Saturday, February 16, 2008

Hooray For Speech Therapy

That title is one of my favorite punchlines from a joke by comedian Emo Phillips. Meva can't stand him and hates that I quote him (and do a fair imitation of him too) from time to time. I think he's funny, Meva thinks he's the comedic equivalent of rubbing a cheese grater on your face. Anyways, one of his jokes goes something like this:

"My Brother says 'Hello'---- So Hooray for Speech Therapy!!

Anyways, it always made me laugh despite being a bit off color.

So why do I mention it? Well Friday was a busy day for us as we had 4 child services therapists come out and evaluate the kids for speech development and give Perrin his weekly Physical Therapy workout. Our main concern for initiating this was that we felt the boys weren't talking as well as they should be. They communicate and understand talking just fine, maybe even ahead of were another baby their age should be, but they really don't talk. They have a repertoire of maybe 3 words each, which isn't where they should be.

So, despite the fact that I slept in late (thanks goes out to the triplets for letting daddy sleep and not getting up themselves) and totally forgot all about this happening until I woke up in a panic. Long story short, I get up and start to put the house together (meaning shoveling the walk and putting away some stray dishes) and the specialists were already there. Luckily I had traded the monstrous triplets from earlier in the week for a nice, calm, and well-behaved set for today (I think I have to give them back on Monday again) and they cooperated very well so that their evaluations could be done. As it turns out, the boys need to have someone come out once a week for speech therapy. The speech therapist saud she doesn't think they are that far off, and they really just need a push to get them yapping up a storm. As much as I'll miss the "almost quiet" for the mad chattering that will result afterwards, it will be nice to hear them talk to each other and to us. So once again:

Hooray For Speech Therapy!!!

The pictures you see are of the kids on our ride last week to see Grandpa Lou and Grandma Vera. Grandpa Lou broke his leg and isn't doing as well as we'd like, so the kids came down to try and lift some spirits and see everyone. The ride down was uneventful with the kids spending much of it in nap time, all bundled up in their winter hats. Well, that's not really true. Ryan couldn't wear any of the hats for kids his age because he's a monster and has the head of a giant kodiak bear. The hat you see him wearing, in a very fitting manner I might point out, is one of mine!! The kid is not even two years old and he's already wearing my clothes. I will have to be nice to him very soon because he will be a giant.

Anyways, it was a nice visit to the nursing home where Grandpa Lou is recuperating and the kids got a fair share of looks and gawks from both the staff and the other residents. I think Grandma enjoyed seeing them the most though as she's had an awful stressed time with everything of late. Uncle Louie showed up and he was his usual fun punching bag for the kids, so they enjoyed that.

Then it was time to go home. We left late (almost 7PM) and it takes 2+ hours to get home. I think the temperature was only in the single digits that night, with a strong winter wind and shortly after we started home, the heater started acting up and was basically useless. To top it off, the kids were hungry and Meva and I lost out minds and gave Perrin a second bottle of milk to drink in the moving van.

Yeah, he puked all over everything. So we pulled into a McDonalds and Meva took him in to clean him up and change clothes while I listened to the other to kids cry because even they knew Perrin shouldn't get two bottles in a car!! A short while later we get our newly cleaned baby back in his smelly chair and finish the drive home with Sarah screaming most of the way because she was tired and wet (peed her pants good), cold, and restrained in her chair. But we got them home and in bed at just around 10:30 that night, which all things considered wasn't too bad.

Despite the cold, the puking, and the crying, we had a good time. Below are three more pictures from the visit and the trip home. Remember to click on a photo to see a larger version.



Perrin trying to see what Grandpa keeps in his closet. He did some walking there.


This is Sarah beating up Uncle Louie!!


On the trip home my hat slide down over Ryan's eyes and he couldn't see and couldn't fix it on his own. He was MAD--- until he fell asleep.

And this is Sarah just getting home. She's soooo tired and ready for bed!

This weekend it's a visit from Grandma Muriel and Grandpa Fred, which is always fun and always filled with MORE TOYS!! ( I think Grandma Murial has been going to garage sales for the past 25 years in anticipation of grandkids!!!). With any luck, we're going to go out in the snow for some sledding and have more snow photos for everyone real soon.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Notes from Home.

Mondays are hard for me as I am away at work
typically 13
hours that day... after the full
immersion treatment on the
weekend. Chuck is
sweet enough to send me e-mails to update
me on
how things are at home. Yesterday's made me laugh
and
so I am posting it here for y'all......

Meva...

I'm ready to rip my hair out of my head! Perrin
is fine, he is into everything today, I'm not
exaggerating when I say that if I take my eyes off
of him he is immediately into stuff he shouldn't
be-your desk, my desk, the phone, the garbage, the
chair side table, both our desks again, tipping over
your chair, taking toys from the other two, tipping
over my chair, back to your desk, etc.. I am quite
sure he is feeling up to par. His puke-o-meter isn't
up---two isolated, food(and stupid parent) related
incidents. Besides, when he's throwing up and it's
related to Hydro, his puke isn't usually curdled
like it was today, it's just a sign that he didn't
handle breakfast well-----it could be the addition
of the Zinc in it.

Ryan has been the biggest crybaby today. He's
getting pissed off at almost every toy, crying
almost hysterically because it won't work the way
he wants it to---even when holding one little lego
block!! What the hell he wanted one to do, I can't
say, but he just breaks down and cries. His ears look
fine, no fever or anything, just a kid that needs
to nap for about 29734682736 hours is all.

Baby girl has been UP and DOWN. By that I mean
that's all she's saying today. Back and forth with
me in her cute little sing-song voice--Up Down,Up
Down, Up Down!! She started that this morning while
playing with that Doorway the Shively's got them.
Very cool and very cute.

Today's mess is worse than yesterdays! My God I am
going to die.

We can talk septic when you get home, it would be
wordy to talk about it here and there isn't really
much to tell.

Please come home.

Chuck

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

The Storm

We've been busy, busy, busy over the last week and I don't know if I have time to share all of our adventures, but I thought I would take you through a small sample of what I face on a daily basis with these babies. To start off, let me show you some pictures of what the house looks like, most mornings, before the babies wake up. Remember to click on the photo to get a better look and larger experience.


Peace and tranquility. It's not much, but it's home and it's clean.



And here's the magic area itself, Toys all in their place!



Here's a bit of a closer look. See all the books on the shelf and the toys in their baskets. Can you see the baskets lined nicely with linen?


Meva's desk is right next to the danger zone. When the zone is active, her desk makes for a great bunker to hide from Dad when the triplets have gotten into trouble!


Here's the gate to the kitchen. The Stools are all lined up and the area is clean.

So that's the basic area that the kids play in throughout the day. Normally I get them up and we immediately break into a pattern of changing clothes and diapers and then getting fed breakfast and a nice big bottle of milk to start the day off with. That generally takes between 30-45 minutes depending on how well they cooperate. Once that's complete, I clean up the breakfast dishes and turn them loose. I'm generally only away between 5 and 10 minutes cleaning up and getting myself some coffee and breakfast. That's all, 5-10 minutes right? What could possibly go wrong?


And yet when I come back, this is often the scene!



I've actually seen it happen; first they start off by standing on the baskets so they can start with the shelves, pulling everything down and onto the floor with the methodical passion of a zealot searching for the right book to quote a passage from the book of their leader.


With everything off the shelves, now the real work begins. Digging into the toys, rooting everything out and fighting among themselves over trinkets both trivial and vital to their happiness. From the Chicken Dance Elmo, to a plastic red star that holds mystical powers of attraction to infant boys, classic battles often take place with the loser in tears and the large, stocky baby wobbly running down the hallway to hide with his victorious prize clutched in his fat little fingers.


The Fallout, from a wider angle.


Remember the stools? You don't think they actually sit on them do you? Of course not, we turn them over instantly and then ignore them the rest of the day. Also, notice the two empty baskets, Sarah left them there.


Here's the gate that keeps them out of the kitchen. This was a good day, there wasn't too much thrown over it (although I had to stop Sarah from sending over the two baskets!!). I think that's because they took the other toys they usually throw over the gate and threw them over the cedar chest and at the dog.! Poor Gus, it just wasn't his day.

And that's part of my typical day. Every day. Sick or well, happy or cranky, this happens in one form or the other. But the funny thing is that while it looks horrible, the true sadness is that it happens twice a day! Once in the morning and once after their naps. When I die at an early age, part of the coroner's report will probably list this as a contributing cause of death.

Monday, February 04, 2008

The Daddy Update

Triplet house, as I am now referring to our house and our life, has seen so much activity of late that Meva and I have really struggled to update the blog, let alone take photographs for everyone. The snow excursion of the other day was priceless fun. I wish we would have has better mittens for the kids, so that their hands would stay warmer longer, but I don't think any of them had a problem with that aspect of the excursion.


So aside from their first outing in the snow, there have been several other little milestones that they've unfortunately passed. The biggest one is they've outgrown their boundaries. What this means is; If I can move it, I will; if I can climb it, it will be climbed; If I can shove this bottle of milk behind the TV and hide it until it stinks, I will do that twice!; if I can reach something, it is now mine; and if daddy has told me no to any of the above, I will double my efforts to do it!!


What does that all mean? Lots of teamwork and lots of messes and broken items. Within the past two weeks they've rendered the supergate useless since they can move it at will, the stereo speakers are now toys to take off the covers and poke things that look like bubbles, we turn off the TV whenever we want to and then cry afterwards because we really wanted to still watch our show, if something is too heavy to move, we get Ryan. If something is too heavy for Ryan to move it, we work together and make loud noises. Most of those loud noises we make come from Daddy. We don't know what he's saying, but he seems pretty serious about it.


On the positive side, Perrin has been working with a physical therapist to help him in his walking, and it has shown some immediate and dramatic dividends. Within two sessions, he has been walking on his own for bursts of anywhere between 2 ft and 10+ ft. His PT was really impressed with him. We're currently in the process of trying to build up the strength in his leg muscles, so Perrin has cute little 1lb. ankle weights that he wears through out the day. In the few short days of doing this we can already see him moving his legs with more authority and standing better.
Slowly but surely the babies are starting to communicate in many different ways. Sarah continues to be the most talkative, but she's less than I think she should be. While Ryan can say things, I just don't think its in his personality to be that talkative. He has said yeah, banana, milk, mommy, dada, and he barks at Gus. Sarah says all of that and more, like shoes, crackers, "Is it good?", No, go away, and once I swear I heard her say "Barack The Vote on Super Tuesday." And Perrin, while he really doesn't say much other than to speak in tongues, he is out most consistent signer. He will tell you he wants to eat, wear a hat, have milk, and sign daddy. In fact all of the kids were signing daddy for me today, and Sarah is signing more, and crackers. It's pretty cool having bilingual kids. Hopefully soon we'll get some video or pictures of them in action, but it's hard to get them to sit still.

Enjoy these other treats from our snow day out. Click the picture to get a larger image that's easier to see:


All three babies taking a Snowball break.


Ryan & Sarah still playing with their snowballs

Saturday, February 02, 2008

Winter Fun

This past week has been a weather-o-rama around here. It went from 52 degrees to -1 in a matter of about 2 hours, and left us with nearly a foot of snow. We packed up the babies and went on our first real snow adventure.

This is Sarah in her glam snow suit waiting to play in the park. She squealed with delight that we were going, and crawled around in the snow, played with these really cool balls that daddy fashioned right out of the snow, she was loving it the whole time, and kicked and cried in her car seat when we had to go.










Ryan took a little more convincing. He wasn't so sure about this outfit and all this white stuff, especially after he tripped in the snow and face planted in it. That stuff is cold.
He did like the balls too, and brought one for Perrin.


Perrin wasn't such a big fan of the snow. Part of that is that we couldn't find his snow boots, so we had him wear his insulated Pooh slippers with double socks. He had difficulty maneuvering and got frustrated, so he spent most of the time in the sled or mommy's lap.

Here's some videos of the fun....

Babies on a tobaggan...
video

Sarah Snow Queen (she did this for 30+ minutes)...
video

Ryan at 19 months old and you'd still better not cross him...
video

Ryan the hoarder.

Our little Ry guy loves his food. He's quite possessive of it. We use these brilliant snacky cups called snack traps. They hold the food in, yet the toddler can still reach in and help themselves. Ryan is not content unless he has one in both hands, so Perrin and Sarah beware.




Here is a picture with Ryan exhibiting this behavior with the bottles. He's got all three and is a state of bliss.