William, Charlie, Ikey, Benny, Henry

William, Charlie, Ikey, Benny, Henry

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

William

As promised, here's an update on the kids. WARNING: The happenings of 5 kids over 4 months will be lengthy...and photo heavy! I'm thankful to report the boys are doing well. William, suddenly a kid and no longer a toddler, has a vocabulary that stuns me several times per day. He loves to talk (which I'm quite proud of), but can wear me down with conversation just the same (my mom secretly loves the fact that I'm getting mine). I'm finding age three to be a bit challenging as well. After making it through the supposed "terrible twos" with no problems whatsoever, I'm discovering that we did not, in fact, dodge a bullet...it merely arrived a year later than expected. I'm amazed how I can be at the end of my rope one second, frustrated beyond belief, giving timeouts like candy, then completely enamored the next. He pushes my patience to the edge, yet fills me with joy until I nearly burst. Here's an update on William (since my last post) in pictures:

William discovered a love of the circus (much to my delight) shortly after Henry was born. We purchased our season pass halfway through the summer, but definitely got our money's worth. Here's William with "Miss Heidi," one of his favorites.
William with the Rosaires...

And with his buddy, David. David always does an awesome job of making his adoring fans feel special...last Saturday during the holiday light parade, David rode past, singing atop a wagon, and shouted out "William!" into the microphone (between verses of Have a Holly Jolly Christmas) when he spotted William waving in the crowd. 

William and Tate in the funny mirrors on closing weekend.

William, Tate, and Noah watching the calliope

Closing weekend with our good friends. Seven boys and four adults. Luckily we have brave friends.

First taste of cotton candy. Henry was only three weeks old, but we decided to take the boys to a circus festival in Mazomanie. It was a little smaller than we expected,, but William still talks about it, so I guess it was a good time. On a sidenote, William has added "Mazomanie" to his repertoire of places he's visited. Sometimes our train set makes a stop in Mazomanie, sometimes our firetrucks respond to a fire there, and sometimes we color pictures of Mazomanie. It's obviously a very exciting place.

It was a scorching hot summer, but nonetheless, we tried to enjoy the outdoors as much as possible.  This particular day ended with crying over melted ice cream, but the ferry ride was cool!

Devils Lake. We are lucky. Period.


William started Sunday School this fall. Loves it! We're currently practicing for the Christmas pageant. William is playing the part of "sheep."

Turning colder...

William and Maeve at the homecoming parade. King and Queen 2026.

Can't wait to be a T-Bird someday! (Although, the marching band is, BY FAR, his favorite thing)

In line for "Something Special From Wisconsin" at Pierce's. The second annual open house did not disappoint. William goes to Pierce's almost daily with Pa, so we had been looking forward to it for weeks.


The lovely reigning Miss America! If you remember, she was Miss Wisconsin at last year's open house! Let me tell you, though...nothing can make a mom of 5 feel frumpier than standing next to Miss America in all of her gorgeousness!

William brought along his picture from last year for her to autograph for his "scap book.".  She thought it was cool and took a picture. The two of them ended up on the front page of the Baraboo News Republic together...a banner day in the Moll household. You would've thought it made World News.


William adores the sausages and remembered them from Miller Park this summer. I'm sure they remembered him, too.

Bucky is the star of the show... the main attraction...our favorite guy.


Bucky stole the double stroller and took Charlie and Ikey for a wild ride! What a rascal!

Charlie is wondering who's back there?

Super fun!
video

For the record, this was an AWESOME Bucky. Here's William and Bucky singing "If You Want To Be A Badger"...

Miss Wisconsin 2012. Good luck!

Benny HATES the racing sausages. Charlie has never seen someone so tall in his life.

I have to stop this post for a second (the Bucky pictures reminded me), and tell another story from this summer. The same day as the circus festival in Mazomanie, Jason and I were feeling rather ambitious and decided to take the kids on to Madison in the afternoon for "Family Fun Day" at Camp Randall. I nursed Henry in the car (parked, of course), changed the kids into their Badger gear, and sat in a line that wrapped around the stadium, all for 2 hours of Badger fun. The place was packed (I think the news reported over 10,000 in attendance), so we got in line to see Bucky right away. The cheerleaders were there to hand out posters and take photos, so we passed some time posing with the ever-popular spirit squad. (Uncle was a Badger cheerleader back in the day, and William loves it when he tells Bucky stories, teaches him cheerleading "tricks," or Badger songs). Charlie didn't want to get back into his wagon after meeting the cheerleaders, so I decided to hold him...why create a scene, right? Famous last thought...

As we were waiting in line, Bucky strutted through the crowd (potty break?), obviously grabbing everyone's attention. As he returned to his post, ALL the kids saw him coming, parents were pointing, and Bucky, larger than life doing his animated thing, headed straight through the PACKED stadium. I suppose his big mascot head made a blind spot where he couldn't see something low to the ground...like the small orange car (Charlie's) on our choo choo wagon. With EVERYONE watching, Bucky hit our baby-train full stride and went flying. And I mean FLYING. Charlie's seat took him out at the shins, and he actually laid-out mid-air, landing on his face. I frantically tried to help him up, half checking that the kids were alright, half worried about the poor guy in the Bucky suit. Suddenly it was nothing but horror and mortification as I realized...OH MY GOSH, WE'RE THE FAMILY THAT NEARLY KILLED BUCKY. Am I surprised? Not really. At least his head never fell off.

It became a teeny bit funny on the way home as Jason and I recounted the event. The best part was, Bucky never missed a beat. I'm sure it scared him to death and hurt like heck, but he just jumped right up, brushed off his hands, put his paws to his face to show embarrassment, and, in true Bucky fashion, jaunted away. Oh my. It's amazing they let us near him after the incident. Besides THAT, Camp Randall was great! The linemen loved the triplets, William met some "real" football players, the kids crawled around in the endzone, and we even made the evening news!

Go Big Red!

Good sports

These girls were so nice...I wanted to bring them home with me! Nannies???

Benny loved the poms. Maybe he'll be a cheerleader like Uncle someday.

Notice Charlie out of his wagon...moments before the Bucky crash.

You'd never guess, right?

We're sorry, Bucky!
Ikey ready to run around the field with Paul Bunyan's axe.

Daddy with the boys.

From left: Benny with AJ Fenton (LB), Ikey with Ethan Armstrong (LB), Charlie with Chris Borland (LB), and Mike Taylor (LB). What's Charlie's problem? Doesn't he know Borland's an All-American?!? Taylor, too!
I think that's enough of an update on William. I'll have more on William's Halloween Party next week, but will close for now. Happy Thanksgiving! Updates on turkeys 1, 2, and 3 in my next post..

Monday, November 19, 2012

Goodbye North Aurora!

Hello again! And my apologies for yet another blogging lapse! You'll be pleased to hear I have no further complaints regarding our unsold house in Illinois. A nice couple from Chicago got an amazing deal on our charming little abode and we closed one month ago. Done deal. I don't really want to talk about the almost $90,000 we lost in the process, (it kind of taints my good memories of a very special place) so we'll just say that things didn't turn out exactly as we hoped. Our final departure was bound to be rough...I still can't talk about walking out of William's room or taking down his swing in the backyard without crying. I know how every room in that house feels, at every time of day, in every season of the year. Knowing those walls contained our most important conversations, heard our loudest laughter, and were shelter for our saddest tears made leaving hard. It's best our goodbye was swift...one good cry and out the door. It's still weird to think of someone else cooking in "my" kitchen, soaking in "my" bath tub, sleeping in "my" bedroom...but the exciting news is that we're moving on. Finally.


With that chapter officially closed we've picked up the pace on our remodel at hand. Time is still our biggest problem, but we try to use every spare minute to do something house-related. Unfortunately, those spare minutes are hard to come by. Jason usually ends up at the house after kids are in bed, working until midnight or later. I don't think I've introduced our "new" house yet, so let me give you a quick tour:

Big problem...I have to feed a family of 7 out of this teeny kitchen. There's no eat-in space, so we'll be "dining" in our dining room for every meal...sounds like a lot of work to me. I'm banking on peanut butter sandwiches outside during nice weather.


The only bathroom in the house...ouch. And how lovely it is.  I refuse to share bathroom space with 6 boys, so we're squeezing the smallest kids bathroom you've ever seen between the bedrooms upstairs and one more in the basement. A girl's got to have something to herself when so outnumbered!



Kind of nervous about the built-in. The triplets are a three-man wrecking crew...I might have to cover this with something protective for a year or ten.

Mark my words...someday Jason and I are going to have leisurely coffee and conversation on this sunny porch.

William's little bitty room. Jason has to duck when entering, but kids don't need a lot of space. I think it's "cozy."

Three cribs will fit just right.




From the looks of the sign, we'll have owned this house for 2 years yesterday. Found out I was having triplets October 18th 2010. Bought the house exactly one month later. TWO YEARS later...we're ready to get going. Best laid plans, right?

As you can see, we have our work cut out for us. These pictures were taken pre-gut (all rooms are now down to the studs), so it's current condition is slightly less "livable", if you can imagine. We think there's lots of potential...let's just hope we can bring out it's best now that we have the green light. We won't exactly be "home" for the holidays, but we're expecting to be moved in by spring, at the latest. I have tons to tell you about the kids (it's been 4 months since I've mentioned them!), so I promise there will be further updates this week. Until then, look out East Street....here we come!


Monday, July 23, 2012

Home

Well, here we are...home with the baby we've been anticipating for 9 whole months. I held back tears as we left the hospital and then my breath as we walked through the front door. "Dreading" isn't the right word, but I wasn't exactly "relishing" the thought of trudging through this next transition. I've been pretty upfront in depicting our chaos, but probably less obvious in revealing the toll it's actually taken. The truth is, the closer we stepped towards Henry's arrival, the more fragile I became. In the 24 hours before our departure for the hospital, I was a teary-eyed (okay, bawling) mess that frenetically moved from bills to laundry to cleaning to sorting to packing....and through any other tasks that rapidly popped into my series of fleeting thoughts. Trying to exert control in our situation is like trying to stop a freight train by throwing a handful of gravel. We do our best, but we're tired of the troubleshooting in our chronic state of temporary. Needless to say, we sucked it up, told each other that this, too, will be okay, and headed off to welcome our brand new boy.

Day before Henry!

Luckily for us, there is nothing in the world more beautiful than birth. Being witness to the first moments of a life, feeling as though the entire universe has expanded to accommodate this arrival, and the elation that follows is almost more than I can bear. Despite my best intentions to remain composed, the intensity of every emotion is just too overwhelming. I think my heart gets so full that it actually bottoms out, in a way. The flip side of feeling so blessed by such a beautiful gift is the potential to get tipped the other direction very easily. With this perfect, pure, tiny being comes a heavy feeling of responsibility...responsibility to do everything humanly possible to protect their well-being and provide the best life you're able to give. So, this time around my hang-up has been the idea of "home." I've been sad, and I mean SAD, about not having a "home" for our kids, and bringing a new baby "home" to our temporary set-up. I take it very personally and often feel it's a huge failure on our part that these circumstances have dragged on so long. Although rational Emily knows she's not personally responsible for factors outside her control, irrational and emotional Emily gets fixated on this notion quite often.

When we returned home from the hospital, I found a gift waiting for me. It was a framed, antique piece of poetry by Edgar H. Guest entitled "Home." As I sat and read the sentiment in the poem, tears were streaming down my face. The gift was from my old dance teacher, someone very dear to me, and the message was exactly what I needed. I practically grew up in her house, a second "home" from the time I was toddler (not even three!) until the day I graduated high school. It occurred to me that "home" is not necessarily about being in our specific house with all our things in order. The message of the poem points out that "home" is love and living and family...things I should be appreciating every day. Home is wherever Jason is, where our children are, and all the moments of our being together, not our street address.


Next to my mom's bed is a framed snapshot of my dad holding Betsy and me when we were little and a magazine clipping with a quote slid inside the frame. The quote reads, "It is astonsishing how short a time it takes for very wonderful things to happen." --Frances Hodgson Burnett  That's how I feel when I look at this picture.
Although we can agree we've had a lot of each other in the past 7 months, the truth is that we're so lucky to even have this option of extended-family-living. We couldn't do it without them. From my parents putting us up and sacrificing every day of their retirement to help with our kids to my sister doing everything to support me despite having a baby of her own only 4 weeks ago (this includes providing little Henry a stash of her milk to supplement his mama's inadequate supply...honestly, Betsy should really be the older sister, not me), we are so thankful.

Ahmie and Pa with baby Henry

Auntie

My grandparents with all SIX of their great-grandBOYS!!!!!! From left: Henry, Johnny, Benny (blue), Charlie (green), Ikey (orange), and William

I'll go even further and remind myself that this small town community is also "home." It's the dance teacher who believes in you, the the old friend from high school who sends an email out of the blue that makes you think you might be good at something, the one that realizes you might need some alone time with your spouse and sends a gift certificate for dinner at his establishment, the one that calls when you need a friend the most, the one that always offers help whether it's dinner or diapers, the one that comes to your rescue by taking care of your children when you're in the hospital having ANOTHER baby, the old teachers, the parents of friends, the church you grew up in....the people who have your back. Honestly, what more do I want?? This morning I sat waist deep in a mess of toys that have no official "place," the baby strapped to me in his wrap, three stocky little toddlers clinging to my knees, and my "big" boy leaning in to snuggle his new brother, when I was struck by William's simple observation. Amidst his kisses for Henry and his arm hugging the other three closer, he said "Look Mama, we're a family." Good point. As it turns out, we are "home."

Snug as a bug in a rug

So, a few highlights from our first week. It took less than an hour before Henry endured an injury at the hands of his brother. He was laying on the ottoman for all to admire when Charlie reached out and clawed his face. Big gash across the forehead. Honestly, blood already??? I think my heart almost stopped watching it unfold. It was like a gang initiation...I guess he got "jumped" in or something. I felt like an awesome mom explaining what happened at his weight check.

Baby hazing
Henry likes to sleep, but only if you're holding him. Needless to say, we've had some long nights. Not that it matters (the triplets slept in Rubbermaid storage boxes for 5 months...whoops, don't tell anyone), but Henry doesn't have a proper bed yet, so maybe that's our problem. Operation Big Boy bed looked super promising, but failed in the end. Since William won't cough up his crib, I'm trying to figure out where to set up a 5th crib. Yikes.

If you could just hold me like this all night long, that would be great!

That's all for now. This post kind of got away from me and with two refusing an afternoon nap and one hungry newborn, I better go. Thanks for all the kind and congratulatory words...we are truly grateful.