Tuesday, August 28, 2007

A Year Ago

A year ago today I was lying on the couch celebrating my 30th birthday. At that time I had no idea what my babies would look like and at just 24 weeks I had no idea if they'd even make it. I was still recovering from the whole 3 girls shock and just beginning that horrible time in my life known as bed rest with triplets.

A year later I am 31 today and life is very different. Even after repeated attempts for Kirk to direct me to the couch or not do something with the babies/kids it has become impossible. With 5 kids including 3 babies I am unable to give up motherly duties for very long!

So, last year I wasn't allowed off the couch and was desperate to do so. This year, I'd give anything to be required to be there again :) Not quite, not for that long and not in the hospital again but just for a day. Anything. Happy Birthday to me.

Monday, August 27, 2007

We've Taken Over...

Today was a big day for us, we were able to kick our big sister and big brother out of the house and have mom all to ourselves. Mom thinks it's a big deal that they have started school but we know better. She just wanted to spend more time with us!

Of course we got right down to playing...

Julianna took over the camera right away. She always does.

Rachel got in on the fun.

I didn't participate in the crazy fun and refused to wear the silly glasses mommy tried to put on me. No way was she capturing me in those things...

Not while I was looking anyway.

Mommy says Kaitlyn will be gone every day at school but Caleb just 3 days. Caleb said school was "a thousand fun and a thousand is a lot" so I guess he liked it. Maybe we can convince him to go every day. If only we could convince mom to stop putting us in bed... So far I've tried throwing my head back onto the floor and screaming along with screaming in a toy but still, despite my protests she makes us nap. Any ideas? I am open for suggestions.

Oh, I guess I should include pictures of Kaitlyn and Caleb...

On their way out the door. We're almost free :)

Kaitlyn at her desk.

Caleb at his desk.

Kaitlyn and Caleb: we hope you have a wonderful school year and we will miss you during the day. A little :) Love, Alyssa! Oh, Julianna and Rachel too. I am the baby, after all, isn't it all about me anyway?? Uh oh, mom's back...

Sunday, August 26, 2007


Finally got the slide show done - just a few snapshots of our vacation. This is a bit ironic for me since today is literally the last day of summer vacation. Kaitlyn begins 2nd grade tomorrow!

And, even though we weren't planning on it we have enrolled Caleb in preschool :) He will be going 3 full days a week - right now, Monday, Wednesday and Thursday (the school only has chapel on T/TH so I wanted him to go to that at least once a week). He'll be going to the same school as Kaitlyn so pick-up and drop-off will be easy. And it gives me some time during the week to get stuff done - like writing!

So, here's to the end of summer...

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Our Favorite Toy

Okay, so I promised a slide show and I'm getting to it but I had to share the cutest thing from today. The girl's love this toy - I mean love it - fight over it - must all crawl to it when they see it except Alyssa who really can't crawl yet.

Hard at work...

Hey, who let Julianna in here?

And after about 4 tries we finally got Caleb to look at the camera and smile!

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

And We're Home!

Our last day of "vacation" was Monday and we spent the day in the pool, sort of relaxing - I managed to finish a novel - of course I crammed in the end of the book Monday while my mom and soon-to-be sister-in-law took care of the kids and then stayed up too late but I finished! - and packing.

Tuesday we got up at 5, crammed the van and my parent's car full of the rest of the stuff we had to take home (thus our contemplation of a larger vehicle which would be a full-sized van but that's scaring me to death right now!). We were on the road at 6:45 AM - a bit late for me.

The girls did amazing in the morning - we hardly heard a peep. They fell back asleep for a bit and then cried around 8 to eat. After their bottles they were quiet and napped again. Wow! Heaven. Of course it didn't last. They were a wreck by the afternoon and by dinner they'd been in their carseats for 4 hours straight and were losing their minds. We stopped for dinner, changed all their diapers (they really needed that!) and took a break. By the way, no Hardees this time - McDonalds had 3 high chairs and a changing table as did Ruby Tuesday's. Go figure. They took their last bottle at 8 and slept most of the way home which wasn't until 11:30 - 16 1/2 hours after we started!!! Long day.

Today my parents spent a day here and it was so nice to have them. I was unable to unpack all 7 of us and they even helped me clean the house so when they go tomorrow I should have life more under control. Maybe. For a day anyway.

It's too late today to do a slide show of the vacation but I'm going to work on it. To tide you over here's a great pic from today with grandma and grandpa:

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Family and Friends Part II

Days 7,8, and 9: Friday we spent home with the triplets while soon-to-be Aunt Kim took Kaitlyn and Caleb to Chuck E. Cheese :) Then my extended family descended upon the house anxious to meet the triplets. We spent a few hours with them talking and opening some new gifts for the babies - thank you! - before Kirk and I made the long 4 1/2 hour drive across Florida to Ft. Lauderdale.

We arrived around 12:30 AM and for the life of us could not find a hotel! We drove around for almost an hour looking for a place to sleep and then, of course, it starts pouring. So miserable. But we finally found a Best Western to crash at - we were hoping for a little better but were getting nervous we couldn't find any more hotels in Southern Florida before dawn :) Yes, I wish I had a navigational system - I am working on that either alone or in a new vehicle but since our new vehicle would have to be a bus (almost) I'm not sure about that!

The wedding was beautiful and it was great to see another member of my wedding party who I haven't seen in almost 11 years. I think we've seen her since the wedding but if so it was a good 10 years ago and my memory doesn't go back that far. Most days my memory can't remember yesterday...

So, a few pics from our weekend - today we spent at church and my brother's house - forgot my camera...

My Great Aunt Carolyn with Julianna

My Uncle Jimmy with Rachel (my dad's oldest brother)

And my Uncle Ricky and Aunt Heidi with Alyssa (my dad's next oldest brother and sister-in-law)

The blushing bride, Kristy Fisher turned Kristy Hamilton :)

Me and Kristy - she looks a lot better! See what 5 kids does to a person?!!

The happy couple: Paul and Kristy Hamilton - congratulations guys I couldn't be happier for you both! Love ya!

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Family and Friends

Also known as days 5 and 6 - yesterday we spent with Kirk's family most of them meeting the triplets in person for the first time. It was nice to see Kirk's sister and brothers again and their kids and their grandkids!

Julianna with cousin Cheri and Aunt Lori

Rachel with cousin Amber

Alyssa with aunt Sherri

Today we visited some of our old college friends Tim and Wendy Boone. Wendy was also in my wedding 11 years ago and we haven't seen them since!! Life is crazy - while on our cruise almost 2 years ago we ran into Kirk's ex-girlfriend who knew Wendy who sent us our current address who wrote us who still lives where we used to who invited us to dinner tonight! Got to love run on sentences :) Anyway, it was so great to see them again and their 7 year old daughter, Mylanie (prounced like my lady but with a Georgian accent). Strangely, Mylanie and Kaitlyn looked a lot like twins!

The Boone family: Tim, Wendy and Mylanie

Mylanie, Kaitlyn and Caleb on their cool spinning chair

And the "twins": Kaitlyn and Mylanie - so cute!

And, if you remember the girls are 9 months old today. I can't believe another month has gone by. The biggest question we get asked lately is how do we do it? Some days I really don't know how we make it from morning to evening in one piece but some how we do and those days become a collection of days and eventually 9 months have gone by.

The girl's milestones haven't changed a lot recently - Julianna and Rachel are pulling up and doing it more and more each day. Julianna has begun cruising, has stood for a few seconds on her own and can sit down from standing quite well - she is everywhere and it's so cute when she pulls up in her pack and play or we go in to get her up and she's sitting up waiting rather than laying there helplessly. So close to walking! Yea! As for Alyssa she's begun crawling a little bit but still enjoys sitting in the middle of the room and although she wants to climb up to see things doesn't feel it's worth the effort!

Here's to another month...

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Disney World

Day 4: Disney World! Obviously keeping up with that will be hard so from now on the days will be much more "normal" - plus, our feet are still killing us from yesterday! Disney is supposed to be the happiest place on earth but while the kids had a great time and we enjoyed some of the rides mostly I came away with a sore and exhausted body that doesn't want to see that place again for years to come!

We did have a good time in the 100 degree weather - it felt hotter. But the lines weren't too bad - we used a lot of fast passes to skip the lines - especially Peter Pan which for some unknown reason had the longest wait of all. Surprisingly "It's a Small World" had no wait at all. Hmmm :)

Getting on our first ride: Snow White's Scary Adventures - we completely missed the scary part - woops! We didn't miss it in the ride though - the kids didn't want to do that one again!

The kids captured Zerg! This was Caleb's favorite ride and was a lot of fun. I bet Kaitlyn it would be hers by the end of the day but either it really wasn't or she didn't want to give me 10 kisses :)

On the Jungle Cruise - I couldn't get Caleb to look at me for one second to smile so Kaitlyn was helping me out! Kaitlyn says this was her favorite ride...

On the Swiss Family Robinson treehouse.

One of the greatest parts of our day was spent eating dinner at the Liberty Tree Tavern where the characters roamed about while we ate and made for some great photo oppurtunities - the kids loved it and the food was great. It helped a lot that there was a place to sit, someone served us and it was air conditioned!

Kaitlyn and Caleb with Pluto...

Kaitlyn and Caleb with Chip or Dale - Kirk keeps listing ways to tell them apart but I have no idea...

Kaitlyn with Minnie Mouse...

Caleb with Goofy...

I will add that the kids did great - not one complaint or fight or anything. We got there about 10 and left about 11 that night - I was dying by the end but they were still making it and behaving! So proud of them :)

Monday, August 13, 2007

Florida Aquarium

Day 3: We headed to the Florida Aquarium with everyone today because it was rated the #5 best aquarium in the nation by I believe Parenting magazine. Baltimore was rated #10. While we had fun I completely disagree - Baltimore is much better! The one big plus in Tampa is a pirate ship outside playground with water features. Kaitlyn and Caleb loved it - the triplets took their only nap during it - inside though, not in the heat.

Here's a few pictures from today:

Kaitlyn and Caleb on the mermaid...

Kaitlyn and Caleb in front of a fish tank - lots of big fish!

Our family of 7 on this cool squishy sea turtle:

And with Grandma and Grandpa:

And here's my favorite - notice everyone and then look at me. I think that same smile is pasted on no matter what's going on!!

Sunday, August 12, 2007

A Bigger "Bathtub"

Today is Day 2 of our Florida trip and the girls have been as miserable today as they were yesterday. No one slept much last night and the girls screamed a lot during the day. The one time that they were happy for any length of time was when they were all in the pool. I took a short clip of it because it was so weird to see the 3 of them floating around in the pool! So cute :)

And don't forget to notice my other two "fish" - even after 2 1/2 weeks they still LOVE the pool!

Saturday, August 11, 2007

We Made It, Sort Of

We are here. We survived the seventeen hour trip to Florida - we did break it up in 2 days though. Six hours of driving on Thursday landed us at Kirk's neice's house in NC - we left at 10 on Friday and made it to my parents house at 9.

It was a LONG trip and I don't recommend it though I was grateful we just had the girls and that Kaitlyn and Caleb were already here.

So, from experience here's How To Travel With Triplets:

1. Don't do it unless you have to.

2. If you've ignored step 1 and must go on a trip pack and plan carefully. This takes a long time or in my case just grab everything the babies like and throw it in the van - sort it out later.

3. Getting out the door will take 3 times longer than usual as all 3 babies will be crying and difficult before you go and one will probably be sick.

4. Don't expect the babies to nap in the van - they don't and they won't. Twenty minutes at best - both days no matter how awake and/or tired they were. We didn't get one solid hour of any of them asleep the entire 17 hours - even when we traveled after dark someone would wake up every few minutes and fuss. Thus the reason I will not try and travel this route at night.

5. DO NOT stop at Hardees to eat - ever. They have a maximum of 2 high chairs and no changing table. So, here we are stuck at Hardees for dinner after swearing it off after lunch and Julianna has pooped through everything - her pants, her shirt, her toys, the carseat - covered. And there's no changing table!! So, put two chairs together, laid a pad down and changed her in the "dining" area. This was somewhere in Florida - you definitely don't want to go there :) After that it was Rachel's turn. Only Alyssa made it to Florida in her original outfit. Nice. This goes for mom's of singletons too - seriously, they need a changing table!!

6. Ignore crying. There's nothing you can do anyway so pretend it doesn't exist. It's about all that worked for me after toys, wagon wheels, bottles and animal crackers had all been exhausted. Turn the music up so you can sing to it and drown them out - occasionally this helps with the actual crying :)

7. Rotate carseats - it didn't work extremely great but I think they enjoyed being in different positions occasionally - it gets boring back there!!

8. Praise God when you make it to wherever you are going. It's nothing short of a miracle and be prepared to be completely wiped out and for me the realization struck that life is certainly much harder with triplets plus 2! I'd forgotten how much those 2 can talk :)

9. Expect the babies to be completely off schedule and miserable after you think you're settled in. All three have been nothing shy of difficult today! Doesn't help that 2 of them have the fever that Julianna had on Wednesday. Go figure.

All that being said we are grateful that we did make it here in one piece with no major disasters other than the Hardees one. Keep checking back for pictures in the coming week. We have plans to take the older 2 to Disney - yea, in this heat.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

How To Talk To A Triplet Mom

Before talking to a triplet mom there are a few things you should know.

1. You must know how to count. Please, please look carefully and count from 1 to 3. If you only see 2 babies then the mom has twins not triplets. If you count all the way up to 3 these are called triplets. Not twins. Three babies is not twins! Some of you are laughing but I can't tell you how often we correct this mistake and by grown people - not kids.

2. Inform the triplet mom that she has the most beautiful triplets you have ever seen. This will get you in her good graces :) Don't begin with "are those real live triplets?" Of course they are, what else would they be? Dead - now that would be a weird thing to push in a stroller.

3. Before asking the sexes look at the babies closely. Are they wearing blue or pink? All the same thing? Sometimes girls wear blue but boys never wear pink so look closely before declaring what they are. It's okay to ask - it's weirder when you tell me what they are because usually you'll be wrong.

4. Ask knowledgable questions. We like that. I haven't met a mom yet who doesn't like to talk about her kids and her pregnancy. Ask things like "how many weeks were you when you had them?" Congratulate those of us who have gone full term (36 weeks with triplets), sympathize with those of us who did not. Please, please, please don't ask if they are natural or if we took some kind of fertility drug. It's invasive and annoying. Does it even matter how a baby is conceived? Original questions are better! "What are their names?" is a decent choice. Compliment name choice even if you hate it - unless, of course, you are trying to end the conversation right then.

5. DO NOT say that the mom has her hands full. She does. She knows this and she's heard it about a thousand times. It's not original.

6. If there are other kids please acknowledge them. Sometimes triplet is all we have but other times we have older or younger kids and they are as much a part of our family as the triplets so please don't leave them out.

7. Please don't ask if we've seen a certain TV show about multiples. Usually we have but unless it's our TV show it doesn't really apply much to our lives.

8. The only time it's acceptable to tell the triplet mom that you know another set of twins/triplets is if they are closely related to you or are your very close friends. I love to hear from grandparents of triplets - partly because it's cute and partly because I know my parents brag about my girls and I hate the thought of another triplet mom being rude to them! Same goes for my best friends - they know a lot of what goes on in my life - they're here all the time and again I hate the thought of someone being rude to them. But if it's a friend of a friend then it just seems like random talk and you have no idea what else to say.

9. As we are all naturally curious about how multiples interact it's perfectly acceptable to ask personality questions for each baby, how they interact with each other, if they notice each other, how they are doing things differently and/or at a different rate. These are intelligible questions and not too personal. Asking who is oldest is fine.

10. Finally watch the mom for clues as to how much of a conversation she wants to have. Your questions may be new to you but they are not to her and sometimes we are in a hurry. We're not trying to be rude but grocery runs can somteims get very long because of all the stops! So, please be polite to us. And, remember that we are human not freak side shows so we have our good days and bad days and sometimes we want to talk about our kids and sometimes we don't.

Best quotes to date from people who've seen us in public:

"That musta hurt!" From a guy sitting in the food court as I pushed the babies in the stroller. Very original - made me laugh and yes, it did hurt!

"Do you have a parade permit for that?" From a girl watching us go by in Harris Teeter - Kaitlyn had her cart that says "customer in training", I was pushing Caleb in the shuttle cart and Kirk was behind me pushing the stroller.

I hope you enjoyed my "how to" list - stay tuned for the week to come for more including "how to go out to eat with triplets" (not recommended) and "how to travel with triplets" - also, not recommended!

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Life As I Knew It...

Is now over! I know that the girls are crawling - in fact, they are everywhere. Even Alyssa is beginning to get in on the action. But, now the girls are beginning to pull up. Julianna is figuring out how to go from toy to toy. She fell but she's trying. Rachel is pulling up to a stand in her crib. Makes her cry and we have to go get her and put her down.

So, tonight we were playing with the babies in the family room and Kirk put Julianna on the couch to crawl after the cat (which all the babies absolutely love) and when she can't get the cat she crawls after my computer! My computer is my life and for those of you who don't know my computer sits on the couch so I can relax, watch TV and work - I MUST multi-task. Well, as she's crawling towards my computer, Rachel is batting at it standing next to the couch. And Alyssa was kicking me. People, I have triplets. Who told me this was going to happen? They're going to walk and then what do I do? As I was removing children like flies I was getting a little worried. There are more of them then there are of me!!

Sisterly love or my worst nightmare? Already they are fighting!! Even on a toy this big they must all play with the exact same part of the toy - just try to move them and whichever one I've moved heads right back to where her sister is. Sisters have become speedbumps and things to laugh at and then hit in the face. What am I going to do?? Okay, I just had to vent - I'm freaking out a bit :)

On a calm note here are some pictures of Kaitlyn and Caleb in Florida - aren't they adorable - I miss them so much! In two days we head that way - that's another freaking out moment for me!!!!!!!

The kids at the beach at sunset...

The kids at "Grandpa's Cafe" - Grandpa makes the best pancakes! He takes orders from the kids - Caleb wanted a foot and an arm - not sure what that's about. Kaitlyn wanted a dog and a bone. She does love her animals :)

And, of course, in the pool...

Saturday, August 04, 2007

Early Check-up and A Special "Hi"

I am realizing that it's been a few days since I've posted and in my last post had no pictures of the babies. Some of you don't mind but their big sister is missing her triplets and she has requested some new videos of the babies.

I also have exciting news to share about the girls. They had their 9 month check-up yesterday - no, you didn't miss something, it's a bit early - they won't be 9 months until the 16th :)

Drum roll please...

Julianna weighs 19.11 lbs! The child is about to top the big 20 and she hasn't even hit the 9 month mark! Did anyone tell this girl she was a preemie?? Her large weight puts her in the 75th percentile for weight. For height, she is in the 95th!!

At 8 1/2 months her favorite food is her bottle with Gerber puffs a close second. Her favorite passtime is crawling over her sisters followed by grinning and showing off her 6 teeth. Yes, she has 6!!

Can you tell Rachel feels defeated? Poor Rachel only weighs 15.11 lbs - that's 4 pounds less than Julianna! This puts her in the 10th percentile for weight. For height she's up to the 25th percentile. Go Rachel! Funny note - even Rachel weighs more than all the girls together at birth! Now we're getting somewhere :)

Rachel has no favorite food - she hates them all. The bottle is a necessity because she hasn't found anything better. Cardboard might be better but we haven't tried that yet. Her favorite passtime is keeping up her sister. She is trying everything she can - mostly involves crying when Julianna crawls over her.

Finally, Alyssa weighs 18.3 lbs keeping up with Julianna but representing most 9 month olds as she falls in the 50th percentile. For height she's in the 90th percentile. A second attempt to keep up with Julianna is the teeth - she has cut two and the doctor says her top gums are swollen and she will soon have 2 more!

Alyssa's favorite food is pretty much whatever is available though she does love applesauce and pears. Her favorite passtime is sitting up and waiting for everyone to come to her. A bit of a princess, I think. She also loves to be fed - I think I'm sensing a pattern!

The doctor says all the girls look great. They are growing well and doing lots of age appropriate things. We are so grateful for how far they have come.

And as a special hi to Kaitlyn and Caleb in Florida we took some video of the girls this morning for them to watch :) Enjoy! Don't worry - Alyssa was just fine after she fell over and the pillows are on the floor because the girls love to attempt to crawl over them - it's very cute!