Thursday, October 29, 2009

2 Angels & a Devil

This is a preview of the kids' costumes. Let me tell you how impossible it was to get a picture of all 3 together. I don't know how this family portrait thing is going to go based on what we went through yesterday. Maybe the preparations for Daylight Savings Time is interfering & causing my babies to be unhappy. What ever the reason, it was not possible to get a good pic of all 3 together. Could it be the age?

Sofi being the perfect angel!

Gabi on the run!

Ian really shouldn't be the devil but since he is the only boy, it fell in his hands. He's too cute!

The 2 BEST group pics. HA! What a joke!

These are pics of the meltdown that happened after we came in. Yeah, not so much fun. Taking 3 19 month olds out of the backyard after being inside for 3 days straight due to rain...not such a bright idea.

I will say this much, they are DAMN cute! I think this is a great costume & they actually stayed in them the whole time. The only issue, Ian's horns. They just wouldn't stay put & not b/c he was taking them off. Oh well...we'll still have fun on Halloween!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Scribbling fun w/ Dad!

Putting a crayon in the kids' hands has been a challenge. The #1 reason? It goes directly in to their mouths. Another triplet mom posted about this not too long ago & hers were 19 months old. I was hoping it would be a magic number for age so we decided to give scribbling another shot last night AND...they mostly scribbled! Sofi was intent on tasting the purple crayon but otherwise, it was very easy to tell them "no" & they would assume scribbling.

Daddy did a wonderful job "modeling" the behavior!

Hmmmm, what are they drawing?

Mom, this is pretty cool! I like pink!

Look at me go!

Sofi's finished masterpiece.

Gabi's piece of artwork!

Ian's version of the Mona Lisa.

We are going to try & keep this up by doing it a few times a week instead of flashcards. This is Daddy's special time w/ the kids when he gets home & he seemed to enjoy it as much as the kids did.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Selective reduction...hmmmm.

I just finished reading some HORRIBLE comments on a blog. H.O.R.R.I.B.L.E. Absolutely evil. How can people be so cruel when a family is grieving the loss of their children? I just don't get it. No parent should ever lose a child. This is coming from someone that came *THIS CLOSE* to losing her son.

(DISCLAIMER: I am not one to discuss controversial topics & that is b/c I am living in one so this is going to be a very bias yet honest post.)

When we found out we were going to need medical intervention to get pregnant, it didn't take long to commit to the process. We both wanted to have children, our own children. Not that there is ANYTHING wrong w/ all those countless children that need adopting, we just weren't there yet. We still had faith that we would have a successful pregnancy. After all, we did get pregnant on our own.

As a matter of fact, in my 20's, if you had asked me about invitro, I would have told you that doing it was "playing God". How could a person do what nature wouldn't allow? And isn't nature the same as God b/c after all, God is in control of everything, right?

Yes, He is. He has allowed man to learn enough to manipulate science to our advantage. To bring a dead man back from a heart attack. To attach a limb that belonged to someone else to another living person. To give an old man new life, a new heart or lung/s. To give an infertile couple the opportunity to bear a child together. Yes, He is most definitely in control. He allows us to be able to figure out medical technologies & allows "miracles" to happen. After all, didn't Jesus cure? Why would God not allow man to do the same?

We knew we had a chance of triplets. A 1% chance to be exact. After all, we decided to put back 3 embryos. Just like everyone else out there, we never imagined we would fall in to that 1%. SHIT...let's be honest here. We never expected to have to do IVF. We got pregnant on our own the very first time. Yes, on our own. Unfortunately, a series of medical issues made it almost impossible to get pregnant again w/o help which lead us to IVF.

Our 1st attempt. That's all it took. We even have pics of the kids when they were only 8 cells. 8 friggin' cells. Technology is amazing & we were able to experience part of that. What we didn't know is all 3 babies would implant & stay put for another 34 weeks.

The 1st hard decision came to us early on, after the 2nd ultrasound. Would we want to selectively reduce? Um, no. Not a chance in hell. I knew through research that reducing to twins would have not made much of a difference in the outcome of the pregnancy, maybe a few weeks. It all depended on how my body handled pregnancy.

**Sidebar** I think I would have seriously considered selectively reducing if it were more than 3. Maybe not, but most likely...yes. 3 was hard enough to carry. I know if there were 5 or 6, it would have been the most painful decision in the world but we would have most likely reduced. For the health & safety of the remaining children as well as myself. After all, what would be the point of having that many if I wasn't around to enjoy them or if we had to lose them after they were born. Of course, many have this same point of view when told they are pregnant w/ triplets.

The pregnancy in itself wasn't bad. I felt great most of the time, like most pregnant women, never mind how many babies were in there. I had a tinge of morning sickness & feeling bloated but for the most part, all was well. Until I pushed myself too hard one day & my cervix decided to shorten. Our 2nd bout of serious medical intervention happened the very next day. I had an emergency cerclage. Would a woman pregnant w/ only one have done the same? Um, yes. So I was carrying 3? And?

The next time I had issues, it was easily handled w/ albuterol on a daily basis. I have friends that had singletons go through the same thing. Still not any different. Then I had rotavirus at 30 weeks 2 days along. 3 days of puking my guts out put some strain on the cervix. I was a fingertip dilated although not having regular contractions. After 3 days, I was put on a terb pump (not absolutely necessary but did it as a precaution). I stayed on the lowest dose until I delivered.

My babies were in the NICU. I knew from the moment that we were told there were 3 that this would happen. I knew there was a chance they would be vented or on CPAP. I knew they might not take a bottle well. I knew there could be issues w/ their hearts or even brain bleeds. After all, I had PLENTY of time to research prematurity online. I knew the average gestational age at birth for triplets was 32 weeks, 2 months premature.

I still put it in God's hands. I knew He would guide us through. When Dr. Adam told me to do something, I did it. I listened to her b/c I knew she was the closest thing to God that I had here on earth. Every step of the way, I trusted her. I also completely surprised her. When she gave me sitting privileges, I decided against them, knowing that those 30 minutes of sitting up a few times a day would put pressure on my cervix. I didn't want these babies to come any earlier than they needed to. I would & still will do anything to protect them. This meant laying down on my left side all day long, only shifting to my right side when I fell asleep at night & after I woke to pee, I would lay back on the left side. It was a sacrifice well worth making.

**Another sidebar** Todd also sacrificed, as did our families. We all still do but I think that is part of having children b/c truth be told, a family can experience much of what we did during the pregnancy & birth of one baby. Todd was & is still amazing w/ all his efforts & sacrifices.

Back to the NICU. We were told not to expect them home before their original due date. That meant 6 weeks in the NICU. Well, how about 10 days for Sofi, 10 days for Gabi & 14 days for Ian? I'd say that is pretty impressive & while I know that isn't the norm, I am very thankful to God that our babies came out so strong & healthy.

It wasn't easy leaving the hospital w/o my babies. It wasn't easy being at home with THREE preemies either. Nothing was easy. Nothing was worth complaining about either. WE *knew* what we were getting in to when we saw & heard those 3 heartbeats. We fell in love immediately & knew we would do what we had to do to survive.

I'd never ask for help beyond what we have received from family, friends & strangers alike. It is amazing the beautiful people you will encounter because of special circumstances (my online community at Just Mommies had a clothing drive for us & we are still using things we received). And, while I understand we will always be a freak show when we go out b/c we have triplets, I will gladly handle & respond to any comments & questions thrown out at us b/c I am the luckiest woman in the world. I have THREE beautiful children AND a wonderful husband. God gave them to me to take care of & raise in His light & that I shall do.

I won't judge others. I will pray for their sorrow & losses. I will understand that just like we were presented w/ the "Will you selectively reduce?" question, they were too. Just as we said no, so did they. Until you have walked a mile in our shoes, don't judge. So many are quick to say adopt but if it isn't in your heart, it isn't in your heart. Period. If those people believe in it so much, then they should practice what they preach b/c it is sooooo much easier to spit the shit out than to live by what you say. THAT is the honest to God's truth.

This may seem like it is coming out of nowhere but it has been brewing for quite some time. I think there is a saying that goes something like this..."If you don't have anything nice to say, then don't say it."

So true. If you don't agree w/ what I have done, then don't read my blog or anyone like mine. We have had enough challenges in our lives. If you have read through all this & feel compelled to leave a comment, regardless of the content, I welcome your thoughts, so long as you can present them in a mature fashion.

I will gladly answer any reasonable questions in regards to the procedures we went through. What our thoughts were & how we made it through all the pain b/c let me tell you, there was 2 years worth of crying, mourning the loss of a baby never born to Earth & waiting patiently for our turn to arrive. So many sleepless nights when we knew yet another month was going by w/o a positive pregnancy test. So, so many.

What I have said comes from the heart. Thank you all to those that have supported us through your words or physical presence in our lives. You have no idea how much you mean to us. Thank you, thank you, thank you. I only hope that through my actions, I can pay it forward.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Being nostalgic...our engagement & wedding!

A dear friend of mine (I met online @ Just Mommies) who lives in Australia, just announced she is getting married. I am so happy for Miranda as she deserves this so much. Her announcement really brought me back to our wedding preparations & ceremony. I know I probably don't tell Todd quite enough how much he means to me. How much I love him for being who he is & how much I believe in him. He is my Superman.

So, rather than talk about the kids today, I am going to reminisce a bit. I remember very clearly the moment he asked me to marry him. He was very insistent on going to a nice restaurant on his birthday that year. I didn't understand why & told him that I didn't have much money so he offered to pay (what he didn't know was that I was throwing a MASSIVE surprise b-day party the following Saturday). We got all dressed up for the occasion, at his request.

This picture was taken by Jeff right before we left for dinner.

We went to eat at a really cool restaurant that is on top of a hotel & spins around so you get a view of the city. It is really cool! Todd kept asking me through dinner what direction the house was. All the sudden he "lost a contact" & was on the floor searching for it. Me, well...I was turning bright red w/ embarrassment seeing my honey crawling on the floor. I kept telling him to hurry up.

Then it happened. He grabbed my hand, recited a poem he has written & memorized, asking me to marry him. I couldn't believe it! On HIS birthday?!? I remember his last lines...

"If you say yes to this question, this day will no longer be just about me. It will forever be about us."

He was giving up HIS birthday to share it WITH ME! I loved this man & knew in my heart that we would be together forever. I still love & adore him, some days more than others (wink, wink). What followed was a whirl wind planning of a backyard wedding. We wanted to start our lives in our house. With only 3 months to plan, there was no time to waste.

I went dress shopping the next day, hoping to find a pretty but casual gown to get married to my sweetie in. Something that was sexy yet simple. After many dresses, my soon-to-be MIL told me to try this dress both of us had been looking at since we walked in the door. It was the total OPPOSITE of what I was looking for...a completely frilly, girly-girl dress meant for a church. SOOOO NOT A BACKYARD DRESS!

The moment I put it on, the tears started pouring down my cheeks. No longer was I getting married in a simple, sexy dress. Screw it! This was THE DRESS & worth every penny over the budget I was going to spend on it. I called my mom right away & she came to the bridal store. As did I, she began to cry the moment she saw me in it.

This changed the feeling of the backyard wedding & we decided to do an Argentinian/Italian style wine wedding. We put a tent in the back & decorated it to the hilt. Everything was done by family. No one was paid a dime to come to set anything up except for the tent. That is the way WE wanted it. It was about US putting OURSELVES in to the wedding in EVERY aspect from the invitations (that we made by hand) to the wine bottles & labels that we used for center pieces.

An example of our handy work that everyone pitched in to do was the decorating of the tent.

Our wedding was truly a family affair, in every aspect. I even made all the bouquets, boutonnieres, & corsages for the wedding party, parents, & special guests. It was truly a night to remember. I think the best comment from a guest was the following...

"I was thinking 'backyard' wedding. You know...casual BUT this is like a fairytale. I didn't expect it to be so beautiful."

That pretty much describes our relationship as well. It looks casual to outsiders but it is truly a fairytale in love.

The beautiful cake table & our decorations.

The perfect cake! Yes, it says TNA which is our initials combined. YES...we know it stands for something else but this is who we are & our humor!

Me waiting to go down the isle! I wasn't nervous or scared, just anxious! I wanted Todd to see me & I wanted to see Todd.

The handsome groom! I <3 him!

I absolutely LOVE this picture. We both look so happy!

Another beautiful shot of us together.

Having just been announced to all our guests as husband & wife!

My brother, Ian, & my best friend, Stacey.

Us holding our signed certificate of marriage!

My grandmothers, Oma & Mamama.

The inlaws, Donna & Bill clan as well as David & Jeff (Todd's best friends), and Aiden.

All my family!

So, a little history. A little walk down memory lane. We have been through so much in the past 4 years that everything has made us that much stronger. I LOVE YOU TODD!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Ian's Genetic Test Results

They are in...well, they have been in. I just haven't called thinking if it was important enough or there was bad news, they would call us. No news is good news, right?

I *knew* in my heart that my little boy was fine but when the neurologist mentioned Fragile X, it broke my heart. I was so worried. Well, after the horrible blood draw experience & waiting 2 weeks for results & then no phone call from them, I figured I would leave well enough alone, right?

Nope, I had to call yesterday. His neurologist, Dr. Brown (LOVE the man...he is my age & has a little girl that he says needs to hook up w/ Ian, sorry Lizzie...we will be faithful, promise!), called & told me that Ian is F.I.N.E.

The complicated version...

So, there is something called "repetitions" when they test for abnormalities. It gets complicated. Basically, if the mutation is present w/ 200+ repetitions, the individual is officially diagnosed w/ Fragile X. Then there is something call premutation, when the repetition falls between 50-200. This means they are a carrier of Fragile X & the closer they come to 200, the more symptoms manifest. Ian's number, 51. He is a carrier, no effects from the mutation as normal is considered 5-50, making him borderline. The "1" isn't a significant difference & means that he will not develop any of the Fragile X issues.

More information...Fragile X Mutation Repetition Explanation

What does this mean? It means that Ian is OK but if Todd & I decide to have more kids, we need to get tested genetically to see if either of us are carriers. Now, the reason being is that his repetitions are at 51 which could be due to a fluke OR it could be b/c of either Todd or I. That's ok, really. I don't think we are planning on any more, haha! If we do decide to use our 5 frozen embryos, we will need to get them genetically tested prior to transfer (PGD) to make sure that they don't have a high number of repetitions of the CGG on the FMR1 gene. I *said* it was complicated, didn't I?

Long term effect, Ian's future wife will need to get genetically tested b/c his children have a higher chance of having Fragile X b/c his repetitions are borderline making him a "carrier" of this syndrome. If his wife is also a carrier, their children are at a much higher risk for having Fragile X.

The short of it all is that Ian is healthy. He is not being diagnosed w/ Fragile X or any other syndrome. He is going to lead a happy, healthy, normal life. Thank GOD! Honestly, it wouldn't have mattered anyway. He is a happy little boy & we would have loved him all the same.

I hope all this makes sense. It took me some time to sort it all out as well as researching it on the internet b/c as much as I wanted to understand Dr. Brown, I was all confused. Makes sense now that I have had time to digest it all.

I will continue to say this...God answers prayers. He really does.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Family Fun

Todd finally had the opportunity to go to the park w/ us. I can't tell you who had more fun, him or the kids. Either way, it was a perfect morning! The weather has been very HOT this year & we finally got a touch of cooler weather. It made for the perfect morning to go to the playground. Jane came w/ us so it was even better b/c there was 1 adult per kid AND she brought her bad ass camera, Nikon D90, so we actually are going to get some fantastic pictures as well. Until then, these will have to suffice.

Daddy going down the slide w/ each kiddo!

I love these. You can tell the kids were having a BLAST being swung by Daddy! Awe <3!

The park was fun & I hope we try to go every Saturday morning! I love family time outdoors!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

18 Month Check Up

We went for our 18 month check up today & I have great news! Our babies are BIG & TALL! You would never guess they were preemies. Seriously! I wish the visit has gone smoother. I couldn't wait to get them out of there. Ian was apparently very tramatized by the blood draw 5 weeks ago. He almost immediately started crying once we entered the exam room. He screamed when they were measuring his HEAD! This set everyone off. We were able to get them to calm down but it was basically like a roller coaster...up...down...up...down (cry...calm...cry...calm). Believe this or not, the shots were the easiest part!

Here are the stats!

Sofia ~ 26 lbs 12 oz (12.13 kg, 75-90%), 34 1/4" (87 cm, >95%)
Gabriella ~ 29 lbs (13.15 kg, 90-97%), 33 3/4" (86 cm, 90-97%)
Ian ~ 25 lbs 7 oz (11.54 kg, 25-50%), 32 3/4" (83 cm, 50-75%)

Ian has grown quite a bit since his last visit & has made Dr. Nguyen proud! He will be getting ankle braces to help strengthen them but that is ok. We rather him have the help now then pay for having weak ankles later in life. He has also started receiving speech therapy b/c although he can sign a good 15 words, he is still not verbally putting many words together. It is for no other reason than to help him "say" the words. His comprehension skills are not lacking what so ever! He continues to get physical therapy once a month, just to make sure he is making adequate progress. He also gets cognitive development therapy twice a month, again more to make sure he is on track b/c he is now on track w/ all his milestones, etc.

Sofia is doing very well overall, excelling in her physical abilities & also in to helping us as much as possible (picking up toys, feeding us, etc). She is our time keeper, knowing when to pick up toys & clean up before lunch & dinner. No need to tell her as she can either tell time or we are that in to the routine that she has it memorized. How she knows to pick up toys EXACTLY 5 minutes before lunch & dinner, I'm not sure. I honestly think she has figured out the arms on the clock. She really loves to bring comfort items to Ian & Gabi when they are sad. She also continues to be our best sleeper. We have 1 little issue to deal with & that is a possible herniated belly button. Hers is very minor & may even close up on its own. If for some reason it doesn't, then she will have to have surgery. Lets hope it does the job by itself!

Gabriella is our big girl. She loves loves to eat carbs! Anything crackers, bread, potato...all over it! She is by far our most verbal with a vocabulary well over 120 words. I can't keep count! She is also starting to put words together making sentences. She has become quite the Momma's Girl. When ever she wants me, nothing will make her happy. Once I pick her up, she is a total snuggle bug. She has also started calling others by their names such as Meme (my mom), Abu (my dad), Papa (Todd's dad), Ka-e (Katie), See-see (Sheila). It is super cute! The only bad thing to report is that Gabi has a "birthmark" on her leg. We aren't exactly sure what it is so we will be going to a dermatologist to get it checked out.

One last thing, we are officially on a strict lock down until this whole flu thing gets in control. We won't be going anywhere unnecessary until March. Little trips out here & there are ok so long as it isn't a crowded place. This means no dinners w/ family in a restaurant or going to any birthday parties. After having discussed the new H1N1 vaccine w/ Dr. Nguyen, we have definitively decided to give it to Gabi & Sofi as they have never had any immune issues but since Ian had the cerebellitis, we will not be giving it to him, for now. They did receive the seasonal flu vaccine today so hopefully this will help us stay healthy a little bit longer & keep us from any hospital visits. 2 is enough for this year!

That is it for now! Thank you all for your continued support!

PS ~ Today is Infant & Pregnancy Loss Awareness Day. I want to say that we miss our special angel baby, Onesie, every day. You touched our lives for 8 weeks but changed the course of it forever. You look down upon us & see your 3 earthly siblings & know that one day we will all be together in Heaven. WE LOVE YOU!

Mommy, Daddy, Sofi, Gabi, & Ian

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Swine Flu...Vaccinate or Not?

I really debated on whether to post this but I am really torn as to whether we should get the H1N1 vaccine. I vacillate back & forth as to whether the media is hyping this up or whether they are really just reporting facts. This is what I do know.

H1N1 is killing children & adults. It is scary but when I think about it, is it really any scarier than what we went through last January when Ian had Type A influenza? Not sure. I also really don't want to find out so I can compare the 2. One hospital visit is enough for our family.

We had the regular seasonal flu vaccine last year & it didn't do a bit of good. What is to say that the H1N1 vaccine will help us out? What about the complications associated w/ the vaccine or the fact that it is a very new vaccine? Do I risk it w/ a child that has had an adverse reaction to the seasonal flu? I just don't know.

If anyone can point me to some articles that helped you decide one way or another, I would really appreciate it. Todd & I would like to read them. We go in on Thursday for our 18 month well baby & will also be discussing this w/ our doctor.

On a lighter note. My family was visiting on Sunday. It was good to have them all here. Tio loved getting on the floor w/ the kids & playing. Unfortunately b/c they are all educators (my dad is a principal & both my mother & brother are teachers), it is hard for them to come over b/c they are always exposed all the illnesses that are around. IF & when they come over after school, we require them to change immediately from the clothes they were in at work to a set of clothes they have left here at the house. Yes, it may seem a little ridiculous but again, we are trying to prevent another round of the flu.

Anyway, the kids had a blast playing w/ Tio Ian & Tia Jesse.

For the record, today is one of those days that I question my sanity. Gabi is driving me mad. She won't stop whining. Very needy. Wouldn't leave me alone until I put her shoes on. She literally said shoes over & over & over again for an hour straight. I finally caved & put the damn things on her. Can we say obsessed?

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Ankle braces it is.

Here I was, so happy & proud of the progress Ian has made & then we get a whammy. Thankfully, it isn't anything really bad but it still sucks to have to deal with this. Ian's PT came by on Friday & pretty much immediately said that she thought Ian would greatly benefit if we put him in some braces for his ankles. Now, if you have been following for a while, you know that we had a diagnostician come in & say he didn't need them so this was a total surprise to me. I thought we were in the clear (or maybe I didn't but Friday wasn't a good day to tell me anyway).

See, the kids didn't nap well on Friday. It started w/ Gabi & ended up w/ all 3. They were up way too early from their nap & C.R.A.N.K.Y. as all get out. Like to the point where I was *trying* to hold all 3 at the same time. Then the PT comes & let's just say the girls were very demanding. We actually didn't get much done at all b/c the girls would get all in the mix. Normally they are pretty good at giving the PT & Ian space to work together but not Friday. Fu-get-about-it!

This all got me kind of sad. Although I know & have experienced much worse things in the kids short lives, it still hurts my heart that we have to deal w/ yet another obstacle. And let's just be really honest while we are at it. What parent wants their kid in leg braces? I think...uh, none. And since I confessed that, I may as well confess that I feel like it is MY fault he has to wear braces.

Why? Because I cannot get all the exercises done w/ him that need to get done. 3 kids that may as well be monkeys is the key issue here. I get on the floor & all the sudden they come at me from 3 different directions. AND...they start to push each other in attempts to be the ONLY one to be in my lap, in my arms or just plain touching me. It is a bit chaotic & rather than fight it, we just don't do all the exercises.

With all that said, I still think Ian has come a long way and as much as I rather him not have braces on his legs, I want what is best for my boy so I will swallow my pride & realize that part of my sadness comes from a very shallow place. If wearing braces will get Ian to reach his sisters' capabilities in 6 months rather than 2 years w/o braces, then so be it. Besides, the PT said they had really cute patterns for the socks so at least he will have some fun stuff going on around his ankles.

So, ankle braces it is.

Now for some cute pics!

All 3 kids sitting on the armchair together while Sofi is reading them a book. They were laughing hysterically! I suppose she is a good storyteller. Hell, I couldn't understand a word but apparently it was FUNNY.

Ian must think he is smaller than what he really is.

Sofi is in to carrying things. I guess it may be time to get her a purse?!?

This is what happens when we eat Papap's meatballs w/ Grandma Donna's sauce. You can tell the level of enjoyment each had by the amount of red sauce on their face.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Walking Update

It is amazing what a month can do for a child learning how to walk. Ian is now able to stop & start again, change direction, & move fairly comfortably on his feet. He still concentrates but not nearly as hard as that first week. He is now walking about 80% of the time. The only issue we have is that he can't get to standing on his own. He is ALMOST there but not quite.

Gotta share a video of how well he is doing! Don't mind the fussing. He wanted the Flip Video.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Halloween is in the air!

You know, I've been debating this for the longest time. To dress the kids or not to dress the kids? Last year didn't go so well. We were given 3 ducky/chick suits & they were so cute. We looked forward to dressing them up. Well, after 30 minutes of trying to get them in the suits, sweating up a storm doing it & having fussy babies all for 5 minutes of harried picture taking was not exactly what I had envisioned. Needless to say, I have been reliving the experience & wondering if it was even worth trying it this year.

Besides that, it seems as though triplets "must" be dressed in some theme. Seriously. Not that I don't like the idea b/c I do BUT it makes it that much harder to think of costumes. I like to be original so this makes the task even harder. Sure, there are super cute ideas out there like the 3 little pigs, Wizard of Oz (me being Dorothy & the kids being the Lion, Tin Man, & Scarecrow), & a few other ideas. Well, all those take some money & honestly, if the kids are only going to wear the costumes for 5 minutes, I'm not going to pay $20-30 per costume. That is just silly. I rather get them jeans that can be worn over & over again.

So, the dilemma is still present. To dress them or not to dress them.

On the playground a couple of weeks ago, Jane said she had a pair of angel wings that we could use. I thought that would be cute. But what kind of "theme" could I come up with? Hmmm, I have some devil horns. AH HA! GOT IT! How about 2 angels & a devil? The hunt for wings began. I was at Target & found the whole devil get up for $9.99. Tail, horns & bow tie for Ian. All I need now is either all black clothes or all red clothes. That is something he can wear again so I don't mind spending the money.

What about angel wings & a halo? Did I really want to use my neighbor's wings & not have the girls match? Yet another issue. Luckily, while I was shopping at Kroger's (of all places), I found really cute angel wings & a halo for $7.99. PERFECT! I bought 2. I have white shirts & will make the girls white tutus. I can't wait!

I tried the wings on the girls & they kept them on. That is a good sign. I think that we will actually go trick or treating this year! I'm even going to dress up their wagon & trailer. I'm going to use poster board to make the wagon a cloud & then make flames for the trailer.

Todd & I may even dress up. It is actually going to be a fun family affair. I am looking forward to it!