Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Overdue Christmas Recap

I realize that today is the last day of 2008, so I need to fit in one last post.  I'm determined not to carry-over a Christmas post into 2009.  The lack of posts are not due to lack of material! Come tomorrow, I'll be catching up on the craziness around here BEFORE Christmas.  Buckle up!  It'll be quite a ride.

In a nutshell, our Christmas was great!  The whole week flew by and was really packed full of busy-ness and fun.  I'll try to keep this recap down to the bare bones...which shouldn't be hard, since the longer I go without posting anything, the more I forget and therefore, the less there is to post.

Tuesday, we were visited by someone almost as important in this house as santa: LINDSAY!  Our nanny ( technically, she's our "former" nanny, but I'm in denial) has been off serving the Lord on a mission's trip around the world.  She was granted a one-week "vacation" here at home, so we got her all day on Tuesday.  She even picked up Zoe from school...MADE HER DAY!

Christmas Eve (Wednesday), we all went to church and then the whole family came to our house for the traditional "appetizer" dinner.  All = Ringwood Higby 5, Midland Park Higby 3, MD Higby 1, W. Milford Touw 5 (no Jacob) and us 7.  Phew, that's a lot of family.  In the old days (i.e. When Shane was a kid) each of the kids would "present" a "gift".  Shane would read the Christmas story from the bible, his sister would play the violin, you get the picture.  This year, we thought the kids were old enough to start this tradition back up.  Pop Pop Higby started "the program" (as Zoe called it) by reading to the kids.  Things went downhill from there.  Even though they were so excited PRE-Christmas Eve, (Zoe even typed up a list of what everyone was planning to do) the kids got a little shy.  Kaylee did a little dance for us.  Zoe read/recited Luke 2:7-12 (her memory verse from school).  We all joined Ty and closed with "Away in a Manger".  Maybe next year, it'll go a little smoother.

Before bed, Shane was reading the kids a Christmas story and Zoe informed him that Santa was NOT real.  When he asked how she knew, Zoe flipped the book over and said, "see...right says 'fiction'."  Ok.  I guess we have a future librarian on our hands.

Christmas Day we had a wonderful morning here at home.  First, we put the babies in their gated community and let Zoe & Ty have our undivided attention while they opened their presents.  When I asked Zoe what her favorite gift was, she couldn't choose: her first "Big Girl" Bible, Clothes & Wardrobe for her American Girl Doll, or her decked out 3-ring Binder.  Yes, the office products addict enthusiast was THRILLED with her "binder". Ty's was equally hard to choose from: a new (blue) DS Lite, Hess Truck, or Action Dress Up Chest (policeman, fireman, astronaut, racecar driver/pit boss).  I think he was just being nice, clearly, he loved the DS.

After the big kids were done, we brought the babies each their gift.  Single.  One gift per baby.  Ava slowly ripped small piece after small piece of wrapping paper off her gift until eventually, the purse was reveled.  Then she got really excited and tried to rip the purse off the annoying cardboard box it was tied to in 1000 a few places.  Eli picked up his present and chucked the fully wrapped present as far as he could.  Cole was more of a traditional unwrapper.  By the end of the day, they were much more into the presents and the unwrapping.

The rest of the day was spent at Shane's parents' house.  8 kids ages 6 and under.  9 adults.  Brunch.  Naps. Dinner.  A full day of family.  Ty lost his new DS baseball game.  Must be a new record: under 6 hours.  Why do they need to make those games so stinkin' small!?!?!  I think maybe one of the triplets found it and put it in the garbage (they were having a blast putting things in the trash can with the flippy lid).  Next year, I'd like to suggest a change in the schedule.  This year, we ate...put the kids down...they slept...then they woke up...then we ate again.  I'd like to change things up so we could maybe eat while the little kids slept?  Does anyone know where Nana and PopPop keep their suggestion box?

Around 6, we packed up from the Higby's and headed home.  As fast as we could (which clearly isn't that fast since it took 2 hours), we unloaded the minivan, packed our suitcases and reloaded the minivan so we could head up to Connecticut to visit my folks.

Our time with my parents was great.  On Friday, we did Christmas all over again with my parents and my older brother.  After dinner, my Dad (Granddad) and Shane took the big kids sledding.  It was a bit icy and apparently, there was a "jump" that the kids liked to make sure Daddy always went over.  Apparently, it was big enough for Daddy to "get air". 

Saturday, we visited Kids City in Middletown.  It was a blast.  The kids loved it.  Kids City is a hands-on experience.  They have all sorts of themed rooms: Space, Fish Market, Video room, etc. They even have a special area for 3-year-olds and under.  BIG HIT for us.  We definitely got our money's worth out of the visit.  Feeling brave, we stopped by McDonald's for lunch.  SUCCESS!  We were in and out of there in a half hour.  Our 5 kids finished 2 happy meals plus 2 extra 4 piece chicken nuggets & a small fries.  By the end of the day, the kids were exhausted.  But the parents managed to save enough energy for a scrabble game.  Even though Dad started with a 7 letter word earning him 64 points, I managed to tie him in the final move of the game.  Quite an accomplishment, if I do say so myself!

(Zoe putting some fish on the belt...a lot of fun, apparently.)
(Ty checking out the igloo.)
(Eli LOVED the bubbles!)
(Ava checking out the "Reading Nook".)
(Cole getting some serious speed on a slide in the Music Room.)
(Grammy & Granddad with the Higby 5)

My younger brother and his family came into town late Saturday night.  So, after church on Sunday, we had another quick Christmas present exchange and then headed over to JC Penny Portrait Studio for a Christgau Cousins picture.  I'm not sure if it was as much work as the Higby shot, but it was successful.  Unfortunately for you, you'll have to wait until mid-January to see it, sorry.

After dinner, we headed home and collapsed.  Christmas is great, but it sure is exhausting!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Not Ruining a Surprise

I've been DYING to post this since last Wednesday.  But, since it's Nana & PopPop's Christmas Present, I couldn't.  Well, Saturday night, the grandkids gave Nana & PopPop their gift, so the cat's out of the bag!


And when you're done looking...look again...and then...some more.  Because getting nine (yes 9) kids to sit for a picture was a lot of work.  Did I mention that the oldest is 7?  And the there are four (yes 4) one-year-olds?  Shannon (my bff & SIL) and I, along with my sitter, Becca (shout out, Ydo Babe!) took these rugrats beauties to Picture People last Wednesday.  It was QUITE an adventure.  (Note the blocks in the picture...that's how we kept Eli & Cole's attention.  We'd throw them to the boys...they'd throw them back!)  Shane picked up our 5 after we were done.  When he saw me, he said I looked like I'd just worked out (ummm...yeah!).  And Thursday, I was more sore than after I ran my 10k.  It must have been all the chasing of one-year-olds, picking them up, and squatting to put them back on their "marks".  

The end result shows each and every personality!  PRICELESS!

Monday, December 22, 2008

Makes My Monday

What makes my Monday?  A surprise Baby Sitter!

This is from when Salliann & I ran the Ramsey 5k.

I'm borrowing a Pack & Play from Salli for Christmas at my In-Laws (4 one-year-olds all need naps and we only have 3 P&Ps between us).  When I texted while in line to drop of Ty for his Preschool Christmas party to see if I could pick it up, Salli offered to watch the triplets so I could go to BJs solo!

MERRY CHRISTMAS!  Santa came early! Thanks so much, Salliann!  You're the best!  BJs was so much easier without entertaining "the littles".  And your Pack & Play is appreciated, too!

To see what's making other people's Monday, check out Cheryl over at Twinfatuation.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Let it Snow! Let it Snow! Let it Snow!

Once I got over the frustration that school was cancelled at 6am and it didn't start snowing until 10am, I decided we would enjoy the day.  It just took a few pots of coffee for me to get to that point.  Cole & Ava are still waking up in the middle of the night.  No reason.  Just being babies.  Hopefully, it's a phase.  I've been saying that for awhile now, but seriously.  Maybe it's a phase?

Back to the snow...

(This was at 2p...we ended up with at least 8 inches)

Before I went to bed on Thursday, I made a list on the board for Zoe & Ty to see in the morning.  It had 11 fun things to do on a snow day.  We did 7 of them!  Including making a snowman craft from Nana, making a gift for teachers, and decorating sugar cookies! 

Oh boy!  Did they make a mess.  The cookies may not be the prettiest I've ever seen, but they were made with love and I guess that's more important.  Right?

Since I have a "once your out, your out...come in and you're in for good" rule, the kids waited until they were ready for a good hour of play before they headed outside.

(The "Before"...Ready for the snow)

(Clearing off the slide.)

(The "After")

Once Daddy got home from work, they went back out.

This morning, they slept past 7:30a.  I LOVE the snow!!!!!  Now if I could just get the triplets out enjoying it, maybe they'd get tired enough to sleep that good!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Wordful Wednesday - Cozy Breakfast

Okay, before I post this picture, I need to preface it with the following statement:

Please follow my mother's #1 rule...Is it kind?  Is it true?  Is it necessary?
If you cannot answer "yes" to all three questions...PLEASE KEEP YOUR COMMENT TO YOURSELF!

Eli has been quietly watch Miss Ava at mealtime.  She's developed a bad habit.  She wiggles out of her buckle enough to turn around and play with the lightswitch.

Eli, obviously, thinks this looks like fun.  So Sunday morning, while I was running around trying to get breakfast on the table and us out the door for church, I apparently forgot to tighten Eli's seatbelt.

Please note that Cole is sitting quietly eating his french toast sticks.

To enjoy other blogger's Wordful Wednesday pictures, visit Angie over at Seven Clown Circus!

Sunday, December 14, 2008

I Met a Blog Reader!

Okay, so technically, I didn't so much "meet" her as "saw her again"...
...and technically...I've known her for over 11 years...
...and technically...she reads my blog BECAUSE she's my friend...
...but it sounds so much cooler to say that I met a blog reader!

This is my friend Lari.  She's awesome!

(Can I just point out how DORKY I look?  Lari totally has the Charlie's Angels pose down...not me so much!)

Lari's been in Hungary for a few years as a missionary.  She moved to Seattle about a year ago to work (with her husband) in the administration of their missions agency: Youth Compass.  Youth Compass is a really cool organization.  You can read all about it on the website, but in a nutshell, they reach out to third culture kids: Kids that live in a "foreign" country with their parents, who's job has taken them abroad.

Back to Lari.  When she first left for the mission field, I didn't even HAVE kids.  Then, she came back to visit, and I let her know Ty was on his way.  A little over a year later, she and her family stayed with us for about 2 weeks while visiting with supporters here in the NJ area.  A lot has changed since I saw Lari almost 3 years ago.  But what's NOT Lari.  She is the same, down-to-earth, loveable, funny, caring, loving, sweet, unique, honest...I could go on, but I won't.

(She was VERY excited to meet the triplets!)

I just want Lari know how much I love her and her friendship.  Having someone in your life that doesn't just tell you what you want to hear...and does it with rare...and SO important.  Thanks, Lari!  Love you!

Friday, December 12, 2008

I Improved!

Remember way back in May, when I ran my first 5k?  Ugh.  Those days feel so long ago.

Saturday (12/6), a few of my friends and I ran in another 5k.  I was about 26 degrees out.  I couldn't feel my toes until mile 2.

Although there are no pictures (not only was it too cold for Shane to bring all the kids, he was home sick), I feel the need to let you all know...I cut over 3 minutes off that Memorial Day time.

My official time was 29.41

Next stop: a Half Marathon!
Please don't hold me to that...but it IS my goal...

Thursday, December 11, 2008

I was feeling brave

I've always wanted to be a mom that was creative and fun.  One that did fun and messy projects with her kids.  A mom that had activities planned and organized for after homework time was done.

I'm not one of those moms.

I don't like messes.  I hate play-doh.  I loathe sandboxes.  Painting only happens in warm weather around here so that it can be done OUTSIDE.  For crying out loud, the LEGOs are on the top shelf and RARELY come down...if ever!

But it's mid-December and there isn't much Christmas happening around here.  Shane's been sick.  Too sick to do the outside decorations and too sick to take the big kids for a tree.  I haven't done much shopping.  I've done practically NO baking.  Aside from a few snowmen, nativity sets and the advent calendar, I'm not feeling very Christmassy.  So, I think I may have over-compensated:

They had a blast!  And, honestly, it really wasn't that bad.  Sure, the icing got a little messy, but next time, I'll do things a little differently.  Yes, I said next time!  I think we might make this an annual tradition.  Not only did the kids have fun, now I have another decoration.  Bonus for the fact that I don't have to actually STORE it after Christmas is over!

Here's the finished product.

(Zoe's side...notice various attempts at patterns)

(Ty's may notice he didn't get to to gumballs in time...Zoe snagged 'em all!)

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

No Longer In Denial

When I finally sat down tonight to catch up on some DVR'ed shows, I popped open my laptop and realized I haven't posted on my blog in almost a week.  That hardly seems possible.  I mean, it's not like I haven't had topics.  So I guess there's only one other answer: I'm busy!  Seriously.  How's that seem possible?  I've only just started Christmas shopping.  It's not like I've got Christmas cards to write (since there's no picture...there's no card).  Baking hasn't started.  There's no tree up.  So what, on earth, have I been busy with?

There are plenty of pictures and stories to come...

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Wordful Wednesday

This is actually from a month or so ago, but it's definitely my WW today.  I just posted about "being stretched" and ever since, have really felt it!  Today, the two "big kids" are home from school sick.  I can't say I'm looking forward to today's particular stretching, but I am encouraged that Ava woke up in her own bed this morning (even if she did take a slight detour for an hour or so into ours last night).

So why this picture?  Because it reminds me of how I'm starting to feel: a tad caged in.  There's a gate...I do get out...occassionally.  But with the cold season upon us, it's easy to get the "boxed in" feeling.  So I'm reminding myself that I'm not shackled to my house.  Sure, I'm not going anywhere today...during the day.  But Shane'll be home around dinner time...and I'll get out then, if I need to.

In the meantime...just look at those faces!  HOW CUTE!  Even in their "gated community".  They're very cute.  I'm very blessed.  So today...I'm going to CHOOSE JOY.  Today, I'm going to PRETEND that I've CHOSEN to stay home all day with them.  Today, I'm going to IGNORE the laundry.  Today, we're going to HAVE FUN!

For more Wordful Wednesday Blogs, check out Angie over at Seven Clown Circus:

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

The Leaf Guys

Ty was VERY impressed with Granddad and Daddy's pile of leaves.  They worked very hard on Friday to clear our yard.  The massive wall of foliage in front of our house proves it!  Ty described it as something like the "most ginormousist pile in the world".  (Hey, he's smart...but not exactly a master of the english language quite yet...he's 4!)

Today, the joy of the leaf pile was multiplied by the fact that Ty was able to watch "The Leaf Guys" (a.k.a.: the town's public works employees) come and vacuum up those leaves.

Hey, do you think I could get a super-powered vacuum like that to clean up toys in the playroom?

Monday, December 1, 2008


*** Updated 12/2: No sooner had I typed this lovely thought than Ava stretched me to my limit...and I snapped!  It's the screaming.  I'm sure of it.  It's the high-pitched-dogs-gathering-on-the-front-porch- nails-running-down-the-chalkboard-continuous-loud-did-I-mention-high-pitched screaming!  It's anytime she's not in control.  Anytime she's not getting her way.  And it's driving me INSANE!  Thankfully, my mom answered her phone (thanks Mom...hope I didn't make you too late for work).  Today is a new day.  And so far today, we're okay.  The's still there...but it's not making me snap.  One day at a time, right? ***

What a great Thanksgiving, we had!  It was so good, I totally blew off my blog!  =)

Aside from losing the garbage disposal plug in the Turkey pan (not IN the actual turkey...just stuck in the turkey lifter), it was rather uneventful.  My Dad took the two "big kids" into NYC in the morning to visit his brother & sister's families.  They had a great time, and it cleared out the house (somewhat) for dinner prep.

I should have taken a picture of the was GORGEOUS.  Shane borrowed two long tables from church and set them up side-by-side on the back porch.  All 11 adults were able to sit together.  The "big kids" sat next to us at their own table.  And the babies (all 4) cooperated by napping!  The food was good, but the conversation and relaxing time was even better.

Since my parents came down Wednesday afternoon, Dad and I were able to rake up a bunch of the backyard leaves.  Thursday's weather was nice enough that the boys (including Cole) were able to head out back with PopPop & Uncle Tim for some fresh air after lunch.

Dessert was PLENTIFUL, to say the least.  Our neighbors came over as well as another couple we know from church.

One of our family traditions (carried on from Shane's family) is the Thanksgiving Poster.  Throughout the day, everyone is supposed to add what they're thankful for.  I realize you can't make out most of the comments and drawings on our board, but trust me, they're good!

There's a lot that I'm thankful for this past year: 5 healthy children, a loving (and helpful) husband, supportive families, disposable diapers, high-efficiency washing machine and dryers, clean people that come every two weeks...I could go on.  But what I'm REALLY thankful for (down deep under all the complaining) is how the Lord is stretching me.  I can't say that I feel that thankfulness at 3am or after an hour and a half of whining or after complete failure (twice) of not getting a good Christmas picture, but I am thankful.  Everyday, I'm shown areas that I need to grow.  Areas that I am growing.  Areas that I have grown.  I never would have imagined that I could handle being a mom to five kids.  And although there are days that I don't handle it well, I survive.  And there ARE days that I do MORE than survive...I actually find myself having fun and enjoying myself. 

So I'm thankful for the stretching.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Made Her List...Time To Check it Twice

Zoe isn't just getting into learning to read in first grade, she's also loving the spelling.  During her "Computer Time" she doesn't choose to play games.  No.  She double clicks on the Microsoft Word icon and starts typing her heart out.  Usually, she transcribes her favorite books, verses or poem.  Occasionally, she writes any and every word she knows.  With Christmas coming, she's switched her focus up a bit.  So for any of you that may be interested in what this 6 year-old is asking for this Christmas, here's Zoe's list. Bonus points if you don't actually need the translation that follows.

Translations you may need:
1. a DS game
3. a Stapler - Doesn't every 6 year-old?  Personally, I'd be happy for Zoe to have her own.  She borrows mine so often to make one of her many books, I can never find it.
4. a Guitar
7. 100 Purses
10. a Binder - Again...she loves office products.  She has two 3-ring binders with protective sleeve inserts for all her artwork.
11. a Violin
12. a Calendar - She doesn't mean the kind that hangs on the wall.  She'd like a planner.  Yes...I'm beginning to think she might have some issues (says the kettle).
13. a Picture Frame
14. 100 Cell Phones - Because clearly, one is not enough for this "pre-teen".
16. A brother that is silly.

Hey, at least I can promise her #16!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

School Pictures

School pictures bring mixed emotions for me.  On ONE hand, I love getting my kids' pictures back.  On the OTHER hand, I hate looking at my old school pictures.  There are the "pre-braces" pictures and the strange style clothing pictures and of course, the years where AquaNet was my best friend.  But the picture I really hate?  I think it was 7th grade.  The first year I could wear make-up.  I'm positive that my mom sat home that year and thought, "Oh...this is going to be great!  In 20 years, this single picture is going to pay Amy back for all the problems she's given me!"  Why, you ask, would I think that sweet, innocent, loving Christine would think that?  Two Words: BLUE MASCARA!  Don't scroll down thinking I posted the picture.  I didn't.  I won't.  I'm pretty sure I've burned most copies of said picture!

This week, Ty came home with his first ever school picture.  This is his first year of preschool.  He loves it!  We had a parent/teacher conference a few weeks ago and it was quite fun to sit through.  At one point, his teacher (Mrs. Bushman) was reviewing Ty's "numbers".  They ask the kids to count "as high as they can".  Usually, the child counts to 20...sometimes in the teens.  I think Zoe counted to 12, 13 or something...then got all confused.  Ty?  109!  And Mrs. Bushman said that she thinks she may have sighed or something because Ty looked at her, tilted his head, raised his eyebrows and said, "Do you want me to keep going?"  Oh boy!  Nana Higby sure nicknamed him right when he was little: The Professor.

Here's his class.  (I cropped the picture so that the kids' names wouldn't show.)  I love the fact that none of the kids are "picture perfect".

Zoe had her school picture taken a few weeks ago, too.  She's getting SO big.  I can't believe it.

And here's "1S" (just like Ty's class, I cut off names).

I guess these won't be the pictures Zoe & Ty will look back on and are embarrassed by.  Maybe next year.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

What Was I Thinking?

Is it too late to cancel Christmas?  I definitely think I'm cancelling Christmas Cards
Tuesday was "Christmas Picture Day".  Well, at least that's what the calendar said.  That morning, our sitter cancelled...she was sick (no guilt, Bec...honest!)  The appointment was set.  I'd already written the note for Zoe to give her teacher saying she wasn't taking the bus.  I had outfits all ready (for the most part).  I was mentally prepared.  And do I need to mention that I'm stubborn?  Yeah.  I'm stubborn.

After Bible Study, Ty, the triplets & I stopped at Children's Place and picked up the random pieces missing to complete everyone's outfits.  When we got home, the babies had their nap and I packed up the car.  By 2:30, T, C, E & A were loaded in the car with picture outfits on.  We swung by school and picked up Zoe (only 5 minutes behind schedule).  Got to the mall with 10 minutes to spare.  Unloaded the stroller...and babies...and kids...and headed to Sears.  2 minutes early!  Tammy (our photographer) brought us to the studio...

That's when it all unravelled.  That's when I realized...I was alone.  That's when it hit me...I'm a moron.  What was I thinking?  Three 15-month olds don't exactly sit still.  Zoe was helpful...mostly.  Ty...well...not so much.  At one point, I had gathered Eli & Cole and sat them in their "spots" only to see Ty laying on his back with Ava laying on her back on top of him...both of them giggling and kicking their feet in the air.  When I asked why he wasn't sitting up, he said, "she pushed me over, I couldn't help it!"  Ummmmmmmmmm...Ty...she weighs 17 pounds!  I would think you could hold her up!

After 45 minutes of pure torture, I decided we'd had enough and I'd look at what we got.  Oh, and let me take this moment to let y'all know...I HAD NO VOICE!  Sometime during my weekend away, my voice decided to go far far away.  Nothing.  No voice.  Five kids.  Have I mentioned I'm a glutten for punishment?

While Tammy prepared the DVD to look at our results, I loaded three babies into their stroller and bribed Zoe to feed them snacks.  I pulled Ty's DS from my bag and forced him to play Super Mario Brothers at the kids table (Hello!?!?!  When has he ever had to be forced to play a video game?  I'm usually riping it from him hands!)  All the while, trying to ignore the (no less than) 15 angry customers whining that they weren't being helped.  Apparently, the portrait studio was a tad short-staffed that day.  There were 2 photographers.  Yup.  Two!

When Tammy finally set me up at the computer to look at pictures, I flipped through them for about 10 minutes and realized the past few hours had been an utter waste of time.  There was a "collage" Tammy made of all five head shots (which was beautiful), but it was $180 and fulfilled none of the purposes of my visit.  There was one group shot that looked promising.  Everyone was facing the camera.  Eli wasn't throwing the decorative ornament.  Cole wasn't roaring.  But Ava was about a foot and a half off to the right.  She looked like a random kid that had wondered into our picture.  For the first time in my mothering life, I walked out of a portrait studio having purchased NOTHING!

Never again.  I've learned my lesson.  I'll never again attempt to bring my children for a picture alone!  Next time, I'm dragging Shane along for the torture!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Weekend Recap

I'm home!  It was a great weekend.  I can't wait to go again next year!  Yes, I've already told asked Shane about 2009.

As far as my weekend goes, I couldn't have asked for better.  I completed 39 pages...13 for each baby.  Originally, I was a bit bummed by that, but then I remembered that a) I got around 7 hours of sleep each night.  And that was one of my reasons for going, remember?  Sleep.  Uninterrupted.  Alone.  And b) (yes...there was and "a" it was just forever long ago...) I did MAJOR "journaling".  I mean, these are BABY there's all sorts of "What we thought when we first found out"..."How we got ready for your Arrival"...and "How we told people" stories that had to be written...three times.  Ugh.  I definitely had hand cramps most of the weekend.  But yes, there will definitely be a 2009 weekend because I am addicted!

And you know what?  Shane didn't just survive...HE DID GREAT!  Suuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuure...5 minutes after he got home and told the sitter she could leave, Ava fell off the couch, but other than that...SUCCESS!  He even managed to cut Ty's hair (holy cow, did he need that!)  The house looked great when I got home, too.  It wasn't perfect, but it was SO much better than I anticipated.

Saturday night, Zoe cried in bed telling Shane how much she missed me.  When Shane pointed out that she didn't cry when he was on business trips, Zoe's reply?  "Well...I'm used to you being away!"  Know what that tells me?  I need to go away more often!

I'm sure there are 100's of stories that I haven't been told.  But as they say, ignorance is bliss.  I'm choosing ignorance!  It trully IS bliss...

Friday, November 14, 2008

I'm Off...

Do you hear the marching band?  Do you see the fireworks?  Can you feel the excitement?  That's the party I'm throwing!

I'm leaving.  I'm going.  You'll never see me again.  Okay, so I'm getting a little carried away...

This is my weekend!  I'm off to a hotel with a bunch of other women for a weekend of scrapbooking.  30 hours.  Me, my tools, some pictures, & piles of colored paper (acid free, of course.)  No kids.  No diapers.  No arguing.  No complaining.  My own bed!!!!!

And the best part?  I'm 100% certain there will be stories GALORE to blog when I come back.  Afterall...Shane's home with the five kids...solo!

That sound you hear?  Screaching pulling out of the driveway!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Wordful Wednesday

Angie over at Seven Clown Circus hosts a blog each Wednesday called "Wordful Wednesday".  It's for those of us that like to post pictures, but can't seem to let the picture speak for itself.

This is one of my most recent favorites.

Around 4 o'clock each afternoon, the crabbies make their way out of my 1 year-old triplets.  They no longer play nicely together.  They are no longer content with their toys.  They want Mommy.  They want attention.  They scream.  Loud.


Until the Praise Baby DVD is put on.  Then peace returns to our home (at least for 45 minutes) as six eyes are completely focused on the pictures moving across the screen and six perfectly formed ears are listening to calming worship music.  It becomes my favorite time of day.

What never ceases to amaze me, is that they watch the same DVD everyday.  And still, they're amazed by it!

Monday, November 10, 2008

15 Months...and counting

This morning, the triplets had their 15-month well-baby visit...and I had an epiphany.

First, the stats:

Ava: 29" / 18 lbs. 5 oz. 

Eli: 30.5" / 22 lbs. 5 oz.

Cole: 32.5" / 27 lbs. 12 oz.

All in all, good health.  No ear infections.  No strep throat.  Which is great news...just not for Cole!  For the past 2 weeks, or so, Mr. Cole has decided he doesn't need to sleep through the night.  No...he starts screaming bloody murder crying until we pick him up.  Patting doesn't work.  Rubbing his back doesn't work.  Nope.  Has to be picked up...and immediately, there's peace and quiet.  We've tried the Cry-it-out (CIO) method, but we're a bit limited in how long that can go, since he shares a room with Ava & Eli.  We've even tried letting him CIO in our closet (don't's a walk-in with plenty of room and he's safe in a pack & play out of reach of anything he can pull onto himself...please don't send me nasty emails) but we end up feeling too guilty to let it go any longer than 5-10 minutes and we end up bringing him to bed with us.  All that being said, the doctor said there's NOTHING wrong with him.  And he actually ENCOURAGED us to let Cole CIO so that no bad habits are set.  So guess what Cole...if you wake up's in the closet...doors closed...pillow over my head to muffle the sound!

As for me and my epiphany?  Well...I may be overstating things when I call it that.  But I did realize, today, that life as the mother of triplets is going to mean standing my ground, making some tough decisions, and sometimes having to defend those choices.  When Zoe & Ty had their 15-month appointment, I don't think I thought twice about the shots that they were getting.  I just "went with the flow".  But that was 2003 & 2005.  Since then, there have been scads of reports about MMR and whether or not it has ties to Autism.  For the past few months, I've been talking to people, researching, praying, reading, deciding, re-deciding, talking to more people...basically chasing my tail in circles.  This morning, I thought I had my mind made up, but driving to the appointment, I got all uncertain again.  So, Shane & I decided to talk to the doctor about our options.  One, we could give it.  He (the doctor) feels the shots are whatever that bad thing is called is...but he wasn't going to "talk us into it".  Two, we could hold off until the 2 y.o. visit, when they don't recieve any other shots.  Or, three, we could postpone and separate the M, the M, & the R.  Although our doctor's office doesn't stock the separated vaccines, I could pick it up at the pharmacy and they'd give it to the babies.

I have to tell you, it was just a peace-filled conversation.  At one point, I said something about sounding like a nut, since I didn't think twice with the other kids and the doctor said, "'d be nuts if you didn't question things now."  Regardless of my decision, he supported us.  That's when it dawned on me...there's going to be so many of these choices we'll have to make.  Choices we didn't have to think about with Zoe & Ty.  Do we put them in the same class when they go to school?  Do we put two in one class...or all in different classes?  Do we keep them back (since they're August babies)?  What about sports...should the boys play on the same team?  Birthday parties...together...apart?  I'm sure there are others, but that's all I care to think about (it makes me stress).  When we make these choices...people are going to ask how and why we chose the way we did.  I don't think I'm ready for that!

We have friends who are passionate on boths sides of the issue, so I'm not going to mention which way we decided on the shots.  I think it's a personal decision (and I don't really want to get mean comments one way or another).  But I do want to encourage you to stand up for what you want to do with your children and their vaccinations.  If your doctor isn't as encouraging as ours is, GET A NEW ONE!  You only make these choices once.  Make sure you're at peace with it.

Sunday, November 9, 2008


I've been reading Angie's Bring the Rain blog since she started writing, pretty much.  She's amazing with her words and always such an encouragement.  I've laughed, cried and laughed again almost everytime she writes.

The other day, she wrote about the importance of praying for our children.  I totally agree.  The problem is, I always get caught up in my day and "forget" to pray for them.  She had a great solution...and a wonderful challenge.

I'm joining her...will you?  Not just for a week...but hopefully, for a lifetime!

Friday, November 7, 2008

Quite a Day!

Zoe had quite a day today!

It started this morning, with an eye appointment.

At her 6 year-old checkup, she didn't quite pass her VEP exam.  Don't ask me what it is or what it does.  All I know is they put little probes on her scalp and have her watch a screen with annoying images and sounds flashing like wild.  It gave me a headache just being in the room (and I was trying not to look at it) so I can see why Zoe kept turning away.  After the high-tech thingie-mabob, the nurse gave Zoe an old-fashion eye-chart test.  Apparently, she didn't do too well on that either, so the pediatrician recommended going to an optometrist (opthamologist?  What's the difference, again?).  I'll save you the rant about the research I did on the importance (i.e. cost) of a pediatric opta-whatever.  Zoe went to the same Optometrist as Daddy (which she thought was very cool).

(Sorry for the poor quality, it was taken from my phone)

The result?  No problem!  No glasses!  Zoe's has a slight tendency for far-sightedness (huh?) but apparently that's common in younger kids and she will grow out of it as she ages.  So, I'm chalking up the "failed" test to the fact that it was a Friday afternoon at about 4:30p.

Which leads us to this afternoon...

I'm in the kitchen starting dinner (not my favorite part of the day) when Zoe flies in from the backyard.  I couldn't understand a word she was saying...not only was it spoken at the speed of light, it was mumbled like she had a mouthful of marbles!  And she was thrusting her hand out to me!

She'd lost her first wiggly tooth!

(The hole's on the bottom...odd, right?  Isn't it usually the top teeth that come out first?  Zoe's never been one to "follow the rules".  Why start with teeth?)

It took all my strength not to gag when she handed it to me.  I'm not sure exactly what I said, but in my mind, it was something very encouraging and enthusiastic as I quickly got the tooth out of my hand and back into hers!  No sooner had I done so, than she was on the phone to the president both sets of grandparents with her late-breaking news.  Then, she was a blur as she darted across the street to notify the neighbors.

As soon as the storm door slammed, I was on my laptop googling "going rate for first lost tooth"!