Saturday, April 19, 2014

Six Years

My hubby, Brian, and I celebrate our sixth year anniversary today.  What a wonderful six years it has been... but I have to say, this past year tops them all.  I remember last year on this day, we celebrated from the comfort of my hospital room.  Brian surprised me with bringing Italy to my room... Italian food, Italian music, flowers, and pictures of Italy playing on the TV.  It was as romantic as it could get in our situation at the time (we just had to ignore the beeping monitors, nurses, and me feeling so incredibly preggo).  We were also able to give each other an awesome gift of becoming debt free


I remember just wondering and talking about our future and what the next year was going to be like.  And Wow, this year has been the best year of my life.  From welcoming our three baby girls, to raising those three baby girls, and watching Brian become a father.  A part of him I had never known before.  You feel like you know someone so well and then they become a parent and exceed all expectations.


Although this year has been the best, raising triplets has been no easy task and it comes with its challenges.  The fact that Brian and I have made it through probably the toughest year of our lives amazes me.  Our relationship is stronger and we've learned more about each other.  We have become even better teammates than before.  We communicate, compromise, and work together.  We respect each other and always always always say Thank You.  That is some of our biggest advise to newlyweds.  Appreciate what the other has done for you and acknowledge them for that.  Its so simple and goes such a long way.  With the amount of things we do each day, we say a lot of thank you's.  Brian makes sure I know that what I do each day (stay at home with the babies) is amazing.  I make sure he knows that I appreciate him taking care of the house, going to work, and taking a midnight shift.

 
 

 The babies just love him so much.  I see it in their reactions when they see him.  They are genuinely happy and then cry if they aren't the first to be picked up.  It has been incredible to watch him as a father and I love his relationship with our daughters.  We are so thankful to have him in our lives. Happy Anniversary, Brian! I love you!




 

Monday, April 7, 2014

Triple Play: 10 Months

How old?  10 Months.
 
Our weights? (Estimates) S: 15 lbs T: 17 lbs  M: 15 lbs 8 oz 
The girls are still wearing 6 months clothes and Taylor sometimes needs 9 months.  Jammies are all 9 months.

Our sleeping patterns?  The girls nap at 10:30 and 2:30.  The earlier nap is normally longer for them but it is always unpredictable with these kids.  Sam is usually the first to fall asleep and the first to wake up.  Mallory in the middle and Taylor falls asleep last and I sometimes have to wake her up at feeding time.  Sometimes you lay them down and they fall right to sleep and other times I'm not so lucky.  For instance, on April Fool's Day, they took turns screaming for an hour.  I had Sam asleep and then Ryley barked in their room (thanks, dog) putting Sam and Taylor in to a screaming war.  Once Sam was down again, Mallory began screaming (she was watching the other two cry so she must have been waiting her turn).  Then it was back and forth between Taylor and Mallory's crib trying to get one of them to fall asleep.  I was concentrating on Taylor and would go back to Mallory's crib, pull out her pacifier, and toss it in her crib where her head should be, so she would at least lay down.  Finally, Taylor fell asleep and Mallory decided to scream louder, waking up Samantha again.  Yay!  Sam had just slept for 5 minutes and then another span of 20 minutes so she was going to be hard to get to sleep again.  Finally Mallory calmed down and fell asleep and I was able to walk Sam around for a little while to get her to fall asleep.  Sigh.  Hard work but I got them to nap and that is always good.  Nice joke girls.

Nights are still unpredictable.  They have gotten easier the past month (Knock on wood) but we still haven't gotten a full night's sleep.  At the beginning of the month, Taylor did well sleeping soundly for about 10 days and currently Mallory is sleeping through the night again.  Samantha has slept through the night at random times.  I can't wait until they all decide to do it on the same night.  When they do wake up, we normally feed them and they fall right back asleep, which is an improvement from last month's midnight parties.  It also seems like teething is still part of the problem.
 
Our eating schedule?  This has evolved a little bit since the last update.  They are waking a little earlier so the first bottle (6-7 oz) is between 7:30 and 8 AM.  Around 8:30 or 9 they eat solids including oatmeal and pureed fruit.  Then, after their nap, at noon they eat solids again and bottle immediately after.  They are eating less from this bottle (2-5 oz).  After the next nap, they drink a bottle (6-7 oz) and then solids around 5 or 5:30 PM consisting of pureed fruits and veggies.  They also get a sippy cup at lunch and dinner with water or small amount of juice.  At 7:30 they get their bedtime bottle (6-8 oz).  Overall, they are beginning to like more foods.  We began stage 3 the other day and they did NOT like the chicken and vegetables.  Their facial expressions are pretty funny. 

 Our favorite foods? Oatmeal, Green Beans, Chicken & Apples, and Sweet Potatoes
 
Our likes? Bath time, Running around in our walkers, Playing with Ryley, Being outside, Seeing new places
 
S:  She loves to eat solids, Eskimo kisses, Doorway jumper, keeping up with her sisters, and playing with blocks.

T: She loves to explore and see new things.  She is the best at the walker, going wherever she wants.  Her sisters normally follow her.  She loves her sippy cup and when I read to her.  When she eats something she likes, she goes, "Mmm, mmm, mmm." and opens her mouth for more.

M:  Mallory is beginning to imitate us but also her sisters.  It is so cute.  She likes her sippy cup and most solid foods.  She is the most independent until Momma enters the room, then she cries for me.  She loves to explore and be free to go where she wants. 

 Our dislikes?  They all dislike Stage 3 foods and when I leave the room.  They also hate putting on their jammies at night.  This process reminds me of steer wrestling (I'm from Texas, y'all).  They constantly flip on to their stomachs and try to crawl off the table.  I have to pin them down and button them up as fast as possible.  They may be upside down, standing up, or constantly rolling but I feel like I'm beginning to master this. Its frustrating yet hilarious.

S: Teething, falling down or not being able to get up where she wants to.

T: Teething and stage 3 chicken and veggies baby food.  She thinks she can walk so she lets go of things and falls down which frustrates her.  She is really upset when her Dad leaves the room after holding her when he gets home from work.

M: When I block off their room so they can't crawl into the hallway and getting her face wiped.
 
Our favorite games/toys?  Walkers are the cool toy now.  They race around the hallways playing bumper cars.  They love to be free and crawl around.  Ryley is their best bud and it is so adorable to watch them together.  Their favorite toys are the standing play table and the ball popper.
 
Our milestones? 

S: Three almost 4 teeth, placing blocks in to holes of a toy, pulled up in her crib, scooting.

  T: Crawling, pulling up, saying "Ra ra" to Ryley, pointing, and clapping.

  M: Imitating us and her sisters, Four teeth.

Things we do to make Mom and Dad smile?  Make funny faces, learn something new, run in the walkers and bounce in to each other, laugh, and be totally adorable :)
 
Our pictures





 


Wednesday, April 2, 2014

My Breastfeeding Journey

Today, I was fortunate enough to be able to share my breastfeeding journey on the series, The Breastfeeding Diaries hosted by Julie at The Girl In the Red Shoes. This series helped educate me on real women's experiences with breastfeeding prior to my triplets being born.  For any soon to be Mom or new Mom interested in breastfeeding, I strongly recommend you read this series. To see my story, click HERE.
 


For the Exclusively Pumping Momma

Prior to having my babies, I had no clue what breastfeeding or pumping would entail.  I didn't know what a nursing pad, membrane, or lanolin was and I was kinda scared to find out.  Pumping is not as scary as it looks.  Yes, at first it is a bit uncomfortable and a very strange feeling but as the weeks and months pass, it becomes a part of your daily routine... kinda like brushing your teeth or washing your hair.  Since it has become such a huge part of my life and most people don't know much about it, I've decided to share how I set up my pumping station, my schedule, and what supplies are the most needed.
 
I tried breast feeding for about 6 weeks and the girls never caught on.  You can see my breastfeeding journey HERE.  So... I became what they call an "exclusively pumping Momma".  Having triplets may have helped me stay on track since I have them on such a strict schedule, which means I have a very strict pumping schedule.

My Evolving Pumping Schedule
 
~Here is what my pumping schedule was like when they first came home...
 
1.  Babies are breastfed.
2. Babies are supplemented with a bottle.
3.  I pump.
4.  Repeat.

Simple, yet time consuming.  It wasn't that complicated at first, but I was lucky to have someone there all the time to watch the babies while they slept so I could go pump.  I would pump 7-8 times per day on this schedule.
 
~When we got the babies on a 4 hour schedule (about 4 months old)...
 
6:30 AM: Wake up before the babies to pump.
10 AM: Babies would nap so I would go pump.
2 PM: Same
5 PM: I either bring the babies in the bathroom with me to pump or someone is there to watch them since they don't nap at this time.
8:30 PM: Babies are asleep for the night so I would go pump.
3 AM: Wake up to pump.

~At 6 months old, I decided it was time to drop the middle-of-the-night pump and my schedule became...

Pump at 6:30 AM, 10:30 AM, 2:30 PM, 5 PM, and 10 PM

~And now, at almost 10 months old, I've dropped to 4 times per day and pump the same as above minus the 5 PM.

I'm still able to produce over 2 liters of milk per day allowing my girls to have less than one bottle supplemented with formula per day each.  The human body is amazing.

My Pumping Supplies
  • Medela Advanced Double Electric Breast Pump
  • 4 total sets of breast shields and parts
  • Extra breast milk bottles accumulated from when the girls were in the NICU
  • Chair
  • Container with lid
  • Hands-free pumping bra
  • Full glass of water
  • Snack
  • Washcloth
  • Lansinoh or Medela Lanolin
  • Lansinoh milk storage bags
  • Lansinoh disposable nursing pads
  • iPhone (to catch up on email, FaceBook, & Instagram)
 
At first, I rented a hospital grade pump, then eventually got my own through insurance.  I'm happy with the Medela Advanced Double Electric Breast Pump.  I also purchased 3 extra sets of breast shields and parts in order to not have to clean after every pump (trying to save time here).  Once I've finished pumping, I just rinse them off and dump them in a container.  Once I've used all of the pieces, I fill up the container with soap and water and clean each piece.  I do this while pumping, of course, with the use of my hands free pumping bra. 

My Pumping Station

My pumping station is set up in our bathroom.  I have a chair next to the sink and my pump + supplies just sitting on the counter.  Luckily, I have enough space to spread out a little.  While I pump, using my hands free bra, I am able to do my hair and make-up, clean supplies, make phone calls, or just browse facebook/instagram.  As I clean the supplies, I let them dry on a washcloth then put them together at the next pump.


So there you have it.  How I have survived being an exclusively pumping Mom of triplets.  I owe a lot to my husband and everyone that has helped out with our kids while I escape to the bathroom to pump.  It has been very important to me to be able to provide my girls with breast milk and I definitely see us making it to one year.
 

Monday, March 24, 2014

My Girls at 9 Months Old

I know I've already shared a lot about the girls at 9 months... like their likes/dislikes and schedule but I also like to share things that aren't in their monthly updates.  I did this at 3 months and 6 months so I figured I need to continue.
 
 
Overall, the girls are becoming more independent and not at the same time.  They love to explore and play with new things yet as soon as I start walking away from them they burst in to tears.  It is sweet to know that they love me so much that they don't want me out of their sight but at the same time, I have to do things away from them to take care of them (like clean their bottles or prep their food, laundry, etc).  They are all mobile at this point.  I need three sets of eyes since they all want to go different directions.  They all enjoy their jumperoo's and exersaucers however, they would much rather be FREE.  They like change.  If we stay in all day, they are really fussy by the time Brian gets home.  They always love walks and even get excited sometimes to get in their car seats. 
 
  
They all love their new standing play table.  It makes sounds and plays music and will keep them entertained for a while.
  
 
They love bath time, especially since we incorporated toys and put them in the bath tub together.  They splash and chew on the squirt toys.  The are the most fussy in the evenings.  They have calmed down a little from before but they still can break down sometimes.  I'm loving this stage of their lives.  They are interactive with Brian and I, and are bonding with each other.  They are starting to imitate noises and gestures.   They are the cutest right now with their two bottom teeth, just adorable.  They are growing up and reaching milestones.
 
 

Samantha (Sam-E, Sammy Sam Sam, Skinny Minnie, Sweet Sam)
 
 
Sam is still so so sweet.  Her trademark is her dark thick hair.  She is the smallest of the three (in the 2nd percentile of all 9 month old babies).  She feels a little more fragile picking her up but she is getting stronger each day.  She does a legitimate army crawl and is starting to keep up with her sisters.  She has the softest touch but also loves to swat her arms around sometimes slapping you in the face.  She does not like it when her sisters pick on her.  If she is in their way, they pretty much trample over her and they still like to steal her toys.  I've seen her retaliate and steal her toy right back.  She has found her hair and pulls on it when I'm feeding them which ends up in green bean styled hair.  She eats all of her vegetables, but isn't a fan of fruit.  She will eat bananas, but refuses almost every other fruit.  She can down some rice cereal like nobody's business.  She hasn't gotten down the sippy cup yet.  She mostly just chews on it. She really likes to stand, but I still have to guard her from falling because she doesn't have the leg strength or balance to do it all on her own quite yet.  She doesn't eat as much as we would like her to.  She eats until she is satisfied and not any more.  She still wakes up most nights to eat a bottle which is okay with us since we want her to eat more.  If we are lucky she will go right back to sleep.  Otherwise, she just likes to be awake and when you set her down in her crib she does not like it one bit.  She will start crying which isn't good when the other two are sleeping.  She loves when her Daddy gets home and she smiles so big.  If they are FREE she will try as hard as she can to get to him.  It is so adorable.  I love how excited they get when she sees her Dad.
 
 
 
Taylor (Tay Tay, Tay Ray, Taylor Rene-Ne')
 

Taylor is so funny.  She makes the cutest little baby faces and you always know how she is feeling.  When she is excited she opens her mouth wide, breathes heavily, and flaps her arms.  When she doesn't want any more food, she purses her lips together and scrunches her face.  When she is upset about something, she cries... I mean screams... Loud.  She doesn't like it when you walk away from her.  It could be me or anyone that is playing with her.  As soon as you get up to change another baby's diaper or go to the kitchen, she starts fussing.  But if you give it about 30 seconds to a minute, she becomes distracted with a toy and is a happy camper.  When it comes to food, she can down her bottle.  She will eat solid food, but isn't that interested.  She is normally the first to start refusing solid food.  She loves her straw sippy cup.  I have to be careful how much I give her because she will down it very quickly.  She has been doing great the past 10 days or so with sleeping through the night.  It makes me so proud when they go on stretches of sleeping through the night.  She is the largest of the three (about 20th percentile of all 9 month old babies) and is starting to have to wear 9 months clothes.  You can definitely tell a difference from holding Sam to then holding Taylor.  She is babbling a lot.  Sometimes it seems to be with intent like she wants more food or wants Ryley, but other times she is just talking away for no reason.  She has also started waving which is so darn cute.  She is very observant and likes to touch and feel everything.  She looks with wide open eyes all around when she is in a new place.  She loves to be tickled and tossed in the air. 
 
 
Mallory (Mal, Mal Mal, Goober)
 
 
Mallory loves attention.  If we are somewhere new and she is meeting new people, she will smile and gab to get all of the attention.  She even reaches her arms out to be held.  Also, if we are playing in the baby cage play pen, she somehow always manages to get in my arms.  I never know how she gets there, I just look down and there she is, snuggled next to me.  She is the leader of the pack.  She is the first to attain a new milestone and her sisters follow her around.  She loves to be FREE and explore the house.  It doesn't happen often because she still spits up so much.  She crawls and she pulls up on anything.  Soon, she will be climbing on everything.  She would already, but she is still kind of short and can't quite get up on anything yet.  When she is happy about something, you know with her cute little grin and waves.  When she is mad about something, you know.  Girl can throw a temper tantrum.  She is pretty good with eating solids.  She hasn't refused much and will eat a lot.  She uses her sippy cup to suck water in to her mouth and then spit it down her front.  She get a clothes change after every meal due to her being drenched.  The hair on top of her head is really growing so she sort of has a Mohawk.  She loves bath time, but really likes to live on the edge.  You always have to have your eyes on her since she likes to stand or put her face in the water.  She really is a Mamma's girl right now.  I love to be wanted by my kiddos.
 
 
 
 

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Vote for the Triplets Nursery!

Hi Everyone!  Soooo, I shared my nursery pictures on projectnursery.com back during the first week of February.  I was one of four chosen for the week for viewers to vote on and I won!  Now, the triplets' nursery is one of the six favorites for the month... so I'm requesting you go HERE and vote for my nursery.  You can vote every 24 hours until March 31, so you can vote again and again.  And, for all of those soon to be Mommas, seasoned Mommas, or someone that needs to throw a shower for a Momma, the website is also a great resource for inspiration and designing nurseries, kids rooms, baby showers, and parties.  If you didn't get to see pictures of my girls' nursery yet, you can check them out here.  Thanks so much for all of the support. 

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

My Life Right Now...9 Months

My kids are 9 months old now.  The time goes by so quickly.  I'm loving this stage they are in right now.  They are mobile and interactive.  Here is a glimpse at what our schedule is during the day right now...
 
6:45 AM:  I wake up to pump and shower.
7:30 AM: The girls are normally awake but playing in their cribs quietly.  I eat breakfast and get their bottles ready.
8 AM: I go in their room.  Most of the time they are thrilled to see you and it is so sweet.  I change their diapers and then set them up on the floor in their boppies so they can eat all at once.  Yay for the babies holding their own bottles.
8:45 AM:  Bring the girls (or they follow me) in to the kitchen for feeding solids.
9:15 AM: Change their clothes.
9:30 AM: Let the girls play in their play pen while I try to clean up the disaster they have made in their room and in the kitchen.  Start the laundry, start the dishes.
10:20 AM: One by one I take them in to their bedroom to nap.  This process is normally pretty painless.  They are pretty tired by this point.
10:40 AM: Once everyone is asleep, I grab a snack and head to pump.
11 AM: Prep for dinner and eat lunch.
11:30 AM: Normally someone is already up at this point.  Juggle babies while I get their bottles ready.
12 PM: Feed babies in boppies in the living room  (Maybe I can catch a little of Gray's Anatomy or The Bachelor... maybe)
12:30 PM: Clean bottles and prep bottles for the next feeding.
12:45 PM: Bring girls in to the kitchen for feeding solids.
1:30 PM: Take the girls to the play pen, run an errand, or take the girls for a walk.
2:15 PM: Take the girls one by one to their cribs for nap #2.
2:30 PM: I grab a snack and go pump.
3 PM: Finally a moment that I can use to do something around the house or for myself... Oh wait, no... a baby is awake.
3:30 PM: Juggle babies while prepping bottles.
4 PM: Feed the girls in their boppies in the living room.
4:30 PM: Bring the girls in the kitchen for feeding solids.
5 PM: If they cooperate, take the girls in the bathroom while I pump.
5:30 PM: Put the girls in the play pen or jumpers while I try to finish dinner.
6 PM: Brian gets home.  The girls are sooo happy to see him.  We juggle babies while trying to eat.
6:30 PM: Bath time on bath nights.  Prep night bottles.
7:15 PM: Feed the babies their last bottle of the night.
7:30 PM: I clean the kitchen and Brian picks up around the rest of the house.  We work really well together.
8:30 PM: Start checking things off of my To Do List.
10 PM: Pump
10:30 PM: Get in bed... And babies wake up...
Between 11 PM-6 AM: One or more babies wake up.  Lately it has just been Samantha one time for food and maybe a pacifier or two for Mallory and Taylor.
6:45 AM: Repeat.
 
As you can see, my days are planned out to the T.  I like schedules and organization and I know this looks a little crazy... but if I didn't have it this way, my babies would probably go hungry and my house would be a total disaster.  So much has to happen in a day that I have to make a time for it.  My days may be busy, but I love taking care of my cuties day after day.  They are so fun and entertaining.  I love seeing them discover new things, reach a new milestone, and interact with each other.  I love being their Momma :)

And I wouldn't end a post without some cuteness...Here are some pictures from St. Patrick's Day.