Sunday, December 12, 2010
Thursday, December 9, 2010
My favorite stores are usually consignment stores. These are stores that take in quality used (and new) clothing in exchange for a percentage of their sales in cash or store credit. I get most of the younger kids clothing at a local consignment store called Denim & Frills. I get name brand, gently used clothes for about 70% less than new. It's my treasure hunting.
My latest score at Denim & Frills was a pair of Uggs for the babies. I had 2 pair of these Uggs, but of course needed a 3rd. Found them! For $14.99. Retail price? $119.00. Just like winning the lottery for me.
Last night, I went to the Goodwill Outlet for the first time. I didn't have high hopes as I walked in and saw bins of clothing just randomly tossed in. I usually don't like to 'dig'. But, since I was there, and I saw that the clothing was sold BY THE POUND, I decided to do just that. DIG IN. And I was IN HEAVEN.
So, clothes aren't super heavy. Which means $1.59 per pound is a pretty good deal. A VERY good deal. My take in the 45 minutes that I had before they closed? (Next time I will allow ALOT more time. Plus, I have a baby scale at home so I weighed a few things just to get an idea of how much each item was)
Mens REI shirt for Aaron..$.89
Columbia Sportswear shirt for Aaron...$1.34
Tommy Hilfiger polo for Aaron...$1.98
Columbia sportswear coat for Juliette...$1.02
Naartjie outfit for Delilah...$.81
4 pairs of Carters PJ's for the babies...$1.40 TOTAL
Old Navy Henley for Joey...$1.23
Mossimo wool sweater for me...$2.02
Fleece GAP pants for Delilah...$.42
Cordurouy coat for Madeline...$2.45
Disney store PJ pants for Juliette...$.60
All of it stain and hole free!! Aaron was super impressed. He even wore the REI shirt to work today, it's THAT nice. (Of course I washed everything last night)
And that is just a FEW things. I got 17 pounds of clothes for $23.00!!! Do you know how much 17 pounds of clothing is? Considering the heaviest item was the cord coat and it weighed just 1#6oz, it's alot. Trust me.
Looks like I found a new shopping place :)
Saturday, November 27, 2010
Tuesday, November 23, 2010
Humbling Moment #547: Women With More Than One Child Are Not Actually Crazy
" Maybe you have been there. I remember having my one toddler. I was so patient. So kind. He was always breastfed to sleep. He was worn in a sling. He was loved all the time. He never cried for long periods. I was such a great mom. It was nice.
I remember seeing other women with two or more children. "Why are they so crazy?" I would ask myself. "Why are they so overwhelmed?" Or a really great one, "Why do they keep having kids when they don't seem to be handling the ones they have that well?"
Sorry, I just needed to take a moment to laugh out loud at myself and my total arrogance and lack of understanding.
Fast forward. I now have three. There will be another one this summer. OH MY GOSH! Four kids.
I actually once saw a friend of mine take a tranquilizer because she was having such a hard time with her kids. I think I was just kind of in shock.
I get it now. I am not saying I take tranquilizers, just that I UNDERSTAND why you might want to on certain days. Just saying.
When you have more than one child you start to learn a few things:
~ You are not a perfect mom. Maybe with one you were. But not with three, and sure as heck not when you are full term and have a few others who can easily outrun you. Yelling starts to look REAL good.
~The first one (or second or third) was just easy. You were not actually doing everything right. It was actually just the child. (Oops on all the times you gave other women advice on how to get their baby to sleep through the night, huh?!) No, you don't have any special knowledge, you just got lucky.
~The other one, was just hard. You did not do anything terribly and horribly wrong. Neither did that friend you had with the "naughty" or "out of control" toddler. It was just a harder child or a difficult stage and you were just seeing them at a bad moment.
~Everybody has bad moments. You might have to have a few kids before you see yourself have a bad moment. But wait, it is coming. Sometimes you see a mom in one of her horrid moments. Don't judge her. It is just a MOMENT. She is not actually crazy and it will pass.
~Even though you appear nuts, you love your kids and want MORE. Yes, your hands are full. No you can not afford them. Yes, you sometimes mix up their names. This is not actually an indicator that you have trudged too far down the path of insanity. It is just LIFE. And life can be hard, but children are still awesome. You see the beautiful moments, where everybody gets along and where there is just a touch of the divine in your home.
~There is a reason women with more than one child say things like, "Yes, but I have 4 kids!" like it is an accomplishment. Or the other thing those mom's say, "You only have one."
They are not actually trying to insult you. They just know that with only one child there are a few things that you might not understand yet. And the whole. "I have X amount of kids comment," well, it is kind of an accomplishment. And it does explain some things in your life. Like the the messy purse/car/ or emotional state.
So, to all those mom's out there who I looked at with horror as you yelled or lost patience or cried in public. I apologize. I get it. I am getting mine. Thank you for actually making it look easier than it really is. "
The bolded is my favorite one.
I 'get' this mama on every level.
Saturday, November 20, 2010
Friday, November 19, 2010
happy Birth Day to you.....
happy Birth Day my dear Rosalie, Gwendolen & Emilia....
happy Birth Day to youuuuuuuu......'
365 days ago, our beautiful baby girls were welcomed earthside.
365 days ago, I became the mama to 9.
365 days ago, our love grew even stronger.
365 days ago, I felt my heart grow even larger.
365 days ago, our lives changed forever.
365 days ago, I finally felt whole.
365 days ago, we held 3 amazing miracles.
365 days ago, I smiled from my soul.
365 days ago, our hearts and souls formed a circle of 11.
365 days ago, I was happier than ever before.
365 days ago, our lives became complete.
I honestly never thought I would marry that 16 year old boy that called me on Halloween night and asked me out on a date. And I surely never dreamed I would carry 9 of his children earthside and 4 in my heart.
But wishes DO come true. I always wanted to be a mother. Always. That was the only life that felt right to me. For as long as I can remember.
I also always dreamed of having twins. I guess the longer you've wished for something, it multiplies. Thrice. I have my forever wish of twins plus a bonus of 1 more.
The Triskelon tattoo that I have, 13 tiny Triskelon running in a chain along my arm and one in the middle of my back may (or not) have something to do with it. In fact, I have no doubt it does.
The three protrusions (legs, angles, branches, etc) are of significant symbolic importance. However, depending upon the era, region, culture, mythological history, etc...symbologists can have a challenging time defining the exact symbolic meaning of the three protrusions. The various representations of the three protrusions found in the triskelion include:
Spirit, Mind, Body
Father, Son, Holy Ghost
Mother, Father, Child
Past, Present, Future
Power, Intellect, Love
Creator, Destroyer, Sustainer
Creation, Preservation, Destruction
The Power of 3.
I just may have sealed our lives with some ink trailing my arm.
Thursday, November 11, 2010
Probably more than I love yarn (did I just say that outloud?!). I can, I kid you not, sit on the computer and look at fabric sites for HOURS. I (pretend to) fill up my cart full of beautiful fabrics by the yard. I have all these visions of things I want to make. In my dream world of more time to sit and sew, more money to buy the fabric and of course, more sewing talent.
I have 2 machine. My Grandma gave me one before she died, its in a cabinet and is pretty fancy for the year (I think it's a 70's Singer). I also have a 1958 black metal Singer that I LOVE. It's nothing fancy. Goes forward and backward but it does it so smoothly. It's easy to use and it gets good results. I tried a Serger and it was WAY too technical for me. I don't have the time/patience to learn something new right now.
I've actually only ever made a few things. 3 years ago, I made fleece pajama pants for all my kids for Christmas. 2 years ago, when we went to Sunriver, I hauled my machine with me and I made a huge bunch of pants for Annabel and Cassidy (my niece). I've also sewn a baby clutch ball toy some baby shoes, skirts, peasant tops, and a bag/purse.
I am by no means, an expert seamstress. But, I do like the more instant gratification of sewing versus knitting. Knitting a pair of pants takes me days. Heck, weeks lately. Sewing a pair of pants takes me an hour. And that is for reversible ones. And lately, with my daily schedule, instant results are so satisfying.
That fabric above will soon be 6 pairs of reversible pants for the triplets!
Sunday, October 31, 2010
Yes, he has 3 names. That's what happens when 11 people have to agree on 1 name.
We'll just be calling him Milo.
Right now, he is 7.5 weeks old. He weighs 20#11oz.
He had a wonderful first day/night. No accidents, he actually goes to the door and tries to ring his bell to go out. He slept from Midnight to 7am in his crate without an accident or crying. He is so so good with the babies. He does try to play with them or lick them but he doesn't get crazy with them. Rosalie loves him and tries to play with him. Gwendolen loves him from afar and Emilia is just downright scared of him. If a baby cries when he comes near them, he just turns and walks away. He is THE PERFECT PUPPY. Annabel and Delilah are in love and play with him constantly. As for the other kids, it pretty much goes without saying that they all love him. He sleeps in his crate in the boys room so they can help with him at night. Madeline and Juliette love to just snuggle with him.
And Aaron? Yes, Aaron loves him a ton. Milo was outside with him all morning 'helping' with yard work. Milo follows Aaron around like a baby duck.
It's beyond cute. He is beyond cute.
Wednesday, October 20, 2010
We are getting a new PUPPY! He gets to come home with us on Halloween. He is an Old English Mastiff. Aaron really really loves the massive size of these guys :)
He will be a LARGE LARGE boy :)
No, we are not crazy. True, we have 9 children, 2 cats, a labrador and a ferret already. But our Lab is 11 years old. We are firm believers that children need to grow up with animals in their home. Since Isabella is getting older, we want a dog that the toddlers and triplets can grow with too. We did alot of research and decided on this breed.
" The Mastiff is a very massive, powerful, muscular dog. They are often called a gentle giant. A born guard dog, they rarely bark, but it is in its nature to defend their territory and family, and is more a silent guard rather than a barker. When an intruder is caught they are more likely to hold them at bay, either by trapping them in a corner or laying on top of them rather than an all out attack. You do not need to train them to guard. No matter how friendly they are, if they sense danger they will naturally guard on their own unless the owners are there to tell them otherwise. Self-confident and watchful, they are patient and considered excellent with children. Intelligent, calm, even-tempered and docile."
This is a picture of his Mom(Far left) and Grandpa. Atticus comes from the lineage of the dog from the movie The Sandlot. That dog is his great great grandpa. Pretty cool huh?
Thursday, October 7, 2010
2 of the babies are CRAWLING. They are MOBILE. So, what that means is that Mommy can't sit down. Ever. My Mia must know that I'll go nuts once they are all moving so she's just taking her own sweet time. Thank you baby. :)
So, pictures. Showing off the babies, and my mad knitting skills :) Oh, and a special thank you to Kim for knitting that last pair of blue longies for me. I just couldn't do it. Not if I wanted them to actually fit the girls by the time they got done.
Thursday, September 30, 2010
I surprised myself by liking 'the blog thing'.
I like writing. Alot. I always have. And I like sharing all the things I have learned about these past few years. And I like to brag about my kids. Who doesn't? I like to feel that I might be making a difference, even if it's just about something small. Even if one baby boy isn't circumcised because someone read my blog, if one more mama tries cloth diapers, if there are more people becoming informed before vaccinating their babies, if one more baby is breastfed. Even if I made someone think, or smile, or change something they have been wanting to change but didn't know how.
Today, I discovered another blog to read and follow. This man really makes me think. And smile. And think some more. This dad makes you look deeper inside of who and what you really are. This dad makes you believe he can change the world. One follower at a time.
Read his blog. Check it once a day. See if he's posted. You never know when what he writes this day will make a difference in your life. In your day this day, this hour, this minute. It's like a daily dose of LIFE. Read it with your morning coffee or read it at your babies naptime. Read it after your kids to bed. Read it and apply it to YOUR life. Let his writing make you think.
Wednesday, September 15, 2010
Almost 5 years later, I am hooked. Addicted. No going back. So addicted, in fact, I don't look forward to potty learning. Seriously. I love seeing my babies laying, scooting, crawling and toddling around in their little cloth diapered bums. I love that no nasty chemicals are on their skin. And I love that we aren't contributing to filling a landfill with dirty disposable diapers.
Some quick (cloth) diaper(ing) facts:
*More than 3 million tons of diapers go into US landfills each year
* Disposable diapers take 1 cup of crude oil each to make and will sit in our landfills for 500+ years.
*Families using disposable diapers will spend $2500-3000 diapering one child, compared to $500-600 using cloth diapers. ) Multiply that by THREE for us, or even FIVE. Yikes!
*The average cloth diaper stash cost around $350. Total.
*You can expect to change your babys' diaper up to 4700 times from birth to potty learning.
Even more interesting facts about cloth vs. disposables
There are alot of different types of diapering 'systems'. AIO (All-in-one), AI2 (All-in-2's), fitteds,
pockets, and prefolds. There are also alot of ways to cover the diapers. PUL covers, fleece covers. wool covers and coverless.
Plus, on various sites on the internet, you can buy, sell and trade your used diapering supplies saving you even MORE money. Now, how is that not a good thing??
I was going to post information on each diaper style, but decided instead to just include links. These are good resources that I found by googling. They do a much better job at explaining things in depth than I could possibly do.
Flats and Prefolds
More cloth diapering websites
The Diaper Jungle TONS of great info here...
Cloth Diapering Myths
We use mostly fitteds, with some prefolds and flats. I really like fitteds. Alot. Our stash consists of Goodmamas' and Sticky Peas. For prefolds, I like these.
I also see alot of cloth diapering supplies on these awesome sites: MamaBargains, GreenBabyBargains, BabyHalfOff and BabySteals. Watch them daily, they sell out FAST! (they also have other good stuff, good sites to save to your favorites)
You can even knit your own or make your own with recycled sweaters!
I keep my diapers in a dry pail with no lid. (I just bought a small garbage pail at Target) I dump and rinse the poopies in the toilet, then put them in the pail. Pee diapers go right into the pail. I used to use a lid but I found that it holds in the smell even worse making them harder to clean. I use the oxygen to my advantage by not using a lid on the pail. It helps the smell to dissipate and makes the washing machine have to work a little less hard. And, believe it or not, you cannot smell the diapers in the pail. At all. And trust me, if it smelled, Aaron would tell me. He has a very sensitive nose.
Washing those diapers.....When I first started, getting a washing routine down was tricky. You don't want to use a laundry detergent. They have alot of chemicals and residues in them. You want something really simple, basic and that rinses clean When your diapers come out of the wash, smell them. You should smell water. Not soap, not perfumes, just 'nothing'. Some of the things that I have heard that people use for their diapers are Tide, Simple Green, Baking Soda, Charlies, and Dawn Dish Soap to name a few. I've personally tried them all. The *only thing (until recently) that worked in my front loader was Dawn Dish Soap. It's the only thing that left zero residue on the diapers. Everything else left a build up that caused irritation on my babys' bums. The only place I found Dawn Dish Soap was Wal-Mart. You have to use the ORIGINAL Dawn, NOT the ultra concentrated.
*recently I discovered Maylees Garden All Natural Soap, This.stuff.ROCKS. So much, in fact, we now use it on ALL our laundry. It makes everything SO SOFT. And you only need 1tsp. per load for a front loader!
My washing routine (keep in mind this is with a front loader). I do a load every single night. With triplets, I have to. You usually want to wash at least every 2-3 nights. My loads usually consist of about 15-18 diapers.
Double rinse on cold/cold (22 mins on my machine)
HOT wash on a heavy soil cycle with a stain cycle added (85 mins on my machine)
Double rinse on cold/cold again
Max extract button to lessen drying time
I usually toss them in the dryer, it's faster and gets them softer, but sometimes I'll line dry. Especially with stains, the sun will bleach out any stains you might get.
Just remember, DO NOT use fabric softeners. They will leave a horrible build-up on your diapers. And then your diapers WILL STINK.
If you get stink issues, you can add a few splashes of Apple Cider Vinegar to the wash and/or rinse cycle a few times. You can also add a capful of bleach to the wash. I do this occasionally (maybe once a month) just to keep on top of any stinkies that might start up. A bit of baking soda here and there is good too, I just didn't find that it alone cleaned the diapers well enough.
Whew. Ok. I think that covers everything.
Cloth diapering is not only alot of fun, it's good for your baby AND our environment!
Sunday, September 12, 2010
Again, there is so much more that can be written on this topic, and I am not an expert. I'm still stumbling along, trying to do what in the best interests of my child. All I have is some experience to go on and the reading I've done thus far. And my conclusion to date is that I don't yet know enough to do something to my child that is irreversible. Injecting a vaccine into my child cannot be taken back. I need to know fully and completely what I'm doing BEFORE I do it. So I am still learning. And reading. And stumbling. I'm sharing what I know SO FAR. I still have so much more to learn. And until I am SURE, I will err on the side of caution. There is also a ton more info out there that I didn't include. It would take pages upon pages. So please, read what I have and do your own, more thorough research if that is what you choose.
Vaccinations. Again, I've been on both sides of the fence on this one. My 4 older kids are fully vaxed. On schedule. To.the.day. Gods forbid if we were even one day late on a vaccination, who knows what would happen!
This WAS how I thought. I also naively thought that the world also had my childs' best interests at heart, as I did. I mean, truly, who would PURPOSELY inject a baby with toxic chemicals unless it was for her good? Alot of people it seems.
My 4 older kids, were always sick with some common childhood ailment. Ear infections, colds and runny noses. Joey suffered from night terrors and migraines. It seemed it was always something. My kids always seemed sick.
Then along comes Annabel and I start to get smart(er). She had birth, 2 month and 4 month vaxs'. Then we stopped. I started researching and thinking. And noticing how much less Annabel seemed to get sick than her siblings.
Delilah. We decided to selectively vaccinate. VERY selectively. She's had one vaccine. A few months ago. She will be 3 in January. No ear infections or runny noses. 2 fevers from which she recovered from without incident, in less than 24 hours. She's been really sick once. At the age of 6 months. With Pertussis. Whooping cough. That she got FROM HER FULLY VACCINATED BROTHER. And you know what? It sucked, but it wasn't the end of the world. We treated her with homeopathic medicines and she coughed badly for maybe a week. And now, her body has a life-long immunity to the disease. A GOOD immunity. Not a fabricated one. Not one that she will have to get 'boostered' every 10 years. This 'experience' is what truly got me thinking. I have first hand experience of a vaccine fail.
The triplets. Not a single vaccine yet. They are 10 months old. None of them have had so much as a runny nose. They've been to the Dr. for 'well-child checks' 4 times. I was told to prepare for alot of illness because they are preemies. Hm. Nope.
I believe this is more than a mere coincidence. True, breastfeeding takes alot of the credit, but so does that fact that my younger childrens' bodies aren't pumped full of toxic chemicals that we are told is 'not going to hurt them'.
Right. Because putting these chemicals into your 7# baby can't possibly do him any harm.
bovine animal parts
sheep red blood cells
human diploid cells (from aborted fetal tissue)
embryonic fluid (chicken egg)
VERO cells, a continuous line of monkey kidney cells
fetal monkey lung cells
fetal bovine serum
And that is just to name a few.
Now, I am not totally anti-vaccine. Yet. Or, at least, I'm trying not to be without validation. I'm trying really hard to keep an open mind, but to be honest, the more research I do, the more I am leaning towards being 100% anti-vaccine. As it stands right now, I partially feel that the reason alot of these diseases were eradicated was because of vaccines. I do *think* that I fear that if we stop vaccinating, the diseases could come back. But I'm wavering. In part due to alot of the reading I've been doing on herd-immunity and the general effectiveness of most vaccinations. I do think that we vaccinate too much, too early. Our babies tiny bodies should not be injected with all those chemicals so soon. If at all. IF AT ALL.
My favorite part upon hearing that my children are not vaxed is the vaxing parents that say " Your child is going to get my child sick. You don't vaccinate which means he/she will get the diseases". My response, "Really? But I thought your child was vaccinated? If your child is supposedly protected against the diseases that my child could have, what are you so worried about"?
It's common sense.
And Autism. I won't get completely into that, as I don't have an autistic child, but look at the graph at the top of the page. I believe that says alot. Our children today are OVER-VACCINATED whether you vaccinate or not. It's TOO MUCH.
A few good books by doctors to read that give a good overview either way : Stephanie Cave , Robert Sears , Neil Miller and Robert Mendelsohn. They give good info, a list of ingredients, their personal opinions on each vaccine and an alternative schedule for those who choose to vaccinate selectively. All these books helped me alot as I was trying to make such important decisions.
Also, some very good articles on varying levels of thought:
Challenging The Theory Of Artificial Immunity
Aborted Human Cells: The Solyent Green Of Vaccines (from a friend's blog, broken down in easier0-to-understand language)
Thimerosol Content In Some US Vaccines
Reported Cases & Deaths From Vaccine Preventable Diseases
PLEASE remember that I am only sharing the little bit of information that I have. There is a plethora of information out there. My intention with this post is to merely plant the seed of thought. Do your research before you vaccinate. They cannot be undone. You can always do the vaccine later, you cannot undo any damage that may have been done. On the other side of thought is that if you do choose not to vaccinate, you do so with the knowledge that your child may or may not get one of these diseases. In my opinion, a disease that is fully treatable in todays medical society. Vaccines are not an issue to be taken lightly. Research thoroughly no matter what way you road you choose to take. As for me, my children will not be getting any vaccinations until I am 100% sure. And it's looking like that may be never.
Friday, September 10, 2010
Breastfeeding is NOT easy. It takes alot of patience and hard work. On the part of the mother and the baby. It IS what is best for your baby, regardless of what anyone who uses formula wants to believe, BREASTMILK IS NORMAL. Formula is NOT. It's manufactured. Man-made. And should only be used if it is deemed absolutely necessary. This has always been my opinion and I will continue to stand by it.
Ok. Mini-rant over. Now, on to us. How are we doing? How is the breastfeeding going?
It.is.awesome. Seriously. I thank the Gods, Goddesses, and all the other higher powers that be, every single day that I am breastfeeding my babies. Yes, all 3 of them. My most favorite thing that I get asked when I am out and about?
Friendly curious person, upon seeing me NIP: Are you really nursing ALL THREE OF THEM?
Me: No, just this one. She's my favorite :)
Ok, so I'm being sarcastic but really? I know it's hard to believe but yes, I am nursing all 3 of them. No, I didn't just pick one to breastfeed. I truly do exclusively breastfeed all 3 babies. I wish it weren't so shocking. Then maybe it would be more reassuring that it happens more often than not.
So, how DO we do it? It's really very simple. The hungriest babies get to eat first. The one who ate the least and who ate first the last time, gets first choice the next time around. Yes, there are times when I have a baby fussing while waiting to eat. Luckily, they don't take a long time to eat, and if the fussing gets too bad, I will let one baby get 'satisfied' then put a fussy baby on to eat and then follow back up with the original baby. I'll try to do a basic outline with their ages. If it's too boring, skip it and read more after. This will be a 'timeline' of sorts. Please keep in mind that the 'days' are all approximate. My memory of the true days are so sketchy so I'm just estimating the time on here. I know I'm fairly close, I also don't have time to go back through all the blog posts and paper work to get exact dates and such. But this will give you a good idea. A ballpark, so to say.
Let me start by saying that before the girls were born, I had a plan. Baby A, boob a. Baby B, boob b. Baby C, bottle. Next feeding, rotate. Sounds easy enough right? Well, let's just say, (if your reading this because your pregnant with multiples) if you have a plan, and it doesn't go as planned, IT'S OK. Try something else! Better yet, ditch the planning and just adopt a carefree-come-as-you-go-wait-and-see-roll-with-the-punches-go-with-the-flow attitude. Trust me. I am the most meticulously planned person ever. In the multiples game, plans don't always work.
Birth: Babies are receiving donor milk in the NICU. I'm pumping every 2-3 hours. 24 hours a day. The babies get my milk when I get any, but it's mostly donor milk through a tube in their nose.
Day 5/6: At this time the babies are at about 50/50 donor milk, mommy milk. All through the tubes. I try every feeding to latch them on, but they are still not quite getting it. It is very discouraging. It's stressful. It's hard. Still pumping every 2-3 hours 24/7.
Day 10ish: A nurse suggests bottling to strengthen their jaws. Telling me that it's easier for a baby to bottle feed them to breastfeed. I finally agree. I now know this to be not true. Breastfeeding is NATURAL. Bottling is not. A baby has to attempt to form his mouth to a bottle. A babys' mouth will naturally form to a breast. I was told that nursing them wore them out. Since they were preemies we had to save their energy for growing. Not true. Yes, breastfeeding is tiring, but also, if the NICU were to allow triplets to EBF, it sure would mess with their 3 and 4 hour schedules now wouldn't it? Of course a bottle is less tiring, it just drips out.
Day 16: After almost a week of bottling the babies are finally ready to go home. I am still p.u.m.p.i.n.g. All.the.time. Around the clock. Fix bottles, feed babies, pump while feeding. Start all over again in an hour. I do not, for the life of me, understand how or why a woman would pump, just to turn around and bottle it to her child. Stupid, extra steps. I haven't pumped since the babies got good at nursing.
End of Month #1Beginning of month #2:: Trying so hard to tandem nurse. It's a joke. I get all set up. Get a baby all latched on and good to go, try to latch on the other baby and baby #1 pops off. Get baby #2 on, go back to latch on baby #1, baby #2 pops off. All the while baby #3 is patiently waiting. It's usually Emilia. This goes on until I finally get them both on, and it lasts maybe 2-3 minutes before they fall asleep or pop off, or I just give up and give them bottles. And resort to the pump. This happened ALOT. It was really hard to continue at this point. I had everyone telling me that I did my best and it was time to let it go. EVERYONE. Um, do they not know me very well? Nuh-uh! No way. I'd come way too far to give up now.
Mid-month #2/End month #2: Stilllllllll pumping! And bottling. But this is where the catching on starts. This is when I got about a 2o minute feed out of Rosalie. Weigh her, only to discover she took in only 30 cc's (they were taking in 60-70 via bottle at this point). It is VERY hard to not give in to the numbers. This is also about the time that I started to really look at each baby and evaluate them as individuals. This is where the light bulb finally came on. And this is where Dr. Jack Newman and a student of his, Helen, saved us. This is the 'If I knew then, what I know now' moment. I would never had bottled. It made this process harder, although I do think it got us out of the NICU faster. I would have used a system called SNS. I believe it would have been a much easier, faster, better way than bottling. If you mention it and get blown off, PURSUE IT. It's worth a try before the bottle. I promise.
Month #3/Now: No more pumping!!! The babies get it. Now, we develop our 'system'. 2 babies nurse at a time. Always. It's time efficient. The 2 hungriest babies get first dibs. Or if a baby just needs comfort or a quick drink, it's always available. We EBF. On demand. Always. I mean, if you get thirsty, don't you get a drink? I do. I don't wait every 3-4 hours to get something to drink. Why should my baby? But, sometimes one has to wait. They are good at being patient. The way I see it, it's a good lesson to learn early on with triplets.
Wednesday, September 8, 2010
"And while I didn't have older kids to be built in babysitters"
and that comment stuck with me. It still does. I try so hard to NOT ask my older kids for help. These babies are not their responsibility. They are mine and Aarons. They are OUR babies. But I do admit, it's HARD to do it alone all day. I don't ask for help, then I get frustrated, then I'm cranky and nobody is happy. The other day, I came across a friends' blog, Ida-Heidi-Ho. She writes about the importance of a siblings role in the family. How most other societies are nurturing their children to be good parents and good role models by giving them the responsibility of caring for their siblings. We, as a society, do not do that. I read Heidi's blog and realized, that I am not 'saddling' my children with a useless chore. I am not merely asking for help with my hands full of babies. They are learning to be good parents. By caring for the younger ones, they are learning themselves to be caring, nurturing adults. Whether or not they choose to have children, its still an important life lesson to learn. How to take care of others. Too many people these days, I fear, never learned that, or choose not to learn it. Or at least, in my experience with some kids, it sure seems that way. And I don't blame the kids, I blame the parents.
While we may not have a village to raise our 9 children, we have each other. My kids have the best role models that they can have because we've taught them to be good role models. They are growing up in a home where babies are worn and breastfed. When a baby cries, it is tended to, whether by a Mom, a Dad, or a sibling. So many people seem surprised that the babies are so good with everyone. They have to be. There 'are 3 babies to care for. And I can't do it alone. I do need help. And, asking for help is ok. As a matter of fact, it actually benefits the babies. They get so much more exposure to things than if only one person were there primary care giver. Each of my children have something different to offer. Each has their own unique way of caring for a younger sibling. It's heartwarming to watch.
So yes, it DOES 'Take A Village To Raise A Child'. Thankfully, I've got my own village right here.
Monday, September 6, 2010
Saturday, September 4, 2010
Brandy, (MustangXena) I cannot thank you enough for loaning me this Dream Carrier. I've never tried a buckle waist before and I LOVE it. So do the babies (and Lilah, as she was carried in it on our walk yesterday)
Babywearing AND Breastfeeding? What lucky baby girls :)
Thursday, September 2, 2010
Wednesday, September 1, 2010
My thoughts on this subject has changed. Alot.
Since they were born, I have been my childrens teacher. Think about how much a child learns from birth to age 5. ( I say age 5 because this is the age that society has deemed parents useless in the ability to teach their child anything else ie: the age a child can legally start public school) And they learned it all from me. And their Dad. And everything around them. We provided them with all the resources to learn. So why suddenly, do I become obsolete and my child incapable of learning from me? Because they are 5? Because it's just 'what you do'? Well, I thought that about circumcision and look how well that turned out.
I started thinking. Alot. I was tired of sending my child off to be under the supervision of other people. Some of which, I wouldn't let supervise my dog. We'll start with the bus driver. And it's not just 1. It's numerous drivers. Let's just say, not how I want my child to start her day. Every day.
We've had problems for years with the bus situation. I've come to the conclusion that kids on buses are OBNOXIOUS. Even the most well behaved child will become a whole 'nother kid on a bus ride. Juliette has put up with sexual harassment, teasing, hair pulling, pushing, derogatory language, sexual language, and physical abuse. ON A SCHOOL BUS. All that before she even gets to school. So, how is her day supposed to be productive? And before we start talking about just driving her to school, let's remember that those same kids will also be in the same school. Great. I could go off here on a rant about 'kids today' and sound like an 80 year old grandma, but I won't. I'll save the topic of the demise of the integrity of todays' kids for another post. It will be a long one, I'm sure. So, it's not just about the bus ride. It's about the influences that my children have to experience. Too young. Too soon.
And, to get me started on productivity. 35 kids. 1 teacher. 7 hours. So they get, what? About 2 hours of actual learning in on a given day? Maybe.
And before you start thinking of the 'social' aspect of school, don't we spend most of the day telling our kids "School isn't for visiting, it's for learning'. All of my kids are VERY social. Not going to school isn't going to make them hermits. In fact, given what I've seen from the kids they are around, it should make them much more productive members of society. The peer influences will be much more minimal. Instead of having to spend their days trying to defend themselves, they will be home. Safe. With me. Learning what they need to know. Instead of spending 7 hours at school, Juliette will be spending about 4 hours a day at home doing her schoolwork.
We are doing an online charter school this year. To kind of 'break' us into this whole homeschooling thing. It's called WAVA. Washington Virtual Academy. It's basically public school online at home. I've talked to alot of people who have done it and loved it. So we are giving it a shot. Juliette is excited. I'm excited. Annie and Lilah are thrilled as they are starting school this year too. (And, just to make a note, I did offer this to Noah and Joseph too but they wanted to stay where they are)
So, hopefully, all goes well. I'll post back again in a few weeks, after we've had a chance to get a feel for it all. But I think it's going to be great :)
Friday, August 27, 2010
Monday, August 16, 2010
Rosalie was 'all done' by this point. But I still think she's adorable.
Miss Emilia. Always so cautious and serious.
Saturday, August 7, 2010
Good food, barbeques and nice big breakfasts......
Monday, July 19, 2010
We have a new family member. Her name is Alice. And we all love her. Well, all but Aaron and Annabel. Aaron is a tad weirded out by her and Annabel just likes to watch her. I think she likes her but is a bit frightened of her. I hope she warms up soon.
She is named for Alice in Wonderland, Annie's idea. We all think it's perfect.
She is just awesome. So funny. So active and super playful. She's amazingly smart. Kind of like a cross between a puppy and a kitten. She will 'fetch' her toys. She loves socks, so if you come to our house wearing socks, beware, she will attempt to remove them from your feet while you are wearing them. She gives kisses. No joke. If you hold her up to your face and say 'nose kisses', she will lick your nose. So.freakin.cute. And she giggles. Or at least, that's what it sounds like. Ferret giggles. It's hilarious. She giggles when she's excited while she jumps up and down on all 4's kind of like Tigger.
This was the best 'whim' decision ever.
Lilah thinks she is the funniest thing ever.
Joseph thinks she is awesome.
Noah says she's 'cool'
Juliette is thrilled
Madeline is in love.
I think she's pretty sweet too.
And the fine print.
No, she does not bite. At all. She was trained early on not to. And trained well. She is litterbox trained. She does have a smell, but it's not icky, just different. She is spayed. We do plan to keep her away from the babies for awhile just to be sure she can be trusted 100%. She's 7 months old. She sleeps in a cage on a hammock. THAT is cute. And she is not a rodent, she is a mammal.