Thursday, April 23, 2009

This just in...

Jacob had his first t-ball practice and he LOVES it. He had a really good time. They had stations set up where you hit the ball, you played catch, got grounders, etc...

Of course mom and dad have been a little lax in playing catch with him since we have three other little ones around and don't want them to get hit by the ball. They seem to gravitate towards anything that we're doing. But he's had plenty of practice hitting off the tee.

The best news is that three other high school friends have kids on the same team. How awesome is that?

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Oh joy.

I'm at the end of my rope. Not sure what that exactly means. Does that mean I let go of my rope and have no hold on whatever I was holding on to? Because then I probably let go a long time ago and I'm watching my rope run around crazy like a fox.

The positives of 3 year olds. Really fun to take them to the store. They hold my hands really good now and actually sit pretty well for 20 minutes or so. They can express themselves better than they could last year. They can get themselves dressed - to a point. Oh, and they are healthy.

Negatives. Today was one of those days where I could come up with a very long list of negatives. Sometimes I just need to sip some wine and take a step back. Who wouldn't love to be a parent to four children. There are people in the world that yearn to have children and would do anything just to have one. With that said....

John. (I just took a big relaxing breath) He's pushing my buttons. A lot. This no nap thing for all three of them is killing me. The minute I turn to do something, John is at the cat or at the counter or at the refrigerator or at the TV. He's defiant, strong willed, stubborn, defiant, and defiant. Its really hard parenting a defiant child. Because the more you "butt" heads, the worse it gets.

I took a shower today at 4 p.m. and had a cartoon on for them to watch. John went into the refrigerator and started eating strawberries. But he had to bring them into the living room and leave drops of them all over the carpeting. Did I mention I stayed up until 12:30 a.m. steam cleaning the carpeting and the stairs? Yeah. And then the three of them pulled the chairs up to the sink and turned on the water and got really wet and the dishes didn't get any cleaner. (I know that was a grammatical error.)

He wanted to sleep in Jacobs bedroom tonight and so I let him. (Jacob sleeps in Brooke's bedroom on the top bunk). I told him he had to stay in his bed and not get out. I'm downstairs getting the computer and I hear footsteps. I go upstairs to find John face down on his pillow and he's faking sleep but breathing hard. So you know I know what he was doing. Faker.

On the other hand. Matthew is such a ray of sunshine. Today was his fifth day of school and he didn't cry when I left him. He likes to cuddle with his teachers, or sit on their laps at times. He's such a great little boy. I sent him to bed and he was at the window and I told him to get back to bed. He had this look on his face like he was going to cry. So I laid by his mattress and I rubbed his back and cuddled for a bit. I think he needs more reassurance now that hes going to school and away from me and his siblings.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

A weekly recap

Alrighty. Whats new? Whats frustrating? Whats over?

New. Brooke has a new haircut. I just cut off the back to give her a shorter "bob" style haircut. Daddy was sad to see the longer hair in the back go, but it was a form of a mullet and we just don't do mullets.

Jacob lost his tooth last night. His tooth was hanging on by a thread. or root. His adult tooth is even showing. I kept trying to pull the thing out, but he was such a baby about it. Buck up young man, there are a whole lot worse things in life. So he pulled it out by himself. I gave him a deadline though, I told him he had to do it before 10:00 p.m. last night or the Tooth Fairy would not be able to guarantee same day delivery of said money.

Matthew started Early Childhood school this week. He attends Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday from 8:30 to 11:03. He has two teachers in his classroom all the time and then has additional speech therapy on those day in class too. His teachers just love him. He's such a sweetheart, who wouldn't? All three days though as I backed out of the classroom he started crying. Its harder in some ways than when Jacob cried at preschool. He's 3 and very much innocent and vulnerable. He is such a sweet child and I actually enjoy being his parent. Although, it seems like I don't have the time to cry about it being that I'm dragging around the other two.

The frustrating. Jacob has been acting very badly the last week or so. Its ticking me off. I've actually sent him in his room for an hour or so at a time. Its called "quiet time" in some households or its called "stay away from your mom or she'll wring your neck" time in my house. I just took all four out for a walk and he wanted to ride his bike. I gave him my expectations before we left. When I stay stop, he needs to stop. He didn't. Finally almost 3/4 around our circle a neighbor stopped him and made him wait until I caught up. I told him right away his bike was going away for a week and he was going to go to his room until daddy got home. Then I came up with the brilliant conclusion that to really hurt him was to take away his "boat" privileges. That means he can't play in our boat that's sitting in our garage. Now he plays in this boat hours a day if he could so I'm hoping that this means he'll remember how not fun this punishment was and listen.

What's over? Winter. I think we won't have any more snow. Its actually nice to get outside without coats on.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009


Something I was e-mailed today.

Sandra felt as low as the heels of her shoes when she pulled open the florist shop door, against a November gust of wind. Her life had been as sweet as a spring breeze and then, in the fourth month of her second pregnancy, a "minor" automobile accident stole her joy. This was Thanksgiving week and the time she should have delivered their infant son. She grieved over their loss. Troubles had multiplied.
Her husband's company "threatened" to transfer his job to a new location. Her sister had called to say that she could not come for her long awaited holiday visit. What's worse, Sandra's friend suggested that Sandra's grief was a God-given path to maturity that would allow her to empathize with others who suffer. "She has no idea what I'm feeling," thought Sandra with a shudder "Thanksgiving? Thankful for what?" she wondered.. "For a careless driver whose truck was hardly scratched when he rear-ended me? For an airbag that saved my life, but took my child's?"
"Good afternoon, can I help you?" Sandra was startled by the approach of the shop clerk. "I . . . I need an arrangement," stammered Sandra. "For Thanksgiving? I'm convinced that flowers tell stories, " she continued. "Are you looking for something that conveys 'gratitude' this Thanksgiving?" "Not exactly!" Sandra blurted out. "In the last five months, everything that could go wrong has gone wrong." Sandra regretted her outburst, and was surprised when the clerk said, "I have the perfect arrangement for you."
Then the bell on the door rang, and the clerk greeted the new customer.... "Hi, Barbara, let me get your order." She excused herself and walked back to a small workroom, then quickly reappeared, carrying an arrangement of greenery, bows, and what appeared to be long-stemmed thorny roses. Except the ends of the rose stems were neatly s nipped: there were no flowers. "Do you want these in a box?" asked the clerk. Sandra watched - was this a joke? Who would want rose stems with no flowers! She waited for laughter, but neither woman laughed. "Yes, please," Barbara replied with an appreciative smile. "You'd think after three years of getting the special, I wouldn't be so moved by its significance, but I can feel it right here, all over again," she said, as she gently tapped her chest. Sandra stammered, "Ah, that lady just left with . . . uh . . . she left with no flowers!" "That's right," said the clerk. "I cut off the flowers. That's the 'Special'. I call it the Thanksgiving Thorns Bouquet. Barbara came into the shop three years ago, feeling much as you do today," explained the clerk. "She thought she had very little to be thankful for. ** **She had just lost her father; the family business was failing; her son had gotten into drugs; and she was facing major surgery. That same year I had lost my husband," continued the clerk. "For the first time in my life, I had to spend the holidays alone. I had no children, no husband, no family nearby, and too much debt to allow any travel." "So what did you do?" asked Sandra. "I learned to be thankful for thorns," answered the clerk quietly. "I've always thanked God for the good things in my life and I never questioned Him why those good things happened to me, but when the bad stuff hit, I cried out, 'Why? Why me?!' It took time for me to learn that the dark times are important to our faith! I have always enjoyed the 'flowers' of my life, but it took the thorns to show me the beauty of God's comfort! You know, the Bible says that God comforts us when we're afflicted, and from His consolation we learn to comfort others." Sandra sucked in her breath, as she thought about what her friend had tried to tell her. "I guess the truth is I don't want comfort. I've lost a baby and I'm angry with God."
Just then someone else walked in the shop. "Hey, Phil!" the clerk greeted the balding, rotund man. "My wife sent me in to get our usual Thanksgiving arrangement . . twelve thorny, long-stemmed stems!" laughed Phil as the clerk handed him a tissue wrapped arrangement from the refrigerator. "Those are for your wife?" asked Sandra incredulously. "Do you mind telling me why she wants a bouquet that looks like that?" "Four years ago, my wife and I nearly divorced," Phil replied. "After forty years, we were in a real mess, but with the Lord's grace and guidance, we trudged through problem after problem, the Lord rescued our marriage. Jenny here (the clerk) told me she kept a vase of rose stems to remind her of what she had learned from "thorny" times. That was good enough for me. I took home some of those stems. My wife and I decided to label each one for a specific "problem" and give thanks for what that problem taught us." As Phil paid the clerk, he said to Sandra, "I highly recommend the Special!"
"I don't know if I can be thankful for the thorns in my life" Sandra said to the clerk. "It's all too . . fresh." "Well," the clerk replied carefully, "my experience has shown me that the thorns make the roses more precious. We treasure God's providential care more during trouble than at any other time. Remember that it was a crown of thorns that Jesus wore so we might know His love....Don't resent the thorns." Tears rolled down Sandra's cheeks. For the first time since the accident, she loosened her grip on her resentment. "I'll take those twelve long-stemmed thorns, please," she managed to choke out. "I hoped you would," said the clerk gently. "I'll have them ready in a minute." "Thank you. What do I owe you?" "Nothing.. Nothing but a promise to allow God to heal your heart...The first year's arrangement is always on me." The clerk smiled and handed a card to Sandra. "I'll attach this card to your arrangement, but maybe you would like to read it first."

It read: "My God, I have never thanked You for my thorns. I have thanked You a thousand times for my roses, but never once for my thorns. Teach me the glory of the cross I bear; teach me the value of my thorns. Show me that I have climbed closer to You along the path of pain. Show me that, through my tears, the colors of Your rainbow look much more brilliant." Praise Him for the roses; thank Him for the thorns. God Bless all of you. Be thankful for all that the Lord did and does for you. "Live simply, love generously, care deeply, speak kindly, and leave the rest to God." We often try to fix problems with WD-40 and Duct tape. God did it with nails. (This last paragraph made me cry.)

Monday, April 13, 2009

Easter hangover

The kids were patient enough to wait until daddy got up for the big Easter egg hunt. They found their baskets with a little help from me. This is a rare picture of all three children looking in the general vicinity of the camera.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Birthday pictures part deux

I really enjoyed the babies birthday. I love to celebrate birthday and get them all hyped up for it. I want them to have great memories of their birthdays and fun things we do. I'm the type of person, if you ask me how old I am, I'll say 33 1/2. If my husband let me, we would be celebrating 1/2 birthdays for the kids (and me).
It seems just like yesterday that my kids were in the NICU. They were there over Easter. It was very emotional for me because I wanted my family together for these special holidays and yet, Jacob had not even met his siblings yet. He was not allowed into the NICU due to the RSV season.
Matthew, love the lip curl. Such an angel waiting patiently for his birthday song to be over with.

John, on the other hand, had already sampled his cupcake.

Happy Easter everyone. My favorite thing to say on easter, "He is risen, He is risen indeed!"

Saturday, April 11, 2009

More Birthday pictures of Brooke

Brooke was absolutely precious during the Happy Birthday song and all-too-eager to blow out her candles. (I'll post the other boys tomorrow)

Friday, April 10, 2009

Good Friday

I worked last night and tonight so I wasn't able to attend any church services. I feel bad because these are important events which are the stronghold of my faith. But I guess I can worship, meditate or pray at home also.

Its ironic we call it Good Friday because Jesus died on this day. He suffered for all our sins. Wow. That's so overwhelming that someone could love me so much to die for me and everyone else. Sometimes I go days without saying a proper prayer or taking the time to praise God for everything He has done. I do pray before I go to sleep, but I am usually so tired that I fall asleep before I say what I really need to say.

I try to model and be a living example for Jacob and the triplets, but I fall short. I try to give Jacob's homework and Christ's Light stuff as much time as it should be. I don't get Jacob to church as often as I should. (Although my thoughts on that subject about going to church every week doesn't automatically save you, its whats in your heart)

When I do go to church, the sermon always touches me in some way that I can see how God is integral in my life. Without Him, where would I be? Where would my children be?
Lately, Pastor Tim has been doing sermon series and they really hit home. We have a sister church too in Appleton called The Core and Jacob and I went once and Pastor Ski had a really good sermon series too. It was about why there is suffering in this world.
These called servants who stand in front of us each Sunday and string together some bible verses and how they apply to our lives, its truly a gift. I think we've all sat through some sermons or chapels thinking what is the point? when will this end? Which probably is wrong on a whole bunch of levels.

One thing I'm grateful for besides the DVR is taped sermons that I can watch at my leisure.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Its the little things

You know you're having a good day when (fill in the blank).

you hear Master of Puppets (Metallica) on the way home and you are happy to stop at the red light for a little extra listening time.

you come home from work and your awesome husband has done some laundry and cleaned most of the floors.

you have not been kicked or hit by your three year old children. Or spit at.

your kids pile on top of you because they missed you so much.

you can find matching socks that are clean.

your kids go to bed without complaint and don't trash their rooms. (this is wishful thinking and not yet reality)

Today I went into the cemetery to get some info on the tombstones of my fathers side of the family for a family tree project. Guess what ancestry I am with these names, Frederic, Wilhelm, Caroline, Sophia, Oscar, Mamie. Then came home and played outside with the little ones for a bit and then went to Jacob's school to work in the library. I've decided that I want to become a librarian. I could do that for eight hours a day. Only problem is that I don't want to interact with people. Just put me in a cubbyhole and classify books, enter them into the system, put them on the shelves. I'll have to dust off my Dewey Decimal System class notes from Mr. Buege.

Then I got to see Jacob playing with the kids at school. I drove for a class trip last week and he was interacting well with the boys in the car. He also says hi and goodbye to his classmates. Otherwise he has been very shy and withdrawn with the other kids. I watched him out the window and he was trying to play with his older cousin who is two years older, who was playing pretend guns or something with friends. He ran around with them, but never was really part of the group. Then he went on the monkey bars to talk to some girls, but I don't know if they didn't say anything to him or not so he left. He looked like a lost little boy trying to find someone or something to play with. Then he played on the slide and stayed in that area, but there were bigger boys there and they were energetic in their play. My heart aches for him. I think he's trying to fit in, but doesn't know how. I'm not sure if he is waiting for kids to ask him to play or what the deal is.

I never had issues with making friends and was also outgoing as a child so dealing with a child who is more shy and self-conscience is frustrating at times. I don't know how he feels or if he realizes that he is not fitting in. But it hurts my heart to see him rebuffed by children and then he'll just stand off to the side. I don't' think the kids are doing it on purpose, they are just carrying on and playing. He's just a sensitive little boy.

I don't care if he is the most popular, smartest or best athlete, I just want him to be able to carry on a conversation and be a part of a group. I don't want him to be the one always standing alone at recess or never being invited to play.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

3 year old pictures

Birthday party pictures... Johnny's future job at Mcdonalds looks pretty durn good.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Birthday hangover

I think I've almost recovered from the birthday party this weekend. Its so much work getting the house clean and making food, yet it was so worth it. The kids, especially Jacob, were excited for the party. I need to make a mental note to have the party for lunch next year instead of dinner/supper time because the day gets pretty long when Jacob asks for the 4oth time "how many hours until the party?" And trying to keep the house clean all day with four kids in it - well, its not happening unless you hogtie them.

I bought a preschool table to go in our dining room for the kids to play on. This table did not hold all the presents. I think they should be occupied for at least a few weeks. The theme was Sponge Bob Square pants. Its a nice neutral theme. Although its kind of creepy falling asleep on the couch and then looking up to see Sponge Bob's face over your head.

Brooke has been an absolute monster. I think its due to them not being in their cribs anymore. They can get in and out of their beds and they are staying up later fooling around and even nap time is really challenging. There is lots of running around and giggling. So I may have to change the wording to "quiet time" because I need a break. I need a break from my children. I need quiet, I need to be alone and not be elbowed, jumped on and licked.

Matthew and John still need to be separated during the day because they tend to play and someone likes to rip down wallpaper in their room. Seriously, I will string John up by his feet and leave him like that if he rips more down. I'd like to wipe that mischievous smirk off his face.

It doesn't sound like I'm really liking my job right now. Well, these times are very frustrating keeping the consistency really is wearing. But on a happier note, when I take all three to the store, it has been much easier. I still can't do more than one store without meltdowns, but how many grown men can you take shopping in multiples stores?

I seriously was really close to grabbing a drink today. And smoking. And it didn't help that we got to the YMCA late today. I took all four down to the dressing room and then sent Jacob out to the pool while I got the triplets to the drop-in day care. Went back downstairs and he wasn't in the pool with the rest of his class.

First thought is that there is only one way out of the YMCA and the people working by the door know Jacob. So I knew he was still in the building somewhere. So I went back into the family locker room and most of the private rooms were being used. So I started calling his name. When I realized that the only other place he was familiar with was Adventure Alley I started heading there only to hear me being paged over the loudspeaker. He was in adventure alley with three directors looking after him. He did really well, he told the lady working he was looking for me, he knew my name and when the director of swimming said she'd take him to swimming lessons, he said that he would stay right there until I got there.

This is going to turn me more grey than I already am. On Saturday, we had the FVMOM spring rummage sale and there are tons of people around. He was going between my booth and my sister Joan's booth. I went over to talk to him and he wasn't there. He wasn't by my sister Julie and he wasn't by another lady Angela that I know he knows. So I thought he went to the bathroom by himself. He's becoming more independent which has its upside and its downside to certain situations like this. He insisted on going into the boys bathroom earlier that day so I knew he would have gone in there. I heard voices when I cracked the door, but I didn't want to go in and scare some poor boys. Another lady I know said she hadn't seen Jacob out there so I sent another boy in to see who was in the bathroom. It wasn't him. So a thousand things are going through my head. There are strangers around, its busy, the doors are open to the outside. So as tears start to cloud my eyes and I feel my heart beating in my throat, he walks in from being outside. His cheeks were flushed from the cold. He had been outside by the truck blowing bubbles. And the truck was parked aways from the door. I hugged him and told him that he cannot leave the building without telling me. Sigh. He just does not realize the dangers around him.

People keep asking me now that the triplets are 3 if things are easier. Is 3 some magic age where they start to do everything by themselves and listen? Three is worse than two. They start to be able to reason with you and they are really stubborn without any substance behind their reasoning. They have quick tempers and short attention spans.

Now sure, I don't have to feed them every three hours and I'm not up all night with them. But when I put them down when they were infants, they stayed where I put them. I could also place them in swings or bouncy seats and go do something. But then again, I had more help when they were infants. So I guess its a toss up. I think I'll feel like things are easier after they are potty-trained.

And speaking of that, Brooke has regressed to wanting to wear diapers. However, she still only has one or two wet diapers a day and holds it very well. She just is learning "the feeling" of when she has to go and has not figured out how to relax and let it all out.

Yes, that was TMI. But its potty-training and its my life. Believe me, I can't wait to go a day without touching poop.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Happy Birthday!

They are 3, its the 3rd. So that makes it their Golden Birthday. (Sigh) (Double Sigh)

I love birthdays. I get them all hyped up by talking about it the month before. We've practiced the singing and blowing out of candles. I love to plan a fun day on their birthday. So they know every year they have something special to look forward too.

But I'm sad. Its a happy sad. Reliving this day three years ago, going through the discomfort of contractions all night and then delivering them via C-section at 5:01, 5:02 and 5:03. Matthew was first, 4 lbs 6 oz and 18 inches, Brooke was 4 lbs 7 oz and 17 inches and little Johnny was 4 lbs 3 oz and 17 1/4 inches. It was such a surreal time, being in the delivery room, having them being delivered so quickly, the bright lights, all the people in the room. The babies were taken away to the NICU probably 5-10 minutes after their birth. I don't really remember the details of the post-surgical stuff or even the trip back to my room. But I remember sitting there with Scott, waiting to hear from the doctor about the health of the babies. Dr Meyers came in around 8 a.m. and told us they were doing as well as they could be. I remember calling Pastor Ash and he came up and he and Scott went to get the kids baptized at 10:00 a.m. That was the first time that Scott saw the kids after delivery and I do not remember if I got to see the kids that afternoon or that night. I was pretty doped up with morphine. I remember my mom and dad and Scott's parents bringing Jacob right around lunch to go see the kids. My sisters and brother and spouses came up that night to see the kids.

Its such a different experience than what I had with Jacob. I had gotten to hold Jacob right after birth and he stayed in my room the whole time. I got to see him and nurse him right away.

Thursday, April 2, 2009


Three cribs entered into the Callaway household on April 26th and April 28th, 2006 when Matthew, Brooke and John came home from the NICU. They were put to the curb the evening of April 1st, 2009. These cribs loved to be slept in, shaken, climbed and even didn't mind getting occasional bodily fluids on them. They endured much in their short life span. One crib was even passed down from Aunt Julie to Brooke and will be passed back to the family for future babies. These cribs are survived by their mattresses which are still being slept on by Matthew and John. While Brooke is sleeping in the bottom bunk bed in her room.

These cribs were particularly missed by John who freaked out at the sight, or lack of, them in their room. We'd like to thank everyone who borrowed or donated cribs, mattresses or bedding. They have been used and abused and you really don't want them back due to the mysterious stains.