: skyway

They turned out amazingly well. I love the ones of the two of them together. Number 38/39 is my favorite of the two of them. My overall favorite one of Korri is #30. What a cute, sassy girl! I think 8 is my favorite of Zander. What is/are yours? Here is a sneak peek:
As always, if you find yourself in need of an amazing photographer, don't hesitate to contact Jessica!

Thursday, January 24

The little things

Sometimes I forget to stop and mention the little things and changes in our lives and with the kids. Korri's language and vocabulary has gone bonkers this last month. She said something this morning (which I, of course, can't remember) and I just looked at her like, "Did you just say that?!?!" Her favorite new phrase is, "Yeah, baby!" and I have no idea where she picked it up...but it is ridiculously cute. Also, when she passes gas, she stops what she's doing and has to say, "Ha, toot!" She LOVES baby dolls and holding and cuddling with anything. She continues to suck her thumb a LOT, and I'm starting to think we should encourage her to stop (at least during the day while she is awake). I feel like she is already starting to out-grow 24 month/2T clothes! How is that possible? I'll be curious to see how much she has grown at her well-child next week. She had one biting incident at daycare this week, followed the next day by a "near" biting incident, but I'm not really concerned. She gets frustrated (understandably so) and is still learning skills on how best to deal with it. One such way, is if she does get mad, she will put her hand up and say, "Stop!" which I think is really good (however, when you have a big brother who never listens to you, it just makes one even madder!).

Finn has been struggling with overall attitude and growing pains. A day doesn't go by where he doesn't say something hurts. It is hard for me because I don't want to over medicate, but I don't know if he actually hurts or if he just wants attention or doesn't want to do what we are asking. He has reverted to a whiny stage, which is the worst, and is very "fragile." He asks for KiKi constantly, which make me wonder if he has an unhealthy attachment to it?!?! Korri pinched his finger while we were at Target last night (a little skin was scraped) and he lost it...HUGE crocodile tears and everything. On a brighter side, he has adjusted very well to the older preschool class at daycare. I can tell by their daily activities and routine that it is focused for older kids and for school readiness. We have "homework" to do with him, like "have Finn tell you a story about X" or "have Finn decorate this object without using crayons" or things like that (aimed at critical thinking, I assume). I really like it and while he is on the young side of mentally understanding a lot of it, he really thinks about it, which I love to see. Oh, and thanks to Dillon, Phineas and Ferb is Finn's new favorite TV show (I think most of it is over his head, as their target market is older boys, but he insists on it). He even picked Phineas and Ferb band-aids for the above mentioned Target pinching incident.

Speaking of Target, what do they have against dress pants?!?! I needed a new pair and they had one pair in the size I was looking for (a size I have NEVER bought before in my whole life...yay!!!). Not in a particular style but in the whole STORE! I just don't get it at a store like that, which has a HUGE clothing department and floor space. SO frustrating.

Because I don't like posts without at least one picture, here is a pic of Korri from Monday...she is such a hoot!!

Wednesday, January 23

Stay At Home?

Due to MLK Day, I stayed home with the kids on Monday (Capella and daycare were both closed). Dillon also came over to play since he didn't have school. Honestly, it was the best day EVER...and totally made me homesick for the days of being a Stay-At-Home Mom. I got so much done, I had patience with the kids who were in great moods (probably thanks to Dillon!), I was even able to relax a little, we just went with the flow...it was great. I have to say, I think I did a really good job with the transition to working full time and for the most part, I've been completely happy with the decision, with only a little melancholy for days of old. However, Monday made me ACHE to stay home again. Argh...I wish I could get paid even half of my current salary but to stay home instead and be a mom!

Then to top off my perfect day, I got to go out for my Mom's Night Out with Sharon and Pam! A girl honestly couldn't ask for more. Sharon is a huge fan of Indian food and since it was her turn to chose the restaurant, she picked...Indian! I was a little nervous because it is new and I didn't know what to expect. But I worried for naught, as it was AMAZING! And I think it was somewhat healthy, too?!?! Hard to tell when there is sauce on everything :) I would definitely go back and Jim even expressed interest in trying it! Thanks for a wonderful evening, as always, ladies! I am so fortunate to have such wonderful examples of motherhood in my life whom I also call friends!

Then to follow my perfect day, came floor hockey last night. Sheesh. I talked to Finn ahead of time about his attitude and participating, etc. No such luck. He was literally glued to my side and would not partake in the activities...unless I did, too (which isn't really possible when I have Korri, too). By the end of class, I was at the end of my rope. I know in the scheme of his life, it isn't a big deal, but I also feel like we need to teach him about following through (blah, blah, blah) AND these are classes we paid for, so he should at LEAST pick up a darn stick! It probably didn't help that Jim left yesterday morning and will be gone until Friday evening. Boo! We got used to having him around over the holidays and I think Finn (as do all kids, I'm sure) behaves differently when daddy is here.

Tuesday, January 22

2 year preview

Sunday, we had Korri's 2 year photo shoot! As always, I stressed about what clothes to have her wear and felt like she didn't have anything...even though she has so many clothes, they don't even come close to all fitting in her dresser! I decided on her purple outfit NeNe gave her for Christmas (for a dressy look) and Jeggings (leggings that look like jeans!) with a shirt and vest (for a casual look). I was super stressed out Sunday morning before we left (there was a list of things I wanted to bring along) but we left on time and even got there a little early.

We met Jess, Kristine and Zander (for his 18 month pics!) in downtown at the IDS Center. It was the perfect location: indoors, plenty of light and because the skyway doesn't open until Noon, there was very little foot traffic! The kids were great and had so much fun blowing bubbles and in Zander's case, running all over! LOL. Poor Kristine :) I honestly think Jess got plenty of wonderful pictures of Korri in the first three minutes and we could have been done! But no, I wanted some pics with pigtails and the other outfit, which I'm glad we did. Considering both kids would NOT smile in July (for Korri's 18 month and Zander's one year pics), they were all smiles and laughing and playing. Good idea to do it together since they are pretty much best friends. Below are a few previews, hopefully more to come soon!! As always, thank you so much Jess. You are so talented, even with numb, frozen fingers! They both kept Jess on her toes (good thing she is in shape!!).

After pictures, I met Stacey for a late brunch and for some much needed catch-up time. I think we were there for 2 hours...how can we talk for so long and still feel like there is more to say?!?! LOL. Thank you so much, Stacey, for the post-birthday brunch. I really enjoyed it (even if I couldn't eat much of the food!).

It was Uncle Les' birthday on Sunday, so they stopped over for a bit before heading out for his birthday dinner. It's really too bad our kids don't like having them over or spending time with them! OR rather, scream hysterically when they walk in the door! Sheesh. NeNe got some PJ's for Korri, who promptly put them on and wore them all night and all the next day (what I had the day off and we had a jammie kind of day!). Oh and much to Jim's happiness, NeNe made Les' a three tier German Chocolate Cake, which Jim got a huge chunk of! It was so almost too pretty to eat (but Jim and Les managed!).

Monday, January 21

Plans change

Our friends Holly, Odin and Breck were supposed to come stay over night on Friday night...but...Breck had to go home early from daycare on Friday and that canceled our plans. I was SO disappointed, but SO thankful that I hadn't told Finn yet! I have a rule: I try to wait to tell him about plans until they are GUARANTEED to happen because of unplanned changes just like this. I hope we can reschedule because it would have been so much fun.

Swimming on Saturday went better than the first week. Jim still wasn't feeling well, so I took Korri and he stayed with Finn. Jim took him in the locker room for a bit to reset his attitude and that seemed to work. When Korri and I went over to the little pool, Finn was playing and then wanted to show me toys and whatnot. Baby steps of improvement. I really hope Jim is up to taking Korri this weekend, so I can watch Finn's class. Korri, as always, had a blast. She LOVES "blast offs" and she is getting better at climbing out of the pool and doing the monkey crawl (walking along the wall). We signed up for the spring session this week and Kristine signed Zander up, too (so Korri and Zander will be in the same class!). Of course, I had to tell her the pool was much colder this week AFTER we signed up. Hee, hee. AND Laena and Braeland are going to be in Finn's class for spring. Overall, two very good changes for spring!

Because our weekend plans fell through, we were able to go over to Auntie Kristine's for Grace's birthday party on Saturday afternoon/evening. Jim stayed home (he didn't want to hack his lungs out all over everybody!) and cleaned the house, which was AMAZING to come home to. The kids had so much fun and all played together really well. Zander wasn't too sure about Finn using his lawn mower, but then I think he realized there are a MILLION other toys! LOL. Finn loves the toys at auntie's house. The funny thing about cake was both of my kids asked for a second scoop of ice cream but neither one touched the chocolate cake! Weird. I can't believe Grace is a teenager! We better all watch out...the next few years might be a bumpy ride :)

Thursday, January 17

One cool dude

Finn would NOT participate in Floor Hockey on Tuesday night. It was the second class, so I thought he would jump right in, especially since he has three friends in the class. But no. He sat next to me or climbed on the bleachers for over half the class. Toward the end, he warmed up a bit and at least grabbed a stick and played (by himself mostly!) a little bit. Argh. Things like that really frustrate me. What got him off the bench was the coach brought out foam Frisbees to work on hand-eye coordination, which ALL the kids (including Korri!) loved. Finn was actually pretty good at throwing it...I wonder if Jim has worked with him on it before?!?! At the end, both Finn and Korri were in the thick of the hockey "game"...seriously, that girl has no fear! Prior to class, Sharon brought dinner for the kids, which was really helpful and appreciated (especially since Jim was traveling this week and I had my hands full!).

Last night, I decided it was time to get Finn's hair cut. It has been driving me nuts for a while and at the very least, he needed a trim. I talked to Jim and we agreed that Finn could decide what to do. Finn's response? "I want a cut. Mommy, what's a cut?" Last time we went, we were the only people in the place so I didn't make an appointment. BIG MISTAKE! Apparently Wednesdays are a special price day, so it was packed and we had to wait over 45 minutes. But they have toys and both kiddos were very patient. Once it was finally Finn's turn, he didn't want to go until the hair stylist bribed him with a sucker and watching Finding Nemo. I asked Finn again what he wanted and he didn't care, so I told the lady to do whatever she wanted. After a total of about 10 minutes, this is what she came up with:



Pretty cool dude! I love the spray-on color (might need to get some of that!). It is technically a faux hawk, so you can style like a mohawk or just have it down, too. He looks so old and so much less shaggy! Lesson learned? Next time make an appointment beforehand. Oh, so I'd told Finn that if he was good, I would get him sweet potato fries at Burger King afterward (there is one across the street). We pull up and find out they don't have them any more! What?!?! Finn completely lost it so I had to pull away with nothing. I went to get gas and told Finn to calm down and think about what he wanted instead. He decided he wanted fries and chicken nuggets. So we went back and got a kids meal for both to share. Crisis averted, but I wish I'd known ahead of time. Lame. Not that fried food is ever good, but sweet potatoes are actually good for you vs. potatoes that really aren't. Good decision on that one, Burger King.

As you can see above, Korri was so good and was very interested in the whole hair-cutting process (but surprisingly, never asked to get her hair cut...not that I would have!). You can also see the band-aid on her face...another child scratched her at daycare. One thing I love about Korri's current age, she is old enough to tell me WHO did it (the accident report doesn't say). Good to know! LOL. So honest at this age. She is one tough cookie, but my initial thought was...I wonder what Korri did to deserve the scratch?!?!

Tuesday, January 15

Twenty Questions - Finn 4

Starting last year, and hopefully every year following, I asked Finn 20 questions around the time of his birthday. I chose NOT to direct or influence his initial answer, but did come back to one or two to clarify the question. Here are his responses:

 20 questions: answered by Finnegan on 1/14/13

1. What is your favorite color? green
2. What is your favorite toy? helicopter
3. What is your favorite fruit? mac n cheese, then apple
4. What is your favorite tv show(s)? Lightning (i.e. Cars or Cars 2), Tow Mater (i.e. Cars Toons: Mater's Tall Tales) and Monster Trucks
5. What is your favorite thing to eat for lunch? mac n cheese
6. What is your favorite outfit/thing to wear? T-shirts
7. What is your favorite game? Candyland
8. What is your favorite snack? apples
9. What is your favorite animal? zebra
10. What is your favorite song? Twinkle Twinkle Little Star
11. What is your favorite book? Little Red Hen
12. Who is your best friend? Superman, then with prompting, Austin
13. What is your favorite cereal? Frosted Flakes
14. What is your favorite thing to do outside? Scooter
15. What is your favorite drink? water
16. What is your favorite holiday? winter
17. What do you like to take to bed with you at night? Kiki
18. What is your favorite thing to eat for breakfast? cereal
19. What do you want for dinner on your birthday? mac n cheese
20. What do you want to be when you grow up? a monster

He really enjoyed answering these questions. I think it made him feel special that I was asking him what he thought. He had a much longer attention span this year when I was asking and he really took time to THINK about his answers. Some of his answers are exactly what I would have answered for him and others I could tell he didn't fully understand the question or was being silly. He was obviously obsessed with mac n cheese for some reason and apples are NOT his favorite anything! I think it is funny that he picked Little Red Hen for his favorite book because he wants to "buy" that book on his tablet to read. I also think his response to "favorite thing to do outside" is curious since he just got his scooter for his birthday and hasn't even taken it outside yet...preemptively hoping, I guess?!?!


If you are curious as to what his responses were last year, click here to link to that post!

Monday, January 14

Two thumbs up

Our first swim class at Brooklyn Center Community Center had mixed reviews. I thought it was great. I really like the facility and the pool is huge. It seriously is 10 minutes from our house! Korri's class is WAY smaller than our previous classes (6 are signed up compared to 12-15!). While the pool isn't heated per se, I didn't think it was THAT cold. Not sure if it was due to my optimistic nature, being distracted by an almost 2 year old or the fact that the air temp seemed colder...and therefore the water would seem warmer! Temperature is so tricky and relative. The locker rooms are a lot bigger. Overall, it takes me a bit to be open to new things, but I think this is going to be good. And the fact that these lessons are almost half the cost of our prior ones...helps me adjust, too!

Now, apparently Finn's experience was a lot different. Jim opted to not go in with Korri and me because he still wasn't feeling very well. So he stayed with Finn, which ended up probably being a good thing. This was Finn's first swim class sans parent EVER and it was at a completely new location. So, Jim said Finn cried for the first half of class and Jim needed to hold his hand! I saw Finn when his class moved over to the big pool (there is a kiddie pool next to the big pool where Finn started out), Finn was smiling, but holding onto his teacher. Maybe he is more familiar with the big pool since that is what we've done prior. Who knows?!?! I'm optimistic that Finn will have a better time this week as he warms up to the new environment.

That afternoon, Stacey and Dillon came over to watch the kiddos for an overnight so Jim and I could go out for my birthday to see Bye Bye Birdie at the Chanhassen Dinner Theater. She emailed pictures throughout the night and fun was had by all! Dinner and the show were amazing. Although, if I had to pick, I liked Oklahoma better than Bye Bye Birdie, but it was still good. We stayed at the Country Inn and Suites next to the theater, which was very convenient. Thank you Stacey and Dillon for watching the kids and thank you Jim for organizing a wonderful night out! Their next show is Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dream Coats, which Jim has already seen, but we REALLY want to go see it.

Friday, January 11

Last class, new location?

Last night was our last class of ECFE for the semester. We still don't know what class we will be in for the spring, so it was sad to say goodbye to our friends. Yes, I know the semester did not start out well, but we really grew to like and enjoy this group of parents and kids. I felt like the other parents were very open and honest while still being supportive and I think that is a hard combination to find. We MAY be in the same class for the second semester, but are hoping to switch to a Friday morning class instead (due to the issues we've had with the staff for this class). We did our semester-end review/feedback surveys and I ran out of room with all my feedback! Probably won't change anything, but at least I feel I've said my peace...especially if we do end up taking this same class again!

My one concern about switching locations is that Korri took so long to warm up to this location and finally separates with no problem...I really don't want to go backward by changing the location. Maybe she outgrew it, though...I guess we'll just have to wait and see. I'm also sad that Jim won't be able to go to every class if we do Friday AM, but we both agreed that 1. I get more out of the parent time, 2. because of the staffing issues at the current locations, it is worth changing AND 3. Jim travels so often that he wouldn't make it to every class, even if we stayed with Thursday nights. So, there we are. He will come when his schedule allows. I'm hoping to find out about my work schedule on Monday and then we can decide.

Swim class starts tomorrow! Kind of excited and kind of nervous just because it is a new location and I don't like not knowing what to expect (and this pool isn't heated...burrr!). This will be Finn's first swim class without us being in the water with him, so we'll see how that goes. Now we just need to find their swimming suits...hmmm...

Thursday, January 10

Birthday bliss

Jim totally outdid himself for my birthday! I have to admit, since Finn's birthday is so close to mine, I tend to not really pay attention to mine any more. And it is actually okay with me, as long as it is a little more special than just an ordinary day. Since Jim made plans for us for this weekend (tickets to Bye Bye Birdie at Chanhassen Dinner Theater and an over night at a hotel!), I figured we'd have an nice quiet family night at home for my actual birthday. But Jim went above and far beyond the call by proactively asking some friends to come over for dinner AND cooking a super wonderful meal for us! DeAnn and Les came over early and hung out for a while (much to the enjoyment of my two children!!). Then later, Kristine, Sharon and Pam came over (without kids!) for a grown-up birthday dinner! It was absolutely wonder, although I did miss my bestie, Stacey. :( Jim made prime rib, crab legs, roasted asparagus and mashed potatoes finished with a super yummy (yes, I even had a small piece!) store bought cake! I am so touched and feel so special that Jim went to all the "trouble" and that people were able to come on a week night. It was fabulous.

To top it off, the kids got me the deluxe cake decorating tip set, which I just realized I wanted last week when I was making Finn's cake! I have several tips, but I wanted doubles (or triples!) of the common ones you use several times per cake and I wanted to get more variety of the lesser used ones. I think it has around 30 tips, so that should help round out my collection. Jim got me what every girl wants and needs...a Blair Walsh authentic Vikings jersey! Seriously, other than the tickets to the Vikings/Packers game, this might be my all-time favorite gift. He had to have it shipped, so it isn't here yet, but I can't wait to put it on (even if the Vikings are sadly done playing for the year).

To say that my cup runneth over (which you all know is a saying I like), doesn't even come close to how I feel. If my cup were the size of a swimming pool and it were monsoon season...maybe that is a little closer! Thank you to everybody who wished me well, sent me good thoughts and prayers and took time out of their busy lives to make me feel special on my birthday. I am so blessed in so many ways. THANK YOU!

And happy birthday to Auntie Kristine today! Yes, our birthdays are one day apart :)

Wednesday, January 9

I can see clearly now

I received the best early birthday present I could have asked for yesterday: Korri's eye doctor appointment results! Jim took Korri for her 6 month follow up appointment and...the doctor saw no preference for either eye! That means either the patching worked, through normal development/growth her eyes adjusted or her glasses did what they were supposed to do, but regardless, her brain recognizes both of her eyes and they are both focusing! I was NOT expecting that news and almost cried when I was talking to Jim. So, the plan is to wean her off the patch over the next three months (one hour every other day), stop patching for the next three months and then have a follow up. She still needs her glasses and most likely will forever, but that isn't a concern for me/us at this point. I'm so happy and I think remembering to patch every other day is very doable. Yay for good news from a doctor :) Thank you yet again to my wonderful husband for taking time out of his day to take her to the appointment!

Tuesday, January 8

Finally forty!

Since it is my last day being 33 years old, I thought it fitting to provide an update on "Operation One Hot Momma." Yesterday, I reached the 40 pounds lost milestone, which is a very big deal for me. It has been 4.5 very long months filled with constant challenges but I have persevered. I still have a number on the scale that I want to achieve, so I have a little more to lose, but I feel good. In addition, I bought new pants last night and for the first time in my adult life (I'd say whole life, but I don't think you'd believe me!), I bought a size SIX pants! While I think I was close, I wasn't even a size 6 at our wedding. Funny that I weigh more now but I've been doing yoga for the last two months and really truly believe that is the key for me...lengthens and tones your muscles, not to mention, makes you crazy strong...wanna arm wrestle?!?! Once I hit my goal, I hope to continue to do yoga to continue to shape my body into a more desirable form (hey, carrying, birthing and nursing two kids does a number on one's body!). I feel really good about ME...which I don't say or feel very often. I have before pictures but I want to wait to post, along with after pictures, until I've reached my goal! I've lost weight before, so now my long term goal is to KEEP IT OFF!!! That always seems to be the tricky part for me. I hope to post in one year on my 35th birthday that I am still a size six. As the Little Engine That Could says, "I think I can, I think I can..."

Monday, January 7

Birthday plans

I guess when your birthday party isn't ON your birthday, you actually do turn four twice! LOL...or at least that's how a four year old sees it. Finn's actual birthday (Sunday) was pretty low key. Grandma stayed over night and went to church with us while daddy stayed home and rested (still fighting his chest/cough/pneumonia issues!). The kids were awful, but based on their behavior over the last several weeks, I guess I wasn't surprised. At one point I told Finn that priest was mad at him and was going to come down and talk to him about his bad behavior. Finn's response..."Mommy, who's the priest?" LOL, I should know better than to try to out smart him by now!

For lunch, Finn requested his favorite...PB&J. Duh, wouldn't you if you could?!?! He absolutely LOVES his new basketball hoop that hooks on the back of the door...can't really shoot very well yet, but still loves it! Then daddy ran errands to get new medication and the kids went down for a nap. I met my aunt Janice (with my other aunt Angie and cousin Erica!) at JoAnn Fabrics to pick out fabric for Korri's custom birthday/party dress! I am SO excited for it, I can barely stand it. I'm so lucky and thankful to have such a talented aunt who likes to do this stuff...or at least didn't tell me "no" when I asked :) When I got back home, the kids had just gotten up from their nap and I wanted to do SOMETHING special for Finn's birthday, so I took them to Choo Choo Bob's! Finn had birthday money burning a hole in his proverbial pocket and they didn't close until 6pm. We played for about an hour and a half and Finn picked out two trains, Ol' Puffer Pete and a Muscical Car both from Chugginton (Koko was sold out!). Now he has Chuggington trains! He was so proud. I had him do the transaction all by himself and he was such a big boy. Then we came home, watched Chuggington (duh!), played with his new scooter (which took him about 1 minute to figure out...still needs to learn how to stear, tho!) and had pizza and hotdogs for dinner (What? He's four and that's what he wanted!). Laena, Braeland and Lilly better watch out...I see lots of races this spring/summer!!

Finn said he had a wonderful birthday. When you ask him how old he is, he says, "Three, ~pause~ I mean four" which is pretty funny considering he NEVER answered "three" the entire year he WAS three! Again, thank you to everybody who helped make it so special on Saturday. We really are so blessed to have all of you in our lives. Now, we need to find room for all the new stuff from Christmas and Finn's birthday! Hmmm...auntie Kristine and auntie Becca...which one wants (i.e. has to have) our "old" toys?!?! LOL! Maybe Auntie NaeNae or Uncle John wants to store them for the future?

Sunday, January 6

Happy Birthday, Finn!

My, how much time changes and heals. Four years ago today was the best of times and the worst of times. With one fell swoop, Finn entered this world, forever changed our entire outlook and brought us so much joy and so much terror all in the same moment. The journey that has followed as not been easy, but it brought us to today and has given us the amazing person that is our son, Finnegan. He is perfect in every way and I (honestly) don't think I would change anything that we've been through.
1/6/9 Finn is born at 5:24 am.
Jan '10 Finn turns one. (we later had his party in April due to flu season)
Jan '11 Finn celebrates turning two AND the Vikings!
Jan '12 Wakes up in a crib on his birthday for the last time!
Jan '13 Cowboy Finn turns the BIG 4!
We love you so much, buddy boy, and can't wait to see what the years to come bring!! Happy birthday :)

Saturday, January 5

You only turn 4 once

After taking Finn to Urgent Care Wednesday night (to make sure he didn't have pneumonia, which he didn't!) and having ECFE class Thursday night, I took Friday off and was finally able to help getting ready for Finn's 4th birthday party, which was on Saturday. There was a LOT to do on Friday and Saturday AM. After a little misunderstanding about WHEN she was coming, my mom was able to come Friday night and helped a TON on Saturday. I don't think we would have been ready for company if she hadn't come. Thank you so much, mom!

 Alas, by 4pm Saturday afternoon, we were all set for Finn's party! Since the plague seems to be going around, several people weren't able to come, which was sad, but Finn had plenty of people here to help him celebrate. He had a blast! We had a lot of kids, but thanks to the basement, they were able to play and wear off some energy.

 I finished Finn's cake at 12:11am Saturday morning. Honestly, it wasn't THAT hard! I usually obsess about it and agonize over the details, but I had a very clear idea of what I wanted on the cake and it came together really well. I will admit, that it is a bit overboard in regards to the party theme (construction), but Finn absolutely LOVED it and kept wanting to look at it in the frig before the party!

 Overall, a super fun party was had (I think by all). Finn had (almost) everybody he loves the most in the world under one roof and felt super special. Thank you to everybody who came and we are sad for those who weren't able. Hopefully the pics help you feel like you were there!





At 6:30, Finn's party officially ended by me putting my Vikings jersey on and attempting to watch some pre-game. The Vikings game was lack luster at best, but didn't put a damper on Finn's excitement about his birthday.

Wednesday, January 2

Happy New Year, Goldy.

Jim had the day off on Monday and decided to take the kids to a Gopher basketball game! Mike and Quinn went along, but still, it was a big undertaking to take both kids.
They all had a blast (even if the stuffed Goldy Finn brougth along fell over the balcony...TWICE!). When I got home from work (I was SO disappointed they didn't let us leave work early...boo!), they were all sleeping and didn't get up until after 6! I guess they were all tuckered out.

Once we got everybody up and ready, we headed over to Connie's (Stacey's mom) for a small, laid back New Years Eve. We've been traveling SO much the last couple weeks that we just wanted to stick close to home so we could sleep in our own beds that night. It was a great evening. I'd picked up a couple hats and noise makers for the kids, which they thought were pretty neat. Finn went to bed kind of early (still fighting the cold/cough he's had for a while) so we didn't even get to "countdown" with him. Korri on the other hand would NOT go to sleep. At one point, I thought she was sleeping and I looked over to Jim and she was standing next to him, staring at me...creepiest thing ever! Jim finally got her to go to sleep (on the FLOOR next to Finn...no pack-n-play!) around 11 or 11:30, I think. Sheesh. We quietly rang in the new year, finished our (manditory!) game of Trivial Pursuit (boys against girls...boys [barely!] won) and headed home. We all slept in yesterday and took long naps. Thanks, Connie and Stacey for letting us crash your party!! Happy New Year everybody. All things considered, we had a wonderful 2012 and we hope to continue the good fortune and happiness into 2013 and beyond. We wish the same for you :)

Now, we really need to his the party planning "to do" list hard. I'm kind of stressing out. Now I get why people have birthday parties at places like Chuck E Cheese's...you don't have to clean your house or plan/make food!