Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Maximum Occupancy

As I mentioned earlier, Arthur is quite fond of finding caves to crawl into. He also likes visiting his sisters while they are in their excersaucers, though usually by standing up on the outside. The irony of this picture, though, is that if you add Coraline to it, you'd have Arthur's exact position some nine months ago...

Sunday, April 27, 2008

New Clothes!

Well, we've officially graduated to 12 month clothing. For the past month or so, we had been using 12-month sized jackets and pants (the cloth diapers are quite large), but today we finally brought over the two tubs full of 12-month clothing to finish this transition. In fact, because the clothing is larger (and we have so much of it), we also had to bring over a dresser to Nana and Pop Pop's house in which to put everything!

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Betty Boo

We finally figured out why the kids have been crankier than usual over the past few weeks. They're teething! And Betty is the first to get her official 3rd tooth! We hope that the other two get theirs in soon, so that they will all be in better moods. Betty is still working on learning how to crawl, at the moment only getting a few steps before giving up. Soon though, the girls will be as mobile as Arthur is.

It was exceptionally warm here today (which is why the kids are playing in their diapers, a bit ironic since we just purchased tons of baby clothes at garage sales this morning), and Erin had the time to try to teach Arthur and Betty how to play ball, while Coraline took an extended nap.

Tooth count: 7

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Exercising Our Vocal Chords

What happened to our quiet little babies? When they were newborns, they either a) cried, or b) were quiet. But now that these babies are older, there's a third choice - c) Screaming and shrieking. No, they aren't upset, nor are they hurt. They are just loud. And when one starts screaming, the others seem to join in. Between the added chorus and the echoes off the living room walls, sometimes it seems as if we have sextuplets.

Today we felt we had to have these babies practice their outdoors voices outside. We took them over to our house so that we could start getting the garden ready for planting (it's the weedy area in the foreground). Nana worked on moving volunteer chamomile and lettuce plants out of the way so that I could try tilling the ground, something I didn't get around to doing last year. It's always a battle against weeds that we never win, but perhaps this is the year to do it right, as the triplets will be eating much of what we grow in the garden. The babies loved watching Nana work, stared at the town's leaf collection truck, and watched me mow most of the yard.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Cave Boy

Arthur loves his caves. He crawls around the room until he can find a quiet place to sit and play by himself. Underneath the exersaucer is his favorite, and he has finally learned how to crawl in and out of it without bumping his head. He still plays escape artist, though, and when not in his caves he is actively trying to get out of the living room. So far he has found three ways to do it, the most impressive being climbing over a pile of pillows, and doing a face-plant into the carpet on the other side. He doesn't cry out though, wanting to keep his breakout a secret.

As for the girls, we are expecting to post about Coraline learning to crawl any day now. So far she has managed to take a few steps forward on her own. Oh, and I forgot to post that a year ago yesterday Erin went on bed rest - from April 21st to August 2nd!

Monday, April 21, 2008

More Visitors!

Anne, a fellow Virginia Tech student, arrived in town to finally defend her master's thesis. We're quite proud of her, as only three other students from our year (including myself) managed to complete their history theses. She spent the night at our house, and I am sure the cats were happy to have some company - we've promised them we'll move back when Erin starts summer break. Betty was a little shy around Anne, and took her nap early, so she wasn't in any of the pictures. Hopefully Anne will be up again to visit before too long.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Grandma Visits

Pop Pop had to go away to Florida to be with Great-Grandma in the hospital, so we were pleased to notice on the calendar that Grandma Toni was scheduled to come this weekend. Sadly the weather turned right before the weekend, so we had nothing but rain while she was here. But we did manage to get in an outing to the mall, where the kids helped Erin shop for a new bathing suit.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

A Day of Remembrance

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Houdini Baby

The triplets often wake up between 4 and 5 in the morning, so we bring them to bed until 6:30 when we are supposed to get up. So last night, it was Arthur who was having trouble sleeping. I brought him to bed, and he slept between myself and Erin. I usually have my arm over him, holding him to me. So Erin gets up a bit before 6:30 to change and shower for work. I wake up around 6:30 to an empty bed. I grab my glasses, look around, and find Arthur on the floor. There he is, sitting contently and playing with a plastic bag of clothing.

Betty woke up at that point, and I went over to check on her, and Arthur crawled after me. When Erin came in, she confirmed that she had left him in bed with me. *Sigh* While I am not sure how exactly he did it, I can at least take solace in the fact that
a) we sleep on a futon bed, so it is low to the ground, and
b) there are a lot of clothes on the floor, which might have provided a soft landing for him.

In addition to this, he managed to stand for a few seconds on his own this morning. It's hard enough having one of these crazy Houdini babies - we can't imagine what it will be like when we have three!

Monday, April 14, 2008

Lunch Time!

For a while now, we had recognized that our kids were eating too much formula. Five bottles a day, averaging at least 6 ounces at a feeding, were more than suggested for babies (especially when they were also eating breakfast, a snack, and dinner). But for some reason, we could only think that the bottle to drop would be the "dream feed" bottle. At 10pm, we bring up a bottle to the sleeping babies, and it helps them sleep through the night. According to our bedtime routine plan, this bottle was supposed to be phased out, but we don't think they would sleep as well without it.

But finally it occured to us that if we dropped the 3pm bottle, we would be able to give them lunch - something we couldn't figure out how to fit in their schedule. So today was their first day of having a large lunch - onion potatoes, carrots, peas, and cinnamon applesauce! We wondered if they would still have room for dinner, but they were hungry then for solids as well. In fact, when Erin came home from work, she picked up Arthur, and peeled a banana for herself. As soon as she had peeled it, Arthur leaned over and took a huge bite out of it. He ended up eating at least half the banana, and still had room for dinner. I guess though, that I don't have to fully mash up his breakfast banana anymore.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Hiking the Cascades Trail

To celebrate my 30th birthday, we decided to take the triplets out on our most adventurous outing yet. We got everyone in the cars on Saturday afternoon, and headed for the Jefferson National Forest, to hike the four-mile circuit to the Cascades. The last time we had done this, Erin was about a day pregnant, so we had been looking forward to returning for quite a while.

The hike was a little longer than we remembered, perhaps because three of us were saddled with a kid in an ergo, and Pop Pop was our pack-horse, carrying extra diapers, bottles, formula, trail mix, and water.

Once we finally made it through the two miles of climbing up and down over rocks, we were pleased to see that the Cascades were still as beautiful as we remembered.

The children were over due for their bottles (and they had missed their snacks), so everyone was eager to get them out of the ergos for a mini-picnic at the base of the falls.

The hike back was quicker (and downhill), but we soon realized that we had been gone far longer than anticipated. When we got home, we would have to skip their bath and dinner (but not their bottles) in order to get them in bed on time. It was a full six-hour outing! We had never been away from the house for so long! Needless to say, we were all exhausted by the time we got home, but the hike proved to be quite a pleasant way to spend a warm spring afternoon.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

By the Numbers

It's been a while since I posted a daily list of facts and figures for raising these triplets. So here we have our current monthly averages, extrapolated from a single day to an estimated 30-day month.

Bottles - 450 (15 x day)
Cans of Formula - 45 (1.5 cans x day)
Diapers - 630 (18 cloth x day, 3 paper x day)
Diaper Wipes - 1,260 (2 per change, on average...sometimes many more)
Outfit Changes - 240 (8 x day)
Tubs of Baby Food - 150 (5 tubs x day)
Boxes of Oatmeal - 1 (6 scoops x day)
Jars of Applesauce - 1 (varies)
Bananas - 15 (1 x day, if we have them)
Loads of Laundry - 60 (2 loads x day)
Advil Pills - 180 (6 x day for the five of us)
Bottles of Wine - 10 (1 every three days...some bottles go quicker)

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Me And My Shadow

Today Arthur discovered his shadow. He was playing on the playmat, when he noticed that sunlight from the skylight at Nana and Pop Pop's house caused his head to cast a shadow on the floor. Try as he might, he attempted to catch this shadow, but every time he moved his head, his shadow moved as well. After about ten minutes, it got cloudy, and his new friend faded away. Next time, Arthur will be sure to have a needle and thread handy to make sure it doesn't escape again.

Sunday, April 06, 2008

More About Arthur

Arthur became upset about the attention his sisters got in the past two posts, and wanted to draw spotlight back to himself. So the other day, after putting the kids up to bed for a nap, we heard this very loud shriek come from the bedroom. We raced upstairs to see what was the matter, and we found Arthur, standing in his crib and holding onto the top rail. It turns out what we heard was his victory cry at achieving this feat. We were quite thankful that we had lowered his crib two notches, anticipating that this day would come soon.

And then this morning, we found the tooth fairy had visited him during the night. He has finally caught up to his sisters!

Tooth count: 6

Saturday, April 05, 2008

Comments About Coraline

Coraline (aka Cora, Cor Cor, Miss C., Littlest Pea, Baby Pterodactyl, Cora Coo)

Coraline is the wacky one. She is always ready to strike a pose for the camera. But she's quite bashful and coy. If you ask her, she'll agree, and either bury her head into your shoulder, or bow her head low to the ground. She cries often at night, but is quickly appeased by her pacifier.

She hasn't started crawling yet, but she is able to go forward a few inches. But after that, she promptly lays down on her belly, and starts trying to swim to her destination. I keep telling her that she's in the shallow end, and to put her feet down. When she sits, she still keeps her arms outstretched for balance, never wanting to fall.

She's finally figured out the joys of eating solids. She is a little slow with eating rice cakes, however, having to glance at her siblings for instructions. While she used to be the lightest, she now seems to have a slight edge on Arthur. Water, again, ranks high on her list of favorite foods.

She likes to suck on the fruit-filled "lollipops," and enjoys playing with her click-clack caterpillar. Favorite playtime activities include crinkling plastic cereal bags, and scritch-scratching her hand on other textures. She dislikes the stroller, instead preferring to ride with Mom in the Ergo. And again, she is the one most addicted to her pacifier.

Friday, April 04, 2008

A Bit About Betty

Betty (aka Elizabeth Rose, Big Betty, Buckin' Betty, Betty Boo)

Betty is the serious one of the bunch. When we take her picture, she always poses as women did in the 19th century. Rarely a smile to be seen. However, she is also the fastest to laugh, and the quickest to cry. We decided that she is the most emotional, which is not helped by the fact that she is quite stubborn - she is the only one who consistently puts herself through an enormous ordeal in order to fall asleep at night. Nighttime routines for her involve prolonged periods of crying, followed by shouting, then making noises, flailing her toys around, and then finally quiet murmurs. It's just how she is.
She hasn't started crawling yet, but she does rock some on her hands and knees. As one of her nicknames suggests, she has an extremely strong torso, and refuses to sit or lay down when she doesn't want to. Holding her down on the changing table when she's bucking, is quite the challenge.

Betty is the tallest, and the heaviest, of the three. She's an eating champ, and has a new affinity for rice cakes, and also loves avocados. She has recently figured out the fruit "lollipops." When the water bottle comes near, nothing else matters. She loves to drink water.

Her favorite playtime activity is to sit, and empty out baskets and "treasure boxes" of their contents. She's happy doing this for long stretches of time, but also loves sucking on her knitted pear and carrot rattles. At bath-time, she often brings down her little sailor man or rubber ducky, carrying them from upstairs all the way to the changing table. And as mentioned before, she hates going to sleep and taking naps, along with a dislike of having water poured over her head during baths. Oh, and she loves driving her imaginary motorcycle (see the above video).

Thursday, April 03, 2008

All About Arthur

It's been a while since I posted individual entries on the triplets, so here we go.
Arthur (aka Parsel Tongue, Buddy, Little Man, Big Boy, Goof Ball, Squirm Worm)

Arthur by far is the most laid back of the bunch. Since he is the oldest, he is more experienced in life and doesn't let things bother him. For example, when getting his hair rinsed in the bath, he sticks out his tongue to lap up the water instead of crying. He is the only one consistently willing to ride in the stroller without crying. At bedtime, and naps, he is usually able to fall asleep on his own (swinging his poppet around in the air or feeling the thread count on the sheets to help him).

He is also the most mobile. Having mastered crawling, and sitting, he is always eager to explore. In less than half a minute, he is able to cross the living room in order to get to something that caught his eye. He also stays one step ahead of our baby-proofing attempts. Pillows used as a blockade proved to be no obstacle for him, as he scaled them quickly in the style of Sir Edmund Hillary. He is starting to pull himself up on his knees, and he is able to stand for a long time (if you place him upright holding onto an object).

Though he is one of the lightest (and has the fewest teeth), he has a voracious appetite for solids, often eating a few ounces of pureed or mashed food at a sitting. He is willing to try all foods and consistencies of foods, and rarely gags (even on the lumpy peas I made). He still struggles with drinking from sippy cups, preferring to chew on it instead.

While he loves to jump, he spends most of his playtime crawling around - often hoping that the dogs would stay in reach just a little longer. He loves baths (laughing with joy when the tub faucet is turned on) and books, and seems to have a crush on the girl on the cover of "Baby's Christmas." What he doesn't like, is staying still. Changing outfits and diapers turns into a wrestling match every time. Tomorrow we'll learn about Betty.

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

The Butcher, The Baker, and The Candlestick Maker

The triplets turned 8 months old today, and we celebrated it by taking their monthly portrait. Outside, the thermometer read 86 degrees, so we felt it was finally warm enough for their "Rub a dub dub, Triplets in the tub" photo shoot.

These pictures are actually from the second photo shoot. Each time I take a picture of the triplets, I learn something new. From the first shoot (can you call a single picture a "shoot"?), I learned the following:
1) Babies are buoyant
2) One helper isn't enough to hold onto three babies
3) Bubble bath makes babies slippery
4) Three babies can actually displace quite a bit of water, and I should put in less water the next time
5) Having water up to the babies' necks is not a good idea
6) Arthur thinks it's funny when he submerges his whole body under the water
7) Photo shoots end when two of your subjects' heads become submerged
8) Swimming lessons should be scheduled sooner rather than later