December 31, 2008

Happy New Year!


It seems we like to end the year on a rough note.  Last Christmas was the start of the stomach flu and butt explosion extravaganza.  Until recently, that was the hardest time since the babies came home from the hospital.  This Christmas, it's been topped. All three have been sick, again, since their 2nd birthday.  In fact, I am on my fourth cold since the beginning of October.  If only I could invent an engine that runs on diapers or boogers our family would be set for generations. For Gabbie and Lukas, this was just an ordinary cold.  Niklas, on the other hand, seems to have been transformed.  From the moment he wakes up until the moment he goes to bed he whines for MOMMY!  He throws his food and won't eat.  He throws himself on the floor and bangs his head.  He tries to break everything in sight.  He slaps, hits, head-butts and bites. The moment MOMMY picks him up, he is content.  I have tried putting him in his crib until he calms down, but that seems to have the opposite effect.  In fact, when I tried this on Monday he got so angry that he developed super human baby strength and escaped from his crib.  THUD!  We are assuming that this is just the terrible twos, but with Niklas we always have shunt malfunction in the back of our minds.  I got to the point yesterday where I called Neurosurgery because we were both at the end of our ropes.  They did not think a shunt malfunction was occurring and told us that this sounds like typical 2 year old tantrums.  I think a couple of weeks ago I was posting about how great and easy the kids were being.  Life was grand. So now we are either dealing with demonic possession or typical toddler behavior. Should we call our priest?  I see a padded room and straight jacket in my future.  By the way, the last 2 posts were the front and back of our Christmas card this year.  At least the pictures are cute.

December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas!


The Myers Family

December 21, 2008

Happy 2nd Birthday!

2 years ago today...

Niklas (Baby A)

Gabriella (Baby B)

Lukas (Baby C)

A couple of days ago...

Niklas (Baby A)

Gabriella (Baby B)

Lukas (Baby C)

I am so glad that it is not 2 years ago. Thank God for such a wonderful miracle. Thanks to everyone who came over to visit, I will post pictures of the birthday celebration soon. It seems as though they have now figured out that there is cool stuff beneath the paper of wrapped boxes. We really haven't gotten them too many new toys since last year, so when some new stuff arrived it became clear how obviously bored they were with the old toys.

December 15, 2008

Tijuana Trio

I don't know what it is, but the kids dig Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass.  I only wish that Niklas wouldn't be shy when the camera came on because his moves are stellar.  Yes, I know that Gabbie's diaper is disgustingly droopy.  You try changing 600 diapers a month and see how long you put it off!

December 14, 2008

First Haircuts

Not that we were avoiding the matter, but the kids finally got to the point where haircuts were necessary.   Luckily, Greta's friend Anastasia was gracious enough to come to our house and perform the deed.  I have heard from other parents that the first haircut can be a terrible experience and often involves restraining an hysterical, kicking and screaming child.  Since we were in the comfort of our own home and no clippers were involved, the process went as good as could be expected.  Due to past experience,  Niklas just doesn't like anyone touching his head and so he squirmed around quite a bit and Greta was unable to get a picture of him.  The cuts are cute, but seemed to age all of them about a year, especially Gabbie who got the most taken off.  The best part is that Niklas's shunt is nearly invisible now.

December 7, 2008

We Should Be Quarantined

It seems as though some member of the clan has been sick since the beginning of October.  All three of the kids are constantly leaking, coughing, and sneezing.  As soon as someone gets over something, someone else is starting up.  Prior to having kids, I would sometimes go a year or two without getting sick.  Now, I am getting over my third severe cold of the fall.  Just as I started feeling a little better on Saturday, I managed to puncture my hand with a screwdriver,  necessitating a trip to the hospital, a tetanus shot, some other big shot in the hip that was more painful than the injury, and a round of antibiotics . Despite being quite battle worn, we still managed to have a fun weekend.  We attended the Christmas Party for high order multiples in Southeast Michigan (thanks Susie) and got out to dinner with friends last night as well.  The kids are all talking like crazy lately and it's just so cute.  Lukas starting saying Ah-Puh-Puss (Octopus) which is the first 3 syllable for any of them, unless E-I-E-I-O counts as a five syllable word?  Anyway, it sure is great to be married to a professional photographer.

November 30, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving!

Yeah, I know Thanksgiving was 3 days ago, but it happens to be one of my favorite holidays. Undoubtedly, Greta and I have so much to be thankful for this year, not the least of which is the miracle documented on this blog. Thanksgiving seems to be a forgotten holiday. It seems the retailers would rather to turn it into a sort of Christmas Junior. To the consumerists, the most important aspect of Thanksgiving is the retail sales of the following day. I guess we can be thankful that they have not yet invented a Turkey Claus who flies around the world delivering garbage from China to all the boys and girls of the world. It's saddening that this Thanksgiving was followed up by people trampling each other to death at a New York Wal-Mart in pursuit of Black Friday trash for Christmas. I not entirely sure that Jesus intended us to go on spending sprees, purchasing crap we don't need, in celebration of his birth each year. Something seems very wrong about this to me. 

Thanksgiving should be a time of reflection, of truly giving thanks to God for the gifts we are given. When I start thinking of what I am thankful for, my mind starts to numb up. I am so truly blessed, so fortunate and loved by my family that I cannot begin to explain how thankful I am. I like that there is a day to remind me of it all.

This weekend I also celebrated my 35th birthday, which is a little milestone in itself. A birthday celebrated much differently than the one 14 years ago in which I did a questionable number of shots and proceeded to have an altercation with roommate's pet alligator. Life has changed quite a bit since then. Lately, the kids the have been perfect. They have been so much fun, and have given Greta and I little grief. Below are some pictures from the last week, notice the difference between small, medium and large.
Life is good!

November 25, 2008

Strike One

Saturday, we took the kids to the mall to hang out in the play area and grab some lunch. Since it was not even Thanksgiving yet, we weren't necessarily in the mood to see Santa. Nevertheless, the mall was all but empty and the kids were in a good mood. We figured we could get a cute picture while the timing was right. Unfortunately, we were unable to get within 50 feet of Santa before Gabbie started trembling. The other two weren't too thrilled either. We didn't feel that a lifetime of therapy bills would be worth the photo opportunity, so we called it a day. Maybe we will give it another try before Christmas.

In other news, we briefly thought that Lukas was beginning to read. The other day he picked up a toy block with the letter W on it and yelled out "Double Uuuuuuuuuu". As it turns out, it was a coincidence as he apparently thinks every letter of the alphabet is W. The ABC song is all the rage right now, and when either of us sing it, we get a huge round of applause from all three at the end. It's actually very cute and quite hilarious. Finally, yesterday morning Niklas brought me my shoes while I was getting ready for work and said "Daddy's Shoes". It is just getting more fun everyday, especially since we have been going though a much deserved easy period lately. I literally can't wait to get home each day to see them.

November 18, 2008

First Snow

Sunday, the Triplets got out to play in the snow for the first time. Putting mittens on a toddler is the hardest thing I have ever done.

November 17, 2008

Post Fashion Show

I think our kids have been sick since the beginning of October. Someone is either leaking, coughing, running a fever or whining at any given moment. It seems like it just gets passed around and around. If we even think about leaving the house, these little carrier monkeys pick some new disease and bring it home. Greta and I have been spoiled in that our kids have slept through the night since they were 3 months home from the hospital. I could count on one hand the number of times someone has woken up in the middle of the night. From Wednesday through Saturday, however, we hardly slept at all because Niklas was not feeling well.

Anyway, the NICU Fashion Show was a success and tons of fun again this year, although Niklas was not feeling up to the task of strutting down the runway.

November 9, 2008

Heroes Of Hope

Heroes of Hope is the title of the 2009 calendar Greta has put together benefitting the NICU at St. Joseph Mercy Hospital, Ann Arbor. This is the first calendar that Greta has ever done, and for each month she has photographed children that were former patients of the NICU. The calendar is $20 + $4.95 shipping if you would like to buy one, and all proceeds go to benefit the NICU. Click here to order online. Greta would like to thank the hard work of her friend (who remains anonymous) who graciously donated her time collaborating with Greta on the graphic design of the calendar. The calendar will also make its debut at the fashion show this Thursday.

November 1, 2008

Halloween Recap

The past few years Kevin & I have been on a mission to scare trick or treaters.  We have had some success, but the volume of kids has always been disappointing.  This year, I was excited to take my kids to a few houses especially since it was such a nice night.  Unfortunately, the triplets don't quite get the whole trick or treat concept yet.  First, they (especially Niklas) are scared to death of all the costumes.  Kevin was "Scotch the Reality Clown" for about 5 minutes as it was all the triplets could take.  As you can see in one of the pictures that I have on a Boy Scout costume because that is all that the kids would tolerate.  Niklas could not even handle me wearing a wig.  He would just tremble and cry and say "all done!"  They are probably traumatized and will forever hate the holiday. They did, however, enjoy dressing up as monkeys and playing around so we got some good pictures.  It does figure that the one year I decide not to go all out and scare the trick or treaters we get 20 or so groups of kids. 

October 29, 2008

Come To The Fashion Show!

In case you missed it last year, here is a the recap of the 2007 NICU Fashion Show.  Here is the ad of our little family in the newspaper following the event.  I say it all of the time on this blog, but our babies are a miracle.  They are here by the grace of God, the staff at St. Joseph Mercy Hospital, and the Department of Neurosurgery at U of M.  The event this year will feature fashions by Vintage To Vogue, Elephant Ears (both in Kerry Town), as well as Land's End.  Greta's 2009 Calendar benefitting the St. Joseph NICU will also make it's debut at the event.  The Fashion show will take place on November 13th at 7 p.m. at 2800 East Huron River Drive (The Morris J. Lawrence Building at Washtenaw Community College).  The event is catered and doors open at 5:30 p.m. for a Silent Auction and Reception.  Tickets are only $25, so we hope to see you there! For more information call Greta if you know her number or 734-712-2564 if you don't.  If you are an out-of-towner you call call to purchase a calendar!

October 21, 2008

Neurosurgery Update

On the 14th, Niklas went to the University of Michigan for a neurosurgery follow up appointment.  This appointment was supposed to be in December but, for a couple of reasons, Greta and I had it bumped up.  A few weeks back, Niklas was especially cranky.  His disposition is usually very pleasant so, of course, we began to wonder about the shunt.  The poor kid does something out of character and automatically his Mom and Dad start doubting his ventricular hardware.  Little did we know that it was just the start of a month long cold that was invading our family.

The second reason we moved up the appointment was this bump on the top of Niklas's head, just above his forehead.  Back when he was in the NICU at St. Joe's, he had a temporary shunt implanted in this spot in hopes his hydrocephalus would clear up and a permanent device would not be necessary. This temporary device actually had a name, but I can no longer remember what it was.  More and more I realize I have blocked out many parts of that whole experience.  This device was a tiny little reservoir under the skin of his scalp into which the excess cerebral fluid would drain.  In essence, Niklas had a tiny little tube going from his brain and through his skull.   This tube drained the excess fluid in his brain when pressure built up into a plastic bubble implanted just beneath his skin.  When the bubble filled up, the doctors would remove the excess fluid with a needle.  When it came time to implant his permanent shunt, this temporary device had to be removed and the area that remained had to be patched up.  You can read more about the first shunt here.

There has always been a little bump where this device was, but recently Greta and I felt it was getting bigger.  I told this to Dr. Maher who, in my opinion, is one of the smartest people on earth.  He told us that he patched up the hole in Niklas's skull with what is called an absorbable plate.  Over time, these plates just dissolve once the bone has regenerated.  He said he has installed thousands of these without an issue until one recent case in which the body was rejecting the material and building up excess tissue on top as a result.  He wants us to keep an eye on this area to see if it continues to grow and remove the plate if it does.  In a nutshell, this poses no risk to Niklas's health and is purely cosmetic.  If surgery is required, he would go home the same day.

Niklas had to be sedated for his CAT Scan this time because the whole thing is just too scary. The poor guy couldn't eat anything all morning because of the sedation.  He gets knocked out for the scan and then they have to wake him back up right afterwards, which also happens to be nap time.  For the rest of the day Niklas couldn't even walk because he was intoxicated from the meds.  This infuriated the poor little man because he knows how to walk but he couldn't understand why things weren't working properly.  It was a rough day for us both and I don't think I will ever be able to look at my baby on a CAT Scan machine without tearing up.

Most importantly though, the ultrasound looked good.  It was about the same as it was 6 months ago.  The little pocket of fluid that he had surgery to alleviate a year ago is still there.  It is smaller post surgery but still there, although no longer a real concern of Dr. Maher's.  Niklas has been passing all of his milestones, says words in two languages, and is doing everything a little boy his age should be.  Niklas is, and continues to be, a miracle.  Praise God!

October 14, 2008

First Time Away

This past weekend, Greta and I had our first weekend away from the Triplets together!  We attended the wedding of our friends Kevin and Julie near Daytona Beach Florida.  Actually, we have been looking forward to this trip for almost a year now, and we didn't miss any opportunity to party it up.  I think Greta may still actually be sore from jumping up and down on the dance floor for 5 hours straight!  We left on Thursday morning, and upon waking up I started to feel a tickle in my throat.  I haven't been sick since the kids were in the NICU almost 2 years ago, and now I get a sore throat the morning of our first vacation together in ages.  I did not, however, let it slow me down in any way.  It was nothing that a few rum runners couldn't fix.

My parents were gracious enough to come down to our house and watch the kids for the weekend .  Thanks Mom and Dad!  If the trio wore them out, they didn't admit it.  The weirdest part about all of this is that we really didn't miss the kids.  That may sound terrible, but we knew that they were in good hands, and we hadn't been away in over 2 years.  After all we've been through, there was no time to spend missing anyone.  We enjoyed every minute of being away, and it was completely awesome and refreshing to see the monkeys when we returned on Sunday night.  Congratulations Kevin and Julie!

October 4, 2008

The Pumpkin Factory

Today we made a trip over to the Pumpkin Factory in Belleville.  For any locals reading, the Pumpkin Factory is better than Wiard's if you have young kids, and there is not an $8 admission charge. Lately I have been writing about how the kids have been trying our patience, but today was simply perfect.  No explanation is really necessary, just watch the slideshow.

October 1, 2008

Fall Is Here

This past weekend my Sister Sarah trekked to Michigan, from Hoyt Lakes Minnesota, to attend a wedding.  Since my parents were also attending, the three of them stayed with us for the weekend.  In the spirit of family, my Brother Ben and his wife Emily came over for a filet mignon BBQ on Sunday.  It was a gorgeous Michigan weekend, the type of weather for which people live in this state.  On Friday, we took a trip to Wiards Orchard in Ypsilanti Township. The kids were fascinated by the animals and the hayride, albeit a little scared at first.  Fall is here, and today it seems we made the transition rather quickly.