Thursday, July 31, 2008

What About The Girls?

At it's been a while since I've actually posted anything about the girls I thought I'd try and update about them a little bit. They are everywhere and into everything. They do stairs up and down without a problem. Julianna is still talking a lot and they understand just about everything. We're working on where our body parts are and Julianna likes to show me her nose and teeth.

Honestly they are a lot easier these days - finally! But it seems that with the gates down on the stairs they are happy to go up and down and play. Give them some extra snacks and life is great. They are doing well with one nap a day and "sleeping" for about 3 hours a day - okay, they're in their beds for a little more then that but they need some down time too!!

They love, love, love being outside especially in the swing and hate the stroller. Now they can kick each other in the face while side-by-side. Yea, it's a pretty sight. Julianna kicks Rachel who feels the world has instantly ended and we all must know about it (Rachel doesn't like to be touched if she's in a certain mood). Alyssa and Julianna often like to play a game where they push each other and giggle. It's funny really.

A few pictures from this month:

"New" outdoor toys - one of the perks of being in a multiples club is the stuff that gets passed down :)

There's always a line when you have triplets!

And from today I got some shots of the girls sitting on the stairs playing together:

This is Julianna leaning forward giving me a huge grin for the camera - this girl is a riot or a drama queen depending on the time of day...

This is Rachel making her way up the stairs. Slowly, very slowly. She only moves quickly up the stairs if she's trying to get up there before I see her. If I want her to go up there I have to wait anywhere between a day or a week :) Kidding.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Where Am I?

So it's only been two days since my last post but I feel I've been a million miles from my computer. I'm behind on everybody else's blogs (they're piling up to read in Google Reader!!) and I'm flat out exhausted. No, I'm not throwing myself in front of JoRonda's moving van. Boat? Though I would like to be, don't get me wrong! But instead I've been spending my week here:

I volunteer a good 12 hours a week when the sale is running (which it is 3 times a year) - I also consign my clothes although this time I've been so far behind that I hardly put anything in :( I'll hold it till October. While I'm used to chasing 3 toddlers I'm not used to standing on my feet for 4 hours and working - it's so different - so I'm tired. I could sleep for a day :) I can probably do that anyway.

So, if you're anywhere near me tomorrow through Saturday be sure to check it out. There's soooo much stuff still there (no, I didn't buy it all today...):

On a totally different note I saw my GYN today and she thinks I probably do have an autoimmune disorder. Not sure what. I see the Hematologist next week and we'll see how that goes. Falling asleep and I still have to work tomorrow...

Sunday, July 27, 2008

How Do I Say Goodbye?


I think one of the hardest things in the this life is to say goodbye. Saying goodbye in death is much harder then by distance but sometimes it doesn't feel like it. Certainly figuring out how to say goodbye isn't easy either. After all, I've been working on this post for well over a week now and still don't have the right words to say. As JoRonda, her husband, Mark and three boys, Dustin, Nathan and Ethan head to Thailand in just three days I have to say this quick!!

Over the past few years I have had the pleasure to get to know a very unique woman and her family. And to go from liking her as a person to depending on her for wisdom was also an amazing transformation. After all, how often do you get the chance to meet someone who has triplets and then find out that you are also going to be having triplets?

JoRonda was one of the first people I told about the triplets. In church during our greeting time I leaned forward and said I was going to have triplets! She immediately sat down and wrote me this very long note of what they did when her triplets were little. Gave me encouragement that I could survive and tips on what to do while on bed rest and after they were born. I still have that card and I refer back to it from time to time. Of course, I had one thing she didn't and that was children before my triplets. To this day we have a friendly argument going as to which is harder, triplets first or already having other children. So far I'm winning in the difficult area.

How many people have the ability to come in and take care of all three babies at once with ease? She knew what to do. She'd done it before. I heard stories about how she bottle fed all three of them with her hands and her knees :) She took them so I could sleep. She took them so I could shop. Trust me, this is a RARE thing.

But to truly understand how amazing and used of God that JoRonda is you have to know a little bit of her story. Although I knew some of it I hadn't heard all the details until one night at a ladies church get-together where she was asked to give her testimony. As I listened to her share I was just 23 weeks pregnant with the girls and completely unsure of how my own story would turn out. This may get a little long but you will do well to read it all. To see God at work in this life is nothing short of a miracle and it is for His glory alone that I live and for His glory alone that I share this with you.

JoRonda and Mark married at a very young age (so did I - we have a lot in common - notice we both have "different" names :) ). Mark was diagnosed with cancer not long after they were married thus causing infertility later in their marriage. Unable to get pregnant on their own JoRonda and Mark turned to IVF. Using what they had banked years earlier JoRonda and Mark implanted four embryos hoping one or maybe two would "take". Three did. They were having triplets! Mark was excited. JoRonda was scared. Being a LDR nurse she knew everything that could go wrong with triplets and in her case, it almost did.

At 19 weeks JoRonda was put on strict bed rest. At 27 weeks her water broke and she was admitted into the hospital to see if labor could be prolonged. At 27.5 weeks JoRonda began to shiver and she knew that infection had set in and the babies would have to be delivered. She gave birth to two boys and a girl each weighing around 2 pounds: Dustin, Nathan and Abbey.

Dustin required heart surgery, Nathan had Methicillan Resistant Staph and had to have surgery on every joint in his body. He came home in a full body cast and today walks with a limp because of it but is otherwise normal and healthy. Abbey was diagnosed with a Level 4 brain bleed requiring a shunt to drain the blood around her brain. After four months in the NICU she came home healthy and happy.

Just under 7 years from her homecoming Abbey complained of feeling ill. Unusually for Abbey she spent the night in her parents bed. When JoRonda woke in the middle of the night Abbey wasn't breathing. Knowing CPR, JoRonda worked on reviving her as Mark called 9-1-1. Since they lived in the country it took a while for the paramedics to arrive. When they did they took Abbey by ambulance and JoRonda rode along. She praises God that Abbey was revived during that time and she had some moments with her.

When the ambulance met the helicopter JoRonda could not go along and instead had to ride with Mark to the hospital. When she arrived and was met by the doctor instructing them to have a chaplain or pastor present JoRonda knew it wasn't good. Within a day, Abbey was no longer present in this life and instead was present with our Lord in the next. It turns out that her shunt had failed and her brain could not survive without it.

So, how could this woman who not even five years later met me, another mom with triplets, pour her heart and time into my well-being? To be honest, if it were me, I don't know if I could do it. Especially after I carried my girls to 36 weeks and had a scheduled C-section. Instead of spending months in the NICU, my girls were released right away with no complications.

But instead of steering clear of me, she became a huge part of my life, helping to coordinate my care while I was in the hospital and after. She signed up to bring us meals for an entire month (once a week, not every day!), she came over to help and continued to give us "triplet tips".

And then we were blessed to have JoRonda and Mark in our "care group" - basically a home Bible study on Sunday nights. JoRonda would constantly take the all the girls to play so I could sit quietly and listen. Wow! How sweet is that? She would ask how I was doing. How my quiet times with God were. How my marriage was. Not to pry but because she truly cared about me.

That's the kind of person JoRonda is. She is selfless and so is the rest of her family. There wasn't a time that she came over that she didn't bring her boys along with her (Ethan came along later as their only surviving frozen embryo). Her boys cleaned up my yard, mowed, weeded, moved furniture. Anything and everything. Trust me, I've already signed Kaitlyn up to marry any one of them :)

But now what? Now they are leaving to head to Thailand and I am truly going to miss her. I don't feel like I've gained enough wisdom from her yet and I am certainly not ready for them to leave. I know that the new folks they meet in Thailand will be truly blessed to have them there and I can only pray that the Lord will bring them back here in the future.

JoRonda, Mark and the boys: we love you and will miss you. May God go before you in your journey and may you not forget the set of triplets you left behind :)

JoRonda and "the girls":

Mark and "the boys" - Caleb insisted on this picture :)

JoRonda has committed to starting a blog and keeping us all up to date with their adventures in Thailand so plesae be sure to check it out and say hello:

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Ladies Man

So, if having four sisters isn't enough to make Caleb the sensitive and sweet little guy that he is he has recently acquired a new skill that will be every woman's dream! Okay ladies, sign your daughters up now while he's still single :) I'm taking applications to find out why your daughter is the perfect wife for him :) Oh, and she has to love Jesus or Caleb will be very upset...

In case you were wondering - he wasn't completely on his own. He had help from a professional but he wanted to help so badly that she let him. Thanks Miss Lisa!!

I know, I'm so pampered. This may explain why I'm so behind on other things like cleaning, tagging clothes and writing...

Whatcha doin'? Yes, we were insanely brave to try doing nails while the babies were awake. Amazingly they did very well and played with the big kids upstairs while Caleb, I mean Lisa, worked on my toes. Eventually, however, they all made their way down to see what was going on.

Our toes (Lisa was also kind enough to paint all the big girls toes - no babies this time - maybe next) - can you tell which ones are mine? Isn't the blue super cool?

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Blanket Lover

I have never seen a baby so attached to her blanket since Linus! The thing goes everywhere - to the park, while she eats, to bed, out of bed - everywhere. She drags it, she wears it. The wearing it is the funniest because she walks around with it like a shawl. Does she not realize that it's over 90 degrees outside? And still she HAS to have the heavy blanket. Even though she has a green blanket in all these pictures she truly doesn't care what color it is as long as it has the knots on all around it. I don't know why but it has to be that. Thankfully we have tons. Seemed to be the big baby shower gift :)

The "shawl" look:

The other two? Alyssa likes a completely different blanket - it's a pink, soft one. We only have one and she doesn't drag it around so much but she does cry for it at night if she doesn't have it. And Rachel? She likes the same type of blanket as Julianna just not as fiercely - she usually throws her blankets (and everything else) out of her crib. However, if Rachel is tired she will look for a blanket to lay on and if Julianna has the only one they fight. When Grandma had them in nursery in Florida she would give me strict instructions: 3 blankets or no blankets :) Oh, the fighting stage - that's a whole other post!!

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Pesky Hormones

So I have had a thyroid issue since sometime in 2002. Well, not sometime, about March of 2002 when I was diagnosed with Graves disease and informed that I was very, very ill. Gee thanks. After lots of scans, discussion, bloodwork, etc. it was decided that because I wanted to be pregnant we would proceed with surgery and remove most of my thyroid gland. The hope that the remainder would function on its own and I wouldn't require medication.

Of course, my body is completely uncooperative and it has never functioned properly since except for a few times or at least enough for the doctors to say that I was allowed to get pregnant (twice). Once again my thyroid hormone is off so yesterday I had to go back to the endocronologist for another dose adjustment. Huge pain but if it's off I have wacky symptoms like exhaustion (although I'm pretty sure that's also a symptom of having triplets).

But that's not the biggest pain. The biggest pain is that my platelet count is low. What does that even mean? Why do I end up with stupid stuff anyway? Random things like ovaries that don't work and thyroids that don't work. Do I now have blood that doesn't work? My bloodwork says "FEW GIANT PLATELETS PRESENT" - just like that. In big bold letters. Is this bad? Should I have giant platelets? If so, why don't I know these things?

I agree with my blogger friend, Cadi, I want a window into my body to know what's going on!! So now I have to see a Hematologist to figure out why I have a low platelet count and if this means anything. I'll keep you updated as I deal with yet another stupid medical thing. Have I mentioned how much I hate stuff like this? Oh wait, I forgot to say that the reason I had my blood drawn was for the allergist to find how why I've been breaking out in hives. Maybe I'm just allergic to myself, after all Graves is an autoimmune disease. Can I be allergic to platelets??

Monday, July 21, 2008

New Furniture

I promised more pictures as we ade progress so here they are. Kirk got Kaitlyn's dresser together yesterday and it looks great! She needed a new dresser sooo badly - her old was falling apart and just wasn't holding everything. This one seems much bigger which makes me so happy :)

The chair is hiding some of the new decorations so I'm trying to convince Kaitlyn to move the vanity out of her room and free up space under her bed - so far she isn't convinced and likes it how it is...

Using every inch means the desk and vanity go under the bed.

And no, we didn't forget about the outside - this morning we had our new deck table and delivered and I think it looks great - certainly will fit a family of 7 plus lots of lots of friends! (Especially since they all keep getting pregnant!! Did I tell you this? Well, "best friend Lauren" is going to be a big sister and little Will is going to be a big brother: The Shepherd Times Oh, and Ellie is doing well and may come home sooner then we thought - maybe by 36 weeks instead of her due date - woo hoo!! )

Isn't the table just so cool?

Stay tuned this week - sad post coming. It's formulating in my head but I have to say goodbye to someone I'm going to miss a whole lot and I want to do her justice as she moves to another country!!

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Kaitlyn Is 8 and the Big Reveal...

In all the excitement and hoopla of my having triplets it's sometimes easy to overlook just how special my other two children are. Yes, they are "singletons" and they get less attention from other people but to me Kaitlyn and Caleb are the rest of my world. They were here first. Kaitlyn made me a mom first and Caleb was the confirmation that the Lord really wanted me to be a mother. I think the triplets are the exclamation point.

Today I had the joy and privilege of celebrating 8 years with my first child. In a previous post I said it was hard to believe that the girls are 20 months old but even more then that it's hard to believe that my oldest is now 8. Eight years ago now I was in the hospital with this tiny new life. I was a clueless new mom and I was young but I was soo happy that my dream had finally come true.

It took me 3 1/2 years to get pregnant with Kaitlyn. It took a diagnosis of an ugly disorder called Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome. It took a team of doctors and a boat load of shots. And ultimately it took the grace of God in my life. His grace to say yes, I want you to be a mother and this, this tiny bundle is the daughter I have chosen for you to love and raise for as many years as I have ordained for her on this earth. I know that she knows that I love her. But it will take her entire life and maybe until she is a mother before she knows just how much.

So, in honor of Kaitlyn's 8 years after the girls got about no sleep last night (think 2 AM to 7 AM) they got a breakfast of pancakes and then we loaded up and headed to the zoo. Signs along the way said "Ozone advisory: use mass transit or carpool" Yep, I'd say it was just a tad hot. Thank God National Zoo has a lot of shade and misters along the way. We managed to stay somewhat hydrated.

Of course I took pictures:

And for the "big" reveal. Well, the 80% complete room. As you can see we still have some work to do - Kirk needs to put the dresser together and we need to move some of Kaitlyn's furniture in and some of the baby's furniture out.

A few "still" pictures so you can really see what the wall stick-ons look like as well as the really cool bedding (all from Pottery Barn Kids). You can see where the dresser is going to go...

I have to admit the khaki looks pretty good. I do miss the blocks and all the work we put into them but this suits Kaitlyn better. While I'm not a neutral person it works as a good backdrop for all the animal designs. At some point I'll add in some orange when I figure out just how and where I want it.

The really cool bedding:

Did I mention how hard it is to make a bed that's 6 feet in the air? And how hard it is to take pictures of said bed? If it were lower to the ground the pillows would have been better arranged :) While I don't love the high up beds Kaitlyn and Caleb do and they allow for more space in the room so they're staying for now. At least until the next room redo...

I'll post more pictures when we get the dresser together and the closet cleaned out and the new valance/drapes up. So much to do but I'm grateful we've gotten this far!! And thanks to everyone who sent Kaitlyn birthday wishes. She had a great day. I hope she also has a great year because I love her so very much.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Slumber Party

Since I know tomorrow is going to be a super busy day and I have much to post seeing as it's Kaitlyn's 8th birthday I figured I'd get started tonight and post a few pictures from Kaitlyn's party tonight. Her first slumber party. It was me, 7 girls and Caleb going to see Space Chimps at the theater. Decent enough movie but everyone else was there to see Batman. I thought about sneaking over but I was the only adult so I had to stay...

I have nothing against large families but right now I'm glad these aren't all mine. Kaitlyn said that when I entered the theater with a trail of kids she heard someone ask, "Why does that lady have so many kids?" Good question :)

The cake - can you tell it's a safari theme? We're ALL about animals this year. I found out yesterday the cupcakes I wanted were not available (some safari kit game thing) so this morning was a mad scramble to come up with something but I have to say that Harris Teeter came through and did a great job! (yes, I know Target has good cakes but their animal one was lame - very much for a 3-year-old)

Completely posed picture. She smiled till I took the picture.

Presents! Isn't that why we have parties anyway? For the gifts! Seriously she liked what she got. It's nice that she's still easy to please.

All those girls and then Caleb. Someday this boy will have some more boys around...

Goody bags!

Two girls couldn't stay the night but for those that could we had chocolate covered strawberries! Let's see dinner, popcorn at the theater, cake for dessert followed by smoothies and strawberries with chocolate. I'd say they had plenty to eat!

So much more tomorrow including a trip to the zoo and hopefully the reveal of the new bedroom. And, oh yea, Kaitlyn turns 8!!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

20 Months!!!

From this (12 week sonogram - pregnant with triplets!!!)

To this (just before delivery - 8 months pregnant with triplets and in the hospital):

To this (Triplets day 1 - being wheeled to my room from the recovery area):

To this (Triplets 7 months):

To this (Triplets Valentines Day 2008 - 15 months):

To this (Triplets today at 20 months - how did they get so big? How did it go so fast?):

Tuesday, July 15, 2008


Gone are my great block walls:

(The putty is covering the holes where the shelves were)

And here are the walls currently:

How bland and boring is this? Normally progress for me is the other way around!!

Tomorrow we paint the walls khaki. Yea, I know, khaki. For those of you who know me you know I'm not known to paint the walls such a neutral color but there it is. It's going to be neutral. But I think it will still be great in the end as we're going with a safari animal theme. Can't wait to share those photos this weekend :)