Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Day after Christmas

Monday was definitely a day for recovering from all of the running around we did on Christmas. Cody had the day off work, so the morning was spent playing with new toys or books in my case. The boys were all for just laying around on the new blankets we were given. At first they were asking for a “snuggly blanklee” then asking to be snuggled.
At some point Parker decided that he was now a baby and needed to be held. He kept repeating “Parker is a baby, goo goo gah gah.” After sleeping 14 hours on Christmas night they were still tired and I think we all enjoyed just relaxing.

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Nicholas, Parker, Andrew, everyone picked a blanket to be snuggled in.

Nothing beats a lazy afternoon at home and the super soft blankets didn’t hurt.

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Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Christmas

I have a feeling this will be the last year we have to wake the boys up on Christmas morning. At 8:45 we woke the boys up and tried to get them excited about going downstairs to open presents. They were all for going back to sleep until we told them about the presents that needed to be opened.

Before:

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After-ish:

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Their stockings we stuffed with new Hotwheels, a Lightning McQueen cup, some candy and a pack of underwear. Potty training is just around the corner.  We didn’t go crazy this year with gifts for the boys, they each received a couple of Thomas or Disney shirts, some books, and a pull back style Thomas engine. My favorite part of their gift opening was when Andrew opened his new engine.

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He ripped off just enough paper to figure out what it was, then quickly grabbed the same shaped gifts off the couch from Nicholas’ and Parker’s pile. He distributed the gifts to his brother and insisted they open their engines at the same time so they could all play together.
I should have had the boys open their books before the engines since it was a challenge to get them to open their last gift once they had a new toy. Santa also brought them new giant tonka trucks, which luckily they all laid claim to one of them without fighting.

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The boys opened their books last, each opened a new Thomas book (sensing a theme yet?) and a Cars busy book. Amid all the the chaos of new toys and wrapping paper Parker decided to ignore all of the new cars and trucks and just read.

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I think he gets it from me.

While the boys played with their new toys Cody and I exchanged gifts. I had given Cody his big gift a few days early, a new phone. He now has the Galaxy Nexus and loves it. He also got some new shirts and bucky balls to add to his desk toy collection. I was given some books, an electric blanket (I’m always freezing) and the game Settlers of Catan which I had been wanting for a long time.
We took a long time opening gifts so we ended up running late getting out of the house. Our first stop was my Dad’s house, then we headed to Cody’s parents for lunch and more presents. The boys are now experts at opening gifts and wanted to help everyone else open theirs.

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We stayed for quite a while, well past when nap time should have started and we still had one more stop. We loaded three tired boys into the van and headed to my Uncle Scott’s.
Parker and Nicholas slept for maybe 5 minutes on the drive, Cody and I were both worried they were going to have meltdowns. Luckily the TV was on with kids shows and the boys just sat down and watched tv while we visited. Sadly I only see my uncle about once a year, we really need to get out there more often. While we were there my cousin stopped by who I haven’t seen since I was probably 12 and we met his son.
We stayed for about an hour before the boys looked done for the day. Amazingly they stayed awake on the drive home, we kept them up long enough to let them play with their new toys for about twenty minutes, feed them a quick dinner and they went to bed early.
It’s the first time we’ve ever skipped naptime, luckily the boys took it in stride. Since bedtime was moved up almost 2 hours and they slept 14 hours that night they are definitely not ready to give up naps (and I’m not ready for that either).
We had a great Christmas. The boys had a good day, they are still carrying their flashlights and new engines everywhere with them.

Christmas eve

I had an alarm set for 8 am on Christmas eve, which is not exactly early but since we were up until almost 2 it felt plenty early. Cody and I got up and ready for the day before waking the boys up. All morning we told them that Grandpa was coming to see them and they were really excited and kept asking to see him. Of course we did the usual mad dash attempt to clear the playroom of the standard toy explosion so everyone could sit down. We had planned on visitors at 11 am, but given that it’s my dad and the family quirk of always being early I was expecting them to arrive closer to 10:50.
The boys were so excited and so talkative. I think this is the first time Grandpa and Jackie have seen and heard all of the boys talking at the same time. We visited for a little while before the boys (and the adults) opened their gifts. This is the first gift giving occasion the boys really got into ripping off the paper and not just wanting to play with the boxes.
The gifts were brought in a bag so the boys had to get through the bag to get to the presents.

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Different approaches were tried to open the bag before we helped.

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The boys each received a Cars themed talking flashlight. To say they loved them is an understatement. The flashlight cars have gone everywhere with us since then. I love that when Nicholas opened his he yelled “It’s Lightning Queen,”  Parker opened Mater and Andrew Finn McMissle.

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The also each were given a DVD player with a Mickey Mouse Playhouse and a Thomas DVD. They opened the boxes and had no idea what they were, so we set one up. They were mesmerized.

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While the boys were fully absorbed with an episode of Mickey Mouse we visited and exchanged gifts. I was given a donut hole/cake ball maker. Since I’ve recently been making a lot of chocolate and caramel covered marshmallows and other treats I was really excited to make some. Which is how I spent naptime, making chocolate cake balls.
After a quick lunch the boys went down for a nap, I did some baking and we got ready to go to dinner at Cody’s parents. After nap we let the boys sample some cake, no surprise they were fans.

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We are working on teaching Andrew to take bites instead of shoving the whole thing in his mouth. I can’t wait to get out the double boiler and chocolate coat and decorate some cake pops.
We had a nice dinner at Cody’s parents and lots of desserts, the boys made sure their new flashlights also got a treat.

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We ate, the boys opened the traditional Christmas eve gift of pajamas and played with their cousins until it was time to head home for bed and to wait for Santa.

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As soon as we got home the boys went straight to bed, while we had a few more things to do. I wrapped a few last presents and Cody set up lights to take pictures on Christmas morning.

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Everyone sets up off camera flashes for Christmas morning right?

I love that we have the lights to do this, our front room has some very uneven lighting with the one window and high ceilings. With everything ready for the morning we went to bed excited to see the boys reaction.

Leading up to Christmas

Like everyone else in the week leading up to Christmas we were plenty busy. We took the boys to see Zoo Lights for the first time. They loved the lights, but were disappointed that we didn’t see more animals. Santa and his reindeer were at the zoo, we decided to wait to see Santa. I have never waited for so long to see Santa, after waiting for 15 minutes we were trying to decide if we should just bag it and just go see the lights. We decided to stick with it and just hope that the boys wouldn’t be afraid of him.
The wait ended up being about 35 minutes and it was completely worth it. While waiting in line they had paper and markers set up for everyone to write their letter to Santa. The boys each drew a picture of what they wanted to give to Santa. As soon as it was the boys turn we told them to take their letters to Santa. They pretty much charged at him and happily sat on his lap while he took the time to talk to each of them about what they wanted, asked their names and had as much of a conversation as you can have with an excited but reserved 2 year old. There was no camera or photo package for sell, it was just a visit with Santa for the kids.
Cody and I both took our cameras, but as we got to the zoo discovered Cody had left his memory card at home. I gave him mine since he takes better shots than I do. I haven’t seen the pictures yet, but I hope he captured some good ones of the boys visit.
On the 18th we took the boys to the annual family Christmas party with Cody’s extended family. It’s always nice to see the whole family even though I still have a hard time getting all of the names straight. We arrived about 15 minutes early to let the boys run around and run off some energy.
This year we ran a bit behind schedule on getting ready for the holiday, we had to go shopping on December 23rd; at a mall. It wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be. Of course it was crowded, but not unmanageable. It might just be me, but it didn’t feel like Christmas without any snow. The upside of no snow is that the boys can play outside without a ton of extra gear. Before heading to the mall the boys spent some time making their Mickeys fly.

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The boys decided the back of the van was a slide.

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Two days before Christmas, this scene really needs some snow.

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It was decided that after all their flying around the yard, on the van and in the trees the Mickeys would need a bath. The boys kept telling us it was bath time for Mickey the entire drive to the mall.
We finished our shopping and after the boys bedtime Cody and I watched Christmas Vacation while wrapping all of the presents. We were up way too late and were very tired the next morning, but we were expecting visitors so had to be up and ready earlier than we normally would.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

They like their sleep

I think the boys are taking after Cody how much they enjoy their sleep and naps. Anyone who knows Cody, knows he isn’t naturally a morning person. When I go in to the boys room to wake them either in the morning or after nap time they make it pretty clear that they are not always ready to get up.
This morning I went in at 8:30 the boys were starting to stir, enough to ask me to not turn the light on. They also kept repeating that it was night night time. Nicholas was saying go night night, good dreams. Instead of turning on the light I opened the blackout curtain just enough to be able to see what I was doing. They objected to any light and really wanted the light out. Sometimes after nap time it can take a half hour or more for the boys to really be awake and ready to do anything but sit or lay down. They will ask to go back to their crib tent, sit on the floor outside of the crib, camp out in front of their room and it takes a lot of encouragement to get them to come downstairs to play.
Yesterday after a two hour nap I woke the boys up and a half hour later they still were not ready to to get going.

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And I think it’s time for a haircut. Doesn’t Andrew look thrilled to be up?

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Nicholas felt about the same way. Parker was already playing with trains, a big switch from normal. Usually Parker fights getting up harder than anyone else. He has even mastered drinking his morning milk without sitting up. Which doesn’t sound like much of an accomplishment, but he’s drinking from a straw cup.
Maybe they’ll become more morning people if not I think we’ll need multiple alarm clocks.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Nothing is safe on the counters

This must happen to all parents, you find places the kids can’t reach or get to because they are just too short and suddenly they grow. Last night I ran upstairs to use the bathroom while Cody was in the playroom with the boys. Assuming the boys just followed me up the stairs he didn’t notice what they were up to.
It seems a package of straws in the middle of our counter was not out of their range. I came out of our room greeted with this.

Of course they had no trouble opening the package and spreading the straws out all over the floor. At this point the straws were not going to be usable again, so we let the boys play for a while. Nicholas kept gathering the straws to put them back in the bag only to have Andrew take the full bag and dump them back on the ground.
It quickly became a game of gathering handfuls of straws and making it ‘snow straws’ looks like a good time.

I guess it’s time for me to stop leaving stuff on the counter unless it’s okay for the boys to open, play with, or destroy. Who knew a package of straws could be so much fun?

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Random Wednesday fun

Like most mornings the boys spent an hour or so playing with trains and cars just like they do almost everyday. During snack time I asked the boys if they would like a smoothie. They love smoothies, we can’t go by a Jamba Juice without the boys asking for a ‘smoofie’ in fact we don’t even say smoothie around the boys unless we plan on getting them one. Of course they were really excited for a smoothie.
While I was throwing fruit into the magic bullet, Parker pulled one of the boys couches into the kitchen to wait for their snack. After handing out smoothie cups, everyone got comfortable. I love that they have no sense of personal space with each other at this age. I hope they are still willing to share a couch like this when they are older.

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While enjoying the drinks the boys decided to do some reading. We spent over about 45 minutes sitting on the kitchen floor talking and reading. Depending on the book that the boys are looking through, they either talk non-stop or times like this they stop and study the page before saying anything.

We ended up looking through a stack of books before the boys finished their drinks and were ready to play with trains again. It’s wonderful that the boys will sit down and unwind after running around like crazy little men. It also gives me a break from toddler chasing.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Triplet family Christmas party

Last Saturday night we took the boys to what I’m hoping is the first annual triplet family Christmas party. There ended up being about 150 people that were able to make the party. It was the definition of organized chaos, toddlers everywhere in a room with six exits. Next year I think I’ll block off doors to reduce the amount of chasing involved.
We had dinner and tried to socialize while keeping an eye on the boys. It was funny to see all of the parents doing the 3 head counting routine that we are so familiar with. In some cases counting 4, 5, 6, or 7 heads depending on which family. I love having a chance to visit with the other parents of multiples, nothing bonds you as immediately as having experienced a triplet pregnancy and caring for three newborns/toddlers at the same time.
The kids played with or near each other while waiting for Santa to arrive.  Once Santa made it to the chair set up for him everyone waiting for their family name to be called. Santa handed out gifts to all of the kids.

I’m happy to say this year the boys didn’t cry when meeting Santa. We’ve been reading a lot of stories about Christmas and Santa to try and introduce the idea. Thanks to this yard decoration the boys are convinced that Santa drives a train.

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Their visit with Santa was very short, they didn’t tell him what they wanted for Christmas. I think they were just trying to figure him out.

Despite the overwhelming excitement of finally meeting Santa they were much more excited about the new toys. The boys each got a toy car, they have been playing with them non stop. Every time they pick up their car they say “thank you Santa.” They are going to love Christmas day this year, now if we can just get them to leave the tree alone.

Monday, December 5, 2011

So much to say

It seems like every day the boys are picking up new words or phrases and saying them to us at the most unexpected times. I’m constantly amazed at how much they remember and repeat back to us. They talk constantly in the van pointing out everything we pass. The love pointing out the capital and telling us that it is on capital hill, describing every truck we pass on the freeway be it a flatbed, semi, dump, cement, or pulling a trailer.
By far the most adorable though is when the boys start talking amongst themselves. They count things we pass up to 10, I will sometimes take a different route to the freeway just to have them count the six sets of railroad tracks we drive over. They all say the alphabet, but start on different letters. Lately Nicholas has been repeating the words to Twinkle Twinkle over and over again. He misses a few words and likes to stretch out the last words. Cody took video of it last night, but it isn’t edited yet.
We spend a lot of time quietly giggling about comments the boys make when we are out and about. Last night at dinner a waitress walked by with a piece of a cake. Andrew shouted out “happy birthday.” I need to make a point to write down what they say so I don’t forget.
In addition to the boys making comments they have also started spending more time reading to us. They usually tell us the stories in an odd mix of what they see in the pictures and what they have memorized from us reading it.

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The boys are still picking out their shirts each morning which explains why some days the boys are wearing shirts from different holidays. The boys all love the orange Halloween shirts with Mickey Mouse on them, everyday they ask for the orange shirts. Since we don’t let the boys wear the same shirt on the same day, it’s usually whoever gets dressed first that gets the preferred shirt. Nicholas was the lucky toddler yesterday.

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In case any one was wondering about the crib climbing, we decided to get crib tents. It was getting to the point where Parker was climbing into Andrew and Nicholas’ cribs to take their lovies. After a couple of days Andrew learned how to climb across the cribs as well and Nicholas fell out of his crib once. He wasn’t hurt, but it scared him enough that he didn’t try to climb out again. I didn’t think it would take long before he tried again, so the tents were assembled the next day.
They love their crib tents, they ask to get in their tents and ask us to “zip up” as soon as they are inside.

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They were no where near ready to transition to toddler beds and I think when we do switch it will bring an end to naps. I’ve been around the boys on days where they didn’t nap, it wasn’t fun for anyone. When Parker started climbing naptime was falling apart, I’d be luck to get them to sleep for an hour, with the tents we are back to 2 hour naps every day.