Friday, February 27, 2009


Lily and I selected some rock today to extend our rock patio and to build our new garden walls. We also went to this great garden center Water Gardens in Cedar Park. Lily loved exploring the ponds and lush grounds.
This weekend we are having sprinklers installed and soon we will have the grass planted and beds ready for spring. I've asked our talented neighbor, author and landscape designer Lucinda Hutson to help us out and she already has so many wonderful creative ideas for our yard. She is inspiring us to create several kid ares in the back yard including a forest area with woodland plants, a bench and statuary, a secret garden, the patio, a vegetable garden 'the salad bar'. She also has lots of great ideas to inject color through colorful trellis, painting the garden shed fun colors and adding colorful pots.

Thursday, February 26, 2009


Future Hoop It Up champions.

On Triplets

Sufficient unto the day is one baby. As long as you are in your right mind don't you ever pray for twins. Twins amount to a permanent riot; and there ain't any real difference between triplets and a insurrection.

-Mark Twain

found on Wheeler Trio blog

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

I Did It!

To steal a phrase from my son Will aka Memo, "I did it!". I am happy to report I graduated from the 'Couch Potato to 5k' program this weekend.

Have you heard of it? It is basically a run/walk program that takes you from zilch to running 5k (or 30 minutes) in 9 weeks. The premise is that people often hate dislike running because they start out too fast and burn out because it is uncomfortable and not fun. This program requires three 30 min workouts a week and slowly ramps so that running is actually enjoyable. You are encouraged to repeat a week or more if it feels too challenging, and not to skip ahead on weeks that are easier. My experience was very favorable. I had some tough days, followed by strong days and learned that they would often alternate. Having a schedule that 'allowed' me to take it slow was a perfect fit for my personality. I felt that I was accomplishing something by following the program instead of beating my self up for not being able to run more. I found that most weeks I ended up running 4 or 5 times a week because I was enjoying it so much.

My program had one twist. I ran pushing a baby jogger with one of my children. Fortunately they all love going 'jogging' especially when we go through tunnels.

At the same time I added yoga 2 to 3 times a week. I started both the week I stopped working. It has been harder than I thought to leave the kids to go to yoga. I was working three days so this is much less time to be away but it is still hard when they (and carmen) are crying at the door as I head out. I do believe that taking care of myself sets a good example and allows me to be a better mom, but I still have to remind myself every time.

Anyway, here we are two and a half months later. I have lost eight pounds, the rest of the 'baby weight' from my pregnancy with Holden and I can run 40 minutes - albeit slowly. But that's ok too. I started to feel glum when I ran with David and his darn GPS watch that rudely calculated my pace but then I reminded myself how far I had come, how great I feel, and how lucky I am to have my health and the health of my four wonderful children and husband. Life can change in an instant and I try appreciate what I have at the moment. I can still have goals and ambitions while being content with where I am today.

I plan to continue running 3 to 4 times a week and going to yoga 2 to 3 times a week. My next goal is to alternate my running routines with faster run/walks and longer slow runs to help me pick up that pace a bit. My goal for the end of a year is to be able to run 3 miles in 30 minutes with the baby jogger. That is mainly for fun, if I'm out there exercising regularly I will be happy. And hopefully it will help me shed some of the last ten pounds of weight I'd like to lose to be at my pre-triplet weight. But that just is another challenge, I do feel good where I am today.

Thanks to my friend Sarah who helped me get started running again and my darling children for running all those miles with me and encouraging me along the way, 'Let's go jogging mommy' and 'That way, up the hill, mommy' or 'Faster mommy' and my darling husband and running partner despite his running with three children and still leaving me in his dust .

Photo Day

I am totally wiped out, we had our photo session this morning. That meant getting outfits ready, new shoes (this is a whole other story. let's just say it was soo bad carmen called our shoe shopping trip a 'scandal'. I actually want to return one pair but not sure if I can show my face in Sandy's again.), and a emergency hair cut for Will. Really they all could have benefited from a haircut but we just had them cut barely over a month ago! Will's trim could not wait. His hair was a mess, it is more straight and so won't sweep to the side as it grows out.

To compound things, David is in Chicago so this morning I had to get everyone up, fed, dressed myself. Once Carmen got here I was able to take a moment to get myself dressed.

We took some photos in the park. It was a bit chaotic, with kids running every direction. The climbed to the top of the baseball field bleachers which made me very nervous. We were not out long before they decided to play in the water fountain and then in the dirt in the baseball diamond. Soon everyone was a mess. We came back in for a break, clean faces, new shirts then some more shots in the backyard. We were able to get one group shot, enticed my popsicles.

Our nanny Carmen also got her first professional photo taken. I hope some turn out great. I want to give her a photo of herself as a gift that she can send to her three children in Mexico.

And god bless her, afterwards she packed them up in their train and took them on a walk so I could get a rest and blog after this exhausting morning. Wheh! I hope we captured a few good pics to make all the effort worthwhile.


After our shopping trip yesterday, Lily walked out of my room with my heels and her shopping bag. I enjoy our 'girl' moments and feel lucky to have one girl in our brood. It is just a different experience than raising boys. We need to work on the shopping part, she laid down on the dressing room floor and had a tantrum when I made her try on a new dress.

Lily has no problem keeping up with the boys, and may be our best climber. What a gem.

My little monkey.

Monday, February 23, 2009


I was fully expecting to enroll the kids in a class or two for spring. We tried sportball, gymnastics and gymboree. The classes were all just OK and not cheap to enroll four.

Of the classes I'd say gymboree is probably the best at age two, they can run and play and nothing is off limits. They can follow the class or not and it is all fine.

Personally I really liked gymnastics. Champions at Waya has a beautiful gym with tons of equipment including a long trampoline almost the length of an olympic sized pool, inflatable bouncy thing, obstacle courses, balance beams and more. I will definitely keep this on our short list for later. But i think we were a bit too young to get the most out of it. I had to work to keep everyone involved in the activity at hand, they wanted to run off and explore which doesn't work in that gym. And they are too young to really learn any skills. They do plenty of 'balance beam' and climbing and jumping at our park.

I've heard great things about Sportball but was not impressed. There was too much instruction for the boys. They were supposed to sit on a line and watch the coach kick or stop the ball, then he threw out a huge bag of balls and the kids were to practice the new skill. The boys just wanted to dive in and kick the balls. It may be good for an only child to have the experience being with a group of kids, but the socialization was pretty limited and I feel like at this point i can imulate the class by dropping a bag of balls in my backyard.

Oh, and I thought the Austin Lyrical Opera music classes were fabulous that we took in the fall. The music is fun and the teachers are great. The class is very active too, many songs have hand movements and dancing which is good for our kids.

I started to realize with our great mild weather here we should probably just take advantage of outside activites for spring and save the classes for Summer when we need to get out of the scorching heat.

So we have been visiting our local attractions like the Science and Nature Center. The kids love the cave, fossil room, animals and dino dig - a huge four sectioned sand pit with tons of shovels and brushes where they can dig for dinosaur bones. It is mostly outside and free.

We also have a great little train at Zilker Park that goes through 'tunnels' (the kids are very into tunnels right now) and along the river. They also have a great play ground.

The other day we visited Reed Park and had a picnic, then played in the creek for hours.

Oh and another free activity is story time at the Texas Museaum, once a month. The kids don't usually do that well with story time but this reader/leader was very animated and they enjoyed it.

Sunday we took the kids to church. They have a great preschool the big kids can attend and Holden went to the nursery. The big kids had a blast. Poor Holden cried almost the whole time, probably because the kids were in a different place. After mass they all played on the playground for about an hour. It ended up being a nice way to spend a Sunday morning. I'm hoping Holden can get used to his class. He seems so independent that caught me off guard but I will check on him a few times next time. I can also volunteer at the preschool to help out and it will give me a chance to see the kids in a school setting.

I think I can add a couple of these type of activities that take all morning to our weeks for now and revisit some classes for summer.

I know, i need to post some photos soon. Good news, photographer Christy Ivie is coming this wednesday to capture some pics.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Bug Free

Spreading potentially lethal pathogens, influenza virus particles (brown) invade cilia (blue)
in the airways of the human lung. - Image by Karsten Schneider/Science Photo Library

I'm a little scared to jinx us it but we have been bug free for a few days now. Lily only vomitted that Friday Valentine's eve and was weak with no appetite on Saturday. Will woke up Saturday night complaining of a bad tummy ache but I gave him some Zofran and he was able to go back to sleep. After that we seemed to be in the clear.

Zofran is worth a side note. It seems to be this secret super drug. It is an anti-nausea medicine primarily used to stave of vomiting and nausea from the side effects of chemotherapy. It has been miracle drug for us, providing relief from vomitting and stomach cramps and kicks the pants off phenergan which is widely prescribed but has never worked for me personally. Phenergan has also recently come under scrutiny by the FDA who does not recommend the drug for children under two. In my experience within 15 minutes of taking Zofran the nausea stops and you can eat or drink without getting sick. Half a pill is the normal dosage for a toddler, a full pill for an adult. It provides relief for about 8 precious hours, enough to make it through the worst of a 24 hr bug. As with any drug there could be side effects but I find that a minimal amount can go a long way to relieve suffering.

But the catch is that is seems to be rarely prescribed. But now that I know the secret I request it right away and am firm about it. I even have a stash in my medicine cabinet for the inevitable midnight stomach bug because who wants to wait until the morning.

From what I can gather it is an expensive drug (over $20 a pill), so the insurance companies get hit with a big bill. If doctors prescribed to every patient the insurance companies would likely start giving them a hard time (pure speculation). But also think about how much they would save in ER bills, surely this would outweigh the cost. My doctor said that besides being expensive it could mask another serious issue like some obstruction in the bowel. You may feel more confident that is truely a stomach bug you are facing if you see one after another of your family fall prey to the bug. And then there is that clinical trial thing, Zofran has only been oficially proved effective for cancer patients. But it is no secret that it works and from my personal experience Zofran is worth it's weight in gold.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Happy Valentine's Day

to you...

We celebrated the occasion last night with a few friends and a casual dinner.

Michelle baked the requisite delicious chocolate dessert.

Cards from GG and some beautiful roses I picked up for the party at our neighborhood flowershop.

These 'Anna' flowers smell amazing, softly sweet, with a touch of something like fresh grass and ocean air. It is hard to tell in these photos but they are pink, a bit more creamy in the center and almost hot pink on the very outer edges.

And then, just as we were wrapping up our little party we were called by our sweet Lily who was sick with the stomach flu. Poor thing has been languishing all day. Pray that it doesn't hit the rest of the family.

Synchronized Strolling

Gearing up for the 2024 Olympics. I may have discovered our team's talent, synchronized strolling...

Coach and waterboy, Holden.

Favorite Foods

Hands down, the kids favorite food is yogurt. It is not uncommon for the four of them to finish off a large container of yogurt for their afternoon snack.

Applesauce and Popsicles are also big hits. Surprisingly they enjoy their veggies quite a bit with broccoli and carrot matchsticks at the top of the list. They also consume mass quantities of fruit. They eat a banana or two a day (which I encourage because besides being healthy they so inexpensive compared to most fruits). They also eat lots of apples, oranges, grapes and berries.

Oddly they refuse to eat pizza and I'm working on casseroles, they would prefer to eat plain chicken breast over anything mixed. A dip like ketchup or ranch usually encourages them to eat more, like most toddlers dipping food is fun.