Thursday, December 23, 2010

Annual Christmas Blog/Letter

I debated whether to write a letter this year, or even send out cards. Not sure if I'll continue past this year. Note the lateness this time around...guess it's been busy!

Mary is in kindergarten now at Oakwood, and loving it. I'm repeatedly surprised by the words she picks out written on random advertising, etc. I've enjoyed accompanying her on a few field trips/events and watching her perform in the Christmas program. If the pace of the first semester of kindergarten is any indication, I'm going to blink, and she'll be out of high school. She still has her red hair, and I'm crossing my fingers that it will stay.

The boys are almost to their third birthday. They have just "exploded" in their talking and interaction over the past year. The boys are in the process of potty training...and what a process it is! I was warned by many wiser and more experienced friends to hold the boys off for a while...but did I listen...nooo. :) Oh well. We will either get "over the hump" in the next couple weeks, or they will go back into pullups for awhile, until tax season is over.

Yes, I will be working part time from mid January to mid April. I have some wonderful friends and babysitters who are going to "cover" for me two days per week, just as I did last spring. It will be a nice change of pace and help me catch up my skills a bit.

Jeff has been hard at work on the outside of our home over the last year. We finally have a nice stand of fescue grass, as well as some basic landscaping set up. The kids have a playground out back now, and we have some outdoor furnishings on the porch and back deck. We are still slowly organizing and unpacking some of our "storage" and office. It takes a while when you have 3 two year olds. Oh, and don't even ask about the basement. :)

All things considered, we thank God for His goodness to us. Merry Christmas!

November 2010 Pictures
October 2010 Pictures

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Merry Christmas

Fall Festival

Packing to Move

Donut Time!

(Mommy was standing close by ready to catch any falling boys...)

Playing with Christmas Lights

Playing "Ashes"

Hi All...

Welcome to my "Christmas letter" blog. I had written last in August with firm resolve to blog more often this fall, and then we moved. :) Oh, well. I am certainly not without excuse for not updating more frequently.

We started packing with gusto in mid to late September. I walked into the kitchen one day from a shopping outing to find that Jeff had emptied out my pantry, and all the voluminous free/10cent ketchup and salad dressing bottles (from couponing/sales) were piled 10 deep on my countertop. The fun begins. For the next month, everything that wasn't nailed down (or living and breathing) went in a box. The week leading up to Halloween we spent starting to bring things in, and moving day, Oct 31, went fairly smoothly. Once everything was in, we spent the following two weeks plus cleaning up/cleaning out the old house, painting, and having tile put in. Now we wait (patiently) for God's timing to sell the old house. (Anyone looking for a house in Anderson???) Little by little we are settling in here, and are so excited about our new home, and all the opportunities the new space allows. We are overwhelmed by God's blessing in this regard.

The kids are doing well. Mary (hard to believe) is 4 1/2 now, and will be starting kindergarten next fall (kinda scary!). She's enjoying playing outside, with a bit more freedom where we live now than before. And, she loves to color and do any kind of crafty projects. The boys are nearly two, and it's amazing to think where we were with regard to them this time two years ago. They are starting to imitate words more and more, and their speech is slowly growing. Chris has a new game he likes to play. Ask him a question, any question...say, "Do you want some candy?" The answer invariably is "No!" The boys have also gotten into playing ring around the rosies...on their own. The call it playing "Ashes." One will say "Ashes!" and they all three jump up and join hands and going around in a circle "Ashes, ashes, ashes, ashes!" So cute!

We are overwhelmed by God's many wonderful gifts to us this year. Merry Christmas!!!

Saturday, August 22, 2009

No rest for the weary Mommy...

The boys went for a checkup this past week...all is well! They are moving along on their own slow growth curve. Their weight is slowing finally...due to incredible busyness!! The boys are becoming very busy. The are climbing everything now. As short as they are, they have quickly learned that ride on toys make wonderful stepping stones for getting on furniture. From there, they can get past the gate to the disallowed side of the gate in the living room where there's all kind of cool things like computer wires. They like to pull dish cloths and towels out and strew them around the living room. They like to open the a/c return vent (thankfully no one tried to dive down it). Since that incident, it has been taped shut. The dining room table is a wonderful thing to climb onto, especially during meal preparations, when there are clean dishes and utensils just waiting for some toddler to play with. All this adds up to a very tired Mommy. But, the toddler phase is so fun, too...and over far too quickly.

We were just looking at a video of Mary from two years ago...the changes are phenomenal. Mary is growing up into quite a big girl. Mary goes outside with us while we do yard work in the evening, and she enjoys her bike and can be trusted to stay nearby on the driveway/sidewalk (while the boys may go to bed a few minutes earlier). Mary loves to help with meal preparations. Mary is starting to learn to write...Mary writes her own name! Mary decided she wanted her new room to be pink and it is! Pink walls and purple carpet!

Speaking of...things are coming along nicely. The painters are hard at work, and probably have a few more weeks. (I still need to decide about the master bedroom/bath!) Then I suppose the remainder would be things like tile and carpet to be put in, wood floor to be sanded/stained, and miscellaneous finishes. We should be fairly close...hoping to be in before the end of September.

Pictures of the kids from June/July are here:



New pictures from the house are here:

New House

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Summertime procrastinations...

I've been thinking of posting a new blog entry for some time. I could say I don't have time and have been busy, but I'm always busy, and I need to make time. All that aside, here's what's going on in our household.

The boys are walking quite well...and climbing. Most people keep their piano benches up by their pianos. Not us. If we kept it there, I'd have boys walking down the keyboard "plink-plink". The boys do climb on anything and everything. The week it started, I came home from being out for a few hours to find the babysitter had put all the ride on toys behind a latched door. They were using them to climb everything in the living area. One evening after supper, I found that Chris had shoved the learning chair up against the recliner and had used it climb up. So I removed him from the recliner, and put the learning chair back against the wall. 5 minutes later everything was returned to the previous state (the learning chair to the recliner, and Chris to the recliner chair). I returned everything again...and quickly learned how intelligent my first born triplet is. He was very methodical about retrieving his tool of choice (the learning chair), positioning it appropriately, and climbing into the recliner. We've since given up the fight to keep them off the furniture...we only require that they sit (which is not easy) of course to prevent falls.

Oh, and at the end of that week, I came home and another sitter told me that one of the boys had climbed on top of the high chair tray. (why does everything happen while I'm out?)

It's been a couple months since the boys have been to the doctor. We go back in a few weeks, and I'll try to update you then. Anyway, as of May, the boys weighed about 23 pounds each and were around 28 inches tall. Essentially, they're substantial, stocky, healthy but short little boys. Mary recently had her 4 year check up and shots. She's doing great...25% for weight & height (means her weight is perfect for her genetic height). Her shots did not go so well. I'm not looking forward to that for the boys 4 year checkup. Baby shots are one thing...they don't know it's coming. Four year old shots...that's something entirely different.

The boys are starting to talk a little more, though not quite taking off yet. Their vocabulary includes words such as:

ma ma
da da
me me (Mary)
Kede (just heard that from Chris this morning, in reference to Nimrod the cat)

They are also understanding (and sometimes following) "no no", "close it", "clean up", sit and come.

We've been teaching the boys to point to themselves when I say "Where's Chris" (or Nathan, or Daniel). Unfortunately, they still sometimes point to themselves in reference to another baby. Chris has learned to point to his nose if you ask him, too. So communication is coming. It will become very interesting, I'm sure.

Mary's enjoying her brothers (likes to feed them or "mother" them when she gets a chance). Mary has some interesting things to say sometimes...

"He falled me down!"
"kristies" --Rice Crispies
"Mommy ate too many M&M's and got a boo boo in her tummy" --in reference to my minor surgery last spring.
"Dear Jesus, thank you for my..dinner from last night. In Jesus name, Amen" (occasionally upon not eating much for supper, the veggie or whatever "revisits" Mary for breakfast).

Mary very much enjoys her play dough, her Leap Pad, books, coloring...

We have all enjoyed going swimming this summer at a friend's pool, as an occasional respite from the busyness of the summer. We're not taking any vacations this summer (can you imagine 3 18 month olds and a 4 year old at the beach???) I'd need a vacation afterward! Instead, we're busy on the finishes to our new home. It is projected to be done sometime in September. I recently finalized my selections for tile, and lighting fixtures. As I am not an interior designer, I've needed some help and still struggled through some of my choices.

Here's pictures of the house:

House Pictures 1

House Pictures 2

Here's the latest pictures I have posted of the kids:

Pictures from May - More to come soon!


Saturday, May 16, 2009

New Happenings (written 5/15/09)

I know this is a triplets blog, but other things are happening too...

First the boys...all three are standing up alone with regularity, and Chris and Nathan are really starting to walk. Nathan took 10 steps alone on the 9th, and Chris just took off repeatedly taking lots of steps on the 13th (the boys 16 month birthday). Meanwhile, Daniel is getting better at standing. His greater talents lie elsewhere. Daniel is starting to say ni-niy from his crib when Mommy says good night to the boys. He also is starting to imitate "bah-bye" when people wave and say good bye and leave. Chris and Daniel in particular say ma-ma-mah frequently, but it still seems somewhat indiscriminate.

Today we attended the NightLight Christian Adoptions (FKA Carolina Hope Christian Adoption Agency) 1st Annual 5K for Adoption Awareness. It went pretty well. Jeff & his Dad pushed the kids in double strollers, since I'm not allowed to do much right now due to a recent minor surgery. His Dad came in first in his age category!

At the boys' recent check up Chris (still the lightest) weighed 21 lb 9 oz, Daniel weighed 22 lb 2 oz, and Nathan weighed 22 lb 9 oz. This puts the boys between the 10th and 25th percentile for weight, and between the 0th and 10th for height. We still have little bitty boys! The dr was quite pleased with the boys' development.

Recently, I've started reading blogs about how to save money on groceries and household consumables. My most recent find has been on diapers. Here's a tip. Periodically Walgreens puts their pack of diapers on sale, 2 pkg for $9. They also have a coupon out for $2 off a package of diapers. That works out to $2.50/pack, or $.08/ diaper! That's about half of what I had been paying for diapers! Yay!!! So, we stocked...and we stocked! 5 months worth. Over 2000 diapers...LOL.

And some of those diapers will have to be moved to the new house. The house is really starting to take shape. Monday we met with the cabinet maker, and looked at cabinet wood finishes and countertops for the kitchen and baths. Plumbing and electrical are going in right now. Lots of decisions yet to be made...we hope to be in before the summer is out.

So, if you can't tell, a lot is going on at the Bate household...what else is new? :)

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Long overdue...

I know its been a long time since I've updated how the boys (and us) are doing. I will try to not leave out too many details, but try to condense somewhat the last two months.

The holidays were a whirlwind. For several days, we enjoyed the company (and craziness) of 11 people in the house. I think we will appreciate the new house that much more. My parents flew in Christmas Eve. We spent Christmas Day with Jeff's family, in Greenville. Then, just before New Years' Day, Liz, Brett & Noah joined us in Anderson. We celebrated our own Christmas that week. We also celebrated the boys' first birthday that weekend. Poor Nathan inexplicably decided he wasn't too interested in his smash cake! That's highly unlike Nathan, and we soon determined that he started some kind of fever virus, at his birthday party, of all places. Sunday (despite Nathan's illness) we were able to have a baby dedication at church for the boys, while all the family was in town. As a little outing, earlier in the week, we went over to the mall and introduced the boys to the meaning of "ice cream cone". Noah and Mary were old pros of course, and showed the boys how to do it. Nathan wasn't too sure about the idea at first, but from the pictures you will be able to see that he came around fairly well. Chris and Daniel never did decide they really wanted something quite so cold...even if it was fairly sweet and creamy.

The boys are continuing to grow, though more slowly. They are all 20 lb and some ounces, and about 27 1/2 inches each, approximately. This leaves them in the 20th percentile for weight, and 0th for height! Yep, 99% of children their age are taller than them! :) The babbling is increasing. We hear ma-ma, kuh-kuh, ga-ga, and buh-buh with regularity. And all three are cruising these days, and just since around the beginning of February, Chris will stand for about 3-4 seconds at a time (sometimes).

Even up until mid December, we relied fairly heavily on formula for the boys' diet. Especially when Noah visited, we continually experimented more and more with table food. By early January the purees were gone, and the next transition was from bottles to sippies. I delayed that until late January. One weekend I decided that was it. Chris and Daniel didn't seem to care too much how they got their formula. Nathan however had other ideas. With the backing of medical advice, Nathan held out and had no milk to drink for over 2 days, until his hunger (and we) won out, and Nathan surprisingly has no problems taking a sippy cup now. The switch from formula to milk went much more smoothly. These days at the grocery store, I pick up 6-7 gallons of milk per week!

Our new home is in the process of being framed up at this point. We've probably lost 3-4 weeks due to weather (either freezing temps or rain). The first floor is about framed up. We hope to be moving in some time this summer (July-August?) We're looking forward to the expanded space.

We've finally posted all the pictures from December and January.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

2008 Christmas Letter

Ordinarily this is where I rehash the last 12 months...but you could read the entire year's worth of blog entries for that.

I will make just a few comments, however, as I have been reflecting on the past year.

I had always thought in the back of my mind that multiples would be fun. Back in the "fertility" days, I even said cool when the doctors warned that some of their treatments could lead to a multiple pregnancy. the Lord meets the desires of our hearts...or plants those desires in our hearts, with triplets in His plan all along. Jeff will tell you I was bouncing of the walls when our attorney's office called us to say they had a birth mom expecting triplets.

I had an inkling that a triplet pregnancy was high risk, but really had no idea what all "could" have gone wrong. As I have "met" other triplet Moms in the virtual world and heard their stories, it has been more and more clear to me that the Lord protected our birth mother, and the babies she was carrying at the time. In spite of everything, our birth mom carried the boys to a very healthy gestation of 32 1/2 weeks.

Beyond that, some 32 week delivered babies have much more in the way of issues after delivery. The nurses joked in the NICU that they never had to give the boys more in the way of drugs than a suppository. They grew and developed quickly to the point of release (though it seemed long at the time), and remained healthy throughout the critical Spring season.

Of course, in regard to the adoption, there are the inherent risks as you wait for the delivery and final decision by the birth mother. I do occasionally hear of other "expectant" adoptive parents whose situations fall through. I can't imagine going through that, and am thankful that He has protected us from that twice.

As I reflect, I am overwhelmed by God's goodness to us over the last year. Little more than a year ago we were waiting/praying for a new baby. Most aptly, I had a good friend write me back early last December in reply to our news. Eph 3:20 " able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think..."

This season, especially, we are praising the Lord for our 4 healthy happy children.