Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Happy Belated Birthday to Me

Yesterday was my birthday. It was a great birthday, (well, except for the trip to the dentist) with four beautiful little "presents" in the house. Amelia sang "Happy Birthday" to me. Well, technically she sang, "Happy birthday to us," but close enough.

On Monday, Jeff took me out to dinner thanks to Sarah and Jamie who came and watched the kids for the evening. The restaurant was packed! I had no idea it would be so crazy on a Monday, especially as today is New Year's Eve. The meal was disappointing, but as I said to Jeff, it was really about being out of the house and enjoying each other's company. I told the waiter the meal wasn't very good when he came to ask if we were done and when the bill came he had comped half of it. That was a nice surprise.

The boys are 12 weeks old today, and having been working on a birthday present of their own for Mommy -- sleeping through the night! We aren't quite there, but getting closer. They have been pushing their 1:30 feeding to 3:30 or even 4:30 a.m. since the day after Christmas.

Today's weigh-in showed the boys at:

Samuel - 11 lbs. 1 oz.
Isaac - 9 lb. 13 oz.
Alex - 11 lb. 11 oz.

Everyone's gaining weight well, though Isaac's still got some catching up to do! They are all smiling and working on rolling over. We're done with the chicken pox, except for the last of the healing for Sam. Thank heavens that's over, and it only took five weeks!

As we close out 2008, I have to say that this has been an amazing year. We certainly had no idea what was in store for us at this time last year. We had an incredibly healthy triplet pregnancy that gave us three big, beautiful boys. And if that weren't enough, their birth has brought so many new and wonderful people into our lives, and strengthened our bond with many of the people we already knew. The year has definitely brought us multiple blessings, and each and every one of you can count yourselves among those blessings.

May you ALL be blessed with multiple blessings in the New Year.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Decorating the Cwismas Twee

I'm a little slow on this post, but it's been a busy Christmas for us. This was the first year that Amelia helped decorate the Christmas tree. She loved helping. Every time she picked up an ornament to hang she sang, "Oh, Cwismas twee, oh, cwismas twee..."

Despite the fact that she sang her version of the last half of that line a few hundred times, we couldn't catch what she was singing well enough to interpret it. Here's the video. You tell us what you think she's singing. Sorry it's so long, but my video editing software keeps giving me error messages.

I did finally have to put the extra ornaments away, because Amelia believed that if there were still ornaments in the box, the tree wasn't done.

I say this every year, but the tree looks absolutely beautiful. I think it's even prettier for the fact that the bottom couple of feet are far more heavily decorated than the rest of it.

It's A Wonderful Life

We had a great Christmas in our house. How about you?

The boys' gift to Mom & Dad was to sleep until 5:30 this morning. Well, Alex and Sam's gift, anyway. Isaac ate at 1:30 a.m., but it was Grandma D's gift to us that she's been getting up in the middle of the night.

Unfortunately, Grandma D. did the same thing I did the first time they slept through the 1:30 a.m. feeding. She got up at 1:30 with Isaac and then sat up waiting on the other two. So, while the babes in the manger slept, Grandma D. kept watch...all through the wee hours of the morning. I'm sure she felt a real kinship with the angels on this Christmas morn.

Grandma D. with her grandsons: Sam, Isaac and Alex (11 weeks old).

Thankfully, Amelia didn't head straight for the gifts when she woke up at 7ish, so we were able to give Grandma a few hours of sleep. Then it was time for presents. Amelia got a school bus pop-up tent from Mom & Dad and a dolly from Santa. She also got a large pink teddy bear. I didn't wrap it, and the look on her face when she saw it and I told her that yes, it was for her, was priceless! (Thanks, Val!)

Mommy & Amelia go for a ride on the bus early Christmas morn.

Amelia takes the bear for a ride.

Amelia shows Grandma D. her dolly.

Amelia was so thrilled with the bus, the bear and the dolly that she didn't even glance twice at her other gift from us, which was a suitcase with a few costumes and dress-up goodies like fairy wings and a wand. I left it there most of the day and then decided to put it away for her birthday in May. She clearly got enough without it, and had a great time playing with her other gifts.

It was a very Merry Christmas in our house. I hope it was in yours, too.

Christmas Blessings

It's early Christmas morning and Jeff and I just finished wrapping the last of the gifts between feeding babies. It's been a challenge to get everything together this holiday season!

Amelia, Isaac, Sam and Alex ~ Christmas 2008

We took Amelia to mass this evening while Grandma D. had some bonding time with the boys. As we listened to the story of Mary and Joseph and the birth of our Savior, I thought, "What a wonderful time of year to have a baby in the house." (Or in our case, three!) A baby is a great reminder of God's gift to the world -- his Son, who arrived as a helpless infant, born poor and laid in the manger.

Today will be full of presents and laughter and squeals of delight -- probably in just a few short hours. But we will also take time to remember the birth of Jesus, who is Wonder-Counselor, God-Hero, Father Forever, Prince of Peace.

Christmas blessings to you all,


Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Pox Update

Sam's coming to the end of his bout with chicken pox. He's all scabbed over and healing up. He had a couple pretty tough days Saturday and Sunday, but thankfully Grandma D. arrived Friday night, so there were extra hands to spend a lot of time holding him.

Alex also got the pox. They first showed up last week about Wednesday. I was braced for the worst since the doc said that cases tend to get progressively worse as they run through the family. But, Alex has about 40 chicken pox total -- about the same as Isaac. Poor Sam got enough chicken pox for all three boys.

Sam may still be a spotted pup on Christmas Day, but at least we'll never have to worry about chicken pox with the boys again.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Jingle Bell Joy

I believe that you can seek to be happy, but true joy is a gift.

Joy is something that comes over us unexpectedly and overwhelms us, fills our hearts to the brim. While happiness can last, joy captures our hearts for but a few glorious moments at a time. Sometimes our joy comes in big events, like weddings and births, but often it comes in much smaller, less momentous packages: like a child's Christmas program.

Tonight was Amelia's first Christmas program. It was classic, from her yelling "Hi," to her daddy to half the kids singing the verse of "Jingle Bells" while the other half kept singing the chorus. Here they are:

Wishing you your own special Christmas joys,


Saturday, December 20, 2008

Cold Coffee

When I was growing up, my mother was forever looking for her coffee cup. She'd set it down to tend a child or get busy doing something around the house and leave it somewhere. By the time she remembered and found the coffee, it was cold. So, into the microwave it would go. I'll bet there were days she reheated that cup fifty times.

Back then, I didn't understand how she could continually lose track of her cup and why it was always cold. I do now.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Mean Santa

Amelia is not a sleeper. She never has been. The first time she slept through the night she was 10 months old. It wasn't until she was 18 months old that she'd sleep through the night with any consistency -- maybe 3 nights out of 7, if we were lucky. Now part of the problem was reflux, but part is just Amelia being Amelia.

Amelia in her crib. Nine months old, Feb. 2007. Wide awake, as usual!

Amelia's sleeping habits have gotten a lot better as she's gotten older, but she still wakes up a lot at night. We're just grateful that now she can go back to sleep on her own or with minimal help from us.

But lately, Amelia's back to her old tricks. She's been waking up three and four times a night, sometimes asking for a pacifier (would it be wrong of me to duct tape it to her hand?), sometimes having a conversation with herself, and sometimes -- this is my favorite -- screaming. When she screams one of us will go in to see what's wrong. Generally she answers that question with, "I don't know." UGH! I love you child, but I am at my wits' end with you on this sleeping thing!

So the other night inspiration struck. Amelia and I had a little conversation. We were reading "Twas The Night Before Christmas" and I showed her how the children in the book were asleep. Then I told her that Santa couldn't come to her house and leave her a present unless she was sleeping. I told her that since she wakes up all the time at night, he won't know when to come. Then I told her that she wouldn't get a present from Santa unless she started to sleep all night long.

Amelia looked at me for a minute and then said, "OK, Mama." I looked back into her big blue eyes and hoped I hadn't just traumatized her for life. Then I started to panic about what I would do if she didn't sleep at night. Surely Santa would still have to leave her a present. Maybe on the front porch since he couldn't come in?

Fortunately, I didn't have to figure all that out, because that night Amelia slept for 11 1/2 hours. The next night she slept 11. And she's slept through the night for the last five nights.

Santa may be mean, but mommy's a genius.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Seeing Spots

You asked, so here are the pictures of Sam's chicken pox. And yes, those are pink mittens on his hands. His sister's baby mittens were all we could find to keep him from trying to scratch. I think they are cute, and besides, they match his calamine lotion.

While Sam looks pretty miserable, he must not feel too badly since he's been a pretty good baby the past few days.

Alex has started coming out in spots now too. Hopefully he won't be any worse than Sam, and will be like both his brothers and avoid the fever altogether. In a couple weeks we should be all done with this plague for good. Keep sending non-itchy thoughts our way!

Monday, December 15, 2008

Spots, Round 2

On Sunday we woke up to find spots appearing on Sam. Here comes the chicken pox, round two! So much for the pediatrician's assurance that if the other boys didn't have them by now they wouldn't get them. It looks like Sam's getting a pretty good case, but so far he hasn't been too miserable.

We did get out on Sunday when our neighbor and her three daughters came over to babysit for the day so Jeff and I could go do our Christmas shopping. It was so nice of them, and we got nearly everything done. I have a couple more small things to take care of and I'll have to stand in line at the post office this week, but then there's just the wrapping to do. And I always enjoy the wrapping.

Sorry to be so spotty on posts. (HA! No pun intended, but that was a good one!) 'Tis the season, and I've had to sacrifice blogging for all things Christmas -- trees, decorations, presents and more. There's a post coming with video of Amelia decorating the tree that's worth the wait.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Two Month Checkup

I can hardly believe we had the boys at the pediatrician's office today for their two-month checkup. They are all doing great, though Isaac needs to bulk up a bit to keep up with his brothers. Here are the stats:

Sam - 9 lb. 14 oz.
Isaac - 8 lb. 13 1/2 oz. (You know you're little when they'll give you that extra half ounce!)
Alex - 10 lb. 3 oz.

The doctor was happy with everyone's progress. I was happy that the boys were so good today.

Because everyone's been sick and we're still waiting to see if Sam and Alex are going to get the chicken pox, we opted to wait a couple weeks to do this round of vaccinations. The doc was very hopeful that Sam and Alex may not get the chicken pox if we haven't seen any spots yet. Here's hoping!

Now we won't have to see the doctor again for a routine checkup until six months. It's still amazing that these guys have had hardly any special care since they were born. Now if we can just get through cold and flu season, we'll be in great shape.

Hallelujah! Hallelujah!

If I hadn't spent nearly three and a half hours sleeping in a chair in the wee hours of this morning, I would be creative and insert the actual Hallelujah Chorus or YouTube video of it being sung in this post.

Why am I celebrating sleeping in a chair from 1:30 a.m. until 4:45 a.m.? Because I got up to feed the boys at 1:30, their usual feeding time, and they didn't wake up until 4:45 a.m. That's a whole seven hours between feedings. SEVEN! [Feel free to sing the Hallelujah chorus here to compensate for my lack of creativity. Thanks.]

Yes, I should have gone back to bed. Yes, they won't do this consistently for a while. But, this is proof that they CAN do it and that's good enough for me right now.

So, if you'll excuse me, I'm going to bask in this glimmer of hope for a few seconds before I catch some ZZZs.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Where Would We Be Without Family?

Aunt Susie left on Sunday, but not before she got "the" picture taken and had a chance to get in some good play time with Amelia.

Aunt Susie holds the boys (L to R: Sam, Isaac and Alex) while Amelia stands by ready to help.

Jeff and Susie with Alex, Sam and Isaac.

Amelia and Aunt Susie had an M&M party in Amelia's room on Saturday evening. I sure hope they got all those M&Ms off the carpet! They certainly had a good time, though Susie could have eaten a little more chocolate just to save us all from Amelia's little sugar buzz.

Amelia and Aunt Susie have an M&M party in Amelia's room.

Amelia came out of her room to report to us that Susie was getting her in trouble. We weren't clear on how Susie was getting her in trouble, but the statement came complete with a guilty look that made us all laugh.

Like all of our visitors, Susie left tired, but completely smitten. I'm sure she'll be back again soon. (I hope!) We've been so lucky to have so many family members willing to come lend a helping hand. All of them would tell you that we don't let them off easy while they are here. But it sure is nice to have company for those middle of the night feedings!

It's good to be an aunt!

Oh, Christmas Tree

With Aunt Susie here to watch the boys, we took the opportunity to take Amelia to the tree farm to get our Christmas tree. It was, of course, snowing and one of the coldest days of the year -- 11 degrees with the wind chill. We bundled up and made fast decisions!

Daddy and Amelia at the Christmas tree farm.

Amelia enjoyed seeing the "reindeer" and playing in the snow.

Amelia and the "reindeer."

Amelia did not enjoy falling in the snow. She fell just before we took this picture with her next o a tree just her size. She was very concerned about getting the snow off the seat of her pants.

Amelia next to "her" tree -- a 3.5 footer that was just taller than her.

Now if only the elves would come decorate the tree for me...

Friday, December 5, 2008

Sleep, Interrupted

Last night was going to be a big night for Jeff and me. With his sister Susie here and Amelia's sitter, Sarah, coming for an overnight, we were planning on a full night's sleep. Bliss! Then at 1 a.m. the cry came from Amelia's room, "Daddy!"

Ten minutes later came the horrible sound of a small body ridding itself of supper. Amelia threw up all over herself, her blankie and her daddy. Why did it have to be on a night when she ate a hot dog? On the plus side, as I am in week three of this cold I still have no sense of smell, which was a distinct advantage last night.

At least we weren't trying to deal with a sick child and feed triplets at the same time, thanks to the help we had on hand.

In the end, it was a short-lived virus. She had no breakfast, a very light lunch and a four hour nap today and woke up right as rain.

Maybe we'll get to sleep through the night some other time.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Two Months Old

Yesterday the boys were two months old. They are celebrating by cooing and smiling at everyone. Heartbreakers already!

Their Aunt Susie is here to visit, so the boys got dressed up in her honor. So far they are being pretty good to her, and we're all thankful for that! Amelia is having a great time getting reacquainted with Susie, too.

Sam, Isaac and Alex 12/4/08

This week's Wednesday weigh-in showed the following:

Sam - 9 lb. 5 oz.
Isaac - 8 lb. 10 oz.
Alex - 9 lb. 15 oz.

Everyone's put on just about 4 pounds since we brought them home from the hospital. (Except Mom. She's lost weight!) We can't believe how much they've grown already. When we have a minute (ha!) we will get another picture of the boys in their crib to compare to the pictures from their first week.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Dear Santa

The other evening we had this conversation with Amelia at suppertime.

"What do you want Santa to bring you for Christmas?"

"A present," answered Amelia.

"What kind of present?" we asked.

"A red one."

May all our wishes for Christmas be so simple.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Was That Gucci?

Yesterday I mentioned that I witnessed a moment of cosmic justice that will keep me laughing for months. Here's the story.

Isaac and I and a gazillion other people were in the pediatrician's office at 4:45 waiting to be squeezed in. It was the Monday after the holiday weekend, so most of us had enjoyed the holidays with our sick children. The general atmosphere was one of deep despair and there was much wailing (children) and gnashing of teeth (parents).

Into this pit of misery walks a super-put-together mom with her freshly manicured nails, her Prada head scarf, her skinny jeans and her Gucci handbag. (If it was from Target, like mine, I'd call it a purse. But, as it was Gucci, "handbag" seems more appropriate.) Now I have nothing against people who are stylish. OK, I do, especially when I'm sitting in the waiting room trying to remember when I last had a shower, and then feeling even worse when I realize it was that morning, and I just couldn't remember.

Mrs. Put-Together looks at all of us and cops the attitude. With a sniff she directs her child, who was also completely put together in a cute little sweater vest and expensive little shoes, to "sit over there in the corner away from all these sick people."

I'm thinking, "Look lady, these are the doctors' sick appointment hours, so you wouldn't be here if your kid wasn't sick. It's not like we have the plague." Then I looked at poor, little spotted Isaac and thought, "OK, maybe my kid has the plague, but not everyone's does."

She settled into her seat with a flounce and her cell phone started to ring. As she's digging in her Gucci handbag for the phone (shouldn't a bag that fancy have a pocket just for your cell?) her kid turns around to face her and says, "Mama!"

She's too busy digging for her phone to see it, but we all saw it coming. As she snapped, "What!" the kid threw up all over her and right into the Gucci handbag. We all suppressed our laughter as her phone gave a few last pathetic, gasping rings and died in the pool of vomit that was now gracing the bottom of her bag.

It was truly a moment of cosmic justice, karmic payback, a little chuckle from God -- take your pick. Unfortunately, I didn't get to see how the drama ended because Isaac and I finally got called back, but I did enjoy the beaming smiles on the faces of all the other parents in the waiting room as I followed the nurse to the back.

It was not the mom's put-togetherness (I can make up words. I'm hardly sleeping here.) that bugged me, it was her attitude. And it was satisfying to see that attitude so richly rewarded. Judge ill of me if you want, but I figure I did my part in not enjoying the moment too much by not laughing out loud when it happened.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Seeing Spots

Today I took Isaac to the doctor's office to confirm what I already knew. He has chicken pox. He undoubtedly got them from me when I had the shingles (which are still painful, by the way).

To quote my earlier post on having shingles: CRAP.

Let's see...
7 days of pox appearing PLUS
7 days of pox scabbing over PLUS
7 days of healing TIMES
3 boys (who, I'm sure, will get this consecutively rather than collectively) EQUALS
63 days of chicken pox.

63 DAYS! May I repeat, "CRAP!"

I'm tempted to just rub Isaac all over his brothers so we can get this over with, but we can only hold so many fussy babies at one time. So far his case is mild, and he hasn't even had a fever, so keep your fingers crossed that we have mild cases all around.

Fortunately we already had our Christmas pictures taken. Though we should have some great shots of our own of the polka dot boys come Christmas day.

Despite the potential threat of two months of chicken pox, something happened today that will make me laugh for a long time. It was cosmic justice, karma at its finest, and little chuckle from God. And it deserves a post all its own, so stay tuned...