Jay and I have decided to start this blog in order to keep track of our kids’ progress throughout the years, to give them something entertaining (hopefully) to read when they grow up, to keep family and friends in the loop of our daily life and to reach out to anyone who cares what it is like to walk a day or two in our shoes! We hope to keep up with the blog on a regular basis and to entertain you along the way. While we can’t promise anything, we’ll do our best.

DISCLAIMER: nothing in this blog is to upset anyone, it is our thoughts, our interpretation of life and our story… please do not bash us for having an opinion on life!

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Shopping With Noah

Last night Noah and I decided to join Nina on a shopping trip to Kohl's.  Daddy braved the twins at home by himself so that I could try to get away for a brief moment!  Nina's plan was to find a pair of shoes for Carter, socks for Paige, a prize for Noah and an "undergarment" for herself!  Noah opted to ride in the cart which both shocked and thrilled us.

We ended up spending a lot of time browsing around the children's department.  They had some really cute dresses for Paige, however not a whole lot in her size.  Noah was having the time of his life pulling dresses off the rack and telling us "this is cute, this is cute"!  We found the shoes for Carter, although a little big, but he'll grow into them and they are adorable!  We found the socks for Paige, and Noah picked out an awesome pair of sunglasses!  He actually let Nina buy them, so she was happy!  Normally Noah will pick something out but tell Nina to put it back before we get to the register leaving Nina upset that she didn't get to buy him anything!  This time, he hid the sunglasses under his leg so we knew he REALLY wanted to take them home!  Nina ended up buying the shoes, the socks, the sunglasses, an outfit for each of the kids, her "undergarments", a few outfits for herself, a shirt for me, and even a shirt for Daddy!  It was like Christmas in March!  We think she won the lottery, but won't tell us!

While perusing the store, pushing Noah in the cart I heard this familiar noise.  Noah turns around immediately and screams "Mommy did you fart?"  Everyone turned to stare!  I quickly told him "No Noah, but I think you just did".  He started laughing and said "No Mom Mom, I pooped!"  At this point everyone near us is laughing hysterically!  I quickly ushered my two year old away, while Nina chastised me for teaching Noah the word fart! 

Next we entered the sacred "undergarment" department!  Let me just tell you... the space they give you push a cart through is very small.  Bring a two year old into the equation and you have bras everywhere!  He loved the bras (Daddy's boy for sure)!  After a few minutes of replacing bras to the rack that Noah had thrown on the floor, I noticed he had a tag and was chewing on it!  I quickly took it away and said "Noah don't pull tags off the bras, the store doesn't like that".  Next thing I know he has ANOTHER one!  I quickly take that one away, when he produces yet ANOTHER tag!  I'm a little confused and say "Noah, where in the world are you getting all these tags?"  It was at this point that Nina decided to clue me in to the fact that he had pulled off so many that I didn't notice and he had hid them under his legs in the cart!  So here I am trying to clean all the tags out from under him, hoping to not get kicked out of the store, when Daddy calls!  Kids screaming in the background!  AHHHHH!  Evidently my children turn into holy terrors the minute I leave the house!  Thankfully, Daddy worked his magic and managed to quiet them down before I got home!

Luckily I managed to capture a wonderful moment in my son's life before we left the store! If you look real close you can kind of see the hidden tags!  Sorry they are blurry, they are from my phone.

Trying on the "brahhhhh"

It fits much better here Mommy!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Happy (belated) Irish Day!

Anyone who knows Jay can tell you that he is VERY proud of his Irish heritage.  As a Kelley, you HAVE to be!

On Saint Patrick's Day (which I call Irish Day) Jay informed me that "honey, you get to be Irish today."  I proceeded to tell him "I'm Irish everyday!"  He was quick to let me know that "no, you are Honduran!"  I had to wonder if this man even knows me a little bit!

Anyway, we might not celebrate Valentine's Day, be we love Irish Day!  We spent the morning explaining to Noah that he is VERY Irish and he seemed to be as proud of it as Daddy.  He spent the day telling everyone who would listen that "I Irish!"

I dressed the kids in green and attempted to take some pictures, but of course the babies can't sit up yet, so the pictures just look kind of funny and poor Noah was totally "squished"!

Happy Irish Day Everyone!!!

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

A Letter to My Babies!

Dear Babies,
Yes, even when you are 18 and finally reading this, I will still call you my babies.  As you know, we’ve decided to keep this blog for you so that one day you will be able to look back at all the memorable and not so memorable moments in your lives.  Some things you might read in this blog might be hard to hear, they might be funny or embarrassing, and some things might be just what you needed to get you through the day.  I hope that you’ll learn that life is not always easy, but it’s the little things that count.  The memories that you’ll read about in this blog are the moments I’ll remember all my life.
When you are 18, I’ll remember you at this moment:
Noah, at this moment you are two.  We call you Noah, Beau, Little Man, Peeka, Sammy, Sampson, and Noah Man. You are a curious little guy, full of energy and life.  You amaze me every single day with what you are learning and who you are becoming.  Currently you are learning about the letter A and the number 1, you are beginning to sing your ABC’s, Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star, and you LOVE Diesel 10 in Thomas the Train.  It doesn’t surprise us that you like the villain!  You are always trying to outsmart us, and it’s been said that you are too smart for your own good.  You love to test us, and you’ve started to realize when you need a timeout.  You now put yourself in timeout at exactly the right moment; you sit for a while, get up, say you’re sorry and give us a hug all on your own.  You have recently “lost your binkie” and your nanny, Miss Dana, told you that it was at the beach.  We are hoping that you don’t go looking for it this summer when we visit your uncles in Florida.  You are potty training now and it’s not uncommon for me to come into the room to find your pants in one corner and your diaper in another, while you run around stark naked!  You have learned how to look up at me, blink your eyes so sweetly, and get whatever you want!  You are learning that God lives in Heaven and Jesus is in your heart.  You are so innocent, you are a sponge for learning, you are creative, imaginative and so loving.

Paige, at this moment you are four months old.  We call you Paige, PP, Princess P (or PP), Penelope, Peep, Miss Karrigan, and baby girl!  You are delightful!  You smile and you will occasionally let us hear your sweet laugh.  You love to sleep and eat, and you’re growing so fast!  Every time we hold you, you smile and coo at us.  You make me smile on my worst days and I’ll forever love you just for that.  You like to play on the floor mat and you like your bouncy chair.  You’ve recently become a fan of the doorway jumper, but mainly you just like to spin in circles!  You are beginning to sit up all on your own and you’ve found your hands.  They amaze you!  Just the other day you found your brothers.  Before now you wanted nothing to do with them, now you watch them for hours and smile and coo for them!  You love to hold their hands and you’re sad when they let go.  I can already see that you’ll grow up close to them, just as I did with my two brothers.  They’ll be your best friend and your worst enemy, but at the end of the day no one will love you like they do.  You are about to start solid foods and slowly the days of bottles and formula will go to the wayside, but for now you are working hard to hold your own bottle!  You are very attached to your binkie, you sleep on your side, and you love your baths.  I can’t wait to see what more you will become!

Carter, at this moment you are four months old.  We call you Carter, Cardo, Cart, Pip, C-Dog, and Daddy was at one point trying out CJ!  You are extremely calm and content most of the time.  You are handsome as can be, with your big eyes and wide smile!  You would never cry for anything until recently.  Now you are quick to let us know when you are hungry, need changed, are tired and when you just want some one on one time.  The minute you know that we heard your cries you are once again all smiles and want to cuddle.  You aren’t really fond of your binkie, you prefer your fingers and recently you’ve learned to suck your thumb.  You love playing on the floor mat with your sister, but your favorite activities are swinging are sitting upright in your walker.  You can’t reach the floor yet, but you enjoy being that much closer to your brother’s height.  You follow everyone with your eyes and you work hard to locate the source of ever single noise you hear.  You are not a friend of bedtime, but with a little cuddling you fall asleep.  You have recently begun rolling onto your belly in your crib and then you forget how to get back to your back.  You get frustrated, you cry, but when we come to rescue you the first thing we see when we roll you to your back is that big smile you love to greet us with.  You are the youngest, but some days you seem so wise.  You love to coo and talk to us; you love to be held and to stand upright.  You are a gift, and a blessing.  Your smile lights up a room and warms my heart.
Your father and the three of you are the best thing that ever happened to me.  Each one of you is a gift from God, a blessing, and a miracle.
One day I hope you can look at these memories and understand that while life can be hard, every day is a learning experience.  Make the most of them, and don’t look back with regret.  You are loved and always will be. 
I love you to the heavens and back,

Reality Bites!

Reality has a way of smacking you in the face at the most inopportune moments!  As we were sitting in the twins’ room the other night, I glanced over at the “diaper supply”… only FIVE bags left!  Yikes!  The time is finally upon us that we will actually have to purchase diapers for the twins!  We made it four full months on the generosity of others and we thank all of you who donated to the cause!  The final five packages we had were returned to the store for a larger size.  That’s right… our little ones are not so little anymore.  We managed to exchange those five bags for three boxes of size twos.  No more newborn or size 1 diapers in our house… ever.  Well, I can’t really say that… Paige will be given what is left one day to “practice” on her baby dolls! 
Lucky for us, when Noah was little, we learned that the parent’s choice Wal-Mart brand diapers are fabulous!  We tried every brand with him… nothing beats Huggies newborn diapers, but after that parent’s choice won hands down!  They were the only diapers where we had no leaks and we still haven’t after five sizes!  Unless it’s our own fault of course!  I don’t think any diaper would hold three glasses of juice and a four hour dinner excursion with no extra diapers!  Oops!  Oh don’t lie… you’ve done it too!
When Noah was a baby he spit up constantly.  I mean, every bottle!   Jay and I, and even the cat (yes Noah, you threw up on the cat a few times!), got tired of it and decided to switch to soy because both Jay and I were allergic to milk as children.  The throwing up stopped almost immediately!  Because of our love for parent’s choice diapers we check the label on the parent’s choice formula.  Let me just tell you… it’s exactly the same as the name brand formulas, and even better in some areas!  I can’t tell you how much money we saved just checking the label!  Needless to say, the twins were put on the same formula from the start.  Paige still throws almost everything up… but that’s another story! 
So, the dwindling diaper supply got me thinking about what these precious angels were costing us and I’ve decided to give you a small glimpse into some of our reality.  And now that reality is upon us, here is the breakdown:
Diapers:  Noah wears a size 5 and we buy one box at a time.  A box will last us about three weeks, maybe four (I think… I don’t actually deal with that, Jay does).  Noah has begun potty training so we are hoping his diapers will disappear in the near future! We won't even add Noah's diapers and pull-ups into the equation... we'll just focus on the babies!
The twins go through roughly a box every week and a half to two weeks!  On average, they claim twins go through roughly 4702 diapers the first year!  And by “they” I mean random websites on the internet!  Let’s do some math people… 
First, let’s look at time spent.  It takes roughly four minutes on average to change a diaper.  I’m using an average because sometimes with Miss Squirmy Paige it can take you a LOT longer!  So, four minutes per diaper times 4702 equals 18,808 minutes, or 313.5 hours, or 13.06 DAYS of the first year of their life we are changing diapers!  Can you say RIDICULOUS?!
Now let’s look at the cost… Our diapers run roughly $13.97 for 96 diapers.  Yes, I know it is a penny cheaper per diaper if I buy a box of 200, but that is only going to save about $1.04 so give me a few dollars to be off in my math for my own sanity…  Now 4702 diapers translates into 49 boxes of diapers.  Multiply that by $13.97 and you can see that we will spend $684.53 in the first year on DIAPERS!  Seriously?!  On a piece of plastic that my kids can soil and throw away, it’s like buying trash bags!  We have to pay to throw our crap away in a nice neat bag, just so some dude can come along and squish it, break it open and have a cluster of open bags!  This reminds me, not only will I throw $684.53 in the trash this year, but I also buy cute little bags for a diaper pail to put my money in!  Maybe now people will understand why pee-pee diapers go in the kitchen trash and only dirty ones go in the pail!  But I digress.  If you add wipes into the equation you are looking at another $75 per year!  It’s doesn’t sound like much, but just wait till I get going here!!! 
Now let’s move on to FORMULA!  I am a firm believer that once kids reach one, all bottles and formula are GONE!  Last week when we returned from our trip to Gatlinburg with Noah (which you can read about here), we realized that we were almost out of formula, so daddy had to run to the store at 10:30 at night to get a fresh supply for Miss Dana for the week.  It was then that we realized that we had gone through two full cans of formula in 5 ½ days!  This translates into THREE cans a WEEK!  Holy cow!  Now let’s do some more math!  A can of formula costs us $13.97 (I swear parent’s choice has a thing for this price)!  Multiply that by three equals $41.91 a week, multiplied by 52 equals $2,179.32 for formula for the first year!  And this is at six ounce bottles!  Paige is already trying to get us to give her eight ounce bottles… this price is going to go up by about another $500 to $700 when that starts!  WOW!  Don’t get me started on the fact that Miss Paige Karrigan can’t seem to keep this formula in and we end up with $15 a week on our clothing, which then translates into more laundry detergent, and time doing laundry…
Which brings me to CLOTHING!  I’m a sucker for a good deal.  I laugh and say that Jay made me cheap when we got married.  He is a very humble man and my name brand self needed to be humbled!  The funny thing is it seems that I’ve surpassed him on my cheapness!  I’m constantly looking for a good deal and I LOVE consignment sales!  My children go through clothes like CRAZY!  They started in preemie, and then finally got to newborn around two months, then 0-3 around three months.  They are now four months old.  Carter is still content in most of his 0-3 clothes, while Paige is heading into 3-6 here soon.  These kids grow out of clothes SO fast, or throw up on them and ruin them, that I cannot see spending $15 per outfit just so they can wear it once and be done!  So, I buy them a boat load of cheap, slightly used clothes that will actually be useful, and then I buy them one new outfit every now and then!  I never thought this before, but this season Wal-Mart has some of the cutest little spring outfits I’ve ever seen!  Anyway… we spend about $100 per month on clothing for all the kids, including shoes and socks… shhhh, don’t tell Jay, he thinks I’m thriftier than that! 
Laundry totals out to being FIVE to SIX loads of laundry per week!  I spend all day Saturday doing laundry and sometimes, if not all the time, it runs into my Sunday!  So, for those of you wondering why I’m never around, I don’t visit, or don’t seem to have time to call… I’m doing the freakin’ laundry!  I try to do the kids’ laundry on Thursday, so that our dear nanny can fold it for me on Friday.  Then I do the other four loads over the weekend because it is the only time I have to get it done!  If on the rare occasion we end up spending our weekend away or visiting, everything is thrown off schedule and it creates a cluster of work for me, and unwanted stress!  And as any parent of multiples can tell you… getting off schedule is NOT good for our family!  We go through a bottle of laundry detergent every two weeks and our washer and dryer are running for hours on end.  If I was home, there would be a load a day.  As it is now, the dishwasher is run every single night. 
Now, just for the added enjoyment, let me talk about DOCTORS!  Yes, doctors!  Let me start by saying that I actually have fabulous insurance through my company and my children are all covered on my plan.  All of their well-visits and shots are covered 100% at no cost to me… however when one gets sick, all THREE get sick!  When you have three sick children, here is what you are looking at off the top.  We carry a co-pay of $30 on my insurance plan, which was fabulous because we never got sick and if something did happen, that $30 got us every test known to man and awesome care that you only receive when you carry such great coverage!  Since the twins were born, they’ve been sick.  I had a cold when they were born, so that was the way they entered the world.  That was followed by a stomach virus Noah brought home when he was in daycare, followed by another cold, then RSV and now they are getting over what we hope is our FINAL winter cold!  We went from paying $30 per visit for Noah when he was sick (which was once before the twins came) to paying $30 per child, per visit for three children since the great family expansion!!!  But that’s not all… RSV sent us to the ER FIVE times!  Not only do you have to pay a $30 co-pay to the doctor, but then you have to pay a $50 ER visit co-pay!  $80 per visit per child to the ER!  And don’t get me started on certain emergency rooms being in-network, but their doctors are out-of-network and you have to pay them full price, but don’t find out till after the fact!  Yes, that is what we are currently fighting!
It may sound like I’m complaining about the cost of my children, however I’m really not.  I’m just trying to give you a very small example of some of the added cost of having multiples.  This is just the tip of the iceberg; I haven’t even touched the subjects of childcare, toiletries, solid foods, car seats, strollers, toys, highchairs, furniture, and vehicles.  Imagine life when they start school, learn to drive, want to go to college!  When you have multiples everything is amplified.  The stress, the costs, the work, the headaches.  But at the end of the day, the smiles, the laughs, and the pure enjoyment of watching them grow and learn make it all worth it. 
I love my kids, I’m amazingly blessed to have them, and I’d do it again in a heartbeat.  I’d pay the world twice over if I had to in order to keep them happy and safe.  Any mother would.  Jay and I are lucky.  We’ve been blessed with relatively good jobs that come with decent pay and we get by.  But next time you see parents pushing a stroller with twins, trips or quads around… take a minute to realize the stress those parents are under, the financial hardship of unexpected multiples, the strain on their marriage.  Multiples are definitely a blessing, but they come with added responsibility.  When those parents need a new highchair, need a car seat… they don’t have the cost of just one coming at them… they are looking at two, three and four!  When their kids get sick, doctor bills are flooding their desks and they are fighting with insurance companies in double.  When you see how they are raising or managing their children, don’t judge them.  Life with multiples is hard, and they are just trying to get by, just trying to get through that one moment in time, while trying to find one spare moment to actually stop and enjoy their kids, to actually stop and watch them grow up before it's too late.
Don’t feel sorry for them, they are truly happy and they know how blessed the actually are.  But keep in mind, just because life blessed them with such a great gift, there is a lot more going on behind closed doors then cute little giggling babies... they are lucky when they find the time to sit down and enjoy those smiles.
Behind closed doors, here is what we clean up every night (on a good night):

Behind closed doors, here is what we wash weekly (not including the two loads I did prior to this, or the load of random things we used while I was running these loads):
Behind closed doors, here is what we wash nightly:

Behind closed doors, here is what we hear:

Behind closed doors, here is our reaction:
Okay, so that is SO NOT our reaction, but we can pretend for today. 

And that, my friends, is a peek into our reality.  Thanks for listening to me ramble... I'm not sure I remember the point of this post now! And that's what I was aiming for!

Monday, March 12, 2012

Three Kids, One Doctor...

Last Monday, March 5th, all three kids were scheduled for doctor’s appointments.  The appointment was scheduled for 2:40pm, so we spent all morning getting everyone cleaned, dressed and packed up to go!  The appointment took almost two hours because of all three kids!

Noah was up first, I guess since he is the oldest it’s his right!  Here are Noah’s two year stats:

Weight:  27 pounds 15 ounces (50%)
Height:  35.5 inches (75%)
Head:  19.5 inches (75%)

Noah is shrinking!!!!  Okay, he’s not REALLY shrinking, but he’s starting to slow down on his growth.  Up until now he has been in the 99% percentile for his height.  I guess now that the size 18 month pants are FINALLY starting to fit, he can stop growing taller and fatten up a bit.  We have the hardest time buying this kid pants… his waist is 12 months, his height is 18 months and he is 26 months old!  Hmmm… I wonder if the length on 24 month pants would fit him… guess it doesn’t matter because it won’t work for his waist!

Anyway… he is healthy and he lucked out and didn’t need any shots.  His next round will be when he is four.  He has decided he likes the doctor… when we are at home, but not when we are there.  He’ll tell you the doctor is going to check his ears and he gets excited about it, until she actually does it!

Carter was up next, even though he is the youngest.  Keep in mind that the twins were born 4 weeks early.  They run a month behind on these kinds of stats, however they are doing quite well reaching milestones… only a week or two behind on a few random things, which is totally awesome!  Here are Carters four month stats:

Weight:  11 pounds 10 ounces (5%)
Height:  24 inches (10-25%)
Head:  16 inches (10-25%)

For babies who were born with percentages under 1, we think he is doing great!  Finally on the charts!  Carter is doing wonderfully and fighting off every cold and illness with ease!  He is always the last to get sick and the first to get over it!  Pretty impressive for the preemie of the family!

And now we have Paige!  Having to blow everyone out of the water with her awesomeness! Here are Paige’s four month stats:
Weight:  12 pounds 14 ounces (25-50%)
Height:  23 5/8 inches (25%)
Head 16 ¼ inches (50-75%)

The doctor showed concern over her breathing and her head size!  Paige has been fighting colds and repertory issues since she came into the world, poor dear!  As far as her head goes… they tried to tell me that her head grew fast in the past two months.  Instead of the size “curving” on the percentile chart it shot straight up.  This makes no sense to me because her and Carter’s heads grew the same number amount!  She is just a ¼ inch larger!  I’m confused because they didn’t say anything about Carter’s head and if they grew the same number amount his is growing at the same rate as hers!  I think they may have charted something wrong, but we’ll see.  The doctor told me not to be concerned about it and they’d check her again at her six month appointment in May.

Paige and I took a trip back to the doctor again today, Monday, March 12th, for a follow-up on her breathing.  Doctor O said she couldn’t hear as much wheezing as she did last week, so we think she might be getting better.  Her O2 saturation level was at 99%, which we have NEVER seen since she was born… she’s always down near 88%, which is not good!  Paige is still congested and fighting off this last cold, but Doctor O is hopeful that this will be the last we see this cold and flu season.  Let’s pray!!!  Instead of being sent off to an ENT specialist, Doctor O is going to recheck Paige’s breathing in May and see where we are.  Poor Paige has a few things stacked against her and we are trying to stay on top of her breathing because of them… I had asthma as a child, but have pretty much outgrown it (1 strike).  Paige was born 4 weeks early (2 strikes).  Paige is a twin (3 strikes).  Paige has had a series of colds since she was born causing constant congestion (4 strikes)… FOUR strikes against her for the possibility of having asthma.  Lucky for us, Doctor O agrees that checking her periodically for signs of asthma is a good idea just to be safe.  She doesn’t want it sneaking up on us and her having an attack which will send Daddy off the deep end!  Okay, it would send me there too, but whatever! 

So, all in all, the kids are healthy, happy, and reaching all of their milestones perfectly!  There was a questionnaire for Noah’s milestones, and I was actually laughing out loud as I read and answered half of it… he has surpassed all of them and is moving up toward four year milestones!  We are so proud of the little guy!  Hopefully this trend continues.  I can’t wait to see what the twins bring!  I love seeing how they are all different!

Hopefully you’ll hear no more about Noah's medical life until his three year appointment, God willing!  We’ll update everyone on the twins’ development, their next appointment is for their six month visit in May!  We continue to pray that God will get us through next winter’s cold, flu and RSV season with a clean bill of health!  Noah has outgrown RSV, however he can still bring it home to the twins.  I think we are going to have a hard time next winter keeping him in seclusion, but hopefully it will be the last year we have to deal with the RSV side of things!