Monday, March 31, 2008

The Best Game Ever!!

My dad has always been really good at inventing games out of nothing. If there are kids around and my dad is there, nobody is ever bored! My mom and dad used to have a family bbq and backyard party every summer. They pretty much invited everyone that we knew. My dad organized a softball game every year. (A real CHICAGO softball game...16" ball with no mitts!) My grandma was the catcher, my dad was the pitcher and everyone else took turns batting and playing in the field. It was amazing that he literally got everyone playing. Even 2 year olds could figure out how to run the bases and chase the ball. Amazingly, everyone got a hit and the score always ended up in a tie.

That is an example of a big organized thing, but seriously, even if it was just a few minutes, with just a few kids, he had us playing some sort of game. Who can stand on their head the longest?, who could throw the rock closest to a cup? who can get the most skips out of their rock on a pond?, you name it, we played it. If you all are wondering where I got my competitive spirit you know!
Jack, Grandpa, Ben and Drew
January 2005

I don't believe that I am particularly creative in making up new games. I usually end up resorting to "Tic-Tac-Toe" and "Hangman". Well, that was until today. The boys were getting dressed for their Karate class and came down for some help with tying their belt. Somehow, Ben and I ended up in a tug-of-war with it. The result of that tug-of-war was the invention of a brand new game. The object of the game was for the boys to pull the belt out of my hand without falling over. If they were able to get the belt and remain on their feet, they got a point. If they ended up on their bottom with the belt, I got a point. It may sound like a silly game, or dare I say a "stupid" game, but we had such a good time and laughed so hard! Well, Spencer and I and Charlie did most of the laughing, but we all really did have fun with it. For my readers that care about winning and losing, I did win most of the matches. Ben was really catching on at the end and was tough to beat. Jack was hit-or-miss and I definitely had Drew's number. I don't think Drew got a single point. MUHAHAHAHA!!! Just kidding. ;)

What should we call our new game???

Jack Went DOWN...Another point for MOMMY!!

Sunday, March 30, 2008

It stinks to lose to a 5 year old!!

We have Disney edition of the Memory Game. There are 72 cards so, it is pretty hard. It is actually VERY hard! The Memory Game has always been a favorite of Ben's so, he has spent a lot of time "practicing" that game with Spencer. He is really good! I think he could beat me and watch a tv show at the same time. He remembers where cards are that I don't even remember ever seeing. It is nuts! And, I am really trying!!!

Well, today I was home alone with Drew. I asked him if he wanted to play the Memory Game. I figured it was good practice for him. Well, it turns out he doesn't need to practice any more. He beat me quite easily. I got 32 cards, he got 40. It is definitely bitter-sweet to lose a game that requires skill to your five year old. I mean, I recognize that it is awesome that Ben and Drew are sharp enough to beat me, but c'mon, they are FIVE! I thought I would have a few more years of beating them.

Just for the record, Jack doesn't like the Memory Game so, I haven't had a chance to lose to him yet.

Class is in session...

And, Ben is the teacher. Every once in a while, Ben decides that we need an art class. He has probably held art class about 10 or 15 times in the last few month. He really does a nice job and is very well prepared for each class. He always has a project already planned and all of the supplies set out on the table. It really cracks me up how serious all of the boys are about Ben's class. As soon as Ben announces that there will be art class, Jack and Drew drop what they are doing and head toward the dining room. They are both very attentive and respectful to Ben and make sure to always call him "Mr. Ben". When they have questions, they raise their hands and never question his "authority". It is really cute.

"Mr. Ben" prepared for todays art class by drawing body parts on a piece of paper for each of his students. Our job was to color the pieces and decorate them to make them look like "who we want to be when we grow up". Ben wanted to be an artist, Drew wanted to be a firefighter, Jack wanted to be a dancer (Daddy was thrilled - LOL!), Daddy wanted to be a baseball player and I wanted to be an interior designer (I was really dreamin').
Art Class 03/31/2008

"Mr. Ben" taking attendance

Charlie wants to be grown up too.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

New and Improved Date Night???

Well, not really improved, but we did have fun.

We have been spoiled by my mom and dad with our weekly "Thursday Night - Date Night" since the boys were infants. Well, with my sister having triplets a few weeks ago, her and her husband are now enjoying peaceful Thursday Night Date Nights courtesy of my mom and dad. I hope they enjoy them as much as we did...if not we'll take them back. ;)

Well, the good news is that, I had a date night, with 5 gorgeous guys tonight instead of just one. And, we had some really yummy Vito and Nick's pizza....the best pizza in the whole world! We even got some dough to play with..WooHoo!

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Sleep Deprivation

Sleep deprivation is a funny thing. Unless you are in the middle of it, then it is not so funny. I'm sure that I have plenty of funny stories about sleep deprivation from when the triplets were babies, but I was so sleep deprived that I can't remember too many of them.

I do remember being completely and utterly exhausted. The boys ate every 3 hours, around the clock, and it took 1.5 hours to feed all 3 of them by myself. If someone helped, we could usually get it done in about an hour. I never did figure out how to feed more than one of the babies at a time and they were horribly slow eaters....still are. I'm sure there was a much better system than the one that we had, but we were too tired to figure out something different.

Anyway, with all of that up and down at night, we were obviously very tired. I know that there were many nights when I would wake up and not be able to remember where I was. I would dream that I was feeding a baby and then the next thing that I knew, I was back in my bed....or maybe I really did feed a baby. It was so confusing. Well, the result of this was several times a week, one of us would wake up and think that we fell asleep feeding a baby and the baby was somewhere in the bed. In a panic, we would start tearing all of the covers and pillows off of the bed, much to the dismay of the other person that was sound asleep in the bed. It was so nuts because neither one of us ever took a baby into our bed. But, that didn't stop us. It was crazy! Luckily, although we were both frequently guilty of this craziness, it never happened to us at the same time. One of us always had a level enough head to convince the other one to go back to sleep, or at least go check on the sleeping babies in the crib before completely destroying the bed.
Ok, I guess it isn't entirely true that the babies were never in our bed,
but they were never in our bed while we were sleeping.
I had to post these pictures because I love them. He was so teenie-tiny.
Drew, July 2002

Obviously when we had Charlie, we were not quite as sleep deprived. I nursed him for the first four months so, it was quite easy for me to get up, feed him and quickly go back to sleep. Well, one night, Charlie started to fuss so, I got up to feed him. Apparently, Spencer was a bit overtired and was awoken by Charlie's fussing also. He jumped out of bed and followed me into Charlie's room all ready to "help". I picked up Charlie and sat down in the chair with him to start nursing. Spencer was looking at me like I was an alien. The conversation went something like this:

Spencer: "what are you doing?"

Me (real slow, with a duh! look on my face): "I'm going to feed Charlie"

By this time, he is really looking at me strange and he says: "with what?"

LOL!!! I respond: "I'm going to nurse him".

His response....get"Since when?!?!?".

I about fell over. "Go back to bed Honey!!"

I laughed for a long time about that one and COULDN'T WAIT to remind him all about that conversation in the morning. LOL!!

See, sleep deprivation IS funny!!!! Right Jen!?!?!

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Can't forget Baby C!!

When Liam and Aidan (Jen's Baby A & Baby B) came home from the hospital last week, I posted pictures of Ben and Jack (My Baby A & Baby B) from the day that they were released from the hospital. Connor came home last Thursday when we were knee deep in amoxicillan so, we did not get a chance to reminisce about when Drew came home from the hospital. Here is a picture of Drew and I leaving the hospital for the last time. Isn't he sweet!! It was definitely a happy day to have our family all together again.
Mommy & Drew 06/24/2002


I backed my van into someone else's van a couple of months ago. We were leaving the park district and it was totally my fault, I was so embarassed. The woman that I hit had stopped her van directly behind my car. I looked out to my rear right and left, I don't know what happened when I looked directly behind me, but I did not see her. Maybe her windows were lined up with my filthy back window and when I looked, I looked right through both sets...I don't know. But, whatever, totally my fault.

After I got over the embarassment of my mistake and the annoyance of having to answer 50 bagillion questions from my 4 little passengers ("why did we hit that car?", "why aren't we leaving?", "are you going to jail?", "are we going to miss lunch with Matt and Danny...waaahhh"), I started to rethink the "accident" and realized that I probably hit one of the biggest morons in the world and that really ticked me off. First of all, she parked her car directly behind my car, to talk on the phone. She was sitting in the lane of traffic...who does that?!?!?! Second of all, when you are basically parked in the traffic lane of a parking lot, wouldn't you take notice of a car full of people and move when the car turns on, the brake lights come on, the back-up lights come on and the car starts to move? If not, wouldn't you at least beep?!?! Not this woman! Then when I did hit her, she opens her car door to get out, while still talking on the phone and leaves her car door open, now blocking both lanes of traffic! I tell her that I am sorry, but she really needs to move her car. I don't think this woman has been in this country for very long and did not speak great English, she just kept telling me that I hit her. No kidding! I knew that, but I explained to her that if she does not move her car, she is going to get hit again!! So, she finally pulls into the spot next to mine, but way too close to the car on the other side. The woman parked on the other side of her came around to ask her to move her car, she just kept telling her that I hit her. The woman said "that is really too bad, but you need to move your car because I can't get my kid out!". How could I have hit such a dummy?!?! Remember, I am a bit competitive, and I think the thing that bothered me the most was that I "lost" this game of driving to such a horrible driver and dingbat!

Anyway, I was wound up and everytime I was telling someone about my accident, I referred to the woman as a "moron". Well, apparently my kids have been paying close attention to some of my conversations. Last week, we pulled into the parking lot for Karate class. A big SUV was taking up 2 spots. I mumbled something about the "moron". Jack yells from the back "she's here?!?!". I asked him "who's here?". He said "the moron". Huh?!?! I asked him "who are you talking about". He said "the lady that you hit with the van". LOL...whoops!!! "Nope Jack...different moron this time". ;)

Sunday, March 23, 2008

We got to see the BABIES!!!

Aidan, Connor and Liam
Easter 2008

It was a very Happy Easter for our family. We had a wonderful dinner at my mom and dad's house. The highlight, of course, was being able to see the new babies. They are beautiful and so well behaved....little angels! ;) Charlie really thought they were cool and Ben also found them especially interesting. Jack and Drew also thought they were pretty neat. Jen and Craig looked like old pros. I don't remember it being as easy as they made it look....pretty impressive.
Triplets meet the Triplets

Charlie likes being a BIG cousin!!

Happy Easter!!!

The results are in....

Ben found 18 eggs
Jack found 2 eggs
Drew found 3 eggs
Charlie found 3 eggs

You can probably guess who has the hardest time finding shoes, mittens,
hats and anything else that is not permanently attached to them. Ahhhhh!!!
I guess that all of the boys did not inherit the 'detective gene' from their Grandfather.

The boys also each scored another Webkin from the Easter Bunny. We have added the Chocolate Lab 'Chocolate', the Duck 'Ducky', the Turtle (name TBD - the turtle belongs to Charlie, Ben wanted to name it Turtliey, Charlie better hurry up and learn to talk!!) and the Bull Frog 'Fred' to our Webkinz family. The Easter Bunny must have been feeling generous as the boys also received chocolate Easter bunnya, Webkinz trading cards, new goggles and 2 new Veggie Tale videos that I heard the Easter Bunny got a really good deal on. Everyone was very happy with their loot!

Saturday, March 22, 2008

We Survived!

Spencer's weekend away is just about over. He called a few minutes ago and his plane landed and he is driving home...Yay!!! It was a crazy few days, but we survived and even had some fun.

There was an Easter Egg Hunt in the snow

Charlie was so proud of his "find" that he even took a nap with it.

We made an Easter-bread House

You'd think we'd be getting better at making these things...Not!

We even had craft time!

Like I said, we survived! ;)

My apologizies to Jack's wife...

He is a horrible sick person. I just want to go on the record now, while he is 5 years old, that he has always been this way. I did not create this! THANKFULLY, this round of sickness is finally clearing up for has been a long week... for him and the rest of us.

Friday, March 21, 2008

St. Patrick's Day is Over!

But, I can't get rid of the little shamrocks. aaahhhh!!! In reading the help sceen, I have found out that my problem is because they are "animated". I have to go into the Html screen and edit the code. I don't do code. I better keep my readers entertained with my writing because nobody is going to want to stay because I have a pretty blog. :(

If anyone "does code", HELP!!

Thursday, March 20, 2008

What's in your refrigerator???

That's right Ladies and Gentlemen. Count them....that is 4 bottles of amoxicillian!!!.

Jack has been a bit under the weather this week. Since he didn't seem to be improving much, I took him to the doctor this afternoon. Luckily, (in a weird kind of way) I had to bring all 4 kids with me. Jack's strep test came back positive so, the doctor was nice enough to check everyone. All 4 kids tested positive for strep throat! What are the odds...don't answer that Mishelle and Theresa.

So, for those of you that were feeling sorry for Spencer when I left him with all of the kids for my girl's weekend to Vegas. You will be happy to know that Spencer is enjoying watching his beloved Phillies play some spring training games in nice, sunny Florida while I am here with 4 kids that have strep throat. Pay back is tough!

On a lighter note...

Here are some pictures our beautiful new cousins/nephews. The are 2 weeks old and doing fabulous. Liam and Aidan have been home since last Friday and Connor should be coming home today.

Liam Craig

Aidan Roy

Connor Michael

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

We are IVFers!!!

Ummmmm, I got a little deep on this one...sorry.

***News Flash***

Our children are the result of IVF...all of them...yup, even Charlie was bought and paid for like the rest of them. Without the miracle of modern medicine, our rooms would be empty, our house would be clean, our bank accounts would be full, our dinners would be quiet and dull, and there would be NO blog! And....we would probably be living at the beach rather than a house that is in a "good school district". How sad would that be!?!?!!?

I am not particularly thrilled with the fact that we are a walking advertisement for IVF, but triplets will do that to you. And, I definitely don't like it when strangers think that we are open for a Q&A session about our personal journey through infertility. But, we considered the decision to do IVF very carefully and I am comfortable with our decision and hold my head up high when I am asked about it by family, friends, neighbors, acquaintences, the woman blocking the exit to the elevator at the mall and the cashier at Kohls that so eloquently asked if my kids were "God given"...huh?!?!

Being Catholic, I realize that our decision to do IVF is not supported by the Catholic Church. Of course, I have a lot of respect for the Church and I completely respect their position concerning IVF. However, my feeling is that this matter is between me and God. If St. Peter gives me a hard time at the pearly-white gates, I'm fully prepared to argue my case. I feel that I have a pretty strong argument and I feel pretty good that he will end up letting me in. If you think I am wrong about that, I'd appreciate it if you'd say a few prayers on behalf of my soul. ;)

Now, why am I writing about this today? There have been a few times over the last few years that I have heard or read something that has made realize that for some people, there is a still a horrible stigma that they attach to people that seek fertility treatments. I had a personal experience with this recently and it has been weighing on my mind. I figure that if I write this out, maybe it will leave my mind open to think about other things. So please, bear with me or feel free to skip this post all together.

Anyway, I can completely understand that if because of religious beliefs or moral standards, a person thinks IVF is wrong, they are entitled to that opinion...believe me I have enough of my own of those type of opinoins. However, it is the people that think that they are somehow a better, more whole person, because they had all of their children "naturally" that get me worked up. Why people even waste their energy even caring about that stuff is beyond me and believe me, I realize that getting myself all worked up about this is pretty dumb too. But I can't help it. I have heard it with my own ears and read it with my own eyes. The craziest part is that I am sure that these high and mighty people know people very close to them that have seeked fertility treatments. See, most people do not have a triple stroller that shouts "Look at me, I did IVF". Believe it or not, most IVF's result in only one baby! There is a good number of people walking around this world that have IVF babies and you'd never know. The fertility clinic that I went to has one or two sets of triplets a year, yet every time I had an appointment, there could be 10 patients in the waiting room. That is a lot of moms with IVF singleton babies that aren't given the 3rd degree every time they go to the mall.

It is late, but I am going to try to get out my point. If you see my family as something as less than a true miracle, you are missing out. If you think less of people that have a family by means of fertility treatments, be careful. You may be judging your sister, brother, son, daughter, niece, nephew, cousin or best friend. If you think of IVF as being morally wrong, then use your energy to pray for the victims of infertility and the doctors and scientists that do the research and treat the patients. If you think that you and your family are somehow better than those of us that used fertility treatments, you are so WRONG! ;)

Finally, here is something that I once read and found very interesting. I did not write it and do not agree with 100% of all of it, but it definitely provides a lot to think about.

What do I think God meant when he gave me infertility? Couples experiencing infertility often receive well-meaning but extremely insensitive "advice." We can all list the most popular ones: "Just relax and you'll get pregnant," or "adopt and you'll get pregnant," or "things happen for a reason", of the most painful from those who think they've got the goods on God's plan, "Maybe God never meant for you to have children." The sheer audacity of making a statement like that never fails to amaze me."These same people would never walk up to someone seeking treatment for cancer and say, "Maybe God never meant for you to live." However, because I am infertile, I'm supposed to get on with my life. It's hard to understand that people can not see infertility for what it is, a disease for which I have to seek treatment. What if Jonas Salk had said to the parents of polio victims, "Maybe God meant for thousands of our children to be cripples, live in an iron lung or die." What if he'd never tried to find a cure? Who could think for one minute that that was God's plan?"

What do I think God meant when he gave me infertility?""I think he meant for my husband and I to grow closer, become stronger, love deeper. I think God meant for us to find the fortitude within ourselves to get up every time infertility knocks us down. I think God meant for our medical community to discover medicines, invent medical equipment, create procedures and protocols. I think God meant for us to find a cure for infertility."No, God never meant for me not to have children. That's not my destiny; that's just a fork in the road I'm on. I've been placed on the road less traveled, and, like it or not, I'm a better person for it. Clearly, God meant for me to develop more compassion, deeper courage, and greater inner strength on this journey to resolution, and I haven't let him down."Frankly, if the truth be known, I think God has singled me out for a special treatment. I think God meant for me to build a thirst for a child so strong and so deep that when that baby is finally placed in my arms, it will be the longest, coolest, most refreshing drink I've ever known."While I would never choose infertility, I can not deny that a fertile woman could never know the joy that awaits me. Yes, one way or another, I will have a baby of my own. And the next time someone wants to offer me unsolicited advice I'll say, "Don't tell me what God meant when he handed me infertility. I already know."-author unknown

I think that Ben, Jack, Drew & Charlie are the reason that God gave us infertility, and I am so glad that he did....but that is just me.


Ben says it is pajama and stuffed animal day in school tomorrow. Jack says that he thinks it is stuffed animal day and Drew says he doesn't think it is anything. This should be interesting...

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

The material just keeps comin'

I found this picture sitting on the counter. I have to admit it made me curious. It turns out that Ben and Jack drew it. They said that it is a picture of the restaurant that they want to open....the "Fat Cook" restaurant. I have no idea where they came up with that name, but I must admit that I am a bit relieved that they are not referring a to particular person.

Moving Right Along...

Yesterday was St. Patrick's Day and today we are coloring Easter Eggs. We are supposed to have a high of 37 for the neighborhood Easter Egg Hunt on Saturday. Sounds like fun...LOL!

Hard at work...


More St. Pat's

Here is a St. Patrick's Day story that Drew wrote at school. He wants to be "an arthur" (an author) when he grows up. He's got a good start for a kindergartener.

"Once upon a time there was a leprcon who loved to be silly so, he went to saint patrick's and made a silly face"

Monday, March 17, 2008

Happy St. Patrick's Day

Our St. Patrick's Day was full of:

Shamrock Shakes

A Silly Irish Boy

Corned Beef and Potatoes (we are Irish, but we don't like cabbage)

Another Silly Irish Boy

Green River Floats (Green Cows...LOL!)

Complete with a Green River typhoon (oops, who shook the pop??)

And some more silly boys

We hope that you had a great St. Patrick's Day too!!!