Sep 25, 2007

Choo Choo

Coming soon to our household. . . loads of fun. . . The Choo Choo Wagon! Think we'll turn heads with this!?

Sep 23, 2007

In the Yard

Green, insect noise, nudity, heat, dirt eating, photosynthesis, and long afternoon yard play are waning with summer, as are solar showers (and yes, that's an outhouse you see in the background on the right--long, long story).

Tsega is the explorer, the one we chase after in public. He loves sticks.

We usually pick a spot in the yard according to where Tsega wants to spend his time wandering in and out of and let everybody roam until they hide from view. See. . . that's Tsega way off sitting in the grass and of course Sira usually stays closer until his adventure warms up. The cat is Rudolph, one of our 8 (or 9?) cats that don't get attention from us anymore since the triplets arrived. Only two among the cat gang will let the boys screech in their faces and grab their tails (and Rudolph is not one of them).

Please send your condolences to Sira who is cutting one, possibly two, molars (first molar among the triplets). Thanks to Marty for flashing us and soothing the babies.

Bereket (Chuckles to us) is happy to do anything these days (in between the ever-present teething, obviously); always smiling.

Tsega loves being a mobile toddler and hardly fusses about anything anymore (even sleeping. . . Yep, our sleep method, or lack of, still works! Life is good!); he didn't bask in the floppy & helpless infant stage like his brothers (and I used to call him "high needs" so long ago. . . ).

Swinging, swimming, gardening, hose handling, eating herbs, and climbing the root cellar mound are among their favorite outdoor activities.

Finally, I'm including this last picture for Jerry, despite the fact that I really hate it (really, my head is not this big--I think). I'm not very good at holding two at once and they don't like it either.

By by summer. . .time for bug bites to heal. Oh, and I just realized, today marks the boys' 15th month as we enter the fourth season with them :).

Sep 17, 2007

Milk is for Babies

Where have my milk fiends gone? They think they want milk, their eyes and gag cry asks for it (gag cry--sounds like they are gagging with head tossed back--this is Bereket's and Sira's hunger cry), doctor says they need it, but they can't stop moving long enough to drink it. Milk is suddenly boring. They would rather spray milk everywhere, swing around the bottle, topple it over a high chair, or simply lose it to chase the cats.

Yes, I know, time to drop the bottles. It's the same story with cups only messier (and I'm not in a hurry to graduate into toddler hood so fast). I love this age, but the drop phase, where baby drops objects and then peaks down to see what happens is not as cool for mama. Tsega clears his tray for me onto the floor when he's all done. Thanks, Tsega-Mega, just for that, no pictures on my blog today.

Food. That's what's exciting, all the glorious textures, colors, aromas, and temperatures. Yet even food gets boring after a few bites so that the boys have to make up games to keep entertained at the high chair. Get this. . . and please tell me my boys are not crazy or bulimic. . . Tsega and Sira have resorted to gagging themselves, complete with fingers down the throat, retching noises, and spittle. This is not a judgement on my cooking or an indication of poor swallowing abilities. They start these terrible table manners as soon as they're strapped into the high chairs before the food comes. The sweeping food to the floor, blowing bubbles in cups of liquid, Bereket's love of balancing fruit on his head (times like this I'm glad he's hairless), the head rocking for the sake of high chair races (yes, babies, slam your head against the back of the chair over and over and watch it move across the room)--these are humorous, but the gagging is gross! Gotta love the way they teach each other bad habits :).

Sep 12, 2007

Happy Referraliversary!

One year ago today on a Tuesday, Sept 12, 2006, at about 2 p.m., we received the most amazing referral. Triplet (!!!) baby boys, about 2.5 months old.

We'll never forget the day. I was least expecting it, yet I suspected down deep, something. First thing that morning I learned of another family who received a referral for infant twins, a family one day ahead of us on the waiting list. We were also waiting for twins so somehow I took this as as bad sign, as if this family mistakenly received our referral. Old pessimistic me nearly broke down. My heart raced then sank. I slumped through the work day without speaking, crying sporadically, going over terrible scenarios in my head. Jerry isn't getting it. But, hon, doesn't this mean we're next? I don't why you're so upset, I'm about to have a heart attack!

Later that day Jerry and I are working out in the field. He's driving a tractor and I'm hanging off. We turn that tractor and suddenly from nowhere there's our secretary walking towards us waving a note. . . and I just knew . . .

Jerry, this is it!. . . we race home and call the agency back (we still have the agency's message on our answering machine and we saved the note!). I'm on the phone scribbling notes as I talk and Jerry's looking over my shoulder. . . 'Good news. . . Unique situation. . . TRIPLETS!!! ALL BOYS!!!'


After The Call, some wine, and many yelps, sighs, laughter, dances, hugs, stomach butterflies, and I cannot believe it!s, we see for the first time on our computer screen an unclear glimpse of the triplets and let a big awwwwwww!.

We didn't know who was who in the pictures. We also assumed all three were bawling. I didn't even notice the band aids on the arms until several days later. We would later learn in Ethiopia through more pictures of the same scene that Tsega's on the left, Sira's in the middle (we saw his ear pierce in another shot) and Bereket's on the right and the only one bawling. We also couldn't decide which two were the alleged identical pair. Of course we will never know who is who in the blanket picture below, except that the baby in the middle is definitely not Tsega because my other two have the little button noses. It was the noses that gave away the identical pair.

We would wait more than two long months to travel and meet our sons, and in the meantime, received just one more (poor quality) picture. Ahhh, the two on the right are identical. . . matching noses; and yet Jerry wouldn't believe me until we met the boys. Look at Tsega's long skinny legs. He's a dancer, I thought. I think that's Bereket on the far right with the wacky expression; I told my family, I'm pretty sure he's not crazy (I kid!).

It was a hard wait to travel. We waited for the courts to reopen after their annual closure, waited for our case to be heard, waited for a brick to drop as rumors drifted through the internet. . . Of course everything smacked into place with barley a skip. I should have listened to my horoscope two weeks after our referral: Try not to make more of this than there really is. It's very easy to get caught up in a 'The sky is falling!' mentality, but that doesn't help anything in the end. Feel the panic, let it pass, then get down to business. (Yes, I saved it, what a dork!)

Only one year ago and today Jerry and I found ourselves on that tractor again, this time all smiles. Here are my four boys as of this morning, a little sleepy, disheveled, but sweet.

Sep 7, 2007

In Support of My Last Post. . .

I wrote my last post at the end of the work day last Wednesday, walked home, and Dada and Tsega waved me in as I approached the front of the house. Hi Tsega! Hi Dada! . . . Tsega, don't look so excited.

I had to laugh and take a picture because there, on the grass, was the pile of the day from the boys and it was almost exactly as I described, except for an added hanger and no bottles (the socks are even there!).

The sad part is, it rained last night and four of their best baby books were still outside. :(

While I'm here, let me describe what takes place when dada and mama come home from work. Dada works Mon-Fri, 8-5. I work Mon-Wed, 7-6. We work at the same place up the dirt road. A nanny comes to the house the days I work. She is Ugandan, what a find in our smallish community. Anyway, there should be happy squeals, smiles, and hugs when we walk through the door, right? It's starts out like this for about 30 seconds and next thing everybody is crying their heads off, laying flat on the ground face down in total despair, and generally going nuts. I always say, love shouldn't hurt, boys! They get overworked, overstimulated, and I think can't handle the competition for attention. The best thing to do in these cases, lay flat on the carpet and let babies ride the mama (or papa) train. Then everybody's at eye-level, everybody can get a piece of you, and everybody gets love, attention, and fun. Also, we can't come home for lunch anymore, it's too upsetting for everybody to leave again, and we just throw a kink into the day for our poor nanny (whom our children love, BTW). And I remember the floppy baby days when our comings and goings didn't seem to spark a single brain cell in those baby minds. It's good to be loved, but like I said, love shouldn't hurt boys. Chill ;).

One last P.S. . . for new readers and one commenter, Sira and Bereket are identical
and Tsega is the fraternal triplet.

Two eggs, both fertilize, one splits, and voila, triplets such as these. Pretty special.

Sep 5, 2007

Toy Box

Bereket and Sira love fitting objects together, stacking, and especially tossing everything overboard the crib or outside our french doors onto the lawn (front porch still pending on our never-ending old house project); there's always a little pile of toys, bottles, binkies, books, and socks on the grass just outside our living room.

Tsega prefers to hold onto things and bat them in the air, sometimes on brothers' heads, so no heavy objects allowed; he always finds the perfect stick to play with outside and won't let go. Mama prefers herbaceous twigs to woody sticks since she still remembers the sharp jab in her eye and the plaster patch she sported as a little girl.

Yummy plastic & lead goodies straight from China. At least the toy box is home made (thanks Jerry!).

It helps when the boys toss toys into the box, but Tsega went crazy taking everything out (with two brothers egging him on) and finally fell in.

You can just make out the curly top above the swimmers leg (lotion needed mama, I know!). Busy boys :).

Sep 4, 2007

Small is Beautiful

So Big. . .

and not so big. . . still.

Our triplets have been home over nine months and little Bereket and Sira still fall below US growth charts on height. Maybe you've thought how chunky they look, how sparkly healthy. Indeed they roll and sparkle in all the right places and are showing up between 15-20% on weight charts. These identical brothers gain average amounts of inches each month, but they started below average and continue to fall behind the bottom of charts for height. Tsega appears bulky and big to me, but his height is a modest 30% on charts although he weighs a whopping 25 pounds as of one month ago (that puts him at 80%!). . . four and five pounds heavier than his brothers. The size difference is hard to miss. A new comment we get in public: this one is bigger. . . and, this one has hair. . .

Short is fine. I just worry sometimes about abnormal short. Guess mama worry wart is my new thing. Lovely. But then I remember how tiny they were and how much they've grown. I forget sometimes, like when I met my friend's newborn baby. Suddenly my babies appeared as huge luminous super babies compared to this tiny creature.

Developmentally, we're fine. The therapists left us at about 10 months old. Although I may call the team back at 15 months if language doesn't improve. Where are those words, boys? Babble is fine between the three of you for now, but you need to talk to mama and papa someday. Sira's ah du for all done and jetty or dat for kitty cat is great. . . But Bereket, da da is not a universal word, the cats won't answer to it. And what is this na na na boys, as you sit in your high chairs, have you made up a word for yummy, food, feed me?

Back to the small stuff. Bereket made Tsega cry the other day as he won a fight over a toy (a post about teeth marks--bad boy--for another day) and Sira dances like Baryshnikov, so small or not, these boys hold their own and all three are BIG on cute, charm, and will.

Oh, and big on voice. See the two following videos. In the first one I only had them in the pack n play for a minute (Are they mad, excited, or playing? I think all three. . . ) while I swept up the cheerios, otherwise my little helpers grab the broom and eat out of my pile. Sira's in the middle, Tsega on his right, and Bereket left.

The second one is during our road trip to MN and was left in my camera for long time. That's Tsega with the hair, Sira next to him, and Bereket in back with me.

Loud, huh? :)