Saturday, May 31, 2008

The Questions Keep on Coming

I understand the fascination of having 3 babies at once. Just when I think I'm used to looking at 3 beautiful sleeping babies, well, toddlers, in their cribs, I realize that I have THREE sleeping babies for whom I'm responsible (Jack's responsibility is implied, of course). I'm responsible for teaching them to not hit, to listen to directions, to eat their food and not throw it. It is up to me to teach them to love books, to discover bugs and dandelions, to begin instilling a love of learning. While saving for 3 college educations, it is up to me to get them ready for preschool by learning numbers, colors, the alphabet, by teaching them to sit and listen, how to wash their hands and that crayons are for coloring, not eating or drawing on each other. I get it.

When we are out in the world, I get stopped....A LOT! It seems that almost every person who passes us utters a comment. Most of them I hear, but are not directed at me, like "Wow! She's got 3 babies" or "Look at that stroller!" I've learned to ignore most comments. I used to stop and acknowledge a nice comment but now, I put my head down and pretend that it is just me, Ellie, Lily and Liam at the mall, zoo, Costco or wherever

Often I want to make a smart-ass comment back, depending on my mood. I never do. I'm not that kind of person. A lot of times, I wish I could come back with a zinger. I think about it and I usually have one just dying to pop out of my mouth, but the commenter means no harm. It is a curiosity to have 3 babies and this person is different than the 20 previous commenters. I have to remember that. I don't want to hurt feelings.

There are some questions though that just are SO inapporpriate and I'm constantly amazed that people don't find them too personal. Maybe they are embarrassed after we leave. Who knows? When those questions come up, I either make up an answer or I give an ambiguous response that will make them think and hopefully realize that they've crossed the line.

For example, here are some cross-the-line questions/comments:

1. Did you use fertility drugs? I'll tell you if you tell me about you.Let's talk about YOUR last woman visit.

2. I assume you used drugs, why? WHAT?!?!?!?

3. Are they natural? No, actually they are plastic! Can you believe it! They are really doing amazing things with plastic these days.

4. Did you deliver naturally or C-section? Does the way in which my beautiful children came into the world really matter?

5. Are they healthy? Most of the time. How is YOUR health? Really, I do understand the curiosity, but would people really want to know if my child has some devastating health issue? Why would I discuss my children's medical history with a stranger?

6. I'd kill myself if I had 3. I love to hear this one. Seriously, why would you say that to a Mom in front of her children?

7. Do twins or triplets run in your family? They do now, especially when they are in trouble.

1. Tell me that I have my hands full. I know that I do. Think of something more creative.

2. Ask me if they are all identical. Look closely...I have a boy in the mix so that narrows the field. For those of you who may not know...boys and girls anatomically CANNOT be identical. Look at my girls...they look completely different. Related? Yes. Identical? No.

3. Ask me if all 3 of them are twins. No further explanation needed on this one.

4. Ask me if I got a lot of sleep. Are you insane? I'm sure that you can figure out this one by yourself.

5. Ask me if they are all mine. Do you want to do errands with 3 toddlers? Sometimes I just want to tell them that I get bored with the same errands with one baby so bringing along another toddler or two makes the day a little more of a challenge for me.

1. Ask their names and personalities. They are 3 different little people with completely different personalities. They are not 1 entity, even though they were born a minute apart.

2. Tell me how beautiful they are. Every Mom loves hearing about how beautiful, perfect and talented her children are.

3. Tell me that you are amazed and impressed that I'm out and about with 3 toddlers and that we all are happy. We are and I love beign with them.

I leave you with some pictures...

Ellie is wearing Liam's safety goggles from his tool bench. She loved them and they actually dress up her outfit a bit, huh?

Liam and Ellie eating some "pos-cle" and playing in the pool. Lily was still getting her beauty rest.

She's up and more beautiful than before!

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Thursday, May 22, 2008

No More Babies

My baby boy is now becoming a toddler. We cut his hair today. It was hard, but I'm not one to cry about these things. He did have these beautiful curls on the back of his little head. BUT, those curls only showed up when he needed his hair washed, that is, when his hair was getting dirty. They were perfect though and curled around his ears and the nape of his neck all the way to the top of his head. Beautiful. When his hair was clean though, it was a poof ball of fuzz. Not at all attractive, well, always attractive to his Mommy, but it was time for a cut.

When the girls got their hair cut, I decided to take them to the cutesy kiddie salon. That's what first time parents do, right? Make the cute memory. Well, the child (seriously, maybe 18) cutting my baby girls' hair butchered them. They looked horrible. So bad, in fact, that I'm not even putting the pictures up. I'm a little embarrassed. Their hair has since grown out, but I still look at those pictures an dcringe a little. She even put their hair in a pink bow that reminded me of a poodle. Anyway, for Liam's cut, I took him to my hair dresser, whom I love! Look at what she did to my baby:

Before his cut...cute but getting a little shaggy in front

He was so perfect perched on that little riser. Sweet little guy was just perfect.


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Family Day Out

In the spring and summer, I like to plan Saturday get aways for the 5 of us. Last year, we went up north into Boulder to explore, but now that the kids are older, I want to keep them involved and active outside. Plus, we moved to CO from Southern California when I was pregnant with the trio and sick all day long, so Hubby and I didn't explore our new beautiful state as much as we would have liked.

This past weekend, we took a drive to Evergreen and walked around the Lake. We saw some huge female elk grazing in backyards and this rather odd sign:

Keep gate closed from what?

Here are some more pictures from our day:

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Wednesday, May 7, 2008

What's hard about a nutshell

Someone recently asked a question in my comment section that I thought was a good one, especially for those of you reading who have triplets younger than mine. Plus, I usually get only a few comments, I want to keep all 4 readers happy. :) "What have been the challenges with triplets?"

I have no idea what it is like to have only 1 baby. I was blessed to have 3 at the same time, so that is my "normal." I often look at people with one infant or I hear someone talk about how hard it is with one and I think, "What are you complaining about? One would be a piece of cake." One baby is their "normal" and I'm sure I'd be in the same boat if I had only one.

Challenges are a constant with 3 toddlers. At the beginning, the challenge was feeding. They ate every 3 hours and it took, on average, 1 1/2 hours to feed them from start to finish. After 30 minutes of pumping and cleaning up everything, I had about 45 minutes to "rest" before it all started again. Of my 3, Liam was a horrible eater. Well, he ate enough, but he had such bad gas and reflux that feeding was miserable for me as well as for him. Lily was a super slow eater, but no problems. Ellie would drink her whole bottle in about 5 minutes. She drank it so fast that I had to slow her down and boy did that girl scream when the bottle was taken away.

At 3 months...L-R: Ellie, Liam, Lily. I can't believe how much they've grown so quickly.

Now, I'm trying to figure out how to deal with 3 completely different personalities at the same time while giving each child their own time with me. Ellie is very cautious and needs extra time to feel comfortable in a situation. Liam gets comfortable more quickly than Ellie, but still looks around frequently to make sure I'm still there with him. Lily is the one I have to keep my eye on. She will walk off without a care in the world. A couple weeks ago, I was at the acquarium with all 3. Two were eating a snack and Lily decided to go explore. She walked back into the exhibits without ever looking back at me. She followed some big kids into a tunnel and played in there for about 5 minutes, never calling out for me or even looking. I was standing right near her (she never saw me) and she suddenly realized that she was alone. She panicked and began crying out my name. I was right there and scooped her up, but she pulls this disappearing act all the time. She has no fear of new people and loves to go right up people and say, "Hi." It is hard at times trying to encourage Ellie to go explore, comfort Liam when he needs it and reign in Lily.

Sharing, or not sharing, as the case may be is another challenge. I don't want to zoom in every time there is an argument or everytime a toy is taken. They have to figure that out. Most kids begin to figure that out when they are older or even in preschool. Mine have had to deal with it since they could crawl. For the most part, they are very good at sharing toys and will hand toys to each other to play with.

Attention jealously is something that I'm dealing with as well as the kids. They each need their own individual time with me and with my husband. Right now, they are in a phase when only Mommy will do. Even though this is only a passing phase, I still feel badly for my husband because they pull away from him. He feels badly for me because there is nothing he can do when all 3 want to be held. Ellie often requires the most Mommy-time and she gets very jealous anytime I'm holding Lily or Liam.

On the other hand, I can't imagine life without all 3 of these little people. I love seeing the interaction between them that I wouldn't get of if there was only 1 or even 2. Raising 3 toddlers is non-stop but I wouldn't trade it for anything.

Lily who currently has 4 teeth at 21 months.

Liam, who is faring better with 8 teeth.

Ellie, who wins in the tooth contest with 12.

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