Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Chickenpox - Take 2...

Yes, that's right.... we have our second case of chickenpox. Wesley is almost healed from his bout with chickenpox. I started to exhale a little bit thinking we were going to have one case... well..... I counted my "chickens" before they hatched (pun intended).

Andrew decided it was his turn to take a run at the pox! It started with a couple blisters that appeared on Sunday. On Monday, it was still just a couple blisters. I tried to convince myself that it was something else. I received a text from Daddy today... "Drew has the pox." The blisters had spread to his abdomen, back and face.

I will let it fully take over and then I will get some pox pics.

Dear Jared,

PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE... hurry up and show your pox!! I know you have this virus hiding inside of you and we need you to show your pox so that you have plenty of time to heal before your birthday. If you start showing today, we still have enough time to be done by April 12th. I love you little guy and I certainly do not want to wish this on you BUT.... you don't want to miss your party, time with family and a great cake all to yourself.... do you? I am begging.....

Love,

Mom

Take care,

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Andrew is Walking!

We have our second walker! I believe that Andrew has been physically able to walk for a while but his cautious nature has prevented him for taking off unassisted. He has started taking a step or two and today he actually started taking more steps without holding on... still cautious but I was able to count up to 17 steps (or shuffles) in a row. Below is a little bit I was able to get on video when Daddy got home today.

I don't mean to spoil your viewing experience but watch how cautious Andrew is with his slow and very deliberate steps. You can see our little Dare Devil, Wesley, come running (literally running) into the shot... big show-off! Also, watch Andrew turn back to Daddy in one clip as if to say... "OMG, did you let go?" He is a funny kid; we predict he will be the clown and comedian of the bunch! So, without further adieu... Andrew is walking...

video

Jared is not too far behind and I am sure within a couple weeks, he will have his moment in the spot light showing off his walking skills!

Way to go Drew!!

Take care,

Friday, March 27, 2009

It's Official, We Need Surgery!

During each of our check-ups since the boys were born, the doc has only been able to find 5 of 6 testicles among our trio of young men. We were told over and over to not worry because nothing is done until a year old because everything could fall into place.

With our first birthday quickly approaching, we had our visit to the Pediatric Urologist. The physical exam did not reveal the missing "pesky testie" and the decision was made to go in and take a look around.... yep, surgery!

The doctor said there are three possible scenarios, each of which require surgery. The scenarios are as follows:

1) No testicle was ever formed. This scenario is rare and probably not the case here. If this is the case, this can only be confirmed by taking a look around inside.

2) The testicle started to form but then stopped developing. This is the most likely scenario. If this is the case, they need to go inside and remove all of the remnants so these remaining cells do not become cancerous.

3) The testicle is hiding out in the belly and then need to assist it down to where it belongs. This is the case about 20-30% of the time.

If it is scenario 1 or 2, the will need to do some work on the one remaining testicle to help protect it from future damage. Because the doc can not determine which scenario has caused our missing testicle issue, we are unclear as to what will actually occur during the surgery. They will make the decisions as they progress.

During the surgery, they will enter through the belly button and look around. Based on what they find and what they need to do, he may come out with anywhere from one to three incisions. The surgery is an outpatient surgery that will be done in Jacksonville. He should be up and around the next day.

As I knew this was a possibility over the past 10 months, I was not surprised to hear that this was the course of action that was needed. I am currently prepared for this surgery but when the day comes and they come to take my tiny baby back for surgery.... they may need to bring me one of those "special" jackets and escort me to the padded room!

I am trying to look at the positives here. He will have no idea what is about to happen and will recover quickly. This is a planned surgery and not an emergency. He has a "back-up" that is all he really needs to be a healthy man.

I also asked the doctor if this has anything to do with the fact that he was frozen as an embryo, a triplet or born a month early. He said no to all of these things. There is identified cause for this but it is not any of the reasons I listed.

We do not know the exact date of the surgery. We should hear from the doctor's office soon to schedule the surgery. The doctor said they are usually scheduled a couple months out. So, we have a little time before our day arrives.

Take care,

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Their Little Developing Minds!

I frequently write about the boys physical development and reaching different physical milestones. Over the past week, the boys mental development has really started to take off!

My new favorite activity is sitting outside of their play area and just watching them. They are starting to play with toys as intended. They are rolling their trucks and trains like trucks and trains. They are stacking things. The boys also have the standard toy with the large to small rings that slide over the cone. The other day, Jared was trying over and over to put the ring on the cone. He would knock the cone over and stand it back up to try it again. I really enjoyed watching his persistence and watching the little wheels turning as he was figuring this out.

When we were in Texas, Grandma Peggy gave the boys a turtle (THANK YOU GRANDMA) that has a removable shell that has four openings that are different shapes. It has four different blocks that fit into the different shapes on the shell. The boys have learned that the blocks fit into these holes and they try over and over to put the blocks into the shell. They have actually succeeded on a a few occasions. Because the shell can be removed, if we are not holding the shell on the turtle, the boys actually enjoy dropping things directly into the base of the turtle. This is also fun to watch because they place anything and everything in there and are quite proud!

While we were on our trip, Ms. Heather gave the boys a ball popper toy that is powered by air to pop up the balls (THANK YOU MS. HEATHER). All of the boys love this toy but Jared, by far, enjoys learning and understanding this mysterious piece of machinery! He has learned that the balls are spit out of the top and the red knob is the key to making the balls pop. I have some video of the boys playing with the ball popper. In the video, you will see Jared turn the popper on and once all the balls are gone, watch how he responds with insistence that the red knob should give more balls. He then realizes he needs to get one of the balls on the floor. Watch what he does with the ball and the red knob. A couple other things to watch for are how the boys try to put anything into the top - mittens or the blocks from the turtle toy. Also, watch Wesley try to go directly to the balls in the base. I really enjoy watching them figure things out. Well, enough of my explanation, here is the video. And please ignore the voice of the obsessive mother giving frequent direction...

video

Now that the boys have learned the joy of putting things in the ball popper and putting things into the turtle, they are starting to put things in many different places. I have previously posted that the boys are putting their toys behind the barriers to their play area. We have a play yard fence in front of our fireplace. This is where we store the ball popper when we are not playing with it. At the beginning of the day, this area looks like this....

Throughout the day, the boys "pick-up" their toys (if this was really what they were doing, I would be a happy woman). I was able to catch a little on video the other day. Oh and don't worry, the fence is secured by weights so it will not fall over on them. Enjoy....

video

By the end of this day, the same area in front of the fireplace looked like this with over 20 different toy parts back there...

There are also two other areas where they are "storing" their toys as well.

It is such a joy to watch them blossom into little boys with great little minds! I enjoy their spirit and determination to figure things out on their own. Most of these little discoveries happen when they are playing independently. I am confident there are three little geniuses developing here!

Gotta run, a Mensa representative is already at the door...

Take care,

Saturday, March 21, 2009

All Done? All Done!

Our current philosophy regarding meals is experiment, experiment, experiment! We have accepted the fact that the boys are growing up and we are feeding them more and more types of food. Today was the first day that the boys had a complete day absent of anything from a baby food jar. For breakfast, the boys had cheese grits and bananas, for lunch they had peanut butter toast, green beans and goldfish, for snack they had veggie crunchies, applesauce, blueberries and raspberries and for dinner they had chicken nuggets and broccoli.

I should also point out that the boys have also transitioned off of bottles. They have been all sippy for a few days now. Yesterday, the boys were real fussy in the afternoon and I was alone at bedtime. I broke down and "treated" them to their bottles but today was back to all sippy with no problem.

Andrew is a great eater and will eat anything and everything we put in front of him. Wesley is pickier and it takes him a little while to get adjusted to new textures. Jared is not thrilled with self feeding and is such a slow eater. He does it but likes to play like a chipmunk and just pile all of the food into his mouth and sit there with his mouth stuffed. It's funny because Andrew still has no teeth but can "chew" up his food much better than Jared who has six teeth.

The boys have a few signs to show that they are done with a meal. They will start to play with their food, push food (or sippies) away and the new one is to say they are "All done." When I finish feeding them, I hold up both of my hands and say "all done." A couple days ago, I noticed the boys were starting to hold up their hands at the end of the meal in response to my question of "all done?" At lunch today, after asking "all done," Andrew and Wesley were holding up their arms and saying "a-da." I was so excited because these were the first sounds that resemble words said at the appropriate time.

Here is a little "all done" action after dinner tonight. They did not say anything during this video but they showed they were "all done"...

video

Did you notice the circling "sharks" below the table? Chewie and Murray both really enjoy meals because they get to enjoy all of the dropping.

Another funny moment from today was the discovery of Andrew playing without his shirt! I was dealing with clothes for our other blog and the boys were playing in the play area. I walked over to the area and found Andrew sitting there without his shirt. He looked surprised and shocked. I caption to the photo below should be.... "huh, what, didn't you say it was naked time?" Funny kids! As you can see in this picture, Andrew still does not have any chickenpox. Jared is pox free as well. Wesley is doing well and the pox seem to be scabbing over so we may be in the home stretch with him.

Well, in regards to this post... I'm "all done."

Take care,

Friday, March 20, 2009

Pox Pics...

We took these pictures yesterday of our dear Wes. He was still in good spirits as of yesterday as you can see in the pictures. However last night, he had a rough go of it and actually woke up twice. You can tell that he is starting to itch because he is scratching the couch, the floor and even me. The blisters look worse today and there are more than in these pictures taken yesterday. There are still no blisters on Andrew or Jared but I don't think we are out of the woods yet.

I hope the fact that Wesley is so young will prevent him from getting any real traction on scratching the blisters. I have always commented that he has the most beautiful skin. Jared and Andrew (especially Andrew) have had diaper rash at times but Wesley has always had perfect skin. With the chickenpox, his skin is no longer perfect below his diaper (if you know what I mean). Looking at all of these blisters, I can not imagine how his skin will return to it's prior state. We are still hoping that this will pass quickly!

Take care,

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Wesley has the Chickenpox!

Last night, we noticed some bumps on Wesley. Mike said he thought it might be Chickenpox but I thought, no way - he is too young. This morning, he had more bumps. Mike called the pediatrician and at first they did not want to see him. I insisted because I needed to know if we were about to endure chicken pox in triplicate.

They said they were willing to examine his bumps but because of the potential of being contagious, they did not want us to come into the office. I had to call from the PARKING LOT when I arrived with him. The nurse came out first and thought it looked like Chickenpox but had to get the doctor to confirm. He did in fact confirm that Wesley has Chickenpox!

This is the first case they have seen in a very long time. At 12 months, children are given the Chickenpox vaccine so it is rare these days to actually get Chickenpox. They also said it is VERY rare to get Chickenpox before they are 12 months old.

I had a talk with Wesley on the way home from the doctor that I appreciate his desire to be an over achiever and accomplish things early, but getting Chickenpox before the vaccine did not need to be on the list!!! Even though he is the only one of the three that has active blisters, we have purchased enough Aveeno Bath and Calamine lotion to survive triple Chickenpox.

The doc said it could take up to 14 days for it to fully run it's course and that it is contagious until the last blisters scabs over. With our first birthday less than a month away, I hope he has a light case and that it races through him. Also, if Andrew and Jared are going to get it, they get it quickly so we can experience this all at once and not spread out over the next month and a half.

If there is a silver lining to this and I am struggling to find one.... the boys that actually contract Chickenpox will not need the vaccine for Chickenpox at their 12 month visit. The other silver lining is that Wes is not old enough to ask why he had to be examined in the parking lot (what was that???).

So far, Wesley is not showing any signs of discomfort. We have also been given some medication that can possibly reduce the symptoms. Again, hopefully this will be a very minor case and maybe he will not share it with Andrew and Jared. We are not sure where we picked up this friendly illness but it is not really important because it is here now. We just need to buckle down and get through it.

Take care,

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Andrew's First Step!

Andrew has been standing alone more and more each and everyday. Mike arrived home early from work today and he was leaning over the ottoman saying hello to the boys. Andrew was standing at the ottoman and let go to stand without support. We were both watching him closely because we had a "feeling." Well, we were right..... he took a step. He was standing there focused on Daddy and did not realize what was going on and he actually took a step. Both of us looked at each other and said "did you see that." I fully believe he has been able to do it for a while but he is a cautious soul. He had to be distracted to take that first step. Mike and I are rarely together with the boys but we have both been together to witness Wesley and now Andrew's first step! This means that Jared will probably take his first step with the babysitter (ha).

Wesley's walking is getting stronger and stronger! He can step over items, bend over to pick something up and keep moving and walk one length of the room, turn around and walk back. A few nights ago, I started letting him walk to the nursery to go to bed. The first night he fell half way down the hall and did not want to stand back up...very tired. Last night, I opened up the exit to the play area and he walked all the way down the hall and into the nursery. This is approximately a 25' walk. He stopped by Andrew and Jared's crib (to say good night, I am sure) and then I put him into his crib. It was so cute, I said "go to bed" and he just toddled on down the hallway. We are so proud!

I bet it will not be long before he is running.... away from the room and I am screaming.... "I said go to bed." Until then, I will cherish these sweet moments!

Take care,

Thursday, March 12, 2009

We are 11 Months Old... and very busy...

The boys are 11 months old and sitting still for a group picture falls right below graduating college on their priority list these days! They have way too much to do these days to sit still. There will be plenty of time to sit still later. I will get another group picture of their faces one day.... right? I have been taking pictures of the boys every two weeks since they were born. This morning, I got them dressed, in their new outfits from Ms. Heather, and combed hair so I could take our bi-weekly photo. The pictures above are the best I could get.

The boys have learned about the camera and actually smile when they see me bring it out. There is an orange light that shines before the flash goes off. When this orange light is on their face, they usually light up with the biggest... over smile. As seen below, Andrew and Wesley believe a smile involves fully opening ones mouth. It was hard to shine the camera on them without them showing a fully open mouth. I will be sure to take the camera when we go to our first dentist appointment. Jared on the other hand, has a perfect little heart warming smile to show off those pearly whites. Here are the best of the individual shots, I was able to take....

Another challenge to taking pictures these days is the growing fascination the boys have with the camera. The boys desperately want to hold the camera, explore the camera parts and just overall destroy the camera. In addition to this curiosity, the boys are also learning the power (and art) of manipulation. Here are a few pictures of Andrew working hard to convince me to give him the camera. There is an ottoman separating him from the camera.

First, he starts with the sweet pout by resting his head down on the ottoman and lets out a few whimpers...

After a few seconds of the pout, he picks up his head to see if I have fallen victim to his power. When I stand firm, he tosses this very sad face in my direction....

When he realizes that my will power is stronger than his, he pulls out one last weapon.... the TEARS. Yes, that is right, he was able to muster up a few tears to support his position that he deserves to have the camera and then he reaches out to me in the hopes that I will weaken and hand over the camera....

Alas, our dance is over and I was able to stand strong and not weaken under this attack. While I am sure I will be considered cruel to continue to snap pictures through this exchange, please know this lasted for only a few seconds and the individual shot of him smiling above was taken just a few seconds after this last picture. He moved from these very serious tears to laughter very quickly... funny kids!! I am confident that I will not win all of these power struggles but I was able to stand strong this time.... score 1 for Mommy.

So, in addition to being very active, what else are we up to these days at 11 months? The boys are quickly transitioning from infanthood to toddlerhood. Wesley is walking more and more everyday. Andrew and Jared are cruising like crazy and standing without holding on but have not taken that first step. The boys are still playing in the living room which is set up as our play area but we are already planning to open up more space for them to roam. As they are moving more, the space seems to be getting smaller. The hair pulling and toy stealing is increasing so we hope if we give them more to explore, this will decrease.

With the trip and daylight savings time impacting the boys schedule, we have decided to move from two naps to a one nap schedule. We have struggled with this a little because the boys (well, Wesley) are so use to taking shorter naps a three hour block of sleep is a hard adjustment. Andrew and Jared are doing ok with it but Wesley will wake after 1.5 hours and then wake up the others to play. We have stuck with it and they will fall back to sleep (most of the time). This schedule is nice, for me at least. I like the full three hours during the day. The prior 1.5 hour naps (breaks) seemed to be over as soon as they started.

The boys are waving, kissing (wide open mouth) and putting toys away (where they do not belong). As we have their play area sectioned off from the rest of the house, there are some barriers. The boys are starting (Andrew mostly) to drop the toys or toss the toys over these barriers. It's funny to watch them get a toy and drop it over the fence. I hope I can parlay this into actually picking up their toys and putting a basketball into a hoop (hoo yaa!).

There are a lot of Ma Mas and mostly Da Das flying around but nothing directed appropriately (that I can tell). There are also a lot of other sounds and conversational squeals but I have not been able to detect any words.

The boys' meals are starting to resemble more and more like real people meals. They are great at feeding themselves and using their sippy cups. The boys are eating waffles, pancakes, biscuits, bananas, blueberries, raspberries, cantaloupe, yogurt, toast, cheese, cheerios, pickles, cucumbers and really anything we offer them. We are still feeding them baby cereal, veggies and meals just to make sure they are getting a well balanced diet but each day we experiment more and more with table food. The boys are using their sippy cups during meals and while they don't quite know how to set the cup down (it's more like a slam), it's so cute to watch them take a few bites of food, then take a sip and then take a few more bites. They are quickly becoming ... little boys!

Our 11 month schedule is....

7:30 - Wake up - 8oz bottle
8:30 - Breakfast
11:30 - Lunch
12:00 - 3:00 - Nap
3:30 - Snack
5:30 - Dinner
7:00 - Bedtime routine - 8oz bottle
7:30 - Bed

We are down to two bottles a day and over the next month, we will transition to sippy cups. I do not envision this being a problem because the boys are already drinking their bottles like sippy cups. They are drinking them sitting up or even standing up at times. It has been a wild 11 months and I can not believe my next monthly update will be our birthday on Easter Sunday.

Take care,

Friday, March 6, 2009

Our First Family Road Trip!

Having triplets has been been fun but we thought having "Road Trip-lets" would be even better! Over the past two weeks, our family has been traveling across this great country to visit family and friends! It was a wonderful trip and this post includes a link to all of the stories, pictures and video from our adventure. I hope you enjoy these stories even half as much as we enjoyed the trip....

Day 1 - Hitting the Road!

Day 2 - It's Mardi Gras!

Day 2 (part b) - Cousins a Plenty & a Couple of Aunts

Day 3 - Departing Houma for Houston

Day 3 (part b) - Our Road Trip-lets!

Day 3 (part c) - Ms. Heather's House!

Day 4 - Are we there yet, are we there yet?

Day 5 - The West Bear Creek General Store

Day 5 (part b) - Kimble County Courthouse

Day 5 (part c) - Hanging out at Grandma's House

Day 5 (part d) - Dinner at Isaac's

Day 6 - Morning with Grandpa

Day 6 (part b) - It's a Fish Fry!

Day 7 - More Visitors & Grandma is Sick

Day 7 (part b) - The Deer & The View

Day 8 - It's Time to Leave Junction & Start our Trip Home

Day 8 (part b) - Back in Houston

Day 9 - On the Road AGAIN!!!

Day 9 (part b) - There's No Place Like 'Houma!'

Day 10 - Home Sweet Home...

I hope you enjoyed our adventures! I am looking forward to our next family vacation.

Take care,

*PS. - I wish I could claim the phrase Road Trip-lets as my own. However, I borrowed this from another mother of triplets. I loved it and thought it fit our little guys perfectly!

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Wesley is Wobbly but WALKING!!!

Over the past couple of weeks, we have been on a wild adventure. We traveled, by car, with the boys to visit Grandma and Grandpa in Junction, TX. We made a few stops along the way to visit our wild family in Louisiana and take in a Mardi Gras parade. Then we stopped at the Hamblen Hotel in Houston. We really enjoyed our entire trip. I plan to spend this weekend getting the blog updated with all of the stories of our amazing adventure. I want to post them in order of their events but this one needed to jump to the top of the list because of today's development!

During the trip, Wesley started to show more and more interest in walking with support. He would lead anyone showing interest all around. In these pictures, you can see him at the Kimble County Courthouse leading Miss Haydee on a walk....

Here is Wesley giving Aunt Debbie the same treatment...

A common statement was "it will not be long" when referring to Mr. Wesley and his get-up and go! Today was our first full day at home and both Mike and I were home together before he returns to work tomorrow. It was amazing to experience this day together. When he woke this morning, Wesley was a man on a mission! He started with a couple steps and once he got it.... he got IT! We started counting his steps and he was able to get all the way to 15 consecutive and unassisted steps during the early afternoon. After this point, he started getting a little cocky with his new found independence. He started moving too fast and would fall forward after about three of four steps. He would catch himself with his arms (like in the video below) and stand back up to keep going. He would go a few more steps and fall forward again. With the progress he made today, he will probably be running by the end of the weekend. Check out our toddler....

video

Andrew has made amazing progress to catch up with the other boys and is actually standing without holding on more and more. Jared is right there with him as well. With Wesley officially "toddling" around, I am sure the others will be inspired to take off as well.

One more point of interest with this video of Wesley walking is the item he has in his hand. Wesley is our little guy that loves textures and fabrics. While we were at Grandma & Grandpa's in Texas, Wesley discovered some small crochet doilies used for little coasters. One night he was crawling around holding this in his hand. When we put him to bed, he still had it in his hand so we let him take it to bed. When he woke up, he still had a firm grasp on his new "favorite thing." Grandma & Grandpa were kind enough to let us take a few home with us. In the video, Wesley has one of these in his right hand.

I find it so hard to believe that this signifies we are actually moving into the toddler stage. The infant stage was wonderful and has flown by too fast. I look forward to all the excitement this new stage will bring. Over the next couple days I should have the blog updated with all of the great adventures of the past couple weeks.

Take care,

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Day 10 - Home Sweet Home...

Above is our departure picture from Houma with Aunt Sue and Aunt Connie. The boys are dressed in their snowflake outfits to symbolize the "Three Little Eskimos."

Well, this is it! We did it! We survived a 10 day trip with 10 month old triplets.

Here is a little summary of the trip in numbers ....
Total Days - 10
Days in the Car- 6
Hours of Traveling - 40
Total Miles Traveled - 2,100
Ready to feed bottles used - 96
Diapers used - 210
Relatives Met - 30+
Friends Met - 30+
Times the car was packed and unpacked - 12
Radio Stations Listened to - ONE

This last stat is very important for our family. During our entire relationship, Mike and I have agreed on many thing but the one thing we have never been able to come to consensus on is our musical preferences. While traveling, the driver usually has control and the other tolerates the others selection. When we started out this trip, I worried about what we were going to do with so many hours in the car. It was only a few minutes into the ride when a suggestion for a compromise was tossed out. We agreed to give it a try and during the entire trip, we listened to the same satellite station AND ENJOYED IT!!! Until this point, raising triplets was easier than finding music we both liked.

What was this great station that proved we can live together forever...... HAIR NATION!!

Hair Nation is a station that plays all 80's hair band music, Motley Crew, Poison, Bon Jovi, Cinderella, Kiss, Guns N Roses and many many more! I love 80's music and during the 80's, I had a heavy phase. Mike loves rock and metal music. It was perfect and we turned it on and never changed the station.

As we were approaching Tallahassee on this last leg of the trip, I started calling out the miles as the GPS was counting down .... 40 miles to destination, 30 miles, 20 miles, 15 miles, 10 miles, etc. As we exited I-10 just a few miles from our house, Motley Crew's Home Sweet Home came on the station. It was perfect timing! It played through and I hit repeat so we were pulling into the driveway singing "HOME SWEET HOME......"

This was a wonderful trip that created memories I will cherish forever. I hope these blog posts have served as a way to share with the boys our first family vacation and the first time (hopefully of many) that they were able to meet their family in Louisiana and Texas.
Now it's time to plan our next family adventure....

Take care,

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Day 9 (part b) - There's No Place Like 'Houma'

No, we are not home yet but we are in Houma! We were warmly welcomed back at Aunt Connie's house. We had a great dinner with my cousins Mike, his wife Kathy, their son Taylor, my cousin Robbie and of course... Aunt Connie and Aunt Sue.

The boys were in great spirits and had fun playing with everyone again. When we got home, I realized I did not take many pictures this evening but the one I did take was of full of 'cheese!' Check out these smiles....

Jared and cousin Mike were having a ball! We all had fun this evening. While we were sad to know that our trip was coming to an end, I think all of us were ready to be some place where we did not have to pack and unpack every day. Also, being in our own cribs and beds was something we were looking forward to (at least me).

Tomorrow... we will actually be HOME!

Take care,

Day 9 - On the Road AGAIN!

I doubt the boys are signing this with "I can't wait to get on the road again." At this point, this is their 5th full day in the car. The boys have been wonderful travelers and really handled life on the road very well. During this leg of the trip, from Houston to Houma, the boys were good but were a little fussy as we approached Houma. We tried singing and the sound of my voice, would calm them (shocking). We tried the Alphabet, Rock-a-bye Baby, Itsy Bitsy Spider, Old Mac Donald and others. It did not seem to matter what I was singing as long as I was singing. Well, it worked and they were great until we arrived back in Houma.

Here are a couple pictures from this leg of the trip...

Jared became very comfortable at sleeping in the car seat. Here he is with his shoes kicked off, feet crossed and catching some zzzzzz's...


Wesley and Andrew were playing with each other. Due to the absence of toys, the boys were very creative during playtime. Andrew was playing with Wesley's foot when I grabbed the camera and little did I know I would catch them with Wesley's foot in Andrew's mouth. Ok... note... get toys for the next long trip :-)

All in all, the boys were wonderful during all the legs of the trip. When I say they were fussy, the were restless and it was only one at a time for a small part of the trip. They were great and it was a joy to listen to them "chat" with each other and play with each other.

After this day in the car, we only have one more day before we are home!

Take care,

Monday, March 2, 2009

Day 8 (part b) - Back in Houston

We made it back to Houston!! Upon our arrival, Ms. Heather, Cecilia and Declan were all hanging out in their cul de sac. The neighborhood within which Heather lives is a very friendly and child friendly environment. There are a total 9 homes on this small street and a total of 21 children (sorry Heather if my number are off). There are always children playing outside. When we arrived, the streets were full of children. Ms. Heather loaded the boys up into a wagon and took them for a spin in the cul de sac. In this video, you get a small glimpse into what an average day is like in their neighborhood....

video

What a great place to grow up and raise a family! Ms. Heather also has a swing set that is a place for the children to play. The boys were able to swing for the first time. Here is a little video of them swinging. (Listen for Ms. Heather calmly address the neighborhood children at the end of the video with a "soft" reminder about the rules!)

video

After playing for a while, we headed inside to get all the boys ready for bed. Here are the boys playing in their Space jammies (appropriate for Houston). In this picture, the boys are playing with Ms. Marsha. Ms. Marsha became a life saver to us later in the trip. SERIOUSLY, she saved Jared's life!! This is the only picture I had of her and I had to include it so I could again thank her for her heroic effort (story to follow in this post).
Daddy was so proud to see Jared trying to play the guitar, he was able to forgive that it was a Hanna Montana guitar....

During the trip, the boys all started drinking their bottles while sitting or even standing up. It looks like they may be ready to start transitioning to sippy cups when we get home.

We put the boys to bed and I enjoyed visiting with Ms. Heather for a while. I sure miss living close to her. However, it's nice to know our friendship is still strong even though we have lived in different states for a few years. In the morning, I woke to find Andrew sleeping in his pack n play like this....
The mattress had come up and he was sleeping on the frame of the pack n play. It's hard to see but he is curled up between the bars of the frame and hanging in the pocket of fabric. He is such a great sleeper, he can sleep through anything.

This is a picture of all of the children eating dinner. The boys were enjoying sitting up at the table in their new big boy seats. Here is where Ms. Marsha's story resumes... The next morning, I was loading the boys into the seats in preparation for breakfast. I had loaded Jared and Andrew into the chairs (these are tall chairs) and I had headed off to grab Wesley. Well, Jared was close enough to the table that he was using his feet to kick back in the chair. He did it a couple times and Ms. Marsha saw what was about to happen and rushed over to catch him as he was kicking the chair completely back! Without her quick reflexes he would have kicked back and the chair would have fallen back onto the hard wood floors. I don't know how many times I can say THANK YOU MS. MARSHA!!!!
After breakfast, we packed up (again) and got ready to hit the road for Houma. We tried to take one more group picture of the boys....
It is now one of my all time favorites (so far)! And, I was able to get it in two attempts.

It's sad to know our trip is almost over but we have had a wonderful time along the way. Ms. Heather, please feel free to visit us in Tallahassee anytime!

Take care,

Day 8 - It's Time to Leave Junction & Start our Trip Home

Many months of planning and anticipation is drawing to a close. Our time in Junction with Grandma and Grandpa was way to short but it is time to start our trip to get home. With heavy hearts, we packed up the car. Grandma was still sick and in order to protect us from catching her illness, she sent her good-byes to the boys via Grandpa Dooker. We took this one last picture of the boys on Grandma's couch. It is getting harder to get group pictures of the boys. Jared's hair looked nice but he was trying to crawl away many times and we his hair ended up with the messy look. However.... THREE SMILES!! This is rare for our group photos. This must be reflective of how much fun they had with everyone.

With the boys all loaded up, he hit the road for our first leg home. The boys took their morning nap in the truck while riding. We drove for a few hours and then decided to stop for lunch at Mc Donald's. I had noticed on our trip out that very few places have a diaper changing station. We don't get out much with the boys and when we do, I plan the outings to be short enough that changes happen before we leave the house and after we get home. As such, I had not realized the lack of sufficient diaper changing stations.

We chose the Mc Donald's as a place to stop because they had a play place (boys pictured below) and we were certain that they would have a place to change diapers. It was cool outside and changing the boys in the front seat of the truck is getting harder because the boys are outgrowing the seat. Also, the dance of moving them from the car seat to the front seat is a logistical challenge. So, we ate our lunch and the boys had their first taste of chicken nuggets with a small piece from Daddy. With more french fries in their bellies, we were ready to change diapers. I headed to the bathroom only to find NO PLACE to change their diapers. With frustration, I was at a loss on what to do. So, I became the tackiest mother on earth and I changed them on the table in the play place!!! Yep, that was ME!!
Don't worry, I put a changing pad down between the boys and the table, we were the only ones in this area and it was separated from the remainder of the restaurant. It's not like I changed their diapers next to some family trying to enjoy their lunch. I took the bag with the dirty diapers to the bathroom to discard them and the trash can was a small trash can you see in someone's personal bathroom. I made them fit but COME ON... you have a play place right off of interstate, don't you know people will stop with children??? Oh well, enough about that. Back to the trip.

The boys were good little travelers on this leg of the trip. They got a little restless as we approached Houton. We did not have any toys to give them but we started giving them various items from the front seat that kept their attention and amused them very much. Wesley is always positioned in the middle because he is the smallest and it is easier to get him to the middle seat. Andrew is always behind the driver because this seat has a mirror and as he spits up the most, he gets the mirror and this leaves Jared behind the passenger.

While they were playing, I noticed that Wesley kept needing more and more items. What was happening, I had just given him something. Then, I watched and saw what was happening. Here is a little video....

video

Poor little guy! He would get frustrated but then just look to me to give him something else. I can see that my role will turn into that of a referee between these boys.

With three legs of the trip left to get home - Junction to Houston, Houston to Houma and Houma to Tallahassee, at the end of this day we were back in Houston and 2/3 of the way home.

Thanks,

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Day 7 (part b) - The Deer & The View

I was washing dishes this evening and looked up to see two deer right in front of the house. They were drinking the water seen here. They were very close to the house. This is very common in this area but it was not common to me. I quickly grabbed my camera and tried to take pictures through the kitchen window. The did not come out very well but I was able to get a few...


This picture also shows how close they were to my truck. The deer are at the end of the small fence...

This is a picture of the deer walking away to the end of the driveway...

The view from the front porch of the house is actually quite beautiful. The area was (and is) experiencing quite a severe drought so everything was very dry. As I was born and raised in Florida, any sight of hills is exciting and new. Here are a couple pictures from the front of the house...

The view seemed very "Texas" to me. I really expected to see some tumbling tumbleweed roll by at any point.

Take care,