Thursday, June 28, 2007

Sister Scrappin' and Potty Pants

Friday I am off to pick up my sister, Monica, and then we are headed to the other sister, Keely, so we can spend the weekend doing some scrapbooking and having quality sister time {which we hardly ever get}. I'm so excited that I started organizing my layouts last week. I have a total of 11 bagged up with photos, paper, and embellishments. This is VERY unlike me! I doubt that I get 11 of them done but I didn't want to run out. We are staying at Keely's until Sunday afternoon. Aaron's got the kids (without any vehicle to take them anywhere but he probably doesn't care since it's so much work to take them anywhere alone). Keely's husband, Jeremy, has the weekend off so lucky him -- he's on babysitting duty too. We hope to plan one of these each month this summer taking turns being the hostess. I have been in creative mode all week. It's Thursday and I've already made 4 layouts this week. I am so loving this hobby again! I have some new perspective on the whole thing too which I will share in another post at another time.

Potty training just keeps on progressing. Addison and Caden have been doing pretty well. They both go without telling me and then come to get me saying "I did it". We still have a lot of accidents though but that's to be expected. I watched our neighbor girl, Sammy, today and Caden had a real hard time stopping to potty so he just went in his underwear. Look at the stack of training pants from just one day. I just throw them in the wash everyday because even though we own about 25 pair of training pants and underwear -- we run out. I can't imagine what I would do if Ethan was training at the same time too. I don't put pull-ups on them at home just training pants. Those pull-ups are so expensive and I think they are a lot like diapers. We do use them over our training pants when we leave the house and at nap time. They DO NOT work at night at all so I put a diaper on them then. I quit doing the stickers and candy. They don't ask and still go without that incentive. I think it worked great to get them started but now they WANT to go. Aaron keeps telling people we are in "Potty Training Season" which is going to make a great title on a scrapbook page!

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

We love PopPop Corn or Pop CornCorn

Last week Krista (developmental therapist) brought pretend popcorn maker, bowls, and make-believe popcorn for Ethan to play with. He enjoyed it a lot. He fed a doll and himself probably for more than 30 minutes. I got to thinking we have never given them popcorn (choking hazard you know but know they are older). So for a snack one afternoon I made it. They loved it. Caden and Addison enjoy standing at the kitchen gate and listening for the pops and even put their
hands up to their ears to hear it better. Daddy had them feed him some and then Caden decided to be Daddy and let the other two feed him. Who would have thought popcorn would get them so excited? Addison likes to make up her own terminology and she calls it PopPop Corn or Pop CornCorn.

Monday, June 25, 2007

Messes and Mountain Dew

I must (have to, need to) get some things done around the house today. I am a procrastinator . . . I admit it. Some of these things I have been putting off way too long! I have to clean off my computer desk. I am having to push things aside in the giant piles just so I can see the computer screen. I have to clean out my purse too since it looks like a trash can -- it's filled with so many papery things: receipts, wrappers, coupons, etc. I hate carrying it around with me when it looks like this which is most of the time. I also need to sweep our front porch. It is screaming POOR WHITE TRASH to every visitor we have. It's not that there's anything on it but our outdoor cat, Gary, sits up there a lot and she has longer hair than me and sheds every bit of it in the summer on our porch. We also have lots of other critters visiting us: raccoons, opossums, squirrels, and birds. They like to help themselves to Gary's food. Our porch and swing needs to be repainted and the house needs to be power-washed and repainted but I'm just sweeping which should be a big improvement and less embarrassing.

The kids and I are headed outside for a while to play which I don't know how long we will last since it's supposed to be in the 90's today but I want to take some photos of them for 4th of July. Saw an idea on the triplet website that would be cute if I can get them all in the same photo -- I'm not even aiming for people smiling or looking at the camera just all 3 in one shot! Wish me luck!

I have people ask me all the time "how I do it?" which I don't think raising toddler triplets and being pregnant is that big of a deal -- I can think of a million things harder. But basically I don't have a choice do I? And as you can tell by my first paragraph I am no where near a fanatic about house cleaning or anything for that matter. I am laid back about most things which works for us. But I do have a little secret and it does help: Diet Mountain Dew! Okay so I'm not going to win any pregnancy health award for drinking this. I really shouldn't drink it at all but I can't give it up -- a true addiction. First pregnancy I had NO desire at all to drink soda and I should have given up the DEW completely even after the kids were born but then I had 3 newborns eating every 3 hours around the clock so it became a necessity again. I am drinking much, much less DEW but I am not giving it up. So the caffeine is probably giving the baby some energy and edginess. By the way I felt the baby kick last night, I think it's definitely getting some of the DEW!

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Weekend Stuff

Saturday was our 6th Wedding Anniversary! It's hard to believe it's been 6 years but also hard to remember what life was like before being married even harder to remember b/k (before kids). We had a nice day. Aaron's parents volunteered to babysit so we went to the Quad Cities and ate at Granite City. Then we just shopped at little: Kmart, Toys R Us, and Walmart. Aren't we exciting? Oh well, it's not often that we go shopping without the kids and it was enjoyable. The kids were tired when we got back and so were the grandparents so you know they all had a good time.

I had my class at Scrapaganza today. I was so good. Last Sunday when I reorganized all my supplies and once again saw the over abundance of scrapbooking supplies I own, I really don't have much desire to buy more until I use up some of my old stuff. At my class you get one kit "free" but they have an idea book to buy for about $11 then there's a second kit to buy for another $11. Of course they show you all the new stuff they have and a bunch of cool layouts made by all the employees which makes you want to buy, buy, buy. But today I went with a list of 5 pieces of paper I needed to buy to make layouts that I have everything for. I bought 3 extra things and didn't buy the extra book or kit. This was a record spending day for me: my total was $10.00 and I feel so good about that. Normally I spend $50 or more on each monthly visit. I felt so proud of myself that after the kids went to bed I made a layout of their 2nd Christmas Eve as they were climbing the stairs to go to bed.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Caught up on Baby #4???

Yesterday during nap time I thought I would scrap since I have an organized and clean surface to work on. I decided I would make a layout on Baby #4. I didn't really have an idea and lately I have been scraplifting (which is the technical term for copying out of magazines, Internet, books, etc). It was funny the first time Aaron learned that I do this -- he was appalled, he thought EVERY layout I made was completely my idea. I don't know why he thought I subscribed to a Scrapbooks, Etc Magazine -- guess I shouldn't have spoiled it for him. This layout took me a little over an hour and I think it turned out pretty good. I felt so good after I got it done, I think mainly because I felt "caught up" on this kid since I only have one photo of this baby. I am sooooooooooo far behind on the other kids. I haven't done any birthdays or Christmases and a whole slew of other things. Then I realized I'm not all done because I forgot I took a photo of the pregnancy tests I took for this baby so technically I have one more to go. I plan on doing that next week. Then I can say I'm all caught up for the time being!
On the potty training front, we had a BIG BREAKTHROUGH yesterday with Addison. She told me in the morning "POTTY" which normally means I already went and I want new underwear. But I felt them and realized they were dry. She was telling me she had to go! WOO HOOOO! Then about an hour later here she comes running out of the playroom caring her potty with potty in it! She took the initiative and took off her pants and went without even telling me! I was impressed. Of course this fabulous breakthrough was followed by 2 accidents when Krista, the developmental therapist, was here because she didn't want to stop playing. Oh well . . . baby steps! Caden is still doing fairly well and Ethan has now tried to go a couple of times in the last 2 days with no results. He likes to put his foot in the potty and try to sit and also he wants to perch on the back of it. I think he is trying to invent a new extreme sport of "Potty Perching".

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

More New Words

Ethan just keeps on talking! Lately he has added some new words. In the last couple weeks he started saying "cuck" (no it's not a bad word -- although it wouldn't be a shock if he said one) that is how he says TRUCK and STUCK. I'm pretty sure he said "JUMP" too last night. Just tonight the kids had out one of our scrapbooks and Ethan came across a layout about him and my dad. Ethan said "CRANPA" about one million times. I wasn't sure what he was saying because it was mixed in with a lot of other jibberish so to make sure I called Aaron in and he agreed he was saying "GRANDPA". Now I'm not a speech therapist but I think that's a really hard word to say and Aaron said the same thing. I recorded it on the camera too becaue I'm sure when the speech therapist comes he won't say it again. There are getting to be so many words (not that many still probably less than 25) that I can't remember them all. I need to keep a running list.

Monday, June 18, 2007

I'm back, BABY!

It's official, I am definitely feeling better -- I'm not tired at all and I actually have energy to get things done, still take care of the kids, and look, I even had a little bit of time and energy to do a project! Okay it was a really small one but the BIG project was yesterday. When I woke up yesterday I started working on a layout for Aaron for Father's Day (nothing like waiting until the last second -- typical me). I had no ideas or plans for it so that was helpful and I didn't get it completely done but I am blaming that on the fact that I had to spend soooooo much time looking for stuff. Okay the most BASIC of BASIC supplies in scrapbooking is adhesive. I bet I looked for it for about 10 minutes. The kids get into my scrapbook drawers and help me organize quite often. Also the scrapbook table that I bought a few months ago had been covered since January probably. Everytime I wanted anything I had to go digging -- driving me crazy. When the kids went down for their nap I organized scrapbook stuff for over 3 hours. I had to put all the paper that was everywhere away after they went to bed. Even though I have made a total of 2 layouts since February -- I kept buying stuff and Keely & Monica gave me some stuff too. Most of it was still in bags. Forgot I had some stuff. So I ran across this giant clothes pin that Keely gave me for my birthday. It was bare wood -- when she gave it to me I was a dummy and had to ask what it was for. I was looking at it yesterday and found some black and white paper (which I am so into right now) and decided I would decorate it today. Just some paint, paper, modge podge, ribbon and a flower and TAH DAH! It looks so cute on my black scrap desk! I now feel so organized and ready to create!
It was a good potty day for Miss Addison --she earned 11 stickers today! Only 3 accidents (one was at nap). Good thing I got out the football stickers too ~ as soon as Caden saw those he was ripping off his diaper and trying. He earned 3 today and probably tried a total of 5 times. Of course, to make his Daddy extra proud he picked a PINK football sticker. Don't know what kind of sticker is going to make Ethan want to potty -- he could care less about stickers or candy, he's just not so into it yet!

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Happy Father's Day!

Happy Father's Day to my hubby, Aaron!
He is one great daddy! He does so much more than most and without a lot of complaining for the most part. I suppose the fact that we had triplets first didn't give him much of a chance not to help out but I think even if we had only had one child he would be just as wonderful. He did everything in the beginning from changing to feeding (even those exhausting middle of the night ones). He was also an overnight medical expert when the kids were in the NICU. He knew so much stuff about the machines they were on, the babies' stats, all about their medicines, and what conditions they had ~ it was unbelievable. I was in a fog from 11 weeks of hospital bedrest and 9 weeks of the magnesium sulfate meds and trying to recover from a C-section. Even 2-1/2 years later I sometimes still have to ask him to help me remember everything that was wrong with Ethan (there was so much). He knows their routines and schedules and I can leave the house without worrying about what will happen. I even left him alone with the kids for the weekend a couple of times so I could get away. The kids love to be with him just as much as me (maybe even more)!

One of the downfalls of having so many children all of the toddler, non-listening, "I want to be independent" stage is that Mommy & Daddy are sometimes not so polite/nice to each other. Sometimes it seems we are downright mean but I'll tell you it's the stress of the kids. They wear you down and your patience along with it. Most of the time though we realize yelling and being mean to a 2-1/2 year old isn't going to get us anywhere with them and just makes you feel bad later on; so you take it out on the only other person left -- your spouse. The neighbors (when the windows are open) and my sister, Keely, and her husband probably think we are on the brink of divorce at any second. We are yellers and cussers in the heat of the moment but you know we don't take each other seriously and get over it as if nothing happened. We certainly don't let things bottle up inside us one bit. I don't' feel badly about this either especially after I have started watching the show, Jon & Kate Plus 8. They are the couple with 6 year old twins and 3 year old sextuplets. They argue/bicker and sometimes yell at each other at home and in public. But like she said it goes with the territory and it's part of the stress of the moment. Certainly we have less than half the number of kids they do but we are still always outnumbered and I think this is where the majority of the stress comes from.

I know I don't always show my appreciation to my husband, but I am certainly happy that it is him that I get travel this crazy and fun adventure with multiple children! He's a such a great Daddy!

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Addison Potty Boot Camp Day #1

I OFFICIALLY started potty training Addison today! She has pottied many times on the potty and can even "hold it" during nap time if she isn't wearing (stripped herself) a diaper. She likes to potty. I made charts for incentives. My kids love stickers. So each time they produce for me I let them pick out a sticker and then they get one Rees Pieces. Seems to work. Caden even wanted to try today too. No production though and then while I was showering he stole one of Addison's stickers off her chart. So as you can see, she went 4 times today which I think is pretty good. We are using Gerber training pants at home which are super thick underwear. When we go places I am putting a pull-up over the training pants so we have no leakage. Today she wet herself 3 times but they were my fault. We went shopping for more training pants and I took a potty in the car. I asked her a couple times to go but she didn't want to and it was about 95 degrees here so I didn't push it but we were gone about 3 hours and she had 2 drinks so that's way too long not to go . After nap time, Grandpa Spike was here and the kids all wanted to go outside and see him. We were out there about 1-1/2 hours and she wouldn't stop swinging to come in -- I should have just made her do it. I think she's off to a great start and she's proud of herself; I even heard her counting her stickers on her chart today.

Finally a visit with the Cousins!

Yesterday we met up with my sister, Monica, and 2 of her kids at a local park. We haven't seen them since March and they only live an hour away. Everybody's busy! Monica is a teacher and just finished her master's degree in April. Chloe, 7, and Cael, 4, are at that age where they are starting to get involved in activities with church and sports (currently baseball). Her husband, John, a teacher also coaches and is on sports teams. They also have Boston, 14, just finished his freshman year and you know how busy high school is. It's just hard to find time to get together. We hadn't even given Chloe her birthday present from the end of April -- how sad is that? We had fun, tried a picnic lunch (Monica & I were the only ones that ate), played on the equipment, Chloe and Cael even pulled the trio in the wagon down to the lake to see if there were any ducks to feed (there weren't) one of my kids almost fell in -- I can't remember who --that's pretty bad! It was super hot but it was a fun time!

I shouldn't get up on my soap box here but speaking of being busy, we're busy too -- isn't everybody???? I think sometimes people think because I am a stay-at-home-mom that I have extra time or more free time; it couldn't be more the opposite. BK (before kids) when I worked, I thought the same thing: SAHMs had a lot of free time to do anything and everything. We seldom have a day where we don't have something going on: school, therapies, appointments, errands to run, the list goes on and on. I don't like to have a million things planned actually I HATE it! I love to be at home and so do my kids. I love days were it's just the kids and I staying at home, playing, and doing some chores. I really don't get the people who have to go, go, go all the time. It's seems we get offers to do things all the time, but lately I am just in the mindset that we are staying home alone more and I am not going to run around everywhere all the time. People forget that it's a lot of work for a me to go anywhere with three 2 year olds. It's not the same as having 3 kids of different ages either. Older kids can listen, help, and be a little more self-sufficient than a 2 year old! Even if people offer to help it really doesn't take the pressure or the stress off of me. So I like to save outings for playing when Aaron is home and he can go with us -- it is a lot easier with him!

Friday, June 15, 2007

4 months and Growing and Kicking

Every pregnant woman I have ever known always says the same thing . . . "I am soooo big" . . . even people who really don't look that pregnant at 9 months . . . but I am thinking right now "WOW ~ I will be 16 weeks tomorrow . . . I wonder what I am going to look like at 8 months????" I have already outgrown a couple pair of maternity shorts, is that even possible, maybe I'm not wearing them correctly? The baby is about 5" or 6" long, why is my tummy so big already? I'll tell you why, it's those triplets! They have completely destroyed my midsection; I am a definite candidate for a tummy tuck someday. I don't have stomach muscles anymore. I'm not saying a had a 6 pack or even a couple cans before kids but I could do sit-ups. Last summer I found out that I have a hernia from the kids; they actually tore my stomach muscles apart. Last week my OB asked if they were worth it and of course, they are; just one of the prices you pay for being a mommy. Another reason I am look big is because I am 5'2" and there is absolutely no place for this baby to go but out. I didn't really gain much baby weight anywhere last time but in my tummy and I gained 62 pounds with the trio. I've only gained 2 pounds so far this pregnancy but I'm feeling enormous.
I almost forgot to tell my big news! This week I felt the baby move and kick a few times. I know it's pretty early. I have to lay really still and even sometimes push on my tummy a little to get it to move but I know that's what it was. I'm really enjoying that. Believe it or not, I really didn't feel the triplets a lot. I don't know exactly why; part was I was on that magnesium for 9 weeks and it made my tummy feel numb and docs said it does slow the babies down. I also think I got so stretched out that my nerves didn't work right and I still have numbness in most of my torso area. Being pregnant with one is so much different and more relaxing than three!

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Zoo Fun!

We had a busy weekend! Saturday we went to the Niabi Zoo! It was fun! It was free day so it was quite busy but we only had to wait about 10 minutes to get in so not too bad. It's a small zoo that' s really nice. My parents used to take us once a year when I was little so it's neat to take the kids there too. We have taken them the last 2 summers but this year they really enjoyed it. The zoo seems to be always remodeling and soon they will have an African part with giraffes, zebras, monkeys, etc and that should be pretty cool -- we may have to go back just to check that part out. Ethan was really into the big cats: leopards and the tiger. I think Caden and Addison liked the petting zoo and feeding the fish and ducks.
I got some photos of the animals but it's hard to get the kids and the animals in the same photo. We rode the little train around the zoo too which I think the kids enjoyed and I remember that being a big deal to me when I went.
I think I should call Step 2 and ask for a kickback for advertising their Choo Choo Wagon when we take it places like the zoo. I bet more than 20 people commented on our wagon and lots of them asked where you can buy one. At least it takes the spotlight off the fact that the kids are triplets; most people don't even notice that ~ they only want to talk about the wagon which is fine with us. I've heard "well you've got your hands full" and "you got all done at once" so many times I could throw up! Not to mention the slew of personal questions that people feel the need to ask as to how we got triplets! I think it's super rude of anyone to ask(which are basically questions about our health and sex life) including family and friends and it's even worse when it's a complete stranger. Wait until I start showing more, I'm sure that will bring a new batch of weird and rude comments. We've already gotten a few from the people we've told ~ unbelieveable!

We didn't stay long as we had to get back to go to Aaron's cousin's wedding reception. Then we went home to put up their little pool for the first time this summer! They had a blast doing that too. It was a busy day on Saturday and they even slept in a little on Sunday which a nice surprise for all of us!

Friday, June 8, 2007

The Newest BEST thing we OWN

These contraptions you see the kids in are called crib tents. They are the BEST THING EVER! Ever since Caden decided to become a monkey and climb out of his crib; we had to do something. I researched them, asked all the Triplet Connection Moms, and got ready to bite the bullet and spend more than $170 on 3 of these babies (and it was buy 2 get one free!). Anyway, some super nice TC mom saw my post asking about the tents and offered her gently used ones to us. How sweet was that. Her kids were in them until they were 4 years old I think and that same weekend they were getting ready to switch to "Big Kid Beds". She gave me great tips on how to talk them up and say it was an adventure-- Thank you, Mary Beth and Family! Our kids love them. Most nights they walk upstairs and beg to get in and then say "ZIP IT, ZIP IT" for us to close them. We can even give good-night kisses through the netting. They can't throw out their blankets and toys so that is nice too. Addison and Caden stopped stripping too at nap time so that's an extra bonus. The best part is Caden now sleeps in his own bed YEAH!!!!! The first couple nights he did wake up and want out but I started rewarding them for sleeping in their bed the whole nap or night time and I just would have to remind him that he wouldn't get his prize if he got out. Here's all this costs me for each sleep session. I can afford that! So after more than a month, we have more room in our bed (less already just cause I'm starting to grow more) and EVERYBODY will get at least 6 months of good sleep before our new member joins the fam!

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

Future Farmers???

Yesterday we went on our farm field trip to the Shimmin Farm! It was so much fun!!! The kids absolutely loved it. I know the Shimmins' because I taught with Jane at Warren CUSD. They really have a lot of great animals and are very nice, friendly people. First we rode a bus! Very exciting experience for all of us. Ethan wasn't too sure about it at first but he warmed up to the idea. We fed the chickens -- Ethan really loved the chickens. We got to help feed a baby calf some milk out of a bottle. We rode, well sat on Pony (that's it's name)! We saw turkeys, geese with babies, and a couple of caged dogs (much to Ethan's disappointment). We fed a lamb which happened to be a triplet but unfortunately it was the only surviving one. We petted some baby rabbits too that Addison said "were cute!" The kids got to climb in a big tractor too. One of the highlights was a wagon ride. Randall has a homemade wagon out of 50 gallons barrel drums and pulled them on his 4-wheeler. There wasn't enough room for all the kids to ride at once so Ethan stayed back which made Addison cry and she wanted him to ride on the back on the barrel. So I ended up sitting on the back of the 4-wheeler holding Ethan. Not the most comfortable but I got some great photos. They kids absolutely had a blast. Randall said we needed some pets at our house and I said we have 2 old cats and a fish. He said "It's pretty hard to pet a fish" and he's right. He also commented that it must be nice that we make up half the class which is true and pretty funny. The kids had so much fun and I plan on making a great scrapbook layout on this. They should really enjoy the zoo this year!