Saturday, July 21, 2012

We are having fun wearing them out

As soon as I picked the boys up from school on Thursday it was time to make sure they nice and tired for bedtime. From their school we headed straight for the zoo. It’s still not possible for me to manage the boys walking and take my normal camera with me. I snapped a few shots with my phone though. I just moved to a new Galaxy III S and the camera is so much nicer than my old phone. It will never replace my DSLR, but works well enough. For the first time this year I let the boys each carry a map, it had an added benefit making them slow down.

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Parker, Nicholas, Andrew

The boys were disappointed that the river otters were not swimming, but we did get to see the polar bear swimming. She was diving and swimming for over a half hour.

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The boys were squealing with excitement every time the polar bear came up to the glass. Because it was later in the day when we arrived and sprinkling a little the zoo was basically deserted so we got to watch her for as long as they wanted. We left at around 6 pm and Cody had dinner on the table waiting when we got home. It was straight to bath and bed.

Friday we had planned a play date at the local splash pad and play ground with the other triplet moms. Not many made it this time, which is understandable with at least 3 little ones something often comes up. The boys only spent about a half hour in the water.

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I told them we were not playing on the playground, so they linked hands and happily walked together towards the playground. I couldn’t say no to that level of cuteness. They ran, slid and climbed for about an hour before they were ready for lunch. They are completely fearless in their climbing now, only being stopped when their size/reach stops them.

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The boys refused to nap (as usual) so they were tired and super cranky for most of the afternoon. I moved dinner up so they could be in bed extra early. By dinner time they were out of their minds exhausted and taking bites between eye rubs.

Saturday was the normal gymnastics, unfortunately the boys were up at 6:30 and still tired when we got to class. I knew we were in trouble when the boys were saying they would go to sleep in the van on our way to class. I tried taking a long slow drive home to get the boys to take a nap on the way home, but wasn’t successful.
Before bed as part of the wear them out activity we headed for the Mueller Park Trailhead to let the boys splash around in the water and toss some small rocks.

 

I keep hoping that one day group photos will get easier, today was not that day.

 

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Sad attempt at catching up

Over the last week and a half we have stayed very busy, somehow I think we’ll be staying busy for the next 15 years or so. In the last 11 days we’ve visited the zoo 4 times, gymnastics twice, visited parks and taken quite a few walks. The boys are adjusting to playschool. The schedule is starting to sink in and it’s working.
I think I’m going to be adding the zoo into the normal week night rotation of the wear the boys out plan. The first time I took them I pulled everyone around in the choo choo wagon.

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112 lbs! This is why I’ll be leaving the wagon behind on all future trips. The scale isn’t all that accurate, by my guess it’s at least 20 lbs short. It was good to take once just to make sure the boys were not afraid of any of the animals and to explore the new Rocky Shores exhibit.
No one was afraid of any animals, they were not so sure about the elephants but not outwardly afraid. We renewed our membership and it includes unlimited rides on the train and the carousel. Sadly we couldn’t ride the carousel, they require that each child under 42 inches be accompanied by an adult. To make up for it we rode the train 4 times.
After riding the train the boys requested to go wave at the train before heading home.

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I promise they were having fun, but they still refuse to look at the camera. Saturday we had our usual gymnastics class followed by a complete refusal to have a quiet time or nap time. The boys were super cranky so we went for a nice long drive. The rest of the day was just running errands including going to the toy store. Part of our zoo membership renewal meant a couple of small gifts: an umbrella, a bumper sticker and a plush polar bear. Nicholas has claimed the bear and has named him Biscuit. To try and prevent fights I took the boys to the toy store and let Andrew and Parker pick out animals of their own.

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Parker and his giraffe.

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Biscuit and the elephant.


Since the zoo was nice and Cody hadn’t seen the new exhibit we planned on going again Sunday morning. We arrived at opening, it was relatively cool out. We went without strollers or the wagon, there is still a big struggle to keep the boys walking with us in public. Parker does a pretty good job walking and staying next to us. Andrew is the first to break into a sprint with Nicholas not far behind. When they run they have to hold our hands and walk. We made it to Rocky Shores just in time to see the river otters playing and swimming, followed by the feeding time for the seals. Even the polar bear was doing a little swimming. The grizzly bears where up and about too. Cody hasn’t processed the photos yet, but he got some nice ones.
We did the exact same thing the next week, not by plan but it just worked out. I had a doctor appointment Friday afternoon and afterwards the boys were asking to go to the fun zoo again. We arrived about 10 minutes before the gates close, luckily the grounds are open for another hour and a half.
This time it was no wagon and just me to wrangle everyone. I’m sure it looked a lot like I was trying to herd cats, but we all had fun. The boys enjoyed the freedom to look up close at all the animals and did a bit better staying with me. Walking around the zoo means at least 2 miles of roaming and makes for very tired boys. We made it home just in time for dinner and baths. I got the boys in bed heard about 3 minutes of chatter then silence until almost 7:30 the next morning.
We took the scenic route to gymnastics and still arrived about a half hour early, in the parking lot a large Zumba group was working out, the boys insisted on going to watch the “dancing people.” We found a nice rock ledge to sit on while they cheered and clapped for everyone in the class. The group got a kick out of the boys, there was a lot of waving and smiles.
Gymnastics went well followed by going home just in time to see daddy mowing the lawn. It turned into a group activity.

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It started raining and we headed out to run errands. Sunday we went to the zoo again to take full advantage of the cooler weather and hoping the pending rain would keep the crowds away.
The zoo was perfect weather Sunday morning, even though we arrived a little later than planned it still wasn’t crowded. This time the otters were not out, but we did get to see the grizzly bears playing in the water and on one of the logs in their enclosure. The boys were really testing us. Refusing to listen, not staying with us and oh the whining.
No one fell asleep on the drive home, lunch was served, rest/quiet time was a complete failure. We had 3 very tired and super cranky boys on our hands, so we went to the park. It’s a great way for them to run off any energy they had left and not have any toys to fight over. I’m hoping that the whining and testing constantly is a more of a phase than something we’ll be managing for years to come. I understand that some whining and pushing boundaries is normal and expected, but they seem to make a marathon out of it some days. It was nice that the boys were in bed and asleep before 7 pm. They were so exhausted! Since I wake them up at 6:30 it’s even more important that they go down early, which means a lot of long walks to and from the park before dinner.  
I barely took any photos in the last week. I haven’t managed to work out taking pictures while taking the boys anywhere without the wagon and we have a lot of pictures of the boys sitting in a wagon.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Fourth of July

Our plan for the holiday was to take it easy in the morning so the boys would have the energy to play all afternoon and enjoy some fireworks. It was as if the boys heard us planning and decided to reek havoc with it. The boys were up at 6:30, by 7 it was obvious they were not going to go back to sleep.
Cody went back to bed for about 3 hours while the boys and I played and had pancakes for breakfast. I was able to catch a 30 minute nap. We had planned on making to to Cody’s parents around 2:30 for dinner and playing on their inflatable water slide. By 1:30 the boys were over tired and we attempted some quiet time reading in their beds. It didn’t go well.

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They were so hyper we couldn’t even get them to sit in their beds let alone lay down. Even with the lack of rest we were still going to go ahead with the plan.
We made it to grandma and grandpa’s house ready to play. Grandma was well prepared with pinwheels and flags for all of the kids.

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The boys had been talking about the water slide all week and couldn’t wait to play.

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They played on the slides, splashed in the water and played with the water guns for hours.

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Like father..

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Like son

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After everyone was thoroughly waterlogged we sat down for dinner with hotdogs, or hotdog sandwiches as the boys call them. The boys favorite part though was dessert, round one was cupcakes.

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Nicholas, Andrew, Parker

Round 2 of dessert was popsicles, but I didn’t get any good photos. By the time everyone was done eating and played some more the boys were so done for the day. Early wake up with no nap had taken it’s toll. Since Cody and I both had work in the morning and the boys had playschool we left before dark. It’s too bad we missed out on the fireworks, but the boys would have been super cranky or asleep if we had stayed. As it was the neighborhood fireworks were enough to keep the boys awake until around 10 at which point they became delirious, hyper and not a lot of fun. Next year we will hopefully be better adjusted to sleeping in a bit more and we’ll make it to the fireworks.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Playschool

The boys started pre-school/daycare last Monday and it’s been pretty good so far. They were not too happy about being woken up at 6:30 am and I was repeatedly asked to turn the light back off. I told the school I would color code the boys for the first week to make it a little easier.

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They sat down in this order for me, totally rocking the bed head.

When I picked them up they Parker walked up and said “Mommy I found you” which made we worry a little that he’d been looking for me. The report was pretty good. The director told me they didn’t think the boys talked until it was rest time. They spent the morning being pretty quiet. My guess is they were being shy and trying to adjust to the situation. Then it was time to lay down to rest where Nicholas stated “I cannot sleep in this room.” He ended up being taken out of the room due to a tantrum at being asked to lay down, he spent the time reading with the teacher.  Parker was really well behaved, Andrew fought rest time and Nicholas didn’t sleep at all.
Tuesday was even more of a battle when it was time to rest, Nicholas didn’t sleep and woke up Andrew who helped him wake up Parker. *sigh* We known for a while now that Parker needs the most sleep and Nicholas needs the least with Andrew falling somewhere in the middle. Tomorrow I’ll take their towels and hope it goes a better, I keep telling myself it’s only the first week and we’ve had some major changes to our schedule and routines. At least we haven’t had any issues with not sharing, fighting or not listening to the teachers.
Wednesday we had the day off so the boys stayed home with us (the 4th will be a whole separate post). Today went great, everyone napped and no tantrums. That was the best news I could have hoped to get from the teachers. I think they are getting adjusted, with luck next week will go off without a hitch.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Random photos from last month

Cody just finished uploading a large bunch of photos he took last month, some from nights while I was at work others from just day to day life and all the fun we’ve been having.

With a video to go along with it.

Andrew with his kitty.

Being airplanes on a neighbor’s driveway.

My little tree huggers.

Good times at Memory Grove.

They slept well that night.

Playing tug of war with daddy.

Finally homemade popsicles.

It was a crazy month where I missed out on a lot of bedtimes and now I’m so excited to get to be home every week night. I plan on taking more photos since I get to help wear the boys out before bed time now.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Big boy beds

We’ve been putting off transitioning to toddler beds for a long time, the big wait was for both of us to be at home every night until the boys were completely used to sleeping without their tents. The plan was to make sure they were very tired and excited about their new beds.
The boys and I headed to gymnastics first thing this morning while Cody stayed home to convert the cribs. The boys worked on a new skill today that they loved. They have always been big fans of the uneven bars, today they did front supports on the low bar then (with help) standing up on the low bar to reach and hang from the high bar. The boys were the only kids in the class that were tall enough to reach the top bar without the instructor lifting them. They were so proud of themselves!
Part two of making bedtime successful was to make sure the boy wanted to sleep in their beds, so we took them to pick out the bedding. Cody grabbed one of each of the boys options off the shelf and we took them to another aisle that had nothing of interest to them, I think it was office supplies. The choices were lined up, Mickey Mouse, Toy Story, Thomas and Lightning McQueen. I was hoping they would either each choose something different or all the same to prevent future fights. Parker chose first. He immediately went for the Thomas bed set, Andrew did the same, by Nicholas’ turn he was chanting ‘have to choose Thomas’ and shaking with excitement. It did take 2 stores to get enough of them. I’ve found that Target usually only stocks two of anything in the same size or style.
Once they were pumped up about getting Thomas beds it was time to to get the boys good and tired. We decided to take them to the local splash pad. We haven’t been back since last year, I can’t believe how much they’ve grown since then. It was interesting see how each of the boys approached the water. At first they were a little unsure.

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Parker was the first to jump in and start splashing.

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Nicholas was not far behind in the splashing fun.

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Andrew was pretty hesitant until he got some good encouragement from Daddy. At first glance it looked like Cody was dragging Andrew through the water, but look at that smile.

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Nicholas and Parker were drenched in no time with Andrew splashing just a bit behind his brothers, they looked like they were having a great time.

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One of the few shots with all three faces in it.

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Once they had their fill of water we let them play on the attached playground for a little while to drip dry before heading home. While the boys were playing I noticed the mild allergic reactions both Parker and Nicholas were having. Since they had spent more time with water shooting into their faces I’m not surprised. I guess the concentration of sunblock in  the re-circulated water is high enough to cause them to react. I really really hope they grow out of the allergy.
Once home the boys ate dinner while I snuck upstairs to make their beds.

We did bath time then finally let them into their room to check out and try the new big boy beds.

There was a lot of chattering and some running around, every time we would open the bedroom door it was like mice scampering back to their beds. A few times they were so rushed they didn’t get back to the correct bed. There was talking, some singing (Nicholas), and a one escape when Parker came out and startled Cody. It took in total an hour and a half for everyone to be asleep in the correct bed. They slept until 6:15 (ugh) when someone was shouting for a bum change.
The offender didn’t need to be changed, but it turned into toddler party part two. I stayed in the room for an hour plus until everyone was back asleep. They slept until their normal wake up time of 9. Overall I think it went pretty well. I was sort of expecting an all night battle. I can’t believe how quickly they are becoming big boys!