Wednesday, March 30, 2011

The Drama Has Arrived.

I officially have a drama queen in my house. And what fun it is! Ruby has really been testing her mom’s patience lately. I think her brothers are feeling slightly annoyed too. I try to keep in mind that her molars are very slowly coming in (which the boys didn’t seem to have a problem with several weeks ago). And guess what? The colds have begun again. I’m trying to be realistic, and remind myself that sickness is just part of life, but they got it at the doctor’s office, for crying out loud! We went for their 18 month appointment, only to get rave reviews about how healthy they are. Sigh. They have been pretty good babies considering their noticeable congestion, but I am most definitely glad I made the decision to keep them in all winter. It’s just way more fun when they are well. And Ruby likes to wheeze and cough a lot, even when she has the slightest cold. Poor girl. Anyway, add all that on top of a baby that is already a little bipolar, and it makes for a pretty fun week. She has a short temper (hmm. . .I wonder where she got that?), and sometimes expresses her anger with bites and/or scratches. She can also often be found trailing me throughout the day in a constant state of whine. Sometimes she just want to be cuddled, which is more than fine by me, but sometimes that’s not enough and the whining persists. I’m not sure what she wants most of the time.

I have already implemented an occasional time out when I feel like she really needs it. Like this morning when they were playing in their tent, Alex started crying out of the blue, and guess who’s teeth marks her on his back? She also body-slams people when they have/take something she wants. Sometimes it’s playful and everyone is laughing, but sometimes she’s just angry and means to harm. Who knew my sweet girl would be the bully around here?077083

She is also accident prone, probably as a result of her craziness. In the last couple weeks, we’ve had a fat top lip, a goose egg on her forehead, and a couple mouth-bleeding accidents. Just yesterday, she nearly bit through her bottom lip. Just what I need, a fussy girl with another reason to cry. Poor dear. She’s a basket case these days.

But, Ruby’s sweet, happy times definitely don’t go unnoticed. She can be as loving as a child can be when she feels like it. She is free with her kisses, hugs me so tight, and sometimes even brings her crying brother a toy, and comforts him in her own little words and consoling tone. Several times a day she’ll run up to me and hug my legs. She loves to laugh, dance, and has a really great sense of humor. She sleeps like an angel, and wakes up happy. It’s a good thing she has so many redeeming qualities, because I need them to remind me that all the things that make me just cover my face with my hands feeling defeated (which the babies always think is a game of peek-a-boo and start to play it enthusiastically), are only temporary and she will be nice to me again soon. 037

I better brace myself for years of this drama. Being a girl myself, I know what I’m in for. Thank goodness she has two brothers to balance her out. 044

Friday, March 25, 2011

Smoothie Pancakes

Feeling a little out of options while thinking of what I was going to feed the kids for dinner, my mind turned to pancakes. They love them. What kid doesn’t? And it’s Friday night, and breakfast for dinner is always fun. As I was trying to think of what else to give them, I thought of adding fruit to the pancake mix (I would’ve been ashamed to use it a few years ago, but now that stuff is a good friend of mine) like I usually do, to make it more of a one-griddle-meal. So as I was deciding which fruit to add, I saw the strawberries and bananas and thought of the delicious flavor they would add to the pancakes. And then as I was blending them until smooth before I added them to the mix, I thought of adding spinach because it reminded me of the smoothies we’ve been having a few times a week, and I always add spinach to those. So I blended in a few big handfuls, and added it all to the pancake mix, added a little more water, mixed it up, and started flipping. And there you have it, smoothie pancakes. And the babies ate a lot of them. I’ll definitely be making these again. I should also keep them in mind for future St. Patrick’s Days.064


I should also point out these designer bibs the babies are wearing. We got them from my cousin Sara’s shop. Ruby even noticed the fine handiwork and adorable fabric. 103

Monday, March 21, 2011

Mini Meltdown

I have started venturing out into the world again with the kiddos! I usually just keep the kids in their stroller while Elise and Penny push the cart that we share, to not introduce any new germs, and if we do go somewhere with carts big enough for everyone, I wipe down those bad boys with disinfecting wipes until they shine. It’s a surprisingly hard adjustment for me, letting them out of our quarantine. I still act a little OCD, but in the next couple months, I’m sure I’ll be back to my old brush-off-the-bottle-that-fell-on-the-floor-and-give-it-back-to-him self. It’s so nice to have something else to do with the kids during the day. And I don’t have to sacrifice precious naptime to rush to the store. I do love having my shopping buddies again.

So, speaking of, we took the crew to our favorite wholesale warehouse on Friday. It’s been a while, and the attention and new surroundings made for some content, well-behaved kids. They were waving, and talking, and just enjoying themselves. The pretzels and samples didn’t hurt either. I also always keep what I call “the secret weapons” with me, mini suckers, if all else fails. We had a great time, bought our goods, and remembered we wanted a pizza. I usually call and order while shopping to avoid waiting later, but  I forgot. I thought a few minutes of waiting wouldn’t hurt anyone, especially if I got a churro and smoothie to share around while we waited. So we did, and after a couple minutes, the kids got restless. Lili took her cart full of kids and food out while I continued to wait. Another minute or two went by and the boys started to fight over the smoothie straw. When Bennett gets something taken away from him, you are sure to hear the saddest, most dramatic wail from his sweet little face.  And that he did in the middle of the very echoy food court for everyone in the lunch rush to hear (thank goodness our new Costco isn’t too crowded.) It was then that I took my cartful to the car, and returned to wait a few more minutes for my pizza. All of this only took place in about 10 minutes time, and the actual crying was only for about 30 seconds, but that’s all it took for me to become embarrassed, and think of all the things I could’ve done to prevent it.

I’m well aware that instances worse than this are most definitely in our future, so I’m trying to be practical, and remember that taking three babies to the store will not always result in a perfect outing. I really consider myself lucky we haven’t had any upsets up to this point. I mean they’ve been shopping with me for over 10 months, and here I am just NOW complaining about a few seconds of crying in public. I really should count my blessing here. Still, silly as it sounds, I wish I would’ve been more on my game.

I wouldn’t call myself a perfectionist by any means (ha!), but I would say there are some areas in my life that I I feel I am better at than others. Organizing my time is one of those areas. And it’s a good thing, because working around meal times, naps, etc. can get kind of tricky. I like to plan things out in the best way possible, making sure things line up just right, and be prepared for anything thrown into the plan (maybe this trait was fine-tuned while in the food business). I don’t like to be late (before the kids I was annoyingly punctual to everything—now, not so much), and get anxiety if I know I will be. My brain is always working a few hours ahead of time. If things go awry, I think of all the ways I could’ve prevented it, and beat myself up a little for not thinking of it sooner. Having these kids has given me a lot of those learning experiences. I don’t know why I thought everything would go smoothly and work out perfectly immediately after becoming a parent of triplets. Naive, I know.

I think when I take the kids out, and people find out I have triplets, I am afraid if the kids aren’t perfectly happy, or I don’t look calm and collected (which is really how it is most of the time), I’ll appear as if I don’t know what I’m doing, or people will wonder why I even considered leaving the house, given my circumstances. Or maybe it just ME I’m trying to convince myself that I have it all together. But, I really need to not care what other people might think, and I am learning that I need to relax. If I want to take my kids places, especially places other than a quick trip to the store, I have to be ready for some embarrassment and/or change in the plan, and be okay with it. It’s all part of learning what being a mom is all about. Except, I have to learn it with the possibility of three screaming toddlers, instead of one. I’m sure I’ll get there, and be one of those people that just continues to go about my business as if I don’t hear the whining coming from the cart. But as for now, I’ll keep my bag of tricks handy to avoid any small, or large, upsets in the future. Their company is worth it. 


Friday, March 18, 2011

Month of Anniversaries

March, ironically, seems to be our lucky month. The happiest and momentous events in my life all seem to take place in March. I don’t mean for them to, of course. That’s just how my life happened. Just smelling the air outside this time of year just fills me with so many great memories. Let me recall:

March 27 2004—Moved across the country: This was a big step for my 19 year old self. I had applied to and been accepted to a culinary school, so I moved. This picture was taken the moment my dad and I finished our 3 day cross-country voyage. Leaving my family, most specifically my mom and sister (the others were still asleep) in tears at 5:00 am was one of the hardest things I ever had at that point in my life. But after a couple hours on the road, I was ready for the adventure that lay ahead. And any nervousness I had about moving to a new place quickly subsided when we received the warmest of welcomes at my sister Cami’s house where I was to live. A day I will always remember. Yikes, that was seven years ago!DSC01612

March 17, 2005--First kiss with KC: This was also the day we had what people call a D.T.R. (Define the Relationship) and decided that we’d like to take things to the next level, as they say. We’d been friends for a while, and then when he tried to pursue me, I didn’t want anything of it. I felt his time to woo me had passed, and we were better as friends. But after about a week of KC trying everything he could think of to get me to change my mind, I realized he meant business and a saw a new side of him that I really liked. So the kissing began, and it’s still going strong. (This picture was taken a week or two later.)KCsCamera 020

March 4, 2006—We got married: Yes, we just had our 5th wedding anniversary, and what a five years it’s been! We celebrated with a low-key dinner out, and talked about all we’ve been through to get to this point. I hope we fill our next five years together with as many good memories as the first. I do love that guy.n719516012_188952_782


March 18, 2009: Found out I was Pregnant: I must say, this was one of  THEE BEST days of my LIFE! Every detail has been forever ingrained in my brain. How upset and anxious I was during the blood test that morning, how frustrated I was at myself for putting myself though that agony again, how beautiful the day was, how I couldn’t stop the tears from flowing freely, how calm I felt at the temple, and mostly how incredibly and unbelievably happy I was when I heard the great news. It was more disbelief in the beginning, but turned quickly to gratitude and pure joy. I went from my lowest low to my highest high in a matter of hours. I’ll never, ever forget it. That was two years ago today!

March 30, 2009—Found out it was Triplets: Becoming pregnant at all was pretty overwhelming, but finding out we had three little heartbeats to love really put me over the edge. Of the three embryos we had transferred a few weeks earlier (this was our 4th and final attempt at IVF), one had failed, but one had split. I was thrilled, then terrified, then excited, then upset, all in those first few minutes of learning this news. We felt this was great news, but the doctors were giving us worse case scenarios. We had no idea what was to come in the next few months, but felt it was okay to be cautiously optimistic. I was in a bit of a daze all day. A happy daze. I still can’t believe those little smudges turned into the chubby kids I get to kiss all day. (This is my 8-week ultrasound.)   8 week us triplets

March has definitely been good to us. I wonder what else it has in store for the future.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

A friendly reminder:

Remember the sweet family hoping to adopt that I posted about here? Well, I wanted to put a link to their website on my sidebar to make their information more accessible to all of you. Please keep them in mind should you come across anyone who is considering placing their child. I wish them, and any other hopeful adoptive parents, so much success in this humbling and courageous journey.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

I could get used to this.

Much unlike the fall time change, this daylight savings has been very good to us. We put the triplets to bed at their normal 6:15-6:30 time (instead of waiting an hour so it would feel like their bedtime), and for the past couple days, they have somehow been tricked into sleeping until 7:15, or later, instead of waking up after their normal 11-12 hours. My Bennett finally just came out to play after 13 1/2 hours! Though I really doubt it, I hope this habit sticks. They have always been on the scale of earlier risers, so this is a lovely change, even if it doesn’t last. I’ll enjoy it while I can!

And because I feel like Bennett got gypped on individual photos in last post, here is my sweet boy after his wonderfully long night’s sleep. It didn’t take long for that sleep-of-death grogginess to wear off. I hope this means a cheerful day!047

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Sunday, March 13, 2011

Update on the post below:

Tonight, when KC was looking at the most recent post, he wondered why I posted a video (titled "Tent giggles") just of the babies crying. I clearly uploaded the wrong one, and it has since been replaced with the correct video. Silly me. Especially since the video was supposed to be demonstrating how happy they are to be playing together. Now you see how quickly things can turn around here.

Learning by Example

I often wonder what my kids would be like if they were born individually. In this sponge-like phase they’re in, it’s only natural that they take cues from each other. It’s interesting to see who the trendsetter is in each different circumstances, and then see how the others follow along. A lot of times I hear parents say something like “well so-and-so always did this, but my other child never even thought about that.” That isn’t the case around here. We get to deal with three curious kids at the same time, making everything in the house free game. Each of their brains thinks of new and interesting things to try, and naturally the others want to join in the fun. Sometimes it’s annoying, but other times it can actually be helpful. Here are some examples:

Ruby decided that it’s fun to hold her bottle upside down and watch puddles form on the floor. It took the boys a couple weeks to realize how fun that is, and now I find multiple puddles throughout the day. I’ve used this as an opportunity to teach them how to clean it up. Ruby can even go get the burp cloth herself, and wipe it up pretty well. I hope she doesn’t think that’s all part of a fun little game, but actually a little punishment.

They all love to be read to, or to “read” books by themselves. They also love to destroy the books they love so much. It’s definitely a favorite pastime. It’s only a matter of time after we get a new book, that it’s found in several pieces on the living room floor. I also find wads of thick paper in their mouths all day, as they tear the colorful paper from the cardboard. Now they know it’s wrong, and even hand me the slimy pieces from their mouths when I notice they are chewing on something. Not sure who started that one, but I hope they stop it soon. I’ve learned to put most books out of reach, only taking some down for reading time, and just let them play freely with the ones they’ve already damaged. I really don’t think they would’ve all discovered a love of eating books individually. There was definitely peer pressure involved here. 001

I know climbing on furniture is something probably all kids love to do. But around here, if one learns how to climb on the couch, someone else will whine and cry until they are having as much fun up there as they other(s). They might not be so adamant about getting involved in dangerous activities, if they didn’t see their siblings having so much fun climbing on a chair to reach the bookshelves. And having three chubby babies in small spaces like a wicker chair, or small bench makes it even more scary for me, as I try to prevent kids from falling onto the wood floor as they scramble over each other. The most nerve wracking thing for me is that they can now climb onto almost anything they choose, yet boys are still learning how to get down, sometimes resulting in a head hitting the floor. And sometimes they are on different pieces of furniture across the room from each other. These kids know how to wear a mommy out. You never know what they’ll decide to challenge themselves with next. 013084097(They’re fascinated with sneezing lately, which is why you’ll hear me annoyingly try to get Ruby to pretend to sneeze for the camera, like she’d been doing all morning.)

When they are in their cribs, I can tell there are some good and bad influences. It’s great when two of them are super tired and ready to sleep, cause then the third will have no one to play with and hopefully be bored enough to go right to sleep as well. But pretty often, there is some serious partying going on behind that door. A lot of times when I go in after a nap, blankets have been swapped, Ruby’s dollies have been passed around, and sometimes clothes have even been taken off. An annoying little game they played with me for a while was this: throw our blankets on the floor, cry and cry until mommy comes in and gives them back to us (because I might just happen to want a nap myself), and repeat a few more times until we get tired and go to sleep. (And sometimes they surpass their sleepy time and that nap is a goner.) Yeah, I put a stop to that pretty quick. Again, I’m not sure who instigated this naughty game, but they can blame whoever it was that they don’t get to sleep with their blanket if they throw it on the floor. I have to hand it to them though, their sleep habits have been heavenly lately. I went back into training mode a few weeks ago (got a little lazy with all the sicknesses and visitors), and after a bout 2 days of showing them who’s boss, they will usually give me two solid naps in the day, and a long silent light. I’m sure something will throw a wrench in our good routine soon, it’s just good to know my kids can relearn the good roots we started them on. Here’s how we found Alex after a nap. It’s usually just his pants that come off.055

And when it looks so fun when one throws a mashed banana, of course the others have to try it out. For some reason, when I say “no no!” they seem to think it’s funny, and just repeat it back to me. It’s all fun and games until I’m cleaning up three kids worth of peas off the floor, huh babies?

If one has a bottle, or a toy, or a snack, etc., the others always want it. The power of suggestion is strong around here. I’ve learned that if something isn’t easily shared, buy three of them, or don’t buy it at all. I got them each an identical ride-on/walker toy at the consignment store a week or two ago, thinking that although I’m going to sacrifice a lot of space in my little home for these eye sores, we have to have three (and they were only $5.50 so I couldn’t resist a new springtime toy). They do love them, but still fight over the same one if the others are out of sight. The problem is usually solved when I remind them they each have their own, but why can’t they just figure it out?066074

This may all sound like I’m being negative and annoyed, but as tricky as it is to deal with three kids in the same difficult stage, adding on to that fact that they egg each other on, they are incredibly pleasant, funny, and loving kids. And their example can also be shown in good ways.

When they see each other sign, or hear each other talk, I think it’s really motivates them to follow. They will take hints from each other, and I’ve even seen them in adorable little conversations while they play together. They play peek-a-boo, dog pile, and even tickle each other with no help from me. Several times throughout each day, I hear insane laughter come from inside their tent, from the play room , or from the nursery as they entertain each other. They love each other’s company, and have proven that time and time again.

They also have their hyper moments. Who knows what brings this about, but they can sometimes get into crazy moods and show their sudden glee with high pitched squeals over and over and over. You never know how long it will last. And one hyperactive child usually turns into two or three. It’s a madhouse for a while, but hilarious.

I love when they see someone sitting on KC’s or my lap to read or just snuggle, and they have to join in. Nothing can compare to holding three warm, little bodies you love so much. They are quite a cuddly bunch. Feeling their individual breathing, and kissing all their sweet heads makes me so happy there are all here with me right now, even if it does mean they’ll all be in the terrible twos as the same time.

Wednesday, March 09, 2011

Any other granola lovers out there?

I happen to crave the stuff, myself. I buy it at the store on occasion, but I’ve always loved the fresh homemade variety the best, not to mention the money you can save making it yourself. Whenever I have accumulated a variety of dried fruit and nuts, it dawns on me to make a delicious granola out of them. It’s nice to make it a little different every time, depending on what’s in the pantry.

I’ve always loved a certain recipe, but in recent years realized that the amount of oil it calls for seems a little rich, and kind of unnecessary. So I made a few changes and now have a recipe that seems the perfect balance of sweet, crunchy, and healthy. Here’s the recipe I made today. (And remember you can use any kinds of fruits and nuts you have, and don’t hesitate to add a couple tablespoons of flax seeds, which I have in the freezer and forgot to add to this batch.) :

Homemade (and healthy) Granola
  • 4 cups rolled oats (sometimes I replace one cup with quick oats to change up the texture a little bit, and it makes it a little easier for the kids to chew.)
  • 2 cups sweetened shredded coconut (my favorite part)
  • 2 cups chopped walnuts
  • 3/4 cup applesauce (instead of oil) (If I'm using the 4 oz. individual cups, I just go ahead and add two of those)
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon
  • 1 /2 cup chopped dried figs
  • 1/2 cup golden raisins
  • 1 cup dried cranberries (pomegranate infused, thanks to Costco)
  • 1 cup dried apple chips (hooray for cannery food storage)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare a sheet pan with non-stick cooking spray. Toss the oats, coconut, flax seeds if you're adding them, and nuts together. Whisk together the applesauce, honey, and cinnamon. Pour over the oat mixture and combine. Spread in the sheet pan. Put it in the oven, stirring every 15 minutes or so, remembering the edges so it all gets evenly baked. Mine took about an hour until I was happy with it’s golden crispiness. When cooled, toss in the dried fruit. Store in an airtight container and enjoy!

Being a mother of three busy bodies, I’ve got to keep my energy up. I always find myself starving from waiting too long to feed myself, because of the needs of the kids. And of course, I want to make sure what I do eventually eat is good for me (we all know how easy it is to enjoy one too many girl scout cookies now and then). For some reason, this particular cereal is the one thing that always sounds good to me at any time of the day. And with skim milk, or with yogurt, or just plain, it’s just gotta be one of the healthier choices in my kitchen. I found that when I don’t have a tupperware full of it on the top of my fridge, I really miss it. Maybe I’ll add it to a bi-weekly baking list along with homemade bread.
P.S. This is weird. I haven’t posted a recipe in years. I don’t think I’ll make a habit of it, but it was kinda fun and nostalgic.

Saturday, March 05, 2011


It’s that time again. Picture update extravaganza. Here’s the latest.

Anytime there is ever anything big enough to put them all in, we do. This time it was our new recycling bin. Maybe being so close together reminds them of the womb, though Penny certainly wasn’t there.021009

Everyone is always fighting for KC’s attention, or lap. 002085

One of Ruby’s favorite places to play lately.033015

I’m sure Elise is to blame for this. Poor Bennett.083

Hanging out with Nana on the webcam.034037

They’ve all recently learned to climb into the ottoman. You’d think there is only room for one. . . 034058

but these kids always think of ways to make things more fun.066

Not sure if Alex thinks so. 069

But her got her back.002006008009017

Yep, there’s competition for everything around here. Bennett is a bit of a bottle stealer lately. Why settle with one when you can have two?060

This girl is always getting stuck places, and whines at me to help her. Sometimes I give her a minute to figure it out for herself. She doesn’t like it.040

Since Penny is always so interested the the babies’ lunch, we set up a little seat for her to eat with them. For some reason the food from someone else’s tray tastes better. Or it’s more fun to throw on the floor.045

I found Ruby just lounging here when I walked into the room one day. Bennett thought she looked bored, so he handed her a book to read. What do they even need me for? 024027026

Ruby will come up to me several times a day with articles of clothing and demand that I put them on her. She brought me the jeans (which belong to one of the boys, and she has leggings underneath) and the shoes, but the two jackets and triple hats must’ve been Lili’s idea. 001

Why must children be obsessed with every bottle of lotion, diaper cream, medicine, etc? It’s only a matter of time before she learns how this really works. 082

This last bunch is from an impromptu Sunday afternoon Arboretum picnic. It was a beautiful day, and we found out the kids love sour cream and onion chips. If it weren’t for the Ribeiras taking so many awesome pictures, we wouldn’t have any, with all the chasing kids around we have to do. Here are just a, um, few.DSC_1196DSC_1198DSC_1189DSC_1258DSC_1197


Alright, I think that bring us up to date. Never a dull moment around here!