Thursday, April 30, 2009


This afternoon, Cole decided we wanted to embrace his girth and celebrate his belly.  Since I can't figure out how to describe the way he chose to wear his shirt, I'll let the pictures do the talking.

After taking a few of these pictures, I fixed Cole's shirt went about the afternoon only to discover...he pulled it back up!

Monday, April 27, 2009

Pardon the Mess...

...I'm in the midst of giving the blog a facelift. But since I'm technologically challenged, it might take me awhile. A long while.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

LBI Highs and Lows

What a weekend!  I'm not even sure where to begin: the long ride down, the unexpected crab, the awesome weather, you name it...

High Points:
Weather to die for!  Thankfully, I caved during the packing process & let Zoe bring her bathing suit.  She was in it all day Saturday and most of Sunday, too.

Seeing Cole pick up every single seashell on the beach.  He had a slow start on the sand (not as bad as Eli & Ava...stay tuned...) but once he warmed up to the feel, he combed the beach and picked up every single shell that he saw.  I had to keep emptying out his bucket because it'd get to heavy.  I couldn't take ALL the shells though, cuz then he knew something was up and he would look for the shells.

The traditional trip to the lighthouse.  Lately, we've added another stop on the lighthouse trip: icecream!  So fun and so yummy.  No pictures, sorry...chasing babies was hard enough...I wasn't going to attempt to document it.
A first-time visitor (in addition to the triplets).  Bethany brought her "special friend", Phil!  He schooled us in Monopoly.  The boy had a savings account!  Who has a SAVINGS ACCOUNT in MONOPOLY?  He put hotels on Park & Broadway and cleaned us all out.

Harvey Cedars' playground.  We even got in a little baseball.

Low Points:
Two-long hours in a well-packed minivan. Eli wasn't bad...he was in the back row with the two big kids, so he was well entertained.  Ava & Cole...not so much.  I guess it wasn't the greatest timing, they were hungry and not interested in being buckled in.  I was very happy to let them free when we pulled in the driveway.

Eli's cold.  That's right...ELI!  He was the crabby one.  As a result of this attitude issue, he had a great dislike of the sand.  Great dislike.  He would not let anyone put him down on the sand.  He wouldn't even stand on the blanket on the sand.  Wouldn't sit in the sand chair.

Zoe's tumble in the ocean.  She wasn't the only one, either.  Friday afternoon, Noah got knocked over by a wave and was soaked within 30 minutes of getting to the house.  So, Saturday, when his bucket was washing out into the ocean, Zoe went in after it (since Noah was a little nervous).  She turned to show us that she got it and the wave got her...and she tumbled head-over-heels for a bit.  Thankfully, Shane went after her and got her back on her feet.  She was upset for a little bit, but quickly forgave the ocean and even put her feet in again!  I was so glad to have missed this event.  I would NOT have wanted to see the terror on Zoe's face.

It really wasn't that bad...having no "child-proofing" in the house.  Ava managed to get her finger shut in the door...but not until 15 minutes before we left on Monday!  I'd say, with the exception of Eli, it was a great time!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Goin' to the Drive-In

Yes...we just got back from Long Beach Island.  Yes...there are plenty of stories.  Yes...there will be a post. will not be tonight.  See...I don't have my "Point & Shoot" camera, currently (it's on loan to a friend).  So...I need to borrow pictures from Nana & Shannon of our time at the actual beach.

In the meantime, I thought you might get a kick out of the latest way Cole, Eli & Ava are enjoying their "shows" these days...

(Can you take a minute to admire Ava's feet?  How cute is she's "relaxing"?)

Monday, April 20, 2009

Grandparent's Day

I love the EC tradition of "Grandparent's Day".  I'm sure other schools have it, too.  This year, Zoe's class celebrated on April 20th (2009).

PopPop Higby was able to go and Zoe absolutely LOVED having him.  The kids challenged the Grandparents to Bible Trivia (to show off the smartboard technology).  And get this: THE KIDS WON!  Okay, so maybe the Grandparents let them win...?

Together, Zoe & PopPop filled out questionaires about themselves.  Someday, I'll dig the papers out of the pile of school work, scan them and update this post.

Thursday, April 16, 2009


No less than five times a day, I put either Zoe or Ty in timeout.  I'm actually getting frustrated that it's not working as well on Zoe as it used to.  But that's not the point here...

The OTHER thing I say numerous times a day is, "Don't throw toys over the gate!"  Cole and Eli are the primary offenders.  It's so annoying!

What do those two bits of information have in common?  Stay with me here...

Yesterday, I was folding laundry (does anyone else notice that things tend to go wrong when I'm folding laundry?) and Zoe came upstairs crying.  Apparently, she was hit on the chin by a flying Kung Fu Panda.  Struggling to contain the chuckles, I eventually got the full story: Zoe told Cole not to throw Panda over the gate, at which point he cocked back the toy and let it fly...and it hit Zoe square in the chin.

I soothed the victim injured child and went downstairs to confront the villain Cole.  Zoe was two steps behind me, making sure Cole was going to be punished for hurting her.  As I was figuring out what exactly I was going to do to/with Cole, I remembered my friend Helen tell me that she puts her one-year olds in timeout.  So I thought I'd give it a shot.

Success.  Suuuuuuuuuuure...he got up once, but that's while I was going to get my camera.  I sat him on the same step that Zoe and Ty sit on.  For two minutes (afterall, he's almost 2 years minute per year, right?)  He immediately sat down, tapped his fingers on his knee, and avoided eye contact.  I stood a few feet away to make sure he wouldn't get up.  I had to turn my back so he wouldn't see me snicker.

I will definitely be using timeout again!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Easter Road Trip

It's been awhile since the while Higby Gang hit the road together.  We haven't all gone anywhere overnight together since Christmas, when we went to visit my folks up in CT.  Since that went so well...we figured we'd head there again for Easter!

Surprisingly, the car wasn't all that packed.  Suuuuuuuuuuuure...we were only going to be gone for 24 hours, but still, the van had room to spare!

And just for kicks and giggles, I thought I'd give you a glimpse of what five kids in five carseats looks like.

We had a blast with my folks.  The ride up went really well.  We stopped at McDonald's and ate in the parked car.  Eli ate 3 1/2 nuggets.  My picky eater!  The one who only eats pretzels and animal crackers.  He even chowed down a bunch of french fries!

Sunday morning, after Zoe & Ty dug through their easter baskets (which I forgot to take a picture of), we got all dolled up (also a missed photo opportunity) and went to church.  The service concluded with a two baptisms which my Dad did (he's not the senior pastor).  Both kids loved seeing that, Ty especially - each time someone came up out of the water, he cheered like they'd just hit a homerun!  Too precious!

My older brother's birthday was the 7th (Happy Birthday, Uncle Tim) and my mother's birthday was the 11th (Happy 35th Mom *wink*wink*).  So lunch was Tim's choice (moms always sacrifice, don't we?).  Tim made some GREAT choices and Mom cooked a GREAT meal.  We ate WAY too much lamb and then sent the big kids outside for an egg hunt.  FINALLY, I remembered that I had my camera...

(Those would be the random neighbors my mother invited mid-egg hunt!)

Back inside for birthday cake and presents.

(Yes, a bunny cake!)
(Ty helped Uncle Tim blow out his candles)

Then we did nothing but play and relax (and entertain 3 20-month olds.)  It was the perfect Easter afternoon. 

The ride home wasn't quite as smooth as the ride up, but we survived.  It's a 2-hour drive.  We left at about 7:40p.  How, then, were Zoe & Ty the first to fall asleep?  Eli didn't sleep until Zoe & Ty were out (he likes to watch them play and listen to them talk.)  Ava didn't sleep until the Tappan Zee Bridge (hello...that's 1/2 hour from our house!)  And Cole fell asleep 10 minutes later.  Of course, Ava then WOKE UP about 10 minutes from our house...SCREAMING.  I guess that's the problem for a "Tummy Sleeper"...carseats aren't all that comfortable.

I only hope this weekend, our road trip doesn't require any driving during bedtime.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Faith from a Fire

A quick update on my neighbors, The Gardner Family.

They're in their rental home and doing as well as expected.  The kids are all back in school (they were the very next day) and have settled right back into their routine.

Things here on our street have been moving along too.  The trees have been cut down.  The house has been knocked down.  The debris has been carted away.  But the memories...they're as fresh as the day the fire burned.

That Tuesday night, after the activity of the day had settled some and the sun was down, it was time to tuck my kids into bed.  It took awhile to convince Zoe that our smoke detecters weren't going to go off once she was asleep.  But eventually, she let me leave her bedroom and she went right to sleep.

Me?  Not so much.

I was terrified to lay still and close my eyes.  I can't explain the feeling.  It was partly panic.  Partly fear.  And then there was my mind racing through the "What if...?" situations.  Shane helped calm me down and assured me that we did, indeed, have a fire plan.  He humored my various scenarios with answers and eventually, after a good long prayer, I fell asleep.  I woke with every little sound.  I didn't sleep longer than an hour at a time.  But I slept.  Each time I awoke, I prayed myself back to sleep.

Even now, almost 5 weeks later, I have a hard time going to sleep most nights.  Me: the mother of triplets that hasn't had a good night's sleep since I was 3 months pregnant!  Me: the girl that usually can barely even find her pillow before she's asleep.  It has gotten easier with time.  But there are nights that I still struggle with sleep (aside from the problem my kids give me).

In God's timing, the bible study I'm doing (Beth Moore's "Esther") focused on fear the week of the fire.  Esther 4:11-17.  Esther had a choice...she faced her fear...and she took the courage she was offered.  One of the points Beth Moore made (and I'm paraphrasing) was that's it's not good enough to trust something WON'T happen.  Because first, the enemy will keep threatening us with it.  And second, if it does happen, there's no trust left.  She had us imagine our worst nightmare...and had us fill in the following blank: 
IF ___________, THEN __________!

If something happens in the middle of the night, then I'll get scared....then I'll react...then I'll...then I'll...then...then...then...

Ultimately, the "then" statement comes down to, "...then my God will take care of me!"  So now, whenever I close my eyes to go to bed and my mind starts running through the events of that Tuesday morning in March, I take the courage I'm offered...that God will take care of me.  I refuse to let those fears take hold.

Amazingly, I've found that lesson helping me all the time...any time I'm starting to stress (no, I'm not perfect...there are still times that the worries get to me. 

"God will take care of me!"

Just yesterday, I was coming home and I noticed something as I drove past the empty lot across the street.

There, in the midst of nothing, is the first (of hopefully many more) yellow tulip of the spring.  That perfect little bloom has no idea of the chaos that happened as it was coming up through the ground (yes, I know flowers don't really the emails!)  It's amazing how God works, isn't it?  God took care of that flower...and through it, reminded me again...He'll take care of me, too!

Wednesday, April 8, 2009


The triplets are 20-months old and recently had their follow-up evaluation visits with The Center for Child Development (the NICU doctors) to make sure they are hitting their milestones.  I'll spare you the frustrating post.  Maybe someday...but not now.  Too frustrating.  Too many hard feelings still.

But I will share one take-away from those meetings...the gang should be "practicing" with utensils.  I knew that.  Really, I did.  But you and I both know how messy a baby is when they're "learning" to use a spoon and fork.  I can't stomach that kind of mess x3!  So, it's my fault that they don't get to play.  And I take full responsibility for it.

Still...I was feeling a tad I gave them a shot at dinner with a fork the other night.  And since it was going to be messy ANYWAY...I threw caution to the wind and introduced the gang to pizza at the same time!

Eli caught on immediately!  The very first bite.  He did struggle a few times getting the pizza on the fork, but never got frustrated and never gave up.

Ava completely ignored the fork for a good long while.  When she realized that I was congratulating Eli on doing such a great job, only then did she decide to give it a shot.  She didn't do half bad! Ava, he wasn't immediately intrigued.  As a matter of fact, it wasn't until I stuck a piece of the pizza ON the fork did he even realize the fork was there.  Then, he pulled the piece off and shoved it in his mouth.  He followed my lead and stuck the next piece himself...and immediately pulled the piece off and ate it!  Not sure he's got the concept yet.

As a side note: They loved the pizza!

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Broken Glass & Birth Order

My whole life I've heard people refer to birth order and it's importance, "...She's such a first born...Typical for a youngest...Only child syndrome..." I never really understood all of it, but what I did understand, I completely agreed with. This morning I discovered the difference between a 6-year old, first-born girl and a 5-year old, second-born boy!

Tuesdays are Bible Study days. Shane brings Zoe to school so I can get everyone dressed, out of the house and to bible study on time. Today started out no different. I came downstairs with the triplets outfits - ready to let Ty know his outfit was waiting for him, too. When I came into the playroom, Ava handed me something small and shiny and said, "uh oh!" What was it? GLASS! A tiny piece of broken glass.

After calmly and quickly taking it from the peanut, I frantically scanned the room. Cole was sitting quietly watching Blue's Clues. Ty was sitting on the couch fiddling with something. Eli was standing next to Ty on the couch. What's broken? Is there more glass? Where'd Ava get this?
"Ty...where'd Ava get this glass?"
"Eli did it!"
"Eli did what?"
"He broke the picture!"

Apparently, SOMEbody threw a ball ("a hard one") in the family room....and hit one of the pictures over the couch...and broke the glass....and somebody ELSE didn't feel the need to come upstairs to tell his mother. Seriously? My 5-year old didn't feel that broken glass was important enough to stop watching Blue's Clues and come get me. Zoe would have run upstairs the minute the ball flew...regardless of whether or not it hit something!

That's when something glimmered in Ty's hand and caught my attention. He was playing with a piece of glass too! Hello????? Isn't he 5????? What on earth was he thinking????? (FYI: See on the picture of the broken glass there's a piece that looks like a moon? That's what Ty was playing with!) I scooped up the babies and brought them downstairs to play. I grabbed the glass from Ty and ordered him downstairs to play with the babies while I cleaned.

Everyone's fine. The glass is cleaned up (I found a few "lost toys" and my nephew's pacifier in the process). But as I was finishing, the phone rang. About 5 minutes into the conversation, I heard someone coming up the stairs...COLE...followed by Ty!
"Ty, did you forget to shut the gate?"
"I wanted to answer the phone."
"Are all the babies out?"
"...I guess...?"

Ty opened the gate and let them out! HELLO????? Isn't he 5????? What on earth...????

By the time I got them rounded up and put them back into the "Gated Community" (a.k.a. The Family Room), they'd created a mess with Shane's CDs (which brought back SERIOUS memories of Zoe and those blasted CDs) as well as emptied the majority of the board games from the kids' game cabinet.

Ava's damage this morning
Zoe's mess circa June 2003 (with a little help from cousin Sammy)

When all was said and done, 45 minutes had past...the kids were still in their coffee was "To Do" list had grown...and Bible Study had started...without us...

Hope your Tuesday went a little more "as planned"!

Monday, April 6, 2009

Escape Artist

Mealtimes at our house are quite an experience.  Most days, I feel like a short order cook.  The "babies" usually eat before the big kids...who don't always eat the same thing that Shane and I eat.  So, usually, I give the triplets their dinner and then multi-task and work on the next meal to be served.  I pop around the corner every few minutes to see if their trays are empty.  And I FLY around the corner when I can hear food or sippy cups hitting the floor!

Lately, though, I've had to re-think this approach.

Lately, the Dining Room lights have taken on the appearance of strobe lights during triplet meal times.

The culprit?

That little "hoe-sha-peck" (okay...I don't think it's really a word, but Shane's Dutch Grandma uses it all the time and we've adopted it as alleged Dutch Slang for "stinker" and I've got NO idea how it should be spelled...sorry...) wiggles out of the completely buckled straps of her highchair! 

(I love how Eli's watching so closely...)


(Please don't look too closely at how badly the highchair needs to be cleaned!)

If I make the straps any tighter, she can't reach the food on her tray!

I guess that's why there's the warning label on the straps.  Must be time to give up on the multitasking!

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Learned Behavior?

When the babies were...well...babies...they shared a crib.  I wasn't about to line up three bassinets in my bedroom when they came home from the hospital.  Puting them side-by-side in one crib worked great!  Every night, I'd we'd swaddle them and put them down.  Eli on the left...Cole in the middle...then Ava on the right.

And in the morning, they'd be all cuddled up together.

I tend to think it was because Cole weighed more...causing the others to wind up sliding toward the middle.  But I'd like to think it was them just wanting to be close together.

They slept together in that one crib...side-by-side...until they started rolling (about 4 months old).  Then I kind of figured it wasn't a good idea anymore!

Now, at 20 months old, Cole still likes to sleep sideways in his crib...

Oh...and he likes to pile his blankets up on top of himself!  See that wall by his feet?  It's the wall between the triplet's room and our room.  There are so many nights that I'll wake up when I hear loud, random someone falling out of bed.  I've finally figured out what those thuds are: Cole kicking the wall!

I think I might have some explaining to do to Cole's wife someday!