Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Up Close

Caleb, this face meets the golden ratio : )

E, worried

T, even though you have a dumb look on your face you are still beautiful!
post bath is a great time to take up close shots, no buggers for once : )

Monday, October 29, 2012

2 yrs and 1 mo!

CET, C has always been my different looking triplet and I like to joke around that he is our fraternal child. But lately I feel like C and T are looking more alike while Eli being almost a pound lighter is looking more like the different one (not quite since I can still spot Caleb the easiest).  
Eli calling my attention to something he hears
T, making good use to our rain gear, you can't go without it here! 
since I brought out their rain boots the boys have been rather obsessed with them and wear them all day long, even in the house : ) 
unsuccessful group photo
pumpkin patch outing #2 was super muddy
poor Eli kept tripping not only because it was muddy but also because his boots are about two sizes too big : (  
The boys haven't called my bluff that they can't go outside without wearing their hats! They look so cute in them : )  
T, C
E, ugh! Gag me with a pitch fork!
Whenever I got asked how old the boys were I always had to pause for an awkward second to think how many months old they were. It was hard to ever get used to it since each month it changed! It's so nice now that they are two because for some reason don't feel obligated to tell people how many months old they are and I can just say two now! Well actually I say 'they just turned two' and once they are closer to 2.5 yr I'll probably say almost two and a half, hehehe!

Smart Boys!

Our pre-preschool activities the last two weeks have included an introduction to scissors, painting with water colors, learning shapes, and letter recognition. I keep it pretty casual since they are two year olds with very short attention spans, although I think they do pretty good for only being two. I engage them as long as they will let me and use what ever it is they are playing with to bring up the topics we are working on. Like pointing out shapes that are in their toys or pointing out letters from a book they've brought me to look at with them. We don't have a schedule or anything like that, I just go with the flow and they have been learning a lot. I am surprised at how quickly they pick things up.

The boys thought scissors were pretty cool but I think it will be a while before they fully get the concept. They get the fact that they cut but using them properly is more the challenge.

I didn't realize how much problem solving is required in water colors. It's not so intuitive to take your brush from water to color to paper. The tendency was to go from the water to the paper or the color to the paper. After two painting sessions Thomas started getting the hang of it but the other two not so much. It's challenging and that's the point! We'll keep trying : )

We've also been working on some shapes and I'm certain we've nailed circles, squares and triangles (and maybe stars). Next week we'll move onto some other new shapes to learn.

I thought letter recognition might be a bit too challenging and wasn't really expecting them to be ready for this but to my pleasant surprise the boys have learned the letters C, E and T. I can get them to point to any of these letters from among words. Eli even knows both upper case and lower case 'E.' We still need a little polishing here but I think that's pretty cool! This will be very helpful if we ever want to label things to cut down on fighting since we can't use a picture of them selves since they all look the same, ha!

During these early formative years kids that get a lot of mental stimulation will do so much better in school later on. I'm so glad we signed up for this program since I probably would have never thought scissors at this age would be appropriate. I would have thought finger painting would be a more age appropriate activity when in reality aside from it being a new experience what's the challenge in that? I don't know if this is too high of a goal but I'm secretly hoping I can teach them to read before they even start kindergarten, how cool would that be : )

I feel like the boys have been talking a lot more lately, not so much new words but repeating the words they know a lot more and using them appropriately without any prompting from me. A couple new words this week are zip and yuck.

The boys are also becoming more social and interactive with strangers (meaning not me or Phil). They do really well shaking hands if I ask them to greet someone and saying bye (without me telling them to say it).

Here is a video of the boys just being cute and funny, Eli dancing and then the boys playing with some cabinets (try and see if you can hear them saying 'bye' and 'all done')

Monday, October 22, 2012

Breastfeeding Finale!

Amazed at how much they like kale chips, I don't think I would have liked them even 10 years ago. Hoping this is a direct cause of being breastfed since breastfed kids tend to be less picky eaters.
It's a long one!

The boys have been fully weaned as of the last couple of weeks. The process took about a week and a half and we started a couple of days after they turned two. One by one I dropped the night and morning nursings. After that I just nursed someone at an odd time of day when I was too full of milk and each time it took longer and longer to 'fill up,' until one day it felt like I was all out of milk! It was pretty easy since my boys always nursed on a schedule and have never demanded to nurse. It was heartbreaking when they would think they were going to nurse and we'd have to redirect them elsewhere. Several times Caleb would point towards were I'd nurse him and he'd say 'chichi' (nursing)? I would think to myself, full of guilt, 'but they are such good boys! Why am I doing this?' I had to remind myself that the older they get the harder it would be to stop. I would have stopped nursing them sooner only I felt too much guilt stopping when I knew how much they enjoyed it and were still benefiting from it. It was just a couple more months and they'd turn two. Nursing them from 0-16 months the boys could have cared less how they got their milk, bottle or boob, 'just feed me!' Then something just clicked and it was their favorite part of the day. The excitement they got when they saw a bottle was nothing like when they knew they were going to nurse, it was really a treat to them and something very special. Sometimes they'd nurse for 15-20 minutes and I knew there was maybe 5-10 minutes worth of milk in there (at that point I was only nursing twice a day). I enjoyed it very much too since I got regular one on one time with each boy each day and of course snuggles were mandatory after they were finished. But it was taking up a lot of time and the older they got the more annoying it got when they were grabbing at my face, tugging on my hair, or kicking their legs around. I had to constantly remind them to settle down.

Anyone who asks I always tell them that breastfeeding triplets was the hardest thing I've ever done in my whole life! Breastfeeding in general is tough, it's like taking pre-calculus (since we all know precalc is way harder than calculus) but breastfeeding triplets is like taking precalc in another language and math so happens to be your worst subject! My ignorance of how tough it would be helped me to even attempt it. On paper I saw how it could work but in real life it was waaaaay different, especially since you aren't getting enough sleep. If only you could get enough sleep! That just makes everything 100 times harder.

My troubles started when I lost too much blood in the delivery, this I blame for my short milk supply at the beginning and perhaps why I never caught up 100%. My boys started off on 20ml/feeding 8 times a day that's less than an ounce per baby! I brought them home drinking 40ml less than 1.5 ounces and it took them 20 minutes to drink it! It was such a small amount but no matter how much I pumped or consumed all the different supplements and medications I still could  not catch up to them. Things started to turn around at about 2.5 months when I was able to produce 80% of the milk my boys needed. I'm so glad I did not give up, who knew it would take that long! When we finally got the go ahead to nurse them full time they'd fall asleep while nursing and that didn't fit into our tight schedule, I needed to make sure they ate a full feeding every three hours so we could all function. So I had to start up a more confusing pumping and nursing combination. I just wanted to stop pumping! Then around 3 months they started nursing for 5 minutes and then scream in anguish, I panicked thinking they had nipple confusion because it had been taking them 20 minutes to nurse a full feeding. After many days or was it weeks (?) of worry I called for help and turns out they had just become super efficient and were done after 5 minutes and would cry only because I kept pushing them to drink more. I knew so little about breastfeeding let alone three at the same time! Thankfully things eased up shortly after this and especially when they slept longer stretches at night.

Exclusively breastfeeding is tough because you commit to being at each and every feeding especially if you develop an aversion to pumping as I did. Since I only got to 80% of the milk needed and continued that way till the boys were a year old (which was when I started cutting back on bfing), it meant I couldn't enjoy being bottle free as I dreamed of. Also it committed me to being present at each feeding and the feedings took longer since I could never feed all three at once, I only have two boobs! This mama took no breaks AT ALL : ( And my poor babies had to stay home all day long and were rarely bathed since there was only time for the bare necessities. But I gave my boys something that no bath, antibiotic, vaccine, or medicine could give them. I gave them LIQUID GOLD for two solid years! There is nothing like it, no formula even comes close! More and more research is coming out and proving how good this stuff is and the longer the better. I could listen to it all day long, the latest one I heard is that breastfeeding can help prevent diseases and cancers that occur when a person is 60 years old! Long after mom is gone unless of course mom was also breastfed, ha! Not to mention it helps prevent breast cancer in mama too, the list goes on and on...

I realize there are some very legitimate reasons some women just cannot breastfeed and I'm not writing this to make anyone feel bad but rather to encourage other MOMs to try it and that it is possible if you really want it. There have been enough emails from other soon to be MOMs either thanking me or seeking advice on this subject for me to know there will be some who will read this and hopefully take this to heart. Please know that I'm not the only one, there are many more who have successfully nursed their triplets whether exclusively or partially. Part of the problem today is that people are too willing to accept formula as an equal substitute and don't realize how much more beneficial breast milk is. We live in a society full of false notions about body image post breastfeeding and some think it just doesn't 'fit in' to their lifestyle. Also, the lack of breastfeeding education and support that women get after they take their babies home. Little do most people know that the average mom with triplets breastfeeds(or pumps) for about 3 months, which is fantastic considering that in the US, the average mom with a singleton breastfeeds for not much longer! Go triplet moms! Yes it will be the hardest thing you ever do but the rewards far exceed the sacrifice not only for babies but also for mom.

Now that the boys are weaned we've started new morning and nighttime routines. In the morning I help Phil with diaper changes and it saves us time in the morning. We don't do morning sippy cups of milk but just jump right into breakfast. At night before bed I again help with diaper changes which also saves time. At night we also don't do sippy cups of milk, now it's just dinner, playtime, diapers, pj's, and a story. They are big boys now, no need for comfort milk, they get plenty at meals. I feel somewhat liberated now, like there isn't this huge production right when we wake up or when getting them to bed. Stopping when I did helps me to not feel guilty for stopping too soon although I do feel guilty knowing how much they enjoyed it but I'm sure that wouldn't have changed now or later. So that's it I guess, I'm closing the book on that crazy and wild journey. That's all she wrote : )

My boys are as healthy as horses, they rarely get fevers, kicked RSV in the butt at 2.5 months old, and have never once had an infection! Coincidence? I think not!  

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Big Changes

Some eclectic pictures of the last week...

Eli loading up the backhoe
Caleb getting snuggly, Eli soon joined in for a double snuggle
Deep thought by Caleb Pitts: I REALLY enjoy drinking dirty pool water
First time I gave them full length spaghetti, not sure why I didn't think they could handle it  
now that the rain has returned we regularly frequent mom and dad's bed for jumping time : )  

I don't know who you are but you sure are cute!
taking over our bed : )
You don't want to know what I'll do if you take one step closer!

leaving so soon?

Two has already proven to be a big year with big changes ahead of us. The boys are now weaned (more about that later) and it's so nice to have more time in the day and not be ravished by hunger all the time. Maybe we can go back to being weekday vegetarians like we used to be (well not quite, we just tried to consume waay less meat). I'm hoping their speech will bloom this year a be speaking in short sentences by the time they turn three. I also really, really, really want them to potty train before they turn three! A lot of money and time is spent changing diapers and am soooo ready for this phase to be over. I quickly found out how stinking expensive little boy underwear is, like $3-5/pair! So I shopped used since apparently a lot of people think their kids will potty train at the 2T size and end up using them never or once or twice. I stocked up and we have a safe quantity of 36 pairs of underwear, which should be enough for one pair a day plus accidents since I'm sure there will be many. And no, I'm not grossed out by another two year old's used underwear but if you are old enough to read this then yes I would be grossed out by your used underwear. Take it to the Goodwill, I'm not interested, hahaha! So even if they potty train late the underwear should fit later on since I'm kind of worried it might be too big for my petite guys. They may just have to go commando till they grow into them : )

I've started to notice the boys taking longer to go down at nap time so I had to push naps back by 30 min to an hour depending on the level of activity they had in the morning. They are still waking up at the same time so I think their naps have started getting shorter. Hoping it's a phase and we revert back. So two may or may not be the year they give up their naps. I'm praying it doesn't happen till at least three and a half! The day they give up naps may be the day I lose my sanity, so I'm also praying we can get them into some sort of preschool that won't cost an arm or a leg (for my sanity when naps are gone).

We took the boys to ride their bikes last week and Caleb, the last one to start riding, is the first to balance on his bike! I was super excited and got an ok video clip of it, he had some longer stretches but this is all I was able to record:

Monday, October 15, 2012

2 year photo shoot!

I've never seen these boys so uncooperative before, it must just be cause they're two now! And I was this close to actually paying someone to do this photo shoot. I'll save my money for when they take bribes for smiles : )


this was as close as we got to all three smiling at once : (




Now some fun shots!

Eli was the perfect model when we weren't trying to pose him 

CET, hahaha
do you see what I see too?

Friday, October 12, 2012

Triplets 2.0

in the waiting room for our 2 year check ups
we left the stroller in the waiting room and everyone followed mama nicely 
Caleb getting his bp checked
the boys for the first time got the big boy treatment, they were measured standing up, were not weighed on a baby scale or stripped down to their bday suites : ) 

Triplets 2.0 are as identical as they come!

Weight, all in the 30th percentiles

C 23lb 9oz
E 22lb 15oz
T 23lb 9oz    


C 32in      4th percentile
E 31.75in  1st percentile
T 32in      4th percentile   my boys are so tiny, I love it!

Head Circumference
C E T 55-60th% big heads and big brains : )
size comparisons at 1 month and at 24 months, I remember being worry about how tiny and delicate their fingers were. I was seriously afraid I'd accidentally tear one off!
Nothing compares to the changes from 0-12 months where they grew 11 inches and gained 14 pounds but lots of changes were seen from 12-24 months as well. They grew 4 inches, gained 5 pounds and their feet went from a size 3 to a size 5. But the most change came in their abilities both physical and mental. They now run, throw, jump and climb better. They can feed themselves with a spoon or fork and can drink out of a cup without spilling. They follow direction, they are talking, and they know so so much: body parts, colors, trucks, animals, the list could go on.

The boys are wearing size 18 mo clothes except for pants which 12 mo still fits the best and their feet fit into shoe size 5.

Development is spot on for a 2 year old with the exception of speech as you all know. After some thought and reading lots of different things on the subject I'm finding that it might not be a big deal if they are a little behind but what really counts is that they continue to make progress at a normal rate so that by the time they are a few years older there won't be any difference between late talkers and early talkers. For example, does it really matter at age 5 if a kid started walking at 9 months versus 14 months? No it does not. Right now the boys are were they should have been at 18 months so the real test is if by 2.5 years they are where they should be for a 2 year old. Then again at 3 be where they should be for a 2.5 year old and so forth. For a couple of different reasons I had to make a list of all the words and sounds (apparently they count as words) that the boys say consistently (on a weekly basis, not daily). I was quite surprised, it quickly added up to about 30 words, Eli and Thomas say the most (by like 1 or 2 words) but Caleb uses his words the most:

mama, papa, mimi (sleep), chichi (nursing), peepee, caca, mas (more), all done, hooray, down, up, no (t), bye, hi, kitty, agua (water), banana, nino (boy,t), oye (listen,e), aya (over there, e), dog, uh oh, car (t), baby, eebee (name of a character), thank you (c), pica (thorn or poke), ten (here you go), tickle, moo, sound of a siren, choo choo, beep beep, woof woof....

In a milestone checker that the boys speech teacher gave us it says that by 18 mo a child "should have 10-20 words they use in their vocabulary, words may not be clear but we know what they are talking about." At 24 months a child "should have a 50-70 word vocabulary and putting two words together." According to their pediatrician they should have at least 30-40 words by two and he said he wouldn't consider them delayed. If you ask 10 different authorities you'd get 10 different answers. So in my book I'll keep calling it borderline. With that said I think they might not be so far behind : )

After the check up was almost over the boys got a clean bill of health and the doctor said that their room is the one with the most kids and the quietest. He mentioned they were some of the best behaved two years he's ever seen. That is until he came back to give them some books and they all started fighting over them, hahaha! I'm still taking the compliment though : )

The boys got two shots which they did not enjoy to say the least. Then we had to go to the lab to get their blood drawn for some routine testing. It went quickly and easily since they have good veins like their mama. Caleb and Thomas were pretty upset but quickly cheered up when they got to pick out a new car (they all chose a truck of course). Eli was a different story, he was ANGRY, it was like we betrayed him and lied when we said all done after the two shots and now this! He threw his new truck twice, and didn't want to be comforted he just wanted to throw himself on the ground and scream! I guess I can't blame him, poor baby : (

On our way home we decided against the freeway traffic and went through downtown which was also moving really slow. With everyone being understandably cranky Phil thought it would be a great opportunity to treat the boys to their first ice creams! I can't think of another three kids that deserved it more after going two years without ice cream and getting two shots and a blood draw : )

none for mama, lactose intolerant here, it probably keeps 5lbs off of Phil since I do the shopping never think to buy the stuff, ha! 
We thought Caleb would like cookies and cream
for Thomas strawberry
Eli got Cherry Garcia, it took him a while to warm up to the cherries so mama got a few cherries licked clean of ice cream : ) 
Caleb finished his first, followed by Thomas and Eli didn't want his last few bites bc he wanted to go look at the cow mural with his bro's.
we had to go shirtless since I didn't have bibs or another change of clothes 
Afterwards we got to enjoy looking at a backhoe doing some work : )