Saturday, February 27, 2010

Hannah's First Haircut {Bangs Only}

{Hannah's first haircut}
Done by Kayla of A New You at Cuts for a Cause to raise money for a camp for abused and neglected children in foster care - a great reason to try a haircut!!

Thursday, February 25, 2010

This and That

It's been a while since I've posted anything, we've been pretty busy around here. I'll do a separate birthday party post soon, I hope! This is just my general update for the last while so if it seems completely random, that's because it is!

It's not too late to comment on my Delurk for Haiti post here! I am wrapping it up, however, and am going to do the donation this Sunday. Our church is raising monies through our mission group for Samaritan's Purse so that is where I will direct all funds I raise.

I just love having the boys share a room and I think it encourages a bond that sometimes wouldn't be there if everyone had their own separate spaces. I know that someday they will complain about "having" to share a room, but hopefully they will also have fond memories that maybe they won't want to be separated.One of the things that I love about this is what I am able to witness - every night - is this:

One of the things that I do not so much enjoy is the destruction that three little boys left to go to sleep unsupervised can do:
{This was all done in a matter of 20 minutes}

This photo is also our "before" of our "major renovation project" that will begin - someday. Already talked with the carpenter and when his next project is finished he will begin on their room. They are getting all walls completely ripped out (finished ripping them, as it were); new wiring; new lighting; lath removed; insulation put in; new drywall; and finally new windows. That is what we would love to do in every room and, out of necessity, we are beginning in their room. I am very excited about my paint design and cannot wait for the project to be finished so I can paint!!!

Hannah is just growing, growing, growing! She has held steady at 19 lbs, 10 oz the last few weeks and last week dropped to 19 lbs, 8 oz, so I believe we are finding her new "curve." Dr. V wanted to see if we could recover any more weight, length, or head circumference and I am feeling very comfortable now about pulling the tube in April. I believe she is where her body should be finally and it is so exciting to see the amazing ways God has worked through this! Her home health visits have been extended out to twice monthly now (instead of weekly - per insurance) and we have a scale with which to weigh her weekly to keep track of how she is doing to be sure she doesn't fall behind.
{Hannah truly is her Grandpa Kenny's girl - she just adores him!!}

Daddy brought in some rabbits from the "new" litter - all already full grown - to clip nails, weigh, and tattoo. The boys just loved them and were so excited to see them in the house, on the dining room table that we never did get to tattooing them. The shrieks of sheer joy were well worth it, though!

{Nathanial, Noah, and Aidan were really excited, but Ethan decided to hang back a bit}

{Ethan gets a little closer and Thano is just giddy with excitement!}

{Ethan finally touches the rabbit!}

We have had so much snow this winter, which has led to a lot of fun with snow forts and castles, snow ball fights, and sledding....along with shoveling, icky drives, and cold temperatures! Austin has been an excellent help to Dad this year by actually helping to dig out so many times! Aidan has loved being outside when the weather isn't too cold (which this winter qualifies as above 15!).
{Aidan and his snow castle}

Austin is maturing all of the sudden very quickly. We still struggle with the Asperger side of things, but he also is more helpful lately. He likes his brothers and sister most of the time and does enjoy playing with them. You can read more about him on my blog for him, All About Austin.
{Austin and Ethan at my birthday dinner}

And, finally, a little birthday party preview. The boys had a ton of fun and we enjoyed having time to be with everyone who was able to make it out - even though it was pretty crazy!

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Look how far we've come!!!

We 3
Are 3
on 2/3

It is absolutely unbelievable to me that three years have passed since the triplets were welcomed into our world! They have changed everything and been such an amazing blessing to us. I still remember the years of praying for children and the heartbreak when, month after month, there was still another negative. It felt selfish in some ways and I questioned often whether God felt that we should just give up (as many people told us), but the desire to add to our family was so strong. Looking back on that time of questioning and growth, I am blown away by the way God chose to add to our family! (At one time, I would have said complete it, but we know that wasn't to be, either!! :-D)

In the early sleepless days, I used to think in some ways it couldn't get much better and it couldn't get much harder. I am now learning that each phase is a phase of "much better and much harder." The triplets stretch our physical capacity everyday, but they also stretch our spiritual and loving abilities right along with it! This has been the most amazing gift that I have been given and am so thankful that they are a part of our lives!

I remember vividly keeping their hospital bracelets on until they couldn't possibly stay on one day longer, in order to identify who was who between Nathanial and Ethan. I remember vividly painting Nathanial's one big toe bright red and making sure it never even faded, for fear that we wouldn't know who was who and would get them confused! I remember believing that I was a horrible mom because I honestly could not have told you without looking for my "clues" who was who until they were at least eight months old. Everyone said "oh, you'll know - you're their mom!" I truly wish they had never said that and had been honest and said "you know, often you will have no clue who is who!" I remember thinking that I would never be able to tell them apart and thinking that they would be able to easily fool me. I do not remember at what age it became clear to me who was who. I do not remember at what age I quit painting Nathanial's toenail and made sure he was always in some form of yellow. I do not remember when, without a shadow of a doubt and with no clues whatsoever, I knew who was who. Now, they are so incredibly different that I cannot believe that I could ever not tell them apart! Now, I can look back at pictures of them as babies and, in most cases, can tell who was who better than I could at the time the photo was taken. Now, they are each their own individual little selves and I often forget that they are identical little men.

Oh, they have grown so much and it is so exciting to be a witness to God's perfect plan over their lives! I cannot wait to see what the next 3, 6, 9, 12, 28 years bring!!

{Look how far! Left - five days old; Right - 3 years old!!}
{Both pictures - Nathanial, Ethan, Noah}

{Nathanial Steven - a few hours old and 3 years old!!}

Nathanial was the first to make his debut into this world. He came wailing into the world at 4 lbs, 9 oz and quickly became a very content little man. He did go to the NICU because he had some grunting issues, but only stayed for a short 36 hours. He required no intervention and only needed to be kept warm. He had some issues with keeping his temp up when he came to the room with me (and that almost cost him going home with the rest of us!). He was the most content to get fed and then move along if need be. He would sit patiently waiting for his turn to be held or nursed.

Nathanial is still pretty content to do his own thing. He is the most independent from the other two, but also the most attached to me. Nathanial is often attached to me and following me around. He is a very quiet little boy. He can get into his fair share of trouble, but isn't usually the instigator of such trouble...he usually just follows along. He already can count to 10 when he feels like it. He doesn't say a whole lot and prefers to just stay quiet most of the time. He has the hardest time adjusting to new people and places, but he eventually does. He loves to sleep RIGHT next to Aidan every night. Thano still sucks his thumb and rubs his hair when he is sleepy and when he is anxious, he will still suck his thumb in other situations, also. He loves to see how things work and take things apart. He loves his baby sister and he loves to sit by her and play with her. He loves to giggle and has a beautiful smile! Nathanial is a lover on his terms and still wants to be held or sit right by me often. He has the cutest little voice and I absolutely adore his lisp!

{Ethan Jacob - a few hours old and 3 years old!!}

Ethan Jacob was the second one to make his debut at 5 lbs, 3 oz. There was no mistaking who looked like who when we were able to see both Nathanial and Ethan! Ethan never had many issues at all and he only went to a transitional NICU bed for two hours before joining mommy in recovery. Ethan was a pretty content baby and went with the flow most of the time. He also was OK with waiting his turn to nurse. He stayed with me during my entire 24 hour ordeal with mag and was able to nurse as he wanted. It was really nice to be able to have one baby with me the entire time. I was upset that the other two were not, but so thankful that Ethan was because I knew the odds of that happening were very slim with triplets.

Ethan is now our fiery one. He can be a little trouble maker, but he can also be a total love. He is very stubborn and very meticulous. Ethan likes everything to be in it's place and put away. He is the best helper at picking up and making sure things go where they belong. He loves being with Noah and they love to figure out things together. Ethan has an amazing laugh and an amazing smile. He loves to play games and tickle people. He is very rough and tumble and is definitely "all boy." I always say Ethan is very "sturdy" (whereas Nathanial seems fragile) which seems like an odd way to explain someone, but if you know him, you know what I am talking about. Ethan is also the clearest in his speech. He tries very hard to use complete sentences. He is also very quiet, like Nathanial, and not usually very loud unless he is getting in trouble! Ethan still sucks his two middle fingers and rubs his hair when he is tired and getting ready for sleep. He is also a cuddler in bed and has to be near Aidan and Nathanial at night and Nathanial during the day.

{Noah at a few hours old and 3 years old!!}

Noah was the last to make his arrival and the first to make it known that he would never be last again...or forgotten! Noah was the maddest upon delivery and made the most noise. Whereas the other two had little cries, Noah had a very robust cry for how tiny he was! Noah came into this world weighing 5 lbs, 12 oz. He spent the longest in NICU (2 1/2 days) and had the hardest time transitioning from the womb. He first had trouble with grunting, then had issues with reflux (which remained with him for a long time). I got my first hint of Noah's personality (other than right at delivery) when he was under the bili lights. All three had to do it and the other two slept contentedly through, getting out to nurse and change diapers. Noah screamed through his time and made it very clear he was not at all happy being left in their. He would cry pitiful cries (to the point of becoming hoarse) until I picked him up, thinking he wanted to nurse, only to find out he just wanted to be held. I said then, and I was right, that he was going to be high maintenance. Noone believed me...

Noah-Noah is very much our highest maintenance man. He is the most needy and the most cuddly and has been since the beginning. Noah is perfectly content being held all day long - still! He is fiercely attached to his Daddy and when Daddy is home, I do not matter. So much so that when he does come to me when Steve is home, we usually know he is sick! Noah has the biggest imagination of the three and Noah is definitely the comedian! He is hilarious and he daily cracks us up. If I ever had any concerns about him being "forgotten" or "left out" because he was not identical, those have long since gone by the way side. He loves to pretend to be a puppy and has since taught his sister how to join in the fun. He loves to talk to himself and sing to himself and is perfectly content playing. He plays with anything he can - trucks, dolls - it does not matter. He will make them whatever fits his current mood. He adores Hannah and looks up to Aidan. He had the roughest start, as far as lingering issues from being a preemie, but has definitely grown into an amazing little boy. He loves playing with his brothers and being with our family - and he loves being at home. He is the biggest home body of the three. He loves Elmo and will watch the same little segment over and over! Noah is still very attached to his two middle fingers and still sucks them for no reason whatsoever!

We have been so incredibly blessed and I am so thankful for each day I have with these three boys. I am also thankful for the opportunity birthdays are - they give us the ability to reflect on past events, see how much things can change in a short amount of time, and allow me to take the time to focus on the gifts of each on of my children individually.