Monday, June 30, 2008

22 Weeks and Growing Strong

Today marks the start of 22 weeks into this triplet pregnancy. I am now the same size I was when I delivered Amelia -- 41 inches around and 27 pounds of baby weight. It's hard to believe how quickly I have grown.

We are becoming cautiously optimistic about reaching the 24-week mark, which is viability for the babies. Of course, we hope to go well beyond that, but we'll get there in baby steps, if you will. I have another doctor's appointment on Wednesday, and they will do a big ultrasound to measure the babies and make sure everyone's growing well. My ribs have started to hurt again, so I assume someone in there is making themselves a little more room.

It's nearly 9 p.m., an hour past Amelia's bedtime and she's been bouncing in her crib since we put her down. Now she's up to use the potty. The part of me that's thrilled she's learning to use the potty is being cancelled out by the part of me that is NOT thrilled she's still awake. Please Lord, let the triplets sleep better than their big sister!

Sunday, June 29, 2008

A Shower in Triplicate

This shower was of the baby variety, not the Mother Nature variety, which we've had too much of lately! Two great friends of mine, Heather and Michi, hosted a wonderful baby shower for the triplets today, complete with a cake that had three little babies on it. Too cute!

There were lots of presents and lots of women catching up with each other and getting to know each other. And there was the toilet paper game -- to have everyone guess how many squares of toilet paper it would take to go around my waist. (Can you call it a waist when it's this big?) For the record, it took 10 squares. The closest guess was Martha's, and as she has twins herself, I think she may have had an inside track!

Jeff and I appreciate everyone's generosity, but what I appreciated most was getting to see so many friends, many of whom I don't see often enough. And, even more than that, we appreciate everyone's willingness to help. I keep telling everyone who offers that we have a "HELP!" list, so we won't forget they offered! We are adding names to the list all the time. And believe me, we will be calling!

When we set the date for the shower at the end of my 21st week, I crossed my fingers and said a prayer that I would still be on my feet by then. I am very grateful to be feeling so well and that everything has gone smoothly so far. And as Michi said so eloquently before we enjoyed the great food, "We pray that these babies are delivered in God's time." And they will be.

So a special thanks to Heather and Michi for hosting and to everyone who helped us celebrate our triple blessing. You are all blessings in our lives.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Amelia and Bella

We have a special visitor today. Bella is one of my co-worker's little dog, and she is spending the night. Amelia went crazy when Bella arrived! She was jumping up and down and squealing, and Bella was equally excited. I think Bella got tired of Amelia sooner than Amelia got tired of Bella.

We put Bella in her cage when we were trying to get Amelia ready for bed, and Amelia sat in front of the cage and cried. She wanted Bella to come out and play. So after Amelia put on her jammies and had her bedtime snack we let Bella out to play a bit. The poor dog spent most of the time hiding behind my feet or Jeff's. She was all played out!

We had Amelia put Bella to bed so we could convince her to go to bed, too. She put Bella in her cage and gave her a treat. Then she sat down in front of the cage and read Bella a book.

video

Let me interpret a little bit. The book is called "No No, Yes Yes." Amelia's reading about "No no finger up the nose," and "No no eating the puppy food," (really, that's part of the book) and "Yes yes sit on potty," and "No no bonk on the head. Yes yes share toys." Then she tells Bella good night.

What a stitch!

Thursday, June 26, 2008

C'mon Over and Bring the Kids!

This evening we were outside playing with Amelia. Well, technically, Jeff was playing with Amelia. I was sitting in my lawn chair watching. It was a nice evening, so lots of people were out riding their bikes or walking and pretty soon we had a passel of kids playing in the yard while the parents chatted. That's one of the reasons we love our neighborhood.

Nice homes and yards are one thing, but you can't beat nice neighbors!

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

A Place to Lay Their Heads

Last weekend Jeff found the big bargain on Craig's List. Someone was closing a home daycare and had three wood cribs and two wood changing tables for sale. The whole lot was up for $160, so we jumped on it. Turns out they were missing some hardware, so we bought everything for $100. Add $10 worth of hardware, and it's still a bargain you can't beat.

Two of the cribs are identical, dark wood, and match one changing table. The other crib is light wood and matches the other changing table. They've seen a little use over the years, so Jeff's cleaning everything up and it will all get a fresh coat of white paint before going into the nursery.

As thrilled as I am about the bargain, I admit that it is a bit of a reality check to see THREE cribs in our garage.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Summer Memories of Fireflies

When Jeff and I got home from our date night/shopping adventure, Amelia was in her crib, but wide awake and bouncing up and down. So, we let her get up for a while, and when the fireflies came out, we took her outside to chase them.

Amelia LOVED the fireflies! She caught them and was tickled to show me how they were lighting up in her hands. If they would fly up higher than she could reach she'd yell, "Daddy, get it!" She ran all over the yard squealing and giggling. I honestly don't know who enjoyed it more, her or us. We took a little video, which I'll try to post later when I feel more ambitious and it's not so close to bedtime. The expression on her face was totally worth the tears she shed when we had to come in and go night-night.

That, my friends, is one of the great joys of having kids. And I'm looking forward to having four running around the yard instead of just one.

Who Designs Maternity Clothes?

I had to go buy a few more maternity clothes tonight, as I am quickly outgrowing what I have. Our Tuesday night sitter came, so Jeff and I went out together. I told him he could go to the bookstore and I'd call him when I was done, but he gamely went with me to the store. Of course, we spent most of our time there making fun of the clothes.

Seriously, who designs this stuff? Clearly they think a wild pattern will help distract the eye, and they might be right -- but then they ruin that plan by sticking a big bow right on top of the pregnant belly! Jeff wasn't sure if some of the patterns were hypnotizing him or giving him motion sickness. I had to agree.

I put on a green dress that looked pretty promising on the hanger. Jeff took one look and said, "Ho, ho, ho. Green Giant." I'm still laughing about that.

I threatened to put the pregnant belly prosthetic they provide for those over-eager first time mommies who go shopping for maternity clothes before they actually have a baby belly. As I already look nearly full-term, that would have really been something!

I did find a couple of things that looked good and fit, for now, but a little advice for all the designers out there.
  1. Clothes should not enhance a pregnant woman's Humpty Dumpty shape, but help disguise it a bit.
  2. Most of American women are fairly large and big-busted to begin with. So why do designers think that pregnant American women wear a B cup? If I see one more woman -- pregnant or not -- wearing an empire waisted shirt or dress with the seam that should go under the bust running right across the bust -- UGH! A little more room from shoulder to bust line would be nice.
  3. A few patterns that don't look like someone ate a Picasso and threw up would be nice.

I suppose it could have been worse. I could have been trying to buy a swimsuit.

Monday, June 23, 2008

A Little Stomach Bug

Today brings a little stomach bug to our family. Or at least, to Mom and Dad. Dad toughed it out at work, but Mom headed to the doctor's office to make sure the awful stomach ache that prompted a 3:30 a.m. call to the doctor was just a stomach ache and nothing more.

The babies are fine, but I was running a low grade fever and was nauseous, so the doctor sent me to the lab for some blood work to make sure it wasn't my liver or gall bladder acting up. I didn't get a call this afternoon, so it appears all is well. The doc suspects that the babies are starting to squish my stomach, so it's a little gastritis, but the fact that Jeff's got the same symptoms -- and no babies inside him -- probably means it's just a bug.

I did sleep for four hours today, and that helped. Hopefully I'll be ready to to return to work tomorrow.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

BIG Baby Inspiration

OK, check out this story. This mom gave birth to boy/girl twins that weighed a combined 23 pounds 1 ounce. Holy smokes! Divide that total by 3, and these triplets could be almost 7.5 pounds apiece. Go mama!

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20080620/ap_on_fe_st/odd_big_twins

Wow, 4:30 a.m. Is Early!

It's nearly 6 a.m. and I've been up with Amelia since 4:30 a.m. Jeff was up with her an hour before that. She took an early nap yesterday, and it ran a little long, but ugh. Who put the quarter in this child at 3:30 a.m.?

Despite eating tons of noodles and asparagus for supper, plus a cup of yogurt before bed, she was asking to eat. Maybe she's got the Very Hungry Caterpillar disease, like mommy.

I keep telling myself that someday Amelia will be a teenager and will sleep 16 hours at a time. Right now that's impossible to believe.

Worst part about this for me? No hope of caffeine to keep me going. I'll just have to look forward to the afternoon nap -- Amelia's and mine!

Friday, June 20, 2008

The Very Hungry Caterpillar

Amelia has a great children's book called The Very Hungry Caterpillar. It's by Eric Carle and it tells the story of a very little, very hungry caterpillar who eats and eats and eats his way through the book. At the end he's not hungry and he's not little either.

In the last two days, I find myself turning into the very hungry caterpillar. I have been forcing myself to eat because I know that I need to gain a healthy amount of weight to grow big, strong babies. But all of a sudden, I can't eat enough food.

Yesterday, I ate two scrambled eggs with toast, yogurt, an apple and a bowl of cereal -- all before lunch. At lunch I ate a salad, a ham and cheese sandwich and another apple. Then I ate an ice cream bar. Then I ate crackers and cheese. Then we had supper and I ate two pork chops, green beans and pasta. An hour later I ate a bowl of cereal. And I polished off the day at 9:30 p.m. with a tuna sandwich, chips and pickles.

Today was much the same. Within an hour of eating I was actually getting hungry and had to eat again. I ate and ate and ate and ate. There must be a growth spurt coming and look out -- I think it's going to be a big one!

At the end of the book, the caterpillar, of course, emerges from the cocoon as a butterfly. At the end of this, three new people will be emerging from the ever-expanding cocoon that I am becoming. Both miracles in their own right.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

A Little Pampering

A few days ago I realized that I can barely bend over enough to clip my toenails. While my loving husband volunteered to clip them for me, I decided to get a pedicure instead. So tonight, for 45 minutes my feet were soaked, lotioned, massaged, clipped and then polished. Nice! Especially after a day at home with a little one who had a stomach bug yesterday and last night.

Vomit in the car seat and an explosive diaper in the crib did not make a pleasant or restful night for anyone in the house. Fortunately the illness was short lived. Unfortunately, the attitude that came with feeling off lasted a little longer. But it's amazing what a few trips to the corner can do to adjust that attitude. By bath time our sweet Amelia was back and bedtime was a piece of cake. Now I just hope she can sleep through the night!

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

And, to the World's Greatest Husband

I would be remiss if I didn't mention Jeff, world's greatest husband and father, as part of my belated Father's Day tributes.

Honey, thanks for all the nights you slept with Amelia on your chest until we figured out it was the acid reflux that was keeping her up. Thanks for being willing to be silly with her, even when we're both frustrated with her two-year-old behavior. Thanks for playing in the sand, watching repeated episodes of the same cartoon, making the world's best macaroni and cheese (Kraft, for you non-parents and novices out there), handling a thousand "again" requests with a smile, giving baths and reading bedtime stories.

Thank you, too, for being unbelievably excited about having triplets on the way, especially when I get overwhelmed. Thank you for pulling out tiny baby clothes and grinning ear to ear at the thought of having babies in the house again. Thank you for taking over most of the household work without complaint as I get bigger and slower. And thank you for thinking that I'm beautiful even though I'm growing at a frightening rate.

I love you with all my heart, and there's no one in the world I would rather share this adventure with.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Belated Father's Day Tribute

Sunday was Father's Day, and my dad is the original Mr. Fix-it. He's always been there to answer my questions -- no matter how off-the-wall (see below) -- and offer advice.

At the risk of sounding crazy, here are just a few things that, over the years, I have called on my Dad to fix.
  • "Dad, I had a little car accident." His response: "Little? Can you pound it out yourself?" For the record, it was nowhere that little.

  • The general: "Why is my dishwasher/washing machine/car/etc...making that funny noise? I always think Dad enjoys these calls more for my description of the noise than anything else.

  • "Help! There's some kind of animal running around in my attic!" At this point I actually held the phone to the ceiling so he could hear what turned out to be two squirrels running the Indy 500 on the top of the kitchen wall.

  • "How do you build a retaining wall? I've started to tear the old one out already." OK, maybe that wasn't the best planning, but the project turned out great!

Add to that a plethora of questions about my car, my 401K, insurance, electrical mysteries, and a wide variety of house renovation projects, and you get the picture. Dad is my go-to guy when it comes to questions of all kinds.

When Dad comes to visit, he always acts as handyman, and over the years I learned that if I didn't give him a project, he'd find one himself. That's how he wound up cutting a hole in the roof of my house. "Your washing machine needs to be vented," he said. "It's gurgling." Well, of course the solution to that problem is to climb onto the roof and cut a hole, as opposed to my method of just ignoring the noise.

Whether he's answering questions, giving advice or getting his hands dirty on a house project for me, I always appreciate everything my dad does for me--and the fact that even when he has to laugh at my question, he is always willing to help.

Thanks, Dad!

Another Update from the Docs

I am happy to report nothing but good news from the latest doctor's appointment today. We're at 20 weeks now, so past the halfway point and everyone (mom included) is still going strong.

I have grown 10 inches around the middle to a 39-inch "waist." I also put on 21 pounds, which meets the "20 pounds in 20 weeks" rule of thumb, but falls a little short of the 30 recommended for someone with my body mass index. I'm still working on it though. In fact, I feel a milkshake coming on shortly. I'm measuring 28 weeks pregnant, so not quite full-term, yet.

The doctor did a quick ultrasound to peek in on the babies since it's so hard to determine whether he's hearing three distinct heartbeats or the same one more than once. What we saw was three very active babies with strong heartbeats. Two babies are head-to-head, and one was actively head-butting the other. It was also kicking its other sibling in the head. Hmmmm....I'm not sure that bodes well.

I've been able to feel the babies moving since about 14 weeks, but their kicks are getting much stronger now as they get bigger and still have room to move around. Sometimes I'd swear they have a mirror ball and a DJ in there for all the activity I feel! Amelia was a busy girl in utero, too, and is even today, so I have a feeling her siblings will help her keep Jeff and I on our toes.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Who Knew Our Minivan Was Sexy?

A couple weekends ago Jeff and I bit the bullet and traded in our Highlander for a Toyota Sienna minivan. Getting a vehicle that would hold all of us was a major item to cross off the list -- and one of the very first things we worried about when we realized we were having three babies.

Now, getting a minivan is a real crisis for many people, but it didn't bother us. The Sienna drives a lot like the Highlander, and I think remote sliding doors are one of man's (woman's?) greatest inventions!

Little did we know that we bought the sexiest minivan on the market. The other night we were watching TV and this black and white commercial came on showing a young nymph in a bikini (whose body, by the way, has never even thought of pregnancy) and her Adonis-like husband walking on the beach. I thought maybe it was for perfume or some other luxury item. Turns out it was an ad for the Toyota Sienna minivan.

Seriously? I mean this is a nice vehicle, but let's be real. It seats eight, has Scotch-guarded, puke-resistant seats, cup holders designed for sippy cups and enough cargo room to hold gear for an army of little people. If sexy is what you're looking for, the Toyota Sienna, or any other minivan for that matter, is not the first vehicle that comes to mind.

Check out the ad for yourself:
http://www.cars.com/go/video/player.jsp?mediafile=viral/Sienna_Commercial.flv&ttl=Sienna%20Commercial&cptn=Toyota%20delivers%20a%20sexy%20yet %20funny%20ad%20to%20promote%20the%20Sienna%20minivan.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Ups and Downs

Tonight was a struggle. It was a long day in the office and Amelia turned into a very typical two-year-old over supper. With just one parent trying to handle everything, we got behind and she got overtired, so bedtime meant lots of demands and tears when she didn't get her way. She kept asking for Mommy to get up, but I just couldn't this evening. I don't know which of us was more upset by that. We finally gave up and plunked her in the crib. A minute later she was quiet and she was out like a light a couple minutes after that.

I wish this was easier. All I can do is keep reminding myself that it's short term. And on days when I feel good, to do as much as I can with Amelia.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Pioneer Stock

OK, when your brothers start calling to check up on you, it's time to post again. Sorry for the lack of news. We've been cleaning up from the first flooding and struggling to get our computer back online, and then Monday night we had a second round of storms that caused problems.

*****

My mom keeps telling me we come from good pioneer stock, so I am tough enough to carry these babies. Well, those pioneer genes are sure being tested these days!

Like everyone else in the soggy Midwest, we continue to do battle with the weather – and we are some of the lucky ones! Monday night we had another round of storms roll through. More than an inch of rain in less than 30 minutes and 70 mph winds. The storm woke me up and I got up to check the weather. Then we checked the basement.

One of our window wells was filling up with water from the rain shooting off the roof and over the gutters. The seal at the corner of the window broke and water started pouring in. Fortunately, we (and by we, I mostly mean Jeff) were able to minimize the water coming in, and between the push broom and the wet vac, just had a little carpet get wet again. I’m ready to rip the carpet out and replace it with tile and area rugs.

A little pioneer ingenuity in the form of duct tape and some foam on the window and a garbage can wedged in that window well, and we got through the rest of the night pretty dry. What did the pioneers do without duct tape? I suppose they just used baling wire instead.

Three hours after the storm passed through, the power went out. Fortunately, it was only part of the neighborhood, so I woke a good neighbor with a 2:30 a.m. phone call and we ran 500 feet of extension cord to their house to run our sump pump. Otherwise, we’d have been wet all over again. Last week they plugged their sump into our generator, so Jeff called it good karma giving back.

Tuesday morning we had one more deluge. It looks like our last for a while. Knock on wood. Another good soul brought a generator and we’re hooked back up—sump pump and refrigerator anyway. After 25 hours our power company FINALLY restored our power. We're really tired of 20+ hour power outages. At least Tuesday was dry, sunny, and not too hot, so it was bearable. Though I really appreciated the hot shower, hair dryer and flush toilet this morning!

Here’s hoping for dry weather all around.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Jury Summons (Subtitle: The World's Longest Trial)

Last Friday between my morning discovery that I have officially lost my feet (I know they are down there, but I can't see them anymore!) and the basement flooding, I got a very special piece of mail: a jury summons. For July. HA!

As I already look nearly full term, can you imagine what it will be by July? I requested a deferral, but on second thought, maybe I should have shown up bursting at the seams. No judge or lawyer in their right mind would put me on a jury. Can you imagine? I'd be asking for a bathroom break every 10 minutes and eating right there in the jury box.

I figured I'd better take the deferral in case I wasn't allowed on my feet for a full day by then. But, if they come back in 12 months when I have three infants on my hands I still won't be in a position to serve. Though by then, a week of hanging around a quiet City-County Building reading a book and waiting to serve might look like a vacation! Anyone want to volunteer to watch triplets for the $14 a day that Marion County pays you to wait, or even the $40 they pay you to serve?

Before I dropped my deferral request in the mail, I copied it for the babies' books. It makes a good story!

Quiet (Almost) on the Home Front

The basement is finally drying out now that the company we're using brought a dehumidifier that actually works. Storms keep rolling through, though, so we spent much of last night laying awake listening to the thunder and praying that the power wouldn't go out.

I had another doctor's appointment today, and everything looks good. I love being able to write that again and again! My doc says I'm making this look easy and should keep doing what I've been doing. He doesn't expect me to "have any issues" until at least 24 weeks. That's great news! I'll just keep plugging along and growing at an astronomical rate until further notice.

Monday, June 2, 2008

No Power, No Posts

This brief hiatus in updates brought to you courtesy of a big summer thunderstorm complete with tornado and 22-hour power outage.

Friday night was a wild one in our house. Tornado sirens sent us to the basement about 10:30 p.m., and the power went out shortly after. We got 4 inches of rain in short order, and Jeff started hauling water out of the sump hole and out of the basement. He couldn't keep up, and after an unsuccessful hunt for a generator, had to give up about 2 a.m. At least we were home and he had a chance to move things and minimize the flood damage.

Early the next morning I called friends who brought a generator and saved us. (Thanks Ed and Emily!) Before long we had most of the neighbors plugged in, too. We got the water out in short order, and got on the list to be dried out.

In and amongst all this, Jeff was getting ready to leave for Austria for a week for work. I thought we'd never get him out of the house and on that plane. It was a little tough for him to leave his mom, Amelia and me in the midst of all that chaos. I know if Carol hadn't been here he never would have left. But, we packed his suitcase and convinced him we could watch carpet dry without him.

Despite initial reports that it could be late Monday or early Tuesday before we our power was restored, we sprang back to life about 8 p.m. Saturday, much to our relief. We were in full camping mode by then, because in our house no electricity also means no water since we're on a well.

All in all, a wet basement wasn't too bad considering the damage other people sustained. Even just outside the neighborhood there were some big trees down on houses and cars. And, since it's early summer the weather was nice and we could open up the house and lay things out in the yard to dry.

Carol has spent the last few days cleaning and cooking to help us out, and before the storm the house looked better than it has in a month. Then we descended back into chaos! A couple hours with power though, and we were back in tip-top shape pretty quickly.

Thank heavens for family and friends we can lean on!