Saturday, November 28, 2009


The boys' first Thanksgiving was pretty uneventful. We fed all three young men and had dinner on the table by noon so that my dad could make it to work by 2 pm. There was lots of eating, laughing, and hand washing of fancy dishes - a generally good time was had by all. Our Thanksgiving really kicked off on Wednesday when my friend Patricia came by with her beautiful daughter Cassie. Cassie is 4 months older than the boys, and I'm pretty sure Bob and I could not be much more freaked out. She is walking around and so busy. We are frightened to death of when the boys start to get mobile. It was fun to play with her, though, and she seemed to pick my brother Joseph as her favorite boyfriend.
After the Robertsons left, we packed up the crew and headed for the Thanksgiving service at church. Pastor John had asked me to be one of the speakers. He told me just to summarize what I was thankful for over the past year. I thought I'd share it here. It's a little long, but I think it's good to be grateful.

Isaiah 41:10 – So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.

When I reflect upon the past year of my life, I’m pretty certain that if I had known what 2009 had in store for my family I would have thought that God was playing a huge practical joke on us. Last Thanksgiving, my husband, Bob, and I found out that we were expecting a baby. After trying for a year and a half, we had almost lost faith in our ability to reproduce. I remember nights of tears and prayers and begging God to send us a baby. Let this be a warning, God hears, and he answers prayers. On December 15, 2008 (a day that will live in infamy in the Newhouse family), Bob and I found out that our one baby was actually three. We were shocked, stunned, and speechless. As the doctor explained the risks a triplet pregnancy entails, I kept repeating Isaiah 41:10 in my head – I was certain that these babies were God’s gift to me and that he would strengthen and help Bob and I overcome the obstacles that we would encounter.

As I spent the first portion of the year napping while Bob did all of the work around the house, I was thankful for a husband who took such good care of me. As the days progressed and I got slower and larger, I was thankful for the people who held the door for me and carried things for me, for the students in my class who passed out papers for me – and cleared a path through the hallway as I made my 50th trip to the restroom. By March, Bob and I were going to the doctor every week, and sometimes we went three times a week, and I was thankful for good insurance. As the doctors’ orders and my over taxed body restricted my movements, I was thankful for my comfortable spot on the couch. In April, Bob and I had our first baby shower, and we were absolutely amazed and thankful for the generosity of our friends and family. Throughout the first part of the year, Bob was concerned about my health and the health of our unborn children, and I would remind him, that we serve a great and powerful God who cared about all of us and who was taking care of us, and I was thankful for the peace of mind that God had given me.

In April, I was put on bedrest and had to stop working. I was thankful for all of the people who had helped keep me active and working. I was thankful for the students and my co-workers who had made every day I came to work enjoyable (and thankful for my husband who drove four hours everyday to bring me back and forth to work). The week after I stopped working, I was admitted to the hospital, and I was afraid. Bob brought me my Bible, and I kept it in the drawer next to my hospital bed, and I was thankful for God’s promises that rested there, reminding me that I was not alone, and that God was strengthening me and helping me.

As I laid in that hospital bed for 8 and ½ weeks, I was thankful for a church family that supported Bob and I. Every card, visit, kind word and pat on the shoulder, touched both of us, and we were thankful. I was thankful for the cleaning lady who came in and watched TV with me, for the nurses and doctors who took amazing care of me and eased Bob’s worries, for the cafeteria lady who gave Bob a discount since he ate there so often. As I sat and waited for my children to grow, I was thankful for the lives God had entrusted to our care.

On June 24, our boys were born, and I don’t know if I can even begin to describe all the things I was thankful for on that day. I was thankful that God had helped us to carry our boys to full term for triplets, that they were all healthy, that I could finally take a deep breath again.

After the boys came home from the NICU, I was thankful for all of the visitors we had who brought meals and came to admire our children. For our moms who helped feed and change our beautiful babies. When I went back to visit the nurses at the hospital after all of our boys were home, I found out that of the last three women who had been at the hospital with triplets, I was the only one who went home with all of her babies, and I was thankful. As I see the smiles and hear the laughs of my children, I am thankful. When I get to take a shower or sleep a few extra minutes, I am thankful.

In the past few months, I’ve had to repeat over and over in my mind that God is our help and strengthens us as Bob lost his job and my grandfather died. It seems that our resolve and faith in God have been tested and tried over and over again. I am thankful that I can depend on God to strengthen me and help me, and I am thankful for a church like Shepherd of Life where I can come and share in the message of God’s grace and mercy.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Bird's Eye View

The boys come up with a plan.
James is my most aggressive eater as can be seen by his very neat and tidy face.
Michael the Cool would like some rice cereal, Mommy. (By the way, cereal, cereal have become the new lyrics to Madonna's Material Girl).

Ryan enjoying some rice cereal (although every time he takes the first bite he looks disappointed, like he's thinking, "oh great, this crap again, couldn't I have a cookie, Mom?").
Ryan and Emma check each other out. Notice the drool covering the front of his shirt. All of the boys are starting to drool like faucets. I think this means teeth might be in our future.
Mikey does the full face thumb suck technique.
James goes for a ride on Duke. Duke has gotten wise to this trick and heads for the hills whenever the boys get too close.
Ryan loves the cow. It's just so funny.
Michael displaying his good tummy time techniques.
Gymnast James can keep those legs straight, no matter where.
Ryan and Michael holding hands. Sort of.
Michael up to his usual tricks while James patiently endures.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Tummy Time

James enjoys tummy time the least. A couple of weeks ago, the boys would scream the entire time they spent on their stomachs, but lately, they have been able to handle it a little better. James used to just scream until you gave him his pacifier then fall asleep. Now he likes to reach for the toys and play with them (notice the pacifier is off to the side - a rare event in his world).
Michael is our best tummy time man since he can roll over on his tummy and oftentimes he can flip over onto his back as well (there are sometimes technical difficulties as he gets stuck in the legs of the activity mat). Lately, he has taken to sucking on two or three fingers. It's pretty cute and funny, but not so much when he takes those two or three slimy fingers and tries to grab your glasses.
Ryan has just started to roll over more. He was the first one to do it, but he didn't duplicate and went weeks between flips, and thus I did not count it. Just today, he started turning over repeatedly. He's no flipping fool like Michael, but he gets the job done. He absolutely refuses to take a pacifier anymore unless we are in church (and then he makes the loudest sucking noises you've ever heard in an attempt to get fed ahead of schedule), but he sure does love his thumb. I guess we've probably just begun that put it in your mouth phase, but I have to say that it's made the nights much easier to get through as they have their source of comfort readily accessible.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Three Men in a Tub

The boys have recently moved from the sink in the kitchen to the big tub. They really like hanging out and splashing in the water. There are some benefits to this new system, and some drawbacks. The boys absolutely love splashing around, but I do worry about that bar in the middle of their seat emasculating them. It's nice to have all three of them cleaned up quickly, but I don't think I could bathe them like this without help. I lather them up, clean them, and pass them off to Bob to diaper and dress.
Instead of using the island in the kitchen to dress the boys, we threw them on our bed. It worked out pretty well, and the boys seemed to enjoy rolling around on the bed with Dad.
They are growing so fast. These PJs I was planning on saving for Christmas, but they barely fit into them now. Bob says that Ryan's are so tight that they look painted on. He had some other more colorful comments that are not good fodder for a public forum but were rather amusing.
While we were having picture time post bath, I tried to figure out a way to use the timer on the camera to get a family portrait. I was almost successful (note that James has only half a face).

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Party of Five

When I was in high school, my friend Beth and I determined our lucky numbers - mine is five. Today, our boys turned five months old. They are doing so many new and amazing things. They have all been smiling and laughing, but these days the smiles and laughs seem to come more easily. Michael and Ryan are turning over, and James is getting closer and closer to flipping every day.
The boys have really started to notice things and play with toys. Perhaps the coolest thing is that they are noticing each other. When we put them under the same play mat, they hold hands. They are more and more verbal every day, and I think they may be talking to each other. Tonight, during our five month photo shoot, the cat made a rare appearance, and the boys all had to stop and take a look.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Aunt Mellie Comes for a Visit

Today, Melanie came to see the boys. I can't begin to describe how much fun it was to watch Melanie enjoy our boys. She played, and played, and played with them. They LOVED it. It was great to get to see her. She's looking quite fantastic and seems to have a new lease on life. Since Stephen graduated, we haven't gotten to see the Kelly clan nearly enough, so it was really nice to spend some time just hanging out.
When Melanie arrived, we were video chatting with Jim & Kathy, and they were watching the boys play. All three of them are getting really close to turning over. Tummy time still tends to degenerate into mass hysterical screaming, but I think it's getting easier to tolerate. On Saturday, Ryan rolled over from his tummy to his back twice. Bob and I were setting up bed frames at Mom's new house, so we missed it. I keep waiting for him to do it again, but I guess it's a trick he's only willing to share with Grandma P.
Bob's newest trick is to make the boys "wrestle." As if this is a skill that needs to be taught as opposed to quashed before it begins, but alas, I have a feeling that there will be many more wrestling matches in my future. Here, Michael pins Ryan to the floor. Poor Ryan is always getting pinned down. Although he's the youngest, his superior size relegates him to the attackee position.
Aunt Mellie learns something surprising from Mr. James. (Lately we've been raising the boys above our heads and making them "fly." I've decided that James is going to be a gymnast in the future as he keeps his little legs perfectly straight as he soars through the air.)
Mikey, once again making a play for boobs. I'm pretty sure there is no surer indication that this child is his father's son. Luckily, I don't have to extract Bob's hands from other people's cleavage. Probably because he knows I'd use my giant meat cleaver to do it.
Ryan smiles and laughs for Aunt Mellie. He really enjoys getting thrown around and swooping high and low. Unfortunately, his mother does not always remember to wait a significant time after eating before swooping. I'm pretty sure that the laughing is worth a little spit up.
Aunt Mellie hanging with her boys.
Duke and Dusty watch and wonder why the nice lady who used to feed them hot dogs and other random treats has defected to those darn babies. I guess it's time that our dogs actually get treated like dogs, but it's a hard transition from pampered to pooch.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Horsin' Around

Last weekend was a pretty busy weekend for us. I worked the LCMOM garage sale, which was a lot of fun getting to know some of the ladies better. After bringing home 90% of what I brought (better luck next time), I headed home to help feed the boys then we made the trek to Weatherford to hang out with my buds Lain & John.
Mom & Faith came with us, and it was great to have them along. For the first time, we were hanging out with a group of people who had lots of little kids of their own, so our boys weren't really a novelty. Usually, when we walk in with the boys it takes about 5 minutes for all three of them to get snapped up, and I stand around wondering what to do with myself. Lain & John were being great hosts, but with so many people, it was hard to get more than a couple of minutes with them. Mom was a great extra pair of hands, and Faith was so excited to get a chance to ride one of Lain & John's horses. It was so great for her. She loved it. I couldn't believe how big Riley has gotten. He was having a blast and was driving a power-wheels jeep thing. I think that we will never have a power-wheels - way too much parent supervision needed for that toy.
The boys spent most of the night hanging out in the corner with Dad in John's recliner. Lain has redone her house, and it looks absolutely fantastic. I think I need to have her handy-woman friend come tell me how to decorate our house.
For the first time in a LOOOOONNNNGGG time, we got to see my cousin Amy. She's been working two jobs and going to school, so her time is very precious. She spent Friday night with us, and it was great to see her. Bob kept harassing her about how she made clicking noises at the boys. It made the boys laugh and gave Bob lots of opportunities to mock Amy. I keep trying to figure out if Ryan has red hair. I made Amy hold her head next to his, but I still can't tell. If you look at Ryan's eyebrows, they definitely look red, but the hair on his head is hard to tell. James definitely is our blonde, Mikey is a brunette, so that just leaves my little RyRy as the mystery man.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

A House With No Guests

A couple of weeks ago, Bob and I realized that we have not had much time alone in our house. In January, February, and March, my cousin Amy stayed with us while she looked for a job and an apartment. In April, I went into the hospital and did not emerge until the end of June. When I came home, Bob's parents were with us, and Kathy was a life-saver and stayed until the middle of September. A week after Jim & Kathy went home to California, my parents sold their house in Arlington and moved in with us. This evening, my mom and Faith loaded up a good portion of their stuff and headed the two miles down the road to their new place. Feels kinda weird that we are all alone in our house with the boys - at least until the holidays begin.

A couple of days ago, Bob had the idea to put the boys on his lap and let them interact while we took pictures. I think we got some gems.

Ryan and Michael hamming it up for the camera.
Michael is going for James' throat - watch out Ryan, you're next!
Nothing like a little brotherly love to make a boy smile.
Our main ham, Michael, doing some kind of strange leg - mount of his brother. Ryan tries it out on the other side, but is nowhere near as successful.
Serious faces from Ryan and James.