Thanksgiving

So much to be thankful for this year. Right now I’m mostly thankful for sleep, coffee, wine . . . the usual. Oh and family. We love family! This year we went to Memphis for Thanksgiving. But before that, the boys had the entire week out of school. You know, because everyone gets an ENTIRE week off for Thanksgiving. BUT the boys had a blast. And they spent an entire day with Nina and Pop. They even went to the zoo! I received 1 picture. This one:

IMG_1857

Basically that’s the best picture ever.

We left for Memphis on Wednesday afternoon. But first, Starbucks. Because it’s a staple around here. And they have Christmas drinks and snowman cakepops.

IMG_3794

The boys did great in the car. Logan and James fell asleep. And Mason talked to himself the entire drive. Ha! Then Logan gave me the biggest smile ever.

IMG_3820

MLJ were such big boys in Memphis. This was the first trip where I felt like it wasn’t a shitshow. They slept on cots! And they just hung out, played, ate, and in general they were like big kids.

IMG_3832IMG_3837

Each night the boys picked someone to read books. The first night they picked Alan. The cutest ever. Oh and they actually went to sleep. As in didn’t get up once.

IMG_3843

On Thursday morning, Joey, Lizzie, Teresa and I got up and ran a 4 miler. Joey and I are doing the St. Jude Half Marathon this weekend so I wanted to run in an actual organized race before that one! It was cold but it went great! Here’s a before and after pic (*we lost Teresa apparently):

And for the record, I was the Griffith family 4 mile champion. Go me!

Brian took the boys to breakfast while we ran. Because it was sooooo cold! They had pancakes and biscuits for breakfast. Carbs and sugar. Perfect. Thanks dad!

IMG_4151

Thanksgiving dinner (actually lunch but I guess we call it dinner now even if it’s at 2:00) at my grandparents’ house was perfect. The boys ate. Kinda. Logan ate 2 pieces of pumpkin pie though. And some carrot cake. And multiple helpings of mashed potatoes. At least he ate more than a roll right? Here’s some pics:

IMG_3883IMG_3887IMG_3937

And this one of the boys. Thanks to Jimmy. I tried to take a group pic and failed. At least 35 times. Then Jimmy walked up and the boys looked straight at the camera and smiled.

IMG_3926

Oh and James helped cook Thanksgiving dinner (the 2:00 one that was really lunch)

IMG_3859IMG_3864

Later that night we looked through the paper to make our Christmas lists. James was mostly interested in “shoe boots” but Mason took his shopping very seriously.

Then more Thanksgiving food. The boys brought their own chairs over so they could choose their dinner (the meal we ate at night time actually)

IMG_3944

Friday was a free day! First the boys did some Christmas crafts with Nana

Then the girls went shopping. I only bought myself 1 pair of boots too so I call that a success. (I also bought some actual Christmas gifts too).

IMG_3958

The boys went to the park while we were shopping. And they apparently played with sticks.

IMG_4153

Friday night we went to the Germantown Christmas Tree Lighting with Liam, Steph and Uncle Cliff. And I got 0 pictures with Liam because he just refused every time I tried. I did get a few of my kids though.

I tried to get one of the boys with Teresa too. Only Teresa looked at the camera.

IMG_4002

Then it got even worse when I tried to take a group shot inside. I think they hate me. Or pictures. Or I have too many kids. (That last one is definitely true!)

IMG_4010

The boys also went on an adventure. In the ditch behind my parents’ house. Where we used to play baseball when we were kids. Oh and Mason found balls. Ha!

When we got home these guys were back.

IMG_4027

We’re working on names. Currently their names are Buddy, Duke, and Smoby. That last one is the one we’re still working on. Ha! Leave it to James to make up a name.

And now that it’s officially Christmas time, here’s our first Santa pic. It was a family affair apparently. But don’t worry . . . I have at least 1 more Santa pic planned.

artphotographybysydneyrasch.com

Right before this picture my kids (Logan actually) knocked over a 10 foot tall reindeer, which fell into at least a million pieces. At least it seemed that way. Fun times.

More Christmas to come! The boys are super excited about Santa. And they are convinced that Logan is on the naughty list. We’ll see if he gets presents . . . .

Thanksgiving 2016

We had a great Thanksgiving this year. I am over a week late with this post. Nothing unusual there I guess.

We started our Thanksgiving in Little Rock with the other Manns.
Contrary to what you may think based on this picture, my kids did NOT eat Thanksgiving food. They each ate their roll. Mason and Logan ate ONLY their roll. And James ate his roll and some cranberry sauce. All 3 of them ate turkey BEFORE dinner but then said “I don’t like it” when it was time to eat dinner. This is how many meals go these days. “I don’t like it” and “it’s gross” are pretty much favorite phrases around here.
We had all but 1 cousin together and they had so much fun! And we got a pretty decent picture too.
And I got a few more pictures on Thanksgiving. Mason sweeping the backyard and Logan selfies.

Oh and I introduced Lolo to Cool Whip. And taught him the best way to eat it – off your finger straight from the tub of course. He loved it.

Later that night I basically tortured Logan because I put footie pjs on him. So dramatic.

Mason didn’t mind that his feet disappeared.

We went to Memphis to see my family the day after Thanksgiving. The boys were pretty good in the car. James fell asleep on the way there. With 1 boot on. (Mason and Lolo did not fall asleep and they had 0 shoes on).
The boys figured out that Nana doesn’t know the word “no.” And she has bacon.

And my parents had an old table in the attic that was perfect for the boys. My dad made a 3rd chair and painted the chairs in MLJ’s colors. It’s perfect!

The boys loved playing with Alan. He’s basically a kid so it worked out perfectly. And he can read so that’s a plus.
And Nana also had some old magnets (see where I get my hoarding tendencies from?) and the boys loved them!

And of course they loved looking a the “big cars” out the front window. They are obsessed with all vehicles. Lolo especially. We were convinced he only knew how to say “vroom vroom big car” for a while.

Oh and our elves showed up in Memphis too. And they got Grizzlies jerseys. Because of course.

We also played football outside. The big kids played football. The little kids played with leaves. And may have helped some of the leaves off the tree.

I love the look of wonder and amazement on their sweet little faces.

And of course more selfies. Their idea not mine.

Joey and Brian threw leaves on the boys’ heads. They loved it so much they tried to do it themselves. So funny!

We also got to see Liam, Stephanie and Uncle Cliff while we were in Memphis. The boys are still talking about it. “I eat dinner Liam. I eat hot dogs.”

And we were in Memphis on Friday so of course we had cake pops! Nana got the boys special turkey cake pops. I think they liked them.

And the aftermath. Ha! This kid is crazy.

And they slept on the way home. It was so quiet.

So, we had a great Thanksgiving. And I had a 3 day trial last week after Thanksgiving. The few days off for Thanksgiving was a much needed break for me. Oh and I won my trial too. Now on to Christmas. We do have a tree and so far it is still standing and it still has ornaments. Even on the bottom. We’ll see if that lasts.

Thankful

I know I’m late. I could just skip Thanksgiving. But that wouldn’t be right. I mean I’m the person who insists that Christmas begins the day after Thanksgiving. Under no circumstance should anyone even consider decorating for Christmas until after Thanksgiving. You can’t skip Thanksgiving. That’s un-American. So even though it’s late, we didn’t skip Thanksgiving. I’m late, but still thankful. And I want to write about it. This year has been hard. But we’ve survived. We’ve thrived even some days. In our crazy life that’s basically a miracle. And I’m so thankful and grateful for all of it.

This year we learned to adapt, to change, to do things our own way when THE way didn’t work. Thanksgiving was no different. We planned to go to Memphis and spend Thanksgiving with my family. That didn’t happen. I bought stuff to make Thanksgiving shirts, but we didn’t do that either.

You see, even though the boys are getting older and bigger, they’re still preemies. They still have preemie lungs. And they still get really sick when they get sick. Someone in my house has been sick every single day for the last month (not me luckily, although I wish I could take their place sometimes). In fact, the boys went to school 1 day this week and Addison is home sick today too. Last week it was Logan. Poor Logan got RSV. He almost ended up in the PICU because he was really sick. RSV is a respiratory virus. If I had it (which is likely) I would just have cold symptoms. Logan needed oxygen, an iv and a feeding tube. He spent 6 nights in the hospital. And he came home on Thanksgiving. That’s all I wanted for Thanksgiving this year.

When life is crazy, it really helps me to take a step back and focus on the simple things. Those are the things I’m thankful for this year.

My kids. Nothing makes me happier than 3 giggling babies and a laughing, dancing 11 year old. Many days I think (and say) that I have way too many kids. Maybe I do. But maybe I have just the right number. Kids make me smile, they make me laugh, they make me shake my head and say wtf, and sometimes they make me want to pull my hair out. See below for other things I’m thankful for that help with this. But mostly, I love them more than life itself and I’m so thankful that I get to be their mom.

Brian. Yep super cheesy I know. But Brian is a great dad and a great husband. Brian is the reason my house is clean, the reason I eat, the reason I have time for everything I do. And, huge bonus points for Brian because he mostly ignores my crazy and lets me be me.

Friends. I’m thankful for my friends near and far. My friends make me laugh, they love me for me, and they care. This means more than I can ever express. I’m not good at sharing my feelings so I may never tell anyone to their face, but I’m so thankful for my friends. Even, and especially, the friends who come spend time with me when my kids are in the hospital and reschedule our dinner dates to the hospital cafeteria and “accidentally” lick the crib of the sick baby. And my triplet mom friends who talk to me all day long every day, and who spent hours upon hours making me laugh when Logan was sick. And sent me food when they found out I was living on coffee and the granola bars I found in my purse. I consider myself very lucky to have such great friends who love me for me even though I’m a little mean, I’m OCD and I’m a Facebook stalker.

Coffee and Wine. When people ask me how I do it, my answer is coffee. I don’t sleep much. I did. But then November came and sleep went out the window. Then there’s wine. Wine needs no explanation. I’m also thankful for wine. And friends who drink wine with me. And Brian who buys me wine and who bought me 2 awesome new wine glasses (and explained to me that they weren’t both for me).

Doctors, Nurses and Other NICU People. I’m still thankful to everyone who took care of the boys in the NICU at both UAMS and ACH. I can never express my thanks in words. I’m not good with mushy stuff. I don’t really share my feelings. But seriously I am forever grateful for everyone who kept the boys alive and helped get them to where they are today.

More Doctors and Medical People. Now that we’re 19 months old, I’m also thankful for the rest of the people at ACH because we’ve seen A LOT of them. Outpatient clinics, ER, and inpatient units. Unfortunately we’re regulars up there. But I realized over the last month during our 2 hospital admissions and a 3rd trip to the ER that I’m never scared really. Don’t get me wrong, I still get sad and worried and I would still do anything if I could just switch places with whoever happens to be sick that day. But I have complete trust and faith that when I take my kids to ACH they will receive the absolute best care.

Even More Doctors. And . . . I’m thankful for my mom’s doctors. As a kid you never think your parents are capable of getting sick. So when my mom got sick this year I was really scared. I think we were all really scared. I even took good news with reservation. Until last week when we got the ultimate good news – remission. Yay! Go Mom!

Work. This one is a repeat but I’m still thankful for my career. 4 years ago when I was a baby lawyer, I stumbled into the most unique and amazing law practice that ultimately works perfectly for me and my family. I have the opportunity to work with 2 super smart lawyers who teach me so much. And they also care about me and my family. It’s not just about work. It’s a lot about work. But work isn’t the only thing. I know I have a unique thing going for me. And I get to wear jeans to work. Extra bonus.

Chocolate. Oh sweet chocolate. How can I forget chocolate. Chocolate helps when coffee just won’t do it.

So that’s my thankful list for this year. Simple – family, friends, coffee, wine, chocolate, doctors, and a good career.

We didn’t celebrate Thanksgiving in the way we expected. But we didn’t skip it altogether. Logan came home on Thanksgiving. When we got home, Brian had made a little Thanksgiving lunch. Brian, the boys and I ate Thanksgiving lunch together at the boys’ table (and they stole all the food off our plates).

Mason loved the ham. Ha!

The next night my friend came over and we had Thanksgiving dinner. Our original menu was mashed potatoes, brownies, and wine. Brian didn’t approve though so we added a few things. But still had mashed potatoes, brownies and wine.

So Much To Be Thankful For

Yesterday we celebrated our first Thanksgiving as a family of 6! We’ve been through so much over the last year. And we have so much to be thankful for (for starters I’m thankful this is a blog. Otherwise that last sentence would make me cringe). Yesterday morning is a perfect example. We got up with the boys and fed them at 7, then I spent my morning playing in the living room with my 3 miracle babies. Then I woke Addison up to watch the parade and we watched it together (and the dog show of course). The boys even watched the parade! 

Mason watching the parade
Logan watching the parade
James watching the parade
Addison watching the parade with Mason

Ha! They were cracking me up! They don’t watch tv so this was a rare treat. And they loved it!

Oh and Brian was in on the baby time too!


When Addison asked me what I was thankful for this morning, I said lemonheads. True story. I am very thankful for lemonheads. But I’m thankful for so much more. 

 
First, the obvious. I’m thankful for my amazing miracle babies. They’ve already proven that they are the strongest little boys I know!
 
I’m thankful for my wonderful husband who puts up with my unique kind of crazy and only picks on me a little for being crazy. And I’m super thankful that he does so much for me and our family!
 
I’m thankful for my beautiful, smart, sweet, and sassy daughter Addison! 
 
I’m thankful for my family who has supported me more than I could ever ask over the past year. 
 
I’m thankful for the amazing NICU nurses, neonatologists, respiratory therapists, lactation consultants, therapists of every kind, surgeons, and I’m sure so many more who kept our babies alive when they were so tiny and helped them grow. These people are angels on earth. Seriously. 
 
I’m thankful for my career as a lawyer and for Jack, who refers to me as his law partner, even though I’m kinda still a baby lawyer. 

I’m thankful for my awesome triplet mommy friends on Facebook. I’ve never met them but these ladies really helped me through some tough times and they provide great advice and support every step of the way! It is so wonderful to have my triplet mama Facebook groups. Otherwise I would be lost on this whole triplet journey!
 
I’m also thankful for the Mann Van, which I got back Wednesday! Yay! I never thought I’d say that! Ha! But the Mann Van is awesome and it kept us safe when we got in the wreck a few weeks ago.  
 
I’m thankful for sleep. This one needs no explanation. Sleep is glorious. You know it. 
 
And the counterpart to sleep – coffee. I’m so thankful for coffee. I love coffee!
 
Also candy. I love candy. A little too much. 
 
And 100 calorie popcorn.

And I’m so thankful for everyone who has prayed for us this year, everyone who has sent us meals, cards, gifts for the boys (sorry if you didn’t get a thank you card! Babies came while I was in the middle of them but I am so appreciative!), and everyone who has visited (and everyone who has stayed away because you were sick). 
 
And I’m so thankful for Addison’s sweet friends and their sweet parents. I don’t know that we could have done all we’ve done without these girls and their mamas helping out! 
 
So there. I made a thankful list. I’m sure I left so many things off the list but it’s a start! I’ve thought about doing the daily “I’m thankful for” thing on Facebook for the month of November but I’m sure I would be one of those people who run out of things to say by Nov. 10 and then just start repeating! Ha!

Oh one more thing I’m thankful for . . . It’s Christmas Time!!! Yay! We had to wait until Thanksgiving was over, but now we can start celebrating my favorite time of the year!

And last but not least, a few pictures from yesterday. I didn’t get the boys Thanksgiving outfits, but they did wear some pretty awesome vests! I planned on taking a group photo and it started out great. James and Logan were in a great mood. Then Mason happened. So no group photo. Here’s some individuals though.

 

 

 
Sometimes my ideas don’t work out. Thanks Mason! Ha! Oh well!