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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, March 27

Hair Revision

Last night we headed to auntie NaeNae's house to see if she could "fix" Korri's hair. As the evening went on, we realized far more hair had been cut than we/I initially thought. I thought it was a few pieces in the front and top...but there are actual BALD spots in the back. Which got Renae could Korri have cut those spots? Dectective NaeNae was on the job...and Korri said something like, "Next time I won't let him." Excuse me? Come again?

So I asked Finn if he cut Korri's hair and since he has been on a lying kick lately, I said he had to tell me what his heart and Jesus would tell me if I could ask them. And he looked at me and said, "I cut Korri's hair." Just like that. Then he said that Korri cut it too. Holy sh!t! Renae told him to go hang out with uncle Craig, since she knew I had to process this new information. I called Jim and he calmly and wisely pointed out that if I punished Finn now, he would view it as punishment for telling the trust NOT because of his original actions. So true. So I had a private conversation with Finn and told him how wrong it was what he did and told him the consequences that would happen if it EVER happened again and that is could NEVER happen again. The kicker of the deal? I made Korri go right to bed Monday night and let Finn stay up late watching a movie with me...when HE was just as guilty, if not more guilty, than she was! Argh.

I don't know if I was more upset about the fact that it was far more hair than I thought it was or the fact that Finn assisted in the cut. Their actions as of late just don't jive with what I know and expect of my kids. They just aren't naughty kids, but I feel like they (especially Korri) have been so naughty lately. I feel like I can't let them play by themselves if they aren't in my sight. It is very frustrating.

Anyway, Renae was able to shape Korri's hair, trick it to fall in certain directions and hide the bald spots as best as possible. It is short in the back but still has a little length in the front. She said on average, hair grows half an inch a month, so I'm thinking in 3 months, it will be growing back in and in 6 months, we probably won't even remember what it looks like today (not that is looks bad, Renae did an amazing job with what she had to work with!!). Oh and she has bangs. Of course. The ONE thing I didn't want. I think God is smiling at me, reminding me of what is really important in life (and it isn't HAIR!) and of who is really in control (and it isn't ME!).

Kind of hard to tell the end result since I didn't take a pic last night but here you go:

16 degrees Celsius

We want to wish a very special and happy birthday to Mom/Lynn/Memere/(Mrs. Thomas!)! She turns 60 today (or 16 in Celsius!). We are so lucky to have such a great woman in our lives who does so much for us. We are so grateful and saying thank you never seems to be enough. We hope you have a fabulous day today and can't wait to spend the weekend with you for your Fabulous 60 Birthday Celebration!! We love you!!!

High School Graduation Picture (thanks, Ron!)
Helping Korri put her princess crown on for her 3rd birthday party

Tuesday, March 25

It is just hair...

It is just hair...It is just hair...It is just hair...It will grow back...It will grow back...It will grow back...

Or so I've been telling myself for the last 26 hours! Korri cut her hair last night and I mean CUT her hair. Right in the front and top.

The above pic was from this morning. She had gotten into some foot powder at the same time she cut her hair, so all I saw was her covered from head to toe in powder and marched both kids straight into the shower. At which time I noticed a large chunk of hair at the back of Korri's hair. I thought she had found a hair clump in the shower (gross and there NEVER is any). Until I noticed another and realized what had happened. She went to bed immediately after the shower with wet hair so I didn't know the full extend of the damage until this morning.

Let's just say that it was not my finest moment as a parent. It also really made me appreciate having Jim here when these things happen...because he wasn't and all I wanted was for him to step in and calm me down. His response to the above picture made me laugh out loud (this morning, nothing would have made me laugh last night), "Well, that looks awful." I'm sure I completely overreacted but I was so sad, angry and disappointed. When I put her in bed, I made sure to tell her that I loved her but I didn't like what she had done (I didn't want her going to bed thinking I hated her). She wet the bed TWICE last night, so she clearly was upset as well.

What I should mentioned is that earlier in the day, Korri and I had played "hair cut" while she was brushing my hair where she was Auntie NaeNae. I guess the FIFTEEN times I told her that she can't actually cut hair and only Auntie NaeNae does didn't sink in.

So, I've been in (pretty much constant) contact with Renae and she has agreed to try to blend in the "layered" pieces tomorrow on her day off. Oh, and I also told Korri that if she did it again, I would shave her head like Finn's hair. Like I said, not my proudest moment. Reason #252 that girls are harder than can just shave a boys hair if they cut it or gum gets stuck in it.

Silver lining? It was AFTER her first hair cut or I might not have survived since we waited THREE years to do that. So basically, she didn't have a hair cut for 38 months and now in the course of two weeks, she will have three hair cuts! Argh. Trying to keep perspective, it could have been far worse or she could have hurt herself with the scissors (however, she used SAFETY SCISSORS?!?! Apparently they can cut hair...consider this my public service announcement parents! You're welcome.).

Monday, March 24

Third times a charm?

Since Jim shared our news on Facebook last week, I thought I should make it official here as well. We will be a party of five starting this August! Yes, Baby #3 is on the way and we are (technically) halfway through the pregnancy. So far, things have been going really well. Things might start getting a little interesting in a few weeks, but for now, all is well.

We had our level 2 ultrasound last Thursday. It was at Abbott and they had a pediatric cardiologist come in to read it while we were still there...and everything looked perfect with the heart! So happy. There could still be some small issues they can detect after birth but those issues are "easily" corrected. My cervix continues to be plenty long, but continues to thin (about half a centimeter every two weeks). This concerns me a bit, but doesn't seem to concern anybody who knows what they are doing! The one thing that came up was that I have more amniotic fluid than I should (which makes me feel better since I got HUGE way earlier than with either of my other pregnancies...some of that is to be expected, but this is ridiculous!). This could be caused by problems with baby's stomach function (everything looked fine on the ultrasound), problems with the kidney function (again, everything looked fine) or gestational diabetes, but baby measured exactly the right size and would measure large if that was the case. So for now, they want to continue to measure the fluid levels. I have ultrasounds every other week to monitor my cervix and then in six weeks we will do a growth scan. They basically just wanted me to be aware because obviously if you have too much fluid, it can cause your uterus to become tight, which can lead to contractions which is a huge risk for me (well, anybody but especially with history of preterm labor and delivery). I think it sounds worse than it really is. As with most things, we just wait and see.

Much to Jim's frustration, "we" have chosen NOT to find out the gender this time. We did with Finn and Korri and I didn't think it was necessary this time since we already have boy and girl stuff! Although, based on the first picture (below) that we got of him at the ultrasound, I think baby is just like was giving us the one finger salute! LOL. We have several other pics but this one is scanned in, but not the best one to SEE the baby.

Just like in my pregnancy with Korri, we are looking to switch OBs halfway through the pregnancy. I'm so frustrated that it is necessary but we just weren't receiving the level of care that my kind of pregnancy requires. So, I have an appointment with a new doctor on Thursday later this week. It is at the one other clinic in Buffalo but we are optimistic based on our phone conversation with them last week. This is the ONE reason I wish we were still in Minneapolis...we were 15 minutes from Abbott and my OB's office was amazing (AND was across the street from Abbott!). Oh, well. We will figure this out and God will help us with what we can't!

Nighttime potty update: Korri's record remains at 11 nights. She is still dry most nights and then will be wet one but she is doing great. Finn just reached FIVE nights in a row last night, which is his new record! His reward was new Dusty Crophopper sheets (shhhh...don't tell him that I'd already bought them because he needed a second set anyway!).

Monday, March 17

Korri's First Hair Cut

I was both dreading Korri's first hair cut and also couldn't wait for it to get here as soon as possible. Her hair was just impossible to brush and she didn't like it to be brushed, which would just spiral into more tangles and more tears. So, we set a date for after auntie's wedding so Korri could have curls for the wedding. I teared up twice when talking about getting her hair cut before the the big day, but surprised myself with only feeling emotional as we walked into the salon and no tears DURING! Korri was amazing. She just sat there and didn't move a muscle. We checked before cutting to see if it was long enough to donate to Lock of Love (because we knew it was close) and it was! How exciting to be able to donate 100% virgin hair! Here are some before pics:

And after:

I don't think I'm alone when I say how much I love it! It is a drastic difference but Korri really seems to like it and I know it will be so much easier to take care of. However, this morning when I told her it was time to brush her hair, she was confused, "Mommy, it is short, I don't need to brush it!" Not exactly, sweetie pie! I will miss spending time with her when I'd braid it or do fancy things, but honestly, those times were usually met with resistance and arguing. When Korri is old enough to brush it herself, I will be the first one to tell her to grow it out, if she so chooses. And I have to admit, the shorter do kind of matches her spunky personality a little better, anyway!! For now at least. It is just grows :)

Visit Our Video webpage (link on the right) to see the video (it won't upload on here right now for some reason..argh!). It is at the bottom of the page.

Update on night time potty training, of course. Korri slept in unders last night for the first time and...was dry! I took her potty around 1:30 because she woke up. Dare I hope she caught on this quickly? Probably not, but I hope so. I'll stop counting at some point, but this is night ELEVEN of her being dry in a row! Finn is pretty good with short streaks of being dry and then having one wet night. I think he is getting better and does better when we remember to take him potty (sometimes  we need to twice!). I'll wait patiently, especially since he isn't in pull-ups, the bedpads work so well AND he takes care of it himself when he does wet (meaning changes his pad and pj's and goes back to bed!).

Oh and Happy St. Patrick's Day! I tried to put green cream cheese on the kids' bagels this morning...they were having none of it. Not very good at representing their heritage or names! Oh, well. They did both wear St. Patty shirts at least!

Sunday, March 16

Korri's 3 year pics!

Korri's 3 year picture preview is done! If you'd like to take a peek (because, let's face it...she is adorable and Jess, as always, did an amazing job!), please go to:
password: korri3yr

Korri is so expressive and spunky and Jess captured both of those characteristics perfectly. I have no idea how I'm going to pick the one that goes on our wall. What is your favorite? I also love the ones of all four of us...not sure how she got one, let alone multiple, with all of us looking and smiling. Finn was a bit wound up!

Let me know if you are interested in ordering any! And as always, if you find yourself in need of an amazing photographer, don't hesitate to contact Jessica!

Friday, March 14

Potty Time

Update on potty training...Korri has now been dry EIGHT nights in a row! Our deal was when you are dry seven nights in a row, you get to pick anything you want (think along the lines of hotel stay, Chuck E Cheese, Children's Museum, etc.). And you know what she picked? Ice-cream, specially an ice-cream cone. I can handle that. She called daddy yesterday morning to tell him the big news and asked if he could come with to get ice-cream. So hopefully we can do that this weekend some time. I'm so proud of her, but I guess not overly surprised. I'm sure I'm forgetting a lot of the details, but she did the same thing when she potty trained...kind of did it herself! Girls!

Finn is having a hard time because the day Korri hit day six, Finn was wet and had to start over. It is hard for him and I think it is just harder for boys in general. For a while, Finn wouldn't go potty when we woke him up and would become violent. But now (maybe because of this quasi-competition between the two), both kids go potty when I take them between 10:30 and 11pm, which I think helps a ton with not wetting.

And on a different note (and because I don't like a post without a picture), I finally pulled out the blender yesterday afternoon and whipped up some 'moot 'mooies (fruit smoothies, for those of you who don't speak Baby Finn)! They loved them (as did I). I need to make them more often. Apparently, it is better to stand up while having them!

Tuesday, March 11

Our NICU Graduate

Today, Jim, Finn and I headed to Children's Mpls for Finn's NICU Follow Up Clinic appointment. I didn't think he needed to go this year but when I heard others we know that are his age were scheduled, I called and they wanted to see him. Okay. Anyway, this was Jim's first time being able to come to one of these and I'm so glad he did. Also, a huge thank you to Pam for watching Korri since I thought Korri would be a bit of a distraction for Finn if she were there.

Anyway, this appointment is both a development assessment as well as a complete physical. I don't want to come across as bragging about Finn but the honest truth is that Finn fully and accurately completed every single assessment that was presented or requested of him...with the small exception that when he was supposed to replicate a "T" with blocks, he did two across instead of three. Gee. He has officially graduated from the NICU Follow Up Clinic! The OT administering the questions (and all the ladies/nurses there) LOVED him. Of course, Finn couldn't just answer the questions...he often had to elaborate or add a story to it and kept cracking Jim and I up. At one point, I was laughing so hard, I honestly couldn't breath (I think it was when Finn drew a picture of daddy, included nipples and felt he had to explain what they were!). It was so much fun to be there and experience Finn's personality coming out like that. Oh, BTW, Finn is on a kick where he thinks he is super funny (and wants everybody else to think he is too!).

We talked about a lot of different things including finding a new pediatrician for Finn. Thankfully, they gave us several recommendations, so I can't wait to establish a relationship with one of them. And since our lame ped didn't make sure Finn had his immunizations for Kindergarten, we looked at what he is missing and I'll need to schedule an appt to get those shots (he is "only" missing two, thankfully).

I asked about filling out Finn's Kindergarten health form and she said there is no need to mention that he was a preemie! She said that he doesn't have a single indicator left from being a preemie! This momma could not have received better news EVER. Praise God in so many ways. If Finn's story and journey doesn't show the miracles that are possible through and because of prayer, I don't think anything does. It is worth mentioning that he is 50 percentile for weight and 10th for height (I thought his height percentile had improved a little more than it did), but that is nothing new for us.

I'm sure I forgot a ton of details. We talked to the doctor a little about Finn's potty training at night and he was SO helpful (apparently there are two kinds/ways of bed wetting...and different ways to help with each). Update on that: Finn no longer wears Pull-Ups and is dry about 40% of the nights (would you agree Jim?!?!) with four consecutive night being his longest streak. Not to be out done, Finn's little sister can't be left out (she still wears Pull-Ups because I only have enough training mats for one at a time!) and without us pushing her at all, Korri has been dry FIVE nights in a row and she got herself up twice last night to go potty! So, she might be night-trained first, but I think that will just give Finn more motivation.

Monday, March 10

Class of 2027?!?!

Yes, that is what the principal at (what will be) Finn's school told us tonight at Kindergarten Registration. Finn will graduate in 2027! Crazy. Crazy that we will have a kindergartner as of September of this year! Where has the time gone? Seriously?!?!

Finn is SO ready. I only wish mommy were as ready. I know he will be fine. I know he will make friends. I know he will do well academically and socially. I know his teacher will love him. I know he will behave and listen when necessary. I know he will raise his hand and stay in line...most of the time :) I just want him to be my baby forever and not share him with the world.

So tonight was Finn's kindergarten registration. A huge thank you to Stacey for watching Korri kind of last minute since I didn't even think about them not wanting siblings to attend, but duh! What I gathered is that registration is more for the parents than for the children, although the kids were split into two classrooms and got to know some of the teachers and other kids, which was nice. We sat through an hour long presentation about what kindergarten is. Man, from the sound of it, they learn a LOT in kindergarten. I remember painting and napping and recess! I'm sure I forgot a lot of the rest but things have changed a LOT in the, um, few years since I was five. They don't have a final count yet but the principal said she is expecting there to be three kindergarten classes (two in Waverly and one in Winsted, I assume) with a goal of 17 kids per class. That would be great! I went to a smaller school and we always had 28 kids in a class (give or take one or two), which looking back, seems like a lot. All kindergartners are eligible for busing (when older, you have to live more than a mile from the school...and we live 1.1 miles!) but they don't know what the before and after school program will look like because they didn't have very high participation. Um, what do people do with their kids? Don't they work "normal" hours? I hope they have a program or we will have to get creative!

Our new idiot pediatrician, whom we will no longer be going to, said that Finn was up to date with all shots until he was 12 or something. I asked the principal as we were leaving about immunizations and she said there are several that kindergartners needs. ARGH! Thankfully, we are going to Finn's NICU Follow Up Clinic appointment at Children's tomorrow afternoon, so I can ask there.

Overall the evening went well. I only teared up twice, I think, which is better than I was thinking I'd do. (God, please help me be strong on the actual first day of school) Oh, and the parents received a packet (SEVENTEEN pages long!) with forms to return and informational sheets. I asked Finn why I had homework for Kindergarten and he didn't! He thought that was funny. Onward and upward. Here's to the beginning of Finn's (and our) next new journey...

Oh, and Korri had her three year pictures on Sunday. This was the first time that I kind of let Jess just take her on their own and do the pictures without me micromanaging the whole process and forcing Korri to do things a certain way. Because I wasn't there to see what pictures Jess was taking, I'm dying even more than normal to see them! She promised some previews soon. I can't wait! I was so proud of how well Korri listened and did everything Jess asked of her right away. We took a family picture since we were dressed up from Camille's baptism and Finn smiled great, but wouldn't look at the camera! Argh. Just glad it wasn't HIS photo shoot! LOL. I'll post the link when I get it :)