Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Halloween is finally here!

Aidan was so excited for Halloween that when it is actually upon us, he isn't quite sure how to be. He had a great day!

Right after school, we picked up Austin and headed over to the hospital to go trick or treating there. Each department and the nurses station had someone handing out candy, and one was handing out toothpaste...that was brilliant! Nathanial, Ethan, and Noah were getting a little ornery, but overall doing well.

Austin wanted to go to the nursing home as soon as we finished at the hospital because he wanted to see the lady he read to last year. So, we went there next and boy did they have fun there. All the residents were thrilled to see all the kids coming through. Everyone was commenting on the babies and I felt bad for Aidan because he was kind of left out of things. But, thankfully he didn't mind too much because he was getting candy. Austin finally got to see Grandma Mae and talk to her a few minutes. He asks to go see her a lot and thankfully he does see her at church, but I have to just set aside time for him to go see her some afternoon. He really misses his visits with her.

We went home then and fed the babies, then headed out again. Nathanial, Ethan, and Noah didn't last real long at all this time, so we only went a few blocks. We went home then to get them to bed and Austin took Aidan to a few houses right on our block. Aidan loved that Austin took him and Austin loved going along with him alone. I got the babies to bed and Austin resumed passing out candy while Aidan and I went a few more blocks. He was so funny as he was walking. He would go to people's houses who he knew and would say to me "I didn't know she had a BROTHER!!!" (And it was her son!) Then we went to another one and he said "I dind't know she had a DAD!!!" (It was her husband!!) Thankfully, he waited until we were away from the house to say it to me! By the time we got home from our alone time, Daddy had just gotten home, so Aidan got to "scare" him. He was thrilled and I do believe this is the first year Steve has gotten home early enough to see Aidan in his costume and awake. That was very nice!

Austin loved passing out candy...he thought that was a lot of fun. We got way more kids than we normally do, but this year more houses on our block had people home to actually give out candy, too. It was nice to see a steady stream of kids. I hope it goes this well again next year!

Monday, October 29, 2007

I've Been Blessed...

Here is what the creator of this award says:

"It's about reading someone's story that grabs hold of your heart, and after you've moved on .... you remember, and are reminded that you've been blessed. It's about faith, and love and hope for ourselves, our future, our families and those we love. It's about empowering women and standing strong together. It's about the fight we have in us to survive relationships, abuse, cancer and loss of loved ones. It's about overcoming struggles that make us stronger and who we are today. Simply, it's about love. Loving one another."


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A few weeks ago, my friend Helena (Thrice Blessed Momma) honored me with my very first blogger award. Gina (Everyday is a Precious Gift) also gave me the award. I am so touched that they thought of me for this award. Helena and Gina have been dear friends for a long time. Helena has been a huge support and inspiration to me as I raise my boys. She is a single mom of triplets, with special needs. She understands the struggles I go through and she is so strong. Gina has also been a single mom, so she understands that struggle as well. They both have been wonderful to know and I feel incredibly blessed that I am able to call them "friend."

The person that keeps coming to mind is Pattie (Seeking Karma) to pass this on to. She has been incredible to get to know over the past year. She had her twin boys one day after I had my triplets and also has five kids. She gets through this crazy busy time with a lot of humor and she is a true joy to know.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Big Boy Haircuts!


Ethan and Nathanial's hair has been getting crazy-wild lately, so tonight, we bit the bullet and cut it. I almost cried while doing it...it was so depressing! Now I am not sure it is any better, because now they look like they just have permanently spiked 'dos, but what is a girl to do? I can't afford beauty school, so this is as good as it gets for now! Oh, and Noah got his "before" and "after" shots taken, also...didn't want him feeling left out!


Ethan Before:

Ethan After:

Nathanial Before:

Nathanial After:
Noah Before and after:







Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Three Peas in a Pod



This is sooo perfect!!! For the life of me, I could not find perfect colored green sweats or sleepers. My mom found these cute little one piece green outfits, but it still wasn't just perfect, even though they would work. Then she thought of a great idea to make a cover for the wagon in green felt, to make the pea pod. I recieved it yesterday and it is PERFECT!!! Better than I had imagined in my head! I was so excited, so this morning, I put them all in their little wagon and then put them in their little hats and cover. Then, of course, Horse riding Spidey is in some of the pictures. Aidan wanted to be Spiderman, but now he wants to ride his horse while trick or treating, so he will be "Horse riding Spidey."



Monday, October 22, 2007

He's approved!

Austin recieved his letter from Who's Who and his biography was approved! He will be in the 2007-2008 publication. I am so proud of him. I showed him the letter and he was pretty excited. His hardwork is paying off!

Friday, October 19, 2007

Twice in two days!


Today Austin surprised me again. We were all in the living room this morning and Austin was laying on the floor. Nathanial and Ethan started climbing on Austin, with Noah trying to figure out how to join in. Then Austin actually asked me to take a picture of them. I was trying to not be all obvious and do it without his consent, but he asked. I am just so excited that he is doing well the last couple of days! I could only get Austin and Ethan together...Nathanial took off right before I got the camera ready!

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Austin and His Brothers

Austin is not generally a very affectionate person...when he is, it's on his terms. I have come to accept this. It was very difficult at first for me to realize that when I say "I love you" or hug him, he finds it physically uncomfortable and doesn't want to just reciprocate the "I love you" if he's not feeling like it. Since his diagnosis (Asperger Syndrome), I have backed off and left it completely up to him. This has actually been a great thing. Now, when he comes up and sits by me or holds my hand, or says "I love you," I know that he really means it and I cherish those times and they are very special to me.

This flows over to his relationship with his brothers. He doesn't really like them most of the time and feels they (all of them) are an invasion in his life that he didn't invite and he didn't want. He can be very resentful to me about it and gets very angry with me at times. Most of the time, he just ignores them. Aidan he will occasionally play with and sometimes they play very well together. Most of the time, they agitate the bejeebers out of each other, though. Aidan knows EXACTLY what buttons to push with Austin and he does so frequently. When they are on the computer together, though, they usually get along swimmingly.

Today, something happened that brought a tear to my eye. I was making dinner when I heard giggling from the babies and Austin making really silly noises. I, very quietly, went out to the dining room where I observed Austin genuinely playing with his brothers and loving it. It was so sweet and so special to see. I love it when I "catch" him being good and truly enjoying himself when I haven't prodded him at all to do it (last I knew he was in his room reading). Here's the video:


video

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Aidan and His Bee Costume

Aidan loves his bee costume. He wore it for Halloween last year and just cannot part with it. It is so short on the bottom and top, yet he finds a way to squeeze into it. He also happens to love a pair of old cowboy boots of mine. I used to do country dancing and I put a ton of money into the various boots that I had, so naturally, I have a hard time parting with them. I no longer need them or wear them at all, and Aidan found them in the back of my closet a few weeks ago. Most of the time he runs around with nothing but his cowboy boots on. Today, he came up with this outfit and it was hilarious!

Monday, October 15, 2007

Austin's Musical Solo Performance

video

{To turn off the background music to hear the video, scroll to the bottom of the blog and push pause in the streaming music.}

Austin had his performance tonight and it was awesome! He did a great job. He did not prepare me at all for a little part of it. The quality is awful...I had Steve in charge of our digital video camera, but he didn't push the record button and we discovered it too late, so this is a video of the video I took with our "regular" camcorder. But the sound is good, so at least you can hear what he sounded like. I have pictures on the dropshots page (Our Family Photos link to the right).


He did great and it was a lot of fun!!

Fascinating

Austin has been getting interesting things in the mail from different places the last couple of years. Last year, it was People to People...a group that takes student "ambassadors" to different countries to learn and live in those cultures. My little sister went to Australia with them and loved it. You have to maintain a certain GPA and test scores in order to even qualify to be a part of the group. You have to be either nominated by a teacher/counselor or referred based on GPAs and test scores (ie, ITBS). Last year, he was offered to go to Canada for two weeks. We declined...he would just be entering 6th grade and we figured the oppurtunity would present itself again if he was meant to do it, when he's older. And with the Asperger's, it would be difficult for him to be away from us for that long.

This year, he was once again referred to People to People, this time it was to Australia and longer. We are declining again, we just don't think he's ready. Both oppurtunities have come to us with his former last name. I thought it was just a People to People thing.

Then Saturday, we recieved an invitation for him to submit his biography to Who's Who Registry of Acedemic Excellence - Middle School Edition. I was a little shocked, but also intrigued because, once again, it came under the old last name.

I don't really want him to miss out on these oppurtunites because of a clerical error (for one thing, Who's Who offers scholarships), so Icalled Who's Who to ask them how to change it. They changed it in their system, but then told me I needed to call the registry and change it, so all companies had his correct name. Apparently, his name is already, in sixth grade, on a registry of America's top students, based on his test scores and GPAs. It's a little overwhelming to think that someone somewhere is watching my son's test scores and grades and he is being offered phenominal things because of it. It's also a lot of pressure to put on him at this age. He knows about the People to People offers (he's seen the letters), but he doesn't know about the Who's Who thing yet. I really don't want him to pressure himself even more than he already does.

What's fascinating to me is that we already expect so much out of kids. They have to know so much to even get into preschool these days...it's rather sad. By middle school, Austin has been concerned about college for over two years. Two years! At age 12! It's outlandish. Yes, there is nothing wrong with wanting your child to do their best and really apply themselves. But they also shouldn't have to worry about being on some list and falling off that list if they fail to test well at some point. I almost wish these companies would back off until at least high school...if not even just your senior year.

I am very proud of Austin for doing so well, I don't want to say that I am not with all this. I just wish kids had more time to be kids.

Yes, I am going to apply for him to be in the Who's Who publication. Steve was in it in high school and I think it is an honor. He's always said it was "no big deal." I happen to think it is and I think it's fantastic that they profile those kids that do work their hiney off.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Getting into trouble...



I swear you can spell Ethan
T-R-O-U-B-L-E. He is constantly getting into everything! And he is sooo quiet about it. You never have any idea. I have learned that I need to be very careful with him and know that the second he is silent, it is my clue to run!


Just this week, he has taken all the foam blocks off the fireplace on MANY occasions and most recently, he has tried to climb the steps. He also tries to get his brothers in on the action...which really isn't too difficult to do as they are all too willing to participate. What's that?? Cause another grey hair in Mommy's head??? All right!




Speaking of that....it's quiet...gotta go!!!!!

Musical

Austin is so excited. He got a part in his school's vocal mini-musical. Not just any part, but he has a solo!! I am so excited for him. He will be the nerd. I can't wait to see it. He has had rehearsal this week twice and has also been working on the solo with his vocal teacher. It is Monday night. He won't come home Monday after school...he's staying there to set up and have a final run-through.

I still am in awe of how much he loves to perform and sing in front of others. He certainly doesn't get that from me! I remember how great he was in Through the Looking Glass and how much he loved it. That was a LOT more intense than this, but he didn't have a solo in that one. Who knows...maybe this is his calling?

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Wagon rides!

Ever since I discovered I was having triplets, I have known that for their first Halloween, they would be three peas in a pod. I have invisioned Aidan's wagon decked out with a green blanket and the three of them in green sweats with little pea pod hats. This is proving to be a little more difficult than I anticipated. Seems simple, but maybe not.


The hats were easy...I don't sew, but my mom does. So I found an adorable little hat to a pumpkin costume and gave it to her and asked if she could do the exact same thing, only all in green. She was able to (haven't gotten to see them yet, but I get to next weekend!).


So, then came the green sweats. I thought this would be simple. I really thought that green was a staple color in the sweatshirt and sweat pants industry. Apparently not. Combat green is very easy to find, but I had in my brain invisioned them in a bright green. Or maybe forest green...but definitely not army green. So now my second option, which might end up being better anyway, is to find green blanket sleepers. We are in Iowa and we can almost gaurentee that we will need snowsuits under those costumes. So now I am on the hunt for green sleepers.


Third, the wagon. We have this awesome Radio Flyer fancy wagon. I seemed to have blocked out of my memory that for the past year and a half Steve has been using it as his wheelbarrow. (Wheelbarrows are expensive, you know, and why buy one when you have a perfectly good wagon that isn't being used??) So I pulled it out and it was filthy. So I spent a good two hours cleaning out up on Monday afternoon. I got it near-perfect by the way. I was very happy with myself. I first washed it off with the hose, then used soap and a washcloth, then a scrubber, finally SOS pads, and then washed it all down again and did a final bleach rinse to be sure. Does Steve notice all the work I've put into this little "project" I didn't intend to have?? Of course not. He thought it wasn't "that bad" to begin with. I wish I had taken before and after photos! So at least that hurdle was no longer in our way.


Today I did the final test. I put all the babies into the wagon and we went for a walk down to church and back. They LOVED it. However, they really are not meant for babies, so I had Aidan sit in the front of them and stacked them Noah, Ethan, Nathanial, Aidan. Nathanial decided that every time we stopped was the perfect oppurtunity to stand up, so I had to watch him carefully. Going down to church wasn't so bad. I was able to turn and check on them every couple of seconds and they were happy as a lark in there with no seatbelts or anything. Coming home was quite another matter...for me. We live on the tiniest of inclines...and I do mean tiny. But when you are hoofing it while pulling approximately 90 pounds...WOW! Do you get a workout! So we may have to do a few more runs just so my arms get a little more toned before trick or treating. But they did love it! So much, in fact, that Ethan fell asleep on Noah on the way home and the other two were looking mighty close to it, also.


So, now, if I can just find some green sleepers....


Tuesday, October 9, 2007

The Other Side

Steve was home this afternoon with the boys...alone. I had a doctor's appointment and he came home to "babysit." I hate that word when they are HIS kids, also, but that's essentially what it is...especially considering what I witnessed upon my arrival home. Nathanial, Ethan, and Noah were taking naps when I left, but starting to wake up.

I came back home two hours later, when what to my wondering eye does appear, but Steve's "solution" to keeping the boys in the living room. See, they had not yet discovered that they could get out on either side of the couch until last week. When they found out there was freedom to be had on the Other Side, they went after it. All week, I have discovered babies following me...everywhere. So, yes, that means, fantastic, I now have FOUR visitors when I need to, ahem, you know. One was bad enough, but I knew this was coming.

Back to yet another one of Steve's genius ideas to his version of "baby proofing." He has their toy basket blocking entry to The Other Side between the bookcase and the couch. Between the couch and the fireplace, he has placed an excersaucer. Seems brilliant, right?? Wrong. THIS is what happens when you block it with an excersaucer....

You are seeing correctly....that is Nathanial stuck in the excersaucer. He seems happy here, but trust me, not so much three seconds before.

So if you're wondering....excersaucers do not make great baby gates. Trust me....we've tried.

Friday, October 5, 2007

May he rest in peace...

That's the fastest catch we've made yet! Steve caught the little critter this morning. Yippee! Steve walked into the kitchen this morning and found him. Apparently, his appetite won out. He was stuck on the glue trap, squeeking, flailing, with his head in the bag of poison. Yuck! Steve took him outside and "got rid of him." So long as he isn't in my house anymore, I could really care less!!

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Maybe not Sesame Street Blocks


Well, the fireplace idea seemed brilliant....until you account for the fact that it's bright, colorful, and right at baby-level. Seems Nathanial, Ethan, and Noah have taken a liking to it and have decided that their intent everyday is to get it down as fast as possible. Daddy says, no problem...I'll just add more duct tape! (Yes, that's duct tape on the back of it.) I'm thinking we're going to end up needing to buy stock in the duct tape company by the time they are 3! Nathanial appears to be missing from the photo, but that's only because I couldn't get what he was doing into the picture. He also has three or four of the little squares that he is intently playing with in the bottom left of the picture. These guys are sure teaching us a new thing every day!!

Tis The Season...

....for boxelder bugs, "ladybugs," and don't forget shrews! Oh I hate this time of year! Every year, we get millions of ladybugs (Japanese beetles) and boxelder bugs and at least one shrew. Last night I came home from youth group to hear the infamous skitter in the kitchen. Ewww!!!! Out of the corner of my eye, there he ran, right under the dishwasher. For some reason, when we do get them, they always live under the dishwasher (great place) and venture out for food. Now I should have known he was in there, it should not have been a surprise. It's fall...and my kitchen floor was spotless...the biggest sign something was in there. I told Steve we had another one and out came the poison (no, I am not nice to critters that invade my home, so please don't send me any nasty notes...I have my five kids to protect!). That's another sure fire way to find out if we have one. Sure enough, this morning all poison was gone. This is a rather slow process because it takes about a week for it to actually kill them. So, tonight we will get out the glue trap and put it in front of the poison. After much research there are some reassuring facts about shrews. They are loners, they do not actually want to be inside, they are nocturnal, and are notorious over eaters. They eat something like 70 times their body weight. Don't quote me, but it's a lot. So we now know that if we have one, we do truly only have one. That doesn't mean more won't come in....they might. We usually average two a year. Plus since they love to eat, they sow down the poison. I have never seen anything like it. They go through a pack a night. Since they are nocturnal, I usually do not see/hear him unless it is night, which means I can pretend he isn't there during the day. We just always hope that they don't go back and die under the dishwasher....that would be even worse. So far, we've been lucky and somehow they get out of the hole long enough to die. And, so far, Steve has always been the one to catch them.

I do not like the smell of the "ladybugs" either. Whoever tells you bugs don't smell has never had these. So far this year we are not doing too bad. There are "only" about 10 in our room every night, so that's pretty good. The boxelders seem bad this year, but I think I just block it out every year just how thick they get.

I do not like bugs and critters....especially in my house!!!

Monday, October 1, 2007

Pulling Up


Now Ethan and Nathanial have both decided they love to pull up on things. Lovely, just lovely. They also choose the most unsafe things to pull up on. For instance, the brick fireplace. Great! Or, the glass shelves in the entertainment center. Wonderful! So now I have a very stylin' Sesame Street foam block border around my fireplace. Oh, how I love that! I guess it's better than Steve's idea....a comforter! What?!?! I think not. This is softer anyway. But, when I was first putting it on there, all activity stopped and I turned around to see three very curious little people crawling over and staring at me. Seems all the bright colors and Sesame Street characters is an attention-getter. I am in the process of trying to order a fireplace cover, but Steve is bucking it (they are expensive, I'll give him that). He seems to think this Sesame Street thing is going to work perfectly. So far it is, but we'll see how long that lasts!