Browsing Category: Triplets

Paying it forward

I’m not sure how it’s been 5 years, but it has. On Thursday Henry, James, and Elanor will be turning 5 years old. I may have to spend the day in bed with the blankets over my head, because I am completely in denial that they’re 5. There are no words as to how grateful I am that we have Peter, because it’s been a whir!

Five years ago, on December 22, 2011 we found ourselves at Albany Medical Center, very anxiously awaiting the arrival of our little ones. A few hours later Henry, James, and Elanor were born and hurried off to the NICU. I was discharged on the afternoon of Christmas Eve, going home to our two-year-old, leaving our babies in the hospital. It was one of the hardest things we have ever had to do.

Christmas morning, we drove the two hours back to AMC to spend our first Christmas with our newest family members. It was the first time we could hold all of them. The nurses in the NICU were wonderful and had told us that someone had knit little hats for the babies in the NICU on Christmas and would we be willing to accept one for each of our peanuts.

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Every Christmas we look at those tiny hats and marvel at how they were BIG on our now huge five year olds. The gift of those hats meant so much to us on an incredibly hard Christmas. It has been my goal that for our babies’ fifth birthday I would make three Christmas baby quilts for three little ones spending their first Christmas in the NICU. These are those quilts.

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Pride and Poopie Diapers

Pride and Poopie Diapers How God Convicted Me About My Own Stinkiness @JessicaMWhite.com

Amidst all of the changes we’ve been going through, since vacating our home and moving in with the in-laws one of them is that we are no longer using cloth diapers. My in laws have a front load HE washer and radiant floor heating {making diapers not easy to wash and dry} and, quite frankly, I didn’t want to possibly destroy my diapers or, even more horrific, their machines. It’s been tough. I genuinely LOVE cloth diapering and its kind of been bugging me that I’m not doing it.

Here we are…spending a $100 a month {that we really don’t have} on using ‘sposies on our triplets. It’s killing me. Kill.ing.Me. Not because I feel like a failure or a fraud about this passion for cloth, but because I genuinely love cloth diapering and saving money. Even though I was to the point of being beyond done with the wash-dry-stuff-repeat of diapers times three, and the kids bladders wetting through them in one go, I really did not want to stop. I really do enjoy cloth diapers, but I had to admit to myself that a home renovation warrants some liberties.

See…I have this thing about doing cloth diapers. I clothed diapered 4 kids at once; I really don’t understand when people can’t be bothered to cloth diaper even one kid. I don’t get it when they say it’s just too much work. It seems really ridiculous to me when they just can’t deal with that extra load of laundry.

Pride and Poopie Diapers How God Convicted Me About My Own Stinkiness @JessicaMWhite.com

And that…those feelings and thoughts…are absolutely wrong.

For me, my being able to cloth diaper 4 kids, then 3 kids at once for the past few years, is a huge source of pride. I am proud that we managed to do that. I patted myself on the back when others were impressed when they heard that. I take secret pleasure in having other moms call me supermom.

And that’s wrong.

I wasn’t able to breastfeed my kids exclusively and I tend to get “upset” {on the inside} when someone says that they don’t get why moms can’t breastfeed their kids, that it’s so much better for them, and all those other things that I completely agree with. But then, in my mind, I turn around and make those same comments and have those same prideful thoughts about people who don’t cloth diaper.

I had never really thought of this before, that I was being prideful about cloth diapering my kids, until I entered the rabbit hole of the internet and through a series of links found this post. While reading it, I kept thinking to myself, “This is ridiculous. So what, you had twins, what’s the big deal with cloth diapering 2 at once?”

Throughout the whole piece I kept defending, to myself, the validity of cloth diapering. I wanted to type a ridiculous comment, “I managed to cloth diaper 4 kids at once, it really wasn’t that big of a deal.” But there was absolutely no benefit to posting that comment.

Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful
for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.
Ephesians 4:29

Here was a mom saying that she was struggling with PPD and deciding to not continue cloth diapering helped, and all I could think of was a comment that would certainly not be helpful and would be very hurtful. Even hours later, I kept huffily thinking, “Well I managed to do 4!” Because I had been convicted in my own thoughts.

It’s pride. Plain and simple, and boy does that hurt to say.

Pride, which is one of the seven deadly sins, and considered by some to be the worst of them. We are all guilty of it, on some topic, on some level we feel that others should be able to do what we do, simply because we do it, and that they are somehow not on par with us because they don’t.

Pride, is no good. It doesn’t do anyone any good. It makes other’s feel less worthy and makes the prideful put themselves on a pedestal. It’s destructive, it’s hurtful, it pushes others away from us. It’s physically impossible for us to be full of pride and to love and embrace those around us.

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.
~ 1 Corinthians 13:4

I don’t think I’ve ever actually said anything hurtful to anyone about cloth diapering. I knew I didn’t want to make someone feel bad, but I know the thoughts were there, and for that I’m sorry. That even though I didn’t say it, I was thinking it: That in my thoughts I am just as guilty as the other moms who champion their mom-battles, thinking less of others, and making others feel less of a mom.

Pride is a tough pill to swallow.

This post was originally published on my other blog on May 5, 2014.

Routines in the White House :: Cleaning House

Mostly I like cleaning…or at least I like a clean house. Now, I’m not talking immaculate. Nothing crazy-clean like my German grandmother would insist on, but if my house is chaos I start to feel a bit, well…chaotic. With 4 kids running around making messes….there’s a bit of a disconnect between my reality and what I’d like my reality to be.

I used to have a routine: The kind of plan when you did this room this day, this activity this day, then we moved out for renovations. When we moved back in we had 3 three year olds and I was pregnant 2 months later. It all went out the window. It was all out anarchy in our house. I did what I could and didn’t have it in me to fight children to do what I wanted them to.Routines in the White House Cleaning House[4]

Now that I’m not pregnant, Peter is 2 months old, and the triplets are nearing 4 I decided it was time to implement some changes, because honestly my sanity wasn’t going to be able to handle scrapping dried banana off the floor anymore. I haven’t gotten crazy yet about it, but this is what I did do.

*Another toy purge {I do them frequently}
My kids honestly are not interested in playing with toys. They’re interested in dumping them all over the floor, kicking them around the room, and generally not touching them once they’re scattered about. Call me a mean mom. My kids have books in their rooms, some stuffed animals, and a few dolls…that’s it.

Our living room has two boxes of toys; one contains our wooden trains and the other a few random toys and books {which I will be going through again soon}. The only other toys in our living room are 3 Fisher Price Little People buildings {castle, jungle, and a house} and a bag of little people.

*No food beyond the kitchen
I know this sounds like a no brainer, but when you have 3 kids wearing you down…you cave on things. This was one of them. With Ave it wasn’t a big deal. She didn’t spill and didn’t make messes….the other 3….not so much. Elanor has a habit of liking to do pouring exercises on the TV cabinet. Once I did this though cleaning up became infinitely easier, because I wasn’t having to scrape food off of things before putting them away.

*Sweep it all in a pile
     I’ve shared on instagram before how I clean a room: I sweep everything into a pile, sit on the floor and deal with it. Interestingly enough, most of what ends up on the floor is garbage…broken crayons, nonsense and paper, because, again, my kids really don’t play with toys. Once I’ve dealt with the pile the room is clean, because I’ve already swept the floor. How about THAT for multitasking?!

*Stay up and clean
Yup. There are times that I will stay up very late in order to clean the house. What’s the saying? Cleaning your house with kids around is like eating Oreos while brushing your teeth. Exactly. Not always, but probably once a month I will stay up way too late in order to clean the house. I’m not talking spic and span clean, but clean enough that it looks like it’s actually been cleaned.

*A little some of the time
I do try to do a little bit of cleaning every day. I try not to go to bed without picking up the living room and at least having loaded and run the dishwasher. It makes a big difference for me, mentally, to not walk up to a mess, but some times I just don’t have it in me at the end of the day to spend that time {usually 45 minutes or so} to do that little bit.

On those nights, I look at Matt and ask him “What time is Bridget coming?” It’s a running joke. Matt’s grandparents would ask the other when the maid {Bridget} was coming if they didn’t feel like doing the clean up, then blame her for not showing up when it didn’t get done. I like that tradition!

That’s a bit of a peek at how I TRY to keep the house in some state of order.  It’s not perfect, it doesn’t happen all the time, but it’s one of those things that we have chosen to show ourselves grace in….at least until Mommy is having a total melt down and can’t handle the mess anymore. I will openly admit that our showers get cleaned once every few months, the toilet may be a bit more often, and the floors rarely are mopped, but the  kids are fed, clothed, and kept alive.

Do you have a system that you use for keeping the house clean?

Routines in the White House :: The Toilet Training Terror

The first thing that raced across my mind at our first ultrasound with the triplets was “We have to potty train THREE at once!?” We had yet to start potty training Avelyn, but I was dreading it…three at once was terrifying! And yet, here we are, three years later, attempting to potty train three at once.

I’d love to tell you that it’s gone amazingly and that everyone is completely out of diapers, but…. that would be a lie: A big ol’ fat, stinky, wet lie. And yes, it’s turning out to be as bad as I expected it to be.toilet training[3]

They’re all interested in the potty. They will all sit and do something in the potty {1 or 2}. None of them do any of it with any kind of consistency that makes me willing to forgo the diapers.

James is the closest. I think if we were to work with him for a week he’d be done. For the most part he is dry in the morning, dry after naps, and pees quarts at a time, but then there’s that #2 thing. That’s not working out so well. He either doesn’t go at all, or then goes in his underwear. The biggest battle with him is that he’d rather go #1 and 2 in a diaper than in the potty; so we have to be on him about going.

Henry is the least interested, but wants the undies the most. We’ve told him, no undies until he’s dry for 3 days…hasn’t happened yet. He wakes up absolutely soaked in the morning, demands water all night long {I get up with him more now than I ever did when he was a baby—and he gets water all day}, and doesn’t care if he’s wet or poopie.

Ellie is interested, but again not motivated to be consistent.

For all of them the toilet is great fun! They love using it! They love flushing it! They love it! The biggest problem we face is Mommy Burnout, because taking one to the potty consistently is hard enough….THREE is an absolute joke. You would think I’ve never done this before because I feel like I’m at a complete loss.

The hardest thing is when one wants to go the all want to go, but then they’re all in the bathroom and playing around and making messes and causing chaos and I want to curl up on the couch in a ball. It’s quite literally insanity. But this too shall pass.

I’m hoping this winter, with Matt home a bit more regularly that we can tag-team and get this whole potty training thing done and over before the Spring.

Routines in the White House :: No More Bottles

For the past 18 1/2 months I’ve spent a significant amount of time washing, filling, and feeding bottles. That time is no more.

A part of me is saddened that my little 5lb babies no longer exist…wait who am I kidding. I’m totally missing those little peanuts, even though I’m madly in love with these crazy 18 month olds. There’s not much more that says “Baby” than bottles though.RITWH Bottles No More[3]

With Ave we kept doing the bottles until around 22 months or so, because I enjoyed the time, holding her, snuggling her {it was the only time she would sit still}. As with Ave the babies were only getting a bottle before naps and bed time, so it was already limited in frequency.

We’ve always used glass bottles, but somehow managed to acquire quite the collection of assorted bottles. Never knowing whether a certainly bottle would or would not have worked, we had some variety. Most of these sat in our cabinet, taking up valuable real estate, never being used. We had the same 6 glass Evenflo Classic bottles all the time. Of course with glass there is always breakage. I joked that we would have to wean them off bottles, because I had broken so many the past month or so.

Last week I decided to give them a sippy cup with their milk at nap time. And they were amenable to that. Then at bedtime: They accepted it. Hmm. Was this going to work? So far, after a week it has. I packed up all the bottles Saturday and put them in the newborn box in the attic.

Now comes the tricky part, weaning them off the sleepy time milk. The end of this week I’ll start watering down the milk, and then over the next few weeks or so, we’ll keep watering until it’s…well, water. We’ll see how it goes.