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Thursday, November 27, 2008

Our Crazy Turkey Day.. No REALLY I mean it!!!

Well, it's now the end the day on Thanksgiving 2008. It was wonderful seeing friends and family and meeting my cousins new 6 week old daughter. The day started for us at 7:15 with blah blah blah chatter from the triplets and newborn cooing over the baby monitors. I fixed a bottle and started Cody's feed while Jerry started making the triplets breakfast, then I fed the triplets while Jerry showered up for the day given they yelled "Mommy feed" when Jerry tried to feed them. We want this to be a good day.... so ok, mommy will feed. We then let the triplets have a rare treat.... getting to shower with Mommy. They always take baths before bed, so a shower is a treat. "It's raining in the shower," they said I'm guessing 50 plus times as they tried to wash themselves. I lathered them all up and then rinsed their 3 slippery little bodies. One by one, I passed them off to Jerry who diapered them and put them back into their PJs. We wanted to keep their Thanksgiving outfits clean until time to leave. We proceeded to suction snot out of noses as Jadon and Addison have had runny noses for well over a month now. It's either the longest cold I've ever encountered or allergies... whatever the cause... it's a PAIN. "Good boy, good boy. Gotta get the boogies. You are such a brave boy... gotta get the boogies out." Babies response, "AAAAAA NOOOO BOOOGIES.... AAAAAAA." After the suction trauma, we consoled them with candy and then moved on to brushing three sets of teeth. "Open, No, don't bite the toothbrush. Let me she those teeth. No, don't bite it.....good girl.... brusha, brusha, brusha....". They spent a little time on their potties trying to tee tee poo poo. "Sit down, are you done? No? Then sit down! Now!... Ok, I'm let put your britches back on. Then SIT DOWN!", but with no success today and went on to play and fight over mommies brushes and other fun bathroom novelties. "Give Jadon a brush... you have two brushes, give Jadon one. We have to share NOW PLEASE.... thank you." Each had a large hair band that they would wear as necklaces... Kaylee grabs Addison and is pulling her around the bedroom by the neck with Addison screaming. "KAYLEE!!! LET GO OF ADDISON NOW!!! ONE... TWO... thank you." I then hold and try to console Addison. At this point it's close to 10:30... and we have to decide do we want to dress them and load up about 11:30 and drive around an hour to try and nap them given the Thanksgiving festivities fall during our normal nap time or wait an hour and have them skip naps all together... We decide to dress and drive. Someone poops (not on potty) can't remember who, then after convincing them to put on their "pretty dresses" and "handsome clothes" it's time to fix hair. Addison has been carrying around my brush and is unwilling to give it up. If I let her keep it, she will mess up her ponytail and bow with the brush once her hair is fixed. We gently remove the brush from her hand, but a meltdown still occurs... then a battle. Addison doesn't want her hair fixed and she is hard headed. Well, we battled Addison for who knows how long and needless to say after placing the ponytail and bow in her hair multiple times, she finally entered the car with ponytail and bow in tact but with tear stained cheeks.

We drove around about an hour and Jadon fell asleep 10 minutes from our destination. No sleep from the girls. The party was great, good food, and good friends. Mom, Dad, Jerry, and I were each responsible for one baby and all in all, the babies were pretty good... no meltdowns. I had Kaylee during the meal. She insisted on trying everything on my plate then spitting it back out into my hand, "don't like." I think all the babies ate bread. As we were getting ready to leave Addison poops and only wants Daddy to change her. As it's been a good day despite the morning hair episode and she is exhausted, I decide not to go into battle and call in her Daddy to do the honors. We load up around 4:00 and decide to drive around and give them a chance to nap. The girls nap a while and we are home around 5:30. Somewhere during this day (it's all a blur) we managed to give Cody his bottles and keep him happy. Thank goodness he is such a good natured little guy.

When we left this morning the kids were dressed, shoes on, hair fixed, ponytails, bows, lacy socks. I look at them now. Addison has no socks and shoes on the wrong feet, hair halfway in a ponytail and halfway like bedhead. Kaylee has one shoe and sock on, hair looks like she put her finger in a light socket while Jadon has only socks on and is screaming for applejuice. Jadon is crying and crying and yes crying for applejuice which is IN HIS SIPPY CUP (sorry all bold... I just think I yelled this 10 times), but for some reason he won't drink it.... if he could only tell us what the problem is..... arrrrgggghhh....."just go to timeout until you can stop crying." He settles himself and comes back in saying, "Good boy." We have 3 tired fussy babies. I take Kaylee upstairs to change her poo poo and put her in PJs but she now doesn't want to take off her pretty dress. Battle weary, I now plead... PLEEEAASSEE be a good girl PLLLEEEAAASSEEE. After a count of three she complies. Jerry changes the others into their PJs. We suction noses again. I won't go into detail on that meltdown and exhausted, we decide to put in The Tigger Movie. Ahhhhh, quiet... I have Jadon, Addison, and Cody in my lap and Jerry has Kaylee. All is good up until Addison accidentally headbutts Cody and now he is screaming. I pass him off to Jerry and now have Addison, Jadon, and Kaylee in my lap, but it's quiet again. It's 6:15, can we do this until 8:00???? Please, can we do this until 8:00. We had decided to skip baths since they had a shower that morning so we just have to keep them quiet til 8:00. I don't know about 30 minutes go by and Jerry and I sit back and smile at each other with a knowing "Life is good kinda smile." I ask if he can get the camera since I have all the triplets snuggled in my lap and would like to capture the moment. He takes a couple pictures and I tell Kaylee to get her finger out of her mouth, but after the 3rd picture Kaylee proceeds to vomit (yes, vomit) as she has gagged herself with her own finger (see photos) (WHAT!!!!! NOOOOO!!!!! KAYYYYLLLEE!!!!! YYYUUUCCCKK!!!) I snatch her up, strip off her clothes (the smell is overwhelming) and throw her in the bathtub. Well, so much for no baths, however I have to say bathing only one baby is pretty easy. When Kaylee and I rejoin the group, it seems everyone has grown tired of Tigger and Pooh and are now running laps around the kitchen island. I start this blog as they seem to be playing ok for the moment and then realize we haven't fed them dinner... well, Jerry and I weren't hungry or planning to eat so dinner so it just slipped by us. It's now 8:00 and I proceed to pull out goldfish, yogurt, cheese, and crackers. Ok, everyone is now fed. Not the best dinner but it will do for tonight. We point our brood in the direction of the stairs and start the verbal onslaught of "Upstairs! Go!! Now!! Faster!!!" "GO!! One, Two... thank you!! Go" until each baby is upstairs and in the room. We then sit in the floor and I proceed to read them their "Nite Nite Books" using all my funny voices. They listen and laugh and we finish with our bedtime prayer and I thank God for such a wonderful Thanksgiving with my beautiful family. As I close the door Kaylee shouts out "Nite Nite Guys."

The funny thing is, I'd love to tell you this day was unusual, but it pretty much represents every day in the Hopkins home... crazy busy, mind numbing, ear shattering, nerve rattling, BLISS.... I love my life.
God bless everyone, we had a great Thanksgiving. Oh, it's 9:15.... I have to go make Cody's last bottle of the night (and clean today's bottles and make tomorrows bottles and... and... and...). Yes, we still have one baby to put to bed....

Friday, November 21, 2008

May we all fall on our knees

I found this on a friend from our church's blog and loved it.... so I pass it along.

"It is clear to me that God allowed this man to be elected President so that this country would have no where to go but on it's knees. Change, real change, can only come about through prayer and sacrifice. May we find comfort, mercy and forgiveness on our knees at the feet of Jesus."


Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Cody's 4 Month Check-up

Cody had his 4 month well child exam yesterday and he is a bruiser!!! He was 26.25" and 16 lbs 15 oz.:

At 4 months:
your child is 16.938 pounds, and that is at the 77th percentile for weight.
your child is 26.25 inches, and that is at the 82th percentile for height.

Quite different than our petite little triplets whose stats for 4 months are below....

Kaylee 23" 10lbs 4oz
At 4 months:
your child is 10 pounds, and that is at less than the 3rd percentile for weight.
your child is 23 inches, and that is at the 5th percentile for height.

Addison 23" 11lbs 10oz
At 4 months:
your child is 11.5 pounds, and that is at the 5th percentile for weight.
your child is 23 inches, and that is at the 5th percentile for height.

Jadon 24.75” 13lbs 4oz
At 4 months:
your child is 13 pounds, and that is at the 7th percentile for weight.
your child is 24.75 inches, and that is at the 29th percentile for height.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Cody's Baptism

"Going therefore, teach ye all nations; baptizing them in the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Ghost." Matt. 28-19

On Sunday, November 16th, 2008, Cody Dale Hopkins was baptized at St. Edward's Catholic Church. David and Kerri are his Godparents but were unable to attend due to the pregnancy (yea again!!), so our VERY dear friends Pam and Curtis Greenfield flew down from Oklahoma and stepped in as proxy. We LOVE THEM!!!!!!

Saturday, November 15, 2008

David and Kerri - Congratulations!!

David and Kerri have struggled to conceive and last August they learned they were pregnant with twins (a boy and a girl), but at 23 weeks Kerri's water broke and she delivered her precious babies, but they were too young to survive the early delivery and returned to the Lord's loving arms later that night. Hayden Nicole and Taylor Allen now keep watch over their parents from paradise and I know they are joyful in the knowledge that their loving parents are once again expecting a baby. Anyone who reads this... please pray for David, Kerri, and baby within her womb. They will be wonderful parents.

David and Kerri had a picture taken with their twins Hayden and Taylor after their passing thanks to the "Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep" infant remembrance photography organization. http://nowilaymedowntosleep.org/ Please consider making a donation to this wonderful organization.

Monday, November 10, 2008

I Took Their Hands and Followed

I Took Their Hands and Followed
Mrs. Roy L. Peifer

My dishes went unwashed today,
I didn't make the bed,
I took their hands and followed
Where their eager footsteps led.

Oh yes, we went adventuring,
My little ones and I...
Exploring all the great outdoors
Beneath the summer sky

We waded in a crystal stream,
We wandered through a wood...
My kitchen wasn't swept today
But life was gay and good.

We found a cool, sun-dappled glade
And now my children know
How Mother Bunny hides her nest,
Where jack-in-the-pulpit grows.

We watched a robin feed her young,
We climbed a sunlit hill...
Saw cloud-sheep scamper through the sky,
We plucked a daffodil.

That my house was neglected,
That I didn't brush the stairs,
In twenty years, no one on earth
Will know, or even care.

But that I've helped my little ones
To noble stature grow,
In twenty years, the whole wide world
May look and see and know.

My pregnancies - Part II - the second miracle

On November 30th, 2007 I once again learned I was pregnant a little sooner than Jerry and I had planned, but we were overjoyed. I relished the thought of a simple single baby pregnancy... no complications. HA! That was not too be. During my routine bloodwork we discovered a complication. I was RH sensitized as a result of the triplet pregnancy. What does that mean? I have a negative blood type while all my babies have a positive blood type. When my blood mixed with the triplets during their delivery, I began producing antibodies to destroy positive red blood cells. This wasn't a problem until I became pregnant again... My body began attacking the new babies blood. There is a shot called Rhogam which I received and should have prevented this problem, but it didn't work and once you are sensitized you are always sensitized. I was strongly advised this should be my last pregnancy as each subsequent pregnancy would result in sicker babies. My doctor did feel like I could get through the current pregnancy ok as this was my 1st pregnancy with the antibodies. We monitored the baby closely and he seemed to be doing ok. Little Cody was delivered early at 36 weeks 3 days once we felt he was mature enough in order to prevent him from getting jaundice and anemic in utero. Well, despite all our efforts he was born he was very sick.....

Within 24 hours he had a "Double Volume Exchange - Removal of twice the blood volume from the affected infant and replacing with fresh blood from the blood bank (exchange transfusion) is used as a treatment for severe jaundice in newborn infants. The affected infant's blood is removed in small portions and equal volume of blood is replaced during exchange transfusion. Exchange transfusion has been shown to reduce brain damage in severely jaundiced babies; however, exchange transfusion is associated with serious adverse events including death." Fortunately, he came through the exchange with flying colors and after a week in the NICU under phototherapy lights he was sent home and is doing GREAT! A perfect little boy and another miracle addition to our family.

As sick as Cody was, we were once again advised that we should not have any more children and with Cody's birth Jerry and I both felt our family was complete.... so here he is, the last of the clan.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

My pregnancies - Part I - the first miracle(s)

Our first ultrasound…. I longingly remember our first ultrasound. The nurse said she would first look at my ovaries and then the gestational sacks and I responded, “sacks plural??” She said “yes, there is more than one”, but wouldn’t tell us how many and that we’d get to that in a minute. Then we looked at Baby A, then B, then C. Triplets!! I was overcome with Joy, Jerry I’m afraid was just in shock. My joy however quickly turned to fear as I learned more about the risks associated with carrying triplets and it was a difficult pregnancy. I had a bleed at 8 weeks, a cerclage at 13 weeks, strict bed rest at 20 weeks, gestational diabetes, a contraction monitor, weekly progesterone shots, and finally a terbutaline pump (anti-contraction drugs administered directly into the body via a pump). My wonderful parents and husband took great care of me and at 32 weeks 6 days I went in for a routine doctors appointment only to find that my blood pressure was high, baby C had not gained any weight, and her placenta was calcifying. It was time. Approximately two hours later I gave birth to Addison (3 lbs 13 oz), Kaylee (3 lbs), and Jadon (4 lbs). As Addison was delivered Jerry let out a breathy “Oh my God, Oh baby” as if he was seeing a spectacular miracle first hand. Well… I guess he was.

That was two years ago...

The past two years have taken all of my emotions to the extreme. I have had extreme fear as I prayed for each week of the pregnancy, extreme worry as they spent time in the NICU, extreme fatigue in caring for three babies, extreme joy for the miracle times three, extreme thankfulness for the help of my extraordinary parents who have been a tremendous help, extreme love for my husband and the father he has become, and extreme reverence for the Lord and his many blessings. I said I always wanted four babies… well, 21 months after having the triplets, the Lord blessed us again with yet another miracle baby.

What is the Freedom of Choice Act?

Bishop Warns of Obama’s Promise to Implement Extreme “Freedom of Choice Act”
By Jonquil FrankhamPATERSON, New Jersey, October 21, 2008 (LifeSiteNews.com) –

Bishop Arthur Serratelli of Paterson, NJ penned a column for his diocesan website this week, warning his diocese of the possible implementation of the radical Freedom of Choice Act (FOCA), particularly under a possible Obama presidency. Obama has made a promise - to pass the Freedom of Choice Act. However, should Obama keep this promise, “not only will many of our freedoms as Americans be taken from us, but the innocent and vulnerable will spill their blood.”The Freedom of Choice Act (FOCA) is a bill introduced in the United States Congress in 2004. It would remove all restrictions on abortion in the United States, both on the state and federal level. “FOCA goes far beyond guaranteeing the right to an abortion throughout the nine months of pregnancy. It arrogantly prohibits any law or policy interfering with that right,” says Bishop Serratelli. This is the “dark reality” kept secret by propagandists for ‘choice.’The bill is strongly supported by presidential candidate Barack Obama, who promised in a speech for Planned Parenthood that “the first thing he would do as President would be to sign the Freedom of Choice Act.”Among those no longer free to choose under FOCA, says the bishop, would be pro-life doctors and nurses, whose freedom of conscience is currently protected under the law. Religious hospitals and clinics would also be forced to perform abortions up until the birth of the baby.NARAL America presents the bill as a systematic presentation of Roe vs. Wade, but opponents like Bishop Serratelli note that it would eliminate those restrictions the 1973 court case allowed, such as parental consent, waiting periods, information for mothers regarding emotional and psychological dangers, and restrictions on late-term abortions.The bishop hails the death of freedom, should FOCA get passed. “Gone the freedom of conscience so essential for a civil society,” the bishop tells his readers. “Gone the freedom of women and young girls to have all the information they need to make their own choices!”The bill would also “force taxpayers to fund abortions,” thereby nullifying the fundamental American policy of taxation with representation. It would also “redefine a woman’s ‘health’ so as to expressly permit post-viability abortions.” The bishop clarifies, “Thus, a child who survives an abortion can be left to die for the health of the mother … This is infanticide. Gone the freedom of her baby, once born, to live!”Pro-Abortion advocates’ “zeal for the Freedom of Choice Act,” Bishop Serratelli writes, “sounds the alarm for decent Americans to wake up! The more the right to life is denied, the more we lose our freedoms. The ‘pro-choice’ movement is not pro-choice. It stands against the freedom to choose what is right according to the truth of the human person... At this point, we are still free to choose!”


Friday, November 7, 2008

You have my prayers, President Obama...

I was heavy hearted on election day as I felt we had chosen to vote with our pocketbooks due to this global financial crisis and had overlooked many social issues we all hold so dear. While the Democratic Party won the White House as well as decisive control over both houses of Congress, exit polls found that economic issues were overwhelmingly the most important motivators for voters.

Despite the vote, the vast majority of Americans are pro-life. Obama is so committed to the expansion of abortion rights, the next four years are going to be extraordinarily challenging for the pro-life community. As a result, we must pray all the harder...

"You have my prayers, President Obama...
As has every President since I've learned how to pray. I will be praying for your conversion of heart and your dedication to life and family. Should you not have your conversion of heart, I will work tirelessly to thwart you at every turn. I will work hard to elect congressmen and senators who will oppose you, and I will work to see you unseated in four years. Should you have your conversion of heart, I will support you in your endeavors should they prove just by Catholic social teaching." -- Posted by Tony 11/7/08