Friday, June 24, 2011


Two years ago, Bob and I spent June 24 waiting. Around 3:30 p.m., we headed into the OR and by 4:03, we had three sons. Baby A,B, & C became James, Michael, and Ryan and the real part of our adventure as parents began.
One of my favorite things about having triplets is that I am done being pregnant, our family is complete, and I have three amazing boys who make my life and Bob's life worth living. With all of the uncertainty of the past two years, our one constant is our children. Their happiness is infectious. They turn a bad, stressful day into a day of joy. Bob and I are just so blessed to have these wonderful young men in our lives.
It seems like only yesterday, we were holding a 3 lb 12 oz James, a 5 lb 5 oz Ryan, and our "big" boy, a 5 lb 10 oz Michael. They needed us for everything, and now, they need me to pass out milk, resolve disputes, to give hugs when they get wounded, and to turn on Yo Gabba Gabba. My mom told me that every age is her favorite age, and I have to agree. I loved the experience of having sweet, cuddly babies, I loved the crazy six month olds who put those jumparoos to good use, I loved the wobbly days of them learning how to walk, and I love watching them play together, hold hands, give hugs (which don't always turn into wrestling/biting matches), and say each others' names.
James has caught up with his brothers. He's three feet tall, thirty pounds, and all laughter both with and without a pacifier. He loves bugs, cars, Wheel of Fortune, and vegetables. He says all kinds of things (most of them in his Chewbaca/Fozzy Bear language), but his latest word is "ourse." (horse). He points to things, and he will decide where he wants something (even his parents) to go, point, and say "there." He has a snaggle tooth grin due to a bathtub fall that chipped his front tooth, but that sweet smile melts my heart. He likes to cross his legs with his right ankle on his left knee then rub the string of his pacifier on his nose. He is fearless. He will jump into the deep end of the swimming pool over and over again without even pausing to catch his breath.
James loves puzzles. He can put the pieces of the wooden shape sorter clock in faster than anyone. He will fight for what is his and has a long memory and a sense of justice that demands payback. He loves to write and will spend hours in the office with his Daddy writing in his notebook. James is an excellent drummer and can keep a beat better than I can (although, that's not saying much). He examines everything and notices little details. He is an expert at spotting stray hairs that are hanging around the house. He loves cars and is currently snug in bed with about twenty cars keeping him company.
Now that they are older, all of the boys are so loving toward each other (this does not exclude brief episodes of discord). They hold hands and hug. One of my favorite things to watch is when they all hold hands and run through the house laughing with wild abandon. They are all very eager to help both each other and Bob and I. James will bring Michael his blanket, Ryan will share his toys without being upset, and Michael will tease his brothers with a twinkle in his eye that belongs to his father.
Michael is a big boy! He is 37 inches tall - in the 95-97 percentile for height - and he weighs 31 pounds. He is a big talker. He puts together sentences like "Michael likes hugs" and "Fish swim in the water." He loves repetition. He will show you two toys and repeat what they are over and over. He likes for you to identify new things and incorporates them into his world. He counts to ten (sometimes he skips two, sometimes five, but six, seven, eight, nine, ten are always done perfectly). He repeats colors and can identify red, blue, green, and "pourple." He says whatever he wants to say, asks lots of questions, doesn't really like sweets, and gives great hugs and kisses. He is the king of floaties and wants to spend all of his time in the pool kicking and swimming around.
Michael is our first child to try and step into the independence of being two. He wants to walk on his own, he tries to put his clothes on (we're still working on this one), he loves to take off his shoes, he will go throw things in the trash for you, and he likes to line up his toys. Lately, he's been going through a little rough patch with sharing. He sometimes needs to take a break on Mommy's bed until he's ready to play nice, but he is responding well to correction (of course you can also see on his little face those times he makes up his mind to do something contrary to what you want). He loves his blanket and can eat for hours at a time. He was the first to say his own name, and he always uses his brothers names.
The boys play together so well. For a while, I was worried that Michael's different interests would exclude him from the world of his brothers, but they all play together and individually indiscriminately. They all love music and dancing. They also like to be together. When the boys wake up from a nap if the third member of their trio would like a few extra z's, it's very difficult. The two awake children will play for five or ten minutes, but it doesn't take long for one or both of them to go recruit the third brother for playtime. If they are separated for a while, they greet each other with hugs and cries of joy.
Ryan, my baby, has such a tender heart. He gets his feelings hurt easily, but he can be soothed easily with a quick hug from Mommy or Daddy. He is so giving. He will share with very little protests (i.e. he doesn't have a major meltdown fit every time a toy gets stolen), he will notice James' pacifier or Michael's blanket on the floor and bring it to the owner. He loves horses and trains. He is constantly making me show him pictures of both. He likes his baseball, and he will watch sports of all kinds. He has an unnatural love of yogurt and popsicles (I'm pretty sure he would only eat these two items if allowed). He has a sharp eye for all things "cakey" (a dessert item).
Ryan likes to pick out a toy to take with him to bed. He plays air guitar better than most 15 year olds. He never stops moving, but he likes to make quick pitstops for love. He loves his Daddy, and he has started asking where he is. He's very impressed that Daddy went byebye on an airplane but will be ecstatic when he comes home. He is the same size as James, three feet tall and thirty pounds. He has soft hair that often becomes the receptacle of a wide variety of food items. When he gets frustrated or is finished with something, he will smash it to bits (goldfish and crackers are particular victims of his aggression). He likes to eat things out of the wrapper like granola bars, and he loves bananas but likes to peel the skin back as he goes.
The boys love the outdoors. I've always been an inside kinda gal, but the boys will play outside for hours if you let them. They will climb any park play structure, jump into any pool, and identify any animal they see. They are very polite using please, thank you, and you're welcome consistently. They are wonderful helpers. All are experts with a broom. They will bring the trash to the outside trash can with each of them doing special jobs. They like to throw things away (especially diapers which disappear rather than just rest in a trash can). They like to help Mommy in the bathroom, handing me toilet paper of varying sizes from microscopic to half a roll, and flushing is definitely their gig. They are starting to show some interest in the potty, but they prefer to make the frog potty hop while sitting naked astride it rather than make tinkle music. They are starting to notice when they are going to the bathroom and will tell you that it's happening (they haven't quite figured out how to hold it, though). They like to watch Yo Gabba Gabba, Cat in the Hat (they "go go on an adventure" all the time), Sid the Science Kid, Curious George, and Super Why (they really like Super Why and will try to say the alphabet along with the characters). Every single day, in a thousand different ways, these three boys amaze me. I can't wait to see the men they grow up to become, but I don't want that journey to go too fast. I like my hugs and kisses, and the flashes of Bob and myself that appear in their walks, tone of voice, looks, and actions lets me know that James, Michael, and Ryan are a mix of the best of both of us.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

The Animals at the Zoo

When Cousin Alie came for a visit, we all went to the Fort Worth Zoo. We had a wonderful time despite the fact that poor Loribeth was a little under the weather and spent a great deal of the morning in the car. It was hot, but there were lots of animals out and about eating since we got there early.
The whole gang paused for a picture in front of the elephant. This time, we travelled with the double stroller, and it seemed to work well.
Joseph poses for a photo op while Ryan can't be bothered to quit looking at the animals.
Grandma admires the animals with Michael and James.
Amy & Alie talk to the rhino.
Ryan loved looking at all the animals and kept asking "what is it?" Grandma & Grandpa Newhouse got the boys some little people zoo animals for Easter, so most of the animals we saw were in our play set.
Ryan and James take up their posts in the stroller as we move on from the rhino to the elephants. The elephants weren't quite as cooperative and were much harder to see.
Uncle Joseph has ALWAYS adored tigers, and he has been teaching the boys to roar like a tiger and to appreciate all things tiger. He was very pleased that the white tiger was pacing in front of the window, and all of the kids were quite taken with him.
Another animal that goes ROAR! The lion is lazing on top of the rocks in the middle of the people.
Last time Bob and I took the boys to the zoo together (about a year ago), we went into the bird house and it was pretty much mass chaos. We went in this time and it was really neat. I considered buying food sticks for the boys to lure the birds in with, but decided that the safety of the parakeets was much more important than the photo op of bird feeding.
Alie takes up her post in the double stroller. Michael shows off his balancing skills to impress her.
Alie loved the penguins. She admired them for quite a while.
Michael also loves penguins. He really enjoyed watching the ones swim indoors.
Cousins! James and Alie decided to swap seats. Ryan really wanted to push, and Michael wanted nothing to do with any strollers.
I find it excessively entertaining to see how nicely James sat in Alie's stroller. His best pusher is still in position.
Trying to put all the kids on the horse and buggy before we realized that no one carries change anymore.
James is willing to let Ryan take the pony out for a trot while he rides shotgun. I'm pretty sure by now Michael was at the top of the exhibit hanging out on a bale of hay.
We walked so far in the heat, that all of us were more than happy to shell out the two bucks to ride the choo choo. This made my boys very happy as they love all things train - especially Ryan.
Michael rode in the front of the car with Aunt Karen and I while the rest of the gang rode behind us. It's not so easy to take pictures with everyone in such close proximity.
Ryan and Uncle Joseph make the choo choo sound. Not only was the train a break for our tired tootsies, we also passed out some snacks before we hit the parking lot for our PB&J lunch.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

The Fourth Musketeer

Lately, life has been somewhat stable (at least for the kids). While Bob and I prepare for a move to Florida pending our house selling/renting, the boys have kept to their routine although we've added a few new faces.
Now that he's a new college grad, Uncle Joseph is home for the summer, and he's a frequent visitor at both the big house and the boys' house.
We have gone out and about a few times, and these little men LOVE a movie. A big player in our car lately is Cinderella. Michael really enjoys the mice.
We have many talents, and as we are talking more and more, there are certain words that make a frequent appearance. Ryan loves hats and identifies them (you have to pay very close attention because hat and hot sound extremely similar). Ryan also loves cars, trucks, and heeeus (horses). Michael can say just about anything he wants to say. Today, he was playing in the water, pointed out an airplane, wore a hat, had his blanket, and said his own name. The boys have been saying each others' names for a while, but Michael is the first to say his own name - My-cull! James talks as well, but he talks through his "pah-fire." He says lots of phrases "where is it?," "there it is?," "ma pah-fire," thank you, and peeese. All of the boys are very polite and say please and thank you. Occasionally, you tell them to say thank you and they'll say you're welcome.
Grandma and Papa Joe got the kids a sand and water table for Easter. The boys love the sand. They put it everywhere. They have sand in their cars, sand in their hair, and Michael has sand in his intestinal track.
Michael and his brothers like to turn on the water and wash their hands. They tend to wash the wall as well, but anything for good hygiene.
Recently, we've had a special visitor and her mom and grandma. Alie, our best girl cousin, came for a visit. The kids played so well together. Alie fit right in and no one clobbered her or bit her or even noticed she wasn't one of the trio.
Ryan shared his heeeus with Alie. She's a natural rider.
James showed her how to play the drums.Michael shared his chapeau with her, and she wore it well.
I think James and Alie definitely look like cousins. They've got those Cain genes working for them (although, I think my boys got the tall gene where Alie might have gotten less of that particular DNA code).
Alie and her best almost 2 year old cousins.
After dinner at Flips, we stopped in the back of the suburban for some diaper changing and monkeying around.
It's fun being cousins!