Friday, July 31, 2015


The other day while the babies were napping we had a nice long chat with my parents on FaceTime.  We FaceTime with them fairly regularly with the babies, but with three crazy toddlers grabbing for the phone and wanting to "see nama" or "see gampa" we don't actually get to chat, so it was nice to catch up.  They asked us how sleep has been lately and when we told them that they are all sleeping through the night pretty consistently (until 5ish anyway) they both said "we didn't see that in the blog!" so I figured it was time to document that big accomplishment.  (Mind you I do NOT consider it our accomplishment because I don't think Michelle & I had much, if anything, to do with it.) I told my parents that I'd been hesitant to write anything about it because it felt too good to be true. I tried to find a picture of one of them sleeping in the last month, but I think we have been too busy sleeping to snap any pictures! =)  But here's an older one that is just so sweet I had to share.

Whether it was coincidence or not I don't know, but this magical event started right after I took the kiddos to Massachusetts by myself.  A few days later our nanny asked Michelle how the sleep was (meaning while the kiddos & I were gone) and Michelle said she didn't want to jinx it, but it's been wonderful. After 20 months of continuously interrupted sleep the sleep we have been getting feels too good to be true.  We have had a night or two where all three have slept through the night but every time we got excited about it in the past they have gone right back to their usual middle of the night wake ups.  The first few days after we got home were pretty hot so we had the air conditioner running in our room and thought maybe we just weren't hearing them (though we were both waking repeatedly and checking the monitor), but it has been a month now of fairly consistent sleeping through the night.  I'd say maybe 80-90% of nights now we get to sleep until 5am straight without someone waking up.  Isaiah continues to be the most likely culprit for night waking but most often now he's making it until around 5 before he wakes up and if I can get around 7 hours of continuous sleep I can handle the 5am wake up for a long time!  He does typically go back to sleep, but sometimes it takes a little while.  Avery, on the other hand, has been sleeping until 5:30 or 6 and then fussing on and off until she falls back asleep or we give up and get her up around 6:30.

With a few exceptions, mostly on vacation, the sleep for the past five or six has been glorious.  It is almost good to have a not-so-good night every now and then to remind us just how amazing the good nights are!  For a while we were getting a little too used to the solid night of sleep and staying up too late and then waking up still feeling tired so we have been committing to getting in bed earlier.  Sometimes after a solid night of sleep I am actually getting up before the kiddos and having a tiny bit of "me" time before the troops wake up.  Usually I spend this time making coffee & prepping breakfast, but sometimes I actually get to sit and drink that cup of coffee without reheating it five times and some mornings, like today I get to sit down and write for a few minutes.  Some mornings my "me time" ends up looking like this.
Unfortunately today those few minutes were literally just a few because then Avery woke up.  But today I decided I would try having her join me in this experience rather than giving it up completely.  So we made waffles together, got ourselves a warm beverage (coffee for me & a "mocha" for Avery), and then sat down to do a little blogging. I only managed to write this last paragraph, but hey, it's something.  And as you can see in these pics & this video, she was pretty adorable. =)
waffle helper
serious blogging (r looking at google images of dogs)

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Our little swimmers

We have been taking these kiddos to the pool since they were itty bitty babies and this summer we have really seen the dividends of all that time in the water. A while ago we learned about Infant Rescue Swimming and thought it was so cool and potentially lifesaving, especially when you have three little ones.  Unfortunately there are no instructors in our area and it is very expensive.  So we watched a couple videos on YouTube and got a few pointers from those on things to try with them in the pool when they were little, but mostly we have just kind of followed our instincts on things we should be doing with them in the pool. We have let them do a lot of experimenting & had to hold ourselves back from rescuing them too soon. Our biggest goal has always been for them to be comfortable in the water & that means both loving being in the water, but also figuring out what their bodies can & can't do in the water..  And man, are they ever comfortable in the water!  And they are constantly trying new things and figuring out what they can do in the water.  It has been soooo fun to watch!

Ellie is the most cautious in the water but even she has her moments where she says "mo mo mo" about swimming underwater with our help.  This past weekend was a breakthrough weekend for both Avery & Isaiah with swimming where they really started swimming on their own underwater.  Yesterday I was able to borrow an underwater camera from a friend and took a ton of short video clips both yesterday and today at the pool.  I am looking forward to seeing them (& Ellie) continue to improve their swimming skills over the next month or so!  A woman at the pool came over yesterday & said "Wow!  They really can swim!  My daughter called me over telling me I had to see the swimming babies!"  Now it's your turn to see the swimming babies!


Monday, July 6, 2015

On the go in Chicago!

Whew!  We are home and although our house is a wreck, the laundry is piled in baskets, and our cars are both a mess, but Michelle and I are sitting on the couch watching a show on Netflix and doing some little computer jobs and blogging because we just need to decompress a bit.

We had a great trip to Chicago and the kiddos had a wonderful time with their grandparents and aunts and uncles!  On Thursday the kiddos got to go to the park while I took Humphrey to the vet =( Oh yeah, did I mention we had to bring Humphrey with us?  Not part of the plan, but he bounded into the woods last week after a rabbit and impaled his foot on a stick!  Ew!  And it was not getting better so we couldn't leave him with our dogsitter so he made the trip with us.  I had to take him to the vet and they had to put a drain in his foot that I have to flush 3x/day. Ouch and yuck all around! (and bye bye $$$!!!)  But at least the kiddos had fun!
park fun with Grandma, Mama, Tracy & friends
"cheese" while taking a break from soccer in the yard
On Friday morning we had pictures taken with Michelle's side of the family. Here are some shots that Matt's girlfriend and I took while during the shoot.  A couple of the preview shots are up on Facebook but I'll post the highlights here when we get them in about a week!
family pic on the bridge
walking on the bridge rail!
gimme more grapes!!!
grape? what grape?
fun with their aunties & uncle
going for a walk with Tracy

We went to the pool in Grandma's neighborhood a couple times too!
sitting next to Grandma & kicking kicking kicking
dumping water on herself =)
 Isaiah is so proud of himself!

And had fun at the family BBQ for Matt's birthday
playing "bags" (AKA cornhole) 
putting bags in the hole is fun!
what is this face?!
They had fun climbing on the targets too!
Saturday morning we went to the farmer's market with Jess & Grandma & then to a park where we happened upon the start & finish of a neighborhood bike parade.  The kiddos got to check out the police car!
the loved this cool roller slide! 
driving the police car!
In the afternoon we walked up to Ribfest to check out all the festivities.  Big thanks to neighbor Ray for dropping off some free tickets!  The kiddos had a blast at the petting zoo, enjoyed a little time in a bouncy house, and gobbled up a pulled pork sandwich and danced to the music.
Kaitlyn was Ellie's BFF for RibFest!  She wasn't even a little bit
scared at the petting zoo (unlike the other two!)
petting the soft baby cow with Mama's help
Petting the sheep (AKA baba) after she warmed up a bit
Can you tell she is a little excited to be petting the bunny!
climbing up to a bouncy house slide
They didn't want to get off the giant bouncy Meijer chair
don't get any big ideas kiddos!
cute!  enjoying some special festival lemonade
(and other festival treats!)
nice shades dude!
chillin' on Mama's back
Isaiah doesn't look nearly as happy as Mama & Jess! He was
probably too tired from dancing to the music!
Yesterday's drive home was kind of a train wreck, but it wasn't totally the babies' fault.  Michelle and I were both tired from the fun, but busy visit and we were just exhausted and couldn't get in the groove with driving. And on top of that the babies were off and they weren't falling asleep at the same time.  So someone was often sleeping while someone else was awake, meaning we had no "downtime" on the drive until 10pm and also didn't want to risk stopping for a drink or pee break because then whoever was sleeping was likely to wake up!  We did have a fun extended lunch break though!  Our friends were at a lakehouse in Michigan and it was only about 20min out of our way to swing by there for lunch so we did that and then ended up staying longer than we planned.  But how could we pass up the chance for the kiddos to take their first boat ride?!
Helping Garren drive the boat!  The captain's seat was popular!
Ellie LOVED getting to beep the horn!
Avery & her new BFF Hunter looking out the front of the boat
feeling the wind in their hair =)
Isaiah's turn to drive!
can you tell it was past naptime?!
We finally made it home around 1 a.m. last night and are all feeling it today!  Wish Michelle & I had gotten to take a 3 hour nap like the kids!  All in all it as a great we just need a vacation to recover from our vacation! =)  Hope you all had a happy and safe 4th of July!

Saturday, July 4, 2015

Fun-filled day at the zoo!

We have had a jam-packed trip to Naperville to see Michelle's family!  Grandma Stephen treated us to a trip to the Brookfield zoo on Thursday!  It was a fun-filled day that started with a train ride!  Getting to ride the train was a big deal and they liked looking out the windows and were excited to see a few "diggers" and firetrucks (AKA weeeoooweeoos). 

waiting for the train
checking out the scenery
and climbing all over the seats & Grandma & Tracy
Avery & Mama peeking down from the top level
 The kiddos had fun at the zoo and had quite the posse ferrying them around in strollers, carriers, and arms.  The stroller was mostly used for pushing our lunch and diaper bag though because everyone wanted to walk or be carried most of the time!  In fact, when we did use the stroller it was a bit of a pain because they couldn't see much from that height.  I wish zoo designers would take note and design zoo exhibits so the animals could be seen from toddler height!  Unbuckling and buckling to get them in and out of the stroller so we could lift them up to see the animals was a pain!  The carriers worked well for that because it was easy to know what they could see!
triplet posse
Isaiah enjoying the view of the giraffes from upside down
Uncle Matt & Caitlin being silly =)
playing on this little stage at lunch time was a crowd favorite too!
the only time anyone was smiling in the stroller...Ellie had
been giving Isaiah hugs & it was super cute but I missed it!
(The rest of the time they got annoyed when we strapped them in & they couldn't walk!)
sunglasses silliness
Can you tell we were at the zoo well past naptime?
They did so well considering we were at the zoo until 3 & they usually nap between 12 & 1!

The biggest hit of the day was the seals, especially getting to watch them swim under water thanks to the underwater viewing area!  And it made for some really cute pics too!  Here are my favorites of these seal-watching silhouettes!
 Another big hit was the carousel!  They loved pointing out all the different animals while we waited for our turn.  Isaiah was pretty hell-bent on getting the zebra so we headed right to it and snagged the other cool animals nearby for the girls who were a little more flexible in their animal selection.

"panda panda panda!"
riding the zebra with Auntie Tracy!
Avery was nervous at first and almost wouldn't get on but then she loved it!
"up and down, up and down"
Avery loved her "monkey" and the "up & down & round & round" so much,
she did NOT want to be all done!
Quick pic by the sign on our way out...
And one final pic on the big gorilla before we left!
EVERYONE was exhausted by the time we got home.  The kiddos were all asleep within five minutes in the car on the way home.  I was hoping to be able to keep driving and extend their nap, but no such luck! But it was a lot of fun and the babies did so well despite the much delayed and much too short nap!