4/1/06:  April Fools!  Okay, so I'm not pregnant, but I did get the sudden urge to make a baby, so I created a life-size replica of Nadia when she was born - accurate weight and length - and all that's missing is the face.  I'm relying on Loren's artistic talent for that.  Here's a picture of her: Been busy busy busy with the babies.  I'm working on a video of our extreme babyproofing.  Should be done by next week.  Crazy stuff.

Milestones and memorable moments:

  • Ruca has learned Angus's name (Ang-ee) and Nadia (Yaya).

  • A few days ago, Angus let the babies out the front door - despite the deadbolt being locked.  Max escaped and was headed down to the street.  It scared the life out of me.  More babyproofing.  How scary!!!

  • Angus was angry with me a few days ago and told me that the Easter Bunny is going to hit me.  Well, guess we won't be having the Easter Bunny drop by this year.  Wouldn't want him to hit me.

  • Nadia choked on some food yesterday.  I was around the corner and never would've even seen it.  Luckily Kelli was right there to help her get it out.  Our angels are watching us all.

Speaking of angels, in counting my blessings at the end of each day, I always remember to thank God that I was able to keep the little ones from harm.  It's so tough to be in so many places at once.  I count my day a success if, when they're off to bed, everyone's healthy and intact.

3/22/06:  As you can see from the picture on the left, our babyproofing doesn't end in the house.  I thought I was ever-so-clever for gating the children inside of the play area in our backyard to keep them safe and contained, but no sooner had I gotten the monstrous babygate up than Ruca had climbed the ladder and was teetering at the top awaiting a certain fall.  So much for keeping them safe.   Later, I snaked the gate under the ladder, so we'll see how long that lasts.

Don't know how much more babyproofing we can do around the house, but it's apparent that we're not done.  Max was ON TOP OF the pool table today, standing up reaching for the ceiling fan.  This is the most challenging time I've ever had in my life.  BUSY!

I'm planning to do some changes to the look and maneuverability of my website in the near-future.  I can't stand it when a website changes and I can't find things, but I'll hopefully make this more user-friendly.

My book will go on sale Tuesday or Wednesday of next week.  I'll post a link when it does.

Milestones and cute stuff:  Two things... Ruca and Nadia both said "Hi, Doggie" today to one of our dogs.  Sentences!  They both say "B" when they kiss - it's their "kissing sound." Oh, and so cute... Angus is a doll with his pronunciation of Ipsy-Bipsy Fider (Itsy-bitsy Spider).  I just really hate to correct little people. 

3/13/06:  Angus was biting Ruca on her back a few days ago.  I said, "Angus, don't bite her back, please."  He replied "I just giving her a back rub with my teeth."  So, that's the stage we're at - stretching the truth.  I honestly LOVE 3-year-olds.   No sarcasm.  Angus says when he's bigger and he grows wings, he's going to go up and catch a star and bring it home for me.  How sweet!

The babies are now expressing a strong interest in learning their A,B,C's.  I'm not accustomed to it, as Angus is just now taking an interest.   Ruca will touch letters and say A-E-C-A, etc.  Max sings his A,B,C's and you can understand a few letters.  Nadia's right there with them, but not nearly as vocal.  Angus is just about at the same stage, reading-wise.  I'm in no hurry and have no worries in that department.  Everyone has a built-in pace.

Kristi, Kevin, and Kelli are busy all the time, but not too busy for their mom, thank goodness.  Kristi's moving into a house on the military base this week.  I'm so glad she'll have time to get my granddaughter's room ready.  Kevin and Kelli are getting ready for exams.  Kevin has serious senior-itis.  He's gotten lots of scholarships already and is already pre-enrolled in USF Honors - going pre-med probably.  But he's just losing his momentum.  It's tough seeing a light at the end of the tunnel and you're not quite there.  Kelli's been busy with ROTC, but I think she'll be ready to be done with ROTC this year.  Not her cup of tea.

My wonderful man's been busy with work, and following up at home as World's Best Dad and husband.  What an exciting life he has!  I love hearing about his job.  I live vicariously through him at times and I'm content with that.  As for me, I'm anxiously awaiting the release of my book.  I've been keeping more than busy with the wee ones, so time's flying.  It'll be here before I know it. 

3/5/06:  Gosh, I love my weekends!  Spent yesterday at the Gasparilla Arts Festival.  Although I felt as though we were more on display than some of the art.  Several people asked if they could take a picture of the babies - even one of the artists took a picture of the babies and mentioned using them in his art.

What little talkers we have now.  Max loves to say "NO" and "All Done."  Done with lunch - "all done," bored in the stroller - "all done," etc.  Ruca has her own variation of all-done.  She screams "ALL!"  Perhaps soon she'll add the done part.  Nadia said "pizza" yesterday.

Last week I had my friend Brooke over with her little girl, Thalia and her triplets (website at www.blessedandstressed.com).  What a trip it is to see six toddlers and 2 preschoolers running around knowing that we were WAY outnumbered.  Loads of fun.

The week before, I had my friend Laura over with her son, Joey, and her twins who a just a day younger than our babies.  So exciting to watch them all interact. 

Well, naptime is done and I can hear Max on the monitor singing "all done."  Guess it's time to get back to work.

2/25/06:  We had a wonderful day at Solomon's Castle.  What a neat place.  A guy had a vision back in 1972 of creating a castle of his home in the middle of nowhere using only recycled things.  What an incredible place.  Angus really enjoyed meeting the "King." He also enjoyed touring the castle.  I think the king of Solomon's Castle was as impressed with the babies as we were of his unique home.  Great experience for all.

Speaking of royalty, Prince Angus got a new set of bunkbeds.  How wonderful for him.  How tragically sad for me.  I snuck into his room the night before and got some shots of him in his toddler bed for the last time.  Can't think about it too much or I'll cry.  Hard to tuck a guy in when he's in the top bunk.  I knew this day would come.

I had to include a picture of my Ruca with her Grandma Dolly.  She developed quite an attachment to her grandma last time they visited.  In fact,  we nearly had to surgically remove her from her grandma when they left.  So, I created a "Grandma Dolly" for her and she carries it around and sleeps with it.  Took me about 5 minutes to make it.  Loren jokingly says I intended it to be a grandma voodoo doll.  Not a chance.  Luckily I have a great set of in-laws.  Now to make the Grandpa Doll, a set of the other grandparents, best friend dolls, etc., in my spare time.  Yeah, right!

Twins in Peril:  Twin to Twin Transfusion Syndrome, the Discovery Health Channel special which included parts of our story will be airing again early March.  Here's a link to the schedule. 

I'm very anxiously awaiting the proof on my book.  Should be coming within a week or two.  I'll update when I get it.

2/20/06:  More stuff later, but for now, just wanted to post a link to our newest little video:  Choo-choo Wagon.

2/15/06:  Journal entry:  Today is Day 486 in captivity.  My captors grow increasingly restless and seem to exhibit very few characteristics of civility.... primal instinct plays strong in their day-to-day rituals that appear to be of a uniquely destructive nature.  But communication between us is growing, and there is definitely hope...

But seriously, although they're busy and curious, it seems like things are sort of moving in the right direction this month.  They're beginning to ask for things - with actual words like cracker, juice, cheese, etc.  Verbal skills are such a leap into life being much more manageable.   They've already mastered voicing animal sounds, pointing to most body parts, etc.  Great strides!

As most had seen, I got to see my granddaughter this past weekend via ultrasound.  How exciting.  Her name is Camryn Mila.  What a different experience it is to watch my daughter go through this - especially since it's all so fresh in my mind from my own recent pregnancies.  Anyway, Kristi spent the weekend at home with us for her birthday.  Great seeing her, as always.  Actually saw more of her this time - she's starting to show. 

Angus and the Triplets, the book, is off to the publishers.  Coming soon!

2/6/06:  The babies and Angus got to experience Disney World for the first time this past weekend.  What a magical time for Angus!  He can't stop talking about it.  As for the babies, well, that's a different story.  We didn't find Disney to be very triplet-friendly.  First, we had a run-in with a rabid Disney employee who didn't want us to bring our triplet stroller into the Baby Care area.  Then we encountered some resistance in the lines at the Buzz Lightyear ride.  The babies and I spent a few hours at Disney and the rest of our group extended their stay into the evening.  It was almost more than I needed to experience with triplets at their age and stage of development.  I expect that the next time we go to Disney, the babies will be 3 or 4 and it will be MUCH easier.

This weekend, I'm going to see my grandchild for the first time.  Kristi's visiting and we're going to get a 3-D ultrasound.  I can't wait.  Stay tuned for pictures and updates!

Oh, and PS... I felt a state of momentary nirvana today.  A stock-woman in our local supermarket told me, "I'd hate to be you," as we passed her by.  I paused for just a moment and replied, "I'd tell you that I'd hate to be you, but then that would be rude, wouldn't it?"  I knew instantly she had gotten the point.  Never before had I spouted something so apropos and with such finesse.  I was impressed.

1/30/06: They're running amok!  Each time we've reached the point where I believe the level of chaos has peaked, those babies raise the bar.  The question is, just how far can the bar be raised?

Max now knows how to move chairs over to the counter in order to climb.  The girls will soon follow.  We've installed more gates in our house.  It's like a lock-system.  Gates to every separate area of the house.  But it's really just like putting a bandaid on a bullet-hole.  Eventually even the gates won't hold them.  It's getting ridiculous.  The sad thing is/the good thing is that they'll grow out of this. 

As for the rest... Angus is getting easier and more pleasant to deal with.  What a sweet age 3-years-old is!  Kevin's getting ready for USF.  Kelli's playing catch-up after her hospital "vacation" and Kristi's starting to wear maternity clothes.  Did I miss anyone? 

1/22/06:  What a year it's been already!  Read 1/17/06's entry for some of the details.  Looks like things are returning to normal around here (whatever that means).  The babies got their first taste of the beach - literally - today, on what turned out to be an absolutely gorgeous winter day in Florida.  Man, are we lucky!  Anyway, we spent only a few minutes letting them discover the beach, and in that time Nadia began to eat shells, Ruca was covered in sand, and Max was on some sort of mission to get as far away from the rest of us as possible.  What fun!

Angus is back to normal, as are the rest from various illnesses.  Kelli's on the mend, too. Out of the hospital (a week-long E. Coli infection) and onto the internet.  Teenagers!  Kevin's been busy lately, so he's made himself scarce.  And, I got to hear my grandchild's heartbeat a few days ago.  That was exciting!  Kristi's doing well and looking forward to finding out the sex of the baby mid-February.

1/17/06:  Generally no news is good news.  In this case, no news means life's way too hectic to do anything but survive.  Since January 1st, we've had a lice scare, Angus had his arm in a sling for a while, while we waited to see if it needed further investigation.  Nadia had pneumonia.  The other kids all had terrible colds.  I had the worst sinus infection  ever.  After 3 trips to the emergency room, Kelli's in the hospital with a kidney infection that's kicking her butt.  And, I'm sure I'm forgetting something.  But that's the latest.  I hope to have more positive news for everyone at my next update.

12/31/05:  Nearly New Years.  Where do I start?!  We had a great time on our trip to Ohio.  We donned the babies in squeaky shoes and harnesses in the airport.  Such a sight.  Going through security was a NIGHTMARE!  I wish we had been able to video tape the experience.  Ruca was running one way, Angus another.  Counting heads, passing babies, loading and unloading stuff to go through the x-ray, folding and unfolding two double strollers.  CRAZY.  But we survived. 

Our trip was great.  We had a nice white Christmas.  Angus got his first taste of snow and was so anxious to make a snow angel that he dropped down in the snow without a coat and soon realized that snow is COLD.  Poor guy was crying.  Next time he made a snow angel, he was happy that he was dressed appropriately.

The babies were challenging on the trip and busy, but that's what this 14-month-old stage is all about.  So it was business as usual.

We all survived the trip with colds and Loren with an additional case of food poisoning to boot, the day after we arrived home.  We were a mess. 

In less than 2 hours it will be 2006 and this is the first year I've had no time to reflect on the year and wax nostalgic.  Nor have I had time to think of resolutions.  Just too busy to give any thought to anything outside of survival and the daily enjoyment of this crazy life.  Perhaps next year at this time...

Be sure to check out our newest movie of the crazy squeaky shoe airport experience.  Also, see a before and after of my experiment with table eating.

12/21/05:  Just couldn't stay away.  A couple more pictures for you... 

Kristi heard my grandbaby's heartbeat today.  She was crying, she was so happy.  All is well. 

12/15/05:  This will probably be the last update before Christmas.  The kids met Santa last night. We were in line waiting to meet him and there was a set of triplets right behind us - ten-year-old boys.  Seeing another set of triplets is always exciting. Max was the only one who didn't enjoy the Santa experience.

Today we spent time playing with "snow" in the backyard. Styrofoam peanuts really - the kind that disintegrate with a little moisture.  Angus tried his skills at making snow angels.  He should be enjoying the real thing soon.  Merry Christmas everyone!

Check out the newest picture on my The Book Page.  Almost there...

12/13/05:  Okay, so it's 11:45 at night.  Loren just snuck into Angus's room to cover him with a blanket (our nightly ritual) and of course, we found him snuggling up with his latest obsession - his "triblets" (triplets.) He has 3 tiny metallic babies he stores in a tiny box stuffed with doll stuffing and covered with a bit of fabric for a blanket.  They're his "babies."  I couldn't resist snapping a shot.  Precious moments. 

Speaking of precious moments, precious and few are the moments of peace in our household right now.  As is evidenced by the recent pictures, all you-know-what has broken loose in our home.  Max is climbing tables and couches and stacking toys to reach ever-higher peaks.  Ruca and Nadia are right behind him.  To describe a day of mine... Picture yourself in the swirl of a hurricane, outside with no protection, holding onto a telephone pole for dear life.  Wind and rain are whipping this way and that and the rain is pelting you so hard it feels as though knives were threatening to tear away your skin.  Picture the sun then, peeking through the clouds and the wind dying down.  You say to yourself "I made it.  I actually made it." Proud of yourself, you breathe a sigh of relief and let go of the telephone pole.  Suddenly you are overcome with the realization that you didn't make it.  It was only the eye of the storm.  Uh-oh.  Here you go again.  That's my "Groundhog Day."

Well, I love this hurricane in which I live, but sometimes I wish I didn't have to hold on so tightly to the telephone pole.  These little people are one very powerful collective storm.  Sometimes Angus notices how overwhelmed I am and says "Mommy, take a deep breath."  That alone brings me back to my center.  And I know that this too shall pass.  And I know that when it does, I'll miss this part so much that it aches.

I had a tough time today controlling my tongue while we were out with the babies.  A guy saw them and remarked "I'm glad they're your babies and not mine."  I replied that I was glad they were mine, too.  Then he yelled very snidely to his wife across an open plaza, "Look at the triplets.  Are you jealous?"  "Yeah, right!," was her response followed by a few other "can-you-even-imagine - no way" comments to follow; quite a few spectators watching.  Tough being pleasant, but I held my tongue.  I feel terribly sorry for the next ignorant person who cares to comment about the babies.  They will catch the full wrath of my pent up resentments toward all of the people who have been rude lately. "Mommy, take a deep breath."

Tomorrow our family will decorate gingerbread houses.  I can't wait.  I love the Christmas season so much!  More to follow.  I'm tired.

Be sure to check out more new shots on the Uh-oh page.  Also, there's a new movie "Playroom Cleanup" on the Movies page.   My next project will be to update and clean up the kids' individual pages.  Quite out of date.

12/3/05:  Holy cow!  It's almost 2006.  Time flies.  Angus is really geared up for Christmas this year.  He's got a very firm understanding of Santa's importance this year.  He's so much fun.  His newest craze is needing to drink hot chocolate (hot-uh-melted-uh-trocolate) every night.  He's sure Santa drinks it, so he wants it.  What a doll! 

I was certain that the babies were peaking with their crazy out-of-control curiosity and the seeking out of dangerous things to do.  I was wrong.  Max has learned to open our bedroom door and loves to pave the way for the girls to aid him in his pursuit of all things dangerous.  They are something else.

We're getting mentally geared up for a plane flight to Ohio at the end of the month.  Should be quite an experience - two adults, two teenagers, a 3-year-old, and 3 crazy 14-month-old babies.  We're going to take up the back row of the plane.  I'm so sure that everyone we pass on our way back will be thinking about how LONG the flight will seem with us on the plane.  We'll do some video taping if we get the chance.

Check out the newest pictures in our Uh-oh section.  There's another amusing video on my Movies page - this one of Max and his hat.  In addition, I added some new things to my Everything Triplets page.  Also, by popular demand, I've put all the video shorties on my Movies page for your viewing pleasure.  Please let me know if you find a link that doesn't work.

11/24/05:  Happy Turkey Day.  Spent the day with my parents today.  The bonus was that Kristi was able to enjoy Thanksgiving with the soon-to-be Great Grandparents before we drove her to the airport.  More than a piece of me went with Kristi on that plane today.  Is grandmaternal a word?  If so, I'm feeling it. 

These babies continue to present new challenges for us around every turn.  They really keep us on our toes.  Today while at the grandparents' house, Max had to try out every cabinet door, every closet door; he had to push, pull, and manipulate everything that was not bolted down.  Nadia helped us out by finding even the tiniest specs of dirt on the floor.  We tried to catch her each time before she popped things in her mouth.  It's such a struggle with her, trying to dig things out of her powerful jaws.  Ruca found every other area in the grandparents' house that was not babyproofed.  We were exhausted by the time we left and my parents' house looked like it had been in a hurricane. 

There's a new movie for your viewing pleasure - 24 seconds of the four little ones in action.  Quick and not too creative, but oh well.

11/21/05:  We had a REALLY busy day today.  It was Thanksgiving at the Rhoton house, complete with turkey and pumpkin pie.  Since Kristi won't be around on Thanksgiving, we decided that Thanksgiving had to come early this year.  Angus called it "thank you turkey" instead of Thanksgiving turkey. 

Be sure to check out more new pix on my Uh-Oh! page.  And don't forget to peek at my The Book page.  And, still under construction is my new Just the Fun Stuff page.  Be sure to check back soon on that one.

11/15/05:  Okay!  So, what was I saying?  Oh, yeah!  My computer crashed.  I lost Loren's book, I lost thousands of pictures, I lost every recent vital document that is part of my lifeline.  I was crushed and if I let myself think about it, I could sincerely vomit.  But, what to do?  I've been working intermittently at sorting out the rubble and salvaging what I can.  FINALLY, I can edit this site.  I hope, anyway.

So, anyway, big news.  I'm gonna be a grandma.  Let's see... should I go by Maw-maw or Granny Gums.  Hmm... maybe my mother-in-law can tell me which one she prefers to be called.  Just joking.  As soon as I got the news that Kristi's expecting, I ran to the mirror to see if the wrinkles had increased.  Just in case, I slathered my face with a mud mask followed by a healthy coating of Oil of Olay.  I'm going to be a grandma! Crazy news, huh?  Strange what a different sensation it is, this whole "grandma" thing.  Unexpected feelings.  I'm years away from even being 40. 

Okay, news number 2.  We had a good birthday party for Angus last Saturday.  Loads of fun.  What we lacked in creative decorating and a creative cake, we made up for in presents and the wonderful dolphin bouncy castle.  We wore ourselves out.

Angus has been just too cute lately.  Just when I was sure he had reached maximum cuteness a few months ago, he outdid himself today.  He made note that Lance Carbuncle (our resident life-sized skeleton) has no tongue.  He stood on the couch next to Lance and told him "Maybe Santa bring you a new tongue.  That make you all better."  Too cute!

The babies are so cute, and so much fun right now I could explode from the love and joy I feel inside from caring for them.  They are 3 incredibly amazing little humans.

Oh, and coming soon in the not too terribly distant future, I hope....  my new book.

More on Kevin and Kelli later.  I'm exhausted. 

11/1/05:  Trick-or-Treating was so much more fun this year than last year.  Angus had a little warm-up trick-or-treating on Saturday, so he was revved up and ready to go last night.  He charged from one house to another like William Wallace of Braveheart storming into battle, shouting "Trick or Treat, Trick or Treat" over and over well before he even made it to each driveway.  What a sight! 

Last year, I was 2 weeks out of a C-section and the babies had only been home for 3 days, so I couldn't really enjoy it.  This year, however, we all had fun.  Kevin passed out candy dressed up as a hillbilly, complete with straw hat and overalls.  Kelli came along with Angus and the little ones as Loren and I walked them around the neighborhood.  Buzz Lightyear and the babies passed out without a peep from any one of them as soon as we tucked them in their beds.  Lots of excitement!

  10/27/05:  You've probably noticed the front page has a new little video on it.  This is just an experiment.  I don't know how it loads on anyone else's computer.  If it slows the site down or you can't view it, please email me and let me know.  I want this site to be as user-friendly as possible.  I plan to update it with different little snippets of the babies as I see something short and sweet that's just too cute not to share.

Check out my Triplet Card, the business card I hand out to thoughtless strangers on my Everything Triplets page.  Also, see new photos of the babies misbehaving on my Uh-Oh page. 

Stats of the babies:  Max now weighs 22 lbs.  Ruca weighs 19 lbs.  Nadia's 17 lbs.

10/17/05:  Seventeen years ago today, I brought Kevin into the world.  What a great young man he's turning out to be.  Hard to believe he's almost an adult.  Happy birthday, Kev.  You'll always be my baby boy!

Kristi came this past weekend to visit.  I thoroughly enjoyed her company.  We went out for wings on Wednesday night and met her boyfriend, a great young guy stationed in the Air Force here in Tampa.  Then Friday we had lunch at Chuck E. Cheese and then hung out with the babies and Angus.  Angus loves her SO much.  He was sad to see her go.  I was too. 

Angus is fast-approaching 3.  He's great little company during the day.  He's at a very sweet age.  He misses the babies when they're sleeping and can't wait for them to wake up, but when they're getting into his toys he asks "can you make the babies take a nap, please?"  Just about every sentence that comes out of his mouth right now is laughably cute. 

The babies are super-busy now.  Max has learned to climb anything and everything in the house.  His favorite pastime right now is bouncing balls back and forth with someone.  He's really very good at both catching and throwing.  Ruca's a good dancer now and rocks and sways to music any time she hears it.  Nadia's our scrappy little one.  She's ready to pick a fight with anyone who takes her stuff.  They're all biters now and I have a nice little bruise on my shoulder from Max.  I thought he was trying to cuddle with me when he sunk his teeth in.  Ouch!

Kelli enjoyed her first homecoming (a rival school) a few weeks ago and is getting ready for her own homecoming dance in a few more weeks.  So glad she's enjoying high school.  She'll have some great memories to look back on.

10/14/05:  What an incredible whirlwind this past year has been.  Loren and I wear the exhausted bags beneath our eyes like little badges of courage - we did it.  We survived the first year of sleepless nights and days of nonstop noisy chaotic madness without losing our minds.  When I look back to those early sleep-deprived months (waking up to almost a dozen bottles in the sink in the morning), the spit-up covered clothes I wore in public, getting accustomed to the gawking eyes of strangers, changing all of those diapers, washing thousands of bottles, the loads and loads of laundry... well, it's amazing I even remember any of it at all.  The first year of life with triplets really tests your will, your patience, your marriage even.  Luckily, I'm traveling this crazy road with my best friend and through it all, we've maintained our sense of selves and sense of humor.  It has NOT been easy, this triplet life, and these demanding little people have made life fulfilling and exasperating at times.  One minute we're overwhelmed with emotion as we hold each one in our arms.  The next minute we're just plain overwhelmed.  But, all in all, it's been an indescribably wonderful ride.  We're looking forward to continuing on this wild journey with these three wonderful little blessings.

10/9/05:  I woke up this morning... it was just like any other day... that is, until I looked out my front window and saw a school bus parked at the end of our driveway.  It seems Kevin met a Christian hardcore rock band that's touring from Atlanta, Becoming the Archetype, last night and invited them back to our house for a place to crash and a shower.  Little by little, this morning, one band member after another trickled into our house to freshen up.  The five of them were very nice, took their first showers in 6 days and then headed off to church.  Life in this house is never boring.

10/4/05:  Just wanted to let everyone know about the new video of Ruca walking.  Only 25 seconds long.  Just a quickie for anyone interested

9/29/05:  Brag time again.  This time about my first baby.  Kristi is going to receive a LOA - a special award for outstanding achievement - for her exemplary efforts in aiding in an important mission in the Middle East.  I still don't fully understand the technical aspects of her job, so I can't say I can explain much more than that, but I'm very proud of her. 

Max took his first step yesterday.  Only one, but he tasted that freedom, so I'm sure he'll be hungry for more steps soon. 

The girls are sick right now and we're expecting the boys to follow any time now.  That's just how it works in our house. 

We got more crazy comments from "know-no-betters."  I am including this one in here because it just went a step into bizarre.  A woman this morning said we were lucky that the babies aren't all stuck together, and that usually with three at least two are joined together....  hmmm, I did not know that.  I guess we are lucky.

Kelli's looking forward to going to homecoming this weekend with a boy from another school and Kevin's busy promoting his band and his website, www.takingrefuge.com

9/23/05:  To the left are a few new favorite shots.  I'm going to create a new page for just the new photos before I add them to the individual pages.  Look for that soon. 

We've had a busy week.  Last week I enjoyed spending the day with my friend Laura and her crew.  Her little boy is just one month older than Angus and her twins are a day younger than our babies.  So we had a blast watching everyone play together. 

This past week we took the babies to get a new portrait done.  You'll see that on the front page.  Angus followed two days later, getting a portrait done - donned as none other than Buzz Lightyear.  I'll post that one next week. 

Ruca's just discovered language skills and can say doggie and kitty now.  It's only a matter of time before the others catch on. 

Check out Kelli's new video clip on the Everything Kelli page.  She's in ROTC at school and in drill team and color guard after school.  Tonight she performed with her group at the high school football game.  I was, of course, proud mom and video taped it. 

My observation of the week:  Cleaning up after triplets is a lot like blowing up a balloon with a hole in it.

9/14/05:  What a really thrilling time this is!  I barely finished typing the last entry, when to my surprise, Ruca took her first real steps.  She can take about 4 or 5 steps at a time now.  Big milestone!  Today marks 11 months with the babies.  How time flies.  Time to plan the big birthday bash. 

Other developments... we got a new swingset for our backyard and Angus had a blast discovering it just a little bit ago.  Fun stuff. 

9/10/05:  I'm not going to be too ambitious from now on in my updates of this website.  We are getting really busy right now.  Ruca's really on the verge of walking.  Max and Nadia are soon going to follow and things are getting hectic.  It's easy to forget, when you're not right in the middle of it, just how active babies this age are - then multiply it by 3.  Some days I feel like it's two steps forward and one back, but mostly it's ONE step forward and TWO back.  I no longer am surprised by the "fires" I need to put out everyday.  I just wait for it to happen.  Can't go against the grain.

Be sure to check out the new page, Our Triplet Story - a longwinded chronicle of our journey from before conception to birth of our triplets.  Also, check out our newest movie - Walker Madness.  And finally, check out my Links page if you're interested.

8/22/05:  Well, we've graduated.  The babies are no longer in the tripledecker stroller with the car seats/stroller seats.  What a sad day it was to say goodbye to that one.  Onto the new triplet stroller which is much more time-consuming to manage - more maneuvering of babies in and out of car seats and into the stroller.  And, I can tell you the logistics of getting the babies and Angus in and out of the house now, by myself, well... it's not easy.  I imagine my neighbors get a good show watching me run back and forth in and out of the house for baby after baby or toddler.  And, when it rains...  fun stuff!  But, no complaints.  Life is good.

If you check out our Movies page, you'll see a new video of Kevin and his band, The Refuge.  They're a Christian rock band.  All original music, all original lyrics - Kevin writes both.  Kevin plays lead guitar and he ROCKS!  We're so happy that they're practicing at our house now.  I'm sure our neighbors are happy about it as well.

Kelli's knee-deep in JROTC, her Naval program at school.  Fundraisers every weekend, drill practice and color guard practice everyday after school, uniforms, PT (physical training), etc.  She's definitely found her niche. 

Kristi calls me nearly everyday to fill me in on her exciting job.  How incredible her job is!  She deals with NASA, gets to talk with people all over the world, and is instrumental in some of the more serious missions in the Middle East.  I'm so proud of her!

As for Angus, excuse me, Buzz Lightyear, as he calls himself, he's just cuter than ever.  Learning new things everyday.  I blinked and he went from toddler to preschooler.  Uh-oh, I feel tears coming.  He just needs to slow down a little bit.  If only I could keep him at this age for a bit longer.

Babies.  They ARE BUSY!  They're really coming into their own and interacting with each other on deeper levels now.  So much fun to watch.  See my Everything Triplets page for new observations.

8/13/05:  What an exciting few weeks it's been.  New developments everywhere.  All of the babies have teeth now.  Nadia popped her second one out, with Ruca right behind her.  Max is going to be cutting his second this week, I'm pretty sure.  That's an interesting thing to me - that they all have sort of gotten teeth within a day or two of one another.  Should make for some interesting molar teething weeks ahead.  I'll be thankful if they all come in together. 

In other news, Max got his first haircut.  How sad that is.  I dread cutting the baby hair for the first time.  Something never feels quite right about it.

Angus has decided that all of babies are side characters in the Toy Story life in which he lives.  Max is now Woody and the girls are both Jessie.  Other names he has for them are:  (for Max) Little Daddy and Mass; (for Nadia) Little Mommy and Naya; (for Ruca) Big Little Mommy and Wooga.  He still absolutely can't tell the girls apart and refers to them both as Little Mommy most of the time.  It's just more cuteness than I can handle most of the time.  My heart's going to explode.

I'll update more soon, but my brain's about had it for today. Oh, and on that note, I only intend to update the website about once a week and I'll put an "updated on" on the top of the main page when I do.  That way, if you want to check back once a week, that should be sufficient.

8/5/05:  First day of school.  Time to begin reciting "What do you have for homework today?"  Kelli was much less than enthusiastic about returning to school, even though she's in high school this year.    I can remember when she couldn't wait for the first day of school.  Ah, memories!  Kevin'll start next week when he returns from Mexico.  Kristi, speaking of school, passed her first of many CDC's (training level tests in the Air Force) with flying colors.  She's much relieved, as she would have had to answer to the much-higher-ups if she hadn't.

So, today Loren and I, along with my parents, took the 4 little ones to have their picture done. It was much by accident that Loren and I ended up being a part of that shot.  The experience was, um, interesting.   We had 4 little children going in 4 different directions, crying, drooling, turning the wrong way, grabbing for things.  In short, it was crazy!  SO, as a means to even get a picture done at all, Loren and I sat down and held the babies.  It was a chore, even, to get Angus to be still behind us.  As it turns out, it's not half-bad.  It definitely stands to be one of the most memorable pictures we will have taken, I'm sure.

7/31/05:  Well, we got the rudest of the rude comments yesterday.  This one just about takes the cake.  Loren, Angus, the babies and I were at the checkout at Home Depot and the cashier was playing 20-Questions with us about the babies.  All the while, the babies and Angus were pretty well behaving themselves.  Then as we ended the transaction and were walking out she called out to us "Don't have any more kids!"  She said it in a pleasant enough tone, but the implication... So, Loren replied "oh, we have a couple more on the way."  Some people!

Ruca and Nadia each have a tooth now.  Opposite sides.  Max is still waiting.  It doesn't stop any of them, however, from eating everything they can get their mouths on.  They're pretty much off of baby food now.

In other news, Kevin's in Mexico right now doing a missionary thing for the week.  He'll miss the first day of school, but he doesn't mind.  Kelli's looking forward to Kevin being in the same school as her this year as she can enjoy being the "obnoxious little sister" in the hallways.  Kristi called me today - of course.  She's still enjoying her job and is looking forward to a trip to Rochester, NY in the fall.  I probably won't see her till next summer as she will just about have used up her leave time with the fall trip.

7/28/05:  New developments...

  • Ruca has a new tooth.  Angus believes that Santa brought it for her. 

  • Nadia's first tooth is about a day away. 

  • Max has none in sight. 

  • Angus's favorite saying now is "Stop-eep (stop it).  I mad at you.  I serious."  He says that mostly to Max but has said it to me, to Loren, to the cat, and to his toys. 

  • I'm no longer considering homeschooling Kevin because (long story short) he'd end up spending more time and money on homeschooling than if he just enrolled in a university.  So, he's still deciding where to start school in just a week or so.

Speaking of Kevin... he's in the running for valedictorian of his school.  He's currently a close #2 in a class of about a 1000 seniors.  I tried to get him a special assignment at a high school locally and they won't accept him because it might threaten the standing of the student currently in line for valedictorian.  How's that for discrimination!  To not allow a brilliant student access to an education at a school strictly because he may be the best... Kevin could care less about being named valedictorian - it's the education he wants and that school had the classes he was interested in.  I'm still steamed!

7/20/05:  Entertaining 4 tiny children at home is sometimes not an easy job.  Tuesday we decided to play pin-the-toys-on-the-mom game.  We stuck little plastic toys using suction to my face.  Angus and Ruca were having so much fun pulling them off and hearing the cork-popping noise that I continued.  Everyone was entertained.... including Loren when he got home.  Much to my dismay and surprise, I discovered that I had created little circular hickeys all over my face.  I was mortified!  Such are the perils of being a stay-at-home-mom willing to do anything to keep my children happy.

7/17/05:  What a week we've had.  All kids with ear infections!  We went to the doctor on Tuesday and we're doing antibiotics and other meds right now for all.  Nadia weighed 15lb 15oz.  Ruca weighed 17lb 2oz.  Max weighed 19lb 14oz.  Ruca and Nadia are trying to get their teeth.  I suspect that they'll have them completely emerged on the same day - soon.  Max?  Who knows?  All are crawling, climbing, cruising, babbling.  Max is clapping.  They are so busy!   

In other news, Kristi continues to like her job.  Kevin's getting a new job in daycare at the local YMCA.  Go figure, a brother of many, working daycare.  We're hoping to homeschool him this year if it pans out.  Kelli's got a week coming up of ROTC training and orientation.  She's really excited about ROTC.  And, Angus is just busy learning what 2 1/2 feels like before he moves on to 3.  He's into "stop it, Mom" and "no, my turn" a lot.  He's very helpful, mostly.  And, he can count to 10 now.  Well, did I forget anyone?

It's 1:15 am. We're letting the babies cry it out right now.  They're not letting us sleep, so I thought I'd avoid listening to the poor tortured infants crying out for their mommy to hold them and get some stuff done in here.  All sounds silent now, so I think I'll head back to bed.  Goodnight.

6/20/05: Super-abbreviated update. On 6/4 I wrote that Nadia was the only one crawling. No sooner than I had finished typing and saving that entry, I went out to see what the babies were up to and all 3 were up and crawling. Oh, and Max DOESN'T have a tooth. What we thought was a tooth coming in turned out to be something else. I'm sort of relieved. It was the strangest looking tooth I'd ever seen. This past two weeks have shown an explosion in development for all babies. Today in fact, Max and Ruca stood on their own for the first time. Nadia surely will follow very very soon. Changes everywhere!

6/4/05: Quick update. We had the babies weighed yesterday. Nadia's 14 lbs 9 oz. Ruca's 16 lbs even, and Max is 18 lbs 7 oz. Nadia's crawling very well now. Max is doing what we call "the slap and drag" method. He slaps one hand in front of him and drags himself forward with the other. Ruca's still sort of velcroed to the floor, although she can get where she wants to be. It just takes a bit more time now. Max's first tooth made it's grand entrance today. Nadia and Ruca's teeth are nowhere in sight. Nadia's also pulling herself up to kneeling. The babies need me right now. More later.

5/17/05: Ready, set, go! Our babies are on the verge of crawling... yikes! Tough to believe these babies are already seven months old. It feels like a blink since they were born. What a change these babies are going through right now. Hardly content to play with what's in front of them, they prefer to wiggle to things beyond their grasp. I thought life, at this point, would be easier, but on the contrary, it seems just as crazy, but in a different way. Between the bottles, the 3 meals a day, the baths, and the need for individual attention, I hardly have a moment to breathe. If I'm not tending to one end of a baby, I'm tending to the other... Speaking of... Angus is still potty training, but prefers diapers. He's really thrown me for a loop. I've had 3 kids before him who were champion potty-trainers, but this guy's one tough cookie. I broke down and bought my first-ever potty-training book. We're hoping he's trained before he goes to middle school.

4/22/05: The babies had their 6-month checkup this morning. Rounds of vaccinations for all. Poor babies. They all checked out well - Max weighing in at 16lb 10oz, Ruca at 15lb even, and Nadia closing in the gap between the girls at 13lb 13oz. This is the closest in weight the girls have ever been and it's getting increasingly more difficult to tell the girls apart.

4/14/05: Our babies are 6 months old today! Hard to believe. Had a wonderful 1/2 birthday. We went to the playground so big brother Angus could play and the babies could get some fresh air. I only had to yell at two people about touching the babies. Boy, I'm getting good at that.

Theme of this month seems to be "Fun with Poo," and I don't mean Winnie the... Angus has learned that if he poops, he needs to take off his diaper to use the potty. His timing's off, however. This afternoon, I had his whole crib to clean. YUCK!

4/10/05:  Went to Dunedin yesterday for the Scottish Highland Games.  Loads of men in kilts, bagpipe bands, and haggis.  Angus sported his real wool Scottish kilt and fit right in.  It was an absolutely perfect day, weather-wise.  We enjoyed a picnic in the shade and spent a lot of time fielding questions about the babies. 

From there, we went to the zoo for a reunion of all of Dr. Quintero's former fetal surgery patients.  About a hundred sets of twins and a few sets of triplets attended.  We were invited because we played a big part in the Discovery Health Channel special helping to spread the word about his work.  It was really interesting seeing so many identical twins.  Most of them had some big differences in their looks or stature.  Only a few looked indistinguishably identical.  Lots of media coverage from the local paper and tv, including Fox, CBS, ABC, as well as Inside Edition.  We met another triplet family and lots of really lucky families.  Sad, also to see the ones who only had one baby - knowing they lost the other twin in utero.  But, they too are lucky to have the one who survived.  The whole experience nearly brought me to tears, as I sat with our little group of perfect beautiful babies.  We are so truly blessed to have them.

4/8/05: Hey, everyone!  Thanks for stopping by.  I'm typing one-handed at the moment... forever holding babies, you know.  Life's a whirlwind right now.  This week's been crazy as a stomach virus has invaded our house.  Poor Max is the first, but probably not the last to suffer. 

Everyone's growing like a weed - the little ones, that is.  Angus has adjusted quite nicely in his role as Big Brother, much to our intense relief, so we now feel it's potty time for Angus.  He's doing very well without diapers in the waking hours, but is not there yet with his Number 2.  With 4 in diapers, I must admit that we'll be happy when he's fully trained.

The babies are a source of great joy and amusement for us.  It's hard to believe that just one year ago this week we found out we were expecting triplets.  We had no idea to what extent our lives would change.  This has been a month of profound groth for the babies, more so than ever before.  Max and Ruca are scooting around in their walkers.  Nadia, poor girl, is just a wee bit too tiny for her legs to propel her, but it's not for lack of trying.  Nadia's rolling from front to back and back to front with ease, which makes us get into the "Uh-oh, they're going to be mobile soon" mode.  All of the babies are babbling and enjoy talking to one another.

Sleeping is still a bit unpredictable now, and Loren and I average about 4 hours of uninterrupted sleep per night (if we're lucky), then about 3:00 am till 8:00 am we're up nearly every hour with someone.  I keep reminding myself that this will pass eventually.

In other news, Kelli's recently started guitar lessons and is doing very well so far.  She's recently painted her room a shocking green with black trim.  It looks better than imagined.  She's looking forward to highschool next year. 

Kevin's busy right now preparing for the new SAT.  He's working, going to school, studying, and continuing his church activities.  Busy teenager.  I see him so seldomly.  Sad, cuz he's such a fantastic kid.

Kristi just called me to let me know that she's heading out on a TDY (temporary tour of duty) in the Air Force.  It'll be a break from her current Scott AFB tour in southern Illinois.  She's going to be in California and in Hawaii for a while at the end of this month.  Good for her!!!  Wish I could join her.



Girls back-to-back.  We had the boys like this, too.  They were all giggling.

Me and the wee ones at Dinosaur World

Excavating dinosaur bones at Dinosaur World

Loren's brother, father and Loren in Moab

A pile of giggly girls.

Angus on the merry-go-round at the zoo.

A rare moment with them together.

Kristi, Angus (in his kilt) and Loren trailing behind with the babies.

 All seven together.  Well, 7 (+1).

What a great shot of my granddaughter, Camryn!

  Kelli on an obstacle course on Parris Island

Kelli, marching on Parris Island.  She's on the drill sergeant's immediate right.

Here's Angus enjoying his first canoe trip.

Ruca and Angus cuddling

Our new "baby"

Children running amok in the fridge

Erin and Angus with the stingrays

Our newest babyproofing project

In the aquarium at the zoo

Ruca and Nadia share a kiss

So hard to get all three in the same picture unless they're up to no good or strapped in a stroller.

Princess Nadia with her tags.  She'd be lost without them.

A rare moment with the door open.

Another accidental family portrait.

  Who needs a playpen?!  A tub will do.

My couch-fries.

Ruca Mouse

Angus and good friend, Joey.

Angus in front of Solomon's Castle

Angus and the babies with the "King"

Prince Angus with his new bunkbeds

Another view of his bunkbeds

Ruca and her Grandma Dolly

Kristi shares a moment with Max.

Kristi and Camryn

Learning that the most interesting thing to play with is the thing that someone else has.  In this case a laundry basket full of toys.

Checking for "grandma lines and wrinkles"

Loren and the babies in front of Cinderella's castle.

Angus and Buzz, of course!

Nadia, learning to sniff a flower

Took my eyes off for just a minute.

  Kissing's a favorite pastime.  Ruca and Nadia share a kiss.

Angus and Max share a kiss.

Angus fingerpainted himself, saying he's a skeleton

Angus says he was "fishing."  That's a lobster on his head.

That's Kelli and Loren closely following the girls.  Max finds his own way more appealing.

Grandma, Ruca and Loren



Angus in his sling

Grandpa with the babies.

Angus and Daddy building a snow fort.

Craziness on the airplane.

Angus was proud of his snowman

Christmas morning

Up to absolutely no good

Babies on leashes

Girls gone wild

Ruca loves Max

Angus tastes his accomplishment

Discovering "snow."

Making snow angels.

Pushing the girls.

Angus with his purple, green and gold babies - his "triblets."

  The calm before the storm.

Enjoying a Christmas light display

Angus making Christmas cookies

Babyproofing - Rhoton style

They are just into everything right now.

They should enjoy these while they can.  After the first of the year, we're cutting them off.

  Just thought this one was cute - Nadia.

Sneaking a taste before the candles were even lit.

Good cake, from the look on his face.

Bouncing out back.

Loren and I had all of the babies in the bouncy thing.

Angus drew on the floor - ALL over the floor - with crayons.  I made him clean most of it up.

  My crew plus one on the way.

Examining the haul.

This is how Kevin passed out candy.

  Our little apple moochers.

This is how I let Max watch TV.  Yeah, right!

  Ruca was restless in bed, so Loren took her out to the playroom EARLY in the morning a few days ago.  They both fell asleep and I snapped this picture when I came out and found them snuggled up together on the floor.

Angus decided since Max was allowed to stand on the table, HE too would be allowed.  So, what did I do instead of correcting them?  I grabbed the camera.  Such naughty boys!

Max is just too cute when he's being naughty!

Kelli in her ROTC uniform

Nadia 1 year

Ruca and Kristi

Nadia and Angus snuggle with Kristi at Chuck E. Cheese

Our birthday babies

Here's a "trying not to be conspicuous" shot of the school bus at the end of our driveway.

Buzz Lightyear

The REAL Buzz Lightyear

They love their juice cups!

First group bath


My friend Laura, her crew and ours

A group bottle

My happy crew

A pretty one of Ruca

Ruca takes a step or two

  New swingset

To infinity and Beyond:  Angus IS Buzz Lightyear

Angus (cir. 3 years) & Max(10 mos)

Ruca (10 mos)

Nadia (10 mos)

Kevin (facing with The Refuge)

We had this picture done today, quite by accident.

And the one that didn't come out very well... still glad we have it.

Here's Angus asleep with his new fancy-schmancy light up Thomas the Tank shoes.  It was about 11:00 at night when I crept in and got this shot.  It was pitch black in his room.  Priceless picture.

Here's a picture of Princess Nadia


Here's what my face looked like.  And, I had to go out in public the next day!  You can just imagine!  A tech at the doctor's office asked me if I had ringworm.  How embarrassing!

Ruca - She's 9-months old and climbing everything she can get up on top of.

Max just discovered how much fun it is for not just him, but for us as well when he claps his hands.

Nadia's the best eater right now.  None of them can shovel macaroni and cheese or peas into their mouths like Nadia. You go, girl!


Nadia fell asleep on Kelli.  This one was just too sweet.