Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Two-year-old vernacular

The children are really becoming articulate at this point (at least in my ears), but I really love some of the little "errors" they make. I almost hate when they grow out of them! Here is a list of some of the cute things each child was saying at age two:


bassasauce = applesauce

brellella = umbrella

bananana = banana

You're discombobalated. = You're discombobulated. (Cary was really proud of that one.)

Everett also did the Tigger song, including the cute growl at the end.


Gip-paboo = Peek-a-boo

I no no no know. = I don't know.

Cwinkew, cwinkew wittew staw... bup-pa-buv... = Twinkle, twinkle little star... up above...

Smee-me. = Excuse me.


I luv-oo, Mama. = I love you, Mama.

La-behwe -or- Wa-behwe = Gwyn's name for Lana. At first she called her "Nana" or "Lana", but recently she has started copying her brother, who often calls Lana "Lanabelle".

Okay? = what she says--along with pats on the back--when one of her siblings is coughing or choking

Lake up! = Wake up!


deelisuss = Delicious

me too too! = me too!

Clee-mup = Clean up

Happy, now = what she says after she's been upset and calms herself down

Monday, May 26, 2008

You will know if you mess up!

When looking at Gwyn and Maddie you may not always be able to tell who's who, but the girls sure know who they are.

There are some things in our routine that are flexible. For example, the girls love switching carseats. Occasionally they'll switch seats at dinner as well, and most of their possessions are shared happily. But there are many things in our routine that are very important to them, and if you mess up, watch out! They know which cups are theirs. They know which blankies are theirs and they must have them at bedtime. When I come in to put Lana to bed after her last feeding, Gwyn and Maddie stand up in their cribs for a kiss on the forehead. Gwyn has a stuffed racoon. Lana has a stuffed lizard and kitty. On one doctor visit where the girls all got shots, we accidentally switched Gwyn and Maddie's outfits in our haste to clothe them and get out of there. They didn't care about that switch, but when we got home I put them right to bed and put them in the wrong cribs. (At that point they were even in different rooms.) Gwyn was fine, but Maddie was really upset. At first I thought it was because of the shots, but I realized our mistake when they woke up. As they've grown and developed more personality differences, we're able to tell them apart much more easily. We still mess up every now and then. The most recent slipup was just this morning. At breakfast, Cary accidentally poured Maddie's milk from her cereal bowl into Gwyn's cup. Maddie just started crying pathetically and saying "No! No! No!" Gwyn helped her out by saying "That's Gwyn's cup!" It totally cracked me up, but Cary switched cups right away while I comforted Maddie.

If you ever have trouble telling them apart, just ask them. They'll tell you who they are!

Guess Who

Can you tell who's who in this embossed photo?

I think it really brings out some of their differences.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Everett's big day

Today Everett gave his first talk in Primary. I was really proud of him. He was so excited about it that he kept interrupting the opening exercises to ask "Is it time now?" When it was finally time for him to get up, he stepped right up to the microphone and spoke up! They had to turn it down quite a bit. I didn't think to coach him about the microphone in advance, so he had his mouth right on it for every word.

I took a picture of him when we got home, and he delivered his talk two more times: once for his Dada, and once completely unprompted, this time almost completely by memory.

DSC00621 Ev's first talk



"I like having Family Home Evening.

We learn about Jesus.

We sings songs that I like.

We do fun things together.

We say prayers.

And we have treats.

Having Family Home Evening helps us to be a happy family."

I also took a picture of the girls. As I was doing Lana's hair today, Maddie and Gwyn were saying "Me too! Me too!" They actually left their pigtails in this time. I love their cute little socks, and the expression on Maddie's face. (She's in the middle.)

DSC00619 LMG

Saturday, May 24, 2008

I need a makeover.

I often have an idea or two for something I'd like to write about during the day, but by the time the children are in bed, I don't want to do the thinking required to actually carry out my ideas. I want to shut off my brain and just rest--perhaps stare at a wall for a few minutes. But at some point, before the details get too much foggier, I really want to write about our triplet pregnancy and NICU experience, as well as those first few crazy months with four little ones.

Well yesterday I decided I'm starting to look old and style-less. I haven't been sleeping enough, and took a picture of myself that kind of scared me. So instead of writing or doing other useful activities, I decided to pamper myself a bit (except with sleep, which is what I really need). I had a soak and did a facial mask for the first time ever. I don't know if it did anything, but it felt nice. Then I got online and started looking for haircut ideas. I have always felt rather clueless about what style will look good on me, and often ask the hairdresser to choose for me (which is often unadvisable considering the styles they choose for themselves). Sometimes I start out with something that looks great and then let it grow out so that it's just not flattering.

Anyway, last night as I was wasting time searching online, I found something really fun. This site has one of those programs where you can upload a photo of yourself and give yourself an online makeover. I think I was playing around with it for at least 30 min. This is one of the "looks" I came up with:

hair idea 2

I don't know if my hair would actually DO that (and those bangs might just drive me crazy), but what do YOU think? Please leave a comment if you have an opinion. If you'd like a point for comparison, you can look at the slideshow at the end of this post.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Fudgesicles are worse than s'mores.

We just figured this out. This evening we had pizza sauce, chocolate, and mud. (Yes, I'm doing some pretreating tonight.) Somehow these things didn't seem nearly as bad--even cute, with only one child.

Thursday, May 22, 2008


Yesterday I was crazy adventurous enough to serve s'mores for dessert.

GwynMaddie LanaEverett

The kids  had a lot of fun.  I'm wondering what an actual campfire experience will be like.  I love a nice campfire, but I think we'll have "Plan B" in place when we try it!

Babies with Babies

I guess my girls aren't really babies anymore, but they're still little! Our most recent toy rotation brought the baby dolls up from the basement, and all four children have been really sweet with them. (It almost makes me want to have another one--yikes!) They've been singing lullabies, wrapping them in blankets, feeding them, rocking them, giving them hugs and kisses, and putting them down for naps.

Gwyn wrapping up her baby:

DSC00521 babies G

Lana hugging her baby:

The girls play with cars, so I guess Everett can play dolls with them, right? We're not dealing with stereotypes yet. I just love it when they all play together happily!

Everett also wanted to play school the other day. I'm not sure what gave him the idea, but I was happy to go along with it. (I've been trying to encourage writing, etc. without a whole lot of success.) He set up a little school area with a chair for the teacher. All four children sat down in front of me, and listened attentively as we went through the first six letters of the alphabet naming things that started with each letter. We then sang the alphabet song and looked through an alphabet book that Everett and I had made. One more run-through of the alphabet song and the girls were done, but I was surprised they lasted that long! I wouldn't mind a repeat of that experience. At this point it almost has to be Everett's idea.

My little cushioned cranium cutie

Cary here. I snapped this one with my phone at Lana's late night feeding. She most often stays asleep for those and simply swallows by reflex. This time, she was awake from the start, saw the helmet on the floor, picked it up, and then sat staunchly still, serious and satisfied--as if that was all her little heart needed to make her existence complete. I've already written too much: this is one of those kinds of photos that really doesn't need captioning at all--just smiling contemplation.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

"Our Story" by Cary, to the tune of "The Beverly Hillbillies"

Well let me tell a story ‘bout a man named Cary
Poor college student very far from sedentary
Then one day he saw a pretty head
And the next thing you know those two lovebirds were wed

(That Mandy-gurl wasn’t just pretty ya know…charming,
brilliant, musical, and not bad at whack-a-mole either…)

Graduation came and then they moved to Pennsylvania
To study more and work, and to be close to her ma
One year out on an exchange to a school in French Paree
They had a baby boy and grew their family

(Everett that is…nine pound galoot he started out…now at 4
he’s spiky blond just like his dad, and sweet just like his ma…)

Back home in the States our 3 now want to be 4
So while dad’s studying life at home won’t be a bore
Then one day the ultrasound techie
Said “Whoa! you ain’t havin’ 1, you’ll be havin’ 3!”

(Triplets that is…all girls…life changing? You bet: minivan,
stretch-limo stroller, and an industrial-sized dumpster for
all the diapers…Church, family and neighbors all pulled together
to keep the family sane, clean, fed, and rested during the
first few months…What a blessing!)

Well Cary’s still workin’ toward his PhD
And Mandy’s Supermom, like we all knew she would be
Our hands are full but happy and for that we praise the Lord
‘Cuz we know forever families are His promised reward.

Monday, May 19, 2008


My post title does not refer to Posttraumatic Stress Disorder. I'm using it instead as my acronym for "Post-Triplet Super-Disaster".

At first, I didn't want to tell anyone (other than my mom) about this particular disaster because it was too horrifying to me. I wanted to forget about it and didn't want people to think I was a terrible mother. Now that the trauma of the memory has faded a bit, I've decided that I should record the event for posterity. So here goes...

I had to do something upstairs for a few minutes. (Yes, you can see it coming now, eh?) So I left the children sitting on the couch happily watching Sesame Street. As I listened from upstairs, it started to sound awfully quiet--too quiet even for watching TV--or maybe it was just a feeling. Anyhoo, I rushed downstairs to find Everett happily watching Sesame Street, and all three girls in the bathroom. One had the toilet brush, and the other two had taken combs out of one of the drawers. With those implements they were happily dipping and stirring in the toilet. And the toilet had something in it--something loose and nasty. I think the girls may have been sampling from the combs, but tried to tell myself they weren't. The floor was covered in filthy water. The girls were covered in it. Apparently, Everett had gone #2 in the potty, and for the first time ever, had neither flushed nor closed the door.

After a few milliseconds of trying to deny that any of this was really happening, I quickly removed all of the girls' clothing and whisked them up to the bathtub. Once Cary found out what was going on, he pulled out the bleach and cleaned the bathroom, enlisting Everett for the effort as well. I was truly grateful. I was feeling really yucky that day. As it turned out, I had a stomach bug and was throwing up an hour later.

While I'm on the subject, here's another one from last summer that wasn't quite so bad, but still required baths:

The children and I were playing on the porch. I sent Everett inside as a consequence for some form of disobedience which I can't remember at this point. He went straight through the house, out the back door, and back around to the front porch. (I had made a gate, so he was standing on the steps in front of the porch.) I told him to march himself back inside, and right then he peed his pants. We were working on potty training and were doing pretty well but not 100% there yet. I told him to wait there while I went to get something to clean it up with. While I was inside for all of 30 seconds he discovered the planter which I had placed on the steps so that it would be out of reach of the children while we played on the porch. It was filled with potting soil. He decided that it would be a really fun game to throw the dirt on his sisters like it was raining. They loved it. So I came out to a wet boy and three dirty girls. By now I decided I needed to call for backup, so I told Everett to stop, and went in to get Cary. Everett did not stop. Cary took care of Everett while I vacuumed the porch and the girls. Everett went to bed really early that night.

Too bad I don't have photographic evidence for this one.

Sunday, May 18, 2008


Well, our whole family is sick once again. It seems that despite my best efforts at germ-control, we have our own little petri dish.

I was to teach the women's class at church today, so I went solo. It was so strange being there by myself. When the girls were barely talking, we started a tradition of saying "Here, We, GO!" anytime we went anywhere in the van. The kids all join in on the "GO!" part and do the "charge" motion with their arms. So when I was driving today I missed that. I didn't have to dress four children or take a diaper bag. I was also able to actually pay attention in the first meeting! It has been getting better and better, but I still don't usually hear much of the service.

Cary fed Lana this morning for me. I decided to snap a photo. And no, I don't know why he's wearing a tie on his head. That's just what dads do, isn't it?

DSC00500 Cary feeding Lana

While I was gone, he and the children made a "Welcome Home Mama" sign and hung it in the window. He caught a picture of them on the porch after letting them check out their handiwork:


Gwyn, Lana, Everett, Maddie

He also had lunch waiting for me, dinner in the crockpot, and the house was pretty much the way I left it! I felt really loved, and he scored some major points!

Thursday, May 15, 2008

I was a cool Mom today.

I figure that I'm a cool mom about once a month or so. Usually I do boring things like dishes and laundry, so I decided that since I actually did something fun today I'd better write about it. This is "Everett"... and Everett with Everett.

DSC00494 Everett puppet DSC00497 Everett with Everett puppet

Everett and I made this scary-looking sock puppet today. He chose the buttons and yarn, and helped me cut things. He wanted the hair to be as long as his, and wanted to name him "Everett". We had a puppet show after dinner, which had the girls giggling hysterically. It involved lots of eating, burping, and "excuu-u-uuse me!" Here's a picture Everett took of me... and Everett:

DSC00498 Everett's picture of Mama

Today was also Lana's first weekly therapy visit at the Children's Institute. It was really more of a consultation than therapy this time, but I'm encouraged by what I've seen so far. There was a point months ago where Lana would drink about 2 oz. per feeding with a straw (and every once in a blue moon she'd drink five and almost bowl me over), but we had a major setback after which she completely refused to drink anything by straw. Today we tried a Rubbermaid container with a straw, and Lana drank about 4 oz. of her Nutren--by herself! In less than 10 minutes! Maybe it was the novelty. Maybe it was the setting. Maybe the timing. Maybe we are being blessed, and she'll do it again! She's getting sick (Gwyn sounds like she might have croup), but we'll keep praying and see how it goes. We're hoping to gradually increase what she'll drink independently (and without movie distraction) and then completely eliminate syringe feedings. It's hard to believe that I've been feeding her this way for well over a year!


At dinner, Cary was teaching the girls about "guys" and "ladies". He had Gwyn look at pictures and say "Lady" or "Guy." Cary then told her that I was a lady. She said "No! Mama." And Cary isn't a guy either. He is most irrevocably "Dada" in Gwyn's mind. I guess we should feel really special. Gwyn has also decided that she's my buddy. I ask her if she's my sweet girl and she says "No! Buddy."

It's nice that the girls are starting to communicate really well. At snack time, Maddie informed me: "Mouth hurts today." I'm proud of my little talkers.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

"The Machine"

You remember "The Machine" in Princess Bride? Well, it was designed as a torture device which could suck years off of a person's life. Sometimes, when my children are all crying and screaming, this is how I feel:

I try to keep cool and respond in the best way possible, but I think that after one week of minimal screaming, not only am I getting an extra-big dose of it right now, but my sensitivity to it has increased too. I'm sure that most of our day today was actually pretty happy, but those few minutes of all-out screamfest here and there really wore me out!

Happy events today included playing house with two umbrellas on the porch and going to the park. This was the first time I took all four kids to the park by myself this year. Actually, I started to take them by myself, but my sweet neighbor spotted us and decided she'd tag along and help out. This was kind of a trial run to see how the kids would do. I held two girls' hands, and Everett held the other's as we walked to and from the park. He did a great job and everyone stuck together really well. We must have looked really cute--especially when I had the children walk quickly across the street. Everett may not have done this if my neighbor wasn't with us, but he did release Gwyn's hand about half a block from the park because he was so excited. I'll watch for that next time. All three girls are climbing ladders like little pros now. I still keep an eye on them every time though! The hardest part of our park visit today was keeping all four children in the same area, and persuading Everett to leave the park. He was very patient with us today. I'll have to take him by himself every now and then.

Monday, May 12, 2008

A Week of Fun

First, I got sick and was sick all week, but the rest of what happened was really good! We had a wonderful visit from Cary's parents. The kids were thrilled to have them here from the very first moment, and loved every minute of it! They got to blow giant bubbles with Grandma, wrestle with Grandpa, and have lots of great play time with both grandparents.

We started out the week with a little bit of work amidst the playtime. Cary and his dad turned over our garden plot and mixed in some mushroom manure for me, so it's all ready to go! They also worked out a plumbing issue. Linda (one of Cary's sisters) and her little Lydia joined us on Thursday evening bringing our numbers to ten, and the child tally to five under five. If you think about that for a minute, you'll see that Cary and I were not outnumbered this week! We had one child to every adult the whole time! Sam arrived on Friday to complete the party. Lydia loved playing with her cousins, but didn't want her mom out of her sight for long until Sunday when she didn't mind so much.

We got to celebrate Cary's birthday with a nice picnic at my parents' house. The girls may have been mildly confused having two sets of Grandmas and Grandpas there, but one thing's for certain: they've been surrounded by lots of love! We had more bubble-blowing fun, some pantomimes by Cary's mom, and a sock hunt. (In case you're wondering what a sock hunt is: Cary had asked for just one thing for his birthday--new socks. Since I thought that was a pretty lame gift, I figured I'd make it into a fun activity for the kids. I rolled them up, stuck a bow on each one, and hid them in the yard for the kids to find and deliver to Cary. They had a blast! I also hid some small things in some of the socks for Cary to find.) Here are some photos from the picnic:

Gwyn and Lydia Maddie

Uncle Sam and Everett

Uncle Sam and Everett

Gma C pantomime

Gramma C's Pantomime

captive audience: Maddie, Lydia, Gwyn, Lana, and me

A "Captive" Audience

Everett sock hunt Lana sock hunt

The Sock Hunt

IMG_8851 Precious Children

Precious Children (Lydia, Gwyn, Maddie, Lana, and Everett in back)

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Snips and Snails

Snips and snails, and puppy-dog tails, That's what boys are made of...

Everett told me a story yesterday. I will attempt to recount it here as accurately as possible:

"Once I had a booger and I put it in my ear. Then a giant came. He wanted to have his booger back, so I gave it to him and he put it back in his nose. The end."

Here is "Super Everett" playing with Play Doh:

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Stats for the day (to the tune of "The 12 Days of Christmas")

On the first day of May, this is what I did:

14 dirty diapers
13 hugs and kisses
12 no, no, no's!
11 faces wiped
10 minutes napping
9 children's songs
8 loads of laundry
7 miles walking
6 beds changed
5 Lana feedings
4 children's baths
3 feverish children
2 time-outs for Everett
and a handful of chocolate chips!