Sunday, March 29, 2009

Spring Break 2009

This week was Spring Break for Zoe and Ty.  Just like every year, it falls on the same week as the end of the fiscal year at Shane's work.  So, it's pretty tough for him to take any time off.  Not to worry, we were happy just to have a week with no schedule.

Shane did manage to take Friday off!  And the kids couldn't have been more excited to have a "Stay at Home Day" with Dad.  But he had other plans.

We (Shane and I) sat on the couch Wednesday night trying to come up with a plan to "salvage" the big kids' Spring Break.  Honestly, I wasn't really excited about doing anything.

Option #1 was the Crayola Factory.  Even though it was a good chunk of a drive, I thought, " trip...I can handle that!"  I thought it might be rough with the triplets, I mean, how long can I keep them in their wagon before they want to run all different directions.  But it wasn't "not doable" in my book.  Plus, maybe we could get someone to watch the triplets for the day and NOT bring them.  Hmmmm.  There's a thought...

...a thought that gave Shane ANOTHER option...

Three words: Great. Wolf.  LodgeLast time we went, Lindsay stayed behind with the triplets and a good time was had by all!  But how could we pull this off?  The thought of bringing the three little ones didn't ever...ever...EVER cross my mind.  Honestly, Cole would love the little kid area.  He'd absolutely have a ball!  Eli?  Well...sometimes he likes the pool...but lately, he's been screaming bloody murder in the bathtub, so it'd be a risky move.  Then there's The Diva Ava.  There's no way she'd let Shane out of her reach.  There's no way she'd go down any slides.  There's no way she'd put a toe in the water.  And then there's the whole "they go in completely different directions and I'm only one person with two hands" issue.  So, I'm not sure how we could pull off GWL. 

Then Shane said the nine most beautiful sounding words in the english language: "I could take the big kids by myself overnight."  Did angels just start singing?  I think so!  (Sorry Mom H, is that sputtin?)  But then reality smacked me in the face with the next nine words: "...and you could meet us there in the morning."

Even though it sounded like a lot of driving and sudden packing and last minute babysitter finding, we got on the phone and tried to make it happen.  Sure enough, Nana Higby was able to come in the morning.  Followed by Miss Lois & Deborah for a few hours over lunch.  Nana came back after Uncle Dave got dropped off at home, and with that, the babies were covered.  My excuses for not putting on a bathing suit were gone.

All the pieces fell into place on Thursday.  As soon as Shane got home from work, he packed Zoe and Ty into the car and headed out.  They made it to the hotel with plenty of time to hit the rides.

(Shane took this with his phone...the kids were READY for some rides!)
I got there relatively early Friday morning.  I left as soon as Nana got here.  The three "lodgers" were already in the water park waiting for me!  This year, there was a new ride that was SO fun.  It was a big tube that all four of us could ride in...and face each other.  The kids thought it was hysterical that Shane ended up going backward and getting the most wet!
This year, Zoe was tall enough for the "roller coaster" ride.  HOLY COW!  Up and down!  There are belts that help you go up give you crazy speed as you head back down.  By the second or third time Zoe was on it (Ty wasn't tall enough) she was riding with her arms up...not holding on!  There was one point during the ride that she actually caught air and was lifted OFF the tube!  I was squealing like a little kid, myself.
Of course, we ran into people we knew.  Classmates of Zoe's.  She LOVED having another person to run around with.
When we finally left, it took Ty approximately 5 minutes to fall asleep in Shane's car...
Shane's already talking about bringing the triplets NEXT time!  Oh boy...

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

80's Style

I think Ava would like to bring the "off-the-shoulder" look back from the 80's:

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Not a "Honey Do" List in Sight

Each weekend, hundreds of thousands of wives around the world write out lists for their husbands. "Honey Do" lists. Lists that include everything from lightbulb changing to wall painting to lawn mowing. I am not one of those wives. In this house, the lists are made by the "Honey", himself. Shane is a project FIEND!

I made the mistake once of asking him for lamps for our bedside tables. New lamps. That's it. Wanna know what I ended up with? Two recessed lights in the tray ceiling over our pillows. On individual dimmers. With switches right next to the headboard. I kid you not!

Back in the Fall, Shane gave me the choice of two projects he wanted to work on: a tree house or converting the mudroom to more useable space. The thought of keeping track of jackets, shoes, gloves, bags, hats, etc. for 5 kids seemed way more important than a tree house. I mean, we already have a swingset in the back that has a little club house, slide, monkey bars and swings. Who needs a tree house? Apparently, my (almost) 37 y.o. husband does!

However, being the great husband that he is, Shane finished the mudroom before he bought the wood for the tree house. (Although there were many nights that he'd sit up in our bed with a pad of paper and pencil drawing out various blueprints and plans for the tree house.)

I've been dying to post pictures and show off his amazing talents, but I've been waiting on the baskets. They finally came a few days ago, so now I can brag a little about my man's work. Keep in mind, he's a business man. He sits at a desk...goes on business trips...masters multiple-tabbed Excel spreadsheets...all day. He is a self-taught, wanna-be carpenter.

Here's The Before:

(This picture isn't completely fair because it doesn't show the whole closet, but trust me, you're not missing much of the closet!)

The plan was to take out the closet and add "Cubbies" for each kid. You can see in the picture, Zoe & Ty each had their own hook for a jacket. Clearly, I wasn't thinking about other kids...or backpacks. There was some organizational shuffling that had to happen when we took out the closet (where to put the vacuum, board games, craft box, etc.) but nothing too difficult to solve.

And The After:

And the view coming down our front hallway...
Closeup of the basket...
(I found these baskets at Pottery Barn coincidence that they fit...PERFECTLY!)

Somehow, wainscotting ended up in my hallway. I don't remember that in the original plan, but since there was no added windows, lighting, various electrical bells & whistles, I let the wainscotting go. And I actually like it. A lot.

No sooner had the paint dried on the mudroom, then the platform for the tree house was being built!

I promise I'll keep y'all updated as the tree house progresses...

Monday, March 16, 2009


I've decided we have WAY too much cereal in our house!

Friday, March 13, 2009

Spring Training

A few weeks ago, Shane went on a business trip to Vegas.  Ever since the "big kids" have been old enough to realize Shane's travelling, he's brought back "souveniers" for them.  Some have been more successful than others.  The problem with this practice is that Shane doesn't always have time...or a buy the kids a little something.  Usually, it's an Airport shop that he grabs something at.  Once, he found really cute watches for the kids.  But then there are the times when he can't find anything.  Smart guy that he is, Shane's stopped at KB Toys on the way home from the airport.  Once, he even PRE-purchased gifts before he even left.

This trip, he knew exactly what he wanted to get each of them.  Zoe's been really into "chapter books" now that she's reached a new level of reading.  She's currently on a Cam Jansen kick (written by David A. Adler).  I highly recommend them.  Cute & fun!

Ty's been very excited that Baseball is starting.  Shane's even taken my little 5-year old to the batting cages.  He really wanted to get Ty his first set of batting gloves.  The problem with this plan is that airports don't generally carry sporting supplies.  So, I volunteered to stop at Sports Authority to pick up a pair.  I'll spare you the frustrating rant and just tell you that it took three...yes three...trips to the store to actually GET the gloves.

Let's just say they were WELL WORTH THE EFFORT!

 (I wish I'd taken a picture of him while he was ASLEEP with these batting gloves on!  He wore them ALL night!)

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

It's Just Stuff

It's been a rough 36 hours or so around here. I'm finding it a little hard to post crazy, silly, funny stories and pictures of my kids. Actually, any sense of "back to normal" has been hard to reach. I'm sorta hoping that posting this will help.

Tuesday morning, our neighbors across the street lost their home in a fire. I made the initial 911 call after waking up to their screams for help. All 5 of them made it out alive, but their 3 dogs didn't.

If you want to read about it, click here.

These neighbors have been so special to us. They welcomed us to the neighborhood when we moved in 6 1/2 years ago. We've built wonderful relationships with them. Our kids (despite the significant age differences) are friends. This doesn't happen to people I know! This doesn't happen to people I love! This only happens on the news!!

Today, the "new normal" started. Their kids all went back to school and Kyra & John took care of things at the house. It was Kyra's first time back since leaving mid-morning yesterday. I got to talk with her a little bit after she came and quite a few times as the day moved on. As the day progressed, Kyra would tell me of some of the things they were able to savage from the one small room that they were allowed to enter. Things that she didn't think mattered. But every single one of them held sentimental value! Even though they were few...they were something. Before Kyra left to go back to their temporary home, we sat on my front porch again. The very place we'd sat in tears less than 36 hours before. We recounted all the blessings and miracles. And while the frustration and sadness isn't over, there was definitely peace on that porch.

To quote John, "This is just stuff. We can replace stuff. I have the most important things in my life – my wife and my children...We’re very, very fortunate.”

Sunday, March 8, 2009

This is why we don't do parks

Okay, maybe that's a tad melodramatic!  Maybe I should rewind...just a tad...

The weather this weekend's been great.  (I was even able to run outside both days.)  So today (3/8/09), after the babies naptime, Shane suggested a trip to the park.  Keep in mind, the triplets have never been.  But with two adults, I figured now was as good a time as any, to attempt it.  So off we went to our local park.  Shane invited his parents to meet us there.  They were excited for a kid fix and the additional adults helped our baby-to-adult ratio!

Once we got there, it was crowded...but that's to be expected...and we weren't phased by it.  We made our way to the "small playset" and put the babies down.  No one moved for at least 5 minutes (not the reaction I was expecting).

Cole and Ava warmed up with some time on the swings while Shane walked Eli around the playset (a ship).

After a few minutes with the wind in his hair, Cole was ready to roll and Eli took over his swing.

Before long, all three were rumbling around the ship and flying down the slides.

Everyone was having a great time.  And that's when it happened!  I was at one end of the ship with Ava on a slide and I looked up to see Eli walking toward a ladder opening on the other end.  I yelled for an adult to back him up, but before I could finish his name, Eli had tripped on the toe of his sneaker and took a head-first dive right through the opening.  There was a random Dad there, who sort of broke Eli's fall, but not before he smacked his face on the metal ladder.  Thankfully, Eli flipped enough to not land directly on his was more like his shoulder and upper arm that took the brunt of the hit.  I was already four strides into my sprint by the time Eli hit the "soft" woodchips.  His cry was more of a "scared cry" than a "hurt cry" and it didn't last more than a few seconds.  Within minutes, Eli's eye was swollen.  I'm pretty sure it's going to be a lovely shade of purple in the morning.

During the one-mile ride home, Shane encouraged me to not beat myself up over Eli's fall.  Surprisingly, I wasn't feeling over-the-top guilty.  I mean, yeah, I felt like a Horrible Mom on display for a little while at the park, but by the time we were home, the only thing I felt was pure pity for Eli.  The kid takes a licking but keeps on ticking!  He was all smiles at home.  Playing peek-a-boo, laughing, running around, etc.  He just LOOKS like a prize fighter.  Two firsts in one day: the park & a shiner!

Friday, March 6, 2009

Ava Barbara

Way back when I was pregnant with Zoe and we were coming up with names, we decided we'd use our children's middle names to honor their grandparents:  Zoe Christine (my Mom), Ty Douglas (my Dad), Cole Richard (Shane's Dad), Ava Barbara (Shane's Mom)...and then there was the issue of a fifth child!  OBVIOUSLY, I never thought we'd have after some discussion, we decided Eli would be Eli Robert (my Mom's Pop incredible man of God).

As the triplets have grown, Cole's been "pegged" as a mini-boy-version-of-me and a lot of people I think Eli is dead-ringer for Shane.  Ava, well, I've had a hard time determining who she looks like.  Maybe it's her lack of hair.  Maybe it's her ultra-fine features.  Or's because she is the spitting-image of her Nana!  There are many times that Shane jokingly refers to Ava as "Barbara"...or just "Barb".  Check out the resemblance. 

This is the original Barbara (a.k.a. "Nana"):

And here's Ava in the same dress:
(Ava's probably older that Nana was in her picture, but since Ava's so tiny, you can't really tell)

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Catch Up Quickly

Hello, my name is Amy, and I'm a blogaholic.  It's been a week have past since I've last posted.

A lot of my friends have given up social networking for lent.  Some have even given up following blogs.  But I'm not Catholic (not that all of them are, either).  I've thought about "giving something up", but ultimately, I didn't.  Don't let the lack of blogging lead you to any other conclusion.  We've been sooooooooooo busy around here.  Much too busy to blog...

  1. Got a new front door
  2. Got rid of the eye goop (unofficial Pink Eye)
  3. Sent my husband off to Vegas on a business trip
  4. Shoveled 6 inches of unwelcome snow
  5. Encouraged my husband after he discovered he had Pink Eye...on a business trip
  6. Wiped a lot of snot from three noses
  7. Comforted coughing babies at multiple times during the wee hours of the night...on multiple nights
  8. Took 3 19-month olds to the doctor
  9. Filled 4 prescriptions (2 Ear Infections & 2 official cases of Pink Eye)
  10. Went running (4m) for the first time in a week and a half
See...told you I was busy!  But nothing really "Blog Worthy".  I'm tired of writing about our ailments, I feel like a really bad Christmas Letter.  And I haven't taken any pictures.

Lucky for you, my mom did!  Oh, did I mention that she came down to help me while Shane was in Vegas?  She even came a day early (Sunday) to beat the snow.

On a completely UNRELATED note, did anyone catch Extreme Makeover: Home Addition on Sunday night?  I'm not a faithful follower of the show, but I do watch it here and there.  Sunday, the "hero" was a woman that photographed preemie babies in the NICU.  So touching.  She gave a lot of press to March of Dimes, too.  Even though we had a fairly uneventful NICU stay, we definitely benefited from March of Dimes research.  I don't doubt that for a minute!  So many of my fellow triplet moms are walking to raise money for MOD.  If you feel led, I'm sure they'd LOVE your support.