Friday, June 26, 2009

Life's A Beach!

While Mommy spent the day in labor-management negotiations and Daddy was working hard on proposals and contracts, the boys, Greta, Nana, and Grandad all got to go spend the day at East Fork Lake.

Sigh ... it's pictures like these that make me want to quit my job and be a full-time mommy. I miss them so much when I'm at work.

I know the orange looks BRIGHT in these pictures, but it is so easy to spot three two-year-old toddlers in the water when they are wearing such an unusual color.

They all had a great time playing together in the water!

Noel was a little hesitant at first!

Hayden jumped right in!

Tanner enjoyed just taking in the sights!

Tanner and Noel wanted to go for a ride in the boat!

Hayden, of course, splashed everyone!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

From There to Here

January 24th, 2007 ... first day at home after 6 weeks in the NICU

June 24th, 2009 ... getting ready to start preschool in 6 weeks

Monday, June 22, 2009

Water Park!

Our little water sprites love to visit our local park district's water spray park.

We love it, too -- for only $5 for all three kiddos, they get to play in a fenced in park area that has lifeguards stationed everywhere.

Here is Tanner with the turtle!

Hayden loved standing under the mushroom shower!

Tanner must have gone down the slide at least twenty times!

Noel was not as enthusastic about the water park and stuck by Daddy's side!

But he did get up on the turtle with Daddy's help and Hayden's encouragement!

Tanner kept trying to figure out how the water was coming up through the holes!

Sunday, June 21, 2009

June 21st, 2009

Happy Father's Day! We decided to do a special treat for Daddy!!

So Hayden and Noel helped Mommy decorate ... it was a little too messy for Tanner!

And made lawn mower cupcakes!

They were so good that Noel couldn't believe his eyes!

In face, they were good enough that Tanner thought it was worth risking the time-out to crawl on the kitchen counters to get one!
Yummy! You can find out how to make your very own lawn mower cupcakes here!

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Zoo Class

We had our monthly Cincinnati Zoo class yesterday! This time we learned about all the different animal sounds.

It was over 100 degrees outside with the heat index by 11am, so it was a short trip, but it was fun-fun-fun!!

We all loved petting the rooster and making our "cock-a-doodle-doo" sounds!

Then we make monkey noises as they swung around their island!

We got to visit the baby bearcat in the zoo nursery!

And finally, we all roared at the white lions!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

A Request for Your Help

I normally don't ask people to vote in online contests, but I'm going to make an exception this one time.

When your child dies, you are left with the most indescribable feeling of emptiness. In some cases there is no record of your child. No recognition of their life. No birth certificate, not even a death certificate.

To Write Their Names In The Sand honors, remembers and recognizes the lives of children lost.

It is an emotional and moving web page.

Each day at sunset, a lovely woman from Australia named Carly goes to the beach, writes names of children who have gone to heaven in the sand, and takes a photo. She does this in honor of her own son, Christian, who they lost two years ago.

They receive on average 150 name requests a day. Their dream is to bring warm light back into bereaved families lives. They wish for everyone hope and peace.

Carly has entered an online Canon photo contest where she can win a new Canon camera and $60,000 to donate to her charity of choice, SIDS and Kids Australia.

Please take a moment to help her out and click on this link to vote for her.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Dentist Appointment

We had our dentist appointment yesterday!

We've been going to Dr. John since our 1st birthday. They recommend that preemies starting seeing a dentist earlier than most children since they can sometimes have enamel issues. So, we went at one year old and had such a great check-up that we didn't need to see him again until we were two. Now we see him every six months to get our teeth counted, cleaned, and checked.

We had another GREAT visit. The boys are so well behaved and act like such brave, big boys! They make me so proud!

Also, we have no cavities!

And we also found out that Hayden and Tanner have all of their baby teeth in! Noel only needs to get one more three year molar in and he is done, too! Can I get a "Woo Hoo" to almost being done with teething?

The only bad news we got was information we already knew. Noel's cross bite is still there and his upper jaw is really narrow, so as soon as his six year molars come in, he will be fitted with an orthodontic appliance to split his upper palate and help make room for all of his teeth.

It sounds painful ... and it is. I know as I had to have one, too, as a child. But, it saved me from having years of braces and other orthodontic work later. So, I know it will be hard, but it will be the best long-term option for Noel.

Tanner might have to have one, too, but it is more of a wait and watch with him as his bite is fine ... his jaw is just a little narrow.

Hayden's got a big mouth and a perfect bite -- so he is in the clear for now.

We celebrated our awesome dentist visit by going to breakfast at McDonald's Playland and then onto the local water park! It was a great day!!!

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Safari -- Coney Island Style!

Yesterday was Dan's company picnic. This year's theme was "Safari" and they had it at Coney Island. We came dressed to hunt lions and tigers and bears -- camo shorts with our swamp gator shirts!

Did I mention the cool safari hats?

We got there extra early so we could play on all the rides without having to wait in lines. We had a great time on the trains, boats, planes, and rocketships!

We also go to go down the BIG slide with Daddy!!

We had a great day! Thanks, Funatics, for another awesome time! See you next year!

Friday, June 12, 2009

Such Good Advice, I Had to Steal It

A fellow triplet mommy went to a discussion with the author of a book called, "Allow Your Child to Fail if You Want Your Child to Succeed." The author is a pediatrician, Dr. Avril Beckford, and gave a great talk.

My friend emailed some great insights from the discussion, and I wanted to share some of her main points with all of you. Thanks, Kim -- this truly was eye opening!!!

The author began with the analogy of childhood as a bridge that we help our children to cross until adulthood. We put up barriers to keep them safe, and lead them across the bridge. The news today is filled with stories of parents who aren't putting up barriers and their kids fall off that bridge into drugs, gangs, etc, etc.

However, she feels that an even bigger problem is occurring outside of those who put up no barriers ... those of us who are carrying our kids across the bridge (helicopter parents).

Her main points were that children of parents who want to get it "right" are being damaged in the same way the parents who don't put up the barriers on the bridge. She said that children are:
(1) Over-Pressured
(2) Over-Scheduled
(3) Over-Protected
(4) Under-Nurtured
(4) Over-Indulged
(5) Micro-Managed
(6) Over-Praised

(1) Over-Pressured: Parents are pressuring children to perform at earlier and earlier ages ... through things like competitive sports before the age of 8, getting into the best schools, doing learning videos, and labeling (my smart child, my dancer, my bully). Instead we should be getting kids together and having fun play with the soccer net, while mom and dad play goalie and act silly. Find the fun first and THEN the competition.

And this is not for every kid, some kids crave competition and they need it, but they are not the norm. (Starting too early= Young burnout)

Instead of saying, "You are my Mensa genius", we should say, "We sure had fun reading that book today."

Play makes brains grow more than anything. LOTS more goofy backyard play ... Get DOWN and DIRTY with your kids (play touch, feel, and laugh). Its okay for your kids to eat dirt, play in the mud, and fall down.

(2) Over-Scheduled: FREE PLAY, FREE PLAY, FREE PLAY. At two your child should not be involved in more than ONE scheduled activity (dance, t-ball, etc).

Also watch over scheduling fun stuff ... personally, I'm so guilty of this!

(3) Over-Protected: DON'T fix your kids problems.

Example: Your kid comes to you with math homework: "Mom, I can't figure this out. I can get to here, but this is as far as I can get." Instead of finishing it with your child, your child has to go to school with as much done as possible and ask the teacher for help.

And don't ever do a project for your child, teachers know and don't grade your kids as highly as they would a kid who did it on their own.

When we bail our children out, we hinder their learning. Resist the urge to rescue your child.

Another Example: Bullying ... Dr. Avril, teaches little bitty kids in her office to stand up, put their hand out in a stop sign, and say in a loud voice: "STOP BULLYING ME!" That way the kid is handling the problem, while alerting the teacher to the problem and the teacher can then intervene. But the child is in control.

(4) Under-Nurtured: Only 1/3 of American teens have two or more dinners at home per week. Quality time is NOT a replace for actual time. Eat five meals per week as a family.

Technology, cell phones, and video games: PUT THEM DOWN (especially the parents -- yes, I'm talking to you Dan. YP).

We are missing too many important moments, because our ears are glued to our cell phone or on our computers. We are missing our children's excitement for a new skill, a hand print painting, or a really BAD day.

(5) Over-Indulge: If our children get to the point that they feel they are entitled to stuff (candy every time we go to the store, the biggest best car and a new one the day after they wreck it, etc, etc) we are creating an injustice.

There is an actual labeled syndrome for this now, because it is gotten so out of hand, "spoiled child syndrome".

(6) Micro-Managed: DON'T control every aspect of your kids life.

Don't referee (easy to say, harder to do). Instead of saying "Don't hit your brother", say, "Why are you hitting your brother, and how can we fix it, so you don't have to hit him." Don't stop your sibling groups from fighting, unless someone is going to get hurt. They will come to you when it gets to bad and THEN you intervene, but not before.

Also, choices are great for kids. If you can, give them a choice that you can live with (two veggies, must eat one ... draw during playtime or use play dough).

(7) Over-Praised: Parents must STOP over praising kids for the littlest things (I'm SO bad at this -- we clap after singing the Alphabet Song!).

Potty training dances, treats, etc need to stop ... Instead say, "Good job -- let me help you wipe." That way the kids don't learn to control parents with their bowel moments ..."I need to potty" stops everything, when they are capable of holding it!

Bumper stickers: My child got all A's at "so and so middle school". What are we telling our kids: ONLY A's matter? If that kid was like me, she got A's without opening a book. What about the kid who works her rear end off to get a 72? What's more important: the work or the A?

Something to think about: Kids grow up thinking everything they do should be praised and then they hit college or the work force and they can't function because their boss or professor is not raving over the MINIMUM they do.

Dr. Avril also suggested three other books that are great reads:
I LOVE U 65 BULLDOZERS (her children's book-illustrated by an autistic child)
I LOVE YOU THE PURPLEST (great book for multiples)

Finally, Dr. Avril gave a simple RX for a healthy, happy child:
* Allow and be comfortable with MISTAKES -- they are essential to learning and to personal growth
* Allow failure -- if we don't fail at some attempts we haven't stretched our self far enough
* Don't negotiate from your child ... LIFE IS NOT FAIR and you can't make it be fair for them!
* Role model how to learn from failure and mistakes -- Instead of cursing at yourself when you drop a bag of flour, instead laugh at yourself and say, "Look how silly mommy is ... she dropped the flour. Oh well, everyone makes mistakes!"
* Don't expect PERFECTION (this is reeeeaaaallly hard for me) -- that pressure is recipe for disaster. Expect and treasure bumps in the road, because mistakes are good and healthy.
* Partner with your child's teacher -- Don't demand things from them when your kids is having problems, instead work together from the beginning.
* Be there when your child succeeds, but ESPECIALLY WHEN THEY FAIL!
* Know your child well ... be attuned to who they are.
* Treasure and appreciate who they are as an individual (so important for multiples)
* Listen to their feelings
* CHILL, RELAX, and ENJOY your children
* LAUGH and LAUGH and LAUGH some more

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

I Think My 15 Minutes Are Up

When you have higher-order multiples, you gain a kind of instant celebrity status.

People stop you everywhere and ask questions or make comments ... some are very, very stupid, and some that are genuine and very kind.

It's been hard to miss us, really. When the boys were younger, we had a monstrous triple stroller.

Now we have the 3-car (sometimes 4-car) choo-choo wagon.

And, I guess it doesn't help that I dress the boys the same or in coordinating outfits. Honestly, the reasons I do that is not to draw attention, but because (1) it is the easiest way to shop -- 2T blue, done!; and (2) it is easy to spot them in a crowded play area when they all are dressed the same.

As the boys are getting old enough to be able to walk in parking lots holding hands, sit in shopping carts, etc, we have been able to venture out without a clown car type mode of transportation. And I have found that we aren't the center of attention anymore.

The other day we were shopping at Sam's Club -- I had two boys in my cart and Dan had one in his. A lady was passing me in the bakery section, when she stopped and said, "Twins?"

I felt this pang of disappointment, and before I could stop myself I said, "No. Triplets! The other one is around the corner with Daddy."

The lady was one of the polite ones and mumbled a "Good Luck" or something civil as she carted off.

I was left stuck to my spot.

After all of my complaining and crying about how we are always accosted anywhere we go because we had triplets, here I was grumbling about not being hounded about having triplets.

Even going so far as to proclaim we had triplets.

I think I became used to the attention ... came to expect it. And with it fading, I feel like a castaway reality TV star.

I wonder if they'll make a show called "I'm a Triplet Mom! Get Me Out of Here!".

I'd so win.