Apr 26, 2007

Kissy Brothers in Action

Here's my first attempt at posting a video! It's grainy and short, taken with my digital camera, so forgive the low tech and simple story line. You can barely hear Sira (left) and Bereket (right) smacking their lips at the same time. Tsega was sleeping (we'll see more of him in the future).

Apr 23, 2007

Milestones and Development: History and 10 Month Update

When we picked up the triplets at 5 months old, the boys were about 10 lbs each, had little head control, and only Tsega could bear weight on his legs. They were evaluated by a team of development specialists and were diagnosed as delayed in gross motor skills (but otherwise healthy--in fact we've only had one cold since homecoming--with good social skills). No big surprise since they had been in care since 6 weeks old and lacked stimulation and exercise.

Like many of the babies adopted out of Ethiopia, none of the boys were on US growth charts at homecoming. Tsega grew (and grew) almost overnight while his brothers remain small but growing steadily. Tsega is currently 22 lbs, that's 70th percentile for weight! Bereket and Sira are now 15th percentile for height and 18 lbs, below 3rd percentile; no surprise since they still easily wear 6 month clothing. I guess they're just little shorties :). I'm imagining Tsega as this huge figure in our house, with his arms around his shorty papa and shorty brothers and everybody in public asking if B & S are twins (these are triplets, Tsega is their triplet brother. . . really he is! And for the umpteenth time, we are also glad it's us and not you). . .

Because Tsega had such rippling muscles, lol, had good head control and could stand with assistance so well, nobody seemed concerned with him. So we worked with Bereket and Sira to get their muscles pumped and bodies moving. It worked, they caught up fast.

Then Tsega caused worry. He hated tummy time so we spared him much of this. His mobile brothers were roaming circles around planted Tsega. At 8 months he could not roll over, get into sitting position, nothing. He just sat there (after we would sit him up and prop him back up again and again after his numerous head-crashing falls). I think he suffered from "sudden-big-baby-syndrome"; he didn't have time to adapt to his new big body. Or maybe he was concentrating on his charm (he's our crowd pleaser).

Despite the protests we put him on tummy more and more. From sitting he started flopping to his belly without the grace of his fluid brothers. Then he bridged. Still protested. Now I was constantly helping him out of positions he had maneuvered himself into. Then he rolled belly to back and despite all his tummy torture time, rolled from back to belly. Now he is almost caught up to his brothers without the months of preliminary practice and exercise that got them crawling and standing. He can now get into a sitting position, rolls both ways, crawls backward (forward is on the horizon), lunges, thrusts, and pivots around the room, and just started pulling up and getting into a standing position. All this in about 6 weeks!

Bereket and Sira can do all this and crawl. As it has always been, Bereket first masters a skill, then follows Sira about a day later (ahhh, the power of genetics!). Tsega has his own method and time schedule. Bereket crawls around the house and grabs onto everything (bouncy chair and my leg are favorites) and pulls to standing all day long. It's so funny to see hear him slapping the ground with his hands as he comes towards me from the living room to the kitchen and I look down and see this little baby climbing up my pant leg. Sira and Bereket look like little vampires descending upon Tsega as I'm trying to bounce him to sleep in the bouncy chair (bouncing the heck out of him in this chair works like a charm for soothing this baby to sleep, BTW). I find myself leaping from floor to couch so the three can't pull and claw me into abyss!

Short story long. . . the boys are doing great and no more worries about being behind, including Tsega-mega.

Next stop, walking and talking. Oh, sigh, but the baby stage is short and I will miss it dearly :(

BTW, Bereket & Sira each have two bottom teeth, no real hair; and Tsega has no teeth but nice curly hair :)

Apr 10, 2007

Play Nice

Let's just say our house is LOUD these days. (WHAT?!)

I love the toy in this picture below; er, I mean the boys love it and they can play with it together. I don't know what it's called or who makes it (it was "donated") but they don't make toys like this anymore. Besides dinging the bell and squeaking the squeak, they love to turn it upside down a million times.

Sira is papa gaga lately; that greasy sock is indeed Jerry's (gross). Poor Tsega's head is getting crushed in Sira's excitement.

Be nice to your brothers, baby boys.

Ahhh, that's better.

Apr 4, 2007

How to Feed Triplets

How have we stayed sane with night feedings and constant formula for THREE babies? Podee bottles!

If it weren't for these bottles, I'd have to take it all back and admit our house is indeed a train wreck. So please don't accuse me of bad attachment parenting; with multiples you modify. It took the triplets practice in the beginning, we would lead their tiny hands up to the base of the nipple to keep from sliding out of their mouths and squeezed nipple bases to siphon milk up so there was no delay of milk delivery. Tsega took to it immediately. Bereket and Sira, especially Sira, would at times get mad when the milk wasn't in mouth at first suck and they couldn't quite get it up through the tubes fast or efficient enough, or the nipple would fall out. Sometimes they'd hold onto the tube and yank out the nipple reflexively, not knowing what they did and unable to retrieve it. They'd throw their helpless arms out to the side and scream (oh, the tragedy!) and I'd get the old fashioned bottles back out.

Now they're so proficient they can find the bottle, grab it by the tube, and swing the nipple in their mouths. Jerry and I love to tease them and get them all squirming and noisy by holding onto the tubes and twirling the bottles over their heads. But you have to watch and make sure they don't steal their brother's bottle. Watch Sira steal Tsega's bottle:

Don't worry, Tsega gets it back.

Another good idea is to make large pitchers of formula in the mornings and keep them in the fridge so you aren't keeping crying babies waiting and mixing formula all day. By the way, we don't have a dish washer so we do wash bottles constantly and Podee bottles aren't the easiest to wash. Somebody should invent a mini automatic bottle washer that's fits on counter tops (or do they make these!?) 'cause I am tired of washing bottles ("Jerry, you do it!" is a common statement in our house along with, "get a rag!").