Saying Goodbye To The Baby Stage

It was a Sunday night and as I sat on our bed, rocking our daughter Olivia to sleep, I looked around our room and noticed the baby swing leaning up against the bookcase. My initial thought was, I should move that to the basement and it would clear up so much room. Then as I sat there a little longer, it occurred to me, we hadn’t used that swing in almost 2 months.

We had 2 swings, one in the kitchen and one upstairs in the bedroom. That swing was the life saver of all life savers when it came to putting our triplets to bed and to getting them back to sleep if they woke up during the night. It was my go to method of putting them to sleep, especially Olivia. Looking back I don’t think I would have survived some nights without it. As crazy as it sounds, it was essentially our third set of arms, which was highly needed when putting triplets to bed.

Now I look at it, just sitting there, just taking up space and then it hit me. When did we stop using the swing? Could I tell you the exact date or moment we didn’t put them back in? Why did we stop using it?

I couldn’t think of the answers to any of those questions, but while I continued to rock Olivia, waiting for her to fall asleep in my arms, I looked down at her and realized, we had said goodbye to the baby stage. It was in that moment I had come to realize that my three little babies weren’t babies anymore, but 17 month old toddlers. It brought tears to my eyes to look down, see her sleeping and remembering the time only a few short months ago she was just a tiny little newborn baby.

It felt like over night they just became three little walking, talking toddlers and were no longer my little babies who needed me to get them things or move them around the room. They can now hold their bottles, feed themselves, decide which toy they want to play with and go and get it, they can talk and understand directions and things I tell them to do. These were the small changes that happened over time and eventually  became their everyday actions, which made them the independent toddlers (to some extent) they are today.

When do we really say goodbye to that baby stage? What changes a baby to a toddler?

I sat there continuing to think of how we moved from one stage to the next and I guess it was gradually and over a period of time. We no longer have any of the baby items. We sold, gave away or threw out all of those items that tied us to the baby stage. The bassinet, the bumbo chairs, the exersaucer, the second swing, all gone.

Now I know the items you use for a baby doesn’t indicate that you are still in the baby stage, heck our triplets were 15 months and still sleeping in a swing, but they do give you a sense of where you are. To look at the swing, knowing it is really our last piece of baby equipment sitting in our house is very sad and made the knowledge that our babies are not so little anymore very real.

I couldn’t help but give Olivia a little extra squeeze that night, knowing that the time will come where I won’t be holding her or rocking any of the 3 to sleep anymore. I know with our oldest daughter Emily, that time has passed and we no longer rock her to sleep. Sure we still bring her to bed and we could lay with her until she falls asleep, but she doesn’t need us to rock her or hold her anymore and that fact in and of it self is heartbreaking.

I knew having a baby was going to be hard, but I didn’t know watching them grow up would be just as hard. I spent so many days thinking, okay tomorrow will be easier and I will get the hang of this, but now I look back and think what I wouldn’t do just to get one day again when they are little just laying in my arms. There isn’t anything I wouldn’t do for them and I really just want them to be my little babies forever.

The baby stage, no matter how long it lasts, will always be a special stage, filled with so much love, tears (good and bad), joy and memories that will last a lifetime. Although you may not be able to pin point the exact time you move from one stage to another, when you get there you will know.

You have probably heard this many times, but enjoy the moment when you are in it because it wont be like that forever. Enjoy the fact that they still want to cuddle, that they need you and they can still fit perfectly in your arms. Enjoy the time you have with your little one because time goes by too fast and before you know it, they will be putting themselves to bed.

If you have the extra time, stop and hold them a little longer, give them an extra hug before laying them down and stop and stare at them one extra time before you leave the room because you never know when it will be your last time to enjoy the baby stage.
After sitting there in the dark, rocking Olivia to sleep, thinking about all the time I spent putting our babies to bed, it made me really appreciate all that motherhood has to give. There really is no other experience like it and I truly wouldn’t change it for the world.

The last 3 years with Emily and the last 18 months with Jackson, Olivia and Levi, have gone by in the blink of an eye and I can only imagine how fast the next few years will go. They will soon transition from the toddler stage to the next stage and whenever that may be, I hope I will be able to look back and say I experienced and enjoyed all that I could. I want to cherish every moment possible and know I haven’t missed a thing!

 

THE ULTIMATE DAD HACK


Corrie and I went out to the grocery with the kids and we found ourselves in a little bit of a dilemma. It happens often actually, but as we got home the kids fell asleep in the car. Normally we leave them be, and can be a great way to catch up on some e-mails, social media, watch a movie or even hit the drive-thru and get a meal! To think you could do all that with 4 kids and not even have to leave your vehicle is a great hack itself! But sometimes you have somethings to do, and often enough you need to let your baby nap! Or else, it’s continued chaos for the rest of the day with cranky children. When you have multiples, you need to take advantage of every chance you get in letting your kids nap ESPECIALLY AT THE SAME TIME! 

Inspired by a friend through a fun conversation about our children. The idea to remove your child while still in the car seat came to me as a genius idea!

Watch me perform the ULTIMATE DAD HACK! 

Click the link below to watch such greatness!

No weakness here. 

THE ULTIMATE DAD HACK

11 Things That You Can Freeze to Save Time and Money

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After sharing an example of what we eat on a typical day, you can see how much food we go through. While it is a lot of food, there is also a lot of time that goes into making everything we eat. If I can find ways to save time and make things easier, I am all for it!

When I cook, I like to make more than what I need, that way I have left overs in the fridge to use for another meal. Sometimes I don’t want to use the left overs right away,so a great way to keep them for longer is to freeze them. After freezing the meal, it is so easy to just pull it out of the freezer the day before I want to use it and then it is ready to go the next day. It is also a time saver to freeze individual food items that you could eat on their own or add them to a recipe.

Before Jackson, Olivia and Levi arrived, I prepared a lot of meals ahead of time and froze them. I knew it would help tremendously when we didn’t have time to think or make dinner. Here is a list of the top 11 foods that I found worked perfectly to freeze.

  1. Meatloaf
    Meatloaf is the easiest and simplest meal to prepare and it freezes really well too. I have made both beef and turkey meatloaf and even small ones in muffin tins for Emily. When I find ground beef on sale, I like to buy an extra pack and make meatballs from the meatloaf mix. The meatballs are easy to make and you end up with another meal!
  2. Chicken Enchiladas
    They are so simple to put together once you have all of the ingredients ready. I set up all the ingredients in an assembly line with 3 dishes and continue to make enchiladas until all the dishes are filled. In the end I have 3 separate meals. I also made individual ones for Emily and they were handy to have when she needed to eat dinner before us.
  3. Chicken, Veggies and Rice Casserole
    This is another straight forward dish and involves taking all the ingredients, adding them to a casserole dish, mixing together and then baking. The recipe is only 5 ingredients; chicken, frozen mixed veggies, rice, cream of mushroom soup and water and you can easily double this recipe and make it in a larger dish. I cook this meal completely and then freeze it, that way I only have to worry about heating it up when we go to eat it.
  4. Spaghetti
    Spaghetti is an all around favorite for everyone and is another easy to make meal. You can make a large quantity all at once, with very little effort. I use the store-bought pasta sauce, but add in my own vegetables. The first time I did this, I had bunch of roasted vegetables that Emily wouldn’t eat, so I added them to the sauce and blended everything up. I then tried again and she ate 3 plates of pasta! I mix everything together in the pot then put it in a casserole dish or tin foil trays and freeze.
  5. Butternut Squash Soup
    I was skeptical the first time trying this soup, but after that first try I was hooked and it was so yummy. I found a recipe to make my own butternut squash soup and it is a perfect soup for everyone to eat. I made this soup for Emily all the time and she loved it, plus it is made with all veggies and she didn’t even know.
  6. Green, Red, Yellow, Orange Peppers
    I never thought to freeze peppers at first, but when I bought a barrel from the St. Jacobs Farmers’ Market, I had to think of something to do with them before they all went bad. I couldn’t eat them fast enough, so I thought why don’t I freeze them. I looked up how to freeze peppers and it was pretty simple. I cut them into slices, parboiled them, let them cool and dry then freeze. By parboiling them I would be able to take them right from the freezer and add them to whatever I was making and it also helped to keep their bright colors.
  7. Potatoes
    I found potatoes cut into small squares are perfect for Emily and the triplets to pick up and eat themselves. I was buying the packaged hash-browns from the store, but they were too small and I was spending a lot. I thought I could just buy a bag of potatoes and cut them up myself, that way I could make them the size I wanted and it was also a lot cheaper. It does take a little bit of time to cut the potatoes all up, but you have so many ready to freeze when you are done.
  8. Banana Bread
    We go through so many bananas in a week and yet we still end up with bruised or brown bananas. When that happens I like to make banana bread or banana muffins. I can also find discounted bananas at the store for roughly $1.00 per package, which is great if I know I am going to need a lot to make a few loaves or muffins. From one package I have enough bananas for 2 loaves or 2 batches of muffins. I like to make mini banana muffins for Emily and the triplets and they make a perfect on the go snack. When I make the loaves of banana bread, I cut the loaf up and freeze the individual slices, that way I can just grab a piece when I want one.
  9. Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough
    Now this is more for me, well all for me and I guess Dan too, but who doesn’t want to have cookie dough already made and ready to bake? I make a double recipe of cookie dough and using an ice cream scoop, I freeze the individual balls on a cookie tray. Once they are frozen, I put them in a freezer bag and they are ready to take out whenever I want. I like doing this because when it is just Dan and I, making a whole batch of cookies is a lot, so to pull out a few works perfectly.
  10. Berries – Strawberries, Blueberries, Raspberries
    We all love any kind of berry, but sometimes they can be so expensive, especially when they are not in season. During the summer when we go to the St. Jacobs Farmers’ Market can find all the berries in season and a good price. I like to buy the biggest basket of berries they have and bring them home, wash them and then freeze them. I dry them really well and lay them on a baking sheet, making sure they aren’t touching. Once they are frozen I can take them and pop them into a freezer bag. Now I can have berries throughout the fall and winter… if they last that long.
  11. Yogurt
    Frozen yogurt is a good snack to have during the summer and you can easily make your own frozen yogurt pops, by putting a spoon into the top of a yogurt cup and freezing it. I also like to make smoothies with frozen yogurt. I buy the tubs of yogurt and then divide it up into ice-cube trays. Once they are frozen I pop them out and put them into freezer bags. To make the smoothies, I take 3 or 4 frozen yogurt cubes, with some of the frozen berries I have, add them to a blender with some orange juice and then I have  smoothie. I also saw on Pinterest, hundreds of recipes for different smoothies and how to make individual smoothie packages. This would be a perfect way to have smoothies on the go and all you have to do is pull the package out of the freezer, blend and you are done.

Freezing food is such a good way to save you time in the future, especially if you are freezing food you are already making. The list of foods and meals you can freeze is endless and if you are ever unsure about whether or not you can freeze something, you can always look it up. It can also save you money when you buy extra of something that is on sale or if you buy fruits and vegetables that are in season. I hope my list of foods that I freeze has helped and got you thinking of food  you make on a regular basis that you could freeze too!

 

Have you tried making freezer meals? What ones have you found worked the best for you?

 

Finding Balance Between Life as a Mom and Life as Me 

Finding a balance between me as an individual and me as a mom is something I have struggled with from the very moment I became a mom. I jumped right into the role with both feet and never looked back. I threw who I was to the curb, never thinking twice about the person I left behind. I was so focused and determined to be the best mom I could be and thought that was all that mattered. Now here I am, 3 years later, thinking about that person, trying to figure out who they were.

As I said in the post about my life for the last three years, it has been filled with everything baby. From the moment I wake up, to the moment I go to sleep, and even in my dreams, it is all baby. I have a difficult time steering my thoughts away from anything baby related and the moment that I do, I feel instant guilt.

For 3 years I have put everything I am and everything I have into being a mom and I have enjoyed every moment, but I start to think back and slowly realize I really haven’t done anything for me… and I felt guilty just writing that! I haven’t taken the time to go out and do something that I love, I haven’t stopped to focus on helping me become a better me and I most definitely haven’t put time towards my relationships. I have simply just been a mom.

I am a mom 24/7 and I feel as though I have lost touch with who I am. I have lost touch with the outside world, I have lost touch with friends and I have lost touch with what it is like to be an individual person. I don’t know how to balance everything and I don’t know what it takes to make that happen. I think it is one of the most challenging things I have had to deal with in my life.

I see how unbalanced my life is sometimes and I have seen the effects it causes. I don’t give myself a chance to clear my mind or enjoy time with other people. I don’t give myself time to spend with Dan and work on our relationship and I can start to see how our relationship has changed. By not taking the time to be with each other and do things without our kids, we lose the relationship we had and the connection we worked to build for so many years. We just end up becoming 2 people raising kids together.

This is something I know I really need to work on and actually make it a priority. I need to figure out a way to take time for myself, to focus on me and reconnect with who I use to be. I have to learn to step away from my kids and learn that it is OK to do so.

Guilt has played a big role in my struggle of finding balance. I feel guilty, thinking about anything other than my kids and I feel guilty for thinking I could do something without them. I feel guilty for thinking of me and for the thought that I haven’t done anything for myself.

I start to question things and ask myself, how could I think about anyone other than my kids? And what do I need that is so important that I have to stop and think about or do for me that is more important than them? I tell myself I don’t need to go out and I don’t need to be around other people because when I do go out with them I talk to people and that is the same as if I was to go out by myself or with friends, when in reality it’s not the same thing. It feels like a never-ending cycle that I can’t seem to break.

Dan likes to refer to this stage in my life as “mom mode” and it is a pretty accurate title to have. Right now my mind is focused on my kids and being there for them. I know I will be in mom mode for the rest of my life and I don’t think it will ever go away, but I do think that the intensity will decrease with time. As they get older I know I won’t worry as much and will be more comfortable leaving them, but when will that time be?

I have always said I wouldn’t let having kids stop me from doing anything and it’s true, Dan and I have done so much with them. From going to the movies and out for dinner, to shopping and driving to Florida, we have continued to do the things we did before. Little did I know, that it has stopped me from being my own person. I want to find the right balance between every aspect of my life and I feel it is something important that I need to work on. I don’t want to lose sight of who I am and I don’t want to end up so disconnected from the outside world. I hope I can find a way to go out and enjoy time as myself with friends and Dan and be able to do things for me without feeling guilty for leaving the babies. I know it will be a challenge, but it is a challenge I need to take on and make it work.

 

How have you been able to find balance between your life as a parent and your life as an individual?

How long has it taken you to feel comfortable leaving and not feeling guilty for doing so?

 

 

 

Embrace the Chaos

Having 4 kids all under the age of 3 is a lot of work. Heck, having any number of kids ranging in any age is a lot of work and no matter the number or age, you are left with very long and busy days. There will be days where everything has been consumed by chaos and you feel you have lost control and the only thought you have is when will this day be over. Those days may seem long and never-ending, but just know those are the days you will remember and look back on and hopefully be able to smile about and laugh at.

I have had my fair share of those days so far and I can only imagine what is in store as everyone gets older. When things get crazy, it is hard to think of ways to control the situation, but then I think, why not embrace the chaos.

This morning has been a perfect example of the start of a chaotic day. The triplets woke up bright and early at 6:30, ready to play and were not ready to wait for breakfast, they wanted in NOW! and they did not hesitate to let me know with high-pitched screams. I tried to buy some time with a tray of Cheerios, but instead they ended up across the floor, crushed into little pieces. Emily then woke up and she was able to distract them for a little bit, but she too was hungry and needed a bottle and banana ASAP. Things finally calmed down after breakfast was made and everyone enjoyed their eggs. Shortly after they then realized they were tired from getting up so early, so more crying began and then they fell asleep in their chairs. Olivia didn’t sleep and the boys couldn’t sleep for long as Olivia decided it would be fun to climb onto their chairs while they slept. Before I realized that she was sitting on them, it was too late and she woke up Jackson. And that was just the first few hours of the day.


Now, as I am writing this post, Emily is in the process of dumping out all the toys and I can’t help but watch as Jackson, Olivia and Levi are laughing along and probably thinking now this is going to be fun. I guess I can thank her for that, because before she did, Olivia and Jackson were climbing into the buckets and trying to get behind the TV.


Toys are everywhere and although there is a ratio of 20:1 toys per baby, they are still fighting over the same toy or wanting to play with the converter. On top of all of this, we don’t have air conditioning and it feels like it is 40 degrees in our house. Everyone is sweating and sticky from running around and I don’t know if it’s better to be outside in the heat with some wind, or inside out of the heat. What I do know, is that everyone is having a great time and they are happy.

It does get hard sometimes to let things be and embrace the chaos, but I have to remember that they are only little still and continuously learning and growing. By exploring, trying new things and experimenting with different places, toys or just stuff around the house (nothing dangerous of course) they gain independence and experience. They don’t understand what they shouldn’t do and what will happen if they do something, so they need these moments of complete chaos to learn.


Watching Emily, Jackson, Olivia and Levi playing together is the cutest thing and they really do make each other laugh. Whether they are all running around or jumping on the couch, they are always smiling and laughing. As a mom, to have kids who love each other and love hanging out together is the best thing I could ask for. When they play together, it tends to become crazy and very chaotic, especially trying to watch everyone and make sure no one it getting hurt. Emily is the initiator almost all of the time and I know I say this a lot, but to the triplets, Emily is the funniest person they know.

The video below shows just how funny they find Emily, especially Olivia and how she is the ring leader. It was when I recorded this video that I realized how much fun they have together, even when there is chaos all around. I absolutely love to hear their laughter, so if that means we have to live in a crazy, non-stop chaos filled house to hear it, well then I guess that’s the house we will live in!

 

 

 

My Life For The Last 3 Years

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For the last 3 years my life has been all about babies. From finding out I was pregnant in April 2013 to now having 4 children under the age of 3, all I think about day in and day out is baby.

When I wake up each morning my first thought is usually “okay, time to get everyone up and get going” and is usually accompanied by 1, 2 or 3 crying babies. Even on the rare chance I am up before them, I would still think to myself, “okay, when will everyone be getting up.” My second thought would then be “what should I make for breakfast” followed by “what should we do today?”

The rest of my day is filled with questions and thoughts, such as:

Who needs a bum change? Oh no, not another poop!

Who is hungry? Who is still hungry? Are they really hungry again?

What time is it? What day of the week is it?

When is Paw Patrol on again and did we already watch Tinga Tinga Tales?

Did I just feed Jackson or Levi? Who is this, Jackson or Levi?

Emily where are all the nummies? Can you help me find them?

Okay what is going on and why is everyone crying?

You all have to share!

Stop! No, don’t do that!

Emily why are you naked and where is your diaper?

Who want’s a bottle? Who wants Cheerios?

Okay, everyone off the window sill!

No don’t touch that! Don’t put that in your mouth! Eww!!

Who is ready for a nap? I am!

The list is endless and I could go on and on about every thought that goes through my head or every question I have to ask during the day, but if there is one thing they all have in common it is that they are all baby or child related.

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After thinking about all that has happened over the last three years, I have come to realize that I have put everything else that was once in my life on the back burner. Everything from my relationship with Dan and relationships with friends, to taking care of myself, they have all become a faint thought in my day-to-day living. I am surrounded by everything baby and I think about them morning, noon and night. I can’t help it and I find I don’t have the space in my thoughts to worry or think about anything else.

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When I ask myself, why is it like this? The only thing I can think of is, just because… Emily, Jackson, Olivia and Levi depend on me, need me and rely on me to be there for them all of the time. From getting them out of bed, to feeding them, changing their bums and just being there to socialize, teach and play with them, they need me. How could I stop to think about anything else? To me they are the most important people in my life and I would do anything and everything for them, even if that means sacrificing other aspects of my life.

I don’t mean to make it sound as though I am the only one they need or who is capable of doing things for them, because that is not the case. Dan is so involved with everything and does so much for them when he is home. I am only talking specifically about the times I am home with everyone by myself when Dan is out working. Mom’s and dad’s play just as equal roles in a baby or child’s life, but as the one on maternity leave with Emily and the triplets, I am the one responsible for their care during the day.

Each day I try to follow a routine for the triplets, especially when it comes to their naps and eating. If they don’t nap they are over tired, which makes it harder for them to fall asleep and then stay asleep and if they wait to long to eat they become very fussy and cranky. I base my entire day around their routine, from the time I eat or clean up, to when we go out to the store.They control almost everything that happens during the day.

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I am so focused on making sure everything is perfect for them and I am doing things right, I have pretty much forgotten all other aspects of life. It is hard to step away from that and try to think of something else. It is hard to go out without them because I worry about everything, although I am getting better as they get older. I just want to be with them all of the time and if that means not going out or doing something for myself, then that’s what I do.

The last three years have been the most challenging, yet the most rewarding years of my life. I have learned so much about myself and how to be a mom and I can honestly say being a mom is the best job I could ever have. With all the late nights, early mornings, spit ups, diaper changes, crying, screaming and endless laundry comes laughing, hugs and kisses, the biggest smiles, cuddles, happiness and love. Emily, Jackson, Olivia and Levi have taught me what unconditional love is and what true happiness looks like. It is so much work to raise children, no matter how many you have, but it is so worth it in the end!

 

How has your life changed since having children?

Has there been aspects of your life you forgot about after having kids?

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The Unknown Changes During and After Pregnancy

There is no doubt that your body will undergo dramatic changes both during and after pregnancy and some of them will come at you like a flash of lighting, while others will gradually make their presence. Some of those changes will be minor and others will be extreme. There are the common and unavoidable changes that everyone experiences and there are the strange, unpredictable and unique changes only you will experience. Whatever the case may be, every woman who ventures down the path toward child bearing will encounter a variety of changes to her body. Here are a few of mine that I had the pleasure of experiencing through both my singleton pregnancy and triplet pregnancy.

A heightened sense of smell  was present in both pregnancies, along with an uncontrollable urge to smell the strangest and maybe a the little unsafest of things. I could smell anything near or far and some were great while others made me nauseous. With Emily I couldn’t stand the smell of BBQ chicken or salmon and both are two of my favourite foods. With the triplets I couldn’t stand the smell of ranch dressing or sweet potatoes . When it came to the smells I loved, the urge I had to smell chemical cleaners especially bleach, lemon dish soap and both laundry detergent and fabric softener was on another level. I loved to wash the dishes just to smell a sink full of warm soapy water and at work I loved the smell of the floor cleaner when the porter came by to wash it. I loved the smell of fabric softener and after the laundry was done I would always grab a towel and bury my face in it! I knew smelling the chemicals was unsafe so I didn’t actually smell them directly, I only just the smell of them through the air. It was the strangest thing, but as soon as Emily and the triplets were born, I never thought of those smells again.

Next, I was obsessed with having a bath. I wanted to have one every day and just fill the tub with copious amounts of bubble bath. A bath would help me relax and give me a chance to put my feet up at the end of the day to help reduce some of the swelling I had throughout both pregnancies. As I got bigger it became harder and harder to fit in the tub comfortably, especially when pregnant with triplets, but I didn’t let it stop me! Once again, as with the strange smells, as soon as Emily and the triplets were born, I never thought of having a bath again. Maybe the fact that I had no free time played a little part in taking the thought of a bath out of my head, but that’s just a thought 😉

Now the swelling. The swelling was so bad. It was so unbearable sometimes and made the task of walking around or standing all day very difficult. With Emily the swelling started around 4 months and the triplets around 5 months. This was a change to my body that came on gradually at first and then full force towards the end. My legs were the worst and I pretty much had no ankles for the duration of my pregnancies. I really wish I took a picture of my legs and feet at the end of my pregnancy with the triplets, it would have been a crazy sight. I never knew your hands and feet could gain weight or swell as bad as they did for me and Dan thinks I have loose skin on my feet now from the swelling. My fingers and toes were little sausages and I couldn’t wear any rings on either hand for so long. Thankfully all the swelling has disappeared and I no longer have a horrible case of sausage fingers, sausage toes and cankles.

Another big change I noticed was with my hair. While pregnant my hair started to grow faster, it became thicker and so luscious. I did not expect this change from pregnancy, but it was very welcomed one. Little did I know that after the babies were born, all that new found healthy hair would begin to fall out. Every time I had a shower or brushed my hair, it would fall out in big clumps, it was so sad. On top of that I began to notice really short strands of hair all over. The main areas being all around my face from ear to ear and the sides on the top of my head. The hair is about 1 to 2 inches long and is just a pain to deal with. I cannot do anything with it. It’s so short it won’t reach to a ponytail, it cannot be straightened and it makes my hair so puffy. I really don’t know what to do about it, other than wait patiently for them to all grow out and catch up to the rest of my hair.

The last change I noticed was how emotional I became. This is one change I think all women experience at some point during their pregnancy and even after too. I felt like I would cry over anything, especially anything involving children or animals. It could be a happy commercial, a sad news article or even a song on the radio, they would just make me so emotional and I would cry. I remember listening to the radio on the way to work and I would cry when a specific song came on. I would think about my life and somehow relate back to the song and just cry. This wasn’t really a bad change, but I found my self crying a lot for no reason. I guess it doesn’t hurt to have a good cry every once in a while.

All of these changes I experienced took some time to get use to and I noticed them in both pregnancies. Growing a little baby takes a lot of work and your body goes through a lot to make it happen. With increased hormone levels and the amount of energy you use, it is no wonder so many changes happen. There is so much information out there about all the possible changes you could experience, it is enough to scare anyone away from the idea of being pregnant yet women still continue to have children. In the end all the changes are totally worth it and to most they are only temporary. After having 4 babies, being pregnant with 1 and then triplets and going through the changes I had during pregnancy, I would still have more babies and the idea of being pregnant again is just as exciting as it was the first time around.

 

If you could tell someone one change that you experienced that you did not expect what would it be?

If you had multiple pregnancies did you experience the same changes for both or were they completely different?

Leave your comments below!

 

 

Welcoming Jackson, Olivia and Levi to the World! (Part 1)

 

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On May 21st, 2015, I had my regular appointment with my OBGYN and little did I know that was going to be my last appointment before the triplets arrived. I had my blood pressure taken and it was a little high, so I went for some blood work. I also had an ultrasound and the babies were measuring roughly 5 1/2 pounds each. I was so happy they were doing so well and thought they would be around 6 pounds each when I delivered them in two weeks. I had just found out my scheduled c-section was made and confirmed for June 5th, 2015.

The next day I received a call from my nurse and she told me my blood work came back and I had developed preeclampsia. She told me it wasn’t severe, but wanted me to come back for more blood work. I was pretty upset after hearing that and thought I had such a great pregnancy and now this had to happen when I was so close to delivery. I called Dan to let him know and then called my mom right after.

We got up on Saturday May 23rd, packed a few things to bring and headed to the hospital around 10 am. We checked into triage, I had blood work done right away and they also hooked me up to a machine to do a stress test on the babies. The stress test came back perfect for the babies and they were doing great. When the nurse came back with the results from the blood work, she told me my levels increase significantly compared to the blood work I had done on Thursday and she wouldn’t be able to let me leave. She also told me that the safest option for the babies and myself would be to deliver them, but it was up to me and she would give me some time to decide. Dan and I were both shocked and it was completely unexpected. We had no idea that was going to be the outcome of this trip to the hospital.

Dan and I only took a couple minutes to decided and if the nurse and doctors thought it was the best decision we thought so too. We called both of our families to tell them the news and they couldn’t believe it either. The nurse came back and we told her our decision and she said we would just have to wait for room to become available in the NICU. If we did go ahead with the delivery and there wasn’t a room available, each baby would have to be transferred to a different hospital. We didn’t want that at all and were not sure how that would even work, so we had to wait.

We were not prepared at all, since we thought we still had 2 more weeks, although thinking back, we should have been ready way before this date! Dan went back home to pack a few things to bring back with him to the hospital, including clothes for us, outfits, a toothbrush and diapers for the babies. We also had to try and figure out the car seats. We had two that we still had from Emily, but needed a third one and luckily we were able to borrow one from our friend. Dan came back a few hours later and all we could do is just sit and wait.

We were moved to a room, which was nice, but after a while you start to get a little restless. The swelling caused from the preeclampsia was getting really bad making it even more uncomfortable to sit around. I also told the nurse that I was concerned I wasn’t urinating enough. I was drinking so much water, but every time I would go there would be little amounts of urine. This was also difficult when I had to give a urine sample. When I told the nurse she went ahead and hooked me up to an IV drip to help give me more fluids. I thought for sure the IV would help, but instead I retained so much of the fluids from the IV and the swelling became even worse.

Saturday night came and they told us that we wouldn’t be delivering the babies today, but tomorrow instead. I was also told I couldn’t eat for a few hours before, so I stopped eating Saturday night and skipped breakfast Sunday morning. Waiting to know if I could eat on Sunday felt like the longest wait. We waited and waited and finally around 1 pm, the doctor came in and told us there wasn’t a room, so we would be waiting another day. Although I was hoping for an available room, I was excited to know I could eat!

We were only in the room for just over 24 hours, but it felt a lot longer. Dan and I tried to sleep throughout the day and watch TV, but there was only so much you could do to pass time in a small room. Late Sunday afternoon we asked the nurses if it was possible to go for a walk outside. She told us yes, but recommended I sit in a wheelchair. I was so excited and it was going to be so nice to get some fresh air. We couldn’t go far, so we just walked around the front and back of the hospital. After going outside, I felt like I could survive another day in the room.

It was now Monday morning and we hoped today was the day a room would be available and we would meet our triplets. We had to wait awhile again, but when they came back with news it was a yes and we were going to deliver the babies today! We were both so excited and couldn’t wait. We called our families to let them know and they were so excited too!

Monday was the hardest day for me, physically. I had a hard time sleeping the night before and everything was just so uncomfortable. My back hurt from the bed, my restless leg kept me up all night and it was so hot in the room. The swelling had also become unbearable. I was swollen everywhere, but my legs and feet were the worst. It was so bad I couldn’t bend my feet or move my ankles and when looking at my leg, I couldn’t tell where my knee cap was. I actually couldn’t even feel it, there was so much swelling. My fingers looked like 10 sausages, my face was all puffy and when I pressed on my shin there was a huge indentation showing how swollen they were. I couldn’t wear my flip flops and when I stood my legs felt so heavy. I just had to keep thinking there was only a few more hours left and the triplets would be here and things would start to go back to normal.

Around 5 pm I was taken to another room where we had to wait a little longer and then I would be taken into the operating room to prepare for the c-section. I met a few of the nurses who would be in the delivery room and the anesthesiologist who would be giving me the epidural. Everyone was so nice and it helped me to be calm and relax. As I was waiting I just couldn’t believe that the time was here and very soon we would be meeting our little babies.

I don’t remember the exact time I was taken to the operating room, but I know I was in there for a while before the babies were born. Getting the epidural was the first thing done when I went in and I was just as scared as I was when I got one with Emily. Once the epidural was given, I couldn’t feel anything from just below my chest down to my feet. They finished getting everything ready and once the blue curtain was up Dan was able to come in.

They began the c-section and at 7:09 pm Baby A was born, Baby B was born at 7:12 pm and at 7:15 Baby C was born. Jackson was Baby A, Olivia was Baby B and Levi was Baby C. We were both surprised when Olivia was born before Levi, since both boys were together, but it must have just been the way they were positioned. If you have noticed too, this is the order we always try to keep the babies in. We have used this order right from the beginning and it has stuck with us ever since.

Jackson weighed 5 lbs 6 ounces, Olivia weighed 5 lbs 1 ounce and Levi weighed 5 lbs 3 ounces. I couldn’t believe they were all over 5 lbs and to know I was carrying almost 16 lbs of baby. Each baby was healthy and after they were cleaned up and swaddled I was able to see them. They were so perfect and so cute and I couldn’t believe our triplets were finally here. I was even more surprised to find out that they didn’t need to go to the NICU. This was amazing news and I was so shocked to know they would be going right to the room with me.

We had to wait a little bit until a room was available for us, so in the meantime, our family was able to visit us in the same room we waited in before the delivery. The babies were sleeping the whole time and everyone was able to pick them up and take a picture. Emily was so excited to meet her little brothers and little sister and it was so cute to see her give each one a kiss. It was overwhelming to see how excited everyone was to meet the triplets and to know they were finally here after a smooth and safe delivery. After all the pictures were taken, everyone headed home and it was just Dan and I and the triplets!

To be continued…

(There is so much to tell and the post was getting pretty long, so I thought I would divide it into 2 posts. The second one will be about the 3 days in the hospital after the triplets were born)

 

 

 

Getting to Know The Baby Gang Parents

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Dan and I have loved sharing our videos and pictures of Emily, Jackson, Olivia and Levi with all of you! We thought it would be fun to share some things about us as a couple and as individuals so you could get to know us a little more!

As a Couple

  1. We met in 2006 when we were both working at Zehrs (Zehrs is the local grocery store in Cambridge). Dan worked in the Hot Deli and I worked in the Cold Deli and I guess it is true, opposites attract!
  2. Our first date was on March 15th, 2007 and we went to an arcade, which was a lot of fun. After we went to Walmart and bought two pet fish! We named them Olikey and Gibson-Whyte.

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    Our very 1st picture together!
  3. We started dating on March 18th, 2007 and it has now been 9 years! We went to Tim Horton’s and when Dan dropped me off he said “I have something to ask you and you probably know what it is.” I had no idea what it was. Then he said “Will you be my girlfriend?” Of course I said “Yes” and here we are today!
  4. We both love going to the movies and before having our babies, we would go every Tuesday. We also started collecting Scene Points (a point program Cineplex offers) and our goal was to save enough points to have a year of free movies for the both of us. Our year of free movies, was actually just once a week for both of us, so 52 movies. It was 1000 points per movie, so we would need 104,000 points. We reached our goal!
  5. One day we walked to Pita Factory and while we were eating, I laughed so hard I started to cry. To this day, neither of us can remember what it was about and why it was so funny.
  6. Our go to snacks would be Beatrice Chocolate Milk (we have tried many and that is by far the best), Smartfood Popcorn and Sweet Chili Heat Doritos. We almost always have them on hand at home, but make sure to buy them if we don’t and plan to watch a movie.
  7. We have gone to Florida 3 times I believe, we have gone on a Caribbean Cruise and have gone to Las Vegas 3 times! The Caribbean Cruise was our first vacation of just us two and we went to Las Vegas for our 5th, 6th and 7th year anniversaries. Dan actually surprised me with the trip to Las Vegas for our 7 year anniversary!
  8. We bought our first house together in 2013 and moved in August 1st, 2013. It was also our first time living together!
  9. Being parents is a very important thing for us and we absolutely love it! Parenting means a lot to both of us and we strive everyday to be the best parents possible. We have the same views on almost everything in regards to being parents with the odd opinion here and there, such as when to put a sweater on the babies (Dan seems to always think its warm enough outside, even on days when he can see his breath!) We make a great team!dancorrie6
  10. We love to surprise each other and always try to find new ways! Dan probably had the best surprise ever when he rented the entire ice rink for us for my 19th birthday. The mall in Cambridge has an ice rink and he was able to rent it out after the mall was closed, so it was just us. Dan ordered East Side Mario’s and we ate in the middle of the rink, followed by an hour of skating. He even had my mom and neighbor there to take pictures for us, as our own paparazzi. I will never forget that and it will certainly be hard to top that surprise!

 

Now a little bit about myself!

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  1. I was born in Mississauga, Ontario and I have lived in Brampton, Toronto, Mississauga and Cambridge. While moving from city to city, I also went to 6 different schools. I would love to move to an island one day and experience a simple way of living for a few years. I think it would be a fun and exciting experience for Dan, Emily, the triplets and myself. I looked into it before and it would be a lot of planning and a big change, but it would be worth it!
  2. While growing up I changed my mind quite a few times when thinking about what I wanted to be when I grew up. Those jobs included a super model, a farmer, a veterinarian, a weather girl, a flight attendant and a chef. My reasons as to why these jobs would never work out: I realized I was too short to be a model, I just wanted to ride horses if I was a farmer, I fainted while dissecting a fish in high school, so I lost all hope of vet school, I am not good at public speaking or listening to my voice on camera, I love travelling but I am scared every time I get on a plane and I am too scared to try or eat exotic food and spices, so my food would be very basic and simple. However, if I could I would still love to be a chef!
  3. I love to travel (not that I have been many places) and I wish I could travel across the world. I have gone on vacation to Florida, Las Vegas, England and through the Caribbean on 2 cruises. My dream vacation would be to Bora Bora, where I would stay in a little hut on the water. I can just picture how amazing and relaxing it would be. I would watch fish through the glass floor and go swimming off the dock the entire trip! A girl can only dream =D
  4. I am a pretty shy person, until you get to know me and the video of me changing the babies was the first video I was ever in for the Baby Gang. I am a genuinely happy person and I love to smile and I think they are contagious. I procrastinate more than I should and I even know this, yet still do it.
  5. My favorite things include: Christmas (I love the entire season and start decorating around Nov 15), animals (horses, cats and elephants especially), Starbucks double chocolate chip frappuccino (the only thing I ever order), the colors green and red, reality TV (I can’t help it and I watch too many reality shows to list haha), camping (having a fire, roasting marshmallows and making s’mores) and my 4 babies, Emily, Jackson, Olivia and Levi =D
    Things I don’t like: coffee, spiders and snakes (they are my worst fear and Dan always kills the spiders for me), small spaces (I am so claustrophobic, even just holding my arms together freaks me out) and bacon (some people may think I’m crazy, but I will eat turkey bacon).

 

Here is a little bit about Dan. I am the one who wrote this, but I did ask Dan what he thought would be good to share about him as an individual!

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  1. Unlike me, Dan has only ever had one true dream job. He has always wanted to be a fire fighter! He went to school for fire fighting and one of his favorite movies is Back draft. He said he watched Back draft when he was younger and ever since then he has wanted to be a fire fighter!
  2. Throughout high school Dan was always on the wrestling team and even helped coach the team after he graduated. If he made it to the Olympics for wrestling it would be a dream come true!
  3. There are many things that Dan is passionate about, but the top ones would be fitness and photography. He has been addicted to the gym ever since we started dating and even with 4 kids he still manages to make it there. Before the triplets arrived, Dan put together a home gym in our basement so he could still work out on the days he didn’t make it to the gym. Dan is also a great photographer and has done photo shoots for friends and taken photos at various events.
  4. Dan is a very outgoing person and he loves to meet new people where ever he goes! I feel like there isn’t a person Dan doesn’t know. Everywhere we go he always seems to come across someone he knows. The best example was one time while in Florida, we were sitting in the hot tub and started talking to the gentleman across from us. It turns out he was also from Cambridge and was actually at the resort with a group of friends who Dan was friends with. I couldn’t believe it, out of all the resorts in Florida he still managed to run into someone he knew!
  5. Dan and his brother Justin are twins. They are fraternal twins and Dan thought it was so exciting for him to have twin boys. Although Dan and Justin are twins they are very different in so many ways, but are still best friends!

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Those are some things about us and we hope you feel like you know us a little more!

=D

 

We are Going on VACATION! (part 2)

We will be driving to Florida, so the next thing to think about before we head out, is how we are going to pack up the van and fit everything in. This will be our second road trip with Emily, but our first one with Jackson, Olivia and Levi. In 2014, when Emily was only 6 months, we took a road trip to Texas to visit my dad, stepmom and little sister, Alexa. It was so much fun driving down and Emily did extremely well for the long car ride. We did the drive down over 3 days, stopping for 2 nights along the way, as well as frequent stops during the day. It will be very interesting to see how the drive will be this time, with 3 little ones just under 1 year and Emily who will almost be 2 1/2. It should be a lot of fun and very exciting!

I am trying to create a list of everything that we will need for Dan and I, Emily and Jackson, Olivia and Levi. After I create a list for each of us, I know I am going to have to go back and really think about whether we need it or not. You would think with a van there would be tons of room to fit everything, but with 2 adults and 4 kids all in car seats, there is little space for everything else.

I am trying to think of the biggest thing we will be bringing, which I think include the portable high chairs, the play pen and the seats for the stroller since the triplets will be out of the stage one car seats. I know they won’t fit in the trunk, so I have been looking for a storage unit to put on the roof of the van. Luckily we added on a roof rack when we bought the van to help with extra storage. I have been looking into various roof top storage units and there are so many out there to chose from. They are also really expensive! We can’t afford to spend $300-$700 on a hard box storage unit, so I am thinking the best bet would be to go for a bag style unit. I have come across a couple that I think would be good, but I want to make sure I am getting the right one and for the best deal. I also want to make sure if we go with a bag storage unit, that it is waterproof. It would be the worst thing to store something up there, only to have it soaking wet from rain when we go to take it out.

If any of you currently use a rooftop storage unit or have in the past, we would gladly take any advice on what to buy and what the best brand to buy is! We have a Dodge Grand Caravan with a roof rack if that helps too!

Once we have the extra storage, it will make things a lot easier and will give us an exact idea of the space we have available to pack everything in. I think we will have to do a couple trial runs of packing up the van before we leave, so we aren’t spending 2 hours figuring out where everything is going that morning. I guess in the end if we can’t fit everything Dan will just have to compromise and only bring a small backpack for all of his things because I will be the first to admit, I don’t know how to pack light! 😉

Now I will just continue writing my lists and hope that I can think of everything before we leave!