Triplet Princes and a Princess

Triplet Princes and a Princess

Our journey to hearing with Cormac while living our life with triplet boys and a baby girl.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

A Big Step for New Jersey

This article was in The Star Ledger a few days ago. Grace, who the law is named after, attended Summit Speech School. Her Mom sure has made a differene in New Jersey. If you can imagine it wasn't considered medically necessary for hearing aids. Most parents pay out of pocket for hearing aids. How can hearing be a luxury? Most isurers cover glasses so you can see but not hearing aids to hear. Makes absolutly no sense at all.

To read the article click here

Not sure if you remember this post but I posted a while back about being interviewed at Summit Speech School. The video is available on their website. Once you get to the site look in the right corner for "school video". It's a video all about the school. About 14 minutes into the video I make my big debut (LOL). I look like crap but what I say comes from the heart and of course, I manage to cry. Check it out if you like.

Speaking of Summit Speech School, our days are limited at Summit. This is scary and sad to me. But with Cormac turning three in just about 90 days it's time to make the transition to our school district. We have our first meeting on 1/6/06. I am nervous. I just want to make sure I know enough and fight hard enough for what Cormac needs. I want him to attend mainstream preschool with some support services. I truly feel this is what is best for him but also have lingering fears I might make the wrong decision. I almost wish it wasn't up to us and "someone" just made the decision for us. That said, we know our son the best and what will be best for him educationally, socially and emotionally. Having him attend preschool with his brothers is very important to me. DOn't get me wrong, it he wasn't doing so well I would think about other options for him but he was implanted young. We have worked hard for the past year and a half and will continue to put in all the time and effort it takes to keep him where he needs to be.

I think all parents are nervous to send their child or children to preschool. I don't think we are any different but I do have more worries. Will they make sure he is hearing all day? Will they check his equipment? Will they monitor him so he doesn't lose his implants? (i know they can't watch him like I do). So, with along with a normal parent fear I add on a different level of anxiety. I know they will all do well in preschool. Honestly, I think they need it right about now. I try my best to entertain them every day but a change of scenery and some new friends will be nice for them. I am sure I will be lonely without them. But baby number four will be arriving in June and should take my mind off of it a little bit.

I have tried to make sure I made use of the short amount of time you actually get to keep your kids with you 24/7. Did I spend too much time doing other things? Will I have regrets I didn't spend enough time just enjoying them? Who knows? But in my heart I know I have been thrilled to be home with them for almost three years. I have tried to do as much as possible with them each day. I make sure the spends lots of time hugging and kissing them. I know I have to let them grow up and start going places without me, but it JUST SUCKS!

Christmas times Three!

Christmas morning was just too much fun! The boys didn't really know when they woke up it was Christmas so our earlier riser, Ciaran, came and snuggled with Mommy and Daddy while we waited for the two lazy bones to finally wake up at 8am. I reminded them Santa had come while they were sleeping. A lightbulb went off in their heads and they went a running to stairs to head to the Christmas tree. The looks on their faces were priceless. They all immediately jumped on their new bicycles. Colin had to make a detour to put on his fireman's helmet but made it onto his bike.

A new kitchen, baseball mitts, a tool set (thanks to uncle tommy and aunt juanita), puzzles, games, legos. They didn't really know what to play with first. As I predicted their favorite was the kitchen. Many questioned my choice because they are three boys. Well, let me tell you. They have played with the kitchen more in the last few days then they have ever played with ANYTHING in their lives. I have had more "eggs, ham and tea" made for me. They make cookies for everyone. They just love it. Now that we put batteries in the tool bench it is running a tie for favorites. WIth a "working" drill and saw forget about it! I believe last night Ciaran slept with a saw and screw driver while Colin slept with the hammer! LUckily, they are plastic!

We are exhausted from a lot of running around in the holidays but seeing family is what it's all about. We had a wonderful Christmas breakfast with my mom including some French Toast I made with vanilla ice cream in the batter. Yep, it's as good as you are thinking. We went to Aunt Bridget's house for dinner with Grandma. Some GOOD food was eaten and Frank and I sat like "Big" people and enjoyed a wonderful dinner while the kids play nicely with their cousins Maggie and Maura.

I cannot imagine what next year will be like on Christmas. Not to mention we will have a 6 month old!

Speaking of which, I went to the doctor last week and they said it's 80% chance it's a girl. We will know more on 2/2/09 when I have my next growth scan. I'll be sure to update when we know for sure!

I hope everyone had a wonderful Holiday and I wish all of you a Happy New Year.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

It's Christmas Eve

Last night I finally finished my shopping. I never wait to the last minute but getting out shopping was challenging this year. Frank has been working so much overtime and you can't quite bring along the boys to buy their gifts!

I spent a few hours wrapping gifts and getting organized last night. By 10am this morning I had baked a cake, made breakfast and made about 5 batches of cookies. I just have to decorate the cookies by tomorrow. The boys "helped" with the cookies. Not sure why I even let them because it's a big ole mess but they love it so I figure I can suck it up.

Colin is finally feeling better today. And my fingers are crossed because so far Ciaran and Cormac have not become sick. I am hoping they can hold off until Friday or not even get sick.

I just can't wait until Christmas morning. To see the look on their faces is going to be so memorable. I can just imagine what they will say. Last year was fun but this year will be even more enjoyable. They are going to freak when they realize Santa brought them big boy bikes.

I forgot about some of the gifts I purchased for the boys a long time ago so when I went to the garage I realized they had quite a few more gifts. Bonus for the babes.

We played in our first snowfall of 2008. They LOVED it! Can you figure out who is who??? With hats and hoods you can't really tell.



The boys got up really early once this week. I put them all in my bed with a drink of milk. I was buying some time so I really didn't have to start the day yet.

We are off to my sister's house for the evening. Should be alot of fun. It's also my Dad's birthday so it's a double celebration. The boys helped make the icing for the cake and can't wait to share it with him.

I'll post some Christmas eve and Christmas photos later on.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Just some things I want to make sure to remember

A woman at the mall today who I was speaking with heard me say to Cormac "put your magnet back on". SHe asked if those were for his hearing. I explained he was born profoundly deaf and could only hear with his implants. Her response "but he speaks so well. I was having conversation with him". Probably the best thing a Mom of a deaf child with Cochlear Implants can have said to her!

I was changing Cormac's diaper and he told me "I have a big penis". I am not even going to comment on that one.

Colin told me Duke is his best friend. I think I teared up on that one!

Colin found four dollar bills. He said "look mommy, I found money" I said good 'cause we are broke. Teasing him. He said back "mommy, I will get you new money that isn't broken". How cute is that?

Colin keeps looking at the Christmas tree and saying "It's amazing!"

Ciaran would be a total TV junkie if I let him. ANy opportunity he has to watch TV he takes it! Sometimes you can't find him and he is sneaking watching the TV.

We picked out our Christmas tree last weekend. It's the first time the boys went with us. They enjoyed themselves running around like little nuts. We wound up with a beautiful tree. It is only partly decorated because we can't find the rest of the ornaments. I am going today to buy some more. Here are some pics of us getting the tree

We also went to cookies with Santa last weekend.

Tomorrow, Santa rides around town in a fire truck. Luckily, we live right at one of the stops. All we have to do it walk out the front door and Santa will be waiting! I am sure it will be exciting. I think after that we are done with Santa because how many more Santa events could there possibly be???

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

A new map for Cormac

We headed to NYU today for our first follow up mapping since the big upgrade to the Harmony Behind the Ears. I must say it was the perfect time of day. Cormac was awake. He wasn't hungry. He was in his usual happy mood. He was eager to show off his many talents.

For those that don't know what mapping is it's basically how you program a Cochlear Implant. Much more complicated than that but you will get the idea. Cormac is hooked up to a computer and his implant is mapped. While he is hooked up he hears different sounds and is supposed to tell us when he hears a sound. Chidlren with implants are conditioned early on to drop a block or something into a bucket when they hear something. Cormac did one better. Everytime he heard a noise he said "what's that?" and then dropped the block in the bucket. Rose gave him marbles and he was dropping them in water which he really loved.

He sang Frosty the Snowman, Rudolph and wished everyone Merry Christmas. He demonstated his ability to write some of his letters. He can really write a lot of letters now. T, L, S, H, I, M, W, O and a few more I can't think of at the moment. Oh, "Q" is his latest. He was upgraded to HiResolution 120. I can't really explain what that means but it's good for him! At one point his eye was twitching from the stimulation but they were easily able to correct it. He now has two maps that are very similar. One being slighty louder than the next. He is on the loudest now but if he seems bothered we can switch it with no problem. But, you know Cormac, nothing really phases this kid. He just rolls with it. He seemed totally fine with his map for the rest of today and this evening.

I have to say today was such a great day. To see him walk into the implant center and be so confident and talking so much more. It just makes my day. We are so lucky to have such wonderful people at NYU. Everyone truly loves our little man. They really care and are so thrilled with his progress. Not to mention they all want to take him home :) He gets quite the amount of visitors while we are at the center. Everyone seemed to notice how much longer his sentences are getting. And he doesn't lose his clarity like he was just a short time ago.

I talked to him the whole car ride home and it's just so sweet to be able to talk to him in the car. He can have conversations now.

I think the sweetest thing so far is the fact that Cormac is always in the mix with his brothters now. Before he could hear he missed out on a lot of their shennanigans. Now, when he isn't participating it's by his choice. Not because he can't hear them or didn't know they were doing something.

Tonight at dinner Cormac asked Colin "Do you want me to feed you carrots?" To which COlin replied "no, I don't like carrots". Cormac responded "Carrots are really yummy". Just these little interactions and conversations cannot be taken for granted.

Did I ever doubt we would get this far? No, not really. I was prepared to do what it takes to get him where he needs to be. Am I surprised how quickly he catches onto things? Not any longer. In the beginning I was surprised but now I just know it's Cormac being Cormac. He remembers everything. He's like and elephant!
Was mentally prepared for him not to do so well? Not really. But I would have dealt with it head on like everything else.

All I know is with continued hard work on all our parts Cormac will continue to learn and adapt to our hearing world. Yep, he's still deaf but it's funny people who meet him now have a hard time comprehending he is deaf. They always say "but I he was just talking to me??". And I think "exactly!"

Saturday, December 13, 2008

5 years ago today...

I married my favorite person in the world and my best friend. I can't believe five years have gone by so quickly. It seems like just yesterday we were engaged. My wedding day was the second best day of my life. It was the first until I had the boys and was moved down a notch. Christmas is my favorite time of year and having a wedding during the holidays was just marvelous. We had a huge wedding. Lots of family and friends. My best memory of the day is that I never stopped smiling from the moment I woke up until the moment my head hit the pillow at the end of the day. Nothing could ruin my day.

We have done so much in five years. We moved into our new house. We had three babies and are expecting the fourth. They say having multiples is a big stress to a marraige. (well, having children in general but multiples, well multiplies the stress!) I think Frank and I are the exception to that rule. If anything it has brought us closer. It has made me see Frank for the true man and amazing loving father I would have never seen without having our children. Sure, there are times I want to kill him (LOL) but that is normal.

Looking back since we are married my fondest memories are moments we spent as a family. Moments you can never relive. Momenets burned into my brain forever. Frank being in the delivery room all calm, cool and collected. Somehow he managed to video tape and take still photos of the entire birth without every leaving my side until I told him go, be with the babies. Him telling me, "Jenny (he's the only one allowed to call me this)you did such a good job, look at our babies".

Who knew 10+ years ago at The Nutley St Patrick's Day Parade two drunken Irish would meet and fall in love. I knew the moment I met him I would marry him. He says the same. And I tell you what..... I am so glad I did.

So, Frank, whenever you read this, know that I love you more than anything. I thank you for being a great husband, wonderful father and still my favorite person. I hope we have 100 more years together!

Friday, December 12, 2008

How to scare your mother to death....

I taught Stroller Strides today at the mall. The boys were wonderful and stayed in the stroller. Only getting out at the end to play. After a while of playing I decided I needed to get a few things for Christmas while I was already at the mall. Everyone was pretty cooperative.

I stopped in Modell's thinking I could find some Notre Dame gear for my nephew. I wasn't looking at the boys for maybe two minutes. I turn around and realized BOTH OF CORMAC'S IMPLANTS ARE GONE! Panic immediately ensues. I don't know what he was thinking he rarely will even take off his implants for sleep let alone take them off while we were out. I start searching the floor of Modells. Yep, I'm laying on the floor. Not a pretty sight for sure! I start finding bits and pieces. Not only had he removed them he also disassembled them. So now I am looking for 6 pieces not two! After a frantic couple of minutes I locate all the pieces and say it's time to go home.

I start out of the mall and stop to put their coats on. Check and see two implants. Get to the car and start unloading them and don't ya know??? ONE IMPLANT IS MISSING. How can this be? How can this happen twice in one day? He just had the frigin' thing on 2 seconds ago. Now every scenario is running through my head. Did it fall in the sewer we just roller over? Did it fall in the parking lot and get run over. Do I unload the two already strapped in their car seats and start the search? Do I call someone to come help me? But who???

I decided to search around the car while all three are safely strapped in. Luck was apparently on my side because I found it under the van. I don't think he took it off this time. I think it got caught on his coat and fell.

I swear I aged 10 years today. No two year old should be allowed to walk around with equipment worth so much money. ($6,000 per ear approx).

What's the solution? I have no idea. This is the first time he removed them. I am hoping it's the last. I tried to explain it to him but he is only two. I told him if he wants to take them off he can but he has to tell mommmy first.

Going shopping with triplets is not the ideal situation to begin with even when your kids are well behaved. Add to that the stress of losing implants and it's enough to make you not want to leave the house.

Oh, gotta run..... We are going to Costco LOL! I can't REALLY stay in the house!

Here's what it looks like just in case you don't know. Cormac's isn't that fancy. Just all one color that matches his hair. But you get the idea.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Out of the mouths of babes...

Last night Duke jumped up and let's just say hit Frank in a not so good place. He looked like he was going to vomit. Ciaran says "what's wrong with Daddy?" I said "he got hit in the privates". To which Ciaran says "Daddy, you got kicked in the carrots?" Frank and I were both laughing so uncontrollably he forgot he was in pain! Of course, the saying caught on because we found it amusing and all night long the three of them were saying "daddy got kicked in the carrots!" Someday I am sure they will appreciate this story.

Let's see what else has been happening. I am know 11 weeks pregnant and still don't feel one bit pregnant. I guess that's a good thing. The extreme exhaustion is easing up and I think I am pretty much back to normal. We are excited to find out the sex of the baby but have to wait until sometime in January. We are never going to come up with a name for this child. I think it will be Baby Girl or Baby Boy. We are having better luck with a girl name but the boy names, well we frigin' used them all when we had three boys! I mean, really, how many people do you know who have to come up with more than 3 boys names???? Not many.

It's weird being pregnant. Last time it was not a happy experience because we spent the entire time waiting for the "bad" to happen. Never did you get to enjoy being pregnant. It was all doom and gloom with the prospect of three very premature sick babies always possible as an outcome. I never got to leave the house and go shopping for baby stuff. I spent the entire time either in my bed or in the hospital. I wasn't allowed to walk down 5 stairs to our kitchen. I was confined to my bedroom for months. Not many people actually saw my pregnant because unless you came to visit I wasn't allowed out. That said, I would do it all over again for the three blessings that came our way!

Now, I am a "normal" (i use the term loosely) pregnant woman but I think I am just too busy to even realize it! I am hoping I can find the time to really enjoy this pregnancy.

Monday, December 8, 2008

No Milk, No Juice, a flat tire, OH MY!

That sort of sums up the day! I wake up to find out there is no milk in the house. Or juice for that matter. Frank forgot he used the last of it. Now, these three get a cup of milk first thing in the morning EVERY morning. It was bitter cold and I figure I might have to throw them all in the car and run to the store. I look outside and I have a flat tire. I JUST HAD a flat tire two weeks ago while alone with the boys in the car. Now, another flat tire. I also realized I lost my debit card so even if I could leave the house I wouldn't have any money!

Thank God for my Mom. She was kind enough to go shopping and drop off some essentials. I don't know what we would do without her.

Some days are just unebelievable!

Sunday, December 7, 2008

The Fair in the Square

For the past three years Frank and I have attended the Fair in the Square in the town next to us. It's an outdoor fair in the winter and ends with Santa arriving via Fire Truck and he lights the town square tree. Our first year the boys were only 8 months old. We bundled their little butts up in snow suits with their santa hats and they loved it. Well, Frank and I loved it. Not sure if they know the differnce. We did wind up in the local paper that year with the headline "First Christmas times 3" I have it saved and framed. Here they are from our first Fair in the Square.

Last year was another story. The boys were another year older. It also happened to be so cold out it was really unbearable. After getting all ready and arriving at the fair I think we lasted exactly 6 minutes before calling it quits. We didn't wait for Santa or the tree. Three crying frozen babies wanted no part of it! I remember it like it was yesterday. The wouldn't wear mittens and their little hand were like ice.

This picture of Colin pretty much sums up our day! Can you say miserable????

Fast forward to this year. Another year older. And a smarter Mommy. We waited until the very end of the day. We headed over just in time to wait about 10 minutes for Santa and the tree lighting. Three two year olds now understand their hats and mittens keep them warm and chose to leave them on this year. Not to mention the crazy warm coats they were wearing.

Santa arrived on the fire truck and I have to say the look of pure delight and wonder in the eyes of a two year is enough to bring tears to your eyes. They couldn't take their eyes off of Santa. He was up on the ladder of the fire truck and they moved him over the crowd and brought him down to the ground. We stayed for the tree lighting and they loved it. Maggie was up for her birthday so she was able to go with us. We didnt bring a stroller since the boys are getting big enough to walk. Only thing, Cormac and Colin really didn't want to walk. I got stuck with Colin and I swear, he weighs a TON. We don't own a scale in the Lawrence household. Never have so I have no idea what he weighs but he has got to be 35 pounds at this point. My arms are killing me today from holding him.

The local paper was there again and caught us all posing for a picture and said we will probably be in the paper again this week. We have really turned into mini celebreties around here. We have been in the paper quite a few times. Christmas, Halloween, Family Night Out. But hey, can you blame them? My kids are stinkin' cute!

Here are some photos from last night.

It's turning into a nice family tradition. I think it is one we will keep!

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Christmas Card Photos....

Taking photos of these three is nearly impossible! How on earth do you get them all looking decent at once? I have no idea. Here are a bunch of our attempts so you can see my pain! I didn't post the final pic I chose for our card. I will post it after the Christmas cards go out.

I said this before. It was easier giving birth to triplts then trying to photograph them!

This is not even close to how many pictures I took of them. Just a sampling.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Cormac came and told me one of his implants wasn't working and he couldn't hear yesterday. This is a huge step. Normally, he is wearing two so he doesn't tell us he can't hear. He will get there eventually but is still quite young. But he was only wearing one implant and he came and told me he couldn't hear the TV. YIPPEE for him.

He is also talking so much lately and not just statements. (may I have milk vs I want milk) He is asking questions and conversing more. He asked Duke the other morning, "how are you doing today, Dukie boy?". So cute. Today at the mall on our second attempt to see Santa I gave them some candy. Yep, bad mommmy bribes them in the mall with candy. You can report me anytime you like. But I always try and compare what it's like to shop with three two year olds. My best analogy? Next time you go somewhere take along an octopus or two and let me know how it works for you! I have gotten very skilled at maneuvering our stroller out of arms length from anything. I have gotten off track. The boys were eating candy and I gave Cormac the bag to hold. He leans forward and say "Colin, Ciaran, you want some candy?" I just love hearing them talk. The answer to this question was of course a yes. And Colin says "thank you Cormac" Cormac turns to me and says "I shared with Colin".

On to Santa.... Ok. The local Santa has a southern accent. I mean a REALLY southern accent. I asked him if he was from the South Pole instead of the North Pole. I guess if I lived in the South this wouldn't seem strange but when Santa tells your children "you better mind your mamma, I'll be watching" I felt like I was in the Twilight Zone! He was super nice and the kids loved fleecing him for every candy cane he had in his possession but strange none the less. I had to be in the picture and was none to happy. They were not afraid of him. They just didn't watt to sit. Well, Colin didn't want to sit without me. He can be a real pain in the you know what when he wants to be.

Anyway, we did get a picture. They looked handsome as ever. As we wheeled through the mall they intermittently shouted out Merry Christmas to passing shoppers. They were truly in the spirit!

I have yet to finish my Christmas shopping. Well, the boys are done but I still have everyone else. I have no idea when I will find the time. I am just not productive when I go with all the kids. I wind up spending money on them and NOT on what I am supposed to be buying. Yes, we came home today from the Disney store with three new firetrucks. I think I will hide them from Frank because if he sees one more toy in this house he will flip!

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Three Times

People have always asked me from the start if I need "three of everything". While this is true for some things it isn't really necessary for all things. I thought I would take the time to document what we really have in threes.

Three cribs.
Three bouncy seats (when they were little)
Three exersaucers (when they were little)
Three high chairs/booster seats
Three car seats
Three Doodle Pros actually 6. 3 for the car and 3 for home
Three sets of all their clothes. Yep to this day this is still true!
Three sets of all shoes.

Those are the material things we actually needed. But as I was thinking about this I came to the conclusion the non material things we have in threes outnumber the material

Three times the love
Three times the kisses
Three times the silly giggles or laughter
Three times the joy
Three times boy!
Three times the smiles
Three times the hugs
Three times more to hear I love you
Three times the mischief
Three times the chance to see the wonder of little boys learning about their world
Three times the ruckus
Three times the poopy diapers. (Ok, don't think this is a bonus)
Three times the mess.
Three times the mommy guilt.
Three time the noise level.
Three times the fighting.
Three times the making up after fighting.
Three times unexpected running hugs from across the room.
Three times the tackling from across the room.
Three times the sadness when they all go off to school together.
Three times the college education all at once.
Three all driving at the same time totally freaks me out.
Three times the trips to the ER apparently when you have three boys.
SIX times the grocery, that's not a typo.
Six hands and thirty fingers always grabbing something. Try traveling with an Octopus or two to the grocery store and you will understand!
Six socks to keep track of each day and night. Not an easy task when they keep taking them off in different places.
Six shoes that seem to disappear with six socks.

Seems like a lot of 3's. And honestly even the not so great things on the list are still better to have because without them I wouldn't be able to have all the other things that make every day so wonderful!

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

When the house is very quiet....

it usually means someone or all are up to something. It's just not normal for it to be quiet in our house when the boys are awake. There is always some type of ruckus! So, two days ago I am cleaning up the upstairs and I see Colin playing in his room alone. No big deal. Then I realize I don't hear anything else in the house. Not a peep. I know Cormac and Ciaran are up to something. I go downstairs and don't see them in the family room. Check the laundry room. Still nothing. Not even a giggle. Just silence. After starting to slightly panic and thinking they must have opened the sliders and went outside I notice Duke is staring under the dining room table drooling. yep, drooling. I peek under the table and what do I find???

They had found a bag of mini marshmallows and opened it up and started helping themselves. That's them hiding under the table But the funny part is they knew enough to be quiet and not make noise while I was looking for them! Notice Duke in the background. He never did get a marshmallow!

Oh, I let them have the marshmallows because really what do I care? They sat at the table for the rest. Here they are enjoying their stash.