Sunday, March 30, 2014

Ready for Spring!

We went out yesterday afternoon to get shoes to go with the girl's Easter dresses.  We went to Payless in the pouring rain.  Little tony was awesome.  He was his normal carefree self... running up and down the aisles but still coming over to me when I called him.  He wanted to try on shoes, even though he didn't need any.  Amelia and Olivia were a different story.  They were crying and whining about trying on shoes.  They'd pick a pair that they liked and then had a fit when trying them on.  After we were done - and I can honestly say that I have no idea at this time what shoes they got - they were fine.  They were all running around and ended up finding the rack of sun glasses. 
All I could do was laugh!

Gotta love them!

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Surgery Day and the trip home

On January 14, Tony had a cornea transplant surgery.  He was diagnosed with a condition called keratoconus in his early 20's.  He's been wearing hard contact lenses for a long time as they were the only kind that would help the eye/cornea hold it's shape.  It's been getting worse over the past few years and at one point his Ophthalmologist indicated that he should start considering a transplant.  Having it done would mean taking it easy and no lifting babies for at least 8 weeks.  Hmmm.... when would it be a good time to have the caregiver of 2 year old triplets a few months off....
Well we decided the beginning of the year was it, so we scheduled the surgery and started hunting for someone else that could watch the kids during the morning hours as Melanie is in school during the day.  Melanie thankfully agreed to come over every day for the afternoons and evening until I get home from work.  We joined and put an ad on there and got a lot of responses.  We had a few people come over, but in the end we ended up getting one of Tony's co-worker's wives to come over.  I don't get a chance to interact with her very much, but the kids seem to  like her and she can tolerate Tony so -it works!

The day of the surgery, Tony & I drove up to St Barnabas Medical Center (north Jersey) in the rain.  He seemed pretty calm, but I was really nervous.  We arrived on time and after waiting for about 45 minutes, we were told that all of the physician's surgeries were on hold waiting for the actual corneas from the 'tissue bank'  Ok, gross.  So we waited and waited.  If I recall correctly, his surgery was supposed to be around 11am, but he didn't even get taken in until 1pm.  I was ok because there was a small cafeteria downstairs and was able to get some food, but Tony wasn't allowed to eat anything so it was like torture to him.  I was given a number that represented Tony and where he was in the process - pre-op, surgery, post-op, etc.  It was nice to have that information, but didn't want to think about it all too much because I'm really squeamish when it comes to eyes.  A few hours later, I was called in - he was in recovery.  He looked good minus the padded/bandaged right eye.  They did at that time give him a little to eat and drink.  I showed him the cards that the kids and I had made for him.  They were cute.  We used some of the stencils and traced some animals and bugs and added googly eyes.  I think he liked them.  Within about an hour, we were able to go so I went to the car and picked him up at the front door.  He of course wanted something to eat so we stopped at a 'SmashBurger'.
Here's how close he would have to have his phone to read something (without contacts).

I had taken the day of his surgery off and the rest of that week and the next one.  He pretty much stayed in bed the rest of that day and had a follow up appointment at the doctor's office the next morning at like 9am.  That was tough because it was about an hour and a half away, but we made it essentially on time.  The doctor indicated that it looked good and gave some specific instructions on special eye drops and medication to take and to watch for certain symptoms.  He wasn't going to be able to lift more than 10lbs for a little while.  I had suggested that I take the kids to my parents house so he could be by himself to recover in peace.  He had agreed and at first I thought I could drive overnight with the kids by myself, but after realizing that I wouldn't be able to even use a bathroom at a rest stop in the middle of the night without having to wake them up and bring them with me.  Hmmmmm... it had to be re-thought!  My mom graciously agreed to drive here, leave her car here in NJ and drive back in the van with me and the kids to her house 8 hours away in WNY!  I packed up a bunch of their clothes and after my mom arrived, we packed up the car and we were on our way. 
It was so nice to have my mom and dad help out with the kids.  I actually got a chance to relax a little bit and actually enjoy being with them.  We got into a great night time routine that we continue to use.  It snowed pretty much every day and it was really cold so we pretty much stayed at the house.  We did get out a few times and once was for haircuts.  My mom had an appointment and her hairdresser heard the kids were in town and I've been wanting to get their hair cut so we loaded everyone up and drove to Lewiston to see Marcie.  Tony and Olivia warmed up quickly and took their coats off.  Amelia on the other hand did not.  She wouldn't take her coat off the entire time we were there.  So if you couldn't guess - she didn't get a hair cut.  What really surprised me is Olivia's willingness to sit and have her hair cut.  She was always the one that would barely let me comb her hair so the fact that she sat so nicely shocked the hell out of me and I love the way her hair turned out!  Such a cute bob!

Little Tony got a hair cut too and he did well - better than the last time at the place around the corner from our house.
 Here's a few more pictures of our time at Grandma and Papa's house...

I love taking sleeping baby pictures!!!

I'm really glad that the kids got to hang out with their other grandparents and got to also see their aunts and cousins.  They learned how to play hide and seek - well sort of.  They're good at hiding, but not staying hidden.  They would hide (in the same spot each time) and then as soon as we tried to find them, they would come out and start laughing.  It was hilarious to watch.  Overall we had a really great time and I was sad to leave but I did bring my mom back with me for the next week to help out with the kids while I went back to work. 

Update on the eye surgery:  It's been almost 2 1/2 weeks since Tony's surgery and has been doing well.  His surgeon has been pleased with the progress he's made and his restrictions have been lifted a tad.  He's able to lift about 20 lbs now.  He's still not able to lift any kids, but we'll get there.  I think his vision is getting better - although the other day he said he had 'triple' vision..... I just got the humor in that right now although he was serious - not joking, but I guess that can be common with cornea transplants.  Only time will tell.

Saturday, March 15, 2014

This morning (March 14, 2014)

I witnessed a rare sweet encounter between Amelia and Tony this morning.  I have to write it down or I'll eventually forget it.  It actually started becauseTony slammed the door closed and Amelia's finger got pinched.  After assessing her finger and comforting her, I made Tony come over to her to apologize to her.  He got within a few inches from her face and said in his sweet little voice "Sorry, Mia".  Amelia then responded with "Will Tony kiss Mia's finger?" and he did.  He leaned over and gave her finger a little kiss.
Just after, he says "mommy look"  and he directed my attention to a scratch on his arm that's from the other day.  Amelia looks at me and says "Mia kiss Tony's boo-boo?"  I said, sure and she leaned over and gave his arm a little kiss.  It was so sweet.  Of course the only thing I wish is that I had a picture or video of this so I could watch it over and over again.  I thought about having them re-enact part of it to take a few pictures, but they most likely won't do it or be the same but I can always come back here and read it again and again.  I love knowing that as much as they get annoyed at each other, take things from each other or hit each other on a daily basis, they can be caring and sweet.  They're nice kids and that makes me happy. 

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Smile - first trip to the dentist!

I'm catching up... little by little!

(beginning of January)

Our pediatrician recommended that we take the kids to the dentist when they turned two years and I had originally scheduled an appointment shortly after they turned two, but then realized that they had never been added to my insurance.  I cancelled the appointments and reschedule until January because open enrollment was in October and would take effect in January.

We arrived and the first to sit in the chair was little Tony.  He started off by himself really well and even let Donna - the hygienist put the bib around his neck.  He got a little antsy but opened his mouth just long enough to see what teeth he has - only his first year molars... not the 2nd year ones yet.  The dentist did mention that it appears that he grinds his teeth, but there's not much we can do about it at this time.

 Olivia was up next. She was so good.  She's so good to deal with, but she did want to sit on daddy's lap.  She's already got her 2 year molars - she's had them for a while.  She had a good report except she doesn't have much space between her teeth and will tend to build up plaque on her bottom teeth.

Amelia was enjoying herself in the waiting room.  They had a few toys, puzzles and a tv (that the picture kept getting stuck) to entertain her.  She was not a happy camper when we had to pull her away so I didn't get any pictures of her in the chair.  Unfortunately, Amelia's report was the worst.  I say the worst because there's nothing we can do at this time.  I hate just being told we have to wait and see.  What I'm referring to is her small jaw.  She has a very small mandible which equates to have a very large overbite and her sucking her thumb doesn't help it.  The dentist suggested that we contact our pediatrician to discuss it.  If her jaw doesn't catch up with the rest of her skull, she may be looking at orthodontics and possibly surgery.  My poor baby.  I just hope everything will be ok.
Overall it was a good visit and they all got to choose from a big box of toys.  We brought home a few tiaras, balls, and glo-stick bracelets. 

A few weeks after we went, I got a call from the dentist's office and they told me that the insurance was denied because the kids weren't on my policy.  I couldn't believe it, but called my HR phone line and they indeed told me that they were not added back in October.  I (somewhat) calmly explained that I had called in to have someone walk me through how to add the kids so I don't know how it could have gotten mixed up.  So they opened up 'an investigation'.  Luckily, they track all of their phone calls so they had a record of my call and what it was about so they were able to add them on despite it being so far from open enrollment.  So all's well that ends well.  So far.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

New Year's Eve

I again had to work, but we had decided to go to Tony's restaurant Hearthstone Grill for dinner.  They were offering a priced fixed menu for a really reasonable price.  After I got home from work we got the kids dressed up and over there just in time for our reservation.  Tony had specified which table he wanted and as soon as we got there, he started working.  He cleared a table - that we didn't end up sitting at while I wrangled the kids in the vestibule.  At one point Tony's dad - who was there to eat dinner himself with T's mom and some friends of theirs came out to help me entertain. 

I took these pictures just before we left... they weren't really in the mood to sit and be photographed!

We finally got seated after about 30 minutes.  Tony left me with the kids in a booth and started making a pizza for them.  He brought me out something to drink and a few pretzel bites and I gave the kids their milks.  He came back with a pizza and sat down for a minute but then was off again to the kitchen.  He probably sat with me and the kids for about 8 minutes total out the of 3 hours we were there.  In all that time I ate a slice of pizza and some pretzel bites.  I had told T what I wanted from the menu, but I think they had run out of some things... so I really didn't get to eat my dinner.  Realizing my food was never going to arrive based on how busy the whole place was and the restless nature of 2 year olds, I decided to leave.  Tony decided to stay.  Yes that's right - he stayed to work.  I took the kids home, got them to bed and I spent the night by myself because my husband found it more important to work.  I sound like I'm annoyed, but I'm not.  I'd just like to have in my back pocket to hold over his head if I need it.  Yep, it's like that!

New Years Day was relatively uneventful with the exception of the girls being dressed in their Christmas dresses.  The sleeves did get dirty with food and I again got a 'lesson' from my MIL regarding the washing instructions on the dresses.  The instructions did say it was machine washable so I washed them with like colored clothing.  The dresses did not fare very well.  All of the white areas were now tinted pink.  I let T know to let his mom know and ask for further advice... I'll end letting you know the dresses were returned...hmmm... lesson learned - you can't always follow washing instructions!

Christmas Eve & Christmas Day

Christmas Eve - started out with a fall outside my front steps while leaving to go to work.  I had also found out a few days before that Tony's family was having their celebration on Christmas Eve instead of Christmas Day.  They always used to do something both - there was a dinner on Christmas Eve and then gifts and and brunch was on Christmas Day.  It was re-arranged as Tony's brothers and their wives and families decided they didn't want to split the day.  They would rather do it this way and I completely understand, but I once again had to work on Christmas Eve.  This has been the norm for the past few years/holidays - Thanksgiving - they decide to change it to Friday when I have to work and Christmas Eve - when I have to work.  Whatever.  I understand it, but it drives Tony wild because he feels like our family is the only one that has to change all of their plans for the rest and never the other way around.

I'll recall the story the best I can of how it all went down.  I got home from work and Tony had the kids up from their nap and getting clothes on them.  I don't remember if we talked about putting the girls in their Christmas dresses - the ones they wore for their pictures...this night or if the conversation took place the next day, either day, we made the decision to not put these dresses on them because we knew that the fur-lined cuffs (see below) would just get completely slopped up and on everything. 
This - we learned later on, was a HUGE mistake.  Because of our sensible decision, I had to get a lecture from Tony's mother a few days later.  I care not to recall the details of that lecture - but I'll add that I was NOT happy being told how I should dress my own kids!
Here's what we dressed them in over the two day holiday...

We ate dinner as soon as we arrived and the gift opening was soon after.  I had discussed with his mother that we'd be coming over on Christmas day and that it would be fine if the kids didn't open the gifts from them - so they'd only been opening the things from their cousins/aunts and uncles...
Well that didn't  I honestly lost track early on as to who gave what gift because there was no room for Tony and I to sit together with the kids in one general vicinity.  It was just mass chaos.  We barely got to see the other kids open up the things we got them.  We left with the van packed up with most of their things and headed home to unload the incredible mountain of toys.

On Christmas morning it was just Tony and I with the kids.  We didn't get them alot of things but they were excited with the few things they unwrapped.  Included in these gifts were the ones that my sister had shipped.

 Afterwards we went to Tony's parents house for lunch/dinner.  I don't remember anything else much from the latter part of the day but I'm sure we got home and started opening up a bunch of the new toys they received and had a ball until bedtime.

Monday, March 3, 2014

Here comes Santa Claus... to Jamesburg

Santa also came to town about a week before Christmas.  He rode through the neighborhood on the fire truck.  It was an unseasonably nice day and we're lucky it was.  I kept hearing the sirens blaring thinking they were close and kept taking the kids outside so we wouldn't miss it but we ended up being outside for over an hour and a half.  I surprised the kids weren't falling over because their nap was way overdue. 
I actually didn't get any pictures of them as Santa went by...they actually didn't even know what to think of it.  It was really loud with the sirens going and they just stood and stared.
I did get these pictures of them playing around the yard!

Our Charlie Brown train (inflatable)

Hi Sally!

Amelia with Daddy on the Harley!

Two-Tone Harley

Playing basketball!