Saturday, March 28, 2009

March Picture Madness

Abby likes to use Winnie as a foot rest...good thing Winnie doesn't mind.


Will has the biggest, goofiest grin. I love how you can see his little teeth when he smiles.

The kids eat in their highchairs now. We have the space saver kind that strap on to your regular chairs. Sometimes, they take a bottle after a meal. In this picture, they are having milk after lunch. The yellow and white things are bottle props, but they have started to hold their bottles also.

They eat so much these days....tofu, lentils, black beans and rice, chickpeas, squash, green beans, peas, avocado, mango, bananas, prunes...the list goes on and on. In a couple of weeks, we'll be ready for finger foods and the meat baby foods. I can't believe it.



They all love hanging out in their exersaucers. We have 3 of them, and Marie is in one of them in this picture. Billy posted a short video clip of all of them in their exersaucers on YouTube. Here's the link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yZ7bqk_eHh0


Here are the sisters. Abby has her arm around Marie. Isn't that the cutest thing? Abby is super affectionate. She's always reaching out to us to be held and she touches your face when you hold her.



This is Will giving his "face." It's the stare down! Kibby asked him if he was looking to start a fight when he stared at him that way. He will look at someone like this for a while and then all of the sudden, he'll break out his big grin.



Here's Abby with her arms out. She's saying, "Stop taking pictures and pick me up!" She does get held a lot because who can resist those open arms?

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Sleep Training

We've been working on the babies' sleeping habits for the past couple of week. Step one involved nap times. I started putting them down for naps awake and letting them cry themselves to sleep. They need to learn this skill in order to know how to fall back to sleep when they wake up at night. At first, they cried for about 10-15 minutes, but after a few days, they would fall asleep within 5 minutes, at the most. Although when a baby is crying, it seems like an eternity.


Last week, we started working on Abby's nights. We thought about using a service called "Moms on Call." They basically teach you how to train your baby(ies) to sleep. I sent out a message on my triplets listserv, and several of the women had used them. Most of them had really good things to say about them, but I just wasn't sure what I was going to get out of it that I hadn't already read in other places...establish and stick to a routine, use a white noise machine, let them cry it out, etc.

The service is typically $350, and they do a home visit to cover a bunch of childcare basics. However, in our case, we just wanted the sleeping part, and they offered to do a phone consult for $200. I figured we should give it a shot ourselves before we paid $200 for a phone call.

The first night, we put everyone down as usual, and when Abby started her first crying episode, around 10:30, we moved her into a pack and play in the guest room. We left her there to cry for a while. My dad, Billy, and I took turns going in about every 20-30 minutes to comfort her. Billy had her asleep when he was patting her back, but the minute he stopped, she woke up and resumed her crying fit. Finally, after about an hour, I went in and patted her for a while. She fell asleep and stayed that way.

She woke up again after 3 a.m., and at that point, my dad gave her a bottle, which she sucked down. She fell back to sleep and didn't wake up until 7 a.m. This was a huge improvement! She used to take 3-4 bottles/night.

We discovered that the others do better when she's out of the room. Marie has been sleeping her usual 12 hours/night for the past few nights, and Will has still been waking up, but he'll usually go back to sleep after whining for a few minutes. However, around 2 or 3 a.m., he won't go back to sleep without a bottle. A few nights ago, he took 8 ounces at his 3 a.m. feed. I usually only make 4 ounce bottles at night so I had to warm up a second bottle after he wouldn't calm down after his first.

Now, I have a new method. All babies must sleep/cry it out until after 2 a.m. If they awaken after that time and can not be consoled back to sleep with pats, they get a 6 ounce bottle to fill them up. If they get that bottle, they have to sleep/cry it out until 7 a.m.

We set up an additional pack and play in our bedroom, and we shove Will in it some nights when he won't settle down. There are babies scattered everywhere! Will does this thing where he scratches the pack and play netting on the side. It's terribly annoying, but not nearly as bad as hearing him cry so we just deal with it.

I don't know when we'll sleep all night again, but this is a start. We will just have to keep working on it.

Friday, March 20, 2009

York Stories

Liane should write her own blog because the stuff that goes on at her house is beyond hilarious. She gives me so much good material. Thank you, Liane, Jason, Cooper, Carley, and Chloe!

The first story is a Carley story. Liane is breastfeeding Chloe, and that's all Chloe will take and tons of it...it's boobie time all the time. Liane keeps trying to give her rice cereal and baby food, but Chloe rejects it. She chokes and gag on it, and Liane says she may be eating retarded.

Back to the breastmilk....the slang word for breast is "teta" in Spanish (it's like "tit"). My dad was over babysitting for the kids, and he went to the fridge to see if Liane had left any bottles for Chloe, but Carley ran over and informed him, "There's no teta milk in there, Papa."

Cooper is also at his finest lately. He's at the age where he just repeats all kinds of things that he hears around the house. He was being super-cranky the other day, and Liane asked him what was wrong. He said, "Mom, you are driving me nuts. Sometimes, you just drive me nuts." I can TOTALLY see Jason saying that to Liane. I'm sure that Cooper picked it up from daddy.

That same day that he told her she was driving him nuts, Cooper also claimed Liane abused him. They were playing in their front yard, and the lady across the street came out, and Cooper decided to run over to talk to her. He got right up in front of her and said, "I have to tell you something. My mom hits me all the time. She spanks me all day and night." He went on and on like that. Liane rarely spanks Cooper, and even when she does, it's usually just a pat on the bottom with a "no," but she doesn't beat him with a belt or anything. Liane had no idea why he decided to say that. Luckily, the woman has a grandchild and apparently he had gone through the same thing at some point. Is there a "reporting false abuse" phase in childhood? If I have 3 kids talking about me beating them, I may start to beat them to shut them up. How embarrassing!

Jason also had another quotable quote last week. Alice said she was over there, and Liane was bending over to do something. Apparently, her teta milk has made her boobies a little larger than usual, so her tata was falling out of her top. She also had on low rise jeans so she had some crack showing. Jason proceeded to say, "Goddammit, Liane, why don't you buy some clothes that fit? It's like a porn show around here." Hilarious. I told Billy this, and he said, "I wonder how many sentences Jason says that start with Goddammit, Liane?" It's probably things like, "G-D, Liane, this house is filthy." or "G-D, Liane, is that baby shit on the floor?". It's only a matter of time before Cooper and/or Carley say that choice phrase.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Roseola is back!

Last week, Marie got sick. She had a fever all weekend and threw up several times. I thought she had an ear infection so I took her to Liane and Jason's house to have Jason check her ear. Liane said he could diagnose one, even tough he's an anesthesiologist, not a pediatrician. We went over late in the evening on Sunday. Marie barfed all over Liane's rug in the family room. Then, Jason took a look at her ear and said it looked fine.

Well, she was still feverish on Monday so I decided to take her to her pediatrician. I began by saying, "I know she doesn't have an ear infection because my brother-in-law is a doctor, and he checked her out." The doctor looked in her ear and said, "She has an ear infection. What kind of doctor is your brother-in-law." I had to admit his specialty area at that point. I felt like such an idiot. Well, she prescribed amoxicillin and sent me on my way, but she also said to do the nebulizer again because she could hear phlegm in her chest. I HATE the nebulizer!

On Monday night, she started breaking out in a rash, and I was worried that she was having an allergic reaction to the amoxicillin. I called the doctor's office, and they wanted to see her the next morning. On Tuesday, she had broken out in the rash everywhere, and I had my diagnosis: roseola. I'm a pediatrician now. I took her to the doctor, but she only confirmed my original diagnosis. Therefore, we added Benadryl to her medicine routine. Poor little girl...she got hit by everything at once.

Will is the only one who hasn't gotten roseola yet. I'll probably have an entry next week about his breakout. Stay tuned.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Will Pics

Will was under-represented in the past post where I put up updated pictures. Therefore, I figured I should get a couple of him on here so you all can enjoy my cute man!

This one is at Marmie's house in his new highchair. He is always sticking that little tongue out.

It snowed in Atlanta last week! Will is dressed like a lumberjack. It was too cute not to snap a picture. The girls had already taken off their winter jackets before we thought about the fact that we rarely get snow and might not get another chance to get their picture in it. Oh well.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Weaning

Yes, I'm still breastfeeding these babies. However, I just began the weaning process about 2 weeks ago. I started by dropping my night pumping sessions. That's why you haven't seen any 2 a.m. posts lately. Not pumping at night was really hard at first, literally. See, when you don't pump or feed, your boobies get rock hard and full of milky milks. I would wake up at 6 a.m. and pump 20 ounces because of the backup. After that, I tried to continue my every 3 hour schedule.
Last week, I started pushing to every 4 hours, instead of every 3. The first few days, I would be dying to pump and sometimes gave in before the full 4 hours. By the end of the week, though, I was able to hold out. Next week, I'm going to try to go 5 hours between pumping.

On Friday, I was at home with the kids all days, and I didn't have quite as much pumping time. I had already woken up with a sore breast, and I felt like one of my milk ducts in my right breast might be clogged. As the day progressed, it got worse and worse. By the end of the day, I thought I was going to throw up from the pain.

Other times when that has happened, I would just take a warm shower and massage out the blockage. Since I was home alone, though, that was not an option. At one point during the day, I was so desperate that I put my boobie in the pan that I use to warm up water for the babies' bottles. It's times like that when I'm glad I'm not on a reality show.

I will just keep trying to get them off the boobie milk. I think 8 months is long enough to have done it. In a few months, they will be drinking cow's milk so we'll only really need to fork over the cash for formula for a little while. They are drinking much less milk anyway because of all the food they are eating. Man, are they eating! They each usually pound 2 containers of Level 2 baby food at each meal, for a total of 6 per meal x 3 meals per day = 18 containers/day! (= tons of $$) Now you understand why I try to make my own baby food. Speaking of which, I made black beans and brown rice for the babies this week. So far, Abby likes them best! She's my little Cuban baby.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Chores I don't do

Billy has a new job, and I'm already thinking about the ways I can spend our extra cash. Really, I am quite frugal, but I am in desperate need of a cleaning lady. It is impossible to clean and watch 3 babies. I can barely keep the laundry and dishes done, much less scrub toilets, mop floors, etc. After the kids go to sleep at night, Billy and I run around trying to get everything around the house done, but there's never enough time.

It made me think of the different errands for which we are each responsible. I started to reflect on the things I simply don't do and always just leave up to Billy. Some things make sense, but some are very random.

The trash. I NEVER handle it at all. I don't empty it. I don't take it out. I don't drag the bins to the curb. Trash is his thing. It could be overflowing, and I still wouldn't do a thing about it...doesn't matter.

The mail. I don't get it out of the mailbox, and when there is outgoing mail, I don't put it in the mailbox. I simply leave it on the table by our front door, and he takes it out. The other day I asked him to mail a letter for me, and he asked if I wanted him to put it in the same mailbox that I drive right by when I leave in the mornings-smart ass. I replied, "Yep, that's the one."

The trash is pretty self-explanatory; it's gross, and I don't want to handle it. However, the mail is random. I don't know why I don't deal with it, but I just never really have. When Billy traveled every once in a while, and we were living at the condo, he would come home and ask where the mail was. I would say, "I don't do mail."

Checking phone messages on the home phone. When we had voicemail, the dial tone would indicate we had messages, but I never checked them. Now, we have an old-fashioned answering machine. We're totally retro. When the light flashes to show messages, I just ignore it. I do check my cell messages, but the home phone is all Billy's responsibility. Again, it's random, but I don't do it.

Scrubbing the shower. This one I don't do because Billy is so much better at it than me. He is a scrubbing machine. He gets in the tub and washes away every last millimeter of soap scum, mildew, etc. I think it's very fulfilling for him. When he's done, he asks, "Did you see how clean the shower is?" How can I take that feeling of accomplishment away from him? ;) When I clean the shower, I let the scrubbing bubbles do the work, and I give it a half-ass once over. Then, Billy always comes in and cleans after me anyway so why duplicate our efforts.

Vacuuming is one I surrendered when I was pregnant, because my doctor said it was especially hard on the body (the bending over, the pushing, etc.). Well, I never took it back up after the pregnancy. Billy is now Vice President in Charge of Vacuuming. He's good at that too, when he has time to do it. He starts with the big vacuum on all large surfaces. Then, he uses the attachments on the furniture and the stairs. He uses our hand vac to get into tight spaces. He cleans out the vacuum filter. When Billy takes on a chore, he gives it his all. Maybe he can take over all household responsibilities? He's probably reading this now and thinking that he should stop doing things so well, or he'll get more to do.

Cleaning the hair off the drain in the tub. At the condo, every couple of weeks, the shower would stop draining well, and I would end up with water up to my ankles after a shower. Then, I would let Billy know that it was time for him to clean out the drain. He would have to dig in with a hanger and fish out clumps of my hair.

A little bit after having the babies, my hair started falling out big time. The house has a different type of drain that catches most of the hair before it heads down the pipe. After a shower, I would leave the equivalent to a wig sitting on the drain. Billy would then complain about the "rat that died on the drained." Thankfully, that hair loss has slowed down, and now I'm back to just losing about a little mouse's worth of hair after a shower, which I still leave for him to clean up.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Abby Update

We went to see the cardiologist, and Abby's little ticker is just fine. The doctor said that sometimes with fair skinned, Caucasian babies, you can just see more of their vasculature (blood vessels). He said that it is not uncommon, and doesn't really mean anything. His recommendation was to keep her in socks to keep her feet warm and a good pair of gloves. Neither one of those works because she tears them off and/or sucks her feet/hands with them on there and makes them even colder and wet. Oh well. As long as it's not anything to worry about, it's fine by me.

I told Billy that his Gringo blood messed up our baby...these "Caucasians" with their pasty skin. The doctor was Hispanic so he got a kick out of that comment. Hopefully, Will and Marie will have a little more color so we won't be able to see all their little veins.

We also got the results on Abby's belly x-rays, and those were fine also. They saw no blockages or masses.

Now I'm scared because Billy said that if she was fine, it was time to start letting her cry it out at night. I guess we'll get that cranking soon. It's breaking my heart to think about it.

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