Neenee, Saucer, Bubbles and Seesen

Those are our kids names, if you ask them. They call themselves and each other those names. We try not to repeat them back (especially Bubbles-I don’t think Kimball will appreciate that when he’s in high school), but they’re so funny, sometimes we can’t help it. I know I haven’t posted in a while, but we’ve been very busy. This might be a little long.
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/I’ve been canning (yes, like your grandmother did) the produce from our garden – mostly tomato products. I’ve done tomato soup, salsa, chili with meat, spaghetti sauce with meat, roasted red pepper spread and peaches. It’s been an adventure learning about all the requirements and figuring it out. It’s hard work, but extremely satisfying to hear all the pops of the jars and see the pretty jars on my shelves. Too bad no one can eat them. If they eat it, then my supply will diminish, and I’m trying to build, build, build! Once the garden is done I’ll let people eat it. We actually opened one jar of salsa because Adam was feeling mighty persecuted.
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/I’ve also been baking bread. I was using a bread machine, but that is a thing of the past. Last week when Adam was out of town, in the middle of the night I heard a loud crash. My first thought was that one of the kids had figured out how to get out of their crib and out of their room and had fallen down the stairs and was bleeding. My other thought was there was an intruder. I formulated a plan in case it was an intruder and went to see. The clips in the bread machine had broken and the pan came loose, which knocked the machine off the counter, and took the toaster with it. The lid broke off and flew across the kitchen. I was so rattled I never managed to go back to sleep. Thus ended the bread machine era. I’ve made a few loaves sans bread machine, and I have to say, it tastes EVEN BETTER and the texture and shape are even better. We all notice the difference. Don’t get me wrong, bread machine bread is still better than store-bought, but this is even better than that. I always said I would never make homemade bread. I also said I would never can. I guess I changed my mind.
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/But you didn’t come here to read about me, did you? 🙂
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/Let’s start with the youngest. Caisen is such a sweet, adorable, easy, golden baby. And not just because I’m experiencing life after triplets. He is an extraordinarily easy baby. He is very easy-going. All he asks for is food, a clean diaper and to be included. It doesn’t matter what is going on, he wants to join in. He wants to be around his brothers and sister. For the first few months we kept him very protected and behind gates if he wasn’t in our arms. Now we put him in the floor with everyone. The kids are really good with him. They go and hug or kiss him or try to pick him up (which means they just drag him a few inches) or lie down next to him. He occasionally gets his fingers stepped on, but no matter what is going on, he loves every minute of it. He always fusses at dinnertime if he gets left in the other room. Sometimes he will just bust up laughing looking at their faces. Or our faces. I never knew my face was so funny. He is just thrilled to be part of the gang. Right now he has his own room, but once he figures out they all sleep in the same room, I’m sure he will demand to be in there with them. I’m not sure where we’ll put a fourth crib in an already crowded room, but we’ll have to figure it out.
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/If Caisen keeps growing at this rate, he’s going to be sharing clothes with Kimball and Sawyer next summer. One week before 5 months he weighed in at 16 pounds! He is wearing their 9-month clothes.
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/If explosive poops were a super power, Caisen would have his own comic book. They would call him The Blowout Kid. I remember when Brinlee, Kimball and Sawyer were babies that people would talk about packing extra outifts when they left home in case of a blowout. I can honestly say I never packed extra outfits, and Adam and I don’t remember a single blowout, at home or otherwise. This isn’t fuzzy memory. We thought people must not be diapering their kids right. We actually talked about our superior diapering skills because our kids never had blowouts. Caisen has at least one blow out a day. If he only has one, we get really worried about the next day, because it’s going to be extra bad. They are often up his back and down to his feet. And he is ecstatic after it’s over. He can’t stop giggling while we chisel the green paste off his backside and from behind his knees. Let’s just hope that we can raise him so that he uses his powers for good instead of evil.
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/Caisen is rolling over front to back and reaching and grabbing for things, including hair. It’s a good reason to keep my hair short. He is sitting up using the tripod position, but he falls over when he dives for a toy. He’s getting stronger everyday, which is scary because he is super strong already. He loves to stand up. It’s hard to get Caisen to practice sitting up because when we pull him up to sit, he goes straight to standing. He can support his own weight, but obviously he doesn’t have the balance to stand on his own.
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/Kimball is getting tall and talkative. He says and signs lots of words, but he still does his voodoo chants. He’s rambling and talking, but it’s unintelligable. It sounds like he’s putting a hex on you. He loves to sort and stack and collect things. He’ll get all of the cups or pajamas or bottles and put them in something like a box and take them out and put them in and arrange them and rearrange them. He’s a very sweet boy. When we get the water cups he will take cups to Brinlee and Sawyer first, or help them find theirs when they go missing. He also likes to stand on this bucket next to the changing table and supervise all diaper changes. Of course he’s smart enough to stand by their head and stay out of direct fire (and smell) range. Adam made chocolate milk for the kids for the first time. They saw him making some and demanded to have some sauce (chocolate syrup). When Kimball got his (10 oz) cup, he sucked it dry with no break and stared Adam down the whole time with the face that said, “How long have you known about this and why didn’t you share sooner?” Kimball’s current obsession is turning lights on and off. All. Day. Long. On the one hand it’s super annoying because he can’t reach it himself so you have to hold him. On the other hand, it’s very gratifying to make him so happy so easily.
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/Sawyer is in a teething season. In the last few months he has been getting 12-month molars and incisors. Those are the hardest teeth to cut, but he’s doing well, considering. We’ve noticed a big improvement in Sawyer since his adenoidectomy. He doesn’t drool or snore anymore. He also seems a lot happier because he’s getting better sleep at night. Sawyer gives the best hugs and kisses. He loves to cuddle and will sit on our laps indefinitely, if we would let him. He is obsessed with opening, but mostly closing things. If anything is open, a door, the milk, he will say, “Ohcloseit,” over and over until you do. He also has to ask if everything is hot, or pronounce it hot when it’s not. When we tell him it’s not hot he’ll just laugh.
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/He teases us a lot. Sawyer will say his cup is empty, and when you tell him it’s not he just laughs. I think this is still his way of making conversation and getting attention. He loves to be tickled. Sawyer loves his siblings. He and Kimball have been especially tight. They love to rock together in the rocking chair in their room before bed. They are always very concerned about where the others are. Sawyer’s crib touches Brinlee’s, and they play and play before and after sleep. Kimball joins in too, but Brinlee and Sawyer get to play physically. One morning I heard them giggling hysterically, and I threw the door open to see what was so funny. Brinlee and Sawyer were tickling each other and yelling, “Tickle, tickle, tickle!”
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/Brinlee is taking after her mother in all things shoe obsessive. She has a shoe wardrobe and takes great pleasure in picking out her shoes for the day. Once or ten times a day. She also loves to put on our shoes and try to walk. Brinlee is still very independent but is a lot more cuddly than she used to be. She will sit in our laps and play where before she was less patient. She also comes up and puts her forehead to our lips over and over and says, “Kiss.” We kept hearing her say, “Kiss it!” We couldn’t imagine where she would have heard that. We finally figured out she was saying Caisen. She is the first to put the C in front of his name.
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/The little princess also has an aversion to touching anything dirty. If she falls down in the grass, she does like a baby on their belly: arms, legs and head up. She refuses to put her hands down in the grass to help herself get up. She will just whine until one of us goes and gets her up. When she goes into the tunnel under their clubhouse, it’s fine because she touches plastic, but coming out is impossible. She’d have to touch grass to get out of the tunnel. So she just whines and whines until one of us helps her out. If she falls at the playground and gets mulch on her hands, it’s the end of the world. She really loves using utensils because she doesn’t have to dirty her precious little hands (they really are precious. I don’t blame her!). I’m afraid she gets this dirty hand aversion from me as well. But I got it from my dad, so I only accept half the blame.
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/We’ve been practicing going on walks in the neighborhood with their backpack leashes. The first few times I took Caisen in the single stroller, but Sawyer insisted on pushing the stroller like a big helper. His steering could use some help, mostly because he can’t see over the top. I wised up and started taking Caisen in a front pack carrier. They love their walks and beg to go on them over and over. When one of them tries to go in the road, we go home. The weather is so beautiful right now they just want to be outside.
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/We got professional hair cuts for the whole family. We have pictures coming up, and I thought the kids could benefit from the talents of a real hairdresser instead of my wild snippings. She did a fabulous job and the kids look so grown up, which I love and hate.
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/Streaking is a new favorite activity. All day long they beg us to take their clothes off. I think it started one day when I turned off the air while I was pressure canning. A draft could make the pressure drop and the timing would have to start over. It got hot in the house, and they asked us to take their shirts off. Ever since then all they want is to run around in their diapers, so we give them diaper time after breakfast and before bed. They’re starting to figure out how to get their own clothes off (even though we’ve tried our hardest to prevent that), so we’re hoping the weather cools off before that happens. I’ll just keep the house really cold and it will be miserable to be naked. By the time it warms up again they will have forgotten all about it. Mommy’s evil plan!
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/In an effort to get a filling breakfast before leaving for work, Adam has been making oatmeal in the slow cooker overnight. It’s really yummy, and the boys love it. They call it “OhNos.” They beg for it every morning. Adam has also introduced them to Captain Crunch cereal (it’s wheat free). He always gives them the good stuff.
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/I’m not going to reveal our Halloween costumes, but I will tell you that we’ve been practicing skipping. It is hilarious to watch them. I’ll have to video and post it.
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/Singleton kids do have some advantages over multiples. They get to try things sooner. Let’s take crayons as an example. Our children got crayons in a restaurant a month or two ago and promptly put them in their mouths. We took them away. It’s too hard to watch 3 kids at once with crayons or a real fork or playdoh. Today I put them in their high chairs with coloring books and crayons. They didn’t eat them. Brinlee did start chipping away at the crayon and covered her tray with crayon shavings. We’ll keep trying, but it takes a lot more supervision to do those kinds of activities with 3 toddlers. They also do puzzles while they are sitting in their chairs. They love puzzles and constantly beg, “Ussow! Ussow!”
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/Since Brinlee, Kimball and Sawyer were our first children and they were premature, we were never exactly sure what they should be doing and when. Until they are two years old, medical professionals judge them by their corrected age (how old they would be if they had been full term). A year ago we had them evaluated by the state early intervention program, and we had them come out again a few days ago to make sure they were on track, especially with speech, because we had no idea. The kids were in fine form, especially Sawyer. Whenever one of the therapists would ask Brinlee or Kimball to identify something or demonstrate something, Sawyer was right there to do it too. By the time it was his turn, they hardly had anything to look for because he had already done it all. He’s such a showoff. The official conclusion was that they are on track for their actual age (which is great!) and even ahead in a few areas.
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/A few weeks ago we were outside playing in the backyard. No one was doing anything too strenuous. Kimball came to sit in my lap in the shade. After a few minutes his arms started to twitch. Then his eyes rolled back in his head, and he started to seize. It only lasted about thirty seconds, but it felt like forever. He suddenly had a fever of 103. He didn’t have a fever when he sat in my lap. For the next five minutes he was non-responsive. That was probably the scariest part. Those images will never leave my head as long as I live. I took him in the house while we waited for the ambulance. When they walked in I started telling them what happened. Their first question was, “Is this a daycare? Have you contacted the parents?” No, this isn’t a daycare. I’m the mom. He came around shortly after the paramedics got their, and the first word out of his mouth was, “Outside?” The pediatrician at the ER decided it was a febrile seizure because his temperature had spiked so quickly. It isn’t likely it will happen again, thankfully. This was our first ER visit (if you don’t count Sawyer right after they came home from the NICU), and we know that we have been incredibly blessed.
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/Leo and Amber and their family came to visit in August. We had a great time together. Amber even helped me can 26 quarts of peaches. The cousins all had a great time playing together, and the grownups enjoyed the adult conversation. Ok, let’s be honest, the mommies enjoyed the adult conversation the most. The daddies get adult conversation at work 5 days a week. On Saturday night the five of us (baby Tyson came along, but he slept the whole time) went out to dinner for a double date.
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/Kimball usually naps in the guest room in a packnplay. While Leo’s family was here, we put all three of the kids in their room to nap together, and they loved it! They play before and after and are content (usually) to hang out in their cribs for a few hours. When Kimball was sleeping alone, he woke up crying and upset because he was alone. He also cried for a minute when I put him down because he knew Brinlee and Sawyer were together. I think he was lonely. They all get less sleep now, but they are happier during and after naps.
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/We went to visit Gran and Granddad in July and August for the first time since last Thanksgiving. Mark’s wife, Cheri, was brave enough to bring their two young children across the country to see all of us (Mark is at a new-ish job and couldn’t take any time off, but we missed seeing him) so we drove to see everyone. Since Leo’s and Eric’s families also live there now, all the cousins were together for the first time. We took some great pictures of the cousins and with Gran and Granddad. It was a hard trip because the kids were cutting incisors, but it was worth it. The cousins had a great time together. It made me wish we lived there too, but that isn’t likely to happen.
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/We did the 18-month and newborn pictures at a nearby park last spring. We went there the day before to practice playing at the park because they had never been before (yet another difficulty with multiples). It took 4 of us to keep track of 4 kids. We got brave enough to go do a playdate there last week with just 2 of us. It was our first time back, and it was really fun! The kids were all over the slides and climbing. They didn’t scatter like they did last time. They quickly got bored with the toddler play area and went to the big kid area. Before I knew it, I look up and Brinlee wass at the top of a 12-foot slide and down she flew! She was completely stunned when she got to the bottom and landed in the mulch. So she decided to try it again! She is a tall-slide junky. She has learned to control the speed and doesn’t fall off the end anymore. The part that really makes me nervous is the open areas on the tall parts. So far they stay away. Let’s hope they continue. It’s nice to be able to go to the park with them. They love it, and it’s a nice change in the day. Caisen is such a good boy that he just hangs out in his car seat and watches. I think that will change when he gets a little more mobile and wants to join them.
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/If one of them falls down and gets hurt and the other two see us comfort that one, the other two will run over to the same spot, throw themselves down and let out a fake cry while looking to see if they got our attention. So we fawn all over that one, “Oh poor baby did you fall down? Oh that’s so sad. Let me give you a hug!” By the time we give that one a hug, the third one is down in the spot and we fawn all over them. Then the original injured child is back in their fall down place, “hurt” all over again. They can go on like this forever. It’s a great way to get lots of hugs from three really cute kids.
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/Sometimes the kids ask for foods we think they’ll hate, but we give them just to see their faces. But we’re wrong. They love them. Pickles, sour cream, green onions, raw cauliflower. They will eat AN ENTIRE SMALL BOTTLE OF PICKLES IN ONE MEAL. Pickles are a veggie, right? Other favorites are a variety of sauces, especially ketchup. Oh, they love ketchup. And sour cream. And alfredo (the real stuff). They just dip their fingers and lick and dip and lick.
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/The best thing they’ve learned yet is how to say, “I love you.” It sounds like, “I you,” but we it’s music to our ears.
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/This post is super long, so I’m going to go ahead and post it and start working on pictures. I hope to post those in a few days.

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