Thank you all for sharing in the lives of our three amazing children- Mairead, Jack, and Ben. We hope you visit often!

Friday, May 14, 2010

Good Things Come in Threes

When we knew we were expecting twins, lots of people told us that we would have 'double trouble,' or 'double the fun.' We received so many gifts in cute little pairs, and had two of just about everything. Now that the twins are toddlers and not babies anymore, we find that we have just about everything in threes! Three kids under the age of three can be chaos, but it really is so much fun, too. It is so cute to see our little trio trotting around together, and although they leave a trail of toys (and sometimes destruction) in their wake, little things in sets of threes adorable. I know that they will grow up so quickly and these little things will be gone before I know it, so I try to appreciate that every time I step on a car, a truck, a crayon, a...

I like this picture of their three coats and Red Sox hats, all ready to go out for our walk.

This is a lot more than three diapers... I think 18-20, which is what we go through on a given day. 18 diapers+ countless wipes + a lot of wrestling = a lot of time just changing babies!

I also thought I should try to write out just what it is we do every day. Really, Wednesdays and Fridays are the only days we have all to ourselves. Someone has some kind of therapy on Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday, and the weekends are full of adventures with family and friends. Therapy days are hard because we have to make sure everyone is fed, clean, and awake when the therapist gets here, and the house has to be clean and vacuumed, too. Tuesdays and Thurdays are the days with the most going on, so on those days I feel like I run around in circles. It's worth it, though, since all of the kids are doing so well in their therapies.

Anyway, our day starts at about 7:30. Dave leaves for work by 6, so I actually get to 'sleep in' a bit. If everyone would just sleep all night every night, maybe 7:30 wouldn't seem to come so quickly! The kids wake up and I usually get the boys first. They make me smile every morning when I walk into their room because they are usually jumping up and down and babbling to each other from their cribs. When I walk in, they both start giving kisses and laughing; I just love it.

I change them and bring them downstairs for breakfast. Usually, Dave gets out their cereal bars and often fills their sippy cups before he leaves for work.

Ideally, we would go for a walk after breakfast on M/W/F, but the weather doesn't always cooperate! So, we just play around the house, get everyone dressed, or watch whatever show Mairead is infatuated with this week.

The boys still take two naps (for which I am very grateful), so they go back to bed around 9:30, at which point I am able to take a shower while Mairead plays on her own for 10 minutes. Don't worry- I do have a video monitor in the family room so I can keep an eye on her.

Sometimes, while the boys are sleeping, Mairead and I have time to do something together. We might draw or color, do a little arts and crafts project, play computer, or use play-doh (which she calls, 'squish').

Usually, she can do something independently to give me a chance to pick up a bit, vacuum, throw in some laundry, or work on my online class for a few minutes.

Today, we had a new activity- our first skype session! Jen, Mike, and Bean called us and Mairead was speechless. She did manage to say, "Hi Mike" and Hi Jen," and then asked for the dog and made dog sounds. She kept pressing buttons on the keyboard- I think she thought she was making it happen.

After morning naps and activities, it is time for lunch, and this happens at 11 or 11:15. I think I spend more time in food related activity than anything else. I prep a meal, serve and supervise a meal, and then clean up a meal. With three meals a day, plus snack time, that is a lot of time dedicated to eating. We have three growing kids and they require a lot of fuel!

These are the sweaters made by my dad's friend, Kathy. They look so cute in them!

I try to get them to the playground on Wednesdays or Fridays (weather permitting). They love it and it gets us all some exercise before afternoon naps.

If it's not nice out, we stay in and play around the house.

Or dance to Desiree in the kitchen.

Or color.

We have worked it out so that for about an hour to an hour and a half on most days, all three are asleep at the same time., which is about 1-2:30 ish. I use this time to work, clean, do laundry, pay bills, etc. Dave gets home by about 3:30, which is a huge help to me in the afternoons. He usually takes them for a long walk around 4:15 so I can get dinner ready for them by 5 without them underfoot.

Often, while I am supervising dinner, Dave gets the tub ready for baths. Usually, finding empty laundry baskets to use for the boys is the challenging part. Ideally, we have three adults on hand for this process. The boys go in together, but it's tough for one person to watch them since they both want to stand up. So, Dave and I bathe them together. The third adult (usually my mom) distracts Mairead so that she does not 'help' with the baths. We dress the boys and get them ready for bed, and then Mairead goes in alone (we change the water-don't worry!).
The boys are in bed at 7 and then Mairead goes at about 8. It's nice to have the hour with just her. This usually involves Dave and I pretending to be asleep, and then Mairead pretends to be a bee who buzzes around us until we wake up. I have NO idea where she came up with this game, but she thinks it is hysterical.
Once in bed, the boys play with their crib soothers that play music and light up, and of course, snuggle with their blue blankets. Ben must have a pacifier and Jack has no interest in one.
Mairead usually reads books or sings to herself and the 27 friends she has in her crib with her. She also has these singing monkeys that perform Day-O, and she plays with them for a bit before settling down with her special bears.

By the time Mairead goes down, Dave and I are exhausted. We try to get a few things done or ready for the next day, maybe watch the Sox for a bit, and then head to bed ourselves.
Some days are more challenging than others. Therapy sessions have been going well for all of the kids, but we do have to change our schedules around a lot to accomodate them, and we do miss some playdates, etc, because of them. On Thursdays, Jen is a huge help because she comes to watch the boys while I bring Mairead to school. Some days are just tough because someone is cranky or getting a tooth, or because someone is overtired or just doesn't want to nap. Some days, I think it would be a lot easier to go back to teaching!
But on ALL of the days, I realize how lucky we are... and how lucky I am to be able to stay home with them and experience all of the important moments. Our family has been so incredibly helpful to us- I really don't know how we would manage without them. When we decided to move to Lowell so that I could stay home, we didn't realize how important that decision would be. Mairead needs so much attention and has so many appointments that dealing with her unique needs is a part time job in itself. The therapy sessions, the paperwork, the phone calls to doctors and to the insurance company... all of it adds up and I don't know how I would have been able to keep working. The twins need a lot of attention, too, of course. They only have therapy once a week, but they need attention together and separately. We want to be sure that we raise them as individuals who happen to have been born at the same time, but also as a duo that comes with a strong twin bond.
Thanks for reading all of this... I hope I haven't bored you! I don't have time to keep baby books so I am hoping to store all of our adventures and memories here while sharing our life with all of you!


The Plateniks said...

I loved this post. I should have taken notes for my comment though. Let me think. 1. Mairead looks JUST like you in the first picture of her in her Red Sox sweatshirt 2. The twins look so different in those polo shirts in their booster seats (the orange shirt twin...Jack? looks like Dave) 3. I love you guys and your kids. Think of how much team work it takes to do all that stuff everyday, you guys are awesome parents and such good examples for the kids.

John and Michelle said...

Wow!! You are so busy. And yes I am sure teaching would be easier. Being a stay at home mom is the hardest job but it sounds like you are doing a wonderful job at it.

Caitlin, Al, and Brielle said...

Wow! I feel tired just from reading that post! It is so neat to read what you typically do in a day. You are giving those kids the best life possible and are doing such a great job! I loved all the pics of the kids...they are getting so big!!!

Joseph "Connor" said...

That's ALL you do in a day? Please... that's nothing. I think you should try to fit in some more stuff. You act like it's time consuming to raise 3 kids. Sheesh.

:) Great work, Momma!

Terry Family said...

It is so amazing how busy you are and what planning it takes to care for three little ones! I also think this post probably doesn't even scratch the surface of what it really takes to pull this all off. Way to go! I often say that working is easier than raising your children but it is NEVER as fulfilling! I actual look forward to school some nights for a little break! Although, I wouldn't change my life for all the tea in China!

Therapy sessions are so wonderful and yet having to keep up the schedule is very difficult. Nathan's therapists often comment about how I'm always doing laundry when they're there! lol Oh, well.

I can't keep it all straight sometimes with Nathan having 8 therapies a week, school three half days a week, doctors appointments, meal preparation and my own class schedule and school work. It's not wonder we're so exhausted at night! My day usually begins at 4:45am. But it's so worth it!

I love all the pictures with three of everything. I also love the tub picture with the boys in the laundry baskets ~ what a great idea!