Monday, January 12, 2015

My Miracles Turn Three

Well, another year has gone by in a flash. Something I learned since becoming a mother is that the days are long and the years are short. Its so true. Since becoming a stay at home mom I realize this even more. This last year for the babies (toddlers) has been a year of growth. I see these tiny people standing in front of me, telling me what they want and asking me questions and yes, testing me. My babies are growing up. And although they have always had minds of their own, now they are learning to speak them. When they turned two they were still significantly behind in their speech saying one, maybe two words. At two and half, there was not much improvement. Then it happened over night one day in June, they just started speaking in sentences. One day is was three words, then four then I lost count. Now they have caught up to other kids their age. They have been dismissed from the Early Intervention program, something they have been in since they were born. They still have a weakness or two but don't we all? No more significant developmental delays at this time. They are now potty trained (for the most part). Still sleeping in pull ups but that's ok. Georgia goes back and forth with the potty training sometimes, we have to re train her if she gets out of her normal routine but is back on track within a couple days. And they have grown physically! They are still a little on the short side but not to where there is a concern like last year. They are growing consistently every 6 months to a year at the rate they should be. My little preemies are little kids. Lately they love to fight with each other. I think its a battle to see who is in charge. But they also have the sweetest moments. For example Tommy went into the girls room this morning and found both of them laying on the floor together with their pillows right next to each other. They walk around the house, singing and dancing and doing ring around the rosy and without me. Although sometimes they ask me to join in. They chase each other and are so good at pretend. The girls really love their baby dolls and putting them to sleep and feeding them and changing their clothes or pushing them around in their strollers. Mickey doesn't seem to actually like to play with toys, he likes to slam them into the ground or throw them or knock them over, or throw them down the stairs. And where the girls used to tackle and gang up on him now it is the other way around. He can be very rough with them and loves to jump on top of them and wrestle. At the beginning of Spring, these guys could barely climb up onto the play sets at the park and they needed help down the slide. Now they are like little  monkeys climbing up the slides and going down the big ones. I have a had a few heart attacks because they will just go for it and they are quick, but luckily so far, no major injuries. I just have to have eyes on the back and the sides of my head.

So suddenly at age 3, I see the biggest difference in them. They are not babies. They are little kids. For their birthday we had an impromptu birthday party which originally we were not going to do but decided last minute to have a few friends over. The kids really got into it. My friend Amy made them each their own cake and we sang to each of them individually. To see the looks on their faces brought tears to my eyes. For the first time in their life, they understood, it was their moment and they blew out the candles. The next day Tommy and I drove up to DC to see Disney on Ice Presents Frozen. It was a lot of sitting between the car ride and the show but they loved seeing all their favorite characters and hearing their favorite songs. We made it back home in time for a little more cake before the day was over. It was tough being away from our family and friends back in Arizona and Colorado, it was weird but I am guessing that will be the norm on their birthday from now on. We are grateful for things like Facetime, Skype and for the new friends we have made here in Virginia.

Below is a update on each of my miracles.

Georgia Dawn

Weight; 38lbs (94th percentile)
Height: 36 inches (24th percentile)
Favorite Color: Orange
Favorite Character: Sophia the First and Elsa
Favorite place to go: Dinner

Georgia is still the bossy one and likes telling people what to do. Most of her sentences start with "I want...." or "You are going to...." or "I am going to..." and "Lets Go!". She loves to eat and snuggle with mommy. She can be very impatient but she is still my Peaches. She likes to pretend she is a princess and to play dress up. She loves her tumbling class and follows instructions in there very well. She will smile from ear to ear running around, jumping and balancing on the beams. 

Jolynne Marie

Weight: 34lbs (79th Percentile)
Height: 35.6 inches (16th Percentile)
Favorite Color: Purple
Favorite Character: Anna and Elsa
Favorite Place to Go: Anywhere with Daddy

Jo Jo is the easiest to please right now. Mostly because she can entertain herself for long periods of time. Actually I think she prefers to play alone sometimes. Most of her sentences start with "Mommy look at Georgia...." and she is very quick to correct me if I say "Hi baby" She responds "No, I'm Jo Jo" (insert sad face here). She is daddy's girl! She can be a somewhat picky eater and is a very slow eater. Sometimes she is a little fearful to trying new things but we are helping her with that. She is still tough though so don't get in her way. She is very smart and good at organizing things according to color.

Mickey Aaron

Weight: 33.5lbs (68th percentile)
Height: 36.75lbs (30th percentile)
Favorite Color: Blue
Favorite Character: The Snow Monster
Favorite Place to Go: The Park

Some might think Mickey is all boy! He wants to be free to run and throw things and tackle his sisters. He wants to explore everything outside. But if you watch closely you will see him comforting a baby doll every once in awhile or trying to wear his sisters dress up clothes. His sentences usually start with "Where's your car"? He is obsessed with knowing where everyones car is even when he knows where it is. He also likes to say "I'm funny" and starts to crack up, laughing at himself. It reminds me of his Papa (my dad). He loves to see his friends and continues to be a ladies man. He loves giving hugs. At tumbling, he has no troubles keeping up with the older kids. He can run, jump, climb just like the rest of them. He also loves to count!

I guess I should add that Mickey is a big fan of Jo Jo. He likes to follow her around. They are pretty close pals. Georgia marches to the beat of her own drum, but seems to make friends pretty easily when we have play dates. Its definitely been a year of ups and downs from a parenting standpoint. I'm learning every day and they are teaching me sometimes instead of the other way around. Funny how that works. But they continue to amaze. To think they were 2 pounds and fighting to survive 3 years ago, you would never know. We continue to count or blessings and are so thankful for their health. These three little people are the greatest gift and like I've said before...the rest is just extra. They have a had a great year and I can't wait to continue to watch them thrive and grow! 

All photos by Limefish Studio

Monday, January 5, 2015

Weekend Family Getaway to Virginia Beach

Its been such a busy year with so many changes and a lot of unplanned expenses that came with the move. We couldn't afford to do a big family vacation or go back to Arizona. It was just too expensive. But hey, it's September, summer is almost over and the chance to be outside in Virginia is going to end soon. The beach is only a couple hours away and it may not be Cancun but its the ocean. I'll take it. Especially some much needed time for all of us to be together.

Virginia Beach (the city area) is not that great. Pretty old and run down in my opinion. But we found a nice, new hotel right on the beach with a gorgeous view of the water. We brought three toddler cots that we got from Walmart and they were perfect size since now the triplets are too big for cribs and pack and plays but not big enough for regular beds where they can fall off.

The first thing we did was grab some lunch on the beach. Yum fish tacos!!!

We tried to get the kids to take a nap but that wasn't happening. We changed into our swim suits and headed to the beach. The water was pretty rough and the waves were pretty strong compared to what we were used to at the lake. Mickey wanted to jump right in like usual but he would have been carried away for sure, so Tommy stayed close to him and I sat with the girls by the shore where they played with the sand and buckets. They had no interest in the water. Eventually it got tough trying to keep them in one spot so we opted to move to the pool which was a nice indoor and outdoor pool.

We ended the day with a delicious dinner at a local seafood restaurant that supposedly is the founder of the soda drink "Orange Crush". The kids were not on their best behavior and kept having to go potty the whole time. Despite how cute they are in the pictures, it was probably the most challenging they have been in public at a restaurant but at least the food was good.

It was so nice the next morning to wake up and drink my coffee while watching the sunrise over the water! And we even saw dolphins right off our balcony. We took the kids to the Aquarium that morning. We thought they would love seeing all the fish...Nemo is one of their favorite movies, but we were so wrong. They were scared of everything. They wouldn't get near any of the tanks, they cried almost the whole way through. So...maybe next time?

After that we took them on a pirate ship boat tour and I made the mistake of telling them they could have ice cream. Another not so brilliant moment because I got push pops and they just melted everywhere, all over their clothes, all over the ship, and all over their faces. They were also a little young for some of the games the other kids were playing but they still liked to be out on the water and hanging out with pirates. Argh! We got off the ship just in time to miss the big storm that was headed right for us. It rained the rest of day so Tommy and I hung out in the hotel room while they napped and we just grabbed some lunch from the bar. Since going back to the beach or the pool was out the question, we decided to go to this old arcade and played some games. I felt like I was back in the 80's or the movie Tron. They had some really cool old games and Pink Floyd was playing on the juke box. I probably would have loved that place in high school. Tommy and I won them some tickets and prizes before we headed to another good dinner.


The next day we all took in one last look of the ocean before heading back towards home. It was such a short trip, but very worth it. Hopefully next year we can travel a little further for our vacation and the kids will be better behaved, but the most important thing is that they had fun and they got to try new things. Seeing them happy and being together as a family is all I need. I am looking forward to the next family adventure!

Mommy and Son Trip to Wisconsin

At the end of August Mickey and I flew to Wisconsin for my Cousin Amory's wedding. It was supposed to be just me going. Tickets were expensive, but last minute the prices went down so I thought I would surprise my mom by bringing Mickey. Tommy was going to be watching the kids while I was gone so I thought it would be easier on him to have 1 less child and the truth is I didn't want to leave any of them. I hate being away from my family. If I could at least bring one, I knew I would feel better. So, I chose the easy one at the time, my son. Notice I said "at the time" because this is always changing. The easy one at this point is Jolynne but it is ever changing. So, good timing for Mickey - he gets to go! We left very early Saturday morning. Our flight was at 6:30am and we have to drive to Richmond from Palmyra which takes about an hour an half to get to the airport. It was so weird having only one child! On the way there, I had to use the little girls room badly. Normally with three toddlers, I would have to hold it (or worse) because I cant leave them in the car and getting them all out of their car seats and into a public restroom, back out again and into the car would take a good 30 minutes. With just Mickey, I stopped at a rest stop, quickly grabbed him, ran in, back out, and we were on our way again.

Mickey was so well behaved on the plane, He had his lion and seemed so excited to be on this adventure with mommy. I gave him his sippy cup as we took off the ground and shortly after he was asleep. The lady next to me said she was taking notes because she would be traveling with her toddler in just a few months. I was honestly so proud of Mickey. He didn't cry, he didn't yell, he didn't squirm, he just sat in his seat and played with his lion. We changed planes in Atlanta and again, with only one kid it was a piece of cake to get from one gate to the next. We had just enough time for a potty break. So far - Mickey had no accidents.

We got to the Minneapolis/St. Paul airport around 10:30am I knew my mom would not be there until about 1:30pm so we grabbed our bags and left them with the baggage claim attendants so we could grab some lunch. There wasn't anything to eat that side of security so we took the train to the Mall of America. Mickey absolutely LOVED riding the train! We decided to eat at Buffalo Wild Wings for lunch. Mickey was happy. We headed back to the airport to wait for Nana (Mom).

While we waited, Mickey of course was talking to all the people in the airport. He is my little social butterfly. When Nana got there though he froze and didn't run up to her. She saw him eventually and was so happy to see her grandson. I'm so glad we decided to surprise her. We rented a car and headed to Wisconsin and got there about 3 hours later. We had just enough time to quickly check into the hotel and change. Mickey continued to be so good for mommy. He was loving being the only child for once. We met up with my cousins and Aunt Debbie and their friends at a arcade/restaurant where we had some appetizers and drinks and Mickey got to run around with the other kids and even go in a bounce house. He was loving life and mommy got a chance to visit with everyone.

The next day we had a yummy breakfast at the hotel by the river, then we decided to go for a swim in the indoor pool and my cousin Alicia and Aunt Debbie met us there.
It was a little chilly in there so we couldn't swim long and we had to get ready to be at the wedding reception by 3pm. It was a beautiful reception and the food was awesome. They had three babysitters there and a table for the kids to color and eat so, again, we got to mingle and visit with everyone. Mickey was running around, he was sweating, be he just had the biggest grin on his face and I could not keep him away from the cupcakes. I thought for sure he would be sick.

The next day was a little rough for Mommy. We had to get up pretty early to drive back to Minnesota and head home and I may have been a little hung over (or a lot)...luckily by the time we got on the first plane I was feeling better and again Mickey was being so good, he made it easy on me. Unfortunately we had to say good bye to Nana, which was especially hard for me as always. But I was so happy that Mickey and I were able to be there to celebrate with my cousin Amory and his new wife Taylor and that Mickey got to play with his cousins who we don't get to see very often. It was so much better than going by myself to have my little man with me. I wish we could have all gone but at the same time, I think it was good for Mickey to have that one on one time with mommy where he wasn't fighting for my attention. I decided that I was going to have an outing like that with each of the kids. It was definitely good for all of us.