Friday, February 27, 2015

Our bedtime routine

Each night from dinner through bedtime feels like a sprint and requires "all hands on deck" so to speak.  It can be pretty tiring, especially at the end of a long day, but we actually really like our bedtime routine and often have some of our best moments of the day during this time.

We are part of a group on facebook for mothers of triplets born in 2013 and each week they have a "photo Friday" theme where people post pics and occasionally videos related to the theme.  This week's theme was wake up or bedtime routines, which inspired me to put together this little video compilation of a bunch of the pics and videos we've been taking at bedtime over the past couple of months.

Monday, February 23, 2015

Running too hot...

We have some hot and miserable babies on our hands right now.  Avery has been spiking a fever very sporadically over the past few days and then been fine, but today all three woke up pretty toasty from their morning nap.  Hope was home with them and did what she could to snuggle them and comfort them.  I came home before their usual afternoon nap time to this

We do NOT have babies who randomly fall asleep while playing.  They are very used to their schedule and I honestly don't think they've ever done this before.  They have napped in carriers and in car seats, but this is a first.  I wasn't really sure what the best plan was from here.  Tried to transfer with no luck so ended up nursing Ellie while Hope occupied Avery for a bit.  (Avery was in the best shape.)  Isaiah sort of transferred but in the ten minutes it took me to nurse Ellie and try to bring the girls in to sleep he was up.  So we did more nursing, read some books, and then I put them all down in their cribs.  I had to listen to a few minutes of super sad crying, mostly from Ellie, when I left the room, but since I don't have go go gadget arms & couldn't just sit in the middle of the room giving them all backrubs I just had to walk out.  I got laundry switched and started kitchen clean up and about 30 minutes later Avery was crying and up standing in her crib.  I went to get here right away so I could hopefully keep the other two sleeping and snuggled my sad pathetic little girl on the couch for a bit.

not ten minutes later the other two were up.  So I got lots of alone time with three sick babies who only took 30-40 minute naps. =(  My first plan was to try to take advantage of the novelty of a "movie," aka Sesame Street from Netflix on the TV..

That bought me just enough time to make them each a green smoothie for a snack...

which gave me another three minutes to sit on the couch with them and figure out what was next...
which lasted about 2 minutes for Ellie who then wandered around whining & sucking her thumb while I tried to eat a few bites of food since I hadn't gotten time for lunch during their nap.  She & Avery mooched a few bites of my food.  You can see in the pic below that Isaiah needed a "break" from the beans because he had a hard time remembering that the beans stay in the pool, but he sat pretty contentedly playing with a plastic spoon in his highchair so that was fine with me!  Avery was in the best mood & loves "bee bee bee" (aka bean bean bean) time!
And when even Avery was done with the beans & it wasn't even 4pm yet it was time to pull out all the stops & offer a pre-dinner bath! As you can see in the first pic, despite her initial enthusiasm, Ellie quickly decided that a bath could not distract her from her misery!
 but that was fine because she could get some one on one snuggle time while the other two played pretty happily for quite a while...
 and snuggle time turned into "milk" time...
 Avery was having a pretty great time in the tub too & was happy to cheese it up for a couple pics
 Isaiah on the other hand....
 Ellie finally got happy & enjoyed pushing the air out of my puffed cheeks...
but we couldn't play that game for long because Mr. Man decided he was "all done" bath & was pretty clear in communicating that fact... 
So then I had two snuggle buddies.  And though Ellie had been doing better, as soon as Isaiah was sad and needing snuggles she was also right back to being sad & needing snuggles.  Such an empathetic little girl she is...
eventually even Avery got a case of the blues and suddenly I was back to not having enough arms to snuggle all the sad pathetic babies...
 So we headed back to the bedroom for diapers & jammies, which involved a lot of crying and whining and Isaiah almost fell asleep with his head on my lap. In this pic Ellie was backing away from me because she didn't want me to put a diaper on her!
 Thankfully just after everyone was diapered and in jammies I got a text from Michelle saying she finished class a bit early and was on her way home!  Mama to the rescue!
after a pretty pathetic dinner, well for Isaiah anyway, Avery asked to "dance dance" so we did a couple minutes of dancing before heading back to the bedroom for a little bit of an early bedtime.
Isaiah fell asleep nursing and the girls were falling apart too so everyone was in bed and out before 7 tonight.  Of course we've already had two or three little bouts of fussing and it's only 8:30.  Michelle and I did some frantic clean up, folded the mountain of clean laundry on our bed, and I'm quickly writing this blog post and then we are getting in bed because we are expecting a long night ahead.  While we were folding laundry Michelle and I both agreed that when all three are sick is when having three babies seems the hardest.  Of course anytime kiddos are sick it's hard because you just feel bad for them, but we also feel bad because we literally don't have enough arms for all of them and they are too little to understand that.  And even when only two want to snuggle it's usually tricky because they don't really like to share snuggle time, particularly when they are sick.  So then they push each other and mess with each other and of course because they are sick they are more fragile and anything pushes them over the edge.  And then there's the domino effect of crying, where one starts and the others follow suit.  (That happened today in the bathroom because Isaiah was crying so loudly that Ellie got scared and then super sad. )  And of course someone, or all three of them, need to be constantly entertained or snuggled so all the "other things" like cleaning up, washing dishes, laundry, etc all gets pushed until after bedtime.  So like I said, it's time for us to get to bed!  Hopefully we can get a couple hours rest in before the first real wake up! 

Sunday, February 22, 2015

The groundhog was right...

It is definitely still winter here in central PA and I think everyone in the Northeast has a death wish for Punxsatawney Phil right about now.  It has been a long winter and it seems like for the last two months if we aren't getting nailed with snow then it is freezing cold.  Lately the windchill has been below zero most days so we haven't been able to get the babies out to play in the snow.  Today we said "Quick! It's almost 30 degrees and not windy, let's get outside!"  Tomorrow the high is 11 so we had a short window!

For the past couple of weeks our kiddos have been obsessed with a book called The Snowy Day that our good friend Carrie bought them last winter.  They want us to read it over and over and are getting pretty good at filling in parts of the story.  Their favorite part is when the snow goes "plop!" on Peter's head and they will put their hand on their head like snow and say "plop!"  So today when we went outside we talked about that book.  Avery wanted to make snow angels like Peter.  Ellie and I found a stick to "make tracks in the snow" and practiced walking with our toes pointing in & out. Isaiah & Avery were plopping snow on their head.  And we all climbed up the big mountain of snow and slid down.  It was fun to be able to connect their favorite book with activities they could actually do.


"walking with her toes pointing in like this"
making tracks in the snow with a stick
climbing a "great big mountain of snow"
and sliding down


making snow angels
 We also played some Frisbee with Humphrey who enjoyed being outside with all of us today!
"the boys"

LOVE this one!

Avery wanted to throw the Frisbee for Humphrey herself!
Oh yeah, and Avery had a good time teaching "Horace the Gnome" all about snow!  My brother always loved appears Avery has taken on that love. =)




Pizza Party!

As you might imagine with the winter we've had we are more than a little stir crazy around here and are really having to work to come up with new and fun indoor activities.  This weekend our friend and her little one came to hang out and join us for dinner.  I told her I was planning to make pizza for dinner.  What I did not tell her was that I was planning on EVERYONE making their own personal pizzas.  I think she had her doubts but trusted that we'd done this before...only, we hadn't!  I confessed that I had no idea if or how it would work, but I was going to go for it and just accept that half of the food might end up on the floor and that they would likely be covered in sauce.  So we stripped them all down and went for it.  We let them choose red or green sauce and they did a great job helping to spread the sauce.
 Next up was topping selection, sampling, and placement!  There was a lot of sampling going on!  Gotta make sure those tomatoes are actually yummy before putting them on the pizza, right?!
They did actually put some of the toppings ON the pizza instead of straight into their mouths!
The hardest part was waiting for them to cook in the oven!!!  But the babies were actually pretty patient and we kept them going with a few more "samples" while they waited.  Then it was time to dig in!


Big bite!!

sharing with Mommy!

C going for the toppings only!
 I love the looks I caught in the next two pics!

All in all a successful collective dinner making activity!  Everyone ate at least half of their pizza and shockingly there was very little mess.  We have Humphrey to thank for some of the floor clean up for sure, but it certainly wasn't as bad as we feared!
Oh yeah!  We also let the babies try our "fizzy water" last night at the end of the pizza party!  Hope you enjoy this video of their reactions!  Avery had already tried it a couple times before I started recording...

Monday, February 16, 2015

Motor Monday--Winter Fun & Balance Work

Well I am totally over winter and counting down the minutes til spring!  But, the babies are just now starting to get into the whole snow thing, which is fun and makes the rest of winter a little more tolerable.  The first few times they mostly just sat wherever we plunked them down, generally not very happily.  Ellie has been especially curmudgeonly about the snow until the last couple of times we've been out.  Right now we can't go out because it is ridiculously cold, but we went out a lot a couple of weeks ago.
This is kind of how Ellie always looked in the snow for the first couple months
Getting all dressed in snow gear and getting boots on is quite the feat for the moms, but it has also been a nice gauge for the babies' ever improving motor skills, particularly balance.  The first time we ever put boots on them they could barely stand up and wouldn't dare take a step.  I really wish we'd taken pictures and videos of that first day in boots in the house!  These two pictures show you the progress they made in just over a month.
This was December 23rd & Isaiah & Ellie couldn't stand unless
they were holding onto the dock
January 27th & everyone walking on their own on a slippery snowy driveway
For new walkers wearing boots presents quite the challenge.  Not only are they bulky and heavy, relatively speaking, but they typically have pretty thick and stiff soles.  Why does this matter?  Well when we are learning to walk we get a ton of information about the surface we are standing on by feeling the ground under our feet and knowing where our feet and the rest of our body is in relation to the groud.  This is one of those "other senses" that you don't typically learn about in school, called proprioception or knowing where your body is in space.  We also use all the little muscles in our feet to help us stay upright.  (Have you ever noticed babies curling their toes like they are trying to hold onto the floor when they are standing?)  And boots get in the way of both of those functions.  For some kiddos even putting on a new pair of shoes is like rewinding the clock a couple weeks on their walking skills.  This is also why I recommend that kids learn to walk barefoot as much as possible and always recommend very thin soled shoes like Robeez for new walkers.

In addition to walking in boots, winter weather can provide some great natural opportunities to work on more advanced balance skills like walking in a couple inches (or more) of snow and walking on slippery surfaces, which challenges the adults' balance too!

walking in boots & snow is so tricky!
Here are some videos of the babies walking in snow with commentary on the motor skills involved:

Avery is a pro walker inside, and swings her arms when she walks and has a fairly narrow gait.  In this video you can see just how wide her feet are and how she holds her arms up by her shoulders.

This video shows all three walking down a snowy driveway.  They aren't pros by any stretch, but they have gotten a lot better!  This is a doubly difficult task because they are walking down an incline...

In this video you can see Avery & Ellie walking up the driveway.  If you watch closely you can see Avery's feet slipping just a bit on most steps walking up and yet she maintains her balance.  You can see Ellie slip & fall when she loses her footing.

Walking outside is a great way to work on kids' balance!  The hard part is that we have little to no control over Mother Nature which makes it hard to find the "just right" challenge when it comes to balance.  For kids who are a little bit older than our babies walking in deeper snow is a great added challenge, not to mention a great workout.

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Sensational Sensory Play

A brief, but funny story I had to share!  We've been talking about wanting to do more sensory play with the babies now that they are finally starting to move out of the "obsessively putting EVERYTHING in our mouths" phase of life, but hadn't really done much other than a little experimenting with homemade finger paints.  Well Tuesday I came home from work to see this in progress! 

Hope decided to take the plunge to help break the babies out of a post-nap funk!  I only caught the tail end of this sensory extravaganza that started with goop (cornstarch & water) and ended with dry flour.  It was a HUGE mess and we learned some valuable lessons from it like making sure we have enough "hands on deck" for the clean up and to come up with an alternative to doing it in their seats which are not easy to just wipe down and had to be washed, which also meant no seats at the table for dinner that night!  But I'm really glad Hope got this going for them and it was fun to see how much the enjoyed it.  It wasn't only the table, floor, and seats that were a mess of course so as soon as they were done we stripped off their diapers, etc and plopped them straight in the tub.  

I worked on cleaning babies while Hope tackled the dining room.  Bathtime was going well but Isaiah wanted to get out, so I got him in jammies while the girls kept playing.  Then Avery was acting suspicious (like maybe she had to poop) so I got her out & put her on the potty.  Isaiah was being obnoxious about wanting to put his hands in the potty so I was using my legs to block him while still holding Avery.  He started on my left and then moved to the right so when I felt his hands on my thigh I didn't think anything of it.  Then next thing I know Isaiah appears in the tub...with his jammies on!  They have all been thinking about trying to climb in/out of the tub, but the metal lip from the shower doors we took out seems like it has been enough of a deterrent when they are naked.  Apparently that is not the case when clothed!  I just started cracking up laughing and called to Hope to bring the camera to capture the moment!

what's wrong with this picture?!
"what?!?  I decided I wasn't 'all done' bath after all!"