Friday, August 29, 2008

Another Thrilling Night at our House

Ever wonder what you would do with 5 kids (3 that would need to be carried) if your fire alarm went off in the middle of the night?  I have!  Especially when Shane's on a business trip.  When they were a few months old, I made sure there was always an empty laundry basket under Ava's crib.  My plan was, I'd put all three in there and adrenaline would help me carry them downstairs and outside as I got Zoe & Ty out the door too.  We've never actually PRACTICED that drill, because I think (although a smart idea and a great safety move) the kids are too young to understand it's a "drill" and getting them out of bed from a dead sleep means at least 2 hours to get everyone BACK to sleep.  Of course, now that the triplets weight 25, 20 & 16 pounds and are the size they are, I don't think the laundry basket plan would really work.  I'd probably hand Ava to Zoe and hope that they'd get extra coverage in my "keep us safe" prayer that I'm sure I'd be saying.

Well, last night, we learned learned some valueable lessons (rest assured there WAS NO FIRE and we are ALL OKAY but this was NOT a planned event):

A) When the Fire Alarm goes off at 12:30 am, it's not that hard for Mommy to jump out of bed, fly down the hall & punch in the reset code.  I think I probably could have beat Usain Bolt in a 100 meter dash.

B) Panic doesn't hit full force if you don't immediately smell smoke or see flames even though you are awaken by the extremely loud Fire Alarm.

C) Not all 5 kids will be awaken by the extremely loud alarm...nor will the presence of the Fire Chief wake them.  The only one that woke up was Zoe...and man alive was she upset!

D) Our local Police & Fire men are very friendly at 12:30 am.

As you can gather from the above lessons, our alarm went off in this morning.  For no reason.  Since we have a central monitoring system, and it was the middle of the night, they automatically dispatch the police and fire department.  Although my heart was racing, I really was rather calm.  A quick check proved there was no fire, it was more the fear of the alarm going off again and waking up more kids.  The Fire Chief said he could bring his men in and they could use some sort of heat lamp thing that would show any heat source, but he didn't think it was necessary.  It was probably a glitch in our system and would probably happen again.

He was right.

But thankfully, it didn't happen until this morning at about 10:30 am.  I had already "briefed" Becca about the possibility and what to do if it went off.  Sure enough, as we were heading into Kohl's this morning (for some back-to-school shopping) my cell phone went off.  Becca handled it like a champ.  And as soon as I got home, I was on the phone with the alarm company.

Just another "average" day here in Higby Land.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

The Land of Make Believe

Um…first, there needs to be a disclaimer made: I like amusement parks. I like water parks. BUT...and this is a fairly large “but”…i am NOT a fan of the combo park! Why combine? Can't it just be one or the other? Why do you need both? It makes for outfit chaos! I can't ride a roller coaster in a bathing suit and generally speaking, they don't let you on water rides without a bathing suit! Sooooooooooooo…Moms (like me) gets to tote around big bulky backpacks and have everyone stick additional stuff in it making it bigger and bulkier! Sorry...I'm stepping down from my soapbox now.

You can tell, right off the bat that keeping a positive, fun, excited outlook as we pulled out of the driveway today was going to be a challenge for me. I figure, a quick trip through the Dunkin Donuts’ Drive Thru would be sure to help...or not! As we pull up to DD, a chorus of "I want a donut" sang out from the back of the van. After convincing Z&T that LoMB would have PLENTY of sugar waiting for them, we grabbed our donut-less coffee order and made or way to the highway. Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahhh...caffeine..there is peace in my world. Or not! "Ummmm...I forgot my shoes!" Yup. You read that right. My almost first grader FORGOT to put shoes on. Lemme tell u how glad I was that we were only 10 minutes into our trip.

Fast forward an hour and 10 minutes...skip right over the 1001 times I was asked when we were going to be there...and we were at LoMB. Sun-screened and ready for fun, we decided we’d hit “dry rides” before lunch…eat…then head to the water park. We surveyed the map and planned out our route through the dry rides.

(Oh...did I mention that the triplets stayed home with Becca-the August Nanny?)

I should also eat crow a little here: LoMB has their act together when it comes to families. There’s a HUGE picnic area (inside the park) that people just go to, find a table and “claim it” by putting down their coolers, BACKPACKS, and any other bags they don’t want to carry around a park. I didn’t have to carry ANYTHING but the camera…in my POCKET!

What I realized is that spinney, rotating, rising and lowering rides are ALL the same…and they’re made for people UNDER 30! I rode on one spinning dinosaur ride and it took me 2 hours to recover.

Dry Ride Highlights:
* Zoe riding Tilt-a-Whirl all by herself…and raising her hands over her head!

* Ty convincing Zoe to ride the Free Fall with him…and the thrill on their faces as they dropped that first dip.

After a nice lunch and reapplying the sunscreen, we headed off to the water rides. The kids had a great time. The water was cold, but it was a beautiful day. The sun was shining. It was warm (as long as you weren’t wet…and in the shade!) We ran into friends from church. What are the odds? Kevin and 3 of his kids were there doing just what we were doing…squeezing all they could out of summer. Kyle & Collin are twins…a little older than Ty, but the three boys get along great and truly enjoy spending time together. Samantha is also a little older than Zoe, but again, they play so well together. And then there’s Dillon. Older than our kids, but a joy to be with. Since the twins weren’t interested in getting in the water, we took Sam & Dillon into the water park with us for a bit. It was great.

I have to say, I enjoyed our day! My only complaint…and I do mean ONLY…was that there was a DIRT FLOOR at LoMB. Are you kidding me? Does someone not realize that Water Park + Dirt = Mud? As we were driving home, I felt like I had rolled around in a dirt pile! But the day was great. It was fun. The kids had fun. I laughed a lot. We have some great memories (like Ice Cream for dinner). I’d even consider going back!

Water Park Highlight:
* The "Side-Winder". Basically, it's a "half pipe" for water tubes! There was NO WAY I was going on it, but I managed to sucker, Zoe, Ty, and Shane, into going...

Thursday, August 21, 2008

A Whole New World

The triplets have a little more room for exploring these days!

With Cole walking, he quickly became bored in the "play pen".  I'd look into the Family Room and see him pacing back and forth from one side of the pen to the other.  Poor guy.  Just wanted to perfect his walking, and well, a 12-foot diameter pen was just not enough space for him.

Let's not kid ourselves, though.  There was also a slight safety issue.  If Cole was standing holding on at one of the "panels" of the pen, and one of the other triplets came over and joined him, the entire pen would fold back and either Eli or Ava would find themself on their back, sandwiched between the carpet and the wall of the play pen.  A play pen that just one moment ago was upright and providing support for them as they gingerly practiced standing and walking along.

The question became HOW would we contain the babies?  Would we have to gate off the Kitchen & Family Room together and add safety latches to EVERY cabinet and drawer?  Or could we fanagle a way to block off JUST the Family Room?  Contain them solely into that one room.  That would be preferred, but with a 12-foot opening, how would it be possible?

One Saturday morning, Shane and I were deep in discussion of this very topic.  Shane had even started moving furniture and had gotten out the measuring tape.  The conversation was about to get heated.  I was frustrated.  I won't deny it.  I was the source of the heat!  I didn't want a couch blocking in my kids.  I didn't want to climb over bookcases or be blocked from seeing them with toy boxes.  The gates that I thought would work were pretty expensive, and Shane wasn't convinced they'd work.  I was not happy.  Then, the phone rang.

I kid you not, it was our neighbor.  She and her husband were cleaning house.  Getting rid of a bunch of baby stuff.   Was there anything we needed or wanted?  Come over and look...

Low and behold, they had THE PERFECT GATE!  Within 20 minutes, Mark (our neighbor) was walking through our front door with it.  By the afternoon, Shane had screwed it into the wall.  The babies were contained...and safe!

Thanks Steffe's!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

CT for 24 hours

A few weeks ago (July 27 & 28), The Higby Gang loaded up the Odyssey & hit the road. Our destination? Grammy & Granddad’s house in CT. We haven't taken very many overnight trips as an entire family since the triplets were born. As a matter of fact, we’ve only gone to CT…back at Christmas! When the babies were just that...babies (i.e. not mobile). So this was going to be interesting. All 3 babies are crawling and Cole was trying to walk. But we were up for the challenge.

We headed north on Sunday evening. The kids did okay on the way up. They all fell asleep within a ½ hour of our departure. There were a few rough patches with crying babies waking up sleeping babies, but we battled through. Made one stop for food 1/2 way. Maybe that was our downfall - stopping. One of the boys woke up unhappy. I want to say it was Eli, but time's made my memory a bit fuzzy. Whoever it was really just wanted to roll over & go back to sleep, but car seats aren't really made to accommodate that desire. Thankfully, there was only an hour left in the ride and whoever it was fell asleep/calmed down at some point in that hour.
When we got to my parent's, I think 4/5 of the kids were awake...Ty was the only one sleeping. Grammy was so happy to be able to play with (most of) them for a bit before they were tucked in.

(My Mom's so smart...she put a gate right on the french doors to the sunroom.  PERFECT "Playroom"!)
(Somehow, Eli managed to trap himself under this chair...and was fine with it!)

Monday morning, we ventured out to Mystic Seaport. The weather was nice. The breeze off the water saved the day! Of course, pushing 50+ pounds of kids in a gi-normous stroller didn't help cool me off any. Man, that thing is serious!

The “big kids” had a great time. Mystic has wonderful, kid-friendly hands on exhibits. Ty & Zoe loved the kid’s museum: Ty practiced fishing and Zoe learned to tie different knots. They didn't quite last through the planetarium presentation, but loved the play ground and art studio.

Next time, we’ll hit the aquarium. Just not enough time in the day.

After a quick stop at McDonald's (for much needed Ice Cream, Iced Tea & Iced Coffee snacks), we headed back to Grammy’s house for dinner, packed up, and headed back home. Not a very long trip, but fun and successful, none the less. With every trip, I feel more confident and ready for another.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Their 1st & Last

Guess who finally got to see their favorite baseball team LIVE at Yankee Stadium?

Guess who got their very own Yankee apparel at their very first Yankee game? (No...I'm not bitter...I've just wanted a Yankee sweatshirt just like this for 10+ years but have never gotten one)

Guess who got to see their VERY FAVORITE pitcher (Andy Pettite) in action?

Guess who ate their way through the game?

Guess who was very sticky from kids sitting on her lap the whole game?

Friday night, Shane & I took Zoe & Ty to their first Major League Baseball Game.  It was also their first trip to Yankee Stadium.  They were very excited and had been talking about the game all week.  The weather postponed the game, but didn't stop it!  It actually turned out to be a nice night for a game.  Just as predicted, Ty sat and watched the game intently, while Zoe lasted a half inning and then squirmed until we left after the 5th (Yanks down 3-0). What I hadn't considered when choosing the game was that Z & T would have just wrapped up 2 full weeks of camp and would therefore, be exhausted.  Neither of the kids lasted the whole way home (Ty didn't even make it to the George Washington Bridge.)

Best Ty quotes of the night (Zoe was too busy squirming and drawing to be quotable):
  • When Shane asked Ty if he thought Yankee Stadium would be bigger or smaller than "this", Ty responded, "DEFINITELY smaller."
  • Sometime after "last call", a not-so-sober man stood up a few rows ahead of us and screamed at the top of his lungs, "Let's go Andy!" To which Ty responded, "Now a Yankee fan!"
...and my personal favorite...
  • After the first few beer vendors came by, Ty said to Shane, "Dad, why's he saying, 'Growing a beard here'?" (That's Shane's favorite saying when Ty's taking a long time: I'm growing a beard over here!)

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Especially for Lindsay

Just some randomness... (i.e. I've got a ton of posts "in the hopper" but none are quite hopefully, this delay tactic will provide you wil some entertaining triplet information.  Plus, I know Lindsay is hoping for some videos clips.  We miss you, Linds and are praying for you everyday.  Hope all's well in Nicaragua!)

All three babies have been "cleared" to transition to whole milk.  There haven't been any issues, so far!  Yeah!  Ava's getting 50/50 milk & Pediasure (for the extra calories).  We're still taking formula at bedtime until we're finished with our final canister. 

Both boys have reached the 4 tooth threshold!  They are looking so cute as the teeth come in.  Such big boys!  Ava's cut one now she has two on the bottom. (The boys look a little strange in the pictures because the only way I can get them to show me their teeth is to lay them on their back and tickle until they're hysterical laughing!)

Eating has become quite an adventure.  We're working on more and more solids.  Although not all new foods have been enjoyed on the first try, the babies seem to always be willing to taste! 



Cole's walking has really taken off.  Everyday he's more confident.  The other day, he was walking around the family room with a ball in his hand. I called his name and he turned and giggled while continuing across the room.  He walked right into the automan...fell on his keester...and let out a belly laugh so contagious the whole family was cracking up! 

One last Cole update (he seems to be the only one with news, sorry): Aunt Shannon has been working on his "sniffing" face with him.  Despite my best efforts, it's impossible to get a good picture of.  I'm sure you'll get the gist with these shots...

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Party Time

You're invited (virtually) to Cole, Eli and Ava's first birthday party! Surprisingly, I don't have a lot of party pictures. I guess I was too busy playing hostess. I did recruit Aunt Shannon to take pictures of "Cake Time", though.

The day was nice. It rained a little, but just a passing shower here and there. The temperature was PERFECT! We were so thankful that the heat wave had passed.

Shane made a GREAT "recap" video that really did a great job showing how far the babies have come and even had video clips from their birth, dedication, and random times through the year. Unfortunately, I can't post it here. Call me. We'll set up private viewings! =)

NOT surprisingly, not many people paid attention to my "no gifts" request. Some, followed the "one gift" rule. But many...well...many tiptoed across the line and just brought one HUGE gift, or ignored it all together and brought THREE gifts. Some thought they were slick and BROUGHT nothing...but had gifts shipped. Hmph! And these are people I'm hoping my children will respect, honor, obey, learn from, emulate, etc. What am I thinking? (Just kidding...we're so grateful and overwhelmed by all of your generousity!)

The Desserts:

(You can't really see the flag/sign with the names, but it's "Triple Strawberry Cake", "Triple Chocolate Marble Cake", and a bowl of Three Muskateers)

The Birthday Kids each had their own cupcake (served on the traditional "You Are Special Today" plate). There really wasn't anything spectacular about the cake eating event. We sang once and mumbled through the names. The babies sorta ate the cake. They definitely made messes, and I giggled at the "paparazzi" that was click click clicking away while the kids messed around with the cupcakes.


Their final "looks":

Saturday, August 9, 2008

One Year Later


Then: 5 lbs 3 oz  (18 inches)
Now:  25 lbs 11 oz  (31 inches)

Cole's our only walker (so far).  He's also, our pickiest eater (go figure).  He smiles so easily and is always making silly faces.  Cole is by far the loudest talker of "The Gang" and his loud, gutteral growl and grunt has become Mommy's alarm clock at 6:45 each morning.  He only has 2 teeth (one bottom & one top) but manages to eat Gerber Puffs faster than Mommy can put them on his tray. As "The Oldest", he has definitely grasped the protective and empathetic role...he cries when Mommy or Daddy says "No" to others.

Potential Future Occupations: NFL Lineman, Professional Wrestler


Then: 4 lbs 4 oz (17 inches)
Now:  20 lbs 8 oz (29 inches)

Nicknamed "Goofball" in the NICU by his nurse, Cathy, Eli has remained the smiley, giggling, curious boy he began as.  The downside to Eli finding humor in everything is when that "thing" is him hitting his little sister on the head with a hard toy...REPEATEDLY...and she's crying...and yet he's still grinning ear-to-ear.  He is by far the best sleeper in the bunch...and therefore is a tempation for Mommy to claim as her favorite (he's one is...)  He is a speedy little crawler and can easily stand independantly but refuses to take that small step (not that Mommy's anxious to have two walkers).  Eli is leading the "tooth race" with 4 (2 top & 2 bottom).

Potential Future Occupations: Ethan Allen Quality Assurance Director (he loves to "inspect" chairs), Podiatrist (he also loves feet)


Then:  4 lbs 5 oz (17 inches)
Now:  16 lbs 13 oz (27 3/4 inches)

Shane's little "Princess"...Momma's little "Bean".  Don't let the size of her fool you...she's just as tough as the boys.  Ava eats whatever Mommy puts in front of her...even though she has only one lone tooth (on the bottom).  She's the best cuddler in the group, but quite possibly the worst sleeper.  She loves to play with toys and is often seen with a toy dangling from her mouth as she crawls across the family room.

Potential Future Occupations: Model (assuming her parents don't have a say), Human Paper Shredder

Thursday, August 7, 2008

By the Numbers

Days "Survived" = 366
Bottles Prepared = 5670
Diapers Changed = 7020
Pounds Gained = 48
Teeth Cut = 6
Pictures Taken = 2300 (approx.)
Haircuts Given = 0
Memories Made = Countless