Leigha and the Triplets

Friday, December 19, 2008

While You Were Gone

Dear Noe,

You have been gone for almost 11 months now. While you were gone, so much has happened.


Our boys LOVE to throw me into a tail spin whenever you are out of town. Noah and Matthew contracted RSV and Matthew had to top his brother and add pneumonia to his RSV. He couldn't let his little brother outdo him! You had to leave for Japan while they were in the hospital.

On a positive note, Matthew really started taking steps on his own. He would tire out fast and drop to his knees, but he was doing it!


This was a busy month. First of all, I almost lost my mind. Within a 24 hour period, I lost about 3 or 4 smoke detectors. It really almost sent me over the edge. Why don't they go off when everyone is awake? Some even had good batteries in them. So I took a chance of having the house burn down, and removed a few of them. That might just be on your list of things to do while you are here. They will be found in strategic locations (wherever they landed after being thrown). Second, Leigha turned 7 years old and we had a surprise party for her! She had been told all along that we would take her to Disneyland on her 7th birthday. Our plans had a wrench thrown in them when you took off for Japan. There was NO way I was taking all four kids to Disneyland by myself. Luckily, the thought of going to Tokyo Disney seemed to keep her happy. Unfortunately, right before her birthday she realized that meant no party. She already lost her Daddy for awhile, how could I keep her from celebrating her birthday with friends? She was surprised!

The boys were also busy! They had their evaluations for Early Childhood Education. I was a bit nervous that they wouldn't make it into the classes, but they qualified. It really helped that they were triplets. I swear, I couldn't stop laughing at some of the questions they asked me. For example, can they drink from an open cup? Like I am going to hand those three monkeys open cups when sippy cups still go flying across the table! Another good one, can they hold scissors properly and cut? Yes, I am handing those three scissors! Just think of everything they could do with them. I was also concerned because they knew their letters, shapes, colors, etc. Although they scored really high academically, they fell short in other ways. It helped that they had their own language.

Leigha lost her 3rd tooth this month!


Time to say goodbye to our first nanny! Nicole was definitely not cut out to stay indoors all day with three little boys. She has always been an outdoors person, and you could tell this was too much for her. It was a mad dash to find another nanny while I was on Spring Break. I did find one in time. Katie started the last day of my spring break.

Easter was a lot more fun this year. They boys really had fun looking for eggs. Thankfully the Easter bunny uses my camera to take pictures of all of the hiding places. How smart is he? I will never have a rotten egg hiding again! Leigha is getting TOO good at finding eggs. He's going to have to be a bit more clever with those hiding spots next year!

For the boys' third birthday, I had a hard time resisting an airplane from Costco. It was a seven seater teeter-totter. How could anyone pass that up, especially since it was CHEAP!? I knew you would be thrilled, so I went ahead and got it anyway. I was pretty good about rotating it around the grass so it wouldn't die. Well, I was good about doing that until this fall. Can I blame that on the nanny?

I really didn't want to do anything for the boys' birthday, it just seemed too much for me to do by myself (I was getting lazy). At the last minute I decided to throw an impromptu party. You have never seen such a large birthday party thrown together at the last minute. However, that's pretty easy to do when you invite two other sets of triplets over, in addition to your neighbors. A good time was had by all!

It wasn't all fun though! Your little boys just would not leave their hands off of the television. The gate around the television just wasn't cutting it anymore. The boys would ram the gate to flatten it out. That way they had access to all of the buttons. They mastered popping in and out DVDs, sometimes a few at a time (oh joy). My uncle came up with a brilliant idea that I needed to get a TV that hung on the wall. Hmmmm, he twisted my arm? Don't worry, you will LOVE it!


The nanny started the oven and then stopped it. Magically it didn't work that night. Not being very familiar with gas ovens, I called on some of my neighbors who had the same oven I did. That didn't help one bit. No one could figure out why my pilot light wasn't ignited. Really, is an over THAT important? Nah!

The most exciting event of the month was when the boys started school! It was bitter sweet. I love that they are learning, but it just seemed so odd to put them on a big school bus and have them taken off with a complete stranger. Luckily I was only there to experience it the first time. I am not around when they go to school every morning.

Matthew did not really care for his chair. Since he wasn't fully walking on his own, he is required to be transported in a stroller/wheel chair. It was really odd, he will talk your ear off before he gets in the chair and as soon as he gets out of the chair. He would NOT talk while sitting in the chair.

Leigha lost her 4th tooth, and it was a front tooth! She was very excited.

She even wrote a note for the tooth fairy!

We attended the reunion for the NICU at Summerlin Hospital. It's always fun bringing the boys back and showing off how far they have come. It had been a little over three years since they were born 13 weeks premature and fought for their lives. I also learned that our kids are NOT scared of characters. If I lost track of one of the kids, all I had to do was look for the characters and I would find them under their feet.

Those were the highlights of the month. In our house, we couldn't go without hitting a few low points. While I was giving the boys a bath, Noah was on his knees and he tried to reach for something. He lost his balance, slipped, and hit his cheek on the edge of the bath tub. I was sitting right there and barely heard anything. However, his face started turning colors and swelling immediately!

Once again, not to be outdone by his brother, Matthew decided he would just completely knock one of his front teeth out! The poor boys are already missing the same two teeth I am. Therefore, Matthew had his two front teeth (with a large gap between them) and then NOTHING on either side. Now he was down to ONE tooth across the entire front!

What amazed me the most was that his tooth came out in one solid piece. I had NO idea how big a root of a tooth really was!

I just sat back and wondered who was going to call CPS (Child Protective Services) on me. What on earth did their new teachers think? Although I was more fearful of telling you what had happened. I took comfort in knowing you were on the other side of the world!


May was a great month! It started off with Rachel Coleman coming to Vegas for a performance for PBS. My school was lucky enough to have her come perform for us twice! That is very rare and we were extremely appreciative! She had just been nominated for an Emmy!

In the afternoon, we headed over to meet up with Rachel, her husband Aaron, and some other friends at the park. They were doing some filming for the upcoming Baby Signing Time Volumes 3 and 4. They were working on someone else for awhile and unfortunately the boys were growing tired. I knew we were in trouble when I heard Noah breathing from afar. Believe it or not, they made it into Baby Signing Time 3! Not because they cooperated, Aaron is just that good (and SUPER nice)!

After the park we headed over to the ampitheater for the big show. Leigha was quite the little ham, as always, and she enjoyed playing around while we waited for the show to start.

She even got picked to go up and help sign a song again. Can you tell she is "scared"?

With the help of Crista and Chuck, I was able to escape for a weekend getaway with some friends. They started to wonder if I was returning. I guess when moms leave their children for the first time, they tend to call quite often. Oops, I will try better next time (please tell me there will be a next time?). See--I did return home.

Did I mention that I won first place in a race for my age group?!

Towards the end of May, Leigha performed in our school's Variety Show. She signed the song "It's a Wonderful World." She was fantastic!


In June we embarked on another cross-country drive to my parents' house. We never have a dull time while we are visiting together. This year was no exception. I am not sure which was more frightening though, it was a definite toss up. You decide. The first entry would be the lovely Green Sharpie mural that Robert (with Noah's help or just a cheerleader) drew on Grandma's fully decorated room. He didn't leave anything out: the door, the carpet, the dresser, the bed sheets, her bra, t-shirt, another door, pictures, oh and the WALLPAPER!

Or was it when Matthew had a febrile seizure in the middle of the night? It was a good thing he was holding his own, because I think it took the ambulance about 20-30 minutes to reach their house. Hope no one has a true emergency on that mountain!


In July, you missed out on even MORE fun!! Our wonderful friends redid the boys' room while we were gone. They took down their jail cells, I mean cribs and crib tents, and assembled their toddler beds. Let me empasize that these are beds and do NOT have anything to keep them in! The only choice I had was to put a gate up at the door so that they couldn't get out of their room. That left everything else IN the room as fair game!

Leigha decided that she wanted to cut her hair off and donate it to Locks of Love. I was very proud of her. I am not sure who it was scarier for, her or me? I loved her long hair, but then again I hated fighting with her everytime it needed to be brushed! The new haircut made her look so much older.

While the boys were in school, I had some free time (YES--FREE TIME) to finally do some cleaning in our closet. You always complain about me being a pack rat. I decided that it was time I got rid of clothes I have had since college. We don't need to discuss how many years ago that was. While I was trying clothes on, I realized that there was no way I would ever be caught dead in some of them again. I wonder what poor soul will end up being subjected to some of those items.

Oh don't worry, I went shopping immediately to replace some of those clothes. You will not have anymore space in the closet when you return. (Note to self: make sure Noe has SOME space when he returns--I have overtaken his sides.)


August was a busy month! I traveled with all of the kids and your daughters to Japan to see you. Yes you are aware of that, but unfortunately you didn't get to do the traveling with us. I know you were jealous. Running through airports, with 3 kids in strollers, 3 LARGE car seats, 6 backpacks, one rolling luggage, a 7yr old, with 20 minutes and a bunch of flights of STAIRS sounds like a lot of fun! Oh, add in the LONG flight to Japan. Yes, wish you were there with us. We did have a ton of fun, even though we think you might have been a figment of our imagination. Next time we fly across the world to visit, maybe they might let you have one full day off!

The rest of August didn't disappoint for excitement. I was completed jet-lagged when we returned from Japan and I had exactly 10 days to find a nanny. No pressure, huh?! This time I placed an ad in the newspaper for an experienced nanny. I wasn't going through what I did the last times. What I didn't realize is that the phone would not stop ringning. I had a few winners in there, and I am sure sorry to have had to let them go (sorry to whoever ended up using them). I found the right one with a few days to spare.

I also threw in a second attempt at getting a brain MRI for Matthew. I had finally gotten over the jet-lag, and then I was told that Matthew had to be sleep deprived. Wait- if he has to be sleep deprived, doesn't that include me? Ugh! So we stayed up all night and almost didn't have any success AGAIN. I tried driving around one last time and he finally conked out and stayed out during the test. By the time I finally got to bed that night, I was exhausted! When I woke up, I looked at the clock and it said 8:30 a.m. I was so overjoyed that the boys let me sleep in. They never sleep that late. As I opened my door, Noah was climbing the stairs. I had a momentary relief thought that maybe he was just returning from downstairs after realizing I wasn't up. I was WRONG! I found the entire lower half of the game shelves ALL over Leigha's playroom AND my neighbor standing in the doorway. It seems that my kids had been down knocking on her door TWICE! Thankfully Tara knew that I would not have my kids out in their pajamas that early in the morning. Robert also proudly announced that I was sleeping. This is what the room looked like after cleaning it for a long time.

Later that month I managed to send Noah flying through the air when I pushed him a little too hard on the swing. I am such a great mother!

Then it was time to start a new school year. The kids were all excited to get back to school. I can't say that I really shared their enthusiasm. I enjoyed having the summer off!


Making sure that our lives were never dull, Matthew decided that he would put an old cell phone in the microwave and set it on fire. I would like to say that he learned his lesson, but his fingers were back on the buttons within a few days. It's a good thing that my mom told me that you could hold the clear button down to lock the buttons. Wish I had known that earlier. Even after putting out the flames, that smell stuck around! Wish the other two cheerleaders had stopped him.

Remember that 200 oz. of Tide that fell of the shelf and flooded the laundry room over a YEAR ago? You kept telling me not to worry about the soap that had gone under the machines because YOU would clean it up for me? Yes, I finally gave up on the idea that YOU would clean it up for me. So on my birthday, I finally got it cleaned out! I know you are jeaous of how I spent my birthday, don't lie. Wait, maybe you are just happy that I won't be harping on you to get it done anymore.

Then came potty training. Yes, you picked a great year to leave me alone with the kids. The threes are a BLAST! First toddler beds and now potty training. That meant I couldn't even lock them in their room. I had to make the bathroom accessible to them and TRUST them to use it appropriately. Robert was the first one trained. He was doing great at school and at home. He was staying dry through the night and wasn't using the pull-up for long. Then there was one lovely night. The poor kid had diahrea and tried to clean it up himself. Let's just say that I was scrubbing both the bedroom and bathroom for HOURS! I will spare you (and everyone else) the pictures of glory that I took. Yes, I will remind Robert all that I have done for him.

Noah was the next one to be potty trained. He wasn't as easy as Robert, but he was trying. I kept him in pull-ups for a bit longer while he was out. Man did it make it hard to go out with the kids. I swear, everytime I hit a store I heard, "I have to go potty." The logistics of having 4 kids and trying to take care of two of them needing to use the potty was not fun!

Matthew has NO desire to potty train. I think we might have to invest in a diaper company because we might be sending him off to college in diapers.


In October we had the chance to join a friend of mine on a house boat. I think I momentarily lost my brain and decided to throw four kids, who can't swim, on a speed boat and take them on a day trip. We all had a blast! I can't wait to do it again.

Halloween was a lot of fun this year. First we started out with Trunk-or-treating at school. My grade level had our yearly theme going on. This year it was bowling. We had 4 pins, a ball, and two bowlers. We are awesome. I decided not to buy the boys costumes this year since they should have fit in their costumes from last year (and I didn't do anything about getting new ones in time). However, it turned out to be warmer than it should have been on Halloween. So I found the glow in the dark skeleton shirts I had bought them and bought some black sweats. That works, right? Leigha picked out her own costume. She chose to be a devil, and that says a lot about her!

The kids really understood the whole trick-or-treating. Unfortunately, the man at the first trunk told the boys to pick their own candy. That invited the boys to digging down and grabbing a ton of candy. It was hard to get them to understand that they were only allowed to take 1-2. These are defintely MY kids.


In November, my aunt and uncle joined me on a new adventure. Lowe's offers free clinics for kids on Saturdays twice a month. I found out that they were having semi trucks and knew that the boys would love them. Thankfully my aunt and uncle called to see what we were doing and when I told them, they offered to join us. THANK GOD! I mean seriously, I was about to hand a hammer to those three boys?! What was I thinking? They did a great job and we all had a great time.

That is also the month where we all were extremely ill. There really should be a rule that the mom doesn't get violently ill at the same time as the kids. Those were some rough times!

Matthew isn't the only one who has experimented in causing trouble. In November, Robert flushed one of Leigha's toothbrushes down the toilet downstairs. Thankfully Robert is the most honest kid I have ever known. He proudly smiled and told me he flushed it down there. I was in disbelief until I did the toothbrush count. I was off to Lowe's to buy an auger (snake).


The fun didn't stop in December. Matthew really didn't learn his lesson because he decided to stick my laser mouse for my laptop in the microwave and turn it on. Thankfully one of the boys stopped it after 3 seconds. It was in there long enough to kill it but not long enough to set it on fire. Lucky me? I would like to blame the nanny for not locking the microwave, because I swear it wasn't me (at least I don't think it was.)

Robert didn't seem to learn his lesson either. Noah ran to me one day and told me that Robert flushed a pancake down the toilet upstairs. I thought to myself for a minute. A pancake wouldn't cause a toilet to back up, so I was safe. That was until I realized it was a piece of pretend food. Out came the snake again! I am truly a pro at snaking toilets. Unfortunately, the snake just kept moving it around so that the toilet would flush. Eventually, through lots of plunging, the top half of a hamburger bun popped out!

If either of your boys pull another stunt like that, it's their third strike and they are OUT!

I think that about sums up our year while you have been gone! Aren't you just thrilled you took that job in Japan? I can't wait to see what is in store for us over the next 3-5 months.


Kathie Wheeler said...

Hi Cathy,
So good to hear from you. I think of you often. What a life you have. Aly is actually in her first year of College and loving it. Dan is a junior. That's quite a feet to be doing that all on your own. How long will Noe be in Japan? My email is tom_kathie@mwt.net. I'd love to stay in touch.

Tiffany said...

I found your blog awhile back from a comment you left on Rachel's Signing Time blog. I'm really bad at commenting and figured it was about time.

You certainly had a memorable year. It was fun to hear all the crazy things you have experienced with your boys. I just don't know how you do it with 4 kids. I can barely keep my head above water with one and Evan is not nearly as adventurous as yours are.

I've got a private blog. If you'd like to check it out, send me your email. Tiffanyiswright@gmail.com.
We've moved to Utah, but we hope to make it to the reunion again this year.

Michelle said...

Loving your blog - just popped over from Twitter! Whew - what a year...

Happy day to you. xo from Michelle and Elliot