Monday, August 29, 2011

Betsy is 3

It seems so crazy to say I have a 3-year-old now. She is such a big girl!! It's like even when she was 2 she still seemed like a baby to me. But now that she is 3, she just seems so much more grown up. Awe. It's so bittersweet. It makes me wish I could preserve every single second I have with her and never, ever forget any little thing she says or does. I can't believe how fast the past three years have gone by for me and if the next three go by just as fast then she will be...gulp!....six! She is so very precious to me and every single day is a blessing, that is for sure.

We had Betsy's 3rd birthday this year in Lovey's backyard. "Lovey" is my mom. We have a favorite park we have had her birthdays in the past but it was so hot this year we wanted to do water toys plus last year we had a slight bee issue at the park and even my cousin got stung! So we chose my mom's backyard and grilled out hot dogs and let the kids swim. It was still hot for us adults but everyone brought their lawn chairs and there was plenty of shade. It wasn't as bad as I had anticipated and I think everyone had a good time. I was so glad for those who came. I always worry that she won't have any friends at her party! She had so much fun and she sure loves all her friends. She talks about them for days and days after we have seen them so I know she truly likes being with them.

We had our traditional balloon release to remember Grace and Olivia since it's their birthdays too. I always love doing this. Betsy is getting old enough to wonder why we are letting balloons go so I need to explain things to her. It's just too hard to mention their names around her. Because they are so much a part of her.

Balloons for my girls...

After everyone pigged out on hot dogs and birthday cake and we said goodbye to all our friends, it was time to end our birthday celebration and we plopped Betsy and her cousin Allie in the bathtub to clean up. In Betsy's words, Allie is her "very best friend EVER!" They are exactly a month apart and I know they will grow up great friends.

Betsy and Allie the next morning. Betsy's actual birthdate. Happy Birthday Big Girl!

We treated Betsy to lunch at Jimmy's Egg and the "Egg Man" was even there, which she loved.

After lunch we took Betsy to Toys R' Us to pick out whatever she wanted for her birthday. She picked out an Olivia chair and a microwave for her kitchen. Very cute. Then we took her to the mall to play and for a special cookie treat. After that we decided to pay a visit to the NICU to visit those special nurses who took care of Betsy for her first 4 months of life. She was the first one to come out and see Betsy when we got there. Betsy went right over to her and hugged her and hugged her...and wouldn't let go. She literally just squeezed Nurse Kathy for the longest time.

Now, Betsy doesn't do that with ANYONE! Tony and I just stood there teary-eyed just wondering if Betsy felt some kind of bond with her and remembered how much she cared for her. Kathy was one of those nurses who we knew genuienely LOVED Betsy. And you know that when Betsy was tiny and Kathy would care for her she could feel that love. So I just wonder if she felt something...that connection. It was so sweet to watch and it really made me happy. We formed a very special bond with the nurses there and it's great to go back and visit. They all like to marvel over Betsy and how big she has become. Can you imagine it from their perspective? They, more than anyone, knew how fragile my baby's life truly was and it really must be amazing to watch 'their' babies grow up.

So overall the birthday went by great. Things are getting a little easier in terms of not having my triplets. Especially the 3rd birthday, since there are 3 of them...the birthday possibilities would have been endless. I just have to hope and pray that I am truly doing the right thing in honoring them and keeping their memory alive. I actually had someone say (at the balloon release), "oh i forgot..." My heart just shattered. That's exactly what I DONT someone to forget about my girls or why we do the things we do for them. They are very much still a part of Tony and I and will continue to live through Betsy. Please don't ever forget....

Monday, August 22, 2011

So Long Summer

Well even though we are going on 50+ days of triple digit heat, my summer has officially ended. Today I started my fall semester back at UCO. I am glad to be back in the swing of things but we have totally gotten off our routine and I have not been able to get Betsy back into a schedule. She has been sleeping in (sometimes almost 10am!) and we have been skipping naps. She will still go to bed around 8:30, no later than 9. I have been trying to get her back on schedule but haven't been successful. I am fortunate enough that while I am in school Tony will be home with her and while he is working, I am home so really I'm not as concerned about getting her back on a nap schedule as I used to be. She has adjusted fine without one and is seldom grumpy so I guess she will be fine not taking naps anymore. Next week she will start back to her Mother's Day Out program which I am really excited about. She absolutely loves going to 'school' and has so much fun there. She loves playing with other children and making new friends. She is such a social little girl.

So here is a recap of some of the things we have been doing over the past few weeks. The temperatures have been well into the 100s and all the way up to 114 degrees. It has been entirely too hot to do much of anything outdoors but on the rare occasion that it wasn't TOO hot we tried to play out as much as possible after breakfast. Like I said, those days were few and far between. We spent alot of time at the mall at the play area to let Betsy run off some energy. I have felt really bad that we didn't do much more this summer and I'm starting to feel really guilty about not putting her in more activities. As much as she loves other children, she really needs to do more. But, money doesn't fall from the sky and some things I have wanted to put her in just aren't within our budget at the moment. Just one more week until Mother's Day Out and then I will feel better about everything. I know she's just (almost) 3-years-old but she really does need more friends.

Here we went to a neighborhood splash pad. She loved it and even proclaimed, "this is the best day ever!"

She did finish up her dance classes. She really enjoyed going to those and had lots of fun. I would LOVE to keep her in them but our issue right now is the only classes offered are in the late afternoons/evenings and that is when I am in school this semeser so that really won't work out. Here she is at her last dance class. We got to go in for Visitor's Day and watch her in action. I know I have already blogged about her dance class but she is. so. cute. I can't resist more pics.

A big milestone we hit was that we got to say good-bye to Sooner Start. Betsy was only seeing Lindy, her speech pathologist, since her speech was so delayed but she has actually been caught up for a few months now. Lindy was just still coming to see Betsy because she loved her so much, of course! Hey, those were her words not mine! :) Anyway, we were so, so very thankful for the services of Sooner Start and helping Betsy get caught up to where she should be. I hear stories of children who were born not even as early as Betsy and how they aren't doing as well as her. Just another reason to be so blessed with our little Betsy and just how amazing she is. We truly are going to miss our speech path. She was so much fun. OH! and as ironic as it and Lindy actually went to fifth grade together. How funny is that!! On her last day she and Betsy had a special birthday picnic. We were sorry to say goodbye to her but it's always a great thing to graduate out of Sooner Start.

So, I really don't have much to blog on. I just wanted to catch up from the beginning of August. I will be super busy. I'm taking night classes Monday-Thursday, one morning class on Tuesdays and then on online class. I am already feeling overwhelmed and I'm super nervous about this semester. I just want to do good. I don't want to lose my dream and I'm just hoping I didn't bite off more than I can chew. I will still have all day to be home with Betsy which is wonderful and I am glad for that. I love my little girl!

Monday, August 1, 2011


Ah yes, it is upon us once again. Its my favorite and my least favorite month all rolled into one. It's August. Betsy will be turning 3 this month, which is amazing all in itself. This month is the same month that "everything happened". On August 13th it will mark the anniversary of when we got the news about Grace and I was admitted to labor and delivery on complete hospital bedrest. Three years ago. We found out the sexes of our triplets and then immediately prepared to lose at least one, maybe all of them. We didn't know. It's August. The anniversary of Grace's delivery where we said hello and goodbye all in the same breath. I endured a traumatic delivery with Betsy and Olivia and watched my one pound babies be whisked out of the room with a mere 30% chance of survival. It's the crazy month of August where I feel the need to relive every detail of the last moments of my triplet pregnancy.

So much has changed in three years. I don't question "Will I ever get better" because I am better. I don't ask "When will I heal" because I have just accepted that my heart will always remain broken. I don't cry as often and as sad as it is to say, they don't cross my mind every single day. I don't picture what Grace and Olivia would look like anymore. It was easy when Betsy was a baby and since they were babies when they died it was easier to imagine what they would look like and be like. I know Grace would probably have dark hair still and I know Olivia would be my princess. No, I don't know this, this is just what I always wanted so it's what I have decided in my mind that my babies would be like. I just simply remember them as tiny babies and it's too hard to picture them as almost 3 year old girls. As much as I want to, my mind doesn't let them grow up.

I need to start talking about them with Betsy. She is so smart and she really understands things so I want her to know about her sisters but I can't find the right words to tell her. She isn't going to understand death so I don't know how to explain where they are. I'm working on it and I'm trying to put it in a story for her. It's so hard because everytime I mention their names I start crying. It's hard to say their names in front of Betsy and I guess it's just because they are so much a part of her.

One thing hasn't changed in three years. I still miss them as though it was the day they died. I wish with every fiber of my being that they were here and I miss how my life would be different. I still long for the mini-van, the multiples clubs, the stares and disbeliefs of strangers, the constant whirlwind I would be in at home and how I especially long for my three little girls going to dance class together. I want the bumper sticker that says, "You can't scare me...I have triplets!". All of these thoughts aren't as prominent as they were two years ago, but they occasionally cross my mind. I still look at their pictures just as much as I always have and even though it's been a while, I still get Olivia's belongings out of her box and thumb through the things that were hers. I don't open the heavy white sack from Integris Hospital that says "OLIVIA" on the outside. I know the contents inside are her blanket and outfit she died in (we got to dress her after she came off all her machines). I don't open the sack because I don't want the smell to go away. It's just the distinct smell of that NICU room but it's Olivia's smell and it's all I have left.

The most important thing I have left from that memorable month of August is my angel, Betsy. She is the light of my life and I thank the Lord for her every single day. I can't believe I have been so blessed with her and that she is so healthy. She's such a big girl now and it's unbelievable to remember she was only 1 lb 9 oz. She was born and the heavens sang, I have no doubt about that. The only thing I hope for at this point is that her sisters know her and they know that she would have loved them so much. I hope they feel our love from up above.