Our First Christmas as a Family of 6!

Christmas was a lot different this year than last year! We knew we were pregnant last year, but we didn’t know it was three and we hadn’t told anyone yet! What a difference a year makes! The hectic Christmas family traditions are so much crazier with 3 babies! But we made it and we had a great Christmas! And we took our first roadtrip! (And it was a success!) We even made it to see Santa! And no one cried (they didn’t smile either but I’ll take it!)

I haven’t posted in almost a month because we’ve been so so so super busy! We ended up doing almost all of our Christmas shopping online and almost all the last week before Christmas. We had great intentions of shopping a few weeks ahead of time and getting everything done BEFORE the last minute. But that didn’t happen. Instead, we spent 3 nights at Children’s with James (1 night) and Mason (2 nights) the week before Christmas.

The boys will be 8 months tomorrow (December 29) so I’ll write another post about what we’ve been up to later this week (including why we spent 3 nights at the hospital). This one is just about Christmas!

Here’s our Christmas card! I love it! Thanks to Miranda Carr for taking the awesome photos! (She took the Ho Ho Ho one above too!)

And I put the babies in gift boxes too! I had visions of amazing photos. Kind of like the babies in pumpkins pics I did for fall. Well, it didn’t turn out as well this time! Ha! Here’s a collage I put together! Mason wasn’t in the mood!

James didn’t mind it though!

Addison and I went to Garvan Gardens in Hot Springs to see the Christmas lights with Brian’s mom and his brother and his family. It was cold so the babies didn’t go. But Addison and I had a great time!

 

We spent Christmas Eve at Brian’s parents’ house in town with his family. I didn’t get any pictures but Brian got this one of Mason with his Aunt Katie and cousins Liam (11 months) and Emily (2). The babies were a big hit! Emily especially loved them!
And here’s one of all the cousins at Nina and Pop’s house together for the first time! The boys are out of order because Josie didn’t want to hold a baby so Emily is holding James instead!
Later that night we headed out of town for Memphis! Our first roadtrip! Yay! We packed so much into the Mann Van! Addison had one seat in the back row but other than that the entire back was full to the ceiling except for a small space for me to see out.
The boys did great in the van on the way to Memphis (not as good on the way home!) We got there about 9:30. Then we went to Midnight Mass. The boys slept through the whole thing. And we had the cry room to ourselves.
Then my favorite Christmas tradition – presents at my grandparents’ house after Midnight Mass. The boys were great for this too! Logan slept the whole time. Mason and James were awake most of the time but they were really good! Which is a good thing because we didn’t pack any bottles because they don’t eat in the middle of the night!
Here’s a few pictures:
Brian and James
My favorite gift – LEMONHEADS!
Then we went back to my parents’ house and went to sleep (around 5 am) and waited for Santa! I didn’t get any pictures from Christmas Day at my parents’ house (mom fail!) but it was a great day! The boys were perfect! Addison was perfect too of course! We had planned to stay until Friday (the day after Christmas) but because everyone was so good we ended up staying an extra day! Yay! So fun!
Brian took one picture. His “Reinbeer” that my sister gave him!
Here’s a few more pictures from the Christmas season!
Logan
Mason

And our Christmas ornaments (I actually have another set that my mom made but I put them on the tree right away before I took pictures!)

 

Oh and we have an Elf on the Shelf! Of course! His name is Buddy and he gets into a little trouble from time to time. Here’s a few pictures of Buddy from this year. He wasn’t too naughty!

 

 

Buddy turned the milk green! Ew!
Buddy rolled the Christmas tree!
And one of my favorite things about Christmas – Christmas cards! I have lots more that didn’t fit on this side of my kitchen too! One of my triplet mom groups did a Christmas card exchange so I have triplet Christmas cards too! I love my triplet mom friends! We even did a Secret Santa this year and I got the sweetest gifts! And I really had fun buying gifts for my triplet mom too!
Ok this was a little long (I know most of my posts are long!) so I’ll end it here! Stay tuned for an 8 month update!

First Fever, First Wreck and First Trip to the ER

Today is one of those days I wish we had “do overs.” Well I wish my poor little Logan could have a do over. He had a rough day! But I’ll go ahead and share the ending – we’re home and we’re good. 

 
Today started like every other day. Well sort of. We got up around 6:30 (Logan and I were up off and on from 2:30-5:30 too). We fed the boys, they swang, we got ready for work, and we took everyone to school. 
 
Then the school called. Logan had a fever. First fever. Poor little guy! I was actually surprised they called about Logan. See Mason and James have been snotty for the last few days and we’ve been sucking snot every few hours. FYI they make this new nose sucker called a Nose Frida where you literally suck the snot out (there’s a filter so the boogers don’t go in your mouth of course). It’s awesome. Whoever bought this for us thank you!
 
Back to my story. Logan has not been snotty. He has been cranky (see above – he was up off and on half the night). So I was surprised. But I picked him up and took him to work with me. And I called the pediatrician! I know it may seem crazy to call the dr for just a fever but we have ex-27 weekers with chronic lung disease. And Logan is still on oxygen. So we will probably call the dr every time just to be safe. You see, a normal cold can send these little guys back to the hospital. (We ended up there today but not for that reason. Keep reading). 
 
Logan was so good today. I was able to work a full day and I was productive too. Yay Logan! He didn’t feel too great at first  so he just slept in his car seat. 
 

 

 
He played under his play gym then he took a nap. 
 
 


So then we headed to the doctor. We didn’t make it. I made a left turn at a light and a lady ran the light and hit the Mann Van. First wreck. The light had already turned red and I was still in the intersection because the a-hold in the lane next to me – which was not a turn lane – turned left in front of me. Who does that?! Anyways, she hit the back passenger side and all the airbags went off on that side of the van. And Logan was on that side too. He was startled but otherwise ok. 

 
So I pulled over onto a side street. And while I was moving my van, the lady who hit me fled the scene. That’s right. A hit and run. Again who does that?!
 
Did I say this was my first wreck? Well it was. Well first wreck if you don’t count the time we hit a deer last thanksgiving. First ever when I was driving. I was pretty scared! 
 
Luckily the Mann Van was still drivable once the cop cut the airbags out for me so I could see out the passenger side. 
 
By this time it was too late to take Logan to the pediatrician. Brian talked to the ped and he said take Logan to the after hours clinic. Well turns out they won’t see kids who have been in a wreck. So we had to go to the ER. First trip to the ER. Luckily Brian met me at the boys’ school and went too. 
 
Mason and James went for moral support. (Mason was eating so not in the picture). 
 

 

By the time we got to the ER, Logan’s fever was gone. And his lungs sounded clear! That was my concern so I was so relieved! They kept us for a few hours for observation due to the airbag deploring right by Logan. Then we got to go home finally! I’ve never been so happy to be home! I’m sure Logan felt the same way too! 
 
I’m just glad this day is over. I feel like I’ve earned a grown up drink. But I’m too tired. Maybe tomorrow.
 
Note: this is also my first blog post straight from my phone so if the formatting is off or if it’s not edited like my  other posts, that’s why. (Update – I had to fix the formatting because I’m OCD and it was driving me crazy just thinking about it!)
 

2 Home 1 To Go

I think the NICU spoiled my babies . . . And it’s ok. They had a rough start to their lives. A rougher start than probably anyone I know. And they fought and survived. So it’s ok that they’re spoiled. It just means that they’re loved. We have an amazing group of primary nurses, practitioners, doctors, therapists of all types, and techs who love our babies so much. What more can you ask for for your babies? Not much. That being said, my babies are spoiled rotten! The ones at home at least!

 
So the boys are 16 weeks old this week (a few days ago on Tuesday). That’s 4 weeks adjusted. So they’re basically like 1 month olds. 1 month olds who were born 3 months early. It’s still hard for me to fully comprehend the last few months. I’m sure I won’t fully wrap my arms around it for a long time. I may never fully understand why or just how much we’ve been through. But I do know that we’re triple blessed. And that we have lots of love. Lots of love from everyone around us. And lots of love to give these boys. 
 
This week has been crazy, which is why it’s Wednesday night and I’m sitting here with James just now beginning to write something. And why I’m finishing this hours later at home. And why it’s now Thursday and I’m finally actually posting this!

Here’s our weekly update:
 
Mason:
The biggest news of the week is pretty huge. Mason came home on Sunday! Woop woop! (That’s an official medical term that Dr. Miquel uses during rounds. It’s always good when you hear that!) Yay Mason! He’s doing great so far. He didn’t sleep well the first night (and neither did we) but he’s slept great since then. The days are a different story though! Mason is the super spoiled one! He’s very happy as long as someone is holding him. And he doesn’t care who it is! Apparently he doesn’t realize that he’s a triplet! We’re trying to break him of this but it’s so hard because he’s super cute and cuddly! 
 
Mason is on 1/2 liter oxygen like Logan so we now have 2 oxygen tanks and 2 sets of tubes running around our house. Luckily Mason’s pulse ox alarm doesn’t go off hardly ever. Mason was discharged with a full page of diagnoses like Logan. And pretty much everything is resolved! That includes his IVH (the brain bleeds). He had a normal head ultrasound last week! Yay! Mason’s only follow up appointments are with his pediatrician and the high risk newborn clinic. 
 
We went to the pediatrician on Tuesday and Mason looks great! He weighs 8 lbs 0 oz! He’s a big boy! And he actually slept 6 hours straight the night before his appointment so we asked if we have to wake him up to eat every 3 hours. Guess what? The doctor said he can sleep as long as he wants because his adjusted age is 1 month and he weighs 8 lbs.! We’re still waking him up though and he hasn’t missed any other bottles (but much slower than during the day).
 
Logan:
Logan is also doing great this week. He is really getting adjusted to being at home and he’s getting more curious about his surroundings. The other night I laid him on his play mat and he laid there for about 45 minutes just looking around. And he’s starting to make and hold eye contact which is huge! And tonight he rolled over all by himself! (See, when I post late I get to share more exciting news!)
 
Logan is much calmer than Mason! He goes straight to sleep at bed time. He is more independent and ok being putting down (most of the time). And he sleeps through Mason’s meltdowns! 
 
Logan  only weighs 6 lbs 7 oz as of last Friday so he still can’t sleep through the night. But hopefully soon! He does go right back to sleep after his middle of the night feeds though so it’s not too bad! 
 
James:
James has had a rough week. His reflux is really bad. Maybe worse than before. And I think he misses his brothers. He just seems so sad! I know I’ve said it before but it really breaks my heart when he cries because he’s in pain. I wish I could do something, anything, to make it to away. We did double his Prilosec on Monday and I think it’s starting to to help. 

James also started another round of steroids today to help his lungs. He’s not really making progress like he should so he needs some help. He’s on methyl prednisone, which is the same steroid they gave him to get off the ventilator. He’ll be on the steroid for 9 days. The plan is that he can get down to 1/2 liter flow by day 7 then we can think about starting oral feeds (finally).

I don’t know what it is about James but  he seems to get stuck and need more help moving forward sometimes. Maybe it’s because he’s the baby of the babies. Whatever it is, it’s frustrating because we thought he was the healthiest of our babies with the healthiest lungs. Maybe he’s a faker. Whatever it is, I just hope he can get better so he can come home! Unfortunately I think he’ll be living in the NICU for at least another month. Poor baby! 
 
It’s harder for us to get up to the hospital to see James now that we have 2 babies at home, we’re back working a more regular schedule, and Addison just started back to school. Yesterday I went up to the hospital for about 30 minutes this morning before work then another 45 minutes after dinner. Today I only made it up there in the morning for about 30 minutes. Luckily we have our awesome primary nurses who James gets all to himself now. And they love him and know how to make him happy. 
 
I know we’ve been calling James the feisty one, etc. but I think he’s probably the calmest one of the three. He only cries when he’s hurting or when someone holds him down. And then he fights back! But he’s usually so sweet. Today he smiled for Brian. And Brian swears he did it on purpose. He posted the video on Facebook so check it out there. I teared up when he sent it to me!
 
Here’s some pictures from this week:
 
Mason getting ready to go:

 

 
Mason leaving the hospital (with his friend Logan of course). Mason in the front, Logan in the back.

 

Mason and Logan in the Mann Van (Logan on the left, Mason on the right, my worst enemy the pulse ox machine in the middle):

 

Mason and Logan at home right after we got home from the hospital (Mason on the left, Logan on the right).
 
Mason at home:
 
 


A few of Logan:

 
 
 
Sweet James:
 
 
 


 
Brother time:
James and Logan
 
Mason and Logan
 
Mommy time:
 
If you noticed in the pictures, all three of our boys LOVE their Wubbanubs (the pacis with the animals attached). Mason has a monkey, Logan has an elephant (Mr. Floppy Ears), and James has a giraffe. I love them too. Not only are they super cute, they are actually really good for the babies. They are weighted so their pacis don’t fall too far and they can sometimes get them back without my help. And they give the babies something to hold onto, which they all love, especially James.


Thanks everyone for your continued thoughts and prayers. I know it’s been a long time and we’re in the home stretch it seems but we still need it! And we still really appreciate it!


I Said I’d Never Drive a Minivan

I should have never said that! The saying “never say never” clearly applies here. Today we bought a minivan. And I’m ok with it so far. 


The decision to buy a minivan was really hard for me. I’ve had a hatred for minivans since I was a teenager. I’m the oldest of 5 kids so my mom has driven a minivan since I can remember. First we had a marroon Chrysler minivan. You know the one. Everyone’s mom had the same one. Then we had the Toyota Previa, the minivan that looked like an egg. I learned to drive in that one. I hated that one. On top of the unexplainable egg design, it was also gross as a result of my siblings (3 brothers and a sister). I mean really gross. As in pop tarts smashed beyond recognition into every seat. This may be when I first said “I’ll never drive a minivan.” 

I also just bought a new car less than 2 months ago. I got a brand new Nissan Murano. I have always wanted an SUV and I absolutely loved it. It was beautiful. I thought I would drive it until I handed it down to Addison when she is old enough to drive it.


I have also never had a brand new car. This one had 8 miles on it when we took it home. Today when we traded it in, it had 2,500 miles on it. We really didn’t have it long at all.  

I tried to protest the minivan decision at first. I wanted a large SUV, like a Suburban or even a Tahoe. But those don’t fit in my garage. We have 2 separate garage doors which looks nice but really limits our choices for vehicles. We also live at the top of a steep hill so parking in the driveway or in the street is not an option. So I tried to convince Brian that a smaller large SUV, like an Acadia or Explorer, would be perfect. I lost. He was right. (Don’t tell him. Maybe he’ll skip this part). We wouldn’t have room for strollers or anything else behind the back seat and putting 3 babies in car seats into an SUV would be a nightmare. 

Finally I gave in and agreed to look at minivans, but only Honda or Toyota (because my dad taught me to be a car snob when it comes to quality so it must be Japanese). That was the beginning of the end for my hopes of not driving a minivan. Brian marked SUVs off the list at that point. 

But then Brian worked his magic and found the perfect minivan for us. Well, perfect except that it’s still a minivan. He went back to the dealership where we had just bought my car last month and had them look for a minivan for us. They found one in Texas – a 2011 Honda Odyssey EXL with only 30,000 miles on it! They also gave us a great deal on the trade in on my almost brand new Murano so we barely took a hit on that. The new van arrived today so we spent the afternoon at the dealership buying another new car. I highly recommend Northpoint Nissan if you live in Little Rock and need a new car. They took great care of us and everyone – I mean everyone – in the place said hi to Brian by name.

I like it (maybe I love it. I’m not sure yet). It has everything. Leather seats, rear entertainment system (just for Addison for now), Bluetooth, a backup camera, heated seats, a sunroof, power everything, and even a “cool box” to keep drinks cold. I can open and close the back doors with a button too which is really awesome and will come in super handy when I’m toting around 3 babies in carseats. And there’s room in the back for the triplet stroller we will need (if you’ve never seen one it’s worth a Google because it’s ridiculous). It also fits in my garage (barely). 

Finally, Addison also loves it. 


So thanks to Brian we now have a vehicle that will hold all 6 members of our growing family.  He wants to get a license plate that says “MANNVAN” but we haven’t decided on that yet. I’m down I guess. I probably need to own it now that I’m a minivan mom. It will be weird driving around in a minivan with only 1 kid for the next few months. But I know it’s the best vehicle for us (again don’t tell Brian he was right). And I’ve been officially welcomed to the minivan club. I guess I’ll find out if that’s a cool club to be in or not later.