Sunday, August 30, 2009

Our version of the Choo Choo Wagon

I have to blog about this thing called The Choo Choo made by Step 2. It is all the rage in the triplet world. Supposedly the best thing out there for carting around triplet toddlers. Problem is, Step 2 doesn't make it anymore so that is leaving triplet mommies all over the USA in a tizzy. Not me, never was interested in having one. It seems so bulky. Really. It does. And, how in the world would I fit it all in the back of my Honda CRV?

Because Step 2 is no longer producing this, the Choo Choo is now highly sought after on Ebay & Craigs List. I check from time to time to see if there is one near by, just to see. Not b/c I want one. Because I want to see how rediculously high the price is. For a 3 cart Choo Choo, I found that it is going for $450 around these parts. HUH? Who is insane enough to pay that amount for something used? Isn't there a better alternative & cheaper?

Well, let me answer that last question for you. YES. Pretty simple. Think outside to box people. Use the resources out there. Step 2 still makes a wagon for 2 that has a hitch for a tag-along trailer. PERFECT. I found one for only $50, both pieces.

The kids love to be pulled around this & makes for great short evening walks. I'm looking forward to decorating it for Halloween & pulling the kids around in their costumes. Would I die to have this? Nope but it sure is a fun change for us all! The best part, it all fits in the back of my CRV w/ the 3 kids in the back seat & my hubby in the front seat next to me. Still room to pack a cooler full of goodies too. I think we will take a trip to the zoo using our newly aquired red wagon & trailer.

Any triplet moms out there looking for a solution to the long sought after Choo Choo, consider this as an alternative. Totally worth the price!

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Little Red Wagon

On Wednesday, w/ the help of a friend (& neighbor), we visited a local plant nursery. We left around 9:30 & didn't return until 11:30. It was a great little trip! The kids seemed to really enjoy themselves.

When we got there, we noticed a row of Radio Flyer wagons. You know, the red wagons we all used to be pulled around in. They have them so customers can use them for plants. We, on the other hand, used them to put the babies in. Their very first ride in a little red wagon!

Just about to go in to the nursery! I think I was just as excited as they were.

Sofi was having a blast. She held up the whole crew as they would start leaning back the longer we walked.

The kids seemed to really enjoy being pulled around. The plants were beautiful! I got several ideas for things I want in the yard, maybe not this year but definitely next year. I was even able to actually be in a few of the pictures since Jane took them. They especially liked the lily pond.

I have to say that our new snack cups really made the process a bit easier. They are Munchkin brand snack traps. The kids LOVE them. I was able to feed them in the car w/ minimal mess & they were able to carry them inside the nursery. What a lifesaver!

All in all, we had a wonderful morning excursion. I hope to do it again very soon.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Neurologist Follow Up

Hmft. No real answers. Nothing great to report but nothing bad either. I feel like we are going in a circle. They are doing a chromosomal microarray test to see if there are any abnormalities. The only thing mentioned was Fragile X Syndrome. Honestly, Ian does not fit the profile or symptoms of Fragile X. To read more, click the link below.

Fragile X Syndrome

After reading many things & seeing videos, I can say that I highly doubt that this is the issue. He would have presented problems before the cerebellitis. I know he is going to be fine. They aren't even wanting to see him again for another 6 months. It is recommended that we do go ahead & start speech therapy & try to get his PT upped to more times every month rather than just once a month. I am going to try to get this to happen sooner than later.

I did ask about cerebral palsy. It has just been nagging at me but the neurologist said pretty definitively that isn't the situation. No need for another CT scan or MRI. Seems like we are just going to have to sit & wait for the chromosomal test to come back in a few weeks. Waiting sucks.

I promise to have pictures the next time. We were able to go to a native plant store near by & had a blast. I'll blog about it later.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

I can't live w/o internet.

It just isn't possible. Ok, so it really is & I get lots of reading done but man, it sucks to not have internet/cable/phone service. COMCAST SUCKS. That is all I have to say about the situation.

In kid news, Ian is officially taking steps. They aren't the most steady I have ever seen BUT they are steps. He has done it in front of everyone & they say it is official. He is no longer just a crawler. It is still his preferred mode of transportation & I know it will be a while before he leaves crawling behind but he is getting so much more steady, it is amazing! I knew in my heart of hearts that he would be walking by the time he was 18 months old. HA! I honestly think he won't even need braces. He seems to have made a huge leap in his strength & balance. We'll see what the neurologist, Dr. Brown, thinks on Thursday.

The girls are doing magnificently. Gabi is just gabbin' away every chance she gets. Sofi, after a bout w/ a tummy virus last week, is back to her old self. Puke is not fun to deal w/ & we are glad she is all better. Here are a couple of shots of the girls modeling the bows I have been making. Please forgive the crappy quality. They move too much to get a good shot!

My neighbor, Katie, also came to play w/ the kids & help me out on Friday when Sofi wasn't feeling well. She is such a sweet kid! Gabi really, really likes her. Wouldn't leave her side. She particularly liked to lay or sit on her. It was the funniest thing!

Katie also helped take care of the kids last summer, when they were still itty-bitty things. She is now a high school freshman & started yesterday. We missed having her around this summer but she was a busy gal. She was a fantastic mommy's helper. I wish I had the money to have had her again this past summer. Maybe next summer. Until then, we look forward to the after school visits!

Friday, August 21, 2009

Another visit to the fire house!

We love our fire fighters! I really want to keep in touch w/ the guys & gals that helped Ian out when we called 911. Our fire house is awesome. No doubt about it. I decided that they needed brownies for their Tuesday night meeting so on Monday I whipped up a batch. Um, no. Not from scratch. From the box. It's the thought that counts, right? Unfortunately we didn't get to see any of the people that worked w/ Ian but it's ok. We know they enjoyed the brownies!

We have changed where we play most of the day to downstairs. We spend more time in the living room as there is much more space for the kids to run around. We also have their little chairs in there & when 11am hits, they are ready to watch Barney (yep. never thought i'd see the day when i let me kids watch barney but it works.)

Sofi ended up running a low grade fever yesterday but it seemed to go away as quickly as it came. I'm suspicious of teething or that same 24 hr virus that Ian had on Saturday. What ever the reason, she was super clingy. I don't mind clingy but I couldn't get anything done yesterday. She did pretty well through the night, only waking at about 4:30. I quickly gave her some Tylenol, cuddled her for a second & put her back down. I almost took her out to the pallet in the hall where I was sleeping but quickly reminded myself that we worked really hard to get those kids to sleep in their cribs & didn't want to reverse our efforts.

I want to say HAPPY BIRTHDAY to my brother. He turned 30 yesterday. We were able to get Grandma Donna & Papap to babysit while Todd & I went to meet my family for a dinner celebration. Man, am I out of drinking practice! It only took a couple of margaritas for me to be nice & toasty, toasty. I'm paying for it today. Not so much a hang over in the traditional sense but I can definitely tell my body isn't use to the alcohol, LOL! At least I'm a cheap drunk, huh?

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Multiples & More Blog Interview!

I just had to share w/ everyone that I was interviewed by Multiples & More! My interview has been posted today. Please take a peak!

Multiples & More Interview

Monday, August 17, 2009

All better!

I think it is safe to say we are back to normal. What ever the issue was, it resolved itself by Saturday night around 11pm. Now, this was after a 5pm cool bath, mind you. We know for sure it was a virus b/c we got blood taken at the pedi's. We also know it wasn't the flu (obviously if it was, I would still be dealing w/ a sick baby). The girls managed to escape it this time or their immune system did a good job fighting it off. Either way, Todd & I will be able to sleep in bed together tonight.

I had to take a picture of our make shift bed right outside the kids' door. We can't sleep in there b/c if they see us, they want to be w/ us so this was the best solution. We were able to keep the door open about 1/2 way without them seeing us. When we woke up Sunday morning, we closed all the doors & the baby gates & had a big cuddle puddle. It was great!

Yesterday, as a special treat, Abu (my dad) brought the kids some rainbow sherbet. I think they liked it. This picture perfectly captures each of them!

Don't ask me how the girls fit on this toy but somehow they put it upside down & sat in it, TOGETHER. I tried to take a picture of how their legs were all intertwined. Ian just decided to sit next to them. Smart boy.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Ian is sick.

Here we go again. This update will be short. Ian is sick. Any bug/virus/bacteria that comes in to this house, he catches. And so is life. The fever is the only symptom at the moment. It spikes to 103.5 & we manage to get it down to about 99.8 w/ Tylenol or Advil. I've already been in the tub w/ him once today b/c I waited an extra hour to give him his dose. Won't be doing that again! Hopefully this will be the worst of the nights & the girls won't get it.

More to come tomorrow.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Lovin' our new ECI coordinator!

We finally got to meet our new ECI coordinator (catch all therapist), Melissa. We REALLY like Melissa! I think she is going to push Ian which really is saying that she is going to push me to push Ian, if that makes sense. It was a very productive meeting. I didn't expect her to do much w/ him this 1st time b/c I know she needed to observe where he is developmentally so I let her do that while interjecting information about his recent activities.

Our old coordinator passed along the info about Ian's famous "du". Seems like he uses this word for just about anything. Melissa asked me if he could possibly be saying "that" & I told her it never crossed my mind. Now I wonder if he is just calling everything "that". He does say a couple of words outside of mama & dada. I also told her the Gabi situation. She does all the talking for the them. When she wants water, she signs it & the other 2 also get it b/c I automatically offer it to them. This is completely normal in the multiples world & unfortunately there isn't anything we can really do to change this. She is the official spokesperson.

Now, if there isn't any movement forward by the time he hits 18 months, we will begin speech therapy. Fine by me. What ever help they are willing to give us, we are willing to accept.

Melissa was pretty happy w/ where Ian is developmentally, even stating that if they were to assess him today for services, he would likely not qualify. Even w/ the delayed walking, it isn't of concern until they are 18 mths old. She said he is on the low end of normal but still hitting milestones in the allotted time. YAY IAN! That's my boy! Persistent but pleasant. Another thing she mentioned...he was very willing to play w/ her, not holding back. That's my babies. They really don't have stranger anxiety if you are on their turf. Seriously. None. They will seek you out & sit in your lap. No joke.

The plan is to continue to see him twice a month & PT once a month. Sonia, our PT, is coming w/ another PT to assess his ankle strength for braces. Until then he is w/o shoes for most of the day. In the late afternoon, I put shoes on him. I have to say that I have already noticed a difference in his balance in the past 2 days. This boy is soooo close to walking. I have a good feeling about things.

We have a follow up appt w/ his neurologist on the 22nd. Todd normally takes Ian to all his neurology appts since he is familiar w/ the docs b/c he is the one that stayed in the hossy w/ Ian. This appt happens to fall on a Saturday so we are going to get 1 set of the grandparents to watch the girls while we take Ian down to see Dr. Brown. I need to go this time in order to pass along the info that the PT said. It will be a good trip for the 3 of us.

Gotta share the latest news on feeding. I have begun to introduce the spoon to the kids. No. Not like for the 1st time ever. I mean where they get to actually use it to shovel food in their mouths. We do it every morning w/ yogurt. Hell, you can't get too dirty w/ yogurt, right? It is thick enough to stay on the spoon & yummy enough for the kids to want to get it in their mouths. Of the 3, Ian is the best at getting it all in his mouth & is most often the least dirty. I tried to get the girls w/ the spoon in their hand but these were the best I could get.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Getting back in shape, one jog at a time.

For the 1st time in well over 2.5 yrs, I went jogging. I've been contemplating starting up again but kept on coming up w/ excuses. The only time I have is either at 5:30 in the morning (um, no) or after the kids go down. The problem (in my head, of course) is that I have to feed Todd & I dinner first. Then it is entirely too late to go jogging. Well, I just decided too late or not, I'm going & if I end up staying up until midnight, I'll have learned my lesson.

Turns out that I was able to shut my eyes at about 10:15, no problems. Now I'm stoked about the prospects of picking up my jogging again! I went jogging for 22 minutes straight. Not bad for a momma that had triplet 16.5 months ago & was on bed rest for 16 months out of the pregnancy. Once I got home, I got in the car to clock the mileage. I thought I had gone about 1.75 miles. Turns out I jogged 2 solid miles.

My hope it to run every other day. I need it for mental health purposes as well as getting tone back in my legs. Yeah, they are lookin' a little flabby now days. Damn that bed rest! I am even thinking if I can keep up w/ the jogging, I will enter a 5K in November. I've never run in a 5K. Why not start now? I think it would be great!

I know I have been writing more about me & my new ventures the past couple of posts so I want to make sure to take some time out to write about the kids. The thing is that for the past 16 months, the kids have been my life. They still are, always will be but I needed to start some personal projects for myself. Now...on to the kids!

Sofi has gotten to be quite the clever little girl. She loves to take her bib off. I've had to get creative on how to keep it on. Here is a picture of me using a chip clip. Now, it doesn't prevent her from taking it off but it does make it that much harder. Of course, taking only her bib off isn't satisfying enough. She also manages to free Gabi from the clutches of the evil bib!

This is Sofi's hair standing straight up using grape jelly. Who need gel!?!

Ian had another therapy session yesterday w/ his PT. He is still having what she thinks is overfiring of the nerve endings. His brain is trying to regulate the signal but sometimes over does it. She mentioned possibly asking for another CT scan the next time we go to the neurologist just to verify there wasn't any damage. I'm a bit confused by her statement b/c they scan, MRI, & EEG (both sets) all came back normal. This is why he was diagnosed by exclusion. She mentioned a possible hemorage (small) that could have done some damage??? There was no sign of a hemorage & I would think that the head of neurology at TX Children's hospital would have caught this. She did say this was just what she thought based on very limited information. I suppose when we go back, we will see what the neurologist says. She did say that she thinks any issues will resolve themselves, that she doesn't see it being a permanent situation b/c of how far he has come. So, if you are a praying person, please say a little one for Ian.

Gabi is quite the character. This little girl is already counting. I'm not sure where that falls developmentally & I'm not saying she is the smartest lass in the world but should a 16 month old be able to count? At first she was just saying random numbers. Now she can count 2 objects. She even points to them. She can only count to 2 but starting to count higher. It is super cute! She also only counts when she has the number book or any book/page that has numbers so she recognizes that is what she is suppose to do w/ them. Either way, it is super cute to hear her!

Um, more pics? Uh. They are still on the camera. I know, bad mommy. I promise more later.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Couponing...saving for the family.

My newest venture in ways to help my family has to be 1 of the most frustratingly complicated things EVER. Couponing. I started yesterday & every time I closed my eyes, I could see coupons. I even dreamed about them last night. I know it will get easier the more I do it but man, it got me all flustered.

It all started w/ me joining a Facebook group called Serious Super Saver. The girl that started the group is someone I went to high school w/ & was good friends w/ her little sister b/c we were both in the same grade. I think this enabled me to "believe" in the whole thing. Don't get me wrong, I have heard of these women that go to the grocery store & walk out only paying pennies for $100+ worth of food, etc but I just didn't think I would be able to accomplish that. Turns out Jen was holding her 2nd seminar so I talked to Todd about it & he said "a penny saved is a penny earned" so I signed up to go. Shoot, the $10 I paid would be worth it all if I saved that much on my 1st trip out, right?

The seminar was very informative. I pretty much understand the concept but now it was time for me to put it to use. I have several obstacles that most don't. One being that I have very limited time to actually get out & do shopping. Ok, I have only one opportunity. Sunday morning. I guess I could go after the kids go to bed but then Todd & I wouldn't have any time together. So Sunday morning it is!

To get started, I got the Sunday paper on Saturday (yeah, like that makes sense but what ever). Then I sat down at the table & put my new skills to use. It took a good 2 hours. That is when I started seeing coupons when I closed my eyes. I made my menu based on what was on sale & put my CVS coupons together w/ that list & then my Kroger's coupons w/ that list.

I embarked on my maiden coupon voyage at 8am. I wanted to get to CVS early. I was on a mission! I loaded up my 4 12-packs of Diet Coke (for Todd of course), my 2 bags of Chex Mix, the Soliel razor, & 2 tubes of Colgate. The total was $41.70 before my coupons. My actual out of pocket was $17.27. I also earned $6 in CVS bucks & a coupon for $4 off a $20 purchase. I didn't buy anything I wouldn't use either.

Then it was time to go Krogering. I had a handful of coupons & don't think I did really well here BUT I know it will et better once I start getting more & more coupons. My total before coupons was $147.31. My total after was $102.44 w/ $44.87 in coupons/store savings, about a 30% savings. Not too shabby for a first-timer. I hope to reach 50%.

I managed to save my family $69.27 between the 2 stores. The seminar has officially paid for itself AND a pedicure for me. Ha. Joking. Ok, maybe not. Even if I were to get a pedi, that is only $20 so I still come out on top by $39.27. Let's just call that $40. All that for 2 hours of time. I think I'll do it again next weekend.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Goodbye Cheesy 80's Teen Movies

May John Hughes rest in peace. These movies shaped so much of who I was. They were a staple in my teen years. Of all his movies, my all time favorite is Pretty in Pink. Andie was everything I was. Blane, everything I wanted. Ok, so I wasn't as pretty as Andie but I sure felt like an outsider. Being from a different country, a Spanish country at that, in a small Texas town with a name like Astrid, can really make a teenager's life pretty bad. Sorry, don't want to throw myself a pity party. It just brings back all those memories.

I hope my kids have fun, innocent movies like this to watch as they are fighting puberty & the ways of teen love. Gawd, I have to go through all that w/ them TIMES THREE. Where is the nearest church? I need to start prayin'!

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Our first bite of STEAK!

Last Wednesday Todd grilled some yummy steaks. I had about 1/2 of mine left over & decided to give the kids the rest of it for lunch the next day. I wasn't sure how it would go over since they have had an aversion to red meat for quite some time. I have to sneak it in their food so I was pleasantly surprised that they actually ate it! I wish I had waited for dinner so Todd could have gotten a glimpse of the kids eating their very first piece of steak!

We have been keeping busy w/ several playdates around here. Mommy needs adult interaction. Today, Allie (a friend from high school) & her precious daughter Zoe, came over for a morning playdate. It was great! Zoe is so precious. She is a tiny little thing but that is expected as she was born way too early. After spending nearly 7 months in the NICU, she is at home w/ her mommy & daddy, getting ready to celebrate her big FIRST birthday on the 18th! Wish I had gotten pics :(

We did have another playdate w/ a triplet mommy (Marie) last week. The kids were all about being in her lap, especially when she busted out the Cheerios! All 6 kids were her best friends!

One last thing, I think this is priceless. I would love to see who can come up w/ a funny caption for this picture. Leave a comment!

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Is that what it feels like?

We went on a DATE this afternoon! We felt like a normal, married couple & it felt GREAT to get away, even if it was just for a movie. The opportunity was presented to us by my brother. He happened to have a couple of free tickets, no restrictions & offered to babysit while we went. Of course, he brought along his wonderful girlfriend Jessie (I have a feeling she did most of the work, lol). I didn't even stress about it.

I wrote out the kids' lunch menu & told them where Ian's seizure medication was just in case & we left. No turning back! Apparently things went magnificently. They ate all their lunch & went down for their nap w/o much protest what so ever. Tio (my brother) even bought the kids pizza for dinner so we wouldn't have to mess w/ it when we got back.

The kids didn't even cry when we left. Much better that way. When we got home, they were as happy as could be. This is the first time we have left all 3 w/ anyone besides our parents. I can't wait to go out again!

The movie was fantastic. I'm a big Harry fan, having read all the books. We even got to see the 1st 12 minutes in 3D which was really cool! I would highly recommend the movie. I can't wait for the last 2.