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 books...so 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 tires...me 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 worry...it'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 tonight...it'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 safe...no preservatives...no 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, "no...you'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"!

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Running Errands

*** Updated 11/7: For all of you that seem to think I have my camera in a holster on waist...IT WAS THE CAMERA ON MY PHONE! ***

Guess what I did yesterday that I NEVER thought I'd do!?!?!?!

BJs with the triplets!  It was almost like I was a regular mom out running errands.  I felt sort of "normal".

They were GREAT!  They loved looking around at all the colors and big boxes.  Cole kept looking up at the ceiling.  I guess warehouses are his thing.

I went with the "push & pull" technique.  Push one cart and pull the other.  As long as I evenly distributed "the goods", it wasn't hard to maneuver at all.
We did get a few stares and comments, but nothing out of the ordinary.  Maybe they're used to multiples in a wholesale club.  Buying bulk is a necessity!  We did see a set of twins and a few "multiple kids", but no other double carts.
I'll definitely brave the trip again.  Just a few adjustments next time: 1) sippy cups with their straps attached ("Toss the Sippy" is not Mommy's favorite game.)  2) snacks  & 3) stick to visits on NON-raining days!

Monday, November 3, 2008

NICU Reunion

Last Sunday (10/26) our hospital's NICU had their annual reunion.  Last year, we were too little to go.  Not to mention there was the whole RSV threat.  But this year, I was really looking forward to seeing the doctors and nurses. 

Since it was close to Halloween, dressing up was optional.  We opted out.  I was afraid the triplets would be scared out of wearing the outfits for the "real deal".

"The Gang" was a bit too young to enjoy all the festivities: face painting, tatoos, great snacks, pumpkin painting, etc.  But they did get their pumpkins and Eli managed to even hold his for a full 5 seconds (long enough for a picture) before he chucked it across the room!  Shane and I are pretty sure we have a future MLB pitcher on our hands.  Just like Shane, when he was little, Eli throws EVERYTHING!

Even though our main nurse wasn't there (she recently had a baby and is still out on Maternity Leave), we did get to see a few of our other nurses and OF COURSE got to check in with Dr. Mangienello. 

And just for sentiments sake, here are a few pictures of Nurse Cathy with Ava on her discharge day:

I was a little surprised by the turnout.  The hospital splits up the reunion by age: 1-3 and then 4+.  There were about 10 "singletons" and their families there, about 5 sets of twins and 3 sets of triplets (including us).

The day I was checking out of Valley after my C-Section, another mom, pregnant with triplets, was "checking in" for a month of bedrest.  Her babies (also BBG) were born about 6 months after us.  Since then, Karina and I have gotten to know each other through our local triplet group.  It was nice knowing at least one other family at the reunion.

Next year, with two year-olds, the "party" will be much more interesting, I'm sure!

Sunday, November 2, 2008

We get to wear them AGAIN?

Yesterday, friends of ours (Scott & Jen Elfant) had a birthday party for their 1 year-old daughter (Jordyn).

Wise as they are, they decided on a costume party!

The kids loved getting to put on their outfits again and I loved the fact that they were WORN again!  =)

Ava discovered a new love: CUPCAKES!  She swiped 2 of Caleb's when he wasn't looking.

Eventually, Caleb got so frustrated, he grabbed them up fast and in his haste, threw them to the ground.  Not one for waste, Eli was quick to snatch it up.

Apparently, we're not feeding Ava enough because she was sucking the cupcake off any and every wrapper she could find.

Cole also found a friend: Tom.  (Yes, that's a costume...he's "80's guy" complete with a mullet).  Tom brought some "adult beverages" and being as he doesn't have kids, he just put the cases down.  A few minutes later, we looked over and guess who was sitting cuddled up with the beer? 

Zoe and her buddy Karalyn (dressed as Sharpay) were the High School Musical team.

A great time was had by all.  I hope the Elfants keep up the tradition.  Maybe next year I'll even get dressed up!

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Halloween with Five

Shane & I grew up with different Halloween traditions.  Shane's family didn't participate.  There was no trick or treating for the Higby kids.  Shane can't remember ever even asking to go.  I, however, a) loved the opportunity to get together with friends and b) HELLO...CANDY!

Even with the different backgrounds, we've agreed to let the kids go out for Halloween...for now.  As long as the focus is on the friends, fun and fructose (had to stick with the "f" pattern there, sorry), they are welcome to participate (with Mom picking out appropriate costumes).

This year, after I dropped Zoe & Ty off at school, I brought the triplets by Shane's work.  The last time they were there, they were still in their infant seats (MAYBE 6 months old).  The triplets were a HUGE HIT on Friday.

For the past few years, we've trick or treated here on our street with some neighbors.  We'd go out early (with the sun still out), then we'd have some pizza and the kids would finish up the neighborhood with Dad when he got home.  But this year, we mixed things up a little bit.

We headed down to a friend's house a few towns over.  Their "hood" has sidewalks (with a stroller...that's a MAJOR plus!)  The trips and I picked Zoe & Ty up from school and headed down to "Team Moorman's".

We suited up and headed out.  What a great time!

Shane met us there after work and we all had pizza.  (Does everyone have pizza on Halloween night?)

When we got home, I put Tigger, Piglet & Pooh to bed (they were BEAT!) and Shane brought Zoe & Ty around to a few of the neighbors.  Ty was in RARE FORM!  He was talking a mile a minute...and NON-STOP!  So funny.  We're used to Zoe being hyper from sugar.  It's rare to see Ty do ANYTHING fast.

I was pleasantly surprised at how easily Zoe & Ty went to bed.  Granted, it was past 9p by the time they were tucked in, but still...with all that sugar...it could have been a disaster.  I guess exhaustion wins out over sugar high.