Friday, November 28, 2008

So many firsts, so little time......and SO incredibly THANKFUL!!!

Pics: Emma in the walker. Kendall and then Clark in their jumpy swings. Kendall actually fell asleep on Chris' leg when she was in there playing with the girls. Lynn and Clark having some cuddle-time. Clark and Kendall watching Baby Einstein at Grandpa's for our family Thanksgiving. Daddy and Ems at the beach. Clark sleeping at the beach and Kendall getting in a power nap as well. Mommy, Daddy and Ems at the beach. Daddy, cousins David and Marshall and Ems. The Priesters. Daddy and Kendall kickin' it in the Kelty. Ems bundled in the stroller on the beach. The whole Louis party at Battery Park in Charleston. All of us at the pineapple fountain in Charleston. Ems, Kendall and Clark (separately) in their strollers during a day in downtown Charleston. Aunt Marsha, cousins David and Marshall and the Louis party of 5 at a park in Charleston.

OK, OK, OK...I know that it's been a while since I posted pics and I am getting your hate-mails. But, in my defense, it's been crazy around here as we are all recovering from colds/coughs (babies, parents and extended family too). Plus, we just got back from our first trip to the beach (thanks to Aunt Marsha and Uncle Bill). We headed to Isle of Palms, SC on Sunday with the entire Priester clan (including cousins, David and Marshall). Normally this is a 6-hour drive, but it took us 9 and 1/2 hours. We aren't experienced traveling triplet parents, so everything just took longer. This was the first time we had taken the babies anywhere outside of our area and neither of us are particularly skilled at the art of changing babies in a bathroom changing area or feeding them when not in high chairs. We had no idea what we REALLY needed and tried our best to scale it back. Mommy is not known for being a very minimalist-type packer, so we were worried that we would have to rent a U-haul to get it all there. Fortunately, Aunt Marsha was able to bring three pack-n-plays and took a few other things that wouldn't have fit in our van.

So, about that drive. Yes, 9 and 1/2 hours. And the last 30 minutes was the WORST ever as they had definitely had enough of the car, the car seats and Baby Einstein videos. Mommy was at wits-end also, but Isle of Palms was really a nice place. The house that Uncle Bill and Aunt Marsha rented was really nice and it worked out great with the babies. We brought along a smaller (not by much) version of the baby super zone which was good since Kendall is now climbing and not sitting still if she is unrestrained. Ems is also crawling anywhere when she has the opportunity. We learned a valuable lesson about traveling with triplets - drive when they should be sleeping. We KNEW this was probably a good idea, but didn't want to spend the couple of days trying to catch up on lost sleep from staying up all night during the drive. Our drive home (we left at 8pm - just as the babies were ready to fall asleep) took 6 hours. NO feeding and NO diaper changes. ***sigh*** It was heaven!

We enjoyed walks in downtown Charleston and one beach stroll at Isle of Palms. We all hit the Christmas light display (which is awesome) one evening. We had a really nice time at a new bakery/coffee shop, Baked, in downtown Charleston and had some of the most FABULOUS hot chocolate I have ever tasted. They had great chairs where we could change diapers (sorry but no changing tables in the bathroom) and large tables with bench/picnic table type seats that made it easier to feed babies. It was quiet and we had a huge room all to ourselves. It's fun to visit someplace with people who have lived there. Aunt Marsha and Uncle Bill could give us lots of info and had many stories to tell (including the place where Bill popped the question).

We celebrated our first Thanksgiving together yesterday. Most of the day was spent recovering at home after the long drive Wed night. We did have a meal at 5p with my family (we had celebrated with his family last weekend) and then headed home to get the munchkins to bed. They, of course, had their turkey, green beans, carrots and bananas so that their meal was sort of similar to what we had.

I will have more pictures to post soon, but wanted to get this first "round" of pics out there since I had been bombarded with emails about seeing the babies. :)

We did take some time on Thursday to reflect on the blessings we have been given this year with the addition of three wonderful children to our family. It's been a crazy year, but one that we wouldn't trade for anything. I can't imagine how we lived life without Kendall, Emma and Clark and can't wait to make handprint turkeys next year with them!
Beyond that, there are so many things we are thankful for: again, Kendall, Emma and Clark; our wonderful family; our amazing friends; the incredible people who continue to help out with the babies each week/month by showing up, praying for us, or just doing something nice; our warm home; Daddy's job; our crock pot which provides numerous hot, yummy meals for us after a long day; and for God giving us this life of ours.
Happy Thanksgiving!!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

She said "mama" and "bye-bye" plus more of the latest from the Louis munchkins

First of all, I don't have any pictures to post now, but realized it's been almost two weeks since my last post and I owe some people an update. So, please forgive me for just giving you words and no photos, but I will work on that.

Little K (Kendall) said "mama" on Monday! What an amazing thing to hear! She's also starting to work on "bye-bye" and waving at the same time. It's too precious. And it's just another exciting part of watching them grow and learn. While we are discussing Kendall, I will also say that she continues to entertain us (and anyone who can see her) with her giggles, jumping and her big smiles. When she is demanding, she is demanding, but she is just so much fun to watch her play that the other stuff hardly matters (though don't ask me about that when she has kept me up all night or been fussy all day). She is so inquisitive and will spend a lot of time observing the details on a toy, blanket (especially the peek-a-boo quilt from Auntie Katherine in Hawaii), the floor, etc. K also loves to watch the new Baby Einstein video (I think it's "First Sounds"). I'm convinced that it's where she really started to try to talk more and has observed children waving hello and goodbye. She is also beginning to try to climb a large pillow that we keep in the "baby super zone" and looks like she is hoping to escape the confines of the area.

Miss Ems is still singing away each day. We sort of joke that we hope she doesn't have a hearing problem because she is still the loudest of the three - by a long-shot. But she just seems to love hearing her own voice. She is so precious when she plays in her crib in the early morning or later on after her nap. It's funny to hear her banging something against the crib and sort of humming to herself. She's also had fun turning on the mobile and changing the songs (that's about to change when her crib mattress gets lowered). She has begun to chatter a lot for the last few days, but still no specific words, though we all thought we heard a "da da" in there yesterday. We will wait to confirm this later though. The doorway jumpy seat is her best source of entertainment and she is a riot as she hops forward and swings back and yells often. She also crawls around much more now and is beginning to do the same "downward facing dog" pose that K was working on. We think that is the beginning of her effort to start standing up on her own.

Sweet Clark has been busy....well, he's been busy playing with toys, starting to chatter more and rolling around. He still has no interest in crawling and seems to get around the play area by rolling over. Of course, this leads to crying spells as he rolls over hard, plastic toys that are probably pretty uncomfortable (which I'm hoping will cause him to try out the crawling thing). He has this funny habit of pulling a blanket (or burp cloth, bib, monkey puppet, etc) over his face and starting to stuff it in his mouth and then giggling. He seems to get such a kick out of it and I get pretty tickled just watching him. He is also a big fan of the doorway jumpy thing and he can really get it bouncing and swinging. He often "chases" the dogs with the swing and laughs like crazy sometimes when Teddy (our dog) walks by him. He still opens his mouth VERY wide in great anticipation of food being shoveled in, though I don't think we are always as fast as he would like.

We had our nine-month check-up last Tuesday. All three are doing great. They had another flu shot as well as their polio vaccine.
Here are the stats:
Kendall weighed in at 17 lbs even and was 27 inches long.
Emma is still our little "peanut" at 15 lbs 10 oz and 27 inches long.
Clark has pulled ahead more significantly at 17 lbs 10oz and 28 inches long.

All of them are doing well in terms of the "percentiles" where they are compared to other children their age. The pedi compared them to 9 mos olds and also 7 and 1/2 mo olds (since they were 6 wks early - their adjusted age). Ems is in the 5th percentile in terms of her weight, but the pedi doesn't seem particularly concerned. She eats as much as the other two and often consumes more formula than either of them, so it looks like she just has incredible metabolism. Lucky her.

Emma also had an appt with a pediatric opthamologist (eye dr) on Monday due to the possibility of a "lazy eye". According to him, it looks like she is just fine and it's sort of an optical illusion because of the shape of her eyes and also because the bridge of her nose is somewhat flat. I guess that makes it appear that one eye is crossed, even though it isn't. He went through a few different "tests" to rule out any question of whether she had significant vision problems (blind in one eye, etc) and is not concerned that there are any issues at this time, but we will have it checked again in a few years just to be sure.

Aside from that, things are going OK. I had a back injury earlier this week and was told that I needed to try to avoid lifting heavy, do 17+ pound babies count? Because I can't avoid that. I tried to explain to them that it would be really cool if they could suddenly learn how to walk and pull themselves up just so that Mommy's back could heal a little faster, but I don't think they are really getting the hang of it yet. Daddy is fighting off a cold and I even took the advice of other triplet parents and bought masks so that he and I could wear them if we are under the weather so that we don't pass it on to the babies (or at least TRY not to share it with them).

We were denied the Synagis shots by our health insurance carrier. These shots are not vaccines, but help prevent serious complications should they get RSV (and according to doctors and the pediatrician, then WILL get RSV at some point). We are discouraged that the insurance company won't cover these shots, but they are very expensive - though a stay in the hospital for three babies won't be cheap either. For now, we will just be careful and hope that we get through flu and RSV season unscathed. We ask that anyone who will be around the babies to please be sure that you wash your hands frequently and change clothes if you are out in public before handling the babies. It sounds sort of extreme, but RSV spreads VERY easily and we really do not want to see them get sick. We also ask that if you are sick or have family members who are sick, please avoid coming around the babies for at least a week (or two to be REALLY safe). We are especially concerned about any sort of respiratory illnesses as those can cause the triplets the most harm since they were preemies and their lungs are not as developed as a full-term baby.

We thank you for your understanding and continue to be overwhelmed by the love, prayers and support that we receive from so many wonderful family members and friends.