Saturday, May 30, 2009

A day at the office

Friday I took the boys to visit Tate at work. His co-workers have been so good to the boys - passing along clothes, toys and giving gifts. It took me way too long to bring them for a visit, but during germ season it seems like Tate was always telling me someone was sick at his office.

I think the boys were a little overwhelmed at first when all his co-workers came over to say hi and were all staring at them! But after while they began to explore - they really enjoyed watching the large printer spit out pages and insisted on a tour of all the rooms by pointing to everything they wanted to see. They got to see the big fish tank, check out Daddy's desk and Brett was held by Kelly until he fell asleep. We knew it was time to go when Jackson and Peyton began trying to tip over garbage cans and stick their fingers into some of the computer parts on the floor!
All three boys didn't want to get back in their car seats and leave. But they were worn out and napped on the drive home so I enjoyed some peace and quiet!
Here are some photos from our visit:
Daddy & Brett at the office door
Peyton and Jackson help Daddy with his projects
Jackson checking in - Am I doing this right?
Peyton crunching some numbers

Thursday, May 28, 2009

So long friends

Maizy & Cyrus' 1st Christmas in 2001

I know some of you will read this and not "get it." I used to be one of those people. We never had a dog growing up, so I didn't understood the whole idea of a pet being a part of the family.
So in 2001 when my sister Kerry got not one, but two dogs I couldn't believe it. And not just dogs - Bullmastiffs - big dogs! But the truth is we instantly fell in love with them. Cyrus died earlier this year and Maizy joined him this afternoon. We are heartbroken and can't imagine the hurt my sisters are feeling. The dogs were loved members of our family. We pray Kerry will find peace knowing they are both in a better place and no longer suffering.
Since this blog is about the boys I wanted to share a few quick stories:

Before the boys when we had a bit more free time on our hands Tate and I were often called upon to feed Cyrus and Maizy when Kerry had to work a double shift or when Kerry and Nancy both had plans to be away from home all day. There is nothing like opening the door and having two 100+ pound dogs so happy to see you they come barrelling at you like they were still puppies. I always just braced myself and laughed. So, a few months after the boys were born we were asked to go feed them (Kerry & Nancy only live 5 minutes away!)
I was happy to get out of the house. So I packed up a tiny Peyton and we headed to Auntie Kerry's house.  I set Peyton in his car seat on top and in the middle of a big coffee table while I let the dogs outside. As I was filling their water bowl I heard this tiny yelp and turned around and Cyrus' giant head was sniffing around Peyton's car seat - it was so cute and beside the initial reaction Peyton seemed not to mind a bit.
The boys spent the day with Auntie Kerry and Auntie Nancy last month and Peyton didn't seem to mind Maizy at all. Tate and I played with her a bit so Jackson and Brett could see how friendly she was. By the time we came back to pick up the boys they were all buddies!
Cyrus and Maizy were truly gentle giants. They looked intimidating but were so sweet and tender. My nieces loved to follow them around and sometimes sit on them and they never minded much.
I have tons of great memories with the dogs and am grateful for all the happiness they brought to all of us, especially Kerry. I'm only sorry the boys are so young they won't remember them. But that is what photos are for. So I've shared some below. Unfortunately, we don't have any of Cyrus and the boys and Brett was being cuddled by Grammy at the park and didn't get a picture with Maizy - but you'll get the idea!

Maizy with Auntie Kerry, Jackson & Auntie Nancy  

Maizy, Auntie Kerry & Peyton 
Maizy, Auntie Kerry & Jackson

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Take Me Out to the Ballgame

We are really enjoying getting out and about with the boys. I've taken them shopping, out to lunch, we are back to church, play outside and go for walks all the time. This past Saturday we took the boys to their first ballgame! We went about 10 minutes away to see Frankie's team play. He is the son of Gina, my best friend since first grade. We hadn't seen all of them in awhile so it was so nice to spend a leisurely afternoon under the shade of a tree. Plus, Gina's parents were at the game and finally got to meet the boys. I don't know how much of the game the boys really watched - I tried to point out Frankie playing third base and catching but,  they were much more interested in - the grass, the trees, the other spectators and pointing  to and saying truck and car to all the vehicles in the parking lot. They would occasionally clap when others were clapping, but had no idea why. Frankie's team won - so it was an all-around great afternoon.
We can't wait until they are old enough to go to and appreciate a White Sox game!
Below are some photos from our afternoon at the ball park.
Brett & Mrs. Arizzi

Jackson & Aunt Gina

Jackson & Uncle Dan         Peyton & Karissa

Monday, May 18, 2009

One less thing to worry about!

So for most of the boys' lives we have operated under the assumption they were allergic to or their tummies were unable to handle milk, soy and wheat products. As Jackson & Peyton began eating more finger foods it became a real challenge to find baby appropriate foods that didn't contain these ingredients. They've had some reactions to other foods as well and I feared they were going to be allergic to everything. I wasn't planning to have them allergy tested, but after my sister Kerry took special care to make their individual birthday cakes free of just about every common baking ingredient and they still broke out - I figured they are old enough now and it is time to get them tested. Brett went last Monday and his only allergy is to pollen - just like his daddy! It is not a bad allergy at all, but good to be aware of. Auntie Nancy came along to bring Peyton & Jackson to the allergist today and they are not allergic to any of the major items tested - mold, pollen, dust, dust mites, dogs, milk, soy, wheat and corn. A huge relief. I was so worried thinking they were allergic to so much that they would have a more severe reaction than just skin irritants. As the doctor cautioned, just because they are not allergic doesn't mean their little tummies can tolerate all these things - but the good news is eventually their systems will mature enough they will grow out of any issues.

So we are left wondering - why are they always breaking out? I already ran out and bought some Aveeno Baby skin care products and our hope is it will help. We are thankful that, although their breakouts (mostly on their faces, torsos and legs) look bad, they do not seem to bother the boys in the least - no itching and scratching.
The boys were all so good at their appointments. They received 10 scratch tests apiece on their backs and had to wait 15 minutes and couldn't touch their itchy backs. A couple of tears out of each and some help from Auntie Nancy singing silly songs and it was over in no time!

Friday, May 15, 2009

First haircuts

I expected to be a lot more emotional about their first haircuts - kind of a passage from baby to boy - but I think the timing made all the difference. Tate has been saying for weeks, maybe months, that the boys needed haircuts (he of the high school mullet!) Sometimes I think he was just saying it to see if I would get all choked up and defensive - which I usually did. I finally agreed they could use a haircut and said we could do it just before their first birthday. But busy lives prevailed and their birthday came and went and they still had their baby hair. Last week as Tate was leaving for work he said "If Granddad comes over today have him cut the boys' hair." as if it was no big deal. I may have gotten a little dramatic about how it is a huge milestone and he needed to be there and it's not something you just happen to do that day. So, on Mother's Day Granddad did the honors and gave them each a trim (as he did for their Daddy when he was a baby). They were so good about it as long as they had their Perky O's, bits of grapes or a bottle. Peyton was first up and pretty still, next was Jackson who was a wiggle worm and was wondering why everyone was staring at him and Brett just wanted to know why Granddad was interrupting his bottle. As I watched, a little sad to see their wisps and curls cut, I found myself wondering how many times, years in the future, I will say "You need a haircut!"

It's amazing what a difference a haircut can make, they really do look more like little boys now. (OK, now I need a Kleenex).


Saturday, May 9, 2009

Working on walking

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Oh Boy What a Year!

May 2008  Brett 4 lbs 12 oz  17 1/2" -Jackson  4lbs  5 oz 17"-Peyton 4 lbs 2 oz 17"
May 2009  Brett 16 lbs 2 oz 27 1/2" Jackson 19 lbs 28 1/2" Peyton 19 lbs 5 oz 28"

It's hard to believe the tiny babies we could hold all at once a year ago are getting ready to take their first steps. Everyone tells you it goes by fast and the first few months were such an adjustment I felt like everything was moving in slow motion but after that it did fly by. I'm not ready for my babies to be little boys yet. 
Borrowing from a friend who has three boys two months older than ours I am going to document some of the boys' firsts. These are just a few - there were so many - first time they rolled over, first time they sat up, crawled etc. Some of these are still to come for Brett and we know there will still be so many more firsts to come, but wanted to show off some of the fun from their first 365 days.
First Photos   
Each just minutes old these are the first photographs of Brett, Jackson & Peyton (in order above) - our first glimpse at our angels and their first moments out in the world.
First Car Ride
The boys each had to pass a car seat test before they could be sent home. The seats just swallowed them up. We were so afraid they weren't going to let us take them home because they were so tiny. (pictured in order they came home - Peyton, Jackson & Brett). Peyton was the tiniest and the last born, but the first to come home and now the biggest of the bunch. He also has been the first in many things since - first to sit up, crawl, go up the stairs, repeat words - and pretty much try anything Jackson suggests.
This is how they always started out in the Pack 'n' Play but soon were all curled up in a little ball. Their preemie clothes were even big. We thought they would sleep like this for months, but they quickly grew out of those tiny clothes and began waking each other kicking and stretching - into their cribs they went!

First Visit to Grandma & Granddad's
They got all dressed up to visit Grandad for Father's Day. They pretty much slept the whole time, but they did open their eyes now and then to take a peek.

First 4th of July
We couldn't get everyone to wake 
up at the same time long enough to take a photo. But they sure got lots of attention during our annual bbq. Aunt Peggy was visiting and along with Grandma did all the night feedings so we could get some much needed sleep - now that's a holiday!

Meeting Great Grammy
(Peyton, Jackson & Brett with 3 generations of women - Grammy, Mommy & Great Grammy)
The weather cooperated and we met Grammy, Auntie Kerry, Auntie Nancy and Uncle Tom and Aunt Pat at the nursing home to celebrate Great Grammy's 98th birthday. The boys made her smile - a gift to all of us!
We Love Crocodile Pie!                                    In August we took a nice car ride to Libertyville to celebrate the official re-opening of Crocodile Pie - Auntie Amy & Uncle Jackie's children's book store. We loved it and they've been so generous giving us great books - and we have an amazing collection of autographed books!
Now that we are passed germ season we can't wait to go back. We LOVE to be read to.
Welcome to the Family!
September was extra special. The boys were baptised and officially welcomed into God's family. They love the music at church and they were all so good! We have received so much love and support from our church family and to be before all of them with the boys in the eyes of God and to have all of our family and friends gather around the boys to celebrate is one of my favorite memories.
Three Peas in a Pod!
We had several cute outfits on Halloween. Aunt Gina bought some cute Halloween shirts the boys wore in the morning. Grammy got little pumpkin and mummy outfits we wore in the afternoon and when everyone was gathered we slipped into our costumes and everyone oohed and ahhed! Cousins Caroline and Sophie came over dressed as Peeps and were SO cute. We enjoyed a chili dinner prepared by Uncle Jackie and the boys had a hard time falling asleep - they just wanted to stay up and party (or maybe the aunts snuck them trick-or-treat candy???)
Our first thanksgiving. Everyone felt like they had so much to give thanks for - not the least of which is how cute we are ;) It started out with Brett giving big smiles for a stuffed turkey that gobbles that we got from Auntie Amy & Uncle Jackie - it clearly put him in a great mood! We went to Grandma & Granddad's for dinner and reminisced about the year before when we announced after Thanksgiving dinner we were expecting twins. It wasn't until the following week that we found out two had split into three!
 First Christmas    
We were very curious about Mr. & Mrs. Claus, some beard pulling and some reaching for Mrs. C's glasses. Jackson loved the Christmas tree and we all loved singing Christmas songs. But it was not the Christmas we were expecting. The weekend before Christmas Brett began having seizures and was sent to a children's hospital where he spent days being poked and prodded and scanned - diagnosed with Infantile Spasms and partial agenesis of the corpus callosum (missing a segment of his brain). In addition to it being difficult seeing our little guy in a hospital bed on Christmas - it was also very difficult trying to split our time between home and hospital and keep things somewhat normal for Jackson & Peyton. We celebrated Christmas with the Campbell family Dec. 27 the day after Brett came home and had Christmas with the Paige family on New Years Day. Santa made an extra special trip to our house days after Christmas. Though it was a bit rough, it made us all very grateful for the things we often take for granted such as family and health.
Superbowl Sunday
The boys were in bed before half time, but I think they really got into the spirit of things! They were just getting over the flu so we played it pretty low key and stayed home but we still had a pretty nice spread of snacks!
Since the boys were born premature we were told to take every precaution against their getting RSV - essentially a very bad cold but for them could be much more serious because their lungs were not fully developed. When Brett got sick it became extremely important to keep them well. So we spent the winter mostly in the house - we didn't have much contact with children except our cousins and didn't get to go to crowded, germy places like the store and church. But we ventured to the mall to get our first picture with the Easter Bunny. Still in germ paranoia, I checked out the bunny hours and we had the boys at the mall the second it opened. We whisked them out of the car, through a department store and into the mall just as the bunny was taking her seat. We sat the boys down with Brett on the bunny's lap, Jackson next to her and Peyton on a stool in front of her. While we were trying to get everyone to look at the camera and smile Peyton fell forward off the bench and bonked his head right on the tile floor. It happened so fast I couldn't get to him to stop it. He was a real trooper and didn't even cry (he did however have a big, red goose egg on his head). The lady in charge felt SO bad as I was purchasing the photos she offered Peyton a free stuffed duck - then realized that would do us no good and gave us three free ducks! Peyton was all smiles - pretty proud of his score! No smiles for the bunny picture. I realized in hindsight that they were probably in total shock from being out of the house and in a bright mall and being shoved at a giant bunny. They got to sit by the mall fountain and seemed to really enjoy it there. But then all the germy kids started showing up so I panicked and packed everyone up! That morning Jackson & Peyton had just started with the duck goes quack and the bunny goes hop, hop hop and they played with their new ducks saying quack, quack, quack from the back seat most of the way home!
That's right six boys in a row! We had our first official playdate (with someone other than our cousins) at the end of April. I have become friends with another triplet mom whose boys were born two months before ours in the same hospital. We have been meeting and taking them for walks since they were all a few months old but it rained this day so me and Jennifer were brave enough to try a play date. It went great! Her adorable boys - Liam, Connor and Aiden - are walking/running and a bundle of smiley energy. I think our boys were a little taken aback by other children playing with their toys but they were cute - each time her boys ran into the kitchen my guys crawled after them. We wanted to get a group shot of them but this was the best we could do. Every time we would go to snap a picture one of mine would crawl away or one of hers would walk away! It's wonderful for the boys to interact and really nice to have a mom who understands my challenges (and is a bit ahead of the curve and can tell me what to expect!) We can't wait to have them over again.


Saturday, May 2, 2009

Lots of reasons to celebrate

One year ago just after 6 a.m. we welcomed Brett, Jackson & Peyton into the world. It's hard to believe they are 1 already. We survived our first year! We gathered today to celebrate. It was a busy day and the boys were a little overwhelmed at first but by the time they had their cake they were good to go.

Auntie Kerry made individual cakes for each of the boys (no small feat since they have some food allergies and she had to use lots of special ingredients - who knew you could make a cake without dairy products?) 
We sang Happy Birthday to each boy individually. They weren't sure what to make of the cakes at first but really enjoyed them once they got started. Jackson was by far the most adventurous and seemed to feed off the attention. There are no shortage of photos capturing the hilarity - It looked like a room full of paparazzi!

Since the boys were born we have continually been overwhelmed by people's kindness and generosity. That same feeling continued today. We feel so blessed to have such amazing friends and family and are so glad the boys are surrounded by such amazing people - and many more across the miles.
A special thanks to two other triplet Mommies - Jennifer for passing decorations, shirts etc. on from her boys' birthdays 2 months ago and her sister Kelli for making their smash cake T-shirts that say 'I'm 1' so they didn't mess up their birthday clothes!
Today even more than usual we give thanks - God is good!