Sunday, April 27, 2008

Monkey Pics for 12 weeks

12 week old "monkey pics" : Kendall. Emma. Clark.

We have been SO bad about these monkey pictures. We just can't seem to get it together to get them taken. But I think it's pretty obvious that they are getting big quickly.

Things have been going better with our nighttime routine for the last few days. We have discontinued their Poly Vi Sol bottle (vitamins) at night and we are thinking that it might be helping. They seem to be much calmer in the evenings. We had bathtime tonight and then Daddy took their monkey pictures afterwards before they headed off to bed for a little nap before the last feeding of the night (coming up in just a minute or two).

Kendall is still just wow-ing us with her smiles. She can be so animated at times, especially while hanging out in the bouncy seat.

Emma is not quite as smiley, but still SO pleasant these days. And her hair is really coming in nicely. I can't wait to see what it is like in a few years (no rush though).

Clark is still being calm and cute. He is also smiling a lot more and he's just so darn cuddly.

The babies met Troy's good friend/"brother" Dave today (and his new wife, Amore). Dave has just recently returned from Iraq and we are SO happy that he is back in CA safe and sound. We were glad that he could take some time during his Knoxville visit to see us and the babies. He spent some quality time with Clark telling stories about Daddy. Hopefully he will be back soon to share more and we wish them the best in their new life together!

I've started feeding two babies at once while they sit in their car seats (the infant carrier type). This allows us to get them all fed much faster and I was even able to get all three done on my own - for the most part - on Saturday morning since Daddy was out the door for a work event. It's a little complicated when it comes to burping since they still don't really understand the concept of "wait". Once they are hungry and eating, they do not want to be interrupted until THEY are ready to burp, not brother or sister. And then there is the issue of the third baby. As long as that one doesn't wake up before I'm finished, we are in good shape. But if the remaining baby suddenly decides it's time to eat, then I have a little problem on my hands. But, I feel good that I'm making progress at getting just a little more independent. Again, I'm just hopeful that things will continue to get a little easier during feeding times so that either one of us can manage it alone.

We are hoping to start getting them out in public a little more in the next few weeks. I'd love to take them for walks in the neighborhood and will try to fit that in when I have help around, or if Daddy is home before it is dark.

I'll be back soon with more pictures and updates. We are counting down the days until "Uncle" Tommy and "Aunt" Teff's wedding. While the babies will not be celebrating with everyone AT the wedding, they will get to meet a lot of family and friends who will be in town for the wedding. We wish them both peace as the day approaches and the "to do" list seems daunting (it'll get done). :)

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Kicking & Grinning

Pics: Three little baby-burritos together in the pack n play (and an example of Troy's swaddling). Clark (not a particularly great pic of him with his funny look) and Jennifer (her husband is the "original" Clark the Shark) when she came over to help feed the group. The girls while Daddy was trying to get a smile out of them (note Emma's sprouts of hair coming in). Mommy took the babies for a walk around the neighborhood a couple of weeks ago (note Clark in front having a meltdown - this is the time he burped when Aunt Karen got him out of the stroller, so he was justified).

Nothing exciting to report at this point. It's been a weird week already as Troy has some work things going on and it's been a little challenging finding help during the daytime feedings. Many people work and just can't be here and others who are "regulars" are out of town right now. We've been fortunate to have a couple of baby helpers offer to be here multiple times this week and we are SO thankful! It is so wonderful to have people show up each week and spend time with us.

I'm still hoping that in the next few weeks I will be able to handle all three on my own for longer stretches and be more confident about getting through a feeding by myself. We've heard from another triplet mom (whose little ones are just 4 weeks older than ours) that her babies can finish a bottle and burp in about 15 minutes (each). We were STUNNED. Our babies are SLOW! OK, she did mention that they spit up a lot and ours aren't too bad about that, so maybe we will just keep taking it easy and working on getting the times a little shorter. Right now, there are times that one baby could take 30-45 minutes (sometimes longer if they are just being difficult or a little needier than normal).

We still have fussy outbursts by all, but it's the ones by Kendall that are most disturbing because we can't always get them under control very quickly. She still has these moments where she seems like she is in pain and it's hard to listen to because you just want to fix it for her. We go through the typical list of what it could be: dirty diaper, hungry, too hot/cold, tired, tummy upset. I think it usually involves something related to digestion, but we still have trouble making it "better" for her. Troy is still a firm believer in the "swaddle". For those of you who have been here, you know what I mean. He is the champion swaddler and often this DOES work to soothe them and get them calmed down. We are still bothered though that she seems so uncomfortable.

Ironically, it's Kendall who blesses us with the most smiles each day. She really is one smiley baby. You barely have to do anything to get a smile out of her at times (I've noticed that compliments from Daddy result in big grins - maybe she understands them???). She kicks and smiles while hanging out in the bouncy seat and also looked like she was bicycling when she was laying (lying??) under her mobile the other day. She was kicking away and coo-ing as well. It was too cute.

Emma is full of adorable smiles too. She is also sporting more hair these days. She has the cutest little sprouts on top and there are a few "longer" pieces in back. She has been much more content to spend time in her ocean-themed swing (thanks to Shannon) these days. Of course, she still loves to be cuddled, but we are glad that she can find some time to herself that is enjoyable as well. Since we have increased the amount that they eat, she has amazed us by finishing most of her bottles each time. I think she will be keeping up with the group in terms of her weight.

Clark is becoming quite smiley also. He remains the best burp-er of the bunch and has been able to suck down a bottle in less than 20 minutes on occasion. His hair is coming in nicely also (and he had more than the girls for a couple of weeks). He too is fond of kicking and seems to enjoy time watching the mobile over his crib, the ceiling fans (esp the black ones downstairs) and spending time in the ocean-themed swing. He can be entertained by the bouncy seat also, but tends to get bored quickly. We think he enjoys music the most out of the three. He seems to get more animated when we have the kiddie CD on in the nursery.

That's all for now. I need to get going as I'm supposed to be getting a little rest. Hopefully we will get more pics soon.

Have a great week!

Friday, April 18, 2008

Pedi visit update

Pics: Kendall being interested in something (or surprised). Clark being cute. Emma being happy-baby.

We had our "two month" pediatrician appt yesterday afternoon. The babies are technically 11 wks old, adjusted age 5 wks old, but for some reason, this was the two month visit. We were told that their vaccinations would begin and we were both somewhat hesitant because of all of the info out there about reactions to vaccines, etc.

We are reading "The Vaccine Book" and the author has a recommended vaccine schedule that we have decided to follow which meant the babies only got two vaccines today - DTaP and Rotavirus(as opposed to the 6 that were planned). So far, so good. The pedi/dr was very understanding of our concerns and will work with us to be sure that we are comfortable. We are not planning to skip vaccinating altogether, but adjust the schedule because of their preemie status and also to keep from overloading their little bodies with too much at one time. All of this is something that parents these days seem to struggle with and we just want to try to do what is best for our little ones. It was a very difficult decision, but we think that vaccinating is important as well as protecting our babies.

Anyway, here are the "stats":
Kendall weighed in at 9lbs 3oz and was 21 and some inches long.
Emma was 8lbs 6oz and 21 and 1/2 inches long.
Clark was 8lbs 13 oz and 21 and 3/4 inches long. He also has the largest head which ranked in the 90th percentile. We thought that was sort of funny since he was originally the tiny one of the bunch. It must mean that he's going to be super-smart, right?

The babies are all growing (obviously) and the dr even commented that they are developing well (meaning farther along than their "adjusted" age of 5wks). They are really taking it all in when you speak to them, tracking objects, focusing on specific objects, smiling, holding their own heads often and even trying to hold onto things (though we don't think they know that they are holding anything). They seem to enjoy the time on the activity mat and even when you try to "play" with them. Even diaper changes have gotten more pleasant as they don't seem to think it's torture and we can actually get a smile or two out of them sometimes.

Today we are sort of recovering from the vaccinations, we think. They slept pretty hard until 3am (after a 6pm'ish feeding). We decided that they needed to sleep and would wake up when they were ready to eat - or one of them would and then we would wake everyone up. Clark is running just a little bit of a temperature, so he's had some Tylenol. We are sort of avoiding giving that out unless we really have to, but thought it would be helpful to get his temperature back to normal. Kendall has been a little more fussy, but still sort of like she has been where it seems to relate to trouble digesting her food. Emma is OUT. She is pooped from all of the excitement yesterday and our little stroll earlier around the backyard.

We are still in survival mode. As I said before, things have gotten a little easier as 1.) the babies get a little "older" and 2.) we get used to this new life. We have times when we can sneak in a little extra sleep here and there and we continue to be so grateful that we have time to get out of the house for a meal away or to run errands, etc. So far, though, our yard is mowed, we have clean clothes and clean dishes and manage to get plenty to eat.

I've been so fortunate to have people who have been willing to help me get through the day with the little ones - scheduled during feeding times - and we still have the nurse coming a few hours each week. We are always looking for people who want to hold/feed babies, so please contact us if you would be interested. And we are also looking for a "mother's helper" to be here with me during the day longer-term. This person would not be left alone with the babies (we would be at home - though maybe in the yard or something). It would allow me to get things done around the house and get through the feeding times a little easier. We realize that people are busy and probably can't continue to show up each week as volunteers, so I'm trying to plan ahead a little. If you know someone who might be interested in this sort of thing, please let me know. We are considering an older high school student (girl scout or someone who has a lot of babysitting experience - during the summer, of course) or someone who is just looking for some time with babies and a little extra money each week.

We'll be back soon with an update and more pics. I'm hoping to get some video on here as well.
Take care and have a great weekend!

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Slacker Mommy

Pictures from Daddy's phone: Kendall looking slightly surprised, but we think she's cute. Emma and Clark playing together. Clark looks funny here, but Emma looked too cute to skip posting the picture. Kendall and Clark being sweet with each other (OK they are sleeping, but they look like they like each other). Baby Pirate. Aargh.

I'm officially a slacker Mommy. I just can't seem to keep everyone up-to-date these days. Sorry about that.
Babies are doing well. We are still just amazed at all of the smiles and new little noises that they make each day. And it seems like Kendall is just about to outgrow the size 1 diapers, but it might just be in our heads. She sure seems to be filling them up quickly, which we were told indicates that they are about to move up to the next size.
The helpers continue to surprise me each day that they fill feeding times so that I don't have to brave it on my own. I'm still petrified of the day that I have to feed three hungry babies all at once by myself. We are not willing to "prop" bottles yet (where you use a piece of equipment or a rolled up receiving blanket to hold the bottle up to little munchkin's mouth) because they still have the tendency to get choked-up. Until then, we hope that they will learn patience, but it seems that will be a hard lesson to learn for our little ones....or for mom and dad as we don't like the meltdowns that tend to occur while trying to teach this particular thing.
Kendall had another sleepover at Aunt Karen and Uncle Tom's. They (along with Nana) took her on a walk. We think that she really does enjoy the one-on-one time. She was a little fussy that night and has had some trouble for the last few days. We are still trying to figure out if it is a formula issue or an attention thing, or something else. Fortunately we have an appt with the pediatrician this Thur, so we are hopeful that it's nothing serious and that she (dr) can help us figure out what's going on. Aside from that, Kendall is Miss Smiley these days. Even in the midst of a mini-meltdown, she often comes right back with cute smiles and we are reminded of her very sweet disposition. She also had a pretty firm grip on a rattle this evening which made us quite proud.
Emma is also really turning on the charm these days. She is a much more pleasant baby to be around and she has those big, beautiful eyes that really catch your attention. Not sure that I've mentioned that one eye appears to be blue (or remains slate-blue as it was from birth) and the other is brown. We don't know how long until we know that the blue eye won't change, but we think it's pretty cool that she's got this slightly unusual little feature. I'm thrilled because I love both brown and blue eyes. She is still the tiniest and we keep wondering if we will wake up and have a big baby one morning or if she will remain petite. We are still very curious to see how much she weighs now (we'll know on Thurs).
Clark - what a sweetie pie. He was pretty fussy this evening, but still makes my heart melt. He still grunts and groans just like a boy/man. He is really taking in the sights these days as well - enjoying looking out the window and also up at the ceiling fans the most. He's also all smiles at times and seems to be captivated when Daddy sits and makes funny faces and sticks his tongue out at him (Clark). Clark has even potentially imitated Daddy by sticking out his tongue too, but we aren't sure if it's imitating, or just coincidence that he did it right then (though at some point, this is supposedly a developmental milestone).
We are still working to get in a little more sleep. Some days, of course, that is easier than others. They do seem to be going for longer stretches at night. Soon it will be 10-12 hours of sleep, right?!?!?!? Yeah, right. We dream for that day to come.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Miles of Smiles

Pictures: Clark - "girls go crazy for a sharp-dressed man". Emma and "the baby whisperer" (Miss Pam). Happy babies on the activity mat. Clark and Kendall being cute together.

Well I'm not keeping up with the blog posts and pictures like I had hoped. It's amazing how I get to the end of the day and haven't been able to get much done beyond the "baby basics" (feeding and changing babies, entertaining babies and putting them to bed, baby laundry, baby bottles - washing and filling, shower). Yes, "shower" counts as part of the baby basics each day as it is how I get myself going each day and, as much time as I spend cuddling them, I want to be sure that I'm not stinky. :)

Things continue to go well. Don't get me wrong, it's crazy around here at times and it's certainly the toughest thing we've ever done. Each day, though, we see how much they are changing and we are reminded that this is also the most IMPORTANT job we have ever had. Raising our babies to be happy, productive, thoughtful, kind, polite, considerate, creative human beings is the primary goal and that might not always be an easy process, but it will be rewarding. I also continue to think of all that we went through just to get here and I couldn't be more thankful - even when someone is fussy all day or when we just can't get someone to burp at 4:30am and we would really rather be back in bed.

We also recognize that things have already gotten easier in some ways than they were just a week ago. We are making progress with schedules, sleep routines, feeding routines, etc. They are sleeping a little more at night between feedings. Of course, there are other things that will probably make the day to day process a little more challenging - like when they become mobile. Won't that be interesting?!?!?! We no longer feel the need to schedule a nurse or helper overnight (although that only happened a couple of times) because they really are doing SO much better then. It's also helpful when Aunt Karen can keep one baby at her house for a sleepover (so far it's only been Emma and Kendall - hey, Clark is an easy "feed", why would we send him away???).

Kendall had about 10-14 days of being pretty fussy and just not what we thought was typical for her. This seems to have improved during the last three days. She is still not an easy baby to feed right now, but she is sleeping a little more soundly and not quite as miserable as before. Again, we think it was the adjustment period with the new formula, so maybe she'll be OK with this brand. She still seems to be growing like a weed. We've finally been able to get into some clothes that her Aunt Sandi and also a friend from FL (Laura) sent. She is just too cute in the little dresses. She continues to be so alert when playing and we love to see her smile at us (for reasons other than gas).

Emma seems to be growing. We sort of wish we had a baby scale to keep up with that, but WHERE WOULD WE PUT IT?!?!?!?! Emma is a MUCH happier baby than she was in the beginning. Of course, she does have that very distinctively loud cry (especially when she is woken up - keeping up with that feeding schedule), but we hear it a little less often these days. She is also blessing us with cute little smiles that seem to be because she is happy and not due to digestive processes and this is just too fun. She's still been eating like a champ, so we expect to see great progress when we go back to the doctor next week.

Clark is just a sweetheart, though he was pretty fussy most of yesterday. And he doesn't seem to be thrilled about walks. The first time Troy & I took them out, he was pretty fussy at the end. Nana and Aunt Karen and I took them for a stroll in the neighborhood yesterday and he was pretty unhappy at the end as well. In his defense, when Aunt Karen got him out once we were home, he had a big burp, so I guess it's understandable that he was cranky. Aside from that, he is stealing the hearts of a number of baby helpers with his gentle spirit. He has the cutest smiles and other little looks that he gives you and that makes it hard to put him down at times. He is still very patient when he has to wait to eat because of his sisters, but I've promised him his own room in a couple of years, so hopefully he will feel rewarded for his good deeds.

That about covers it for now. Again, thank you for checking on us. Hopefully I'll be back on here sooner with another update.