I promised myself that we wouldn't stop living because we happen to have infant triplets. I won't rob time from William's toddlerhood due to the demands of the babies. On the other hand, I won't short-change the babies because there are three. Our situation is unique, and really hard all of the time, but I hate to change the way I want to parent simply because "it's just too hard" with three babies and a toddler. To merely pretend that we're unchanged is obviously unrealistic too, but at least I won't strike out looking. My goal is to do everything I would do with one child and for one child....even though there are four. I may not always succeed, but it's what I strive for...all....day....long.
So, with that in mind, we've packed a lot into fall this year. William is at a great age...I think two-and-a-half is a hoot. He finds everything exciting, and I'd be totally lying if I said I didn't love re-living basically everything through his experience. We were all feeling pretty sad post-funeral, so we brightened our spirits with an afternoon picnic at Devil's Lake for my dad's birthday and a trip to the pumpkin patch. Every year I am blown away with the beauty of fall. When I tell people where we're moving, I get a lot of "Ooooh, we love it up there," or "You're so lucky...that area is gorgeous." I couldn't agree more.
|Our favorite pumpkin patch on Highway A|
|Our little pumpkins from left: Charlie, Ben, Ike|
Upon our return, we had one day to get the house spotless for an open house. We'd been running like crazy with the funeral, but if there was a good time for an open house, this was it. The forecast was perfect and the Bears had a bye. If anyone in Illinois was looking for a house, Sunday would be the day. It was a pretty frantic 24 hours. The house was a disaster, the kids were hysterical, and we were run ragged. I definitely could have joined in the bawling at this point, but decided to grab the video camera instead. Check out the laundry everywhere, the mess, the noise...I could probably meet criteria to be committed most days! Please view the video below at your own risk. Be sure to turn your volume all the way up. Even better, put earphones in if you have them...you'll get a little taste of the decibel level in our house!!!
Somehow the house was immaculate and we were out the door just as the realtor arrived. Unfortunately, after all that, the open house was a total bust. ReMax had three open houses that day, and ours was the only one with a guest. Yep...one lousy, noncommittal guest. I guess the upside is that I got my fall cleaning done.
We had a week's worth of beautiful fall days in Illinois afterward. With the house clean, I felt like we could really get out and enjoy.
|Oops...looks like the blower is aimed right at our toddler. Great parents.|
|Charlie, Ike, Ben|
|Ikey and Benny...brother love|
Jason had some work to do up north, so we packed the van AGAIN and spent the whole next week in Wisconsin. We took the whole crew downtown for the homecoming parade on Friday, which was so fun. I can't tell if homecoming makes me feel young or old. And seriously, there's something about the football team riding by and the band playing the school song that gets me a little choked up every time. I don't know if it's the swelling small-town pride, or that I can still see other faces in those jerseys, but it's so familiar that it always gets me right down in the depths of my heart. Happy Homecoming...four new T-Birds coming soon!
|Boo and Ti|
|Never tell a kid to "say cheese"...we've been getting a lot of this face lately.|
This is what I LOVE about small towns...there's an event at the grocery store and EVERYONE shows up. Pierce's hosted a "Something Special from Wisconsin" open house and it was a blast! I think I've mentioned before that our triplet stroller is a blessing and a curse. Without it, we couldn't go anywhere. But with it, we're a non-stop, traffic-stopping, attention-grabbing, sideshow. It annoyed me in the beginning...being so obvious in public. This sounds terrible, but I'd deliberately wear sunglasses to avoid eye contact or deter people from stopping us and asking normal questions. I was really self-conscious about the triplets, like people were looking at me like the octomom or something. You cannot and will not go unnoticed with the baby limo, and I just wasn't prepared for that. Fortunately, I'm not so nasty anymore. I've gotten A LOT more laid back and can appreciate that (most) people mean well and are just interested! It's a compliment (most of the time)...and I've learned to take it that way. (So if you see us out, please come over! I promise I'm not avoiding you!) We navigated a very crowded Pierce's, and it was well worth it.
|Bucky was the highlight for William...their long-standing friendship goes "way" back to last July when Bucky showed up at Auntie and Uncle's wedding.|
|William with Pa and the Klements Sausage. William had just done his best Bob Uecker impression. He says "Get up! Get up! Get out of here!! GOOOOONE!!!!!!"|
|Ooh La La! William was mesmerized by Miss Wisconsin's beauty!|
|Charlie in front, Ben in middle, Ike in the caboose|
|More Wisconsin royalty...|
|Packers hat, Brewers t-shirt, and Badger sweatshirt....all topped off by his "Something Special from Wisconsin" sticker...it will be our little secret that he was actually born in the Flatland!|
|Best buds, obviously...|
|Did I mention I won a box of candy from the Baraboo Candy Company?!? Cow pies, Udder Fingers, and Moo Chews....WOOOO HOOOOO!!!!|
With our fall fun officially highlighted, I want to update on the boys' health and tell you about an awful incident Sunday night. I'll preface this story by saying that everything is okay now, but it was horrific.
I brought our sheets in from the clothesline Sunday evening and since the boys were playing nicely on the floor, (Charlie on his tummy, Ben and Ike on their backs) I asked Jason to help me put the sheets back on our bed. William followed us and was being a little naughty...climbing on top of the bed while we were trying to make it. When William wouldn't stay off the bed, I told Jason I'd finish if he could distract William in the living room. Seconds later, Jason came running into the bedroom yelling "SOMETHING'S WRONG WITH CHARLIE!!!!!!" He wasn't breathing. His lips were blackish and he was blue from his top lip down to his chin. I grabbed the baby and screamed to call 911. Charlie started making a really bad sound, kind of like a grunt or a groan, so I worried he was choking. The operator said I should stick my finger down his throat to see if I could feel anything. When I laid him back, he closed his eyes and went completely white. It gives me chills even as I type...I thought he was dying in my arms. I didn't feel anything in his throat and the ambulance arrived less than a minute later. Charlie seemed like he was starting to recover and was eventually smiling at the EMTs, but it was God-awful. He was examined in the ER (chest x-ray clear, moving air fine, saturation fine) and saw his doctor the next morning. He's been well since, but we really have no explanation for what happened. The doctor is concerned that it could have been a seizure, but feels we can hold off on seeing a neurologist for now. I don't believe he was without oxygen long enough to do any damage (he's exactly as he was before the incident), but it was terrible nonetheless. Besides THAT, Charlie is doing great. He's getting a lot stronger and had an awesome physical therapy session yesterday. He tipped the scale at 16 pounds 13 ounces this week, which puts him in the 75th percentile on the preemie growth chart, and the 25th percentile on the regular growth chart!!! Our chubby boy, who we lovingly call "Big Baby," (from Toy Story 3, if you've seen it) was even changed to regular formula! Developmentally, he's catching up....reaching for toys, rolling from tummy to back, sitting better (still assisted), and holding his own head.
Ben is doing very well too. He weighed 15 pounds even on Monday, which just barely breaks him into the regular growth chart for the very first time...the whopping 3rd percentile! He slept through PT yesterday, but is also showing great improvement in strength and range of motion. His head is finally rounding out a little, so we're moving in the right direction! Overall, Ben is healthy...he's conquering all the same developmental tasks as Charlie and has recently learned to be very, VERY loud. He's my shyest child, but willing to use his voice when he wants! I've mentioned a million times that Benny is also my gentlest, most tender-hearted boy. At their well-baby visit on Monday, he was absolutely heartbroken when the nurse gave his shots. It was the saddest thing...he had been SO happy, but once she pricked his legs, he fell to pieces. He took it really personally...it broke his little heart! He sobbed as though his feelings were crushed, and didn't stop until we were in the car. Poor boy, I guess he didn't know there was such cruelty in the world! We keep saying that he'll be our one who gets his feelings hurt by friends or comes home crying when the coach criticizes him.
Ike is doing great. I'm SO happy to report that his vision seems to be developing. He tracks toys and has started finding our faces, mostly when we're quite close to his face. He'll make eye contact and occasionally smile back...often enough that we're confident he sees us. It's hard to say how good/bad his vision will be, but we're just ECSTATIC to get a little reassurance that he sees something. His ROP has lessened to stage one, and we're only seeing the ophthalmologist bi-weekly now, which is nice. Ikey was a hefty 13 pounds 8 ounces, which finally brings him onto the PREEMIE chart! He's previously tracked even smaller than the preemie growth chart, but now he's in the 5th percentile for preemies his age....moving right up!!! Developmentally, he's just about where the other two are...grabbing for toys, clasping his hands, bringing everything midline and exploring with his mouth. He's strong, too...dominated in PT yesterday!
I think that brings everything up to speed! We've been celebrating Halloween this week, so costume pics coming soon! As you can see, we had "haircut" on today's to-do list, but the leaves were just too irresistible! Have a great holiday weekend!