Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Just For Fun

Just for fun this evening, here are some photos of the boys from the past few days.

Notice that we have progressed to using the highchairs to eat. This change came when Alex reached for the bowl of food from his bouncy seat as I was cleaning up one of his brothers, and wound up tipping the seat over and ending up face first in the food. It didn't bother him at all. He came up just licking the oatmeal off his face. They all sit up pretty well now, so the highchairs work just fine.

Isaac, Sam and Alex enjoying supper. Yes, we eat in our diapers. Cuts down on the laundry!

Alex: Who, Me? Eat? SURE!



Isaac shows off his hair after the bath.

Check out Sam's red hair!

*Sigh* Don't you wish they would stay as little and sweet as this?

Monday, March 30, 2009

Say A Prayer

Tonight I'd ask that you all say a prayer for my Uncle Tim.

Tim is my mom's baby brother, and he's critically ill. He went into the hospital a couple days ago with Type A and Type B influenza. He now has full-blown pneumonia, tachycardia (heart rate of 130 beats per minute), a 105 degree fever, staph infection and sepsis. This morning they started him on dialysis when his kidneys began shutting down. Things don't look good.

Uncle Tim is just 60. He's a runner and generally in good health. He still teaches and coaches at a high school back in North Dakota. I don't know if he can pull through this, but I know that prayer can work miracles.

So please take a minute to say a prayer for my Uncle Tim and for his siblings who are now making increasingly difficult decisions as his condition worsens.

And toss in a prayer for the people of Fargo, North Dakota, who are in the midst of a blizzard on top of the flooding. That blizzard also is keeping my parents from getting to the hospital in Grand Forks to see Uncle Tim, so a break in the weather would be good for everyone.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Isaac Breaks New Ground

Tonight Isaac chewed on Dad's finger and we discovered his first tooth has broken through! Hopefully that will help him sleep better than he has in the last few days.

Isaac celebrates his first tooth!
The arrival of the first tooth makes me a little sad. Once those teeth start to come in they will lose their little baby grins pretty quickly. And while growing up is good, it's a little sad too.
The boys are almost 6 months old now, which is hard to believe, and RSV season is nearly over, so we'll be headed to JC Penney soon for some studio pics that will hopefully capture their mostly toothless smiles before they disappear for good.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Could She Do a Little Laundry?

One evening last week Jeff decided that Amelia and Mommy needed a little special time together, so he told her I'd take her to the library and then to get ice cream. It was a nice treat for both of us, but getting out the door wasn't easy.

Jeff kept pushing me to get out of the house. I kept stopping to do one more thing before we left. He kept pushing.

Finally I said, "You're in such a hurry to get us out of here that if I didn't know better I'd think your mistress was on the way over."

He rolled his eyes at me and said, "Yeah. That's it."

I replied, "Well, I'm tired, so thank her for me and see if she can throw a load of laundry in while she's here."

It's a wonder this man even stays married to me...

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

At Least I Don't Have to Clean This Toilet

Some days you're just not sure what to blog about. Then, suddenly, your neighbor decides to put his old yellow toilet out in the backyard for a planter. Before nap time. So you can even get photos for the blog. Some people get lemons. I get lemon yellow toilets.

I looked out the kitchen window about 10:30 this morning and saw this lovely yellow toilet (which is visible from EVERY window on the entire west side of my house and from my deck) had taken up residence in the neighbor's backyard.

Perhaps a nickname will make it more palatable. I think I'll call it "Old Yeller."

I know they are remodeling a bathroom, so I hoped it was only temporary. Half an hour later my neighbor was putting decorative rock around it. Crap. Perhaps it's not temporary. I can't wait to see what Amelia has to say about this.

Now, these are great neighbors, and if the worst thing they every do is use a toilet as a planter, that's pretty minor. Still, because I am who I am, I thought maybe I could talk them out of it.

So, I opened my back door and yelled to my neighbor.

"Hey, Jerry! Do you need to use my bathroom?"

He replied, "It's our new outhouse, like it?"

Polite laughter from me. "Jerry, don't tell me I'm going to have to look at that thing from my kitchen window and my deck."

"I thought it looked kind of nice."

Sure does, right up there with a velvet Elvis and the picture of the dogs playing poker.

"To each his own, but no matter what you plant in it, it will still look like a toilet. You do know the trash men will take that away for free, right?"

Maybe, just maybe, he'll change his mind. If not, just think how much fun three two-year-old boys will have with a toilet in the neighbor's backyard. I'll bet nothing will grow in there that summer.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Stopping Traffic

Alex, Sam and Isaac: Cute enough to stop traffic.

The boys and I went for a stroll around the neighborhood today. We didn't get very far before we stopped to talk with a neighbor who was waiting for her son's school bus to arrive. We were still chatting when the bus pulled up.

The bus driver stopped about 20 feet in front of us on the other side of the road and let the neighbor's son off. Then she started to pull away. As she drove by us she realized that there were THREE babies in the stroller.

She stopped, BACKED her bus up, opened her window and said, "Are all three of them triplets?"

It took every ounce of willpower I had not to say, "Nope, only two of them."

Instead I smiled and said, "Yes, they are."

Then the school bus driver, with her load of 40 some screaming, yelling children, said to me, "You've sure got your hands full."

She's telling me that I've got MY hands full? While driving a bus full of rowdy school kids?

Oh, the irony.

Water Torture

Last night in our house went like this:

11 p.m. - Finish the chores and turn out the lights.

Drip.

11:05 p.m. - Sam cries and takes a pacifier.

Drip.

2:20 a.m. - Amelia is cold and needs her covers.

Drip.

2:35 a.m. - Amelia cries.

Drip.

2:50 a.m. - Amelia wants Daddy. She gets Mommy.

Drip.

3:20 a.m. - Isaac screams. Takes pacifier.

Drip.

3:40 a.m. - Sam screams...and screams...and screams while Daddy holds him.

Drip.

4 a.m. - Change Sam's dirty diaper.

Drip.

4:10 a.m. - Isaac cries. Hunt for pacifier. It works again.

Drip.

4:30 a.m. - Isaac cries. Daddy tries to resettle him.

Drip.

Lacking my husband's ability to roll over and go back to sleep, from about 3 a.m. on I just laid there waiting for the next cry for help. Every time I closed my eyes, I was awakened by another cry. It was torturous. Finally at 5 a.m. I went to the basement in an attempt to get an hour of uninterrupted sleep. Jeff had to get up with Isaac between 5 and 6:45, but he was the only one, thank heavens!

Today Alex is pretty much back to his old self, and Sam and Isaac seem much better, so hopefully we're almost over this gastrointestinal battle and tonight will be better.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Diaper Duty Cubed!

I have changed so many dirty diapers today that I'm beginning to wonder if someone is secretly feeding my babies Indian food.

I'm not sure if this is the tail end (pun intended!) of the bout of sickness we had last week, or a result of the teeth that MUST be coming soon based on the amount of drool we're seeing. Our diaper count is WAY up, as is our laundry volume.

Someone recycle something to offset our environmental impact, please!

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Another Church Conversation with Amelia

Today Amelia and I had this conversation in church.

Amelia: (Pointing to the lector) "What is that man doing?"

Me: "He's reading a story from the Bible."

A: "The Bible?"

M: "Remember? That's the book about God and Jesus."

A: "Mama, who is God?"

M: "He is Jesus's daddy."

About this time, the priest came to the lectern. Amelia said, "Is that God?"

"No," I replied. "That's the priest. He's the leader at church."

"The leader?" said Amelia. "Does that mean he gets to lead the Pledge of Allegiance?"

Friday, March 20, 2009

Breaking the Cardinal Rule of Motherhood

I broke the cardinal rule of motherhood the other night. That is: Moms don't get sick. This one sure did. I greeted Jeff at 6 p.m. with, "Take this baby. I have to go throw up." And I abandoned him with three fussy babies who were also getting sick and Amelia.

I did call in some reinforcements for the night feeding and for the evening. When you call someone and say, "The babies are throwing up and I am too. Can you come hold babies for a little while?" and they show up, those are GOOD people!

I threw up until midnight. The boys started a few hours after I did and threw up about 6 hours, too. Jeff slept in the nursery with them in the crib and in pack and plays. He put towels under them and just kept changing the towels. On the plus side, the boys just wanted to go right back to sleep after they threw up.

At 4 a.m., Sam needed to be walked, and by then I wasn't nauseous, so I took him for a while so Jeff could sleep. That next day was a little rough, since my whole body hurt from throwing up and the boys weren't feeling well either. One of my terrific neighbors did come over for a couple hours in the afternoon to help hold fussy babies. We rocked and walked while we watched the NCAA games. We even got two of three babies down so I could take a quick nap, which helped a lot.

Jeff spent Thursday at a conference where he had to do two presentations, so he didn't have an easy road either. But, we made it through, again with a little help from our friends.

Fortunately, the virus was short-lived, and mostly contained to throwing up. Sam and Isaac both ran a little low-grade fever the next night, but no scary high fevers or anything like that.

Now we're headed into the weekend and the boys pretty much back to their usual bright-eyed, happy selves.

Oh, and in cheerier news around here, Sam rolled from his back to his belly on Thursday and Isaac did it tonight, so all of the boys can roll over both ways now. Pretty soon they'll be rolling across the room -- undoubtedly all in different directions at once! I know that news calls for a new picture of each Sam and Isaac, but that will have to wait until later. Now I need some sleep!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Bloom Where You Are Planted

A few years ago I made this little quilt. (Back when I had time to quilt.) You can see that I truly am a word person -- I even put them on my quilts.




The saying, "Bloom where you are planted," is a favorite of mine. It is a daily goal for me.

The goal is to do more than merely survive from one day to the next. To bloom is to thrive in whatever circumstances you find yourself in. It is to be better, try harder, continue to always grow. It is to flourish.

In addition to being a goal, this is often my prayer. It is a prayer for help in getting through a difficult day with a sense of humor, for remembering to revel in holding a child close without thinking about dishes that need to be washed, for realizing that too soon I will miss these days when my children were small.

I hope you are blooming wherever you are these days.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Uh-oh...Mobility!

Alex made his big move today -- rolling from his back to his tummy. He can now roll both ways, which he proved by rolling more than once to move himself across the floor. Unfortunately, Grandpa was already on the airplane when this happened, so he missed the big event.

Alex: Leading the pack! (But not for long, I suspect.)


I'm sure Isaac and Sam won't be far behind, and I will soon be wishing for these days of immobility. Better buy a new pair of running shoes...

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Amelia's Big Day

Today Amelia went to the zoo with Mom & Dad while Grandpa D. watched the boys. It was a little chilly out, but we had a great time. I think the last time we went was last summer when I was about 30 weeks pregnant with the boys. It was much easier to get around this time!

Amelia & Daddy together at the zoo.


The dolphin show is always a favorite, as are the penguins. Today we also saw the lions pretty close, and a rooster that was crowing. Amelia did NOT like the rooster. She was scared and wanted to leave as fast as possible. As we went from one exhibit to the next, Amelia kept saying, "I want to see more animals." I think we saw almost all of them!

After her nap, Amelia got to color with her new markers. She colored the Christmas ornament that Grandma Alice and Grandpa Ernie gave her. I'm sure it isn't intentional that it looks like this little house is on fire.

Amelia's Christmas ornament, March 2009. Almost 3 years old.


Then we all got ready to go to church. Amelia looked so cute in her dress that Grandma D. and Aunt Allie picked out. She refused to wear the little sweater that came with it, but I did talk her into tights. When Jeff saw this picture all he could say was, "I'm in so much trouble." Yes, he is. And so am I!

Amelia strikes a pose in her new dress. Thanks, Grandma D. & Aunt Allie!

This was the first time we took the boys to church other than for their baptismal ceremony. They were so good! Isaac fussed a little on his way to sleep, and Sam fussed a little before church started, but all three slept almost the entire time. I think they were trying to lull us into a false sense of security. I still haven't figured out how we can take all four kids without a third set of hands, but it was nice to all go to church as a family.


Sam, Isaac, Alex and Amelia.


Grandpa D., Alex, Jeff, Isaac, Amelia and Sam.

When Grandpa D. was on the phone with Grandma D. tonight talking about his flight home tomorrow, I was in the background shouting, "You can't have him back!" It's always so nice to have family visit, and the boys are growing so fast that they are like whole new kids if you haven't seen them in a couple of months.

We'll have more family visiting soon. We're looking forward to seeing Allie at the end of the month and Susie in May. They'll be amazed at how things have changed around here!

Friday, March 13, 2009

Interview with ME!

Helene over at I'm Living Proof God Has a Sense of Humor got me in on this bit of fun. A fellow blogging mama interviewed her, so she decided to interview some of her readers. Here are her questions and my answers:


1) Tell me your first gut reaction when you learned you were having triplets.

Honestly, my first reaction was that the room suddenly got very hot and I thought I was going to throw up. You can read about it here and here.

2) How did you you and your husband meet?

Jeff and I met when we were 15. We were both members of a Catholic Youth Council. Our first date was to my junior prom.

3) What's the best piece of advice in general you've ever received?

I can't choose between these two.

From my dad: "Pick your friends, don't let them pick you." That one kept me out of a lot of trouble, especially in college.

From my mom: "This, too, shall pass." That one used to really tick me off, because my crisis of the moment was always VERY IMPORTANT and not to be dismissed. With age and maturity, I realized that was not a dismissal of my crisis, but a reminder that everything was not earth-shattering, and everything, with time, changes.

4) If you could have a conversation with anyone (dead or alive), who would you choose and why? What would you ask him/her?


I'd love to talk with Amelia Earhart because she defied the norm of what it was to be a woman in her era. I'd ask her how she felt about breaking so many boundaries. How did men of her generation treat her before and after she became so famous? Did she ever want to be married and have children, as was expected of women in her day? What does she think about how far women have come now? What would her advice to young women of today be?

5) You check your mailbox today and find an envelope in it addressed to you with a check for a million dollars....how would you spend it?

Right now, a big chunk would have to go to diapers and formula...and wine for mommy & daddy. Maybe even a winery?

OK, seriously, my first move would be to fill my kids' college funds. Then I'd go for a house remodel (I love my neighborhood and wouldn't want to move) to add a larger kitchen and great room, and two more bedrooms. Then I'd pay off the van and probably replace my husband's well-used car. I'd also love to have a vacation fund so we could go visit family any time we wanted. And someday, when the kids are a little older, take some big vacations, like going to rural Italy or France for a month.


Now...I would love to interview you and you and you. So here is what you do:

1. Leave me a comment saying, "Interview me."

2. I will respond by emailing you five questions. (I get to pick the questions - make sure I can reach you by e-mail or leave your e-mail in your comment).

3. You then update your blog with the answers to the questions.

4. You include this explanation and an offer to interview someone else in the same post.

5. When others comment asking to be interviewed, you will ask them five questions.



So come on--let's get to know each other better. And do not fear potential questions--I'll play nice.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Grandpa D. Comes to Visit


Grandpa D. flew in late last night for a visit. He unpacked all kinds of clothes for the kids from his suitcase. For a minute I was worried that he didn't have room for any clothes of his own, but I guess when you're bringing gifts for four kids, it adds up.

Here are the boys in the new duds Grandma D. and Aunt Allie picked out.

Alex, Sam and Isaac showing off their new clothes.


Amelia got a super cute spring dress that I'm sure she'll be thrilled to model for us. Stand by for those photos later.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

What a Difference a Year Makes

One year ago today we found out we were expecting not one bundle of joy, but THREE! Our reaction to the news was the topic of my second post on this blog, way back in May 2008.

My sister probably put it best when she described our feelings about expecting triplets as "manic." Sometimes we were thrilled and excited, and other times we were just plain freaking out.

The first moments after we found out about the triplets set the tone for the pregnancy. We were relieved and happy that all three babies looked great, but were immediately hit with the sobering news that there was about a 60% chance that we'd lose at least one of the babies in the first trimester. Then the discussion turned to trying to carry the babies to 24 weeks, which was minimum viability. No one ever brought that up during my first pregnancy, that's for sure! It was truly like a roller coaster ride -- scary and thrilling all at once.

But God works in mysterious ways, and here we are one year later, enjoying many blessings. We were blessed with an uncomplicated pregnancy of 36 weeks and 3 days, just shy of full term at 37 weeks. (That's not to say it was easy!) We delivered big, healthy babies and just one spent some time in the NICU for a minor issue. We were blessed to get to know better so many wonderful people who wanted to help with the boys in those first months, and we were blessed to have so many of our family members come to help, too.

I'll never forget my first sight of those three little sacs on the ultrasound screen. Even in my moment of panic, I was relieved and overjoyed to see three tiny hearts beating away madly. I fell in love with my three boys right then and there, and I can't imagine life without them.

Samuel: You were our Hercules baby, holding up your brothers for all those months. You have become a real charmer with your red hair, big blue eyes and sweet smile. You know how to flirt with the best of them!

Isaac: You endured being squeezed in the middle. You are a real talker these days, cooing and gurgling at everyone. You were appropriately named, as Isaac means "laughter" in Hebrew, and you are the giggliest baby of all.

Alexander: You entered the world as the youngest, but biggest of my babies. And you have a big heart to go with your stature. You are our joyful, jolly Buddha baby, bringing smiles to everyone you meet.

The greatest blessing of all is to have Sam, Isaac and Alex as part of our lives. Our arms may be fuller than we anticipated, but our hearts are too.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Five Months Old

Today the boys are five months old. The time has flown by. It's hard to believe that last year at this time we didn't even know we were expecting three bundles of joy.

And just look at how they've grown!

Sam - 14 lb. 11 oz - (born at 5 lb. 4 oz.)
Isaac - 12 lb. 14 oz. - (born at 5 lb. 3 oz.)
Alex - 15 lb. 7 oz. - (born at 6 lb. 1 oz.)

We certainly have been blessed with BIG, healthy babies.


Top: Sam, Isaac and Alex at 5 months old

Bottom: Sam, Isaac and Alex at 6 days old


They sure fill out those car seats differently these days, don't they? The boys are so much fun now. They are laughing, cooing, grinning, reaching, grasping, rolling, and I'm pretty sure they are teething. Sleeping through the night certainly ups the cuteness factor, too.

I can't wait to see what changes another five months bring!

Zzzzzzzz...

There's nothing in this world sweeter than a sleeping baby, unless it's three sleeping babies. All of the boys sleep pretty well these days, including all night most nights, but Isaac is the real sleeper of the group.


Isaac sacked out on Daddy's shoulder.

Isaac is often the first guy down and the one I have to wake up in the morning. He's the best about going down for naps, and if we get up with a baby at night, we're always surprised if it's Isaac.

In the early days, many a person walked Isaac for miles to help him fall asleep. These days, he fusses and squirms in our arms to tell us he's ready to lay down. Once he hits the mattress, he generally gives a couple more wiggles, and then he puts his little bottom in the air and goes to sleep.

When he's awake, Isaac is a very busy little boy. But when he's ready to sleep, he's ready right now! It's not unusual for us to pick Isaac up and have him fall asleep on our shoulders while we're carrying him to the nursery.

That is one of my favorite parts of any day. I love to feel Isaac's downy head lolling on my shoulder and to listen to his soft snores in those few moments before I lay him down.

Sweet dreams, little one. Sweet dreams.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Mmmmm...good!

We are all eating solids now. Some better than others. Alex, of course, is practically ready to use the spoon himself.

Alex: Covered in food and happy as can be!

That boy loves to eat.

He always has. (Perhaps that's why he weighed 6 lbs. 1 oz. at birth!)

Isaac is still thinking about this whole solids things and Sam has caught on pretty well, but so far hasn't taken all that much.

But Alex, oh Alex.

Today Alex ate almost half a jar of applesauce plus a couple tablespoons of rice cereal all by himself.

We've only been taking solids from a spoon this week (which is a whole new challenge for me), and after about two days, I noticed that Alex would take his bite, swallow and then open his mouth and wait for me to come around again. He looks just like a little bird, waiting with his mouth wide open while I feed his brothers.

I can already hear him saying to his siblings, "Are you going to finish that?"

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Good Morning!

These days when I wake up in the morning it is to the sound of Sam babbling away in his crib. He sometimes wakes up from naps crying, but not in the morning. In the morning he is all smiles and full of joy to greet a new day. Sam is definitely a morning person.

Sam: Who can resist this grin, even before a cup of coffee?


No matter how rough the night has been, Sam's way of starting the day brings a smile to my face.

I love to peek into the nursery and see him laying on his back chattering to himself, and I am always rewarded with a HUGE grin when he spots me. When I lay him on the changing table, the fun really starts. He starts kicking and smiling and laughing all at once, excited to see me and to begin another day.

I wonder if Sam will always be a morning person. Maybe not, but right now, he's such a joy to be around in those early hours that he might even make a morning person out of me.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

"I Pledge Allegiance..."

Today at preschool Amelia got to hold the flag for the Pledge of Allegiance. She has been practicing the pledge a lot, and she's getting pretty good at it. Race fans will particularly like the flag she is using in this video.


video

Monday, March 2, 2009

Weekend Hiatus

Sorry for the lack of posts over the weekend, but things get busy around here on the weekends. We spend a lot of time playing with the kids, and catching up on household stuff, which doesn't leave much time for blogging.

This weekend we got to add a little relaxation to the mix. Friday night Kathryn and Eric (thanks guys!) came to watch the little ones while Jeff and I went OUT for the evening. Ahhh....it was so nice. We went to a symphony performance and even ate a meal without holding a fussy baby (or two). We made a conscious effort to eat s-l-o-w-l-y, which parents hardly ever do!

When we came home the guys were on their way down to sleep and Amelia had helped make chocolate chip cookies "with my friends." Kathryn and Eric were even still smiling, so apparently a good time was had by all. We brought them a bottle of wine as a thank you, and I trust they weren't sitting in our driveway trying to gnaw the cork out in desperation when they left.

We had a couple good night's sleep for everyone in our house, so now we're refreshed and ready for the week. This week's challenge: adding solids to the feeding routine. Stay tuned for video!