Saturday, October 31, 2009

Happy Halloween!

I hope your Halloween was a fun as ours was. We spent the day decorating our pumpkins, making a jack o' lantern and, of course, trick or treating!

Here are some pictures of the fun.

Decorating pumpkins

Amelia glues a face on her pumpkin

Mom works on one of the boys' pumpkins.


Dad gets in on the fun.


Amelia and her pumpkin. Check out the "hair."

Four little pumpkins, all in a row. These four were easy to photograph!


Carving the jack o' lantern

Pumpkin guts -- gross!

Gross, but interesting.

Watching Dad cut.

Making the eyes.

Ready for trick-or-treat

Little Bo Peep


Little Bo Peep and the sheep all ready for trick-or-treat. Amelia, Sam, Isaac and Alex.

Uh oh. There goes one of the sheep!

Little Bo Peep has lost her sheep! (Don't worry, he didn't get far.)

Happy Halloween, everyone!

Much Better, Thanks!

The neck is much better this morning. Still a little tender, but not bad.

So how did this all happen? Well, I saw the massage therapist on Tuesday because I was having pretty bad sciatica pain that the chiropractor alone wasn't taking care of. The massage therapist worked on my neck, too, and I felt sooooo good.

The chiropractor said that was probably part of the problem. My muscles were all relaxed and they aren't used to being relaxed. No kidding! That let something in my neck slide out of place a little and then when I turned my head just right (just wrong?) in the shower it popped way out.

So the moral of this story is don't relax.

Or don't shower.

At least I'm back on tap for some Halloween fun today!

Friday, October 30, 2009

What A Pain In The Neck

What a pain in the neck, literally! The boys did pretty well last night, but Alex and I were up early. So, I decided that since I didn't get a shower yesterday, I would hop in quick before Jeff left for work.

I got in a nice steamy shower, turned my head and POP! Blinding pain. I almost had to sit down on the floor of the shower. I would have cursed, but the pain took my breath away.

Seriously? I just wanted a shower. Is that too much to ask?

Thankfully it was a day when Jeff could do some work from home and take a little time off, because I couldn't even turn my head, let alone take care of four kids all day.

My friend Ellen came to our rescue this morning, taking me to the chiropractor so we didn't have to load up all the kids to go. Because there was no way I could drive myself there.

It took two adjustments, a Vicodin and near constant ice, but now I can turn my head. And the sudden screaming pain when I moved a millimeter too far is gone now. I was even able to make supper and hold the boys a bit before bedtime.

Another Vicodin, some rest and a little more ice and I hope to be right as rain by morning.

This injury reinforces yet again that we are playing a team sport here and injuries really impact our game. I'm just glad we've got some good people on the bench that we can call on in a pinch!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

A Win-Win

Just when I had reformed my ways when it comes to making the bed, this news item comes to my attention: Untidy Beds May Keep Us Healthy.

Turns out that leaving the sheets pulled back deprives dust mites of what they need to survive. Unmade bed = no dust mites, which can cause allergies and asthma.

I've decided this is a win-win. If I make the bed, the room looks neat and clean. If I don't, I'm airing out the sheets to keep my family healthy.

Now I just need to make sure everyone in the world knows this so they can applaud my efforts to keep my family healthy instead of frowning at my slovenly ways.

And speaking of beds, I think I hear mine calling now...

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Ghostly Treats

The other day Amelia and I made some ghostly Rice Krispie treats for Halloween. She helped count marshmallows and measured the cups of Rice Krispies. Oh, and she ate a few marshmallows and chocolate chips, too! Every kitchen needs a little quality control, right?
Ghostly Rice Krispie Treats

Step one: Count out 40 large marshmallows or 4 cups of mini marshmallows. Add to 3 tablespoons of melted butter over low heat.

Step two: Measure 6 cups of Rice Krispies. Add to the melted marshmallows and butter. Stir until combined.



Step three: Press into a greased cookie sheet and cut with a ghost cookie cutter. Add chocolate chips for eyes.

Cute, aren't they?

Tip: If you reheat the scraps for 15 seconds in the microwave you can press them into the pan again and cut additional ghosts.

Step four: Enjoy the fruits of your labors. Amelia says this is the best part of cooking. Can't argue with that!

Happy treat making!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

A Halloween Surprise in Our Mailbox

The other day when I went to the mailbox I found a package from a friend. Inside was this cutie patootie set of Halloween bibs for the boys.


After many attempts I succeeded in getting a picture of the boys -- who are not used to wearing bibs -- in them.

Isaac, Alex and Sam show off their new bibs and their jack o' lantern grins.

Of course, most of the picture attempts looked like this:


And this:


Amelia got a cute "Big Sister" purse, too. In pink. Her favorite color. She put some of her favorite things inside and, unlike her brothers, didn't want to take it off all day.

Thanks Ruthie!

Monday, October 26, 2009

Halloween Fun

I didn't post all weekend because I was busy making Halloween costumes so we could go to the zoo for Halloween festivities on Sunday.

Here is the result:

Little Bo Peep and her sheep ~ October 2009

We drew a "flock" of comments, as Jeff said. But of course we expected that. And the kids looked so cute! It almost made it worthwhile that my entire house is now covered in sheep fur. I'm sure I'll be finding that stuff for months.

As for making the costumes, don't be too impressed. They were simple, and wouldn't win any prizes in 4-H. I figured everyone would be so busy looking that no one would look that closely. I was right about that!

We had the dress (remember Goldilocks, from last year?). So I only made Amelia's bonnet, and I cheated on the pantaloons by sewing a few layers of lace to the bottom of a white pair of Bermuda shorts. Jeff made the shepherd's staff out of an old curtain rod, some brown craft paper, duct tape and spray paint.

The boys' sheep costumes are just ponchos with hoods. Literally, a square of fabric with a hole for their heads and a hood with ears. I didn't even bother to hem them. And all that fur hides a multitude of sewing errors, like ears that have raw edges, and less than perfect seams. Plus, there's nothing like a little polyester fur to keep you warm and toasty. The weather was nice, but the boys certainly didn't need jackets under their costumes.


Taylor and Amelia

We met our friends Sarah, Dustin and Taylor at the zoo, which gave us some extra hands. Amelia and Taylor had fun trick-or-treating together. The boys were great about hanging out in the stroller and even ate supper there. But we definitely needed the help when we turned them loose on the playground! It was fun to go out and do something as a family. And we know that will get easier and easier, too

We'll be trick or treating in our neighborhood in these costumes on Halloween. Hopefully I can get some better pictures then, (because putting a three-year-old within 100 feet of candy and asking her to stand still for a picture is a real recipe for photo success, you know) but I just couldn't wait to share.

Friday, October 23, 2009

How Old Are You?

When I was with my sisters and my mom last weekend we all took the Real Age Test (http://www.realage.com/), which determines, based on your lifestyle, what your "real" age is.

Note: I do not receive any compensation from www.realage.com, and I am not endorsing their results. We just did this because it was fun and informative. This disclaimer brought to you by the FTC.

What a youthful group!

I was relieved to be younger than my actual age, because I can't say I'm taking the very best care of myself these days. That, and one of the questions was about how much sleep you get a night and I know I'm falling waaaay short there.

We all came up younger than our years, in part thanks to good genes and no family history of cancer. And we all got suggestions back on what we can do to improve our health even more. Judy and I are both supposed to get dogs because we don't get enough aerobic activity. HA! I'd love a dog, but I don't need one more thing to take care of, discipline and potty train right now.

I suppose I could count a few minutes a day of chasing babies as aerobic exercise, but honestly I don't regularly engage in heart-pumping activity. Unless you count panicking when I find the boys climbing on something. (But that's another whole post.)

We spent a lot of the weekend talking about what we eat, where our food comes from, and debating the merits of organic, or at least, locally-raised foods. I think we all agreed that where the food comes from is probably less important than making sure you are eating lots of fruits and veggies and minimizing processed foods as much as possible.

I spend a lot of time thinking about what my kids eat, worrying if they are getting enough sleep, and making sure they take their vitamins to stay healthy. But what about me? Even though I'm pretty healthy, I don't take care of myself as well as I take care of my family. And there's always room for improvement

So, I came home determined to take little steps to even better health. This week I am making sure to take my multivitamin every day, along with a little extra vitamin C (to kick this cold) and some extra calcium, which I know I don't get enough of. It's a tiny commitment compared to the vitamin and mineral regimen I followed when I was pregnant with the triplets.

How about you? What small change will you make for a healthier you?

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Glorious, Gorgeous Fall Days

One of the best things about living in the Midwest is Indian summers. (Can we still use that term?) Just when you think the cold is going to settle in early, and you've pulled out the winter hats, in blow a couple of gorgeous days that beg you to be outside.

We were happy to oblige.

Sam

Isaac

Alex

The boys really love the sandbox right now. They will head straight for it and push the cover off themselves. There's barely room in it for three boys now, so it will be really crowded next summer. We may have to build a sandbox addition.
Sharing the sandbox, more or less.

It's hard to believe how little room they took up at this time last year!

Sharing the crib.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Ah, sleep!

I am too old to be pulling all nighters. And my kids are too young. Nevertheless, we've all been awake WAAAY too many hours in the middle of the night in the last couple weeks.

Now that the boys are on the mend, we were finally able to get a good night's sleep last night. The days of 8+ hours and sleeping in are long gone of course, but we'll settle for a shot at six hours, especially if we can get about four hours in a good stretch. Amazing how your standards change with a baby or three in the house!

I know that someday I'll be able to sleep as much as I want, and I will look back fondly on these days when we had babies in the house. By then I'll probably be an insomniac with the world's weakest bladder, so I won't be sleeping then either. Good thing I banked lots of extra hours when I was a teenager. (Though not nearly enough to compensate for triplets!)

Speaking of sleep, I should be off to bed in case tonight isn't as good as last night. Hang in there with me. Now that we're starting to sleep again I promise posts will get better and pictures will return as soon as the main laptop gets fixed.

Enjoy a good night's rest for us, won't you?

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Snot and The Sound of Music

That title got your attention, didn't it? Well, good, because that's pretty much my excuse for not posting much in the past two weeks.

We have entered week three of sickness in this house, and I think we're finally winding up the fun. Fevers are all gone, and we're left with just two snotty noses -- Alex's and mine. I finally succumbed to the cold after surviving two weeks on four hours of sleep a night. It was really just a matter of time.

And that's where The Sound of Music comes in, oddly enough. I did note earlier that I was headed to my sister's for a girls' weekend. Of course, as soon as I got there, I relaxed a little and that's when I got sick. Thankfully I wasn't too bad, so I still enjoyed the break. And thankfully everyone was on the mend here, so the nights weren't too rough for Jeff either.

My mom, my sisters (Minus Cathy. We missed you!), and I did a little shopping, toured the state capitol, enjoyed The Sound of Music at a local dinner theater, and then took a class in bird identification at the arboretum. The bird watching class was proof of what we always say: We can have fun doing anything! We learned a little something, and then took a walk through the arboretum.

We saw a few birds on our walk -- wild turkey, cedar waxwings, robins, blue jays -- but the birds were upstaged dramatically by the scenery. The maple woods, especially, were gorgeous! I took tons of photos, and I'm sure none of them will do justice to the yellow light that filtered through the canopy of trees. Some things you just have to enjoy in the moment, don't you?

All in all, it was a very nice break, and the opportunity to sleep all night long came at just the right time. I came home ready to tackle the last round of sickness and to get my boys all back on track sleeping at night!

I'll try to post some photos later this evening, but we are having some technical problems with our main laptop, too, so no guarantees I can get that job done.

So, my apologies for the unscheduled interruption. Thanks for hanging in there and waiting on me to resurface!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

One Year Doctor's Visit

I know posts have gotten spotty all of a sudden. The boys have all been varying degrees of sick, and I haven't slept this little in a week since college finals. And, as I recall, there was a lot less crying then...

The boys had a doctor's visit on Tuesday, and they are all doing well, despite the cold and fever we've had. Here are the stats:

Sam: 31 1/2 inches (90th percentile), 21 lbs. 10 1/2 ounces (30th percentile)
Isaac: 30 inches (50th percentile), 18 lbs. 1 1/2 ounces (5th percentile)
Alex: 31 inches (75th percentile), 21 lbs. 5 1/2 ounces (30th percentile)

Even though Isaac is still a bit small, he's moving above his growth curve slightly, so the doc is pleased. And he more than tripled his birth weight of 5 lbs. 3 oz. in this first year, so that's great, too. He and Amelia are both built average height, but lightweights. But Isaac already eats more than Amelia does!

In other news, I'm leaving the boys here with Daddy for a couple days while I go for Girls' Weekend with my mom and my sisters. Thankfully the boys finally gave us all a halfway decent night's sleep last night, so I think we're past the worst of it and Daddy will be able to handle things by himself for a short time. Say a little prayer for him that the nights go well.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Mmmm...Italian Beef

It's been a crazy week here in our house, with the boys' birthday on Thursday, Jeff's birthday Friday, and a little fever the kids have been passing around that has required lots of extra holding by Mom & Dad and made sleep a pretty precious commodity.

We haven't had time to do much besides take care of the little ones, so that means it's time for a crock pot recipe. This is a dish we got from one of the many friends and neighbors who brought us a meal after the boys were born. It has since become a go-to meal for us, and fall is the perfect time to make it.

Italian Beef
4-5 pounds of beef chuck roast, sprinkled generously with salt and pepper
2 bay leaves
2 tablespoons Italian seasoning
2 cups of water
1/2 jar of mild banana pepper rings, including the brine

Toss everything in the crock pot and cooked on high for about 5 hours or until tender. Shred the meat and serve on toasted hoagie rolls with a slice of provolone cheese. As a bonus, this dish is even better left over.

Note: Do NOT trim the fat off the roast. You need it for flavor and tenderness. You can remove any fatty pieces when you shred the meat after cooking.

This is a fast and easy dish for your next football party, or any time your house gets crazy. And the men in your life will love it.

Enjoy!

Christy

Friday, October 9, 2009

Let Them Eat CAKE!

When we pulled the cupcakes out last night, the boys' eyes lit up. Apparently they remembered this treat from their early birthday party in September.


Isaac, Alex and Sam dig in on their first birthday! ~ 10/08/09

Amelia couldn't wait to sing "Happy Birthday" to her brothers -- both versions.

video

All three of the boys had their own approach. Alex dived right in, of course. Sam hesitated slightly before giving his cupcake a good squeeze or two. Isaac turned his cupcake over and poked at it cautiously for a while, then licked his fingers before he finally picked it up and started to eat it.

Sam

Isaac

Alex

And then there was this bit of brotherly love.

Isaac didn't take well to Alex "borrowing" some of his cake.


Neither did Sam!

Today we had another birthday boy in the house. Yep, this is Jeff's birthday. I will never be able to top the gift I gave him last year, which really takes the pressure off!

Tomorrow Amelia and I will make homemade cherry pie for Jeff, and we've got a sitter so we can enjoy a night out. Hopefully the boys will be back to their usual jolly selves so our sitter won't be tearing her hair out by the time we get home!

Once I get all these kids healthy and get a little more time, I'll have a big photo post that chronicles the triplets' first year, so stay tuned!

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Unanswered Prayers

Dear Sam, Isaac and Alex,

Happy birthday, my boys. I cannot believe that you are one year old today. We celebrated with cupcakes, playtime, and lots of cuddles for sick little ones.

It seems fitting that we spent much of today holding you. This time last year we couldn't hold you enough. Your little heads fit in the palm of Daddy's hand, and you fit neatly on my arm between my elbow and wrist.

Today I have been thinking about your birth, and the entire amazing experience of being pregnant with the three of you all at once. And I keep coming back to one thing over and over.

I remember talking to the nurse at the doctor's office after we had blood work done to confirm the pregnancy. She told me that my hormone level was very high and that it was probably multiples.

I laughed her off. "You told me that with Amelia, too. My hormones must just run high."

She responded, "I thought of that, so I checked. Your hormone level is more than three times as high as it was with Amelia at about this same point in your pregnancy."

I paused. "So, twins?"

She paused. "At least twins."

What? I took a couple deep breaths. When I got off the phone I started searching for information on multiple pregnancies and hormone levels. I recalculated over and over when we had gotten pregnant. Everything pointed to the fact that my hormone levels were off the charts for twins, but in range for triplets.

I confess that I prayed for twins. Triplets just boggled my mind. Twins, I could handle. But three babies at once? My prayers were feverish and fervent and foolish.

And God, in His infinite wisdom, did not answer them. He knew that there should be three of you. He knew that your Daddy and I were born for this purpose. He knew that all three of you had a special place in this world.

He knew.

How small is our fear beside His greatness.

Even before you were born, I could not have parted with one of you. Before we ever met you, we knew you and loved you.

There's a song that says:

Sometimes I thank God for unanswered prayers.
Remember when you're talking to the man upstairs,
that just because He doesn't answer doesn't mean He don't care.
Sometimes I thank God for unanswered prayers.

I thank God every day that each of you is here.

Sam, with your wild red hair and the best belly laugh. Isaac, with your fearless attitude and soulful eyes. Alex, with your loud voice and ever-present smile.

You are answers to a prayer I could never fathom praying. A prayer that only God could have known. And I am so grateful that He gave each of you to us.

I love you Sam.

I love you Isaac.

I love you Alex.

Always,

Mama

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Confession: The Unmade Bed

When it comes to the task of making beds, there are two kinds of people in this world: Those who make their beds religiously, unless they are so sick they can't get out of them, and those who just can't be bothered.

I fall squarely in the latter category. (Sorry, Mom!)

Somehow I have an enormous blind spot in my OCD tendencies when it comes to making the bed.

Growing up, I was taught to make my bed every morning, but as soon as I was a teenager and got my own room in the basement, my true bed-making (or non-bed-making) nature emerged. I was always in a rush to get out of the house in the morning, and by the time I got home, what was the point? It was almost time to crawl back under the covers anyway.

Wash the sheets, sure. I wash almost every week because I love clean sheets on the bed. But pull up the sheets and smooth out the comforter every morning? That's a challenge for me.

I've reformed several times. First when I went off to college and shared a dorm room. Then, when I got married, because I was a grownup now and grownups make their beds every day, right?

Truth is, the tiny place we first lived in had a lot to do with it. As soon as we got a big enough place that I could just shut the bedroom door, I backslid again.

My next big reform came after I had my first child. I was trying to set a good example. But the sleepless nights and morning rush to daycare and work soon put an end to that effort.

Shortly after the triplets came along, we moved Amelia to a big girl bed. And then I really tried to shape up and make her bed as well as mine. After all, it was my job to set a good example.

I could not have picked a worse time for reform. My attempt clearly shows how badly clouded my thinking was. Between nursing round-the-clock and maintaining a pumping schedule that could qualify as an extreme sport, I got back under the covers every chance I could. And I certainly didn't have time to be making the bed 10 times a day.

So I closed my bedroom door and made Amelia's bed, more or less, most days, sort of. OK, so her bed mostly went unmade, too, but if it didn't need to be fed or changed it didn't get much attention around here when the boys were tiny.

Now I find myself in the mood for reform once again. But this time I might just be successful. Because this time I'm motivated by the need to regain a little control around here. So now my perfectly made bed is an island of calm is a swirling sea of chaos. It is a small victory in the larger battle to keep the house from sinking entirely into the morass.

True, it makes no sense to make the bed that no one will ever see instead of spending those 10 minutes on laundry, cooking or cleaning a part of the house we actually live in. But I have discovered something about making the bed.

It stays done longer than anything else in this house.

The laundry regenerates so quickly I sometimes wonder if it hasn't taken on a life of its own. Meals are eaten as soon as they are cooked, and sometimes even before, leaving more dishes in their wake. Diapers are the very definition of perpetual. And I think the toys are picking up some tips from the laundry.

But the bed. The bed gets made in the morning, and it doesn't have to be remade all day. It doesn't get dirty as fast as it gets clean. It doesn't have to be picked up three times a day. It doesn't need changing in triplicate.

Sometimes it stays made as long as 16 hours.

Which is 15 hours and 59 minutes longer than anything else around here.

These days, that's my definition of victory.

**********************************************************

Have you voted yet?

Life with Triplets is up for a Blog Award over at Multiples and More. Drop by and show us some love, if you're so inclined.

The polls are on the right side of the page, so scroll down until you find us under Best Writing.

Voting closes soon, so hurry!

Christy

Monday, October 5, 2009

The Infamous Exercise Ball Post

It's impossible to believe that one year ago today I was 36 weeks pregnant with Sam, Isaac and Alex and taking pictures comparing my belly to an exercise ball.

Of course, we didn't even know if we were having boys or girls, then. We were just thrilled to have made it to 36 weeks with big healthy babies and no complications.

Well, I was thrilled that the end of the pregnancy was in sight. So thrilled. Moved to tears really.

Because I was big. BIG, people! My "waist" was more than 49 inches around -- just 14 inches shy of my 5' 2" in height -- and I measured more than 52 weeks pregnant. I was overflowing with sympathy for mama elephants and all other large animals that have long gestations.

But mostly, I was just overflowing everywhere.

And now?

Now I am running everywhere!

I'm probably moving more weight every day than I was then. The difference is that now it's light weights, lots of reps. And I've got the guns to prove it, too. Watch out Michelle Obama, you've got nothing on me!

If you've never seen the pics of 36 weeks vs. the exercise ball, go check it out. It's quite a sight to behold, and good for a laugh to boot.

**********
Don't forget to cast your vote in the Multiples and More blog awards. Life with Triplets is up for Best Writing.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Shake Your Groove Thang

I posted video of Alex's dance moves early. While he had the Stevie Wonder head bob going on, Isaac has apparently learned his moves from Elvis. Check out his hip wiggle!

video


Go, baby, go!

Friday, October 2, 2009

We've Been Nominated!

Wowsa! This little blog of mine has been nominated for Best Writing over at Multiples and More.

Won't you please take a minute to hop on over there and vote for me?

Nominees are listed by category on the right-hand side of the blog, and you can vote there. My blog is listed as "Life with Triplets...What a Trip" instead of the "Trippin'" you might be more familiar with, so don't be confused.

Go forth and vote. The polls are open for 5 more days, so keep voting, just so I don't have to be completely embarrassed by the results, OK?

I'll be happy to kiss any babies you send my way.

Wait, scratch that. I think I've got all the babies I can handle right now.

Thanks for your votes and for reading.

Christy

Thursday, October 1, 2009

October? Already?

Today the calendar reads October. That means that in just one week, the boys will be one year old.

I can hardly believe it.

This has certainly been the longest, shortest year of my life.

There were weeks when time seemed to stand still as one day literally ran into the next in a round-the-clock marathon of feedings and diapers.


Sam, Isaac and Alex ~ home together at 6 days old ~ Oct. 14, 2008


And there have been times when I swear I've just blinked, and a month has flown by.

In one week we will have packed 1095 days of babyhood into this one year.

It has been exhilarating, exhausting, amazing. And even though I'm in complete denial that my babies are about to turn one year old, I wouldn't trade one second of this year for anything.

Mom & Dad with Alex, Isaac and Sam ~ Sept. 12, 2009


It has been the most amazing adventure of my life, and the ride has only just begun.