You’ve probably heard this before, but I want to reiterate it for you right now. Put down your technology, step away from your computer, and turn off the television. Take a walk and actually look at the world around you. Breathe in the scents. Absorb the sounds. Remove your shoes and feel the grass beneath your feet. Be present. Live the moments.
What makes me say this to you in this post? Well, let me share a bit of life with Barber boys right now…
On Sunday and Monday Diane works late into the evening. So, we have babysitters that trade off coming over to help me finish up dinner and get the boys to bed on time. Lately, all three boys have wanted to cuddle with me in the recliner in the nursery before they go into their crib…all three of them at the same time. This was my tonight:
The room was dark except for the blue moon and stars spread across the ceiling from the turtle night-light. The house was quiet but for the squeak of the rocking chair. Henry was snuggled up with his head on my left shoulder. Elliott was snuggled up with his head on my right shoulder. Ethan was snuggled up in the middle with his head on my chest. They smelled of toothpaste and maple syrup. Their little bodies were warm and relaxed; their breathing soft and steady. And I sank into the moment. I let the love wash over me, consume me.
I know that these moments won’t last forever. That is why I try to stop and savor each one. I don’t always succeed, but I certainly try to be in the moments – both for them and for me.
So, speaking of moments, here are some snapshots from Barber boy moments last week.
Here is your video for this week. The boys have two points of wisdom to share: (1) walking in shoes for the first time outside is hard! (2) Dried fall leaves are fun!
Last week was a big one for the Barber boys. They made their first trip to the dentist. Henry went first and just hung out while the dentist checked out his teeth and gums. The dental hygienists were looking at him in shock and said “this is not normal”, as he calmly laid on Diane’s lap for his exam. Ethan and Elliott were a bit more uncertain and unhappy about the exam, but for their first trip they did great! Here is a picture of them in the waiting room before we went back to the exam room.
The week’s first for foods was getting to figure out how to eat an apple. If you slice the apple for them they aren’t interested. Hand them a whole one and they chow down. Silly boys!
They’ve been working on their skills with utensils and are getting better every day. We also took them to the McDonald’s playground for the first time. Each of them climbed up the tube just far enough to be out of sight and then came back down. It was a good effort for their first visit. I’m sure they’ll soon be running through, sliding, and screaming like the other kids. The week was filled with walks, playing with their cars and toys, and just being great boys. They are so much fun to hang out with that it's hard to stay at the office!
Of course, it wouldn’t be a blog post without some video! This one is filled with learning about apples, working with a fork, and playing.
This week was all about getting outside and enjoying the wonderful weather. The boys visited two parks and played in the yard of the library. The second park we took them two was new and bigger than the first. So, we didn’t have a chance to take many pictures, as we were making sure we didn’t lose a baby. But, here are some photos we did take at the two parks.
The boys also got a chance to play outside when the babysitters took them on a walk. They played on the lawn of the library here in town. Here are a few pictures the babysitters took. The boys love spending time with Camilla and Jordan. We love that Camilla and Jordan genuinely have a good time with the boys. When they come over to babysit it’s almost like we can’t leave soon enough so they can get their Barber Triplet Time! <3
Let’s see, what other fun did we have this week. Oh yes! The boys are all into trying on our sandals. Here are a few snapshots of that excitement.
But, some of the most fun we’ve had this week was learning about backpacks. We will be traveling for the holidays and want a way for the boys to have some freedom to walk and still allow us to keep track of them. So, these backpacks will allow them to take some toys to be entertained and they have straps that attach at the top and will allow us to keep them within close proximity to us. They dig their backpacks!
Of course, the week wouldn’t be complete without some day in the life video snippets. :-)
As always, thanks for joining us on this journey. We hope you enjoy reading about us, seeing the pictures, and watching the videos as much as we love putting it together for you.
Every week in our house is filled with fun and adventure. This week included a trip to the Fairview Heights mall play place. They love to run, climb and slide. Mirrors are also a big hit.
Hats were the rage this week, too. Henry especially digs his hat.
We also had a few food trips – Olive Garden, Red Robin, Steak-n-Shake. The boys are so good in public. We almost always get compliments on how well behaved they are in restaurants. What can I say, our boys like to eat! :-) They sampled watermelon at Sam’s (the people love to give them lots of samples), had a swing with their favorite babysitters, Jordan and Camilla, and played with mom’s socks. Oh, and thanks to a case of water they were able to check in on the neighbors...lol.
But, by far the most fun was had on Saturday when we celebrated my birthday. We all went to Jason’s Deli for lunch. Then we went to the bounce house. During this visit the boys learned how to do the slide. Their climbing skills are kind of scary from a mom’s perspective…lol.
So, what do you get the mom who has everything? It’s all in the love!
One of the most enjoyable experiences with the boys is watching them explore their world. You know that whole debate about nature versus nurture? Well, I have an answer for you…they are not mutually exclusive. I am watching these boys grow up in the same house, with the same parents, same rules, access to the same toys/learning tools – and they are three unique individuals. So, for example, they all learn not to bite people because we teach them – nurture. Ethan walks first, then Henry, followed by Elliott – nature. It’s a beautiful dance of family and individuals.
Speaking of walking – everybody is up on their feet these days. It seems like just over the last couple of days Elliott has decided that he is going to walk more than crawl. It’s a game changer for us, in a good way. They are getting so good about responding to us. For example, when it’s naptime we just say “Time to go to the nursery” and our little parade makes its way to that room. When it’s your turn for solo mom these little things are very helpful!
So, what else is new? Well, we took them to the zoo for the first time. It was cool to see the moment when their eyes locked onto the animal. We didn’t have a lot of time so we went by the big animals – rhinoceros, hippopotamus, and elephant. You could see their eyes widen and body language change when they saw each one. Looking forward to taking them back many times as they grow. St. Louis has a great zoo. A few other fun trips included the Greek Food Festival, Dairy Queen, and some playtime on the lawn in front of the library.
There is so much fun and laugher in our house. These pictures and videos give you a glimpse, but there is so much not captured by them. As they get older I find I am getting worse and worse about getting pictures or videos of moments. It’s a catch 22 because I desire to be in the moments, while simultaneously capturing them to relive the experience. Here are two that I did capture.
The boys got Jello for the first time recently. Elliott thought it was hysterical.
In this video Henry discovered the sproinginess (I’m sure that’s a word!) of my hair. He thought it was quite hilarious.
As always, thanks for coming along on our journey!
It has been 9 months since I posted on this blog…I’d say life has been a little busy. Or rather, these boys have been keeping us busy!
I’m hoping to work more regular postings into my schedule to keep everyone updated and have a fun record of events.
So, what has been happening in the last 9 months? Let’s take a peek for each of the boys…
Ethan has had a fabulous 9 months. He shed the crawling gig and moved into walking full-time. At this point he is working up to a run. He loves to eat, tell tall tales, and use his shirt as a tote bag for toys. This little man is curious and thoughtful. He has started sharing drinks and food with his brothers.
Henry is also walking. His most used phrase right now is “what’s that?” I am pretty sure he will be the boy to ask “why” a trillion times a day. But, Henry’s favorite thing to do is make sound effects with his voice. He has so many sounds!
Elliott is the boy getting all of the teeth! He got his first 8 before his brothers and has 3 molars that have come through. Makes it easier for him to chomp on Oreos! He is working on his walking, but likes to crawl and get to a destination before his walking brothers.
It has been a 9 months full of firsts for the boys. First Valentine’s Day in February, birthday in March, swinging at the park in April, plane ride in May, Chinese delivery in June, new house in July, and all swung on the porch swing together in August. We’re still working on the firsts for September. :-)
The boys will be 1.5 years old on the 14th of September. I’m really not sure where time went. They are unique and amazing. Of all the things I will do with my life, nothing will ever be better or more important than these three!!
This time last year our hearts were full with the prospect of three little boys growing our family. Though we were nervous, because so many things can go wrong during a multiple pregnancy, we couldn’t contain our excitement. To share that excitement with our family and friends we created this Christmas card…with the picture drawn by yours truly. :-)
As you’ve read in previous posts, 2016 was a year of ups and downs. But truly, when Henry’s water broke on that calm March evening, we couldn’t even begin to comprehend how much joy was about to enter our lives. Now the boys’ first Christmas has passed and we honored it with a card featuring our little elves.
Here’s to another year filled with love and laughter. We pray that all of you find yourselves blessed beyond measure and thankful for every moment you live and breathe. Don’t take those moments for granted…they pass too quickly!
So, this has been an amazing medical week for the boys!
You may not know, but Henry and Elliott have been receiving services from an occupational therapist. Well, on Tuesday she informed us that all three boys are doing so well that she is recommending the discontinuation of services when they reach 6 months. They are all doing so well that they no longer score has having deficits!
Most of you do know that Ethan has had ongoing ophthalmology appointments to watch the development of the blood vessels in his eyes very closely. Yesterday the doctor stated that there are no more signs of retinopathy of prematurity. He is clear and his eyes are healthy. The doctor expects that he will have the same field of vision as the rest of us.
It seems as though we are reminded, on a daily basis, just how incredibly lucky we are that all three of our boys are happy and healthy.
And just because – here’s a cute picture of Elliott asleep with his butt in the air. :-)
One year ago today we went to an ultrasound not knowing we were about to see three little miracles. They make us smile every day and we are so in love with them. We feel very blessed to be their mommies!
Henry Grayson – 9:20am on 3/14/16, 2lbs 3.3oz.
Oh our little Henry Grayson. Are any of you fans of the show Once Upon a Time? If you are, then you know that the boy in the show, Henry, became the author. (Sorry if that was a spoiler for anyone, but really, that happened like forever ago…) Anyway – when this little guy’s water broke it was like he was writing the story for the triplet’s arrival. So, when Diane and I were looking at their pictures and trying to decide on names, she said “he has to be Henry because he is writing the story”. Well, who was I to disagree? Grayson is derived from a book series by author Anne Bishop. A character goes by the name Gray – and he is a fighter. He comes back from brokenness to be the man he’s meant to be. So, Henry Grayson – writing his own story toward the man he’s meant to be. :sniffle sniffle:
As many of you know, Henry had the roughest start out of all of the triplets. The first night doctors discovered that there was blood in his stool. After testing they determined it was his and not Diane’s. So, the next day he was moved from the hospital where we delivered (St. Mary’s in St. Louis) to Cardinal Glennon. He went through several tests and nothing was conclusive. So, he underwent exploratory surgery to determine the origin of the blood. During that surgery the doctor said that a portion of his small bowel “looked abnormal”. She couldn’t put her finger on exactly what was wrong, but knew that she couldn’t leave it in there. So she removed 10cm of his small bowel. As it was around St. Patrick’s Day, you can see in this picture that she gave him a shamrock shaped bandage. It was just a little something that meant so much to us. His surgeon is in the reserves and like a week later had to go on location for 2 weeks. On her way out, in her fatigues, she stopped in to check on him one more time.
Because of his surgery, they only gave Henry total parenteral nutrition (TPN) though – no breast milk through a feeding tube. It seemed like daily they were doing some x-ray or scan to see what was happening with his intestines. He wasn’t passing any stool and the doctors were concerned. They put him on a medication called mucomyst and started talking about the possibility of him having cystic fibrosis. Also, they were giving the poor boy enemas every day. While the possibility of cystic fibrosis loomed heavy over us, we were more concerned about his immediate condition. The mucomyst made him miserable. He was puffy and didn’t really want to be held or messed with at all. Add to that the side effect of long-term TPN in premature infants is an impact on the liver. So, his direct bilirubin numbers were high and he was looking yellowed. It was heartbreaking to watch his struggle.
I have to say, we have never been more excited about poop than the day Henry finally passed his last meconium plug. That seemed to be the turning point for him. Once his bowels were moving they started tube feeding breast milk and he never looked back. To this day the boy loves to eat! As the food amount increased, everything else started to fall into place. His liver numbers improved. The IVs came out. He passed his hearing and vision exams. It was like he heard the doctors and nurses talking about discharging his brothers and he was not going to be left behind.
Henry came home on May 4th and our family finally felt whole. We celebrated our first Mother’s Day with all of our babies. Henry continues to be our fighter. He is now the largest of the triplets, weighing in a little over 14 pounds. (This was the old bathroom scale trick, so it’s not 100% accurate, but he feels a lot heavier than the other two boys.) He rolls from front to back and smiles with a little twinkle in his eyes. Out of all three boys Henry has been the most vocal since the day we brought him home. He has been making at least 10 different sounds for months now. In the beginning all of his vocalizations sounded angry, even if he wasn’t crying. I think he was releasing all of that pent up NICU angst – I mean, the boy had more enemas in his short few weeks of life than anyone I’ve ever known. That alone would create some anger…lol. Since he has been home, further testing was done and confirmed that he does not have cystic fibrosis. After all of his issues were resolved in the NICU he has had no further problems.
He’s a light in the darkness of the world, a daily inspiration to keep fighting. He’s our Henry, our author, and I can’t wait to see the story he writes for himself.