Sunday, January 29, 2012

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Family Photos

One of our friends, Christina Holcomb, was kind enough to take some family photos of us this fall. They're such great pictures and I just realized that I never posted them so everyone could see her work. She was awesome with the kids and had a lot of patience ... something required with our family. If you want to see some of her work, check her out at Christina Holcomb Photography.

And because I can't post them all, here are some of our favorites. Thanks Christy!

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Slowing Down

Today was a GOOD day.

And it wasn't because we had special plans. We didn't. And we didn't meet up with any friends and family. The weather wasn't even very good for the majority of the day (though it cleared up enough to play outside before dinnertime ... thank you sunshine!).

Today was just one of those good days. We actually stayed home all day, something that's a rarity for us. Usually the kids wake up each morning asking where we are going to go that day. But today everyone had a lingering cold and I decided that we would just all hunker down and see if we could entertain ourselves at home.

By lunchtime we had completed our floor alphabet puzzle, hunted for treasure, had a dance party (to the same song over and over and over), played "school", played "babies", made goldfish and Cheez-It sandwiches for snack, built a city on the train table, and designed a custom built fort complete with inside lighting and a secret passageway. There were a few disagreements thrown in here and there (those aren't ever absent, even on a good day), but nothing that wasn't resolved within a minute or two. Then we got to have lunch with Daddy and EVERYONE took a nap! The girls are dabbling in no nap territory these days, so it's like Christmas when the stars align and everyone takes a two hour siesta. After nap we played outside, had dinner, played some more and then had our normal bath, books, and bed routine.

Isn't it amazing how the most ordinary of days are the ones you tend to enjoy the most? Dance parties and fort building will only last for a short time, so I'm so thankful for the days that I give in and completely enjoy these things with the kids myself. So many days I am too busy or hurried to really participate in many of their games. It takes a day like this to remind me to enjoy this short, sweet time I have with them and to be a participant in their growth and happiness, not just a spectator. I want them to remember me as part of the action, not as a mom who supervised and observed.

So today I'm thankful for diving in, for giving in to childishness, and for acting a little less like "mom" than I do on a normal day. If it can get me four of these ...

... I'm going to have to make it a more regular occurrence.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Picture of the Week - January 22

Passing the time on a cold, rainy weekend ...

Friday, January 20, 2012

Cinderella Ate My Daughter

Check out Matt's post on 25 Hours A Day concerning the book, Cinderella Ate My Daughter, and the ongoing debate regarding the sexulization of young girls. A very interesting topic and debate lately. What do you think about the "princess movement?"

Thursday, January 19, 2012


I know I've talked about BB and Wonkie before, but here's a little picture to refresh your memory ...

(BB is on the left, Wonkie is on the right)

Both blankets have been by Peyton's side since birth and I think we would have a colossal meltdown comparable to World War II if either of them ever was lost. They each have their own personality, gender, and unique smell (so she says).

Last week we were sitting on the couch before bedtime and Wonkie managed to be there with us. We have recently lost a beloved blankie (Luke's "Bubbie" ... he ate it ... for real, I'm serious ... don't ask), so I was remarking on how well Peyton's BB and Wonkie had stood up to their four long years of use. The following conversation ensued:

Me: "Peyton, is this Wonkie that I'm sitting on?"

Peyton: "Yeah Mom, I brought him out here because it's almost bedtime."

Me: (while holding Wonkie up): "You know Peyton, Wonkie's looking good for his age. He's in pretty good shape."

Peyton: "I know Mom. He's a square!"

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Birth Order in Multiples

This post is being published today on 25 Hours A Day ... go check it out!

One of the most common questions I (and the children themselves) get about the triplets concerns their birth order. Who is the oldest? Who is the baby? Truthfully, they look dumbfounded when they are asked these questions because they don't know who was born first. They are really just grasping the concept of what being a "triplet" means. They understand that they all have the same birthday and that they were all in my tummy at the same time. But they also don't understand that this is uncommon or different from most other children. That about sums up all that they know. They don't see themselves as an older, middle, and younger sibling. They see themselves, collectively, as the oldest and Luke as the youngest (oh yes, they do not let him forget that he's still only two years old!).

As I've started to realize this, I have wondered whether or not this is my doing or not. I think that birth order studies are fascinating. Although I know the stereotypes for oldest, middle, and youngest children are not all-encompassing, it has been my experience that lots of people do exhibit characteristics that are consistent with their birth order. I myself am an oldest child and I feel that I exhibit many of the common oldest child traits. Dependable, controlling, rule-following, and ambitious are just a few of the characteristics I feel I have that mark me with the brand of "the oldest."

So how does that relate to a situation where multiples are involved? Sure, there is a birth order (Peyton-Sam-Adah, from oldest to youngest), but does the difference of a minute between each of their births really destine them to those assigned birth orders? In my short four years of experience, my answer is no. Although all three of the triplets have distinctly different personalities and characteristics, I would have to say that they all three seem to exhibit the traits of an oldest child. And as I thought about it some more, I think a lot of it boils down to how we have been raising them.

The triplets were our first children, so I think we treat them, collectively, how parents would treat their firstborn. We expect a lot of them. We want them to "act their age" and be responsible. We expect them to "know better", learn things quickly and follow the rules. In essence, I think WE are one of the main reasons that they all seem to act like the oldest child ... because of our expectations. Is this a good or a bad thing? I guess we'll have to wait and see. I think it's a good thing that we expect the same things (like acceptable behavior, manners, obedience, etc.) out of all three of them instead of expecting different things based on their oldest, middle, and baby birth order. I also believe that all children need variances in parenting according to their own personalities, but I do not think that we should have different expectations for each child's behavior based on these personality differences. I want all of my children to have good manners, respect adults and have empathy for others, and I know I may have to teach all of that in different ways based on their differing personalities. But that doesn't mean my expectations for each of them are different ... the difference comes in the means to get to that end.

So yes, I do think that there is a birth order that plays out in our triplets. They all tend to exhibit traits of the oldest child, albeit in varying ways. This makes me wonder if other higher order multiples' parents see birth order characteristics in their children as well. Are there birth order differences among the multiples themselves or do they tend to be like Peyton, Sam and Adah and collectively share a birth order? I'd be curious if anyone with (or without)! multiples has any opinions or observations on this subject as well.

Long live the firstborns!

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Picture of the Week - January 15

Peyton's belated Christmas present to me ... the ability to swing by herself!

One down, three to go. Guess I'll have to start lifting weights again once my daily swinging arm workouts are finished.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Nerd Dad

I'm a self-proclaimed nerd. This should be nothing new to those of you who know me...I was always much more likely to sit inside than head out for recess. I always loved studying and genuinely enjoyed going to class. Although I'm glad to be done with school, my inner nerd comes out every once in awhile.

I was in a training session for work the other day and we took a learning styles assessment. I love personal assessments, because they teach me to think about my own style in new ways. I don't think I learned anything groundbreaking from this particular assessment, but there was a section about learning styles and parenting that I thought was interesting. Also, for other nerds out there, you can read more about learning styles and experiential learning here.

We all learn and make sense of the world in different ways. There are four learning styles (learning by doing, learning by experiencing, learning by reflecting, and learning by thinking). You can probably think of your preferred learning style just from the descriptions. When we parent, we will most often teach in the style that we prefer. But are we being sensitive to how our children would like to learn? Or should we try to strengthen weaker styles with our kids? Here is a brief description of the styles for kids:

Learning Styles 
 After reading through the styles, do you have any inclinations about your kids? Of course, the best approach with your kids is using a blend of styles. Interesting stuff, huh? Told you I was a nerd.

*This post is from Matt (duh) and was cross posted today on 25 Hours A Day. Check it out!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Who Needs Snow?

We've been experiencing an uncharacteristically warm winter in North Carolina so far this year. This time last year we had already experienced two snows, the latter of which happened on Christmas day and almost prevented us from traveling down to Florida during the break.

So I have been pleasantly surprised (and happy!) with the weather so far in December and (so far) January.

Of course I know I am jinxing myself by raving about this, so I'm preparing myself for the coldest January and February on record just in case this doesn't last. But it really does make life so much easier when we can spend the days still playing outside instead of locked up in the house.

Monday, January 9, 2012


Adah has been walking the line lately.

All you parents know what I mean. She's testing her boundaries, exploding in fits of tears when something doesn't go her way, bothering her siblings.

I won't lie, sometimes I have to just walk away before I yell something all motherly like, "I've had it up to HERE, young lady!" (with accompanying hand gesture to the forehead).

But then sometimes she comes in the room and give me one of these ...

And I'm like, Ahhhh ..... Kairos.

Then I'm miraculously able to wipe her slate clean (only for her to fill it on up again over the next few hours).

Read more about Kairos HERE ... an awesome post from an honest mom who gets it.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Picture of the Week - January 8

We've quickly learned that klutzy parents beget klutzy kids.

Thanks to Mimi, we're prepared.

Thursday, January 5, 2012


Although I do not miss the Florida heat in the summers, there are definitely a few things I do miss about living there. Namely, the proximity to the beach. I love the mountains as well, but I'll take the beach any day if forced to choose between the two. There's nothing like sitting with your toes in the sand and enjoying a good book for hours on end.

So, of course, when we went to Florida over the Christmas break, we had to make sure to fit in a trip to Crescent Beach. I grew up going to this beach every summer and it's the first beach that the kids ever went to as well. It's so nice to go there when the temperatures are cooler and the crowds are less. Matt and I have always talked about opening up a Bed and Breakfast when we "retire" one day, and you know that I'll be making a push for a house on the beach if those dreams ever come true!

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Kris Kross Will Make Ya

Did I forget to mention that the triplets got a trampoline for their birthday?


I didn't say anything about that?

Something must have caused it to slip my mind ...

It must be because of all the shrieking whenever they climb aboard the "Deafening Wheel of Commotion" (as I like to call it).

 I guess we won't need to head over to Bounce U anytime soon!

Monday, January 2, 2012

Christmas, A Little Late

Christmas is long gone and I'm ready to run full tilt into 2012. But I couldn't let 2011 go without posting some sort of Christmas recap for the kids to see in years to come. We spent the holiday in North Carolina and Florida with both of the kids' grandparents and really enjoyed ourselves. We didn't do anything monumental or special, which is exactly the way I like it on Christmas. Lots of relaxing and spending time with those that we love.

We started things early when we headed down to Charlotte a few days before Christmas to visit with Marmee and Bogey. We got to meet their elf, Sandy, who conveniently had a whole fistful of lollipops for the kids to devour. Then we enjoyed stockings and exchanging gifts together.

We spent Christmas Eve and morning at home with our family of six. It was nice to be able to continue some of the traditions that we have started with our family for this time of year. We went to Christmas Eve service, baked cookies for Santa, had our annual Christmas Eve dinner of "make your own pizza", read our Christmas books, and put out our reindeer for for Rudolph and Co.

Then Santa came and we celebrated Jesus' birthday! This was the first year that the kids really REALLY understood both Santa and the real reason for Christmas. It was so much fun to watch them take everything in and really understand everything.

We spent Christmas morning opening presents and enjoying a yummy breakfast. Santa hid all of the kids' presents in their special Santa sacks that Mimi made for us this year. These sacks are large enough to fit the entire continent of Asia inside, so it was hilarious watching the kids try and find their gifts in the mounds of fabric that made up their sacks.

Then we packed up and it was off to Charlotte and Mimi's house for Christmas afternoon. We enjoyed spending time there, seeing Aunt Meghann, Uncle John, and baby Graham, and eating a yummy turkey dinner.

Then, staying true to our crazy ways, we set out for Florida early Christmas evening. It makes for a long day, but an easier drive for us parents since the kids are so tired they sleep most of the way. Luke fell asleep as we were pulling out of Charlotte at 6pm and he didn't wake up again until 7:30 the next morning! It's safe to say that they were pretty tired out.

We loved spending a week in Florida with my side of the family. We had great weather, spent time with family, and even fit in a trip to the beach. It's nice to have some good, home cooked meals where neither Matt nor I have to lift a finger! The kids loved seeing their cousin Brantley and spent a lot of time outside in the warm weather.

As you an tell, the Stomp Rocket was the hit of Christmas in Florida.

And now, we're back! Luckily we have a day to recover before work and school and schedules start up again. Christmas was fun, but I'm ready for the new year to start! We've got some changes planned for our family this year, so stay tuned! Hope you and you family enjoyed a relaxing and family filled holiday as well!