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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.

Tuesday, May 31

Memorial Day

Today was Memorial Day. Thankfully, I don't have any first hand experience with losing somebody close to me who was in the military and died in the service of our country. But as I've gotten older, the significance of this day of remembrance has increased for me and now I feel that paying homage in a small way, is the least we can do.

That being said, the three kiddos and I walked uptown for the Memorial Day parade and service. The weather was BEAUTIFUL and the kids barely complained about how far it was on the way there. The "parade" is barely enough to be called that, but still is enough to get the kiddos excited (even if there isn't any candy, it isn't THAT kind of parade!). We sat in the wrong spot (that's what you get for trying something different than last year) but while the parade didn't go in front of us, it stopped right beside us at the park where the service was being held.

The service was a little too long for my kiddos but overall, they did well. What freedom is Mac celebrating? Finally getting out of the stroller!

The gun salute and the canons firing were a bit abrupt and loud for my boys, but they managed. About ten seconds after it was over, Mac's lip started quivering and he said, "Loud, momma." Yes, it was Baby, but it's all done.

The walk home didn't fair as well as the walk there. They were tired. It was significantly hotter. The slight breeze was at our backs. The "short cut" I took was actually a "long cut" and there was no shade the whole way! Oops. Considering all that, they did pretty well. We stopped once in the bit of shade we could find.

We made it home. Later Borns and Grapentines came over for a cook out and pool party. Again, we could not have ordered better weather and all eight (yes EIGHT, ranging from 8 to 1) kids played really well together and the adults could actually relax...for exactly fifteen seconds at a time!

So this Memorial Day, let's remember that all gave some but some gave all. Remember them and their ultimate sacrifice today.

Sunday, May 29

Sunday Funday

We had an amazing time at Auntie Becca's today, even if Austin wasn't there :( My whole family was there (minus Austin, obviously, Alex, Jordan and Grace) and some of Pete's family. The kids played so well together and I'm pretty sure they each put about 10 miles on the bikes they were each riding! Needless to say, my kiddos were OUT before we got to the freeway.

As always, Auntie NaeNae graciously agreed to cut hair. It had been 6 weeks since my boys' cuts and while I tried to trim around the ears (with my KITCHEN scissors!!!), the hair over the ears was driving me nuts!

I was not looking forward to Mac's turn because he was TIRED! He'd been running around all afternoon and it was now early evening and he hadn't eaten much for dinner (although, let's be honest, with his snacking, he probably wasn't TOO hungry, but I didn't know for sure!). AND...we decided (auntie and I) that this would be his first "big boy" hair cut, which means with the clippers! Korri remembered from last time that he liked when we scrape the comb over the cape and sing songs. So we did that. He was a CHAMP! We told him auntie was going to tickle his hair with clippers and he thought that was hilarious. My baby doesn't look like a baby any more!!!

What a difference! Now he looks even MORE like his big brother. Thank you, auntie, for taking time out of your holiday weekend to make my boys handsome. We really appreciate it!!

Finn opted for a faux hawk, which is a good look on him (slightly military when not styled and SHORT, especially around the ears!).

When we got there, Korri told Auntie that she was NEVER going to cut her hair again. Well, when everybody else was getting cuts, she started to change her mind, but I told her that yes, she could cut her hair but no, not tonight! Because I knew she really didn't want to and just wanted to partake in all the fun. Her hair lives another day.

Saturday, May 28

Schools out forever

Yup, Korri again! In the words of Alice Cooper, "School's out for summer. School's out forever." Korri's last day of preschool was yesterday. Forever. No more preschool. She is now officially a Kindergartner. Same as last year, they have the parents come for the last hour of school for snacks and some songs. Mac came with (how do SAHMs do things without the Little?) because both parents were supposed to come. I asked for permission ahead of time AND he wasn't the only sibling there (thankfully). He was hilarious and Mrs. Pam said she can't wait to have him in her class...which is NEXT fall (2017)!!!! Crazy.

Anyway, I digress. Here is the side-by-side of first and last day of Pre-K. She chose to wear the same dress as last night for graduation. I figured who cares?!?! She looks cute. I wish the one she wore on the first day still fit her. I LOVE that dress.

She's grown up, for sure. Mac was an unwilling participant in the pictures.

It wouldn't be Korri without a ballet pose!

She got her hair did; she picked a french braid.

It was raining and cool, so she grabbed a sweatshirt at the last minute (okay, maybe only mommy was cold, but it made me feel better!).

I told her after the bus came, the next time she got on a bus, she would be going to Kindergarten (because we brought her home with us from school).

And Korri with her teachers; Mrs. Pam, Miss Alycia, and Miss Stephanie.

And Korri with her best friend, Neve. These two are connected at the hip!

It was a good day. I really can't believe she is off to Kindergarten in the fall. Thankfully I have the summer to let it sink in. Also, thankfully, we are super busy with activities this summer, so I don't HAVE to think about it too  much!!

Both last year and this year, Mrs. Pam read the book "I Knew You Could!" where the Little Engine That Could goes from "I think I can" to "I knew I could." It basically says that no matter what you come up across in life, anything is possible if you put your mind to it. I LOVE this book. I didn't cry this year when listening to it...probably because Mac LOVED it and was giving play-by-play during it...which was adorable, too.

Kid, you'll move mountains!

Thursday, May 26

Here I Go

I guess it's all about Korri lately! Today was Korri's preschool graduation. I've never been involved in a "graduation" before since Finn didn't go to preschool and our Kindergarten doesn't do one. Anyway, seriously, it is the CUTEST thing ever! There was 31 kids graduating tonight, which is a HUGE group of five year olds...and they did great.

They sang four songs for us and then received their diplomas. Other than not being able to see (folding chairs in the gym), it was super cute. While I obviously honestly can't believe she has reached this milestone, at the same time, she is SO ready for Kindergarten. My Baby Grill is growing up (or IS grown up, if you ask her!). Tomorrow is her official last day of preschool (weird I know that it is after graduation but I didn't schedule it!). Jim, Mac and I will join her for the last hour of it. I hope I hold it together. I did tonight. No promises for tomorrow.

This kid is going places and will accomplish more than we can even imagine.

This is her "When I Graduated from Preschool" sign (zoom in to see her answers!):

Oh and you'll notice her very cute and grown up dress. She conned me into buying that today at Target. Hey, it isn't every day you graduate!

The poem on the program was perfect:

Here I Go
Get ready, get set because here I go.
I’m ready to show you all I know!
I’ve graduated Preschool and now I’m done.
I’ve laughed and learned and it’s been fun!

Kindergarten, kindergarten, ready, set, go!
I’m ready to show you all that I know!
Get ready kindergarten because I’m on my way.
I’ve graduated from Preschool, hip, hip, hooray!

Saturday, May 21

Uptown Girl

Today was Korri's second annual dance recital. Her ballet song was Uptown Girl and her tap song was Kitty in a Basket. She told me she was a little nervous because her teacher doesn't stand in front to help them for the recital and she just didn't feel like she knew it well enough!

Alas, keeping in mind her age group is 3-5 year olds...she did great! I'm so proud of her starting something in September and working hard all year and having a recital to show all her work. Teaches character. We will get the video of it later this summer, but for now, here are some pictures.


Brothers waiting patiently for the first show to start!
Also, a super big thank you to all who came to watch and support her: Grandma, Auntie NaeNae, Uncle Craig, NeNe, Memere and Stacey! It meant the world to her. She is one lucky girl and she knows it!

Monday, May 16

Baby Steps 3K 2016

It is that time of year again...time to fund-raise for an important cause: helping give all babies a healthy start.

This year we are raising funds for Baby Steps 3K which supports Children's of Minnesota Neonatal Intensive Care Unit and services. As you know, our son, Finnegan, was born 14 weeks early and spent his first 85 days at Children's.

We are asking for your support. Please either join our team and walk with us on Saturday, June 4 (it is a beautiful walk around the MN State Fair grounds) or give the gift of a donation so that other children just like Finn can receive the best care possible.

It's easy and secure - just click here to make your donation on our secure personal donation website. A donation of ANY size is greatly appreciated and WILL make a difference.

Your gift is priceless to patients, families and staff at Children's. Thank you for your continued support!

Tuesday, May 3

To go or not to go? That is the question.

It's been a while. I guess that's what happens when life is happening!

Anyway, I didn't post this the first time because it was a fluke. The second time, I starting thinking it could be a "thing" but didn't dare hope. Now after tonight being the third night, I have to admit it might be real...

Mac has gone poop or potty in the potty chair THREE days in a row! By his own request and insistence. Only for daddy...of course!

My mind tells me not to get excited. Not to think that this child will be easy. That he is WAY too young. Boys potty train WAY later than girls. But here is he, demanding to sit on the potty chair. Insisting, really.

Mac has been "asking" to go potty on the potty chair for a while, but it is usually when I'm going and I just give him toilet paper and he loves to "wipe" and throw it in the toilet. Easy, right? Well, a couple weeks ago, he stopped asking and is now DEMANDING to go on the potty chair. But I'm lazy and KNOW that boys don't train this early and REFUSED to encourage it. I mean, who has time to sit with him ten times a day for half an hour each time? Not this momma, that's for sure.

Then on Sunday, I had a church meeting that started at 6pm and at 6:20pm I received this text from Jim: "Baby went poop on the potty chair." One minute later I received this text: "And pee now too." Of course I'm freaking out in this meeting, knowing he'd be in bed by the time I got home and wanting so desperately to share in this moment with them. But it was a fluke, so it doesn't matter.

Then last night, Mac was super (I mean SUPER!) crabby after dinner, so Jim had enough and said it was bedtime and brought him upstairs. Well, the next thing I know, Jim hollers, "Baby just went potty, again!!!!" I ran upstairs and of course (me being ME!), took a picture...of them dumping it out!

I didn't even know he was TRYING to go!

So this morning, he ALWAYS has a poopy diaper when I get him up and he didn't! So I thought, now it's my turn! We sat on the potty chair for what felt like FOREVER and nothing. So I praised him for trying and got him dressed. Then we went to Costco and after we got back, he'd pooped a little in his diaper and DEMANDED to go potty. Okay, this time for sure. At this point in the day, he's well under his normal output. Nope, nothing. I mean, how many books can I read, cars can he push and block towers can he build while sitting on the potty?!?! Honestly? Nothing. Praise for trying, but I'm done. Daddy is clearly lying at this point, right?!?!


I mean, I even got Korri's potty chair out for Reagan, so she could go "potty" with Mac. Nope, nothing.

Korri and I leave to go to gymnastics tonight and I get this text at 5:56pm from Jim, "Mac went pee again." My response? "I guess you're in charge of potty training." Seriously!! I know it is far from "done" but it IS a start and it is about a year sooner than I thought it would be. While my fingers are crossed that he figures it out and "this is it" my head knows it probably isn't. But it COULD be! Regardless, he amazes us all the time, every day. He is so much fun to be around and have around. I just hope he amazes us in this category, too...since potty training is my second least favorite parenting job.

After teeth. I don't do teeth!!