Three Monkies in Cages

I know it’s been a long time since I updated the blog. It’s been a wild few weeks. Ok, months. Lots has happened. The kids are growing and developing like crazy. Friday we had our final neurology appointment for Brinlee and Kimball (Sawyer doesn’t go) because they were discharged. He said they are caught up to their actual age developmentally instead of their adjusted age (subtract 2 months). Most preemies catch up by the time they are two. Some catch up a little sooner. Three months ago they were still following their adjusted age time line, so they made a HUGE leap.
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/Let’s see, when Brinlee first started pulling herself up to standing, it was in her crib at bedtime, of course. We would stand in the corner of the nursery where she couldn’t see us and watch her. She would crawl over, grab the bars and pull up without bringing her legs closer. So she would be stuck at a 90 degree angle. Her little legs would start shaking and her hands would start sliding down. It was so cute and funny. Flash forward 6 or so weeks and Brinlee is starting to stand on her own for a few seconds at a time. She gets soooooooooo giddy and happy with herself when she does something new. She looks like she’s gonna pop with pride and excitement. Last week she even stood up from a crouching position and stood for about 5 seconds without holding on to anything, the next day for about a minute. Now that standing is not so exciting (I mean, what challenge is that?), Brinlee has moved on to climbing. She grabs on to the side of the baby jail and puts those tiny little feet into any crevice she can. The other day I looked up and she was elbow high above the baby jail. Mind you, she can usually barely see over it. She had climbed up and found a secure foothold on a toy. In her crib she grabs the top of the bar and suspends herself with her arms while she bicycles with her legs, looking for somewhere to put her feet. When I hold her I hardly have to hold her. She holds on like a monkey. Let’s just say she is strong. Strong and tiny. She is still 3 pounds and 3 inches behind the boys. She’s just a petite thing. Everything about her is dainty, down to the way she touches things. I can identify her delicate touch even when I can’t see her. Even her eating is dainty. She won’t accept more food until she has completely chewed and swallowed every last bit in her mouth.
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/Brinlee’s obsessed with buttons and anything button-like. She rubs her thumbs on them. She also likes to play with my stud earrings.
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/Last month we did some sleep training. The kids had all been napping in different rooms because they used to wake each other up. I decided to take back the house! We helped them learn to sleep through each other’s cries. It took several weeks because we did not do it by letting them cry it out, but that was worth it to us. Anyway, one day I was working with Sawyer, who was crying because Brinlee had woken him up with her crying. His crying was enough to make her stop. She was standing in her crib watching us. When Sawyer started calming down and going back to sleep, Brinlee started cheering him on. She was jumping in her crib and chirping encouragement, “Don’t give up Sawyer! I had her in here for 30 minutes and you’ve been going strong for 15. She’s going to break any minute. Keep going!”
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/Brinlee is already developing her bossy lady attitude. When the boys are doing something she doesn’t appreciate, like being too loud, she starts waving her arms like she’s instructing them and yells, “Dat! Dat dat dat! DAt!” It’s really funny. And they usually listen to her.
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/Sawyer graduated from the walrus drag to full on crawling. The walrus is a thing of the past. He’s also pulling up to standing, but for a long time only with things that are shorter than he is, or if he had hold of our hands. Now he pulls up on everything. When Sawyer is in the baby jail and we walk away, especially with another baby in our arms, he moves over to what I call the wailing wall. It’s the side that’s closest to the kitchen and the couch I sit on to feed babies. He kneels or stands in front of it, desperately gripping the bars, eyes up and howls. “Why hast thou forsaken me?” So sad. Sawyer also talks a lot. I’m sure he is saying something important, but the truth is, he sounds like Scooby Doo. “Rarr Rar rar rrrrar rar!” He is very vocal. He laughs all the time, especially when he is tired. He gets slap happy and laughs like a goon. The surefire way to make Sawyer laugh is to rub noses with him. For some reason he thinks that is hilarious.
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/Sawyer is practicing his chewing abilities by chewing on me. He’ll crawl over and clamp down on me. His two favorite places to bite me are on my shin and on my ribs. Sawyer the Destroyer has moved on from indescriminately destroying every tower we build to picking them apart one at a time. He looks them over carefully, studying the structure before he takes it apart piece by piece. Sawyer is our would-be only child. He loves attention. Today when I took Brinlee and Kimball to the doctor’s appointment, he stayed home with a sitter and just soaked up every bit of attention he could get. He loves having one-on-one time. I wonder if he thinks the other two are pets or visitors or servants or something.
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/If one of the kids wakes up within 15 minutes of time to really get up (7), I go get them and bring them back to bed for snuggles. The last one I did this with was Sawyer. I was laying there with my eyes closed, thinking restful thoughts, and he was on his elbows looking at me saying, “Hey…….hey…..hey……hey……hey……hey.” I guess he wanted my attention. He also has personal space issues already. We have a learning table they stand at, and Sawyer does not appreciate if someone crowds him on his side. Close enough to touch is too close. That rule goes for most play situations. They are always piling on one another to see the same thing, and he doesn’t like it if someone reads over his shoulder. I kept running over there because I thought someone was being too rough, but no, he just wants his space. I can hear it now, “MOOOOOOOOOOOOMMMM! He’s touching me! He’s breathing on me!! make him stop!!”
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/Kimball is just as active as ever. He has a good time in his crib before going to sleep. His new source of entertainment is crib diving. He hangs on to the side of his crib with one arm, turns to face forward and throws himself forward on the mattress. The kid is fearless. He is practicing standing alone for a few seconds at a time. Our little darling has learned the benefit of lounging. There is a boppie in the baby jail, and when we put on the Signing Time video, Kimball will recline on the boppie and watch (don’t worry, we have a picture).
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/We bought the kids some big kid toys, one of which is a little bike/walker thing. Kimball can get up on the bike by himself. What a big boy! His dismount is usually a little less glamorous. He hasn’t tried to stand on it, thank goodness, but he stands on just about anything else he can to get a little height.
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/We’re doing well with the table foods. The kids are eating breakfast, lunch and dinner with us and eat whatever we eat. They like it a lot better than baby food. Brinlee will eat if her bites are very tiny (like she is). She picks up her food and moves it toward her mouth, but often misses because the food has to be so tiny. It requires more coordination than she currently has, but she’s getting there.
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/Sawyer looooves food still. He gets so excited when it’s meal time. His new favorite is yogurt. He is not interested in self-feeding. I think he prefers to be served. I think he was meant to be royalty, or that’s what he thinks.
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/Kimball is having a great time self-feeding. He’s working on his pincer grasp. Right now he picks it up that way, then rolls it into his fist, shoves his whole fist in his mouth and opens to release. Sometimes it work, sometimes it doesn’t. Sometimes the food comes right back out with his hand. He does pretty well though. And he really likes food. He likes just about everything we give him. I think he didn’t like baby food, but who would? Now that we’re on table foods, he is really enjoying it. They all make the cutest smacking yumming noises when they eat. And they always look so serious while they are eating. They’re working hard!
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/Brinlee and Sawyer had blocked tear ducts, so in August they had a very minor surgery to unblock them. Everything went very smoothly.
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/Finally, teeth! For a few. Kimball has one all the way through and is working on 3 more, all on bottom. Sawyer has one all the way through on bottom and is also working on 3 more. They came through the last week of September. Brinlee……..might be working on one. We’re just hoping she gets one before they turn one.
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/Every time they kids are ready for sleep, I take them up one at a time and rock them to help them settle. We always put them down awake, and they each have a cue that lets me know it’s time to put them down. Kimball grabs a handful of my shirt, sticks his first finger in his mouth and sucks. The eyes start to get heavy. Most recently he has been sticking part of my shirt in his mouth with the finger, which I don’t care for. If I can tell he’s doing it I slide it out, but often I don’t know until I have a big wet spot.
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/Sawyer lays his head down on my shoulder and shoves his arms under his torso. He leaves his own wet spot contribution on my shoulder, but we’re assuming that is temporary due to teething.
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/Brinlee settles in to my shoulder and starts tossing her head back and forth. When the tossing stops and her breathing slows, I know it’s time to put her in her crib.
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/Brinlee and I already have our first source of conflict: we’re in love with the same man. Brinlee is oh so smitten with her daddy. He is her number one favorite everything. Trouble is, I feel the same way about him……She loves me when he is not around, but the second he is, she drops me so fast my head spins! When he picks her up, she gets this smug, satisfied look on her face that says, “I’ve got my man.” No, you have MY man. He’s on loan for a while. Someday you’re going to have to get your own man. Sorry sweeheart. Love you. My consolation is that all 3 of our kids are pretty snuggly, including Kimball, who, being so rough and tumble I assumed wouldn’t be, but he is biggest cuddle bug of them all. So I get plenty of love during the day. The boys seem to love us both equally, but obviously during the week when Adam is gone most of the day, they prefer him before he leaves for work and when he gets home. I don’t mind.
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/We took the kids to the Aquarium a few weeks ago. Turns out, we were the main attraction. Of course we went with our friends the Guinns, whose triplet girls are only 2 weeks older. People were taking pictures of us everywhere we went. So weird. We always take a picture together, so there we were, 4 parents, 6 babies, and 2 people acting as photographer. Obviously, we were posing for a picture. Obviously, there are 2 young couples with all the babies. Obviously 2 families. Obviously not. This woman comes right up to Adam in the middle of this picture-taking session and gets right up in Adam’s face and asks, “All these babies got the same mama?” Um, no. See the two mamas in the middle? Get out of our picture. I swear. Other than the annoying things like that, we had a very nice time.
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/The next week Kim and I also took the kids to the natural history museum. they do a free day once a year, and we took advantage. There were 5 other sets of triplets besides us. We got a picture with 4 sets. There were a LOT of kids there that day. It’s a very nice musuem with lots of great things for kids, and I think they’ll really like it when they’re a little older.
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/My sister-in-law, Cheri came for a visit with daughter Juliette and baby smalls (in utero). They were waiting to meet up with my brother after he finished his internship at Harvard. They were apart all summer. No fun! We enjoyed the visit with them. At the end of the week we all drove up to my parents’ house together where Mark arrived from Harvard, and my aunt Cheryl and uncle David also came for a visit. It was a big weekend.
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/My final story before I move on to the pictures is, we went on a family vacation to the beach! How can I describe their experience in a nutshell? They hated it. They hated the sand, the sun, the water, the wind, essentially all the main components of the beach.
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/The drive down was a dream. They slept off and on, looked out the window. Destin isn’t exactly right off the freeway, and at the very end we missed a turn, making us an hour late for bedtime. Sawyer lost it that last 45 minutes. Considering we had been in the car 7-ish hours, he was entitled. He just wanted to go to bed. We went to the beach every day for about 3 hours. By the last day they would let us pour sand over their feet, but that was as brave as they got. We really thought they’d like the ocean since they love the bath, but no.
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/The weather was ideal, 85 degrees and sunny (except the last day when the tropical storm hit, but that’s what outlets are for). The only annoying thing was the love bugs everywhere. It’s mating season and they fly around everywhere ….. attached. Many of them died on our windshield.
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/We took some pictures on the beach our last day when the tropical storm died down for a bit. We got some ok ones. At the end it started to rain again. Adam was shifting babies and Brinlee dove off his lap, face first into the sand. We thought she would flip out, but she didn’t. A little baby powder took care of it, but it cut our photo session short. That and the tropical storm around us.
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/We were concerned how we were going to feed the kids since we weren’t going to haul 3 high chairs down there. We had breakfast in the hotel restaurant, and they had 2 there, so Adam rotated who he held each morning. Lunch and dinner were a little different. Turns out, we didn’t need high chairs. They boys stood at my chair and begged for food like little puppies. Brinlee doesn’t beg for anything, especially food, so she got daddy’s lap again. Looking back, it might have been a ploy for daddy time. We were always a huge hit in the restaurant. We got everything from outright laughter to applause. Other people would go sit clear on the other end or outside because they thought they were going to be loud, I guess. The kids were always very good.
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/We took the kids to a restaurant for dinner one of the nights, and that is when Brinlee and Kimball self-fed for the first time with crackers and french fries. Sawyer would hold his and take a bite, then drop the rest.
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/The highlight of the trip for the kids was the time they spent in the hallway outside our suite. They were crazy, crawling up and down and back and forth. They were so excited! The maids always thought they were so cute. It was a nice break because there wasn’t anything in the hall that was a no no. In the room we were having to keep them away from the oven, the cabinets, everything fun. When we headed for the elevator, they kids would crawl down the hallway after us, laughing like crazy, having a blast.
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/They also enjoyed their bath every day when we got home. We didn’t take their bath seats, and bath time was a lot more stressful for us. They kept trying to stand up and dive. I had been wondering if we were ready to give up the bathseats. We’re not! When Brinlee splashes in the bath and the water hits her face, she jerks back, genuinely surprised every time that someone is throwing water on her!
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/The drive home was less idyllic. The kids were tired and had gotten colds. It wasn’t horrible, but there was more crying. We stopped at Hardees to feed the kids their bottles. Brinlee gagged on some medicine we gave her and threw up all over Adam’s face and shirt. It was just like a movie. If they hadn’t both been so obviously distressed, I would have laughed. Poor Adam locked his mouth shut to keep it all out while I got a burp cloth to wipe his face.
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/Overall, the adults enjoyed the trip, the kids liked the hallway and when we were out and about. I guess it’s the age. Maybe next year they’ll enjoy it.
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/August and September were big months for us, and October, November and December don’t appear to be any less exciting. We have lots to do!
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/So many pictures to show….
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/Fun in the bath! We have the best time.
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/Aunt Cheri, cousin Juliette and baby boy smalls (in Cheri’s belly) came for a visit. So much fun!
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/Sawyer asleep in his beloved jumper.
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/Brinlee and Sawyer playing together.
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/They’re practically Siamese triplets because they are attached at the hip. Wherever one goes, the others go. They are always crowding the same space.
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/Our freak show: at the aquarium with the Guinns.
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/Brinlee and her man. Wait! That’s my man!
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/Sawyer and mommy at the aquarium. When I put him on my shoulders at the zoo, he grabbed my sunglasses and threw them to the gorillas. Thanks.
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/All over each other again.
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/Brinlee on top of the barn, trying to be taller.
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/Mommy and the kids at the natural history museum. Daddy had to work (it was a Monday). Isn’t mommy brave to take them alone?
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/Ok, so I wasn’t TOTALLY alone. There were 4 other sets of triplets there that day (that we saw), but I was only there with the Guinn girls, and Kim had 3 of her own to take care of, so it wasn’t like she was going to be able to jump in and handle mine.
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/Kimball climbing on the SAME barn to get up higher. We try to move it away, but it mysteriously ends up at the sides again. Hmm.
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/Kimball chillin, watching some Signing Time.
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/Why are Brinlee’s lips purple? Is she suffering from hypothermia in the 100+ degree weather? No, that is the remnant of a purple popsicle mommy shared. She liked it.
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/Our boys on the beach.
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/Brinlee napping on mommy.
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/Brinlee jumping on mommy.
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/Sawyer sleeping at the beach. What else is there to do?
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/Kimball asleep on mommy. Are you noticing a trend here?
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/Family photo on the beach.
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/Brinlee and her man my man again.
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/Brinlee post face plant.
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/Can we go?
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/Kimball and Sawyer brave the elements. BTW, treasure the matching outfits. It only happened for the picture. You’ll notice we all match. It’s visually appealing. I haven’t changed my mind.
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/Three beach bums.
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/Adam ran back and forth like a maniac trying to keep their attention so they wouldn’t crawl away. What a good daddy!

3 thoughts on “Three Monkies in Cages”

  1. Hi Adam and April (and 3 kiddos)
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    /They are getting so big, and I’m sure they keep you busy!
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    /We have a blog too, if you care to check up on us Utah cousins!
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    /byueyrings.blogspot.com
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    /Hope you don’t mind if we have linked to you guys!
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    /–Sean and Janet

  2. I loved reading your latest news! The kids are so cute and I love the family portrait!
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    /I just have a question about this one thing:
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    /”BTW, treasure the matching outfits. It only happened for the picture. You’ll notice we all match. It’s visually appealing. I haven’t changed my mind.”
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    /You haven’t changed your mind about what exactly? A “No Matching Clothes” policy? Just curious!
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    /-Shayla

  3. No matching outfits is the policy. I don’t mind coordinated, especially for pictures, but ordinarily I don’t make an effort to do it. I know lots of parents of multiples like to do it, and lots of people WISH I would do it, but it’s not my thing.
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    /April

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