Monday, August 31, 2009

Summer's Officially Over

I can't believe it. Kaitlyn and Caleb have been out of school for 4 months but now it's time to go back. Feels like summer went by in the blink of an eye and yet clearly it didn't.

Today Kaitlyn and Caleb went back to school! I now have a 4th grader and a Kindegartener. Yes, Caleb has finally graduated up from 3 full days a week to 5. After 2 years of just 3 days I am more then ready to have him be there for 5. And this year he has to wear uniforms too. So, he's a full-fledged student!

At least it was the perfect day to start. The weather was cool this morning - almost cold and it's been beautiful ever since. I know summer isn't over by the calendar but for me with school starting and the weather changing I am happy to say it is fall! Please God let the cool weather stay :) I am SO ready. Of course at this moment I have all 5 kids outside - the triplets with no shoes on - so no one has told them that summer is over :)

Oh well, it is for me.

First day of school pictures - we have to do them every year in front of the front door :) I guess it's tradition! If you're wondering the front door is magnetic and our fridge is not so all of the kids artwork winds up there or on the floor if the triplets pull it down but that's pretty much how everything goes around here...

Lots of changes at the school this year and one of them is the uniform so while last year they were stuck with just navy and white this year they are able to wear shorts and khaki and any color polo so at least they will have some variety.

And at their desks at school:

Kaitlyn was very nervous about the first day - even though she's attending the same school and has the same teacher all the students are new. However, the official report was that school was great and she likes all the girls in her class. Yea! And even though she's in 4th grade she's already starting on 5th grade work so I know she's in for a tough year - just don't tell her that :)

Caleb was too into playing Legos with the kids in his class that he didn't want to stop and take a picture so this is the best I got. Right now there are only boys in his class so I think he'll have a fine year. And while Caleb is in Kindergarten he is in a class with mostly 1st graders (his teacher has already said he reads at a 1st grade level) so he will be doing advanced work this year. Makes me thankful he has a "late" birthday and will be turning 6 soon!

The verdict for both of them for the first day was that it was great and they have made friends and I'm already being asked for playdates! Good grief they don't even give me a week :) Here's to another year and somehow surviving homework once again.

On another note I want to wish my baby brother a BIG HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!! He actually is turning 28 - for the first time :) Have a great day brother! Love your "big" sis. Your gift is in the mail - I swear...

Saturday, August 29, 2009

So Much For Not Celebrating!

I was hoping that my birthday would slip in and out unnoticed. Not that I don't love birthdays but who really wants to get older at least when they're an adult?! But my attempts to not celebrate were thwarted by all my friends and family and I'm very glad to say that I didn't mind a bit :) I mean did you see what Kirk posted yesterday? How sweet is that?! I feel loved :)

I've actually been celebrating since Cadi came in on Wednesday.

Thursday I took Cadi to the salon and she got her hair done. We should've taken some before pictures but forgot so here are the "afters" of us right before we headed out to dinner for Girl's Night Out.

Doesn't her hair look so pretty straightened?

For dinner we headed to Uno's because their Pizza Skins are so darn good!

Kristy was having too much fun playing with my camera :) Food looks good though doesn't it??

In back: Me and Cadi, in front Kristy with baby Alyssa and Joanna (who will be moving away from me soon and that makes me SOO sad).

We had a really good night and Kirk even called the restaurant and ordered dessert for us as a birthday surprise. Yes, I think he thought of everything to make my day special!

My actual birthday was spent at the mall with Cadi, shopping of course! Kirk kept all the kids (a total of 8 - again he went overboard this year!) and Cadi and I went off to buy some new things. When we got home Kirk had dinner ready and we ate birthday cake.

Clearly we ate a little bit :) Wondering who ate the most? Here are the scavengers cleaning up every last piece!

Since it just didn't seem right for Cadi and Ashlyn to come halfway across the country and not go into DC we took a late night trip in. Ashlyn slept through a lot of it but Cadi did get to see the White House and the Washington Monument from the front seat of the car.

Us in front of the Capitol Building and proof we did get into DC :)

I had to take Cadi back to the airport today which was my least favorite part of the week but I am so glad that she chose to spend her long weekend here with me. She certainly helped make my birthday special!

Even though I didn't set out to celebrate I had a wonderful time doing so and am thankful for all the birthday wishes I received from friends and family. Above all I am thankful for how Kirk chose to make the day special for me. He really went above and beyond - thank you honey! So, of course I'm looking forward to next year! But not yet, I need to settle into 33 first.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Happy Birthday Dorinda

Today is Dorinda’s birthday, so I’ve been wondering just what to post on the blog for such a momentous occasion. You know she’s turning 28 again, (for the 5th year in a row, it’s amazing I tell you!)

I thought maybe I’d write a poem. But I’m the guy who admits that while roses may be red, violets are actually PURPLE.

And nothing rhymes with purple…

I guess I could sing her a song, but anybody who has ever heard me sing would advise against ruining her special day in such a tortuous manner.

Then I realized that while poems and songs aren’t really my strength, I am not without skills. And there’s a certain collection of skills I have that many other people pay me handsomely for. Yet Dorinda rarely receives direct benefits from these. I used these skills once to win her heart so many years ago. But now, so often I use these skills for the world, but only meagerly for my wife.

That ends today.

Happy Birthday my dear, I love more than you can imagine. This is my gift to you, I hope you enjoy it.


See a hi-res version of the completed work here.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

My Friend Cadi Is Here!

So this picture isn't from way back but the friendship is. About a year and a half ago I started commenting on the blog Triple Blessings + One and she started commenting back. After a while we started exchanging e-mails - long ones too - almost books :) We found besides having triplets just 8 days apart we had a lot in common and we've been talking regularly ever since.

A few weeks ago Cadi said she had some vacation coming and thought she might come to Virginia - when I said the dates corresponded with my birthday weekend it was decided - she was coming here!

And today she is here. So cool to meet my long-distance blogging friend in person. It's fun to know that the people behind the blogs you read are real. You read our lives and I read so many others and we are real people! Imagine that.

So, what's a girl to do after getting off a plane? Go for a pedicure of course! Don't our toes look great :)

(Left - me with a French pedicure; Right - Cadi - don't you love the blue?)

Tomorrow - a haircut for Cadi and girl's night out to dinner. Friday - some girl shopping. Yes, she came halfway across the country to go shopping :) She will go home looking great!

But she didn't come alone - no, she didn't bring the triplets she brought her oldest daughter, Ashlyn (4).

Ashlyn's fitting right in - she even wanted to be my model for my Tightwads blog - how cute is she?

Even though I dread my birthday I am looking forward to it now since I can spend some time with my blogging friend and my family.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Kirk In Wisconsin

I know, what right? No offense but I have never been to Wisconsin and I have no idea if there's anything out there! Apparantly though there is a very large, very cool truck. According to Kirk it's a new variant Medium Tactical Vehicle Replacement (MTVR) based at the Oshkosh Truck Corp in Wisconsin. It's an 8 ton (with mods) multi purpose off road vehicle for the US Marines.

I don't actually know what that means but at least someone does and someone needed pictures of it so Kirk went out to do it. He will take those pictures and do an animation with them. Unfortunately, I don't understand it enough to translate but I do know he's very good at what he does and it will turn out really well!

How did I do home alone with 5 kids? Since it was just a day and a half not too bad :) I even managed to take all 5 out grocery shopping alone. Such an adventure. A few tantrums, a stolen cookie (sorry HT - we broke your one cookie rule), a bunch of stares and odd questions like the cashiers when I told him three of my kids were the same age - he asked if they were twins :) Otherwise we did great! And while last night they got to bed at almost 10 tonight I had everyone in their beds by 9.

But if you're wondering, yes I do miss Kirk and am glad he'll be home shortly :)

Sunday, August 23, 2009

More Haircuts

With school around the corner (one more week!) I felt like it was time to get Kaitlyn in for a trim - well, trim isn't the right word. See for yourself:

To this:

How cute is she?

And I can't not share who else got a haircut:

Not too bad of a job right? She did it herself! At least it's only one small section and she is so very proud of herself.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Confessions Of A Tired Triplet Mom

We all have those days. You know the ones where you are too tired to care that your kids haven't been dressed in a few days. But, of course, some days are worse then others.

So I confess:

1. That every day is pajama day until about 4 PM unless we actually have to go somewhere.

2. That I let the triplets brush their own teeth when I'm alone in the bedtime routine. Come on, they're baby teeth, they're gonna fall out someday! That and I'd like to see the dentist come to my house and try to fight my girls on the teeth thing - HATE IT!!

3. That $5, $10, heck $50 is a small price to pay for my sanity thus pizza night or McDonalds - God bless them for being there!

4. That I don't mind sharing my breakfast/lunch/dinner with 3 two-year-olds - I just convince myself that they've eaten all the parts that contain calories.

5. That Dora is a wonderful show - she is there to teach my kids. Right? They will know Spanish by the time they're 4.

6. That shows like Yo Gabba Gabba or Barney were not created by evil people who hate mothers everywhere and if kids like them then I can cringe right through it. Heck, I'll even confess to DVR'ing (is that a word?) the shows for them. Heaven help me!

7. That I had triplets so they could entertain each other - makes my job easier right?!

8. That I don't come running every time I hear crying - if they can walk to me then nothing's broken :)

9. That there is really no point in picking up toys - especially Legos right now - because they'll only get dumped again. Yes, this is what I tell myself as I stare at the mound of toys that seems to collect everywhere. Who buys them all this stuff anyway? And why can't I just throw it all away?!

10. That I will accept all babysitting offers given except from the guy who's holding the sign "will work for food".

11. That sleep is over-rated but God bless my husband for letting me sleep in on Saturdays!

12. That I live for naptime and bed time even if they stay awake in their rooms for hours on end (average sleep time for them these days - about 11 PM after I've removed every light possible from their room - maybe I should start doing it earlier?!)

13. That I'm too lazy to potty train right now - they'll be ready when they're ready and I'm okay with that. See #3 - I'm paying for my sanity in diapers!

14. That I gladly hand over reams of paper to my crayon weilding toddlers to draw on just to keep them happy. I think we go through as much printer paper as any office supply store! I kid you not!!

15. That I love all my kids more then anything (yes, including the triplets!) and I wouldn't trade my crazy life for anything else in the world :)

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Speech Update For Alyssa

Alyssa's had a busy day! This morning I took her to Child Find to evaluate her for the free preschool that the county offers for special needs children.

She didn't qualify.

Not a surprise since she spent the entire morning talking better then I ever hear her at home! They were probably wondering why I was even there. It took the lady 30 minutes to tell me that Alyssa was fine for her age and not delayed enough for school. I'm actually grateful because I really didn't look forward to explaining to Julianna why Alyssa got to go to school and she didn't. Julianna already struggles with jealousy that Kaitlyn and Caleb get to go and she doesn't. Little does she know that once she starts school she's stuck there for a good 20 years!!

After the school evaluation we hurried home for speech therapy and her 6-month evaluation for that. She has certainly improved since we started this process six months ago. Now at 33 months she's almost talking at her level. There are still a few issues which keep her in the program for the next 3 months (till she turns 3) but otherwise she's doing great. And her therapist says that Julianna is far and above a 33-month old in speech which adds to our feeling that something is "wrong" with Alyssa. Having three the same age makes comparing them very natural even though I know they are three seperate girls with VERY different personalities and VERY different growth rates.

I'm very proud of Alyssa and the progress she has made. She's very good about not complaining when I ask her to repeat herself or when I slow her down to say a sentence. I'm grateful for her good attitude :)

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Way Back When-esday: Bathing Beauties

Seemed only fitting to post pictures of the girls from 2 summers ago in their bathing suits. They went from sleeping poolside to being a big part of the action!

Julianna (chunky monkey!):

Rachel (always doing crunches for some reason):

Alyssa (before curls):

Photos from June 2007 (girls were 7 months old!)

Play along at Twinfatuation.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

And Then The Waterpark!

We have been busy this week! But that's fine - keeps all the kids occupied and isn't that what summer is about?!

Julianna and Alyssa LOVED the slides - I'd have to say Alyssa liked them the most - she would just run away and slide down whatever she came across. Julianna preferred to be on my lap but was somewhat to content to go on her own too.

Rachel is not so much my water baby. She went down the slides only on my lap and that only because I made her. She would much rather be held by mom!

Or maybe she was too busy chasing boys :) She seemed to get along really well with Jesse! Should I be concerned that he liked the gun so much?

Because she's a big kid Kaitlyn was able to go down the lazy river and she loved it! Of course who wouldn't? Floating in a circle on a tube - sounds great :)

Break time - can't you see they're thrilled? Kaitlyn, Caleb and Liam (Caleb's best friend)

Me and the girls (Kaitlyn took this picture - I think she did a great job!) - if you look close you can tell how upset Alyssa is - she's so upset that it's break time!

Miss Kathy with her boys Jesse and Liam (yes, it's the best picture of Jesse - he didn't seem to like the camera).

After breaktime everyone dove right back in!

Such a great thing to do on a very hot summer day and hey, my sunburn doesn't hurt too badly :) I might even get a tan! Okay, no comments on the sunscreen - I hate it but I swear the kids had some on!!

Thanks Miss Kathy for inviting us :)

Monday, August 17, 2009

Off To The County Fair

Seems we have gone a little country this weekend :) Saturday it was on the horses and yesterday we were at the county fair. Last year it took us over an hour to get to the fair on dollar night so we didn't all end up getting in. This year we all got to participate in the rides :)

Well, some of them. Mommy does NOT get on the spinning rides. I'll take any roller coaster you give me but don't make me spin. Uck! The kids, however, seem completely unphased by being spun in circles and ended up riding ride after spinnning ride. Mommy watched; Daddy sometimes got on.

Me and the kids in front of the ride I would NOT get on:

Clearly daddy would!

And the girls were fascinated :)

So excited to be at the fair!

Everyone really enjoyed the roller coaster - this is Caleb telling daddy all about it. How cute is he?

I took the big kids on the ferris wheel (okay, my only big issue with fairs is that they are seriously over-priced - I couldn't take the triplets because to ride the ferris wheel would've been $18.25 just for the babies! What?! They're 2!! So, they remained on the ground).

View from the top:

The girls did get to go on a few rides - yes, I broke down and paid for a few :) They got to go around on a cool train...

And on some trucks. Should I be worried that all my girls waited to go on the truck ride and my son didn't?

The kids also enjoyed the cows and goats. The girls spent all their time trying to feed the animals whatever hay they found :)

The big kids really enjoyed the swings - another ride mommy wouldn't go on.

And Daddy took the big kids on the bumper cars.

We had a great time and the kids are very much looking forward to going back soon!