Monday, December 28, 2009

This I Know To Be True

"The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it." - John 1:5

Life isn't horrible, there are just some junky things right now (and really, doesn't everyone have some of that in their life?).

But this is my comfort and what fuels my hope.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Merry Christmas!!

Lots and lots of craziness going on, so much so that, at times, the meaning of the day would pull away from me. But the kiddos were hilarious this year (we had to wake up Ainsley at 7:00 because the Three were starting to attack the presents) and John and I were able to occasionally catch a glimpse of how every year with these guys is only going to be more and more fun.

The wee ones opened presents for about 15 minutes before they started to melt from breakfast not happening on schedule, so they contentedly took a food break and had fun watching Ainsley open her gifts. Johnny went berserk about his huge Tonka dump truck until his sisters received their babydoll strollers, whereupon the truck was abandoned so he could join in the fun of racing stroller-laps around the house (he used the old one). Big sigh from his dad, but the kids were all doing their tolerable happy-screams and, well, maybe sweet-Johnny will grow out of it. If not, he's going to be a great dad.

So I leave you with our Christmas card picture and wish I could figure out how to post the one I really wanted to use instead (if someone can help me figure out how to download something from Shutterfly?????). The cards have seriously been addressed and stamped for a few days now - just haven't had time to seal them. This info will certainly drive a couple of my close friends bonkers...

This is what is going out - I love how Johnny is just about to take off. Fortunately you can't see the front of Lizzy's dress because she had just played in and soaked herself in dog-dish water.

Right when we were starting, Gracie decided she did not desire to take a family picture and threw a sweet little tantrum. This is right afterward, when she must have realized we would send a family photo out with our without her in it (or with her in it as she is kicking and screaming on the floor). That Gracie.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Oh My

I can hardly handle the pigtail/blue eyes combo. It breaks my heart over and over again.

The orange marker is a nice touch.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Going Insane

Two of my sweet little cherubs believe that proper sleep is a waste of my time and energy. I've been to tired to post (even though there are about 8 that are in the "draft" phase of existence). I've been too tired to do: laundry, shop for Christmas, exercise, blah, blah, blah.

And that takes care of most of my whining for today. I'm going upstairs to let them out of their cribs since they've now had 1 1/2 hours of Happy Dance Party in there.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Of Moose And Men

I used to be a Christmas decorations snob. Maybe more...opinionated is a better word. I pooh-poohed the tacky, the bizarre, the outright gauche. It isn't as if I have the perfect Southern Living house, good grief certainly not. We put up a tree, hang some greenery outside, and sometimes I remember to get out my few pieces of Portmeirion china that I really do love. That's just about it, and one year we didn't even get a tree - we had a Christmas poinsettia we put some ornaments on. In my dream world I would have a beautifully decorated home and host a fab Christmas party and then, right when I'm enjoying my daydream, my pragmatic side kicks in an rudely reminds me that I am a lazy person who would HATE taking down all that stuff. And it's true. And that's the main reason why I don't put up a whole lot of decs. I am lazy. Hope you just enjoyed that rabbit trail.

A few years ago my snobbishness began to wane when I was listening to someone who was a REAL snob rant about the tacky and I got a little indignant. I began thinking, "These great folk are all fired up to put up the plastic Santa they'd had for 30+ years and, well, they have the right". So bring on the purple lights and the huge tree covered with 30 strands of white lights with 1 strand that blinks. Bring on the sleighs from the 70's and the santa's "hanging" from the roof and the blow-up penguins and the yards filled with every_single_mish-mash one can get from Home Depot. You know why? Because we are now one of "those folk".

Last year we got a knock on the door around midnight. Honestly, who the frick knocks and runs ON OUR DOOR???? Lawd help them if one of our kids had woken up. I opened the door and spied nothing but a small box on the porch. Mmm...cookies from the neighbors. Some broken, some of the not-preferred variety, but who cares? Why in the world would they be delivering cookies this late at night? Mmm....cookies.

The next morning, we're backing out of our driveway to go to church when I said "WHAT IS THAT!??!?!?". It was this:

A moose. A moose whose head waggles back and forth and has lights on it. Lawn art. In my yard.

It took a couple hours to figure out who did it and the hooligans then made certain to tell me the trouble it took to put the thing together, go out in the wee hours in the cold, set up the moose, realize they didn't have the correct extension cord, go home, knock-and-run (these guys...ahem - MEN are of the age that sprinting is not appreciated), and do it all while under the influence of beverages. Grown men. Not grown-up, but grown. And they've changed my life. How? Because a certain now-five-year-old was 100% delighted to have a Christmas Moose, and felt loved because some boys wanted her to have one, and I can't deny her that joy. The Moose was lovingly stored in our basement and set up last weekend to the wonderment of our kids. The Trio love it, Ainsley loves it, and I love it.

So please go discover your inner Griswald and decorate the crazy out of your house. Our kids go insane and squeal when we do the "let's search for lights" drive, and the more lights and lawn ornaments, the better. They scream "KISSMAS IGHTS!!!" every time we pass a house and, believe you me, it is fun. In their eyes, those are the coolest families in the universe. I just wish I wasn't so lazy or we'd be close behind. The moose is perfect for right now.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

General Goings On

I was locked out of the house today by this sweet-faced cherub:

He did it to John over the weekend and I had forgotten about it. Otherwise I may have been more wary while unloading the kids, especially since the wind-chill here today was in the single digits. I attempted in vain to communicate with my smiling son who, to his credit, kept trying to open the door for me and Mrs. Pookie as I'm yelling "Johnny!!!! UN_LOCK_THE_DOOR!!! C'mon Honey! Unlock the door for Mommy!!! Oh my STARS PLEASE unlock the door!!" as I'm holding Lizzy or Gracie - I don't even remember who it was now - and idiotically pointing to the deadbolt. As if the kid could understand what I was talking about. I'm sure this won't be the last time the neighbors hear this one-sided conversation, and hiding a key somewhere outside freaks me out. Can't and won't do it.

The Boy is now relegated to being last out of the car.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Caffeine Update

I'm addicted to soda again. I am so unbelievably weak, but my justification comes from the weekend of sickness horror. My stomach still has not completely recovered and my beloved coffee is on the list of things my digestive system does not appreciate (Coffee! Oh how I love you and still have a couple sips in the morning, even though I know I will regret it.)

But the lovely bubbles that soda offers. Now, soda bubbles are NOT on the list of things I can't tolerate and that makes me happy, too. So I've fallen off the wagon. Again.

Round Three

It's Round Three (in the last 2 months) of the Nasty Germs vs. Laird Household bout and we're losing. I changed at least 22 diapers yesterday and only 3 were Gracie's. I ran out of bags to put them in. It's so gross.

Having never had to deal with...ummm...golly how do I put this without being gross...well I can't...diarrhea of epic proportions, I went online to see what to feed them to help stop the fountains flowing. Okay, that probably crossed the line. Sorry. It's just so sick. Anywho, I chose some things off the list of suggested food and beverages and the only thing that hasn't been 100% rejected by my crew is that yogurt that helps with the digestive system. Even toast, which they usually tolerate, is being snubbed by everyone but Gracie. And since Gracie is like a vacuum cleaner when it comes to food, she doesn't count.

At least I've taught them to say "Tummy hurts" before they have a blow-out so I can be prepared for an immediate grab and race to the changing table before there's a real mess.

That's something positive.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

A Little Schoolyard Justice

It's going to be hard for John and I to do, but we're going to have to learn to let the kids work things out sometimes on their own (I'm talking over the next few years - I realize that 2-year-olds should not be allowed to rule themselves). Obviously the goal is to teach them how to do this so they just aren't beating the tar out of each other when disagreements flare up, even though I expect fisticuffs to happen sometimes (just no blows to the head, okay kiddos?). I'm going to struggle with it because my knee-jerk reaction when disputes happen is to jump in to fix everything and attempt to make things right.

My sweet little boy has acquired the frustrating phrase "No! Stop it!". He uses it indiscriminately and, while he WILL figure out quickly it definitely should NOT be said in the direction of his parents, he uses it whenever something does not go his way - which is about one thousand times a day. Very, very annoying.

Well, he had the nerve to say it towards his older sister the other day while I was out of his view and too far away to take care of things. I saw the whole scene and wish I had video: Ainsley was on the couch watching Dinosaur Train and The Boy decided he just couldn't bear to leave her alone. So he tackled her legs and she rightly shoved him off. He then pulled his finger-pointing "NO!!! STOP IT!!!" and she looked at him, leaned forward, and yelled "No! YOU Stop It!". And he stopped it. And it took everything I had not to laugh because, well, that's just what he needed.

Nothing like a little schoolyard justice to bring about some equilibrium. Unfortunately for Johnny, though, I have the feeling the pendulum of power will rarely swing in his direction.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Birthday Presents

John's birthday is coming soon and Ainsley is all fired up. She thinks birthdays are fabulous and has been peeved lately, knowing that John isn't having a party. In her world - and what a wonderful world it must be if this is what she has to be indignant about - everyone on the planet should have a "friend party" on their birthday. She's right, you know. We all deserve a Friend Party on our birthday...

So, because she rightly loves birthdays, she has been obsessing about how to celebrate her dad's. What sort of decorations? What kind of cake? (she wants to make brownies - I'm thinking that, while brownies are perfectly delightful, the guy deserves a little more) And the big question for tonight, just before bed = What do you think we should get him?

I tried the "Daddy would love it if you made something for him" argument, mostly because I have no idea how I can get the kid out by myself to shop. That, and it takes her 35 minutes to decide on something simple like a snack and I couldn't imagine the patience I would have to muster to get through a browsing excursion.

I should not have worried. My girl already knows what she wants to buy her dad and it is:

Light bulbs.

And something for the grill.

I don't know why, but I was told we were going to the "Daddy Store - you know, where Daddy's shop" (read: Lowe's) to purchase light bulbs and a grill accessory.

So that's what we will do.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

House Of Pestilence And Woe

It has been a rough 48+ hours at Chez Laird and I am praying the worst is over. Actually, I know the worst is over because John and I are no longer violently ill and simply in the recovery period. I still don't know what happened, really. John had been limping along with a cold throughout the week, but the rest of us were perfectly healthy until 4:33 p.m. on Friday when the awfulness caught me off-guard as I was playing outside with the kids. The only reason I know what time it was is because we were waiting for John to get back home and I was doing the checking-my-watch-every-two-minutes routine to see if maybe 10 minutes had passed from the last time I had glanced down.

The nastiness hit the ground with an all-out sprint from that time on and went through me, then Gracie, then John, then Ainsley, then...mostly avoided Johnny and Lizzy. So far, those two have only had The Fever and another mild issue (please, PLEASE thank me for sparing you gory details).

What was the worst part? Both parents being simultaneously knocked out and still having to parent. We so wished we could have called someone to help, but we so did not wish our germs upon anyone. What did we do? Well, I'm pretty sure the kidlets got about 8 hours of television on Saturday and 4+ today. No guilt and I think I can handle it if they don't go Ivy because of the brain cells they lost this weekend. We had no choice, although if I have to listen to the shrill voices on "Fireman Sam" again I may run away.

I only got a couple pics from the weekend:

We had to get some fresh air and A just couldn't handle being on the couch inside. Poor thing. Our graffiti on the back porch looks fab. We are so classy.

This doesn't quite represent John's misery unless you know him, but the guy always smiles. Shortly after this I sent him inside and up to bed.

Lizzy and Johnny - you are not allowed to get this full-on. I will feed you ice-cream and lollipops for dinner if you stay in the clear. Capiche?

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Makes Me Proud

We were on vacation with some great friends a few years back when some comments were made concerning how loving I was to John (the sarcasm was not appreciated by this girl - I really am nice to my man. Just not in a public way. I have a reputation to protect.). The conversation started with one of the husbands said something along the lines of "Woman! Make me a sandwich!". And it was correctly suggested that if John said something like that to me the reply would be "Make your own dang sandwich!".

I confess I do not pray often to have a servant's heart...something to think about for tonight.

Now before this true story is told, I am VERY NICE to John when the kiddos are around (like, 98% of the time). Most ridiculousness is saved up all day for after all the midgets are in bed. Or not within earshot. There are many, many years ahead where they will experience The Mommy in my flawed nature. So keep in mind there has been NO EXTERNAL INFLUENCE as you read.

Fast-forward to tonight, 7ish years later. Ainsley and I are sitting down to eat some kickin' brownies and John is giving his baby girl some grief because she wasn't diving in right away to the mess of chocolate. And, after about 5 minutes of ribbing, this is what happened:

John: If you aren't going to eat that brownie, I'm going to eat it!

Ainsley: You can get your own brownie.

The delivery was perfectly blase'.

I'm so proud.

Her poor future husband.

John just reminded me I forgot to include my silent, double fist-pump, cheering that took place in the background. I did do that.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Happy Halloween!

Not a lot to say about Halloween this year, except that it was FUN!! The weather was perfect, the kids weren't terribly squirrely, and Ainsley thought everything was just the berries. Only panic of the evening: while I carried Johnny's epi-pen with me, just in case HE didn't grab some peanut-tainted candy-of-death, I completely forgot about people GIVING him death-candy. I mean, it's completely natural for us grown-ups to hand the sugar bombs directly to the kiddos - especially when they're holding out their meaty little hands and smiling so sweetly. But I was talking to a neighbor and turned around to see Johnny shoving something chocolate in his mouth (The Boy does not take bites of anything - all food is just jammed in). Fortunately it was a relatively benign Twix, but one of the girls had a Snickers. Lesson learned.

And some pics, of course:

I love this picture of Lizzy - from the day she was born, she has always had her feet up on something, just chillin'. We would go down to see her in the nicu and it was as if she was on vacay in the incubator. She does it in the stroller, in the grocery cart, anywhere.

Ainsley - who decided the girls should all match. A shout-out to Miss Kirby who loaned us the dress. It was perfect and she looked so darling. Thank you!

Four Snow Whites and two Handy Manny's. I deserved more candy than I received, but we did have someone take pity on us and delivered four ice-cold ones to the door. Very nice.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Good Times

Dad here for the second time….ever.

I do not intrude on my wife’s blog space unless I have a good reason. I had a very profound Daddy moment this evening and thought it needed to be shared.

Tonight was a special night for big A. All the Dads were invited up to her preschool to carve pumpkins with their kids. I did this last year and it is a very nice way to spend some quality time just with A. I was excited and I’m pretty sure she was too.

My moment came just after we arrived. There were a lot of people in the main area where we were going to carve the pumpkins and it was noisy. A is typically very shy and reserved in these situations and this was no different. As we sat on the floor to begin our project, A unexpectedly crawled into my lap and snuggled up close. That in itself was great but then I noticed she was whispering something under her breath. I was straining to hear her but it was just too noisy. I think I asked her to repeat herself 2 or 3 times with no luck. Finally I leaned in right next to her face and made one last request for her to repeat her words.

“I love you Daddy” was all she whispered in my ear. That was more than enough. Completely voluntary, tender, and genuine from my little girl. My heart…instantly melted.

I love you too Princess.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Welcome To Toddlerhood!

Happy 2nd Birthday, Babies! (LONG, long post. Consider yourself warned.)

I can't call you "babies" or "wee ones" or "crumbgobblers" any longer. Well, the crumbgobbler part of you is still in effect, but you are now also crumb-distributors. At least this makes you efficient.

You are all so unbelievably different and yet have bonded in spite of having little in common except your tripletness. I like to listen outside your door when you wake up from a nap, loving how you crack each other up with some weird joke you created together. Oh, how I wish we had a video-monitor sometimes. I love how you have little conversations with each other all day and how social you are. I love how you enjoy being with each other, torment each other, and fight and love like crazy.

So here you all are, at age 2.

Johnny: aka "The Boy", "Nonny" (from the little sisters), and lately, your full given name, yelled by your older sister when she's discovered something naughty you've done. We hear that one often.

You are my sweet boy. You are supremely cuddly and you don't know a stranger. Everyone at the grocery store knows you because you yell "HI!!" and "BYE!!" to all who work there. And all the customers.

Lizzy is your co-conspirator in most deeds. Yesterday, in the course of an hour you: climbed out of your bed, was found standing in the kitchen sink turning the water on and off, and was discovered sitting on top of the changing table. Fortunately for you, God designed you with a million-dollar smile that will charm everyone but Mom and Dad. And your sisters. You do a little spin-move-jig when you're happy and, don't worry, I'm embarrassed for you. Your dad says you're conflicted because you are amazing at walking in heeled princess shoes while carrying one of your trucks.

One of my favorite moments of the year: you were sitting on the couch when it was announced we were going to Fooz's house to play. You literally jumped off and as you raced to the back door to find your shoes, you stopped, grabbed Gracie with a big ol' bear hug, twirled her around, and set her down again to continue on.

You are joyful. You are intuitive and naturally exhibit empathy. You are already strong and I pray for you to also be brave and true. And I love you because you are mine.

Lizzy: "Lizzy Lou Lou", "Izzy Woo Woo" (from Gracie), and "Lllllizzy!" (from Nonny)

Oh, Lizzy. You are my constant surprise. Seven months ago I was praying and praying that what we were hearing from people wasn't true. That my concerns about you were unfounded, that we were all wrong.Well, what we were hearing was not true and we were 95% wrong. It is wonderful. You are wonderful.

A serious countenance hides a funny kid who, like her brother, does not have a stranger in her world. If any of us is a little down and needs some unconditional love, you are the go-to kid, always willing to give a hug, a kiss, a cuddle. You have a serious temper, but you come by that honestly so it can be handled.

Favorite Moment of the Year: The day you figured out the whole walking gig. You had taken steps here and there and were starting to put them together, but one day when we were at a playground you acted as if you'd been walking around for months. It was the start of what your dad and I call "when Lizzy woke up". The start of when our anxiety about you began to dissipate.

You are (mostly) sweet. You have that look of an old soul. I have no doubt you could stare down a tiger. You delight in making your siblings laugh. And I love you because you are mine.

Gracie: "Gracie Grace-Grace", "Gracie Mae" (from Miss Dianne and it's caught on, so much so that you sometimes call yourself that), "Mouse" (from Fooz)

We joke about how you, our little blonde, blue-eyed, dimply girl are the product of major recessive genes on the outside, but inside you are cut from the same cloth as your older sister. It's actually a little frightening for your dad and I because we know what we're going to get from you: brilliance and quirkiness and loads of drama. Fortunately we have been well schooled in all that is you and are prepared.

Girl, you are just funny and you know it. You like to make up jokes that your siblings and I laugh at and then you'll repeat them at the oddest times, just for entertainment's sake. Your favorite is to say words in a funny way, throwing your tummy forward and your head back. You will play chase all_day_long. You are so, so loud. And the crocodile tears. Oh my.

Favorite Moment of the Year: I think it was the day you learned your colors. You are so much like your sister in that you desire to know things. We were sidewalk-chalking on the driveway and you directed me to draw different colored circles, which you would then ask me to review. In 5 minutes you were pointing at every one and correctly naming the colors. So serious for my little clown.

You are honest. You have an enormous sense of humor. You are witty. You are so, so sharp. And I love you because you are mine.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

We've Got To Hold On, Ready Or Not

John and I are watching a Bon Jovi documentary right now and It's nearly midnight and I've been trying to work on a few posts and now I'm struggling. I'm struggling because it's taking everything I have to not crank up our cd's and dance around the house and sing like the crazy nerds fools we are. If it wouldn't wake up the kids, I would be reliving 1988: driving to a meet with the cross country team, torturing my coach by singing to anything by Jon Bon Jovi as loudly as adolescently possible.

I'll just leave you with this, just please ignore the hair:

Friday, October 23, 2009

Freak Out

That's almost what I did when I happened to check on the happenings in my house while changing a nasty diaper. I looked around, ready to verbally squelch any shenanigans, and saw Lizzy in the kitchen holding on to this:

Eight inches.
One hand was on the handle and one was on the blade.
Heart panic.
Okay, stay calm.
Don't flip out and scare her.
Can't leave a kid covered in feces on the changing table (where he WILL fall off - that's a given) and yet I need to get to her before there's a horrible, horrible, accident.
Pray, pray, pray.
Finish the diaper in .5 seconds which seems like 5 minutes.
Calmly walk to Lizzy and equally calmly have her give the knife to me.
She does.
I finally feel physically ill from the thoughts of what could have happened.

One day she wasn't tall enough to reach the knife drawer and the next day she was. There is no longer a "knife drawer".

Thursday, October 22, 2009

We Need A Cow

Some people in my life asked me awhile back how much milk we go through in one week and I always answered with my best guesstimate. I eventually got curious myself and kept a log (sounds fancy - it really was just some hash marks on a post-it) for one week. The result?

We go through 8 of these bad boys a week:

Good grief. Sorry about the college fund, kids. You drank it away.

Thursday, October 15, 2009


I'm pretty sure I wish I could dance as well as The Backyardigans.

I try, but I can't.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Classic Kitty

The following story is a perfect example of me:

The other morning I couldn't find my cell, so I did what every other normal person does and called it from the home phone. Right after I dialed, some wiring got loose in my brain and these were my thoughts/actions:

"Oh! Someone's calling my phone! How funny! No one calls me this early! And I was just looking for it! How convenient!"

Walk over to the backpack, where my cell was ringing.

Pick up my phone and the caller id says "Home".

"Hmm! Who is calling from home? Does John have a house phone downstairs? (he works in the basement) What would he need already? Maybe the kids did this. How did they do that???"

Keep in mind that I was holding our home phone in my hand as I was confused.

I hung up my cell, turned off the handset, and didn't figure it all out until about 45 seconds later.

I am such a doofus.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Is It Me, Or Is This Odd?

So I subbed teaching 1st grade Sunday School for a friend of mine yesterday. Don't worry - she co-teaches and the other "real" teacher was there. I was just a presence/bathroom monitor. But that is not the point.

The point is that we were all chatting and the other "real" teacher was telling me about how her daughter recently acquired a black eye. This little boy pipes up with and "I had a black eye once!" story and proceeds to talk about his friend who has "anger management" issues.

I'm pretty certain six-year-olds should not have the combination of the words "anger" and "management" in their repertoire.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

It's Pippi Longstocking, Tra La La La!

I usually don't mind what she puts on as long as she's dressing herself, and Ainsley is very capable of some interesting color/design combinations. But pink striped legging? With purple patterned socks and brown shoes? With the purple plaid-ish dress? Good grief.

Monday, October 5, 2009

A Little Pick-Me-Up

Last Thursday was one of those "I would love to crawl back into bed and sleep all day" days. It would have been so lovely. So near the very end of my bummer-day, when I'm checking my watch every 30 seconds to see if the time is even CLOSE to when John gets off work, I noticed I hadn't seen Lizzy in 2.5 minutes. No. Oh no.

Now, if Gracie and Ainsley are not in view I am not concerned. (Not because they are angels or anything, but they tend to make non-life-threatening or house-damaging choices). When I don't see or hear Johnny or Lizzy for a bit I start to panic.

I flew down the stairs only to startle Lizzy Lou, who was rummaging around a kitchen drawer, and when I startled her she stood up and cracked her head on the corner of the drawer. Instant and justifiable tears. She was only in a diaper and when she turned toward me for hugs I noticed this:

Just that day she had learned to open Ainsley's marker container and my eyes raced to the table where A had been coloring and...the container was closed. Hmm...thinking, thinking, No she did NOT! You see, Lizzy also recently discovered our junk drawer - home of a couple PERMANENT MARKERS. I felt sick and gave my house a glance-over to see any evidence of artistry. Hmph. Nothing but her tummy. Well, Good Job Lizzy! Way to contain the damage! Or so I thought until I opened the drawer where I noticed the marker she had used (and impressively replaced the cap upon when she put it back in the drawer - good girl!). It was then that Ainsley delightedly pointed out this:

Oh my stars, I laughed. It broke my mood and made my day bright enough that I didn't want to go to bed anymore. I wanted to stay with my crazy kids and chase them around the house and love on my life. And so I did. Thank-you, Sweet Lizzy.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Another Sigh (but it has all worked out).

We had joked about taping The Boy's diaper together for some time because he was constantly ripping it off and then going free willy throughout the house. Lizzy is the same way and neither can be trusted to run nakie because fresh air on those two tends to encourage spontaneous urination. The whole thing really wasn't that big of a deal until a couple weeks ago when I went in to get the three out of their beds after a nap and there was The Boy, face down and snuggled on his very wet blankie. There was a diaper in the corner of the bed. There was what can only be described as a large turd next to the diaper. It was so gross and my immediate thought was how thankful I was that there wasn't any feces on the walls or the bumper pads. I would have totally freaked about that. Inspired by another triplet mom, we brought out the duct tape.

So, The Boy is only allowed the privilege of regular (non-snap) t-shirts if there aren't any clean onesies left. He is rarely allowed to wear two-piece jams and we're in the waiting period until he figures out how to unzip his regular pj's. Since Lizzy is of the same mindset as her brother, she has also lost normal-diaper rights as well. Sigh.

Johnny. You can't tell, but he has two barrettes in his hair, per request.

Sweet Lizzy Lou.

We have to wrap the tape all the way around because my little Houdini's can still rip it off if there's only a strip in the front.

When does potty training begin?

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Happy Birthday Sweet Girl!

5 years old.

This was a hard one for me because it seems like you have officially left the toddler/little girl stage of your life and are peeking through the door of the big kids' playhouse. I'm not ready, but you are and have been for some time. Fortunately for me, you still love to snuggle-up when we read books and hold hands when we are just about anywhere outside of the house. You have changed so many ways in the last year and I'm just thankful there are a few of the sweet little things still around that you have always done.

I wonder why I hold on to you so tightly. Why I simultaneously rejoice and have an eensy bit of melancholy with your every accomplishment. I know it is because I am, at my deepest levels, selfish and want you to need me for longer than you will. A classic example: I love to hear you read, and yet I dread the day you won't ask me to read to you. Yes, all the wiser parents out there tell me you will always need me on some level and they are right. They're always right. But let's make this year last a little longer, okay? For while I can barely tolerate you turning 5, I know age 6 will surely do me in. You just aren't allowed to be older than 5...or at least until your dad and I want to retire and then you are free to go to college, etc.

My big girl. Always with the sunglasses on top of your head.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Wardrobe Malfunction

I have a knack for making an idiot out of myself. Regularly. I'm not even including the ridiculous stuff that pops out of my mouth sometimes and that's so bad I'm considering duct taping my mouth shut every time I go to a social event from now until...forever.

Anywho, I've had several catastrophic and lesser clothing fiascoes in the last few years. Sure, everyone has left their zipper down in their lifetime and if it's just the pants/jeans zipper it is grouped along with the something-in-your-teeth category. I've had my share of those. No biggie.

I've also had my share of this:
1. Stopped by the mall on a SATURDAY after a luncheon (good grief did I look cute!) because I hadn't had time to buy clothing in a couple years. This is true because I had been preggers with Ainsley and then had actually worked out and was at a fun size again. Time for a reward. So, tried on some outfits at one store, obviously got redressed to wander around some more. Actually ran into an ex-student. Walked around almost the entire mall and noticed 45 minutes later (while in a dressing room trying on something else) that I had forgotten to zip up the back of my BLACK skirt and the tail of my PINK dress-shirt I had tucked in was sticking so far out it should have had a red flag dangling off the end of it because it was illegal for the roads.
2. Same skirt. Got dressed in a hurry and forgot to zip. Sweater worn this time, so instead of a shirttail for everyone to see, it was my hiney. Lots and lots of hiney. Did I mention this happened at church? And John noticed, grabbed a handful of sweater and yanked me back to him (thank you honey! really!) as I was walking down the aisle looking for a place to sit? And we were late (as usual) so everyone else was already sitting? Sigh.

Why am I posting about this? Well, we had "meet the teacher" day at Ainsley's school several days ago and I wore my summer uniform: skirt of some sort + t-shirt. No worries, right? What could go wrong? Silly, silly, Kitty. It started going south early because:
1. I had to bring the triplets with me
2. It was during snack time, which necessitated bringing in the backpack I use as a diaper bag
3. Every family in her class decided to come at the same time for the open house. (30+ bodies in the room = unavoidable chaos which is distracting)

My hands were full of 2 screaming children (Johnny and Gracie thought I was leaving them there), forms to turn in, talking to the teachers/parents/other kids, throwing snacks at the triplets, and trying to block the door so Lizzy and Johnny wouldn't escape, yet let other parents and children in at the same time (WHY do people stand in doorways? Stop that!! Or at least have the wherewithal to grab a kidlet as they are running out so I don't have to shove you aside!). Lots of bending down and lifting up and bending down again. All of this added up to my t-shirt rising up my back (unbeknown to me) and my skirt sliding down from my middle (also unbeknown to me) which resulted in a good 3" portion of my underwear-covered fanny displayed every time I leaned forward or squatted down a bit. This happened a lot because of what I mentioned at the beginning of this paragraph. After, oh, about 20 minutes (did I mention all the PARENTS that were there???) I felt a tugging on the back of my top as a fellow mom casually rearranged my clothing because "your underwear was hanging out". Ugh. Fabulous first impression. Classic.

When do I quit embarrassing myself?

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Wasted Time

The other day I was thinking about those long years of waiting and praying for a child and how I always felt we were in limbo, believing our life together would not really start until we were given a baby. That we were somehow falling further and further behind in the growing-up journey as we watched all our friends have their first, second and sometimes third child and we were just our usual selves. I realize now how utterly absurd that was of me.

I wish I would have had the depth to know "life" had started for us and was racing along at a nice little clip while I was busy allowing myself to be distracted by some pain over which I had no real control. Wasted, wasted time. Hours that could have been better spent in gratitude for what we had. Days and weeks lived in such a way that the world around me would have seen that I believed my life was just right. No perfect, but a life in which I was gloriously content. I was not gloriously content. Not even close.

This is not supposed to be a woulda, coulda, shoulda post. It's just hard when the realization hits that one's heart was not where it should have been and it was like that for a big chunk of time.

Here's to self-reflection...

Saturday, September 12, 2009

My Love/Hate Relationship With Pre-K

Ainsley started "Pre-K" last week and I'm not sure how I feel about it. I absolutely LOVE the fact that "school" is back in our lives (we are not allowed to call it "preschool" around here - "That's for babies"). Ainsley had her fill of the trio this summer and it was getting a little tense at Chez Laird. By the third week of August she was ready for more structure, kids her age and less, well, less of the madness and noise and dust-devils that roller coaster through our home all day long.

I absolutely do NOT love the fact that my baby is now only one year away from kindergarten. I am most definitely not ready to think about it and "Pre-K" is making me. I still want her to be three-years-old and stay that way forever. Maybe not forever, but I would like to have had her linger there awhile longer.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

She Insisted

Lizzy kept this headband on for the duration of her lunch. She would start to freak if it slipped off, which it did a lot...

Silly, silly kiddo.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009


The triplets are weirdly attached to the sippy cups they use for milk. They could care less about what color or brand is used for water, although fights have been known to break out if one is more coveted that minute. Milk, though, is apparently supposed to arrive in the same color and style of cup every_single_day. For a long time with Lizzy, she would only drink out of this bad boy:

For a long time, that cup was lost in my house. Lizzy begrudgingly accepted a pink version of the same make and model. When I finally found it under the train table, five days had passed with the precious purple vessel filled 1/2-way with milk. I didn't even bother to open it up and attempt a cleaning, but unfortunately decided to take a picture of the thing before I threw it away. I had obsessed about it and had torn my house apart looking for it and for some ridiculous reason I felt the need to document the object that caused my latest insane behavior. Sweet Lizzy Lou happened to wander into the kitchen at that time, spied it, and started freaking out. Oh man. I threw it in the trash. She went after it. No amount of "yucky", "grody", or "nasty" worked. She was inconsolable:

I finally managed to get the cup out of the house so when she foraged in the garbage for it she would not find the thing. Here's the kicker, though. When the pink one was missing for a few hours I figured I had better try and find some sort of back-up. My brilliant mind thought I could get a purple one because I knew she liked it and so I did. The next morning, Lizzy was given a new purple sippy and she eagerly accepted it, took one sip, and FLIPPED OUT. Why? Because the lid was new and not chewed up and nasty and broken in. That's why. I give up.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

I Finally Did It

My new chacos arrived in the mail a couple days ago (got an awesome deal on ebay!) and it is with great sadness that I say goodbye to my old friends. Why did it take me so long to take the plunge? Well, the last straw for me came when I was on my girls' weekend and open flaps on the soles of my sandals kept making me trip whenever I pivoted. I'm lucky I didn't wipe out a couple times.

This is what the soles of these shoes are supposed to look like. Sheesh. I didn't realize it was that bad...

The problem is, I can't bring myself to get rid of the old ones. Someone from my real world is going to have to dispose of them while I'm away. I just request they be handled with dignity.

Thursday, August 27, 2009


The triplets are no longer allowed to have dot markers. Gracie would actually be okay; she is the only one who does not pretend they taste like lollipops.

Johnny is the worst of the marker-eaters. After this incident we changed turquoise diapers for 36 hours. So grody.

My favorite part is the perfect dot on his forehead. Part of me thinks it is courtesy of an older sibling. The concentration is impressive, though.

So gross.

Lizzy does well for several minutes and then the temptation of whatever it is that markers taste like kicks in and then any color is irresistible. The picture is terrible - she had just done a taste-test on the pink dot marker.

Gracie. Well, Gracie just likes to color. She doesn't nosh on crayons or markers anymore unless she does it to tease (puts one in her mouth, smiles, and says "YUCKY!").

This eating-of-the-crayons/markers gig caught me off guard. Ainsley tasted crayons once and never put on in her mouth again. Without prompting, she always put the correct caps back on the markers before she used a new one. Crayons were rarely broken and it was devastating when it happened. Not sure what to do with these guys...

So serious. I've told her a couple times she doesn't have to stay in the lines if she doesn't want and she looked at me as if I was a crazy-person.

We had to get dressed up one one of our recent coloring adventures. Lots and lots of coloring and bonding in Ohio.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Lizzy, Lizzy, Lizzy

I've been asked several times over the past few weeks about Lizzy (don't feel badly if you are one who has). I quit reporting on her progress or what's going on because:

1. My kids deserve some privacy, especially about the highly personal things
2. It is sometimes too complicated and tedious to explain in the written word

I will say that she is great (except for that dang biting!) and very "Lizzy", meaning she progresses on her own time and in the manner she sees fit. The kid continues to surprise us and we are beyond thankful for our state's Early Intervention program. It has brought a lot of relief and answers and support, and our therapist's enthusiasm for Lizzy Lou's advancement keeps us going.

Thank you all for asking and I apologize that I have left you hanging, especially since so many people are praying or have prayed for her. You deserve some level of information. :) Feel free to inquire, even if it's via email - I love to talk about her and brag about what she is doing. It just won't be in a public way.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Run Away!

I was able to escape a couple weekends ago and it was so, so wonderful. Why was it wonderful?
1. I had no responsibilities.
2. I slept for 8 consecutive hours for the first time in one year.*
3. We did absolutely nothing except talk and talk and talk.

There were four of us girls and they were the kinds of friends who don't require a lot of effort to maintain. We are women who, because of work and family, sometimes have to go weeks or longer without really checking in with each other and yet, when an opportunity does pop up, we fearlessly jump right in the deep end. There isn't a lot of paddling around the shallow waters with these ladies and I appreciate that beyond measure.

So what did I learn?
1. I move too quickly. I did not realize how I speed walk through Life until I stepped away from it and I hope my kids don't have a memory of a mom who races frantically around, hurrying everyone along.
2. I need to sleep more. After one full night's sleep I was HYPER. Think of how much energy I would have and therefore how much stuff I can get done if I got 7 or 8 hours/night? Oh. Wait. See #1.
3. Evidently I need to drive more slowly. This is here say from John, so...Sabrina we need to talk about this because I was going to offer the car again next year. And there will be a next year.
4. Time with friends (sans children) is critically necessary for my emotional health. My spiritual well runs dry a lot and it was overflowing after just a few hours of conversation with people who know me and still love me.

Thank you, Rachael, Sabrina, and Abi, for running away with me. Thank you for listening to my oft-times ridiculous opinions and letting them slide. Thank you for not judging me. Thank you for the wise counsel. And thank you for your compassion and empathy.

John, thank you for taking care of the Monkey House for the weekend. You are amazing.

Susie, Joan, Maggie, and Mom and Dad - thank you for helping out so I could come back to a peaceful home on Sunday.

*The kids sleep through the night; I just usually get 6 hours, which is not enough. Sorry this was confusing.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Just A Little Sigh.

The other day I was asked if I was pregnant (I'm not). This was not the first time I've fielded this query since having the littlest ones, mind you, and I'm surprisingly not mortified. The reason I'm not offended is that I sort of look like I'm an easy 4 months along because of my "triplet tummy". Lots of us triplet moms have The Tummy and it is because our abs took a psycho amount of abuse during the long, long weeks we carried our sweet babies. Outside of medical intervention (the likelihood of which is pretty silly), my anti-six-pack is here to stay.

It makes me wonder, though, how many people have wanted to ask? It isn't as though the ones that did are freaks or utterly clueless (one was even a mom of two) and if they felt it was obviously safe, how many others? That's the only part that's sort of a downer. Hence, just a little sigh.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

My Sweet Children Are Systematically Destroying My Home

I had a blissful weekend away with some girlfriends which is a couple posts from now, and while I was gone John sent me this image:

It is orange marker. On my dining room chair. Complements of this funny (no, really) child:

That was four days ago. Today I realized I hadn't seen The Boy in a few minutes and I didn't hear him. We know what he is capable of so I raced frantically around the house calling his name. I finally discovered him in my bedroom, squeezing 1/2 a bottle of this:

All over this area of my room:

Which then required this:

Because how else does one get a LOT of pink strawberry shampoo out of carpet? To be honest, Fooz got it out for me because she has the wet vac and I stayed with my screaming children (who are deathly afraid of vacuum cleaners). Actually, to be completely honest she even had freaking-out-Johnny for most of the time because as scared as he is of vacuums, he loves Fooz more and he wanted to cry with her over me. I'm okay with that. Just like I'm okay with my son smelling like Strawberry Shortcake because he deserves it. For the record, he did feel terrible and couldn't even look at me for awhile. At least I know he has a conscience. Now all we need to do is teach him how to run away from temptation.

So, I'm just wondering what is next for the week?

And I wonder why I haven't had time to blog lately...

Thursday, August 6, 2009


The first ride on a carousel.

Shockingly, the little girls weren't as fired up about the experience. Ainsley was thrilled of course, but she's a pro at carousel riding. Gracie was hungry and not with me (one of my friends was holding her), and Lizzy just didn't get what was going on until after the thing stopped spinning, and then she was all about NOT getting off.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

And Because There Haven't Been Recent Pics

Here we are! My almost 5-year-old and 21 month munchies!

Ainsley after a delicious blue Popsicle.

The Boy

Miss Gracie

Lizzy Lou

Monday, July 27, 2009

Happy Anniversary Baby!

Thirteen years. It doesn't seem as though we've been married that long. The feeling is more like...five or six-ish. Maybe seven? I suppose that's what I get for marrying the only person who I can stand being around every single day. The only person who doesn't bug the fire out of me eventually. The only person I loved enough to entrust my heart to. (yes, yes, "to" is a preposition, but I'm too tired to worry about my grammar right now) Of course there are the hours/days/weeks where we drive each other crazy, but I really don't mind because it is you. If I'm really honest, you're probably the only person who can stand being around me for a significant amount of time. Regardless, Life moves too quickly when it isn't frustrating and I don't want to miss anything that's going on with you. I don't want to get the kids off to college and look at you and have to either reintroduce myself or say "so. Let's pick up where we left off, shall we? It was 2004 and our first kid was just born and how have you been?".

So I'm calling a Date Night. Front porch. Bring beer. Or ice cream. Both are perfect.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

It Was Actually Pleasant

We were on the road for nearly 11 hours yesterday and only had 15 minutes of freakout. Total. And Lizzy was the only one who did and it was at the very end. I would look back and she would be just staring at me. That kid can give some looks and she was frosted. Regardless, John and I are still in thankful shock and wish we could find out who invented the portable DVD player and take that person out for dinner.

My only tip (and it's hardly original) for traveling with wee ones - designated McDonald's play land socks that can be tossed. I learned my lesson from two years ago when a pair of Ainsley's was forever darkened by the crud that grows on the inside of the tunnels, floors, and walls of that place. That reminds me - I never posted about our return trip from Gulf Shores...

And the only entertaining part of the trip is that sweet Ainsley needed a potty stop 20 minutes away from our destination. This is just what happens with 4-year-olds. For the record, she did like the restroom of the restaurant we ran in. "Mom! This is a VERY nice bathroom! I really like it." Well, good.

We're in the land of Skyline Chili, Graeter's Ice Cream and Heggy's, although I'm pretty sure there isn't a Graeter's anywhere near us. Bummer.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

A Glimpse

Like lots of other children, all of our kidlets like to wear everyone else's shoes. Lizzy was clomping around in one of mine the other day and ended up standing at the door for a good while, looking out. My heart stumbled a bit, because I had a brief vision of her in 15 or so years. My little girl, dressed up in heels that actually fit, waiting for a boy. Please let this sweet and crazy time pass slowly.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Saved The Day

Our neighbor's son made me laugh the other day and brought me back to sanity. For a few days, the kids had been utterly ridiculous and there's nothing like 4 crying kids clawing and scratching each other to get in your arms, with nothing capable of making them happy, to start a mom's downward spiral into anxiety. Add to the fact that I backed into a truck while leaving my driveway the day before (just not cool at all) and I was seriously considering job hunting.

I broke during the triplets' dinner Thursday night. There had just been too much crying, too much whining, and too many other fires to put out that day. The dishtowel was thrown down, I stomped up the stairs, slammed the bedroom door (I am not a slammer, so it was probably just shut firmly. But it seemed like I slammed it.), and cried. The crying didn't really help that much. I returned to kids who were still being kids and my mood was still foul until...the neighbor boy saved the day.

I think I was carrying an equally annoyed child to the changing table when I glanced outside and noticed Max (not his real name) running up their driveway. He sort of scurried around a bit and the next thing I knew he had partially dropped trou and was relieving himself on his parents' driveway. He immediately realized that would not to go over well with his dad, who was only 20 feet away, so he about faced and continued urinating on our yard. I called John over because I think these sorts of events are hilarious and it was then that Max looked up and saw us waving and smiling at him. To his credit, he didn't flinch, finished his business and then, grinning, ran inside. Made my day.

Thanks, buddy. I can't wait until my kids are old enough to tell them the story of how someone peeing on our lawn kept The Mommy from having a total breakdown.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Baby Jail, Part II

Sweet Lil' Lizzy is a piece of work. Most of the time she gives the appearance of just floating along in this world, but I'm beginning to believe it is a ruse to get more one-on-one time. Every once in awhile she slips up and shows us that she really is paying attention - even more than her siblings sometimes.

We had the unusual foresight to fence in the rest of the yard last Fall, knowing two things:
1. I would go insane if we did not have the outside option for a daily distraction
2. I would be running around like a border collie trying to keep my little flock of sheep from running into the street if we did not.

We put a double gate across the driveway, thinking that the latch-thingy was tricky enough contain them. Lizzy, my not-biting-nearly-as-often-Lizzy, figured out last week how to open the driveway gate, which led to an escape attempt by 2 of our inmates: Lizzy (of course) and Gracie. Both took off down the driveway, neck and neck, before they heard me coming after them and then they divided in an attempt to conquer. No chance, ladies.

John was out doing guy-errands with The Boy, so he got an immediate phone call to pick up a lock. We are now secure, but Lizzy still heads over there all the time to wiggle the latch. Points for persistence.

The gate.

As I was getting a close-up of the lock, a wee little hand reached up in front of the camera.

Politely demonstrating how to work the latches.

So terribly proud of herself. Funny little girl.

The very first Baby Jail is here.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Silly Happy

My new running shoes arrived yesterday and I am beside myself. Very few things make me as happy as new kicks and I am a freak about them. I love the new shoe smell and the shiny white laces and I hate to get them unnecessarily dirty the first couple weeks - going out of my way to run around puddles to avoid the splatter.

Of the 25 years I have been running, I still think about my favorite pairs of shoes: the many Nikes I had in high school, the Sauconys I bought for $25 at an outlet mall and hated to part with, the first and now second pair of Addidas I'm currently attached to.

The biggest reason why my heart rate picks up a bit and I get a silly grin with new shoes is because, just for a little while, they make me feel fast. I haven't been speedy-quick for many years now, but when I'm putting those first few miles on new shoes I feel like I'm flying. My body betrays me eventually, but the memory of earlier years of joy is still there.

My new very best, non-human, friends:

They are so pretty.