Friday, May 29, 2009

"I Want To Invite All My Girlfriends"

Ainsley is a straight, no chaser, girly-girl. So when I told her there would be a mother's day tea party at church, she got serious. Who to invite? What to wear? What will we eat? Do you think there will be milk? You know I don't like tea. She eventually decided she would invite "all my girlfriends" and, from the picture, you can see that most of her very best friends are over the age of...well..."18". Ahem. Actually, most of the women in the picture have held a significant place in our story over the past few years and my only regret is that too many others were unable to come.

Back Row: Fooz, Mrs. Pookie (oh, how we miss you already for Triplet Tuesdays!), Joan, Carrie (Miss Dianne's daughter, aka Jasmine)
Front Row: Me, Genevieve (and her daughter), Ainsley, Miss Dianne of the War Eagle Family, and my mom.
Missing: golly. Too many and we hope they can sit with us next year.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

My Smiley Boy

Johnny has a great smile and is generally pretty happy. He is willful and stubborn as all get-out, but I'm hoping we can teach him to use those attributes with wisdom someday to hold his ground when his convictions and principles are challenged. Anywho, I think the kid has a great grin and here are the pics to prove it:

Yes, those are hairbows and a headband. That's what happens when a little boy grows up with sisters. There are more "accessory" pics, but I'm saving those for the rehearsal dinner.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

We Are Such Hoosiers (and not the great Indiana kind)

Our garage door opener went all crazy-like on us a week ago and quit working. This would not be that big of a deal if there was an alternate way of accessing the garage. No door + no window = no chance of getting in to GET THE OUTSIDE TOYS/WAGONS/JOGGING STROLLERS out, not to mention the other car. Super.

So what do normal people like us do? We (well, John) take a circular saw to the back of the garage and cut a hole big enough for a grown man to crawl through. Then, after achieving victory in getting the garage door open, we cover up the hole with a neatly stacked pile of bricks and a round piece of concrete. Real nice-like.

The new entrance.

Our classy cover.

Hopefully we'll at least get the thing painted this summer so the neighbors don't have as much to complain about, what with our backyard looking like a daycare playground.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Early Intervention - Lizzy Update

Wow. A lot has happened since Lizzy's MRI and I realize how delinquent I've been in sharing the results. It's hard to decide which parts of the story to tell, mostly for Lizzy's sake. Her blood tests did come back normal - that was a long 2 weeks of waiting, but a huge relief and I was oddly more emotional about it than I would have predicted. We are just very, very thankful.

Fortunately, we have ended up qualifying for our state's Early Intervention program. How did that happen? Not from the neurologist's "pervasive developmental delay" diagnosis. That would make sense. It was from the "macrocephaly" part. What?!? All we needed to be accepted was get an official "my kid has a big head" report? Hmmm. Ah, well.

All is forgiven because our lead therapist came last Friday and I love her. I love that Lizzy did some of her goofy things so I didn't look like a paranoid mom. I love that she saw them start to go completely psycho and she didn't flinch. I love that the wee ones all adored her and she was on the floor, rolling around with them like John and I do. I really love the fact that she got to witness a couple of Lizzy's attempts to bite a sibling and helped me through managing the situation.

Mostly, it was wonderful to have a non-biased opinion of why Lizzy is "Lizzy" and it is hopeful. She was able to get my little girl to engage and perform and this will happen every week for the next couple years. It is good.

Thank you all for praying for us and our family.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Mother's Day

This is late because I was over-thinking the holiday all weekend. I started this post a few times and nothing ever worked. Then, when I had given up and bagged the idea, I realized what it should be. It fits me perfectly because it doesn't have anything to do with the struggle of infertility or how much I used to dread Mother's Day (still don't love it) or how odd it is that we had to create a day to honor our mothers when, if we behave as we ought, our mothers would feel honored most of the time.

It happened one evening when, as is my routine, I checked on Ainsley before I went to sleep. I always take the books out of her bed, find her favorite "guy" (stuffed animal) to place next to her, cover her up if she looks cold, stare in awe at the precious gift I've been given, pray for her, the usual mom-stuff. I would do the same with the triplets, but the door to their room sticks and someone always stirs or wakes up if we open it after lights-out. The night will come soon, though, when they are part of the routine.

As I looked at my child, it struck me that Mother's Day is 100% not about me. It is about my mostly-precious children; the ones I pray over and have hopes for every day. These are just some of the prayers I say for them:

~ for your faith to be in your heart and your head

~ to never doubt how deeply you are loved by your family and, even more so, by God

~ to know you were made perfectly and wonderfully

And lastly, I pray for their hearts to be fierce.

May my children always stand fast.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Triplet Logistics - Back Together Again

When Gracie was about 7 months old, we had to move her out of the room she shared with Johnny and Lizzy. She refused to sleep in her bed, crying and waking up the other two, and the only way we could get her to the Land of Nod was to put her in a swing. Now, all of you experienced moms out there know it is a terrible idea to let a kid sleep in a swing. It is not a deep sleep and eventually they get too wiggly or big for one and have to get used to a bed anyway. I knew this, but was so desperate to visit that elusive REM sleep that I did not care. I started caring when she eventually decided the swing wasn't good enough and wanted me to hold her. I love, love, love cuddling with my kids, but I needed sleep and one night I had enough. She was waking up, crying, every 45 minutes (and would stop immediately if I picked her up - she's no fool). It was midnight and that was the night Gracie moved out of that bedroom and into our closet. Before you start going all DCFS on me, please know our closet measures 8x10, has a window, and is attached to our bathroom. The kid essentially had her own suite and, after 2 rough nights, became my best sleeper.

Gracie stayed in our closet for about 11 months and loved it. When it was bedtime, she would practically run through our bedroom and stand/hang on the pack-n-play so she could go to bed. There comes a time, though, when we knew she needed to move back in with the general population and that was about three weeks ago. My fear that my sleep champion would have a difficult time was unfounded - the kid transitioned perfectly and is still the last one awake (most of the time). Not sure what I would have done without that closet. Probably would have given up our bedroom and slept on the couch...

Gracie's Suite:

The Gang. Shenanigans to start soon...

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Heart Check

For the last few months and at least 3x/week, Ainsley has appeared at my side of the bed between the hours of midnight and 4:00 a.m.-ish because "she can't sleep". In 4-year-old language, this means I need to come to her room and snuggle with her until her eyes close and those deeper sleep breaths start. In my confused state I always comply and usually wake up around 5:30 to stagger back to my bed for hopefully another 1/2 hour, or 45 minutes when Johnny decides to be generous and "sleep in". I will say Ainsley is not a cover-stealer, which is nice. The problem is that I had sort of gotten used to at least 6 hours of uninterrupted sleep when the triplets quit waking up during the night. It was nice.

It was becoming mildly frustrating. I need sleep to handle the following day well. It keeps me from turning into Not-Rational-Mommy during those inevitable moments when everyone is grappling over the Dora sunglasses. There are some other very 4-year-old and, let's face it, lots of 18-month-old issues going on at our house right now, and there are days when I am tempted to go back to work. Teaching teenagers is definitely easier than this.

But then something happens to remind me of why I am home with my little monkeys and today it was a song by Darius Rucker (known to my generation as Hootie). I stopped what I was doing and almost cried. I say almost because crying is just not something I do. Now, I realize this song has been out a few months and I am always, always woefully behind in the music scene (can't imagine why), but here's the link if you have a moment. And for even if you don't have a moment but the kids are sending you over the edge.

It Won't Be Like This For Long

I hope Ainsley comes in tonight to get me.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Taken Down A Notch...By A 4-Year-Old

We were invited to our neighbor's First Communion party last Saturday. He has always been sweet to Ainsley (his patience during her talking sessions is impressive) and the three, so it was a no-brainer to go - even though we were spent from the trip. Oh. I need to post about vacay. Too...tired...

So John and I figured we shouldn't look as sloppy as our usual weekend attire makes us and were changing our clothes. Ainsley was present and, as I am putting on a skirt, she actually told me not to wear it because it was "ugly". What?? It was patiently explained to me that it was not pretty because it was "brown and I do not like [pronounced "yike" because she can't say L's very well] " the color brown." What???? I thought I looked rather nice in that skirt. I had been impressed with myself for donning something other than a pair of jeans and I must admit my self-esteem took an eensy-weensy blow. To make matters worse, the kid then saw what John had put on, turned to me, and said "That's a nice top Daddy has on. I like it. It looks good.". It was a freaking plaid-ish sort of shirt (it actually is nice, but I'm still annoyed) and he got the compliment. The skirt came off and I actually don't remember what it was replaced with.

All of this from someone who thinks the following "outfit" (she loves that word) matches perfectly because everything has flowers on it: the top, the pants, the socks, the sandals.

She had called this ensemble her "spring outfit because flowers come out in the spring". Of course she then happily pedaled down the street in it, looking as cute as can be.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

In Brief

We're back. The trip was good (except for that driving part) and I'll have a much longer and more boring post in the next couple days. In the meantime, here's a reasonable pic of us. We would have attempted the classic beach shot, but Gracie made it clear at the start of the week that she did not care for sand. Therefore, the boardwalk was as close as we could get with her. What you don't see in the picture is that Lizzy took a fabulous fall right beforehand and had a knee that looked like it had been put through a meat grinder. What you also, thankfully, don't see is that my top had some sweet blood stains on it from her. You'd think I would have learned years ago to never wear white.