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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.

Sunday, December 28

Merry Christmas?

Christmas was...interesting this year. It all started the Saturday before. Korri went to bed with a fever. No biggie. We just gave her some Tylenol and figured it was a little cold. I mean EVERYTHING was going around like crazy at school. Mac was up for two hours violently vomiting but had not other symptoms so the on-call doctor wasn't too concerned. He was fine within 24 hours (thank God!). We survived baby's first illness.

Back to Korri, her fever came and went on Sunday but she had developed this barking cough. Given both kids were sick at the same time, I decided I was going to bring them into to the doctor the next day (Monday). To be honest, I was far more worried about Mac than I was about Korri. Until she woke up Monday. Her cough had gotten so bad that she was having problems breathing in. Thankfully (have I mentioned lately how much I LOVE our clinic?!?!), we were able to get both kids in right away Monday morning.

The doctor looked Mac over and was very pleased with the progress he'd made and deemed him completely fine. Yay! He thought it was a gastro-bug that has been going around. Luckily(?) Mac got the hard fast 24 hour bug instead of the lingering week to two week one! Not the same with Korri. I think he immediately knew what it was, but was trying to be positive. He had her nose swabbed to test for influenza. He said it could take up to 15 minutes for the results. When he came back TWO minutes later, I knew it wasn't good news. No, Korri had influenza Type A. Crap. She was JUST outside the 36 hours window to receive Tami-flu, so she was given prednisone for her breathing and was told to take it easy. We asked a million questions about duration and contamination and felt confident at that point, that all would be well by Wed, in time to head to Oville for Christmas. The doctor said that if either of the boys came down with a fever, to come back in to get tested right away.

Well, that afternoon, I was napping with Mac and I received a phone call. From whom you ask? Yup, the school nurse! Finn had complained about not feeling well in the morning and he fever had progressed above 100 degrees. Great. And Jim was in Minnetonka with the van. Double Great. I called and got an appt for 4:30 and while Jim headed back immediately, it would still take him an hour to get back. I was so thankful that our friend Beth happened to be home and was able to run up to school to pick Finn up.

Jim brought Finn in and yup, influenza Type A. They put him on Tami-flu and decided to put Mac on a preventative dose since it was likely that he would get it as well. Tami-flu is in short supply and hard to find, but we were able to find some in Howard Lake, enough for Finn's prescription and half of Mac's. By Tuesday AM, Mac had a fever, so we upped his dosage to a treatment level. The doctor said there was no reason to bring him in to get tested.

So, three of three were sick with the flu ONE day before Christmas. Santa comes to our house on the Eve of Christmas Eve. We were still hopeful that we could go to Oville on Wed but we needed to be fever free to greatly decrease the risk of spreading it. We got up Wed and I think Finn was fever free, Mac had a low grade fever and Korri still had a fever. Argh! We kept taking temps throughout the day, but we just weren't recovering quickly enough. Jim finally called his parents in the afternoon to tell them the sad news. We were staying home in quarantine for Christmas.

There are many things to be thankful for. 1. Jim and I did NOT get sick. I don't know how, but we remained healthy. I was run down and exhausted, but that was probably from taking care of sick kids. 2. While all kids were sick, they weren't horribly ill and really weren't awful. It could have been SO much worse. 3. Because of the school break and us not going anywhere, it seems the pandemic that is the flu this year, is subsiding and we didn't spread it to any of our family members. 4. Because we switch celebrating on Christmas Eve each year with each of our families, we were still able to celebrate with my family today, Sunday (and we were healthy enough to go!).

So there you have it. The kids and I didn't leave the house from Monday to Saturday. To say that we had cabin fever is an understatement. Here's hoping that next year we are healthy enough to celebrate ON Christmas with all of our family! We hope you all had a wonderful and healthy Christmas!









Saturday, December 20

Done!?

I feel accomplished. I only need to buy ONE gift (have to go to a specialty store in St. Paul, which I'm planning on doing Monday). I'm waiting for one gift to arrive (like I did with 90% of our gifts this year, I ordered it online). And I need to mail two gifts. Otherwise, ALL gifts are wrapped and under the tree!  Done? Obviously not quite, but I'm calling it. I can safely say, this is the earliest I've been done, probably ever (certainly since we've had kids). The only thing left is to "bedazzle" the gifts, which Jim does, so that isn't on my "to do" list. Sweet!! (I mean, who are we kidding...I'll help, of course!)

Oh, and I found a "how to" video that changed how I wrap presents forever...how to wrap odd shaped gifts. I only wish I'd found it before I was practically done wrapping this year! So, I LOVE wrapping presents...square box presents, that is. I HATE (with the fiery passion of a 1,000 suns) wrapping unboxed or weird or round or anything other than box shaped gifts. I mean, let's face it...by the time you're done, it looks like your preschooler wrapped it and she probably would have done a better job!

Here is the video:

http://meredithvieirashow.com/videos/sysk-wrapping-oddly-shaped-gifts/

And here is my first attempt:

I think it looks pretty good if I say so myself...and I do! (Santa will get the wrapping credit for this one, but I'm perfectly okay with that). The hardest part is to figure out how much paper you need. Both times I had too much, but I guess that's better than not enough. You can thank me after you wrap your first odd shaped present this year and it looks like it was gift wrapped by a professional instead of a preschooler!

Oddly enough, we have NO plans for this entire weekend. You'd think this would be one of the busiest weekends. Love it. The only thing on our agenda is to decorate a gingerbread house and make birdseed ornaments for outside on the trees! Jealous? Oh and Korri and I might go get our nails done. I mean, girls gotta do, what girls gotta do!

Thursday, December 18

Fabulous Five

Mac turned "5" yesterday! Time is flying by and it is almost time for him to celebrate his first Christmas (although I'm sure he will "enjoy" it much more next year). At least this year he is not mobile yet.

5 Month Development:

Your baby now realizes where sounds come from, and he'll turn quickly toward a new one. One of the easiest ways to engage him is to jingle a set of keys. Wind chimes are great attention-getters, too. (Mac definitely does this and always wants to know what is making noise.)

Your baby may now be able to recognize his own name and understand that you're speaking to him when you say it. You may notice that your little one turns his head when you call him or talk about him with others.  (I don't know if he recognizes his own name or is just turning to the sound, since we don't call him "Mac" all that often.)

Your baby's beginning to get the joke — he'll laugh at funny expressions and try to make you laugh, too. Keep the laughter flowing with your silly faces! (He definitely "get the joke." He especially loves when Finn acts silly in front of him...hilarious to the both of them!)

Your baby's beginning to gauge where things are in space, and can plan an action, such as grabbing a pacifier. By simply dropping something and picking it up, your baby's learning that he can manipulate things with his hands and he's learning more details about how his toys work. He can make the rattle produce a sound, for instance, which teaches him cause and effect. Being able to grab things means he can engage more in play—whether by himself or with you. (Just recently he's started grabbing and holding on. I don't think he can purposefully make the rattle produce sound, but he's getting close).

Your baby will quickly learn to hug Mom, Dad and other people she's comfortable around—as well as her stuffed gorilla, the cat and anything else she adores—by watching others hug and getting hugged herself. Not all babies are wild about hugging, though. She might be more receptive to physical affection before naps, at bedtime or while you're looking at a book together.  (Mac likes a quick cuddle and often puts his head/cheek against mine...but don't try to cuddle or hug when he's tired...he'll have NONE of it!).

When you pulled your baby into a sitting position a few weeks back, her head lagged behind her arms and shoulders. Now, she can anticipate the direction you're pulling her, and her head will follow right along with the rest of her body. (He does this and is so strong. I keep doing it to test him and it impresses me that he can).

Your baby is adding new sounds to her language repertoire, and she may sound like a broken record. Babies this age often become so enthralled by a newfound ability that they get stuck on it for a while. (He talks and squeals a lot, often for long periods of time...I guess this explains that).

He has started rolling from tummy to back when propped  (thanks to his big head!), but he doesn't really seem too interested in it or know that HE is the one doing it. He definitely "plays" with his floor gym and is occupied for quite a while. His favorite is the jumper, which surprises me since the other two didn't really like it. He continues to take reflux medicine twice a day. He isn't gaining weight very fast (which isn't necessarily a concern as babies' weight gain slows at this age) but he is spitting up a lot again, too. We'll see. He nurses about 6 times per day. He has tried rice cereal but doesn't have it regularly yet (we need to work it into our schedule!). I'm hoping to get the steamer out and start trying some veggies this month.

Here are his monthly pictures:



Saturday, December 13

Holiday Train!

Today, we went to see the Holiday Train in Loretto. Thankfully the weather was unseasonably warm, but because of that, the turn out was HUGE (they estimated more than 10,000 people in a town whose population is less than 1,000!). Jim was traveling, so Memere was kind enough to come Friday night to stay over and go to the train with us today. I think it is safe to say that Jim would have hated it. It was very chaotic and WAY too many people.

BUT...the kids seemed to have a good time. As we were leaving I asked Finn if he had fun and if we should do it again next year. He responded, "Yes, mommy, we should do it every year!). There you go. Pam's and Sharon's met us there, so that made it really fun, too. Braeland, Laena, Finn and Korri even got to take a sleigh ride (two times in one year for my kids!). The reindeer were Donner and Blitzen...the same as the ones in Corcoran (or at least the same names, so the kids just knew it was the same ones).




I think if we go next year, we will probably skip all the "extra" stuff and go right up to the front of the train. Sharon knew people who live in Loretto so we were able to park in their driveway. As we were leaving, we saw people parked for at least a MILE outside of town. Crazy.

Saturday, December 6

Santa visit

For the second year in a row, we went to Corcoran to visit Santa. Kristine brings Zander every year so we thought we'd try it out last year. It is so well done and organized and is no cost (well, other than a food donation). So worth the (somewhat long) drive there.

With your food donation, you get a "ticket" for each child to put their name in a drawing to win "big" prizes. Finn won a huge HotWheels track last year, no such luck this year! Then you get a professional picture with Santa (again, for FREE!), a present that the child gets to pick, and cookies, treats and apple cider.

Jim was able to go with us this year. Since it seemed to be busier later last year, I wanted to get there right away. Well, THIS year, everybody decided to get there right when it opened, of course! So it was a little crowded, but it didn't take long to wait for Santa. The big kids knew what they wanted to ask Santa for (Finn asked for Transformers and Korri a My Little Pony...Mac just sat there). Finn picked a toy motorcycle for his present, Korri picked a Barbie and Mac "picked" a nerf football.

They had coloring sheets and crafts to do on the tables while you ate your treats and drank you cider. We stayed about 45 minutes. And then the best part...on our way out, the kids got to have a reindeer sleigh ride! By far, the best part of the day. Oh, and the weather was absolutely beautiful. I think even Jim had a decent time, which is always saying something when there are lots of people and kids around. We will for sure be back.

This year, we ran into Kristine, Alex and Zander as we were headed out, but Kristine said Zander sat on Santa's lap, even if he wasn't super excited about it! Here are some pictures from the day:




Friday, December 5

Making noise

Baby Mac making LOTS of noise; keep in mind this is the THIRD video I took...all of him squealing like this:

(link fixed, I think)


From Videos

Thursday, December 4

Eye, eye, captain!

Just a quick update on Korri's eyes (I've been trying to write this post for days...argh!). She had an eye doctor appointment on Monday. I was not looking forward to the outcome, since at her last appointment, the doctor said her eyes were getting worse and would very well need to start patching again at her next appointment. Jim took her to the appt since it was super cold on Monday and we thought it best for Baby to stay warm at home. 

The short of it? Her eyes have actually improved...which means no need to patch! Thank goodness. They improved but not enough to need to change her prescription on her current glasses (unless they break, of course!). So, great news. She needs a re-check in 6 months, but that is pretty standard for her. Here's praying that her eyes continue on this path!

And a post wouldn't be complete without a cute picture: