Hello!! It’s been so long! I’ve been treading water over here for the last two months, paddling and kicking just trying to stay afloat. I feel like I’m finally catching my breath and exhaling, so now I can fill you in on our eventful holiday season. Not “eventful” with glamorous holiday parties and other social events, but rather mass chaos, sleep deprivation, and illnesses. Lots of illnesses. Strep. Lice. Ear infections. Second set of tubes for all three babies. Lice again. Tears (mine). Fever viruses. Mono tests. Prolonged fever viruses.
Every time I thought about writing a blog post, I stopped myself because I really didn't have much to say except: I’m tired. Guess who's sick now! Will I ever be alone? I’m still tired. I hate lice. I also used any free minutes to catch up on general life stuff, like showering, sleeping, and Real Housewives. But finally, here I am, the fog has lifted, all is well (knock on wood), so I can finally say—HELLO! (Side note: the lice will receive their own blog post, because I have a lot to say about lice. Specifically, how they are the devil.)
So, here's what's new with the six pack!
The “babies” are crazy little toddlers these days. They talk NONSTOP, and they love to say to me, “watch ME! Watch this, mama!” With their rapidly increasing language skills, it’s easy to see their different personalities.
Ruby, the youngest of the three, is the ringleader of the group. She’s very athletic and loves to jump on the furniture. She has a deep, full-belly laugh and usually has a playful smile on her face.
Abby, the middle baby, is very talkative and demands attention. I sometimes think she’s in denial she’s a triplet. She loves to be held and is more often happy to do her own thing apart from the other two. Her most favorite activity is digging in my bathroom drawers and peeling my disposable contact lenses out of their plastic cases. I kid you not.
Libby, the oldest of the three (and Ruby’s identical twin), is very sweet and a bit shy. She's a mama's girl. She has the best little giggle and likes to carry around purses overflowing with treasures.
The babies love and fight hard. They have an inherent sense of order and fairness, and, as part of a trio, they expect their sisters to have the same things as them. For example, if two babies are in the kitchen with me and I’m passing out a snack, they will wait for me to fix the third snack and carry it to the baby that is in the other room. As triplets, they also have a few words that are noticeably different than my singletons, especially “my turn.” They are fairly patient when it comes to waiting their turn, because it’s always been a part of life for them. Most of the time the babies are running around the house naked, so I think it’s really time to potty train them. I need to muster up the energy for that. Not there yet.
One other random thing that I get a lot of questions about—I dress them alike not simply because I want them to match, but because it’s mentally easier for me. If we’re at a park and I need to scan and count 1-2-3, I don’t have to think about what they’re wearing, I just look for the same outfit. You may notice that Abby, the fraternal baby, is sometimes dressed different than the other two. That is purely self-selection. Unlike the others, she is happy to stay in PJs all day so I let her. On the other hand, the other two LOVE clothes and changing clothes so it’s quite easy to get them dressed.
The biggies had a fabulous holiday season and spent lots of time playing with cousins and neighbors! However, after the holiday break, getting back in to the school routine has been ROUGH. I feel like maybe I should get my van wrapped with a text that says “HOT MESS EXPRESS” because we roll up to school every day in my trash-can-on-wheels, I mean my van, looking like a huge mess that we are. If you have any tips for making our mornings smoother, I’m all ears. I already lay out the clothes etc. the night before. Other than our rough mornings, the biggies are doing great. The babies have been really liking books lately, so I’ve been having my two oldest read to them. That’s a definite win-win!
And as for me and this little blog . . .
As for me, I’m feeling hopeful about making some positive changes in the new year—writing more, exercising more, etc. You may recall that I started writing this blog as a New Year’s resolution last year! And I stuck with it, minus the illness/lice absence in November and December!
It’s been amazing to connect with old and new friends via this blog. I started it as a way to use my brain a little and create a sense of community. Since then, it’s grown organically through your sharing and reading. In fact, over the last year, my blog has been viewed over 42,000 times. I have readers in Germany (hi, Allison!), France, Russia, Canada, the Ukraine, and Australia. Who are you, friends? I would love to hear from you!
I’ve shared a lot of personal info on here, which can sometimes leave me feeling naked in the middle of a party, but I love that so many people can relate to things that I’ve written. It is gratifying to share talk with others who’ve shared similar experiences, funny moments, and losses. In particular, I think about a friend of my husband's who told me that he found comfort in my blog post about grief and losing my Dad. He thanked me, and told me he had read it soon after losing his mom. Nothing could've made me happier, because that was my purpose in writing about grief--I wanted others to know that we're not walking through it alone.
Another one of my posts that generated lots of love and support was the one about my niece, Elise. That particular post was the most popular thing I’ve written to date. It was read by thousands of people and shared on Facebook over 200 times. What is most remarkable, though, is the tremendous outpouring of love, support, and acts of kindness that you provided in response to that post.
Here’s a quick summary:
- You donated funds to Mr. Holland’s Opus Foundation, which provides musical instruments to disadvantaged students.
- You said countless prayers for my sister and her family.
- You donated to the March of Dimes, whose mission is to fight prematurity.
- You shared your stories of infant loss.
- You donated baby gear to a local woman’s shelter.
- You donated 25 pounds of breastmilk (WOW!) to a NICU, where preemie babies would benefit from your donation.
- You offered your mass to Elise.
- You paid for someone’s coffee at the drive thru.
- You donated a doll to a child in need for Christmas.
- You adopted two children from an Angel Tree in memory of Elise.
- You spread holiday cheer via Christmas caroling.
- You donated to an immigrant right’s group.
- You bought your students pizza and discussed the importance of caring for the whole family when providing health care services.
- You bought meals for those in need.
- You called and texted my sister to tell her you were thinking of her and remembering her baby.
So, stay tuned for more writing soon. I will try to remain uncensored as I share the everyday chaos and fun of life with my six little ones. Until then, look for the hot mess express cruising around town with the six pack in tow. And if you’re having a hard day, just remember: you’re not alone!
This photo reminds of the Bear Hunt kids' book. Do you know it? It's fun.
("We're going on a bear hunt. We're going to catch a big one. What a beautiful day! We're not scared.")
Photo courtesy of my amazing SIL Katie, a photographer/toddler whisperer/magician extraordinaire.