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Sunday, May 13, 2012

Happy Mother's Day - 2012

My girls are to young to understand mother's day - there were no presents, no cake, not even a song.  But regardless of what they know, they made the day special just the same.  Today I got to experience my girls a little differently then ever before.  We spent the afternoon at the Monmouth Park Race Track.  They have a great picnic area on the edge of a large playground where we can watch the horses pass.  I saw my kids move among the 40 or so people in our group, interacting in a way that seemed to mature for their age.  They went back & forth between the tables & playground like it was second nature, even thought they had never been there before.  It was definitely more freedom then they were used to, but you'd have never have known it.  We watched from the picnic tables, following when they moved to far, rarely interfering.  My girls are fearless & as usual, i admire them so immensely.  So that's what i got for mother's day - the unbelievable feelings of pride & joy that i get to be their mother.  So maybe it wasn't so different from any other day.

Friday, May 4, 2012

Circles Mommmy

This is the side of my kitchen island, red crayon and all.  I blame myself.  If i had thought about it, i would have known that Jackie was going to get her hands on the crayons i left on the island when i pulled them out of the diaper bag.  & to her credit, she did indeed make circles, as she told me when i took the crayon away from her.  Maybe punishment was in order, but how do you punish a 2 year old for doing what 2 year olds do?  How do you handle punishment at all?  i haven't gotten there to much yet.  Very short time-outs are as far as we have gotten.  I have put Lori in her room when she is in the middle of a tantrum, but she gets so mad that she won't come out when the time-out is over & i don't want her to fall sleep & throw off her schedule.   I hope that I'm not starting a pattern of blaming myself for my children's misbehavior.  I want to be a responsible parent & teach them to do the right thing, even when no one's watching.  I want to teach them to take responsibility for themselves & to face the consequences.  But they are 2!!  So while my obsessive side is worried about the adults my children will become, the mommy side just shakes her head & promises herself to remember to put the crayons away next time. 
My worry really is only about how to teach my children right from wrong.  It's not about the marks on the furniture.  This may sound crazy, but i really don't care.  I often think that i can have nice things, or i can have triplets.  Maybe some women manage both, but i am never going to be one of  those women & i don't care.  I choose triplets, every time. 

Friday, April 27, 2012

Guest Post - Sick Toddlers

A few years ago when my kids were still toddlers we had a bad few weeks in April during which both of them were just coughing, sneezing and generally not well. I assumed it was allergies for a little while but then eventually decided it was time to buck up and take them to the pediatrician where I found out that they both had one infected ear. I felt like a failure for not taking them to the doctor earlier, but I was satisfied that they would get better soon with antibiotics. However, things took a turn for the worse the next day. My youngest son, who was two years old, said he was cold, so I tried to warm him up. In hindsight, I think the shaking was his body’s temperature skyrocketing from the inside out, almost like a tea kettle as it begins to boil. It makes that little rattling, then a popping, and eventually steam just pours out through its mouth as it wails.

The tea kettle that was formally my child REALLY. FREAKED. ME. OUT. I mean, there was a point where I was like, this kid is 5 seconds away from having a seizure, and that, I just cannot handle. So I fled to the Emergency Room. The entire drive there he screamed “My eyes! My eyes!” Yeah. I was beyond freaked. By the time we got there, his entire body was bright red from head to toe, as if someone had dipped him in hot oil. His temperature was 105.9. As the triage nurse showed me the thermometer, he said with widened eyes, “Come with me.” And for a brief moment I was flooded with relief, like “Ok, they get it. My child is a baked potato and they can see that so we are going to be rushed in be saved by a hero in a white coat.” They diligently took all of his vitals, with my assistance, and then returned us to another room to ask me some more INANE questions. (What does a two year old’s birth weight have to do with ANYTHING!?)

For about two solid hours my arms were numb from elbow to finger-tip. I was in mid panic-attack the entire time, but apparently no one could tell. The nurse even said to me, “I’m really impressed with how you handled him in there. Are you a nurse? Or a doctor?” He added the doctor part to be politically correct, for which I applauded him wildly inside my head right alongside the terror that my son was indeed baking to death in my lap while people sat around asking me what my profession was and if it wasn’t too much bother, could I please give them a detailed description of his birth story?
To make a long story shorter, he was thoroughly evaluated, and he had somehow contracted a bad bacterial infection AND a viral infection. Some of the bacteria most likely released into his bloodstream which caused the fever spike and the shaking. We went home with a much cooler version of a baked potato but my nerves were shot. To all of you moms out there – how do you handle seeing your child sick or in pain without losing your mind?

Adrienne McGuire is a writer, educator and wellness enthusiast who abandoned the corporate ladder to create the life she really wanted. Her journey down the road less traveled took her to, where she is now an integral part of the writing team.

Monday, April 23, 2012

My life has many different points of view

Ever see one of those pictures where different people see something different?  Optical illusions.  Some people see the young women, some see the old women?  We'll that's kind of my life.  Whether your looking in from the outside, or out from the inside, the perspective changes. 

Some people see a women with triplet toddlers, supporting her family (including her parents), working full time plus, & cringe.  I hear it all the time.  "How do you do it?" 

Most days, what i see, are 3 beautiful girls, & enough family to help me take care of them & who give them amazing amounts of love.  The rest is inconsequential.   Really, can there be anything more important then that? 

I certainly have my moments or self pity & doubt.  When i think it's to hard.  Days when i just wish my life would get easier.  But they are few & far between.  Most of my negative thoughts have to do with the amount of time i spend taking care of my children.  Not so much the time i spend with them.  It's the taking care of them, the behind the scenes stuff.  Making sure they are eating the right foods, participating in the right activities.  That i am using the right cleaning products, that i have taken every measure i can take in my home to keep them safe.  That i am teaching them the things they should know at this point.  Modeling the right behavior.  And don't even get me started about the guilt i feel over using disposable diapers.

Of course there are people who watch my 3 girls, dressed alike & holding hands as they walk,  who remind me with true sincerity, just how lucky i am.  That's the point of view i have 98% of the time, & for that, i am truly blessed.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Who are these kids who can ride bikes & where are my babies??

To be fair, they weren't actually riding bikes, they were riding big wheels & not peddling, just scooting around the driveway, but still, aren't they a little young for that?  It amazes me everyday the things my kids can do.  They can tell me what they want to eat (cheese if you ask Lori - doesn't matter the meal), they can tell me what they did today (they're not always correct, but still, they understand that a question is being asked).  It just amazes me.  Lori can almost always tell me who's turn it is to go to the library for story time.  She knows who went last & who will go next.  It's not necessarily that she knows more then her sisters, it's just that she's more vocal.  So really, where are my babies?  the ones who crawled around on the floor inside a gate.  there was a time I could leave Lily on her jungle playmat for half an hour just staring at a little zebra -just thought of that now & realized she is still the only one of my 3 who can amuse herself alone for more then 5 minutes.  funny that those characteristics can appear so young).  The ones who drank from bottles & were held & cuddled every night.   Don't get me wrong, their still cuddled every night, but it's not the same.  Bed time is stories, songs, & hugs & kisses & they are tucked it.  Not feeding, & rocking, & burping, nuzzling their sweet heads the whole time.  

Ok, Might have to scratch that last line. In my optimistic revelry, i lied. 

Most nights bedtimes were hectic to say the least.  Bottles were propped with milk maid bottle props as often as they were held.  3 infants needing to be fed at exactly the same time is exactly as it sounds - loud!  Still, i miss it.  I miss these first smiles (gas or not).  Sometimes i even miss middle of the night feedings.  When i, bleary eyed, could sit quietly with my children (after they were fed).  When i could just look at them & breath in their baby scent.  Many nights i sat on the couch longer then i needed to, just holding my babies & watching them sleep (& watching the home shopping network - did we not have dvr then?  Somewhere i still have a steamer i never even opened.  it's amazing what you think you need in they middle of the night. 

But back to the babies who are no longer babies.

I love my children everyday, for who they are, & who they are becoming.  I delight in every stage of their lives - even if sometimes it takes me a little longer to adjust.  But once in while, like tonight, i think back & miss the tiny babies who depended on me so entirely & completely. 

Now i will go check on my toddlers.  Make sure they are sleeping comfortable in their little toddler beds, that they are covered, & have their favorite toys near by.  Teddy bears for Lori, Baby dolls for Jackie, & the count (think sesame street) for lily.  I may not be needed for absolutely everything anymore, but there are something still only mommy can do.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

I took 3 toddlers to church on Easter

Here's how I can sum that up:  Lily sat nicely & ate her snack.  Lori climbed all over & ate her snack & then tried to get Lily to give her some of hers, Jackie alternately sat & climbed while eating & then clapped & cheered loudly after all hymns. I must mention, that i was not the lone adult on this outing.  My sister, Aunt Jackie, accompanied us on our adventure.
I don't care what you think of snacks at church.  Have you ever been to a catholic mass with even 1 child?  3 baggies of pirates booty got us through a 75 Minute mass without a meltdown - i would kiss the feet of who ever makes it.
As we were leaving, an older women said to me "you made it through".  I told here that's exactly what i say at the end of every night.

Really, I need to take my girls to church more often & try to get them used to it.. I used to go all of the time when they girls were little.  My church was 5 blocks away & i loved getting up early on Sunday morning & heading out before anybody else was up.  I loved the silent walk as the day was starting.  I loved sitting in church by myself listening to the sermon & taking a little time to reflect about my life. 
Now i don't go & I'm starting to feel it in my soul.  It's been almost a year since we moved & we changed churches.  Church is a little further away, i don't like the walk as much.  I could say i don't like the church its self as much, but that's not fair, I've never given it a chance since I've only been there on holidays with 3 wiggly kids.  I need to go by myself.  Then i need to go & bring only one of the girls with me.  I know it's not new year's day, but I'm making a resolution today:  I'm going to go to church on Sunday.   That's it, just this Sunday.  Maybe after that I'll make a new resolution, but it has to start somewhere.

Back to my girls.  Today we saw the Easter bunny.  It wasn't the first time, Actually, it was the third.  The reactions were about the same each time.  Lily looks a little nervous but is willing to get close & pose for a picture.  Lori & Jackie want nothing to do with him.  Today we took the girls on a bunny train ride.  Basically it's a 110 year old train called the pine creek railroad.  The train takes 2 looks through Allaire state park & is completely entertaining on it's own.  Today there was an extra special passenger on the train.  I didn't realize until after we took out seats at the very front of the train, that the girls were sitting with their backs to the very door the Easter bunny was going to enter through.  Here's what that looked like.

Maybe It's a little mean not too have given them a little warning, but their resilient & are all ready over it.  Mean while, here's Lily.

That kid is fearless & i love that about her. 

All in all, we had a wonderful Easter.  Combined, my girls were given 12 Easter baskets.  Did you get that TWELVE.  All variety of small toys & candy beyond their young imaginations.  Much of which they won't get to eat.  Does anyone actually give a 2 year old chewing gum?  What about small, hard candies?  It's the thought that counts & the fact that so many people think so highly of my girls makes me thankful ever day.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

I never, never, worry if my 2 year old is smarter then your 2 year old

OK, that's not entirely true.  But really, the truth is, i don't worry about it often or for long.  Here's why i used to worry, & why i don't anymore.

When my girls were about 18 months old i worried.  A co-worker told me his 16 month old was recognizing letters, a friend told me her 22 month old twins could sing the alphabet.  My three were barely talking coherently (why do we teach them to talk?  more on that later), anyway, at the time it seemed very important.  I was convinced my kids were going to be the kids running in circles with buckets over their heads like the little boy in Parenthood (the movie).  A couple of months later my fears were put to rest.  Did they start spouting sonnets overnight?  Start doing equations Sheldon Cooper would be proud of?  nope.  They took their beds apart.

Lets go back to why they were in beds in the first place.  It wasn't because i thought it was time & it certainly wasn't because i was pushing them.  On the contrary, i would have kept them in cribs until they were 5 if i could have gotten away with it.  It was love that forced the issue. My trio love each other & hate to be separated.  I started going in in the morning & finding all 3 in the same crib.  At 20 months they had learned to climb out of their cribs & into each others.  The Point Of No Return came about a week into this.  I put them down for a nap & then watched on my video monitor, as Lori positioned herself on the crib rail with her back to the room & then proceed to slowly rock back.  That ended nap-time for the day & the transition from cribs to beds was made immediately.  Unfortunately that also meant a transition of bedrooms.  The girls had a large, beautiful (freshly painted) nursery, filled with toys & clothes.  Suddenly i saw everything in their room as a hazard.  If they were going to be in beds, it couldn't be in that room of horrors.  Wait for it, cus here's the fun part.  I insisted that right then & there, my husband & i switch bedrooms with the girls.  We had the smaller bedroom, since we collectively have far less toys & clothes.  Dave took 1 side off of each crib, turning them into toddler beds, & i moved our few belonging into what had been the nursery.  We now had far more toys & clothes then we had ever wanted.  The girls on the other had, had nothing but their beds & a few soft toys (so as not to hit each other to hard).

Then, for further safety, i put toddler bed-rails on all 3 beds.  That night, after we put them to bed, we watched - I love my Summer Video Monitor & recommend it to anyone.

And here is why i don't worry anymore.

Right away the girls started surveying their surroundings.  They moved together from bed to bed, looking at the rails, climbing in & out from under the beds.  Tumbling over the railings & into the beds.  About 30 minutes after they went to bed, i was called back to the monitor by a change in noise.  Then I watched as my girls removed the bed-rails from their beds.  One child lifted the mattress, a second crawled under it & freed the rail, the third pulled the rail out.

It was definitely a well thought out & executed plan.  We were amazed at the way they worked together to accomplish a common goal.  We knew that once again we had been beaten.  I went in & removed the rails from the room, never to be seen again.

So you see, your child may be able to recognize letters & even say them, but my children have shown skills that put my mind at ease for months to come.