Thursday, April 30, 2009

Team Darnell Moving Company

With summer quickly approaching, we are ordering some things for the boys to use in the backyard. The boys' Sand and Water Table arrived today. Daddy put the table together for the boys and they enjoyed exploring the table. As with any new large item, Andrew could not decide where he wanted to place the new table. He tried it out in one spot, then changed his mind and then changed his mind again.

Watch your toes (Wesley) and enjoy a little bit of Andrew's indecision as he moved the table all over the family room....

video

Once he found the perfect spot, we broke his heart and told him the table is actually going outside.

Take care,

PS. Andrea - We LOVE these monkey outfits!

It's Surgery Day...

I wish our trip away with Jared was done with the intent of spending some one on one time. However, our trip to Jacksonville with Jared was done because to have a minor outpatient surgery done. For the past several months, we knew this day was a possibility but it is hard to believe that the day is finally here.

His surgery was scheduled for 9:30am so we had to arrive at the hospital at 7:30am. He was unable to eat or drink after midnight. Wait, that is not totally accurate. He was able to drink water or juice between midnight at 5:30am. When they told me this, I just chuckled. What was I going to do, wake him up to give him some water? I think not... we are a family that like to sleep, ha!

We headed off to the Children's Hospital in the morning. Once we checked in, our first stop was a dressing room where we dressed him in his hospital gown. He had two gowns, the first tied in the back and the second tied in the front....
Once he was dressed, we were sent to the play room to hang out until our next stop along the surgery assembly line. Our little guy enjoyed playing with all of the toys in the play room...

Jared was very cute while playing! He was happy playing with the toys but the second another child joined the play room, he was crawling over to greet them. It's nice to see that he is very social. I think he was happy to see other children! The other kids were not so happy to see him. More than one mother had to tell her child to share with Jared. Another child was playing with the basketball and he was not so happy about sharing with Jared. Once this child left the room, Jared grabbed the b-ball...

Jared was planning his great escape in his get-away car...

When it was getting close to surgery time, we were moved from the play room to the "holding area" where we were able to meet with a series of doctors and nurses. There were several children in this area. If you anticipated your child struggling to separate, your child was given a sedative in this area. They should really offer this medication to the parents!!!

I am so happy that Jared is young enough that he did not know what was happening. He was not given any sedative because will go with anyone. I am happy that he is so trusting but we will really need to work on "stranger danger" in the future. There was another child that was not having an easy time of separating and there was a lot of screaming.. not from Baby J. He was content playing with the toys and chewing on everything he could find.

To make the time in this area even harder, they had a play kitchen with all of the plastic food that goes along with it... even a plastic glass of milk. Really?!?!?! This room is filled with small children that have not been able to eat or drink in many hours. I thought having toy food to play with was just cruel! Jared tried to eat every last piece...

After talking with about 3 different nurses and 3 different doctors, our name was called. It was time... we were walked to the door of the Operating Room and this is where we stopped and were able to give our last kisses to Jared. Wow, this was a hard moment. It was hard to hand over my baby to a stranger (albeit a nice stranger) and know that she was taking him to a room where he was going to have a mask put over his face to put him to sleep. It was hard to know that we could not be there to hold his hand, rub his head and give him comfort. Everyone was very nice so we are sure he was taken care of but every moment we were away from him was excruciating.

It was a long hour until the doctor came out to tell us the surgery was over and he was being moved to recovery. It was another 20 minutes before we were able to go back and see him. He was sleeping soundly on a very nice nurse who quickly handed him over to me.

I was so relieved to have this surgery over and behind us. While I was alone with Jared, there was a part of me that actually enjoyed this moment. The boys are so active these days, I do not get many moments to just hold them anymore. Yep, I am a terrible mother but I enjoyed just snuggling and rocking with him for a few minutes.

After about 15 minutes, I had to wake him up to drink some juice so we could unhook his IV and take him home. I love this picture below. The look on his face says, "Mom, you will not believe this dream I just had"....
I will say it again, I am so happy he had this experience when he was too young to realize what was actually happening. He was wonderful during the entire experience. He was a little fussy when I changed him out of his gown and into his clothes. He did not have any pain medication at that point. We headed straight to the pharmacy in the hospital to get his pain med prescription filled. Once he had his dose, he was "feelin' good"...He drank two full sippy cups of juice before crashing on the ride home. I am so proud of Baby J for the strength and resilience he showed during this experience. He took another nap once we got home but he was back to his old self the same day. He took two doses of pain medication and did not need any more. The day after the surgery, he was moving around as if nothing had happened.

About the surgery; everything went well. The surgery was exploratory and the doctor did not find anything which is ok. At least we now know there is nothing to be found. Again, it's nice to have this behind us and now we don't have to worry about this again!

Take care,

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Jared's Night Out with Mom & Dad!

Tonight was a great night! Mike and I were spending a night away with Jared. This was going to be the first night that the boys have ever spent separated. Since birth, they have spent every night together. With Andrew and Wesley staying with Grandma Sally, we packed up Jared and headed off to Jacksonville for a special night with Baby J! Overall, it was an interesting and different experience to be out and about with only one of our boys.

Jared was able to sit in the middle seat with the seats to his left and right empty. This was not his first car ride without the other guys next to him but the other trips were short. This time, we were traveling 3 hours away from Tallahassee.


We checked into our hotel and it was interesting to be able to just put Jared down on the floor and let him explore. With the three guys, we would have had to spend energy baby proofing before we let them down to explore. It's too challenging to be reactive with three babies so you have to be proactive. With one, we were able to just follow him around and move around items as he discovered them.

One of his first discoveries was the other baby in the room!! He was so excited to see the other baby and he played with him for a long time....


After hanging out in the room for a little while, we headed out to dinner at Applebee's. We sat at a booth that was the booth closest to the entrance. I was worried that this would be a too high traffic area for us to be comfortable. With only one baby, I can only describe the experience by stating that I felt like we were invisible. People just walked by without even giving us a second look. It was nice but also a little bit of an adjustment. Since the boys were born, we have not been able to walk anywhere without drawing in all of the attention and this was such a different experience.

We had a good time! We ordered Jared's dinner off the children's menu, chicken nuggets and broccoli. He also ate a little off our plates. He was great during the meal and it was actually relaxing to be alone with him. There was a really cute moment where a pretty blond server walked by behind him and he followed her as she walked towards him and then spun his head to watch her walk away. He was also holding his sippy cut in his teeth as if to show off for her. Ahhh... it's going to be a wild ride with three little men...


When we arrived back at the hotel room, Jared decided to check out all of the amenities available to him. Here he is trying to contact room service....


Then he spent some time rolling around in the soft fancy pillows and checking out what movies were available on the TV....


He is such a party animal....


After getting jammied up, he continued to "party like a rock star." He tossed diapers all over the room and pulled the plastic tree to the floor.....


Those that party hard also fall out pretty hard as well. Since he was alone, we decided to let him stay up late. His typical bedtime is 7:30 and we let him stay up until after 8pm. At about 8:15, we realized that schedules are in place for a reason. A very fussy Jared was quickly put to bed and he was happy to rest his weary head....


Jared has been sleeping with a pillow since his last head cold. It was very nice to spend some time alone with one of the little guys. We look forward to spending some time alone with Andrew and Wesley. Grandma Sally stayed home with them and said they were just fine without Jared. Jared was also fine without his brothers. This is another lesson that they are three different and unique people... not one unit!

During the evening as Mike and I were relaxing with Jared playing around us, we asked each other if we could imagine life with a single baby and both of us agreed that that would be boring! We love our life with the three boys and do not want to imagine it any other way.

Take care,

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Look Ma, No Hands!

Jared's new trick....

He can even carry it in his teeth while on the move...

Take care,

Monday, April 27, 2009

Andrew the Great!!

Over the past couple days, Andrew has been mastering a few tricks!! We have been spending a lot of time stacking the rings on the cone and he has actually gotten pretty good at this. To increase the complexity of this challenge, he has now started stacking rings (or anything circular) on his foot. He will lift his foot up and then place the ring on it. He has gotten up to 2 rings on his foot and has started trying for a third.

Here is a picture of Andrew early yesterday with a teething ring around his foot....
Later in the day, he started trying to stack them on others feet. He started with Murray but he would not sit still long enough to take a pic. Andrew then moved to the Tickle Frog. Here is the ring on the Frog leg.....
By the end of the day, he was a Master!! In this picture, you can see that he placed the ring on his foot, he is currently chewing on another toy, he is watching TV and his foot is blurred in this picture because he was rotating his foot in a circular fashion as it to spin the ring like a hula hoop with his leg lifted several inches off the floor (don't try this at home)... Can you do that??? I bet not! The above pictures were taken yesterday. Today, Andrew and Jared were sitting side by side. Andrew was placing a ring on his foot and Jared picked up a ring and tried to place it on his own foot.... "Monkey see... Monkey do..."

Onto Andrew the Great's second trick...

During dinner, Andrew started stacking his green beans and goldfish on top of his sippy cup. Here are the results... tada....
Close up of sippy cup...

The funny part about this was not the stacking which obviously took skill. The funny part was how the items were removed from the top of the sippy. Andrew reached out, grabbed the sippy and brought it to his mouth like he was going to drink. Then, he poured the three pieces of food into his mouth. He was so very proud of himself and knew what he was doing was funny because he was laughing during the entire thing (as was I).

I am so impressed by his gift for the magnificent!!! Clearly this kid is gifted

Take care,

Saturday, April 25, 2009

First Hair Cuts

Today was a very fun day! I had been looking for a place to take the boys for their first haircuts. I wanted to make sure that their first hair cut experience was special and that they were welcomed into a place with open arms. As I would be taking them alone, I would need to be met with some understanding. I looked for a place in Tallahassee that caters to children and could not find a place. I heard of a place in Panama City called Tiny Town Kidz Salon. It was the perfect place. It was a family owned and operated business that is designed for children. They have horses and cows that the children can sit on and play video games while getting their hair cut. The boys are too small for the horses so they sat in small chairs for little children.

It was just the experience I wanted! I rolled the stroller into the salon and they were very excited to see a set of triplets. Andrew was the first to get his hair cut. Andrew was not quite sure about this experience. He was not fussy but he was not going to crack a smile. He was very stoic through the entire experience. He is so cautious, it is funny! Ms. Debbie gave him his haircut and here are some pictures....

The first cut...
The results..... Wesley was second and Ms. Debbie also cut his hair. He was very good during his cut but was a little more animated as compared to Andrew. Wesley was smiling and interacting with Ms. Debbie. As the hair fell from each cut, Wesley was quick to wipe off any hair that hit him. He did not like the feel of those little hairs. Here are some photos of Wes:
The first cut...
The results...
Oh my goodness, he looks like a little man. Last but not least, it was Jared's turn. Jared had waited while Andrew and Wesley were getting their hair cuts so he was the most comfortable and was letting his guard down. He was flirting away with the nice ladies. With all of his flirting, he was a little rambunctious. When he first sat in the seat, he squirmed a little and startled himself. After that, he was just fine. Ms. Katrena gave Jared his first hair cut. In his pictures, you can see that he needed a comb to hold onto and he wanted to play during the entire thing. His hair cut also took the longest because he has been blessed with his Daddy's hair (and lots of it). She already had to take the clippers to clean up his neck and sideburns. Yes, he was labeled the "hairiest of all." Here are his pictures:

The first cut...
The results...

Andrew looks much better with his hair cleaned up but the difference for Wesley and Jared is dramatic!! They look like different people and definitely do NOT look like babies anymore. Over the past month, they have been shaking bottles, formula, baby food, two naps and now... they have shaken those baby locks. Yep, it's a band of little boys in this house... no babies here!

It was so worth the two hour drive to have our first hair cut experience here. The ladies were over the top with their help, kindness and excitement to take care of us. The boys were very comfortable there and they were willing to help so I could fulfill my role as family photographer. I provided a link above to see the My Space page for this salon but here is another picture of the inside of this salon...
I thank the ladies at Tiny Town Kidz Salon so very much for making this first hair cut experience both memorable and enjoyable for Team Darnell!!!

Each boy was given a certificate for their first haircut with their first clippings. The certificate says:

"This is a real official piece of paper saying that I, (Andrew, Wesley, Jared Darnell), was real brave and didn't scream or fuss too much when they took me to this place, covered me up with this sheet thing and cut my hair. As of today, April 25, 2009, I am a BIG KID and I am really cool!"

I was so reluctant to get the first hair cuts but after seeing the results of these hair cuts, I am kicking myself for not getting this done before their 1 Year Pictures. I will probably try to get them done again because the boys look so different. They look like little men but I love it!! I am sure they are just reflecting my excitement but they seem happier without their mops of hair holding them back.

Before putting the boys to bed, I was snapping a ton of pictures. Mike finally said... enough all ready! They are just too cute..... if I do say so myself!

Take care,