Monday, June 29, 2009

Calling Emily Post

Why is everyone's natural comment after hearing I had three babies, and especially after hearing I had one girl and two boys, "so you're all done now huh?" Is there some preset limit to how many babies a random person wants or should want? Or is the limit somewhat determined by how many you have at once? I never thought to ask a person after their third singleton child, "so I guess that's it for now eh?" Isn't it implying that the person questioning you kind of thinks you've had enough children for now, knock it off?

I am just curious if twin parents get this question if they have a boy and a girl. I assume that triplet parents of all girls or all boys tend to get asked if they're going to try for the other gender just one more time but perhaps not? Where does this preset limit of 3 kids per family come from? If I had four singleton children would that be too many? If I had only one kid is that too few?

And honestly, how many blog posts to I get to create using the stupid 'none of your business' questions people ask me because I've had triplets? Isn't it sad how much fodder I've been provided? Miss Manners would be horrified by half of the stuff that gets asked or said to moms of multiples. It's like we're all on Jon & Kate just without the TVs. Did we all sign the contract that allowed strangers to view our every move and question our every choice in life because we ended up with more than one baby exiting our wombs at one time? Somehow I missed that contract but I suspect it happened while I was recovering from delivery and high on vicodin. I can't think of another 'affliction' one might have in life that allows people to ask you so many invasive questions. People avoid disabled people, they don't query them on how they got that way and what they plan to do next. They pray for sick people, they don't ask them stupid questions. Or maybe they do.

Is it possible that Americans have just lost their manners? I wonder if I had triplets in Europe if the same stupid stuff would have been asked of me. I can probably extrapolate that in Asia I would have just been praised and congratulated based on the first generation immigrants in my neighborhood. But elsewhere, I wonder. Anyone have any ideas? Are Americans just losing track of how polite people behave? I suppose it's probably true since TMZ and US magazine make so much money off of celebrities' failures. Oh well. Here's hoping I raise mine better.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Bad, Bad Babies

Why do children make the scariest sounds all the time and think it's hilarious? Right now I'm sitting in my living room watching CNN's all Michael Jackson all the time tv and listening to the baby monitors whereupon my daughter (A) is making choking and gasping noises while B laughs hysterically. I had to mute my friendly MJ tributes to listen closer. What if she had started choking on an eye from a stuffed animal that she gnawed off in typical animalistic fashion? How would I know?

But the bigger question is, how many more months will they think that gasping/choking noises are funny? I mean they have the attention span of gnats, how do they remember this same 'joke' for months? And why doesn't it hurt their throats like it does mine if I try to emulate them? I suppose when one's vocalizations are limited to non-word utterances, one finds unusual ways to make jokes? Perhaps I should relish this time as the inevitable endless knock knock jokes are on their way and fart and poop jokes will follow shortly after. Three times. But when you're driving up the highway to grandma's house and almost drive off the road while whipping your head around to verify that your child (C) is not, in fact, choking on his spit, it is just not acceptable! Someone is going to get hurt. And I'm not talking about spanking.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Old faithful

You know, in a past life I was a wildlife rehabilitator. That means I medicated, stitched up, nursed, cleaned up after and got bitten by all types of native Maryland wildlife on a daily basis. I handled poop, blood, even maggots and sometimes watched necropsies while eating my lunch sandwich near the surgery table. I can't tell you where my strong constitution came from but I was relatively certain that there was little that could gross me out. I mean if you can pick maggots out of a deer hiney, you can do anything gross. Right?

Well, enter triplets A, B and C and their endless stream of colds. Oh, it's not their poop, diarrhea notwithstanding, that troubles me. It's not their barf, specifically barfmeister flex B who's repertoire includes a distinctly geyser like action usually just after being laid on his clean bedsheets and tends to then end up spread across my chest and arms as I have to gather him up and carry him to an appropriate changing area. It's not their gooey, partially masticated animal cookies that have turned into grey paste in their mouths just before they decide to give me a big kiss on the cheek. No, it's none of these things. It's snot.

It's stringy, sticky, crusty, gooey, neverending boogers that you try with kleenex after kleenex to remove in gobs from their tiny, yet prolific, nostrils that turn into miles long streamers of uncontainable ickiness. You think you've got the big one and you pull away only to find that it either bounces back, evading your grasp, or it stretches down into their toes and 8 more kleenex type objects are required to contain and remove said booger. Truly impressive. And I am thinking about this why? Because not more than a week and a half after then last booger invasion, we have the beginning signs of a new one. C is running at the nose like some sort of booger waterfall and I know it's just the beginning. It's never just one, and it's never just a little cold. Never.
Sure C looks innocent, but he's just busy mass producing boogers

Off to purchase more Boogiewipes!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Boojiboo Flirty Apron GUEST GIVEAWAY!!!!

Boojiboo Flirty Apron GUEST GIVEAWAY!!!!

So uninspired

I have just nothing in me to write about today, partly because of some devastating work I had done at the dentist, which was only emotionally devastating although it did hurt a lot. For some reason it was just more than I could take today. So I'm trying valiantly to recover during nap time because I have given the MIL the day off and my mom has just announced that she's coming to visit. Not asked, not inquired, announced. I guess she just gets to come whenever she pleases. But I do have some housekeeping to do because I've been a very bad blog friend. I got an award last week that I have not responded to:


Well ain't you just the sweetest thing Sandy, for giving me a blog award. I feel mighty blessed. You hardly know me and I've written some pretty whiney stuff but apparently you like me anyways. Well maybe not since it took me a week to respond to this. I guess I get to pass it on but 10 people? I'm just a newbie so I don't know 10 people! But here are a few I will pass the award on to:

1. Ellen at Wear at Work
2. Andrea at Smart and Sassy
3. Dumb mom at Parenting by Dummies
4. hmmmm...

Well that's about it folks. I've only been blogging a few weeks and I do have a lot of blog friends but a lot of them are doing it just for friends, not to make connections or win awards so I feel weird giving them awards. Do what you will with this one. I very much appreciate being appreciated, no matter how undeserved.

I think I'm off to hold my throbbing jaw until the first kid wakes.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Triple the fun

"You've got your hands full." As people have said this a million times to me in the last 16 months I have given it much thought. Do you think that I could find any parent of toddlers or even one single toddler who doesn't think their hands are full? I have had a theory for a long time that life with baby or babies is just like having a purse. You know that no matter how big a purse you buy you will fill it to the brim with crap. Suddenly you need one of those tissue packs, an extra pencil, perhaps a note book or a small book to reed if you get stuck in line, a little extra make up for touch ups and so on. If you had a clutch, you'd be fine with an id, lipstick, credit card and a few dollars.

Well having kids in your life is similar, if sort of the opposite way. If you have one kid you find that there are a million things you need to do for them. You will spend every waking second chopping food for home made baby food, sterilizing equipment repeatedly, plotting graphs of diapers and bottles, and staring into their eyes lovingly. If you have three infants at once you economize your time. Your infants are lucky if they get some rocking, one nap on your chest, a clean spoon in their mouth, and organic food processed by a corporation. You just have to adjust or you can't survive.

If you try to do everything for triplets you would fall down dead. So, triplets seem to adjust, they get used to soothing themselves sometimes, spend a lot of time in swings or bouncy chairs while someone else has a 'greater need,' and share every single cold with one another because of shared spoons. Now, do they suffer for this? I don't know. Because I believe most parents with more than one kid will admit that child #2 got less stuff and attention than child #1. "First child syndrome" which I have heard it called, means the first child sleeps in your bed until they're 2, rarely touches the floor for being held so much, is practically attached to you by the umbilical cord still. Child #2 gets less partly because you have to spend time with #1 as well but also because the novelty has worn off. It's not the first baby smell, the first co-sleeper, the first burp. So, do triplets suffer for never having been an only child? I suppose not more than second children suffer. But we won't find out until therapy begins.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

This old house

Oh my poor house. First it has to suffer the indignities of three cats. Peeing in closets, barfing on stairs and under beds, pooping just slightly out of the litter box on the bathroom floor. What a life. This beautiful 1914 sophisticated house with original wood floors and doors and plaster walls. It was not built for a cat loving woman who lets animals be animals and presumes that if a cat is misbehaving it is the human's fault. How horribly unfitting for a grande dame of a house to have furballs ruling the roost.

But then it gets worse. Babies arrive. Not just one cute manageable tug with some misplaced drooling and smelly diapers but three. Three drooling, running, pooping, eating, food throwing, tissue scattering, cat chasing, garbage eating, sticky fingered children. Unmanageable. Except by the rule of gates and bars on the windows and locks and catches screwed into the original wood work on each door. Plaster drilled into and abused for the cause of children not falling down stairs, climbing up stairs, sticking fingers into kitchen appliances, touching breakables, opening windows, cracking open heads or generally not getting into places they are not allowed.

So here I sit in the prison that has been made out of a beautiful home. Gate after gate in door after door and stairwells as well. Latches made for smarter people than I, window gates, doorknob protectors and so on wondering, how the heck am I ever going to sell this house to anyone else with all these holes in it?

Monday, June 22, 2009

Did I what?

Another one of the strange questions I get a lot when people hear I have triplets is "did you know you were having triplets?" To which I must say "huh?"

Do people really think, in this day and age, that a person can grow three babies inside them and not have a clue? Do they not understand the nature of ultrasounds? Do they not realize that everyone has an ultrasound at some point in their pregnancy? Do they not think about the fact that three babies takes up more room than one during the incubation period? Do they watch too much TLC and see those nutty women who didn't even know they were pregnant and think we're all oblivious that way?

Because you'd have to be pretty unaware, and by unaware I mean stupid, to not know that you're getting awfully pregnant looking awfully fast when you have triplets. And I don't just mean skinny girls, large ladies also can tell that they have triplets. It's a huge pregnancy. And you start to show at 6 or 7 weeks. "Normal" single baby pregnancies don't show until 4 or 5 months which is why they get to keep their pregnancies a secret from everyone first trimester. Here's what I looked like at the end of my first trimester. Think I coulda fooled anyone?

So, I tend to look really confused at people who ask me if I knew I was having triplets. I try to clarify if they mean to be asking me that other stupid question "did you try for triplets?" or if they really mean did I make it full term without knowing and find myself in the delivery room being told it was a boy, a boy and a girl. No, it was shocking enough at week 8 to be told there were three embryos. You'd have to live far far away from medical treatment to make it with a triplet pregnancy and not know it. So the fact that I live in the bustling metropolis that is San Francisco kind of would indicate that I was likely to have good prenatal care, wouldn't it?

It's a good think I'm actually quite pleasant in public because this kind of question is the type that makes you quickly put on a poker face to avoid looking at someone like they have two heads. I mean, asking me if I 'tried' to have triplets isn't much better because how exactly does one 'try' to have triplets but I guess someone who has never had a baby or had a friend have a baby (how cloistered do you have to be?) might not know anything about prenatal care? Or am I making excuses for plain old dumb people?

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Slacker Sunday photo

My Irish nannies are trying to recruit my boy as a rugby player for their team...perhaps this is not such a bad idea?

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Walter the nightmare pooch

Product warning: Walter the Farting Dog, a toy we have possessed for over a year, a toy which was a mainstay of my daughter's crib because she loved it, has the potential for a total meltdown. Yes, one night, while you're watching some DVR-ed crap on TV and enjoying reading your blogs, you will hear over the baby monitor "thbthpthbthpthb." Then a minute later "thbthbtpthbbb." And again, and again. Until you decide that your daughter must have her foot on the dog, causing its unintentional flatulence at a critical juncture of the sleeping period of three, count them three, easily perturbable babies.

So you'll tip toe into their nursery, reach for the dog, right where you remembered it from checking on your daughter earlier, and at the moment you grab it you will find, to your horror, that it will go completely bezerko. Like some stuttering rap star of farting, it will begin to fart incessantly but in a staccato rhythm that is so very not conducive to sleeping triplets. Instantly you will step into hyper speed, exiting the nursery at the speed of light while praying simultaneously to every god in the pantheon that not one triplet will be disturbed by this insanity of a fart festival.

I am now sitting in my living room listening to the last and dying farts of a Walter the farting dog. Somewhat sad at it's passing, but also somewhat relieved that it is shutting the heck up after trying to wake all three of my damned babies! Heed my warning parents! This is NOT a good crib toy!

A public service announcement from yours truly.

Friday, June 19, 2009

The guilt factory chugs on

One of my favorite bloggers, Bad Mommy Moments, wrote a great blog yesterday about guilt. Got us all thinking about the guilt that most moms feel about just about everything, and she offered us a chance to dump our guilt anonymously. Lots of moms didn't need to be anonymous because they knew that they would not be alone with their particular guilty "sin" and posted what they had done right out in the open. But I would be willing to bet that all of those guilt dumpers had at least 463 other things they felt guilty about, and I started thinking about my own trip down guilt lane.

The most unbelievable part is that it begins the minute you know you're pregnant. You are apparently supposed to be the model pregnant lady, eating right, exercising, planning the nursery, being excited, and so on, right when you're in the middle of something quite traumatic and stressful. I mean, get this, I felt guilty all of first trimester, a period of 24/7 nausea and unbelievable starvation colliding on a minute by minute basis. Why did I feel guilty? Because rather than barf repeatedly because I ate something 'good for me and the babies' or fall down dead from hunger pangs that hit every hour, I ran out to Taco Bell and had me 3 stinkin' crunchy taco supremes. Because that was all I could stand to eat. Now, did I create this situation with some sort of conscious effort? No. I planned on eating veggies and fruits and grains and avoiding trans fats like the plague. But honestly, if I had to choose between barfing and eating crap? Eating crap wins every time.

Then, you give birth. I gave birth at 32 weeks. Why? Because I was practically dying with pre-eclampsia. For those of you who don't know, pre-eclampsia is basically a condition that means all of your organs are shutting down and you will die if you don't get those stinking babies out of you, and I mean fast. So, what did I feel guilty about? Um, giving birth 'too early.' Not making it to the magical 36th week (full term for triplets) despite the fact that I had not once ounce of control over that situation. I mean, what was I supposed to do? Talk sense into my liver and kidneys? Tell my blood pressure to please lower itself for just another 4 weeks? Go on some sort of heart/lung/liver/kidneys bypass machine to give those babies 4 more weeks? Oh my God, get real lady. But not a chance I could avoid that guilt.

So, then there was the NICU time. Other multiples and non multiples parents of preemies were in the NICU 8-12 hours a day visiting their babies. Where was I? Laying in my recliner at home because my blood pressure was still hovering around 150/100, my iron count was low despite two blood transfusions, I was still suffering from gestational diabetes, and, lets be honest, that ridiculous incision they make to take babies out of you? Um, that sucker hurts no matter how much vicodin you use. Oh, and don't forget I was pumping every 4 hours round the clock! Never mind that most nights I felt like I couldn't breathe and had to sleep sitting up with lights on to not freak out totally. But what did I feel bad for? Not being in the NICU all day. Only being able to sit up and hold a baby or make conversation for 4 hours even though to get me there my MIL had to roll my butt to the NICU in a wheelchair from the front door. Oh, I felt guilty. I mean really.

So, I could go on, because once babies get home, that's when the real guilt begins. You're not breastfeeding exclusively, you're not getting them to sleep correctly, they're not burping, they're not sleeping long enough, they're not eating enough, they're not whatever enough or too much and for once, I will admit that having three at once may actually multiply your guilt by three as well. Because whatever you failed at with your one baby at a time, I failed at with all three simultaneously. Not to mention that I could not even try to pick every child up the minute they cried or rock them to sleep in my arms regularly or comfort them the minute they cried. Because likely as not, I had a different baby in my arms.

What the evolutionary principle behind mommy guilt is I couldn't tell you. But it is pervasive, all encompassing and such a ridiculous waste of time. I'm here to start a revolution. Oh who am I kidding. I'm guilt riddled and bound to stay that way. Especially once they learn how to manipulate me. Oh, I'm in for it. Imagine three sets of puppy dog eyes....

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Worry worry, freak and scurry

It seems that some parents just need something to worry about, doesn't it? I remain a relatively calm mom and have called the doctor pretty rarely considering I had 3 infants simultaneously. I'm hoping to maintain that record through the years where boys regularly need stitches and knock teeth out of their heads, but it remains to be seen. But sometimes I wonder about some of the parents who post on my multiples boards and elsewhere looking for advice from other parents.

It just sometimes appears that they are almost looking for something to be wrong. I have had those moments myself where I think, crap, maybe since my kids have been healthy for so long I'm due for something truly terrible and life altering to be thrown at me. But I'm relatively certain that there is the possibility that one could actually have healthy kids with nothing wrong. Am I wrong? Could it actually be statistically possible to have three kids and not one of them have a medical problem that requires intensive treatment during their childhoods? Is it possible that I could end up with no learning disabilities, behavioral delays, motor skills delays or horrible childhood ailments?

Oh lord I'm tempting fate here but I think a lot of parents need to lighten up. The multiples group I belong to has an email group I belong to that is constantly full of parents wondering if their kids are normal or not. Eating, schedules, sleeping, walking, crawling, you name it, it gets asked about. My middle triplet was called dracula for a period of time because only his side upper teeth came out. Sure it was strange, and it's not how the other two got their teeth but it was hilarious! I didn't think that maybe he was missing his middle teeth. But you know what? Having multiples does teach you early and often that not one kid does things the same way. They didn't start crawling the same, sitting, walking, eating or anything the same way! So, the likelihood of all of your children getting their teeth in the same order? Nil.

I guess whereas I see the differences between my kids' development as a really interesting window into how different every kid is, some parents would see it as a cause for concern. The one who is last to do x might have something wrong. The one who doesn't 'keep up' may have an issue. Perhaps I'm just an optimist. My high school friends would find that hilarious. But when it comes to the challenges that life throws in my way? I seem to find the bright side, or the dark humor, in any situation. I think it's a healthy way to be.

So let me reassure you one more time, your kid is OK.

The view from here

Why do people assume that just because I have triplets I am the authority on Jon & Kate or the octomom? It seems that ever since I got pregnant I've been being asked about J&K, as if perhaps that's where I got the idea to become a triplet mom? Or is it that the minute I found out I was pregnant with triplets I must have tuned into that channel to learn everything I can from the most famous multiples mom around?

I'm not saying I don't have opinions. I do. Anyone who knows me knows I have opinions. However, having triplets does not make mine carry any more weight than yours. It does not make me an expert on crazy people with multiples. Because, and listen carefully here, I AM NOT CRAZY. Therefore, I am not an expert on crazy plus multiples. Oh yes, I believe I just spilled my opinion that I think both of the above (or I guess all three?) individuals are nuts.

But the truth is that perhaps I do have some insight into these situations. Why sell your soul to the devil to make money to take care of your multiples? Because the alternative is impossible: to work full time and care for them adequately. So, perhaps a deal with the devil makes economic sense even if, in the end, the devil seems to be winning and all you may actually end up with is money and material goods.

Situation number two, what to do with all of your frozen embryos? Well, while I am plenty pro choice and do not believe that life begins at conception, but I can tell you that I became pretty darn attached to those little pre-reptiles in my uterus once they were implanted. I can claim that I never would have had more than 3 at once, but that's pretty easy to say having never had to make that decision. Had I been told they needed to put in 6 embryos to ensure one stuck, I would have taken that choice. I know that does not appear to be the situation of octomom, but what to do with one's leftover embryos? Don't sit on your high horse and claim you know what you would do unless you, yourself, have struggled through infertility and created those proto-babies on ice. I didn't make enough to freeze so I abstain from judgement of wanting to have each one get a chance at life, I just might have spread them out a wee bit more. Honestly, if you want the woman to suffer for her choice to have them all at once, do not worry. Raising multiples is not cake no matter how much help you have.

So, you have my opinions. They are not worth more than anyone else's. Now stop asking multiples' parents what they think about these two issues! Because it annoys us to be lumped in with some people that the world judges poorly. Does it mean you judge us too? Probably. Yes, I know that a lot of people do judge me based on their assumptions about fertility treatments, but I can still wish it would stop. I had no choice but to try everything they offered because my chances were pretty stinky. I beat the odds, but someone has to be the 1 in 100,000 who has 3 of 4 embryos implant. Someone has to be the 1 in a million who has 8 babies from 6 embryos, and you can't make that happen. It just does. And then you live with the consequences.

If I had it to do over again, I'd take my consequences any day. They're awful cute...

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Great expectations

People generally expect that women who've gone through IVF are so much more grateful for their children (or should be) than those who didn't. One would also assume that they would be so over ready to be parents that they enjoy every second or perhaps savor the time with their baby (or babies) because it's that much sweeter. Lord knows that once you've been told your chance to have a baby with your own DNA in them is less than 20% and then you end up with not just one, but three, you might feel extra blessed and be able to overlook all the hard parts.

Well, no. You can't overlook the fact that with three babies at once you can't give any one of them enough time when they're crying and at least one of them will be crying at every given moment. You can't overlook the fact that sleeping through the night is almost impossible when there are three different individuals on their own time frame having at least one bad night out of three like any normal baby. The likelihood of all three having the bad night on the same night and then sleeping peacefully for two in a row? Impossible. Yes, I feel incredibly lucky I don't have to do IVF ever again and that I got the 'perfect family' all at once, but dude. I am so tired.

I hate the fact that I count the minutes until bedtime starting only seconds after they get up from their afternoon nap. Sure, they're fun, playful, and generally in a good mood after the nap, but then comes the 5-10 minutes before dinner when they all lose their minds because they know I'm in the kitchen preparing it. Then there is the exhausting process of bedtime itself, changing three kids, wrestling them all into pjs when they just want to play. If it's a bath night, wrestling a wet and naked kid on the bed while trying to lotion and diaper and keep them from sticking their fingers in the Desitin. Three times.

I keep waiting for the lightning to strike me. The magical fairy dust that will make me sit still and realize what a wonderful life I have right now. Sure I'm fat, tired, overwhelmed, overworked and still have a crazy mom, but I have three incredible human beings who are growing in fascinating ways every day and who all seem to really like me. Is it a matter of sleep? If I just get 3 nights of good sleep will my attitude change? Or is it an age thing, once they start talking and we can do more things together? Or am I just the kind of person who always looks to the future, to a time when things will be better or different, just like I've always been? I couldn't wait to be in college, out on my own, 25, 30, married, pregnant, now I can't wait to have teenagers? Because I don't want to miss this cute stuff. I don't want to look back with regret on today and think, I should not have been counting the minutes until bedtime, I should be counting the minutes until they wake up from nap so I can see them.

Monday, June 15, 2009

The queen makes her demand

Sometimes I wish the words "Triplet Mom" were tattooed on my forehead. At least then people would understand why I stood there with my greasy pony tailed hair, stained t-shirt (my husband's since I don't fit into my own), tattered jeans with front butt and flip flops displaying my way beyond non-manicured toenails. I mean I want to wear a medal or something that I even got out of bed this morning and instead these people just think I'm a flake or some sad fashionless idiot who has no idea how bad she looks! That's just not fair. I suffer. Greatly. Daily. And nightly. Right?

No, it's funny the dichotomy of a multiples parent when it comes to attention. I'm sure I don't speak for all of them but I'm sure I'm not the only one who has two different reactions to attention depending on how it's given. First, I hate the people who are dumb enough to say things like 'you poor thing' or 'you sure have your hands full' and far, far stupider things that you would be surprised to hear if you are not a multiples parent. I mean the very fact that having more than one baby at a time somehow gives people the right to inquire how I got pregnant in the first place makes you want to smack your forehead a little bit. I want to know why I don't get the congratulations, the 'how wonderful' that 'normal' pregnant and new moms get. (Except from the Asian community, which I love, because not only do they think it's fantastic that I have three babies, three being a magical number, but that two of them are boys, how lucky could I get?) So, obviously, this is the negative side of attention that had me wishing we were invisible when I walk my huge stroller down the street.

But then there's the other side of the coin. The side that had me strolling past Robin Williams' house daily with my triple decker stroller, when the babies were just infants, hoping he might look out the window and run across the street because he wanted to 'do a bit' on the ridiculous stroller or the realities of having multiples. That's the part of me who wants to always wear a shirt that somehow announces that I have triplets so that unaware people might make their shocked comments about how great I look (even if they do tack on 'for a lady with triplets.') It's the part of me who, at my mothers day dinner, made sure the waiter knew I had triplets, and pretty much anywhere I go finds a way to bring triplets into the conversation so I can show them a picture on my iphone. I mean, there is a little attention whore inside of me who I do not recognize!
Oh yeah, look at me, look at me!

Actually, I do recognize her. She's the one who planned my wedding and wanted everyone to know it was my wedding day and made sure that it was all about me and that beautiful dress walking down the aisle. Oh yes, I remember her. She's the one who also would love someone to take me to a Mexican restaurant, put that stupid sombrero on my head and sing me the happy birthday song just so everyone know's it's my birthday. I have to admit. I am quite familiar with this side of me. But since I've had triplets she's been more present than not, because I was only a bride-to-be for a year, only have a birthday once a year, and was only pregnant for 9 months. I am a triplet mom every stinkin' day and I want credit dammit.

Where's my crown?

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Rollin' rollin' rollin'

Why do parents take their kids to places specifically designed for kids to enjoy and then not allow their kids to direct what happens there? Now forgive me, for I am a relatively recent mom, but I am judging parents of children very close in age to mine, so I feel justified. Just hear me out. I am a parent who believes strongly in child driven outings. Sure, I pick the place we go to and hopefully it's safe, easy to herd triplets around and entertaining to us all, but once we're there? If they're not happy, we move on, if they are content, there we stay. This is admittedly difficult with three completely different personalities but so far it's working.

Last week we went to a local children's museum. I brought along the usual diaper bag with all the back ups, including a change of clothes for each kid. I knew that outside the area we were planning on hanging out at had a 'stream' of sorts for the kids to play in. Being an intelligent human being, I could predict that there was a chance we'd end up in said stream. Water and toddlers necessarily means wet kids. Wouldn't you think?

But in the 20 minutes we spent playing in the stream I heard two different parental units admonishing their kids not to splash. You heard me, two unrelated toddlers, a boy and a girl, were expected to play in a stream so carefully as to not wet their clothing. Wait, you bring your very young child with very little self control to a child centered facility with a stream designed so perfectly that it is at their height and has toys for them to use swimming around in it and swirls and swishes around curves and bumps and you want them to play in the water without splashing? Are you missing brain cells? Why did you bring them to the stream where children splash if you didn't want them to splash? Did you forget the spare clothing? Are they going to melt if they get water on their clothes? What is the point people???

As for the schedule driven parents, I suspect they are behind the nature of the gym class I took my triplets to two weeks ago on a test run. Once class began we were given bells to ring to sing a song, 2 minutes later at the end of the song we were to rip these same shiny, never seen before, silvery, jingly bells out of our toddler's fingers and move on to walking around in a circle.Okay. Then we were to run in a circle and then we moved on to somersaults, and then it was time for the parachute and then it was time for on top of the parachute and then it was time for around the parachute and then it was time for the balls and then it was time to give the balls back, and then it was time for the balance beam.....well you get the idea, right? How fun is it for a toddler to get a ball and then have to give it back 2 minutes later? How fun is it to have a parachute come out but only be allowed to run in a circle around it for 2 minutes, then get under it for 2 minutes and then get on top of it for 2 minutes. Come on people! Let's relax a bit. I know the attention span of toddlers isn't great but they want to keep the ball for a little longer.

And today at the zoo, here's a father in the zoo playground with a daughter no older than 2. Yes, we're at a zoo and usually one goes to the zoo to see the animals, but several of us parents had ended up here at the playground. It's a great option for restless kids who have been strapped to a stroller through the zoo, right? It's our first trip to the zoo but I can tell you my kids liked the playground the best. So what if we paid money to come to a playground, the kids are delighted. So there's this other little girl who wants to swing in the swings for a bit. Dad has been half heartedly helping her play all over the playground for 10 minutes that I've observed but here, apparently, he puts his foot down. No, it's apparently time to see the kangaroos. This girl cries and begs and pleads and he just sits down and reads his paper until she gives up and goes to see the kangaroos. I ask you, what harm would it have done to allow her to swing? Why the rush? Wont the kangaroos be there tomorrow? Have you forgotten for whom you came to the zoo in the first place?

So, parents out there, I ask you to lighten up. Sure, take the kids to special places, plan in advance what you hope to accomplish or avoid there, but go with the flow for goodness' sake. If your kid has more than 10 minutes interest in something, isn't that great? Wasn't the point just to entertain them for x number of minutes anyway? Who cares if they get wet, they're kids! Roll with it, and that's an order.

Friday, June 12, 2009

First priority

My mom keeps threatening to come visit me and the kids again, like she did before she became "too sick" to do so. She was always allowed to visit Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, since she moved to town and that worked for me because I'm always fine with someone else entertaining the kids for a while. Gives me a bit more free time. However, as you might expect from my previous posts, it has to come with a touch of chaos. Inevitably, she needs a taxi right as I'm fixing dinner, feeding dinner to the kids or about to take them up for bathtime. I do everything in my power to avert these type of conflicts, but she's a master. Oh, no, she's not ready to leave yet, she'll wait until after dinner. Five minutes later, while I'm actively shoving food into my triplet's faces, oh wait, she suddenly needs to leave right now because she's about to turn into a pumpkin. So what can I do? I can call her a damned cab and get her out of my hair. Even though my kids are left with a mom only paying half attention to them at dinner, it pays off in the end I suppose because she leaves.

So she calls last Saturday and says she wants to come over right now. How is it ok to not only invite yourself over but give 30 minutes notice when someone has 3 kids to care for? Is there anyone's family in which that is ok? I suppose some people like flying by the seat of their pants and don't mind drop in relatives, but then I suspect their relatives aren't nuts. I thankfully negotiated my way out of that one nicely and had a nice Saturday afternoon with the family. But come Monday I expected her to come visit and so I called her. I had her groceries and needed to know if she could take them home with her, oh no, no she would not make it to our house today because she felt so terrible, so could I bring her groceries? I hopped in the car for the 30 minute drive over intending to spend an hour visiting and get home in time for the kids coming back from the park.

"I should go home with you" she says to me when I arrive. Oh no lady. I did NOT just drive all the way down here to spend time with you and deliver your groceries only to drive you back to my house so we can spend the whole stinkin' day together. No I did not. "I have to escape this place." Dramatic, aren't we? Why mom, what is so bad? "It is just terrible here, and the food is horrible. Let's go to lunch together." So wait, you think you can go to a restaurant, sit and order a meal, eat it and come home but you can't sit in a taxi to get to my house where you could relax in a recliner in order to see the grandkids you claim are your only reason for living? Okay. How do you do that math?

So then I made some random comment about being fat because I eat due to the stress of my life and lack of time. She asks "what is so stressful, what do you have to do that takes so much time? Mess around with kids all day?" Mess around with who? What? Are you kidding me? My own mom honestly thinks that all I do is lay about and play with kids all day. How does one respond to such an offensive statement? I seethe quietly and respond "I have three kids, a husband and an ELDERLY mother to care for. It takes a lot of time mom."

It is so hard to swallow that someone can be so dense sometimes. It's like she has no idea what her words sound like. But then, since the world does revolve around her, I suppose she wouldn't. Narcissism must be nice since you never have to think about other people's problems. I could be coughing up a lung (like I was on this same Monday visit) and she would ask me the next day on the phone as if surprised "oh, are you still sick?" She called Tuesday at 1 to say she was coming over immediately because, again, she "had to get out of this place." At 3, she calls to inform me that instead of coming to visit her grandchildren, again the only reason she has to live according to her many statements, she has gotten her hair cut, and a manicure instead. She is now too tired to come over. Okay. I ask you, once again, in what world is that an ok thing to do? Say you're coming over, then call 2 hours later and say you're not after all because you decided to get a manicure?

I guess I shouldn't complain, because once again, a week has gone by and no visit from mom to my home. I should be happy that I only have 3 kids to take care of instead of 4. But I still keep shaking my head. Where do her priorities come from? Does she hear herself talking? Does she have any clue what she sounds like? I have to answer for her. No. Not. A. Clue.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Chaos part 2

Seems innocent doesn't she? Not so much.

Why does everything having to do with my mother end in chaos? How is it possible that her vortex of crazy is so strong that even things that I am 'in control' of are sucked in? It is truly amazing. There is not one time that shocks me any more but let me tell you about some of it.

First off we have the sale of her condo. Yes, it is a sucky market so I'm not going to complain about the sales price or the sticking it to me that the buyer did just because she could. Because, what seller isn't suffering at the present time? My complaint is this: how is it possible that after being on the market for 3 months, the very moment an offer comes in I am on my very first, monumental, wedding anniversary related, miles away from the babies, romantic getaway in Big Sur with my DH? Is it not possible that this single, solitary, miserable buyer's offer could have come in 2 days before or a day after this trip? Is it really true that I have to spend hours of my mere 4 days away printing and faxing and signing and sitting on the phone receiving instructions from the real estate agent because if I don't deal with this one miserable offer we may never get another? How did she plan this? It's magical I tell you. It's like her universe has a compass that points always to Mira's least convenient time to do something.

So, we get the contract signed in the middle of my 'vacation' and time passes until this week. The week of closing. It's very simple what I have to do, and straightforward: since mom is too sick to get to a notary (her condo is across the country in DC) I have to go to the notary myself and get the documents signed and then xerox and fedex them. Yes, there are 30 pages, but I was once a real estate agent myself, how hard could it be to get these documents signed, notarized and sent off? Well, apparently, once caught in the vortex of mom, it becomes nearly impossible. First off, I'm sick. I'm sick like I haven't been sick in years. My children gave me this illness, and they are not too bad off. They coughed a bit, released 8 tons of boogers each and had a few bad nights. But since they all had bad nights in a row, I got sicker. No sleep and a simple cold apparently adds up to bronchitis and the need for heavy drugs.

So I wake this morning, prepared to head to the notary by 9, get back in time for a phone call at 10:30 and with a plan to see a doctor about my unhappy lungs sometime in the afternoon. Oh no. Too easy. First, I arrive at the UPS store only to realize that the title company sent me a 32 page document that printed fine with the exception of one hidden page that was legal sized and therefore cut off at the top. Thanks guys, how did you expect me to print a legal page on 8 1/2 by 11? So I had to go home, get the DH to make the printer print it properly, then head back to UPS. I then encountered the slowest, most detail oriented (and that's putting it nicely), most politely unable to do things the way that the lawyers in MD wanted it done, notary public. So we had to make calls and find a way to do the notarizing for a MD contract in the CA accepted way. One might think that notarizing is somewhat standardized across the county but that would be false. Because that would be easy.

So once we established that he had a way of following his rules and still notarizing my document we proceeded. There were 8 signatures that needed notarizing in total. This took 45 minutes. Each signed document must be recorded in his little book, a separate form filled out, a stamp and my signature. Oh. My. God. Really? 45 minutes NOT including the initial review of documents and negotiations with the paralegal? Grinding and gnashing of teeth could be heard blocks away, but not a single bronchial spasm. I persevered.

I then had to head home for the phone call but called the Dr.'s office on the way. The only appointment they had was for 10 minutes after my phone call ended at a location 30 minutes away. I had to exchange my DH's car for mine, park down the street, conduct my phone call, and halfway through start driving downtown. Thankfully, my affairs are not chaotic. The phone call was accomplished, the doctor's office got me in and out in 20 minutes and I was on my way to the Fedex/Kinko's to fax and xerox and fedex. Again, this seemed simple enough. Really. I xeroxed, I started faxing, I prepared the fedex forms. Wait, hold on, the fax machine is spitting random numbers of pages through at the same time and we have no way of knowing what pages actually got scanned through. Even though I only put 5 pages AT A TIME through this stupid machine. Wouldn't you think Fedex could afford a nice spiffy self service machine?

No. The self serve machine would be 10 years old and finicky like a cat, so the nice man behind the counter offered to fax it. His beautiful new high end fax machine pulled all 29 pages through in the blink of an eye. I thought, this is a change in luck, now we'll be done soon. So I waited. 15, 20, 25 min. Uh, Fedex dude? What's up with the fax? "Oh, apparently the machine stopped at some point, I think page 19, and I can't tell why but usually it will redial the number and try again." So I wait, 15, 20 minutes again. What page does it say it's on now? "uh, page 20, it must have started at the beginning again." Gee, sure must have! 10 more minutes. What page is it on now? "24"

Ok world. That's it for me. Honestly, I have fedexed the original and the lawyers will have it by 10 am tomorrow so I'm all done. If the last 5 pages of that document don't make it through I could care less. I'm pretty sure the world won't come to an end. And if they call me and tell me they need it they will find out pretty quickly that I don't care. I have now spent 3 hours of my very small amount of personal time waiting for slow and stupid people and machines to complete small and easy tasks and I am done.

But see what I mean about everything becoming chaos around her? This stuff is usually cake. Sure, there are at least a thousand pages in the average sales contract for a house, and a thousand and 50 when you can't be there in person for closing but notarizing, faxing, xeroxing? Cake! What is it about this woman that draws the evil spirits of delay and postponement towards everything around her? I can't go grocery shopping for her without something going wrong while walking through the store, driving to her place, unpacking her stuff into a refrigerator. And I won't even go into the story again about the organizer person I hired to do her stuff. All of you non-believers who think that the world is a completely scientifically explainable place listen up. It just isn't true when you live with crazy.

I dare you to offer to help me with my mom and avoid getting sucked into the crazy. I dare you.

Wordful Wednesday

I would never have guessed how much kids are like cats until I observed it in my household. My triplets are always doing cat things. For example, the minute a new cardboard box arrives in the house, they check it out and climb in. They spend hours playing in it. More than with any toy I buy them. Which is also like a cat. The best toys are garbage or wrappings or packaging. Also like a cat, they bump heads sometimes as a greeting. Again, like a cat, they cry noisily when hungry. They tend to hurt you when they get over excited, with nails and teeth. Their poop stinks, they sometimes pee where they are not supposed to and they hate having their nails cut and going to the doctor.

Had I known that three kids would be essentially like three cats but with more work I might have reconsidered my choice to have both.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Food wars

I started out such a good parent. No sugar, no corn syrup, no trans fats, no medicines when unnecessary, no scents in the laundry detergent, no nothing fake or bad or bad karma even. I do not want my children to repeat my mistakes and end up fat and addicted like me. Addicted to trans fats that is. Oh, and anything deep fried or dipped in chocolate or filled with chocolate or peanut butter or slathered in butter or syrup or honey or....well hell I could go on forever.

In any case. I sure as heck didn't want my kids to end up like me, in high school, downing a whole medium pepperoni pizza when my parents were out of the house for the evening, or me while pregnant, eating anything not nailed down. Seemed simple enough: don't expose them to the really good tasting bad stuff and they won't realize how good it tastes, right? I mean I'm in charge of what they eat, everything that is bought for this house, and every bite that enters their mouths, so how hard could it be to spare them the gorey details of gooey centers and greasy fried foods?

To be fair I held out a long time. It all started when we were approaching their first birthday party. Twelve months of good behavior! I wasn't even tempted to stray at this point. I was even researching healthy muffin or cupcake recipes, thinking they wouldn't know they were missing chocolate or frosting, and the grown ups would still get to eat the 'real thing.' But then I got the comments from the nanny: "a little sugar wouldn't hurt them would it?" The accusatory questions: "you're not going to let them have cake on their birthday? Really?" Like it was some sort of crime to deny my babies cake on their birthday. This bad food thing has gotten dangerously ingrained in our society hasn't it? I mean, what is a birthday party without cake, New Years without champagne, valentines day without chocolate, christmas and thanksgiving without pumpkin pie and gravy and cool whip, or a 4th of July party without barbecue or fried chicken or Halloween without candy? Well I couldn't tell you and I never promised to be a perfectly holistic mom did I?

I think we all have an idea of what kind of mom we are going to be long before we give birth and it tends to include lots of grand ideas about feeding, discipline, patience, breastfeeding, co-sleeping, exercise, cursing in front of the children, arguing in front of the children, crying in front of the children and something about keeping an overall gentle and all forgiving demeanor in the face of all infant and toddler behaviors, don't we? I know I thought I'd never screw up but then I had triplets. Let's be real shall we? Its hard enough having one kid reject a different food every day but try three on three different schedules of non-eating. It's like playing whack-a-mole and rarely actually hitting a mole.

So as we inched closer and closer to the birthday party the guilt started eating at me. What a hypocrite I am keeping them from eating cake on their birthday. Sugar is a natural substance, so what's the harm. So, along with all my other failures as a mother, I gave in. We still had a rather healthy 'cake' with agave nectar instead of sugar in the cake and a fruity flavor instead of devils chocolate or something, but we frosted them suckers with some sugar laden cream cheese frosting and had the time of our lives watching them dig in. I think they liked it. And you know what? The world didn't end. They have actually rejected pudding and vanilla cupcakes since then. Should I feel bad about trying cake and pudding? I don't think so. Because I dread the day they give up yogurt, the healthiest thing they eat, because I have no idea what I'm going to do after that to get fruit and protein into those stubborn little buggers.

The fact is, I know they're smarter than me and they are slowly wearing me down to doritos. You just wait and see.

brain no workee

Brain too clogged with snot to write. Here's a photo to make you giggle instead. I figure great blackmail for later in life when he doesn't want to clean his room. This is B in his fairy wings!

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Oh croup, they're sick

Dear Universe,

Thank you once again for finding new ways to challenge my sanity and grace. Not only have you blessed me with three kids at once, but you found a way to make them all sick in succession, instead of concurrently, so that at any one point at least 2 were in the 2 worst days of the illness while the third was either descending into it or recovering from it.

It was brilliant inspiration to begin this illness with a high fever for 2 days with no symptoms. Now I have to admit that I have been exceptionally lucky with my children and have not had fevers over 101 degrees in the 15, almost 16 months that they have been alive. So I was woefully unprepared to deal with not only a fever, but a strange one that appeared with no symptoms. I don't know about other parents, but I'd like at least a small clue as to what they are fighting when they are fighting off a virus or infection of some sort. A runny nose, a cough, a pink eye, a hot, red ear that when touched causes your child to bite your finger off, things of that nature.

So, naturally, I finally made those stupid calls to the doctor that other moms make in the early months of their child's infancy. The first one, to ask what the heck a fever without symptoms means, and the second, panicky one, when his fever spiked to 102.4 degrees 30 minutes before his office closed for the day. I know now that 102 point anything is nothing really. I was assured by the doctor that even at 105 degrees they merely want me to call them so they can ask me whether my baby has a stiff neck, purple rash or isn't drinking or peeing. I also know, due to the second call, that asking a doctor to tell you when you should go to the emergency room since his office is closing for the day is worthless as he will give you general, vague answers that leave you dangling over the panic button the rest of the night.

I should be counting my blessings that my kids have been so healthy but instead I feel a little stupid calling about a child who is mildly sick, according to the doctor, while I am in total panic mode due to my ignorance. I'd actually rather have called when I was a 'brand new mother' so I would hear less of the tired patient tone in my doctor's voice due to my hangover from total exhaustion due to caring for 3 infants while pumping, eating and crying simultaneously in between 15 minute sleep breaks.

So I have to say that what I really don't appreciate is how the fever was actually a blessing in disguise because it made that baby sleep like a rock, but I didn't know to appreciate it at the time because I was freaking out. By the time the second child was having 104 fevers in the middle of the night, but sleeping great, kid number one was fully in the throes of the actual illness. Up every hour due to coughing and discomfort of an incurable type. Naturally we can't give 1 year olds cough syrup and the cold air humidifiers in the shape of a pig and a penguin, while cute, seem to do nothing at all to reduce the number of times they need me to get out of my warm bed and come and pat them back to sleep.

Because of your inspired timing, number one was coming off of the fevers and long nights of coughing while numbers 2 and 3 were just ramping up their respiratory symptoms to include not just night waking and coughing, but actual croup like emanations that put the fear of goodness into me. I mean it must have really amused you to watch me hear my daughter bark during dinner today and then watch my brain start mulling over how other parents have had to spend nights alternating between sitting in the bathroom with the shower running and running outside with that same child wrapped in blankets. Doesn't sound like a good night's rest now does it? So, upon hearing that 'seal bark' coming from my daughter's mouth I began to dread that evening. You must have been rolling on the floor when I was sitting in my in-law's bathroom running the faucet and the tub on hot in the dark (because of course the fan and the light were one switch) and realizing that somehow in 3 minutes we had run through all of the reserves of hot water in the tank. My daughter was probably a little bit confused as to why we were sitting in the dark listening to water running, but every new thing is an adventure to a 15 months old, right?

So you can see where I'm coming from right? Tonight we begin the night with 2 children on either day one or day two of the peak coughing and sleeplessness. Which means I have one more night after tonight of misery. Meanwhile, I myself have come down with the same symptoms and regularly wake the kids with my own loud coughs and nose honking. Why is it funny to you to give me 7 nights of misery? Do you really have so little entertainment in your world when there are celebrities making asses of themselves just down the way from me? Or is it that I got too cocky with my healthy children? Was I looking too snottily down my nose at parents with miserable children and not thanking the universe enough for my luck? Was I thinking too highly of my mothering skills and you needed to put me in my place by handing me inconsolable children night after night? Because you did succeed in knocking me down a peg. I had begun to think I was just a calm mother who didn't need to call the doctor very often. But the truth was, I was just a mother with healthy children until last week. Now the doctor dreads my calls just as much as the next mom.

Thanks for that!
Your tired triplet mom

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Fashion and Sense

My best friend, Ellen, is one of those style conscious and savvy people. Ellen always looks like a fashion plate, even on a 'bad' day. At 2 am after 18 straight hours of scrapbooking she looks at least 40% better than me. And that was before I had triplets. Thanks to her I have a delightful collection of high heel shoes from varying department stores and boutiques in the shopping mecca that is San Francisco's Union Square. She encouraged me to step out of my box and buy patterned shoes, brightly colored shoes, unusual looking shoes, all of which I was scared to try before. I took great pride in my shoe collection and the fact that even though i was 7 years older than her, she would be seen in public with me and actually approved of some of my ensembles.

See? Me in Vegas purchasing very nice shoes!

But then came triplets. Oh, heck, even before the pregnancy I'd given up. Fertility treatments make you swell up like an opossum on the side of the road and feel just as lively. What part of gigantic ovaries is supposed to make you feel young and hip? Jabbing yourself with a needle 6 times a day, creating bruises all around your midsection is also not good for self esteem. Considering you need to pinch an inch of fat so that you can stick that needle into it it's no surprise that I became highly aware of my 'extra storage.' Meanwhile, your ego has already been crushed by the fact that your woman parts are dysfunctional in the first place. I never knew how important my ovaries were to me until I was told they were failing.

So then we move on to a triplet pregnancy. I don't probably have to mention that one shows by about week 6 like you're already in the second trimester. If you're lucky enough not to get stretch marks on your stomach, they'll find other outlets, like your thighs, on which to express their artistic talents. But worst of all, but only for the lucky ones, you'll get to enjoy elephant leg syndrome. At week 13 I made the mistake of being on my feet all day. My left leg, which was clearly jealous of my uterus, grew a size or two larger, by which I mean huge. What type of fashionable shoe do you think fits an elephant foot? Manolos? I don't think so. It seemed my daughter, barely past reptile stage in utero, was already coveting my shoe collection. It was she who was pressing her skull into the very veins or lymph nodes required to drain said elephant leg of fluid. Goodness knows she wouldn't want me to wear those shoes out before she's a teenager. No doubt they'll be back in style then.

Poor Ellen, she now had to appear in public with a woman in flip flops and ill fitting maternity clothes. As she will be the first to say, flip flops anywhere but on the beach are a no no. Go argue with her if you disagree, you'll find her quite unflappable (ha ha) on that point, just check out her blog. However, she gracefully allowed me a flip flop exemption. She didn't really give me an exemption to wear maternity clothes with stains on the front from typical pregnancy food spillage, nor did she grant me an exemption from actually trying to look good, but apparently she forbore. I imagine she thought I'd snap out of it once I lost my pregnancy weight.

You know you wanted to see the picture so don't cringe. It was only 75 lbs!

I figured that I'd snap out of it too. I also figured that my feet would fit back into my awesome collection of shoes still gathering dust in the guest closet. What I didn't figure on was that even though I lost my 'baby weight' of 75lbs within the first month after delivery, I would then decide to eat my way back half way while attempting to care for 3 infants alone. No, I never figured I would find that the only way to survive triplet infancy was with approximately 3000 calories of chocolate, chips, fried foods and ice cream on top of the three meals a day of 'quality food' I also shoveled in. Oh, who's kidding whom, I ate constantly. I walked those babies over to the convenience store, the Starbucks, the deli and the taco stand daily. Yes, one might think that walking them would counteract the eating, but I'm not actually kidding about how many calories per day I was consuming. My old college habit of miniature reeses peanutbutter cups and diet coke as a balanced meal came blasting back out of the past. Heck, I even smoked a few cigarettes a day (outside!) just to keep from screaming insanity. I was desperate.

And this woman (me) who had worked out until practically the day she gave birth did what? She then delegated the walking of the babies to a morning nanny. When she wasn't running errands for the house she lay in bed attempting to sleep. She lay on the couch stuffing quesadillas in her face. She napped in the recliner! I went full stop on movement, reserving all energy for baby care. I can now report with authority that it does NOT take 5000 calories a day to take care of triplets for 20 hours a day. I don't care if they cry all night. The calories in/calories out thing was a wee tad favoring the 'in'. And you know what else gets fat when you do? Your feet. Try as I might I was like Cinderella's evil stepsisters trying to cram my feet back into those lovely shoes in my closet. Would Ellen give me an exemption to wear flip flops post pregnancy because she pitied my lack of sleep and control? I think not. I'm pretty sure the whole world looks at me with pity when they seem me in flip flops, stained shirt, ragged pony tail, bags under my eyes, jeans busting from the strain and a Starbucks in one hand.

Thankfully she hasn't dumped me yet. So here I sit, 2 months into boot camp, which my 15 month old triplets only let me attend 3 times a week no matter how hard I try to train them to sleep through the night. I just finished my Costco package of Reeses, just came home from my Saturday 'date breakfast' with my husband having consumed pancakes, sausage and 2 eggs, and I ask you, what do I have left?

Right, a closet full of useless shoes. Almost all of which Ellen wants.

Ellen, pretending to covet baby, but thinking about shoes.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Organized chaos

Dear Organizer Lady,

Recently I hired you to help me with my mother's crap. Her paperwork alone was a full time job because apparently one's paperwork increases proportionate to one's age, which means we have exactly 75 pages of forms to fill out for every week she continues to plague me with her existence. Until I hired you, I had been buried under Medicaid forms, life insurance questionnaires, denials of insurance coverage and a huge pile of papers that accumulates when one has only a day to go through all of your dad's file cabinets and take what you need and hope the rest is garbage. By the time I contacted you, I had cried at least 10 times while dealing with useless bureaucrats who actually didn't care that I was (or was pretending to be) a 75 year old widow of 2 months. Shocking really, but apparently par for the course.

So when I started losing my sanity (what was left of it naturally) it was time to bring in some assistance. Who better than an organizer lady? Someone who made it her business to organize other peoples' lives and make them run smoother. Your job was clear: to burrow through all the crazy papers and daily mail deluge and make sense of it. Then to spend 10 hours a week on hold to one government organization or another until you made one of them cry instead. Turnabout is fair play right? I got a recommendation from your friend and we were on our way.

The truly funny thing was that my mother considered hiring you an abandonment. The fact that I, her only daughter, was going to hand her paperwork over to a stranger to deal with was hurtful. She went into a tail spin and began calling me 4 times a day with random problems that ranged from needing some yogurt immediately (early in the week) to the truly insane (at the end of the week): "I have lost my bearings, I have lost all my sense of security. I can't sit in the living room because the tv makes me insecure. I don't know what to do." Okaaaay, what? "I can't do anything but lay in bed and I am so full of anxiety, what do I do?" Well, mom, you can either check yourself into a mental hospital, as it sounds like you're having a breakdown, or you can find a way to calm yourself down. "Oh no, a hospital would be terrible. I'd die there." Okaaay. Well what do you want me to do at 10pm on a Friday night when I'm home alone with 15 month old triplets who are in bed? Hmmm?

Who knows what she expected me to do but apparently she survived because come the next week she called me on Monday just fine. I didn't hear from her all weekend, despite the fact that she was apparently locked in her bedroom by fear. Funny how she made it to an exercise class and a bingo game that weekend. Hilarious. So, already, and unfortunately, hiring you began to unravel what control I had on my life up to that point, but that was hardly your fault.

In any case, I digress. During this emotional chaos you came to my house a total of 4 times. 3 of 4 times you were late, 2 of 4 times you had to reschedule at the last minute. I understand you had some stuff of your own going on so you had to take a week off. The week after your first visit was an unfortunate week to need off because I was still stuck holding most of the responsibility for my mom's insane paperwork but your mother had died and that's a pretty good excuse if I've ever heard one. The next week though, you returned to work, late, because you got lost trying to find the office store, but with no phone call while you were driving around, just blocks from me, when I could have been of assistance to you actually. I had planned my day around you arriving on time and sat here waiting for you so I could unload my stress about my mother's papers and get on with caring for the rest of my family. I was a little perturbed that "my" organizer could not work a GPS system or a cell phone to save her life, but I gave it a little more time.

You have diligently filed and categorized everything, waited on hold for many hours, gave me tasks only I needed to accomplish at the end of your day and got along well with me and my family. When you called me on the way home and said you had another job you needed to do Thursday and you didn't "know what to do" I let you off the hook for another reschedule and resigned myself to being second priority in your work life. But then we came to this week. First, the rescheduling of the rescheduled appointment because your daughter was in town. Then, you arrived late again without calling. Your daughter's plane was apparently later than you'd thought so you spent more time with her. Bravo for you and your family. I feel, however, that somewhere along the line you missed the fact that I am paying for your help and waiting for you to arrive at my house when the point of hiring you was to FREE UP SOME OF MY TIME.

At the end of your last visit I explained that I did need to know when you were coming so I could make plans to be here to let you in. I was politely trying to let you know that your unpredictability was becoming hazardous to your health. The fury that was growing inside me was partly fed by my mother's existence so it can not all be blamed upon your irresponsibility or lack of common sense but it was likely to be unloaded on you had you shown up late one more time, or rescheduled for that matter. So you promised you'd be here at 10am. Promised. There was no reason anything should delay you on Friday. Right? Those were your words!

So why, dear organizer lady, why at 10:05am when I called you this morning were you so chipper when you announced that you were just about to start out for my home right then? And when I asked you how long it would take you to get here, how could you have so nonchalantly said it would take you 45 minutes or so? Was it my imagination or were you completely oblivious to the fact that normal people with jobs tend to show up not only on the date and time that they are scheduled but, if they are unable to do so, usually notify their employers of their reason for an estimated tardy arrival? How do you not know this at 50 something? I understand you had a flat tire. I understand you apparently forgot your phone as well. Is this really my problem? Aren't you an organizer? Shouldn't you be more, well, organized?

Because when I politely inquired as to whether this job was really the right one for you, while explaining that what I had intended to do was hire someone who was not crazy and overwhelmed like me, you explained that you were, in fact, "overwhelmed and perimenopausal?" Really? I need to know about your hormones? Because it seems to me that of all the people on the planet who should know how to help someone become more organized and bail them out of their own world of chaos, an organizer lady should be the right choice because her life should be organized too. And as much as we chaotic people have sympathy for people more screwed up than ourselves, we are not in the mood to pay you to help us while simultaneously making our lives more chaotic because we have to sit around and wait for your butt to arrive whenever you feel like it or twice a week, whichever works out better for you.

So, sadly we must part ways. I, hopefully to find someone more organized than myself to take over my mother's paperwork, and you, hopefully, to find some way out of your chaos. Because I recognize crazy. I've lived with it all my life, and you, my dear friend, are crazy.

Yours in chaos

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Let's talk about crazy

I have to admit that I never would have thought that someone would want to fake being a triplet mom just to get other triplet moms to like her. I mean there are so many people out there, why pick some ladies who are already so overwhelmed by their own lives that they barely have time to read your long, punctuationless posts, much less respond to the fact that you seem to have simultaneously suffered from every possible pregnancy problem from a ruptured uterus to nurses apparently allowing your live baby to die in your arms because they supposedly didn't even want to try to keep her alive. Um, laying it on a bit thick there. Oh, and I didn't even mention your bodily structural problems you have suffered with since birth. Let's take a random sampling of your writing shall we?

"i have been on growth hormone shots since i was 10 from my ribs to my iliac crest the front hip bones is 3 inches my doctor told my that two babies at 22 weeks for me is like me being 42 weeks plus so carrying one baby would still be like me being a 12 year old girl pregnant them we you and i would get into a hole nother factor"

So if you're anything like me, dear readers, your eyes are bleeding and your head is spinning from the sheer insanity of this......uh, sentence? But then you keep going. I mean it's not enough for you to have a strange body that is ill suited to carrying triplets, right? That might not get you enough sympathy? Is that what you're after? Why not have cancer or something? That could last years and pregnancy is only 8 or 9 months! Let's check another sample:

"i started having braxtion hicks contrations at 22 wks and didnt know i was till the end when i explained to dr..also i went to er with discharge streaked pink and they sent me home i wasnt dialated then nor did they check my cervical length to see if i was funneling or my efacement nor my station so againg i say i wish i could go back and change things and domanted a cerclage"

"Domanted?" Really? But getting back to my point, here's where you made a mistake. See, you got your information screwed up I think as Braxton Hicks contractions are harmless. They do not require panic or any other response other than to lay down and drink some water. This, if the nature of your writing did not give us other clues, is where we put a period at the end of the sentence (unlike you). You are a fraud, a pretender, a freak show on parade. We have a winner! You may, in fact, be the strangest fake post we've ever had.

It's funny, in a deranged sort of way, but the pretenders always lay it on a little too thick. We would believe you if you had a 'normal' pregnancy for much longer than if you have 80 or 90 types of miscarriage symptoms along with an abusive husband, a home for miscreant teens, a house that just burned down and 8 previous failed pregnancies. I mean really. Is carrying triplets not enough? Pregnancy sucked. Pregnancy was miserable from beginning to end. We understand that type of misery so well that we would pour sympathy all over you just to help ourselves not feel alone. Please, my friend the faker, just try again next time with punctuation, spell check and a check on your creative, miserable imagination. Ok?

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

You have to start somewhere

I'm finally getting off my butt to put words into a computer with the thought that some people might enjoy reading it. It's a shocking idea to someone like me that people might enjoy my sarcastic ramblings and dry as toast commentary on life as a triplet mom and daughter to a crazy lady but apparently I should believe it. Throughout my life I have been told I'm funny so my goal is to create a funny blog with some poignant moments. Let's hope you find enough entertainment to keep reading the next day or at least every once in a while.

I think probably the most important topic to cover today is stupidity. This topic can never get enough press to cancel out all the stupidity in the world and yet it's worth bringing up because as a parent of multiple children of the same age, you run into stupidity on a regular basis. Take last week at the toddler gym class I attended with my three children, MIL and a nanny. First, one encounters the people who apparently didn't even look at the kids who ask if I have all boys. My daughter, for those of you who don't know me, is invariably dressed in pink. A pink shirt, pink polka dot pants, a pink dress or even, occasionally, a blue dress with a pink design on it. She also sits up front in the quad stroller. The most prominent child they are looking at. Does this help? No, apparently not. She is unceremoniously lumped in with her two brothers as if she looks just like them. I don't know about you, but not many American moms dress their sons in pink. Not if they don't have some serious issues that don't get talked about much in public they don't. So, I ask you, if you're so gosh darned interested in my triplets, why not take a look at them first? Is it impossible to notice the dress? The shirt that says 'pink is the new black' or 'cutie pie?'

Next the inevitable "are the boys identical?" Again, for crying out loud, are you even looking? Because one of my sons has blindingly blond hair and the other has dark brown hair. Fine, he has blond highlights but you have to squint to see them so if you can't see that my daughter is, well a daughter, then you couldn't possibly have mistaken his hair for peroxide blond. Now, stupider still are the people who seem to be looking at my triplets and then ask "are they all identical?" Um, no. That's a girl, and they are boys. That's not the definition of identical my friends. Not at all.

But we worked past all that and it's all old hat by now to endure the barrage of stupid questions and the slightly better but still annoying refrains of 'how cute' coming from people who, again, have not actually looked at the children, they just think anything that comes in threes is by far cuter than anything in fewer numbers. So we're here just auditing this gym class to see if we want to sign up for an actual session of several weeks and so grandma and I and the nanny are racing around trying to comply with the orders of the gym instructor to run our child in circles, and roll them over in a somersault and drag them back to the parachute for some 'fun,' and we're breathless and sweaty and overwhelmed and a lady turns to me and asks "do you have help with those things?" Uhm, what? Things? Ok, first off, who do you think is chasing after and holding my daughter and who is rolling my son over and over to his delight while I hang onto this other boy of mine while he tries to run away from the parachute? Strangers? People I found on the street and asked to help? Er, no. Again, is it impossible for stupid people to look around and assess a situation before they ask a question? Or is that just stupidity in its essence? The lack of wisdom to open one's eyes before one begins a query? Perhaps that should be the definition. Webster? Oxford? Opinions?

Now I haven't even addressed the fact that this lady called my children "things." And, no, she didn't retract it and say "oops, I meant babies" or act appalled that she called them things at all. No, her stupidity remained on solid footing. This question may rank highest in my list of all the stupid things people have asked me in my 15 months of motherhood. I'll have to think on that one because there's no one who has ever before referred to my children as inanimate objects. She may have the crown. And it was not a one time experience for her because on our way out of the gym she picked up a child who was not her own and held her while she screamed for her momma because, as she explained, 'the child was in the way.' Needless to say, the mom was highly displeased that A. her baby had been picked up by a stranger against her will and B. that stranger was so stupid that she didn't put the child back down when she started screaming or think that she had done anything wrong. So I feel quite comfortable in stating that this woman may be the stupidest woman I've ever run into to date. Thankfully, since I hated the gym situation, we will not be back but you never know where we might run into her again. She does live across the bridge!