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!

 

You can find us all over!

facebookFacebook.com/thebabygang

youtubeYoutube.com/thebabygang

instagramInstagram.com/officialbabygang

twitterTwitter.com/thebabygang

snapchatSnapChat – @Thebabygang

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)

Photo 2016-08-27, 5 00 40 PM

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.

Photo 2016-08-21, 11 01 51 AM

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.

Photo 2016-08-20, 2 29 42 PMPhoto 2016-07-31, 3 58 27 PM (1)

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)

 

 

 

Finding Out We had TRIPLETS!

Dan and I always knew we wanted to have a big family, but never in our wildest dreams did we think it would happen this fast!

After we had Emily, our plan was to try for one more, that way we would have two babies close in age, then after a few years we would try for a third. Little did we know that along with our second would come our third and fourth!

I found out I was pregnant for the second time in October 2014. Emily was 10 month and when I figured out my approximate due date, there would be roughly 18 months between Emily and the new baby. With my doctor away on holidays, I wasn’t able to see her right away and it was even longer before I had an ultrasound. On December 10th, 2014 I finally had my appointment for a dating ultrasound. It was just supposed to be a basic ultrasound to determine how far along I was and to make sure everything was good with the baby. Dan was working that day, so I went to the appointment myself.

I sat in the waiting room for a few minutes and when it was time, I laid down on the bed and the nurse told me to relax and close my eyes. As I laid there I heard the nurse say “oh,” so immediately I opened my eyes wondering what she meant. I was so nervous from that moment and I was under the impression that they don’t say anything until the ultrasound is complete. The nurse told me to close my eyes again and just relax. After she finished the ultrasound she asked if I had received any fertility when I got pregnant. I replied “no” and she said “well, there is a little surprise!” I was a little confused and not sure what to think, but I remember my one thought was TWINS! The nurse showed me the monitor and while pointing at the screen said “I saw one baby, then the second and then looking around some more, I saw the third down here.” I was in complete shock when she said there were 3 babies. I am pretty sure my jaw dropped to the floor and I took a huge gasp. I think I laughed nervously and remember saying I don’t know whether to laugh or cry. I also couldn’t believe that I had to find this out by myself!

After I realized what was going on, the nurse told me that all 3 babies were measuring the correct size for how far along I was, which was 12 1/2 weeks. She told me that it appears one baby is by themselves and the other two have a thin layer between them. She wasn’t entirely sure how to classify them, but said my doctor would be able to tell me. The nurse handed me the ultrasound pictures and told me that was the most she had ever printed out. The two receptionists were so excited and very happy for me!

I left the office and went to my car and just sat there, still kinda laughing and thinking over and over to myself, what the heck just happened! I knew I had to tell Dan right away and it had to be in person, so I drove straight to his work. When I got there I asked if we could go to his office to look at the ultrasound. I pulled out the pictures and laid them on the table. Dan looked at the pictures and I pointed out A, B and C. He then said “wow, that is one active baby, look at all of the movements.” I pointed again and said “no, that’s A, B and C, as in three different babies.” Dan looked at me as if I was joking and said “no way!” Once the news really sank in, Dan was still in disbelief and said “I can’t believe this, how did this happen! This is so exciting, but scary, what are we going to do!” I said “I don’t know either and I can’t believe we are having TRIPLETS!”

After telling Dan, I went to my mom’s house to tell everyone the exciting news too! I walked in and said “guess what!” My mom, two sister and brother came over and I said look at my ultrasound. Right away my mom said “you are having twins?” I responded with a “no…I’m having triplets!” They were so shocked and couldn’t believe it. My mom even said the night before she had a dream where I found out I was having twins, she was pretty close!

Dan called all of his family after too and when he told them, no one believed him. Dan and his brothers always love to joke around and try to make things up, which is one of the reasons no one believed him. After telling them a few more times and assuring them he wasn’t joking this time they finally believed him. They were all so excited and in shock as well!

When we found out we were having triplets, it was only a few days before Emily’s 1st birthday party. We thought it was the perfect time to let all of our friends and the rest of our families know. While everyone was sitting we told them the news and everyone looked shocked. Luckily we had an ultrasound to prove that there were indeed 3 babies and we were having triplets!

Finding out we were having triplets will forever be some of the most exciting, nervous, thrilling and any other word you can think of, news we will receive in our lives! I will never forget the moment, sitting there and having the nurse tell me there were three babies. I can still replay the moment in my head and every now and then when I do think about it I get chills and feel my stomach drop, just like it did that day!

 

tripletsultrasound
The first ultrasound I received. A is Olivia, B+C are Jackson and Levi.

 

 

 

 

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!

We are going on VACATION! (part 1)

The Baby Gang is packing up and we are heading to Florida for our first family vacation as a family of 6! I am so excited and I thought it would be fun to share our experience of the whole trip. I wanted to start now and share some of the things we need to do before we go. There is going to be a lot to plan for and pack before we can actually leave and by sharing a lot of that with you, I think it will help me to keep on top of planning and organizing everything. This will also be a good way to make memories and save them for Emily, Jackson, Olivia and Levi to look back on.

A big part of what I have always looked forward to with having a family are the family vacations! We have always gone on vacations when I was growing up, and those are some of the best times and greatest memories I have. We took most of our vacations to Florida and we always had so much fun. Disney’s Magic Kingdom is one of my favorite places to visit and although we didn’t go every time we were in Florida, I still remember and love everything about it! I think I am the most excited to take Emily and the triplets there and to start creating memories for them. They may not be able to remember their first visit, but I will always have that memory of their initial reaction to seeing everything going on and experiencing their first time on a ride!

There are already so many items on our to-do list and I’m sure I will be adding a lot more, but the first thing we needed to do was make sure everyone had their passports. Dan and Emily had everything set with theirs, but the triplets needed theirs and mine expired last year. We went to Shopper’s Drug Mart for our pictures. With their hours open until midnight, even to get passport pictures taken, it was perfect for us, since our only time to go was 8 pm. When I took Emily to get her picture taken she was not even 2 months old and it was a lot of work to get her to look the right way. I was so surprised when the triplets cooperated and we were able to get a good picture in 2 tries! In total we spent about an hour at the store.

The next morning we got up and ready in hopes of leaving at 8 am to make it the passport office for 8:30 to avoid long lines. We finally left the house at 9 am, made it to the office and luckily there was no wait and we were in and out within half hour. When I got Emily’s passport I was told that if we are driving we don’t actually need a passport for a baby, but if there was ever an emergency and for some reason we needed to fly home, Emily wouldn’t be able to fly with us. To be on the safe side, I wanted to make sure I had passports for everyone!

We received the passports in the mail 8 days later and now that we have them we are on to the next thing to plan for!

For a little bit of cuteness today, here are the pictures of the babies and didn’t make the cut for their passport pictures! =D

IMG_1373.JPG