Happy Birthday and one Big Boo-Boo

July 9th, 2011 by karla

The triplets are three.  This is an interesting age.  The volume has suddenly escalated, as has the fighting and the temper-tantrums.  If you have three children, one of them is bound to throw some killer punches.  Mia can throw some amazing tantrums complete with kicking, hitting and attitude.  Josie can also sport an attitude but Marcus remains drama-free for the most part.  Before we moved, we had a birthday party for the kids with family.  But on their actual birthday, we threw them a small private party at the house  to celebrate this glorious age.  Daddy came home for lunch and we opened presents from Aunt Jess and Ga-Ga and Pop-Pop.  Marcus did ask “where are all the kids?” but honestly, their best friends (each other) were there and they were perfectly content.

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The weekend after their birthday, Ga-Ga and Pop-Pop came to visit.  It was an eventful jam packed weekend.  Max started the weekend with a mountain biking accident.  He broke his collarbone and cracked a few ribs.  After a trip to the ER, he ended up camped out on the couch for the rest of the weekend while we kept the kids busy.  They watched their first fireworks display, which was a success.  Marcus and Mia were very entertained while Josie hid her face in Ga-Ga’s chest the whole time.  After the grand finale she perked up to announce “I LOVED the fireworks!  Can we watch them again.”  We also watched the small 4th of July parade, and took a scenic trip up one of the ski-lifts.  In the summer, you can ride up the ski-lifts and hike around, bike , or take one of the slides, coasters, or ziplines back down the mountain.   The kids enjoyed their first ski-lift trip; although, I about lost it with all their wiggling.  I don’t know how we’re going to ski with them this winter…

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Max had surgery this past Wednesday and is recovering nicely, complete with a metal plate and 7 screws in his shoulder.  He should be good as new in several weeks.  Until then, I’m trying to keep the kids busy and out of the house to allow daddy some peaceful recovery time.  I often attach them all to my bike and take them on rides to the different playgrounds in the area.

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Some days I wonder how I’m surviving the summer without preschool.   Wine definitely helps ;)  Although I’m finding this age extremely daunting, it is also very amusing.  The kids play together all day.  Although this results in lots of arguments, it is also fascinating to watch their pretend games and their imaginations take off.  Josie tends to be the “teacher” of the group, always leading the games and making sure everyone is sharing and happy.  Mia brings the drama and excitement and Marcus just tries to keep up with it all.  I really wonder what parent’s of singleton 3-year-olds do.  How in the world do they entertain their children all day?  My kids rarely leave each other’s side and will act out intricate pretend scenarios with mommies and daddies, prince and princesses, dogs and cats, etc. for hours. They also make-up songs and sing them together.  It really is fascinating. The benefits of having multiples is definitely starting to pay off!

Work Hard, Play Hard…SLEEP!

June 26th, 2011 by karla

I  admit, when Max first mentioned a recruiter contacting him from a company in Utah, I was a little taken aback.  Immediately I though of Big Love and potatoes.   After quickly realizing I was confusing Idaho with Utah, I tried to think about what else I knew about Utah except from a few popular tv shows.  It was very little.  I think this state is a bit of a hidden gem and I feel so lucky we were given the opportunity to discover it.   Almost 1 month in, and I still feel like I’m on vacation.  The motto “work hard, play hard” has always been a favorite of mine.  And now, I’m beginning to realize the power of that motto even more.

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Summer is so fleeting here, this city takes advantage of every second.  There are free concerts 3-5 nights/week and festivals every Saturday and Sunday.   Then of course, there is the recreation.  You can be outdoors all day, the temps range from 50-80 during the days so it is always comfortable in the summer.  And of course, it rarely rains.  Everyone bikes everywhere, it is no wonder it has one of the lowest BMI’s  in the country!

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I am quickly adapting to the extra stress that goes along with high altitude training and am venturing into trail running.  Max is also taking advantage of the awesome fitness opportunities out here.  All of us are taking a little beating.  I admitably have taken a few spills trail running and the kids have taken some tumbles on their bikes.  But, we are all having so much fun, it is worth it!   The kids are actually working on conquering the beginner mountain biking loop at one of the mountain bike obstacle courses.   Meanwhile, we have figured out a way to transport all three kids on our bikes when we travel around town.

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The benefits of all this activity, besides staying in great shape, are SLEEP!  Everyone is sleeping great; in fact, the kids sometimes sleep till 8 AM!  I haven’t slept in this late, this often for 3 years!

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It is a little strange moving to such a small town.  We rarely travel down to the Valley; we have everything we need up here including a Super Wal-Mart and some world-famous restaurants.  But, we don’t blend in very well.  Almost everyone who meets us greets us with “oh yes, you are the ones with the triplets…I’ve seen you around town”.   Although, everyone has always been very polite and nice so far.   In fact, the other day, one of the hot air balloons that travels over our neighborhood several times a week,  came down for a closer view when they saw all three kids waving frantically from the deck.  ”are those triplets?” they yelled from overhead.   Yep, that would be us.

Potty Away!

June 23rd, 2011 by karla

A few months back, Mia practically potty-trained herself (of course I’m not surprised).  It was easy, clean and fast.  There were no rewards, no bribes, no long talks.  She started telling us she needed to go potty and within a few days, she was using the potty every time she pooped or peed.  Granted, although she is a perfectionist, she is also a normal kid, so she had an accident or two.  They happened in extremem situations (HELLO….she couldn’t stop in the middle of an Easter egg hunt) and were always distressing to her.  Now, she is in underwear all the time, even overnight, and hasn’t had an accident in months.

I was hoping I could wait it out until Josie and Marcus potty trained themselves as well.  The kids turn 3 next week.  They need to be potty trained before they start their new preschool in September.  I have been telling myself over the past few months I would work on potty training as soon as things settle down.  I promised as soon as everything was unpacked in our new house, my focus would be potty-training.  After all, I had to either potty train or miss out on preschool…its a no-brainer.  I brought out the dreaded little potty.  I also equipped myself with an M&M dispenser and a signature “potty dance”.  That was all Josie needed.  After two persistant days of many “potty breaks”, she was potty trained during the day.  Over the past week, she has had several accidents, but she is well on her way.  In fact, the past several nights, she has been staying dry as well.

I talked to several experienced moms about potty training before I even thought about beginning the process..  The smart ones all said to WAIT WAIT WAIT.  You’ll know when their ready.  I always chose the easiest, most practical option when it comes to raising kids.  I didn’t even bring out a little potty until the kids were 2.5.  Sure, the grandparents played around with sitting them on the potty and got a huge kick out of seeing them pee but they weren’t really ready to be officially potty-trained, so I didn’t bother working with them at home.  It wasn’t worth my time to sit them on the potty and wait, and wait, and wait for something to happen a few times a week.  That is not potty training and I didn’t have the time or patience for it.  I think I made a wise choice.  Both the girls were pretty easy to officially potty train once they were ready.

But, then there is Marcus.  Now that the girls are both potty trained and wearing big girl underwear, he is definitely peeing on the potty more but I can tell it just isn’t clicking with him.  Sometimes he goes, sometimes he doesn’t.  And, it seems the thought of pooping on the potty is just repulsive to him.  So…I’m not going to push it right now.  I have 2 more months until he MUST be trained.  I’m hoping in those months, something will click with him as well and things will go just as smoothly.  If not, I guess I’m in for an interesting few weeks come mid-August.

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Tiramisu Please

June 15th, 2011 by karla

The other day we stopped in at Whole Foods to get the kids a treat after a long bike ride. Josie chose a brownie. Marcus chose chocolate pudding. Mia could have chosen from an array of cookies, mouse, chocolate cake, or candy but she decided on Tiramisu. Marcus and Josie tried some and despised it. Mia ate the entire cake. What’s next Mia, french truffles?

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Balance me Happy

June 14th, 2011 by karla

By far the best money I have ever spent on kid toys is balance bikes.    If you’ve been thinking about getting them, I highly recommend them over any other riding toys; we’ve tried them all.  I saw all the videos and read all the testimonials but I had my doubts; I was especially skeptical about one of my daughter’s ability to learn (not naming any names but she is extremely uncoordinated).  Sure enough, after a few weeks of practicing daily, my kids were flying on these bikes….all three of them! And, they love them. After several months, they still cannot wait to ride them everyday!

It is no secret that toddlers have never been the light of my life.  Anyone that knows me well, knows that young children don’t do much for me.  I love kids that can hike, bike, camp, play tennis and use  some sort of logical reasoning.  As much as I enjoy the cuteness and cuddles, my toddlers hold me back, and I have a hard time with that.  Since I retired my jogging stroller, I rarely get in any exercise with my children.   That is why I am so happy to have found these balance bikes.  I actually have to jog to keep up with my kids now!  In fact, we went on a 1.5 miles bike ride/jog today.   It was fantastic.  It gives me a glimpse into future mountain bike rides, rock climbing, and mini-triathlons together.   I know, I know, we have a way to go before my kids  belay me down a ravine but for now…balance bikes make me happy!

Opposites…

June 13th, 2011 by karla

As I sit and enjoy the sereneness of my new backyard, I sometimes get lost in my own little world.  What is that bird with the bright blue belly?  Oh wow, there is the blue heron again!  Look, it’s the adorable fox that lives in the den up the hill…

“IT’S SWIPER!”

Then, I am jolted back to reality as my children scare the fox back up the hill by loudly accusing him of swiping Dora’s belongings.

The stark contrast of the gentle rapids and my children’s loud giggles strangely seem to fit together just right in this new home.

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Now I’m just not sure if the quiet retired  couple next door agrees….

Settling In

June 8th, 2011 by karla

Change can be unsettling.  Max has known for awhile that his career path would likely take him out of the Triangle, a place we have called home for the past 10 years.  The where and the when had been hanging over our heads for the past 6-9 months.   In March, Max received a job offer that would move us to Park City, UT; halfway across the country.  The job, the environment, the great schools and sense of community were all in our favor.  It is far from family, and that will be hard.  However, I am a firm believer in embracing new experiences.  Max moved at the end of March.  I made the decision to stay in the Raleigh area until June to get our house organized, continue my business, let the kids finish preschool, and spend more time with family and friends before we headed to Utah.  It was hard on both the kids and I to be so far away from Max for so long but finally here we are, settling into our new home and enjoying life’s adventures.

Saying goodbye to our friends and family was tough.  We were very lucky to have a large percentage of our family all within the same town for 5 years or so.   It just so happens, several of us ended up moving away from the are over the past few months.  Max’s brother recently headed to Pheonix and my sister and her family are being relocated to Dallas. Certainly, it was especially tough for the grandparents to see us go.  Although we will miss seeing them so often, we do look forward to lots of long and frequent visits over the years.

I feel truly blessed to have been given the opportunity to move to such a beautiful part of the country.  I have always been a very outdoorsy and sporty girl.  And, living in a community with the same values as me has always been a priority in my life.  One summer Max and I were lucky enough to live in Portland Oregon, which reminds me a lot of Park City.  I loved it and always wanted to go back!.  Like the Portland area, people here are outside all the time…even in the dead of winter.  Everyone bikes, skis and runs. Family is a high priority and the opportunities for families to be active together are limitless.  I am living my ideal vacation and that is pretty darn fabulous!

The kids are having a blast despite a few setbacks.  Our POD (all our processions) is MIA.  We have picked up a few toys but mostly spend time outside.  Luckily the house we’re renting is partially furnished so we have some essentials.  We are also having problems finding someone to transport our mini-van.  Max has his Outback here (which we may try to squeeze three car seats into) and we’ve been taking the bus around the small town (which has been surprisingly easy)  There is so much to do here. The kids keep telling me how happy they are that we moved to “the house in the mountains”.   And most of all, after living apart from daddy for 2.5 months, we are happy to all be together again.

Now, let’s see how I gloat over my new home in a few months, when the snow starts. Winter has always been an oddity to me so it should be interesting. I have a feeling my pair of heeled boots aren’t going to cut it…

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We’re just a normal family…almost

June 1st, 2011 by karla

The drama of having triplets is finally simmering down.  There was a time we couldn’t set foot in public without being asked about our unique situation…”oh my gosh, triplets?  I can’t imagine.”   Around the age of two, things got a little more subdued “wait, are they all the same age?”   Now, we can sometimes go several days between odd stares or ridiculous questions “did you plan that?”.   On top of that, I can actually get out and about with the kids very easily, at least compared to the first few years.   We are on our way to not just being a family with triplets but to being a normal family with three kids.

At our recent college reunion party, Max and I actually had the opportunity to sit, socialize and have a few drinks while our kids played.   My  life actually appeared calmer than my friends who were juggling toddlers and young babies.

This sense of normalcy went out the window when Yo Gaba Gaba began to play in the background.  I overheard one of the parents ask “what is this show?” and another said “I have no idea, this is really weird.”

I tried not to overreact as I practically choked on my daughter’s cheerios.  ”Did someone just ask what this show was…seriously?”  Where had these people been the past few years?

There it went.  The parents looked at me sympathetically and said “if I had triplets, I’m sure they would watch tv all the time too”.  All the other moms and dads eagerly nodded in agreement “I don’t blame you”.

Wow.  After several “I still don’t know how you do it?” and “you are my hero” ‘s the conversation continued amongst my friends and got even more preposterous.  ”Yeah, we have finally expanded her tv watching to Sesame Street but she hasn’t seen much more than that.” and “I have no problem with cartoons, I just don’t want them to get hooked” and “Oh, I know.  I love TV myself, I just don’t know if I could stand listening to all those kid songs.”

I honestly don’t even know what to say other than that conversation suddenly made me feel “not normal”.   I love my friends to death but truly, there are some things non-multiple parents will never understand.  I don’t think many of us would have a conversation about the limits we place on our children’s tv watching, whether we had “a problem with it” or not.   I’m not sure we would have the time to think about it one way or the other.  And…as our kids get older and we finally do have time to analyze whether cookie monster’s departure from Sesame Street is a good thing or not, we just don’t care.  By this time we have realized, Yo Gaba Gaba is awesome!

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Where Have We Been?

May 23rd, 2011 by karla

Honestly, where haven’t we been!  With our big move approaching, the blog has been neglected…again.  Truly, these past few months have been a complete whirlwind of packing, clearing house, making moving arrangements and TRAVEL.  At the beginning of April, I traveled to Park City to see our future home.  I’m so excited for the opportunity to live in such an outdoorsy active environment.  How I’m going to handle the cold is a mystery.  I’m scared.

At the end of April we were surprised with a last minute vacation.  4 days into Max’s new job, the company announced it was taking all its employees to Costa Rica for a vacation.  I kid you not!  Max came home for a few days around Easter and soon after, Max and I left for 5 jam-packed days of surfing, lounging, zip-lining, relaxing and a little bit of partying in gorgeous Costa Rica.  Yes, life is good!

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Soon after getting back from our impromptu vacation, it was packing, packing and more packing.  In mid-May we did more traveling. I was feeling very adventurous and decided to take a car trip BY MYSELF with my triplet toddlers.  We went to visit my best friend from high school, Rosa, in Richmond, VA.  The three hour drive went surprisingly well.  I didn’t even have to make any pit-stops.  We had a blast with her two children, Aubrey and Jacob.  From there, the kids and I headed to DC to pick daddy up from the airport and then it was off to another party!  My college friends had a reunion…12+ adults and just as many children, all 4 or under.  It could have been a disaster.  Especially since my kids had been traveling for several days at this point (hello, meltdown city).  But, it was amazingly fantastic.  Perhaps I’ve got a warped opinion of “everything being in control” but honestly, it never felt chaotic, all the kids got along, and there were almost no fights (maybe all the martinis helped).   The craziest part, we all spent the night in one house!  The kids all went to bed, the parents all got to celebrate, it was fantastic!   What an amazing corner we’ve turned!  I can attend an overnight party with my triplets…imagine that.  The next day, we dropped daddy back off at the airport and geared up for a LONG drive back home.  Amazingly, we drove a whopping 5+ hours with no meltdowns, no emergency stops (except a break for lunch halfway), and no “events”.   I’m so proud of my little guys!

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So now, we are living at Grammy’s house for a few short weeks before we fly out to join daddy at “the new house in the mountains”.   The other morning, I got to let out some moving stress when I completed my first sprint triathlon.  Although it was one more thing to squeeze into a very hectic month, I had such a blast!  I can’t wait for my next one. The kids are going to spend some good “grammy and grandpa time” at the beach while Max and I head to Vegas for a few days with our close friends.  Then, we all get back on Memorial Day and fly out for Utah a few days later.

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I told you it has been a whirlwind!  Hopefully once we settle into our new home, I will have more time to blog.  I’m looking forward to life settling down and most of all, our family being together again!

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Cleaning out the Closets

March 24th, 2011 by karla

Keeping things clean and simple makes me happy.  Moving is a great excuse to do some major spring cleaning!  Here are a few triplet memories I just had to share:

~24 week ultrasound – can you make out three babies?

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At this same ultrasound, the kids moved around so all three of their heads were touching.  It was an “awe” moment at the u/s.

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In the meantime, here is the stack of insurance claims from my triplet pregnancy, my hospital stay, the birth, and the kids ~month in the NICU.

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Finally, here is just ONE claim from this pile, albeit an expensive one.  Notice the pricetag?

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Max headed to Park City, Utah yesterday morning; thus starts my few months as a single parent.  In a normal situation, this may be a little difficult with toddler triplets.  However, the kids will practically be living at Grammy’s house part-time while I transition new instructors to lead my business, pack up the house, and take care of some triplet wall art in an attempt to rent our house.  I will head out to Park City in a few weeks to see my future home for the 1st time.  Everyone says it is a gorgeous place and there is a ton of stuff to do with kids.  Right now, I have one priority and that is determining where we will live so I can figure out what preschool to get the kids into!  Hopefully we will figure that out in the next few weeks.