Sunday, March 29, 2009

Grandma Joan's 70th Birthday gathering



Happy early 70th birthday Grandma Joan! We all love you very much!

Today we visited Grandma Joan and Grandpa Bill to celebrate Grandma Joan's 70th birthday. The Badali's, Goode's and Murray's were also there as well as Aunt Judy, Uncle Len and Aunt Rita. Aunt Rita was SO excited to finally meet Holly, Liam and Megan.

Aunt Rita (89 years & 4 months old) and Megan (3.5 months old) The oldest and youngest members of my family!

We all had Phil's Pizza for dinner, and cake afterwards.  Tina made a nice birthday cake that didn't survive the car ride to Burbank in one piece, but it was still delicious nonetheless. 

The visit was quite chaotic, with the 5 girls (Kaitlyn, Bridget, Allison, Morgan and Ann) all running around after Matt and/or screaming for no good reason, so at times the adults had to be inches away from each other in order to carry on a conversation. Highlights include: Morgan kicking Megan's head like a soccer ball, Kaitlyn crying in the corner because I made her get out of Grandma's birthday seat, Bridget visiting the naughty corner twice, Morgan smashing her head and not flinching, and Bridget pouting because Aunt Sandy called Kaitlyn "beautiful". Makes me wonder if things will be much different when these girls are about 13 years old!?!

Auntie Sandy brought her camera and backdrop to take photos of the kids, and I'll put them up on My Mobile Me when I get a chance. 

Shawn snuck out to Target because they had the video camera he wanted to buy on sale, plus they were offering a $20 gift card with purchase, AND they ran a $10 off coupon in their flyer! So I think we saved $60 on the video camera. The few videos that we have of the babies have been taken on my camera, and the quality stinks, so I'm really excited to have an updated video camera now. I can't wait to capture HLM's first taste of cereal soon, and of course, we'll be taking it with to Disney. 

Everyone was asking if we're getting the babies baptized, and the answer to that is "yes". Shawn and I just don't know when to have it. I'd prefer to have the baptism before I go back to work in the fall. We're also trying to figure out if we'll be hosting the "after-party" at our house or someplace else. Once we know the details, we'll pass along that information. We're fairly certain that the ceremony will be at St. Mary's in Plainfield (same church as Bridget's baptism) though Tina/Sandy were throwing out some interesting ideas about having a reverend friend do the baptism. So we'll see. We'll keep you all up-to-date as the details are finalized. 

A lightbulb went off in my head: Kaitlyn, Bridget, Allison, Morgan and Ann will now be referred to as KA-BAM. Seems to be a perfect anagram for the quintet!

As I was sitting at my Mom's dining room table with so many preschoolers & toddlers screaming and running circles around the house, it reminded me of the intro to Jon & Kate Plus 8..."It may be a crazy life...but it's OUR life."

Saturday, March 28, 2009

89 and still fine!




Happy early birthday Great Grandpa Patrick! We all love you very much! 

The past two days I've been under the weather. I woke up Friday with a sore throat and felt achy all over. Very light-headed. I also felt more tired than ever, well, the last time I felt this tired was when I was pregnant with the triplets. Fortunately, Shawn watched the brood while I took a 4 hour nap. When I finally woke up, I felt like I could go right back to sleep. Ugh! I hate being sick! 

When I woke up today, I fed Liam and Holly and fell asleep on the couch with the girls sleeping in the swings and Liam in the bouncer watching the On Demand baby Einstein-like program. He was cooing away whenever a baby appeared on the screen. I would have enjoyed watching him watching the tv, but I fell asleep pretty quickly. Next thing I knew, Bridget was waking me up, so I put on PBS and let her watch cartoons until Shawn woke up. 

I've been experimenting with pancakes lately, since it's Bridget's favorite breakfast food. Here's what I've learned. We like Bisquick better than Aunt Jemima pancake batter and we like Eggo Lite syrup the best. Shawn hates chocolate chip pancakes, well, Shawn prefers plain pancakes (boring!). When reheating fresh strawberry pancakes, the strawberries don't hold up well, but bananas do. I can't speak for blueberries because we ate 'em all, and didn't have left-overs.  I like the strawberry-banana-chocolate chip pancake creation. Bridget LOVED the blueberry pancakes. On our skillet, the pancakes come out better when I don't use cooking spray, which I thought was weird.

Anyway! The whole family went to Aunt Julie's house to celebrate Great Grandpa Patrick's 89th birthday. Grandpa looked great and it was good to see him! Of course, Bridget had fun playing with everyone, especially Patrick and Grace. In fact, Bridget, Patrick and Grace took over Grandpa's house and were calling it their own. Bridget enjoyed watching tv with them and must have watched 2 hours of tv. She had a mini meltdown when we had to leave, because she wanted to watch more tv. Can you tell we don't let her watch much television!?!? 

It was also nice to meet Grandpa's grand-nephew Nick. Hopefully Shawn will send some of his Cubs tickets Nick's way. ;-)

Holly, Liam and Megan did well on yet another outing. Of course, they loved the attention, and were held by someone the entire time. They don't get much of that at home, which breaks my heart. It wasn't until recently (maybe last week) that one of the babies fell asleep in my arms. Isn't that sad? With multiples, you're usually only holding one while you're feeding him/her. Then you have to put him/her down and feed the next crying baby. Either that, or you have twelve million other things that need to be done: laundry, bottle cleaning, diapering, etc. But they did fine at the party, and everyone who wanted to, was able to hold a baby. Before the night was over, all three fell asleep in their car seats. 

Overall, it was a great day! Hopefully I can shake this cold quickly. 

I'm going to try to post photos from today at My Mobile Me Gallery. I'm still having a hard time with iPhoto and my card reader. Something's messed up and it takes me several attempts to get iPhoto to recognize the new photos. So keep checking, eventually I'll get them up there!

We're probably going to The Bank tomorrow to visit my parents. 

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Developing Nicely




Well, let's talk Bridget first. Bridget, Bridget, Bridget! "They" say that three is so much worse than two, and I'm thinking "they're" right. Bridget has quite an attitude. Whenever Shawn and I ask her to do something, she either says, "No", "I don't wanna," or "but". We're tired of hearing it! I mean, she'll be doing the potty dance, obviously needing to use the bathroom, and I'll ask her to go potty, and she'll say, "No, I don't have to go potty!" and work herself up into a tantrum. When she peed in the living room all over her Lego plate and lap desk, I had enough.

So I went to the Supernanny website and downloaded a reward chart. It's really cute with a pirate theme. (There were 3 themes available for download.) I got it laminated, added some velcro dots so that the Pirate could make it to his ship, and Shawn and I explained the chart to Bridget. Every time she does what we ask her to do without arguing or throwing a tantrum, the pirate moves up one space. After 10 moves, she gets a reward. We get to choose the reward. It could be a treat, tv time, a story (right away, b/c she's always having to wait for us to finish up with the babies before we can read to her), arts & crafts time, etc. She has been doing great! No tantrums since starting the chart.

Next, Shawn and I were tired of battling with her in the morning with every little thing, so I also made the "Morning and Night Routines" chart. Pretty simple. Just 6 things that have to be done when she wakes up and 6 things to do before bed. Each time she finishes a task, she puts a card on the chart. Finishing morning tasks earns her 30 minutes of tv time, and finishing night routines earns her an extra bedtime story. She especially loves the extra story! Since instituting the charts, we've had tantrum-free mornings and evenings! So Yeay Bridget!

On to the threesome.

Holly Dolly is such a skinny Minnie. She is eating well, she spits up the least and she hates the baby Zantac the most. Her eyes are an amazing shade of blue, and they are so big and round. When she smiles, she has this little half-smile toothless grin that melts your heart! If you put her under one of those activity gyms, she'll bat her hands at the toys, and even kick her feet at the toys. She'll probably be the first to roll over from her front to back. She's almost there. She has the momentum and the strength. She just needs to get her arm up over her head. When she is laying in your arms, she'll actually do a sit-up and let you know, "hey! I want to sit up and see the world!"

Mr. Liam is our solid boy. His head is SO much bigger than his sisters'. He eats the most and fusses the least. It doesn't take much to make him smile. He too has a precious smile that will melt your heart. He's starting to play with toys. He likes to watch tv. (oh no!) I played a Baby Einstein DVD for him awhile ago, and he followed the shapes and figures and smiled and cooed. When he gets sad, he makes the saddest face with his bottom lip sticking out. He loves being held by anyone who will hold him. I haven't seen Liam trying to roll over yet.

Little Miss Megan is such a little chubs. She's got enough leg rolls to go around. She has been having the most trouble with reflux, some days soaking through several outfits. She'll spit up right after feeding all the way until the next feeding. We tried switching her to soy formula and that helped a bit. I've been pretty much nursing only her for the past 4 days and that seems to help her tummy the most. She can't hold her head as still as Liam and Holly, but she's got great arm strength. She can push herself up when on her tummy. She too is trying to roll over but hasn't gotten as far as Holly. Her eyes are a deep blue now and I think they'll end up turning brown. Her eyelashes have grown in and darkened up and luckily she got her daddy's long lashes. It wouldn't be an update on Megan if I didn't mention her incredibly loud, obnoxious and annoying cry. I can definitely do without that!

As for Shawn and I. I think Shawn is getting cabin fever. He'll get out to meet his friend for lunch, and he bowls once a week and he's good for miscellaneous errands, but most of the time he's stuck inside. I'm getting out as much as I can, and I really try to get out of the house after dinner for the sake of my sanity. When I do go out, I'm usually in the car, enjoying the silence- no radio on! Even if its a quick jaunt out to pick up a few items at the store, being away for even 20-30 minutes does wonders for my soul.

I've also joined a MOM group (mothers of multiples). I've only been to one meeting, but I think I'll enjoy it. The gals recommended a quad stroller to me, and I think that's going to be the stroller we end up with. One lady said that a triple stroller is just too long, too bulky to fit in your minivan and even if Bridget won't sit in the fourth seat, we'll use the fourth seat for the diaper bag and/or other baby stuff. Once we get the stroller it's off to the zoo for me! I can't wait! Now if only spring would get here!

I was hoping to post some new photos but my SD card is flaking out. I tried to import 538 photos today and iPhoto tells me there were errors in 538 files! I really hope I didn't lose all those photos. I'm waiting for the camera batteries to recharge, then I'll try to import the photos again, and hopefully all will go well...if you see photos at the top of this post, then I will have figured it out. Wish me luck!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Sunny Days




Wow! Such nice weather the past couple of days! We've been loving it. Bridget has gotten to go out and play. What's even nicer is that the babies are falling into a more predictable schedule, so I'm able to go out and play with Bridget while the babies are taking a nap. 

Yesterday, Anna helped me take the triplets to Sears for their 3 month photos. I've posted them to my Facebook page, but haven't posted them to My Mobile Me Gallery yet. Will do that soon! 

Shawn & Bridget drew on the driveway with chalk. Bridget is such an artist now. She really likes drawing people. And you can recognize features now. She'll draw eyes, ears, nose, mouth, cheeks (on the side of the head under the ears), hair, and arms and legs (sticking out from the head). They are very cute drawings. 

After dinner, Bridget and I walked to the trail to see the ducks. Only when we got there, no ducks could be found. We did see a few geese. So that was good enough for her. 

Today Bridget and I went out to play twice during H-L-M's naps. We swung in the hammock, colored with chalk, rode the tricycle, and had running races up and down the driveway. The little stinker is getting fast! It was lots of fun, and I think I actually got a little tan while out there!

Grandpa John stopped by for a visit today. I think he had fun reading to Bridget and playing cars and kitchen with her too.

Shawn broke out the grill for the first time this season. He cooked us up some yummy burgers for dinner. 

I also found out that one of my former students, Brett is making national news as one of "the compliment guys." He appeared on Good Morning America. He's wearing black. Here's a link: The Compliment Guys As a side note, I remember Brett as a truly nice guy and a good student. He wrote a letter of recommendation for me when I was nominated for a Golden Apple award a couple years ago. 

Ok, Bridget and I are off to our weekly Tuesday night Story Time at the Library. Until next time, America!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Twelve weeks old!

  

Our little babies are twelve weeks old and double their birth weights! Can you believe it? Where has all the time gone? Beats me! I haven't slept for most of those twelve weeks, it's a miracle I can still count to twelve! 

The past two nights the babies have given us the gift of sleep. We've been putting them down for bed at 8 pm, and the past two nights ALL THREE have slept till at least 4 am. That's huge for us! Megan is beginning to spit up a lot again, so we may have to call the doctor and see if we need to increase the dose of Zantac. We're giving it a day or two b/c she has spit up the past two doses of her medicine. 

A new neighbor has moved in across the street from us.  They have a little boy who is almost four---perfect for Bridget to play with. They also have an almost 1 year old daughter, an eventual play mate for the triplets.

By the way, I hate calling them "the triplets." Before they were born, I told myself that I wouldn't call them the triplets b/c I want them to be individuals, not one entity. But I'm finding it much easier to give in to "the triplets". It's just so much easier, especially since I do most of my blogging one-handed now (baby in other hand). So any thoughts or suggestions are welcome. Leave a comment.

Anyway, the new neighbor mom and I agreed that we'd probably be seeing a lot of each other this summer. She even volunteered to "give me a break from all those kids" every once in awhile. I'm all for that!!! Yeay new neighbor!

Bridget seems to be doing well sans Chesterbrook Academy. Last week she was asking Shawn and I lots of questions about bones, so when we went to the library for story time, I found a few books on bones. I'm going to try to theme her weeks like they did at school.  Today is library dy, so I'm going with  the whole St. Patrick's Day theme...if there's still any books left on the topic.  With the babies falling into a more regular schedule, I try to spend as much one-on-one time with Bridget as possible. Shawn or I always eat lunch with her, even if that means I'm feeding a baby at the table. I try to do one creative project with her per day. Sometimes it's painting, sometimes it's just coloring. Many of you have gotten these projects from Bridget. Almost always before she starts a project she decides who she's making the project for. It may be weeks until she sees that person, but she always remembers who gets what project. 

Lately, she's been interested in reading. This is where I wish I had to take an elementary reading class, because I have NO idea how to begin teaching her how to read! She knows her upper and most of her lower case letters. I've been trying the phonics route: having her sound out each letter, but she has a hard time blending the letters together to sound out the word. So I'm thinking I may make some flash cards of one, two and three letter words. Isn't that the whole language route? We'll see...I know she has lots of time to learn to read! 

She's also been practicing writing her name. That's all she really wants to write, and her letters have come a long way. Perhaps in a few more weeks, the average person will be able to decipher her name.

First line: BRIDE
Second line: GT and a picture of Mommy!

Since I have all this time home with Bridget (without working) I've been trying to tame her attitude. We're focusing on "advanced" manners such as not interrupting others when they are talking, and not talking to someone when they're on the phone, etc. She's always been really good with her "please" and "thank yous".  We're also trying to get her to stop all the whining and screaming. We've made progress on the screaming, and I'm not expecting to completely eliminate all the whining, but it's getting better. 

Shawn and I are trying to figure out a schedule for H-L-M. The only thing I absolutely need scheduled is getting all four of my babies down for naps. B will stay quiet in her room for 1-2 hours, even without sleeping. Now we just have to get H-L-M to coordinate their sleepy times! That would give me an hour or two to rest and/or get things done!

I think that will do it for the update! 

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Friday & Saturday Outings

  

Wasn't Friday just a lovely day?! We were fortunate to have Aunt Mary over to help with the triplets. I had to get my allergy shots early in the morning, and when I came home, Mary was outside playing with Bridget and the triplets were down for a nap in their cribs! Amazing! I had a few minutes to decompress, shower, and straighten up a bit. 

When the triplets woke up from their nap, we fed them and all headed out to play in the gorgeous weather. Aunt Mary treated us to a picnic lunch from McDonalds. We ate outside at our local park. Bridget loved the picnic! She especially loved playing in the park when we finished eating. This was the first time the triplets were out in the fresh air. Of course, they pretty much slept the entire time. 

After the park, we took a short stroll down the bike path. Bridget looked for birds and sticks. It was so nice outside, none of us wanted to go back home, but we had to before the babies timer expired. 

Saturday was rather gloomy outside, but Shawn wanted to go to Sonic for breakfast. So we packed everyone into the minivan and ate breakfast at the drive-in. Bridget thinks it's so cool to eat in the car. She ate on the floor in front of her seat. She said that her french toast sticks were "huge" and "very good".


After Sonic, we decided to try to handle Target with the triplets. It was raining, but we managed to get everyone inside without getting too wet. We ended up putting Liam on a shopping cart (in his car seat) and had the girls in the double stroller. They were starting to get hungry again, so we did some very quick shopping. One of the employees came up to us and asked to look at the babies. She happened to be in charge of a Mothers of Multiples group in the Joliet area. It's a very small group, having only started up about a year ago. (www.swsmom.com) She gave me some info on MOM groups, and now I'm thinking of checking out this local group later this month at their monthly meeting. 

The rest of the rainy day, Bridget plopped herself in front of the tv. We don't usually let her watch more than an hour of tv a day (if that!) but I wanted to get some stuff done around the house and the tv kept her entertained. I'm guessing she watched at least 4 hours of tv today! That's a record for her. I ended up organizing my cabinet in the basement and getting some laundry done. Doesn't sound like much, but add in feeding the babies and doing arts & crafts with Bridget and the next thing you know it's 8 pm. I'm liking 8 pm these days. That has become triplet bedtime. Liam seems to be fairly consistent at sleeping from 8 pm till 4 am. The girls are more unpredictable. Tonight they both woke up between 9 and 10 pm wanting to be fed. It's after 1 am (and I don't know WHY I'm still up, I guess I'm just used to not sleeping) and everyone is still asleep. I take that last comment back. I know why I'm up. This is the only time the house is quiet enough to think and relax. Who needs sleep anyway!?!

I'll try to remember to post some photos later. 

Thursday, March 5, 2009

More Smiles and Quiet Times





Today was a fabulous day in the Morris house. First of all, I stood in line at 7 am to register Bridget for the school district preschool...a tuition based preschool for 3-5 year olds. Supposedly, it's really hard to get a spot at the school. I was 5th in line. When open enrollment began, the secretaries just carted everyone into the multi-purpose room and collected paperwork. I guess they must be hurting for students this year (the economy?) because everyone from the line was guaranteed a spot for the next school year. YEAY! So next year, Bridget will be attending Bonnie McBeth Learning Center four days a week for 2.75 hours a day. I'm really excited about this, it will be a great opportunity for Bridget. 

After that, neighbor Jeannie came over to help out with things. She's great! She played with Bridget, helped feed the babies, was spit up on, tried to insist that I rest (but I didn't listen!), and even finger painted with Bridget. She was very helpful to me today, and I have been really missing all of my regular helpers with Aunt Barb recovering from hip surgery and Dad recovering from lung cancer. We all wish Auntie Barb and Grandpa Bill a speedy recovery. Relax and get well, we'll all be fine here!

It seemed that the day flew by with Jeannie's help and next thing I knew Shawn was off to bowling and Joann was arriving to help. Meanwhile, Bridget had taken a 2.5 hour nap, and Jeannie promised to take her outside when she woke up, so they were in the yard playing. Somewhere in the neighborhood of 6:30 B and I finally had dinner. Joann held down the triplet fort while we ate our chicken and rice casserole.

Liam was playing up for Bridget and I. He was smiling away! I swear when I said, "Hi" he said "hi" back! It was very cute! Holly and Megan also were giving away smiles today. What a nice change from all the screams, cries, and spit-ups we've been overloaded with!

The best part of today came around 7:45 pm. Joann, Matt and Allison had gone back home, the babies were asleep in the living room, and B and I stole a few moments to read this pretty cool library book. It was a book about your skeleton because she was asking me about bones this week. Well, this book explained about your skeleton and bones in a pretty simple manner, but the pictures were over-layed with glow in the dark bones. So the picture of the girl's arm would glow with her arm bones. Anyway, B and I were in the dark with a flashlight, reading the book. Then I'd turn off the flashlight and the bones would light up. It was the coolest thing! I miss my  time with B. We don't get nearly enough of it anymore!

At 8 pm I put the babies down to bed and B and I started her bedtime ritual. By 8:45 everyone was asleep, and I actually allowed myself to sit down, relax and do nothing. Well, I guess I'm doing something...updating the blog! It's been nice listening to the sound of silence. (Is that Baby Tad I hear singing in the distance?) I don't want to jinx it, but I've had almost 2 hours to myself, "ah, Calgon take me away!"

video

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Key Lime Cove

Bridget, Grandma Kathie, Auntie Anna and I went to Key Lime Cove on Friday and Saturday. It was a lot of fun! Friday we began our adventure at Max & Erma's for lunch. Next up: Gurnee Mills. Bridget was exhausted at this point, and actually laid down in the stroller. I found these matching sweatshirts from The Children's Place for H-L-M. They were green, blue and pink...their colors. I had been searching for these for awhile, but none of the stores had the right sizes. Finally, I got them! They are going to look cute! We did a little more shopping, then headed to Key Lime Cove at 4 pm to check into our room. 

Our first stop was at the arts and crafts room. Bridget played with a felt board and colored a picture. After checking out what else the resort had to offer, we changed into our suits and headed to the water park. I thought the water park would have been bigger after seeing the commercials on television. Anyway, Bridget had lots of fun splashing in the kiddie pool and sliding down the slides. We took a lap around the lazy river and got beat up by the wave pool but had lots of fun watching Bridget play. She was brave enough to try to put her face under water. She even tried to swim on her own. I guess it's time to get her back into swim lessons!

Our stomachs put an early end to the water park. We headed back to our room and ordered Chili's To Go. While I was picking up our order, Grandma and Bridget went to story time. I'm sure Bridget had a blast. Grandma said the girl reading the books said she'd read two stories, but all the kids got up to leave after the first story. Except for Bridget. She sat waiting for another story. She certainly loves to read (just like her mom and dad)!

Bridget was still exhausted and ate most of her dinner on the bed. But a bit of food in her belly gave her her second wind. Anna and I were going to get some ice cream after dinner, and Bridget insisted on coming for a walk with us. It was 9 pm by now, and her usual bedtime is 8 pm. 

Anna and I got some ice cream and watched Bridget dance to the music provided by a DJ. He had bubbles, so Bridget would pop bubbles and dance. At one point the DJ threw out little toys, and none of the kids picked them up. Bridget brought a few back to me saying, "Look what I found on the floor, Mommy!" I said, "What else can you find?" and wouldn't you know, she picked up every last toy on the ground. I made her put all but a couple back, and then some of the other children picked up the toys. 

We also stuffed a special animal for Holly. At first I was going to get her a flamingo because Holly is long and lean like a flamingo. But this hippo kept calling out to me. Later that night, Grandma Kathie pointed out that the hippo had folded over ears just like Holly. So the hippo turned out to be very fitting of Holly. 

After that, it was lights out. Bridget fell asleep pretty quickly, and the three of us weren't far behind her. 

Saturday morning we had breakfast at the resort. We did some shopping there. Grandma bought Bridget a special animal. Bridget chose the flamingo I was considering for Holly. I also had animals stuffed for Liam and Megan. Liam got a dinosaur and Megan got a toucan. The animals were all so cute that it was hard to decide. Anna and I thought that the dinosaur was perfect for Liam. I wanted to get something with an annoying cry for Megan, because her cry is so annoying. Anna suggested a duck, but the ducks weren't as soft and cute as the other animals. Grandma said that birds squawked like Megan, so that's how I decided on the toucan. Bridget liked watching the girl stuff the animals. 

Bridget wanted to go back to the arts and crafts room to color more pictures. I also read three stories to her, then we had to get going. We checked out of the hotel, and went to Kohl's Super Saturday sale. Grandma and Anna found a few things, and I found matching Christmas dresses for the little girls two years from now. They were REALLY cute, and originally cost $44 each. I got them for $8.04 after tax. That's $8.04 for both dresses! Hopefully I'll remember in December 2010 that I have these dresses!

Then we headed home. Bridget didn't fall asleep until we dropped Anna and Grandma off at their house. I think she ended up sleeping for 3 hours! She sure did have a blast though. It was fun. Oh yah, and I got 8 hours of sleep...first time in over 2 months that I got more than 5 hours of sleep. 

I posted photos of our trip on My Mobile Me gallery. I also had to pull some of the older photos down because I was running out of space.