Saturday, December 22, 2007

who needs to eat fruitcake when you are one?

I am feeling so much better.

If you have a lot of stress causing factors in your life, there is no better outlet than a pen and paper. Or, screen and keyboard as the case may be. Once I hit "post" at midnight yesterday, it was like a giant weight had been lifted off of my shoulders.

I'm just so very glad that I wrote that post in time for the 200 people who received our Christmas card to log on to the blog and see what a nut-job I am.

Merry Christmas Uncle Bernie and Aunt Lorraine!!

This past week I have felt like I have been blowing it, big time and no one, save the baby, that resides in this house was safe from my emotional instability.

My patient husband could do absolutely nothing right and I used every opportunity to tell him such. I wanted ice cream, but when he brought it home, I was livid that he was stocking the refrigerator full of fat. During an outing to the park, he forgot their play toys. Breakfast was void of any fresh fruit. There were no vitamins served with lunch. Milk with dinner was in an open top cup instead of a sippy. He would dress the children, but in attire that was completely inappropriate. Who clothes a child in a pastel purple shirt when they could be in a more festive red?

Must I do everything?

Am I the only one that cares??

It seemed that every rare opportunity I seized to actually sit down and nurse the baby, the kids were in to something or fighting. Every time the phone would ring, their extraordinarily loud piercing voices became even more so. They were hardly napping. Their screams would escalate like a tea pot whistle until it felt like my ear drums would burst. The baby was crying to eat or sleep or nurse or be held, the dog was barking to be fed.

My nerves were frayed and everyone knew that I was off.

Charlie's jaw would clench when I would exasperatedly point out his most recent mistake. Several times a day the kids would ask "Mommy. You happy or you angwy?" And when my patience quota was tapped and I would start to spout, they would cover their ears with their hands and run away.

When I held the Weeble Wobble Tree House that the kids had been fighting over between my knees and launched it in to the back yard like I was free throwing a basket ball, I was struck by how crazy I had become. When I dumped a too loudly-talking William outside in his bare feet and slammed the door shut following a nap, before he could wake up the other three children that were still sleeping, I was scared by my actions.

I picked up my Bible and I looked for guidance. There needs to be something immediate for me to read that will put everything in perspective. Better yet, a cure. "Put one hand on your head, the other on your tummy, stand on one foot and jump in a circle while singing praises to the Messiah." I'd certainly prefer that type of advice over "Start drinking. Heavily. Now."

My cure, it turns out, was writing down my feelings.

Right now, I'm very excited about the holidays. Our garage is packed with gifts for the children, some new - and some that have been passed down through generations. My sister and her family are flying in to town on Christmas Day and we have a lot of things planned. Charlie and I will be going out on much-needed date nights while they are here, but sometimes, just having the positive energy of new people in the house can make all the difference in the world.

I'm not entirely sure what the New Year will bring. The children will be in gymnastics again. They will also be taking a t-ball, soccer, basketball class that will last for 12 weeks. I'll continue to meet with three other triplet families one day a week for a play date. I'm also looking in to swimming lessons.

I have seriously considered bringing some one in to help a few hours a week. I have also seriously considered preschool. Maybe it will happen. Maybe it won't. It certainly won't happen unless I return to work because the cost for three children is prohibitive. I could send one or two at a time, but am not sure how well that would pan out for the one or two at home. From where I sit, it seems that the three hour break during the day that preschool would afford me, isn't worth the effort that would be involved to get them there. Besides, if I were to return to work, that defeats the purpose of staying home with the kids.

For the most part, I really do love being with the children and although I know they would be learning a lot in preschool, I do not feel that I am "robbing" them of anything by keeping them home. Rather, I am working hard to expose them to more things than they would ever gain in a school environment. Minus the germs.

I'm not looking for a solution. It will come to me. Like everything in my life, the answer slowly unfolds and presents itself. But here's what I know, right now.

Time goes fast.

Charlie and I never knew how we were going to manage taking care of triplet newborns. There never was a grand plan in place, we made it up as we went along. One day at a time. We arranged our schedules and juggled our careers. We figured out what worked and what didn't. We made changes. We re-arranged furniture. We re-arranged our priorities. We prayed. A lot.

In what seems like the blink of an eye, our triplets are three. Our baby is almost six-months old. By all counts and measures, everyone is thriving.

There is more joy in our home than sadness.

There is more laughter than crying. (I'm fairly certain.)

There are more good times than bad.

There is more processed food than organic and less expendable money than ever before, but everyone needs to have goals.

The struggles of this past week are a fading memory. I am sure there will be a lot more challenges in our life and when they happen - you'll be the first to know. Not only because I love writing about the daily events in this house, but because I am saving a small fortune in therapy with this here, blog.

Today the sky is bright. The sun is shining. My three year olds are outside playing with their father and kids from the neighborhood. My baby is laying across my lap, kicking his chubby legs. Charlie is home on vacation for the next two weeks. Christmas Eve is two days away. And there is a Harry & David tower of treats sitting on the kitchen counter, courtesy of Aunt Susan, calling to me. I couldn't be happier or feel more blessed to be alive.

But before I dive in to the box of chocolate truffles, riddle me this...

Would it be plain wrong to remove solids from Henry's diet and exclusively nurse him for the next couple of weeks? I'd really love to indulge on the delicacies of the season without going up a pant size.


  1. Sitting here with my breast pump in hand and my 2 month old on my lap a wicked idea about expressing the extra milk over the holidays?

    Ok, I said it was a wicked idea but probably not a good one!

    Love your blog to bits- thank you!!!

    Merry Christmas

  2. Nurse him. That's what boobs are for. You love it, he loves it, your pants love it.

  3. Kathy from NJ12/22/07, 4:51 PM

    As far as I am concerned you don't ever do anything wrong. How about you remove all solids except the solids he gets before he goes to bed for the night?

  4. If Henry doesn't complain about the change in diet, then what does it hurt? Glad you are feeling better. I am holed up in my room with the computer away from 4 kids while my hubby takes his turn with them.

  5. There is really nothing at all wrong with delaying solids. Many people start solids too soon and babies may seem like they are interested but the fact is that solids are less nutritious than the breastmilk. The breastmilk is what'll make his chubby little legs nice and chubby. Solid foods at this point are just for fun & experimentation.

    I think it's not at all wrong to delay the solids or cut back. He'll be fine and it may make life easier for you.

  6. I'm so glad that things are a little brighter today! I hope that your holiday is filled with joy - Merry Christmas!

  7. Could you do 2 kids in preschool 3 days a week? William has Mondays off, Gracie Wednesdays and Elizabeth Fridays or something like that. So each 3 year old would have special time with just you and Henry once a week, and the stimulation of preschool twice a week.

    Not to mention one three-year-old plus a baby has got to be a TON easier than three + baby so even though you still have one home, it would be a break for you.

    Would that be feasible financially and logistically (for the school)?

    Just an idea - and nurse away, chica!

  8. you sound so much better today. whew!

    and yeah, nurse that baby!!!!!!

  9. You know, when you mentioned in that last post that you weren't nursing as much, my first thought was, "Why is she doing this in the chaos of the holidays?"

    YES - keep nursing and put off those solids. Deal with the plunging hormones and schedule change after the craziness of the holidays dies down. I imagine you'll enjoy yourself and your small pantsize much more! ;-)

  10. I love that you've had your breakdown right as the Christmas cards arrived.


    Okay, you know I've put my kids in preschool on a shoestring budget. It can be done. It may only be two days a week, but I LIVE for those four hours. Live for them. I had someone at Trader's ask me who all those children were the last time I took them. That's because I shop like a normal person now. ALONE. They've made friends on their own. They are learning. I get a break. PLUS. PLUS. PLUS. It's only costing me $225 every six weeks for all three. PLUS. PLUS. PLUS.

    I would look into something for the fall. You'll never get into anything right now. But you've got to start scheming and planning months and months and months in advance. My friend Misti STILL doesn't have all of her trio in the Co-op and it's been 4 months. No openings! So she only has one in.

    So that's my advice. Because if this is your therapy, I consider myself your therapist. Free of charge, of course!

  11. I say go for it! That's an extra benefit of nursing, right? Besies, they don't need solids for nutrition until after 1 year anyway.

    Now I want to know- would it be wrong of me to stop the solids for my nurslings too? I'd rather not gain 20 lbs when I devour the boxes of cookies my dad just sent. My girls are almost 20 months. I wonder if they'd protest?

  12. I, for one, love fruitcake(s) . . .


  13. Jenna-
    Dump 2 kids into your bike trailer, jump on your bike and ride for an hour! I guarantee you will feel much better when you get home... and maybe (I'm saying maybe) they will fall fast asleep back there! The power of positive thinking!

  14. Firstly let me say I rarely comment on blogs - I am a shocking lurker, but I *heart* your blog, and I've posted twice in a week (a world record). Please keep up the great writing!

    Re the nursing - go for it. Henry is only 4 days younger than my little girl, and she has on/off days with solids still. She's not particularly chubby either so breast is best. As Pann said, food is just for flavours and textures at this point. Have you considered Baby Led Weaning? I did this partially with my eldest, and it worked really well, and would work even better for Henry with his 3 siblings. Worth looking at. As for the pants size - don't start me! I have been using that excuse this holiday season but it doesn't seem to have made a difference - darn!

    Re preschool - Erica had a good plan there, and it gives you special time with one child at a time. I am not working at the moment and despite it meaning we can't go to the cinema as often as we'd like, or afford more than 1 week holiday a year, I've put my eldest (28mo) in preschool 2 mornings a week since my little girl was born. It gives me a chance to do things that I used to do during the eldest's nap (this time is now spent nursing my baby in relative quiet!), and spend quality time with my youngest. I did and could do this education at home, but the preschool (montessori) is great, and I'd rather he was there and socialising than being told to stop distracting his little sister from the boob every 5 minutes already!! Go for it Jen......

  15. it is amazing to me that you are a geologist/environmental analyst instead of a writer. your ability to so honestly share your feelings and experiences (in such a real way) is inspiring. merry christmas jen, charlie, elizabeth, carolyn, william, henry & dog (molly right?). I hold you all dear and learn from you daily!

  16. Indulge in the delights of motherhood! You deserve it! Do it for those of us who would love to and can't.........and for the sanity of your entire household!

    Merry Christmas & Happy New Year!
    Betsy, Gator & Kyle

  17. Lovethe pictures of the kids wrapping up the presents. Glad you are feeling better. Go for whateveryou want or need. You allready know the answer. Please give Mr Wonderful a big kiss for me. He is one sweet, decent man.