Can You Really Take 4 Kids on a Road Trip? | #ForBetterBeginnings

As you all know, Emily, Jackson, Olivia, Levi and I went on a road trip to Florida and we left Dan behind. We were gone for a total of 13 days. That included 7 days of driving and 6 full days in Florida and although it was a lot of work, the whole trip was so much fun and definitely a great learning experience. I was hesitant to go at first and thought about whether it was really possible to take 4 kids on a road trip. I did; however, find a way to make a long road trip with 4 toddlers a success. Be sure to continue reading to find out! I do want to say thank you to PlaytexBaby™ for sponsoring this post. All thoughts and opinions are 100% my own.

This trip was something my sister Jessica (aka Aunty Gaga) and I had been talking about from the time she started her maternity leave last October. It was so tempting to just pack up and drive somewhere, knowing we both had all the time in the world. After months of the idea coming up over and over again, we came to the conclusion that it should actually happen! We booked the resort on a Sunday night and then had to wait a long 3 weeks before the road trip began.

Originally it was just going to be Jessica and I taking on the challenge of a road trip with 5 kids to Florida, but since it was summer break for our sister Taylor (aka Aunty Taytay), we thought it would be fun for her to come along too. Then after spending the day with our Nanny, who is retired, we convinced her to join us as well.

I was so excited to go because who wouldn’t be excited to go on a vacation, but I was also very nervous because this was my first time taking all 4 kids on a trip without Dan. Dan and I had recently experienced a long road trip with the kids when we went to Las Vegas and California back in May. It was a lot of work for the both of us then, so I knew I had to prepare for it to be tough for just myself. Luckily, I did have my sisters and our Nanny there to help as well as the experience from the Las Vegas and California trip. As long as I was prepared and ready for anything, I knew I could do it!

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The biggest thing we found that helped to keep Emily and the triplets occupied for the long car ride was to give them snacks while watching a movie. I set up the portable DVD players with one of their favorite movies and then gave them a piece of banana bread. It was such a big hit on our Las Vegas trip, so this time I made 6 loafs, 5 of which were gone by the time we made it to Florida. I also packed lots of other snacks that included crackers, veggie chips, bear paw cookies and also cut up watermelon, strawberries and cantaloupe. Bringing lots of snacks was also a big help with saving money and eating a little healthier on the drive. I made peanut butter sandwiches for lunch and now looking back, I think I only bought 1 or 2 fast food items during the entire drive down.

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Of course,  giving Emily and the triplets snacks in the van meant we needed little snack cups for them to hold and keep the snacks in. We used the Playtex® Flip Top Snacker on both road trips and they were great. I filled the Playtex® Flip Top Snacker up with their snacks and then they sat there quietly eating away while watching their movie. I do have to say that I love the lid on the Playtex® Flip Top Snacker because Emily and the triplets had to work a little bit to get their snacks out, which made them last a little longer and prevented us from having to stop more often to fill them up.

The Playtex® Flip Top Snacker itself was good at stopping their snacks from spilling all over the place, but once those snacks are out and in their hands they can end up anywhere. This would explain the condition of the van when we got home and the mess of food everywhere in the van. We also used the Playtex® Sipsters® Cups on the drive down and I can honestly say we were 100% spill free on both trips!

Once everyone was settled with their snacks and a movie, it was smooth sailing for a good chunk of time. Most times they would all fall asleep for a little nap afterwards, which then let us drive a little longer before we had to stop.

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If I am being totally honest, I was a little bit scared, worried, excited and everything in between before we left. I was worried about the drive down and how Emily and the triplets would be, what it would be like getting gas, making it to the hotels we booked and driving in general. I was also excited for a vacation, a new experience and the fun we would have. There are just so many things to consider and think about when travelling and with being so far away from home so many unexpected things can happen.

Knowing that we were 4 women with 5 kids driving from Ontario to Florida, was a little worrisome. I had 100% confidence that we could do it, especially since Jessica and I have driven down to Florida so many times and have done a lot of travelling, but there was still the thoughts in the back of my mind that something could happen without Dan there with us.

I do have to say that in a weird way, the trip was an empowering experience. Knowing that we had such a fun, exciting and memorable trip with 4 women and 5 kids, with all the stuff that we did while we were gone, is just such a great feeling.

As a #PlaytexMom I think it is so important to be there to encourage other moms and women to do whatever it is they want to do and to show that you can do it! I think that sometimes as  moms, we think all we should be doing is staying home following a routine, which is good, but sometimes it is fun to break away from the routine a little bit and do something you wouldn’t think of doing. If you have ever thought about going on a trip while on maternity leave and with your baby, I would encourage you to really consider it and just do it! If you are prepared and bring everything that you would need with you, then there is nothing stopping you from going.

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If you have a trip planned or are in the midst of planning your first trip with your little ones, whether it’s a road trip or not, you can always trust PlaytexBaby™ to make your travelling experience enjoyable and simple with products that have been designed with both mom and baby in mind. From the time your first baby is born to the time you head out on your first trip with them PlaytexBaby™ will always be there to help #ForBetterBeginnings!

In the end, even after all the work it took, it was so much fun and I can say you really can take 4 kids on a road trip!

Now it’s time to start planning our next vacation!

-Corrie

You Can’t Always Be “Supermom”

As we start to share our vlogs from our trip to Las Vegas and California, I wanted to share a moment during the trip that you won’t see through the pictures we post.

Throughout the trip we posted pictures that capture a single moment. A moment where Dan and I are smiling, the kids are smiling and everything seems perfect. In that moment it is perfect and we really did have a great time throughout the trip, but it was hard.

The entire trip was a challenge for both Dan and I and trying to manage 4 kids at the same time was a lot of work. I won’t get into too much detail about what it was like traveling with 4 kids, as that will be a separate blog post, but I do want to share one particular moment from the trip.

I am always striving to be the best mom I can be and to be called a “supermom” is something I’m sure a lot of us love to hear. To me, being a supermom means you have everything under control, you are smiling, everyone is happy and you are capable of doing things on your own. I want to be proud of the mom I am and of the things I can achieve. I want my kids to be proud of me and I want to show that I am more than capable of handling things on my own.

I know a lot of you always ask how we do it, but the truth is I can’t always do it. I am not always going to be that “supermom” that I want to be and I have to learn that it’s ok.

It was my sisters bachelorette party and I planned to bring Emily and the triplets to dinner with me since we were going to a restaurant in the hotel and my nanny (grandma) would be watching them after when we went out for the night.

I was already running late and on top of that, I had my sisters outfit in my room, which then made her late for her own dinner. When I finally sat down for dinner, the triplets were very fussy and would not settle down. They wouldn’t sit and needed me to hold them. I had a little break down and started to cry. With everything going on and being late, it became overwhelming for me and it just hit me. I was able to turn my head, to avoid any attention and once I had my cry, I pulled it together and continued on with the night.

The next day it was my sister’s wedding! It was such a fun day and a beautiful ceremony. I was in the wedding party, so Dan was on his own getting everyone to and from the hotel, to the ceremony and then to dinner. My family was there as well, so they were able to help Dan and I out, especially when I was gone.

It is a lot of work trying to keep an eye on 4 kids, 4 toddlers at that, and to keep them entertained for a long stretch of time when they cannot just run around freely makes it extra challenging.

By the time I made it to the restaurant for dinner, Emily and the triplets were there, but Dan had to drive back to the hotel to drop off the van. My family was watching them and trying to keep them entertained, but now I was able to take over. It was a little stressful trying to figure out the seating, but I managed to place their high chairs right beside me.
They were pretty fussy, so I decided to just sit them in my lap, give them chop sticks to play with and give them water every time they asked, pretty much anything that would keep them calm and stop them from crying. It was working for a bit, but they would just fuss again and I felt the same feeling coming over me from the day before.

This was my sister’s wedding and with so many people there, trying to enjoy their time, I felt so bad knowing I couldn’t stop my own kids from crying and fussing. I felt like I was a burden to everyone around and it was unfair for me to ask for help after all the help they had given me during the day. What also makes it difficult is that the triplets are at a stage where they only want me. Even if someone else was to pick them up, they would cry until I was the one holding them.

I felt the rush of anxiety coming over me and the overwhelming feeling I felt at the bachelorette dinner. I thought the best solution would be to just leave. If I left, maybe it would help to calm them down and if not at least I wouldn’t be sitting with everyone while they were crying.

I packed Olivia and Levi into the stroller and picked Jackson up, Emily was sitting with my sister, so I didn’t need to take her with me. I tried to keep a smile on my face and hide the stress that was coming over me and I thought I could just walk away before anyone would notice.

I felt so ridiculous and so bad that I couldn’t keep my calm and figure out a way to settle them down. Dan was with them for the last few hours, so why couldn’t I handle the last 20 minutes? I felt like such a bad mom and I was just ruining everyone’s dinner with 3 crying kids. I hoped that by leaving, they would stop crying and I would be able to just get out of the situation and everything would be ok.

I thought I was being quick and no one noticed, but as I was trying to leave my step dad and a couple of others stopped me, trying to ask me what was wrong and where I was going. I remember saying I just need to leave, please just let me leave. I needed to leave before I started crying because the whole point of me leaving was to avoid any scene, but here I was creating one.

I just really wanted to get out, but no matter how much I tried, no one would let me leave. I remember sitting down and not being able to breathe. I never experienced anything like this before. Everything became so overwhelming for me in that moment, I was having a panic attack.

I felt so ashamed after, that I let it get to that level and I couldn’t keep it together. I was also so embarrassed that this happened in front of everyone and I felt even worse that it happened at my sister’s wedding dinner. I didn’t want to create a scene, which was why I was leaving in the first place, but in the end I did.

There was so much going on and things that were on my mind from the beginning of the week, all just piled up and spiraled down in that moment. It was my first time having an experience like that in public and I really was so embarrassed and couldn’t believe it happened.

In that moment I wasn’t a “supermom” and felt like a really bad mom. Everyone was so understanding about everything and everyone offered me such encouraging words. No one even heard them crying or were bothered by their fussiness. I created these thoughts and scenarios in my head and I let them get the best of me. It showed me that I can’t always do things on my own and no one expects me to. Everyone told me that they don’t expect kids to be quiet and sit still and they all know what it is like to have kids who get fussy at times.

It is still hard for me to think about it and know that I couldn’t handle the situation, but at the same time it helped me to realize that there will be hard times and I have only experienced 2 years of what it is like to have 4 kids and there will be many more times where things become overwhelming and I may just break down again.

I wanted to share this story and my experience to show you that there is always so much more to what you see through pictures. Dan and I love to share our happy moments and times when everyone is smiling, but that doesn’t mean every moment is like that. We don’t always want to show you the sad moments or times we fight or someone gets hurt, but they are there and we go through them just like everyone else.

Parenting is hard and 100% a challenge for both of us and for every parent out there. Someone may have all the patients in the world with a laid back attitude, but that doesn’t mean they won’t face a time when they can’t handle it. I thought I could always handle the stressful times in public, but it just goes to show, you never know when you will break.

I was so lucky to be surrounded by my family and Mike’s family who were so kind and understanding. I think it is so important to make sure you keep those who are there for you close and to always know there are people out there who care for you. Don’t be afraid to ask for help because no one expects you do always be able to do it on your own; a lesson I am slowly learning myself!

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-Corrie

 

To Check out all of our vlogs from our trip, head over to YouTube! We created a Playlist – Las Vegas/California Road Trip 2017, so you can find all the vlogs in one area! (they will be posted over the week!)

Finding Time for My Oldest After Having Multiples

One of the biggest challenges I have with 4 kids, is the ability to make sure I am spending enough time with each one of them and making sure my time is divided equally. I know it will never be perfect and I know it will never be 100% equal, but I know how important it is, so I always try my hardest everyday.

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Going from 1 child to 4, was a huge shock and a big adjustment for myself, so I can only imagine how it must have been for Emily. Emily was only 17 months when the triplets were born and as much as we made sure to involve her in everything, it was still a big change to go from being the only child to 1 of 4.

I never want Emily to feel as though I have forgotten about her or I don’t have time to spend with her, so I have come up with a few ideas of things we can do together. I almost always take her to the store with me if I am running out by myself to pick up a few things and when the triplets are napping, I use that time to do an activity such as coloring or even having her sit in the kitchen with me if I have work to do. Just the other day when Olivia, Jackson and Levi were napping, Emily and I spent some time outside on the deck and had some lunch together. I was able to talk to her, listen to her and just be there for her if she needed something or wanted to ask me something. I know there is no need for the activities to be so complicated and I really do think she enjoys the little extra focus just on her.

It will be challenging at times to divide myself between 4 kids and all their needs individually. Finding the extra time during the day to give each one of them a little more attention and focus, will help to make sure I am letting them know I am there. When the triplets were born it was hard because when they needed me, I had to multiply that time by 3. Now that they are older and are capable of playing on their own and not relying on me for everything, I have the time to dedicate to Emily. In a way, I can now make up the time that I couldn’t give to her when the triplets where born!

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If you are subscribed to our YouTube Channel, The Baby Gang, then you would have come across our videos of In The Kitchen with Emily & Mummy. They are fun videos of Emily and I, baking or cooking some fun recipes together and then trying them at the end. Some videos include the triplets, but most of them are just of Emily and I.

I love to cook and bake and I am so excited to teach Emily some of the basic skills and techniques and of course the triplets, when they are old enough. Making the videos of us cooking or baking in the kitchen has been so much fun and Emily has really started to enjoy them. In our latest episode, we made chocolate chip cookies and I thought it was so cute to see Emily picking up on the way I say things or introducing ourselves. At some parts it may have been unclear as to what she was saying, but I know she was explaining the steps of making the cookies and it was just too adorable!

The recipes we chose are not complicated and only take a couple of minutes to throw together and I think that helps to keep the focus on the fun, which is what they are all about. It has taken me a little bit to get over the fact that the video may not go exactly how I imagined or planned, but even after the extra mess and extra time, everything has turned out great.


Baking or cooking is such a great hands on activity to do and allows Emily to learn while having fun. I think it is important to teach basic cooking skills and I find it keeps Emily engaged and eager to do more, as I am sure it would with every child! Not only does it help with learning to cook, but even with her vocabulary, learning new words and new foods and also being able to give directions when telling each step in the recipe. pb3

Sometimes it is a little bit of a challenge to find the time to set everything up and make the video, especially during the day when I am home alone. We have to wait for Jackson, Olivia and Levi to fall asleep and even then we only have a limited amount of time to record. The other option we have is to set up the chairs and have all three join us for the video! It is fun to have them included as well and I like to think Jackson, Olivia and Levi enjoy having a snack and watching us cook. It will be interesting to see how the videos will go when all 3 are old enough and ready to join in on the cooking!

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When we started In The Kitchen with Emily & Mummy, we were wearing our matching Christmas aprons. I had actually found them before we started the videos and they worked perfectly, but we needed an upgrade. Last weekend when we were in Buffalo, we were walking through Macy’s and in the corner of my eye I spotted an apron that said “mama” on it and as I was looking at them, I found a matching one that said “bebe.” They were so cute and exactly what I was looking for and on top of that they were on sale! Now we have some new aprons to wear and they add that much more excitement to each episode!

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At the end of the day, the main purpose of In The Kitchen with Emily & Mummy, is to have fun and spend some quality one on one time with Emily. Even if we decided not to record the videos, we would still be cooking together and having fun!

 

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I encourage everyone to try baking or cooking with your kids. If you have multiple kids who are ready to get in the kitchen and start baking, set up a day every few weeks for each child to join you, that way you can include everyone in the fun, but still have the one on one time with each of them! And if you only have one child who is ready, but have little ones who aren’t, set up their high chairs, set out some snacks or toys and have them watch what is going on!

To check out all of our episodes of In The Kitchen with Emily & Mummy, visit our YouTube Page, Youtube.com/thebabygang and look for the Playlist IN THE KITCHEN WITH EMILY AND MUMMY.

We are always open to trying new recipes and any suggestions, so please leave any you have in the comments below! (We will give you a shout out too, if we make your suggestion!)

Here is our newest Episode of In The Kitchen With Emily and Mummy!

We are baking The Best Ever Chocolate Chip Cookies!

*Emily was too cute and has really started to pick up on how the videos go!

 

More Babies, Co-Sleeping with Triplets and So Much More…Our first Q & A!

We have been wanting to do a Q & A video for some time now and we finally made it happen!

A Q & A, is a great way to get to know us more and for us to share our thoughts, insights and experiences in a different way. We created a Q & A post over on our Facebook page and hoped to get some fun questions we could answer. The questioned asked were great and just what we hoped for!

We answered quite a few of them, but know we will have to do another Q & A, very soon to answer all the remaining ones and any new ones that come up!

Dan and I always love to share our lives, experiences and thoughts on many different topics relating to our lifestyle, kids, parenting and hobbies or interests. The two of us are just two regular people who are making our way through everyday life with 4 kids, including a three-year old toddler and almost 2-year-old triplets. Nothing is ever perfect and we know we are not perfect either, but we have a great outlook on life and the life we live with our kids. We are genuinely happy people who love to smile and have fun and we want to share some of that happiness with everyone around us!

Thank you for all of the great questions asked the first time around! We are looking forward to the next one! In the meantime, if you have any questions always feel free to send us a message on any of our social media platforms and we try our best to get to them and answer them for you!!

Here is our first Q & A!

 

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Our first family science experiment!

We took advantage of a nice cold day to conduct our first ever Baby Gang science experiment!

With 4 young children who take up just about every minute of our time, we are a family who loves fun and adventure. What makes that special is doing it together, as a family. That is what family is all about.

Watching the kids grow has both Corrie and myself in such amazement to see how a developing mind works. Their curious little minds like little sponges absorbing all types of information makes me wonder how they see the world around them and what they are thinking about!

Recently on a cold day we took advantage to come up with a fun science experiment with the kids. It was -12 degrees Celsius (not including the windchill) and we wondered if water could evaporate in this freezing cold water. It had the kids super excited!

Makes for a great parenting win!  Watch below 🙂

Be on the look out for more fun with the kids!

 

 

 

 

 

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

The Last Week of Summer (Kinda)

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Well this is the last week of SUMMER!

I can’t believe summer is almost over and we are in the final week. That means one week left to cram as much of summer in as possible and do all the things you have yet to do this summer. One week left to be care free, stay up late, go to the park, play outside, go to the beach, eat ice cream and BBQ. I know I am already trying to plan out this next week and see what I can do with Emily and the triplets to make me feel like our summer is complete. I feel like there is still so much I wanted to do this summer and now I am scrambling to get it all done in the last week.

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I don’t know what it is about school starting that makes it feel like summer is over. It’s not like I have kids who are starting school or going back to school. Realistically we could just continue as though it is sill summer, but for some reason it’s just not the same. The weather is still nice, we can still go to the beach, go for walks, eat ice cream and BBQ, but it just doesn’t feel the same when that the school year starts. Maybe it’s because everything that was open for the summer months is now closed or only open on the weekends, kids aren’t running around at the parks or malls anymore and everyone’s holidays have ended, whatever it may be, it definitely doesn’t feel like summer once school starts.

We still have one week left of “official summer” and I plan on making the most of it! I did want to go to the Toronto Zoo today, but we didn’t plan ahead and now it is too late in the day to go, but luckily it is open all year-long and even on weekdays, so there is still lots of time to go. I wanted to take everyone to a big splash pad, maybe even two this week because I do think they close when school starts. I am hoping the ice cream truck comes by (that one is for me). I want to go to the park and have a picnic with Emily and the triplets, which I think is an easy and realistic idea for this week. I really wanted to go to Niagara Falls this summer and I am shocked we never went, so maybe I can fit that into my week as well. Lastly, I want Emily and the triplets to just have fun playing outside. I am going to set up their water table for them to play with, because they really enjoyed it the other day and then have them just run around outside.

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This week is just all about enjoying the last bit of summer and enjoying the feelings that summer brings. Soon it will be cold, there will be snow and I will be counting down days until next summer. It wont be as easy to get everyone out the door, there will be more pants, sweaters and coats to bring along and the process of leaving the house will take much longer. I just love the summer and everything that comes along with summer and I am sad to know it’s almost over.

 

Is there anything that you are going to try to do this last week of summer before it’s over?

Did you get to do everything you wanted to and planned to do during the summer?

 

 

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)

 

triplets newborn2

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)