Saturday, August 29, 2009

Ava Day


Last...but certainly not least...Miss Ava!  You loved that NICU, Ava.  Stayed there a total of 25 days.  Finally, we got to take you home on August 29th.  Our family was complete!

Then...

4.5 lbs.

Now...

21 lbs.

A Glimpse of Ava...

Our Diva
The Peanut
A Feather-weight

Don't let her size fool you: She can easily out-eat her brothers!  Of course, that's when she's not chewing on her cozy.  Most kids carry their blankets or snuggle with their dolls.  Ava likes to stuff the face of her cozy into her mouth.  Yum, right?

Another nickname that has stuck is "Shay Shay".  We're convinced Ava speaks Chinese.  At least it sounds like it to us.  After a few episodes of Ni Hao, Kai-Lan on Noggin, Ava repeated "Xie Xie" ("Shay-Shay"...Chinese for "Thank You").  I'm sure she talks...but just can't be heard above the noise of her siblings.  She responds to anything you ask.  She even throws away dirty diapers and puts dirty clothes in the laundry basket.  She points out any body part you ask her to...most recently learning "elbow".  It's really fun to ask her where Cole or Eli's belly is...especially when they're wearing onesies.  She doesn't stop until she SEES that belly button!

It's taken 2 years, but Miss Ava is finally sporting some hair that Mommy and Lindsay can put a crazy ponytail in.

Her most famous move is the "Jump and Sit".  I haven't successfully gotten it on video.  She jumps up and down and then lands flat in the sitting position...feet out in front of her.  OUCH!  I promise to work on getting it on video to post.

Ava LOVES the outdoors.  But this girlie-girl's prissi-ness stops at the backdoor.  She's all about the rocks, mud, mulch, and mess outside.

Favorite Words:
Well.  I'm not really sure...
"Cole"
"Ty Ty"
"...ish come la bah it wah no boh..."

Monday, August 24, 2009

Eli Day

Eli.  Our "false start" boy.  He was SUPPOSED to come home the day after Cole, but ... well ... about a half hour before we left for the hospital to pick him up, the NICU called and said he'd had an apneic episode.  "A what?", was my response, I think.  He ended up having a sleep study to see if his episodes were just his prematurity or if it was something else, like reflux.  Actually, he had TWO sleep studies.  Turned out Eli just needed a little more time to grow into all the responsibilities that come with being a baby.  You know, responsibilities like...oh...BREATHING!  And eventually, on August 24th, Mr. Eli Robert came home after 20 days in the posh resort known as The Valley Hospital NICU.

Then...

4.4 lbs

Now...

25 lbs


A glimpse of Eli...

He's our "Linus Wanna-be":  A doe-eyed, thumb-sucking, blanket-dragger.
He's our best sleeper and worst eater.
He's the leader in the race for "most words".

Eli loves shoes.  As a matter of fact, it's one of his favorite words.  I think it went "Mommy", "Dadda", "Thank you", then "Shooooooooooooooes".  He drags out that "ooooooooo" sound with his lips puckered and I melt everytime.  At the very MENTION of "outside", Eli runs into the mudroom and quickly returns with his crocs.

He can say everyone's name in our family...a shock to me when Daddy pointed it out.  He is definitely the loudest, too!  Sometimes, we call him "Captain Obvious" because he likes to point out who is standing right next to him.  "Mommy...Mommy..." It get's increasingly louder the longer you let him go.  When you do say "Yes, Eli", he points and smiles as he exclaims..."Daddy!"  Like Eli just discovered he'd entered the room, when in reality, Shane had been there the whole time!
Eli is our neat triplet, too.  He loves brooms, vacuums, dustpans and wipes.  He's constantly closing cabinets and drawers.  If I'm not careful when I'm unloading the dishwasher, he's there closing it (without pushing the drawer in).  And his "neatness" translates outside, too!  If Shane leaves the shed open, Eli races in and grabs a rake.

His wife will be very blessed, someday.

Favorite Words:
"Hi" and "Bye"
"Thank you"
"Shoes"
"Ty Ty"
" (insert name) go?"  (...and imagine Eli with a concerned look on his face, shrugging his shoulders, and turning his hands up.)

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Built with love!

It's been a loooooooooooong time coming, but here it is...
Shane's The Kids' Tree House:


As if the house, itself, was not enough, Shane threw in a balance beam for good measure and added a "big kid swings".


He's amazing, I tell ya!  I wouldn't know the first thing about building a tree house.  But my man, he researched it, and taught himself!

He started back in February with the platform connected to the trees.


By March, he was framing the walls.


...siding the house and cutting out the windows.


In April, he was busy framing the roof and starting the porch railing.


He also laid the floor of the loft.


Sometime in May, he shingled the roof and built the ladder.


He also attached the slide and trimmed the windows!


Doesn't it look great?  Now that we spend so much time in the backyard, Shane needed to fence off the path on the side of the house.  Not a problem for him.


Since a tree house, trampoline, swingset, monkey bars, balance beam, and large grassy area aren't enough to keep 5 kids happy busy, Shane brought our backyard to a new extreme level: He added a biking/nature path! I'm trying to get a video of Cole running it (it's one of his favorite afternoon activities.) So I'll save that for another post. Just know that it goes completely around the yard...behind the bushes and shed...along the fence. Zoe loves riding her bike back through it...and so does Shane!

Friday, August 14, 2009

Cole Day

Cole had the shortest stay in the Valley Hospital NICU.  10 Days.  So today, is HIS day!  2 years ago, today, we brought our first triplet home.

Then...

5.3 lbs

Now...

32 lbs

A glimpse of Cole...
He runs everywhere!
He climbs on everything!
He loves books!

I love his laugh and his smile.  It reminds me of Zoe's.  As a matter of fact, the other day, Shane and Zoe were watching an old video.  From where I was listening from, I swore it was Cole.  I was wrong.  It was Zoe...about the same age that Cole is now.  I sat and watched it with Zoe and Shane and was astounded at how much they even acted alike!

I think someday, he'll be a chef.  When he gets his dinner, he puts EVERYTHING in the bowl and mixes it up.  Not to worry...he eats it all (does he look like he's ever passed up a meal?)  When Cole eats something that he likes (okay...he likes a lot, so maybe this is when he REALLY likes something), he leans back, rubs his belly and declares, "Nuuuuuuuuuuuuummmy!"

Cole's very "stingy" with his tricks.  I know he can talk, but he won't say things when you ask him to.  I know he can wave, but he won't...if you ask.  He loves to give kisses, but don't ask for it...you won't get one.  The same goes with names.  He knows who I am, but will only say it on his own terms.  I love when he does, though.  "Mom-mom". Not "Mommy" or "Momma"...but "Mom-mom". I love it! And usually, it's said with a twinkle in his eye as he's looking up at me.



Maybe because he likes to run, but Cole absolutely loves everything outside.  He has no fear and climbs right up into the Treehouse and easily slides down the "fast slide".  He will spend loads of time on the trampoline...you guessed it...RUNNING!

Favorite words:
"Ewwwwwwwwwwwwwww..."
"Uh Oh"
"Wow"
"Stuck!"  (Maybe that's because he's always trying to fit through spaces that Eli and Ava can easily clear and thus...he gets "stuck")

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Ouch!

Party updates will have to wait until tomorrow.  I'm too busy catching up from yesterday's news: The Great Bicycle Crash (circa August 2009).

Ty's recently become more confident on his bike.  And by recently, I mean...within the last week.  He loves to race up and down our dead-end street with his friends, Jack and Sam.  The problem with this activity is that Sam has no fear and Jack's 7.  So Saturday and Sunday, when the boys were "cruisin' the hood", I left Juliette (Jack and Sam's Mom) on look-out duty and I chose to stay inside with the babies.  It was just too scary for me to watch.  I was sure someone would cut someone off and there'd be skin all down the street.  But I was wrong!

Until yesterday.

Around noon, Becca (the Monday morning sitter) came in carrying a battered, bruised, bloody lump of Ty.  Still wearing his helmet, but only one shoe, I was greeted in the hall by a very sad and sore little boy that didn't win the race.  Instead, he hit a bump in the road and flipped his bike.

The Injuries: 2 skinned elbows, 1 raw knee, 1 bloody nose, 1 scrapped chin and 1 marked-up forehead (I think from the helmet?)


The Cure: An afternoon on the couch with The Disney Channel, some Tylenol, lots of Neosporin, and bandaids before bed!

We're still not walking 100% today, but we're feeling MUCH better after a good night's sleep.  He has assured me that he will get back on his bike...someday...when his cuts aren't "still oozy and gross...like in 10 days!"

I know this won't be the last time I have to deal with this, but maybe next time, I'll be a bit more prepared.  I gotta tell ya, this FREAKED ME OUT!  I was all queasy washing him off and got a little light-headed myself when I saw just  how much skin is missing from the boy!

Monday, August 10, 2009

Date Night...sorta!

Before we had the triplets, Shane and I talked about having Kid Date Nights (KDNs) each month.  One month, I'd go out with Zoe while he was out with Ty and the next month, we'd switch.  The night's activities would be up to the kid (somewhat).  This isn't an original idea, lots of parents do this.  But then...we had 3 little babies and we thought KDNs couldn't happen.

We were wrong. 

They're just different.

And not quite monthly (since this is the first time we've done it.)

Friday night (8/7/09), Shane and Ty went to the NJ Jackals game.  It was a men's event with our church.  A great night at a minor league baseball game.  As they were getting in the car to leave, Ty let me know that he would be rooting for the "Jumbles"..."Let's go JUMBLES!"  Zoe was sure to correct him to let him know that it was actually the "Jackals" that he should root for...and quickly asked, "what's a Jumble, anyway, Ty?"



Based on the text messages I got from Shane, Ty ate his way through the game: Chicken, French Fries, Gatorade, Potato Chips, and 2 cones of Cotton Candy.  Yup.  Sounds like a lot of junk and sugar to me too!  Did I mention that all that was consummed by the 8th inning when they left?  The game was "Jackals Tshirt night" plus PopPop Higby caught a Jackals mask for Ty in-between innings.  Great souvenirs AND...one of his best buddies was there...Myles!  Ty couldn't have been happier!




Meanwhile, back at the ranch (without the camera), Zoe and I put the babies down and popped in a movie: Princess Protection Program.  We had a few snacks...but nothing compared to the boys.  Once the movie was over, we headed up to sleep in our big bed: a treat for Zoe..she couldn't wait to "take Dad's spot" and make him sleep somewhere else.

It was a lot of fun to hang out with one kid.  I really liked just saying "yes" to Zoe's every request.  Honestly, it got to a point that I OFFERED Ice Cream...and she said "no"!

Hopefully, this becomes a regular thing.  Once a month isn't THAT hard to do, is it?

Friday, August 7, 2009

When Weather Doesn't Cooperate

...you go with Plan B!

We headed up to CT last Friday for a minor-league baseball game with Granddad and Grammy. No, the triplets wouldn't actually go to the game...we had a brave soul say she'd watch them so Shane and I could have some "big kids only" time.

So that was the plan. The only problem? It rained! So there wasn't a game.

Instead, we went out to dinner (Five Guys...yum!) and went bowling and laughed...a lot!

This is Ty's first method (with Granddad as the Bowling Instructor): video


This is Ty's second method. He and Granddad decided to give it a try after Ty fell on his bum and the rest of us couldn't breath because we were laughing so hard as he stood there rubbing it, waiting for the ball to travel (slowly) to the pins:
video

We used the gutter bumpers and STILL, I only managed to beat Zoe by 2!


By the 6th or 7th frame, Zoe was slightly distracted by the arcade games.


How's this for a scary vision of my life in 10 years?

Saturday was nice and sunny, so we ventured to the soggy backyard for some morning playtime before heading back home.


We even managed to take updated "Tree Pictures". Grammy and Granddad planted trees for each of their grandkids when they were born (little did they know of God's plan for a forest).

(Ty's tree is a White Birch)

(Zoe's tree is a Japanese Maple...sorry that it grows slow, Zoe!)
The triplets don't have tree's yet, but there is a plan. I wish I could think of something creative like a "triplet tree" or something...but I'm drawing a blank! Any ideas?

Thursday, August 6, 2009

He's an Old Man at Heart

Just in case you've missed it, our family is a pretty big Baseball Family. More accurately, we're a Yankee Family. Please, withhold all judgement and rude comments. We're not fair-weather fans: We trully love our Yankees...even when they greatly disappoint (i.e. every year of my life with the exceptions of 1977, 1978, 1996, 1998, 1999 & 2000).

For the past 5 1/2 years, we've been grooming Ty as a Yankee fan. Last year, he really caught "the fever" (which was pretty unfortunate, considering they didn't even make the post season!) There were a few nights that he even fell asleep in bed listening to the game on the radio. So cute.

This season, he knows the players' positions, numbers, and obnoxious Sterling-isms. Almost every morning, he races his sister outside to get the paper. He flips through the sections until he finds the most beloved 6-letter word in the english language, "SPORTS". Then he skims through to find the appropriate logo and reads the score. Moods are made and crushed based on the score from the night before.




We've noticed a slight, well...change...in Ty fan-ship since around May. Apparently, he's discovered (much to our dismay) that there are OTHER teams that people root for. It seems, in a 5-year old mind, that it's perfectly acceptable to root for the Mets, Cubs, Dodgers, AND the Yankees. Hey, at least the Red Sox aren't on the list (sorry Helen). When questioned about this new found "all inclusive love", I was told that 1) Jack Veenema (school friend) likes the Mets, 2) Sam Steffe (neighbor friend) likes the Cubs, and 3) this is where I wonder where I've gone wrong...the Dodgers have Manny Ramirez.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Crazy for Crayons...Absolutely Crazy!

Cole, Eli and Ava never get a chance to play in the sand and rarely get to dabble with playdoh.  Their favorite "special treat" activity is coloring.
 

I try to stretch myself and let them make a mess.  It's not easy for me...the control freak!


But to see the smile on their faces when they're at the table makes the moments of chaos worth it.


Cole and Ava enjoy coloring.  They'll sit there for a good 20-30 minutes.


Eli...well...he'd sit there all day.  All.  Day!


And heaven forbid you try and tell him that coloring time is over!
 
(Obviously, these pictures were taken before the gate came down!)

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

2 Years!


Can you believe it's been 2 years since the triplets were born?

ME EITHER!

I'm working on individual updates to be posted on "their days" (the day they each came home from the hospital). But here are 2 pictures from our playtime in the playroom tonight. Two, because, well, my favorite...

...makes Cole look huge. And sure, he's bigger than the others, but not THAT much bigger. He's just sitting forward on the bench so the perspective's a little off.

So here's one where they're all sitting back and smiling...just not all at the camera! =)

It's been an interesting 2 years, to say the least. There have been a lot of laughs and a few tears (mostly mine). So I want to take this opportunity to let all of you know how you've each helped me throughout these past 731 days (2008 was a leap year, y'all!)  Some of you I know personally, and you have encouraged me with a word, a hug, a call, a meal, or a helping hand.  Some of you, I've never met but have encouraged me through your comments.  Thank you all for loving me and my kids!