.

Monday, May 31, 2010

Memorial Day

My wonderful husband served in the Air Force.   We spent a great day with him today remembering how lucky we are that he and so many others have made the sacrifice to serve our country.  

I have a feeling years ago, when he was traveling around the world in camouflage, he never thought he would be spending a Memorial day in a plastic baby pool but I know he wouldn't have it any other way.
We love you Daddy!

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Working hard

Parker did lots of "man stuff" in the yard today with Daddy.  He is Daddy's little shadow and during the week while Mark is at work he will head off to a wall, do a little banging and turn to McKenna and I and explain to us that "Parker's doing man stuff" because we just would not understand since we are girls.  Then he goes back to his invisible job.  

He is available for house calls but generally breaks much more than he fixes :)

Saturday, May 29, 2010

29/31

I'm almost done, we're on day 29 of our month of pictures.  I love having all of the pictures when the month is over but by about day 20 I usually start running out of steam.  So today's picture is an "it's almost bedtime and I forgot to take a picture for the blog" shot.  The kids were very serious about their new play-d.oh ice cream maker and concentrated on making "sparkly's" (sprinkles?) and drinks for us with a little extra time spent smooshing it all into our floor with their feet.  What else would we do once they went to bed if we didn't have play-d.oh to peel off the ground? 

Friday, May 28, 2010

Thursday, May 27, 2010

One last visit

Today we went for our NICU follow up with the developmental clinic at the hospital where the triplets were born. The kids' growth and development are great and they were very impressed with how smart they are.  We have been officially discharged from their developmental clinic and it feels great to know that my little survivors beat the odds.

I, however, pratically had a nervous breakdown going to their appointment.  We have not been back to that hospital since their last developmental check up over a year ago and I have a complete love/hate relationship with the place. 

I hate it because it is the place where Hadley died. 
I love it because it is the place where Hadley lived. 

While we were there today I had visions of myself coming back there for years and years to come just to hang on to the only place where she ever lived outside of me.  We took the kids up to the NICU floor so they could peak in the window and someone opened the door and I was consumed by the NICU smell that surrounded us for so many weeks.

I want to go back again and go inside and just sit there and listen to the sounds and remember our time there but I also never want to go back again and hear any of it and remember the awful day our lives changed.  It is so conflicting to have the place where your children began their lives also be the place where one of your children never left.

I am reading the book "I Will Carry You" by Angie Smith, a woman who chose to carry her daughter to term despite being told that she would not survive to her birth, and I have to say I am not in the place where she is on her journey but I am trying to get there.  One thing she talks about over and over is being grateful for the time she did have with her daughter and not getting lost in the grief of her death.  I am trying so hard to do this.

I am so lucky to have had the experience of carrying triplets and am so lucky to have carried Hadley for 28 precious weeks and to have gotten the chance to meet her and hold her, even though the first time was also the last.

I remember the day after they were born being in the NICU with Mark and going from baby to baby to baby, getting updates from each of their nurses and feeling completely, happily overwhelmed by the fact that we had just had three babies at once.  We were giddy with the excitement of our new babies but didn't get to live in that moment very long.  I keep trying to hang onto that feeling because we were blessed with three babies and I want to have good memories of the place that brought them into the world.

So today, we made good memories there.  We took our little survivors up to the place they spent the first three months of their lives.  We talked about how far they had come to anyone in the hall who caught onto the fact that they had once called the place home, we visited my favorite nurse who took care of me during my 10 week stay before the babies came, we showed them incubators and just let them roam the place.

Today was a good day at the "baby hospital", as the kids called it, and I was so grateful to carry Hadley's memory with me as we walked out the door one last time.
Mark and the kids looking in the NICU window
The kids, on the other side of that window, two and half years ago

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Before the bath

Parker asked me to take his picture after he rubbed himself down with spaghetti sauce tonight.  He was such a mess but even through all of the goo this picture came out so sweet.  It may make everyone else want to climb through the computer with a washcloth but I love it.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

A Potty Story

At some point last night, when my hands were more than full and no one was wearing a diaper, Parker announced that he had to go potty.  As any mom who has cleaned more than her fair share of pee off the floor would do, I told him to RUN to the potty.  McKenna followed behind him to supervise as always and just as I was wondering if the little boy pee shield was up on the potty, McKenna came out to inform me very seriously that "Parker's pee pee did not go in the potty."

I finished diapering Sawyer and headed in the bathroom.  As I was cleaning a smaller than usual puddle and Parker was emptying the two drops of pee that did make it into the potty into the toilet I looked up at McKenna who concentrating on the whole scene with her hands on her hips and a wet stripe going down her dress from her chest to her knees.

Apparently she was in the line of fire.

I wish, wish, wish the camera was in reach for a picture but I just couldn't get to it.

Here is my picture for today but I had to cheat.  Today was not a good day.  My poor Sawyer was sick and miserable and the only time the doctor could see him was during our coveted naptime so everyone was either sick and crying or tired and crying ALL DAY LONG.  I kind of figured no one needed a sick baby/crabby toddler/frazzled mom picture today and found a cute one from the other day instead.
Keep us in your thoughts that the little sunglass-wearer does not get her brother's virus.  The last time she was sick was when everything went downhill and she lost so much coordination and strength.  She is in rehabilitation now but doctors are still trying to find a diagnosis and until they do we really don't know how her body will respond to another illness so I am hoping that we can keep her healthy!!!!

Monday, May 24, 2010

Sunbathing

I know I am biased but I can't stand how cute this picture is.  
He is upstairs napping now and this makes me want to run in there and wake him up just to kiss his chubby little cheeks.
Sawyer is an amazingly good baby and will be one sooner than I am ready for.  I was choked up the whole time I was making his birthday invitation.  
Poor Sawyer, I am going to blubber through all of his firsts knowing he is my last.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Pigtails

McKenna was unbelievably cute today in her little pigtails today (this was the best picture I could get, someone would not stop running in front of the camera).  So cute that I think I could feel my heart breaking while I put them in.  I should have had another set of pigtails to fix.

Loss sucks.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Happy Day

I'm not sure what landed up in Happyland today but we seem to be there.  The kids have been sharing, playing together and just generally sweet all day long.  
I am surprisingly not burned out for a Friday.  
They ate breakfast and lunch without protest and no one sat on top of the table or told me they were finished by dumping their bowls onto the floor.
I even had a chance to hang back and watch them play a bit today and think about how amazingly cute they are and how lucky I am to be their mommy (I think this every day but not usually in this peaceful of circumstances).  
While they were playing Take Sawyer's Toys Away (not the nicest game but everyone was entertained by it, even Sawyer) McKenna asked me to get the camera and take their picture.
Sawyer was totally happy to see the camera as always
and the other two turned into goofballs shortly after the first picture.

We finished off our morning of bliss climbing through their tunnels where they crawled to each end and waited for little Sawyer to make his way to them.
When he would finally reach them they patted him and said:
"Yay, Sawyer, you did it, Mommy is so proud of you."
I'm sure they meant that they were proud but you get the point.
Oh and when I said it was time to go up for a nap, Parker replied:
"I'm coming Sweetie"


I am not kidding myself, once nap time is over they will more than likely be whining at my feet, fighting over a toy we have ten of and launching their dinner across the room but for now I am contently blogging and not even worried about what crazy hour my husband will get home from work at because I still have patience left over from the morning.

Now if my teenager comes home happy too I'm playing the lotto.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Soccer

Tonight our varsity girl's soccer team held a practice for Ashlyn's Special Olympic team.   The girls were great with all of the kids and Ashlyn definitely got a workout.  She was exhausted by the time practice was over and so were the little ones.
While I was nursing Sawyer tonight, Parker wiggled in right by my face and said "So, um, what's the deal?  Parker needs to go to bed."  I'm totally with Parker on this one and need to go to bed too so don't have an ounce of creativity left for this post so on to the pictures...
Ashlyn practicing (and far enough away that she couldn't scowl at me for taking her picture)
The peanut gallery

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

The band

Believe it or not my little Sawyer was the one who started this.  Parker and McKenna have advanced to getting into much more sophisticated trouble than taking things out of low cupboard.  He proudly began unloading the pots and pans so I figured I might as well toss everyone a spoon and fill my ears with cotton while they played their little hearts out.

Monday, May 17, 2010

A girl and her fish

At some point in Ashlyn's long career of being spoiled by my parents she talked my dad into buying her a stuffed fish.
This is totally not the little stuffed animal you are picturing.
It is a five foot long, tacky multicolored, monstrous creature.  One of those things that you find in an outdoor hunting/fishing store that you would only buy someone if you are 100% positive that under no circumstances will it ever be in your own home.  Also one of those things that you cannot get rid of if it is in your home because it either
a) leaves a gaping hole in your child's bedroom so that they notice its absence right away or
b) sticks too far out of a trash can to be thrown out inconspicuously

So this morning I had to get all of the kids ready and out the door by 7:30 am for a doctors appointment.  I'm not sure if I have mentioned this before but Ms. McKenna is a total pack rat, she holds onto everything, literally.  Anytime we head to a different area of our house you can find her scanning the room for what she desperately needs to bring with her to the next room.  Heaven forbid she leave El.mo, a doll or a half-eaten apple 20 feet away in the kitchen while we play upstairs.

So back to the fish....

Since we were up so early this morning McKenna was in her big sister's room before she left for school and she spotted it...  that stupid lovely, never to be gotten rid of, fish.  So this morning, while trying to get everyone ready, everyone up and down the stairs, everyone dressed, fed and in the van, I had to walk Parker, carry Sawyer, and keep steady an already wobbly McKenna who was now pulling a five foot long fish.

Somewhere along the way I found myself arguing with my headstrong little girl about the fact that the fish needed to stay home for his nap so no he could not come in the van for our hour and half long drive.  Ultimately our need to make it to her appointment outweighed my need to leave Fishy at home and there I was stuffing that stupid thing across the back of the van.  I thought maybe once he was all the way across the backseat and over her lap that Ms. Stubborn would relent and say Fishy could stay home but nope, she just rested her hands on his fins and grinned at me with complete satisfaction.  I did however, put my foot down and not allow Fishy into our appointment.  I draw the line at lugging in two toddlers, an infant, a double stroller, a 50 pound diaper bag AND a five foot long fish.  But the moment we left our appointment she was thrilled to climb back in the van with her fish.  Talked to him most of the ride home and couldn't wait for me to bring him in the house when we got home (on my fourth trip back to the van-- one for their lunch and sippy cups, one for Sawyer, one for Parker and McKenna and one last time for the fish).

Fishy is now upstairs, blocking the entire hallway, waiting for his new best friend to wake up from her nap so that her mommy can continue schlepping him around for the rest of the day.

Update on the rest of the afternoon... the new found love for Fishy did not die.
We lugged him up and down the stairs with the rest of the crew many times, had a HUGE fit because he was not able to scoot on his butt down each and every step, dragged him down the hall with Parker clinging to his fins and even squeezed him into the bathroom while we all sat squished together even more than usual waiting in hopes that someone would pee on the potty.

My little dictator is now asleep and Mommy is dreaming of putting Fishy in the lake where he belongs :)
Asked her to show me Fishy and got a fishy face instead

Friday, May 14, 2010

Caught

He was doing this while the Crazies were napping!  
I am glad he is a fast learner but come on, does he have to pick up everything his brother teaches him before he is even one??  What happened to my sweet, cuddly little baby that just wants to sit on my lap and coo at me when the big kids are sleeping?  
Less than a month left until my little guy turns one.  
I'm cherishing every last minute of my baby days even if they are full of refolding clothes and putting the knobs back on drawers (did you notice that is missing too?). 

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Mealtime

I'm too tired to write much today but loved this picture of McKenna and Sawyer.  I had just finished feeding him and went to get a washcloth and she climbed up there and decided he needed a little more.  Being the piggy he is, Sawyer was all for it and by the look on her face he really didn't have a choice in the matter.  This was such a precious moment and I'm glad I captured it.  Especially since our next meal consisted of McKenna screaming "WANT TO FEED SAWYER" over and over and over and over again while she was supposed to be eating her own lunch.  Ahhh, toddlers.

Such a sweet little thing she is.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Uncles

Uncle Brett is leaving us to head to Austin for the summer for a great work opportunity.  He came over for the evening tonight to remind us what a great uncle he is and how much we are going to miss him.  The kids had a BLAST and fell asleep the minute I put them down after all of the fun they had.  

Now both of my brothers will be out of state :(  

After I put the kids to bed we were talking about a lot of old memories and I was reminded what great brothers I have.  We had a great time as kids and they have both turned into amazing guys and amazing uncles who have supported me through the roller coaster of a life I have had the last few years, actually the last, well we won't say how many years... they have supported me for a long time :).  

Love you both!
We will miss you Uncle Brett!!!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Troublemaking 101

There seems to be a new activity going on in our house lately called "Teach your brother how to take the house apart at his level so you don't have to bend down and do it yourself."  

I keep finding Sawyer trailing along behind Parker and, while following, dragging along something that should be elsewhere in the house.  This week Parker taught him how to take the cover off the bottom of the fridge (and continue carrying it while crawling so it is no where near the kitchen when you are done with it), take a hallway door stopper off and how to quickly unload clothes out of your bottom drawer or any laundry basket that your mom has neatly folded them into.  

So earlier today I was brushing my teeth with my sweet little Sawyer at my feet and he pulls himself to stand at my legs and starts poking my leg with the door stopper he had just removed from the wall in the bathroom, ALL BY HIMSELF.  Apparently he has learned to transfer his knowledge to all areas of the house very quickly.  

What a good little student. 

Of course, he does have a very skilled instructor.  

In fact, I'm sure Parker would take anyone under his wing and teach his perfected craft of troublemaking at no charge.
  
After all, who wouldn't trust their innocent little child to this face.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Boating

I got the kids up after nap today and surprised them by telling them Daddy was home early AND we were heading out on our first boat ride of the year (Sawyer's first ever).  They were completely tickled and happily got into their life jackets.  McKenna informed us that we were "all going to hang out together" and off we went.
Here are the pictures of us "hanging out" on the boat and yes, my teenager went too but headed to the other end of the boat as soon as we got out the camera.   
Sawyer wondering what in the world was happening
Daddy and the kids, no idea why they look like they just ate lemons 
(the kids, not Daddy, he looks great as always). 

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Little Man

One benefit of being two and a half an only weighing 22 pounds is that you can still ride in the baby backpack.
Parker had a blast cutting the grass with Daddy today and didn't mind one bit that we couldn't find his sunglasses so he had to wear his sisters.  I put his coat on over the carrier so he looked like we had just glued him to Daddy's back.  I hope he knows that someday he will grow out of the baby carrier.  Actually, by then he may be old enough to cut the grass himself.

Happy Mother's Day

Happy Mother's Day to all of the moms out there 
whether your children are in your arms or only in your heart.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Big sister

A few people have asked about how McKenna is doing so I thought I would take a minute to give an update.  I guess the short answer is we really don't know how she is doing.  Her limp is not as pronounced as it used to be but she is still very uncoordinated and seems to fall for no reason ALL the time.  So I'm not sure what is better, limping or falling.  We are waiting to see a neuromuscular specialist and in the meantime her physical therapist is considering fitting her with leg braces to help stabilize her gait.  I dread the thought of trying to get my stubborn little peanut to wear any type of brace.  The ONLY way we will be able to pull it off is if she thinks they are some kind of fancy shoes.
Do they make orthopaedic devices in zebra print??

Friday, May 7, 2010

The Name Stories

I love the idea for Show Me Your Life at Kelly's Korner this week so had to participate.  Here is the story behind the names of my children...

Ashlyn Taylor
I saw the name Ashlyn in an Irish folklore book in high school (yes, I was pregnant in high school for those of you who don't know... one of these days I will blog the whole story in case your curious).  Ashlyn's middle name Taylor was a name I had always loved so that was that.  Being a single mom made the name-picking simple.  I found them, I loved them and my beautiful Ashlyn was named.
Since I decided to do things the traditional way the second, third, forth and fifth time around I had a husband to cooperate with on the rest of my names :)

McKenna Karen
Mark brought up the name McKenna after I volunteered him to help at a family picnic at my work.  He ended up at the face painting table and one of his little customers was the cutest redhead named McKenna.  We both loved the name and once we knew our triplets were going to be two girls and a boy we decided our first girl would be McKenna since it was the first name we agreed on.  Karen is the first name of Mark's late mom... so glad she carries the name of her grandma.

Parker Murphy
I honestly cannot remember where we first heard the name Parker (sorry, Parker) but I know that as soon as we heard it we both loved it and the boy name discussion was over.  Murphy is the maiden name of Mark's late mom.  I loved the idea of using Murphy for Parker's middle name.  I might be biased but I thought we chose the perfect boy name.  We had such a hard time with a boy name the next time around because we didn't think anything could top the first!

Hadley Jane
Can I just say before I explain that I LOVE typing her name??  I love saying it, reading it, writing it, every chance I get.
Hadley's name was the hardest for us to decide on.  I had read a book years ago (which I am now dying to find the name of) that had a girl named Hadley as one of the main characters.  I fell in love with the name and saved it somewhere in my mind.  Mark was not a big fan when I brought it up early in my pregnancy.  He actually gave it a definite "no" so I gave up and we debated our Baby C's name my whole pregnancy.  Right before I ended up giving birth he brought up the name Hadley out of nowhere.  He had admitted a new student to school named Hadley and said she was the sweetest girl and reminded him of what our girls may be like some day.  So, I got my way and Hadley it was.  We actually decided on her name when they were wheeling me into my c-section.  Jane was after my maternal grandmother Mary Jane.  I'm so glad I named one of my girls after her, I just wish they could have met.  The funny thing about Hadley's name is, since we debated it for so long, I felt like I knew her the best when they were born.  We would watch her in the ultrasounds, talk about how she moved and what kind of personality she might have, searching for the perfect name.  We never knew what precious time that was.


Sawyer Mark
This was a tough one.  We did not know what we were having so we debated the WHOLE pregnancy.  If he was a girl he would not have had a name at birth, he probably still would not have a name now.  We just could not agree.  I had all of these issues with our kids names being the same style, not beginning with the same letter, etc, etc and Mark had a bad student with the name of every single name I had left.   At some point I saw a picture of two brothers named Hudson and Sawyer and loved both names.  Hudson did not go with our last name so Sawyer was my pick and Mark decided on Owen.  Once Mark watched me go through days of labor trying to keep our little baby in as long as possible he decided it would be my pick :)  I was still going back and forth while I was heading into my c-section on giving Mark Owen or picking Sawyer.  The nurse anesthetist actually helped me decide while they were placing my spinal when she told me they had delivered lots of Owens in the last week.  His middle name is of course after his daddy.


And that is how we came about our names.


Thursday, May 6, 2010

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Soccer practice

The kids and I had a blast at Ashlyn's soccer practice tonight.  I was hoping they would not catch a glimpse of the slide until much later in her practice but McKenna zeroed in on it before we were even out of the car so off we went, Ashlyn in one direction and Parker, McKenna, Sawyer, the stroller (loaded with enough gear to keep us living happily on a deserted island for a good week or so) and I in the other.  

I'm not sure I will do that again without an extra set of hands but regardless everyone had a great time and we will all sleep good tonight.
Speaking of soccer practice, I have to say for the millionth time how much we love Special Olympics.  Ashlyn is busy year round with activities and has met an amazing group of kids and volunteers.  Someday she may even like it enough to let me snap a picture or two of her in action :)

Monday, May 3, 2010

The Eater

Today was not a good picture day.  I barely had time to brush my teeth let alone take a picture.  I managed to snap this one of Sawyer because the camera just happened to be within arms reach when he was climbing up the furniture.

He is nice and clean, huh?  And so is the background for that matter.  All of that grimey stuff is an array of the kids' food that he managed to get his chubby little hands on.  This boy is an EATER.  He still does not have a single tooth but has learned to gum just about anything AND once he started sampling the big kid snacks he wanted nothing to do with anything baby.

I keep trying all the nice, organic, healthy baby snacks (the ones with no flavor) and he has a fit until I cave and just let him have whatever the Crazies are munching on.  He literally circles the area whenever they are snacking and swipes up everything they drop and if the food does not fall quickly enough he just climbs on them and tips over their bowls and they run away screaming.

Needless to say he is fitting right in.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

My artists

This morning I was playing with the kids in the spot where many a diaper disaster has occurred.  I will not go into detail about what our diaper disasters or diaper "art work" consist of but let's just say we went through a phase where the second I was out of view the diapers where flying and soon after I was left disinfecting the room while trying not to gag.  Anyway, we were playing at the scene of past crimes and I thought to myself for a moment about how they have not done something gag-worthy in quite a while.

So since this thought crossed my mind just this morning you would think that, when it was time to put Sawyer down for a nap today and they were playing so sweetly together, I would have remembered that brief thought and that fact that I may have jinxed myself and not left them to play.  

Upon my return from putting my sweet little, too-small-to-cause-trouble baby down for a nap I found that not only did they create another diaper disaster, the one who did not have to relieve himself drew on both the pooper and himself AND drew a line to the present left by said pooper just in case I did not see or smell it the moment I entered the room.

So no sweet, aren't my kids cute picture for today.  Just a quick picture of the Crazies that I managed to take in between scrubbing the floor and sanitizing them.  Oh and the artwork does not stop here.  Mr. Artist also drew on two chairs, the kitchen table and a bowl. Pretty crafty, huh?

Saturday, May 1, 2010

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