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Another First – Staying with Papa and Yaya

David and I haven’t been away from the babies in 539 days…or since they were born. (We did take a very short overnight, two weeks after they were born and still in the NICU for a quick breather. But I was hooked up to my friend, the Pump, every two hours so you can imagine how crazy that was!) I haven’t been away from them for more than four hours. Ever. I have been entangled by three babies 24/7 for 18 months solid. Because of our breastfeeding schedule (which I l.o.v.e.), nobody has taken one or two and left me with “the baby.” I’ve eaten, slept, dreamed and breathed baby x 3 for the past year and a half. And I have loved it. Of course there are times I’ve been touched out (every day!) and times I thought I would go crazy (or am I already?!). But for the most part, I have loved every minute of it. I had no idea I would love it this much. But everyone needs a break every now and then. The stress of having three babies with massive wants and needs is exhausting. Keeping up with them, breastfeeding them, changing 18 diapers a day, putting three babies in and out of cribs and high chairs and car seats and strollers is a serious workout every day (I might suggest it to Bob and Jill on The Biggest Loser!).

And the work never stops when they sleep. I joke that I traded in my full-time job at the office for a full-time and part-time job at home…which any mother can probably attest to. But somewhere in there fits my husband. My amazing husband. My husband who has given up all hobbies. My husband who sadly watches the weeds take over our yard and joyfully changes another diaper instead. My husband who empties the dishwasher so I can throw another massive load of laundry in. My husband who has been every bit as important in this breastfeeding journey as the babies themselves. My husband who tirelessly serves because I cannot do this alone. My husband who prays on his drive home that the Lord will help him serve his family. This man. I love him. So it was time to work out some time away for our anniversary. Yes, yes. This fabulous event was February 5. (Three years and three babies. I promise they’re all legit.) But part of the challenge was how to get away since we are still breastfeeding. I’ve had many suggest to me that I would be fine for an overnight. And I probably would. But then, my body is producing milk for three babies, not just one, so the ramifications of this might be very un-pretty and potentially final for our babies’ love of milk. (To give you an idea, collectively they drink less than 18 ounces from a sippy cup a day. A toddler supposedly drinks about 32 oz a day. This means that skipping just one breastfeeding could have backed me up with a good 24 oz, caused mastitis, tanked my supply, etc. A little different than skipping a feeding with one baby. =) So after I worked out the logistics of how to make it happen, we scheduled it for a weekend in early March.

But it was not to be. My mom got sick, the babies got sick (with their first ear infections – which I got rid of naturally!!!) and then my mom pulled a muscle which means no holding babies. After a week of non-stop fussing and crying and whining and clinging from three sick babies, you better believe I was ready for that weekend!!

So we reschedule for the next weekend! Only….my mom got called in for jury duty. No biggie, who really gets picked for jury duty??? My mom. And of course it wasn’t a simple traffic violation. Oh no, it was a murder trial. A week long murder trial. (If any of the family for the defendant is reading this, her vote didn’t even count. She ended up being an alternate. Boo.)

Let’s try for the next weekend, shall we? We shall. Leading up to the first “try” I was counting down the days on Growing Up Triplets’ Facebook page (have you “liked” us yet??). At this point, I wasn’t allowing myself to believe it might actually happen. But it did happen! I was so excited to finally get away and take a nap spend time with my hubby!

The plan was for me to nurse the babies after their morning nap and head out. Of course getting away by yourselves still takes massive efforts when babies are around, even when said babies aren’t going! So it was after 1pm by the time we left. We headed down to the Grand Bohemian (David had racked up some serious rewards points so we cashed in). We checked in and took a nap. No lie. And it’s also no lie that I heard Noah crying during that time. All the way in our downtown hotel. He’s that loud. (Not really.) We woke up (sadly) and headed to the mall (aw, thanks, Love!) and did some window-shopping (who are we kidding, we have kids – not money!). And then headed home. Wait…what?!?! Yup. We were staying close by so that we could go home and I could nurse the babies before bedtime. I wasn’t up for dealing with skipping breastfeeding for 24 hours but I was up for skipping one feeding – in the morning. I was also concerned with how they would do without that calming time with mama before bed. If one gets set off, more than likely both of the others would join in. Ever heard three screaming babies? It’s a massive undertaking for David and I to get them settled down if they decide they want to do this (three babies, two parents) and can take a really long time (and I can nurse them!). We can get two settled down but the third is still out of control. Lay the two back down and rush to get the third and…nope. The other two start up again. (Are you seeing my hesitation in leaving them yet?)

I nursed and was out of there in 45 minutes. (Mama ain’t messin’ around!) We headed to dinner which was super yummy!! (I’m not sure which I was more excited about: 24 hours of meals I didn’t cook, a nap and sleeping in, or all that time to myself with David – not shared with a little booger…or 3.) We took dessert back to the room and watched all the shows we don’t get at home since we don’t have cable (how boring are we?!).

The next morning we slept in. We.Slept.In. I never knew that 8am was considered sleeping in, but it is!!! And it was wonderful. We got breakfast and watched more tv and checked out. I was so refreshed and relaxed and that was exactly what I was hoping for! Because when we got home, it was chaos, of course.

I remember when I was single and my bestie, Kristen, and I would go away for a study retreat or something. Upon our return, I would watch her three blondies come running with excited shouts of “mommy!” And I thought how sweet. I want that. And then moments later, reality set in as life inevitably swept her back into her role as fight-breaker-upper, bottom-wiper, meal-maker, and spill-cleaner. (Kristen, my respect for you was massively greater in those moments – did I ever tell you that???) So I was preparing my heart. Praying and asking the Lord to help me to love the little munchies who were “intruding” upon my 22 hours of R&R. And He did. I happily left them with my parents and didn’t miss them hardly at all…but was eager for them when we returned. I love it! And wow, what great reports we got! There’s benefits to needing two people to care for them as this means they got nearly one-on-one attention the whole time! Mom and Dad, thank you! We are so grateful! And David, it wasn’t Mexico but it was wonderful. I love you more every day.

And, just for fun, please enjoy the debut music video of the Sweet Pea Band:

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Posted by on March 25, 2013 in Breastfeeding, Family, Triplets

 

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Saying Goodbye to Grandpa

I didn’t think it would work out. I really didn’t. The logistics of taking an unplanned trip with triplet 15mo seemed insurmountable. And my heart hurt. I was torn. I wanted so badly to be there to honor the memory of my Grandpa, to share memories with the family, to laugh and cry…but I just didn’t know how to do it. The questions attacking my mind seemed endless:

  • Do we fly? What do we do with the third baby since we can only hold one each?
  • Where do we stay? We’d need two hotel rooms or half of my Grandmother and Granddaddy’s house.
  • How do we bring three pack ‘n plays, three car seats, the “beast” (our triple stroller), and three babies on an airplane? Not to mention suitcases, diaper bags, etc.
  • If we fly, we have to rent a van since we can’t split up between family members or all ride in one car. And nobody can pick us up because we fill up a van. Can we afford that?
  • If we drive, can David take off two extra days for travel time?
  • How do I fit in breastfeeding three babies throughout the day (which still takes 45 mins to an hour each time)?
  • What will I do if we make it there and the babies have a meltdown during the memorial service which is right during naptime? It will take both of us out of the service…what’s the point in going???

In addition to these questions, the normal ones every family faces of cost, packing, food, exhausted children, exhausted parents, etc swam in my mind for days and days leading up to us looking at each other and realizing…we had to drive. It had only been two months since our first trip to North Carolina. That is not nearly long enough to forget the challenges and exhaustion it is to travel with three babies. We were dreading another one. But David was given time off at work, more than willing to make the trek and support me in whatever it took to get us there. So I began making my lists and checking it twice. We mapped out a route. We were going to say goodbye to my Grandpa.

In preparation for the trip, I began making extras of our meals for the babies to eat while we were gone. I didn’t know what mealtimes would be like or where we’d end up eating and knew that it would be so much easier on me there if I could just toss their meal in a bag and head out. I packed as little as I could and sent the three pack ‘n plays with my parents (thank you!!!) and we still had a full van and car-top carrier! I somehow fit all five of our clothing and shoes, coats and hats into one suitcase. I am still blown away. However, we had a small suitcase for the various random things for the babies (diapers, wipes, blankets, sippies, books, etc), a toy bag, a diaper bag, a cooler, three travel high chairs, the massive triple stroller and a backpack for each mealtime stop along the way. We cut out a breastfeeding (oh the babies’ protests!) and managed to shave about two hours off our travel time. What used to take my family (growing up) of seven people 8-9 hours to drive took us 14.5 hours in November. This time we were determined to make it in 12.

The trip up wasn’t terrible considering what we were doing to those poor munchies: stretching them between mealtimes, squishing them for “naptimes” in car seats next to a couple of blankie-stealing siblings, and forcing them to ride next to one screaming brother or sister for hours at a time. Oh, and running Baby Signing Times for about 5 hours. Ha!

photo 1

They found the cabinet!!!

We ended up staying at Ridgecrest (Lifeway Christian Stores’ beautiful retreat center), which is in Asheville – about 45 minutes from where my Grandpa lived. This is one of my favorite places for Exodus International (where David works) to host their annual Exodus Freedom conferences. In fact, the babies had been there once before – while they were in my tummy!!! My parents braved the snow and ice (yes, Floridians, it was cold!) to set up our pack ‘n plays in the adjoining room. That was a HUGE help. The last time we traveled to North Carolina we had quite a time getting everything in and set up and babies down with just the two of us at midnight – cranky, angry, sad babies… =) So, we pulled them out of the car seats into the icy, frigid air and put them in the “beast” and strolled in at a decent 10pm. I quickly sat down to nurse them all to calm them and we put them in the cribs and shut the door. Ahhh….HOLY COW! We shut the door! The door between the two rooms that didn’t have a handle on our side!!!! The door from the hallway I had already bolted because we weren’t going to be going in and out of it. Screaming babies. Panicked mom. Shoving doors. Bumping deadbolts. Stretching fingers. We called the front desk and they said they’d send someone right over. She told him to hurry because she could hear the babies screaming in the background. And screaming they were. We made so much noise trying to get those doors open. Finally, David got the door open. And the babies screamed their protest at being kept awake. It was now 11:30pm. Goodnight.

Ridgecrest bathroom stroller

Where do you put a double stroller? Why, in the bathroom, of course!

The next day we napped the babies in the morning (ha.) and headed over to my Uncle Randy and Aunt Lisa’s for a dinner with the family. Yummy spaghetti (Aunt Lisa’s Italian!), lots of hugs. I so enjoyed seeing them all again, as well as some family I hadn’t seen in 10+ years! They all met the babies and took pictures and tried to guess which was Emma and which was Makenna. It is sooooo different being with family as a mom of multiple children. With mobile babies constantly being passed from one relative to another in another room, I was constantly counting “1-2-3” and watching the stairs that went downstairs. Following conversations and finishing sentences is really challenging. I can’t just give the cute baby back like I could before I was a mom. Now, they are mine. They are given back to me when they fall apart because of so many missed naps. I was so tempted to think “what’s the point?” This is way more stressful, we should have stayed home. But this is my normal now. And there is a point. I was there. It didn’t look the way I wish it could have, I only got to spend a total of two hours with family before we had to make the 45 minute drive back to get babies to bed. But I got to be there. And hug family. And hear stories. And introduce my sweet babies to relatives.

photo 3

My solution to going out for a quick trip and not dealing with socks, shoes, etc….keep them in their footie pajamas!!!

The next morning we tried napping the babies again and then headed out to the memorial service. We arrived with not a minute to spare (good GRIEF, coatshatssocksshoes x three going out to the car, coming off in the car and going back on to get inside…why do people live up north? All you HOMs mamas, why? Tell me, please!! =). Five minutes into the service, it became apparent that two of the three babies were not going to make it quietly. So David took them out. I was so disappointed. But so grateful for him.

The service was so precious. So many stories! (Scrambled eggs, getting teased and not realizing it, chasing squirrels, growing corn, dancing with Grandma…) I lost it several times. Daniel put together a beautiful video of pictures of Grandpa – the ones from his childhood I’d never seen! I found out Grandpa started an autobiography! I cannot wait to get a copy! It was a very memorable service and I think it honored the memory of this hard-working, family-loving, generous man. Honored him very well.

Oh, and Makenna (my charge during the service) played happily and almost quietly at my feet until the service was almost over when she fell and got her head stuck between the chair legs. It was really funny but laughter would not have been appropriate at that time. So now I laugh. Oh, Baby Girl, I’m sorry. But your face was funny. How I love you. And after the service, a gentleman who played poker with Grandpa came up to me and said he was so grateful for the noise she made during the service – a reminder of youth and happiness in the midst of a room full of sorrowful people mourning the death of a loved one. How kind. He also went up to my husband and told him he wished David hadn’t taken the babies out – for the same reasons. What?! Oh, what a blessing those words were to me! Perhaps he was remembering the stress of trying to keep his own children quiet, many years ago. Regardless, I think Grandpa would have agreed. (However, the scene that played out in the hallway with the two babies and David….yeah, still probably a good thing we took them out. =)

We went down the hall and ate some good food, took pictures, toasted to Grandpa, and passed the babies around and around and around. There were several tables set up with pictures, Grandpa’s uniform, medals won in the air force, letters, books, etc. It was a good day. A sad one, but a good day. Grandpa was loved and cherished and respected. He will continue to be by his family. And I look forward to telling our children what a great man he was and how much I loved him.

We headed out early the next morning praying that our nap-less babies would do decently on the drive home. Poor Noah. He just much prefers his crib to that car seat. Oh well. We made it out of the freezing cold region and into our much more enjoyable (read: coat-less) weather. Thanks to a nice fellow driver, we were alerted to the fact that our car top carrier top was coming loose. Oh joy. David jimmied the lock and we headed off again…only to be flagged down 30 minutes later by someone else. So we hopped off the interstate and David fixed it good this time. It wasn’t coming loose.

At our last stop for the night, we had the first of two blow-outs that night (reason #1 why I hate disposable diapers…I never have a blowout in cloth!). That was fun. Just what I always wanted to deal with. Always. As we were pulling out of the parking lot, babies fed and ready to fall asleep, we checked the digital odometer and it read 210 miles. Sweet! We only had 150 miles left, so we could make it home! Well, about 100 miles on the road, we realized that it had been set to kilometers. We had 50 miles left to drive and only 42 miles of gas. Great. (Totally my fault, too!) So we had to stop to get gas or risk getting stranded on an empty stretch of interstate near home. So we stopped…I don’t think a mouse could have been quieter! We were both trying so hard not to wake the babies. They did wake up but didn’t make a peep, just stared at David through the window while he pumped gas. Then as soon as we were back on the road – they were out! And they went down in the nursery when we got home, like a dream! Oh, praise the Lord for small mercies!!! A wonderful end to an emotionally packed and exhausting weekend. I’m so very, very glad we went.

 
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Posted by on January 30, 2013 in Family, Triplets

 

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A Memorial – Lt. Colonel Howard Lightfoot

I think this was the last picture of all of Grandpa with his ALL of his grandchildren. Thanksgiving 2008

I think this was the last picture of all of Grandpa with his ALL of his grandchildren. Thanksgiving 2008

I lost my Grandpa on Wednesday. He was 89 years old. He was a father to four children, grandpa to 10 and great-grandpa to five. It was only a couple of weeks ago that he underwent heart surgery that appeared successful and he seemed to be on the road to recovery, finally, as late as Tuesday! But sometime during the night he collapsed. And now he’s gone. Grandma passed away when I was 12, about 20 years ago. They’re both gone. I want badly to hold on to the earliest, faint and fuzzy memories I have so that when the babies are holder I can tell them about Great-Grandpa and Great-Grandma.

I remember being really little and going with my family over to visit him and Grandma – there was a funny stone rock-face at the entryway. I always knew we were close when I saw it, even though it was kind of scary.

He called me Jenny. Always. They were the only ones ever allowed to call me that.

When they moved to North Carolina, I remember waking up to the smell of bacon, pancakes and eggs. He always made yummy breakfasts for us.

I remember looking at the thermometer in the kitchen window.

I remember exploring his shed with all the musty-smelling tools and trying to be brave in the middle of such a dark and wet place.

I remember sliding down muddy-dirt pathways and hiding under the stairs outside of the basement.

I remember watching him and my dad build things in the basement.

He was the best farmer I knew. He grew such tall corn and juicy red tomatoes. He laughed at my shock at finding a worm inside the corn. And I think he was proud of me for biting into the tomatoes like apples.

He loved to laugh at us, I remember him laughing a lot.

He recorded countless Little House on the Prairie episodes on VHS tapes for us because we didn’t have cable. I still have some of them today.

He showed me how to shoot a BB gun off the back porch.

His was the first video-camera we used…and boy, did we use it! There are some crazy home videos, for sure!!!

He was generous. He was always doing whatever he could to get his family and grandchildren together for holidays and reunions. He loved to bless us on our birthdays and Christmas. I am so disappointed I never got around to sending this year’s Christmas thank-you card from my family….I hope he knew how grateful we were for the gifts. I hope…

He hugged. He gave good bear-hugs.

Grandpa is five people to the right of me.

Grandpa is five people to the right of me.

He came to my wedding. I’m sitting here wondering if I ever got to tell him how very much that meant to me that he’d travel all that way to rejoice with me. It was such a crazy-wonderful day. Crazy-wonderful. But did he know? Did my hug and my smile and my tears communicate how special it was that my Grandpa was there that day? I don’t know.

He loved my babies. Loved them. Like, invited the other residents for a “meet and greet” (complete with a flyer with times and info!!!) to meet the “great-grand-triplets.”

Meeting his "great-grand-triplets" for the first time. Thanksgiving 2012.

Meeting his “great-grand-triplets” for the first time. Thanksgiving 2012.

And he loved me. I always knew it – sensed he was proud of me.

Grandpa, I love you. I will miss you. I am so very, very sad that my babies won’t know you personally – the great big, strong man that you were. I am so glad you were able to meet them. You were always such a strong presence in my life. You were gentle and strong, the best Grandpa I could imagine.

Love always,

Jenny

5

“Come now, you who say, ‘Today or tomorrow we will go into such and such a town and spend a year there and trade and make a profit’— yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes.” (James 4:13-14)

All of us have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. The punishment for this sin is death and eternal separation from Him; but God has provided a way – through His free gift of eternal life through Jesus Christ. He loves us so much that, while we were still sinners separated from Him, Christ died for us – took our punishment so that we might live! If you confess Jesus as Lord and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved! (taken from Romans 3:23, 5:8, 6:23, 10:9)

 
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Posted by on January 18, 2013 in Family

 

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First Trip to North Carolina

I tell you what…everybody should take a trip to North Carolina in the fall. It’s just “bee-yoo-ti-ful” (who can tell me where this phrase came from – $5 Sbux gift card in it for you!!! Leave a comment if you know the answer!). The leaves are changing and falling, you can see the mountains between the bare limbs on the trees, and the sweat is dripping from your armpits…hold on, what?! It’s true. It was hot. H-O-T, hot. At least for this mama! But…lemme skooch back to the beginning and give you the low-down of the babies’ second out-of-state trip!

We decided to leave on a Monday morning. This was after much, much, much deliberation. You see, with children you don’t just leave whenever and assume you’ll stop…wherever. Because when that “wherever” is needed, what’s available may be less than desirable…got it? All you not-yet-parents, make note of this. Now, when you have triplets who are still breastfeeding, you must also plan time for this. Add to all this that I wasn’t about to find myself at a Waffle House with three babies for lunch ({gag}). So David and I spent a loooot of time mapping out our trip and reworking routes, leave/arrive times, stops, etc. Armed with a schedule and coffee (would you expect anything less of me???), we headed out on our 14 hour trip…which typically took us 9-10 hours growing up. Oh yes, indeed. And, overall, the trip went GREAT! We couldn’t believe it! We kept waiting for the need to pull off and get a hotel room, but the babies did so well. …Save for the one hour I ended up driving between daylight and nighttime – all three babies screamed. Screamed. How did I describe it? Oh yes! Like taking razors to your eyeballs. Yes.

When we arrived, it actually was freezing cold, midnight and babies began waking up. We expected that. We had a plan, of course, for how to get three babies inside a house we’ve never been in before that is empty, in the middle of the night, while not leaving one alone in the car with only the two of us to carry them. What we didn’t figure on was the lock on the car top carrier getting stuck with the pack ‘n plays inside. And it being pitch black. And the babies screaming in the cold. And the neighboring residents coming out with pitchforks. (Ok, so that last one didn’t actually happen, but I sure was looking over my shoulder the whole time I was holding my iPhone up for David to see with…good old iPhone.)

Fast-forward through the painful next hour, babies were settled and David and I quickly explored. The place was AWESOME! It was a home in my Grandpa’s retirement community. It had a beautiful porch, full kitchen, dining area, 2 bedrooms and 3 bathrooms!! (All the moms out there say, “ooooh!”) Then we went to bed.

The next day we spent with my parents and Grandpa – he’d never met the babies before! And that night we had all of my dad’s family over for chili (thanks, mom!). On Wednesday we headed to Grandmother’s house – over the river and through the woods, up the steep mountain hill…oh, you thought I was joking? Not so much!

I have to pause here and just say how unexpectedly emotional this was for me. I have spent more than 20 years coming to their home for summers, Thanksgivings, Christmases, etc. I have seen green leaves, red leaves and no leaves. We’ve prayed for snow and gotten it. My sibs and I have played “house” on the side of this mountain, in between massive rocks. We’ve swung on the zipline, broken limbs, cooked out, roasted marshmallows, made sweet potato casseroles, watched Little Women, played spoons, and sung to our Saviour around the piano. And, more recently, I introduced David to many of the above while we were courting. Good memories, folks. Good memories. Now I’m bringing my babies here? What?! How can this be? It was quite surreal…

To continue, in order to spend the entire day there, we had to pack up 3 pack ‘n plays, 3 high chairs, a diaper bag, a food bag, a toy bag, and I don’t know what else. (I counted: David packed and unpacked 12 pack ‘n plays total that day. Gosh, I love you, babe!)

Thursday was rather glorious. We leisurely ate breakfast and watched the parade (“leisurely” is not a word I use often these days!). Then we dressed the babies and headed off to spend a couple hours with the Lightfoot family! Well, let’s just say the babies were nearly “peopled” out. They had been insanely good up to this point, but we could see they were losing it. And, what do you do with three crying babies in a non-baby-proofed house? You finish eating (scrummmmmptious meal!) and head on out. It was time for them to eat, anyways, poor little things.

On Friday, my Grandpa wanted his friends to meet the babies (apparently they’re something of a sensation there and there’s a wall of pictures he’s posted of them that gets quite a bit of attention!!!). So, he organized a “meet and greet.” Yes, it’s true. Good thing I love him!!! The babies did wonderfully and Noah flirted with all the ladies, of course. And later on that day we met up with some of the family at a park – the babies’ first experience!!!

Saturday morning, we headed out bright and early. One thing I hadn’t thought of in all of my planning was how much longer it would take to get out the door while in this house with no gate to corral babies. My parents graciously offered to help us. It still took all four of us two hours to get everything loaded (it was all already packed, mind you) and the babies dressed. We somehow managed to only leave a half an hour later than planned.

Now, let me just say to all my fellow triplet moms-to-be…add those portable DVD players to your baby registry list. Go ahead! …finished? Good! You’ll thank me someday. We borrowed them for our rear-facing babes (it’s strongly recommended you rear-face till two now!) and it made all.the.difference. I used them right before the two naps going up and coming home to get them to settle down and sleep. And they ran for a couple of hours during nighttime. I’m pretty sure we’re still sane because of them…they were God’s grace to us! Oh, but don’t forget to bring several different DVDs. Yeah. Anyways, they did amazingly well on the trip home, too. I couldn’t believe it!

So, there you have it! I am thankful for family, beautiful mountains, great food, my Saviour, my bed and my four loves…not in that order! And now for the pictures…

Grandpa meeting his "great-grandtriplets" for the first time!

Grandpa meeting his “great-grandtriplets” for the first time!

Feeding Makenna - he did such a great job! =)

Feeding Makenna – he did such a great job! =)

The fam at "our" house!

The fam at “our” house!

Daddy and son chillaxin' in the big comfy chair at Great-Granddaddy and Great-Grandmother's house.

Daddy and son chillaxin’ in the big comfy chair at Great-Granddaddy and Great-Grandmother’s house.

Papa and Noah on the swing!

Papa and Noah on the swing!

Time to eat!

Time to eat!

The front porch of my grandparents - many a family picture has been taken here.

The front porch of my grandparents – many a family picture has been taken here.

Thanksgiving Day! =)

Thanksgiving Day! =)

At the "meet and greet" with the family...

At the “meet and greet” with the family…

...add David...

…add David…

...switch out Mom. =)

…switch out for Mom. =)

Emma talking to the residents.

Emma talking to the residents.

Noah flirting with all the ladies - even Papa couldn't stop him!

Noah flirting with all the ladies – even Papa couldn’t stop him!

Makenna chatting with YaYa and a new friend.

Makenna chatting with YaYa and a new friend.

Grandpa chatting with the ladies...he was quite the center of attention over this!

Grandpa chatting with the ladies…he was quite the center of attention over this!

My mom and me and my girls, with my cousin Bekah with her new little one - Brighton.

My mom and me and my girls, with my cousin Bekah with her new little one – Brighton.

Oh goodness. Stop. And be jealous I see this face every.single.day.

Oh goodness. Stop. And be jealous I see this face every.single.day.

All the grandkids and great-grandkids that were able to be there. LtoR: Bekah and Brighton, David and Noah and Emma, Travis (cousin) with Meadow and Kellie and me with Makenna and Grandpa in the front!

All the grandkids and great-grandkids that were able to be there. LtoR: Bekah and Brighton, David and Noah and Emma, Travis (cousin) with Meadow and Kellie and me with Makenna and Grandpa in the front!

My Aunt List, Aunt Charlene and mom - with all their grandbabies!

My Aunt List, Aunt Charlene and mom – with all their grandbabies!

Noah...still flirting!

Noah…still flirting!

New mommas!

New mommas!

Noah was very pleased he was actually allowed in the kitchen here. After removing all the pots and lids, he crawled in and out!

Noah was very pleased he was actually allowed in the kitchen here. After removing all the pots and lids, he crawled in and out!

A walk in the park...

A walk in the park…

Ok, one more of this monster.

Ok, one more of this monster.

My sweet Emma!

My sweet Emma!

The little girls!!!

The little girls!!!

The End!

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Posted by on December 6, 2012 in Holiday, Triplets

 

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All In A Year’s Work

What has it been like to have triplets? Well, here’s a quick glance at our first year…

DIAPERS:

  • Diapers changed = 15-24 per day
  • Diapers changed = 6,600 per year (David wants everyone to know he’s changed over 50% of these. Maybe, says I.)
  • Poopy diapers changed = 1,300 per year
  • Wipes = $70 per year
  • Disposable diapers given to us = 720 (lasted one whole month!!!)
  • Disposable diaper packages = half a package per day
  • Disposable diaper costs = $80 per month for the first few months (didn’t want the volunteers to also have to spray poopy diapers – haha!)
  • Cloth Diaper costs = $625 TOTAL
  • Cleaning poopy diapers = 15 minutes per week

DOCTOR/CARE:

  • Doctor appointments = 18 in 11 months (This is actually very low for triplets! Only two were sick visits and this doesn’t count the 12 month appointment yet!)
  • Weight gained (total) = 40+ pounds
  • Inches grown (total) = 31”
  • Shots given = 0
  • Ear infections = 1
  • Finger nails = 1,400 cut
  • Ears pierced = 4
  • Baths given = 20 (yep, you read that right)
  • Information tracked = 9 months (wet/poopy diapers, bottles given/to whom/and oz., breast/side/time)
  • Teething = 8 + 6 + 6 = 20 teeth
  • Hyland’s teething tablets = 6 boxes of 135 each
  • Naps = 2,000+ (no complaining here!!!)

FINANCIAL:

  • Hospital costs for me = $3,500 paid out of pocket
  • Hospital costs for babies = $1,500,000 (paid $0!!!)
  • Equipment acquired this year = 6 car seats, 3 cribs, 3 pack n plays, 3 high chairs, 4 strollers (double, single, triple, triple – yes each one serves a different and necessary purpose), van (!!!), kitchen table and six chairs, changing table, 2 bath seats, 3 bouncers, 2 swings, 3 jumpers, 3 bumbos, 1 dresser, 2 rockers, 24 4 oz. bottles, 24 5 oz. bottles, 18 bowls, 30 spoons, bottle warmer, twin nursing pillow, single nursing pillow, etc.
  • Baby food = $400 increase in grocery budget (total for five months)
  • Laundry = 5 extra loads per week or 250 per year (includes 2 weekly loads of diapers)
  • Electric = $90 per month increase compared with last year
  • Water = $9 per month increase compared with last year
  • Cash gifts = nearly $5000 provided by the Lord from generous friends and family!
  • Meals = 30 meals brought during first 4 months home
  • Volunteers = 40+ volunteers helping during first 4 months home (Thank you.)

NURSING & FORMULA

  • Breastfeeding = 9.5 months and going strong!!!
  • Sat down to breastfeed = 4,000 times
  • Time spent breastfeeding = 5 hours each day
  • Pumped = 8.5 months
  • Pumping sessions = 1,500 sessions
  • Length of time spent pumping = 432 hours
  • First day of pumping yield = 36 mLs TOTAL (one oz.)
  • Highest yield of pumping = Christmas Day!!! (48 oz. in addition to breastfeeding)
  • Fresh expressed breast milk = 3,500 oz. expressed for bottles (in addition to breastfeeding)
  • Frozen breast milk = 1200 oz. or 9+ gallons frozen over 4 months, from February – June (in addition to breastfeeding)
  • Amount pumped total = 4,700 oz. (in addition to breastfeeding)
  • Gallons of water drunk = 61,320 oz.  or 475 gallons
  • Breastfed AND supplemented = 7 weeks we breastfed and supplemented with a bottle before/after every feeding for every baby
  • Bottles given = 4,200 (from birth, when bottles were given every day – all day long, through January when they finally learned to breastfeed; plus bottles here and there)
  • Bottles washed = 4,200
  • Burps heard = 11,000
  • Donated formula = 4,000 oz. or 125 containers or 1.5 months of formula (to supplement)
  • Formula purchased = 0
  • Formula costs = $15 per day or $6,400 for the year (had I not breastfed)
  • Breastfeeding costs = $1,500 (pumps, scale, consultations, medications, herbs, etc.)
  • Savings = $4,900 saved by breastfeeding

MISCELLANEOUS:

  • Professional photo shoots = 8
  • Professional photo shoot costs = $18 (woot, woot!)
  • Road trip = 1 (Atlanta)
  • YaYa visits = 100 (doesn’t include that she lived with us during the week for the first 6 weeks they were home)
  • Weight gained during pregnancy = Oh, ok, I’ll tell you. 56 pounds. Bleh.
  • Weight lost by two weeks = 22 pounds (more than half was JUST babies)
  • Hobbies = none…except three babies (Seriously, snuggling, feeding, changing, researching and blogging about them…that’s it.)
  • Heart capacity = filled to overflowing with a bazillion, trillion, one million, forty zillion ounces. I love them. So much.

Now, before you roll your eyes wondering how I had time to put all this together, I have an app that tracked much of this and was able to just pull the information. And why did I put all this together? Mainly so that I can look back and marvel at how God cared for us in the daily grind – the pure exhaustion that piled on top of pure exhaustion, the financial provision when we had no idea what we were going to do, the prayers answered for the desire to be able to breastfeed. Because He has cared for us. He has not left us forsaken, but has walked with us daily. And we owe all of the above to Him!

 

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Beach Bums!!!

I’ll post more later, but we made a quick trip to the beach last night. It was so incredibly challenging and stressful but ohsofun seeing their expressions as they experienced sand and the ocean for the first time. And have you ever seen so many itsy-bitsy, teeny-weeny swimsuits???

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Posted by on September 1, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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