Monday, December 26, 2011

First Christmas Gifts to Mommy & Daddy



Merry Christmas! It's been wonderful...a tad busy, but wonderful.

Today I vowed not to do a stitch of cleaning outside of the first two hours of my day. I cheated a bit with some dishwasher loading and unloading, but generally, it was a lazy day-after-Christmas day. I earned it after entertaining two nights in a row. For some reason I thought that asking family to visit us would be easier. I may need to rethink that next year.

Well, more pictures of the babies to come shortly, but I wanted to post our first "mommy & daddy Christmas gifts".

Daddy's Gift = Kreg got a framed picture of the babies on Santa's lap from "Santa's Little Helpers". Spontaneously, my mom and I dressed everyone in fun Christmas outfits and headed to the mall for a photo. "Let's just do it!" I proclaimed as the babies woke up from their first nap. I got very teary-eyed as I watched the babies sit on Santa's lap for their first time while my mom put her arm around my shoulder. I looked up and saw many hanging over the second floor railing enjoying our triplets' Santa visit. It was special for everyone!

Mommy's Gift = I received a plate with tiny hand prints in the form of a wreath. Kreg figured out a way to lug all three kiddies to a pottery painting studio to get the job done. Today he shared with me that he alternated baby carriers up a flight of cement stairs to get them into the studio (and I think on the street ...). Yikes and wow! Needless to say, tears were flowing on this one too!!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Oh Tannenbaum!



After the babies went to bed tonight, Kreg poured himself a glass of beer and some wine for me. Lights were strung and we began to walk down memory lane together while unpacking ornaments. Our Christmas tree celebrates the Christmases past shared together as a couple. As always, it was magic.

My dearest friend Vanessa gave the babies' a Christmas this year - their first ornaments which were hung with pride.

(third verse translation)
O Christmas Tree! O Christmas Tree!
Thy candles shine so brightly!
O Christmas Tree! O Christmas Tree!
Thy candles shine so brightly!
From base to summit, gay and bright,
There's only splendor for the sight.
O Christmas Tree! O Christmas Tree!
Thy candles shine so brightly

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Wait a second...


just saw this previous post...they must be related.

Still Time for Chocolate


Yes, things are nuts here at the Jones household, but somehow I still managed to find some time to make "Christmas Bark" with old friends. Kreg was visibly saddened to see that the chocolate goodies were all wrapped up with holiday bows and labels when he made his appearance in the kitchen. Whoops! No leftovers for my sweet-toothed sweetheart.

Well, later that night I went back to the melting pot and whipped up a batch special for him. I think it was appreciated...

Getting Into Things - A Noisy Ordeal




Wow, these babies really know how to have fun! Thankfully I baby-proofed the lower kitchen cabinets with Grammie Lita recently, because those tiny hands can certainly get into things! Here are some pics from the other day when I finally stopped moving Baxter away from the the tempting doors and said "whatever, it's a right of passage, right?"

Here's how it went down:
1 - Baxter opens doors and starts to make some of his AAAhhhs, clicks, and grunts.
2 - Alton AAAAhhs, grunts and screams back (yes, they have some weird language)
3 - Charlotte continues on with her playing until she realizes that something very very interesting is happening and then she begins to squeal
4 - Baxter proceeds to take objects out of the cabinets (bangs, crashes and all), tossing them to the other Musketeers and it's an all out field day.

It seems that Baxter just wants to get all items out and find a new door to open. Alton wants to toss them around and bang on the pots and pans with the fascinating wooden spoon. Charlotte also loves to bang, but is mostly squealing with glee while kicking the new toys with her feet.

This is now a new daily activity for all...including mom's clean up of the toys (slash) her baking equipment. video

Monday, December 19, 2011

A Tiny Angel

Today I took Charlotte to a doctor's appointment simply to check on her ear infection. All was well and I got to spend some time alone with our youngest...just the two of us, mother and daughter, a special and rare occasion.

Our babies' first Christmas is approaching along with their first birthday and I've been thinking a lot about how lucky we are to have three healthy babies. With that, I am hesitantly writing this post...in memory of a tiny little girl.

This past Spring, I returned to work feeling overwhelmed by having triplets and was just getting past the days of worrying in the NICU. A young man had joined the team at Lutron and a meeting with me was part of his orientation. After we spoke about business, I noticed pictures of two little babies on his wall, fresh off the printer. We connected on a personal level and shared the joys of our preemies. His niece and nephew twins were born that week, the little girl only 2 pounds, just like our Charlotte. I gave words of hope and positive stories of our daughter's improvements, yet understood his fears. He was so proud of his sister's new angels.

About a week later I noticed my new young friend leaving abruptly early and knew something was wrong. After cautiously asking questions to his supervisor, I soon understood that the baby girl was rushed to CHOP. It was unfathomable to hear the words that his niece had passed away from complications not uncommon for such a delicate and vulnerable body. I cried at my desk throughout the day, feeling deeply for a young mother who I had never met.

This little girl has brought me many moments of reflection and gratitude for my own children. My thoughts and prayers go out to the family of this tiny angel during the holiday season.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Getting Ready for Christmas!


My mini collection of reindeer are out...which means that Christmas is on the way. Though it will indeed be a hectic one, I can't wait for the babies' first Christmas. Bring on the wrapping paper!!

Hand Over the Remote!


Okay, remotes are probably one of the germiest things in the house, but these babies always seem to get their hands one them! Here is a pic of Alton claiming control by dominating the remote. He's so cute, but ewwww....

Alone Time - Shopping with Mom


It's not often that I find some "alone time" with one of our babies...that's something I'm going to try to work on. I might catch some true one-on-one if someone wakes up early from a nap, but I've found that running an errand with only one can be very sweet and meaningful. It was tough to get a pic of Baxter facing me since everything was SO exciting for him in the store, but this "alone time" was a special one.

Chillin' with My Girls


The other week my old friend Jen came by and visited with her little girl Sydney. It was so nice to catch up with a dear friend and share all that we've been up to. I must admit that I didn't notice how noisy the babies are getting until I tried to carry a conversation. They are getting so very active and really want to express themselves with yells, squeals, and the likes.

Here is a pic of Jen & I and our little princesses.

Ahhh... a Sunset


I ran out to the car to grab something and noticed the sun setting on the horizon on my way back in. This is the sight I saw when looking back at the house and had to take a shot with my camera.

Open House!

There are many reasons that I haven't kept this blog up-to-date...the main one being that we have been crazy busy preparing for our first open house. I'm exhausted. I must say that it's very nice to have a home that is super clean, but it is no easy task. On top of it all, the babies are all suddenly sick with a cold which makes things a bit more difficult. They're generally doing well, but it's time to slow down and make sure everyone is happy and healthy.

Sooooo... today was our first Open House with 11 visitors!! Our realtor says that this was a great turn out and all comments were positive. It turns out that all the hard work we've done cleaning out closets, slightly decorating for Christmas, and even baking cookies was appreciated. Either you are okay with the hill or you are not. Hopefully we'll find a buyer who appreciates the home the way that we do and we can move forward looking for a larger space for our little ones to grow into.

We'll keep you posted!

Friday, November 25, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving!

I'm sorry, but I don't have new pics on this computer to share right now, but I thought I'd write an update regardless.

The babies' first Thanksgiving was great. This year has been plentiful, to say the least, and Kreg & I have a lot to be thankful for. We had dinner at my parent's house with my brother and his family. It was a full house and there were plenty of cousins to help with the babies (thanks Sarah, Elise & Shannon!) Each baby had turkey, stuffing, and all sorts of tasty tidbits and were tucked right up to the table alongside of the family in their high chairs; an unusual event since they are typically fed in their "line-up" in our kitchen.

On another note - Kreg & I are busy preparing our home for sale. It's a daunting task, but I figure that no time will be a good time to sell, so we're just going for it. More to come on that....

Much love to everyone. Now let the Holidays begin!!!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

The Soundtrack of Our Days

(this entry's for you Amy)
Each day I try to establish a "routine" for the sake of the babies, but often find myself changing things up to keep my own sanity. This may not always be for the best, which I'm learning as I navigate through the first year of our babies' lives, BUT I've found that we've established a consistent soundtrack to our days. Some day I'll look back on our first year and remember the below albums & songs with fondness. Here is the "Soundtrack of Our First Year" so far.

"Parent's" Lullabies for Babies
- Our "go-to" CD from the beginning as it relates to SLEEP (a powerful thing). I've referenced this CD in a previous post since I accidentally left it behind at a hotel and had them ship it to me (whew!). We press play on the nursery CD player at the beginning of every nap and bedtime and it plays through until the last track of simple heartbeats. I used to personally enjoy more of it when the babies were much tinier and we were doing more midnight feedings. I can't find it online to reference my favorite songs...there is one that features an oboe that I love and Kumbaya is also so calming.

The Best of Laurie Berkner

- YEAH! The "Happy CD" as we call it. We listen and play to Laurie when the babies wake up from their first nap and have such a blast. Just recently, I enjoy hitting play and watching all the babies as they stand up in their cribs, smiling and waiting for mommy to lift them out. Favorites are "Victor Vito", "Fast and Slow", and my two besties "Moon, Moon, Moon", and "Five Days Old". The beginning of "Five Days Old" is especially pretty and I pick up each baby and sing along to them quietly in their ear (re-playing the beginning of the track for the next).

Eat, Pray, Love Soundtrack
- Our neighbors let us borrow this soundtrack and somehow it became our "mealtime music". The babies will often find mommy or daddy dancing by them in the kitchen, making complete fools of themselves in the name of baby entertainment. What's not to love about a compilation consisting of (a lifetime fave of mine) Neil Young, Eddie Vedder, Gilberto, plus a killer operatic that I can't remember the name of. All good meals should be accompanied by good music, right?

Baby Mozart Music CD
- We take roadtrips which, of course, require roadtrip music, DUH. Though this would not be my first choice if I were driving across the country with my husband or best girlfriends, it sure comes in handy when running and errand with three babies in tow ...especially if someone starts to cry. All I can say is that I love it when the wacky, bubbly electronified Mozart xylophone kicks in and all goes quiet in the back of our mini van. I never thought I'd be saying that!

Friday, October 28, 2011

Helmet Buddies



As you know, Charlotte and Alton have been wearing helmets for quite some time now. So far, the process has been painless and both babies have adjusted very well to their new accessory. The helmets are to be worn 23 of the 24 hour day and so far we've been rather diligent about that. It's often difficult for me to see the difference in their head shapes since I see them every day, but I've been told that we are seeing progress for sure.

Here are a few shots of Charlotte's pink cammo and Alton's carbon head pieces.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Curls


It's official...we've got curls. At this point, Baxter is the only one to take after his momma in the hair department. Alton and Charlotte seem to have Kreg's beautiful straight hair (which I've always admired), but I must admit that I'm pleased to see a curl or two!!!

Autumn Feast







We took the babies to a favorite stompy grounds of ours - Tabora Farm and Orchards. Well, typically the cookies and other amazing baked goods inside are what people come for, BUT our trips found the hay outside to be simply delish. It was such a nice day for the whole family to get out and about together and enjoy (my favorite season) the FALL. Aaaah, the cool air paired with the crisp straw was a delight.

Speech Therapy = Mommy Therapy

At our 9 month check-up, it was suggested that Charlotte take some speech therapy. Our doctor is very proactive and tries to stay ahead of potential concerns, especially since Charlotte was growth restricted and 2 months premature. Though speech therapy may not be needed, Charlotte is not really expressing herself with her vowels or consonants just yet since she loves to "squeal". Most of our session today was focused on understanding the building blocks of communication and the therapist reassured us of how VERY interested and active Charlotte is (loves those toys, toys, toys).

There was a special moment when the therapist was focusing on Charlotte and the "give and take" of communication when I realized that this was more for ME than for our baby girl. Charlotte was fully engaged and totally enjoying going back and forth with her "ahhhhs" with Sue. I suddenly started to cry....tried to pull myself together but could not hold back some tears. I explained, "I'm sorry, I just get so worried about the babies". I was facing the struggle of a mother of multiples. On one hand, I'm a new mom who does not know what to do and wants the ability to focus on one baby...while on the other hand, I have three babies who need me and all the other "stuff" that comes along with living. I know I'm doing really well, but I also recognize that there's always room for improvement.

It's not like I don't talk with the babies...but sometimes it's hard to determine who needs me when. There's a learning curve for everyone...including mommy.

Whoa, Cosmic!


Baxter is in serious "explorer mode"...I suppose that happens with mobility. Here's a shot of him discovering Twilight Turtle for the first time. WHOOOAA, so much to explore out there!!

Shhhhh - Cherub Sleeping


For some reason I always call Alton our "cherub" or "putti". Maybe it's his round tummy or his full cheeks with pouty lips. Whatever it is, it's cutie pa-tootie.

Me and My Babes







My friend Sarah sent some super cool outfits for Alton, Baxter, and Charlotte and I promised to take a pic to send along. Well, I thought I'd post it since it's a keeper. I usually take Charlotte's helmet off for "posed shots", but Sarah wanted to see the whole get-up.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Our Sensitive Son


Alton is so sensitive. This picture shows how sensitive his skin is; he had a reaction to his helmet on his forehead and is having a mini eczema break-out on his cheek. My first born is also very sensitive in emotions and often wants "mommy" to hold him and comfort him when he's fussing. Don't get me wrong, Alton cracks up at almost anything and is a very happy baby...but he often remains our "resident screamer". Maybe it's the reflux or itchy skin, or maybe he just wants to be sung to like he used to love as a tiny newborn. We love you our little sensitive boy.

New Horizons


Who knew that introducing a kitchen floor would be so exciting? Mostly, the babies spend time in their playroom, pack-n-play, or family room....BUT, the kitchen floor proved to be an exciting new horizon for everyone. Since Baxter is very mobile (more to come on that), we need to be very careful, but everyone LOVES the new cool flat surface of the kitchen and dining room. So easy to scootch on for Alton and Charlotte and SO many dangerous things to try to climb up on for Baxter. UGGGHHH ... baby-proofing experts needed in the Jones home for sure.

Grandmom's House




So, I'm sure it's no surprise to anyone that I need to get out and about many days. Well, yesterday we stopped by and hung out at Grandmom's house after a doctor's visit. Boy, did we have fun!!! Cousins Sarah and Scotty were there to play with the babies and everyone was happy. Baxter took to Scotty's train set-up and Charlotte sure took to her big cousin Sarah. Who better to show the babies the ropes of life than their own blood??? Someday Scotty will tell Alton and Baxter all about trains and collapsing bridges and Charlotte will learn about all the fun things that come with being a girl from her 3 awesome cousins, Sarah, Elise, and Shannon. Here are some pics...thank heavens Grandmom had all the equipment at hand to deal with 9 month old triplets (giant play yard, excer-saucer, swing, etc).

Thursday, October 20, 2011

6 Extra Hands


Tonight we visited my friend Kate and her 2 little girls, Brigid and Maggie, for some fun playtime and catching up. All of the Johnston girls were so helpful and got to each feed a baby while I had some hands-free time to take a quick pic. Thanks guys! We had a great time and I was so happy to see my good pal.

The Melodies are Back!


Thank you Residence Inn for returning the babies' lullaby CD to us! On our drive back to PA from Boston, I realized that our beloved CD for bedtime was left behind in the hotel room. Even though Kreg's last words before leaving the room to pack-up the babies were "don't forget the CD and CD player", I managed to rush out the door with "everything but".

NO WORRIES...we got it back! I told the hotel to keep the player, but please mail the CD. I've been playing those tunes for the babies since they were in the NICU ... maybe I missed them more than anyone else.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Small Goals

Today I decided that it's okay to have small goals for the day. For example, I have a to-do list that I often add easy tasks that always get done, just so I am SURE something will get checked-off (ie, wash bottles, relax, get dressed)

Here are a few small goals I have for myself:

- Take at least 10 minutes after babies go down for a nap to work around the house, but don't race the clock in a flurry for the full 1.5 - 2 hours ... remember to relax
- You're no June Cleaver, but try to have something Kreg wants to eat ready if he's worked a long day
- Mind your mouth, it's time to stop swearing
- Get on the floor and play with the babies! Sounds like an easy one, but sometimes I need to remind myself when always thinking about the next step (bottles, diapers, food, etc.)
- Get better at one on one time. When the typical needy baby is grooving along, spend time with the one who doesn't always need your help.
- Continue to read to them. Don't get discouraged when they're not interested and remember the times that they loved it.
- Figure out "me time". This does not include the grocery store or checking facebook (duh). I need to find time to do something alone that loved pre-babies.
- When I want to overload on coffee, boil water for herbal tea. No need to be hyper-active.

Today's Featured Baby = Charlotte!




I thought I'd take the time to feature one baby today. She may be the smallest of our crew, but she most certainly will not go unnoticed. Charlotte is a spunky one. If we look away for a moment, we notice that our red-headed wonder is slinking off to snake a toy from a brother or explore new horizons. She pants away in true determination to reach her mini goals, all with a smile and some squeals. We often call her "Squeakles" since she squeaks away if she's trying to get our attention or just chatting with herself.

Charlotte is doing so well with her helmet and LOVES her physical therapist, Anne, who comes every other week. When she's not playing, playing, playing, our little peanut loves to cuddle and reaches up to the face of whoever is giving her a bottle in an amazingly endearing way. Daddy's beard is a favorite to touch and his glasses are so very interesting.

She's generous with her little crooked smiles and likes to stick her cute little tongue out 75% of the time. Though a big fan of cheerios, fruits, and veggies, she'll pass on the meats...yuck. Charlotte throws her tired triplet parents a bone with her even temper and great sleeping abilities. Thank you sweetie.

Good job growing up strong little girl! I wish I could have shown myself a pic of you today when I worried all those hours in the NICU. You are one little determined schmoopie. We love you.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Resemblance


hmmmm... little Charlotte comes from somewhere! Great grandmom Hazel as a baby...

There's that Triplet Stroller Again...






Here are a few more shots from our trip to Boston. Kreg and I took a morning and headed up to a favorite Jones family spot, Rockport on Cape Ann. This mini trip was very special for Kreg as it holds a lot of memories with his father...what a special thing to share with our babies.

pic 1 = Motif #1 in Rockport
pic 2 = Ice cream parlor (cousin Carey used to dish it out here)
pic 3 = On the docks
pic 4 = The trips and the Gorton Fisherman in Gloucester... "The Perfect Storm"
pic 5 = Babes at MIT (soak in those brainwaves!)...not Rockport, but in Cambridge

To Boston and Back!








Well, we did it again. This past weekend we packed up the triplet entourage and all things that go with them to head up the east cost to Boston. Great grandparents, Hazel and Alton, were waiting with bells on and everyone had a wonderful visit. Though we did not get by unscathed, I must say that 9 months old is much easier than 5 months ?? (I can't really remember when we did it the first time).

Once again, we had such a memorable trip and I really think that Hazel and Alton enjoyed witnessing the progress that the babies made. There were smiles all around...especially since Hazel had a brand new musical toy waiting for the babies to play with. We miss them already ... but here are a few pics to remember the trip by.