Monday, June 29, 2009

Quick Update

I know I haven't posted in a while and I'm sorry. Last week I caught whatever virus K had and was pretty well incapacitated. On Monday I woke up with a fever of almost one hundred and two degrees. Gretch stayed home Monday and Tuesday to watch the kids while I was pretty much quarantined to the bedroom. That was okay, because I really didn't have the energy to get out of bed anyways.

Tuesday night my parents made the trip up to get the kids and take them back to their house so that I could recouperate and Gretch could get back to work. Things were going pretty well and I was feeling a lot better on Wednesday. Then Thursday morning I awoke around 7:00 with the worst heartburn I'd ever felt. I tried tums, mylanta, even pepcid, but nothing helped. I decided at some point to take an advil and a couple hours later I got better. Gretch and I had dinner, and even got out to see the new Transformers movie.

Around 1:30 I awoke again with the pain, this time it was worse. and it didn't really feel like heartburn anymore. I was having a hard time breathing, and my neck and shoulders hurt. I woke gretch up around 2:00 and told her we needed to go to the ER. I thought I was having a heart attack. After several long hours, many tests, and a nitro tablet, they told me I was being admitted to the Coronary Care Unit because one of the tests they did indicated that there was damage to the heart muscle. I did in fact have a heart attack.

They moved me to a room and scheduled me for a heart cath later that day. Long story short, the cath showed no blockage. My arteries were clear, my cholesterol was fine. There was no reason I should have had a heart attack. The only thing the doctor could come up with was that the virus had infected the pericardium and caused it to become inflamed, constricting the heart and causing the attack. It's rare, but it happens.

So, to wrap it up, I'm doing fine and recovering well. The kids are still at Grandma's and will be staying there through the holdiay weekend, so don't expect any triplet related posts until next week. I'm ready for June to be over. I've been through two of the toughest things I've ever had to face this month, K's seizure and my heart attack. I'm looking forward to a much healthier July!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Video from the iPhone 3GS

Here is my first video from the iPhone 3GS. As you can see, the quality is not exactly great. I really wasn't impressed. I will probably not be using the video function of this phone unless I really need to. I did encode the video using the same process that I did the videos from the flip, just so there is no doubt that the quality is from the source, not the editing.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

iPhone 3GS

So, some of you may already know because you follow me on twitter, but my beautiful, wonderful wife, Gretchen, bought me a brand new iPhone 3GS for Father's Day. I had been lusting over it since I heard about the camera capabilities and the and the extended battery life, along with all of the enhancements that the 3.0 OS brings to the phone. I really am addicted to the thing. I probably don't go more than a few hours without checking my mail, facebook or twitter, no matter where I am. So, after a few days of playing with the new iPhone 3GS, here are a few things I've noticed.

First, the camera. The tap-focus is pretty cool, but not something that I'll use most of the time. The auto-focus usually picks up my kids, who are the subjects of most of my pictures these days, so that works pretty well. The video capability is a great tool, although I'm a little disappointed in the way apple handled this feature. The chip they used in the iPhone 3GS is capable of capturing video at 720p HD. That would be awesome, since that is what my Flip MinoHD captures at. However, apple decided to dumb down the capture capability of the 3GS and only allow it to capture at 640 x 480 (VGA), which is fine for uploads to YouTube, but if I want to capture family memories on my phone and later maybe burn them to DVD, this video just isn't up to my standards. I guess I'll still be carrying around the Flip (not that it's that big or anything!).

Another thing I don't like about the video is that the videos I record do not show up in iTunes. In order to transfer them anywhere outside of my phone I have to email them to myself or post them to YouTube (as far as I know). The first video I took was three minutes and fifty-two seconds long. The phone informed me that this video was too long to email it to myself and that I would have to select a clip of the movie to send. Major FAIL. It did however let me upload it to YouTube straight from the phone, which was pretty cool, but I might not want to upload all of my videos straight to YouTube.

The second major update, the speed. This thing is FAST. I use a service called Nuevasync to sync my google calendar and contacts with my phone. On the original 3G it took several hours to completely sync both the calendars and the contacts. With the new phone, both were completely sync'd in a matter of minutes. Pages and apps load faster, videos load faster, everything is just faster. And faster is good, especially when you're trying to catch a picture of that cute thing one of your kids is doing and all you have is your iPhone. You need that camera app to load QUICK!

Third, the battery. There were days where I would have to charge the battery on the 3G in the middle of the day. Quite inconvenient. So much so that Gretchen bought me a case for it with an external battery, so that I could charge it anywhere and still be using it. That worked pretty well, but was still a pain because it made the phone bigger. The iPhone isn't huge, but it's close. And we don't want to have to make it any bigger just to have a better battery. So far with the 3GS I've noticed better battery life, as Apple promised. I've had it for almost a week now and haven't had to charge it mid-day. And I've been working it pretty hard between the pictures and video, not to mention the email, facebook, twitter and all of the other normal stuff.

All-in-all I'm happy with the update. It's a better phone, that's for sure. I may be posting more about it once I really get to run it through it's paces.

Multiples and More Guest Post

If you haven't seen it yet, head on over to the Multiples and More Blog Network and check out my guest blog post. And while you're there check out all of their other great guest posts, giveaways, interviews and more - much more.

Happy Father's Day to all you dads out there!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

What a Week

Wow, it's been quite a week. We started off on Monday with K having diarrhea and just not being himself. He was very tired and just wanted to cuddle with me and sleep all day. I normally wouldn't complain about that, except for the fact that the girls were fine and wanted to play. It was a tough spot to be in, but after a while I think the girls realized that K didn't feel well and were content to sit and watch Elmo for a few hours. We were also very lucky to have some rainy weather, which gave me an excuse to give to the girls when they wanted to go outside. I'm not sure they understood, but they did quit asking after a while.

K's diarrhea continued through Tuesday and into Wednesday, and was coupled with vomiting. The kid just couldn't keep anything down. So Wednesday morning we took him into the pediatrician and were told that it was just a virus and to keep pushing fluids and he'll eventually get better. That afternoon, after a 4 hour nap, he was starting to look better. He ate some crackers for me and drank some water. Then he begged me for milk, which I reluctantly gave him (the last vomiting episode I think was caused by milk). And he did fine with it. He even got off of my lap to play with the girls for a few minutes, and then he fell and didn't get back up. I rushed over to see what was going on and realized that he was having a seizure. I moved him to an open part of the floor, grabbed the phone and called 911. The seizure only lasted for about two minutes, but seemed like forever. That was definitely the toughest thing I've ever been through.

After he came out of the seizure he was pretty much unconscious. It was very difficult to keep him from closing his eyes. Gretchen came home just as he was coming out of it. She was greeting the girls at the window as she normally does when she gets home from work, although usually it's all three. I yelled something to the effect of "get in here now" at her and she rushed in. She took over keeping K's attention and I went to look for the paramedics, who had just pulled up. I took the girls and put them in the pack n play that I had set up for K to sleep in earlier in the day. It worked out great, gave the paramedics room to work without having two extra toddlers circling their legs!

Gretchen went to the ER with K, and I stayed back with the girls. I started to feed them dinner (gave them pop tarts, that's all I could think of). A neighbor came over to check on us and make sure everything was okay. After I relayed the story to her she offered to stay with the girls so that I could go to the hospital to check on K. When I got to the ER, K was awake and they were cleaning him up - he had the poo from hell. Gretch was cleaning it off of his chin. But it was okay, cause the doctors wanted a sample. They had plenty to take from. He got lots of attention. They took blood and gave him IV fluids - he didn't even whimper when they put the IV in, such a brave little guy. He got to watch some Elmo videos on a little portable DVD player that the nurse brought in. He also got to have some goldfish crackers and teddy grahams. Then he decided that it was time for a nap, so we put him down and he fell right to sleep.

While we were in the ER we got a call from my mother-in-law saying that they were on their way up. Turns out they called the house just to check in, and the neighbor answered and told them what happened. So they left immediately and headed up towards our house. My father-in-law and brother-in-law went to the house to help with the girls, and my mil came to the hospital to give Gretch and I a chance to go eat - much appreciated - which we did since K was fast asleep and we were just waiting on test results.

Long story longer, all his tests came back fine. He's more himself today. Playing and smiling and laughing. He's not one hundred percent, but he's close. Maybe eighty-five. He went to the neurologist and they agreed that everything looked normal and it was probably just a febrile seizure brought on by dehydration. The only weird thing is that febrile seizures usually are accompanied by a spike in temperature, but his temp had been normal throughout this whole illness. But the neurologist says that sometimes that happens, so now all we can do is watch and hope and pray that it doesn't happen again.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Holy Baby Poop, Batman!

Yesterday was a rough one. A really rough one.

I guess I should start with some background. G took the kids to see her family over the weekend. She realized at some point that E had not "gone" since they got there, so they decided to give her some grapes. Anyone who has multiples knows that you can't give one something without giving some to the others. So they all got grapes. Too many grapes. And, when they got back to me and I was left alone with them for the day, all hell broke loose, so to speak. At one count I had changed 15 dirty diapers. That was before 1:00 in the afternoon, and mostly from the little guy. The girls really didn't catch up to him until later in the day.

Thankfully we only had to change bedsheets once, and that was only a small mess. The little guy did go through three outfits, though. I think the experience was toughest on him. His little system was so out of whack that he actually threw up at lunch. After that he felt much better, but it didn't stop anything from coming out of the other end.

Here's hoping today is a better day, for all of us.

Monday, June 15, 2009


I really started to see some actual verbal communication from J today. She fell off of the Kangaroo Climber this morning and when I asked her what happened, she said "slide, hurt." I was amazed. Not only did she put two words together, but she answered my question, and while crying! This was quite the milestone!

A few minutes later she was crying again. I asked her what was wrong and she said her brother's name. When I looked, he was now playing with the toy that she had been playing with just a few minutes earlier. This could only mean one thing, he had stolen her toy. He was punished accordingly and she got her toy back.

Ladies and gentlemen, we have our first snitch!

Friday, June 12, 2009

Roses Are Pink

When G and I bought this house, it had been vacant for around a year. The previous owner had lived her for 55 years, and was quite the gardner. The entire house was surrounded by flower beds. The only place there were no beds was where the steps to the front and side doors were. In these beds were mostly roses. I think at one count we had forty rose bushes. Unfortunately, most of them did not make it. We have since turned most of the beds into lawn or decorative rock beds, mostly because we don't have the time to weed that much dirt. We transplanted the six or so surviving bushes into one area that gets a lot of sun, and then added a few more bushes to fill it in a bit. I must say, neither G nor I have a green thumb, but those roses seem to be thriving out there. Here's a few pics of the good ones.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Remember When...

I was talking with my mom, my sister, and Gretch last night, and the subject of the differences between this summer and last summer came up. Then someone reminded me of a very blogable story, so here goes:

We signed up for our city's "parent and tot" swimming classes last summer. It was less of a class and more of a time set aside for parents to spend time with their toddlers in the city pool without hordes of other people around. It was a very enjoyable time. So enjoyable in fact, that K fell asleep on someone on two different occasions. The first time I was the one holding him and he just laid his head down on my chest and fell asleep while we were in the pool. He was so relaxed and calm, it was really cute and we all got a good, quiet, giggle out of it. Then a few weeks later he did it again, this time I think it was my sister who was holding him. Again, very cute. To top that off, we went to visit my parents later on in the summer and were in their pool, and he did it again, this time while Grandma was holding him. What can I say, the water relaxes the little guy! I'm just sorry I never got any pictures of the little guy sleeping, but I did get some video of the trips in the pool with daddy, grandma, and grandpa!!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Back Yard Time-Lapse Video

By popular demand, I've done another time-lapse video of the trips. This one is of the kids playing in the back yard. I have removed the audio from this post because in the process of speeding up the video, the audio becomes very high-pitched and annoying, sort of like an Alvin and the Chipmunks song on speed, lots of speed.


In case you missed the other time-lapse videos, click here for the trips eating breakfast and here for the trips playing around the house.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Family Photo Shoot

Got the pictures from the family photo session with Tom Forrest. Here are the highlights as promised:

Reactions to the Rubber Mulch

It was so nice this morning that almost right after breakfast I took the kids out to play on the playset. This was the first time they'd been out there since we put down the rubber mulch. Amazingly no one tried to eat the mulch, that I know of. Although J did get a face-full when she tripped.

E was not to fond of it at first (she had just fallen and gotten some on her hands):

I'm not sure J noticed that anything was different:

It passed K's thorough inspection:

Everyone was much appreciative of the softer landing at the bottom of the slide:

And they all had a great time swinging:

So far I'm pleased with the mulch. We'll see how I feel about it by the end of the summer.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

The Playground

We recently ordered 2000 pounds of recycled tire mulch to put down around the kids' playset. The company we ordered from was Just Perfect Mulch. We placed the order on Friday and were told that the order would go out on Monday. Since they were a local company, I assumed that meant we would get the mulch on Monday, or at least a phone call letting us know when to expect it.

Monday came and went, and I had no mulch and got no phone call. So Tuesday morning G sent them and email asking when we could expect the shipment. The response she got came in the form of an email that simply said "was picked up yesterday" with nothing else, not even a signature tag. I was not impressed, especially since the email didn't even answer our question.

So G sent another email asking what that meant for when the shipment would arrive at our house, since we didn't even know how it was being shipped at this point. This time the response was "Today or tomorrow it should arrive. They will call first." Yet another stellar explanation. No indication of how it was being shipped, no signature, but at least they answered our question, sort of.

By this point, I was pretty angry. We had just spent a considerable amount of money on this mulch and I expected a little more from the company and it's representatives. So I sent them an email (to their address) explaining how customer referrals work and that I would be tweeting and blogging about their company and the level of customer service that I get from them. Their immediate response was to offer me a refund and cancel the shipment. This really got to me. They then went on to explain that the emails were written while in a meeting from a blackberry, and that was why they were so short. I should have appreciated the quick response when the alternative was no response at all. All I was hoping for was an answer to my question given in a professional manner. As long as I got it sometime that day, I would have been happy.

In the end we did get the mulch from Just Perfect Mulch. The shipment arrived two days later than I expected. It arrived in a large reinforced nylon sack that was strapped to a pallet. It was a little hard to manage, but with the help of my mom and little sister, we got it down and spread out in about an hour (Thanks mom and sis!). So far we are very happy with the mulch. It looks nice and is quite soft, which is what we were hoping for since our kids end up on their faces more often than on their feet when they're playing outside.

This is what 2000 pounds of rubber mulch looks like:

Unfortunately due to the weather the kids haven't been out on it yet. Once we get them out there I'll have more pictures and video to share. Until then, here's a pic of the finished product:

Note the playhouse in the background. We got that from our very generous neighbors whose daughters had outgrown it. We are very thankful to have such wonderful family, friends and neighbors who have given us so much to help with the kids. Thank you all very much.

On another note, we have not had any success yet with the potty. They are all very interested in it and know that they should sit on it (and want to regularly). But don't know what to do while sitting on it. We're being very casual about this for now. I think we need to have that one successful try to get them to realize what they're supposed to be doing there, then we should be good. I'll keep you posted.