Thursday, September 27, 2012

Making Time For Each Other

I feel strong enough about this subject that I wanted to inject my thoughts into my wife’s blog. We have triplets – infant triplets, no less – and that makes our life like organized chaos at times. There are schedules and routines. The babies require a lot of attention. Georgia, Mickey, and Jolynne are absolute treasures and I love doing everything with them. One of the best feelings in the world is when I walk into the nursery in the morning and they are all awake (talking to each other and happy) when suddenly they realize Dad is there…and they all grin ear to ear. The babies do take a lot of energy out of you and there are times at night when I am so exhausted all I want to do is sit in a chair and not think/do/say anything. Honestly, the physical exhaustion reminds me of being at West Point and trying to find pockets of time when I didn’t have to go do anything. Those moments were crucial to staying sane. Those are the times, though, when I try to do things for my wife. I will often rub her feet (ok, sometimes she has to ask me); I try to ensure the house is cleaned up, dishes are put away, laundry done, and formula made so she doesn’t have to worry about it; and I try to make her feel attractive because she is so incredibly amazing in every way.

            We recently went across the country with everyone and had a ton of help. It was quite a bit of fun and we were able to create memories that will endure the rest of our lives. We were able to take the babies to the beach a few times and spend a lot of time together. However, there were also commitments for us without the babies. My wonderful mother-in-law was sweet enough to come to Florida with us and watched the babies so we could visit with the bride/groom at their house (we went there specifically for their wedding – Kara being the Matron of Honor). We were able to go on a dinner cruise for the rehearsal dinner. My parents came in that night to also help with the babies and spend time with us. Saturday night I went to the wedding with Linda (my mother-in-law) and we joined Kara who was already there. That’s three nights essentially without the babies. It isn’t easy and would not have been possible without three grandparents and my sister (Ryan) joining us. Yet, incredibly, I still get asked by people how we’re able to do those things. Really? I didn’t realize it was a secret but here goes…It takes planning and work, but I don’t believe our “To-Do” list is only the babies.

            It has become almost cliché for couples who become parents to suddenly stop doing all the things they used to do together before kids. To a large extent it is true. Kara and I used to go out to eat literally every Friday night. There are lots of little things we could do that are simply not an option when you have kids. We understood that going into this adventure and we firmly believe the babies are the absolute number one thing in the world to us. But do you know what #2 is? It is my wife…and our marriage. I believe our marriage is important enough that we need to still make time for each other. I enjoy having 20 minutes of uninterrupted conversation each day…I like having long conversations with her every week. With good planning and a solid support system, we like to occasionally have overnights by ourselves every few months. It is also part of our plan to have a few weekends to ourselves every year.

            I didn’t get married for just for heck of it…I didn’t get married because of any pressures to do so…I didn’t get married for any reason other than the fact that I think Kara is the most unbelievable woman I had ever met (and still is) and I couldn’t imagine my life without her. I plan to keep making her know that, any chance I can. And that is going to occasionally mean the babies will be with someone else so we can spend time together just the two of us. In the long-run, our marriage will be healthier and stronger…which will lead to happier times at home and happier babies/kids/teenagers. So I guess the short answer to the question of how do parents of infant triplets get out of the house and go do stuff together is this: we make it a priority and utilize the wonderful family/support network we are fortunate to have. No secret formula to it…planning and committing to it. So for everyone reading this blog, whether you have kids or not (or whether your kids are grown up and not there every day) – whatever the situation happens to be – make time for your significant other. I do…and will continue to do so.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Our 1st Family Vacation, Part 2: Babies first time at the beach

It is indescribable how wonderful it was to take the babies to the beach. I grew up living about 20 minutes from the ocean and it is something I miss a lot now that we live in the desert. There are things I love about Arizona as well, but nothing can match the beauty and calmness of the ocean, and the peacefulness of it all.

Getting to the beach, like the airport was a bit of a process. Luckily, it was walking distance down this sand trail behind the house. We decided again to bring the strollers because the sand was fairly firm on the trail, which was a mistake because we got sand all over the wheels and it was challenging to get the strollers through certain patches. We lathered the babies up in sun screen and cover ups and brought some toys for them to play with. We sat them on the sand and immediately they started crawling and rolling around in the sand. It was very difficult for them to stay put. The sand was like white powder, nothing like what I was used to in California. It reminded me of the Bahamas. The babies scooped the sand in their hands and crumbled it in between their fingers. Jolynne tried to eat it. For that reason we choose to take them closer to the water where it would be harder to pick up handfuls of sand because it was so wet. We sat all three babies right on the edge of the water and watched their little faces as the water came up around their feet and little baby butts. They blinked a few times and stared down in amazement. What is this stuff and where did it come from? They continued to play with their toys, splash the water and crawl around the sand like little explorers.

We were able to take them to the beach at least twice during our vacation and out to dinner a few times. It was so wonderful to be together as a family. Something I have dreamed of my whole life and I thought about frequently during my pregnancy. I can't wait to take the babies so many places and this is just the beginning.

We were in Florida for a wedding though and I had other responsibilities while I was there as the Matron of Honor, a role I take very seriously. I take most of the roles I have in life very seriously, including being a  mother, a wife, a daughter, a sister and a friend. The younger me, maybe not so much, but Ive loved and lost and learned a lot about life along the way. The babies are and always will be my number 1 priority (there should be no question about that but based on a few comments, I sense there might be) Luckily, with the help of our family, Tommy and I are able to balance other important relationships in our lives as well, including our closest friends once in a life time occasion and our own relationship.  The next blog on this subject will be written by my husband. I will let him explain but for now, a few pictures of the babies beach experience. It was such a beautiful day.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Our 1st Family Vacation, Part 1: Traveling with 10 month old triplets.

We just got back from an amazing vacation, our first as a family. This trip was a very special one for me because it was so that I could be the Matron of Honor in my best friends wedding. Well really,we are more like sisters. So I wanted more than anything to bring the babies to meet her family and her daughter and my mom to meet her mom. Luckily my mom was able to join us and go with , as well as, Tommy's parents and sister to help us with the babies and enjoy some time in the beautiful Siesta Key.

Getting there was easier than we imagined. We were a little terrified at the thought of a 4 and a half hour plane ride with 10 and a half month old triplets but the babies did so great. The biggest part of the process was getting through the airport with all of our stuff. We decided to bring 3 umbrella strollers instead of the long triplet stroller because we were not sure it would fit in our rental car and because it breaks apart into 4 separate pieces when you fold it up. We thought taking 3 little strollers with 3 of us would be easier, but looking back, I wish we had taken our chances with the triplet stroller. We also had a large cart to push carrying all our carry on bags and 3 car seats, so one of us was pushing 2 strollers. They moved pretty well but the problem more came on the way back, which I will explain later. You would think we might have gotten a little less attention with the 3 strollers instead of the triplet one but it didn't really make a difference. The babies received lots of oohs and aahs and my mom was loving every minute of it. It was fine actually, no one was rude and everyone was very helpful.

Going through security was fairly easy. My mom who is a principal at a local Charter School ran into someone that works in security whose kids used to attend her school, so we still had to have all our liquids checked but it was quick and easy. My mom is always running into people she knows. That's why we bring her with...ha ha. Just kidding mom! We did bring a cooler with 6 bottles, 3 for the take off and 3 for the landing. We also had one serving of baby food for each baby for the middle of the flight and all their medications. We used these ice blocks you can buy at target and freeze to keep everything cold since you cant bring ice through security.

Getting on the plane was pretty easy too. There were extra seats available so all the babies got to ride in their car seat. We had to sit in three separate rows because car seats have to be by a window and only 1 car seat per row. Jolynne was with me, Georgia with my mom and Mickey was with Tommy. The babies had their bottles during take off and Mickey and Jolynne fell asleep right away. Georgia decided she wanted to stay up and play for awhile with my mom but fell asleep mid flight. None of the babies cried and they behaved so well. The flight attendants were very helpful with helping us install the car seats and get situated.

When we got there Christina was waiting for us. There was little confusion and no cart to carry our stuff so we had a to use a wheel chair to carry the car seats, and though we did have some trouble installing them in the mini van we rented, it all worked out. We got the beach villa around 8:30pm. The babies were up until probably 10:30pm that night and I don't think ever fully adjusted to the time change or their new surroundings. Although they did well during the days, the nights were a little rough and they did not sleep well the entire trip. I think part of the problem was the cribs we rented were porta cribs, a little small, as the babies are borderline to big for them now compared to when I placed the order.

The house itself was very nice. 3 levels, a garage and entry level, and main floor with kitchen and living area and the 3rd level had 3 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms. The biggest concern was it was all tile so we had to be very careful carrying the babies up and down the stairs and making sure the floor was covered where they played. There was also a lot of big heavy furniture so we really had to keep a close eye on them. Mickey and Jo really like to crawl underneath things and they even tried to get into the fireplace so we blocked it off with pillows.

I cant wait to write about the babies first trip to the beach and other adventures. Stay tuned for Part 2 of this blog and Part 3 where I will talk about the difficulties of getting home from Tampa.

We had a ALOT of stuff!

Just got through security..

Mickey crawling to mommy!

And gazing out the window....

Jo sleeping on the plane...
Hanging around the house!

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

The joys, the pains, life with 10 month old triplets!

Its been awhile since I have posted. The older they get, the busier I get, which for the most part is amazing. I am in awe of them.Their silliness, their smiles, their laughter, their babbles, their funny faces and even their cries. I am complete mush and wrapped around everyone of their little fingers. Lately, as they have been hitting so many milestones, they have also been very sick, with lots of viruses and ear infections which makes it difficult for Tommy and I to take them out anywhere. The weekend of their baptism, we were planning on attending our friend Aly's 1st birthday but they were sick. There was also a Club Med family picnic that I attended on my own due to the babies being sick. So disappointing but I know there will be other opportunities to get them out and around in the future.

The constant ear infections and colds are really starting to take their toll. Its all part of the deal, I understand but so hard on them and us. When they are sick they are very clingy and when there is just one of us, and three clingy babies, well you can imagine the amount of tears...and broken ear drums. We are spending a large amount of money every week on doctor visits, seems like we are there at least twice a week with one or more babies, and it is taking us away from work as well which is frustrating. Did I mention we pay the day care even when they are not there for sick days and right now on average they are there 2-3 days a week, so we might as well be part time day care, but we pay for full time.

When the babies have fevers we have to make sure to keep their pain and fevers under control with Tylenol or Advil. Georgia's fever was103.7 one night. When they get high like that we give them baths even if it disrupts their sleep and they sleep in our room. We wake them every couple hours to check their temps. Lots of nights where sleep is just not an option. Then we try to go to work the next day and act like a normal functioning person. Ha Ha. Luckily, I think I am used to it at this point. If I can make it through the first few months they came home, I can make it through this. The worst part is seeing them so upset and in pain and not being able to help. I just want want my babies to feel better.

On a more positive note, Mickey is crawling now and he is all over the place.. I am terrified for what lies ahead. He has also started pushing his sisters over and laughing and crawling on top of them and growling like a bear. Oh boy are we in trouble! I think when they get older the girls are going to be pretty tough considering everything they went through in the NICU and having such a rambunctious brother.

Georgia is the only one not crawling yet but she is very close. Won't be long now. They have started eating some finger foods and drinking from sippy cups. I cant believe in a little over a month they will be a year. What a life changing, wonderful year it has been.

I will end this post with some pictures from the baptism on August 26th when they turned 10 months., A very special day for us. The minister was so honored to do their baptism and her first triplets. She almost couldn't talk she was so excited and in awe of the babies. The sermon was titled "grief works". How appropriate and really struck me. A very powerful message about how everyone grieves differently and because of love we feel loss. But grief works and even when we think we cant get through something, we do. She even quoted Simon and Garfunkel and I knew my dad was there. Just as I knew he was there when I brought all three babies home from the hospital. Anyway, my point is it was a perfect day. We are so very blessed!


Coming soon - More from Georgia, Jolynne and Mickey as they take their first plane ride, their first beach trip and their first trip to Sedona. Sure to be lots of fun times ahead and lots of great memories to blog about!