"How Can You Have Too Many Children? That's Like Saying You Have Too Many Flowers" ~ Mother Teresa

A Peek Into Our Hectic, Crazy & Loving Family of Eleven


Friday, January 29, 2010

"Boob Monsters"

That is what I have created. 3 of them.

You will remember a post ago, my pleading for some ideas. I got some (thanks!) and I had some floating around in my head. I decided to do the feed-on-demand thing and it failed. Miserably. By nightfall I was a wreck, as were the babies. They acted like they were starving. I felt like the worlds crappiest mom. That decision was the best one I have yet made.

Your probably thinking..WHAT?!? Really?!?!

Yes, really. That night made me look at two things. One: WHY were the babies still hungry? Two: WHY are they FINE, just FINE all day, until Daddy comes home at 6pm.

Want to know what I learned? First number 1. Thanks to Facebook and the awesome community of friends I have on there, that never seem to tire of listening to me whine endlessly about this breastfeeding issue, I somehow, through the grace of God, managed to get a woman named Helen on my list. This woman is a miracle worker. Through masses of messaging and posts, she was able to help me figure out what was wrong. Emilia and Gwendolen weren't eating. I thought they were. I heard sucking. I saw their little jaws moving. But they weren't drinking. They were nibbling, sucking, playing, you name it. Not drinking. She is studying to be a Lactation Consultant at the nbci Institute. (www.nbci.ca) She studies with Dr. Jack Newman. An amazing Dr. dedicated to breastfeeding. And she is on my friends list, again Thank GOD. She directed me to the videos on that site. After watching the videos and watching the girls eat, I figured out that they were not drinking. I emailed Helen and she told me to get an SNS. Its a way of feeding a baby via breast but they get the milk easier. It's a flask with a tube running out of it. You hang the flask from your neck (I know, it's pretty. Talk about feeling like a milk cow!) then you tape the tube on the nipple and latch the baby on. This way, the baby gets more instant gratification and still stimulates the breast. So the baby gets milk from the tube and the boob. lol. My doula, Amber, wanted to do this in the NICU but for some odd reason, the LC didn't. Oh, how I wish I would've listened to Amber on that one. She knew better. So, being the amazing friend and doula that she is, she went right out that day and bought the SNS system and taught us how to use it. I love her.

To backtrack just a bit, Gwendolen's issue was impatience. She loved the instant gratification that the bottle gave her. When I would try to nurse her, she would be fine through the let down, but the minute she had to work, she freaked out. Arched her back, screamed, kicked and refused to eat anymore. Which are all signs of slow flow. She wanted FAST. She wanted her bottle. And I gave it to her. Smart little girly. She learned that the breast was merely for comfort, not food. We had to retrain her. The SNS did just that. It gives her that rush of milk (she still has to suck to get it out, but it's just thatmuch faster than the breast) and I can control the flow. If she starts to fuss, I can give her a bit more to keep her interested. It worked. In a day. I'm not sure she even needs to use it anymore, but we will do it for a few more days to be sure.

Emilia had a different issue (wouldn't you know it, 3 different babies, 3 different issues). While Amber was here, watching Mia try to nurse, she noticed that every time I lifted my breast to adjust Mia, she started sucking furiously. If I let go, she stopped. Mia's problem was the weight of the breast tissue. Her little jaws were not strong enough to suck through it (See,big boobs aren't always good. lol) So we tried it, Lift, suck, drop, stop. Lift, suck, drop, stop. I never held it up for her before. So while I thought she was just taking her own sweet time to nurse (an hour or more!) she was. But not because she wanted to. Because she had to. By the time she got done, she was either hungry again or still hungry. Poor baby girl.

Rosalie has no issues. That girl is a perfect nurser. She is the shining example of that fact that babies are born to nurse. She will even try to breastfeed the bottle. Now that, if you've never seen it, is funny.

Issue number 2. The fussiness. It's because they are trying to cluster feed. You would think I would have figured that out after 6 kids huh? Well, because we feed on demand, I never thought about it. A babies natural instinct is to stock pile food for the night. Most babies don't make it through the night (mine sure never have) but they try. It's what they do. So they want to eat. All evening long. I literally spent from 4pm to 9pm tonight on the couch with a baby attached to both boobs. And rotated them through, boobs and bottle. I had no other choice. The other name for this "Cluster Feeding" is "The Arsenic Hour" I'll give you one guess as to why. It's stressful Very. Hence the reference to Arsenic. Makes you want to take some. Seriously. It's that bad. Times 3.

So, my plan. Your dying to know right? I have one but I don't. And those that know me, I'm just a bit on the OCD side, know that my being able to just "let it go" is HUGE.

THE "PLAN".....

During the day, we are feeding on demand. Just as I wanted and it feels right. Rosalie nurses always. Daytime, nighttime, no more bottles for her ( and at the time of my writing this, she's been bottle free for almost 36 hours!) Emilia and Gwendolen get nursed via the SNS during the day and bottles at night ( and at the time of my writing, Emilia has had just 5 bottles and Gwendolen 4 in 36 hours!) This is for my sanity. I need sleep. Since I do the babies alone all night, the bottles are a necessity. For now. Rosalie gets to nurse whenever she wants, all night long if her little heart desires. And I love it.

Ok, so now I know your thinking, but what if they all want to eat at the same time. Of course, I have a plan for that. Did you really think I wouldn't? If, during the day, they all want to eat, at the same time, I will tandem Gwendolen and Emilia. Rosalie would then get the bottle. Why? Because she knows what she is doing and won't get confused. Or, another option is to tandem Rosalie with another sister and, using the SNS, finger feed the 3rd baby. The finger feeding is still preferred over the bottle since she will still have to work just as hard to get the milk, plus the finger is skin, making it more like the boob.

At night, I don't do the on demand thing with Gwendolen and Emilia. They get fed at the same time. Rosalie, again, eats when she wants since I can hook her up and go back to sleep. It's awesome.

A few things I know your wondering about......

Are they getting enough? A "full feed". I think they are. They are still sleeping the usual 2.5-4 hours after nursing which tells me they are getting plenty of milk. Rosalie actually took a 4.5 hour nap today, nursed like crazy and slept another 3 hours. Matter of fact, they all ate tonight at 730pm (all on the breast) and they are all still asleep at 11pm! I'm not weighing them. No scales for me. I'm winging it and they are doing great! I'm trying to look at them like 3 single babies. I'm doing with them what I would do with a singleton and so far so good.

Are you pumping? I don't do it as much. Yay! It helps that I have an awesome friend pumping for me, but now, I only pump for every bottle I give. I'm no longer pumping to feed, I'm pumping to replace what they didn't take from me. Make sense? My fridge is not full of milk, and while I do have a hard time with that, it's OK. I have some frozen and they can all eat from me. If, for some reason, they are all hungry, and there is no milk in the fridge, I'll just get one happy, put another one to breast, get her happy and switch. It would take longer but it's do-able.

So, I did it. Finally. Got it figured out. The way I see it, this was half the battle. The girls are growing stronger and bigger so it will only get better. :)

Next on the triplet agenda? Getting them all to lay down while awake and fall asleep on their own without using the method of "Crying It Out".(CIO) Google it. It's not pretty.

Wish us luck.

Monday, January 25, 2010

A Call For Help, Input, Guidance, Support, Info or.....

whatever you wanna call it. I need HELP tweaking this breastfeeding routine. Especially at night. It is so not working for me. Time wise it does, but for my long term goals, it doesn't. It just does not fit into this picture in my head. I'm trying to look ahead to when the girls are just a smidgen older, and what I am doing now, isn't where I want to be in 2-3 months.

My goal: To be bottle free as much as possible. Maybe a bottle here and there if necessary. IF. And to only have to pump 1-2's a day (just enough for those occasional bottles)

My routine now:

Daily: Most feedings, tandem 2, bottle one. They are all on the exact same schedule. Nice, but making this difficult seeing as I have only 2 breasts and 3 hungry babies. Sometimes. One baby will sleep just enough longer to nurse all 3. But not very often. As soon as feeding is over, I pump.

Nighttime: Same waking, all 3 at once, but instead of tandeming 2, I bottle all 3. Why? I'm not sure. Mostly to be sure they get a really good amount to give me a decent stretch of sleep at one time (and by decent, I mean about a 2 hour chunk by the time we change diapers, feed and pump. I usually get 2/2 hour chunks a night. 3 if I'm really lucky) Also, because I am so tired, I have a hard time staying awake even for the bottle feeds. So what I do is heat up the bottles that Aaron prepares before he goes to bed. Change all 3. Prop all 3. Burp all 3. Settle all 3 back to sleep. Pump. This process takes about an hour to an hour and a half. Repeat every 3 hours or so. You do the math. I get about 2 hours of sleep per chunk.

It does work. But I'm getting no breastfeeding in at night. Nighttime is the best time to build up your supply, as the baby will linger on the breast for longer periods of time. I need to figure out a way to breastfeed 2, get them FED and back down, they nurse the 3rd as long as she wants to while I sleep. I miss that the most. Latching the baby on and going back to sleep. I loved that. I got sleep and the baby got fed and comforted all at the same time. It was awesome. Am I naive to think that it's at all possible with triplets? Is there a better way?

Last night I tried "Plan A". (My first, I think, of many attempts to get this right) The plan was to hope that one would stay asleep for just a few extra minutes. One did. I changed 2, bottled 2, burped 2 and got them settled. Or so I thought. Baby #3 awakens. Changed her and layed down to nurse her and get some sleep. Babies #1 and #2 were not having that. They start crying. Alot. It is impossible to nurse laying down while trying to quiet 2 other babies. Can't be done. Believe me, I tried. I unlatch poor Baby #3 to quiet down the other 2. You can imagine how well that went over. End result? All 3, bottled, as usual. Pump, as usual. Plan A, down the drain.

Aaron and I practice Attachment Parenting. We co-sleep, cloth diaper, breastfeed, selectively vaccinate, child led weaning and baby-wearing to name a few things that we do as parents. It's very relaxing and we love it. That is why scheduling food is so hard for me.

My gut instinct for feeding is to feed on demand. When a baby is hungry, feed her. Is that even possible with triplets? I would be like a 24 hour Breast-au-rant. It would actually be ok with me during the day, but at night? I don't see it. Is it possible to feed on demand during the day but not at night? Everyone keeps telling me that they have to stay on a schedule to keep me sane. Um, yeah, too late for that. I'm long gone at this point. My thoughts are consumed with this breastfeeding stuff. That on demand daytime thing was going to be my Plan B, but I still hadn't solved the bottles at night issue. Is it even solve-able?

I won't even go into the fact that all this stress and inconsistency is causing a drop in my milk supply. A big drop. I like to see alot of pumped milk in the fridge. It reassures me. I'm down to only about 20oz at any given time. Not enough. I am reassured that I have about 2 gallons frozen in the freezer, given to me by fabulous friends. I'm eating oatmeal, drinking gallons upon gallons of water, inhaling Fenugreek
(an herb to help produce more milk) tablets like they are candy, and it's still dwindling. I just ordered some More Milk Plus pills. Basically, it's Fenugreek on crack. I'm praying it helps. I may even call the Dr. to get some Domperidome.

So you see, I gots to get this figured out. Any HOM mom's out there with some advice? Any singleton moms that are really creative? Anyone? Hit me with your ideas! I've got nothing left to do but TRY!

Sunday, January 24, 2010

A Rare Sunday Moment...

the house is empty. Completely empty. Babies are asleep. House is picked up, dishwasher is loaded and started, diapers have been started and taxes almost done and ready to submit, just gotta have Aaron review them to make sure I didn't screw up anywhere.

The dilemma? I don't know what to do. Sad isn't it? Not really tired, so I don't want to nap, plus I hate to waste peace and quiet on a nap. My trim yarn hasn't come yet so I can't start more longies for the babies (it seriously better get here soon). I guess I could go organize the babies 3-6 months clothes( they aren't even close to being in them yet, I'm just getting a head start). Or mop the kitchen floor. Or clean the bathrooms. I really need to clean the bathrooms. The cleaning lady (yes, Aaron broke down and hired one to come twice a month!) doesn't come until next week.

Guess I better go clean the bathrooms. At least the downstairs one.

Friday, January 22, 2010

8 Weeks ALREADY?!?!?

I can't believe they are 8 weeks old. Already. I just hope that I remember that they were so so small.
Emilia Jane

Gwendolen Lucy

Rosalie Charlotte

A Few Random Pictures

A few pics of the older girls :) I'll get the boys on here as soon as I get some pics :)
Annabel & Juliette


Thursday, January 21, 2010

Pray For Haiti...

I admit, when this first happened, I didn't realize the magnitude of destruction this earthquake caused. I've kind of been in "Nicole World" for awhile. The more I see and hear, the more heartbroken I get. And I wish so hard that there was something I could do to help. Anything.

I came across this picture on a parenting site and it just brought tears to my eyes. It's an amazing testament to so many things. Motherhood, babies, breastfeeding, life, survival, comfort and love.

Please, before you go to sleep at night, as you go about your day, and when you wake up in the morning. Say a prayer for the people of Haiti. They sure could use them right now.

Monday, January 18, 2010

A 180

ok, so admittedly, I am a bit spaztic here. My apologies. I re-read my post. I read the comments. And I realized that you guys were right. This is MY BLOG. People are welcome to read it, comment on it and like it or not like it , that is their choice. But its MY choice to write it. And as one reader said " If there are people that cannot handle it, maybe they should take a break from reading it instead of you taking a break from being able to write it" . Well said! I use this blog for therapy almost. I need it to vent/deal/and cope with life. Plus, it's alot cheaper than traditional therapy! lol.

Thanks guys, for the wake-up call. My blog will resume it's regularly spaztic and sometimes whiny posts.

Stepping Back

on info about me for awhile. Seems I'm hurting peoples feelings, upsetting people and making people mad with some of the feelings I've been having and blogging about. I'm not going to apologize for how I feel, but I will apologize if you are hurt, angry, upset or saddened by my feelings. So I'm sorry. I'll try to find elsewhere to deal with my crap. After all, nobody really wants to follow a blog where the writer is always whining. Right?

The "new" face of the blog? (For awhile, anyways) My beautiful and amazing children and the things they do :) Stay tuned for some happy posts. :)

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Our First "Official" Outing

and we went to Target. They should feel honored. Aaron and I decided to try to get out. Although we were majorly outnumbered, we did it. Aaron, myself, Juliette, Annie, Lilah and the trio. he only slight issue was Lilah's meltdown about having to ride in the cart. The threat of sitting in the car with Daddy and a quick hug got her back on track. It also would have helped to have fed her lunch before we left. That childs blood sugar gets low and watch out! But no worries, we hit Taco Bell right after Target. ( The drive thru of course, we aren't that crazy!)

The best news of the day is that Aaron got a chance to see what it was really like to load/unload/reload the toddlers and the triplets into my now-too-small-car. After doing this, in the great Pacific NW sunshine, he agreed that we need a bigger car! ( Yes!! Goal for today was accomplished!) So, tax return season is here, and we are a-van huntin'. I wish I wasn't so dang excited to drive around a mini bus, but I am. It sure will make life easier. I will be so sad to see my car gone, I really love it, but we've outgrown it. Onto bigger and better things. Well, bigger for sure, and I hope better.

And while I'm posting, just so ya'll don't think I have so much time on my hands that I just sit and blog all day, I'm actually multi-tasking. Blogging and pumping, and even sometimes there is a baby or two on my lap. Now that is multi-tasking hardcore!

Saturday, January 16, 2010

A Long Winded Update

Very long winded. I have alot of people to update about. This post won't be all about babies this time. Not all about. but some. Ok, still alot. :)

Things are going... well, I guess I could lie. But I won't, they are going "as well as can be expected with triplets". It seems that everything lately, is not meeting up to what I thought it would be. There is this "Reality Stick" that keeps smacking me upside the head. And it hurts. And it's random. All the sudden, **smack** there it is. And did I mention that it hurts? Don't get me wrong, things are good, just different. Different than I thought it would be. Three babies, is, well, HARD. (See, there is that damn reality stick again) I figured, we've had 6 kids. How hard can 3 babies be? Um, yeah, really hard. But, on the other hand, I'm not so sure it's just the babies. Adding 2 toddlers into the mix does make things even harder. 2 toddlers that are bored stiff at home all the time, and have just had their entire world rocked 3 times over.

People ask me all the time if we have any help at home. I'm not totally sure how to answer that. Do they mean a husband? Or if the other kids help? Do they mean outside, hired help? Family? Friends? I kind of just say "well, kinda, but no, not really". I mean, we do, but not really. I'm not sure if that is a lie, the truth, an actuality or just an emotion. Aaron and I and the kids are pretty much on our own, for the most part, with the situation. We don't have a nanny, or family that comes in daily. Friends have been amazing and have come out of the wood work, literally, to bring meals. That has been so so helpful. I have a few friends, who, I honestly, don't know how we would have made it through these past 8 weeks without. Our friends call, regularly to check on us, to make sure that I am staying sane (where admittedly, there have been a few times that I have had to be talked down from a total meltdown) But, for the most part, I'm not sure why, most don't call. I'm not sure if they are afraid of us needing/asking/expecting too much of them so they stay away, or if it's because they think that I am too busy to talk, even if on the phone for a few minutes, or if our situation is also just too overwhelming for even them to deal with, I don't know. And I won't ask. But, it is nice, believe it or not, to be asked if we are ok. Yeah, we may lie, but it never hurts to know that people are thinking of us (even if it is to think that we are crazy). I don't want to make this a "poor me" post, but it does get lonely over here in triplet/toddler world. The older kids have school for an escape. Aaron has work. Me, the toddlers and the trio, we just have each other. And sometimes, we need others. Even if its just a small connection. Without strings. Without needing something of me, because, let's face it, I'm hopeless when it comes to favors right now. Please don't ask me to send an email, make a phone call or anything remotely related to anyone but my immediate family right now. My overwhelmed mommy brain cant take it. (Ask Aaron, the poor man has been witness to a temporary moment of complete and irrational insanity and thankfully, so far it has been just the one) So, just keep in mind, if your reading this, that it just takes a phone call. (not every single day, mind you, I don't need a babysitter, just a voice once in awhile that can hold a conversation and one that likes to hear and ask about the babies, yes, they are my favorite subject right now. Am I asking just too much? ) I mean, I'm not opposed to visitors either. Yes, I may be too busy to talk, it may be loud here, with 3 crying babies, (and heck, maybe even 2 crying toddlers) but I will know that you tried. I will feel human. I will feel like I have family that cares.
( And also let me clarify, that if you are a loyal blog follower, and I don't know you personally, I don't expect a phone call from you, I mean, you could I suppose if you really wanted to, but the post is more aimed at the people who feel it is written for...Just wanted to clear that up. A few comments had me thinking that maybe everyone now thinks I am now the Phone Call Nazi. lol. )

Now, onto the real reason for my post. (I warned you that it was long) My beautiful and amazing family.

Annie. She is being a very typical 3, almost 4 year old. She loves her new sisters immensely. But she's too, has had her life "rocked". She's realizing that sweetness does not get you things in life. Being assertive does. So we have seen some more assertive behaviors from her (notice, I am trying to refrain from saying aggressive) Not bad, necessarily, she's just not the calm, docile, sweet little thing that she was. Is it the babies arrival or her just becoming a little girl? Only time will tell. Her new favorite behavior is to throw herself, with great force mind you, onto the ground as she's frantically trying to tell us what is bothering her. And as you can imagine, we cannot understand a word of what she is trying to say, which makes the tantrum even worse because she is frustrated. Hence, goes the circle. If we can get her calm enough to understand her, she remembers why she was "fitting" and it starts again. Oh, the life of a 3.85 year old. If it weren't for these "fits" we would have the perfect 3 year old. But, everyone has something right?

Delilah. Where to start? She is so funny. So polite. Says thank you all the time. And cute? Oh my, is she cute. And she loves dogs. Still. Anything dog related gets her smiling. She, though, knows just how to get under Annie's skin. And she likes it. She thinks it's funny to watch her sister flail around on the ground like a fish. So, of course, she will do things to evoke this behavior. All I see while this is going on, is the trio learning some not so fun behaviors. Oh, Lilah will be the best of teachers. I cannot wait.

Juliette. Same ol' same ol'. Sports. Soccer. Basketball. Indoor soccer. You name it, Juliette does it. I do believe she's determined to bypass the stigma that her name suggests. She loves sports and is good at them. I think that she tries so hard to live up to whatever Joseph does. And of course, Aaron loves it. She also started playing in band this year. And she's good at that too. Her report grade? STRAIGHT A's! She even got invited to the the "Straight A Luncheon" at school . Were we proud OR WHAT!?!? She is beyond social. If she's not at a practice or game of some sort, she's hanging out with friends. And she is the best big sister. She is so helpful with the toddlers and the babies. That girl can handle these babies like no other 10 year old I've ever seen. Its awesome.

Noah. 12 years old. Already. Still sweet and kind. Not as social. He's the type that likes his few close friends, but it perfectly content to hang out at home and play video games. He is still playing in the band, although, he is starting to tire of it. I'm pretty sure he will do shop or something else next year, which is ok. He needs to try out new things. He really wants to do shop. His report card too, STRAIGHT A's. Ok, one B+ but that was in PE so I'm counting it as an A. :) He also, is playing soccer, he loves it, but I think he does it purely just to do an activity, he is for sure not as intense about it as his siblings.

Joseph. A sophomore in High School. I won't go too into his grades, let's just say they aren't straight A's but hey, it's high school, sophomore year, and we all remember that age right? Permit, drivers license, girls . He's doing fine, so we don't worry. He too, plays soccer. Loves it. Still. Since he was 4 years old. That boys been playing soccer for a really.long.time. He's an overall great kid, loves life, his family and his friends. He's happy. Not too much else to elaborate on. But OH! Wait, one huge thing! He started doing HIS OWN LAUNDRY! Yay! (Ok, not a huge deal in his life, but way huge in mine!)

Madeline. A Senior. Need I say more? I have a SENIOR in high school. Feel old much? I sure don't feel old enough to have an almost adult child. But I do. She will be graduating soon, and heading to college. Then Beauty School. She will be the best Beautician. She's so talented with hair. Already. I can't wait, free haircuts. But with that, comes the experiments for school. Who will be brave enough when that time comes?

As for the trio? They are good. Growing. Getting chubby little cheeks. According to my friend Miranda, Rosalie no longer looks like a naked mole rat,she now resembles a Pound Puppy. You gotta laugh at that one. Since it's true :)

We are still attempting breastfeeding, It's going very very good. All 3 girls can take a full feeding now so I tandem 2 and bottle one at each feeding and rotate. The only issue now is a cracked nipple. Ok, I say cracked, but really there is a tiny hole in my nipple and it hurts more than labor, I kid you not. So, right now, that boob is out of service until it heals. I still have to pump on that side, but no tiny little mouths allowed until it feels better. These babies have the suction power of a vacuum!

Rosalie, She is so so cute. And getting so big. She now weighs 6# 4.oz. She cries now. Alot more than before. But her cry is still so cute. Its a definite "Waaaa" cry. Like on TV. It's so hard to not smile when she cries.

Gwendolen. Remember the diva from my earlier post? Well, she still has a sense of that but not so much now. Her cry is still demanding but not as high pitched. I took all 3 girls to the chiropractor the other day, and he did some adjusting to her back where her gallbladder is. He said that the gallbladder has alot to do with heartburn and that might have been her problem. I'm not sure if it was or not, but she has gotten much much better. She still goes from 0 to 60 in 1 second flat but now she relaxes just a tad to see if we are coming with food or not. She is up to 6# 11oz. Almost the size of a real newborn baby!

Emilia. Sweet sweet Emilia. She is just now starting to cry. Just a little. One little waaa and she stops. Looks around, if she sees us, she's good. If not, another waaa. She's so funny. Her cry is so sad, it just makes you want to make her ok. Maybe she needs to tell Gwendolen that if she cried nicer, things would happen faster. She is up to 7#6.7oz. And she is solid. Built alot like Noah, looks alot like Noah and her temperament is alot like Noah. Funny how that is.

The babies all seem to be developing at their actual age. We were told that they might be a bit behind and to expect them to develop at their gestational age. Maybe, they are behind but just a tad, not noticeable. The Dr's say it will balance out completely by age 2. They are actually 8 weeks old. Gestationally, they are just 18 days. They are already tracking with their eyes. That is not something that an 18 day old baby does. They are all starting to hold up their heads.

Overall, they are perfect. More than perfect. They are our dream come true and it's so amazing to be their parents. They are such a gift, as are all of our babies. I'm not sure what we did to deserve such perfect kids, but whatever it was, I am thankful to God for them. Thankful every single minute of every single day.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Cuteness. Simply Cuteness.

Yes, I will brag endlessy about these girlies. Our amazing photographer, Rebecca, did it again. Wow!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Oh, How She's Changed!

It's amazing what 2# can do for a girl!

Rosalie at 9 days old...

Rosalie today....

Isn't she just beautiful???!!


Thursday, January 7, 2010

If You Can't Beat 'Em....

Join 'Em...Seriously. My little girls love these babies so dang much it's unreal. I have 2 toddler girls who love dolly's. What are 3 preemie baby girls to them? Yep, real live dolly's. It's wonderful but frustrating. Lilah just wants to sit and kiss them. All.day.long. Annie loves to talk to them. Sing to them. As close to their faces as she can possibly get and sing in a beautifully high pitched voice. All.day.long. And the poor babies are getting to the point where they want to look at people. They want to make eye contact. It's hard to do that when the person's face in on top of yours.

So, on to the point of my title. I've been digging my heels in hard about letting the girls do too much with the babies. It's kind of at a "If you give them an inch they'll take a mile" situation. If we let them do anything other than just a kiss and a hug, they take ownership and try to Mommy them. But the other day, I needed help. I had 3 very hungry babies, and just one mommy to feed them. Then I looked at my oh-so-eager -to-help toddlers and caved. This is what transpired:

Monday, January 4, 2010

Long Time, No Blogging. Ready For Some Thinking?

I do that alot. At 3am. While I'm pumping. And trying to manage 3 newborns, on my own. At 3am. It hardly seems fair to ask Aaron to help with the nighttime parenting when he has to go to work, plus parent Annie and Lilah at night. I do have to admit that I'm getting pretty good. I can change and feed 3 babies, plus pump in just about an hour, by myself at night. That is mainly because all the other kids are in bed and I'm more efficient if I don't have to do anything but baby maintenance.

I'm finding it hard to manage my time very well lately. Something I'm not used to and I'm not liking it either. If I'm not feeding babies, pumping, folding diapers, washing bottles or changing diapers, then I'm probably doing dishes, folding laundry, vacuuming, fixing snacks for toddlers or picking up the toddlers messes throughout the house. Messes made while I am feeding babies, pumping, folding diapers, washing bottles and/or changing diapers. Sound a bit repetitive? Yep, it is. It's a peek into my day.

I remember when Madeline was born, I couldn't wait for her to just get a little bit bigger. Just big enough to be more interactive. When that finally happened, I regretted it as soon as I realized just how quickly that time came. As the other babies were born, I learned to accept each age, milestone and precious moment as they arrived. I never "wished" them older. I knew it would come way too fast. I learned that the first time around. This time, though, is different. This time is hard. This time I find myself wishing again, for things to get easier. And I wish that I wasn't wishing their newness away. I keep thinking that if the babies were more interactive with me, themselves and the rest of the family, that things will get easier. Don't get me wrong. Having a newborn is never easy. Not by any means. And I'm not saying that it is. But having three newborns? There is honestly not a single way to describe it. It is amazing. It is wondrous. And we are so so lucky. But it is words beyond difficult. I find myself being tested in ways I didn't know possible. Stretched thinner emotionally, physically and mentally than I ever thought I could actually go. And from so many directions. I am now a mother to 9 kids. Nine. I have to say it out loud sometimes to believe it. I have to be able to properly parent an almost adult child down to 3 tiny newborns. And I have to be able to transition from each situation at any given time with just a seconds notice. And I thought being pregnant with triplets was hard? I feel like a first time mom again. This is a whole new rule book, and it feels like I got the book that's missing a few pages, heck, even a few chapters, here and there.

But, we are doing it. We are surviving. We are making it through each and every day, and we are doing it well. My house is no longer as clean as I like it. My laundry never gets done in a day. My bathrooms haven't been cleaned in two weeks. And dinner, unless a kind and thoughtful person has made it for us, usually consists of a frozen dinner of some sort. AND IT'S OK. I've accepted that I can't be Supermom (ok, I'm working on accepting it) All we can do is our best, and looking back at our prior "attempts" at this whole parenting thing, our best is pretty damn good. It might be tested a bit here and there, and it might be a bit short on quantity for awhile, but it will never be short on quality. And while this is probably one of the hardest challenges we will ever have to face in our lives, it's also one of the most rewarding. God doesn't entrust too many people with such an important task as raising three babies at once, and we plan to show Him how right His decision to choose us was.

And, in the meantime, I may occasionally look up into the sky with hopefulness. I mean, Mary Poppins could be real, Right?!?