Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Just Too Funny...

Today I received the new moms of twins and higher order multiples magazine: Notebook. In it are a few things I just had to share:

I have decided to change my vocabulary a bit:

- my life isn't hectic with three times the feedings, diaperings and clothes changes it's dynamic and brisk

- my house isn't messy with toys and clothes scattered about, laundry piled up and dust bunnies running amok; no, it's an interactive laboratory that is set up for the exploration of the social and kinetic dimensions of the multiple relationship (got that?)

- my children aren't fighting each other or trying to take things from each other (or hitting each other in the face) - on the contrary, they are practicing crucial negotiation skills for their future, powerful, high-paying jobs across the spectrum of business, medicine, technology and/or government.

And then the author added a quote from Mark Twain which I feel is just priceless:

"Sufficient unto the day is one baby. As long as you are in your right mind, don't you ever pray for twins. Twins amount to a permanent riot. And there aren't any real difference between triplets and an insurrection."

Here's to the end of April! Wait, what? How did that happen?

Monday, April 28, 2008

Grocery Game Tracker Week 3

Okay, few things this week. I didn't do the shopping last night, Kirk did. He does a great job but didn't know everything that I needed so I have to go back for a few more items. He also bought two at Harris Teeter's "buy one get one free" where I only buy one because you get the item at 50%. So, I do have to go back and buy some meat and a few other things but this is what Kirk spent:

Giant: $63.46
Harris Teeter: $65.69

He saved $30 at HT and $25 at Giant and followed my Grocery Tracker list. I printed it off for him and starred everything I really needed. He did pretty good!

And our meals for this week:

Monday: Club quesadillas (these are awesome - the recipe can be found at - if you don't already belong I highly recommend joining and getting their free magazine - tons of GREAT recipes)
Tuesday: Enchiladas
Wednesday: Mini-Meat Loaves with mashed potatoes and veggies (usually green beans but broccoli was on sale)
Thursday: Moms of multiples club meeting at Olive Garden
Friday: Spaghetti dinner at school
Saturday or Sunday: Easy Pasta Bake

If you ever want a recipe just let me know! I love to find varieties of recipes and try not to have the same thing twice in a month if not more.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

New Families

This week has been a week for new families. A new friend gave birth to triplets this past Tuesday (4/22). Hayden, Morgan and Landon are at Fairfax Hospital and doing well but born at 30.2 weeks they will be in the NICU for a few more weeks:

The Growing Cunninghams: Our Journey to Parenthood...with TRIPLETS!!

And an old friend's triplet celebrated their first birthday today! Congratulations Jeannie and her boys: Mason, Tyler and Ryan on your first year. May God bless you with many more to come:

THREE For the Price of One!!

Kaitlyn's 1st grade teacher adopted two daughters this week! Yea for the G's! We are sooo happy for you!! And we can't wait to meet your new girls :) (they also have a foriegn exchange student - thus the blog title)

Our American Life Through Korean Eyes

Last but not least this week marks just under a month before we head the troops to Florida to help prepare for my brother's wedding (6/7/08). I am really nervous about the whole trip - traveling with 5 kids does NOT sound like a picnic. But Kaitlyn will be the flower girl and Caleb the ring bearer and I'll have my parents help for a few weeks so it should be a decent break :)

Way to go little brother. Welcome to the family - my first sister!!

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Cherry Blossoms

We have this beautiful tree in our front yard that blooms for a short period of time every year. Beautiful pink cherry blossoms - I love it! Of course, they make the perfect backdrop for great spring pictures...

Stop them before they get away!

It's snowing flower petals...

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

How To End A Playdate At The Nelson's

By calling 9-1-1 :) At least no one was injured - my friend Kathy somehow managed to lock herself out of her running van with her boys inside. Fortunately, the firemen came quickly and got her out. I'm just wondering when they'll recognize our address...

Before the craziness we had some good times - like letting the girls feed themselves yogurt for the first time - they did pretty good. At least they had fun...

The boys: Liam and Caleb (it was really a play date for them)

Sweet Jesse - he's 2 in a few days - I think he likes the girls...

Monday, April 21, 2008

Grocery Game Tracker Week 2

Today I went shopping again with the Grocery Game. Didn't get there yesterday because of care group. Usually Sunday's are very, very busy so I have to wait till Monday. I think shopping Sunday's is probably better as Harris Teeter was out of a few of their specials including the ground chuck on sale. Figures. Not the ask the butcher for more kind. The weird kind in a roll but hey, it was on major sale :) Apparantly other people got over the strange packaging as well and bough HT out of their current supply. Thus by weekly meals consist basically of chicken. Such is life. My family will survive just fine.

My grand total for today - groceries for the coming week - was $89!! Wow! So cheap. I saved $29. Pretty good. My total does include 5 gallons of milk and bananas which must be purchased regardless of sales.

And my menu for this week:

Monday: Baked chicken, rice and green beans
Tuesday: Baked Ziti
Wednesday: Chicken n Dumplings
Thursday: Easy Cheesey Chicken Chili

Weekends off/leftovers/going out. Sometimes we have spaghetti :) The last two recipes are thanks to my friend Cherie. Thanks girl!

And I want to say a very special thank you to my friend, Janette who watched the girls today while my house was thoroughly cleaned by The Cleaning Authority. They did an awesome job and I love, love that my house is officially deep cleaned. I'm most happy about the bathrooms because who likes that job anyway? It's as close to pampering as a stay-at-home mom gets!!

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

17 Months

I was all set to take a picture of the girls at 17 months but I just didn't get around to it. These things happen I guess. I considered skipping this month but decided that it was important enough to record their milestones to this point. I can't say too much has changed since last month. They are communicating more and more all the time though it does seem that Julianna is at least a few months ahead of the other two. They kind of just follow her.

They have become obsessed with shoes and bring me shoes constantly. Then they lift up their feet so I can put them on. They don't care at all what size shoes they are - mine, theirs, brothers, big sisters. It's cute until they throw a temper tantrum about it.

They are also interested in eating with forks, spoons and bowls. Julianna is doing pretty well with putting something on her fork and getting it into her mouth. The other girls are trying but they seem to like the bowls better. I'll try to get this on video soon. It's very cute!

So, I have survived another month. The crying is still pretty consistent. Honestly I think it's because Alyssa and Rachel can't verbalize as well as Julianna so they break down easier whereas Julianna can tell me more of what she wants so she seems to cry less. One month left to a year and a half. Is their second year almost half over? How does it happen this fast?

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Brighten Your Tax Day

Because this can be a difficult day for some I thought I'd share a few things to hopefully make your day a little happier:

No idea what that is?? Oh come on! How can you not recognize the amazing photography of a 4-year-old? Yep, it's Caleb's handiwork from today. Be thankful I took out the other 7 pictures of his favorite blanket along with the one of the cats butt and the toys on the floor. Oh, yea, my feet aren't in here either...

And for another reminder from last year (since it still applies!):

Monday, April 14, 2008

Grocery Game Tracker Week 1

When I posted about using the grocery game a few weeks ago I got a lot of questions as to whether or not it works so I decided to share my results over the coming weeks and you all can decide for yourself :) So far though I have been very happy with my progress. I'm also going to share my weekly meal plan so that you can see that I'm not eating spaghetti every day or cheese and crackers. Please share your stories and feel free to ask questions.

Yesterday I took my grocery game list to Harris Teeter - I have a subscription to both Giant and Harris Teeter and I find HT to be better on all deals - I get 5 pages of items there instead of just 2 at Giant - big difference.

I spent $123 yesterday. Sounds like a lot but I saved $85!! Plus, I have to buy 4 to 5 gallons of milk a week regardless of price since the girls still need whole milk so for the rest of the world you can subtract $20 on my cost.

Couple other things:
- while chicken was on sale at Giant at a stock-up price I already has chicken from BJ's and a lot of it
- however, last week I used the grocery game and was able to pick up some bone-in chicken from HT for just $.29 a pound!! So, for $3.50 our entire care group will be having BBQ'd chicken this coming Sunday. Add $1 for BBQ sauce this week at HT and that's a meal for like 15 people for less than $5.

My meal plan for this week:
Tonight: pork chops (special frozen lemonade marinade recipe) with scalloped potatoes, broccoli, applesauce and biscuits (these I had)
Tomorrow: white bean chicken chili with mexican salad - all fixtures for both were on sale
Wednesday: chicken pot pie
Thursday: raviolis (on sale buy one get one free)
For the weekend: we usually go out or eat leftover since after all I will have plenty after all this cooking!

Check back next week to see where we are then...

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Swingin' Fun

After some amazing backyard swinging fun:

Kirk took Kaitlyn and Caleb to some swinging fun of a different kind: their very first minor league baseball game. They had quite the evening. The game was enjoyable but apparantly a stray ball hit a small boy smack in his side and he had to be taken by ambulance to the hospital. What do you think the kids remember when they got home?

Friday, April 11, 2008

It's All About the Shoes

The girls have been obsessed with shoes lately. Their shoes, other shoes - whatever they can get on their tiny feet. So, it's only natural that when they get new adorable shoes and we have a gorgeous day that we must get them dressed, take them outside and takes lots of pictures.

And the best thing about this being the girl's second summer/year is that every picture I take I can compare back to last year and see how far they've come.

Julianna has really grown to LOVE the swing.

Rachel enjoys it too.

Alyssa fills out the swing much better now

And more pictures from today. They all just love the swing and running in the grass. And aren't those new shoes adorable? Yea, they love them too :) Mommy loves the clothes though. Man, girls are so fun to dress!

Thursday, April 10, 2008

I HATE Mornings!!!

Anyone who knows me knows I HATE mornings. I'd rather stay up all night and sleep all day. I hate getting out of bed. Once I'm going I have trouble stopping thus the night person thing. I'm a firm believer that a body in rest stays at rest and a body in motion stays in motion. Makes complete sense to me!!

I have found a new reason to absolutely hate mornings. The girls could not be crankier if they tried. Okay, maybe they could. But every morning they just scream and scream. Not that they don't cry at other times but this is when everybody is at their worst.

Just be thankful I don't have sound for these:

Alyssa has given up...

Why we watch Elmo every morning for an hour!!

Julianna did not share in the misery this morning so instead of a picture from today I thought I'd share a cuter one from yesterday that shows Julianna's new loves: Drawing and Elmo:

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Three Silly Sisters

For at least twenty minutes yesterday the girls happily played in Rachel's crib together. No one wanted out - it was very cute. The one thing I did miss on camera was Rachel laying down like she was going to go to sleep - she was half covered with the blanket and Julianna was patting her back :) Finally a sign of sisterly love.

I couldn't decide between the two which one was better so I decided to put them both up. Watch if you have time. I just love to catch them playing and talking! It's great.

Sunday, April 06, 2008

The Story of Kirk and Dorinda

No, it's not our anniversary but 14 years ago today I asked Kirk to my senior prom. He had already graduated so it was my prom and not his. So, in front of my physics class (where we met - he was the teacher's assistant) I asked if he would go to prom with me. Fortunately, I had it on good authority that he would say yes.

And he did!

He gave me his phone number. I called him that night and we talked for a while on the phone. I even remember my brother banging on the window (he was 12 at the time - I was 17) asking me if I was talking to my boyfriend. I yelled at him that I hardly knew him!!

Instead of sticking to "just prom", Kirk asked me out on a date. And the guy who I thought would be a good prom date did become my boyfriend. In fact, on our first date one of my brother's friends asked me if I was going to marry this guy. What did these kids know that I didn't?

Despite my resistance to getting into a relationship (I had just come out of one), Kirk broke down all my barriers. After a year of dating he asked me to marry him and of course, I said yes.

He asked me at what I thought was a surprise graduation party for him. Instead, with cameras rolling he got down on one knee and asked me to be his wife :) So sweet. One year later we got married.

Look how young we were! Just 19 and 20. We had NO idea what we were in for. Sure, I already knew then that I'd have trouble getting pregnant. Had even told Kirk that he could leave me if he wanted. I knew, I just knew that I wouldn't be able to have kids. Ha! Instead I now have more than twice the national average.

At one point I had wished that God could let me look ten years in to the future just to see. If I didn't have children then that would be okay, at least I would know and I would keep trying. Or if I saw that I did have children then I would be more patient and wait until it happened.

But we all know the rest of that story! I'm thankful now that I didn't see ahead. Who would be prepared for triplets?? Who would want to know that in advance? No, I'm grateful that the Lord never let me look ahead. It makes each day that much sweeter. Now I have five kids worth every second of the wait and they make me all the more grateful for what I've been given!

Friday, April 04, 2008

ACSI Science Fair

Today was the ACSI Science Fair (Association of Christian Schools International) and Kaitlyn did very well. Since she's only in 2nd grade and was supposed to be in 3rd for the fair I think she did fine and I'm very proud of her. Her school allowed 2nd graders to do a report and so much a project so her project didn't follow all the rules.

I am glad she got to have the experience anyway :) She got to meet a weather man, an astronaut who has been in space at least twice (sorry, I don't know their names)and may be on TV next Tuesday AM. She also got to see a bunch of other neat science projects which will give us plenty to work on next year!

Here's some pictures from today:

With the judges...

The astronaut:

They made a sign for ABC 7:

Listening to the weatherman:

Thursday, April 03, 2008

I Wish...

I wish I had a camera following me all day. Before you think me crazy let me finish. Not like a camera crew to put me on a TV show or something but just someone there to capture the great and not-so-great moments that occur during my day.


- 3 girls running around the island and giggling as if it's the most fun thing in the world.
- finding 3 girls with me no matter where I happen to go - they are like ducklings - if I play in the living room they are there, if I head to the family room same thing - upstairs, downstairs, doesn't matter - I would love to share this migration with everyone so I'd at least have a record of triplets NOT going in 3 different directions like is always imagined
- the fights that ensue over an empty coke or pepsi can (yes, I watch them carefully) - there's something they love about holding that thing and if someone has it and it's not Julianna well, the world has ended in her book
- capturing Alyssa and I "talking" - she yells, she talks, she dances, she rocks and I can't get any of this on camera - the moment I turn it on, she's shy and doesn't want to say anything.
- the constant screaming so everyone can share how loud and crazy my world has become.
- the record I would have of all the things Kaitlyn and Caleb say because I can't remember them as I sit down to write even when I repeated them to myself in order to share the jokes with everyone.
- being able to share the video of the sheer amount of diaper changes I do every day - that and you'd laugh at me a lot for all the butts I sniff because I just know someone has pooped again in their clean diaper!
- capturing how my house can be clean and orderly and within seconds everything I've done becomes undone because the girls would rather have every toy in the middle of the floor and every piece spread out and every ball out of the ball pit (why is it that the only thing that ever stays immaculately clean are the shelves that are supposed to hold all the stuff?)
- the babbling between sisters because someday they'll wonder what it sounded like and what it was like when they were little and all I could say is I didn't get it on film.

I'm sure my wishlist could go on forever. As I read the blog of a friend who lost one of her babies recently I was reminded at how precious our time is and how we have no idea when someone we love could be gone. So, I wish that I had a way of capturing every moment so that I would never forget how they sounded, felt, looked. So, thank you for letting me share their moments with you on this blog because for now this is the best record I'm going to get...

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Update on Rachel

Rachel got her first alone time out with Daddy today to see the neurologist. It certainly felt odd going somewhere with just one baby. I can't believe I used to complain about how much work that was. What a breeze! Didn't even need to use a stroller, just grab and go. Wow!

Anyway, the neurologist didn’t find any abnormalities or anything to worry about. There were no other symptoms of having a seizure or other neurological disorder. The fact that she wasn’t excessively lethargic or running a fever after the incident rules out any seizures. He said the description of the incident was in line with several cases of breath holding he’s seen before. So really nothing to worry about, he advised increasing her iron and trying to shock her out of the breath holding when she does it (blow in her face, splash water on her, etc.) but since it doesn’t appear to be a regular pattern there’s no need to medicate her. If it happens again or if there’s other neurological symptoms we’ll bring her in for an EEG and he wants to see her again in about 3 months to make sure her development is on track.

So really no worries. All is fine.