Archive for December, 2010

Pretend Play, Holiday Fun and Jumping out of a Plane

Monday, December 20th, 2010

Triplets can be an amazing amount of work but they can also be a complete blast!  The fun starts at our house the minute the kids wake up.  They eagerly wait for each other to wake up or wake each other up.  From then on out, the triplets are best friends, complete with occasional fights, lots of apologizing and tons of love.  Right now, their favorite game to play is “santa”.  Josie puts on her Santa hat and fills up a bag with toys.  They then all proceed to give each other presents with lots of “thank you’s” and “here’s a present!”.  It is darling.  They also love to play “night-night”.  This is one of my favorite games as well.  They take turns putting each other into bed, tucking each other in, saying “good night” and closing the bedroom doors.  Granted, they only “stay asleep” for about 5 seconds but over time, this must add up to a whopping 3 minutes of peace and quiet.  They go everywhere together.  Rarely do you find one of them in a room without the other two.  Usually Josie is the one making the rules and keeping everyone in check.  Marcus definitely just follows the girls around all day…when he’s not writing on walls, spraying shaving cream all over the bathroom, turning on and off all the lights or emptying every drawer in the house.   For those of you who dont have boys yet…be warned, they are a totally different breed!

Without a doubt, the kids are feeling the thrill of the holidays.  They are constantly singing “Frosty”, “Jingle Bells” and ”Happy Birthday Baby Jesus” Our neighborhood had a Christmas celebration complete with cookie decorating, Santa, and horse drawn sleigh rides.  The kids had a great time.  We still haven’t had any luck getting the kids to warm-up to Santa.  One of these years, we’re going to get them to do more than shyly wave from 10 feet away.  I am simply wishing for a healthy Christmas.  The trips first Christmas, we were battling RSV.  Last year, they had a bad stomach bug.  If we can all just be “well”, I will be thrilled.

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We recently gave daddy a VERY exciting birthday present.  We surprised him with a trip to  jump out of a plane!  The kids had a BLAST watching the private planes take off and land and they thought watching daddy float down from the sky in a parachute was AWESOME!  Now, they run around the house pretending they are jumping out of a plane.  This could get dangerous….

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This week we try to kill time on our countdown to Christmas.  With no preschool or Little Gym, we will be visting all the local parks and museums.  I also got the kids these FABULOUS activity books.  They require supervision but they will sit and work on these activities for an hour together!  If you haven’t tried them, I highly recommend the Gakken or Kumon workbooks for 2-4 year olds.  They rock!

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What I wish I had together….

Sunday, December 5th, 2010

It’s only fitting I follow up my previous post with things I’m still struggling with.  As a mom of multiples, everything is amplified.  As long as you can maintain order, life is very pleasant.  I basically run a small preschool.   As this is not my ideal job, I pay to send them off and let someone else do the work a couple days a week.  While at home, there are definitely areas I have yet to conquer…

Potty Training – I just don’t want to start.  The kids are 2.5.  It’s probably time to start thinking about it.  We have potties and sometimes they sit on them.  Marcus will even pee in the potty before bed when I take the time to sit him on it.  I’m not ready to deal with wiping poop, constant potty breaks, and lots of accidents..x3!  Without a doubt diapers smell, are bad for the environment, and expensive but they are EASY.  I suppose eventually I will need to potty train my children….

Food Diversity – I avoid canned pastas, Kraft mac n’ cheese, and fast food but, my kids’ “healthy” menu is not very diverse.  I would love to say I don’t fix my kids something different for dinner but I can’t.   They push away the stir fry, deli sandwiches, and take-out and I hate food battles.  PB&J, turkey dogs, whole wheat spaghetti, beans, cheese, sweet potato fries, bagels, healthy cereal, and  mixed veggies probably make up 90% of the kids’ diet.  I can basically count what they will eat on two hands.  I know they say to “offer it even if they don’t eat it” but the screaming “NO, I DON’T LIKE THAT!  I WANT SOMETHING DIFFERENT” gets old really fast.

Patience – I yell too much.  When all three children are whining and demanding something different  from me (which happens ALOT), I sometimes lose it.  I sometimes just scream.  It causes instant silence and give me a chance to calm down and count to 10.  I wish I could just breathe through the noise and keep my cool but whining is probably my biggest pet peeve EVER.  I’m working on it.

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Play Dates – I can count the number of play dates I’ve attended on one hand.  My children are best friends.  They begin playing together the minute they wake up and continue to play together until the moment their heads hit the pillow.  They don’t need play dates for social interaction.  At play dates I end up having to attend to my kids most of the play date because I have 3.  I don’t get to complete many conversations.  Besides that, as I address my children’s needs, one of the other children (that is not mine) begins talking to me or asking me for help.  Why?  Because their mother is in a deep conversation with some other mother.  I sometimes end up being the referee and that is NO FUN!  So, I don’t do play dates unless I’m with good friends or at a playground that will engross my children.  Luckily I get plenty of adult interaction at work or I would be pretty lonely.

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Hair – My mom is great with hair, she is a hairdresser.  As their grandmother who sees them all the time, I let her deal with the girl’s hair.  I can do ponytails, pigtails, and throw a barret in from time to time.  But mostly, the girls go natural.  Truthfully, there are days I send them off to preschool without running a brush through their hair.  My mom will sometimes blow dry the girl’s hair after baths.  The thought never even dawned on me.  I see pics of little girl’s with these adorable hair bows in and darling curls and think…”who in the world has time for that?”  Let’s face it, I’m lucky if I get the ponytail in the center of their head.

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Clean-up – I’m great at cleaning up.  My kids are not.  I wish they would help.  We sometimes sing the clean up song and I pretend things are actually getting put away.  But honestly, while one kid is cleaning up puzzle pieces, another is taking back out all the musical instruments.  I always wanted to start a regular “clean-up time” 20 min. before bed but it always ends up being more work than it is worth.  It is so much more efficient for Max or I to clean up while the other is reading the kids stories.  On the rare occasion we have just one kid awake, clean up goes much smoother.  With all three of them, it is futile.  I hear there are children out there who are trained to put away their toys after they are done playing with them….what a concept!

So no one’s perfect.  As parent’s, we all have our strengths.  That is why our world is such a diverse and  interesting place!  If only my children’s dinner plates could be as interesting….

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Keeping it Together

Wednesday, December 1st, 2010

Today was a great day.  Wednesdays often are.  I dropped the kids off at preschool and went to my favorite local running trail.  It is a 2 mile loop around a small lake.  I am currently training for a half marathon so Wed. are my “long run” days.  I strap on my ipod, tune into my latest audible selection and enter my own little private oasis.  It was typical lovely 8-mile run except for one incident.  On mile 7, I noticed a blockage on the trail ahead.  There were several people gathered around what appeared to be an enormous stroller.  As I got closer I heard “hats off to you, you are an inspiration”.  Then I saw it, a replica of my gigantic “bus” with what appeared to be a dwarf of an overwhelmed mother behind the wheel.   I couldn’t help but suppress a smile as the women politely tried to escape the gawkers.  The memories rushed back.  The endless nights of little sleep, the constant crying, the inability to breath.  I compared those moments to where I was at that moment and almost lost my breath.  The difference in my life now is utterly amazing.  I am well rested, I have a blossoming career, and I have hours to myself to run, breathe, just be me…often.  Today I was reminded how blessed I am to be a mother to triplets.  The first two years were downright agonizing on many days; although it was worth every moment.  Without a doubt, I was totally immersed in my children from head to toe.  I had no choice.  Now I am just a mother of 3…3 extremely unique and amazing individuals.  I was out on a gorgeous fall day BY MYSELF listening to an engrossing book and in my OWN world.  Meanwhile, my 3 amazing smart, funny, happy and wonderful children were enjoying their day at preschool.  As I passed that women in the stroller and glanced behind me at her 3 ~6 month old babies, I heard her exhale a huge sigh.  I didn’t say a thing, I just happily smiled and continued on my way….

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So although life is very different now then it was a year ago, things can still get very hairy with triplet 2-year-olds.  How do I manage to keep it all together?  Here are a few of my daily tricks:

- SINGING.  The kids love songs.  I hate to sing but I have done more of it over the past few months than I have in my entire 32 years of life.  The kids each get to pick their own individual song for me to sing while they take turns letting me brush their teeth…it is one of their favorite times of the day.  ABC’s and Happy Birthday are favorites but with the holidays coming up, Rudolph, Frosty, and Jingle Bells are very popular.  It is not uncommon for me to burst out in lyrics when I become overwhelmed with all the yelling and whining in the car.  If a fight breaks out at home, a simple “The itsy bitsy spider..” stops the kids in their tracks.

-HOLDING HANDS.  It has never been a choice.  My kids HAVE TO hold hands whenever we cross the street or walk through a parking lot.  As I only have two, they have learned to hold each other’s hands with no problem.  They have 3 people’s hands to chose from but they MUST chose.  This has been a lifesaver to get them into school, around sidewalks, and even through a store with no cart.    We never really used harnesses and we often don’t even take strollers places.  It is either hold hands and walk or bust.

- CHOICES.  If the kids don’t want to do something, we offer them a choice.  If they make a fuss about going to bed we offer “Do you want to sleep in the yellow bed, purple bed or pack n’ play”.  They can chose whatever seat they want in the car and at the table.  If they don’t want to take their shoes off “either they can do it themselves or mommy can do it”.  The result is fairly independent children.  It amazes me when I pick the kids up from preschool.  It take some mother’s the same amount of time to get their 1 child buckled into their carseat than it take all three of mine to be buckled in and ready to go.  My kids know the first person to climb into the van gets first choice of seats so they often scramble into the car. Then, after I ask them “do you want to buckle yourself in or do you want mommy to do it”, it is not uncommon for 2 of the 3 to be partly buckled in by the time I get to them.

- COUNTING TO 5.  We do a lot of counting down.  ”You have 5 seconds to get over here and brush your teeth or you won’t get to chose your color toothbrush”.  ”You have 5 seconds to get over here or mommy will have to carry you”.  ”You have 5 seconds to chose your shoes or mommy will chose for you”.  Right now, the counting almost always works…and often by the time we reach 2 or 3.  Josie is the least impressed with counting….but she is also the least independent so I’m not really surprised..

- AVOID CONVERSATIONS.  I probably often come across rude when the children and I encounter strangers.  I can’t help it.  When I am at the grocery store or taking my children into/out of school, my attention must be focused on them alone.  I cannot answer any questions and I certainly can’t give a medical history of our family.  Truth is, if I don’t keep my children engaged, I lose control.  At the grocery store, we are always playing a game “Does anyone see bananas?”  ”I spy something orange”.  This allows us to have a smooth 30-45 minute shopping experience.  If I stop to talk about which of my triplets was born “first”, I will lose control of the situation.  All hell will break lose and at least one child will have a breakdown.  I can sense this impending doom and I often will cut conversations short mid-sentence.  Sorry but that is life.

- THE GREAT OUTDOORS.  We are outside in the heat, in the cold and sometimes in the rain.  The outdoors is never off limits for us.  We frequent all the local playgrounds.  We spend at least 2 hours outside every morning and every evening.  In my opinion, it is unnatural for kids to be indoors.  They love being outside, I love that they love being outside and the fresh air and Vitamin D does us all good.  YAY for playgrounds, greenways, backyards and open spaces.  Yay for being outside!

- AWESOME NEIGHBORS.  We are so lucky.  Our neighbors have 2 children, one of which is the triplets best friend.  The kids often wonder between our yard and the neighbors yard and vice/versa.  I can often vacuum out my car, take out the trash, and organize the garage while my kids run free between yards.  It is lovely and it is very awesome having someone to share a glass of wine with when the husbands work late.

- DORA.  When all else fails, pop in Dora.  It does the trick every time.

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