Thursday, August 4, 2016

Kindergarten Physicals

I started to post theses in my previous summer shenanigans post but decided they deserved a post of their own.

April (the boys birthday month) & May were a bit busy with birthday parties, my own medical drama & end of the school year. June we were busy traveling for vacation. I finally got around to getting the boys 5 year well checks/kindergarten physicals schooled & done in JULY. I'm such a slacker they couldn't even get in with their doctor & had to see a nurse practitioner. I don't usually mind but prefer seeing their doctor for annuals, especially since 2 of the boys had issues I needed to discuss.

Anyways, we got them done & just in the knick of time for school, lol
We decided to take them individually this year since last year was a bit chaotic.

Caden

Caden was first up. He's super healthy & growing just right. He is slowing down a bit which was expected after growing so big so fast for so long.

His measurements were:
Height 45.5" - 86th %
Weight 44lbs - 69th %
BMI 14 - 34%

The NP emphasized drinking 3 glasses of milk a day & getting them to dentist since they haven't been yet & will likely start losing teeth soon.

Caden got the last 2 vaccines he needed to start school & is happy he won't need anymore until the 7th grade.

Garren

Garren went later in the same week that Caden went & saw the same NP. He is also super healthy. He is still on his growth curve & continues to grow at a more 'normal' rate.

His measurements were:
Height 43" - 50th %
Weight 39lbs - 34th %
BMI 14 - 30th %

Garren also got his last 2 vaccines until 7th grade & received the same emphasis on milk consumption & getting to the dentist.

We have noticed that one of Garren's tes.ti.cles seem quite a bit larger than the other. We knew there was suppose to be a slight difference but weren't sure just how much so I asked the NP about it. She also thought it was pretty significant so she called in a doctor to take a look. It was determined that he has a hy.dro.cele & we were referred to a pediatric urologist. We had an appointment with the urologist at Nemours Children's specialty care Tuesday. He does in fact have a hy.dro.cele but it isn't causing any problems right now. we are just suppose to keep an eye on it & it if become commutative  we'll take him back & he'll have to have surgery to remove it & hopefully avoid a hernia. Right now it stay in place & doesn't move or travel.

Kellan

Note to self; take Kellan first next year! He is the most nervous of the 3 boys & by the time his appointment rolled around the following his brother's he had heard all too much about the shots he would get & was as nervous as could be. Not good for an already anxious kid :(

Kellan's appointment was with his preferred doctor. He saw her for his stomach aches, that seized to exist once school was out. We talked a little about his anxiety. I think over the course of the summer he has worked out some of his fears so we decided to see how he does starting school this year before we pursue any additional help for his anxiety.

He is also healthy & slowing down in the growth dept.

HIs measurements were:
Height 45" - 81st %
Weight 42lbs - 61st %
BMI 14 - 22nd %

Kellan had his last vaccines until 7th grade too & is OH SO HAPPY about that!

There you have it. Three healthy & happy (to not anymore shots for a long time) boys!

Monday, August 1, 2016

Summer Shenanigans

This post has had a couple other titles but do to some random weirdo with nothing better to do with their life stealing my photos & creating an entire instagram account with them claiming to be a single mom to triplets. I had to lock things down & go back to watermarking my photos which just takes more time... So we are going with this title to re-cap & update on our Summer Bucket List.

Anyways,  we're back up & running with watermarks & just in case it needs mentioned again...
ALL CONTENTS OF THIS BLOG ARE MINE. NO ONE IS AUTHORIZED TO USE ANY OF IT FOR ANYTHING OR ANY REASON! THANKS! :)

So Summer seems to be going on forever but also has gone by in a flash. School starts next week here but the boys will only go one day due to the staggered start the school is doing for kindergarten. I'm ready, but not. There is a lot left on our Summer Bucket List to do, honestly some of it may get postponed until the heat clears out, it's just to HOT right now for some outdoor activities.

So far our summer shenanigans have included:

Lots of family time...

Playing with cousins

Lots of time at the pool...

A couple days we had the whole pool to ourselves

The only time they are ever quiet

Beach days...

Checking out a tiny shark

Boardwalks for days


The pups had a beach day too

And we found our first shark's tooth!!! Hooray!!!

Backyard fun...

I asked them to keep their underpants on while outside

 More beach days & shark tooth hunting with friends...

The boys & their friend Charlie hunting shark's teeth

We found another shark's tooth!!!

A rare beach day with Donna


Water park fun
Last year they were afraid of that giant bucket
this year they sat under it counting down until it dumped

Discovering new places...

Big Talbot Island State Park




Hiking in flip flops

 Lots of birthday parties!...

Our triplet friends, Tyson, Bryce & Riley

Taylor birthday party with our triplet friends

My nephews birthday


 Zoo trips...




More hiking...


More fun with friends...

Checking out John's pool

More fun with friends...

Taking Bella for a ride in our new van

More family time...

Caden & Nadia

Garren & Chandler

Bowling for the first time ever!...

Garren

Kellan

Caden

They bowl as well as I do which isn't saying much for me 
but scores in the 80's & 90's isn't bad for a first timer IMO.

And we've crossed a few more items off our Summer Bucket List

1. Grow a vegetable garden
2. Pick Blueberries
3. Go to Kennedy Space Center, aka see space rockets
4. Climb mountains
5. FIND sharks teeth!!!
6. Go bowling
7. Make tye dye shirts
8. Go to a drive in theater
9. Make fancy bird/fairy houses
10. Take a family vacation
11. Go fishing 
12. Ride water slides
13. Go camping
14. Hang out with our triplet BFFs!!!
15. Check out 2 new State Parks
16. Make paper mache' planets
17. Discover a new beach
18. Go hiking
19. Go to the waterpark
20. See fireworks

Thursday, July 7, 2016

Bittersweet Independence Day Weekend

It sneaks up on me now.
I don't even know it's happening until I'm crying for no reason & Donna says "I know whats going on."
Only then do I realize it's 2 days before my Dad's birthday, which is July 4th, & I'm ultra emotional without even realizing it.
Funny how these things start to sneak up on you subconsciously when you think you finally have a hold on your emotions & grief.


Although everything about The 4th of July reminds me of my Dad, we still had a good weekend, visiting family, working on projects, & of course celebrating our country's independence.

We started the weekend relaxing, sort of. We ran some errands Saturday, caught up the laundry & relaxed the rest of the day.

Sunday we got up & headed to Donna's parents bright & early. It's a 3 hour drive on back roads that is not the least amount of fun but we make the most of it. I packed the slip n slide & the boys' scooters so they had plenty to do while we were there visiting. We went out for lunch soon after we arrived. After that Donna's Dad needed some helping clearing some brush from the yard, so while she helped him, the boys played on their slip n slide. In between taking tractor rides of course. They played inside & outside most of the afternoon while we visited & caught up with all the going on of Donna's Mom & Dad. They seem to be doing good. Staying inside most of time in our wonderful FL heat. We left about dinnertime to head back home, stopping for happy meals on the way & then dog food when Eason started dry heaving. That pup cannot go much past a mealtime without getting sick, I guess most of us can't really.





Monday, Donna had to go into work for a few minutes just to get timecards entered. Garren & Caden wanted to tag along but Kellan was not interested in getting back in the car. My sister & her family came over in the afternoon for a BBQ. My sister had a patient up in our neck of the woods so she went to see them & we put my BIL to work while the kids all played.



 I've wanted to put up a pallet wall since we moved into the house. Donna was not on board until we stayed in the cabin last month. Suddenly she liked the idea of a wood, cabin like wall. I wasn't on board with the pine cabin look but we came to happy compromise with a weathered cedar wall planking kit we found at one of the big box stores. We have rearranged the furniture in the house for about the 15th time since moving in a year & a half ago but I think we have finally figured it out & are happy with it. Two women with two different style ideas is a pain in the tail!


We ended the night with watching fireworks in our neighborhood. Kellan & Caden are not fans of the 'booms' so they mostly watch from a window but our neighbors throughout our neighborhood put on a pretty good show. Good enough to not feel the need to fight the crowds at the beach. Our neighbors across the street invited the boys over to light some fireworks (sparklers really while the grown ups lit the good stuff) Garren was the only one that stayed. After a few distant booms, Caden & Kellan headed for cover.






And we cross off #20 on the Summer Bucket List...

1. Grow a vegetable garden
2. Pick Blueberries
3. Go to Kennedy Space Center, aka see space rockets
4. Climb mountains
5. FIND sharks teeth!!!
6. Go bowling
7. Make the dye shirts
8. Go to a drive in theater
9. Make fancy bird/fairy houses
10. Take a family vacation
11. Go fishing 
12. Ride water slides
13. Go camping
14. Hang out with our triplet BFFs!!!
15. Check out 2 new State Parks
16. Make paper mache' planets
17. Discover a new beach
18. Go hiking
19. Go to the waterpark
20. See fireworks

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

"The Mountains of Summer"

We continued a new tradition of a family vacation for the second year in a row. This tradition includes the 5  of us, My mom & bonus-dad & my sister & her family, 6 adults, 4 - 5 year olds & a 2.5 year old.

A few days before we were scheduled to leave the boys & I took a short road trip to Grandma's, my bonus-mom. She graciously agreed to watch all 4 of our furry friends for us while we were gone. Knowing that Donna would be putting in some extra hours at work before heading off on vacation for a week, the boys & I decided to make a few days of it at Grandma's.

Caden, Garren, Kellan
Haddie & Eason
Murphee & Cecil Cat (unseen but in the crate)

We had a fun couple of days with Grandma. I had the van serviced & checked out while we were there & we took the boys to a new (to us) playground & splash pad.

Leaving Grandma's is never a happy endeavor & leaving behind our four legged loves made it even more difficult...

Garren obviously not happy.
Kellan & Caden bought into the "it's time to pick up Mommom & go on vacation!" excitement

When we first planned this years vacation & booked the cabin in the Smokies, the boys deemed it "The Mountains of Summer." They counted down the months, weeks & days until we went. So as soon as we got back from Grandma's they had to mark the days off the calendar that we had been gone & were super excited to see we left the very next day!!!


Donna after an exhausting work week & a mystery infection that had her knocked out in bed the weekend before with a 103 degree fever. The doctor couldn't even figure out what she had but gave her a strong antibiotic to fight whatever it was. Needless to say, she was ready for some R&R!

Our friendly neighborhood send-off 

The drive to Tennessee wasn't too bad other than some congested traffic in SC & the boys asking when we were going to be there about a bagillian times. LOL
It was raining when we arrived but the view was stunning for a couple of flatlander FL girls! 


Sunday morning we got a good glimpse of what the "stocked kitchen" actually had for us & it certainly wasn't enough to keep up with feeding 11 people. There wasn't a griddle or a broiler pan so we took matters to the grill. I honestly can't think of a better way to cook bacon now! 

Grillon' bacon with a view :)


What could be more fun than waking up with your cousins?!

Family breakfast

Kids watching a movie while the rest of us got ready for the day

Rain was forecasted for our first day in the mountains so we decided on an indoor adventure & headed to the Aquarium in Gatlinburg.

Dr Kellan, Caden, Garren, Nadia, & Chandler




Caden has been drawing seahorses lately, so I made sure that he saw some real ones.






Caden & Kellan

Papa, photo courtesy of Caden





After the aquarium, we all headed back to the cabin for dinner & an early bedtime. Of course not before trying out the jacuzzi tub in our room.


Day two, we did what we had initially planned to do our first day in the mountains & that was to let the kids swim & the grown ups relax, so a pool day it was!

Nadia

Garren, Chandler, & Nadia trying to figure out what this wheel did.

Nadia & Caden

Aunt Autumn & Garren


Another group of kids arrived & it was non stop fun for everyone!

Garren is all about the pool tricks these day, he's doing a flip here.



Sisters!

A less cloudy view

Everyone helping Papa make homemade blueberry ice cream, YUM!

We snuck into the hot tub leaving all the kids inside

Nadia & Garren, cousin snuggles

Day three, we headed to Ober Gatlinburg. It was recommended by everyone we spoke to who had ever been to Gatlinburg before. This was the day the boys were finally going to be able to 'climb the mountain.' 

Donna making breakfast before we headed out

Nana, Papa, & all their grandchildren
(plus Donna, Kellan wouldn't let her put him down)

The 'flying bus!'

The boys were slightly disappointed there wasn't actual climbing involved to get up the mountain but the excitement of riding the sky tram or rather the "flying bus" as they called it, outweighed the disappointment.

The boys all playing while we bought armbands

First up was the Aspen Slide, I thought this would make or break our day so I wanted to do it first. A ski lift to the top & a slide back down, the boys were going to love or hate it & that would determine wether we spent the rest of the day doing kiddie rides or riding the big kid rides...

Kellan, riding the ski lift

Aunt Autumn & Garren


Kellan & I with Garren & Caden gaining on us.
The boys all LOVED it!!! They wanted to get right back on it again but the line was long so we decided to try out some of the other rides first.

Chandler & Garren

Caden & Kellan

Garren & Caden

Kellan

Garren, Kellan, Caden

The kiddie rides had absolutely no lines so we had all the boys ride them in between the big rides since they had long lines. We didn't get many photos on the big rides since we were on them too but my mom caught these pics of each of us coming off the biggest water slide there...


Uncle Steven & Chandler

Donna & Garren

Kellan & I
Look at his face!!! He LOVES these rides!!!

Aunt Autumn & Caden

I was so impressed & surprised by the boys' love for the big rides, especially Kellan since he is so nervous about new things. 

Wednesday morning, Donna got an email first thing that time cards hadn't been entered at one of her stations. So her & I took a drive into Knoxville to the station there while the boys hung out with Aunt Autumn, Uncle Steven, & their cousins at the pool. We were only gone a couple hours & were back in time for lunch. 

Nadia wasn't quite ready to wake up from her nap & wanted snuggles from Caden

My parents had offered to watch the kids if we wanted to go out one night. After a very brief discussion, Donna, Autumn, Steven & myself decided we would do a tour of the local breweries & distilleries. Fist stop was Smoky Mountain Brewery. We sampled a bunch, had an appetizer & moved on to the good stuff.

 
Our second stop of the evening was to Ole Smoky Moonshine at The Island in Pigeon Forge


We sampled every flavor & brought home 3 flavors.


After the distillery we headed to a local hot spot the Blue Moose. The beer there was awesome, they had one that tasted like cream soda, yum! We also sampled some more moonshine from a distillery in Gatlinburg, Sugarland. The sweet tea was Steven & I's favorite. We had a great time but wanted to be home to put our kids to bed so I (designated driver, I only sipped a little at our tastings) took the tipsy, one maybe drunk, bunch back to the cabin. My sister was REALLY in good spirits!

When we got back the kids were lined up in blankets on the floor watching a movie. They told us Nana & Papa made them PB&J's made with pancakes & that they had so much fun! 

Caden's idea of snuggling with Chandler, sitting on him, lol

Thursday we had plans to go see one of Donna's childhood friends & her parents. Donna & Terry's parents were best friends when they were growing up & it had been "about 17, or maybe 20 years" since they'd seen each other. They lived about 30 minutes from where we were staying on a beautiful piece of property. 

The boys were antsy so we sent them outside to run. They ran up & down the hill a few times before they decided they were hot & asked if they could swim. We happily obliged so we could visit in peace.

Caden joining in on the tricks, summersaulting into the pool.

Garren enjoying a float

Trio of Terror, just kidding, they had a really good time!

Terry & Donna
Thora, Terry's mom, says some things never change!

Donna, Kellan, Therry, Caden, Thora, Garren, & Tommy.
Tommy tells the best stories but most ended with, "that's a damn lie" LOL

They  put out a sign so we didn't miss their house


We stayed clear through dinner, visiting & catching up. It was really nice meeting/seeing them all! Hopefully we catch up again sooner than 17 or 20 years!

Friday was our last full day at the Cabin. We spent the day relaxing at the pool, doing laundry, eating up the food that was left, & cleaning up. We had to check out by 11 on Saturday but wanted to be on the road much earlier than that so we packed & loaded up all that we could Friday night leaving just our clothes for the morning .

Donna, the boys & I did sneak off for one more adventure before having to head home. I really thought the boys would like The Island at Pigeon Forge. We let them choose between riding some rides or going to Build A Bear. They choose the bears, well Kellan chose Peppa Pig which was no surprise & Caden & Garren chose Iron Man & Captain America bears

The Eye at The Island

Bubbles above the trees...
Chandler & Caden


Kellan



Their last sleep in the cabin

Darren with Captain America, Peppa & Kellan, & Caden. 
Iron man is buried in there somewhere.

The Cabin, 3 stories, 5 bedroom & bathrooms, a game room with pool table, air hockey, & arcade games, a theater room, a hot tub & lots of family memories made!

With this vacation we crossed 3 items off our Summer Bucket List...

1. Grow a vegetable garden
2. Pick Blueberries
3. Go to Kennedy Space Center, aka see space rockets
4. Climb mountains
5. FIND sharks teeth!!!
6. Go bowling
7. Make the dye shirts
8. Go to a drive in theater
9. Make fancy bird/fairy houses
10. Take a family vacation
11. Go fishing 
12. Ride water slides
13. Go camping
14. Hang out with our triplet BFFs!!!
15. Check out 2 new State Parks
16. Make paper mache' planets
17. Discover a new beach
18. Go hiking
19. Go to the waterpark
20. See fireworks

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