Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Words and Germs

Funny v. reality.  That is my life.  Intermittently hysterically funny and unfunnily real. 

In the funny category - the thinking elder statesman of my children is now a mimic.  As a result of that, we are getting the following words as he turns 14 mos this week - quack quack, gobble gobble, duck, deer, mama, dada, cup, cog, thank you, okay, and what I believe is "more."  He's also mastered several of our sign language signs, which certainly includes more (and ball!).  I, of course, jump around and cheer like a banshee each time he utters one of these new words which thrills him to no end - they all love having a cheering section but to have the attention so singularly lavished when it's generally divided is (I believe) his biggest incentive for an expanding vocabulary. 

In the not even remotely funny category - THREE SICK KIDS all weekend after Thanksgiving.  Last Thanksgiving, with the babies not even two months, we were on lock down in our house.  However, this year was the full Vincent family Thanksgiving melee complete with seven school aged cousins, aka speedy germ factories.  So promptly on Friday afternoon, 24 hours after exposure, I had three sick kids and a husband out of town.  Fevers, coughs, crying, and desperate needs to be held were all a part of the show.  Because one cough was so bad I took 2 of the 3 to the doctor yesterday missing half of work.  But kids are like cars.  They never make their noises when you take them in.  So while I'm happy to have my children pronounced clear from chest or sinus infections, they're still coughing and crying and generally not feeling so hot.  The bubble boy may have been on to something...........

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

So many firsts!

The wizened sage, our eldest, has learned how to mimic at 13 months.  This weekend we got THREE new "mimicked" words - after we practiced what the duck said, he said, clear as a bell, "quack, quack."  The following day, our turkey noises were met with his, "gobble, gobble."  And then yesterday morning, as I was updating the nanny before I left for work, he agreed with me as he clearly said, "okay."  Words!  It's just amazing.  In addition to all that fun, all three are walking distances - they are not yet exclusively walking, they do some crawling some walking, but they ARE walking - from Bray to me, from me to my mom, etc.  And they're just so proud of themselves.  Their chest puffs out, they come racing toward me full tilt, and then throw their arms around your neck upon arrival still standing!  And I'm left with a fabulous combined sensation of wanting to laugh and applaud.  If that were not enough, the youngest knows his colors - at 13 months!  Saturday I told him to get the red ball (we have blue, red, green and yellow boxes w/different objects of that color inside) and he crawled right over & plucked the red ball out.  Lest I think it was a one off, the following day, I told him to get me the red apple, and low and behold, out he plucked the red apple!  What pure joy over such small victories!  Words.  Steps.  Knowledge.  Gifts, all three.

Where does that get lost?  When do we start using words that cause pain instead of joy?  When do we start running in the wrong direction instead of racing toward a parent waiting with outstretched arms.  Why do we let our mind atrophy, or worse, use our knowledge for bad instead of good?  I can't pinpoint it.  But I know I'm guilty of it.  Currently guilty of it.  I've been so angry at someone, and I'm not really much for anger, that I'm doing all three - using my intellect to construct words that would hurt and I'm hurtling away from my Heavenly Father who would have such better wisdom and guidance for me if only I was headed in the right direction.  And I know I'm headed in the wrong direction, but it's like getting a train to u-turn to get me headed back to the One who could straighten this out, or at least provide me with peace and restraint. 

I hope for myself, and any of you struggling with the same issue, we will see in our children (or other children) the ability to speak and walk and think in joyful, life-affirming ways and carry that with us as a reminder when we go hurtling off in the wrong direction using our feet or our mouths or our brains to deliver pain instead of joy.

Monday, November 15, 2010


I think I must write on Mondays because (a) I'm back at the office & can actually turn on the computer, and (b) the weekends are filled with hilarity now.  Seriously, I have enough anecdotes to last me til their 18th birthdays from just ONE weekend!

I plan to download pictures this week for Wordless Wednesdays since words really can't communicate the highlights like pictures (or videos) can, but here's the high points:

1.  As I mentioned last week, our dainty dame is now fighting back when the boys come to push her off her rocking dog or steal her puzzle pieces.  She's clearly learned biting from Mr. Chunky (what the heck do you do about that w/a 13 mo old?), but unlike the boys, she only has one half of one tooth.  So it's funnier than anything else - her favorite retaliation is to bite your nose, or swallow it whole, I'm not sure what she's attempting.  In either event, my mom, husband, myself, and both the boys have had their noses gobbled by the little lady.  In addition, she's walking across half the play room, but really she wants to run, so she goes as fast as her legs will carry her at a 45 degree angle tilted forward until she tumbles.  This maneuver has to been seen to be appreciated. 
2.  My eldest, the thinker and engineer, has now turned into Mr. Clingy.  I'm thinking about taping Bounce around his hands just to unstick him from me or anyone else that he deems his favorite for the day.  Fascinating evolution since he was the most distant and comfortable playing alone in the early months.  Now he is ATTACHED.  He is also saying deer because they are all absolutely enthralled with Bray's deer hanging from the play room (previously our den).  We pick them up so they can pet them, & now they want to pet the deer every time we pick them up.  But he's also fascinated with anything up high - so now we touch fans, lights (watch out, they're hot), pictures, along w/the three deer. 
3.  And the baby.  Well, I feel bad for him that he was born a triplet because he needs more attention than a triplet gets.  He, and I'm not using this word loosely, NEEDS attention from the adults in the room.  Particularly me, Bray and my mom.  If he's not getting enough attention, he'll do something he knows he's not supposed to so we'll focus on him.  Not only will he individually go and eat a shoe or try to get in a drawer which is off limits, but if he even HEARS me telling another one "no" (which I realize you're not supposed to say, and you should just redirect, but honestly, sometimes "no" just comes out), he will speed crawl over and do whatever it is the other ones are getting in trouble for so HE can be the focus of the discipline.  Oh, and he laughs maniacally while doing said misdeed.  Seriously throws he head back & laughs w/his whole body.  I have to bite a hole through my tongue just to keep from laughing right along with him.  (It's not like he's downing poison, he's trying to put my husband's flip flop in his mouth......)  He knows he's cute and funny so I'm going to have to keep an eye on him. 

All in all, in our house, you need to go to work to rest.  It's mayhem.  But they are learning so much, so fast, and it's fascinating to watch (they figured out how to put the right shapes in the puzzles this weekend - really cool!).  But they wipe me out and remind me why folks used to have kids when they were younger :)

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Tuesday, November 9, 2010


This morning I got a cavity filled. I was relaxing in the dentist chair last week for my semi-annual teeth cleaning when she issued the verdict - you need a filling.  So this morning I got that lovely numbing needle injected into my cheek and my tooth is now filled (I rewarded myself for the ordeal w/a mini peppermint patty, one point on Weight Watchers, but don't tell my dentist).  As a result of this early morning appointment, I found myself with the entire right half of my face completely numb.  My eye socket was even numb!  I have to say, I've never had numbness be quite that pervasive.  And I felt very bizarre all morning.  (Now I'm just stuck with a dull headache.)

But it got me thinking.  Especially since I've been doing a lot of thinking about marriage lately.  I think some of us are walking around with half numb marriages.  We didn't practice good preventative health, so our marriages got a little cavity.  We let it go, and the cavity got bigger.  And then, after fighting so long without remedying the marriage cavity, we finally go numb.  Have you done that - shut down over an issue you can't bear to fix?  Or maybe you think it's too far gone to fix?  I've been there.  After the initial pains from fighting, particularly over a recurring issue, I go numb.  I just stop feeling.  And personally, I think that's a dangerous place to be in a marriage.  If you're numb, you've stopped wanting to FIX the cavity, then you are speeding down a slippery slope. 

So what do you do if you're there?  First, recognize you can only do the work for one person.  I am responsible for what I do in my marriage; I can not control anything or anyone else.  Second, do whatever it takes to get yourself "unnumb" - pinch, slap, shock yourself into waking up and participating in the issues that confront your relationship.  Third, believe the cavity can be fixed but recognize it requires a doctor.  God is the best dentist around (out of all the names we call God, I wonder if this is the first time He's been referred to as a dentist - in the best possible way).  Sometimes it's easier to disengage that to open ourselves up to feeling pain.  But feeling the pain, and working to the other side, to healing, is the only long term remedy.  Trust that if you are committed, and you seek God's wisdom, He will grant it and guard you through the process.

Proverbs 2
My son, if you accept my words and store up my commands within you, turning your ear to wisdom and applying your heart to understanding— indeed, if you call out for insight and cry aloud for understanding, and if you look for it as for silver and search for it as for hidden treasure, then you will understand the fear of the LORD and find the knowledge of God.

For the LORD gives wisdom; from his mouth come knowledge and understanding. He holds success in store for the upright, he is a shield to those whose walk is blameless, for he guards the course of the just and protects the way of his faithful ones.

Then you will understand what is right and just and fair—every good path. For wisdom will enter your heart, and knowledge will be pleasant to your soul. Discretion will protect you, and understanding will guard you.

Monday, November 8, 2010

She's fighting back, FINALLY!

One thing that has worried me lately is the fact that the boys are so much more aggressive than our little lady and she just gets run over.  She'd recently just been turning the other direction and dropping her toy or getting off of the horse if the boys even approached her.  She was NOT going to get into it with them because they could take her out!  Well I don't want her to miss out on all the good toys (or her big blue dog - her fav riding toy) so I tell her, stay put, fight back, it's yours, and then I try to keep the boys out of her immediate reach for a few minutes so she gets a little peace.  (This is not any parenting technique I read about, so maybe I'm all wrong for not letting them work it out themselves.)

Then this weekend - she fought back!!!  She yelled at the biggest brother when he approached her rocking!  She actually pulled a toy out of both boys hands on separate occasions, to heck with the consequences.  Maybe I shouldn't be cheering this behavior on, but I was so thrilled to see her taking what she wanted instead of just giving up - way to go little sister. 

And in another first, we went to a little friend's first birthday where there were several first/only children their age - I quickly realized we have tough kids.  Apparently, when you have triplets, they toughen up pretty quickly because there's always another child there to pull your hair or sit on top of you or take your toy, even when mom tries to keep that to a minimum.  So our kids are just nonplussed about everything - it was pretty cool to watch.  Someone takes your toy - eh, who cares?  Someone rolls over your foot - that's nothing!  But the other kids, wow, it was an earth shattering event.  On the way out, you could tell Bray was proud that we had the "tough" kids :)  (Poor little bit - she didn't stand a chance!)

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Boot Camp - On the Track and At Home

So this week I began my SECOND month of boot camp.  Let me start with two important facts.  I hate mornings.  I hate exercise.  This is terrible I realize but it is reality.  However, for some bizarre reason, last month I committed to a boot camp near my house that begins at 5 am.  I've lost nine pounds.  AND........I actually ran the 3 reps of 400 meters w/sit ups and wall balls for our Monday work out that we benchmark against at the end of the month.  That is huge.  At the beginning of October I could only do the 200 meter reps.  But one of the trainers said something that stuck, and really pushed me to this new threshold - pain is temporary, quitting is forever. 

So I've decided to apply that slogan to the boot camp at home too.  And in fact, any woman of faith could apply that to her marriage when the going gets tough.  I have been madly in love with my husband for almost seven years and married nearly five.  But if a year of triplets doesn't provide stressors on a marriage, I don't know what would.  And while this has been an amazing year filled with daily delight at seeing the new things unfolding before our children's eyes as they learn and develop, it has also been a hard one as our marriage has to mature to a new level.  And during the fights, and the fall out, I think it's important to remember that pain is temporary, quitting is forever. 

God is a big fan of marriage (healthy marriages - none of this applies if you are being abused).  And He's a big fan of them surviving.  AND THRIVING.  These marriages He designs for us are not marriages on life support.  Jesus' first miracle was at a wedding - He wanted to be part of this precious celebration!  (John 2)  God tells us in Genesis "it is not good for man to be alone," and in I Corinthians that, "For as the woman originates from the man, so also the man has his birth through the woman; and all things originate from God."   Plus He repeatedly uses marriage as a metaphor for His relationship with us.  (Isaiah, Hosea, and more...) He wouldn't draw that picture for us if He hadn't designed marriage as a perfect union.  Lucky for me. 
Mark 10: 6-9: Jesus says “But at the beginning of creation God ‘made them male and female.’‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.’So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate.”

Pain is temporary; quitting is forever.