Friday, July 24, 2009

Terrible Ones?

When Evan turned two, we braced ourselves, heeding all the warnings of friends and family about the "terrible twos." We were so pleasantly surprised when the twos passed so easily, and when the terrible threes hit, it really wasn't so bad. Some screaming fits when he didn't get his way, a few full out tantrums on the floor of Target, but nothing that the threat of a Time Out couldn't reign in.

In retrospect, it seems much milder than what Kate has been going through for the past week or so. Surely, she couldn't be having her terrible twos already, when she is just barely one? Right? Here are her symptoms: screaming and crying when she doesn't get something she wants, full blown tantrums on the floor, with kicking feet and head butting, whenever I put her down, hitting and pushing her siblings when they get in her way or try to play with something she is playing with. What do you think? Is it just a phase? Please say yes!

On the positive side of this newly found independence, she walked halfway across the room unassisted today - I predict that she'll be walking everywhere by next week!

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Cooling Off

Did I mention that it has been 105 degrees here in Austin for the past month?

Monday, July 20, 2009

Party

We celebrated the babies' birthday this past weekend with a big bash at our house. The actual weekend of their birthday was my niece's birthday party up in Dallas, and we didn't want to compete. The babies were extremely well-behaved and seemed to enjoy all of the attention - except when it came time to sing "Happy Birthday," when they cried. They made a thorough mess of themselves with their cupcakes, and it took us two days to get all of the icing out of their hair. We put them in bed around 7:30, and the party continued in their honor until about midnight, with margaritas flowing freely (margaritas are very important in surviving the first year with triplets!)

We asked our guests, if they were inclined to bring a gift, to donate diapers, and we wound up with a great stash which should last us quite a while. Thank you everyone who came to help us celebrate, and to ALL of you who have helped us out this first year! So many of you donated supplies, brought us dinners, and kept Evan busy for us, among other nice things - we could not have done it without you!


Oliver checking out the new toys

Kate reading her birthday card

Willa opening her present

Me making cupcakes

Kate digging in - a little unsure

Willa covered in icing

Oliver playing with his food

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Walking

Kate took her first steps yesterday. We were in the kitchen last night, and she let go of the table, stood on her own for a few seconds, took 4-5 steps, and fell on her butt. I think that officially counts.

I'm sorry I didn't have the camera handy.

Friday, July 10, 2009

One Year Already ...?

Happy Birthday, Babies!

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Baby C

video

Kate Huffman Vaughan
a.k.a. "Trouble"
born July 10, 2008 at 2:48 pm

It is true that Kate is a trouble magnet and has rightly earned her nickname. She knows exactly where she's not supposed to be - whether it be the dog dish, the litter box, the toilet, or any other number of baby-free zones - and she heads straight there the second the opportunity arises, it's as if an alarm goes off in her head the minute someone leaves a door open that should be closed. On at least two occasions we have found her outside on the back patio, inches away from the top of a very steep staircase that leads down to our yard. And John or I will spot her, yell out a sharp "Kate!!" and she will stop, turn slowly to look at us, give us her big beautiful, mischievious smile, and gleefully continue on.

In case you haven't figured it out yet, Kate is the bonafide leader of our pack. She has been from the very beginning. Although she was born last, and was second in weight at 4 pounds 1 ounce, she was the healthiest from the get go - no help breathing, no extra oxygen. She was only in the NICU long enough to gain a little weight and figure out how to drink from a bottle. She was the first one that we were able to hold and feed. We would go into the NICU several times a day to visit the babies, and more often than not I would spend most of my time with her. I loved to hold her. She was so alert, and had these big bright eyes always looking for mine. No matter how nervous or stressed I felt (I did not enjoy my stay in the hospital!) she was always able to calm me. I could sit there and stare at her for hours. She was the first to hit all of the milestones, and the first to come home, after two weeks. I remember very clearly how incredibly easy she was to take care of that one week when we had just her - she was perfectly content, never cried, slept beautifully. So serene.

Oh boy, how that has changed. She is such a crazy child - and I mean that in the most loving and positive of ways. She is loud, and fearless, and curious, and so funny. And despite the fact that she gets mad every time she doesn't get her way, she exudes happiness. She loves to laugh, and smile, and clap, and wave, and is incredibly quick to pick up on things. She hardly ever cries (yells alot, but doesn't cry), and she is constantly on the move. She has never liked sitting still and playing with toys - she wants to be everywhere at once. She crawled at 7 months, and is so close to walking now. She drives us a little crazy with her relentless desire to walk with us - she will climb up our legs until she is standing, and reach up and grab each of our hands, and force us to walk with her. We bought her a walker several weeks ago, and she just flies through the house in it - running over the other babies (or dogs) who get in her path. She is a little whirlwind.

But despite all of her craziness, she is still the one who can calm me down. If I've had a tough day, or I'm upset about something, I can grab her, and take her with me into another room so it is just the two of us for awhile, and she will look up at me with those huge, twinkling blue eyes (we still don't know where those blue eyes came from), and laugh, and I'll know things really are okay. Kate has a beautiful, carefree, joyous spirit, and I already admire it so much. We all love to be around her - her brother and sister especially look up to her and follow her around loyally. Trouble, yes, but so much fun and so loved.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Baby B

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Willa Caryn Vaughan
a.k.a. "No Nap"
born July 10, 2008 at 2:47 pm

Willa was our second born, and our smallest, weighing only 3 pounds 8 ounces when she arrived. What I remember most about her birth was that she was silent, and I kept waiting for her cry, but as it turns out that is just how she is. For most of her life, she has been the quiet one. Most of the time. But boy, oh boy, when she is finally mad about something, she lets you know it. Along with the entire neighborhood. Even now, once she gets into a full-throttle crying fit, she is hard to calm back down, and usually we have to let her just cry it out of her system. Luckily it doesn't happen that often any more.

Willa was pretty healthy when she was born. She needed a little supplemental oxygen but could breathe on her own, and caught on fairly quickly to bottle feeding. She, along with Oliver, was in the NICU for three weeks, mainly waiting until she gained some weight. Despite her quiet nature, she has been, until recently, the high-maintenance baby of the bunch. She wanted to be held ALL the time, she wanted to be picked up and carried to wherever she wanted to go, and she wanted attention. Alone time with me and John is her favorite thing - she becomes a different baby when she gets it - she lights up, and is all smiles, and chatter, and happiness. I think this is what has led to her nickname. She doesn't like to take long naps, and I've decided it is because she has figured out that if she wakes up early, she gets some Mom time. I've been putting her down for naps downstairs in the swing, while the others sleep in the nursery, so that she won't wake them up when she gets up early. However, yesterday, I came downstairs to find her standing up backwards in the swing and hanging down with her head inches from the ground. We are officially moving her back upstairs for naps!

In my last post about Willa, I mentioned that she had no interest in crawling. Well, she decided to prove me wrong and started commando crawling the very next day. It is a funny, crooked little crawl, but it gets her around, and she is getting faster every day. She loves that she can keep up with Kate and Oliver now. And she has found her voice. She loves to yell (happily I think) when she crawls now, and likes to chatter in a quiet, soft voice, so that we find ourselves leaning forward to hear her. She is still a long way from standing up and walking, but she seems determined to take her own time.

I really dislike any little girl things that say "Little Princess" on them, but she is the closest we have to deserving the label. She is very ladylike and proper, sits up very straight with perfect posture, and doesn't like to get her hands into anything, which is one of the reasons I think she has been slow to crawl. She doesn't like to share her toys with the others, and she cries anytime another baby touches her. And if she doesn't want to be messed with, she pushes our hands away. I don't see her as a leader or a follower, she is simply her own person. A very independent, yet quirky person. She is very serious most of the time, and has this very funny glare she gives, with her chin down and her sharp brown eyes staring up at you under frowning eyebrows. But when she opens herself up and smiles it is magical and transforming, and she gives you a glimpse of her very big and vulnerable heart. Most people come away from spending time with her thinking that she is very special. We think so too.

Baby A

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Oliver Wesley Vaughan
a.k.a. "Doodlebug", "Cuddles"
Born July 10, 2008 at 2:46 pm

As the babies will be turning one on Friday, I thought it would be nice to put together a little slideshow and retrospective on each, starting with our first born, Baby A, Mr. Oliver.

In addition to being the first born, Oliver was the largest, at a whopping 4 pounds 7 ounces. I remember being so shocked when they showed him to me briefly during the C-section, as I hadn't realized that they had already started yet! He did well that first day, with just some supplemental oxygen to help him out, but then he began to struggle with his breathing, his lungs were too immature. I will never forget being woken up early by a very serious looking doctor that third morning in the hospital. He told us that Oliver was really struggling, that his lungs were not making enough surfactant to help him breath on his own, and that they wanted to put him on a ventilator. It scared us to the core, and I could hardly bear to look at him strapped to that machine. After two days, his lungs finally started to kick in, and he soon caught up to his sisters. It was an entire week before I was able to hold him for the first time, and I'll never forget how special that moment was, and how grateful I felt.

Although he is perfectly healthy now, and has had no respiratory issues, his sisters have quickly surpassed him in size and weight. He is the smallest by far (at last weigh in he was only 18 pounds - this was over a month ago). And he is by far the cuddliest. I don't know exactly what it is about him, but every one who meets him gets the urge to squeeze him and hold him close. Until recently he hardly ever cried, he just sat back and let the girls do all the complaining. He is very laid back, and easy going, and loves attention. His favorite toy is the exersaucer, in which he will happily bounce for hours on end. He is still commando-crawling, but he is now superfast at it, and follows Kate around tirelessly. He also loves to play with balls - he will pick one up, throw it, chase it down, and repeat himself over and over again.

Although he has a good appetite, he is not crazy about food with texture to it. He hates chunky stage 3 baby food, won't try anything squishy like bananas or cantelope, loves to throw his Perky-Os (gluten free version of Cheerios) on the floor, and the only table food he will consume is a gluten-free animal cracker. And he is the messiest eater of the bunch - usually emerging from meal times with big chunks of baby food in his ears and hair. And just when we thought he was the sane, normal one of the bunch, he recently started doing this trick where he makes his hands into fists, gets this crazy half-smile, wide-eyed look on his face, and squeezes his hands and arms as tight as he can until he shakes. He looks absolutely crazy. I really don't know where this bizarre behavior came from, but he knows I laugh when I see it, so he uses it as an attention-getter. Really, it's hard to describe. I'll have to get some video of it.

Oliver is truly a sweet boy, and it is hard not to draw comparisons to his older brother. He definitely looks just like him - if you compare him to Evan's baby picture from this time you can't tell them apart. He is also sensitive like Evan - and will cry if you raise your voice or scold him. But I so look forward to seeing the differences. I definitely have a soft spot for my little guy - partly because he reminds me so much of Ev, but also because it is impossible to look into those soulful brown eyes, and to watch the way he crinkles up when he smiles, and not melt.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Holiday


We made it to the parade this morning - it was hot, but free ice cream helped!