Friday, November 29, 2013

Thankful!

Stating what I'm grateful for feels a bit cheesy to me but I feel awkward letting Thanksgiving pass without acknowledging who/what I am grateful for having in our lives, so hear it goes...

I'm thankful for my little family of 5, I'm thankful Donna has a good job at a great company & is able to provide for all of us & allow me to be home with the boys (not that there would be any point to me working it would only pay for child care!) I'm thankful that despite the odds we have 3 very healthy & happy boys! I'm thankful that our boys still have all of their grandparents, all 6 of them here on earth & they get to spend time with each of them. Im thankful to still have my grandmother! I'm thankful that my bonus dad was able to actually eat Thanksgiving dinner this year & not get formula through a feeding tube like last year. I'm eternally great full for modern medicine & all the doctors & nurses that played a part in us becoming mothers to healthy babies! I'm thankful for all my triplet mom friends, I'd be even more nuts without them & for my lovely blog land friends too, I love being able to connect with families like our own! And I'm thankful for my siblings & ALL of our nieces & nephews, and I'm of course thankful for all of my friends & family near & far, new & old, thank you for being apart of our lives!

I couldn't resist another Thanksgiving photo!
The boys first Thanksgiving, 2011

Since we already celebrated last weekend, we just hung out at home today. We had the whole place cleaned  & the laundry caught up by 10am. After that we played with the boys, ate leftover pizza for lunch followed by some pumpkin pie :) and while the boys napped I worked on some quilts I've been wanting to make. We watched quite a bit of football & had chili for dinner. It was a great day just spending time together & getting a little ahead so we can just play this weekend.

I hope you are all stuffed from your yummy Thanksgiving dinners & that you all had a wonder time spending time together with your families!!!

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving!

We celebrated Thanksgiving this past Sunday while we were in Florida with our parents. It was a super fun day hanging out with the boys at Donna's parents house, my dad & bonus mom came too & Donna's best friend Rhonda.

I love what picasa did with these photos, now you can see what it's like trying to get a photo with the boys, lol...
My dad & bonus mom on the left, Donnas parents on the right, Caden, Kellan & Garren.

We played outside & tried as hard as we could to keep Caden & Kellan out of the dirt. Those 2 can find the smallest trace of dirt & make a huge mess out of it! The dogs ran & ran & ran some more, I think they are still recooperating.

  Us! The boys are so obsessed with my camera now they can't be still to have their picture taken, instead they want to take the pictures!!!

We had an amazing feast! Donna's mom makes the best turkey ever & my bonus mom makes the best sweet potato casserole ever. My broccoli & cauliflower casserole isn't too bad either, lol... We officially had a kids table, haven't had one of those around since I was a kid at my grandmas house :)
 
The moms, the kids table, a little hand holding while drinking egg nog, the dinner group minus myself & my FIL.

Rhonda & Donna

We watched the Bucs beat the Lions, GO BUCS!!! & ate delicious home made pumpkin pie & cheese cake, yep, both :)

I hope you & yours have a wonderful Thanksgiving with your families!!!

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Grandpa's Discount Kitchen Haircuts

Saturday night, while we were at my parents in Orlando my dad decided to get out his clippers & give the boys a haircut. Of course he discussed it with us first, I think I was the first to mention they needed haircuts. I love the barber we take the boys to but I hate forking out $$$ for 3 kids haircuts. I think kid haircuts should be ridiculously cheap & I can say so because I use to work in a salon before becoming a mom :) Kids don't sit still more than 5 minutes & the haircuts are never perfect so I just think they should be $8 or less, lol... Anyways, they're not & so we fork out $$$ every time the boys need haircuts & honestly we put it off as long as possible or until something special is coming up like the holidays :)
 
So my dad thought he'd give it a go & the boys were actually a lot more cooperative than I expected them to be, but sit/stand still, they did NOT!
 
 
The cuts are not as good as the barber but not as bad as I had anticipated either, well except for maybe Garren, whom Donna may have shaved a bald spot on, lol...

Kellan was the most patient & in turn has the best hair :)

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

First Trip Sans Cribs

Donna had a training class back in Orlando this past week, so the boys, the pups, the kitty & I all packed up & headed down with her to get some quality grandparent time in.
 
Trains, trains & more trains!
Thanks Aunt Meg for leaving these at Grandma & Grandpa's.

I was a little nervous about how this trip would go since the boys are no longer in cribs (or pack n plays.) my parents recently got a bunk bed with a full size bed on the bottom bunk. There is also a crib & a toddler bed there but I knew the boys would want to sleep together since that is what they are use to now, so we put them all in the bottom bunk & hoped they would go to sleep & NOT discover the ladder that led to the top bunk. They actually did fantastic! They didn't take any longer to go to sleep than they do at home & they slept uninterrupted all night & even slept in a bit. I was SOOO relieved it went well & they didn't wake up & roam the house all night, lol...

My dad took a couple days off to hang out with us while Donna was at her class. The first day we took the boys to the nearest mall to play in the play area & have some lunch. We ran into another set of triplets there, 2 girls & a boy. They were  a year older than the boys, I don't know why I am hung up on it lately but the boys were quite a bit bigger than the they were. I know the boys are big, I should just accept it, get over it & stop comparing their size to kids older than them! I will, eventually ;)
The boys had a lot of fun playing, there were a lot of kids their age (or at least size) & they played really well with everyone, helping the girls climb up & taking turns sliding down. Poor Caden though, as soon as we got there he went running into the playhouse & nailed his head on the doorway. He was about 3 inches too tall to just walk/run through it, he walked through carefully, bent over the rest of the time :)
 
PLAY TIME!!!

Friday we headed out to Donna's parent's to visit with them. We haven't been down to see them since they returned from NY in late October (we were awaiting Miss Nadia's arrival.) we spent the morning with them, had lunch & got back on the road to head back at nap time & hoped for a decent car nap!
Our friends, Aunt Pat & Aunt Ro were at my dad's when we got back & we spent the afternoon playing with them & our other dear friend Sandy.
 
Grandma helping the boys up :)

Saturday Donna was suppose to teach part of the class she was attending but she needed to return home to attend a funeral for one of her employee's daughter. My dad rode back & forth with her while my bonus mom hung out with the boys & I. We ran around, shopped & had lunch before heading back to the house to make dinner & a couple casseroles for Sundays dinner at Donna's mom & dads.

Kellan LOVED that spiral slide!

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

TWINS!

Twin beds that is :)

Recently we kept finding the boys snuggled up together in their tiny little toddler beds. They not only didn't fit in the beds well, they also exceeded the weight limit when piled up together. We had planned to get twin beds after the first of the year but decided we should go ahead & get them now.


We initially just got 2 twin beds & put them together. We thought since the boys wanted to sleep together anyways that getting 2 wouldn't take up their whole room & also saved us a little cash. While they did all fit & sleep together once they were asleep, 2 beds didn't provide enough room if one of them was ready to sleep & the other 2 were still playing around. 
 

We went back & got the third bed. We tried them individually for a night or two but still found the boys piled up in one together, so we pushed them all together & it has worked out perfectly so far. We haven't found actual beds (frames) we like yet so the boys are just on mattress & box springs on the floor. We do need to get them up off the floor to limit the running & jumping on the beds. The boys act like we just got them a big trampoline!

It has been a bit of a transition switching to twin beds. The boys don't lay right down & go to sleep anymore but they aren't up all night either. They play & wrestle around about a half hour or so before finally falling to sleep. Sometime we have to go in & remind them it's bed time or tell them to get back in the beds but overall they are are doing great.

We'll see how our upcoming trip to FL goes, it will be our first trip out of cribs :-/

Sunday, November 17, 2013

World Prematurity Day

Today is World Prematurity Day, a day to raise awareness about premature births.
 

As most of you know, our boys were born prematurely at 29 weeks. I had no major issues during my pregnancy except that I was carrying 3 babies & they were big babies for their gestation. My belly measured 40+ weeks when I was just 25 weeks pregnant. Four weeks later I gave birth to 10lbs worth of babies. My cervix just couldn't hold onto that much baby & I dilated without contractions or any signs of real labor. Thankfully I was already in the hospital on bed rest & the boys were taken to the NICU without incident. We were very VERY lucky to have no major problems with any one of the boys & they just had to hang out learning to eat & growing.

Unfortunately we are not the majority when it comes to babies being born at the same gestation. Most of these babies need ventilators to help them breathe & many need life saving surgeries at such fragile sizes & ages, and some do not survive.
 
 
The boys birth-day was a scary day for Donna & I, we didn't know what to expect. How big would the boys be? Would they be able to breath on their own? Would they have long term health problems or disabilities? Would they survive being born 11 weeks prematurely? 
 
The next 6 weeks were a roller coaster ride, not of life threatening issues bit the little things like jaundice that just won't go away & reflux causing apnea spells keeping the boys for a whole week longer. Also with my own healing, an emergency surgery do to hemorrhaging & more little things (that don't seem so little at the time) like milk production & being able to feed all 3 babies with my own milk.
 
 
We are blessed beyond measure to have 3 healthy, happy, rambunctious little (big) boys & are so so thankful for all of the amazing people who not only took care of our babies in the NICU but that also cared for me to get us as far along as possible before meeting our miraculous babies!

 
If you'd like to show your support, learn more, or make a donation, please visit the March of Dimes website.


Friday, November 15, 2013

Flash Back Friday

In honor of World Prematurity Day coming up this weekend, Nov 17th, I'm going with preemie photos of the boys taken in the OR just after they were born 11 weeks premature.
 
Top left is Kellan, bottom left is Garren, & right is Caden,
our little rock star who never needed any assistance breathing,
not even a nasal cannula!

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Veterans Day {a few days late}

The boys & I spent the morning with my parents on the island (St Simons Island)

Kellan, Garren & Caden

We played at the playground for a while, Garren is a daredevil when it comes to climbing & has to go down the tallest slide there. Caden & Kellan are obsessed with dirt & can find the tiniest of patches of it to play in. 

When the boys seemed to be tired of the playground we took a walk around the lighthouse & caught the parade. They did surprisingly well staying with us on the side walk & waving to everyone in the parade.  

After the parade we went and had lunch.

FedEx was not closed for Veterans Day so Donna had to work & couldn't join us this time. Kellan, Garren, Caden & I made up for it on Tuesday with a lunch date.

I took several pictures with my phone at the parade but apparently my phone is at its max for storage & didn't save any of them :( 
I only have 2700 photos & 87 videos on it. Any advise for saving those photos elsewhere so my phone works again???

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Speech Therapy Update

The boys have been doing great with talking since they have started speech therapy but I can't say that therapy itself has been good.

When we first started I knew it may take the therapist a couple weeks to find us a permanent spot on her schedule, in the meantime she was coming at 1pm, right at naptime. The boys were tired & cranky & it was a fight to get them to participate.
 
After a few weeks I really pushed for a different time & she told me the only other time she has was early morning. I thought that was better than fighting with 3 toddlers at nap time & agreed to 8:30am on Tuesdays & Fridays. 
 
This time was so much better for the boys, a pain for me to have everyone up, fed & dressed but at least it wasn't such a fight to get the boys to participate. All was great until she started coming late, rescheduling or canceling all together. This was happening at least once a week if not more & was always last minute (after getting the boys all up, fed & dressed.) At first I would reschedule for later in the day, even though I didn't understand how she had those times available since she only had 1pm or 8:30am available to schedule us??? After a few weeks I got tired of canceling our other plans & when she couldn't make it at her scheduled time I would tell her we weren't available later in the day.
  

Last week I had a "transition meeting" at the preschool the boys would need to go to if they still need speech therapy after they turn 3. I'm seriously hoping they don't! Well the school is not someplace that I would want the boys going to. I heard a lot of negative language "your bad," "what's wrong with you," "you're making bad decisions." I'm not saying its wrong, it's just not how Donna & I talk to the boys. I also witnessed a teachers aid grab a child by the & jerk him into line when he walked out of line. All of this on top of the school being in an area of town I wouldn't be comfortable in myself yet alone leaving the boys there for the day.
 
The third strike is that this speech company will o longer be taking our insurance after the first of the year & encouraged us to switch insurance companies, what?!?! I don't think so, not for what is just a temporary service.
 
Yesterday at the boys check-up with their doctor I expressed all my concerns. She agreed with me & said since our insurance is covering their speech therapy we do not need to use Early Intervention & she could refer us over to the children's hospitals services. YAY! She mentioned that it would not be home therapy that I would have to take them there for therapy, I am fine with that! I actually think it will be better to get them out of their own environment with all it's distractions. Plus I think office appointments will be more reliable & consistent.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Two & A Half Years Old

The phrase "the days are long but the years are short" could not be more true!

Too early for pictures mom!
Caden & Garren in back, Kellan in front.

The boys had their 30 month well check today. They are all doing great!

Here are the boys current stats:

Caden, 35.8lbs, 38.75" tall, 90th percentile.
Current clothing size; shirts 3T/4T, shorts 3T, Pants 2T, PJs 4T

Kellan, 35.6lbs, 38.5" tall, also 90th percentile. 
Current clothing size; shirts 3T/4T, shorts 3T, Pants 2T, PJs 4T

Garren, 29lbs, 36.5" tall, 40th percentile.
Current clothing sizes; shirts 2T, shorts 2T & Pants 2T, PJs 3T

The were really well behaved for the first 2 minutes we were at the doctors office, it was hit & miss after that, lol...

The boys have started doing all kinds of new stuff in the past 3 months. Counting (I've heard Kellan count to 16.) Naming lots of animals & making animal sounds (Caden roared like a lion for the doctor today.) Pretend playing (Garren has turned their Lego table into a stove top, used measuring cups for pots, toy tools for flatware & of course Legos as food.) Everyone is still naming letters, colors & shapes. Caden & Garren like to walk up to people & pets & say their name, they look for conformation when they say the name. They also love to look through pictures and name the people in them. They are all very much into arts & crafts now, YAY! They have also started 'reading' books out loud amongst themselves, I love hearing them ramble on especially since Caden & Kellan hardly spoke 3 months ago!

Their personalities are mostly the same but since Caden & Kellan are talking now & being more expressive we are seeing a little more spunk & a lot more attitude out of them, lol.

Monday, November 4, 2013

Thomas & Friends Costumes

I actually wanted the boys to be dinosaurs for Halloween this year but the boys aren't interested in dinosaurs yet, I don't even think they know what they are yet. So I looked to see if there any Thomas the train costumes. There were & there were actually 3 different trains but I wasn't crazy about the look of them. Also since the boys weren't crazy about wearing costumes last year I wasn't crazy about spending $100 on them. So I decided that I would attempt to make their costumes & since several of our friends & family have asked how I made them, I've decided to post a tutorial of sorts.

I didn't plan on writing a tutorial so I don't have many pictures of the costumes in process but its pretty straight forward & I think easily understood without photos of every step.
 
This is the photo I used as inspiration for the faces

Supplies needed:
  • 3 boxes - I used diaper boxes just slightly wider than he boys but not so wide that they couldn't put their arms down. 
  • Felt - I bought 1/3 yard of red, blue & green & 1/4 yard of black
  • Glue - lots & lots of glue! Hot glue (& gun), mod podge, fabric glue & optional spray adhesive.
  • Paper and/or printer
  • 3 paper plates
  • Black, white & peach or flesh colored paint - I used acrylic
  • Paint brush
  • Pencil
Instructions:
  1. Fold all flaps of the cardboard boxes in, this just made the box more sturdy. I hot glued some of my flaps down, some stayed put on their own so I didn't bother with them.
  2. Spread mod podge or spray adhesive on the box. I used mod podge to attach the felt, so I spread it on one side at a time & wrapped the felt around the box as I went. If you use spray adhesive I think you'd have to spray the while thing at once.
  3. Attach your felt. I wrapped one continuous piece all the way around.
  4. Fold the edge of the felt into the box & hot glue down.
  5. Cut the pieces you need for the stripes of each train (*note - I started with making Thomas first, then Percy, then James. This was so that I could cut the stripes from the red felt before using the remainder of the red to make James) I'm not very precise or patient so I just cut a piece, sized it up against the box & then cut duplicates for each side of the train. I don't measure but I did mark the felt with chalk to cut a straight-ish line :)
  6. Use fabric glue to adhere the stripes to the trains.
  7. For the numbers I just printed them out from for the computer. The numbers were all yellow but that & Percy's were outlined in red & James' was outlined in black. Try to print them on card stock so they stay rigid when you apply the mod podge. I coated tha back of the numbers first & applied them o the trains. I them coated the top of the numbers with mod podge.
  8. Now for the hard part... Sketch the faces of each character onto the back of a paper plate. When you are happy with your sketch use a black marker to outline the face. I painted the trim of the plate black first & then painted the face & lastly the white areas of the eyes & mouth. I think I would recommend doing all that in reverse. After I painted everything & it dried I went around the black outline again touching up any areas that may have gotten paint on them.
  9. Hot glue the face/plate onto the front of the box.
  10. Last thing to do is cut out & attach shoulder straps so the trains can be worn :) Again I don't measure, I needed 6 straps so I just divided the felt into even pieces (by folding) & cut it into strips. I hot glued the straps right in the center of the inside of the front & back of the boxes. I did a trial fitting at this point to see if the straps were long enough or too long & then took up the straps to the right length for each of my boys.
The finished product
 
In action :)

Feel free to let me know if I missed any details or if you have any questions.

I was nervous about making these at first but I loved the process. I kind of felt like I was back in college working late at night to finish a project. I am very pleased with how they turned out & of all the lovely compliments I received on them, the best compliment was when the boys saw them for the first time & called them each by name :)

Friday, November 1, 2013

Spooktacular!!!

I hope everyone had a fantastic Halloween! We had so much fun this year with the boys!

This is the first Halloween that the boys really got to participate in, they were 6 months old their first Halloween & last year they had miserable colds & it was actually chilly here instead of 80 degrees.

Warning these photos are really bad, I forgot my camera & my phone didn't focus very well in the dark.
 
James, Thomas & Percy heading into the zoo

So for their first trick or treat experience we took them to Spooktacular at the zoo. We met up with my mom & bonus dad for dinner before hand & then they followed us down to the zoo. The zoo is about an hour away so we were prepared for the boys to be up WAY past their bedtimes. They did fantastic, they were perfect gentlemen at dinner, walked the whole zoo without any fuss or running off. They took in the sights & other costumes, intrigued by most of the fairies & princesses, do you the trend??? GIRLS! lol... They were quite smitten with themselves too in their Thomas the train & friends, Percy & James costumes. hey kept going ip to each other & calling each other by trains name, they would also point to the face on their own costume & say "it's Thomas" or James or Percy. I'm so happy that they liked & actually wore their costumes! 


Nana, Kellan as Thomas, Garren as Percy, Caden as James & Poppy


Garren decided to take a break from being Percy for a while, Donna decoded wearing the costume was easier than carrying it, lol...

Poppy (as the boys call him) & Kellan 


We stayed at the zoo until around 9, an hour already past bedtime. Kellan was the only one that showed any signs of being tired & he let us know by simply sitting down & then wanting to be carried. It was quite sweet :) Garren wanted to be held on & off thought the zoo, I think he just wanted to be able to see over the crowd. Caden never missed a beat, he was in heaven just being Thomas!

Kellan & Caden 

Donna carrying Kellan

We got home about 10:15 & had the boys changed & in bed by 11, only 3 hours past bedtime! Can anyone tell me though, why the later a toddler goes to bed, the earlier they wake up??? 

This is what we found when we checked on them before heading to bed ourselves. It's only the second time we have found 2 of the in the same bed, Kellan & Caden, kellan likes to snuggle <3


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