Showing posts with label Triplets. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Triplets. Show all posts

Tuesday, February 10

Surviving the First Year: Helpful Tips from a Mama of Triplets plus One
{4 kids 2 and under}

I’ve never given much thought to what things helped us get through having a {newly} 2 year old and triplets {besides God}, but there was a lot of things that made that first year more bearable. I pestered Matt to help me think of the things that we did to help us survive. Most of them were pretty straight forward and easy to implement {we didn’t have a lot of excess income and lofty ambitions during that time…and still don’t}.

Surviving the First Year Helpful Tips from a Mama of Triplets plus One {4 kids 2 and under}

1. Ditch the Diaper Bag

Even before the triplets were born, I knew that my super-cute Vera Bradley diaper bag, was just not going to cut it. We had 4 kids in diapers…cloth diapers. The space alone was lacking, never mind having no free hands. I pulled out the LL Bean Deluxe backpack that I purchased before heading off to college and started using that….oh my goodness! So much easier! It was so great, that we bought a second one, to keep stocked in case we had appointments or what-have-you with only a couple of the kids.

2. Put the seat down

I am still {almost 4 years later} mourning the loss of my beloved Honda CRV, but logistically it had to go: There was no choice but to get a minivan. Through a series of divine events we found our van and it was perfect. The big thing that I wanted was to fit all the car seats {for the triplets} in the back row, so that we could keep 1 captain’s chair down…we did. Keeping that seat down has been an incredible life {and back} saver. We didn’t have to hump around the inside of a car with kids in infant car seats. {I’m honestly not looking forward to putting up that seat in order to fit Number 5, this summer, but until we get another vehicle we’ll manage}.

3. Evening showers

I know a lot of people can’t wake up until they shower in the morning. I’d love to say I get that, but I don’t drink coffee either. In college I had started showering in the evenings to kill time, before Matt and I could chat on AOL Instant Messenger {does anyone else miss AIM?!} The easiest thing for us, was evening showers.

We could either peacefully shower once the kids were in bed, or we could do family showers, when one of us would get in and pass a baby back and forth for their bath time. Oh the pictures I wish I had! We’d line all the babies up on the floor of the bathroom and spend 30 minutes getting everyone clean. It’s still my favorite way to bath babies.
Life Saving Tips from a Mama of A LOT OF LITTLES {4 kids 2 and under}
4. TV

I hate to say it, but between Avelyn and me…TV was a life saver. To the point that Avelyn was speaking with a British accent from watching Kipper. That’s just what happens when you have 3 babies born in the winter and a little that’s still too little to go outside {or anywhere} alone.
For me…I spent a lot of time sitting on the couch doing feedings. The TV kept me company. Matt was working full time on the route and needed to sleep. I would stay up until 1am or so for the last feeding then go to bed. I wish I had a picture of that too…me sitting on the couch feeding all 3 babies at once.

5. Easy meals

I did not have lofty meal ambitions that year. I honestly couldn’t tell you what we ate, because it was non-remarkable. We had 2 or 3 meals delivered by people, and my parents sent leftovers and meals when they could. We did what we had to.  I don’t remember us starving and we didn’t prep months of freezer meals in advance {and there is no take-out where we live}. We had good food in the house and ate what we had on hand.

6. Minimal outings

When I say we didn’t go anywhere that first year…I mean we didn’t go ANYWHERE! Between my mom and Matt’s mom I was able to go grocery shopping, while leaving everyone home. Our biggest outing during that year was going to Hershey Park to see Matt’s family {the triplets were 8 months old} and it went better than I thought it would. Other than that we didn’t go out. {The other thing was that it was exhausting to try going out, between the looks, comments, and questions}.Life Saving Tips from a Mama of A LOT OF LITTLES {4 kids 2 and under}
7. Quad stroller

The one thing we did do, was go for walks…once we had a quad stroller. Another triplet-mama from our area gave us a quad stroller they had picked up years before at a yard sale and we made it work until the seats literally broke. The only way we got out of the house was with the quad stroller, whether it was for a walk around the corner or out in the yard. The stroller at least gave me a way, by myself, to move all of the kids around outside at once.

8. Baby wearing

When the triplets were very little one of them would always be awake and wanting to be held. The easiest way to handle that was to put them in my Moby wrap and go. There were even times when Avelyn needed a little cuddle and she would go in there so that I could get things done around the house.

9. Easy access

Once the babies were home our house was taken over by the things we had for them. Our living room became baby central: We had a pack n’ play {changing table attached} with a shelf above it for clothes, diapers and other necessities, three swings and three bouncies. We removed all unnecessary furniture {coffee tables, end tables, etc} and did everything possible to keep things on hand and enough space for Avelyn too. Now, before you think we have a huge living room…the whole room is 12x13, if that. Not very big at all, but it worked!
Life Saving Tips from a Mama of A LOT OF LITTLES {4 kids 2 and under}
10. Low key wardrobes

I was looking back at pictures a few weeks ago, from 2012-2013, and it struck me that almost all the pictures of the kids had them in PJs. At first I thought “wow, way to go mom”…boy I was lazy. Then I thought about it. It was winter, it was cold, we didn’t go anywhere, it was that much less laundry to do and it made the day a lot easier. Avelyn was always dressed to the Nines, when you have one baby that’s ok to do; when you have 3 babies and a 2 year old and you don’t honestly care, it’s OK.
Which brings me to the next thing.


There was a lot of grace during that time. It was hard…I think I forget just how hard it was, because you just did what you had to. There were 4 kids clamoring for your attention and requiring it for their survival; there never was a choice to just not do it. There were temper tantrums and melt downs {by mommy}, but we got through them. Most everything on this list, was our way of showing grace to ourselves, by not putting lofty expectations over our heads and only doing what we needed to care for these little blessings.
Life Saving Tips from a Mama of A LOT OF LITTLES {4 kids 2 and under}

Monday, December 22

Henry, James and Elanor turn THREE!

How did we go from this



to this…



*Weighing in at 36lbs {Born at 4lbs 13 ounces}
*Standing tall at 39”
*Wearing a size 4T in clothes and an 10 in shoes
*The speech therapy did wonders these past 10 months. He is speaking full sentences, and most of the time you can understand what he’s saying.
*Doing better with his colors, able to count to 10.
*Loves being an absolute goof {he has an infectious laugh} and will do anything to get you to laugh.
*Loves Cars and Mater
*Loves dinosaurs and cars and planes and trains…and is such an absolute boy when it comes to anything with an engine
*Loves eggs, usually has 2 or 3 at breakfast, and oatmeal. LOVES smoked ham.
*Will occasionally ask to go potty, and will go #1, and sometimes #2s
*He’s been doing so much better about sleeping at night and naps.
*”You not you!” his favorite thing to yell at you when you’re doing something he doesn’t like.
*He will play with the rest of the kids, but definitely likes being on his own, doing his own thing…I’m really hoping that he bonds strongly with the new baby.




*Weighing in at 38 lbs {Born at 5lbs 3 ounces}
*Standing tall at 41.5”
*Wearing a size 4T/5T in clothes and an 11 in shoes {almost the same as Avelyn}..I think he’s going to pass her sometime this year.
*Doing so much better with his speech: When he really wants something or wants you to know something, he’s crystal-clear, sometimes it’s still tough to understand him.
*Such a lovey boy…always loves holding my hand
*Still a gadget kid….he always wants to figure out how things work.
*Loves fruit
*Goes on the potty and will wake up dry in the morning and after naps, but prefers his diapers.
*Loves picking up toys and cleaning {I’m not sure where this kid came from, but I’ll enjoy it while it lasts}
*His favorite color is orange, and he can count to 10.
*He can’t keep a straight face.
*He has an incredible temper, but is able to calm down and knows himself well enough to be able to remove himself from the situation {sometimes}.
*The other day, James was getting water from the door of the fridge, and started shouting “I have an emergency!” because the cup was wedged and the water kept coming out.
*GAVE UP HIS GEORGIE!  {Pacifier} He flushed it down the toilet and thought it would come out of the sink {I certainly hope not!}, he was weepy at bedtime the first night, but has been fine since.
*He and Avie can play House for HOURS!




*Weighing in at 29 lbs {Born at 4lbs 9.5 ounces}
*Standing tall at 37.5”
*Wearing a size 3T in clothes and an 7-8 in shoes
*Back to being our best eater!
*I think if we could focus on just her for potty training it would go very quickly.
*Thoroughly enjoys being the “baby”
*The quote “Though she be but little, she is fierce”, fits Elanor absolutely perfectly.
*ABHORS having her hair brushed…we have to promise to do Anna braids to get her to let us brush it.
*”I’s a princess!” and loves wearing princess costumes all the time.
*Knows some of her colors and counts to 10.
*Loves saying her prayers, at dinner and bed time, and can say them all.
*Finally spent the night at Oma’s house.
*Loves seeing how far she can get you to go, doing what SHE wants.
*Loves pal’in out with Avie and James.
*She’s going to be moving in with Avie in their big girl room! Not sure how it’s going to go, as she is rarely ever away from her brothers.Kids

There are so many more things about these kiddos, but I of course can’t remember them all right now. They are incredible. As a trio, as their own people. Their personalities are coming out so much more and it is so much fun to see the dynamics in our family changing, depend on who is home. The boys are definitely becoming more “boy” with each other, head-butting, wrestling and such. The kids have actually started playing with each other, whether it’s just running around like crazy, or actual playing.

Honestly, they’re amazing! Matt and I feel beyond blessed to have these 3 little urchins, and can’t imagine life without any one of them, or them not being part of a trio. It’s an incredible experience to get to be mommy and daddy to these 3 precious gifts!

Thursday, December 4

O’ Christmas Tree

This past weekend we headed into the woods at our friend’s family tree farm to pick this year’s Christmas’ tree: It took us all of about 5 minutes, which is a record. We usually spend a good half-hour walking around trying to find the tree that is just right. Matt chopped it down, and we dragged it out. We, of course, had to get our family Christmas-Tree-Getting picture. It just struck me how incredible this picture is, particularly compared to the last few years.DSC_0177

My how the kids have grown in the past few years…and every year there’s been more and more snow: Which I love! Maybe one of these years everyone will look at the camera and smile nicely.

Christmas Tree Collage

Do you do a real tree or no? Cut it down yourself?

Friday, October 31

Halloween 2014

Happy Halloween from Jessie the Cowgirl, Buzz Lightyear, Strawberry Shortcake and Sheriff Woody!IMG_4907This was the first year since before Avelyn was born that it was actually decent weather to be outside for trick or treating: It’s always been cold, rainy and miserable! The kids had an absolute BLAST running around in the dark and knocking on doors, and they were surprisingly well behaved.IMG_4927

Monday, August 25

Summer Stories {Part 1}

This week, I plan on catching you all up on life inside the White House. Renovations are going strong, we’re nearing the end….there’s just a lot of detail stuff inside that’s on hold while they finish the outside. The fairs over and things are finally starting to settle down in our “new” house. I told Matthew that this weekend was the first he’s spent in our home since March.

We’ve had a pretty busy summer, beyond the renovations that have been going on. For the first 6 weeks of “Summer” the kids had swimming lessons Monday-Thursday. They all did awesomely! Unfortunately, the triplets were put back in PACA {Parent and Child Aquatics} because they weren’t 3, which made things a bit more complicated, since we had to have 3 adults every day to go in the deeper pool with them, we managed most of the time. Ave did so well in swimming that she’s moved up to Level 1, and possibly will go in Level 2 next Summer.

IMG_2029IMG_2033IMG_2035IMG_2052And 2 of my lovely helpers: Oma and Mrs. SchickyIMG_2061

We even convinced Daddy one time to go to the pool with us. Despite his aversion to going, he and the kids had so much fun! The were so upset at the next day’s swimming lessons because daddy wasn’t there.



It’s really a shame that none of my kids enjoy swimming in the pool.

Sunday, June 22

The Triplets Turn 2 {and a half}

We’re closer to 3 than 2…I’m not sure where my babies have gone, but they’ve disappeared without a trace.


*Weighing in at 35.5lbs
*Standing tall at 37.25”
*Wearing a size 3-4 in clothes and an 8-9 in shoes
*Has been doing incredible with his speech therapy: Has about 50-60 words now and 20 or so 2-3 word phrases
*Loves being an absolute goof and cuddle bunny
*Loves Cars and Mater
*Loves dinosaurs and cars and planes and trains…and is such an absolute boy when it comes to anything with an engine
*Loves eggs, and usually has 2 or 3 at breakfast
*Will occasionally ask to go potty, and will sometimes go #1, we’ve had a couple #2s
*Still doesn’t sleep through the nights: We’re usually up filling water in the middle of the night, at least once.

Henry 2.5


*Weighing in at 37.4 lbs
*Standing tall at 40”
*Wearing a size 3-4 in clothes and an 9-10 in shoes
*Speech is doing well….has around 40 words, and about 10 2-3 word phrases
*Such a lovey boy…always loves holding my hand
*Still a gadget kid….likes nothing better than to sit and play with the iPad {which does not happen all that often}; but he always wants to figure out how things work
*Loves fruit
*No real interest going potty, other than playing around in the bathroom
*Loves picking up toys and cleaning {I’m not sure where this kid came from, but I’ll enjoy it while it lasts}
*Started saying Mickey and Mommy about a month and a half ago, such sweet words to here….Mommy that is, not Mickey.

James 2.5


*Weighing in at 28 lbs
*Standing tall at 36”
*Wearing a size 24months in clothes {I am forcing some 2t/3t on her in seasonal clothes, because I’m not buying more} and an 6-7 in shoes
*Such a silly girl she is….anything for a laugh…and anything to keep up with her brothers.
*Seems to have become a very picky eater, having gone from being a meat-eater, to basically not eating unless it’s what she wants {pasta and bread…which she doesn’t get all that often}
*Will ask quite frequently to go potty, pretty much always goes #1, we’ve had the occasional #2, as well
*Loves to respond to requests with a very dramatic, “NEVER!”
*The quote “Though she be but little, she is fierce”, fits Elanor absolutely perfectly.
*Her smiles and giggles are absolutely infectious….especially when she starts being tickled.
*Loves being wrapped up in a blanket and snuggled like a baby.

Elanor 2.5

In the words of Matt, “They’re gettin’fiesty!”: We are firmly in the 2 year old camp. While it is absolutely trying, and some days down right infuriating, these three kids are an absolute blast and so much fun to be around {most of the time}. One minute I’m ready to pull my hair out because of the naughtiness and fights and squabbles and then the next minute you’re being triple cuddled, or catching two {or three, or four} of them loving on each other.


We’re also very much in the process of figuring these 3 out: We’re noticing more and more their little personality quirks, the things that make them who they are. They have some similarities, but they are so completely different at the same time. The boys have been doing incredibly well with their speech therapy, and the kids all absolutely love Miss M; they get quite excited when I tell them that Miss M is coming.

I am curious to see how they’re going to grow and change in the next 6 months leading up to 3, but I’m so missing their baby moments. I’m always more than willing when someone decides they need a little babying though.

Friday, February 21

Speech Therapy for the Boys

At the boys’ 2 year appointment we talked with our pediatrician about our concern that both boys, but especially James, were delayed in their speech {Elanor, too, but not as much}. Avelyn was speaking full sentences, that you could understand, at 20 months…so the bar was set pretty high. We really noticed that they had very few words and those they had did not at all sound like words.

The pediatrician gave us a referral to Early Intervention to have the boys, and Elanor, assessed for speech {and the gamut of other things they test for}: Both boys qualified for speech. Our big concern was Jamie, who speaks as though he can’t hear. He had his hearing test in January…and boy! was THAT a traumatic experience.

Physically everything is all right with his ears: They respond and look the way they should. Of course the big question is whether he’s actually hearing or not. We don’t think he’s deaf, but do think that there may be a few decibels, pitches, and tones that he’s not picking up, given the way he says certain things.

They put us in a sound proof room with speakers around it, and some creepy-ass {I am not exaggerating} wind-up toys in darkened boxes. The tech showed Jamie where everything was: There was a 12” duck that walked and quacked, a bunny that beat a drum {think Energizer}, and a demonic monkey-clown that clanged cymbals {startlingly similar to the security monkey in Toy Story 3}.

It started off ok, with Jamie responding to the tech’s voice, then the toys started going off. The duck and the rabbit startled him, but not badly…then the monkey went off. Oh My Word! He didn’t cry. He didn’t fuss. He covered his eyes and pushed his head against my chest and looked at the ceiling.

He wasn’t responding too much to the tones on the right side of the room {he did look at my cell phone when the ones on the left side went off}. Then that blasted monkey went off. That was it. It was over. Call in the psychologist.  He covered his eyes, looked at the ceiling, pushed back against me as hard as he could {he was in my lap} and BAWLED! I kid you not. He was near hysterical. Nothing every really upsets Jamie badly, he’s a pretty even-keeled kid.

At that point the tech stopped, which was good, because I was going to stop the whole thing myself. End result was they couldn’t really determine anything conclusive about his hearing. He does hear, but we don’t know how much. He goes back in May, to a different place, to have it checked again. I’m hoping there are no creepy critters.

That night, Matt brought home the big truck and backed into the driveway. The truck beeps when it backs up. James immediately covered his eyes and looked at the ceiling. I had to hold him, during dinner time, and tell him it was just Daddy’s truck. He still looks around nervously when he hears the beeping, but is getting better.


Today was the boys’ first therapy session, at 8am…meaning that I had to wake them up early to have them fed and dressed to be ready. The girls had spent the night at my in-laws, but they were home at 7:30. The session is 45 minutes for each boy, so 90 minutes, but fortunately they incorporate all the kids, so it’s not like I have to keep removing children from the room or anything. It was pretty much just a free play time today, to get to know the therapist.


I’m curious to see how the whole thing works in the future and how the boys respond to it. Henry has been doing better over the past couple of months anyways with his speech {stringing 2 words together, new words, etc}, so I think he’s making progress on his own too. We’ll have to see how things with Jamie go.

Tuesday, February 4

Ideas for Indoor Fun!

Last week, I shared with you how I was starting to lose it, what with being sequestered indoors for weeks on end with 4 kids 4 and under. This past weekend, Matt and I decided to grab the bull, uhh to do list, by the horns. We’ve been wanting to make a tent/fort/teepee thing for months now, and it was just time.Ideas for Indoor Fun {some assembly required} TeePees and Other Fun Activities for the Cabin Crazies

Activity One – Teepee

We asked Ave if she’d rather have a “house” or a teepee and the teepee won out. We found this awesome tutorial, and Matt headed to the hardware store: For around $60 he got everything we needed. The instructions were pretty good, but the blogger wasn’t quite sure how the previous person managed to get all of the pieces out of a 9x12 tarp, so being the person I am, I spent about a half hour figuring out how to cut all the pieces out of one drop cloth.

The way I worked it out is this way…
Ideas for Indoor Fun {some assembly required} TeePees and Other Fun Activities for the Cabin Crazies

I had all the panels cut out in about 20 minutes. The first one took the most work, with figuring out the measurements and such. We used a chalk line to mark it. Then used that piece as the template to cut out the other 4 panels. I did hem the bottom edges that were un-hemmed; I didn’t realize that drop cloths frayed the way they did.
Ideas for Indoor Fun {some assembly required} TeePees and Other Fun Activities for the Cabin Crazies

The rest of the instructions on the blog were easy to follow. I did end up serging all of my inside seams, because of how much the fabric frayed and because it strengthened the seams too. We didn’t have ribbon on hand to finish the inside ties, but we did have some good rope that Matt pulled out {one of the perks of having a nautically-minded husband…you always have rope}.

I thought I had this great project for Matt to do, and it ended up making more work for me than him. Matt had all the PVC pieces together in about 15 minutes: I spent about 2 hours {with the ties being stitched in} sewing together the whole actual teepee {not quite what I had planned on doing during nap time}. The whole thing came together awesome!

We do think that there needs to be some adjustments on the teepee frame, because the legs on the front get spread too far back and then the teepee falls over. Have to figure that out still.

Activity Two – Doorway Bean Bag Toss

Before Christmas everyone was asking me for gift ideas for the kids, but we really didn’t WANT anything more. One thing we did find was a 3-in-1 monkey toss for a doorway, which looked pretty awesome. Then they were out of stock, so my mother in law, crafty lady that she is, made something similar.Ideas for Indoor Fun {some assembly required} TeePees and Other Fun Activities for the Cabin Crazies

It was pretty simple construction on this, and wouldn’t even need to be made as fancy. Depending on how much you spent on fabric, will determine just how much the project costs. If you could find $1/yd fabric, the whole thing could be made for less than $20, plus the rod for the doorway {Target has tension shower rods for $7.00}.

My mother in law asked how high and wide we wanted it to be {it did end up being a bit longer than we needed}. She took 2 pieces of fabric that were the same size {she was going for fish and picked these fabrics out}. On the front piece she cut out holes and then finished the holes with a bias tape {if we were to make this again, I think the holes would be smaller—they’re about the size of a small dinner plate, which means the kids fit through them}.

Then she stitched the two pieces of fabric together on the short ends. With it right side out, she stitched another row about 3” down from the top, to create a sleeve for the shower curtain rod. In the bottom you can put a a shallow tote or an old cookie sheet to spread it out and way down the bottom. I ended up going back through and stitching the sides together, because the kids kept climbing between the 2 layers of fabric and pulling the whole thing down on their heads.

My mother in law is a seamstress, so the kids got actual fish-shaped bean bags, complete with painted gills, spots, and faces. You could just as easily stitch together squares or circles. Our fish weigh around 4ounces, which is a good weight, and are filled with dried beans {but you could use rice to fill them, too}. This project could be as simple or as detailed as you want to be. Honestly, your kids aren’t going to mind too much either way.

Fish Collage

That’s what we’ve been up to lately. Believe me, the TV is still on way more than I would like, but most of the time they’re not even paying attention to it…they’re too busy moving furniture and making mountains out of cushions…yes I am one of those moms. I figure furniture can, and will be, replaced eventually, but these days inside…they can’t.

kids on couch

Friday, January 31

Just a Touch of Cabin Crazy

Most nights, I lay awake in bed; assessing the day’s craziness. I often thinking about what I could do differently the next day, what I would do better, and all around thinking of all those “good intentions” that I have for my children {most of which do not come to fruition}.

This winter has been a bit of a challenge. It’s really our first winter with mobile triplets, plus a 4 year old. It’s the first winter in which our house has felt too small {the kids pretty much spend their time in our living room}. It’s the first winter when we really could have gone outside, but didn’t because it’s been consistently too cold {YAY! For a REAL winter!}

Yesterday I kind of lost it, I may have gone off the deep end, I may just have thrown all sensibility out the window. I searched pinterest for some fun inside activities, and realized that most of them required forethought and planning. Then I figured what the hell and threw my arms in the air. I pulled out the blocks; I pulled out the play dough; I pulled out every single one of those things that make way too much of a mess.

And, I let this happen….


And this…..

Cabin Crazy: The Goodness of Messes |

And yes, even this…..{I will forewarn you to  turn off the sound, so you don’t have to hear my blaring voice}.

And you know drove me a bit batty: Wait, I’m not going to lie, it actually drove me more than a bit. All of those things on the table and floor, the play dough that was ground into the cracks in the wood floor and the rug, all of it everywhere, made me want to pull my hair out. Because I know there is no point in cleaning it with little ones still up and about, and that as soon as they wake up from their naps, it’s going to happen all over again; which means mommy and daddy get to clean it up on their time.

Cabin Crazy: The Goodness of Messes | LifeintheWhiteHouse.comYou see this is one of those things of mommy-hood that I really don’t like: The mess. You know what I did like though…watching their creativity, watching the fun they had being in an off-limits room, watching how they actually behaved pretty well, despite my sewing machine and china cabinet being mere inches away.

But it is also one of the things that we need to do, allow the mess and the creativity. Allow them the opportunity to discover and learn who they are. Even if it does mean an hour spent with a steak knife cleaning play dough off the floor {and I truly say that with a smile on my face}.

Monday, January 13

What’s Going on in The White House

I keep waiting for this ride to slow down so that I can get off for a bit and recuperate, but that doesn’t seem to be happening. So much has been going on around here in the past month or so! And none of it is little stuff, it all seems to be life changing, HUGE things.

On Thanksgiving my sister announced that she was pregnant and due the end of March {with a little boy}! We’re all excited for the new addition this year, which will be one of MANY in 2014. We have no less than 6 or 7 babies being born this year, and we’re only into August due dates!DSC_0303

Just after Matt’s birthday we lost his grandmother; which was a hard, HARD blow for all of us. His grandfather had passed away in January 2013 {1 year ago today} and 11 months later his grandma was gone. I am so glad that I get to spend some time with her {sans kids} before she passed away. 

Matt and I started dating almost 14 years ago, and within a few months of that both my Oma and my Opa passed away. It was really hard on all of my family when that happened {my Oma was only 69 and my Opa was 77}; I missed my Oma and Opa so very, very much.

But God gave me another set of grandparents during that time, Matt's, Grammy and Poppo. Not a replacement or a substitute, but someone to love me and give me the hugs and love that only grandmas {and grandpas} can. They both have been an incredible blessing in my life and we owe so much to them.

When my Oma died it was really rather sudden, and there were things that I wanted to say to her that I just didn’t. I was 17, I didn’t know the importance of saying those things, or that it wasn’t “cheesy” to do that. With Grammy I don’t have that regret; I was able to thank her for being my Grammy too, because she every way that mattered.

Onto happier things…

We celebrated Christmas and had it very low key. It’s not easy when your family all lives within 10 minutes of each other and you feel like you have to see everyone. We decided to spend Christmas Eve with my family and go to church with my parents; which was wondering, since we were able to do Santa Claus with the kids. Henry DID NOT LIKE IT AT ALL!

Christmas collage

Then we spent Christmas Day morning home and just enjoying some quiet time together. In the afternoon we headed up to Matt’s parents and did Christmas with them. It was actually one of the nicest Christmases we’ve had, because we weren’t running. I’m thinking this is going to become our tradition. PicMonkey Collage2

Not soon after Christmas Matt’s sister’s water broke. {I don’t even remember if I ever even mentioned that she was pregnant?!} On the 27th our niece, R, was born, 5.5 weeks early. My sister in law had the same due date as I did with the triplets {February 2nd}, so we now have LOTS of Christmas birthdays! She’s home from the NICU now and doing well. We were able to meet her last week.

New Years’ was incredibly eventful. Matt was in bed at 7:15pm, it was a regular work week and day for him. I went to bed before 11pm. I just did not see the point in staying up, alone, to ring in the new year. We don’t even have TV that I could have watched the ball drop.

Ave has been very busy with numerous science experiments {and awesome Christmas gift that she received. She’s been very interested lately in learning how things work. I can see the big girl lurking just under the surface sometimes of the little girl in front of me. Things that I think won’t have much affect on her, seem to devastate her {a broken toy} and things that I think area going to be a big deal, aren’t. It’s crazy. She and I went to her first movie a few weeks ago…she thought that was pretty neat, but decided that she’d rather stay home and watch movies.

Ave collage

The week after New Years that triplets had an Early Intervention Assessment. We’ve noticed that they’ve been, what I consider, very delayed in speech. Avelyn was talking up a understandable storm by 20 months old, and these guys have less than 20 words each.

The EIA was great. The people who did the assessment, we’re really helpful and told us that the kids are doing great, being either AT LEVEL or ABOVE for their actual ages. The big thing is the speech: Both boys qualified for help. James is having a hearing test in the next couple of weeks, and then we’ll setup an appointment to come up with a plan for them.

It feels good to know that we’re doing something. And we’re also working more with sign language, which we’ve always done, but stopped because we felt that was perhaps hindering their speaking. It was good that we did stop because we then noticed their speech. The EI people did tell us that there is no harm in continuing to sign, so we’re back at that and learning new words.thumann

I don’t know if I ever mentioned it, but I’m working on the route with my dad twice a month {have been since October}, making deliveries and driving the truck. It’s great to get out of the house a bit, and bring in a little extra money, and my MIL watches the kids on those days. But sometimes it is hard losing that day at home. I’m usually up and gone before 6am, and depending on the weather and how many deliveries get home anywhere from 4pm to 9pm {most of the time it’s closer to 9pm}.

Progress is moving forward with our home renovations. Matt and I have been deep in discussions the past few weekends tweaking our construction plans and deciding where we can cut a few expenses and what things we’re not at all willing to give up. The more and more we work on these plans the more excited I’m getting about all of it. I keep having to remind myself that there is a REALLY, REALLY, REALLY long road ahead.

I think that’s the majority of what’s been going on. We’ve certainly managed to keep our plates full lately!

How are you doing? What’s new in your life?

Ps. sorry for all the crappy iPod pictures. Very often that’s what I have at hand to take a picture.

Sunday, December 22


Pardon me, while I go and have my cry….


Two years old….2 YEARS OLD! They’ve grown a bit since they were born {you can find all of their growing up posts here}. Hard to believe that it’s been 2 years already…I’m not sure where that time has gone. They’re now the age Avelyn was when they were born.

Two years doesn’t sound much, but then you think about how these little ones went from weighing less than 5lbs {and a touch over for James} to being solid, BIG kids, it’s incredible.

*Weighing in at 32.8 lbs {born at 4lbs 13.5ounces}, measuring 2’11” tall
*Started saying “Hola” today, after playing with a new toy.
*Calles Elanor, Ewanohr, and Jamie is ‘Ames or Mamie. If you ask him his name it’s ME!
*Loves having a fit to get your attention only to look at you and go “Hi Mommy”.
*When you tell him, “make a face”…he makes the most hysterical looks.
*Making a few sentences: “I do!” being the main one.









*Weighing in at 32.8lbs {born at 5lbs 3ounces}, measuring 3’ 2” tall
*Still waiting on that ONE tooth to poke through!
*No new words, but boy does he babble lots of sentences!
*Has yet to scale the Christmas tree, but not for lack of trying ;-)
*Makes an angry face that melts into the biggest warmest smile ever.











*Weighing in at 25lbs {born at 4lbs 9.5 ounces}, and measuring 2’ 9.5” tall
*She is a ham…H-A-M! As you can tell from this picture: More and more I see Mini-Me.
*Starting to string a few words together, has a few sentences in her repertoire.
*Loves making animal sounds.












The kids are all doing well: We do have an appointment with Early Intervention to have the kids hearing and speech checked, since they are delayed, and Jamie especially so. Avelyn was speaking TONS by 20 months, so we really noticed it. It’s very hard sometimes to understand anything but a few words. Henry and Ellie you can kind of figure it out, but you can really see frustration on Jamie’s part.

I’m more concerned about Jamie and his hearing than the other two. My mother in law had pointed out to me that he speaks like a deaf person does, very mono-tone, with no variations, which is exactly it! I couldn’t put my finger on what it was precisely but that’s it. I don’t think he’s deaf, but from talking with a few people {our pedi included} it could be just a few decibels that he’s off, which would result in his speech being lacking. More to come on that.

No major birthday party pictures to share: We’ve decide to hold off on birthday parties and try doing half-birthday parties. We just did cupcakes in the afternoon with Matt’s parents {since they were the only healthy people available…we’ve been fighting stomach bugs since last Thursday…and still going…}DSC_0481

Line’em up!
{I will admit to bribing once again: This time it was pretzels.}

The birthday babies on the way to church for their First Christmas Pageant!

pageant collage

Even Mommy and Daddy got in the pageant {I strategically cropped myself out of this picture}. And before you drive yourselves crazy, yes that is the same picture of Jamie. I have no idea why I have no other pictures of him.