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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, November 19

Why me?

Why is it always me? I pulled yet another tooth this morning:

This one was #5. To be honest, it was literally hanging on by a thread, so I just had to grab it, but still! I think we should be good to go for a while now on the tooth front. And now we know what Finn will be asking Santa for Christmas: All I want for Christmas is my two front teeth! He looks so stinkin' cute!!!

And to add to the cuteness, today is the 50th day of school. So we put together this outfit (the hair was his idea):

And no, as you can see, I did NOT roll up a pack of candy cigarettes in his sleeve...per his father's recommendation! I think he would fit right in with the Stand By Me gang.

For posterity's sake, through lots of tears and fussing, Finn lost #4 (and by lost, I mean I had to pull it out!) on Nov 15:

Saturday, November 7

Walking everywhere

We had Mac's school/PT team at our house Thursday morning. I had a good conversation with his teacher because his PT was held up at school and didn't make it until the last five minutes. I told his teacher that I thought he was walking about 40% (and crawling 60%). He is so stable that he is like a Weeble (he wobbles but doesn't fall down!). When he does fall down, he then prefers to crawl. His PT said he just needs practice so she isn't coming back until January!

However, even in the last 36 hours, he is walking more and more. He just lets go of what he is holding and walks over. Or he gets up in the middle of the room and walks over to whatever he can hold onto. I would say he is walking closer to 60%, with that percentage increasing all the time! I love seeing him walking like it is no big deal. Also makes me realize my baby is growing up before my eyes.

From Videos

This is an example of him walking across the whole room! PT said to have bare feet as much as possible, or until the floor is too cold.

I also talked with his teacher about his communication. Clearly his receptive is fine (I can give him clear instructions and he usually complies...put the ball on your head; go over to your high chair, let's go upstairs, etc). She said his vocabulary should explode over the next couple months but in the meantime, to keep mimicking him, narrating everything we do (now I'm putting the milk in the pan and now I'm stirring it, etc.) but also to help him with letter sounds (saying, "ga, ga, ga" etc). No reasons for concerns right now but (as always!) something to work on.

He shows interest in using a spoon but just "pokes" the food with it. If I put food on it, he will put it in his mouth. His appetite has changed...I think it is a control thing for him: you can't make me eat that. Oh, and he "crumples" every food that he can. Frustrating for me, but I just need to re-evaluate my expectations.

Mac assists me when I change him by lifting up his foot to put his pants on and putting his arms in his arm holes of his shirt.  He can accurately point to nose, mouth and head. He understands ear (sadly, because of having to take his temp so often, I think.) I talk about his "hands, toes and feet" every time I dress him, so I wouldn't be surprised if he actually knows them as well.

He LOVES books but still doesn't have a very long attention span and likes to turn pages (and often gets frustrated by ANYTHING!). One of his favorite activities is going down the stairs (yes, by himself!), playing down there for a couple minutes and then coming back up (so yes, he can go up and down independently!). I think he thinks he is either a super big boy OR that he is doing something naughty and getting away with it! Just recently, he "discovered" cars...or more accurately, is now obsessed with them...almost as much as balls; almost.

The "stink eye" comes out often (a frown when he is frustrated or doesn't get his way!).He JUST learned in the last day or so how to "blow kisses!" It might be the cutest thing EVER! Also, if you ask him for a hug, he'll lean his head in for YOU to give him a hug...also super cute.

He only uses his pacifier for sleeping and long car rides. While I'm happy he's weaned down to "just" these times, I have mixed feelings about him having one at all. I know the earlier you take it away, the "easier" it is...but...he goes to bed SO well with it. I think Jim's convinced me to just keep things how they are for now. We'll see! Mac sleeps approximately 12 hours at night (7 to 7, give or take) and takes two naps a day, usually for about an hour and a half each. So he needs a lot of sleep and he has clear queues when he is tired and I try to listen to them for when it is nap time.

Overall, Mac is changing and growing every minute of every day. Have I mentioned lately how much I love this age? It has its frustrations (as every age does!) but it is so much fun to see him growing up and learning new things (even if it makes mommy's heart a little sad, too!).

Sunday, November 1

Happy Halloween!

I think yesterday might have been the best Halloween! You really couldn't ask for better weather (yes, it was still cold but it is Oct 31 in Minnesota after all...and I think it was around 50-55 degrees when we set out, so not horrible at all). Also, I think we should start a petition to always have Halloween on Saturday! It made it all so much easier and festive.

In the morning, while Jim took ALL THREE kids shopping, I baked banana bars and an apple pie. I was dreading the pie but both Jim and Dillon wanted it, so I trudged ahead, with very specific instructions from DeAnn (and maybe a few text questions from me during the making!!). But after all my angst, it turned out really good...but I still think I'm going to leave pie baking to the expert: DeAnn!!!

After maybe having a couple too many drinks the previous night, I could have used a nap in the afternoon, but there wasn't time. Oh, well. There was too much going on to be tired, anyway! DeAnn, Stacey, Dillon and Steve came over before to get ready and take pictures. Then Granum's (Anna, Nate, Mitchell, Nolan and Reagan) came over to go trick-or-treating with us! It was quite the group. Also note to self for next year: don't leave to trick or treat until 6pm! I always want to leave earlier since it is warmer and then you get done earlier, too...but nobody had their lights on when we started out!

As usual (and his preference), Jim stayed home cooking dinner and handing out candy. We made a pretty good loop around our neighborhood and the one behind ours. I love that my kids don't need a ton of candy. I mean, I really think that after they got about 10 pieces, they could have been done! I think we were back home by 6:30 (and we left around 5:30, I think...I clearly wasn't paying attention to the details).

Halloween pics:

I didn't get a pic of Stacey and Steve's costumes but they were pretty epic. Also, who said an angel can't have a beer while trick-or-treating?!?! The mandatory sorting took place after and I let the kids gorge themselves on candy...I mean, it's Halloween after all!!

After the candy inventory was taken, we had an AMAZING dinner of potato leek soup, cornish game hens, mashed potatoes, carrots and bread. Then my kids went to bed and we retired to the living room, in food comas to be sure. And then the cut-throat game of boys vs. girls Trivial Pursuit started (they really could make a reality show of us playing this game!). All was fine until the boys started to lose. Better watch out. AND...the girls won!! Totally legit and with a final answer of Wayne Gretzky (to be fair, I don't know if I could even name another NHL player!!). Better luck next time, boys!

Thank you to everybody who shared in this magical day with us. We all had so much fun. We hope you all had equally amazing Halloweens and that your little goblins arrived safely home after their candy quest with happy hearts and bellies full of their treasures!