This past weekend we finally made it to a little Autumn Festival. I wanted to take the boys to a big, fancy, fun festival & pumpkin patch but the ones I found were about an hour away & time just didn't permit for those. There was however a very fun smaller festival going on right around he corner from us :)
My mom & bonus dad met us there. We arrived right as it was suppose to open, hoping to be ahead of the crowd. Unfortunately they were running behind setting up & we had to just roam around a bit until they were ready...
First up was a giant bouncy slide. The boys were so excited & eager to get on it but their excitement was short lived when they got on & saw how high it was. Kellan turned around & got right back off! Caden wanted to give it a go but the step were so far apart I had to help him get to the top & of course slide down with him. He did love the slide & he headed right back to the stair side. Garren was trying to make his way up, a little girl behind him in line was helping him climb. The slide startled him a little, it was pretty steep but it didn't stop him from wanting to go again. Caden & Garren both went 2 or 3 times & then it was too crowded with bigger kids so we took them to fringed something else to do.
Kellan & I
Caden & Grandma
The other riders
After the giant slide some of us went for a hay ride. For some reason the big tractor that was pulling the hay filler trailer scared Garren. I'm not sure why but I do remember Dr J saying that irrational fears were normal for this age. Garren has been on tractors before & never had an issue but we don't force things so he & Donna went back to the slide while my mom & I took Caden & Kellan on the hay ride.
Grandma, Garren, Caden & Kellan
There was a pumpkin painting table set up with itty bitty pumpkins, Garren kept calling them apples & all 3 of the boys were interested so we did a little pumpkin painting. We have tried painted at home with finger paints & the boys haven't really been into it but they didn't want to stop pumpkin painting! Kellan especially was really into it & DID NOT want to be done!!! He kept trying to go back the whole time we were there.
Garren was fascinated with these guys playing the drums, he hung out & watched so long that they gave him a set of sticks & let him play :)
MomMom & top to bottom, Caden, Garren & Kellan
Next up was some bean bag tossing. I need to set one of these up at home. The boys love to throw things & this activity would help them practice hand/eye coordination & help with aim since they mostly just throw things randomly, especially Kellan! They liked throwing the bean bags through the holes & eagerly went around to pick them up & throw them back through again.
Kellan, Caden & Garren patiently waiting for the ok to get in
Garren & Kellan
There were lots of bounce houses set up when we finished with the bean bags so we headed to them for some "bounce bounce." The boys could decided which one they wanted to be in & kept getting in & out & getting trampled a bit by older kids.
Everyone was starting to get hungry by this time & while we tried to figure out what to do for lunch we headed to the pony rides... Donna noticed Caden walking funny & reached down to see if he needed a change... His jeans were soaked! Not just a little leakage but completely soaked all the way down to his ankles :( needless to say we didn't get pony rides & headed to van quickly. Since I didn't carry any extra clothes with us we had to cut our fun short & head home.
We did have a really good time & it was a gorgeous Autumn morning to be outside!
I've been searching Pinterest for the perfect mess-less arts & crafts projects... By mess-less I just mean baths aren't necessary afterwards, I'm aware that there is no such thing as a mess free project of any kind! :)
Anyways, I did come up with the perfect project by combining a couple of projects I found & the boys had a great time!
Orange &/or yellow Tissue paper
Construction or other scrap paper
Clear contact paper
Masking or painters tape
Cut tissue paper into 1" (ish) squares.
If you'd like a face, cut the shapes in the colors you'd like out of scrap construction or scrapbook paper.
I free hand drew a pumpkin shape on the paper side on my contact paper.
Next I cut a slit from the bottom edge of my contact paper to the edge of my pumpkin & then lifted the corner of the paper layer from the sticky part, just enough to get the tip of my scissors between the 2 layers.
I was then able to cut around the outline of my drawing with just the end of my scissors.
I then taped the contact paper to the table & peeled off the paper layer exposing the sticky side of the contact paper.
Sit the kids at the table with small amounts of the paper & let then stick it to the sticky contact paper.
If your children are anything like mine, they will most likely throw the little bits of paper in the air & all over the place, meanwhile actually sticking very few pieces to the contact paper. I just circled the table "helping" them get it on the contact paper.
We had a couple of goes at this project, the first time I let the boys rip the tissue paper, which they enjoyed & we colored on the finished products. They liked the cut pieces as well but spent more time throwing paper that time. We also did not do faces since the boys did a lot of sticking down & peeling up of the paper.
Once the boys were done, I finished covering any exposed areas of stickiness, peeled the rest of the paper layer off & stuck it to the windows in the play area :) when we are done with them in the windows I'm going to go ahead & cover the backside with contact paper & trim around the pumpkins to keep. I think it will be fun to see how these projects change or improve over the years & you could use a hole punch in the stem & hang it from a hook instead of sticking it directly to the window :)
The boys did have fun with this project & love looking at their "umpkins" in the windows & since we did some in yellow & some in orange hear them say "ellow umpkin," "orange umpkin" & since we are still working on speech hearing these words is music to my ears! :)
I've been looking forward to this autumn's festivities with the boys all year. I think they are finally at an age that they can participate & appreciate all the fun activities! Pumpkin or "umpkin" as Garren says, carving is one of the things I though the boys would really love, digging into a pumpkin, grabbing all that mushiness & making a huge mess on the porch sounded right up their ally but in reality, they did not want to touch the mush. Donna scooped the insides out with a spoon & Garren sort of helped while his brothers blew bubbles.
I did roast up the seeds & finished cleaning up Mr "Umpkin." The boys were interested in carving the pumpkin, of course they were, what 2.5 year old doesn't want to play with large knives??? They also loved it's lit up face & we had to keep him lit & the light off most of the day :)
I never ever ever thought I would be excited about a mini van but 2.5 years into being a mini van driver, I really couldn't see driving anything else with the boys or the amount of traveling we do.
We knew when we got our first van that it would be short term since we hadn't really planned to get a van just yet but needed one to travel to FL when my dad was diagnosed with cancer & having surgery. Thanks to Donna's amazing haggling & negotiating skills we were able to get a brand spanking new van & keep our car payment the same :) Our old van was in great shape mechanically but it was getting up there in milage & starting to need lots of little fixes & we felt better just getting something new again.
Since we were planning this purchase & had more time to think about what we/I really needed & wanted in a vehicle, we did a lot of researching of safety, considering of things that we had or didn't have & wished were different & finally came to the conclusion of another van & one with stow-n-go this time.
Since we have split the boys up between the second & third rows, having stow-n-go is amazing! We're able to fold up & store the second seat in the second row right in the floor & no one including myself has to climb around it to get to the thrird row, so so easy to get the boys in & out now! It also gives us space to travel with the pups in a crate now instead of loose in the van which will be better for Haddie who has a little anxiety when we travel & jumps all over the place in the van. We also have in floor storage in front of the other seats & the trunk space is slightly bigger than our old van. Garren did think we broke the van though the first time he got in & one of the seats was gone, lol.
I love the piece of mind having a brand new car gives me! Now to find one of those stick figure familys, lol...
As I posted Friday, our newest little niece made her grand entrance last Wednesday & I do mean grand! Lol... This little girl has been drama since conception.
At my sisters first ultrasound they saw a small hemorrhage where the baby had implanted, they monitored it for month before it was finally gone. About mid pregnancy the doctor found a cyst in the baby's brain & sent my sister to a specialist to have it checked out. They also told her it was an indicator of trisomy 18. The specialist didn't find the cyst & it never presented itself again on any other ultrasound.
Autumn really I wanted to try for a VBAC but at her 40 week appointment she still had no signs of labor & the baby had turned herself face up with her chin lodged on the pelvic bone. So my sister decided to go ahead & schedule a c-section for Thursday. Wednesday morning she woke up with severe pains in her back & after calling the doctor & debating on going in to get checked the pain finally got the better of her & she headed to L&D... Turned out she was in labor but not dilating (the reason for her original c-section, no dilation after 24 hours of labor) So they all decided Wednesday was a good day to deliver baby Nadia.
I had been getting updates from my sister all morning & about 2pm she asked if Donna could get off work & if I could could head down to get Chandler, my nephew & head to the hospital. I left home about 3:30pm, Autumn's surgery was at 4:20. I made it to Pick up Chandler a little after 5 & we headed to the hospital to meet little Miss Nadia. When we got there we were allowed to go in to recovery to see my sister. Her inlays arrived shortly after I did & my brother in law took Chandler out to the waiting room to stay with them while I hung out with my sister.
When Nadia was delivered she did not cry. The doctors & nurses tried to stimulate her to cry but she wasn't having any of it. She was breathing but she needed to cry to push out the fluid in her airway. Due to this she ended up with fluid in her lungs 'wet lungs' & had to go to the NICU to be monitored.
I can only imagine the shock & fear of having a baby taken the NICU when it wasn't expected. Donna & I knew our boys would go to the NICU & possibly have breathing problems among other possibilities. Autumn was so upset that she didn't even get to look at her baby girl before they took her away & didn't know the extent of what was going on with her for another hour or so after delivery. She also had to wait a full 8 hours until she was allowed to go see her in the NICU.
Two by two each set of grandparents arrived, Steven' parents & grandmother, our mom & bonus dad, then our dad & bonus mom. Everyone took turns going to the NICU to meet Nadia but I was not allowed in :( during flu season they only allow parents & grandparents :( So I would have to wait until she was out to meet her.
I took Chandler back to my sister's place that night & got him off to school Thursday morning before I headed back home to Donna & the boys.
Baby Nadia & Mama
Lil Sis Nadia & Big Bro Chandler, cute shirts!
Nadia did well in the NICU & was moved to her mama's room on Friday & they were both discharged Saturday morning.
Aunt Spring & Nadia
Aunt "Da" & Nadia
Uncle Steven & Kellan
Kellan taking a peek
We gave my sister & brother in law a day to get settled at home with their toddler & new baby before we took our clan to meet their newest cousin. Sunday I finally got to see & hold that precious little girl, Donna didn't give me too much time with her all to myself though before she swooped in & tried o claim favorite aunt status. Nadia is an easy baby so far, she eats, sleeps & smiles a lot. I don't remember her crying at all or even fussing much. She slept right through her brother & cousins playing rambunctiously & loud right next to her for most of the morning. Nadia loves snuggling with just about everyone but she did tell me I was her favorite aunt, lol... The boys were a little curious about her but they were too busy to slow down & pay her much attention. Kellan did chatter to her & climbed up on the couch to take a peek at her. Caden & Garren each got close enough to pat her the back & say baby but they didn't stick around for long.
Pretty little girl
We can't wait to go back & see her again, we are hoping to be able to do some trick or treating with her & Chandler at the zoo next week :)
In 1988 President Ronald Reagan declared October as National Pregnancy & Infant Loss Awareness Month. "When a child loses his parent, they are called an orphan. When a spouse loses his or her partner, they are called a widow or widower. When parents lose their child, there isn't a word to describe them. This month recognizes the loss so many parents experience across the United States & around the world. It is also meant to inform & provide resources for parents who have lost children due to miscarriage, ectopic pregnancy, molar pregnancy, still birth, birth defects, SIDS & other causes."
If you've been reading our blog for long or know us, you know that Donna & lost our first babies/pregnancy. Five months prior to becoming pregnant with the boys, I got pregnant for the first time. We were expecting twins but found out at 6 weeks that one had no heartbeat. We had an 8 week ultrasound for our remaining baby which revealed a healthy heartbeat & normal growth. Our next ultrasound at 12 weeks revealed that she no longer had a heartbeat. Needless to say we were crushed!!! We both had a hard time handling the loss. I hid out in the house waiting to miscarry naturally & avoiding the world while Donna put on a brave face & went back to work. I ended up in therapy which was great for me & we conceived the boys just 2 months after the miscarriage.
Even though we went on to have beautiful, healthy children, losing a pregnancy stays with you forever. I think of them every year on their due date (valentines day) & also on the day we found out the last baby had passed (August 1st.) We don't dwell in the sadness but we do allow ourselves to remember.
The statistics for miscarriage are a bit unnerving to me, I had no idea that depending on age 10-35% of pregnancies end in miscarriage. My heart aches every time I learn of a friend or family member or anyone really, that experiences a miscarriage. I cannot even fathom losing a child during or after birth!
So this month, remember your friends, family members & all of the families that have experienced pregnancy or infant loss & their precious babies.
The playground, Neptune Park on St Simons Island is pretty crowded on the weekends & during the summer but in the fall, when kids return to school, it's very very quiet. This playground is fenced in which is a must for me when I'm by myself with 3 toddlers!
Last week when the boys started feeling better I decided a morning at the playground would do us all some good. We were pleasantly surprised with a big ship anchored right off the pier & another one sailing by closely. The boys love to watch the ships & yelled "boat" from the top of the slides, lol...
Another woman showed up shortly after us with her grandson who is close in age to the boys. They all played great together & she said he climbed & played on some things that he's never tried before so it was a good social experience for all of them.
The boys new friend, Harvey with Garren
Garren didn't looked thrilled but when I went to take him out he said "I'm swinging!"
It was nice to get some fresh air & watch the boys burn some energy! Now that the temperature is cooling off a bit I think we will be spending a few mornings a week on the island at the playground!
We are the midst of week 4 & things really couldn't be better.
I was quite scared of how this transition would go. I've read & heard all kinds of horror stories but once the boys understood that bedtime meant not getting out of of bed, there really hasn't been much resistance. A few times someone has emerged from their bedroom 10 or 15 minutes after going to bed but we directed them right back to bed & after a short protest of tears they were sleeping soundly.
This weekend we had a few early mornings... The first morning I didn't think much of it, Kellan woke up about an hour early. We just hung out quietly in the living room waiting for his brothers to wake up. The next morning Caden & Kellan woke up around 5am, that is VERY early for us so I directed them back to bed. I had to lay in their room with them to get them to lay down & not play. The 3rd morning all 3 of the boys came waltzing out of their room at 3am. Again I sent them back to bed & laid in their room to make sure they went back to sleep or at least stayed in bed.
I asked in a triplet group on fb if anyone else had experienced this after switching to toddler beds & a few people said they had & that they put a door knob cover on the inside of the door so the boys couldn't just waltz out & wander the house. That is exactly what I did on the 4th night but the boys slept all night that night & last night so maybe it was just a short phase or perhaps a fluke? Donna wasn't crazy about 'locking' them in their room in case any of them ever really needed something but we have a monitor we can see & hear them on & our room is right next to theirs. I just don't want them to get up & get into something that could hurt them or better yet unlock the exterior doors like they love to do so much.
So I think it's safe to say Operation Toddler Beds has been successful but the real test will come in a couple weeks when we travel to Grandma & Grandpa's house...
Sunday morning, whatever had been ailing Caden & I's stomachs seemed to have passed, so after breakfast we headed out to the island for a little playground action.
Garren & Kellan were having lots of fun when we noticed Caden was not feeling well :( They got to enjoy some fresh air for about 30 minutes & we decided to head back home so Caden could rest. It wasn't long before I started to feel queazy again either so we relaxed, ate crackers, drank Gatorade & hoped that it would pass quickly & skip Donna, Garren & Kellan... No luck there but I think we are all on the mend now.