Monday, December 31, 2007
Wednesday, December 26, 2007
Thursday, December 20, 2007
Giant Tinker Toys
Tuesday, December 18, 2007
When I was very young, most of my heroes wore capes, flew through the air, or picked up buildings with one arm. They were spectacular and got a lot of attention. But as I grew, my heroes changed, so that now I can honestly say that anyone who does anything to help a child is a hero to me.
Saturday, December 15, 2007
Tuesday, December 11, 2007
Monday, December 10, 2007
The Wise Guys thought it was a brilliant plan to race down the hill in our backyard. Not on foot. That is too simple, too "normal". They were racing in ride on cars and tractors. As fast as they could possibly go, lifting their feet off the ground and letting the speed and slope take them where it may. Crashing into each other makes it all the more fun! And then we had a re-creation of Jackass ...C hit a dip at the bottom of the hill and was thrown forward and his car, with him inside, flipped completely forward and over onto the roof. I watched from the top of the hill without breathing. A moment of hesitation, and then he started screaming. Running down the hill I had the thought that I should not move him (Mama Drama) not knowing if he had injured his neck in any way. But my little scrapper wiggled himself out and upright with nothing more that a bump and bruise right between the eyes. Just a regular morning around here.
Monday, December 3, 2007
Ironically, many parents set out to love their children unconditionally and then feel bad about themselves when they fall short. In other words, their self-esteem is conditional — contingent upon their success at loving unconditionally!
Some parents believe that giving selflessly to their children is proof of their unconditional love. But parental self-sacrifice is an insidious form of conditionality that diminishes both parent and child. Its true colors are exposed when the self-sacrificing parent eventually snaps and says, “How can you treat me that way after all I’ve sacrificed for you!?”
What gets us in trouble is focusing too much on what we’re doing and not enough on how we’re being.
Read more of this insightful article....
Friday, November 30, 2007
Thursday, November 29, 2007
Thursday, November 22, 2007
Kelly has a stressful job. He is acutely aware that he is the provider for this family and he does not take that lightly. He works harder than anyone I know. Without a doubt we remain his priority and he lives this every day. He makes every effort to be home with us for dinner, or at least for the bedtime routine, even if that means more work for him late into the night. He is fully present when he is here (something I can rarely manage and I am her all the time!). The boys know he is completely theirs when they are with him. Yet the demands of his job are always here as well. Thanks to modern technology, we've become accessible at any time of any day and in his profession there are no boundaries. Work beckons at all hours, on weekends, on vacation. He manages these demands, of work and family with competence and skill. There are times when it becomes too much and he must let his body rest but for the most part he is in constant motion and appears to have figured out how to handle the pressure. Two weeks ago Friday as he was preparing to leave for a major presentation he'd worked on for the better part of a month (days, nights, weekends...), he told me that he was feeling some pressure in his chest. He didn't want me to worry but it was unusual enough for him to feel he should let me know it was there. He assumed it was anxiety about the day ahead, kissed me goodbye and went on with his day. I was concerned - he has a family history of heart disease and we had just lost a friend to an undiagnosed heart abnormality. We spoke on the phone after his presentation and he said he was feeling better. The presentation had gone well and he was looking forward to the weekend at home. Fast forward to Sunday night. We were both upstairs with the boys and they were fired up. Kelly had been playing with them while I folded some of their laundry. I'd just said that it was time to brush teeth and get in beds when Kelly sat down and said he was not feeling well. He said his chest was hurting again, but different this time. And he looked terrible. I asked him a few questions in an effort to determine if this was an emergency (I recognize the stupidity of this statement now but at the time we had three little boys almost in bed and I was trying to decide if I needed to load everyon into the car and go to the ER or if I could get them to bed first and then make a decision about what to do for Kelly). He thought it might be heartburn and went to lay down. I got the boys in bed as quickly as I could and went to check on Kelly. He was lying in our bed, visibly uncomfortable and short of breath if he moved at all. I began my campaign for going to the hospital while reviewing my long expired CPR training in my head. I am not being funny here...I was very scared. Kelly wanted no part of hospital talk and kept negotiating for 30 more minutes "to see if this goes away". He wanted to sleep in his own bed with the promise that he'd see his own doctor Monday morning. When he was still unable to move without pain or speak without shortness of breath 4 hours after he initially said he felt bad, I more or less demanded he get in the car and we headed to the ER. (Much gratitude here for my sister, Michele, who stayed with the boys so we did not have to drag them along at midnight.) Skip ahead again to Tuesday (though a lot happened that I am omitting for the sake of getting on with the purpose of this post). Kelly had been in the hospital two days and all tests were normal, inconclusive, or slightly abnormal but with no clear indication why. Considering his family history, the cardiologist felt an angiogram (heart catheterization) was warranted. Ultimately, after 3 days and nights of tests (including the heart cath), it was determined that his heart is fine. That said, he was still experiencing pressure/pain and is now following up with a cardioligist as an outpatient as well as with his own physician to determine that cause and treatment for it. Likely, it is stress.
Here's the thing, before we knew all was fine with his heart, during the heart cath procedure, I was in a family waiting area when another family received news that their relative (mother) had had a serious complication during the catheterization procedure. In fact, they needed to decide immediately whether or not to take her into surgery to repair the damage and the doctors were uncertain whether or not she could even survive surgery. It was heart wrenching to watch this family come to terms with the news they had been given and to try and decide the fate of their mom. I felt so intrusive just being there but I was afraid to leave as I had been instructed that Kelly's physician would be calling me on the waiting area telephone should they find anything needing repair during his procedure. I also began to think about what I would do if I were given the same news about Kelly. It was an exercise I had not allowed myself to go through until that moment as I could not let myself be consumed with worry about things unknown. What I mean is that I am not a worst case scenario kind of person. I am pretty good at addressing things that are known and not getting caught up in the what ifs about most situations. It is, in my opinion, a waste of energy that could be utilized in a way that actually makes a difference for whatever the reality of the situation is. Fear is a demon I have battled since childhood. A constant companion whom I have worked hard at keeping in check...this is vague, I know, but the point is that I have lived with constant fear and I refuse to give it power over my life now. Seeing the pain of the family faced with such loss was an open door for my worst fears as an adult and as a parent to young children. What would we do without Kelly? Would my boys even remember what an incredibly strong and loving man their father was if they were to lose him at such a young age? How could I raise three boys to become men like him if I had to do it on my own? How would I ever feel complete? Have any peace at all without him?
More drama to follow in the next post - gotta run to pick up the wiseguys from school....
Tuesday, November 20, 2007
The Toy Action Guide is an invaluable resource—particularly at this time of year—for parents, teachers, or anyone concerned about the commercialization of children's play. It contains information on how to select toys that promote positive play and reduce the influence of harmful toys on children. There is a list of TRUCE's 2007-2008 recommendations for "Toys for Healthy & Creative Play." You will also find a list of "Toys and Toy Trends to Avoid," such as toys that lead children to spend more time with TV or other media, and/or let the screen take control of their play.
The guide also includes tips for making toys more environmentally friendly; resources for anyone with concerns about the toy recalls; and suggestions for "Shoe Box Gifts," an alternative gift idea that promotes play around themes with common objects often found around the house.
Download your free copy of the TRUCE Toy Action Guide today!
Thursday, November 15, 2007
C: WHY DID YOU TAKE MY DIRT BIKE???
Me: Because you are not listening to Mommy
Me: Your ears do not seem to be working this morning, maybe they broke while you were sleeping (said in a silly voice, trying to change the tone of this exchange)
C: (Pausing to think a a moment and then looking like a Cheshire Cat) YES! They are broken, they got broke when I was sleeping
Me: You'd better fix them right up
C: (With no hesitation) No. They are broken, I cannot fix them so I am not going to listen today!
I am being outsmarted by a 3 year old wise guy...ah, another day in the life!
Wednesday, November 14, 2007
Friday, November 2, 2007
C: Mommy, you know what I did at school today?
Me: What did you do at school today?
C: I wiped my butt ALL BY MYSELF - NOBODY HELPED ME (the caps are indicative a a very LOUD and excited voice)
Me: All by yourself? (pride mixed with shock and a little horror about what might still be in his underwear)
C: Yep, CHECK OUT MY BUTT!!! (said while simultaneously turning his rear end to face me - and the golfers on the 5th green - bending over, and dropping his pants and underwear to his ankles)
And several days before while riding in our car...
H to Me: Why aren't you smart?
Me: Uh, I'm smart
H: No, but why aren't you SUPER smart like us and Daddy?
Me: Hmm, maybe because I am so tired all the time
H: Mom, are you a little crazy?
Me: Probably so!
H: Yeah, me too
When we adults think of children there is a simple truth that we
ignore: childhood is not preparation for life; childhood is life. A child isn't getting ready to live; a child is living. No child will miss the zest and joy of living unless these are denied by adults who have convinced themselves that childhood is a period of preparation. How much heartache we would save ourselves if we would recognize children as partners with adults in the process of living, rather than always viewing them as apprentices. How much we could teach each other; we have the experience and they have the freshness. How full both our lives could be. John A. Taylor
We shall not achieve any significant change in society until we focus not only on what it means to be a parent, but also on what it means to be a child. Doreen Goodman
Wednesday, October 31, 2007
Tuesday, October 30, 2007
Our little boys are growing up. Eating us out of house and home (C had 5 pancakes for breakfast and 5 pieces of [homemade] pizza for dinner on the same day), compiling a growing list of childhood injuries (2 black eyes, one split lip that happened while shopping, one split chin requiring an ER visit, brilliantly colored bruised cheekbone, one goose egg, 10 splinters in one little foot, multiple scrapes and scratches and a cut in the bottom of a different little foot - these are just the ones I remember from this month), and exerting an ever growing need for independence at every turn. I have been struggling to keep it all together as Kelly has been working long hours and has been noticeably absent at the most trying time of our day (from just before dinner until bed time). He is such a blessing to our family, a tremendous help and source of humor and strength as well as a welcome distraction (for the boys and I alike) from the routine chaos. We miss him terribly when he is not here. I am feeling a little-no, a lot -crazy in the midst of it. Pitying myself and "single parenting" and then I remember my Aunt Maria and our dear friends in Germany and I am heartbroken for their loss and ashamed of my selfishness. Searching for perspective, wanting (and frequently failing) to be mindful of what is before me I feel the heaviness of the responsibilities that never cease. And I am tired. Tired of being a referee for little boys whose solution to any disagreement is a physical attack followed by the type of screaming that should only ever be permitted in the most dire of emergencies. Tired of sassy attitudes and outright defiance. Tired of the endless questions that have no finite answer and so they continue on and on. Tired from lack of sleep. Just plain tired! This tiredness has been defining me, has shifted and altered my attitude and I am not feeling like the good mommy I'd imagined myself to be. I am not even behaving like the mommy my children need and deserve. My voice is too loud, my temper too short. Yet they love me in spite of my failings (at least for now). And at the end of the day (or after any unpleasant exchange) when I ask their forgiveness, when we talk about our day and the things we should have all done differently, when I remind them that they are loved unconditionally even when mommy is grumpy or when they are angry or unkind we are immediately whole again. This fragile and frequently fractured circle of relationships that is our family can be glued back together (as C says about his chin - held together by Dermabond in lieu of stitches) and healing begins. Cs "glue" did not hold up to the rigors of life as a 3 year old triplet. We had to re-visit his doctor and re-evaluate our healing plan. A reminder that this love and these relationships must be nurtured, this trust must be valued and not taken for granted and this Mommy must get it together while there is still precious time with these little boys who will all too soon grow up and make a life on their own. Mothering is hard work! And it is the best job I have ever had the privilege to do...
Monday, October 29, 2007
Thursday, October 25, 2007
Gratitude bestows reverence, allowing us to encounter everyday epiphanies, those transcendent moments of awe that change forever how we experience life and the world. John Milton
Wednesday, October 24, 2007
Tuesday, October 23, 2007
Friday, October 5, 2007
H had a routine Pulmonology appt (he was diagnosed with asthma at 9 months). Kelly was not able to arrange his schedule to be here with the other boys so we all piled in the van and headed to Atlanta for H's check up. This is not something I enjoy. Three - three year olds at any doctors appointment is rough but even more so when two of them know they do not have to be there...we all have a difficult time patiently waiting and I am (and have always been) acutely aware that we are being watched by everyone the moment we enter a waiting room and people realize these are triplets. More on this later. So, we survived the check up, good report for H, lungs are clear and all the boys managed to keep the chaos to a minimum.
From there we headed to the farm for our weekly CSA pick up with a quick stop at Chick fil A (an incredible treat as far as the boys are concerned - probably the highlight of their week if you ask them) in between. At the farm we fed the pony, went through the corn maze, got silly on some hay bales and had a great time. And then we began the drive home (the farm is a little over an hour north of our house).
I keep "to do" things - items to be returned, exchanged, mailed, etc. - in my car at all times. It's easier than trying to remember to bring stuff with me when it might be a convenient day to take care of it. On our way home from the farm everyone closed their eyes (not me) for a much needed cat nap. We'd had such an uneventful day so far, and all was quiet as I approached our exit so I made an executive decision to continue down the highway a bit to a nearby sporting goods store where I needed to make an exchange. I thought the boys might enjoy exploring all the sports equipment and I'd be able to check something off my perpetually growing to do list. All was well as we entered. As expected, the boys were very excited to see the basketball goals, football pads, baseball bats and kayaks. I found what I needed for the exchange and everyone was happy. And then I made a rookie mistake...I decided that while everyone was happy, I'd do something for myself - GASP! I've needed a new pair of running shoes (not that I actually run) for awhile. We headed to that section of the store. The boys sat down on a nearby bench, I supplied everyone with cars from the stash in my purse and I turned to speak with a sales associate. As I began to explain to her what I was looking for I heard the scream that every mother knows means trouble. Turning my attention back to the boys, I saw B holding his mouth as he alternately cried/screamed and was able to determine that C's head had collided with his mouth as they were both running after their cars (these head on collisions happen at least once a day at home with varying degrees of injury). I asked him to move his hand so he could show me where he was hurt and the blood started spewing. Let me say here that I am not a very reactive (to injuries anyway) parent. I do not panic, I do not have a weak stomach and I almost always determine that a little ice and a hug will be all that we need - we are rare visitors in our doctor's office. This was no different than usual except we were in a very big store, very far away from the bathrooms and I had three little boys dispersing in different directions while one was screaming in hysterics with blood all over his hand and face. I somehow managed to drop my things, get everyone together, grab all hands and head across the store to a bathroom. Funny observation - in a store that was full of sales people looking to help me just moments before suddenly not one employee was anywhere to be seen. Through every department we trekked, up an elevator, into the bathroom where I placed the two uninjured boys against the wall and told them in my very serious, mommy means business voice not to move an inch. Poor B was still in shock about all the blood on his hand and though it was not hurt at all wanted most to wash it off. We managed to clean him up and determine the usual...a little ice and a hug would be all his fat little lip needed. But I learned a lesson that day. One I should have figured out in 3.75 years of life with triplets. Sometimes one more thing is just one too many and as sure as I think it'll be fine, we are bound to have an unforeseen adventure to laugh about later - once the horror of poor judgement has passed.
Tuesday, September 25, 2007
Read this post at Holy Experience
Saturday, September 22, 2007
We spent a beautiful day (weather was fall perfect!) at the Atlanta Botanical Garden. If you have not been, GO! It is one of our favorite places. We've been going regularly since before the boys could walk and now they are expert navigators. Everything we did yesterday was directed by them and what an adventure it was. Such wonder and imagination...we had a really great day.
Thursday, September 13, 2007
I'm not a big fan of Halloween. Kelly, my perpetually young at heart husband, loves it. So we began dressing the boys in costume when they were 9 months old. At first, it was just for pictures to share with friends and family and then came the inevitable trick or treating last year. I have to admit that despite my horror at the absolute crap that is distributed (and allowed to be consumed) on this day, I've had fun choosing themed costumes for the boys (and even Mom and Dad last year). As we approach October, I'd begun thinking of my next clever family theme when B announced that he wanted to be a Great Horned Owl for "costa-tune" (this is what he calls Halloween). I expressed my interest in his very specific choice and we talked about the birds of prey we'd seen at the Chattahoochee Nature Center recently but I felt certain that this choice would be forgotten once the trip to see the owls was not so fresh on his mind. Ah, but he is a smart one and has become determined that this is what he will be. In light of his revelation, C has decided that he too would like to be a bird "with wings and a beak and I want to take off my hands because I just want wings"...what? C, it seems, believes that if he is costumed like a bird, with wings and all, that he can really fly, because "that's what birds do". I fear he may give it a try if we put him in wings. H has decided to be a lion (wearing a costume he wore 2 years ago when we had a Wizard of Oz theme). Maybe I can be the zookeeper - oh wait, I already am!!!
First Halloween 2004
The Coach and his Team
(these are the infamous jerseys - chosen by the boys)
- drive the car (not H though, he is just "going to sit in the seat next to someone" - a driver perhaps??)
- come back downstairs after everyone else goes to bed
- go to work in a big office
- go to Colorado (B is infatuated with the idea of the big, snow covered mountains...we've been talking about states a lot this week while assembling a giant puzzle of the US)
I'm sure there was more but a few hours later, it's becoming a blur. This post originally started as a look at the boys' growing independence and their exercising autonomy but I realize it's diverted and is not very cohesive. I feel like much of the last 4 years is a blur. We are moving at warp speed and there's little time to slow down and catch my breath or reflect. I am a terrible journaler (read: I do not do it) though I have tried to get started many times. I'd hoped this blog would serve as a journal but I find that most days, by the time I can actually think about what has transpired and mull it over a bit, I'm completely exhausted. I am also a little bit (okay, a lot) uneasy about sharing my innermost thoughts with the entire World Wide Web. I am drawn to mothering blogs by women who are brutally honest, sharing their vulnerability, their hopes, their selves. I am not sure I am that brave or that honest. For the sake of my boys, I will try. I will try to transcribe our lives so that this beautiful history is not lost. It may not make much sense to anyone else as I record our present and our past in a hodge podge of random posts, but it will be something. And I am grateful for that. I am grateful for this crazy life...
When one is grateful for every little thing, one realizes that
nothing is a little thing. Who does not thank for little will not thank for much.
(I took this quote from a post about Gratitude on another blog. I love the profound simplicity).Okay, I have been trying to format this for too long. Apologies if it is not laid out as it should be on the screen...I am a technological illiterate!!
Tuesday, September 11, 2007
Sunday, September 9, 2007
Tuesday, September 4, 2007
How to receive the opulent gift of today....
"I GET to?!" Me? Really?
Yes, I too shake my head trying to make sense of why I am allowed to...I GET to grind the wheat, make the bread, and spread the day’s nourishment out on that farm table to fuel little tummies, to keeps arms and feet dancing, eyes sparkling…. I GET to offer sun-dried clothing to cover lengthening torsos, stretching limbs…… I
GET to be asked what is the substance of fire, how putting gas in the van
actually makes the van keep moving, and how does a country keep printing
money….. I GET to place soft bum cheeks in spotless white diapers….. I GET to
read slices of Swiss Family Robinson, Winnie the Pooh, Much Ado about Nothing,
Rudyard Kipling, Richard Scarry, and the Trial of Socrates….and that’s just this
I GET to do this!!! How did I end up here? By His grace. All of
It comes in the mail, those flashy invitations to limitless
possibilities with just a plastic square of silver, platinum or gold. And the
words: You have just been approved.
Well, those “You have just been approved”
exclamatory greetings pale into sickly invisibility when compared to what God
has approved---allowed---every day this heart surges: to LIVE!
Today I will try whispering it in wonder ---and begin to feel the rustle of kid-like glee and giddiness:
I GET TO DO THIS!
Lord, forgive me for every "I have to..." I have ever grumbled and dragged my feet and heart through....Let be dance with delight that I GET to live the life You approved, allowed, bestowed! All's Your grace. So please, Lord, grant the grace to praise, too.
Saturday, September 1, 2007
I watch the boys sleeping and I am in awe of the beauty before me, the blessing to have these sweet boys here with me. There is no way to explain the hole in your heart when you must leave the hospital without your babies. Born at 31 weeks, each of the boys had varying degrees of medical complications due to their prematurity. They spent 6 weeks in the NICU where I visited with them everyday. At first, they were all in different places (the hospital where they were born has multiple NICUs and nurseries). Visiting times were strictly enforced to limit disruption to the babies schedules and care. I would rush from one to the next, trying to have time with each of my babies before the allotted time was up. I would sing to them a song that they still love today (and the only one they will tolerate me singing now). They know it is their special "baby song" and ask me to sing it to them often while holding them like a baby...
Godspeed, little man