Saturday, November 29, 2008

Laps Full of Love

This is THE picture that everyone wants when they come to see the boys:

Grandma Alice & the boys (4 days old)

Fr. Richard & the boys after their baptism (4 days old)

Becky & the boys (6 weeks old)

Aunt Judy & the boys (6 weeks old)
Aunt Cathy & the boys (6 weeks old)

Laurie & the boys (7 weeks old)

Of course, if you ask someone who is too excited about the babies to take this picture the VERY first time you have all your babies together in the hospital, it can come out like this:

Mom (well, most of her) & the boys (4 days old)

Thursday, November 27, 2008


Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. It's all about family, friends and food. It's about gratitude for the things we have, not a materialistic rush to acquire more things we probably don't need in the first place. It's about appreciating the people who are part of our lives.

True to my German heritage and the genes that come from my Grandma White, I love to cook and feed people, so the food part is easy. Just remember to remove the giblets from the turkey and throw it in an oven bag for a while, mash a few potatoes and make a green bean casserole and you're all set.

I am particularly proud of the fact that I put Thanksgiving dinner on the table this year for the three of us who can eat solid foods. Despite the fact that I forgot to serve the stuffing I made last night (to get a jump on things), and I didn't make a dessert at all (maybe for Christmas?) it was a great meal.

I try to count my blessings daily, and not just once a year, but this Thanksgiving was extra special as we have three new blessings to be thankful for.

This year, I am especially thankful for:

Amelia, who is a ray of sunshine in my life, even when she's being an impossibly strong-willed two-year-old. You make me laugh every day.

Samuel, who melts my heart when he snuggles into my neck. You are already starting to show a temper that matches your red hair, but you can be the sweetest boy, too.

Isaac, who is the small but mighty one. You know how to charm us with your little coos, and you already claim the middle ground between Sam's temper and Alex's laid-back personality.

Alexander, who generally goes with the flow. You are most likely to put yourself to sleep without being rocked or held. But when you cry, it's with a bleat that demands attention. We love to kiss your pudgy cheeks.

Jeff, who is a great husband and father. You never wavered in your belief that the triplets would be fine despite the potential risks of the pregnancy. You never complained as you shouldered the burden of my diminishing physical ability. And now you are right there beside me, changing diapers, feeding babies, and meeting the challenges of a two-year-old. With you to look up to, our children will grow to be strong, faithful, and compassionate people.

Family, friends and neighbors, who have come to help out with everything from food and diaper coupons to handling feedings and cleaning my kitchen so we can get some sleep. We are truly humbled by all of the helping hands that have appeared in our lives. We are so glad you have chosen to be part of this adventure, and we appreciate all of you more than we can ever express.

I hope all of you are as blessed in your lives as we are. Happy Thanksgiving.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

The Magical Miracle Cream

I wish the title of this post referred to something for stretch marks, but no such luck. I'm referring to diaper cream. We use Boudreaux's Butt Paste for the worst rashes. I highly recommend it for severe cases, though it isn't cheap.

Somewhere along the line in her short life, Amelia got the idea that "paste" fixes everything. If she has a tummy ache she'll pull up her shirt and ask us to put paste on it. If her daddy or I have a cut or a scrape she'll want to put paste on it. Even broken fingernails can require a paste fix up.

The other day Amelia noticed that her brothers all have a little cradle cap or dry scalp. She ran to her room and came back with Desitin to "fis it all bedder." She diligently put some diaper cream on each boy's head, and later went back for some more to "fis" the stork bite birth mark on Alex's forehead. How sweet!

Monday, November 24, 2008

It Runs in the Family

Jeff washed all the bottle parts the other night.

Can you say OCD? When I wash the bottle parts they wind up in a jumbled heap. Since we go through 21 bottles a day, they get assembled as quickly as they get washed, so I don't waste my time on being orderly. I save my own OCD tendencies for other things, so between us we have all the bases covered.

And we wonder why Amelia has to straighten out the boys' play mat and line up her stuffed animals just so. Actually, we don't. We accept and embrace our OCD tendencies in this house. I understand that's the first step to recovery -- though it certainly hasn't worked so far!

Maybe we should have really embraced our problem by naming the boys Oliver, Christopher and Daniel. Other than Alex's aversion to being wet at all, we don't see many OCD tendencies in them yet, but just give it time.

The boys just hangin' out. From left: Sam, Isaac and Alex.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Sleep Deprivation

I completely understand why sleep deprivation is used as a form of torture. There are days when I would confess to harboring Osama Bin Laden in my basement as long as it would guarantee me a couple hours of sleep in one stretch.

Last night it was Isaac's turn to be the fussy one. Jeff stayed up with him after the 9:30 p.m. feeding and went straight through to the 1:30 a.m. feeding with little more than a quick snooze with a baby on his chest.

God bless Jeff though. He did the 1:30 a.m. feeding by himself and let me sleep. I heard nothing -- not my alarm clock and not three wailing babies. Of course, this is due in part to the nerve pain medicine I am still taking to try to get rid of the residual effects of the shingles. The problem is, the medicine makes me even more tired and groggy. But, I am now being very vigilant about taking it every 6 hours (how convenient that I'm up in the middle of the night to take doses round the clock) to prevent this pain from becoming chronic. Really, this has gone on long enough.

After the 5:30 a.m. feeding, which we did a half hour early, and with Amelia's "help" because the chorus was so loud, I had a fussy Isaac. I wound up "sleeping" on the bed in the basement with Isaac and later, with both Isaac and Alex. When it was time for the next feeding, about 8:30 a.m., Sam started wailing. At first I was very confused, because I had been dreaming I was doing a feeding, so I couldn't figure out why there was a baby crying.

I'm starting to feel like the Dunkin' Donuts guy, only it's: "Time to feed the babies." For those of you too young for the reference, it's past your bedtime. Go check out YouTube if you really care.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Three on One

This week I've been mostly on my own with the boys, so I am perfecting my zone feeding technique. The hardest part is fitting in nursing at the same time I'm propping two other boys and trying to get everyone burped. If they will cooperate and let me start their feedings 10-15 minutes apart, that helps a lot. But sometimes, everyone is hungry all at once!

Yesterday I tandem nursed two of the babies for the first time. It went pretty well. It certainly went better than I ever hoped, considering the fact that I had to work pretty hard to teach each of them to nurse in the first place. Even now, they don't always cooperate with me, but if one won't cooperate, there's always another baby to try!

Right now the babies get breast milk for about half of their feedings. Some of the time they nurse, and the rest of the time they get a bottle of either breast milk or formula. Beside the fact that breast milk is the best food in the world for the babies, if you've purchased formula lately, you know it's well worth the time and effort to nurse and pump for the savings alone! We go through a $25 can of formula in about 4 days, and that's with me providing half the feedings in breast milk. We're investing the savings in their college fund. HA! Maybe once we're done buying diapers.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

My Little Tattletale

Jeff and I bought Amelia a Dora the Explorer chair in an effort to keep her out of the babies' bouncy seat and swing. If you have a toddler, you know all about Dora the Explorer. If you don't, count your blessings.

The chair unfolds into a bed, and last night Amelia wanted to sleep on the Dora bed instead of in her crib. With visions of midnight wanderings dancing through my head, I told her no. She immediately began to pout and said, "I'm telling on you," as she marched out of her room.

I chuckled and waited to see where this would lead. Amelia went to her daddy, who was the only person to tell to. She said, "Mommy's telling me what to do."

Daddy replied, "If Mommy's telling you what to do, then you'd better listen." Points to Dad for the perfect response.

Amelia came back to her room to read bedtime stories with me and there was no further protest about the bed.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008


I don't know what the problem was today, but the boys have been fussy all day long. My sister Judy was planning to leave after the 9:30 a.m. feeding, but all three boys put up a big stink. Perhaps they didn't want her to leave? :-)

Aunt Judy stayed until the boys went down after the 12:30 feeding. They were all down by 2 p.m., since they'd used up all their energy fussing! Sam didn't stay down for long, and ended up napping on Mom's chest for a little while. I needed a little shut-eye after a long night of fussing that just continued into today.

I had help for the 3:30 feeding, so that went pretty smoothly, but once again Sam didn't go down for a while. On the plus side, at least it was just one baby who needed extra help. That I have enough hands for! I'm hoping they all have it out of their system so they don't abuse the volunteers at 9:30 p.m. and our overnight helper tonight.

The boys are six weeks old today, and their weekly weigh-in showed some impressive gains:

Sam - 8 lb. 12 oz.
Isaac - 7 lb. 15 oz. (Almost 8 lbs. Grandma Alice! Isaac came home the smallest at 4 lb. 12 oz.)
Alex - 9 lb. 5 oz.

I'm enjoying a little peace and quiet now, but it's time to give Amelia her supper and get ready for the 6:30 feeding.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Girls Just Wanna Have Fu-un

Last night the sisters headed out for Mexican and a margarita, and left Daddy in charge with a babysitter to assist. As always, we enjoyed ourselves -- and the margaritas. It's amazing how restorative a little salt and lime can be. It was almost as good as the 8 hours of sleep a night (count them -- 8!) that I enjoyed Friday and Saturday while both Cathy and Judy were here.

As always, we annoyed yet another waiter by making him take a photo of us.

Judy, Christy and Cathy forgo sleep for margaritas and Mexican food.

The waiter asked if we were celebrating anything, and we told him I had 5-week-old triplets. I thought that might get me a free margarita or at least a lousy piece of chocolate cake, but no luck. Just polite conversation, I guess.

Or, it could be that he was afraid to return to the table after I fumbled around looking for a picture, completely forgetting about the digital camera we had just had him use to take our pic. When he walked by again we made him stop so we could show off the boys. I think that was about the end of his tolerance for us as we never saw him again! (Don't worry, Mom, we were well behaved, just a little loopy from lack of sleep.)

More pics of the aunties with their laps full of babies to come later.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Photos with the Aunties

After Jeff and I complained to Aunt Cathy and Aunt Judy about the boys' "witching hours" from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m., they were perfect angels. But, they gave their aunties trouble all night long, one after the other. With many thanks for the good night's sleep they gave us, we sent Judy and Cathy to bed after the 5:30 a.m. feeding so they could get a decent stretch of sleep.

We girls were too busy yakking today to take many pictures, but here's a start. The boys are finally awake enough for a little playtime, so check out the three of them checking each other out and Amelia reading her brothers a book.
Aunt Judy takes on Sam and Alex.

Aunt Cathy rocks with Isaac.

Clockwise from upper left: Sam, Isaac and Alex check each other out.

Amelia reads her brothers a book.

Tomorrow we'll try harder to get photos. By then we might have less to talk about. (Or not. Do sisters ever run out of topics of conversation?)

Friday, November 14, 2008


Yesterday two of my sisters arrived just in time for the 9:30 p.m. feeding. Cathy (my twin), and Judy (my oldest sister) came to dote on the babies and help us out for a few days. It's great to have the extra hands, and also fun for me to spend some time catching up with my sisters, whom I don't get to see very often.

Even though we have three boys around now, I'm not sure that's enough testosterone to offset the "estrogen fest" that Jeff calls the sister visits. But, as long as he doesn't have to get up for the 1:30 a.m. feeding, he'll probably put up with anything.

Pictures of the aunties with their nephews will come tomorrow...

Thursday, November 13, 2008


Yesterday Jeff had Chinese for lunch. He brought his fortune home for me to see. It said, "You have a basic need for solitude some of the time."

We got a good laugh out of that. We may all need a little solitude, but it will be a long time before we get it!

On to the news. Yesterday the boys were five weeks old. They are eating and burping like champs, though Sam's definitely the slowest to eat and burp. Here are the results of the five-week weigh in:

Sam - 8 lb. 1 oz.
Isaac - 7 lb. 7 oz.
Alex - 8 lb. 11 oz.

I have visions of having GALLONS of milk delivered to the house three times a week as they get older...

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Family Pics

It was too bad we didn't have quads so there'd be enough babies to go around. (HA!)

Grandma D. and Sam

Grandpa D. and Alex

Aunt Allie and Isaac

Uncle Jacob and Isaac

Grandma and Grandpa with the kids

Monday, November 10, 2008

Flying Solo

Today Grandma Brigade Part 2 headed for home. Jeff's mom arrived the day my mom left, so we've had round-the-clock help for almost five weeks now. Last Thursday Jeff's dad, sister Allison and brother Jacob came, so we've had more hands than kids for the last few days, which has been very, very nice. Jeff and I got to catch a little extra sleep while they were here, and we're going to need it!

I did a feeding by myself today, and it went pretty well. The biggest problem is getting everyone -- or at least most -- of the gang to go down afterwards. One fussy baby is no big deal, two is manageable, but three? Well, one person just doesn't have enough hands for that!

I've got pictures of the family with the boys and Amelia, but I'll have to get to those later. I hear a couple boys calling me from the other room.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

More Feeding Fun

The boys are still messing with my schedule, sometimes wanting to eat just 2 hours after they've been fed. At least they didn't wreak havoc with the night feedings. They kindly ate at 1:30 and 5:15, though Alex was up at 4:45 looking for food.

We've upped their bottles to 4 ounces, though they don't generally finish them. At least we know they have the opportunity to eat more, if that's the issue. And believe me, when they wake up demanding to be fed early, we do everything we can to get a full bottle in them. None of this dozing off after two ounces boys. Mama's not giving you snacks every two hours!

Fortunately, the boys are so gosh darn cute, we'll forgive them for messing with the schedule. As Uncle Jacob says, "I'm so tired, but I don't want to leave." Hear, hear!
Here are some pics of the boys with the stuffed giraffes that Grandpa D.'s secretary sent. The giraffes play a lullaby when you wind them up, and if you look at the ribbons you'll see they have the boys' names on them. Very cute!




Saturday, November 8, 2008

Eating Out, Eating In

Tonight Jeff and I had a date. As a birthday present from his mom we went out for a nice dinner while Grandma and Grandpa D. and Aunt Allie and Uncle Jacob held down the fort. At least they had enough people for man-to-man defense! It was nice to have a little quiet time to ourselves, though our conversation was punctuated by long pauses brought on by the lack of sleep.

So that's the eating out. What about the eating in, you ask? That's all about the triplets, and the subtitle to this post should be "ACK!" I had the boys on a perfectly reasonable three-hour schedule that was working for all of us, and today they flipped out on me.

This morning they woke up en masse and started bellering for food just two hours after the previous feeding. We'd barely gotten finished and cleaned up from the previous meal and they were acting like we hadn't fed them in days. Since they were all awake, we fed them. And then fed them again two and a half hours later. Then they managed three hours before demanding to be fed every two hours for the next two feedings. ACK!

Our round-the-clock help is about to leave. Now is not the time for these babies to need to be fed every two hours. I'm sure it's a growth spurt, and that's a good thing, but on a two-hour feeding schedule, we will do nothing but feed! I sure hope this is short-lived.

In other triplet news, I packed away the last preemie outfit today. Everyone is in newborn sizes now, just one month after birth, and a week after their due date.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Reinforcements and a Health Update

I'm typing this with a fussy baby in my lap, and I hope this is not an indication of how the night's going to go. Luckily, Jeff's dad, sister and brother arrived yesterday, so we have reinforcements for a couple days. Last night I didn't have to get up for the 1:30 a.m. OR 5:30 a.m. feedings. It was wonderful, even though I was up with Amelia at 3 a.m.

For those who have been asking, my shingles are improving with the medication. I have started taking the medication for nerve pain, but I hope to only need it a day or two. And, of course, I went to the chiropractor for an adjustment since the virus that causes shingles is harbored at the base of the spine. It certainly can't hurt.

Today we also took the boys to the pediatrician for their one-month checkup. They are all growing well and getting even bigger and stronger by the day. Here are the stats:

Sam - 7 lbs. 7 oz.
Isaac - 6 lbs. 15 oz.
Alex - 8 lbs. 4 oz.

The boys are doing great. It's the rest of us who need sleep that I'm worried about!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

My Body Is Rebelling

After carrying the triplets for 36 weeks and 3 days with virtually no problems, my body is now rebelling. Two days ago I noticed a little rash on my arm near my armpit. I put a little cortisone cream on it. The next day it had spread to my armpit and down my arm. Then it began to blister and ooze and really, really hurt.

This can't be good.

So, I called the doctor and went in today. She told me it's shingles.


The doctor asked me if I'm under any stress and if I'm getting enough rest. HA! This was a doc at my family practice, so they haven't seen me since last year's physical. I saw my OB while I was pregnant.

I told her I had month-old triplets at home, and she said, "That would do it."

No kidding.

So, I started the anti-viral medication today, which is approved for use while nursing. If the pain continues I'll have to take something specifically for nerve pain and inflammation, which is not approved for use while nursing. Hopefully this will clear fast and I won't need the pain medication, but my doctor said not to ignore it if the pain continues for more than 48 hours. Apparently shingles can cause nerve damage and the inflammation can lead to chronic pain. I certainly don't need that!

If you need me, I'll be right here watching my body go to hell in a hand basket.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Election 2008 -- Amelia Goes to the Polls

This morning I went to the polls to cast my ballot. When I was expecting the babies, I thought I might vote absentee, just because we didn't know what life would be like at this point, but I decided that I just HAD to go to the polls in person this election, even if I had to take the babies with me.

I wanted to take Amelia, too, because no matter the outcome, this is an historic election.

Since Grandma D. is here I didn't have to take the boys, and at 8:00 a.m. Amelia and I went to the polls. She wanted to vote, but was very good about it when I explained that only grownups can vote. I held her as I filled in the little ovals on my ballot, so she could see what I was doing.

Amelia watched me for a minute, then said, "What you doing, Mommy?" I explained that I was picking the people who would be in charge.

To that, my precious, precocious two-year-old replied, loudly enough for the entire room to hear, "I'M IN CHARGE!"

Everyone laughed. Me most of all.

Perhaps that's not a bad idea my sweet girl. We'd eat a lot of ice cream and spend entire weeks in our favorite jammies, and the world would probably be a happier place.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Update on the Boys

Here's the latest on the boys:

Samuel Joseph
Born at 5 lb., 4 oz., it was Sam who determined the birthday. Our ultrasound on Oct. 8 showed that he hadn't grown in two weeks. Lab tests after delivery showed that his placenta had started to calcify so he wasn't getting nutrients the way he should have been.
Sam is our slow poke when it comes to eating these days, though he's far neater than either of his brothers. He's become a reluctant burper, which slows down his eating even more. Sam still has the reddish hair he was born with, and Mom is hopeful that he'll keep it.

Isaac Thomas
Weighing in at 5 lb., 3 oz., Isaac was the smallest of the boys at birth. He was just 4 lb., 12 oz. when we brought him home, but he's been gaining ground fast.
Isaac has started to eat really well, and is a pretty good burper, too. When he first came home he would always burp twice in a row and then get the hiccups. He had the hiccups a lot! Isaac had the hiccups a lot in utero, too, making my belly button jump all the time. Isaac likes to snuggle up with Sam in the crib, nuzzling his head right up to his brother's.

Alexander Steven
Alexander came wailing into this world at 6 lb., 1 oz. He was parked up in my rib cage, and my ribs are finally shifting back into place three weeks after he was born.
The nurses in NICU made sure Alex was a really good eater before they sent him home. He's a champion burper, sometimes surprising us with his volume! He often dictates the feeding schedule, waking up first and hollering for food. We like to put Alex at the front of the lineup in the crib, so he can't beat up on his brothers with his long arms.


Sunday, November 2, 2008

Our Due Date Has Arrived

To my boys:

Today, November 2, is your due date. We are so blessed that you are already here as big, healthy three-week-olds. Today Sam weighs 7 lbs. 2 oz., Isaac weighs 6 lbs. 7 oz., and Alex weighs 8 lbs. 1 oz.

On your birthday, in the short time we had between the doctor's appointment and the C-section, I sat quietly with you one last time. I wanted to savor those last few moments of having you inside of me. I wanted to relish the last few baby kicks and contemplate for just a minute the miracles that God and I had been creating together for all those months.

God knit your bones together inside of me, and, as with so many of His gifts, I was but the vessel for His work. It is indeed a wondrous thing.

I'm so thrilled to have carried you safely inside of me for so long. Now you've taken your place in this world -- a place that God determined for you long ago.

No matter what the future holds for you, my three little angels, know that your father and I will always be there to hold your hands, wipe your tears, share your joys, and encourage you along the way.

Welcome to the world my darlings. We're so very glad you're here.