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!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

A Busy Week

First, the not so great news... I have not been blogging this week or even taking pictures because things have been incredibly hectic around here. On Wednesday around noon, my grandmother (Nana) called me and said, "Maghan, I think you'd better call 911." You can imagine the pit in my stomach as I dialed while gating the kids in the playroom and then heading down to her house. Before I go any further, let me tell you that she is hanging in there and actually doing pretty well, all things considered. Anyway, as I waited for the ambulance, I did have time to call Jen (she beat the ambulance to the house!) and my mom, who was at work in the ER.

It turns out that Nana was having a heart attack (her second). She had one on Christmas Eve in 2003, but has been behaving herself (more or less) since then. Once at the hospital, she was immediately taken into surgery to remove a large clot and to place three stents in her damaged artery. They did have some bleeding during the surgery but it was resolved. She is still having some internal bleeding for which they cannot find a source or reason, so that is still a concern right now.

On Friday night, things took a turn for the worse. She went into cardiac arrest twice and her heart had to be shocked back into rhythm. It was bad... to the point where we were all at the hospital until 2am to say our goodbyes. It was heartbreaking for all of us.

Then, on Saturday, she started to improve. Jen says that she is immortal. Seriously, though, she is one tough lady. She is comfortable now but was in much more pain this time than she was last time. She is alert, talking, complaining, etc, so she seems good. No idea what to expect. She had a very large clot and now with a weak heart and three stents, she could have another heart attack at any time. Or, she could be totally fine. Her vital signs and bloodwork look good right now, and she is off of the oxygen and out of ICU. Things have been pretty hectic around here as our house has served as home base for everyone. Visiting family have been eating, sleeping, showering, and just hanging out here since Wednesday, so there has been a lot going on. We were able to have dinner together on Mother's Day, but we didn't really celebrate the day since things were too tense at the time. We are kind of famous for celebrating our holidays whenever we feel like it, so I guess Mother's Day will just happen when we are ready!

The kids are doing very well. They do sense that something is going on, and they were a little thrown off with the parade of visitors and the sleepovers, but they took it all in stride. The hardest part with them was when we were in the backyard on Thursday and things with Nana were not good. Mairead took my hand and said, "C'mon. Go see My Nana?" and we had to go into Nana's house to see that she wasn't home. Mairead must have realized that something was up because she went over to where Nana keeps Mairead's crayons and promptly gathered them up and took them with her. She's no dummy, this kid.

We thank all of you who have been thinking of us and praying for Nana. As of now, it looks like she will get to come home in a few days (barring any incidents or setbacks).

Until then, thanks for thinking of us!