Written by Jessica on Tuesday, December 30, 2008

10. facebook - I'm doing the facebook thing now... ; )
9. re-organizing the house
8. cleaning the house
7. laundry - DIAPERS, DIAPERS, DIAPERS!!
6. wii
5. Taylor's home from school
4. cooking and dishes
3. 3 babies
2. wii
1. I'm back in school!!

Yesterday was officially my first day back in school. I'm working on a Master's in Elementary Education. Yup, thinking of changing careers completely. I'm not 100% sure, but now seems like a good time to get it if I ever am. Right now I'm having to learn to balance everything again, with school in the mix.

On top of that, you may have noticed that the wii has been somewhat of a distraction. Santa brought it for Taylor and while I can't say Wade and I have enjoyed it as much as Taylor, we've certainly enjoyed our fair share! We usually start around 10pm and finish 1-2 am ish.... It's addictive!!

Written by Jessica on Sunday, December 28, 2008
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We had a great Christmas. I will post pictures soon. It's a little after midnight now and I thought I'd just try to partially fulfil my blogging duties by giving a quick update.

We went to my in-laws on Christmas Eve where the babies got their first taste of wrapping paper - literally! On Christmas morning, my dad came and all the boys awoke bright and early to see what Santa brought. The babies of course had to eat first and Taylor had a to wait 10 more agonizing minutes to get under the tree. I think he would agree that the wait was well worth it thought, he got his Wii and Soccer ball, along with many other surprises from Santa. Later in the afternoon, we went to Mamaw and Papaw's for yet another set of presents and dinner.

We were all tremendously spoiled and we now have to reorganize to accommodate our new toys.

We have enjoyed our family and eachother so much this week. More to come soon!

Written by Jessica on Tuesday, December 23, 2008
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"WHAT?! Santa knows if we've been bad or good?!"

"uh oh."

"Dear Santa, please come."

"We have lots of cookies."

Written by Jessica on Sunday, December 21, 2008
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This time of year these type of recipes are essential - and oh so yummy. You can take this dish to office parties, family get togethers, or just have it around for a quick and easy supper at home when you have a busy day wrapping presents.

I didn't have an exact recipe, so I found one on allrecipes.com that's comparable to how I make it.

1 pound lean ground beef
1 small onion, chopped
1 (1 ounce) package taco seasoning mix
1 (15 ounce) can tomato sauce
1 (15 ounce) can whole kernel corn, drained
2 (15 ounce) cans kidney beans, drained (or black bean drained and rinsed)
6 cups corn chips
1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
Sour cream



DIRECTIONS

In a skillet over medium heat, cook beef and onion until beef is browned; drain. Place beef mixture in slow cooker with taco seasoning, tomato sauce, corn, and beans.
Cover, and cook on Low 2 hours. To serve, put soup in bowl, top with cheese, a handful of cornchips, and a dollop of sour cream.

Note: If you need this quick, you can cook it in a stock pot over high heat for 30 minutes - done!
Also, I use about 1/2 a can of corn (actually, I buy the frozen kind in a bag so I don't waste any....)

Written by Jessica on Friday, December 19, 2008
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They may be sick, but they're still busy! Tucker has started sitting up on his own now. He goes from a crawling position to a seated position and sometime back to crawling, other times he falls over on his head and laughs! He may be the smallest (and the sickest right now), but he's a busy little boy.

Tucker has a bad cough and sinus drainage issues that are making it hard for him to eat and when he does, he coughs so much it comes back up, so he's drinking a little pedialyte.

Bless his heart, he looks so bad in this picture:

Carter is getting sick now. Well, he is sick actually. He's a very needy sick baby. He wants to be close to you, but not necessarily held. He's a busy, busy mischievous little guy too.

He collects all the paci's he can find. No wonder our germs are spreading!

This picture says it all... You can see the tree skirt he's torn apart as well as his brother's candy cane from school that he snatched from the tree.

Brayden's got a slightly runny nose, but it hasn't really got him yet. He actually slept last night!

Written by Jessica on Thursday, December 18, 2008

Click here for a Christmas smile. Be sure to click all the reindeer!

Thanks for sending this to me dad. = )

Written by Jessica on Thursday, December 18, 2008
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Written by Jessica on Monday, December 15, 2008
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...That's kinda how Saturday went, except it was more like, Taylor got runned over at the reindeer run...

Yep. Trampled! Apparently he didn't know the big cannon that they shot off meant to GO! So he was looking around to see what the loud noise was while the other kids took off, knocking him to the ground and trampling him. Luckily, he's fine, a few small scratches on his hands, some dirty footprints on his jacket, and a bruised ego. After he recovered, he just wanted to finish the race and was disappointed he didn't get to finish. It could have been worse, much worse, their were several kids that fell and were trampled, one that we know of had his leg broken.

Before the race:

On to other children with battle wounds... My little sweet Brayden Bear was attacked by the small unassuming Tucker Monster today.

3 small teeth marks:

Santa knows I need a little helper and so he sent me the most wonderful little Elf named Trick. If you've never read the book, The Elf on the Shelf, and you have small children, you HAVE to get this book! Taylor's class has an Elf in their room, named Trick as well, that has been reporting to Santa since the beginning of the month. He was so excited to see that we now have an Elf at home as well. To give you the down and dirty, it's a little elf that comes with a book that cleverly lays out the rules in a Dr. Seuss rhyming style. You have to name and register your elf online and you get an authentic adoption certificate for your elf along with a note from Mrs. Claus thanking you for taking care of her Elf and allowing him to take care of the very important task he was assigned; that assignment of course being to help Santa make his naughty or nice list. The Elf flies to the North Pole each and every night to give Santa a daily report. When he returns, he's somewhere different in you home, to watch and report the next day. Should he be touched by kiddie hands at any point during the day, he loses some of his magic and can't fly to the North Pole that night, meaning he'll still be in the same spot the next morning. Here's our little Trick:

BTW - The kids in Taylor's kindergarten class came up with some names and voted on them, Trick being the winner and Taylor insisted our Elf share the same name.

He first appeared in our tree on December 15, 2008:

Written by Jessica on Sunday, December 14, 2008

TUCKER!

He now has his 2 bottom teeth.

Written by Jessica on Friday, December 12, 2008

Brrrr. And Taylor is running tomorrow morning bright and early in the 9th annual Reindeer Run for the CMN. There is a parade afterwards and Santa will be there. I can't tell you how many times Taylor has seen Santa this year. Which is good because this year he knows Santa is keeping very close tabs on him and it makes Taylor feel better to 'feel him out' a little to see if he's still planning on visiting him based on his behavior to date. How does he know this? Well, I wish I could say this was my genius idea, but it was his teacher's. His teacher is doing an activity in her room from the Elf on the Shelf book that Taylor has really bought into. There is a real live elf that sits in his classroom and watches each child; he gives Santa nightly updates as to whether they have been naughty or nice. Each day when Taylor arrives to his classroom the elf is in a different place, watching closely. I definitely need this elf here at home!


The boys are all doing good. They're completely fascinated with the tree. Look at what all Carter when through to try to peek at a present:

He has wrapped himself up in the blanket he was supposed to be laying on in the middle of the floor. He has tipped over and bull dozed the bouncy seat that was supposed to act as a barrier to the tree. And he is now reaching and pulling at the bow on the box.

Brayden has had enough and is covering his eyes and, of course, he's got that thumb. This is how he sleeps. He's not asleep yet here, but when the thumb goes in and the hand goes over the eyes, he's ready for a nap.

As the boys are getting more active, they are just falling out asleep in between their 12-2 nap and bed time around 8:30ish.

Look at Tucker's arm. HOW CUTE!

We have a lot of kids, we had to teach them early to raise their hands and wait to be called on before speaking:

Well, not exactly. This is Brayden raising his hand, with his thumb inserted, to get my attention to let me know he's tired and wants out of the exersaucer. If I don't move him, one of 2 things will follow shortly; either he'll fall asleep with his head laid completely over on the saucer, or he'll start throwing his head back and screaming for me to come get him at which point he'll fall asleep moments after being extracted. Brayden is a very sweet baby, and very easy to read.

Written by Jessica on Tuesday, December 09, 2008
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Update

I just realized tonight that I hadn't given an update on Tucker's head scan. I guess that saying, "No news is good news" would be appropriate here. The doctor said his head looks fine and no action is needed at this time. We've really been working to keep him off the 'flatter' side of his head. Luckily, this child has discovered he can move and go where ever he wants, so he's rarely lying on the back of his head these days.

We got a call from the Medical Center concerning the evaluation we requested and after a fairly lengthy conversation with the nurse there, we decided to get all three evaluated. Our appointment is in January. When she called I told her that Tucker caught up to his brothers overnight. Literally, he did, overnight. Now, Tucker is the first to start to crawl. Oh, my, it gives me butterflies in my tummy to think about all 3 crawling. But it's coming...SOON!




So, in January the boys will be evaluated by a nutritionist, neonatologist, a physical therapist, and some other 'ists' that I can't remember. It's a complete check up to ensure they are developmentally age appropriate. When I couldn't decide if I should do it or not, I asked the nurse what she would do and she said, "It's free, my mom taught me to take advantage of the free things in life." It's free?! SIGN ME UP!

Not all news is good news, however. There is a very, very sad day approaching. A day that I have known will come, but I've ignored and denied it. I couldn't bear the thought.

Soon, we will have to store away the swings and bouncy seats. *gasp*




*sniffle* *sniffle*




*sniffle*




Here's proof:



If this picture isn't clear enough, let me explain. Carter is grabbing the 2 side bars and pulling himself up. That can't be safe. That's not the worst of it. The other twists, turns, and self propelling acts that take place in the swings can't be photographed. I'm too busy grabbing them with both hands to help them out of their tangled predicament. Brayden is the only boy who is still content just kicking back in the swings. Maybe I'll keep one out for him...

Why do I love the swings so? When they aren't performing the above mentioned acrobatics, the enjoy a quick cat nap when the day gets too long:


*Kate, if you're reading this, Tucker especially likes to hold things when he sleeps. The cuddly bunny you gave him is his fave next to a finger.*



Is it Christmas yet?

We're counting down on our Advent Calendar! Each day Taylor gets to take an ornament from the appropriate day and use it to decorate the felt tree. He has so much fun and loves being able to count down the days!

Christmas yet or not, the boys are very, very interested in the tree. And although I lay them on the other side of the room. They manage to get to the tree to check it out.


Want to know how hard this picture was to get?

This should give you an idea:

The tree was much more intriguing than I, no matter what how much I quacked like a duck, made squeaking noises or rattled every rattle in the house; the tree was the clear winner.

My sweet Brayden Bear.


Aunt Sonya, Brayden was very disappointed he didn't get to talk to you last night!



I can't believe Taylor is 6 and the boys are 7 months already!!!!



NICU Reunion Tree Lighting

Each year the Medical Center has a NICU reunion/Tree lighting ceremony for NICU graduates. They had punch and cookies and Santa and elves. They engraved commemorative ornaments for each baby with the year and their respective names. We got to see some of the nurses and doctors that cared for our babies those first 11 scary days. One of the nurses that cared for the babies before they were born was even there and she got to meet the babies for the first time. It was so good to see everyone, including their pediatrician there.

I was reminded of how appreciative I am to be at such a great hospital with so many great nurses and doctors. They cared for my babies in ways that I couldn't, with great expertise and experience. They made me stronger and taught me how to care for my tiny babies. They loved, held, fed, nurtured, and cared for my babies when I couldn't. They answered my calls during the night to give me updates, they'd tell me things like they were able to get Tucker to eat 20 cc'c in the 30 minutes allotted. My we've come a long way! They even made me feel comfortable a few times when I'd crawl out of bed late at night, a wreck, and go up there to just to see them. They comforted me when I cried. Sometimes I cried because I was overwhelmed at the thought that the 3 babies in the isolettes were all mine, coming home with me, and depending on me. Sometimes I cried because I was scared for them, scared they were having to fight too hard, too early in life. Sometimes I cried because my heart would break every time they whimpered or I heard their strong cries from inside their isolettes. No matter why I cried, they were their to comfort me. It was great to see them all again. I will look forward to this annual event for years to come.


Jen, Brett, and their trio were there as well. Sweet Anna is leading the pack (in the pic below)with her adorable bow and sparkling amber necklace followed by Bo then Alex. (i think) It's always great to see them. Wade and I also got to check out their choo choo wagon in person. Apparently it's the thing to have when you have 1 year old triplets. I'm so undecided. I have a few stroller options now that all work just fine. But how fun would that be to have for strolls in the park. Just strolls though.. Serious walking would still have to be done using the joggin stroller (the one I have in the pic below). And shopping would still have to be done with the tandem (in line) stroller. Right now the best stroller thing we have going is the double snap and go and then wearing one. This is great for a lot of reasons. Mainly, because I only have to unbuckle 1 baby from their car seat, the others stay in theirs and they just snap right into the stroller frame. Oh, so nice! And it fits through doors and steers easily. Unfortunately, when the boys turn a year (roughly) we'll have to give up our carry car seats for the upright stationery seats. That will be another very, very, very sad day. So, that means I'll be losing a stroller. So, that means I have to get another to replace it... right? So, should I get the choo choo wagon??? Hmm. ...another stroller conundrum!



The Tree






Brayden's final thoughts: "NO MORE PICTURES, PLEASE!"

So, here's a fun one of Carter and Tucker. Carter's declaring victory, but I'm not sure... Tucker flipped over and took Carter's paci a few minutes later.

Written by Jessica on Sunday, December 07, 2008
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video

Just click the play button for a 33 second video. This is from my digital camera and it was spur of the moment, so not great quality, but you still get the picture!

Written by Jessica on Sunday, December 07, 2008
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...as much as they scare me?
Tucker just started rocking on his hands and knees, taking a few 'steps' backwards here and there. It's all he wants to do now. And when he's not practicing on all fours, he's rolling or doing the Army crawl to get where he's going more quickly. Carter's right behind him. Brayden is too busy studying the toy he has to try to crawl.

Written by Jessica on Thursday, December 04, 2008
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Taylor's been exposed to Karate since he was 3 years old. An instructor would come to his class 30 minutes a week. Then, this summer, he started a summer Karate program going a minimum of 3 hours a week. He enjoyed it and picked up on the initial forms quickly. We continued going, just not as often during the early fall; as he was finishing up summer ball and starting kindergarten. Recently, he's been going at least 2 days a week, sometimes 3. He loves it and decided he wanted to test for the next level belt. He had a private session and tested the same week.

Before:


After:



We're so proud of our yellow belt!

Written by Jessica on Tuesday, December 02, 2008
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We've had a lot going on lately. I've had a migraine for the past 2 days, but seem to be feeling a little better tonight. I'm still going to go to bed early and try to get some good rest. We had a great Thanksgiving. We ate lots of turkey and pecan pie.. Mmmm. I think I gained 5 lbs! ... at least I feel like I did! Here's a picture of Carter trying turkey for the first time... His expression sums up how they all three felt about turkey:

Here's Uncle Brad carving the turkey Wade fried for us:

Taylor wanted a leg we let him have one thinking there was no way he'd eat it.

But he proved us wrong:

I wish Carter was in this picture. I was dressing Carter and I walked into the room to find these 3 like this, so I had to hurry and snap it!

On Friday I did a little shopping. Since I took the handmade for the holidays pledge, I didn't have a lot to buy, but JoAnn's had a big sale and I stocked up on some fabric and other odds and ends for some of the gifts I'm making. Later in the day we put up the tree, and the lights and wreaths outside.

The tooth fairy came Sunday night. Here's Taylor's new smile:

I made a special tooth fairy pillow that hangs on the door nob so the tooth fairy could get the tooth easier...

Bama 36 -Auburn 0

ROLL TIDE!

We took lot's of sweet Christmas pictures this weekend. I'm going to try to get them posted soon...