Saturday, December 24, 2011

Thank You

Shannon and I after Matt and Joy gave us the gift.

Dear Friends and Family,

Some of you know that a group of our close friends from Church in the Valley recently organized a fundraiser for our triplets. They wanted to help with cost of formula and diapers and called the fundraiser "Feed 3G" (see the link for the website: Well, several nights ago our good friends Matt and Joy gave us the gift from this fundraiser. All we could say is "Wow."

Shannon and I were completely floored. We're humbled by your generosity and so very grateful for your kindness to our family. It's been a very expensive year for us, and this gift comes at an incredibly helpful time. It alleviates the financial strain, and it literally does help feed "3G." Thank you from the bottom of our hearts.

We take this gift, and your generosity, very seriously. We recognize the trust you've placed in us by donating this money, and we're committed to faithfully using this gift to help take care of our family.

The donations on the WePay website were anonymous and we're not able to individually thank everyone. If you donated, we can't express our gratefulness enough. We thank God for your generosity, we appreciate your kindness, and we love you guys.

Thank you again.

With Love,

Thomas and Shannon

Sunday, December 18, 2011

All Smiles

All three of our triplets have started to smile. It's such a joy to see!

Graham smiling and looking at Shannon. They smile at her so much!

Grayson being a ham and again, smiling at his mom.

Shan texted this picture to me while I was at work. It made my day. Avery girl smiling at Mom.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Luckiest Man Alive

I took this last night as Shan was holding Avery and Graham (Gray was already asleep in his crib after his feed.) I thank God for moments like these with my family.

We've really loved getting to see more and more of the babies' personalities over the past few weeks. Avery seems to be uber relational, and any time there's someone remotely close to her she locks on to them with a laser-focused stare (in this case you can see it was Shan :) She could win any staring contest hands-down!

The boys on the other hand, well, they seem less concerned with relationships and more interested in food! Shan captured it best when she said, "Gray isn't interested in his siblings because they aren't edible!"

It may be years away, but I'm already looking forward to Double-Double Saturdays with them at In 'n Out :)

Friday, November 25, 2011


Yesterday was our first Thanksgiving with the triplets, and it marked the first time we took them out of the house for anything other than a doctors appointment. We had a great time with our friends Nathan and Tina, Matt and Joy, Tim and Traci, and Brenda.

With the exception of a full-blown triple baby meltdown when getting into the car seats, the kids did great! We've always been big fans of Thanksgiving, but this year was a special one. We're thankful to have our children home and healthy, and looking forward to many holidays to come - triple meltdowns and all.

From left to right: Graham, Grayson, and Avery. (11/24/11)

Friday, November 18, 2011

Wednesday, November 9, 2011


We thought we'd add a few pictures of the babies' nursery. Enjoy!

Avery sleeps on the left, Grayson in the middle, and Graham on the right.

Shannon made these posters in Illustrator. We're not very subtle with the messages we're trying to send the kids...

If only this was true more often :)

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Two Month Check-Up

It's been a busy week! Last Friday the babies hit the gestational 40 week mark. Normally that's when babies are born, but Graham, Avery, and Grayson came quite a bit early. For the past several months they've been catching up developmentally to where they would've been had they made full-term. It's pretty strange to think that under different circumstances they would've just arrived.

We didn't throw a party to celebrate them arriving at their scheduled due date. Instead, we did nearly the complete opposite of a party: we took them to the doctor (talk about a wet blanket.) The babies had their two-month check-up, immunizations, and an additional shot to help inoculate them against RSV. They all did really well, and we were able to get some fun pictures of their visit.

From left to right: Avery, Grayson, and Graham waiting to see the doctor. They've all made serious gains in weight. Avery now weights 8lb 8oz, Grayson weighs 10lb, and Graham is at 7lb 12oz! (11/1/11)

Waiting for the doctor :) (11/1/11)

Moving the triplets is something of an operation, but we're getting pretty good at it. From closest to furthest away: Grayson, Graham, and Avery waiting ready to go! (11/1/11)

Saturday, October 29, 2011


We awoke to a funny scene in our home this morning. Our little apartment currently looks like an interesting cross between a daycare and war zone. We employed a baby-feeding tactic last night that we refer to as, "The Blitzkrieg."

We normally each take one feeding shift in the middle of the night so that each of us gets a five hour stretch of uninterrupted sleep. The sleep is nice, but the solo shift is pretty rough. So the idea of the blitz is that we both get up for every shift and get it done as quickly as possible. This way, we reason, we will have some company at three a.m., and will be able to get all of the feedings done faster. It's a logical plan, right?

Well, it worked pretty well for us last night until three. I actually don't remember very much of that shift, except that my stomach hurt. And at the time it seemed to me that the best cure would be to eat some (read: most) of our friend Vicki's pumpkin bread. Right out of the tin she brought it to us in. I know that I fed one of the babies, but I can't remember which one. Tom very graciously fed the other two.

So our apartment this morning is littered with empty bottles and dirty burp cloths. We have some cleaning to do. But instead of getting to work we spent the morning dancing around the living room with the babies to Chris Brown. And finishing off Vicki's pumpkin bread. Right out of the tin.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Nap time

Avery at nap time today. Or at least it was supposed to be nap time. :)

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Sunday Morning

Some fun shots from this morning. The 9:00AM feeding wrapped up and we decided to take some pictures of the triplets together before we put them back to bed. They seemed completely comfortable snuggled up next to each other and could've slept like this for hours if we hadn't taken them back to their cribs :)

From closest to furthest away: Grayson, Avery, and Graham. (10/23/11)

They loved this! As always, Avery made sure her arms were anywhere but by her side :) (10/23/11)

Fun outfits! (10/23/11)

Saturday, October 22, 2011

All Home

Tomorrow marks two full weeks that we've been home as a family! What a special time it's been for us, and what an amazing and encouraging story God has made of our challenging journey to parenthood. There were many times that we wondered if we would ever have one baby, much less three at the same time!

When we think back over the past three years we’re taken aback at God’s kindness to us. We’ve seen how God works through people to provide encouragement and refreshment in the times when we’ve needed it most. Through friends who cried with us and supported us through the heartache of infertility. Through our church family who provided perspective and much-needed guidance for us as we made seemingly impossible decisions. Through loved ones who provided practical help (like making peanut butter sandwiches) for us during a difficult pregnancy. And through acquaintances who have taken a personal interest in our growing family, and who have surprised and overwhelmed us with their generosity.

A passage from the Bible really sums up our feelings about our experience: “The Lord has done great things for us, and we are filled with joy (Psalm 126:3).” We really have experienced so much joy through this process, and we thank God for his kindness to us. We look forward to walking with Him, as a family, in this next chapter of our lives.

Graham Paul. (10/19/11)

Avery Mae. (10/19/11)

Grayson David. (10/19/11)

Monday, October 10, 2011

Three for Three

After 45 days in the NICU and nearly doubling in weight, Graham was released from the hospital yesterday! Graham's release marks the end to our three-month stay in Pasadena, and the beginning of our time together as a family.

Shannon and I are ecstatic to have our kids, all together, at home and we thank God for seeing our little ones through this.

We'll have more updates and pictures soon!

Graham buckled in and ready to rock! (10/9/11)

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Double Baby Bath Time

YouTube Video

Here's a video of the babies' morning bath, starring: Two Angry Babies and Two Inexperienced Parents. Gray isn't a fan of baths. Ave peed.

Caution: This video may cause motion sickness. I'm a horrible videographer. :)

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Two Peas in a Pod

Yesterday Shan and I took Grayson and Avery to their first pediatrician's appointment. They did a great job, and they didn't fuss at all in the car-seats or stroller. More importantly, we learned that both babies are very healthy and gaining weight. Avery is now 5lb 6oz, and Gray weighed in at 6lb 6oz!

Graham is still in the hospital, but he's also doing very well. He's eating from a bottle every other feeding and weighs 4lb 12oz! It's hard to believe that this little guy weighed less than 3lbs just six weeks ago. We're hoping we get to bring him home soon.

Grayson and Avery keeping each other company as we waited for the doctor. (10/3/11)

Shannon holding Graham. As always, he's very alert! (10/4/11)

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Avery's Free!

The Gerstheimer family is two-for-two! Yesterday evening Avery was released from the hospital! She's right around 5lbs, eating well, and growing steadily. We're so happy to have her with us - now we're just waiting for Graham!

Shannon standing next to Avery Mae on her first outing from the hospital. Grayson is closest to the camera - it doesn't look like he enjoyed this picture too much :) (10/1/11)

Friday, September 30, 2011


After 35 days, Grayson's been released from the hospital! We're ecstatic that he's with us now, and we can't wait for Avery and Graham to join us too.

Gray, Shan, and I will continue to stay in Pasadena to be close to the NICU while we wait for Graham and Avery to get released. The Pasadena Ronald McDonald House has enabled us to stay together through this transition, and we're thankful for their generosity!

Here are a few pictures from earlier today.

Grayson all buckled up and ready to go. He currently weighs 5lb 10oz - nearly 2lbs heavier than his birthweight. He'll outgrow that car seat in no time :) (9/30/11)

Shannon, Gray, and I ready to go. (9/30/11)

She's one happy mom! (9/30/11)

Thursday, September 29, 2011

First Family Picture

Two nights ago we celebrated the triplets' one-month birthday! We were able to hold all three babies for the first time, and we didn't miss the opportunity to get our first family picture.

The Gerstheimer family, all together. Grayson, Avery, and Graham from left to right. (9/27/11)

Happy Mom and sleeping babies. (9/27/11)

Turns out Gray isn't the biggest fan of family pictures after all. Like father, like son :) (9/27/11)

Grayson may not like pictures, but Graham doesn't seem to care a bit. (9/27/11)

Monday, September 26, 2011


Our very fashion-forward daughter has a faux-hawk. We've tried to comb it down. It doesn't work. :)

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Bottles, Beds, and Room B

It's been a banner week for Graham, Avery, and Grayson! All three babies have been moved to Room B, the Feeders & Growers room. From what we can tell, it looks like this will be their last stop before they're released to come home. Graham joined Avery and Grayson this week when he was moved from his enclosed isolette to an open-top bassinet. Most exciting of all, each baby is learning to bottle feed!

Grayson is leading the charge with the bottle feedings, and he's gaining weight! Gray now weighs 5lbs 2oz and is steadily growing. The doctors and nurses think he may be the first baby to come home...hopefully not too long from now :)

Avery is also taking to the bottle well. She's gaining weight and is currently at 4lbs 3oz! While she may be a little smaller than Grayson, she seems like she's picking up her new feeding task very quickly. Yesterday she worked so hard at eating that she actually panted when she paused for a break! We're proud that she's doing so well.

Graham is quickly gaining weight as well: 4lb 2oz and counting! He's getting bigger by the day, but hasn't been as interested in bottle feeding as his brother and sister. We're told that every baby learns at their own pace, and we're sure Graham will pick it up in time.

Here are some snapshots from the week...

Holding Avery after a bottle feeding. This new activity takes a lot of energy, and you can see that she was pretty wiped out :) (9/24/11)

A close up of Graham as he was sleeping. Each baby still has their feeding tube so the nurses can continue their regular feedings as they learn how to eat from a bottle. (9/25/11)

Holding Grayson. Today was the first time that he and his brother wore matching outfits. (9/25/11)

Avery Mae asleep. (9/25/11)

The triplets' new home in Room B. Gray is closest to the camera, Avery is in the middle, and Graham is right behind her. (9/24/11)

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Bottoms Up!!!

Good news! All three babies have started drinking from bottles! Up to this point they have all been fed through small tubes that run from their noses to their stomachs. Learning how to drink from a bottle is the last task that the babies need to accomplish before coming home. As soon as they've mastered the skill they're FREE!! We were surprised and happy to hear from our nurse last night that it's possible that one of the babies could come home as early as next week! Drink up, babies!!

Here's a shot of Tom feeding Avery this morning. She finished her bottle for the first time. Way to go!

Friday, September 23, 2011

Bath Time!

Today I (Shannon) got my first opportunity to give Grayson and Avery a bath! It sounds kind of elementary, but every chance we get to interact with our kids is a real treat for us, and we cherish all of the little "firsts."

My phone croaked before I got pictures of Avery's bath, but our sweet nurse, Karin, helped me get a few of Grayson. You can see here that he wasn't too happy about getting bathed (unlike Avery, who apparently thought she was getting a spa treatment).

But he was fine after we got him dried off and fed. And he looks very cute in his monogrammed outfit (an adorable gift from our friend, Meredith Newton). He's much less angry here. I'm pretty happy, too. :)

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Funny Man

YouTube Video

Graham, the apparent jokester in the family, likes to entertain us with his funny faces when we hold him.

Big Girl Bed

Avery was moved out of her isolette and into a bassinet today! She's getting tested tomorrow to see if she can drink from a bottle. If she passes she'll be one step closer to coming home!

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Feeders and Growers

It's been another good week for our triplets! Our doctors and nurses now consider Graham, Avery, and Grayson "F & Gs" or "Feeders and Growers". This might not sound like a very official medical term, but it actually means a lot. The main focus for the babies has shifted from stabilizing their vitals and monitoring respiratory ability to helping them eat more and gain weight. Well, they're gaining weight!

Graham hit a milestone this week when he broke 3lbs for the first time! He now weighs 3lb 9oz and is making great progress.

Avery girl is also gaining weight and is now at 3lb 14oz! She's just 2 oz away from 4lbs!

Like his older brother, Grayson also hit a weight milestone this week - he broke 4lbs! Gray now weighs 4lb 8oz. Grayson made some additional progress this week: he was moved from an isolette to a bassinet (an open-top plastic crib), and he tried out bottle feeding. Gray's been able to maintain his body temperature in the open air of the bassinet, but it looks like he isn't quite ready for bottle feeding. The doctors said we can try again later this week.

The medical staff have commented several times that the triplets are doing exceptionally well. One doctor even said, "They must have read the text-book. They're the textbook case!"

Thank you for your continued prayers and support. More updates to come!

Shannon and Graham. (9/10/11)

Shannon holding Grayson. He's doing well with the pacifier, and will have another shot at bottle feeding later this week. (9/11/11)

Avery and I. She still squirms so much - you can see her working her little hand out of her blankets. (9/17/11)

Shannon holding Graham. He seemed to really like sitting with Shan. I think he kept his eyes locked on her the whole time! (9/17/11)

Grayson's no longer in an isolette - he's keeping his body temperature regulated, and we're loving him being more accessible. (9/17/11)