Sunday, May 31, 2009

Summer is here!

Yep, it sure is. Hot & hotter is what we have to look forward to. Todd & I did an outside project together, the first since right before we got pregnant in August 2007. It seems like so long ago. I have to say that I am one of those "weird ones" that really enjoys being in the yard. I love to mow it. The smell of freshly cut grass...MMMMMM!

Anyway, back to the point. I decide we needed to make a huge flower bed where the grass doesn't grow so I ordered 4 yards of topsoil/compost. Yep, sure did. The grandparents (Bill & Donna) came over around 11:30 to watch the kids. We didn't get started until 12:30 but it was well worth the wait. I haven't felt so good physically in such a long time! If you know me, you know what I mean. I am totally all physical. Love being outdoors, love working my body to the max.

I have to admit, I was a bit scared I wouldn't be able to handle it BUT my body surprised me. Todd was by my side & in 4.5 hrs, we managed to move the 4 yards of dirt!

Here are the before pics of the front yard. We gave up a long time ago on growing grass under the trees.



Here are the after pictures. My neighbor graciously volunteered to thin out her flower beds & give us her flowers/plants. That will be happening over the next few weekends.




And, in true summer form, the kids got their 1st homemade popsicles (thank you Donna!!). Sofi enjoyed it the most & Ian the least.




Thursday, May 28, 2009

Super Sonic Day!


Tee-hee! If you are from the South, you know all about Sonic. YUMMMMMMMMMMMMY! Ok, so it isn't so much the food although they have killer tots & cheese that I enjoy eating very much, it is the drinks. Yep, their drinks are the bestest in the whole world. Not the alcoholic kind either. Um, ok, you CAN put some vodka in their flavored drinks, the cherry limeade to be exact, & it is quite delish BUT since those days are in the past, a straight up cherry limeade is what I craved today.


So, I did what any other person craving a drink or snack would do. I got in the car & went. The kids & I went on a mini field trip to Sonic! It was their 1st trip to this famous drive in fast food joint & I think they quite enjoyed themselves! Ok, *I* enjoyed it b/c I felt normal.

I don't know why I hesitate going out w/ the kids. It isn't hard at all. I already have a diaper bag packed so all I have to do is put shorts on the kids (yeah, we live in onesies), fold up the stroller (just in case I get a wild hair up my ass & decide to go in somewhere) & put them in the car. Not hard, not at all.

I think it is lack of practice. Lack of experience. Since I'm not use to doing it, I think it is going to be much harder than what it is. Bleh. I need to get over it.

Back to our adventure. It was fun. The kids love being in the car. I even got them popcorn chicken & tots for lunch. They got a bite of it in the car b/c if you know about Sonic, you know you have eat in the car. It's a drive in & that is all the fun! I even made sure to call Daddy to tell him we were "eating out".

Life is good. I am happy. Very happy. I have 3 beautiful kids, a wonderful hubby that I adore, & 2 cats that are tolerant of the 3 kids. I get to stay at home (my dream) & take care of my kids. I have a little business going that is actually making me some spending cash & giving me a creative outlet. I've lost all but 2 lbs from the baby weight. Ah, time to reflect on the good!

Can't forget pictures of the kids, can I?

Ian trying to get in the toy box.


Sofi & Ian playing together.


Sofi LOVES to be in the container w/ the toys. It's her new thing.


Just to prove to you that Gabi does this EVERY time I get the dern camera out. I'm never going to get a decent shot of her if she keeps hammin' it up!


Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Divorce

No, not mine. I said I wasn't going to talk about it. I really wasn't. That was my full intention but after seeing "the episode" of Jon & Kate Plus 8 & crying over what is happening to them, I am going to talk about it.

What I am not going to do, bash them. They are humans & have feelings. Although I would not choose their lifestyle, I respect them. They are going through tremendous pressure, whether they brought it on themselves or what ever other reason people are saying is irrelevant.

I think this needs to be talked about. Why is it that HOM families have a higher divorce rate? Could it be the stress of having 3+ children at one time, creating an instant larger than average family? Could it be that most couples experienced some kind of infertility before hand & that put stress on the relationship prior to the pregnancy? Could it just be that having a baby is hard, whether it is 1, 2, 3, or more? What is the cause?

I don't want to say we are better than any other family out there b/c trust me when I say this, we have had our fair share of arguments in this first year of the kids' lives. I'll even admit, the thought has crossed my mind on how it would be to have to care for these 3 kids by myself & honestly, that scared me enough to figure out the issue at hand & work on it.

Marriage is so easy bail out on now days. You can even file your own paperwork w/o the help of an attorney. It doesn't cost much to do unless you are going to fight about who gets what & custody. I've been through it before. Yep, I am in the official stats. Thankfully, no children were attached to that short lived marriage.

What is different about this time? Besides having kids? Lots. I'm a much different person. I think that marriages are really hard. Don't get me wrong, they can be really enjoyable but there is always the flip side. For every up, there is a down. Marriages don't escape that rule. Yeah, there are times I rather just think about myself & not deal w/ considering anyone else but that is just not an option anymore. I have 3 precious children that deserve a complete family. I will do what ever it takes to make it work. End of story.

Now, for Jon & Kate. They have quite a few resources at their fingertips. They need to get some counseling & work through their issues, individually & as a couple. Seeing how worn down Jon looks & the anger & defeat Kate was exuding just really tugged at my heart strings. Maybe I'm a sucker. I don't think they signed up for all this. Sure, it is one thing to share your life w/ 8 children thinking that it wouldn't ever get as big as it has gotten BUT it is completely different to see your dirty laundry on the cover of a tabloid. No one ever signs up for that. How absolutely horrifying, more so for those precious babies than anyone else, but horrifying just the same.

I really hope they can work things out. It breaks my heart to see anyone go through a divorce. It isn't fun, no matter the circumstances. I'm tired of hearing that Kate was a tyrant & that Jon isn't the father that he needs to be. What? How do we know what really goes on behind closed doors? Really? We don't know everything. Whether you think they sold out their family or that Kate is fame hungry, ask yourself if this is what they really envisioned b/c when I saw that episode last night, I could see the pain & desperation in both of their faces. I could see both of them have been beaten down by everything & are tired. I can see that they are both questioning everything that has taken place in the past 5 years. I haven't seen anything in their show that makes me think they deserve this. I think it is safe to say we all have skeletons in our closet & probably have treated our significant others in ways we wouldn't treat a dog. Who are we to judge?

Rather than pick up that tabloid, think about whether you would want your dirty laundry out there for everyone to read & critique. I leave you with this quote from the Bible.

"So when they continued asking him, he lifted up himself, and said unto them, He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her."
John 8:7

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Just another day.

That is all today is. Another day. My best friend who now lives in New Jersey called me on Friday & asked how I was doing & what I had been up to. I gave her the same answer as always, "Oh, you know. Same ol', same ol'." That is the truth. My day is the same whether it is Monday, Thursday or Sunday. I don't think I really mind but it can be quite repetative. You know that movie Groundhog Day? Yeah, that is my life pretty much. I think I may need to get out more!

Don't get me wrong. I don't mind doing what I'm doing but maybe getting a babysitter every once in a while & getting out w/ Todd would be a good thing. We did that on Wednesday night & it felt fantastic! We met up w/ my parents for dinner, after the kids went down for bed. I really enjoyed having a margarita & laughing uncontrolably w/ my family.

See, this is the part of life where having triplets really does limit you. I know there are mommies out there that do take their triplets out on a regular basis & a big part of me wishes I was that brave. I'm alone 75% of the day w/ the kids. By the time Todd gets home, we have our nightly walk, baths & then bottles/bedtime.

I do have friends that come over & visit, Sheila is our most often visitor & she is always up for a trip out & about. I need to do it more often. I need to get out w/ the kids. Not only for me, for them. Our day is very routine & that is ok but we need to see some of the world, don't we?



Thursday, May 21, 2009

Sharing

When do they learn this concept? Geez! I think it is amazing that no one will pay attention to a certain toy until 1 of the 3 gets hold of it. Then it becomes the "toy of the moment" & they all HAVE to have it. Huh? We have a room full of toys? Why does this happen? This is how it is all the time. If 1 of them comes to sit in my lap or Todd's lap, the other 2 gravitate right over & want to be included.

In a way, it is super cute, that is until someone starts crying b/c there is only 1 toy for the 3 of them. Then I have to figure out how to distract them. This is the game we play all day long. The same thing goes w/ books. We have tons of books but as soon as 1 gets a hold of 1, the other 2 also want it. Never mind the other 4-5 books strewn on the floor, readily available to be handled.

I know they don't understand sharing yet. I try to teach them about it though. Even if they can't grasp the concept at this age, they can be corrected if they take something away from their sibling. I'm not talking about being hit or anything but a firm "no" & then giving back the toy/book to the sibling that had it first will do for now.

There is a flip side though. This doesn't always happen. For instance, right now Gabi & Sofi are sitting next to each other on the floor looking at a few different books, not fighting for the same one. Very cute! It is times like these that I want to remember for ever b/c it is such a tender moment.

We have this round end table (in the pics) & the kids decided it would be a fun push toy. Ian walked it all the way across the living room. I suppose it is better for him that it doesn't have wheels.




Then we have silly Gabi. This is the face I get almost EVERY time I point the camera in her direction as you can see by all the pics below.


Monday, May 18, 2009

Extended Breastfeeding


I never thought I would be "one of THOSE moms". You know, the kind that is still nursing a toddler. I thought it was weird. Honestly, I didn't even know if I would ever be able to nurse a baby nor was I too worried if I wasn't able to.

Why? A lumpectomy started it all. I decided to go & get the boobs fixed afterwards & am glad I had the opportunity to be able to enjoy beautiful breasts before I had my trio. It wasn't the augmentation that I was worried about, it was the breast lift/reconstruction that I knew would probably "X out" my chances of nursing.

To my surprise, the morning after the kids were born, I was able to pump the slightest bit of colostrum, enough to send down to the NICU. So I forged on. The next day was even better, I was getting the slightest amounts of milk! I thought it was the most amazing thing in the world. I was producing milk. This milk could sustain a baby's life. This milk would sustain my THREE babies' lives.

That was the beginning. I wasn't able to nurse right away. I finally got Gabi to the breast & there are no words in the world to describe how I felt in that instance. To think of it today brings tears to my eyes. It was an instant connection. Amazing.

By the end of the kids' NICU stay, I had gotten them all to the breast, Ian & Sofi w/ the aid of a nipple shield. Going home w/ the 3 of them changed things. I didn't have the nurses around to feed the other 2 while I nursed one at a time. Feeding management didn't allow for me to work w/ Sofi & Ian so Gabi was the one to go to the breast those first few months.

It dawned on me, we were in the middle of hurricane season & if we got hit, I wouldn't be able to pump. I felt the need to make sure I could nurse all 3, no nipple shield. I would take turns & make sure each of them got to the breast every day, at least once. I was on a mission.

I was most worried about Sofi. She just didn't seem in the least bit interested but in due time, she latched on. Not only was it important for them to nurse, it became important that they nursed daily. They were 4 months old & I accomplished my goal. Each was going to the breast once a day.

Thank God I was persistent b/c at the beginning of September our worst nightmare came true. We were going to get hit & hard. Breastfeeding became a necessity in the week following the hurricane. If the kids hadn't been able to nurse, I would have become engorged, uncomfortable & b/c I could only pump twice a day (thankfully Todd bought a good generator) I would have lost much of my supply.

I tandem nursed during that week. I knew it was possible to exclusively nurse triplets. It was my proudest moment since becoming a mom. It was then that I decided to get to a year. I dropped my 2am pumping session for good when we got electricity back & nursed each baby at 5am, for 30 min each. It was our quiet time. I was able to nurse them while still in bed. The cuddling was priceless & will always be one of my fondest memories of the first year.

Eventually the girls became disinterested, fighting to nurse during the day. By the time they were 7.5 months old, they were no longer nursing. My heart hurt b/c I missed our morning sessions. To think I would never nurse them again was painful but I knew they would still get my milk via bottle.

Ian, on the other hand, in typical male fashion, is still nursing like a champ & I don't see it stopping anytime soon. I can't see weaning him b/c of selfish reasons. He nurses 3/day & if he had it his way, it would probably be 4 but I needed the afternoon off. I will continue until he weans himself or possibly when he reaches 2 yrs old.

It is the most rewarding experience ever. Really. To think that I was on the other side of the fence not too long ago. What I don't understand now that I have breeched the one year mark is why it is such a big deal to others to keep going? Why does society have such issues w/ it? Why is it weird to continue to give your child the best? Most importantly, why do people think they have the right to tell you that you should stop?

I'm not an advocate of extended nursing, as we call it here in the USA. Shoot, I'm not even an advocate of breastfeeding period. I think every mom has the right to decide what is best for them & their situation. Just like I respect their decision to choose formula over breastmilk, I want others to respect my decision to continue nursing. It is all about respect.

If you are interested in finding out about extended nursing & the benefits, I have provided a link below.

Extended Breastfeeding

My boob, my child, OUR decision.

PS ~ Please do not leave anonymous comments. I would love the opportunity to respond to anyone that chooses to comment.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Fun downstairs!

For the most part, we have "lived" upstairs w/ the kids. It was just easier that way in the beginning. Their room was up there, the playroom, my computer, their bouncy chairs, etc. You name it, it was up & not down. Well, things are changing. The kids need more visual stimulation & now that they are walking, more room to practice. I've been bringing them down when they wake up from their afternoon nap.

It is a good change. We all need a new environment. Being downstairs gives us all a break from the playroom which although is perfectly suited for the kids, is also very closed in. The living room has a huge bay window & plenty of room to walk around. The kids love it. Mommy is still getting use to it but it ain't bad.

While we were downstairs yesterday, Todd was folding the kids' laundry. Ianchito thought it would be fun to get in the basket & Sofi was pulling every piece of clothing from it & carrying it around the living room. They also thought it would be fun to all get in at the same time. I had the brilliant idea of pushing them around & they LOVED it!




Here are random pics of the kids loving their new play area downstairs.



Friday, May 15, 2009

Friday already?!?

Man, where did this week go? I'm seriously not joking. I have no idea how we got to Friday. Um, wow. I can tell you that this week has been very trying. I figured there would come a time where I would wonder why I had 3 babies at the same time. This is the week. The reason? Teething. Yep, it's B.A.D.

See, Sofi ran a low grade fever on Wed/Thurs. I called the pedi yesterday thinking maybe she had an ear infection b/c she was just sooooo whiney. I was hoping it was something we could fix, right? Wrong. Dr. Nguyen looked in her ears & all was clear. Looked in her mouth/throat & said the throat was a bit red & would check for strep to be cautious b/c she knows we have 2 others at home, one that is super suseptible to illnesses & febrile seizures. She came back w/ the results & said, "The good news, it isn't strep. The bad news, there is nothing you can do for teething except for some tylenol & patience."

HA! Great advice coming from someone that doesn't have 3 1-yr olds at home, right? On top of all this, the napping hasn't gotten any better. I'm not so sure that I want to just go ahead & switch to 1 nap b/c what if it is the teething & these guys need another month or so w/ those 2 naps? Or is it that I am afraid of change?

On a better note, I didn't mean to avoid Mother's Day. I really enjoyed the beautiful roses I got from the kids, the wonderfully cooked breakfast from Todd (my favorite biscuits & gravy), & about 3.5 hrs in the afternoon to run a bunch of errands. It was perfect! Thank you Todd for everything!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Napping issues again!

Will it ever stop? Just when you think everything is going smoothly something has to happen. Granted, napping seems to always be a crap shoot anyway but for a while, it was fantastic! An hour in the morning & an hour to 1.5 hrs in the afternoon. Now, not so much.

Last week they were doing fantastically well w/ their am nap, so well that I thought they were sleeping a bit longer than normal. No biggie, right? I chalked it up to t a growth spurt but then I started seeing the afternoon nap not happen. They would talk the whole time which lead to sleeping during the walk. They weren't cranky though. I can handle it if they aren't cranky.

Then we started this week. Bleh. They decide that morning naps aren't what they want so rather than just talking, they cried. Yep, to the point where yesterday Sofi was so cranky that nothing could comfort her.

So, we are struggling. I can only imagine the multitude of things it can be. Separation anxiety, teething molars, or wanting to go down to 1 nap. What ever the reason, this mama needs for it to get resolved quickly! Mama needs some down time.

Here are a few pics of the kids at the party that my neighbor took w/ her awesome camera!








After they had their cake, we put them in the baby pool & my neighbor's daughter, Katie, took these shots. LOVE THEM!




Monday, May 11, 2009

The Signing Queen

Gabi has really taken off w/ signing. They all can do "all done" but she seems to be the one that really uses signing to communicate. She uses "more" & "milk" on a regular basis & has been adding words to her signing vocabulary such as "mama", "dada", & "baby". I've been trying to capture them on video.

If there is any doubt in your heads whether to teach this to your children, this is proof that persistence & repetition works. We have been signing milk since they came home from the NICU. We added words as we have gone along the way. It really isn't hard to pic a few that you think would be good to use & just do them when you are doing the activity.

For example, when the kids want more of something I ask them & do the sign for it. You will see me in the video modeling the sign for them. Another thing we do is let the kids watch Baby Einstein's My First Signs w/ their bedtime bottle. This is the only tv they watch all day. Gabi has picked up quite a bit from the video alone!





If you have any questions or want to know how to get started w/ signing, please let me know! I would love to help you out!

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Finally...the birthday party!

Yep, 6 weeks late but better late than never! For those of you that just started reading, the original party was set for March 28th but the kids got sick w/ a virus so we had to cancel it. April was booked for many family/friends so we were finally able to have the kids' first birthday party yesterday.

I was very concerned that everything wouldn't get done in time but I had some help (Sheila, Mom, & Todd). I couldn't have done it w/o them b/c I had kids to take care of at the same time. Go figure they would decide to only take ONE nap yesterday. I thought for sure they would be super cranky for the party but I have to say that they really behaved well & adjusted to all the people being there. Remember, this is the 1st time they have had that many people around them since they were born! The only one that was a bit timid & vocal when I left was Gabi. She got over it rather quickly though.

We went w/ Rubber Ducky as our theme. Excuse the hole in the wall. We are do-it-yourselfers & that was a project I started about 2 wks before I got pregnant w/ the kids.




Sofi decided to pull out all the books from the bookshelf in the kitchen.



All 3 babies getting their mini-cakes!


Ian digging in w/ reckless abandon!


Hmmmmm, should I dig in?


Gabi was very particular about how she dug in to her cake!



Sofi got upset again when we took away the rubber ducky candle. That's 2 for 2!


Ian really enjoyed his cake & dug in!


Mommy helping the kids play w/ their new toys!


Sofi really loved that balloon. She carried it EVERYWHERE!