Tuesday, March 31, 2009

First Trip to Aldridge Gardens

A couple of weeks ago, we all got out and went to Aldridge Gardens. The babies had a great time. We're definitely going to have to go back soon when the hydrangeas are blooming. . . . Here are pictures of Piper, then Henry, then Rosemary:

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Graham Crackers

The babies have had graham crackers before, but we had broken them into little pieces to give them. Today they got a big piece of graham cracker to eat all by themselves. . . .

Piper really loved it, and especially loved crunching on it with her two teeth:

Henry really liked holding his graham cracker, and made quite the mess eating it:

Rosemary really really loved eating her graham cracker all by herself, and by the time she was done, nothing was left behind but a few crumbs:

We now have graham cracker crumbs all over our house. I'm not sure how they got where all they are, but they are everywhere. . . .

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Nine Months Old!!

The babies are NINE months old today! That's 3/4 of a year (yes, my math skills are impressive). And, that's longer than I was pregnant -- which seemed to last quite a while. Just this time last year I was almost 17 weeks along, looking pretty darn pregnant, and on bedrest at home. A lot can change in a year.

A lot of people ask me what the babies are doing now. Honestly, that answer changes about every day! Even though they are 9 months old, their corrected age (how old they would be if they were born on time) is just shy of 7 months, and so they act like more like 7 months old developmentally, which is normal and expected. Here's the breakdown of what they are doing now:

Teeth: Piper has two teeth, but the other two haven't sprouted a tooth yet (though sometimes they act like there is going to be one just any minute).

Weights: The babies had their 9-month Well Baby Check-Up yesterday morning. Here are their stats:

Piper: 16 pounds 6 ounces, 26 inches long, 16.75 inches head circumference
Henry: 16 pounds 15.5 ounces, 27 inches long, 18.25 inches head circumference
Rosemary: 13 pounds 15 ounces, 24.75 inches long, 16.25 inches head circumference

Napping and Sleeping: The babies still sleep in their own cribs from around 8:00 or 8:30 p.m. or so until 7:30 or 8:00 a.m. -- and have been doing that for over three months now. They take two -- sometimes three -- naps a day. The morning nap is around 2 hours, the afternoon nap around an hour, and if they have an evening nap, it's usually only 15-30 minutes. Up until recently, they were sleeping in their cribs and napping in their swings. Henry has found a way to turn himself sideways in his swing, so we're a little nervous about him falling out (well, Brooke and I are -- Gary thinks he would be fine and that we're crazy), so naps are now in the cribs.

Playing: They love playing with stuffed animals, and love anything that makes noise or they can chew on. They especially like the soccer balls that Gary bought for them. When they are in the playroom, they are constantly playing with their toys. Their favorite toy is any toy that another baby has. . . .

Sitting: Piper sits up pretty well now (though she can't get to sitting by herself), and Henry and Rosemary are just now able to sit for a little bit -- especially if they are playing with something. Henry started sitting well two days after our photographer came out for a photo session, despite all my attempts to have him sitting for the photo session.

Mobility: Rosemary has perfected rolling. She sees something -- she rolls to it to get it. Piper is pretty proficient at rolling, too, and the girls both love to lay on their tummies to play. Piper and Rosemary have even started going up to all fours just a little, so we're expecting crawling to be right around the corner. They are already so fast that you have to be careful where you step. As my dad said when my mom was joining him in the playroom the other day, "Be careful, Gail, it's like a pen full of puppies in here." Henry, however, can roll and will occasionally roll, but he just doesn't seem to like to roll. We have caught him rolling to pick up his paci, but that's as motivated as he gets. Henry still prefers to lay flat on his back all day. He's just taking life easy. . . . Everyone keeps telling me that this is normal for boys. . . .

Eating: As far as bottles, the babies have 4 bottles a day and take in around 24-30 ounces of milk a day (I'm weaning off pumping, so they are getting almost all formula and very little breastmilk now). The babies LOVE to eat solid foods. So much that sometimes it's a struggle for them to take their bottles because they want real food. They have three meals a day now. Breakfast is fruit and oatmeal, and every other day they have hard-boiled egg yolks or cheerios. Lunch is yogurt. Dinner is a veggie and either another vegetable or meat. Here's what they have tried so far:

Grains: cereal, oatmeal, cheerios, graham crackers, and cooked pasta is next
Fruits: avocados, bananas, pears, peaches, apples, plums, and mangos are next
Vegetables: sweet potatoes, winter squash, green beans, asparagus, carrots, summer squash, white potatoes, broccoli, and next is peas (if I can find any fresh peas around here)
Protein: hard-cooked egg yolk, chicken, beef (top sirloin, actually -- Gary picked it out), and lamb is next
Dairy: yogurt, and next is colby cheese

Every 4 days they get something new to try. Their foods are now thick and a little more chunky, so we are moving them right along to the point that they are eating big people food. Our goal is to have them mostly eating whatever we eat at around one year, and I think we're going to make it, or at least be close.

And now the best part of this post -- the slideshow of all of the pictures from the babies' last photo session! Click here to see some great pictures. . . .

Sunday, March 22, 2009

A Trip to the Birmingham Botanical Gardens with Grandma and Grandpa

Yesterday, Gary's parents drove up to visit. As soon as they got here, we finished up feeding the babies their lunch and headed to the Birmingham Botanical Gardens.

Hey -- what are giraffes doing at the Botanical Gardens? You know, that kind of looks like the Birmingham Zoo. . . .

Well, it is! For some reason, everyone else in Birmingham decided to go to the Botanical Gardens on the first weekend in Spring when the weather was great. We couldn't find a parking place after circling the parking lot twice. So, we decided to drive through the zoo parking lot to see if that was any better. Actually, the zoo parking lot was worse, but right as we got there, someone pulled out leaving us the perfect parking spot. Convinced that fate was on our side, we headed into the zoo for the babies' second zoo trip.

Piper, being an experienced zoo-goer, was a little over the whole thing. . . .

Henry, wearing his new zookeeper hat, at least stayed awake for the trip.

And Rosemary is now our biggest fan of the zoo!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

A Sneak Peek. . . .

Heather Swanner, the babies' photographer, came out to our house on Tuesday to take some photos of the babies. She has posted a few photos from the session on her blog (you can click here to see the blog post). I think these photos are amazing and I can't wait to see the rest! I'll post a link to more photos when they're ready. . . .

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

I can say with complete honesty that I was SHOCKED that we had any decent pictures -- at all -- to post on the blog. Our photo session was perhaps one of the worst ever. At least it was one of the worst in recent times. I bought those hats the same day I bought the Valentine's Day outfits, and I had a vision in my head of how adorable all these babies would look all lined up wearing their little hats. I even thought that the babies might actually enjoy the precious hats! Well, reality was quite different. . . .

One of the babies NICU nurses, Ann (or Auntie Ann as we've started calling her), was at the house the night we attempted the photo shoot. At one point she said that she had no idea that so much went into taking our pictures for the blog. Well, not that much usually goes into it -- we usually dress the babies up, sit them somewhere (usually leaning back on me with a blanket to hide me), snap some group and individual pictures for about 5 minutes, then we're done. What happened the night we took these St. Patrick's Day pictures was just short of torture for the babies. Auntie Ann, for now, has promised not to turn us into Child Protective Services. The following pictures are a more accurate portrayal of how the photo session really went:

Piper, uncharacteristically, was the happiest of the three babies to wear her hat. Here are a couple of individual pictures of her:

And here's Henry:

And here's Rosemary, who was by far the least happy baby of the night:

Friday, March 13, 2009

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Henry's Self Portrait

Gary and I must have left the camera laying around the other day, because it looks like Henry used it to take some pictures of himself. . . .

Monday, March 9, 2009

Big Day Out

Last week, on Monday, we took Rosemary to the "hearing doctor" (that is how he introduced himself to us). She had failed her hearing screen in the NICU, and then passed it a couple of months later. They wanted to see her again 6 months later, and last Monday was that day. Well, when we got there the "hearing doctor" checked for fluid in her ear with this bizarre machine, and told us that she had so much fluid in her ears that she probably wouldn't pass the hearing test. I asked what that meant, and he said that it probably meant that she has an ear infection. Apparently, "hearing doctors" cannot check for an ear infection, and I was told to go to our pediatrician, and possibly an ENT, to get it cleared up. Great.

So, on Tuesday we were off to the pediatrician. I decided that if I was hauling in one kid that may have an ear infection of which I was completely unaware, that I would haul in ALL of the kids. Well, it turns out that Rosemary has a double ear infection, and Piper has a right ear infection. Henry is fine. Since we had to do something with Henry since he was there, the doctor measured Henry's head circumference. He had a huge spike in head circumference percentiles about a month ago, which led to a CT scan and all, but thankfully he doesn't have any scary brain issues -- we just have to keep an eye out for any more rapid head circumference growth. Anyway, the good news is that his head has not had another growth spurt and in fact has stayed almost the same since last month. So, all is good with Henry and the girls get their first bubblegum medicine (which they LOVE).

While I was there, I asked the doctor how bad RSV risks were now (we're under lockdown until it's over). He said that it was better, but the risks not over. He told us that our plan to take the babies to church on Easter (April 12) was fine as long as we don't put them in a nursery and "keep them away from toddlers." He did say that we could get out now if we went somewhere that we weren't close to a bunch of people or inside and could keep people from touching the kids -- like the zoo.

That was all we needed to hear. Gary and I The babies have been so tired of being cooped up in the house, and were so happy to get out. We made plans for the trip all week. We didn't even have shoes for the kids, so we had to buy shoes (I made the point that since they aren't walking that they perhaps didn't need shoes, but Gary insisted that they could not go to the zoo without shoes). So, here are the kids at home getting ready for our big day out.




And everyone:

Here we all are loaded up at the zoo. We decided to take the single and double strollers instead of the triple stroller. It just draws less attention that way. We put the girls in the double stroller for Gary to push, and Henry in the single stroller for me to push.

The kids have never ridden in a stroller sitting up -- usually they are in their carseats in the stroller, but even that is a rare occurrence. Henry wasn't sure what to think about it at first, so he held on for dear life for the first few minutes.

Here's Piper with the flamingos:

Henry with a sea lion:

And Rosemary with the flamingos:

Here's some shots of the babies enjoying the experience, Piper, then Henry, then Rosemary (as you can see, Piper isn't sure what she thinks about it yet):

And here are some shots of Gary and me with the babies -- and the occasional animal or animal's behind, as the case may be (luckily, we ran into our friends Aaron and Lisa so they took a picture of all 5 of us):

Having the single and double strollers worked great. We have heard horror stories of other parents of triplets having a hard time getting out because of the attention they get, so we were a little apprehensive. We did got a lot of attention for our "twins," but it was not bad at all. Here's the most common comment of the day: "Wow, looks like you've got your hands full there." That is as original as it got, folks. I'm not sure why people feel the need to comment on triplets when they see them in person. I can somewhat understand that triplets aren't common and that people are going to stare at them, etc., but the need to say something -- just anything -- to us is very odd to me. Anyway, we had a few moments of weirdness with people strangely checking the kids out or asking questions or making comments, but we followed the advice that our friends Al and Quenta gave us early on and didn't make eye contact with anyone! It was an amazing day out.

When we got home, we asked the babies what they thought about the zoo and then took these pictures of them in their carseats (Piper, then Henry, then Rosemary):

And here they all are lined up and back home:

We had a great time and can't wait for another nice weekend to get out again!!