March 30, 2008

You've Got Your Hands Full!

Somehow the American population has been trained to say "You've got your hands full" whenever they see multiples. Invariably, 95 out of 100 people say this to us in public. It used to be that the babies weren't that big of a deal and we would respond by saying "It's pretty easy actually." I used to take pride in telling people that we have the art of raising triplets mastered. Over the past couple months we have begun to face the challenges of parenting three children. It's not so much that we have triplets, but that we have three kids. When you have three kids they have bouts of kicking, screaming, fighting, and tantrums. Sometimes this happens in public. Parents who have multiple kids of different ages tend to get disapproving stares, we get reminded that our hands our full. Somedays, I feel like saying "No (insert expletive here)!"

Our kids are nothing short of wonderful, don't get me wrong, but I usually write this blog at the end of the day. Their personalities, however, are starting to show through. Most of the time it is funny and cute. Other times I see foreshadowing of the "terrible twos". Nonetheless, life couldn't be better. The babies actually play and interact so much more now. Niklas actually plays catch, and can throw a ball right back to me. He actually has a pretty good arm. I have noticed that it's looking like all 3 kids are going to be lefties, how weird is that? The pictures below are from inside a little tunnel that Greta bought for them. She picked this up along with a little tent at Ikea and the kids think it's awesome. The last picture is of the "Snow Easter Bunny" that Greta built during her time off last weekend.

March 22, 2008

Happy Easter!

Greta finally reached the burnout point last week. I think the 3 months of the NICU followed by the trials and tribulations of triplet motherhood caught up to her. I decided that the best course of action would be to take the kids to my parent's house for the weekend and let Greta recouperate. We were a little bummed to spend Easter apart, but it was necessary. Grandma & Grandpa were excited to have the babies over for the weekend and Greta enjoyed a weekend of silence. It sure doesn't feel like Easter, especially with 8-10 inches of snow on the ground.

The picture is from a few weeks back when we went to see the Easter Bunny at Briarwood Mall. The boys didn't seem to mind too much, but Gabbie was absolutely petrified. Other attractions included a petting farm, which all three thought was really cool. This evening I will leave Lansing and head home, hopefully with everyone refreshed. It would be nice if spring would come soon.

March 17, 2008

Niklas's Homecoming

Yesterday was the one year anniversary of Niklas coming home from the hospital. We went through a lot with that kid. There were the surgeries, the tests, and all of the the waiting. We had to deal with this condition and that condition and all of the "what if's". I'll never forget the night that Greta and I drove home from the hospital sobbing and thinking that Niklas wasn't going to make it. The one thing that persisted through all of it was his determination and his smile. Niklas refused to be sedated, he refused to quit and he has totally beaten the odds. There is no doubt in my mind that a miracle resulted from the prayer and positive thought of all our family and friends. Niklas is a very, very special boy and anyone who has met him and been infected by his cheerful demeanor can attest to that.

Today, Niklas is an absolute joy! The kid is almost always happy and makes me laugh every day. He always wants to play and thinks that I am the funniest man on earth. I love being greeted by the triplets each day I come home, and Niklas always gives me a huge smile. Yesterday, Grandma and Grandpa brought him back home. He was so happy that he couldn't stop talking all day. I wish the other two were also in happy mode right now, but they are not. I think that Gabbie and Lukas (especially Lukas) are trying to put Greta in the nut house. She now wears the protective headphones (The ones I wear while using my chainsaw) around the house to muffle Lukas's screams. This is no joke, this scream is going to beat us. We weathered the pregnancy, the NICU, the oxygen, and the surgeries. In the end it will be the scream that does us in. In the picture, Niklas is on the right with the blond hair sticking up.

March 14, 2008

One Year Adjusted

When people ask how old the triplets are, I have a hard time giving a straight answer. Over the past week or so, I've told people that they are 1 year adjusted. This tends to solicit a blank look, and then I remember that most people don't know what these terms mean. I will then attempt to explain that they were born three months early. So, technically they are 15 months old, but in reality they are only a year. Generally, this gets rewarded with a look that says "All I did is ask how old your kids were". The fact of the matter is that I no longer care. I think that the three months is still a factor, but it is becoming less and less so. These guys look and act like 1+ year olds. Congratulations you little monkeys!

This week, I was in Indianapolis for a class, so my mom came to our house to help Greta during my absence. Greta and my mom took the triplets to visit Dr. Bryant, who was the doctor that delivered them. We haven't visited since the babies were born, and, apparently, the whole office stopped what they were doing to play with the babies. If it wasn't for Dr. Bryant and his brilliant staff, things would have turned out much differently. Thank you Dr. Bryant and Co.!

A while back, Granny had decided that she wanted to take a baby home for the weekend. Since Niklas had spent the most time in the hospital, we felt that he deserved to spend a weekend with Grandma and Grandpa. So I spent my first nights away from Greta and the babies, and came home to a duo instead of a trio. I am sure my mom and dad are having a blast. The pictures are a result of Greta and the babies being extremely bored. From what I hear, Greta spiked up their hair and everyone danced to the Bee Gees. Don't ask.

March 7, 2008

Lukas's Homecoming

I remember when Gabbie came home how freaked out we were that we had a baby at home on oxygen. Lukas and Niklas were still in the hospital and I was somewhat hopeful that if they stayed a little while longer they wouldn't need theirs. Nevertheless, baby number 2 came home one year ago today, complete with a tank and 50 ft. cord. Lukas has come along way in the last 12 months, and although he is still the smallest, his spirit is anything but. Lukas was the first to laugh, the first to sit and the first to crawl. He has not been able to sit still since he was pretty much conceived. The picture above is from the day Lukas came home, the video below is from yesterday when he learned to climb the stairs. This was actually a second take and I think he was a little tired out. The first time, he ripped from bottom to top, laughing the whole way. For some reason, this does not make Gabbie happy.

March 2, 2008

Cabin Fever

Lukas has discovered that screaming gets him attention. Not squealing or crying, but the most high pitched awful noise you have ever heard in your life. After about five minutes you want to kill yourself, and that is not a figure of speech. If our military were using this sound at Guantanamo, we would no doubt be guilty of torture. It's the kind of noise that causes distortion in your eardrums because they are not capable of hearing such a bloody terrible sound. It's the kind of noise that instantly gives you a pounding, piercing headache. I can see it now, someday telling Lukas "Mommy and Daddy got divorced, and it IS ALL your fault son". I need to get this on tape, but it's not the type of thing that makes you say "Hey, honey, grab the video camera, this is really freakin' cute!". The bad news is that you HAVE to give him attention when he does this. You're willing to sell your soul to get him to stop. Every once and a while I will see an article in the paper about evil monkeys wreaking havoc and taking over parliament in India. They destroy important documents and ruin office equipment. Sometimes I think the triplets might be reading the paper.

Okay, now for some fun stuff. This past week, all 3 have learned the concept of chasing and being chased. If I quickly crawl away from them into another room, they all come after me laughing. They then proceed to crawl all over me trying to claw my face, poke my eyes out and bite me. Greta actually got bitten by Gabbie today and it left a pretty good mark on her leg. The triplets also understand when I am playing "monster". When they see me on all fours growling they squeal and quickly crawl away. Gabbie goes as fast as she can, crawls up on Greta and buries her face in her lap (I need to get this on video, too). She thinks that if she can't see me that she is invisible. That is how I spent my weekend. Playing monster. Good times indeed. I actually don't think there has ever been any better stress relief in my life than playing with my kids. The more they play back, the more fun it gets.

The video is from today and today only. The babies napping schedule was completely screwed up and they were totally angry. By the way, the cord they are playing with is the video camera cord. Just to let you know that we don't normally allow the kids to play with these things, but we couldn't keep them away. So please, don't send social services our way.....yet. My favorite part is is about 18 seconds in. Gabbie rips her binky (cigarette) out of her mouth and chucks it, slams her bottle of apple juice (whiskey) and smashes it on the floor in a drunken stupor. Angry triplets aren't much fun, but they are hilarious.