Friday, May 30, 2008

Spiderman, Spiderman

Does whatever a Spiderman can...

Is he a riot or what? Yes, that actually is Caleb :) He looked so real he freaked his sisters out a bit. Alyssa wouldn't go anywhere near him for a while. Then they thought he was cool and gathered around him.

I tried to get video but it came out really dark. I'll post it here only because the ending is visible and it makes me laugh. So funny!

Thursday, May 29, 2008

They're In The Pool!

Wondering what the bigger kids are doing here in Florida? Well, when they're not playing Nintendo DS they are in pool. While it's really hot here - almost 90 - the pool is not that warm and in fact feels pretty cold so I haven't gotten in as much as I would have liked nor have I gotten the babies in - I'd hate for them to turn blue! When I have extra hands we'll all go in and enjoy the pool some more.

But Kaitlyn and Caleb seem not to mind at all:

Caleb is the prince and Kaitlyn is riding his dolphin escort...

Is that a strange fish or what??

How Caleb swims - on a noodle - he won't go under water because "I forget to hold my nose" - even a reminder from mom wouldn't change his mind...

Laying in the sun to dry off - how cute are they? They even ordered up a snack of fresh grapes while they lay out. Mommy, butler and cook, at your service :)

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

What I've Learned

It’s only taken 4 days for me to learn a few things:

1. 5 kids, one cold pool and one mom don’t mix – reinforcements are necessary – it takes me a good hour to get in as it is.

2. Tennis balls create endless entertainment – bounce and chase, bounce and chase

3. Libraries are awesome! Why didn’t I think of this before? Free books for all ages of kids plus toys to play with and small chairs to sit on – I love it, we will go again and again.

4. Grandpas are great to take along to libraries – they have a special knack for chasing small children

5. Trying to go down to one nap a day after a huge change is very difficult – they are doing it because they have to but I am HATING it – they are so cranky in the morning and if Rachel wasn’t bad enough before, well, she’s really bad now. With my other two they kind of naturally made the change themselves but with the girls I’m forcing it because it has to be done eventually and what better time when Grandpa is around all morning and Grandma is around all night? The real problem is that Julianna and Alyssa are quite ready but Rachel is not and I am NOT having a baby up at all times – I would quickly go insane.

6. Weddings are expensive! So far I’ve spent the money it takes to get to Florida and with gas prices how they are it was a lot, about $300 on kids wedding clothes, plus wedding gifts. How in the world am I going to pay for 4 of these??

7. Kirk is essential to my sanity – this has only taken me half a day to learn :) Kirk flew home this morning and made it safely which is great but he is no longer here and we all miss him. Thankfully he’ll be back again next week.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

My Dad's Birthday

Today is my dad's birthday. We had the party yesterday but since I had no card I decided to wait till today and hopefully this post will take its place (yes, I got him a gift - I just didn't realize we were having the party yesterday...). A very Happy Birthday to my Dad. I love you so much and I'm glad we got to be here for his special day :)

Here are some pictures from the party and from Memorial Day and from our first real full day here (Sunday was church):

Wondering how it's going here? The girls are cranky and not sleeping well. We are trying to adjust them to one nap a day and they aren't too happy about it. Kirk leaves in the morning and I'm really nervous. The girls like the pool and being outside just a bit too much which leads to massive screaming fits when they come inside. Hopefully they will adjust over the coming days and things will get easier. At least I'm hoping for that - I'll let you know!!

Sunday, May 25, 2008

It's Only A Recommendation

- The American Academy of Pediatrics recommend that children under the age of 2 watch 0 hours of TV.

- Yesterday my girls watched 12 hours of TV including 6 hours of Elmo alone

- The AAP recommends that children under age 2 have 6 to 8 ounces of juice a day.

- Yesterday my girls had 16 to 20 ounces of juice.

- The AAP recommends that children under age 8 remain strapped into a carseat while the vehicle in motion

- Yesterday my kids remained painfully strapped into carseats for 16 hours despite their massive protests

- The AAP recommends that children under age 2 take at least one two hour nap a day.

- Yesterday my girls took two hours worth of naps total and combined - Rachel took 3 twenty minute naps, Alyssa took one and Julianna took one thirty minute nap. Yep, that was my total break.

On the bright side we made it safely to Florida and to Grandma and Grandpa's house. It was a long and painful trip - at least the last few hours were most painful and confirm my desire NOT to try and make the trip at night. It was 10 PM and Rachel was crying every three minutes - she did NOT go to sleep for any stretch of time. Julianna fell asleep at 9:30 and slept till we arrived at 11, Alyssa fell asleep at 10 and woke up again about 10:45 - she was wide awake when we arrived. Somehow I don't see any of them sleeping all night as we drove because remember we had gotten them up at 6:30 AM and none of them had slept more than an hour for the entire day.

So, we are here. Today the girls had their first swim in the pool since last year and they all LOVED it. They will be swimming laps before we leave. The older two are fish as always and stalked the pool for hours before we actually let them in.

Pictures and updates to come. Right now I'm still recovering from yesterday. And thankfully the AAP has no idea what I'm doing with my kids at any moment in time. I'm sure yesterday's TV viewing has delayed my kids learning by at least the next two weeks but oh well, it got me here!!

Friday, May 23, 2008

Goodbye 2nd Grade...

I had every intention of putting up a really cool slide show about this past week since it was Kaitlyn's last week of 2nd grade BUT this week has been crazy, right now I should be packing (to quote Kirk "Are you blogging or doing something helpful?"), and I forgot my camera today at the awards ceremony anyway. I know, I know, where is my head??!!

The good thing is that she has successfully and with honors (as many honors as you can get in 2nd grade) passed the second grade and will be able to move on to the third grade next year! Yea, I'm so proud of her. I know people freak out about the beginning of things - like sending your child of to Kindergarten. I disagree - it's when the school year ends that you realize how much time has passed and just how big your kids are getting. My oldest will be 8 in two months!! Okay, that's not a lot to some of you but to me it's hard to believe that 8 years has almost passed since I welcomed my first child into the world. Toddlers I can handle but this, this is different yet so wonderful.

Kaitlyn is totally into animals - LOVES them. Anything and everything animals. I love that she has her own likes and dislikes. Hates having her hair done in case you're wondering why it's always hanging down and doesn't care what she wears as long as it's comfortable and/or has animals on it. Lately she has become an avid blog reader (mine). She also likes to look through old pictures but since I haven't kept up on that lately she refers to the blog instead. Thus the blog question in my last video. Everything the babies do she says, "Take a picture, mom for your blog!" I can guarentee I did not ever speak these words to my mother... So, I will keep blogging knowing that my children will be reading in the years to come. It's kind of fun though. Even funnier when Kaitlyn quotes the blog back to me!

As for Caleb, he finished his first year of preschool. He's 4 so this isn't an emotional time - he'll be in preschool next year. He's cool with it. On a different note he may be in Kindergarten. He did very well this year and the teacher says if he can read three letter words by the end of the first 9 weeks she would recommend moving him up to Kindergarten! This is pretty cool because he only misses the cut off by about a month since he has a November birthday and I've always hated that he falls 4 years behind Kaitlyn in school when they are only 3 years apart. If you're wondering, I have no plans to put the triplets a year ahead in Kindergarten - that's too much stress on me. They have each other and don't need to get to school any earlier then their age allows.

We'll see how next year goes. As for now, we have 3 full months off - from Memorial Day to Labor Day. No time for leisure here, we have a 17 hour drive ahead of us starting at 6 AM tomorrow...

Tons of pictures later - when I get them e-mailed from someone else of course but also from Florida. Gotta go get the van packed or at least make some sort of attempt to help Kirk finish :)

Thursday, May 22, 2008

At Least I Didn't Have To Call 9-1-1

But, more drama although this time it wasn't triplet related. Caleb swallowed a very small key today. I'm sure it will pass but he still had to see the doctor and get X-rayed at the hospital tonight to make sure it wasn't lodged anywhere wrong. It wasn't but it sure did put a kink in our day...

I hadn't planned to blog tonight but because of Caleb and more fun video I had to share:

Don't miss Caleb sharing his adventure for the day! This was pre X-ray but after taking him tonight there was no sign of the key - either it's already in his stomach or it was never there. I believe him when he says he swallowed it - we were having a discussion about not putting magnets in our mouths this morning so I was not surprised that he had something else in there. Go figure - things say for 3 and up right? How is that a 4 1/2 year old who hasn't put stuff in his mouth since he was 2 manage to swallow a diary key now??!!

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

I Can Do It!!

So, in between rain storms - seriously where do we live right now? - this rain just hasn't stopped!! - we managed to get an hour outside with our friends Grace and Lauren. While most of the time was spent in the swings, some of it was in the wagon and for Julianna, on the roller coaster. Get a load of this...

Isn't that great? I love when they can do things by themselves :)

And here's Rachel after she climbed up (also by herself) to the top of the play ground...

And here's Alyssa in the much-loved blue swing. Here's the thing. We have one of these and three babies. Even though we have other swings this is the one they want and the one they fight over. And if one of them gets in she does NOT want out. They aren't dummies...

This was Alyssa's turn and she wouldn't give it up :) Notice Rachel in the back. Fortunately only Julianna ended up covered in mud.

Sunday, May 18, 2008


This weekend was a fun first for Caleb. He went to his first sleepover! I think he had a great time and he didn't miss me one bit. It was with his friend Liam - they are both 4 years old and I've known Liam's mom, Kathy for about 10 years. We've been through a lot together so it is just the coolest thing ever that our boys are teh same age and get a chance to spend the night together and be friends :)

Here's some pictures she sent - LOVE them...

They slept in a tent in Liam's room - how cute are they?

And with Liam's little brother, Jesse. I hear that Caleb was much nicer to him then Liam :) All those sisters are softening him!

Don't worry - Kaitlyn wasn't left out. She had a friend over too but as it wasn't her first and I'm apparantly more lazy then Kathy :) - I have no pictures. But, trust me, she had fun and got no sleep!

Friday, May 16, 2008

18 Months!!!!!

A year and a half has already gone by since the girls were born. It doesn't seem possible. It feels like just days ago they were born and they were these tiny little things that were so fragile it felt like their chicken legs would break at a touch. Now they are older and sturdier. Babbling, running, jumping, climbing, anything but fragile.

The house is louder now. There's a lot of fighting, grunting and crying. We have begun temper tantrums and they are VERY verbal about what they want. I know they're trying to talk but I don't know what they're saying most of the time so we suffice with pointing and grunting and I'm okay with that. Listening to two older kids talk and talk makes me in no hurry for these girls to speak in sentences.

As for the girl's "stats" they saw the doctor today and they are all doing well. We do have to keep an eye on Rachel because she is so small and we want to make sure that she's getting all her nutrients. Mostly it's a concern that she drinks so little. While Julianna and most of the time Alyssa can down 9 ounces of milk in a matter of minutes, Rachel has no problems taking a sip and passing on her cup or throwing it to the floor (this we are working on) so we have to encourage her to drink but as everyone knows there's only so much you can do...

Julianna weighs a whopping 24.14 pounds! Kids big (for us) putting her in the 65th percentile for weight. She's in the 75th percentile for height and 85th for head circumference. She's doing quite well :) This is a picture of Julianna doing her two favorite things: wrapping a tab blanket (must have tabs) around her shoulders like a shawl and coloring.

Rachel weighs just 20.8 pounds - so tiny. Puts her in the 5th percentile for weight and that is down from last time when she was in the 10th - she's also only put on one pound in 3 months. For height she's in the 20th percentile (that's something) and for head she's 10th. All around very tiny girl.

Alyssa is where she's always been and that's right in the middle - she weighs 22.15 pounds which puts her down in the 35th percentile (she seems to go up and down in the weight area - last time she was 50th percentile and before that 35th - the doctor's not concerned). She's 50th for height and 92% for head. I'm not sure how she ended up with the biggest head but that's what they're telling me!

One of the best things about having multiples at a check-up is all their stats are more accurate :) I remember last time they said Rachel was taller then Julianna! We're like, there is no way - we see them every day and we know that Julianna is taller. Upon remeasure we were proven right. Same this time when Rachel was briefly taller then Alyssa. I don't put much stock in their heights since it's always the lay down and mark method. She moved Rachel twice before she finally got it. All that matter is she's actually growing. I'll take that!

Those are my girls. Born on the same day yet so entirely different.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

To My Friend, Joanna

Today is my very good friend, Joanna's birthday. I just want to wish her a very Happy Birthday. She is a great friend. She's the one that coordinated all my care while I was on bed rest with the girls and beyond. Her oldest daughter and Caleb share a birthday though not a birth year.

We have been through some great times together and I just want to let her know how awesome she is and I hope she has a really happy birthday and a really great coming year. Love you girl!

Monday, May 12, 2008

Grocery Game Tracker Week 5

Since we will be going out of town next week I'll make this my last week on the subject. A few things I have learned:

1. The Grocery Game saves a lot of time
2. Using the Grocery Game as indicated saves way more money then using coupons alone
3. Using coupons at the wrong time mean missing out on a free item later
4. The system isn't perfect and there have been plenty of times were the sale wasn't actually there or the coupon was different, etc.
5. It's a great way to stock up on things like ziploc bags, detergent, toothpaste, medicine, toilet paper, paper towels, etc. I can now avoid all of these items at BJ's - seriously.

How did I do today? Probably the best trip ever. I spent $54.55 at Harris Teeter and saved over $34. This doesn't include milk this time but I am completely stocked up on Ziploc bags and tupperware containers - each of them cost me less then $.50! I got some Glade Air Freshener spray for $.50 a thing. I got so much stuff on sale and cheap.

My overall verdict is that it really works and does save a lot of time. Maybe not on individual groceries but on all those stock-up kinds of items. In the end it will cut down on my BJ's list and save me lots of money there.

As for my meals this week:

Monday: Meatloaf with rice and broccoli - all things I already had at the house
Tuesday: Pasta with sausage - remember I got that on sale last week
Wednesday: Hamburgers and corn and baked beans - I only had to buy the buns
Thursday: Okay, I admit I just can't think that far ahead right now so I have no idea but I do know I have enough stuff in this house from the past few weeks to come up with something great!
And then it's the weekend and as always it's a wing-it, eat-out, eat leftovers kind of time - too much going on for meal prep!

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Mother's Day

I know you all think you have the best mom's but the truth is that I do :) She is an awesome mom, a wonderful rock. She is there when I need her. She is my best friend. We were the only girls in the family with my dad and two brothers but that's okay my mom is now like my sister who tells me what to do from time to time. All moms have to do that! I couldn't understand her work and sacrifice until my kids came around. Now I know how much she loves me, how hard she worked and what she gave up for me. I appreciate her even more now and I am so grateful that she is still here for me with my new brood. I love you mom!

Most of you know Kirk's mom has been with the Lord for going on 5 years. It still pains me so deeply that she is not here to see these precious girls. She knew about Caleb but never had a chance to meet him but she died knowing that Kirk had a son and that meant so much to all of us. I only wish that she could have been here to see Julianna, Rachel and Alyssa. I know she would've loved them so much and been so excited to be a part of their lives. She will always be missed...

As for me, I am so grateful to be a mom. To spend years wondering if I would ever have children at all and then to have Kaitlyn. I can't even put into words what she means to me and how grateful I am to the Lord for entrusting her into my care. She is an awesome daughter and great big sister. She loves her siblings and is always eager to help with her sisters and most of the time her brother :)

And then when I thought it would never happen again and she would be an only child, along came Caleb, the best little boy that any mom could want. He is sweet, kind and loving. He loves to help me and be my side. He also loves to play his sister's Nintendo DS.

And when I wanted just one more, the Lord gave me three more. Three girls. Who knew?

Julianna Mabel is every bit the biggest and strongest of the three. She is the life of the party and has this crazy grin on her almost all the time. She is a daddy's girl through and through. He is the best thing ever to her.

Rachel Gabrielle is such a unique baby. She is smart and totally into electronics and soda cans (she and Julianna fight over this all the time). She's a little and fleixible thing - I'm thinking gymnastics. Surprisingly now, Rachel could take mommy or daddy equally and she's beginning to cry less. She is the best eater still (Julianna is the best drinker).

Alyssa Elaine is the sweet one, or at least she makes people think she is but let me tell you she has no problem standing up for herself! She is more of a mommy's girl. She's a little more independent then the other two who do tend to play together more.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Twelve Years

As Jenna Bush said her "I do's" Kirk and I were celebrating twelve years. I cannot believe that we have been married twelve years. Okay, that I can believe but just not what's occurred in the past twelve years. Like the fact that we have five children that include 1 year old triplet girls. Yea, I didn't see that coming. But I have to say there's nobody that I'd rather spend these last twelve years with then the man I married. Even though I was quite young (just 19) I think I made a rather good choice :)

Kirk has been my rock and my strength. Stood by me through the crazy roller coaster of infertility followed by the new journey of parenthood. He said yes to a second child and then okay to a third. Despite his apprehension about multiples he dove right into the idea and began researching triplet snuglis within a week of our finding out that we were having three. He took the kids and kept up with the house while I was on bed rest. He's cared for me through three pregnancies and a few surgeries. I couldn't imagine my life without him. Not these last twelve years, not the next twelve or the twelve after that. I can only pray that God will grant me many more years to come by his side and that I will be as good to him as he has been to me. Happy 12th anniversary, babe, I love you tons!!

Wondering what we did on our anniversary? Well, it has been 12 years and tomorrow is Mother's Day so we spent the day celebrating our kids. Sort of. Today was GIVF's annual baby party. I got a chance to once again see some of the people I used to work with. It's really great and the kids love it!

A few pictures from our day:

With Dr. Lincoln - and I quote, "Dorinda, you're due for multiples. You've dodged a bullet the last two times..." I can't say he didn't warn me! But he did say I could come back for more any time I wanted.

With Dr. K - the sweetest, nicest RE around!! Julianna was not into the being held thing at the moment - can you tell?

The kids LOVE their arm painting. Kaitlyn has a cat with pawprints and a watermelon. Caleb has fire, air and water. I have no idea where he came up with that! Too bad it was bath night.

This is the lady I need to take home with me. GIVF always has lots of clowns and things for the kids but this was taken at the end of the party after the girls were well beyond the breaking down point (no nap and it's 2:00 PM) and they just sat there and watched her. All of them watched her spin that ball and then fling it off as they tried to catch it. Think it would be weird to have a clown living with you?

And here we all are with one of my favorite nurses, Marsha. She's just great. I didn't get a picture with a few other of our favorite nurses (sorry!) but we do like them a lot even though they gave us triplets... Ha ha!

We had a great time at the party even though we spent most of our time corraling three running toddlers and counting kids 1-2-3-4-5. Thank God I don't have 18 (did you hear Michele Duggar is pregnant again?!)

What did we do after the party? We visited my old home: Fairfax Hospital. Fortunately it wasn't to stay it was just to see our new friend Amanda who is currently 27 weeks along with triplet boys. What's with all the triplet boys anyway? She is doing well and we are praying that these boys hang on for a few more weeks! Every day is a big deal.

After that we came home and had left overs. We did get a chance to go to dinner and a movie this past Thursday thanks to our pastor's wife, April so it wasn't all about the kids :) Happy 12 years to me...

Friday, May 09, 2008

My Cleaning Crew

I know that I had mentioned that I had my house cleaned recently by the Cleaning Authority. I failed to share video of them hard at work:

In case you're wondering Alyssa is giving me her favorite book "Construction Time". Yes, you read right. I swear the other day I was trying to read her a princess book (a great one from Usbourne Books with touchy feely dresses - trust me, it's adorable) and instead of wanting to read this with me she sorted through the other books and came up with "Construction Time". And yes, it's exactly like it sounds except that it includes all the characters from Toy Story. Right now this is THE book. When Alyssa finds it she must bring it to me to look at. Julianna likes it too but only if Kaitlyn reads it to her. How cute is that??!!

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Grocery Game Tracker Week 4

Sorry for the delay in posting I have been working hard on my novel. If you haven't checked it out please do! I'd love opinions now that I'm 170 pages in:

Week 4 is a little different because we did our BJ's run and we buy a lot of staples while we're there like milk that only last us the week but we also buy all the snacks and some meats. Stuff like that.

But using the grocery game I spent $68.67 at Giant to round out my meals for the week but I did have to buy a few high ticket items not on the sale list. Since sausage was on sale at BJ's we are using that this week and our menu is:

Monday: Chicken, rice and broccoli - fortunately for us this was leftovers from care group the night before - the chicken that I got really cheap at HT and we didn't use last time was delicious on Monday!
(what the triplets ate: rice)

Tuesday: Sausage hoagies - soooo good
(what the triplets ate: lots of macaroni and cheese - LOTS - enough to last them for a week I think)

Wednesday: Tacos and 7-layer dip
(what the triplets ate: peaches, couple chips)

Thursday: Sausage pasta
(triplets should eat this...)

And the girls don't eat lunch so I'm really not sure how they're still alive and functioning. They say your kids won't starve themselves but seriously can they survive on a large helping of mac and cheese a week? They do like bananas. I think we have to start growing those. Did I mention how much I hate feeding kids??!!

Monday, May 05, 2008

Caleb's Turn

Tonight Caleb's class gave a small end-of-the-year performance. They were all adorable. Yes, it's a very small class - just 5 but Caleb has really learned a lot this year. Lots of one-on-one attention and that's great!

Hopefully you can hear this - it's Caleb's class reciting some of the Bible verses they learned this year. More like his teacher but you know how it is!

And here is Caleb's class singing complete with some minor baby interuptions... That wouldn't be our fault now would it?!

Here's Caleb pointing to the southern states. They had a state song that was very cute and it's fun to hear a 4-year old recite the states :) I did get video of this too but the kids weren't singing much and I didn't figure anyone would want to listen to the tape!

And I couldn't resist:

Saturday, May 03, 2008

One More Cheer

Last night Kaitlyn's school had their Sports Awards Banquet and Kaitlyn got to wear her cheerleading uniform one more time and get her own award. One for participating since cheerleaders don't really win anything... But, who cares, they looked cute!

Wondering about the pose? Yea, she did that just for me. She's a riot!

Thursday, May 01, 2008

If The Past Two Months Are Any Indication...

Then I will:

Call 9-1-1: at least once
Pick up a fallen baby: 127 times
Put on shoes: 213 times
Push on swing: 24 hours
Fill sippy cups: 279 times
Make: 45 meals
Dread feeding triplets: 93 times
Clean the table: 60 times
Sweep the floor: 60 times
Change: 465 diapers
Wipe Noses: 372 times
Listen to crying: 90 hours
Blog: 18 times
Submit: 2 writing lessons
Put babies in bed: 93 times
Do: 14 loads of laundry
Write: 5 chapters in my novel (more if I can find the time)
Drive back and forth to school: 32 times
Listen to: 248 hours of babbling
Listen to: 124 hours of kids talking

And to add to that for the month of May:

Drive: 17 hours to Florida with five kids
Go in the pool: 14 times for a total of 28 hours
Watch Kaitlyn finish 2nd grade

Yes, these figures are accurate. Scientific multiplication and careful counting brought me to these numbers :) Give or take...

P.S. The laundry count is completely accurate - I have a very large washer and dryer and it holds 3 baskets of laundry at a time. Every other Monday I wash 7 loads of laundry. Every other Tuesday I fold 7 loads and put them all away. It's a very easy system for me. Every one has their own laundry basket so the dirty laundry is always contained. Laundry is one thing I have under control. One down, ten thousand more to go!