Wednesday, March 26, 2014


We saw the sun! And it was warm. It was hard to get a taste of warmth only to come back to winter, but it was worth it for some vitamin D! (It's currently in the teens as I write this.) My parents have been in Scottsdale since January, so we got some plane tickets and joined them. My brother Jon, who lives in LA, made the drive to join us for most of the trip.

The actual airplane rides went really well as far as no cancellations, etc, but it's never easy flying with our crew. The girls were fabulous, actually, it was only Will that made it hard. I forgot how challenging his age can be! The way out, we had a late 9pm flight and the Phoenix airport/car rental was a zoo. We weren't in my parent's place until 3am MN time. Yikes! On the way back, we had a reasonable flight in the afternoon, but Will didn't succumb to a nap so it was a looooong 3 hours. The girls all took a nice nap and were well-behaved again, of course! (On a similar note, the girls are acting so much more like 4 year olds lately- that's a good thing, especially since Will is now a toddler and acting like it!)
We got to the Minneapolis airport with plenty of time to spare, so ice cream was on my mind!
Fun times watching everyone else's planes come and go! (Yes, we did get tons of comments/questions and stares.)
Will loved watching too!
The Scottsdale mornings are still pretty cool, so that is when we did our hikes. My parents are selling  the original condo because they bought a house in a location they like better. They have a beautiful view complete with a sunset show nightly. A short walk through the neighborhood brought us to a nature preserve hiking area. Our first morning we went on a slow hike that ended up being over an hour and the girls lasted the whole time! They were excited to see cacti and lizards. As four year olds, they did a good job listening to us to stay on the trail- otherwise those cacti could've been bad news. Will hung out in the baby backpack and was content. One of the short hikes, a short car ride took us to a trail area called the Gateway. It was busier, but the trails are marked better.
Starting out towards the hiking area...
Part of the crew
Sofia, Madeline, Josie
The hiking area by my parent's house
They were chanting "choo-choo-choo-choo" here (J, S, M). This is at the Gateway.
Josie and Sofia with grandma 
Mid-hike snack to recharge! (S, J, M)
After naps every day was reserved for the pool. The girls like us to hold them in the pool, but they seemed to get more comfortable each day. Like our trip in Florida last year, Sofia was our little fish! Madeline is still the most tentative of the girls. The first time we brought Will in the pool, he did not like it, but he warmed up to it the other days. Because of his eczema, his skin took a hit from the pool and I had to go out and buy some ointment, as the cream wasn't cutting it. Even though we had great sun, we did miss the humidity of Florida, but we won't complain.
Walking to the pool!!
YAY! Made it to the pool.
Well protected from the sun!
The kiddie pool (that was too cold!)
Hi, Miss Madeline!
Will and me!
Dan and I took two long hikes without kids. One at the Gateway, and one off of the nature preserve at my parent's house. On the second hike by parent's house, Dan spotted a Gila Monster lizard- the only venomous lizard in Arizona! Dan was happy, because we hadn't seen any rattlesnakes or tarantulas, etc, and he needed some excitement ;) . It was cool to see, though! Dan and I also got a date night out to dinner. We don't get to do that often enough!
Dan and me on one of our long hikes

The Gila Monster! Don't pick this guy up!
Date night!
We are back in life full swing, and the swimming lessons start/will start this week. We didn't think the girls were ready for lessons where the parents aren't in the pool, so we will trade off going on three separate nights a week. I went already with Sofia, and tonight will be the next girl. Sofia did well! I hope everyone is doing well! Here are the rest of the pics from our trip...

Our family :)
The crew!

Will probably thinks he can do what the girls can do!

This slide is so big, though, dad!

The girls were so happy to play on a snow-less playground again!
Jon took this pic with his phone.

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Life Lately

After all those birthday and Christmas updates I had to take a little break. Winter has been trudging along and I'm not going to lie, I'm excited for spring. We are still enjoying the snow, but some days the cold hinders outside play.

Will is a walker! He took his first steps shortly after turning 1 and he was slow to practice until a month ago. The last couple weeks, he walked more and more, until finally he seems to walk more than crawl. When he walks, he still seems so proud of himself- it's so cute! Another cute thing Will does is the way he waves goodbye while saying "bye!" He starts doing it as soon as he sees someone putting a jacket on. The video below is from a couple weeks ago when he really starting taking off.

Leah and her whole family came to Minnesota to celebrate her husband Mike's 30th birthday. It was so fun to get the kids together again!
Huge snow pile at Leah's parent's house!
Will and Anna!
Will and Luke in their track suits!
Similar sizes, except for the noggins!
The girls still play house basically all day long. Usually, two pair off and will claim a certain room in the house as "their" house, while the third will claim another room. This doesn't stop all three from playing together, but sometimes the third girl will be excluded a little and therefore ask me to live with her (and claim Will too). The girls are so inquisitive right now and they ask really good questions. They know Will has eczema and they know he is allergic to some foods, and today Madeline asked me if his eczema is from his allergies. I think it was just luck and the fact that those are his only two ailments, but she made a good connection!
A cell phone pic capturing the sweet side of triplet sisters.
A couple weeks ago we went to see the ice caves on Lake Superior with Dan's family. The caves made the national news this winter, so it was really crowded. We went five years ago (before kids) and we only saw a couple people. Much different! We had to walk at least a mile to even get to the parking lot, then we trekked another mile and a half to get to the caves. All in all we walked at least five miles (off and on pulling and holding kids). We were so exhausted by the end, and we weren't well-prepared with snacks for the kids. Overall, it was cool to see the caves with the kids, but kind of a bummer they got so popular.
The crowds trekking to the ice caves
I doubt Will is cold
The girls getting pulled at the ice caves
Admiring the ice
Icy slide!

Love this group picture!
At the caves, Josie got a digger in her forehead from falling on a chunk of ice. She required the first stitches of any of our kids, and she was so incredibly brave. She didn't get any numbing gel before the shot of Novocaine (the shot of Nonocaine is not a quick, easy shot!) and she didn't even fight the doctor or cry. (The doctor was Uncle Charlie- he saved us from Urgent care or ER... Thanks again so much!) Now that it is healed up, she still likes it when people notice it. It's not too noticeable now and sometimes before we go somewhere Josie will tell me to tell people about it. She's quite proud.
Josie showing her stitches. Good job, Dr. Charlie!
We had a different medical scare earlier January. The girls were just getting over fevers and a cold when Madeline started a new fever in the middle of the night. She woke us up at 3 am screaming that she was seeing spiders and she never went back to sleep even after some ibuprofen. She seriously believed there were spiders all over, crawling towards her. She also saw minnows and a whale. I finally called the pediatricians late morning and ended up taking her in to the clinic. At the clinic they gave her Tylenol and popsicles, but Madeline had a really scary episode there where she was absolutely hysterical and out of control that spurred a trip to the ER by ambulance (I assume because they were worried about me driving her coherently if she was having an episode since the ambulance wasn't speeding). The doctor gave her blood and urine tests, an Xray, and even a spinal tap (and she had an IV). Luckily, there were no infections or pneumonia and the consensus was just a bad virus that gave her high fevers. They had her stay one night for observation and Dan stayed with her. When I got home from the hospital at night, Sofia had JUST thrown up on Mary (Mary and Dave were kind enough to watch the other kids- they actually were going to babysit the kids anyway while Dan and I were going to go out to eat for my birthday). OH boy, it wasn't going to be an easy night at home either!
     Our regular pediatrician followed up with us and mentioned that the experienced colleague that sent us to the ER is normally unflappable. We may be in for more hallucinations with high fevers in the future with her. It took her a couple weeks to start feeling secure at night. She seems over it now but, boy, was that a scary experience!
Poor Madeline. This is in the ER.
Nothing new in Preschool, except we had way too many days off for cold. Luckily, the school decided to take on make-up days so we don't feel like we're losing out. The girls are making more friends- each day they will tell me a new person they played with. Later in March we get to go to a Minnesota Orchestra Kindermusik concert (this almost didn't happen because of contract negotiations/the strike).
All fancy for the Valentine's Day party at Preschool! (Sofia, Josie, Madeline)
We have a Scottsdale, Arizona trip coming up and I am looking forward to be in 70-80 degree weather! I know the kids will appreciate it! We're all sick of bundling up to go outside. We will stay with my parents who have a house down there. It will be fun to see them since they've been gone since sometime in January. Hopefully everyone is surviving winter somehow! Here are more fun pics!
We had fun cheering Anna Ringsred on during the Olympics (my good high school friend raced the 3000m in speed skating)!

Bedtime stories...

Will loved Elizabeth!

Will and William (William also has older identical triplet sisters (plus one singleton older sister!)
Happy Valentine's Day! (Josie, Sofia, Will, and Madeline)

Josie and Sofia trudging.

Will is not sure about being put in a snowbank!

Our neighborhood as a winter wonderland! So pretty!