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Archive for September, 2008

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Some days I can’t figure out how to fill the void that is
between all the activity. I wonder how
it is that I ever could have thought that I’m busy. I wonder why it is that everyone seems to
think I have so much to do. Some days I
can’t figure out why it is that no one else can’t figure out how to accomplish
8 things at once, and why it is that I’m the only octopus around. 

 

Yesterday was not one of those days. Yesterday was jam-packed from the instant I
woke up.

 

5:28am: Sam woke up 2 minutes before the alarm went
off. Seth brought me the baby to
nurse. We love Seth. Seth rocks. Particularly since he also remembered to turn the alarm off in advance
of it starting to beep at me.

5:42am:  Seth took Sam from me, and brought me
Ellie. Somewhere along the way, he fed
Abby, but I’m not sure when. I’m sure
somewhere along the way, he also changed a few poopy diapers as that is
Standard Operating Procedure in Chez Perky first thing in the morning.

6:03am: Got up, handed off babies, got in the shower,
got dressed and got ready to leave for work. 

6:24am: Gave J-man kisses, snuggled babies, ate a banana,
took morning medicine (forgot to take Prednisone, suffered badly for it the
rest of the day), gathered my belongings, found my shoes and stole a bite of
Seth’s bagel.

6:51am: Ran out the door like a mad-woman.

7:06am: Arrived in office, put stuff down,
refilled candy jar, walked into client’s office

7:07am: Discussed changes to policy document with
said coworker

8:00am: Returned to my desk and worked on policy
documents, responded to user requests, performed account maintenance, responded
to emails. Checked my personal email
accounts twice and found some Multiples Club Board agenda items that needed to
be dealt with before tonight’s meeting – responded to those emails (5 minutes,
tops). Called my neurologist and waited
for his return call. Continued working
on policy documents (whoo hoo!).

9:46am: Neurologist returns my call. I explain that I am still not experiencing
any relief from the migraine that won’t stop (3 weeks and still going. Please help!). He suggests going back up to the highest dose
of Prednisone for three days this time before tapering off. Okey dokey. Return to desk and work until…

11:00am: pump

11:26am: Return to desk and continue to work. Nothing particularly interesting takes place
other than work, a little more work, and some more work.

12:45 (approx): Look up directions to tonight’s board
meeting and directions to J’s speech therapy appt. this afternoon. Estimate time to each and calculate what time
I need to leave work.

1:00pm: Return to work. Work some more. Nothing particularly interesting takes place
other than work, a little more work, and some more work.

2:40pm: Make a couple phone calls re: the J-man;
return to work, work, and more work.

3:00pm: Pack up stuff. Eavesdrop on a user having a fit at a
coworker over the usability of software application. Pray that she doesn’t notice me and aim her
vitriol at me. Grab 4 pieces of
chocolate to use as a bribe for the J-man after school.

3:07pm: Leave office.

3:28pm: Arrive at the J-man’s school to pick him
up.

3:45pm:  Leave the J-man’s school.

4:05pm: Arrive at the Speech Pathologist’s
Office.

4:17pm: Glance at clock and wonder if the Speech
Pathologist always runs late for the 4:15 appointment slot.

4:20pm: Speech Pathologist comes out and greets
us. Meets with me for about 25 minutes
and then spends some time with the J-man.

5:08pm: The J-man and I head home and navigate
through downtown traffic. Joy.

5:26pm: We stop for a Slurpee because J has been
totally fixated on Slurpees since the second I picked him up from school.

5:32pm: We arrive at home. I kiss the babies who are being fed dinner
(*sob* I’m missing it! This is normally
MY job!). I check my email, pack up my
computer, grab my Multiples Club Board of Directors Notebook, take some pain
medicine for my still-throbbing head (it won’t work, but I feel like I simply
must try *something*, right?), set up the computer for the J-man to distract
him while Seth finishes the babies’ evening routine, kissed the babies again,
grabbed a snack and got ready to head out the door.

5:50pm: Left the house on my way to the hospital’s
NICU Meeting.

6:02pm: Arrived at the hospital’s NICU
Meeting. Tonight they were filming for
the hospital’s fundraising gala which will benefit the Maternal Child Division
of the hospital, so it was really important that I be there. I was filmed talking about my triplets’ NICU
experience and how they’ve been doing since. Afterward, I talked with two families whose babies are still in the NICU
who were born at 24 and 25 weeks. One
baby has been in the NICU for 12 weeks and one baby was just born 2 weeks
ago. Both families are doing very well
and are getting a fair bit of support, but both have long commutes and need a
lot of support. It is because of
families like this that I have been working hard with the nurse navigator at the
NICU to establish a Parent-to-Parent support program through the March of Dimes
(or other program) . This is why I take the time to go to
these NICU gatherings; to take the time to support these families, because I
know they need it even more than I needed it when I was navigating the NICU
life.

7:02pm: Left the NICU meeting to head to my next
meeting, a Multiples Club Board of Directors Meeting. My bad luck that it all fell on the same
night – thanks to Labor Day last week.

7:31pm: Arrived at the Board Meeting. I hate being late. Fortunately, I was only the third person to
arrive, and I was much earlier than I’d expected to be.

9:40pm: Meeting adjourns. I talk with my committee co-chair by my car
for 20 minutes about various and sundry details until I realize that,
hello? I didn’t nurse my babies before
bed like I normally do and it’s been since 11am since I pumped. Ouch.

10:00pm: head home.

10:19pm: Arrive home

10:24pm: Sam starts screaming (did I mention Sam’s
started waking up at night and we’re not sure why? Maybe night terrors, maybe separation
anxiety, maybe teething, maybe a growth spurt, but whatever it is, it’s
heartbreaking).

10:26pm: Sam’s still not calm despite being in my
arms. Try nursing him.

10:40pm: Try putting Sam back in his crib. A phenomenal disaster and his screaming wakes
Ellie up.

10:41pm: I’m now holding Sam and Ellie. 

10:42pm: This is clearly not going to work; Seth
is now holding Ellie and I’m holding Sam. 

10:46pm: Holding them isn’t helping them fall
asleep, it’s stimulating them. Seth puts
Ellie back to bed. She falls right to
sleep. 

10:47pm: Seth puts Sam back into his crib. We hold our breaths, but he doesn’t start
screaming. A miracle. Still, we hold very, very, very, very still
for a few minutes for fear of disturbing anyone.

10:50pm: I pump while we watch a little TV

11:30pm: Prepare bottles, get unreasonably
frustrated with Seth for not having put away the bottles that the babies ate
before bed (not nice of me, no excuse), get into PJ’s, take medicine, hope that
head stops hurting eventually and….

11:44pm: crawl into bed while Seth re-sets alarm
for 5:45am instead of 5:30am.

 

And this morning…

The babies woke up at 5:44am. Good babies. But my head? POUNDING.

Just to reiterate, I couldn’t possibly have made yesterday happen without Seth.  There are plenty of days that Seth leaves before the kids are awake and returns after the kids are in bed (tomorrow may be one of those days).  But yesterday proved that Seth can turn around and do the same thing for me when he needs to.  I just try not to do that to him, because you know what?  I really, really, really missed my babies yesterday.

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Ellie Bellie Ballerina

My beautiful, graceful girl hasn’t had a whole lot of firsts… she’s had a lot of lasts, actually. She was the last to get the okay to be discharged from the NICU (though they were all discharged on the same night). She was the last to come off a heart monitor. She was the last to stand. The last to crawl.

She was, however, the first to take a STEP! The very first to make that first move toward walking.

Oh my!

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Last week, you may recall, I met up with Kelly and Keira and had a nice afternoon with just us moms, which was just amazing. But something was lacking that afternoon. Was it the pitter patter of little feet? The shouts of our angels voices? Could it be the cacophony of our kidderoonies we were missing? Not in the least! What we were missing was the ever amazing Jessica! So this afternoon, Seth and I packed up our four kiddos and met Kelly and her three kiddos at Jessica’s house with her five little monkeys and we had a blast. No one told me that it was "wear a pink shirt day," and yes, I DO own other blouses, it was total coincidence that I was wearing that same green blouse again today. Or um, maybe it was just a sign that I need to do laundry? That could be it.

I accidentally took a 30 mile detour on my way to pick up some toys from another triplet mama, Kelli, because I’m a total dope, so we were late, but a good time was still had by all. I had never met Kelly’s Ian or Emma before, only Maddie, so it was a true joy to see all three of her triplets together. Jessica’s Evan was feeling under the weather, poor thing, so I felt badly for him, but with 12 kids all in one place, what were the odds that everyone would be feeling 100%?

Can you believe we managed to wrangle 12 kidderoonies in one house? That’s because we are all three supermamas. That’s us! Not only do we all leap tall buildings in a single bound, we all have sidekicks. Mine’s named Seth. Jessica’s is named Jon. And Kelly’s is named Mike. J Now we just need to make some capes. Wait! We can’t make capes until we make some logos! (Are any of you creative enough to make a logo for a bunch of triplet/twin mamas? I’m totally incapable of anything artistic like that)

Why, not only did we manage to entertain 12 children ranging in age from 11 ½ months to nearly 5 years old, we even managed to feed them all! I am always in awe of how Jess manages to pull this off with her own kids, and she is never phased with the addition of one, three, seven extra kids into the mix. Cut up a few extra grapes, make a few extra grilled cheese sandwiches, pull up a few extra high chairs / booster seats and next thing you know, there’s lunch for a whole gaggle of children! We had so many children, we couldn’t even fit them into one picture! (everyone had just come in from playing in the swimming pool so they were hanging out in their diapers – a perfect way to have an easy cleanup after lunch).

While the "big kids" played and ate lunch, my three little monsters ate their lunch and then played in the living room and had a grand old time:

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I had gotten my migraine level down to a manageable 1-2 migraines per week, which I could totally handle, thanks to 150mg of Topamax per day and a little bit of sleep each day, Biofeedback, and decent (if not completely adequate) painkillers for the migraines that did sneak through.  But for the last 3 weeks solid, I have had a migraine every single day. It might just be one solid migraine.  I can’t even tell anymore.  It never quits.  I wake up with a migraine.  I go to sleep with a migraine.  I spend much of my day cringing in pain with the migraine.  I can barely function most nights because of the migraines.

I know if I could just break the cycle, I could probably get free of it for a while.  But how?

On my way down to Richmond yesterday, I called my neurologist out of desperation.  Normally, I’d wait until I was due to go in and see him, but I’ve been doing so well, I’m actually not due to see him again until January.  He called me right back (thank heavens for cell phones, right?) and suggested that I raise my Topamax dosage to 200mg per day for a couple of days and hope that it doesn’t make me too loopy (Topamax is not called Dopamax for nothing).  If that doesn’t help within a couple of days, I should come into the office and we’ll consider putting me on a course of Prednisone for a few days to try to break the cycle.  For some reason a steroid course often breaks these cycles. 

We’ll see what happens.  I’m betting I’ll be in his office on Friday afternoon.  I just need some relief.  I’m not sure I can make it through another weekend of this, and that’s saying a LOT.  I’ve been getting migraines since I was two years old and I have been dealing with this kind of cycle forever.  You would think I could with this by now.  But this time, with my reserves so low, I’m just not prepared to deal with it.

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A Good Reason to Play Hooky

Triplet_mamas_in_richmond_2_septemb Today I took a vacation day and drove down to Richmond to see Kelly and Keira and had a fabulous time.  We talked about our babies (not so much babies anymore, but I can’t help but call them babies), and life with multiples, and pregnancy, and grief, and love, and marriage, and craziness.  We chatted for so long the waitress stopped bothering to come over to ask if we had decided what to order because it was clear we hadn’t even bothered to look at menus.  Finally, we squelched our chattering long enough to peak at menus and order and got right back down to the business of chattering away about our kids and the joys of parenting and the joys of being away for a day. 

I really needed this mental health day, and an afternoon with these two ladies was perfect for my mental health and well worth five hours of driving to have this afternoon.  And hey, while I was down there, I got a couple new blouses and a new skirt, because, well, Talbots was calling my name.  You can’t really blame a girl, can you?  I can’t really afford the time off, and I certainly couldn’t afford the new clothes, but boy, am I glad that I got both.  Richmond is one of my least favorite cities on the planet, having lived there for one of the most miserable years of my life, but by golly, am I happy that I went down there today. 

It’s nice to spend time with other triplet mamas, you know?  They get it.   We all understand each other.  We all know where we’ve come from and what’s ahead.  We don’t make stupid comments to each other, and if we do, we understand it’s the result of sleep deprivation.  And I admit that while it was nice to get together with all those triplet families last week, this was an especially nice day because it was just us mamas and we didn’t have to worry about chasing any kidderoonies.  What a relief!

The only thing that would have made the day better would have been if Jessica had been there.  After all, she had been the one to originally plan the day’s event, but alas, something came up for her and she wasn’t able to make it.  She was missed, though, and we did think of her.  Next time! 

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Toothapalooza

How did that happen? Ellie has six toofuses. Poof! She was so funny, because she had this snaggle tooth – this one tooth on top that was way longer than the others since it had come in first, and I was looking today bemonaning the fact that it was less snaggly than it used to be since the others were catching up and *poof* I realized there were *four* teeth on top, not three!

When did that happen? How did I miss it? Was I seriously not paying attention to my baby? She’s so quiet about teething compared to the other two that it’s hard to notice when she has teeth popping out, but this isn’t just a tooth barely cutting through, it’s way out there – I completely missed it! Whoops! Now each of my babies has six whole teeth! That’s 18 toofuses. That’s a whole lot of chompers. Here’s a very blurry picture of Ellie’s new found chompers:

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J-man

Julian_10_aug_2008
I’ve spent a lot of time lately talking about the J-man’s medication and his therapy and all of the things that are going on AROUND the J-man, but I don’t want you to think that’s all there is to the little critter, because boy is he AWESOME.

He is so unbelievably fun, especially now that we’ve been able to get some of his energy and impulsivity under control.  On Shabbos (Saturday) he got to play with his friend, M, who has a bunch of Legos Bionicles and hasn’t stopped talking about them since.  Even his beloved dinosaurs have fallen by the wayside in favor of Bionicles.  Oh please, can’t he please have one, or two, or ten trillion of them, please, please, please?  He wants every single one of them, just like the ones that M has.  RIGHT NOW.  His poor grandmothers both spent the day with him yesterday and heard about  nothing but Bionicles all day long.  In an act of desperation last night when I couldn’t even get him to take his medication in ice cream (the poor kid is sick of ice cream – can you imagine a kid sick of ice cream?), I promised him that if he took his medicine last night and this morning that we would get him his first Bionicle.  And if he continues to take it for the rest of the week, when he’ll be finished with his antibiotic, by golly he can have another one.  I am not above bribery.  (In my defense, most of the books on ADHD and our developmental pediatrician agree that kids with ADHD require more tangible/material bribery than typical kids – so I have SOME justification… and hey, it WORKED)  So this morning, after taking his morning medicine, J and Seth went and bought a new Bionicle and J hasn’t let it out of his sight since.  I think he might even sleep with it. I hope not, since that might mean little lego pieces in his bed for me to find tomorrow when he comes down in tears that his Bionicle needs to be fixed, but I’m not sure I can get him to part with it! 

Tonight for dinner he ate a dinosaur-shaped chicken patty.  It was shaped like a T-Rex (always a hit).  J came to the table, started to bite into it, let out a long, loud yelp with a look of utter horror on his face and exclaimed, "I need ketchup!!!"  There I had been, terrified that it was too hot and he’d burnt his little mouth, but no – he just was having a ketchup emergency! 

He adores the babies and plays with them whenever they’ll let him. Yesterday morning he spent almost 20 minutes pretending to be a snake and making them giggle wildly at his antics.  He had so much fun entertaining them and has such a good time when they give him such positive feedback.  But if they start to fuss, he quickly comes and gets me:  "Eema, I think Sam needs to nurse or maybe he needs a nap, or maybe he needs a diaper or maybe he just needs you, but he’s CRANKY, come quickly!"

He loves to be a helper, and especially loves the positive feedback that comes with it:  "Was I a good helper, Eema?"    He always wants to know how he can help and what he can do next.  He’s a giving, loving soul who loves to have something to do.

I don’t think I’ve ever met a child more excited to have his birthday approaching.  He knows he is turning five and has spent the entire summer saying that he will meet certain milestones (e.g. not using a sippy cup, which actually he’s given up anyway)  "when I turn five."  If there’s something he doesn’t want to do, but knows he should be doing, he’ll say, "How about after I turn five, Eema?"  He’s been telling me for a couple weeks now that we need to clean out his room and throw out all the old toys that he’s outgrown to "make room for all the new toys" he’ll be getting for his birthday (wishful thinking much?).  He gives me a running list of things he wants for his birthday (a batman costume, the batmobile, the bat motorcycle, pokemon cards, now new bionicles, new dinosaurs, dinosaur books, etc.).  He gets frustrated when he can’t remember his list of things he wants for his birthday (most of the time) and the list changes often (though Bionicles now appear to be on the list to stay… sigh).

We have a very carefully laid out morning and evening routine for him and he’s very good at following both.  He’s consistent and does remind me when we’ve accidentally fallen off schedule.  "No, Eema, playtime comes BEFORE putting on shoes!"

I can’t get over what a big boy he is now.  I look back on pictures of him from back when he first came into our lives nearly four years ago and I’m absolutely astounded at the difference.  He is so independent, full of life, and ready to give himself to the world around him.    I don’t know that we ever imagined that life would be quite THIS adventurous with this little boy.  So although we definitely have our challenges with the J-man, we also know that every child comes with their own unique challenges.  We learn from J every day and he has truly taught us so much about how we can deal with every day challenges in unique ways.  He is awesome, and everyone who meets him seems to think so, too.

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