Tuesday, December 30, 2014

A White Christmas

We had a nice Christmas with my parents up in the northwoods of Wisconsin where we got a true white Christmas.  Despite the drive, I'm very glad that we were able to do Christmas with my parents this year.  We knew this would be a particularly difficult time for our family since it was our first Christmas without my brother and I'm glad we could be together (although we missed my sister and her family who were in Africa with Claude's family).  Many of you may have already seen this article posted on one of our Facebook pages, but in case you missed it, this article on being grateful and grieving at the same time does a nice job of giving people a window into some of what my parents (and many others who were touched by Matt) have been feeling this holiday season.

As always, the triplets brought a ton of joy to my parents and everyone else they encountered this Christmas.  I think both Michelle and I were surprised at how much they actually got into opening the gifts.  Each of them got into it at different times and as we expected a lot of times the wrapping paper and boxes were just as exciting as the gifts themselves, but they were pretty cute overall.  We did an early gift exchange with Michelle's family in Naperville before we left for Wisconsin so they got a little bit of practice before Christmas day. On Christmas morning Avery was adorable because she loved delivering gifts to people to open, which was fitting since she was wearing PJs that said "Santa's helper" on them!  They also liked helping us open our gifts. =)

"wow wow wow"
they liked taking things out of the bags

our little santa's helper delivering gifts
and helping open them!
Around 4pm on Christmas a bunch of our extended family came over to the house we were renting.  Isaiah, Avery, & Ellie got to meet some of their second cousins for the first time.  It was great to see everyone because it had been way too long since I'd seen many of them.  The babies did pretty well with all the new faces and enjoyed playing with and showing off for everyone.  
Ellie & her BFF for the night
Isaiah enjoyed his "bro time" & cracked up every time they crashed the cars
the kids table!

Tis' the Season for Sickness

Oy!  It has been great to see everyone, but our three little germ factories (aka Isaiah, Avery, & Ellie) have been spreading and gathering germs everywhere they go.  I didn't manage to get a blog post up about this, but a couple weeks ago (December 12th to be exact), we got hit with our first stomach bug.  Isaiah woke up around 4am puking and was a miserable little guy all morning.  Avery joined the fun mid morning but never seemed as sick as Isaiah.  Ellie steered clear all day until she had two bites of dinner and then lost it. We went to bed Friday night expecting the worst night ever and instead we got a shockingly good night of sleep with only a couple of wake ups.  Babies all seemed to be recovering on Saturday and we just crossed our fingers that we didn't get it, but our luck isn't that good.  Saturday night around 11 it got me pretty good, but thankfully I fell asleep shortly after.  Sadly, we were woken up in the middle of the night by the sound of poor Ellie belle throwing up all over herself and her crib.  She and I spent the rest of the night in the guest bed together and had a couple more sheet and PJ changes before morning arrived.  Sunday was a slow and sickly day at our house as the four of us recovered and we all hoped that maybe that Michelle would emerge unscathed.  Michelle held strong until Sunday night when she started to feel a little icky and was down most of Monday.  We were all on the mend by Tuesday when Michelle and I really kicked our travel planning into gear since we were driving Thursday!

Unfortunately, despite being symptom free for more than a few days before we traveled it seems that one of us (I blame the babies) was still capable of sharing our lovely germs because the following Sunday Michelle's brother and mom fell victim to the bug as well.  And it must've been one heck of a virus because a few days later both my mom  and dad got nailed!  Thankfully it was a couple days before Christmas and everyone was feeling better by Christmas Day.

And as if that wasn't enough sickness, the babies all managed to come down with a nasty cold a day or two after Christmas.  Isaiah was the first to fall again, but is now on the mend while the girls continue to be snot faucets.  Both girls also have red weepy eyes and everyone has a bit of a cough.  As Michelle noted today, three babies with colds means that both of us are covered in snot by the end of the day.  It's lovely.  Oh yeah, and we both have the cold too.  And so does my dad.  Undoubtedly at least a couple of the Chicago fam will get this before we leave.  Ugh!  We are ready to be healthy!! Hopefully January will be a lot healthier than December was for all of us!
AHHHH!!! I'm soooo tired of being sick Mom!
sad sick baby eyes...and a snotty nose that she now hates
to have wiped because it's red and raw =(
I tried all day to get a good close up of her goopy eyes &
sad little sick face, but most were blurry so this is the best sick shot I got of Ellie

Fun in the snow

As we drove up to northern Wisconsin I wasn't sure we were going to get a white Christmas, but it actually snowed quite a bit while we were there and we got the babies out in the snow a few times. Grandma Rae & Grandpa Mark got to experience the Herculean effort required to get all three bundled up in snow clothes!  They still weren't super pysched about playing in the snow, but they did seem to enjoy riding in the sled at least some of the time.  Isaiah was the biggest fan of the sled, repeatedly asking for "more more" sled.  The first sled ride was on my Uncle Ken & Aunt Joan's property where we went to pick out a small Christmas tree.  My dad found the perfect little tree just off the walking path, which was great because by the time we got out there and bundled up it was already pushing nap time!

tree hunting team
The house we rented was right on a lake so my dad did a little cross country skiing and we took a few walks out on the lake.  The babies liked watching Grandpa ski and enjoyed knocking over mini snowmen that I made for them.  
Mommy and her sled full of babies
A rare moment of Ellie asking for "more" sled
Grandma's turn to pull =)
Avery loved to lean over and drag snow
uh oh!  
suddenly the sled seemed easier to pull!
I looked back to see this trail of babies I'd dumped!
MOMMY!!!! I can't move!!!
I wasn't the only one who managed to lose my precious cargo!
Grandpa back from skiing!  
Gleefully knocking down a snowball tower!
Ellie was less than enthusiastic about snow activities
having fun watching Mommy throw snowballs
We went down to the lake a second time with Mama late one afternoon.   That second trip to the lake no one wanted to ride in the sled after the first 50 feet or so, so we carried everyone and pulled an empty sled! We made a snowman on the dock to try to entertain the stir crazy troops, 
Mama only had two willing riders
Mama & Isaiah
(yes, he is rocking the pink boots....they are soooo
much easier to get on his chubby little feet!
Mommy & her girls out on the lake
our snowman & snow babies...Ellie looks like she has no neck!
Avery investigating the snowman
We got one decent family picture on the deck of the house we rented and Avery & Isaiah had fun playing in the snow on the deck too.

adults are all smiling & have their eyes open & kiddos aren't screaming = success
and the background almost looks like a studio backdrop!

love this shot
She thought it was pretty funny to play with Ellie through the glass

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Pre-Christmas Fun in Naperville

We had a nice couple of days in Naperville before Christmas as a stop over on the way to Wisconsin.  Grandma Stephen had gotten out some of Matt's old toys out for the triplets to play with.  The plastic cozy coupe was by far the most popular!

Auntie Tracy's great idea to get two kiddos a ride 
Avery liked the double decker car!
Ellie rockin' the static car hair do
Avery came up with another way to get two in the car
love this shot!
Grandma Stephen wanted to take the babies to see Santa.  Isaiah was the only one willing to get close to Santa. =)

The girls really liked the nativity!  But got mad that they couldn't pick up the baby!
Ran into another Santa at the running store =)
And we had fun times with the fam and opening new Christmas presents!

playing dress up with Auntie Jess

cutie pie!
a new farm from Auntie Tracy!
Avery has a unique opening style!
Avery opening her stocking gifts in the awesome new
stockings that Grandma made us!
a selfie with Auntie Jess