Friday, January 30, 2009


So much to catch up on it seems in only a couple of days!

On Tuesday night, Ethan was screaming in his room, so I finally went up and got him out. For the first two hours, I had no idea what had happened and he was happy as a lark sitting next to me on the couch resting. Then, I went to get water in the kitchen and a few minutes later, he followed. That's when I noticed he was limping. I had carried him downstairs and put him on the couch, so I didn't notice it sooner. I put him down and made him walk to me to see how he was limping. He was using the side of his foot. Upon closer inspection, his foot was slightly swollen but I couldn't immediately tell where the pain was coming from. As I was getting my coat on to head to the ER...again...Steve noticed it was his toe. We finally decided that we would just wait and see what the morning brought. I took him to bed with us until 2 am and he wouldn't sleep, so he went back to his own bed. By yesterday, he was still limping, but the swelling was gone. He did something to the top of his toe, but we have no idea what. It is purple under the toenail and he is still favoring it, but really doctors do nothing for toes, so we're just going to wait it out. The swelling is completely gone, too.


Ethan, Nathanial, and Noah had the speech pathologist and early childhood specialist come to the house yesterday to finish up the evaluation. The boys did really well, especially considering it was another marathon session, with the ladies here for about two hours. When we were talking about it afterwards, it seems to me that they are probably going to qualify for services. I really pray they do because I just want them to communicate with me more. The more questions they asked the more convinced I became that Nathanial is probably just fine and not on the spectrum anywhere. As we were dissecting his behavior, he seems to be pretty much up to par with the other two, just a little more introverted. They set up a time to come back with recommendations on February 27 (she said it will take a while to figure everything out), so I guess we'll know more then!


I am soooo frustrated!! We are trying to make reservations for a hotel - for one measly night - for this summer. I have called (because you certainly can't book online) eight different hotels. ONE has rooms to fit eight people - and they want your life savings for it. The rest refuse to guarantee that we could even get adjoining rooms. You can put in a "special request," but they can't promise it will be there when you check in. Seriously??? What a crock! I am so peeved and so exhausted. Maybe it would help if it wasn't such a large city, but really. Will we never be able to take our family on vacation again or are we doomed to campgrounds and never another hotel? BTW, I refuse to tent it...not gonna do it. And do they care that four of the six children are two and under? Nope.


I called today and Aidan is signed up for kindergarten. I nearly cried when I hung up the phone. Even the school secretary couldn't believe Aidan was old enough to be going next year. Not only is he old enough, he will be one of the older kids in his class. I am so sad...I can't imagine going through this another four times! Aidan and I have Kindergarten Round Up on March 6. At least he is super excited...he can't wait. It seems like this milestone is going to come up very quickly on me.


The "little boys" turn two next week - TWO!! I'm trying to stop referring to them as "the babies" and the "little boys" seems to work. Now we have the "little boys" and the "big boys." I am going to work on posts for each of them next week, so watch for those!

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Hannah is Four Months Old!!

...and a half!! I, personally, cannot believe she is possibly that old already, but she is. That goes without saying, she had her four month check up yesterday. She was 23 1/4" and 10 pounds, 13 oz. The other day someone asked how big she was and I guessed between 10-11 pounds. I was right, it turns out.

Everyone always says she is tiny, and she is. I often think it is unfair, though, to compare an exclusively breastfed baby to, say, a completely formula fed baby - or even one who is breastfed and supplemented with formula. Almost all of the breastfed babies I know tend to be a tad on the tinier side. Of course, they do not make charts that doctors regularly use for this purpose (they make them - most doctors don't use them). I must also say that, in my defense, I was always tiny - until my teens. Even then, I was a "normal" weight and didn't become heavy until I was 23 years old (due to lovely PCOS). She comes by her smallness naturally.

She, of course, like all of my children dropped off the chart. She was 25th percentile or something and now she is down around 5th or so. In her defense, everything dropped...not just her weight. It just seems most doctors are not prepared for that, but all of my children have started out normal to bigger and tend to end up somewhere on the smaller side. Thankfully, our doctor isn't a real nervous type, so he is happy to just wait and see what happens. Her drop on the chart was more dramatic than most of my kids - but it was right in line with what Austin did. He dropped just as drastically, if not more so, between his four and six month appointments. I am hoping that Hannah will now level out and if she follows the pattern of four out of five of her brothers, she will.

Developmentally, she's doing great. She isn't rolling, but I'm not concerned. She flips herself onto her side for everything - sleep included - she just won't take the final little descent into the roll. She smiles at everyone, she is such a happy baby. She talks non-stop. I do not know what we are going to do when both her and Noah are talking...I'm doomed (it's probably pay-back)! She grabs onto her toys and has even started to turn them in her hands and get them into her mouth. She is constantly inspecting her hands, also. She holds her head up fabulously and she is constantly wiggling (probably why she can't keep any weight on!). She's doing everything she's supposed to be except rolling.

I was also told we can start cereal now, if we want, but we will not. I don't like to start anything until 6-8 months. Aidan didn't have anything until almost 9 months. I can't imagine trying to get her to actually eat anything yet - she just doesn't seem like she should be ready for any of that. Although she does like to sit at the dinner table with us and already has her own high chair. The boys have been using the high chairs as chairs (no seat) for the last several months, so we just added a booster seat to the other side of the table. Now they take turns sitting in the booster seat. So far, there have been no fights.

Tomorrow, the AEA is coming to our house for observation number 2 on the boys. I'll update when I know more!

Monday, January 26, 2009

Development Testing Update

The boys went in for their testing on Friday. Ethan and Nathanial had seen the ENT on Tuesday and she recommended we wait for the hearing part of the testing until Ethan's ear was better. When I called, the AEA said that they would do the testing with the knowledge that he probably wouldn't pass in that ear and we can follow up on that ear later. With five out of six ears doing well, though, we really didn't want to put everything off.

The hearing part for all of them was fine. Nathanial and Ethan both missed a few tones. Ethan did flunk in his right ear, which we knew he would, but he did great in the "hearing range" test, so he's fine. The audiologist recommended waiting to re-test all of them (Ethan included) until they are old enough to do it with headphones - around age 3. I personally feel that they have had their hearing tested plenty and are fine, so we are not really concerned about that part. We just had to do it because they don't want to start any sort of speech help until they know they can hear at a learning level.

They met with the audiologist, two speech pathologists, one early childhood developmental specialist, and one child psychologist. It took about two and a half hours to get everyone tested and they did great. All three went into the room with Steve and I and all the "specialists" and then they just played. Daddy then took each one out individually to do the hearing testing. Mostly, they were observed while they were playing and we were asked a lot of questions.

As is usual, they were pretty silent. They played and laughed and threw things (which is quickly becoming "normal" - much to my dismay!) and acted like their normal little almost-two-year-old selves. They decided they want to evaluate them at least two more times - both at home - to see if they are any different at home than they were there (aka - more talkative).

At this stage, we know nothing. We don't know if they have a "true" delay - although after reading through the material they sent home, I'm more positive than I ever was that they do have a true delay. They will come here on Thursday and one more time yet to be determined to observe them again. Then they will all meet together and share what they felt each of their opinions was and come up with a plan of action. Then they will meet with Steve and I. So we are a long way to finding out if they even qualify for services, but I am honestly praying that they will. If nothing else, we need to stop the high level of "twin" (triplet, in their case) speak going on.

The one speech pathologist did say that even if they don't qualify for services now, that we are to keep a close eye on them because they may in six months to a year. She said it was good we are keeping close track of them.

If they do qualify for services, they will have one of two levels. They either will qualify for 60 or 120 minutes per month, which amounts to one-one hour session or two-one hour sessions per month. I am not sure if that is each of them or for all three together. I didn't think to ask about it when we were there, and I will ask on Thursday.

I also voiced my concerns about Nathanial, so they know that I am concerned about him being somewhere on the spectrum and that Steve isn't (they said that's common). And I told them I was concerned about everyone's level of frustration by lack of communication. Ethan and Noah are especially getting more and more honked off much easier because we do not understand each other. The child psychologist felt that pictures may help if their comprehension is there (it is, in my novice opinion), so that was one idea.

One interesting thing happened. I sign with them - constantly. They refuse to sign back and look at me like I am some insane woman put in their life just to irritate them when I expect it back. As in, I wait while getting them a drink and sign "More milk please." Then they look at me like I'm an idiot, then I get the drink and sign to them "Thank you." Again, the look. Yeah, right lady - just give me the drink. Well, Noah was playing with the speech pathologist and she suddenly asked if I signed with them and then asked if "please" was one we use. She then informed me Noah signed "please" to her - repeatedly. Interesting.... So they know what I want and they know how to do it and yet they refuse? Huh.... Welcome to the two's!!

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Random Picture Challenge 3.0

Random Picture Challenge (4 Little Men and Girly Twins):
August 2007
Picture 30 This is Austin's poster for Consumer Savvy on Cake Comparisons. He ended up with a blue ribbon and it was considered for state. Not very exciting, but it is what it is!

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Random Picture Challenge 2.0

Today's Random Picture Challenge (4 Little Men and Girly Twins) is:
January 2009
Picture 8

This would be Miss Hannah - posing with her new Happy Heiny diaper and Baby Legs on. Not a good picture by any means, but hey, I'm being honest.

Friday, January 16, 2009


I am posting this both on our blog about Austin and this blog, because while it deals specifically with Asperger's and Austin, it also deals with ignorance about larger families.

Some quick background - Austin has Asperger Syndrome, which is a type of high functioning Autism. Because of AS, he has a lot of sensory issues, plus a lot of anxiety.

For several years, Austin has worn his coat all day long at school. He refuses to take it off. I've spoken with him on several occasions about it when it first started, but then eventually gave up. Last year, because he was at a new school, I had to speak with him about it again because we got a lot of complaints about him wearing his coat all day. He still wore it. This year, there is a new guidance counselor.

When she started, I was so excited. She is fresh out of college and I thought she knew a little bit about AS. Now, I didn't expect her to be an expert, but she had heard of it and acted like she understood it. My hopes were dashed, as she may have heard about it, but understanding it is a whole other thing. She totally doesn't get it.

She has been e-mailing me for a long time and that has been good. However, as the weather got colder, I started getting e-mails about "the teachers" being concerned about Austin wearing his coat all day long and that "he might be cold" and "need more layers."

So, I decided to politely ignore the fact that most of these teachers knew Austin last year and knew that he would not take his coat off, so that didn't seem as much the point. I politely pointed out that he had on several layers under his coat (UnderArmor, a long sleeve shirt, and a hooded sweatshirt), so he was plenty warm and it was more a security/anxiety issue than anything else.

Do you know what she wrote back??? She said, and I quote, 'I'm glad to hear that he has options to wear at home and to help him with layers!' Seriously!?!?!? Like, because we have six kids, we can't possibly afford to clothe all six children and be sure they have enough options to keep them warm. What?!?! I was so offended and so angry that she ignorantly thought that we did not have enough money to afford our children.

Yes, maybe some people cannot afford all the children they have in a larger family. However, most larger families that I know, know that they can afford the children they already have and any future children they may have prior to having more children. Adding to one's family, especially a larger family, is not something taken lightly and not an accident. Everyone I know, myself included, knows they can feed and clothe all of their children in a manner which is weather-appropriate at all times. They may not be designer clothes (and sometimes they may be), but each child has what he/she needs.

In that same e-mail, she mentioned that the teachers were concerned his coat "wasn't clean." Well, I informed her I wash his coat three times a week. She was happy to hear that. I figure if I am washing the coat that often, then they really can't complain about it. It isn't dirty. So I've taken away the two reasons they want him to not wear his coat. And I've spoken with him about it. He's still wearing his coat daily and I'm fine with it. He has on layers, and it's clean - they can say nothing.

Why is a coat such a problem??? And, seriously, of all the issues we have had with him, why pick on the coat?? And if that's their only complaint right now, then we are doing MIGHTY good!!!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

THIS is why Nothing Ever Gets DONE....

This happened after rice and macaroni, at different times this morning while I was doing laundry and dishes (respectively). This time, I was trying to make supper. To say I'm a touch ticked would be putting it extremely mildly...
The Guilty Parties:

Even a dyson was not made to withstand triplet boys, I do not think... And, for those of you who are thinking "She must not baby-proof" is the proof. How they got it open is beyond me and nothing else works...

Monday, January 12, 2009

Hannah's Happy Heiny

About two weeks ago, we started Hannah in cloth diapers. It has been awesome! I so wanted to do it with the triplets, but didn't think I could. They are now next on my list. I'm still waiting on inserts for her diapers, but I have the extra ovals already. I started using prefolds, but those were way bulky. Then I started cutting those apart, but it was still bulky. Someone told me to try microfiber towels cut apart. That is what we are using currently and they work awesome! I'm hoping the inserts will be slightly less bulky than the towels, but for now, this is working. She has had more messes in her overnight disposables than in these! She only has three so far, so it takes her through the entire day, but not nighttime (when I wash them for the next day). Steve has said if I do the laundry and follow through with it for a month, then I can order more! Yay!

I did learn one thing. I am not going to do sizes again. When I was looking, I got an awesome deal and they were sized diapers. Well, as soon as she grows, that means I am going to need more. Our next ones will be one size fits all gender-neutral diapers. That way everybody can share. The laundry has been so easy! Because she's breastfed, there is no need to rinse them until she starts on solid food (around 8 months) and they are fleece-lined, so the poopies just rinse right out. I throw everything in, wash it, and it comes out sparkling. I know most people are already aware of this, but the last time I used cloth, it was over 13 years ago and those were still just prefolds with lots of pins and rubber pants - with lots of scrubbing. What a pain! They have come a long way since then!

I'm excited for the triplets to get into them because they more than likely have another year in diapers and even at that rate, I am saving a huge amount on the landfill. I also think they'd be great for Noah - he is sooo sensitive to everything. Maybe with all the snaps, they might even deter Nathanial from whipping it all off in the middle of his nap/night.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Random Picture Challenge 1.0

Courtesy of Four Little Men and Girly Twins. The challenge today is May 2008, 21st picture. Today's random picture challenge:

This is Noah and Nathanial (I think) watching Aidan sing at church on May 11, 2008.

Friday, January 9, 2009


We went back in to see Dr. B (ENT) and she has finally recommended getting the boys in to be checked for their speech. I have been increasingly concerned about their lack of speech for the last six months. At that point, no one was hearing too great, so Dr. B (Family doctor) said to wait three to four months and see how they were at that point. Well, life happened and between Hannah and multiple visits for various illnesses, it never got brought up.

Lately, I have been extremely concerned. Dr. B (ENT) asked about it at their appointment this week and I said they say very little. She wants them to be seen by the AEA for a comprehensive evaluation. I am so thrilled this is getting done. She said even with the massive ear problems we've been dealing with, they should be hearing fine because it's all draining out and not sitting behind the ear drum. She said she definitely thinks it's a speech problem at this point, but it could be compounded by the fact that they are triplets and have developed an extensive language amongst themselves already.

We know they hear. They follow commands, they interact with each other and us, and they jabber. They have talked to each other since birth (literally) and they truly understand each other. I feel that could be hampering their speech, but they still should be saying something. They say very, very little.

Noah says hi, ba (bye/nigh-night), this, that, see, oh, yeah, and no (A LOT). He will occasionally say "sister," but is hard to understand when he says it. He uses all of those appropriately also. Nathanial says ba (bye/nigh-night), da (dad) and mom. Bye and da he uses appropriately, mom he whines for me, mine, mom, and just about anything else. Ethan says ba (bye/nigh-night) and mom for everything Nathanial uses it for. Noah will tell huge stories, though, and really thinks you understand him. He's hilarious to listen to.

They are doing a hearing test first then they will be evaluated by a Speech Language Pathologist, child development specialist, and some other specialized person. They said those three will go together because one will pick up something in their area while another will pick up something different. This is especially good for Nathanial. Ethan and Noah I believe are neuro typical (if Ethan is a little neurotic and OCD). Nathanial I am almost positive is somewhere on the spectrum. He does not interact as often with the other two, he is often isolated, he smears, he is very sensitive to lots of things, and he is just "different." While he may just end up being a quieter little guy, I would like to know now if something is different and if he is on the spectrum rather than wait.

I am very excited for the 23rd to get here so we have some answers soon, even if it will be a very long day!