Thursday, June 26, 2008

Rough Week

Yes, I realize I haven't posted in awhile.  It's been a tough week.  Tough.  Week. 

See, the Japanese are in town.  That means Shane's got budget meetings at work and two nights of dinners.  Plus, this week was Kid's Crusade at church.  Basically, night...from 6p to 8p.  Put those two things together, and you get one wiped out Mommy.

We moved up the afternoon schedule each day so that everyone was fed by the time we started loading up the car at 5:30.  Program started at 6 and we usually pulled up around 5:58.  There was nursery help, so I left the babies there and went with the big kids.  I'd check in on the triplet and made sure to give them their bottles and diapers changed at the usual time...7:30...then we'd load up the car so when Zoe & Ty were done, we could head straight home.  The babies basically fell asleep on the way home.  I made deals GALORE with the big kids in the car.  I wheeled and dealed with them.  "When we get home...if you QUIETLY go upstairs and put on your PJs...then QUIETLY go potty...and QUIETLY brush your teeth...and are in your beds QUIET by the time I get the babies in their beds, you can play your DS's in bed (not the norm)."  I also promised a trip to the candy store, a pack of gum, Chocolate Chip Cookie baking (they like to bake...just like Mommy), an extra morning TV show, you name it...I promised it!  ANYTHING to speed up the bedtime routine!  Tonight was the last night, so I'm excited to have a regular nighttime routine tomorrow night.

Tomorrow, though, our week gets harder.  There is going to be quite a few tears shed and I'm guessing 99% of them will be from me.  Not a fun day.  Tomorrow is Lindsay's last day.  Sigh.  Tear.  She's leaving us to go on an 11-month mission trip (basically) around the world.  11 months, 11 countries.  You can read all about her trip here.  We're very excited for her, but very sad for us.  God really brought us together.  Friends of mine were in a bible study with her mom.  She mentioned that her daughter was graduating college and looking to maybe nanny for a year so was asking for prayer for direction for Lindsay.  My friends stopped Lindsay's mom and said, "We've got a friend having's her number!  Can we have Lindsay's?" 

She's been with us since the babies were born.  Literally, she was here when Cole was home and Eli & Ava were still in the NICU.  She'd stay with him, Zoe & Ty so that my Mom could drive me to the hospital to visit the others.  And now, she's going to miss their first birthday.  Again...sigh.  Tear.

Lindsay has been a TRUE blessing.  There aren't many 24 year-olds that can handle 5 kids five years-old and under.  Not many that can handle triplets.  Not many that can handle me!  She does.  And not only does she manage...she excels!  She smiles.  She has energy.  She genuinely loves my kids. We are truly going to miss her.

Not much more I can say...cuz...well...I'm crying.  Already.  Ugh.  I'm dreading tomorrow.  And come to think of it, the next 11 months.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

LBI - June 2008

To bring, or not to bring, that was the question! Should we bring the triplets (and Lindsay) down to Long Beach Island? Or leave the three home with Lindsay? I went back and forth about 200 times. Everyone said it was basically up to me. They would support either decision. With the babies, it would be really busy, but we'd be a family...and semi-normal. Without the babies, it'd be relaxed and a special time for Zoe & Ty...but would I be a bad mom for leaving the babies behind? Ugh! Decisions! I'm usually good at them. Not this time. And then I made the packing list. We'd need a U-Haul! Decision made. Lindsay was more than happy to stay home with the babies. Boy, did she have fun, too! She promised me pictures, so I'll post them when I get them.

The rest of the gang (all 13 of us) enjoyed amazing weather down in Love Ladies. Here are a few of my favorite beach shots:

Traditionally, we go out for Breakfast on Sunday morning. This year, we changed things up. We decided to go out for ice cream and walk around the lighthouse, instead. It was a great change. The kids loved the ice cream (adults too) and the lighthouse was beautiful that time of evening.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Splash Day!

This is the last week of school (Please, Father...give me strength to get through the summer) and one of the Kindergarten, End-of-the-year highlights is SPLASH DAY!

Since we were in LBI this past weekend & Lindsay stayed home with the triplets (future post, I promise) she had today off. So, being the partially crazy lady that I am, I packed the triplets and Ty up at 8:30 this morning and headed off to Splash Day.

WHAT FUN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Mrs. James & Mrs. Dykstra have this day down to a science. There were a bunch of different stations for the kids to visit: Painting, Sand, Spin Art, Bowling, Sprinkler, Sidewalk chalk, Bubbles, Bean Bag toss, Chicks...

It appears that adults are not the only people that flock to the babies (or rather their stroller). The triplets quickly became one of the main attractions of the morning.

This is one of Zoe's best friends, Jenna. She greets Zoe each morning on the playground with a HUGE hug. Shane witnessed it one time when he dropped her off and said it was like they were life long friends that were seeing each other for the first time in years. Unfortunately, Jenna is moving to NC next year. She will be SO missed by Zoe. But hey, maybe her mom would be up for a family of seven coming for a visit????

About a month ago, Zoe's class visited a farm and brought back eggs. They watched them in the incubator and learned all about how they were growing into baby chicks. When the eggs hatched, the class chose names for the 3 little birds: The Jonas Brothers (Kevin, Joe & Nick). Really? I watched the real Jonas Brothers grow up, now I'm calling baby chicks by their names? This is strange.

It took Ty a little while to warm up and get involved, but he did. He actually was more interested in the classroom than Splash Day. He wanted to check out all the Letter People that Zoe has been studying all year. He can't WAIT to be in Kindergarten. Guess what, Ty? You've got a whole nother year, yet. Don't grow up on me too fast.

Splash Day ended with Ice Pops & Watermelon. Top Summertime treats, for sure! Zoe asked if Ty could have an Ice Pop...and made sure to select his favorite color for him (blue). What a GREAT big sister.

We stayed for Snack Recess time (seems a little silly after Splash Day, but that's the schedule...why mess with it?) and again, the triplets drew a crowd from the other classes. I think my favorite comment was, "It's okay if Ava doesn't have hair, I didn't until I was 3. I'm seven now and look how much I have! So don't worry..." Thanks kid. Now I can sleep tonight.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Not Really a First

Summertime is officially here!

Tuesday (6/10/08), the temperatures were in the high 90s. It was so warm, that Zoe's school called for early dismissal. HOWEVER, Zoe's day was actually EXTENDED...go figure! Since there are only 2 little girls that take the bus home after 1/2 day Kindergarten, their bus was cancelled and the girls had to wait until the "big kids" were excused at noon.

Lindsay & I decided to take Ty and the babies to "Cool Shannon's" house, in the morning, to swim in the pool and keep cool (I'm a poet and didn't know it.) To make the day even easier (& stretch our time in the pool), Zoe just took the bus home with Shannon's kids from school!

This wasn't actually the triplet's first time in the pool. This past Saturday, they were actually in the same pool during Ashleigh's 1st birthday party. But, I forgot the camera (humbling, since I busted on Shane's photography skills in my last post.)

Here are a few of the pictures from the day. (You'll notice there are none of me or Ty. We were both there, but for some reason, Ty didn't make any of the pictures. Me, however, I purposely have no pictures of.)

On Saturday (and again this time) Ava was VERY anti-pool. She had NO desire to even sit in the kiddie pool. Lindsay tricked her Tuesday though. She gave her a cracker once she was in the water, and Ava forgot all about the temper tantrum.

By the end of the day, Haley (friend of Cool Shannon's daughter, Emily) was able to coax Ava into the pool. Ava LOVED it!

Emily and Eli were buddies. Since Ashleigh was napping (the triplets didn't take the hint) Emily borrowed one of our babies...

Of course, Lindsay & Cole paired up.

Cole loved the waterfall!

Eli was very relaxed in the pool. No, he's not QUITE asleep, but almost.

Moments after this picture was taken, the side of the kiddie pool folded out and Cole fell on top of the very snacks he was reaching for.

Yes, Cole (24 pounds) is sitting ON Ava's (16 pound) lap. And she didn't care. They stayed this way for about 15 minutes.

Zoe is an independent swimmer (i.e. no swimmies). Thank you YMCA!

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Fred & Ted Go Camping

Have you ever read the book Fred & Ted Go Camping, by Peter Eastman? It's Ty's favorite! Fred packs a lot. Ted packs a little. Fred has a hard time putting up his tent, Ted has an easy time. You get the idea. Ty could "read" it to you, if you'd like. Actually, he just recites it (technicality). He got it for Christmas from Nana, who thought it would help him learn opposites.

Last weekend, Fred & Ted DID go camping! With Daddy & Granddad. For the 3 days leading up to the big trip, we had to refer to Zoe as Fred and Ty as Ted. They thought it was hysterical. I, however, kept getting confused as to who was who. Not to worry, they always corrected me.

I'd post amazing pictures of the grand event, but well, Shane was in charge of the camera. He doesn't blog. He doesn't scrapbook. His pictures don't actually tell the story of a camping trip. However, the weekend before they packed up and headed to the campsite, Fred & Ted helped Daddy set up the tent in the basement. And I, being the photo addict that I am, took pictures of the test run!

The weather couldn't have been more perfect.

Once they got up there, Fred, Ted, Daddy & Granddad set up camp and went for a hike. Dinner was Hot Dogs with Mac & Cheese. PERFECT for the kids. As the sun went down, there was enough of a chill in the air that a campfire was a must. Then, of course, there were s'mores.

Not to worry, I had a sympathy s'more here at home with the help of the microwave.
Around 9:45p, Daddy, Fred & Ted settled into their (11' x 11') tent (that sleeps 7 & you can actually stand up in, by the way) and within 2 minutes, Fred & Ted were fast asleep. (In case you're curious, Granddad's VW Eurovan is a camping model, so the back seat folds into a flat comfy he slept there. Smart man.)

Can I just add a little tidbit about the (ridiculously) large tent? Well...I'm going to anyway! Shane went with Ty & Zoe to Sports Authority one night to buy Ty a New York Yankees hat and they came home with a tent. Does anyone else see the issue with that? That's sort of like me going to the mall to buy the babies onesies and coming home with a new Coach purse! Even if it was on an incredible sale (which the tent was) I'm sure I'd have a whole lot of explaining to do.

No later than 6:15a, the kiddos were rearing to start day 2 of the camping trip. Granddad cooked up killer "Egg-in-the-hole" for breakfast. Ty STILL asks me to cook it every morning. And, I'm sorry to say, despite the fact that I grew up eating this wonderful camping delicacy, I haven't the faintest clue how to cook it. (Little help here Mom or Dad?)

Later, the campers hiked some more (really it was more of a "playing around" than a formal hike, according to the official hike planner) and even found time to ride bikes. At some point that morning, Ty found a large feather (duck maybe). He stuffed it in his pocket and Shane thought it was hysterical, hence the reason it is majority of the pictures.

I'm assuming it was sometime during this "playing around" that both Zoe & Ty acquired a few "friends". (Shiver.) Friends of the not so fun to find on your kids during a bath kind. (Shutter.) Friends that skeeve moms out. (Gag.) Friends that could cause serious illness if they burrowed their way into Fred & Ted's flesh. (Thank you, Lord, they didn't.) Yes, ticks. I'm itching just writing about them. Eck. They give me the Heebee Geebee's. I pulled 2 off Ty & 1 out of Zoe's hair.

After breaking down camp, putting out the fire, cleaning up, & packing up the van, the campers were back home by 11a. Did I mention that the campsite was only 8 minutes down the road?

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Ten Months - Eight Updates

Only 2 months until "The Gang" turns 1!?!?!?! That's right! They turned 10 months old yesterday! Can I just say that I'm glad adults don't celebrate every month birthday! It's hard enough to admit, once a year, that I now have to write a larger number on any form I fill out! I'm also glad you don't care about updates and pictures of me! Because progress in my life is a WHOLE lot slower than for the triplets.

Here's the latest on them (In list format, of course. We all know how much I love lists):

1) Eli's still the only one with teeth. Yes, plural! His 2nd bottom tooth poked through 2 Saturdays ago. We're hoping that Ava will have a tooth in the next 24 hours, otherwise she might just drive me insane! She had a fever for a few days along with some "special" diapers. Her hands (and anything else she can grab) are constantly in her mouth. There's so much drool, I can't tell where it ends and the snot begins. Because, holy cow, there is a lot of snot!

(Yes, I know it's mean to have a screaming picture, but you can see his teeth)

2) All three are "talking". It's very funny to listen to their "conversations". They really do wait for each other to finish talking before they add their two cents. If I was technically savvy, I'd videotape it, and post it for a good laugh. But, alas, I have no clue how to do that. So, you all are invited to stop by anytime and watch the show. It's quite good!

3) The boys are HUGE raspberry blowers. Unfortunately, it's generally during meal times. Thankfully, they don't do it with full mouths. They seem to enjoy practicing their raspberries while waiting for their next spoonful. By the time the meal is over, I have a lovely work of art on my shirt and arm, displaying a variety of colors from the meal.

(My mom hates this picture...yes...Eli looks funny...he's blowing raspberries)

4) Speaking of meals, we're moving toward a "3 meals a day" schedule. Ugh! It's a tough few months. I feel like we're always eating, preparing to eat, or cleaning up from eating. So here's a rough look at our day:

7a - Bottle
9a - Yogurt & finger foods
9:30a - Nap
11:30a - Bottle
11:45a - Cereal & Fruit
1p - Nap
3:30p - Bottle
5:30p - Cereal, Veggie & Fruit
7:30p - Bottle

5) Now that we're all mobile, time in the Playpen ("The Pen") has become somewhat of a "WWF" event. Lindsay called it a cage the other day. Ummmm...they aren't ANIMALS, I pointed out. It's a Pen! But really, if you watch them, sometimes it really is a cage.

6) We're HUGE! HUGE! Okay, really only Cole's huge. He's in 18m clothing. He's 10 months old. He's a preemie. He's a multiple. Someone tell him he's supposed to be small! I don't even need to do arms at the gym. He's over 24 pounds. Really? Really. It's ridiculous.

7) I realize he's not 10-months old, but Ty had his first attempt of riding his bike without training wheels. It was interesting, to say the least. The training wheels are back on. Maybe we'll try again in a few weeks.

8) The triplets have a new favorite afternoon activity: Jogging! Lindsay's been taking them out and this weekend, I gave it a whirl. I walked with them on Saturday and jogged on Sunday when Shane & the kids rode their bikes to the park. It was ROUGH! I didn't realize how much extra effort it took to push a stroller!

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

A Little Ty-me with Ty

This morning, I got to spend some one-on-one time with my favorite brown-eyed boy.

Usually, before Lindsay comes (around 10a) Ty and I have leisure time. After I give "The Gang" their snack and put them down for their morning nap, I sit back in the recliner with my coffee & I watch Regis & Kelly while Ty cruises through Jump Start World. However, Ty didn't obey yesterday, so he's lost all computer privileges until Friday. I'm not sure who's being punished: me or him. But, I'm determined not to have a computer-addicted, brown-eyed boy, so...I'm sticking to my guns. In the meantime, there was NOTHING leisurely about my morning today (day #1 of punishment). So, by 10am, I was certain that Ty needed positive Mommy time.

It was precious time. Anyone who's spent time with my TyTy knows that you spend the majority of it laughing. As per usual, we did! We jumped on the trampoline for about 30 minutes. It felt like 5 hours. I was exhausted. We played "monster tag" and practiced our "bum jumps". When I thought I could jump no more, I convinced him that we should rock in the hammock for a bit. As we laid there, Ty started a battle of "I Spy". Okay. I'm game.

"I spy, with my little eye, something that"
(Ummmmmmm...Ty...that could be anything! We're OUTSIDE!)

"I spy, with my little eye, something that is...TALL..."
(Geeeeee...think it's a tree? And since when do you NOT have to spy a color?)

Then it was my turn...

"I spy, with my little eye, something that is yellow."
Ty: Give me a hint!
(I just did...Y-E-L-L-O-W!)

Then...he got flat out silly...and started spying everything I had JUST SPIED and he had JUST GUESSED! We giggled and giggled until we couldn't giggle anymore.

I love that brown-eyed boy!

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Head Ultrasound Results

As promised...a new picture...

It occurred to me that I never gave the results of the head ultrasounds. Before I get into that, let me just say: THEY WERE WONDERFUL getting their tests done. The tech let them stay in their car seats and I just held their heads still. They were definitely curious as to what that cold gel was on their head, but for the most part, sat pretty still on their own.

At one point, Cole grabbed the tech's wrist and tried to pull it down so he could eat what was in her hand. I guess the probe looked like an ice cream cone to him!

Part of the reason for my delay is because the diagnosis sounds scary - but it's not! Ava & Cole were both diagnosed with "External Hydrocephalus". Sounds bad, right? But it isn't. I can't find a link that describes it completely, so I'll just tell you what I remember the doctor saying. Keep in mind, there were 1000 things going through my head after those 2 words came through the phone. The doctor sort of sounded like Charlie Brown's teacher until she said, "I'm not worried at all and we won't even be checking them again. This will go away on it's on by the time they're two." Other words & phrases that I heard, "Just explains why they have larger heads...not interfering with brain growth or activity...they're probably had it too..."

So, in a nutshell, we've got big heads! Not exactly "Breaking News". I mean, have you seen the size of MY melon?

As you can tell from the picture, we are all pulling ourselves up to the standing position. It makes for A LOT of fun at bed & nap times. Eli & Cole tend to stand in their cribs and "talk". A few times, I have had to separate them by putting one (usually Cole) in the pack & play in my closet. It's a whole new ballgame now, baby! Craziness has definitely settled in at the Higby Household.