Yes, triplets can be a lot of work and make life a little more complicated then it should be BUT…the rewards are plentiful. Just look at what greets me every morning.
We love to get out of the house. Now that the weather is warmer, we are getting more adventurous. Yes, it can be annoying as people gawk and swarm but honestly, I don’t mind so much anymore (I would gawk too if I didn’t see my triplets everyday). We have had some funny confrontations lately: while at the beach a lady came up to take a peek and said “I’ve never seen triplets up close before”. Then, while leaving campus the other day, the parking attendant saw the 3 carseats in the car and left the parking booth to peek in the windows while the cars behind us honked. She asked to get a closer look but I politely told her I needed to be on my way
Here are pics of some of our latest adventures:
A trip to a restaurant (we are doing this more and more):
Feeding the kids at a recent barbecue. This double stroller is small and convenient enough to take anywhere. I held Mia on my lap and handed out the kids food. We are pretty adventurous with food and pretty much let the kids try everything. They LOVED the hummus and barbecue chicken (even picky Josie). Yum Yum!
And yes, I have too many strollers! We have the triple jogger that I run with. A double and single snap n’ go’s, (which we are finally selling). A single jogger (we may use it), and a triple bus (I may part with this one too and just opt for the double and a backpack carrier). Who would have thought….
Ok, so the cheerios on the floor wasn’t so cute the second time. The third time it was annoying. I am getting cabinet locks today.
Today’s triplet Tuesday pic represents the ordeal of packing up the kids for rides. The infant seats were a blessing until the past few months, when my biceps couldn’t keep up with 25 + lbs. of baby and seat in each arm. We are in the process of picking out their next carseats, which will require carrying the children out one-by-one to the car and strapping them in. I don’t care what people say, I will be THRILLED when my children can walk!
We have a van…of course. We took out one of the bucket seats to make life a little easier. We have one seat in the remaining bucket seat and two seats in the back. There is no “alternate” car with extra carseats in our house. Our sporty Jetta (which represents our life pre-triplets) would never accomadate our children. It is the van or bust.
With triplets, just getting the essentials done in life is a balancing act. I hate to admit this, but there have been plenty of days where I am unable to squeeze in a shower or I completely forget to brush my teeth in the morning. I cannot simply carry my baby into the bathroom and let them play on the floor while I shower and dress. By the time I got all three kids in the bathroom, there would definitely be a poopy diaper to change, spit-up to wipe up, or a boo-boo to kiss. The harsh reality is I often am a disheveled mess until the kids go down for morning nap. Heck, some days I stay a disheveled mess until bedtime.
So, I sometimes seriously doubt I can ever accomplish much else besides making sure we all eat, drink, and stay clean while my kids are little. Yet, besides squeezing in blogging (my creative outlet), grocery shopping, and my 4-5 workouts a week, I also am trying to finish my master’s degree. This would not be possible without the help of the most awesome grammy in the world who my children absolutely adore (thanks mom) and coffee. For the past several months, Grammy P. comes over twice a week while I frantically knock away at my thesis, run my errands, and stay sane. I also make sure I keep my k-cup stock of coffee full.
So how do I accomplish anything? It’s a balancing act and a multi-tasker’s dream. I try to fill the dishwasher in the morning while the kids are eating finger food for breakfast. I try to get laundry going during morning nap a few days a week and the other days I try to jump on my spin bike for 45 min. While the kids play, I try to switch out laundry, put away laundry or restock supplies. During lunch I try to empty the dishwasher while the kids play with their sippy cups. Afternoon nap is cleaning, emailing, blogging or trying to get thesis done. I try to get the kids out of the house between afternoon nap and dinner. We either run errands or go on a run. Evenings are thesis work (only during crunch time), more chores, and maybe a tv show before curling up with my book.
With all the hustle and bustle of life, you would think I would be exhausted and loony. But, I am pretty anal about taking care of myself. I think this is so important for all women! I try to get myself into bed every night by 9:30 PM so that I can read and PEACEFULLY fall asleep by 10 PM (my kids bedtime is 7 PM with few exceptions). This means I get almost 8 hours of sleep a night (with the exception of teething, colds, etc). I also make sure I get my workouts in. Those natural endorphins do a whole lot more than keep me skinny. I try to eat healthy (yogurt, fruit and lots of fiber) but make sure I get a special reasonable treat every night (ice-cream). Perhaps most silly but good for my psych, I try to keep my toenails painted.
So, by making sure I take care of myself, get out of the house with the kids, and am efficient with my time I am able to accomplish life without being completely exhausted and overwhelmed. In fact, I am very close to finishing my thesis and FINALLY getting my master’s degree. Perhaps the most important piece of all this is family. Not only has my mom been a huge help, but really enjoying my kids and the time we spend together as a family is paramount. Even though cleaning up the cheerios all over the floor was just another thing I had to do, seeing the mischievous grin on Marcus’s face made the extra work worth it. Even though loading the kids in and out of the stroller every day is a huge PITA, enjoying the fresh air and getting exercise is worth it. Even though taking the kids out anywhere causes a scene and takes lots of patience, seeing their happy faces and being reminded by strangers what an amazing gift Max and I have been given, makes it all worth it.
So I think taking care of ourselves and appreciating family keeps life from becoming too exhausting and overwhelming, even if you don’t have triplets. Does it prevent us from becoming loony…that is still up for debate?
I decided that every Tuesday I am going to post a few pictures that represents the reality of life with triplets. Why Tuesday? What other day of the week could be more typical?
While I was cleaning dried spit-up spots off our once gorgeous plush oriental rug (it is WAY to late to temporarily replace with a cheaper alternative) Marcus opened the cereal cabinet and got into the bag of cheerios (yes, I know they make cabinet locks). Of course, the girls made a bee-line for the trouble while Marcus continued to explore.
We spent the Easter holiday with my family at our house. Everyone looked adorable and the weather was perfect. Grammy and Grandpa P. delivered the kids first Easter baskets (the big bunny must have left them at their house). The kids had fun finding eggs (the babies eggs were full of cheerios!) and playing with their new toys. The big boys REALLY enjoyed trying out Charlie and Nathan’s Easter present. Fun for all
If I had known I was going to get pregnant with triplets, I would have had some bikini farewell event. Maybe a baywatch shot of me running in my bikini or maybe I would have worn it around for a full day. I would at least have taken a good look at myself in the mirror wearing each of my bikini’s. Because, my bikini days are over!
I remember one of my good friend’s showing me her teensie c-section scar soon after I got pregnant and marveling how minuscule the damage was. I remember thinking, “I could easily hide that under a bikini bottom”. Ha Ha.
Then, I remember making the HUGE mistake while I was pregnant of watching the Jon and Kate episode where Kate revealed to the world what her post-sextuplet belly looked like. I literally immediately ran up to my room and cried for hours. Max attempted to make me feel better by saying “But honey, she looks great post-tummy tuck. It is completely fixable”. That is the moment I realized a tummy tuck was the ONLY way I would ever wear a bikini again.
While I was on bedrest in the hospital, I only saw myself in a full length mirror once, a few days before I gave birth to my babies. I cried then too.
I remember being suprised by the varrying responses of the mother’s on the triplet board regarding their “after” tummy skin. Some of them reported “no stretch marks, I must be gumby” and others said “The damage is permanent, you will never look the same!” I now realize many of these mothers who claimed no permanent bodily harm only went to 28-30 weeks (my first stretch mark appeared at 30 weeks), they were 6 ft. tall or they really were gumby.
The last three weeks of my pregnancy were a major challenge for my 5 foot even frame. My ribs ached as they expanded, my insides migrated, and unfortunately I did not grow new skin. The result…ribs that will never retract, hanging skin, and a gaping hole between my ab muscles.
However, I must say I am completely in awe of how my body that was completely out of whack prior to my pregnancy managed to pull it together and nurture 3 human beings for 33 weeks. The results may be a flabby tummy and protruding ribs but they also include 3 miracles that make all the pain and uglies worth it.
I worked hard for my six pack prior to my pregnancy. And even though I know I will not be showing them off anytime soon, I am proud that I have worked hard after my pregnancy to regained all my ab strength.
Maybe some day I will get that tummy tuck and wear a bikini again. For now, I am counting my blessings and enjoying my crazy but wonderful new family. And my tankini is in the mail.
I like to live life on the edge. This weekend we took a “Pietron siblings” trip to the beach with my sister and her husband, her two boys (18 months and 3 years) and my brother. Yes, that is 5 kids age 3 and under but a 1:1 child/adult ratio which is way better than my daily ratio of 1:3. We had a great time and the weather was fantastic. The men took a night out on a casino cruise and my sister and I took a 6-hour outlet shopping trip (HEAVEN!) the next day. That did mean leaving the “men” with all 5 kids for an afternoon/evening. Besides a few questionable moments (receiving a picture on my phone of Uncle Nick having a drink at a bar with Mia strapped to his chest and being greeted by a 3 year old eating donuts an hour past his bedtime) everyone prospered. Here are a few pics of the adventurous (notice I did not say relaxing) weekend:
My sister and I taking the kids for a walk on the beach:
Enjoying the beach while keeping the kids contained:
Uncle Nick and Josie because they continue to look so much alike:
The girls and their adorable swimsuits I couldn’t resist buying:
Our first time swimming with the kids (they all LOVED it):
I belong to a group of triplet + moms who keep me sane. We depend on each other to figure out how to raise high order multiples and survive. A hot topic on our forum is “does it get any easier” or “please God tell me there is light at the end of the tunnel!” These posts are usually written by a new mom of multiples whose children are 4 months or younger. I know…I wrote one of them when my kids were around 2 months (I think mine was titled “Do we ever turn a corner..lie to me please!”). The answers range from “Hang in there honey, it gets so much easier to “hell no, it is harder now than ever. Sorry.”
So, what do I think now that my kids are 9 months? Easier…maybe. Different…yes. More manageable and fun…definitely! As you can see from my recent video dairies, things are a little obnoxious around the house. Of course, my “obnoxious” may look like “chaos and utter mayhem” to others. Life is exhausting with triplets. I am constantly chasing after a kid, untangling kids, or comforting a kid who has just failed miserably at catching themselves when they fall. In the meantime I am doing laundry, changing clothes, washing the endless dirty bibs and bottles, changing diapers, peeling dried half eaten cheerios off…well everything, and wiping up spit-up. If you have/had triplets around 9-15 months, you know exactly how crazy things can be; if you have/had just one baby in this age range, you can try to imagine but you will fail.So, how can things be better? Maybe it is the sleep, maybe it is the kids exuberant personalities, or maybe it is the overall awesomeness of my children…life is so much better with triplets now. The first 3-4 months I felt like I was hanging on by a thread, some days I was ready to check myself into rehab…and I didn’t even have an addiction. It must have been the combination of no sleep, leaking breasts, crazy hormones, constant crying (the babies. Fine…sometimes mine), colic, reflux and Jocelyn (sorry Josie, as angelic and sweet as you are now, you were a tough newborn!). Now, I am completely exhausted at the end of the day. As most of you know if you have tried to contact me, I rarely have the energy to respond to e-mails or answer my phone (sorry). But, I honestly enjoy everything about my triplets. If you dropped by my house at lunchtime (come on…I dare you), you may walk away thinking “God bless that woman’s soul” but I will be thinking “God, I am so blessed”.
Would I say our life is “normal” Hell no. Just looking at some of the topics on my triplet+ mom forum answers that question:
-how do I fit my stroller in the van? (trust me, no one on this board is ever going to use the word “car”)
-I had a panic attack last night, tell me it is ok
-the step by step plan to not locking your keys in the car when you load/unload your kids
-Help! How do I keep my 6 month olds from beating each other up?
-I’m on TLC tomorrow!
Amelia – 15 lbs. 10 oz, 5% 26.5 in., 20% – still a tiny peanut
Marcus – 18 lbs. 11 oz, 25%, 28 in., 45% – our big man
Jocelyn – 17 lbs. 9 0z, 25%, 26 in., 10% – looks like she may get her height from mom
The doctor was most impressed with the kids motor skills. He says he would never have guessed they were preemies since they are acting like regular 9-10 month old babies: crawling, pulling up, cruising, balancing briefly, clapping, waving, etc. Maybe it is their active mom and grammy who encourage them on all day…or maybe they are just super smart:) We sure are proud of our kiddos.