Tuesday, September 15, 2009

All About Sarah

We've got some catching up to do later, but for right now this post is all about Sarah and her first field trip. Her class is learning about Trees, so they took a field trip to one of our local forest preserves along the Des Plaines River at the Isle A La Cache museum. Meva and I have taken the kids there before, so it was a return trip for the two of us.

Yesterday was a tough evening around the house because the boys didn't want to listen to daddy and wouldn't clean up their toys, but Sarah was very helpful and worked really hard despite "those boys aren't helping Daddy!" so I let the cat out of the bag early. I shared a special secret with her and told her that I would be coming to school with her and riding the bus with her on the field trip, but it was a secret and she couldn't tell "those boys." She never did, which was pretty cool. She was a little upset that I didn't ride the bus with her from the house in the morning, but I whispered to her that I would drive our van to school and see her there and she seemed to be OK with that.

So once I got to her classroom, I walked through the doorway and one of the greatest moments in my life happened. Sarah saw that I was there and everything else in the world was completely unimportant---her face just lit up and she yelled, "My Daddy!" over and over as she opened her little arms out as wide as possible and ran up to me. I got great big hugs and I was plastered with a barrage of kisses! There are few moments that will top that I'm sure.

So I met her teachers and her and she showed me her room a little before we sat down and played puzzles while we waited to go. Once on the bus, we sat together and practiced signing colors and common words until we got to the Forest Preserve and walked the trails learning about trees and seeing frogs, a turtle, fish, and a few cranes. Sarah loved climbing over the logs and collecting leaves. She also learned that water can work like a mirror and we both waved to "Water Sarah & Water Daddy" from the top of a walkway bridge. Then we had a mini picnic (sorry Nana, we didn't make it to a cemetery for this one) and ate our snacks next to the river before playing Duck Duck Goose and going back to school. We both had a really nice time and a great adventure! Double click the pictures below to see bigger images.


Sarah on a Rock in front of the river trying to keep the sun out of her eyes AND smile for Daddy. If you look behind her you can see the bridge were we saw our "Water" counterparts.

A big part of their learning is touching things, so what better way to learn about trees than to become a tree hugger? She even has a "big" leaf that she found and carried around with her.

Always the leader, she motivated the other kids to follow her example.


Further along the way the path narrowed through some tall prairie grass. We named it tickle grass since it tickles little kids when they walk by.

video

Finally, here is a bit of video of Sarah learning to play Duck Duck Goose. They say that the chase is the best part and I think Sarah agrees with them.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Quick Update

Now that the kids are in school, they are getting exposed to a greater level of socialization. One of the aspects of that is seeing their peers using a "potty." This has motivated Meva and I to step up our efforts at home since this is being modeled and pushed at school as well.

Surprisingly, it is hazardous.

How? Today one of the boys had an "accident" in the kitchen. Unfortunately I wasn't informed of it and ended up walking into the puddle, slipped, and twisted my knee. Yep, I now have a potty training injury! I'm guessing that only a parent can fully appreciate this.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

First Day of School!!!

Out of fear for my life, I have shoved all ideas of domestic productivity aside so that I could include this special first day of school update!! Mostly this prevents an angry visit from Nana & Papa to personally kick me in the tookus!

Wow, what a first day!! After going to a special "Meet & Greet" day yesterday, the triplets all had a chance to meet their teachers and see their classrooms. It was such a great help for them to get used to the idea of school and seeing who they would be spending time with away from Mom and Dad. The kids all enjoyed their time there and cried when we told them it was time to go back home, but once they left we spent the rest of the day going over what to expect and what their teacher's names are.

So this morning I got the kids up at 7am so that they could catch the bus in front of our house at 7:56am according to the bus company. I was a bit concerned about them sitting on the bus for almost an hour (they are scheduled to arrive at school at 9am) but as we were already outside waiting, the bus driver called us and said she wouldn't be picking them up until 8:16 or so. Meva and I were very happy about this.

We started the kids day off with a special breakfast of apple juice, pumpkin pancakes, and brain food (vitamins and fish oil) and had them dressed, fed and ready 10 minutes early for the original time. That's absolutely unheard of for us! It was awesome. But they ate and we waited again for the bus and when it arrived we loaded them up and got them in their seats. They were eager to go and there wasn't one tear or breakdown out of any of them. In fact, Sarah got tired of me taking pictures and told me "Go down the stairs Daddy!" I guess it was time to go!

The quiet of the house was weird, a little scary, and surreal once the kids left. There was even this strange and attractive women here that said she was my wife. It was bizarre for both of us, but we handled it as well as the kids. Deep down I know they are good kids and when it came right down to it, I trust them to behave and handle the situation. It's strange to say that at 3 years, but it's true.

When they got home, it was more of the same confident faces greeting me. They all told me they had a good time at school and the only one who had any meltdown was Perrin, but that wasn't until I told him Mommy was at work.

Sarah has a first year teacher, Mrs. Tawny and is in the Deer class. She is very nice, but did not send home any note to describe how Sarah's first day went. Apparently this will be a year of growth for both teacher and student, but that's fine.I took the absence of news as an indication that she was fine today, which I expected. She has 8 kids in her class and there are three adults, so she has plenty of socializing opportunities.

Perrin is in the Owl class and his teacher is Ms. Diane. I believe there are only 6 kids in Perrin's class. She sends home a daily sheet that chronicles what he did and what he played with. I included today's copy at the bottom of this post. He read a book, went to the playground, played with blocks, did math games, and participated in music.

Ryan is in Ladybug class with Mrs. Nancy. His class has 4 kids and 3 adults, which will allow for him to be attended to very easily. I think that will be a huge benefit for him more than the other two. Ms. Nancy reported that Ryan had a good day as well. He also went to the playground and came back with a photo of him on a big kid swing all by himself! That was a wonderful surprise. Ryan also received a certificate for successfully completing his first day in the Ladybug Class, the first of many awards I am sure!

And that has been their first day of school! It's getting to be nap time for them and they are starting to show they've had an early and busy day. Below are the pictures, and even a video, from today. Click on any photo to enlarge it!


Holding hands and waiting for the bus


Hey, Mom's Taking Pictures. GET HER!!!


Is that Our Bus Coming? Where Are Our Backpacks?

Here's Ryan & His Monkey.

Sarah Has Her Pig.

Perrin Hides Behind His Dog.

Off To Catch The Bus.

video

The Bus Pulled Right Up To The Driveway & The Triplets Got On Board

Ryan Was Buckled In And Ready To Go

Perrin Waves Goodbye

Daddy, Go Down The Stairs!!!

This Is A Weird Picture. I Caught A Reflection Off The Buss Window, But If You Look Closely You Can See Each Kid Smiling And Me Too!

This Is Perrin's First Day Report

Ryan's Certificate

And Finally, Little Ryan On A Big Kid Swing!!







Friday, August 21, 2009

Daddy's Not Ready

Well, as I write this it is only 4 days until the triplets start preschool!! I can hardly believe it, especially when I think about everything that Perrin has gone through since he was born just 3 short years ago. It's just amazing.

On Tuesday the school district had a "getting to know your bus" orientation for preschool and kindergarten students. The district put on a pretty big event that had a carnival atmosphere to it, complete with Moon Jumps, Clowns, Balloon Animals, Caricature Artists, Face Painting, and Train Rides. They also had free snacks and juice for the kids. The idea was to give kids some experience with a school bus and what to expect for their first day.

This is where I found out that I am not really ready for this. Why? Well at the risk of coming off as pretentious and conceited, it was that I got to meet and see other parents and their kids. A bunch of ill-mannered, poorly behaved, and anti-social people modeling behaviors that will eventually lead to long parent conferences and discipline actions were in abundance. And the kids, while not to blame, were worse. I shudder at the habits that will rub off onto the triplets.

The best example I can give is when I had to take the kids to get their individual bus ID's. I had them in their train and I took them out one at a time for their ID's. Sarah sat in the back and when I took her out, there were parents actually telling their kids to climb into the train and play!!! You know it takes a lot for me to be stunned, but I was speechless for a few seconds. My anger must have been apparent because the mother (most parents were mothers) grabbed her kid quickly and said, "Let's Go," to which I was quick to reply, "Yeah, we aren't part of the festivities." or something very close. Sadly, I think the mom didn't know what festivities meant.

The other thing which appalled me was seeing other parents views on how they react to the word FREE. I know that many of the preschool families consist of the most economically challenged percentage of any school district, but there was more than one mother who brought shopping bags with them and filled them with the "free" bags of gold fish crackers, popcorn, and juice boxes. It was definitely an eye opener for me!

Despite there being close to 300 people there, the main focus of introducing your child to the whole bus experience was not being taken advantage of. The line I thought was for the bus, was not moving at all and packed with horrible people, kids, and strollers, all acting in ways that made me want to take off my belt for the lot of them. I turned away rather than stand in that line and walked around a little more. I chose not to give up and went back about 20 minutes later and the line was practically the same. Luckily I asked a worker about it and she told me that it was the line for the sketch artist!! She pointed to the buses and said no one is in line, so you can just go!!

I couldn't believe it. The whole point of that event was for the bus and these people were more concerned with getting balloons and sketches for their kids!! I still considered not going through with it because I knew I'd have to leave our train behind while on the bus and I really feared someone might take it. When I explained my concerns the helper offered to watch the train for me, so we all went for a bus ride.

The kids did great walking up the stairs and getting in their seats. It's a big change from 35 years ago when I was in kindergarten, mostly noticeably the seat belts. The bus driver was wonderful. He was a bit Santa-like in appearance but he was patient, slow, and talked softly and comfortably to the kids. That helped them quite a bit. We only went a couple of blocks, but it was enough for them to get a good feel for a bus ride. The boys were fine and very happy about being in their "seat belts," but Sarah was almost terrified at everything. I had to sit with her for awhile and talk her through the whole process before she accepted it and started to have fun.

They all commented on how the bus was Loud and as Ryan said, "It's Berry Bumpy Daddy." When we got done we got off the bus and the kids did very good on the big steps getting down. With everything Perrin deals with, I thought he did exceptional!

So, I despite going I'm still not convinced they will do well the first couple of days on the bus. I sincerely hope I can go with them on the bus rides the first day, but I am betting that's a no-no.

Monday is the official "Meet & Greet" day for them. We'll get to go and see their classrooms and meet their teachers so that they have at least some small idea about what to expect. We will let you know all about that afterwards.

Until then, here are some more pictures of the bus and some more that I found. Click for enlargements.


Ryan experimenting with the camera.

Photo By Sarah. That's a bow on her head. Perrin wasn't interested in doing this.

Waiting for the big kids to get out of the Moon Jump



Getting Ready For Their First School Bus Ride

Sarah sitting in the bus with her seat belt.

Ryan, happy to be on a "Berry Bumpy Bus"

Perrin almost being strangled by his seat belt. I didn't like that one so I am hoping not to put him in a seat like that on Tuesday.

That's it for now. I'll try and get their ID picture scanned---Those are hilarious!!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Grandma Brings The Thunder

My mother-in-law recently threatened me over the lack of updates to this blog. Since she is due to come and spend this weekend at the house, I figure it best for my health to appease and push back her wrath!!


It's been an incredibly busy summer and posting here hasn't been even close to any kind of priority, but we have been taking some pictures and Meva has chipped in with stories from my emails to let everyone know how things are going, at least to a degree.

The big news is that the kids will all be going to pre-school this year through the local Head Start program. Perrin and Ryan qualified based on their current diagnosis with Early Childhood Development and Sarah qualified on the basis of being born premature and not wanting to "break up the band." I will give more insight to that at a later date after we know a bit more.

So far this summer we've been to Ohio twice I believe, once for a visit with Grandma and Grandpa, and the other for Meva's sister Missy's wedding. Unfortunately we were planning on a vacation just prior to the wedding, but our mini-van coughed it's last breath and we decided to spend our vacation at a car dealership! In the long run this is a much better fit because this van (another Dodge Grand Caravan, but 2005 model) is in all around better condition, has more room, stow and go seats, and a drop down DVD player for the kids. Let me tell you that I would kiss the person who made my long distance trips so much more bearable!

Anyways, here's the first batch of pictures. They go from Missy's wedding, the birthday party, and just some other fun stuff. As always, double click the photo to see a bigger image.



We were the first ones at the rehearsal dinner. Can you believe they stood together like this long enough for a photo?



This might be one of the nicest photo's Ryan has ever taken.



Of course isn't one of Sarah's best, but she gets points for being a ham.

And what's ham without a little "Cheeeeeeeese" to go with it?

Due to holidays, weddings, car troubles, and a crowded birthday season, we didn't celebrate with an actual big party until the middle of July. Luckily the triplets have yet to master a Calendar and they were none the wiser for the delay. This year it was Meva's turn to make the cakes, and she really outdid herself!! A while ago our good friend Colleen bought the kids some hats that she thought were cute, almost as a second thought I'm sure. Anyways, its always something like that which turns out to be one of the more prized items a kid has. They LOVE, and I mean LOVE those hats to the point they will only take them off to sleep and shower. So in honor of their hats, Meva made them each a hat cake!

There they are, lined up in a row-- Monkey, Dog, & Pig

Sarah posing with her pig cake.

Ryan Monkey follows suit!


Followed by the Perrin Dog. Notice his dog hat has one less eye than the cake?

I stepped up and took care of that, so now the cake and hat match!!

Newlyweds Missy and Corey were on hand. Afterwards they quit their jobs and ran away to the mountains of Vermont!! Hippies!

The triplets were blessed with so many wonderful gifts, but these Medieval outfits from Uncle Gooey (Louie) and Aunt Sharon were big hits!


Grandma Muriel helps Princess Sarah get dressed while Mommy helps Sir Fudd with his armor. Sarah's princess robes are almost as bright as Nana's socks!!
(Threaten me will you????)

Sir Ryan has discovered his outfit comes with an inflatable Excalibur.

By The Power Of Grey Skull!!!

It's always the Knight with the shunt that takes the inflatable sword to the noggin!!

I'm getting old as you can see. I don't remember why we had them in pajama's to bust open their Batman Pinata. Here I'm helping Perrin work on his swing.

Ryan is still in a zone from the sword and is taking it to Batman!!

Sarah keeps her eye on the Batman and gets ready to swing.


If you checked my Facebook status today, you'll already know I got poop in my eye. Potty training is still going on sparodicly. They really enjoy some breakfast yogurt and a few episodes of Word World while trying.

Ryan had a great time! He is wearing his Peanut Butter & Jelly Time Banana shirt he got from his Aunt Colleen for his birthday. They all have there own and they are the "new" hats!!

You can tell Sarah is really trying!!!

But with just a little notice, she'll smile for the camera!

Not Perrin though, he's too concerned about the misadventures of Word World to pay attention to his father.

Hopefully this will appease my mother-in-law and I will be able to live past the weekend. I know that somewhere we have more pictures, so I will try and find them soon and put them up there as well. Enjoy the photo's while I go and clean my stinky eye.




Saturday, July 11, 2009

April

We're quite a bit behind in posting things on the blog here, but we've been having a lot of fun.
Here'a a video of the kids swinging in the park when they visited Nana and Papa during Easter.
There will be more coming soon.
video

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Another Fine Mess

Just got this e-mail from Chuck, and I thought I'd share...

Baby……

Just thought I’d share a few things with you. The first is that I plan to shampoo the rugs this weekend, most likely Saturday night. The second is that Ryan decided it was more comfortable to sit all the way against the potty and then bounce up and down like he was riding a horse!!! Third, there are wires running from the back of the training potty to the front and they are very easy to get wet, so in the future you need to be aware of that if you ever have to go back there.

Yeah, what you’re thinking right now, that’s what happened!!!

Of course Ryan being the uptight little guy that he is, wasn’t happy about crapping all over the back of the potty. So he immediately started freaking out and yelling about the poop. He then stood up and walked around a bit before plopping onto the floor. Did I mention poop? At this point it was all over the potty, Ryan’s lower body, and now the carpeting that I just spot washed last night because of Fudd pooping. Somehow Ryan then got it all over his hand, which caused even more cries and whines, this time to the sound of “Mess” and “Mess Daddy” and “hand messy.” So as I tried to take off his shirt (which also got poop-sided in the initial run from the potty) he either fought me or tried to help me (I can never tell for sure what his motivation is when he does this) and proceeded to get it on his stomach and chest and my hands and arms.

We never made it to the store before nap time, Ryan got two pieces of candy because he did poop after all, and I had to take the potty into the tub and give it a shower, much to the delight of the children.

I’m not going to ask or wish it, but I will tell you to enjoy the fact that your day is better than mine!!

LOL……..we asked for kids right????

MM