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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, February 26

We have a sitter!

I'm calling it...Mac can officially SIT without assistance! He is seven months and one week old. Not too shabby.

From Videos

He's been able to be in the sitting position for a while, but needed somebody supporting him or have the Boppy pillow surrounding him. He still tips over eventually, but I'd say if you can sit unassisted for five minutes at a time without tipping over...you are a sitter!

Now I have no hope that he will roll over because he will always want to be sitting. I guess that will come when he learns to...gulp...CRAWL!

He is growing up so quickly but I'm enjoying him and each stage he is at so much. He is very interactive now, which is fun, especially for the Bigs.

Tuesday, February 24

Two out of three

I was positive that Mac had strep. The doctor said his throat looked bad (red, irritated and spotty) and both Bigs have/had it. And then starting about 8pm last night, Mac was a BEAR! He wouldn't sleep. He wouldn't snuggle. He wouldn't calm down (for long anyway). Jim was up with him for a while. Then I was up with him pretty much from 12:30 to 3, at which time I decided to shut the monitor off. I'd gotten him to sleep and I HAD to get some sleep. I woke up at 5:30 and turned the monitor back on. He was up before 6am...so those of you counting, I believe that is a little over 4 hours of sleep for me. Argh.

I called the doctor at 8:01am (the lab opens at 8!) and low and behold...the 24 hour culture was negative for strep! Crazy. He must just have a bug or something. I've been trying to give him ibuprofen regularly and that seems to be helping today. He is much happier but still isn't sleeping very well. He kept twitching his body (which leads me to believe he is achy), his tummy was rumbly all night and his nose is pretty stuffy. I hope it passes quickly, whatever it is.

But on the bright side, I was able to take him in for his schedule flu booster this morning and he was a champ. I mean, after FIVE shots at his last well child, I guess he didn't think one little one was a big deal. He cried for MAYBE five seconds (he stopped almost before I could even pick him up). Tough little guy.

On a very happy note, he now weighs 18 lbs 6 oz and is in the 46th percentile! That is almost a full two pounds heavier than he was at his 6 month well child (he was 16 lbs 11 oz and 32nd%)! I didn't talk with the doctor but I think she will be very happy with those results. I could tell just by looking at him that he'd gained some of his weight back. Yay. His next doctor visit (hopefully) will be his 9 month well child.

Update on Finn: he was feeling much better this morning and since he was no longer contagious, went to school. I picked out very comfy clothes for him to wear and told him to actually rest at rest time (yea right!). Hopefully he has a good day.

No cute pics today. Too busy taking care of sick kids!

Monday, February 23

Another trip

And this morning was Finn and Mac's turn! Finn was very tired yesterday afternoon, but I thought it was just from spending an overnight with Austin and playing so hard (he isn't used to keeping up with an active 8 year old after all!). But he was complaining about his knees aching and by bedtime, he had a fever. I decided I would call the dr right when they opened and get him in for a strep test, even though he wasn't complaining of a sore throat.

Well, when he woke up this morning, his throat hurt, too! Plus, your joints can be achy with strep, so I was pretty sure he had it. And since we were going in, I made an appt for Mac, too (he can't just get a strep test because of his age, but they were able to get us in at 8:30!!). Have I mentioned lately how much I LOVE our clinic? Yes? Well, I do!

Finn's strep came back right away as positive. And since Finn's was positive, they swabbed Mac. While we waited for those results, the doctor looked Mac over and said he looked fine until she looked at his throat. I believe her words were, "oh, that doesn't look good." But (thankfully?!?!) his quick strep came back negative. We are scheduled to go in tomorrow anyway for his flu booster, so I'll call before we go to see if the 24 hour test is still negative (the dr really thinks he has it too, even though it is rare for an infant to get strep...it can happen!).

For those of you who are counting, that will be three of three days we've been to the doctor's office! I think that is a record for us. But I'd rather know and get them treated as soon as possible. I have to say (not surprisingly, I guess) that Korri is much "tougher" than Finn. She handled all of it with hardly ANY complaints at all. She didn't even gag when they swabbed her and it makes me gag just watching it. Her only complaint was the medicine because it didn't taste great. Oh, my...Finn complained the whole time and about everything! I think illnesses affect him a little harder than they do Korri, but still! I mean, he complained about buckling his seat before we even left the house!

Anyway, he took a monster nap today (even though he SWORE he wasn't tired), so hopefully that combined with the meds, he will be well on his way to recovery. And here's hoping that Mac doesn't have it or get it!


Update: Mac's 24 hour culture came back negative for strep. So yay!

Friday, February 20

Glad I took her

My mom always said she never regretted taking us kids to the doctor, even if there was nothing they could do (i.e. we ended up having a virus). I always keep that in the back of my mind when my kids are "sick" because my natural instinct is that they are fine or will be with some TLC from momma and time.

Last night before bed, Korri said twice that her throat hurt. Now, considering the time of day it was, you never know if she is telling the truth because she will try almost anything NOT to go to bed. I told her to take a drink of water and it would be better in the morning. And honestly, I forgot about it.

This morning, she was up for a while and when it was time to eat breakfast, she said her throat hurt again. Hmmm...I thought she would have forgotten about it by now (if it had been a stalling tactic), so I told her to eat breakfast and that might make her feel better (LOL, anything to distract her). Plus, the thermometer was in baby's room and I wasn't going to wake him up just to take her temp when she didn't feel very warm to me.

About half an hour later, she mentioned it again. I asked her if it just hurt a little or so bad that she couldn't eat. She said so bad she couldn't eat. Hmmm...since you JUST had breakfast... So I told her we'd take her temperature when baby woke up and see then. Which I did about half an hour after that and it was low grade (99.2) but considering she kept mentioning it (but didn't have a single other symptom), I decided to take her in. What would it hurt?!?! Nothing. A wasted trip to Delano at most.

Since we just needed a lab appointment, we could get right in. I fully expected it to be nothing, but when a kid gets sick on Friday, I'd rather get in and find out it is nothing than wait and it be something over the weekend! The nurse did the swab, which Korri did great for. And she came back moments later (which is NEVER a good sign!). Yup, it was positive! I think four years is pretty good for getting strep for the first time (says a mom who had strep so much as a kid, I had it twice in one week!).

We picked up her prescription and had lunch (complete with ice cream at the end...of course...I mean, she has strep throat!). Now I'm hoping that she doesn't pass it on to her brothers (or dad!)! Ha, unlikely since it is super contagious, but we'll try. And since we started the antibiotic right away, she won't be contagious starting tomorrow AM. I have to say, I am grateful that when my kid are "sick," they weather it really well (for the most part). I mean, if Korri hadn't said something, I NEVER would have guessed she was sick. All three had the flu over Christmas and you'd barely have guessed they were sick at all! Here's hoping she recovers quickly and is able to keep her germs to herself!

And because I hate posts without something cute, here is a video of Baby playing with an empty Veggie Straw bag. He played with it FOREVER!

From Videos

Thursday, February 19

Scooter

So Mac might not roll over, can't crawl and is pretty wobbly when sitting...but he can move himself all the way from next to me (bottom of the photo) over to the blanket! That is about 5 feet! This was a first for him. I guess he isn't stationary any more (boo!).


Tuesday, February 17

Seventh Heaven

Mac is seven months old today. I don't know why, but seven months seems so much older than six. Maybe because he is on the down swing toward...O.N.E! Even looking at his monthly picture compared to last month, he just LOOKS older.

From age four to seven months, is the period when he’ll learn to coordinate his emerging perceptive abilities (the use of senses like vision, touch, and hearing) and his increasing motor abilities to develop skills like grasping, rolling over, sitting up, and possibly even crawling.

Here are some other milestones to look for:

Movement Milestones
  • Rolls both ways (front to back, back to front) He CAN roll from tummy to back but not the other way 
  • Sits with, and then without, support of her hands He CAN sit, but is still pretty wobbly 
  • Supports her whole weight on her legs Yup, he's done that for months 
  • Reaches with one hand Yup 
  • Transfers object from hand to hand Yup 
  • Uses raking grasp (not pincer) Yes but has started using pincer, too 
Visual Milestones
  • Develops full color vision 
  • Distance vision matures 
  • Ability to track moving objects improves 
Language Milestones
  • Responds to own name Some times, the problem is that we have so many nicknames for him! 
  • Begins to respond to “no” Not yet, but haven't had to say it very much (except when nursing...ouch!) 
  • Distinguishes emotions by tone of voice YES, responds very much to the mood of his siblings 
  • Responds to sound by making sounds All the time 
  • Uses voice to express joy and displeasure Yes, very expressive 
  • Babbles chains of consonants He thinks he is actually talking to us, it is so cute 
Cognitive Milestones
  • Finds partially hidden object I'm not sure, but I think so 
  • Explores with hands and mouth Yes 
  • Struggles to get objects that are out of reach Yes, but doesn't move his body to them 
Social and Emotional Milestones
  • Enjoys social play Yes, very much so 
  • Interested in mirror images Yes, but likes mommy's more than his own 
  • Responds to other people’s expressions of emotion and appears joyful often Yes! 

Overall, Mac has become quite the happy little baby. He often sleeps from 8p to 8a but gets up once around 3a to eat. He plays in his jumper a lot (we even had to move it up to the second notch!). I still have him play on his play mat because I think it is good to have floor time, especially since he isn't rolling. He loves to sit up with the boppy around him and play with toys. I think he thinks he is a big boy when he does that. He loves to grab his toes, which I think might be the one of the cutest things babies do.

He recently started saying, "dadada" and even "hi dada." He talks or squeals all the time. While he is stingy with them, he now belly laughs, which I LOVE to hear. He still uses a pacifier but prefers sucking on his fingers most of the time. No teeth yet but lots of drool and chewing. He has eaten carrots, sweet potatoes, peas, avocados, broccoli and bananas. Once he tasted bananas, I'm pretty sure he thought his life was complete! He LOVED them. I am doing better about getting solid foods in him than I was last month. Still a challenge but I'm sure it will continue to improve (plus, it gets more calories in him, so that is my motivation!).

Here are his month pictures:
   


Saturday, February 14

Toothless

Today was the beginning of a new era in the Thomas household...Finn lost his first tooth! His bottom front left tooth. Toothless is in reference to his new favorite movie (How to Train Your Dragon 1 or 2) and now he is too.

It had been loose for days. It was to the point where we had no idea how it was still hanging on. I bribed him one morning last week with TEN marks (he gets marks for doing things, saves them up and gets to get something special with them after so many). Ten is a lot. If he pulled it out or let Daddy before the bus came, he'd get 10 marks. Nope. His teacher emailed me yesterday and I was hoping it was to tell me his tooth fell out. Nope. Finally, this morning during Korri's swimming lessons, I told him he could have ice cream with lunch if he let Daddy pull it out before Korri's lesson was over. Ah...I found his "currency!" He and daddy went in to the locker room (because even though I knew it would come out with a whisper of a breath, I also knew Finn was going to have a hard time with it...i.e. cry). They came back a few minutes later...with teary eyes and a gap in his smile!

As most of you know, I HATE teeth. Or at least loose teeth that come out of your mouth. Pretty, clean adult teeth are fine. While I'm glad this tooth is out, I'm a little disturbed that it is the first of many (he has another one next to it that is now also loose!). I'll survive. That's what mom's do. However in this house, teeth are dad's job. I feel like losing teeth is such a "big kid" thing to do. My baby ain't no baby no more. Hmmm...what will be his next milestone? I don't know, but he is growing up way too quickly. And for how much I hate the act of losing teeth, the hole left behind sure is cute! He kept sticking his french fry through it at lunch. Great! Boys will be boys.

Before:

After:

(For the record, we aren't beating him up. He got scratched at school and scraped his face on the table this morning. How? I have no idea!)

Friday, February 13

Dadada

I was secretly hoping that at least one of my three children would say "momma" first. But, alas, it wasn't meant to be. Mac started saying, "dadadada" yesterday. He is says it over and over and over again. I keep tell Jim that means Mac wants him! Ha, I should get SOME benefit from it. I mean, I give you food, baby. But...daddy plays! Oh, well.


From Videos

I wonder what his first "real" word will be. Finn's was "Austin" and I can't remember Korri's and I didn't write it on the blog. Shame on me. I feel like it was bottle or eat or something like that.

Update: he started saying "momma" on 2/18, so it wasn't TOO far apart!

Tuesday, February 10

Did you make somebody happy today?

Proud momma momment I want to share for posterity's sake. Korri's "homework" today for preschool was to bring a picture of something that makes her happy. For the record, this is the picture she picked (her birthday party made her happy!):

Anyway, in addition to the above information, I've been talking to Korri about making friends and being friends (or at least friendly) with everybody at school. She is VERY attached to one little girl in her class and gets her feelings hurt if this girl plays with anybody else or if other kids try to play with them.

Fast forward to today. I received this note from Korri's preschool teacher this afternoon:

"I meant to tell you today but forgot, one of the little boys didn't bring a picture of something that made him happy.  so I told him he could still share something that made him happy and he said when Korrigan played with him today - it was beautiful! they have not played together all year - Korrigan had a big smile on her face. great moments in our little world! "

Jim and I talked to her about it and she was so excited to share (of course, after we brought it up...why don't kids just share things like this naturally?!?!). We told her how proud we were of her, especially since she 1. normally doesn't play with ANY boys in her class 2. Her best friend wasn't playing with them AND 3. She played what the boy wanted to play (trains) and NOT what she likes to play with (My Little Pony or house).

I think this gave a huge glimpse into Korri's true spirit and kindness. For all the challenges she presents for us (constantly!), there is hope that she listens to us and is kind and compassionate to others (which is my greatest hope for all of my children).

Saturday, February 7

On the Day You Were Born (too little, too soon) – A Poem

I just randomly came across this, but it is so powerful, I felt I had to share. This captures the "ache" that those who've had babies too early know all too well and will never forget. The original post can be found here.

On the Day You Were Born (too little, too soon) – A Poem

On the day you were born, (too little, too soon)
I laid in denial, until about noon
On the day you were born, I prayed and I cried
For the baby I needed, to stay safely inside
On the day you were born, four months before due
Your heart rate kept dropping, (Mine kept dropping too)
On the day you were born, I wore a fake smile
(Pretend to be happy, you’re meeting your child)
Nurses, doctors and daddy, looking at me with worry
Almost no time for steroids, you were in such a hurry
On the day you were born, my world came crashing down
There was nothing to do, but deliver you now
In the light room I go, for the C-section scar
Twenty minutes of pulling, and whoop, there you are
So little, so fragile, nothing like the norm
I thought I would lose you, on the day you were born
They whisked you away, Family came to say hi
I spent the whole evening, trying not to cry
But as soon as they left, me alone in my room
I mourned for the baby; I’d failed from the womb
On the day you were born, Mommy just couldn't cope
I desperately needed, to see signs of hope
For you were a pound, and I wasn't sure
That good things could come, from blessings premature
I didn't go meet you, heartbroken and torn
Waited 24 hours, from the day you were born
And then I went walking, Motherhood in suspense
The happiness fleeting, the sorrow intense
Before I went in, I said to the worry
He deserves a proud mommy, no matter how early
I walked to your “incu”, to my delayed joy
Yes you were, really little, but MY little boy
You waved a small hand, calling for me to take it
From that moment on, I knew you would make it
I sat there for hours, committed to see
Just a hint of the miracle, waiting for me
I replaced my new faith with the guilt I had worn
On the beautiful, magical, day you were born
Here we go, on our journey, no time left to doubt
For the first time in your life, I wanted you out
Released from the NICU, and home in your room
Laughing and playing and sleeping till noon
So here goes your mother, whose heartbeat you know
We are in this together, on a journey to grow
My baby, you gave me far better than “norm”
My child, a survivor, from the day you were born



Wednesday, February 4

Twenty Questions - Korri 4

Starting last year at age three, I've asked Korri 20 questions around the time of her birthday. I tried really hard NOT to direct or influence her initial answers, but for some reason, it was hard for me this year. Anyway, here are her responses:

20 questions: answered by Korrigan on 2/3/2015

1. What is your favorite color? Purple
2. What is your favorite toy? My Little Ponies
3. What is your favorite fruit? Orange
4. What is your favorite TV show/movie? Sophia the First / Frozen
5. What is your favorite thing to eat for lunch? Chicken nuggets and grilled cheese
6. What is your favorite outfit/thing to wear? Dresses
7. What is your favorite game? Animal Game (Sequence Jr.)
8. What is your favorite snack? Candy (skittles)
9. What is your favorite animal? Giraffe, no Cinnamon (Stacey's horse)
10. What is your favorite song? Twinkle Twinkle Little Star
11. What is your favorite book? Tails
12. Who is your best friend? Aubrey (from preschool)
13. What is your favorite cereal? Fruity Pebbles
14. What is your favorite thing to do outside? Play in the snow, ride her bike
15. What is your favorite drink? Lemonade
16. What is your favorite holiday? Christmas
17. What do you like to take to bed with you at night? Dollie (named Sing)
18. What is your favorite thing to eat for breakfast? Cereal, no skinny pancakes
19. What do you want for dinner on your birthday? Pizza
20. What do you want to be when you grow up? Princess and a mommy and an animal doctor
Bonus Question:
21. What is your favorite sport/activity to play? Crafts

Here are my comments/thoughts regarding some of her answers.

1. She usually says Pink and purple, so maybe that is changing. 5. I kind of questioned her here because she asks for grilled cheese every day. 7. I had no idea what she meant by "Animal game" until much later when I asked her again about it and she said the game with animals all over it. Oh, you mean "Sequence?" Yes, mommy, THAT game. 8. I do not think this is her favorite snack, as she never has Skittles, but it was apparently on her mind. 9. I asked her why a giraffe and while she was thinking, she changed her mind to Cinnamon, which is Stacey horse that she gets to ride. 13. She first said Cocoa Pebbles, but since she doesn't really like Chocolate and I know she eats Fruity Pebbles every day, I asked her again, and then she said Fruity Pebbles. 14. I had to ask her what her favorite thing to do when it wasn't winter to get the second answer. 15. I was shocked she didn't say Sprite. 18. I had to ask her if she was sure about cereal and with a little "reminding" from me, she said strawberry skinny pancakes, which I made for her on her birthday (otherwise, it is usually normal ones). 20. She always answers this question this way except she usually says a regular doctor. I think I heard a conversation with somebody at her birthday party about being an animal doctor. 21. She didn't understand the question, but she does love crafts!

And for posterity's sake, I want to say that Korri says she is going to have two children; one named Lucy and one name Santa (and Santa is naughty, naturally!).

Click here to view her responses from last year.

She had a fabulous 4th birthday. Her party was My Little Pony themed. I let her pick out the design of her cake and even Finn said he loved it (and that is saying something for a 6 year old boy!). The sprinkled number and the rainbows were new techniques for me and I think they turned out great. She picked a "pizza bar" for the food, which means Jim par-baked 50 individual pizza crusts and people got to put whatever they wanted on it. I think it went over well.


All the other pictures are on my camera, which I haven't uploaded yet. I guess that is next on my to do list!

Tuesday, February 3

F & K Well Childs

We had Finn's 6 year and Korri's 4 year well child appts on Friday. All five of us went, which was interesting given the exam rooms aren't very big! Overall, both kids are doing great, which is always great to hear.

I'll start with Finn.

Height: 43.5" (17%) (20th last April)
Weight: 48.8 lbs (68%) (60the last April)
BMI: 94%

I think his height percentile is slightly down from last year (I think it was between 20 and 25%). His weight has held fairly steady for the last few years right around the 60-65%. But because he is shorter, his BMI is probably always going to be high. The doctor was not at all concerned about it.

We talked about some moles on Finn's back (they have a halo around them) but apparently this is fairly common and nothing to worry about. I also pointed out that Finn has a "divot" on his right ear that he HATES getting cleaned out. She said they COULD do something about it but to just encourage him to clean it and it should be fine. That is all well and good until I tried to clean it after swimming on Saturday and he FREAKED out. So frustrating.

The other big thing we talked about was Finn's muscle tone. He has always had low muscle tone but I'd kind of forgotten about it or lulled myself into thinking it was better. Until I watched him play basketball with his peers. He was noticeably weaker when it came to shooting the ball (all the other boys could at least get the ball to the rim and Finn wasn't even close). She had him do a few rudimentary skill tests (balance on one foot, hop on one foot, skip, etc) and he did fine on those. She said his balance and coordination are fine but suggested that we have a Physical Therapy evaluation done to assess his muscle tone. That way we KNOW where he's at and we can decide what to do once we have that information. I am waiting for the order to go through to make that appointment. Happily, it will be at Gillette, where Finn went for the first two years of his life, so we are familiar with it (it is just a further drive now!). I'll update once we have that evaluation done. He doesn't need any shots until he is 11, so he was happy to hear that!

Now on to Korri.

Height: 41.25" (82%) (69th last year)
Weight: 44.8 lbs (95%) (84th last year)
BMI: 97%

As you may remember, her BMI has always been a bit of an issue. But we talked about it and the doctor reassured me that a high BMI doesn't mean a child is over weight. She said it sounds like she eats well and is active, which is more important than BMI. Plus, looking at her you wouldn't think she weighs too much. But it is something to keep in mind and I continue to push things that are "healthy for her body" as she likes to say. I wonder which well child it will be when Korri is the same size as Finn. I think it is coming. We talked about her dry skin, which she said to keep doing what we are doing (plus, it is SO much better than it has been in the past).

The other thing we talked about was Korri's right hand. She picks the skin and nails on her right hand fingers. So much so, that I haven't had to clip her nails in months on that hand. The doctor just asked Korri why she does it (she completely leaves her left hand alone). I can't remember what she said but the doctor told her to let them be so mommy could clip them, too. We will see. The doctor wasn't overly concerned about Korri sucking her thumb other than it spreading more germs. She said studies show that it does NOT help for parents or caregivers to reminder her to take it out, either. And eventually, she will stop for any number of reasons, including peer pressure. So, we will see. She also said wetting the bed at night is perfectly normal and I'm not concerned about it because I know she CAN stay dry, it is a matter of it being important enough to her. I have a feeling it will be coming soon, especially since she was practically night trained a year ago! She didn't need any shots at this point (even though I'd prepped her just in case) as all of the ones she needs are for kindergarten. I think I might split them all up so she doesn't have to get them all at her 5 year well child, though.

I think I covered it all. I should really do the recap right away, but we were a bit busy last week! Healthy kids make for a happy momma!