Saturday, January 31, 2009


Before I had triplets, when people said the word singletons, I always thought of the poor guy waiting to get on a roller coaster by himself and the ride attendant would stand there shouting, "Single! Single rider! I've got a single rider here!"

Probably those of you who AREN'T mothers of multiples (MoM) are still are wondering what a singleton is.

A singleton is when you have only one baby.

Just one ... geez, it must be sooooo easy.

Heck -- when one of the boys is out with Nana or Dan, and I only have two boys, I think to myself, "Twins would be soooo easy!"

I'm being sarcastic, of course.

For the most part, it's all relative. All things considered, I have pretty easy boys ... most of the time. And I'd take triplets over one colicky baby any day!

And some things are the same no matter how many kids you have -- sharing, temper-tantrums, teething, hitting/biting.

However, there are some things that MoM deal with that I'll bet singleton moms never even think of.

Here are some things that MoM handle that singleton moms (even with the same number of kids) will never have to deal with:

Diapers ... We got through approximately 15 diapers a day, 105 diapers a week, 5460 diapers a year. (Of course it was more when the boys were younger, but let's keep it simple, shall we?) You know those big huge boxes of diapers that you buy and it lasts 3-4 weeks ... it lasts me less than a week.

(And I'm not even going to mention the fact that we go through 2-3 boxes of wipes and a tube of diaper cream EVERY WEEK.)

So, MoM have to stock up when they are on sale and we have coupons. Here's my stash -- it's enough for about 36 weeks or 6 months worth ... it would last a singleton mom 144 weeks or 33 months.

Shopping Carts ... Seen many shopping carts that can hold three children? No? Me neither. That's why we shop at select stores that have special carts that can hold three kids ... Lowe's, Target, and Krogers.

Loading and Unloading in a Parking Lot ... Last time I checked, I only have two hands, so it is impossible to walk across a parking lot with three toddlers. This why I park my car, lock my doors, run like a banshee to get one of the special shopping carts, and then get my boys out of the car. So yes, they are left in the car for about 30 seconds. People will give me disapproving stares at the fact that I have "left" my children in a car. They don't seem to get that I'm not running into the local bar to have a drink -- I'm getting a cart so that my children are safe crossing the parking lot.

Clothes Shopping ... That cute, adorable must have outfit? Unless you can find two more just like it in the same size, forget it.

Oh, and that totally affordable price of only $25 for that Easter outfit? Multiply it times three -- is it still that cute? Usually not.

Cars ... Could you fit three car seats in the back of your car? Unless you own a large SUV or a minivan, the answer is no. Goodbye Saab 93 Turbo, hello Honda Odyssey.

Daycare/Babysitters ... Did you know that most daycare centers don't have three openings for the same age group at the same time? That doesn't leave MoM with many options.

Along those same line, how many 16 year old babysitters could handle putting three babies to bed while you are out on a date night with your husband? Heck, that hard for me!

Charts ... So of my singleton mom friends laughed at my chart and log book for the boys when they were little. Take three babies, 18 bottles, 18+ diaper changes, 6 different medicines, and 2 sleep deprived parents. Shake well. Then ask the parents if Baby A had a poop today, how many ounces of milk did Baby B drink, and if Baby C got his medicine.

Milk ... We use about a 1/2 gallon of milk a day, 4 gallons a week total. And that doesn't include Dan's milk. Our monthly budget for milk is $50. And people wonder why I clip coupons -- how else do you think I am able to spend only $250/month on groceries for a family of five?

Medicine ... I once got questioned by the Pharmacist at Walgreens because I was buying Children's Tylenol by the dozen. No, I'm not making meth ... three doses every four hours mean we go through an entire bottle every two days.

Eating Out ... Very few places have a plethora of high chairs available -- we need three. Which means several times we have had to walk in and back out of a restaurant because they could not seat us. There was plenty of tables available ... just not enough high chairs.

Quality Time with Each Child ... I know that singleton moms long for this, too, but it is something MoM really struggle with.

I hear stories from my singleton mom friends who gush about how they just love bottle time because they get to just look into their baby's eyes and play with their little toes. At our feeding time, we were just trying to make sure all three had their bottles and were eating much less gazing into their little chubby faces.

One of my friends who has quads (and a younger daughter and an older son) tries to spend just five minutes a day with each child individually. Most of my singleton mom friends are aghast at that small amount of time ... I'm wondering how she does it!

Ah ... the life of a MoM. Still, with all these roadblocks and snafoos, I wouldn't trade it for anything.

And I'm sure somewhere out there in cyberspace, a singleton mom is writing how much she would love to have multiples.

After all the grass is always greener ...

Friday, January 30, 2009

Eight Babies ... And a Million Questions

Ever since "Jon & Kate plus Eight" became a television hit show I am always asked, "Do you watch that show?".

Sigh. Yes, I watch the show ...

... and wish that I was paid $65,000 per episode
... and want to be given free trips to Hawaii, San Diego, Outer Banks, and Walt Disney Word
... and would love to be able to buy a new $1.6 million house
... and think it would be nice to have all meals provided for my family five days a week
... and could handle being given tons of free product placement clothes, merchandise, and toys.

But I digress because I am more concerned about another question I'm sure to be asked from now on:

"Did you hear about the woman who had eight babies?"

Sigh. Yes, I heard about her ...

... and am glad the babies are healthy, because that is not usually the outcome
... and am happy she is healthy, because that would have been a huge concern
... and am amazed that she already has six kids, because 14 kids seems like a lot
... and am puzzled that she is single and lives with her parents, because that does not seem like the optimal situation to bring eight more children into
... and am concerned that the news story is going to make more people think that having octuplets is fun
... and am certain that more people will think those who use fertility medications are crazy people who will do anything to have kids
... and am waiting for her to come out of hiding and start collecting all the freebies.

Russian Roulette is dangerous game to play, especially with a high order multiples pregnancy. I'm hoping this new mother of now 14 has dogged a bullet.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Ode to the SAHM

For those of you who don't visit chat boards, SAHM stands for "stay at home mom" ... or as I call them, AWWICNB ("amazing woman who I could never be").

Now, I love my boys. And daily they do things that! Sometimes I sit at work and find myself just looking at their pictures ... wondering what they are doing, what they are having for lunch, how they are napping, etc. It makes me misty sometimes.

So, you would think having three snow days off with my boys would make my heart sing.

Ahhh, no. It makes my head throb.

I walked into work today and almost hugged my boss I was so glad to be back to work. Still, it's not that I'm not sitting here right now staring at pictures of my boys and wondering about them. It's just that working makes me a better mommy.

Sometimes feel like I'm at an AA meeting when people find out I have triplets and I work full time.

"Hi, my name is Jessica and I'm a working mother."

"Hello, Jessica."

Yup, I work all day, bring home the bacon, and fry it up in a pan.

People always ask me about the big "G." Yes, I feel guilty and it creeps up on me when I least expect it. My biggest guilt time is right after I put the boys to bed and I think, "I spent 3 hours with my children today."

I did the math once -- I spend about 45 hours a week with my boys. Our nanny spends about 45 hours a week with the boys. How about that nice talle latte with a side of guilt?

Dan wonders why I don't go out more with my friends or even by myself on the weekends -- mainly it's because I feel like I spend so little time with my kids as it is, I should take anymore time from them.

I guess some of guilt ... no, actually, all of the guilt is self-created. Dan made the awesome husband of the year move when we first found out we were having triplets by telling me that I had the choice of going back to work or staying at home. He continues to remind me of that option whenever I become so burdened with guilt that I breakdown into a sobbing puddle of muck curled up in the fetal position in the empty master bathroom tub.

I'm very lucky to have that option of staying home or working. But that even adds to my guilt -- I could stay at home. I choose NOT to stay at home. Which leads me to ask the question, "What the hell is wrong with me?" The next thing I remember is being in the tub.

Honestly, I just don't think I was cut out to be a SAHM.

I think this gets some people's feathers ruffled. I was once told by someone that I was paying someone else to do MY job.

The newest long-term study of teens, by the way, noted that mothers working did not affect whether kids turned to drugs, etc. The only relevant factor was parents who were involved in their children's lives. And working doesn't mean you can't be involved in your children's lives.

I believe that there are moms who are meant to stay home, but there are also moms who are at their best when working. That's me -- I excel as a mommy because I work.

Working moms are out there nodding there head in understanding, while SAHM are probably shaking their heads in disbelief. I don't have the answer why it works for me, but it does.

After a day at work when I still have a million things to do to keep the homefires burning, I am somehow more recharged to play with my boys than I am on the weekends when I can get all the household chores done during nap time.

I am more tired on the weekend days than I am on the weekdays! Most SAHM I know are the opposite.

I don't think working moms have it any harder or easier than SAHM ... it is just different.

In the end, both sides should be rewarded for what they do and not slammed because it is different from what they chose to do -- c'mon ladies, let's support each other!

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Them Crazy Duggars!

The Duggars are a very conservative family who have 18 kids ... their oldest boy, Josh (who is 20), got married to a 19 year old, Anna. They have a show on TLC and last night the show was about their wedding,

I'm not trying to be judgemental and I hope I don't offend anybody, but WOW -- a couple of things just had me so confused last night.

Okay -- first, no dancing? It's not like they are going to "back that thang up" or anything. Can't they have a first couple dance or something -- doesn't it say all over the Bible about dancing to show joy for God? I mean, are we back on the set of "Footloose"? I understand everyone has different beliefs, but I don't get this one.

Second, Jim Bob (yes, that's the father's real name -- I'm not trying to make fun of him) talking to his son about the birds and the bees since both Josh and Anna had not even kissed yet.

Holy Cow -- I seriously choked on my drink when Jim Bob told his son, "It's like Legos". And I love how the he ends it with, "You can call me if you have any questions." Yeah ... I'm sure Anna won't mind waiting if you place a quick call to Dad.

Don't get me wrong -- the fact that Josh and Anna were so committed to remaining pure before their marriage is quite an accomplishment in today's society. Yeah, we think it's weird and a bit old-fashioned but to put that level of commitment into your relationship from the very beginning ... it's really kinda cool.

In my water cooler discussions about the show, one of my friends pointed out that you wouldn't buy a new car without taking it for a test drive ... and that is only a five to ten year commitment! Of course, when we asked if she had test drove cars before getting married, this friend had returned a few cars.

Friday, January 23, 2009

I'm not busy or anything ...

As I was putting laundry into the dryer last night at 9:30pm (during a Grey's commerical break), I realized I had not used the facilites since 5:45am when I got up.

Anyone else suffer from “Peeus Waiticus”?

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Seasons of Love

Okay -- flannel shirt ... check! Knit hat ... check!

Don't you expect Noel to break out in songs from Rent any minute?

"525,600 minutes, 525,000 moments so dear. 525,600 minutes - how do you measure, measure a year?"

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

"It's a good thing your not their father!"

My response to the grumpy, old man at iHOP who said to me, "If I was those babies daddy, I wouldn't come home at night until they were in bed".

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Ramblings of a Overly Worried Mom

So, many of you know that work for a large urban school district. Many of you probably don't know that I serve as the Incident Commander for my district in the event of any emergency. Essentially, if something happens in a school, I'm responsible for leading my district response team.

I was out at one of the high schools I oversee today doing one of my normal visits -- checking to make sure outside doors are locked, emergency "go kits" are in each classroom, and all safety drills have been conducted as required ... you know, "normal stuff".

I guess it's so not normal, is it?

I reread my last post and noticed how sarcastic I was about how good this generation of young kids has got it. But then, there are things they have now that we couldn't have even IMAGINED in my days.

Sure, we all did fire drills and tornado drills ... and even the occasional earthquake drill just for fun. But lockdown drills in case of a shooter in the building? Whaaaaa?

I was at Walnut Hills High School (Go Nuts!) at around lunch time.

Wait ... let me give you some back story on Walnut Hills. Yes, they are an inner-city high school. In fact, they are smack in the heart of da hood. But, they are NUMBER 34 in the country of public high schools (number one in Ohio). That's right. This inner-city, poor neighborhood high school performs better than the ritziest high schools in the country! All students are required to take two years of Latin (explains all those Merit Scholarship Winners, doesn't it?), and the average student has between ten and fifteen AP class credits when they enter college -- in other words, they enter at sophomore standing or higher.

People from all over Cincinnati pay out-of-district tuition send their children to Walnut Hills. It's that good. And it makes the school very diverse -- from homeless children to children of CEOs go to Walnut Hills.

As I was watching the massive waves of students ebb in and out of the lunchroom, I didn't enjoy the amusing chatter about the basketball game that night ... or the cute couple holding hands by the water fountain ... or the two girls giggling over sharing a song on an iPod.

My mind was running at a mile a minute -- how would I get these kids to a safe place if something happened? Where is the closest emergency exit? Where was the "go kit" for the lunchroom? Which students were the most vulnerable? And what could I do to prevent any students from harm?

The sad truth is, there's not much I can do by myself. Everyone needs to look out for each other and themselves.

Back in October, we did a full-scale active shooter drill. We had a mock shooter (actually it ended up being two shooters)come into one of our elementary schools and pretend to shoot staff and students. We had SWAT, EMS, FBI, media, and all kinds of people all there playing along as students, parents or staff. As Incident Commander, I had to lead our team and make some pretty tough calls -- telling the principal to leave the building for the reunification site knowing that she had staff and students "down", dealing with "parents" who were trying to break through police perimeters to get to the school where the "shooting" had occurred, media helicopters trying to get pictures.

The whole things took about 4 hours from the time of the shooter entering the building, the time the police had neutralized the shooter, and all students had been evacuated to a near-by school and had been unified with their parents.

I can tell you that I think we did pretty well. In our after-incident report, the SWAT and FBI kept saying how well we did and how much better prepared we are then other districts. Still, in our district command vehicle, we would follow the school camera and watch as the shooters went through the building and "shot" students. We found some big weaknesses, like teachers not locking their doors and the shooter getting in that way to "kill" a student, or the teacher who opened the door when the shooter knocked on it ... and then "killed" her.

We lost four students and a teacher in the drill. And, I've got to be honest, it hit me harder than I thought it would. Though the whole event, I kept reminding myself that it is only a drill, but it still was heart-racing. They made us talk to Red Cross counselors after the event, and I think that really helped me. I mean, it was SO REAL -- they had the "dead" and "injured" students in full make-up so that they looked dead or shot or wounded.

I just kept thinking what if this was my boy's school -- I'd be one of those parents trying to get in, not sitting in this command center giving directions!

I don't even know why I am writing this post. I'm probably scaring you all more than anything else. I guess I'm writing partly to help me get this out and deal with it as a drill and not a real event ... because it still feels real.

But I think the main thing I want to get out is for all of you to go and ask your school if they are prepared for emergencies at your school like an active shooter. Ask them if they have done training, drills, exercises, etc. We had trained, and trained, and TRAINED the staff in this particular school in what to do, and we still had people not follow training today ... and people "died" because of it.

The feedback we had from the staff of the school after our drill was that they didn't really get how important the training was before; they needed to go through a scenario to really get it. I know I got it now ... I hope they did, too.

Friday, January 9, 2009

The good ole days ...

When I was a kid, adults used to bore me to tears with their tedious diatribes about how hard things were. When they were growing up; what with walking twenty-five miles to school every morning uphill ... barefoot ... both ways … yadda, yadda, yadda.

And I remember promising myself that when I grew up, there was no way I was going to lay a bunch of crap like that on my kids about how hard I had it and how easy they've got it! But now that I'm over the ripe old age of thirty, I can't help but look around and notice the youth of today.

You've got it so easy! I mean, compared to my childhood, you are living “the life”! And I hate to say it but you kids today don't know how good you've got it!

Playgrounds were full of hazards and death traps, not painted with maps of the world and full of mulch. I remember when a hot slide burned your little butt … and teeter totters taught you who your real friends were … hanging upside down from the monkey bars was mandatory at recess -- not prohibited.

When I was a kid we didn't have the Internet. If we wanted to know something, we had to go to the darn library and look it up ourselves, in the card catalogue!! I’ll bet you don’t even know what the Dewey decimal system is!

There was no email!! We had to actually write somebody a letter … with a pen! Then you had to walk all the way across the street and put it in the mailbox and it would take like a week to get there.

There were no MP3's or Napsters! You wanted to steal music, you had to hitchhike to the record store and shoplift it yourself! Or you had to wait around all day to tape it off the radio and the DJs usually talked over the beginning and messed it all up anyway!

iTunes? CDs? DVDs? BlueRay? Nope, try cassette players and VCR tapes.

We didn't have fancy crap like Call Waiting! If you were on the phone and somebody else called they got a busy signal, that's it!

And we didn't have fancy Caller ID either! When the phone rang, you had no idea who it was! It could be your school, your mom, your boss, your Bookie, your drug dealer, a collections agent, you just didn't know!!! You had to pick it up and take your chances, mister!

Cell phones? Ahhhhhh, no. You kept a quarter in your pocket in case you needed to call home on a pay phone!

GPS systems? Map Quest? It was called a MAP in my days. If you got lost, you didn’t press a little blue button on your rear view mirror, you pulled into a gas station and asked for help … and got it!

We didn't have any fancy Sony Playstation video games with high-resolution 3-D graphics! We had the Atari 2600! with games like 'Space Invaders' and 'Asteroids'. Your "guy" was a little square! You actually had to use your imagination!! And there were no multiple levels or screens, it was just one screen ... Forever!

And you could never win ... the game just kept getting harder and harder and faster and faster until you died! Just like LIFE!

You had to use a little book called a TV Guide to find out what was on … which really wasn’t necessary anyway since there were only four channels total and one was PBS.

You were screwed when it came to channel surfing! You had to get off your butt and walk over to the TV to change the channel and there was no Cartoon Network either! You could only get cartoons on Saturday Morning.

Do you hear what I'm saying? We had to wait ALL WEEK For cartoons, you spoiled little brats!

Going to McDonald’s was a TREAT, not an every day occurrence. A big night out was a trip to Sizzler.

And I did not even have a sip of coffee until I was in college; much less have a frappacino mocha latte every day on my way home from school.

And we didn't have microwaves, if we wanted to heat something up we had to use the stove ... Imagine that!

In my days, punishment was being sent to my room. Today, that is like a haven for you with phones, televisions, computers, etc. I had four walls and a bed. Whoopie!

So my friends over 30 -- any more to add?

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Why Do They Make It So Hard?

We are refinancing -- Woo Hoo and Boo Hoo.

Woo Hoo to the 4.5% 30-year fixed rate with zero points! A savings of $400 per month with a closing cost break-even point of only 15 months ... truly incredible!

Boo Hoo to the sea of paperwork we have to complete. Good googly-moogly -- I'm surprised Dan and I don't have to get fingerprinted and give samples of bodily fluids for analysis.

Nah ... they won't need the bodily fluids since we sign the contract in blood.

I guess we're pretty lucky to understand what all the legal wording means and how it affects us ... origination points, discount points, free throw points ... I can see how people get really lost in translation. Especially if they don't know "The Fact".

"The Fact": With all transactions like home or car buying, there is little transparency for a purpose: to screw the buyer to the fullest extent.

How many poor suckers pay $200 in 'administrative fees' or pay for a 'mortgage lock fee' on closing costs? Uhhh, not us because it is a total garbage fee that you can get waived (or at least lowered) if you are savvy enough to point out the bogus charge to your broker.

So ... what are we going to do with the extra cash each month?

Save it and invest it in all of our "letter and number accounts" like 401K, 403B, 529, IRA, etc... in other words, not spend it.

Dan and I differ on this decision.

Since the economy went BANG-BOOM-BUST, we have been more frugal with our funds. Less spending, more savings.

Dan thinks we should spend like we have always spent, and this extra money every month would be not different. He sees our change in spending habits as one of the problems keeping the economy in the crapper -- if we don't spend, we can't recover.

I'm so not a risk taker. My philosophy is save it in case we need it. Now, I still hit the Target dollar bins every week, and everyone know my obsession with finding kick-butt clothes on clearance for the boys. But, I am more cautious to wait on the bigger ticket items. What if Dan or I loose our jobs? I think we need to be conservative. (Yes, I am a conservative ... but a fiscal conservative, not a compassionate conservative.)

Since I do the budget, balance the books, pay the bills, do the shopping, etc, Dan has deferred to me on this decision.

I hope we are doing the right thing. I'd hate for my no longer buying a Starbucks each morning be the reasons for the recession turning into a depression.

Monday, January 5, 2009

A Day in the Life

I know it seems like I've been a slacker, but I've been posting every day on our 365 Project Blog.

I got the idea from a fellow triplet mommy friend (shout out to Laney), and it is such a challenge.

The idea is to take a picture every day ... the picture can be of anything ... and then you can look back over the year of pictures and revile in memories: the good, the bad, and the fugly.

So far, it's been a Hayden love-fest over there on the other blog. He is my ham and loves to show off for the camera.

Noel is equally as quirky, but it is hard to get him to do an action shot.

Tanner is my shy guy -- I hope to get a couple pics up of him soon just being Tanner (which is usually him sitting in the book nook reading to himself while the other two hoodlums "wrasle" on the floor).

So check it out! Just click on the link over there to your left -- happy browsing!

Thursday, January 1, 2009

We've Got Bearcat Fever!

Dan and I will be cheering on our Alma Mater, University of Cincinnati, today in the Orange Bowl!

Dan and I met in the MBA program there ... and the rest is history.

Dan still can't cut his apron strings to the university. Not only did he do his post-doc and his MBA there, he is an adjunct professor in the College of Pharmacy.

We obviously got TONS of Bearcat spirit wear when the boys were born from his colleagues. Here is one of our favorite pictures of the boys -- enjoy!